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 Winston-Salem LIVE

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The last ATP tournament before the Us Open will take place in Winston Salem (North Carolina) at the Wake Forest University. 

 

The Winston-Salem Open, an ATP 250 event, took the place of the Pilot Pen Tennis in New Haven in 2011. John Isner is the only American former champion, while Russia’s Daniil Medvedev won the last edition.

The tournament will be played on outdoor hard courts, from the 17th to the 24th of August. Kevin Anderson, Alexander Bublik, Tomas Berdych and Feliciano Lopez have committed to play.

NEWS: Andy Murray has received the last Wild-Card for the main draw.

NEWS: Nikoloz Basilashvili has withdrawn from the tournament, Joao Monteiro has taken his place.

NEWS: Kevin Anderson pulls out and he is replaced by Frances Tiafoe.

 

ATP 250 Winston-Salem (USA, Hard), entry list:
Andujar, Pablo (ESP)
OUT Basilashvili, Nikoloz (GEO)
Bublik, Alexander (KAZ)
Carballes Baena, Roberto (ESP)
Carreno-Busta, Pablo (ESP)
Cecchinato, Marco (ITA)
Chardy, Jeremy (FRA)
Copil, Marius (ROU)
OUT Coric, Borna (CRO)
OUT Cuevas, Pablo (URU)
OUT Delbonis, Federico (ARG)
OUT Dellien, Hugo (BOL)
Evans, Daniel (GBR)
Fabbiano, Thomas (ITA)
Haase, Robin (NED)
Harris, Lloyd (RSA)
Humbert, Ugo (FRA)
Hurkacz, Hubert (POL)
Jarry, Nicolas (CHI)
Johnson, Steve (USA)
Kecmanovic, Miomir (SRB)
OUT Klahn, Bradley (USA)
Klizan, Martin (SVK)
OUT Kovalik, Jozef (SVK)
Krajinovic, Filip (SRB)
OUT Kukushkin, Mikhail (KAZ)
Lopez, Feliciano (ESP)
OUT Mannarino, Adrian (FRA)
Millman, John (AUS)
Moutet, Corentin (FRA)
OUT Nishioka, Yoshihito (JPN)
Paire, Benoit (FRA)
Querrey, Sam (USA)
Rublev, Andrey (RUS)
Ruud, Casper (NOR)
Seppi, Andreas (ITA)
Sonego, Lorenzo (ITA)
Sousa, Joao (POR)
WC Tiafoe, Frances (USA)
WC Berdych, Tomas (CZE)
WC Shapovalov, Denis (CAN)
WC Murray, Andy (GBR)
Alternates:
IN Munar, Jaume (ESP)
IN Gunneswaran, Prajnesh (IND)
IN Sandgren, Tennys (USA)
OUT Ebden, Matthew (AUS)
IN Stebe, Cedrik-Marsel (GER)
OUT Tomic, Bernard (AUS)
IN Laaksonen, Henri (SUI)
OUT Maden, Yannick (GER)
IN Ramos-Vinolas, Albert (ESP)
OUT Jaziri, Malek (TUN)
IN Popyrin, Alexei (AUS)
OUT Travaglia, Stefano (ITA)
IN Hoang, Antoine (FRA)
OUT Granollers, Marcel (ESP)
OUT Sousa, Pedro (POR)
OUT Majchrzak, Kamil (POL)
OUT Daniel, Taro (JPN)
IN Kudla, Denis (USA)
OUT Schnur, Brayden (CAN)
IN Monteiro, Thiago (BRA)
OUT Istomin, Denis (UZB)
OUT Giustino, Lorenzo (ITA)
IN Lee, Duckhee (KOR)
IN Weintraub, Amir (ISR)
1. Smith, Roy (USA)

 

 

ATP 250 Winston-Salem, qualifying:
Dzumhur, Damir (BIH)
Fratangelo, Bjorn (USA)
OUT Gunneswaran, Prajnesh (IND)
OUT Hoang, Antoine (FRA)
OUT Kudla, Denis (USA)
OUT Laaksonen, Henri (SUI)
OUT Majchrzak, Kamil (POL)
OUT Mayer, Leonardo (ARG)
OUT Monteiro, Thiago (BRA)
OUT Paul, Tommy (USA)
OUT Popyrin, Alexei (AUS)
OUT Ramos-Vinolas, Albert (ESP)
OUT Sandgren, Tennys (USA)
OUT Schnur, Brayden (CAN)
WC Chrysochos, Petros (CYP)
(WC)
Alternates:
IN Giron, Marcos (USA)
OUT Duckworth, James (AUS)
OUT Sock, Jack (USA)
OUT Krueger, Mitchell (USA)
IN Eubanks, Christopher (USA)
OUT Janvier, Maxime (FRA)
OUT Quiroz, Roberto (ECU)
OUT Smith, John-Patrick (AUS)
OUT Uchida, Kaichi (JPN)
IN Viola, Matteo (ITA)
IN Weintraub, Amir (ISR)
IN Krawietz, Kevin (GER)
OUT Stebe, Cedrik-Marsel (GER)
OUT Myneni, Saketh (IND)
IN Peliwo, Filip (CAN)
IN Gojo, Borna (CRO)
OUT Cressy, Maxime (USA)
IN Arevalo, Marcelo (ESA)
OUT Nam, Ji Sung (TPE)
OUT Cid Subervi, Roberto (DOM)
OUT Wang, Tak Khunn (FRA)
IN Smith, Roy (USA)
OUT Redlicki, Michael (USA)
IN King, Kevin (USA)
OUT Sarkissian, Alexander (USA)
OUT Mena, Facundo (ARG)
OUT Doumbia, Sadio (FRA)
IN Sarmiento, Raymond (USA)
OUT Bangoura, Sekou (USA)
IN Nguyen, Daniel (USA)
1. Galarneau, Alexis (CAN)
2. Redlicki, Martin (USA)
3. Mansouri, Skander (TUN)

 

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ATP

Entry List For Cincinnati LIVE

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The American hard-court season continues with the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati.

 

ATP Master 1000 Cincinnati (OH, USA, hard), entry list:
Albot, Radu (MDA)
OUT Anderson, Kevin (RSA)
Auger-Aliassime, Felix (CAN)
Basilashvili, Nikoloz (GEO)
Bautista-Agut, Roberto (ESP)
Berrettini, Matteo (ITA)
Cecchinato, Marco (ITA)
Cilic, Marin (CRO)
Coric, Borna (CRO)
De Minaur, Alex (AUS)
OUT Del Potro, Juan Martin (ARG)
Djere, Laslo (SRB)
Djokovic, Novak (SRB)
Edmund, Kyle (GBR)
Federer, Roger (SUI)
Fognini, Fabio (ITA)
Fritz, Taylor (USA)
Garin, Cristian (CHI)
Gasquet, Richard (FRA)
Goffin, David (BEL)
Herbert, Pierre-Hugues (FRA)
Isner, John (USA)
Khachanov, Karen (RUS)
Kyrgios, Nick (AUS)
Lajovic, Dusan (SRB)
Mannarino, Adrian (FRA)
Medvedev, Daniil (RUS)
Monfils, Gael (FRA)
Nadal, Rafael (ESP)
Nishikori, Kei (JPN)
Paire, Benoit (FRA)
Pella, Guido (ARG)
Pouille, Lucas (FRA)
Raonic, Milos (CAN)
Schwartzman, Diego (ARG)
Shapovalov, Denis (CAN)
Simon, Gilles (FRA)
Struff, Jan-Lennard (GER)
Thiem, Dominic (AUT)
Tiafoe, Frances (USA)
Tsitsipas, Stefanos (GRE)
Verdasco, Fernando (ESP)
Wawrinka, Stan (SUI)
Zverev, Alexander (GER)
(SE)
Alternates:
IN Thompson, Jordan (AUS)
IN Sonego, Lorenzo (ITA)
IN Hurkacz, Hubert (POL)
1. Dimitrov, Grigor (BUL)
2. Carreno Busta, Pablo (ESP)
3. Fucsovics, Marton (HUN)
4. Krajinovic, Filip (SRB)
5. Jarry, Nicolas (CHI)
6. Lopez, Feliciano (ESP)
7. Norrie, Cameron (GBR)

 

 

ATP Master 1000 Cincinnati, qualifying:
Bublik, Alexander (KAZ)
Carreno Busta, Pablo (ESP)
Delbonis, Federico (ARG)
Evans, Daniel (GBR)
Fucsovics, Marton (HUN)
OUT Humbert, Ugo (FRA)
OUT Hurkacz, Hubert (POL)
OUT Jarry, Nicolas (CHI)
Kecmanovic, Miomir (SRB)
OUT Klizan, Martin (SVK)
Kohlschreiber, Philipp (GER)
Kukushkin, Mikhail (KAZ)
OUT Londero, Juan Ignacio (ARG)
Lopez, Feliciano (ESP)
Millman, John (AUS)
Nishioka, Yoshihito (JPN)
Norrie, Cameron (GBR)
OUT Opelka, Reilly (USA)
Ruud, Casper (NOR)
Sandgren, Tennys (USA)
OUT Sonego, Lorenzo (ITA)
Sousa, Joao (POR)
OUT Thompson, Jordan (AUS)
OUT Tsonga, Jo-Wilfried (FRA)
Alternates:
IN Chardy, Jeremy (FRA)
IN Karlovic, Ivo (CRO)
IN Harris, Lloyd (RSA)
IN Copil, Marius (ROU)
IN Haase, Robin (NED)
IN Johnson, Steve (USA)
IN Klahn, Bradley (USA)
IN Popyrin, Alexei (AUS)
IN Kudla, Denis (USA)
1. Caruso, Salvatore (ITA)
2. Hoang, Antoine (FRA)
3. Tomic, Bernard (AUS)
4. Istomin, Denis (UZB)
5. Barrere, Gregoire (FRA)
6. Daniel, Taro (JPN)
7. Ymer, Elias (SWE)
8. Paul, Tommy (USA)
9. Gulbis, Ernests (LAT)
10. Harrison, Ryan (USA)

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ATP

Entry List For Montreal LIVE

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The Canadian Master 1000 will take place from the 5th to the 11th of August at the IGA Stadium in Montreal.

 

The Coupe Rogers has been played since 1881, having the third-longest history in the ATP Tour, after Wimbledon and US Open. Rod Laver, Ilie Nastase, Bjorn Borg, Ivan Lendl (6 times), John McEnroe, Patrick Rafter and Andre Agassi are some of the tournament’s past champions.

Spain’s Rafael Nadal won last year’s edition in Toronto, while Germany’s Alexander Zverev took the title in 2017, in Montreal. With Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer not competing, the Spaniard will be the favourite.

“After Wimbledon I felt a bit tired and I had to rest, but then I practiced well and I will be in good physical condition in Montreal. I will get used to the hard court in the last few days before the tournament.
I will see how Montreal goes to decide if to play or not in Cincinnati.” Nadal said.

The three-time champion Andy Murray will play doubles with the 37 year-old Feliciano Lopez, who will also play in singles. They will look for their second title together of the season, after winning the Queen’s Club Championships in June.

NEWS: Frances Tiafoe withdraws, Cameron Norrie takes his place in the main draw.

NEWS: Franchman former champion Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will play with a Wild-Card.

NEWS: Fernando Verdasco pulls out from the tournament, he is replaced by Marton Fucsovics. Janko Tipsarevic and Jack Sock withdraw from qualifying.

 

ATP Master 1000 Montreal (CAN, Hard), entry list:
Albot, Radu (MDA)
Anderson, Kevin (RSA)
Auger-Aliassime, Felix (CAN)
Basilashvili, Nikoloz (GEO)
Bautista Agut, Roberto (ESP)
Berrettini, Matteo (ITA)
Cecchinato, Marco (ITA)
Cilic, Marin (CRO)
Coric, Borna (CRO)
OUT Cuevas, Pablo (URU)
De Minaur, Alex (AUS)
OUT Del Potro, Juan Martin (ARG)
Djere, Laslo (SRB)
OUT Djokovic, Novak (SRB)
Edmund, Kyle (GBR)
OUT Federer, Roger (SUI)
Fognini, Fabio (ITA)
Fritz, Taylor (USA)
Garin, Cristian (CHI)
Goffin, David (BEL)
Herbert, Pierre-Hugues (FRA)
Isner, John (USA)
Khachanov, Karen (RUS)
Kyrgios, Nick (AUS)
Lajovic, Dusan (SRB)
Mannarino, Adrian (FRA)
Medvedev, Daniil (RUS)
Monfils, Gael (FRA)
Nadal, Rafael (ESP)
Nishikori, Kei (JPN)
Paire, Benoit (FRA)
Pella, Guido (ARG)
Pouille, Lucas (FRA)
Raonic, Milos (CAN)
Schwartzman, Diego (ARG)
Shapovalov, Denis (CAN)
Simon, Gilles (FRA)
Struff, Jan-Lennard (GER)
Thiem, Dominic (AUT)
OUT Tiafoe, Frances (USA)
Tsitsipas, Stefanos (GRE)
OUT Verdasco, Fernando (ESP)
Wawrinka, Stan (SUI)
Zverev, Alexander (GER)
(SE)
WC Tsonga, Jo-Wilfried (FRA)
WC Polansky, Peter (CAN)
WC Pospisil, Vasek (CAN)
WC Schnur, Brayden (CAN)
Alternates:
IN Thompson, Jordan (AUS)
IN Gasquet, Richard (FRA)
IN Kukushkin, Mikhail (KAZ)
IN Dimitrov, Grigor (BUL)
IN Norrie, Cameron (GBR)
IN Fucsovics, Marton (HUN)
1. Krajinovic, Filip (SRB)
2. Hurkacz, Hubert (POL)
3. Lopez, Feliciano (ESP)
4. Klizan, Martin (SVK)

 

ATP Master 1000 Montreal (CAN, Hard), qualifying:
Berankis, Ricardas (LTU)
OUT Berdych, Tomas (CZE)
Bublik, Alexander (KAZ)
Copil, Marius (ROU)
OUT Delbonis, Federico (ARG)
Evans, Daniel (GBR)
Haase, Robin (NED)
Harris, Lloyd (RSA)
Hurkacz, Hubert (POL)
Karlovic, Ivo (CRO)
Klahn, Bradley (USA)
OUT Kukushkin, Mikhail (KAZ)
OUT Londero, Juan Ignacio (ARG)
Lopez, Feliciano (ESP)
Millman, John (AUS)
Nishioka, Yoshihito (JPN)
OUT Norrie, Cameron (GBR)
OUT Opelka, Reilly (USA)
OUT Querrey, Sam (USA)
OUT Ruud, Casper (NOR)
OUT Sousa, Joao (POR)
OUT Thompson, Jordan (AUS)
OUT Tipsarevic, Janko (SRB)
OUT Tsonga, Jo-Wilfried (FRA)
(WC)
(WC)
(WC)
(WC)
Alternates:
IN Popyrin, Alexei (AUS)
OUT Schnur, Brayden (CAN)
IN Granollers, Marcel (ESP)
IN Jaziri, Malek (TUN)
IN Tomic, Bernard (AUS)
OUT Maden, Yannick (GER)
IN Barrere, Gregoire (FRA)
IN Kwon, Soonwoo (KOR)
OUT Ymer, Elias (SWE)
IN Donskoy, Evgeny (RUS)
OUT Jung, Jason (TPE)
IN Paul, Tommy (USA)
IN Gulbis, Ernests (LAT)
OUT Harrison, Ryan (USA)
IN Ivashka, Ilya (BLR)
OUT Polansky, Peter (CAN)
IN Troicki, Viktor (SRB)
OUT Horansky, Filip (SVK)
OUT Torpegaard, Mikael (DEN)
OUT Sock, Jack (USA)
IN Polmans, Marc (AUS)
1. Young, Donald (USA)
2. Diez, Steven (CAN)
3. Viola, Matteo (ITA)
4. Krawietz, Kevin (GER)
5. Peliwo, Filip (CAN)

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