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Murray, Felix Accept Newport Wild Card

  • Posted: Jul 04, 2022

Murray, Felix Accept Newport Wild Card

Four-time champion Isner also set to compete

Andy Murray and Felix Auger-Aliassime have both accepted a wild card into next week’s Infosys Hall of Fame Open in Newport.

Murray will compete at the Rhode Island ATP 250 for the first time in 16 years, having advanced to the semi-finals in 2006. The Scot also played the tournament — where he owns a 4-2 record — in 2005.

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Auger-Aliassime will make his debut in Newport. The 21-year-old Canadian is No. 9 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings and will pursue his second ATP Tour title. Earlier this year, he lifted his maiden tour-level trophy in Rotterdam.

“I’m looking forward to competing in the Infosys Hall of Fame Open for the first time,” Auger-Aliassime said. “Newport’s tennis history is one-of-a-kind, and I’m excited to experience all it has to offer, continue the grass court season, and meet the local fans.”

The field also includes four-time champion John Isner, 2018 champion Steve Johnson and other American stars including Jenson Brooksby and Maxime Cressy.

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Nadal Survives Tense Third Set To Reach Wimbledon QFs

  • Posted: Jul 04, 2022

Nadal Survives Tense Third Set To Reach Wimbledon QFs

Spaniard faces 11th seed Fritz in quarter-finals

Rafael Nadal’s adjustment period is over at Wimbledon — if there was any doubt. For the second match running, he produced some of his best tennis to advance in straight sets against a seeded opponent, fending off a late comeback attempt.

The Spaniard closed Monday’s play on Centre Court with a 6-4, 6-2, 7-6(6) victory against 21st seed Botic van de Zandschulp, securing his spot in the quarter-finals for his third consecutive appearance at SW19. After reaching his eighth quarter-final at The Championships, he will look to reach his third semi-final in as many tries when he takes on 11th-seeded American Taylor Fritz on Wednesday.

“I continued in a positive way,” he said. “I think, until the end [when] I played a bad game at 5-3, [it] had been a very positive match against a difficult opponent. Botic has been improving unbelievably in the last year, so huge congratulations to him this amazing improvement.

“In a personal way, after all the things that happened the last couple of months, to be able to be in the quarter-finals at Wimbledon after three years without playing here [since 2019], it’s amazing for me, so [I’m] very, very happy.”

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This contest was more nervy than his third-round win against Lorenzo Sonego, who broke for the first time late in the third set before Nadal snapped back to claim a 6-4 final set.

Against van de Zandschulp, the Spaniard failed to serve out the match at 5-3 and led 6/3 in the third-set tie-break before claiming victory on his fourth match point when an overhead flew just wide. Despite the delay, Nadal finished off the match in a swift two hours, 21 minutes, before fading daylight could prompt the closure of the Centre Court roof.

Nadal brushed off two lost return games in the final set — his only blemishes in the match — with a dominant performance in the tie-break.The 36-year-old earned a crucial mini-break midway through the tie-break by moving van de Zandschulp all around the backcourt in a lengthy, lung-busting rally, with the Dutchman missing a drop shot as his legs began to fade.

Earlier in the set, the Spaniard played one of his best games of the match to break for 4-2, hitting two cross-court backhand passes to edge in front. After tracking down a tough volley to fire the first, an incredulous van de Zandschulp gazed back in disbelief. The second relied more on touch than power and resulted in a lawnmower celebration from the Spaniard, who repeatedly pumped his fist.

Nadal is bidding to complete the third leg of the Grand Slam — winning all four majors in the same season — by winning his third Wimbledon crown and a record-extending 23rd major men’s singles title. He has never before entered The Championships with the Australian Open and Roland Garros trophies in tow.

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Fritz Flies Past Kubler To Wimbledon QFs

He next faces Fritz, who was a 6-3, 6-1, 6-4 winner against Jason Kubler earlier on Monday. As Nadal mentioned in his on-court interview, the American beat him in the Indian Wells final in March. The 24-year-old is enjoying a breakout year, having reached a career-high Pepperstone ATP Ranking of No. 13 after his triumph at the BNP Paribas Open in his native southern California.

“He’s playing well, he’s having an amazing year, winning his first Masters 1000 — against me, by the way, in the final,” Nadal said, drawing laughs. “It’s going to be a tough match, but we are in the quarter-finals of Wimbledon so what can I expect?”

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Krawietz/Mies Reach Wimbledon QFs, Ken Skupski Plays Final Match

  • Posted: Jul 04, 2022

Krawietz/Mies Reach Wimbledon QFs, Ken Skupski Plays Final Match

Ebden/Purcell, Kudla/Sock also advance to quarter-finals in London

After Ken Skupski made a strong start to his 14th and final Wimbledon campaign alongside Jonny O’Mara, the Briton’s professional career came to an end Monday with a third-round defeat.

Skupski, a seven-time ATP Tour titlist, announced his plan to retire after Wimbledon in a social media post prior to the grass-court major. The lefty and O’Mara opened the tournament with two straight-sets victories, but Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies proved to be the final opponents of Skupski’s career.

The two-time Roland Garros champions earned a 7-6(6), 6-4, 6-4 victory to book a quarter-final matchup against defending champions Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic.

Skupski won three of his seven ATP Tour crowns alongside younger brother Neal Skupski, including his maiden ATP 500 trophy in Acapulco in 2021. The brothers also reached the quarter-finals at Wimbledon in 2017. The 39-year-old Ken reached his career-high of No. 44 in the Pepperstone ATP Doubles Rankings in July 2010.

“Tennis has given me so much over the years and I expect it will continue to give me plenty more in the future,” Skupski wrote in the post announcing his retirement. “I would like to thank everyone who has helped and supported me along the way. I’ve made some amazing friends, competed with many amazing players and shared the court with some legends of the game.”

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Skupski’s brother Neal also exited the grass-court major on Monday in the third round. Fourteenth seeds Matthew Ebden and Max Purcell defeated  the 32-year-old and his Dutch partner Wesley Koolhof 7-5, 6-4, 3-6 , 4-6, 7-5.

Ebden and Purcell, who lifted their maiden ATP Tour title together on the Houston clay in April, have enjoyed a strong grass-court season. The all-Australian duo reached the final in ‘s-Hertogenbosch and the semi-finals in Mallorca in the lead-up to Wimbledon.

Ebden and Purcell will next face countryman John Peers and partner Filip Polasek, who were 7-6(5), 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 winners against Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares. Peers and Polasek struck 18 winners to their opponents’ 10 to reach the quarter-finals at SW19 on their tournament debut as a team.

Denis Kudla and Jack Sock enjoyed a comfortable path to the quarter-finals as the Americans defeated 13th seeds Santiago Gonzalez and Andres Molteni 6-4, 6-2, 6-4. Kudla and two-time Wimbledon champion Sock did not face a break point in their one-hour, 33-minute victory. Their quarter-final opponents will be sixth seeds Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah.

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