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Rublev Rolls Norrie To Claim QF Spot At US Open

  • Posted: Sep 05, 2022

Rublev Rolls Norrie To Claim QF Spot At US Open

Ninth seed to meet Nadal or Tiafoe in quarter-finals

Andrey Rublev took a leaf out of the Cameron Norrie playbook Monday at the US Open, where the hard-hitting ninth seed produced a rock-solid fourth-round showing to down the Briton 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 in New York.

Rublev struck consistently from deep and was clinical with his chances on return as he capitalised on an uncharacteristically wayward performance from the seventh-seeded Norrie to wrap a two-hour, 26-minute victory and reach his fifth Grand Slam quarter-final. The 24-year-old fired 30 winners and made just 17 unforced errors en route to beating a Top 10 opponent at the US Open for the fourth time.

“It was tough, especially when we’ve known each other for a long time,” said Rublev in his on-court interview. “Last time he beat me, so of course I was coming on court thinking I need to give my best, play really well, and I think today I played a good match.

“Cameron maybe was a bit tired, because in some moments he helped me, but this is the US Open, this is a Grand Slam and everyone is nervous, everyone is tight, everyone wants to win. So this is normal. In the end I was able to win in three sets and I’m super happy.”

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The win moves Rublev into his third quarter-final at Flushing Meadows, where he now holds a 17-6 record. Should four-time champion Rafael Nadal prevail against Frances Tiafoe on Arthur Ashe Stadium later on Monday, Rublev will face the same opponent as in his quarter-final in 2017, when he lost to the Spaniard in straight sets. Yet Rublev is primarily focussing on his own game as he seeks a first Grand Slam quarter-final victory at the sixth attempt.

“I was not thinking about it until now, because I had to play today,” said Rublev. “If I have time, I will try to watch of course, because it is going to be Rafa or Tiafoe in my next match so I have to see how they play. But if I have no time, I will just prepare for the next match and that’s it.”

Rublev and Norrie had looked set for an encounter of fine margins after serve dominated the opening exchanges of their third tour-level meeting. Rublev stayed solid off both wings to pressure Norrie into a series of mistakes in the ninth game, however, as he converted the first break point of the match en route to the first set in gruelling humid conditions in New York.

Even the distraction of some inclement weather blowing into Louis Armstrong Stadium could not shake Rublev, who was made to wait by a short rain delay when leading 3-2 with a break in the second set, and then again a game later as the stadium’s roof was being closed. The ninth seed picked up where he left off upon resumption, consistently serving with precision to move two sets ahead.

Rublev finished the match having won 79 per cent (46/58) of points behind his first serve, a reflection of how confidently the 11-time tour-level titlist was striking the ball. The only drop in his level came in the third set, when Norrie regained his composure to reclaim a break and take a 4-3 lead. Rublev’s response was swift, as he reeled off three games in a row behind some trademark huge forehands to seal an impressive win.

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Kyrgios: 'I Had Probably The Most Boneheaded Play Of All Time Tonight'

  • Posted: Sep 05, 2022

Kyrgios: ‘I Had Probably The Most Boneheaded Play Of All Time Tonight’

Australian reflects on bizarre point and win against Medvedev

Nick Kyrgios’ blockbuster clash against Daniil Medvedev featured one of the most bizarre moments of the US Open.

The 27-year-old eventually won the match in four sets. However, he cost himself a break point opportunity at 30-all on Medvedev’s serve at 1-0 in the third set. The top seed floated a volley high in the air, and the ball clearly was not going to make it to Kyrgios’ side of the court. Instead of letting it bounce and winning the point, the 23rd seed ran to the other side of the court and hit the ball out of the air before putting his index finger in the air to celebrate.

The chair umpire correctly awarded the point to Medvedev, who went on to hold the service game.

“I think I had probably the most boneheaded play of all time tonight. I thought it was legal to be honest. I genuinely thought it was legal,” Kyrgios said in an interview with ESPN. “I thought I was playing the concrete streets of my suburb in Canberra. That’s something I would do there and I realised that it wasn’t legal. You can see my face… I was so happy. I was like, ‘That’s the best shot ever’ and it wasn’t legal. But it was fun.”

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US Open Stunner: Kyrgios Upsets Medvedev, Who Will Lose World No. 1

It seemed that would be a critical moment in the match that could have tilted the action in Medvedev’s favour. Instead, the Australian earned a service break in his next return game and never looked back.

“I think that was the turning point, honestly,” Kyrgios said.

During Kyrgios’ press conference, he was in a reflective mood. The 27-year-old has been playing some of the best tennis of his career over the past few months and he explained that one of the biggest reasons for that is how motivated he is to succeed.

“I just feel like I’m playing for a lot more than myself. I’ve just got a lot of people, a lot of support, and on the flip side I got a lot of people doubting me and trying to bring me down all the time as well. I’ve got a lot of motivation in the back of my mind,” Kyrgios said. “I’ve been away from home now for four months. My whole team has. We don’t get to see our family like other tennis players do the majority of time. I’m trying to make it worthwhile, trying to make it a memorable ride for all of us. Hopefully we can get it done, go back home and really celebrate.”

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There already has been plenty for Kyrgios to celebrate this year. He won the doubles title at the Australian Open alongside close friend and countryman Thanasi Kokkinakis, which gave him the belief that he could make deep runs at the majors.

Then at Wimbledon, Kyrgios advanced to his first Grand Slam singles final, in which he pushed Novak Djokovic in a tight four-setter. The Australian maintained his good form throughout the North American hard-court summer, lifting the trophy at the Citi Open and eliminating Medvedev in Montreal before arriving in New York.

“Obviously winning helps. I’ve been winning a lot this year. The motivation has been there. It’s easy to train. It’s easier to wake up obviously when things are going great,” Kyrgios said. “I was just really sick of letting people down. I don’t know, just feeling like that. I feel like I’m making people proud now.”

The pressure on Kyrgios is as high as ever given his current form and performance under the spotlight. But so far at Flushing Meadows, he has overcome every hurdle to set a quarter-final clash against Karen Khachanov.

“It’s a great win. But I come off the court and I’m just almost relieved that it’s over because there’s just so much pressure every time I go out on court, so much expectation, so much unpredictability of what I can do,” Kyrgios said. “I just sit there in the locker room after and I’m just super proud of the performance because there was really a time where I didn’t think I was capable of producing and doing this any more.”

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Medvedev: 'Didn't Do Well Enough' At Slams In 2022

  • Posted: Sep 05, 2022

Medvedev: ‘Didn’t Do Well Enough’ At Slams In 2022

Defending champ falls short to Kyrgios in the fourth round at Flushing Meadows

Closing the books on his Grand Slam season with a fourth-round exit to Nick Kyrgios at Flushing Meadows on Sunday night, Daniil Medvedev was left to rue missed opportunities at this year’s majors… and the end of his reign as World No. 1.

Medvedev’s 7-6(11), 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 defeat to the Australian showman means that he will relinquish his hold on the No. 1 Pepperstone ATP Ranking after the US Open after spending 17 weeks in that position throughout the year. With just one run beyond the fourth round at this year’s Slams (a runner-up finish at the Australian Open), the 26-year-old said that he will be motivated for a stronger showing at the majors in 2023, and to reclaim World No. 1, hopefully before the end of the year.

In his post match press-conference, the defending champion said that he was ‘disappointed’ and knows that he needs to perform better to return to World No. 1 and to become a multiple Grand Slam winner.

“It was not the first thing on my mind walking after the match, saying, ‘Damn, will not be the World No. 1 any more,’” Medvedev said.

“I actually don’t know which place I will be. Probably three or four. I guess Carlos (Alcaraz) will pass me. I don’t know, actually. But that’s motivation, try to do better. Obviously it was the last Slam of the year. Didn’t do well enough. Didn’t win in Australia when I had the chance. Didn’t get the chance to play Wimbledon. Roland Garros, lost fourth round. Here fourth round. Yeah, should do better. Should get more points if I want to be World No. 1 again.”

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Kyrgios extends his ATP Head2Head lead to 4-1 over Medvedev, including a close win three-weeks ago at the ATP Masters 1000 event in Montreal, Canada. Medvedev admitted that the Australian was clearly the better player Sunday night, comparing the Australian’s level to the likes of Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.

“He played quite good in Montreal also. Yeah, it was a high-level match. [I’ve] played Novak, Rafa. They all play amazing. Nick today played kind of their level, in my opinion,” Medvedev said.

“He has a little bit different game because he’s not like a grinder in a way. At the same time he can rally. He’s tough to play. He has an amazing serve. But from baseline it’s not like when the point starts, you know that you have the advantage. He plays good. He has every shot. It was a really high-level match, I mean, from him. If he plays like this until end of the tournament, he has all the chances to win it.”

Despite firing 22 aces, the defending champion lacked consistency from his first delivery, making 59% of his first serves. The 14-time tour adopted a different approach on return than he pursued in Montreal, standing much closer (especially early in the first set) to make it harder for Kyrgios to exploit him with serve and volley. As the match wore on at Arthur Ashe Stadium, Medvedev retreated further back behind the baseline, allowing him more time to react to Kyrgios’ heavy serve.

“That was a little bit of my plan, to not let him serve and volley,” Medvedev said. “At one moment I felt like maybe I’m just a little bit too close actually, so I went just a little bit further where he still, in my opinion, couldn’t really serve and volley, but I could have just a little bit more time to return. In general I feel like if I take the match, the return was not so bad. I should have served a little bit better, which is not easy sometimes, played a little bit better from baseline, again, not easy, he played good.”

Medvedev, who won his maiden Grand Slam title at the US Open in 2021, leaves New York boasting a 23-5 record at the season’s final Slam and is 37-13 in 2022.

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Moya Exclusive: Why Rafa Changed His Serve For US Open

  • Posted: Sep 05, 2022

Moya Exclusive: Why Rafa Changed His Serve For US Open

The Mallorcan coach analyses Nadal’s form at Flushing Meadows

Editor’s Note: This story first appeared on

To reach the fourth round of the US Open, Rafael Nadal has had to wipe plenty of sweat from his brow, and also some blood. In his second-round clash with Fabio Fognini, the Spaniard lunged for a backhand, which resulted in his racquet bouncing off the court and causing a cut on his nose. Nadal then was forced to take a medical timeout as the physio bandaged his nose. Carlos Moya, the 22-time major champion’s coach, wasn’t immediately aware of what happened.

“We couldn’t see very well what had happened, so I quickly went online to watch videos,” Moya explained to “If you’ve taken a knock, it’s not as worrying. It’s a different story if something is twisted or sprained. A knock is painful, nothing more.”

Nadal, who will play in the round of 16 against Frances Tiafoe Monday, has had to work extremely hard to make it to the final Grand Slam of the season after suffering a seven-millimetre abdominal tear that forced him to withdraw from the Wimbledon semi-finals in July. Moya said that Rafa’s road to getting back to full-steam was a process.

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How was the recovery after Wimbledon?
He rested for a week. It’s an injury that doesn’t prevent him from training, but it does mean he can’t serve. After a few weeks, he added the serve back into his routine. We thought he would make it to Canada, but that didn’t happen. He just made it to Cincinnati. Now we’re taking it day-by-day. At the moment, everything is under control, with a few variations. With that in mind, we believe Rafa will be competitive.

Withdrawing from the Wimbledon semi-finals…
Obviously it hurts. Being in a Wimbledon semi-final and not being able to play… above all with the level he had. It was one of the best Rafas I remember from the baseline, being aggressive, without speculating. We decided to evaluate the risks, analyse the pros and cons. When you’re not involved every day, it’s difficult. I wasn’t there, but I think it was a good decision. Rafa is 36, and he had various Masters 1000s and the US Open ahead of him this year. The best thing for him is trying to be healthy. If he is, he is still competitive at any tournament.

Were you surprised by what happened in Cincinnati?
If you look at how the week went… he had the best result against Coric, who went on to win the title. He had, and let slip, many opportunities, something that doesn’t normally happen. At this level that comes at a cost. It became possible because he was only just fit enough when he arrived.

In New York, he’s playing with a different serve. During the training sessions, we saw that he was struggling to serve like before, going after the ball at the top, reaching. To protect the area, we changed to a serve that allows him to be competitive. So far, he’s serving pretty well. It’s a different method, but on a fast court, or even at Wimbledon, it’s a serve that can be very effective. He’s getting more confident and he hasn’t lost any speed. And the bounce is livelier with the new serve, the spin he puts on it is having more effect.

Isn’t it a big risk changing his serve before a Grand Slam?
If we didn’t change his serve, there was a very high risk of relapse. You go to war with the weapons you have. It’s Rafa, it’s a Grand Slam. He also said that after losing in Cincinnati, that he would activate ‘Grand Slam mode’. Clearly, the first matches could have been better, but we’ll see what happens.

During the second-round match with Fabio Fognini, Nadal approached and told you he was very anxious.
The way the match was going, we asked him to get more balls in, to play with margin for error, no angles, and to run. It was something that I hadn’t told him for many years: aim for the middle and run. We also knew what our opponent was like. He was faultless for over an hour, but then he made some mistakes. Rafa relaxed and then his level wasn’t bad. He got back to a more recognisable version of himself, average cruising speed.

Why did that happen to him?
The mind is difficult to control. He explained that he has been through a lot of tough situations in recent months. We all think he will find his A-game. We have past experiences with Rafa, starting tournaments really badly, going through the rounds and ending with an exceptional level. Wimbledon was similar. We’re confident something similar will happen here.

He’s won the Australian Open, Roland Garros, he’s unbeaten at Grand Slams, he has an opportunity to be the No. 1…
It’s a perfect year, but one that has been full of incidents. When he’s played, his level has been spectacular, above all at important moments. But it’s true that there have been incidents, preventing him from having the continuity he would have liked. We mustn’t forget one thing: he’s a 36-year-old player, with a lot of miles under his belt. It’s normal for the body to gradually start faltering.

Nadal has always said that he won’t do anything crazy just to be No. 1, but now it is so close…
Being number one again has a lot of value; ending the year at the top of the rankings, even more so. If you look at his schedule, it’s clear that it’s not a goal. The most important thing for him is looking after his body and being well for the Grand Slams. But if it’s put in front of him, of course we’ll go for it.

And for his first Nitto ATP Finals title?
If he can win the tournament, even better. In 2020 he was very close when he lost to Medvedev in the semis. He was a set up, serving at 5-4. It was the closest he has got, although he could have lost the final. The way he was playing and the feeling we all had. If he can win it this year, great.

After Djokovic won Wimbledon, how is the race to be the greatest of all time looking?
The team doesn’t speak about that. He wants to be well, competitive. Obviously, there are comments, but no importance is placed on it. There is enough pressure every day.

His US Open debut was in 2003, the first title in 2010 and in 2022 he is bidding for his 23rd major. Which Nadal is better?
They are different eras and the physical change is very big. In 2010, his game had some characteristics that he has lost because circumstances have forced him to make changes. That was an amazing version of him, but so is today’s. If he had continued playing like he did in 2010, he wouldn’t be as competitive and possibly would have retired. Everyone on the team would love to have a fresh Rafa, 22 years of age, but we have to adapt to a body and a mind. He has things that are better than before, others are worse. He has had to evolve to continue being competitive in 2022.

Evolving is what sets players apart, right?
A 35-year-old player like Djokovic, 36 like Rafa, or 37 like Federer when he came back in 2017… for them to still be capable of winning Grand Slams, they have to evolve. They have beaten the new generations for all these years. Everyone knows them better, but almost nobody can stop them, they can’t find a way. Rafa would have retired if he hadn’t evolved. Without that evolution, all three of them would have retired.

What would you ask of him at this point in the tournament?
Basically, to play with calm and peace of mind, more than looking for any specific tactic. The tennis is there, but during these moments of difficulty, the court looks very small. Your arm tenses up and you make mistakes. You have to be calm. Different things are required depending on the situation. Right now, it’s easy; be calm, forget about what has happened… and play.

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US Open Stunner: Kyrgios Upsets Medvedev, Who Will Lose World No. 1

  • Posted: Sep 05, 2022

US Open Stunner: Kyrgios Upsets Medvedev, Who Will Lose World No. 1

Aussie will play Khachanov in the quarter-finals

Nick Kyrgios stunned defending champion Daniil Medvedev 7-6(11), 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 at the US Open on Sunday evening with a brilliant performance to reach the quarter-finals at Flushing Meadows.

The 23rd seed entered the match with a 3-1 ATP Head2Head lead against Medvedev and in the best form of his career, but taking out the top seed at a Grand Slam was an entirely new challenge. The Australian passed the test with flying colours, playing his aggressive game to triumph after two hours and 53 minutes.

“What a place to do it,” Kyrgios said. “Packed house in New York!”

Medvedev will lose his top spot in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings on the Monday after the US Open. Rafael Nadal, Carlos Alcaraz or Casper Ruud will become World No. 1. Kyrgios advances to his first quarter-final in New York, where he will next play Karen Khachanov.

“I want to go all the way,” said Kyrgios, whose victory was his third against a World No. 1. “Hopefully it is possible.” 

Kyrgios Versus The Big Guns

Player Head2Head Record
Stefanos Tsitsipas 4-1
Alexander Zverev 4-3
Daniil Medvedev 4-1
Rafael Nadal 3-6
Novak Djokovic 2-1
Roger Federer 1-6

The match was less about Medvedev playing poorly — he made just  19 unforced errors — and more about Kyrgios shining under the spotlight. The crowd favourite fired 21 aces and cracked 53 total winners to seize the opportunity. He frequented the net to put pressure on Medvedev, winning 62 per cent (29/47) of those points.

Kyrgios emerged victorious despite a third-set gaffe that would have thrown many players for a loop. The 27-year-old cost himself a break point opportunity at 30-all when he ran around the net to hit on the full a Medvedev floating volley that clearly lacked the velocity to make it back into play. It was for pure comic relief, but the chair umpire correctly awarded the point to Medvedev, who would serve out the game.

Instead of letting the mistake get to him, Kyrgios remained calm and found his best tennis of the tournament to surge past the top seed.

This year’s Wimbledon finalist and Citi Open champion overpowered Medvedev and never allowed him to get comfortable. The 2021 champion so often puzzles opponents with his devastating mix of big serving and relentless defending. But when Nick posed the ‘Kyrgios Question’ in front of a raucous crowd, Medvedev found few answers. 

The match got off to a quick start with both men playing sensational tennis. Former World No. 1 Andy Roddick was among those who provided his thoughts on social media, tweeting, “This is awesome stuff. Super high level. Heavyweight fight.”

The pair clashed just weeks ago in Montreal, where Kyrgios triumphed in three sets. He backed up that victory with a sensational performance in front of a packed crowd. After hitting his 21st ace, Kyrgios barely celebrated, knowing there is still work to be done in New York.

“I’m just glad that I am finally able to show New York my talent,” Kyrgios said. “I haven’t played great tennis [in the past] to be honest… it’s taken me 27 years.”

After Kyrgios brought out his showmanship early and tried to rally the fans Medvedev did the same, often encouraging fans inside Arthur Ashe Stadium to get louder with a wave. Early on, Medvedev showed a different returning strategy than he did in Canada, standing far closer to the baseline. Later in the first set, he would mix it up to give his big-serving opponent different looks.

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The defending champion overcame an early break deficit to push the set to a tie-break, in which he rallied from 3/5 down to earn three set points. On the third of those set points, at 8/7, Kyrgios hit a tricky backhand volley that just clipped the singles line. 

Kyrgios put on the pressure from there, using his drop shot to great effect in the latter stages of the tie-break. On the set point he converted, the Australian faked a drop shot, leading to a missed passing shot from Medvedev.  

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Kyrgios was unable to sustain his momentum, though, playing a poor opening service game in the second set. Medvedev took full advantage, seizing an immediate break and surging ahead 5-1. The set got complicated as the Australian rediscovered his focus, but Kyrgios missed a neutral backhand long to allow his opponent to level the clash.

Early in the third set, Kyrgios made what could have been a critical mistake. Leading 1-0 and at 30/30 on Medvedev’s serve, the 23rd seed rushed around the net and swatted away a ball that was not going to land anywhere close to the net. By rule, if a ball does not land on your side of the net and spin back to your opponent’s side of the court, you are not allowed to touch the ball on that side.

Kyrgios put a finger up in celebration, thinking he had just earned a spot on the highlight reel. Instead, the point went to Medvedev, who escaped the game. Although that seemed it would be a critical juncture, the action proved otherwise.

The 23rd seed broke from 40/0 down in Medvedev’s next service game and served through the rest of the set without difficulty. From the moment of his gaffe, Kyrgios dominated with his big serve and never allowed Medvedev to get comfortable.

The Australian earned an early break again in the fourth set and was determined to hang onto it. Kyrgios broke serve five times in his victory and saved five of the eight break points he faced.

Kyrgios on Monday will partner Thanasi Kokkinakis — whom he defeated in the first round in singles — in an attempt to reach the doubles quarter-finals. Kokkinakis was in Kyrgios’ box on Sunday evening supporting his countryman.

Did You Know?
Kyrgios is up seven places to No. 18 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings and has replaced Alex de Minaur as Australia’s highest-ranked player. He has not been ranked that high since August 2018. The Australian was World No. 137 six months ago on 22 February.

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Ivashka Deleting His Limits, Unlocking His Full Potential

  • Posted: Sep 05, 2022

Ivashka Deleting His Limits, Unlocking His Full Potential

Learn more about the big-hitting 28-year-old

Ilya Ivashka remembers his first martial arts class vividly. His friend, Andrei Kozlovsky, gave him a stern warning.

“He told me, ‘Man, don’t go there because they are going to break all your body’,” Ivashka recalled from when he was a child. “I was so scared. I said, ‘Okay, I’m not going there.’ I went to the first class. I was crying, they took me out and because of him I said I will never do it.”

The next sport Ivashka tried was tennis, because his father always played with a friend. Fast-forward two decades and Ivashka is competing in the US Open, where he is into the fourth round for the first time.

In the stands throughout the tournament has been Kozlovsky, who now is a professional dancer living in New York. It is safe to say his advice to Ivashka worked out. The 28-year-old is living his dream on one of the biggest stages in sports.

Ivashka’s 21-year-old brother, Aleksei, grew up playing many sports. “My brother tried all sports that exist in the world,” Ivashka said. “By 10, he changed [to] 25 different sports. But for me, [it was] not like this.”

It was all tennis all the time for Ivashka. Before he was a teen, he had already travelled outside Belarus to compete. One memory sticks out from when he was 12 years old.

Ivashka remembers playing a prestigious junior tournament in Bradenton, Florida. Training at the same facility was Andy Murray, who at the time was on the verge of cracking the Top 10 of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings.

“To see him playing and just to get a photo was the best moment of the trip,” Ivashka said, before reflecting on their first practice together, which came earlier this year in Rotterdam. “When I got the chance to practise with him, it was a very nice moment. I found this photo on Facebook that I have. I don’t use the Facebook, but I went there and I had this photo from I think 2006.

“He was super nice. He’s a very, very nice guy. Even when we were practising, I didn’t know him and probably he didn’t know me as well… I talked with him and I showed him the picture from when I was young and he was super, super nice to me. We spoke and he’s a really nice guy.

“It was funny because he was looking [at the picture] like, ‘What’s happening with my hair? What’s happening on my head?’”


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In his late teens, Ivashka’s parents wanted him to consider going to college in the United States. But at the age of 19, he secured his first Pepperstone ATP Ranking point at a tournament in Kazakhstan, which left him hungry for more.

“I was thinking, ‘Okay, it’s unreal. I’m done here.’ I was so happy with just one ATP point and then it was coming. I was working a lot, practising a lot and that was the result,” Ivashka said. “At first you’re thinking [that getting] one point is something amazing. Then when you’re like [No.] 700, you think, ‘Ooh, I am better than half of the guys that are from my country, so maybe I can do a little bit more. Then [No.] 300, maybe I can play qualies of a Grand Slam, why not?’

“I was deleting the limits that I had in my head and I was seeing, ‘Okay, it’s possible, I can do it and I am playing good, so why not?’ Now it’s the same thing. [It is important] to unlock the things in the head and keep believing that I can do it.’”

After making his maiden ATP Tour semi-final in 2018 in Munich, Ivashka believed he was not too far from the top of the sport. Last year in Winston-Salem, he lifted his first ATP Tour trophy. Ivashka lost just five total games in his final two matches of the week, capturing the crown in emphatic fashion.

“It was something that I was dreaming of because I wanted at least to win one ATP title,” Ivashka said. “It was a huge thing for me.”

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His effort that week in North Carolina showed the rest of the Tour that when he is at his best, Ivashka is as dangerous an opponent as anyone with his powerful baseline game. The only man that earned a set against him that week was former World No. 3 Marin Cilic.

“Ilya is a very big-hearted player, playing with heart and always fighting strong. You can see him every single match giving his best and pushing strong,” Cilic told “On the other side, he’s having that strong game, hitting big from the back of the court. Very solid.

“We’ve seen through the years so many Belarusians and Russians, the guys smacking the ball big. He’s definitely one of them, great backhand, great solid game. In order to beat him, you really have to play well and also be ready for a physical battle as well.”

Ivashka, who will play 11th seed Jannik Sinner for a place in his first Grand Slam quarter-final, keeps his big-picture expectations to himself. He prefers to show the world his best performance daily. When in form, there are few who can overpower the 28-year-old, who has defeated former World No. 11 Sam Querrey, eighth seed Hubert Hurkacz and 26th seed Lorenzo Musetti this year at Flushing Meadows.

“At the end, everybody tries to put his game style on the court and try to dominate. I feel comfortable in these types of games, to play fast and to have the rallies, but to hit hard and to try to play aggressive,” Ivashka said. “That is the main goal, to try to [play]  my game [so] that it will hurt the opponent.”

Ivashka wants to be the player who decides the match. So far, that strategy has worked out well on the quick New York hard courts.

“It feels incredible to be honest. I didn’t expect [it] coming here. I didn’t have very good results the past three weeks and I was not feeling so good, but I think the game was there and I was just trying my last effort in the States [this trip],” Ivashka said. “I’m really happy I’m going to the second week.”

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