Taylor Fritz and Dudi Sela set for second career meeting in Happy Valley Challenger Final - UBITENNIS
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Taylor Fritz and Dudi Sela set for second career meeting in Happy Valley Challenger Final

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Fritz and Sela are set for a second career meeting, Fritz leads H2H 1-0 (Image via 10sballs.com)

Young American Taylor Fritz will face top seed Dudi Sela in the final of one of the first Challenger events of 2016. 

 

The eighteen year-old and the Israeli have actually met before, in the qualifying event for the 2015 Indian Wells Masters 1000 event. Incredibly, Fritz was able to win that encounter aged just seventeen 6-3, 6-0. but Fritz was an unknown entity for the likes of Sela back then, and today the American comes into the final with a burgeoning reputation earned not just on the junior circuit, but amongst the professional ranks as well.

Sela had a surprisingly tight encounter with the unseeded Marton Fucsovics of Hungary just to reach the final. After sweeping the first set, Sela dropped the second, ad was forced to work hard in the third in a 6-2, 6-7, 7-6 win. It was though, the only time that Sela has dropped a set in the week, and just the second time he has had to play a tiebreak. He lost just a combined five games in his second-round and quarter-final matches.

Fritz has had a similar path to the finals, also dropping just the one set en route to the title match. His battle with compatriot Alexander Sarkissian in the second-round was his only blemish, resulting in one dropped set. Fritz has since dropped fewer and fewer games from that point, in a straight sets win over Alex Bolt, and a comprehensive dismantling 6-0,6-2 victory over in-form qualifier Andrew Whittington.

The final represents an intriguing match involving a experienced competitor, and a young star with prodigious talent. Both men have had the advantage of having played each other in the past, however one-sided that encounter may have been. My edge goes to Fritz simply because he appears to be in such fine form, his Challenger playing level seems so high, and his confidence will be strong given his previous win over Sela. I am however predicting a much closer affair than their one previous meeting in Indian Wells.

Prediction: Taylor Fritz to win in three sets.

 

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(VIDEO EXCLUSIVE) Rafael Nadal Doesn’t Care How Much Pain He’s In, He Gets The Job Done

Hall of Famer Steve Flink gives his verdict on Rafael Nadal’s epic victory which might result in his withdrawal from Wimbledon!

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Image via https://twitter.com/atptour/

Matches don’t come as dramatic as the one Rafael Nadal played on Wednesday. 

 

The 22-time grand slam champion dealt with an abdominal injury, lost a break advantage in three sets and still managed to win after four hours of pulsating play. Awaiting him in the next round will be Nick Kyrgios if he is fit enough to play. Kyrgios dismissed Cristian Garin in straight sets in his quarter-final match. 

Flink and Ubitennis’ CEO Ubaldo Scanagatta review all the action that took place on day 10

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Injured Rafael Nadal Ousts Fritz In Wimbledon Thriller

The world No.4 is through to the semi-finals but there are new doubts over his current health.

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Rafael Nadal has kept his chances of achieving a calendar slam alive by defeating American Taylor Fritz in a dramatic quarter-final match at Wimbledon where he struggled with injury. 

 

The second seed took a medical time out during the second set but continued to battle to a sensational 3-6, 7-5, 3-6, 7-5, 7-6(10-4), win over Fritz. Two days ago Nadal was seen wearing tape on his abdomen but refused to go into details when asked by reporters. Although it was clear that this issue is ongoing with the Spaniard crouching over a couple of times after serving in pain. 

“The body is generally fine. Of course, in the abdominal area, something is not going well. I had to find a way to serve a little bit differently,” said Nadal. “I was thinking during a lot of moments that I would not be able to finish the match but the energy (of Center Court) was something else.”

In the roller-coaster encounter, 19 breaks of serves occurred throughout the marathon match. During the gut-busting 260-minute showdown Nadal saw plenty of chances come and go. In each of the first two sets, he had a break advantage before losing them. He also failed to maintain a break advantage in the decider before coming through in the tiebreak. Nevertheless, he managed to come out on top with the help of 5 aces and 55 winners. 

“I enjoy playing these kinds of matches in front of you guys (the crowd),” the Spaniard continued. 
“It has been a tough afternoon against a great player. All the credit to Taylor, he has been playing great the whole season.’
“From my side, it was not an easy match and I am happy to be in the semifinal.”

The triumph is a bitter pill for Fritz to swallow who was bidding to become the youngest American man to reach the last four at Wimbledon since 2005. Until now he had been on an eight-match winning streak.

As for Nadal, he is through to his eighth Wimbledon semi-final and 38th at a major event. He is now 8-0 when it comes to playing quarter-final matches at the tournament.

Amid concerns over the abdomen, Nadal now has only two days to recover in time for his blockbuster showdown against the formidable Nick Kyrgios who came through his match in straight sets against Cristian Garin. Nadal leads their head-to-head 6-3 and has won their two previous meetings at SW19.  

“I hope to be ready to play it,” he said of the semi-final.
“TNick is a great player on all surfaces, especially on the grass. He’s having a great grass-court season and it’s going to be a great challenge. I need to be one hundred percent.”

At the age of 36 Nadal is seeking to reach his first Wimbledon final since 2011.

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“I Thought The Ship Had Sailed’ – Nick Kyrgios Reaches Maiden Wimbledon Semis

The 27-year-old reacts to achieving a new milestone in his career.

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Nick Kyrgios (AUS) - Credit: AELTC/Jonathan Nackstrand

Nick Kyrgios has achieved his best-ever result at a Grand Slam tournament after beating Cristian Garin in straight sets in the quarter-finals at Wimbledon. 

 

Kyrgios, who was playing in the last eight of the tournament for the first time since 2014, rallied to a 6-4, 6-3, 7-5(5) win over his Chilean rival. Becoming the first player from his country to reach the last four of the men’s draw since Lleyton Hewitt did so back in 2005.  


”I felt I was playing on the back foot a lot. He’s a hell of a player,” Kyrgios said afterward. “He’s obviously very confident. Hell of a tournament for him to make the quarter-finals. I got lucky on a couple of break points here and there. It could have been him standing here (giving the winner’s interview).”

In what was a largely controlled match from Kyrgios, he produced a total of 17 aces alongside 35 winners against 29 unforced errors. There were the occasional outbursts and criticism of the lines officials but it was by nowhere as controversial as his previous encounters against Stefanos Tsitspas in the third round and Paul Jubb in the first.

The breakthrough comes during what has been a turbulent career. Kyrgios has been a player involved in many controversies and was at one stage issued with a suspended ban from the Tour due to unsportsmanlike conduct. However, his talent was never doubted but many were unsure if he could be consistent enough to have a deep run at a major event. He once was at a pub until 4 am on the same day he was due to play Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon.

“It was an amazing atmosphere out here (on court one). I never thought I will be in the semifinal of a grand slam. I thought my ship had sailed.” He admits. 
“I didn’t go about things earlier in my career great and I may have wasted (time).’
‘I’m really proud of the way I’ve come back out here with my team and with that performance.”

As one of the few top 100 players who travel without a coach, Kyrgios paid tribute to those around him. 

“I don’t have a coach I would never put that burden on someone,” he jokes.
“Each and every one of my team plays an important role. I feel like nobody knows my tennis better than I do. I’ve been playing this sport since I was seven and to be in the semi-final of a slam I am pretty happy.”  

Kyrgios is the lowest-ranked Wimbledon semi-finalist since 2008.

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