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Rediff.com  » Sports » Tennis round-up: Sania suffers knee injury; Chung wins Next Gen Finals

Tennis round-up: Sania suffers knee injury; Chung wins Next Gen Finals

Last updated on: November 12, 2017 22:22 IST

Sania Mirza

IMAGE: Sania Mirza. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Ace tennis player Sania Mirza has revealed that she is suffering from a knee injury and would soon take a call on whether a surgery is needed or not.

"It was a tough year with partners getting injured, but I have a bit of a knee injury now. I have been off for about a month. I have couple of weeks to rest, just trying to get used to, I have to see if I need to have a surgery or not. (I have) a little bit of problem," Sania said on the sidelines of the Indian Sports Honours.

She added, "But all in all I still finished close to top 10, so I am happy with the year."

 

The tennis star was speaking on the red carpet of the Indian Sports Honours.

Sania, the country's finest woman doubles player, who began the year with the number one ranking, closed it at number 9.

Meanwhile, India's non-playing Davis Cup captain Mahesh Bhupathi has said that it was just a matter of time for young tennis player Ramkumar Ramanathan to break into the top 100.

"Yuki (Bhambri) has been injured, but he will get back. Ram (Ramkumar Ramanathan) has his breakthrough season, next two years are big for him.

"He is much younger, so we will give him some time. He is found a good coach and he is comfortable with Emilio Sanchez, so he is doing the right thing , so now it is just the matter of breaking into the top 100, Bhupathi told reporters.

The 23-year-old Chennai-born Ramanathan is currently ranked 148 in the men's singles as per the ATP.

Chung beats Rublev to become first Next Gen champion

South Korea's Hyeon Chung celebrates with the trophy after victory against Russia's Andrey Rublev in the men's final of the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan, Italy, on Saturday

IMAGE: South Korea's Hyeon Chung celebrates with the trophy after victory against Russia's Andrey Rublev in the men's final of the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan, Italy, on Saturday. Photograph: Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images

South Korean iceman Chung Hyeon doused the fire of Russian Andrey Rublev to win the inaugural Next Gen ATP Finals on Saturday -- pocketing a $390,000 cheque in the process.

Chung, 21, was outplayed in the first set and was 3-1 behind in the second set before taking over to win 3-4(5), 4-3(2), 4-2, 4-2 to go through the five-day round-robin tournament unbeaten.

A high-quality final full of sublime ball-striking was a fitting end to a promising debut for an event which has experimented with a range of innovations such as shorts sets, 'sudden-death' deuces and on-court coaching.

The 20-year-old Rublev, at 37th the highest-ranked qualifier for the event restricted to players aged 21 and under, lost his cool as the relentless Chung turned the match around.

But the Muscovite showed tremendous resolve to survive a deciding point deuce, effectively match point, when serving at 1-3 in the fourth set, winning a ferocious baseline exchange.

The 54th-ranked Chung showed his first sign of nerves when he double-faulted at 30-30 in the next game but Rublev wasted the break point with a shanked forehand.

At deuce Rublev still had the chance to drag the set into a tiebreak but Chung struck a forehand winner to seal victory in just under two hours of compelling action.

Chung, 21, is the first South Korean to win an ATP singles trophy since Hyung Taik-lee captured the 2003 Sydney title by beating Juan Carlos Ferrero.

Rublev, who began his ATP Tour title collection in Umag this year, looked close to tears at the end but his performance, and that of Chung's, suggested both will be challenging for some of the biggest prizes in the sport before long.

Add in the likes of Canadian teenager Denis Shapovalov, who dazzled in the Fiera Milano venue earlier in the week, beaten semi-finalists Daniil Medvedev and Croatian Borna Coric and a third Russian, Karen Khachanov, not to mention American Jared Donaldson, and the future looks bright for the men's Tour.

Whether or not any of the rule changes trialled this week ever become regular features remains to be seen, although the 25-second shot clock and shorter warm-ups were popular with players and fans alike.

Fed Cup: Sasnovich downs Stephens to draw Belarus level in final

Aliaksandra Sasnovich came from behind to beat US Open champion Sloane Stephens 4-6, 6-,1 8-6 and draw Belarus level at 2-2 with the United States in the Fed Cup final on Sunday, forcing a deciding doubles encounter.

Coco Vandeweghe gave the US, who are seeking a record-extending 18th title, a 2-1 lead when she beat world number 78 Aryna Sabalenka 7-6(5) 6-1 in the day's first singles rubber.

Vandeweghe and Shelby Rogers will now face Sasnovich and Sabalenka to decide the winner of the international competition.

Stephens's latest defeat means she has not won a singles match since claiming the US Open title on September 9.

Beaten by Sabalenka on Saturday, she got off to an encouraging start against Sasnovich in the reverse singles, breaking early and staying in control to take the first set with her fourth ace of the match.

She had two break points in the first game of the second, but squandered both and few would have predicted the collapse that followed, with Sasnovich winning five games in a row before Stephens got back on the board.

The Belarusian claimed the first of three set points to level the tie.

Stephens struck a powerful forehand to go 4-2 up in the decider but stumbled again when serving for the match, allowing Sasnovich to break back.

The Belarusian in turn failed close out the match on her own serve, allowing Stephens to level at 6-6, before sealing the win by taking the next two games.

Vandeweghe, who beat Sasnovich on Saturday before Sabalenka stunned Stephens, came from behind to win a first set tie-break on Sunday before breezing through the second set.

"I know she (Sabalenka) has only got one style of play and she's just going to keep swinging," Vandeweghe said.

"I knew if I just kept giving myself opportunities and getting my nose in front in her service games I'd keep getting opportunities and she'd eventually break down."

The American is the first player to record a spotless year in Fed Cup singles rubbers since Petra Kvitova went unbeaten for Czech Republic in 2011.

Paes, Raja in Knoxville Challenger final

Leander Paes and Purav Raja earned an opportunity to win their first title together by reaching the final of the ATP Knoxville Challenger event in the USA.

Top seeded Paes and Raja got past Ruan Roelofse and Joe Salisbury 7-6(4), 6-3 in the semi-finals of the US$75000 hard court event.

It will be first final for Paes and Raja after joining forces since in August, playing their first event at ATP 250 Winston-Salem.

Paes has won three Challenger level titles this season -- Leon and Ilkley events with Canadian Adil Shamasdin and Tallahassee trophy with American Scott Lipsky.

Paes also made a number of semi-finals at ATP 250 level and has not lost a final this season.

Raja before teaming up with Paes had won Bordeaux Challenger with Divij Sharan and also made the final of the ATP 250 Chennai Open.

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