John McEnroe Believes There Is Still Hope For Kyrgios After Latest Controversy - UBITENNIS
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John McEnroe Believes There Is Still Hope For Kyrgios After Latest Controversy

The seven-time grand slam champion believes Kyrgios brings an ‘electricity’ to the tour despite his antics.

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Nick Kyrgios’ antics on the courts are one that confuses John McEnroe, but the former world No.1 believes the Australian still has a place at the top of the men’s game.

 

The world No.39 exit the Fever-Tree championships under a cloud of controversy. During his first round match, he slammed officials at the tournament over some questionable line calling. Expressing frustration that there was no hawk-eye system on the outside courts at Queen’s. Then during his second round clash with Felix Auger-Alissime, Kyrgios was accused of tanking towards the closing stages and threw his racket out of the court of the end of the match.

As a consequence of his actions, the two-time grand slam quarter-finalist was issued with three separate fines for unsportsmanlike conduct. Amounting to a total of $17,500. Although the 24-year-old emphatically said he wasn’t bothered by any penalty during his post-match press conference as he questioned the quality of officiating that took place at Queen’s.

McEnroe, who was known for his temperamental temper during his playing days, believes Kyrgios still has a lot of value to add to the ATP Tour. The Australian has won three titles so far in his career on the pro tour and has been ranked as high as 13th in the world.

“He brings an electricity to tennis. That’s why everyone is trying to figure a way to work through this so he can get to a place where he can go out and feel free to compete and give the effort,” McEnroe told reporters on Friday.

Whilst speaking optimistically about Kyrgios, McEnroe didn’t hold back when criticizing one area of his on-court behavior, which was tanking. An offense he has been accused of doing numerous times throughout his career. As well as throwing a chair on the court during one of his matches at the Italian Open in May.

“That’s the part that gnaws at the players. I don’t care if he throws a chair on the court or does what he does,” he said.
“The part that I have a problem with, and I am assuming 99 percent of the rest of the Tour do, is when you go out there and don’t seem like you are giving an effort half of the time for whatever reason — I don’t know why, I am not Sigmund Freud!”

Not afraid to share his own opinion, Kyrgios’ words has also raised eyebrows on the court. During a podcast with No Challenges Remaining (NCR) he openly hit out at Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. Branding’s Djokovic’s post-match celebrations as ‘cringe-worthy’ and describing Nadal as a ‘salty’ loser.

Regarding the comments about the world No.1, McEnroe has branded them as unnecessary. Swiftly pointing out Djokovic’s achievements in the sport.

“He doesn’t need to say what he said about Novak in this podcast,” the 60-year-old commented.
“If you say Novak, he’s too busy waving to the crowd, is that the best you can come up with?
“I mean come on! Doesn’t he deserve it since he has won 15 Slams? He can do whatever the hell he wants.”

Kyrgios has a win-loss record of 11-9 so far this season heading into Wimbledon.

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Janko Tipsarevic retires from tennis

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Janko Tipsarevic has announced that he will retire from professional tennis at the age of 35 next November. The Belgrade native enjoyed his best seasons in 2011, when he qualified for the ATP Finals, and in 2012, when he reached the quarter final at the US Open for the second consecutive year. In 2012 he reached the quarter final or better in 14 tournaments, including the semifinal at Masters 1000 tournaments in Madrid and Toronto.

 

He reached his best ranking of world number 8 in April 2012 after qualifying for the quarter final in Miami. He won four titles in his career and reached the fourth round at Roland Garros, Wimbledon and Australian Open.

He returned to action at the Australian Open last January after a long absence of 16 months following two harmstring surgeries. The Serbian player lost to Grigor Dimitrov in the first round at the Australian Open. Later this year he reached the quarter final in Houston.

Tipsarevic is planning after the Davis Cup finals in Madrid next November.

“It has been a great 16 years. After a lot of sour searching and thinking what is important to me in this stage of my life and what does make make me happy, I have decided to retire from professional tennis. My last competition will be the Davis Cup in Madrid. In the following years my focus will be my family, franchising our Tennis Academy and International coaching for several weeks per year. Thank you for your ongoing support”, announced Tipsarevic via social media.

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Intriguing Team-Ups Lure Eyes Doubles’ Way. Will They Stay For The Problems, Too?

Will the recent surge in high-profile double partnerships have any impact on the long term future of the discipline?

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Cincinnati Open, Western and Southern Open, Andy Murray, Feliciano Lopez
Photo Credit: ATP Tour Twitter

In one of his press conferences at the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati, Andy Murray said he would not be playing the US Open. His announcement came a day or so after his initial declaration that he would be playing only the two doubles events in the final Major of the season. A few things came out of Murray’s remarks. The first and the obvious was that the former world no. 1 was ready to give it his all (yet again) to play singles. The second, the understated aspect, was that doubles while seeming easy vis-à-vis singles required just as much focus, if not more. Then, there was a third.

 

In tennis’ continuity though, the relevance of the doubles game is not a recent epiphany. However, the last few tournaments of the 2019 season that featured some eclectic partnerships – Stefanos Tsitispas and Nick Kyrgios, Andy Murray and Feliciano Lopez, the Pliskova twins, Andy and Jamie Murray, and so on – has made doubles slightly more prominent than singles.

Singles has become monotonous with the same set of players making it to the final rounds. On the other hand, doubles has brought in more verve to the existing status quo of the Tour, with each player’s individuality adding to the dynamics of the team. After his first outing as Kyrgios’ doubles partner at the Citi Open in Washington in July, Tsitsipas pointed this out.

“It’s the joy of being with a person who thinks differently and reacts differently. I would characterise him (Kyrgios) as someone who likes to amuse. I’m very serious and concentrated when I play, but he just has the style of speaking all the time. It’s good sometimes to have a change,” the Greek had said.

These changes – as seen with Murray’s recent decision – may not extend for a longer period. The culmination of these short-term team-ups does – and should – not mean the end of the road of doubles piquing attention, per se. At the same time, these transitory partnerships also reroute the discussion back to the financial side of the doubles game.

In a recent interview with Forbes, Jamie Murray – a doubles specialist – shared how conducive it had become for players to take up doubles as the sole means of a tennis career these days, as compared to in the past.

“Because the money is always increasing in tennis, it is a much more viable option to go down the doubles route a lot earlier than previous generations. Before, people would play singles and then when their ranking dropped, they played an extra few years of doubles. Now it is a genuine option to start off much younger and have a career in doubles,” the 33-year-old said.

Despite Murray’s upbeat attitude, these increases have not exactly trickled towards doubles, especially at the Slams including the upcoming edition of the US Open. For 2019, the USTA showed-off yet another hike in the prize-money coffer. The men’s and women’s singles champions will be awarded $3.8 million. In comparison, the men’s and women’s doubles teams winning the respective title will get $740,000. This sum gets further diluted for the mixed-doubles’ titlists who will get $160,000 as a team.

This is the third and final takeaway that emerged from Murray’s US Open call. For several of these singles players, intermittent doubles play is an option. For those who play only doubles, that is the only option they have. The doubles game requires similar effort – travel, expenses and fitness – the costs continue to outweigh the benefits. These momentary team formations are a gauge revealing the disparity of tennis’ two sides, visible yet obliviated beyond tokenism.

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Svetlana Kuznetsova upsets Ashleigh Barty in Cincinnati to reach the 42nd final of her career

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Russian wild card Svetlana Kuznetsova edged top seed this year’s Roland Garros champion Ashleigh Barty 6-2 6-4 in the semifinal of the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati to reach the 42nd final of her career.

 

Two-time Grand Slam champion Kuznetsova, who is now ranked world number 153, scored her third win against top 10 players this week  after beating former US Open champion Sloane Stephens and Karolina Pliskova.

Barty missed her chance to regain world number 1 spot from Naomi Osaka, who was forced to retire from her quarter final.

Barty earned the first break of the match in the second game of the opening set, when Kuznetsova netted a backhand. Kuznetsova broke back in the third game with a smash winner and earned another break at 2-2 when Barty netted a backhand. Kuznetsova hit a return winner to build up a 5-2 lead. Barty asked a medical time-out to treat he right leg. Kuznetsova held serve at 15 to close out the opening set after 30 minutes.

Kuznetsova went up a break in the first game of the second set. Barty won just three points on return in the second set. Kuznetsova closed out the second set with three winners in the 10th game.

“I am really happy. I am not really an analyzing person, but on my intuition, I am doing so much better, not repeating so many of my mistakes, just playing smarter and wiser now. It’s been so many different things when I was off, so I just enjoyed time off. Honestly, I was not missing at all the travelling and all the stress when you play tournaments, but now I have missed it and I feel good. I feel joy staying here and being here. It definitely helped me to have some time off to see other things outside tennis”, said Kuznetsova.

 

Kuznetsova set up a final against Madison Keys, who beat Sofia Kenin in straight sets. The Russian 34-year-old veteran player has qualified for her first final since last year, when she beat Donna Vekic in Washington.

 

“Madison is extremely tough. When she is on fire, it is really hard to play against her. It’s going to be a difficult match-up”, said Kuznetsova.  

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