NextGen Crashes Out Of Cincinnati In An Upset-Filled Afternoon - UBITENNIS
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NextGen Crashes Out Of Cincinnati In An Upset-Filled Afternoon

Alexander Zverev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Denis Shapovalov are sent packing, only Andrey Rublev survives

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It appears that more than one top player has got stuck in the mud that is surrounding the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason, Ohio. Just as several cars were forced to request a “towing help” to get back on the road after the thunderstorms on Monday and Tuesday evening turned the parking lots into muddy pits, on a sweltering Wednesday afternoon in Southern Ohio quite a few big names have not managed to continue their ride towards the final rounds of the Western&Southern Open.

 

The first top player to bow out of the tournament was sixth-seed Japanese Kei Nishikori, who suffered a 7-6(2) 6-4 loss to his fellow countryman Yoshihito Nishioka. Nishikori appeared not to be on his best day as he called for the doctor twice during the match: the first time he complained about not being able to breathe properly, and he was given a nasal spray to help decongest his sinus. A few games later, after he lacklusterly lost the first set, he was given some tablets, but his performance remained well below par, allowing Nishioka to record the most important win of his career, against the player who is almost a legend in Japanese tennis.

Immediately after Nishioka’s celebrations, Cincinnati’s Grandstand offered another upset: No. 5 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, after crashing out of the Rogers Cup in Montreal on his first match one week ago, came across another unexpected loss against German Jan-Lennard Struff (n. 36 ATP), who conceded only 19 points on his serve (out of 98) in the entire match, and scored an impressive 6-4 6-7(5) 7-6(8) win.

As the afternoon proceeded and the temperature climbed above the 30-degree mark, Russian qualifier Andrey Rublev, today No 70 as he is rebuilding his ranking after a lower back stress fracture, booked his spot to play Roger Federer in the third-round defeating Stan Wawrinka by 6-4, 6-4.

But the most stunning upset of the day came saw another qualifier, Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic, defeated No. 7 seed Alexander Zverev 6-7(4), 6-2, 6-4, taking full advantage of the deflagration of the German’s serve. Zverev had already manifested some issues with his serve last week in Montreal, when he served 14 double faults during his victorious third-round match against Nikoloz Basilashvili, but today the full extent of the problem appeared when the German double faulted almost one in two second serves he tried to play during the two hours, 20 minutes match.

After Tsitsipas and Zverev, another representative of the “NextGen” was sent packing ahead of schedule: Canadian Denis Shapovalov was eliminated in straight sets (6-4 6-4) by Frenchman Lucas Pouille in a match played on Court 4 where stands were packed at capacity and fans had resorted to climbing to the top row of the nearby Court 3 stands to catch a glimpse of the action. Pouille led the match from start to finish, never allowing Shapovalov to find rhythm on his return and neutralizing very effectively the Canadian’s left-handed serve trajectories. The Frenchman broke very early in both sets and carried the lead to the end to reach the third round in Cincinnati, sending Shapovalov to a ranking position that most likely will prevent him from being seeded at the forthcoming US Open.

 

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Kei Nishikori In Doubt For The Australian Open

Asia’s highest ranked male tennis player is contemplating when he should return to the tour following surgery.

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Kei Nishikori (photo by chryslène caillaud, copyright @Sport Vision)

World No.13 Kei Nishikori is refusing to rule out the prospect of skipping the first grand slam event of 2020 as he continues his recovery from surgery.

 

Nishikori hasn’t played a match on the tour since his third round loss at the US Open back in September. A month later he underwent a procedure on his right elbow in a move that brought his season to an early end. Currently undergoing rehabilitation, it is unclear as to when the Japanese player believes he will return to the ATP Tour.

“The prospect of a return from surgery on right elbow in January. Maybe February. In the second half of next year I want to be able to play well.” Nikkan Sports quoted Nishikori as saying.
“I don’t want to overdo it,” he added.

The Australian Open will get underway on January 20th in Melbourne. Should he miss the grand slam, it will be the second time he has done so in the last three years. Nishikori also withdrew from the 2018 edition due to a wrist injury. In January he reached the quarter-finals and therefore has 360 points to defend next year.

During his time away from the court, the 29-year-old has been kept busy making changes to his team. Recently it was confirmed that he has started working alongside Max Mirnyi, who is a former world No.1 doubles player. Mirnyi, who has won 10 grand slam titles in men’s and mixed doubles, will be working full-time with Nishikori alongside existing coach Michael Chang.

“I’m getting closer to retirement. I want to be cured and come back to play good tennis in the second half of next year.” Nishikori stated.

Despite the injury setback, Nishikori has enjoyed success in 2019. Reaching the quarter-finals in three out of the four grand slam tournaments. The first time he has ever done that in his career. He also claimed his 12th ATP title at the Brisbane International. Overall, he won 29 out of 43 matches played.

Nishikori will turn 30 on December 29th.

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Family Of Venezuelan Doubles Star Launches GoFundMe Page For Cancer Treatment

Roberto Maytin was playing on the Challenger tour less than a month ago, but now faces a new battle.

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One of Venezuela’s highest ranked players on the ATP Tour is facing challenges off the court after being recently diagnosed with cancer.

 

Roberto Maytin, who currently has a doubles ranking of 136th, is undergoing treatment for testicular cancer Non-Seminoma. Non-seminomas are made up of different types of tumour, such as teratomas, embryonal tumours, yolk sac tumours and choriocarcinomas. Maytin’s brother Ricardo has launched a GoFundMe page to help cover the costs. The tennis player made $19,441 in prize money this season, which doesn’t factor into account numerous expenses such as travel, accommodation and paying for his coaching team.

“If life gives you a chance to live longer, I think nobody would miss the opportunity. In this plane, we all want to be (alive) for years however we forget that we are with a 50% chance of leaving at any time every day.” The fundraising page reads.
“My brother was diagnosed with testicular cancer NO Seminoma, at 30 years old. He now faces a crucial match that life has put him for growth as an individual, as a man and as an athlete. He is forced to undergo 4 stages of aggressive chemotherapy in order to heal at all and leave no trace of a Cancer that has been moving for months causing some damage.”

A former top 25 junior player, Maytin is one of only two players from his country to be ranked inside the top 200 in either singles or doubles on the men’s tour. This season he has won four Challenger titles across America. However, he has only played in one ATP Tour event since the start of 2018. He achieved a ranking high of 85th in the doubles back in 2015.

Once a student at Baylor University in Texas, Maytin formed a successful partnership with former world No.2 doubles player John Peers. Together they earned All-American honours with a win-loss of 36-5 and reached the quarter-finals of the 2011 NCAA tournament.

Maytin is also a regular fixture in his country’s Davis Cup team. Since 2007 he has played 15 ties and won 10 out of 16 matches played.

“I am also clear that the family is the gift of God for each one of us, so in this way and in whatever way I will put my desire and my energy so that my Brother Roberto Maytin, a Venezuelan professional tennis player, is back to the courts, which is where he belongs as soon as possible.”

Almost $25,000 has been raised so far to fund Maytin’s treatment. Click here to visit his GoFundMe page.

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John Newcombe Believes The Australian Open Will Be ‘A Big Ask’ For Nick Kyrgios

The tennis legend is unsure if the former top 20 player will be fit in time for the first grand slam of 2020.

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MADRID, SPAIN - Nick Kyrgios of Australia waking to the locked room Davis Cup by Rakuten Madrid Finals 2019 at Caja Magica on November 19, 2019 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Pedro Salado / Kosmos Tennis)

Former world No.1 John Newcombe has cast doubts on Nick Kyrgios’ chances of going deep in the draw at the upcoming Australian Open.

 

The 75-year-old, who won seven grand slam titles during the 1960s and 1970s, believes the injury-stricken world No.30 may struggle playing best-of-five matches in Melbourne. Kyrgios missed most of the final quarter of the 2019 season due to a shoulder issue. He returned to action last month at the Davis Cup, but skipped his country’s quarter-final clash with Canada due to a collarbone injury. Overall, he has won 23 out of 37 matches played this year.

“It’s a bit of a worry that he has recurring injuries, especially around where the muscles join the joints and that’s going to be an ongoing problem for him it seems,” Newcombe told The Age.
“At the Davis Cup he’d only played four sets of singles and his shoulder started to play up again and when you’ve got an injury like that it’s hard to go out and practice a lot.
“Leading into the Australian Open – five sets is a big ask for him.”

A two-time grand slam quarter-finalist, the 24-year-old has struggled to make his mark in the majors this year. Winning just three matches in three grand slam tournaments he played in. Kyrgios missed the French Open due to injury. At his home slam, he lost in the first round for the first time since making his main draw debut back in 2014.

As well as trying to get fit in time for the start of the new season, Kyrgios will continue to be playing under a probation on the ATP Tour for ‘aggravated behaviour.’ Should he violate that, he faces the prospect of a 16-week ban from the tour.

“I can’t speak for him but if it was me it would be tough having that ban hanging over you,” Newcombe said.
“But I guess you’ve just got to learn to zip up.”

Kyrgios is set to start 2020 at the inaugural ATP Cup, which is the only team event to have both prize money and ranking points available. After that, he is set to play in the Kooyong Classic in what will be his final test prior to the Australian Open.

“I am delighted that Nick has chosen to play Kooyong again, and hopefully it acts as the perfect tune up for his Australian Open (AO) campaign and sets him up for a massive 2020 season.” Tournament director Peter Johnson said in a statement.

So far in his career, Kyrgios has won six titles. Including Acapulco and Washington this year.

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