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Updated: 5 days 17 hours ago

Kyrgios’ 32 Aces Down Defending Champ Lopez

Fri, 06/22/2018 - 10:25am

Another week, same quarter-final result for Nick Kyrgios.

The World No. 21 ousted defending Fever-Tree Championships titlist Feliciano Lopez, whom he beat in the quarter-finals at Stuttgart a week ago, 7-6(5), 7-6(3) on Friday.

"I just want to keep my grass court form going," said Kyrgios, who was 0-3 at The Queen's Club before this week. "I'm in a good place right now on the grass. I'm serving well. I feel good from the back. I want to just stay focused for this tournament."

The Australian, who now leads the pair’s FedEx ATP Head2Head series 3-2, is into his third ATP World Tour semi-final of the season, including a triumph at the Brisbane International presented by Suncorp. Kyrgios will next face top-seeded Marin Cilic for a spot in Sunday's final. The pair has split their two FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings, but have not met since the 2016 Open 13 Provence championship match, won by Kyrgios.

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In the last round, the 23-year-old Kyrgios set a personal-best of 32 aces in a best-of-three-set match with a three-set victory against home favourite Kyle Edmund. Against Lopez, in two sets, Kyrgios matched that total. He hit his 32nd ace on match point, out wide, and let out a roar of 'Come On!'

While both players served well —neither competitor was broken in the match — it was Kyrgios' serve that was most effective on the big points. The Australian faced set point on his serve at 5-6 in the second set, but quickly snuffed out the opportunity with an ace out wide. Lopez, who dropped just five first-service points in the match (44/49) thanks to pinpoint accuracy, was attempting to reach his fourth semi-final in 13 appearances at The Queen’s Club. The World No. 37 not only triumphed a year ago, but reached the 2014 championship match and advanced to the final four in 2010. 

"I can't really remember a specific time where I've served at this level back to back," Kyrgios said. "I didn't expect to serve the way I did yesterday, but I just found my rhythm early again in this match. But I felt like I had to. He was serving pretty good today."

Did You Know?
Nick Kyrgios' 32 aces on Friday accounted for 50 per cent of the service points he won. The Australian played 89 service points, meaning 36 per cent of them resulted in an ace.

No Stopping Cilic At Home Away From Home

Fri, 06/22/2018 - 8:38am

Marin Cilic is one match win away from reaching the Fever-Tree Championships final for the fourth time after a confident quarter-final win on Friday.

The top-seeded Croatian, the champion in 2012 (d. Nalbandian) and runner-up in 2013 (l. to Murray) and 2017 (l. to Lopez), defeated fifth seed and 2010 titlist Sam Querrey of the United States 7-6(3), 6-2 in 79 minutes on a perfect day at The Queen’s Club, venue of the ATP World Tour 500 tournament since 1890.

Cilic, now 25-9 on the 2018 season, will next look to beat Australia’s Nick Kyrgios, last week’s MercedesCup semi-finalist, in Saturday’s semi-finals.

The Croatian breathed a huge sigh of relief after he clinched the 51-minute first set, having failed to convert one set point chance at 5-4 on Querrey’s serve at 30/40. Querrey won the first two points of the tie-break, but solid hitting from Cilic on four successive points helped him. In a close opener, Cilic won 19 of his 21 first-service points, hitting five aces, while Querrey won 26 of his 31 first deliveries and six aces.

Cilic, playing with greater confidence in the second set, broke at the third time of asking in the opening game and won nine straight points to a 4-0 advantage. Cilic, who lost five of his service points in the second set, also beat Querrey 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 in the 2012 semi-finals. The 29-year-old Croatian star now has a 27-9 record at The Queen's Club, and is competing at the historic grass-court event for the 12th time.

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Kudla: 'I'm Just Riding The Wave' In Halle 2018

Fri, 06/22/2018 - 8:28am
American Denis Kudla discusses his quarter-final victory at the 2018 Gerry Weber Open on Friday. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com.

Federer Made To Work Again In Halle

Fri, 06/22/2018 - 7:42am

World No. 1 Roger Federer extended his grass-court winning streak to 19 matches on Friday at the Gerry Weber Open, where he is bidding for a 10th trophy.

Twenty-four hours after saving two match points against Benoit Paire in the second round, Federer needed to recover from 3-5 down in the second set against Matthew Ebden for a 7-6(2), 7-5 victory over 88 minutes.

Federer, the 2003-06, 2008, 2013-15 and 2017 Halle champion, with a 62-6 record at the ATP World Tour 500 tournament, moved up through the gears at 3-5 in the second set to win 16 of the next 20 points to win in straight sets. He will next prepare to face American qualifier Denis Kudla, who beat Yuichi Sugita of Japan earlier on day five.

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Federer was made to bide his time in the first set, when Ebden, competing with confidence at a career-high No. 60 in the ATP Rankings, gave little away. Federer had one break point chance at 3-3, with Ebden serving at 30/40, but raised his game in the tie-break by winning the first three points.

Federer came close to taking a 2-0 lead in the second set, but Ebden maintained his composure to save three break points and later clinched Federer’s serve for 2-1 in their first-time meeting. While Federer immediately levelled the score at 2-2, Ebden kept fighting — just as he had done against 2011 titlist Kohlschreiber on Thursday — and broke his Swiss opponent’s serve for a second time at 3-3.

Ebden did little wrong when serving for the second set at 5-3, but Federer drew on his big-match experience when it mattered most - shortening his racquet take back on return to get the ball in court - to clinch four straight games and earn his 24th win in 26 matches this year.  .

Kudla advanced to only the second ATP World Tour semi-final of his career on Friday when he fought back from a 2-5 deficit in the second set — and saved one set point — to beat Sugita 6-2, 7-5 in 82 minutes. The qualifier, who reached the 2015 BB&T Atlanta Open semi-finals (l. to Isner), saved one set point when serving at 3-5, Ad-Out, in the second set for only his fifth tour-level match win of 2018.

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Federer beat Kudla in their only FedEx ATP Head2Head clash at the 2012 BNP Paribas Open in straight sets. Kudla had won just two tour-level matches this year. but this week he has earned three victories for his second ATP World Tour semi-final.

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Hot Shot: Kudla's Backhand Ripper At Halle 2018

Fri, 06/22/2018 - 7:22am
Watch Hot Shot as Yuichi Sugita rushes the net on the back of a strong backhand approach only to see Denis Kudla rip back a winner. Photo: AFP/Getty Images. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com.

Lopez Reflects On Emotional Queen's Club 2017 Final Win

Fri, 06/22/2018 - 5:57am
Watch as Feliciano Lopez looks back on the 2017 Fever-Tree Championships final against Marin Cilic, when he won the biggest title of his career. Photo: AFP/Getty Images. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com.

Highlights: Djokovic, Kyrgios Advance To Queen's Club 2018 QFs

Thu, 06/21/2018 - 6:53pm
Watch higlights of the Fever-Tree Championships on Thursday, featuring Novak Djokovic versus Grigor Dimitrov and Nick Kyrgios versus Kyle Edmund at The Queen's Club. Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com.

Highlights: Federer Saves 2 M.P. In Tense Paire Thriller In Halle

Thu, 06/21/2018 - 3:12pm
Watch highlights as Roger Federer saves two match points before battling past Benoit Paire to advance to the quarter-finals at the Gerry Weber Open. Matthew Ebden, Borna Coric and Andreas Seppi also advance. Photo Credit: Alex Grimm/Getty Images. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com.

Federer On Win Over Paire: 'That Was Exciting'

Thu, 06/21/2018 - 1:20pm
Watch as Roger Federer describes why he felt excited rather than frustrated after facing a number of tense moments against Benoit Paire at Halle on Thursday. Photo Credit: Alex Grimm/Getty Images. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com.

Kyrgios: 'It's Important To Hold Serve On Grass'

Thu, 06/21/2018 - 12:54pm
Nick Kyrgios, who hit 32 aces and won 88 per cent of points on his first delivery against Kyle Edmund in the second round at the Fever-Tree Championships, discusses the importance of holding serve on grass. Photo Credit: GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com.

Djokovic Downs Dimitrov At Queen's Club

Thu, 06/21/2018 - 12:54pm

Novak Djokovic secured his first victory over Top 5 opposition in almost 18 months, defeating World No. 5 Grigor Dimitrov 6-4, 6-1 at the Fever-Tree Championships on Thursday.

Djokovic notched his seventh win in eight FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings against the reigning Nitto ATP Finals titlist after 65 minutes, winning eight of the last nine games and 30 of 34 first-serve points.

The 31-year-old, who lifted the doubles title in 2010 (w/Erlich), improves to 8-3 at the Queen's Club and has now reached the last eight in each of his three most recent tournament appearances. Djokovic advanced to the Internazionali BNL d'Italia semi-finals in May (l. to Nadal) and reached the last eight at Roland Garros (l. to Cecchinato).

"I'm still kind of finding my form," Djokovic said. "This was a great test, playing against one of the top players in the world, a player that I guess prefers this surface the most. It was a great challenge that I was looking forward to. I was very focused; I was very determined to play my best, especially after my great performance in the first round (d. Millman)."

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Both men made strong starts, holding their opening four service games with relative ease. But, from that point forward, Djokovic seized total control.

After holding to 15 for a 5-4 lead, the Serb capitalised on two double faults from Dimitrov, at the start and conclusion of the tenth game, to take a one-set lead.

"I guess I broke his resistance in that 10th game of the first set. He made a couple of crucial double faults that obviously allowed me to get ahead, but I thought I was just making him play in big moments and I served well when I needed to," Djokovic said. "So it was a very good performance."

Djokovic went from strength to strength in the second set, breaking serve to 30 in the fourth and sixth games before converting his fourth match point, as Dimitrov's slice-backhand return floated beyond the baseline.

Djokovic will meet Adrian Mannarino, who won an all-French clash in the final match of the day, 7-6(4), 6-3 against qualifier Julien Benneteau, over one hour and 51 minutes. The Serbian has won both his FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings with Mannarino in straight sets.

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Did You Know?
Gigor Dimitrov has appeared at every edition of the Fever-Tree Championships since 2009. The Bulgarian won the title in 2014, defeating Spain's Feliciano Lopez in a final-set tie-break.

Hot Shot: Kyrgios' Daring Tweener Lob Winner At Queen's Club

Thu, 06/21/2018 - 11:41am
Watch as Nick Kyrgios sprints up to a drop shot and hits a tweener lob over the head of Kyle Edmund en route to victory at the Fever-Tree Championships on Thursday. Photo Credit: Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty Images. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com.

Hot Shot: Federer Rips Backhand Winner In Halle

Thu, 06/21/2018 - 11:36am
Watch as Roger Federer unleashes a searing backhand down the line against Benoit Paire during their second-round match at the Gerry Weber Open on Thursday. Photo Credit: Alex Grimm/Getty Images. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com.

Highlights: Cilic, Querrey, Tiafoe Move On At Queen's

Wed, 06/20/2018 - 4:05pm
Watch highlights as Marin Cilic battles past Gilles Muller in three sets, while Sam Querrey and Frances Tiafoe also moved on at the Fever-Tree Championships on Wednesday. Photo credit: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com.

Highlights: RBA Moves On As Thiem, Nishikori Upset In Halle

Wed, 06/20/2018 - 4:03pm
Watch highlights as Roberto Bautista Agut survives an upset-filled Wednesday at the Gerry Weber Open in Halle. Photo credit: Thomas Starke/Getty Images. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com.

Kyrgios/Hewitt Cause Big Upset At Queen's Club

Wed, 06/20/2018 - 3:17pm

Lleyton Hewitt and Nick Kyrgios caused a major upset on Wednesday at the Fever-Tree Championships when they knocked out two-time former champions Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut 6-4, 3-6, 10-6 in 66 minutes for a place in the quarter-finals.

The Australian wild cards broke Herbert’s serve in the seventh game of the first set, but the French team regrouped to take a 4-1 advantage in the second set. Hewitt and Kyrgios took control of the Match tie-break by winning four of the first five points. They will next face Britons Kyle Edmund and Neal Skupski.

Two weeks ago, Herbert and Mahut captured the Roland Garros title – their 12th team trophy. Hewitt, 37, has played five tour-level doubles tournaments this year, including a run to the Australian Open quarter-finals with Sam Groth.

Lucky losers Marcus Daniell and Wesley Koolhof made the most of their opportunity by beating wild cards Novak Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka 6-4, 7-6(2). They go onto face fourth seeds and defending champions Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares.

The victors will challenge top seeds Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic, the leaders in the ATP Race To London for a spot at the Nitto ATP Finals in November.

Marach and Pavic, with four trophies to their name this year, fought hard to defeat Rohan Bopanna and Edouard Roger-Vasselin 6-4, 6-7(6), 10-7. They could not convert two match points at 6/4 in the second set tie-break and came back from 3/6 down in the Match tie-break.

Kubot/Melo Move On In Halle
Defending champions Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo booked their place in the Gerry Weber Open quarter-finals, defeating qualifiers Jonathan Erlich and Nicholas Monroe 6-3, 6-4.

The top seeds advanced after 69 minutes, firing seven aces and saving three of four break points to progress. Kubot and Melo, who own an 18-12 record this season, will meet Max Mirnyi and Philipp Oswald for a semi-final spot. Mirnyi and Oswald edged past Marcin Matkowski and Matwe Middelkoop 7-5, 7-6(4) in 81 minutes.

Ivan Dodig and Rajeev Ram wasted no time in their opening match, cruising past Karen Khachanov and Lucas Pouille 6-3, 6-0 in 57 minutes. The fourth seeds won all four break points they earned to power past the Russian-French duo, who contested the Open 13 Provence singles final in February.

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