Mischa Zverev Stuns John Isner To Reach The Fourth Round In New York - UBITENNIS
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Mischa Zverev Stuns John Isner To Reach The Fourth Round In New York

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23rd seed Mischa Zverev played inside the Arthur Ashe Stadium for the first time in his career, and he sent the USA’s number one John Isner, 6-4, 6-3, 7-6(5) in two hours and six minutes to reach the fourth round at the US Open for the first time in his career. The elder Zverev brother will face another American in  17th seed Sam Querrey for a place in his second Grand Slam quarterfinal of the year on Sunday.

 

The German had come through two back-to-back five set matches to reach the third round at the US Open, and it remained to be seen if the serve and volleyer had enough gas left in the tank. Isner opened proceedings in this intriguing third round clash between the two seeded players, who rely on their serves in their matches.

The 10th seed held serve and Zverev responded with a hold to love of his own.  Both players had no problems on their serve as it was a serve dominated encounter. However, the turning point in the opening set of the match was a poor ninth game from Isner. The 2011 US Open quarterfinalist committed an untimely double fault, which handed Zverev two break point chances.

This year’s Australian Open quarterfinalist, who beat Isner in a five-set thriller in the second round of the Australian Open, recovering from a two sets to love down position, he made no mistake and broke Isner’s serve at the first time of asking. The bottom half of the draw is wide open, and the 30-year-old, Russian-born German continued to serve well as he produced two aces. He created his first set point chance with a serve and volley winner. Zverev clinched the opening set in just 30 minutes, 6-4.

The grimace on Isner’s face showed the agony of how he was playing and the injury (Photo by Elsa / Getty)

Isner’s chances of reaching the second week at the US Open for the fourth time were fading as he trailed 0-30 on his serve in the second set but he fired down an ace and remained strong on his serve to take a crucial 1-0 lead at the start of the second set. Zverev’s serve and volleying tactics were spot on as he served to love once again.

The 10th seed committed another double fault, and Zverev had a chance to break the Isner serve once again, however, his serve came to the rescue with a big serve out wide, coupled with back-to-back aces to lead 3-2. Nevertheless, the 23rd seed did not need to wait long for another opportunity to break Isner’s serve as the American committed back-to-back double faults, which handed Zverev a 4-3 lead.

It was a tough day at the office for Isner (Photo by Elsa / Getty)

The USA’s number one male tennis player received an intense medical time out on his neck. However, Isner had the chance to break back immediately as he produced a scintillating passing backhand winner down the line. In typical Zverev fashion, he served well and got himself out of trouble to lead 5-3.

It was a nightmare for the tenth-seeded American as his serve was under pressure once again, as the 23rd seed broke Isner’s serve for the second time in the second set with a backhand return winner down the line, taking a 6-4, 6-3 lead in just one hour and 10 minutes.

Zverev books his place in the fourth round at Flushing Meadows

It was crucial for Isner to hold onto his serve at the end of the first set, which he was unable to do, which allowed Zverev to serve first in the third set. The German held serve easily, and he was making inroads on Isner’s serve by racing out to a 0-30 lead. The big-serving American managed to hold onto his serve with some big serving that bailed him out of trouble once more to level proceedings at 1-1.

The third set was flowing on serve with both players keeping the points short and engaging in short rallies at the back of the court. Furthermore, the set was evenly poised at 3-3 but it was Isner who was looking for the first break of serve in this set as he was finally looking to get a stranglehold on this matchup.

He produced a passing forehand winner down the line at 15-40 but under pressure, Zverev saved both break points and he held onto his serve with a serve and volley winner to lead 4-3.

The German’s serve and volleying skills were on point in this third round clash (Photo by Elsa / Getty)

Inevitably with both players continuing to remain untroubled on their serve, the third set would be decided in a tiebreaker. Zverev clinched the first point to take a 1-0 lead but Isner responded with two back-to-back serve and volley winners to take a 2-1 lead. However, the first mini break came when Zverev produced a stunning backhand passing winner down the line to lead 4-2.

A wild forehand sailed long from the American’s racquet, and his US Open misery was almost over as he had to fend off three match points at 6-3 down. Fortunately, for Isner, he was able to save both of them on his serve but he was unable to save a third as Zverev shocked the Arthur Ashe Stadium with a stunning half volley winner to clinch an impressive, 6-3, 6-4, 7-6(5) and book his place in the fourth round for the second time in his career at a Grand Slam.

After the match, Zverev spoke to Pam Shriver about his victory over Isner. “Thanks to Jez for that, he made me work so hard a couple of weeks ago, he said don’t worry about how you do before the US Open, you’ll be ready for the US Open. I said I feel so tired, I don’t know how I will recover by then.”

He was then asked if he expected to be the last Zverev brother standing in the men’s singles draw. “Not really, that’s a surprise to me, because my brother is number six in the world. He beat Federer in Montreal in the final, I was expecting him to be in the round of 16 or quarters.” 

Shriver also mentioned Zverev’s run to the quarterfinals in Melbourne, and his experience on playing on the big courts.  “I learned how to enjoy myself on the big court because u can try to play your best, it happens automatically, because the crowd is unbelievable, Arthur Ashe is the biggest court, in the world, it’s just phenomenal.

The German was unaware that his compatriot and 1989 champion Boris Becker was in attendance. “Honestly, I didn’t know he was here until just now because I have my visor on I don’t see anything except my corner and my shoe laces (Waves to Boris). Maybe it’s good I didn’t see him because I would have gotten nervous maybe.

 

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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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Alexander Zverev Secures Place In ATP Finals With Indian Wells Win

Zverev will be seeking to win the season-ending extravaganza for the second time in his career.

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Alexander Zverev (GER) Credit: AELTC/Edward Whitaker

Germany’s Alexander Zverev has become the fourth player to officially qualify for the ATP Finals after reaching the third round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.

 

The world No.4 defeated America’s Jenson Brooksby 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, in his second round match on Sunday which pushed him over the points threshold to secure his spot in the end-of-season event. It is the fifth year in a row he has qualified for the ATP Finals which he won back in 2018. He is one of only three German players to ever win the title after Boris Becker and Michael Stich.

This year’s tournament will take place in Turin, Italy for the first time in history after being held at The O2 Arena in London for more than a decade. Only the eight highest ranked players are eligible to play in the round-robin tournament which has on offer up to 1500 rankings points for an undefeated champion.

“My first time in Turin. I’ve been to London four times before. London is obviously very special to me because I won there, as well. I think the stadium is incredible, one of the most special events that we had,” Zverev told reporters on Sunday.
“But I also love playing in Italy. I had great success in Italy. I won my first Masters in Rome. I’m looking forward to being there. I’m looking forward to playing in front of the Italian fans. It’s going to be a great week.”

The 24-year-old approaches the final quarter of this season with four titles already won this year. He has won two Masters 1000 trophies, an ATP 500 event in Mexico and a gold medal in singles at the Tokyo Olympic Games. Zverev, who has recorded seven wins over top 10 players, also reached the semi-finals at both the French Open and US Open.

Zverev joins Novak Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas as the players who have qualified for the ATP Finals so far. It is the third straight season the quartet has qualified for the event.

This year’s ATP Finals will get underway on November 14th. Medvedev is the defending champion.

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Denis Shapovalov Advances After Pospisil Retires In Indian Wells

The battle of the two Canadians didn’t go as planned…

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Denis Shapovalov (CAN) Credit: AELTC/Edward Whitaker

Vasek Pospisil faced off against his fellow Canadian Denis Shapovalov in the second round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells and it was the world number 13 who got the win after the Vernon native pulled out due to an injury whilst trailing 0-3.

 

It was a rough start for Pospisil who seemed to struggle with his serve in the opening game of the match and double-faulted twice in a row to give the early break and Shapovalov had no issues consolidating the break.

Shapovalov continued to apply pressure on the Pospisil serve and after saving two breakpoints the world number 68 pulled up after a serve and stopped play, calling for the trainer. He ended up taking a medical timeout off the court and a couple of minutes later returned to court. Pospisil was broken once again and the following game after a couple of returns decided to call it quits.

” It was pretty awful…and if I’m being honest I am shaking a bit…It really sucks I hope it’s nothing serious…He’s a great guy he’s a real warrior he’s fought back from some injuries surgeries to such a great level.” Shapovalov said of his compatriot.

Shapovalov will face 19th seed Aslan Karatsev in the next round after the Russian thrashed Salvatore Caruso 6-2, 6-0.

In the other results of the day sixth seeed Casper Ruud dominated Roberto Carballes Baena 6-1, 6-2, Roberto Bautista Agut beat the Argentine Guido Pella 7-5, 6-3 and Sebastien Korda won an all American battle with Frances Tiafoe 6-0, 6-4.

Finally, Diego Schwartzman needed three sets to beat another American in Maxime Cressy winning 6-2, 3-6, 7-5.

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