Tagged in: tennis

Osaka wants to represent Japan at Tokyo Games

Two-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka says she plans to represent Japan at next year’s Tokyo Olympics.

Osaka, who has a Japanese mother and a Haitian father, told NHK she has concluded an administrative step to obtain Japanese citizenship ahead of her birthday next week.

Japanese law stipulates that a Japanese with more than one nationality must choose one before turning 22 years old.

“It gives me a special feeling to try to go to the Olympics to represent Japan,” the two-time Grand Slam champion told the broadcaster in an interview in Tokyo.

“I think I will be able to put more of my emotion into it by playing for the pride of the country,” she said, according to the article published in Japanese on the NHK website.

Osaka added she wants to aim for the gold although she is also worried as hopes will be high.

The young tennis sensation is a household name in Japan, where her every move is followed feverishly by local media, particularly when she is in the country of her mother’s birth.

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She is the face of several leading Japanese brands, including the carrier ANA, and she was the main attraction at last month’s Pan Pacific Open in Osaka, which she won.

But she has faced polemics over her dual heritage in a nation that is fairly racially homogeneous, as well as scrutiny for her imperfect Japanese language skills — though others insist they add to her charm.

Multiracial children can often face prejudice in Japan, although attitudes among younger generations are changing.

Osaka became the first Japanese player to win a Grand Slam last year after beating Serena Williams at the U.S. Open. She turns 22 on Wednesday. Under Japanese law, that’s the age at which she must give up any dual citizenship.

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Nadal out of Shangahai Masters with hand injury

The ATP said Friday that Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from next week’s Shanghai Masters due to a left hand injury.

Nadal is a two-time finalist in Shanghai — 2009 and 2017 — and was looking to extend an 11-match winning streak. He pulled out of his final match at the Laver Cup with a left wrist injury two weeks ago.

He has also won 28 of his last 29 matches, a run that contains his fourth U.S. Open title and 12th Roland Garros championship in addition to Masters 1000 crowns in Montreal and Rome.

Defending Shanghai champion Novak Djokovic will have a chance to close the gap on Nadal in the battle to finish as the year-end No. 1.

Djokovic trails Nadal by 1,960 points in the ATP Race to London. Djokovic could earn 500 points if he wins the Tokyo title this weekend and another 1,000 points by winning Shanghai.

Nadal said on shanghairolexmasters.com: ‘I am very sad to announce that I won’t be able to play in Shanghai this year.

‘As you all probably know, I had an inflammation on my left wrist during the Laver Cup and I haven’t had the time to recover and practice to be ready for this amazing event.  ‘I hope to be back in Shanghai for the 2020 tournament.’

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The injury is in many ways timely given Nadal’s wedding to his long-time girlfriend Maria Francisca Perello is later this month.

And at the time he said: ““It is not my wrist by the way, it is my hand.

“My hand is a little bit inflamed. After New York I had a little bit of an issue probably after the final.

“I felt a little bit, the first day here, then a little bit more every day.”

However it is not all doom and gloom for the Spaniard as he can still return to the top of the world rankings next week.

Nadal is 640 points behind Djokovic in the standings but the world No 1 is the defending champion in Shanghai.

That means the Serbian needs to win the title again to retain 1000 points so an early loss could see him drop to second.

He is scheduled to return to action at the Paris Masters beginning on October 28.

The Spaniard has never won the Shanghai Masters but reached the final twice, in 2009 and 2017. 

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Osaka goes on 10-game run to reach quarters will face Andreescu

Naomi Osaka said Thursday that she was “angry relaxed” after the Japanese tennis player set up a potential first meeting with US Open champion Bianca Andreescu in Beijing.

The 21-year-old, the reigning Australian Open champion, won the last 10 games against unseeded American Alison Riske to surge into the last eight at the China Open, 6-4, 6-0.

Osaka and Andreescu, two young stars of women’s tennis, will meet if the 19-year-old Canadian wins her match later Thursday against American qualifier Jennifer Brady.

Osaka has not dropped a set in three matches in the Chinese capital and also did not lose a set on the way to winning her home Pan Pacific Open last month.

The two-time Grand Slam champion from Japan served seven aces and stretched her winning streak to seven matches.

It is in contrast to the stuttering form the world number four endured after winning the Australian Open at the start of the year.

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“I’m relaxed, but I’m a little bit angry, it’s an angry relaxed,” said Osaka, asked what was behind her recent success in Japan and now China.

“I know after Australia I was like, ‘I’m going to have fun’. It was not fun, I did not have fun.”

The Japanese said she took a week off after her last 16 defeat at the US Open, where teenager Andreescu went on to triumph over Serena Williams in the final.

“I was sorting out my thoughts,” said Osaka, adding that she has “self-diagnosed ADHD” because “if I tell myself to relax, I play three-set matches.

“Out here, if you see, I’m kind of ‘angry’ right now, I can get through straight-set wins.”

Osaka called Andreescu “an amazing player.” “I feel like she’s doing better than I was last year, so it’s all cool,” Osaka said. “I have to learn from her too.”

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Murray sees off No. 20 Berrettini in China

Andy Murray continued his positive return to singles play after hip surgery with a 7-6 (2), 7-6 (7) win over 13th-ranked Matteo Berrettini of Italy in the first round of the China Open on Tuesday.

Berrettini, who is eighth in the ATP’s Race to London standings, broke Murray and served for the first set at 5-3, only for the three-time grand slam winner’s customary fighting spirit to kick in and force a tiebreak.

The 32-year-old was dominant in the initial breaker, allowing his Italian opponent only two points.

The pair exchanged breaks early in the second, which also went the distance.

Murray dug in to save two set points before prevailing 9-7, setting up an all-Get all the latest Betting and Sport News updates on your social media outlets.British clash against Cameron Norrie.

“It was tough. At the end I was just trying to fight and play as offensively as possible,” Murray said post-match

“It cost me on a few points but helped me out a bit at the end and I got over the line with a good passing shot at the end.”

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The former top-ranked Murray, who had a hip resurfacing operation in January, fired eight aces and saved five of seven break points to pick up his second tour-level singles win since returning in August.

Berrettini, ranked No. 20 in the world, is the highest-ranked player the Scot has defeated since returning to singles action.

Murray defeated Tennys Sangren in the opening round of the Zhuhai Championships last week, before losing to eventual champion Alex de Minaur in the second round.

“Last week was a big step for me. Now I just need to try and get the matches, get them consistently, so that I’m used to playing three, four matches in a week,” Murray said.

He will next play British compatriot Cameron Norrie, who beat Chile’s Cristian Garin on Monday.

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Kyrgios gets 16 weeks’ probation by ATP Tour

Nick Kyrgios has been handed a suspended ban of 16 weeks and an additional fine of $25,000 for “aggravated behavior” following an investigation by the ATP.

The 24-year-old Australian, one of the most combustible characters in tennis, was fined $113,000 over a meltdown in Cincinnati last month and courted more trouble with the governing body of men’s tennis at the US Open describing it as corrupt.

In a statement, the ATP said: “The investigation found a pattern of behavior related to Kyrgios’s verbal abuse of officials and/or spectators in the past 12 months that constitutes a violation.” It added the player had five working days to appeal. The fine and suspension are deferred pending Kyrgios’s compliance with a set of conditions which will apply at ATP and Challenger Tour events during a six-month probationary period.

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Some of the conditions include no further code violations that result in a fine for verbal or physical abuse of officials, fans or any others on court or on site and unsportsmanlike conduct and any obscenity directed at officials. He was also told to seek “continued support” from a mental coach during tournaments and to consult a professional specializing in behavioral management in the off-season.

“Everyone, I can still play,” wrote Kyrgios on social media. “I just have to keep a lid on my behavior, that’s all.”

Kyrgios, who has won titles in Acapulco and Washington this year, had picked up the initial fine for unsportsmanlike conduct, verbal abuse and an audible obscenity in Cincinnati after arguing with the chair umpire and smashing two rackets during his second-round defeat by Russia’s Karen Khachanov.

He confirmed on Thursday before the ATP’s statement that he would miss events in Beijing and Shanghai after aggravating a shoulder injury he originally suffered at the Laver Cup.

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Live Betting Tennis – Main Markets

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Rafael Nadal vs Lukas Rosol

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Spanish pro tennis star Rafael Nadal assured reporters Tuesday that he is in the best time of his competitive career, after a season with a lot of doubts, and some ups and downs on his perfect form when playing.

Nadal stressed that he currently does not have those nerves during the season, so now it feels good in matches and training, and that is his thought, facing the Masters in London.

Although he has never been the winner of a Grand Slam tournament, the Spanish, world number six, failed to qualify for the season-ending 15 to 22 November.

Nadal believes he has regained a competitive practically acceptable level, although not yet reached the courts that led him to dominate the sport in the last decade by the Swiss Roger Federer.

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Nadal will make a debut in Paris Wednesday, against the winner of the match between Czech Lukas Rosol and Spanish Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.

Lukas Rosol is a foe who must have haunted many of the Spaniard’s nightmares over the three years since Wimbledon 2012. In the second round of the tournament, the then-world no. 100 seemed almost possessed as he unleashed killer groundstrokes, untouchable serves and lethal winners en route to a five set victory over the Majorcan. And Nadal does not take any defeat – let alone early Slam defeat, at a tournament he cherishes – lightly.

In the years since, Rafael Nadal has not fallen to this same opponent again – over two meeting in 2014, and another just last week. He now leads their head-to-head record by 3 wins to 1. But that almost wasn’t the case. As the lefty competed his first tournament on indoor hard-courts just last week at the Swiss Indoors Basel, he had the misfortune of drawing Rosol first round: A player with a legendary win over him, and the flat, sharp game that loves the enclosed atmosphere. The world no. 6 had lost the first set 6-1, and Lukas Rosol was serving for victory at 5-4 in the second set before the 29-year-old produced a stunning comeback. Breaking his foe at a pivotal moment, he went on to close out a 7-5 set, before eventually clinching victory in a final set tiebreak. It was all the more phenomenal when you consider the mental issues that have plagued the Grand Slam champion in many a big moment during this year of trial.

As the pair meet for the fifth time on Wednesday – barely a week after their most recent encounter – Rafael Nadal will surely take confidence and insight from the events of several days ago. But Lukas Rosol, too, has much to be upbeat about. Inches away from upending the eventual runner-up in Basel, the Czech can be in no doubt about what he must do to achieve victory over him in Paris.

And while Nadal has the benefit of the first round bye that top seeded players receive here, the situation may actually work out in Rosol’s favour. A qualifier into the event, the world no. 76 has multiple match wins under his belt on these courts, and is coming off a win over another Spaniard: Guillermo Garcia-Lopez. A 6-2 2-6 6-3 scoreline may not sound convincing, but it is a win all the same – and over a tricky opponent, at that. To have come out on the right end of a tough duel the round before Nadal can only be a positive.

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Lucie Safarova qualifies for WTA Finals

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Lucie Safarova grabbed the last spot at the WTA finals Thursday after Carla Suarez Navarro lost to a qualifier at the Kremlin Cup.

Suarez Navarro could have qualified for the season-ending tournament in Singapore by reaching the final in Moscow but was beaten 6-1, 6-2 by Russia’s Daria Kasatkina in the quarterfinals.

Safarova, who had already qualified for the WTA Finals doubles with partner Bethanie Mattek-Sands, will make her debut in the tournament after a standout year where she reached the final of the French Open.

She also won the Australian Open and French Open doubles titles with the American.

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World number one Serena Williams, who narrowly missed out on a rare calendar Grand Slam, decided earlier this month that she would not be defending her WTA Finals title, citing the need to allow her body to heal.

Safarova joins Simona Halep, Garbine Muguruza, Maria Sharapova, Petra Kvitova, Agnieszka Radwanska, Angelique Kerber and Flavia Pennetta in the Singapore singles field.

“I am really excited to qualify for the WTA Finals for the first time,” Safarova said.” It has been a dream year and to be one of the eight qualifiers in singles and also compete in the doubles is something that makes me very proud.

“There have already been so many highlights this year, and I hope to finish it playing some more great tennis in front of the amazing Singapore crowd.”

Pennetta is also set to make her maiden appearance in singles at the championships. The reigning US Open champion decided against retiring following her New York victory in order to give herself the opportunity to play in Singapore for the very first time.

“Qualifying for the WTA Finals is a dream come true and the perfect way to end to an amazing season for me,” Pennetta said.

“It will also be a wonderful way for me to say to say goodbye to tennis – it’s a spectacular stage to bow out on. Having won the WTA Finals before in doubles, I can’t wait to make my debut in singles.”

Timea Bacsinszky and Venus Williams will serve as the first and second alternates in the singles action respectively.

 

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David Ferrer wins Malaysian Open

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David Ferrer beat his fellow Spaniard Feliciano Lopez 7-5 7-5 in the final of the Malaysian Open on Sunday to capture the 25th title of his career and his fourth this year.

The match on Sunday evening was tightly contested but Ferrer’s determination and deep forehands ultimately proved too much for Lopez.

“It was my best match of the tournament and my best performance here in Malaysia,” the world number eight said.

“I was consistent with my game and am happy with the victory. My serve was good today and it needed to be because Feliciano pressured me today

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Appearing in his 50th ATP career final, the 33-year-old Ferrer won the hard-fought match against his good friend and Davis Cup team mate to add the Malaysian title to his previous tournament wins this year in Doha, Rio and Acapulco.

“I feel very happy, because I have never played so well at this tournament,” said Ferrer, who was the top seed. “I played my best match of the week in this final, and my sensations after my elbow injury are now very good.”

Ferrer had not lost to Lopez since 2009 but his streak looked to be in danger of ending when he made a slow start and went down an early break.

But Ferrer quickly broke back and clinched the opening set when he broke second-seeded Lopez again in the 12th game. In the second set, Ferrer again made the vital break in the 12th game, sealing a straight-sets win.

“Feliciano is a good tennis player, but an even better person,” said Ferrer. “I wish him all the best for the rest of the season.”

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Rogers Cup 2015

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The Rogers Cup continued Tuesday, with the women’s tournament in full swing after a rainy Monday in Toronto and the men battling it out in Montreal.

World No1 Novak Djokovic kicked off his bid for a fourth Canadian crown with a 6-3, 7-6 (6-4) second round win over a stubborn Thomaz Bellucci at the Rogers Cup on Tuesday.

Bellucci, with just one win in five visits to Canada and coming off a first-round loss at Washington, appeared to be the perfect opponent for Djokovic to launch his buildup to the US Open but provided a stiff test for the Serb.

Djokovic is the clear favorite at the tournament. Djokovic won the tournament in 2007 and 2012.

Outside of Djokovic, the biggest story on the men’s side was the upset of No. 12 Kevin Anderson, who bowed out against Lukas Rosol 7-6, 7-6 in a hotly contested match.

Tomorrow’s matches will feature more big names, with No. 3 Stan Wawrinka, No. 5 Tomas Berdych, No. 6 Marin Cilic, No. 7 Rafael Nadal and No. 10 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga all in action.

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Men’s Results

Round Winner Score Loser
1st Jeremy Chardy 6-1, 7-5 Nicolas Mahut
1st Vasek Pospisil 6-4, 6-3 Yen-Hsun Lu
1st Ernests Gulbis 6-3, 6-7, 6-1 Dominic Thiem
1st Lukas Rosol 7-6, 7-6 (12) Kevin Anderson
1st Roberto Bautista Agut 6-3, 6-4 Janko Tipsarevic
1st (16) John Isner 6-4, 6-7, 6-3 Benjamin Becker
1st Pablo Andujar 6-2, 6-4 Frank Dancevic
1st (14) Grigor Dimitrov 6-4, 7-5 Alexandr Dolgopolov
1st (13) David Goffin 6-2, 6-2 Steve Johnson
1st Jack Sock 6-2, 2-6, 7-6 Adrian Mannarino
1st Nick Kyrgios 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 Fernando Verdasco
2nd (1) Novak Djokovic 6-3, 7-6 Thomaz Bellucci
Rogers Cup Tuesday Scores

Source: CoupeRogers.com

 

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