Wawrinka: Is it the year of Stan? - UBITENNIS
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Wawrinka: Is it the year of Stan?

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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.

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Liam Broady On Why He Wore Rainbow Laces During His Australian Open Match

Following his first round defeat, the Brit spoke about why he believes it is important to speak out in support of the LGBT community.

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Image via https://twitter.com/the_LTA/status/

It is sometimes the small gestures which go a long way and Liam Broady showed that during his first round match at the Australian Open.

 

Taking to the John Cain Arena for his night-time clash against Nick Kyrgios, the qualifier embarked upon a situation he had never experienced before with a boisterous crowd cheering on their home player. At times the atmosphere resembled that a football match with fans drinking beer and chanting Christiano Roinaldo’s ‘siu’ celebration. The reason as to why they were doing that particular chant was unclear.

Broady ended up falling 6-4, 6-4, 6-3, to Kyrgios who will next play the formidable Daniil Medvedev. Throughout the match the world No.128 was wearing rainbow laces and he did so for a special reason.

“I just kind of wanted to send the support. I know obviously within men’s tennis — is it a taboo? I don’t think it’s really a taboo, but I’ve seen questions before about why there aren’t any openly gay men on the tour, and I just wanted to kind of voice my support in that kind of general area,” Broady explained during his press conference.
“And the LGBTQ community, I mean, a lot of those guys have given me a lot of support throughout my career and have been there since day one, so I kind of wanted to give a thank you in my own sort of way.”

The Rainbow Laces initiative was created by LGBT charity Stonewall and initially marketed specifically towards football’s Premier League before later expanding into other sports. The idea is to get players to wear rainbow laces in order to raise awareness of LGBT representation within sport.

https://twitter.com/the_LTA/status/1483379917337534465

Tennis is renowned for having some of the most formidable LGBT athletes over the years with the likes of pioneers such as Billie Jean King and Martina Navratilova who were among some of the first to speak openly about their sexuality. However, on the men’s Tour it is somewhat different. There are currently no openly gay players and only a small handful in the past. Although most of those players, such as Brian Vahaly, came out after retiring from the sport.

“I saw that the first openly gay footballer just came out in Australia (Josh Cavallo) a month or two ago. And it’s difficult, right? I mean, it’s a big thing to do and at the end of the day in the 21st century, it’s pretty rubbish that people don’t feel like they can be openly gay. It’s quite sad, really,” Broady continued.
“Hopefully I will help raise awareness for it and if there are people in the locker rooms and you kind of, you don’t want to force them to come out, you know, especially if they don’t want to. It’s their choice.’
“So you just got to try and support in the way you can and just let them know that everything’s okay.”

It is not the first time the 28-year-old has spoken out about LGBT rights. In 2018 he criticized Margaret Court who likened gay-rights activists to Adolf Hitlef in terms of what she claims is ‘propaganda.’ Court has a history of making anti-LGBT remarks despite insisting that she has nothing against gay people.

Broady says he doesn’t personally know of any gay player on the Tour. Although if there was, he assumed that it would be known because the sport is a ‘pretty leaky ship’ when it comes to having private details revealed online.

On Monday the Australian Open will launch their first ever Pride Day at the tournament.

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Australian Open: Pablo Carreno Busta Through But Fabio Fognini Stunned

Busta has booked his place in the second round at Melbourne Park for the sixth year in a row.

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Pablo Carreno Busta - image via https://twitter.com/SuperTennisTv/

On day one of the Australian Open, Spanish ace Pablo Carreno Busta sealed an efficient straight-sets win to take his place in the second round.

 

The Spaniard was no match for Argentinian qualifier Tomas Etcheverry coming through 6-1, 6-2, 7-6 (7-2).

The 30-year-old from Giron sailed through the opening set that included two breaks in the fourth and sixth game.

Etcheverry, who won three matches to qualify for the Australian Open, improved in the second set.

However, it wasn’t enough as Carreno-Busta flicked through the gears breaking his younger opponent in the third and seventh game to seal the set.

In the third, the 2017 and 2020 US Open semi-finalist took an early break of serve, only to be pegged back by Etcheverry who forced a tie-break.

It wasn’t to be for the 22-year-old though as Carreno-Busta turned up the heat with some big groundstrokes to move into round two.

Next up for the world number 21 is Dutchman Tallon Griekspoor who thrashed a poor Fabio Fognini in straight sets.

The out of sorts Italian was beaten 6-1, 6-4, 6-4.

Having lost in the first round of the US Open in September, the former world number world number is nine is in danger of slipping outside the top 40.

Having shown much promise to win a first Masters 1000 in Monte Carlo back in 2019, the husband of former US Open champion Flavia Pennetta, looks desperately short of motivation and confidence.

Fognini is yet to go beyond the fourth-round of a major, and at 34 time is running out for him to mine the potential that made him one of the sports best juniors growing up alongside Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic.

Elsewhere, former Australian Open star Lucas Pouille, was knocked out in round one by fellow Frenchman Corentin Moutet.

Wildcard Pouille has endured a glut of injuries since making the semi-finals at Melbourne Park three years ago.

The 27-year-old has now fallen to 159 in the world. 

Pouille made a bright start to take the opening set 6-3, but his lack of fitness and confidence soon showed, as he lost the following sets 6-3, 6-4, 6-3.

Czech Jiri Vesley, also slumped out to American wildcard Stefan Kozlov 7-5, 6-3, 6-4.

He will face seventh seed Matteo Berrettini next.

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Cameron Norrie Puzzled By Australian Open Defeat

It was a bad day at the office for the British number one.

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Cameron Norrie ad Indian Wells 2021 (Credits: @BNPPARIBASOPEN on Twitter)

Cameron Norrie is finding it hard to pinpoint where it all went wrong for him in his first round match at the Australian Open.

 

The 12th seed could only win seven games against Sebastian Korda as he crashed out 6-3, 6-0, 6-4, after just over 100 minutes of play. It is the third time in four appearances that Norrie has fallen in the first round at Melbourne Park but last year he did manage to reach the third round. Against his American rival, he hit 29 unforced errors compared to 23 winners and was broken five times.

I had a week off to prepare, prepared as well as I could, and I was just slow, I was missing routine backhands, which I never miss,” Norrie said during his press conference.
“I honestly can’t put a finger on it. I just need to get better and improve. Lots to work on.’
“Any time I had a chance to kind of come back, he (Korda) served his way out of it. And on the bigger points he was much better than me. I didn’t play well in any big points today.”

It has been a far from smooth start to 2022 for the 26-year-old who also suffered disappointment at the ATP Cup earlier this month. In the team tournament he lost all three of his singles matches to Alexander Zverev, Taylor Fritz and Felix Auger-Aliassime. Zverev is the only one of the trio currently ranked higher than him.

Perhaps the most concerning aspect of Norrie’s latest defeat is the fact he seemed perplexed about why he played the way he did. Asked by one journalist if he was possibly suffering any lingering affects from catching COVID-19 during the festive period he replied ‘No, I think I prepared as well as I can, and I felt fine physically, fine mentally.’

Norrie was one of the breakthrough stars last year on the ATP Tour when he raced up the world rankings. He featured in six Tour finals across three different surfaces and won the biggest title of his career at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. The stellar season earned him a place at the ATP Finals as a reserve and he even played two matches following the withdrawal of Stefanos Tsitsipas due to injury.

“I don’t know why I played the way I did today. I was feeling good physically,” he said. “Yeah, I played a lot of matches (last year) but this is what we (tennis players) are paid to do and just not good enough. I just need to raise my standards, practice, matches, and execute a lot better.”

Of course, credit has to be given to Korda, who is making his debut at Melbourne Park. The American had a far from ideal preparation for the tournament after testing positive for COVID-19 which forced him to withdraw from two warm-up events.

21-year-old Korda has now beaten a top 20 player on six separate occasions. He will play France’s Corentin Moutet in the second round.

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