Nishikori upsets Federer in the Miami quarter finals - UBITENNIS
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Nishikori upsets Federer in the Miami quarter finals



TENNIS – Kei Nishikori upset Roger Federer 3-6 7-5 6-4 in the quarter final at the Sony Open in Miami one day after edging David Ferrer in a thrilling fourth round match in which he saved four match points. Diego Sampaolo

Nishikori fought back from a break down twice in the second set to beat Federer for the second consecutive time in his career one year after his win in Madrid. Nishikori has reached the second Masters 1000 semifinal of his career. The Japanese player, who is based in Florida, scored his 11th win over a top-10 player.

Federer started very well and was looking to be cruising to a easy win after building up a 4-1 lead in the first set with a service game to love. He dropped his serve for the first time in this tournament in the seventh game but he broke back immediately to close out the first set in 34 minutes.

Federer looked to be in full control of the match when he went up a break twice in the second set at 2-1 and 4-3. Nishikori rallied from two breaks down in the next service games before breaking serve to force the match to the third set. Nishikori hit an ace to go up 6-5. They were level at 30-30 in the next game on Federer’s serve when Nishikori hit a backhand winner. On the next point Nishikori got the break as Federer hit his backhand into the net.

The third set went on serve in the first four games before Nishikori held serve to take a 5-4 lead. Nishikori could not convert on two break point chances in the fourth game of the third set before breaking serve on his third match point in the tenth game to wrap up the match in two hours and eight minutes. Nishikori won the first three points in that game before Federer hit a crosscourt forehand winner followed by an ace. However Nishikori hit a backhand crosscourt winner on Federer’s serve

Nishikori now leads 2-1 in his his head-to-head matches against Federer. Nishikori recovered well from the dramatic match against last year’s Miami finalist David Ferrer when he fended off four match points and it was a big surprise.

I am feeling good to beat Roger. I thought I really played well especially in the third set. I was hitting deep and striking well. There were a couple of tough moments but I was fighting through and happy to win today”, said Nishikori.

The Japanese player has achieved his best result in his fifth appearance in Miami.

There will not be the much-awaited match between Federer and Djokovic but an unexpected match between the Serbian player and Nishikori. The Japanese won their last head-to-head match in the Basel semifinal in three sets in 2011 when Djokovic was not in his best form after a highly successful season.

Djokovic beat Andy Murray 7-5 6-3 to extend his winning streak to 10 matches.

Djokovic is playing well. I played him a long time ago in Basel and I beat him before, so hopefully I play good like today”, said Nishikori.

Federer, who lost just 18 points on serve and won all his 27 service games during the whole tournament, faced problems this time winning just 53 percent of his first serve. He dropped serve five times and made 39 unforced errors.

I could never really get my service games going. It’s a bit frustrating but Kei did well to stay with me. As the match went on, Kei started to serve a bit better, which made it more difficult. He was more consistent in the second and the third sets. I predict that Kei is going to be Top 10 in a short while”, said Federer.


Wrist Injury Threatening To End Holger Rune’s Olympic Dream



Holger Rune will have a second medical opinion on Monday before deciding if he is fit enough to play at the Olympic Games, according to his team. 

The Danish world No.17 recently retired from his quarter-final match at the Hamburg Open due to a knee injury. The hope at the time was that his withdrawal would be just a precautionary measure ahead of the Olympics. However, he is also dealing with a second issue that appears to be more serious.

According to TV 2 Sport, Rune has been struggling with a wrist issue and underwent a scan on Sunday which his mother Aneke says ‘doesn’t look promising.’ Aneke is also the manager of her son’s career. Rune’s Olympic dreams now rest on the outcome of a second medical expert that he will visit tomorrow who has a better understanding of the sport. 

“Unfortunately, it does not look promising after the first medical opinion after the review of the scan of the wrist,” Aneke Rune told TV 2 Sport.

“We are waiting for two tennis-specific doctors who will give a second opinion tomorrow (Monday). Tennis wrists look different from regular wrists, so we’ll hold out hope for one more day.” 

Rune is one of three Danish players entered into the Olympic tennis event along with Caroline Wozniacki and Clara Tauson. The country has only won one medal in tennis before which was at the 1912 Games when Sofie Castenschiold won silver in the women’s indoor singles event. 

So far this season, the 21-year-old has won 27 matches on the Tour but is yet to claim a title. He reached the final of the Brisbane International and then the semi-finals of three more events. In the Grand Slams, he made it to the fourth round of the French Open and Wimbledon. 

It is not known when a final decision regarding Rune’s participation in Paris will be made.

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Hubert Hurkacz Undergoes ‘Knee Procedure’ Ahead of Olympic Bid



Poland’s top player on the ATP Tour is not giving up on his dream of winning a medal at the Olympic Games despite recently undergoing a medical procedure.

World No.7 Hubert Hurkacz suffered a knee injury during his second round clash at Wimbledon against France’s Arthur Fils. In the fourth set tiebreak of their clash, Hurkacz dived for a shot but landed badly on his knee and required on-court medical attention. He then played two more points before retiring from the match. 

In a social media post published on Wednesday, the  27-year-old confirmed he underwent a procedure on his knee earlier this week but didn’t provide any further details.  Although Hurkacz has stated his intention to play at the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris, where the tennis event will be held on the clay at Roland Garros. 

“I had a knee procedure this Monday, but I’m feeling better already and my team and are dedicating extensive time each day to the rehab process.” He wrote on Instagram. 

“It’s a dream for every athlete to represent their country at the Olympics, and I want to make sure I am fully fit and ready before making the final decision to step on court. The aim is not only to participate, but to win a medal for my country.”

So far this season Hurkacz has won 34 out of 48 matches played on the Tour. He won the Estoril Open in April and was runner-up to Jannik Sinner in Halle. 

The Olympic tennis event is scheduled to begin a week Saturday on July 27th. Poland is yet to win a medal in the event but expectations are high with women’s No.1 Iga Swiatek also taking part. 

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Motivation, Pressure And Expectations – Novak Djokovic Targets History At Wimbledon



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Novak Djokovic has broken numerous records throughout his career but he still feels the pressure of trying to make history in the sport. 

The world No.2 is through to his 10th Wimbledon final where he will play Carlos Alcaraz, who beat him at this stage of the tournament 12 months ago. There is plenty on the line for the Serbian who could equal Roger Federer’s record for most men’s titles won at SW19 and break the overall record for most major singles won in the sport if he triumphs over the Spaniard. Djokovic currently has 24 Grand Slam trophies to his name which is the same as Margaret Court, who won some of her titles before the Open Era started. 

“Obviously I’m aware that Roger [Federer] holds eight Wimbledons. I hold seven. History is on the line.” Djokovic said on Friday after beating Lorenzo Musetti.

“Also, the 25th potential Grand Slam. Of course, it serves as a great motivation, but at the same time it’s also a lot of pressure and expectations.”

Coming into Wimbledon, there had been doubts over Djokovic’s form after he underwent surgery to treat a knee injury he suffered at the French Open. However, he has defied the odds to reach the final. His run has also seen him beat Alexi Popyrin and Holger Rune before getting a walkover in the quarter-finals from Alex de Minaur, who sustained an injury during the tournament. Then on Friday, he overcame a spirited Musetti in three sets. 

Despite the challenge, Djokovic has insisted that his expectations to do well are always high no matter what the situation is. During what has been a roller-coaster first six months of the season, he is yet to win a title this year or beat a player currently ranked in the top 10. Although he will achieve both of these if her beats Alcaraz on Sunday. 

“Every time I step out on the court now, even though I’m 37 and competing with the 21-year-olds, I still expect myself to win most of the matches, and people expect me to win, whatever, 99% of the matches that I play.” He said.

“I always have to come out on the court and perform my best in order to still be at the level with Carlos [Alcaraz] or Jannik [Sinner] or Sascha [Zverev] or any of those guys, Daniil [Medvedev]. 

“This year hasn’t been that successful for me. It’s probably the weakest results the first six months I’ve had in many years. That’s okay. I had to adapt and accept that and really try to find also way out from the injury that I had and kind of regroup.”

Djokovic hopes that a Wimbledon win will help turn his season around like it has done in the past for him. 

“Wimbledon historically there’s been seasons where I wasn’t maybe playing at a desired level, but then I would win a Wimbledon title and then things would change.” He commented.

“For example, that was the case in 2018 when I had elbow surgery earlier in the year, dropped my rankings out of top 20, losing in fourth round of Australian Open, I think it was quarters of Roland-Garros, and just not playing the tennis that I want to play. Then I won Wimbledon and then won US Open and then later on became No.1 very soon.”

Meanwhile, 21-year-old Alcaraz is hoping to stop Djokovic in his tracks. Should he defend his title at Wimbledon, he would become the first player outside the Big Three to do so since Pete Sampras more than 20 years ago. He has won their only previous meeting on the grass but trails their head-to-head 3-2. 

“I’m sure he knows what he has to do to beat me,” said Alcaraz.

“But I’m ready to take that challenge and I’m ready to do it well.”

When the two players take to the court to play in the Wimbledon final, Djokovic will be 15 years and 348 days older than Alcaraz. Making it the largest age gap in a men’s Grand Slam final since the 1974 US Open. Whoever is victorious will receive £2,700,000 in prize money. 

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