Nick Kyrgios Talks Tackling 'Unhealthy Habits' After Winning Washington Title - UBITENNIS
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Nick Kyrgios Talks Tackling ‘Unhealthy Habits’ After Winning Washington Title

The new Citi Open champion speaks out about his recent success and what has helped him achieve it.

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Nick Kyrgios (image via https://twitter.com/ATP_Tour)

Nick Kyrgios has returned back to the winner’s circle after edging his way past Daniil Medvedev in the final of the Citi Open on Sunday.

 

The 24-year-old battled with back spasms throughout the opening set before sealing the 7-6(6), 7-6(4), victory. Both players were in impressive form behind their serve with Kyrgios dropping just eight points and Medvedev 10. Yet it was the Australian who had the edge in both of the tiebreakers as he capitalised on some mistakes made by his opponent. Clinching his fifth win over a top 10 player this season.

“It’s amazing,” Kyrgios said. “Where I was six months ago, some of the things I was doing, to respond like this having incredible support, it’s amazing.
“I’ve proved to myself and a lot of people that have backed me that I still have it.
“It’s been one of the best weeks of my life from a tennis perspective.”

Midway through the match Kyrgios had to undergo a medical time out and took some pain killers to help combat the pain in his back. Another issue for the injury-hit player, who also had taping around his knee and arm. However, as the match progressed Kyrgios started to settle into the match more as he displayed a series of his signature shots. Including tweeners and the underarm serve.

“I started having some back spasms in the right part of my back, but the doctor came on, took some painkillers. The physio has been a great help all week managing some of the niggles I’ve had.” He said.
“Just something I had to deal with, one other thing I had to deal with this week. But I dug deep and it could have easily been Daniil in this position. The match was super close and obviously just happened to get through that first set was massive.”

Kyrgios is the first Australian to win in Washington since Lleyton Hewitt back in 2004. Overall, he is only the fourth player from his country to have ever won the title. Earlier in the week, he also knocked out 11th seed Gilles Simon in the second round and top seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in the semi-finals. Earning him his sixth ATP title and second of the year after Acapulco.

Crediting his recent success to changing his ‘unhealthy habits,’ Kyrgios believes he is making strides in the game. Known as one of the most talented players on the tour, he has been criticised for his behaviour on the court at times. At the Italian Open he was defaulted after throwing a chair onto the court. Meanwhile, at the Fever-Tree championships he was fined $17,500 for unsportsmanlike conduct.

“It started off the court, honestly. A lot of habits needed to change. I’m not going to go into it with a lot of detail, but I just had a lot of unhealthy habits, and it was starting to show on the tennis court. It was too up and down. It wasn’t healthy. So I just needed to change a lot of things.” The former top 20 player explained.
“This is only the beginning. I’m going to continue to go through with these habits. And at the same time, I’m trying not to change myself. I don’t want to lose sight of who I am. I want to continue to have fun on court and be the entertainer I am. But it’s a day-by-day process.”

There will be little time for celebration for Kyrgios, who will travel to Montreal to play in this week’s Canadian Masters. Questioned if he would contemplate pulling out of the event to help protect and heal his body, he dismissed such an idea. Should he win his opening match, he will play Medvedev for a second week in a row.

“I’m excited. Obviously playing Kyle (Edmund) in the first round, a guy that I played juniors with. Extremely tough first round, and then my seed is Medvedev.” Kyrgios previewed.
“So I’m not going to look ahead at all. My next task is just to enjoy tonight and get on a flight tomorrow (Monday), do everything right to the prepare for the match, and that’s it.”

Kyrgios has risen to 27th in the world rankings following his latest win. His highest position since October.

Highlights: Kyrgios Vs Medvedev

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Hubert Hurkacz Aims To Build On Delray Beach Triumph

The best way to start the season for the world No.35.

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Hubert Hurkacz (image via https://twitter.com/DelrayBeachOpen)

Poland’s Herbert Hurkacz says he hopes to play at an even higher level over the coming weeks after winning the Delray Beach Open title on Wednesday.

 

The world No.35 eased to a 6-3, 6-3, win over Sebastian Korda in the final to claim only the second title in his career after Winston Salem back in 2018. Hurkacz, who was the fourth seed in the tournament, didn’t drop a set all week en route to becoming the first Polish player in history to win the title. In the final he won 68% of his service points and broke Korda four times overall.

“It feels great. It is great to win the title and I am so happy about that. This Is a great start to the season,” Hurkacz said afterwards.
“I am happy that I am improving and we (my team) are doing good stuff with C.B (coach Craig Boynton), and things are working. So I am really pleased with this result.”

The 23-year-old is hoping to improve on what was a challenging 2020 season for him. After reaching the semi-finals of the Auckland Open in January last year, he could only win back-to-back matches in two out of his next 12 tournaments prior to Delray Beach. His best Grand Slam result was reaching the third round of the 2019 Wimbledon Championships.

Seeking to break new territory in 2021, Hurkacz will today start his 24-hour journey to Australia which begins with a 5am departure from America this morning. His coach Craig Boynton also currently worked with Steve Johnson and previously mentored Jim Courier.

“It’s the beginning of the season and I still need to work on a couple of things, but I hope I can play even better in Australia,” Hurkacz stated.

Hurkacz is only the second Polish player to have won an ATP Tour title in the Open Era after Wojciech Fibak. At present he is the only player from his country ranked inside the top 100 on the Tour.

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Cristian Garin Out Of Australian Open Following Fall

The South American tennis star will not travel to Melbourne due to both injury and the travel restrictions implemented.

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Chile’s Cristian Garin has become the third top 30 player to pull out of the men’s draw at next month’s Australian Open.

 

The world No.22 has confirmed that he will not be travelling to the Grand Slam after suffering a fall in which he hurt his wrist a week ago. Announcing his decision on Instagram, Garin said the limitations in place at the tournament which wouldn’t allow him to travel with his physio played a factor. This year’s Australian Open is taking place amid strict COVID-19 rules which requires players to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival and limits the number of team members they can bring. The majority of players will be spending their quarantine in Melbourne but the top names will be in Adelaide following a recent deal secured by Tennis Australia.

I am very sad to report that a week ago I suffered a fall, which left me with a lot of pain in my left wrist (sprain),” Garin wrote on his Instagram story. “It has been very difficult for me to play the last days and given the restrictions of the tour, they do not allow me to travel with my physiotherapist, which makes it impossible to find a good recovery. Unfortunately I will not be able to play this year in Australia, which is something very difficult for me to accept. I hope to return in good condition and with the best energy for the tour in South America.”

photo via – https://www.instagram.com/garincris/

Garin kicked-off his season on Saturday at the Delray Beach Open where he was the top seed. However, he lost his opening match in straight sets to Christian Harrison who went on to reach the semi-finals. It is only the second tournament he has played since the French Open in October.

The setback comes after the 24-year-old confirmed that he has started working with Franco Davin back in November. A tennis coach known best for his work with Juan Martin del Potro. Davin has also previously worked with Grigor Dimitrov and Kyle Edmund.

The withdrawal of Garin follows that of Roger Federer and John Isner. Former champion Federer has pulled out due to his ongoing recovery from a right knee injury. Although one Australian Open official believes his decision was due to another factor. Meanwhile, Isner has opted not to travel to Australia because he didn’t want to spend an extended time away from his family.

The Australian Open will start on February 8th.

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Christian Harrison Speaks Out After ATP Fines Him For Not Wearing A Mask

The American says he is against ‘masking people for the sake of it for TV.’

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Christian Harrison (image via https://twitter.com/DelrayBeachOpen)

American tennis player Christian Harrison has said he will appeal a fine issued to him at the Delray Beach Open after he refused to do an on-court interview because he was required to wear a mask.

 

The ATP has slammed the 789th ranked player with a fine of $3000 for refusing to do the mandatory interview. However, Harrison is arguing his case by saying he believed that wearing a mask was optional and has been told by the tournament supervisor he can appeal against the fine. He has previously spoken out against wearing masks after writing last week ‘Healthy enough to play 3 hour matches. But I’m an absolute safety hazard walking maskless through a restaurant.’ On Twitter he also liked a Tweet last month by Political commentator Liz Wheeler who wrote ‘Wear a mask until EVERY person is vaccinated?! Are you insane?’

“Christian Harrison was fined $3,000 for declining the mandatory post-match on-court interview following his second round win over Cristian Garin on Saturday,” the ATP said in a statement.

Arguing his defence Harrison wrote on social media that it is ‘not healthy’ to wear a mask in the sun for longer than necessary after a match. The rule implemented is one of a series that has been taken in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. In America, where Harrison is playing at the Delray Beach Open, the country has recorded more deaths from the virus than any other.

“After my second round match I chose not to do my post match interview due to wearing a mask. It’s not healthy to wear a mask in the hot sun for more time than absolutely necessary after a tough match,” he wrote on Instagram.
“I was given the impression it was optional. I wasn’t told I would be fined. That night I was told it is a requirement for T.V. matches and I would be fined. When I spoke to the supervisor the following morning, I was told since I wasn’t notified that it was mandatory I could appeal the fine and it would be taken away. Unless something changes now I still believe that to be true.”

Refusing to admit any wrongdoing, the 26-year-old says he ‘doesn’t agree’ with masking people for the sake of TV. Although he has stated that he will follow the rules in the future.

“I was required to do a sit down interview after the match with the same person which I agreed to and I did not have to wear a mask for it,” he continues.
“It’s not about safety to wear mask for TV to talk to a microphone with no one around . Playing the tournaments I’ll follow whatever is required even if I don’t agree with it. I don’t support masking people for the sake of it for TV.”

The controversy coincides with Harrison’s fairytale run at the Delray Beach Open this week. On Monday he defeated Gianluca Mager 7-6(2), 6-4, to reach the semi-finals of an ATP tournament for the first time in his career. He did wear a mask during his on-court interview following that win. The breakthrough comes after more than a decade of setbacks for Harrison who has undergone a total of eight surgeries on both legs, both hips, his right wrist, and both adductors.

Harrison will play fourth seed Hubert Hurkacz in the semi-finals.

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