Associated Press

Nadal, Federer cruise into Shanghai Masters quarterfinals

Leave a comment

SHANGHAI (AP) Rafael Nadal won his 14th consecutive match to reach the Shanghai Masters quarterfinals, beating Fabio Fognini of Italy 6-3, 6-1 on Thursday.

Fognini occupied Nadal for 63 minutes, nine minutes longer Nadal’s second-round match.

Roger Federer, seeded second to Nadal, also was not detained for long as he defeated Ukrainian qualifier Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-4, 6-2.

“Of course it’s good news, and especially in this part of the season,” Nadal said. “Its better like this than having long matches. You save a little bit more the body.

“It doesn’t matter how long you are on court, (the) most important thing is be enough competitive to (handle) all the situations.”

Nadal hadn’t won an ATP hard-court title in more than three years until the U.S. Open last month, and now he’s gunning for his third in five weeks.

Nadal saved both break points he faced in the round-of-16 match, in the fourth game of the second set.

In the quarterfinals, Nadal will play sixth-seeded Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria, who got past Sam Querrey of the U.S. 6-3, 7-6 (3).

Federer will play Richard Gasquet in the quarterfinals.

Juan Martin del Potro advanced by overcoming third-seeded Alexander Zverev 3-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4.

Del Potro required four match points – two on Zverev’s serve in the ninth game, two on his own serve in the 10th game – to win this first encounter against the German.

Del Potro, who lost his serve for the only time in the match in the second game, won nine of his 15 service games at love.

Zverev, in the hunt for a sixth ATP title of the season, lost his composure after netting a backhand to surrender his serve in the fifth game of the third set to the Argentine. He repeatedly smashed his racket until it was a mangled mess.

“For me, it’s impossible to lose a match when I’ve only been broken one time,” Zverev said. “The game where he broke me I was up 40-15 and I was just unfocused there.”

Del Potro knew Zverev’s reaction to losing serve was likely a good omen.

“I saw his frustration, for sure,” del Potro said. “He’s still very young and has to keep learning. He has everything to be in the top of the game.”

Del Potro will John Isner of the U.S. or Viktor Troicki of Serbia in the last eight on Friday.

Fourth-seeded Marin Cilic will face Albert Ramos-Vinolas of Spain.

Nadal, Muguruza win ITF player of the year awards

AP Photo
Leave a comment

LONDON — Rafael Nadal and Garbine Muguruza have won the International Tennis Federation’s player of the year awards.

At 31, Nadal becomes the oldest ITF men’s world champion after a season in which he won a 10th French Open and a third U.S. Open.

The Spaniard also became the oldest player to finish the year at No. 1 since the ATP rankings began in 1973.

Muguruza dropped only one set en route to her first Wimbledon title and finished the year at No. 2 behind Simona Halep.

“Becoming ITF world champion in such a competitive year is amazing for me,” said Muguruza, who is also Spanish. “(Nadal) is a great role model for all of us, so it is a great moment for tennis in Spain.”

Kuznetsova out of Australian Open after left wrist surgery

Getty Images
1 Comment

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) Two-time major winner Svetlana Kuznetsova has withdrawn from next month’s Australian Open after having surgery on her left wrist.

Tennis Australia on Friday said No. 12-ranked Kuznetsova and China’s Sasai Zheng, with a right knee injury, were the only players ranked in the top 100 who are confirmed as not playing the Jan. 15-28 tournament at Melbourne Park.

Serena Williams, who was pregnant while winning the 2017 Australian Open title and gave birth to her first child in September, “is anticipated to return,” Tennis Australia said.

Williams could equal Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 Grand Slam singles titles with another win at Melbourne Park. Serena Williams’ ranking has dropped to No. 22 during her break from the tour.