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Nadal Not Surprised By Tsitsipas' SF Run

  • Posted: Jan 23, 2019

Nadal Not Surprised By Tsitsipas’ SF Run

Two face off for the third time in the semi-finals

Stefanos Tsitsipas has surprised thousands of fans – especially those of Roger Federer – and even himself during his run to the Australian Open semi-finals. But he hasn’t shocked Rafael Nadal, whom Tsitsipas will face in tonight’s final-four matchup.

Nadal, who has beaten the #NextGenATP Greek twice, saw this type of performance coming from the No. 15 player in the ATP Rankings.

His rise? It doesn’t surprise me because before the season started we predicted who was going to be in the Top 10, like we do every year, and I predicted that he would finish in the Top 10,” Nadal said.

It’s logical that the young players are improving, and they are well prepared mentally.

There are a lot of people that can play well, lots of other young players and others not so young who are also playing very well. Tsitsipas has started the year well and is playing with confidence. He has earned his spot in the semi-finals, and it will be a difficult match.”

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The World No. 2 beat Tsitsipas in two finals last year – the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell on clay and the Coupe Rogers on hard.

I felt very close to beating him in Toronto, though the score was 6-2, 7-6,” said Tsitsipas, who’s playing in his maiden Slam semi-final. “I remember coming back to the locker room and promising to myself, ‘I’m going to do much better against him next time.’ It felt like I understood a bit better what he was doing on the court after that match, and especially on hard court.

It’s going to be interesting. I feel all right with my game. I feel like I can do something good against him.”

Nadal, despite not playing a tour-level match before the season’s first Slam, has won all 15 sets he’s played and is into his sixth Australian Open semi-final and 30th at any Slam.

I didn’t come here thinking things would go badly. If I go out there thinking that I haven’t played for four months, things won’t go well for me, I’ll lose. No, I’m here to compete,” Nadal said.

Of course, if before the tournament someone had told me that I’d be where I am without having lost a single set, it would have surprised me. Maybe I am where I am because every day I’ve played at the level I had to to advance, every day I’ve improved.

I’m not spending all day thinking about what I expect from myself; the only thing I’m expecting is that I do my best day in, day out, with the right attitude and trusting that things will go well.”

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How Big Of A Tennis Fan Are You?

  • Posted: Jan 23, 2019

How Big Of A Tennis Fan Are You?

Test your knowledge among the best tennis fans in the world

Click here to stay informed all year with tennis news from the ATP Tour.

Click here to stay informed all year with tennis news from the ATP Tour.

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'It's not about being a man or a woman, it's about knowing tennis' – Pouille praises coach Mauresmo

  • Posted: Jan 23, 2019

Australian Open semi-finalist Lucas Pouille has praised coach Amelie Mauresmo and believes more male tennis players should employ female coaches.

Pouille, 24, beat 16th seed Milos Raonic 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 6-7 (2-7) 6-4 to reach his first Grand Slam semi-final.

At the end of 2018, Pouille started working with two-time Grand Slam winner Mauresmo, who had previously coached Andy Murray between 2014 and 2016.

“She’s a champion; she’s a great, great coach,” said Pouille.

“Men are coaching women, so why not the contrary? It’s not about being a man or a woman, it’s about knowing tennis and about having the good state of mind.

“She’s bringing a lot of confidence to my game. The goal is not to reach the final, the semi-final – the goal is to improve my tennis, to put what I work on during practice into the match.

“I’m just trying to focus on my game, not on the consequences and the results.”

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Mauresmo, 39, helped Murray reach the Australian Open final and the semi-finals of both the French Open and Wimbledon during their two years working together.

She had been expected to become the captain of the men’s France Davis Cup team in 2019, but instead chose to work with Pouille, who only won five Grand Slam matches in 2018.

The Frenchman, who faces world number one Novak Djokovic in the semi-final, said he “lost that joy of being on the court” last year.

“You lose one match, two matches, three matches, then you lose confidence and it’s tough to come back when you don’t enjoy it,” said Pouille.

“I took some time to think about what I wanted. I said, ‘OK, you have maybe 10 more years on tour, do you want to spend them like this or do you want to enjoy it?'”

Pouille believes Mauresmo, who won the women’s singles at the Australian Open in 2006, has helped him regain his love of the sport.

“She’s focused on every single ball during the practice, but at the same time there is a cool atmosphere,” added the Frenchman. “We’re not too serious when we are on the bench – we can laugh, we can make jokes.

“Once we go and hit the balls, we are really into it. That’s good to have the good balance.

“I wasn’t expecting to reach the semis or quarters. I just wanted to take step by step. The first goal of the tournament was to win the first match, and so on.”

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Raonic Disappointed By Lack Of Firepower

  • Posted: Jan 23, 2019

Raonic Disappointed By Lack Of Firepower

Canadian star praises Pouille for breaking down his game

Milos Raonic was riding on the crest of a wave – his game, seemingly, back at its dominant best. The Canadian had won 94 per cent of his service games in four matches, he’d faced just five break points and struck 107 aces at this year’s Australian Open. But Lucas Pouille stopped his surge on Wednesday for a place in his first Grand Slam championship semi-final.

Raonic was clearly disappointed to make a last-eight exit at Melbourne Park for the third time (also 2015 and 2017), admitting, “I felt at the beginning of the match I was tossing the ball a little bit too far forward. It was not helping my serving percentage.

“I knew he was going to make things difficult. I wish I would have just served better and cleaned up some aspects of my game where I felt like I was just a little bit behind.”

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The 28-year-old, who reached the Wimbledon final in July 2016, went on to offer some advice to Pouille as the Frenchman prepared to face World No. 1 and six-time former champion Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals.

“Not to expect that he needs to do too much more, and just to play within himself,” said Raonic. “I think that’s the biggest thing. It’s not so much only the opponent you’re facing, but it’s also the situation, which is a completely new one for him.

“I think he has to stay true to himself, try to do the things he does well, really focus on that aspect more than anything else.”

Raonic will now leave Melbourne to access a right knee that hindered his time on-court in 2018. “There is damage inside my knee that I’m aware,” he said. “I’m trying to avoid potentially having to have surgery on. I don’t know if I can afford that risk at this moment.”

The Canadian is next scheduled to compete at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament, which begins on 11 February.

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Australian Open 2019: Alfie Hewett, Lucy Shuker, Gordon Reid & Andy Lapthorne lose

  • Posted: Jan 23, 2019
Australian Open 2019
Venue: Melbourne Park Dates: 14-27 January
Coverage: Daily live commentaries on the BBC Sport website, listen to Tennis Breakfast daily from 07:00 GMT on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra and watch highlights on BBC TV and online.

US Open champion Alfie Hewett was one of four Britons to suffer defeat as the wheelchair tennis competitions got under way at the Australian Open.

Hewett, 21, lost 6-1 6-4 to Japanese world number one Shingo Kunieda, while Scot Gordon Reid was beaten 7-6 (10-8) 5-7 6-2 by Frenchman Stephane Houdet.

Lucy Shuker, a 2017 semi-finalist, was overwhelmed 6-0 6-0 by Dutch top seed Diede de Groot in the women’s singles.

Andy Lapthorne lost 6-1 4-6 6-4 to David Wagner in the men’s quad event.

  • Williams knocked out by Pliskova
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  • Live scores, schedule and results
  • Follow the Australian Open on BBC TV, radio and online
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