Australian Open draw updated with qualifiers, Peter Polansky benefits from Thanasi Kokkinakis withdrawal - UBITENNIS
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Australian Open draw updated with qualifiers, Peter Polansky benefits from Thanasi Kokkinakis withdrawal

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Polansky suffered a three-set defeat to Andre Rublev in the qualifying round, but is the first “lucky loser” of the tournament, benefiting from Thanasi Kokkinakis’ misfortune. (Zimbio.com)

The full draw for Australian Open is finally out, with the places marked “qualifiers” finally filled.

 

At the time the draw was made the final round of qualifying had not been completed, therefore places were marked qualifiers until such player’s identities could be determined.

(Q) Andrey Rublev vs Yen-Hsun Lu

Malek Jaziri vs (Q) Go Soeda

(Q) Alexander Bublik vs (16) Lucas Pouille

Thomas Berdych vs (Q) Luca Vanni

(Q) Bjorn Fratangelo vs (Q) Noah Rubin

(Q) Jurgen Melzer vs (17) Roger Federer

(26) Albert Ramos Vinolas vs (Q) Lukas Lacko

(Q) Thomas Fabbiano vs Donald Young

(Q Frances Tiafoe vs Mikhail Kukushkin

Yoshihito Nishioka vs (Q) Alex Bolt

Daniil Medvedev vs (Q) Ernesto Escobedo

Dmitry Tursunov vs (Q) Radek Stepanek

(Q) Reilly Opelka vs (11) David Goffin

(Q Blake Mott vs (18) Richard Gasquet

(30) Pablo Carreno Busta vs (LL) Peter Polansky

Denis Istomin vs (Q) Ivan Dodig

  • Polansky has made the main draw despite losing to Andrey Rublev in the qualifying round. Kokkinakis was forced to withdraw following an abdominal injury.

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Back From The Brink Of Retirement, Andy Murray Lights Up Queen’s In Comeback

It was a fairy-tale return for the former world No.1 in the British capital.

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Sir Andy Murray of Great Britain and Feliciano Lopez of Spain are pictured during day four of ATP Fever-Tree Championships tennis tournament at Queen's Club in west London on June 20, 2019. (photo by Alberto Pezzali)

QUEEN’S: To say that Andy Murray has had a turbulent past six months is an understatement.

 

Heading into the Australian Open, he didn’t know how or if he could continue his career. Telling reporters during a highly emotional press conference in Melbourne that he may have to walk away from the sport due to injury. Then after his first-round loss to Roberto Bautista Agut, a video was played of players paying tribute to him. A common occurrence that is used to mark somebody entering into retirement. However, Murray was determined to give it one last go.

Hip resurfacing surgery helped transform the three-time grand slam champion from the brink of despair to training once again on the courts. The journey has been testing both mentally and physically, but it was certainly worth it.

Teaming up with Feliciano Lopez at The Fever-Tree Championships, a packed crowd of more than 9000 spectators welcomed him back to the ATP Tour on Thursday. The cheers were back and so was Murray’s passion. Taking on top seeds Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah, Murray and Lopez prevailed 7-6(5), 6-3. An impressive performance against the Colombian doubles specialists, who were runners-up at this year’s Australian Open.

I expected to enjoy the match because I told myself I was going to regardless of what happened.” A chuffed looking Murray said during his press conference.
“I spoke a bit about that with my coach and my team, regardless of the result, you need to make sure you enjoy this because a few months ago I had no clue whether I’d be back playing on a court.”

It wasn’t the first time Queens has served as the venue of Murray’s comeback. A year ago he played his first tournament of 2018 after being sidelined due to his hip. On that occasion, he fell to Nick Kyrgios in three sets. However, this time around, it is a different feeling for various reasons.

“This felt different to last year, because last year when I came in and played my hip felt very average. I was still pretty uncomfortable and I had done a lot of training. Things weren’t really getting better.” He explained.
“Whereas now I feel like although I’m not, you know, at my best kind of physically, I feel like I’m always making improvements and I have no pain.”

A cautious step forward
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Brazzingly admitting that he expected to be ‘the worst player on the court,’ it is clear that Murray’s return is gaining momentum. On the court, he chased after the ball and wasn’t afraid to throw himself around in order to win the point. Something that would have been unimaginable a couple of months ago.

In the foreseeable future, it looks like it will be a case of trial and error for Murray concerning his limitations. No date has been provided yet about when he will return to singles competition. Allowing him to focus solely on the doubles.

“I have zero discomfort in my hip after the match, nothing.” Murray states. “If I had done this last year, I’d be here aching, throbbing, and feel bad the next day.’
“So I’ll just keep pushing and see how it goes. But I feel optimistic about the future. I don’t know how long it will take to get to that level, but, you know, hopefully not too long.”

It was after his match with Lopez that Murray confirmed who would be teaming up with him at Wimbledon. Putting an end to the numerous speculation that has arisen in recent days. His partner will be France’s Pierre-Hugues Herbert. Who won the 2016 Wimbledon title with Nicolas Mahut. Herbert had initially declined to play in the doubles at the upcoming grand slam before having a change of heart.

At The All England Club, the Brit has also indicated that he would be up for playing in the mixed doubles as well. Depending on how his fitness progresses. However, finding a partner isn’t as simple as he would like.

“I’ve asked singles players who had already committed to playing doubles, and they didn’t want to commit to playing in three events, which I completely understand because it’s a lot. If you have ambitions to go far in the singles, you maybe don’t want to commit to playing all three.” He said.

Murray will return to the grass court at Queens on Friday. In the time being, he can bask in his triumphant return to professional tennis.

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Furious Nick Kyrgios Slams Court Officials After Queen’s Exit

It was an explosive exit for the controversy-stricken Australian player in London

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LONDON: Nick Kyrgios has hit out at the Fever-Tree Championships for not having a hawk-eye system on their outside courts following a day where he has argued with both umpires and linespeople.

 

The Australian wasn’t afraid to express his frustration during his first round match on Thursday, but he reached boiling point following his 6-7(4), 7-6(3), 7-5 loss to Felix Auger-Aliassime later in the day. In both matches, Kyrgios criticized officials over a series of calls. Following his defeat to the Canadian at Queen’s, he threw his racket outside the court. Narrowly missing hitting somebody.

“I knew some of the calls weren’t going to be great. I thought some of the calls were outrageous today. It shouldn’t have to come down to me and Felix giving each other points. He gave me a point at a pretty crucial time, and I gave him a point at a pretty crucial time.” Kyrgios said during his press conference.
“I just don’t think, at this level of sport, that we should have line judges and umpires that aren’t making the right decisions.”

Continuing to express his frustrations, the 24-year-old then suggested that there were double standards in the sport. Arguing that players are penalized for their mistakes, but not officials. Branding the current situation as ‘ridiculous.’

“They don’t get any warning or fine or anything for their mistakes. So what’s the difference? For me doing a code violation, why can’t they get fined for having a terrible day in the chair? There are hundreds of thousands of dollars on the line. It’s not a joke. They just think it’s a joke because nothing happens to them after the match. They don’t get any investigation or anything.”

During his opening clash, Kyrgios went as far as saying that the officials were ‘rigging’ the game against him. Although he has since clarified those remarks. Saying instead that he is being deliberately provoked by some people.

“He (the umpire or linesmen) knows I’m going to retaliate. Like, all the referees know that. They talk about it, for sure. They know I’m never going to be the type of guy that’s going to get a bad call and not let them hear about it.” He said,
“I just don’t think they get punished enough, like sanctioned enough if they make a bad decision.”

Whilst livid, Kyrgios didn’t go as far as saying that officials should be axed and replaced with technology. Something that has been done at the ATP Next Generation Finals in Milan. Arguing that he wants  ‘people who are just doing their job correctly.’

It all likelihood, the world No.38 is set to receive a fine of somewhat for the code violations committed today. Last year he was docked £13,000 for making a lewd gesture with a water bottle during one of his matches.

“I don’t care, Man. If you’re gonna fine me for that, that’s fine.” He concluded.

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Roger Federer Survives Tsonga Test To Reach Halle Quarter-Finals

Roger Federer reached the quarter-finals in Halle after a tough three set win over Jo-Wilfred Tsonga.

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Roger Federer (@ATP_Tour - Twitter)

Roger Federer edged out Jo-Wilfred Tsonga 7-6(5) 4-6 7-5 to reach the quarter-finals in Halle as he searches for a 10th title. 

 

The nine-time champion didn’t have it all his own way against the dangerous Frenchman as he edge to victory to reach the last eight.

A crucial break in the eleventh game sealed the win for Federer as he had his first test on a grass court in 2019 as he bids for a 10th title.

Tomorrow, Federer will face Roberto Bautista Agut in the last eight.

Today would test Federer’s grass-court ability as he was up against a player that had beaten him on grass before and was capable of outpowering him.

There were signs of that early on in the match as Tsonga used his first serve to dominate play and cause trouble for the nine-time champion.

It wasn’t only on serve that the Frenchman looked comfortable as he even created two break points on the Federer serve early on.

However some short and sharp points for the 37 year-old sealed a crucial hold of serve as he looked to build on his first round win over Millman.

After saving set point with a big serve down the middle, Tsonga felt confident in his game as a first set tiebreak loomed between the pair.

Despite leading by the early mini-break, Tsonga had become too predictable with his serving patterns and Federer used his experience to take advantage.

A mini-break of his own and another big serve sealed the deal for Federer as he took the tiebreak 7-5 in 50 minutes.

The consensus was that the opening set was crucial in Tsonga’s chances of getting a much-needed win and that’s what it turned out to be as he had lost the momentum.

Another serve out wide became too regular for Federer on return as he smashed home a forehand winner for the break in the first game.

However it was too late to rule out Tsonga just yet, remember he did overturn a two set deficit against Federer eight years ago at Wimbledon.

These memories are still in Tsonga’s memory today and after pressurising Federer, he finally earned his reward as the Swiss couldn’t handle a powerful forehand as he conceded the break advantage.

There was a new-found aggression about Tsonga towards the end of the second set as the momentum was now with him.

Some stunning forehands had Federer on the ropes and a break in the last game secured the set as this match would be heading to a deciding set.

The momentum was firmly with the Frenchman as he created a few break points to put the nine-time champion under pressure.

For Federer now, he had to raise his level as Tsonga was now dominating the majority of the rallies with his powerful forehand.

Despite the opportunities though, the world number 77 couldn’t convert and would eventually be punished as the top seed pounced in the big moment.

Some smart returning saw a break in 11th game and a hold to 30 sealed the win as he reaches the quarter-finals in what was a big test.

Next up for Federer in his bid to win a 10th title is Roberto Bautista Agut tomorrow.

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