John Isner’s ATP Finals Debut Marred By Shock Death Of Former Coach And Friend - UBITENNIS
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John Isner’s ATP Finals Debut Marred By Shock Death Of Former Coach And Friend

The American was told the tragic news just hours after his first match played at The O2 Arena on Monday.

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American No.1 John Isner will always remember his first match against Novak Djokovic at this year’s ATP Finals, but not for the reason many would expect.

 

On Monday the world No.10 bowed out in straight sets to the top seed, but just hours after the match he was told about the shock death of his close friend Kyle Morgan. Morgan, who was a former Florida football player, once trained and lived with Isner. The 35-year-old had been reported missing by his family before his death was confirmed on Monday.

“I Found out two nights ago after I lost to Novak.” An emotional Isner said during his press conference on Wednesday. “It’s difficult, very difficult. But I got to go out there and play.”

Prior to his clash with Marin Cilic at the O2 Arena, Isner posted a heartfelt tribute to his friend. They two trained together over a seven-year period. Morgan was last seen in the Tampa area before his disappearance. There has been no official confirmation concerning the cause of death.

“When I left college, I worked out exclusively with Kyle for probably seven years. Four, five times a week for seven years. We lived together, as well.” Explained Isner.
“ We were certainly very close. It’s devastating not just for me, but for a whole bunch of people. He was a fantastic guy.”

During his match against Cilic, which the American lost in three sets, Isner wrote the initials KM on his shoes in tribute to his friend.

Isner will take on Alexander Zverev in his final round-robin match at the ATP Finals on Friday. Despite two loses, the 33-year-old still has a chance of qualifying for the semifinals. In his group, Novak Djokovic is the only player to have already secured his place in the last four.

“It’s very weird, to think I’ve lost twice but still have a shot. I guess that’s the advantage of having a guy like Novak in your group.” The Wimbledon semi-finalist admits.
“I guess I have an objective, for sure. We’ll see if I can do it. It’s going to be very tough, no doubt.”

Isner trails Zverev 1-4 in their head-to-head but has defeated him earlier this year in Miami.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

RIP Kyle. It’s hard to explain how much I loved you and how instrumental you were in making me who I am today. My heart and everyone who knew you is absolutely broken. You touched so many lives in the best possible way. You were a stud Florida Gator football player, me a Georgia Bulldog tennis player. Despite our crazy differences, we forged an inseparable bond. You were the most knowledgeable strength coach ever and the years we spent in the gym together allowed me to compete at the highest level. You were the best damn chef I’ve ever seen. I will miss so much the wings we’d cook together on NFL Sunday. More than anything, you were a friend, the best friend I could ever ask for. Kyle Steven Morgan, I love you bro. Gone but never forgotten.

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Maria Sharapova will miss the Olympic Games in Tokyo

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Maria Sharapova is set to miss the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020, as she has committed to play the World Team Tennis at Orange County Breakers in the United States from 28 to 29 July during the same week as the Tokyo event.

 

“I am excited to be back with the Breakers again. The competition in World Tennis is always strong and I am looking forward to playing in team format again”, said Sharapova.

Before the US Open 2019 the five-time Grand Slam champion appointed new coach Riccardo Piatti in her team.

Sharapova has announced that she will be playing in several exhibition matches like the Mubadala World Tennis Championships in Abu Dhabi, the Hawaii Open and the Kooyong Classic before the Australian Open.

 

 

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Stan Wawrinka, Daniel Medvedev, Fabio Fognini and Gael Monfils set to highlight the Diryah Tennis Cup in Saudi Arabia

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Stan Wawrinka, Gael Monfils, Danil Medvedev and Fabio Fognini are set to take part in the Diryah Tennis Cup, the first ever professional tennis tournament, which takes place from 12 to 14 December 2020.

 

Diriyah is a UNESCO World Tennis Heritage Site will host a hard-court tournament at the Diryah Arena, where the boxing match between Anthony Joshua and Antony Ruiz took place last weekend.

The exhibition tournament will feature Stan Wawrinka, Gael Monfils, Danil Medvedev, Fabio Fognini, David Goffin, Lucas Pouille, John Isner and this year’s Australian Open semifinalist Lucas Pouille.

Medvedev is the highest ranked player in the Saudi Arabia tournament. The Russian player won four titles in Sofia, Montreal and St. Petersburg and Shanghai and reached the final at the US Open finishing runner-up to Rafael Nadal.

“Saudi Arabia will be a big part of my preparation for the new season. The heat and the conditions will be similar to Australia. It will be a great test for us. It’s in our preseason, so we will want to get that match time in to prepare for the new season. The fans should expect us to fight hard like in any tournament. It will be competitive and hopefully they will be lots of fans coming to support us there. Hopefully I can play some great tennis, help the country raise awareness of the sport and inspire people to play. Looking at the players confirmed it’s a really great field. I have heard a lot of good things about Saudi Arabia. I am excited to promote tennis there especially as it’s the first tournament”, said Medvedev.

Wawrinka won three Grand Slam tournaments at the 2014 Australian Open, at 2015 Roland Garros and at the 2016 US Open. This year the Swiss player finished runner-up to Gael Monfils in Rotterdam and to Andy Murray in Antwerp. Wawrinka reached the French Open quarter final. He upset Novak Djokovic in the US Open fourth round before losing to eventual finalist Danil Medvedev. He ended the season ranked world number 16.

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ATP

Rival Backs Dominic Thiem To Win Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award

Only two players have won the award since 2004.

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For the past 15 years only two players have managed to get their hands on the prestigious Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award, but one player thinks there could be a brand new winner this year.

 

Diego Schwartzman has lent his support behind world No.4 Dominic Thiem. The award recognizes those who have conducted the highest level of professionalism and integrity on the ATP Tour throughout the season. Established in 1977, Roger Federer has won the honour in 13 out of the past 15 years. The only other player to triumph during that period was Rafael Nadal, who won it in 2010 and 2018.

“I think Thiem can win it, he showed throughout the year a competitiveness and a respect with everyone that was spectacular,” Schwartzman told ole.com. “On top of that he is having great years of his career and this season was even better for the achievements he had.’
“He has a good chance of winning it.” He added.

Schwartzman, who reached the quarter-finals of the US Open earlier this year, has also been shortlisted for the award. Along with regular nominees Federer and Nadal. Only once has an Argentinian player won the title, which was José Luis Clerc back in 1981. At that time it was known as the ATP Sportsmanship award before getting renamed in 1996.

“I learned first (of getting nominated) through social networks rather than the official designation that the ATP sends you by mail.” The 27-year-old revealed.
“It is more spectacular than anything for the players I have next to me. It is a very important prize that recognizes a little what you do off the court, not only hitting the ball.”

Whilst he is dreaming of winning the honour himself, Schwartzman is just happy that he has been nominated.

“If I won this award, it would be spectacular. Now I am on that payroll that is very good and represents the values ​​that I try to maintain on a day-to-day basis and that (my coaching teams over the years) have taught me. It is very nice to be recognized for that. “ He concluded.

The four nominees for the Stefan Edberg Award was shortlisted by the ATP. However, it will be the players who will decide the winner. The result will be revealed later this month.

Multiple winners of the Stefan Edberg/ATP Sportsmanship award

Roger Federer – 13
Stefan Edberg – 5
Pat Rafter – 4
Alex Corretja – 2
Todd Martin – 2
Paradorn Srichaphan – 2
Rafael Nadal – 2

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