Davis Cup: Ailing Canadian Couple Gives Way to GB in Close Match - UBITENNIS
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Davis Cup: Ailing Canadian Couple Gives Way to GB in Close Match

OTTAWA – Great Britain took the 2-1 lead after four-set win in Saturday’s doubles as Canadian couple slowly faded away. Pospisil may be in doubt for Sunday due to nagging knee injury



It could have been a great double match, given the pedigree of the players involved, but the show lacked pathos as each couple was very effective at taking care of their serve (three breaks in 45 games) and the three tie-breaks played were all one-sided. Eventually the Dominic Inglot and Jamie Murray outlasted a beat up Pospisil and the 44-year-old Nestor at his 50th Davis Cup tie in career with a 7-6(1) 6-7(3) 7-6(3) 6-3 win in 3 hours, 8 minutes putting Great Britain firmly in the lead ahead of Sunday’s reverse singles.


“They were a little bit better throughout the whole match – said a very disappointed Nestor after the defeat – I could not return the way I wanted, I didn’t make a good return on the set point we had in the first set and also on all other openings we had in their service game”. Nestor’s serve was the first one to wobble at 3-3 as three consecutive missed volley gifted the Brits with the first break point of the match. A sequence of three smashes erased that chance, as fifteen minutes later another smash canceled the set point for the Canadians at 6-5 on Inglot’s serve. The tie-break was a washout, with Nestor conceding both points on his serve and the whole thing being over in just four minutes.

Despite the absence of the superstars Andy Murray and Raonic, the crowd was filling the stands by almost three-quarters and the atmosphere was warm and hyped despite the freezing temperatures outside and the absence of one of the most exciting features of modern tennis. Hawk-Eye could not be used during the entire afternoon due to some blind spots created in the system by the organization try to sort out the surface earlier in the day to eliminate some air bubbles that had been trapped underneath the carpet.

Jamie Murray surprisingly lost his serve in the opening game of the second set, giving the Canadian couple and early lead, but a good return game by Inglot on Nestor’s serve leveled the score at 4-4, with the subsequent tie-break being an all red-and-white matter with Pospisil hitting a winning return on Murray’s serve on the first point and the Scot double faulting at 2-5 to give the home team an unassailable lead.

As the match progressed, it was Pospisil’s serve that became increasingly under attack, as the 26-year-old energy levels started to fade (he was the only one on court who had played the day before) and the pain to his aching knee forced him to take a MTO at the beginning of the fourth set. Vasek had revealed to Canadian TV Sportsnet that he had slept very little the previous night (“every time I was moving I woke up”) and that he was playing under pain killers for his knee. The first break-point at 2-2 came and went as Inglot missed a forehand volley; on Pospisil’s subsequent service game at 4-4 the Canadians had to dig themselves out of a 15-40 hole with a smash and a winning serve. These were the only three break points of the set, concluded with another washout in the tie-break as the Brits sprinted to 4-0 and 6-1 before closing on 7-3.

With Nestor holding his own on his serve but failing to make an impact on return, Pospisil continued his struggle during his service game as he started the sixth game with a double fault, dug himself a hole to 0-40 and eventually surrendered to a powerful Inglot return on the third of the break-points. This was the nail in the coffin for the Canadians, who now go into reverse singles Sunday (starting at noon ET hoping to finish in time for SuperBowl kickoff) with their back to the wall and an injured player: “I will see what the injury is, but if I can take care of this nagging pain tonight I am definitely playing tomorrow against Evans. I have plenty left in the tank to play five sets if necessary” said Pospisil in his press conference in English, with his take appearing somehow less optimistic a few minutes later when he answered questions in French: “It’s not just my decision to play tomorrow or not, I need to hear what the physio and the doctor say. Today I played with pain killers, which is not good for my health, but if there is no risk to worsen the damage I’ll take the court against Evans; however if there is a chance I may increase the damage I need to be smart and make a decision to safeguard the next weeks and months and the rest of the season”.

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World Tennis League: Swiatek And Medvedev Among Top Names To Play Exhibition Event



image via ATP Twitter

During the off-season, some of the world’s best players will head to the United Arab Emirates next month to play in a four-day team event. 


The World Tennis League (WTL) will host its second edition between December 21-24 at the Yas Island’s Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi. The event features a total of 16 players split into four groups with each of those teams competing for the trophy. Every group will have their own coach and even an owner. 

Earlier this week, organizers confirmed the last players to be added to the line-up. Casper Ruud, Hubert Hurkacz and Taylor Fritz will all play in the event which will feature a combination of singles and mixed doubles matches. Those who have already confirmed their entry include Iga Swiatek, Daniil Medvedev, Aryna Sabalenka, Elena Rybakina, Andrey Rublev and Stefanos Tsitsipas.

As for who is in what group, the SG Mavericks Kites features Sabalanka, Tsitsipas, Paula Badosa and Grigor Dimitrov. The owners of that team are SG Sports, the sporting arm of APL Apollo Tubes. An Indian-based structural steel tube brand. Their coach will be former Australian Open doubles champion Robert Lindstedt.

Team Eagles will be made up of Medvedev, Rublev, Sofia Kenin and Mirra Andreeva. Their owners are the Punit Balan Group. Balan is an Indian film producer and owner of several sporting teams. They will be coached by John-Laffnie De Jager who has previously worked with the likes of Kevin Anderson, Daniella Hantuchova and Ajla Tomljanovic.

The Honor FX Falcons is named after owners Honor FX features. Rybakina, Fritz, Frances Tiafoe and Leylah Fernandez are in that group which will be led by Chris Groh. Groh has previously coached Fritz during his teenage years. 

Finally, The Hawkes team has Swiatek, Hurkacz, Ruud and Caroline Garcia. The team are the only one yet to have an official owner. Sweden’s Simon Aspelin will be their coach. 

“We’re thrilled to be announcing more star names to our exceptional tennis line-up for season two of the World Tennis League,” Rajesh Banga, chairman of the World Tennis League, said.
“These players are of the highest calibre and prominent names around the world so we’re pleased they will be competing in the unique tournament at our new home in Etihad Arena.”

The schedule of the event will be the following:-

DAY ONE: Hawks Vs Honor FX Falcons, Team Eagles Vs SG Mavericks Kites

DAY TWO: Honor FX Falcons Vs SG Mavericks Kites, Team Eagles Vs Team Hawks 

Day Three: Team Eagles Vs Honor FX Falcons, SG Maverick Kites Vs Team Hawks

Day Four: knockout rounds

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Luca Van Assche rallies from two sets to one down to beat Alex Michelsen



Luca Van Assche came back from two sets to one down to defeat Alex Michelsen 4-3 (7-0) 3-4 (4-7) 3-4 (4-7) 4-1 4-3 (8-6) in 2 hours and 36 minutes at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Jeddah in the second longest match in the history of this tournament. 


Van Assche and Michelsen went on serve in the first three sets. Both players saved all five break points they faced in the first three sets. 

There were three consecutive breaks in the fourth set. Van Assche earned two of them and served out the set at love in the fifth game. 

Both players traded breaks in the fifth and sixth games of the fifth set. Van Assche earned a chance to serve for the match, but Michelsen pulled back on serve to force a tie-break. 

Van Assche built a 3-0 in the tie-break with an early mini-break. Michelsen saved two match points to draw level to 6-6. Van Assche sealed the win with another mini-break on the second match point. 

“He was playing very well the whole match. It was really close. Not a lot of breaks and it was difficult for me but I am very happy”, said Van Assche. 

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Arthur Fils beats Dominic Stricker to end Green Group unbeaten



Arthur Fils battled past Dominic Stricker 4-2 3-4 (3-7) 4-2 4-3 (7-5) after 1 hour and 47 minutes in the final round-robin match to end the Green Group unbeaten with a 3-0 record at the Next Gen ATP Finals. 


Stricker knew that he would advance to the semifinals if he won just one set. The Swiss player won the set he needed against the already qualified Fils to secure his spot in the semifinal despite the defeat. 

Stricker saved a break point on the deciding point in the third game of the fourth set. Fils earned the break in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead and served out on his second set point. 

Stricker held serve at love in the first game of the fourth set. The Swiss player broke serve on the deciding point to open up a 2-0 lead. Fils broke straight back in the third game and held serve at 15 to draw level to 2-2. Fils earned three mini-breaks, but Stricker pulled back on serve each time. Fils sealed the tie-break 7-5 on his second match point. 

Stricker beat Fils 7-6 7-6 in Gstaad in their only previous head-to-head match last summer. 

Fils saved two break points in the first game to hold serve. Stricker fended off a break point in the fourth game on the deciding point to draw level to 2-2. Fils earned his first break on his third set point with a forehand return winner in the sixth game to clinch the first set 4-2. 

Stricker saved the only break point of the second set in the fourth game. Both players held on their serve en route to the tie-break. Stricker won six consecutive points from 0-1 down with two mini-breaks to win the tie-break 7-3. 

Fils won his first title in Lyon and reached the final in Antwerp

“I knew before the match that I qualified, but I just want to win every match that I am playing. I think I put a little bit more focus out there out there today than the first two days because I know this opponent and he already beat me this year. It was a tough match but I am really happy to win and let’s see who I get in the semifinal”, said Fils in the post- match interview. 

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