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Ruusuvuori Clutch Under Pressure To Upset Hurkacz In Washington

  • Posted: Aug 03, 2022

Ruusuvuori Clutch Under Pressure To Upset Hurkacz In Washington

Finnish star claims the pair’s first ATP Head2Head match

Emil Ruusuvuori lost the first set of his Citi Open run 1-6 against Mackenzie McDonald. The Finnish star has not looked back since.

After rallying past McDonald on Tuesday, Ruusuvuori upset second seed Hubert Hurkacz 6-4, 7-6(3) on Wednesday to reach the third round at the ATP 500 event in Washington. The 23-year-old saved all four break points he faced against the Pole to triumph after one hour and 44 minutes.

“I just was able to hang in there in the first couple games. He had an early break point, but then I was able to keep that service game and give myself a chance to break him and I was able to use it and then just try to keep my own serve,” Ruusuvuori said in his on-court interview. “I didn’t have many chances until the [second-set] tie-break and then I got a look at a couple second serves and [made] a couple deep returns, so that gave me the chance.”

Hurkacz battled hard until the end, relying on all the skills in his all-court game, even winning a point in the second set with a backhand skyhook and trying to pump up the crowd with a forehand passing shot. But Ruusuvuori  won back-to-back points on his opponent’s serve late in the tie-break and that proved decisive.

“I just tried to hang in there and tried to stay as tough as [I] can,” Ruusuvuori said. “[The] long rallies, they really drain you and you start to feel dizzy during the points, so [it was] very tough. But it’s a part of the game during this period of the year.”

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Ruusuvuori climbed to No. 43 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings, one spot off his career high. He will next play 15th seed Aslan Karatsev or Swede Mikael Ymer.

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Kyrgios On Fan Serve Tactic: 'I Think It's A Cool Experience For Someone'

  • Posted: Aug 03, 2022

Kyrgios On Fan Serve Tactic: ‘I Think It’s A Cool Experience For Someone’

Australian once again asked a fan where to serve during his opening match in Washington

With a bit of help from the crowd, Nick Kyrgios began his Citi Open campaign with victory on Tuesday, when he overcame Marcos Giron in straight sets.

The Australian lifted the trophy in Washington 2019 and during that run, he frequently asked fans where to serve on match point, with the entertaining strategy proving effective.

Three years on and in front of a packed crowd at the ATP 500 event, the 27-year-old was at it again, engaging with a supporter in the front row on match point to help him finish the job against Giron.

“In 2019 I was just doing that on match point, just asking someone in the crowd. I think it’s a cool experience for someone that’s paid money to come watch you play and potentially to go home with that memory,” Kyrgios said in his post-match press conference.

“If it’s a young kid or an older lady like today, I think that’s something that’s pretty cool. I wish I had that experience when I was watching tennis matches.”

Kyrgios was competing in singles for the first time since he enjoyed a run to his maiden Grand Slam final at Wimbledon last month.

The World No. 63, who lost in the first round in Washington last year, admitted he was happy with his return to Tour and feels his tennis is in better shape compared to 12 months ago.

“Today I just came out pretty nervous. Obviously had won this tournament before, but I wanted to make sure I had a really good performance this year,” Kyrgios said. “I have been training really hard. I just feel like I’m in such a better place with my tennis. Mentally as well. I wanted to show that to the fans.

“Last year was a really poor performance from me. I just really wanted to make sure I came out and gave them a good show, just to redeem myself. Just looking around the crowd, [it is] such an amazing tournament.”

Kyrgios now holds a 22-7 record on the season and will look to improve that when he plays Tommy Paul in the second round.

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#NextGenATP Nakashima Maintains Strong Los Cabos Record

  • Posted: Aug 03, 2022

#NextGenATP Nakashima Maintains Strong Los Cabos Record

Mexican wild card Hernandez sets meeting against Auger-Aliassime

#NextGenATP American Brandon Nakashima continued his love affair with the Abierto de Tenis Mifel on Tuesday, moving past Japanese qualifier Kaichi Uchida 7-6(1), 6-2 to reach the second round in Los Cabos.

The 20-year-old enjoyed a run to his maiden tour-level final in Mexico last year and quickly looked at home at the ATP 250 event against Uchida, pulling the World No. 175 around the court with his explosive hitting to advance after one hour and 56 minutes.

Nakashima, currently seventh in the Pepperstone ATP Race To Milan, now holds a 7-0 record against players outside of the Top 100 this season. The World No. 61, who is aiming to win his maiden tour-level title this week, will next play Australian qualifier Max Purcell.

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Mexican wild card Alex Hernandez overcame Colombian lucky loser Nicolas Barrientos 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 to capture his first tour-level win.

The 23-year-old, who lost in the first round on debut in Acapulco in February, is the first Mexican player to win a singles match in Los Cabos, improving the overall record to 1-7. The World No. 521 will next face second-seeded Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime.

Spaniard Radu Albot downed Feliciano Lopez 6-3, 6-7(6), 6-3 to improve his strong record at the hard-court event. The 32-year-old, who advanced to the semi-finals on debut in 2019, will meet Jason Kubler in the second round after the Australian defeated eighth seed Tomas Martin Etcheverry 6-7(4), 6-3, 6-1 in their first ATP Head2Head meeting.

Australian Jordan Thompson eliminated Germany’s Yannick Hanfmann 6-3, 6-0 to set a second-round clash against fourth seed Miomir Kecmanovic, while Facundo Bagnis defeated American Ernesto Escobedo 6-3, 6-1.

The Argentine, who is up to No. 103 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings, will take on Ricardas Berankis in the second round.

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Francisco Lindor's Visit To The Citi Open A Home Run

  • Posted: Aug 03, 2022

Francisco Lindor’s Visit To The Citi Open A Home Run

Major League Baseball star meets several ATP Tour players

A trip to the Citi Open was a home run in more ways than one for Major League Baseball star Francisco Lindor.

The popular shortstop for the New York Mets met several ATP Tour stars at the ATP 500 event early Tuesday, including Tommy Paul, Hubert Hurkacz and Jack Sock.

“It was really cool meeting him. I haven’t met many baseball players, but I told him I might go to a game if I have time,” Paul said. “I actually played baseball a little bit when I was really young, same position as him, so it was cool. I’ll probably pay attention to him playing a little bit more now.”

Francisco Lindor and <a href=''>Frances Tiafoe</a>
Lindor chats with Frances Tiafoe in Washington. Photo Credit: Richard Kessler/Citi Open
Lindor also bumped into Frances Tiafoe, whom he met at last year’s US Open.

“We’ve been cool for a little bit and kept in touch,” Tiafoe said. “The main thing I like about him is I like his swag, how cool he is and how he supports players in other sports.”

After supporting the tennis stars with his visit early in the day, Lindor put his own uniform on in the evening. The star hit a home run in the Mets’ game against the Washington Nationals.

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Kyrgios Makes Winning Return In Washington

  • Posted: Aug 03, 2022

Kyrgios Makes Winning Return In Washington

Aussie wins first match back since Wimbledon final

Back on the singles court Tuesday night for the first time since last month’s Wimbledon final, Nick Kyrgios picked up where he left off with a dominant Citi Open win. 

Still donning his tennis whites — at least his shirt and cap — Kyrgios rolled past Marcos Giron 6-3, 6-2 in just under an hour. The Aussie was a different class once he settled into the evening session match, saving an early break point before dominating from 3-3 in the opening set.

“I came out a bit slow, obviously very difficult conditions to Wimbledon,” said Kyrgios, who later admitted it took him a long time to get over his four-set final defeat to Novak Djokovic. “I think it was just a bit of nerves as well. I won the tournament in 2019. Seeing my name up on the stadium and then knowing I didn’t play well here at all last year — I lost first round and I was just going through such a dark time in my life.

“I’m just so happy to be here with my team, the love and support from the crowd. I’m just really happy to be out here playing some good tennis again.”

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Kyrgios finished with 12 aces and an 82 per cent (28/34) win rate on first serve, along with a few tweeners. He also revived the tradition that served him well in his 2019 Washington title run: asking a fan in the front row where to serve on match point.

Though Kyrgios missed the target on first serve, apologising to the fan, he fired an unreturned second delivery to wrap up the comfortable win.

The unseeded Aussie improved to 9-0 in opening rounds this season and 22-7 on the year. He will next face 14th seed Tommy Paul in the American’s opening match at the ATP 500 event. Another home favourite — fourth seed Reilly Opelka — could await in the third round.


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Kyrgios has advanced to the semi-finals or better in four of his past five tournaments since April, but is seeking his first singles title of 2022. He has won two doubles titles with countryman Thanasi Kokkinakis, at the Australian Open and on Sunday in Atlanta, where a knee injury forced him to withdraw from the singles competition.

Kyrgios is teaming with Jack Sock in Washington, and the pair earned a 6-4, 6-4 upset of third seeds Marcelo Arevalo and Jean-Julien Rojer on Monday evening.

“Having guys like Jack and Thanasi, these guys are much more than friends for me,” Kyrgios added. “They know I’d do anything for them. I’ve been there for them and they’ve been there for me. I can’t give credit to those guys enough. My girlfriend, my physio, my best friend… I cant give those guys enough credit because I really wouldn’t be here without them.”

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De Minaur/Tiafoe Take Out Washington Top Seeds In Team Debut

  • Posted: Aug 03, 2022

De Minaur/Tiafoe Take Out Washington Top Seeds In Team Debut

Ram loses chance at World No. 1 this week

Playing together for the first time, Top 30 singles stars Alex de Minaur and Frances Tiafoe scored a big doubles upset on Tuesday at the Citi Open.

The Australian-American pair knocked off top seeds Rajeev Ram and Horacio Zeballos 6-4, 1-6, 10-2 to advance to the quarter-finals at the Washington ATP 500 event. With the defeat, Ram loses out on an opportunity to overtake his full-time partner Joe Salisbury at No. 1 in the Pepperstone ATP Doubles Rankings.

De Minaur/Tiafoe struck late in the opening set but quickly lost the second after failing to convert from 15/40 at 0-2 down on return. But they used runs of four and five straight points to dominate the Match Tie-break.

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The new-look pair advances to face Mackenzie McDonald and Botic van de Zandschulp, who advanced past Ilya Ivashka and Andrey Rublev 6-4, 6-7(5), 10-8 on Monday.

Colombians Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah also advanced via Match Tie-break on Tuesday evening, edging second seeds Wesley Koolhof and Neal Skupski  6-4, 3-6, 10-8 by winning the final four points of the contest.

In earlier Tuesday doubles action, Rohan Bopanna and Matwe Middelkoop defeated Denis Kudla and Denis Shapovalov 6-4, 6-4, while Daniel Evans and John Peers downed Hubert Hurkacz and Tommy Paul 7-6(7), 6-4.

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