Tennis News

From around the world

Shapovalov-Felix US Open Rematch Leads Five Matches To Watch

  • Posted: Aug 22, 2019

Shapovalov-Felix US Open Rematch Leads Five Matches To Watch

Tsitsipas & Rublev, who met in Milan last year, to battle for spot in second round

The US Open draw ceremony was held Thursday at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, with one of the highlights being third seed Roger Federer getting drawn into defending champion Novak Djokovic’s half of the draw. But there are plenty of reasons to watch the action from the first match, and examines five of the first-round matches to watch.

Draw Preview | View Draw

[18] Felix Auger-Aliassime vs. Denis Shapovalov
It was unlikely these two #NextGenATP Canadian phenoms would play each other in the first round of the US Open last year. To happen again in 2019 is insane, right? But the sensations will have to once again put aside their friendship to play for a spot in the second round at Flushing Meadows.

When they met here last season, Auger-Aliassime, No. 117 in the ATP Rankings at the time, had qualified, whereas Shapovalov was the 28th seed. Felix was forced to retire during the third set of that match due to a reoccurring heart problem. Auger-Aliassime evened their FedEx ATP Head2Head series with a straight-sets victory this year at the Mutua Madrid Open.

And this time in New York, Auger-Aliassime is the player who enters the match with the momentum. The 19-year-old cracked the Top 20 of the ATP Rankings for the first time this week, and he has won 31 of his 37 tour-level matches this year, making his first three finals in Rio de Janeiro, Lyon and Stuttgart.

“Felix is playing more of a defensive-minded game style, but with the ability to attack, too,” former Canadian great Nestor said about Auger-Aliassime’s game in Montreal. “Denis is more of the aggressive type and the shot-maker. He’s going big and hopefully he gets hot and when he gets hot, he’s a Top 5 player.”

[8] Stefanos Tsitsipas vs. Andrey Rublev
The two up-and-comers met at last year’s Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan, a five-set win for Tsitsipas. But Tsitsipas, Greece’s #NextGenATP star, won’t be full of confidence ahead of their second FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting.

The No. 8 player in the ATP Rankings is on a three-match losing streak, including opening-round losses at the past two ATP Masters 1000 events in Montreal and Cincinnati, and Tsitsipas didn’t make it past the second round at last year’s US Open (l. to Medvedev).

Rublev, meanwhile, could hardly have envisioned a better North-American hard-court swing. The 21-year-old Russian, who missed three months last year (back), upset Roger Federer in straight sets at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati and is playing in the quarter-finals at this week’s Winston-Salem Open. Rublev also will be able to rely on past good memories in New York, having reached the 2017 quarter-finals (l. to Nadal), becoming the youngest US Open quarter-finalist since Andy Roddick in 2001.

[11] Fabio Fognini vs. Reilly Opelka
Can Italy’s No. 1 again dash an American hope in New York? Fognini beat American Michael Mmoh to start his 2018 US Open and will try to make it back-to-back years against the 6’11” Opelka, who recorded his best Grand Slam result at Wimbledon by making the third round (l. to Raonic).

Fognini, who made the fourth round in New York in 2015, is trying to reach his second Grand Slam quarter-final this fortnight (Roland Garros 2011), while Opelka, No. 42 in the ATP Rankings, will be going for his first win at his home Grand Slam. Fognini has proven himself one of the best baseliners in the world, cracking the Top 10 for the first time this year, but will he be able to get into enough rallies against the big-serving Opelka?

[2] Rafael Nadal vs. John Millman
Surely John Millman can’t pull off the impossible two years in a row, can he? Last year, under the lights in Arthur Ashe Stadium, the veteran Aussie shocked five-time champion Roger Federer in the fourth round to make his first Grand Slam quarter-final.

Nadal, however, will have his eyes wide open at the challenge. The three-time US Open champion (2010, 2013, 2017) and 2018 semi-finalist (ret. vs. Del Potro) has never lost in the first round in Flushing and is going for his 19th Grand Slam title this fortnight.

[6] Alexander Zverev vs. Radu Albot
On paper, this may look like a mismatch in Zverev’s favour. The reigning Nitto ATP Finals champion has won 11 ATP Tour titles and climbed as high as World No. 3, while Albot claimed his maiden tour-level trophy this year in Delray Beach and is currently No. 40 in the ATP Rankings.

But Albot is a tough competitor who will make Zverev play a lot of balls, and will take full advantage of any opportunities in rallies to take the ball early if Zverev remains well behind the baseline.

The German is in 10th place in the ATP Race To London, but he is coming off of an opening-match exit in Cincinnati. Now he will be made to work hard against Albot, who seeks his first Top 10 win. The pair also practised together Wednesday at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

Source link

Great Britain's Dart reaches US Open final qualifying

  • Posted: Aug 22, 2019
US Open 2019
Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York Dates: 26 Aug – 8 Sep
Coverage: Live text and radio commentary on selected matches on the BBC Sport website and app

Great Britain’s Harriet Dart reached the final qualifying round at the US Open after beating America’s Hailey Baptiste 7-5 6-4.

Dart, 23, will play China’s 18-year-old Wang Xiyu in New York on Friday as she attempts to qualify for the main draw of the US Open for the first time.

Ranked 140 in the world, Dart overcame Baptiste in one hour and 40 minutes.

Britain’s James Ward was beaten 6-4 6-3 by Argentina’s Marco Trungelliti in the second qualifying round.

  • Williams faces Sharapova in US Open first round

Source link

Does Novak Djokovic Sneak A Draw Peek? Yes, With His 'Team Of Spies'

  • Posted: Aug 22, 2019

Does Novak Djokovic Sneak A Draw Peek? Yes, With His ‘Team Of Spies’

World No. 1 begins his tournament against Carballes Baena

Defending US Open champion Novak Djokovic attended the tournament’s draw ceremony Thursday afternoon. And while you might expect tennis’ stars to avoid getting wrapped up in the analysis of where players land, Djokovic says that is not the case.

“I think most of the players study the draw, to be honest. Even if they say, ‘Well, I’m just looking at my next match’, but you still look at your section and who is in there and… you scout. You see how they’re playing, you have your team as spies so to say overviewing all the courts and potential opponents,” Djokovic said. “At least in my case, and I think most of the players, look at the draw further than the first round. But of course most of the attention goes to only the next challenge, the next match and how to overcome it.”

The big news from the draw was that third seed and five-time champion Roger Federer was drawn into Djokovic’s half, meaning the two could battle in the semi-finals. But despite saying he plans to study the draw, a light-hearted Djokovic did not want to know where the Swiss was placed during the ceremony.

“Don’t tell me, please,” said Djokovic, cracking a laugh and drawing chuckles from the crowd in front of Arthur Ashe Stadium. “I’m going to study when I go backstage. I need my alone time.”

You May Also Like: Federer, Djokovic In Top Half Of US Open Draw

Djokovic will be the leading favorite regardless of his draw based on form. The World No. 1 has claimed four of the past five major titles, only missing out at Roland Garros this year. Djokovic dropped a set in each of his first two matches at last year’s US Open, but then rounded into his best form, winning his final 16 sets of the tournament. The pressure of being defending champion is not fazing him much, though.

“You have that additional pressure obviously and expectations, but I guess over time you get used to it. The more you win, the more you get used to it,” Djokovic said. “But at the same time it is always a paramount challenge in a way, to defend a Grand Slam title and be one of the top players that are candidates to win a title.”

More From The US Open
All About New York’s Grand Slam
Martinez Upsets Home Favourite In Qualifying

Djokovic also triumphed at the most recent Grand Slam championship, lifting the trophy at Wimbledon. There, the Serbian outlasted Federer in a classic final that went to a fifth-set tie-break at 12-12. Afterwards, the 32-year-old took some time off with his family to relax and reset after the exhilarating fortnight.

“You can reset, refresh and then get ready for the continuation of the season and your career,” Djokovic said. “I’ve been very fortunate to be in this particular situation many times in my career, so that helps. But obviously the final against Roger in Wimbledon was probably Top 2 most exciting, toughest matches I was ever part of and it took me some time really to reflect on everything.”

Source link

Williams faces Sharapova in US Open first round

  • Posted: Aug 22, 2019
US Open 2019
Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York Dates: August 26-September 8
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra, BBC Sport website & app. Live text commentary of selected matches on BBC Sport website & app

Serena Williams will play Maria Sharapova in the first round of the US Open at Flushing Meadows in New York.

Britain’s Johanna Konta faces Daria Kasatkina of Russia while Kyle Edmund will play Spain’s Pablo Andujar.

Dan Evans faces Adrian Mannarino of France while Cameron Norrie will take on a qualifier.

Novak Djokovic begins his title defence against Spaniard Roberto Carballes Baena while 2018 women’s champion Naomi Osaka plays Anna Blinkova of Russia.

Elsewhere in the men’s draw, Spain’s Rafael Nadal will play Australian John Millman while 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer will face a qualifier.

In the women’s draw, 15-year-old Coco Gauff, who beat Venus Williams on her way to reaching the fourth round at Wimbledon last month, will play Russia’s Anastasia Potapova. Meanwhile, Wimbledon champion Simona Halep will take on a qualifier.

Williams renews Sharapova rivalry

by BBC tennis correspondent Russell Fuller

Williams and Sharapova have shared 21 matches and a fair bit of animosity over the years, but this is their first meeting since the Australian Open quarter-final of 2016.

Williams has had back problems in recent weeks, while Sharapova has been limited to just six matches since January because of a shoulder injury.

Daria Kasatkina is a dangerous first round opponent for Johanna Konta. She is twice a Grand Slam quarter-finalist, but is struggling this year.

The British men have decent first round draws, but should they make progress – and then Dominic Thiem could await Kyle Edmund in the third round.

Dan Evans and Cameron Norrie, meanwhile, could face the seeded Lucas Pouille and David Goffin in just the second round.

  • Full draw (US Open website)

Source link

Federer, Djokovic In Top Half Of US Open Draw

  • Posted: Aug 22, 2019

Federer, Djokovic In Top Half Of US Open Draw

‘The Big 3’ has won the past 11 majors and 54 Grand Slam titles in total

The biggest question entering the US Open draw was where third seed Roger Federer would fall. The answer: the five-time Flushing Meadows titlist is on the top half, setting up a potential semi-final showdown with top seed Novak Djokovic.

The Swiss will play a qualifier in the first round and could meet 15th seed David Goffin in the fourth round. He is seeded to meet former finalist Kei Nishikori in the quarter-finals.

Djokovic will play Roberto Carballes Baena in the first round and could face former champion Stan Wawrinka or 2017 finalist Kevin Anderson in the fourth round. He may face a significant hurdle in the second round if Sam Querrey beats Juan Ignacio Londero. Djokovic leads Querrey 9-2 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series — including a win in Cincinnati — but the American won their last match at a major at Wimbledon in 2016.

A potential blockbuster is looming for the three-time US Open titlist in the quarter-finals against fifth seed Daniil Medvedev, who just won the biggest title of his career at the Western & Southern Open. Medvedev has beaten Djokovic twice this season, including in the Cincinnati semi-finals. The World No. 1 leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head series 3-2.

View The 2019 US Open Men’s Singles Draw

Second seed Rafael Nadal opens his campaign against Australian John Millman, who last year stunned Roger Federer in the fourth round. Nadal, a three-time champion, could meet another dangerous Aussie in Thanasi Kokkinakis — who also upset Federer last season (in Miami) — in the second round and fellow Spanish lefty Fernando Verdasco in the third round. John Isner and former champion Marin Cilic are potential opponents for the Spaniard in the fourth round.

A year ago, Nadal contested one of the best matches of the season against Dominic Thiem here in Flushing Meadows, with both players bludgeoning the ball for four hours and 49 minutes in the quarter-finals until the legendary lefty prevailed in a final-set tie-break. They are seeded to meet in the semi-finals this year.

Sixth seed Alexander Zverev, who opens against Moldovan Radu Albot — with whom the reigning Nitto ATP Finals champion practised Wednesday — is the highest-ranked player in Nadal’s quarter.

You May Also Like: US Open: When Is The Draw & More

For the second straight year, #NextGenATP Canadians Felix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov will meet in the first round. Auger-Aliassime cracked the Top 20 of the ATP Rankings this week for the first time, and both Felix and Shapovalov reached the semi-finals in Miami earlier this season.

Eighth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas opens against Russian Andrey Rublev, who upset Federer last week in Cincinnati. The Greek star battled past Rublev in five sets at last year’s Next Gen ATP Finals. Tsitsipas has a tough draw ahead of him, with Citi Open champion Nick Kyrgios potentially looming in the third round, and newly-minted Top 10 player Roberto Bautista Agut and Italian Matteo Berrettini — who has won two ATP Tour titles this year — potential fourth-round opponents for him.

Federer won five consecutive US Opens from 2004-08 and built a 40-match winning streak at the event before his surprise defeat to Juan Martin del Potro in the 2009 final at Flush Meadows.

Djokovic is the defending champion and also won the US Open in 2011 and ’15. Nadal is also a three-time US Open champion, taking the title in 2010, ’13 and ’17.

Speaking after his late-morning practice session with Dominic Thiem Federer told ESPN that he would be otherwise occupied when the draw is made. “I don’t watch the draws, I don’t like it,” Federer said. “I’d rather just get through it and see where I fall. Players getting through to the quarters or the semis, that’s really for you guys to debate. My focus really lies in the first couple of rounds.” 

Source link

Murray To Continue Comeback At Mallorca Challenger

  • Posted: Aug 22, 2019

Murray To Continue Comeback At Mallorca Challenger

Former World No. 1 will appear in his first Challenger since 2005

Andy Murray will compete at next week’s ATP Challenger Tour event in Manacor, Spain, the tournament announced on Thursday.

In search of more match play in his return from right hip surgery, Murray will return to the Challenger circuit for the first time since 2005. Held at Rafael Nadal’s academy on the island of Mallorca, the tournament is set to embark on a second edition.

It will be Murray’s third professional tournament since kicking off his singles comeback last week at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati. This week, he competed at the Winston-Salem Open, falling to Tennys Sandgren in Monday’s night session.

In what will be one of the more highly-anticipated Challenger appearances in history, the Scot is poised to return to the circuit in search of matches and confidence. He’s not alone. In 2018, Kei Nishikori did the same in his return from a wrist injury, claiming the title in Dallas en route to qualifying for the Nitto ATP Finals.

Murray is 14 years removed from his last visit to the ATP Challenger Tour, when he reached the quarter-finals in Mons, Belgium in 2005. He owns two titles at the level, having lifted a pair of trophies on U.S. soil in Aptos and Binghamton earlier that year.

The 32-year-old is back in familiar territory in Mallorca, returning to the Rafa Nadal Academy for the first time since 2016. That year, he had the opportunity to train at the facilities in preparation for the North American hard-court swing.

The Rafa Nadal Open by Sotheby’s will begin on Monday. You can watch free live streaming throughout the week at

ATP Challenger Tour 

Source link

Andy Murray to play in Rafael Nadal's ATP Challenger event

  • Posted: Aug 22, 2019

Andy Murray will continue his singles comeback by playing in the Rafa Nadal Open in Mallorca starting on Monday.

Murray has played in two ATP Tour events and will now compete on the second tier Challenger Tour for the first time since 2005.

The 32-year-old Scot was already due to play two events in China at the end of September, but had hinted that he may add more to his schedule.

Nadal will not be present at his own event as it clashes with the US Open.

Murray pulled out of the doubles in New York to concentrate on his singles career as he steps up his recovery from hip surgery.

He has lost both of his singles matches so far in his comeback, falling to France’s Richard Gasquet in Cincinnati and American Tennys Sandgren in Winston-Salem on Monday.

Source link

Murray/Skupski To Meet Top Seeds In Winston-Salem

  • Posted: Aug 22, 2019

Murray/Skupski To Meet Top Seeds In Winston-Salem

Brits going for first team title this week

Jamie Murray/Neal Skupski will face top seeds Marcelo Melo/Lukasz Kubot in a blockbuster semi-final on Thursday at the Winston-Salem Open.

Brits Murray/Skupski squeezed past Austrians Oliver Marach/Jurgen Melzer 4-6, 7-6(5), 10-7, and Melo/Kubot won all four break points and beat Brits Daniel Evans/Jonny O’Mara 6-2, 6-2.

You May Also Like: Paire Overcomes Humbert; Shapovalov, Tiafoe Advance

Friday’s other semi-final will feature American wild cards Nicholas Monroe/Tennys Sandgren, who also were perfect on break points (3/3) to upset second seeds Rajeev Ram/Joe Salisbury 6-3, 6-3.

The Americans will meet Sander Gille/Joran Vliegen. The Belgians saved a match point while serving at 5-6, Deuce in the second set, but eventually beat Luke Bambridge/Ben McLachlan 2-6, 7-6(4), 10-7.

Bambridge/McLachlan were nearly perfect on their first serve as well, winning 95 per cent (38/40) of those points.

Source link

Paire Overcomes Humbert; Shapovalov, Tiafoe Advance

  • Posted: Aug 22, 2019

Paire Overcomes Humbert; Shapovalov, Tiafoe Advance

Frenchman going for his third ATP Tour title of the season

Top seed Benoit Paire of France held off the Next Generation of French talent on Wednesday at the Winston-Salem Open, but just barely.

#NextGenATP Frenchman Ugo Humbert, 21, served for the match at 6-5 in the second set, but Paire broke and rolled in the tie-break and third set, advancing 3-6, 7-6(2), 6-3 to make the quarter-finals of the ATP 250 event.

“I’m really happy to win against him,” Paire said of Humbert, who’s currently ranked No. 62. “When you play against a young player from your country, you want to win. It’s good for the confidence.”

You May Also Like: Felix Makes Top 20, Featured In Vogue

The 30-year-old Paire, who was 1-5 in Winston-Salem before this week, will next meet 11th seed Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain, who beat Italy’s Lorenzo Sonego 7-6(7), 6-0. The Spaniard avenged his semi-final loss to Sonego at the grass-court Turkish Airlines Open Antalya and will try to reach his third semi-final of the season (Hamburg) against Paire.

#NextGenATP Canadian Denis Shapovalov won two consecutive matches for the first time since reaching the Miami Open presented by Itau semi-finals in March (l. to Federer), dismissing fellow #NextGenATP player Miomir Kecmanovic of Serbia 6-2, 6-3. The 20-year-old Shapovalov won 80 per cent of his service points and saved four of six break points against the 19-year-old Belgrade native, who cracked the Top 50 of the ATP Rankings at No. 49 this week.

Miomir is a very tough opponent. I’ve played him a lot in the past. We’ve had some crazy battles,” said Shapovalov, who leads their tour-level FedEx ATP Head2Head series 1-0. “I’m really happy with the way I’m playing.”

The Canadian is currently working with former World No. 8 Mikhail Youzhny, who retired last September at his home St. Petersburg Open. The two will continue working together at next week’s US Open on a trial basis. Shapovalov will next face the winner between sixth seed Sam Querrey of the U.S. and Russian Andrey Rublev.

Watch Live

#NextGenATP American Frances Tiafoe moved into the quarter-finals after only eight games when Serbian Filip Krajinovic retired down 2-6, and Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz also advanced before two sets were complete because Spain’s Feliciano Lopez retired down 3-6, 1-3.

Tiafoe and Hurkacz will face off for a place in the semi-finals; Tiafoe leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head series 2-0, including a four-set win at last year’s Next Gen ATP Finals.

Aussie John Millman and Steve Johnson of the U.S. will meet for the fourth time in the quarter-finals (Johnson leads 3-1). Millman beat Robin Haase 6-3, 6-4, and Johnson overcame #NextGenATP Norwegian Casper Ruud 6-2, 7-6(5).

Source link

Spain's Martinez Upsets Home Favourite In US Open Qualifying

  • Posted: Aug 22, 2019

Spain’s Martinez Upsets Home Favourite In US Open Qualifying

South Koreans Chung, Kwon also advance

Spain’s Pedro Martinez earned the upset of the day on Wednesday at US Open qualifying. The 22-year-old from Alzira stunned 10th seed Tommy Paul of the U.S. 6-4, 6-4 to make the last round of qualifying at the season’s final Grand Slam tournament.

Martinez had three match points at 5-3 in the second set on Paul’s serve, but the American, No. 112 in the ATP Rankings, saved all three and had a break point on Martinez’s serve at 5-4. The Spaniard, however, erased it and clinched his sixth match point. He saved all four break points for the match.

The 22-year-old Martinez qualified at Roland Garros in May for his first Grand Slam main draw appearance. He is coached Javier Ferrer, brother of legendary Spaniard David Ferrer, who retired at the Mutua Madrid Open in May after a 20-year career that saw him reach a career-high of No. 3 in the ATP Rankings and win 27 ATP Tour titles.

You May Also Like: Chung Marches On, Kwon Battles Through In US Open Qualifying

Martinez will face another American in 18-year-old Jenson Brooksby for a place in the US Open main draw. The 6’2” teenager from California upset Japan’s Yuichi Sugita, who won the 2017 Turkish Airlines Open Antalya, 7-6(4), 7-6(3).

Two South Koreans also advanced to within a win of reaching the main draw. Hyeon Chung, the 29th seed on the comeback from a back injury, routed Italy’s Stefano Napolitano 6-2, 6-3 and will meet ninth seed Mikael Ymer. The #NextGenATP Swede dismissed Argentina’s Facundo Bagnis 7-5, 6-4. Ymer earned his first Grand Slam win at Roland Garros.

Third seed Soonwoo Kwon of South Korea also advanced in straight sets, beating Germany’s Oscar Otte 6-2, 6-4 and will meet Canada’s Steven Diez, who beat Japan’s Yosuke Watanuki 6-2, 5-7, 6-0.

Veteran Nicolas Mahut will not celebrate a 14th main-draw showing in New York. Germany’s Dominik Koepfer beat the 37-year-old Frenchman 7-6(3), 4-6, 6-3.

Source link