Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka came back from one set down to battle past Canadian Next Gen player Felix Auger Aliassime 6-7 (2-7) 6-4 7-6 (7-5) in a roller-coaster third round match at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.
Nishioka saved one break point in the fourth game and another chance in the 12th game to send the first set to the tie-break with no break points. Auger Aliassime sealed the first set on the first of his four set points.
Auger Aliassime went up a set and a break in the first game of the second set to build up a 3-1 lead. Nishioka broke twice in a row in the sixth and and eighth games to take a 5-3 lead. Auger Aliassime broke straight back in the ninth game, as Nishioka was serving for the set. The Japanese player sealed the second set with his third break in the 10th game.
Nishioka broke twice in the second and sixth games to race out to a 5-1 lead. Auger Aliassime fended off three match points to rally from 1-5 down by breaking twice in a row in the seventh and ninth games before holding serve to 15 to draw level to 5-5. After two holds of serve the decider came down to the tie-break. Auger Aliassime took a 5-3 lead, but Nishioka won the final four points to clinch the tie-break 7-5 after a dramatic match.
Nishioka has reached the fourth round at Indian Wells for the second time in his career two years after advancing to this stage in the 2016 edition of this tournament. Unfortunately he tore his ACL in Miami a few days later.
“It’s very tough to play in that situation. I was feeling very mad when he came back because I had a chance to win already when I earned three match points, but he saved them with really good shots. I just tried my best and I found a way. I am very to come back. I am very happy to come back to the Round of 16. I think I am very fit on this surface and in this weather and with the balls, everything. Two years ago I could not take my chances to make the quarter final, so hopefully I can take them this time”,said Nishioka.
Lucky loser Kecmanovic reach the fourth round
Nishioka will take on Serbian 19-year-old lucky loser Miomir Kecmanovic, who stunned Laslo Djere 6-2 7-6 (7-3). Kecmanovic lost to Marcos Giron in the qualifying round but earned a spot in the main draw after Kevin Anderson retired from the tournament. Nishioka will meet Kecmanovic for the first time in their careers. Kecmanovic had won just match at ATP Tour level before this match.
“It’s crazy to get to the fourth round. I am obviously really happy right now. It was tough to lose in qualies to Marcos Giron. We both played really well, and Marcos made the third round and almost beat Milos Raonic today. So it was a tough match-up, but thankfully I got in, and I managed to use it pretty well. I am relaxed. I am enjoying myself because I am not supposed to be here, so I am just going out on court and enjoying, swinging for it and it’s working well so far”,said Kecmanovic.
Monfils cruises past Ramos Vinolas
Gael Monfils cruised past Albert Ramos Vinolas 6-0 6-3 to reach the fourth round for the third time in his career.
Monfils converted his second break point at deuce after three deuces and went up a double break in the fourth game to race out to a 4-0 lead. He sealed the set with a break at love to take a bagel win in the first set. Ramos Vinolas saved three break points to hold his serve at deuce in the second game but he dropped his serve at deuce on the second break point in the fourth game. The Spaniard broke straight back at 30 in the fifth game and consolidated the break by holding his serve to draw level to 3-3- Monfils won the final three games with a break in the eighth game and a hold at love to serve out the second set 6-3.
The 32-year-old Frenchman clinched his second ATP 500 title in Rotterdam and reached the semifinals in Sofia and Dubai. He is indide the top 20 for the first time since July 2017. Monfils will face either Novak Djokovic or Phillip Kohlschreiber. That match was interrupted because of rain, as Djokovic was leading 1-0.
Rojer and Tecau to face Djokovic and Fognini
Jean Julien Tecau and Horia Tecau beat John Peers and Henri Kontinen 6-3 7-6 (7-1) to set up a a quarter final against Novak Djokovic and Fabio Fognini. Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah cruised past Lucas Pouille and Stan Wawrinka 6-2 6-2 to secure a quarter final spot, where they will face Nikola Mektic and Horacio Zeballos, who battled past 2019 Australian Open doubles champion Pierre Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut 2-6 7-6 (9-7) 13-11.
Filip Krajinovic To Skip Australian Open If Required To Quarantine For More Than Five Days
The world No.34 says he ‘sees no reason’ why vaccinated players should have to go through a long quarentine in Australia.
The second highest-ranked Serbian player in men’s tennis says it would be ‘unacceptable’ for organisers of the Australian Open to require players to quarantine for more than a week if they have been fully vaccinated.
Filip Krajinovic has become the first player to publicly state that they will not be prepared to travel to Melbourne at the end of this season if they have to go through strict quarantine measures once again. All the players who participated in this year’s Australian Open were required to be quarantined in a designated hotel for 14 days upon arrival in the country. During their stay they were allowed to use training facilities but that was the only time they could leave the premises unless there was an emergency.
There is no final decision regarding the travel requirements for the 2022 tournament but there are concerns that unvaccinated players may not be allowed to enter the country. The Victorian government recently issued a mandate ordering all essential workers to be vaccinated, including athletes. However, the regional government will not have the final say concerning tennis players arriving in the country with the national government being the ones in charge of that decision.
“They are very rigorous there and honestly, if I have to be in quarantine for 14 days after arriving in Melbourne, I will not go to Australia,” Krajinovic told Serbian newspaper Blic.
“I was vaccinated, I did everything in my power to protect myself and the people around me, so I really see no reason to sit there for 14 days in a room.’
“If they (the organisers) say that after arrival I need, say, five days to be in isolation, that’s OK for me, but anything beyond that is unacceptable to me. With the season ending late, I will have 20 days to get ready and go. Charter flights will be organized again and the last one is planned for December 28 for the players and that is the final date when I can go to Australia. I will see what the final decision from Melbourne will be, so I will cut what is the best thing to do.”
Earlier this week Victoria’s Sports minister Martin Pakula urged players to be vaccinated because it give them ‘the best opportunity to play in the Australian Open.’ It is expected that if unvaccinated players are allowed to attend, they will be subjected to stricter restrictions. This might include a longer quarantine period upon arrival and limitations of where they can go during their stay.
“Last year, all of those players had to do their 14 days of quarantine. Right now there looks like there will be different rules for people who enter this country who are vaccinated as against unvaccinated and I don’t think the tennis will be any exception to that.” Pakula told the Sports Entertainment Network (SEN).
“In terms of what rules apply for people to enter Australia, whether unvaccinated people are allowed in at all, I don’t the answer to that yet. That’s going to be the subject of discussion at national cabinet and among the federal cabinet … those rules are not set by state governments.” He added.
Krajinovic is currently ranked 34th in the world and has a win-loss record this season of 18-18. At the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells he reached the second round before falling in straight sets to Daniil Medvedev. His best run so far this year was at the Hamburg Open where he reached the final.
“When we look at the whole of 2021, I played one final, one semifinal, there were good victories, but also worse results,” the 29-year-old commented.
Krajinovic is currently without a coach but is currently in ‘negotiations’ with somebody without elaborating further about who that person is.
Alexander Zverev Secures Place In ATP Finals With Indian Wells Win
Zverev will be seeking to win the season-ending extravaganza for the second time in his career.
Germany’s Alexander Zverev has become the fourth player to officially qualify for the ATP Finals after reaching the third round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.
The world No.4 defeated America’s Jenson Brooksby 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, in his second round match on Sunday which pushed him over the points threshold to secure his spot in the end-of-season event. It is the fifth year in a row he has qualified for the ATP Finals which he won back in 2018. He is one of only three German players to ever win the title after Boris Becker and Michael Stich.
This year’s tournament will take place in Turin, Italy for the first time in history after being held at The O2 Arena in London for more than a decade. Only the eight highest ranked players are eligible to play in the round-robin tournament which has on offer up to 1500 rankings points for an undefeated champion.
“My first time in Turin. I’ve been to London four times before. London is obviously very special to me because I won there, as well. I think the stadium is incredible, one of the most special events that we had,” Zverev told reporters on Sunday.
“But I also love playing in Italy. I had great success in Italy. I won my first Masters in Rome. I’m looking forward to being there. I’m looking forward to playing in front of the Italian fans. It’s going to be a great week.”
The 24-year-old approaches the final quarter of this season with four titles already won this year. He has won two Masters 1000 trophies, an ATP 500 event in Mexico and a gold medal in singles at the Tokyo Olympic Games. Zverev, who has recorded seven wins over top 10 players, also reached the semi-finals at both the French Open and US Open.
Zverev joins Novak Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas as the players who have qualified for the ATP Finals so far. It is the third straight season the quartet has qualified for the event.
This year’s ATP Finals will get underway on November 14th. Medvedev is the defending champion.
Denis Shapovalov Advances After Pospisil Retires In Indian Wells
The battle of the two Canadians didn’t go as planned…
Vasek Pospisil faced off against his fellow Canadian Denis Shapovalov in the second round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells and it was the world number 13 who got the win after the Vernon native pulled out due to an injury whilst trailing 0-3.
It was a rough start for Pospisil who seemed to struggle with his serve in the opening game of the match and double-faulted twice in a row to give the early break and Shapovalov had no issues consolidating the break.
Shapovalov continued to apply pressure on the Pospisil serve and after saving two breakpoints the world number 68 pulled up after a serve and stopped play, calling for the trainer. He ended up taking a medical timeout off the court and a couple of minutes later returned to court. Pospisil was broken once again and the following game after a couple of returns decided to call it quits.
” It was pretty awful…and if I’m being honest I am shaking a bit…It really sucks I hope it’s nothing serious…He’s a great guy he’s a real warrior he’s fought back from some injuries surgeries to such a great level.” Shapovalov said of his compatriot.
Shapovalov will face 19th seed Aslan Karatsev in the next round after the Russian thrashed Salvatore Caruso 6-2, 6-0.
In the other results of the day sixth seeed Casper Ruud dominated Roberto Carballes Baena 6-1, 6-2, Roberto Bautista Agut beat the Argentine Guido Pella 7-5, 6-3 and Sebastien Korda won an all American battle with Frances Tiafoe 6-0, 6-4.
Finally, Diego Schwartzman needed three sets to beat another American in Maxime Cressy winning 6-2, 3-6, 7-5.
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