Young and Murray last men through to the Round of 16 - UBITENNIS
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Young and Murray last men through to the Round of 16

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US OPEN – American Donald Young staged another 5-set comeback from 0-2 sets down this time against Serbian Viktor Troicki (22) to move through to only his 2nd appearance in the Round 16 at a major. He was the second to last man to make it through as Andy Murray (3) took out Thomaz Bellucci (30) in straight sets. Young and Murray were the last two men to enter into the last week of the major as the draw has been set and there are many interesting encounters slated in this pivotal round to decide who will make it through to the quarterfinals.

 

Having come back from a 0-2 sets in the opening round against Gilles Simon (11), Young again looked like he was on his last legs v Troicki after he lost the 2nd set 0-6. Young is only of the few players who is entered in all three main draws at these championships (singles, men’s doubles and mixed doubles) thus he has been playing a lot of tennis. However, one would not be able to tell as the crowd lifted him up from the brink of defeat. After dropping the first two sets, Young started off the 3rd with a 3-0 lead but Troicki soon broke back to level it at 3-3. Neither player broke again in the set and so it was decided in a breaker. This was where Young began his ascendancy and Troicki appeared to have gone into decline. Young took the breaker 7-3 points and in the 4th set, just raced out to a 5-1 before closing it out 6-2 and leveling the match. In the decisive set, Young broke early for 3-1 and maintain this lead to close out the match 4-6 0-6 7-6(3) 6-2 6-4.

Young will face Stan Wawrinka (5) who seemed to be still struggling to find his game out on court. He appeared to be a bit unhappy thus far. However, he has yet to drop a set at these championships. He has been pushed to the limit in all of his matches. His win over Belgian Ruben Bemelmans was no different looking at the scoreline 7-5 6-47-6(6). This is Wawrinka 4th consecutive year into the 2nd week of the US Open. His encounter with Young would be their second at these championships as Young defeated Wawrinka back in 2011 in the 3rd round. It goes without saying that the crowd would be squarely behind the American and not the 2-time major champion.

Murray had a far easier time getting past Bellucci than he did in his previous round against France’s Adrian Mannarino who pushed the British player to 5 sets. Bellucci failed to win a set as Murray took it 6-3 6-2 7-5. Murray will next face Kevin Anderson (15) who is performing well within reason of his talent. He took on young Austrian sensation Dominic Thiem (20). Thiem who has been playing reasonably solid tennis since Wimbledon winning two titles in the summer, went out moderately easier against the South African. Anderson won it 6-3 7-6(3) 7-6(3).

Tomas Berdych (6) and Richard Gasquet (12) have been quietly going about their business at these championships and will face either other in the 4th round for a place in the quarterfinals. Both players have enjoyed success here at these championships having made the semifinals in the past. Berdych took out Guillermo Garcia-Lopez (31) in 4 sets having narrowly escaped going down 0-2 sets to the Spaniard, (3)6-7 7-6(7) 6-3 6-3. Gasquet took out another Australian Bernard Tomic (24) having earlier taken out Thanasi Kokkinakis in the opening round. Tomic perhaps ran out of steam having been pushed to 5 sets v fellow Aussie Lleyton Hewitt in the 2nd round. Gasquet won in straight sets 6-4 6-3 6-1.

Roger Federer (2) made it through to the 2nd week of the US Open for the umpteenth time in his career. In his entire career at the Open starting in 2000, Federer has only failed to make it to at least the 4th round once and that was in 2000 when he lost in the 3rd round. His opponent this time around was Philipp Kohlschreiber (29) who has yet to secure a win over 17-time major champion in their 9 previous meetings. Federer’s game level was not peak against the German but he was solid enough to get the job done in straight sets 6-3 6-4 6-4. Federer will face John Isner (13) who came through to the 4th round after his opponent Jiri Vesely  retried from the match down 0-2 sets. This match up of Federer v Isner is sure to be an intriguing one as the US Open crowd has a lot of love for Federer as a 5-time champion here. This will certainly be conflicting for them as he is facing an American.

The Round of 16 for the men’s side shape up like this:
TOP HALF
– Novak Djokovic (1) v Roberto Bautista-Agut (23)
– Feliciano Lopez (18) v Fabio Fognini (32)
– Benoit Paire v Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (19)
– Marin Cilic (9) v Jeremy Chardy (27)

BOTTOM HALF
– Stan Wawrinka (5) v Donald Young
– Kevin Anderson (15) v Andy Murray (3)
– Tomas Berdych (6) v Richard Gasquet (12)
– John Isner (13) v Roger Federer (2) 

 

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Filip Krajinovic To Skip Australian Open If Required To Quarantine For More Than Five Days

The world No.34 says he ‘sees no reason’ why vaccinated players should have to go through a long quarentine in Australia.

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Image via twitter.com/atptour (Alexander Scheuber)

The second highest-ranked Serbian player in men’s tennis says it would be ‘unacceptable’ for organisers of the Australian Open to require players to quarantine for more than a week if they have been fully vaccinated.

 

Filip Krajinovic has become the first player to publicly state that they will not be prepared to travel to Melbourne at the end of this season if they have to go through strict quarantine measures once again. All the players who participated in this year’s Australian Open were required to be quarantined in a designated hotel for 14 days upon arrival in the country. During their stay they were allowed to use training facilities but that was the only time they could leave the premises unless there was an emergency.

There is no final decision regarding the travel requirements for the 2022 tournament but there are concerns that unvaccinated players may not be allowed to enter the country. The Victorian government recently issued a mandate ordering all essential workers to be vaccinated, including athletes. However, the regional government will not have the final say concerning tennis players arriving in the country with the national government being the ones in charge of that decision.

“They are very rigorous there and honestly, if I have to be in quarantine for 14 days after arriving in Melbourne, I will not go to Australia,” Krajinovic told Serbian newspaper Blic.
“I was vaccinated, I did everything in my power to protect myself and the people around me, so I really see no reason to sit there for 14 days in a room.’
“If they (the organisers) say that after arrival I need, say, five days to be in isolation, that’s OK for me, but anything beyond that is unacceptable to me. With the season ending late, I will have 20 days to get ready and go. Charter flights will be organized again and the last one is planned for December 28 for the players and that is the final date when I can go to Australia. I will see what the final decision from Melbourne will be, so I will cut what is the best thing to do.”

Earlier this week Victoria’s Sports minister Martin Pakula urged players to be vaccinated because it give them ‘the best opportunity to play in the Australian Open.’ It is expected that if unvaccinated players are allowed to attend, they will be subjected to stricter restrictions. This might include a longer quarantine period upon arrival and limitations of where they can go during their stay.

Last year, all of those players had to do their 14 days of quarantine. Right now there looks like there will be different rules for people who enter this country who are vaccinated as against unvaccinated and I don’t think the tennis will be any exception to that.” Pakula told the Sports Entertainment Network (SEN).
“In terms of what rules apply for people to enter Australia, whether unvaccinated people are allowed in at all, I don’t the answer to that yet. That’s going to be the subject of discussion at national cabinet and among the federal cabinet … those rules are not set by state governments.” He added.

Krajinovic is currently ranked 34th in the world and has a win-loss record this season of 18-18. At the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells he reached the second round before falling in straight sets to Daniil Medvedev. His best run so far this year was at the Hamburg Open where he reached the final.

“When we look at the whole of 2021, I played one final, one semifinal, there were good victories, but also worse results,” the 29-year-old commented.

Krajinovic is currently without a coach but is currently in ‘negotiations’ with somebody without elaborating further about who that person is.

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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.

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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.

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Denis Shapovalov Advances After Pospisil Retires In Indian Wells

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

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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.

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