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How Accepting Losing Has Helped Andrey Rublev Win

  • Posted: Aug 28, 2019

How Accepting Losing Has Helped Andrey Rublev Win

Russian upset Tsitsipas in first round of the US Open

Andrey Rublev sprung an upset Tuesday at the US Open, ousting eighth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, the reigning Next Gen ATP Finals champion. But that wasn’t a massive surprise, as the match was on many people’s radar. Just two weeks ago, Rublev defeated Roger Federer at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati. It was expected that Rublev could trouble Tsitsipas with his powerful baseline game.

But while you may think Rublev was riding high on confidence after beating Federer, that confidence actually came from just after Wimbledon, and not on hard courts. Rublev made the final of the Hamburg European Open, an ATP 500 clay-court event.

“I won playing not good tennis, but [I made the final] just because I was fighting and I was a little bit lucky, I don’t know. I still won [matches]. And this sometimes is even better, because this also gives you confidence that even playing your worst tennis, you know how to win,” Rublev said. “This is amazing because all the top players, they know how to do it when they are playing so bad, they still have enough level to [go] at least [at a] minimum [to the] middle of the tournament. They don’t need to play their best to go far and this is amazing. This gives you a lot of confidence.”

It was Rublev’s first ATP Tour final since 2018 Doha, which came in the first week of last season. The Russian had made just one tour-level semi-final since then.

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Part of the reason behind that was injuries. Although Rublev reached a career-high No. 31 in the ATP Rankings last February, he’d miss three months from April through July due to a lower back stress fracture. The 21-year-old spent three hours per day at a clinic doing magnetotherapy, then Rublev would eat lunch and sit on his sofa. He’d avoid watching tennis because he wanted to be there.

This season, Rublev fell as low as No. 115 in the ATP Rankings in February, and then he was out for six weeks towards the end of the clay-court swing due to a wrist injury. But he didn’t sit dreaming of moments like his victories over Federer and Tsitsipas.

“I try not to put goals and don’t try to think in the future, Well, if I do this…’,” Rublev said. “I just try to do my best today to improve every day and I know that if I improve these things that I need to improve, I will be a much better player, I will play much better. So this means that for sure I will win more matches. If I win more matches I will get more points, so it’s step by step you know? I focus more on this, especially on practise to give every day everything that I can.”

Something that has also helped in recent months is overcoming obstacles he hadn’t in the past. Rublev lost his first two FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings against Basilashvili this year, and then defeated him in three sets in Cincinnati. The World No. 43 also pointed to victories over Thomas Fabbiano and Albert Ramos-Vinolas at last week’s Winston-Salem Open.

“I was going mentally crazy because I didn’t know what to do, how to play [against them before], and I beat them,” Rublev said. “These matches are also giving a lot of confidence, when the guys you were struggling with to play and finally you become strong mentally, and you accept that okay, you can lose, but let’s do your job the best as you can. And in the end, you turn it into victory and that gives you also a lot of confidence.”

Reigning Nitto ATP Finals champion Alexander Zverev — who was born exactly six months before the Russian — is a friend of Rublev’s, and they recently played doubles together at the Coupe Rogers. To the World No. 6, Rublev’s recent success is no surprise.

“He’s very motivated. He had a few injuries in the past 18 months. He’s somebody that’s very motivated to play. He’s always been a good player, he’s been [near the] Top 30 already at a very young age. I think he’s going to get back,” Zverev told “That’s the level that he can play at, definitely.”

One thing that has at times held Rublev back is his emotions on the court. There has never been a question of the Russian’s talent — he can strike groundstrokes from the baseline with the best players in the world. But sometimes, he has let his passion get the best of him in key moments.

German Jan-Lennard Struff gets on well with Rublev and is highly complimentary of the 2017 Umag champion’s game and character. He has known the Russian since his early teenage years, when Rublev’s emotions were plenty visible. 

“He was practising [in Halle where I lived] when he was like 13 or 14, I don’t remember. My ex-girlfriend was driving him because he had no car. She was driving him to supermarkets. I don’t know if he remembers that, but it was quite funny,” Struff told “He was always on court throwing his racquet, playing with one of the club guys and just playing every ball full power and not putting it into the court, putting it into the court felt like random.

“One of the coaches said there’s no chance that he’s not going to go Top 30. He’s such a good player and he’s a nice guy,” Struff said. “He plays so hard the ball, flat, he’s going for every shot and even if he’s missing, he’s still committed in his game. I like that a lot.”

Rublev is doing better to harness those emotions and with it, his game.

“Of course after every match that I was losing or when I was playing I was saying, ‘No, I am so bad, I am the worst one.’ But this is just to take emotions out. But of course inside I always believed,” Rublev said. “Always inside, no matter what I was saying outside, inside I know that I will do my best to try to do as best as I can.”

Rublev will look to do the same in the second round against Gilles Simon.

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US Open 2019: Kei Nishikori battles past Bradley Klahn in third round

  • Posted: Aug 28, 2019
US Open 2019
Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York Dates: 26 Aug – 8 Sep
Coverage: Live text and BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra commentary on selected matches on the BBC Sport website and app. Click here for Live Guide.

Seventh seed Kei Nishikori overcame a spirited display from Bradley Klahn to book his place in the third round of the US Open with a 6-2 4-6 6-3 7-5 win.

The Japanese player was 5-1 up in the fourth set and had four match-points before eventually overcoming the world number 108.

The 2015 finalist eased into a one-set lead and was 4-2 up in the second before Klahn fought back to level.

Nishikori reasserted control to secure victory in two hours and 43 minutes.

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The 29-year-old will now play either 31st seed Cristian Garin of Chile or 20-year-old Australian Alex de Minaur in the next round.

Elsewhere, Croatian 12th seed Borna Coric withdrew from the competition with a lower back strain before he was due to play Bulgarian former world number three Grigor Dimitrov.

The 22-year-old, who reached the fourth round last year, tweeted: “The last couple of months were really tough because of the injury I had. For an athlete, the worst thing that can happen is an injury in the middle of the competition.

“It is never easy to withdraw but at this moment, my body is telling me to stop and assess the situation. So as hard as this decision is, I think it is smart in the long term.”

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Borna Coric Withdraws From The US Open

  • Posted: Aug 28, 2019

Borna Coric Withdraws From The US Open

Dimitrov advances to the third round

Borna Coric, the No. 12 seed, withdrew from the US Open on Wednesday citing a lower back strain. Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov becomes the first player to advance to the third round.

Coric was trying to reach the third round in Flushing Meadows for the third consecutive year and for the fourth straight major that he has participated in. In the first round, the Croat defeated Russian Evgeny Donskoy 7-6(7), 6-3, 6-0.

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Dimitrov will now face either Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas or Polish lucky loser Kamil Majchrzak for a spot in the fourth round. This is the third time that the 2017 Nitto ATP Finals champion has made it this far at the season’s final Grand Slam.

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Konta and Evans to lead British fight on day three

  • Posted: Aug 28, 2019
US Open 2019
Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York Dates: 26 Aug – 8 Sep
Coverage: Live text and BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra commentary on selected matches on the BBC Sport website and app. Click here for Live Guide.

Johanna Konta and Dan Evans – Britain’s remaining players in the US Open singles – face first-time opponents in the second round on Wednesday.

British number one Konta, who opened with a win over Daria Kasatkina, faces Margarita Gasparyan (16:00 BST).

British number two Evans has a tough test against world number 27 Lucas Pouille in the men’s draw.

Defending men’s champion Novak Djokovic is up against Juan Ignacio Londero.

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Before that five-time champion Roger Federer, who last won the title in 2008, plays Bosnia-Herzegovina’s Damir Dzumhur in one of the two early matches inside Arthur Ashe Stadium. The other match sees women’s third seed and 2016 finalist Karolina Pliskova take on Georgia’s Mariam Bolkvadze.

Serena Williams, a six-time champion and last year’s runner-up, is last up on the main court where she faces fellow American Catherine McNally.

After her first-round win over Maria Sharapova, Williams, 37, revealed she had been tweaking her game in the build-up to this tournament.

“I’ve been working on a lot of new things,” she said. “I don’t really talk about what I’ve been working on so much. I definitely have been working on a lot of new stuff to incorporate in my game.”

Other highlights on day three include two Louis Armstrong Stadium matches – fifth seed Elina Svitolina against two-time champion Venus Williams, and French Open champion Ashleigh Barty facing world number 73 Lauren Davis.

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Why Is Lucky Loser Lorenzi Still Pushing At 37?

  • Posted: Aug 28, 2019

Why Is Lucky Loser Lorenzi Still Pushing At 37?

Veteran Italian will next play #NextGenATP Serbian Kecmanovic

Paolo Lorenzi has experienced virtually every emotion you can in the past week. On Friday, Jiri Vesely beat the Italian 6-4, 5-7, 7-6(2) in a grinding three hours and 34 minutes to reach the main draw. For the 37-year-old, it was unclear if that might have been his last opportunity to reach the main draw at a major.

But on Saturday, as he was participating in an exhibition with countryman Matteo Berrettini, Lorenzi found out he would gain entry as a lucky loser following Kevin Anderson’s withdrawal. His opponent: 16-year-old American wild card Zachary Svajda, who had never played a tour-level match.

As great as an opportunity as it appeared, Lorenzi fell behind by two sets against the home favourite, who had the crowd firmly in his corner. And to make it even tougher, less than four months from his 38th birthday, Lorenzi had never overcome a two-set deficit.

“I didn’t play my best tennis. At the beginning I was tight and I was missing a lot of balls,” Lorenzi said. “Then I was just trying to be focussed to play a little bit better.”

The good news was that the 21-time ATP Challenger Tour champion’s heartbreak came in handy. Although his defeat against Vesely was tough, it had proven to the veteran that he was physically fit to go the distance.

“I played [more than] three hours and 30 minutes and I had no problem,” Lorenzi said. “So I knew if the match was going on, I had a good feeling because my body was great after Friday and today was great again. I knew that I was in good shape.”

Lorenzi has also enjoyed plenty of success at this tournament, earning his best major result two years ago by making the Round of 16 before losing in four tough sets against eventual finalist Kevin Anderson. In that match, he battled hard to come from two sets down, but could not quite force the decider. On Monday, Lorenzi won a fourth-set tie-break to push Svajda to a fifth, and was able to finish off his comeback.

“Many times I was fighting and two years ago when I lost the fourth round against Kevin I was two sets down, then two sets to one and I lost… in the fourth set,” Lorenzi said. “This time I won the tie-break and maybe that for me was a good experience.”

It’s been a whirlwind for Lorenzi, the World No. 135. But the 37-year-old would rather have it no other way.

“I love to play tennis. Of course also Friday when I lost 7-6 in the third, I was still happy with my performance. I was happy to be here and playing tennis,” Lorenzi said. “Of course when you win these matches you are happier. But I love to play tennis and that’s why I’m still here.”

Did You Know?
Lorenzi played a 16-year-old in the first round, has practised several times since arriving in New York with 18-year-old Jannik Sinner, and he will face 19-year-old Miomir Kecmanovic in the second round.

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Preview & Schedule: Djokovic, Federer Highlight Day 3 Play

  • Posted: Aug 28, 2019

Preview & Schedule: Djokovic, Federer Highlight Day 3 Play

Medvedev, Nishikori feature in Wednesday schedule

Top seed and defending Novak Djokovic is undefeated in US Open second-round matches (13-0), but Argentine Juan Ignacio Londero will look to change that on Wednesday in New York. Third seed and five-time US Open champion Roger Federer, fifth seed Daniil Medvedev and seventh seed Kei Nishikori also headline a busy Day 3 schedule.

Londero won his first ATP Tour title this February in Cordoba (d. Garin), but his recent Top 30 win over Matteo Berrettini at the Western & Southern Open showed he can excel on all surfaces. However, the World No. 1 from Serbia is a much taller order, particularly at Grand Slams. Djokovic is 51-2 in second-round matches at Grand Slams since the 2006 Australian Open and has won 34 of his past 35 matches at majors.

Djokovic also has history on his mind this fortnight. He’s aiming for his 17th Grand Slam crown, which would put him within one title of second-placed Nadal (18) and inching closer to all-time leader Federer (20).

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“It’s still a very long way ahead of me. It does also put a certain level of responsibility to me as well because I am aiming to do that. It’s definitely one of my ambitions and goals,” said Djokovic. “I am 32, so things are a little bit different than they were 10 years ago, but I still feel young inside and outside. I am still very motivated to keep going.”

Federer continues his 19th US Open campaign against Bosnian Damir Dzumhur. The Swiss is also undefeated (18-0) in second-round matches in New York, but being stretched to four sets by Indian qualifier Sumit Nagal in his opening round on Monday showed that his opponents believe records are meant to be broken. Federer will take comfort in his 2-0 lead over Dzumhur in their FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry, dropping just 16 games in the six sets they’ve played.

“This is probably the best I’ve felt in years coming into the US Open again, which is encouraging,” said Federer. “It’s going to be a tough tournament to win, no doubt about it. I feel like I’m part of that group who can do it.”

Medvedev looks to continue his top-form against Bolivian Hugo Dellien. The Russian is coming off the best three-week run of his career, winning his first ATP Masters 1000 title in Cincinnati (d. Goffin) and finishing runner-up at the Coupe Rogers (l. to Nadal) and Citi Open (l. to Kyrgios). Although Medvedev downplayed himself as a favourite to win this year, pointing out that he’s never reached a Grand Slam quarter-final, that could change if he keeps up his current level.

“These [past] three weeks, I basically didn’t have any downs. I had only great matches,” said Medvedev. “Hopefully I can bring this confidence on the court for two weeks or more.”

Nishikori takes on American Bradley Klahn, who looks to reach the third round at a Grand Slam for the first time. The Japanese spent only 47 minutes on court in his opening round on Monday before Argentine Marco Trungelliti retired due to injury, which could aid in keeping him fresh as the tournament progresses. But after opening-round exits in Montreal and Cincinnati, the seventh seed will be seeking a full match and a tough test against Klahn to gauge his level.

Other notable second-round matches on Wednesday include former US Open champion and No. 23 seed Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland taking on Frenchman Jeremy Chardy, No. 12 seed Borna Coric of Croatia facing Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov, and No. 15 seed David Goffin of Belgium squaring off with Frenchman Gregoire Barrere.

Buy 2019 <a href=''>US Open</a> Tennis Tickets


Arthur Ashe Stadium start 12:00
WTA match
[2] Roger Federer vs Damir Dzumhur

NB 7:00 pm
Novak Djokovic vs Juan Ignacio Londero
WTA match

Louis Armstrong Stadium start 11:00
[7] Kei Nishikori vs Bradley Klahn
Two WTA matches

NB 7:00 pm
WTA match
[12] Borna Coric vs Grigor Dimitrov

Grandstand start 11:00
WTA match
[5] Daniil Medvedev vs Hugo Dellien
[23] Stan Wawrinka vs Jeremy Chardy
WTA match

Court No. 17 start 11:00
Two WTA matches
[27] Dusan Lajovic vs Denis Kudla
Reilly Opelka vs Dominik Koepfer

Click here to view the schedule for all other courts.

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'I don't feel inspired' – Tsitsipas after first-round loss

  • Posted: Aug 28, 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

Eighth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas said after his shock first-round defeat at the US Open that he sometimes does not “feel inspired” on court.

The Greek 21-year-old, widely tipped as a future Grand Slam champion, lost 6-4 6-7 (5-7) 7-6 (9-7) 7-5 to Russian Andrey Rublev.

“I feel like I’m doing the same thing over and over again, and my brain can’t really take it any more,” he said.

His surprise defeat came on a day where fourth seed Dominic Thiem also lost.

The Austrian 25-year-old, twice a French Open runner-up, lost 6-4 3-6 6-3 6-2 to unseeded Italian Thomas Fabbiano, with 48 unforced errors his undoing.

‘My brain can’t really take it any more’ – Tsitsipas

Tsitsipas, who could barely move between some points in the fourth set because of cramping, also became increasingly irritated with umpire Damian Dumusois, who docked the Greek a point for a time violation before the player was heard saying “you’re all weirdos”.

The Greek reached a career-high world number five last month, but may drop further down the rankings after his fourth straight defeat.

He said: “I feel like I’m doing the same routines on the court, the same execution, the same strategies.”

On his argument with Dumusois, who also ruled he had been getting coaching from his father Apostolos, Tsitsipas added: “The umpire was very incorrect in what he was telling me during the match. He has something against me. I don’t know why.”

Rublev, who stunned Roger Federer in Cincinnati in 62 minutes this month, said: “We played an amazing match. It was tough conditions for both of us. He started to cramp. I know what it’s like; I was cramping too and tried not to show it. But this is amazing, winning matches like this gives you confidence.”

The 21-year-old Russian, who sealed victory in three hours and 56 minutes, will face Gilles Simon in the second round.

Zverev comes through five-setter

Alexander Zverev, another of the younger generation hoping to challenge the dominance of the ‘big three’ of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, made it into the second round but not without difficulty.

The 22-year-old German had seemed in control against Moldova’s Radu Albot, taking the first two sets, before finding himself taken to a fifth. The world number six took charge in the decider, winning 6-1 6-3 3-6 4-6 6-2.

Meanwhile, Wimbledon semi-finalist and 10th seed Roberto Bautista Agut was knocked out with a 3-6 6-1 6-4 3-6 6-3 defeat by Mikhail Kukushkin.

Elsewhere, Croatian 2014 champion Marin Cilic, seeded 23rd, beat Slovak Martin Klizan 6-3 6-2 7-6 (8-6) and Italian 24th seed Matteo Berrettini defeated Frenchman Richard Gasquet 6-4 6-3 2-6 6-2.

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