Naomi Osaka beats Dominika Cibulkova in straight sets at Pan Pacific Open

Naomi Osaka

Japan’s Naomi Osaka has beaten Dominika Cibulkova 6-2 6-1 at the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo – her first match since winning the US Open.

The 20-year-old beat Serena Williams to win her first Grand Slam earlier this month – a victory overshadowed by Williams’ outbursts at the umpire.

The third seed raced to victory in 59 minutes against Slovakia’s Cibulkova.

She will play either Barbara Strycova of the Czech Republic or Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit in the quarter-finals.

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Umpire banned for Kyrgios pep-talk at US Open

Tennis umpire Mohamed Lahyani officiating during the US Open

Umpire Mohamed Lahyani has been suspended from his next two scheduled tournaments for encouraging Nick Kyrgios on court during the US Open.

Lahyani was heard telling Kyrgios “I want to help you” during a changeover as the Australian trailed Pierre-Hugues Herbert by a set and a break.

Kyrgios, 23, fought back to win the second-round tie in four sets.

The ATP has banned Lahyani, 52, from October’s China Open and Shanghai Masters after an internal review.

“Lahyani’s actions in the match were deemed to have compromised the impartiality that is required of an official,” the men’s governing body said in a statement.

The Swede will be free to return to work at the Stockholm Open on 15 October.

US Open organisers said Lahyani had gone “beyond protocol” but allowed him to continue officiating in the tournament.

However, Lahyani is one of seven full-time umpires on the Tour and so the incident was still subject to ATP disciplinary action.

ATP executive vice president of rules and competition Gayle David Bradshaw said Lahyani is a “world-class and highly-respected official”, but added “his actions during the match crossed a line that compromised his own impartiality as a chair umpire”.

“Although well-intended, his actions were regrettable and cannot go without disciplinary action on our own tour,” said Bradshaw.

“We know that he will learn from this experience and we look forward to welcoming him back in October.”

After the match, world number 27 Kyrgios said it was “ridiculous” to suggest Lahyani’s words had sparked his resurgence.

However, Frenchman Herbert said it was “the point something changed” and that the umpire’s actions were unnecessary.

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Pan Pacific Open: Johanna Konta beats Gabriela Dabrowski to reach round of 16

Johanna Konta

Britain’s Johanna Konta registered a straight-set win over Gabriela Dabrowski to reach the round of 16 at the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo.

Konta, ranked 43rd in the world, beat the Canadian qualifier 6-2 6-0.

The British number one did not face a break point in the match and won 10 games in a row as she closed out the victory in 65 minutes.

She will play either 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stephens or Croatia’s Donna Vekic next.

Dabrowski, a doubles specialist ranked 541st in singles, started well but was broken in the sixth game of the first set.

Konta hit 17 winners in the opening set and dropped just four points on serve in the second.

Earlier, Australian seventh seed Ashleigh Barty beat America’s Coco Vandeweghe, nine days after the two won the US Open women’s doubles title together.

Barty won 4-6 6-3 7-5 and will face either former world number one Victoria Azarenka or Kurumi Nara in the round of 16.

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Davis Cup: Great Britain ‘strong candidate’ for wildcard – captain Leon Smith

Leon Smith celebrates victory

Great Britain see themselves as a “very strong candidate” for a wildcard for next year’s revamped Davis Cup, captain Leon Smith says.

By beating Uzbekistan 3-1, GB ensured they will be seeded in qualifying for the new event but would bypass that stage altogether with a wildcard.

Smith said it was going to be hard for governing body the ITF to be objective in awarding its two wildcards.

“Is it [form in] the last three or four years of the competition?” he said.

To be eligible for a wildcard, which gives direct entry to the finals, a team must but be ranked in the top 50 of the Davis Cup nations ranking or have at least one player ranked in the top 10 of the ATP world rankings.

Great Britain, who won the Davis Cup in 2015, are ranked sixth and their highest-ranked singles player is Kyle Edmund, the world number 16.

Speaking to BBC Sport, Smith added: “Clearly, we would view ourselves as being a very strong candidate. Not just for the last three or four years of results, but also how we have approached Davis Cup and how we have really embraced hosting ties to the nth degree to create atmosphere.

“I think it’s a very difficult situation for the ITF to put themselves in. It’s not easy to be objective, or even transparent, with it. To really justify the reason of giving a wildcard is not going to be easy.”

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The draw for February’s qualifying round – which is played home and away – takes place in London on Wednesday, 26 September and the wildcards will be announced before that date.

“Part of us would want another home tie [in February], but do I want to go away somewhere in South America on clay straight after the Australian Open? Probably not,” Smith said.

“So we would view a wildcard as something that would probably help the schedules of everybody.”

The Davis Cup will change to an 18-team season finale in 2019, with 24 teams competing in the qualifiers.

The 12 winning teams will advance to the finals in November, where they will be joined by the four semi-finalists from this year’s tournament – France, Spain, Croatia and the United States – and the two wildcard picks.

The finals week will have a round-robin format before a knockout phase, with matches consisting of two singles and one doubles rubber, played as three-set matches.

Next year’s end-of-year event will be held in either Madrid or Lille.

Analysis

BBC tennis correspondent Russell Fuller

As one of the seeds for the qualifying round, Britain will not have to play Serbia, Argentina, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Japan or Italy – all of whom currently have players ranked higher than the British number one Kyle Edmund.

However, they could play Australia or Switzerland, or possibly face a trip to South America to take on Colombia or Brazil.

A home tie is always welcome. Not just because of the partisan support and choice of surface, but also because it gives the LTA a platform to sell the sport away from the traditional summer window.

But as Leon Smith has indicated, a wildcard would still be preferable, even if this seems a major flaw in the structure of the new competition.

The investment group Kosmos has promised to pour $3bn into the Davis Cup and grassroots tennis over the next 25 years. To recoup that vast outlay, they will have to strike some lucrative television deals. And so they will want to do everything in their power to ensure the star players and the countries with the largest TV markets are involved.

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Davis Cup: Great Britain beat Uzbekistan after Cameron Norrie wins in singles

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Cameron Norrie gave Great Britain a 3-1 victory in their Davis Cup tie against Uzbekistan by winning his singles match against Sanjar Fayziev.

The British number two, who lost his opening singles match on Friday despite having had a match point in the third set, triumphed 6-2 6-2 6-0.

Victory in the tie ensures GB are seeded in the revamped Davis Cup when it starts in February.

Fayziev was a late replacement for world number 60 Denis Istomin.

More to follow.

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Davis Cup: Great Britain 2-1 Uzbekistan as Jamie Murray & Dom Inglot win

Jamie Murray and Dom Inglot

Jamie Murray and Dom Inglot came from behind to win their Davis Cup doubles match and put Great Britain 2-1 up in their tie against Uzbekistan.

The pair recovered from losing the first set to beat Denis Istomin and Sanjar Fayziev 4-6 7-6 (10-8) 6-2 6-3.

It means Britain need victory in one of Sunday’s two singles rubbers to win the best-of-five-match tie in Glasgow.

Victory would ensure GB are seeded in the revamped Davis Cup when it starts in February.

Leon Smith’s team started the day level with their visitors after victory for Dan Evans and defeat for Cameron Norrie in Friday’s singles matches – both of which went to five sets.

Uzbekistan’s Istomin, who spent more than four hours on court in his defeat by Evans, showed no signs of fatigue as he and Fayziev pushed Britain’s doubles specialists hard.

But after losing the second set in a tie-break, their belief faltered and that allowed the home team to dominate the rest of the match, claiming victory when Fayziev netted a forehand.

More to follow.

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Briton Draper, 16, wins his first senior title

Jack Draper

Britain’s Jack Draper won his first Futures title in Nottingham – and ensured he will be the only 16-year-old in the top 1,000 of the men’s rankings.

Surrey-born Draper beat compatriot Andrew Watson 3-6 7-6 (7-3) 6-0 in the final of the Nottingham GB Pro Series.

Draper, whose father Roger is a former chief executive of the Lawn Tennis Association, chose to skip the US Open juniors to play in the event.

He reached the boys’ final at Wimbledon this year, losing to Tseng Chun-hsin.

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Davis Cup 2018: Great Britain 1-1 Uzbekistan after Dan Evans wins but Cameron Norrie loses

Dan Evans

Great Britain v Uzbekistan – Davis Cup play-off
Venue: Emirates Arena, Glasgow Dates: 14-16 September Coverage: Live video on the Red Button and online; live text commentaries on the BBC Sport website

Great Britain and Uzbekistan are level at 1-1 in their Davis Cup tie after a gutsy victory for Dan Evans and shock defeat for Cameron Norrie in Glasgow.

World number 70 Norrie squandered a match point in a 0-6 5-7 7-6 (8-6) 6-2 6-2 defeat by world number 434 Jurabek Karimov in the best-of-five tie.

Before that Evans had held his nerve in a rollercoaster 7-6 (7-4) 4-6 0-6 6-4 7-5 victory over Denis Istomin.

Evans was playing his first GB match since serving a 12-month drug ban.

The tie continues on Saturday with a doubles match before Sunday’s reverse singles.

“It’s been tough but everybody who supported me, who has been right behind me from the time I started back, I can only thank them,” an emotional Evans said, after a match against world number 60 Istomin that lasted four hours and 14 minutes.

“Days like today don’t come around very often. Who knows, I may not get in the team next time, so I have to remember this and enjoy it.”

With a revamped Davis Cup being introduced next year, this tie is no longer about relegation from the elite World Group. Instead, if Great Britain win they will be seeded in the new competition in February.

Missed opportunities

Britain, playing without three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray and the country’s number one Kyle Edmund, got off to a perfect start through Evans against the highest-ranked player in the tie.

But the Englishman, who had been a set and a break up before Istomin fought back, made it harder work for himself by missing 18 of 23 break points.

He produced the breakthrough in the first set when he sent a forehand down the line to get the mini-break for 5-3 in the tie-break and wrapped up the set with a backhand volley at the net.

Evans went 2-0 up in the second set but was pegged back in the following game, and then failed to convert seven out of eight break points as Istomin took the set when the Briton went long.

With the first two sets having taken just over two hours, the Uzbek number one then raced through the third set in 21 minutes, before Evans stopped the rot by winning the opening game of the fourth set after losing nine games in a row.

The momentum continued to swing in the fifth, with each player breaking twice before Evans won the match with a forehand on his sixth match point on Istomin’s serve.

Evans, who failed a drug test after remnants of cocaine contaminated legal medication in his washbag, returned to tennis in April this year and has climbed back to 222nd in the world after winning a Challenger event in Vancouver last month.

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Davis Cup: Carlos Ramos umpires first match since Serena Williams row

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Carlos Ramos returned to the umpire’s chair for the first time since being called a “thief” by Serena Williams, overseeing a Davis Cup match on Friday.

He was in charge as Marin Cilic became Croatia’s most successful Davis Cup player, giving his country a 2-0 lead over the USA in the World Group semis.

Happily for Portugal’s Ramos, there were no controversies as Cilic beat Frances Tiafoe 6-1 6-3 7-6 (7-5).

Borna Coric won the opening singles 6-4 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 against Steven Johnson.

It means Croatia are firmly in charge of the best-of-five-match tie in Zadar going into Saturday’s doubles and Sunday’s reverse singles matches.

World number six Cilic’s victory over world number 40 Tiafoe took him past the 36 Davis Cup rubbers won by Ivan Ljubicic.

Former US Open champion Cilic broke twice in the first set and three times in the second before the young American, making his Davis Cup debut, pushed him harder in the third.

All eyes had been on Ramos, who docked Williams a game for verbal abuse – having already given her a point penalty for smashing her racquet and a code violation for coaching – in her US Open final defeat by Naomi Osaka on Saturday.

The series of incidents had led to some of the most remarkable scenes in a Grand Slam final as Williams accused Ramos of being a “liar” and a “thief”.

Elsewhere, France‘s Benoit Paire beat Spain‘s Pablo Carreno-Busta 7-5 6-1 6-0 to help his country to a 2-0 lead.

Paire, who was also making his Davis Cup debut, outplayed the injured Spaniard.

“In my head, sometimes I could become crazy and the team couldn’t be confident to call me into the team,” Paire had said before his match. “But now I feel good, I feel fresh and confident.”

Compatriot Lucas Pouille prevailed in a five-set battle with Roberto Bautista Agut after losing the first set in Lille.

The world number 19 eventually won 3-6 7-5 (7-5) 6-4 2-6 6-4.

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Evans puts GB ahead in Davis Cup five-setter

Dan Evans

Great Britain v Uzbekistan – Davis Cup play-off
Venue: Emirates Arena, Glasgow Dates: 14-16 September Coverage: Live video on the Red Button and online; live text commentaries on the BBC Sport website

Dan Evans put Great Britain ahead in their Davis Cup tie against Uzbekistan with victory over Denis Istomin in a gripping opening singles rubber.

Playing for Great Britain for the first time since returning from a 12-month drug ban, Evans beat world number 60 Istomin 7-6 (7-4) 4-6 0-6 6-4 7-5.

Cameron Norrie takes on Jurabek Karimov in Friday’s second singles rubber.

A doubles match follows on Saturday before Sunday’s reverse singles in the best-of-five-match tie in Glasgow.

With a revamped Davis Cup being introduced next year, this tie is no longer about relegation from the elite World Group. Instead, whoever wins will be seeded in the new competition in February.

More to follow.

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