US Open: Wawrinka Edges Nishikori To Enter Third Major Final - UBITENNIS
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US Open: Wawrinka Edges Nishikori To Enter Third Major Final

Wawrinka comes from one set down to defeat Nishikori and qualify for his first US Open final. The Swiss was much more effective on break points

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Stan Wawrinka (zimbio.com)

The Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka will be challenging Novak Djokovic for the 2016 US Open title on Sunday after defeating Kei Nishikori 4-6 7-5 6-4 6-2 in a 3h07 semifinal on Saturday that was played. Wawrinka was eventually more consistent throughout the match and Nishikori paid a poor conversion rate on his break chances (4/15 in the entire match and 1/8 in the second set alone).

 

It took one single break in the fifth game in favour of Nishikori to decide the first set: Wawrinka netted an easy forehand volley on 15-30 and a rally backhand on 15-40 to concede his opponent the first lead of the match. Nishikori was very solid from the baseline, playing with his feet on the baseline and using the backhand slice to mix-up the pace for Wawrinka’s backhand. Some very impressive volley completed the outstanding display of tennis on behalf of the Japanese player, who did not allow any break points in the set and made only three unforced errors.

The trend continued at the beginning of the second set, when a rattled Wawrinka missed two forehands and a backhand to lose his serve at “15” for a quick 2-0 lead by Nishikori, but the Japanese was not able to consolidate and was immediately equalized at 2-2. The two players continued to hold their respective serves for the rest of the set, but not without difficulties: at 3-3 Wawrinka had to come back from 0-40 to stave off to stave off 4 break points, which he did in impressive fashion (one ace, two winning serves and one very well played baseline point). At 4-4 the Swiss got embroiled again in a complicated 12-point service game, where he faced two more break points, but still managed to hold.
But the tide turned a couple of games later, when at 5-4 Wawrinka, three consecutive backhand unforced errors from Nishikori gave the “Yonex man” a set point. But if on that occasion Stan missed a baseline forehand, two games later he secured the second set after a forehand by Nishikori went long.

The third set saw Wawrinka rebuff a break attempt by Nishikori on the second game to go on and take a commanding 4-1 lead thanks to a break on the fourth game conceded by five unforced errors made by the Japanese. But Nishikori, after coming back from two more break points to go down 1-5, started stepping into the court to take the return early and managed to break back Wawrinka and level the set at 4-4, after that at 4-3 the tournament referee Brian Earley decided to close the roof at the first drops of rain. With the roof closed, the playing conditions changed considerably: the oppressive humidity that had been afflicting of New York City was being mitigated by the powerful air conditioning system o the Arthur Ashe Stadium, therefore resulting in a more pleasant environment for both the players and the spectators.
A chance for Nishikori to go and serve for the set at 5-4 vanished when his backhand sailed wide after a 17-shot rally, and from that point Wawrinka won five games in a row to conquer the third set by 6-4 in 59 minutes and take a 3-0 lead in the fourth. A short dip from the Swiss on the fifth game, when Wawrinka found himself 0-40 on his serve, gave Nishikori his last chance, but after breaking back for 2-3, on the following game the Japanese failed to equalize the score when on his game point he started a losing streak of 9 points in a row sending Wawrinka two points from the match.

Wawrinka has won his last 10 consecutive finals (the last he lost was in June 2013 in s-Hertogenbosch to Nicolas Mahut), including the only two Grand Slam finals played, one of which against Djokovic (Roland Garros 2015). On the other hand, the head to head record speaks clearly in favour of the n.1 Novak Djokovic, since he has won 19 of their 23 matches, although if we consider only the meetings they had at Grand Slams on hard courts (i.e. here in New York and at the Australian Open) Djokovic leads 3-1, but one of the matches ended in retirement and the other three all went to the fifth set.

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Kei Nishikori In Doubt For The Australian Open

Asia’s highest ranked male tennis player is contemplating when he should return to the tour following surgery.

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Kei Nishikori (photo by chryslène caillaud, copyright @Sport Vision)

World No.13 Kei Nishikori is refusing to rule out the prospect of skipping the first grand slam event of 2020 as he continues his recovery from surgery.

 

Nishikori hasn’t played a match on the tour since his third round loss at the US Open back in September. A month later he underwent a procedure on his right elbow in a move that brought his season to an early end. Currently undergoing rehabilitation, it is unclear as to when the Japanese player believes he will return to the ATP Tour.

“The prospect of a return from surgery on right elbow in January. Maybe February. In the second half of next year I want to be able to play well.” Nikkan Sports quoted Nishikori as saying.
“I don’t want to overdo it,” he added.

The Australian Open will get underway on January 20th in Melbourne. Should he miss the grand slam, it will be the second time he has done so in the last three years. Nishikori also withdrew from the 2018 edition due to a wrist injury. In January he reached the quarter-finals and therefore has 360 points to defend next year.

During his time away from the court, the 29-year-old has been kept busy making changes to his team. Recently it was confirmed that he has started working alongside Max Mirnyi, who is a former world No.1 doubles player. Mirnyi, who has won 10 grand slam titles in men’s and mixed doubles, will be working full-time with Nishikori alongside existing coach Michael Chang.

“I’m getting closer to retirement. I want to be cured and come back to play good tennis in the second half of next year.” Nishikori stated.

Despite the injury setback, Nishikori has enjoyed success in 2019. Reaching the quarter-finals in three out of the four grand slam tournaments. The first time he has ever done that in his career. He also claimed his 12th ATP title at the Brisbane International. Overall, he won 29 out of 43 matches played.

Nishikori will turn 30 on December 29th.

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Family Of Venezuelan Doubles Star Launches GoFundMe Page For Cancer Treatment

Roberto Maytin was playing on the Challenger tour less than a month ago, but now faces a new battle.

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One of Venezuela’s highest ranked players on the ATP Tour is facing challenges off the court after being recently diagnosed with cancer.

 

Roberto Maytin, who currently has a doubles ranking of 136th, is undergoing treatment for testicular cancer Non-Seminoma. Non-seminomas are made up of different types of tumour, such as teratomas, embryonal tumours, yolk sac tumours and choriocarcinomas. Maytin’s brother Ricardo has launched a GoFundMe page to help cover the costs. The tennis player made $19,441 in prize money this season, which doesn’t factor into account numerous expenses such as travel, accommodation and paying for his coaching team.

“If life gives you a chance to live longer, I think nobody would miss the opportunity. In this plane, we all want to be (alive) for years however we forget that we are with a 50% chance of leaving at any time every day.” The fundraising page reads.
“My brother was diagnosed with testicular cancer NO Seminoma, at 30 years old. He now faces a crucial match that life has put him for growth as an individual, as a man and as an athlete. He is forced to undergo 4 stages of aggressive chemotherapy in order to heal at all and leave no trace of a Cancer that has been moving for months causing some damage.”

A former top 25 junior player, Maytin is one of only two players from his country to be ranked inside the top 200 in either singles or doubles on the men’s tour. This season he has won four Challenger titles across America. However, he has only played in one ATP Tour event since the start of 2018. He achieved a ranking high of 85th in the doubles back in 2015.

Once a student at Baylor University in Texas, Maytin formed a successful partnership with former world No.2 doubles player John Peers. Together they earned All-American honours with a win-loss of 36-5 and reached the quarter-finals of the 2011 NCAA tournament.

Maytin is also a regular fixture in his country’s Davis Cup team. Since 2007 he has played 15 ties and won 10 out of 16 matches played.

“I am also clear that the family is the gift of God for each one of us, so in this way and in whatever way I will put my desire and my energy so that my Brother Roberto Maytin, a Venezuelan professional tennis player, is back to the courts, which is where he belongs as soon as possible.”

Almost $25,000 has been raised so far to fund Maytin’s treatment. Click here to visit his GoFundMe page.

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John Newcombe Believes The Australian Open Will Be ‘A Big Ask’ For Nick Kyrgios

The tennis legend is unsure if the former top 20 player will be fit in time for the first grand slam of 2020.

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MADRID, SPAIN - Nick Kyrgios of Australia waking to the locked room Davis Cup by Rakuten Madrid Finals 2019 at Caja Magica on November 19, 2019 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Pedro Salado / Kosmos Tennis)

Former world No.1 John Newcombe has cast doubts on Nick Kyrgios’ chances of going deep in the draw at the upcoming Australian Open.

 

The 75-year-old, who won seven grand slam titles during the 1960s and 1970s, believes the injury-stricken world No.30 may struggle playing best-of-five matches in Melbourne. Kyrgios missed most of the final quarter of the 2019 season due to a shoulder issue. He returned to action last month at the Davis Cup, but skipped his country’s quarter-final clash with Canada due to a collarbone injury. Overall, he has won 23 out of 37 matches played this year.

“It’s a bit of a worry that he has recurring injuries, especially around where the muscles join the joints and that’s going to be an ongoing problem for him it seems,” Newcombe told The Age.
“At the Davis Cup he’d only played four sets of singles and his shoulder started to play up again and when you’ve got an injury like that it’s hard to go out and practice a lot.
“Leading into the Australian Open – five sets is a big ask for him.”

A two-time grand slam quarter-finalist, the 24-year-old has struggled to make his mark in the majors this year. Winning just three matches in three grand slam tournaments he played in. Kyrgios missed the French Open due to injury. At his home slam, he lost in the first round for the first time since making his main draw debut back in 2014.

As well as trying to get fit in time for the start of the new season, Kyrgios will continue to be playing under a probation on the ATP Tour for ‘aggravated behaviour.’ Should he violate that, he faces the prospect of a 16-week ban from the tour.

“I can’t speak for him but if it was me it would be tough having that ban hanging over you,” Newcombe said.
“But I guess you’ve just got to learn to zip up.”

Kyrgios is set to start 2020 at the inaugural ATP Cup, which is the only team event to have both prize money and ranking points available. After that, he is set to play in the Kooyong Classic in what will be his final test prior to the Australian Open.

“I am delighted that Nick has chosen to play Kooyong again, and hopefully it acts as the perfect tune up for his Australian Open (AO) campaign and sets him up for a massive 2020 season.” Tournament director Peter Johnson said in a statement.

So far in his career, Kyrgios has won six titles. Including Acapulco and Washington this year.

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