Master 1000 Monte-Carlo: Successful debut for defending champion Djokovic - UBITENNIS
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Master 1000 Monte-Carlo: Successful debut for defending champion Djokovic

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TENNIS – Master 1000 Monte-Carlo defending champion Novak Djokovic swept aside Albert Montanes 6-1, 6-0 in just 45 minutes in a one-sided match in the second round of the Monte-Carlo Rolex Master, the first European clay tournament of the season. Diego Sampaolo

The match did not break the record as the quickest match in history recently set by Jarkko Nieminen against Bernard Tomic with 28 minutes but there was no match today as Djokovic was simply too strong for Montanes.

The match lasted just two games. Montanes won the second game for 1-1 before Djokovic dominated the rest of the match without dropping his serve. Montanes, who beat Benoit Paire in three sets in the first set, earned three consecutive break points but Djokovic saved them to take the 2-1 lead. Djokovic converted his fourth break point chance at 4-1. This was one of the five breaks of serve in this match for Djokovic who lost just 10 points on serve and saved four break points.

Montanes saved two set points but Djokovic closed out the first set at third opportunity. The second set was a training session for Djokovic who dropped just five points in the second set to seal the win on his first match point in just 45 minutes. Djokovic improved his record in his head-to-head matches against Montanes to 6-0. Djokovic will take on either lucky loser Pablo Carreno Busta or Gael Monfils who beat Kevin Anderson.

Djokovic admitted that he has a different approach this year to the clay season in preparation for the Roland Garros, the only Grand Slam title missing in his cabinet.

Last year I put a lot of energy into winning the Roland Garros title. It was in my thoughts constantly. It didn’t help me for the tournaments prior to that, like Madrid and Rome. I have a different approach this year. I want to do well in the next clay tournaments in preparation and eventually get myself in a very good position in terms of confidence for the French Open”, said Djokovic

Djokovic has claimed his 11th consecutive win. The Monte-Carlo based star is looking to clinch his fifth consecutive Master 1000 Tournament, including Shanghai, paris Bercy last year and the second Indian Wells-Miami double of his career last March. He won last year’s final against Nadal and finished runner-up twice to the Spaniard in 2009 and 2012.

His coach Boris Becker followed Djokovic from the stands after missing Indian Wells and Miami

Jo Wilfred Tsonga, semifinalist last year in Monte-Carlo, had to dig deep to battle past Phillip Kohlschreiber. The German won the second set 6-1 to force the match to the third set. After wasting two match points Tsonga broke closed out the match on his third match point when Kohlschreiber sent his forehand wide.The Frenchman hit 19 winners to 39 unforced errors and won 76 percent of his first serve points to win for the seventh time in eight matches against the German. Tsonga, a semifinalist at the Roland Garros last year,

Last year’s Roland Garros finalist David Ferrer swept aside Jeremy Chardy with 6-3 6-0 in 65 minutes.

Italian Andreas Seppi won for the first time in his career after four defeats against Michail Youzhny with 6-3 7-6 (7-4) in just over two hours. Seppi entertained the crowd for a spectacular Federer-style tweener at 3-3 in the first set which could become one of the candidates for “the shot of the week” award.

Seppi broke serve in the fourth game of the first set with a backhand Youzhny broke straight back before saving five break point chances to draw level to 3-all. Seppi got the decisive break at 4-3 before sealing the first set with 6-3 in 44 minutes.

The second set went on serve. In the fifth game Seppi earned a break point chance and Youzhny got two break point chances in the following game but all three chances were saved. Youzhny saved a break point at 4-4 with an ace. Seppi had to save three set points at 4-5 with his serve. The second set came down to the tie-break. Seppi stormed to 5-2 before earning two match points. He closed it out on his first match point.

Seppi is playing for the ninth time in Monte-Carlo but he has never got through the second round. He lost eight times in the second round and in the first round last year against his compatriot Fabio Fognini.

I have already made a tweener against Murray in Rome. It is so special to made a special shot on this prestigious stage in Monte-Carlo”, said Seppi.

Seppi fended off six of the seven break points he faced to set up a second round against Pablo Andujar. Seppi has not claimed back-to-back wins this year so far this year.

Grigor Dimitrov recovered from a break down in the third set before winning the final six games of the match to beat Marcel Granollers with 6-2 4-6 6-2.

French qualifier Michael Llodra upset last year’s Wimbledon qualifier Jerzy Janowicz 6-4 6-2 in just 66 minutes to set up the next match against Lukas Rosol. The young Pole suffered his sixth consecutive defeat since the quarter finals in Rotterdam.

Teymuraz Gabashvili fought back from a set down to overcome Giles Simon 4-6 6-4 6-4 to set up a second round match against eight-time champion Rafa Nadal.

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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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