30.01.2021 - 07:05 Uhr
After spending almost a year away from the courts, World No. 47 Nick Kyrgios is eager to get back in the action as he kicks off the season on home soil at the Murray River Open alongside top seed Stan Wawrinka and #NextGenATP Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime.Kyrgios last played at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel presentado por HSBC last February, opting not to compete after the Tour’s five-month suspension due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For the often restless 25-year-old, the unexpected time off at home gave him a much-needed chance to recharge that he said has left him feeling mentally “refreshed”.“Last year was a crazy year. I was incredibly lucky to just be with my family and friends and just kind of reset on everything,” Kyrgios said in a pre-tournament press conference. “I feel mentally completely refreshed, ready to go again.”During the Tour’s five-month stoppage, Kyrgios stayed away from the tennis courts as he took advantage of the time off to immerse himself in other interests. But he got right back to work as this Australian swing approached, enjoying the relaxed restrictions in his hometown to continue training.“I was lucky enough that Jordan Thompson came down to Canberra for the past month, so we were training together,” Kyrgios said, revealing that he’s been hitting for two hours a day for the past several months ahead of the Melbourne events. “I just felt mentally I felt like I was in a place [of] wanting to play and [I] feel refreshed.”Kyrgios will have to be in top form from the start as he faces an early challenge at the Murray River Open. He will open against France's Alexandre Muller, and could face Bernard Tomic in their first Tour-level clash should they both advance to the second round.“I'm just happy to be around it again. I am excited to get out there and play,” Kyrgios said. “[Let’s] see how it goes. Hopefully I can have some good results, as well...“Everyone is really playing it by ear. Nobody really knows who is in form and who is not. I'm going to take it day by day and try to enjoy myself as much as I can.”



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Wawrinka, Stanislas

29.07.2021 - 19:21 Uhr

Former World No. 3s Dominic Thiem and Stan Wawrinka have withdrawn from the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati citing ongoing injuries to the wrist and foot, respectively, the tournament announced Thursday.Thiem, the 2020 US Open champion, has not competed since 22 June after suffering a detachment of the posterior sheath of the ulnar side of his right wrist at the Mallorca Championships. The 27-year-old reached back-to-back quarter-finals at this ATP Masters 1000 event in 2016 and 2017.Wawrinka, who owns 16 tour-level titles — including three Grand Slams — has not been in action since Doha in March. The Swiss player underwent left foot surgery that same month, and is continuing his recovery after a second surgery on the same foot on 21 June.The 36-year-old holds a 3-3 record on the season, and sits at No. 30 in the FedEx ATP Rankings. He made the Cincinnati semi-finals in 2012 and the quarter-finals on three additional occasions.With Thiem and Wawrinka's withdrawals, Australian John Millman and Serbian Dusan Lajovic enter the main draw.

27.07.2021 - 00:21 Uhr

#NextGenATP stars Carlos Alcaraz, Hugo Gaston and Brandon Nakashima have all been highly touted, and last week they showed why as all three players broke new ground.Eighteen-year-old secured the biggest breakthrough of the group on Sunday at the Plava Laguna Croatia Open Umag by lifting his first ATP Tour trophy in a fitting triumph against Richard Gasquet, a veteran who knew only too well that hype, having been a teenage star himself.As Alcaraz made waves on the Croatian coast, his fellow #NextGenATP hopes were making sizable inroads of their own at concurrent ATP Tour events. On Saturday, American Nakashima appeared in his first tour-level final in Los Cabos, where he came up short against top-seeded Briton Cameron Norrie. In the Swiss Alps, Frenchman Gaston was attempting to become the lowest-ranked Gstaad champion since the FedEx ATP Rankings began in 1973. But in his first tour-level final, the lefty found third seed Casper Ruud too tough.Nevertheless, it was a memorable week for all three talented players.Alcaraz’s 6-2, 6-2 victory over former world No. 7 Gasquet made him the youngest ATP Tour titlist since an 18-year-old Kei Nishikori in Delray Beach 13 years ago. Alcaraz became the youngest tour-level winner from Spain since countryman Rafael Nadal, who was eight days younger when he won in Sopot 17 years ago. “I had a lot of good moments in this tournament. I beat five great tennis players,” Alcaraz said. “I think that I grew up a lot in this tournament and I keep a lot of experience from this tournament. It’s going to be useful for the future.”The teenager first announced himself last February, when as a 16-year-old ranked outside the Top 400, he stunned countryman Albert Ramos-Vinolas in Rio de Janeiro on his ATP Tour main draw debut. He again defeated his fellow Spaniard in the Umag semi-finals on Saturday – one of three top-four seeds he defeated on his title run. Victory over former Top 10 star John Isner on Friday made the 19-year-old Nakashima the youngest American to reach an ATP Tour final since an 18-year-old Taylor Fritz in Memphis five years ago. Having failed to win a tour-level match all season entering the week, he fell one victory shy of becoming the youngest man from the United States to win a trophy outside his home country since 19-year-old Michael Chang in Birmingham in 1991.“Making a first ATP final is a great accomplishment for me, but obviously we want to be on top at the end of this week. I know now from this week and this loss what I need to work on to bring home that title next time,” Nakashima said following his 2-6, 2-6 defeat against Norrie. “Hopefully in these next couple of tournaments in the U.S. before the US Open I’ll be able to get some good results and hopefully be able to pick up my first ATP title as well. “I definitely learned a lot from this week – both positively and negatively – what I need to work on, specifically my fitness needs to improve, playing all these tough matches this week.”At Roland Garros in 2020, Gaston made an emphatic Grand Slam debut before his home crowd when he defeated former champion Stan Wawrinka en route to the fourth round. It took two-time finalist Dominic Thiem to stop him in five sets, but he had done enough to boost French expectations. Nine months later, the 20-year-old beat three seeds in succession to reach the championship match in Gstaad, before Norwegian Ruud ended his run 6-3, 6-2 on Sunday.“I tried to do my best, but I am happy overall with my week,” Gaston said. “I hope I can continue like this. It is amazing to play in an ATP Tour final. Now I need some rest for my body, but I feel good.” Alcaraz’s breakthrough lifted him to No. 5 in the ATP Race to Milan, where he has his sights set on making his Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals debut. Gaston rose two places to eighth place, while Nakashima is now nipping at his heels in ninth.“For me it's incredible. It's a goal,” Alcaraz said of his Milan prospects. “It would be amazing to play the [Intesa Sanpaolo] Next Gen ATP Finals against the best Next Gen [players] of the year. I would enjoy that moment.”

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04.08.2021 - 21:34 Uhr

Alexander Bublik is one of the most entertaining players on the ATP Tour, from his shotmaking ability to his underarm serves. Although fans might remember the Kazakhstani’s trickery most, he has more aces than anyone so far with 576 entering this week’s Citi Open.“It’s a cool stat. Leading in aces after almost eight months is great,” Bublik said. “It means I can serve. It means I can hit dingers.”Before the ninth seed begins his run in Washington, ATPTour.com caught up with Bublik about what his life is like on Tour, his favourite vacation spots, and why he tries to focus on anything but tennis once off the court.What are two essential non-tennis items you always pack for trips?It’s my wedding ring and my watch. I buy and sell. I bought my first [watch] in 2017. Since then I’ve had many. I’m a big watch enthusiast. I love watches, I love buying them and selling them. I love all these kinds of things. At the moment I have maybe four or five watches, but I’ve had many more. 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 travelling at all to be honest with you. I’m not a big fan of packing, flying and changing time zones, but I treat it like a part of work. I don’t like it. I was happy to stay home for six months. I was very happy, it was really good for me. I would stay another six months at home if that would be necessary. For me travelling is just a part of my job to make a living.How do you try to overcome jetlag and acclimate to the local time zone?It’s not tough for me. I do well for the time zones, but I just don’t like travelling. I would be happy to travel from my home to the Alps and back with the car, five or six hours. I’m not a guy who would go to the Maldives, a 15-hour-trip to lay under the sun for 15 days.In that case, where is your favourite vacation destination?The French Alps, Swiss Alps, ski resorts. Something that is not mainstream and you don’t see hundreds of tennis players and athletes there. Something that is a bit interesting to walk around, see nature.I go to the mountains, I enjoy nature. Of course there is a great hotel, but [I like] walking around. I can’t ski or snowboard unfortunately, but I love nature. It’s great to recharge, put away your phone. I think for me the best places are these cold resorts with skiing or in the Swiss Alps.Watch Bublik Tour The Newport Grounds:What is your favourite tournament city to visit and why?The ATP hosts the tournaments in very good locations, so usually it’s always in good cities. There are some cities I don’t like [because of] the weather or conditions or other things, but overall 95 per cent of tournaments held by the ATP are held in great spots. We have great hotels [too].As a tennis player, maintaining your body is of the utmost importance, so how do you take care of it during long trips?Sleep well, and a couple of glasses of wine never hurt. I try not to stick to the tennis player thing, always taking care of yourself, taking care of your body, taking care of your tennis. When you travel, you should try to be a normal person and do whatever a normal person would do on a 14-hour flight.Are there any routines or activities you do to create a sense of ‘home on the road’ to feel more comfortable?I travel with my wife, my coach — who is my good friend — and a fitness trainer and we try not to talk about tennis. We try not to think about tennis at all when we are outside the tennis courts. Just live a normal life. I don’t treat myself as a tennis player when I am outside. I probably should in order to perform better as they say. But for me, the most important thing is to feel happy and feel comfortable on the Tour. I try to put aside the tennis life when I am away from the tennis courts.