Roger Federer And Rafael Nadal Branded ‘Selfish’ As Fallout Over Australian Open Conditions Continue - UBITENNIS
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Roger Federer And Rafael Nadal Branded ‘Selfish’ As Fallout Over Australian Open Conditions Continue

One of the highest ranked players in this year’s Australian Open qualifying tournament has called on the two tennis titans to do more.

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The ongoing dispute over the air quality at this week’s Australian Open qualifying tournament shows no signs of easing after one of the competitors criticised two of the biggest names in the sport for their silence on the issue.

 

Brayden Schnur, who is the third seed in the men’s tournament, has accused both Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer of only caring about their own careers. The two are members of the prestigious ATP Players Council, which has a key influence on decisions made on the men’s tour. Speaking to reporters following his first round win on Tuesday, Schnur said his fellow competitions on the tour need to ‘step it up.’

“It’s got to come from the top guys – Roger and Rafa are a little bit selfish in thinking about themselves and their careers,” Schnur told the Australian Associated Press.
“Because they’re near the end and all they’re thinking about is their legacy and they’re not thinking about the sport itself and trying to do what’s good for the sport – so those guys need to step up.”

This year’s qualification event in Melbourne has been affected by poor air quality due to the ongoing bushfires devastating the country. On Tuesday Dalila Jakupovic was forced to retire from her match after suffering a coughing fit. Meanwhile, Eugenie Bouchard and Bernard Tomic also struggled. Yet at the same time 8km away at the Kooyong Classic Maria Sharapova’s match was cancelled due to the air quality, which at times reached a level of ‘hazardous’ in Melbourne.

The haze continues to cause problems at the event. On the second day the start of play was delayed by two hours before the rain started to fall.

“You feel super dryness in your throat,” said Schnur. “That’s 100 per cent not normal and players who have asthma are at a huge disadvantage right now.”

Another to hit out at the conditions is outspoken American player Noah Rubin, who has been vocal in his concerns on social media. Speaking with sportinglife.com, Rubin has suggested that the organizers would have made different decisions if it had been the likes of Federer and Co playing.

“If this was Federer or Djokovic playing in the finals, would we have done things differently? That’s always the always the question, and you’d have to think they would not be playing in these conditions,” Rubin told Sporting News.
“To force qualifiers to play, it’s a tough place to be in.”

It isn’t just the players hitting out at Tennis Australia. Another key figure to voice their concerns is Dr. Brett Sutton, who is the chief health officer for the Australian state of Victoria. Sutton has told reporters that the incidents at the tournament has been ‘awful’ and called for an air quality policy to be implemented as a matter of urgency. Something he has offered to help them with.

“Tennis Australia needs to work up an air quality policy,” Sutton said. “Happy to work with them … I can’t make a call on what individual thresholds might be, it really does depend on what it might mean to enclose a space and what filtration systems they might have as alternatives.
“But I think they need to consider through all those thresholds, from poor to hazardous air quality, what their alternatives might be with a view to protecting as many players as possible.”

Craig Tiley, who if the tournament director of the grand slam, has vowed to protect the health of players in a bid to cool down tensions. They are monitoring the conditions with the help of their medical team, the Bureau of Meteorology and scientists Victoria’s Environmental Protection Agency.

“We’re not going to put them in harm’s way or make any decision that’s going to negatively impact their health and wellbeing.” He stated.
“We have a track record of that when it comes to extreme heat. I think we’re one of the few major events that has to manage extreme heat like we do.
“But this is a new experience for all of us, how we manage air quality and therefore we’ve got to rely on those experts that advise us on how best to continue.”

According to the EPA, the air quality forecast for Thursday in Melbourne is set to improve slightly to ‘poor.’ The third highest rating on the five-level scale.

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Nick Kyrgios claims five-set thriller to set up a blockbuster fourth-round clash against Rafael Nadal in Melbourne

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Nick Kyrgios battled past Karen Khachanov 6-2 7-6 (7-5) 6-7 (6-8) 6-7 (7-9) 7-6 (10-8) after 4 hours and 26 minutes to set up a blockbuster fourth round clash against Rafael Nadal at the Australian Open.

 

Khachanov saved match points in both the third and fourth set tie-breaks before losing the decisive tie-break. Kyrgios converted on three of her six break point chances and dropped her serve only once in the entire match.

Kyrgios served well in the opening set and earned two consecutive breaks to cruise through to a 6-2 win. Both players wasted a break point chance to set up a tie-break in the second set. Kyrgios earned two mini-breaks to claim the tie-break 7-5 with a serve up the T.

Kyrgios went up a 4-2 lead in the third set with a break, when Khachanov made two double faults. Khachanov broke back in the eighth game to draw level to 4-4. Khachanov fended off a match point at 5-6 in the tie-break with a powerful serve and won the final three points to clinch the third set 8-6, as Kyrgios misfired a crosscourt forehand.

Kyrgios saved two break points in the seventh game and earned another match point in the seventh game of the fourth set. Khachanov saved it before winning the tie-break 9-7 forcing the match to the fifth set.

Both players held their serve in the fifth set with no break points setting up the decisive match tie-break. Kyrgios claimed an early mini-break to open up a a 3-0. Khachanov pulled back the mini-break and earned a match point at 8-7, but Kyrgios reeled off the final three points to clinch a thrilling win to the delight of the home fans.

“This is just epic match. I don’t even know what’s going on. Honestly, my legs feel about 40 kilos each. It’s emotional. I haven’t had a moment like that for four, five years, since I last played here against Seppi”, said Kyrgios.

 

 

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Danil Medvedev sets fourth round clash against Stan Wawrinka in Melbourne

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Danil Medvedev beat Alexei Popyrin 6-4 6-3 6-2 to set up a fourth round match against Stan Wawrinka at the Australian Open.

 

Medvedev earned the first break in the second game of the opening set. Popyrin broke straight back in the next game to draw level to 1-1, but Medvedev earned his second break to take a 2-1 lead. The 2019 US Open finalist held his serve in a hard-fought eighth game after saving a break point and sealed the first set 6-4 on his second set point.

Medvedev broke serve at love in the third game to take a 2-1 lead. Popyrin held his serve in the fifth game after saving two break points to claw his way back to 2-3. Medvedev sealed the second set with his second break at 15.

Medvedev got an early break at 15 in the second game of the third set. Kyrgios converted his fourth break-back point chance in the sixth game. Medvedev closed it out on his second match point.

“I am happy to win it in straight sets. I have good memories from last year, which was my first time in the second week of a Grand Slam and hopefully I can make it even further this year. I just try to win as many matches as I can. Hopefully I can win seven here”,said Medvedev.

Medvedev set up a fourth round match against Stan Wawrinka, who reached the fourth round, when US John Isner withdrew from the match due to a foot injury, when the Lausanne player was leading 6-4 4-1.

“You never want your opponent to pull out. I was playing well again today. I was really happy the way I was playing. That’s very positive. It’s great to be back in the second week, that’s for sure. Feeling way better. It’s positive to have a good practice tomorrow and to be ready for the next one”,said Wawrinka.

Medvedev won both his previous head-to-head matches against Wawrinka at 2017 Wimbledon and in the quarter final of the 2019 US Open.

“Stan is a very tough opponent. He has won three majors and has gone deep a lot of times. It’s never going to be an easy match against Stan. I will have to show my best game to have a chance”, said Medvedev.

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Dominic Thiem beats Taylor Fritz to set fourth-round clash against Gael Monfils in Melbourne

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Fifth seed and 2019 Roland Garros finalist Dominic Thiem beat Taylor Fritz 6-2 6-4 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 on a warm afternoon to advance to the fourth round at the Australian Open for the third time in his career.

 

Thiem fended off six of the seven break points he faced and broke three times to take a 2-0 lead before Fritz took the edge 7-5 in the tie-break of the third set. The Austrian player sealed the win with a break in the 10th game of the fourth set.

“I also have to say honestly, that I got pretty lucky in the three meetings against him. I remember that at the US Open and today that, I think especially in the second set, I saved six break points. Somehow in the meetings so far, the US Open and here, I pulled myself out of very close situations. In the Laver Cup he turned the tables. He is serving great. You have to expect close matches against him. That was again the case”,said Thiem.

Thiem will face Gael Monfils, who beat Latvian qualifier and 2014 Roland Garros semifinalist Ernests Gulbis 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 6-3 after 2 hours and 27 minutes. The French player reached the second week in Melbourne for the fourth time, and the first since 2017. Monfils has beaten Gulbis all the three times they have met on the ATP Tour, including in the second round match at 2013 Roland Garros. Gulbis earned the first break after two deuces to take a 2-1 lead. Monfils broke straight back in the fourth game to draw level to 2-2. Both players held their next service games en route to the tie-break. Monfils converted the first of his four set points to win the tie-break 7-2.

Both players traded breaks in the first two games of the second set. Monfils converted his second break point in the third game to take a 2-1 lead and held his next three service games at deuce. The 33-year-old Frenchman closed it out on his first set point.

The third set went on serve until the sixth game before Monfils broke twice in a row in the seventh and ninth games to win the third set 6-3.

Monfils is bidding to reach the quarter final at the Australian Open for the second time in his career. Monfils converted nine of his nine break points.

“Gael and I have had great matches, I have always had great rallies against him. It’s nice on court when you play him to see his show”, said Thiem.

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