Istomin hands Uzbekistan the lead, Sock levels - UBITENNIS
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Istomin hands Uzbekistan the lead, Sock levels

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Istomin finally secured victory By SweTennis (Denis Istomin) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Istomin finally secured victory
By SweTennis (Denis Istomin) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Denis Istomin overcame the volatile, error strewn display of Steve Johnson to hand Uzbekistan the lead in this Davis Cup World Group Playoff tie. The World number sixty-two survived Johnson serving for the match deep in the fifth set, after he had had his own chance in the fourth, to prevail 6-1, 3-6, 7-6, 6-7, 7-5. It was a gripping encounter, more for the drama than the actual quality of tennis on show,with both players proving frustratingly inconsistent.

 

Istomin had started superbly, breaking serve in Johnson’s first service game as the American’s attacking game faltered into standard forehand errors, a sign of things to come. Istomin consolidated with strong serving extended his lead further with a double break for five-one, as Johnson  committed twenty unforced errors in the set. American captain Jim Courier was left to try and rally a despondent-looking Johnson. Istomin secured he opening set with another comfortable service hold.

Johnson regained his composure in the second set, enjoying a much better read on the Istomin serve, as he won nearly half of the points off of Istomin’s first serve delivery. Johnson was striking a much better balance, dictating rather than pushing the play with his forehand, and this resulted in far more winners than errors. Johnson deservedly levelled the match

The third set was a very finely balanced affair, with both players trying to take the initiatives based on their mutual attacking styles. Both players were now employing the drop-shot more frequently, though Istomin far more successfully than Johnson. Each had opportunities to break near the end of the set. Johnson had two break points at five-all, but was wrong-footed as he tried to second guess the Istomin serve, the Uzbek escaping to stay in front on serve. Istomin very nearly had love-thirty the next game, but a line-call error after a Johnson forehand had tickled the tape saw the umpire quickly off the chair to correct. Johnson then escaped fifteen-thirty to ensure a tiebreak.

The tiebreak proved a close affair, with both players tightening up and relinquishing leads. Istomin lead early at two-love, Johnson at four-three, and Istomin once again at five-four. Istomin finally held both his service points, playing a drop shot on set point that Johnson did not run down. Uzbekistan led two sets to one.

Johnson immediately held and fashioned a break point in Istomin’s service game. However the Uzbek again denied him as Johnson blasted long on a forehand. Istomin then rushed the net, forcing Johnson into two passing errors to level affairs. Johnson quickly found himself in trouble, down love-thirty after a forehand found the tramlines again. Johnson staved off a break point with consecutive aces, mirroring Istomin. Istomin again had a break point in the seventh game after more wild cuts from Johnson, but he missed a second serve return to let the American off the hook. At five-all however, the narrative proved to be the same, except this time there was no escape for the American. A driven forehand volley miss from Johnson handed Istomin break points and he sealed the break to serve for the match.

Johnson gamely stayed with him however, and broke back to thirty, forcing a fourth set tiebreak. Johnson took the early lead in the tiebreak when a forehand cross-court exchange ended with Istomin dumping a groundstroke in the net. Istomin quickly recovered the mini break with a short angle backhand. Johnson earned it straight back however, running wide around to hit a forehand return down the middle near Istomin’s feet, who could only reply long. Johnson then held with a forehand winner down the line and a Istomin error to secure set points. He secured the set with another error from Istomin.

The change in the match was remarkable. Johnson was now dominating and immediately put pressure back on the Istomin serve, holding a break point in the first game. Istomin held but, after a quick hold to love, Johnson secured the break when Istomin missed a backhand volley. Incredibly Istomin and Johnson then traded breaks, the American regaining the lead after finally getting a read on a istomin drop-shot before, drop-volleying to lead again. Istomin broke again though, as a horrible Johnson drop-shot and an unsurprisingly wild forehand  leveled things. A better drop shot in the next game again handed Johnson break points. Both were saved, but Johnson broke from deuce to lead yet again. Johnson endured four break points at four-three but saved them, registering the first hold of serve for either play for five games.

The drama continued when Istomin earned a break point as Johnson served for the match. Johnson stopped play insisting a ball was out. The umpire came down from the chair but after examining the mark, referred Johnson to the original call of in and the match continued. Johnson then unnecessarily smashed wide for an Istomin match point. It was saved but another error resulted in a second. Johnson found the net to hand Uzbekistan the opening rubber.

In the later match, Jack Sock quickly dismissed the challenge of Farrukh Dustov, winning ins straight sets 7-5, 6-3,6-2 in what was his Davis Cup debut. The doubles, taking place on Saturday, is likely to see Querrey/Johnson take on Istomin/Dustov. Querrey/Johnson is a Davis Cup debut partnership in the absence of the Bryan brothers.

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Cameron Norrie ‘Happy’ With Performance After Extending Winning Run Against Kyrgios

Cameron Norrie spoke about his confidence after reaching the last eight in Atlanta.

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Cameron Norrie (@the_LTA - Twitter)

Cameron Norrie is satisfied with his recent performances after reaching the Atlanta quarter-finals.

 

The in-form Brit extended his winning streak to five matches after defeating Nick Kyrgios in Atlanta.

Norrie eased to victory with a 6-1 6-4 win in a match which saw three breaks of serve from the Brit to make the last eight.

After winning his maiden title in Los Cabos, Norrie now is starting to feel confident in his game.

In his post-match interview the world number 29 insists that he is happy with his level as he continues his great season, “It’s very nice to be back here in Atlanta,” Norrie explained.

“It’s good to have Nick back… really enjoyed the match and really happy with my level. It’s cool to be playing at this level and [I am] happy and satisfied to be getting some wins. I’m enjoying my tennis.”

Next for Norrie will be Emil Ruusuvuori as he looks to continue his momentum and solidify his status as the man to beat in US hard court swing.

The other quarter-finals will see Los Cabos finalist Brandon Nakashima take on Jordan Thompson, Taylor Fritz will face fellow American Reilly Opelka.

While five-time champion John Isner will face Christopher O’Connell in the last eight with the American serving 49 aces in two matches so far.

Play will begin at 17:00 BST while Norrie’s match will likely take place at 20:00 BST.

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‘Probably Gonna Quit’ – Tennys Sandgren Blasts Performance After missing Out On Olympic Medal

The tennis star described his fourth place finish as ‘dog s**t.”

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Former Australian Open quarter-finalist Tennys Sandgren said he is close to retiring from tennis after missing out on a bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics.

 

Sandgren and doubles partner Austin Krajicek fell in straight sets to the New Zealand pairing of Michael Venus and Marcus Daniell, who are the first tennis players from their country in over 100 years to win a medal. The loss is a frustrating outcome for the American who wasn’t afraid to express how he felt after the match. Tokyo was the ninth doubles tournament Sandgren has played in this year.

“I mean, who f*ing cares you know, what do I have to show for it? We have a good week and fourth place is dog s**t.” He told the Olympic News Service.

Speaking straight after his loss, the highly emotional 30-year-old then cast doubt on his future in the sport. He is currently ranked 82nd in the world and has a win-loss record of 6-14 so far this year. However, he is yet to reach a quarter-final in singles.

I’m probably gonna quit. That might be my last match. I’m close, yeah, I’m close.” He replied when asked about his career.

As for if he would have done anything different in the bronze medal match, Sandgren replied ‘not to have been so bad.’ He also expressed disappointment that the tennis tournament took place behind closed doors. Prior to the Olympics, organisers decided to hold all events in Tokyo without fans due to a surge of COVID-19 cases in the city.

“It would have been a great event with fans,” he via via teamusa.org. “Playing on an outside court without fans, I mean, you might as well be playing in Idaho in the middle of nowhere.”

Sandgren and Krajicek were America’s last chance to win a medal in the tennis competition. It is the first time the country has failed to win any medal since tennis returned as an Olympic event in 1988.

“There’s not much you can say about that except it’s pretty, pretty devastating to lose that one. You know, give yourself a chance to get a medal and then to lose those two (matches – including the men’s doubles semifinal) is tough, but you have to give those guys credit today. They played well.” Krajicek concluded.

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Updated Entry List For Washington

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photo by atptour.com

The US Open Series is ready to get to the heart, with the historic tournament of Washington D.C.

 

The Citi Open in Washington, the only ATP tournament to be contested next week, will follow Atlanta in the American summer tour. The event has been taking place on hard-courts since 1969, when Thomaz Koch from Brazil won the first edition defeating Arthur Ashe in the final.

Rafael Nadal, who has received a Wild-Card, Felix Auger-Aliassime and Alex De Minaur will be the first three seeded players. Jannik Sinner, Aslan Karatsev, Karen Khachanov and the defending champion Nick Kyrgios are committed to play as well, while Milos Raonic and John Isner have withdrawn. Denis Kudla, Brandon Nakashima and Feliciano Lopez will play with a Wild-Card.

NEWS: Karen Khachanov (who is playing the Olympics) has pulled out from the tournament; Mackenzie McDonald takes his place in the main draw.

NEWS: Aslan Karatsev has withdrawn, he has been replaced by Colombia’s Daniel-Elahi Galan.


ATP 500 Washington (DC, USA), entry list:
OUT Shapovalov, Denis (CAN)
Auger-Aliassime, Felix (CAN)
De Minaur, Alex (AUS)
OUT Hurkacz, Hubert (POL)
Auger-Aliassime, Felix (CAN)
Dimitrov, Grigor (BUL)
OUT Raonic, Milos (CAN)
Sinner, Jannik (ITA)
OUT Karatsev, Aslan (RUS)
Evans, Daniel (GBR)
OUT Khachanov, Karen (RUS)
Opelka, Reilly (USA)
OUT Isner, John (USA)
Norrie, Cameron (GBR)
Bublik, Alexander (KAZ)
OUT Ramos-Vinolas, Albert (ESP)
Fritz, Taylor (USA)
Millman, John (AUS)
Paire, Benoit (FRA)
Kecmanovic, Miomir (SRB)
Korda, Sebastian (USA)
Harris, Lloyd (RSA)
Paul, Tommy (USA)
Nishikori, Kei (JPN)
Querrey, Sam (USA)
Tiafoe, Frances (USA)
Nishioka, Yoshihito (JPN)
OUT Pella, Guido (ARG)
Kyrgios, Nick (AUS)
OUT Koepfer, Dominik (GER)
Pospisil, Vasek (CAN)
Giron, Marcos (USA)
Popyrin, Alexei (AUS)
Sandgren, Tennys (USA)
OUT Munar, Jaume (ESP)
OUT Kwon, Soonwoo (KOR)
(SE)
WC Nadal, Rafael (ESP)
WC Sock, Jack (USA)
WC Nakashima, Brandon (USA)
WC Lopez, Feliciano (ESP)
(WC)
OUT (WC)
Alternates:
IN Gerasimov, Egor (BLR)
IN Johnson, Steve (USA)
IN Ruusuvuori, Emil (FIN)
IN Thompson, Jordan (AUS)
IN Ivashka, Ilya (BLR)
IN Berankis, Ricardas (LTU)
OUT Monteiro, Thiago (BRA)
IN Seppi, Andreas (ITA)
IN Duckworth, James (AUS)

IN Anderson, Kevin (RSA)
OUT Daniel, Taro (JPN)
OUT Kukushkin, Mikhail (KAZ)

OUT Martinez, Pedro (ESP)
IN McDonald, Mackenzie (USA)
IN Galan, Daniel Elahi (COL)
IN Kudla, Denis (USA)

Alt.1 Uchiyama, Yasutaka (JPN)
Alt.2 Bonzi, Benjamin (FRA)
Alt.3 Sousa, Joao (POR)
Alt.4 Zapata Miralles, Bernabe (ESP)
Alt.5 Seyboth Wild, Thiago (BRA)


ATP 500 Washington, qualifying:
OUT Ivashka, Ilya (BLR)
OUT Thompson, Jordan (AUS)
OUT Duckworth, James (AUS)

OUT Ruusuvuori, Emil (FIN)
OUT Johnson, Steve (USA)
OUT Berankis, Ricardas (LTU)
OUT Seppi, Andreas (ITA)
OUT Ymer, Mikael (SWE)

OUT McDonald, Mackenzie (USA)
OUT Kudla, Denis (USA)
OUT Daniel, Taro (JPN)

OUT Bonzi, Benjamin (FRA)
OUT Galan, Daniel Elahi (COL)
OUT Sugita, Yuichi (JPN)
OUT Anderson, Kevin (RSA)

Uchiyama, Yasutaka (JPN)
Wolf, J.J. (PR, USA)
(WC)
(WC)
(WC)
(WC)
Alternates:
IN O’Connell, Christopher (AUS)
IN Broady, Liam (GBR)
IN Donskoy, Evgeny (RUS)
IN Brooksby, Jenson (USA)
IN Gunneswaran, Prajnesh (IND)
IN Cressy, Maxime (USA)
IN Marchenko, Illya (UKR)
IN Gomez, Emilio (ECU)
IN Jung, Jason (TPE)
IN Ofner, Sebastian (AUT)
IN Ymer, Elias (SWE)
IN Soeda, Go (JPN)
IN Mmoh, Michael (USA)
IN Escobedo, Ernesto (USA)
IN Kokkinakis, Thanasi (AUS)
IN Fratangelo, Bjorn (USA)
IN Krueger, Mitchell (USA)

IN Ito, Tatsuma (PR, JPN)
Alt.1 Eubanks, Christopher (USA)
Alt.2 Ramanathan, Ramkumar (IND)
Alt.3 Torpegaard, Mikael (DEN)
OUT Sock, Jack (USA)
Alt.4 Purcell, Max (AUS)
Alt.5 Ebden, Matthew (AUS)

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