ATP Monte-Carlo Interviews Djokovic: “This injury that has been present for last 10 days. I was on the medications every day, I was doing different therapies, injections, so forth.” - UBITENNIS
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ATP Monte-Carlo Interviews Djokovic: “This injury that has been present for last 10 days. I was on the medications every day, I was doing different therapies, injections, so forth.”

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TENNIS ATP Monte-Carlo – R. FEDERER/N. Djokovic 7-5, 6-2 An interview with Novak Djokovic

 

Q. The first set you tried. The second set it seemed you couldn’t do much more. What was going on for you?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, just a match to forget for me. It’s unfortunate that when you’re playing at this level against Roger, big tournament, that you are not able to play your game because something else is, you know, taking away all your energy and effort.

This injury that has been present for last 10 days, and I tried not to think or talk about it, I did everything I could really, I was on the medications every day, I was doing different therapies, injections, so forth.

But in the end of the day, the end of the tournament, semifinals is a good result. But I’m disappointed that I could not play as well as I could have. If I was healthy enough… From the end of the first and the whole second, every shot was pain, especially with the serve.

I couldn’t do much more than this. I gave my best really. I’m not trying to take away anything from Roger’s win. He deserves to be in the finals, no question about it.

I’m just very disappointed I wasn’t able to give better effort.

 

Q. Knowing all the problems that players have had with their wrist, what is your idea now about what to do? Take a rest? Wait for a big event when you’re really ready?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, the good thing is I don’t need to have a surgery. I don’t have any rupture or something like that. I’m going to go see doctors tonight and then tomorrow again have another MRI, see if anything changed in this seven days since I had the last one.

I just rest now. I cannot play tennis for some time. How long, I don’t know. It’s really not in my hands anymore. I’m going to rest and see when it can heal 100%, then I will be back on the court.

 

Q. Did you consider pulling out at any stage during the match, worrying you would make it worse by continuing?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I didn’t want to pull out because then people start talking different things about me and my withdraws and so forth. That was the main reason. I just held my strength, whatever I had, and wanted to play till the end.

 

Q. Did the pain kick in only today or was it there in the last couple days and you didn’t want to let us know?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: The pain was there every single day from 10 days ago. At some stages it was very painful. Good thing, between the first and second match I had a day off so I didn’t practice at all and I healed a little bit. Then again I started playing.

Yesterday’s conditions, long match, long rallies, heavy balls, definitely did not help the state of my arm. Since last night it was as it is now.

 

Q. Trying to be precise, can we write or say it is a tendonitis or is it something else?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I really don’t know what’s the diagnosis, to be honest. I heard so many things in last 10 days. Trust me, it’s complicated.

You can ask the official doctor.

 

Q. This problem you have, is it the first time you have it in your career?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes.

 

Q. Do you feel it’s connected with the hard courts or some certain moment?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No, this is the first time, to be honest. I think as a tennis player, you’re likely to always have some kind of stiffness in your arm, whatever your stronger arm is. It’s normal. We hit thousands of tennis balls every day. It’s normal to feel sore a little bit here and there, but it goes away after a few days. You do a lot of stretching. You do a lot of recovers. I’ve done everything the same.

It happened. Going to try to find out the causes.

 

Q. You said before you don’t want to withdraw and don’t play this tournament. Do you think this is the strength of your character, of your personality? At the same time, it’s your bad part? In the past, with the ankle, you play with the ankle because you have to play again and again and again. What about this part of your personality?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Listen, I don’t regret anything I’ve done in my life. I thought that at the certain moment it was the right thing to do. Last year I played with an injured ankle, but I won the tournament. This is the only time I won this tournament that is one of my favorites.

There is also something positive in everything you do. I try to approach life like that.

I am professional athlete. I fight. I compete. I don’t like to withdraw from tournaments. I don’t like to retire my matches. I like to play to the last point.

When I shake the hands of the opponent when I lose the match, that’s when the tournament is over for me. I will do anything in my power to play any tournament in the world where I am supposed to play   especially here which is at home.

I had two weeks between Miami and Monte Carlo. It’s not like I was tired or I had some long trips or something like that. It just happened during the practice week. Sometimes it just happens. Sometimes it’s not predictable.

 

Q. About the injury itself. Do you remember how you first noticed it? Was it in training, during a match?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, combination of things. It happened in two days. Obviously I practiced a lot. Maybe I started a bit too strong. The transition from hard court to clay, different balls, have probably taken its toll.

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Diego Schwartzman Receives Threats On Social Media Following Shock Davis Cup Defeat

The world No.15 is the latest player to speak out about recieving abusive messages on social media.

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The weekend has been an emotional rollercoaster for Diego Schwartzman, who suffered ‘one of the worst’ losses of his career before helping secure victory for his country in their Davis Cup tie against Belarus.

 

On Saturday the world No.15 was stunned by unranked 18-year-old Daniil Ostapenkov who is yet to play a professional match on the pro Tour. Ostapenkov is currently ranked 63 in the world on the junior circuit. The comprehensive victory shocked the Argentinian team who was hosting the tie at the Buenos Aires Lawn Tennis Club.

Despite the shock upset, Schwartman managed to redeem himself the following day when he defeated Alexander Zgirovsky 6-1, 6-2. That victory handed his country an unassailable 3-1 lead in their tie and secured their place in the 2022 Davis Cup qualifiers which will take place next March.

Not only playing Davis, but in Buenos Aires, with a lot of people you don’t see, it’s not easy. My level can be and has to be much better. After the game on Saturday I had a difficult day in the spirit of being able to get up and enjoy with the group,” La Nacion quoted Schwartzman as saying.
“The most normal thing was that we won the series. It’s what everyone expected. But when you have a very difficult day at work like it was on Saturday and then you win, it excites you because you have some internal things withheld.”

Between those two matches, Schwartzman revealed that he was trolled on social media by some people unhappy about his loss in the tie. The 2020 French Open semi-finalist said he received criticism and even threats from some asking him to leave his home country. Something he admits affected him at times.

“It was one of the worst days of my career,” Schwartzman commented on his loss to Zgirovsky. “I lost to an unranked, inexperienced player. All that already affects (me) a lot. Although 80 or 90 percent of the people are always encouraging (me), there was a minority who criticized me with bad intentions.’
“I received threats, insults and requests not to return to Argentina. More or less, it affects (me)”.

Schwartzman is not the first player to speak out about online abuse. During the US Open Shelby Rogers said she was expecting to receive ‘death threats’ following her loss to Emma Raducanu who went on to win the title. Sloane Stephens has also previously spoken out about being the victim of racism online.

The 29-year-old says he has previously tried to interact with those who have trolled him on social media to find out why they are doing so.

Sometimes I start to answer some messages and I ask those people if they realize what they are sending,” Schwartzman said during his press conference. “The vast majority apologize and say they had not realized it. But at the moment it hurts. That very ill-intentioned criticism is the only bad thing about social networks.”

Schwartzman has won four ATP titles and earned more than $10M in prize money so far in his career.

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Spanish Veteran Feliciano Lopez Addresses Future On The Tour

23 years after he played his first main draw match on the ATP Tour, Lopez says his longevity in the sport has been achieved with the help of of some luck.

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Feliciano Lopez of Spain is pictured during the semi-final of ATP Fever-Tree Championships tennis tournament at Queen's Club in west London on June 20, 2019.

Feliciano Lopez has dismissed any speculation that he could retire in the coming weeks after saying he is taking life on the Tour in his stride.

 

The 39-year-old Spaniard is currently the second oldest player in the world’s top 200 after Roger Federer, who is a year older than him. Lopez made his ATP Tour debut at the 1998 Barcelona Open which was before the birth of Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz. In June he became the 10th active player to record his 500th win on the Tour.

Currently ranked 111th in the world, some are starting to wonder how much longer Lopez will continue playing. So far this season he has achieved a win-loss record of 9-19 with his best performance being a run to the quarter-finals of the Mallorca Open which was held on the grass. It was in Mallorca where he defeated Karen Khachanov who is the only top 30 player he has beaten so far in 2021.

I play year-by-year, the last 6-7 years have been like this, a tennis player at that age cannot think about extending his career. After turning 30 I have been lucky, I have obtained the best results of my career,” Lopez told reporters on Friday.
It is not very common for players my age, at (almost) 40 years to continue playing in the best tournaments.” He added.

Throughout his career, Lopez has impressively played in a record 78 consecutive Grand Slam tournaments dating back to the 2002 French Open. During that period he has reached the quarter-finals of a major tournament on four occasions.

“I don’t play to break records, what makes me most excited is to continue playing Grand Slams. For me, maintaining that record (78 consecutive Grand Slams played) is very nice, but more to follow. Being competitive,” he commented on the milestone.
“It is difficult for someone to overcome it because it is 20 years in a row without missing a great one. I have had continuity and enormous luck. Those of my generation are practically all retired.”

Away from the court, the former world No.12 is the current tournament director of the Madrid Open. Making him one of a few players historically to both be playing on the Tour and managing a tournament at the same time. Recently it was confirmed that Madrid will continue hosting it’s combined event until at least 2030 following a renewed agreement between the city council and the Madrid trophy promotion.

Lopez has won a total of seven ATP titles so far in his career and has earned more than $18M in prize money.

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ATP Moves Closer To Staging Five More 12-Day Masters 1000 Events After Board Approval

Changes are coming to the men’s Tour which includes a brand new ‘profit-sharing formular’ for players.

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Masters tournaments in North America, Europe and Asia are set to be expanded over the coming months after the ATP Board recently approved some ‘key aspects’ of their strategic plan.

 

In a letter issued to players, ATP chairman Andrea Gaudenzi said an agreement has been reached concerning a variety of topics, which include the expansion of various Masters 1000 events. It is understood that the plan is for Rome, Madrid, Canada, Cincinnati and Shanghai to be increased to 12-day events instead of just one week. Putting them more in line with Indian Wells and Miami. Tennis.com reports that under the new structure, ATP 250 events will also take place during the second week of those tournaments and they could receive a subsidy from the ATP Tour, provided by extra fees paid by the Masters tournaments.

Masters 1000 events are the third highest-ranked category events in men’s tennis after Grand Slams and the ATP Finals in terms of prize money and ranking points on offer. The series was first introduced back in 1990 but it wasn’t until 2009 that the name ‘Masters 1000’ was born. The number represents how many ranking points the winner receives.

Besides the proposed changes to the Masters series, the Board has also given a green light to “a new Profit-Sharing formula” and “long-term prize money levels.” The prize money increase is reportedly said to be 2.5 percent of a base level, plus a bonus pool with a 50 percent share of the collective profit of the Masters events.

“This represents significant progress for our sport and the way our player and tournament members operate under the equal partnership of the ATP Tour. It is only through the spirit of this partnership, transparency, and alignment of interests that we can truly maximise your potential and switch our focus to the competition we face in the border sports and entertainment landscape,” Gaudenzi wrote in his letter to players.

Part of the plan also include making changes to ATP Media, who are in charge of broadcasting the events. At present it is currently jointly owned by the Tour and each of the Masters 1000 events. However, in the future it has been proposed that those tournaments trade in their ownership rights for shares in ATP media. Exact details about this process have not been publicly disclosed and it is unclear if all of the tournaments would agree to such a move.

The ATP also wants to create a ‘Tennis Data Innovations’ which will be an independent entity.

All of these proposed changes are still subject to further agreement around additional matters. The ATP have been working on details of their strategic plan for the past 18 months.

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