Nadal No Nonsense in his opener at Roland Garros - UBITENNIS
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Nadal No Nonsense in his opener at Roland Garros

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TENNIS ROLAND GARROS – Rafael Nadal, current world’s number 1 and undisputed “King of Clay” comes into this year’s French Open in an unusual position; he is not the overwhelming odds-on favourite to win the title. However, in his opening round match against Robby Ginepri, the Spaniard was near perfection as he demolished his opponent 6-0 6-3 6-0. Cordell Hackshaw

 

Interviews, Results, OOP, Draws from the Roland Garros

Rafael Nadal, current world’s number 1 and undisputed “King of Clay” comes into this year’s French Open in an unusual position; he is not the overwhelming odd-on favourite to win the title. He has suffered three losses on clay this season (first time in nearly a decade) and won his lone Master Series 1000 title of the year in Madrid when is opponent retired in the final. However, in his opening round match against veteran American Robby Ginepri, the Spaniard was near perfection as he demolished his opponent 6-0 6-3 6-0 in about an hour and 42 minutes. Nadal with this performance raised the odds that he is still the man to beat here in Paris.

Ginepri started the match with a double fault and this seemed to have set the tone for the rest of the match. He relinquished his service game when he again double faulted and Nadal quickly snatched the set 6-0 in 29 minutes. Ginepri was constantly being rushed and made to feel that he had to go for winners at the slightest of opportunities. This in turn made the American very erratic. He committed 16 errors alone in the first set whereas Nadal only had 7. The Spaniard relinquished only one point on serve and was very aggressive on his return game. When Ginepri had 3 game points in the 5th game of the set, Nadal remained adamant that he had to have break opponent and so he did.

In the 2nd set, Ginepri showed signs of the player that saw him rise to a career high ranking of 15 in 2005. He finally got the scoreboard and was able to earn his sole break point of the match during the 4th game of the set. Nadal quickly dismissed this slight danger with a few quick flicks of his racquets to remain on serve. The American did not initially look dismayed by this missed rare opportunity and held serve to go up 3-2. However, his effort of securing those three games against Nadal became his undoing as he lost the next ten games of the match 0-6 3-6 0-6. The 3rd set was a masterclass of Nadal’s clay court prowess. He allowed Ginepri only 9 points in the set as he won three times as many. Overall, the Spaniard only dropped 11 points on serve and had 27 winners to 15 errors. Ginepri on the other hand committed 41 errors to 18 winners.

This matchup had a bit of controversial slice to it as many questioned whether the USTA should have awarded Ginepri this French reciprocal wildcard. The detractors overlooked the fact that the American had rightly earned it by his recent efforts on the Challenger circuit. It is highly unlikely that a much younger inexperienced American player would have fared better than Ginepri did against Nadal. Added to all this was the fact that the 8th time and defending Champion had his first round match shunted to the 2nd show court, Suzanne Lenglen instead of the Philippe Chatrier court in favour of the Alize Cornet v Ashleigh Barty match. However, Nadal had this to say on the subject, Doesn’t really matter a lot. Always playing Roland Garros is a pleasure for me, is a really honor, and is a special feeling. So all the memories at this place give me are unforgettable.” The Spaniard will be looking to continue the good times here with his 2nd round encounter against Austrian Dominic Thiem a very hot prospect on the tour.

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Filip Krajinovic To Skip Australian Open If Required To Quarantine For More Than Five Days

The world No.34 says he ‘sees no reason’ why vaccinated players should have to go through a long quarentine in Australia.

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Image via twitter.com/atptour (Alexander Scheuber)

The second highest-ranked Serbian player in men’s tennis says it would be ‘unacceptable’ for organisers of the Australian Open to require players to quarantine for more than a week if they have been fully vaccinated.

 

Filip Krajinovic has become the first player to publicly state that they will not be prepared to travel to Melbourne at the end of this season if they have to go through strict quarantine measures once again. All the players who participated in this year’s Australian Open were required to be quarantined in a designated hotel for 14 days upon arrival in the country. During their stay they were allowed to use training facilities but that was the only time they could leave the premises unless there was an emergency.

There is no final decision regarding the travel requirements for the 2022 tournament but there are concerns that unvaccinated players may not be allowed to enter the country. The Victorian government recently issued a mandate ordering all essential workers to be vaccinated, including athletes. However, the regional government will not have the final say concerning tennis players arriving in the country with the national government being the ones in charge of that decision.

“They are very rigorous there and honestly, if I have to be in quarantine for 14 days after arriving in Melbourne, I will not go to Australia,” Krajinovic told Serbian newspaper Blic.
“I was vaccinated, I did everything in my power to protect myself and the people around me, so I really see no reason to sit there for 14 days in a room.’
“If they (the organisers) say that after arrival I need, say, five days to be in isolation, that’s OK for me, but anything beyond that is unacceptable to me. With the season ending late, I will have 20 days to get ready and go. Charter flights will be organized again and the last one is planned for December 28 for the players and that is the final date when I can go to Australia. I will see what the final decision from Melbourne will be, so I will cut what is the best thing to do.”

Earlier this week Victoria’s Sports minister Martin Pakula urged players to be vaccinated because it give them ‘the best opportunity to play in the Australian Open.’ It is expected that if unvaccinated players are allowed to attend, they will be subjected to stricter restrictions. This might include a longer quarantine period upon arrival and limitations of where they can go during their stay.

Last year, all of those players had to do their 14 days of quarantine. Right now there looks like there will be different rules for people who enter this country who are vaccinated as against unvaccinated and I don’t think the tennis will be any exception to that.” Pakula told the Sports Entertainment Network (SEN).
“In terms of what rules apply for people to enter Australia, whether unvaccinated people are allowed in at all, I don’t the answer to that yet. That’s going to be the subject of discussion at national cabinet and among the federal cabinet … those rules are not set by state governments.” He added.

Krajinovic is currently ranked 34th in the world and has a win-loss record this season of 18-18. At the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells he reached the second round before falling in straight sets to Daniil Medvedev. His best run so far this year was at the Hamburg Open where he reached the final.

“When we look at the whole of 2021, I played one final, one semifinal, there were good victories, but also worse results,” the 29-year-old commented.

Krajinovic is currently without a coach but is currently in ‘negotiations’ with somebody without elaborating further about who that person is.

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Alexander Zverev Secures Place In ATP Finals With Indian Wells Win

Zverev will be seeking to win the season-ending extravaganza for the second time in his career.

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Alexander Zverev (GER) Credit: AELTC/Edward Whitaker

Germany’s Alexander Zverev has become the fourth player to officially qualify for the ATP Finals after reaching the third round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.

 

The world No.4 defeated America’s Jenson Brooksby 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, in his second round match on Sunday which pushed him over the points threshold to secure his spot in the end-of-season event. It is the fifth year in a row he has qualified for the ATP Finals which he won back in 2018. He is one of only three German players to ever win the title after Boris Becker and Michael Stich.

This year’s tournament will take place in Turin, Italy for the first time in history after being held at The O2 Arena in London for more than a decade. Only the eight highest ranked players are eligible to play in the round-robin tournament which has on offer up to 1500 rankings points for an undefeated champion.

“My first time in Turin. I’ve been to London four times before. London is obviously very special to me because I won there, as well. I think the stadium is incredible, one of the most special events that we had,” Zverev told reporters on Sunday.
“But I also love playing in Italy. I had great success in Italy. I won my first Masters in Rome. I’m looking forward to being there. I’m looking forward to playing in front of the Italian fans. It’s going to be a great week.”

The 24-year-old approaches the final quarter of this season with four titles already won this year. He has won two Masters 1000 trophies, an ATP 500 event in Mexico and a gold medal in singles at the Tokyo Olympic Games. Zverev, who has recorded seven wins over top 10 players, also reached the semi-finals at both the French Open and US Open.

Zverev joins Novak Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas as the players who have qualified for the ATP Finals so far. It is the third straight season the quartet has qualified for the event.

This year’s ATP Finals will get underway on November 14th. Medvedev is the defending champion.

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Denis Shapovalov Advances After Pospisil Retires In Indian Wells

The battle of the two Canadians didn’t go as planned…

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Denis Shapovalov (CAN) Credit: AELTC/Edward Whitaker

Vasek Pospisil faced off against his fellow Canadian Denis Shapovalov in the second round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells and it was the world number 13 who got the win after the Vernon native pulled out due to an injury whilst trailing 0-3.

 

It was a rough start for Pospisil who seemed to struggle with his serve in the opening game of the match and double-faulted twice in a row to give the early break and Shapovalov had no issues consolidating the break.

Shapovalov continued to apply pressure on the Pospisil serve and after saving two breakpoints the world number 68 pulled up after a serve and stopped play, calling for the trainer. He ended up taking a medical timeout off the court and a couple of minutes later returned to court. Pospisil was broken once again and the following game after a couple of returns decided to call it quits.

” It was pretty awful…and if I’m being honest I am shaking a bit…It really sucks I hope it’s nothing serious…He’s a great guy he’s a real warrior he’s fought back from some injuries surgeries to such a great level.” Shapovalov said of his compatriot.

Shapovalov will face 19th seed Aslan Karatsev in the next round after the Russian thrashed Salvatore Caruso 6-2, 6-0.

In the other results of the day sixth seeed Casper Ruud dominated Roberto Carballes Baena 6-1, 6-2, Roberto Bautista Agut beat the Argentine Guido Pella 7-5, 6-3 and Sebastien Korda won an all American battle with Frances Tiafoe 6-0, 6-4.

Finally, Diego Schwartzman needed three sets to beat another American in Maxime Cressy winning 6-2, 3-6, 7-5.

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