Vasek Pospisil Proves ‘Anything Is Pospisil’ In Indian Wells - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

Focus

Vasek Pospisil Proves ‘Anything Is Pospisil’ In Indian Wells

Avatar

Published

on

Canadian freelance journalist John Horn reflects on a match that saw Canadian qualifier Vasek Pospisil stun world No.1 Andy Murray.

 

Vasek Pospisil (zimbio.com)

Anything is Pospisil. Three words you may have heard before but not many people, if any, would have said them again heading into Vasek Pospisil’s second round match at the BNP Paribas Open on Saturday night against the World No. 1 Andy Murray. Let’s be honest, the cards weren’t exactly stacked in the Canadian’s favour. A 3-20 career record against Top 10 opponents, an 11-match winless streak against Top 5 players in the world and an 0-4 career head-to-head record against Murray. Add in just 13 wins in his last 37 singles matches overall.

But you can throw all that out the window, because the 26-year old native of British Columbia came up with the biggest win of his tennis career stunning the defending Wimbledon Champion 6-4, 7-6 in an hour and 51 minutes in front of a boisterous crowd at the main stadium court in Indian Wells, California. Not bad for someone who needed to win a pair of qualifying matches just to get into the main draw and had been playing lower tier Challenger events of late.

“If I pick a handful of great moments in my career, this is definitely one of them,” said Pospisil. “To beat the No. 1 player and somebody as accomplished as Andy, one of the greats of the game, is amazing.”

Both players took their time getting into the match with four breaks of serve in the first seven games. Then it was Pospisil who hit a great forehand service return down the line to jump ahead 5-4. In the next game he held serve to take the opening set 6-4.

Pospisil then broke again in the first game of the second set and had break chances to go up 3-Love but instead it was Murray who held serve and then broke back and levelled things up 2-2. The players stayed on serve the rest of the way until the tiebreak.

Pospisil took an early 3-1 lead in the tiebreak after Murray double faulted for the seventh time in the match. He then increased the lead to 6-2 with some smart aggressive tactics at the net. After dropping both points on his serve, Pospisil on his fourth match point, capitalized on a weak forehand from Murray and hammered it cross court to secure the victory. The pro Canadian crowd which included musician David Foster and former boxer Mike Tyson went into a frenzy and the weight of the past 14 months for Pospisil seemed to disappear.

“I was telling myself especially in the tiebreak, I remember saying whatever the score I don’t want to have any regrets. I don’t want to come out of the match thinking why did I play a passive point when I am playing a baseliner who’s one of the best baseliners ever,” said Pospisil who will see his ranking improve from 129th in the world. “I just did well to keep focused on what I wanted to do on playing aggressive and taking it to him coming into the net, kind of giving him different looks and played it a little bit differently than I did against him the previous times and it worked out tonight.”

The aggressive style encouraged by his new coach, 17-time Grand Slam doubles winner Mark Woodforde paid off. Mixing in his serve and volley game at times seemed to catch Murray off guard and Pospisil performed like the player he was three years ago when he was ranked as high as No. 25 in the world.

“Crowds like it when guys are being aggressive,’ said a gracious Murray. “He came up with some fantastic shots. I didn’t serve particularly well tonight, which didn’t help things. And then in the second set, he started to play more aggressively. I was giving myself decent looks at passing shots. I missed a few tonight. He also came up with some really good reflex volleys on important moments and important points.”

Pospisil, who won the doubles title at Indian Wells two years ago, had 27 winners on the night and won 71% of points on his first serve. He became the first Canadian to beat a World No.1 since Daniel Nestor defeated Stefan Edberg in a Davis Cup match in Vancouver 25 years ago.

“I felt like a big result was coming, because I believe in my abilities, but just kind of had to put the pieces together again,” Pospisil said. “Obviously to beat the No. 1 player in the world is incredible. I mean, it’s the biggest win of my career, and I’m just thrilled right now.”

NOTES:

  • Pospisil had dropped all four career meetings with Murray and hadn’t won any of the nine sets they had played until Saturday night.
  • Pospisil’s next opponent will be Serbian Dusan Lajovic ranked #106 in the world. Pospisil won their only career meeting in straight sets on grass in the Netherlands in 2014
  • Pospisil has played five matches over five days at Indian Wells this year. He has won all five of those matches. Two qualifying and two main draw singles matches and one main draw doubles match with partner Steve Johnson. He will get a well deserved day off on Sunday.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Focus

REPORT: Madrid Open To Be Axed Amid COVID-19 Concerns In Latest Setback For Tennis

Hopes of Spain holding their top tennis event in 2020 are over.

Avatar

Published

on

The world of tennis is set to suffer another severe blow with multiple media sources confirming that organisers of Spain’s most prestigious tennis tournament will officially cancel their event on Tuesday. 

 

The Mutua Madrid Open will be removed from the 2020 calendar following a meeting involving tournament owner Iron Tiriac. Recently doubts have been cast on the event after local health officials called for it to be suspended due to a spike in COVID-19 cases. Although the final decision was up to Tiriac and his team. It had been due to take place between September 12 to 20, following the conclusion of the US Open. 

“We have to be realistic now, we have to accept that health is always the priority. We must not endanger anyone, neither the fans, nor the players, nor the staff, all those who come to Madrid in September,” tournament director Feliciano Lopez told L’Equipe over the weekend. 

Spain has seen their rate of COVID-19 cases rapidly rise since the country ended its lockdown. According to El Pais, the number of cases recorded within 24 hours is eight times the amount compared to 40 days ago. Rising from 334 (June 20) to 2,789 (between July 29 and 30). On Friday July 31st there were 3092 new cases in the country in what is a post-lockdown record.

Held at the Caja Magica, the Madrid Open is a key event for both men and women. It is currently classed as a Masters 1000 for the men and as a Premier Mandatory for the women. Last year each of the singles champions took home €1,202,520 in prize money. It was originally set to be played in May but was postponed due to the pandemic.

The demise of Madrid this year is another setback for what is becoming a rapidly thinning 2020 tennis calendar. Within the past two weeks China has confirmed that they will not be hosting any tournaments this year, Japan’s scrapped it’s premier women’s event and the Italian Open has been advised to not allow any fans to their event this year. 

As a result of the latest development, only two WTA clay-court events will take place after the US Open leading up to Roland Garros. They are both set to get underway on September 21st in Rome and Strasbourg. As for the men, Rome will be their only point of call. 

Continue Reading

Focus

Fate Of Madrid Open To Be Decided This Week

Spain’s most prestigious tennis tournament looks to be in serious danger of getting the axe following recent developments.

Avatar

Published

on

There will be a final decision regarding this year’s Madrid’s Open within the next couple of days but hopes of the tournament going ahead are low, according to its tournament director.

 

Feliciano Lopez has spoken out about the current situation in an interview with the L’Equipe newspaper on Saturday. The mixed tournament has been thrown into doubt after the local council said it would be “inadvisable” for the tournament to be played in September because of the “health risks involved for the public, organization, and players.” Spain is currently experiencing a rise in COVID-19 cases amid concerns of a second wave. On Friday there were 3092 new cases in the country in what is a post-lockdown record.

“We were confident two months ago that the tournament would take place. The situation has worsened in the last two or three weeks in the Madrid region, not just in the city of Madrid, but in the whole region,” Lopez told L’Equipe.
“We have to be realistic now, we have to accept that health is always the priority. We must not endanger anyone, neither the fans, nor the players, nor the staff, all those who come to Madrid in September.”

A decision is set to be made within “two or three days” by tournament owner Ion Tiriac and Super Slam Ltd, the tournament’s licence holder. Tiriac is a Romanian billionaire businessman who is also a former tennis player. He won the 1970 French Open doubles title with compatriot Ilie Nastase.

Weighing up its chances, Lopez admits that he ‘isn’t optimistic’ that the Madrid Open will be able to go ahead. The event is currently classed as a Masters 1000 for the men and as a Premier Mandatory for the women. It was originally set to be played in May but was postponed due to the pandemic.

We are not very optimistic now. We were very positive a few weeks ago. We have a very good protocol, everything is ready, we worked hard to make the event take place, because it is also very important to offer tournaments to the players today.” Said Lopez.
“Last week, we had meetings with the government. Their recommendation is to cancel all events now during the summer. Of course, the decision is ours, it will be Ion’s. We have to work with everyone, the government, the ATP, the WTA and make the best decision for everyone. But we must also listen to the recommendations of the authorities, see how the situation is developing this week.”
He added.

Held on clay at the Caja Magica, the Madrid Open has been a combined event for the men and women since 2009. Last year Novak Djokovic and Kiki Bertens won the singles titles with them each taking home €1,202,520 in prize money.

Besides having the responsibility of the Madrid Open, world No.56 Lopez is continuing his career on the Tour at the age of 38. Questioned about the remaining 2020 season, the Spaniard admits there is a lot of uncertainty for all players. Tournament across Asia have already been cancelled due to the virus and recently the Italian Open was told at present they can’t allow fans to their tournament, which takes place the week after Madrid’s slot.

This season is already completely lost. But what will happen next year, when we still don’t have a vaccine? The situation will be exactly the same as now if we don’t have a vaccine! When is it going to end, I don’t know.” Lopez concluded.

Continue Reading

Focus

‘Think Of Others For Once’ – Nick Kyrgios Issues Warning To Rivals As He Withdraws From US Open

The world No.40 has once again took a swipe at Novak Djokovic’s ‘money-grabbing’ Adria Tour.

Avatar

Published

on

Australian tennis star Nick Kyrgios has said he is pulling out of the US Open in respect of those in his home country as well as America who has lost their lives during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

The former top-20 player published a video outlining his reason for withdrawing from the event on the social media accounts of athlete empowerment brand Uninterrupted. During the video he once again made a swipe at Novak Djokovic and others over their ‘selfish’ involvement in the controversy-stricken Adria Tour. Which was criticised for a lack of anti-COVID measures before an outbreak of the virus among players and coaching staff occurred. Djokovic, Grigor Dimitrov, Borna Coric and Vikor Troicki all got infected.

“You can’t be dancing on tables, money-grabbing your way around Europe or trying to make a quick buck, hosting an exhibition. That’s just so selfish. Think of the other people for once. That’s what this virus is about,” he said.
“It doesn’t care about your world ranking or how much money you have. Act responsibly.”

Kyrgios has stated that he isn’t critical of the decision made by the United States Tennis Association to hold the event this year. Which will have on offer 90% of the prize money that was available during the 2019 tournament. Under strict measures, the tournament will be held behind closed doors for the first time in history with players kept in what is being described as a ‘protective bubble.’

“I have got no problem with the USTA putting on the US Open and if players want to go, that’s up to them, so long as everyone acts appropriately and acts safely,” he stated.
“No-one wants people to keep their jobs more than me.’
“I am speaking for the guy who works in the restaurants, the cleaners and the locker room attendants. These are the people who need their jobs back the most and fair play to them.”

The announcement comes shortly after women’s world No.1 Ash Barty announced that she wouldn’t be playing due to coronavirus concerns. Another Australian player, Alexi Popryin, have previously said he would not attend the event. Furthermore, Chinese world No.29 Wang Qiang has pulled out due to ‘travel and safety concerns.’

“To those players who have been observing the rules and acting selflessly, I say good luck to you. Play at your own risk, and I have no problem with that,” said Kyrgios.

The withdrawal ends Kyrgios’ streak of seven consecutive main draw appearance at Flushing Meadows. His best rest was reaching the third round on four separate occasions (2014, 2016, 2018 and 2019). Overall he has won eight out of 15 matches played in New York.

This year’s US Open will get underway on August 31st.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending