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Potential blockbuster third round matches at Indian Wells

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The Indian Wells Main Draw could feature potential blockbuster third round clashes (Novak Djokovic vs Nick Kyrgios and Roger Federer vs Stan Wawrinka).

 

This year’s Australian Open winner and five-time Indian Wells champion Novak Djokovic could clash against Nick Kyrgios in a blockbuster third-round match at Indian Wells in the Californian desert, the first Masters 1000 tournament of the season.

Djokovic will play in his first tournament since his seventh triumph at last January’s Australian Open. The Serbian player will face a qualifier in the second round before facing Kyrgios, who beat Alexander Zverev in the final of the Acapulco Abierto Mexicano after a three-set win over Rafael Nadal in the third round. The Australian player beat Djokovic in both of his head-to-head matches against the world number 1 player and beat the Serb two years ago in the Round of 16 at Indian Wells.

Kyrgios will clash against either Phillip Kohlschreiber or this year’s Australian Open doubles champion Pierre Hugues Herbert.

Djokovic and Kyrgios have been drawn in the same quarter as Gael Monfils, who has returned to the top 20 for the first time since July 2017 after winning the final in Rotterdam against Stan Wawrinka and reaching the semifinal in Dubai, where he lost to Stefanos Tsitsipas in the tie-break of the third set.  This quarter of the draw also features last year’s Indian Wells semifinalist Borna Coric, Reilly Opelka and last year’s Hamburg and Beijing champion Nikoloz Basilashvili.

In the second quarter of the draw Alexander Zverev could take on his elder brother Misha in the second round. The Zverev brothers won the doubles title as a team in Acapulco last week. Misha will open against Martin Klizan in the first round. Alexander beat Misha in their first head-to-head clash in Washington last August. Zverev could face Grigor Dimitrov in a possible re-match of the clash they played in 2016 at Indian Wells where the German beat his Bulgarian rival 6-4 3-6 7-5. Zverev could face Milos Raonic in the Round of 16 and Stefanos Tsitsipas in the quarter final. The Greek star, who won his first title of the year in Marseille and finished runner-up in Dubai to Roger Federer, could take on this year’s Rio de Janeiro finalist Felix Auger Aliassime in an all-Next Gen second round clash, if the young Canadian will beat last week’s Acapulco semifinalist Cameron Norrie from Great Britain

In the third quarter five-time Indian Wells champion Roger Federer will open his campaign against either Italy’s Andreas Seppi or Germany’s Peter Gojowczyk in the second round before a blockbuster third round against either his compatriot Stan Wawrinka or Marton Fucsovics. Federer beat Wawrinka in the Indian Wells final in 2017 to claim his fifth title in the Californian desert. The two Swiss players clashed three times at Indian Wells in 2011, 2013 and 2017. Federer leads 21-3 in his 24 head-to-head matches against Wawrinka and dropped just one of the seven sets played against his compatriot at Coachella Valley.

Federer could face Fabio Fognini in the Round of 16 and either Kei Nishikori or Marin Cilic in the quarter final. Denis Shapovalov and Frances Tiafoe have been drawn in the same section of the draw as Federer. Tiafoe, who reached the Australian open quarter final this year, will play against Nicholas Jerry before a possible clash against 2018 Australian Open semifinal against Kyle Edmund. Shapovalov will face either Taylor Fritz or Steve Johnson.

The Swiss Maestro lifted the 100th title of his career last week beating Stefanos Tsitsipas in a straight-set final.

In the fourth quarter last year’s Miami Open champion John Isner could meet either Karen Khachanov or Tomas Berdych in the fourth round. Khachanov has a win-loss record of 4-5 this and has not won a top-60 player this year.

Rafael Nadal could start his Indian Wells campaign against either US Jared Donaldson or a qualifier in the second round before possible matches against Danil Medvedev in the fourth round and John Isner in the quarter final before a possible super semifinal against Federer.

Juan Martin Del Potro will not defend his title because a knee injury. Only five players have won the Indian Wells since 2003 (the Big Three Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Ivan Ljubicic and Juan Martin Del Potro).

In the doubles tournament US twin brothers Bob and Mike Bryan will be bidding to win their third title at Indian Wells after winning their first title of the season in Delray Beach. Bob and Mike Bryan will face a tough first round against Karen Khachanov and Danil Medvedev.

John Isner, who won this tournament last year alongside Jack Sock, will team up with his compatriot Sam Querrey. The US team will face Pierre Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut, whowill be be bidding to win their seventh Masters 1000 title. The French doubles team triumphed at Indian Wells in 2016.

Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares will face Denis Shapovalov and Rohan Bopanna in a tough first round. The line-up also features this year’s Australian Open finalist Henri Kontninen and John Peers. Kontinen won the Rotterdam doubles title with Jeremy Chardy. Novak Djokovic will team up with Fabio Fognini.

 

 

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Jannick Sinner saves two match points to reach the third round at the US Open qualifying round

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Italian 18-year-old rising star Jannick Sinner came back from one set down to beat Croatia’s Viktor Galovic 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 7-5 after two hours and 49 minutes advancing to the third round of the US Open qualifying round.

 

Galovic went up an early break in the first game and held his serve until the 10th game, when Sinner earned two break-back points. Golovic held his serve to win the first set 6-4.

Sinner wasted a break point in the fourth game, but he broke serve in the sixth game to open up a 4-2 lead. Galovic broke back, when Sinner was serving for the set. Galovic saved two set points at 6-5 forcing the second set to the tie-break, where Sinner cruised through to winning the second set 7-2.

Galovic went up a break in the fourth game to build up a 4-1 lead.

Sinner saved two two match points at 2-5 on his serve before winning five consecutive games to win the third set 7-5. Galovic dropped his serve, when he was serving for the match. Sinner broke again in the 11th game, but he had to save two break-back points, as he was serving for the match.

Sinner won his first match on the ATP Masters 1000 in Rome beating Steve Johnson in three sets and is currently ranked world number 131.

The player from SudTyrol will play against Spain’s Mario Vilella Martinez for a spot in the main draw.

Martinez fought back from losing the first set to beat Akira Santillan 6-7 (6-8) 6-4 6-2.

 Jiri Vesely overcame Jason Jung 6-4 5-7 7-5 setting up a match against Paolo Lorenzi for a spot in the main draw. Lorenzi beat Enzo Couacaud 7-6 (7-3) 6-3.

Guillermo Garcia Lopez cruised past Noah Rubin 6-1 7-6 (7-3) securing his spot in the third round where he will face Constant Lestienne, who swept aside Paolo Lorenzi 6-3 6-0.

 

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Dominic Thiem Downplays US Open Chances

The world No.4 has given a frank assessment about his hopes at the New York major shortly after the draw was made on Thursday.

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Dominic Thiem may be a top four seed in next week’s US Open, but the Austrian has played down the prospect of him winning his first grand slam title at the event.

 

The 25-year-old has experienced a setback in his build up to the tournament. Since winning the Kitzbuhel Open on clay, Thiem has only managed to play three matches on a hard court. Reaching the quarter-finals of the Rogers Cup in what what was his best-ever run at the tournament. However, more recently Thiem has been sidelined from action due to a virus and pulled out of the Cincinnati Masters.

Thiem’s first round opponent at the US Open will be Italy’s Thomas Fabbiano, who has suffered two consecutive first round losses on the tour. Fabbiano reached the third round in New York back in 2017, but has missed the two most recent editions.

“Without a doubt, there are much tougher rivals than Thomas Fabbiano in a first round, although I must say that, after overcoming this viral disease, I do not expect miracles.” Thiem told Sky Sport Austria on Thursday.

Heading into the event, Thiem has said he has set out no goal. He will be defending 360 ranking points after reaching the quarter-finals 12 months ago before losing in a five-set thriller to Rafael Nadal. Overall, Thiem’s win-loss at the US Open is 15-5 heading into this year.

“Right now I do not consider reaching a quarterfinals or a semifinal. I want to go round to round, looking beyond would be presumptuous.” He said.
“In the next few days I will keep my training to a minimum, the goal is to be in perfect shape on Monday.”

Despite his recent setbacks, 2019 has been a season of success for the world No.4. In March he won the biggest title of his career at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. He would then go on to win trophies in Barcelona and Kitzhbuel. However, in the grand slams he has been less consistent. At the French Open Thiem reached the final, but has failed to win back-to-back matches at both the Australian Open (second round) and Wimbledon (first round). Although at the Australian Open he was forced to withdraw from the tournament due to illness.

The US Open will get underway on Monday.

Dominic Thiem at the US Open

2018
Round Rank Opponent W-L Score
Quarter-Finals 1
Rafael Nadal ESP
L 60 46 57 764 675
Round of 16 5
Kevin Anderson RSA
W 75 62 762
Round of 32 74
Taylor Fritz USA
W 36 63 765 64
Round of 64 31
Steve Johnson USA
W 675 63 57 64 61
Round of 128 81
Mirza Basic BIH
W 63 61 64
2017
Round Rank Opponent W-L Score
Round of 16 28
Juan Martin del Potro ARG
L 61 62 16 671 46
Round of 32 34
Adrian Mannarino FRA
W 75 63 64
Round of 64 108
Taylor Fritz USA
W 64 64 46 75
Round of 128 186
Alex de Minaur AUS
W 64 61 61
2016
Round Rank Opponent W-L Score
Round of 16 142
Juan Martin del Potro ARG
L 36 23 (RET)
Round of 32 39
Pablo Carreno Busta ESP
W 16 64 64 75
Round of 64 89
Ricardas Berankis LTU
W 64 63 62
Round of 128 66
John Millman AUS
W 63 26 57 64 63
2015
Round Rank Opponent W-L Score
Round of 32 14
Kevin Anderson RSA
L 36 673 673
Round of 64 70
Denis Istomin UZB
W 64 64 10 (RET)
Round of 128 76
Daniel Gimeno-Traver ESP
W 75 63 75
2014
Round Rank Opponent W-L Score
Round of 16 7
Tomas Berdych CZE
L 16 26 46
Round of 32 21
Feliciano Lopez ESP
W 64 62 63
Round of 64 12
Ernests Gulbis LTA
W 46 36 64 63 63
Round of 128 84
Lukas Lacko SLO
W 63 63 62

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Chris Evert On Why Coco Gauff Winning The US Open May Not Be A Good Thing

The former world No.1 speaks out about the teenage tennis prodigy.

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Cori Gauff - Wimbledon 2019 (photo via Twitter, @Wimbledon)

At next week’s US Open, one of the talking points of the women’s draw will be rising star Coco Gauff who will be making her main draw debut at Flushing Meadows.

 

The 15-year-old tennis prodigy grabbed the attention of many during the Wimbledon Championships. It was at the event where she became the youngest player in the Open Era to successfully qualify. Then she stunned former world No.1 Venus Williams, Magdalena Rybarikova and Polona Hercog en route to the fourth round. Where she lost to eventual champion Simona Halep.

Gauff’s rapid rise in the sport has caught the attention of both her rivals and sponsors. She already has deals with Barilla and New Balance. Amounting to an estimated $1 million, according to Forbes Magazine. Those brands will be hoping for the teenager to make another deep run at the final grand slam of the season. However, one former champion has warned against any potential success.

18-time grand slam champion Chris Evert is concerned that too much is happening to Gauff at a young age. Going as far as saying that success at the major event could be counterproductive. Gauff is currently ranked 141st in the world and is the youngest player in the top 500.

“I don’t know if it’d be necessarily great for her to win the Open.” Evert said during an interview with The New York Post.
“If she continues to play the way she is, have some big wins, still develop her game and be a normal 15-year-old with some semblance of privacy, then that’d be the most successful picture of her.’
“There’s no doubt there is Grand Slam potential in her, after watching her at Wimbledon. But I am very cautious because she is so young and so many things can happen between 15 and 20 (years old), mentally, physically, emotionally.”

Evert was 19 when she won her first major title at the 1974 French Open. In total she contested 34 grand slam finals over a 15-year period.

Earlier this week Gauff made an appearance at the Winston-Salem Open. A men’s tournament that is categorised as an ATP 250 event. She took to the court to play an exhibition match against world No.2 Ash Barty. Gauff edged out the reigning French Open champion 6-4, 2-6, [10-8].

“It was super fun. It’s different to kinda play in an atmosphere like that and not be in a tournament. It was cool to play with Ash and hopefully we can do it again sometime,” Gauff told reporters on Wednesday.
“I’m kind of sad to leave [Winston-Salem] because New York is busy but it was good to get the calm before the storm.”

Gauff will take on Russian world No.76 Anastasia Potapova in the first round of the US Open. There is a chance that she could play defending champion Naomi Osaka in the tournament if they both reach the third round.

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