Defending Champion Nick Kyrgios Crashes Out Of Brisbane as Dimitrov Progresses - UBITENNIS
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Defending Champion Nick Kyrgios Crashes Out Of Brisbane as Dimitrov Progresses

The 23-year-old Australian star is set to drop outside of the top 50 following his latest loss.

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Nick Kyrgios is set to fall to his lowest ranking in four years after suffering a loss in the second round of the Brisbane International.

 

The reigning champion failed to capitalize on a one set lead as he crashed out 6-7(5), 6-2, 6-3, to France’s Jeremy Chardy. A player who is only rankled five places lower than him at 40th in the world. It wasn’t a completely disappointing performance from Kyrgios, who hit 34 winners to 22 unforced errors, but he was unable to take advantage in the crunch moments against a solid Chardy.

“It was a tough match, Nick is an amazing player. He is an amazing server.” Said Chardy.
“Today I played really solid and I am really happy with the win.’
I’m Sorry for Nick, he’s my friend outside of the court and it’s always difficult to play against somebody you like.”

Brisbane is the 10th consecutive tournament where Kyrgios has failed to reach the quarter-final stage. As a result of his latest defeat, the Australian will drop out of the top 50 when the rankings are updated on Monday. It will be the first time he has done so since 2015.

As Kyrgios exits the tournament, Chardy has secured a last-eight showdown with World No.185 Yasutaka Uchiyama, who stunned third seed Kyle Edmund 7-6(6), 6-4.

It is the first time Chardy has reached the last eight of an ATP event since the Fever-Tree Championships back in June.

Dimitrov in the groove

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Sixth seed Grigor Dimitrov has won back-to-back matches at the same tournament for the first time since June after brushing aside John Millman 6-3, 6-4. Dimitrov, who is currently on a 13-month title drought, had a tricky time closing out the match. Leading 6-3, 4-1, he faced some last-minute resistance from Milman. Getting broken twice in the second set to be levelled 4-4. Despite the scare, the Bulgarian went on to break for the fourth time and closed the match out.

“It was a great match. I feel positive from it … I was moving well,” Dimitrov said. “Step by step, match by match, I want to get better. My movement went really well. He came up with some beautiful shots.”

Now a win away from reaching his first semi-final in almost nine months, Dimitrov faces a tricky task in the next round. Awaiting him will be Japan’s Kei Nishikori, whom he trails 1-4 in their head-to-head. Nishikori breezed past America’s Denis Kudlas 7-5, 6-2, in 81 minutes.

“[I’m] excited to play Dimi. He’s obviously a good player. And I’m sure it’s going to be a great match, so hopefully I can have good tennis again,” Nishikori said.

Dimitrov’s sole win over Nishikori occurred at the 2017 Brisbane International when he prevailed in three sets in the final.

Finally, 2016 champion Milos Raonic also progressed. The Canadian fired an impressive 21 aces during his 6-3, 7-6(2), win over Serbia’s Miomir Kecmanović. In total Raonic lost just 12 points behind his serve throughout the entire match.

Raonic will play the winner of the match between Andy Murray and Daniil Medvedev.

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Next Gen Star Alexei Popyrin Fears He May Be Forced To Play US Open Despite Health Concerns

Like many other lower ranked players on the Tour, the 20-year-old finds himself in a tough situation.

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One of Australia’s rising stars has said he is worried that he may have to play at the US Open against his will or risk losing a chunk of ranking points.

 

Alexei Popryin has raised his concerns about travelling to the New York major in August amid a surge of COVID-19 cases in some areas of the country. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention there were 52,228 New Cases of the virus on July 5th compared to 24 hours before. Furthermore, the governor of New York recently announced that people travelling from 16 different states in America are now required to self-quarantine for 14 days if they visit the city. According to USA Today this ruling applies to roughly 48% of the entire American population.

Despite the concerns, the organisers of the US Open have insisted they will be able to hold the tournament in a safe manner and will be implementing various restrictions. Including holding the event without fans for the first time and conducting frequent testing of players. However world No.103 Popryin admits that he still has his concerns about attending.

“There are talks regarding the US Open but I really don’t want to go with the situation in America right now,” Popyrin said at the Ultimate Tennis Showdown over the weekend.
“But we have to see if we would be forced to go because of ranking points.
“If the ranking points won’t be frozen, then most of us would be forced to go play cause our ranking will drop and we wouldn’t have any say in it.
“But if the rankings are frozen, then I am staying here.
“I will stay in Europe where it’s safe with my family.”

Popryin has a considerable amount of points to defend in New York after reaching the third round there last year. Therefore, if he skips the event he faces dropping further down the rankings. Something which will then impact on his chances of entering the bigger tournaments later in the year. Usually the cut off for Grand Slam tournaments is around 105.

It is still to be announced as to what will happen with the ranking points system at the US Open and if there will be any adjustments made due to the pandemic. Although organisers will likely be against any idea to remove them from the event as it is a key factor to attract players to take part.

Another player to voice their concerns about the US Open is France’s Benoit Paire, who has said he would not attend the event if it was taking place today. Speaking to RMC Sport the world No.22 said he would rather not go to the event if he meant that he would be ‘taking a risk’ with his health.

“Going to the United States would be at risk of catching it. I am a great professional and I am one of those who would always like to play tennis, but your health is the most important thing,” he said.
“If going there is taking the risk of catching the disease and staying quarantined when I return, I prefer not to go, really.’
“It looks like if we play the US Open, we will have to sacrifice not to play the Mutua Madrid Open or the Masters 1000 in Rome.”

Meanwhile, world No.3 Dominic Thiem recently told Austrian media that he believes a final decision regarding the Grand Slam will be made within a week. Something that is yet to be confirmed by officials.

Should it go ahead, the US Open will start on August 31st.

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REPORT: Former Spanish Tennis Star In Talks To Coach Alexander Zverev

A former world No.3 could be returning to the Tour later this year in a new position.

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Tennis sensation Alexander Zverev could soon be mentored by somebody whose career he ended last year at the Madrid Open.

 

Spanish newspaper Marca have reported that the world No.7 is set to enter in a 15-day trial with former French Open finalist David Ferrer where the two will get to know each other better. Ferrer has reportedly travelled to Monte Carlo to start working alongside Germany’s top player. Should everything go well, the two could start a formal partnership in September ahead of the European clay-court swing of the Tour, which has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Both men are already fairly familiar with each other after facing off nine times on the ATP Tour, including three times last year. Zverev was the last player Ferrer played against at the Madrid Open before officially retiring from the sport at the age of 37.

“He’s the most respectful guy for me on Tour, and one of the most loved people on the Tour as well,” Zverev told reporters in the Spanish capital following their match.

Whilst never winning a Grand Slam, Ferrer achieved numerous accolades throughout his career. Including spending 4914 consecutive days in the world’s top 50, winning 27 ATP titles and achieving a ranking high of No.3 back in 2013. Overall, he has played 1011 matches on the ATP Tour (including Grand Slams) which is more than John McEnroe.

Should Ferrer receive the green light, Zverev will be the first high-profile player he will be responsible for. The Spaniard had previously hinted at his desire to enter coaching with his long time objective being to captain the Spanish Davis Cup team. He is also currently serving as the tournament director of the Barcelona Open.

“I would be very proud to be able to be (Davis Cup captain),” Ferrer told Marca in April 2019. “I also understand that this is very far away and there are players who are ahead. First, I have to train as a professional in teaching (coaching).”

Neither Ferrer or Zverev has publicly commented on the report. At present Zverev is coached on the Tour by his father who guided him to the semi-finals of the Australian Open in January.

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Father Of Dominic Thiem Condemns Criticism Of Novak Djokovic’s Role In Adria Tour Fiasco

Wolfgang Thiem has come to the defence of the world No.1 before suggesting that COVID-19 cases among players at charity events are worth it.

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The father of world No.3 Dominic Thiem has said it is ‘too cheap’ to blame Novak Djokovic over the outbreak of COVID-19 at the controversial Adria Tour.

 

Wolfgang Thiem lent his support behind the 17-time Grand Slam champion during an interview with Austrian newspaper Die Presses on Friday. The Adria Tour, which was founded by Djokovic, was cancelled following an outbreak of the virus during the Zadar leg of the event in Croatia with Grigor Dimitrov being the first player to confirm a positive test. Shortly after, Djokovic and Borna Coric also tested positive as well as some coaching staff. Viktor Troicki also contracted COVID-19, but only played the first leg of the Tour in Belgrade.

Throughout the Belgrade and Zadar events organisers were criticised for a lack of social distancing being applied. Players were seen playing basketball matches, attending nightclubs and interacting with the public. Although all of those actions were in line with local government rules.

“I do not approve of what happened on the Adria Tour, but condemning Djokovic and saying he screwed it up is too cheap for me,” Wolfgang commented.
“Of course the dance at the disco was not optimal, but Djokovic basically did nothing wrong. They just got a little sloppy, they were euphoric,” he continued.

Djokovic, who has been at the centre of the criticism, is yet to publicly speak about the incident. On Friday it was confirmed that both him and his wife Jelena have now tested negative for the virus. 10 days after they were first diagnosed.

As for Thiem, his father said the Austrian tennis star will be donating his money from the event to charity. Although he did not say how much that would be or which cause it would go towards. It comes just days after Djokovic donated 40,000 euros to the Serbian town of Novi Pazar, who has been hit hard by the pandemic.

Speaking about the outbreak of COVID-19 among players, Wolfgang has suggested that it is worth it if it meant raising money for charity.

“I prefer that there be a few more cases of coronavirus and be able to raise a few thousand euros for a childhood cancer clinic,” he explained.

Since the Adria Tour, Thiem has played at the Ultimate Tennis Showdown (UTS) in France. He has undergone five COVID-19 tests in recent days with all of them testing negative for the virus. The 26-year-old withdrew from the UTS on Wednesday to focus on the upcoming Thiem 7 event in Kitzbuhel which will start on July 7th.

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