Nadal reigns supreme at the French Open with his 9th Title - UBITENNIS
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Nadal reigns supreme at the French Open with his 9th Title

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TENNIS FRENCH OPEN – In the final of the 2014 Roland Garros Rafael Nadal beat Novak Djokovic 3-6 7-5 6-2 6-4 to win his 9th title in Paris and his 14th career Major. Nadal proved once again, that he is the French Open. There is very little else one can say about him and this tournament. Cordell Hackshaw

 

Interviews, Results, OOP, Draws from the Roland Garros

At the start of the 2014 French Open, there was a question that was being asked which has rarely been asked for nearly a decade, “Would Rafael Nadal (1) defend his French Open title?” It might be more apropos to say defending his property as opposed to his title. True that in 2009 Nadal lost to Robin Soderling. Yet, statisticians will say that that was an anomaly; a “freak occurrence.” That loss does not change the undeniable truth of Nadal being the greatest of all players of all time on clay. He is simply supreme on the surface. One might even go as far as to say he is virtually unplayable on the Parisian courts. Back in 2011, that question floated about and it looked like Novak Djokovic (2) had solved the “clay conundrum” that is Nadal. However, Roger Federer stopped that meeting and Federer was the one who got to the final and lost yet again to Nadal. Since then, Nadal and Djokovic have met in the French Open and each time, Nadal has come out the victor. This year would be no different as for the three straight year, Nadal has beaten Djokovic on his way to the French title; his 5th time in a row and his 9th overall title; 3-6 7-5 6-2 6-4.

Overall, it would be hard to say whether Djokovic actually gave it everything in this match. However in the 1st set, it would difficult to say he did not. Djokovic served first in the match and fended off early break points during the 7th game to quickly give himself two break chances in the 8th game for the 5-3 lead. Nadal was able to save those two initial break points on his serve for deuce but his usually formidable forehand went errant on the 3rd one and Djokovic was serving for the set. Djokovic with the momentum squarely in his half of the court soon found himself down love-30 and then down two break points to get back on serve. However, the Nadal forehand proved to be unreliable in the early stages of the match and Djokovic won the set 6-3 when yet another forehand from Nadal went long.

Nadal was not about to let him reign here in Paris go unchallenged. He broke Djokovic in the 6th game to lead 4-2. Djokovic broke back immediately and remained on serve for 6-5 when he was serving to force the set to a tiebreaker. Nadal wanting to avoid the breaker and he put his foot down and demanded that this 12th game be his. He matched pace with Djokovic and showed him the true extent of his clay court prowess and soon he had double set points. Djokovic became erratic when he most needed to be perfect and so Nadal took the 2nd set 7-5. This equalizing set was all that the Spaniard needed to really turn up the intensity. His reaction to taking it almost matched that of winning the title. Nadal himself would later say, “We can talk about strategy, we can talk about tactics, and when you look at the score, the fact of winning the second set for me was something very important.”

Nadal then went into this “unplayable” mood where Djokovic simply did not have an answer. Nadal raced out to a 3-0 lead before Djokovic got on the scoreboard in the 3rd set. Djokovic looked poised to get things back on serve as he had a break point in the 5th game but again, he was unable to combat his opponent’s offensive and defensive skills. The style of play that saw Djokovic winning the rallies in the 1st set, was no longer working and Djokovic remained perplexed as to what to do. Nadal made the impossible shots possible and everything was working for him. Djokovic could only say later on, He was a better player in the crucial moments.” Nadal held serve and stretched his lead to 5-2. Djokovic served to stay in the set and again, he was broken. Nadal was now up two sets to one. Meanwhile, Djokovic was left looking as though he was unsure as to whether he was playing a man or a machine. Nadal was just that good on the big points and nothing was working against him.

There was no question that Nadal was going to take the match at this point. Djokovic looked physically unwell and at one point was even slightly sick on court. However, Nadal remained relentless in his pursuit for tennis glory. He broke Djokovic in the 6th game for a 4-2 lead. Djokovic broke back and levelled it 4-4. Nadal stayed ahead at 5-4 and forced Djokovic to serve to stay in the match. It was almost like watching their last two matches here at the French Open all over again particularly the 2012 final, Djokovic looked “done and dusted.” He pushed his forehand long to set up match point for Nadal and then double faulted to end the match. In all three sets that Nadal won, he never once served to close it out; he broke Djokovic every time. Djokovic summed of his performance in the match by saying, “I lost that service game 65, and then the momentums went his side. I started…playing quite bad…and didn’t move as well. Struggled a little bit physically throughout that third set…I wasn’t playing at the level that I wanted, especially in the second part of the match.”

Nadal proved once again, that he is the French Open. There is very little else one can say about him and this tournament. 9 titles, 5 in a row, 66-1 here in Paris, 14 major titles overall (tied for 2nd with Pete Sampras on the all-time list). Nadal beats his opponents both physically and mentally. Even that rare defeat back in 2009 to Soderling, the next year in 2010, Nadal had his revenge as be beat Soderling in the final in straight sets for his 5th title. “I knew that I had lost four times against Novak, so this win was very important to me. I had enough courage. I made the right decisions at the right moment.”

Djokovic had his chances to have at least taken it to a 5th set or even more so, made the scoreline more interesting. In the end though, Nadal did everything slightly better particularly on break point conversion and second serve points one: Nadal was 6/10 on break points and won 50% of 2nd serve whereas Djokovic was 3/9 and 36% on 2nd serve) Though they both had an excellent serving day, these noted differences proved to be the key factors of the match. On the other hand, Nadal feels that it more than his good tennis at play today. “Mentally I was so strong. I really wanted to defeat him. I don’t really know how to describe these things, but I managed to stick to it. I suffered quite a lot, but I found solutions. When there were problems cropping, I managed to find the solutions when the moments were very difficult with a number of shots which were quite tricky from the tennis point of view. I succeeded. I managed to win the match and the tournament.” Nadal has not only managed to win this tournament, one can say he really and truly owns it.

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David Goffin Out Of Wimbledon Following Halle Accident

It has been reported that the unfortunate injury he suffered is ‘more serious’ than a sprain.

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David Goffin has been forced to withdraw from Wimbledon after suffering an ankle injury during the Noventi Open earlier this week.

 

The former top 10 player was taking on Corentin Moutet in Halle where he slipped on the grass and subsequently hurt his right ankle. Forcing the Belgian to retire from the match at the start of the third set. Providing an update on Goffin’s health, agent Martin Roux said he is unsure how long he will be absent from the Tour for.

“Yes, David has officially withdrawn from Wimbledon following his ankle injury in Halle. For the moment we do not know more about the exact duration of unavailability, ” Roux told lesoir.be. “He is of course disappointed to miss a Grand Slam tournament, especially since he had recovered well on grass before his injury. “

Elaborating further, Roux confirmed Goffin’s injury is ‘more serious’ than a sprain and tests are ongoing to assess the extent of the damage which has been caused to the ankle. It is not the first time he has suffered a freak accident on the court. During the 2018 Rotterdam Open he hurt his eye after a tennis ball rebounded into his face, forcing him to pull out of Marseille and Indian Wells that year.

“David told me that it was more serious than a minor sprain, after exams in Belgium.”Roux added. “The ankle has not yet deflated (stopped swelling). David realizes that ice and bandages won’t be enough to play. The ligaments must be affected in one way or another. The idea is to do new exams at the end of the week in order to then have a healing protocol, especially since after Wimbledon the Olympic Games will arrive quickly. These are now his next goals. “

The 30-year-old has achieved a win-loss record of 14-13 so far in 2021 and won his fifth ATP title in Montpellier. He has also reached the semi-finals in Antalya and quarter-finals in Monte Carlo. However, recently Goffin has struggled on the Tour with Halle being the fifth tournament in a row where he has failed to win back-to-back matches.

Goffin is currently ranked 13th in the world.

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Dominic Thiem Follows Nadal In Olympic Games Snub

The world No.5 says his decision is related to his performance on the Tour so far this season.

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Dominic Thiem training at the 2021 Lyon Open (photographer Sammy Dancyger - Owned by Sport Plus Conseil - GM Sports Consulting)

Austria’s Dominic Thiem has pulled out of the Olympic Games in order to focus on his title defence at the US Open later this year.

 

The 27-year-old issued a statement on Thursday saying he was ‘not ready’ to play in Tokyo following what has been a roller-coaster start to the season. Thiem enters Wimbledon with a win-loss record of 9-8 and recently lost in the first round of the French Open. His best results so far this year were reaching the last 16 of the Australian Open and the semi-finals of the Madrid Open.

“Hi everybody, I have some sad news to share with you all. After talking with my team and analysing the situation I have taken the very difficult decision to withdraw from competing in the Tokyo Olympics,” the 27-year-old Austrian wrote on Twitter.
“For me, like all athletes, taking part in the Olympics and representing my country is a huge honour and that makes this decision even tougher.
“However, 2021 did not start as expected and I don’t feel ready to play my best in Tokyo.
“My goal is to work hard the coming weeks, give my best at Wimbledon and keep training and hopefully defend my US Open title.”

Thiem, who also skipped the 2016 Olympics, had previously said that his views on the multi-sport event have changed over recent time. During one interview with Tennis Deutschland he said it would be a ‘dream’ to play at the Olympics and he would ‘definitely play’ at the event if he had the chance to. Thiem is coached on the Tour by Nicolas Massu who won a gold medal back in 2004.

The world No.5 says he hopes to be able to play at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris where the tennis tournament will be held at Roland Garros. The same venue as the French Open.

On the same day as Thiem’s announcement on Thursday, Rafael Nadal was another player to confirm he would not be travelling to Tokyo, as well as Wimbledon, in order to recover from the clay season. The Spaniard said he wants to take a break from the Tour in order to preserve his body and prolong his career on the Tour.

The Olympic tennis event will take place between July 24th – August 1st. Andy Murray is the defending champion in the men’s tournament.

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Updated Entry Lists For Eastbourne, Mallorca

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Photo by mallorca-championships.com

Two ATP 250 events will be played on grass before Wimbledon, with a new tournament taking place in Mallorca (Spain).

 

The third week of the shortened grass-court season will see two ATP 250 events being played in Eastbourne (Great Britain) and Mallorca (Spain) from the 20th to the 26th of June. Eastbourne has been hosting a grass-court tournament since 2009, when it took the place of Nottingham in the ATP Tour’s calendar, while the Mallorca Championships is a new event.

World’s number one Novak Djokovic plans to play doubles in Mallorca, while Dominic Thiem and Daniil Medvedev have received a Wild-Card in the singles draw. The defending champion Taylor Fritz has withdrawn from Eastbourne due to injury.


ATP 250 Eastbourne (GBR, Grass), entry list:
Monfils, Gael (FRA)
De Minaur, Alex (AUS)
OUT Wawrinka, Stan (SUI)
Karatsev, Aslan (RUS)
Sonego, Lorenzo (ITA)
Basilashvili, Nikoloz (GEO)
OUT Fritz, Taylor (USA)
Opelka, Reilly (USA)
Davidovich Fokina, Alejandro (ESP)
Ramos-Vinolas, Albert (ESP)
Bublik, Alexander (KAZ)
OUT Paire, Benoit (FRA)
OUT Krajinovic, Filip (SRB)

Norrie, Cameron (GBR)
Millman, John (AUS)
Fucsovics, Marton (HUN)
OUT Cilic, Marin (CRO)
Djere, Laslo (SRB)
(SE)
(SE)
(WC)
(WC)
(WC)
Alternates:
IN Bedene, Aljaz (SLO)
IN Koepfer, Dominik (GER)
IN Nishioka, Yoshihito (JPN)
IN Popyrin, Alexei (AUS)
IN Pospisil, Vasek (CAN)

Alt.1 Tsonga, Jo-Wilfried (FRA)
Alt.2 Tiafoe, Frances (USA)
Alt.3 Ruusuvuori, Emil (FIN)


ATP 250 Eastbourne (GBR, Grass), qualifying:
Tiafoe, Frances (USA)
Ruusuvuori, Emil (FIN)
Gerasimov, Egor (BLR)
Kwon, Soonwoo (KOR)
Herbert, Pierre-Hugues (FRA)
Gombos, Norbert (SVK)
Ivashka, Ilya (BLR)
Seppi, Andreas (ITA)
Duckworth, James (AUS)
Bagnis, Facundo (ARG)
Ymer, Mikael (SWE)
Anderson, Kevin (RSA)
Kukushkin, Mikhail (KAZ)
Kuzmanov, Dimitar (BUL)
(WC)
(WC)
Alternates:
Alt.1 Mahut, Nicolas (FRA)
Alt.2 Viola, Matteo (ITA)
Alt.3 Klein, Lukas (SVK)



ATP 250 Mallorca (ESP, Grass):
Carreno Busta, Pablo (ESP)
Ruud, Casper (NOR)
Khachanov, Karen (RUS)
Humbert, Ugo (FRA)
Lajovic, Dusan (SRB)
Mannarino, Adrian (FRA)
Struff, Jan-Lennard (GER)
Kecmanovic, Miomir (SRB)
Harris, Lloyd (RSA)
OUT Delbonis, Federico (ARG)
OUT Kyrgios, Nick (AUS)
OUT Chardy, Jeremy (FRA)

Pella, Guido (ARG)
Querrey, Sam (USA)
Lopez, Feliciano (ESP)
Sandgren, Tennys (USA)
Andujar, Pablo (ESP)
Simon, Gilles (FRA)
Thompson, Jordan (AUS)
(SE)
(SE)
WC Medvedev, Daniil (RUS)
WC Thiem, Dominic (AUT)
(WC)
Alternates:
IN Vesely, Jiri (CZE)
IN Moutet, Corentin (FRA)
IN Travaglia, Stefano (ITA)

Alt.1 Munar, Jaume (ESP)
Alt.2 Caruso, Salvatore (ITA)
Alt.3 Giron, Marcos (USA)


ATP 250 Mallorca (ESP, Grass), qualifying:
Munar, Jaume (ESP)
Mager, Gianluca (ITA)
Cuevas, Pablo (URU)
Albot, Radu (MDA)
Pouille, Lucas (FRA)
Caruso, Salvatore (ITA)
Hanfmann, Yannick (GER)
Carballes Baena, Roberto (ESP)
Martinez, Pedro (ESP)
Sousa, Joao (POR)
Galan, Daniel Elahi (COL)
Istomin, Denis (UZB)
Bachinger, Matthias (GER)
Kuhn, Nicola (ESP)
(WC)
(WC)
Alternates:
Alt.1 Viola, Matteo (ITA)
Alt.2 Watanuki, Yosuke (JPN)
Alt.3 Klein, Lukas (SVK)

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