American hard-court season - run up to the USO 2019

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Post by sirfredperry on Fri 26 Jul 2019, 8:00 am

Won't be so long til the last GS of the season. US hard-court tournaments have already begun and we have Montreal and Cinci coming up before the main event in New York.

Fed has already said he will skip Montreal and now Djoko has announced he, too, won't be appearing in Canada. For me, Djoko will again be the man to beat in New York. Can anyone outside the top three challenge him? It's now more than three years since anyone under 30 won a Slam.

As for the women, you can take your pick. Never a good idea to write off Serena but she has been hammered in her last three GS finals.

Meanwhile, Cameron Norrie and Dan Evans are thru to the quarters in Atlanta with winnable matches today. Evans finally seems to be getting properly stuck in. Took a ban to give him the kick up the backside he needed.

No doubt you've seen the news that Andy and Jamie are going to play doubles together in Washington. Should be fun.

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Post by No name Bertie on Fri 26 Jul 2019, 3:37 pm

The old timers Federer and Djokovic (and Nadal) - as I have opined before - are shadows of their former physical selves - and their bodies just can't cope any longer with the year long demands of the ATP season - putting all their focus on being as physically prepared as they can be for the slams.

Both Andy and Jamie did not get very far in the doubles at Wimbledon (mens & mixed).  For Andy I guess the priority is for him to find a level that his metallised hip can cope with, and then following that, find a regular doubles partner where he can establish some sort of doubles team understanding - assuming he is planning on staying on the doubles circuit for a few years.

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Post by sirfredperry on Sat 27 Jul 2019, 7:56 am

Norrie won his quarter in Atlanta but Evans lost to Opelka, a guy who makes even ultra-tall chaps look titchy.

Zverev shook off the split with coach Lendl by coming from a set down and 5-3 down to win his match in Hamburg. Thiem, though, was beaten.

NNB - The old guys are picking up so many points in the Slams that they can cherry-pick their other events.

Coco Gauff is in the qualifying for Washington. Not sure why she was not given a WC into the main draw. Reckon she'll get a WC at the USO.

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Post by sirfredperry on Sun 28 Jul 2019, 3:24 pm

Norrie lost in three in his semi. A Zverev had two MPs in his semi in Hamburg but lost in a final set tiebreak.

Amazingly, Gauff, who won the first of her two qualifying matches in Washington, was NOT the youngest in the qualie draw. That honour went to 14-yr-old Robin Montgomery who took her opponent to three sets before losing.

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Post by sirfredperry on Tue 30 Jul 2019, 12:46 pm

Andy Murray has said that he is close to playing singles again and could even enter Cinci.

Says that if he doesn't play Cinci, he won't play at the USO as it would be asking too much to return in a five-set tournament.

Whatever happens, I think we can expect to see Dunblane's finest in singles action SOMETIME before the end of the season

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Post by CaledonianCraig on Tue 30 Jul 2019, 1:25 pm

sirfredperry wrote:Andy Murray has said that he is close to playing singles again and could even enter Cinci.

Says that if he doesn't play Cinci, he won't play at the USO as it would be asking too much to return in a five-set tournament.

Whatever happens, I think we can expect to see Dunblane's finest in singles action SOMETIME before the end of the season

I take it he must be feeling great within himself then. I am presuming the hip is giving him no issues and he feels the time may be right to test it in a singles match or two.
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Post by dummy_half on Wed 31 Jul 2019, 9:08 am

From what we've seen of Murray in the doubles, he appears to be moving pretty well and he's hitting the ball OK during the rallies. Looks a bit short of sharpness (unsurprisingly) and his serve wasn't exactly cranked up.

He won't really know where he's at until he tries to play a few rounds of a singles tournament - obviously he doesn't want to start at the USO, and probably doesn't want to lose any of his protected ranking entries on ATP 500 or 250 events if he can avoid it. Cinci or Shanghai depending on fitness.

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Post by Born Slippy on Wed 31 Jul 2019, 2:20 pm

Murray won’t be too fussed about protected ranking issues - he’ll get a wild card into any events he wants anyway (and probably appearance fees to boot). Hopefully, he manages the timings of a singles return properly. No need for him to rush back and a wise decision to skip the US in any event.

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Post by sirfredperry on Wed 31 Jul 2019, 4:25 pm

Andy and Jamie in doubles action today in Washington. Yesterday Evans was beaten but Edmund, who can do with some victories, won.

Coco Gauff was beaten in the first round, having qualified. Both the top two seeds, Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys, were beaten - Keys losing to 17-year-old WC Hailey Baptiste, a local girl.

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Post by sirfredperry on Thu 01 Aug 2019, 4:49 pm

The Murrays saw off Mahut/R-V after a champions' tiebreak after squandering three MPs in the second-set tiebreak. They seemed to enjoy it and Andy continues to be pain-free, which is the main thing.


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Post by lags72 on Thu 01 Aug 2019, 9:42 pm

Decent win for Kyle Edmund today. Tsonga may not be the force he once was, but Kyle did well to see him off from a set down.

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Post by sirfredperry on Fri 02 Aug 2019, 1:28 pm

There's more good news for Edmund. His projected opponent, Raonic, was beaten and now Kyle has a far more winnable match.

Kyrgios has won three matches and has said he has some guys helping him with the mental side. If he gets his head together, the top players should watch out, cos the Aussie can certainly play.

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Post by lags72 on Fri 02 Aug 2019, 7:00 pm

sirfredperry wrote:There's more good news for Edmund. His projected opponent, Raonic, was beaten and now Kyle has a far more winnable match.

Kyrgios has won three matches and has said he has some guys helping him with the mental side. If he gets his head together, the top players should watch out, cos the Aussie can certainly play.

Indeed sfp !

You know that ........ I know that ....... we all know that. But the key word in your assessment is the IF !!!

Imagine if Kyrgios had applied the sort of work ethic shown by Edmund, and combined it with his own (considerable) natural talent these past few years. He would probably have a couple or more Slams by now.

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Post by No name Bertie on Fri 02 Aug 2019, 11:53 pm

lags72 wrote:... Imagine if Kyrgios had applied the sort of work ethic shown by Edmund, and combined it with his own (considerable) natural talent these past few years.  He would probably have a couple or more Slams by now.
Ernests Gulbis
Grigor Dimitrov
Nick Kyrgios


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Post by sirfredperry on Sat 03 Aug 2019, 8:02 am

Alas, Edmund lost yesterday as did the Murrays in a tight doubles.

Looking at NNB's posting above, I see that Dimi's ranking is now in the 50s. But he does have beautiful girlfriends, so it can't be all bad!

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Post by No name Bertie on Sat 03 Aug 2019, 8:31 am

Federer, Nadal, Djokovic and Murray made it all look so simple in terms of consistently getting to semi-finals and beyond of Grand Slams.   One would have thought all those tennis players that followed them would have the advantage of being able to immitate them.  

Even when Kyrgios was seemingly focussed he tended to get niggly injuries that he wasn't able to overcome (physically and mentally).  I seem to recall Tiger woods winning a major title playing on one leg - and I am sure Nadal, Djokovic, Murray and Federer have had to play through the pain barrier on several occassions to win.  Many of the younger players (e.g. Cheung, Edmund, Kyrgios, Raonic) keep getting small injuries that continually sets them back.

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Post by sirfredperry on Sun 04 Aug 2019, 10:18 am

Kyrgios' win over Tsitsipas in the Washington semi means he's 4-1 against top 10 players this season.

The Aussie is scheduled to meet Kyle Edmund in the first round of Montreal next week.

Hopefully, there will be news in the next few days about Murray's participation in future singles.

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Post by Oioi on Sun 04 Aug 2019, 11:14 am

Stayed up to watch the Kyrgios - Tsitsipas match and wasn't disappointed! First set was Kyrgios playing at a very very high level (17-5 W/UE ratio I think) and having so much fun out there - a joy to watch. He continued that form early in the 2nd set for a 2-0 lead but then out of nowhere allowed himself to be distracted by the crowd and lost the plot completely to lose the 2nd set. I really didn't see him winning after that but was pleasantly surprised to see him knuckle down in the 3rd. The tie break was basically a microcosm of the match, with Kyrgios showboating to a 5-2 lead before losing the next 4 point in a row to go match point down.

I thoroughly recommend checking the highlights on YouTube, haven't even mentioned some of the drama including racquet smashing (kyrg only brought 2 razquets and broke a string on the first one!) and Tsitsipas' having issues with his shoe laces on multiple occasions. Should also say that I thought Tsitsipas also played at a high level and I hadn't realised how effective his serve is (he hit 14 aces).

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Post by sirfredperry on Mon 05 Aug 2019, 8:18 am

Perhaps more important than Kyrgios' result in beating Medvedev in straight sets in the Washington final were the Aussies's comments afterwards.

He spoke of how he was trying to improve his attitude and how much he'd enjoyed the week in DC. You can only hope he can push on from here, but I'm not holding my breath.

The circus moves on to Montreal this week where Rafa is defending champion. The women have Montreal where there is a very strong field.

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Post by lags72 on Mon 05 Aug 2019, 7:30 pm

Norrie battles well, after dropping the opening set, to take out Fucsovics.

Konta suffers a R1 exit. The inconsistency goes on .....

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Post by sirfredperry on Mon 05 Aug 2019, 8:48 pm

Poor result for Konta although her opponent has won two tourneys this year.


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Post by sirfredperry on Wed 07 Aug 2019, 8:43 am

Good straight-sets win for Edmund over Kyrgios who seems to have spent a long time arguing about....the colour of the towels.

Dan Evans also won and now plays Rafa. Barty beaten in three by Kenin and Osaka or Pliskova could now go back to number one.

The Murry/Lopez pairing saw off the number two seeds to win a champions tiebreak 11-9. Haven't checked, but wonder if Andy's doubles ranking now higher than his singles.

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Post by lags72 on Wed 07 Aug 2019, 3:07 pm

Yes, that was an excellent straight sets win by Kyle. Turns up on court in pretty much the same kit as Kyrgios, but then proceeded to play the better tennis Cool

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Post by MrInvisible on Thu 08 Aug 2019, 3:51 am

Managed to catch up with a few matches. Whilst the British players are all out of the singles its been a good tournament for them - Evans came through qualifying, won a match and pushed Nadal pretty hard for his 7-6 6-4 win, Edmund took out Kyrgios before losing to Medvedev whilst Norrie had a good win over Fucsovics and put up a good fight against Zverev.

Another disappointing loss for Tsitsipas who's had a rather mixed set of results since his Aus Open breakthrough. Saw him throw his racket a few times - looks frustrated and ill at ease losing to the Pole Hurkacz - not sure what's going on.

Looking at the draw Nadal looks to have a v good chance of making the final provided he doesn't come unstuck against Fognini. The other half of draw looks v open - could be anyone of Khachanov, Medvedev, Felix Auger-Aliassime or Thiem.

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Post by sirfredperry on Thu 08 Aug 2019, 9:11 am

Murray/Lopez lost in champs' tiebreak. Osaka's win means either she or Pliskova will take over at number one on Monday.

Tsitsipas is suffering from classic second-season syndrome. As ever, the hard part is not climbing the rankings but staying up there. No need for him to worry, though. He has a long career ahead.

You may have seen that two-time GS champion Kuznetsova, now 34 years old and lowly ranked, took advantage of her WC to bt Vekic who has been doing well lately. It's now 15 years since K won the USO.

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Post by sirfredperry on Thu 08 Aug 2019, 9:11 am

Murray/Lopez lost in champs' tiebreak. Osaka's win means either she or Pliskova will take over at number one on Monday.

Tsitsipas is suffering from classic second-season syndrome. As ever, the hard part is not climbing the rankings but staying up there. No need for him to worry, though. He has a long career ahead.

You may have seen that two-time GS champion Kuznetsova, now 34 years old and lowly ranked, took advantage of her WC to bt Vekic who has been doing well lately. It's now 15 years since K won the USO.

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Post by lags72 on Thu 08 Aug 2019, 12:58 pm

Nadal as defending champ will undoubtedly be feeling very comfortable, in the knowledge that both Federer and Djokovic have found other things to do this week ......

Do hope Tsitsipas can get some much-needed consistency before long. He’s good for the sport, and great to watch when at his best - but there’s a lot of ‘angst’ right now, for whatever reason.

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Post by Oioi on Thu 08 Aug 2019, 4:30 pm

Any idea when we should hear whether or not Murray will attempt a singles comeback in Cinci? i. e. What is the deadline for entry? Big Murray fan but I personally think he's better waiting until after the US open and easing in at a lower level. I just get the feeling he's rushing back slightly and am worried about the consequences of returning too soon after such a major surgery. The Glasgow challenger sounds like an ideal place for him to start but I trust that he and his team know best and will make the right decision.

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Post by sirfredperry on Fri 09 Aug 2019, 9:31 am

Oioi - Murray expected to make an announcement today (Friday).

In the meantime, Rafa is on course to successfully defend his Canada title. There were some long matches at Montreal and Toronto yesterday.

Both Khachanov and Zverev needed nearly three hours to see off opponents, wbile Thiem saw off Monfils in straights.

In Toronto Andreescu who has been out injured bt Bertens in a 3hrs 28 minute marathon. Osaka and Pliskova are battling for the number one spot, with Osaka due to play Serena today.

Fed and Rafa are back on the ATP Player Council. Can we expect a power struggle between these two and Djoko?

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Post by Oioi on Fri 09 Aug 2019, 11:30 am

I remember years ago there was a surprising stat doing the rounds that Nadal has never defended a title off clay. Does that still stand? If so, this is as good a chance as he'll ever get to do so.

Oh to be a fly on the wall at the player council meetings. There has been much drama if media reports are to be believed.

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Post by CaledonianCraig on Fri 09 Aug 2019, 8:46 pm

Andy Murray today announced he will be competing in the singles at Cincinnati Masters next week marking his return to singles after a 7 month absence. Andy will become the first player to play singles after having a hip resurfacing operation.

Best of luck Andy.
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Post by sirfredperry on Fri 09 Aug 2019, 9:26 pm

Yes, good news about Murray. Meanwhile, both Thiem and Zverev have been beaten in Montreal. Thiem you can kinda understand as he has had an exhausting schedule, but another poor result for Zverev.

Can't seem to get any news of the Cinci draw yet. Let's hope Andy gets a reasonable first match. Important thing for him, no doubt, will not be winning as much as feeling OK.

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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sat 10 Aug 2019, 8:48 am

sirfredperry wrote:

Can't seem to get any news of the Cinci draw yet. Let's hope Andy gets a reasonable first match. Important thing for him, no doubt, will not be winning as much as feeling OK.

I agree. Ease himself back in with the minimum of pain. If he loses early doors but comes out of the match pain-free that is more of a success than winning two or three matches but feeling pain.

If pain-free I still think he should not push it and cut back his schedule much like Roger has done of late.
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Post by No name Bertie on Sat 10 Aug 2019, 9:40 am

Murray is jumping into the deep end - he doesn't seem to do things in half measures - like entering a singles futures or challenger tournament - or even an ATP250 event. I suppose he is aiming to get an entry for the US Open singles tournament?

ps It is a good sign that he seems to have survived in good health the doubles tournaments he has entered. He has even added a Doubles title to his record (Queens 2019).

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Post by Oioi on Sat 10 Aug 2019, 2:32 pm

I tend to think the best result for Andy would be to lose a tight one with Gasguet. Think it's too early to face Thiem (his 2nd round opponent if he is to win) as he will make Andy scramble all around the court in the same manner as in that French Open semi against Wawrinka in which he ended up injuring his hip to the point of requiring the serious surgery he's now had. I say this as I wouldn't be that surprised if he does beat Gasguet such is his ability. Again, I feel he'd be better building his ranking up in smaller events, and I don't think he should enter the USO.

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Post by CaledonianCraig on Sat 10 Aug 2019, 4:41 pm

Oioi wrote:I tend to think the best result for Andy would be to lose a tight one with Gasguet. Think it's too early to face Thiem (his 2nd round opponent if he is to win) as he will make Andy scramble all around the court in the same manner as in that French Open semi against Wawrinka in which he ended up injuring his hip to the point of requiring the serious surgery he's now had. I say this as I wouldn't be that surprised if he does beat Gasguet such is his ability. Again, I feel he'd be better building his ranking up in smaller events, and I don't think he should enter the USO.

I'd be gobsmacked if he enters the US Open. These first singles matches are like reccies. Exploring the hip and see how it holds up in the more stressful (physically) singles matches. I have always felt he should have looked into seeking to end rallies much sooner but I reckon his problem is changing a lifetime of habits and having the power in shots to do that.
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Post by sirfredperry on Sun 11 Aug 2019, 1:52 pm

Doubt very much if Andy would have even thought about entering Cinci if he'd had even a hint of a problem during his recent doubles matches.

Monfils got the short straw yesterday- much to Rafa's advantage. Gael would have had to play twice in one day, with more rain meaning there was little time between the two matches. As it was, injury meant the Frenchman had to give Rafa a w/o.

Bianca Andreescu is thru to play Serena in the Toronto final. She let slip a 5-2 lead in the second set, with Kenin saving three MPs before winning the tiebreak and the match.

Seems to me the women's game is a bit more varied now. Yes, they can all hit well but there's a lot more slice and drop-shot play at the moment and less mindless ball-bashing.

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Post by sirfredperry on Sun 11 Aug 2019, 3:34 pm

Bit more news about Andy. He's said he intends to play in Zhuhai and Beijing singles tournaments next month.

Bit surprised he's committed himself before he finds out how he gets on in Cinci. But it does show he feels confident about being fit enough to play.

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Post by No name Bertie on Sun 11 Aug 2019, 4:14 pm

sirfredperry wrote:Bit more news about Andy. He's said he intends to play in Zhuhai and Beijing singles tournaments next month.

Bit surprised he's committed himself before he finds out how he gets on in Cinci. But it does show he feels confident about being fit enough to play.

It may be just a question of putting his name to tournaments before the entry deadline passes.  I assume the tournaments will also have a list of reserves in the event accepted tennis players have to withdraw due to injury.  

Hopefully Murray will use his head in these matches to ensure he doesn't over physically extend himself.  I assume he might imagine getting through a few rounds before being knocked out rather than challenging for titles.  One would imagine he has to play with patience and a cool head rather than getting emotional, frustrated and angry.

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Post by sirfredperry on Sun 11 Aug 2019, 8:32 pm

Serena had to retire from her final after just four games due to a back injury.

Rafa plays Medvedev soon in the Montreal final.

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Post by Nathaniel Jacobs on Mon 12 Aug 2019, 2:35 am

Rafael Nadal trashed Daniil Medvedev 6-3 6-0 to retain his title in Canada - first non clay title defended and first non clay title won 5 times.

Looks like he'll also skip Cincinnati

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Post by sirfredperry on Mon 12 Aug 2019, 9:22 am

Rafa needed to do well at Montreal to avoid any possibility of dipping down to number three in the rankings and possibly meeting Djoko in the semis at the USO.

That won't happen now, although there is still the possibility of Rafa, finally, meeting Rog in New York.

First, we have Cinci, with Murray due to take on Gasquet today. A win would be nice, but getting thru the match without difficulty would be even better.

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Post by No name Bertie on Tue 13 Aug 2019, 4:45 am

Murray loses to Gasquet 6-4 6-4 and then decides not to take up a wild-card offer from the US Open to play in the mens singles (26th August) .  But he does intend to enter the mens and mixed doubles tournaments and will consider playing in the Winston-Salem Open ATP 250 next week.  Presumably the latter is dependent on whether or not he has a reaction following his Gasquet match - basically Murray was interviewed and quizzed straight after his loss by a horde of journalists including presumably BBC journalists.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/tennis/49326206

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Post by sirfredperry on Tue 13 Aug 2019, 8:23 am

Murray appeared to be upbeat after his Gasquet match. He recognised he was a bit rusty and needed to improve his general game and movement.

But the big plus for him is that he came thru OK. He said he may even play next week (see NNB post above) but has ruled out singles at USO, sticking to MD and Mixed in New York.

It was asking a lot for him to come back with a win, especially as he was up against a very experienced opponent. Now it's just a question of getting match fit by playing.....matches.

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Post by CaledonianCraig on Tue 13 Aug 2019, 2:19 pm

No doubt the press put two and two together and came up with five hence their questions. I have no doubt that after Andy's defeat when he announced he would not be playing in the US Open Singles they presumed his hip was troubling him. That was not the case. The US Open were producing their wildcard list yesterday and since Andy had no idea how his hip would feel he could not tell them he'd be interested. In short his US Open Singles non-entry is not a hip issue.
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Post by sirfredperry on Wed 14 Aug 2019, 8:26 am

Murray is at least still in the doubles at Cinci after a good win w/Lopez over number four seeds.

Andy now regretting not going in for qualies at the USO. But he may well play Winston-Salem next week.

Edmund lost to Medvedev, while Djoko and Fed had straight-set wins.

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Post by No name Bertie on Wed 14 Aug 2019, 8:44 am

It is good to see Medvedev fulfilling his potential.  From a scrawny gangly youth to a 23 year old ranked in the top 10.  Hyeon Chung who reached the Australian Open semi-final in 2018, has more or less vanished from the scene - aged 23, ranked 135 with $3.4 million prize money earned + sponsorship deals.

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Post by sirfredperry on Wed 14 Aug 2019, 6:00 pm

In the first meeting between the Japanese, Nishioka has beaten Nishikori in straight sets.

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Post by Just John on Thu 15 Aug 2019, 9:08 am

sirfredperry wrote:Kyrgios has won three matches and has said he has some guys helping him with the mental side. If he gets his head together, the top players should watch out, cos the Aussie can certainly play.

Never going to happen. Kyrgios doing Kyrgios things, again, last night, after losing to, Khachanov

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Post by slashermcguirk on Thu 15 Aug 2019, 11:45 am

Kyrgios needs to be booted off the tour for a while. I am so sick of hearing about his nonsense, is this guy seriously about 10 years old???!!! Having another hissy fit because things not going his way, he is like a petulant child. I really wish they would just get rid of him and indeed Tomic for that matter. I wonder what the Australian public make of them.

so cringeworthy when he started gripping his racket while about to return serve yesterday. if I was kachanov I would have blasted a body serve straight at him while he was doing it. in his early years I thought ok, it is just a maturity thing but now I have zero sympathy for the guy. A good tennis player but he needs to remember that he plays tennis for a living !! The irony that he called the umpire a tool when he is the definition of one.

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