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Tennis Roundup: Murray bows out in Zhuhai; Kyrgios handed suspended ban

September 26, 2019 20:00 IST

Murray bows out in Zhuhai, Tsitsipas forced to retire

Andy Murray

IMAGE: The flagging Briton lost over three sets to the 31st-ranked Australian Alex de Minaur. Photograph:  Julian Finney/Getty Images

Australia’s Alex de Minaur fought back from a set down to beat former world number one Andy Murray 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 in the last 16 of the Zhuhai Championships on Thursday.

Murray, who won his first ATP tour singles match in nine months in Tuesday’s first round, battled for two hours and 42 minutes on court before his 20-year-old opponent prevailed.


Murray dropped serve early on before storming back with two breaks of his own to take the first set. However, he faded in the second and looked to be struggling physically in humid conditions.

De Minaur then wrapped up the deciding set to deny Murray a dream comeback on the tour and he will next face Borna Coric in the quarter-final.

“My feeling tonight was that at points I played very well, but I didn’t feel like I was able to sustain my level,” Murray told reporters.

Meanwhile, top seed Stefanos Tsitsipas was forced to retire from his last-16 encounter with Adrian Mannarino before the deciding third set after he complained of shortness of breath.

Kyrgios handed suspended ban, additional fine for Cincinnati outburst

Australia’s Nick Kyrgios was handed a suspended ban of 16 weeks and an additional fine of $25,000 on Thursday for “aggravated behaviour” following an investigation by the ATP.

The 24-year-old, one of the most combustible characters in tennis, was fined $113,000 over a meltdown in Cincinnati last month and courted more trouble with the governing body of men’s tennis at the U.S. Open describing them as corrupt.

“The investigation found a pattern of behaviour related to Kyrgios’s verbal abuse of officials and/or spectators in the past 12 months that constitutes a violation,” the ATP said in a statement, adding that Kyrgios had five working days to appeal.

Both the fine and suspension are deferred pending Kyrgios's compliance with a set of conditions here which will apply at ATP and Challenger Tour events during a six-month probationary period.

Some of the conditions include no further code violations that result in a fine for verbal or physical abuse of officials, fans or any others on-court or on-site and unsportsmanlike conduct and any obscenity directed at officials.

He was also told to seek “continued support” from a mental coach during tournaments and consult a professional specialising in behavioural management in the off-season.

Barty through to Wuhan semis, Riske stuns Svitolina

World number one Ash Barty faced a tough battle before she subdued Croatia’s Petra Martic 7-6(6), 3-6, 6-3 to reach the semi-finals of the Wuhan Open for the third consecutive year on Thursday.

Barty, ranked 21 places above her opponent, won 73% of her first service points and fired eight aces in a match that lasted two hours and 22 minutes.

The Australian took a 4-1 lead in the opening set where she won 15 consecutive points but squandered the advantage as Martic, who finished runner-up in Zhengzhou earlier this month, fought back to enforce a tiebreak.

Barty then made 13 unforced errors in the second set to open the door for Martic, who needed only one break of serve, to make a comeback and level the match.

Top seed Barty was broken again in the opening game of the final set before breaking back. She then won another break point when Martic double faulted before serving out the match.

In the other quarter-final, Ukrainian third seed Elina Svitolina was dispatched 6-1, 6-3 by unseeded American Alison Riske.

Riske converted five of 13 break points and dropped serve only once in the contest to claim her third top 10 win of the year.

Fifth seed Petra Kvitova advanced to the semis with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Ukrainian teenager Dayana Yastremska while defending champion Aryna Sabalenka also went through with a 6-3, 1-6, 6-1 win over Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina.

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