Nishikori wins another 5-set battle to make his 1st major semis - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

ATP

Nishikori wins another 5-set battle to make his 1st major semis

Avatar

Published

on

TENNIS US OPEN – It is said that slow and steady wins the race. Well Kei Nishikori has taken that adage as his own personal mantra. He has now played two consecutive straight set matches where he seemed to be prolonging the matches instead of taking the early initiative and run with it. From New York, Cordell Hackshaw

 

US Open: All the interviews, results, draws and OoP

It is said that slow and steady wins the race. Well Kei Nishikori (10) has taken that adage as his own personal mantra. He has now played two consecutive straight set matches where he seemed to be prolonging the matches instead of taking the early initiative and run with it. He took on Stan Wawrinka (3) for a place in the semifinal. Nishikori again weathered the storm as he upset the reigning Australian Open champion, 3-6 7-5 7-6(7) (5)6-7 6-3. Nishikori now joins the “Young Guns Club” of Grigor Dimitrov and Milos Raonic as making their first major semifinals.

Wawrinka started the match in impressive style. He quickly broke Nishikori for a 3-0 lead after saving break point on his opening service game. Wawrinka maintained this lead to take the set as he ended it with an ace for 6-3. In the 2nd set, Nishikori had 4 early chances to break but again failed to capitalize on those opportunities. However, later on in the 12th game, Wawrinka double faults to hand Nishikori the set 7-5 and in essence level the match.

Nishikori used this momentum to gain the upper hand in the 3rd set. He was finding his range on his groundstrokes and forcing the errors from Wawrinka. He was up 5-2 and had a set point on Wawrinka’s serve but made a forehand error and the Swiss kept cool under the pressure to hold. Serving for the set, Nishikori had what could be described as a mental lapse. He played one of the craziest service games ever including going for a “hotdog shot” which inevitably gave Wawrinka break point. It seemed as though Nishikori was not ready to close out the set as he was broken and then 20 minutes later was forced to play a tiebreaker. After many shifting momentum in the breaker, the Japanese was able to close it out 9-7 points and gain a 2-1 sets lead.

In the 4th set, both players held the course as neither faced a single break point. Hence a tiebreaker was necessary to decide the matter. Wawrinka raced out to a 4-0 lead before Nishikori found his way back into the breaker for 4-4. However, he began to play loose shots and so Wawrinka was able to take the set 7-5 points and force a decisive set. Again, like the 4th set, they remained on serve for much of the 5th set. Nishikori was looking rather lifeless on the court trying not to overextend himself since the latter stage of the 4th set. He was conserving energy and mainly concerning himself with holding serve. “From outside he looks really dead, but we know on the court he can play, and he play long like what he did today. If even at the beginning he looks like he’s going to die on the court, but he’s there. Physically he’s there,” said Wawrinka.

In the 10th game, up 5-4, Nishikori knew the time was now to act if he wanted to win this match. Wawrinka serving to stay in the match became rather dodgy as he double faulted to bring up double match points. He was able to save one but on the other, his forehand was dumped in the net. Nishikori won 3-6 7-5 7-67 56-7 6-3 and is through to his first semifinal in a major. After the match, Nishikori said, “I was playing much better in third and fourth and I have more confidence to get in the fifth set. So, you know, I tried to focus on my service game. I just took, yeah, one chance in the end.”

There was nothing outstanding about the statistics than the 8 double faults from Wawrinka particularly the two that would give Nishikori the break/set points. Also of interest in the fact that Wawrinka was not making a lot of 1st set serves, 56% for the match and only winning 51% on his 2nd serves. His 2nd serve has been key for him in his big wins this season, particularly against Rafael Nadal in the Australian Open final. Wawrinka also had 68 winners and 78 errors compared to Nishikori who had 41 winners and 51 errors. “I’m a little bit disappointed with myself, with the level I had today. I don’t think I played a great match. I think I was a little bit hesitating with my game. I didn’t find a way to take control of the rhythm of the match big time because he was playing well, but I still think that I should maybe try something different. But it’s tough,” said Wawrinka. Nishikori will play Novak Djokovic in the semifinal for a place in his first major final.

ATP

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.

Avatar

Published

on

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.

Continue Reading

ATP

Denis Shapovalov Advances After Pospisil Retires In Indian Wells

The battle of the two Canadians didn’t go as planned…

Avatar

Published

on

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.

Continue Reading

ATP

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.

Avatar

Published

on

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.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending