Challenger Tour: Kyle Edmund or Dan Evans to take the title in Dallas after Edmund beats Tim Smyczek - UBITENNIS
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Challenger Tour: Kyle Edmund or Dan Evans to take the title in Dallas after Edmund beats Tim Smyczek

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Kyle Edmund will regain his Top 100 ranking when the updated list comes out on Monday (image via Zimbio.com)

Great Britain will have a winner in the Dallas Challenger. Dan Evans and Kyle Edmund have carved through the draw, to ensure that one hundred and sixty-five ATP ranking points with one hundred for the winner and sixty-five for the runner-up. 

 

Kyle Edmund joined Dan Evans in the final by beating defending champion Tim Smyczek 7-5, 6-3. In the two players first ever career meeting Edmund produced his best serving display of the tournament, as he failed to offer Smyczek even a single break point across the straight sets victory. Edmund broke at six-five in the first set after both men had seemed fairly composed. Smyczek, who had endured two consecutive three-setters against Ryan Harrison and Marinko Matosevic respectively, fell behind in the second set, and Edmund broke for the comfortable win.

Edmund may not have dropped a set on the way to the final, but arguably Evans has had much the tougher draw. Evans had to negotiate young Russian prodigy Andrey Rublev in the first round in three sets, but then convincingly beat seventh seed Bjorn Fratangelo and third seed Benjamin Becker in straight sets, before edging sixth seed Tatsumo Ito in three sets.

Edmund’s wins over Sekou Bangoura, James McGee, Grega Zemlja, and last night’s win over Smyczek by comparison were more straightforward, but it could be argued that his draw was far more favourable, with his only seeded match-up the win over Smyczek in the semi-finals.

These two, despite never having met before in an official capacity, will likely be very familiar with each others games, having practised together often in Davis Cup. Edmund is more consistent, but Evans probably has the better level but fails to display it consistently. Given that he has played well throughout this tournament, I’m expecting Evans bubble to burst in the final and see Edmund regain a Top 100 ranking by taking the Dallas Challenger.

Predicted winner: Kyle Edmund in three sets.

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Andy Murray Won’t Weigh In On Raducanu’s Progress Unless Asked To

The three-time Grand Slam champion has called for his national tennis federation to build on Raducanu’s recent success on the Tour.

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Former world No.1 Andy Murray says he will not ‘wade in’ on the development of Emma Raducanu unless the recently crowned US Open champion reaches out to him for advice.

 

Raducanu has surged up the rankings to 22nd in the world following her shock run at the US Open where she became the first qualifier in history to win a Grand Slam title and the first British woman to do so since 1977. As a result of her rapid rise in the sport, there has been a surge in companies wanting to partner with the teenager who is set to make millions. She only made her main draw debut on the WTA Tour earlier this year.

Murray knows what it is like growing up in the spotlight with the British media closely monitoring his progress. Although he was 25 when he won his first major event at the 2012 US Open to become the first British man to do so for 76 years.

When it comes to giving tips and advice to his younger compatriot, Murray says he will only do so if he is asked to do so. Saying he used to get ‘irritated’ when he was younger by those who world offer their views without asking him first.

I never really liked it when all of the ex-British tennis players were always wading in after every win and loss about what you should be doing, what you shouldn’t be doing, and a lot of them also giving advice when you haven’t asked for it as well,” BBC Sport quoted Murray as saying. .
“I found it incredibly irritating – and still do today. I don’t want to be that person.
“What Emma has achieved is incredible and I hope she goes on to do more amazing things in the sport, and if she ever wants to talk, or her family, obviously I would always be there on the end of the phone.
“But I don’t want to be that guy after every loss or win just wading in and giving my opinion on what she should or shouldn’t be doing differently, because it’s not helpful.”

Following the US Open, Murray believes British tennis must capitalise on Raducanu’s success for the future and get rid of their elitist image. He believes a lot of people are put off playing due to the perception tennis is expensive to play.

“For a country that hosts the biggest tennis tournament in the world, and is certainly not lacking in money, that’s not really good enough,” he said.
“Now should be an opportunity to try to make sure that it’s not another huge wait again. They need to try to take the opportunity.”

According to data obtained by the LTA, the final of the women’s US Open was the match most watched tennis match in history on Amazon Prime UK. Raducanu’s showdown with Leylah Fernandez was also shown on Channel 4 which attracted a peak audience of 9.2 million viewers, including a 48% share of 16-34 year olds. The LTA also reported that their own social media feeds attracted record breaking numbers.

Murray is playing at the Moselle Open this week after being given a wildcard into the tournament. In the first round he will face sixth seed Ugo Humbert. So far this season he has achieved a win-loss record of 6-7 on the ATP Tour and he is currently ranked 113th in the world.

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Anett Kontaveit beats Sorana Cristea in Ostrava

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World number 30 Anett Kontaveit beat Sorana Cristea 6-4 6-4 in 1 hour and a half at the J&T Banka Ostrava Open improving to 5-0 in their head-to-head matches. Kontaveit beat Cristea twice this year in Dubai and Miami. 

 

The Estonian player converted six of her eight eight break points. She earned her first break in the seventh game to take a 4-3 lead. Cristea converted her third break point with a forehand winner to draw level to 4-4. Kontaveit broke serve at love to take a 5-4 lead and served out the set 6-4 in the 10th game. 

Kontaveit cruised through to a 5-2 lead. Cristea pulled one break back and led 0-40 on Kontaveit’s serve at 5-4. Kontaveit won a streak of consecutive points to force the 10th game to deuce. Kontaveit won the next two points with forehand winners to claim the win. 

Russian qualifier Anastasia Potapova overcame Caroline Garcia 6-2 7-6 (8-6) after 1 hour and 46 minutes. Potapova fended off all three of the break points she faced. They have 1-1 level in their previous head-to-head matches. Garcia had won their previous head-to-head match in Tianjin in 2019. 

Potapova set up a second round match against two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova.

Paula Badosa beat Russian lucky-loser Varvara Gracheva 6-2 6-2 in just 1 hour and 13 minutes. Badosa won 77% of her first service points and never faced a break point. 

Badova took a re-match against Gracheva, who won their previous head-to-head match in the second round at the US Open.

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Lorenzo Sonego overcomes Martin Fucsovics in Metz

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Fifth seed Lorenzo Sonego cruised past Marton Fucsovics 6-3 6-2 after 73 minutes at the Moselle Open in Metz to claim his 25th tour-level win of the season. Sonego won 73% of his first service points. 

 

Sonego broke once in the fourth game at love to win the opening set 6-3 after 35 minutes. The Italian player earned an early break in the first game of the second set. Both players went on serve for the first time in the fifth game. Sonego broke for the second time in the second set to open up a 4-1 lead. Fucsovics held his serve in the seventh game with a tweener but Sonego served out the win on his second match point. 

Sonego was playing for the first time since a first-round defeat at the US Open. The Turin-born player won his second ATP title in Cagliari and reached the final in Eastbourne. He earned personal-best 24 and achieved his career-high number 23 in 2021. With his win in Cagliari he has become the first Italian champion on home soil since 2006. He saved 1 match point against Dominic Thiem en route to 2021 Masters Rome semifinals becoming the first Italian semifinalist at Foro Italico since 2007. 

Fucsovics reached the final in Rotterdam and the quarter final at Wimbledon this year. 

“I was really focused today. Marton is a great player and it was a tough match today. I liked my tennis and I am really happy. I am confident because this year has been my best season. I am now number 24 in the world, which is my best ranking. I have played my best tennis this year. I like the atmosphere here because it is dark and it is nice. I like playing here. This is my second time. Two years ago I lost in the second round and I want to do better”, said Sonego. 

Vasek Pospisil beat Gregoire Barrere 6-3 6-4 with a break in the eighth game of the first set and in the first game of the second set. 

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