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Fantastic Federer Dismisses Kyrgios

  • Posted: Sep 01, 2018

Fantastic Federer Dismisses Kyrgios

Five-time champion advances to the fourth round for the 17th time in New York

When five-time champion Roger Federer and No. 30 seed Nick Kyrgios stepped on the court in Arthur Ashe Stadium for their third-round match at the US Open on Saturday afternoon, there seemed little doubt that it would be a hard-fought clash. Each of their three previous FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings went to third-set tie-breaks, after all.

But Federer made it clear that he is one of the leading favourites in New York, dismissing the 23-year-old Aussie 6-4, 6-1, 7-5 in just one hour and 44 minutes.

Federer is into the fourth round in Flushing Meadows for his 17th consecutive appearance, improving his record at the year’s final Grand Slam to 85-12. The Swiss star has only failed to reach the Round of 16 here once, on debut in 2000, when he advanced to the third round before losing to Juan Carlos Ferrero.

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This year’s Australian Open, Rotterdam and Stuttgart champion, who is bidding to lift his first US Open title since 2008, recovered from 3-3 (0/40) down in the first set, saving four break points, before securing a crucial break of serve in the 10th game with a chip backhand return as Kyrgios attempted to serve and volley.

Federer was also dominant on serve, dropping just five points on his first delivery through two sets. He also did a good job of keeping Kyrgios from controlling play with his forehand by playing aggressively himself, hitting 51 winners to just 24 unforced errors.

While it was not the decisive blow, it became clear in the third set at 3-3 that it was simply the 37-year-old’s day. Federer sprinted forward to a ball and shoveled a forehand around a netpost for a winner — surely the shot of the day — leaving Kyrgios with his mouth wide open in disbelief.


“I was trying to tell him that the shot wasn’t that good,” Kyrgios said, smiling. “No, it was almost unreal. Almost got to the point where I wanted him to start making shots like that, and I finally got it.

“It was unbelievable. I’m probably going to place it on Instagram.”

The Swiss now leads the Aussie 3-1 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series. Before the match, eight of the nine sets they had contested went to tie-breaks.

Federer will next face another Aussie in John Millman, who beat Mikhail Kukushkin 6-4, 4-6, 6-1, 6-3 to reach the fourth round at a Grand Slam for the first time. The Swiss was victorious in their only previous FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting, which came in a three-setter three years ago in Brisbane.

Millman will attempt to earn his first victory against an opponent inside the Top 10 of the ATP Rankings. The 29-year-old is projected to surpass his career-best ranking of No. 49 based on his performance in New York.

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US Open 2018: Dominic Thiem & Kevin Anderson into round four

  • Posted: Sep 01, 2018
2018 US Open
Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York Dates: 27 August-9 September Coverage: Live radio coverage on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra; live text commentaries on the BBC Sport website

Ninth seed Dominic Thiem reached the US Open fourth round – but not without a spectacular bit of racquet-smashing and an unfortunately timed rain delay.

The Austrian was about to serve for the match when play was suspended, although he returned to court 20 minutes later to complete a 3-6 6-3 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 win over American Taylor Fritz.

Before that Thiem had taken out his frustration on his racquet – destroying it – while trailing 2-0 in the third.

“I’m very sorry for that,” he said.

“A lot of bad things were going through my mind as everyone could see.”

Thiem will face South African Kevin Anderson in the last 16 after the Wimbledon finalist was taken to five sets by Canadian 28th seed Denis Shapovalov, eventually winning 4-6 6-3 6-4 4-6 6-4.

The 2009 US Open winner Juan Martin del Potro came through his third-round match against Spaniard Fernando Verdasco, who knocked out Britain’s Andy Murray, in straight sets.

The Argentine won 7-5 7-6 (8-6) 6-3 in two hours and 59 minutes on the Arthur Ashe Stadium and has yet to drop a set in this year’s tournament.

Del Potro sent down 12 aces, hit 41 winners and won 80% of his first serves to set up a fourth-round match against Croatia’s Borna Coric.

Canadian 25th seed Milos Raonic knocked out 2016 champion Stan Wawrinka with a 7-6 (8-6) 6-4 6-3 victory. He will face 11th seed John Isner next after the American beat Serb Dusan Lajovic 7-6 (10-8) 6-7 (6-8) 6-3 7-5.

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Delpo Dominant In Reaching Second Week At US Open

  • Posted: Sep 01, 2018

Delpo Dominant In Reaching Second Week At US Open

Former champ sets Round of 16 meeting with Borna Coric

In the top half of the draw, only one player has cruised into the second week of the US Open without dropping a set: Juan Martin del Potro.

When Del Potro is this efficient, few can touch the Argentine’s imposing game and he continued his ruthless run on Friday. A semi-finalist last year, he has carried the momentum into the 2018 edition, barely putting a foot wrong en route to the Round of 16.

Del Potro dismissed an upset-minded Fernando Verdasco 7-5, 7-6(6), 6-3, overcoming a mid-match hiccup to punch his ticket on Day 5. He launched 41 winners, including 12 aces, while claiming a dominant 80 per cent of points on his first serve. 

“It was a really nice fight and we played three great sets,” Del Potro told ESPN following the match. “Thanks to the crowd for staying until almost 1am to cheer for me.”

The 2009 champion earned his 40th match win of the year on Friday, joining Alexander Zverev (45), Rafael Nadal (43) and Dominic Thiem (41) in the club. Del Potro is bidding to reach the quarter-finals or better in a fifth consecutive tournament, having entered Flushing Meadows on the heels of deep runs at Roland Garros, Wimbledon, Los Cabos and Cincinnati.

40-Match Winners In 2018

Player Match Wins
Alexander Zverev 45
Rafael Nadal 43
Dominic Thiem 41
Juan Martin del Potro 40

After exchanging breaks early in the opener, Verdasco was unable to sustain the momentum as the set hit a critical juncture. A loose service game saw Del Potro break to love for 6-5 and he would unleash a forehand barrage to snatch a one-set lead.

Del Potro earned a quick break in the second set and the rout was on. Or so it seemed. After committing just six unforced errors in the first 15 games, seven more would suddenly leak from the Tandil native’s game as Verdasco broke back and edged ahead 3-2. But with his mettle tested, Del Potro would eventually take a two-set advantage by the slimmest of margins in a tie-break. And he cruised from there, breaking early in the third and never looking back.

The match finally hit its conclusion at 12:34am, as Del Potro converted his first match point after two hours and 59 minutes.

Del Potro

Del Potro sets a fourth-round meeting with Borna Coric, who has dropped just one set en route to the last 16. The 20th-seeded Croatian downed Daniil Medvedev 6-3, 7-5, 6-2 under the lights on Court 17. He fired 30 winners, while converting an impressive six of 13 break chances.

A rematch of their encounter at the Next Gen ATP Finals last year, also won by Coric, the Croatian owns a 3-1 lead in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series. He ended Medvedev’s win streak at eight straight, following the Russian’s dominant run to the title at the Winston-Salem Open last week.

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Competing in his 17th consecutive Grand Slam main draw, Coric is enjoying his best result. It marks the first time he will appear in the second week of a major. The 21-year-old is up to a career-high No. 20 in the ATP Rankings and coming off his biggest victory to date, having upset Roger Federer in the Gerry Weber Open final in June.

On Sunday, Coric and Del Potro will meet for the first time.

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'Underdog' Kyrgios aims for Federer upset – day six preview

  • Posted: Sep 01, 2018
2018 US Open
Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York Dates: 27 August-9 September Coverage: Live radio coverage on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra; live text commentaries on the BBC Sport website

Nick Kyrgios says he relishes being the underdog in Saturday’s US Open third-round match against five-time champion Roger Federer.

The Australian, then 20, beat Federer at the 2015 Madrid Open when the pair met for the first time.

He similarly beat Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, who have a combined total of 30 Grand Slam titles, at the first time of asking.

“It’s better to be the underdog than have all the pressure,” he said.

  • Nadal wins thriller against Khachanov
  • Serena beats sister Venus to advance

“I’m going to put a lot of expectation on myself to play well. I’m not going to go out there and roll over and be happy to be out there. I do believe I can win.”

While Kyrgios revels in high-profile contests, his motivation has been lacking on other occasions.

His second-round win over France’s Pierre-Hugues Herbert came after umpire Mohamed Layhani encouraged him to play better, apparently concerned that the world number 30 was not trying his best in the match.

Kyrgios was fined for unsportsmanlike conduct after quitting his first-round match against American Steve Johnson in Shanghai in October, a year after he was similarly penalised for failing to compete properly against Mischa Zverev at the same tournament.

He clashed with the umpire in his 2015 Wimbledon defeat by Richard Gasquet after apparently writing off the second set.

Federer, who won the pair’s other two matches on final-set tie-breaks, told ESPN that Kyrgios, who does not have a coach, needs more consistency to realise his potential.

“I think he finds it hard to not do any of those tricks,” the Swiss said.

“I’m not sure if I’m the guy who’s supposed to pull him to the side. I think he very well knows, deep inside of himself, what he also needs to do.”

Elsewhere on Saturday, 21-year-old Latvian Jelena Ostapenko, who won the French Open in 2017, takes on five-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova.

Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic plays French 26th seed Richard Gasquet in the final match on the centrepiece Arthur Ashe Stadium.

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Serena eases past sister Venus with 'best match since return'

  • Posted: Sep 01, 2018
2018 US Open
Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York Dates: 27 August-9 September Coverage: Live radio coverage on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra; live text commentaries on the BBC Sport website

Serena Williams made light work of her older sister Venus Williams to reach the US Open fourth round in New York.

The 23-time Grand Slam champion, looking to equal Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24, needed just 71 minutes to win 6-1 6-2.

The American siblings, aged 38 and 36, were playing for the 30th time – but it was not much of a contest.

Serena Williams, who had a medical timeout in the first set, will play Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi in the last 16.

Kanepi, 33, dumped world number one Simona Halep out in the first round and has not dropped a set so far at Flushing Meadows.

“This was my best match since I have returned,” said Serena, who had time out of the game to give birth to her daughter last September.

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By dropping just three games, Serena earned her joint biggest victory over Venus, alongside her 6-1 6-2 win at Charleston in 2013.

Venus said she thought it was her sister’s best performance in their matches, because she did not “even get to really touch any balls”.

“I don’t think I did a lot wrong. But she just did everything right,” Venus told a news conference.

“Obviously, that level is definitely where she’s going to want to stay during this whole tournament.”

Enduring rivalry falls flat

The Williams sisters have created a special on-court rivalry which first began on the WTA Tour when they met at the 1998 Australian Open.

Since then they have won a combined 30 Grand Slam titles as Serena Williams gradually came out of her older sister’s shadow to dominate the women’s game.

In turn Serena has edged their head-to-head meetings, claiming her 18th win over Venus with victory in Friday’s late-night session on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

An expectant crowd packed in to watch two of America’s greatest sporting icons, but the atmosphere was left flat from the moment Serena broke in the fourth game of the match.

That was the second of five games in a row as she wrapped up the first set in 31 minutes.

The pair’s previous Grand Slam encounter came in the final of the 2017 Australian Open which Serena Williams won in the early stages of pregnancy, leading to Venus to joke before this match she had a better chance because it was not “two against one”.

But it did not get any easier for the two-time champion as her younger sister broke her serve twice in the second set to reach the last 16 at Flushing Meadows for the 17th successive time.

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Khachanov: 'I Gave Everything I Had'

  • Posted: Sep 01, 2018

Khachanov: ‘I Gave Everything I Had’

No. 27 seed upbeat despite tough loss against Nadal

A loss is a loss. But if there’s any such thing as a moral victory, 22-year-old Karen Khachanov earned one on Friday at the US Open.

While the two-time ATP World Tour titlist was unable to advance to the fourth round, falling in four sets against World No. 1 and three-time champion Rafael Nadal, he showed the world that he is plenty capable of competing with the best players on the sport’s biggest stages.

“I gave everything what I had. I think everybody saw it. I’m proud of myself that I could play a good game today, fight till the end. Yeah, just a few points difference that it could go another way,” Khachanov said. “Big respect to Rafa. That’s why he’s No. 1 in the world, such a great fighter. Yeah, just happy about my performance. I hope to keep going that way.”

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Based on the way the No. 27 seed played in Arthur Ashe Stadium, there should be little doubt in the direction he is moving: up. Khachanov qualified for last year’s inaugural Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan, and he reached the semi-finals at this month’s Rogers Cup, and the confidence he has gained from those experiences showed.

“I was mentally ready to play this match. Physically, I was ready. That’s why at the end I played a match like that,” Khachanov said. “Of course, I had an early break [against me] in the fourth set, but still I was pushing, saying to myself, ‘C’mon, I can still break him, try to come back’.” 

Nadal was plenty complimentary of his opponent as well. After all, he was the one chasing down all of Khachanov’s massive groundstrokes, especially off the forehand side. If anyone should be impressed, it would be Nadal, who had to raise his level just to get past this year’s Marseille champion.

“At some point I have to say congratulations to Karen, too, that he had a great attitude on court during the whole time, playing four hours 20, fighting all the time, playing aggressive, playing great tennis, having some mistakes at some important moments, too, but without saying not a bad word,” Nadal said. “That’s a great thing for tennis, and that’s a great thing for him. With that attitude, I am sure he will have a lot of success.”

And again, Khachanov lost the match. But while it’ll sting for now, this could be the moment he looks back on when he does make a major breakthrough as the performance that helped him believe in what he is truly capable of.

“Now, I’m not the happiest guy in the world. I lost the match. But, like I said, after some time, maybe one day, two days, I will think back and just watch the match. Of course, it will give me I think more experience, more confidence. To see which level I can play, which level I played here and the other Grand Slams or the other tournaments. That just shows that I’m really close to this high level against top guys,” Khachanov said. “Hopefully it will be soon on my side.”

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Britain's Murray advances in mixed doubles

  • Posted: Sep 01, 2018
2018 US Open
Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York Dates: 27 August-9 September Coverage: Live radio coverage on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra; live text commentaries on the BBC Sport website

Britain’s Jamie Murray reached the second round of the mixed doubles at the US Open with American partner Bethanie Mattek-Sands.

Murray, who won the title last year with Martina Hingis, and Mattek-Sands beat Americans Amanda Anisimova and Michael Mmoh 6-4 7-6 (7-2).

The doubles offers the only chance of British success here after early exits in the men’s and women’s singles.

Murray is also in the men’s doubles with Brazilian partner Bruno Soares.

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