ATP Halle 2014: Let’s Take A Look - UBITENNIS
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ATP Halle 2014: Let’s Take A Look

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TENNIS ATP HALLE – The Gerry Weber Open, in Halle, Germany, kicks off the grass court season on the Continent with Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer leading an all-star entry field that includes Milos Raonic, Kei Nishikori, Richard Gasquet , Mikhail Youzhny, Tommy Haas and Jerzy Janowicz as the Top 8 seeds. Mark Winters

 

The Gerry Weber Open, in Halle, Germany, kicks off the grass court season on the Continent, June 9th. Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer lead an all-star entry field that has been skillfully choreographed by Tournament Director, Ralf Weber. In addition to those illustrious “names”, Milos Raonic, the young Canadian whose game is becoming more solid with each tournament, and Kei Nishikori of Japan, who is anxious to transition his clay court successes to the lawns, are the No. 3 and No. 4 seeds. Richard Gasquet, of France, is No. 5, and he is followed by Mikhail Youzhny of Russia. Home-country favorite Tommy Haas (who is returning to competition after having shoulder issues at Roland Garros) is No. 7, and Jerzy Janowicz of Poland, rounds out the Top Eight seeds.

Lurking in the draw, and not to be overlook (ever) are Gael Monfils of France, Ivo Karlovic of Croatia and Lukasz Kubot another Polish contestant. Philipp Kohlschreiber and Dustin Brown are two of the dangerous Germans, who are always looking to excel when they are part of the Halle mix.

For Federer, the defending champion, the Gerry Weber Open is almost like his home away from home. After bowing out of Roland Garros in the fourth round because of the truly inspired play of Latvian Ernests Gulbis, he is anxious to return to the town where a street bears his name, and to the tournament where he has been a six-time winner (including four in a row after which he moved on to Wimbledon and won the same number of titles, resulting in a two tournament run of eight in a row). Haas, who earned the Halle title in 2009 and again in ’13, along Kohlschreiber, who finished on top in 2011, have fond memories of playing on the 12,300-seat center court with the amazing closeable roof, that set the “it may raining, but there still is play…” standard in the tennis world.

Tournament Director Ralf Weber. Photo by Mark Winters

Tournament Director Ralf Weber. Photo by Mark Winters

While expectations for a Nadal-Federer final will drive spectator’s hopes, reality intrudes. offering a flashing yellow-light caution. The World’s No. 1 will have taken on No. 2 Novak Djokovic of Serbia in the Roland Garros final, and if the Spaniard is extended beyond his seemingly boundless energy reserves, he may decide to give Halle a pass. He has done it before (and Federer has too).

So all Ralf Weber can hope for the best this year and look forward to 2015 when the Gerry Weber Open moves from an ATP World Tour 250 Series to a 500 Series event, and the time between Roland Garros and Wimbledon is lengthened by a week. Next year, the Topshelf Open ‘s-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands and the MercedesCup Stuttgart, Germany will follow play in Paris. Then the long-standing principle Wimbledon warm-ups, Halle and the Aegon Championships (Queen’s) in London, are set to take place. Having a lifetime contract with Federer and a lengthy agreement with Nadal, Weber will certainly have less concern about the possibility of “no shows.”

Moving back to the present, the 22nd Gerry Weber Open promises to showcase grass court tennis at its best. Given the players who will be participating, this is not a hope… This is what always takes place in Halle.

ATP

‘I Know How To Get There’ – Karen Khachanov Targets Return To Top 10

The world No.31 has showed signs of his talent this season with a run to the Olympic final but a lack of consistency and changes to the ATP ranking system has hindered him too.

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Karen Khachanov - Credit: AELTC/Ian Walton

It wasn’t that long ago when Karen Khachanov was the highest-ranked Russian man on the ATP Tour and billed as the next big thing from his country.

 

A breakout 2018 season saw Khachanov claim three Tour titles with the biggest of those being at the Paris Masters which remains his most prestigious trophy to date. He also reached his first major quarter-final at the French Open during the same season and scored five wins over top 10 players. Those triumphs helped elevate him in the ranking to a high of eight.

However, since that breakthrough Khachanov has found himself on a a rollercoaster journey. He is yet to win another title since Paris but came agonisingly close at the Tokyo Olympic Games where he finished runner-up to Alexander Zverev. In his nine previous Grand Slam tournaments his best run was at Wimbledon this season where he reached the last eight before losing to Denis Shapovalov.

Now ranked 31st in the world, the 25-year-old is aiming to claim back up the ladder after the ATP changed their ranking logic to the method used prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The rankings turned out to be a big pun, it was frozen for a year and a half, only now normal counting has begun. I am not fixated on this,” Khachanov told reporters in Moscow on Wednesday. “My main goal is to get back to the Top10. I know how to get there. And the intermediate goals are to be healthy and motivated.”

Khachanov has been ranked outside the world’s top 20 since February and hasn’t been in the top 10 since October 2019. He is currently coached on the Tour by Jose Clavet who has previously worked with a series of top Spanish players such as Feliciano Lopez, Alex Corretja, Tommy Robredo and Carlos Moya.

“He travels with me everywhere, for which I am grateful to him. I trust him as a specialist, as a coach and as a friend,” Khachanov said of Clavet.

Khachanov has returned to his home country this week where he is playing in Moscow at the Kremlin Cup. A tournament he won three years ago by defeating Adrian Mannarino in the final. Seeded third in the draw this time round, he began his campaign on Wednesday with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-1, win over James Duckworth. In the next round, he faces another Australian in the shape of John Millman which he believes will be a far from easy task.

He is a fighter, a complete player, he does everything well, forehand and backhand with good intensity. He does everything at a good level, but the main quality is that he fights till the end, so it will be hard for me,” he said of his next opponent.

Moscow is the seventh tournament this year where Khachanov has reached the quarter-final stage.

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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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