ATP Basel: Main draw released, Federer starts with Kukushkin - UBITENNIS
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ATP Basel: Main draw released, Federer starts with Kukushkin

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Federer is a six time winner in Basel

Federer is a six time winner in Basel

 

 

The draw for one of the two events in the penultimate week of the season has been released, and unsurprisingly Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka are the top two seeds in a tournament flooded with big names.

The event in Basel marks essentially the home event for both Federer and Wawrinka, with Federer having won the title six times, including last year’s event, where he defeated David Goffin in straight sets. Wawrinka has never won the Swiss Indoors.

Federer will start against Mikhail Kukushkin, a player who he has not dropped a set to in their previous two meetings. Philipp Kohlschreiber could prove a tricky customer in the second round, if the German can negotiate a qualifier. Federer could meet last year’s beaten finalist David Goffin as early as the quarter-finals this year. The Belgian starts against the unseeded Andreas Seppi.

Second seed Wawrinka faces Ivo Karlovic, who recently became the official record holder of aces since the ATP began collecting the data. The tall Croat has only defeated the French Open champion once in five attempts. Wawrinka could face Richard Gasquet in the quarter finals. The Frenchman beat the Swiss in an enthralling Wimbledon quarter-final in July.

Third seed Rafael Nadal is scheduled to face Wimbledon 2013 conqueror Lukas Rosol, before a potential second round encounter with Grigor Dimitrov, who starts against Sergiy Stakhovsky. Nadal is in Wawrinka’s side of the draw, with that a possible semi-final.

John Isner will face Ernests Gulbis in a rematch of the Vienna second round meeting that saw Gulbis emerge victorious. Should Isner prevail, he could face a fellow American in Jack Sock, who starts against a qualifier.

Kevin Anderson faces an interesting task. He faces young up and comer Borna Coric, who suffered a disappointingly early exit in Moscow at the hands of Evgeny Donskoy.

Swiss wildcards Henri Laaksonen and Marco Chiudinelli face Donald Young and Marin Cilic, as they look to take advantage of their singles opportunities.

Basel Main Draw:

[1] Federer-Kukushkin
Qualifier-Kohlschreiber
Troicki-Baghdatis
Seppi- [8] Goffin

[4] Anderson-Coric
[WC] Laaksonen-Young
Qualifier-Sock
Gulbis- [6] Isner

[7] Cilic- [WC] Chiudinelli
Gabashvili-L. Mayer
Stakhovsky-Dimitrov
Rosol- [3] Nadal

[5] Gasquet-Vesely
Thiem-Qualifier
Dolgopolov-Qualifier
Karlovic- [2] Wawrinka

 

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Andy Murray Explains Decision Behind Withdrawing From Olympic Singles Event

The 34-year-old was forced to pull out following medical advice but there is some good news too.

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Andy Murray (image via https://twitter.com/the_LTA)

Former world No.1 Andy Murray says part of the decision why he withdrew from playing singles at the Tokyo Olympics is linked to a pledge he made prior to the Games.

 

Earlier this week the Brit pulled out of the draw in order to focus on the doubles due to a minor quad issue which was picked up by medical scans. Although Murray insists that the injury isn’t substantial and hasn’t been causing him any trouble during practice. He is already a two-time Olympic champion and is the only player in history to have defended a singles title.

“I’ve had a bit of an issue with my quad. It’s actually not really been causing me many issues on the court like in practice or anything, there was just some stuff showing on the scans that made all the medical team a bit wary about it,” Murray said via the Olympic News Service.

The four-time Grand Slam champion is playing doubles alongside Joe Salisbury and the duo has already caused a shock in the tournament by knocking out second seeds Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert in the first round. They continued their winning run on Tuesday by defeating the German pairing of Kevin Krawietz and Tim Pütz 6-2, 7-6(2).

“I said to Joe that if he picked me to play doubles with him then I’d prioritise the doubles over the singles if I had any physical issues and that was the case,” Murray explains.
“It’s disappointing for me because I do feel like I’ve been playing well, and I’ve loved the Olympics and I would’ve liked the opportunity to defend my title. But that wasn’t to be and now all the focus and energy goes towards the doubles and to try our best to get a medal there.”

Should Murray and Salisbury medal at the Games they would be only the second British men’s pairing to do so since the sport was reintroduced back into the Olympics in 1988. The first was Tim Henman and Neil Broad who won silver at the 1996 Atlanta Games.

There is also an extra incentive for Murray. Should he collect another piece of silverware he would become only the fourth man in history to have won a fourth medal in tennis. Besides his two golds, he has also won silver in the mixed doubles back in 2012.

I said I’d like to play with Andy, obviously the great player that he is, and he’s done so well in the Olympics before. It’s a really special event and I felt like we had a great opportunity to do really well,” Salisbury commented.
“It’s only two matches but, we’re feeling good, feel like we’re playing well, we’re playing well together as a team so, we’ve got to keep going.”

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Svitolina Battles Past Sakkari to reach Quarterfinals in Tokyo

Elina Svitolina is into her second consecutive quarter-final at the Olympics after beating Maria Sakkari.

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Elina Svitolina (@WeAreTennis - Twitter)

The number four seed needed three sets and over two hours on court to get the win against her Greek opponent.

 

Elina Svitolina is back into the quarterfinals of the Olympic Tennis event ,after reaching the quarterfinals back in 2016 in Rio, after beating the number 14 seed Maria Sakkari of Greece in three sets 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 firing 30 winners and serving 10 aces in the win.

The world number 19 put pressure on the Ukrainian right from the start earning a chance to break but it was saved immediately with a big serve from the world number six.

The number four seed had two chances to break the very next game and on the second opportunity broke to take an early 2-0 lead. It stayed on serve until 4-2 when the Greek stormed back and on her second break point of the game broke back to go back on serve.

The next three games were breaks of serve before the number 14 seed would convert on her third set point to serve out the first set.

The first three games of the second set went on serve and at 2-1 the Ukrainian had two more breakpoints and she got the break on her second breakpoint opportunity and it was enough for her to win the second set and send it to a deciding third set.

Much like the second set at 1-1 in the third the world number 19 struggled with her serve and some untimely double faults gave her Ukrainian opponent a chance to break and on her third chance she broke to take an early 2-1 lead.

It stayed on serve until 3-2 when the number 14 seed earned a breakpoint and this time would convert once again to put the match back on serve but was broken once again the very next game.

Svitolina managed to hold serve and at 5-4 served out the match to book her spot in the quarterfinals where she will either face Camila Giorgi in the last eight after the Italian beat Karolina Pliskova in straight sets.

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Stefanos Tsitipas Earns revenge on Tiafoe in Tokyo

Stefanos Tsitsipas reached the third round at the Olympic Games with a straight sets win over Frances Tiafoe.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas (@ITFTennis - Twitter)

In a rematch from the first round of Wimbledon, the Greek beat the American Frances Tiafoe in straight sets.

 

Stefanos Tsitsipas had the golden opportunity to face off against Frances Tiafoe in the second round of the Tokyo Olympics after being upset by the American a month ago at Wimbledon beating him 6-3, 6-4 in one hour and 17 minutes.

He fired 28 winners and 9 aces and saw his full form on display from the word play. After saving an early breakpoint in the first game of the match he went on to hold serve and put pressure on the world number 54.

He earned a breakpoint and broke the following point to take an early 2-0 lead and that break was the only one needed for him to serve out the first set and take it 6-3.

The second set stayed on serve until 1-1 when it was the world number four once again searching for the early break but the Hyattsville, MD native saved it and was able to hold serve.

At 2-2, the number three seed kept pushing and earned two more chances to break and this time was able to make the breakthrough. The Greek had a chance to go up a double break at 4-2 but again was denied by the American.

The world number four would serve it out to set up a third-round match with either Miomir Kecmanovic or Ugo Humbert.

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