Tennis News

From around the world

Fritz Edges De Minaur To Reach Third Straight ATP Masters 1000 QF

  • Posted: Mar 16, 2022

Fritz Edges De Minaur To Reach Third Straight ATP Masters 1000 QF

American No. 2 will face unseeded Kecmanovic next

San Diego’s Taylor Fritz is back in the BNP Paribas Open quarter-finals thanks to a gutsy win in gusty conditions Wednesday in Indian Wells. A semi-finalist five months ago in his home tournament, Fritz was nearly sent packing by road-runner Alex de Minaur but ultimately closed out a 3-6, 6-4, 7-6(5) victory.

It was the American’s second straight third-set tie-break win, matching his third-round result against Jaume Munar on Tuesday.

“I’m really not a big fan of playing de Minuar,” Fritz said after the match, noting the change in style from the Spaniard, who played from deep in the court with heavy spin. “Now I come out on the court, he’s on the baseline hitting everything so flat and low. The first set I really just couldn’t time the ball. Going from two extremes, different players, it really was tough for me.”

An eventful deciding set saw the pair split four breaks of serve, with both men leading by a break early before de Minaur levelled at 3-all. There were no further breaks from there, and the entire tie-break went the way of the server until Fritz drew an error with a deep backhand to cap a 10-ball exchange on match point.

“In the end I knew what was working for me and just kind of battled through it,” Fritz explained.

You May Also Like:

‘Never Be Satisfied:’ Taylor Fritz Aiming Higher After Top 20 Breakthrough

The two-hour, 23-minute contest featured frequent lung-busting rallies as both baseliners were happy to build points slowly from the backcourt. One such rally, which proved emblematic of the match as a whole, saw Fritz gradually gain the upper hand before tracking back to return a deep lob, narrowly dodging the wind-whipped ball as it fell from the desert sky. The American regained control from there and closed with a backhand winner as he grinded his way to a hold early in the deciding set.

The longest rally of the match was 44 balls, with de Minaur winning a 31-ball exchange to take a 3-2 lead in the decisive tie-break. 

The Australian was in control early, dropping just one point on first serve in an opening set he won by a double break. But Fritz began to turn the match around midway through the second. He converted on his first break point of the match to edge in front, 3-2, then threatened in nearly every return game the rest of the way.

De Minaur falls to 0-7 in the Round of 16 at ATP Masters 1000 events, while Fritz advances to his third straight quarter-final at a Masters event (Indian Wells, Paris).

The American will face Miomir Kecmanovic in the quarter-finals, after the unseeded Serb upset Matteo Berrettini, 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-4.

“He’s a really good ball-striker and I think it’s going to be a lot of big hitting probably,” Fritz previewed, noting Kecmanovic’s strong form of late, including a run to the fourth round at the Australian Open. 

Source link

Kecmanovic Stuns Berrettini To Reach QFs

  • Posted: Mar 16, 2022

Kecmanovic Stuns Berrettini To Reach QFs

Serbian advances to his second ATP Masters 1000 quarter-final

Miomir Kecmanovic earned just his second Top 10 win Wednesday at the BNP Paribas Open, upsetting World No. 6 Matteo Berrettini 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-4 to reach the quarter-finals in Indian Wells.

The Serbian is enjoying a dream run in the California desert and backed up his third-round win over Botic van de Zandschulp with a consistent and aggressive display against Berrettini on Stadium 2 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

Kecmanovic stood close to the baseline on return to shut down the angles on Berrettini’s serve, targeting the Italian’s backhand successfully throughout. He forced the sixth seed into errors with his depth and precision and held his nerve in a tense third set to advance after two hours and 29 minutes in their first ATP Head2Head meeting.


📺 TV Schedule
🎾 Watch Live On Tennis TV
📱 Follow Live Scores On ATP Tour App
📧 Sign Up For Newsletters

With his standout victory, the World No. 61 has booked his place in the last eight at an ATP Masters 1000 event for the second time, after also advancing to the same stage in Indian Wells on his tournament debut in 2019.

Kecmanovic’s only previous Top 10 victory came against then-World No. 6 Alexander Zverev in Cincinnati in 2019. The 22-year-old will meet Taylor Fritz in the quarter-finals after the American defeated Alex de Minaur 3-6, 6-4, 7-6(5).

It is the third time Kecmanovic has reached the quarter-finals at a tour-level event this season, having advanced to the last eight on clay in Rio de Janeiro and Santiago.

In a rock-solid first-set performance, Kecmanovic looked to step inside the baseline and dictate as he quickly found his rhythm on his groundstrokes to pin the Italian back. The Serbian gained an early break in the fourth game and looked comfortable on serve, not facing a break point in the set as he moved ahead.

The second set was a close affair, with Berrettini utilising his powerful serve to great effect as he looked to regain a foothold in the match. According to Infosys ATP Stats, Berrettini hammered nine aces in the set and crucially relied on the weapon at 5-5, saving a break point with a thunderous first serve. With the pair moving to a tie-break, it was Berrettini who held his nerve from 5/5 to level.

Both players looked tense in the third set, with Berrettini showing his experience as he saved two break points on serve at 3-4. Kecmanovic refused to go away though and found the crucial break in the 10th game of the set, letting out a roar after sealing his win.

Berrettini is a five-time tour-level titlist but was bidding to win his maiden Masters 1000 crown in Indian Wells. The 25-year-old defeated #NextGenATP Dane Holger Rune and South African Lloyd Harris en route to his fourth-round clash against Kecmanovic.

Source link

Day 7 Preview: Sinner And Kyrgios Face Off, Nadal Looks To Blunt Opelka Threat

  • Posted: Mar 16, 2022

Day 7 Preview: Sinner And Kyrgios Face Off, Nadal Looks To Blunt Opelka Threat

First Tour meetings for Monfils and Alcaraz, Norrie and Brooksby

The BNP Paribas Open delivers a manic day of tennis on Wednesday with all fourth-round singles matches to be played at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

Twenty-year-old Jannik Sinner, a man in a hurry, is the youngest player in the ATP Tour’s Top 10. In 2020, the Italian was the youngest male quarter-finalist at Roland Garros since Novak Djokovic 14 years earlier. Sinner reached the quarter-final of this year’s Australian Open, becoming the youngest to do that since Nick Kyrgios in 2015.

Coincidentally – or perhaps not – Sinner and Kyrgios meet in one of the eight tantalising round of 16 matches in Indian Wells. Sinner needed three sets against Benjamin Bonzi to make this happen, while the unseeded Kyrgios achieved a greater degree of difficulty, upsetting No. 8 Casper Ruud in straight sets.

The two have never met.

The big-serving Australian had split two matches in 2022 coming into Indian Wells, but has found his happy place in the desert, tripling that win total in less than a week. In the back of his mind, Kyrgios probably carries a sense of unfinished business. In 2017 he staged upset victories here over Alexander Zverev and Djokovic before withdrawing with an illness with Roger Federer lined up as his quarter-final opponent.

Sinner, on the strength of his performance in Melbourne, is 13-2 this year – and a sporty 92-45 (.672) for his young career. And to think, he almost chose a career in professional skiing.

“Skiing is just go one and a half minutes down the hill,” Sinner told reporters. “If you make one mistake, the whole thing is over. In tennis you can still make some mistakes but still win. This is why I chose tennis.”

After winning 21 major titles, including this year’s Australian Open, it’s clear that ultimately tennis chose Rafael Nadal. Despite a series of injuries – the latest a chronic foot issue – and advancing age (he’s 35), Nadal has shown remarkable consistency.

No. 4 seed Nadal is eyeing a quarter-final berth when he meets No. 17 Reilly Opelka. The Spaniard won their only match, in straight sets, in the semi-final of last year’s Internazionali BNL d’Italia ATP Masters 1000 event in Rome. Rafa is working on a Tour-best 17-match winning streak to start the season.

According to the seeding, World No. 1 Daniil Medvedev was supposed to play Roberto Bautista Agut. Instead we have No. 19 Carlos Alcaraz versus No. 26 Gael Monfils, a dashing pair of players coming off upsets. Monfils took down Medvedev in three sets, while Alcaraz hammered countryman Bautista Agut in two.

For Monfils, it was his second victory over a World No. 1, going back 13 years to Doha where he beat Nadal in the quarter-final. The 35-year-old Frenchman knows that the 18-year-old Alcaraz – 10-1 for the season, including the title in Rio de Janeiro – will be a tough out.

“He’s full of confidence, young, hitting the balls big,” Monfils observed. “I just have to play my game and be there and try to find a solution. I’ve never played him, so it’s going to be interesting.”

Cameron Norrie vs Jenson Brooksby offers this intriguing question: Who will feel more at home on the courts of Indian Wells? Norrie, the defending champion – or Brooksby, who grew up nearby and attended the tournament as a kid?

“I definitely have an appreciation for it,” Brooksby said. “In my process and everything, I don’t think about it now because that can’t be my focus. At the same time, it is in the back of my head how special it is and how cool it is.”

You May Also Like:

Brooksby Says His Superpower Is…

World No. 6 Matteo Berrettini, who defeated No. 30 Lloyd Harris 6-4, 7-5, is up against Miomir Kecmanovic, a 7-6 (3), 7-5 winner over Botic Van de Zandschulp. The Italian had won only a single match in three previous appearances at Indian Wells but will be looking for his third this week against Kecmanovic. Berrettini hit 12 aces against Harris and won 36 of his 41 first-serve points (88 per cent), according to Infosys ATP Stats. In 2019, Kecmanovic reached the quarter-finals in his first try at Indian Wells – as a lucky loser. It will be the pair’s first ATP Head2Head meeting.

As they both come off matches featuring pivotal tie-breaks, No. 20 seed Taylor Fritz and No. 29 Alex de Minaur are certainly battle-tested for their fourth-round meeting. They have, as they say, a history.

They’ve already met five times, with the Australian de Minaur winning the first four, beginning with victories at an ATP Challenger Tour event and the Next Gen ATP Finals in 2018. The results were the same in 2019, in Atlanta and Basel, both in straight sets. But at last year’s US Open, Fritz finally got on the board with a first-round victory, taking the opening tie-break and winning in four sets.


📺 TV Schedule
🎾 Watch Live On Tennis TV
📱 Follow Live Scores On ATP Tour App
📧 Sign Up For Newsletters

The John Isner vs Grigor Dimitrov matchup is difficult to read. This will be their fourth meeting – and all four have come in Masters 1000 events (in Miami, Cincinnati, Paris, and now Indian Wells). Isner is up, 2-1. The caveat? They haven’t played in nearly five years.

Both men are in form. The No. 23-seeded Isner defeated No. 14 Diego Schwartzman 7-5, 6-3, firing 13 aces in the process. No. 33 Dimitrov defeated No. 31 Alexander Bublik 6-3, 6-4.

Rounding out the fourth-round action are No. 7 seed Andrey Rublev and 2021 Miami Open presented by Itau champion Hubert Hurkacz. Rublev has impressed on his way to the fourth round for the first time, completing straight-sets wins over Dominik Koepfer and Frances Tiafoe. His No. 11-seeded opponent seems to thrive in the desert conditions, however, and is seeking a third quarter-final in as many appearances in Indian Wells.

An indication of how tight an encounter to expect is the pair’s most recent meeting in the semi-finals in Dubai last month. World No. 7 Rublev recovered from dropping the opening set to squeeze through via a tie-break in the decider. That Dubai title run forms part of Rublev’s current 11-match winning streak and he is looking forward to another high-level encounter against a player who leads him 2-1 in their ATP Head2Head series.

“I was thinking after the Dubai match, when am I going to see him [Hurkacz] again?” said Rublev after the win over Tiafoe. “But it’s tennis, it’s fun, we cannot control this, so we have to face each other tomorrow again and hopefully it’s going to be another good match.”


STADIUM 1 Starts at 11:00 am
ATP – [20] Taylor Fritz (USA) vs [29] Alex de Minaur (AUS)
ATP – [4] Rafael Nadal (ESP) vs [17] Reilly Opelka (USA)

Not Before 3:00 PM
WTA – [24] Simona Halep (ROU) vs Petra Martic (CRO)

Not Before 6:00 PM
WTA – [3] Iga Swiatek (POL) vs [25] Madison Keys (USA)
ATP – [12] Cameron Norrie (GBR) vs Jenson Brooksby (USA)

STADIUM 2 Starts at 11:00 am
ATP – [6] Matteo Berrettini (ITA) vs Miomir Kecmanovic (SRB)
ATP – [10] Jannik Sinner (ITA) vs [WC] Nick Kyrgios (AUS)
ATP – [23] John Isner (USA) vs [33] Grigor Dimitrov (BUL)

Not Before 6:00 pm
ATP – [26] Gael Monfils (FRA) vs [19] Carlos Alcaraz (ESP)
ATP – [WC] John Isner (USA)/Jack Sock (USA) vs [WC] Feliciano Lopez (ESP)/Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE)

STADIUM 3 Starts at 11:00 am
WTA – [3] Cori Gauff (USA)/Catherine McNally (USA) vs [7] Asia Muhammad (USA)/Ena Shibahara (JPN)

Not Before 1:00 PM
WTA – Marie Bouzkova (CZE)/Lucie Hradecka (CZE) vs [OSE] Alizé Cornet (FRA)/Leylah Fernandez (CAN)

Not Before 4:00 pm
ATP – [7] Andrey Rublev vs [11] Hubert Hurkacz (POL)
ATP – Taylor Fritz (USA)/Tommy Paul (USA) vs Andrey Golubev (KAZ)/Alexander Zverev (GER)

Source link

Unstoppable Rublev Brushes Past Tiafoe

  • Posted: Mar 16, 2022

Unstoppable Rublev Brushes Past Tiafoe

World No. 7 moves to 16-2 for the season

In this form, it’s hard to see where Andrey Rublev’s red-hot run will end.

The seventh seed faced a potentially tricky assignment in Tuesday’s BNP Paribas Open third round, facing up against exciting home favourite Frances Tiafoe. Rublev showed little interest in getting involved in a drawn-out affair, however, crashing 21 winners in 70 minutes to breeze through with a 6-3, 6-4 victory.

“To play Frances is never easy and I’m happy to be through today and through to the fourth round for the first time in Indian Wells,” said Rublev after the match. “We’ll see what’s going to happen. Now [there’s] no pressure, I’ve done better than ever here, so now I just need to try to relax and play tennis.”

The win on Stadium 1 extends Rublev’s winning streak to 11 after he took the titles in both Marseille and Dubai. It also avenged defeat to Tiafoe in the pair’s only previous ATP Head2Head meeting, a five-set thriller at the 2021 US Open. The American has struggled with an elbow injury since then, winning just two matches in 2022 so far, but on his day is a threat to anyone on tour.


📺 TV Schedule
🎾 Watch Live On Tennis TV
📱 Follow Live Scores On ATP Tour App
📧 Sign Up For Newsletters

Rublev is a dominant force at ATP 500 events. His February triumph in Dubai was his fifth title at that level, but he hasn’t always found it easy to produce similar form at ATP Masters 1000 series tournaments. The tide showed signs of turning in 2021, however, as he reached the semi-finals at the Miami Open presented by Itau and the championship match at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters and the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati

This performance suggested another deep run is on the cards in the California desert, despite an early setback as Tiafoe broke in the opening game. Rublev hit back to level at 2-2 and clinched a second crucial break at the tail-end of the set to get himself in front.

The second set was decided by a solitary break for Rublev, a dominant serving display making it difficult for Tiafoe to get any sort of foothold in the match.

Rublev acknowledged afterwards that his performance on serve had been key to nullifying the powerful Tiafoe game. According to Infosys ATP Stats, he won 82 per cent (28/34) points behind his first delivery and fired seven aces in the match.

“When you feel your serve, and you feel that you can go full power and are most likely going to make it, of course it’s going to give you extra confidence,” he said. “Because then you know you can start to dictate the rally, even if the guy is going to return well. It gives you huge advantages.”

Rublev will now take on 2021 Miami champion Hubert Hurkacz in the fourth round. The World No. 11 beat American Steve Johnson 7-6(7), 6-3 earlier on Tuesday, and will be looking to reach the quarter-finals for the third time in three appearances in Indian Wells when he faces up against Rublev.

Rublev edged Hurkacz in a third-set tie-break in the Dubai semi-finals just a few weeks ago, and despite that fight he is looking forward to the challenge of facing the Pole again in the fourth round on Wednesday.

“I was thinking after the Dubai match, when am I going to see him again?” said Rublev. “But it’s tennis, it’s fun, we cannot control this, so we have to face each other tomorrow again and hopefully it’s going to be another good match.”

Source link

Hurkacz & Dimitrov Topple Tricky Tests At Indian Wells

  • Posted: Mar 16, 2022

Hurkacz & Dimitrov Topple Tricky Tests At Indian Wells

Polish star defeats Johnson in straight sets

Hubert Hurkacz and Grigor Dimitrov faced tricky opponents on Tuesday evening at the BNP Paribas Open, but both advanced to the fourth round unscathed.

The 11th-seeded Hurkacz, who claimed his maiden ATP Masters 1000 title last year in Miami, defeated American Steve Johnson 7-6(7), 6-3. Hurkacz will next play seventh seed Andrey Rublev or 28th seed Frances Tiafoe.

The Indian Wells Tennis Garden has proven a happy venue for Hurkacz, who reached the quarter-finals here on his first two appearances in 2019 and 2021. A win in the fourth round will make it three consecutive trips to the quarter-finals for the Pole at the Masters 1000 event.

Although the 2021 Nitto ATP Finals competitor eliminated Johnson in straight sets, it was a tough test for the 25-year-old. Hurkacz’s coach is Craig Boynton, who previously worked with Johnson, so the players know each other well.

In the crucial moments in the first set, Johnson’s devastating forehand was not firing on all cylinders and Hurkacz was able to approach to the Californian’s backhand to get out of trouble. He saved two set points before closing out the first set and carried that momentum to a one-hour, 29-minute triumph.

Hurkacz hit 13 aces and saved all three break points he faced. The four-time ATP Tour titlist is now 9-2 at Indian Wells after ousting the home favourite.

Grigor Dimitrov made the long journey to Indian Wells seven times before last year’s first-time fall event. He never made the Round of 16 in those seven appearances. The eighth time was the charm, as Dimitrov advanced to the 2021 semi-finals before losing to eventual winner Cameron Norrie.

Could it be two big runs in six months in the California desert for the Bulgarian? Tuesday, the 33rd seed dismantled 31st seed Alexander Bublik 6-3, 6-4 in a clinical, 69-minute performance. Dimitrov won 41 of 51 service points and made just nine unforced errors to 13 winners. Their career series is now tied at 2-all.

Bublik is one of the most entertaining players on the ATP Tour. The Kazakhstani star pulled out all the tricks against the former World No. 3, but found no answers.

Dimitrov next meets 23rd seed John Isner, who was a 7-5, 6-3 winner over 14th seed Diego Schwartzman 7-5, 6-3.

Source link