Juan Martin Del Potro Targets His ‘Best Tennis’ For Roger Federer Clash - UBITENNIS
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Juan Martin Del Potro Targets His ‘Best Tennis’ For Roger Federer Clash

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Juan Martin Del Potro returns a shot to Guido Pella during the Miami Open. (Source Zimbio.com/Matthew Stockman)

Juan Martin Del Potro has set up a mouth-watering second round meeting with Roger Federer after defeating compatriot Guido Pella 6-0, 7-6(4), in the opening round of the Miami Masters.

 

The former US Open champion is currently playing in only his third tournament since returning to the tour after undergoing wrist surgery last year. Despite his lack of match play, the Argentine got off to the perfect start against Guido in Miami as he took the first set after just 29 minutes of play. In his one-sided opening set, Del Potro produced 2 aces, seven winners and converted 3/8 break points.

The second set was a sharp contrast to the first with Pella finally producing the kind of play that many expected from him. With both men confidently holding their service games, Del Potro got his first match point opportunity whilst leading 5-4. As Guido served to stay in the match, a loose forehand from the world No.39 sailed outside the court. Del Potro failed to capitalize after hitting a forehand beyond the baseline, resulting in his rival eventually leveling the set.  Taking proceedings into a tiebreaker, he was handed two further match point chances after another erratic forehand shot from Pella. Del Potro finally sealed the win after a backhand shot from his opponent crashed into the net.

The triumph has given Del Potro his second win over a top-40 player this year. There are still signs of rustiness for the beloved Argentine, who produced 22 unforced errors compared to 16 winners on Wednesday. After squandering a match point at 5-4, the Argentine admitted that he was relieved that he was able to close out the match.

It was a tough moment for me but I got through and that’s all that matters.” The 27-year-old said.

Next up for Del Potro with be a second round clash with Federer in what will be their 21st meeting on the tour. The upcoming encounter will be the first competitive match that Federer has played since the Australian Open. The world No.3 has been absent from the tour due to a knee injury. In February the 34-year-old underwent arthroscopic surgery to treat a torn meniscus in his knee.

Looking ahead to his first match against the Swiss player since the 2013 ATP World Tour Finals, the Argentine is hoping that he can produce a good display.

“I’m going to try to play my best tennis against Roger,” Del Potro said.
“We’re both coming off injuries, but I think it will be a really good match.”

Del Potro currently trails the head-to-head 5-15 against the 17-time Grand Slam champion. His last victory against Federer was at the 2013 Basel Open. The biggest achievement for the Argentine in his rivalry with Federer occurred in 2009. At the age of 20, he stunned Federer in a five-set epic to win the 2009 US Open.

Highlights of the last match between Juan Martin Del Potro and Roger Federer (2013 ATP Finals)

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‘I See Him Running A Show’ – Alex Corretja On Federer’s Possible Return To Wimbledon As Pundit

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Roger Federer (SUI) playing against Adrian Mannarino (FRA) in the first round of the Gentlemen's Singles on Centre Court at The Championships 2021. Held at The All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon. Day 2 Tuesday 29/06/2021. Credit: AELTC/Jed Leicester

Former world No.2 Alex Corretja says broadcasters must value Roger Federer if he works for them amid growing speculation that the Swiss maestro could join the BBC for this year’s Wimbledon Championships. 

 

British media reports have claimed that the 20-time Grand Slam winner is currently in negotiations with the BBC over possibly joining their team for the grass-court major in what would be a major coup for the organization. The Express newspaper says a ‘special condition’ must be met for such an agreement to take place but it is unclear as to what this alleged condition will be. 

Federer, who has won Wimbledon more times than any other male player in history, pulled the plug on his record-breaking career last year. In recent months, he has vowed to stay connected with the sport in some capacity to avoid becoming what he describes as a ‘tennis ghost.’ In an interview with the newspaper Tages Anzeiger, he expressed an interest in potentially going into broadcasting.

“I never thought I would say this but six months ago I suddenly thought (about) commentating on tennis someday. Who knows? Although I always said I would never do that,” he said.

Speaking about the possibility of having Federer on the TV screen once again, Correrja said ‘it would be awesome.’ The Spaniard is a former coach of Andy Murray who has since worked as a tennis analyst for Eurosport. 

“I mean Roger can do whatever he likes, he’s going to be welcome anywhere he goes,” he told Express Sport.
“He knows tennis, he loves tennis, he is well respected, he’s such a classy guy and definitely that would be awesome for us to have him somewhere related to tennis.”
“I think it’s nice to have the ex-players involved because they can add lots of things, lots of experiences that no one lived before so if you’ve been there before it’s much easier to explain why players are feeling one way or another than if you’ve never been there before.”

It is unclear when the BBC will release their line-up of presenters for this year’s tournament which will not feature Sue Barker as the broadcaster’s main anchor for the first time since 1999. Barker retired from her position last year and is rumoured to be replaced by Claire Balding. 

Corretja says If Federer agrees to join the team it would be a waste of time having him just call matches and argue that he should be given his own segments. Even though the former world No.1 hasn’t got any presenting experience yet. 

“I’m not so sure if he’s going to be calling matches or not, I’m not so sure if he’s going to be sitting in the booth, maybe he might do it from time to time,” he said.
“But I see him running a show, being the main one there and saying ‘Okay, I’m the man here’, guiding the whole thing. Maybe doing interviews or a programme, doing something special.”
“But it has to be something special and knowing Roger, for sure it’s going to be something special.
“He’s not going to be calling matches for eight hours a day, I don’t think that makes sense. You need to value Federer as what he is and he has to be something very unique because he is very unique.”

Should Federer join the BBC, he could earn thousands depending on how much he commits to doing and his contract terms. According to the BBC’s 2021/2022 star salaries list, John McEnroe earned between £180,000-£184,999 for his work during the tournament. 

The 2023 Wimbledon Championships will begin on July 3rd. 

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Emma Raducanu Can Win More Grand Slam Titles, Says Former Olympic Champion Puig

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Emma Raducanu reacts during a Women's Singles match at the 2021 US Open, Monday, Sep. 6, 2021 in Flushing, NY. (Darren Carroll/USTA)

The rapid rise of Emma Raducanu in women’s tennis is something Monica Puig can relate to. 

 

At the 2021 US Open the Brit stunned the tournament by becoming the first qualifier in history to win the Grand Slam. In 10 matches played, Raducanu won them all without dropping a set in what was only her second appearance in the main draw of a major event. The achievement elevated the youngster to the limelight as she experienced a surge in interest in her by both fans and endorsement deals. 

However, since the triumph Raducanu is yet to contest another final on the Tour and is now ranked 80th in the world. Last year she won 16 matches on the WTA Tour with her best run being to the semi-finals of the Seoul Open in South Korea. Part of her lacklustre results can be attributed to a series of injury issues she has experienced with the most recent being an ankle injury she sustained at the start of this season in Auckland.

Raducanu’s roller-coaster journey is one that Puig knows all too well from her time on the Tour. The Puerto Rican made history in 2016 by becoming the first athlete from her country to win a gold medal at the Olympic Games. Since then, she only reached one Tour final at the 2017 Luxemburg Open and never progressed beyond the third round of a Grand Slam. Puig retired from tennis in 2022 following a lengthy battle with injury.

“I saw her many times courtside during the US Open when she did when that title and she is a very talented player,”
Puig said of Raducanu during an interview with Sky Sports.
“Physically, she’s still very young. I’m not going to say she’s already a very established player with a lot of experience. She won that US Open title having not played many WTA events and she hasn’t had a full calendar.
“She still needs time to develop and time to find out who she is as a tennis player, who she is as a person and I can sympathise with her because when I won the Olympics it came out of nowhere.
“I didn’t have as much media attention as she does and I can only imagine coming from the UK where something like that is so big. It just exploded.”

Offering her advice to the tennis star, Puig believes it is important that she establish a strong foundation in her team before setting out any goals. Raducanu has gone through numerous coaches over the past two years. She is currently working alongside Sebastian Sachs who has previously mentored Victoria Azarenka and Belinda Bencic.

As for the possibility of Raducanu claiming more major glory in the future, Puig believes she is more than capable of doing so.

“Absolutely! She’s still young. It’s a matter of time. We’re always seeing generational changes with so players like myself and Serena Williams having now stepped away. The new generation that’s going to come and carry the torch for the future generation,” she commented. 
“Yes, she is going to be in that circle of names that are going to be a force to be reckoned with. She just needs to settle, find her ground and take the pressure and expectation off because she already did something that not many people can do.
“Remember the reason why you started playing tennis in the first place. It’s because of the love of the sport.”


Raducanu has played just two tournaments so far this season but was forced to retire from her second round match at the ASB Classic after she hurt her ankle. At the Australian Open, she won her opening match before losing in straight sets to Coco Gauff.

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Dominic Thiem Vows To Fight On In Hope Of Returning To Top Forn

The former world No.3 admits he is in a ‘difficult situation’ after failing to win a match so far this year.

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Dominic Thiem; e-motion/Bildagentur Zolles KG/Martin Steiger, 27.10.2022

Dominic Thiem says he must continue to ‘give everything’ on the court if he wishes to return to the top of the men’s game after what has been a challenging past few months. 

 

Thiem, who won the 2020 US Open title, has endured mixed results on the Tour ever since returning to the sport following a wrist injury which sidelined him for nine months. Towards the end of last year, he showed glimmers of finding his momentum after reaching back-to-back semi-finals at ATP 250 events in Gijon and Antwerp. 

However, the start to this season has been a frustrating one for Thiem who is yet to win a match of any sort. After losing in the first round of the Adelaide International and Australian Open, he failed to win two matches during his country’s Davis Cup clash with Croatia over the weekend. He is currently on a five-match losing streak. 

“It’s a difficult situation, definitely,” The 29-year-old admitted during an interview with Kronen Zeitung“It’s not always easy for me, which has been the last year and a half since the US Open. What I have to do is give everything, and fight hard from the first to the last ball. Then I definitely have a chance of getting back to a very good level. This is also the only chance.”

Thiem is coached on the Tour by Nicolas Massu who oversaw him win his maiden Masters 1000 title in Indian Wells a year before he claimed the US Open crown. Although given his recent difficulties in the sport, would he be willing to get some extra help?

“Ultimately, it depends mostly on me, or just me. If there are too many outside voices, it’s not good,” he said. “I’m 29, turning 30 soon, and it’s the only chance I’ll have 100 per cent determination to get back to a top level.’
“I can also get a Roger Federer if I can’t muster it… I have to see if I can do it.”

So far in his career, the Austrian has won 17 Tour titles and was runner-up in 11 other ATP tournaments. He is only one of two players to have scored five or more wins over every member of the Big Three. Furthermore, he has recorded 32 wins over top 10 opponents. 

Undoubtedly the pinnacle of Thiem’s career was at Flushing Meadows where he came back from two sets down against Alexander Zverev to win his first Grand Slam title. However, coming to terms with his achievement has been a struggle. The following year he only managed to win back-to-back matches in two out of eight tournaments played before a wrist injury brought his season to an abrupt end. 

“It (the fire) went out after the US Open,” he jokes. “But we’ve already talked about that. I don’t want to blame myself for that either. There are players who celebrate great success, who are spurred on even further, who are pushed even further to perform even better. Who are immediately on fire to win the next Grand Slam title.’
“It wasn’t like that for me, I’m a different guy. It took me a while before I accepted that. That I find it a bit harder than some others. What I certainly also had to learn is that it is only up to me and I have to regulate it myself.”

Thiem is currently ranked 96th in the world. This year is the first season he has started ranked outside of the top 90 since 2014. 

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