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COMMENT: At Indian Wells, the Lucky Loser Is Not So Lucky Against Milos Raonic

A new kid surprises, maybe gets to the third round, but then he plays the big names.

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Miomir Kecmanovic (photo by chryslène caillaud, copyright @Sport Vision)

By Art Spander

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. — The description, “Lucky Loser,” seems an oxymoron; army intelligence, jumbo shrimp, lucky loser. Except this is tennis, not the military or crustaceans.

 

And tennis is a sport in which love means nothing — getting shut out — so anything goes, including at times a qualifying loser into the main draw.

One of those in this BNP Paribas Open was a 19-year-old from Serbia, Miomir Kecmanovic (no, I don’t know why Serbs, Croats, Russians, Spaniards, French and Austrians can play and Americans can’t).

Kecmanovic finally was eliminated Thursday, as you would imagine when a guy ranked 130th in the world meets up with the guy ranked 14th, who three years ago was ranked third and was a Wimbledon finalist, Milos Raonic.

Yes, Kecmanovic was the loser, and this time not so lucky — except by getting to the quarter-finals he earned $182,000. Raonic, with his big serve, scored a 6-3, 6-4 victory.

When you’re not exempt, as in one of the top money winners, you try to get into a tournament through qualifying. Kecmanovic did try. And failed, if barely, getting beaten in a third-set tiebreaker.

Depressed? That’s an understatement; this led to an overreaction. He was going to quit the sport. Then he came to a realization. “You’re like, ‘OK, you don’t know anything else in life, so you’ve got to stick to this,’” he said.

Someone eligible inevitably withdraws. At the BNP it wasn’t someone, it was three people, all because of injuries, Kevin Anderson (the 2018 Wimbledon finalist), Pablo Carreno Busta and Grigor Dimitrov.

Kecmanovic had a bye in the first round, then won three matches, the last when Yoshihito Nishioka retired because of a bad back after losing the first set. Lucky? Perhaps, but this time Kecmanovic wasn’t a loser.

Nine lucky losers have been ATP tournament winners since 1978, the most recent Marco Ceccinato at the Gazprom Hungarian Open in April 2018. He didn’t have to play against someone as competent as the 28-year-old Raonic, who now has reached the BNP semis a fourth time.

“I think the conditions are good for me, especially when the sun’s out,” said Raonic. ”The court heats up a little bit. There is a good amount of jump on the court. This year it’s a little bit slower than the previous years, but it allows me to take a few more swipes at a few more shots, and I can do different things with my serve that I need to get ahead in the point.”

Raonic was born in what was then Yugoslavia, but when he was 3 years old his parents, both engineers, emigrated to Canada where Milos, now 6-foot-5 and 215 pounds — if that sounds like a basketball player, well, he took part in an NBA All-Star celebrity game — was introduced to tennis.

He had been introduced briefly, during a match in Australia, to Kecmanovic.

“I played him in Brisbane after — I wasn’t aware until they mentioned it today that he was the Lucky Loser,” said Raonic. “But he beat, fairly handily, Leonardo Mayer down there. That was a tough match.

“Today I knew it was going to be tough. He’s won his last three matches against good players.”

Against a better player, Kecmanovic didn’t win. That is usually what happens in tennis. A new kid surprises, maybe gets to the third round, but then he plays the big names. On Kecmanovic’s side of the draw are Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

To borrow a lyric, the road gets tougher.

But Kecmanovic has a few dollars now to bankroll himself. And he has success in a tournament that most players consider just a notch below the four Grand Slams.

“I knew he had nothing to lose,” said Raonic, “and I had to be real.”

If that means taking the match seriously, well, anyone skilled enough to qualify for the main draw of any ATP tournament, whether as a Lucky Loser or not, is world-class. These guys, and on the other side, these women, are great athletes, top to bottom. Or they wouldn’t be on tour.

“Guys bring their best tennis at the beginning of the year,” said Raonic, alluding to the BNP and Miami, which last a week and half as compared to the weeklong events, “because guys have a lot of time. Nobody is really rushing. It’s tough to do it here.”

Even when you get lucky.

ATP

Updated Entry Lists For ATP Cup, Adelaide, Melbourne

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The 2022 ATP Tour season will start with an exciting week in Australia, featuring three tournaments.

 

The first week of the Australian hard-court swing will include the ATP Cup and two ATP 250 events in Adelaide and Melbourne. The ATP Cup will be played in Sydney and it will already start on Saturday (1st of January), while the two other tournaments are scheduled to begin next week.

Rafael Nadal, Reilly Opelka and Grigor Dimitrov lead the acceptance list for the Melbourne Summer Set, where Nick Kyrgios has been given a Wild-Card. Gael Monfils, Karen Khachanov and Marin Cilic will be the first three seeds of the Adelaide International.

In the ATP Cup, 16 teams will compete in Sydney, including last year’s champion Russia with Daniil Medvedev. Novak Djokovic, Dominic Thiem and Andrey Rublev have withdrawn and Austria has been replaced by France.

NEWS: Lloyd Harris has withdrawn from Melbourne; Alex Molcan has taken his place.


ATP Cup, Sydney (AUS, Hard):
Serbia: Lajovic, Krajinovic, Cacic, Sabanov
Russia: Medvedev, Safiullin, Karlovskiy
Germany: A. Zverev, Struff, Hanfmann, Krawietz, Puetz
Greece: S. Tsitsipas, Pervolarakis, Kalovelonis, P. Tsitsipas, Thanos
Great Britain: Norrie, Evans, Broady, Salisbury, J. Murray
Argentine: Schwartzman, Delbonis, Coria, M. Gonzalez, Molteni
Chile: Garin, Tabilo, Barrios Vera
Spain: Bautista-Agut, Carreno-Busta, Ramos-Vinolas, Davidovich-Fokina, P. Martinez
Italy: M. Berrettini, Sinner, Sonego, Bolelli, Fognini
Norway: Ruud, Durasovic, Hellum-Lilleengen, L. Rivera, A. Petrovic
Poland: Hurkacz, Majchrzak, Zuk, Zielinski, Walkow
Canada: Auger-Aliassime, Shapovalov, Schnur, Diez
Georgia: Basilashvili, Metreveli, Bakshi, Tkemaladze, Purtseladze
United States: Fritz, Isner, Nakashima, Ram
Australia (WC): De Minaur, Duckworth, Purcell, Peers, Saville
France: Humbert, Rinderknech, Roger-Vasselin, F. Martin


ATP 250 Adelaide (AUS, Hard), entry list:
Monfils, Gael (FRA)
Khachanov, Karen (RUS)
Cilic, Marin (CRO)
OUT Humbert, Ugo (FRA)
Tiafoe, Frances (USA)
Fucsovics, Marton (HUN)
OUT Korda, Sebastian (USA)
Paul, Tommy (USA)
Djere, Laslo (SRB)
Kwon, Soonwoo (KOR)
OUT Rinderknech, Arthur (FRA)
Musetti, Lorenzo (ITA)
Mager, Gianluca (ITA)
Bonzi, Benjamin (FRA)
OUT Kecmanovic, Miomir (SRB)
Millman, John (AUS)
Carballes Baena, Roberto (ESP)
Nishioka, Yoshihito (JPN)
Vesely, Jiri (CZE)
Altmaier, Daniel (GER)
Johnson, Steve (USA)
WC Bolt, Alex (AUS)
WC Kokkinakis, Thanasi (AUS)
WC Vukic, Aleksandar (AUS)
Alternates:
OUT Molcan, Alex (SVK)
IN Monteiro, Thiago (BRA)
IN Cerundolo, Juan Manuel (ARG)
IN Moutet, Corentin (FRA)
IN Ymer, Mikael (SWE)

Alt.1 Ruusuvuori, Emil (FIN)
Alt.2 Laaksonen, Henri (SUI)
Alt.3 Baez, Sebastian (ARG)

ATP 250 Adelaide, qualifying:
OUT Ymer, Mikael (SWE)
Otte, Oscar (GER)
Rune, Holger (DEN)
Gerasimov, Egor (BLR)
Galan, Daniel Elahi (COL)
Albot, Radu (MDA)
Daniel, Taro (JPN)
Cerundolo, Francisco (ARG)
Varillas, Juan Pablo (PER)
Rodionov, Jurij (AUT)
OUT Sousa, Joao (POR)
OUT Kovalik, Jozef (SVK)
OUT Moraing, Mats (GER)
OUT Pouille, Lucas (FRA)

Alt Smith, John-Patrick (AUS)
Alt Heliovaara, Harri (FIN)
WC Lamchinniah, Henry (AUS)
WC Winter, Edward (AUS)
Alternates:
OUT Ymer, Elias (SWE)
OUT Purcell, Max (AUS)
OUT Vilella Martinez, Mario (ESP)
IN Ramanathan, Ramkumar (IND)
IN Janvier, Maxime (FRA)
IN Ebden, Matthew (AUS)

Alt.1 Statham, Rubin (NZL)
Alt.2 Smith, John-Patrick (AUS)
Alt.3 Heliovaara, Harri (FIN)
Alt.4 Cozbinov, Alexander (MDA)



ATP 250 Melbourne (AUS, Hard), entry list:
Nadal, Rafael (ESP)
Opelka, Reilly (USA)
Dimitrov, Grigor (BUL)
OUT Harris, Lloyd (RSA)
OUT Bublik, Alexander (KAZ)
Goffin, David (BEL)
OUT Nishikori, Kei (JPN)
Paire, Benoit (FRA)
Ivashka, Ilya (BLR)
Koepfer, Dominik (GER)
McDonald, Mackenzie (USA)
Van de Zandschulp, Botic (NED)
Popyrin, Alexei (AUS)
Griekspoor, Tallon (NED)
Giron, Marcos (USA)
Mannarino, Adrian (FRA)
Thompson, Jordan (AUS)
Bagnis, Facundo (ARG)
Munar, Jaume (ESP)
Travaglia, Stefano (ITA)
Anderson, Kevin (RSA)
WC Kyrgios, Nick (AUS)
(WC)
WC O’Connell, Christopher (AUS)
Alternates:
IN Gojowczyk, Peter (GER)
IN Gasquet, Richard (FRA)
IN Molcan, Alex (SVK)

OUT Monteiro, Thiago (BRA)
OUT
Cerundolo, Juan Manuel (ARG)

Alt.1 Kyrgios, Nick (AUS)
Alt.2 Ruusuvuori, Emil (FIN)
Alt.3 Laaksonen, Henri (SUI)

ATP 250 Melbourne, qualifying:
OUT Molcan, Alex (SVK)
OUT Monteiro, Thiago (BRA)
OUT Cerundolo, Juan Manuel (ARG)

Ruusuvuori, Emil (FIN)
Laaksonen, Henri (SUI)
Baez, Sebastian (ARG)
Cecchinato, Marco (ITA)
Seppi, Andreas (ITA)
Berankis, Ricardas (LTU)
Kudla, Denis (USA)
Cressy, Maxime (USA)
Gombos, Norbert (SVK)
Zapata Miralles, Bernabe (ESP)
Etcheverry, Tomas Martin (ARG)
WC Polmans, Marc (AUS)
WC Hijikata, Rinky (AUS)
Alternates:
IN Sousa, Joao (POR)
OUT Gomez, Emilio (ECU)
IN Kovalik, Jozef (SVK)
IN Pouille, Lucas (FRA)

Alt.1 Celikbilek, Altug (TUR)
OUT Ymer, Elias (SWE)
Alt.2 Purcell, Max (AUS)
Alt.3 Giannessi, Alessandro (ITA)
Alt.4 Polmans, Marc (AUS)
Alt.5 Ebden, Matthew (AUS)

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ATP

Updated Entry List For Toronto

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After Washington, the US Open Series will continue with the prestigious Master 1000 event in Canada.

 

Having been played since 1968, the Canadian Master 1000 tournament is one of the most historically significant events on the men’s tennis tour. This year the National Bank Open will take place in Toronto from the 9th to the 15th of August.

The defending champion Rafael Nadal is committed to play the tournament, as well as Daniil Medvedev and Roger Federer, while Novak Djokovic has decided to skip it. All the other top-20 players are in the list, excepting Dominic Thiem and David Goffin. Canada’s Vasek Pospisil and Australia’s Nick Kyrgios have been given a Wild Card for the main draw.

NEWS: The former champion Roger Federer and the home favourite Milos Raonic have withdrawn due to injury. They have been replaced by Sebastian Korda and Jan-Lennard Struff.

NEWS: Alexander Zverev, Matteo Berrettini and Pablo Carreno-Busta have pulled out from the tournament. Jenson Brooksby has received the final Wild-Card for the main draw.

NEWS: Thiago Seyboth-Wild and Fernando Verdasco have withdrawn from qualifying; Liam Broady and Maxime Cressy have taken their place.


ATP Master 1000 Toronto (CAN, Hard), entry list:
OUT Djokovic, Novak (SRB)
Medvedev, Daniil (RUS)
Nadal, Rafael (ESP)
Tsitsipas, Stefanos (GRE)
OUT Zverev, Alexander (GER)
Thiem, Dominic (AUT)
Rublev, Andrey (RUS)
OUT Berrettini, Matteo (ITA)
OUT Federer, Roger (ITA)
Shapovalov, Denis (CAN)
OUT Carreno Busta, Pablo (ESP)
Ruud, Casper (NOR)
Hurkacz, Hubert (POL)
Schwartzman, Diego (ARG)
Auger-Aliassime, Felix (CAN)
Bautista-Agut, Roberto (ESP)
Monfils, Gael (FRA)
De Minaur, Alex (AUS)
Garin, Cristian (CHI)
OUT Goffin, David (BEL)
Dimitrov, Grigor (BUL)
OUT Raonic, Milos (CAN)
Karatsev, Aslan (RUS)
Sinner, Jannik (ITA)
Khachanov, Karen (RUS)
Sonego, Lorenzo (ITA)
Evans, Daniel (GBR)
Humbert, Ugo (FRA)
OUT Wawrinka, Stan (SUI)
Norrie, Cameron (GBR)
Isner, John (USA)
Fognini, Fabio (ITA)
OUT Coric, Borna (CRO)
Davidovich Fokina, Alejandro (ESP)
Opelka, Reilly (USA)
Bublik, Alexander (KAZ)
Basilashvili, Nikoloz (GEO)
Nishikori, Kei (JPN)
(SE)
WC Pospisil, Vasek (CAN)
WC Kyrgios, Nick (AUS)
WC Brooksby, Jenson (USA)
Alternates:
IN Cilic, Marin (CRO)
IN Fritz, Taylor (USA)
IN Ramos-Vinolas, Albert (ESP)
IN Lajovic, Dusan (SRB)
IN Millman, John (AUS)
IN Korda, Sebastian (USA)
IN Struff, Jan-Lennard (GER)

OUT Delbonis, Federico (ARG)
IN Kecmanovic, Miomir (SRB)
IN Harris, Lloyd (RSA)
IN Paire, Benoit (FRA)

Alt.1 Tiafoe, Frances (USA)
Alt.2 Paul, Tommy (USA)
Alt.3 Gasquet, Richard (FRA)
Alt.4 Nishioka, Yoshihito (JPN)
Alt.5 Bedene, Aljaz (SLO)


ATP Master 1000 Toronto, qualifying:
OUT Millman, John (AUS)
OUT Korda, Sebastian (USA)
OUT Struff, Jan-Lennard (GER)

OUT Paire, Benoit (FRA)
OUT Kecmanovic, Miomir (SRB)
OUT Harris, Lloyd (RSA)

Tiafoe, Frances (USA)
Paul, Tommy (USA)
Nishioka, Yoshihito (JPN)
OUT Kyrgios, Nick (AUS)
Koepfer, Dominik (GER)
OUT Pospisil, Vasek (CAN)
Musetti, Lorenzo (ITA)
OUT Thompson, Jordan (AUS)
Giron, Marcos (USA)
OUT Ivashka, Illya (BLR)
OUT Munar, Jaume (ESP)

OUT (RA)
OUT (RA)
OUT (RA)

WC Diez, Steven (CAN)
WC Polansky, Peter (CAN)
WC Schnur, Brayden (CAN)
WC Draxl, Liam (CAN)
Alternates:
IN Popyrin, Alexei (AUS)
IN Duckworth, James (AUS)
IN Ruusuvuori, Emil (FIN)
IN Sandgren, Tennys (USA)
IN Berankis, Ricardas (LTU)
IN Lopez, Feliciano (ESP)
IN Gombos, Norbert (SVK)
IN McDonald, Mackenzie (USA)
OUT Kudla, Denis (USA)
OUT Daniel, Taro (JPN)
IN Bonzi, Benjamin (FRA)
IN Galan, Daniel Elahi (COL)
OUT Sugita, Yuichi (JPN)
OUT Seyboth Wild, Thiago (BRA)
OUT Uchiyama, Yasutaka (JPN)
OUT Verdasco, Fernando (ESP)
OUT Brooksby, Jenson (USA)
IN Wolf, Jeffrey John (USA)
OUT O’Connell, Christopher (AUS)
OUT Nakashima, Brandon (JPN)
OUT Rodionov, Jurij (AUT)
IN Broady, Liam (GBR)
OUT Soeda, Go (JPN)
OUT Bolt, Alex (AUS)

IN Cressy, Maxime (USA)

OUT Donskoy, Evgeny (RUS)
OUT Jung, Jason (TPE)
IN Marchenko, Illya (UKR)
Alt.1 Gomez, Emilio (ECU)
OUT Ymer, Elias (SWE)
OUT Zuk, Kacper (POL)
Alt.2 Petrovic, Danilo (SRB)
Alt.3 Mmoh, Michael (USA)
Alt.4 Escobedo, Ernesto (USA)
Alt.5 Diez, Steven (CAN)
Alt.6 Fratangelo, Bjorn (USA)
OUT Gulbis, Ernests (LAT)
Alt.7 Purcell, Max (AUS)
Alt.8 Krueger, Mitchell (USA)
Alt.9 Karlovic, Ivo (CRO)

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ATP

Updated Entry List For Washington

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photo by atptour.com

The US Open Series is ready to get to the heart, with the historic tournament of Washington D.C.

 

The Citi Open in Washington, the only ATP tournament to be contested next week, will follow Atlanta in the American summer tour. The event has been taking place on hard-courts since 1969, when Thomaz Koch from Brazil won the first edition defeating Arthur Ashe in the final.

Rafael Nadal, who has received a Wild-Card, Felix Auger-Aliassime and Alex De Minaur will be the first three seeded players. Jannik Sinner, Aslan Karatsev, Karen Khachanov and the defending champion Nick Kyrgios are committed to play as well, while Milos Raonic and John Isner have withdrawn. Denis Kudla, Brandon Nakashima and Feliciano Lopez will play with a Wild-Card.

NEWS: Karen Khachanov (who is playing the Olympics) has pulled out from the tournament; Mackenzie McDonald takes his place in the main draw.

NEWS: Aslan Karatsev has withdrawn, he has been replaced by Colombia’s Daniel-Elahi Galan.


ATP 500 Washington (DC, USA), entry list:
OUT Shapovalov, Denis (CAN)
Auger-Aliassime, Felix (CAN)
De Minaur, Alex (AUS)
OUT Hurkacz, Hubert (POL)
Auger-Aliassime, Felix (CAN)
Dimitrov, Grigor (BUL)
OUT Raonic, Milos (CAN)
Sinner, Jannik (ITA)
OUT Karatsev, Aslan (RUS)
Evans, Daniel (GBR)
OUT Khachanov, Karen (RUS)
Opelka, Reilly (USA)
OUT Isner, John (USA)
Norrie, Cameron (GBR)
Bublik, Alexander (KAZ)
OUT Ramos-Vinolas, Albert (ESP)
Fritz, Taylor (USA)
Millman, John (AUS)
Paire, Benoit (FRA)
Kecmanovic, Miomir (SRB)
Korda, Sebastian (USA)
Harris, Lloyd (RSA)
Paul, Tommy (USA)
Nishikori, Kei (JPN)
Querrey, Sam (USA)
Tiafoe, Frances (USA)
Nishioka, Yoshihito (JPN)
OUT Pella, Guido (ARG)
Kyrgios, Nick (AUS)
OUT Koepfer, Dominik (GER)
Pospisil, Vasek (CAN)
Giron, Marcos (USA)
Popyrin, Alexei (AUS)
Sandgren, Tennys (USA)
OUT Munar, Jaume (ESP)
OUT Kwon, Soonwoo (KOR)
OUT (SE)
ALT Uchiyama, Yasutaka (JPN)
WC Nadal, Rafael (ESP)
WC Sock, Jack (USA)
WC Nakashima, Brandon (USA)
WC Lopez, Feliciano (ESP)
WC Brooksby, Jenson (USA)
OUT (WC)
Alternates:
IN Gerasimov, Egor (BLR)
IN Johnson, Steve (USA)
IN Ruusuvuori, Emil (FIN)
IN Thompson, Jordan (AUS)
IN Ivashka, Ilya (BLR)
IN Berankis, Ricardas (LTU)
OUT Monteiro, Thiago (BRA)
IN Seppi, Andreas (ITA)
IN Duckworth, James (AUS)

IN Anderson, Kevin (RSA)
OUT Daniel, Taro (JPN)
OUT Kukushkin, Mikhail (KAZ)

OUT Martinez, Pedro (ESP)
IN McDonald, Mackenzie (USA)
IN Galan, Daniel Elahi (COL)
IN Kudla, Denis (USA)

Alt.1 Uchiyama, Yasutaka (JPN)
Alt.2 Bonzi, Benjamin (FRA)
Alt.3 Sousa, Joao (POR)
Alt.4 Zapata Miralles, Bernabe (ESP)
Alt.5 Seyboth Wild, Thiago (BRA)


ATP 500 Washington, qualifying:
OUT Ivashka, Ilya (BLR)
OUT Thompson, Jordan (AUS)
OUT Duckworth, James (AUS)

OUT Ruusuvuori, Emil (FIN)
OUT Johnson, Steve (USA)
OUT Berankis, Ricardas (LTU)
OUT Seppi, Andreas (ITA)
OUT Ymer, Mikael (SWE)

OUT McDonald, Mackenzie (USA)
OUT Kudla, Denis (USA)
OUT Daniel, Taro (JPN)

OUT Bonzi, Benjamin (FRA)
OUT Galan, Daniel Elahi (COL)
OUT Sugita, Yuichi (JPN)
OUT Anderson, Kevin (RSA)

OUT Uchiyama, Yasutaka (JPN)
Wolf, J.J. (PR, USA)
ALT Purcell, Max (AUS)
ALT Eubanks, Christopher (USA)
ALT Torpegaard, Mikael (DEN)
ALT Ebden, Matthew (AUS)
ALT Ramanathan, Ramkumar (IND)
WC Karlovic, Ivo (CRO)
WC Blanch, Ulises (USA)
WC Saville, Luke (AUS)
WC Fenty, Andrew (USA)
Alternates:
OUT O’Connell, Christopher (AUS)
IN Broady, Liam (GBR)
IN Donskoy, Evgeny (RUS)
OUT Brooksby, Jenson (USA)
IN Gunneswaran, Prajnesh (IND)
IN Cressy, Maxime (USA)
IN Marchenko, Illya (UKR)
IN Gomez, Emilio (ECU)
IN Jung, Jason (TPE)
IN Ofner, Sebastian (AUT)
IN Ymer, Elias (SWE)
IN Soeda, Go (JPN)
IN Mmoh, Michael (USA)
OUT Escobedo, Ernesto (USA)
OUT Kokkinakis, Thanasi (AUS)
IN Fratangelo, Bjorn (USA)
IN Krueger, Mitchell (USA)

IN Ito, Tatsuma (PR, JPN)
Alt.1 Eubanks, Christopher (USA)
Alt.2 Ramanathan, Ramkumar (IND)
Alt.3 Torpegaard, Mikael (DEN)
OUT Sock, Jack (USA)
Alt.4 Purcell, Max (AUS)
Alt.5 Ebden, Matthew (AUS)

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