Nick Kyrgios On Reaching Wimbledon Final: - ‘I’m A Reckless Ball Of Energy’ - UBITENNIS
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Nick Kyrgios On Reaching Wimbledon Final: – ‘I’m A Reckless Ball Of Energy’

The tennis star has also hit back at some former Australian tennis greats who have criticised him in the past.

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

Australia’s Nick Kyrgios said he had a ‘shocking’ night of sleep after learning he has made it through to his first Grand Slam final at Wimbledon.

 

The world No.40 is through to the title match after Rafael Nadal was forced to withdraw from the competition on Thursday evening due to a tear in his abdomen. Kyrgios is playing in his 30th major tournament and until now he had never gone beyond the quarter-final stage. He has now become the first male player from his country to reach the final at The All England club since Mark Philippoussis in 2003.

“As a competitor, I really wanted to play that match. It was something that as soon as I beat (Cristian) Garin, Rafa was a high possibility, someone I’ve had so many good battles with before,” Kyrgios said on Friday.
“We’ve both taken a win against each other at this tournament. I did want to see how the third chapter was going to go.’
“Obviously you never want to see someone like that, so important to the sport, go down with an injury like that. “

Kyrgios can be a divisive figure in the sport due to his at times controversial antics such as arguing with match officials or committing code violations. At his lowest, he was issued with a provisional suspension from the Tour. However, few doubted his talents on the Tour. He is a player who has recorded 25 wins over top 10 players in his career, including every member of the Big Three.

Admitting that he never saw himself reaching a Grand Slam final, he is finding it hard to process what has happened this week.

“I had a shocking sleep last night. I probably got an hour’s sleep just with everything, like the excitement. I had so much anxiety, I was already feeling so nervous, and I don’t feel nervous usually.” He revealed.
“I feel like I’m just a reckless ball of energy right now. I just want to go out on the practice court now and hit some tennis balls and just talk. I want the final to come already.”

In total Kyrgios has three days between playing matches heading into the final as a result of his semi-final walkover. Some would argue that this benefits him heading into Sunday as in theory he should be feeling fresher on the court. Although there are also drawbacks to situations such as these.

“Obviously at a Grand Slam, you want to have those matches. I think in a way the competitive juices, you want to have those going, the adrenaline. That’s just something that I’m going to have to go into the final without that semifinal kind of experience.”

image – twitter.com/wimbledon

The unprecedented journey this week for Kyrgios comes in what is only his eighth tournament of the season. Unlike most players on the Tour, the former top 20 player has openly said he is not prepared to travel for more than four months. Saying he likes to spend time with his family.

As for his route to the final, Kyrgios believed it wouldn’t have been possible without the valuable lessons he learned during this year’s Australian Open doubles tournament where he won the title with Thanasi Kokkinakis.

“I think in Melbourne I realized that. Even at a doubles Grand Slam you do need to just get your stuff done quick and clinical, then just rest.” He explains.
“I felt like earlier in my career, I didn’t realize that these days off and practice are so crucial.”

Now the limelight in Kyrgios’ native Australia will be back on him and for all the right reasons too. Should he win the men’s title, he would become only the third from his country to do so in the Open Era after Rod Laver and John Newcome.

Although being compared to other former greats of the sport is something that leaves him with mixed emotions due to what they have said about him in the past. For example, two-time Wimbledon finalist Pat Cash accused Kyrgios of cheating, abuse and dragging tennis down to new depths following his tense meeting with Stefanos Tsitsipas earlier in the tournament. Cash made his remarks whilst speaking to BBC radio.

The only exception he makes to the critics is his Davis Cup captain Lleyton Hewitt who he says respects him. The two had a hitting session for an hour and a half before Wimbledon started.

“The greats of Australian tennis, they haven’t always been the nicest to me personally. They haven’t always been supportive,” Kyrgios stated. “They haven’t been supportive these two weeks. So it’s hard for me to kind of read things that they say about me.’
“The kind of only great that’s ever been supportive of me the whole time has been Lleyton Hewitt. He kind of knows that I kind of do my own thing. I’m definitely the outcast of the Australian players.”

It isn’t just former Australian players who have criticized Kyrgios. An opinion piece published by The Telegraph said his run to the final was Wimbledon’s ‘worst nightmare.’ A remark made in light of the controversial behavior, as well as the recent revelation that the tennis star will go to court next month on assault charges involving his former girlfriend.

“I just try to enjoy the ride. If that’s what they want to write, I guess that’s what they want to write. I can only control what I do. I’m just going to go out there and enjoy the moment. Since I was born, only eight people have ever won this title. I’m just going to give it my best shot,” he concludes.

Kyrgios will play either Novak Djokovic or Cameron Norrie in the final.

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ATP Montreal: Ruud Thrashes Auger-Aliassime To Reach Semis, Mixed Results For Brits

Casper Ruud eased past Felix Auger-Aliassime to set up a semi-final meeting with Hubert Hurkacz in Montreal.

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Casper Ruud (@OBNmontreal - Twitter)

Casper Ruud only dropped three games against Felix Auger-Aliassime to reach the semi-finals in Montreal.

 

The Norwegian is into the semi-finals in Canada after a dominant performance over home favourite Felix Auger-Aliassime.

Ruud dominated from the start of the match as he produced a sublime performance only committing nine unforced errors throughout the match to reach the last four.

Ruud has had a good season on hard courts this season and is looking to make his second consecutive hard court Masters 1000 final after reaching the final in Miami.

Speaking after the match Ruud admitted he got a bit lucky but is happy to be in the last four in Canada, “It was one of those days where everything goes in one favour and luckily it was in my favour,” Ruud told the ATP website.

“With a player like Felix, you need to rely on some margins going your way. I didn’t expect them to all go on my side. It was a bit of a difficult start. I got broken but then was able to turn everything around. I hit my spots, made the shots I needed to and make him hit a lot of balls. That was the game plan and it worked well.

“The last hard-court tournament I played in was in Miami where I reached the final. I wanted to make a deep run here. I didn’t think it was too likely, being the first hard-court tournament back, but I have been playing great from the first point in the first match.”

Ruud will look to claim his first Masters 1000 title this week and rise to four in the world in the ATP rankings.

Next for Ruud is the only Masters 1000 champion left in the draw in the form of Hubert Hurkacz.

Hurkacz defeated the in-form Nick Kyrgios 7-6(4) 6-7(5) 6-1 to reach the semi-finals in Canada.

The eighth seed produced some big-serving and bold decision making as he reached his first semi-final since winning the Halle title.

Heading into their match, Ruud leads the head-to-head 1-0 where the Norwegian was victorious at Roland Garros this year.

Mixed results for British hopefuls

Meanwhile it was a mixed night for British players as Dan Evans reached his second career Masters 1000 semi-final while Jack Draper exited the tournament in the last eight.

Evans defeated Tommy Paul 1-6 6-3 6-4 to reach a landmark moment in his career in Montreal.

After his win Evans described the win as ‘extra special’ as he looks forward to a semi-final meeting with Pablo Carreno Busta, “The crowd, that’s what they buy their tickets for. That’s live sport,” Evans told the ATP website.

“You never know what’s going to happen. It was an amazing match, amazing atmosphere. I played on the court before. In the day it was amazing, but at night, there’s something about playing sport at night, it’s extra special.”

Evans will now play Carreno Busta in the last four after the Spaniard defeated British qualifier Jack Draper 7-6(4) 6-1.

Draper defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas earlier in the week but was no match for the resilient Spaniard.

Saturday’s semi-final will be the first meeting between Evans and Carreno Busta.

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Canada Daily Preview: Semifinal Saturday Features Ruud/Hurkacz and Pegula/Halep

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Simona Halep on Friday in Toronto (twitter.com/NBOtoronto)

The singles and doubles semifinals will be played on Saturday in Canada.  In Montreal, a new men’s singles champion will be crowned, and Hubi Hurkacz is the only semifinalist to have previously won a Masters 1000 event (Miami, 2021).  Hurkacz is also in the doubles semifinals, so it will be a busy day for Hubi.  In singles, he faces a finalist from this year in Miami, Casper Ruud.

 

In Toronto, Simona Halep is the only former champion remaining, and is two wins away from her third title at this event.  On Saturday, she plays Jessica Pegula, who is into the semifinals in Canada for the second straight year.  Like Hurkacz, Pegula is also in the doubles semifinals.  She’s teaming with Coco Gauff, who will become the new doubles No.1 if they win the title.

Each day, this preview will analyze the two most intriguing matchups, while highlighting other notable matches on the schedule.  Saturday’s play gets underway at 12:00pm local time in Montreal and 1:00pm in Toronto.


Hubert Hurkacz (8) vs. Casper Ruud (4) – Not Before 3:00pm on Court Central in Montreal

Hurkacz ended the winning streak of Nick Kyrgios on Friday, taking him out in three sets for the second time this season.  But Ruud was even more impressive on Friday, bouncing back from a marathon victory on Thursday over Roberto Bautista Agut to overwhelm Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime, dropping only three games.  Predominantly known as a clay court player, Casper is also establishing himself as a considerable threat on hard courts.  That’s especially true in North America, where Ruud has claimed 16 of his last 19 matches.  But Hubi’s success on this surface remains superior, as does his serving prowess.  While Ruud prevailed in their only previous encounter, just a few months ago at Roland Garros, Hurkacz is the favorite on a hard court.


Jessica Pegula (7) vs. Simona Halep (15) – 1:00pm on Centre Court in Toronto

Halep has been dominant through four rounds this week, advancing without the loss of a set.  Simona has quietly put together a strong record of 36-10 this season, though she’s yet to achieve a big result, with only one title at the 250 level at the start of the year.  Pegula only dropped one set this week, to defending champion Camila Giorgi.  And similar to Halep, she’s accumulated a solid record this year (29-14) without winning a title.  This will be the first career meeting between these two players.  Considering Halep is now 25-6 lifetime at this event, and the way in which she has easily prevailed all week, her superior movement and defense should be enough to reach her fourth final in Canada.


Other Notable Matches on Saturday:

Pablo Carreno Busta vs. Dan Evans – Carreno Busta has played superbly this week, eliminating the likes of Jannik Sinner and Matteo Berrettini without losing a set to this stage.  Dan Evans has survived two grueling three-setters in as many days.  This is their first career meeting.

Beatriz Haddad Maia vs. Karolina Pliskova (14) – Haddad Maia has earned three big wins across the last three days over Iga Swiatek, Belinda Bencic, and Leylah Fernandez.  Pliskova is looking to reach the Canada final for the second straight year.  They have split two previous encounters, both on hard courts.


Saturday’s full Order of Play is here.

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Canada Daily Preview: Quarterfinal Friday in Montreal and Toronto

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Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime on Thursday in Montreal (twitter.com/OBNmontreal)

Canadian No.1 Felix Auger-Aliassime has thrilled crowds in his home country on back-to-back days in Montreal.  On Friday, he faces Roland Garros finalist Casper Ruud, who outlasted Roberto Bautista Agut on Thursday in a marathon match that went well over three hours.  Other ATP action in Montreal includes Washington champion Nick Kyrgios taking on Halle champ Hubi Hurkacz in a rematch from the Halle semifinals.

 

Coco Gauff has survived two extremely dramatic affairs in as many days, ousting both Elena Rybakina and Aryna Sabalenka in third-set tiebreaks.  In the quarterfinals, she plays a two-time champion of this event, Simona Halep.  Toronto’s matches on Friday also feature Jessica Pegula and Karolina Pliskova, both of whom reached the semifinals or better of this tournament a year ago.

Each day, this preview will analyze the two most intriguing matchups, while highlighting other notable matches on the schedule.  Friday’s play gets underway at 12:00pm local time in Montreal and 1:00pm in Toronto.


Coco Gauff (10) vs. Simona Halep (15) – 1:00pm on Centre Court in Toronto

Between Wednesday and Thursday, Gauff spent exactly six hours on court during the heat of the early afternoon, in two physically and emotionally taxing matches.  By contrast, Halep spent less than half that time on court across those two days, and is yet to drop a set this week.  And their three previous encounters have all been straight-set victories for Simona.  She prevailed on grass three years ago at Wimbledon, on a hard court this year at Indian Wells, and on clay this year in Madrid.  And considering Halep will be the far fresher player on Friday, there’s not much evidence to suggest a different result in her fourth meeting with Coco.


Casper Ruud (4) vs. Felix Auger-Aliassime (6) – Not Before 2:00pm on Court Central in Montreal

What will Ruud have left after a three-set match that lasted nearly three-and-a-half hours?  Auger-Aliassime had a much easier time on Thursday, avenging a loss from less than a week ago in the Los Cabos semifinals over Cam Norrie.  Casper and Felix have split four previous meetings at all levels: two at Challenger events, and two at Masters 1000 events such as this.  Three years ago in Miami on a hard court, Auger-Aliassime won in three sets.  Last year in Madrid on clay, Ruud prevailed in straights.  Accordingly, a hard court would seem to favor Felix, especially considering his superior serving abilities.  Most of Casper’s big results have come on clay, though he did reach the final of Miami earlier this year.  I expected the Canadian to play nervously at this event, as Auger-Aliassime was only 3-3 lifetime here ahead of this week, and had lost four of his last six matches since June.  But Felix has embraced the spotlight of playing in front of a packed Canadian stadium, and should be favored over a depleted Ruud on Friday.


Other Notable Matches on Friday:

Nick Kyrgios vs. Hubert Hurkacz (8) – Between singles and doubles, Kyrgios is 13-0 over the last 10 days.  Hurkacz saved a match point on Thursday, eventually defeating Albert Ramos-Vinolas in a third-set tiebreak.  Earlier this year in Halle when he played Nick, Hubi also prevailed in a third-set tiebreak.

Karolina Pliskova (14) vs. Qinwen Zheng – Both players were victorious after tough three-setters on Thursday: Pliskova over Maria Sakkari and Qinwen over Bianca Andreescu.  This is their first career meeting.


Friday’s full Order of Play is here.

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