Pavic earns excellent win, Coric toughs out victory in Chennai - UBITENNIS
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Pavic earns excellent win, Coric toughs out victory in Chennai




Coric had to work hard for his win over Granollers (Image via

In early singles in play in Chennai there was a surprise as Ante Pavic ignored a nearly four hundred ranking difference to defeat former top ten star Nicolas Almagro 3-6, 7-5, 7-6.


Affairs had looked to be going according to ranking early on as Almagro took the first set 6-3. The Spaniard now ranked No. 73, broke twice, and managed to avoid a comeback from Pavic in taking the first set. The Croatian though ten settled behind stronger serving, with his ace count increasing in each set. Almagro also struggled to make as strong an impression on the Pavic second serve than he had in the opening set. Pavic was able to secure the solitary break late on in the second set to level at a set apiece.

Most would still have predicted an Almagro win however Pavic continued to hold his own, securing service games, and making stronger inroads against the Almagro serve than at any point in the first two sets. Yet it was not enough to force a break of serve Both men split four break opportunities but neither could convert, with the match going to a final set decider. It was arguably here that the match turned, as Pavic, with the stronger confidence behind serve surged ahead and won seven-one.

Pavic is better than his current ranking of No.449 suggests, as he once ranked at No.136 less than two years ago, in late 2014. However beating a player like Almagro will surely represent his best career victory.

The other two matches in Chennai also went the distance, as fans definitely got their money’s worth in terms of drama. John Millman opted to play Chennai despite events at both tour and challenger level in his home country of Australia. So far it has paid off, as Millman edged an opponent just one ranking place removed from him in the first week of the season. No.92  Millman and No.91 Evgeny Donskoy played out a match as close as their ranking difference would suggest, Millman finally winning 6-7, 6-4, 7-6.

The final match in Chennai saw a tour veteran battle gamely against one of the game’s brightest young talents. Marcel Granollers has seen his ranking slip to No.82 from a career high of No.19 nearly four years ago but played nineteen year-old Borna Coric close, with the Croatian eventually winning 7-6, 2-6, 6-4.

After Monday’s taster of the season, the Chennai begins in earnest on Tuesday with Andrey Rublev against Somdev Devvarman perhaps the most intriguing of the first ties, with the young Russian Rublev looking to make serious improvements in his fledgling ranking status over 2016. Briton Aljaz Bedene is also in action against Vasek Pospisil, and there is an All-American clash between Rajeev Ram and Austin Krajicek. Karen Khachanov is a young talent but has a tough match against wily lefty Gilles Muller.

Chennai Match-list Tuesday. (bold denotes British player/s)

Andrey Rublev vs Somdev Devvarman

Taro Daniel vs Guillermo Garcia-lopez

Santiago Giraldo vs Lukaz Rosol

Karen Khachanov vs Gilles Muller

Aljaz Bedene vs Vasek Pospisil

Rajeev Ram vs Austin Krajicek

Thomas Fabbiano vs Jozek Kovalik

Ramkumar Ramanathan vs Daniel Gimeno-Traver

Fans will likely have to wait until Wednesday to see the top four seeds in action as Stan Wawrinka, Kevin Anderson, Benoit Paire, and Roberto Bautista-Agut all enjoy first-round byes.



French Open Crowd Crossed The Line, Says Frustrated Alex de Minaur

The Australian explains why he wasn’t entirely happy with the atmosphere in the French capital.




Alex de Minaur didn’t hide his irritation with fans at Roland Garros following his shock exit from the tournament on Tuesday.


The 19th seed fell to home player Hugo Gaston in a five-set epic that lasted more than four hours. De Minaur had a 3-0 lead in the decisive set but ended up losing 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, 0-6, 7-6(10-4) to the world No.74. He has now lost in the first round of the French Open in four out of six appearances.

During the match De Minaur had to contend with a boisterous crowd who were cheering on Gaston. He faced some booing and jeering from those in the stands which the world No.20 was not happy about.

“I think there is a difference between a great atmosphere and supporting your fellow countrymen, which is completely fine and it’s great. I’m sure for him was an amazing atmosphere, he enjoyed every second of it.” De Minaur said afterwards.
“But there is a line that, when I’m getting told things by people in the crowd, making eye contact with me after I hit a double fault, I think there is a certain line that needs to be kind of looked at.”
“Good on him (Gaston) for playing a great match in front of his home crowd and being able to feed off that, and you know, having a moment that I’m sure he won’t forget.”

De Minaur refused to go into what exactly was being said to him from certain members of the crowd but insisted that he was not being intimidated by what was occurring on the court. Towards the end of the match a series of unforced errors, including double faults, costed him dearly.

“I’m pretty sure I dealt with it pretty well, all things considering,” he said. “I was in the moment. I was in the heat of the moment battling out there. It felt like kind of an away Davis Cup match, and I thrive on that. It was a lot sometimes and sometimes you do your best to focus on playing a tennis match. There are outside factors that you do your best to control.“

Heading into Paris, De Minaur had shown encouraging results on the clay with semi-final runs to tournaments in Barcelona and Lyon. He also reached the third round in Rome and took a set off Andrey Rublev when they clashed in Monte Carlo.

Given those recent results on the Tour, it is clear that the latest defeat is one that will sit with him for a while.

Ideally, I will sleep tonight and I will forget all about it, but I have a feeling that won’t be the case,” de Minaur admits.
“It’s disappointing, as everything is, it is what it is. It’s a sport that we are playing. You have your good days, your bad days. You win absolute battles; you lose absolute battles.”

As for Garon, he will face Argentine qualifier Pedro Cachin in the second round. This year’s draw is a golden opportunity for the Frenchman with him guaranteed to not play a seeded player until at least the last 16 if he makes it that far.

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Novak Djokovic Opens Up About Wimbledon Points Removal

The world No.1 states that he will always support the views of his peers.





Novak Djokovic (Roberto Dell'Olivo)

By Kingsley Elliot Kaye

In his press conference following his win over Yoshihito Nishioka at the French Open, Novak Djokovic expressed his views about the ATP decision to remove points from Wimbledon.


Negatively affected by such a decision – he will drop 2000 points – the world No.1 praised the ATP’s stance and called for players’ unity.

“I think collectively I’m glad that players got together with ATP, the governing body of the men’s tennis, and showed to the Grand Slam that when there is a mistake happening, and there was from the Wimbledon side, then we have to show that there are going to be some consequences. So I support the players, unification always. I have always done that. I will always do that.” He said.

Djokovic criticized the lack of communication between the parties involved, in particular with regard to a document of recommendation by the English Government which contained diverse options. Had it been discussed by the All England Club with ATP and players, a compromise may have been reached.

“I think it was a wrong decision. I don’t support that at all. But, you know, during these times, it’s a super sensitive subject, and anything that you decide, it’s unfortunately going to create a lot of conflict, a lot of separation instead of unification.” He continued.

Djokovic also mentioned other suggestions coming from WTA and ATP, that possibly men’s and women’s players from Belarus, Ukraine, and Russia could play together at some exhibition event during the slam or something like this and prize money could go to the victims in Ukraine. There were different ideas, but there was never really a strong communication coming from Wimbledon.

He stressed that removing the points from Wimbledon, therefore not allowing players to earn or to defend points, is a decision that affects everyone, a lose-lose situation for everyone, as he called it.

Nonetheless, the charm and prestige of Wimbledon shall rest unaltered and its meaningfulness extends far beyond: “A Grand Slam is still a Grand Slam. Wimbledon for me was always my dream tournament when I was a child. You know, I don’t look at it through the lens of points or prize money. For me, it’s something else.”

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Injury-Hit Borna Coric Reacts To First Grand Slam Win In 16 Months

The Croat admits he was unsure how his shoulder would hold up in his opening match at Roland Garros.




Borna Coric - US Open 2020 (via Twitter, @usopen)

Borna Coric said he is relieved that his body managed to hold up during his opening win at the French Open on Sunday.


The former world No.12 spent almost three hours on the court before defeating Spain’s Carlos Taberner 3-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-1, in what was his first Grand Slam match of any kind since the 2021 Australian Open. Paris is only the seventh tournament Coric has played in since returning to the Tour following a year-long absence due to shoulder surgery. The 25-year-old is yet to win back-to-back matches this season.

It does feel great. I didn’t know what to expect in terms of my shoulder because I’ve never been in the fourth set, fifth set (of a match) for one-and-a-half years,” said Coric.
“So it was also kind of worrying for me, I didn’t know what to expect, I didn’t know how I’m going to feel and how my whole body is going to behave in those later sets. Obviously I’ve been practicing it, but it’s really never the same.”

Impressively the Croat produced a total of 54 winners against 39 unforced errors in his latest match in the French capital. Furthermore, he won 76% of his first service points and 53% of his second.

“The last few weeks haven’t been very easy, I lost many tight matches. I mean, I was also quite happy with my tennis, but I was just losing,” he reflected.

Coric was once tipped to be the future of men’s tennis after rising quickly up the ranks at a young age. In 2014 he was the youngest player to end the season in the top 100 and a year last he was the youngest to do so in the top 50. He has recorded a total of nine wins over top five players, including Roger Federer, as well as winning two Tour titles.

In the second round at Roland Garros Coric will take on the formidable Grigor Dimitrov who has been ranked as high as third in the world. He will enter the clash as the underdog given his ongoing comeback from injury. At present Coric’s principal focus is on his body but that will change in the coming weeks.

Until Wimbledon my health needs to come first and after Wimbledon I can kind of try to switch in my mind so I can start playing more and more tournaments. I can train more and I can focus more on the tennis rather than on my shoulder,” he explains.

Coric has reached the third round of the French Open on four previous occasions.

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