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Kyrgios Awarded Indian Wells, Miami Wild Cards, Along With Murray

  • Posted: Mar 04, 2022

Kyrgios Awarded Indian Wells, Miami Wild Cards, Along With Murray

Two-time champion Murray also wild carded for both ATP Masters 1000 events

Six-time ATP Tour titlist Nick Kyrgios is off to the Sunshine Swing. The Australian has received wild cards for the upcoming BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells and the Miami Open presented by Itau, both tournaments have announced.

Kyrgios’ appearance in Indian Wells will be his his first since winning the Australian Open doubles title with Thanasi Kokkinakis. His best performance at the tournament, which will be played from 10-20 March, is a quarter-final run in 2017 that included straight-sets wins over Alexander Zverev and Novak Djokovic.

Fans in Florida will hope for more Miami magic from Kyrgios at Hard Rock Stadium, which hosts its own Masters 1000 event from 23 March to 3 April. The Australian’s 2017 semi-final clash with Roger Federer, played at the tournament’s former home in Key Biscayne, was voted ATP Match of the Year. A trio of tie-breaks was necessary to separate the pair in an all-time classic, Federer eventually prevailing 7-6(9), 6-7(9), 7-6(5) after more than three hours to clinch a first win over the Australian.

Former World No. 1 Andy Murray has also been awarded a wild card for the Miami event. The Brit, who was confirmed as a wild card in Indian Wells earlier this week, is a familiar face in Miami having trained frequently in the city throughout his career. He is a two-time champion at the tournament, having triumphed in 2009 (d. Djokovic) and 2013 (d. Ferrer).

Murray reached the final of the Sydney Tennis Classic in January but has exited his past four tournaments in the second round and will seek to go deep in both tournaments as he hunts a return to the Top 50 of the ATP Rankings.

Americans Jack Sock and Sam Querrey have also received wild cards for Indian Wells. Former World No. 8 Sock has pedigree in the California desert, reaching the semi-finals in 2017 and also picking up doubles titles in 2015 (w/Vasek Pospisil) and 2018 (w/John Isner).

Querrey also has a good record of picking up trophies in California, with three of his 10 ATP Tour titles coming at the ATP 250 event in Los Angeles. His run to the quarter-finals in 2018 remains his best showing at Indian Wells, and the 34-year-old will hope for a strong run as he seeks to get back into the Top 100 of the ATP Rankings.

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The Tour – Food Court: Opelka Says No To Eel, Yes To Lucky Charms

  • Posted: Mar 04, 2022

The Tour – Food Court: Opelka Says No To Eel, Yes To Lucky Charms

The American dishes on his cooking (or lack thereof) and fine dining

You will rarely catch Reilly Opelka in the kitchen, but the American certainly knows plenty about food. 

In this edition of The Tour – Food Court, the 24-year-old, who will compete next week at the BNP Paribas Open, spoke to about the two foods he will not eat, the importance of Lucky Charms and more.

When you stayed with Tommy Paul during the pandemic, did you guys ever cook, even something small?
Very rarely. Maybe once a year… The only way I do it at home is if there’s time. If it saves time, if it’s more efficient for me to make oatmeal at home, two scrambled eggs, some berries and toast, then I’ll do it. But even then, it takes up too much time.

You get guys on tour who, every single meal they eat, it’s pre-planned. How careful do you have to be to avoid any issues with your training?
I don’t monitor or track it, but I eyeball everything. I ate at Surf Club, I ate a lot of dessert, I ate a lot of bread, I ate a lot of butter, so the next couple of nights [I knew I was] really going to reel it in and go cleaner, watch what I eat, [eat] more simple, whatever. It’s just balance.

I don’t moderate it too crazy, but you do have to be somewhat conscious of what you’re doing, especially for the Slams, because playing five sets is a whole other animal, so what you put in your body is pretty important.

When you were younger, training in Florida, did you have a different idea about nutrition? And when did you came to realise that you can do certain things?
I have a crazy sweet tooth, that never changed. Luckily for me I’m very hyper as well, and very active, more so than most, even if it’s not training-related. Playing basketball, I’m on my feet, walking around somewhere. I lift, I play tennis, I work on my speed and footwork, and that takes up a whole day, so it’s really hard. My input-output is definitely one-sided… high on the output side.

So for now, I’m really enjoying the fact I can get away with eating whenever, especially when I’m not in a Slam. But any month where there is a Slam, my diet changes.

Does it help that you’re a bigger guy, so you might need more?
Yeah, for sure. I think I can definitely get away with [more]. It’s hard for me to gain weight as it is, so it definitely helps.

What is your go-to cheat meal?
Lucky Charms. I love Lucky Charms.

As a snack?
Yeah, or like a little nightcap, a little dessert. I don’t want to eat them before I play, but at night, I eat Lucky Charms.

I had a dessert once, it’s like this orange ice cream, with almost this marshmallow meringue on top with honey. It was just a crazy.

If you want to go to a good restaurant, the drinks are important. Before a match you don’t drink alcohol, but the mocktails, that’s an art as well. It’s a full service and you want to try that or try the dessert, that’s all part of it. If you want fine dining, you can’t just go off appetisers and entrees. You have to do the whole thing if you want to judge a restaurant.

If you could have one meal, what’s one you would have, and what’s one you would never have?
I love caviar. Good caviar, you can’t beat, and I like beef wellington.

I don’t do eel. I tried it, I don’t like it. I don’t like sea urchin. I eat a lot of Japanese food. It’s my favourite cuisine. Those two are the only no-no’s for me.

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I know you’re into trying high-end restaurants. When did you get into that?
Probably 2018. I love New York City. New York City is the best city in the world. Part of the appeal of it for me is every street, there’s something special food-wise.

One of my really close friends is an unbelievable chef, his name is Simon Kim. He opened up a restaurant in Miami, it’s been around in New York for a while, it’s one of my favourite restaurants in New York City. It’s called COTE and it’s my favourite restaurant in Florida, in Miami for sure. It’s Korean barbeque. He’s an unbelievable chef. He’s had success in other restaurants as well, outside of Korean food.

[One] night at COTE we had an unbelievable paella. With Korean barbeque, it’s unheard of. But he’s a Michelin-star chef, so he knows what he’s doing and he’s a foodie as well. I hang out with him often in Miami, and we don’t just eat at COTE, we go to tonnes of other restaurants. He orders the best ingredients, even his salt. He brags about where his salt is from, mushrooms from Canada. He brings in the best of the best.

You mentioned the type of salt that goes in. Most people don’t think like that, but I’m sure that attention to detail leads to greatness if it works?
No doubt, it’s really a process of trial and error. It’s hard, you can’t always go off your tastebuds. But the thing I love about COTE, unlike most restaurants that are great foodie restaurants, like Per Se and Surf Club to name a few, but COTE is one that I can eat at a few times a week, because it’s clean, it’s lean meat. It’s one of the few foodie restaurants that I can crush before training a few times a week and it’s not going to get in the way.

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PCB Has Faith In Alcaraz's Future; His Driving? Not So Much

  • Posted: Mar 04, 2022

PCB Has Faith In Alcaraz’s Future; His Driving? Not So Much

Close friends train and play doubles together

Such is the talent of Carlos Alcaraz that it is easy to forget he is still an 18-year-old who finished school just last year and only recently passed his driving test. The Rio Open presented by Claro champion benefits from a solid group of people around him in his mission to grow, both on and off court.

“When he’s on court, he doesn’t look like a boy,” his friend Pablo Carreno Busta tells “He is very mature, but of course off court he still has things to improve. [His coach] Juan Carlos [Ferrero] knows what it is to be the No. 1 in the world and as that is Carlos’ goal, he takes care of a lot of things.

“For example, Juan Carlos really insists that he [Alcaraz] has to go to bed early,” adds Carreno Busta, who has been Alcaraz’s practice partner for many years at the Equelite Ferrero Academy. “[He also helps with] things like his mobile phone and Instagram…normal, everyday things, but things you have to control.

“That’s also good. Carlos is a kid with a lot of room for improvement.”

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Fast & Fabulous: Why Carlos Alcaraz Won’t Slow Down After Top 20 Milestone

The entourage of experience surrounding the #NextGenATP star helps keep his feet on the ground. Even more so at moments like this, when he is enjoying breaking into the Top 20 of the ATP Rankings for the first time. None of the Big Three (Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal) managed to reach such heights so young.

Despite such precocious success, many people around Alcaraz constantly remind him of how far he has yet to go. Carreno Busta is one of them. “I’ve managed to help him with certain things, and it’s a genuine pleasure for me,” says the World No. 16, who is also Alcaraz’s regular doubles partner. “Hopefully I can continue to help. For me it would be great news if Carlos learns something from me or watches me, or if I help by training with him.”

One on-court skill Carreno Busta has passed on is touch. “Drop shots, counter drop shots, tricking your opponent…things you do in training when you’re relaxed, but when it comes to matches, they can really help you,” says Carreno Busta. “Things like that, he copies them, and with great ease because he really learns quickly as soon as you show him something.”

Although Carreno Busta is a mentor, there is also a brotherly aspect to his relationship with a player twelve years his junior. “There is competition, of course,” says the six-time ATP Tour titlist. “We compete to see who has the best shot in training. But not only in tennis. We are even competitive when we play chess and golf…or anything. That’s when there’s healthy competition between us.”

Who comes out on top more often? “At the moment I’m able to beat him in most things,” answers Carreno Busta with a smile. “At the end of the day, I have more experience at the moment, but in tennis I’m not sure if I’d beat him anymore because he’s improving really fast.” In fact, improving so quickly that Alcaraz, who was outside the Top 130 a year ago, is now just 159 points behind Pablo in the ATP Rankings.

“We’ve trained a lot together,” explains Carreno Busta. “I always thought he had something special. Even so, it was difficult to predict that he would be that good so quickly, which shows how much he has grown in the last two years. I think I’ve been lucky to coincide with him, to see him close up in pre-season, seeing all his hard work.”

Carreno Busta takes brotherly pride in Alcaraz’s improvement and doesn’t miss any of his friend’s matches, even when they are not in the same place. “I watch him whenever he plays,” says the 30-year-old. “While I was travelling to Acapulco, for example, I watched what I could of his final in Rio. And I’m really happy. I’m happy about every good thing that happens to him, because he deserves it. As well as being a great tennis player, he’s very polite, very likeable, very nice and well-mannered, just like his family and those around him.”

Despite Alcaraz’s rapid progress and the possibility that his younger compatriot may one day win the pair’s first clash on the ATP Tour, Carreno Busta has no intention of stepping back from supporting and guiding the 18-year-old. Like any brotherly relationship, however, that doesn’t mean he will always give Alcaraz an easy ride.

“Now he has his driving licence, he can finally take me somewhere in his car,” adds Carreno Busta. “But not yet. When he has more experience…I still don’t trust him!”

– Story courtesy

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Davis Cup: De Minaur & Fucsovics Leave Things All-Square In Sydney

  • Posted: Mar 04, 2022

Davis Cup: De Minaur & Fucsovics Leave Things All-Square In Sydney

Bautista Agut, Alcaraz power Spain to 2-0 lead over Romania

Alex de Minaur got Australia off to a flying start before Hungarian No. 1 Marton Fucsovics struck back in Sydney to leave things intriguingly balanced on day one of the Davis Cup Qualifiers on Friday.

De Minaur, who claimed his first ATP Tour title in Sydney in 2019, put Lleyton Hewitt’s team in front on Ken Rosewall Arena with a 7-5, 6-2 victory over World No. 240 Zsombor Piros, but 2018 Geneva champion Fucsovics levelled the tie by edging Thanasi Kokkinakis 7-6(4), 1-6, 6-3 to leave it all to play for in Saturday’s doubles and reverse singles rubbers.

Spain in control in Marbella
Top 20 stars Roberto Bautista Agut and Carlos Alcaraz continued their red-hot form to take 2019 champions Spain to the brink of qualification with straight-sets wins against Romania on the clay in Marbella.

Doha champion Bautista Agut defeated Gabi Adrian Boitan 6-3, 6-1 before Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals champion Alcaraz overcame Marius Copil 6-4, 6-3, the 18-year-old’s first match since clinching a first ATP 500 title in Rio de Janeiro to break into the Top 20 of the ATP Rankings for the first time.

Kwon keeps South Korea in the hunt
World No. 65 Soonwoo Kwon earned a vital win for South Korea as he beat Jurij Rodionov 7-5, 6-4 to level proceedings with Austria.

The pressure was on South Korean No. 1 Kwon following Dennis Novak’s comfortable 6-1, 6-4 win over JiSung Nam, but the 2021 Nur-Sultan champion was too strong for World No. 194 Rodionov on the indoor hard courts at the Seoul Olympic Park.

The winning team from each of this weekend’s 12 qualification ties will qualify for the Davis Cup Finals, to be held in September and November across four different cities.

Follow the latest scores and results on the Davis Cup website.

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