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Murray/Skupski Oust 2019 Roland Garros Champs At The W&S Open

  • Posted: Aug 26, 2020

Murray/Skupski Oust 2019 Roland Garros Champs At The W&S Open

Murray/Skupski to play third seeds Ram/Salisbury

Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski advanced to the semi-finals of the Western & Southern Open for the second consecutive year on Wednesday, ousting fourth seeds Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies 4-6, 6-1, 10-8.

“Another good win for us today. Weather conditions totally different to what we played in so far this week,” Skupski said, noting the wind. “We adapted well. We got off to an early lead in the second and took confidence from that. The tennis wasn’t great today because of the conditions, but we managed to come through and we’re both excited to be in the semi-finals of ‘Cincinnati’.”

The match turned around early in the second set, when Skupski hit an inside-in forehand winner past Krawietz, who was at the net. The Brits then found their rhythm, playing a clean Match Tie-break to advance after one hour and 19 minutes.

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Murray and Skupski will try to reach their first ATP Masters 1000 final as a team when they play Australian Open champions Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury.

“It won’t be easy, but we’re looking forward to it,” Skupski said. “Hopefully we can put in another good performance.”

Ram and Salisbury eliminated fifth seeds Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos 7-5, 7-6(8). The third seeds saved the two break points they faced.

ATP Heritage: Milestones. Records. Legends.

Two unseeded teams will battle for a spot in the Western & Southern Open final in the bottom half of the draw when singles stars Pablo Carreno Busta and Alex de Minaur face Americans Steve Johnson and Austin Krajicek. Neither pair had previously competed together in a tour-level event.

<a href=Steve Johnson, Austin Krajicek” />

Johnson and Krajicek are playing together for the first time since the 2011 ATP Challenger Tour event in Knoxville, where they lifted the trophy. The wild cards upset veteran tandem Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau 6-4, 7-5.

Carreno Busta lost in the second round of the singles draw and De Minaur was eliminated in the first round. But they have found their form on the doubles court, defeating eighth seeds Wesley Koolhof and Nikola Mektic 7-5, 6-7(6), 10-7 in the quarter-finals. They also upset defending champions Ivan Dodig and Filip Polasek in the first round.

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Djokovic Joins Exclusive W&S Open Club

  • Posted: Aug 26, 2020

Djokovic Joins Exclusive W&S Open Club

World No. 1 to meet Bautista Agut in semi-finals

Novak Djokovic charged into a record-equalling eighth Western & Southern Open semi-final on Wednesday, beating Jan-Lennard Struff 6-3, 6-1.

The World No. 1 tied Jimmy Connors, Stefan Edberg, Roger Federer and Bill Talbert’s semi-final totals at the ATP Masters 1000 event after 62 minutes, converting five of nine break points. Djokovic is seeking his second Western & Southern Open trophy after completing the Career Golden Masters at the event in 2018.

Most Western & Southern Open Semi-final Appearances

Player Semi-finals
Jimmy Connors 8
Stefan Edberg 8
Roger Federer 8
Bill Talbert 8
Novak Djokovic 8

Djokovic is now two wins away from creating further history at the tournament. If the 33-year-old lifts the trophy on Friday, he will equal Rafael Nadal’s record haul of 35 Masters 1000 trophies.

“It was great. I started a little bit tight in my opening couple of service games… Ever since I made that break at the beginning of the first set, I never looked back,” said Djokovic. “I really played very aggressive whenever I had the chance and I was going for my shots.”

The 17-time Grand Slam champion’s unbeaten run now stands at 24 matches, which includes a 21-0 record this season. Djokovic is making his fourth ATP Tour appearance of the year, having lifted titles at the ATP Cup — as part of Team Serbia — the Australian Open and the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

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Djokovic will attempt to reach his seventh Western & Southern Open final when he meets Roberto Bautista Agut in the semi-finals. The Belgrade-native leads Bautista Agut 8-3 in their ATP Head2Head series, but has lost his past three hard-court encounters against the World No. 12.

”We always expect Roberto to play on a certain level,” said Djokovic. “He doesn’t drop much. He doesn’t give it away. You have to earn your points. He is so solid from the back of the court… Roberto found a way [against Medvedev] and that is obviously a virtue of champions.”

The 79-time tour-level titlist fired a forehand passing shot winner and capitalised on a series of errors from Struff to break for a 3-1 lead in the first set. Djokovic held serve with confidence throughout the opener and converted his first set point with a powerful forehand down the line.

Djokovic moved up the court and took advantage of multiple double faults from Struff to race to a 5-0 lead. The 2018 champion failed to serve out the match, but claimed a love service break in the following game with a forehand winner to book his semi-final spot.

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Bautista Agut Completes Comeback, Stuns Medvedev At W&S Open

  • Posted: Aug 26, 2020

Bautista Agut Completes Comeback, Stuns Medvedev At W&S Open

Spaniard to face Djokovic in semi-finals

After 32 minutes, Roberto Bautista Agut found himself serving at 0/40 to avoid a 1-6, 0-1 deficit against Daniil Medvedev at the Western & Southern Open on Wednesday. What followed was one of the most memorable comebacks of the year.

The 32-year-old changed the pace and served with confidence to escape immediate danger, before turning the tables on the defending champion to clinch a 1-6, 6-4, 6-3 triumph. Bautista Agut saved 15 of 20 break points and won 71 per cent of second serve return points (24/34) to advance after two hours and 13 minutes.

“After the first set, I was thinking a lot of bad things,” said Bautista Agut. “It was a very good comeback.”

With his second ATPHead2Head win in as many matches against Medvedev, Bautista Agut is through to his first semi-final at the Western & Southern Open. The World No. 12 also defeated Medvedev in straight sets to win the 2017 Tata Open Maharashtra final in Chennai.

This is the second time Bautista Agut has made a strong start on the ATP Tour this year. Following the 2019 off-season, the 6’0” right-hander claimed eight consecutive victories in Australia to open the year. Bautista Agut had already beaten last year’s semi-finalist Richard Gasquet and 11th seed Karen Khachanov to book his meeting with Medvedev in New York.

Bautista Agut will face Novak Djokovic for a place in the championship match. Bautista Agut trails Djokovic 3-8 in their ATP Head2Head series, but has won two of their three most recent encounters.

“He didn’t lose a match this year. He is a great player, very solid, very aggressive and he has a lot of weapons,” said Bautista Agut. “Against him, I will try to play my best game to beat him, which is not easy. If I can play a good level, it is going to be a good match.”

Medvedev made a rapid start on Grandstand, finishing extended rallies with delicate drop shots and pinpoint backhands to establish a 4-0 lead. The Russian wrapped up the first set after just 28 minutes with a powerful first serve into Bautista Agut’s forehand.

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After saving three consecutive break points at 0/40 in the opening game of the second set, Bautista Agut charged to the net on numerous occasions to break serve for a 3-1 lead. But Medvedev continued to find success on his return, playing with greater consistency than his opponent to earn consecutive service breaks for a 4-3 lead.

Bautista Agut found a way back into the match, rushing Medvedev with powerful forehands at crucial moments. The Spaniard earned three straight games to extend the match to a deciding set.

After trading breaks to open the third set, Bautista Agut saved break point and moved to the net to hold serve for a 2-1 lead. The World No. 12 made the crucial breakthrough at 3-2, dictating rallies from the baseline to force Medvedev into errors. Bautista Agut maintained his advantage to serve for the match at 5-4 and held his nerve in a marathon final game to claim the first spot in the semi-finals

“I tried to do some different things. I tried to mix up a little bit with the slice… [I hit] some great volleys and it was a fantastic match for me,” said Bautista Agut.

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Juan Martin del Potro Undergoes Knee Surgery In Switzerland

  • Posted: Aug 26, 2020

Juan Martin del Potro Undergoes Knee Surgery In Switzerland

Argentine originally broke his patella at the 2018 Rolex Shanghai Masters

Juan Martin del Potro on Wednesday underwent his third right knee surgery since breaking his patella at the 2018 Rolex Shanghai Masters.

“Del Potro and Biedert had been in contact since January,” Del Potro’s team wrote in a statement on Twitter. “In recent months, Delpo followed his doctors’ advice and even tested the knee on a tennis court in Buenos Aires, but the pain persisted. After their first meeting in Bern, Biedert recommended a new surgery.”

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The 31-year-old Argentine has also had several wrist surgeries: one on his right wrist in 2010 and three on his left wrist in March 2014 (joint), January 2015 (ligament) and June 2015 (tendon). Del Potro overcame that adversity, reaching a career-high World No. 3 in the FedEx ATP Rankings in August 2018.

The 2009 US Open champion last competed at the 2019 Fever-Tree Championships, where he re-injured his knee during his first-round win against Denis Shapovalov.

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Players Dial Up Uber Eats & Ice Cream Treats At W&S Open

  • Posted: Aug 26, 2020

Players Dial Up Uber Eats & Ice Cream Treats At W&S Open

Learn how players have adapted to eating during the Western & Southern Open

Reilly Opelka has enjoyed the best ATP Masters 1000 run of his career at the Western & Southern Open, advancing to the quarter-finals with a win against 2019 Nitto ATP Finals qualifier Matteo Berrettini. Plenty of people would dream of achieving that result, but even more would be jealous of the treat he’s been having at his hotel each night.

“I’ve been ordering Cold Stone Creamery on Postmates every single night,” Opelka said. “It gets to my hotel in 15 minutes so it’s not melted. It gets up to my room and I go to town.”

The American has been eating sweet cream-flavoured ice cream with Oreo, marshmallow and whipped cream. That’s about as sweet as his serve, with which he’s won 30 of his 32 service games this week. The Cold Stone Creamery “play” has been an improvisation for the 22-year-old.

In normal times, most players would be staying in Manhattan while in New York. Opelka is a self-proclaimed ‘foodie’, who loves trying nice restaurants in the city, including spots like Marea, Per Se and Le Coucou. But because of the pandemic, that’s off the table.

“It’s been tough. Honestly I’ve been eating a lot at the courts. The food here is great,” Opelka said. “The service has been really well done. We order with a QR code. Wherever you take a picture of a QR code, you order, wherever you’re hanging out, you specify and it’s there in 10 minutes. You don’t have to wait in line.

“The dining area upstairs is always a zoo [during normal times] with everyone and their families and their friends. From that standpoint it’s nice.”

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During this stretch, players are either at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center — home to this year’s Western & Southern Open as well as the US Open — or their hotel. Many of them have either brought food back from the tennis venue to the hotel, ordered room service or had food delivered to the hotel, which is permitted. American John Isner has taken advantage of that option.

“I was able to get Capital Grille picked up for us [on Saturday], which was very good. We are trying to mix things up and not try the same restaurant too many times so it doesn’t get stale,” Isner said. “It hasn’t been at all bad. Can’t complain at all. The USTA and ATP have done an incredible job of putting on this event and keeping us players comfortable in the bubble. It’s definitely not what we’re used to. I would certainly prefer to walk the streets of Manhattan and go find a nice restaurant to eat at, but all in all, it’s not bad at all.”

Rajeev Ram, who won this year’s Australian Open doubles title alongside Joe Salisbury, likes the food truck option, which the USTA has commissioned to one of the player hotels each night.

“I’ve really enjoyed that they’ve had these food trucks for us,” Ram said. “One night it was tacos, one night it was pizza, one night it was barbecue. That’s pretty cool that since we can’t leave the hotel, they brought some different food options to us. You sit outside, hang out, eat your meal and just kind of get away from the bubble. I thought that was a pretty good initiative.”

ATP Heritage: Milestones. Records. Legends.

For some players, food is a major part of their culture. Andreas Seppi said that he and his fellow Italians are trying to make the most of the situation.

“It’s pretty difficult for a lot of guys, especially us Italians, to find something good to eat,” Seppi said. “Most of the days it’s the same. Sometimes we just bring something from the club like sushi or make a Shake Shack order. At least their burgers are good. It’s really difficult, but most of the time it’s just steak or some meat just down at the restaurant.”

Moldovan Radu Albot added that while he normally enjoys a Brazilian restaurant, Fogo de Chao, and the popular Nobu in Manhattan, he rarely strays far from the hotel anyway. He is not a picky eater, either.

“I’m fine to eat anything. I like very much to eat Asian cuisine. I like Japanese food,” said Albot, who got something delivered to his hotel for the first time Tuesday evening through Uber Eats. “I ordered from an Asian restaurant, Thai food… Normally I was eating downstairs in the hotel.”

According to German Jan-Lennard Struff, there hasn’t been much talk between players about how they’ve adapted to the food situation in the controlled environment.

“I’m not talking that much to other guys about what to order. Us guys are experienced enough to find what is good,” Struff said. “But if one guy would say, ‘That restaurant is amazing’, I would probably try to order there. We’re ordering a lot of food like anywhere else, sometimes when we don’t want to walk out. But obviously we would love to go to Manhattan for sure and I heard that the restaurants are doing a good job because every street has tables on the street. I would love to see that, but it’s not the time for that. That’s okay, I’m [just] happy to be here.”

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Preview and Schedule: Medvedev Faces Gruelling Battle vs. Bautista Agut In QFs

  • Posted: Aug 26, 2020

Preview and Schedule: Medvedev Faces Gruelling Battle vs. Bautista Agut In QFs

Djokovic to meet big-hitting German Struff

Defending Western & Southern Open champion Daniil Medvedev will have his hands full Wednesday afternoon if he hopes to keep his title defence dreams alive. The Russian will play eighth seed Roberto Bautista Agut in what promises to be a gruelling battle on Grandstand at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

Medvedev and Bautista Agut are two of the most solid players on the ATP Tour, driving opponents crazy by neutralising all the offence thrown at them. Now the pair will try to outwit one another for a spot in the semi-finals of this ATP Masters 1000, the first tournament since play was suspended in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bautista Agut won the pair’s only previous ATP Head2Head meeting 6-3, 6-4 in the 2017 Chennai final. Then 20, Medvedev was World No. 99 and competing in his first ATP Tour final. He has since claimed seven tour-level trophies, including two (2019 Cincinnati and Shanghai) at the ATP Masters 1000 level.

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World No. 1 Novak Djokovic will try to make the semi-finals of the Western & Southern Open for the eighth time when he faces big-hitting German Jan-Lennard Struff. The World No. 34, who is into his first Masters 1000 quarter-final, will hope to challenge the top seed.

“He’s one of the best in the game. He’s so good and still there are chances to beat him, but he’s [20-0] this year. It’s crazy, just crazy,” Struff said. “But the more you win, there is always a chance that you lose at some point. Maybe he has the aim to go undefeated in this short season, but you never know what will happen.”

Djokovic leads their ATP Head2Head series 3-0, but Struff pushed the Serbian to four sets in the first round of this year’s Australian Open. That was one of only five matches this season that Djokovic did not win in straight sets. Struff will look to take advantage of the quick Flushing Meadows hard courts as he did against Alex de Minaur, Denis Shapovalov and David Goffin.

Reigning Nitto ATP Finals champion Stefanos Tsitsipas had not won a Western & Southern Open match entering the week. But the Greek star will play first-time Masters 1000 quarter-finalist Reilly Opelka for a spot in the last four. Tsitsipas beat another big server, John Isner, on Tuesday evening. He has never faced Opelka.

“I expect a difficult fight, a difficult battle. He has played John a few times and he holds a positive record against him, so I’m expecting better. I feel like there’s nothing wrong to expect better tomorrow,” Tsitsipas said. “I just need to be very well-prepared for that one. I’m sure there are going to be more rallies from the baseline and the serve is going to be more difficult to return, so I have to keep my focus at an even higher level.”

Former World No. 3 Milos Raonic, who ousted Andy Murray in the third round, will try to maintain his good form against Serbian Filip Krajinovic. The Canadian will be playing a confident opponent, as Krajinovic lost a combined six games in his past two matches against second seed Dominic Thiem and Hungarian qualifier Marton Fucsovics.


GRANDSTAND start 11:00 am
WTA Match

Not Before 1:00 pm
[3] Daniil Medvedev vs [8] Roberto Bautista Agut
[1] Novak Djokovic vs Jan-Lennard Struff

Not Before 5:00 pm
WTA Match

Not Before 7:00 pm
Milos Raonic vs Filip Krajinovic

COURT 17 Not Before 1:00 pm
WTA Match
WTA Match

Not Before 5:00 pm
Reilly Opelka vs [4] Stefanos Tsitsipas

COURT 10 start 11:00 am
Jean-Julien Rojer / Horia Tecau vs [WC] Steve Johnson / Austin Krajicek
[8] Wesley Koolhof / Nikola Mektic vs Pablo Carreno Busta / Alex de Minaur
Jamie Murray / Neal Skupski vs [6] Kevin Krawietz / Andreas Mies
TBA – [3] Rajeev Ram / Joe Salisbury vs [5] Marcel Granollers / Horacio Zeballos

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