Kyrgios, Dimitrov, Raonic and Bouchard, the next stars on tour? - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

ATP

Kyrgios, Dimitrov, Raonic and Bouchard, the next stars on tour?

Published

on

 

TENNIS – Wimbledon 2014 has launched the career of 18-year-old Australian sensation Nick Kyrgios who impressively stunned Rafa Nadal to reach the quarter finals. The Championships also confirmed the great prospect of Grigor Dimitrov and Milos Raonic. On the women’s side Canadian rising star Eugenie Bouchard reached her first Grand Slam final after two consecutive Grand Slam semifinals. Diego Sampaolo

Nick Kyrgios was born in Canberra on 27th April 1995. His father is a self-employed house painter. His mother is a computer engineer. He is the third of three children. He was a promising basketball player in the early teens before taking the decision to focus entirely on tennis at the age of 14.

Kyrgios emerged in January 2013 when he he beat his compatriot Thanasi Kokkinakis in the Australian Open Junior final with 7-6 6-3 to win his first Grand Slam Junior title. He scored his first ATP Tour match at the 2013 Roland Garros when he knocked out Radek Stepanek in three sets which ended each in a tie-break before losing against Marin Cilic in the next round. Later in the summer he qualified for the US Open where he lost against David Ferrer in the first round.

He has been considered as the new Australian star with a potential to continue the proud tennis tradition of this country which produced some tennis legends like Pat Cash Lleyton Hewitt and Mark Philippoussis. Kyrgios, the son of a Greek father and a Malaysian mother, played an impressive Wimbledon tournament in which he recovered from two sets down and fended off nine match points against Richard Gasquet in the second round before sensationally knocking out this year’s Roland Garros Rafa Nadal in the fourth round to qualify for his first ever Grand Slam quarter final. He became the first male debutant to reach the quarter finals since Florian Mayer in 2004. He lost against Milos Raonic in four sets in the quarter final.

Kyrgios hit 312 winners and 128 aces in the five matches he played at the All-England Club. He entered Wimbledon but he has moved up 78 spots to a career best 66th after the third Grand Slam Tournament.

Mark Philippoussis, who beat former World Number 1 Pete Sampras in the 1996 Australian Open when he was a teenager, praised Kyrgios and the other Australian teenager Thanasi Kokkinakis.

I watched Nick a couple of times and he has got a big serve and a big forehand. He had an amazing tournament. He should get a lot confidence from this and hopefully learn from it”, said Philippoussis

He is a big guy. He has to be careful and has to be careful the way he trains because he could be prone to injuries. When you beat Nadal the way he did, you can beat anyone in the world. He has to grow as a tennis player, and get more experienced and work a little more on the volleys and he is gong to get better. He has got a big game. What I really love is that he has a big heart. He doesn’t give up until the end that’s beautiful to watch and something that I enjoy. I think Australia should be excited. He is the best prospect since it was myself, Pat and Lleyton”, continued Philippoussis

Philippoussis also criticized another Australian young star Bernard Tomic who reached the quarter finals at Wimbledon in 2011 but he did not live up to his huge talent since then.

When you hear that he loses a match against Jarkko Nieminen in 28 minutes, I don’t even see it’s possible to lose a match in 28 minutes. It’s impossible to lose that fast and it’s a shame. He can turn it around but it’s got to be now”, said Philippoussis

Grigor Dimitrov by Fabrizio Maccani

Grigor Dimitrov by Fabrizio Maccani

Wimbledon 2014 also confirmed the huge prospects of Grigor Dimitrov and Milos Raonic. Dimitrov has continued his impressive period of form of 2014 in which he collected titles on all surfaces in Acapulco (hard-court), Bucharest (clay) and Queen’s (grass) and reached the semifinals in Rome and at Wimbledon.

At the All England Club Dimitrov showed that he fully deserves his reputation as the heir of Roger Federer when he upset defending champion and local hero Andy Murray playing great tennis in the quarter final. He pushed hard Novak Djokovic in four hard-fought sets but he was knocked out by the Serb with 6-4 3-6 7-6 7-6 in the semifinal where the young Bulgarian squandered three consecutive set points in the tie-break of the fourth set. The merit of this outstanding breakthrough goes to his coach Roger Rasheed who has contributed to his outstanding year in which he has moved to World Number 9 and has a good chance to qualify for the ATP World Finals in London for the first time in his career.

Milos Raonic by Art Seitz

Milos Raonic by Art Seitz

Milos Raonic has also made outstanding breakthrough this year thanks to the advice of former World Number 3 Ivan Ljubicic and Riccardo Piatti. He reached the semifinals in Rome and Wimbledon and the quarter finals at the Roland Garros. He beat only a seed Kei Nishikori to reach the quarter final where he beat Nadal’s conqueror Kyrgios. The young Canadian was beaten by Roger Federer in the semifinal. Thanks to these results he has reached the World Number 6.

Eugenie Bouchard by Art Seitz

Eugenie Bouchard by Art Seitz

Last but not least, we have a look at the new generation of women who made a major breakthrough this season and confirmed this reputation at Wimbledon. The most prominent rising star is young Canadian Eugenie Bouchard, who has reached at least the semifinal in all three Grand Slam tournaments this year. Eugenie played an outstanding Wimbledon semifinal in which she did not drop a set in the whole tournament until the final where she lost against Wimbledon queen Petra Kvitova 6-3 6-0 in just 55 minutes. She beat two top-10 Angelique Kerber and World Number 3 and Roland Garros finalist Simona Halep in the semifinal. She showed the potential to win her first Grand Slam crown after winning Wimbledon at junior level in 2011. After Wimbledon she has broken the top-10 for the first time in his career reaching the World Number 7 spot for the first time in her young career.

Bouchard received a strong support of British tennis fans during the tournament. “I don’t know if I deserve all your love today during the final I lost against Kvitova but I really appreciate it”, said Bouchard.

Among her fans there was Princess and namesake Eugenie (the daughter of the Duke and the Duchess of York) who attended the women’s final in the Royal Box.

I am very happy that she came out. Unfortunately I could not put on a better show for her”, said Bouchard

ATP

The Year-End Rankings: The Rise Of Alcaraz And The Eternals, Djokovic and Nadal

Image via ATP Twitter

Published

on

By Roberto Ferri

Let’s start our last article on the ATP rankings by quoting the words which are said to be the last of emperor Augustus: “The play is over, applaud”.

 

We cannot but applaud Novak Djokovic, six-time ATP Finals winner just like Roger Federer. And we applaud the season, which, for good or ill, has been unique. Just consider the most striking events: Carlos Alcaraz rising to No. 1, Roger Federer’s retirement, all the issues involving Djokovic and the Wimbledon affair.  

The top positions of the ranking have been significantly impacted by Djokovic’s absence from two Majors (Australian Open and US Open), four Masters 1000 (Indian Wells, Miami Open, Canadian Open, Cincinnati) and by ATP’s decision to not award points for Wimbledon.

If we compare the ATP rankings published after the ATP Finals in 2021 and 2022, this fact is clearly noticeable. 

22 NOVEMBER 2021

PositionPlayerCountryPts 
1DjokovicSerbia11540
2MedvedevRussia8640
3ZverevGermany7840
4TsitsipasGreece6540
5RublevRussia5150
6NadalSpain4875
7BerrettiniItaly4568
8RuudNorway4160
9HurkaczPoland3706
10SinnerItaly3350
11Auger-AliassimeCanada3308
12NorrieGB2945
13SchwartzmanArgentina2625
14ShapovalovCanada2475
15ThiemAustria2425
16FedererSwitzerland2385
17GarinChile2353
18KaratsevRussia2351
19Bautista AgutSpain2260
20Carreno BustaSpain2230

14 NOVEMBER 2022:

PositionPlayerCountryPts
1AlcarazSpain6820
2NadalSpain6020
3RuudNorway5820
4TsitsipasGreece5550
5DjokovicSerbia4820
6Auger-AliassimeCanada4195
7MedvedevRussia4065
8RublevRussia3930
9FritzUSA3355
10HurkaczPoland2905
11RuneDenmark2888
12ZverevGermany2700
13Carreno BustaSpain2495
14NorrieGB2445
15SinnerItaly2410
16BerrettiniItaly2375
17ShapovalovCanada2105
18CilicCroatia2075
19TiafoeUSA2000
20KhachanovRussia1990

Novak Djokovic ended 2021 with 4720 points more than Carlos Alcaraz; also Medvedev and Tsitsipas earned more points than the Spaniard, who would not have reached 7000 points even counting the 135 points he wasn’t awarded at Wimbledon.

A few comments on the 2022 rankings:

  • Casper Ruud, the ATP Finals finalist, concludes his excellent year in third place, overtaking Stefanos Tsitsipas with an impressive final rush.
  • Novak Djokovic and Rafa Nadal are the only top 10 players born in the 80s; the other 8 were born in the second half of the 90s.
  • Cameron Norrie and Pablo Carreno Busta are the survivors of the lost generation, born between 1990 and 1995 and that was most overpowered by the Big Four dominance. 
  • Only North America, beyond Europe, is represented at the very highest: Auger Aliassime, Fritz, Shapovalov and Tiafoe.
  • Holger Rune has gained 92 positions since the start of the year. Carlos Alcaraz “just” 31.
  • A final note: Kei Nishikori ends 2022 without a ranking. Does this suggest he’s going to retire?

BEST RANKING

Owing to earned and dropped points, as well as results in the Challenger events, five players in the top 100 have achieved their career highest this week:

Emil Ruusuvuori – 40

Quentin Halys – 64

Christopher O’Connell – 79

Roman Safiullin – 89

Nuno Borges – 91

A special applause for the 20-year old Ben Shelton, a bright prospect for USA tennis, who has made his debut in the top 100. Thanks to his victory in the Champaign-Urbana Challenger he’s now ranked 97.

Is that all? Not yet! Just a quiz for everybody: which was the last year which saw the first two places in the rankings occupied at the end of the season by two players of the same nationality?

That’s really all for now. We’ll be back in 2023.

Translated by Kingsley Elliot Kaye

Continue Reading

ATP

ATP Finals Daily Preview: Novak Djokovic Faces Casper Ruud in the Championship Match

Published

on

Novak Djokovic on Saturday in Turin (twitter.com/atptour)

The biggest ATP non-Major final of 2022 takes place on Sunday in Turin, Italy.

 

2022 has been a bizarre year in the career of Novak Djokovic.  It started with his deportation from Australia, forcing the unvaccinated Djokovic to miss the first Major of the year.  That would be one of six prominent events that Novak would miss this season due to COVID-19 entry rules (Australian Open, Indian Wells, Miami, Montreal, Cincinnati, US Open).  Yet Djokovic was still able to accumulate a record of 41-7, and win his 21st Slam at Wimbledon.  He is now 17-1 at indoor ATP events this fall, and will end the year as the World No.5  With a win on Sunday, he would tie Roger Federer for most all-time ATP Finals titles.

2022 has been a groundbreaking year in the career of Casper Ruud.  He had already established himself as a top 10 player, but prior to this season, was predominantly thought of as a clay court specialist, with five of his six ATP titles coming on that surface.  Yet that all changed this season, starting in Miami when he reached his first Masters 1000 finals.  Casper would go on to also reach his first two Major finals, in Paris in New York.  He is now 51-21, and into his fourth big final of the year.


Sunday’s action in Turin starts at 4:00pm local time with the doubles championship match, featuring Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic (4) vs. Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury (2).  Both teams are an undefeated 4-0 this past week.  This is Ram and Salisbury’s second consecutive year in the final, having lost a year ago to Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut.  Mektic won this title two years ago alongside Wesley Koolhof, while this is Pavic’s first appearance in the final of this event.  These teams have not met since the semifinals of this tournament last year, when Ram and Salisbury prevailed.


Casper Ruud (3) Novak Djokovic (7) – Not Before 7:00pm

Ruud is 3-1 this past week, with his only loss coming in a dead rubber against Rafael Nadal.  Prior to his three top 10 victories across the last seven days, Casper only had two all season (Zverev, Auger-Aliassime).  And he is yet to win a title above 250-level in his career, with the aforementioned three losses this year in big finals.  Ruud was a semifinalist here a year ago in his ATP Finals debut.

Djokovic is an undefeated 4-0 this week, which includes an arduous effort to defeat Daniil Medvedev on Friday in a dead rubber.  Novak is now 10-3 against top 10 opposition in 2022, having taken nine of his last 10 against the top 10.  He is 4-2 in finals this year, though he lost his most recent one, two weeks in Bercy, to Holger Rune.  Djokovic is an eight-time finalist here, though he hasn’t won this title since 2015.

Djokovic has played a lot more tennis across the last two days than Ruud.  On Friday, Novak spent over three hours on court, while Ruud had the day off.  But Djokovic still looked plenty fresh for his semifinal on Saturday against Taylor Fritz, and was able to prevent the American from extending that tight contest to a third set.  Novak is 3-0 against Casper, which includes a straight-set victory at this same event a year ago.  And considering Ruud’s poor record in significant finals, Djokovic is a considerable favorite to win his sixth title at the ATP Finals on Sunday.


Sunday’s full Order of Play is here.

Continue Reading

ATP

ATP Finals: Fritz Close But No… Final, Djokovic Advances

Novak Djokovic beats Taylor Fritz in two tie-breaks and is just one win away from his sixth title at Nitto ATP Finals

Published

on

Novak Djokovic - 2022 Nitto ATP Finals Turin (photo Twitter @atptour)

[7] N. Djokovic b. [8] T. Fritz 7-6(5) 7-6(5)

 

Even when physically not at his best, Novak Djokovic can still count on his incredible ability to play the most effective tennis in the most important moment. Of course, it doesn’t hurt if the opponent misses an easy shot while attempting to close out the set, but the pressure Djokovic puts on whomever is on the other side of the net makes even the easiest shot look a little bit harder.

The former world no. 1 has put together a clinical display of efficiency during the first semifinal of the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin edging Taylor Fritz by two points in the tie-breaker of each set to reach his eighth finals in the end-of-year Championship.

It was not the best Djokovic, and it was not the best match: lots of errors on both sides, and a huge opportunity for Fritz to take the match to the distance when he served at 5-4 in the second set and then missed an easy backhand sitter to go a set-point up at 40-30, blaming an idiot spectator who indeed shouted in the middle of the point, when he really should have been able to put away that point blindfolded.

Fritz did not start the match in the best possible way: 10 unforced errors during the first five games, a break conceded at love at 2-2 and Djokovic appeared destined for a relatively quiet afternoon. But it was not going to be that easy: errors started flowing also on the Serbian side, and Fritz was able to equalize at 3-3. A tie-break was then needed to decide the winner of the first set, and the deciding point was a laser forehand down the line by Djokovic who swept point and set at 6-5 and headed off to the toilet for a comfort break after taking a one-set advantage.

But the break did not do him much good: unforced errors kept coming from the baseline, and Fritz blitzed 2-0 up with a break. At 4-3, the American wowed the Italian crowd with a magical backhand stop-volley to recover a service game where he found himself down 0-30, but when it was time to serve out the set, he missed that easy backhand we described earlier to give Djokovic another chance to close out a match in two sets.

And another chance is the last thing Djokovic should be gifted, although on a day like today, with Christmas time upon us, gift trading became the thing of the match. Two great points at 4-4 in the tie-break warmed the 12,000-strong crowd at Pala Alpitour to what could have possibly been a great end of the set, but Djokovic first earned a match point to be played on his serve with a good action from the baseline closed by a volley and then squandered it all with a very unusual unforced error on a routine backhand. But on his second match point, just a minute later, Fritz badly missed an inside-out forehand putting an end to the match and gifting Djokovic a chance to win his sixth title at the Nitto ATP Finals, the first in Turin.

On Sunday he will face either Casper Ruud or Andrey Rublev: he has never lost to Ruud in three previous matches (3-0) and the only time he did not beat Rublev (2-1) was last spring in Belgrade in the final of the tournament organized by his family.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending