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Read & Watch: Mahut Comes To Ballgirl’s Aid At The Queen’s Club

Qualifier Nicolas Mahut defeated American Frances Tiafoe 6-3, 7-6(5) on Monday to reach the second round of the Fever-Tree Championships. But one of the most memorable moments of the match came at 5-5 in the second set.

Mahut was deep behind the baseline playing defence against the 2018 Next Gen ATP Finals qualifier when he could not get to a ball in the backhand corner. However, the 37-year-old could not stop his momentum on the grass and eventually slipped and fell into a ballgirl. 

The Frenchman showed little concern about himself, immediately standing up to make sure that the ballgirl was alright. The World No. 191 went on to close out the match in the tie-break, hitting nine aces and winning 52 per cent of his second-serve return points in his one-hour, 22-minute triumph.

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Read & Watch: Mahut Comes To Ballgirl’s Aid At The Queen’s Club

Qualifier Nicolas Mahut defeated American Frances Tiafoe 6-3, 7-6(5) on Monday to reach the second round of the Fever-Tree Championships. But one of the most memorable moments of the match came at 5-5 in the second set.

Mahut was deep behind the baseline playing defence against the 2018 Next Gen ATP Finals qualifier when he could not get to a ball in the backhand corner. However, the 37-year-old could not stop his momentum on the grass and eventually slipped and fell into a ballgirl. 

The Frenchman showed little concern about himself, immediately standing up to make sure that the ballgirl was alright. The World No. 191 went on to close out the match in the tie-break, hitting nine aces and winning 52 per cent of his second-serve return points in his one-hour, 22-minute triumph.

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Read & Watch: Zverev Fights Through In Halle

Down a break at 5-2 in the second set, Alexander Zverev could have cast his eyes to the seemingly inevitable third set against Robin Haase on Monday at the NOVENTI OPEN.

But the German kept his focus on what was in front of him, and didn’t even need to bother with a third set. The two-time Halle finalist (2016, 2017) beat Haase 6-4, 7-5 to make the second round at the ATP 500 event.

This is probably one of my favourite tournaments and I’m always motivated here. Last year, I played with an injury here and lost first round and this year I really want to do well. I hope this was a good start for a good tournament for me,” Zverev said.

Zverev dug himself out of trouble to serve for the match at 6-5 in the second set, but needed more heroics to stave off the Dutch veteran. The second-seeded Zverev saved two break points while serving at 6-5, including one during a 41-shot rally that Haase ended when he sprayed a backhand wide.

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Zverev fell to countryman Florian Mayer in the 2016 final and Roger Federer in 2017. Federer, a nine-time champion, is again the top seed at the grass-court event.

The 22-year-old Zverev will next face American Steve Johnson, who ended a three-match losing streak by beating Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3, 6-3. Johnson hit 13 aces, won 85 per cent of his first-serve points (29/34) and never faced a break point.

He is someone who has an unbelievable serve, a very good grass-court game. He has won a [couple] tournaments on grass. He has a good forehand and a very good slice. He beat Philipp in straight sets, which also tells a lot,” Zverev said. “It won’t be an easy match but there are no bad players here. Therefore, there aren’t any easy matches here.”

Read & Watch: Zverev Fights Through In Halle

Down a break at 5-2 in the second set, Alexander Zverev could have cast his eyes to the seemingly inevitable third set against Robin Haase on Monday at the NOVENTI OPEN.

But the German kept his focus on what was in front of him, and didn’t even need to bother with a third set. The two-time Halle finalist (2016, 2017) beat Haase 6-4, 7-5 to make the second round at the ATP 500 event.

This is probably one of my favourite tournaments and I’m always motivated here. Last year, I played with an injury here and lost first round and this year I really want to do well. I hope this was a good start for a good tournament for me,” Zverev said.

Zverev dug himself out of trouble to serve for the match at 6-5 in the second set, but needed more heroics to stave off the Dutch veteran. The second-seeded Zverev saved two break points while serving at 6-5, including one during a 41-shot rally that Haase ended when he sprayed a backhand wide.

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Zverev fell to countryman Florian Mayer in the 2016 final and Roger Federer in 2017. Federer, a nine-time champion, is again the top seed at the grass-court event.

The 22-year-old Zverev will next face American Steve Johnson, who ended a three-match losing streak by beating Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3, 6-3. Johnson hit 13 aces, won 85 per cent of his first-serve points (29/34) and never faced a break point.

He is someone who has an unbelievable serve, a very good grass-court game. He has won a [couple] tournaments on grass. He has a good forehand and a very good slice. He beat Philipp in straight sets, which also tells a lot,” Zverev said. “It won’t be an easy match but there are no bad players here. Therefore, there aren’t any easy matches here.”

Kyrgios On Murray Practising: ‘I Couldn’t Believe What I Was Seeing’

One year ago, Nick Kyrgios played Andy Murray at the Fever-Tree Championships. This year, the Aussie is cheering for his friend, as the former World No. 1 is making his return from hip surgery on the doubles court alongside Feliciano Lopez.

“It’s great to see him back. I think results don’t matter. Just to see him back healthy and seeing him happy on court is all that matters,” Kyrgios said. “He’s actually the first person I saw yesterday on the court doing doubles drills, and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.”

Murray last competed at the Australian Open before undergoing right hip resurfacing surgery on 28 January. The Scot did not know if he’d ever be able to return, but he is back on The Queen’s Club grass, where he has captured five singles titles.

“[It’s] unbelievable. He’s a warrior. I hit with him a couple times in London, obviously when I took a spell from the French,” said Kyrgios, who was forced to withdraw from Roland Garros due to a stomach bug. “He’s still hitting the ball unbelievable. I think he’s good enough to do damage in any doubles [match made up] of any players, especially this week with Feliciano. I’d almost pay to watch that match. They’re going to be tough to beat. He’s a legend.”

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Kyrgios, currently No. 39 in the ATP Rankings, is trying to get back on track himself having lost four of his past five matches. At last week’s MercedesCup, the Aussie fell in the first round to eventual champion Matteo Berrettini.

“It’s been good [preparation]. Obviously didn’t get too many matches last week in Stuttgart, but I lost to the eventual winner,” Kyrgios said. “Played a bit of dubs last week and got here and had a hit. Have been feeling good. This is probably my favourite time of the year. Obviously the Aussie summer is pretty good, but just being in London when the weather is like this is pretty hard to beat. Just playing on grass every day, it’s a lot of fun.”

Kyrgios made the semi-finals at The Queen’s Club last year, and he has long enjoyed success on grass, beating Rafael Nadal en route to the Wimbledon quarter-finals in 2014 when he was just 19.

“I definitely feel like I can do damage. I have had a lot of good wins on grass,” Kyrgios said. “Obviously made a quarter-final run [at Wimbledon] when I was a little bit younger, but I think if the stars align, for sure I can do damage there.”

The 24-year-old is staying in the present though, only worrying about the challenges in front of him at The Queen’s Club. In the first round, he faces Adrian Mannarino, who lifted his maiden ATP Tour trophy on Sunday at the Libema Open.

“I’ve got a tough match tomorrow against a guy who won a title yesterday,” Kyrgios said. “I want to have a good week here, find my feet.”

Kyrgios On Murray Practising: ‘I Couldn’t Believe What I Was Seeing’

One year ago, Nick Kyrgios played Andy Murray at the Fever-Tree Championships. This year, the Aussie is cheering for his friend, as the former World No. 1 is making his return from hip surgery on the doubles court alongside Feliciano Lopez.

“It’s great to see him back. I think results don’t matter. Just to see him back healthy and seeing him happy on court is all that matters,” Kyrgios said. “He’s actually the first person I saw yesterday on the court doing doubles drills, and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.”

Murray last competed at the Australian Open before undergoing right hip resurfacing surgery on 28 January. The Scot did not know if he’d ever be able to return, but he is back on The Queen’s Club grass, where he has captured five singles titles.

“[It’s] unbelievable. He’s a warrior. I hit with him a couple times in London, obviously when I took a spell from the French,” said Kyrgios, who was forced to withdraw from Roland Garros due to a stomach bug. “He’s still hitting the ball unbelievable. I think he’s good enough to do damage in any doubles [match made up] of any players, especially this week with Feliciano. I’d almost pay to watch that match. They’re going to be tough to beat. He’s a legend.”

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Kyrgios, currently No. 39 in the ATP Rankings, is trying to get back on track himself having lost four of his past five matches. At last week’s MercedesCup, the Aussie fell in the first round to eventual champion Matteo Berrettini.

“It’s been good [preparation]. Obviously didn’t get too many matches last week in Stuttgart, but I lost to the eventual winner,” Kyrgios said. “Played a bit of dubs last week and got here and had a hit. Have been feeling good. This is probably my favourite time of the year. Obviously the Aussie summer is pretty good, but just being in London when the weather is like this is pretty hard to beat. Just playing on grass every day, it’s a lot of fun.”

Kyrgios made the semi-finals at The Queen’s Club last year, and he has long enjoyed success on grass, beating Rafael Nadal en route to the Wimbledon quarter-finals in 2014 when he was just 19.

“I definitely feel like I can do damage. I have had a lot of good wins on grass,” Kyrgios said. “Obviously made a quarter-final run [at Wimbledon] when I was a little bit younger, but I think if the stars align, for sure I can do damage there.”

The 24-year-old is staying in the present though, only worrying about the challenges in front of him at The Queen’s Club. In the first round, he faces Adrian Mannarino, who lifted his maiden ATP Tour trophy on Sunday at the Libema Open.

“I’ve got a tough match tomorrow against a guy who won a title yesterday,” Kyrgios said. “I want to have a good week here, find my feet.”