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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US Open Must Allow Entourages Of Three Or Four People, Says Thiem

The world No.3 says he is feeling good ahead of the return of professional tennis next month.

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Dominic Thiem has come out against proposals to restrict the number of coaching staff that can travel to this year’s US Open amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

This year’s New York major will be held behind closed doors for the first time in history and will be implementing a series of measures to help minimise the threat posed by the virus. Part of their plan is to limit how many people a player can bring with them to the tournament. It was originally reported that only one team member per player would be allowed to travel, but it has emerged that the limit has since been extended to three.

Speaking about the limits, three-time Grand Slam finalist Thiem said the idea of only allowing one member of his team to travel with him would be a risk for some players on the Tour.

*”I do not think so. Three or four people must be allowed. It would be extremely risky to travel without your own physio. You need a local coach for this,’ Thiem told The Kronen Zeitung newspaper on Sunday.

Thiem last played a match on the ATP Tour at the Rio Open in February where he lost in the quarter-finals. However, throughout the lockdown he has still managed to maintain his match fitness by participating in numerous tournaments. In total he has played 24 matches across three different countries, including one named after him called Thiems 7.

“Right now I feel very good,” he said. “I have played a lot of exhibition games in the last two months and I am not tired at all. I really wanted to play tennis again, since my start of the year was very good.’
“During This period of confinement at home I have been crushing myself a lot in the physical aspect and already when I returned to training. I have decided to improve the backhand and the serve a little more.”

The ATP Tour will resume next month with Thiem hoping that he can continue his form generated from earlier this year. At the Australian Open he reached the final for the first time in his career before getting edged out by Novak Djokovic. Although when he returns, tournaments will not be the same as before due to the ongoing pandemic with strict safety measures and reduced crowds in place.

“When the circuit returns, the matches will be exactly the same as we had previously, but the atmosphere will be different,” he said.
“All tennis players will miss playing tournaments where many people travelled to see us every day. In New York, Paris or Melbourne there are between 60,000 and 70,000 people every day in the facilities. That previous life we ​​had will not be the same and we may have to get used to this new normal for a few years.”

Thiem is one of only four men to have already made more than $1 million in prize money so far this year on the ATP Tour.

*NOTE: Since the publication of this article quotes have been edited following a translation mix-up.

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Nick Kyrgios Slams Thiem Over Defence Of Controversy-Stricken Adria Tour

The world No.40 has accused the Austrian of lacking an ‘intellectual level’ to understand his view.

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Australian star Nick Kyrgios has continued his public criticism of the Adria Tour by taking aim at two-time French Open finalist Dominic Thiem.

 

The 25-year-old has repeatedly hit out at the exhibition event, which Thiem participated in. Organised by world No.1 Novak Djokovic, the event took place in Belgrade and Zadar before it was scrapped following an outbreak of COVID-19 among both players and coaching staff. Djokovic, Grigor Dimitrov and Borna Coric all got infected. The outbreak came after the Adria Tour was criticised for a lack of social distancing and players attended various public events together. Although at the time, all of their actions were done in accordance with local regulations. Something the Serbian Prime Minister now admits was a mistake.

However, Thiem has called out Kyrgios over his vocal criticism of fellow Adria Tour competitor Alexander Zverev. The German attended a party in southern France less than a week after the COVID-19 outbreak despite issuing a statement saying he would go into self-isolation.

“It was his mistake, but I don’t why a lot of people want to interfere. Kyrgios has done a lot of mistakes. It would be better for him to come clear instead of criticising others,” Thiem told Tiroler Tageszeitung.

Continuing to defend the actions of his fellow players, Thiem also jumped to the defence of Djokovic. Who has been under heavy criticism over the event with some going as far as questioning his position as president of the ATP Players Council.

“He didn’t commit a crime. We all make mistakes, but I don’t understand all the criticism. I’ve been to Nice and also saw pictures from other cities. It’s no different from Belgrade during the tournament. It’s too cheap to shoot at Djokovic.”

The comments have now been blasted by Kyrgios, who stands by his previous criticism of players. Accusing Thiem of lacking an ‘intellectual level’ to see his point of view.

“What are you talking about @ThiemDomi? Mistakes like smashing rackets? Swearing? Tanking a few matches here or there? Which everyone does?” Kyrgios wrote on Twitter.
“None of you have the intellectual level to even understand where I’m coming from. I’m trying to hold them accountable.”
“People losing lives, loved ones and friends, and then Thiem standing up for the ‘mistake,'” he added.

The COVID-19 pandemic has killed more than 500,000 people worldwide and some players have voiced concerns over travelling to America which has recently seen a rise in cases. On Wednesday Alexi Popyrin became the first player to say he won’t play the US Open due to health concerns.

The ATP Tour is set to resume next month but it is unclear as to what events Thiem and Kyrgios will be playing in.

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Roger Federer Eyeing Olympic Glory At The Age Of 39 In 2021

The Swiss tennis star isn’t ready to step away from the sport just yet.

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20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer has vowed to play at next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo after undergoing two surgeries on his knee.

 

The former world No.1 hasn’t played a competitive match since his semi-final loss to Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open in January. Since then he had twice undergone arthroscopic surgeries which is a minimally invasive procedure that is used to diagnose and treat problems with the joints. Federer announced shortly after having the procedure done for a second time that he will not be returning to the Tour again this year.

Despite the setbacks, the 38-year-old has vowed to return to action at the start of 2021 with Olympic glory one of his main targets. He is already a two-time Olympic medallist after winning gold in the men’s doubles back in 2008 followed by silver in the singles draw at the 2012 London Games.

“My goal is to play Tokyo 2021. It’s a wonderful city. I met my wife in my first Olympics in 2000. It’s a special event for me,” Federer said on Monday during the launch of ‘The Roger’ shoe with Swiss brand ON.
“I had two surgeries and I can’t hit at the moment, but I’m very confident I will be totally ready for 2021.
“I do miss playing in front of the fans, no doubt. Now, I think if tennis comes back we know it won’t be in a normal way where we can have full crowds yet.”

Federer will be 39 when he returns to action, but is yet to speculate as to when he may close the curtain on his record-breaking career. He is currently the second oldest man in the top 200 on the ATP Tour after Croatia’s Ivo Karlovic, who is 41.

Besides the Olympics, the Swiss Maestro is also setting his eye on Wimbledon where he has claimed the men’s title a record eight times. However, he hasn’t won a major title since the 2018 Australian Open. The Grass-court major has been cancelled this year for the first time since 1945 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Of course I miss Wimbledon, of course I would like to be there currently playing on Centre Court for a place in the second week,” he said.
“Clearly, one of my big goals, and that’s why I do recovery work every day and work so hard, and why I’m preparing for a 20-week physical preparation block this year, is because I hope to play at Wimbledon next year.”

Even though he is not playing for the rest of the year, Federer incredibly still has a chance of qualifying for the ATP Finals due to recent changes in the rankings calculations. Due to the pandemic, players are now allowed to use their best results at 18 tournaments based on a 22-month period instead of 12 months. Something that could enable him to remain inside the top eight until the end of 2020 depending on how his rivals fair.

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