Federer Stunned By World Number 70 Rublev In Cincinnati

Roger Federer of Switzerland returns a shot to Andrey Rublev of Russia during Day 6 of the Western and Southern Open at Lindner Family Tennis Center on August 15, 2019 in Mason, Ohio. Rob Carr/Getty Images/AFP

 

Seven-time champion and third seed Roger Federer was knocked out of the Cincinnati Masters by world number 70 Andrey Rublev in the third round on Thursday.

Rublev won 6-3, 6-4 and will face fellow Russian Daniil Medvedev, the ninth seed, for a place in the semi-finals.

Federer, 38, will now head into the US Open later this month with just two matches on hard courts under his belt.

Cincinnati was his first tournament since losing the Wimbledon final in July to Novak Djokovic.

Rublev, 21, took less than an hour to earn his second top-five win in a month after beating Dominic Thiem in Hamburg on his way to the final.

bur/dj

Kyrgios Faces Suspension, Fined $113,000 Over Cincinnati Meltdown

Nick Kyrgios of Australia wipes his face between points while playing Karen Khachanov of Russia during the Western & Southern Open at Lindner Family Tennis Center on August 14, 2019 in Mason, Ohio. Matthew Stockman/Getty Images/AFP

 

Controversial Australian star Nick Kyrgios was Thursday fined $113,000 (101,701 euros) after his explosive Cincinnati Masters meltdown which saw him smash two racquets, launch an abusive tirade at the chair umpire before appearing to spit at the official.

The ATP said the massive sanction included individual fines for ball abuse, leaving the court without permission, an audible obscenity and unsportsmanlike conduct during his second round loss to Russia’s Karen Khachanov.

Kyrgios, 24, was warned that he could also face another suspension from the sport once a full investigation has taken place.

After the world number 27 lost 6-7 (3/7), 7-6 (7/4), 6-2 to Khachanov on Wednesday night, he called umpire Fergus Murphy a “fuckin’ tool”, refused to shake his hand while spitting in the direction of the chair.

He had earlier been handed a time violation, docked a point and was warned again after leaving the court without permission at the end of the second set after which he was seen to destroy two racquets in the corridor.

Kyrgios screamed at Murphy that he was the “worst umpire, hands down”.

The various Kyrgios infractions included four fines of $20,000 each for unsportsmanlike conduct plus another $20,000 for verbal abuse.

“In addition to the on-site fines, the ATP is looking further into what happened during and immediately after the match to see if additional action is warranted,” said an ATP statement.

“That could result in an additional fine and/or suspension.”

Kyrgios also had a run-in with Murphy at Queen’s Club in June after he accused a line judge of “match-rigging” and was given a code violation by the umpire.

At the Italian Open in Rome on the eve of Roland Garros, he was disqualified and fined for throwing a chair on to court.

He has also been at loggerheads with the world’s top two players, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal this year.

He accused Djokovic of trying too hard to be liked and blasted the Serb’s post-match “cup of love” celebrations as “cringeworthy”.

After beating Nadal in Acapulco earlier this year, the Spaniard said the Australian “lacked respect”.

The pair met in a bad-tempered Wimbledon second round match in which Kyrgios admitted deliberately spearing a forehand directly at Nadal.

“Why would I apologise? I mean, the dude has got how many slams, how much money in the bank account?” said Kyrgios after his four-set defeat.

“I think he can take a ball to the chest, bro. I’m not going to apologise to him at all.”

For good measure, Kyrgios picked up a code violation for unsportsmanlike behaviour and described the umpire as a “disgrace”, claiming his handling of the Centre Court blockbuster as “pathetic” for failing to warn the Spaniard over what he claimed was his pedestrian pace of play.

In 2015, in one of his more notorious outbursts, Kyrgios was fined for making a sexually disparaging remark in Canada about the girlfriend of three-time major winner Stan Wawrinka.

The following year, he was banned for eight weeks after being accused of not trying at the Shanghai Masters.

AFP

Murray Rates Cincinnati Singles Comeback ‘OK’ Despite Defeat

Andy Murray of Great Britain returns a shot to Richard Gasquet of France during Day 3 of the Western and Southern Open at Lindner Family Tennis Center on August 12, 2019 in Mason, Ohio. Rob Carr/Getty Images/AFP

 

Three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray said he “did OK” in his first singles match in seven months — a 6-4, 6-4 loss to Richard Gasquet at the Cincinnati Masters on Monday.

“I don’t really know what I was expecting, to be honest,” said Murray, sidelined since January by a career-threatening hip injury. “I did OK.

“There were a lot of things I would like to have done better in the match, but you also have to be somewhat realistic in terms of what you can expect, in terms of how you actually play and hit the ball.”

Murray said he “felt fine, physically,” during the match.

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“My legs were a little bit heavy at the end of the match. When Richard drop-shotted me, there were a few times I didn’t even run to the ball, didn’t react to it.

“That’s nothing to do with my hip, that’s just me not running for a ball.”

Murray hadn’t played a singles match since a five-set first-round exit at the Australian Open, where he tearfully acknowledged he feared his career was over.

Since undergoing right hip resurfacing surgery on January 28 he has slowly fashioned a return.

Murray has been playing doubles for the past two months, winning at Queen’s Club in London with Feliciano Lopez.

Gasquet, however, was too strong for the 32-year-old, who won the title in the US Open warm-up in Cincinnati in 2008 and 2011.

Gasquet, who had groin surgery in January, ended a five-match skid against the Briton, now ranked 324th.

Murray opened the game with a double fault, and his forehand into the net gave Gasquet a match point that the 56th-ranked Frenchman converted when Murray sent a service return wide to end the match after 96 minutes.

Tentative at times, he finished with a respectable 20 winners but struck 28 unforced errors.

 No US Open singles 

He was optimistic he can improve further.

“I think with a few more weeks of practice and hopefully some more matches, then I could do better,” said Murray, who nevertheless said after the match that he did not intend to play singles at the US Open.

“I’m not going to play the US Open singles,” he confirmed, adding that US Open organizers had wanted to know by Monday if he was interested in a wild card invitation.

“I felt like I wanted to maybe try and get a couple of matches in before making a decision like that,” added Murray, who knows the best-of-five-set format at Grand Slams will be even more of a challenge.

The return of former world number one Murray dominated an opening day that saw another former US Open champion, Marin Cilic, join Murray on the sidelines with a 6-4, 7-6 (8/6 loss to Radu Albot.

US wild card Sam Querrey booked a second-round date with top seed Novak Djokovic, defeating France’s Pierre-Hugues Herbert 7-6 (7/2), 7-6 (7/1).

Seven-time champion Roger Federer will start his campaign in the second round against Argentine Juan Ignacio Londero, who defeated Italy’s Matteo Berrettini 7-6 (7/3), 6-3.

Australian Nick Kyrgios slammed a ball skyward in a moment of distracted anger to earn a warning but buckled down to post a 7-5, 6-4 win over Italian Lorenzo Sonego.

In the women’s draw at the ATP-WTA event, 2011 winner Maria Sharapova, who last played here five years ago, came back from a pair of first-round defeats at Wimbledon and Toronto, defeating Alison Riske 6-3, 7-6 (7/4).

Venus Williams defeated fellow American Lauren Davis 7-5, 6-2 to snap a four-match losing streak.

Sweden’s Rebecca Peterson defeated Britain’s Jo Konta, a 2017 quarter-finalist, 6-3, 3-6, 7-5.

AFP

Nadal Withdraws From Cincinnati Masters

Rafael Nadal of Spain plays a shot against Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece during the final match on Day 7 of the Rogers Cup at Aviva Centre on August 12, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images/AFP

 

World number one Rafael Nadal on Sunday withdrew from next week’s ATP Cincinnati Masters event as he prepares for this month’s US Open.

The 32-year-old scooped the 80th title of his career earlier Sunday with victory at the Toronto Masters.

However, the Spaniard said in a statement following the win that he had decided to adjust his schedule in order to preserve his fitness.

“I am very sorry to announce that I won’t be playing in Cincinnati this year,” Nadal said.

“No other reason than personally taking care of my body and trying to keep as healthy as I feel now.

“I am very thankful to my friend Andre Silva, Tournament Director of the Cincinnati tournament, who after speaking to him on the phone understood what I said to him and understands the situation.

“I am sure the tournament will be a success and I wish him and his team all the best.”

The withdrawal leaves Roger Federer as the tournament’s highest seed in second. The Swiss did not play Toronto in order to conserve his resources, an example being followed by his main rival.

Nadal will be replaced in the draw by a lucky loser.

Nadal had signalled he was planning on withdrawing following his 6-2, 7-6(4) win over Stefanos Tsitsipas earlier Sunday.

“I need to make a decision about what is going on in the next week and the next couple of weeks,” he said. “We also have the Davis Cup semi-finals after the US Open.

“We need to think about the things that we can do or the things that about we can’t do, no? So it’s all about the decisions.

“I only want to play, I want to be everywhere. I love this sport. I don’t like to miss events. But at some point, if I don’t stop for myself, my body stops me. So that’s the experience that I have.”

AFP