The X Blog - Dysfunctional Tennis Blogging at its Finest

Verdict In Maria Sharapova’s Appeal Of Her 2-Year Ban To Be Announced 9am ET Tuesday

Posted by Tom Gainey on October 3rd, 2016 @ 4:22 pm

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has announced that their decision in Maria Sharapova’s appeal of her 2-year ban will be announced 9am ET on Tuesday.

Sharapova hasn’t played a match since losing to Serena Williams in the Australian Open quarterfinals. In March, Sharapova announced she had failed a drug test at the Australian Open and admitted to using the banned substance meldoniunm.

In June, Sharapova was given a …

Andy Murray: The No. 1 Ranking Is A Goal, It’s A Motivation For Me And Something I’d Like To Do

Posted by Tom Gainey on October 3rd, 2016 @ 4:07 pm

Ahead of his first match in Beijing tonight, top seeded Andy Murray met the press in China and opened up about the possibility of taking the No. 1 ranking away from Novak Djokovic.

“I think obviously trying to reach No. 1 is a goal obviously,” Murray said Monday. “I think most of the players that are near the top of the game would like that. I’ve never been there. It’s something …

Rafael Nadal Says It’s A Mistake To Speed Tennis Up Too Much

Posted by Tom Gainey on October 3rd, 2016 @ 3:31 pm

WTA CEO Steve Simon told the press over the weekend in Wuhan that he thinks shortening matches might help the sport of tennis.

Specifically, Simon suggested playing no-ad scoring with shorter sets (sets to 4 instead of 6) and using a match tie-break after the second set, all of which would benefit the sport. And these currently are the parameters in tour doubles.

“The attention spans of the audience today is …

Venus Falls, Kerber Wins In Beijing; Kvitova, Halep Tuesday

Posted by Staff on October 3rd, 2016 @ 2:57 pm

World No. 1 Angelique Kerber cruised in her opener at the lucrative WTA Beijing event, beating qualifier Katerina Siniakova 6-4, 6-4.

Kerber has now won 9 of her last 10 matches, she’ll now meet Barbora Strycova.

“I think it comes from a lot of experience, to being really focused and trying to be more positive on court than negative. It was something I was trying to change for a long time,” …

Cilic, Nishikori Win Tokyo Openers; Murray, Nadal In Action Tuesday In Beijing

Posted by Staff on October 3rd, 2016 @ 2:26 pm

Former US Open finalists Marin Cilic and Kei Nishikori won their opening round matches Monday in Tokyo.

Home favorite and 2-time champion Nishikori dropped the first set before cruising past lucky loser Donald Young 4-6, 6-2, 6-2.

“I wasn’t hitting enough topspin, and he was playing well. He was in the mood to attack and to come in, and he made all his shots,” Nishikori said. “It’s been a while since I …

Berdych Bounces Back from Surgery, Beats Gasquet in ATP Shenzhen Final

Posted by Staff on October 2nd, 2016 @ 5:35 pm

It’s better late than never for perennial Top 10er Tomas Berdych as the Czech captured his first title of the year on Sunday, defeating Richard Gasquet 7-6(5), 6-7(2), 6-3 for the Shenzhen Open title in China.

It improved Berdych’s chances of qualifying for a seven consecutive ATP year-end championships. He sits at ninth in the 2016-only point standings.

“Five weeks ago I was in hospital, now I’m sitting here with the trophy,” …

Ranked Outside Top 100, Khachanov Breaks Through for ATP Chengdu Title

Posted by Staff on October 2nd, 2016 @ 4:56 pm

Unheralded 20-year-old Russian Karen Khachanov, ranked outside the Top 100 entering China this week, on Sunday beat Spain’s Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-7(4), 7-6(3), 6-3 in the final of the Chengdu Open to win a first career ATP title.

Coached by former Spanish player Galo Blanco, Khachanov delivered 14 aces over the three sets of the final. It was his fourth win over a seed during the week after upsetting No. 7 Joao …

Karen Khachanov Into First Career ATP Final, Will Face Albert Ramos-Vinolas In Chengdu

Posted by Staff on October 1st, 2016 @ 6:38 pm

In Chengdu, 20-year-old Karen Khachanov continued his best week reaching his first career ATP final after downing Viktor Troicki 6-3, 7-5.

“It feels great for me to be in the final,” Khachanov said. “Dreams are coming true, to be playing in my first ATP World Tour final tomorrow. Of course it gives me confidence. In the first round I also beat the seventh seed and yesterday I beat the fourth seed. …

Defending Champ Tomas Berdych To Meet Richard Gasquet In Shenzhen Final

Posted by Staff on October 1st, 2016 @ 6:36 pm

Tomas Berdych will try to successfully defend his Shenzhen title Sunday against former Top 10 Richard Gasquet. On semifinal Saturday, Berdych eased past Thomaz Bellucci 6-2, 7-5 to reach his 30th career final and first of the season. This result comes just over a month after the Czech withdrew from the US Open due to appendicitis.

“It’s always a pleasure to play in front of a full stadium here,” said …

Kristyna Pliskova, Sister of US Open Finalist Karolina, Wins 1st WTA Title in Tashkent

Posted by Staff on October 1st, 2016 @ 3:27 pm

Kristyna Pliskova has always been the lower-ranked sister of Karolina Pliskova in their WTA journeys, but Karolina’s run to the US Open final appears to have inspired her twin.

Kristyna won her first WTA title on Saturday, defeating Nao Hibino 6-3, 2-6, 6-3 in the final of the Tashkent Open.

“I’m very happy to win my first ever WTA title,” Pliskova said. “My game was not as expected, however it’s not easy …

Kvitova Krushes Cibulkova in WTA Wuhan Final for 1st Title in 13 Months

Posted by Staff on October 1st, 2016 @ 3:03 pm

Petra Kvitova dialed it back to her former Slam-winning Top 10 days in China, rolling over Dominika Cibulkova 6-1, 6-1 to win her first title in over a year at the Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open.

“Wuhan, it’s really one of my favorite cities,” said Kvitova after winning her second title in three years in the city. “It was a great crowd all well, there were some incredible matches for me and …

Nishikori, 3 of Top 10, Cilic, Kyrgios at ATP Tokyo; Preview

Posted by Staff on October 1st, 2016 @ 2:46 pm

Tokyo, Japan; Surface: hard

Seeds: Kei Nishikori, Gael Monfils, Tomas Berdych, Marin Cilic, David Goffin, Nick Kyrgios, Ivo Karlovic, Feliciano Lopez

Floaters: Nicolas Almagro, Benoit Paire, Taylor Fritz, Gilles Muller, Gilles Simon

Notes: The field features three of the Top 10, in addition to US Open winner Marin Cilic and the enigmatic Nick Kyrgios…Tough start for (1) Nishikori against Almagro, who beat him a few years ago in Tokyo…Additional potential tough …

Kerber, Murray Headline Elite China Open Fields

Posted by Staff on October 1st, 2016 @ 1:54 pm

The men’s No. 1 and women’s No. 2 have bowed out, but the China Open remains a blockbuster this week as a combined ATP/WTA event.

On the women’s side nine out of the Top 10 are in attendance, including defending champion Garbine Muguruza trying to find her form, joined by new Top 10er Karolina Pliskova who is looking to further affirm her breakout performance at the US Open.

On the men’s side …

Novak Djokovic: Winning Grand Slam Titles And The No. 1 Ranking Are No Longer My Priority

Posted by Tom Gainey on September 30th, 2016 @ 4:49 pm

Is Novak Djokovic burning out?

The 29-year-old World No. 1 met the press after a workout in Belgrade today, and he had some interesting things to say.

He told Reuters:
“I don’t want to think about winning titles and being the number one any more in order to avoid putting pressure on myself,” Djokovic said.

“I put too much pressure on myself after winning this year’s Roland Garros and I didn’t like it.

“I …

Berdych, Gasquet Advance To Shenzhen SFs; Khachanov Impresses In Chengdu, Thiem Doesn’t

Posted by Staff on September 30th, 2016 @ 4:30 pm

Defending champion and top seed Tomas Berdych moved into the Shenzhen semifinals Friday with a tough 7-6(1), 3-6, 6-2 victory over countryman Jiri Vesely.

“You don’t play at your best level in every match,” said Berdych. “I also played a very tough match this year against Jiri at Wimbledon, which went to five sets. But I’m happy with the way I played today. It’s good to be on court, to be …