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Bernard Tomic To Reduce His Schedule As Davis Cup Teammate Kyrgios Gets Personal

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Nick Kyrgios and Bernard Tomic play in a doubles match on Day Three of the 2014 US Open. (source Julian Finney/Zimbio.com)

Australia’s Davis Cup world group hopes are hanging in the balance as the controversy-stricken duo of Bernard Tomic and Nick Kyrgios make their final preparations.

 

Facing Slovakia on grass in Sydney this weekend, Tomic and Kyrgios are eager to put behind their previous Davis Cup brawl for the sake of their country. In May this year Tomic accused his compatriot of faking illness in order to avoid playing in the competition, an accusation which Kyrgios denied.

To the relief of team captain Lleyton Hewitt, both men have since made up and resumed what appears to be a blossoming bromance. In a way they are similar characters with them both being constantly scrutinized by the media for their somewhat different behaviour. Both have endured success on the tour whilst being hit with allegations of tanking and poor conduct.

Tomic has been criticised on numerous occasions this year, including seemingly tanking during his match against Fabio Fognini at the Madrid Open and using the word ‘retard’ during a press conference at the Wimbledon championships. Regardless of the bad publicity, the 23-year-old has achieved a win-loss of 28-21 this season and reached a ranking high of 17th at the start of the year.

The breakthrough for Tomic comes during what has been a hectic year for the Australian, where he has so far played in 20 tournaments (not counting the Davis Cup). After enduring such a busy schedule, he has vowed to follow in the footsteps of Kyrgios and reduce his 2017 commitments.

“I think as you get to that point where I am – top 20, top 25 – you have to play less tournaments and be really focused and fit for all the tournaments you play.” The world No.21 told Fairfax media.
“That’s one thing Nick does very well. He plays less tournaments and plays really well at them as opposed to me. I played a few more tournaments and I’m motivated to keep travelling, which is something I have to target next year: playing definitely less.”

As for Kyrgios, it is becoming a rare occurrence where he plays a match without the media picking up on something unorthodox. Kyrgios’ most recently crime occurred at the US Open when he was involved in a disagreement with the umpire, receiving a code violation within the first ten minutes of his match against Great Britain’s Aljaz Bedene. His behaviour in New York didn’t surprise many considering his previous high-profile controversies, however, Kyrgios has argued that what people see on the court isn’t a true reflection of his personality.

“I actually really like the fact that not many people really know who I am as a person,” Kyrgios said.
“I kind of like that they have created this image of me. I like that only the people close to me really know who I am as a person. I kind of like that. I’m not at all a bad boy. I go about things the way I do it.
“I have always been true to myself and haven’t changed one bit. I like it how people have created this image that everyone thinks I’m like that, but I’m not at all.”

It is safe to say that Tomic and Kyrgios are two of Australia’s biggest talents on the tour, despite their at times questionable behaviour. Despite being roasted by numerous sporting figures in their home country, both are hoping that they will one day become Davis Cup champions.

“I would love nothing more one day than to be a Davis Cup champion with these guys and it’s all going to take a big team – not just myself.” Tomic recently said.
“It’s a challenge I’m ready to go through and hopefully one day we can win that trophy.”

The Davis Cup tie between Australian and Slovakia will start on Friday at the Sydney Olympic Park Tennis Centre in Sydney.

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ATP Cup Draw Ceremony to be held on Friday in Melbourne

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Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal will be in the spotlight at the second edition of the ATP Cup from 1 to 5 February 2021. The Draw Ceremony of the second edition of the ATP Cup will be held on Friday 22 January 2021 at 12 pm AEDT. 

 

The other stars will be Andrey Rublev (five-time titlist on the ATP Tour in 2020), the winners of the past three editions of the ATP Finals (Alexander Zverev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Danil Medvedev), 2020 US Open champion Dominic Thiem, 2019 US Open semifinalist Matteo Berrettini and Denis Shapovalov. The 2021 ATP Cup will feature 14 of the top 15 players in the ATP Ranking.  

Todd Woodbridge (winner of 22 Grand Slam doubles titles), Mark Philippousis (former Wimbledon and US Open finalist) and John Fitzgerald will conduct the draw ceremony. 

The draw will be broadcast on the ATP Cup’s official Facebook page. Fans will be able to follow the ceremony from around the world. Commentators Jim Courier and Mark Petchey will also feature. Official Martin Oosthuysen and ATP Cup Tournament Director Tom Larner wlll oversse proceedings.

The 12 teams will be divided into four round-robin groups of three each. The four group winners will qualify for the semifinals. 

Each tie will be comprised of two singles matches and one doubles match. The country that wins two matches will take the tie. Singles will be the best of three tie-break sets. Doubles will feature No-Ad scoring and a Match Tie-break instead of a third set.

The number 1 players and the team captains: 

Serbia: Novak Djokovic, Viktor Troicki

Spain: Rafael Nadal, Pepe Vendrell

Austria: Dominic Thiem, Wolfgang Thiem

Russia: Danil Medvedev, Evgeny Donskoy

Greece: Stefanos Tsitsipas, Apostolos Tsitsipas

Germany: Alexander Zverev, Misha Zverev

Argentina: Diego Schwartzman 

Italy: Matteo Berrettini, Vincenzo Santopadre

Japan: Kei Nishikori, Max Mirnyi

France: Gael Monfils, Richard Ruckelshausen

Canada: Denis Shapovalov, Peter Polansky

Australia: Alex De Minaur, Lleyton Hewitt

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Ashleigh Barty and Jannik Sinner join super field at “A Day at the Drive” exhibition event in Adelaide

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World number 1 Ashleigh Barty and 2019 Next Gen ATP Finals champion Jannik Sinner have joined a star-studded field at the exhibition tournament named “A Day at the Drive”, which will be held at the Memorial Drive Tennis Centre in Adelaide on Friday 29 January 2021.

 

The Adelaide event will feature 2020 Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic, 20-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal, 2020 US Open winner Dominic Thiem, three-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka, 2019 Wimbledon champion Simona Halep and 23-time Grand Slam legend Serena Williams, who are spending their mandatory 14-day quarantine in Adelaide ahead of the Australian Open. 

Adelaide will launch the Australian summer of tennis before the ATP Cup and the Australian Open in Melbourne. 

Barty has not played an official match since losing her semifinal against Petra Kvitova in Doha last February shortly before the outbreak of the global pandemic. The Australian star won the title at the inaugural edition of the Adelaide WTA tournament last year. 

“I am looking forward to playing my first match of the 2021 season in Adelaide. I have fond memories from the Adelaide International last year and i twill be great to get back on court here for “A Day at the Drive”, said Ashleigh Barty. The Australian Open has been delayed until 8 February 2021. The Melbourne Park will host warm-events one week before the first Grand Slam tournament of the year. 

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Roger Federer should make his come-back in Doha, according to Richard Krajicek

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Roger Federer is expected to make his come-back at the Qatar Exxon Mobil tournment on outdoor hardcourts in Doha from 8 to 13 March 2021, according to Rotterdam Tournament Director Richard Krajicek. 

 

Federer is currently training in Dubai, which is only 235 miles from Doha. The 20-time Grand Slam champion withdrew from the Australian Open last month. 

“As far as I know, Roger will play in Doha, the week after Rotterdam. If he is fit and ready, we will hear from him”, said Krajicek. 

Krajicek announced that Rafael Nadal will play in Rotterdam for the third time in his career next March. The former Dutch star still hopes to invite Federer, who claimed three titles in Rotterdam. 

Three years ago Federer became the oldest world number 1 at 36 after beating Robin Haase in the quarter final of the Rotterdam tournament and went on to win his 97th ATP Tour title by beating Grigor Dimitrov in the final. After undergoing the second knee surgery last May Federer decided to skip the rest of the 2020 season and returned to the court to train. He moved to Dubai to train in good weather conditions under the guidance of his coach Ivan Ljubicic, who was a former world number 3 player.

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