Wimbledon: Meet Nick Kyrgios, the Teen Phenom Who Shocked Nadal - UBITENNIS
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Wimbledon: Meet Nick Kyrgios, the Teen Phenom Who Shocked Nadal

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TENNIS WIMBLEDON 2014 – He’s as modern as today, with a diamond stud in his left earlobe. He’s as old-fashioned as serve-and-volley tennis. Nick Kyrgios—“The Wild Thing,” as he is nicknamed in his native Australia—is the man who Tuesday turned Wimbledon upside down and turned himself into the star-in-waiting. Art Spander for Bleacher Report

 

Results, Order of Play, Draws and Interviews from The Championships

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The 19-year-old Kyrgios—yes, his father came from Greece—upset the game’s top-ranked player, Rafael Nadal, 7-6 (4), 5-7, 7-6, 6-3 in a fourth-round match the teenager called “the biggest win of my career.”

Which it was. To this moment.

Down Under, they’ve been saying the 6’4″ Kyrgios, a one-time basketball player, is the one they’ve been waiting for since Lleyton Hewitt, who won the U.S. Open in 2001 and Wimbledon in 2002.

Australia’s tennis history runs deep, with the Rod Lavers and John Newcombes, champions of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. But they haven’t had a winner for a while.

Now along comes Kyrgios with the perfect blend of talent, self-belief and puckishness to win matches and win over the public—and media.

Before he faced Nadal, before he became the first player outside the top 100 (he was No. 144 but he’ll go up to the 60s, at least) to knock off a No. 1 since 1992, Kyrgios joked with an Aussie newsman.

Obviously 14 Slams between us,” said Kyrgios, “so it’s going to be a good match.”

All 14, of course, won by Nadal, who, age 28, never had lost to anyone born in the 1990s. Now he has.

Given a spot in the Wimbledon draw as a wild card—perfect for The Wild Thing—Kyrgios improved rapidly over the past year. Just 16 months ago, he was No. 576 in the rankings.

He’s the first wild card to advance as far as the fourth round since Juan Carlos Ferrero in 2009.  John McEnroe, commentating on the BBC, said Kyrgios, now in the quarters, can go even further, to the championship.

Not entirely absurd. Back in 1985, a 17-year-old with a big serve and great mobility, Boris Becker, did win. And now, Becker is helping coach Novak Djokovic, who, if they both keep winning, could face Kyrgios in the final.

Kyrgios’ mother, who is Malaysian, would be surprised—not that she would be alone.

(Saturday) night, I was actually reading a comment that she thought Rafa was too good for me,” said Kyrgios about his mom, Norlaila. “It actually made me a bit angry. You would think he’s in a whole ‘nother level compared to me.

I just believed in myself, that I could create some opportunities. I took them under pressure today.”

He took Nadal, who is only weeks removed from his ninth French Open title, to the woodshed, serving 37 aces.

Asked about Kyrgios’ future, Nadal was careful in the assessment. “I don’t know,” said the Spaniard. “I didn’t see him playing on other surfaces. Grass is only three, four tournaments a year, but it is obvious when you have a player that is able to serve like that, always advantage is so high.”

(…)

He’s ready for the big stage, and in tennis, there’s no grander stage than the All England Lawn Tennis Championships, which has been pulling them in, fans and competitors, since the late 1800s. In horse racing, it’s the Kentucky Derby. In college football, it’s been the Rose Bowl, which just celebrated it’s centenary. In tennis, it’s Wimbledon.

I think on the big stage,” said Kyrgios, “it’s something I thrive on, the atmosphere, the crowd. I just love it when, at 5-3, I think it was in the fourth set, they erupted, the crowd. I just love that feeling.

I want to be the No. 1 player in the world.”

Beating the No. 1 player in the world at Wimbledon is not a bad way to start fulfilling that wish.+

Art Spander for Bleacher Report – Read the full article here

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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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