Acapulco hit by loss of Alexander Zverev and Ivo Karlovic - UBITENNIS
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Acapulco hit by loss of Alexander Zverev and Ivo Karlovic

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Alexander Zverev will not feature in the Acapulco event this season (Image via Zimbio.com)

The Mexican Open in Acapulco has been hit by the loss of two highly regarded players from the draw. Next Gen talent Alexander Zverev has withdrawn from the tournament, citing the need for a rest ahead of the first Masters 1000 event of the season in Indian Wells. Zverev won the Montpellier title a few weeks ago, but then suffered early losses to Dominic Thiem and Nicolas Mahut in his next two events.

 

The second major player to pull out is Ivo Karlovic. Like Zverev Karlovic has suffered early losses in his last few events. The big server fell to Victor Estrella Burgos and Nikoloz Basilashvili in the second rounds of Quito and Memphis respectively (after having received byes in both first round matches) and a first round exit to Donald Young in Delray Beach.

The places of Zverev and Karlovic, coming before the end of qualifying, ensures that their places will be filled by alternates, with Adrian Mannarino and Dudi Sela the lucky pair who do now not require a qualifying effort to feature.

Despite the losses of Karlovic and Zverev, the tournament still boasts a rich number of stars, with Milos Raonic, Rafael Nadal, Dominic Thiem, Marin Cilic, David Goffin, Nick Kyrgios, and Juan Martin del Potro all entered. There is an additional bonus for the tournament as World No. 2 Novak Djokovic accepted a late wildcard for the event.

 

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John Peers and Filip Polasek claim their first team doubles title in Indian Wells

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John Peers and Filip Polasek won their first team title with a 6-3 7-6 (7-5) win over Aslan Karatsev and Andrey Rublev at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. 

 

Peers and Polasek were not able to convert two match points at 5-3 on Rublev’s serve and were broken in the next game when they were serving for the match. Both teams traded breaks en route to the tie-break. The Australian and Slovakian team came back from 3-5 down by winning five consecutive games to claim the second set 7-5. 

Peers and Polasek reached the San Diego final in the build-up to Indian Wells. 

“It’s always great fun getting back to the desert and playing here. To be able to say we have won the title here is very special. We started pretty slow as but we put in some good work pre-US Open. It’s been a lot of fun since and we have continued to work and enjoy playing together. We were riding the doubles rollercoaster and will try to get results like this more often. We are looking forward to continuing together”,said Peers.  

Polasek claimed his 16th title and his second Masters 1000 trophy following Cincinnati in 2019. 

“I am really happy the way we played. We came here early, which helped us to adapt to the conditions. It was very different to play in the day than in the night sessions, which we played in our last matches. We were able to adapt the best of all teams”, said Polasek. 

Rublev and Karatsev were on a eight-match winning streak. They claimed the Doha title earlier this year. 

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Filip Krajinovic To Skip Australian Open If Required To Quarantine For More Than Five Days

The world No.34 says he ‘sees no reason’ why vaccinated players should have to go through a long quarentine in Australia.

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Image via twitter.com/atptour (Alexander Scheuber)

The second highest-ranked Serbian player in men’s tennis says it would be ‘unacceptable’ for organisers of the Australian Open to require players to quarantine for more than a week if they have been fully vaccinated.

 

Filip Krajinovic has become the first player to publicly state that they will not be prepared to travel to Melbourne at the end of this season if they have to go through strict quarantine measures once again. All the players who participated in this year’s Australian Open were required to be quarantined in a designated hotel for 14 days upon arrival in the country. During their stay they were allowed to use training facilities but that was the only time they could leave the premises unless there was an emergency.

There is no final decision regarding the travel requirements for the 2022 tournament but there are concerns that unvaccinated players may not be allowed to enter the country. The Victorian government recently issued a mandate ordering all essential workers to be vaccinated, including athletes. However, the regional government will not have the final say concerning tennis players arriving in the country with the national government being the ones in charge of that decision.

“They are very rigorous there and honestly, if I have to be in quarantine for 14 days after arriving in Melbourne, I will not go to Australia,” Krajinovic told Serbian newspaper Blic.
“I was vaccinated, I did everything in my power to protect myself and the people around me, so I really see no reason to sit there for 14 days in a room.’
“If they (the organisers) say that after arrival I need, say, five days to be in isolation, that’s OK for me, but anything beyond that is unacceptable to me. With the season ending late, I will have 20 days to get ready and go. Charter flights will be organized again and the last one is planned for December 28 for the players and that is the final date when I can go to Australia. I will see what the final decision from Melbourne will be, so I will cut what is the best thing to do.”

Earlier this week Victoria’s Sports minister Martin Pakula urged players to be vaccinated because it give them ‘the best opportunity to play in the Australian Open.’ It is expected that if unvaccinated players are allowed to attend, they will be subjected to stricter restrictions. This might include a longer quarantine period upon arrival and limitations of where they can go during their stay.

Last year, all of those players had to do their 14 days of quarantine. Right now there looks like there will be different rules for people who enter this country who are vaccinated as against unvaccinated and I don’t think the tennis will be any exception to that.” Pakula told the Sports Entertainment Network (SEN).
“In terms of what rules apply for people to enter Australia, whether unvaccinated people are allowed in at all, I don’t the answer to that yet. That’s going to be the subject of discussion at national cabinet and among the federal cabinet … those rules are not set by state governments.” He added.

Krajinovic is currently ranked 34th in the world and has a win-loss record this season of 18-18. At the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells he reached the second round before falling in straight sets to Daniil Medvedev. His best run so far this year was at the Hamburg Open where he reached the final.

“When we look at the whole of 2021, I played one final, one semifinal, there were good victories, but also worse results,” the 29-year-old commented.

Krajinovic is currently without a coach but is currently in ‘negotiations’ with somebody without elaborating further about who that person is.

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Cameron Norrie reaches his first Masters 1000 final with straight-set win over Grigor Dimitrov

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Cameron Norrie broke at the beginning of each set to beat Grigor Dimitrov 6-2 6-4 moving into his first ATP Masters 1000 final at Indian Wells. 

 

Norrie has moved ahead of Felix Auger Aliassime in 11th place in the ATP Race to Turin. Should the British player wins the final against either Nikoloz Basilashvili or Taylor Fritz, he would overtake Jannik Sinner in 10th position and to within 125 points of Hubert Hurkacz. 

Norrie earned his first break in a hard-fought opening game. The Brit held two service games and got a double break to race out to a 4-0 lead. Dimitrov won two consecutive games, but Norrie earned another break, as Dimitrov sent a forehand wide. Norrie closed out the first set after 31 minutes. 

Norrie went up an early break after a long first game of the second set. The British player saved a break point to hold serve at deuce and won his next service games to close out the second set 6-4. 

Norrie has claimed his 46th match of the year. He is looking to win his second title of the season following his triumph in Los Cabos. He has played in five finals in Estoril, Lyon, London Queen’s, Los Cabos and San Diego.  

Norrie, who started the year as the world number 71, will break into the top 20. He will become the top British player in the ATP Ranking replacing Dan Evans. 

Dimitrov was tired after rallying from a set and a double break down to beat US Open champion Danil Medvedev in the fourth round and winning a third-set tie-break against Hurkacz in the quarter final. 

“I am becoming more and more comfortable In Indian Wells. It was the biggest match of my career, following on from yesterday, which was the biggest match. He made it difficult in the second set. I managed to serve well in those games and get through them. I think I had a very good gameplan today. There was even more pressure today. I came out and played really physical. Grigor was a little tired from the other matches, but he fought hard and made it physical at the start of second set, which wasn’t easy. I have been playing a lot of big matches this year, which has helped. I feel I am used to the big moments and the big matches. I am feeling more and more comfortable and I feel like I am playing on my terms in key moments”,said Norrie. 

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