‘Enjoy Staying Relevant’ - Nick Kyrgios Hits Back At Rafter’s Suspension Call - UBITENNIS
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‘Enjoy Staying Relevant’ – Nick Kyrgios Hits Back At Rafter’s Suspension Call

The 24-year-old isn’t happy about what the former world No.1 said.

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Nick Kyrgios has suggested that he hasn’t been suspended from the ATP Tour due to his ability to attract crowds to events in response to comments made by Pat Rafter.

 

The Australian world No.27 is currently under investigation for a series of incidents he committed during the summer. At the Cincinnati Masters he was fined $113,000 for eight violations committed during his match against Russia’s Karen Khachanov. Ranging from unsportsmanlike conduct to walking off the court without permission. Then at the US Open Kyrgios accused the ATP of being ‘corrupt’ before clarifying his statement 24 hours later. Arguing that there are double standards in the game when it comes to some players.

Following those events, the ATP released a statement confirming an investigation. Looking into whether or not Kyrgios breached the Player Major Offence section of the code and if any further action is required. Although there has been no mention of a suspension or any further action since. Something former world No.1 Rafter has openly questioned.

“I don’t understand why it hasn’t happened,” he said during the launch of the ATP Cup.
“There is obviously something else going on behind the scenes. I don’t know.
“On paper it looks like he should be suspended, to me.”

Rafter, who is a two-time US Open champion, admits that his compatriot is a big attraction in men’s tennis despite his behaviour. Although he insisted that Kyrgios’ popularity shouldn’t stop him from being punished if necessary.

“But at what stage do you say the crowd is more important? Or are you trying to uphold a certain standard or protocol for players to adhere to.” He stated.

Kyrgios has responded to the comments by taking aim at Rafter. In a Twitter post, he accused him of trying to ‘stay relevant.’ The 24-year-old also claims that Rafter is known for criticising other Australian players.

“Everywhere I play the stadiums are sold out, and the event makes money with me around? Not surprised rafter has commented on this topic, guy loves hanging fellow aussies out to dry. Enjoy staying relevant champ.” He wrote on Twitter.

New York Times journalist Christopher Clarey has reported that a final decision regarding a possible suspension will likely be made after the Laver Cup. The team tournament is officially part of the ATP calendar, but technically not the same framework. So if a player was banned from the tour, they could still technically play in the Laver Cup anyway.

Kyrgios will play in the Laver Cup later this week.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas ‘Happy’ To Follow In Grandfather’s Footsteps At Olympics

The Greek speaks out about carrying his family’s legacy at the Games.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas never met his grandfather but the two of them do have something in common – they are both Olympians.

 

The world No.4 has already created history in Tokyo by winning his first round match against Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber on Sunday to become the first male player from his country to win a singles match since 1924. Greece has won two medals at the Games but both of them were during its inaugural edition back in 1896.

Tsitsipas’ debut in Tokyo enables him to continue his family legacy of playing in the sporting extravaganza. His grandfather was Sergei Salnikov who played football for the Soviet Union during the 1950s. In 1956 Salnikov was part of the team who won Olympic gold in Melbourne. After retiring from the sport, he went on to manage the FC Spartak Moscow and the Afghanistan national team before passing away in 1984 aged 58.

“I’ve never had the opportunity to meet him. But my mom told me stories of his career and how he got it…. He kind of inspires me in a way,” said Tsitsipas. “I know what kind of athlete he was, with all the achievements and all the trophies. I’m proud of him.
“It’s something good, a legacy that is being carried on in the family. I’m happy to be the next in the family to be competing at the Olympics.”

It isn’t just a medal in the singles Tsitsipas has his eyes on, he will also be bidding for success in the mixed doubles alongside Maria Sakkari. The two previously paired up at the 2019 Hopman Cup where they finished second in their group.

“We have already played once (together), and we had great success,” Sakkari told reporters on Monday. “We know each other really well, and we are much better players two-and-a-half years later, and we are both really pumped to play together. Of course, I cannot predict that we will get a medal. We will try our best and I think we give ourselves the best chance we can.”

Tsitsipas will return to action tomorrow in the men’s singles where he will play Frances Tiafoe in the second round.

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Carlos Alcaraz reaches his first ATP Tour final in Umag

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Spanish Next Gen star Carlos Alcaraz secured a spot in his first ATP tour-level final with a 6-2 7-6 (7-3) at the Plava Laguna Croatia Open in Umag. 

 

Alcaraz has become the youngest ATP Tour finalist since 18-year-old Kei Nishikori won the Delray Beach title in 2008. 

Alcaraz broke twice to open up a 4-0 lead and held his next service games to close out the first set 6-2. 

Ramos Vinolas came back from a break down three times in the second set, when Alcaraz served for the match. Alcaraz battled through the second-set tie-break to clinch the win after two hours. 

Alcaraz set up a final against Richard Gasquet, who battled past German qualifier Daniel Altmeier 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 6-3 after three hours and 11 minutes. 

Gasquet has become the second oldest finalist in tournament history. The 35-year-old saved seven of hi sten break points, but he converted just just 3 of his 17 break points.  

Gasquet rallied from a break down twice to draw level to 4-4 before winning the tie-break 7-2. Altmeier converted his third break point in the eighth game to win the second set 6-3. Altmeier saved three break points in the second game, before Gasquet converted his second break point in the sixth game to win the second set 6-3. 

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Novak Djokovic Cruises Past Dellien In Olympics Opener

Novak Djokovic’s bid for a historic golden slam continued in Tokyo.

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Novak Djokovic (@ITFTennis - Twitter)

Novak Djokovic cruised past Hugo Dellien 6-2 6-2 to open his bid for a gold medal at the Olympics.

 

The world number one’s bid to achieve the golden slam is on after thrashing the Bolivian in humid conditions.

A perfect start for the Serbian who is looking to achieve the one thing he is yet to achieve and that’s win a gold medal.

Next for Djokovic will be Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff.

In 32C temperatures, Djokovic was looking to start his campaign off against Bolivian veteran Hugo Dellien.

The slow paced courts would suit Dellien as he engaged in some long rallies with the world number one early on.

Despite creating three break points in the fourth game, Djokovic would fail to break early on.

However Djokovic increased his level mixing up the pace and depth of his shots to create angles for simple winners.

On his fifth break point Djokovic would break for a 4-2 lead and the top seed would break for a second time as Dellien had no answers for the Serb’s defensive skills. First set to Djokovic in 33 minutes.

A similar pattern evolved in the second set only this time Djokovic did get a break in the fourth game, breaking to love.

Accurate serving and construction of points gave Djokovic an easy first round match as another break secured the match and sealed his spot into the second round.

A fine performance in tough conditions gave Djokovic’s bid for history the best possible start.

Next for Djokovic will be Jan-Lennard Struff who beat Thiago Monteiro 6-3 6-4.

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