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Querrey Passes Dimitrov Test In Stockholm

  • Posted: Oct 16, 2019

Querrey Passes Dimitrov Test In Stockholm

Fritz beaten in straight sets

Sam Querrey needed all his firepower to defeat Grigor Dimitrov 6-7(7), 6-3, 7-6(3) at the Intrum Stockholm Open on Wednesday.

The World No. 50 recorded his first FedEx ATP Head2Head win in four matches against the Bulgarian after two hours and 14 minutes, landing 25 aces en route to the quarter-finals. Querrey’s win puts 2013 champion Dimitrov’s bid for a 300th tour-level victory on hold. Only 25 active players on the ATP Tour have recorded 300 or more tour-level wins.

“It was a fun match. It was a close match,” said Querrey. “A lot of times in these matches it is just a couple of points here and there. That is what it was today.”

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In his sixth quarter-final of the season, Querrey will meet Chengdu champion Pablo Carreno Busta or lucky loser Gianluca Mager. The American is yet to meet either player on the ATP Tour.

Yoshihito Nishioka defeated No. 3 seed Taylor Fritz 7-5, 6-4 to reach his third tour-level quarter-final of the year. The 23-year-old, competing at this ATP 250 event for the first time, converted four of five break points to improve to 2-0 in his FedEx ATP Head2Head series against the American No. 2. Nishioka will face eighth seed Daniel Evans or Filip Krajinovic for a place in the semi-finals.

“I am playing very good tennis now — I think my best tennis — so I am very happy for that,” said Nishioka.

Swedish wild card Mikael Ymer recorded his second win in five main draw appearances at his home event, beating Joao Sousa 7-5, 6-4. The Stockholm resident broke serve on six occasions to confirm a second-round match against Cedrik-Marcel Stebe of Germany.

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Khachanov Saves 5 M.P., Overcomes Kohlschreiber In Moscow

  • Posted: Oct 16, 2019

Khachanov Saves 5 M.P., Overcomes Kohlschreiber In Moscow

Lajovic, Mannarino also through to quarter-finals

Karen Khachanov saved five match points to deny Philipp Kohlschreiber a birthday win at the VTB Kremlin Cup on Wednesday.

”I can’t remember the last time I had a comeback like that,” said Khachanov. “I had to fight and try to find my game. I am really happy that finally I can go through here in my hometown of Moscow.”

The top seed and defending champion recovered from 3-5 down in the deciding set to record a 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(7) victory in front of a passionate home crowd in Moscow. This is Khachanov’s second win in five FedEx ATP Head2Head encounters against 36-year-old Kohlschreiber.

”In my hometown, it is really a great atmosphere,” said Khachanov. “To see so many people here for my second-round match, I didn’t really expect that… I have more drive and more energy when people are cheering for me like that.”

After saving three match points to reach the deciding-set tie-break, Khachanov was forced to save two more at 5/6 and 6/7 with patience from the baseline. The Russian advanced to the quarter-finals on his first match point as Kohlschreiber committed his third double fault of the match.

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Khachanov extends his winning streak in Moscow to five matches. At last year’s event, the World No. 8 dropped only one set en route to the title.

Khachanov will face Andreas Seppi for a place in the semi-finals. The 23-year-old defeated the Italian in their only previous FedEx ATP Head2Head encounter at the 2016 Erste Bank Open in Vienna.

After saving two match points in his opening match, Seppi was forced to come from a set down to beat Roberto Carballes Baena 5-7, 6-1, 6-3. The 35-year-old Italian earned 72 per cent of second-serve return points (31/43) to advance after two hours and 12 minutes.

Fourth seed Dusan Lajovic recorded his first victory in three FedEx ATP Head2Head encounters against Lukas Rosol, edging the Czech 6-4, 6-7(6), 6-3 to reach his first quarter-final in Moscow. The Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters runner-up landed eight aces and broke serve on three occasions to secure the one-hour, 52-minute win.

Lajovic will meet last year’s runner-up Adrian Mannarino for a semi-final spot. The seventh-seeded Frenchman beat 2013 runner-up Mikhail Kukushkin 7-6(4), 6-2 to confirm his place in the last eight.

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Gauff knocked out of Luxembourg Open in first round

  • Posted: Oct 16, 2019

Teenager Coco Gauff was knocked out of the Luxembourg Open in the first round – just days after winning her maiden WTA title.

American world number 71 Gauff, 15, was beaten 6-4 6-0 by Russian eighth seed Anna Blinkova in just 59 minutes.

Gauff became the youngest player to win a WTA title in 15 years in beating former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko in the Linz Open final.

Gauff and compatriot Caty McNally are in the women’s doubles quarter-finals.

“I’m very happy with my performance,” said world number 66 Blinkova, who will play Germany’s Tatjana Maria in the second round.

“I didn’t make a lot of mistakes and I had the right tactics. I was calm and I did my job well today.

“I was very focused. I know she’s a great player and I knew she was coming off a WTA tournament win, so I was well prepared.”

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Rafael Nadal's Best Tennis Is Happening Right Now

  • Posted: Oct 16, 2019

Rafael Nadal’s Best Tennis Is Happening Right Now

Infosys ATP Beyond The Numbers shows how Nadal dominates with his second serve

For the past three seasons, Rafael Nadal’s second-serve performance has elevated to beast mode.

An Infosys ATP Beyond The Numbers analysis of the Spaniard’s second-serve win percentage since he first won an ATP event in 2004 identifies that 2017, 2018, and 2019 occupy three of his best four years on Tour.

Consider the following three second-serve achievements from Nadal:

1. Best Three-Year Streak
Nadal is currently first in second-serve points for the 2019 season at 59.97 per cent (836/1394). Federer is the only player within striking distance of taking year-end honours in this category, as the Swiss currently sits at 59.56 per cent (885/1486) won.

If Nadal does finish first in this category in 2019, it will be the first time in his career that he will have finished first in second-serve points won for three consecutive seasons.

Best Three 2019 Tournaments: Second-Serve Points Won
Rome = 67.44% (58/86)
Acapulco = 67.16% (45/67)
Indian Wells = 66.67% (60/90)

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2. 2017 Was The Best
Nadal’s best year since 2004 winning second-serve points was just two years ago in 2017, when he averaged winning 61.17 per cent (1095/1790).

At Roland Garros in 2017, he charged through the draw to win the title without dropping a set. Of the 20 sets he won, opponents won a maximum of two games in 14 of them. He went on a rampage with second-serve points won, winning a jaw-dropping 74.17 per cent (112/151).

His best three tournaments with second-serve points won in 2017:
Roland Garros = 74.17% (112/151)
Shanghai = 66.25% (53/80)
Brisbane = 66.10% (39/59)

3. No One Does It Better
Nobody has a higher win percentage on second serves during their career since statistics in tennis were first kept in 1991. What’s also extremely impressive is that Nadal has been positioned in the Top 10 in this category for the past 16 years.

The top three players in career second-serve points won:
R. Nadal = 57.45% (15006/26122)
R. Federer = 56.85% (24079/42353)
J. Isner = 56.11% (9972/17773)

Nadal’s 2019 US Open title saw him win an impressive 57.02 per cent (138/242) on the hard courts in New York. He is now just 0.03 of a percentage point away from winning 60 per cent or more for the third time in his career.

What will it take to tip the scales to 60 per cent in 2019? Win just one more second-serve point.

2004 – 2017: Rafael Nadal Second-Serve Win Percentage / Second-Serve Position


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Medvedev Out Of Moscow: 'I Must Do What Is Best For My Body'

  • Posted: Oct 16, 2019

Medvedev Out Of Moscow: ‘I Must Do What Is Best For My Body’

Russian will look to return next week in Vienna

Daniil Medvedev is human after all. The 23-year-old Russian, who reached his sixth consecutive final on Sunday at the Rolex Shanghai Masters (d. Zverev), withdrew from his home tournament, the VTB Kremlin Cup in Moscow, on Tuesday, citing exhaustion.

The Russian leads the ATP Tour with 59 wins, including 46 on hard court and 22 at the ATP Masters 1000 level, also both Tour-leading figures. Medvedev won his second Masters 1000 title in Shanghai after winning the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati in August.

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Nobody knew that I would do so well in Shanghai to reach my sixth final in a row. I just feel that I am physically and mentally exhausted. I can’t be 100 per cent. As a professional, I cannot step on court knowing that I am not 100 per cent ready to play,” Medvedev said.

On the one hand, it is very sad, because I really wanted to play in Moscow in front of my home crowd. I’ve played for four years in a row in Moscow and each year my results improved. But, on the other hand, this is how it is. It is professional sport, and I must do what is best for my body. In this situation, I had no choice.”

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With the Shanghai title, Medvedev passed Roger Federer for third place in the ATP Race To London. The Russian will make his debut at the season-ending Nitto ATP Finals, to be held 10-17 November at The O2 in London.

I feel amazing and have a great mood. I’ve never dreamed about six finals in a row. One of the finals is at a Grand Slam [US Open], three of them are at Masters. [Pass in the ATP Race To London] Federer? It is also something I’ve never dreamed of,” Medvedev said.

He is next scheduled to compete at the Erste Bank Open in Vienna, which begins Monday.

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