Kyrgios battles past Youzhny for his 1st US Open Win - UBITENNIS
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Kyrgios battles past Youzhny for his 1st US Open Win

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TENNIS US OPEN – Nick Kyrgios brought youthful exuberance to court against veteran Mikhail Youzhny as he got his 1st US Open win 7-5 7-6(4) 2-6 7-6(1). Cordell Hackshaw

 

Mikhail Youzhny (21) and Nick Kyrgios represent the past, present and future of men’s professional tennis. Youzhny at 32 years old is a tour veteran and Kyrgios who is 19, has a lot of buzz behind his name particular since he knocked out Rafael Nadal at this year’s Wimbledon. Now Kyrgios find himself playing yet another big name on tour for a place in the next round of a major. In this matchup of youth verses experience, the younger player won out causing the first upset of the tournament. Kyrgios showed himself to be well-abled to deal with the pressure of playing the top players at big tournaments. The Australian won the 3-hour battle in the heat taking it 7-5 7-6(4) 2-6 7-6(1).

In the opening set, things were rather even between the players although Kyrgios looked the more aggressive. They were going for their shots and serving well, holding serve with relative ease. However, in the 11th game of the set, Kyrgios’ aggressive return stance paid dividend as he got the lone break of the set for 6-5. He easily held serve yet again to take the set 7-5. The 2nd set was a different affair; Kyrgios had an early break for 3-1 and had another break opportunity for 4-1. Youzhny was able to avoid double break deficit. Serving for a 5-3 lead, Kyrgios lost his concentration and then his serve to level things at 4-4. They remained on serve to force a decisive tiebreaker. Kyrgios was showing clear signs of frustration on the court. However, despite all the noisy antics from Kyrgios for most of the set, in the breaker he was cool and calm and outplayed his opponent. Youzhny was misfiring on his trademark backhand which never allowed him to gain any momentum in the breaker. Kyrgios now led 2-0 sets.

Youzhny finally found his game in the 3rd set. He was moving better and reducing the careless errors. He broke early for 2-0 on yet another point penalty issued against Kyrgios. The Australian was cursing and having mini tantrums on court. The chair umpire had zero tolerance for this behaviour and was one violation away from handing the match to Youzhny via a default. Youzhny seized upon this opportunity and wrapped up the 3rd set in 28 minutes, 6-2. Youzhny carried over this fine level of play into the 4th set and was up 5-3 with a set point to force a decisive 5th set. However, he soon reverted to his lackadaisical ways allowing Kyrgios to dictate play. Kyrgios got back on serve and led 6-5, forcing Youzhny to serve to stay in the match. Youzhny held serve to go to another tiebreaker but that was about all he could do for the rest of the match. He played a most pitiful breaker, never once looking like the more experience player. Kyrgios raced out to a 4-0 lead and did not look back. He took it 7-1 points as well as the match 7-5 7-6(4) 2-6 7-6(1) in just over 3 hours.

Kyrgios was generally pleased with his match. He had 26 aces, got 70% of his 1st serves in and won 71% of the points with 68 winners compared to 57 errors. He himself admitted as much saying, “I knew I had to serve well, and I hit 26 aces. Those are good stats … I think it’s really good, especially from a confidence standpoint. I had to pull out of Cincinnati. You know, first match back and getting the win in four sets over a quality player like that, it’s a good confidence boost.” Kyrgios has admitted recently that he feels a lot of pressure on him since his Nadal victory. However, he noted at the Open that he has to manage all of this better as his career goes forward. Youzhny on the other hand, will have other things to look at. He has not gone past the 2nd round of a major this year and now has been bounced out of the tournament in the 1st round when he made the quarterfinals last year. He played a very tepid match today. Very rarely did he look like a top player on court. Hopefully, he can turn things around for the rest of the season and start 2015 in a far more positive light.

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Alexander Zverev Pushed But Manages To Beat Isner As Europe Storms To Lead In Laver Cup

The German gave Team Europe a massive lead after winning a tight match.

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image via https://twitter.com/LaverCup/

Alexander Zverev needed a trademark ” Laver Breaker” to beat the 6ft 10 Amercian John Isner 7-6, 6-7, 10-5 in two hours and 17 minutes on the saecond day of the Laver Cup.

 

The German hit 13 aces in the match, meanwhile Isner went 0 for 3 on breakpoints.

” I think in this format playing John (Isner) is one of the toughest opponents there can be and he is the best server of all time plus he was hitting the ball extremely hard and well today,” said Zverev.
To be honest I played a pretty good match,” he added.

In the first set, both players had zero issues holding serve. In the opening tiebreak it was extremely tight but the world number four managed to get the crucial break at 4-3 and that was enough for him to serve out the first set.

The second frame stayed on serve until 3-3 when the American had two chances to break but the Hamburg native managed to save both. In the following game he responded by earning three break points of his very own but Isner saved all three and held serve.

Isner had another chance at 5-5 but was unable to convert and again proceedings went into another tiebreaker to decide the second set. In that breaker, the world number 22 jumped out to a 3-0 lead before the German responded winning the next three points to make it 3-3.

After that, it stayed on serve until 7-6 and it was the American who managed to break Zverev to win the second set and force a match tiebreak to decide the match.

The first four points went on serve and it was the German who got the first break and jumped out to a 6-3 and that lead was enough for him to serve out the match and give Team Europe a 7-1 lead.

After the match in his on-court interview, Zverev spoke about the second set and the level both he and Isner was playing at.

” Even the second set that I lost I didn’t do many things wrong so it shows that the match was very high level and obviously happy to give Team Europe the lead”. He said.

Day 2 results :

In the first match of the day, the Aussie Nick Kyrgios faced Stefanos Tsitsipas and it was the world number three who took the match in straight sets 6-3, 6-4 in one hour and 26 minutes.

After the match, Krygios mentioned in his post-match press conference that the Laver Cup would be the last event he played in 2021, stating that his mother’s health is not doing well and he is planning to return to Australia to be with her.

In the night session Danil Medvedev, the current US Open champion, took on Denis Shapovalov and the Russian only needed one hour and 15 minutes to beat him 6-4, 6-0 to give Team Europe a 9-1 lead.

In the last match of the day, a doubles clash featuring Tsitsipas and Andrey Rublev took on Isner and Krygios, and again it was the Europeans who managed to win 6-7, 6-3, 10-4.

Day 3 Preview :

On Sunday Team Europe will have a chance to clinch the trophy in their first match as they only need two more points and on Sunday a win is worth three. The day will start with a doubles match featuring Rublev and Zverev taking on Shapovalov and Rielly Opelka.

In singles, Zverev will face Felix Auger Aliassime, Medvedev will face Diego Schwartzman, and the last match scheduled is Isner vs Tsitsipas.

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Andy Murray Surging In Confidence After Reaching First ATP Quarter-Final Since 2019

The 34-year-old believes he is getting better with every match played on the Tour as he eyes a spot in the final later this week.

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Andy Murray (image via https://twitter.com/ATPTour_ES)

Former world No.1 Andy Murray says he is starting to gain more belief in his game after reaching the quarter-finals of the Moselle Open on Wednesday.

 

The three-time Grand Slam champion rallied to a 6-3, 6-3, win over Canada’s Vasek Pospisil in the French city. Murray dropped serve only once at the start of the second set but broke his opponent four times en route to the victory. It is the first time he has registered back-to-back wins on the ATP Tour since Wimbledon and it is the first time he has reached a quarter-final since winning the 2019 Antwerp Open.

Murray showed glimmers of his best tennis recently at the US Open where he took Stefanos Tsitsipas to five sets in the first round before losing. However, in his following tournament on the Challenger circuit he lost in the second round to world No.154 Roman Safiullin. Despite the mixed performances, the Brit says his fitness continues to improve and he believes he is heading in the right direction.

“For me, this period of the last few years has been the most I have played really,” Murray said following his win over Pospisil.
“My body feels good and I am starting to gain just a little bit of confidence with each match, starting to see the points and how I want to play them, which is great.
“There have been times in the past year where I have been a little bit confused and not seeing how the points are developing which was always a strong part of my game.
“It made me feel quite uncomfortable on court when I was feeling that way, so I am starting to get that back and the results are coming, my tennis is getting better.”

The 34-year-old, who now plays on the Tour with a metal hip after undergoing two operations, is targeting a return back into the world’s top 100 for the first time since 2018. He came agonisingly close in July when he reached 102. At present, he is currently ranked 113 but will climb at least four places following his run in Metz this week.

In the next round Murray will play either top seed Hubert Hurkacz or former top 10 player Lucas Pouille. Both players are likely to be a stern challenge for the three-time Grand Slam champion who is hoping to reach the final for the first time since 2007.

“I would love to get another opportunity to play here in the final, but there is a lot of tennis to be played before then potentially against the number one seed in the next round,” he reflected.
“It is not going to be easy if I want to reach the final, but I am playing well and have an opportunity.”

Murray has won 42 ATP titles and has earned more than $62M in prize money so far in his career.

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Diego Schwartzman Receives Threats On Social Media Following Shock Davis Cup Defeat

The world No.15 is the latest player to speak out about recieving abusive messages on social media.

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The weekend has been an emotional rollercoaster for Diego Schwartzman, who suffered ‘one of the worst’ losses of his career before helping secure victory for his country in their Davis Cup tie against Belarus.

 

On Saturday the world No.15 was stunned by unranked 18-year-old Daniil Ostapenkov who is yet to play a professional match on the pro Tour. Ostapenkov is currently ranked 63 in the world on the junior circuit. The comprehensive victory shocked the Argentinian team who was hosting the tie at the Buenos Aires Lawn Tennis Club.

Despite the shock upset, Schwartman managed to redeem himself the following day when he defeated Alexander Zgirovsky 6-1, 6-2. That victory handed his country an unassailable 3-1 lead in their tie and secured their place in the 2022 Davis Cup qualifiers which will take place next March.

Not only playing Davis, but in Buenos Aires, with a lot of people you don’t see, it’s not easy. My level can be and has to be much better. After the game on Saturday I had a difficult day in the spirit of being able to get up and enjoy with the group,” La Nacion quoted Schwartzman as saying.
“The most normal thing was that we won the series. It’s what everyone expected. But when you have a very difficult day at work like it was on Saturday and then you win, it excites you because you have some internal things withheld.”

Between those two matches, Schwartzman revealed that he was trolled on social media by some people unhappy about his loss in the tie. The 2020 French Open semi-finalist said he received criticism and even threats from some asking him to leave his home country. Something he admits affected him at times.

“It was one of the worst days of my career,” Schwartzman commented on his loss to Zgirovsky. “I lost to an unranked, inexperienced player. All that already affects (me) a lot. Although 80 or 90 percent of the people are always encouraging (me), there was a minority who criticized me with bad intentions.’
“I received threats, insults and requests not to return to Argentina. More or less, it affects (me)”.

Schwartzman is not the first player to speak out about online abuse. During the US Open Shelby Rogers said she was expecting to receive ‘death threats’ following her loss to Emma Raducanu who went on to win the title. Sloane Stephens has also previously spoken out about being the victim of racism online.

The 29-year-old says he has previously tried to interact with those who have trolled him on social media to find out why they are doing so.

Sometimes I start to answer some messages and I ask those people if they realize what they are sending,” Schwartzman said during his press conference. “The vast majority apologize and say they had not realized it. But at the moment it hurts. That very ill-intentioned criticism is the only bad thing about social networks.”

Schwartzman has won four ATP titles and earned more than $10M in prize money so far in his career.

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