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Delray Beach will limit the attendance to 2000 spectators

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The Delray Beach Open will open the 2021 ATP Tour season from 4 to 13 January at the Delray Beach Tennis Centre. The US tournament changed its original date after the Australian Open was moved to 8 February. 

 

Organisers of the Delray Beach Open have made significant changes in the midst of the global pandemic to ensure that the tournament in Florida takes place safely. The 2021 edition will be the only ATP Tour event to feature both the ATP 250 and the ATP Champions Tour. 

Attendance will be capped at 2000, just under 25 % of the Delray Beach Tennis Center’s capacity, to accomodate proper social distancing. All attendees will be required to wear masks during the tournament. 

The Delray Beach Open will feature the ATP Tour Legends tournament from 4 to 6 January and the ATP 250 qualifying round on 5-6 January. The main draw for the ATP 250 tournament, which will feature 28 singles players and 16 doubles teams, will start on 7 January. There are two sessions every day until the day of the final on Wednesday 13 January. 

“As soon as the Australian Open was postponed to 8 February, we immediately knew that we had no choice. We decided to grit our teeth. The ATP wanted to give players opportunities and Florida is a great place to do it right now, so we thought let’s do it. The first challenge to face was the health and safety protocols and the Covid test because it was new for us and we are talking about many things like on-site testing, creating bubble with the hotel, transport from airport to hotel, from hotel to tournament, then back and forth between tournament and hotel. We are talking about hundreds and hundreds of tests over the course of 10-12 days. It’s going to be tough and i twill take a couple of years to get back on par. We are limiting ourselves to 2000 spectators per session. We are currently implementing the highest standards. We are not obliged to do this under the rules of Florida, but we are doing it to ensure the safety of the crowd”, said Delray Beach tournament executive director John Butler. 

The Delray Beach line-up will feature four former champions Kei Nishikori (2008), Sam Querrey (2016), Frances Tiafoe (2018) and Reilly Opelka (2020), three-time Grand Slam champion and two-time Olympic gold medallist Andy Murray, John Isner and Christian Garin. 

Murray will start the Delray Beach tournament as a wild-card. The Dunblane star has won 34 of his 46 titles on hard court. He won his last tournament on US soil in Miami in 2013. 

Murray beat Alexander Zverev in the second round at the Western and Southern Open in New York when the ATP Tour resumed after the lockdown last August. With his victory over Zverev in the Big Apple he scored the biggest win since beating Novak Djokovic for the 2016 Nitto ATP Finals in London. Murray lost to Milos Raonic at Western and Southern Open Masters 1000 tournament. 

Murray saved one match point against Yoshihito Nishioka in the first round at the US Open before losing to Felix Auger Aliassime in the second round. 

Murray is the 11th current or former World number 1 to take part in the Delray Beach tournament. 

“I am looking forward to starting the 2021 season in Delray Beach. This event will be a good test for me and I am excited to be back playing on the Tour”, said Murray. 

The host site for the tournament is the Delray Beach Tennis Center, a facility which contains 14 clay courts, 6 hard courts  and an 8200-seat stadium. 

“These are unprecedented times and I would like to thank the tournament organizers for their willingness to adapt by moving into week one of the ATP Tour calendar at such short notice. Providing playing opportunities for our players and ensuring our sport is delivered to fans worldwide in a safe and secure environment is our number one priority”, said ATP chairman Andrea Gaudenzi.

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(VIDEO EXCLUSIVE) Rafael Nadal Doesn’t Care How Much Pain He’s In, He Gets The Job Done

Hall of Famer Steve Flink gives his verdict on Rafael Nadal’s epic victory which might result in his withdrawal from Wimbledon!

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Image via https://twitter.com/atptour/

Matches don’t come as dramatic as the one Rafael Nadal played on Wednesday. 

 

The 22-time grand slam champion dealt with an abdominal injury, lost a break advantage in three sets and still managed to win after four hours of pulsating play. Awaiting him in the next round will be Nick Kyrgios if he is fit enough to play. Kyrgios dismissed Cristian Garin in straight sets in his quarter-final match. 

Flink and Ubitennis’ CEO Ubaldo Scanagatta review all the action that took place on day 10

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Injured Rafael Nadal Ousts Fritz In Wimbledon Thriller

The world No.4 is through to the semi-finals but there are new doubts over his current health.

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Rafael Nadal has kept his chances of achieving a calendar slam alive by defeating American Taylor Fritz in a dramatic quarter-final match at Wimbledon where he struggled with injury. 

 

The second seed took a medical time out during the second set but continued to battle to a sensational 3-6, 7-5, 3-6, 7-5, 7-6(10-4), win over Fritz. Two days ago Nadal was seen wearing tape on his abdomen but refused to go into details when asked by reporters. Although it was clear that this issue is ongoing with the Spaniard crouching over a couple of times after serving in pain. 

“The body is generally fine. Of course, in the abdominal area, something is not going well. I had to find a way to serve a little bit differently,” said Nadal. “I was thinking during a lot of moments that I would not be able to finish the match but the energy (of Center Court) was something else.”

In the roller-coaster encounter, 19 breaks of serves occurred throughout the marathon match. During the gut-busting 260-minute showdown Nadal saw plenty of chances come and go. In each of the first two sets, he had a break advantage before losing them. He also failed to maintain a break advantage in the decider before coming through in the tiebreak. Nevertheless, he managed to come out on top with the help of 5 aces and 55 winners. 

“I enjoy playing these kinds of matches in front of you guys (the crowd),” the Spaniard continued. 
“It has been a tough afternoon against a great player. All the credit to Taylor, he has been playing great the whole season.’
“From my side, it was not an easy match and I am happy to be in the semifinal.”

The triumph is a bitter pill for Fritz to swallow who was bidding to become the youngest American man to reach the last four at Wimbledon since 2005. Until now he had been on an eight-match winning streak.

As for Nadal, he is through to his eighth Wimbledon semi-final and 38th at a major event. He is now 8-0 when it comes to playing quarter-final matches at the tournament.

Amid concerns over the abdomen, Nadal now has only two days to recover in time for his blockbuster showdown against the formidable Nick Kyrgios who came through his match in straight sets against Cristian Garin. Nadal leads their head-to-head 6-3 and has won their two previous meetings at SW19.  

“I hope to be ready to play it,” he said of the semi-final.
“TNick is a great player on all surfaces, especially on the grass. He’s having a great grass-court season and it’s going to be a great challenge. I need to be one hundred percent.”

At the age of 36 Nadal is seeking to reach his first Wimbledon final since 2011.

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“I Thought The Ship Had Sailed’ – Nick Kyrgios Reaches Maiden Wimbledon Semis

The 27-year-old reacts to achieving a new milestone in his career.

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Nick Kyrgios (AUS) - Credit: AELTC/Jonathan Nackstrand

Nick Kyrgios has achieved his best-ever result at a Grand Slam tournament after beating Cristian Garin in straight sets in the quarter-finals at Wimbledon. 

 

Kyrgios, who was playing in the last eight of the tournament for the first time since 2014, rallied to a 6-4, 6-3, 7-5(5) win over his Chilean rival. Becoming the first player from his country to reach the last four of the men’s draw since Lleyton Hewitt did so back in 2005.  


”I felt I was playing on the back foot a lot. He’s a hell of a player,” Kyrgios said afterward. “He’s obviously very confident. Hell of a tournament for him to make the quarter-finals. I got lucky on a couple of break points here and there. It could have been him standing here (giving the winner’s interview).”

In what was a largely controlled match from Kyrgios, he produced a total of 17 aces alongside 35 winners against 29 unforced errors. There were the occasional outbursts and criticism of the lines officials but it was by nowhere as controversial as his previous encounters against Stefanos Tsitspas in the third round and Paul Jubb in the first.

The breakthrough comes during what has been a turbulent career. Kyrgios has been a player involved in many controversies and was at one stage issued with a suspended ban from the Tour due to unsportsmanlike conduct. However, his talent was never doubted but many were unsure if he could be consistent enough to have a deep run at a major event. He once was at a pub until 4 am on the same day he was due to play Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon.

“It was an amazing atmosphere out here (on court one). I never thought I will be in the semifinal of a grand slam. I thought my ship had sailed.” He admits. 
“I didn’t go about things earlier in my career great and I may have wasted (time).’
‘I’m really proud of the way I’ve come back out here with my team and with that performance.”

As one of the few top 100 players who travel without a coach, Kyrgios paid tribute to those around him. 

“I don’t have a coach I would never put that burden on someone,” he jokes.
“Each and every one of my team plays an important role. I feel like nobody knows my tennis better than I do. I’ve been playing this sport since I was seven and to be in the semi-final of a slam I am pretty happy.”  

Kyrgios is the lowest-ranked Wimbledon semi-finalist since 2008.

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