When it comes to Asian tennis a lot of the focus is placed upon Japan’s Kei Nishikori, but there is a rising star positioned to follow in his footsteps.
Tseng Chun-hsin is a name that many may be unfamiliar with, but he has already achieved a series of milestones at the age of 16. Within the first six months of 2018, he had claimed the French Open boys title, won his first two trophies as a professional on the Futures circuit and made his Davis Cup debut. On Sunday he added to his already impressive resume. Defeating local favourite Jack Draper 6-1, 6-7(2), 6-4, to win the Wimbledon title after more than two hours of play.
“I think the first (set) I was playing, I was enjoying the tennis and playing relaxed.” Tseng said about his performance.
“Second set I had some chance to break his serve, but I didn’t make it.”
“I just focus on every match, to enjoy my tennis and play my best tennis on the court.” He added.
The Taiwan player has blossomed under the guidance of his family. Growing up his father worked as a vendor at a local market as well as a part-time tennis coach. Whilst at the same time overseeing the development of his son on the tour.
“I think my family is always the biggest support to my tennis.” He said. “My father is also my coach since the beginning until now. I think I really have to thank them to helping me on this road and always supporting me.”
There is one player who Tseng models his entire game on and it is not Roger Federer. Despite the fact he shares the same birthday as the 20-time champion. For him, Nishikori is his ultimate inspiration. A player who he is yet to practice with, but remembers once asking for a photo to be taken with him four years ago.
“My favorite idol is Kei Nishikori because I think he’s the best.” He said of the former US Open finalist. “I think I play similar like him, so I want to be the same like him.”
Obviously Nishikori isn’t the only player from that continent to have excelled in tennis. There is also former Australian Open champion Li Na, who is credited for reviving China’s interest in the sport. Michael Chang, who reached a high of No.2 in the world, also had Taiwan heritage.
“I think because of their results, they can help the Asia players have more confidence and more motivation. To just to want to be like them.” Tseng explained.
Targeting a step onto the professional tour in 2019, Tseng has already made positive waves. Winning 17 out of 21 matches on the professional circuit so far this year. He is also No.1 on the junior tour and has now reached the final of the first three grand slam tournaments this season.
Injured Rafael Nadal Ousts Fritz In Wimbledon Thriller
The world No.4 is through to the semi-finals but there are new doubts over his current health.
Rafael Nadal has kept his chances of achieving a calendar slam alive by defeating American Taylor Fritz in a dramatic quarter-final match at Wimbledon where he struggled with injury.
The second seed took a medical time out during the second set but continued to battle to a sensational 3-6, 7-5, 3-6, 7-5, 7-6(10-4), win over Fritz. Two days ago Nadal was seen wearing tape on his abdomen but refused to go into details when asked by reporters. Although it was clear that this issue is ongoing with the Spaniard crouching over a couple of times after serving in pain.
“The body is generally fine. Of course, in the abdominal area, something is not going well. I had to find a way to serve a little bit differently,” said Nadal. “I was thinking during a lot of moments that I would not be able to finish the match but the energy (of Center Court) was something else.”
In the roller-coaster encounter, 19 breaks of serves occurred throughout the marathon match. During the gut-busting 260-minute showdown Nadal saw plenty of chances come and go. In each of the first two sets, he had a break advantage before losing them. He also failed to maintain a break advantage in the decider before coming through in the tiebreak. Nevertheless, he managed to come out on top with the help of 5 aces and 55 winners.
“I enjoy playing these kinds of matches in front of you guys (the crowd),” the Spaniard continued.
“It has been a tough afternoon against a great player. All the credit to Taylor, he has been playing great the whole season.’
“From my side, it was not an easy match and I am happy to be in the semifinal.”
The triumph is a bitter pill for Fritz to swallow who was bidding to become the youngest American man to reach the last four at Wimbledon since 2005. Until now he had been on an eight-match winning streak.
As for Nadal, he is through to his eighth Wimbledon semi-final and 38th at a major event. He is now 8-0 when it comes to playing quarter-final matches at the tournament.
Amid concerns over the abdomen, Nadal now has only two days to recover in time for his blockbuster showdown against the formidable Nick Kyrgios who came through his match in straight sets against Cristian Garin. Nadal leads their head-to-head 6-3 and has won their two previous meetings at SW19.
“I hope to be ready to play it,” he said of the semi-final.
“TNick is a great player on all surfaces, especially on the grass. He’s having a great grass-court season and it’s going to be a great challenge. I need to be one hundred percent.”
At the age of 36 Nadal is seeking to reach his first Wimbledon final since 2011.
“I Thought The Ship Had Sailed’ – Nick Kyrgios Reaches Maiden Wimbledon Semis
The 27-year-old reacts to achieving a new milestone in his career.
Nick Kyrgios has achieved his best-ever result at a Grand Slam tournament after beating Cristian Garin in straight sets in the quarter-finals at Wimbledon.
Kyrgios, who was playing in the last eight of the tournament for the first time since 2014, rallied to a 6-4, 6-3, 7-5(5) win over his Chilean rival. Becoming the first player from his country to reach the last four of the men’s draw since Lleyton Hewitt did so back in 2005.
”I felt I was playing on the back foot a lot. He’s a hell of a player,” Kyrgios said afterward. “He’s obviously very confident. Hell of a tournament for him to make the quarter-finals. I got lucky on a couple of break points here and there. It could have been him standing here (giving the winner’s interview).”
In what was a largely controlled match from Kyrgios, he produced a total of 17 aces alongside 35 winners against 29 unforced errors. There were the occasional outbursts and criticism of the lines officials but it was by nowhere as controversial as his previous encounters against Stefanos Tsitspas in the third round and Paul Jubb in the first.
The breakthrough comes during what has been a turbulent career. Kyrgios has been a player involved in many controversies and was at one stage issued with a suspended ban from the Tour due to unsportsmanlike conduct. However, his talent was never doubted but many were unsure if he could be consistent enough to have a deep run at a major event. He once was at a pub until 4 am on the same day he was due to play Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon.
“It was an amazing atmosphere out here (on court one). I never thought I will be in the semifinal of a grand slam. I thought my ship had sailed.” He admits.
“I didn’t go about things earlier in my career great and I may have wasted (time).’
‘I’m really proud of the way I’ve come back out here with my team and with that performance.”
As one of the few top 100 players who travel without a coach, Kyrgios paid tribute to those around him.
“I don’t have a coach I would never put that burden on someone,” he jokes.
“Each and every one of my team plays an important role. I feel like nobody knows my tennis better than I do. I’ve been playing this sport since I was seven and to be in the semi-final of a slam I am pretty happy.”
Kyrgios is the lowest-ranked Wimbledon semi-finalist since 2008.
Why Cameron Norrie’s Historic Run To The Wimbledon Semi-Finals Is No Fluke
The Brit has already proved his worth on the ATP Tour, it was only a matter of time before he did so at the majors.
Cameron Norrie joins a small contingent of British men to have ever reached the semi-final of a major after coming through a dramatic five-set epic against David Goffin at Wimbledon.
Spurred on by an animated crowd, the ninth seed battled from behind to win 3-6, 7-5, 2-6, 6-3, 7-5, against the former top 10 player. In doing so the 26-year-old has become only the fourth British man in the Open Era to reach the last four of the grass-court major and the seventh to do so at any Grand Slam.
“To just be a semifinalist of a slam, especially this one, living just around the corner. It’s just all pretty crazy and all happened pretty quickly.” Said Norrie.
A former college standout player for Texas Christian University, Norrie’s Grand Slam breakthrough has been one in the making. Last year he achieved his best-ever season with a win-loss record of 52-25. During that year he contested six tour finals across three different surfaces, winning two titles. The most prestigious being Indian Wells. His coach, Facundo Lugones, was recognized for his work by being named ATP Coach of the Year.
Norrie’s 2021 wasn’t a one-off with him continuing his form into this year. Winning the Delray Beach Open in February and Lyon in May. More recently, he was runner-up at Queen’s to Matteo Berrettini who is absent from the tournament after testing positive for COVID-19
“When I was a kid watching guys on TV making the (Grand Slam) quarterfinals and thinking, ‘Wow, this looks so tough to do, and there’s almost zero chance I’m going to do that.’ But to actually be doing it, to be living it and experiencing it is very cool and pretty crazy.”
Until now the Grand Slams have been where Norrie has failed to shine. It was visible how much the latest Wimbledon win meant to the world No.12 who struggled to hold back his emotions whilst speaking during his on-court interview.
“All the hard work, the sacrifices and everything just kind of all hit me at once. Especially the situation here at Wimbledon in front of my family, my friends, and obviously a lot of people following that match.” Norrie explained.
“Thinking back about all the hard work, the sacrifices and everything was just…. I didn’t really know what to say. It got emotional there. (It was) just a crazy day and crazy match to get through.”
Standing in his way of becoming the first home player since Andy Murray to reach the Wimbledon final is Novak Djokovic. The top seed ousted Jannik Sinner in five sets earlier in the day.
“He has nothing to lose. Every victory from now onwards is a big deal for him. I know that.” Said Djokovic.
“But I practiced (with him) a few times. I know his game well. He’s been around. Of course, I will do my homework and get ready.”
Looking ahead to his showdown with the 20-time Grand Slam champion, Norrie describes playing him as one of the ‘toughest’ tasks in the sport. He first played Djokovic at last year’s ATP Finals in Milan where he lost 6-2, 6-1. Although the Brit believes he has learned a lot from that match and will be seeking tips from a former Wimbledon Champion as well.
“Andy (Murray) has been super supportive to me and my team. I’m always practicing with him and always reaching out to him for ideas. He’s super supportive with us,” he said.
“I think he’s not a bad guy to ask about some tactics. I’m going to enjoy today and maybe reach out to him and see what he’s got.”
Norrie’s win-loss record against top 10 players in his career currently stands at 4-23.
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