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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Hubert Hurkacz Aims To Build On Delray Beach Triumph

The best way to start the season for the world No.35.

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Hubert Hurkacz (image via https://twitter.com/DelrayBeachOpen)

Poland’s Herbert Hurkacz says he hopes to play at an even higher level over the coming weeks after winning the Delray Beach Open title on Wednesday.

 

The world No.35 eased to a 6-3, 6-3, win over Sebastian Korda in the final to claim only the second title in his career after Winston Salem back in 2018. Hurkacz, who was the fourth seed in the tournament, didn’t drop a set all week en route to becoming the first Polish player in history to win the title. In the final he won 68% of his service points and broke Korda four times overall.

“It feels great. It is great to win the title and I am so happy about that. This Is a great start to the season,” Hurkacz said afterwards.
“I am happy that I am improving and we (my team) are doing good stuff with C.B (coach Craig Boynton), and things are working. So I am really pleased with this result.”

The 23-year-old is hoping to improve on what was a challenging 2020 season for him. After reaching the semi-finals of the Auckland Open in January last year, he could only win back-to-back matches in two out of his next 12 tournaments prior to Delray Beach. His best Grand Slam result was reaching the third round of the 2019 Wimbledon Championships.

Seeking to break new territory in 2021, Hurkacz will today start his 24-hour journey to Australia which begins with a 5am departure from America this morning. His coach Craig Boynton also currently worked with Steve Johnson and previously mentored Jim Courier.

“It’s the beginning of the season and I still need to work on a couple of things, but I hope I can play even better in Australia,” Hurkacz stated.

Hurkacz is only the second Polish player to have won an ATP Tour title in the Open Era after Wojciech Fibak. At present he is the only player from his country ranked inside the top 100 on the Tour.

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Cristian Garin Out Of Australian Open Following Fall

The South American tennis star will not travel to Melbourne due to both injury and the travel restrictions implemented.

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Chile’s Cristian Garin has become the third top 30 player to pull out of the men’s draw at next month’s Australian Open.

 

The world No.22 has confirmed that he will not be travelling to the Grand Slam after suffering a fall in which he hurt his wrist a week ago. Announcing his decision on Instagram, Garin said the limitations in place at the tournament which wouldn’t allow him to travel with his physio played a factor. This year’s Australian Open is taking place amid strict COVID-19 rules which requires players to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival and limits the number of team members they can bring. The majority of players will be spending their quarantine in Melbourne but the top names will be in Adelaide following a recent deal secured by Tennis Australia.

I am very sad to report that a week ago I suffered a fall, which left me with a lot of pain in my left wrist (sprain),” Garin wrote on his Instagram story. “It has been very difficult for me to play the last days and given the restrictions of the tour, they do not allow me to travel with my physiotherapist, which makes it impossible to find a good recovery. Unfortunately I will not be able to play this year in Australia, which is something very difficult for me to accept. I hope to return in good condition and with the best energy for the tour in South America.”

photo via – https://www.instagram.com/garincris/

Garin kicked-off his season on Saturday at the Delray Beach Open where he was the top seed. However, he lost his opening match in straight sets to Christian Harrison who went on to reach the semi-finals. It is only the second tournament he has played since the French Open in October.

The setback comes after the 24-year-old confirmed that he has started working with Franco Davin back in November. A tennis coach known best for his work with Juan Martin del Potro. Davin has also previously worked with Grigor Dimitrov and Kyle Edmund.

The withdrawal of Garin follows that of Roger Federer and John Isner. Former champion Federer has pulled out due to his ongoing recovery from a right knee injury. Although one Australian Open official believes his decision was due to another factor. Meanwhile, Isner has opted not to travel to Australia because he didn’t want to spend an extended time away from his family.

The Australian Open will start on February 8th.

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Christian Harrison Speaks Out After ATP Fines Him For Not Wearing A Mask

The American says he is against ‘masking people for the sake of it for TV.’

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Christian Harrison (image via https://twitter.com/DelrayBeachOpen)

American tennis player Christian Harrison has said he will appeal a fine issued to him at the Delray Beach Open after he refused to do an on-court interview because he was required to wear a mask.

 

The ATP has slammed the 789th ranked player with a fine of $3000 for refusing to do the mandatory interview. However, Harrison is arguing his case by saying he believed that wearing a mask was optional and has been told by the tournament supervisor he can appeal against the fine. He has previously spoken out against wearing masks after writing last week ‘Healthy enough to play 3 hour matches. But I’m an absolute safety hazard walking maskless through a restaurant.’ On Twitter he also liked a Tweet last month by Political commentator Liz Wheeler who wrote ‘Wear a mask until EVERY person is vaccinated?! Are you insane?’

“Christian Harrison was fined $3,000 for declining the mandatory post-match on-court interview following his second round win over Cristian Garin on Saturday,” the ATP said in a statement.

Arguing his defence Harrison wrote on social media that it is ‘not healthy’ to wear a mask in the sun for longer than necessary after a match. The rule implemented is one of a series that has been taken in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. In America, where Harrison is playing at the Delray Beach Open, the country has recorded more deaths from the virus than any other.

“After my second round match I chose not to do my post match interview due to wearing a mask. It’s not healthy to wear a mask in the hot sun for more time than absolutely necessary after a tough match,” he wrote on Instagram.
“I was given the impression it was optional. I wasn’t told I would be fined. That night I was told it is a requirement for T.V. matches and I would be fined. When I spoke to the supervisor the following morning, I was told since I wasn’t notified that it was mandatory I could appeal the fine and it would be taken away. Unless something changes now I still believe that to be true.”

Refusing to admit any wrongdoing, the 26-year-old says he ‘doesn’t agree’ with masking people for the sake of TV. Although he has stated that he will follow the rules in the future.

“I was required to do a sit down interview after the match with the same person which I agreed to and I did not have to wear a mask for it,” he continues.
“It’s not about safety to wear mask for TV to talk to a microphone with no one around . Playing the tournaments I’ll follow whatever is required even if I don’t agree with it. I don’t support masking people for the sake of it for TV.”

The controversy coincides with Harrison’s fairytale run at the Delray Beach Open this week. On Monday he defeated Gianluca Mager 7-6(2), 6-4, to reach the semi-finals of an ATP tournament for the first time in his career. He did wear a mask during his on-court interview following that win. The breakthrough comes after more than a decade of setbacks for Harrison who has undergone a total of eight surgeries on both legs, both hips, his right wrist, and both adductors.

Harrison will play fourth seed Hubert Hurkacz in the semi-finals.

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