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Medvedev, Tsitsipas Advance in Cincinnati Masters Semifinal; Nadal to Miss Davis Cup Group Stage

World number one Daniil Medvedev and seventh seed Stefanos Tsitsipas led the men’s singles semifinalists. It happened in the Cincinnati Masters after defeating hometown bets on Friday. Medvedev crushed Taylor Fritz in their quarterfinal duel, 7-6(7-1) 6-3. This is while Tsitsipas beat veteran John Isner in three sets, 7-6(7-5) 5-7 6-3. The Russian fired 18 aces and 30 winners to demolish the 11th-ranked Fritz in one hour and 40 minutes.

The Greek tennis star bucked 18 aces unleashed by Isner by winning 29 receiving points. Tsitsipas was also accurate on second serve wins with a 71% proficiency and had seven aces. It will be the 10th time the two tennis superstars meet as Medvedev holds a 7-2 lead head-to-head. The Russian tennis star’s win strengthened his grip. This happened especially on the world number one ranking at the last major tune-up before the United States Open.

In the bottom half of the men’s draw, Borna Coric sets up a semifinal confrontation with Cameron Norrie. This was after both netters defeated their higher-ranked opponents. The Croatian Coric outplayed seventh seed Felix Auger-Aliassime, 6-4 6-4. Also, British ninth seed Norrie surprised third-ranked Carlos Alcaraz, 7-6(7-4) 6-7(4-7) 6-4.

The Norrie-Alcaraz encounter ended just before midnight. The Briton allowed the Spaniard to fight back from a 1-4 deficit, winning the second set and forcing a decider. The men’s singles semifinal pairings in the Cincinnati Masters are formidable. It is despite the losses of top stars Rafael Nadal and Casper Ruud. Tennis sportsbooks favor Medvedev to win the last tournament before the United States Open and could emerge as a favorite in the fourth Grand Slam of the year.

US Open Gives Thiem, Kenin, Venus Williams Wild Card Tickets

The United States Tennis Association handed out wild cards for the US Open main draw. This includes 2020 US Open champion Dominic Thiem and women’s singles Grand Slam winners Venus Williams and Sofia Kenin  The USTA made the wild card announcements on Wednesday, more than a week before the US Open kicks off in New York. Currently ranked 228th, Thiem is making a comeback to the tennis scene after a long layoff due to a wrist injury.

The 42-year-old Williams captured back-to-back US Open titles in 2000 and 2001 and returned to competition after missing nearly a year due to injury. Kenin, the 2020 Australian Open champion, reached as high as fourth before she left the tennis circuit due to injury issues. Other tennis stars receiving wildcards are CoCo Vandeweghe, Elizabeth Mandlik, the daughter of 1985 US Open champion Hana Mandlikova, Peyton Stearns, and Eleana Yu. Frenchwoman Harmony Tan and Australian Jaimee Fourlis also received tournament passes as wildcard entries.

The USTA chose Sam Querrey, Emilio Nava, JJ Wolf, Ben Shelton Learner Tien, Ugo Humbert, and Rinky Hijikata as wildcards for the men’s singles tournament. According to reports, US Open singles champions will receive USD2.6 million this year, and total player compensation for the Grand Slam tournament will surpass USD60 million for the first time. The USTA said players will now receive USD80,000 for making the main draw and USD121,000 for gaining a second-round ticket. The main draw play begins on August 29 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

Nadal to Miss Davis Cup Group Stage

Twenty-two-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal will miss Spain’s group stage games in the Davis Cup. Nadal was not named in the lineup as young tennis sensation Carlos Alcaraz will headline the Spanish tennis team in its quest for the world tennis team title. An abdominal injury he suffered in Wimbledon kept the claycourt maestro out of the lineup. However, he competed in the Cincinnati Masters and will compete in the US Open beginning on August 29. Meanwhile, Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic will lead Serbia’s campaign in the Davis Cup.

Spain and Serbia will play Canada and South Korea in the group stages on September 13-18 in Valencia. The Spanish city is one of the four European metropolitan areas chosen to hold Davis Cup group stage matches. The other three are Bologna, Hamburg, and Glasgow. Other teams competing in the tennis event are the United States, Great Britain, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, Australia, Germany, France, Belgium, Croatia, Italy, Sweden, and Argentina. The top two teams from each group will make it to the knockout stage in Malaga on November 22-27. 

Nadal’s omission from the lineup means the coaching staff is preserving the 22-time Grand Slam champion for the next round. Experts in ATP Tour tennis picks are not worried as it is still the opening stages of the team tournament and Alcaraz, who is said to be Nadal’s heir apparent, is still with the Spanish squad.