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Preview: Anderson Looks To Halt Djokovic's Perfect Stretch

  • Posted: Oct 11, 2018

Preview: Anderson Looks To Halt Djokovic’s Perfect Stretch

Serbian has won 15 consecutive matches

This time, when Kevin Anderson faces Novak Djokovic, the South African should have plenty of energy.

View FedEx ATP Head2Head for the following match-ups at the Rolex Shanghai Masters and vote for the players you think will win!
Federer v Nishikori | Djokovic v Anderson | Zverev v Edmund | Coric v Ebden

The last time they played, in the Wimbledon final, two days earlier, Anderson had won the longest Wimbledon semi-final in history, beating American John Isner 26-24 in the fifth set to make his second Grand Slam title match. The 6’8” right-hander admitted to feeling tired against Djokovic and fell in straight sets.

In Shanghai, however, both players have glided into the quarter-finals without dropping a set. Anderson served past Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan and then avenged his Rogers Cup semi-final loss to Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece.

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Djokovic remained unbeaten in his FedEx ATP Head2Head series with Frenchman Jeremy Chardy (12-0) and gained revenge against Italian Marco Cecchinato, who beat Djokovic in the Roland Garros quarter-finals. The Serbian has faced only two break points so far in Shanghai, and he has won his past 15 matches, dating back to his titles at the Western & Southern Open and US Open.

I’m really pleased with the way I have been using my serve accurately and effectively in the first two matches, which is very important on this kind of surface that’s really quick,” Djokovic said. “I was making [Cecchinato] play always an extra shot. I was aggressive when I needed to be. The second set was perfect, really. I’m really glad to be able to finish the match the way I did.”

Djokovic leads his FedEx ATP Head2Head series with Anderson 6-1, including wins in their past six matchups. But if Anderson is to spring the upset, you have to think Shanghai – some of the quickest conditions on the ATP World Tour – could be the setting for the big-hitting South African, who’s enjoying his best year yet, at age 32.

He is currently in seventh place in the ATP Race To London. The top eight will qualify for the prestigious season finale, to be held 11-18 November at The O2 in London. Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Juan Martin del Potro have already booked their spots. Buy Tickets Now

Elsewhere in the bottom half of the draw, Brit Kyle Edmund will try to reach his maiden ATP World Tour Masters 1000 semi-final when he faces three-time Masters 1000 titlist Alexander Zverev.

The German dismantled #NextGenATP Aussie Alex de Minaur 6-1, 6-4 in only 68 minutes to make the last eight. Edmund also looked sharp while beating Marin Cilic’s conqueror, Nicolas Jarry of Chile, 7-6(5), 6-3.


Zverev leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head series 3-0, including a straight-sets win earlier this year in Rome.

In the top half, defending champion Federer, after two three-set wins, will meet Japan’s Kei Nishikori, who beat American Sam Querrey to make the quarter-finals. The last time Federer and Nishikori played on hard courts, in the fourth round of the 2017 Australian Open, the Japanese right-hander pushed Federer to five sets.

Federer is looking to win his third Shanghai title this week and hold onto the No. 2 spot in the ATP Rankings. Nishikori, meanwhile, is attempting to make a late push for the Nitto ATP Finals. He is currently in ninth place in the Race with 3,000 points, 535 points behind eighth-placed Dominic Thiem.

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The winner of Federer-Nishikori will meet either Croatian Borna Coric or Aussie Matthew Ebden. Coric advanced to the quarter-finals – his third at the Masters 1000 level this year – when Juan Martin del Potro retired with a knee injury after the first set.

Ebden gained one of the biggest wins of his career in the second round, upsetting No. 7 Dominic Thiem before beating Germany’s Peter Gojowczyk to return to the Shanghai quarter-finals for the second time (also 2011).


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Delpo: 'I Didn't Want Any More Risks'

  • Posted: Oct 11, 2018

Delpo: ‘I Didn’t Want Any More Risks’

Argentine is set to return to the Nitto ATP Finals for the first time since 2013 in November

After retiring during his third-round match at the Rolex Shanghai Masters on Thursday evening due to a knee injury sustained in the match’s 10th game, Juan Martin del Potro is awaiting test results before deciding his immediate playing future.

“During the match I had a bad fall. I made a weird movement with the knee and hit the floor very hard. I felt intense pain,” Del Potro said. “After, I lost the stability and strength on my leg, so not to continue was the best decision. I didn’t want any more risks after that.

“The doctor observed me and told that we need to wait for the examinations results in a few hours. Then we will know how bad it was and how to proceed for the next tournaments.”

The Argentine is scheduled to compete at the Swiss Indoors Basel, which begins on 22 October, and then the Rolex Paris Masters before finishing his season at the Nitto ATP Finals for the first time since 2013. Del Potro, who was the fourth player to book his trip to The O2 in London from 11-18 November, earned a career-high ATP Ranking of No. 3 in August. The ‘Tower of Tandil’ also captured his maiden ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title at the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells this March.

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Rafa Pauses To Remember Mallorca Flood Victims; Roger, Novak Share Support

  • Posted: Oct 11, 2018

Rafa Pauses To Remember Mallorca Flood Victims; Roger, Novak Share Support

Rains and floods have left 10 dead in Mallorca

Rafael Nadal, uncle Toni Nadal and coach Carlos Moya led a minute of silence with staff and players on Thursday at the Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar for those affected by the Mallorca floods. At least 10 have died, and the Spanish island has suffered catastrophic damage because of torrential rains and flash flooding.

The nearby town of Sant Llorenç des Cardassar, where more than 200 people had to flee their homes, was especially hard hit. Nadal spent three hours helping with the cleanup there on Wednesday, joining a group of 20 to remove mud from a mechanical workshop, where water levels reached two metres.

You May Also Like: Rafa Opens Academy To Mallorca Flood Victims

The 33-time ATP World Tour Masters 1000 champion also opened up rooms at the academy for at least 50 people who needed refuge.

His peers are competing at the Rolex Shanghai Masters, the season’s penultimate Masters 1000 event. But Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Alexander Zverev all took time to share their condolences for those affected.

Rafa Nadal

“I’m very sorry about the news, and I know how important Mallorca is to Rafa. I’ve been in touch with him and asked him if I could help with anything, and I’ve seen Rafa helping the villages around where he comes from. It’s nice to see and it’s super inspiring,” Federer said in a video.

“You know you have our support, Rafa. We think of everybody in Mallorca. We wish you a lot of strength in these difficult times… I hope to be back to Mallorca soon.”

Federer was in Mallorca two years ago to help Nadal launch his academy.

Djokovic also sent his condolences and best wishes. “I can only imagine how difficult it is, especially for the people who have been in the epicenter of everything. I want to send a big hug and a friendly regard to Rafael Nadal. Well done, amigo, for helping out,” he said.

“I want to invite anyone who is watching this video and is following the news from Mallorca to support in any way they can.”

Zverev, who grew up in Hamburg, Germany, has seen first-hand the island’s attractions.

“I’ve also been to the beautiful place of Mallorca many, many times. My prayers are with you guys, all the thoughts are with the people of Mallorca, not only to Rafa, but of course everybody there. I hope you guys recover soon, and take care everyone.”

Nadal is at home in Mallorca continuing his recovery from a knee injury that forced his retirement from the US Open. He is next scheduled to compete at the Rolex Paris Masters, beginning 29 October.

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Jamie Murray & Bruno Soares qualify for ATP Finals by reaching Shanghai Masters semis

  • Posted: Oct 11, 2018

Doubles pairing Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares have qualified for the ATP Finals in November by reaching the semi-finals of the Shanghai Masters.

The British-Brazilian duo will play at the event in London for the third time.

Murray and Soares reached the semis in Shanghai with a 6-3 6-4 victory over Robert Lindstedt and Dominic Thiem.

They join duos Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic and Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah in guaranteeing a spot at the season-ending event.

Murray and Soares, who were Australian and US Open champions in 2016, face Cabal and Farah in Friday’s semi-final in Shanghai.

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Djokovic Fires Warning, Now Plays Anderson In Shanghai QFs

  • Posted: Oct 11, 2018

Djokovic Fires Warning, Now Plays Anderson In Shanghai QFs

Anderson maintains bid for Nitto ATP Finals qualification

Novak Djokovic fired a warning to his rivals in their quest for the Rolex Shanghai Masters title on Thursday when he outclassed Italian No. 16 seed Marco Cecchinato for a place in the quarter-finals. Three-time former champion Djokovic, who is also aiming to finish at year-end No. 1 in the ATP Rankings for the fifth time exacted revenge over Cecchinato with a comprehensive 6-4, 6-0 victory in 70 minutes.

The Serbian star is now 15 matches unbeaten and has won 28 of 29 matches overall since losing to then No. 72-ranked Cecchinato 6-3, 7-6(4), 1-6, 7-6(11) on 5 June in the Roland Garros quarter-finals. The second seed will next play Nitto ATP Finals contender Kevin Anderson, the seventh seed from South Africa, who broke a two-match losing streak to beat NextGenATP Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas, 6-4, 7-6(1), for the first time in their third FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting.

Djokovic, who is now 42-10 on the season (20-4 on hard courts), has a 6-1 record against Anderson, who is bidding to join the Serbian, Rafael Nadal, Juan Martin del Potro and Roger Federer at the Nitto ATP Finals, to be held at The O2 in London from 11-18 November. Djokovic beat Anderson, who is currently in seventh position in the ATP Race To London, in this year’s Wimbledon final.

If Djokovic reaches the Shanghai final on Sunday, the Serbian will also pass Federer at No. 2 in the ATP Rankings. If Djokovic captures his 32nd ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title this week, he will move to just within 35 points of the Nadal (7,480) in the battle for year-end No. 1.

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Djokovic needed to bide his time in the first set, but convert his seventh break point opportunity for a 4-3 lead when Cecchinato mis-timed a forehand. Djokovic completed the 47-minute opener with an unreturned serve, then ran through the second set by striking cleanly on return and drawing Cecchinato to the net. Djokovic closed out victory with a hold to 15. Overall, Djokovic hit 20 winners and committed 11 unforced errors.

Cecchinato, 26, is now 1-5 lifetime against Top 10 opponents. The winner of two ATP World Tour titles in 2018 at the Gazprom Hungarian Open in Budapest (d. Millman) and the Plava Laguna Croatia Open Umag (d. Pella) is now 23-20 on the season.

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The football starlet with Andy Murray on speed dial

  • Posted: Oct 11, 2018
Ukraine U21s v Scotland U21s. European Under-21 Championship qualifier
Date: 12 Oct Time: 17:00 BST Venue: Obolon Arena, Kiev

Imagine being 19 and able to call Andy Murray for advice. Imagine being able to ask the three-time Grand Slam tennis champion how to prepare, to perform, to recover. Imagine having him ask you about your career.

“He’s probably the best role model you can take from Scotland,” says Hibernian and Scotland under-21 defender Ryan Porteous.

Murray is an official mentor to the entire Hibs academy, but his sports management agency also represents Porteous, which means he has special access to some special sporting advice.

So can he just pick up the phone to him whenever he likes?

“Aye, definitely,” says Porteous, whose team-mate, Fraser Murray, is in a similarly privileged position.

“He said, if you feel you need to talk about anything or need any tips, he’ll be there. It’s brilliant to have that close relationship with someone so big. He’s a world icon.”

The Easter Road duo even went down to Wimbledon, where Hibs fans Murray quizzed them on their training regimes – both in and out of season – and gave them “lots of advice about how to live life right”.

Can Hibs win the title?

Porteous is clearly heeding that advice, having managed to firmly establish himself in the first team at Hibs this season.

The Dalkeith teenager has started seven of the club’s eight Scottish Premiership matches this term, with the side currently second in the division, and has made himself a fixture in the Scotland under-21 team.

Further down the line, the lifelong Hibs fan would love to captain the club, but what about his targets for this season? Could Hibs win the league?

“I’d imagine you’d have to ask the gaffer at Christmas time and then we would see where we are from there,” he says, speaking like a veteran.

“After eight games, I doubt anyone would have thought Hearts, Hibs and Livingston would be in the top four. It’s probably the most challenging top flight in years.

“There’s it’s a long way to go in the season. Hopefully we can just win as many as we can.”

‘Gemmill can trust young Scots’

Porteous is imposing and strong in the challenge. So strong that he has already burst two footballs during matches in his fledgling career.

Fellow Hibs defender Darren McGregor lauded him as being “light years” ahead of where he was at the same age and Porteous is one of several in the national under-21 side with significant experience of first-team football.

That nous, he hopes, can aid their chances of qualifying for the Under-21 European Championships in Italy next year.

Realistically, Scot Gemmill’s side would have to win in Ukraine on Friday, then beat England at Tynecastle on Tuesday, to reach the play-offs, but Porteous says the coach can “trust” his players.

“When you’ve got players such as David Bates, who is at Hamburg and has played for Rangers, you’ve got players who have played 30 or 40 first-team games and are trustworthy in a first team,” he adds.

“Scot can trust us because we’re playing first-team football.”

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Nadal opens tennis centre to Majorca flood victims

  • Posted: Oct 11, 2018

World number one Rafael Nadal has helped flood victims in his native Majorca, opening up his tennis academy on the island to the homeless and helping to clear mud and water.

Video on Spanish newspaper AS showed the 32-year-old with a broom in hand as he joined the clean-up effort.

“Sad day in Majorca,” Nadal said on Twitter. “My sincere condolences to the relatives of the deceased.”

At least 10 people have died in the floods.

Nadal has allowed those needing shelter to stay in his academy.

  • Flash floods kill 10 in Majorca

The Spaniard opened his academy in 2016 and it hosted a second-tier Challenger event in August.

The UK Foreign Office is supporting families of two British people who are among those to have died.

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Shanghai Masters: Kyle Edmund through to quarter-finals with Jarry win

  • Posted: Oct 11, 2018

British number one Kyle Edmund went through to the quarter-finals of the Shanghai Masters with victory over Chile’s Nicolas Jarry 7-6 (7-5) 6-3.

Edmund, 23, ranked 14th in the world, took a tight first set, serving an ace to win the tie-break.

Jarry broke 11th seed Edmund’s first service game in the second set to go 2-0 up before the Briton took control.

Edmund will play fourth seed Alexander Zverev in the last eight, after he beat Australia’s Alex de Minaur 6-1 6-4.

  • Kyle Edmund through to last 16 after straight-set win
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