ATP Indian Wells: Kyrgios beats Kudla and will meet Dimitrov in the second round - UBITENNIS
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ATP Indian Wells: Kyrgios beats Kudla and will meet Dimitrov in the second round

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TENNIS ATP INDIAN WELLS – Nick Kyrgios beat Denis Kudla 6-4 7-5 in his debut at the BNP Paribas at Indian Wells in his first match after a six-week lay-off due to a back injury which forced him to miss the Davis Cup first match against Czech Republic. The 19-year-old Australian rising star, who reached the quarter final at this year’s Australian Open, converted on two of his three break point chances and won 86 percent of his first service points. The young Aussie hit 11 aces and saved the only break point chance he faced in the second game of the second set. Diego Sampaolo

 

Kyrgios set up a second round match against Grigor Dimitrov in what promises to be an exciting second-round head-to-head match between two of the most talented players on the circuit.

I am just glad to be back. It was killing me not to play especially after the Australian Open. I was loving it. I had a good time back home. I was ready to get back out there and start competing again. I thought I played really well for my first match back. He is not an easy opponent. He is playing some good tennis, so I am really proud of myself”, said Kyrgios.

Sergiy Stakhovsky fought back from a set down to edge Sam Querrey 2-6 6-4 6-2. Diego Schwartzmann battled past Jerzy Janowicz with 6-4 3-6 7-6.

Italian Simone Bolelli confirmed his good period of form by taking a three-set win over Brazilian Thomas Bellucci with 6-2 6-7 6-4. Bolelli will face Milos Raonic for the third time this year. The Italian upset the young Canadian last month in Marseille.

Bolelli got a double break in the sixth and in the eighth games of the first set. The second set went on serve until the tie-break. Bellucci earned the only break point in the ninth game which Bolelli saved. Bellucci got three mini-breaks in the tie-break to clinch the second set. Bolelli broke serve early in the decider and managed to hold his serve saving the only break point in the eighth game.

Aleksander Dolgopolov, last year’s semifinalist at Indian Wells, beat Frank Dancevic 6-2 7-5. Donald Young eased past Pablo Carreno Busta 6-3 6-4. In another US-Spanish clash Steve Johnson cruised through to the second round with a 6-2 6-3 win over Marcel Granollers. Jack Sock won his first match at Indian Wells after coming back from a set down in a hard-fought match against Yen Hsun Lu with 6-7 (4-7) 6-2 7-5. The Taipei player opened up a 5-1 lead but Sock drew level to 5-5. Lu won the tie-break with 7-4. Sock won the second set easily and broke serve early in the third set. Lu broke back but Sock got the decisive break in the 11th game.

Kazakh Andrei Golubev saved six set points in the first set before Dustin Brown prevailed in the tie-break. Golubev won the second set forcing the match to the third set before saving a match point at 5-6. Golubev won the third-set tie-break to win a roller-coaster match with 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 7-6 (7-3).

One of the highlights of the Saturday programme is the match-up between Indian Well defending champion Novak Djokovic and Marcos Baghdatis who took advantage of Jiri Vesely’s withdrawal in the second set. Djokovic leads 7-0 over Baghdatis in their previous head-to-head matches but the player from Cyprus provided a stiff challenge to Nole in their last match in Miami in 2012 before losing 6-4 6-4.

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Rival Backs Dominic Thiem To Win Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award

Only two players have won the award since 2004.

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For the past 15 years only two players have managed to get their hands on the prestigious Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award, but one player thinks there could be a brand new winner this year.

 

Diego Schwartzman has lent his support behind world No.4 Dominic Thiem. The award recognizes those who have conducted the highest level of professionalism and integrity on the ATP Tour throughout the season. Established in 1977, Roger Federer has won the honour in 13 out of the past 15 years. The only other player to triumph during that period was Rafael Nadal, who won it in 2010 and 2018.

“I think Thiem can win it, he showed throughout the year a competitiveness and a respect with everyone that was spectacular,” Schwartzman told ole.com. “On top of that he is having great years of his career and this season was even better for the achievements he had.’
“He has a good chance of winning it.” He added.

Schwartzman, who reached the quarter-finals of the US Open earlier this year, has also been shortlisted for the award. Along with regular nominees Federer and Nadal. Only once has an Argentinian player won the title, which was José Luis Clerc back in 1981. At that time it was known as the ATP Sportsmanship award before getting renamed in 1996.

“I learned first (of getting nominated) through social networks rather than the official designation that the ATP sends you by mail.” The 27-year-old revealed.
“It is more spectacular than anything for the players I have next to me. It is a very important prize that recognizes a little what you do off the court, not only hitting the ball.”

Whilst he is dreaming of winning the honour himself, Schwartzman is just happy that he has been nominated.

“If I won this award, it would be spectacular. Now I am on that payroll that is very good and represents the values ​​that I try to maintain on a day-to-day basis and that (my coaching teams over the years) have taught me. It is very nice to be recognized for that. “ He concluded.

The four nominees for the Stefan Edberg Award was shortlisted by the ATP. However, it will be the players who will decide the winner. The result will be revealed later this month.

Multiple winners of the Stefan Edberg/ATP Sportsmanship award

Roger Federer – 13
Stefan Edberg – 5
Pat Rafter – 4
Alex Corretja – 2
Todd Martin – 2
Paradorn Srichaphan – 2
Rafael Nadal – 2

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Kei Nishikori In Doubt For The Australian Open

Asia’s highest ranked male tennis player is contemplating when he should return to the tour following surgery.

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Kei Nishikori (photo by chryslène caillaud, copyright @Sport Vision)

World No.13 Kei Nishikori is refusing to rule out the prospect of skipping the first grand slam event of 2020 as he continues his recovery from surgery.

 

Nishikori hasn’t played a match on the tour since his third round loss at the US Open back in September. A month later he underwent a procedure on his right elbow in a move that brought his season to an early end. Currently undergoing rehabilitation, it is unclear as to when the Japanese player believes he will return to the ATP Tour.

“The prospect of a return from surgery on right elbow in January. Maybe February. In the second half of next year I want to be able to play well.” Nikkan Sports quoted Nishikori as saying.
“I don’t want to overdo it,” he added.

The Australian Open will get underway on January 20th in Melbourne. Should he miss the grand slam, it will be the second time he has done so in the last three years. Nishikori also withdrew from the 2018 edition due to a wrist injury. In January he reached the quarter-finals and therefore has 360 points to defend next year.

During his time away from the court, the 29-year-old has been kept busy making changes to his team. Recently it was confirmed that he has started working alongside Max Mirnyi, who is a former world No.1 doubles player. Mirnyi, who has won 10 grand slam titles in men’s and mixed doubles, will be working full-time with Nishikori alongside existing coach Michael Chang.

“I’m getting closer to retirement. I want to be cured and come back to play good tennis in the second half of next year.” Nishikori stated.

Despite the injury setback, Nishikori has enjoyed success in 2019. Reaching the quarter-finals in three out of the four grand slam tournaments. The first time he has ever done that in his career. He also claimed his 12th ATP title at the Brisbane International. Overall, he won 29 out of 43 matches played.

Nishikori will turn 30 on December 29th.

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Family Of Venezuelan Doubles Star Launches GoFundMe Page For Cancer Treatment

Roberto Maytin was playing on the Challenger tour less than a month ago, but now faces a new battle.

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One of Venezuela’s highest ranked players on the ATP Tour is facing challenges off the court after being recently diagnosed with cancer.

 

Roberto Maytin, who currently has a doubles ranking of 136th, is undergoing treatment for testicular cancer Non-Seminoma. Non-seminomas are made up of different types of tumour, such as teratomas, embryonal tumours, yolk sac tumours and choriocarcinomas. Maytin’s brother Ricardo has launched a GoFundMe page to help cover the costs. The tennis player made $19,441 in prize money this season, which doesn’t factor into account numerous expenses such as travel, accommodation and paying for his coaching team.

“If life gives you a chance to live longer, I think nobody would miss the opportunity. In this plane, we all want to be (alive) for years however we forget that we are with a 50% chance of leaving at any time every day.” The fundraising page reads.
“My brother was diagnosed with testicular cancer NO Seminoma, at 30 years old. He now faces a crucial match that life has put him for growth as an individual, as a man and as an athlete. He is forced to undergo 4 stages of aggressive chemotherapy in order to heal at all and leave no trace of a Cancer that has been moving for months causing some damage.”

A former top 25 junior player, Maytin is one of only two players from his country to be ranked inside the top 200 in either singles or doubles on the men’s tour. This season he has won four Challenger titles across America. However, he has only played in one ATP Tour event since the start of 2018. He achieved a ranking high of 85th in the doubles back in 2015.

Once a student at Baylor University in Texas, Maytin formed a successful partnership with former world No.2 doubles player John Peers. Together they earned All-American honours with a win-loss of 36-5 and reached the quarter-finals of the 2011 NCAA tournament.

Maytin is also a regular fixture in his country’s Davis Cup team. Since 2007 he has played 15 ties and won 10 out of 16 matches played.

“I am also clear that the family is the gift of God for each one of us, so in this way and in whatever way I will put my desire and my energy so that my Brother Roberto Maytin, a Venezuelan professional tennis player, is back to the courts, which is where he belongs as soon as possible.”

Almost $25,000 has been raised so far to fund Maytin’s treatment. Click here to visit his GoFundMe page.

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