Frustrated Nick Kyrgios Casts Doubt On Ability To Play Grand Slam Matches - UBITENNIS
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Frustrated Nick Kyrgios Casts Doubt On Ability To Play Grand Slam Matches

Will the Australian tennis star be fit enough to play in his home Grand Slam next week?

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Nick Kyrgios says there is a ‘massive question mark’ concerning his ability to play at next week’s Australian Open after crashing out of the Murray River Open on Friday.

 

The former top 20 star vented his anger throughout his 6-3, 6-4, loss to Borna Coric in Melbourne Park where he received two code violations. Frustration was building up for the Australian throughout the match as he struggled with a left knee injury which required medical treatment at the end of the first set. This week is the first time Kyrgios has played a competitive match in almost a year.

“I can’t serve without pain,” he told the trainer. “I can’t land on my leg. I am serving 170[km/h], instead of 220.”

Bothered by yet another physical issue, the world No.47 reached boiling point during the second set when he was broken by Coric. After receiving a code violation for swearing, he received another penalty after smashing his racket and throwing it into the stands. Something that the Australian has previously done before on the Tour.

Controversial antics aside, there is real concern that Kyrgios’ body may not be able to hold up next week at the Australian Open where it is possible that he might have to play a five-set match. He has been drawn to play No.184 Frederico Ferreira Silva in the first round and could possibly play Dominic Thiem in the third if both reach that stage of the tournament.

“I was going through some pain during last year,” Kyrgios told reporters about his knee. “I’ve always had kind of knee issues, especially my left knee. It was something that was pretty serious. I’d rather not talk about it.
“I mean, I did everything I could to get it better, to get it able to play. I’m lucky that I’m healthy enough to play.
“There’s a massive question mark for me [to play three or five sets] even if I was completely healthy, not playing in a year. It’s not easy to turn around and prepare for such an event just like that. It’s not like a tap.”

It is not entirely clear as to what the exact issue Kyrgios is facing and some have suggested that he had some sort of procedure on his knee in recent months. However, this hasn’t been officially confirmed.

Another issue Kyrgios has to contend with next week is a reduction in the crowd due to protocols related to the COVID-19 pandemic. At present it is expected that the Australian Open is set to welcome up to 50% of its usual situation. Although it is possible that the number could change if there are any positive cases in the region.

“Yeah, I mean, it’s a tough thing to talk about. At the end of the day it’s a tennis match,” he said.
“With everything going on, it really shouldn’t matter to be honest. Yeah, of course it’s going to be tough. If I’m down two sets to love, I’ve been down like that before and come back and won. If there’s no crowd that day, I’m probably not going to win.”

Kyrgios has won six ATP titles so far in his career.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas sets up blockbuster third round match against Matteo Berrettini in Rome

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Stefanos Tsitsipas edged past Marin Cilic 7-5 6-2 to advance to third round at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. 

 

Tsitsipas has improved his win-loss record to 28-7 this season, equalling Andrey Rublev for most match wins after Rublev beat Jan-Lennard Struff 6-7 (7-9) 6-1 6-4 earlier today. 

Tsitsipas had to save two break points in the ninth game to hold serve after four deuces. The 2021 Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters winner earned his crucial break in the 12th game to win a hard-fought first set 7-5. 

Tsitsipas was in control of the match and cruised to a 6-2 win in the second set with two breaks in the second and eighth games. 

“Sometimes I need to adjust my game and Marin is someone I respect a lot. I knew he was going to come out here and play his best tennis. He made move a lot. It was quite tricky to adjust to that at the beginning, but towards the very end of the first set I stayed calm and stayed calm and resilient. I had to play deep on the returns and find solutions from the baseline rallies. That worked well for me from 6-5”, said Tsitsipas. 

Tsitsipas set up a blockbuster third round match against last week’s Madrid Mutua Open finalist Matteo Berrettini, who beat John Millman 6-4 6-2 in front of fans, who will return on Thursday. Tsitsipas enjoyed the atmosphere on the Pietrangeli Stadium. 

“The Pietrangeli Stadium is very beautiful. It’s one of the best courts on tour. I feel like the Pietrangeli here is great. We are surrounded by trees in the city and it’s very quiet which is very important for tennis. Honestly, I can’t wait for the fans to come and fill in the stadium”, said Tsitsipas. 

Berrettini missed three consecutive break points in the third game of the opening set and earned his first break in the ninth game to take a 5-4 lead. The Rome-native star served out the first set at 15. Berrettini earned two consecutive breaks to race out to 4-0 lead. Millman saved a break point to hold serve in the fifth game, but Berrettini never looked back in his next two service games to claim the second set 6-2. 

Berrettini has improved with his each appearance in the Rome tournament, reaching the second round in 2018, the third round in 2019 and the quarter final in 2020. 

Tsitsipas beat Berrettini in their only head-to-head match at the 2019 Australian Open. 

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Alexander Zverev eases past Hugo Dellien to set up a third round match clash against Kei Nishikori in Rome

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This year’s Madrid Mutua Open champion Alexander Zverev cruised past qualifier Hugo Dellien 6-2 6-2 on Nicola Pietrangeli Court to move into the third round at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. 

 

Zverev fired 27 winners and fended off all six of the break points he faced. The German won five consecutive games from 0-1 down with a double break to race out to a 5-1 lead and served out the opening set at 15 in the eighth game. 

Zverev went up a break in the third game to take a 2-1, but he had to save six break points in a 12-game fourth game. Zverev managed to hold serve after seven deuces before breaking serve in the fifth game to open up a 4-1 lead. The German served out the win on on his second match point in the eighth game. 

The  German star will face Kei Nishikori for the second time in two weeks. He beat Nishikori, Dan Evans, Rafael Nadal, Dominic Thiem and Matteo Berrettini last week at the Madrid Mutua Open en route to the fourth ATP Masters 1000 title of his career after claiming three previous trophies in Rome and Canada in 2017 and Madrid in 2018.  

Federico Delbonis didn’t face a break point and converted four of his nine break points in his 6-2 6-1 win over David Goffin. The Argentine player will take on Felix Auger Aliassime, who cruised past last year’s Rome finalist Diego Schwartzman 6-1 6-3. 

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Aslan Karatsev beats Danil Medvedev in all-Russian clash in Rome

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Aslan Karatsev beat his compatriot Danil Medvedev 6-2 6-4 after 1 hour and 18 minutes in an all-Russian match to move into the third round at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia at the Foro Italico in Rome. Karatsev has scored his fifth career win against top 10 opponents.

 

Karatsev has improved his win-loss record to 21-6 in his 27 matches this year, including the ATP 500 title in Dubai, the semifinal at the Australian Open and the final at the Serbian Open in Belgrade. 

Karatsev has scored his second top 5 win in the past month after taking an upset win over world number 1 Novak Djokovic in the semifinal in Belgrade. 

Karatsev earned a double break in the fifth and seventh games to open up a 5-2 lead. The 27-year-old Russian player earned another break in the seventh game with a volley to take a 4-3 lead. He never looked back and served out the win on his first match point in the 10th game. 

Karatsev won 90% of his first serve points and saved just one break point. 

Karatsev faced Medvedev for the first time in his career on the ATP Tour. They teamed up with Andrey Rublev at the ATP Cup in Melbourne last winter helping Russia win the final against Italy. 

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