Australian Open: the “lame leg” that decides who can go for the Grand Slam - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

ATP

Australian Open: the “lame leg” that decides who can go for the Grand Slam

Avatar

Published

on

TENNIS AUSTRALIAN OPEN – On Monday the Australian Open starts for the 103rd time. Since 1972 it’s home is Melbourne. Once snubbed by the pest players in the world, after 1988 the Aussie Major bridged the gap that separated them from the other three Slams. Now the tournament has the privilege to decide who can go for the Grand Slam. From Adrian Quist’s 13 titles to Federer’s 73 wins: history, records and past winners of the first Major of the year. By Remo Borgatti, translated by Lorenzo Dicandia

 

AO 2015: Interviews, Results, Order of Play, Draws

The Australian Open has often been considered, for quite a long time, the “lame leg” of Grand Slams. Indeed, the remoteness of Oceania from the usual routes has been, especially in the past, a kind of natural deterrent for most of overseas players, both Europeans and Americans. Until the mid eighties, Melbourne has often suffered the defections of many important players, both in the male and in the female draws, although the quality expressed by local players for several decades maintained the level of competition and of champions at pretty high standards. In fact, apart from few surprising cases (that anyways happened also in the other Slams), the list of past champions deserves major respect. From 1988 onwards, when the tournament changed location and surface and provided its main courts with removable roofs closed both in case of rain and of excessive heat, the Australian Open has finally closed the gap with the other Slams, reaching the same league of its “brothers” of France, England, and United States. Moreover, since the AO is the first Slam, it has the privilege of pointing out, every year, the names of the two players that could aim at the Grand Slam. In short: the ones who win Melbourne can keep dreaming, the others have to wake up and get back to reality.

The one beginning next Monday will be 103rd edition of the event; from 1905 to 1921 the tournament had only men’s singles and doubles draws, while from the following year on there was the add of women’s singles and doubles draws and of mixed doubles. This last one, however, was suspended between 1970 and 1986, while the tournament wasn’t played at all during the two world wars (1916-18 and 1941-45) and in 1987, in order to offset the two editions played in 1977, when the date of the event was moved from January to December.

Melbourne has become the official location of the AO since 1972 (in the legendary Kooyong Stadium, on grass, until 1986), while previously other four Australian cities (Sydney, Perth, Brisbane and Adelaide) held the event; instead, in 1906 (Christchurch) and in 1912 (Hastings) the tournament was played in New Zealand.

The player with the most titles is the Australian Adrian Quist with thirteen (three in singles and ten in doubles), in front of Jack Crawford and John Bromwich with eleven each. On the women side, Margaret Smith Court (21) precedes her compatriots, also Australian, Nancy Wynne Bolton (20) and Thelma Coyne Long (18). Looking only at singles titles, men’s ranking sees Roy Emerson ahead with 6 titles, and then 5 players tied at the second place: Novak Djokovic, Andre Agassi, Roger Federer, Jack Crawford and Ken Rosewall all with 4 wins each. For the girls, Margaret Smith is out of reach having won it an amazing 11 times, 7 of which in a row from 1960 to 1966; following Ms. Smith Court there are Nancy Wynne Bolton (6), Daphne Akhurst and, more recently, Serena Williams with 5 titles. Ken Rosewall is the player with the longest timespan between his first and last title (20 years, from 1953 to 1972); Roger Federer is the one with the highest number of matches won in singles (73), and Andre Agassi the player with the highest winning percentage, always in singles, with 90.5% (actually Connors has a percentage of 91.6%, but on a total of 12 matches, against the 53 played by Agassi). Regarding women, Nancy Wynne won her last title 14 years after her first one (1937-1951), but Smith Court has a crazy record of 60 matches won and only 3 losses, for a winning percentage that is slightly above 95%; Monica Seles follows with a record of 43-4 (91.5%). Ken Rosewall is, simultaneously, the youngest and oldest winner in singles: he was 18 in 1953 and 37 in 1972. The oldest winner on the women side is Thelma Coyne Long, 35 in 1954, while the youngest is Martina Hingis, 16 in 1997, although Mirjana Lucic in 1998 won the doubles at the age of 15 and 10 months. The longest final in the men’s field was played in 1927, when Gerald Patterson defeated Jack Hawkes 3-6 6-4 3-6 18-16 6-3, for a grand total of 71 games. Since the introduction of the tiebreaker, the longest final has been the one between Djokovic and Nadal in 2012 with 55 games played. Among women, in 1930 Daphne Akhurst defeated Sylvia Harper by a score of 10-8 2-6 7-5, 38 games, three more than the 1981 match between Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert, ended up with the win of Navratilova 6-7 6-4 7-5. Talking about the shortest finals by number of games played, there are three in the men’ s side and two in the women’s: 1923 O’Hara Wood-St.John 6-1/6-1/6-3; 1926 Hawkes-Willard 6-1/6-3/6-1 e 2003 Agassi-Schuettler 6-2/6-2/6-1; 1962 Smith Court-Lehane 6-0/6-2, 1994 Graf-Sanchez Vicario 6-0/6-2. Three are the players that have been able to get the title without being seeded: the Australians Mark Edmondson (1976) and Chris O’Neil (1978) and the American Serena Williams in 2007. Bob Giltinan (December 1977) and Christine Matison (1978) are, instead, the qualifiers who got further in the draws, both losing in the semifinals. Finally, it happened seven times in both the men’s and the women’s draws that the final winner had to save one or more match points before getting to the singles titles. Here in detail:

MEN – Gerald Patterson saved 5 match points in the fourth set (four at 12-13 and one at 15-16) in the final of 1927 against Jack Hawkes: Dinny Pails prevented John Bromwich the joy of the title in the final of 1947; Rod Laver saved a match point down 4-5 in the fourth set of the final of 1960; John Newcombe saved three match-points in the fifth set of the semifinal won against his compatriot and doubles partner Tony Roche; Johan Kriek defeated Paul McNamee in the semifinals of 1982 surviving a match point in the fifth set; Stefan Edberg saved two of them down 4-5 in the third set of the last sixteen in 1985; his opponent, up two sets in that match, was the Australian Wally Masur. Finally, in 2005, Marat Safin had to save a match point down 5-6 in the tiebreak of the fourth set against Federer in the semifinals; the Russian player ended up winning 9-7 in the fifth set.

WOMEN – In 1923 Margaret Molesworth defeated Sylvia Lance in the semifinal 36 64 86 saving a match point in the third set; Mary Carter won the final of 1956 over Thelma Coyne Long 36 62 97, whom had a match point in the final set; in the semifinals of 1991 Monica Seles saved a match point to Mary Joe Fernandez in the semifinal; she went on to win 9-7 in the decisive; in the dramatic final of 2002 Martina Hingis found herself 4 times only one point away from the title, before collapsing to nerves and tiredness against the American Capriati: Jennifer survived a first time down 64 53 40-30 and Hingis on serve, twice down 6-5 for the Swiss (30-40 and Ad) and the last time down 7-6 in the tiebreak. Capriati won 9-7 that tiebreak and, after the pause, won the final set with a categorical 62. Serena Williams became twice the champion of the AO after being on the brink of defeat, always in the semifinals: in 2003 she saved two match points in the third set (down 5-2) against Kim Clijsters, before defeating her 7-5, and two years later Maria Sharapova blew three chances on serve (two of them consecutive, on 40-15) at 5-4 in the last set, and ended up losing 26 75 86. Finally, just last year, the Chinese Na Li managed to get past the third round against Lucie Safarova, defeating her 16 76 63 after saving a match point (a backhand out of few centimeters) down 61 65 30-40.

LAST YEAR – Two new faces have lifted the Australian Open trophies. Chronologically, the first was has been Na Li, already unfortunate finalist both in 2011 (when Clijsters came back down a set and a break), and in 2013 (when instead she lost in three against Vika Azarenka, after falling down a couple of times during the final). Dominika Cibulkova, unexpected finalist (20th seed), held for a set, the first one lost at the breaker, before giving up in the second (lost 60). The tournament had already lost two of its three main favorites in the last sixteen (Serena Williams defeated by Ivanovic and Sharapova by Cibulkova), while Victoria Azarenka (not in her best condition) managed to get only one round further, being then defeated by Radwanska with a resounding bagel in the final set. Impressive also the path of the young Canadian Bouchard, who got to the semifinals coming out from Errani and Vinci side of the draw (both out in the first round) and defeating Ana Ivanovic in the quarters.

In the men’s draw there was the exploit of Wawrinka, at his first triumph in a Major after a career lived almost entirely in the shadow of Federer. “Stan the Man” got quite easily to the quarters, where he scored the first upset, defeating the three times AO champion Novak Djokovic after five exciting sets (97 in the fifth). In the semifinals the Swiss ended in his favor the difficult match against Tomas Berdych, winning two of the three tie-breakers (63 67 76 76), and in the final he managed to defeat pressure when, up two sets on a Nadal in sorrow for his recurrent back problems, he stumbled towards the finish line letting the Spanish come back in the game, then closed 63 in the fourth. Wawrinka is the first player able to defeat both Nadal and Djokovic in the same Slam and he is also the first one since 1993 (when Bruguera won the Roland Garros defeating Sampras and Courier) to win a major by beating the first two seeds. For the rest, the tournament has been extremely regular until the quarters, reached by seven of the eight top seeds (except from Del Potro, defeated by Bautista Agut, in turn beaten by Dimitrov). In the semifinals Nadal improved his head-to-head record against Federer to 23-10, to whom the new tactical variants suggested by his new coach Stefan Edberg brought two nice wins against Tsonga and Murray.

SINGLES FINALS

Men

1905 Rodney Heath-Arthur Curtis 46 63 64 64

1906 Anthony Wilding-Francis Fisher 60 64 64

1907 Horrie Rice-Harry Parker 63 64 64

1908 Fred Alexander-Alfred Dunlop 36 36 60 62 63

1909 Anthony Wilding-Ernest Parker 61 75 62

1910 Rodney Heath-Horrie Rice 64 63 62

1911 Norman Brookes-Horrie Rice 61 62 63

1912 Jim Parke-Alfred Beamish 36 63 16 61 75

1913 Ernest Parker-Harry Parker 26 61 63 62

1914 Arthur O’Hara Wood-Gerald Patterson 64 63 57 61

1915 Gordon Lowe-Horrie Rice 46 61 61 64

1919 Algemon Kingscote-Eric Pockley 64 60 63

1920 Pat O’Hara Wood-Ron Thomas 63 46 68 61 63

1921 Rice Gemmell-Alf Hedemann 75 61 64

1922 James Anderson-Gerald Patterson 60 36 36 63 62

1923 Pat O’Hara Wood-Bert St.John 61 61 63

1924 James Anderson-Bob Schlesinger 63 64 36 57 63

1925 James Anderson-Gerald Patterson 119 26 62 63

1926 Jack Hawkes-Jim Willard 61 63 61

1927 Gerald Patterson-Jack Hawkes 36 64 36 1816 63

1928 Jean Borotra-Jack Cummings 64 61 46 57 63

1929 Colin Gregory-Bob Schlesinger 62 62 57 75

1930 Gar Moon-Harry Hopman 63 61 63

1931 Jack Crawford-Harry Hopman 64 62 26 61

1932 Jack Crawford-Harry Hopman 46 63 36 63 61

1933 Jack Crawford-Keith Gledhill 26 75 63 62

1934 Fred Perry-Jack Crawford 63 75 61

1935 Jack Crawford-Fred Perry 26 64 64 64

1936 Adrain Quist-Jack Crawford 62 63 46 36 97

1937 Viv McGrath-John Bromwich 63 16 60 26 61

1938 Donald Budge-John Bromwich 64 62 61

1939 John Bromwich-Adrian Quist 64 61 62

1940 Adrian Quist-Jack Crawford 63 61 62

1946 John Bromwich-Dinny Pails 57 63 75 36 62

1947 Dinny Pails-John Bromwich 46 64 36 75 86

1948 Adrian Quist-John Bromwich 64 36 63 26 63

1949 Frank Sedgman-John Bromwich 63 62 62

1950 Frank Sedgman-Ken McGregor 63 64 46 61

1951 Richard Savitt-Ken McGregor 63 26 63 61

1952 Ken McGregor-Frank Sedgman 75 1210 26 62

1953 Ken Rosewall-Merv Rose 60 63 64

1954 Merv Rose-Rex Hartwig 62 06 64 62

1955 Ken Rosewall-Lew Hoad 97 64 62

1956 Lew Hoad-Ken Rosewall 64 36 64 75

1957 Ashley Cooper-Neale Fraser 63 911 64 62

1958 Ashley Cooper-Mal Anderson 75 63 64

1959 Alex Olmedo-Neale Fraser 61 62 36 63

1960 Rod Laver-Neale Fraser 57 36 63 86 86

1961 Roy Emerson-Rod Laver 16 63 75 64

1962 Rod Laver-Roy Emerson 86 06 64 64

1963 Roy Emerson-Ken Fletcher 63 63 61

1964 Roy Emerson-Fred Stolle 63 64 62

1965 Roy Emerson-Fred Stolle 79 26 64 75 61

1966 Roy Emerson-Arthur Ashe 64 68 62 63

1967 Roy Emerson-Arthur Ashe 64 61 64

1968 Bill Bowrey-Juan Gisbert 75 26 97 64

1969 Rod Laver-Andres Gimeno 63 64 75

1970 Arthur Ashe-Dick Crealy 64 97 62

1971 Ken Rosewall-Arthur Ashe 61 75 63

1972 Ken Rosewall-Mal Anderson 76 63 75

1973 John Newcombe-Onny Parun 63 67 75 61

1974 Jimmy Connors-Phil Dent 76 64 46 63

1975 John Newcombe-Jimmy Connors 75 36 64 76

1976 Mark Edmondson-John Newcombe 67 63 76 61

1977(jan) Roscoe Tanner-Guillermo Vilas 63 63 63

1977(dec) Vitas Gerulaitis-John Lloyd 63 76 57 36 62

1978 Guillermo Vilas-John Marks 64 64 36 63

1979 Guillermo Vilas-John Sadri 76 63 62

1980 Brian Teacher-Kim Warwick 75 76 63

1981 Johan Kriek-Steve Denton 62 76 67 64

1982 Johan Kriek-Steve Denton 63 63 62

1983 Mats Wilander-Ivan Lendl 61 64 64

1984 Mats Wilander-Kevin Curren 67 64 76 62

1985 Stefan Edberg-Mats Wilander 64 63 63

1987 Stefan Edberg-Pat Cash 63 64 36 57 63

1988 Mats Wilander-Pat Cash 63 67 36 61 86

1989 Ivan Lendl-Miloslav Mecir 62 62 62

1990 Ivan Lendl-Stefan Edberg 46 76 52 ret.

1991 Boris Becker-Ivan Lendl 16 64 64 64

1992 Jim Courier-Stefan Edberg 63 36 64 62

1993 Jim Courier-Stefan Edberg 62 61 26 75

1994 Pete Sampras-Todd Martin 76 64 64

1995 Andre Agassi-Pete Sampras 46 61 76 64

1996 Boris Becker-Michael Chang 62 64 26 62

1997 Pete Sampras-Carlos Moya 62 63 63

1998 Petr Korda-Marcelo Rios 62 62 62

1999 Yevgeny Kafelnikov-Thomas Enqvist 46 60 63 76

2000 Andre Agassi-Yevgeny Kafelnikov 36 63 62 64

2001 Andre Agassi-Arnaud Clement 64 62 62

2002 Thomas Johansson-Marat Safin 36 64 64 76

2003 Andre Agassi-Rainer Schuettler 62 62 61

2004 Roger Federer-Marat Safin 76 64 62

2005 Marat Safin-Lleyton Hewitt 16 63 64 64

2006 Roger Federer-Marcos Baghdatis 57 75 60 62

2007 Roger Federer-Fernando Gonzalez 76 64 64

2008 Novak Djokovic-Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 46 64 63 76

2009 Rafael Nadal-Roger Federer 75 36 76 36 62

2010 Roger Federer-Andy Murray 63 64 76

2011 Novak Djokovic-Andy Murray 64 62 63

2012 Novak Djokovic-Rafael Nadal 57 64 62 67 75

2013 Novak Djokovic-Andy Murray 67 76 63 62

2014 Stan Wawrinka-Rafael Nadal 63 62 36 63

Women

1922 Margaret Molesworth-Esna Boyd 63 108

1923 Margaret Molesworth-Esna Boyd 61 75

1924 Sylvia Lance-Esna Boyd 63 36 64

1925 Daphne Akhurst-Esna Boyd 16 86 64

1926 Daphne Akhurst-Esna Boyd 61 63

1927 Esna Boyd-Sylvia Lance Harper 57 61 62

1928 Daphne Akhurst-Esna Boyd 75 62

1929 Daphne Akhurst-Louie Bickerton 61 57 62

1930 Daphne Akhurst-Sylvia Lance Harper 108 26 75

1931 Coral Buttsworth-Marjorie Crawford 16 63 64

1932 Coral Buttsworth-Kathrine Le Mesurier 97 64

1933 Joan Hartigan-Coral Buttsworth 64 63

1934 Joan Hartigan-Margareth Molesworth 61 64

1935 Dorothy Round-Nancy Lyle 16 61 63

1936 Joan Hartigan-Nancye Wynne 64 64

1937 Nancye Wynne-Emily Westacott 63 57 64

1938 Dorothy Bundy-Dorothy Stevenson 63 62

1939 Emily Westacott-Nell Hall Hopman 61 62

1940 Nancye Wynne-Thelma Long 57 64 60

1946 Nancye Wynne-Joyce Fitch 64 64

1947 Nancye Wynne-Nell Hall Hopman 63 62

1948 Nancye Wynne-Marie Toomey 63 61

1949 Doris Hart-Nancye Wynne 63 64

1950 Louise Brough-Doris Hart 64 36 64

1951 Nancye Wynne-Thelma Long 61 75

1952 Thelma Long-Helen Angwin 62 63

1953 Maureen Connolly-Julia Sampson 63 62

1954 Thelma Long-Jenny Staley 63 64

1955 Beryl Penrose-Thelma Long 64 63

1956 Mary Carter-Thelma Long 36 62 97

1957 Shirley Fry-Althea Gibson 63 64

1958 Angela Mortimer-Lorraine Coghlan 63 64

1959 Mary Carter-Renee Schuurman 62 63

1960 Margaret Court-Jan Lehane 75 62

1961 Margaret Court-Jan Lehane 61 64

1962 Margaret Court-Jan Lehane 60 62

1963 Margaret Court-Jan Lehane 62 62

1964 Margaret Court-Lesley Turner 63 62

1965 Margaret Court-Maria Bueno 57 63 52 ret.

1966 Margaret Court-Nancy Richey wo

1967 Nancy Richey-Lesley Turner 61 64

1968 Billie jean King-Margaret Court 61 62

1969 Margaret Court-Billie Jean King 64 61

1970 Margaret Court-Kerry Reid 61 63

1971 Margaret Court-Evonne Goolagong 26 76 75

1972 Virginia Wade-Evonne Goolagong 64 64

1973 Margaret Court-Evonne Goolagong 64 75

1974 Evonne Goolagong-Chris Evert 76 46 60

1975 Evonne Goolagong-Martina Navratilova 63 62

1976 Evonne Goolagong-Renata Tomanova 62 62

1977(jan) Kerry Reid-Dianne Fromholtz 75 62

1977(dec) Evonne Goolagong-Helen Gourlay 63 60

1978 Chris O’Neill-Betsy Nagelsen 63 76

1979 Barbara Jordan-Sharon Walsh 63 63

1980 Hana Mandlikova-Wendy Turnbull 60 75

1981 Martina Navratilova-Chris Evert 67 64 75

1982 Chris Evert-Martina Navratilova 63 26 63

1983 Martina Navratilova-Kathy Jordan 62 76

1984 Chris Evert-Helena Sukova 67 61 62

1985 Martina Navratilova-Chris Evert 62 46 62

1986 Hana Mandlikova-Martina Navratilova 75 76

1988 Steffi Graf-Chris Evert 61 76

1989 Steffi Graf-Helena Sukova 64 64

1990 Steffi Graf-Mary Joe Fernandez 63 64

1991 Monica Seles-Jana Novotna 57 63 61

1992 Monica Seles-Mary Joe Fernandez 62 63

1993 Monica Seles-Steffi Graf 46 63 62

1994 Steffi Graf-Arantxa Sanchez Vicario 60 62

1995 Mary Pierce-Arantxa Sanchez Vicario 63 62

1996 Monica Seles-Anke Huber 64 61

1997 Martina Hingis-Mary Pierce 62 62

1998 Martina Hingis-Conchita Martinez 63 63

1999 Martina Hingis-Amelie Mauresmo 62 63

2000 Lindsay Davenport-Martina Hingis 61 75

2001 Jennifer Capriati-Martina Hingis 64 63

2002 Jennifer Capriati-Martina Hingis 46 76 62

2003 Serena Williams-Venus Williams 76 36 64

2004 Justine henin-Kim Clijsters 63 46 63

2005 Serena Williams-Lindsay Davenport 26 63 60

2006 Amelie mauresmo-Justine Henin 61 20 ret.

2007 Serena Williams-Maria Sharapova 61 62

2008 Maria Sharapova-Ana Ivanovic 75 63

2009 Serena Williams-Dinara Safina 60 63

2010 Serena Williams-Justine Henin 63 36 62

2011 Kim Clijsters-Na Li 36 63 63

2012 Victoria Azarenka-Maria Sharapova 63 60

2013 Victoria Azarenka-Na Li 46 64 63

2014 Na Li-Dominika Cibulkova 76 60

ATP

Andy Murray Surging In Confidence After Reaching First ATP Quarter-Final Since 2019

The 34-year-old believes he is getting better with every match played on the Tour as he eyes a spot in the final later this week.

Avatar

Published

on

Andy Murray (image via https://twitter.com/ATPTour_ES)

Former world No.1 Andy Murray says he is starting to gain more belief in his game after reaching the quarter-finals of the Moselle Open on Wednesday.

 

The three-time Grand Slam champion rallied to a 6-3, 6-3, win over Canada’s Vasek Pospisil in the French city. Murray dropped serve only once at the start of the second set but broke his opponent four times en route to the victory. It is the first time he has registered back-to-back wins on the ATP Tour since Wimbledon and it is the first time he has reached a quarter-final since winning the 2019 Antwerp Open.

Murray showed glimmers of his best tennis recently at the US Open where he took Stefanos Tsitsipas to five sets in the first round before losing. However, in his following tournament on the Challenger circuit he lost in the second round to world No.154 Roman Safiullin. Despite the mixed performances, the Brit says his fitness continues to improve and he believes he is heading in the right direction.

“For me, this period of the last few years has been the most I have played really,” Murray said following his win over Pospisil.
“My body feels good and I am starting to gain just a little bit of confidence with each match, starting to see the points and how I want to play them, which is great.
“There have been times in the past year where I have been a little bit confused and not seeing how the points are developing which was always a strong part of my game.
“It made me feel quite uncomfortable on court when I was feeling that way, so I am starting to get that back and the results are coming, my tennis is getting better.”

The 34-year-old, who now plays on the Tour with a metal hip after undergoing two operations, is targeting a return back into the world’s top 100 for the first time since 2018. He came agonisingly close in July when he reached 102. At present, he is currently ranked 113 but will climb at least four places following his run in Metz this week.

In the next round Murray will play either top seed Hubert Hurkacz or former top 10 player Lucas Pouille. Both players are likely to be a stern challenge for the three-time Grand Slam champion who is hoping to reach the final for the first time since 2007.

“I would love to get another opportunity to play here in the final, but there is a lot of tennis to be played before then potentially against the number one seed in the next round,” he reflected.
“It is not going to be easy if I want to reach the final, but I am playing well and have an opportunity.”

Murray has won 42 ATP titles and has earned more than $62M in prize money so far in his career.

Continue Reading

ATP

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.

Avatar

Published

on

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.

Continue Reading

ATP

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.

Avatar

Published

on

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.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending