Kei Nishikori bounced from the French Open in 1st Round - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

Focus

Kei Nishikori bounced from the French Open in 1st Round

Avatar

Published

on

 

TENNIS FRENCH OPEN – Kei Nishikori is having a most bizarre year. The 24-year-old has finally made it into the top 10 solidifying his status as one of the premier young stars on the tour, but now finds himself packing for home after losing to Klizan 7-6, 6-1, 6-2. Cordell Hackshaw

Interviews, Results, OOP, Draws from the Roland Garros

Kei Nishikori (9) is having a most bizarre year. The 24-year-old has finally made it into the top 10 solidifying his status as one of the premier young stars on the tour. He is playing some of the best tennis of his life but his body is betraying him in the big moments. In Miami he beat Roger Federer for the 2nd consecutive time but had to withdraw from the semifinal matchup against Novak Djokovic. He won Barcelona and got to the final of Madrid but had to retire from the match in the 3rd set against Rafael Nadal. He arrived in Paris with a lot of steam behind him and the probability of getting to the Round of 16, equaling last year’s effort, but now finds himself packing for home. Martin Klizan of Slovakia took out the Japanese number 1 in straight sets 7-6(4) 6-1 6-2. “It’s tough for me, but I guess this is my tennis life, you know. I have to take care of my body and injury will come again, for sure. So I have to mentally, you know, be ready. I have to do whatever, you know, I can do to get healthy” stated Nishikori after the match.

It was clear from the opening game that Nishikori was not 100% as Klizan broke for an early 2-0 lead. Nishikori came back and won five of the next six games. He served for the set 5-3 but Klizan broke back and held serve for 5-5. Though ranked 59th in the world, Klizan is not to be overlooked. He recently won the Munich tournament beating Tommy Haas (16) and Fabio Fognini (14) en route to the title. Sensing the vulnerability of his opponent, Klizan turned up the intensity and forced the issue to a tiebreaker where he took it 7-4 points.

Klizan only needed this 1st set under his belt to then take complete control of the match. Nishikori showed recently that he can play with the greatest of all left-handed players, Nadal. However, it was the lesser lefty player in the form of Klizan who proved to be too much for him. The quality of play in the 1st set was very even as both players had a similar winner to error ratio; Klizan being 10:18 and Nishikori 9:21. Their serving statistics were negligible. The 2nd and 3rd sets were different matters altogether. Klizan was simply relentless, dogging Nishikori on every service game breaking him four times and never once facing break points on his own serve. Nishikori looked winded and no longer able to construct points in an effective manner. He committed 19 errors in those two sets compared to 9 from Klizan. Klizan opened up the court with that lefty swinging forehand for the easy put away shots. Klizan took the 2nd set in 27 minutes 6-1 and then raced out to a 5-1 lead in the 3rd. Soon, Klizan had match point and closed it out 7-6 6-1 6-2.

In the press conference, Nishikori spoke of the lack of practice since Madrid as one of the factors for his loss: “I didn’t have much practice. First time playing points after Madrid, so I didn’t have much rhythm. And also serve, I didn’t hit any serve 100%, you know, before today.” He added “I was really disappointed with my performance…I was playing well on clay in Europe, so it’s very sad for me to lose first round here.” However, Nishikori remains hopeful despite this loss. He is very happy with the progress of his game this year so far as well as his partnership with new coach, 1989 French Open Champion, Michael Chang. Klizan on the other hand will face Robin Haase in the 2nd round.

Focus

Belinda Bencic battles past Marketa Vondrousova to win gold in Tokyo

Belinda Bencic won the gold medal beating Marketa Vondrousova in three sets.

Avatar

Published

on

Belinda Bencic (@WeAreTennis - Twitter)

The Swiss world number 12 won her first-ever gold medal beating the Czech in a tough three-set match.

 

Belinda Bencic is your Tokyo 2020 Olympic gold medalist after beating world number 42 and Czech Marketa Vondrousova in three tight sets 7-5, 2-6, 6-3 in the tournament’s longest match at two hours and 30 minutes hitting 29 winners in the victory.

It was indeed the Swiss who got off to the faster start and after holding serve in the opening service game went right to work looking for the first break of the match setting up the first breakpoint with a stunning backhand winner.

She earned the first break of the match but the lead didn’t last long as the Sokolov, Czech Republic native broke the world number 12 to love to go back on serve.

At 2-2, it was the Czech setting up two more chances to take the lead this time with her powerful forehand and at the second time of asking she took her first lead of the match but just like earlier in the set relinquished it the very next game.

Vondrousova’s next opportunity to try and get a break and hold a lead was at 3-3 but the Flawil, Switzerland native saved both and stayed on serve until 6-5 when Bencic had a set point took it to win the first set.

The Czech wasn’t going to back down and this time she would break in the first game of the second set and managed to turn it into a double break and served out the second set to send it to a deciding third set.

Again, the world number 42 earned a break of serve in the first game of the third set, but the following game took the Swiss three chances, but she broke back on serve at 1-1 with another forehand passing shot winner.

At 2-1, the world number 12 earned three chances to break and took her first lead of the set when Vondrousova served an untimely double fault but responded by breaking her back the very next game to go back on serve.

Bencic took a medical timeout at 4-3 to have the trainer tape up her big toe and the treatment seemed to do wonders for her as she broke the Czech to love the very next game.

With the Swiss serving for the win and the gold medal, she faced some heavy pressure facing two breakpoints but saved both and on her second match point she served out the match and the win.

Earlier Elina Svitolina won the bronze medal beating Elena Rybakina in three sets.

Continue Reading

Focus

Novak Djokovic Faces No Regrets Over Olympic Participation After Missing Out On Medal

Novak Djokovic has no regrets about being in Tokyo despite walking away with no Olympic medal for the third consecutive games.

Avatar

Published

on

Novak Djokovic (@BleacherReport - Twitter)

Novak Djokovic has revealed he doesn’t regret competing in Tokyo despite missing out on an Olympic medal.

 

The world number one lost his bronze medal match to Pablo Carreno Busta 6-4 6-7(6) 6-3 in 2 hours and 48 minutes.

A frustrating last 24 hours was capped off with a hard-fought defeat that saw him withdraw from his mixed doubles semi-final due to a left shoulder injury.

As a result Ash Barty and John Peers claimed the bronze medal which sees Djokovic without an Olympic medal for a third consecutive Olympics.

However after the loss to Carreno Busta Djokovic said he has no regrets about competing in Tokyo, “I don’t regret coming to Olympics at all,” Djokovic said to Sasa Ozmo.

“I believe that there are no coincidences in life, everything happens for a reason. I had some heartbreaking losses at Olympics and big tournaments, and I know that those losses have usually made me stronger.

“I do have a regret for not winning a medal for my country, both in singles and mixed. I just didn’t deliver yesterday and today. Level of tennis dropped, also due to exhaustion mentally and physically.

“I know that I will bounce, I will try to keep going for Olympics in Paris, to try to win a medal for my country. I am sorry I disappointed a lit of fans in Serbia, but that’s sport, I gave it all, whatever I had left in the tank, which was not so much.”

After failing to win a medal in Tokyo, Djokovic now has gone three consecutive Olympic games without a medal.

Despite this latest setback Djokovic is still on course to achieve the grand slam ahead of the US Open.

But in his post-match interview the Serb admitted that before he can think about that he has to take care of a few injuries, “I hope that the physical consequences won’t create a problem for me for the US Open,” Djokovic admitted.

“That is something I am not sure about right now, but there are no regrets, you have to give your all for your country. I have withdrawn (from mixed) because of injuries, not only one. I hope that won’t stop me for playing the US Open.”

Djokovic’s next scheduled tournament is in Cincinnati on the 16th of August although it’s possible that the world number one won’t play until the US Open on the 30th of August.

Continue Reading

Focus

Rafael Nadal Returns In Washington Ahead Of Historic US Open Bid

Rafael Nadal returns to action next week when he competes at the Citi Open in Washington.

Avatar

Published

on

Rafael Nadal (@CitiOpen - Twitter)

Rafael Nadal makes his return to the tour in Washington this week ahead of a history-making two weeks in New York.

 

The top seed will enter the Citi Open next week playing his first tournament since losing in the Roland Garros semi-finals to Novak Djokovic.

Nadal leads the field as he prepares for a crucial few weeks coming up with history awaiting at the US Open.

Heading into the tournament at Flushing Meadows, Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer are all level at 20 grand slams.

With Federer still recovering from his knee injury and Djokovic looking exhausted from his Olympic bid, Nadal will look to capitalise on a golden opportunity to get in-front in the race to being the greatest of all time.

In Washington, Nadal will begin his campaign against either Jack Sock or Yoshihito Nishioka.

A potential third round meeting with Lloyd Harris could await while Nadal could face 7th seed and in-form Cameron Norrie in the last eight.

Norrie is coming off of a title in Los Cabos having won the third most matches this season behind Stefanos Tsitsipas and Andrey Rublev.

Also in the Spaniard’s half is Grigor Dimitrov, Nick Kyrgios, Benoit Paire, Taylor Fritz and Dan Evans.

In the bottom half of the draw Felix Auger-Aliassime will face Andreas Seppi or a qualifier in the opening round.

The Canadian is also projected to meet Frances Tiafoe and Reilly Opelka en route to the semi-finals.

The likes of Jannik Sinner, Sebastian Korda and Alex De Minaur are also in Auger-Aliassime’s half of the draw

Play starts on Monday with Nadal’s opening match set to take place on Wednesday night local time.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending