Nick Kyrgios Praises Rising Star De Minaur Ahead Of Nadal Clash - UBITENNIS
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Nick Kyrgios Praises Rising Star De Minaur Ahead Of Nadal Clash

Kyrgios speaks out about the upcoming clash involving the world No.1.

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Alex de Minaur (zimbio.com)

Wimbledon 15th seed Nick Kyrgios believes compatriot Alex de Minaur has the game to trouble Rafael Nadal in their upcoming clash at the tournament.

 

De Minaur, 19, reached the third round of the tournament by defeating Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-2, 6-7(8), 7-5, 6-2 on Thursday. Making it his best ever performance at a grand slam event to date. De Minaur has illustrated his talent on the grass leading up to Wimbledon. Reaching back-to-back finals on the Challenger Tour, winning the Nottingham Open.

His reward is a showdown with second seed Nadal where he will be bidding to emulate fellow countryman Kyrgios. The Australian defeated Nadal at Wimbledon back in 2014 at the age of 19. De Minaur will be the underdog in their upcoming clash, but some believe he has the game to test the Spaniard.

“I honestly think he can cause some damage the next round. I don’t think Rafa is going to be liking the ball that’s going to come at him constantly for three hours.” Kyrgios said of De Minaur.
“It’s going to be a tough ask for him, but I think he could definitely cause a little bit of discomfort.
“He’s got a lot of good guys around him. Lleyton is always with him. Stoltenberg is with him. He’s got a good team around him. So that’s good.”

Nadal, who is bidding to reach the quarter-finals of the tournament for the first time since 2010, is under no illusion about the difficulty he faces. The 11-time French Open champion defeated Mikhail Kukushkin 6-4, 6-3, 6-4, during his second round match.

“I know him. He’s good. He’s young. He’s dangerous. Good player. So let’s see. It is a good challenge for me.” Nadal said of the Australian.

With all the hype surrounding de Minaur also comes a warning from Kyrgios. The 19-year-old is currently ranked 80th in the world. At the start of the year he reached his first ATP World Tour final in Sydney. He is currently the third youngest player in the top 100 after Denis Shapovalov and Stefanos Tsitsipas.

“He’s going to have a big career. Don’t hype him up too much. Like if he beats Nadal, don’t say like, ‘This guy is going to win Wimbledon.’ Let him alone. Let him do his thing.” Kyrgios urge the media concerning how the report on De Minaur.

De Minaur will play Nadal on Saturday.

De Minaur’s Wimbledon run so far

R1 def. Marco Cecchinato 6-4, 6-7(6), 7-6(5), 6-4
Aces – 8
1st serves won – 76%
2nd Serves won – 64%
Break points saved – 5/8
Break points converted – 5/17
Winners – 37
Unforced errors – 30

R2 def. Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-2, 6-7(8), 7-5, 6-2
Aces – 6
1st serves won – 78%
2nd serves won – 61%
Break points saved – 6/8
Break points converted – 6/17
Winners – 39
Unforced errors – 27

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Roberto Bautista Agut overcomes Dominik Koepfer in three sets in Hamburg

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Nine-time ATP Tour champion Roberto Bautista Agut came back from a break down in the third set to beat last week’s Rome quarter finalist Dominik Koepfer 6-3 3-6 6-3 in 2 hours and 4 minutes at the European Open in Hamburg. The nine-time ATP Tour winner converted on 7 of his 17 break points.  

 

Koepfer, who was the only player to win a set against Novak Djokovic last week in Rome, got an early break to take a 2-0 lead. Bautista Agut won five consecutive games with two consecutive breaks to take the first set 6-3. 

Koepfer earned an early break to open up a 3-1 lead in the second set. Five consecutive breaks followed, before Koepfer sealed the second set with an unreturned serve after saving two break points in the 10th game. 

Koepfer came back from 0-2 down in the third set by winning three consecutive games to take a break lead at 3-2. Bautista Agut won four consective games with a double break in the sixth and eighth games to win the third set at 6-3. 

Bautista Agut set up a quarter final against last year’s finalist Andrey Rublev, who overcame Tommy Paul 6-1 3-6 6-2 in 1 hour and 37 minutes. The Spaniard leads 2-1 in his three head-to-head matches against his younger Russian rival.

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Aryna Sabalenka comes back from one set down to beat Anna Blinkova in Strasbourg

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World number 12 and this year’s Doha champion Aryna Sabalenka came back from a set down to edge past Anna Blinkova 1-6 6-4 6-2 reaching the quarter final at the Internationaux de Strasbourg. 

 

Sabalenka qualified for the quarter final in Adelaide and Dubai in 2020, but she scored just three wins across the US tournaments in Lexington, the Western and Southern Open and at the US Open. 

Blinkova came through the qualifying round in Rome, where she beat Jil Teichmann and Aliona Bolsova before losing to eventual finalist Karolina Pliskova in the Round of 16. 

Blinkova went up a double break to take a 4-0 lead. Sabalenka held serve at love in the fifth game to win her first game. Blinkova served out the first set 6-1 with her third break. 

Sabalenka got her first break at the start of the second set to take a 1-0 lead. Blinkova broke straight back in the second game to draw level to 1-1. Both players went on serve until the seventh game, when Sabalenka got a crucial break to take a 4-3 lead after a marathon game that went to three deuces. Sabalenka held her next two service games to take the second set 6-4. 

Sabalenka earned an early break in the third game to open up a 3-1 lead. She broke again in the seventh game for 5-2 at deuce and served out the win on her second match point. Sabalenka hit 27 winners to 32 unforced errors. 

Sabalenka set up a quarter final match against Katerina Siniakova, who beat Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-2 6-4. Siniakova broke twice to take a 5-1 lead. Alexandrova pulled the break back at love in the seventh game, but Alexandrova came back from 15-30 to break serve in the 10th game closing out the first set 6-4. The second set went on serve until the 10th game when Siniakova converted her third break point at deuce to close out the match. 

Former Roland Garros champion Jelena Ostapenko advanced to the quarter final after Kiki Bertens was forced to retire due to an Achilles tendon injury from the match at 2-6 6-4 4-2. Ostapenko will face Japan’s Nao Hibino, who beat Zarina Diyas 7-5 6-3. 

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Stefanos Tsitsipas beats Daniel Evans to reach the second round in Hamburg

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Last year’s ATP Finals champion Stefanos Tsitsipas cruised past Daniel Evans 6-3 6-1 in 59 minutes to set up a second round match against Uruguay’s Pablo Cuevas. 

 

Tsitsipas forced a forehand error from Evans to get a break for 3-1 and sealed the first set at love with a forehand volley winner. 

The Greek player broke serve in the third game of the second set with a forehand return and a a foehand approach. Tsitsipas broke three times in a row to win the second set 6-1. 

Tsitsipas hit 17 of his 24 winners off the forehand wing and won 14 of his points at the net. 

“It’s very satisfying to be playing that level of tennis, as I have missed playing on clay. It helps for my confidence. I have watched this tournament on TV since I was very young and I am delighted to have gotten off to a strong start”, said Tsitsipas. 

Chile’s Christian Garin beat German wild card Yannick Hanfmann 6-2 7-6 (7-3) to become the first player to reach the quarter final in Hamburg. Garin broke twice in a row in the sixth and eighth to win the first set 6-2. 

The South American player went up a break at deuce to take a 3-1 lead in the second set. Yanfmann converted his third break-back point in the ninth game to draw level to 5-5. The German player earned another break in the 11th game to take a 6-5 lead earning a chance to serve for the set. Garin broke straight back sending the second set to the tie-break. Hanfmann took a 3-1 lead, but Garin reeled off six consecutive points to win the tie-break 7-3. 

Benoit Paire withdrew from his first round match against Casper Ruud as he was a set and a break down at 4-6 0-2. The Frenchman revealed after the match that he has tested positive for the coronavirus twice since arriving at the tournament. Paire claimed that he had been told the rule in Germany is different to that in Paris, where positive players have been withdrawn from the French Open qualifying round due to covid-19. 

“The only negative test was yesterday but I was positive in two consecutive tests. The ATP has to explain to me what the rule is. In Paris some are negative, but because the coach is positive they can’t play. Here in Germany you are positive and can play”, said Paire.  

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