TENNIS – The 2014 season is shaping up as the year of Stanislas Wawrinka who clinched his first Master 1000 title in Monte-Carlo with his 4-6 7-6 6-2 over Roger Federer adding to his first Grand Slam at the Australian Open. The 28-year-old Lausanne player has moved up to World Number 3 overtaking his illustrious compatriot Roger Federer as the best Swiss player in the ATP Ranking and is now the World Number 1 in the Race to London. Diego Sampaolo
Wawrinka finally managed to win his first Master 1000 title in his third attempt after losing his first two finals in Rome 2008 against Novak Djokovic and in Madrid 2013 against Nadal. The Swiss broke the duopoly of Nadal and Djokovic who totally dominated the circuit winning all the 2013 Master 1000 Tournaments and the first two events of 2014 at Indian Wells and Miami. In 34 of the last 36 previous Master 1000 Tournaments only players belonging to the exclusive Big Four club (Djokovic, Nadal, Federer and Murray) had managed to lift trophies. This is the only third time in the past 37 Master 1000 Tournaments that a title has been won by a player other than the Big Four. The other two were Robin Soderling and David Ferrer.
Thanks to his win in the Principality, Wawrinka has moved to Number 1 player in the Race to London, which takes into account only the results achieved in 2014. He has improved his record to 20-3 this year and won six times in six matches against Top-ten players. Wawrinka, who was ranked World Number 17 at the start of 2013, was able to beat Novak Djokovic in the quarter final and Rafa Nadal in the final at the Australian Open and Roger Federer in Monte-Carlo. He broke a 14-match losing streak against Djokovic and beat Nadal for the first time after 12 defeats in a row. Before Monte-Carlo Federer won 11 consecutive matches against his compatriot.
“I did an amazing job. I am very happy to win a Master 1000 so quickly after clinching my first Grand Slam. When I came here, It was more like a test. I knew I was playing good tennis but I didn’t expect to win because the draw was so strong”, said Wawrinka
It was not the first time that Wawrinka managed to beat Federer on the Monte-Carlo clay of the famous Country Club. This was the only win achieved by Wawrinka over Federer in the previous 14 head-to-head matches before last Sunday’s final. Federer lost his second all-Swiss final 14 years after losing against Marc Rosset in Marseille in 2000. “I have never been able to win finals against Swiss players”, said Federer referring to his previous defeat in a all-Swiss final against Rosset and Sunday’s defeat against Wawrinka.
Federer and Wawrinka showed big respect before and after the match because of their friendship. They even practised in the morning before the final.
“It’s always special to play against Federer. We know it’s always a strange match, especially in the final here. He is my best friend on the circuit. We respect each other so much. I am just trying on the court to win the match. Before and after we are very good friends. During the match, we just try everything to win the match”, said Wawrinka.
Federer praised his friend after the Monte-Carlo final and was not so disappointed despite the defeat which prevented him from winning his first Monte-Carlo Tournament.
“Of course, I am very happy for Stan. It’s a huge for him after winning his first Grand Slam, also to win his first Master 1000. To take the opportunities when they are there, that’s the key in a tennis player’s career.So I am very happy for him. I would have loved to win my second title this year but Stan deserved this title because he was tough at the end. It was a great pleasure to share this moment with Stan. It was a tennis celebration on a beautiful court. This was one of those weeks we were able to capitalize on it. Stan did the same at the Australian Open. I didi t in Dubai. It’s definitely a good start to the season for all four of us”, said Federer
Will Wawrinka be able to continue his impressive season and lift other Master 1000 or Grand Slam Tournaments this year ? This is the big question of many tennis experts and fans ahead of the next big clay tournaments in Madrid, Rome and Paris followed by Wimbledon on grass and the US Open on hard-court.
Wawrinka has showed his versatility on all surfaces winning his first Grand Slam on hard court at the Australian Open last January and reaching the semifinal at the US Open on hard court. He also won a grass tournament at s’Hertogenbosch. He has the experience to maturity to continue winning on the big stage.
Secondly, some of his biggest rivals did not show their best form recently. Djokovic won Indian Wells and Miami but he was hampered by a wrist injury during his semifinal against Federer in Monte-Carlo. Djokovic needs a period of rest to treat this problem. Nadal has not reached the Monte-Carlo final for the first time since 2005 and was not the only dominant player on his favourite clay surface but he will have a chance to bounce back this week in Barcelona. However, he will have to defend a lot of points. Federer will now take a break before Madrid waiting for the birth of his child who is expected in the next weeks. Andy Murray, who skipped Monte-Carlo, is practicing in preparation for Madrid.
“I am capable of beating any of the best players. The win in Monte-Carlo has given me an extra motivation and to beat Roger is such an important moment. I believe in myself and in my game and if I can bring this level all the time, I will have a chance to win any match”, said Wawrinka.
Stefanos Tsitsipas Names His Best Personality Trait Ahead of Wimbledon Showdown With Kyrgios
The Greek has named one ‘defining aspect’ of her personality but will it have any relevance for his next match?
Stefanos Tsitsipas says he is ‘thrilled’ to book a Wimbledon third round meeting with Nick Kyrgios later this week after seeing off Jordan Thompson in straight sets on Thursday.
The world No.5 rallied his way to a 6-2, 6-3, 7-5, over Thompson to record only his fifth main draw win at the tournament in his career. Despite his accolades on the Tour, Tsitsipas has endured disappointment at The All England Club. In his four previous appearances, he lost in the first round three times.
Nevertheless, the Greek appears to be heading in the right direction on the grass after winning the Mallorca Open less than a week ago. Although he will be truly tested on Saturday when he faces the dangerous Kyrgios who he lost to in Halle earlier this year after winning the first set. Kyrgios produced a clinical performance in his second round match which he said was a message sent to media criticism him.
“Nick has more matches on me in these courts. He claims to like grass. I think his game is good for the grass,” said Tsitsipas.
“I am definitely thrilled to be facing him. I respect him a lot, on the court, what he’s trying to do. Although he has been a little controversial in the past, I think he’s playing good tennis.’
“I’m going to try and concentrate on doing my thing and pay attention to my own game from start to finish. Hopefully I can stay there and do something great, have a great competitive match against him.”
Kyrgios’ talent has never been disputed but it is his mentality which has at times been his downfall. In his first round match, he was aggravated by the crowd, argued with a match official and spat in front of some people in the stands who were ‘disrespecting’ him.
As for Tsitsipas, the 23-year-old believes his mental strength is one of his best personality traits.
“My mentality is pretty strong. If I fall, I’ll always get up and work hard. I never really have these days where I’m saying, I don’t want to practice today,” he said
“I feel like other players would have that a bit more often than I do. If I fall, I always get up, one thing to get stronger.”
It remains to be seen if Tsitsipas will come back stronger against Kyrgios as he seeks revenge for his recent loss. Although he has lost to the Australian on two other occasions with his only victory in their rivalry being at the Laver Cup.
“You just go out on the court hoping to have a good match, hoping to be able to get balls back, be precise with your shot selection. That comes with good preparation. The rest will hopefully follow if you’re able to approach that with the right mindset.” Tsitsipas explained.
Tsitsipas is the only seeded player remaining in his section of the draw after two rounds played.
Andy Murray, Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer form dream team for London’s Laver Cup
Build-up to September’s Laver Cup has already begun and some big names are set to feature.
Andy Murray’s Wimbledon may have come to a disappointing end yesterday, but there is hope on the horizon yet.
It was announced shortly before his second-round encounter with John Isner, that the three-time Grand Slam champion has signed up to play in September’s Laver Cup.
This would mark Murray’s first appearance in the competition.
Being a home tournament for the Brit, fans will be hoping and praying he stays fit for September’s showpiece at the O2 Arena.
Team Europe assembles dream team
With the confirmation of tennis legends Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal, the addition of Murray adds more stellar firepower and history to Europe’s cast.
With three of six confirmed, who could the other three names be?
Surely, teen sensation Carlos Alcaraz should be given a place at the table.
The Spaniard has taken the ATP Tour by storm this season, winning not one but TWO Masters 1000’s in Miami and Madrid.
He also became the youngest member of the top ten since you guessed it, his idol Nadal.
Another strong contender would be Italy’s Matteo Berrettini.
Having spent three months out with a hand injury, he stormed to titles in Stuttgart and Queen’s proving to be the season’s standout player on grass.
He unfortunately had to pull out of Wimbledon on the eve of his first-round match after contracting Coronavirus.
If fit, he would be a worthy addition after debuting at the event last year.
The romantics would love for another big name in Stan Wawrinka.
The Swiss is well and truly in the twilight of his career.
Like Andy, he has won three Grand Slam’s and would be warmly welcomed by close friend Roger, who he won the 2008 Beijing Olympics doubles gold alongside.
And then there’s Marin Cilic who was in fine form to reach the semi-finals of the French Open, making him only one of five active players to reach all four Grand Slam semi-finals.
The former US Open champion played in the inaugural Laver Cup back in 2017.
Team World – Diego Schwartzman, Taylor Fritz and Felix Auger Aliassime confirmed
The challenge of Team Captain John McEnroe is that his counterpart, Bjorn Borg has a wealth of talent at his disposal.
Whilst, the American doesn’t quite have the same luxury.
Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman and Indian Wells winner Taylor Fritz were the first two confirmed names.
Canadian talents Felix Auger Aliassime (confirmed) and Denis Shapovalov (not yet confirmed), are the standout names that Team World will bolster their ranks with.
That would then leave two places left with McEnroe likely to call on past stalwarts from previous editions.
This could be 37-year-old Isner, who was highly impressive in defeating Murray yesterday at Wimbledon.
Meanwhile, the seven-time Grand Slam champion is a known fan and admirer of the feisty Nick Kyrgios.
The two big servers could therefore be the final names.
Other possibilities would be American’s Frances Tiafoe, who has played the Laver Cup before, and the talented Sebastian Korda.
Following the announcement of Murray, more confirmations cannot be far away.
Spain’s Bautista Agut Latest Player To Test Positive For Covid At Wimbledon
It is understood that The All England Club is reviewing their Covid-19 policy amid fears of an outbreak.
This year’s Wimbledon men’s tournament has had a third seeded player forced to pull out after testing positive for COVID-19.
Roberto Bautista Agut, who was the 17th seed in the draw, has withdrawn from his second-round match against Daniel Elahi Galan which was set to get underway on Thursday afternoon on Court Three. Announcing his decision on Twitter, the Spaniard said his symptoms are ‘not very serious‘ but he believes not playing is the right thing to do.
“Today I have notified Wimbledon of my withdrawal. I have tested positive for Covid-19. Fortunately, the symptoms are not very serious but I think it is the best decision (not to play).” Bautista Agut wrote.
“I hope to be back soon.”
The 34-year-old was making his eighth main draw appearance at The All England Club this year. In 2019 he reached the semi-finals in what is his best-ever result at a Grand Slam tournament to date.
Earlier this week Marin Cilic and Matteo Berrettini also withdrew from Wimbledon after positive Covid tests. However, they hadn’t played their first round match which Bautista Agut did. The trio of cases raise fears of a possible outbreak in the tournament given how contagious it can be.
Wimbledon’s Covid-19 policy is made in conjunction with advice issued by local health officials. Although it is unclear if a player is required to withdraw from an event if they have the virus. Ubitennis asked a spokesperson for clarity on the matter but was instead given a generic statement.
As a major event we have and continue to work in conjunction with the UK Public Health Security Agency and our Local Authority,’ An All England Club spokesperson said via email on June 26th.
“As a major event we have and continue to work in conjunction with the UK Public Health Security Agency and our Local Authority.
“We have maintained enhanced cleaning and hand sanitising operations, and offer full medical support for anyone feeling unwell. We are following UK guidance around assessment and isolation of any potential infectious disease.
“Our player medical team also continue to wear face masks for any consultation.”
The Guardian has reported that a review of Wimbledon’s guidelines is underway. This was before Agut said he had also contracted the virus. However, there has been no formal announcement concerning any review.
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Wimbledon Daily Preview: Djokovic, Kerber, Alcaraz Face Seeded Opposition
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REPORT: Rafael Nadal And Wife Mery Expecting First Child
Alexander Zverev Issues Injury Update Following French Open Retirement
Andy Murray Cautiously Optimistic About Recovering From Injury In Time For Wimbledon
REPORT: Alexander Zverev To Be Sidelined From Tour For Up To Two Months
US Open, Steve Flink: “Djokovic’s loss had more to do with fatigue than pressure”
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