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Tennis: Dimitrov, Philippoussis mentor McNamara dies

July 22, 2019 10:13 IST
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Australian tennis legend Peter McNamara was battling cancer

IMAGE: Australian tennis legend Peter McNamara was battling cancer. Photograph: Twitter

Australia's Peter McNamara, who won three doubles Grand Slam titles and became a prominent coach after hanging up his racquet, has died at the age of 64 after a quiet battle with cancer.

Melbourne man McNamara won five singles titles and 19 in doubles and teamed up with compatriot Paul McNamee to win the Australian Open doubles in 1979 and Wimbledon twice in 1980 and 1982.

After retiring in 1987, the former world number seven singles player enjoyed a successful coaching career, mentoring Mark Philippoussis, Grigor Dimitrov and Wang Qiang, among others.

 

He died peacefully at his home in Germany on Saturday after a long battle with prostate cancer, Australian media reported.

News of his death plunged Australian tennis into mourning and triggered a slew of tributes on social media for a popular tennis figure renowned for his warmth and generosity.

"Hard to believe that after 50 years of friendship Macca is gone ... you lived life to the full mate and will be missed by your loved ones and many more ... a toast to the great times mate," McNamee wrote on Twitter.

Prominent Australian tennis coach and TV analyst Roger Rasheed described McNamara as "one of the greats".

"He gave his all to everything he did, respected life & always had a smile & time for you," Rasheed tweeted.

"He's someone you wanted to be in the trenches with. He fought in silence and now he can rest peacefully . #RIPMacca"

Isner beats Bublik for fourth Newport ATP title

American John Isner captured his fourth title at the ATP grass court tournament at Newport, Rhode Island, beating Alexander Bublik 7-6 (7-2), 6-3.

Top seed Isner also won the tournament in 2011, 2012 and 2017.

Bublik, the seventh-seeded 22-year-old from Kazakhstan who was playing in his first ATP final, double-faulted on break point to fall behind 3-2 in the second set, and that was the only opening the big-serving Isner needed.

The 34-year-old American -- who produced only a modest five aces but put 79 percent of his first serves in play -- finished off the match with a forehand winner even as he slipped on the grass and sprawled forward.

Isner was sidelined by a stress fracture in his left foot for three months after reaching the Miami final in March.                The towering American had words of thanks for his team, especially his physical therapist.

"It's not easy keeping a guy like myself healthy," said Isner, who is slated to appear next week in Atlanta, Georgia, in search of a sixth title in the BB&T Open.

Rybakina beats Tig to seal maiden title in Bucharest

Kazakhstan's Elena Rybakina became the 10th player to collect a maiden WTA Tour title this year as she strolled past Patricia Maria Tig 6-2, 6-0 in the Bucharest Open final on Sunday.

The 20-year-old, who is ranked 106 in the world, was in complete control in the final against Romanian home hope Tig as she fired 30 winners against only 14 unforced errors.

The unseeded Rybakina did not drop a set throughout the claycourt tournament, becoming the fourth player to achieve that feat this season following Sofia Kenin in Hobart, Ash Barty in Birmingham and Karolina Pliskova in Eastbourne.

Unranked qualifier Tig, who was out of the game for the last two years due to injuries and maternity leave, had produced the upset of the tournament by beating top seed and World No 11 Anastasija Sevastova in the round of 16.

She followed it up with victories over Kristyna Pliskova and Laura Siegemund to reach the second final of her career but ran out of steam against Rybakina.

Jarry joins grandfather as ATP title-winner with Swedish Open win

Chile's Nicolas Jarry joined his grandfather in the ATP title-winners club on Sunday, beating Juan Ignacio Londero 7-6(7), 6-4 to clinch his maiden crown at the Swedish Open.

Jaime Fillol, who claimed six tour-level titles between 1971 and 1982, introduced the sport to his grandson in Santiago and the 23-year-old repaid the faith with a breakthrough title in his third career final.

"He's one of the best Chilean tennis players. He taught me the sport since I was little. He took me to great tournaments," Jarry had said about his grandfather, who reached a career-high ranking of number 14 in 1974, earlier this week.

"I had chances back in Geneva (earlier this season) and I think this time it went to my side. I'm extremely happy. I've been working for this for a long time and it really means a lot," he added after the win.

"We're a big team back home and I really appreciate everybody who's been behind me for a long time."

Lajovic overcomes determined Balazs for first ATP title

Serbia's Dusan Lajovic claimed the first ATP title of his career, beating Hungarian qualifier Attila Balazs 7-5, 7-5 in the Croatia Open final on Sunday.

Lajovic, 29, was in a spot of trouble when trailing 3-5 in the opening set but held his nerve and ended up breaking Balazs four times to prevail at the Goran Ivanisevic Stadium in Umag.

The world number 36 has enjoyed a breakthrough season, having reached the prestigious Monte Carlo Masters final in April only to lose to Italian Fabio Fognini, and has now earned his maiden triumph in another clay court event.

Balazs, who retired from the sport five years ago due to injuries before making a comeback in 2016, was bidding to become the first qualifier to win an ATP title this season.

 

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