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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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Emma Raducanu Crowned Action Woman Of The Year

The US Open champion has received another accolade in recognition of her season on the Tour.

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Emma Raducanu reacts to her win during a Women's Singles quarterfinal match at the 2021 US Open, Wednesday, Sep. 8, 2021 in Flushing, NY. (Pete Staples/USTA)

Emma Raducanu’s breakthrough season has ended on a high note after she received a top honour on Monday evening.

 

The 19-year-old has been named BT Sport Action Woman of the year following a public vote which took place. The annual awards celebrates ‘the achievements of brilliant and inspiring female athletes’ and started back in 2013. Past athletes to win the award include sprinter Dina Asher-Smith and England footballer Jodie Williams.

“I just wanted to say a massive thank you for voting me as your Action Woman of the Year and I’d really like to congratulate all the other amazing nominees on their incredible achievements over the last 12 months,” Raducanu said in a video published on Monday.
“For me to win this achievement is an absolute honour, so I just wanted to say thank you and hope you’re all having a brilliant evening. I’ll see you soon.”

Raducanu made headlines earlier this year by stunning the field to win the US Open in what was only her second appearance in the main draw of a Grand Slam. The Brit became the first qualifier to ever win the title and didn’t drop a single set in 10 matches played. Players she defeated in New York include Belinda Bencic and Maria Sakkari. She is the first British woman to win a major title since Virginia Wade back in 1977.

The rising star didn’t make her WTA Tour main draw debut until this year’s Nottingham Open. She also reached the fourth round of Wimbledon and was the finalist at a WTA 125 tournament in Chicago. However, she suffered a slight dip in her results after the US Open by winning only two out of five matches played across three tournaments.

Raducanu, who is currently sitting at a ranking high of 19th, is preparing for the 2022 season alongside her new coach Torben Beltz who is known for his previous work with Angleique Kerber. She will return to action next week in Abu Dhabi by taking part in an exhibition match against Belinda Bencic at the Mubadala World Tennis Championships.

Torben is a super positive guy and he brings great energy,” Raducanu recently told reporters.
“He’s someone whenever you’re around him you can’t help it because it’s just like infectious. It’s really cool to have that in my team so he’s constantly lifting the mood. I’m really excited to work with him and I’ll get a better chance to get to know him better this off-season and see where it goes.
“We’ve been in communication a lot. I’ve just been doing a lot of fitness, like four to five hours a day training and start my tennis next week, so he’s coming in and we’ll be working hard together during the off-season and into Australia.”

Raducanu has risen up the WTA rankings by more than 300 places since January.

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The Russian Tennis Federation wins the third Davis Cup title

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The Russian Tennis Federation beat Croatia 2-0 to win their third Davis Cup title and their first since 2006 with straight-set wins by top 10 players Andrey Rublev and Danil Medvedev. 

 

World number 5 Andrey Rublev beat world number 279 Borna Gojo 6-4 7-6 (7-5) in 1 hour and 33 minutes to give the Russian Tennis Federation a 1-0 lead over Croatia in the final of the Davis Cup.

Russia equalled Czech Republic and Germany in seventh place in the all-time list of Davis Cup winners. 

Earlier this year Russia had also won the ATP Cup last February. 

Russia could become the fourth team to win both Davis Cup and Billie Jean King Cup titles in the same year after the women’s team claimed the women’s event beating Switzerland 2-0 last month. 

Gojo, who beat Lorenzo Sonego in the quarter final and Dusan Lajovic in the semifinal, saved break points in the first and third games of the first set, before Rublev earned two break points in the seventh game, as Gojo hit two backhands into the net. Rublev forced an error from Gojo with a forehand to break serve for 4-3. Rublev did not face a break point and served out the first set with an ace after 35 minutes. 

The Russian player did not convert his five break points in the first and third games of the second set. 

Rublev took Gojo to deuce at 5-5 but Gojo held with a serve down the middle. Both players went on serve en route to the tie-break. 

Rublev went up a mini-break twice in the tie-break, but Gojo broke back both times and took a 5-4 lead, when Rublev sent a forehand wide and a serve out wide.

Rublev earned two match points with a pass and forehand inside out and converted his first chance when Gojo hit his backhand long. The 24-year-old player did not face a break point and hit 18 winners. 

“It was super tough. There was a lot of pressure on me. Borna was playing ubelievably for the past two weeks. He was amazing today. I will enjoy this moment”,said Rublev. 

Danil Medvedev beat Marin Cilic 7-6 (9-7) 6-2 in the second singles match to give an insurmountable 2-0 lead ending Russia’s 15-year wait. Russia had won their previous titles in 2002 and 2006. 

Neither player was able to break point in a tight first set. Cilic earned a break point on Medvedev’s second serve at 4-3, but he hit a backhand return into the net. 

Cilic took a 4-2 lead when Medvedev sent a forehand wide in the tie-break. Medvedev won four of the next five points to earn a set point on Cilic’s serve. Cilic fended it off with a smash, but he sent a forehand out to face a second set point. Medvedev did not convert it after a double fault. Medvedev earned his third set point 8-7 with a big serve down the middle and converted ita s Cilic made a backhand error. 

Medvedev got his first break of the second set in the fourth game when a forehand from Cilic popped up off the net-cord. Medvedev sealed the second set 6-2 with his second break in the eighth game when a forehand from Cilic fell short. Medvedev won 87% of his first serve points. 

“It feels amazing. I am more happy for the team than myself. We have an amazing team with a great atmosphere and I am just happy to be able to be part of this team to win the points we needed. It was an amazing two weeks. I am really happy”, said Medvedev. 

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Russia sets up Davis Cup final against Croatia

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Top 10 players Danil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev won their singles matches in straight sets to guide the Russian Team Federation to a 2-1 win over Germany sending the Russian Tennis Federation into the final of the Davis Cup in Madrid. The Russian team set up a final against 2018 Davis Cup champions Croatia in the Davis Cup on Sunday.  

 

Rublev eased past Dominik Koepfer 6-4 6-0 after just 49 minutes to give the Russian Team Federation a 1-0 lead. Rublev hit nine aces and converted all his four break points. 

“The difference today was compared to other matches where I was feeling I am winning quite easily. I don’t need to put in much effort, and in the end I was completely relaxed. I was giving up to the other guy”, said Rublev. 

This year’s US Open champion Danil Medvedev sealed Russia’s spot in the final with a 6-4 6-4 win over Jan-Lennard Struff in 66 minutes with a break in each set. Medvedev committed just six unforced errors and saved the only break point he faced. Struff saved two break points before sending his shot into the net to drop his serve. Medvedev held his serve to win the first set 6-4. 

“I am really happy for the team for the team. It has an amazing It won’t be easy against Croatia. They have the best doubles team in the world. We need to try to close it out in singles, but we believe in our guys in doubles”, said Medvedev. 

In the dead rubber Karen Khachanov and Aslan Karatsev won the first set 6-4 with two breaks of serve, but they were not able to convert their two break break points, as Kevin Krawietz and Tim Puetz rallied to win the second set 6-2 with a break in the sixth game. The German team converted their third break point to win the match 4-6 6-2 6-3. 

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