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Will Smith Hitch-es Up With Tennis' Fresh Prince Kyrgios

  • Posted: Jan 19, 2018

Will Smith Hitch-es Up With Tennis’ Fresh Prince Kyrgios

Star actor watches Kyrgios defeat Tsonga to advance to the fourth round

Hollywood seems to have moved to Melbourne Park — for the fortnight, at least.

After Will Ferrell made several appearances at the Australian Open earlier in the week, fellow actor Will Smith watched the tennis on Rod Laver Arena Friday evening, as Nick Kyrgios thrilled the home crowd by ousting No. 15 seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in four sets.

“That was amazing. No joke, he’s like my favourite actor,” Kyrgios said. “I get asked if one person were acting your life, I’d always pick him. It was surreal seeing him tonight.”

Kyrgios still watches Smith’s television show “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” and says Smith stars in his two favorite movies, “Focus” and “Seven Pounds”. The right-hander even chatted with him intermittently in the third set.

“Every time he got shown on the screen, they cheered louder for him than any of the shots we were making,” Kyrgios said. “I was like, ‘Man, you may as well just stay out here, they probably enjoy that more than the tennis’. I said, ‘I watched a load of your movies a bunch of times’. It was pretty cringe, but it broke the ice.”

Former World No. 1 Jim Courier spoke to Smith during the match, and he was impressed by what he was seeing in his first Grand Slam visit, especially from Kyrgios.

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“I love, he does this little bow in his wrist I love, it looks like a power thing,” Smith said. “I don’t know a lot about tennis, but watching him I was like man, I think I might have to take this up a little bit!”

Courier asked Kyrgios on court after the match how he felt seeing the actor in attendance.

“When I saw him [Smith] out here, I was so nervous, no joke,” Kyrgios said. “I was like ‘Oh my God’, people think I’m cool but I just wanted him to think I was like the coolest person ever!”

Smith smiled, and gave the Aussie a big thumbs up. Kyrgios beat his idol Tsonga and got props from his favourite actor — not bad for a night’s work.

“I shook hands with Jo at the net. He was like, ‘Great match’. I was kind of staring at him. I didn’t really say anything. He kind of just smiled, kind of embraced me,” Kyrgios remembered. “I was nervous for both honestly. I was nervous for both of them.”

Much to Kyrgios’ delight, the 22-year-old got to meet Smith after the match.

“He was really nice,” Kyrgios said. “He was really genuine. Yeah, it was nice to meet him.”

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Ostapenko suffers shock defeat but Wozniacki goes through

  • Posted: Jan 19, 2018
2018 Australian Open
Dates: 15-28 January Venue: Melbourne Park
Coverage: Watch highlights on BBC Two, the BBC Sport website and app. Live commentary on the best matches on BBC Radio 5 live, 5 live sports extra and online.

World number seven Jelena Ostapenko was beaten by Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit in the third round of the Australian Open.

The French Open champion suffered a 6-3 1-6 6-3 defeat by world number 33 Kontaveit in one hour and 53 minutes.

Kontaveit, who has reached the fourth round for the first time in Melbourne, will next play Spain’s world number 39 Carla Suarez Navarro.

Elsewhere, second seed Caroline Wozniacki reached the last 16 with a straightforward win over Kiki Bertens.

Wozniacki beat her Dutch opponent 6-4 6-3, saving four break points in the final game before serving out the match.

The Dane will next face Slovakia’s Magdalena Rybarikova.

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Ostapenko’s exit means that Angelique Kerber and Maria Sharapova – who play each other on Saturday – are the only two Grand Slam champions remaining in the women’s draw.

There were 11 double faults in a scrappy affair on Margaret Court Arena, with Latvia’s Ostapenko losing all five of her service games in the first set.

Ostapenko took a medical timeout before the second set for treatment on her thigh and she found enough rhythm to take the game into a third set.

Despite some solid defence from Ostapenko, Kontaveit got the decisive break before winning eight of the final 10 points of the match to claim victory.

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Rafael Nadal coasts past Damir Dzumhur and into Australian Open last 16

  • Posted: Jan 19, 2018

World number one Rafael Nadal continued his straightforward progress through the Australian Open with a 6-1 6-3 6-1 win over Bosnia’s Damir Dzumhur.

The 31-year-old, who has won only one of his 16 Grand Slam titles in Australia, wrapped up his third-round victory in an hour and 50 minutes.

The Spaniard is yet to drop a set so far in the tournament and will face Argentine Diego Schwartzman next.

Nadal has won all three of his previous matches against the world number 26.

The Spaniard is seeded to meet Marin Cilic in the quarter-finals before a last-four meeting with Grigor Dimitrov and a final against Roger Federer.

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Dzumhur never looked like derailing those plans, slipping 5-0 down in the opening set and offering up a total of 16 break points in the face of constant Nadal pressure.

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Albot/Chung Upset Kontinen/Peers In Melbourne

  • Posted: Jan 19, 2018

Albot/Chung Upset Kontinen/Peers In Melbourne

Ninth seeds Lopez & Lopez fall in the second round

Radu Albot and Hyeon Chung, the Next Gen ATP Finals titlist, scored a massive upset in the Australian Open doubles second round on Friday when they knocked out defending champions Henri Kontinen and John Peers 6-4, 7-6(5) in one hour and 35 minutes.

Marginally stronger on serve, Albot and Chung survived a power barrage from the second seeds, who struck 29 winners, to convert one of their three break point opportunities for a place in the third round. They now await the winners of 15th seeds Marcin Matkowski and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi, and Robert Lindstedt and Franko Skugor.

Elsewhere, sixth seeds Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan, who lost to Kontinen and Peers in the 2017 title match, earned another hard-fought victory over Max Mirnyi and Philipp Oswald 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-4. It was their 70th match win overall at Melbourne Park (70-12). The six-time former champions, seeking their first Australian Open crown since 2013, will now face Australians Nick Kyrgios and Matt Reid or Frenchmen Jeremy Chardy and Fabrice Martin.

In-form seventh seeds Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic, who are competing together at the Australian Open for the first time, got the better of Wesley Koolhof and Artem Sitak 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-4. Marach and Pavic captured back-to-back ATP World Tour crowns at the start of the 2018 season at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open (d. Murray/Soares) and the ASB Classic (d. Mirnyi-Oswald). They will next challenge No. 10 seeds Rohan Bopanna and Edouard Roger-Vasselin.

Another seeded team joining Kontinen and Peers, this year’s Brisbane International presented by Suncorp titlists, on the sidelines on day five were ninth-seeded Spaniards Feliciano Lopez and Marc Lopez. They lost to Ben Mclachlan and Jan-Lennard Struff 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.

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Svitolina ends 15-year-old Kostyuk's dream run

  • Posted: Jan 19, 2018
2018 Australian Open
Dates: 15-28 January Venue: Melbourne Park
Coverage: Watch highlights on BBC Two, the BBC Sport website and app from 20 January. Live commentary on the best matches on BBC Radio and online.

Ukrainian fourth seed Elina Svitolina outclassed 15-year-old compatriot Marta Kostyuk to reach the Australian Open fourth round.

Svitolina, 23, won 6-2 6-2 in 59 minutes against world number 521 Kostyuk.

The youngest player since 1997 to reach the third round of a Grand Slam, Kostyuk was aiming to be the youngest since 1996 to progress to the last 16.

Svitolina will play world number 130 Denisa Allertova in round four.

“It was sad that I was playing a Ukrainian girl,” said Svitolina. “It’s always difficult playing someone from your own country, but I’m happy that I’m still alive in this tournament.

“She’s a great fighter, she fought right until the end and has a great future.”

The Ukrainian pair’s match was played in 40C heat on Rod Laver Arena while France’s Alize Cornet had her blood pressure taken by a doctor during her defeat by Elise Mertens on the Hisense Arena.

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Roger Federer: Players ready to fight for more prize money

  • Posted: Jan 19, 2018
2018 Australian Open
Dates:15-28 JanuaryVenue:Melbourne Park
Coverage:Watch highlights on BBC Two, the BBC Sport website and app. Live commentary on the best matches on BBC Radio 5 live, 5 live sports extra and online.

Roger Federer has called for the Grand Slams to up their levels of prize money and said players are “bored’ of having to push the issue.

The subject has been raised at the Australian Open after Novak Djokovic reportedly initiated a players-only meeting on the eve of the tournament.

Federer, 36, is a former president of the ATP player council, the same position Djokovic now holds.

“They could definitely pay more, no doubt about it,” Federer said.

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In 2012 there was talk of a player boycott if the major tournaments did not take action to increase prize money.

That was followed by pay increases, particularly for players losing in the early rounds.

“We’re not partners. We’re just players. It’s always hard to rally,” said Federer, a 19-time Grand Slam winner.

“We had a good agreement, in my opinion, that made the Grand Slams happy, the players pretty happy. It seems like that has run its course.

“The moment that happens, there’s not the same increases any more, so players have to rally, get back together again, put in the effort. The Grand Slams know that. They will only react when we do so. We’re ready to do it. It’s going to be the same process over and over again.

“It’s a bit boring, to be honest, always having to ask for stuff. If you look at the revenue, the sharing process, it’s not quite where it’s supposed to be.

“But you can’t go from here to right there in a day. We know that. We just hope they realise and they do appreciate us maybe more all the time and not just in waves.

“We have good contacts with the slams. It’s all good. But it’s going to be a never-ending story.”

It has been reported that Djokovic raised the prospect of forming a players’ union separate from the ATP.

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