The Swiss Dismissed: Wawrinka ousted in 1st Round - UBITENNIS
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The Swiss Dismissed: Wawrinka ousted in 1st Round

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TENNIS ROLAND GARROS – There was a lot of talk regarding this year’s French Open championships about who has a legitimate chance to dethrone Rafael Nadal. 2014 Australian Open champ, Stanislas Wawrinka was mentioned, but the Swiss lost in the first round to Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-4 5-7 6-2 6-0. Cordell Hackshaw

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There was a lot of talk regarding this year’s French Open championships particularly about who has a legitimate chance to dethrone Rafael Nadal. 2014 Australian Open champ, Switzerland Stanislas Wawrinka’s name was mentioned. He after all had done the near impossible of defeating Nadal in a major final, something that was only done by two other players; Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer. Many had predictions but it is almost with certainty that none figured that world’s number 3 would be casually ousted from these championships in the first round. Not even the most clear of clairvoyants could have foretold of such a “magnormous” upset. Nonetheless, Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain seemed hell bent emerging victorious from this match up and did so in spectacular fashion 6-4 5-7 6-2 6-0. Wawrinka stated “[T]he match wasn’t good at all. I was trying to find my game, trying to find to be aggressive, trying to find anything, and I didn’t.”

The match started out pretty much exactly as most people would have expected; Wawrinka was up an early break 3-1. However, the script got flipped. Wawrinka was unable to consolidate the break. Soon, the Spaniard reeled off four straight games to force the Swiss number one player to serve to stay in the set down 3-5. Wawrinka held serve and now it was the Spaniard’s turn to step up to the service line at 5-4. Wawrinka breaking serve at this point looked almost inevitable as he got to 0-30 but then he continued to be erratic dumping shots into the net, long and wide. This gave Garcia-Lopez a set point and he did not waste this precious point, 6-4 in 36 minutes.

In the 2nd set, again Wawrinka took the early advantage and raced out to a 4-1 lead but then soon lost the plot and things were soon even at 5-5. Wawrinka held serve for 6-5 and then showed himself to be a prodigious player as he broke Garcia-Lopez at love and took the 2nd set 7-5. Many would have predicted that this was the spark that Wawrinka needed that would lift him to take this match in 4 sets. That spark never turned into a flame as Wawrinka wilted away. Garcia-Lopez broke the Swiss early which Wawrinka later described as “a stupid break to begin the third set.” Garcia-Lopez was now breaking Wawrinka at will and was inclined to so again in the 7th game to lead 5-2. Garcia-Lopez was determined now more than ever to see this match through for a win. He closed out the set 6-2. Errors were spilling from Wawrinka’s racquet in particular on his forehand wing. He just never got any rhythm on his shots nor seemed inclined to motivate himself and come up with a new game plan. He remained passive throughout the last 2 sets of the match and in the 4th set, he all but capitulated to the Spaniard as he was bagelled; 6-4 5-7 6-2 6-0 Garcia-Lopez.

The strange thing about the match-up was that Wawrinka looked like the lower ranked player on court and Garcia-Lopez the top ranker. This was clearly illustrated by the stats from the match. Wawrinka was only able to put in 57% of his first serves winning a measly 54% of those points and 55% on his 2nd serve. He had 37 winners and a staggering 62 errors. Garcia-Lopez won 75% of his 1st serve points and 51% of his 2nd serves but he had 23 winners to 28 errors. The final set was almost a golden set as Wawrinka won only 6 points on his serve and 3 return points. There was absolutely no commitment from the Swiss on court as Garcia-Lopez remained positively animated throughout as though he was the overwhelming favourite. Wawrinka said it best about his own performance in the match, “I think I was completely flat. I was not really relaxed with my game. I wasn’t aggressive. I was playing some bad rallies, I was thinking too much my backhand from the middle. Everything was terrible.” Nonetheless, with Wawrinka’s departure, there are many other players in this quarter of the draw that are more than capable of rising to the occasion of making the French Open semifinal.

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Belinda Bencic battles past Marketa Vondrousova to win gold in Tokyo

Belinda Bencic won the gold medal beating Marketa Vondrousova in three sets.

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Belinda Bencic (@WeAreTennis - Twitter)

The Swiss world number 12 won her first-ever gold medal beating the Czech in a tough three-set match.

 

Belinda Bencic is your Tokyo 2020 Olympic gold medalist after beating world number 42 and Czech Marketa Vondrousova in three tight sets 7-5, 2-6, 6-3 in the tournament’s longest match at two hours and 30 minutes hitting 29 winners in the victory.

It was indeed the Swiss who got off to the faster start and after holding serve in the opening service game went right to work looking for the first break of the match setting up the first breakpoint with a stunning backhand winner.

She earned the first break of the match but the lead didn’t last long as the Sokolov, Czech Republic native broke the world number 12 to love to go back on serve.

At 2-2, it was the Czech setting up two more chances to take the lead this time with her powerful forehand and at the second time of asking she took her first lead of the match but just like earlier in the set relinquished it the very next game.

Vondrousova’s next opportunity to try and get a break and hold a lead was at 3-3 but the Flawil, Switzerland native saved both and stayed on serve until 6-5 when Bencic had a set point took it to win the first set.

The Czech wasn’t going to back down and this time she would break in the first game of the second set and managed to turn it into a double break and served out the second set to send it to a deciding third set.

Again, the world number 42 earned a break of serve in the first game of the third set, but the following game took the Swiss three chances, but she broke back on serve at 1-1 with another forehand passing shot winner.

At 2-1, the world number 12 earned three chances to break and took her first lead of the set when Vondrousova served an untimely double fault but responded by breaking her back the very next game to go back on serve.

Bencic took a medical timeout at 4-3 to have the trainer tape up her big toe and the treatment seemed to do wonders for her as she broke the Czech to love the very next game.

With the Swiss serving for the win and the gold medal, she faced some heavy pressure facing two breakpoints but saved both and on her second match point she served out the match and the win.

Earlier Elina Svitolina won the bronze medal beating Elena Rybakina in three sets.

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Novak Djokovic Faces No Regrets Over Olympic Participation After Missing Out On Medal

Novak Djokovic has no regrets about being in Tokyo despite walking away with no Olympic medal for the third consecutive games.

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Novak Djokovic (@BleacherReport - Twitter)

Novak Djokovic has revealed he doesn’t regret competing in Tokyo despite missing out on an Olympic medal.

 

The world number one lost his bronze medal match to Pablo Carreno Busta 6-4 6-7(6) 6-3 in 2 hours and 48 minutes.

A frustrating last 24 hours was capped off with a hard-fought defeat that saw him withdraw from his mixed doubles semi-final due to a left shoulder injury.

As a result Ash Barty and John Peers claimed the bronze medal which sees Djokovic without an Olympic medal for a third consecutive Olympics.

However after the loss to Carreno Busta Djokovic said he has no regrets about competing in Tokyo, “I don’t regret coming to Olympics at all,” Djokovic said to Sasa Ozmo.

“I believe that there are no coincidences in life, everything happens for a reason. I had some heartbreaking losses at Olympics and big tournaments, and I know that those losses have usually made me stronger.

“I do have a regret for not winning a medal for my country, both in singles and mixed. I just didn’t deliver yesterday and today. Level of tennis dropped, also due to exhaustion mentally and physically.

“I know that I will bounce, I will try to keep going for Olympics in Paris, to try to win a medal for my country. I am sorry I disappointed a lit of fans in Serbia, but that’s sport, I gave it all, whatever I had left in the tank, which was not so much.”

After failing to win a medal in Tokyo, Djokovic now has gone three consecutive Olympic games without a medal.

Despite this latest setback Djokovic is still on course to achieve the grand slam ahead of the US Open.

But in his post-match interview the Serb admitted that before he can think about that he has to take care of a few injuries, “I hope that the physical consequences won’t create a problem for me for the US Open,” Djokovic admitted.

“That is something I am not sure about right now, but there are no regrets, you have to give your all for your country. I have withdrawn (from mixed) because of injuries, not only one. I hope that won’t stop me for playing the US Open.”

Djokovic’s next scheduled tournament is in Cincinnati on the 16th of August although it’s possible that the world number one won’t play until the US Open on the 30th of August.

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Rafael Nadal Returns In Washington Ahead Of Historic US Open Bid

Rafael Nadal returns to action next week when he competes at the Citi Open in Washington.

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Rafael Nadal (@CitiOpen - Twitter)

Rafael Nadal makes his return to the tour in Washington this week ahead of a history-making two weeks in New York.

 

The top seed will enter the Citi Open next week playing his first tournament since losing in the Roland Garros semi-finals to Novak Djokovic.

Nadal leads the field as he prepares for a crucial few weeks coming up with history awaiting at the US Open.

Heading into the tournament at Flushing Meadows, Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer are all level at 20 grand slams.

With Federer still recovering from his knee injury and Djokovic looking exhausted from his Olympic bid, Nadal will look to capitalise on a golden opportunity to get in-front in the race to being the greatest of all time.

In Washington, Nadal will begin his campaign against either Jack Sock or Yoshihito Nishioka.

A potential third round meeting with Lloyd Harris could await while Nadal could face 7th seed and in-form Cameron Norrie in the last eight.

Norrie is coming off of a title in Los Cabos having won the third most matches this season behind Stefanos Tsitsipas and Andrey Rublev.

Also in the Spaniard’s half is Grigor Dimitrov, Nick Kyrgios, Benoit Paire, Taylor Fritz and Dan Evans.

In the bottom half of the draw Felix Auger-Aliassime will face Andreas Seppi or a qualifier in the opening round.

The Canadian is also projected to meet Frances Tiafoe and Reilly Opelka en route to the semi-finals.

The likes of Jannik Sinner, Sebastian Korda and Alex De Minaur are also in Auger-Aliassime’s half of the draw

Play starts on Monday with Nadal’s opening match set to take place on Wednesday night local time.

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