Master 1000 Paris: Comfortable win for Djokovic. Verdasco surprises Simon - UBITENNIS
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Master 1000 Paris: Comfortable win for Djokovic. Verdasco surprises Simon

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TENNIS MASTER 1000 PARIS – Novak Djokovic made a winning debut beating Phillip Kohlschreiber 6-3 6-4 in the second round of the BNP Paribas Master 1000 in Paris Bercy in his first match since his wife Jelena Ristic gave birth to their first child Stefan. Diego Sampaolo

 

Djokovic broke serve in the second game of the opening set as Kohlschreiber made too many errors and held serve in the next game for 3-0. Djokovic pulled away to 5-1. Kohlschreiber broke back for 2-5 on Djokovic’s set point with a forehand drop shot after a long rally and held serve in the next game before Nole closed out the first set with 6-3 with a service winner. Djokovic broke serve in the first game of the second set with a backhand drop shot winner. Kohlschreiber produced some backhand winners but Djokovic did not face any break point chances in the second set and closed out on his second match point in one hour and 24 minutes

“Kohlschreiber is a very tricky opponent. I managed to start the match really well and one break was enough in the second set. I struggled a little physically but at the end of the day I was happy to finish the day the way I did. I am trying to take as much positive energy as I can from what’s happened in the past few weeks. I am very proud to be a father and I am very proud of how my wife for handling the birth in a great way”, said Djokovic

Djokovic extended his winning streak to 23 consecutive matches in Indoor tournaments. The Serb will face either Gael Monfils or John Isner

Fernando Verdasco upset this year’s Shanghai finalist Giles Simon in three sets with 6-3 3-6 6-4 in just under two hours after a match marked by many errors by both players. Verdasco broke serve on match point as Simon hit a forehand long.

Verdasco is projected to meet his compatriot David Ferrer who will debut against David Goffin who has continued his excellent period of form by beating Lukas Rosol 6-3 6-4.

Goffin, who finished runner-up to his idol Roger Federer in the Basel final last Sunday, has risen six spots to World Number 22 reaching his career-high in the ATP Ranking. He has won 43 of his last 46 matches since his first-round defeat against Andy Murray at Wimbledon clinching two ATP 250 titles at Kitzbuhel and Metz, three ATP Challengers at Scheveningen, Poznan and Tampere and reaching the third round at the US Open.

Tommy Robredo played another thrilling three-set match two days after losing a epic final in Valencia against Andy Murray. The Spaniard needed another win at the tie-break of the third set to battle past Vasek Pospisil with 6-3 4-6 7-6 (7-5) after recovering from a 2-4 deficit in the decider.

Robredo broke for the first time in the first set when Pospisil hit a half-volley drop shot into the net. In the second set Pospisil took control and hit four consecutive aces At 4-5 Pospisil received medical treatment on his left hip. After an early break Pospisil made an error as he was serving at 4-3. Robredo broke back in the eighth game to draw level to 4-4. In the third set Pospisil held five of his six service games. At 4-4 Pospisil wasted a break that would have enabled to serve for the match. In the tie-break Robredo took a 6-3 lead before facing a tough battle when Pospisil fended off two match points. Pospisil clinched another hard-fought battle with 7-5 at the tie-break.

Gael Monfils made a winning come-back to the court after being sidelined by a knee injury for six weeks after the Metz semifinal. The Frenchman, who reached the final in Paris Bercy twice in his career in 2009 and 2010, beat Joao Sousa 6-1 6-4. Monfils, who took the last-minute decision to play in his home tournament, will face John Isner in the second round on Wednesday.

Frenchman Lucas Pouille upset Ivo Karlovic 6-1 6-4. Karlovic hit just 5 aces and was broken three times. Kevin Anderson edged Santiago Giraldo 6-4 7-6 (10-8). He will face either Stan Wawrinka or Dominic Thiem who will play on Wednesday morning.

In the final Tuesday match Tomas Berdych battled past Frenchman Adrian Mannarino 6-4 6-7 (3-7) 6-2.

Roger Federer will make his debut against Jeremy Chardy who edged his compatriot Kenny De Schepper after two tie-breaks with 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-4).

On Wednesday Andy Murray will play against another French player Julien Benneteau in the second round three days after winning the Valencia title in a epic battle where he saved five match points.

Thanks to a strong 16-3 winning record since his quarter finals at the US Open and three titles in Shenzhen, Vienna and Valencia, Murray has climbed to fifth in the ATP Race to London and could secure his spot for the end-of-year tournament with the top eight players if he reaches the quarter finals in Paris Bercy.

“It’s been a long few weeks but it’s been beneficial for me. I gained a lot of confidence in my body from playing so many matches and from winning a lot of long, tough matches, especially in the finals where I faced many match points. It was supposed to be a terrible year for me. I have come back from a tough surgery and I have hopefully a couple of tournaments ahead of me where I can try to make some improvements”, said Murray

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Diego Schwartzman Receives Threats On Social Media Following Shock Davis Cup Defeat

The world No.15 is the latest player to speak out about recieving abusive messages on social media.

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The weekend has been an emotional rollercoaster for Diego Schwartzman, who suffered ‘one of the worst’ losses of his career before helping secure victory for his country in their Davis Cup tie against Belarus.

 

On Saturday the world No.15 was stunned by unranked 18-year-old Daniil Ostapenkov who is yet to play a professional match on the pro Tour. Ostapenkov is currently ranked 63 in the world on the junior circuit. The comprehensive victory shocked the Argentinian team who was hosting the tie at the Buenos Aires Lawn Tennis Club.

Despite the shock upset, Schwartman managed to redeem himself the following day when he defeated Alexander Zgirovsky 6-1, 6-2. That victory handed his country an unassailable 3-1 lead in their tie and secured their place in the 2022 Davis Cup qualifiers which will take place next March.

Not only playing Davis, but in Buenos Aires, with a lot of people you don’t see, it’s not easy. My level can be and has to be much better. After the game on Saturday I had a difficult day in the spirit of being able to get up and enjoy with the group,” La Nacion quoted Schwartzman as saying.
“The most normal thing was that we won the series. It’s what everyone expected. But when you have a very difficult day at work like it was on Saturday and then you win, it excites you because you have some internal things withheld.”

Between those two matches, Schwartzman revealed that he was trolled on social media by some people unhappy about his loss in the tie. The 2020 French Open semi-finalist said he received criticism and even threats from some asking him to leave his home country. Something he admits affected him at times.

“It was one of the worst days of my career,” Schwartzman commented on his loss to Zgirovsky. “I lost to an unranked, inexperienced player. All that already affects (me) a lot. Although 80 or 90 percent of the people are always encouraging (me), there was a minority who criticized me with bad intentions.’
“I received threats, insults and requests not to return to Argentina. More or less, it affects (me)”.

Schwartzman is not the first player to speak out about online abuse. During the US Open Shelby Rogers said she was expecting to receive ‘death threats’ following her loss to Emma Raducanu who went on to win the title. Sloane Stephens has also previously spoken out about being the victim of racism online.

The 29-year-old says he has previously tried to interact with those who have trolled him on social media to find out why they are doing so.

Sometimes I start to answer some messages and I ask those people if they realize what they are sending,” Schwartzman said during his press conference. “The vast majority apologize and say they had not realized it. But at the moment it hurts. That very ill-intentioned criticism is the only bad thing about social networks.”

Schwartzman has won four ATP titles and earned more than $10M in prize money so far in his career.

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Spanish Veteran Feliciano Lopez Addresses Future On The Tour

23 years after he played his first main draw match on the ATP Tour, Lopez says his longevity in the sport has been achieved with the help of of some luck.

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Feliciano Lopez of Spain is pictured during the semi-final of ATP Fever-Tree Championships tennis tournament at Queen's Club in west London on June 20, 2019.

Feliciano Lopez has dismissed any speculation that he could retire in the coming weeks after saying he is taking life on the Tour in his stride.

 

The 39-year-old Spaniard is currently the second oldest player in the world’s top 200 after Roger Federer, who is a year older than him. Lopez made his ATP Tour debut at the 1998 Barcelona Open which was before the birth of Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz. In June he became the 10th active player to record his 500th win on the Tour.

Currently ranked 111th in the world, some are starting to wonder how much longer Lopez will continue playing. So far this season he has achieved a win-loss record of 9-19 with his best performance being a run to the quarter-finals of the Mallorca Open which was held on the grass. It was in Mallorca where he defeated Karen Khachanov who is the only top 30 player he has beaten so far in 2021.

I play year-by-year, the last 6-7 years have been like this, a tennis player at that age cannot think about extending his career. After turning 30 I have been lucky, I have obtained the best results of my career,” Lopez told reporters on Friday.
It is not very common for players my age, at (almost) 40 years to continue playing in the best tournaments.” He added.

Throughout his career, Lopez has impressively played in a record 78 consecutive Grand Slam tournaments dating back to the 2002 French Open. During that period he has reached the quarter-finals of a major tournament on four occasions.

“I don’t play to break records, what makes me most excited is to continue playing Grand Slams. For me, maintaining that record (78 consecutive Grand Slams played) is very nice, but more to follow. Being competitive,” he commented on the milestone.
“It is difficult for someone to overcome it because it is 20 years in a row without missing a great one. I have had continuity and enormous luck. Those of my generation are practically all retired.”

Away from the court, the former world No.12 is the current tournament director of the Madrid Open. Making him one of a few players historically to both be playing on the Tour and managing a tournament at the same time. Recently it was confirmed that Madrid will continue hosting it’s combined event until at least 2030 following a renewed agreement between the city council and the Madrid trophy promotion.

Lopez has won a total of seven ATP titles so far in his career and has earned more than $18M in prize money.

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ATP Moves Closer To Staging Five More 12-Day Masters 1000 Events After Board Approval

Changes are coming to the men’s Tour which includes a brand new ‘profit-sharing formular’ for players.

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Masters tournaments in North America, Europe and Asia are set to be expanded over the coming months after the ATP Board recently approved some ‘key aspects’ of their strategic plan.

 

In a letter issued to players, ATP chairman Andrea Gaudenzi said an agreement has been reached concerning a variety of topics, which include the expansion of various Masters 1000 events. It is understood that the plan is for Rome, Madrid, Canada, Cincinnati and Shanghai to be increased to 12-day events instead of just one week. Putting them more in line with Indian Wells and Miami. Tennis.com reports that under the new structure, ATP 250 events will also take place during the second week of those tournaments and they could receive a subsidy from the ATP Tour, provided by extra fees paid by the Masters tournaments.

Masters 1000 events are the third highest-ranked category events in men’s tennis after Grand Slams and the ATP Finals in terms of prize money and ranking points on offer. The series was first introduced back in 1990 but it wasn’t until 2009 that the name ‘Masters 1000’ was born. The number represents how many ranking points the winner receives.

Besides the proposed changes to the Masters series, the Board has also given a green light to “a new Profit-Sharing formula” and “long-term prize money levels.” The prize money increase is reportedly said to be 2.5 percent of a base level, plus a bonus pool with a 50 percent share of the collective profit of the Masters events.

“This represents significant progress for our sport and the way our player and tournament members operate under the equal partnership of the ATP Tour. It is only through the spirit of this partnership, transparency, and alignment of interests that we can truly maximise your potential and switch our focus to the competition we face in the border sports and entertainment landscape,” Gaudenzi wrote in his letter to players.

Part of the plan also include making changes to ATP Media, who are in charge of broadcasting the events. At present it is currently jointly owned by the Tour and each of the Masters 1000 events. However, in the future it has been proposed that those tournaments trade in their ownership rights for shares in ATP media. Exact details about this process have not been publicly disclosed and it is unclear if all of the tournaments would agree to such a move.

The ATP also wants to create a ‘Tennis Data Innovations’ which will be an independent entity.

All of these proposed changes are still subject to further agreement around additional matters. The ATP have been working on details of their strategic plan for the past 18 months.

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