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Wimbledon seeding gives Nadal a new purpose

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TENNIS WIMBLEDON – What’s up with the Wimbledon seeding group? Djokovic hasn’t won a Slam title since the 2013 Australian Open. Yet, Djokovic is the top seed at Wimbledon. But that might not be all bad for the Nadal camp. All Nadal usually needs is a purpose. By James Beck

Who has won three of the last five Grand Slam tournaments? And played in four of the last five Slam finals?

And who has won Wimbledon twice?

Not Novak Djokovic!

What’s up with the Wimbledon seeding group? Djokovic hasn’t won a Slam title since the 2013 Australian Open.

Yet, Djokovic is the top seed at Wimbledon.

But that might not be all bad for the Nadal camp. All Nadal usually needs is a purpose.

All Nadal Needs Is A Purpose

Nadal couldn’t win anything meaningful in the States, they contended a few years ago. Nadal won the U.S. Open in 2010 when he needed it to complete a career Grand Slam.

He was ready to complete an almost unheard of second career Grand Slam until his back got in the way in this year’s Australian Open final.

The Spanish left-hander even won Wimbledon that first time in 2008 when almost everyone — except a few such as yours truly — claimed Nadal couldn’t win except on red clay, and nothing important other than in Paris. And certainly not in London.

Rafa Tightened His Shoestrings In Beijing

Then there was all the talk about Olympic gold later that summer for all the others. Roger Federer needed it to complete his resume since at that time he didn’t own a French Open crown.

All Rafa did was tighten his shoestrings for the 2008 Beijing Olympics to bring home the gold. So much for the theory that he couldn’t win another big one on a hard surface.

Even last year at the U.S. Open, Nadal was once again written off. Still just a clay-courter.

No Chance To Win In New York Again?

Nadal certainly couldn’t last long enough in New York to tame Djokovic, most experts contended last summer.

The Spanish wonder ran roughshod over Djokovic at Flushing Meadows last September, then overwhelmed the Serbian in Paris the next time the two met with anything important on the line.

Until now, Nadal probably didn’t have a purpose for winning Wimbledon a third time, other than it would feel good and put him one step closer to reaching Federer’s Grand Slam total.

Nadal Has His Purpose For This Wimbledon

Still just a clay-courter, they think?

Well, Nadal might just show up at Wimbledon with another notch to punch on his gun belt. Forget about chasing Federer. Nadal just has to demonstrate once again to the world that this game of tennis has never seen a more versatile, more complete and more talented player. He has his purpose.

James Beck is the long-time tennis columnist for the Charleston (S.C.) Post and Courier newspaper. He can be reached at Jamesbecktennis@gmail.com

See James Beck’s Post and Courier columns at:

http://www.postandcourier.com/section/PC200903

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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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