Goran Ivanisevic leads the way in the coaches’ rankings - UBITENNIS
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Goran Ivanisevic leads the way in the coaches’ rankings

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TENNIS – A trend that appeared last season and that will spill into 2015 was that of legendary former players pairing up with the game’s top performers to try and steer them to the greatness they achieved. Sometimes the results of these coaches aren’t clear to see but in the case of Goran Ivanisevic it couldn’t be more evident. Bruno Bergareche Sans

 

A trend that appeared last season and that will spill into 2015 was that of legendary former players pairing up with the game’s top performers to try and steer them to the greatness they achieved. What’s fascinating is that the former pro’s seem to link up with players who have similar characteristics to themselves, meaning they can relate to their style of play, but perhaps what these top players need precisely is something a little bit different to help them out with the parts of their game that still have room for improvement.

Roger Federer with Stefan Edberg

Roger Federer with Stefan Edberg

Having said that a player of Federer or Djokovic’s calibre probably isn’t going to learn anything new in terms of playing tennis, as they most probably have surpassed the level of Edberg and Becker respectively. But what these coaches can bring to the table is experience and, above all, another top level tactical view from which to feed off. When Federer faces Nadal or Djokovic he has his ideas on how to tackle these two top players but Edberg may have different ideas which, combined, will give the Swiss maestro a vaster spectrum of information and that’s precisely where these coaches play a big role.

Sometimes the results of these coaches aren’t clear to see but in the case of Goran Ivanisevic it couldn’t be more evident. One of the true characters of the game in the nineties, Ivanisevic defied all the odds on his way to winning his maiden Grand Slam at Wimbledon in 2001 as a Wild Card in what was one of sport’s most remarkable stories. When he partnered Marin Cilic, many eye brows were raised as to whether his temperament was ideal to overlook the career of a promising yet shy tennis player. But that’s exactly what a player needs from his coach: for him to contribute characteristics the player doesn’t have. Ivanisevic provides the spark and gung-ho mentality that Cilic was lacking. Marin was reliable and consistent; he beat the players he had to beat but he lost to the players he had to lose against. With Goran in his corner he let the chains free and started striking the ball freely without too much of a care, just like Ivanisevic did, enjoying the game instead of being eaten up by fear. That mixture of ideas was devastating and led Cilic to an unthinkable US Open title in September with one of the performances of the year against Federer in the semi-final.

Boris Becker by Art Seitz

Boris Becker by Art Seitz

On paper Stefan Edberg and Boris Becker were better players, as was Michael Chang, who mentors Kei Nishikori, but coaching is a different world and it’s about providing your pupil with what he lacks and that’s exactly what Goran Ivanisevic does with Marin Cilic. Another interesting partnership which has come together for 2015 is that of Richard Gasquet and Sergi Bruguera. The Spaniard could help to raise the Frenchmen’s game, especially on clay, which would be much needed for Gasquet who seems to be submerged in a sea of doubts. That partnership remains to be seen but if there’s a ranking for coaches, right now Goran Ivanisevic is the man at the top of the pile.

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Novak Djokovic Confirmed For Olympics But Del Potro Pulls Out After Medical Advice

The Serbian will be bidding to win gold in Tokyo later this year for the first time in his career.

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This year’s Olympic tennis tournament has been given a boost after officials confirmed world No.1 Novak Djokovic will be playing at the Games.

 

The 19-time Grand Slam champion had been contemplating whether to play at the event or not amid ongoing COVID-19 conditions. Djokovic previously said he would reconsider travelling to Tokyo if fans weren’t allowed to attend. Since that comment, organisers have given the green light for up to 10,000 domestic fans to attend Olympic venues. Although foreign fans are banned from attending this year due to the pandemic.

Amid questions over Djokovic’s participation, the Serbian Tennis Federation has told Sportski Zurnal that he has pledged to play. It will be the fourth time the 34-year-old has represented his country in the Olympics. So far in his career, Djokovic has only won one medal which was bronze back in 2008. He also finished fourth in 2012.

“Novak has confirmed his desire to participate in the Olympic Games and we have already sent a list with his name on it to the Olympic Committee of Serbia. It will be forwarded from there,” the Tennis federation told Sportski Zurnal.

As it currently stands Djokovic is on course to achieve the calendar ‘golden slam.’ A rare achievement where a player wins all four Grand Slam titles, as well as the Olympics, within the same year. In singles competition the only person to have ever achieved this was Stefi Graf back in 1988.

“Everything is possible, and I did put myself in a good position to go for the Golden Slam,” Djokovic said after winning the French Open
“But, you know, I was in this position in 2016 as well. It ended up in a third-round loss in Wimbledon. This year we have only two weeks between the first round of Wimbledon and the finals here, which is not ideal because you go from really two completely different surfaces, trying to make that transition as smooth as possible, as quickly and efficiently as possible.
“So obviously I will enjoy this win and then think about Wimbledon in a few days’ time. I don’t have an issue to say that I’m going for the title in Wimbledon. Of course, I am.”

Del Potro’s comeback delayed again

There is less positive news for Juan Martin del Potro, who was the player who beat Djokovic to win a bronze medal back in 2012. The Argentine hasn’t played a competitive match on the Tour since June 2019 due to a troublesome knee injury. Back in March the former US Open champion said playing at the Olympics again was motivating him during his rehabilitation.

However, since then progress has been slower than what Del Potro would have liked. As a result, he has been advised not to play in the event and continue his recovery.

Delpo won’t be able to play the Olympics Games. The knee rehab is going well according to the doctor’s plan but he suggested Juan Martin to go on with his rehab process and training, and skip Tokyo 2020,” a statement from Del Potro’s communication team reads.

Since 2010, the former world No.3 and two-time Olympic medallist has undergone eight surgeries.One on his right wrist, three on his left wrist and four on his knee. He has won a total of 22 ATP titles so far in his career.

The Olympic Tennis event will start on July 24th at the Ariake Coliseum.

RELATED STORY: Why Are So Many Tennis Players Skipping The Olympics?

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Vasek Pospisil dispatches James Ward in Eastbourne

Vasek Pospisil is into the second round at Eastbourne.

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Vasek Pospisil (@TennisCanada - Twitter)

The Canadian won his first match on grass of the year beating the local favourite James Ward.

 

Vasek Pospisil is through to the second round of the Viking International ATP 250 in Eastbourne after beating the Brit James Ward in straight sets 6-4, 6-4 in one hour and 13 minutes on court number two.

“It was a good match, I played pretty well, I thought I served well and he is a tough opponent on grass because he has a tough first serve but I was pretty sharp and played well when I needed to and happy to get the win”.

It was the Canadian who had the first chance to break at 1-1 and he got the early break and that one break was good enough for him to serve out the first set.

The second set was much of the same and actually was identical to the first with the world number 66 getting the break to take a 2-1 lead but faced a breakpoint when consolidating the break.

Again that one break was enough for him to serve out the match and book his spot in the next round. This is Pospisil’s first win since the month and after the match, he spoke about how the last couple of months have been for him.

“It was good I just took a break from the tour just to refresh the mind and the body and I hadn’t seen my family in nine months so it was a good reset and I felt I needed a break to kinda be excited about touring and the covid conditions and now I’m back and I am happy to be back and I am playing well so it was a nice break.”

Pospisil will now face Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the next round after the Spaniard beat the Swede Mikael Ymer in straight sets 7-5, 6-1.

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Daniil Medvedev Searching For Confidence Boost Ahead Of Wimbledon

The two-time Grand Slam finalist says he is not the same player as he was two years ago when he last played Wimbledon.

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When it comes to playing on the grass this year Daniil Medvedev admits that the biggest issue for him might concern the mental side of the sport as opposed to the physical side.

 

The world No.2 kicked-off his grass swing last week in Halle where he was stunned in the first round by Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting the Tour in 2020, that was the first time the Russian had played a match on the surface in almost two years. Short on matches, Medvedev is back in action this week in Mallorca after taking a wildcard into the tournament.

“I like to play on grass, I just need to get some confidence in my game on the surface, because we didn’t play [on it] for two years. Two years ago, I was not the same player as I am right now,” Medvedev told atptour.com. “It is tough for me to say where I see myself, but I know I can play very good on this surface. I just need to find the right balance.”

Since he last played at Wimbledon, Medvedev surged on the ATP Tour by winning six titles with all of them being on a hardcourt. Furthermore, he also reached the final of the US Open in 2019 and the Australian Open this year. He is the first player outside of the Big Four to be ranked in the world’s top two since July 2005.

Despite his previous success on the grass, Medvedev admits he remains wary about playing on the surface and the conditions he may face.

“When I started playing on grass, I played in Challengers and even in [ATP] Tour tournaments on the outside courts, not on the central courts, and I can tell that the central courts are quite slow,” he said. “Especially the match I played with Gilles Simon at Queen’s [Club], we had rallies of 40 shots every second point. That is what makes it a little bit tougher.
“When I practise on practice courts, I feel like I am playing so good as the ball is so fast. Then I come onto the centre court to play the match, and the ball just stops after the bounce, and you have to adapt your game, so it can be tough. But I know I can play really well on grass.”

In Mallorca Medvedev has a bye in the first round. His opening match will be against either South Africa’s Lloyd Harris or France’s Corentin Moutet.

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