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Naomi Osaka: US Open title 'not the happiest moment' after Serena Williams' outbursts

  • Posted: Oct 01, 2018

Naomi Osaka says winning the US Open last month was a “bittersweet” moment and “not the happiest memory” following Serena Williams’ on-court outbursts.

The 20-year-old became the first Japanese player to win a Grand Slam when she beat the American 6-2 6-4.

But the final at Flushing Meadows was overshadowed when Williams called umpire Carlos Ramos a “thief” and later accused him of sexism.

“There’s a lot of stuff I want to say about how I felt,” said Osaka.

“For me, I don’t know, I don’t know, the memory of the US Open is a little bit bittersweet.”

  • Serena Williams’ outbursts – what happened?
  • Umpire Carlos Ramos defended by ITF after Serena Williams row

World number six Osaka has always refused to point the finger at 23-time Grand Slam champion Williams, 37, but said she had immediately wanted to “move on” following her win in New York.

“Right after, the day after, I really didn’t want to think about it because it wasn’t necessarily the happiest memory for me,” she said. “I just sort of wanted to move on at that point.

“Of course I’m happy that I won a Grand Slam, I don’t think there’s anything that can take away from that, but I feel like it was so strange, I didn’t just want to think about it.

“I wanted to just push it to the side.”

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French Veterans Martin/Simon Stun Kontinen/Peers In Tokyo

  • Posted: Oct 01, 2018

French Veterans Martin/Simon Stun Kontinen/Peers In Tokyo

No. 2 seeds Murray/Soares advance

Fabrice Martin and Gilles Simon arrived in Tokyo having played doubles together just once before, a first-round loss in Paris two years ago. But after winning two qualifying matches, they shocked top seeds Henri Kontinen and John Peers 3-6, 7-6(4), 10-7 on Monday evening to reach the second round of the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships 2018.

“First of all I’m very happy to be playing with Gilles,” Martin said. “We had some good matches in qualies and today, I played them actually in the US Open and won with Jeremy Chardy so we had a plan coming onto the court and it kind of worked. It was really close at the end, but we’re very happy to go through this match.”

The Frenchmen did well to protect their serves, not double-faulting throughout the whole match. While they were broken twice — including once in the second set — they did well to force a Match Tie-break. Once there, Kontinen double-faulted twice and Peers did so once, putting the favoured team in too much difficulty to overcome.

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What makes the victory even more impressive is that Simon does not play much doubles. In fact, he had done so only twice this year. But he loves competing with friends, making the victory even sweeter.

“It’s a lot of pressure also on my side because it’s his job, he’s a doubles player and he wants to perform,” Simon said. “I focus on singles, but I still want to do very good for him and I am so happy that we were able to win and go through to the second round. That’s amazing.”

The No. 2 seeds Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares, who reached last year’s final, ousted Divij Sharan and Artem Sitak 6-3, 7-5. The British-Brazilian duo won 77 per cent of their service points en route to a 68-minute victory.

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China Open: Kyle Edmund beats Peter Gojowczyk to reach second round

  • Posted: Oct 01, 2018

British number one Kyle Edmund fought back from a set down to reach the second round of the China Open with victory over Peter Gojowczyk.

Fifth seed Edmund won 3-6 6-1 6-2 in 91 minutes in Beijing against the world number 70 from Germany.

Edmund will face Italian qualifier Matteo Berrettini or Argentina’s Leonardo Mayer next.

The world number 16 is playing his first competitive event since his US Open first-round loss in August.

The 23-year-old has had a tough year because of illness, including recurring bouts of tonsillitis.

Before heading to China, he helped Team Europe beat Team World in the Laver Cup exhibition event in Chicago at the end of September.

Edmund was broken in his first service game against Gojowczyk, falling 3-0 behind following several unforced errors, before responding to get the set back on serve at 3-2.

But Gojowczyk broke again for a 5-3 lead, eventually converting his first set point with an ace after 31 minutes.

Edmund, though, broke the German three times in the second to force a decider after converting the second of three set points with an ace.

The Briton claimed the key break for a 3-2 lead in the third set before pulling clear to seal victory at the first opportunity with an ace.

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Elsewhere, seventh seed Borna Coric lost 7-5 5-7 7-5 to Spanish wildcard Feliciano Lopez, while American Sam Querrey was beaten 6-4 6-4 by Russia’s Karen Khachanov.

In the women’s event, two-time Grand Slam champion Garbine Muguruza from Spain beat Russia’s Ekaterina Makarov 6-0 6-4.

At the Japan Open, world number 12 and two-time champion Kei Nishikori beat Japanese compatriot Yuichi Sugita 6-4 6-1 in the first round.

Three-time Tokyo finalist Milos Raonic from Canada beat 2017 runner-up Adrian Mannarino from France 6-3 6-4.

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An Exclusive Club: What It Takes To Triumph In Beijing And Tokyo

  • Posted: Oct 01, 2018

An Exclusive Club: What It Takes To Triumph In Beijing And Tokyo

All 14 editions of the China Open have been won by Grand Slam finalists

Since the introduction of the China Open in 2004, Beijing and Tokyo’s Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships – both ATP World Tour 500 tournaments – have regularly attracted the biggest names on the ATP World Tour.

Each of the China Open’s previous 14 champions have featured inside the Top 10 of the ATP Rankings and reached a Grand Slam final. Tokyo has also been blessed with consistent success by its top attendees, with Roger Federer’s triumph in 2006 marking the first of ten consecutive editions to be won by a player who has achieved a Top 5 career-high ATP Ranking.

With a rich blend of tradition, culture and modern innovation, the capitals of China and Japan have consistently proven to be popular destinations for players as the season looks ahead to the season-ending Nitto ATP Finals in November. With 500 points on offer to the tournament champion, both Beijing and Tokyo provide huge opportunities for those yet to qualify, or those looking to boost their chances of finishing the season as the year-end World No. 1, to make a move up the ATP Race To London standings.


Year Beijing Final Tokyo Final
2017 Rafael Nadal d. Nick Kyrgios David Goffin d. Adrian Mannarino
2016 Andy Murray d. Grigor Dimitrov Nick Kyrgios d. David Goffin
2015 Novak Djokovic d. Rafael Nadal Stan Wawrinka d. Benoit Paire
2014 Novak Djokovic d. Tomas Berdych Kei Nishikori d. Milos Raonic
2013 Novak Djokovic d. Rafael Nadal Juan Martin del Potro d. Milos Raonic
2012 Novak Djokovic d. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga Kei Nishikori d. Milos Raonic
2011 Tomas Berdych d. Marin Cilic Andy Murray d. Rafael Nadal
2010 Novak Djokovic d. David Ferrer Rafael Nadal d. Gael Monfils
2009 Novak Djokovic d. Marin Cilic Jo-Wilfried Tsonga d. Mikhail Youzhny
2008 Andy Roddick d. Dudi Sela Tomas Berdych d. Juan Martin del Potro

Not only has it proven tough for players to finish these events with the champions trophy, reaching the final itself has been a unenviable task for many. Of the 20 men to finish runner-up at the two events over the past decade, 16 have featured inside the Top 10 of the ATP Rankings throughout their careers so far. This season, US Open finalist Juan Martin del Potro and World No. 5 Alexander Zverev lead the way in Beijing, with No. 6-ranked Marin Cilic and World No. 9 Kevin Anderson occupying the top two seeding positions in Tokyo.

Seven members of the Top 20 will be in attendance at The Beijing Olympic Green Tennis Center, with four of the nine ATP World Tour 500 series champions this year all keen to add a second trophy at the level to their 2018 resume. Dubai champion Roberto Bautista Agut and Washington, D.C. titlist Zverev will clash in the first round, with Halle winner Borna Coric and Hamburg champion also featuring in the 32-man draw.

Six Top 20 stars will appear in a Tokyo field which also includes four of the Top 5-placed players in the ATP Race To Milan. Stefanos Tsitispas, Denis Shapovalov, Alex de Minaur and Frances Tiafoe will all enter the event determined to add more points to their names as they bid to solidify their positions ahead of the Next Gen ATP Finals; an added dynamic to an already invaluable week in the Asian Swing.

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