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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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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John Newcombe Believes The Australian Open Will Be ‘A Big Ask’ For Nick Kyrgios

The tennis legend is unsure if the former top 20 player will be fit in time for the first grand slam of 2020.

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MADRID, SPAIN - Nick Kyrgios of Australia waking to the locked room Davis Cup by Rakuten Madrid Finals 2019 at Caja Magica on November 19, 2019 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Pedro Salado / Kosmos Tennis)

Former world No.1 John Newcombe has cast doubts on Nick Kyrgios’ chances of going deep in the draw at the upcoming Australian Open.

 

The 75-year-old, who won seven grand slam titles during the 1960s and 1970s, believes the injury-stricken world No.30 may struggle playing best-of-five matches in Melbourne. Kyrgios missed most of the final quarter of the 2019 season due to a shoulder issue. He returned to action last month at the Davis Cup, but skipped his country’s quarter-final clash with Canada due to a collarbone injury. Overall, he has won 23 out of 37 matches played this year.

“It’s a bit of a worry that he has recurring injuries, especially around where the muscles join the joints and that’s going to be an ongoing problem for him it seems,” Newcombe told The Age.
“At the Davis Cup he’d only played four sets of singles and his shoulder started to play up again and when you’ve got an injury like that it’s hard to go out and practice a lot.
“Leading into the Australian Open – five sets is a big ask for him.”

A two-time grand slam quarter-finalist, the 24-year-old has struggled to make his mark in the majors this year. Winning just three matches in three grand slam tournaments he played in. Kyrgios missed the French Open due to injury. At his home slam, he lost in the first round for the first time since making his main draw debut back in 2014.

As well as trying to get fit in time for the start of the new season, Kyrgios will continue to be playing under a probation on the ATP Tour for ‘aggravated behaviour.’ Should he violate that, he faces the prospect of a 16-week ban from the tour.

“I can’t speak for him but if it was me it would be tough having that ban hanging over you,” Newcombe said.
“But I guess you’ve just got to learn to zip up.”

Kyrgios is set to start 2020 at the inaugural ATP Cup, which is the only team event to have both prize money and ranking points available. After that, he is set to play in the Kooyong Classic in what will be his final test prior to the Australian Open.

“I am delighted that Nick has chosen to play Kooyong again, and hopefully it acts as the perfect tune up for his Australian Open (AO) campaign and sets him up for a massive 2020 season.” Tournament director Peter Johnson said in a statement.

So far in his career, Kyrgios has won six titles. Including Acapulco and Washington this year.

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