Rafael Nadal Holds Off Khachanov In Epic Clash - UBITENNIS
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Rafael Nadal Holds Off Khachanov In Epic Clash

Rafael Nadal drew on all his fighting qualities to overcome Karen Khachanov in an absorbing third-round contest at US Open 2018.



picture: zimbio.com

Rafael Nadal battled to a 5-7 7-5 7-6(6) 7-6(3) win over inspired opponent Karen Khachanov to book his place in the last 16 at US Open 2018.


The Spaniard, who had never previously lost a set to the Russian in four previous meetings, faced a much tougher proposition this time during an epic encounter that lasted four hours and 22 minutes.

“I’m very happy to escape a tough situation against a great opponent,” Nadal said in his on-court interview. “I have some things to work on for the next round, but the good thing is that I have a chance to improve.”

Khachanov played superbly in the first set. He broke Nadal’s serve in the third game when the Spaniard missed a forehand.

The World No.1 then hit back to level the score in game eight, but the Russian was undeterred. He punished a weak volley from Nadal with a good pass to break again for a 6-5 lead.

Khachanov kept his composure when the Spaniard saved three set points and eventually clinched the first set with ace down the tee. He fired down eight aces and 23 winners during it.

Nadal fights back

For a time, it looked like the Russian would take a two-sets-to-love lead. The second set followed the same pattern as the opener for eight games: Khachanov broke Nadal in the third game and the World No.1 fought back to make it 4-4.

But everything was different after that. The Russian broke again, and then the Spaniard broke straight back and held his own serve to love to lead 6-5.


It was at this point that the pressure of sustaining such a high standard had an effect on Khachanov. He tried everything he could to hold serve, but Nadal eventually wore him down and he made an error to make it one set apiece.

Despite plenty of long rallies, the third set was a more routine affair as both players served well to hold six times and force a tie-break.

Nadal raced into a 6-3 lead in the breaker courtesy of two double faults from Khachanov and looked set to take it there and then.

However, the Spaniard made a couple of errors and the Russian produced a huge forehand to drag it back to 6-6.

The drama did not stop there. Khachanov saved another set point and then made a double-fault to give Nadal his fifth chance to go up two sets to one.

What followed was extraordinary. Both players gave everything they had to an engrossing 39-shot rally that ended when the Spaniard hit a deep, wide forehand into the corner that the Russian could only deflect away from the court.

Khachanov makes Nadal work hard for the win


Khachanov looked tired at the beginning of the fourth set and dropped his serve in the third game. However, he recovered to keep Nadal’s advantage to one break, and that proved crucial.

When he was serving for the match, the Spaniard’s level dipped significantly and he suddenly found himself facing three break points. Khachanov only needed one: he brought Nadal to the net with a low backhand and then passed him with a precise forehand to level the score.

The Russian held onto his serve and then had one chance to break the World No.1 in the next game. However, Nadal snuffed it out to take the set to a tie-break.

The Spaniard controlled it throughout and powered his way to a 6-1 lead. Khachanov won the next two points but Nadal made no mistake to finish it 7-3.



Alexander Zverev Deserves More Respect According To Boris Becker

According to Boris Becker, Alexander Zverev deserves more respect from tennis journalists.



Alexander Zverev (@WeAreTennis - Twitter)

Boris Becker has claimed that Alexander Zverev deserves more respect despite Zverev failing to live up to his potential at Grand Slams.


Zverev has only reached one Grand Slam final in his career despite being a regular inside the world’s top ten as well as performing at regular ATP events.

This season Zverev played a limited schedule after recovering from an ankle injury but still managed to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals.

However most critics have been loud when judging Zverev’s career as it was looking likely that he would be a regular Grand Slam champion.

The German has failed to live up to expectations but former Grand Slam champion Boris Becker believes Zverev deserves more respect.

Speaking to Eurosport Becker also said that Zverev’s father being the coach is a more than successful approach when it comes to the former US Open finalist’s career, “In my opinion, he doesn’t get enough respect from the tennis experts internationally,” Becker explained.

“They’re all talking about the young three or four, but don’t give Zverev, Medvedev or Rublev enough respect. He’s playing with his fist in his pocket a little bit, wants everyone show that he is not a thing of the past, but that his best time is yet to come.

“Surely his father knows best what is good for his son, but if you look into the box at the competition, you can also see changes.”

Becker has followed Zverev for most of his career so knows that the best is yet to come from the German.

Alexander Zverev will look to prove himself next season when he starts his 2024 season when he represents Germany at the United Cup.

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Juan Carlos Ferrero Analyses Key Areas For Carlos Alcaraz’s Development

Juan Carlos Ferrero has outlined the next steps in Carlos Alcaraz’s development.



(@tennisnewsbrazil - Twitter)

Carlos Alcaraz’s coach, Juan Carlos Ferrero has analysed the key areas for the Spaniard’s development heading into the 2024 season.


The former world number one’s season has come to an end after a successful year which saw him win the Wimbledon title as well as winning two Masters 1000 titles.

Alcaraz capped off an incredible season by reaching the semi-finals at the Nitto ATP Finals, where he lost to Novak Djokovic.

However there is a long way for the Spaniard to go if he wants to consistently go toe-to-toe with Novak Djokovic.

Speaking to Marca Alcaraz’s coach Juan Carlos Ferrero spoke about the Spaniard’s development and said that Alcaraz is too emotional, “Be more regular in games, not open doors. Sometimes there are mistakes and it is something that we have to improve a lot,” Ferrero commented.

“Although it is true that he opens doors, he always competes well and at the highest level. He knows it, the other day he already said that Novak doesn’t give you one. He has to improve his decision making and he will achieve that with experience. Carlos is very emotional and that sometimes helps him and other times not so much.”

It’s clear Alcaraz’s high-quality is there but to consistently do it against Djokovic is another task altogether as the Spaniard looks to go from strength-to strength next season.

One area that is clearly a priority for Alcaraz is physical conditioning especially considering what happened against Djokovic at Roland Garros earlier in the season.

Ferrero said that will be a clear focus heading into 2024 but couldn’t guarantee that Alcaraz will play a tournament before the Australian Open, “Because of the year and the fatigue he has been in, what he needs is rest and disconnecting for 8-10 days with his friends,” Ferrero stated.

“From there, the thinking must go back to working really hard, strong and well to start very strongly in Australia. One can never be sure of that. Sometimes you play a tournament and it doesn’t go well, you left home too early. There are many ways of thinking.

“This year we haven’t played Australia and he finishes number two. That means there is no urgency to play a tournament early. Carlos is a player who enters competition quickly, you don’t usually see him without rhythm.

“Although it is true that he becomes more dangerous from the round of 16, from the quarter-finals. I am confident that the two exhibition matches and the training sessions will help us play a good tournament.”

Alcaraz will be looking to play the Australian Open which starts on the 15th of January after the Spaniard missed last year’s tournament due to a leg injury.

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Australian Open Chief Confident Nadal Will Play But Kyrgios’ Participation Uncertain



Nadal RG 2022 by Night (foto @RolandGarros)

The tournament director of the Australian Open says he is ‘certain’ that Rafael Nadal will play at the Grand Slam even though the Spaniard has yet to outline his comeback plans. 


Craig Tiley told reporters in Melbourne on Thursday he hopes to receive some clarity over Nadal’s intentions in the next couple of weeks but is confident he will play. However, the tennis official had previously claimed in October that the former world No.1 had already committed to play in the event before his team denied that statement.  

Nadal, who has won 22 Grand Slam titles, hasn’t played a Tour match since his second round defeat at the Australian Open in January due to a hip injury. He was originally expecting to take an eight-week break but the recovery didn’t go to plan and he ended up having surgery. In May he confirmed that he will take an extended break from the sport to heal his body and admitted that retirement next year is a possibility.

“Rafa has been training, I follow him closely, probably every day because he’s a massive drawcard for us,” the Reuters News Agency quoted Tiley as saying. 
“He wants to play, he’s obviously planning on playing. It all depends on how he pulls up.
“Hopefully in the next week or the next two weeks, we get some specific confirmation of that. I’m certain Rafa will be here because he’s not going to want to miss the opportunity to repeat what he did a couple of years ago.”

Earlier this month Nadal confirmed that he intends to return to the Tour but admits that he will continue to experience a degree of pain. Although he has yet to give any information about which tournament he will begin his comeback at. The 2024 season begins during the first week of January.

“I’m well, training, and happy. I’m at a good stage of my life,” atptour.com quoted Nadal as telling reporters in Barcelona.
“Until now I didn’t know if I would play tennis again someday, and now I genuinely believe I will. I’m still not ready to say when, but I’m able to train increasingly longer, and the progress is good.’

Will Kyrgios play?

Another player Tiley is eager to welcome back is home player and former Wimbledon Finalist Nick Kyrgios who has only played one Tour-level match this season due to injury. He underwent knee surgery in January and then tore a ligament in his wrist during the summer. As a result, the Australian currently doesn’t have an ATP ranking due to his inactivity. 

“We have spoken to Nick, and he obviously wants to do the best he possibly can to give him the best chance to play in January,” Tiley said of Kyrgios.
“Whether he’s playing, whether he’s doing something else, Nick will be here in January and to get him to play will be great. But we’ve got to take it as it comes and he’s got to make sure he takes care of his health …” 

Kyrgios recently worked as an analyst for the Tennis Channel during this year’s ATP Finals in Turin and gave a brief update on his ongoing recovery during a segment. 

“After last year, I had such a great year, and I’m so hungry to get back out there,” the 2022 Wimbledon finalist commented.
“So I’m doing everything I can to get back out there. Obviously, you know how injuries are every day, just doing the rehab, doing the gym work.”

The Australian Open will begin on Sunday 14th January. Novak Djokovic and Aryna Sabalenka are the defending champions. 

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