Tennis News

From around the world

Preview: Fritz Vows Relentless Attack Against Nadal

  • Posted: Jul 05, 2022

Preview: Fritz Vows Relentless Attack Against Nadal

Kyrgios and Garin to meet in first ATP Head2Head meeting

The Wimbledon quarter-final action rounds out Wednesday when Rafael Nadal, Taylor Fritz, Nick Kyrgios and Cristian Garin take to the lawns at the All England Lawn Tennis Club in pursuit of a final-four spot.

Nadal and Fritz will meet for the first time since their championship match clash at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells in March. The American ran out a straight-sets winner on that occasion as the Spaniard struggled with a fractured rib, but second seed Nadal has the added motivation of maintaining his perfect Grand Slam record for 2022 as the two face off at the grass-court major.

Kyrgios and Garin each came through five-set thrillers in the fourth round in London, and the pair’s maiden ATP Head2Head meeting sees both players hunting their first Grand Slam semi-final appearance. looks at the quarter-final action set for Day 9 in the British capital.

View Singles Draw | View Doubles Draw | View Schedule

[2] Rafael Nadal (ESP) vs. [11] Taylor Fritz (USA)

Nadal’s defeat to Fritz in Indian Wells is one of the few disappointments in what has been a stellar 2022 season for the Spaniard. With a 34-3 match record for the year and four titles including Grand Slam crowns at the Australian Open and Roland Garros, he sees no reason to dwell on his defeat in southern California as he prepares for his eighth Wimbledon quarter-final.

“What I learned [from] that last match [in Indian Wells] was zero, because I had a stress fracture on my rib, and it was difficult to learn many things,” said Nadal after his straight-sets win against Botic van de Zandschulp on Monday. “It’s obvious he [Fritz] is playing at a very, very high level, having a great season, winning matches everywhere. The week before Wimbledon he won the tournament [in Eastbourne]. Now [the] quarter-finals [here].”

In contrast, the 11th-seeded Fritz believes his 6-3, 7-6(5) victory at the ATP Masters 1000 event in March is the perfect template as he attempts to move past the Spaniard to his maiden Grand Slam semi-final.

“I was just very aggressive in that match [in Indian Wells],” said Fritz after his dominant straight-sets win against Jason Kubler in the fourth round at SW19. “[I] took my chances. Against someone like Rafa, that’s kind of how it is.

“I feel like decision-making is easy. I don’t really second-guess shots like I would if I’m playing someone that I’m supposed to beat. I might think, ‘Should I go for this, should I play it safe?’ Against someone like Rafa, it’s easy to always make the aggressive decision and kind of play freer.”

Follow Wimbledon Live Scores, Draws & Schedule | Download ATP WTA Live App

Nadal was solid if not spectacular in four-set wins against Francisco Cerundolo and Ricardas Berankis in his opening two rounds at Wimbledon, where the second seed is playing his first tournament of the year on grass. The two-time champion appeared back to his best on the surface during his next two matches, however, notching straight-sets wins against Lorenzo Sonego and van de Zandschulp to ease to the quarter-finals in his first appearance at SW19 since 2019.

“The improvement during the tournament is there,” said Nadal, who is chasing a record-extending 23rd Grand Slam title. “Of course, I’m happy to be back in the quarter-finals after three years without playing here. It’s a positive result for me, so [I am] happy for that. Now is the moment to keep doing the steps forward if I want to keep having chances.”

Most Grand Slam Titles

Player Grand Slam Titles
Rafael Nadal 22
Roger Federer 20
Novak Djokovic 20
Pete Sampras 14

After beginning his grass season with opening defeats in ‘s-Hertogenbosch and at The Queen’s Club, Fritz stormed to his third ATP Tour title in Eastbourne just two days before The Championships began. The American has brought that form with him to the lawns of the All England Club, where he has so far dispatched Lorenzo Musetti, Alastair Gray, Alex Molcan and Kubler without dropping a set.

“It’s so interesting, because three weeks ago it was a low point for me,” said Fritz, who shares a 1-1 ATP Head2Head record with Nadal. “I kept telling myself that I’ll find my tennis. I had to just kind of keep being positive. I was injured, coming back from injury, not playing great. I just remained positive, stuck to the process of working really hard, doing the right things.

“The week of Eastbourne things kind of started clicking for me. Now it is crazy to go from where I was at mentally after Queen’s — feeling injured, I’d just lost three matches in a row. Now I’m in my first Slam quarter-final.”

Nick Kyrgios (AUS) vs. Cristian Garin (CHI)

A maiden Grand Slam semi-final appearance is on the line for both Kyrgios and Garin as they meet for the first time at tour-level on No. 1 Court. While the Australian has always enjoyed showcasing his big-serving, power-hitting game on the grass, his opponent on Wednesday admits that it it is only recently that he has learned to love the surface.

“Now [my favourite surface] is grass!” joked Garin, who has won all five of his ATP Tour titles on clay, after his marathon five-set fourth-round win against Alex de Minaur. “Our sport is like that. I work hard every day to get better.

“Last year I [reached the fourth round] here, and I think that was a big experience for me. Today, I felt a different match to last year. I know how to play on these courts, and it is very important to me to keep learning, keep improving, and that is why I work hard every day.”

Garin’s triumph on Monday against De Minaur made him just the fourth Chilean man to reach the quarter-finals at Wimbledon. The 26-year-old holds a modest 16-15 record in 2022, including a five-match losing streak from January to March, but his coach Pepe Vendrell has no doubts over his charge’s ability.

“He is a thoroughbred,” Vendrell told in London. “Garin is a player with huge potential. He’s already proved his quality on tour. When he’s confident, with his A-game, his shots are pure quality.”

You May Also Like:

Kyrgios: ‘I’m Just Trying To Stay In The Moment’

The man on the other side of the net on Wednesday certainly knows a thing or two about quality shots. One of the game’s great showmen, Kyrgios has a Tour-leading 11 wins on grass in 2022, two more than Garin has across his career, after semi-final runs in Stuttgart and Halle. If he can make that experience on the surface count on Wednesday, he will be the first Australian male player to reach the semi-finals of a Grand Slam since Lleyton Hewitt at the 2005 US Open.

Most Grass Wins (2022)

Player Win-Loss Record
Nick Kyrgios  11-2
Matteo Berrettini  9-0
Taylor Fritz  8-2
Daniil Medvedev  8-3
Stefanos Tsitsipas  8-3
Tim van Rijthoven  8-1

Kyrgios will be making his third Grand Slam quarter-final appearance. With a 35-17 career record on grass, the 27-year-old will hope to extend his strong record on the surface as he seeks to break through to a maiden major semi-final in London.

“I look at it as a big opportunity,” said Kyrgios after he outlasted #NextGenATP American Brandon Nakashima in a five-set thriller in the fourth round on Monday. “Garin is obviously playing great tennis. I walked on Centre Court today seeing the score [was] two-sets-to-love [to] De Minaur. They were in a battle. I was expecting to play Alex, I think Alex is a bit more comfortable on the grass. Then when I walked off the court and I got told it was Garin. It was surprising.

“I look at it as an opportunity, but I need to do so many things before that match to get ready,” said Kyrgios. “I need to rest, recover, eat right, get good sleep. There’s so many things, so many steps before I go out there and compete again.”

Source link

Norrie Battles Past Goffin, Into First Major SF

  • Posted: Jul 05, 2022

Norrie Battles Past Goffin, Into First Major SF

Briton will play top seed Djokovic in the last four

Great Britain’s final hope of a singles champion at this year’s Wimbledon is still alive.

It took all the resilience he has, but ninth seed Cameron Norrie found a way to rally past former World No. 7 David Goffin 3-6, 7-5, 2-6, 6-3, 7-5 on Tuesday for a place in his first major semi-final. The lefty is the fourth British man in the Open Era to advance to the last four at The Championships.

“Just winning a match like this, I’m in shock. I don’t know what to say now,” an emotional Norrie said in his on-court interview. “But just straight flashbacks to all the hard work, all the preseasons and all the sacrifices I’ve had to make. So it definitely pays off and it feels pretty good.”

Entering the tournament, Norrie had never reached a major quarter-final. The 26-year-old will now play six-time champion Novak Djokovic for a spot in the championship match.

“It’s great to get this, but it only gets tougher. I’m going to come out, I’m going to enjoy that and take it to him,” Norrie said. “Hopefully you guys can get behind me again. I’m sure you will… Looking forward to it. Can’t enjoy it too much now, just [need to] get ready for Novak in a couple of days.”

Follow Wimbledon Live Scores, Draws & Schedule | Download ATP WTA Live App

Early on, Norrie made an uncharacteristic number of unforced errors: 33 in the first three sets. But once the lefty was able to rein in his groundstrokes and harness the emotions of the No. 1 Court crowd, he found his best tennis to surge past Goffin after three hours and 28 minutes.

“It just wasn’t going my way from the beginning. Wasn’t feeling good and feeling the ball. That was all credit to David. He was moving me, playing really good and I couldn’t find my game,” Norrie said, before addressing the crowd. “Then thanks to you guys, I managed to stay as patient as I could and it was all just adrenaline and just used my legs at the end and tried to put the ball in the court. It’s great to get over the line.”

One advantage Norrie had leading into the final set was that in the fourth round, Goffin needed four hours and 36 minutes to defeat Frances Tiafoe. But even so, the Belgian earned a break point in the second game of the decider. Goffin was positioned well in the point, but he hooked a crosscourt forehand into the net, and that would be his best opportunity.

You May Also Like:

Lung Power Helping Norrie In Journey To The Top

Norrie took the action to his opponent and played fearless tennis in the critical moments. After making two unforced errors while serving for the match, Norrie responded with an ace and a big “Come on!” After letting slip his first match point, Norrie converted his second when Goffin missed a backhand into the net. Norrie lifted both arms in the air like a boxer after winning a championship fight, with a wide smile across his face.

A former college tennis star at Texas Christian University, Norrie joined Andy Murray, Tim Henman and Roger Taylor as the only British men in the Open Era to make the semi-finals at Wimbledon. The only other active British men to advance this far at a major are Murray and Kyle Edmund.

Norrie is now 4-4 in five-setters, having also rallied from two sets to one down against Jaume Munar in the second round.

Goffin was also trying to reach his first major semi-final. If the No. 58 player in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings won, he would have become the lowest-ranked men’s singles semi-finalist at The Championships since 2008.

Did You Know?
One year ago, Norrie was No. 34 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings. Now he is No. 12, and in April he reached a career-high of World No. 10. The lefty claimed his first ATP Masters 1000 title last year in Indian Wells at the BNP Paribas Open.

Source link

QF Preview: Djokovic Sees 'A Little Bit Of Myself' In Sinner's Game

  • Posted: Jul 05, 2022

QF Preview: Djokovic Sees ‘A Little Bit Of Myself’ In Sinner’s Game

Home favourite Norrie faces Goffin on No. 1 Court

The men’s singles quarter-finals begin on Tuesday at Wimbledon, with two matches on tap at SW19. Top seed Novak Djokovic will face Jannik Sinner in the Centre Court opener, with Great Britain’s Cameron Norrie and David Goffin set to close play on No. 1 Court. 

Two men’s doubles quarter-finals are also set for Day 9 at The Championships. Defending champions and second seeds Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic face 11th seeds and two-time Roland Garros champs Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies on No. 3 Court, while 2019 Wimbledon champions Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah face Americans Denis Kudla and Jack Sock on Court 12. 

View Singles Draw | View Doubles Draw | View Schedule

[1] Novak Djokovic [SER] vs. [10] Jannik Sinner (ITA)

Prior to this quarter-final clash, Djokovic paid his opponent a supreme compliment by comparing the Italian’s game to his own.

“I kind of see a little bit of myself in his game,” the Serbian said in his most recent press conference. “From back of the court, playing flat backhands, constantly staying on the back of the line, trying to put pressure on opponents.”

ATP WTA Live App

The pair has met just once before, when Djokovic opened their ATP Head2Head series last year at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters with a 6-4, 6-2 victory. But the 20-year-old Sinner is much improved since then; a five-time tour-level titlist, the Italian claimed three of those trophies in the second half of the 2021 season.

Despite his youth, Sinner has played 25 matches against players inside the Top 10 of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, including seven this season. While his record stands at 8-17 in such contests, he improved that mark in the Wimbledon fourth round when he outclassed Carlos Alcaraz to reach his third career Grand Slam quarter-final. The only major at which he has not progressed to that stage is the US Open, where he reached the fourth round last year.

“For sure I showed also this year [that] I’ve got consistency,” Sinner said in his post-match press conference. “I made many quarter-finals, many Round of 16s. I think I improved also physically. If you go Grand Slam after Grand Slam and you go into the second week, you have to be good also physically.”

After picking up his first grass-court win earlier this fortnight, Sinner starred against Alcaraz in his Centre Court debut. Naturally, his confidence level on the surface is at an all-time high. Djokovic watched the showdown of former Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals champions and described it as a “dominant performance” by the Italian in which he “was always somehow in control”. 

You May Also Like:

Djokovic On Son Stefan: ‘He’s In Love With Tennis Right Now’

The Serbian was also pleased with his own fourth-round outing as he pulled away from wild card Tim van Rijthoven in a four-set win, ending the Dutchman’s dream debut at The Championships. While the top seed opened his post-match presser with kind words for van Rijthoven, he closed with a glowing assessment of his next opponent.

“I have only superlatives and positive things to talk about Sinner’s game,” Djokovic said. “We all know he’s very talented. He’s already now an established top player.

“I’ve seen him play many different surfaces in the last few years. He’s maturing a lot on the big stage… He’s very confident. He believes he can win against anybody [in] any stadium, which is important for a young player like him. He’s already now experienced, even though he’s still young, because he has had big matches.”

Matches don’t come much bigger than facing Djokovic on Centre Court.

[9] Cameron Norrie [GBR] vs. David Goffin [BEL]

The last Briton remaining in the men’s or women’s singles draw, Norrie has appealed to his home fans to ratchet up their support in Wimbledon’s second week.

“Unfortunately I’m the last one standing,” he said after extending his best major run into the quarter-finals. “But I think it’s even more reason for everyone to get behind me. The atmosphere was great today and definitely helped me get over the line there.

The 26-year-old defeated American Tommy Paul in straight sets — his third such victory of the fortnight — and has improved with each match, taking a cue from the likes of top seeds Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.

“If you look at a lot of the top players, they get better as the tournament progresses,” he said. “I feel like with myself, for sure, [that has been the case here]… I think I played my better two matches in the third and fourth rounds. I feel like I’m improving and my level is getting better. Definitely a little bit more calm in the bigger matches. It’s nice to do it that way around.”

Goffin also had a strong fourth-round performance in a battling five-set win against Frances Tiafoe. “Top-10 level, easy,” Tiafoe said of the four-hour, 36-minute contest — the longest of the tournament. “[We were] hitting ridiculous shots, both of us.”

The Belgian is through to the quarter-finals for the second time in as many appearances at SW19, having last competed in 2019, when he bowed out against eventual champion Djokovic.

“I was very excited to come back here because it’s a very important tournament for me, because it’s probably my favorite tournament of the year,” Goffin said after advancing. “[It is] a place that I love, a surface that I can play really well [on]. I had some great results on that surface. It means a lot.”

The former World No. 7 ended his 2021 season in September due to a knee inury, but has enjoyed a resurgent 2022 campaign. He earned his 300th tour-level win in April in Marrakech and went on to claim the title at the ATP 250 event to kickstart a strong clay swing.

While Goffin will not be the fresher quarter-finalist on No. 1 Court, he will have the advantage of experience, playing at that stage of a major for the fourth time as he seeks his first semi-final.

“He’s a very experienced player,” Norrie assessed ahead of the pair’s first meeting. “He really likes the grass. He’s played a lot of big matches. It’s going to be tough. He’s a great competitor, a really good athlete. He’s got a very complete game.

“One thing for sure, I know that I’m going to get into a lot of rallies with him. He’s not going to come and serve me off the court, which is good. It’s going to be another physical match, which is great for me.

“I’m looking forward to competing. It’s going to be another huge challenge.”

Source link