s’Hertogenbosch: Bencic sets up final against Giorgi as Mahut to play Goffin - UBITENNIS
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s’Hertogenbosch: Bencic sets up final against Giorgi as Mahut to play Goffin

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TENNIS – Swiss rising star Belinda Bencic beat Jelena Jankovic 6-3 6-3 of Serbia one day after battling past France’s Kristina Mladenovic in a near 3-hour match to reach the final of the WTA s’Hertogenbosch where she will face Camila Giorgi who beat Kiki Bertens 6-2 6-4. Meanwhile, in the ATP event, Nicolas Mahut took out Robin Haase 5-7 6-3 6-4 and will play David Goffin who beat Gilles Muller 7-6 6-4. Diego Sampaolo

 

Bencic broke Jankovic in the 3rd game of the 1st set and closed out on the set on her 2nd set point in the 9th game for 6-3. In the 2nd set, the younger player took command right away of the set as she pulled away for a 3-1 lead. Jankovic broke back in the 6th game to draw level at 3-3 but Bencic won the next 3 to clinch the 2nd set and the match 6-3 6-3. Bencic has qualified for the second final of her career. Bencic will take on Camila Giorgi who beat Dutch woman Kiki Bertens 6-2 6-4

“Everything worked well for me. I played a really good match. My serve could have worked better but it was a little bit windy, so it was tricky. Other than that I played really well against Jankovic, which is always difficult because she gets a lot of balls back and makes you hit hit an extra shot”, said Bencic.

Camila Giorgi prevailed over world’s number 132 Kiki Bertens who reached the semifinal without dropping a set in the whole tournament beating defending champion Coco Vandeweghe on the way. Giorgi broke serve in the 4th game of the 1st set and held her serve easily. She secured double break in the 8th game to take the set 6-2.

Giorgi broke early in the 2nd set to take a 2-0 lead. However, Bertens broke straight back in the next game. They remained on serve with Giorgi leading 5-4. Bertens was serving to stay in the match up 40-15 lead but she made three double faults in a row. Giorgi converted her match point after Bertens again double faulted. Giorgi won 6-2 6-4. Giorgi will try to win her first WTA title and be the second to have won this event as Roberta Vinci did back in 2011.

ATP 250 s’Hertogenbosch:

Nicolas Mahut fought back from losing the first set to beat Robin Haase 5-7 6-3 6-4 in the first men’s semifinal. Mahut is bidding to win his second title at this event having won it in 2011 against Stan Wawrinka. Haase got the break at 5-5 as Mahut committed 5 unforced errors. The Dutchman closed out the set on his serve to take it 7-5. Mahut broke Haase in the 6th game of the 2nd set and maintained this lead for 6-3 and force the match to a decisive set. Mahut rode this momentum into the 3rd set as he broke Haase in his opening service and consolidated the break for 2-0. Mahut again maintained this one break advantage to take the set and the match 5-7 6-3 6-4.

Mahut will face David Goffin who beat Gilles Muller 7-6(4) 6-4. Goffin avenged an earlier loss to Muller this year in Rotterdam. Neither player broke serve in the opening set though Goffin had 2 break points in the 9th game, which had he converted would had led him to serve out the 1st set. Thus the opening set was decided via a tiebreak where Goffin pulled away to take it 7-4 points. Goffin broke serve in the final game of the 2nd set for 6-4 as Muller made some careless errors serving to stay in the match. He sent two forehands long and put his forehand volley wide. This is Goffin’s fourth ATP finals. He is 2-1 thus far.

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US Open Must Allow Entourages Of Three Or Four People, Says Thiem

The world No.3 says he is feeling good ahead of the return of professional tennis next month.

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Dominic Thiem has come out against proposals to restrict the number of coaching staff that can travel to this year’s US Open amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

This year’s New York major will be held behind closed doors for the first time in history and will be implementing a series of measures to help minimise the threat posed by the virus. Part of their plan is to limit how many people a player can bring with them to the tournament. It was originally reported that only one team member per player would be allowed to travel, but it has emerged that the limit has since been extended to three.

Speaking about the limits, three-time Grand Slam finalist Thiem said the idea of only allowing one member of his team to travel with him would be a risk for some players on the Tour.

*”I do not think so. Three or four people must be allowed. It would be extremely risky to travel without your own physio. You need a local coach for this,’ Thiem told The Kronen Zeitung newspaper on Sunday.

Thiem last played a match on the ATP Tour at the Rio Open in February where he lost in the quarter-finals. However, throughout the lockdown he has still managed to maintain his match fitness by participating in numerous tournaments. In total he has played 24 matches across three different countries, including one named after him called Thiems 7.

“Right now I feel very good,” he said. “I have played a lot of exhibition games in the last two months and I am not tired at all. I really wanted to play tennis again, since my start of the year was very good.’
“During This period of confinement at home I have been crushing myself a lot in the physical aspect and already when I returned to training. I have decided to improve the backhand and the serve a little more.”

The ATP Tour will resume next month with Thiem hoping that he can continue his form generated from earlier this year. At the Australian Open he reached the final for the first time in his career before getting edged out by Novak Djokovic. Although when he returns, tournaments will not be the same as before due to the ongoing pandemic with strict safety measures and reduced crowds in place.

“When the circuit returns, the matches will be exactly the same as we had previously, but the atmosphere will be different,” he said.
“All tennis players will miss playing tournaments where many people travelled to see us every day. In New York, Paris or Melbourne there are between 60,000 and 70,000 people every day in the facilities. That previous life we ​​had will not be the same and we may have to get used to this new normal for a few years.”

Thiem is one of only four men to have already made more than $1 million in prize money so far this year on the ATP Tour.

*NOTE: Since the publication of this article quotes have been edited following a translation mix-up.

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Nick Kyrgios Slams Thiem Over Defence Of Controversy-Stricken Adria Tour

The world No.40 has accused the Austrian of lacking an ‘intellectual level’ to understand his view.

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Australian star Nick Kyrgios has continued his public criticism of the Adria Tour by taking aim at two-time French Open finalist Dominic Thiem.

 

The 25-year-old has repeatedly hit out at the exhibition event, which Thiem participated in. Organised by world No.1 Novak Djokovic, the event took place in Belgrade and Zadar before it was scrapped following an outbreak of COVID-19 among both players and coaching staff. Djokovic, Grigor Dimitrov and Borna Coric all got infected. The outbreak came after the Adria Tour was criticised for a lack of social distancing and players attended various public events together. Although at the time, all of their actions were done in accordance with local regulations. Something the Serbian Prime Minister now admits was a mistake.

However, Thiem has called out Kyrgios over his vocal criticism of fellow Adria Tour competitor Alexander Zverev. The German attended a party in southern France less than a week after the COVID-19 outbreak despite issuing a statement saying he would go into self-isolation.

“It was his mistake, but I don’t why a lot of people want to interfere. Kyrgios has done a lot of mistakes. It would be better for him to come clear instead of criticising others,” Thiem told Tiroler Tageszeitung.

Continuing to defend the actions of his fellow players, Thiem also jumped to the defence of Djokovic. Who has been under heavy criticism over the event with some going as far as questioning his position as president of the ATP Players Council.

“He didn’t commit a crime. We all make mistakes, but I don’t understand all the criticism. I’ve been to Nice and also saw pictures from other cities. It’s no different from Belgrade during the tournament. It’s too cheap to shoot at Djokovic.”

The comments have now been blasted by Kyrgios, who stands by his previous criticism of players. Accusing Thiem of lacking an ‘intellectual level’ to see his point of view.

“What are you talking about @ThiemDomi? Mistakes like smashing rackets? Swearing? Tanking a few matches here or there? Which everyone does?” Kyrgios wrote on Twitter.
“None of you have the intellectual level to even understand where I’m coming from. I’m trying to hold them accountable.”
“People losing lives, loved ones and friends, and then Thiem standing up for the ‘mistake,'” he added.

The COVID-19 pandemic has killed more than 500,000 people worldwide and some players have voiced concerns over travelling to America which has recently seen a rise in cases. On Wednesday Alexi Popyrin became the first player to say he won’t play the US Open due to health concerns.

The ATP Tour is set to resume next month but it is unclear as to what events Thiem and Kyrgios will be playing in.

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Roger Federer Eyeing Olympic Glory At The Age Of 39 In 2021

The Swiss tennis star isn’t ready to step away from the sport just yet.

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20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer has vowed to play at next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo after undergoing two surgeries on his knee.

 

The former world No.1 hasn’t played a competitive match since his semi-final loss to Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open in January. Since then he had twice undergone arthroscopic surgeries which is a minimally invasive procedure that is used to diagnose and treat problems with the joints. Federer announced shortly after having the procedure done for a second time that he will not be returning to the Tour again this year.

Despite the setbacks, the 38-year-old has vowed to return to action at the start of 2021 with Olympic glory one of his main targets. He is already a two-time Olympic medallist after winning gold in the men’s doubles back in 2008 followed by silver in the singles draw at the 2012 London Games.

“My goal is to play Tokyo 2021. It’s a wonderful city. I met my wife in my first Olympics in 2000. It’s a special event for me,” Federer said on Monday during the launch of ‘The Roger’ shoe with Swiss brand ON.
“I had two surgeries and I can’t hit at the moment, but I’m very confident I will be totally ready for 2021.
“I do miss playing in front of the fans, no doubt. Now, I think if tennis comes back we know it won’t be in a normal way where we can have full crowds yet.”

Federer will be 39 when he returns to action, but is yet to speculate as to when he may close the curtain on his record-breaking career. He is currently the second oldest man in the top 200 on the ATP Tour after Croatia’s Ivo Karlovic, who is 41.

Besides the Olympics, the Swiss Maestro is also setting his eye on Wimbledon where he has claimed the men’s title a record eight times. However, he hasn’t won a major title since the 2018 Australian Open. The Grass-court major has been cancelled this year for the first time since 1945 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Of course I miss Wimbledon, of course I would like to be there currently playing on Centre Court for a place in the second week,” he said.
“Clearly, one of my big goals, and that’s why I do recovery work every day and work so hard, and why I’m preparing for a 20-week physical preparation block this year, is because I hope to play at Wimbledon next year.”

Even though he is not playing for the rest of the year, Federer incredibly still has a chance of qualifying for the ATP Finals due to recent changes in the rankings calculations. Due to the pandemic, players are now allowed to use their best results at 18 tournaments based on a 22-month period instead of 12 months. Something that could enable him to remain inside the top eight until the end of 2020 depending on how his rivals fair.

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