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

Entry List For Miami Open Announced

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The Miami Master 1000 will be played from the 25th of March to the 5th of April at the Hard Rock Stadium. 

 

The Miami Open is one of the main stops of the ATP World Tour season, as it lasts 12 days and hosts 96 players in the singles main draw (like the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells), showing a prize money of $8.542.680. After taking place at the Crandon Park in Key Biscayne for 32 years, the event was relocated in 2019, with Roger Federer lifting the first trophy in the new venue.

This year, all the top-50 players are committed to play, excepting the defending champion Federer, who has pulled out due to injury. Kevin Anderson, who had been accepted with a protected ranking, has been forced to withdraw as well, having undergone a knee surgery.

 

ATP Master 1000 Miami (FL, USA, Hard), entry list:
Djokovic, Novak (SRB)
Nadal, Rafael (ESP)
OUT Federer, Roger (SUI)
Thiem, Dominic (AUT)
Medvedev, Daniil (RUS)
Tsitsipas, Stefanos (GRE)
Zverev, Alexander (GER)
Berrettini, Matteo (ITA)
Monfils, Gael (FRA)
Goffin, David (BEL)
Fognini, Fabio (ITA)
Bautista-Agut, Roberto (ESP)
Schwartzman, Diego (ARG)
Rublev, Andrey (RUS)
Khachanov, Karen (RUS)
Shapovalov, Denis (CAN)
Wawrinka, Stan (SUI)
Garin, Cristian (CHI)
Dimitrov, Grigor (BUL)
Auger-Aliassime, Felix (CAN)
Isner, John (USA)
Paire, Benoit (FRA)
Lajovic, Dusan (SRB)
Fritz, Taylor (USA)
Carreno Busta, Pablo (ESP)
De Minaur, Alex (AUS)
Basilashvili, Nikoloz (GEO)
Evans, Daniel (GBR)
Hurkacz, Hubert (POL)
Raonic, Milos (CAN)
Nishikori, Kei (JPN)
Krajinovic, Filip (SRB)
Coric, Borna (CRO)
Struff, Jan-Lennard (GER)
Pella, Guido (ARG)
Ruud, Casper (NOR)
Cilic, Marin (CRO)
Opelka, Reilly (USA)
Kyrgios, Nick (AUS)
Ramos-Vinolas, Albert (ESP)
Mannarino, Adrian (FRA)
Humbert, Ugo (FRA)
Millman, John (AUS)
Edmund, Kyle (GBR)
Querrey, Sam (USA)
Sonego, Lorenzo (ITA)
Kecmanovic, Miomir (SRB)
Nishioka, Yoshihito (JPN)
Tsonga, Jo-Wilfried (FRA)
Gasquet, Richard (FRA)
Bublik, Alexander (KAZ)
Verdasco, Fernando (ESP)
Simon, Gilles (FRA)
Andujar, Pablo (ESP)
Sandgren, Tennys (USA)
Lopez, Feliciano (ESP)
Paul, Tommy (USA)
Pouille, Lucas (FRA)
Chardy, Jeremy (FRA)
Cuevas, Pablo (URU)
Bedene, Aljaz (SLO)
Londero, Juan Ignacio (ARG)
Thompson, Jordan (AUS)
Vesely, Jiri (CZE)
Sousa, Joao (POR)
Albot, Radu (MDA)
Ymer, Mikael (SWE)
Gerasimov, Egor (BLR)
Berankis, Ricardas (LTU)
Moutet, Corentin (FRA)
Johnson, Steve (USA)
Norrie, Cameron (GBR)
Djere, Laslo (SRB)
Fucsovics, Marton (HUN)
Kukushkin, Mikhail (KAZ)
Pospisil, Vasek (CAN)
Cecchinato, Marco (ITA)
OUT Anderson, Kevin (RSA)
Lu, Yen-Hsun (TPE)
Alternates:
IN Dellien, Hugo (BOL)
IN Herbert, Pierre-Hugues (FRA)
1. Sinner, Jannik (ITA)
2. Tiafoe, Frances (USA)
3. Kohlschreiber, Philipp (GER)
4. Sugita, Yuichi (JPN)
5. Duckworth, James (AUS)

 

 

ATP Master 1000 Miami, Qualifying:
Kwon, Soonwoo (KOR)
Sinner, Jannik (ITA)
Kohlschreiber, Philipp (GER)
Delbonis, Federico (ARG)
Mager, Gianluca (ITA)
Tiafoe, Frances (USA)
Monteiro, Thiago (BRA)
Duckworth, James (AUS)
Travaglia, Stefano (ITA)
Sugita, Yuichi (JPN)
Seppi, Andreas (ITA)
Uchiyama, Yasutaka (JPN)
Koepfer, Dominik (GER)
Davidovich Fokina, Alejandro (ESP)
Barrere, Gregoire (FRA)
Harris, Lloyd (RSA)
Carballes Baena, Roberto (ESP)
Caruso, Salvatore (ITA)
Ruusuvuori, Emil (FIN)
Popyrin, Alexei (AUS)
Giron, Marcos (USA)
Munar, Jaume (ESP)
Martinez, Pedro (ESP)
Dzumhur, Damir (BIH)
Daniel, Taro (JPN)
Seyboth Wild, Thiago (BRA)
Kudla, Denis (USA)
Donskoy, Evgeny (RUS)
O’Connell, Christopher (AUS)
Soeda, Go (JPN)
Polmans, Marc (AUS)
Jung, Jason (TPE)
Kovalik, Jozef (SVK)
Lorenzi, Paolo (ITA)
Karlovic, Ivo (CRO)
Gojowczyk, Peter (GER)
Klahn, Bradley (USA)
Nagal, Sumit (IND)
Gaio, Federico (ITA)
Gunneswaran, Prajnesh (IND)
Stebe, Cedrik-Marsel (GER)
McDonald, Mackenzie (USA)
Sock, Jack (USA)
Alternates:
1. Varillas, Juan Pablo (PER)
2. Hoang, Antoine (FRA)
3. Laaksonen, Henri (SUI)
4. Ivashka, Ilya (BLR)
5. Zhang, Zhizhen (CHN)
6. Rola, Blaz (SLO)
7. Chung, Hyeon (KOR)
8. Hanfmann, Yannick (GER)
9. Wolf, Jeffrey John (USA)
10. Milojevic, Nikola (SRB)

 

 

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ATP Challenger

Ten Top-100 Players To Play Indian Wells Challenger Before The Master 1000

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The tournament is part of the Oracle Challenger Series and gives a good chance to get ready for the BNP Paribas Open.

 

The Indian Wells Challenger has been played since 2018 in the venue of the BNP Paribas Open: the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Southern California. The event has a prize money of $162.480 and offers 125 ATP points to the singles and the doubles champions.

This year, the singles draw shows a huge line-up with all the 16 seeds ranked in the top-117 and names like those of Ugo Humbert, Lucas Pouille, Jannik Sinner and Frances Tiafoe. All the seeded players have a bye and start their campaign in the second round, but many high level first round matches are still on the line.

On Monday, former Australian Open semifinalist Hyeon Chung is set to play his first match of the season, as he faces Thai-Son Kwiatkowski on Stadium 5, while Jack Sock will play against 25 year-old Kaichi Uchida. Other interesting match-ups involve Akira Santillan against fellow 22 year-old Michael Mmoh and Mischa Zverev against JC Aragone.

Two qualifying-draw matches will be played as well, with 39 year-old Stephane Robert and Gage Brymer facing respectively doubles specialists Sem Verbeek and Hunter Reese. The winners will advance to the main draw and will meet Maxime Cressy, who comes from a title and a final in Canada in the last two weeks, and Roberto Marcora.

World’s number 7 Alexander Zverev will surprisingly play doubles with his brother Mischa: they are the 3rd seeds and will play against Sebastian Korda and Mitchell Krueger. The American pair of Nicholas Monroe and Jackson Withrow is at the top of the draw.

 

Indian Wells Challenger, main draw:
Ugo Humbert [1, FRA] bye
Kaichi Uchida (JPN) vs Jack Sock (PR, USA)
Michael Redlicki (USA) vs Zhe Li (CHN)
Evgeny Donskoy [13, RUS] bye
Denis Kudla [11, USA] bye
Maxime Janvier (FRA) vs Bradley Klahn (USA)
Q vs Maxime Cressy (USA)
Jannik Sinner [6, ITA] bye
Cameron Norrie [3, GBR] bye
Roberto Marcora (ITA) vs Q
Keegan Smith (USA) vs Ryan Peniston (GBR)
Marcos Giron [14, USA] bye
Salvatore Caruso [10, ITA] bye
Thai-Son Kwiatkowski (USA) vs Hyeon Chung (KOR)
Liam Broady (GBR) vs Brandon Nakashima (USA)
Yuichi Sugita [7, JPN] bye
Frances Tiafoe [8, USA] bye
Akira Santillan (AUS) vs Michael Mmoh (USA)
Mischa Zverev (GER) vs JC Aragone (USA)
Gregoire Barrere [9, FRA] bye
Christopher O’Connell [15, AUS] bye
Brandon Holt (WC, USA) vs Sebastian Korda (USA)
Mitchell Krueger (USA) vs Dudi Sela (ISR)
Radu Albot [4 WC, MDA] bye
Steve Johnson [5, USA] bye
Govind Nanda (WC, USA) vs Marc Polmans (AUS)
Blake Mott (PR, AUS) vs Mackenzie McDonald (USA)
Taro Daniel [12, JPN] bye
Peter Gojowczyk [16, GER] bye
Marius Copil (ROU) vs Raymond Sarmiento (PR, USA)
Noah Rubin (USA) vs Danilo Petrovic (SRB)
Lucas Pouille [2, FRA] bye

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Draw/Entry List

Entry List For The Australian Open Announced

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The acceptance list for the men’s Australian Open 2020 has been announced and it includes the world’s best 98 players.

 

The Australian Open 2020 will be played from the 20th of January to the 3rd of February on revamped courts, as “Greenset Worldwide” is set to replace the Plexicushion as the official court surface supplier. Greenset will work with the other ATP Australian tournaments as well, which are the ATP Cup and the Adelaide International.

The entry list has the original cut-off at 98 (Egor Gerasimov with last direct acceptance), while 6 players have used their protected-ranking to get in: they are Juan Martin Del Potro, Mackenzie McDonald, Vasek Pospisil, Cedrik-Marcel Stebe, Yen-Hsun Lu and Alexandr Dolgopolov.

Three wild-cards have already been given to USA’s Marcos Giron (USTA WC), Japan’s Tatsuma Ito (winner of the Asia-Pacific Wild-Card Play-off) and France’s Hugo Gaston.

 

Australian Open (AUS, Hard outdoor) entry list:
Nadal, Rafael (ESP)
Djokovic, Novak (SRB)
Federer, Roger (SUI)
Thiem, Dominic (AUT)
Medvedev, Daniil (RUS)
Tsitsipas, Stefanos (GRE)
Zverev, Alexander (GER)
Berrettini, Matteo (ITA)
Bautista-Agut, Roberto (ESP)
Monfils, Gael (FRA)
Goffin, David (BEL)
Fognini, Fabio (ITA)
Nishikori, Kei (JPN)
Schwartzman, Diego (ARG)
Shapovalov, Denis (CAN)
Wawrinka, Stan (SUI)
Khachanov, Karen (RUS)
De Minaur, Alex (AUS)
Isner, John (USA)
Dimitrov, Grigor (BUL)
Auger-Aliassime, Felix (CAN)
Pouille, Lucas (FRA)
Rublev, Andrey (RUS)
Paire, Benoit (FRA)
Pella, Guido (ARG)
Basilashvili, Nikoloz (GEO)
Carreno-Busta, Pablo (ESP)
Coric, Borna (CRO)
Tsonga, Jo-Wilfried (FRA)
Kyrgios, Nick (AUS)
Raonic, Milos (CAN)
Fritz, Taylor (USA)
Garin, Cristian (CHI)
Lajovic, Dusan (SRB)
Struff, Jan-Lennard (GER)
Opelka, Reilly (USA)
Hurkacz, Hubert (POL)
Djere, Laslo (SRB)
Cilic, Marin (CRO)
Krajinovic, Filip (SRB)
Ramos-Vinolas, Albert (ESP)
Evans, Daniel (GBR)
Mannarino, Adrian (FRA)
Querrey, Sam (USA)
Cuevas, Pablo (URU)
Albot, Radu (MDA)
Tiafoe, Frances (USA)
Millman, John (AUS)
Verdasco, Fernando (ESP)
Londero, Juan Ignacio (ARG)
Chardy, Jeremy (FRA)
Sonego, Lorenzo (ITA)
Norrie, Cameron (GBR)
Ruud, Casper (NOR)
Simon, Gilles (FRA)
Bublik, Alexander (KAZ)
Humbert, Ugo (FRA)
Bedene, Aljaz (SLO)
Kecmanovic, Miomir (SRB)
Sousa, Joao (POR)
Gasquet, Richard (FRA)
Lopez, Feliciano (ESP)
Thompson, Jordan (AUS)
Andujar, Pablo (ESP)
Herbert, Pierre-Hugues (FRA)
Berankis, Ricardas (LTU)
Kukushkin, Mikhail (KAZ)
Sandgren, Tennys (USA)
Edmund, Kyle (GBR)
Fucsovics, Marton (HUN)
Cecchinato, Marco (ITA)
Seppi, Andreas (ITA)
Nishioka, Yoshihito (JPN)
Ymer, Mikael (SWE)
Dellien, Hugo (BOL)
Delbonis, Federico (ARG)
Jarry, Nicolas (CHI)
Sinner, Jannick (ITA)
Kohlschreiber, Philipp (GER)
Carballes Baena, Roberto (ESP)
Uchiyama, Yasutaka (JPN)
Barrere, Gregoire (FRA)
Moutet, Corentin (FRA)
Travaglia, Stefano (ITA)
Johnson, Steve (USA)
Munar, Jaume (ESP)
Davidovich Fokina, Alejandro (ESP)
Kwon, Soonwoo (KOR)
Monteiro, Thiago (BRA)
Paul, Tommy (USA)
Anderson, Kevin (RSA)
Mayer, Leonardo (ARG)
Dzumhur, Damir (BIH)
Koepfer, Dominik (GER)
Karlovic, Ivo (CRO)
Caruso, Salvatore (ITA)
Popyrin, Alexei (AUS)
Gerasimov, Egor (BLR)
Del Potro, Juan Martin (ARG) PR
McDonald, Mackenzie (USA) PR
Pospisil, Vasek (CAN) PR
Stebe, Cedrik-Marcel (GER) PR
Lu, Yen-Hsun (TPE) PR
Dolgopolov, Alexandr (UKR) PR
WC Giron, Marcos (USA)
WC Ito, Tatsuma (JPN)
WC Gaston, Hugo (FRA)
(WC, Australian Open Play-off)
(WC)
(WC)
(WC)
(WC)
Alternates:
1. Harris, Lloyd (RSA)
2. Donaldson, Jared (USA) PR
3. Duckworth, James (AUS)
4. Majchrazak, Kamil (POL)
5. Giron, Marcos (USA)
6. Sugita, Yuichi (JPN)
7. Laaksonen, Henri (SUI)
8. Vesely, Jiri (CZE)
9. Schnur, Brayden (CAN)
10. Martin, Andrej (SVK)

 

 

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