Kyrgios smashes racquets & calls umpire ‘a tool’ in Cincinnati loss

Kyrgios has been involved in several altercations with officials during his career

Nick Kyrgios left court to smash two racquets in a bad-tempered Cincinnati Masters defeat by Karen Khachanov after which he called the umpire “a tool”.

The Australian, 24, walked off court after losing the second set against the wishes of Irish umpire Fergus Murphy.

He slammed two racquets on the floor in a corridor and in the third set engaged in repeated disputes with Murphy.

Russia’s Khachanov, 23, dominated the deciding set to win 6-7 (3-7) 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 and reach round three.

Khachanov, who plays Lucas Pouille in the last 16, said Kyrgios has “great talent” but “sometimes the head is not in the right place”.

Kyrgios clashed with Murphy at the Washington Open two weeks ago and also swore at the official at Queen’s in June.

During the second set in Cincinnati, Kyrgios made clear he felt the shot clock – which counts down the seconds allowed between points – was being started too early, and visibly lost composure.

He delivered an expletive-laden rant at Murphy, stating the umpire was “the worst, hands down”.

He was handed a court violation at the end of the second set, when he walked off court for less than a minute to smash two of his racquets.

When Khachanov closed out the decider, Kyrgios told Murphy he was “a tool” and chose not to shake the official’s hand.

Kyrgios, who won his sixth career ATP singles crown two weeks ago in Washington, also complained last week in Toronto in an apparent dispute over why he could not have a white towel during a match.

The world number 27 was fined in May after he kicked a bottle, threw down his racquet and hurled a chair before defaulting in the final set of a match at the Italian Open.

He was fined £13,766 for unsportsmanlike behaviour at Queen’s in June.

In 2016 he received an eight-week ban for his behaviour at the Shanghai Masters when his efforts were questioned during defeat by Mischa Zverev.

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Murray brothers could meet in men’s doubles quarter-finals in Cincinnati

Brothers Andy and Jamie Murray

Jamie Murray could face brother Andy in the men’s doubles quarter-finals at the Cincinnati Masters after he and Neal Skupski defeated French pair Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert.

British duo Murray and Skupski beat the fifth-seeded Australian Open champions 6-3 6-3 in the second-round match.

Andy and Feliciano Lopez must defeat Americans Ryan Harrison and Jack Sock on Thursday to reach the last eight.

The Murray brothers played together at the Washington Open earlier in August.

Three-time Grand Slam winner Andy, 32, and Spanish partner Lopez were crowned champions at Queen’s Club in June and beat fourth seeds Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau in the first round.

The two-time Wimbledon champion made his singles comeback from hip surgery in Cincinnati on Monday, losing to Richard Gasquet.

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Andy Murray and Feliciano Lopez through to last 16 of doubles in Cincinnati

Andy Murray

Britain’s Andy Murray and Spain’s Feliciano Lopez are through to the last 16 of the men’s doubles at the Cincinnati Masters.

They beat Dutchman Jean-Julien Rojer and Romania’s Horia Tecau 3-6 6-3 10-3.

On Monday, Murray played his first singles match since career-saving hip surgery in January – a 6-4 6-4 loss to France’s Richard Gasquet.

The Scot, 32, says he will not play singles at the US Open this month, but will play doubles and mixed doubles.

The former world number one returned to competitive action in the Queen’s doubles in June – going on to win the tournament alongside Lopez – and has played in four subsequent doubles events.

He and Lopez face American pair Ryan Harrison and Jack Sock in the next round on Wednesday.

British number one Kyle Edmund begins his Cincinnati campaign against Russia’s Daniil Medvedev later on Tuesday.

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‘I’m not going backwards from here’ – Murray focused on being a singles force again

Andy Murray

Andy Murray does not tend to sugar coat his answers.

He accepts there are reasons to be cheerful after his 6-4 6-4 defeat by Richard Gasquet in Cincinnati, but admits he is “quite far away from where I would like to be”.

That is to be expected after just two weeks of dedicated practice before his first singles match for seven months.

Murray will only play doubles in New York, when the US Open gets under way in a fortnight. But you can now consider him a singles player above all else once again.

A singles player who expects to be back in his peak physical condition in January: 12 months after the second operation on his right hip.

“I think nine to 12 months after the operation is when I would expect to be getting close to the best that I can be physically – and speed wise I should be fully recovered by 12 months,” Murray told BBC Sport.

The 32-year-old regularly measures his speed around the court. Those numbers are improving, he says, but they only tell you so much.

“They have improved, but they are quite linear speeds, and repeatable tests, whereas on a match court you are changing direction and having to react to balls and anticipate.

“The way to get that back is by playing matches. You can hit as many speed targets as you like, but once you get out on court it’s very different. I don’t feel I was very slow out on the court today, but I was not as quick as I would have liked.”

Murray will decide over the next few days whether to play singles in Winston-Salem, in North Carolina next week. He will then have plenty of opportunity to practise his singles during the US Open before he heads in September to China, where he tends to play well.

Appearances in Zhuhai and Beijing are already in the diary, with the possibility of adding Shanghai to his schedule the week after. There are then three further weeks of tournaments in Europe before the regular season comes to an end.

“I’m certainly not going to go backwards from here,” Murray says.

“Every time I’ve practised singles so far, it’s all just been practice sets because I was trying to get back on the match court.

“But once you actually get out there and start playing you realise, ‘Wow,’ my return needs to get better; I need to improve my serve. I need to get myself on the practice court and work on those things specifically.”

It will take Murray some time. It is not just that he has missed seven months this year.

He was only able to play six events in the preceding 18 months (on a hip that was still not fit for purpose), and even the very best need a considerable period to regain that match sharpness after such an age away from the tour.

Even if they are not playing with a resurfaced metal hip.

“It will be exciting and interesting to see how I get on,” Murray concluded.

“It’s not something that’s been tried or done before in tennis. Hopefully if it goes well it will be an option for more athletes down the line.”

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Andy Murray beaten by Richard Gasquet on return to singles competition

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Andy Murray was beaten by Richard Gasquet in his first singles match since hip resurfacing surgery in round one of the Cincinnati Masters.

The British former world number one lost 6-4 6-4 to France’s Gasquet.

Murray 32, lost in the first round of the Australian Open in January and broke down in tears amid fears a hip injury may end his career.

After recovering from surgery, three-time Grand Slam champion Murray has played in five doubles events.

More to follow.

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Andy Murray to play Richard Gasquet at Cincinnati Masters on Monday

Andy Murray

Andy Murray will return to singles competition for the first time since January when he faces Richard Gasquet at the Cincinnati Masters on Monday.

The Briton, 32, lost in the first round of the Australian Open in January and broke down in tears amid fears a hip injury may end his career.

He underwent hip resurfacing surgery and has since played in doubles events.

Murray – now ranked 325 in the world – is expected on court around 19:00 BST against world-number-66 Gasquet.

Murray gained a wildcard entry and speaking on the eve of the tournament the three-time Grand Slam winner said he has had “good” results against top players on the practice court.

“But at some stage you have to take the step to try and play,” he added. “The quickest way to get up to speed is by being on the practice and match court with top players.

“I’m not expecting to move as well I used to, but I think I can move better than I am now,” he said. “That will take some time since I only started playing singles a couple of weeks ago.

“When you’re playing at the highest level against the best players, they hit the ball big and that takes some time to get used to.”

Novak Djokovic – who won the Cincinnati Open in 2018 – is part of the field for the tournament, as is world number three Roger Federer,

Meanwhile, Murray has added tournaments in China in September and October to his schedule but has not committed to playing singles at the US Open.

The final major of 2019 starts on 26 August in New York.

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Rogers Cup: Rafael Nadal crushes Daniil Medvedev to win fifth title in Canada

Rafael Nadal celebrates winning

Rafael Nadal retained his Rogers Cup title with a dominant victory over Russia’s Daniil Medvedev.

Spaniard Nadal, an 18-time Grand Slam champion, wrapped up a 6-3 6-0 win in one hour 10 minutes in Montreal for his fifth Canadian crown.

Victory secured his 35th Masters 1,000 tournament win and it marked the first time he has defended a non-clay title.

“I think I played a solid match. It was my best match of the week without a doubt,” said 33-year-old Nadal.

“It’s so important to be back on hard courts and to win a big title. It’s just about enjoying this one.”

Eighth seed Medvedev spurned a break point in the opening game of the match and was made to pay for his missed opportunity when he lost his serve as Nadal went 3-1 up.

The remainder of the first set stayed on serve, with world number two Nadal once again surviving a break point.

But Medvedev, who beat two top 10 players on his way to the final, lost his way in a second set in which he made four double faults, sending a backhand long on Nadal’s first match point.

In total, world number nine Medvedev committed 22 unforced errors throughout the match.

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Rogers Cup: Bianca Andreescu wins title as Serena Williams retires injured

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Serena Williams retired with a back injury in the final of the the Rogers Cup in Toronto, handing the title to Canadian teenager Bianca Andreescu.

Williams, 37, was left in tears after suffering back spasms as 19-year-old Andreescu comforted her courtside.

The American was a break down in the first set when she withdrew.

Andreescu, who won at Indian Wells earlier this year, becomes the first Canadian to win the Rogers Cup women’s singles title since 1969.

More to follow.

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Murray adds Zhuhai and Beijing events to singles plans

Andy Murray

Former world number one Andy Murray is to step up his return to singles by playing events in Zhuhai and Beijing.

The Briton will make his singles return at this week’s Cincinnati Masters – seven months after fearing he might have to retire.

He has added the tournaments in China in September and October to his schedule but has not committed to playing singles at the US Open.

The final major of 2019 starts on 26 August in New York.

The tournament in Zhuhai starts on 23 September, with the Beijing event the following week.

“As I look to play more singles events later in the year, I’m happy to announce I’ll be playing at the inaugural Zhuhai Championships,” Murray said.

The Scot broke down in tears at a news conference at the Australian Open in January as he discussed a hip injury that looked likely to end his career.

The three-time Grand Slam winner had a resurfacing operation later that month and returned to doubles action in June.

He has since said he is pain free and feels the time is right to return to singles.

Murray’s last singles match was a five-set loss to Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut in Melbourne.

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Williams to face Andreescu in Toronto final

Serena Williams at the Rogers Cup

Serena Williams beat qualifier Marie Bouzkova to set up a Rogers Cup final in Toronto against Canadian teenager Bianca Andreescu.

Bouzkova started strongly before being overpowered 1-6 6-3 6-3 by 23-time Grand Slam champion Williams.

Andreescu beat American Sofia Kenin 6-4 7-6 (7-5) in the other semi-final and is the first Canadian woman to reach the final of the tournament since 1969.

“I just felt like crying after because I’m just so happy,” she said.

Czech Bouzkova, 21, had said before the match she would be playing her idol but she showed no signs of being intimidated, in what was her first WTA semi-final appearance, and took the first set 6-1.

Williams admitted she had to “make some adjustments, mostly mentally,” after that first set.

She will now be seeking to win her first title since returning to competition in 2018 after the birth of her daughter when she faces Andreescu on Sunday.

The 19-year-old, competing for the first time since withdrawing from the French Open with a shoulder injury, won her maiden WTA title at Indian Wells in March.

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