John Isner "I think I Made The Right Decision Not To Play Tokyo" - UBITENNIS
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John Isner “I think I Made The Right Decision Not To Play Tokyo”

The American is in Los Cabos, Mexico looking to start the hardcourt season on the right foot.

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Instead of travelling halfway across the globe to represent his country, John Isner is in sunny Mexico getting ready to play in his first hard court event of the summer.

 

The American is the second seed at the Los Cabos Open behind Cameron Norrie and will be seeking his 16th title on the ATP Tour. Isner is one of five player from his country seeded in the tournament.

“I was supposed to play (Los Cabos) last year and as we all know the tournament did not happen so I was bummed out about that. There is no doubt and I am very excited to be back here this year”. Isner told reporters during a press conference ahead of his campaign.

The world No.39 has not played since being upset in the first round of Wimbledon by Yoshihito Nishioka and has only played in six tournaments since January.

” I haven’t played much since the tour shut down last year and that’s not because of injury or anything. The tour has looked different and I have a family”.

However, Isner did announce that his family is growing and that his wife is pregnant with their third child. For him right now life at home has been more important to him.

Although this is his favourite time of the year playing on hard courts in the US swing.

” I love playing on hard courts, I love playing in North America and I’m here doing that again so I’m going to play a lot this summer and hope I can do well,” he said.

With Ivo Karlovic retiring at the age of 42 later this year and being a big server like Isner, some are wondering if the American would also be tempted top continue playing into his 40s?

“Well see, maybe not till 42 and I might not want to but the good thing is physically I feel very good and healthy,” he said. “I spent a lot of time trying to keep myself healthy and as Ivo has known when you have a big serve it can keep you around for a long time so hopefully that’s the case for me and I don’t want to retire anytime soon, I still have the hunger to play”.

In recent weeks a lot of tennis players pull out of Tokyo Olympics due to various reasons such as scheduling, injury and restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Back in March Isner said he would not be playing at the event because ‘it is not a priority’ at this stage in his career. A decision he has no regrets about.

“I think I did the right move not going and its sort of a similar move I made not going to Australia,” he explained. “Times are different and we as the players certainly respect that and for Australia, it’s not something I wanted to be a part of and being away from my family that long and having already competed at the Olympic games before I feel like I have that experience and it was absolutely amazing and at this point of my career it wasn’t on my priority list and everyone is different and for me, it’s about being close to my family, traveling with them and they are here right now which I am certainly loving”.

Unfortunately, Los Cabos will be held behind closed doors as opposed to Acapulco when they had some capacity of fans and the Dallas, Texas resident was asked about that as well.

” It’s certainly been different and we respect the decision to have no fans here but for me, I would rather have fans but we understand why and as a tennis player I don’t feel like I have a right to complain at all because we get to play”.

Another hot topic that has been buzzing lately was the Naomi Osaka situation where she came out and announced she wasn’t going to do press any more due to mental health.

” I think it’s important to talk to the media and to give back as much as possible and I don’t believe the media is our enemy but at the same time you have to respect everyone’s opinion, I certainly don’t know what Naomi is going through and I am not going to judge at all, she’s a megastar and it’s not my right to agree or disagree”. Isner said.

Stefanos Tsitsipas recently came out and said that he would like to have on-court coaching allowed in Tennis and once again Isner was asked to give his thoughts and opinion of the idea which he thinks isn’t a good idea.

” I think there is merit in what he is saying but I personally disagree with that and this is coming from someone who played four years of college and we had coaching every single point during our match but what I think is cool about tennis is you don’t have coaching and it’s a good differentiating factor from the other sports going one on one trying to figure it out by yourself which I think is unique so I don’t personally love the idea”.

Isner is the number two seed and isn’t scheduled to play until Wednesday night in the second round where he will either face Evgeny Donskoy or Jason Jung.

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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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Brandon Nakashima shocks John Isner to reach first ATP final in Los Cabos

Brandon Nakashima stunned John Isner to reach the final in Los Cabos.

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Brandon Nakashima (@AbiertoLosCabos - Twitter)

The American became the youngest American to reach a final outside the US since Andy Roddick back in 2001.

 

Brandon Nakashima booked his spot in the final beating an out of sorts John Isner 7-5, 6-4 in one hour and 28 minutes firing 12 aces and winning 82% points with his first serve.

“It’s always going to be tough playing against him, It’s always so hard to return his serve and try to get into the rallies with him but I tried to get back as many returns as I could and there was blocking or chipping the return or hitting over it and just try to mix it up a lot while getting different looks and I knew when I had the opportunities and when I got close in games I knew I had to take advantage of that as much as possible so luckily I was able to do it and of course taking care of my service games was important as well”.

For the first six games of the opening set, neither player had an issue holding serve but at 3-3, it was the San Diego native with the first chance to break but was denied by the world number 39’s big serve.

At 5-4, the world number 134 had two more chances to break and he got the crucial break and served out the first set.

Winning the first set seemed to invigorate the 19-year-old and he earned an early chance to break in the first game of the second set and broke to take a 1-0 lead. Once again that one break was enough to serve out the match and seal the victory.

After the match, Nakashima spoke about becoming the first American player to reach a final outside the US since Andy Roddick back in 2001.

“It feels great and it’s a big accomplishment for me and of course all the Americans, we like to play in the US but it’s nice to see that I am playing well outside the US and luckily it’s not too far from my home here so I have been enjoying it here a lot both on and off the court and really looking forward to playing tomorrow again”.

Nakashima will face the number one seed Cameron Norrie in the final and can feel confident as the last time these two players met, the American beat him.

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