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- Korda Catapults Past Paul In San Diegoon September 28, 2021 at 8:48 pm
It is easy to forget that one year ago, Sebastian Korda was still outside the Top 200 in the FedEx ATP Ranking. Now the #NextGenATP American is at a career-high World No. 42, and based on his performance Tuesday at the San Diego Open, he is still on the way up. Korda battled past countryman Tommy Paul 6-3, 5-7, 6-1 after two hours and 11 minutes to reach the second round as he pursues his second ATP Tour title. "I'm just having fun. A year ago I was ranked 220 in the world. Now I'm 42 in the world," Korda said in his on-court interview. "It's been a big jump for me and [I am] just having fun." Paul used his athleticism to hit some sensational passing shots and jaw-dropping returns to turn around the second set. But Korda, who saved seven of the eight break points he faced, was the more consistent player, which allowed him to surge ahead in the third set after he broke with a missile-like backhand passing shot. "It was tough. Tommy started playing a lot better. In the first set I was playing really well and dictating really well and then he was coming up clutch in some big moments," Korda said. "I just played better in the third set." Korda, who joined fellow #NextGenATP American Brandon Nakashima in the second round, will next play ninth seed Lorenzo Sonego, who beat Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-3, 6-4. Korda and Sonego have split their first two ATP Head2Head matches, both of which came earlier this year. The Italian triumphed in Montpellier on an indoor hard court before the American returned the favour by beating Sonego in Parma en route to his maiden tour-level trophy. Did You Know?Korda is one of four players who have booked their spot at the Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan, which will be held from 9-13 November. The other players who have qualified are Felix Auger-Aliassime, Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz.
- The Nomadic Life With... Aslan Karatsevon September 28, 2021 at 6:59 pm
Aslan Karatsev has been one of the breakthrough stars of 2021, having made the Australian Open semi-finals as a qualifier and claimed his first ATP Tour title in Dubai. Karatsev, who is competing this week at the San Diego Open, is making a push to earn a spot at the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin. ATPTour.com caught up with the 28-year-old to discuss his life on Tour, why he is not a fan of flying, his craziest travel story and more. What are two essential non-tennis items you always pack for trips?I’ll go with a laptop and big headphones to listen to music. Do you enjoy travelling the world or consider it just something that needs to be done to be a pro tennis player? If you do enjoy it, what do you enjoy about travelling?I don’t like flying, so it’s not like I enjoy flying. The takeoff and landing are not fun. Now it’s getting better and better with time. But from the beginning, when I was 20, 21, I had some issues with airplanes. I’d get a bit scared. Did something happen on one of your early flights or you just never liked flying?I don’t remember [when or where]. Something happened where we couldn’t land. There was a lot of circling around the airport. Also the turbulence. Some people are saying it doesn’t affect the airplane, but still when you’re jumping in the airplane [it bothers you]. How do you deal with that these days? Do you have a routine to calm yourself down a little bit?I don’t think about it that much. I have to fly, so I just take a ticket and I fly. I try not to think about it and that’s it. What is your favourite city you have been to for a tournament and why?Melbourne. It’s really nice. In general it’s a really nice city. I like the people, I like the city, the restaurants. Everything is nice. Where is your favourite vacation destination?I had one vacation. It was so boring, I don’t know if I would go again. Normally I just go to my hometown [in Russia] and rest there. I like more activities, so I don’t like when you lay down on the beach. Snowboarding, skiing, these sorts of activities I like. I don’t do it a lot, but when I can, when I have the offseason, I snowboard. I started when I was 18. What is your craziest travel story?I was playing a junior tournament in Yucatan in Mexico. I was in Rostov, so I was flying two hours to Moscow, then waiting 12 hours in the airport. And then 12 hours to New York, waiting eight hours in the airport. Six hours to Mexico City, waiting 17 hours in the airport and then flying three more hours to Yucatan. This was the longest trip I’ve ever had. Photo Credit: Mike Lawrence/ATP TourHow do you try to overcome jetlag and acclimate to the local time zone?When I go to Asia, it’s harder for me than when I go to the United States. Normally the flight to Melbourne you arrive in the morning, so you don’t have to go to the room and sleep. I did it once and it was a mistake. Now I just put the luggage and I just go on a walk for six, seven hours. I just don’t stay in the room, otherwise you fall asleep. I just walk around every city. I like to walk around, with music sometimes. The next year in Melbourne I just walked six, seven hours sitting, drinking coffee, and then I walked more. Are you someone who gets to the airport with lots of time to spare or do you cut it fine?One hour or 45 minutes before I arrive. I don’t want to sit there. Have you ever missed a flight?Yes. I messed it up with p.m and a.m. flying to Australia. Not this year, but many, many years ago.
- Giron Takes 10 Match Points To Defeat Munar In Sofiaon September 28, 2021 at 4:03 pm
Marcos Giron needed 10 match points in a dramatic final game to overcome Jaume Munar 6-7(2), 6-1, 6-4 in an almost three-hour opening-round victory at the Sofia Open on Tuesday. All of the American’s match points came in the final game, which lasted 20 minutes, with Giron finally serving out the match on his 10th attempt to reach the second round and gain his seventh win in his past 10 matches. “The first set was close. I feel like I had chances, but he played better than me in the tie-break,” Giron said. “I thought I did a great job resetting and adjusting in the second, and then in the third I was able to get the break early, but he kept holding on. “I’m happy to get through that, it was a battle. That might be the most match points I’ve ever had.” Giron also saved three break points in the same game to prevent the 24-year-old Spaniard from breaking back in the deciding set. Break point chances proved key in the encounter, as Giron saved all five break points that he faced in the match and converted three of his six opportunities on Munar's serve. The 28-year-old will face a familiar opponent when he takes on third-seeded Australian Alex de Minaur in the second round. Giron emerged victorious against de Minaur last week in Metz, winning 7-5, 7-6(5) to lead 2-1 in their ATP Head2Head Series. Eighth seed John Millman also advanced to the second round on Tuesday, comfortably defeating Swede Mikael Ymer 6-2, 6-4 in their first ATP Head2Head meeting. “At this level every match is a bit of a battle, but I was really happy with how I played here in my first match,” Millman said. “Getting used to the conditions is so important and right from the start I thought I set a really good level.” Millman will take on either Italian Andreas Seppi or Ukranian Illya Marchenko in his next match, with both players advancing through qualifying.
- Nick Kyrgios Ends 2021 Seasonon September 28, 2021 at 3:55 pm
Nick Kyrgios announced on Instagram Stories Monday evening that he has been suffering from a left knee complaint and is flying home to Australia to receive treatment in the hopes of being 100 per cent for the Australian Open. “Over the past couple months I haven’t been 100 per cent healthy. I’ve been dealing with left knee patella tendinopathy and continuing to play without treating it can lead to further pain and greater setbacks,” Kyrgios wrote. “I’ve chosen to fly back to Australia to reassess and am planning to get PRP treatment to settle down and rehab my knee. “I’m disappointed it has kept me from playing my best tennis and hopefully with everything going smoothly I’ll be back to 100 per cent by the Australian Open. All love.” Kyrgios played this weekend at the Laver Cup for Team World, where he lost a singles match against Stefanos Tsitsipas and fell in doubles alongside John Isner. The 26-year-old finishes his season with a 7-8 record. He did not compete between the Australian Open and Wimbledon.
- Fritz Dominates On Serve In San Diego First Roundon September 28, 2021 at 5:42 am
Taylor Fritz has shaken off determined qualifier Salvatore Caruso in straight sets to reach the opening round of the San Diego Open on Monday night. The 23-year-old American relished the chance to compete in his home state of California and clinched the first-time ATP Head2Head meeting against the Italian 6-4, 7-6(2). In an impressive night on serve, Fritz dropped just one point from 35 on his first serve, which included 10 aces. He also won 59 per cent on second serves and never faced a break point in the one-hour, 44-minute encounter. Victory set a second-round meeting with fourth seed Denis Shapovalov. “I didn’t feel like I was in any danger of getting broken. I was serving well in the first set, it was just getting that break and second set… I played a really good tie-break,” Fritz said. “I played tournaments every weekend growing up here so it’s awesome to be back home. After a couple of weeks off after the [US] Open, it feels really good to have a solid match, play well." The American secured the only break of the match to grab the first set. Both men were rock solid on serve throughout the second set, but in the ensuing tie-break there was no denying Fritz as he quickly surged to 5/0 before he advanced on his second match point to join compatriot Brandon Nakashima in the second round. “I was hitting my spots really well," Fritz said. "I have days where my service percentage is pretty good but I don’t necessarily hit my spots and my serve’s coming back, but I hit my spots really well today and backed it up really well when the serves came back.”
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- Muguruza eases past Li to reach Chicago round of 16: Highlightson September 28, 2021 at 9:50 pm
- Azarenka ousts Zhang Shuai in Chicago 1st round: Highlightson September 28, 2021 at 6:59 pm
- Teichmann battles past Kanepi in Chicago opener: Highlightson September 28, 2021 at 4:21 pm
- On home soil, Diyas escapes qualifier Zakharova in epic: Nur-Sultan Highlightson September 28, 2021 at 1:25 pm
Kazakh No.3 Zarina Diyas saved a set point in brilliant fashion against Anastasia Zakharova, and ultimately triumphed over the qualifier in two hours and 53 minutes. Zakharova is still searching for a maiden WTA main draw win in her first four attempts this year, through three of her losses have now been in three sets.
- No.3 seed Mladenovic triumphs in 3hr battle over wildcard Danilina: Nur-Sultan Highlightson September 28, 2021 at 11:40 am
Third seed Kristina Mladenovic led No.287-ranked Anna Danilina by a set and 4-2 in the first round of the Astana Open, but ultimately needed three sets and nearly three hours to get past the Kazakh wildcard.