Shocks hit Australian Open Qualifying, Nicolas Mahut among them - UBITENNIS
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Shocks hit Australian Open Qualifying, Nicolas Mahut among them

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Tennis fans may see Nicolas Mahut in Australian Open doubles action, but they won’t see him in the Men’s Singles after a qualifying defeat to Danilo Petrovic (Zimbio.com)

There were a number of shocks in the first round of Qualifying at the Australian Open in Melbourne. 124 men began the day contesting for what will ultimately be 16 qualifying spots for the main draw proper, which begins on Monday.

The first big shock of the day saw 2nd seed Nicolas Mahut go out to Danilo Petrovic. The 35 year-old veteran Frenchman was beaten 7-6, 6-3. 3rd seed Marco Cecchinato joined Mahut as a shock early exit. The Italian was beaten 6-3, 7-6 by Australian wildcard Bradley Mousley.

Britain’s 6th seed Cameron Norrie endured a tough battle with Canada’s Filip Peliwo before emerging the winner 6-1, 6-7, 6-4. Norrie was joined by 17th seed Dustin Brown, who edged Argentina’s Guido Andreozzi 6-3, 3-6, 6-3. 9th seed Alexander Bublik had a major win in the first round last year, when he beat Lucas Pouille. This year, he struggled past Goncalo Oliveira to the second round of qualifying 6-3, 1-6, 6-3.

The Czech Republic’s Vaclav Safranek ended the interests of 32nd seed Renzo Olivo 7-6, 6-2. Olivo qualified and reached the second round in 2016, but there would be no repeat of that this year for the Argentine. Henri Laaksonen, the 14th seed, bowed out in the first round of qualifying for the second year in a row. The Swiss was beaten 7-6, 6-3 by Italy’s Federico Gaio. 7th seed Roberto Carballes Baena drew American Denis Kudla in the first round. Kudla won through 6-3, 7-5.

Kevin King followed Kudla’s lead as he also took down a seed. 31st seed Uladzimir Ignatik was the casualty on this occasion, 7-6, 6-2. 8th seed Gastao Elias is far more suited to clay, and it showed. He was beaten by the more versatile Jozef Kovalik 6-2, 6-2. 30th seed Sebastien Ofner had a great run at Wimbledon, reaching the third round as a qualifier. He would not reproduce the feat in Melbourne though, beaten 7-6, 7-5 by France’s Stephane Robert.

In some of the more interesting matches came from unremarkable matches on paper. Stefan Kozlov of the United States saved four match points to defeat Blake Ellis 7-6, 4-6, 7-6 in just over three hours. Ellis had served for the match in third.

Bradley Klahn was another who failed to win despite serving for the match. The American had the chance to knock out 28th seed Ramkumar Ramanathan, but was eventually beaten 6-7, 7-6, 6-2.

20th seed Matteo Berrettini was forced to fight hard to edge Britain’s Liam Broady. Broady had taken the first set before Berrettini came back to win 5-7, 6-3, 7-6.

10th seed Yannick Hanfmann moved to the second round with a 6-1, 7-6 win over Evan King, but 23rd seed compatriot Oscar Otter was beaten 6-3, 7-6 by Go Soeda. 16th seed Sergiy Stakhovsky was also an unlikely casualty, beaten by Matthias Bachinger 4-6, 7-6, 6-3.

 

 

 

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Nick Kyrgios sets up Round of 16 match against Borna Coric

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Two-time Miami semifinalist and this year’s Acapulco champion Nick Kyrgios cruised past Dusan Lajovic 6-3 6-1 after 57 minutes. Kyrgios will face Borna Coric in the Round of 16. 

The Australian player hit 12 aces and fended off six of the seven break points he faced. Lajovic, who upset Kei Nishikori in the previous round, wasted three break points at the start of the match and dropped his serve at 1-2 after a backhand error. Kyrgios hit a forehand down the line winner to break serve for 5-1. Lajovic got one break back to claw his back to 3-5, but Kyrgios hit four winners to seal the opening set 6-3. Kyrgios broke three times in a row and sealed the win in the seventh game 6-1 on his first match point to secure his spot in the fourth round, where he will face Borna Coric, who came back from one set down to beat Jeremy Chardy 6-7 (2-7) 6-2 6-3 after 2 hours and 36 minutes.

Kyrgios leads 2-1 in his three head-to-head matches against Coric. The Australian player beat his Croatian rival in the Estoril quarter final in 2016 and in Cincinnati 2018. Coric edged Kyrgios in three sets in Cincinnati 2016.

“Borna is an unbelievable competitor and one of the best players in the world. He knows how to win matches and is an unbelievable player. He moves incredibly well and I know he won’t give me a single point. I am not going to think about it right now though. I have a day off tomorrow”, said Kyrgios.

Chardy came back from 2-4 down in the first set before winning the tie-break 7-2. Coric broke serve at the start of the second set to open up a 3-0 lead and saved four break points. The Croatian player sealed the second set 6-2 with a break at 15 in the 8th game. Coric reeled off three games in a row including 12 of the final 14 points from 3-3 to close out the third set 6-3.

 

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John Isner continues his title defence with straight-set win over Albert Ramos Vinolas

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Defending champion John Isner battled past Albert Ramos Vinolas 7-5 7-6 (8-6) to reach the fourth round at the Miami Open.

Seventh seed John Isner was broken in the opening game but he saved the next four break points he faced in the match and hit 16 aces. The US player broke back on his second opportunity in the fourth game to draw level to 2-2. Isner got another break in the 12th game to clinch the first set 7-5.

Isner saved two break points in the fifth game of the second set to hold serve for 3-2. Both players held on their service games to set up a tie-break. Isner rallied from 5-6 down by winning three consecutive games to take the tie-break 8-6.

“I did a lot of things well today. I played a good first set, event though I did not start it off well. In the secondi t was not quite as clean. I will talk to my coach and try to iron things out, but I am into the Round of 16 of a big tournament and I am happy”, said Isner.

Isner set up a fourth round match against Kyle Edmund, who beat Milos Raonic 6-4 6-4 after 1 hour and 34 minutes. The British player got a break in the fifth game of the first set and in the ninth game of the second set.

Roberto Bautista Agut beat Fabio Fognini 6-4 6-4. The Spanish player got an early break to build up a 3-0 lead. Fognini broke back in the ninth game to claw his way back to 4-5, but the Spaniard broke again in the 10th game to seal the opening set 6-4. Fognini earned an immediate break in the first game of the second set, but Bautista broke straight back. Fognini went un a break in the fifth game. The Italian player saved a break-back point chance in the sixth game to take a 4-2 lead, but Bautista Agut fought back by winning the the final four games to seal the second set 6-4.

 

 

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‘You’re A F***ing Disgrace’ – Nick Kyrgios Erupts At The Miami Open

Another tournament, another on-court controversy involving the former top 20 player.

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Nick Kyrgios (photo by Chryslène Caillaud, copyright @Sport Vision)

Australia’s Nick Kyrgios is in line for another hefty fine after blasting the umpire following his doubles match with partner Taylor Fritz.

Kyrgios, who is no stranger to either controversy or fines, completely lost his cool after being edged out of the doubles. Losing 6-7(4), 7-6(3), 8-10, to Guido Pella and Joao Sousa. Throughout the match there was a series of dubious line calls that infuriated the Kyrgios team. Something the racket-smashing 23-year-old complained to the umpire about seconds after the clash.

“What the f**k is wrong with you?” Kyrgios shouted at the umpire. “You’re a f**king disgrace. F**king disgrace.”

Continuing to unleash his rage on the court, Kyrgios interacted with the crowd. Asking them  ‘Do you think that’s alright, yes or no?’ The outburst was caught on camera by one fan, who uploaded in onto his Twitter account.

‘Just give me the answer. He’s a disgrace. ‘I come out and give 100% and I have to deal with idiots like him. Does he get fined for his mistakes? It’s rubbish, man.’ Kyrgios said.

It is not the first time the world No.33 has raised eyebrows for his actions. He previously served a brief ban from the sport in 2016 for unsportsmanlike conduct during the Shanghai Masters. Meanwhile, last June he was fined more than $17,000 for making a lewd gesture during the Fever-Tree Championships in London.

The controversy is a stark contrast to Kyrgios’ opening match in the singles. Taking on Alexander Bublik, he prevailed 7-5, 6-3, with the help of a fairly disciplined and mature performance. He is already a two-time semi-finalist in Miami and has won more matches (11) at the tournament than any other Masters 1000 event.

“I know he’s a player who tries to keep things on his own terms… kind of reminds me of me a little bit,” he said of Bublik. “He just needs to play those bigger points with a little more discipline. Strange me saying that…
“I thought he was going to put me on a couple of highlight reels. I knew he was trying to at some stage. I knew I had to be the disciplined one of the two today.”

Kyrgios will return to the Miami Court’s on Sunday when he play’s Dusan Lajovic in the third round.

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