John McEnroe Issues Stark Warning To Nick Kyrgios, Defends Serena Williams - UBITENNIS
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John McEnroe Issues Stark Warning To Nick Kyrgios, Defends Serena Williams

The seven-time grand slam champion has spoken out about two of the most well known names in the world of tennis.

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Former world No.1 John McEnroe has said he is fearful that Nick Kyrgios could throw away his career if he doesn’t get the right help to change his ways.

 

The 59-year-old believes Kyrgios is currently on the path to ruining his career. The Australian has been marred by controversy with allegations of tanking matches and unsportsmanlike conduct. At the end of 2016 he was briefly suspended from the ATP Tour for his behaviour during the Shanghai Masters. Kyrgios’ most recent incident occurred during October in Shanghai, where he engaged in an argument with the umpire after the official said his effort in the first round match was ‘borderline.’

“He’s going to run himself out of the game at this point, which I don’t want to see. But that’s what’s going to happen. It’s as clear as day,” McEnroe told the Nine Network’s 60 Minutes program.

Like Kyrgios, McEnroe was also a fiery figure on the court when he was a player. The American is remembered best for his outburst at Wimbledon when he said shouted ‘You cannot be serious’ in anger following a call.

The two figures have worked together during the Laver Cup over the past two years with McEnroe being the captain of Team World. The American has described the 23-year-old as ‘the most talented player’ of the past decade. So far in his career, Kyrgios has won four ATP titles and peaked at a ranking high of 13th in the world.

“I like him a lot. I think he’s a great kid and actually I think he’s the most talented tennis player that I’ve seen in 10 years,” said McEnroe.
“The difference between Nick and I at the moment is I tried all the time. He doesn’t, for whatever reason. I’m not Sigmund Freud. I wish I was because I like Nick and he’d be good for the sport [if he fully committed]. Obviously it would be good for him. That goes without saying. I think Nick’s a really nice kid.”

Earlier this month, Kyrgios confirmed that he was seeing psychologists to help him ‘get on top of his mental health.’ During an interview with The Canberra Times, he admitted that he had left it too long to get help.

Kyrgios is set to kick-off his 2019 season at the Brisbane International, which will get underway during the first week in January.

Serena didn’t go too far

Elsewhere in his interview with 60 Minutes, McEnroe also spoke out about Serena Williams. Williams hasn’t played a competitive match since her controversial US Open final clash with Naomi Osaka. During the match, she engaged in a heated argument with the umpire. Who she accused of being sexist. The 37-year-old was given three warnings for coaching, which she denied, racket abuse and verbal abuse. Resulting in her suffering a game penalty and later a $17,000 fine.

“Look at the world that we live in and you’re going to sit there and tell me what Serena Williams did on the court is comparable to the insanity that we’re living in right now?” McEnroe commented about the incident.
“I mean, come on. Give me a break.”

The fallout from the incident dominated headlines around the world and sparked a debate about if sexism is an issue in the sport. Nevertheless, McEnroe believes a lot of it has been blown out of proportion. Admitting that he has ‘done worst himself’ as a player.

“I think she went too far,” he said.
“She obviously was getting her derriere kicked (but) I didn’t think it was that extraordinary.
“I’ve done worse myself.”

In 2017 McEnroe raised eyebrows by saying Williams would struggle to get into the top 700 on the men’s tour. Prompting the 23-time grand slam champion to hit back on social media.

McEnroe was once offered $1 million by Donald Trump to take on the Williams sisters in a battle of the sexes match. Asked if he believes he could still challenge them on the court today, the veteran believes he has the ability to do so if he trained. Even though he officially retired from playing singles on the ATP Tour in 1994.

“The short answer is, as of this moment, if I trained properly and worked hard, I still believe that I could do it,” he concluded.

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Alexander Zverev edged past Hugo Dellien to reach the semifinal in Geneva

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World number 5 and 2018 Nitto ATP Finals champion Alexander Zverev battled past Bolivian player Hugo Dellien 7-5 3-6 6-3 to reach the semifinal at the Banque Eric Sturdza Geneva Open. Zverev is still seeking his first title of the year.

 

Dellien earned the first break in the second game to take a 3-0 lead. Zverev converted his fourth break-back chance in the fifth game and held his serve to draw level to 3-3. Zverev saved a set point at 3-5 at 3-5, while Dellien was serving at 40-30.

Dellien needed one break in the fourth game to win the second set 6-3. Zverev held serve in the third game at the seventh deuce after seven deuces to take a 2-1 lead. The German player got the decisive break in the fourth game and held his serve at love to build up a 4-1 lead. Zverev never looked back to win the third set 6-3.

“I played very aggressive in the important moments. I was very aggressive also in break points down, This is finally something I was looking for in the last few weeks. I think today I showed it”, said Zverev.

Radu Albot came back from 2-4 down to beat Damir Dzumhur 6-3 7-5. Albot went up a double break in the third and fifth games to open up a 4-1 lead. Dzumhur pulled one break back in the sixth game for 2-4, but Albot broke for the third time on her third break point chance to win the first set 6-3.

Dzumhur went up an early break in the first game of the second set. Albot broke back in the eight game to draw level to 4-4 and sealed the win with his second break in the 10th game.

Albot will take on Nicolas Jarry, who dropped just four of his first service points to defeat Taro Daniel 6-1 7-5.

 

 

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Nikoloz Basilashvili sets up Lyon semifinal against Felix Auger Aliassime

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Four-time ATP Tour finalist Nikoloz Basilashvili secured his spot in the semifinal where he will face Felix Auger Aliassime in Lyon

 

Basilashvili came back from an early break down to beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-4 6-4 in the quarter final of the Parc Auvergne Rhone Alpes Lyon.

Tsonga got an early break in the second game to take a 2-0 lead, but Basilashvili recovered from the early start by breaking serve twice in the third and seventh games to take a 4-3 lead. The Georgian player held his final two service games at 30 to close out the opening set 6-4.

Basilashvili needed only a break in the third game of the second set to clinch the second set 6-4 to reach his first semifinal since winning the China Open in 2018.

Basilashvili set up a semifinal clash against this year’s Rio de Janeiro finalist and Miami Open champion Felix Auger Aliassime, who edged Steve Johnson 6-4 2-6 6-4. Auger Aliassime got a break of serve in the third game to clinch the opening set 6-4. Johnson bounced back by breaking twice in the second and eighth game to claim the second set 6-2. Auger Aliassime went up a double break in the third and fifth games to build up a 5-2 lead, but Johnson pulled one break back in the eighth game, when the 18-year-old player was serving for the match. Auger Aliassime served out for the match 6-4 in the 10th game.

Benoit Paire battled past Denis Shapovalov 6-3 4-6 7-6 (7-4) in 1 hour and 55 minutes. Paire broke serve twice in the fifth and ninth games to seal the opening set 6-3. Shapovalov claimed his only break in the fifth game to win the second set 6-4. Paire saved a total of three break points in the first and third games. Both players held on their service games en route to the tie-break. Paire reeled off the final three points from 4-4 to claim the tie-break 7-4.

Taylor Fritz fought back from one set down to beat Roberto Bautista Agut 6-7 (6-8) 6-3 6-4 after two hours and five minutes. Bautista Agut fended off one set point at 5-6 to take the tie-break of the opening set. Fritz fought back to open up a 3-0 lead with a break in the second game to claim the second set 6-4. The US player earned the decisive break in he ninth game to secure his spot in his first semifinal since the 2018 Chengdu Open.

 

 

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Tomas Berdych to Miss French Open For The First Time Since 2003

It will be the third grand slam the former top 10 player has missed within the past 12 months.

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Tomas Berdych (photo by chryslène caillaud)

Former Wimbledon runner-up Tomas Berdych will not play any clay court tournaments in 2019 after withdrawing from the upcoming French Open.

 

The 33-year-old has been absent from the tour since his first round loss to Feliciano Lopez in Indian Wells. Berdych has been hampered by issues within his back in recent weeks. He has been hoping to be fit in time for Roland Garros, but made a decision to withdraw from the event on Wednesday.

“I am not 100% ready to play the way I want and need to be competitive on the courts I love so much,” Berdych wrote on social media.
“I came to Paris and I had to take a tough decision and want another few days to fully recover and be ready for the grass season.”
“I love this tournament so much but I have to make sure not to further injure myself,” he added.

The Czech had played at the tournament every year since making his debut back in 2004. However, the French Open is his worst performing grand slam in terms of wins. So far in his career, Berdych has won 25 out of 40 matches played at the French Open. His stand out performance occurred in 2010 when he reached the semi-finals before losing to Sweden’s Robin Soderling.

It is not the first time back issues have forced Berdych out of action. In 2017 he was advised by doctors to end his season early due to persistent ‘back pain.’ He was also forced to skip both Wimbledon and the US Open due to the same problem.

Berdych, who last won a title at the 2016 Shenzhen Open, has played six tournaments so far this year. His best result occurred in January with a run to the final of the Qatar Open. He also reached the fourth round of the Australian Open and was a semi-finalist in Montpellier.

As a result of his absence, Berdych is currently ranked 100th in the world rankings. He will be replaced in the French Open draw by a lucky loser.

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