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Sleeping Soundly, Medvedev Not Fixated On No. 1 Return

  • Posted: Mar 24, 2022

Sleeping Soundly, Medvedev Not Fixated On No. 1 Return

The Miami top seed is pursuing his fifth ATP Masters 1000 title

If Daniil Medvedev reaches the semi-finals of the Miami Open presented by Itau, he will reclaim the No. 1 spot in the ATP Rankings from Novak Djokovic. But the 26-year-old says he will not lose any sleep over it.

“It’s not something that stays in my mind nonstop. I’m not going to bed saying, ‘How could I lose it, how can I get it back?’” Medvedev said. “But I know the mathematics, read them all over the place a little bit, and it’s kind of the same like in Indian Wells.”

The four-time ATP Masters 1000 champion had an opportunity to keep World No. 1 following the BNP Paribas Open, but he lost in the third round against Gael Monfils. He is more concerned with his performance than his ATP Ranking.

“I didn’t manage to play my best there, so that’s why I lost. That’s why I lost the No. 1 spot. If I manage to play good tennis here, I think I have my chances of getting it back. But I want to try my best every day [in] every practice, every match. If it’s going to be No. 2, it’s going to be No. 2. If it’s going to be No. 5, then it is what it is,” Medvedev said. “I just want to do my best, which I tried to do in Indian Wells and here I have to do better if I want to get it back.”

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Medvedev has excelled on quicker courts throughout his career, winning the Nitto ATP Finals on indoor hard in 2020 and capturing his first major title at last year’s US Open. The Sunshine Double, Indian Wells and Miami, is played on outdoor hard courts, which Medvedev says have not been the quickest.

“In my opinion, the surface, both Indian Wells and Miami, which I think is usually similar, has been really slow and like really slow, like one of the slowest hard courts,” Medvedev said. “I made some adjustments compared to Indian Wells, and I feel like I’m playing much better.

“When you play [a] Masters 1000, you play tough opponents. Even if you are playing them better, [that] doesn’t mean you’re going to beat everybody, so I’m practising hard, working hard on my game, and will try to be better than I was in Indian Wells.”

It will not be easy from the first round, as Medvedev will play former World No. 1 Andy Murray or Federico Delbonis, who was seeded in Indian Wells. But the top seed takes comfort in how he feels at Hard Rock Stadium, where he made the quarter-finals last year.

“Miami, I usually play a little bit better [than Indian Wells]. And when I came, I felt like my game was not there yet, so I tried to make some adjustments with my coach,” Medvedev said. “We were talking a lot to see how can I play better in the conditions we have here.”

According to Medvedev, the ball would fluff up quickly at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. But he feels he has adapted well in South Florida. How so?

“I want to be honest, I won’t share my secrets,” Medvedev said. “But I feel like we have done good adjustments and I’m ready to play good.”

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Ruthless Korda Races Past Davidovich Fokina

  • Posted: Mar 24, 2022

Ruthless Korda Races Past Davidovich Fokina

American next plays Ramos-Vinolas

Sebastian Korda’s love affair with the Miami Open presented by Itau continued in style Thursday, with the American dispatching Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-1, 6-1 to reach the second round.

The 21-year-old enjoyed a run to the quarter-finals on his debut at the ATP Masters 1000 event last year when he was ranked No. 87 in the ATP Rankings. Now at a career-high No. 38, Korda set the wheels in motion for another strong week with a dominant one-hour, 11-minute win over Spaniard Davidovich Fokina.

“I played some long points. It was pretty warm out there so I am super happy to get through,” Korda said in his on-court interview. “I made him run around a bit. I think I did a good job on that today and am super happy with the way I played.”


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The American, who eliminated seeds Fabio Fognini, Aslan Karatsev and Diego Schwartzman in Miami in 2021, fired the ball through the court with great power and precision in his first ATP Head2Head meeting against the World No. 43.

“I made the quarter-finals last year and ever since I was a little kid I came to this tournament,” Korda added. “Now to be able to be here and compete myself, I think little Sebi would be very happy.”

With his victory, Korda will next play 32nd seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas in what will be the first clash between the pair.

Korda arrives in Miami on the back of two promising performances at the BNP Paribas Open, where he defeated Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis before falling agonisingly short against World No. 3 Rafael Nadal in three sets.

The 2021 Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals runner up is competing in his sixth tour-level event of the year in Florida, with his best result this season a run to the last eight on home soil in Delray Beach last month.

Davidovich Fokina was making his Miami debut and is one of nine Spaniards in the singles field. The 22-year-old advanced to the quarter-finals in Doha last month.

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Inside Fritz's Rollercoaster Indian Wells Win

  • Posted: Mar 24, 2022

Inside Fritz’s Rollercoaster Indian Wells Win

Fritz’s coach, Michael Russell, provides exclusive insight

Taylor Fritz’s coach, Michael Russell, had one word to describe his charge’s dream run to the BNP Paribas Open title at Indian Wells last week: rollercoaster.

The American, who is now a career-high No. 13 in the ATP Rankings, tweaked his ankle during his semi-final win against Andrey Rublev, and had to cut short his first warmup on Sunday before playing Rafael Nadal for the trophy.

“We didn’t really know how it was going to feel until he got on court and really tested it,” Russell told “But we weren’t expecting it to be that bad.”

Fritz’s physio, Wolfgang Oswald, and the tournament doctor tried their best to make things more comfortable for the 24-year-old by using various methods, including taping.

“[He] got an injection and then finally it got to the point where the injection kicked in and he literally had zero pain,” Russell said.

But the coach gave his player a major test before the match. The team ventured to a practice court where nobody was around, and Russell put Fritz through an intense session.

“We would never warm up like that, ever. We really tested it. I had him going side to side, drop shots. I basically said, ‘Okay, we’re going to play a groundstroke game, but I’m in one corner and I get full court.’ I was exhausting him on purpose to see if he could do all this, because he was going to have to do it for two hours, at least, two and a half,” Russell said. “And he was able to do it with a straight face and said, ‘Look, I can do all this. I’m confident in my foot and that I could play.’

“I really moved him and we still advised him not to play because we just didn’t know what the MRI would say and [what] any longterm effects [would be]. We didn’t want to deter his career. It’s a macro picture of what to look at, but the guy is such a warrior, such a competitor and so stubborn.”

Fritz himself admitted he was stubborn. Regardless of his team’s advice, he had his mind set.

“He was like ‘No, I’m going to play. And the way that I feel right now, I’ll regret this decision the rest of my life if I don’t walk on court and give it my best,’” Russell recalled. “So we said, ‘Okay, as long as you understand that we’re not condoning that you go on court and play, because it could be a really, really bad injury. But it’s on you, and it’s your decision.’ He said, ‘Yeah’ and was like, ‘Sorry I’m so stubborn, but I have to step out there.’ We were like ‘Okay’ and miraculously he felt great.”

The Californian played aggressive tennis to take the action to Nadal, who entered the match 20-0, a career-best start to the season for the Spaniard. Even when Rafa appeared poised to claw through the second-set tie-break to force a decider, Fritz remained calm and battled through.

“Sometimes [having an injury] can free you up a little bit, too. You have that a little bit in the back of your mind, that the ankle is not quite 100 per cent, and you’re a little freer. Already you’re considered the underdog by ranking and of course the experience Rafa has in a final,” Russell said. “Taylor did a great job, especially in that tie-break in the second, he really took it to Rafa, played his game and played big-strike tennis, big serve, big groundstrokes and didn’t give Rafa any rhythm. It just turned out to be an incredible week.”

It was a whirlwind for the entire team. From telling Fritz he should not play to watching him earn Masters 1000 glory, there were plenty of emotions.

“We all just said, ‘Incredible fight, [you are] such a warrior’ and [there were] just a lot of big smiles,” Russell said. “[There was] a lot of shaking of the head too, because of what transpired an hour to two hours before the match to what happened in the match to win your first Masters [1000] event, and [that he did it] in the United States. It’s just incredible.”

Indian Wells has been a happy hunting ground for Fritz in the past six months. When the BNP Paribas Open was held in the California desert last October, he reached the semi-finals as the World No. 39. Now he is on the verge of cracking the Top 10.

“It’s just a great story. Taylor is from Southern California, he’s in the final of Indian Wells. It kind of kickstarted the performance that he’s had the past six months [when he did well] there last October,” Russell said. “We’ve been continuing to build on that and it’s been sweet. He’s just got to continue the progression and success and stay healthy.”

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Henman On Draper: 'We'll See A Lot More From Him In The Future'

  • Posted: Mar 24, 2022

Henman On Draper: ‘We’ll See A Lot More From Him In The Future’

Former World No. 4 discusses the #NextGenATP star’s game

Jack Draper not only earned his first ATP Masters 1000 victory on Wednesday at the Miami Open presented by Itau, but he also received a stamp of approval from a fellow Briton who knows a thing or two about tennis success.

Former World No. 4 Tim Henman told after the match that Draper, who defeated former World No. 6 Gilles Simon 7-5, 6-1, is “very good”. The 20-year-old is fourth in the ATP Race To Milan for a spot at the Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals.

“He’s got weapons. He’s a lefty, he’s got a big serve, he’s got a really heavy forehand. He’s brought that physicality, he’s put on a lot of muscle mass, he’s a good athlete,” Henman said. “He’s adding elements to his game. It’s still early days, but as long as he stays healthy, we’ll see a lot more from him in the future.”

A year ago in Miami, Draper played an 82-minute first set against Mikhail Kukushkin. Then 19, he was forced to retire from the match due to heat. On Wednesday, the lefty had no such difficulties under the Florida sun.

“It’s been great to watch his progression,” Henman told “And obviously when you take into account where he was 12 months ago here, in similar conditions, and he was cooked after a set… to see him play against a class opponent and come out on top, both in tennis terms, but in physical terms [too], it’s good times.”

<a href=''>Jack Draper</a>
Photo Credit: Peter Staples/ATP Tour
Draper showed great maturity against a tricky player in Simon. Serving up a break at 4-3, 30/0, he played some loose points on the forehand side to give the break back. But as Henman said, “there was no panic”. The #NextGenATP star competed through the adversity and won nine of the match’s final 10 games.

“He’s always been a good competitor, and his game has been developing and to a certain extent it’s taken him a little bit of time for his physicality to catch up,” Henman said. “He’s had quite a few injuries, hasn’t really been able to build the momentum previously but this year it’s a different story.”

The lefty has won three ATP Challenger Tour titles this year, becoming the youngest Briton to earn three Challenger trophies.

“I think people that understand the game know that the level of tennis at Challenger level is very high,” Henman said. “It’s not a big step up to the main Tour, and with all those wins he’s got a lot of confidence under his belt.”

Now Draper is on one of the sport’s biggest stages, proving he can compete against the world’s best. It is not the first time he has done so, though. Last year at the Cinch Championships, held at The Queen’s Club, he upset Jannik Sinner and Alexander Bublik. Then at Wimbledon, Draper won the first set against eventual champion Novak Djokovic before losing in four sets.

“I was there. Tough draw, wasn’t it?” Henman said. “But he embraced that challenge. He lost that day but to take a set off Djokovic, the first set he’s played on Centre Court at Wimbledon, he did himself proud and he would have learnt a lot. As I said, I think it won’t be long before he’s back out on Centre Court again.”

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Next up in Miami for Draper will be fellow Briton Cameron Norrie, the man who defeated him at The Queen’s Club last year 6-3, 6-3. They are plenty familiar with each other despite Norrie being more than six years older.

“I’ve played a lot with Cam in the U.K. He’s one of the guys who has been great with me as a young Brit. I think he’s always supporting, always sending me messages,” Draper said. “Nice I get to share the court with him on Friday. When I played him at Queen’s last year, I’m a lot better player than that I think. Hopefully I can give him a run for his money on Friday.”

No matter what happens in that match, Henman added that it’s important to remember a tennis career is a long journey. Draper is still at the start.

“It is [important]. It’s such a competitive environment, you’ve got to enjoy winning, but the reality in this sport is you lose a lot. It doesn’t matter who you are, you lose a lot,” Henman said. “You talk about at these types of events, there’s only one winner, there will be 95 or more losers in both the men’s and the women’s. So you’ve got to learn from that side of things, and I think that’s where he’s maturing and this is another important stepping stone for him, his first win at a Masters 1000, and it will be the first of many because he’s very good.”

Draper and Henman had a brief chat inside Hard Rock Stadium on Wednesday afternoon. Before that moment, asked Henman what advice he would give the #NextGenATP player.

“There’s going to be a lot of bumps in the road,” Henman said. “But keep putting the work in, day in, day out, small improvements, and he’s going to have a good career.”

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Kyrgios, Kokkinakis & Tsitsipas React To Barty's Retirement

  • Posted: Mar 24, 2022

Kyrgios, Kokkinakis & Tsitsipas React To Barty’s Retirement

ATP stars reflect on the news in Miami

Nick Kyrgios, Thanasi Kokkinakis and Stefanos Tsitsipas were among the ATP Tour players who had high praise for Ashleigh Barty on Wednesday at the Miami Open presented by Itau following the Aussie’s retirement announcement.

“[It is] incredible to be honest,” Kyrgios said in reaction to the news following his first-round win against Adrian Mannarino. “As soon as I saw the news I was surprised, obviously. I obviously have my thoughts on it, but it’s her life, so she can decide whatever she wants to do with it.”

Kyrgios added: “She’s achieved much more than the majority in the tennis world, so I don’t think anyone can really tell her what to do. She wants to go chase another dream or build up on another part of her life, that’s her choice.”

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Kokkinakis spoke about how he has known Barty and her family for years and how great they have been to him over the years.

“She’s done all there is to do in this sport. She deserves it,” Kokkinakis said. “I know her agent very well, her family. Her dad always sends me messages whenever I’m doing well or succeeding, so he’s always been a great guy to me and they’ve been a great family. I wish her all the best for the future.

“The game’s going to miss her for sure. The only thing if I was her, I would have loved to have seen her do it after she won the Aussie Open on the mic, that would have been sick! She deserves everything. She’s a hell of a player. Who knows, I wouldn’t rule out her coming back and maybe playing again, but we’ll see.”

Tsitsipas, the third seed in Miami, reflected on Barty’s retirement during his pre-tournament press conference.

“Ash Barty’s retirement announcement was very shocking to me. I found it through social media after scrolling my feed. I saw that video. I watched the entire video in disbelief because I couldn’t believe what I just saw,” Tsitsipas said. “She’s been doing incredibly well. Honestly, she’s at the peak of her game right now I think, having won Wimbledon [and the] Aussie Open recently.”

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Kyrgios, Kokkinakis Bring The Heat In Miami Wins

  • Posted: Mar 24, 2022

Kyrgios, Kokkinakis Bring The Heat In Miami Wins

Aussies will also compete in the Miami doubles event

After a dominant run to the quarter-finals in Indian Wells, Nick Kyrgios stayed hot in Miami with another straight-sets victory on Wednesday. His 7-6(3), 6-3 win did not come easy against the “ridicuously tricky” Adrian Mannarino, but strong serving kept the pressure off and set up power-packed late strikes in both sets.

A wild card at both U.S. events, Kyrgios did not drop a set on the West Coast until a tightly contested three-set loss to Rafael Nadal. He picked up where he left off at the Miami Open presented by Itau. The Aussie posted an 82 per cent win rate on first serve, making 75 per cent of his first deliveries, and did not allow the crafty Frenchman a break point.

“That first-serve percentage was key tonight,” Kyrgios said post-match. “If I miss my first serve, he’s going to be on the front foot from the early jump, and I couldn’t afford to do that tonight against such a tricky opponent.”

While Mannarino was strong on serve himself, allowing just one break chance in each set, Kyrgios struck a flurry of return winners at the crucial moments in both sets.

“The conditions tonight just did not help me at all,” Kyrgios added. “I felt like I wasn’t able to get him out of his comfort zone from the ground… I thought I returned extremely well.”

He found a killer angle off the return to secure an early mini-break in the first-set tie-break, surprising even himself with his precision from outside the doubles alley.

On the return at 3-4 in the second, Kyrgios fired back-to-back backhand return winners to turn 30/15 into 30/40. He had to wait a little longer to find a winner on break point, as he showed great patience before a lengthy rally with a looping forehand.

Ace No. 12 ended the match after one hour, 32 minutes, setting up a second-round showdown with Andrey Rublev, already a two-time ATP Tour champion in 2022.

“I grew up with him, I’ve seen him play. He’s a hell of a player,” said Kyrgios, who has a 1-1 ATP Head2Head record against the fifth seed. “Obviously we all know what he’s capable of and I’m going into that match as a complete underdog.

“But I feel confident. If I’m serving well and playing well form the back I can beat anyone, and everyone knows that. I’m excited.”

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Kyrgios’ doubles partner, Thanasi Kokkinakis, was also victorious against a veteran French opponent on Wednesday evening. The 25-year-old was a 6-4, 6-2 winner over Richard Gasquet.

Kokkinakis had the better of the early exchanges but missed out on his first four break points as Gasquet led, 3-4. But from there, the Aussie won nine of the last 11 games to ease through to the second round, where he’ll face 13th seed Diego Schwartzman.

The World No. 96 improved on his showing at Indian Wells, where he qualified before losing to Sebastian Korda in the opening round. He again qualified in Miami, matching his efficiency at that stage in the desert by doing so with a pair of straight-sets wins.

After winning their maiden Grand Slam doubles title at the Australian Open, Kokkinakis and Kyrgios reached the Round of 16 in Indian Wells.

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