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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Past And Present Stars Back Andy Murray’s Call For Expansion Of South American Swing

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Andy Murray’s so-called ‘unpopular opinion’ about tennis in South America is proving to be more popular than he thought. 

On Saturday the former world No.1 and three-time Grand Slam champion published a post on social media calling for the continent to have a designated place in the Tour calendar, including a Masters 1000 tournament. This month events are taking place across South America alongside those happening in Europe and the Middle East. The most prestigious of those are the Rio Open in Brazil and Alcapulco Open in Mexico which are both classed as ATP 500 tournaments. 

A recent report from tennis publication Clay quoted unnamed sources as saying that Argentina is set to lose one of their ATP 250 events next year and the only ATP-Tour event in Chile could be under threat in the future. Hampering efforts to bring world-class tennis to the region. Something Murray fully backs.

“Unpopular opinion, South America should have its own dedicated swing on the tennis tour with its own masters series,” he wrote on X.
“The way the fans support the tournaments there is incredible. Amazing atmospheres and is clearly part of their sporting culture.”

Murray’s post has been met with support from others in the world of tennis who agree with him. Former top 10 player Diego Schwartzman says the governing body of men’s tennis has been showing less support to tennis in his region. Even though the current top 100 include six Argentines, three Chileans and one Brazillian. 

“Let (the) ATP Tour know this Andy! Every year they put (give) us less support. Not just because of how the fans support the tournaments,” Schwartzman wrote.
“Also how many players we have and we had on the top as u know. We deserve more than this from the ATP.”

Nicolás Pereira, who is currently a member of the ATP Players Advisory Council, wrote on X that Murray ‘got that right’ with his comment. Meanwhile, Boris Becker stated that ‘Tennis should go to countries/continents where tennis is booming.’ 

John Isner also weighed in on the topic by saying that a Masters 1000 in South America would create an ‘insane atmosphere.’ Masters events have been a prominent fixture on the Tour since 1990 but a tournament of this level has never been held in the region. This season five are being staged in North America, four in Europe and one in Asia. South America has also never staged the ATP Tour Finals. 

Currently, Murray’s post on South America has received more than 5,000 reposts and 43,000 likes.

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Jordan Thomson Upsets Ruud To Claim First ATP Title In Los Cabos

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image via https://twitter.com/TennisAustralia/

Jordan Thompson has described his run to his first ATP title as a ‘miracle’ after beating fourth seed Casper Ruud in the final on Sunday. 

The 29-year-old held his nerve to prevail 6-3, 7-6(4), over the three-time Grand Slam finalist. Thompson broke Ruud once during the opening set but experienced more resistance in the second where he had to battle back from a break down and then dropped serve when trying to close the match out at 5-4. Despite the blip, he prevailed in the tiebreaker. Overall, the world No.40 hit 27 winners against eight unforced errors and won 80% of his first service points.

Thompson’s run to his maiden ATP trophy has been a rollercoaster. Before taking on Ruud, he ousted Alexander Zverev in a marathon semi-final encounter that lasted more than three hours. Also in the quarter-finals, he bounced back from a 0-6, 0-3, deficit to beat Alex Michelsen. His other two wins were over Ernesto Escobedo in the first round and Emilio Nava in the second. 

“I really have no idea [how I won],” Thompson said.
“I spent so many hours on the court this week, and in the quarter-final, I could have got double-bagelled – I could have been losing 6-0, 6-0 – and now I’m about to lift the trophy, so I think it’s still a miracle.”

Thompson is the fifth first-time champion on the ATP Tour this season. As a result of his victory, he will rise to a ranking high of No.32 on Monday when the standings are updated. 

“We’ve been putting in some seriously hard work and it’s good to see that it pays off,” he said.
“It’s been a journey. I’m nearly 30 and lifting a trophy, I never thought I’d do that.”

The Australian is the first player ranked outside the top 25 to have beaten Ruud on the Tour this year. Shortly after their clash, he defeated the Norweigan for a second time in the doubles semi-final. Thompson and partner Max Purcell secured a 7-6(1), 6-3, victory over Ruud and William Blumberg. They will play the final later today. 

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Perspective And Fatigue: The Two Sides Of Iga Swiatek’s Dubai Defeat

Iga Swiatek spoke about perspective and fatigue after her semi-final exit in Dubai.

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(@WeAreTennis - Twitter)

Iga Swiatek showed two sides to her defeat in Dubai as the world number one surprisingly failed to win the title despite being the favourite in the semi-finals.

Heading into her semi-final in Dubai, Swiatek was heavy favourite to win her second consecutive WTA title after claiming the title in Doha the week before.

However Swiatek was unsuccessful in her bid to reach the final as she lost to Anna Kalinskaya 6-4 6-4.

It was a bitterly disappointing defeat for Swiatek who missed a golden opportunity to establish even more dominance ahead of Indian Wells.

As all champions do Swiatek offered perspective to her defeat as she looks ahead to the rest of the season, “I mean, I’m angry but on the other hand, there aren’t many players that actually survive these kinds of tournaments so I just kind of have to let it go and accept it,” Swiatek was quoted by Tennis Majors.

There was not only perspective offered but also fatigue as expectations and pressure can force simple mistakes from the best players in the world.

The world number one acknowledged Kalinskaya’s performance but did admit her own performance contributed to the defeat, “Today I would say, I mean she [Kalinskaya] played well and for sure she deserves to be in the final, but I feel like it was more about me and my level,” Swiatek told Tennis Majors.

“I wanted to be focused on myself and I wasn’t really able to implement any tactics that I had. Usually, when I tell myself what to do, I can improve my game but today I was so out of power and tired that I just couldn’t. Day by day, it was a little bit worse.”

Swiatek will hope to re-energize herself ahead of the sunshine double in America.

Last year Swiatek lost to eventual champion Elena Rybakina in the semi-finals at Indian Wells before withdrawing from Miami.

The Pole will look to improve last year’s performance when she plays Indian Wells, which starts on the 6th of March.

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