Rafael Nadal Says Criticism Of Kyrgios Was Misinterpreted, But Urges Him To Set A Better Example - UBITENNIS
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Rafael Nadal Says Criticism Of Kyrgios Was Misinterpreted, But Urges Him To Set A Better Example

The former world No.1 has addressed the recent spat between him and Kyrgios on the tour.

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Rafael Nadal all'Abierto Mexicano - Acapulco 2019 (Foto Twitter @AbiertoTelcel)

11-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal has played down any conflict between him and Nick Kyrgios by saying his comments about the Australian player was suffered in translation.

 

The two locked horns on the court last week at the Mexican Open in Acapulco. During what was a tense match, Kyrgios saved three match points before prevailing in three sets. Shortly after their second round clash, Nadal was quoted in his press conference as saying that his opponent “lacks respect for the public, the opponent and for himself.”A comment that prompted a fiery response from Kyrgios.

“I’m different, Rafa is different. He can focus on what he needs to do.” Kyrgios responded.
“He doesn’t know the journey I’ve been through, he doesn’t know me. So I’m not going to listen at all.’”

Speaking to reporters in Indian Wells on Wednesday, Nadal has now clarified his remarks. Saying that he wasn’t annoyed by Kyrgios’ decision to hit an underarm serve during their match, which is a perfectly legal action. However, the Spaniard believes there is room for improvement.

“I never said nothing too negative about Nick, even if he took it more personally,” Nadal told reporters.
“I understand this part of the game and I think it’s a good show for the game, but there’s other stuff in my opinion he can do better.”

Kyrgios is renowned for his at times controversial behaviour on the tour with numerous allegations of tanking. Previously serving a brief ban from the sport in 2016 for unsportsmanlike conduct during the Shanghai Masters that year. In June he was fined more than $17,000 for making a lewd gesture during the Fever-Tree Championships in London.

“Everybody is free to do whatever they want, but at end of the day, in my opinion, he has an impact on the new generations,” Nadal said. “He’s young, he’s a famous player and in my opinion we need to show good values for the kids.”

Kyrgios went on to win the Mexican Open last week after scoring three wins over top 10 players. Following the final, the 23-year-old said he hoped to inspire others with his return from numerous problems with injury.


This year, Nadal is seeded second at the BNP Paribas Open. A tournament he won on three previous occasions with the last occurring back in 2013. It will be only his third event since returning to action following a four-month injury related hiatus. He missed the tournament last year due to a right hip injury.

“There are too many issues that have happened to my body over the past year-and-a-half, but I’ve managed it well to still be competitive and still be fighting for the most important events,” atptour.com quoted him as saying. “This is an important part of the season for me…[so] that’s important for my mental health, too, to feel that I’m competitive when I’m ready to play.”

Nadal, who has a first round bye, will play either Jared Donaldson or Japanese qualifier Tatsuma Ito in his opening match.

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Novak Djokovic battles past Diego Schwartzman to set up a blockbuster final against Rafael Nadal in Rome

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Novak Djokovic battled past Diego Schwartzman 6-3 6-7 (2-7) 6-3 in the semifinal of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia setting up a blockbuster final against Rafael Nadal.

 

In their previous head-to-head match Djokovic recovered from 2 sets to one down to win in five sets at 2017 Roland Garros.

Both players played a good match, but Djokovic raised his level in the most decisive moments of the match. Djokovic was not affected by his 3-hour marathon match against Juan Martin Del Potro, where he saved two match points.

Djokovic won another thrilling match after 2 hours and 31 minutes against Schwartzman reaching his 9th final in Rome and his 49th title match at Masters 1000 level.

Djokovic converted four of his five break points and dropped his serve twice.

Djokovic got his first break in the eighth game, when Schwartzman netted a backhand. Djokovic held his serve with three winners in the ninth game to close out the opening set 6-3 after 38 minutes.

Djokovic and Schwartzman traded four consecutive breaks from 3-2 in the second set. Schwartzman went up a break twice at 4-2 and 5-3, but Djokovic broke back both times in the seventh and ninth games to draw level to 5-5 setting up a tie-break. Schwartzman took two mini-breaks and won all points on serve to win the tie-break 7-2 forcing the match to the third set.

In the third set they traded five service games before Djokovic earned the decisive break in the sixth game to take a 4-2 lead, when Schwartzman made a backhand error. The Serbian player held serve in the ninth game to secure his spot in the final.

Djokovic and Nadal will meet for the 54th time. The Serbian player leads 28-25 in his head-to-head matches against the Spaniard. Both players hold the record of 33 Masters 1000 titles.

“He keeps on showing to the world why Nadal is one of the biggest legends of tennis history. I have the greatest respect for him. He is my greatest of all time. Every time we get to play each other, it’s a thrill. It’s the ultimate challenge”, said Djokovic.  

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Novak Djokovic Keeps Faith Ahead Of Schwartzman Semi-Final In Rome

Novak Djokovic is keeping the faith as he looks forward to a semi-final match with Diego Schwartzman in Rome.

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Novak Djokovic (@ATP_Tour - Twitter)

World number one Novak Djokovic is keeping the faith ahead of his Rome semi-final against Diego Schwartzman. 

 

The four-time champion survived a massive test late last night as he battled past Juan Martin Del Potro 4-6 7-6(6) 6-4 in just over three hours.

After saving two match points the Serb proved to be too clinical as he clinched victory at about 1am in the morning on Saturday.

In a short interview after his match Djokovic said that keeping faith was important in his quarter-final victory, I never lost faith I could come back to the match,” Djokovic explained.

“One break of serve, mini break in the tiebreak when he was 6-4, more or less open forehand that he was making the entire match, that’s all it took for me to come back. I’m just really pleased to overcome.”

In addition to keeping mentally strong, Djokovic also praised Del Potro’s performance as he continues his recovery from a knee injury, “He was playing really good. I tried my best obviously all the way till the end,” Djokovic said.

I lost probably the positioning of the court over him. Towards the end of the first he just started hitting the ball really well from both corners. Also backhand side, backhand down the line. He was playing really well. Gave me a lot of trouble.”

Next up for Djokovic is Diego Schwartzman who is into his first ever masters 1000 semi-final and is yet to drop a set this week.

The Serb leads the head-to-head 2-0 although their last match went to five sets at Roland Garros a couple of years ago. It should be a fascinating match which takes place at 8pm local time as Djokovic looks to keep the faith heading into the French Open.

 

 

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Novak Djokovic fends off two match points to win a dramatic quarter final match against Juan Martin Del Potro in Rome

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Four-time Rome champion Novak Djokovic fended off two match pointsto knok out Juan Martin Del Potro 4-6 7-6 (8-6) 6-4 after 3 hours and 2 minutes in one of the most exciting matches of this edition of the Intenazionali d’Italia in Rome.

 

Djokovic won just five points than Del Potro and hit 43 winners to 34 unforced errors.

Del Potro saved six break points in the fourth, sixth and eighth games of the opening set and got his break in the seventh game to take a 4-3 lead.

The Argentine saved three break points in the tenth game to close out the first set with a backhand down the line winner.

Del Potro hit an ace to save a break point in the second game of the second set. Djokovic broke serve in the sixth game with a backhand winner.

The world number 1 fended off a set point on the return in the eighth game. Del Potro broke back at 15 in the ninth game after a loose backhand from Djokovic, when he was serving out the set at 5-3.

Del Potro earned two match points at 6-4 in the tie-break. Djokovic reeled off four consecutive points to win the tie-break 8-6, when Del Potro sent a backhand long forcing the match to the third set.

Djokovic fended off three break points in the fourth game of the decider before breaking serve in the fifth game, as Del Potro netted a forehand. The Serb served well in the next games and closed out the match with a hold of serve setting up a semifinal clash against Diego Schwartzman.

“I have never lost faith I could come back to the match. One break of serve, mini-break of the tie-break when he was 6-4 in the tie-break, more or less open forehand that he was making the entire match, that’s all it took for me to come back. He missed a crucial point in the tie-break. Also in the break point of the third set, quite easy forehand. That’s what happens. That’s sport. I am just really pleased to overcome. I am happy that Del Potro is back to his best form after the injury”, said Djokovic.

 

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