ATP

Rio rain gives trailing Thiem time to regroup, Raonic reaches Delray semis

By Sports Desk February 21, 2020

Top seed Dominic Thiem trails by a set and a break in his quarter-final against qualifier Gianluca Mager after the Rio Open was washed out for the day.

Rain wreaked havoc in Rio, where only two quarter-final matches were completed at the ATP 500 tournament on Friday.

Thiem's back is against the wall, with the Australian Open runner-up and world number four down 7-6 (7-5) 2-1 against Mager – who is featuring in his first ATP Tour quarter-final.

Lucky loser Attila Balazs and qualifier Pedro Martinez were also playing when the rain returned in Brazil, with the latter leading 6-2 2-2.

Cristian Garin managed to win through to the semi-finals after the third seed claimed his seventh successive victory by rallying past Federico Coria 2-6 6-3 7-5.

Next up for Garin is fifth seed Borna Coric, who defeated Lorenzo Sonego 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 on the Brazilian clay.

At the Delray Beach Open, second seed Milos Raonic and fellow big server Reilly Opelka will meet in the semi-finals.

Raonic beat Steve Johnson 7-6 (8-6) 6-3 and 2019 New York Open champion Opelka took down Kwon Soon-woo 6-3 6-4 at the ATP 250 event.

"It's going to be tough. He gets a lot of free points on his serve and you've got to make him play," Raonic said.

"You can't just make him play though because he goes for it from the centre of the court. You've got to move in, you've got to find a way to be aggressive."

Elsewhere, Yoshihito Nishioka overcame teenager Brandon Nakashima 3-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 and sixth seed Ugo Humbert eased past 2018 winner Frances Tiafoe 6-1 6-2.

Related items

  • Opinion: Why I don’t miss sports Opinion: Why I don’t miss sports

    The world of sport has ground to a halt thanks to the coronavirus pandemic that been holding the world hostage for the past few weeks. Some of my favourites – the English Premier League, tennis, track and field – have all been hamstrung.

    My Liverpool faces the real possibility that their record-breaking Premier League season could be wiped from the record books and I will not get to see Shelly-Ann go for a record third Olympic 100m gold until next year, yet, somehow, I am not as perturbed as I expected to be.

    Sports have been a part of my life from as far back as I can remember.  Ever since my days in prep school, I looked forward to listening to the sports news on radio and later on catching sports programmes like ‘ABC Wide World of Sports’ on television -“the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat” rang truer for me than most.

    I represented my high school at track and field, cricket, football, table tennis and badminton and I faced the agony of defeat more than I did the thrill of victory. Through it all, my love for sport has grown rather than diminished.

    I cried when Donald Quarrie lost the 100m finals in Montreal in ’76 and cheered when he won the 200m. That was my first year in high school when I played book cricket and lined Quarrie up against Houston McTear, Steve Williams, Silvio Leonard, and Hasely Crawford in the 100m in book track.

    Meanwhile, Kevin Keegan, Steve Heighway, Kenny Dalglish and Ian Rush were my football heroes, alongside Pele, of course.

    West Indies cricket also became a big part of my life during those early high-school years and I became addicted. When the West Indies were not playing, no matter what else was going on, it was never enough to sate my desire to hear Tony Cozier and Henry Blofeld describe the majesty of Richards, Haynes, Greenidge and company and the carnage wrought by the likes of Holding, Roberts, Croft, Garner and Marshall.

    Sports consumed my life more than anything else and looking back, I wonder why I even attended CAST to study Chemical Technology when sports was all I cared about.

    Long story short, sports was my life and sometimes that can be a bad thing.

    There is such a thing as too much of a good thing.

    For the past decade or so, sports consumed my life more than usual. Research, watching events, analysing performances, television appearances, radio interviews across the region took their toll.

    The thing about these things is that you don’t even realise what is happening until something like this pandemic comes along. Suddenly when all the sports stop, you realise the relief.

    That is why I don’t miss sports.

    I have been using the opportunity to play catch up with other parts of my life like bonding with my boys, reading books that I started but have been unable to finish and taking a break from live sports until they finally start again.

    In time, I will miss sports but for now, I’m good.

  • Coronavirus: Wimbledon will be cancelled – German tennis chief Coronavirus: Wimbledon will be cancelled – German tennis chief

    Wimbledon will be cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to German Tennis Federation (DTB) vice-president Dirk Hordorff.

    The grand slam is scheduled to begin in London on June 29 but may not be held for the first time since 1945, when there was no event due to World War II.

    A decision on the tournament is expected in the coming week and Hordorff said Wimbledon officials would cancel the event.

    "Wimbledon has stated that they will have a board meeting next Wednesday and will make the final decision there," he told Sky Sport on Sunday.

    "I am also involved in the bodies of the ATP and WTA. The necessary decisions have already been made there and Wimbledon will decide to cancel next Wednesday. There is no doubt about it. This is necessary in the current situation.

    "It is completely unrealistic to imagine that with the travel restrictions that we currently have an international tennis tournament, where hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world would travel. That is unthinkable."

    The French Open, which was due to start in May, has already been postponed until later in the year and it remains uncertain when the ATP and WTA Tour seasons will resume.

    Hordorff said it was difficult to push back Wimbledon, while adding the financial impact of a cancellation should not be too greatly felt.

    "Wimbledon has its own laws due to the lawn and the special lighting conditions. Wimbledon was probably the only grand slam tournament many years ago predictive enough to insure itself against a worldwide pandemic, so that the financial damage should be minimised there," he said.

    "Of course, Wimbledon also has enough reserves to last for several years. Wimbledon in the period September, October, when no-one knows whether you can play, would be unthinkable due to the lawn situation."

  • Coronavirus: Naomi Osaka backs 'brave decision' to postpone Olympics Coronavirus: Naomi Osaka backs 'brave decision' to postpone Olympics

    Naomi Osaka has given her "100 per cent" backing to the postponement of Tokyo 2020 and says the "Olympic spirit" is needed to combat coronavirus.

    The upcoming Olympic Games were pushed back from 2020 to 2021 amid the COVID-19 pandemic that has resulted in close to 30,000 deaths worldwide, with more than 645,000 confirmed cases.

    The decision was widely welcomed earlier this week, and tennis star Osaka is also on board, even if it means a delay to her hopes of turning out at a home Olympics.

    The Japanese two-time grand slam champion wrote on her Instagram page: "I've been thinking about how to articulate my thoughts on this for a couple of days now, so here goes.

    "Everyone knows how much the Olympics means to me and how proud I will be to participate in my home country.

    "Of course, I am disappointed that it won't happen this year, but we'll all be ready to go stronger than ever in 2021!

    "I support prime minister [Shinzo] Abe's brave decision and the IOC [International Olympic Committee] 100 per cent. Sport will eventually unite us again and be there for us always, but that time is not now.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.