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Davidovich Fokina Continues Dream Run At US Open

  • Posted: Sep 04, 2020

Davidovich Fokina Continues Dream Run At US Open

World No. 99 to play Zverev or Mannarino

Alejandro Davidovich Fokina showed few signs of nerves on Friday when he booked a place in the fourth round on his US Open debut.

The 21-year-old played with great assurance to beat Cameron Norrie 7-6(2), 4-6, 6-2, 6-1 in two hours and 43 minutes for his best performance at a Grand Slam championship. He now plays fifth seed Alexander Zverev or No. 32 seed Adrian Mannarino.

Davidovich Fokina, who admitted he learned a lot from hitting with World No. 1 Novak Djokovic in Marbella during the five-month ATP Tour suspension, won eight straight games against Norrie from 1-2 in the third set to a 3-0 lead in the fourth set.

The World No. 99 beat Dennis Novak in the first round and No. 24 seed Hubert Hurkacz in the second round at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York, having lost in the first round of qualifying at the Western & Southern Open.

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Down But Not Out, Murray Vows To Keep Fighting

  • Posted: Sep 04, 2020

Down But Not Out, Murray Vows To Keep Fighting

Brit remains determined after US Open defeat

Andy Murray didn’t return to competitive tennis for a paycheck or a nostalgia tour. Like everyone competing at this year’s US Open, he wanted to leave with the trophy.

It won’t happen this year after the 2012 champion fell in straight sets on Thursday to No. 15 seed Felix Auger-Aliassime. But unlike his most recent Grand Slam singles outing at last year’s Australian Open, a tearful opening-round defeat to Roberto Bautista Agut that left uncertainty about whether he’d compete again, Murray will depart New York hungry for more Grand Slam glory.

“That’s going to be extremely difficult to do. It was hard enough when I had two normal hips,” Murray said. “But I’ll keep trying. Why not? Why shouldn’t I try my hardest to do that? And if I don’t, that’s all right. But I might as well shoot for the stars. I’m trying my best to get the most out of what my body gives me now.”

There are plenty of positives for Murray to take from his two weeks at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. He defeated Alexander Zverev at the Western & Southern Open for his first win over a player in the Top 10 of the FedEx ATP Rankings since 2017 Roland Garros. On Tuesday, he rallied from two sets down and saved a match point to defeat Yoshihito Nishioka after four hours and 39 minutes.

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But as Murray knows, tournaments aren’t won with a single performance. The mental and physical toll of his two milestone wins in New York proved too much and he followed them up with convincing losses. Murray said he’s eager to work on maintaining high levels of play throughout an entire match and building up stamina to bounce back after long battles as he turns his attention to competing on clay.

“I don’t want to lose in straight sets anywhere and certainly not in Grand Slams.” Murray said. “What I need to do is look at what happened the past couple of weeks, look at the things in my game that weren’t as I would have liked, and then physically look at what I can do to improve so that if I’m in that situation again in a few weeks’ time, I deal with it better.

“But all you can do is try and keep improving from where you are. I’m not in the same position that I was three years ago, when I was in the latter stages of most of the events I was playing… I’m 115 in the rankings and my game reflects that. So I’ll need to get better if I want to move up the rankings and be more competitive.”

Read More: Murray On New York Return: ‘I Made It Back’

Murray is also enjoying the chance to play against a new generation of players for the first time. Auger-Aliassime spoke with reverence about sitting in the stands as a child and watching Murray compete at the 2011 US Open. But rather than feel his age, the Brit views cross-generation battles as a testament to his ability to still play world-class tennis after 15 years on Tour.

“It’s nice because it shows that you’ve had a long career. I was a bit sad that I missed playing against Agassi and Sampras,” Murray said. “I came along a couple of years too late. I would have liked to have the opportunity to do that because those are guys you watch on TV when you’re growing up.

“Going on the court against a young player, you feel like you go on with the experience of having been in that situation more times. The only downside is they might have been watching you play for a number of years, so they know your game probably a bit better than you know them… I don’t feel old or anything like that. I’m happy that I get the opportunity to play against the younger guys coming through.”

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Stefanos Starstruck In Ashe Debut

  • Posted: Sep 04, 2020

Stefanos Starstruck In Ashe Debut

The Greek star reflects on his debut inside Flushing Meadows’ centre court

When Stefanos Tsitsipas walked onto the court inside Arthur Ashe Stadium on Wednesday evening, he was struck by a plaque on the wall. It was a Billie Jean King quote stating, “pressure is a privilege”.

“I found this very special, this message. It’s very deep,” Tsitsipas said. “Playing on Arthur Ashe was an amazing experience. I think it would have been even better if there were people watching and it would create a mesmerising atmosphere and [be] more intense, that’s for sure. Despite that I still felt special playing on the court.”

The moment was a long time coming for the Greek star. When he was eight, he watched from afar as Marcos Baghdatis battled Andre Agassi for five scintillating sets on the same court in the 2006 second round.

“My hero [is] Marcos and [he is] now my best friend, which is quite special. He lost in five sets, but the effort, the adrenaline, the crowd atmosphere, you had everything in that match and there was drama,” Tsitsipas said. “I think for Marcos, facing his idol was quite special.”

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Tsitsipas also remembers watching Novak Djokovic play Juan Martin del Potro in the final two years ago, Stan Wawrinka lifting the trophy in 2016 and many of Serena Williams’ matches.

“I was still very young and had big dreams of playing there one day,” he said.

The first match Tsitsipas watched inside the stadium in person was the 2015 semi-final between Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka. He was in New York to compete in the US Open boys’ singles event.


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Night session at the #ArthurAshe!

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The 22-year-old defeated Maxime Cressy in straight sets to reach the third round, but it was not in front of the thousands of fans that would usually pack the stadium if not for the COVID-19 pandemic. Tsitsipas will play his third-round match on Friday inside Louis Armstrong Stadium against 27th seed Borna Coric.

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Tsitsipas Ready For The Spotlight On Day 5

  • Posted: Sep 04, 2020

Tsitsipas Ready For The Spotlight On Day 5

Djokovic faces Struff, Shapovalov battles Fritz on Friday

The future of tennis will be on display on Friday at the US Open with a pair of third-round matches showcasing some of the most talented young stars in the sport. Fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas battles No. 27 seed Borna Coric and No. 12 seed Denis Shapovalov squares off against No. 19 seed Taylor Fritz.

Tsitsipas has embraced his role as a top contender to win in New York and powered through his first two rounds without dropping a set. The reigning Nitto ATP Finals champion (d. Thiem) has already surpassed his best result at the US Open and looks to maintain his momentum against Coric. The 23-year-old Croatian made his Grand Slam breakthrough at this event by reaching the second week in 2018 and his win over Dominic Thiem this January at the ATP Cup reaffirmed that he’s capable of beating the world’s best.

Shapovalov holds a flawless 2-0 record in his ATP Head2Head series with Fritz. The 21-year-old Canadian has never lost before the third round in four US Open appearances and his 9-3 record in New York is by far his best at a major championship. He’s aiming to reach the second week of a Grand Slam for the first time since his US Open debut in 2017, when he captivated fans by coming through qualifying before beating Daniil Medvedev and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

“Every year I’ve played here, I’ve had amazing support,” Shapovalov said. “It was a really good start for my career and it’s left such a great feeling for me every time I come back to New York, I always have a little bit of confidence just because I feel like it all kind of started for me in Montreal and New York.”

Fritz seeks his maiden appearance in the second week of a major championship. The American baseliner reached his first ATP 500 final this February in Acapulco (l. to Nadal).

Top seed Novak Djokovic puts his unbeaten (25-0) streak in 2020 on the line when he faces No. 28 seed Jan-Lennard Struff. The three-time US Open champion leads Struff 4-0 in their ATP Head2Head series and convincingly defeated the German last week in the Western & Southern Open quarter-finals, but Struff took a set in their clash at this year’s Australian Open. Djokovic hit 51 winners in a high-quality four-set win on Wednesday against Kyle Edmund and remains the on-paper favourite to lift the trophy next Sunday.

“I don’t feel like energy or recovery is going to be an issue for me. On the contrary, I actually feel very fit,” Djokovic said. “I like my chances [in a] best-of-five [match] on center court at the US Open against anybody in the world. Being an experienced player and playing on big stages so many times helps in these particular situations. I’m just going to do what I know works best for me and hope for the best.”

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Fifth seed Alexander Zverev has consistently improved his US Open results each year and hopes to continue that trend when he meets No. 32 seed Adrian Mannarino. The German leads their ATP Head2Head series 2-0. Although Zverev has struggled with his serve at times this week and hit 16 double faults across his first two matches, the 23-year-old is pleased with his progress and the work he’s put in with his new coach, former World No. 3 David Ferrer.

“The work has been incredible. I enjoyed the practices more than I did in the past few years,” Zverev said. “I think he’s enjoying it, I’m enjoying it, and he said the most important thing is to have fun with what you do.”

Other notable matches on Friday include seventh seed David Goffin taking on No. 26 seed Filip Krajinovic. The Belgian has lost his past two matches to Krajinovic (1-2) in their ATP Head2Head series. Pablo Carreno Busta, the No. 20 seed and 2017 US Open semi-finalist, looks to continue his success in New York against Ricardas Berankis.

Rounding out the Day 5 schedule is Jordan Thompson squaring off with Mikhail Kukushkin and Cameron Norrie facing 2019 Next Gen ATP Finals participant Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.

ARTHUR ASHE STADIUM start 12:00 pm
WTA Match
[12] Denis Shapovalov v [19] Taylor Fritz

Not Before 7:00 pm
[1] Novak Djokovic v [28] Jan-Lennard Struff
WTA Match

Two WTA Matches
[5] Alexander Zverev v [32] Adrian Mannarino
[4] Stefanos Tsitsipas v [27] Borna Coric
WTA Match

COURT 17 start 11:00am
Two WTA Matches
[20] Pablo Carreno Busta v Ricardas Berankis

Click here to view the full US Open Day 5 schedule.

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