Nadal cruises to the fourth round in Miami - UBITENNIS
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Nadal cruises to the fourth round in Miami

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TENNIS – World Number 1 Rafael Nadal swept aside Denis Istomin drooping just one game for 6-1 6-0 at the Sony Open in Miami to qualify for the round of 16 where he will play against Italian top player Fabio Fognini who beat Roberto Bautista Agut. Nadal will be looking to reach the quarter final for the seventh time in a row in Miami. Diego Sampaolo

 

Rafa Nadal played a perfect match in which he converted six of his seven break point chances. It’s the second time in 2014 that Nadal dropped just one game after defeating Sousa in Rio de Janeiro.

Nadal is bidding to clinch his elusive Miami title after losing three finals in 2005, 2008 and 2011. It’s one of the three Master 1000 Tournaments together with Shanghai and Paris Bercy that he never won.

Nadal broke serve in the opening game of the first set to cruise to a easy 4-0. He saved a break point in the sixth game to wrap up the first set with 6-1 in just 25 minutes. He won 63 percent of his first serve points.

The only time he faced some stiff challenge occurred in the first game of the second set when he fended off three break point chances before cruising to a bagel win in the second set.

Nadal’s next rival in the Round of 16 will be World number 14 Fabio Fognini who fought back from a set down to edge Roberto Bautista Agut with 4-6 6-3 6-3. The Italian reached the fourth round in a Master 1000 for the second consecutive time. Fognini equalled his best result in Miami.

The first set went on serve until 4-4. Bautista Agut held to take a 5-4 lead before closing out the opening set following two costly mistakes by Fognini.

Fognini broke serve in the third game of the second set but he made a double fault to face a break back point chance after a double fault. Fognini broke in the final game to win the second set 6-3.

Fognini broke in the early stage of the third set to take a 3-0 lead before closing out the third set 6-3 on his first match point. Fognini improved his best result in Miami of 2013 when he lost to David Ferrer in the third round. He lost all his previous three matches against Nadal but he came close to beat him last year in Beijing where he led 6-2 4-1 in the second set before losing in the third set.

World Number 3 and 2014 Australian Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka also reached the fourth round after beating Frenchman Roger Vasselin 7-5 6-4. The Lausanne player converted his fourth break point chance at 6-5 to close out the first set after 45 minutes. He build up a 4-1 lead in the second set bt Roger Vasselin clawed his way back to draw level to 4-4. The Swiss got his third break of serve to close out the second set 6-4.

Wawrinka clinched his 15th win in 16 matches this year. He will face a very tough round of 16 match against in-form Aleksander Dolgopolov who had to di deep to overcome lucky loser Dusan Lajovic. Dolgopolov, semifinalist in Indian Wells, fought back after losing the first set.

Wawrinka faced two break points at 4-4 in the opening set before closing out the first set in the 12th game with a forehand winner. The Swiss broke serve in the opening game of the second set and got a chance to take a 3-0 lead but he made a double fault enabling Roger Vasselin to break back. Wawrinka closed out the second set on the second match point in one hour and 44 minutes.

After the match was interrupted by rain at 5-5 in the third set, Lajovic built up a 4-2 lead in the tie-break but Dolgopolov managed to clinch the breaker with 7-5 to book his berth in the round of 16. The Ukrainian player equalled his best result in Miami by reaching the fourth round.

Milos Raonic, who lost against Dolgopolov in Indian Wells, dropped just three games and did not face a single break point to ease past Guillermo Garcia Lopez in straight sets with 6-2 6-1 to set up a fourth round match against Benjamin Becker who has become the first lucky-loser to reach the round of 16 in Key Biscayne after Ivan Ljubicic who qualified for the quarter final in 2001.

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Alexander Zverev Secures Place In ATP Finals With Indian Wells Win

Zverev will be seeking to win the season-ending extravaganza for the second time in his career.

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Alexander Zverev (GER) Credit: AELTC/Edward Whitaker

Germany’s Alexander Zverev has become the fourth player to officially qualify for the ATP Finals after reaching the third round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.

 

The world No.4 defeated America’s Jenson Brooksby 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, in his second round match on Sunday which pushed him over the points threshold to secure his spot in the end-of-season event. It is the fifth year in a row he has qualified for the ATP Finals which he won back in 2018. He is one of only three German players to ever win the title after Boris Becker and Michael Stich.

This year’s tournament will take place in Turin, Italy for the first time in history after being held at The O2 Arena in London for more than a decade. Only the eight highest ranked players are eligible to play in the round-robin tournament which has on offer up to 1500 rankings points for an undefeated champion.

“My first time in Turin. I’ve been to London four times before. London is obviously very special to me because I won there, as well. I think the stadium is incredible, one of the most special events that we had,” Zverev told reporters on Sunday.
“But I also love playing in Italy. I had great success in Italy. I won my first Masters in Rome. I’m looking forward to being there. I’m looking forward to playing in front of the Italian fans. It’s going to be a great week.”

The 24-year-old approaches the final quarter of this season with four titles already won this year. He has won two Masters 1000 trophies, an ATP 500 event in Mexico and a gold medal in singles at the Tokyo Olympic Games. Zverev, who has recorded seven wins over top 10 players, also reached the semi-finals at both the French Open and US Open.

Zverev joins Novak Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas as the players who have qualified for the ATP Finals so far. It is the third straight season the quartet has qualified for the event.

This year’s ATP Finals will get underway on November 14th. Medvedev is the defending champion.

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Denis Shapovalov Advances After Pospisil Retires In Indian Wells

The battle of the two Canadians didn’t go as planned…

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Denis Shapovalov (CAN) Credit: AELTC/Edward Whitaker

Vasek Pospisil faced off against his fellow Canadian Denis Shapovalov in the second round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells and it was the world number 13 who got the win after the Vernon native pulled out due to an injury whilst trailing 0-3.

 

It was a rough start for Pospisil who seemed to struggle with his serve in the opening game of the match and double-faulted twice in a row to give the early break and Shapovalov had no issues consolidating the break.

Shapovalov continued to apply pressure on the Pospisil serve and after saving two breakpoints the world number 68 pulled up after a serve and stopped play, calling for the trainer. He ended up taking a medical timeout off the court and a couple of minutes later returned to court. Pospisil was broken once again and the following game after a couple of returns decided to call it quits.

” It was pretty awful…and if I’m being honest I am shaking a bit…It really sucks I hope it’s nothing serious…He’s a great guy he’s a real warrior he’s fought back from some injuries surgeries to such a great level.” Shapovalov said of his compatriot.

Shapovalov will face 19th seed Aslan Karatsev in the next round after the Russian thrashed Salvatore Caruso 6-2, 6-0.

In the other results of the day sixth seeed Casper Ruud dominated Roberto Carballes Baena 6-1, 6-2, Roberto Bautista Agut beat the Argentine Guido Pella 7-5, 6-3 and Sebastien Korda won an all American battle with Frances Tiafoe 6-0, 6-4.

Finally, Diego Schwartzman needed three sets to beat another American in Maxime Cressy winning 6-2, 3-6, 7-5.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas Sidesteps Question Over Vaccination Status

The Greek also jokes that he will be having less bathroom breaks in Indian Wells due to one particular reason.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas has declined to confirm if he has received a COVID-19 vaccination despite previously saying he planned to do so later this year.

 

The world No.3 was questioned about the vaccination during his pre-tournament press conference at Indian Wells on Wednesday. Earlier this year Tsitsipas came under fire after saying he doesn’t see a reason why somebody his age needs to be vaccinated and expressed concerns over the potential side effects. He also added that young people catching COVID-19 is a good thing as it helps build up their immunity. Prompting criticism from various people, including a spokesperson for the Greek government.

However, in recent weeks Tsitsipas has changed his stance on the issue and recently told Antenna TV that he will have his first dose by the end of this year. When asked by a reporter in Indian Wells if he has had it yet, the French Open finalist declined to answer.

I’m sorry but I’m not able to provide any of my medical records,” he said.

Player vaccination rates in tennis are becoming a growing issue amid reports that the Australian Open may only allow fully vaccinated players to participate due to a health mandate which has been implemented by the local government. There is yet to be a formal announcement by Tennis Australia regarding their entry requirements. However, The Age newspaper reports that there is a ‘strong likelihood’ that only vaccinated players will be allowed entry by Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton.

Tsitsipas’ immediate focus is on this week’s BNP Paribas Open where he is the second seed behind Daniil Medvedev. Speaking about the conditions, the 23-year-old joked it was ‘very dry’ and therefore he will be having less bathroom breaks during matches. Referring to the recent criticism he has received from some of his peers over the timing of breaks he takes.

“It’s very dry here,” Tsitsipas said.
“That is good for me because I sweat less, which makes for less bathroom breaks, which makes for less complaints. So a very good sign so far,” he added with a smile.

The hope for Tsitsipas is that he will be able to build on his recent experience at the Laver Cup where he helped Europe secure their fourth consecutive title. The event provides players with the opportunity to work alongside each other in a team format. Something Tsitsipas relished but he is ready to get back to singles duty.

“I think team competitions are necessary for our sport and we don’t get to be united a lot,” he said. “We always kind of focus on ourselves and our things and environment and that is what you usually see on Tour. Players doing their own thing. Not much socialising.
“At the Laver Cup, we all get to have dinners together and all get to hang out with each other. Of course, though, we all have our competitiveness and if we get stuck around we might share too much with one another, that is the mentality behind it.”

Tsitsipas is yet to win a main draw match in Indian Wells. He will start his 2021 bid against either qualifier Roberto Marcora or Spain’s Pedro Martinez.

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