Master 1000 Miami: Djokovic may face Murray in the quarter finals - UBITENNIS
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Master 1000 Miami: Djokovic may face Murray in the quarter finals

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TENNIS – Nineteen of the top 20 best ranked players feature in the Sony Open in Miami including World Number 1 Rafa Nadal, defending champion Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer, respectively champion and finalista t last week’s Indian Wells. The possible quarter finals are Nadal- Del Potro, Wawrinka- Berdych, Federer- Ferrer (or Dimitrov) and Djokovic- Murray Diego Sampaolo

 

Nadal, who is looking to his first Miami title, has been drawn in the first quarter and could face either Juan Martin Del Potro or Milos Raonic in the quarter final. Nadal will make his debut against either Lleyton Hewitt, who is looking to reach his 600th milestone career match win, or Dutchman Robin Haase.

Nadal has been drawn in the same quarter as two rising stars born in the 1990s Jerzy Janowicz and Milos Raonic, Gael Monfils and Juan Martin Del Potro. Nadal’s possible third round rival could be Italian top player Fabio Fognini who will face either Jerzy Janowicz or Roberto Bautista Agut. .

Del Potro will start his campaign against either Ryan Harrison or Federico Delbonis.

The second quarter of the draw features this year’s Australian Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka and 2010 Miami finalist Tomas Berdych who may square off in the quarter finals. It could be a re-match of this year’s Australian Open semifinal.

Wawrinka faces a tough path as he may play against Marin Cilic, who won two tournaments and 20 matches in 2014, in the third round and last week’s Indian Wells semifinalist Aleksander Dolgopolov in the fourth round. Dolgopolov beat Rafa Nadal in the third round and lost against Roger Federer in the semifinal in the Californian desert. The Ukrainian player could face Bernard Tomic in the second round and German veteran Tommy Haas.

Berdych is in the same quarter section as US John Isner, who lost against Novak Djokovic in the Indian Wells semifinal last Saturday. Isner could meet either Carlos Berloq or Donald Young in the second round and either Nicolas Almagro or Sam Querrey in the same round.

Nadal and Wawrinka may square off in the semifinal in a potential re-match of this year’s Australian Open final.

Roger Federer, who won two consecutive Miami titles in 2005 and 2006, will start his chase of his third Miami title against Croatian giant Ivo Karlovic and may meet Fernando Verdasco in the third round and Richard Gasquet in the fourth round. The Swiss legend, winner in Dubai and runner-up in Indian Wells last week, could face either last year’s Miami finalist David Ferrer or Bulgarian rising star Grigor Dimitrov (what a match could be between the Basel Maestro and his Bulgarian heir) in the quarter final. Federer has the chance to move up to World Number 4 overtaking Ferrer in the ATP Ranking.

Dimitrov may meet Kei Nishikori in the third round.

Novak Djokovic may face Andy Murray in the quarter final in a clash between two Miami winners of 2011 and 2013. Djokovic, who is bidding to score his second Indian Wells-Miami double after 2011 and his fourth win in Florida, will make his debut against either Jeremy Chardy or Juan Monaco. He could meet Florian Mayer in the third round and in-form Ernests Gulbis in the fourth round. Gulbis is an unpredictable player and could pose a threat to everyone if he is in form as he showed in Indian Wells where he reached the quarter finals after beating Grigor Dimitrov.

Murray, who opens against either Lukas Kubot or Matthew Ebden, will be looking to win his third win in Miami (his traditional training base) after lifting the Trophy in 2009 and 2013. He will defend his title won last year against David Ferrer. In the third round Murray may renew his clash against Czech rising star Jiri Vezely who forced the Dunblane star to the third set last week at Indian Wells. Murray, who has ended his succesful relationship to Ivan Lendl this week, may play against Feliciano Lopez in the third round Jo Wilfred Tsonga in the fourth round.

“I am grateful to Ivan for all his hard work over the past two years, the most successful in my career so far. As a team we have learned a lot and it will be definitely be a benefit in the future”, said Murray-

“Working with Andy over the past two years has been a fantastic experience for me. He is a first class guy. Having helped him achieve his goal of winning major titles, I feel liei t is time to concentrate on some of my own projects moving forward, including playing more events around the world, which I am really enjoying. I will be always in Andy’s corner and wish him nothing but great success as he too goes into a new phase of his career”, said Lendl.

Diego Sampaolo

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Unseeded Ugo Humbert Becomes First Player In Over A Decade To Win Halle On Debut

The 22-year-old fired nine aces and 29 winners to claim his first ATP 500 title.

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image via https://twitter.com/ATPHalle

France’s Ugo Humbert has clinched his maiden ATP title on the grass after defeating Andrey Rublev in straight sets at the Noventi Open in Halle.

 

Humbert remained unbroken throughout his 6-3, 7-6(4), win over the Russian fourth seed who has won more matches on the ATP Tour than any other player since the start of 2020 (74). The Frenchman was particularly impressive behind serve where he won 83% of his first service points and 55% on his second. It is the first time he has beaten Rublev on the Tour after losing to him on two previous occasions in 2019 (Monte Carlo) and 2020 (St. Petersburg).

“It’s incredible,” said Humbert. “The best victory of my career. I’m very proud because it wasn’t easy, I was a little but tired today but I tried to stay focused on each point. It’s very nice.”

The triumph concludes what has been a marathon week in Halle for the 22-year-old. En route to the final he had to come through four three-set matches where he scored wins over Sam Querrey, Alexander Zverev, Sebastian Korda and Felix-Auger Aliassime. Becoming only the second player in Halle’s 28-year history to have reached the final by playing only three-set matches.

Meanwhile, runner-up Rublev paid tribute to his opponent following their clash. The world No.7 is now 1-2 in finals played so far this season after winning Rotterdam before losing to Stefanos Tsitsipas in Monte Carlo. To put that into perspective, in 2020 he won all six finals he played in.

“I have often told my coach that you play in an incredible way,” he said. “You have everything to be a very great player. So keep working, doing everything you do. You play very well, you have incredible shots. I wish you a great career.”

Humbert, who won two ATP titles last year in Auckland and Antwerp, is the first player to win Halle on the debut since 2010. On that occasion Lleyton Hewitt prevailed over Roger Federer in the final. He is now projected to rise to a ranking high of 25 on Monday when the ATP standings are officially updated.

The Frenchman will be hoping that he can continue his winning streak heading to Wimbledon where he reached the fourth round back in 2019. His best ever result in a Grand Slam to date.

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David Goffin Out Of Wimbledon Following Halle Accident

It has been reported that the unfortunate injury he suffered is ‘more serious’ than a sprain.

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David Goffin has been forced to withdraw from Wimbledon after suffering an ankle injury during the Noventi Open earlier this week.

 

The former top 10 player was taking on Corentin Moutet in Halle where he slipped on the grass and subsequently hurt his right ankle. Forcing the Belgian to retire from the match at the start of the third set. Providing an update on Goffin’s health, agent Martin Roux said he is unsure how long he will be absent from the Tour for.

“Yes, David has officially withdrawn from Wimbledon following his ankle injury in Halle. For the moment we do not know more about the exact duration of unavailability, ” Roux told lesoir.be. “He is of course disappointed to miss a Grand Slam tournament, especially since he had recovered well on grass before his injury. “

Elaborating further, Roux confirmed Goffin’s injury is ‘more serious’ than a sprain and tests are ongoing to assess the extent of the damage which has been caused to the ankle. It is not the first time he has suffered a freak accident on the court. During the 2018 Rotterdam Open he hurt his eye after a tennis ball rebounded into his face, forcing him to pull out of Marseille and Indian Wells that year.

“David told me that it was more serious than a minor sprain, after exams in Belgium.”Roux added. “The ankle has not yet deflated (stopped swelling). David realizes that ice and bandages won’t be enough to play. The ligaments must be affected in one way or another. The idea is to do new exams at the end of the week in order to then have a healing protocol, especially since after Wimbledon the Olympic Games will arrive quickly. These are now his next goals. “

The 30-year-old has achieved a win-loss record of 14-13 so far in 2021 and won his fifth ATP title in Montpellier. He has also reached the semi-finals in Antalya and quarter-finals in Monte Carlo. However, recently Goffin has struggled on the Tour with Halle being the fifth tournament in a row where he has failed to win back-to-back matches.

Goffin is currently ranked 13th in the world.

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Dominic Thiem Follows Nadal In Olympic Games Snub

The world No.5 says his decision is related to his performance on the Tour so far this season.

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Dominic Thiem training at the 2021 Lyon Open (photographer Sammy Dancyger - Owned by Sport Plus Conseil - GM Sports Consulting)

Austria’s Dominic Thiem has pulled out of the Olympic Games in order to focus on his title defence at the US Open later this year.

 

The 27-year-old issued a statement on Thursday saying he was ‘not ready’ to play in Tokyo following what has been a roller-coaster start to the season. Thiem enters Wimbledon with a win-loss record of 9-8 and recently lost in the first round of the French Open. His best results so far this year were reaching the last 16 of the Australian Open and the semi-finals of the Madrid Open.

“Hi everybody, I have some sad news to share with you all. After talking with my team and analysing the situation I have taken the very difficult decision to withdraw from competing in the Tokyo Olympics,” the 27-year-old Austrian wrote on Twitter.
“For me, like all athletes, taking part in the Olympics and representing my country is a huge honour and that makes this decision even tougher.
“However, 2021 did not start as expected and I don’t feel ready to play my best in Tokyo.
“My goal is to work hard the coming weeks, give my best at Wimbledon and keep training and hopefully defend my US Open title.”

Thiem, who also skipped the 2016 Olympics, had previously said that his views on the multi-sport event have changed over recent time. During one interview with Tennis Deutschland he said it would be a ‘dream’ to play at the Olympics and he would ‘definitely play’ at the event if he had the chance to. Thiem is coached on the Tour by Nicolas Massu who won a gold medal back in 2004.

The world No.5 says he hopes to be able to play at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris where the tennis tournament will be held at Roland Garros. The same venue as the French Open.

On the same day as Thiem’s announcement on Thursday, Rafael Nadal was another player to confirm he would not be travelling to Tokyo, as well as Wimbledon, in order to recover from the clay season. The Spaniard said he wants to take a break from the Tour in order to preserve his body and prolong his career on the Tour.

The Olympic tennis event will take place between July 24th – August 1st. Andy Murray is the defending champion in the men’s tournament.

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