Stanislas Wawrinka beats improved Raonic and qualifies to semis - UBITENNIS
Connect with us


Stanislas Wawrinka beats improved Raonic and qualifies to semis




TENNIS – Monte-Carlo 2014. Stanislas Wawrinka edged Milos Raonic in a tight first set before rolling to a good 7-6 (5) 6-2 win worth a place in the semi-finals of ATP Master 1000 of Monte Carlo. Giulio Gasparin


The Australian Open champion was forced to a first-set tiebreak by the heavy serve of the Canadian and he found himself trailing 3-0 and then 5-3 before finding his best game and close 7-5.

In the second set, with the boost of confidence given by the first set, the Swiss found his trademark shots and after breaking Raonic’s serve on the very first break point of the match, he sailed to a comfortable win.

The world number 10, however, showed great improvements on the surface and it was clear the new prompts given by the coaching of Riccardo Piatti and Ivan Ljubicic are starting to kick in.

Raonic adopted new tactics, trying to avoid baseline rallies by charging the net and this combination of strong serves and net rushes seemed to work, as the Canadian faced no break points in the first set.

Wawrinka remained the best clay courter of the two and his aptness to the surface started to make an impact whenever the rallies began to grow longer.

Nonetheless, the Swiss number one exploited his big and varying serve to keep the pressure off, as much as giving no break points to his opponent throughout the match.

Having had the advantage to serve first, the world number three led the first set from the very beginning, but both times Raonic had to serve to stay in the set, the Canadian found his best serve to give no chances to his opponent.

Wawrinka started the tiebreak in the worst possible way as he was let down by his ground-strokes: first his favourite backhand down the line finished long and after a good serve from the Canadian, it was his forehand to go wild.

Down for 3-0, the Swiss did not let this bring him down and with two good serves and then a stunning backhand passing shot on the run, he got the mini-break back.

An unlucky netcord stopped Wawrinka’s forehand, giving another chance to Raonic, but on 4-5 up, the serve of the Canadian went missing.

The same net that stopped the Swiss’s forehand transformed a return in a winner to even the score, then Raonic sank an easy forehand on the bottom of the net, giving Wawrinka the chance to serve for the set.

The world number three did not let this go unused and with a massive serve he closed the tiebreak.

Raonic started the second set with three big serves to set a 40-0 lead, but the Wawrinka stepped in and by trying to be aggressive from the return, he scored four straight winners to get to the first break point of the match.

Raonic missed an easy forehand again and handed the first break.

Wawrinka started to trust more his shots and got another easy hold featuring one more stunning backhand down the line.

Raonic stopped the leak with two consecutive holds, but there was little he could do in the service games of the Swiss.

In the seventh game of the second set, Wawrinka pushed on the throttle once more and found another break to go serving for the set.

With another big service game, the third seed closed the match with ease, showing a renewed confidence after the worrying weeks on the American hard courts.

Wawrinka will now face the winner of Rafael Nadal against David Ferrer, with Nadal as the big favourite. But both the Spaniards will have to beware, because the Swiss has yet to face a single break point in the tournament and his game seems to be back to the Australian levels.


Doubles Player Dream French Open Debut Ended By Instagram Message

Portugal’s Francisco Cabral said he found out he will not be playing in Paris through social media.




Francisco Cabral - Image via

Playing in the main draw of a Grand Slam is the pinnacle of many players’ careers but one player missed out on that opportunity due to an unfortunate situation. 


Portugal’s Francisco Cabral was set to play in the men’s doubles tournament for the first time at this week’s French Open. The world No.72 is currently at a career-high after winning his maiden Tour title in Estoril last month with compatriot Nuno Borges. In Paris, he entered into the draw alongside Denmark’s Holger Rune. 

However, shortly before he was set to make his Grand Slam debut Rune pulled out at the last minute. Leaving Cabral unable to look for another partner in such a short time. Rune’s withdrawal from the doubles was based on medical advice after he hurt his ankle during his second round clash against Henri Laaksonen. The Dane tripped over the court cover at the back of the court but fortunately wasn’t seriously injured and managed to continue playing. 

“Right now I feel a huge sadness because it’s a dream to play in a Grand Slam tournament. I’ve been here since Saturday training, waiting, watching games, experiencing a new world because it was my first Grand Slam and it’s another dimension and I was really, really looking forward to being able to play,” Cabral told Raquetc. “And having waited until 15 minutes before game time to know that I wasn’t going to play after all, it cost me a lot, but I did everything I could.”

Caral went on to criticize the behavior of Rune who informed him that he would not be playing in the doubles event via a message sent on Instagram. It is unclear why the two never spoke face-to-face. 

“He only told me that he had sprained his foot, that he was at the doctor’s, and that he had told him not to play the doubles. I’m sad about his attitude because he didn’t even say this to my face, he just sent me a message on Instagram. I don’t think it went well, but as I said, I couldn’t have done anything differently, so I’ll just wait for the next opportunity.” He said. 

25-year-old Cabral is targeting Wimbledon as the event where he will play his first main draw match. 

Meanwhile, Rune will continue his singles campaign at Roland Garros on Saturday when he plays Hugo Gaston in the third round. The former world No.1 junior has shot up the rankings this season to a high of 40th. 

Cabral and Rune has been replaced in the draw by Sander Arends and Szymon Walków. 

Continue Reading


French Open Crowd Crossed The Line, Says Frustrated Alex de Minaur

The Australian explains why he wasn’t entirely happy with the atmosphere in the French capital.




Alex de Minaur didn’t hide his irritation with fans at Roland Garros following his shock exit from the tournament on Tuesday.


The 19th seed fell to home player Hugo Gaston in a five-set epic that lasted more than four hours. De Minaur had a 3-0 lead in the decisive set but ended up losing 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, 0-6, 7-6(10-4) to the world No.74. He has now lost in the first round of the French Open in four out of six appearances.

During the match De Minaur had to contend with a boisterous crowd who were cheering on Gaston. He faced some booing and jeering from those in the stands which the world No.20 was not happy about.

“I think there is a difference between a great atmosphere and supporting your fellow countrymen, which is completely fine and it’s great. I’m sure for him was an amazing atmosphere, he enjoyed every second of it.” De Minaur said afterwards.
“But there is a line that, when I’m getting told things by people in the crowd, making eye contact with me after I hit a double fault, I think there is a certain line that needs to be kind of looked at.”
“Good on him (Gaston) for playing a great match in front of his home crowd and being able to feed off that, and you know, having a moment that I’m sure he won’t forget.”

De Minaur refused to go into what exactly was being said to him from certain members of the crowd but insisted that he was not being intimidated by what was occurring on the court. Towards the end of the match a series of unforced errors, including double faults, costed him dearly.

“I’m pretty sure I dealt with it pretty well, all things considering,” he said. “I was in the moment. I was in the heat of the moment battling out there. It felt like kind of an away Davis Cup match, and I thrive on that. It was a lot sometimes and sometimes you do your best to focus on playing a tennis match. There are outside factors that you do your best to control.“

Heading into Paris, De Minaur had shown encouraging results on the clay with semi-final runs to tournaments in Barcelona and Lyon. He also reached the third round in Rome and took a set off Andrey Rublev when they clashed in Monte Carlo.

Given those recent results on the Tour, it is clear that the latest defeat is one that will sit with him for a while.

Ideally, I will sleep tonight and I will forget all about it, but I have a feeling that won’t be the case,” de Minaur admits.
“It’s disappointing, as everything is, it is what it is. It’s a sport that we are playing. You have your good days, your bad days. You win absolute battles; you lose absolute battles.”

As for Garon, he will face Argentine qualifier Pedro Cachin in the second round. This year’s draw is a golden opportunity for the Frenchman with him guaranteed to not play a seeded player until at least the last 16 if he makes it that far.

Continue Reading


Novak Djokovic Opens Up About Wimbledon Points Removal

The world No.1 states that he will always support the views of his peers.





Novak Djokovic (Roberto Dell'Olivo)

By Kingsley Elliot Kaye

In his press conference following his win over Yoshihito Nishioka at the French Open, Novak Djokovic expressed his views about the ATP decision to remove points from Wimbledon.


Negatively affected by such a decision – he will drop 2000 points – the world No.1 praised the ATP’s stance and called for players’ unity.

“I think collectively I’m glad that players got together with ATP, the governing body of the men’s tennis, and showed to the Grand Slam that when there is a mistake happening, and there was from the Wimbledon side, then we have to show that there are going to be some consequences. So I support the players, unification always. I have always done that. I will always do that.” He said.

Djokovic criticized the lack of communication between the parties involved, in particular with regard to a document of recommendation by the English Government which contained diverse options. Had it been discussed by the All England Club with ATP and players, a compromise may have been reached.

“I think it was a wrong decision. I don’t support that at all. But, you know, during these times, it’s a super sensitive subject, and anything that you decide, it’s unfortunately going to create a lot of conflict, a lot of separation instead of unification.” He continued.

Djokovic also mentioned other suggestions coming from WTA and ATP, that possibly men’s and women’s players from Belarus, Ukraine, and Russia could play together at some exhibition event during the slam or something like this and prize money could go to the victims in Ukraine. There were different ideas, but there was never really a strong communication coming from Wimbledon.

He stressed that removing the points from Wimbledon, therefore not allowing players to earn or to defend points, is a decision that affects everyone, a lose-lose situation for everyone, as he called it.

Nonetheless, the charm and prestige of Wimbledon shall rest unaltered and its meaningfulness extends far beyond: “A Grand Slam is still a Grand Slam. Wimbledon for me was always my dream tournament when I was a child. You know, I don’t look at it through the lens of points or prize money. For me, it’s something else.”

Continue Reading