WTA Montreal – Eugenie Bouchard: “I was feeling the pressure a bit on the court” - UBITENNIS
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WTA Montreal – Eugenie Bouchard: “I was feeling the pressure a bit on the court”



TENNIS WTA MONTREAL – 5th of August 2014. S. Rogers d. E. Bouchard 6-0, 3-6, 6-0. An interview with Eugenie Bouchard


Q. Your first match since Wimbledon. Obviously that probably played a little part in it. Spraying some shots, a couple double faults. Was it nerves or adrenaline?

EUGENIE BOUCHARD: I think I was feeling the pressure a bit on the court. I felt a little, you know, match rusty kind of.

But I knew this coming into the match, so I can’t use that as excuses. I knew it would be kind of a difficult situation.

But I’m happy I was able to at least prove to myself that I could turn things around and not let the match run away completely. That’s a positive from the match.


Q. How strange were the conditions, late start, no power, no scoreboard? Was it difficult to focus?

EUGENIE BOUCHARD: I mean, it was a little bit distracting because, you know, to not hear the umpire as loud as you normally could, you know, I didn’t hear him sometimes. We had no scoreboard or anything. Of course, it’s the same for both players. But, you know, just doesn’t help the situation. It was just kind of a series of unfortunate events a little bit.


Q. Sometimes when you have a big break, you practice some things to try to improve your game. Did you practice some things after Wimbledon that you were hoping to execute?

EUGENIE BOUCHARD: After Wimbledon I took two weeks off, so I really in practice wanted to first of all get back to my level, try to improve after that.

I feel like I wanted to work on a little bit of everything, consistency, you know, trying to take the ball early, a few things like that that I do well, but I wanted to keep improving those things.

I just felt a little, yeah, not great on the court. But it’s a situation where I’ll learn a lot, not so much about the tennis, but everything else but the tennis.


Q. The way you were able to turn it around in the second set, finish it off, standing ovation, at that point do you say, Now I’m here and I can win this thing?

EUGENIE BOUCHARD: Well, I was trying not to think ahead too much after the second. But, you know, I didn’t really start off strong in the third, which probably would have been an important thing to do. Felt a little bit like the first set again. It was a little up and down, which definitely is not how I want to play. I definitely want to be a lot more solid than that.


Q. A career is full of highs and lows. Is this the biggest disappointment of your career?

EUGENIE BOUCHARD: I don’t think so. It’s just a match. I feel like I’ve been playing really well this whole year. So it’s normal to have a few ups and downs. I’m going to learn a lot, but still be happy about life.


Q. As disappointing as this may be, being your home tournament, it’s still one match in preparation to the US Open. How confident are you with your plan to get to New York in top shape? Does this change anything in what you’re planning to do?

EUGENIE BOUCHARD: I don’t know. You know, I think the plan is to play next week. I’m going to do that, hopefully get more matches in. I’ll definitely try to prepare for the US Open. It’s the big one. But I still want to do well at every tournament I play.

But, you know, it’s good maybe that this happens earlier than the slam, so I’ll be able to learn from it and kind of adjust going into the US Open.


Q. I’m wondering also, given the off court things that have changed in the last year, what effect has that had on your ability to focus on training and playing?

EUGENIE BOUCHARD: I’ve definitely noticed a change in my life a little bit since the beginning of the year, even more so since Wimbledon. It’s just something I’m going to have to get used to, especially coming to Montréal is definitely a little crazier than any other tournament.

But I felt like I was dealing with things well. But I still have that sense of the pressure and things like that. It’s a good position to be in. It’s one I want to be in. But I’ll just have to deal with it better.


Q. Managing that pressure and the expectations, is that what you need to focus on going into the US Open, for you to make the next step and maybe win a Grand Slam?

EUGENIE BOUCHARD: I think so, yeah. I think as you get a bit more successful you’re going to have to deal with more things as you go up. As I said, it’s where I want to be.

It’s just about kind of getting used to it and focusing on the tennis and remembering that’s the number one priority.


Q. Can you compare the stress of playing a Wimbledon final and playing here in front of your home crowd.

EUGENIE BOUCHARD: It’s similar, yes. Wimbledon was a very important moment for me. Here it was a second round, but I knew there were many expectations from many people here.

Also, becoming a top 10 player and reaching the final in Wimbledon played a part in the extra pressure I felt here.


Q. When you walked onto the court you had a long ovation from the crowd. Although you played poorly, the crowd was still with you. Can you talk about what you felt from the crowd.

EUGENIE BOUCHARD: I was really surprised because I played that first set very badly, and still the crowd was behind me. They stayed behind me for the whole match. It was something very good to feel.

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India’s Sumit Nagal Receives Sponsorship Boost After Revelling Financial Struggles



Image via https://twitter.com/nagalsumit/

A leading food and drink company has pledged to support India’s highest-ranked men’s player who was unable to train at his usual facility in Germany earlier this year due to a lack of money. 


Earlier this week world No.159 Sumit Nagal made a public plea for financial support to help him continue his career as a tennis player. In recent years he has been based at the Nansel Tennis Academy in Germany but was unable to train there during the first three months of the 2023 season due to a lack of funds. During this period he relied on his friends, including former player Somdev Devvarman, to help maintain his fitness. 

“If I look at my bank balance, I have what I had at the beginning of the year. It is 900 euros. I did get a bit of help. Mr Prashant Sutar is helping me with MAHA Tennis Foundation and I also get monthly (salary) from IOCL but I don’t have any big sponsor,” Nagal told the Press Trust of India.
“I am investing whatever I am making. The yearly cost where I travel with one coach is costing me around Rs 8 million to Rs 10 million (90,000-113,000 euros) and that is just with one travelling coach (no physio). Whatever I have made I have already invested,” he added.

Nagal, who is 26 years old, has reached the semi-finals of better at five tournaments on the lower-level Challenger Tour so far this season. His only Grand Slam result was at the US Open where he lost in the first round of qualifying to Taro Daniel. It was at the US Open where he took a set off Roger Federer before losing in 2019. 

Despite being the only player from his country to be ranked in the top 400, Nagal is currently not part of the Target Olympics Podium Scheme. An initiative set up by the Indian government to provide support to their top athletes.

After learning about Nagal’s ongoing struggles on the Tour, a leading company has decided to support the tennis player by signing a three-year deal with him. Gatorade specializes in sports drinks and is manufactured by PepsiCo. Under the deal, Nagal will receive support with his recovery and nutrition from experts at the Gatorade Sports Science Institute (GSSI).  

“I am deeply moved and grateful to join hands with Gatorade. This association comes to me at a pivotal time, and I am thankful my hard work and passion is getting recognized and appreciated. With Gatorade by my side, I am sure I will reach new heights and give it my all both on and off the court,” the Indo-Asian News Service quoted Nagal as saying on Thursday. 

Speaking about the new partnership, Ankit Agarwal from PepsiCo India has hailed the collaboration. Agarwal is the company’s Associate Director of Energy & Hydration. 

“Sumit is a role model for the new-gen athletes of India with his career being a true example of hard work and sweat that makes talent shine,” he said.
“As a brand that is dedicated to supporting athletes in removing barriers to sporting success, we are delighted to welcome Sumit to the Gatorade squad.”

Nagal has been ranked as high as No.122 in the world. So far in his career, he has won four Challenger titles with two of those occurring this year in Italy and Finland. 

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(VIDEO): Malaga Line-Up Set As Davis Cup Most Unpredictable Tournament In History

UbiTennis founder Ubaldo Scanagatta explains why any of the eight teams in Malaga could win November’s Davis Cup Finals




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The Davis Cup quarter-final line-up is set after an incredible Group Stage over Bologna, Split, Manchester and Valencia.


Now eight teams remain including Novak Djokovic’s Serbia, Great Britain and Australia.

However surprise teams such as the Netherlands, Finland and the Czech Republic will also appear in the quarter-finals.

Ten-time champions Great Britain will face Serbia with the winners taking on the winner of the quarter-final between Italy and the Netherlands.

In the other half of the draw Canada will be heavy favourites against Finland while the Czech Republic face Australia.

The final eight tournament will take place in Malaga and will take place between the 21st and the 26th of November.

However this year’s Davis Cup could be the most unpredictable version in the tournament’s history with there being no Spain or USA.

It really could be anyone’ tournament with Tennis’ most prestigious team competition up for grabs in November.

In this video UbiTennis founder Ubaldo Scanagatta explains why this year’s Davis Cup finals could be the most unpredictable edition of all-time and why any of the teams could win the title.

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Simona Halep Claims Doing Ban Is ‘Based On Scenarios’ Without Proof




Former world No.1 Simona Halep has questioned the fairness of her anti-doping hearing after being suspended from the sport for four years. 


The two-time Grand Slam champion is suspended from tour events until 2026 after an independent tribunal concluded that the Romanian broke rules set out in Tennis’ anti-doping program. In a 126-page report by the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA), investigators accepted that the collagen supplement taken by Halep – called Keto MCT – was contaminated with Roxadustat “on the balance of probability.” However, they stated that there must have been another source of Roxadustat based on the level detected in her sample taken during the 2022 US Open. 

Furthermore, three experts in the area said they have ‘a high degree of confidence‘ that there was not an ‘innocent explanation’ for the abnormalities detected in Halep’s Athlete’s Biological Passport (ABP). They reported that ‘likely doping’ occurred based on an analysis of 51 valid samples of Halep’s blood and rejected her explanation for the irregularity. The tennis star cited blood loss during surgery and spells when she was inactive as her defence. 

Despite the comprehensive ruling, Halep has insisted that she is innocent and never intentionally took any banned substances. During an interview with Front Office Sports on Monday, the 31-year-old claimed that the ITIA’s four-year ban handed to her was based on ‘scenarios’ instead of any proof. 

“I was confident after the hearing because there were so many things that made no sense and that are not fair,” she said.
“When I received the decision, I was in complete shock. I could not believe that they suspended me for four years when we found the contamination and my blood was totally normal. They didn’t find anything bad in my blood. It’s crazy that they made this decision with everything [her legal team presented]. They judged me on scenarios. There is no proof. It’s just insane.”

The ITIA originally requested a six-year ban for Halep due to what they described as ‘repetitive and sophisticated’ doping practices. She is accused of using blood doping to improve her performance during Wimbledon and the US Open last year. However, the report found it was not ‘completely satisfied’ that Halep has been doping since March 2022 despite there being ‘strong grounds for suspicion.’

As for the substance Roxadustat, Halep says she would have never deliberately taken the drug as it would ‘work against her.’ She says that the drug would have worsened a thyroid issue which she has been dealing with for several years. Front Office Sports referred to a European Medicines Agency study which finds a possible link between the drug and decreased thyroid function. 

“There was no point for me to take this,” Halep said. “It’d work against me. It wouldn’t help me.”

The study couldn’t establish how common this side effect is due to the amount of data available at the time. 

In the wake of Halep’s ban, some have publicly expressed their views on the matter. One of the most notable to do so was Serena Williams who wrote on social media ‘8 is a better number” in a jibe at her former opponent. The reference was to the 2019 Wimbledon final when seven-time champion Williams lost in straight sets to Halep. 

“I think everyone has the right to judge me because the tribunal decided that I have the fault here,” Halep commented. “Someone told me today that those players who are hating on me because I beat them.”

Halep is set to appeal against her ban to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). 

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