Juan Martin Del Potro Overcomes The Heat And Isner To Reach US Open Semis - UBITENNIS
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Juan Martin Del Potro Overcomes The Heat And Isner To Reach US Open Semis

The former champion battle through to the last four of the tournament as both players struggled with the humid conditions.

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Third seed Juan Martin del Potro has secured a place in his second consecutive US Open semi-final after battling past John Isner 6-7(5), 6-3, 7-6(4), 6-2, in sweltering conditions.

 

As the temperature soared on Tuesday, both players battled to keep their cool in the unforgiving heat. Former champion Del Potro was the better adapted player out of the two to the conditions. Moving around the court freely as he dictated points with the help of his blistering forehand. Meanwhile, Isner also competed admirably, but visibly wilted during parts of the match. Playing into the hands of Del Potro, who hit 26 aces and 67 winners. Alongside 51 unforced errors.

“I’m so happy to reach another semi-final at my favourite tournament.” Del Potro said during his on-court interview.
“Of course, hitting with John in these kind of matches is like an epic match. We were both tired and we both fought throughout the match. I think I survived with my serve during a couple of important moments in the match.”

Initially, the disparity between the two players was next to nothing. During the first set, it was Isner and his mighty serve that came out on top. Just one point separated them throughout the opener (40-39). Which was close out by an Isner ace.

Despite the bright start from the American, he soon started to falter in the heat. Enabling his Argentine rival to fight back. Triggering cheers from his entourage in the crowd. After engaging in an argument with the umpire over wanting to leave the court to change his shorts, Del Potro took his frustrations out in the match. Breaking for a 3-1 lead in the second set thanks to an Isner error. Gaining momentum, he soon drew level before snatching a two-sets-to-one lead by coming through another tentative tiebreaker.

“At one point I got mad at the umpire because he wasn’t letting me change my shorts on the court; they were very wet and I couldn’t move well. I wouldn’t have had a problem changing them on court.” He commented about the issue during an interview with ESPN Argentina.

Due to the conditions, the clash was halted for 10 minutes after three sets in accordance to the extreme weather policy that was in force.  A much needed rest for both men.

“I took a shower, I re-taped my ankles, I lay down on the table and I didn’t want to come back (to the court) again.” Del Potro joked about what he did during the break.
“In this heat, it is impossible to play tennis.”

Upon resumption it appeared as if Del Potro would race towards the finish line. Strolling to a 4-0 lead in the fourth frame. Everything appeared to be going to plan, until a medical time out triggered alarm bells in his camp. Leading 4-1, he underwent an assessment followed by treatment on both of his legs. Isner was also hampered by physical issues throughout the match, but never called for a medical time out.

Despite the scare, Del Potro would not be denied the win. Almost three-and-a-half hours after the first ball was hit, another forehand winner granted him his first match point. Victory was then sealed at the expense of a Isner shot crashing into the net.

Del Potro is now a win away from reaching his first grand slam final since his triumph at Flushing Meadows back in 2009. He will play either top seed Rafael Nadal, who he lost to in the semifinals of the tournament last year, or Dominic Thiem.

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(VIDEO) Novak Djokovic Makes Tearful Tribute To Mentor Kobe Bryant After Australian Open Win

The world No.2 pays his respect to ‘one of the greatest athletes of all time’ on the Rod Laver Arena.

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Novak Djokovic posing for a photo ahead of his quarter-final match with Milos Raonic at the Australian Open (image via https://twitter.com/AustralianOpen)

World No.2 Novak Djokovic shed tears following his quarter-final win over Milos Raonic after paying tribute to NBA legend Kobe Bryant.

 

The 16-time grand slam champion took to the Rod Laver Arena wearing a green zip-up top. On the top right of his jacket with Bryant’s initial along with the numbers 8 and 24. The jersey numbers Bryant worn throughout his 20-year NBA career with the LA Lakers. A love heart was also placed under the numbers on Djokovic’s top.

“’I don’t know what we could say. It really caught us by surprise.” An emotional Djokovic said during his on-court interview with John McEnroe on Tuesday.
‘He was one of the greatest athletes of all time, he inspired myself and many other people around the world. I had that fortune to have a personal relationship with him over the last 10 years.’
‘When I needed some advice and support, he was there for me. He was my mentor, my friend, it’s just heartbreaking to see what has happened to him and his daughter. It’s unbelievable.’

Bryant was killed on Sunday in a helicopter crash that also claimed the life of his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others. As an athlete, he achieved numerous milestones. Including being named the 2008 NBA Most Valuable Player and two-time NBA Finals MVP. He was also a two-time Olympic gold medallist and played in 18 All Star Games.

Just days before Bryant’s death, Djokovic spoke about their friendship during an interview with ESPN. Praising him for the support he received during his elbow injury and fall in the rankings during 2017 and the start of 2018. Reflecting on the conversations the two have had, he said he received some ‘valuable guidance.’

“Kobe has been one of my mentors,” Djokovic told ESPN. “I’ve had several phone conversations with him and also of course when we see each other live in the past couple of years. When I was going through the injury with my elbow and struggling to mentally and emotionally handle all of these different things that were happening to me and dropping in the Rankings and then having to work my way up, he was one of the people who was really there for me to give me some very valuable advice and guidelines to kind of believe and trust in myself, trust the process that I’ll be back.”

Djokovic will play Roger Federer in the semi-finals of the Australian Open.

The tribute can be watched below (from 00:30 to 01:40)

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Dominic Thiem reaches his first quarter final at the Australian Open

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Dominic Thiem eased past Gael Monfils 6-2 6-4 6-4 after 1 hour and 50 minutes on the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne to reach the quarter final at the Australian Open. Thiem has extended his winning streak to 6-0 in his head-to-head matches against Monfils.

 

He fought back from two sets to one down to beat Australia’s Alex Bolt in the second round, but he won eight of his past nine sets to advance to the quarter finals.

Thiem got two breaks in the first set and never faced a single break point in the entire match. The Austrian player converted his fourth break point after three deuces, as Monfils missed a backhand volley wide. Thiem started the third set with an early break in the first game, as Monfils hit an inside-out forehand wide from the middle of the court wide. Thiem won his next service games and held his final game at love.

Thiem will face Rafael Nadal in a re-match of last year’s Roland Garros final.

“I think that I played my best match so far at this year’s Australian Open. It’s a very good feeling. The score looks way easier than the match was. I think I was lucky to make an early break in each set and I was managing to hold my serve well. I am so happy because I am in the quarter final here for the first time”, said Thiem.

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Alexander Zverev tops Andrey Rublev to set Australian Open quarter final against Stan Wawrinka

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Alexander Zverev beat his friend Andrey Rublev 6-4 6-4 6-4 in one hour and 37 minutes to reach the quarter final at the Australian Open for the first time in his career and his third at Grand Slam level.

 

Zverev broke serve once in each set. The German player has not dropped a set at this year’s edition of the Australian Open.

Zverev ended Rublev’s 15-match winning streak. Rublev had not lost a match since October, winning four matches at the Davis Cup last November and back-to-back titles in Doha and Adelaide.

In the opening set Zverev earned his first break at 3-3, as Rublev hit a forehand into the net. He held his serve to consolidate the break and wrapped up the first set after 29 minutes, when Rublev hit a crosscourt backhand wide.

Zverev started the second set with an immediate break in the first game of the second set and closed it out with a hold at love with an ace after 29 minutes.

Zverev broke serve for the third time in the match in the ninth game of the third set to take a 5-4, when Rublev made a groundstroke error, and sealed the win with a forehand volley.

“It feels amazing. I played some great matches against some great opponents. This is Andrey’s first loss of the season, having won two tournaments and getting through to the fourth round with unbelievable tennis. I have known Andrey since we were ten years old. I think he will be top 15, top 10 very soon. I am just happy and I hope I can continue”,said Zverev.

Zverev will face Stan Wawrinka in the quarter final. The German star beat Wawrinka twice in their previous two head-to-head matches in St. Petersburg 2016 and Miami 2017.

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