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Norrie Dispatches Rune In New York

  • Posted: Sep 03, 2022

Norrie Dispatches Rune In New York

Seventh seed next plays Rublev or Shapovalov

Cameron Norrie maintained his perfect record at this year’s US Open on Saturday, overcoming #NextGenATP Dane Holger Rune 7-5, 6-4, 6-1 to reach the fourth round in New York for the first time.

The seventh-seeded Briton defeated Benoit Paire and Joao Sousa in straight sets in his opening two matches and looked in control again against Rune. Norrie fired 22 winners, struck his groundstrokes consistently and soaked up the 19-year-old’s heavy-hitting to advance after two hours and 13 minutes.

“Holger is not easy. He can go through patches where he is playing pretty passively and then he hits aggressively, so you have to be ready for anything,” Norrie said. “He has great hands and defends really well at times. I think I stayed a lot calmer than he did throughout the big moments in the match.

“My goal today was to get to two hours and then start the match from then. When it hit two hours I broke to go 2-1 in the third and I pointed to Facu and said, ‘Now the match starts’…I feel great.”

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The 26-year-old has improved to 3-0 in his ATP Head2Head series against Rune, having defeated the Munich champion in Cincinnati last month. Norrie, who is making his sixth appearance at the hard-court major, will next play ninth seed Andrey Rublev or 19th seed Denis Shapovalov.

Norrie arrived in New York in good form after he advanced to the semi-finals in Cincinnati, where he lost to eventual champion Borna Coric. The four-time tour-level titlist is up to No. 11 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin as he looks to finish the season strongly and qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals in November.

In a tight first set, Norrie recovered from squandering two set points at 5-3 and a break advantage as he regained his focus to eventually clinch the opener after 49 minutes when Rune hit a forehand long. The seventh seed forced the Dane into errors in the second set with his watertight groundstrokes before he committed just one unforced error in the third set to race away to victory.

Rune, who is fourth in the Pepperstone Live Race To Milan, was aiming to reach the fourth round at a Grand Slam for the second time after he enjoyed a dream run to the quarter-finals at Roland Garros in June.

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Medvedev To Put No. 1 On Line vs. Kyrgios

  • Posted: Sep 03, 2022

Medvedev To Put No. 1 On Line vs. Kyrgios

Defending champion must defeat Aussie to continue reign at the top

Top seed and defending champion Daniil Medvedev has set a blockbuster fourth-round US Open showdown with red-hot Australian Nick Kyrgios after defeating China’s Wu Yibing in the early hours of Saturday morning at Flushing Meadows.

Beginning the match close to 11pm after Serena William’s pulsating three-hour final match against Ajla Tomljanovic inside Arthur Ashe Stadium, Medvedev dismissed Wu 6-4 6-2 6-2 to reach the second week for the fourth consecutive year.

Asked what it was like to watch Williams’ farewell performance while waiting to take the court, Medvedev said, “It was a crazy match, close to three hours. It was definitely a pity she lost, but if that’s the last match of her career it was an amazing match and she was close to winning. But Ajla played a great level and congrats to her.”

After Medvedev won a 35-shot rally – the longest of the tournament – to avoid dropping serve in the final game of the second set, the 2020 Nitto ATP Finals champion raced to the finish line, closing out the match in one hour, 55 minutes.

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Medvedev will put his World No. 1 Pepperstone ATP Ranking on the line against Kyrgios, who defeated the 26-year-old last month at the ATP Masters 1000 event in Montreal, where he extended his ATP Head2Head lead over Medvedev to 3-1. The 2021 US Open champion currently finds himself behind Rafael Nadal in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings and will surrender his No. 1 crown after the tournament if he falls to Kyrgios.

“We’ve played great matches. I think all have been quite tight on the scoreboard,” Medvedev said. “It’s 3-1 to him but I will try to do better this time and it will be a great match for people to watch.

“Tonight I feel like I played at a quite high level and I was serving a little better than him, which was the key. There were a lot of tight games and I felt the level of the match was high.”

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Focussed Kyrgios Fires Into Fourth Round

Attempting to become the first player to win back-to-back US Opens since Roger Federer won five straight between 2004-08, Medvedev has advanced to the fourth round without dropping a set in the first week. He is also seeking his third appearance in the final at Flushing Meadows, having pushed Nadal to five sets in the 2019 title match.

Medvedev has spent a total of 16 weeks at World No. 1 since February.

Wu is the first Chinese man in the history of the tournament (since 1881) to reach the third round. He has moved to a career-high No. 129 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings as he continues his battle with countryman Zhang Zhizhen (120) to become the first Chinese man to crack the Top 100.

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Focussed Kyrgios Fires Into Fourth Round

  • Posted: Sep 03, 2022

Focussed Kyrgios Fires Into Fourth Round

Aussie overcomes third round at Flushing Meadows for first time

Perhaps only Nick Kyrgios can be showman and business-like at the same time.

The electrifying Aussie charged into the fourth round of the US Open Friday night with plenty of flair and exaggerated celebrations, but with far fewer of his bad-boy antics during a largely focussed 6-4, 6-2, 6-3 win over American J. J. Wolf.

The Wimbledon finalist could next meet World No. 1 Daniil Medvedev in a blockbuster match Sunday as he attempts to reach the quarter-finals at Flushing Meadows for the first time.

The 23rd seed fended off all seven break points he faced, including three at 0/40 in his opening service game of the third set, needing one hour, 54 minutes to sail to victory in front of raucous fans on Louis Armstrong Stadium.

“It was a very tough match for me,” Kyrgios said. “I knew J.J. is a home crowd favourite, I knew I had to be on my guns today and serve well. I’m just really happy to move forward.

“I’m really excited to play Medvedev if he wins,” Kyrgios said in his on-court interview while the World No. 1 was in the first set of his match with Wu Yibing.

Three-weeks ago, Kyrgios extended his ATP Head2Head series lead to 3-1 against Medvedev, after pulling off an upset at the ATP Masters 1000 event in Montreal, Canada.

Both Kyrgios and Wolf entertained the crowd Friday as they engaged in a tug-of-war contest from the baseline, including several passing shots that raised fans to their feet. The Australian struck 21 aces en route to victory, often painting the lines and hitting his targets at ease.

Kyrgios, who improves to 34-9 this season and is 13-2 since his maiden Grand Slam final at the All England Club, has already moved up three places this week to No. 22 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings. Should he advance to the quarter-finals, the 27-year-old would return to the Top 20 for the first time since February 2020.

The Canberra native is inching closer towards regaining his status as the Australian No. 1, a mark that Alex de Minaur currently holds as No. 19 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings.

“I’m doing it (winning) for my team as well, we’ve all been away from home for a while. I’m just playing for a lot of people back home,” Kyrgios said.

Wolf, who upset 16th seed Roberto Bautista Agut on day one, equalled his career-best Grand Slam result by reaching the third round this week in New York.

Kyrgios conquered the third round at the season’s final Slam for the first time in five tries Friday night. He will next face the winner of Medvedev and Wu Sunday.

“At the US Open, this is the furthest I’ve ever gone, so it’s a special year for me already, hopefully I can keep it going” Kyrgios said.

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Remembering Paulo Pereira, Longtime ATP Chair Umpire & Tournament Supervisor

  • Posted: Sep 03, 2022

Remembering Paulo Pereira, Longtime ATP Chair Umpire & Tournament Supervisor

Brazilian spent more than 32 years involved with the ATP

The tennis world is remembering longtime ATP chair umpire and tournament supervisor Paulo Pereira, who passed away earlier this month.

After 32 years with the ATP, including 2,540 professional matches officiated and more than 360 tournaments supervised, the Brazilian stepped down from his position as supervisor in 2013 but remained involved in the sport.

“I do not want to stop working with sports, mainly tennis, but I’m looking for new challenges, because to stop would be to leave behind a piece of myself with each passing year,” Pereira said at the time. “I want to stay active, looking for opportunities to help others with everything I have learned in all my years on the Tour.”

Internationally known and highly regarded for his work on behalf of the sport of tennis, he was a popular figure in his travels and considered the strong relationships he developed the most meaningful aspect of his tenure.

“Throughout my time with ATP, I’ve made many friends, among them my colleagues, tournament directors, players and coaches, and this means more to me than any other accomplishments that I have attained from the sport,” he added.

A supervisor for 15 years from 1998-2013, Pereira’s next chapter saw him serve as the Sao Paolo ATP 250 tournament director in 2014. He also held other roles in the Rules & Competition department after leaving his full-time post, including a role as a designation coordinator.

Pereira, who began a career in civil engineering prior to his work in tennis, said he was “permanently seduced” by the world of sport, which caused him to abandon that path in favour of a full-time commitment to tennis.

He is survived by his wife Marisa.

Pereira Remembered By ATP Friends & Colleagues

Carlos Bernardes, Longtime ATP umpire

Paulo was our mentor and a great friend. He was an inspiration to all of us. If we have many Brazilians, South American chair umpires, and line umpires working worldwide, we need to thank Paulo for that. I have many special memories of working with Paulo, but I will never forget how he was always there when any of us needed it. To congratulate or criticise, give some advice or even just listen. Paulo was always there. A great tennis official and an unforgettable friend. Rest in peace, my friend.”

Carlos Sanches, ATP Supervisor
“Paulo was not only a colleague for me but also one of my closest friends. He was also my mentor at the beginning of my career and I will never forget his very special sense of humour. He will be deeply missed.”

Laura Wawrin, Senior Manager, Rules & Competition
“Paulo touched my life in all the best ways. I am forever grateful to have had him as a true friend and mentor. I will miss him dearly.“ 

Ricardo Reis, Longtime tennis official
“Our trailblazer, our guide, our friend. An example of dedication, honesty and professionalism. We were very lucky to have him as our leader for so many years. On behalf of the South American officiating, we express our gratitude, our respect and admiration for his trajectory.”

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