TENNIS WIMBLEDON 2014 – The last men’s quarterfinal matchup featured two of the ATP youngest and soon to be hottest stars, Milos Raonic verses wild card entrant Nick Kyrgios. Raonic, 23 years old, has showed over the past year and a half that he is ready and able to break into the top 10. Meanwhile, Kyrgios not yet 20, has chosen this year’s Wimbledon as his full coming out party as he took out Gasquet and world’s number one Nadal in order to earn his place in the quarterfinal. Cordell Hackshaw
The last men’s quarterfinal matchup featured two of the ATP youngest and soon to be hottest stars, Milos Raonic verses wild card entrant Nick Kyrgios. Raonic, 23 years old, has showed over the past year and a half that he is ready and able to break into the top 10. Meanwhile, Kyrgios not yet 20, has chosen this year’s Wimbledon as his full coming out party as he took out Richard Gasqet (13) and world’s number one Rafael Nadal (2) in order to earn his place in the quarterfinal. Incidentally, these two meet several weeks ago in the 1st round of the French Open. Raonic won and this time around would be no different as he took the match 46-7 6-2 6-4 7-64. With this win, Raonic moves into his first of what he hopes would be many major semifinals appearances.
These two players looked to be evenly matched as they were both big guys and big servers. Neither was able to break the other despite great effort to do so in the 1st set. Thus it was no surprise that it ended up in a tiebreaker. Kyrgios appeared the steadier of the two as he was able to earn the minibreak at 5-4 and produced two big serves to take it 7-64. Raonic was not going to be deflated by this turn of event after all in his 4th round match, he rallied from a set down against Kei Nishikori. Raonic may have had trouble reading the Kyrgios’ serve in the 1st set but he had the full scope of it in the 2nd set. The Canadian broke Kyrgios in the 5th and 7th games and served out the set 6-2 to level the match.
Kyrgios fought back to earn his first break of the Raonic serve as he lead 2-0 in the 3rd set. This would be the lone break point chance he would see in the entire match. However, Raonic came back roaring to take the next four games for 4-2 lead. He would maintain this lead to take the set 6-4 and establish a 2-1 sets lead. Kyrgios for his part appeared to be committed fully in this match. He held serve in the 4th set but he was unable to get a good read on Raonic’s serve to earn another break chance. “He served unbelievable … [I]t looked like he was in such a rhythm that I just couldn’t do anything out there,” Kyrgios later stated. Therefore, the 4th set ended up in another tiebreaker. It was here that Raonic really showed his true strength and newfound belief in himself. He raced out to a 6-1 lead in the breaker and although Kyrgios saved three match points, Raonic would unleashed his 39th ace to take it 6-7 6-2 6-4 7-6 in 2 hours and 24 minutes.
In his press conference, Kyrgios said “I thought I played a strong first set today. I just couldn’t maintain that level. What he brought today was something special.” He mentioned that the grueling match against Nadal the day before took its toll on him physically and how after the 1st set, he began to hurt particularly in the 2nd set. Against most players, Kyrgios’ match stats would have been good enough to win a major match. He had 15 aces and 1 double fault to go with 34 winners and 22 errors. He won 67% of his 1st serve points and 54% on his 2nd serve. However, he was playing Raonic whose numbers were even more impressive. Raonic had 39 aces and 2 double faults added to his 73 winners and 25 errors. He got 70% of his 1st serves in, winning a staggering 88% of those points. His usually dismal 2nd serve percentage was greatly improved in this match to 67%.
Raonic will play Roger Federer (4) for a place in the final. Raonic spoke about the fact that he is 0-4 lifetime against Federer, “I haven’t played him I think in more than a year, a year and a bit, so I think I’m a different player. I’ve got in close with him in the past and I’ve found a lot of those things I can sort of pull away that give me a lot of belief that I can do this. It will be a match of great interest for sure; one of the sport’s greatest statesmen in history against one of its potentially future greats. So there’s no point to talk about it. I’ve got to step up and do it.”
(VIDEO) Novak Djokovic Makes Tearful Tribute To Mentor Kobe Bryant After Australian Open Win
The world No.2 pays his respect to ‘one of the greatest athletes of all time’ on the Rod Laver Arena.
World No.2 Novak Djokovic shed tears following his quarter-final win over Milos Raonic after paying tribute to NBA legend Kobe Bryant.
The 16-time grand slam champion took to the Rod Laver Arena wearing a green zip-up top. On the top right of his jacket with Bryant’s initial along with the numbers 8 and 24. The jersey numbers Bryant worn throughout his 20-year NBA career with the LA Lakers. A love heart was also placed under the numbers on Djokovic’s top.
“’I don’t know what we could say. It really caught us by surprise.” An emotional Djokovic said during his on-court interview with John McEnroe on Tuesday.
‘He was one of the greatest athletes of all time, he inspired myself and many other people around the world. I had that fortune to have a personal relationship with him over the last 10 years.’
‘When I needed some advice and support, he was there for me. He was my mentor, my friend, it’s just heartbreaking to see what has happened to him and his daughter. It’s unbelievable.’
Bryant was killed on Sunday in a helicopter crash that also claimed the life of his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others. As an athlete, he achieved numerous milestones. Including being named the 2008 NBA Most Valuable Player and two-time NBA Finals MVP. He was also a two-time Olympic gold medallist and played in 18 All Star Games.
Just days before Bryant’s death, Djokovic spoke about their friendship during an interview with ESPN. Praising him for the support he received during his elbow injury and fall in the rankings during 2017 and the start of 2018. Reflecting on the conversations the two have had, he said he received some ‘valuable guidance.’
“Kobe has been one of my mentors,” Djokovic told ESPN. “I’ve had several phone conversations with him and also of course when we see each other live in the past couple of years. When I was going through the injury with my elbow and struggling to mentally and emotionally handle all of these different things that were happening to me and dropping in the Rankings and then having to work my way up, he was one of the people who was really there for me to give me some very valuable advice and guidelines to kind of believe and trust in myself, trust the process that I’ll be back.”
Djokovic will play Roger Federer in the semi-finals of the Australian Open.
The tribute can be watched below (from 00:30 to 01:40)
Dominic Thiem reaches his first quarter final at the Australian Open
Dominic Thiem eased past Gael Monfils 6-2 6-4 6-4 after 1 hour and 50 minutes on the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne to reach the quarter final at the Australian Open. Thiem has extended his winning streak to 6-0 in his head-to-head matches against Monfils.
He fought back from two sets to one down to beat Australia’s Alex Bolt in the second round, but he won eight of his past nine sets to advance to the quarter finals.
Thiem got two breaks in the first set and never faced a single break point in the entire match. The Austrian player converted his fourth break point after three deuces, as Monfils missed a backhand volley wide. Thiem started the third set with an early break in the first game, as Monfils hit an inside-out forehand wide from the middle of the court wide. Thiem won his next service games and held his final game at love.
Thiem will face Rafael Nadal in a re-match of last year’s Roland Garros final.
“I think that I played my best match so far at this year’s Australian Open. It’s a very good feeling. The score looks way easier than the match was. I think I was lucky to make an early break in each set and I was managing to hold my serve well. I am so happy because I am in the quarter final here for the first time”, said Thiem.
Alexander Zverev tops Andrey Rublev to set Australian Open quarter final against Stan Wawrinka
Alexander Zverev beat his friend Andrey Rublev 6-4 6-4 6-4 in one hour and 37 minutes to reach the quarter final at the Australian Open for the first time in his career and his third at Grand Slam level.
Zverev broke serve once in each set. The German player has not dropped a set at this year’s edition of the Australian Open.
Zverev ended Rublev’s 15-match winning streak. Rublev had not lost a match since October, winning four matches at the Davis Cup last November and back-to-back titles in Doha and Adelaide.
In the opening set Zverev earned his first break at 3-3, as Rublev hit a forehand into the net. He held his serve to consolidate the break and wrapped up the first set after 29 minutes, when Rublev hit a crosscourt backhand wide.
Zverev started the second set with an immediate break in the first game of the second set and closed it out with a hold at love with an ace after 29 minutes.
Zverev broke serve for the third time in the match in the ninth game of the third set to take a 5-4, when Rublev made a groundstroke error, and sealed the win with a forehand volley.
“It feels amazing. I played some great matches against some great opponents. This is Andrey’s first loss of the season, having won two tournaments and getting through to the fourth round with unbelievable tennis. I have known Andrey since we were ten years old. I think he will be top 15, top 10 very soon. I am just happy and I hope I can continue”,said Zverev.
Zverev will face Stan Wawrinka in the quarter final. The German star beat Wawrinka twice in their previous two head-to-head matches in St. Petersburg 2016 and Miami 2017.
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