Roland Garros: Nadal exacts revenge on Ferrer in brutal fashion - UBITENNIS
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Roland Garros: Nadal exacts revenge on Ferrer in brutal fashion

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TENNIS ROLAND GARROS – When the French Open draw came out and it was projected that Rafael Nadal (1) and David Ferrer (5) could meet in the quarterfinals, the buzz was on for this matchup despite Nadal’s overwhelming success against Ferrer. Well Nadal in this instance, gave Ferrer a set and the possibility of taking another advantage only to comeback in crushing form to move into his 9th French Open semifinals, 4-6 6-4 6-0 6-1. Cordell Hackshaw

 

Interviews, Results, OOP, Draws from the Roland Garros

When the French Open draw came out and it was projected that Rafael Nadal (1) and David Ferrer (5) could meet in the quarterfinals, the buzz was on for this matchup despite Nadal’s overwhelming success against Ferrer. However, Ferrer had recorded a rare clay court victory over Nadal in April at the Monte Carlo ATP Masters 1000 event so this accounted for the excitement. It was the first time in a decade that Ferrer had recorded a win on clay against his countryman. He also did so in straight sets. This matchup was also a repeat of last year’s final, which of course saw Nadal picking up his 8th French title. Nonetheless, despite all the hoopla and fanfare about this encounter, it was a complete letdown unless you are a Nadal fan. The match turned out to be something like the “Maria v Serena one-side rivalry matches”: Williams allows Sharapova a slight edge; game points and break points here and there, the rare service break and even rarer still, a set advantage and then unleashes on her a tennis fury so intense that even Williams’ fans are cheering for Sharapova. Well Nadal in this instance, gave Ferrer a set and the possibility of taking another advantage only to comeback in crushing form to move into his 9th French Open semifinals, 4-6 6-4 6-0 6-1.

Nadal won the toss and elected to receive. He won the first two points of the match and looked to be on the hunt for the early break. However, Ferrer went on to hold serve. He looked far more energetic on court than usual, which is saying a lot as the Spaniard is always alert. He was aggressive and attacking the Nadal backhand and soon had break points in the 4th game for a 3-1 lead. Nadal was not to be so easily broken as it would take 5 break points before Ferrer was able to convert. The world’s number 1 broke back immediately and held serve for 3-3. They remained on serve until the 10th game when Nadal was serving to stay in the set. Ferrer went all out and fought “tooth and nail” with Nadal for that game. He would not let any point go idly by as he extended the rallies and was coming out on top. Nadal himself looked winded but Ferrer remained springy. On set point, Ferrer would not stop running and putting the ball back into court. He refused to allow Nadal to boss around the point and with a clutch running forehand, Ferrer broke Nadal and won his first set against him at the French Open.

The tennis crowd was on fire and the tennis world came alive for it looked like Ferrer had figured out how to play successfully against Nadal. However, that all quickly dissipated as Ferrer was broken early in the 2nd set. Nadal would maintain this break advantage throughout the set and fend off three break points to take it 6-4. Considering all of Nadal’s achievements at the French Open, besides the fact that he rarely loses sets here, it should be noted that whenever he has lost the first set on those few occasions, he went on to win the match without dropping another. Perhaps Ferrer became aware of this statistic because him dropping the 2nd set, despite the match being even, proved to be too much of challenge for him to overcome: “Rafael started playing a lot better, making fewer mistakes, and then it’s like I threw in the towel. I don’t usually do this, but I thought, I’m not going to be able to come back into the match. I thought, No, no, not against Rafa. He’s such good a player.”

Ferrer more than threw in the towel; he threw in his spirit and any sense of knowing how to play tennis at all. Over the course of the next hour or so of the match, Ferrer would win one more game; 0-6 1-6. Going back to the 2nd set, he lost, 13 of the next 14 games. Truth be told, he almost lost 14 straight games but one suspects Nadal was showing rare mercy for his friend Ferrer, his fans and the flabbergasted crowd that he allowed himself to be broken in 4th game of the 4th set. Nadal had this to say of the end result: “[G]iven the last two sets, the third and the fourth set, it really shows that David didn’t really play well during these sets. The score shows that I played well, but also he made mistakes.” During this “Horrible Hour” when the last two sets were played, Ferrer had 9 winners and 28 errors. So erratic was Ferrer at this time that Nadal only needed to hit 8 winners and made 3 errors. In fact, those three errors came in the final set when he generously dropped serve. Ferrer mustered 9 points on his serve in those last two sets. Thus Nadal moved through to his 9th French Open semifinals in emphatic style.

In assessing the match, Nadal had this to say, “Well, I think at the beginning David was playing with a higher intensity than me. Is true that I started first two points playing well, but then I make a lot of mistakes with my backhand…I decide to go more inside to return in the second set, and I decided to play much more times with my forehand…And then after the second set, I don’t know, I think David play with more mistakes than usual, and I continue playing with my forehand…I was playing with no mistakes.” Nadal will take on in the semifinal another of his rivals Andy Murray (7) who beat Gael Monfils (23) in 5 sets 6-4 6-1 4-6 1-6 6-0 to the disappointment of the French crowd. Nadal is 14-5 against Murray, having never lost any of those encounters on clay though he was pushed to the brink by the Scotsman recently in Rome.

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Grigor Dimitrov – ‘Tennis Is A Microscopic Thing In The World Right Now’

The world No.19 speaks out about how he is coping during the tour suspension.

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Former grand slam semi-finalist Grigor Dimitrov has become the latest player to urge the governing bodies of tennis to make a united decision regarding when play will resume again.

 

The ATP and WTA Tours are currently suspended until June due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Although it is likely that the suspension will be extended further with rumours that Wimbledon will be cancelled for the first time since the second world war later this week. Dimitrov’s last tournament was at the Acapulco Open in Mexico, where he reached the semi-finals before losing in straight sets to eventual champion Rafael Nadal.

“Tennis is a microscopic thing in the world right now. The ATP supervisors I’ve talked to in recent days have a variety of theories, but for the time being, we can really only guess if we’re being honest.” Tenniskafe quoted Dimitrov as saying during an interview with bTV.
“The tournaments are cancelled, but we have a big luxury in tennis – there is always next week. Yes, it is very difficult right now, you have seen the Olympics cancelled. The only thing that is at the forefront is to go through this situation we are in, and then start rebuilding. “

The world No.19 is currently residing in California during the lockdown. Describing the situation where he is as ‘more casual’ compared to other parts of the world. California is where the Indian Wells tennis tournament was set to take place earlier this month before it was cancelled.

“In my opinion all federations and players, no matter what rank they are, must come together and make a general decision. Because it’s really not easy at the moment to talk to everyone about points, tournaments, competitions … But now other things are really more important – to be safe, to be healthy and to go through this thing.” He said.

During the suspension, the 28-year-old is keeping himself busy in other ways. Recently he has signed up for an online course with Harvard Business School. Becoming the latest of a series of players to do so. He also manages to keep in touch with his fellow rivals on the tour thanks to the world of social media.

“One of the first players I wrote to was Fabio (Fognini) because he was in Italy. Everyone is on Instagram, we know everyone what they do every minute.”

When the restrictions related to the pandemic comes to an end, Dimitrov has vowed to return back to Europe as he outlines the first thing he would do.

“I just want to go back to Europe. Whether it will be in Bulgaria or in Monaco – I do not know. I certainly want to go home, gather all my relatives and just spend time together. I’ve been in the US for over a month now. As things currently look, there will certainly be another two months. Hopefully it will be faster, but I just want to go home and be with my loved ones.” He concluded.

In the fight against Covid-19 in his home country, Dimitrov has made a donation to a hospital in Haskovo. The city where he was born.

Dimitrov has started the 2020 season with a win-loss record of 7-5. Besides his run to the semifinals in Acapulco, he also reached the second round at the Australian Open and Rotterdam. He has been ranked as high as third in the world.

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Tennis Could Be Suspended For ‘A Long Time,’ Warns Millman

The top 50 player isn’t expecting to play on the tour anytime soon.

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Australian player John Millman has indicated that he believes the current suspension of the ATP Tour is all but certain to be extended in the coming weeks.

 

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, both the ATP and WTA Tour have been suspended until at least June 8th. Although those in change of both of those governing bodies have previously admitted they are uncertain as to when play will resume. ATP chairman Andrea Gaudenzi has said that ‘it is unknown at this time’ as to when men’s tournaments will resume. Meanwhile, Steve Simon has echoed a similar view during an interview with The Tennis Channel.

Speaking about the current situation, world No.43 Millman said the sport is in a difficult situation due to its global reach with both tournaments and players based around the world. For example the Australian started his season by playing four tournaments in four different countries across three continents within five weeks.

“We’re going to have to be pretty unified in terms of our recovery process before the tour can resume,” Millman told The Age.
“Maybe the tournament location has got the COVID-19 situation under wraps and then manage to contain it, but if someone’s flying in from South America, say, and their country hasn’t got a hold of it, then the tournament can’t (go ahead).
“You can’t have the tournament going when only certain players can get there. I think that’s
where the problems lie.”

The 30-year-old didn’t speculate as to when he and his rivals will be returning to the court, but believes it could be a while. During the coming week the fate of Wimbledon will be decided at an emergency meeting. The All England Club is pondering the motion of cancelling this year’s tournament. A move that has never been taken during peacetime. Wimbledon has been scrapped a total of 10 times during the first and second world wars.

“It’s almost like we have to have a vaccine or the virus has to run its course before there’ll be any let-up there.” Millman commented.

Besides trying to maintain fitness, many players like Millman are in a difficult situation financially due to a lack of income. He has managed to earn $290,705 on the tour this year before the suspension. This is the 44th highest total on the men’s tour. In total, 131 players have surpassed the $100,000 mark. Although the earnings don’t take into account travel costs, coaching, accommodation and so on.

“I just can’t see us playing tennis for a long time and now it’s a matter of trying to stay (the) fight, trying to scrape by a little bit while not much is coming in,” he said.
“You’re used to a bit of money coming in and obviously that’s not the case anymore. Yeah, it’s tough. It’s just not easy. You try and make do.
“But I don’t want to be a sob story, that’s for sure, because I know Australians are doing it a lot tougher than me.”

Millman reached the third round of the Australian Open earlier this year before losing to Roger Federer in a five-set thriller.

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Jamie Murray Speaks Out On Wimbledon Dilemma

The two-time mixed doubles champion shares his thoughts about the current situation and the problems that could arise.

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Former world No.1 doubles player Jamie Murray says he is unsure how much longer Wimbledon can be delayed this season ahead of a crucial meeting on its future next week.

 

The All England Club is set to hold an emergency meeting to make a final decision as to what to do with this year’s tournament. Including the possibility of cancelling the event for the first time since 1945. The tennis calendar has been brought to a standstill due to the covid-19 pandemic. There have been more than 500,000 cases of Coronavirus worldwide, according to John Hopkins University.

Speaking about Wimbledon’s potential decision during an interview with BBC Scotland’s The Nine, Murray admits that organisers face a difficult decision. Saying it would pose as a big challenge for them to reschedule the event. Both the ATP and WTA are currently reviewing their calendars with the French Open now taking place a week after the US Open.

“I don’t know how long they could push it back,” said Murray.
“They’re desperate to have their event on, it’s still over three months away and a lot can change in that time,” he added.

Murray has featured in the doubles main draw at Wimbledon every year since his debut back in 2006. He has won the Mixed doubles trophy twice in 2007 (with Jelena Jankovic) and 2017 (with Martina Hingis). The 34-year-old currently has a doubles ranking of 34th.

“For them, optics don’t necessarily look great, I guess, if there’s sporting events all over the world getting cancelled and they’re trying to crack on with things.” He commented on the scheduling difficulties.
“There’s a lot of other stakeholders, a lot of other tournaments to consider. Even things like daylight for the tournament. Once the tournament gets put back, there’s less and less daylight. When you play at Wimbledon normally, you can play until 10 at night.”

The UK is currently in a lockdown with members of the public only allowed to leave their houses for specific reasons. Furthermore, 1.5 million people have been advised to self-isolate for 12 weeks. The government is hopeful that they can flatten the spread of the disease within this period, which is extremely close to the Wimbledon start date.

According to AFP News, any decision to scrap this year’s tournament is likely to have a massive financial impact. Between 2017-2018 Wimbledon made an estimated pre-tax profit of $52 million with over 90% of that invested back into British tennis. Furthermore, the BBC could also suffer a big blow. It is reported that the broadcaster pays in the region of $72 million for the TV rights.

It is unclear as to what day the decision will be made next week. Since its creation in 1877, Wimbledon has been cancelled a total of 10 times before. All of which happened during the first world war (1915-1918) and second (1940-1945). The event has never been delayed or scrapped during peacetime.

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