Former British number one Emma Raducanu says she will return to tennis next season after undergoing wrist and ankle surgery in May.
Former British number one Emma Raducanu says she will return to tennis next season after undergoing wrist and ankle surgery in May.
Great Britain will clash against Serbia in a blockbuster Davis Cup Final 8 meeting, it was announced Tuesday.
Following their dramatic victory against France on Sunday, when Daniel Evans and Neal Skupski saved four match points to survive a deciding doubles match, Great Britain became the last team to seal their Final 8 spot by winning Group B. The winner of Great Britain and Serbia will meet Italy or The Netherlands.
In the top half of the draw, defending champion Canada will battle against first-time quarter-finalist Finland in the Final 8. The winner will face the Czech Republic or last year’s runner-up Australia.
The Davis Cup Final 8 Knockout Stage, which will be held in Malaga, Spain, runs from 21-26 November.
Davis Cup Final 8 Draw:
Winner Group A vs. Runner-up Group D
Canada vs. Finland
Winner Group C v Runner-up Group B
Czech Republic vs. Australia
Runner-up Group A v Winner Group D
Italy vs. Netherlands
Runner-up Group C v Winner Group B
Serbia vs. Great Britain
Earlier this season at Roland Garros, Aleksandar Kovacevic thrived when tasked with the opportunity of tackling Novak Djokovic, the now-24-time major champion, on his Grand Slam debut. The American showed impressive firepower against the record-breaking legend, taking the eventual champion in Paris to a third set tie-break when beaten 6-3, 6-2, 7-6(1).
Ahead of his ATP Tour debut in China on Thursday at the Huafa Properties Zhuhai Championships, Kovacevic took some time to marvel at a giant of a different kind as he watched whale sharks during a day of thrills at a nearby theme park. Along with fellow main-draw competitors including Sebastian Korda, he visited the world’s biggest ocean-themed resort, the Chimelong Ocean Kingdom.
The 25-year-old Kovacevic is a nature-lover who integrated outdoors activities, including hiking and sky diving, into his training routines at the behest of his former University of Illinois college coach Brad Dancer.
“I used to go hiking a lot when I was training in California. I was in Sacramento, and there was not much to do around there, so I had to find ways to have fun,” he said. “We used to drive to some of the coasts and find some random places to hike, and it was always nice, but seeing things like this is almost a step above that.”
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Sebastian Korda was among the group who spent the day at the Chimelong Ocean Kingdom. Photo Credit: ATP Zhuhai Championships.
Kovacevic, who peaked at No.101 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings in April, was raised in New York and has spent time living in Florida, Illinois and California. The World No.116, who will play Kimmer Coppejans in his first round match in Zhuhai, was astonished by the variety of marine life on display at the Chimelong Ocean Kingdom.
“It is wild seeing them in person. In our day-to-day lives, you forget that nature produces some of these amazing animals. It is crazy to see,” he said.
Kovacevic, who has posted strong results on the ATP Challenger Tour since turning professional in 2021, is no stranger to meeting champions. As a 10-year-old he hit with former US Open winners John McEnroe and Andy Roddick at a World TeamTennis Match in New York. the two-time All American collegiate player also had the joy of meeting Djokovic early in the champion’s career in 2005, before the opportunity to play him presented 18 years later.
After winning ATP Challenger Tour titles in Cleveland and Waco early in the season, and also winning a round as a qualifier in Miami, Kovacevic wants to finish the season strongly. Having reached the semi-finals in Seoul last September after coming through qualifying, he feels confident in his ability to succeed in Asia.
“This is my first time in China. I was in Korea last year and I actually like Korea a lot,” he said. “It has been amazing so far. The hotel, I think, is the nicest hotel I have stayed in in my entire life.
“Just overall, the hospitality has been great. The tournament site is great and this experience today has been great, so nothing but good things to say so far.”
Britain’s Harriet Dart loses to Belgium’s Greet Minnen and misses out on a place in the quarter-finals at the Guangzhou Open in China.
When J.J. Wolf turned pro in 2019 following a standout career at Ohio State University, American Cannon Kingsley was just settling into college life in Columbus.
Fast forward to this season, Kingsley is now a three-time ITA All-American entering his fifth year at OSU, where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in sport industry this spring. The 22-year-old is hoping to follow in the footsteps of World No. 51 Wolf.
“I’ve known J.J. for about four or five years now. He’s still based out of Columbus so he trains with some of the guys when he’s home playing. I’ve trained with him a decent amount,” Kingsley told ATPTour.com at this year’s NCAA Championships.
“It’s great having a guy like that who came out of the programme. It’s an inspiration for guys like me who are trying to transition into pro tennis after school, so getting to see him and how he works and how he trains is a pretty cool thing. The fact that he was a Buckeye is awesome.”
Through the ATP/ITA Accelerator Programme, Kingsley will receive up to eight qualifying spots at select ATP Challenger Tour events in the next year. “That’s a huge opportunity. It’s a good motivator for me,” he stated. The Northport, New York native is one of 21 students to benefit from the new programme, which aims to increase the development pathway for top players in the American collegiate system.
Kingsley puts great value on his time in Columbus, where under the tutelage of longtime coach Ty Tucker, he has been named to the Big Ten’s All-Conference team the past four seasons (2020-23). His freshman year, Kingsley made a dream start to his college career, becoming the first player in programme history to be named ITA Rookie of the Year.
“There’s just so much that you learn when you’re in college. Physically, I’ve grown so much. I think I’ve gotten stronger. I’ve gotten mentally tougher as well,” Kingsley said. “I think just playing for something bigger than yourself is another factor that people don’t really learn who just go straight into pro tennis. And I think playing for a bigger purpose is something that really motivates me on the court.”
NCAA Champ Quinn Among 21 College Players To Qualify For ATP Accelerator Programme
Kingsley was given a wild card into last month’s Lexington Challenger, his first tournament of the season at the level. Though he was not using an Accelerator spot, he reached the semi-finals.
In action this week at the Columbus Challenger, Kingsley will feel right at home on the scarlet and grey indoor courts of Ohio State. After reaching the semi-finals last September in Columbus, Kingsley will aim for another deep run behind his first-strike firepower.
“I have a big serve, kind of a one-two punch with that,” said Kingsley, who is No. 449 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings. “First ball, looking for forehands. I think that that is probably my game, aggressive baseliner.”
Editor’s note: This story was translated from ATPTour.com/es
More than eight months have passed since Rafael Nadal played his last match on the ATP Tour. The Spaniard, who has not competed since January’s Australian Open and underwent an operation on the iliopsoas muscle in his left leg in June, is still in the midst of the recovery process. Yet he is hopeful about a return to action.
The 22-time Grand Slam champion gave an in-depth interview this week to Movistar+, in which he discussed his current fitness, how a daily routine including golf helps him satisfy his hunger for competition, his thoughts on the future of tennis, and how he wants to get back to being one of the players to beat. He also answered questions on a range of topics, from personal projects to sporting decisions, while remaining aware that only time will bring all the answers.
“My hope is to play again, to be competitive again,” explained Nadal. “The hope is not returning and winning at Roland Garros again, or in Australia, let’s get that straight. I’m aware that at this point of my life, that is very far off. I’m not saying it’s impossible, I’ve said it thousands of times, because things in sport change very quickly.”
Rafael Nadal, The Numbers Behind His Dominance
For Nadal, the fast pace of sport is in stark contrast to his current reality. It is a question of patience, perseverance, and acceptance.
“It’s boring, I play without moving as intensely as I’m used to doing,” said Nadal. “I have to tread carefully and stay within myself at all times. I know that I have to be careful. I’ve been through many periods of recovery, and I always get bored, but that doesn’t take away from my focus and the care of doing it day in, day out. Luckily, since a few weeks ago, I’ve been able to play golf. That’s the only thing I can compete in at this point. It distracts me and competing is a necessity for me.”
The Mallorcan, who is going through one of the longest absences of his career, is in no doubt about his progress. At 37 years of age, with the experience that can only be earned through time, he knows how to take care of the aspects that are within his control in order to take the next step.
“I’m not frustrated for one simple reason; to the best of my ability, I’ve done everything so that things have gone as well as possible for me,” explained the Spaniard, accepting that an athlete of his class may have to go through these trials and tribulations. “[It is possible to] be frustrated with 22 Grand Slams. For example, for Novak it is more intense. To him, it would have been more frustrating not to get [the record for majors]. Maybe that’s why he’s achieved it.
“As well as the iliopsoas, on June 2, I had a hip operation. It’s been a very tough year and a half since the rib injury in Indian Wells, despite the Roland Garros title. The results sometimes belie the daily reality. My iliopsoas was very bad and the operation was a solution. They told me that if I didn’t have the operation I wouldn’t recover even if I stopped for a long time. I took the decision, and the operation went well, but it’s a long time. I’ve been on holiday for five weeks only doing gym.”
Nadal, who hinted in May that 2024 might be the last season of his career, maintains that it is just a possibility among many, and that only time will tell.
“Now it’s a controllable pain, nothing I can’t handle,” said the Spaniard. “I’m not sure what I’ll do in 2024, because the way I approach the year completely changes depending on what my goals are. If I don’t recover, that’s one thing, if I can compete on a level that excites me, that’s another thing altogether… Of course, in that case, I would play. But not with the schedule I’d like to have.
“I still have no need to answer that 1695280770. If I can play, but I’m not at the level to win at Roland Garros, maybe I will decide to have a goodbye tour. I can’t answer that right now. The Olympic Games would be the icing on the cake if I’m competitive. My schedule would change if I feel like I have a chance of playing and winning at Roland Garros.
“My hope is that in two months, mid-November, I’ll be able to say where I am. How I am physically, and above all how the injury is. We haven’t set a timeframe. First, I have a recovery process, I’m training 40 minutes, three days a week. This is my day-to-day schedule and I work a lot of hours in the gym and on recovery. Will it be my last year? Have I planned it that way? Well, what if that’s not the case? What if, suddenly, after a long break, my body recovers and I feel strong enough and have enough energy to continue? Why would I lie and then say something else?
“I’m prudent, when I know the answer, I’ll say something. I take it day by day with the hope of having the option to decide.”
With a legendary sporting career under his belt, the Spaniard still has plenty to look forward to in the future. With a world-class academy and various business initiatives in sectors such as tourism and hospitality, Nadal has plenty to keep him busy.
“I have a lot of projects and things will develop organically,” he explained. “If I stop today, I can start working on many other things I have going on, personal projects. The academy. I can see myself as a coach, but that won’t be the main thing in my life.”
In a long and broad chat, Nadal dedicated a few words to Carlos Alcaraz, the man who looks destined to take the baton from him as Spain’s leading tennis player on Tour over the coming years. He was full of praise for an athlete who, like him, began making history before the age of 20.
“It’s not hyperbole, it’s logical,” said Nadal. “There is a new kid who has arrived and is No. 1 in the world, who has won Grand Slams. For me that’s not an exaggeration. His future is boundless, he is young, powerful, ambitious… I don’t think there’s any doubt that he could become someone very, very big. Of course, lots of things can happen in an athlete’s career. And there are things that are beyond their control.”
Roman Safiullin made a confident start to his first ATP Tour event on Chinese soil Wednesday at the Chengdu Open, where the 26-year-old eased past Brandon Nakashima 6-4, 6-4.
The World No. 55 Safiullin delivered a scintillating display of clean hitting to overwhelm Nakashima in 88 minutes at the ATP 250. He struck 22 winners to his opponent’s 17 while remaining rock solid behind his serve. Safiullin did not face a break point as he improved to 23-2 against American opponents across all levels.
“I think the most important thing was to hold my serve and then just try to get some break points and try to use them.,” said Safiullin after winning his maiden Lexus ATP Head2Head clash with Nakashima. “That was the main goal for the match.”
Safiullin has enjoyed the best season of his career in 2023. He reached his maiden Grand Slam quarter-final at Wimbledon in July, a run which propelled him to a career-high No. 43 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings. Now 12-14 in tour-level matches for the year, his next assignment in Chengdu is a second-round clash with fourth seed Daniel Evans.
Corentin Moutet also wasted little time notching a first-round victory in Sichuan province. The Frenchman prevailed 6-2, 6-2 against home wild card Mu Tao, who was making his ATP Tour debut. Moutet will play seventh seed Miomir Kecmanovic or qualifier Benjamin Lock in the second round.
There was an upset in the opening match of the day on Chengdu’s centre court. Taro Daniel downed eighth seed Aleksandar Vukic 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 to improve to 6-6 against Top 50 opponents for the season. Daniel will next chase back-to-back main-draw wins at an ATP Tour event for the first time since March when he meets Christopher O’Connell or Alibek Kachmazov.
#NextGenATP Czech Dalibor Svrcina captured his second tour-level win on Wednesday when he moved past Chinese wild card Li Zhe 6-4, 6-3 at the Huafa Properties Zhuhai Championships.
The 20-year-old, who earned his only previous tour-level victory at the Australian Open in January, limited mistakes throughout the one-hour, 31-minute clash. Svrcina committed just five unforced errors, while he struck 18 winners to reach the second round at the ATP 250.
The Czech star is 14th in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Jeddah and knows a deep run in Zhuhai will further boost his chances of qualifying for the Next Gen ATP Finals. He will next face Australian qualifier Luke Saville or fifth seed Tomas Martin Etcheverry.
Earlier this year, Svrcina clinched an ATP Challenger Tour trophy on home soil.
In other action, South African Lloyd Harris downed Czech Jiri Vesely 6-4, 6-2 to improve to 13-4 against left-handers at tour-level hard-court events.
The 26-year-old produced an impressive serving perfomance, firing 19 aces and winning 93 per cent (26/28) of points behind his first delivery to advance after 71 minutes.
Harris will next play another lefty in the shape of Yoshihito Nishioka. The Japanese star defeated Frenchman Terence Atmane 0-6, 6-4, 6-2 to earn his eighth first-round win of the season.
The stars have arrived in Vancouver ahead of the fifth edition of the Laver Cup, where Team World will look to retain the trophy against Team Europe.
Before the serious action starts on Friday, players took time to fine-tune their games on court, while others relaxed away from Vancouver’s Rogers Arena. Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz and Team Europe Vice Captain Thomas Enqvist swapped their racquets for golf clubs on Tuesday when they put their putting skills to the test.
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Hubert Hurkacz and Thomas Enqvist spend time together at golf.
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Hubert Hurkacz hits an iron.
Americans Ben Shelton and Frances Tiafoe have starred on home soil in recent years. The 20-year-old Shelton advanced to the semi-finals at the US Open this month, while Tiafoe reached the same stage in 2022.
Ahead of the Laver Cup, both spent time with another sporting star who is making waves in North America, Elias Pettersson. The Swede plays for NHL side Vancouver Canucks.
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Ben Shelton and John McEnroe spend time with Elias Pettersson.
Players and captains have also been hitting the court ahead of the Laver Cup, to be held from Friday to Sunday in Canada.
Team World Captain John McEnroe showed his team that he still knows his way around a court, hitting with Milos Raonic.
Milos Raonic” />
Milos Raonic hits a serve.
Team World share a joke on court.
Photo Credits: Getty Images
Each match may come down to individual or doubles-tandem brilliance, but Roger Federer believes team integration remains the key for Laver Cup success.
The Swiss great helped Team Europe to victory against Team World in 2017, 2018 and 2019 before bringing his career to a close in emotional scenes at the 2022 edition of the annual team event. What advice does the former World No. 1 have for the seven Laver Cup debutants set to compete inside Vancouver’s Rogers Arena this weekend?
“I think it’s [all about] thriving in the team environment, being well prepared and embracing a big crowd,” said the Swiss great in Vancouver ahead of this weekend’s action. “It always depends on when you play, obviously, whether it’s opening day or the second day, but listen to the ones who have already been at Laver Cups before, and they can give you some sound advice.
“I’m sure they’ll be fine. They’re all excellent players here, we’re talking about world-class players.”
— ATP Tour (@atptour) September 19, 2023
Federer lined up on the doubles court alongside his great friend and rival Rafael Nadal for the final match of his career in London a year ago, when Team World denied him a victorious goodbye by snatching a 13-8 victory at the O2. The Swiss believes that part of the beauty of the Laver Cup is the opportunity it gives fans to witness top ATP Tour singles stars join forces on the doubles court.
“I always get very excited about Laver Cup doubles teams because they’re usually always teams that we haven’t seen in the past,” said Federer. “[This year for Team Europe] I’d like to maybe see [Hubert] Hurkacz and [Andrey] Rublev play together. On the World side, I think there’s tonnes of doubles teams there. Ben Shelton, I see him playing quite a few, also Frances [Tiafoe], I can see him playing some. Maybe also Taylor Fritz, I’d like to see how he plays doubles.
“I just like superstar combinations; I think that’s always very exciting.”
Laver Cup: Lineups, Dates, History & All You Need To Know
As the first anniversary of his retirement approaches, Federer’s passion for tennis remains. Although no longer lighting up stadiums with his on-court prowess, he is happy to sit back and enjoy watching his former ATP colleagues from the stands, as he will do this weekend in British Columbia.
“It’s good fun. I was at Wimbledon this year, also sat in the stands, and it felt great,” said Federer. “I was really happy seeing tennis. I still follow results. I can’t sit through full matches just because I’ve got too much going on or it’s a bad time zone, but I sometimes check out the highlights and being live in the stadium honestly has a different feeling.
“Tennis is a great live sport, so I’m really happy to be back here in Vancouver and seeing some live tennis again.”