Raonic withdraws from Cincinnati with sore wrist

ATP Cincinnati Masters second seed Novak Djokovic says he has to remind himself which continent he is on as his fast-paced schedule spins swiftly with the Olympics done and the US Open near. "If you don't keep track of time and places where you are, it happens -- sometimes you wake up and say, 'OK, which time zone am I in right now?,'" Djokovic said. Djokovic made the quick-change from Wimbledon Olympic grass to Toronto hardcourts last week to win Canada's Masters event. "It's the way it is for everybody, mostly for top players," he said. "We are aware of the fact that Olympic Games are going to make our schedule more difficult and busier than previous years. "That's what happens always in the tennis schedule when you have Olympic year coming up. We all tried to work our schedule around that. For now, I'm feeling good." Djokovic will play his opening match on Wednesday against Italian Andreas Seppi, with top seed Roger Federer and Olympic gold medalist Andy Murray also opening then. In Tuesday first-round matches, US 10th seed Mardy Fish ousted Spain's Feliciano Lopez 6-2, 6-3 while longtime friend and two-time tournament champion Andy Roddick lost to Frenchman Jeremy Chardy 7-6 (7/4), 6-3. "I felt fine early on, and then I had one lunge forehand and the back kind of goes out or spasms a little bit. It got progressively worse," Roddick said. "I feel a lot better about where my game is at now -- today was…... [read more]

CINCINNATI, Ohio, Aug 18, 2010 (AFP) - Top-ranked Rafael Nadal, number two Roger Federer, third-ranked Novak Djokovic and Britain's fourth-ranked Andy Murray all won on Wednesday to advance at the ATP Cincinnati Masters. Reigning Wimbledon and French Open champion Nadal advanced with a 6-2, 7-5 victory over big-serving 83rd-ranked American Taylor Dent to reach the third round of the three million-dollar hardcourt event, a tuneup for the US Open. "I was waiting to have my chances, but you are out of the rhythm from the baseline because he's not giving to you the long point, and it's difficult to have the feel of the ball," Nadal said. "He broke me and I was a little bit lucky after that to have the break. It was a close second set but I think I had more chances than him in the second. It was closer in the second but I still think I deserved to win." The Spaniard, who has won 35 of his past 37 matches, will next face Frenchman Julien Benneteau, who eliminated Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka 6-4, 6-2. "I know him. He knows me. It's going to be a very difficult match," Nadal said. "He's playing well. I'm going to try to play my best tennis, only like this I'm going to have chances. I have to be aggressive and try to have control of the point." Nadal and the other top-eight seeds all received first-round byes at the last hardcourt tuneup event before the US Open, which starts…... [read more]

MONTREAL: Roger Federer stretched his match win streak to 15 as he outclassed Roberto Bautista Agut 6-4, 6-4 in the quarter-finals of the Montreal Masters on Friday (Aug 11). Roger Federer of Switzerland prepares to hit a return against David Ferrer of Spain during day seven of the Rogers Cup presented by National Bank at Uniprix Stadium on Aug 10, 2017 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Photo: AFP/Minas Panagiotakis) Federer advances to the semi-finals where he will face Robin Haase of the Netherlands who defeated Diego Schwartzman 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 earlier in the day. Federer hammered five aces, made just two double faults and won 81 percent of his first serve points in the 68-minute centre court match. Bautista Agut struggled mightily on his serve as he was broken three times and won just 65 percent of his first serve points. Federer posted his seventh consecutive win over the Spaniard and boosted his season record to 34-2. He has a Tour high five titles in 2017. He will face Dutchman Haas in just the second career meeting between the two. The pair met in a Davis Cup World Group play-off in 2012 with Federer winning 6-1, 6-4, 6-4. Federer's chances of winning his third Canadian title were given a boost when top seed Rafael Nadal was upset by world No. 143 Denis Shapovalov of Canada on Thursday night. Shapovalov, who…... [read more]

MONTREAL: A rejuvenated Roger Federer believes he is still reaping the benefits of his extended break from tennis after a comfortable opening victory at the ATP Montreal Masters gave him his best start to a season since 2006. Roger Federer of Switzerland prepares to return the ball against Peter Polansky of Canada during the Rogers Cup presented by National Bank at Uniprix Stadium in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images/AFP) The Swiss star, who celebrated his 36th birthday on Tuesday, swatted aside Canada's world number 116 Peter Polansky 6-2, 6-1 in just 53 minutes to book his place in the second round. Federer is riding high after a spectacular year which has netted him both the Australian Open and Wimbledon crowns. On Wednesday's evidence few would bet against him adding the US Open to that haul after a masterful performance that left Polansky groping at shadows. A one-sided win gave him a 32-2 start to the season, his best beginning to a campaign since 2006 when he began 38-2 and finished the year at world number one. Federer attributed his renaissance to rediscovering full fitness after knee surgery in 2016 and taking a two-month break from the game earlier this year. "I guess for me the key is that I'm actually healthy," Federer said. "I knew that when I was healthy, I was going to be able to have chances…... [read more]

Krygios made world headlines after his crude remarks concerning Wawrinka's reported girlfriend during a match in Montreal. PARIS: Australia's tennis badboy Nick Kyrgios was on Monday (Aug 24) handed a suspended ban and fine by the ATP for his lurid verbal attack on Stan Wawrinka at the Rogers Cup in Montreal. In a statement the ATP found 20-year-old Kyrgios guilty of "aggravated behaviour" and served him with a 28-day ban and $25,000 (21,450 euros) fine. But both punishments will be waived if Kyrgios avoids any fines for verbal or physical abuse at ATP events over the next six months. "Once the player has met those conditions the penalties will be formally dismissed," the ATP confirmed. "If the conditions are not met the penalties will be invoked after any appeals process is exhausted." Kyrgios made headlines around the world after crude remarks concerning Wawrinka's reported girlfriend, teenager Donna Vekic, during a match against the Swiss ace in Montreal. Kyrgios, who was fined $10,000 by the ATP for his courtside sledge at the time, issued a statement apologising for his remarks, insisting they were made "in the heat of the moment". The ATP's head of rules and competition Gayle David Bradshaw said: "This incident was egregious and reflected poorly on our sport. "Nick has expressed regret, and the best result would be that he learns a lesson from this incident and that he understands he is responsible to the Tour and to fellow players for both his actions and his words. "It…... [read more]

LONDON: Former women's tennis world number one Ana Ivanovic admitted Saturday (Dec 31) she retired this week because she felt both physically and mentally unfit to carry on after years of battling injuries. The 29-year-old Serbian - whose sole Grand Slam success came in the 2008 French Open one of her 15 WTA titles - added she wanted to retire while she still loved the sport. "The last few years have been a struggle with injury," Ivanovic told The Times newspaper on Saturday. "It was always a fight coming back and so much work on the court, off the court, and then not sometimes being in the best shape. "For me, the IPTL (International Premier Tennis League who hosted events in Singapore and India recently) was a last test. I didn't have the feeling in my body and in my heart that I should push more. "It's never easy to step back from something you love, but I wanted it to remain my love rather than something that I have to do or end up despising because it hurt." Ivanovic, who also reached the 2007 French Open and the 2008 Australian Open finals, said she would not classify her career as being one of under-achievement. "I think it's hard to say that someone has overachieved or underachieved," said Ivanovic, who won the season-ending WTA Tournament of Champions title twice. "Even though I look back and think maybe I could have done a little bit more, it all happens for a…... [read more]

LONDON: Serena Williams powered into her 12th Wimbledon quarter-final as the defending champion celebrated American Independence Day with a 7-5, 6-0 victory over Russian 13th seed Svetlana Kuznetsova on Monday. World number one Williams hit 43 winners and served 14 aces as she won the last nine games on Centre Court to remain on course for a record-equalling 22nd major title and a seventh Wimbledon crown. The 34-year-old, an eight-time Wimbledon finalist, will play Russian 21st seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova for a place in the semi-finals. Williams leads their career series 5-0. Williams' 301st Grand Slam match victory moved her within five of Open era record holder Martina Navratilova. "She has played really well against me in the past and she beat me earlier this year so I know that I had to play really well to win this," Williams said. "It was really tricky out there because even though it wasn't raining hard, it was dewy on the grass and you can fall really easy." Due to bad weather, Williams will have played three days in a row by the time she finishes Tuesday's quarter-final, but she is unconcerned about the demanding schedule. "Usually in order to win a tournament, you have to play quarters, semis, final back to back. I thought, 'Serena, you've done this many times', so for me it's an easy transition," she said. Beaten in the Australian and French Open finals this year, Serena's attempt to equal Steffi Graf's Open era record of 22 Grand Slam…... [read more]

LONDON: Andy Murray, Roger Federer and Serena Williams cruised into the Wimbledon last eight on 'Manic Monday' (Jul 4) as Dominika Cibulkova pondered cancelling her wedding following her shock run to the quarter-finals. Murray racked-up his 50th Wimbledon match win while Federer reached the quarter-finals for the 14th time as the top two remaining seeds edged closer to a dream title match. Second seeded Murray, the 2013 champion, eased to a 7-5, 6-1, 6-4 win over fiery Australian Nick Kyrgios and will next face French 12th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Federer went equal with Jimmy Connors' mark of 14 quarter-finals at Wimbledon and tied Martina Navratilova's all-time Slam record of 306 match wins by seeing off Steve Johnson of the United States 6-2, 6-3, 7-5. Kyrgios, the 15th seed who defeated Rafael Nadal at the tournament in 2014, did not force a break point on Murray's serve as he slipped to his fifth loss in five meetings against the world number two. "The first set was very tight. I managed to get the break at 6-5 but it was very tight up to that point," explained Murray. Kyrgios condemned his own performance. "The first set was OK but after that it was pathetic," said the 21-year-old. Seven-time champion Federer, the third seed, next takes on Croatia's Marin Cilic for a place in the semi-finals. Cilic, the ninth seeded Croat, progressed to his third successive Wimbledon quarter-final when Japanese fifth seed Kei Nishikori pulled out of their last-16 clash with a rib…... [read more]

LONDON: Serena Williams needed just 51 minutes to clinch the 300th Grand Slam win of her career on Sunday (Jul 3) as the defending champion made the Wimbledon last 16. The 34-year-old American brushed aside Germany's world number 43 Annika Beck 6-3, 6-0 on the back of 25 winners and seven aces and goes on to face long-time Russian rival Svetlana Kuznetsova. "I thought it was good. I still want to get out to a little bit of a faster start but I was really focused and calm," said Williams, who is just six wins short of Martina Navratilova's Open era record of 306 Slam wins. Williams has now won 82 matches at Wimbledon as she remains on course to equal Steffi Graf's Open era record of 22 Grand Slam titles with her seventh Wimbledon crown. Williams took the starring role as play was held on the middle Sunday for only the fourth time in Wimbledon history, and the first time since 2004, as organisers tried to clear the backlog caused by days of rain. Nick Kyrgios, the Australian 15th seed, booked a last-16 clash with world number two Andy Murray after beating Feliciano Lopez 6-3, 6-7 (2/7), 6-3, 6-4 in another tie held over from Saturday at one set all. Murray, the 2013 champion, is the top seed left in the draw after world number one Novak Djokovic was knocked out by Sam Querrey on Saturday. "I definitely have the tools to beat Andy, but saying that, he's probably…... [read more]

BEIJING: Andy Murray stormed into the China Open quarter-finals with a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Andrey Kuznetsov on Wednesday (Oct 5), as on the outer courts the tournament's younger players appeared in control. The 49th-ranked Russian broke Murray's serve in the first game, battling through four deuces to take the first point of the match. The world number two dropped another serve in the first set, and one in the second, but otherwise allowed the 25-year-old little room as he closed out the match in 76 minutes. The women's top seed Angelique Kerber booked her spot in the round of 16, beating Barbora Strycova in two sets, 6-3, 7-6 (7/4). "I was just trying to be more aggressive, so that was my plan, to just to go for it, and (to make) her run," Kerber said after the match. The German two-time Grand Slam champion will meet 22-year-old Ukrainian Elina Svitolina, who downed Savine Lisicki 6-4, 6-4. Other members of the younger generation also took charge on Wednesday. Ninth-ranked 21-year-old Madison Keys dismissed two-time Grand Slam champion Svetlana Kuznetsova, 31, in two sets, 7-6 (7/2), 6-2. The American is targeting a spot in the final to qualify for the eight-player WTA Finals in Singapore for the first time, but will have to get through two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova in the quarter-finals. Briton Johanna Konta is also still in the running to qualify for the season finale for the first time - and possibly break into the top 10 -…... [read more]

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