ATP Monte-Carlo 2014: Tsonga wins a third round mental game - UBITENNIS
Connect with us


ATP Monte-Carlo 2014: Tsonga wins a third round mental game



Tennis – ATP Monte-Carlo 2014 Jo-Wilfred Tsonga qualified for tomorrow’s quarter finals by defeating Italian clay specialist Fabio Fognini 5-7 6-4 6-0 in a match decided by mentality more than game. Giulio Gasparin

The French number one recovered from a set down and was forced to save several break points early in the second set before going on a roll until the very end.

Fognini, who was the player with most wins on clay this season, left the court of the Principality extremely disappointed for a match that was on his racket for a set and a half, before a sudden black out.

The plot of the match was highlighted by the very first point, when Tsonga hit a second serve ace, but the 10th seed started already to complain about the bad call. This later became the norm.

Tsonga started the first set looking solid from the baseline as he found an early break for a 2-0 lead, but Fognini’s reaction came fast and from that moment on it was all decided by the Italian.

Clearly the most apt to clay between the two, Fognini exploited his movements and talent to turn defence into offence and promptly went up 5-4 40-15 behind his serve.

Suddenly the world number 13 felt tight and tried something more to close the set, but this resulted in a double fault and two very awkward charged to the net.

Tsonga broke back but his comeback did not last long enough, as the Italian found the cool and with some outstanding aggressive tennis managed to break once more.

Despite another horrid miss on the first set point, this time Fognini closed the set and looked as if he was about to score a routine win.

Tsonga tried to step inside the baseline more and more often as he realised that he stood no chances against the Italian from behind, but the tactic seemed to work only partially.

Fognini kept holding easily, but he seemed to fail finding the way for a break despite the many chances.

The seventh game of the second set finally turned out to be fundamental for the final result.

Fognini tried everything to find the decisive break, but a combination of a few crucial mistakes and good serves from the French man resulted in a hold for Tsonga.

The ninth seed broke the Italian at his very first break point of the set and then went on serving out to love for the set.

The break point was forced to be replayed though, because of a bad call from a linesman, when the point was almost safely in the hands of Fognini.

The Italian went to the umpire asking for that line judge to be changed, but it did not happen and as if that mattered more than the match to him, the Italian suddenly started to unravel.

His number of errors grew together with his monologues between points, while Tsonga was gaining confidence and did not let the chance slip away from his hands.

It was the beginning of an outstanding streak of points that lasted for 17 of them, while Fognini was digging his hole deeper and deeper into bad mood.

Fognini called the supervisor asking once again for that judge to be changed, then required the trainer for a leg injury and kept moaning about one man in the stands.

Despite the show staged by the Italian, Tsonga managed to keep the head focused and kept playing some stunning tennis to go up 3-0 and serve.

From that moment on, Fognini made an absolute joke of himself as he stopped even trying to win any point.

He kept his moaning up though and by the end he found himself arguing with the crowd, while Tsonga silently conquered the last point and earned a place in the quarter finals.

The French man is set to face the winner of Roger Federer against Lukas Rosol.


Olympic Qualification Is Not the Only Goal For French Veteran Gael Monfils



Gael Monfils (image via

Gael Monfils admits he doesn’t have too many years left on the Tour but this doesn’t mean his targets are any less ambitious. 

The 37-year-old has enjoyed a rapid rise up the rankings over the past 12 months following battles with injury. At his lowest, he was ranked 394th last May but is now in 40th position. As a result, he is closing on securing a place in the Olympic Games which is being held in his home country of France for the first time since 1924. The tennis event will be staged at Roland Garros. 

“When I was 400, I was thinking the Olympics would be great, but it’s going to be tough,” Monfils told reporters on Tuesday. 
“There are younger players playing well. If I don’t qualify, I don’t mind. It will just mean I’m very close to the ranking I want to be. That ranking will allow me to find another goal.”

Monfils is already a three-time Olympian but has never won a medal at the event. He reached the quarter-finals of the singles tournament twice in 2008 and 2016. 

Another goal of Frenchmen is the Wimbledon championships which concludes just three weeks before the Olympics begin. The proximity of these tournaments will be a challenge to all players who will be going from playing on clay to grass and then back to clay again. 

“I really want to go and play Wimbledon. I don’t have so many Wimbledons to play in the future. The Olympics is one goal, not the only goal.” Monfils states.
“My dream is of course to be part of the Olympics. I played three times at the Olympics. I’d like to be there again. But I also really want to do well in Wimbledon this year. To reach my goal, it has to be including Wimbledon.” He added. 

Monfils is currently playing at the Monte Carlo Masters where he beat Aleksandar Vukic in his opening match. In the next round, he will take on Daniil Medvedev in what will be their first meeting since 2022. He leads their head-to-head 2-1. 

Medvedev has openly spoken about his roller-coaster relationship with playing on the clay. He admits it is not his favourite surface but how much of a factor could this be in his upcoming clash with Monfils?

“Of course, it’s not his favourite one, but he’s still Daniil Medvedev, and whatever the surface, it’s always very complicated to play him,” Monfils concludes. 

Continue Reading


Matteo Berrettini wins in Marrakech displaying quality tennis



Matteo Berrettini - Marrakech 2024 (photo X @ATPTour_ES)

Matteo Berrettini defeats Roberto Carballes Baena in straight sets, 75 62, and proves that his comeback is well grounded  

If life is often considered a continuous narrative, it may be no coincidence that today Matteo Berrettini’s comeback journey intersescted Carballes Baena, a player he had faced twice in straight tournaments, Florence and Naples in October 2022, shortly before plunging into his annus horribilis, an injury-plagued 2023.

Just like resuming the story from where it was left.

Carballes Baena, the defending champion, got off to a sharper start, holding serve with ease and earning a first break point in the second game. Berrettini averted the threat by hammering down three serves but lost his service two games later.

Doubts on the Italian’s recovery from his energy-draining semifinal may have been starting to come afloat. However Berrettini broke back immediately, unsettling the Spaniard’s consistency with changes of pace and alternating lifted and sliced backhands.

The next six games neatly followed serve. Figures witness how close the match was. After 45 minutes the scoreboard read 5 games all, and stats reported 27 points apiece.

The eleventh game was to be crucial. Carballes Baena netted two forehands, while trying to hit through the Italian’s skidding spins and conceded a break point. Berrettini followed up two massive forehands with a delicate, unreachable drop shot and secured the break.

Carballes Baena was far from discouraged, and fired two forehand winners dashing to 0 40  with the Italian serving for the set.

Berrettini was lucky to save the first break point with a forehand that pinched the top of the net, and trickled over. Then he hit two winning first serves to draw even. Then again two first serves paired with their loyal forehand winner: Berrettini’s copyright gamepattern sealed a 59 minute first set.

The match seemed about to swing round at the very start of the second set when Carballes Baena had three break points and was winning all the longer rallies. Once more Berrettini got out of trouble thanks to his serve. Carballes Baena’s disappointment turned into frustration after he failed to put away two quite comfortable smashes and lost his service immediately after.  

Unforced errors were seeping into the Spaniard’s game and when Berrettini won a 16-shot rally with a stunning crosscourt forehand on the stretch and went on to grab a two-break lead, the match appeared to have taken its final twist.

Berrettini did not falter when serving for the match at 5 2, despite an unforced error on the first point. Three first serves chauffeured him to two match points.

Carballes Baena only succeeded in bravely saving the first, well steering the rally. But the 2021 Wimbledon finalist produced a massive serve out wide and joyfully lifted his arms to the sky, for a most emotional victory. It means so much to a player whose talent and career have been incessantly diminished by injuries.

It’s been a tough last couple of years” Matteo Berrettini said, holding the trophy. “Thanks to my team I was able to overcome all the tough moments my body didn’t allow me to play. I thank you and all the people that made my comeback possible: all my friends and my family, the people that were with me all the time when I was sad, injured and I didn’t think I could make it.”

Continue Reading


Andrey Rublev Reflects On Recent Struggles Ahead Of Monte Carlo Title Defence



Andrey Rublev admits he continues to struggle to maintain his emotions on the court after his disqualification from a tournament earlier this year.

The Russian world No.6 hopes to get back on track after a disappointing American swing where he won just one out of three matches played. In Indian Wells, Rublev beat ex-No.1 Andy Murray before falling in straight sets to Jiri Lehecka. Then in Miami, he lost his opening match against Tomas Machac. 

“At Indian Wells, I was so focused on trying to control my movements that I was completely stuck,” the 26-year-old recently commented
“I had no energy left, I had no strength. And in Miami, I exploded. I could no longer control myself, my actions, my nerves. I felt paralyzed, I couldn’t move.”

As to why Rublev felt so paralyzed, he acknowledges it could be linked to an incident that happened earlier in the season. At the Dubai Tennis Championships he was defaulted from his semi-final clash against Alexander Bublik for unsportsmanlike conduct after he was accused of saying an obscenity in his native language at an official. He then successfully appealed against the penalty and retained the ranking points and prize money he earned, barring a fine of $36,400 for a code violation.

“Maybe what happened in Dubai remains in my mind,” said Rublev. 

Rublev’s focus now switches to his title defence at the Monte Carlo Masters. It is the only Masters 1000 event he has won so far in his career. 

“I feel better. These last two weeks I have been training a lot. But it’s one thing to train well, it’s another to play well in a match.” He evaluated of his current form. 

Rublev has yet to defend a Tour-level title so far in his career. Should he do so, he will become only the fifth player in the Open Era to win multiple Monte Carlo trophies. 

Continue Reading