Players complain about differing court-speeds in Melbourne - UBITENNIS
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Players complain about differing court-speeds in Melbourne

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TENNIS MELBOURNE – Just two days into the Australian Open a number of Spanish players have expressed their dissatisfaction with the difference in court-speeds at Melbourne Park. Bruno Bergarece Sans

 

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

Just two days into the Australian Open a number of Spanish players have expressed their dissatisfaction with the difference in court-speeds at Melbourne Park. The problem is many of these players train on one court and then play their matches on a different one and it’s like playing a completely different sport.

“I don’t think it’s fair that every court you play on has a different speed”, said Roberto Bautista after defeating Dominic Thiem in four sets. “If under the roof you play at one speed, it should be the same outside. It can’t be that you train on one court that’s quick, then others are slower and then inside the speed is perfect to play on. I’ve expressed these complaints, but they don’t say anything”.

Much of these complaints are also aimed at the fact that top players barely move around courts, playing and training on the main courts, meaning that they have an advantage over those players who are constantly having to adapt to the different speeds of the surface.

“It’s the quickest surface out of all the years I’ve played in Australia”, mentioned David Ferrer, who overcame a deficit of a set and a break to overcome Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci. “The practice courts are even quicker because they’re smaller, but in the past they’ve been too slow. Now, they’ve turned it around. What can you do? Try to adapt. You can complain but you’re not going to get anything from that. The court isn’t going to be slower if you keep complaining”.

A victim of that speed was Pablo Carreño who was ousted by big-serving Gilles Muller on court 22 (one of the quickest). “I didn’t play tennis because I couldn’t. The court was very quick and the ball really slid through the surface. Those points that weren’t aces by him I could hardly play in. I was doing what I could. Returning serve was a nightmare. I’ve trained at the club twice because it’s impossible to get a court if you’re not seeded. I trained on Margaret Court with Bautista and it was a different world. We could have normal rallies on a normal court, with a medium speed which you could return serve and play. However, on the outside courts, where I trained with Verdasco before the game, we couldn’t keep a rally going for more than two shots. Serve, return, end. They’re too quick. Normally, at every tournament the main courts are a bit slower than the outside ones but here they’re much quicker than normal. Today was anything but tennis; I was playing the lottery on my return games to see if I could guess where he was going to serve”, said the disappointed Spaniard.

“I put the racket in place, the ball bounced and I couldn’t hit it”, was Nicolas Almagro’s reflection after coming off the court against Kei Nishikori. The man from Murcia was happy to be back on the court for the first time since Roland Garros 2014 but a straight sets defeat against the talented Japanese player left him with a bitter taste also as a result of the surface. “I don’t know what the problem is, but the court is similar to the one we played on in the Davis Cup final in Prague, which was ice and the ball didn’t bounce. They’re trying to get rid of tournaments on clay and the rhythm they’re going at the same thing will happen with hard court tournaments. You’ve got the likes of Karlovic, Groth or Kokkinakis who are having a field day”.

Finally Verdasco, who overcame a slow start against James Ward to get his campaign up and running at a Grand Slam which holds brilliant memories for the lefty from Madrid, as he played the best tennis en route to the semi-finals in 2009, stated that “I’ve trained on Hisense Arena and Margaret Court. Also outside on courts 16, 18 and 20. Today I played on court number seven. The outside courts are quicker and the ones which are furthest away are the quickest. Court number seven and the others on that side are quick but maybe a little bit less. And Hisense is the slowest I’ve trained on. Each court is a bit different. I trained with Carreño on court 18 and we got five balls over the net in every game. Basically every point was a serve”.

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Rudolf Molleker knocks out two-time champion Leonardo Mayer in Hamburg

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German 18-year-old Next Gen player Rudolf Molleker knocked out 2014 and 2017 Hamburg champion Leonardo Mayer 7-6 (8-6) 6-4 after 1 hour and 39 minutes at the Hamburg European Open.

 

Molleker beat Mayer in 2017 in the Hamburg qualifying round, but Mayer got a spot in the main draw as a lucky loser and went on to win the title.

Molleker fended off all three break points in two consecutive games of the first set, before saving two set points in the tie-break. He sealed the second set with a single break.

The German teenager saved two break points in the seventh game with two service games with two service winners and one more chance in the ninth game to set up a tie-break. Mayer took the lead twice at 6-5 and 8-7, but Molleker saved both chances with two winners and sealed the tie-break on the 18th point after a double fault from Mayer.

Molleker earned an early break at the start of the second set and held his service games in the next games before sealing the win with a service winner at 5-4 to secure his spot in the round of 16.

Marton Fucsovics cruised past Phillip Kohlschreiber 6-3 6-0 dropping just 16 points on serve. Fucsovics got an early break in the fourth game to clinch the opening set 6-3. The Hungarian player broke three times in a one-sided second set and sealed the win with a service winner.

Andrey Rublev, who lost in the second round at Wimbledon and Umag, edged this year’s Munich and Houston champion Christian Garin 6-4 7-6 (7-5) after 1 hour and 39 minutes to score his second win over the Chilean player this year. Rublev broke three times to seal the opening set 6-4. The Russian player got the break back at 4-5 in the second set to set up a tie-break, which he sealed 7-5.

Jeremy Chardy came back from losing the first set to beat Jeremy Chardy 6-7 (4-7) 7-5 6-3 after 2 hours and 34 minutes. Paire fended off a set point at 4-5 in the opening set to clinch the tie-break 7-4. Paire got a late break in the second set, but Chardy won two games at 5-5 to force the match to the third set. Chardy went up a double break to seal the third set 6-3.

Martin Klizan converted all five break points to cruise past Daniel Altmaier 6-2 6-2.

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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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