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Kyrgios Wins Tense Clash Against Tsitsipas At Wimbledon

  • Posted: Jul 02, 2022

Kyrgios Wins Tense Clash Against Tsitsipas At Wimbledon

Australian will next play #NextGenATP American Nakashima

Nick Kyrgios advanced to the fourth round at Wimbledon for the first time since 2016 on Saturday with a feisty 6-7(2), 6-4, 6-3, 7-6(7) victory against fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Kyrgios, who will next play #NextGenATP American Brandon Nakashima, took a 4-1 ATP Head2Head series lead against Tsitsipas and now owns 25 wins against Top 10 opponents (25-39). The 27-year-old will try to reach his third major quarter-final and his first since the 2015 Australian Open.

“Honestly it was a hell of an atmosphere, amazing match. I honestly felt like the favourite coming in. I played him a couple weeks ago. But I knew that it was going to be a tough match,” Kyrgios said in his on-court interview. “He’s a hell of a player. I had my own tactics out there and he knows how to play me, he’s beaten me once. Obviously I’ve had success. It was a hell of a match.”

The tension began to build at the end of the first set following a linesperson’s out call on the baseline. For the rest of the match, Kyrgios had constant discussions with the chair umpire, the crowd and his player’s box. But ultimately, he emerged victorious after three hours and 16 minutes.

“I’m just super happy to be through. He was getting frustrated at times and it’s a frustrating sport, that’s for sure,” Kyrgios said. “I have the ultimate respect for him. Whatever happens on the court [is] on the court. I love him and I’m close with his brother.”

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Tsitsipas was the more solid player in the first-set tie-break, as Kyrgios let his lack of concentration affect his play. That continued into the second set, with Kyrgios losing his focus and spending much of his time voicing his displeasure between points and during changeovers.

The Australian later received an audible obscenity warning after another linesperson made a report to the chair umpire. But through it all, Kyrgios managed to remain in touch with the fourth seed on the scoreboard, largely thanks to his big serving. He did not lose his serve in the match, saving all five break points he faced.

Kyrgios saved a break point at 4-4 in the second set thanks to a daring second-serve ace. Then suddenly, he claimed the second set when a Tsitsipas overhead, which the Greek did not strike cleanly, allowed Kyrgios to punch a forehand into the open court for a winner.

In a sign of his frustration, as the players walked towards their chairs, Tsitsipas jabbed a backhand low into the crowd, barely missing fans with the ball.

While the dialogue continued during the third set, Tsitsipas lost concentration and his game began to falter, which allowed Kyrgios to surge ahead with a break at 2-1 behind a forehand winner. Later in the set, Kyrgios hit an underarm serve. Tsitsipas reached the ball, but hit with great force into netting behind the court, for which he received a point penalty.

The 2019 Nitto ATP Finals champion appeared to aim shots in the direction of the Australian. On the other side of the court, Kyrgios continued to talk between points and curtsied to the crowd at 5-3 in the third set following a winning drop shot. After hitting a crisp backhand volley winner to claim the set on the next point, he made a “money” motion with his hand in praise of his own work.

The chatter began to taper off as the fourth set went on. Then at 4-4, the roof on No. 1 Court was closed due to darkness.

It all led to a critical fourth-set tie-break. The Australian let slip his first match point at 6/5 by missing an inside-out forehand wide, and he then saved a Tsitsipas set point at 6/7, which would have forced a decider. But another key forehand drop shot finished the job for Kyrgios.

Less than a month ago, Kyrgios also defeated the Greek in Halle. The six-time ATP Tour titlist is now 10-2 this grass-court season, having also reached the semi-finals in Stuttgart and Halle. The Australian made his first big splash on the ATP Tour at Wimbledon in 2014, when as a 19-year-old he defeated Rafael Nadal en route to the quarter-finals.

Did You Know?
This was Kyrgios’ first Top 10 win at a major since he defeated then-World No. 8 Milos Raonic in the third round of Wimbledon in 2015.

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Ruthless Nadal Dispatches Sonego

  • Posted: Jul 02, 2022

Ruthless Nadal Dispatches Sonego

Spaniard next plays van de Zandschulp

Rafael Nadal wasted little time in booking his place in the Wimbledon fourth round on Saturday evening, racing past Italian Lorenzo Sonego 6-1, 6-2, 6-4.

In his best performance of the week, the Spaniard lit up Centre Court with his aggressive striking and all-court game. The 36-year-old blasted the ball past Sonego from all angles, while demonstrating deft touches at the net to advance after two hours and four minutes.

“It was probably my best match without a doubt here at The Championships against the most difficult player I have faced yet,” Nadal said in his on-court interview. “I was able to raise my level, so I am super happy for that. I wish Lorenzo all the very best for the rest of the season.”

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The display was a contrast to Nadal’s first two matches at The Championships, where he struggled to find his best level in four-set victories over Francisco Cerundolo and Ricardas Berankis. However, against Sonego, the World No. 4 showed his title rivals that he means business in his quest for a record-extending 23rd Grand Slam title.

“I made I think a lot of things much better than the previous days: the determination, the way that I managed to play more aggressive, going to the net plenty of times,” Nadal said. “[I am] happy. It’s [a] good victory against a great player. Very happy for that.”

Nadal arrived in London – where is looking to clinch a third Wimbledon crown – having won the first two majors of the season for the first time in his career. The World No. 4, who is now 33-3 on the season, will next play Dutchman Botic van de Zandschulp in a rematch of their recent Roland Garros clash as he looks to continue his unbeaten 2022 Slam record.

“He’s a player that has been improving unbelievably the last year. [It] was a good challenge in the French and I think he will be more, [difficult here],” Nadal said. “He’s a complete player with a lot of great things, and I need to keep going the way that I played today: playing aggressive and playing with the right energy. Let’s see. He’s a tough opponent, but we are in fourth round. That’s the way that it should be.” 

Nadal flew out of the blocks against Sonego in their first ATP Head2Head meeting, pulling the Italian from corner to corner with his heavy forehand. The Spaniard took the ball early off both wings to take time away from Sonego, firing 14 winners across the first two sets to gain full control.

With his foot on the gas, Nadal continued to dictate in the third set, flattening out his backhand to cause Sonego more trouble. With Nadal leading 4-2, the roof was closed due to fading light. When they returned, the Spaniard’s concentration briefly dipped, with Sonego breaking back to level at 4-4. However, all this did was fire up Nadal, with the second seed increasing his depth on return to break back immediately, before he held to advance to the fourth round at The All England Lawn Tennis Club for the 10th time.

“I feel very lucky that I am still able to play at my age,” Nadal said. “I never thought that was going to happen 10 years ago. So just want to say thanks to all for supporting me.”

Sonego, who overcame Denis Kudla and Hugo Gaston earlier this week, was aiming to reach the last 16 at Wimbledon for the second time, having enjoyed a run to that stage in 2021.

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Nakashima, Fritz Continue Historic Wimbledon For American Men

  • Posted: Jul 02, 2022

Nakashima, Fritz Continue Historic Wimbledon For American Men

Australian qualifier Kubler beats Sock, Garin upsets Brooksby

Brandon Nakashima may have been in unchartered territory at Wimbledon on Saturday, but the #NextGenATP American did not blink.

The 20-year-old backed up his second-round upset of 2021 semi-finalist Denis Shapovalov with a confident 6-4, 6-4, 6-1 against Daniel Elahi Galan. Nakashima had not won a match at the grass-court major prior to his first-round victory against Nicola Kuhn, but he is now the youngest American man to reach the Round of 16 at Wimbledon since Andy Roddick in 2003.

Nakashima joins Frances Tiafoe, Tommy Paul, and Taylor Fritz in the fourth round. That represents the most American men in the last 16 at the All England Lawn Tennis Club since 1999, and the most to reach the fourth round at a major since the 2011 US Open.

“I think we’re sending a message that we have a lot of depth and there’s a lot of strong players that are coming up, constantly improving,” said No. 11 seed Fritz, when asked about the strong American showing after his third-round victory against Alex Molcan.

“I’ve said this before. I guess we don’t necessarily have all the attention because we don’t have a current Grand Slam champion, a current guy that’s 1, 2, 3 in the world, but we’ve got six or seven guys that are in the Top 40 that are all young. Four guys in the Round of 16, and we could have more. We have a lot of depth and we have a lot of guys that are constantly getting better.”

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Nakashima, who reached the semi-finals at the Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan last November, is into the fourth round of a major for the first time. The World No. 56 won 84 per cent (43/51) of points behind his first delivery and faced just one break point in his maiden ATP Head2Head meeting with Galan.

He faces a tough fourth-round assignment if he wants to extend his run at SW19 further — he next meets fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas or Nick Kyrgios.

Fritz equalled his best Grand Slam result in style with a comfortable 6-4, 6-1, 7-6(3) triumph against Molcan. The 24-year-old only previous run to the second week of a major was at January’s Australian Open.

The American No. 1 Fritz built up some form on the grass last week at the Rothesay International in Eastbourne, where he lifted the title for the second time at the ATP 250 event without dropping serve. His delivery was tuned in once again against Molcan, as he fired 20 aces and won 86 per cent (50/58) of points behind his first serve to make it nine from nine sets won in his Wimbledon campaign.

“He [Molcan] didn’t really get to play,” said Fritz in his post-match press conference. “It was one of the best serving matches I’ve ever had. When I play like that, it frees up the rest of my game to just go after the ball, just play really confident tennis because I know I’m getting these free points on my serve.”

Fritz next faces Jason Kubler, after the Australian came through five-set tussle with Jack Sock to keep his dream run at the All England Lawn Tennis Club alive. In a clash between two 29-year-old qualifiers, it was Kubler who found something extra at the tail end of a four-hour, 15-minute epic. The World No. 99 broke in the first and ninth games of the deciding set to round out a 6-2, 4-6, 5-7, 7-6(4), 6-3 victory.

Cristian Garin held off a fightback from 29th seed Jenson Brooksby to register a 6-2, 6-3, 1-6, 6-4 victory and reach the fourth round at Wimbledon for the second consecutive year.

Former World No. 17 Garin broke the Brooksby serve six times in a two-hour, 51-minute encounter. The Chilean had suffered first-round defeats on the grass in Halle and Eastbourne prior to arriving at SW19, but he now meets Alex de Minaur in the last 16, after the Australian eased past British qualifier Liam Broady, 6-3, 6-4, 7-5.

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Summer Singing & Steph Curry: Get To Know Lorenzo Sonego

  • Posted: Jul 02, 2022

Summer Singing & Steph Curry: Get To Know Lorenzo Sonego

Italian will play Nadal on Saturday at Wimbledon

Fans will get to know Lorenzo Sonego’s game on Saturday when he plays Rafael Nadal in the third round at Wimbledon, but there is far more to the Italian than forehands and backhands.

You can add Sonego to the list of musically inclined players on the ATP Tour, which also includes Denis Shapovalov and Corentin Moutet. Just one week ago, the 27-year-old and his longtime friend, “AlterEdo”, released their newest song: “Sing”.

“We did some songs together when we were young for a hobby,” Sonego told earlier this year. “And then, we tried to do something together for enjoyment in the summer and only to enjoy the moment and do something different, not always [focus on] tennis.”


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This is not the first song they have released together. Last European summer, they released “Un Solo Secondo”, which has received more than 14,000 views on YouTube. Sonego’s friend writes the songs, but the former World No. 21 contributes vocals.

Would Sonego consider a collaboration with any other players on Tour?

“One day, if Matteo Berrettini wants we could do something together,” Sonego said cracking a laugh. “Only with Matteo, because he’s my best friend on the Tour for sure.”

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Not only does Sonego enjoy singing, but he likes listening to reggaeton and South American music as well as dancing. Beyond just finding pleasure in these things, he feels it is important to not be solely focussed on tennis.

“I think to not have a monotonous life, you have to enjoy some different hobbies. I like playing basketball with some friends. I know it’s hard because it’s dangerous for me [to play other sports],” Sonego said. “I play on Tour, but I like to play basketball with some friends and sing some songs with some friends.”


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Sonego believes that he will try to release one song every European summer, which will give fans something to look forward to. You can also find him working on his game on the basketball court.

In March, Sonego attended an NBA game between his favourite team, the Golden State Warriors, and the Miami Heat. The Italian began following the sport more closely when the Warriors’ dynasty began, and he has become a big fan of Steph Curry.

“He’s the best shooter in the world, I think,” Sonego said. “When I saw Curry play, it was impossible to not like [him].”

It is no surprise that if Sonego could go to dinner with three people, it would be Berrettini, Berrettini’s longtime coach, Vincenzo Santopadre, and Curry.

On the court, Sonego has established himself as a dangerous grass-court foe. Three years ago, he claimed his first tour-level title on the surface in Antalya. Last year, he advanced to the fourth round at Wimbledon, where he fell short against Roger Federer.

Now the No. 54 player in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings will have another chance to reach the last 16 at The Championships. Sonego has never previously faced 22-time major winner Nadal, but he will give the Spaniard his best on Centre Court.

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Day 6 Preview: Tsitsipas, Kyrgios Renew Rivalry

  • Posted: Jul 02, 2022

Day 6 Preview: Tsitsipas, Kyrgios Renew Rivalry

Nadal faces Sonego on Centre Court

The Wimbledon third round concludes on Day 6 at the All England Lawn Tennis Club, with the wide-open bottom half of the men’s singles draw back in action. Stefanos Tsitsipas and Nick Kyrgios headline No. 1 Court, where Alex de Minaur opens play against home favourite Liam Broady, while Rafael Nadal and Lorenzo Sonego close the day’s play on Centre Court.

Other seeded players in action include Taylor Fritz, Botic van de Zandschulp and Jenson Brooksby.

In doubles action, top seeds Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury continue their bid for a maiden Wimbledon title while second seeds Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic continue their title defence.

View Singles Draw | View Doubles Draw | View Schedule

[4] Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) vs. Nick Kyrgios (AUS)

Two of the biggest personalities on the ATP Tour are set to square off for the fifth time in a rematch of their Halle meeting two weeks ago, won by Kyrgios in three sets. While neither man will be particularly pleased to see such a dangerous opponent in the third round, both are relishing the opportunity.

“I am definitely thrilled to be facing him,” Tsitsipas said of the marquee matchup. “I respect him a lot, on the court, what he’s trying to do… I think he’s playing good tennis.”

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Kyrgios, who dismantled 26th seed Filip Krajinovic with the loss of just six games to reach the third round, enters the match full of confidence.

“I’m excited,” he said. “I feel like we both earned the right [to compete on a show court]. We’re two of the biggest stars in the sport. Hopefully if we both bring our best tennis, it’s going to be amazing to watch.”

The Aussie has more grass-court experience between the two, entering Saturday’s match with a 33-17 record on the surface, including a 9-2 mark this season behind semi-final runs in Stuttgart and Halle. But Tsitsipas is the only one with a grass-court title to his name, a distinction he earned last week in Mallorca. The Greek owns a 16-10 career mark on the grass, including 8-2 this year.

The fourth seed has struggled against the big game of Kyrgios in the past, trailing their ATP Head2Head series 1-3. He frustrated the Aussie in their lone match on grass in Halle, but had no answer when Kyrgios found the range on his powerful ground strokes in sets two and three.

Tsitsipas hopes to put the lessons from that matchup into practice as he bids to reach the Wimbledon fourth round for the first time since 2018.

“You just go out on the court hoping to have a good match, hoping to be able to get balls back, be precise with your shot selection,” he said. “That comes with good preparation. The rest will hopefully follow if you’re able to approach that with the right mindset.

“Let’s just say it’s a different day, it’s a different match.”

Kyrgios, who reached the Wimbledon quarter-finals in his 2014 debut, is seeking to reach the fourth round at a Grand Slam for the first time since the 2020 Australian Open.

[2] Rafael Nadal (ESP) vs. [27] Lorenzo Sonego (ITA)

Nadal is still searching for top form this fortnight, but remains on course for the third leg of the Grand Slam following historic title triumphs at the Australian Open and Roland Garros. It’s the first time the Spaniard has held both of those titles entering Wimbledon, but this is certainly not the first time he’s had to grind his way through some early trouble at a Slam.

“Not the best start honestly,” he said of his four-set second-round win over Ricardas Berankis, a sentiment that could apply to his performance across both of his opening matches.

“Probably the best finish. I finished playing well. The fourth set has been the [desired] level of tennis for me, important improvement. The rest of the things I have room to improve.”

That’s a scary proposition for Sonego, who will meet Nadal for the first time on Saturday.

In each of the year’s first two majors, Nadal passed a five-set test before hitting top form down the stretch; he went the distance against Denis Shapovalov in the Melbourne quarter-finals and against Felix Auger-Aliassime in the Roland Garros fourth round. 

Sonego survived a five-setter in the Wimbledon opening round against Denis Kudla, but was sharp in a straight-sets win over 21-year-old Frenchman Hugo Gaston in the second round. He played three grass events in June and reached the Stuttgart quarter-finals, giving him far more recent experience on the surface than his veteran opponent, who did not compete between Roland Garros and Wimbledon.

“He’s a player with a very positive attitude, good serve, great forehand,” Nadal previewed. “Third-round match against a difficult player. The only thing that I can expect is a difficult match. I need to play well. That’s the only way to have chances to keep going. I know him. I like the way that he plays. I think he’s a very dangerous opponent.”

[11] Taylor Fritz (USA) vs. Alex Molcan (SVK)

Taylor Fritz is leading a strong American charge at Wimbledon, with eight men from the United States reaching the third round. It’s the most Americans in that stage of a major since the 1996 US Open, with Frances Tiafoe and Tommy Paul already through to the fourth round in the draw’s top half.

Fritz is one of four American men competing on Saturday. After reaching a Grand Slam fourth round for the first time at the Australian Open, he is seeking to repeat that feat on the London lawns. The Indian Wells champion is yet to drop a set this fortnight, easing past #NextGenATP Italian Lorenzo Musetti and British wild card Alastair Gray in the opening rounds. 

The American hit one of the shots of the tournament to secure a second set tie-break against Gray, putting his body on the line to float a passing shot beyond the Briton, who was already celebrating what he thought was a drop-volley winner.

“I heard the crowd cheering like the point was over,” said Fritz, who admitted to watching the replay immediately after the match. “But I was like, ‘I think if I fully lay out for this one, I’m pretty long… I feel if I just dive at this one and fully lay out, maybe I can get a racquet on it.'”

Should he get past Slovakia’s Alex Molcan in their first ATP Head2Head meeting, he will face either countryman Jack Sock or Jason Kubler for a chance at his best major result. He is seeded to meet Nadal in the quarter-finals.

Molcan, who recently added former longtime Novak Djokovic coach Marian Vajda to his team, is making his Wimbledon debut after reaching two ATP Tour finals this season (Marrakech, Lyon). He defeated Pedro Martinez and Marcos Giron to match his best major result from the 2021 US Open, winning six straight sets after dropping his opener to the Spaniard.

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Brooksby and Brandon Nakashima are the other Americans on the Day 6 slate, with the 29th-seeded Brooksby facing Cristian Garin and Nakashima taking on Colombia’s Daniel Elahi Galan.

Also In Action

Prior to the clash between Tsitsipas and Kyrgios on No. 1 Court, De Minaur will look to extinguish British hopes for the second straight match when he takes on Broady.

De Minaur took out #NextGenATP Briton Jack Draper on the same court in the second round and will need a similarly resolute performance to reach the Wimbledon fourth round for the first time. Broady, who is hoping to join countryman and ninth seed Cameron Norrie among the last 16, is seeking to extend his best Grand Slam run.

Twenty-ninth seed van de Zandschulp faces the resurgent Richard Gasquet, who reached the Wimbledon semi-finals in 2007 and 2015.

In doubles action, Ram and Salisbury face Hugo Nys and Fabrice Martin, while Mektic and Pavic continue their title defence against Americans Paul and Nicholas Monroe.

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