Andy Murray Calls For Earlier Start To Davis Cup Ties After Great Britain Loses Late-Night Thriller - UBITENNIS
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Andy Murray Calls For Earlier Start To Davis Cup Ties After Great Britain Loses Late-Night Thriller

Team USA prevailled 2-1 in the marathon clash against the host nation and will play their next tie on Thursday.

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GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 12: Davis Cup by Rakuten Glasgow Group Stage 2022 at Emirates Arena on September 12, 2022 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Pedro Salado / Quality Sport Images / Kosmos Tennis)

Three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray has described the late finish to Great Britain’s tie against America on Wednesday as ‘not ideal’ for everybody involved in the event. 

 

Murray took to the court to play his doubles match alongside Joe Salisbury at 22:00 BST following two matches that both went to three sets. With the tie level at 1-1, the doubles were critical for both teams. In what was a dramatically close encounter, Murray and Sailsbury lost 5-7 6-4 7-5 to Rajeev Ram and Jack Sock which secured America a 2-1 win. 

The tie concluded just before 01:00 BST with a significantly reduced number of fans staying to watch the final match of the day. Leading to calls for the ties in Glasgow to begin earlier than the current start time of 16:00 BST. 

“It would be better if they were earlier I think for everyone involved. I don’t think it’s ideal for the fans.” Said Murray. 
“That match that we played there, there’s probably half of the people in there at the end of the match that was there at the beginning. It’s a bit of a shame because they missed a great match. It’s not probably because they didn’t want to stay. If you got children here, you can’t stay with them. You got to get a bus or train home. Can’t do it.”

Murray also raises concerns about fairness for the teams involved with America set to play Kazakhstan today. Glasgow isn’t the only Davis Cup event with ties starting in the afternoon with the other three venues in Europe having similar timetables.

“They’re (Team USA) probably not going to be tucked up in their beds until, I don’t know what the time is, probably 3:30, 4:00 in the morning by the time they’ve done their recovery and managed to sort of calm down after a tie like that,” he said. 
“It’s not just here. We’ve seen it obviously at the US Open even just last week. It’s something that tennis needs to sort of have a bit of a think about. I don’t think it looks that professional.”

Great Britain is now in a situation where they may need to win their next two ties to secure qualification for the Davis Cup finals in November. Before Murray’s doubles match, Dan Evans fell 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, to Tommy Paul in the opening match. Then Cameron Norrie managed to get Britain’s only point by staging an epic comeback to beat American No.1 Taylor Fritz 2-6 7-6 (2) 7-5.

British captain Leon Smith concedes that it will be a ‘tough’ task to secure qualification but is hopeful that his team will be able to do so. Smith was in charge when his country won the title back in 2015. 

“It’s still going to be tough because the other two nations are strong. I think a lot of the matches are 50/50, including the ones that are coming up,” he told reporters. 
“All the guys played really good matches, so it will take a lot of recovery tomorrow (Thursday). It’s obviously good that we’ve got a day’s grace between our next match.’
“We’ve got a terrific bunch of players. They’re playing really well. So our aim is to qualify.”

Great Britain will play the Netherlands on Friday and then Kazakhstan on Sunday. 

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Carlos Alcaraz Faces Rune Test In Astana

Carlos Alcaraz leads a stacked field in Astana next week.

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Carlos Alcaraz (@WeAreTennis - Twitter)

Carlos Alcaraz returns to the ATP tour next week in Astana next week where he faces Danish talent Holger Rune.

 

The world number one plays his first ATP tournament since winning his first Grand Slam title at the US Open and becoming the youngest world number one in history.

Having qualified for the Nitto ATP Finals, Alcaraz will now look to build momentum over the coming weeks for the event in Turin.

First up for Alcaraz is the ATP 500 event in Astana next week where the Spaniard faces a tough opening round in the form of Danish talent Holger Rune.

The Dane reached his first Grand Slam quarter-final at Roland Garros earlier this year but had struggled for form since then.

However Rune has reached the semi-finals in Sofia this week and is hitting form at the right time so this will be a big test for Alcaraz.

Should Alcaraz get through that test than a potential second round meeting with Stan Wawrinka could be on the cards with the Swiss wildcard facing Adrian Mannarino in his opening match.

Andrey Rublev is the player that could face Alcaraz in the last eight with the eighth seed facing a qualifier in his opening round match.

Rublev is one of a number of players who are chasing the remaining spots at the Nitto ATP Finals.

Also in the top half of the draw is Stefanos Tsitsipas and Hubert Hurkacz with Tsitsipas facing Mikhail Kukushkin.

While Hurkacz faces Francisco Cerundolo and a potential second round match against home favourite Alexander Bublik could await in round two.

In the bottom half of the draw, Novak Djokovic will continue his search for a surge up the rankings against Cristian Garin.

Djokovic’s potential quarter-final is Jannik Sinner who begins against tricky serve and volleyer Oscar Otte.

Daniil Medvedev is also taking part in a stacked field in Astana as he faces Albert Ramos-Vinolas in his opening round match.

In the bottom quarter there is also an intriguing opening round match between Felix Auger-Aliassime and Roberto Bautista Agut.

Here is the full draw with play starting on Monday:

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All-Estonian Match In Tallinn Headlines WTA Semi-Finals

Anett Kontaveit and Kaia Kanepi will battle for a spot in the Tallinn final.

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Anett Kontaveit (@usopen - Twitter)

An all-Estonian match between Anett Kontaveit and Kaia Kanepi in Tallinn headlines semi-finals day on the WTA side.

 

Estonian tennis history will be made on Saturday as Kaia Kanepi and Anett Kontaveit will take on each other in their home country in the semi-finals of Tallinn.

The atmosphere in Estonia has been electric all week and it will be even louder with a guaranteed Estonian making the final.

Despite a miserable season so far, Kontaveit thrives on the indoor hard courts and will enter Saturday’s semi-final as favourite.

However Kanepi is known for causing shocks and the world number 32 will fancy her chances when the two players meet at roughly 16:00 BST.

Speaking after her quarter-final win over Karolina Muchova, Kanepi told the press that she isn’t tired and admitted Kontaveit is favourite, “I don’t feel tired at the moment. I usually don’t feel it after a match,” Kanepi told err.ee.

“It was very even. In the end I tried to play with a lot of guts and, I succeeded, that’s why I won. For me it’s just like any other match. She’s ten years younger than me, there’s not really any question. Anett has a better record and she’s ahead of me in the rankings.”

This afternoon’s meeting will be the first of their career with a place in the final against Barbora Krejcikova or Belinda Bencic on the line.

Sakkari Aims For First Final For Seven Months

Meanwhile in Parma, Maria Sakkari will look to reach her first final since Indian Wells as she takes on Danka Kovinic in the last four.

Sakkari is the heavy favourite for the title as she looks to build up some confidence heading into the end of the season.

The other semi-final in Parma will see Ana Bogdan take on Mayar Sherif.

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Kei Nishikori Confirms Safety Amid Hurricane Ian, Sets Out End of Year Plans

Kei Nishikori is set to return to tennis in November.

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Kei Nishikori (@WSOpen - Twitter)

Former US Open finalist Kei Nishikori has confirmed that he and his family are safe as Hurricane Ian continues to cause destruction in America.

 

Nishikori lives and is based in Florida, where Hurricane Ian is doing most of its destruction at the moment.

So far at least two million people are without power with a handful of people losing their life due to the hurricane.

Some of Nishikori’s fans were concerned about his safety but the former top ten player confirmed that he and his family are safe, “Hi everyone, just a quick note to say my family and I are safe,” Nishikori confirmed on social media.

“Thank you for all the messages. It was a scary day and hope things will be back to normal as soon as possible. My thoughts are with all the people facing the results of the storm. I hope everyone stays safe.”

It’s pleasing to hear Nishikori is safe as the storm continues to cause destruction on many people’s livelihoods in the US.

Speaking of Nishikori, the Japanese star has been fairly muted on the court with him not playing a single event this season.

Injuries have been the story of Nishikori’s career and it looks as if that trend has continued in 2022.

However Nishikori could be expected to make his return to the tour in November on the Challenger tour.

That’s because Nishikori has been confirmed to compete in the Calgary and Drummondville challenger events.

The two events take place between the 6th and the 20th of November with Nishikori looking to gain some match time ahead of next year’s Australian Open.

Tournament directors Alain Calle and Danny Da Costa had this to say on Nishikori’s participation, “We’re thrilled to have Kei at our tournaments,” they jointly said in a press release.

“He’s been one of the most prolific players on the Tour since the start of his career, and even though he’s coming back from a major injury, he remains a very talented player. We’re looking forward to seeing him play again in Canada, and there’s no doubt our fans will be, too.”

The events will be Nishikori’s first since Indian Wells in 2021 where he lost to Dan Evans in the second round.

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