Tennis News

From around the world

Brad Gilbert: Nadal 'Huge Favourite'; Scoreboard Pressure 'Absolutely Crucial' For Medvedev In US Open Final

  • Posted: Sep 07, 2019

Brad Gilbert: Nadal ‘Huge Favourite’; Scoreboard Pressure ‘Absolutely Crucial’ For Medvedev In US Open Final

Former World No. 4 previews Sunday’s singles final

First, World No. 1 Novak Djokovic retired during the third set of his fourth-round match. Then, five-time champion Roger Federer fell in the quarter-finals. Suddenly, second seed Rafael Nadal was the favourite to win the US Open.

But according to ESPN analyst and former World No. 4 Brad Gilbert, Nadal never getting ahead of himself is what has put him on the doorstep of a 19th Grand Slam title, and what makes him the favourite on Sunday against first-time major finalist Daniil Medvedev.

“Rafa is a huge favourite, but the greatness of Rafa is that he doesn’t take that for granted,” Gilbert told “Even in the quarters, guys are saying this and that. The beauty of him is he’s thinking about the first game, first point tomorrow and going from there.”

Nadal played Medvedev for the first time one month ago in the final of the Coupe Rogers. It was the Russian’s first ATP Masters 1000 final, and the legendary lefty took full advantage in a 6-3, 6-0 triumph.

“I think he did a great job in Canada of breaking down Medvedev’s forehand. The guy doesn’t miss forehands, but Rafa’s ball is different. It’s heavy, it’s a higher spin. He broke down [Matteo] Berrettini’s backhand big time in the semis. Big time,” Gilbert said. “The greatest thing about Rafa is that he’s an amazing tactician. Pulled it out out of nowhere against [Diego] Schwartzman to win the first set, a high looping shot. Did it a couple times in a row to win the second set. He waits for the right moment sometimes to use tactics. That’s the great thing about him, and he’s just relentless… sometimes you forget if he’s 5-0 up or 5-0 down. He’s just working hard for the next point.”

Rafa Nadal Foundation

Nadal has done a tremendous job of holding his serve throughout the fortnight, winning all but six of his service games at a rate of 92 per cent (67/73). None of the seven players who had a better winning percentage in their service games this tournament advanced past the third round.

“[He just has to] continue to execute like he’s been doing. He’s been doing an amazing job all tournament being aggressive off of his serve. He hasn’t really not been aggressive on his serve this entire tournament,” Gilbert said. “And he’s been really so strong on first serve, first shot, taking care of serve.”

Analysing Medvedev’s Path To Victory
Medvedev is the fifth seed, and he will climb to a career-high No. 4 in the ATP Rankings on Monday. Although he won just three games against Nadal in Montreal, the 23-year-old showed his mental resilience by bouncing back to win his maiden Masters 1000 crown in Cincinnati at the Western & Southern Open. So Medvedev, who leads the ATP Tour with 50 wins this year, is clearly in top form.

“I think the key for him to win, I’ll say [it has to be] a lot like the first set of Berrettini. Berrettini got to a breaker when it didn’t look like there would be any chance. He saved all six break points, didn’t have one look to break serve, but yet found his way to a breaker and had two set points,” Gilbert said. “Scoreboard pressure in the first set will be crucial, and exactly like what Anderson needed in the final a couple years ago and didn’t get it. I think that’s absolutely crucial for Medvedev, to get scoreboard pressure in the first set.”

Against Grigor Dimitrov in the semi-finals, Medvedev was fairly content to counterpunch and fend off the Bulgarian’s offence. That eventually wore down the first-time US Open semi-finalist. But in the Cincinnati semis against Djokovic, Medvedev was rolled in the first set when he did not come out firing.

“He looked a little bit physically spent and the next thing you know he was like, ‘What the hell, I’m not winning any points on my second serve’, and he started going two first serves and then started playing uber aggressive. It paid off,” Gilbert said of that Djokovic victory.. “Maybe something unpredictable [would work]. I’m not saying go two first serves again, but you never know. Unpredictability is one of his best qualities. He pulls back, and then he’s aggressive. But I don’t think he can get away with pulling back against Rafa.

“It’s a beautiful thing to watch, but pulling back against Rafa and Fed, who are so dominant in the middle of the court, is probably one of the most difficult things to do.”

20% Off Medvedev's Gear at Tennis Warehouse

Medvedev does not have a single weapon that sets him apart on the ATP Tour. He has proven his ability to deliver powerful and accurate serves, go backhand to backhand in rallies with Djokovic, and play defence you would expect from a player a foot shorter than him. Gilbert thinks he’s among the Top 3 movers in the world today, and the greatest mover in the sport’s history 6’6” and above. But the analyst also believes the Russian has an intangible that stands out.

“The most amazing and impressive thing about Medvedev, it reminds me so much of Andy Murray when I was coaching him in 2006. Everybody would say, ‘How does this guy win?’ Nothing adds up. You look at his stats sometimes and he has more unforced errors than winners, double faults,” Gilbert said. “He has a great ability to pull back a lot in sets, where he wins a lot of points when he doesn’t really do a lot and then he’ll play sneaky aggressive when he has to. Most impressively, he finds a way to win.”

And although Gilbert was clear in declaring Nadal the favourite, giving Medvedev just a 17.17 per cent chance to win, he does not think Medvedev is walking on the court thinking of anything but finding a way to lift the trophy.

“He’s not going out on the court and thinking, ‘I have nothing to lose. No, I want to win. How am I going to figure out a game plan to put myself in a position [to win],’” Gilbert said. “It’s two guys enter, one guy leaves. You have to think about from the coach, from the player, it doesn’t matter what people say, ‘underdog’. The only thing that matters is the dimensions of the court and what you can do to make progress.

“It’s just about winning one game at a time and executing a game plan against one person. In these draws, you don’t need to beat 127 other guys. You’ve just got to beat somebody every other day. Keep it simple, think about your game plan and Xs and Os.”

Source link

Summer's Standouts Nadal & Medvedev Aptly Meet In US Open Final

  • Posted: Sep 07, 2019

Summer’s Standouts Nadal & Medvedev Aptly Meet In US Open Final previews Sunday’s final

Second-seeded Spaniard Rafael Nadal and fifth-seeded Russian Daniil Medvedev have been the most dominant players during the North American hard-court swing. They’ve also racked up more wins than any other players on Tour this year. Fittingly, they have set themselves for a championship clash at the US Open when they meet in Sunday’s final.

Their showdown in Arthur Ashe Stadium is a rematch of last month’s Coupe Rogers final, which saw Nadal drop just three games for his fifth title in Canada. Rather than intimidate the Russian, the experience facing Nadal has only energised him for his first Grand Slam final.

“Talking about Rafa, it’s tough to find words,” Medvedev said. “He’s one of the greatest champions in the history of our sport. He’s just a machine, a beast on the court. The energy he’s showing is just amazing. To play him in your first Grand Slam final should be… an amazing thing to live.”

Many tennis fans cited Medvedev as the biggest chance outside the Big 3 to take the title, but the 23-year-old downplayed his chances and pointed out that he hadn’t reached a Grand Slam quarter-final. But in his match-by-match approach, Medvedev improved his record to 20-2 during the North American hard-court season by reaching the US Open final.

20% Off Medvedev's Gear at Tennis Warehouse

Medvedev’s magical run includes his first Masters 1000 title at the Western & Southern Open (d. Goffin), in addition to finishing runner-up in Montreal (l. to Nadal) and at the Citi Open (l. to Kyrgios). He is the only player on Tour to achieve 50 match victories this season.

Most Wins On ATP Tour In 2019 (Open Era)

Player Total Wins In 2019
Daniil Medvedev 50
Rafael Nadal 46
Roger Federer 43
Novak Djokovic 41
Stefanos Tsitsipas 37

But there’s been little time for Medvedev to ponder his breakthrough because he’s been so busy winning. He seeks to cap off his summer stateside by becoming only the fifth player since 2009 to capture his maiden Grand Slam title.

Grand Slam Final Breakthroughs Since 2009

Player Tournament
Juan Martin del Potro 2009 US Open (d. Federer)
Andy Murray 2012 US Open (d. Djokovic)
Stan Wawrinka 2014 Australian Open (d. Nadal)
Marin Cilic 2014 US Open (d. Nishikori)

”Of course, deep inside of me, I understand that what I’ve done these four weeks is amazing, even comparing to what I’ve done before,” Medvedev said. “I don’t want to stop. I will always work to be better. I will try to do my best every day.”

Although Medvedev’s low-bouncing, off-speed shots have frustrated players throughout the year, they seemed to sit up in Nadal’s strike zone in Montreal. But while Nadal has gained plenty of free points on his serve this fortnight, the Russian’s return is one of his greatest strengths and he won’t allow the Spaniard as many free points.

The fifth seed will need to keep the points short and avoid engaging Nadal in prolonged baseline rallies. Medvedev will also need to play his lethal cross-court backhand into the Spaniard’s forehand. Although Nadal is stronger on that side, it will expose his backhand wing and give the Russian more opportunities to attack.

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

Nadal has been thriving in Arthur Ashe Stadium from the first ball this fortnight, feeding off the energy of the New York crowd and channeling it into his explosive baseline game. The Spaniard already arrived on a high after prevailing in Montreal, but he has looked nearly flawless in his quarter-final and semi-final victories over Diego Schwartzman and Matteo Berrettini.

“I think at the beginning of my career have been some tough moments here, losing matches. But since a long time ago, every time that I came here I felt comfortable. I felt very competitive and fighting for the big things,” Nadal said. “I said every single day, but I can repeat: I feel comfortable here, I like the atmosphere, I like the crowd. I feel a big energy when I am playing in this Arthur Ashe Stadium.

“When I arrived here, my goal was to produce a chance to compete for the big thing again. Here I am.”

You May Also Like: Francis Roig: ‘Rafa Has Found His Footing On Faster Surfaces’

Nadal will want to consider adding even more spin to his shots against Medvedev. Players who hit flat shots don’t like hitting balls above their shoulder, but the Russian has the advantage of being 6’6”. A high ball for most players falls into Medvedev’s strike zone, so the Spaniard will need to add further height in order to disrupt his opponent’s rhythm.

Rafa Nadal Foundation

It will also be crucial for Nadal to get off to a fast start. Once he’s come within a set of victory this fortnight, his opponents have appeared resigned to an inevitable defeat and the second seed sprinted to the finish line. Given the volume of matches that Medvedev has played recently, the prospect of rallying from two sets down may appear insurmountable.

After 18 years on tour, Nadal shows no signs of slowing down. He’s one match away from securing his fifth Grand Slam title in his 30s, a feat which would be unprecedented in the Open Era.

30 & Over Grand Slam Title Leaders (Open Era)

Player Titles
Novak Djokovic 4 (2018 Wimbledon & US Open, 2019 Australian Open & Wimbledon)
Roger Federer 4 (2012 Wimbledon, 2017 Australian Open & Wimbledon, 2018 Australian Open)
Rafael Nadal 4 (2017 Roland Garros, 2017 US Open, 2018-19 Roland Garros)
Rod Laver 4 (1969 Australian Open, Roland Garros, Wimbledon, US Open)
Ken Rosewall 4 (1968 Roland Garros, 1970 US Open, 1971-72 Australian Open

A victory over Medvedev would also give Nadal his 19th Grand Slam title, putting him one shy of all-time leader Federer (20). But regardless of the end result on Sunday, Nadal said he will leave New York with his head high and proud of his efforts.

“Of course, I would love to be the one who wins the most Grand Slams, but I’ll still sleep very well without being the one who has the most Grand Slams,” Nadal said. “I am happy about my career. I am very happy about what I’m doing. I’m going to keep working hard to try to produce chances. Sunday is just one more chance.

“You cannot be frustrated or thinking all day about what your neighbor has. You have to be happy with yourself. You have to do it your way.”


30 Aces 88
15 Double Faults 46
31% Unreturned Serves 38%
57% 1st Serve % 57%
81% 1st Serve Points 77%
59% 2nd Serve Points 54%
6 Broken 18
16 Break Points Faced 53
73 Games Served 109
92% Service Games Held 83%
39% 1st Return Points Won 33%
53% 2nd Return Points Won 55%
27 Breaks of Serve 33
64 Break Points 68
42% Pct. Converted 49%
71 Return Games Played 108
38% Return Games Won % 31%
95-50 Games Lost 129-93
15-1 Sets Lost 18-4
12;18 Time on Court 15:11

 Statistics courtesy: Leo Levin/SMT

Source link

A Look Back At Nadal's US Open Title Runs

  • Posted: Sep 07, 2019

A Look Back At Nadal’s US Open Title Runs analyses the Spaniard’s previous triumphs in New York

Rafael Nadal seeks his fourth US Open title when he meets Russian Daniil Medvedev in Sunday’s final. The Spaniard has been in blistering form this fortnight, dropping just one set en route to his fifth final in New York.

Nadal is on a 10-match winning streak, having also prevailed over Medvedev in last month’s Coupe Rogers final.

Should he prevail on Sunday, Nadal will have his history on his side as he looks to finish the year at No. 1 in the ATP Rankings. The Spaniard was year-end No. 1 in all three years that he won the US Open. Nadal currently leads Djokovic by 1,160 points in the ATP Race to London and would add another 800 points if he takes the title. 

But how does his current form compare to his previous US Open titles? looks back at the previous three times that Nadal stood in the winner’s circle at the final Grand Slam of the year.

2010 US Open – Nadal d. Djokovic 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, 6-2.

The US Open had remained the missing piece of Rafael Nadal’s career Grand Slam puzzle. Although he arrived in New York as one of the clear favourites for the title after prevailing in Roland Garros and Wimbledon, he hadn’t won a hard-court title since the 2018 BNP Paribas Open. Nadal also endured two losses leading in. He fell in straight-sets defeat to Andy Murray in the Rogers Cup semi-finals and had a surprising quarter-final loss to Marcos Baghdatis at the Western & Southern Open.

But Nadal was in full flight once the tournament started. He powered into the final without dropping a set, including convincing wins over Fernando Verdasco and Mikhail Youzhny, to book a championship showdown with Novak Djokovic. The Serbian had prevailed in an epic five-set semi-final with Roger Federer.

Nadal was the underdog heading into the match with Djokovic. They had never played a Grand Slam match on hard courts before, but Djokovic led 7-3 on hard courts in their FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry and won their past three matches on the surfaces.

Rain pushed the start of their Sunday final to Monday and showers forced them off the court at 4-4 in the second set. Although Djokovic quickly levelled the match when play resumed, Nadal grabbed an early break in the third set and never looked back. The Spaniard fell to the ground and sobbed in his hands after a forehand sent wide from Djokovic made him the seventh man to win all four Grand Slams.

”This is more than I ever dreamed,” Nadal said. “It is unbelievable to have this US Open trophy.”

<a href=''>Rafael Nadal</a> wins the 2010 <a href=''>US Open</a>

2013 US Open – Nadal d. Djokovic 6-2, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1.

Nadal proved to be the dominant force throughout the North American hard-court swing. He defeated Djokovic en route to prevailing in Montreal (d. Raonic) and followed up with a win over Federer on his path to the title in Cincinnati (d. Isner).

The Spaniard advanced to the US Open final with minimal fuss, only dropping one set in his fourth-round match against Philipp Kohlschreiber and powering through Richard Gasquet to reach the championship match. In nearly identical fashion to 2010, he faced Djokovic in the final after the Serbian prevailed in a grueling five-set encounter with Stan Wawrinka.

Nadal and Djokovic’s showdown started in sunlight and finished at night, featuring incredible rallies that brought the crowd to their feet on numerous occasions. There was even an epic 54-ball exchange that Djokovic came out on top in for a 4-2 lead in the second set.

But while Djokovic won that battle, Nadal won the war. Once the Spaniard sunk his teeth into the third set, he ran away with the remainder of the match. Nadal improved to 22-0 on hard courts and 60-3 overall in 2013, becoming the first player to win at least one Grand Slam title in nine consecutive seasons. He also became the third player to prevail in Canada, Cincinnati and the US Open in the same season, joining Patrick Rafter (1998) and Andy Roddick (2003).

“This is probably the most emotional one in my career,” Nadal said. “I know I had to be almost perfect to win. Nobody brings my game to the limit like Novak.”

Nadal 2013 <a href=''>US Open</a>

2017 US Open – Nadal d. Anderson 6-3, 6-3, 6-4.

Nadal arrived to New York as the top seed once again, but there were questions about his ability to perform on hard courts. He hadn’t won a hard-court title since 2014 Doha and had lost his past eight hard-court finals. Nadal also endured surprising defeats in the 2017 North American hard-court swing to Denis Shapovalov (Montreal) and Nick Kyrgios (Cincinnati).

The Spaniard also got off to a slow start in several of his matches that fortnight, dropping the opening set in three of his first six rounds. But after losing the first set in his semi-final to Juan Martin del Potro, he found a new gear and dropped just five games the rest of the way.

Nadal was a heavy favourite in the final against first-time Grand Slam finalist Kevin Anderson of South Africa, owning a 4-0 record at the time in their FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry. The Spaniard never let Anderson into the match, losing only 15 points on serve and never facing a break point. He was also perfect (16/16) at the net, knocking off a backhand volley winner to secure his 16th Grand Slam title.

“I believed in the work, in the daily work all the time,” “Nadal said. I still believe in these things to improve, and I wake up every morning with the passion to go on court and to try to improve things. Probably that’s why I still have chances to compete in this sport and to do it well.”

Nadal 2017 <a href=''>US Open</a>

Source link

US Open 2019: Jamie Murray & Bethanie Mattek-Sands win mixed doubles title

  • Posted: Sep 07, 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.

Britain’s Jamie Murray won a US Open title for the fourth successive year with a straight-sets triumph in the mixed doubles alongside American Bethanie Mattek-Sands.

The pair defended their title with a 6-2 6-3 win over top seeds Chan Hao-ching and Michael Venus.

Scot Murray, 33, also made history by becoming the first man in the Open Era to win three successive mixed titles at Flushing Meadows.

It is his seventh Grand Slam victory.

“We played amazing, the whole two weeks,” Murray said at the trophy presentation. “We’ve had so much fun on the court. I’m really, really, really happy to win again.”

  • Jamie Murray’s latest BBC column
  • Live scores, schedule and results
  • Alerts: Get tennis news sent to your phone

Murray also won the mixed doubles in New York alongside Swiss great Martina Hingis in 2017, a year after claiming the men’s title with Brazilian partner Bruno Soares.

Murray and Mattek-Sands, backed by a buoyant home crowd on Arthur Ashe Stadium, broke twice in a dominant first set, but in a tighter second set the teams exchanged four successive breaks of serve.

The British-American pair broke again for a 4-3 lead and converted their first match point when Mattek-Sands whacked a brilliant backhand down the line.

The 34-year-old American, who has won nine Grand Slam doubles title, celebrated by leaping on Murray before the pair took the acclaim of a jubilant crowd.

“Jamie, you were on fire these whole two weeks,” Mattek-Sands said.

Source link

Cabal & Farah On US Open Title: 'We Just Won Our Second Grand Slam!'

  • Posted: Sep 07, 2019

Cabal & Farah On US Open Title: ‘We Just Won Our Second Grand Slam!’

Read exclusive interview with the Colombian stars

Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah embrace in a hug. The Colombians have just lifted their second Grand Slam championship in three months — something almost unimaginable a few months ago.

By defeating Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos 6-4, 7-5 in the men’s doubles final of the US Open on Friday, the top seeds clinched their fifth title of the season and solidified their position as the top team in the ATP Doubles Race To London in the process.

After making their rounds and handling media duties in the underbelly of Arthur Ashe Stadium, the newly crowned champions sat down to discuss their most recent victory and what’s next with

You May Also Like: Top Seeds Cabal/Farah Take The Trophy In New York One of the most emotional moments of the final was when Jacobo [Cabal’s son] stepped on to the court just after your victory.
Farah: Maybe he should come to all our matches from now on! (Laughs)
Cabal: (Joking) That sounds like a good idea; studying, all that, might have to wait, if we want to keep winning (Laughs). He’s like our amulet now. Like a lucky charm?
Cabal: (Laughs) No, no, I’m just kidding. But seriously, he likes to run on to the court, give us a hug and be around us, and seeing him happy makes us happy. I have no words to describe how happy I am as a father and winning this for my son. I know Robert feels the same way. What was the first thing you guys said to one another immediately after the win?
Farah: Sebas, we just won our second Grand Slam!
Cabal: We dedicated our win to Roberto Cocheteux, founder of Colsanitas tennis club and an ambassador of the sport in our country. [Cocheteux passed away 20 August 2019]. What are the differences between winning at Flushing Meadows and capturing the title at Wimbledon?
Farah: I get the feeling that the Wimbledon win created a bit more commotion, as it was contested on a Saturday and more people probably tuned in to watch. It also lasted almost five hours. But winning [in New York] will clearly create a stir and garner a lot of attention. I mean, it’s the US Open! And emotionally?
Cabal: They’re different. From the quarter-finals on, it was one battle after another at Wimbledon and we were averaging around four hours on the court each match. On top of that, it was our first victory as a team in a Grand Slam final. The first one is always the toughest and the one that takes its toll emotionally, but both are very special to us. We’re still processing the win here; that has yet to settle in. Both victories have their own traits and distinctions that make them special… winning in front of family, friends, our teams. Honestly, we can say we’re titleholders of two great championships, the last two majors of the year, and it’s amazing. Everything that’s happening is all very crazy. How were you received upon your return to Colombia after winning at Wimbledon?
Cabal: Colombia expressed its love for us; they showered us with love. The people were with us all the way; they suffered through each round with us and ultimately celebrated with us. All of this makes us proud and pushes us to continue bringing joy to our supporters and providing them with reasons to celebrate. In your victory speeches, you’re always sure to thank Colombia and the people of your nation.
Cabal: We are very proud of the love we receive. We have said it again and again. This is for them, so we want them to enjoy it as much as we do. This win is for all of Colombia. Do you get the feeling that all these victories will somehow become the norm, or expected of you?
Cabal: I don’t know! (Laughs) All I know is we’re achieving great things and raising our profile as a team but that’s part of the job. We’re playing matches, having fun and doing what we enjoy for a living.
Farah: We value the hard work more than the victory itself. The wins are a result of the work we put into this process. If you were to live with us, you’d see everything that goes into this: our strict diet, the training, the rehydrating, the rest, the mental fortitude. We see our goal as something we can attain through this strong work ethic. And now we’re seeing the results in two consecutive Grand Slams. You might not say it, but it would be fair for you to claim you’re the best doubles team in the world and that isn’t by chance.
Farah: Rafa [Nadal], Roger [Federer], [Novak] Djokovic… all three are examples of humility, hard work and great success, and that sets the tone for us. Among future objectives, you admit that the Nitto ATP Finals is high priority.
Cabal: That tournament is like the cherry on top. It’s the Disney World of tennis; it’s a unique event. It would be a wonderful title to claim and we’ll be competing again this year. Believe me when I say we’ll do everything in our power to claim that title. Finally, how will you be celebrating your big win in New York?
Farah: We’ll leave that decision up to …
Cabal: Jacobo! (Laughs)

Source link

Berrettini Departs US Open With Lessons Learned

  • Posted: Sep 07, 2019

Berrettini Departs US Open With Lessons Learned

Italian bows out to Nadal on Friday

Matteo Berrettini’s US Open has come to an end, but there are plenty of positives for the Italian to take from his breakthrough run in New York.

When he faced Roger Federer two months ago at Wimbledon, Berrettini admitted feeling ill-equipped to face a member of the Big 3. He even joked at the net with Federer about receiving a “tennis lesson” after falling to the Swiss in just 74 minutes. On Friday, he gave Rafael Nadal all he could handle for the majority of their semi-final encounter that marked Berrettini’s best Grand Slam showing.

“The last time I played one of the Big 3, it didn’t go that well. The feelings I had on court for sure was [an] unbelievable experience. I didn’t have so many chances. I think I learned a lot from the match in Wimbledon,” Berrettini said. “I was more ready [today]… I think this match will help me a lot to improve my tennis, my everything, and for sure be ready for [Nadal] the next time.

“I was coming here with not a lot of confidence. I was injured. I didn’t play a good match in Cincinnati. Didn’t expect to do such a great tournament.”

You May Also Like: The Secret To Matteo Berrettini’s US Open Success

The 23-year-old created yet another milestone moment in what has been a banner year. Berrettini’s quarter-final victory over Gael Monfils, which ended in a fifth-set tiebreak, kept him undefeated in five-setters (3-0) and is considered by many fans to be the match of the tournament so far.

The Italian’s run wasn’t completely out of left field, though. Berrettini quietly built up to it with titles this year in Budapest (d. Krajinovic) and Stuttgart (d. Auger-Aliassime), in addition to a runner-up showing in Munich (l. to Garin) and reaching the second week of a Grand Slam for the first time at Wimbledon. He also scored his first Top 10 wins over Karen Khachanov (twice) and Alexander Zverev.

Berrettini was outside the Top 50 of the ATP Rankings at the start of the year, but is projected to jump inside the Top 15 for the first time when the newest standings are released on Monday. He’s also put himself in contention for a debut appearance at the Nitto ATP Finals, held at The O2 in London from 10-17 November. Berrettini will jump to ninth place in the ATP Race to London (2,160 points), trailing eighth-placed Kei Nishikori by a mere 20 points.

Read More: Berrettini, Zverev & Co. Locked In Fierce Fight For London Berths

But while he admitted appearing at The O2 was “crazy to think about,” he’s staying in the moment. Berrettini will compete next at the St. Petersburg Open before heading to Asia for the China Open and Rolex Shanghai Masters. Having a Grand Slam semi-final under his belt has given him the belief that he can defeat anyone at his remaining ATP Tour events this season.

“I’m learning to be ready. Every match is important. Every point is important. Then all the matches, you have to be focussed and ready to get the chances that you’re making,” Berrettini said. “I think when I have the right attitude on the court, I can play with any guys. If I’m focussing, if I’m playing my tennis, I can be really dangerous. It’s really important to have this confidence.”

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

Source link

US Open 2019: Gordon Reid knocked out of wheelchair singles in quarter-finals

  • Posted: Sep 07, 2019

Paralympic champion Gordon Reid was knocked out of the US Open wheelchair singles in the quarter-finals with a three-set defeat by Stephane Houdet.

Britain’s Reid, 27, was beaten 4-6 6-4 6-1 by the Frenchman but is still in with the chance of a title in New York when he plays in the doubles final with Alfie Hewett.

Hewett’s quarter-final against Shingo Kunieda was suspended because of rain.

The 21-year-old defending champion was leading 4-1 in the first set.

Elsewhere at Flushing Meadows, Andy Lapthorne lost in his second quad wheelchair singles round-robin match as Australian Dylan Alcott came from behind to win.

Alcott, who beat the Briton to win the Wimbledon title in July, prevailed 0-6 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 in New York.`

Lapthorne defeated David Wagner on Thursday and will play American Bryan Barten in his final round-robin match on Saturday.

The top two after the completion of the round-robin tournament will advance to Sunday’s final.

Lapthorne will also team up with Alcott in the quad doubles final, having won together at Wimbledon.

Source link

Nadal Sets Blockbuster Clash Against Medvedev In US Open Final

  • Posted: Sep 07, 2019

Nadal Sets Blockbuster Clash Against Medvedev In US Open Final

Spaniard will try to win his 19th Grand Slam title on Sunday

Three-time champion Rafael Nadal on Friday evening set a blockbuster US Open final against No. 5 seed Daniil Medvedev in what will be a matchup of two of the hottest hard-court players in the world. Nadal battled past first-time major semi-finalist Matteo Berrettini 7-6(5), 6-4, 6-1 under the lights of Arthur Ashe Stadium.

“The first set was a little frustrating because I had a lot of break points before the tie-break and he didn’t have any. In the tie-break I was a little lucky because he had 5/2 and 4/0. But I survived at that moment and I finally got the break in the second and then the match completely changed,” Nadal said during his on-court interview. “I started to play with more calm and be more aggressive. I’m super happy to be back in the final of the US Open.”

Medvedev (50) and Nadal (46) lead the ATP Tour in wins this season, and the pair split the two North American summer hard-court ATP Masters 1000 titles. Nadal, who is into his 27th major final, defeated Medvedev to triumph at the Coupe Rogers in Montreal, and then the Russian bounced back to lift his first trophy at that level at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati.

 Player  Grand Slam Finals
 1. Roger Federer  31 (20-11)
 2. Rafael Nadal  27 (18-8)
 3. Novak Djokovic  25 (16-9)
 4. Ivan Lendl  19 (8-11)
 5. Pete Sampras  18 (14-4)

Looking ahead to meeting Medvedev, Nadal said, “He’s making steps forward every single week. He’s having an amazing summer, winning Cincinnati and making the final in Montreal and Washington and now the final here. He’s been playing the best tennis on tour this summer so he will be the toughest opponent in the final. I need to be playing at my best. But in a Grand Slam final you can’t expect an easy opponent.

“For me it means a lot to be back where I am today after some tough moments at the beginning of the season.”

To set his second FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting against the World No. 5, Nadal withstood a game effort from Berrettini, the No. 24 seed, who had never previously reached the quarter-finals of a major. The Italian earned two set points in the opening-set tie-break, but Nadal played lockdown defence to stave off those chances, and he never looked back from there.

Nadal has been in devastating form since arriving in New York, losing just one set in his six victories, and that came in the fourth round against Marin Cilic, who earned the crown here five years ago. The 33-year-old is into his fifth final in Flushing Meadows.

“Before playing the final is not the moment to be super happy. Of course, finally when the tournament finishes, if you lose, when you’re looking global perspective, okay. But now is a moment to enjoy today,” Nadal said. “But [there] is a match in front on Sunday, an important one. I just focus on trying to be 100 per cent ready for it. But, of course, very, very happy for everything. Another final of the Grand Slam, and another final here in Flushing Meadows means a lot to me.”

This was the fifth time in his career Nadal was the lone member of the Big 3 to reach a Grand Slam semi-final. On the other four occasions, Nadal went on to win the title (2010, 2017-18 Roland Garros, 2017 US Open).

Rafa Nadal Foundation

The 18-time major winner won his first FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting with Berrettini after two hours and 35 minutes. Nadal played a clean match, striking 31 winners to only 18 unforced errors, and winning the point on 17 of his 21 trips to the net.

After a double fault from the World No. 2 to start the first-set tie-break, Berrettini threw everything he had at the Spaniard, using his arsenal of weapons from the baseline to take a commanding 4/0 lead. But as always, Nadal battled hard and would not let slip the set without a fight.

Berrettini earned two set points at 6/4. On his first opportunity, the Italian clipped the tape on a forehand approach shot, and he hit an ensuing backhand volley into the net. On the next point, Berrettini carved a backhand drop shot into the net. And from there, Nadal raised his defensive walls high, putting ball after ball back into the court until the three-time ATP Tour titlist made two more unforced errors to give the second seed the opener after a physical 73 minutes.

“My goal was to win the point of the 4/0 to 4/1 with my serve. Of course with 5/0, another mini break against.. it’s done. My goal in that moment is to put the first point on my score and then win one of the next two points on the return at least. Then you are 5/2. You are in a tough situation, but if you are able to win the next two points with your serve, then you are 5/4,” Nadal said. “The opponent still has two serves to win the set. But from 4/0 to 5/4 is a completely different perspective because then the opponent has the pressure, too. That was my goal.

“Then [it] was 6/4, and I was lucky with that point. He played a very aggressive couple of points, and I was able to hold it well, not miss at least, and put one more ball in in that moment. Lucky to win that first set in the tie-break.”

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

Berrettini could only sit on his chair and smile between sets, knowing the chance he had to take the lead against the legendary lefty. Although he did not suffer much of a letdown, Nadal earned the first break of the match at 3-3 in the second set, when the Italian missed into the net. 

Nadal did not struggle much to take a commanding lead from there, holding to love to earn a two-set advantage. The 83-time tour-level titlist did not face a break point in the match.

Berrettini battled hard, saving nine of the 10 break points he has faced. But Nadal has put up a nearly impenetrable defence. The Italian crushed 30 winners in the first two sets, including 16 off his powerful forehand wing, but Nadal made just 15 unforced errors during that time, making Berrettini earn every point he won.

Nadal needed more than two hours to get through the first two sets, but it only took him 31 minutes to finish off the Italian. The Spaniard broke twice in the final set, and began to play more aggressively himself. At 4-1, 30/0, Berrettini played a smart lob over his head. But Nadal chased it down and whipped an inside-out forehand for a clean winner as he spun around. It was that kind of night for Nadal, who has made the championship match in five of his 11 tournaments this year.

“Winning the first set would have meant I think a lot. Especially with him, it’s tough to go a set down after an hour, more than an hour,” Berrettini said. “But I was feeling I was playing really good, even though he had a lot of chances on my serve. I think I played also good [on the] important points. I mean, I was brave, like I asked to myself. I couldn’t say anything bad. I cannot complain about what I did. I was playing with Rafa, centre court, in semis. I think it’s okay.”

Did You Know?
Nadal continues to extend his lead in the ATP Race To London over Novak Djokovic. Nadal now has 8,425 points, putting him 1,160 points ahead of second-placed Djokovic (7,265), who retired in his fourth-round match against Stan Wawrinka due to injury.

Source link

Nadal grinds down Berrettini to set up final with Medvedev

  • Posted: Sep 07, 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.

Rafael Nadal reached the US Open final with a dogged straight-set win over Italian Matteo Berrettini.

The Spanish second seed, 33, survived two set points in the opener before his class shone through in a 7-6 (8-6) 6-4 6-1 win at Flushing Meadows.

Berrettini, 23, lost momentum after missing his chance but still showed why he is rated highly.

Nadal, going for a fourth title in New York, plays Russia’s Daniil Medvedev in Sunday’s final.

The fifth seed, 23, edged the crucial points against Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov to win 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 6-3 earlier on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Nadal proves again he is the ‘greatest fighter’

Nadal is already known as the ‘King of Clay’ after a record 12 victories at Roland Garros, but is setting his sights on overhauling Roger Federer in the race to be considered as the greatest of all time across all surfaces – at least by using the clearest, objective indicator of Grand Slam titles.

Since 38-year-old Federer’s quarter-final exit to Dimitrov at Flushing Meadows, which swiftly followed Novak Djokovic’s retirement against Stan Wawrinka because of injury, Nadal has been the hot favourite to earn his 19th major win.

If Nadal beats Medvedev, like he did in the recent Rogers Cup final in Montreal, he will move within one of Federer’s tally for the first time.

The Spaniard has only dropped one set on his way to final and, after using all of his survival instincts to stop Berrettini doubling that tally, produced another quality display which suggests Medvedev will find it difficult to overcome him.

Nadal, described by Berrettini before the match as the “greatest fighter ever in the sport”, dominated his service games throughout the match, not facing a single break point and dropping just 13 receiving points.

“The first set was a little bit frustrating because I had a lot of free points and you don’t want to be in the tie-break against a player like him,” said Nadal, who failed to take any of six break points in the opening set.

“I was a little bit lucky in the tie-break but I survived and then finally I had the break and after that the match completely changed. I played with more calm and was more aggressive.”

More to follow.

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

Source link