Bits & Pieces from the World of Tennis: 14th of July 2014 - UBITENNIS
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Bits & Pieces from the World of Tennis: 14th of July 2014

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TENNIS BITS & PIECES – Troicki is on his way back. Ivanovic and Kyrgios split with their coaches. Djokovic gets married. Petra Kvitova receives threats. Serena pulls out of Bastad and who is playing where this week. Joshua Bosco

 

Threats to Kvitova

Czech police announced on Friday they had arrested an unidentified man who allegedly made threats to 2014 Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova.

According to Police spokeswoman Gabriela Holcakova the man made threats against “a publicly known person” who the media reports to be the famous tennis player and the Police considered the threat to be serious.

The incident happened in the wake of criticism against Kvitova for moving from her home country to Monte Carlo to avoid higher taxation.

Troicki comeback

Former World No.12 Viktor Troicki, who missed the last twelve months on the tour while serving a suspension for doping, is eligible to play from tomorrow 15th July 2014.

Troicki was banned from playing tennis for 18 months after failing to provide a blood sample at the Monte Carlo Masters in 2013; he then appealed the ban and the suspension was reduced to 12 months.

With a statement on his official website the Serb announced he will make his comeback in Umag at the Vegeta Croatia Open which starts on 21st July 2014. Troicki has applied for a wildcard but stated that he is ready to play the qualification event, if necessary.

Ivanovic & Kyrgios split with coaches

Just when it looked like things were going the right way for Ana Ivanovic, the former World No.1 released a statement on her website announcing that she and coach Nemanja Kontic had split on mutual agreement.

The two started working together last year after Wimbledon and the new partnership helped Ivanovic to get back to No.11 in the WTA rankings. She now has the next few weeks to appoint a new coach before the start of the summer hard court season.

In another shock split Australian rising star Nick Kyrgios split from coach Simon Rea, two weeks after stunning Rafael Nadal in the 4th round at Wimbledon.

Kyrgios announced on his website that he has switched to two new Australian coaches, Todd Larkham and Josh Eagle, in order to spend more time at his home in Canberra.

Money money money

The ATP has announced Lacoste will continue to sponsor the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals until 2015, after a two-year renewal of their partnership. This means that the ATP staff will wear Lacoste at all ATP events during the season and Lacoste will continue to receive advertising space on the ATP official website.

The USTA announced a 11.7% increase for the 2014 US Open prize money, bringing the grand total to $38.3 million. The raise is part of a five-year agreement made in 2012, which will bring the total grand prize to an astounding $50 million by 2017. This year singles winners will take home an incredible $3 million.

Djokovic ties the knot

Four days after winning his second Wimbledon title, Novak Djokovic married his long-time girlfriend Jelena Ristic in a private ceremony in Montenegro.

The wedding took place in a luxurious resort on the Adriatic Coast, away from the public eye, and the local media report it was attended by family and close friends.

Congratulations Novak & Jelena!

Serena still under the weather

World No.1 Serena Williams, who was forced to pull out of her doubles match at Wimbledon last week after serving four double faults in a game and clearly struggling on court, has withdrawn from this week’s Swedish Open in Bastad.

“This is of course a hard blow to the tournament” said Nina Wennerstrom, the tournament director. Serena was the defending champion at the event and she is now scheduled to play at the Bank of the West Classic in Stanford, California, which starts on 28th July.

Who’s playing where

Both the ATP and the WTA have two tournaments in schedule for this week.

Many top men will keep playing on clay and travel to Hamburg for the 2014 International German Open. Fabio Fognini, who failed to defend his 2013 title at the Mercedes Cup last week, is the defending champion here in Hamburg too but he will have to battle against some great players like David Ferrer, Tommy Robredo, Alexander Dolgopolov, Roberto Bautista Agut, Philipp Kohlschreiber and Fernando Verdasco to try and retain his title. Jeremy Chardy and Jurgen Melzer are among the players who have withdrawn before the start.

Some other players will make their transition to hard courts in Bogotá for the 2014 Claro Open Colombia, where big server Ivo Karlovic is the defending champion. He will try to retain a title for the second time in his career, but he’s going to face some tough competition from top seed Richard Gasquet, Vasek Pospisil, Radek Stepanek and wildcard Bernard Tomic. Dmitry Tursunov has withdrawn before the start of the tournament.

It’s the women’s turn in Bastad this week and with defending champion Serena Williams out of the picture, everyone will have a shot at the title, starting with top seed Alize Cornet and continuing with Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Camila Giorgi, Yaroslava Shvedova, Annika Beck and Maria Teresa Torro-Flor. Vania King, Flavia Pennetta and Carla Suarez Navarro are among the players who withdrew before the start.

After a three-year hiatus because of the WTA Tour Championships, the Istanbul Cup makes its return in the WTA calendar and the field is very competitive right from the start. With 2010 champion Pavlyuchenkova in Bastad, the tournament will have a new champion and it will probably be one of the top seeds; Caroline Wozniacki, Roberta Vinci, Klara Koukalova, Elina Svitolina, Magdalena Rybarikova, Kurumi Nara, Bojana Jovanovski and Karolina Pliskova.

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Alex De Minaur Learning Patience After Two Month Injury Lay-Off

Alex De Minaur is ready to be patient as he looks to build some momentum in Atlanta this week.

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Alex De Minaur (@TennisAustralia - Twitter)

Alex De Minaur is learning the art of patience after missing less than two months of action earlier this year. 

 

The Australian had a rough start to the 2019 as he was forced to fight off a groin injury despite winning the Sydney title in January.

Then he had a couple of months off before once again struggling on his return at Indian Wells where he lost in his opening round.

But these setbacks haven’t stopped the 20 year-old from being patient as he looks to make his mark in the US hard court swing,“I feel like I’m doing all the right things, putting myself out there,” De Minaur told atptour.com.

“If it doesn’t happen this week, next week or the week after, I’m going to keep doing the same things. I’m going to do all the right things, be mentally strong, physically strong and I’m playing good tennis, so I think it’s just a matter of time.”

After Indian Wells, De Minaur spent a few weeks in his home in Alicante, Spain as he looked to regain match sharpness.

It was a period that proved challenging for the talented Aussie as he loves to compete, “I’m not used to being at home for that long and, I mean, us tennis players, we need to go out there and compete, at least me,” De Minaur explained.

I’m a very competitive person, and it was tough for me. I had my outlets. I was playing golf a lot. But still, I needed to get back on court. 

“Obviously seeing people go ahead of you and guys are playing these tournaments and seeing the results they were doing and me not being able to actually even be able to be out there and competing, that was very tough.”

Despite losing five of his seven ATP tour matches since returning properly in Estoril, De Minaur is determined to get back to the level that saw him rise to world number 24.

The Next Gen Star thinks it’s a confidence thing and is not easy to regain after an injury, “[It’s] just confidence. Playing matches, playing the big points right,” he explained.

“It’s something that you take for granted when things are going well. But when you have to stop and try to get back into it, it’s tough. Now I’m just keen to go out there and compete and play some good tennis.”

De Minaur continues his comeback surge this week when he competes in Atlanta, where he will face Bradley Klahn or Marius Copil in his first match.

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Nicolas Jarry Aims To Follow In Family Footsteps After Reaching Bastad Final

Nicolas Jarry looks to join his grandfather in winning an ATP title as he reaches the Bastad final.

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Nicolas Jarry (@FOXSport_Chile - Twitter)

Nicolas Jarry will look to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps tomorrow when he takes on Juan Ignacio Londero in the Bastad final. 

 

The Chilean was in fine form today as he beat another Chilean in Federico Delbonis in the semi-finals today, 6-3 6-2 in 64 minutes.

It is Jarry’s third ATP final and his second of the season following his final in Geneva, where he wasted two championship points to lose to Alexander Zverev.

Should the 23 year-old be triumphant on Sunday, he will join his grandfather as an ATP titlist after Jaime Fillol Sr. won six tour titles and finished a high of number 14 in the rankings in 1974.

Next up for Jarry is Cordoba champion Juan Ignacio Londero, who cruised past 2016 Swedish Open champion Albert Ramos-Vinolas in straight sets.

The 6-3 6-4 victory included the Argentinian winning 73% of his first service points as he dominated the Spaniard in the 1 hour and 21 minute win.

It will be the second final of the season for Londero, who has enjoyed thriving on the clay in 2019 which has helped him reach a career high ranking of 58 in the world in June.

A good sign for Londero, was that en route to winning his lone title in 2019 in Cordoba, he beat Jarry in their only previous ATP World Tour meeting.

Both men will look to cap off an excellent week tomorrow as the final is scheduled for 2pm local time.

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Alexander Bublik Praises Mentality Change Ahead Of Newport Semi-Finals

Alexander Bublik is on the rise after changing his mentality as he looks to win his first ATP title in Newport this weekend.

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Alexander Bublik (@TennisHalloFame - Twitter)

Alexander Bublik praises his change in his mental approach to tennis after reaching the semi-finals in Newport. 

 

The 22 year-old from Kazakhstan is arguably having one of the best seasons of his career, having reached a career high ranking of 82 in 2019.

Having won three challenger events in Budapest, Pau and Monterrey, Bublik is full of confidence and is currently trying to transition that form on the ATP tour.

In an interview with the ATP website, Bublik has praised a change in mentality for the improvement in form, “When I was a kid I got in mental troubles a lot because I was thinking, ‘I’ve got to win this match. I want to win this tournament’,” Bublik said to atptour.com.

“Then last year when I broke my ankle is when I realised it’s fine… I’ve got to work hard to make it here, to make more and more, so that’s why I’m working hard every day trying to succeed.”

There is no doubting that Bublik has the talent as he has a unique style, which includes tweeners and during his quarter-final match with Tennys Sandgren in Newport, hit four aces in a game which concluded with an underarm ace.

However the world number 83 has said that he entertains himself first and aims to stand out from the crowd, “I entertain myself first. That’s the most important thing for me,” Bublik explained.

“Always be a leader, not a follower, You just have to be your own leader, make your own decisions,” Bublik said when speaking about one of his tattoos.

Well Bublik’s fate is certainly in his own hands when he faces Marcel Granollers for a spot in his first ever ATP final on Saturday.

The other semi-final will see top seed John Isner take on 4th seed Ugo Humbert as the Frenchman looks to take advantage of an under-par American.

In both of his matches, Isner has needed a third set to overcome both Kamil Majchrzak and Matthew Ebden as he looks to win a 3rd title at the Hall Of Fame Open.

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