Tennis News

From around the world

Kyrgios Approaches Serving Record In Brisbane

  • Posted: Jan 01, 2019

Kyrgios Approaches Serving Record In Brisbane

Aussie hits 44 aces in first match of the 2019 season

Could Nick Kyrgios’ infamous spider bite have given him special serving powers?

Kyrgios nearly made serving history on Tuesday at the Brisbane International, hitting 44 aces in his first-round victory against Ryan Harrison. That is tied for the second most aces in a best-of-three set tour-level match since such records were first kept in 1991. The only player who has hit more aces in best-of-three action was Ivo Karlovic, who struck 45 aces against Tomas Berdych in Halle three years ago.

Watch Kyrgios vs. Harrison Match Highlights

Could Kyrgios have served any better in his first match of the 2019 ATP Tour season?

“I don’t think so,” Kyrgios said. “I needed every single one of them today, though.”

Kyrgios landed 80 first served in a rematch of the 2017 Brisbane final, meaning that 55 per cent of his first-serve points resulted in aces. The Aussie lost just seven service points in the final set, ultimately winning the match in a third-set tie-break after two hours and eight minutes.

Most Aces In A Best-Of-Three Match

 Player  Opponent  Year  Tournament  Aces
 Ivo Karlovic  Tomas Berdych  2015  Halle  45 
 Nick Kyrgios  Ryan Harrison  2019  Brisbane  44
 Ivo Karlovic  Daniel Brands  2014  Zagreb  44
 Mark Philippoussis  Byron Black  1995  Kuala Lumpur  44
 John Isner  Gilles Muller  2016  Queen’s Club  43
 Mardy Fish  Olivier Rochus  2007  Lyon  43

“My serve is always something that I know that I can go back on, and today it came through again,” Kyrgios said.

The defending champion wasn’t the only one serving rockets on Pat Rafter Arena on Tuesday, though. Harrison hit 27 aces himself, earning praise from Kyrgios.

“He was serving well today as well,” Kyrgios said. “I thought that his serve improved a lot since the last time I played him, which was last year at this time. His serve was a lot harder to read.”

Kyrgios will hope to serve at or near the same level in the second round against Frenchman Jeremy Chardy.

Watch Live

Source link

Dominant Djokovic Dismisses Dzumhur In Doha

  • Posted: Jan 01, 2019

Dominant Djokovic Dismisses Dzumhur In Doha

Two-time champ begins pursuit of third title in Doha

It might be a new year, but Damir Dzumhur had to deal with the same Novak Djokovic on Tuesday in Doha. World No. 1 Djokovic picked up where he left off at the end of the 2018 season, beating Dzumhur 6-1, 6-2 in just 55 minutes to reach the second round of the Qatar ExxonMobil Open.

The top seed has won 11 consecutive matches at the season-opening event — having lifted the trophy in 2016 and 2017 — and he is now 13-1 overall at the ATP 250 tournament. Djokovic will next face 2018 Geneva champion Marton Fucsovics for a spot in the quarter-finals.

“To start off the tournament as I have tonight obviously makes me very, very confident and also very happy,” Djokovic said. “First day of the new year, I want to wish everyone a happy new year, lots of good emotions and lots of good tennis.”

Watch Live

Djokovic is riding a tidal wave of momentum into 2019, having climbed from No. 22 in the ATP Rankings last June to his fifth year-end No. 1 finish, winning 35 of his final 38 matches on the year. During that stretch, the Serbian triumphed at Wimbledon, completed his Career Golden Masters in Cincinnati, and lifted the trophy at the US Open. In his final eight tournaments of the year, he failed to reach the final just once (Toronto).

And if his first match of the new campaign is any indicator, Djokovic is still trending upwards. Dzumhur, a three-time ATP Tour titlist, is one of the most consistent players on the circuit, using his speed to make ball after ball and force his opponents into making mistakes. But Djokovic was locked in from the first ball, redirecting shots side to side from the baseline, frustrating the World No. 47 throughout their encounter. It was as if he was suffocating Dzumhur, pushing him well behind the baseline and forcing the Bosnian to go for more than he wanted to or risk being dominated from the back of the court. 

Djokovic won an impressive 77 per cent of second-serve return points, taking the offensive immediately. The top seed also took care of his serve, not facing a break point in the match.

Djokovic’s next opponent, Fucsovics, beat Marius Copil 6-3, 6-2 in 72 minutes. The Hungarian saved all eight break points he faced to defeat the Romanian, whom he broke four times.

Did You Know?
Djokovic is approaching two different milestones in 2019. The Serbian is now just 13 match wins from reaching 850 at tour-level in his career. The World No. 1 is also just four titles from reaching No. 75.

Source link

Stan Serves Up Vintage Performance Against Khachanov

  • Posted: Jan 01, 2019

Stan Serves Up Vintage Performance Against Khachanov

Swiss will next face Chilean Jarry

Stan Wawrinka played impressive tennis in Doha on Tuesday to defeat World No. 11 and doubles partner Karen Khachanov 7-6(7), 6-4 in the first round of the Qatar ExxonMobil Open.

It was a vintage performance from the former World No. 3, who used his backhand to outhit Khachanov, who was one of the hottest players on the ATP Tour at the end of the 2018 season. While third-seeded Khachanov won one more point than the World No. 66 in the match, Wawrinka saved all four break points he faced en route to his one-hour, 42-minute victory.

“I’m really happy. First match of the year, coming back to Doha after 10 years more or less, it was a great atmosphere tonight,” said Wawrinka, whose last appearance in Doha came in 2007, on the court. “I’m really happy to be here and to have a chance to play one more match tomorrow.”

Watch Live

It was a tantalising match-up the moment the draw was made in Qatar. And the level lived up to its billing, as both players showed little rust in their first match of the season. Wawrinka did especially well tactically off his backhand wing, consistently looping heavy cross-court angles, before smacking backhand winners down the line on the next ball. It wasn’t that Khachanov, who won his maiden ATP Masters 1000 title two months ago at the Rolex Paris Masters, did not play well — Wawrinka was simply better and more consistent on the big points.

Wawrinka also beat Khachanov in two tie-breaks less than four months ago in St. Petersburg in their only previous FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting. The Swiss has now saved nine of 11 break points he has faced against Khachanov. He will next face another big hitter in Chilean Nicolas Jarry, who defeated Robin Haase on Monday, for the first time. 

Sixth seed David Goffin was also eliminated, as Ricardas Berankis beat the 2017 Nitto ATP Finals runner-up 3-6, 6-4, 7-6(4) in two hours and 18 minutes. The Lithuanian will play Dusan Lajovic, who beat Adrian Mannarino 6-3, 7-6(5), for a spot in the quarter-finals at the ATP 250 event.

In other action, fourth seed Marco Cecchinato got his season off to a good start with a 6-4, 6-2 triumph against qualifier Sergiy Stakhovsky. The Italian, who was victorious in Umag and Budapest last year, will next face Guido Pella, who ousted Cem Ilkel 7-6(1), 6-3.

Did You Know?
Wawrinka and Khachanov were on the same side of the net in Doha on Monday, falling short against Goffin and Pierre-Hugues Herbert.

Source link

Federer & Williams win singles matches before first meeting

  • Posted: Jan 01, 2019

Roger Federer and Serena Williams won their singles matches as they prepare to play each other for the first time at the Hopman Cup.

Federer beat Frances Tiafoe 6-4 6-1 before Williams levelled the tie with a 4-6 6-4 6-3 victory over Belinda Bencic in Perth, Australia.

Switzerland’s Federer and Bencic will team up to play Williams and Tiafoe of the USA in the deciding mixed doubles.

Federer and Williams, both 37, have won a combined 43 Grand Slam titles.

The Hopman Cup comprises two singles and a mixed doubles match between nations in a round-robin format with two groups of four. The winners of each group will contest Saturday’s final.

Switzerland are the defending champions, Federer and Bencic having won the event in Perth in January 2018.

  • Live scores, schedule and results
  • Alerts: Get tennis news sent to your phone

Source link

Andy Murray makes winning return in Brisbane with defeat of James Duckworth

  • Posted: Jan 01, 2019

Andy Murray made a winning start to 2019 but said he does not know how much longer he will be able to play top-level tennis after hip surgery.

Britain’s former world number one beat Australian wildcard James Duckworth 6-3 6-4 at the Brisbane International in his first match since September.

Scot Murray, 31, struggled to contain his emotions as he told how last year had been “really hard”.

Also in the first round, Briton Johanna Konta beat Sloane Stevens 6-4 6-3.

Murray is a three-time Grand Slam winner but currently ranked 240 in the world after only playing six tournaments in 2018.

“It’s not easy to sort of sum up in one sentence or one answer,” he said at the event, one of the warm-up competitions for the Australian Open, which starts on 14 January.

“It’s been a really hard 18 months, a lot of ups and downs – it’s been tricky to just get back on the court competing again.

“So I’m happy I’m back out here again. I want to try and enjoy it as much as I can and just try and enjoy playing tennis as long as I can. I don’t know how much longer it’s going to last but we’ll see.”

Murray broke wildcard Duckworth three times in a match that lasted just short of 90 minutes.

The double Wimbledon champion will next face number four seed Daniil Medvedev, ranked 16 in the world,

Murray earlier said farewell to 2018 with a tongue-in-cheek Instagram post where he pretended to be drowning his sorrows.

“Celebrating the end of 2018. What a s*** year that was,” he wrote.

Konta ‘trying to create something new’

In her first meeting with 2017 US Open winner and world number six Stephens, Konta survived two break points in the opening game before winning in one hour 52 minutes.

“The first three games took about half an hour, so there was very little in it, especially in that first set at the beginning,” Konta said.

“I’m just very happy I was able to maintain my level quite consistently throughout.”

British number one Konta, 27, will play Australia’s world number 46 Ajla Tomljanovic in the second round.

“The most important thing is to keep moving forward,” she said.

“I’m not trying to recreate something that I had. I’m trying to create something new and something better. I just keep looking ahead and I keep trusting in the work that I do.

“Nothing ever is straight sailing and a constant upward trajectory. I’m enjoying what I do – even through the challenges.”

  • Live scores, schedule and results
  • Alerts: Get tennis news sent to your phone

Source link

So Far, So Good For Murray In 2019

  • Posted: Jan 01, 2019

So Far, So Good For Murray In 2019

Former World No. 1 faces Medvedev next

The first day of 2019 may have been just the fresh start former World No. 1 Andy Murray needed, as the Scot began the new season on Tuesday with a 6-3, 6-4 victory against home favourite James Duckworth in the first round of the Brisbane International.

“I thought I did quite well. I think maybe both of us at the beginning of the match were a bit nervous, a few errors from the back of the court from both of us. But I think as the match went on, the rallies were a bit more entertaining,” Murray said on court after the match. “I think for the first match of the new year after quite a long break, it was alright.”

The 2012-13 Brisbane champion was limited to 12 matches in 2018 after undergoing hip surgery in January. And while Murray showed flashes of his former self in his comeback, earning two wins against Top 20 players in the ATP Rankings, he ultimately went 7-5 for the year. 

But Murray, who is now 10-0 at the season-starting ATP 250 event, is beginning his return towards the top of the sport. The 31-year-old broke Duckworth three times in the one-hour, 28-minute clash, saving four of the five break points he faced.

“It’s been really hard. Eighteen months, a lot of ups and downs. It was tricky just to get back on the court competing again,” Murray said. “I’m happy I’m back out here competing again. I want to try enjoy it as much as I can.”

It was an encouraging performance for Murray, who was made to sprint to the net several times by Duckworth in a rematch of their 2018 US Open encounter, won by Murray in four sets. The Scot, currently No. 240 in the ATP Rankings, also hit a couple of highlight reel shots during the match, consistently pumping his fist and trying to get Duckworth’s home crowd on his side.

Murray will next face Russian fourth seed Daniil Medvedev, who won his first three ATP Tour titles in 2018. It will be the first FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting between the pair. 

On the bottom half of the draw, Denis Kudla earned a second-round match against second seed Kei Nishikori with a 7-6(5), 6-7(2), 6-4 victory against 2018 Next Gen ATP Finals qualifier and compatriot Taylor Fritz. Kudla was unable to convert any of the four match points he earned in the second set, but he withstood 22 Fritz aces in the match to win after two hours and 24 minutes.

Former Nitto ATP Finals Champions Upset
Brits Kyle Edmund and Neal Skupski spoiled John Peers’ hometown party, defeating the Aussie and his partner, Henri Kontinen, 7-6(4), 6-2 to reach the second round of the year’s first tournament. Kontinen and Peers triumphed at back-to-back Nitto ATP Finals in 2016-17.

Source link