Monte Carlo Draw: Djokovic with Federer and Nadal with Wawrinka - UBITENNIS
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Monte Carlo Draw: Djokovic with Federer and Nadal with Wawrinka

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TENNIS – The Draw of the 2014 Monte-Carlo Rolex Master, the first Master 1000 Tournament on clay of the season, was held today. The possible semifinals could be Nadal-Wawrinka and Djokovic- Federer. The prestigious Monte-Carlo Rolex Master in the Country Club will get underway on Sunday. Diego Sampaolo

Mont Carlo Draw

The King of Monte-Carlo Rafa Nadal, eight-time champion at the Country Club, could meet David Ferrer in the quarter final and Stanislas Wawrinka in the semifinal. Defending champion Novak Djokovic could face Tomas Berdych in the quarter finals and Roger Federer in the semifinals. The other possible quarter finals could be Wawrinka-Milos Raonic and Federer against either Jo Wilfred Tsonga or last year’s semifinalist Fabio Fognini.

Nadal, who lost just two matches against Guillermo Coria in the third round in 2003 and against Novak Djokovic in the final last year, could face 2014 Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka, if the Swiss World Number 3 will be able to return to the same form which led him to his triumph Down Under. It could be a re-match of this year’s Australian Open final won by the Lausanne player.

In the bottom half of the draw Djokovic, winner last year against Nadal and twice more finalist in 2009 and 2012, could face Roger Federer, who played in three consecutive finals in 2006, 2007 and 2008 in the other semifinal. They have a 1-1 head-t-head draw this year: Federer won the Dubai semifinal, but Djokovic beat the Swiss 17-Grand Slam champion in the Indian Wells final.

First quarter:

In the first quarter of the draw Nadal will start his campaign against Giles Simon or a qualifier. Nadal will be looking to become the first player in the Open Era to win nine titles in the same tournament. In the third round the Mallorcan legend may play against Michail Youzhny who will make his debut against Italian Andreas Seppi. In the quarter final Nadal could face either Grigor Dimitrov or David Ferrer. Nadal dropped a set against Dimitrov last year in the Mediterranean Principality. Dimitrov, who will make his debut against Spaniard Marcel Granollers in the first round, beat Djokovic on clay last year in Madrid. In the head-to-head clashes on clay Nadal leads 17-1 against Ferrer

Monte-Carlo is like a home-tournament for Nadal who won eight years in a row between 2005 and 2012 and boasts a record of 48-2 winning matches. “Monte-Carlo is the tournament I dreamt to win when I was a child. I watched this court with the sea in the backdrop on television and I thought it would have been fantastic to lift this trophy in this venue. I managed to win eight times and the crowd has adopted me. Mont-Carlo is my favourite tournament”, said Nadal

Second quarter:

Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka has been drawn in a second quarter which features some clay specialists like Nicholas Almagro, Tommy Robredo and Federico Delbonis. Wawrinka will start his campaign against either Marin Cilic or Fernando Verdasco before a possible third round clash against Almagro and Robredo, Delbonis or Milos Raonic.

Third round:

Roger Federer returns to Monte-Carlo after two years of absence. He reached the quarter final in 2011. “The goal is to win another Grand Slam. I have more chances at Wimbledon and at the US Open. I beat Djokovic at Dubai but It is more difficult to beat Rafa”, said Federer on the eve of Monte-Carlo.

Federer will be bidding to win the 22nd Master 1000 tournament of his career.

Federer, who won in Dubai and reached the final in Indian Wells losing against Djokovic, will start against either Ivo Karlovic or Radek Stepanek in the second round before possibly meeting 2013 Wimbledon semifinalist Jerzy Janowicz. Federer may face either Jo Wilfred Tsonga or last year’s Monte-Carlo semifinalist Fabio Fognini. The Italian is a clay specialist and beat Andy Murray last week in the Davis Cup quarter final between Italy and Great Britain in Naples. Federer and Fognini led their national teams to the Davis Cup semifinal and will meet next September for the match between Switzerland and Italy.

Number 10 seed and World Number 13 Fognini will start against Portugal’s Joao Sousa in the first round and Roberto Bautista Agut or Vasek Pospisil in the second round.

Fourth quarter:

Last year’s Monte-Carlo champion Novak Djokovic is in very good form and is ready to defend his title after scoring the Indian Wells-Miami double for the second time in his career. “I live and train in Monte-Carlo. Winning here in the Club where I train gives me an amazing feeling.”

Djokovic will face either Gael Monfils or Kevin Anderson in the third round before facing a possible quarter final clash against Tomas Berdych. Ernests Gulbis against Aleksander Dolgopolov (semifinalist at Indian Wells) will be the most interesting first round match in this quarter of the draw.

Djokovic will be looking to clinch his fifth consecutive Master 1000 title after winning in Shanghai and Paris Bercy at the end of 2013 and winning Indian Wells and Miami last month.

The Big Four Nadal, Djokovic, Federer and Andy Murray (absent this year in Monte-Carlo) have won 34 of the last 36 Master 1000 tournaments. The only players able to break this dominance of the Big Four were Robin Soderling in 2010 and David Ferrer in 2012.

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Andrea Gaudenzi recognizes the contribution of the Italian Tennis Federation in staging the Internazionali d’Italia

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ATP President and former Italian tennis player Andrea Gaudenzi spoke in an interview to Italian TV channel Supertennis about staging the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome before the French Open and recognised the contribution of the Italian tennis Federation (FIT) in staging the tournament in the Italian capital. 

 

The Rome ATP Masters 1000 and WTA Premier 5 tournaments will be held from 20th to 27th September one week before the French Open (27th September to 11th October). 

“We are grateful to everyone, holding an event this year is difficult from an organizational and financial point of view. We thank the Italian Federation and those who organize the Challengers. Italy is making a great contribution. I think the players are waiting for the BNL Internazionali d’Italia. The Foro Italico is among the most beautiful venues in the world. Rome is splendid in September”, said Gaudenzi. 

During his tennis career Gaudenzi scored wins over Roger Federer in Rome 2002, Pete Sampras in the first round of the 2002 French Open, Jim Courier in the 1994 US Open, Goran Ivanisevic, Thomas Muster, Michael Stich and Yevgeny Kafelnikov. Gaudenzi claimed three ATP titles in Casablanca in 1998, St. Poelten and Bastad in 2002. He graduated in law at the Bologna University and obtained a MBA with Honours at IUM.

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The Trial Has Ended: David Ferrer Is Now A Head Coach Of Alexander Zverev

The former French Open finalist is set to become a regular face on the men’s Tour once again but in a differnt capacity.

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By Emil Evtimov

David Ferrer is the new head coach of Alexander Zverev alongside his father Alexander Sr. The news was revealed by the world No.7 after his win against Felix Auger-Aliassime at the Ultimate Tennis Showdown in Nice.

 

In the beginning of July Zverev announced that he and Ferrer will work together on a trial basis for two weeks in Monte Carlo. Now the German confirmed that the former world No.3 and Roland Garros finalist will be on his side as a coach at least until the end of the year. 

“The trial period is over. We are together. We understand each other great and now we are a team,” said Zverev.

Ferrer won’t be the first prominent name in team Zverev. Previously the three-time Masters 1000 champion worked with Juan Carlos Ferrero and Ivan Lendl. Since the end of his relationship with Lendl, Zverev has been trained mainly by his dad.

“David and my father are both my head coaches now. My dad doesn’t get any younger. Both are extremely important for the team.”

For Ferrer this will be the first coaching experience. His playing career ended in May 2019 during the ATP Masters 1000 in Madrid with his last opponent on the court being none other than Zverev.

For quite a long time Zverev was considered the big star from the young generation but in 2019 was a bit overshadowed by players such as Stefanos Tsitsipas and  Daniil Medvedev.

The German began 2020 with a great performance at the Australian Open reaching the semifinals where he lost to Dominic Thiem in four sets.

Zverev is on the entry list for the first tournament after the pandemic – the Western & Southern Open which will be staged in New York to create a “protective bubble” for the US Open. The 23-year old talks also about the Grand Slam tournament, saying he would prefer it not to happen, although he is going to play at this point.

“It is a bit crazy to play the US Open now. I would prefer if it would not happen and we just restart in Europe. Because of the pandemic it is not the right time to fly. But when they host the open – what shall we played do? Especially when everyone plays’ it is about ranking points, too. At this point I didn’t think about withdrawing. If everyone reacts within hygiene rules and it will be similar to the NBA bubble it could work out.”

Zverev was one of the tennis players most criticized for his behaviour during the pandemic. The reason was his participation in the Adria Tour where he and his colleagues weren’t following the social distancing rules very strictly. The German gave a negative test for COVID-19 after finding out about the positive test of Grigor Dimitrov. He promised to be in quarantine for safety reasons but was seen partying a few days after. This caused a criticism from Nick Kyrgios, as well as a Twitter war between the Australian and German legend Boris Becker.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas opens up: “I Wasn’t Sure If I Was Good Enough”

Stefanos Tsitsipas reflects on how hard it was in the beginning of his pro career.

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BY EMIL EVTIMOV

 

In the latest instalment of “Behind the Racquet” world No.6 Stefanos Tsitsipas has shed light on the personal struggles he encountered whilst breaking into the sport.

Tsitsipas had a great 2019 season, climbing from N.15 to N.6 at the end of the year after winning the Nitto ATP Finals, as well as two ATP 250 tournaments in Estoril and Marseille. He also reached the final of the Madrid Open.

However, life wasn’t always so easy for the charming Greek. In his “Behind the Racquet” post, he recalls the times when he was playing Futures while doubting that he was good enough to play professional tennis. He admitted he was feeling “very lonely” and not having many friends on the ATP tour.

Here is the Tsitsipas story in the “Behind the Racquet”:

“In 2018, I broke into the Top 15 and was seeded in Grand Slams. That’s when I understood my potential. In the beginning, I traveled with only my dad. Now, I travel with my dad, mom, and three siblings. I’m the main source of income for my family. 

I have hobbies that keep me interested in different aspects of life. These activities keep me creative and are reflected in my tennis game and presence on court. Sometimes, I post things on my social media that not many people understand. These posts express my inner creativity. I’m just trying to be different from the rest. I put Stefanos’ twist on life. I am philosophical, I come from a country with a history of philosophy and I don’t know if I was Pythagoras or Socrates in my previous life, but I wouldn’t mind being either one. 

There was a time when I wasn’t doing well. I started to play futures and was doubting myself. I wasn’t sure if I was good enough to play professional tennis. My country was going through hard times. Greece was on the verge of bankruptcy. The entire population was suffering. My father’s siblings were unemployed and couldn’t feed their families. People looked at me like I was the one ruling the country and they thought I was part of the problem. 

I felt isolated. I wasn’t home to see what was going on because I was traveling. I needed support. My mental coach shared his wisdom and inspired me. Then I said to myself, ‘You’ve dedicated your entire life to tennis, you can’t just give up. You’ve got to keep going.’ I play tennis to prove that my country has a great history and can achieve success. Tennis is a very introverted sport and we face everything alone. We have a team that follows us all over the world but I have spent countless sleepless nights on my own. All the traveling and competing causes a lot of stress and I grew very lonely.

I was an introverted child and I didn’t have many friends. When I first started playing on tour, I thought I would develop friendships but it turned out to be the opposite. Most players keep to themselves. I feel like players don’t want to become friends because they think someone will grab a secret from you to beat you. I guess they’re just too serious about the whole thing. Friends would make traveling less lonely.”

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