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10 tennis stories that matter you might have missed while watching the Tokyo Olympics

As the medals were handed out in Tokyo, the tennis world created another subset of storylines across the globe over the past two weeks. Here’s what you missed while you were keyed in on the matches in Tokyo.

Nick Kyrgios - Melbourne 2021 Nick Kyrgios by Panoramic

Nadal is back in North America

The King of Clay is ready to take his talents to the hard courts in North America. Wednesday, Rafael Nadal will begin his quest for a fifth US Open title with his first ever appearance at the Citi Open in Washington, D.C. See the draw here.

Nadal, a wild card at the event, will face Jack Sock in second round action. Here is his path to the final if the seeds hold.

  • Round 2: Sock
  • Round of16: Lloyd Harris [14]
  • QF: Cameron Norrie [7] or Alexander Bublik [9]
  • SF Grigor Dimitrov [4] or Dan Evans [6]
  • F: Felix Auger-Aliassime [2] or Jannik Sinner [5]

Casper can’t lose

Norway’s Casper Ruud spent three quality weeks on the clay in July and wrapped up his summer run with a rare three-peat. By winning Bastad, Gstaad and Kitzbuhel in consecutive weeks, Ruud became the first ATP player to win three consecutive tournaments in three consecutive weeks since Andy Murray in October of 2011. The 22-year-old rises to a career-high ranking of No 12 in the world as a result.

Kyrgios pondering the end?

Nick Kyrgios gave a very interesting press conference at the Citi Open on Sunday, and talked about the fact that he didn’t miss the game very much when he was away from it. We all knew that, but the quote that really hit home from the 26-year-old Aussie was the following: “Like every time I’m at a tournament, I feel like it could be my last time I’m ever going to be here. In Atlanta I felt the same way. Washington. I don’t know. I don’t know where I’m at. I feel weird. I feel strange about my career at the moment.”

Hopefully Kyrgios will rethink his stance when tennis returns to a state of normalcy, post-pandemic.

Andreescu back to work in Canada

Not only is Bianca Andreescu ready to hit the courts in Canada next week, where she’ll take her place in the National Bank Open in Montreal, we’re also hearing she’s hired a big name coach – Sven Groeneveld (no official confirmation yet).

Federer seen playing tennis in Croatia

The Swiss maestro may be resting up for hard court season, but he did found his way to Croatia, where he visited the academy of Ivan Ljubicic, and made some young fans very happy. We also got to see pictures of Federer’s daughter, Myla Rose, hitting on the red clay, along with football legend Thierry Henry. No clue on his participation to any new tournament in 2021.

John Isner, the beast of Atlanta

Talk about your special lists. Only four people in ATP history have ever won the same event six or more times – thanks to his exploits at the Truist Atlanta Open over the weekend, American John Isner is one of them. By beating Brandon Nakashima in the final the 36-year-old became the oldest champion in tournament history and joined a select group that includes Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.

ATP Tour, Active Players, Six or More Titles at Same Venue

  • Roger Federer, seven events (Wimbledon, Australian Open, Cincinnati, Dubai, Halle, Basel, ATP Finals)
  • Rafael Nadal, four events (Roland-Garros, Monte-Carlo, Barcelona, Rome)
  • Novak Djokovic, four events (Australian Open, Wimbledon, Miami, Beijing)
  • John Isner, Atlanta

Brandon Nakashima on the rise

Brandon Nakashima, the next NextGen star? Could be. The 19-year-old from San Diego, California, has made quite an impression on the ATP Tour over the last two weeks. Nakashima, a former junior world No 3, reached back-to-back finals in Los Cabos and Atlanta, becoming the youngest American to achieve that feat since Andy Roddick in 2001. In that same two-week span, Nakashima, rises 46 spots in the rankings, from 135 to 89. And he’s still running in Washington

Genie Bouchard in the booth

She’s good with a racquet, but is she good with a headset on? Former world No 5 (currently 294) and Wimbledon runner-up Eugenie Bouchard will try her hand as a talking head this summer with Tennis Channel, as she recovers from shoulder surgery.

Arthur Rinderknech establishing himself on tour

A late bloomer from France continues to impress in 2021. That would be 26-year-old Arthur Rinderknech. The former NCAA star has now reached five quarter-finals on tour, all in 2021, and last week at Kitzbuhel he broke through to reach his first semi-final. Rinderknech also has five top-50 wins in 2021 and comes in at a career-high ranking of 79, which makes him the seventh-ranked Frenchman.

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