Muguruza downs Konta to face Azarenka

On a day of attrition and compassion in Rome, Friday’s play at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia saw Johanna Konta fall to Garbiñe Muguruza, Victoria Azarenka comfort an injured Daria Kasatkina after a nasty tumble, and top seeds Simona Halep and Karolina Plíšková...

Nadal not obsessed with records

The two tournament favourites draw closer to settling this year’s Rome Masters 1000 title as they successfully reached the last eight on opposing sides of the draw with the second seeded Rafa Nadal seemingly having the easier passage so far.

Musetti continues his Roman run

At four-all in the second set the lights went out during the Italian Open which could have disrupted the concentration of Italy’s emerging starlet, the 18-year-old Lorenzo Musetti, who was on his way to eliminating another top player from the Rome Masters listings.

ATP and WTA Kremlin Cup tournaments cancelled

The ATP and WTA jointly announced on Friday that the 2020 Kremlin Cup tournaments in Moscow have been cancelled by a mandate from health officials in the Russian capital, where there has been a surge in coronavirus infections.

Osaka withdraws from Paris, fans reduced

Japan’s Naomi Osaka has withdrawn from the upcoming French Open with a hamstring injury, while the FFT is reducing the number of fans that will be allowed to attend Roland Garros due to the worsening coronavirus situation in the country.

On the day of the Bagel 

Bagels are pretty rare in pro tennis but in Rome on Thursday, Johanna Konta and Victoria Azarenka scored three between them - Konta taking one against clay-court specialist Irina-Camelia Begu, 6-0 6-4, while just five days after losing the US Open final, Azarenka...

Battling mental health issues to return to the court

In a short film released this week, the LTA follows 38-year-old tennis player Steven McCann from North London, as he shares his inspirational story of battling addiction to reignite his love and passion for the sport. The feature brings to life Steven’s journey to...

Fans to return in Paris

No one at the beginning of this Covid year could have predicted that we here at Tennis Threads would be writing the French Open in September, just a couple of weeks after the US Open had concluded!

Fed Cup rebrands as the Billie Jean King Cup

Tying in with the 50th Anniversary of the Fed Cup, the women’s team competition has been re-named the Billie Jean King Cup by the ITF, it was announced at a virtual press conference on Thursday.

Halep and Plíšková start Rome campaigns

Top seed Simona Halep overcame an early scare as she was broken 5 times by local wildcard Jasime Paolini in her opening match of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, but moved into the second round smoothly enough, 6-3 6-4, on Wednesday, while No 2 seed Karolina Plíšková...
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London | Sock shocks Zverev

Outsider Jack Sock shocked “choking” Alexander Zverev  6-4 1-6 6-4 to seal a semi-final date against Grigor  Dimitrov at the ATP Finals.

And when asked if he felt he could go all the way insisted: “Why not? I think Grigor has really kind of found his game. But I’m playing with a lot of confidence. Coming off winning in Paris (at the Masters), winning my matches here and getting into the semi-final. You never know what can happen.”

I mean, (he) can't even legally drink a beer in the U.S. and he's three in the world, playing like he is. I don't know. It could be nerves. It could be other things. Jack Sock

The American No.1 – the first player from his country to make the last four since Andy Roddick ten years ago – confessed he didn’t even know he could qualify when he arrived in the French capital.

And the eighth seed reckons that ignorance has helped ease any pressure.

The 25-year-old from Nebraska, like Roddick, said: “Obviously when you sneak into the eighth spot the week before, three days before the event starts, it definitely takes some nerves away.

“I’m coming here playing my style of tennis, having fun, hitting some stupid shots that work sometimes. But just enjoying the time for sure and really having a good time. Yeah, I definitely think it’s helping me.”

Sock held his nerve and produced tactics which proved there was more to his game than a big forehand. He threw in backhand slices against the 6ft.6in Zverev, along with a few volleys.

Zverev, 20, battled back in the second set. He got an early break to lead 2-0 and stormed on to take it.

Sock built up a 4-1 lead in the deciding set. But his German opponent roared back to level it and Sock appeared rattled as he was deducted a point for belting a ball in the air for a second time. Yet the American regained his composure to complete victory.

Zverev, 20, confessed he had “choked” in the final set.

He said: “I choked. It’s quite easy. Won the second set 6-1. I was 1-0 with a break. He got a point penalty. I was down 1-4 within 10 minutes where I didn’t put many balls in the court. .

“It’s been an awesome year. Still, the end of the year was absolute crap for me. If I would have played the whole year like I did, by the end of the year I don’t think I would have finished top 50.

“That’s a bit unfortunate for me. But that’s okay. I’m going to go on holidays now. I’m definitely going to enjoy that. Then I’m going to work hard in the off-season.”

Sock had sympathy with Zverev on the chocking issue. He said: “It’s tough. The guy is 20 years old. He’s played some absolutely outstanding tennis in his career. I mean, can’t even legally drink a beer in the U.S. and he’s three in the world, playing like he is. I don’t know. It could be nerves. It could be other things. ”




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