'Disappointed' Kyrgios targets Australian Open return after he has knee treatment

Nick Kyrgios is to undergo treatment for an ongoing knee problem which has been bothering him for the last two months.

In August, the Australian pulled out of his first round match against Andy Murray at the Winston-Salem Open due to knee pain before participating in the US Open, where he was knocked out in the first round by Roberto Bautista Agut in straight sets.

Kyrgios played for Team World in their heavy 14-1 defeat to Team Europe at the Laver Cup last weekend. He hinted that he may retire from the sport soon and confirmed he would not play competitively for the remainder of the 2021 season.

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The 26-year-old says he has flown back to Australia to have treatment before looking to come back for the Australian Open in Melbourne next January.

“Hey guys, over the last couple months, I haven’t been near 100 per cent healthy,” Kyrgios wrote on an Instagram story.

I’ve been dealing with left knee patella tendinopathy, and continuing to play without fully treating it can lead to further pain and greater setbacks.

Watch the moment Boston Celtics superfan Kyrgios walks out at TD Garden

“I’ve chosen to fly back to Australia to reassess and am planning to get PRP (Platelet-rich plasma) treatment to settle down and rehab my knee.

“I’m disappointed it has kept me from playing my best tennis and hopefully with everything going smoothly I will be back to 100 per cent by the Australian Open.”

Kyrgios, who is currently ranked 96th in the world, has played just 15 times on the ATP Tour this year and has a win-loss record of 7-8.

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You will be able to watch the Australian Open 2022 live on Eurosport, eurosport.co.uk and via the Eurosport app. Download the Eurosport app for iOS and Android now.

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Federer: 'A new, incredible player' will break 20 Grand Slam titles record

Roger Federer believes a new player will surpass ‘The Big Three’ and break his joint record of 20 Grand Slam titles alongside Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.

With all three players, particularly Federer, approaching the latter stages of their decorated tennis careers, the question remains over who will go on to become the next dominant player in the men’s game.

Dominic Thiem has reached the final of every Grand Slam, apart from Wimbledon, while Daniil Medvedev most recently won the US Open with an impressive straight sets victory over Djokovic to deny him the calendar Grand Slam. Alexander Zverev, 24, won Olympic gold at Tokyo 2020 after stunning Djokovic in the semi-finals.

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Federer believes a ‘new, incredible’ player will come along and break the trio’s hugely impressive Slam record.

“I think yes,” he told GQ magazine.

“I feel like nowadays – and this is not to take anything away from Rafa, Novak or myself, for that matter – but, you know, I feel like it’s easier to dominate through the different surfaces nowadays.

“Back in the day, yes, we did have three grass-court events, but maybe the margins were slimmer. I feel like there were hard-court players, clay-court players and there weren’t so many players who could play on all surfaces.

“Sure, [Bjorn] Borg did it, but things were different. Players weren’t chasing one Slam after another like they are today and record after record. Nowadays such a strategy is much more part of your career.” Federer added.

So, yes, a new, incredible player will, I believe, break our run of 20 Grand Slams eventually – but not overnight!

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With Federer recovering from a third knee surgery and aiming to return for the 2022 Australian Open, he thinks Nadal and Djokovic “have a different mindset” to him at the moment.
Federer also believes tennis needs to do more to improve the relationship between the media and players to protect the mental health of players currently competing on the men’s and women’s tours.

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'I've made progress' – Clijsters falls to Hsieh in three sets in comeback match

Former world number one Kim Clijsters was beaten 6-3, 5-7, 6-3 against Hsieh Su-Wei in her comeback match at the Chicago Falls Tennis Classic on Monday.

The 38-year-old was playing for the first time since the 2020 US Open after accepting a wild card into the event, but fell to a defeat in the opening round.

Clijsters feels like her game is improving despite the three-sets defeat.

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“Obviously, it was exciting to go back out there after a long period of recovery,” Clijsters said in her post-match press conference.

“Super excited to be here and to start my match. The match, you know, some good things and bad things, inconsistency.

“Physically being able to get through these matches without big concerns, that was the main goal. I came close today, but I still have a good feeling.

I’ve made progress, and I think that’s the most important thing. What I’m looking at is that I’m improving overall, and that’s the positive thing.

Kate Middleton shows off tennis skills as she plays with US Open champ Emma Raducanu

Clijsters came back from retirement in February 2020 and played in two WTA Tour events before the global Covid-19 outbreak saw the tennis calendar get suspended.

The four-time Grand Slam champion returned for the US Open last year but lost to Russia’s Ekaterina Alexandrova before requiring knee surgery. Clijsters then contracted coronavirus in January this year.

Clijsters is making her third comeback in the sport. After winning the US Open in 2005, she retired in 2007 before returning in 2009. She won the US Open again in the same year as an unseeded wild card.

She went on to defend her title in 2010 and won the Australian Open in 2011 before retiring for a second time in 2012.

Clijsters says she is taking inspiration from former British number one Andy Murray as she looks to return to the top of the sport.

“Seeing Andy Murray and the way he speaks about his comeback and everything, it’s so motivating and it gives you a lot of energy too,” Clijsters said.

“To see him go through the things he’s gone through and be open about the challenges of it and the belief that he has, I feel like it’s something I can relate to.”

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Raducanu donates US Open final outfit to Tennis Hall of Fame

Emma Raducanu has donated the Nike outfit she wore on her victorious US Open run to the Tennis Hall of Fame.

Raducanu became the first British woman to win a Grand Slam since Virginia Wade 44 years ago after battling through qualifying to win the tournament.

The 18-year-old has been the subject of heavy media attention since her remarkable victory over fellow teenager Leylah Fernandez in the final.

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She attended the glitzy Met Gala alongside A-list celebrities, has become an ambassador for luxury jewellery brand Tiffany and even played tennis with Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton at a homecoming event.

The world number 22 has now given away her outfit worn in the final to the renowned Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island, USA.

Osaka, Raducanu, Williams, Biles hit the Met Gala red carpet

The Tennis Hall of Fame tweeted on Monday: “A legendary run: preserved.

“Thank you, @EmmaRaducanu, for donating your memorable #USOpen outfit to the ITHF collection!”

Last week, Raducanu dropped her coach Andrew Richardson, who helped her to win the US Open, and is currently searching for a new mentor.

Raducanu is still deciding whether to play the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, which gets underway on October 4, but she certainly has her sights set on the Australian Open in 2022 no matter what the quarantine situation is there.

“Whatever needs to be done to be able to play the Australian I’ll do,” she said.

“It’s not even in my mind, I just want to be at the Australian Open, and want to compete there so whatever it takes to do, I’ll go.”

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Barty withdraws from Indian Wells with remainder of season in doubt

World number one Ashleigh Barty may be in the process of ending her season prematurely after it was announced that she had withdrawn from Indian Wells.

The Wimbledon champion last played at the US Open, where she was knocked out in the third round, and has been away from home since March, along with her team, following the Australian Open.

It is perhaps not surprising that Barty may be drawing her season to a close after the outspoken comments from her coach, Craig Tyzzer, on his player having to undergo two weeks of home quarantine on her return to Australia from the WTA Finals in Guadalajara.

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Tyzzer slammed the “ridiculous” playing conditions for the WTA Finals after it was moved to Mexico. It was supposed to be played in Shenzhen, China, but had to be switched to Guadalajara due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Barty won the WTA Finals the last time they were held in 2019, but her coach said he was uncertain if she would defend her title.

“We only just found out it’s in Mexico at 1500 metres (above sea level) and they’re using pressure-less balls,” Tyzzer told the Australian Associated Press.

“Pressure-less balls absolutely fly. It’s a ball that, if you use it in normal conditions, it doesn’t bounce. It’s not the greatest advertisement for the best girls in the world to be playing something they’ve never done before.

In conditions they’ve never played, in a country they don’t play and at altitude, I just feel it’s ridiculous. As a spectacle, it’s just frightening.

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Tyzzer said Barty is “physically and mentally exhausted” and wouldn’t want to jeopardise her preparations for the 2022 Australian Open by playing in the WTA Finals, which start on November 8.

“She just needs a rest. So I told her to just get away and have a holiday,” he said.

“It certainly isn’t easy for us to get there and to play that event in Mexico and then to come back and have to do two (more) weeks (in quarantine) and then your summer is sort of ruined as well. It’s a decision we’ll have to sit and mull over quite a bit.”

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'Doubles next year?' – Nadal excites fans with Federer post on social media

Rafael Nadal has excited fans with a post on social media asking Roger Federer if he would like to play doubles with him next year.

The official Laver Cup account posted on Instagram announcing the O2 Arena in London as next year’s official host venue for the annual team event on Monday.

Nadal, who has played doubles alongside Federer in the past at various exhibitions, including the Laver Cup, was quick to respond with an intriguing question.

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Sharing the post to his personal Instagram story, the 35-year-old wrote: “@rogerfederer doubles next year?”

If nothing else, it is surely an encouraging indication of how the Spaniard feels about his injury struggles at the tail-end of the year – and perhaps how Federer may be shaping up for the new season having endured similar fitness frustrations.

Both legendary players were absent from the 2021 edition of the Laver Cup, but that did not stop Team Europe claiming a fourth victory in succession with ease in Boston.

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Bjorn Borg has been used to having Federer and Nadal among his ranks for the event – named in a tribute to another tennis legend, Rod Laver – and the Swede will be hopeful of having both back with him in London next year.

Federer was present as a watching supporter from the stands in Boston and, as his face flashed up on the screen, a huge roar went up around the arena.

On his own battle back to fitness in an interview with Mercedes-Benz prior to the event, Federer said: “I’m feeling actually really good, considering you know, that things are not as I hoped they would be, but I’m recovering well and the rehab is going really good I must say.

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“I’ve had no setbacks. You know, every day is a better day. I’m feeling strong and excited for what’s to come.

“I experienced it, of course, already a little bit last year. And I was actually surprised how somewhat easy it was for me to go through the rehab process, because I know it’s not everybody’s favourite thing to do, especially as a top athlete. But I think maybe after all these years of travelling, it’s also it was nice to be home having more time for the family and other things.

“Of course, I wish I could be back on a tennis court as quick as possible, but I have to be patient. And look, it’s a slow period right now. And I got to take it step by step. And so far so good. So I’m very happy.”

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'We need a revolution' – Federer supports Osaka; says players need help with press

Roger Federer has called for a “revolution” in how tennis and the media work together in order to relieve stress on players on the tour.

Naomi Osaka withdrew from the French Open earlier this year after saying she would not do press conferences to protect her mental health.

She was fined by the Grand Slam organisers for not doing post-match media after her opening round win and withdrew from the tournament the next day.

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Britain’s US Open winner Emma Raducanu, 18, was the subject of criticism from some sections of the press after withdrawing from her fourth round match in her maiden Wimbledon appearance with breathing difficulties.

Federer believes tennis needs to do more to help the game’s young stars, such as Osaka and Raducanu, deal with negativity from all forms of media.

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He told GQ Magazine: “I was following Emma Raducanu’s incredible run in Wimbledon and also Naomi Osaka these last few years – it’s been amazing, both of their stories.

“But it hurts when you see what happens and when they don’t feel well. The stress is so great.

“I think a lot has to be down to social media: the first 10 years of my life there was no social media, maybe I had just a website, then the next 10 years social media was everywhere.

“Also, in regards to this, the press situation does need to be reconsidered.

“I think I’m one of the athletes who’s done the most press – ever! And I agree that it’s always the same. Always.

“I think players, the tournaments, journalists, we need to sit down together in a room and go ‘OK, what would work for you and what works for us’.

We need a revolution.

“Or at least an evolution of where we are today. I think we do need to help, coach and mentor the younger generation more.

Kate Middleton shows off tennis skills as she plays with US Open champ Emma Raducanu

“I can’t imagine going through the beginning of my career with social media; I have no clue how I would have handled it. For every 10 nice comments there’s always one negative comment and, of course, that is the one you focus on.

“It’s a horrible situation. Even when I am feeling down I know I need to act a certain way in front of the world’s press.

“We need to remember that tennis players are athletes and professionals, but we are also human too.”

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Federer: Djokovic, Nadal have a different mindset to me right now

Roger Federer says Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic “have a different mindset” to him at the moment as he continues his comeback from three knee surgeries.

Nadal and Djokovic are tied with the Swiss on 20 Grand Slams each and Federer’s rivals have competed more regularly on the tour and in Grand Slams since 2020.

The 40-year-old Swiss had two knee operations last year then further surgery after a quarter-final exit at Wimbledon. He said in August that he is targeting a return to the court in 2022.

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But Federer admits that his two rivals are in the mindset of challenging for titles while he just wants to get back to playing again.

“I think his [Djokovic’s] year again has been phenomenal,” Federer told GQ magazine.

“It’s going to be very interesting to see, for all three of us, how our careers continue. I mean, it’s amazing, to be honest, that all three of us are at 20 Grand Slams. Wow.

“When I was coming up the record was 12 and “Pistol” [Pete Sampras] got to it, you know, and went up to 14.

“Then I passed him in 2009, making it 15. That was clearly a huge moment for me, tying with him in Paris and then breaking it when at Wimbledon.

But I think the others are in a different mindset to me at the moment. I think all of us would obviously like to win more and do more, because that’s what you need to be like at this level.

“Like you said, losing in the quarters of Wimbledon normally is not good enough, but, for me, you know, the road has been hard and long and so my perspective is a little bit different.”

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Federer’s third knee operation led to his withdrawal from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. He admits after a long injury layoff that he is unsure how long he will be able to continue playing for.

He added: “The Olympic decision was purely based on the knee and I knew I shouldn’t play.

“Of course, I would put everything on the line for the Olympics and big, big occasions, but no, I was not 100 per cent. And maybe that’s also partially an explanation for the face I pulled [at Wimbledon], the disappointment and anger and everything at the very end of the game.

“But it’s part of an athlete’s career, you know, to deal with setbacks. And that’s one thing that I need to figure out: how I can move on from here.”

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Raducanu's coaching change: Ruthless or rash? And who's next?

Two weeks after her historic US Open victory, Emma Raducanu is looking to the future. The 18-year-old has decided to split with the coach who guided her to the shock success in New York and look for someone with more “WTA Tour experience at that high level.”

“As I’m so new to it, I think I really need someone just to guide me who has already been through that themselves,” she said about the decision to part ways with Andrew Richardson, who was hired for the summer tournaments in the United States.

On the face of it, making such a change after such a successful summer seems a ruthless decision. Yet it is not an entirely surprising one.

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Richardson himself said soon after the US Open that there would be discussions when they returned to London. Given his limited experience he must have suspected that after such a huge win Raducanu would look elsewhere, especially as she disposed of former coach Nigel Sears in similar fashion after her impressive run at Wimbledon earlier in the summer.

Richardson, 47, is a former professional tennis player whose most notable achievement was reaching the third round of Wimbledon in 1997. He is a close friend of Tim Henman, who chose Richardson to be best man at his wedding, and has coached several other British players, including Ross Hutchins and Alan Mackin. But over the last month he has been in the spotlight like never before, not just because at 6ft 7in he isn’t exactly inconspicuous in the coaching box.

And while there’s a mantra in some sports to never change a winning team, Richardson seemed very aware after the US Open that there could be a shake-up.

Her life has changed again now, and moving forward, people that she has around her are going to be really important. She’s got great parents and she’s going to have to be looked after and have a strong team around her and protect her.

Raducanu admits the decision was difficult. “Obviously having such an experience with your team, it’s tough to have that conversation with anyone, but I think for me it’s just really what I need.” But Serena Williams’ coach Patrick Mouratoglou seemed to suggest he thought it was the right call. “Young Emma Raducanu…really impressed me. But now the ‘crap’ starts,” he told AFP on Friday.

One argument for keeping Richardson is that as Raducanu’s life is changing so fast at the moment, her coach could have remained a constant. Richardson first worked with Raducanu when she was 11 years old and it has been reported that he was hired for the seven-week trip to the USA because they know each other well and he would be a comfortable presence. Is that not something that could be beneficial as Raducanu possibly heads to her first WTA 1000 event in Indian Wells next month and maybe even the WTA Finals later in the year? Instead she will either be without a coach for the rest of the season or have to quickly go through the process of hiring a new one, while trying to accomplish the very difficult task of backing up her US Open success.

It is thought that Raducanu’s father, Ian, has played a large role in previous coaching decisions. “I found him good to deal with,” former British No 1 Mark Petchey told the Telegraph. “His outlook on tennis is wide ranging and he is happy to think outside the box. As a coach, he challenges you. His view is the coach does not necessarily know everything. I thought he had a good handle on what the particular needs of his daughter were.”

Having made a massive jump from 150 in the WTA rankings to No 23 over the last month, Raducanu is going to need help navigating the new world she is now in. That is why a move does make sense. Off the court she appears well set as a client of IMG, who have previously worked with stars such as Maria Sharapova, Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams, but on the court she doesn’t have top-level experience around her.

Andrew Richardson at the US Open

Image credit: Getty Images

The obvious candidate for the role would be Darren Cahill, who has just split with Simona Halep after six years of working together. Halep reached world No 1 and won the French Open and Wimbledon during her time with the Australian, who definitely fits the bill in terms of “high level” experience. Cahill has also worked with Ana Ivanovic and Daniela Hantuchova, as well as Andre Agassi, Lleyton Hewitt and Andy Murray. Whether he would be able to provide year-round support for Raducanu is unclear, given he has other involvements, including working as an analyst for ESPN.

There’s also Mouratoglou, who may have more time on his hands as Williams’ career seemingly nears its conclusion. He had a six-month spell with Laura Robson in 2011 and also works with Stefanos Tsitsipas and Coco Gauff, as well as helping to run the Mouratoglou Tennis Academy in France. Johanna Konta’s coach Esteban Carril may also be an option. He helped Konta rise from outside the top 100 in the world to the top 10 and previously worked with the Lawn Tennis Association. He has also played a small part in helping to develop Raducanu’s game, according to Petchey, who said recently that he consulted with him for “work on the forehand grip and also the serve”.

Part of the intrigue with Raducanu’s next move is that there is no blueprint to follow, given how quickly her success has come. There have been plenty of first-time Grand Slam winners over the past few years; most have stuck with their coaches – Iga Swiatek’s coach Piotr Sierzputowski was named 2020 WTA Coach of the Year after she won the French Open – while some, such as Bianca Andreescu and Sofia Kenin, have made a change after struggling to hit the same heights. It will be interesting to see what qualities Raducanu deems of most importance when she does hire her next coach. She described Richardson as a “calming character” who was good at “relaxing and reassuring” her. Is that what she wants in her next coach? Or does she want someone who perhaps will push her more?

Simona Halep of Romania poses with her coach Darren Cahill after winning the Chris Evert WTA World No.1 trophy

Image credit: Getty Images

For now Raducanu is balancing finding a new coach with planning her scheduling for the rest of the year. She is currently only entered in qualifying for Indian Wells because the event closed its entry list well before the US Open, but it is expected she would be able to get a wild card. The ranking points available at the tournament could give her a chance to challenge for a place at the end-of-season WTA Finals in Mexico, especially with uncertainty over whether Ashleigh Barty and Osaka will play. “I will decide in the next few days where I’m going to go next. I haven’t had that much time to switch off and rest,” she said last week.

“Wherever I play next, I’m going to make sure I’m ready. I don’t want to jump into things too early.”

Could the same be said of her coaching switch? Or is Raducanu making the right move at the right time?

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'Finally I've done it' – GB's Broady eighth time lucky, wins maiden Challenger title

Liam Broady claimed his maiden ATP challenger title on Sunday in his eighth final appearance in the last seven years.

The world number 126 completed a fine week at the inaugural FlowBank Challenger tournament in Biel/Bienne, Switzerland, with a straight sets 7-5, 6-3 victory over Marc-Andrea Huesler.

The win makes the 27-year-old the first British champion of a Challenger tournament since 2019 and the second-oldest first-time winner on the ATP Challenger Tour.

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“I’ve stuck with it and finally I’ve done it. It’s been my personal vendetta for so long now,” he said afterwards.

Broady, who reached the Wimbledon second round earlier this year, later wrote on Twitter: “Today was a good day. First Challenger title after seven years and eight finals.

Thank you to everybody in my team and to my family and friends for helping me break the duck.

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