Nick Kyrgios’ Wimbledon Win Over Tsitsipas Marred By Drama And Controversy - UBITENNIS
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Nick Kyrgios’ Wimbledon Win Over Tsitsipas Marred By Drama And Controversy

In an epic Saturday night encounter at The All England Club, there was plenty of tension and words exchanged.

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The highly anticipated Wimbledon showdown between Nick Kyrgios and Stefanos Tsitsipas was one largely dominated by heated exchanges. 

 

Kyrgios valiantly battled back from a set down to defeat the world No. 5 6-7(2), 6-4, 6-3, 7-6(7) and reached the second week of the Grand Slam for the first time since 2016. Although the talking point of the match wasn’t so much the tennis but more to do with a verbal tirade that went on throughout. Kyrgios clashed with the umpire for a large proportion before Tsitsipas started to express his own frustration which resulted in him getting a point penalty. 

“It was a hell of an atmosphere, an amazing match. I felt like the favorite coming in after playing him a couple weeks ago (in Halle).” Said Kyrgios.
“I knew it was going to be a tough match, he’s a hell of a player.”

After recently hitting out at lines judges and claiming that umpires do not receive as much social media abuse as players, Kyrgios clashed with officials once again. At 5-5 a debatable call prompted the furious Australian to say ‘”He has one f***ing line to call. It’s annoying. Mistakes every match. At 5 all”. His mood deteriorated further in the opening tiebreak when a linesperson walked to the umpire to report something from Kyrgios’ side, presumably for swearing. Meanwhile, Tsitsipas went on to close the opener out by winning four points in a row. 

In another incident, Kyrgios implied his rival was abusing the system by asking for a challenge when he knew he would lose the point.

“You know what that’s called? Abuse of the system,” he said during a changeover with the umpire. 

Like the opener, there was little to distinguish between the two in the second frame. Kyrgios’ hot and cold style of play was on full display which was best illustrated when he was serving at 4-4. After racing to 40-0 without barely taking a break between points, he then produced four unforced errors in a row but still somehow managed to hold to nudge ahead. Then in the following game, there was another brief disruption with a different lines official walking to the umpire to report Kyrgios for swearing. In that very same game, Kyrgios went on to break to level the match. 

After dropping the second set, Tsitsipas fired a ball into the crowd which prompted a stern response from his opponent who at one stage asked for a supervisor and said the Greek should have been defaulted. No such action was taken. Even though Kyrgios  revived his chances of reaching the second week at SW19, the world No.40 continued his feud with the umpire. 

“You don’t know how to play so how can you tell me to play?” He said after game one of the third set.
“The people are here to see me and not you.” 

On the court, Kyrgios continued to exert his dominance with a forehand winner landing in the court that enabled him to break for a 3-1 lead. At this point, he had gotten to Tsitsipas who cracked when he was fed an underarm serve. The fourth seed smashed the ball into the crowd once again out of anger but this time he received a point penalty for his conduct. Although Tsitsipas didn’t realize he had one initially which led to yet another confrontation on the court with the umpire. 

From that moment on there was clear tension on the court between the two. Demonstrated by one exchange that concluded with Tsitsipas firing the ball directly at his rival but it narrowly missed him. Something he continued to do throughout the third set which he eventually lost. 

After all the drama, another plot unfolded in the fourth set when Kyrgios hurt his right hip region after slipping on the grass. Prompting worried looks from his entourage in the crowd. Nevertheless, he continued playing until proceedings were halted at 4-4 for the roof to come on due to poor lighting. 

Upon resumption, proceedings went into yet another electrifying tiebreak. Kyrgios worked his way to his first match point but failed to convert after hitting a backhand wide. He prevailed on his second with a nifty drop shot. 

“I’m super happy to get through. He was getting frustrated at times but it’s a frustrating sport, that’s for sure. I know that,” said Kyrgios.
“I have ultimate respect for him (Tsitsipas) no matter what happens on the court. I love him and I’m close with his brother.”

On Monday Kyrgios will play Brandon Nakashima in the fourth round. As to how far he can go in the tournament?

“I don’t really play a full schedule of tennis and I am able to play like this. I am going to take a rest and hopefully I can keep going.” He replied.  

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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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