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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Fabio Fognini and Taylor Fritz win singles matches in Madrid

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The clash between Italy and the USA came down to a decisive doubles match at the Caja Magica in Madrid after Fabio Fognini and Taylor Fritz won their respective singles matches.

 

Fabio Fognini  beat Relly Opelka 6-4 6-7 6-3 after 1 hour and 54 minutes to give Italy a much-needed win to the Italian team.

Fognini earned an early break at 1-1 after two errors from Opelka and dropped just five points in five service games. Fognini did not face a break point to close out the first set 6-4 in 33 minutes.

Both players stayed neck and neck setting up a tie-break. Opelka earned a mini-break to take a 5-3 lead in the tie-break and earned three set points. The US player sealed the first set point, but Opelka converted his second chance 7-4.

Opelka saved the first break point with an ace, but Fognini converted his second chance with a forehand passing shot in the second set to take a 2-0 lead. Fognini dropped just three points to build up a 5-2 lead. Fognini served out the win on his first match point to give Italy a 1-0 win.

“I am tired for sure because it was tough. One of the things I did today was my serve, don’t ask me why. I am surprised about that”, said Fognini.

Taylor Fritz came back from one set down to beat Matteo Berrettini 5-7 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 in the second match. Berrettini saved a break point in the second game with a forehand down the line and a service winner. In the fifth game Fritz saved two break points in the fifth game. Berrettini broke serve in the 11th game to take a 6-5 and sealed the first set on his first set point.

In the third set both players stayed neck and neck til the sixth game to draw level to 3-3. In the seventh game Fritz saved a break point. Berrettini held his serve at love. Fritz closed out the second set at 6-5 after 51 minutes.

Berrettini saved two consecutive break points in the first game of the third game. Fritz rallied from 0-30 down to hold his serve for 1-1. Fritz broke twice in the third and fifth games to race out to a 5-1 lead. Berrettini saved a match point and held his serve for 2-5, but Fritz sealed the win on his second match point.

“Playing for my country is all the motivation I need. I just kept digging, kept fighting. It was really close. I lost the first set by close margin, and I told myself to tough out the second set like I know I can do, and my aggressive and fitness carried me through the third”,said Fritz.

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Germany takes a 3-0 lead over Argentina

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Phillip Kohlschreiber and Jan Lennard Struff scored two win in the singles matches over Argentina’s Guido Pella and Diego Schwaartzman.

 

Kohlschreiber came back from one set down to beat Guido Pella 1-6 6-3 6-4 scoring his 23rd Davis Cup win. Pella earned two consecutive breaks in the fourth and the sixth games to cruise through to a 6-1 lead. Kohlschreiber served well in the second set and broke serve in the sixth game. The German veteran player saved two break points to force the match to the decisive set. Kohlschreiber broke serve in the first game and did not drop in his five service games in the third set. He sealed the win at 5-4 on his fifth match point.

Jan Lennard Struff beat Diego Schwartzman 6-3 7-6 (10-8) after 1 hour and 50 minutes in the second match. Struff earned the first break after a backhand error from Schwartzman and held on his serve with a forehand winner to open up a 3-1 lead.

Schwartzman wasted his only break point in the fifth game. Struff held his serve with a volley winner in the ninth game to take a 6-3 win.

Both players stayed neck and neck holding on their serve in the second game until 4-4 when Struff broke serve with a backhand error. Schwartzman fended off a match point and broke back with a backhand down the line winner in the 10th game. Schwartzman saved the match point at 5-6 with a service winner. The Argentine did not convert a set point at 8-7 before Struff won the final two points with two winners.

 

Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies battled past Maximo Gonzales and Leonardo Mayer 6-7 (4-7) 7-6 (7-2) 7-6 (20-18) after saving six match points in the tie-break of the third set (the longest tie-break in Davis Cup history) to give Germany a 3-0 win.

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Nicolas Mahut and Pierre Hugues Herbert seal a hard-fought win in decisive doubles match

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Ten-time Davis Cup champions France beat Japan 2-1 scoring the fifth win in as many Davis Cup matches against the Asian team.

 

French star Jo Wilfried Tsonga reeled off seven games from 4-2 in the first set to beat Japan’s Yasutaka Uchiyama 6-2 6-1 in 58 minutes in his 12th Davis Cup season.

Tsonga saved two break points and converted four of the five break points. The Frenchman held four service games and broke twice in the fourth and eighth games to take a 6-2 lead.

Tsonga broke twice in the second and fourth games and closed out the match in the seventh game after saving two break points.

“It was very important for our team to start well. I am also happy about my game, what I did today, so I hope it continues like this”, said Tsonga.

 Yoshihito Nishioka claimed 9 of the last 11 games in his 7-5 6-2 win over Gael Monfils in 66 minutes to level the score at 1-1 sending the tie into a decisive doubles match. The Japanese player saved one break point and earned two breaks to seal the win in straight sets.

“I wanted to show to the whole world Japan are still strong. Of course, if Key was here we would be strong, but even when he is not here, we can play. Hopefully next time Kei is here and we can play better”, said Nishioka.

Both players traded breaks at the start of the first set and stayed neck and neck until the 11th game of the first set when Nishioka got the break at 5-5 to seal the first set. Nishioka broke twice to seal the second set 6-2.

Last week’s ATP Finals doubles champions Nicolas Mahut and Pierre Hugues Herbert fought back from losing the first set to beat Ben McLachlan and Yasutaka Uchyama 6-7 6-4 7-5 after 2 hours and 40 minutes.

After losing the first set at the tie-break, Herbert and Mahut broke serve in the fifth game to win the second set 6-4. Herbert and Mahut went up a break in the third set. Uchiyama and Nishioka got the break back in the 10th game, when Herbert and Mahut were serving for the match. Mahut and Herbert got another break at 5-5 and held at 15 to seal the decisive win for France.

“They played at a very high level. We know we have arrived late from London, but the captain had a lot of confidence in our team. We were 1-1, we really had to win to give France the win. There was a lot of intensity in the win but we are really happy today, this was a really difficult tie”, said Mahut.  

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