Nick Kyrgios beat Andreas Haider Maurer in the first round in Shanghai - UBITENNIS
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Nick Kyrgios beat Andreas Haider Maurer in the first round in Shanghai

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The Shanghai Rolex Master, the penultimate Master 1000 tournament of the season, is underway with first round matches. There are still four spots up for grab for the ATP World Finals in London. Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka have already secured their berths for London. Al the top-20 of the ATP Race to London are in Shanghai this week.

 

Nick Kyrgios beat Andreas Haider Maurer 6-3 6-2 after playing a solid match in which he fended off five break point chances he faced and hit 13 aces. The young Aussie player set up a tough second round match against Kei Nishikori, who was surprisingly beaten by Benoit Paire in the semifinal of the Rakuten Open in Tokyo last week. Kirgyos, world number 32, broke in the opening game and held his service games to to win the first set with 6-3. Only in the eighth game Kirgyos faced two break points which he saved with his serve. Kyrgios got another break in the ninth game to clinch the first set with 6-3 in 26 minutes. Kirgyos got a double break in the sixth and in the eighth games to close out the match in one hour and 4 minutes

Nishikori, who is in contention for the ATP Finals in London and is currently ranked seventh in the ATP Race, could face Roger Federer in a potential quarter final in Shanghai.

Ivo Karlovic, who beat Goran Ivanisevic’s aces record last week in Beijing, overcame Jeremy Chardy 6-4 7-6 (8-6) with 18 aces setting up a second round match against 2009 finalist Rafa Nadal, who showed improving form last week in Beijing despite the 6-2 6-2 loss against Novak Djokovic in the final

John Isner hit 20 aces and won 81 percent of his first serve points to cruise past to a easy 6-1 6-2 win over Adrian Mannarino in just 46 minutes. Isner broke serve immediately in the first set. Mannarino had an injury on his groin in the fourth game and this affected the rest of his match. He made 25 unforced errors. Isner will take on either David Goffin or Japanese qualifier Go Soeda in the second round

Roberto Bautista Agut dropped just six first service points in his 6-2 6-3 win over Guillermo Garcia Lopez.

Steve Johnson rallied from a set down to overcome Andreas Seppi with 4-6 6-1 7-6 (7-2). Seppi wasted a match point at 5-3 40-30 in the third set before losing the decider at the tie-break. World Number 47 Johnson beat Seppi in their previous head-to-head match in Winston Salem on hard-court in 2013 with 7-5 in the third set. Seppi broke serve twice in the first and in the seven games of the first set. Johnson recovered one of the two breaks in the eighth game but Seppi closed out the first set in the tenth game with 6-4 after 44 minutes. Johnson reeled off five consecutive games from 1-1 to win the second set with 6-1. The decisive set went on serve until the sixth game when Seppi broke serve to take the edge. The Italian player earned a match point but he failed to capitalized on it. Johnson forced the match to the tie-break where he clinched the match with 7-2 setting up a second round with Andy Murray.

Martin Klizan beat Chinese wild card Ze Zhang 7-6 (10-8) 6-2 setting up a second round match against six-time Beiing champion and last year’s Shanghai runner-up Novak Djokovic who won this tournament twice. Djokovic is bidding to win his ninth title of the year after the Australian Open, Indian Wells, Miami, Monte-Carlo, Rome, Wimbledon, the US Open and Beijing. Djokovic extended his winning streak to 29 consecutive winning matches in Beijing and was unstoppable last week in the Chinese capital where he dropped just 18 games in five matches.

 

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‘Probably Gonna Quit’ – Tennys Sandgren Blasts Performance After missing Out On Olympic Medal

The tennis star described his fourth place finish as ‘dog s**t.”

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Former Australian Open quarter-finalist Tennys Sandgren said he is close to retiring from tennis after missing out on a bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics.

 

Sandgren and doubles partner Austin Krajicek fell in straight sets to the New Zealand pairing of Michael Venus and Marcus Daniell, who are the first tennis players from their country in over 100 years to win a medal. The loss is a frustrating outcome for the American who wasn’t afraid to express how he felt after the match. Tokyo was the ninth doubles tournament Sandgren has played in this year.

“I mean, who f*ing cares you know, what do I have to show for it? We have a good week and fourth place is dog s**t.” He told the Olympic News Service.

Speaking straight after his loss, the highly emotional 30-year-old then cast doubt on his future in the sport. He is currently ranked 82nd in the world and has a win-loss record of 6-14 so far this year. However, he is yet to reach a quarter-final in singles.

I’m probably gonna quit. That might be my last match. I’m close, yeah, I’m close.” He replied when asked about his career.

As for if he would have done anything different in the bronze medal match, Sandgren replied ‘not to have been so bad.’ He also expressed disappointment that the tennis tournament took place behind closed doors. Prior to the Olympics, organisers decided to hold all events in Tokyo without fans due to a surge of COVID-19 cases in the city.

“It would have been a great event with fans,” he via via teamusa.org. “Playing on an outside court without fans, I mean, you might as well be playing in Idaho in the middle of nowhere.”

Sandgren and Krajicek were America’s last chance to win a medal in the tennis competition. It is the first time the country has failed to win any medal since tennis returned as an Olympic event in 1988.

“There’s not much you can say about that except it’s pretty, pretty devastating to lose that one. You know, give yourself a chance to get a medal and then to lose those two (matches – including the men’s doubles semifinal) is tough, but you have to give those guys credit today. They played well.” Krajicek concluded.

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Updated Entry List For Washington

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photo by atptour.com

The US Open Series is ready to get to the heart, with the historic tournament of Washington D.C.

 

The Citi Open in Washington, the only ATP tournament to be contested next week, will follow Atlanta in the American summer tour. The event has been taking place on hard-courts since 1969, when Thomaz Koch from Brazil won the first edition defeating Arthur Ashe in the final.

Rafael Nadal, who has received a Wild-Card, Felix Auger-Aliassime and Alex De Minaur will be the first three seeded players. Jannik Sinner, Aslan Karatsev, Karen Khachanov and the defending champion Nick Kyrgios are committed to play as well, while Milos Raonic and John Isner have withdrawn. Denis Kudla, Brandon Nakashima and Feliciano Lopez will play with a Wild-Card.


ATP 500 Washington (DC, USA), entry list:
OUT Shapovalov, Denis (CAN)
Auger-Aliassime, Felix (CAN)
De Minaur, Alex (AUS)
OUT Hurkacz, Hubert (POL)
Auger-Aliassime, Felix (CAN)
Dimitrov, Grigor (BUL)
OUT Raonic, Milos (CAN)
Sinner, Jannik (ITA)
Karatsev, Aslan (RUS)
Evans, Daniel (GBR)
Khachanov, Karen (RUS)
Opelka, Reilly (USA)
OUT Isner, John (USA)
Norrie, Cameron (GBR)
Bublik, Alexander (KAZ)
OUT Ramos-Vinolas, Albert (ESP)
Fritz, Taylor (USA)
Millman, John (AUS)
Paire, Benoit (FRA)
Kecmanovic, Miomir (SRB)
Korda, Sebastian (USA)
Harris, Lloyd (RSA)
Paul, Tommy (USA)
Nishikori, Kei (JPN)
Querrey, Sam (USA)
Tiafoe, Frances (USA)
Nishioka, Yoshihito (JPN)
OUT Pella, Guido (ARG)
Kyrgios, Nick (AUS)
OUT Koepfer, Dominik (GER)
Pospisil, Vasek (CAN)
Giron, Marcos (USA)
Popyrin, Alexei (AUS)
Sandgren, Tennys (USA)
Munar, Jaume (ESP)
Kwon, Soonwoo (KOR)
(SE)
WC Nadal, Rafael (ESP)
WC Kudla, Denis (USA)
WC Nakashima, Brandon (USA)
WC Lopez, Feliciano (ESP)
(WC)
(WC)
Alternates:
IN Gerasimov, Egor (BLR)
IN Johnson, Steve (USA)
IN Ruusuvuori, Emil (FIN)
IN Thompson, Jordan (AUS)
IN Ivashka, Ilya (BLR)
IN Berankis, Ricardas (LTU)
OUT Monteiro, Thiago (BRA)
IN Seppi, Andreas (ITA)
IN Duckworth, James (AUS)

Alt.1 Daniel, Taro (JPN)
Alt.2 Kukushkin, Mikhail (KAZ)
Alt.3 Martinez, Pedro (ESP)
Alt.4 McDonald, Mackenzie (USA)
Alt.5 Galan, Daniel Elahi (COL)


ATP 500 Washington, qualifying:
OUT Ivashka, Ilya (BLR)
OUT Thompson, Jordan (AUS)
OUT Duckworth, James (AUS)

OUT Ruusuvuori, Emil (FIN)
OUT Johnson, Steve (USA)
OUT Berankis, Ricardas (LTU)
OUT Seppi, Andreas (ITA)
OUT Ymer, Mikael (SWE)

McDonald, Mackenzie (USA)
OUT Kudla, Denis (USA)
OUT Daniel, Taro (JPN)

Bonzi, Benjamin (FRA)
Galan, Daniel Elahi (COL)
OUT Sugita, Yuichi (JPN)
OUT Anderson, Kevin (RSA)

Uchiyama, Yasutaka (JPN)
Wolf, J.J. (PR, USA)
(WC)
(WC)
(WC)
(WC)
Alternates:
IN O’Connell, Christopher (AUS)
IN Broady, Liam (GBR)
IN Donskoy, Evgeny (RUS)
IN Brooksby, Jenson (USA)
IN Gunneswaran, Prajnesh (IND)
IN Cressy, Maxime (USA)
IN Marchenko, Illya (UKR)
IN Gomez, Emilio (ECU)
IN Jung, Jason (TPE)
IN Ofner, Sebastian (AUT)
IN Ymer, Elias (SWE)
IN Soeda, Go (JPN)
IN Mmoh, Michael (USA)
IN Escobedo, Ernesto (USA)
IN Kokkinakis, Thanasi (AUS)

Alt.1 Fratangelo, Bjorn (USA)
Alt.2 Krueger, Mitchell (USA)
Alt.3 Ito, Tatsuma (JPN)
Alt.4 Eubanks, Christopher (USA)
Alt.5 Ramanathan, Ramkumar (IND)

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Fabio Fognini Apologises For Use Of Homophobic Slur During Olympic Match

The Italian says he regrets using the ‘stupid expression’ during his third round clash.

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Fabio Fognini said the heat got to him during his third round clash with Daniil Medvedev at the Tokyo Olympics after he was caught saying a homophobic slur at himself.

 

The world No.31 lost to Medvedev in three sets during what was incredibly hot and humid conditions with both players taking a 10-minute break after the second set under the extreme weather policy. Frustrated with how his match was going, Fognini was caught by broadcasters saying the word ‘frocio’ which is an anti-gay term in his native language. The exact phrase he used was ‘Frocio, sei un frocio’ which was directed towards himself only.

Following his Olympic exit, the 34-year-old issued a statement on social media in which he apologised for making those remarks during his match. In a post uploaded onto his Instagram story which had a rainbow theme background, Fognini reiterated that he supports the LGBT community and the use of the slur was done in the heat of the moment.

The heat got to my head!” Fognini wrote.
“In today’s (Wednesday’s) match I used a really stupid expression towards myself. Obviously I didn’t want to offend anyone’s sensibilities.
“I love the LGBT community and I apologize for the nonsense that came out of me.”

It is not the first time a player has been caught using a homophobic term during a tennis match this year. Earlier in the season Denmark’s Holger Rune was fined for a term he used during a Challenger match. The former world No.1 junior player later apologised for those comments.

Unlike the women’s Tour, there are currently no publicly out players in men’s tennis and only a select few have come out in the past. In June former top 100 player Brain Vahaly, who came out as gay after retiring from the sport, spoke to UbiTennis about his experience.

Despite his loss, Fognini was the only player from his country to reach the third round of the men’s draw in Tokyo. Lorenzo Sonego, who was seeded two places higher than him, lost in the second round to Nikoloz Basilashvili.

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