Evaluating The London Hopefuls: John Isner And Kei Nishikori - UBITENNIS
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Evaluating The London Hopefuls: John Isner And Kei Nishikori

In this four-part series we will be evaluating the season’s of next week’s ATP Finals contenders. In this part we look at John Isner and Kei Nishikori.



John Isner (zimbio.com)

As the ATP World Tour Finals are only four days, UbiTennis evaluates the hopefuls looking at London glory next week. We start with John Isner and Kei Nishikori. 


John Isner 

The eighth seed at this year’s season-ending championships is American John Isner, who is making his debut at 33 years old. The world number 10 didn’t have the best start to the season after only winning one match heading into the Miami Open.

However the American’s season was boosted in Florida, where he won his maiden masters 1000 event, beating an in-form Juan Martin Del Potro and Alexander Zverev en route. He would use Miami as a platform to build on as he would reach the quarter-finals in Madrid and reach the second week at Roland Garros in Paris.

A test of Isner’s confidence would be Wimbledon, which is a slam he has surprisingly done bad at despite grass being his strongest surface. The American would save match points against Ruben Bemelmans before reaching his first ever grand slam semi-final as he would lose in a Wimbledon epic to Kevin Anderson.

An Atlanta title as well as a US Open quarter-final would seal his breakthrough season as he aims to finish the year strong. One particular reason for Isner’s great season is his serving and as we can see below his kick serve out wide has won him a lot of free points.

Via ATPWorldTour.com

His serve on the Deuce side has been the main reason why he is in the ATP World Tour Finals next week and world number one Novak Djokovic will have to look out for that serve on Monday.

So at 33, John Isner has had a great season but can he live with the best, we will find out on Monday night in his first match.

John Isner’s Best Five Tournaments:

Miami Open Champion – 1000 pts

Wimbledon Semi-Finals – 720 pts

US Open quarter-finals – 360 pts

Atlanta Champion – 250 pts

Roland Garros Fourth Round – 180 pts


Kei Nishikori

Kei Nishikori (zimbio.com)

As for Japan’s Kei Nishikori, 2018 has been a rough ride with many ups and downs but ends with a place at next week’s ATP Finals. The season started with a couple of challenger events before a couple of 250 events in America.

His first successful tournament was in Monte-Carlo where he reached the final before losing to a certain Rafael Nadal. A Rome quarter-final loss to Djokovic before reaching the second week in Paris saw a good spell from Nishikori.

After another Wimbledon quarter-final, Nishikori stepped his play up a gear with a very good semi-final run at the US Open, where he beat Marin Cilic and Diego Schwartzman on his way. A couple of finals losses in Tokyo and Vienna have seen the Japanese star qualify for London once again.

Potential Weakness?

Via ATPWorldTour.com

A potential weakness of Nishikori’s though is his ability to return down the tee and how short he gets the return. To beat the best players in the world, he needs to get the ball a lot deeper especially on the forehand side. This is something Roger Federer will look to exploit in their first match on Sunday.

The Deuce side returning game is something that Nishikori will need to focus on next season if he wants to aim for a spot in the top five of the world rankings.

Overall it is good to see Nishikori back to good form and will be interesting to see if he can get out of a fairly average Lleyton Hewitt Group.

Nishikori’s five best tournaments

US Open semi-finals – 720 pts

Monte-Carlo final – 600 pts

Wimbledon quarter-finals – 360 pts

Vienna Final – 300 pts

Tokyo Final – 300 pts



Caroline Wozniacki Announces Retirement After Australian Open

Caroline Wozniacki has announced that she will retire from tennis after the Australian Open in January.



Caroline Wozniacki (@WeAreTennis - Twitter)

Caroline Wozniacki has announced that she will retire from tennis after the Australian Open as a new chapter in her life approaches. 


The Dane won 30 WTA singles titles in her career and spent 71 weeks as world number one although a grand slam had haunted her for most of her career.

However that changed in 2018 after an epic win over Simona Halep sealed a dream come true as she won her first grand slam at the Australian Open.

Since winning her maiden slam though, it has been an uphill struggle on the court for Wozniacki as she was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis.

Some days the former world number one and on some days, it is a constant battle for her to even wake up in the morning.

Now with other priorities taking over having been married to former NBA player David Lee since June and already studying Business at Harvard, Wozniacki today took the decision to retire from tennis after the Australian Open.


In a statement on Instagram, Woznaicki told her followers that she had accomplished everything she wanted to and looks forward to the future, “I’ve accomplished everything I could ever dream of on the court,” she said.

“I’ve always told myself, when the time comes, that there are things away from tennis that I want to do more, then it’s time to be done. In recent months, I’ve realized that there is a lot more in life that I’d like to accomplish off the court.

“Getting married to David was one of those goals and starting a family with him while continuing to travel the world and helping raise awareness about rheumatoid arthritis (project upcoming) are all passions of mine moving forward.

“This has nothing to do with my health and this isn’t a goodbye, I look forward to sharing my exciting journey ahead with all of you!

“Finally, I want to thank with all my heart, the fans, my friends, my sponsors, my team, especially my father as my coach, my husband, and my family for decades of support! Without all of you I could have never have done this!”

Although this retirement may have been coming, not many people would have predicted it would come at the scene of her grand slam breakthrough.

Now in the last stretch of her career, the Dane will want to finish on a high as she looks to celebrate a career that has lasted nearly 15 years.


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Ashleigh Barty, Simona Halep and Venus Williams are the stand-out names in Adelaide



Four top 10 players Ashleigh Barty, Simona Halep, Petra Kvitova and Kiki Bertens and former Grand Slam champions Venus Williams and Angelique Kerber will grab the headlines at the Adelaide International from 12 to 18 January 2020.


A total of seven Grand Slam champions and five former world number one players will take part in the Adelaide WTA tourament.

This year’s Roland Garros champion Ashleigh Barty leads a star-studded line-up, which includes 2019 Wimbledon champion Simona Halep, two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, Kiki Bertens and seven other members of the top 20.

The Main Draw also features Sofia Kenin, Alison Riske, Sloane Stephens and Danielle Collins, World Number 30 Quang Wang. World Number 12 and this Rome WTA Premier finalist Johanna Konta will play her first tournament since the US Open following a knee injury.

Seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams has been announced as the Top 20 wildcard.

“It is always exciting to play at a new tournament in front of new fans. I have had so many memorable times times in Australia over the years and I am looking forward to discovering Adelaide and all it has to offer”, said Venus Williams.

The men’s line-up includes 2019 Australian Open and Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic, Alex De Minaur, Lucas Pouille and Andrey Rublev.

“The full list of players is a real who’s who of tennis, from Australia’s favourite Ashleigh Barty to the iconic Venus Williams, right through to the young talent of Alex De Minaur and the experienced campaigner Novak Djokovic in the men’s field”, said South Australian Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment David Ridgway.

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Marton Fucsovics Reflects On ‘Tough’ Transition To Main Tour

Marton Fucsovics speaks about the difficulties of travelling to the ATP World Tour from the Juniors.



Marton Fucsovics (@atptour - Twitter)

World number 70 Marton Fucsovics has revealed the pressures that came after success at Juniors level. 


The Hungarian has reached a career high ranking of 31 in the world with his big-hitting game but many expected Fucsovics to do better on the ATP Tour.

After winning the 2010 Wimbledon Juniors title, many had predicted big things for Fucsovics but the transition wasn’t a smooth one.

Now in a recent interview, the 27 year-old reveals that he felt the pressure that came with being a good Juniors player, “I felt a lot of pressure,” Fucsovics told TennisHead. 

“Everybody expected me to be in the top 100 in the next one or two years, but it didn’t happen for another eight years. It was a difficult time. I played Challenger tournaments every week. It was tough.”

Despite finding it hard to transition, Fucsovics’ hard work finally payed off in 2018 as he won his first ATP World Tour title in Geneva.

It’s an achievement that shows that his fighting spirits have paid off, “When I turned 18 or 19 I wasn’t very good. The transition was really hard for me. But I kept on fighting. It was my dream, and finally I made it.”

Although it wasn’t a career many had expected from the Hungarian, it’s one that he is proud of and that is what tennis all about, celebrating those who work hard for their dreams.

Another tough thing about Fucsovics’ career was the fact he came from a country that isn’t a big tennis nation and he also revealed how tough it was growing up, “As a country we’ve been getting better since me and Timea Babos broke into the top 100, Tennis is getting more popular in Hungary but we’re still not there yet,” Fucsovics admitted.

“Ninety-five per cent of the courts in Hungary are clay, There are very few indoor courts in Hungary. I don’t think there are any in the whole country outside of Budapest.

“In Hungary we didn’t have the facilities, the coaches, the courts. You have to pay to play but you don’t have to join a club to play, You can just pay the hourly rate.”

It’s an interesting insight and gives a perspective of just how hard Fucsovics has had to work to reach his goals having been only the second male player in history to be in the top 100.

The Hungarian will need to work even harder next season if he wants to climb up the ATP rankings as he sits number 70 in the world at the end of 2019.

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