pixel 1
header
Monday, June 1, 2020

Tennis

Nick Kyrgios interviewed by ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi after slighting reporter

Nick Kyrgios has never been shy about expressing his emotions, but doing so this time made for an amusingly awkward TV moment Saturday night at the U.S. Open.

Watching the tournament during the day ahead of his night match, Kyrgios weighed in on ESPN’s coverage of the event. He specifically singled out reporter Tom Rinaldi, tweeting that the ESPN veteran “has no idea what’s going on.”

No big deal, as athletes don’t have to like the work reporters do covering their sport. However, it got a bit weird when, ahead of Kyrgios’ match that evening, Rinaldi was assigned to interview him before the match.

To the credit of both of them, Kyrgios and Rinaldi both laughed it off, and there didn’t appear to be any hard feelings between the two. And frankly, based on what we’ve seen from Kyrgios before, Rinaldi got off lightly.

Novak Djokovic booed off court after retiring due to shoulder injury

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic was booed off Arthur Ashe Stadium at the US Open in Flushing, New York on Sunday night for retiring from his match due to injury.

Djokovic has been battling a shoulder injury for the past month or so and has been receiving treatment for it. He even said after his second round match that the shoulder had been affecting him.

The world No. 1 player dropped the first set of his fourth round match with Stan Wawrinka 4-6 and blew a 4-1 lead in the second set to lose 7-5. Down two sets to none in the best-of-five match, Djokovic decided he could no longer continue after falling behind 2-1 in the third. During the side change, Djokovic said he was done and congratulated Wawrinka on the win.

Perhaps upset with Djokovic for quitting early rather than playing out the set, fans booed the Serbian star.

The 16-time major winner was looking to repeat at the US Open this year, but it wasn’t to be. He still was able to win his seventh Australian Open and fifth Wimbledon, so 2019 was positive for Djokovic in terms of majors.

This is the second time recently we’ve seen a star athlete get booed. Do you think he deserved it?

Elina Svitolina had extra reason to win for boyfriend Gael Monfils

Elina Svitolina Gael Monfils

Elina Svitolina says she felt extra pressure to deliver a win during her fourth round match against Madison Keys at the US Open on Sunday night.

Gael Monfils, Svitolina’s boyfriend, was in attendance for the match and cheered her on. Svitolina beat Keys 7-5, 6-4 and said in her post-match interview with ESPN that she wanted to win for Monfils’ birthday.

“It’s his birthday today, so I was trying to be really focused on my match. It was extra motivation today,” Svitolina said.

She also said he told her “if you don’t win, don’t come back,” which seemed to be much more of a joke than a threat.

The victory for Svitolina was her 30th career win over a top-10 opponent. She advances to face Johanna Konta in the quarterfinals. Monfils will face Pablo Andujar in the fourth round on the men’s side.

Naomi Osaka had classy gesture for Coco Gauff after match

Naomi Osaka Coco Gauff

Naomi Osaka ended fan-favorite Coco Gauff’s run at the US Open on Saturday, but the Japanese-born player won over fans with her classy gesture after the match.

Osaka, who won the tournament last year by beating Serena Williams in a controversial finals match, steamrolled Gauff 6-3, 6-0 in one hour and five minutes to advance to the fourth round.

Gauff, who is just 15, was making her Arthur Ashe Stadium debut in front of a sold-out crowd. Getting trounced had to have been disappointing, even if it came at the hands of the No. 1-ranked woman in the world. Gauff was somewhat tearful after the match, so Osaka went to speak with her and give her a pep talk. Osaka encouraged Gauff to join her for a post-match interview that way she could get the adulation from the fans that she deserved before exiting the court.

Gauff could be heard declining because she thought she would cry. Osaka encouraged her in response.

Gauff ended up speaking with ESPN’s Mary Joe Fernandez on the court for an interview:

The gesture and class displayed by Osaka was well-received by the tennis and sports community at large.

Daniil Medvedev snaps at towel person, flips the bird during match

Daniil Medvedev

Daniil Medvedev was a hotbed of inappropriate conduct during his third-round match against Feliciano Lopez at the US Open on Friday night.

The 5th-seeded player got frustrated after his serve was broken and he fell behind 5-3 in the first set. A ball person brought him a towel after the game, and Medvedev snapped at the man. Medvedev received a code violation for his mistreatment of the ball person and then threw his racket when the violation was announced.

Then Medvedev flipped the bird to fans as he walked to his chair at the side change.

Medvedev’s gesture was shown on the big screen at Louis Armstrong Stadium, leading to boos from the fans. Chair umpire Damien Dumusois said he could not discipline Medvedev because he did not see the gesture live.

Medvedev rallied to win the first set in a tiebreak and won the match in four sets. Afterwards he thanked the fans for their energy, crediting them with providing him the boost he needed to win. The comment seemed to be an acknowledgement of the boos.

Watch: Gael Monfils ends US Open match with fancy 360 putaway

Gael Monfils

Gael Monfils closed out his second-round win over Marius Copil at the US Open on Thursday night with a flourish.

Monfils had his second match point opportunity and was looking to put things away. He served out wide, forcing Copil to save the ball with a lob. Rather than just put away an easy overhead, Monfils decided to get fancy and did a 360 shot. Take a look:

The fancy finish was a continuation of cool shots Monfils had early in the match. Take a look at this one from the first set:

The Frenchman won easily 6-3, 6-2, 6-2. He will face Denis Shapovalov in the third round.

Tip via Tennisdude

Novak Djokovic acknowledges shoulder injury is affecting him

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic made it through to the third round of the US Open with a straight set 6-4, 7-6, 6-1 victory over Juan Ignacio Londero on Wednesday night in New York, but the win did not come easily.

Djokovic was seen grabbing at his left shoulder multiple times throughout the match and received treatment on it at various points.

He was asked about his shoulder injury during an on-court interview with ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi after the match.

“It was definitely affecting my serve and backhand,” Djokovic acknowledged. “I don’t want to talk about it too much. … This is something I’ve been carrying for quite a while now. It wasn’t easy playing with the pain, but you have to find a way to fight and hope you get some lucky shots, you get some opportunities when they’re presented and take them.”

Djokovic acknowledged the match was difficult but did not want to dwell on his shoulder injury.

“It’s not the first time I’m facing this kind of adversity or challenge. It is what it is and I’m just grateful to be on the court,” he said.

Nole joked that he probably would freeze his arm for the next 48 hours so he could recover for his third-round opponent.

The 32-year-old, who won the Australian Open and Wimbledon this year, is looking to win the US Open for the second straight year and fourth time overall.