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  • Fritz Wins Opelka Epic To Reach Atlanta SFs
    el día 30 julio, 2021 a las 10:47 pm

    Nearly three hours, almost 50 combined aces and not a break of serve in sight: fifth seed Taylor Fritz battled to the brink against Reilly Opelka to win a 7-6(5), 6-7(3), 7-6(4) epic on Friday and book a place into the Truist Atlanta Open semi-finals. Fritz is into his fourth semi-final of the season, and his second in as many weeks after reaching the last four in Los Cabos. Opelka saved two match points in a nail biting second-set to take them the distance, but Fritz held his nerve to take down the fourth seed.  “We had plans to have dinner last night, and we were talking all day this morning before the match,” Fritz said of playing good friend Opelka. “It’s all love… We know we’re going to play each other so many more times. We’re normal before the match too, making jokes going down in the elevator heading down to the courts before the match, and then we go back to normal after the match.” Fritz improved to 5-1 in his ATP Head2Head over Opelka after winning 91 per cent (62/68) of first-serve points in the match. The two big servers kept the points short and played first-strike tennis, with Opelka saving all four break points he faced – including two match points in the second set. Fritz, who didn’t face a break point, claimed the lone mini-break in the third set to close out the victory after two hours and 55 minutes. [WATCH LIVE 2] Fritz will next face the winner of five-time champion John Isner and Christopher O’Connell, whose match was delayed due to thunderstorms and then suspended due to rain. O’Connell, who stunned second seed Jannik Sinner to reach his first tour-level quarter-final, was leading the American 5-4 with both players on serve before the stoppage. #NextGenATP Brandon Nakashima also advanced to the semi-finals with a 7-6(5), 7-5 victory over Jordan Thompson. The 19-year-old reached his first tour-level final last week in Los Cabos, and is now into his second career semi-final in Atlanta. Nakashima will take on Emil Ruusuvuori after the 22-year-old Finn produced an incredible performance in his 7-6(1), 6-3 upset over third seed Cameron Norrie. Ruusuvuori won 86 per cent (36/42), fired seven aces and broke the Los Cabos champion twice en route to his second career semi-final, and his first of the season.  

  • Nadal, Norrie Drawn In Same Citi Open Quarter
    el día 30 julio, 2021 a las 8:50 pm

    World No. 3 Rafael Nadal has landed in a tricky section of the Citi Open draw as he begins his quest for an 89th tour-level title. The top-seeded Spaniard is set to make his debut in Washington, D.C. and he could meet one of the most in-form players of the season in an early hard-court test.  The Spaniard will be contesting his first hard-court tournament since the Australian Open in February, where he reached the quarter-finals before falling to Stefanos Tsitsipas in a five-set battle. Nadal has amassed a 22-4 record on the season after lifting trophies in Barcelona and Rome, but has not competed since reaching the Roland Garros semi-finals (l. to Djokovic) after withdrawing from Wimbledon citing physical and mental fatigue.  View full Washington, D.C. draw.  Should he reach the quarter-finals, top seed Nadal could get a big test in the form of seventh seed Cameron Norrie, who lifted his first ATP Tour trophy a fortnight ago in Los Cabos. Norrie is one of the winningest players on Tour, and he trails only Tsitsipas (40) and Andrey Rublev (36) with 35 matches won in 2021. But that’s not the only challenge Nadal could face as he seeks his first hard-court title since Acapulco last year. He has landed in the same half as fourth seed Grigor Dimitrov, whom he could meet in the semi-finals. But plenty of unseeded threats also loom large, including big-hitting Nick Kyrgios and #NextGenATP Brandon Nakashima. Nadal will start his campaign against the winner of Jack Sock and Yoshihito Nishioka.  Kyrgios, who won the title here in 2019, will face Mackenzie McDonald in the first round. He would set up an intriguing matchup with 13th seed Benoit Paire should he advance. Second seed Felix Auger-Aliassime anchors the bottom half of the Washington D.C. draw, where youth rules as #NextGenATP Jannik Sinner, Sebastian Korda and wild card Jenson Brooksby are also in the mix. Fifth seed Sinner and 12th seed Korda could meet in the third round after landing in the same section, which also features third seed Alex de Minaur. De Minaur qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, but had to withdraw due to a positive COVID-19 test. Auger-Aliassime will face the winner between Andreas Seppi and a qualifier, with a potential third-round clash against 16th seed Frances Tiafoe. Should he advance, big-hitting Reilly Opelka, the eighth seed, could be his opponent in the quarter-finals. Did You Know? Nadal is seeking to become the second Spanish champion to win in Washington, D.C. and the first since Alex Corretja in 2000.

  • Ruud Eyes Clay-Court Hat-Trick, Faces Martinez In Kitzbühel Final
    el día 30 julio, 2021 a las 7:28 pm

    Top seed Casper Ruud is one match away from lifting his fourth singles trophy of the year after taking down Arthur Rinderknech on Friday in a rain-interrupted 6-3, 7-6(7) victory at the Generali Open in Kitzbühel.  The Norwegian added an 11th consecutive victory to a head-turning win streak that has seen him claim back-to-back trophies at the Nordea Open in Bastad and the Swiss Open Gstaad. Ruud, who also won at the Gonet Geneva Open earlier in the season, will take on Pedro Martinez in the Kitzbühel final as he seeks to claim his fifth career title – and lift his third trophy in as many weeks.   “When I won in Gstaad, I was already thinking about it a little, that maybe I can try and get a hat trick. That would be unbelievable,» Ruud said. «And now I have fought my way to the final here, and I have the chance to play for it tomorrow. I will try to fight even more again tomorrow.”  Ruud is seeking to become the first player since Andy Murray in October 2011 to win three ATP Tour singles titles in as many weeks. Murray achieved the feat by lifting the trophies in Bangkok (d. Young), Tokyo (d. Nadal) and Shanghai (d. Ferrer).  The top seed had to fight through French alternate Rinderknech in order to reach the final. He broke early to take a 4-1 lead, and kept his composure after a rain delay halted play for several hours. Upon resumption, Ruud converted his fifth set point to close out the opening set.  He had to save a set point in the second-set tie-break as Rinderknech saved two match points and took a 7/6 lead. But Ruud, who didn’t face a break point in the match, reeled off the next three points to seal the victory after one hour and 45 minutes. [WATCH LIVE 2] “I think I played steady the whole match and with few mistakes. That was the plan all along, to try to feed him with a lot of balls as much as possible,” Ruud said. “He has a lot of big weapons, but sometimes when he plays it can be high-risk and there can be mistakes. I think I did the plan very well.”  Ruud will take on Martinez next after the Spaniard rallied from a set down to take down Daniel Altmaier and book a place into his first ATP Tour final. Martinez won 74 per cent (42/57) and broke his opponent’s serve four times to seal the 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 victory. 

  • Think Pink! How Opelka & Schwartzman Have Turned Heads
    el día 30 julio, 2021 a las 4:44 pm

    You can normally identify Reilly Opelka by his booming serve and his 6’11» frame. This week at the Truist Atlanta Open, just look for pink. Opelka and Diego Schwartzman during the European clay swing debuted an eye-catching pink tie-dye kit, which was made in collaboration with Italian fashion brand MSGM. The American has great interest in the fashion world, and he was really happy with the outfit, which he is wearing again this week in Georgia. “This is my favourite kit hands down, the one Diego and I are both wearing. And I also like it because it’s just Diego and I wearing it,” Opelka said during the clay swing. “A lot of brands you see so many other guys just wearing the same stuff, it gets repetitive. You see [John] Isner, [Sam] Querrey and some of the other guys wearing a really classy, timeless Fila look with that lavender purple, and then Diego and I are wearing this loud tie-dye. It just changes it up a little bit. “[WTA player] Sonya Kenin has a cool MSGM kit as well. I think it adds some diversity in one brand in tennis, which doesn’t happen at all.” Photo Credit: Julian Finney/Getty Images Opelka enjoys the collaboration with designer Massimo Giorgetti’s MSGM, and he is especially pleased with the pink colour. “Collabs that aren’t well done in my opinion are ones that aren’t on brand. You just have one brand that’s really hot with another brand that’s really hot. Just because you have two hot brands doesn’t mean they mix well,” Opelka said. “But I think they’re really on brand with one another.»  Schwartzman, who made the quarter-finals in Paris with the kit, was happy with the fresh look. “I really love it,” Schwartzman said at the time. “For me, if the people like [it], I like [it]… I think it looks good. I like to be on court with new clothes and different [looks].”  This is not the first tie-dye kit they have worn. Both also sported a shirt with rainbow colours last year, including at the Western & Southern Open (picture below). Photo Credit: Peter Staples/ATP Tour Bold does not always work in fashion or tennis. But according to Opelka, this pink collaboration has hit the mark. Call it an ace. “A lot of times in the high-end fashion space people just collab to collab since they both have big-name brands,» Opelka said. «But I think this one is more precise.”

  • Djokovic: ‘I Can Recover And Win At Least One Medal’
    el día 30 julio, 2021 a las 4:16 pm

    Despite Novak Djokovic’s disappointing semi-final defeat to Alexander Zverev on Friday at the Tokyo Olympics, which ended the Serbian’s hopes of a historic Golden Grand Slam, the 34-year-old is still fully focused on gaining an Olympic bronze medal for his country. Djokovic was chasing a 23rd straight singles win against the fourth seed, but struggled to find his best form against the German, who overcame the World No. 1 1-6, 6-3, 6-1. Djokovic will now face Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta in Saturday’s bronze medal match. “I feel terrible right now in every sense but tomorrow hopefully a fresh start I can recover and win at least one medal for my country,” Djokovic said. Having won the first three major championships of the season, Djokovic was aiming to complete an achievement only WTA legend Stefanie Graf managed in 1988 by winning all four major championships and a singles Olympic gold medal. The top seed looked on course to reach the gold medal match as he led by a set and a break against the World No. 5. However, Djokovic struggled on serve in the latter stages of the match in the high temperatures in Tokyo. “Tough day, a really tough day,» Djokovic said. «I feel so terrible right now. I was leading [by] a set then a break and he managed to turn the match around. He served huge, was attacking, and I was not getting any free points on my first serves. “I [have] got to give him credit for turning (the) match around. He served extremely well. I mean I was not getting too many looks on the second serve. My serve just drastically dropped. I didn’t get any free points from 3-2 up in the second. My game fell apart. “To play someone of his quality, of his level, it’s just too tough to win a match (like that). It’s just sport. He played better.” On a challenging day for Djokovic, the Serbian also fell in the semi-finals of the mixed doubles with countrywoman Nina Stojanovic to the ROC’s Aslan Karatsev and Elena Vesnina.After his bronze medal matches, Djokovic’s attention will turn to the hard-court season as he aims to capture a calendar-year Grand Slam at the US Open, a title he has won three times before. The only player in the Open Era to accomplish this feat was Rod Laver in 1969.

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