Roland Garros 2014: How to grow old gracefully with Tennis - UBITENNIS
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Roland Garros 2014: How to grow old gracefully with Tennis

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TENNIS ROLAND GARROS 2014 – This year should be known as a banner year for growing old gracefully with tennis as the sport of a lifetime. There are 38 men over the age of thirty. This is the oldest group ever assembled to compete at Roland Garros. From Paris, Cheryl Jones

Interviews, Results, OOP, Draws from the 2014 Roland Garros

As usual, at least for the last nearly ninety years, the last month of spring always brings Roland Garros and for the past few years – buckets of rain. Even with the overcast skies and brief periods of showers, the crowds were buzzing with excitement. Children carrying grossly oversized tennis balls were anxiously seeking out their idols, hoping that they would be able to collect an autograph or two. The scene isn’t right out of a Norman Rockwell painting, but if he was French and living in the twenty-first century, he would feel right at home creating a portrait of the happy faces, filled with anticipation of spectacular terre battue play for a magazine that could be the French version of the Saturday Evening Post – “Samedi Soirée Poste”, as it could be known.

Alas, that is a fantasy. The real Roland Garros is filled with top of the line tennis players. Along with the opening day draw, there are oddities and factoids that would thrill anyone with an appetite for trivia, as it relates to players in competition. (Trivia is defined as, details, considerations, or pieces of information of little importance or value.) Actually dictionaries might have been too quick to generalize when spelling out this definition. Today, it seems as if every little thing might have an impact somewhere down the line, and 2014’s Roland Garros information could fit into that defined useless category, but in reality, it is important. Actually it’s a part of history and the books will have the information packed away for opening at some later date.

The men and women’s draw each has 128 participants. This year should be known as a banner year for growing old gracefully with tennis as the sport of a lifetime. There are 38 men over the age of thirty. This is the oldest group ever assembled to compete at Roland Garros, surpassing 2012 when there were 37. It will be interesting to see how the oldsters progress this year. (It is difficult to think of anyone who is under forty as old, but in tennis, there are rocking chairs waiting in the wings once a player has blown out thirty candles on their birthday cake.)

Roger Federer, one of those oldsters is 32, soon to be 33. He has moved on to the next round, defeating Lukas Lacko of Slovakia, 6-2, 6-4, 6-2. He, along with Gaston Gaudio is the only other man to have taken the title home, other than Rafael Nadal over the past ten years. Federer has been a busy guy this year dealing with a lot more than tennis. His wife, Mirka gave birth to their second set of twins on May 6, 2014. The two boys joined his daughters who will be five in a few months. The girls, Myla Rose and Charlene Riva, are big sisters to Lenny and Leo. The Swiss maestro has always done things in a big way, and something tells me that the world of tennis will be watching the children for signs of their father’s magnificent command of the game. He seemed relaxed and confident today as he moved on to face Diego Schwartzman, a qualifier from Argentina, in the next round. His success will be the top of many not so trivial conversations if his winning ways continue.

Another point for the trivia books that is evident here in Paris is the lack of American players after the first few rounds. It has been a very long time since anyone advanced beyond the first week. Robby Ginepri made it through to the round of 16 in 2010. John Isner advanced to the next round by defeating Pierre-Hughes Herbert, 7-6, 7-6, 7-5. Isner has the record for the longest match in Roland Garros history and as a topper, at Wimbledon he and Nicolas Mahut battled for three days for “the” longest match in history. It was an exhausting match that took over 11 hours and 5 minutes of playing time. The final set was a doozy, ending up at – 70-68. At twenty-nine, he is inching toward the oldster’s club, but today he was an American who moved forward with gusto, joining his compatriot, Sam Querrey who defeated Italian, Filippo Volandri 7-6, 6-4, 6-3. Hope seems to be percolating for the Americans. This might be the year where the second week will not be American-less. Tomorrow will offer up other opportunities when Michael Russell faces Alejandro Gonzales who is Colombian, and Donald Young will face Dudi Sela, an Israeli.

Yes, there are American women in the competition, but they have fared so much better than the men, with Serena Williams as the defending champion. She easily dispatched her French opponent, Alize Lim today, 6-2, 6-1. Her sister, Venus, who has been dealing with a myriad of serious health issues during the past several years, felt some magic again and managed to pull out a good win over Belinda Bencic of Switzerland, 6-4, 6-1. (At 33, Venus is in the women’s version of the oldsters group, along with Serena who is 32, and more fit than ever.)

This is Roland Garros and it is a big part of why I love Paris in the springtime. There’s magic on the terre battue. Tomorrow it may sizzle, and it’s not quite summer!

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Perspective And Fatigue: The Two Sides Of Iga Swiatek’s Dubai Defeat

Iga Swiatek spoke about perspective and fatigue after her semi-final exit in Dubai.

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Iga Swiatek showed two sides to her defeat in Dubai as the world number one surprisingly failed to win the title despite being the favourite in the semi-finals.

Heading into her semi-final in Dubai, Swiatek was heavy favourite to win her second consecutive WTA title after claiming the title in Doha the week before.

However Swiatek was unsuccessful in her bid to reach the final as she lost to Anna Kalinskaya 6-4 6-4.

It was a bitterly disappointing defeat for Swiatek who missed a golden opportunity to establish even more dominance ahead of Indian Wells.

As all champions do Swiatek offered perspective to her defeat as she looks ahead to the rest of the season, “I mean, I’m angry but on the other hand, there aren’t many players that actually survive these kinds of tournaments so I just kind of have to let it go and accept it,” Swiatek was quoted by Tennis Majors.

There was not only perspective offered but also fatigue as expectations and pressure can force simple mistakes from the best players in the world.

The world number one acknowledged Kalinskaya’s performance but did admit her own performance contributed to the defeat, “Today I would say, I mean she [Kalinskaya] played well and for sure she deserves to be in the final, but I feel like it was more about me and my level,” Swiatek told Tennis Majors.

“I wanted to be focused on myself and I wasn’t really able to implement any tactics that I had. Usually, when I tell myself what to do, I can improve my game but today I was so out of power and tired that I just couldn’t. Day by day, it was a little bit worse.”

Swiatek will hope to re-energize herself ahead of the sunshine double in America.

Last year Swiatek lost to eventual champion Elena Rybakina in the semi-finals at Indian Wells before withdrawing from Miami.

The Pole will look to improve last year’s performance when she plays Indian Wells, which starts on the 6th of March.

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‘Speechless’ Mensik Reaches Maiden ATP Final In Doha

Jakub Mensik is into his first ATP final in Doha.

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Jakub Mensik admitted he was left speechless after reaching his first ATP final in Doha.

The 18 year-old continued his remarkable week with a 6-4 1-6 6-3 semi-final victory over Gael Monfils.

The Czech Republican produced clinical tennis as he beat the 2018 champion to reach his maiden ATP final.

After the match Mensik admitted he was left ‘speechless’ and spoke about the influence Monfils had on his career, “It is amazing. Hopefully not the last one [final]. Incredible week so far,” Mensik told the ATP website.

“Today again with Gael, he played unbelievable. I know it is tough to play against him, especially with his good movement. For me every point I have to play my best game.

“I have to say this performance was one of the best in my entire life. I am so glad I reached this level in the semis, so hopefully tomorrow I play like this. An amazing feeling with my first ATP final. I am speechless.

“I told him when I was young I watched him a lot on the TV. One of the biggest showman on court. He is a great guy, so hopefully in the future we will meet once again. The rallies were so fun with him.”

Mensik has so far beaten three former champions this week as he also defeated Andy Murray and Andrey Rublev this week.

Now Mensik will aim to win his first ATP title as he takes on Karen Khachanov in Saturday’s final.

Should Mensik win the title he could climb to 75 in the world as he started the week at 116 in the world.

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Acapulco Faces Safety Issues Ahead Of ATP 500 Tournament

Acapulco faces safety and infrastructure issues before the ATP 500 tournament next week.

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Acapulco has faced safety concerns ahead of the tournament as players have been advised to stay in the tournament hotels or tennis venues.

As exclusively revealed by James Gray of the i newspaper, Acapulco is facing security and infrastructure concerns ahead of the tournament.

ATP players have reportedly been told in an email to stay confined to the tournament hotels and the tennis venue as crime rates have increased in the city.

Organisers in Mexico have reassured people that players will be able to train safely with the following statement, “The Arena GNP, venue for the Mexican Open of Tennis, and the host hotel are currently operational to carry out the tournament,” the tournament organisers told the i newspaper.

“Since Tuesday, we have been receiving players in Acapulco, and they have already had the opportunity to train at the venue.”

However there are still infrastructural problems including lack of flights to Acapulco as well as other safety concerns which have been affected by Hurricane Otis.

Despite the problems the ATP seem confident that the event will be safe and secure ahead of the ATP 500 event, “It is not uncommon for players to receive security advisories from ATP as a precautionary measure across more than 250 Tour and Challenger Tour events each season,” A spokesperson told the i newspaper.

“The advisory sent for Acapulco factors in the additional complexity of Hurricane Otis’ disruption. There have been major efforts and investment to restore the Acapulco venue in recent months.”

The ATP 500 event in Acapulco will take place next week with Alex De Minaur being the defending champion.

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