‘I Need To Play My Best’ - Rafael Nadal Wary Of Upcoming Threat At US Open - UBITENNIS
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‘I Need To Play My Best’ – Rafael Nadal Wary Of Upcoming Threat At US Open

The former world No.1 is closing in on his 19th grand slam title in Flushing Meadows.

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Rafael Nadal US Open 2019 (photo Twitter @USOpen)

Rafael Nadal has vowed to take nothing for granted in his upcoming quarter-final match at the US Open against Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman.

 

The second seed progressed to the last eight of the tournament after seeing of a spirited effort from Marin Cilic to prevail 6-3, 3-6, 6-1, 6-2. The night-time encounter saw Nadal post some impressive statistics behind his serve as he hit more aces than his opponent (11-10) and claimed 83% of his first service points. Furthermore,the Spaniard also converted six out of his 11 break point opportunities and produced 38 winners.

“I’m serving well. I think my serve improved during the last couple of years. Especially this year a little bit more.” Said Nadal.
“I’m happy with the way that I am serving the first serve, but especially the second serve. I increased the speed on that second serve. That helps a lot to be more aggressive with the first.’
“I always thought that I needed to improve my serve to try to have a longer career. That’s something that we have been working hard.”

Two points before the end of the match, Nadal electrified the crowd with a sublime passing shot. A cross-court backhand shot from Cilic forced the Spaniard to go wide, but he still managed to keep the ball in play by hitting it around the net.

The next test for the Spaniard will be 27-year-old Schwartzman. A player who he has defeated in all seven on their previous meetings on the tour. Schwartzman knocked out sixth seed Alexander Zverev in four sets during his fourth round match.

On paper, the upcoming clash points to a one-sided victory for the world No.2. However, Nadal believes he will not be the outright favourite.

“He is one of the most talented players on our tour. He has everything, amazing control, amazing speed. He has the ability to read very well your shots and to understand very well the game.” Nadal said of the Argentine.
“I saw him play a couple of matches during this tournament, he was playing great”
“I need to play my best in the next round to have the chance to be in the semifinals. But the match of today (Monday) I think helps.” He added.

Meanwhile, Schwartzman is maintaining an optimistic outlook about his chances. He is yet to defeat a top five player in his career. Against Nadal, he has only managed to win two out of the 19 sets they have played.

“I need to study my games against him. I have many good games, very good matches against him. I had my chances against him many matches, but I wasn’t able to win my opportunities against him.” Said Schwartzman.
“You never know the next opportunities are going to come. Maybe it’s the next match against him. I need to be ready.”

Nadal is bidding to reach the semifinals of the US Open the third year in a row and eighth time in his career overall.

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Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beats Pierre Hugues Herbert to reach the quarter finals in Metz

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Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beat Pierre Hugues Herbert 6-3 6-4 in an all French head-to-head match to reach the quarter finals at the Moselle Open in Metz.

 

Tsonga won 82 % of his first serve points and fended off all three set points to reach the quarter finals. He broke in the the fourth game of the opening set and in the first game of the second set to seal the win.

Tsonga has improved his winning record to 4-0 in his four head-to-head matches against Herbert.

Tsonga set up a quarter final against Nikoloz Basilashvili, who came back from 4-6 down in the tie-break of the second set to beat German qualifier Yannick Maden 6-2 7-6 (8-6). Tsonga and Basilashvili tied 1-1 in their head-to-head matches, but the Georgian player beat his French rival won their most recent clash in Lyon last May.

Lucas Pouille cruised past this year’s Antalya champion Lorenzo Sonego 6-1 6-4 setting up a quarter final against Filip Krajinovic. Pouille raced out the last five games of the first set and fended off both break points he faced. The Frenchman broke twice in a row in the fourth and sixth game to win the first set 6-1. Pouille rallied from 15-40 down to break serve in the seventh game at deuce. He served out the win after saving two break points in the 10th game.

Pablo Carreno Busta upset David Goffin 6-3 6-2 with four breaks of serve avenging his recent defeat against the Belgian player. Carreno Busta set up a quarter final against Aljaz Bedene, who beat Gilles Simon 7-6 (11-9) 6-2. The Slovenian player fended off two set points at 5-6 and at 7-8 in the tie-break of the first set and won the first four points of the second set en route to closing out the second set 6-2.

 

 

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Daniil Medvedev Scores Sponsorship Deal With BMW

The 23-year-old is set to attend a series of activities organised by the car manufacturer over the coming months.

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Daniil Medvedev’s recent surge in success on the tour seems to be also boosting his profile away from the court after he teamed up with car manufacturer BMW.

 

The world No.4 will take part in a series of activities involving the Russian branch of the BMW company in both his home country and abroad. A contract was signed earlier this week following a meeting in St Petersburg, where Medvedev is playing his latest competition on the ATP Tour. He has agreed to feature in a series of campaigns promoting the BMW M, which specialises in sports cars. No financial details of the contract have been published.

“BMW M is BMW’s fastest, most powerful and most innovative sports car. And Daniil Medvedev is the brightest and most titled Russian tennis player right now.” The director general of BMW Russia, Stefan Teuchert, said in a statement.
“On the tennis court, Medvedev demonstrates qualities typical of BMW sports cars – speed, power, intelligence and a strong character. We are glad that we managed to agree on cooperation, and we look forward to future joint projects.”

23-year-old Medvedev has triggered a surge of interest in him following his summer breakthrough. Prior to the final grand slam of the season, he reached three consecutive finals in Washington, Canada and Cincinnati. Becoming only the third man in history to do after Ivan Lendl and Andre Agassi. It was in Cincinnati where he won his first Masters title. Then at the US Open, Medvedev finished runner-up to Rafael Nadal after contesting a five-set epic against the Spaniard.

https://twitter.com/DaniilMedwed/status/1174307458216538112

Medvedev will be hoping to continue his surge of form this week at the St Petersburg Open where he is the top seed. He is yet to contest an ATP final on Russian territory. However, the rising star has stated that his recent surge in success has given him extra belief on the tour.

“I have become convinced: when I am in good shape, I can beat anyone, or at least give a fight. It is most important. I seemed to know this before, but was not completely sure. Now I know this for sure.” Medvedev said during an interview with Sport Express.

According to the ATP, Medvedev has been the most successful player in indoor tournaments on the Tour within the past 52 weeks. Claiming two trophies and winning 22 matches overall. Giving him a 0.786 winning percentage.

He will open up his campaign in St Petersburg on Thursday against compatriot Evgeny Donskoy.

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Casper Ruud beats Alexander Bublik to win his first indoor match in St. Petersburg

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Norway’s Casper Ruud came back from one set down to beat Alexander Bublik 6-7 (3-7) 6-4 6-2 at the St. Petersburg Open to win his first win at an indoor ATP Tour tournament.

 

Bublik got the first break in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead. Ruud broke staright back to draw level to 4-4. The first set went on serve until the tie-break which Bublik sealed 7-3 on his first set point. Ruud earned the only break in the third game to win the second set 6-3.

Ruud reeled off the final five games from 1-2 with two consecutive breaks in the fifth and seventh games to set up a second round match against Italy’s Salvatore Caruso, who rallied from one set down to beat his compatriot Thomas Fabbiano 2-6 6-3 6-3.

Mikhail Kukushkin came back from 2-4 down in the first set to beat 2017 St. Petersburg champion Damir Dzumhur 7-6 (7-2) 6-2 to secure his spot in the quarter finals.

Russian qualifier Egor Gerasimov cruised past Adrian Mannarino 6-3 6-1.

Marton Fucsovics came back from 1-5 down in the first set and fended off five set points to beat Alexey Vatutin 7-5 6-1 setting up a match against Borna Coric.

Joao Sousa cruised past Jozef Kovalik 6-2 6-3 6-2 6-3 without dropping a set to set up a second round match against second seed Karen Khachanov.

 

 

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