Tennis News

From around the world

Kyrgios Targets Indian Wells Return After Surgery

  • Posted: Jan 25, 2023

Nick Kyrgios plans to return to ATP Tour action at March’s BNP Paribas Open after his manager Daniel Horsfall confirmed a positive outcome to the Australian star’s knee surgery.

“The surgery was a great success,” Horsfall told Australian newspapers The Herald and The Age after Kyrgios had an operation Monday to repair a small tear in his left lateral meniscus. “We couldn’t have been more pleased with the outcome of it. Now we will be pushing ahead for a speedy recovery and are aiming to see everyone at Indian Wells.”

The injury forced Kyrgios’ withdrawal from Team Australia’s inaugural United Cup lineup in late December. The 27-year-old subsequently also missed the 2023 Australian Open, where the home favourite was considered a strong title prospect in the singles and would have defended his 2022 men’s doubles crown alongside Thanasi Kokkinakis.

Kyrgios enjoyed the best season of his career in 2022, notching a 37-10 match record, reaching his maiden Grand Slam final at Wimbledon, and lifting his seventh ATP Tour title in Washington. He will hope a quick recovery allows him to recapture that form at the ATP Masters 1000 event in Indian Wells, to be held from 8-19 March, where he is a two-time quarter-finalist.

“For now, Mumma K [Nick’s mother, Nill Kyrgios] will have her work cut out for her having everyone around the home for a little while,” added Horsfall light-heartedly. “Nick will stay back in Canberra. His plan is to eat delicious food and play a lot of Pokémon.

“But on a more serious note, Will [physiotherapist Will Maher] and NK will be in the gym still working on the rest of his body to make sure he stays fit and fresh in the meantime.”


Source link

Ben Shelton's Journey Of Discovery Is Just Beginning

  • Posted: Jan 25, 2023

Ben Shelton was in no mood to be downcast after falling to Tommy Paul Wednesday in the quarter-finals at the Australian Open.

Having reached the last eight in just his second Grand Slam appearance, the #NextGenATP American reflected happily on his performances at Melbourne Park this fortnight — as well as the valuable lessons learned from his stellar run.

“I think it was a great experience,” said Shelton after Paul prevailed 7-6(6), 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 in an all-American quarter-final clash. “It was fun to be out there, my first quarter-final of a Grand Slam.

“I thought I played alright. Some things that I could do better, things that I would maybe do next time if I could do differently, but I’m pleased with the result, this being my first time at the Australian Open. So, [I’m] taking a lot of positives away from it.”

This fortnight, Shelton defeated Zhang Zhizhen, Nicolas Jarry, Alexei Popyrin and J.J. Wolf in a dream Melbourne Park debut. The 20-year-old, who a year ago was ranked No. 569 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings and still a University of Florida college player, had never left the United States prior to this trip to Australia. That made it a journey of discovery for the American both on and off the court.

“The crowds have been pretty unbelievable,” said Shelton. “They supported me. I definitely didn’t expect it coming into this tournament, being an American. They kind of treated me like one of their own. It was really fun to be able to play with the support behind me during my matches. [I had] a lot of smiles about that.

“I definitely exceeded my expectations this week, what I thought I could do on the court — not just tennis-wise but physically being able to get through as many three-out-of-five-set matches as I did. I mean, I’ve only played one before in my career. I was pretty pleased with myself in that aspect as well.”


The novel experiences will keep coming for Shelton in the 2023 season. Now up to No. 43 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings, he will likely have the opportunity to compete in the ATP Tour’s European clay-court and grass-court seasons for the first time. Just as he did in Australia, the lefty is ready to take on new challenges.

“I’m really looking forward to the clay,” said Shelton, who has trained but never competed on red clay. “The grass as well. I think that the clay is coming first, so that’s what’s on my mind first.

“I think that my game is really well-suited for the clay. I’m looking forward to be able to use the higher bounces to my advantage, moving, sliding. I’m really looking forward to getting on the red clay, and the grass as well.

“Obviously, [they will be] new experiences for me, playing those tournaments that will mostly be outside of the United States. I’m really looking forward to it. I have confidence that I’ll be able to figure it out.”


Another aspect of life on Tour that Shelton may have to get used to is taking on his fellow Americans on the biggest stages in the world. He is set to join nine of his countrymen in the Top 50 of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings on Monday, and the 20-year-old is happy to feed off the buzz that currently surrounds American men’s tennis.

“I was just in the treatment room getting worked on by my physio [and] my coach Dean [Goldfine] came in,” explained Shelton. “We were talking a little bit about American tennis. I was like, ‘I don’t see why at the end of this year we couldn’t have five, six guys in the Top 20 with the way that some of these guys are playing that aren’t inside the top 20 right now’.

“Jenson Brooksby, Sebastian Korda [who made the] quarter-finals here. So many other guys that haven’t been named as much this week that have had huge breakthrough years in the last couple years.

“I think there’s a lot of hope for American tennis. I’m really looking forward to being a part of it.”

Source link

Djokovic: Red-Hot Form ‘Sends A Message’ To Australian Open Rivals

  • Posted: Jan 25, 2023

Djokovic: Red-Hot Form ‘Sends A Message’ To Australian Open Rivals

Serbian dropped just 12 games across De Minaur & Rublev victories

Dismantling high-flying opponents back-to-back in the latter stages of a Grand Slam is no mean feat, even for an ATP Tour great. Yet Novak Djokovic is not getting carried away after backing up his masterful fourth-round Australian Open display against Alex de Minaur by cruising past World No. 6 Andrey Rublev on Wednesday night in Melbourne.

“I can’t really say that this is as confident that I ever felt because I’ve had some incredible seasons,” said Djokovic after racing to a 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 quarter-final win against Rublev. “[Some incredible] years here at the Australian Open, some matches that are really unforgettable for me. [It is] tough to compare because I’ve been fortunate to really live through a lot of success at the Australian Open.

“But [the] last two matches, playing against two guys that are really good players, in-form players, to beat them dominantly in three sets… That is definitely something that I want in this moment. Something that sends a message to all my opponents remaining in the draw.”

You May Also Like:

Ruthless Djokovic Routs Rublev To Reach Australian Open Semi-Finals

Djokovic is 10-0 for 2023 after downing Rublev. Despite being hampered by a left hamstring issue, the 35-year-old has made relatively seamless progress to the last four in Melbourne, where he can tie Rafael Nadal’s record of 22 Grand Slam crowns and return to World No. 1 by lifting the trophy. He now finds himself in a familiar position at the opening major of the season.

“With this kind of game, of course the confidence level rises… I feel good on the court, better and better as the tournament progresses,” said Djokovic. “I’ve been in this situation in so many times in my life, in my career, [and] never lost a semi-final at the Australian Open. Hopefully that will stay the same.

“So far, I have a perfect score on Australian hard courts [this year], in Adelaide and here. I’ve been playing better and better. I couldn’t ask for a better situation to be in at the moment.”

Follow The Cast Of ATP Tour | Break Point

Next up for Djokovic as he chases a record-extending 10th Australian Open title is Tommy Paul, now up to a career-high No. 19 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings. It will be a maiden tour-level meeting between the two, but Djokovic does not expect any surprises when he lines up against the American on Friday on Rod Laver Arena.

“I know how he plays,” said Djokovic of the 25-year-old Paul. “I never faced him on the court, [but] he’s been around for a few years. I watched him play quite a bit, especially during this tournament. He’s been playing probably tennis of his life.

“[He is a] very explosive, very dynamic player. Quick, very solid backhand. Likes to step in, dictate the point with the forehand. Great, great service motion… [A] very complete player. He’s got a coach [Brad Stine] that has been around with some top players for many years.

“[It is a] first [Grand Slam] semi-final for him, so of course he doesn’t have much to lose. I’m sure he’s going to go out trying to play his best tennis.”

The Official App Of Tennis | Download ATP WTA Live App

Paul’s countrymen Sebastian Korda and Ben Shelton also reached the last eight in Melbourne, marking the first time three American men have reached the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam since 2005. There are set to be 10 Americans in the Top 50 of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings on Monday, and the 92-time tour-level titlist Djokovic welcomed the emergence of a strong group of players from a nation that will host 11 tour-level events in 2023.

“Look, [the United States] is an extremely important country for our sport,” said the 92-time tour-level titlist. “We have some of the biggest tournaments in the world played there, in the North American continent. I think it is important that we see successful American men and women doing well.

“Historically, America has always produced top players. Now you have a list of maybe four or five young players that are knocking on the door of the top level. I think that’s great for our sport. We want to see young, successful players that are coming from a big country like [the United States], of course.”

Source link

Ruthless Djokovic Routs Rublev To Reach Australian Open Semi-Finals

  • Posted: Jan 25, 2023

Ruthless Djokovic Routs Rublev To Reach Australian Open Semi-Finals

Serbian moves within two wins of record-extending 10th title in Melbourne

Dialled-in and fired up, Novak Djokovic delivered a devastating quarter-final display Wednesday to breeze past Andrey Rublev 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 at the Australian Open.

Djokovic was taking on the highest-ranked opponent of his Melbourne campaign so far in World No. 6 Rublev, but he took command early and barely looked back in the pair’s maiden Grand Slam meeting. The fourth seed nullified Rublev’s powerful groundstrokes with typically resilient defence and hit cleanly through the ball from the baseline throughout, accelerating to a comfortable two-hour, three-minute victory on Rod Laver Arena.

“Overall I think that the scoreline in the first two sets doesn’t speak the truth or the reality of the match,” said Djokovic in his on-court interview. “It was some really close games that we had. Andrey is a great opponent, a great player. I’ve got tonnes of respect for him, one of the biggest forehands, one of the the quickest players on the Tour.

“If I have to sum it up, all the important shots, the important moments I found my best tennis. So that’s what makes me the most pleased tonight.”

Follow The Cast Of ATP Tour | Break Point

The win backed up Djokovic’s masterful fourth-round display against Alex de Minaur, during which he dropped just five games. His past two performances appear to have quashed any doubts surrounding the 35-year-old’s left hamstring issue, which hampered him in his first three matches at Melbourne Park, as he chases a record-extending 10th Australian Open title.

“I would rank it as number two, but very close to the performance of two nights ago,” said Djokovic. “I cannot be happier with my tennis, honestly. I’m playing very solid from the back of the court and really love playing in these conditions on this court… It’s definitely the most special court for me.”

Djokovic faces Tommy Paul, a 7-6(6), 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 winner in an all-American clash with Ben Shelton, in the Melbourne semi-finals as he bids to equal Rafael Nadal’s record of 22 Grand Slam crowns. A title triumph Down Under would also see the 35-year-old return to No. 1 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings for the first time since last June.

You May Also Like:

Djokovic, Tsitsipas & Alcaraz Remaining Contenders For World No. 1

Rublev clinched his first tour-level win against Djokovic in the Belgrade championship match last April, but Djokovic avenged that defeat with a 6-4, 6-1 triumph at November’s Nitto ATP Finals and he looked just as untroubled in Melbourne on Wednesday. He reeled off five straight games from 1-1 to take the opening set and then seven straight games from 1-2 in the second, never allowing Rublev to settle on serve.

The only real moment of peril for Djokovic came when he faced two break points serving at 4-2 in the second set. After powering a forehand winner to clinch a long rally and save the second of those, the Serbian let out a long roar to the delight of his vocal supporters in the stands. The 92-time tour-level titlist finished the match having won 80 per cent (45/56) of points behind his first serve.

As well as improving his ATP Head2Head record against Rublev to 3-1, Djokovic also equalled Andre Agassi’s Open Era record of 26 consecutive Australian Open men’s singles match wins. The Serbian is unbeaten at the Australian Open from the semi-finals onwards, having lifted the title on all nine occasions when he has reached the last four.

Rublev is now 0-7 in Grand Slam quarter-finals, but the 25-year-old is set to return to his career-high of No. 5 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings on Monday as a result of his Melbourne run.

Source link