ATP Young Stars Dominic Thiem, Bernard Tomic and Alexander Zverev Get Through The Rain-Plagued Day - UBITENNIS
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ATP Young Stars Dominic Thiem, Bernard Tomic and Alexander Zverev Get Through The Rain-Plagued Day

All 4 seeded players that got to finish their matches today advanced. Dominic Thiem and Alexander Zverev got through in straight sets. Bernard Tomic finished his five sets drama with Fernando Verdasco, and Tomas Berdych struggled to close out his match against Ivan Dodig.

Jakub Bobro

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The 8th seed Dominic Thiem only started his match against Florian Mayer yesterday. Their match was interrupted with rain today as well, but Thiem managed to keep himself above his tough opponent. Mayer defeated Thiem just two weeks earlier, in the semifinals of Halle. The German ended up the surprise winner of the tournament.

 

“I was really not scared, but I had a lot of respect from him,” he said. “I was really, really happy when I made the match point, because he won a 500 [tournament] on grass. Beat five really good players on the way. It was for sure one of the toughest draws in the first round for me.”

“I was feeling not comfortable all the last two years on grass,” Thiem said. “The biggest difference this year is of course I got a lot of self-confidence, but the biggest difference is my movement. I am much more down and much more stable.”

Thiem kept his cool, and in all three sets he was in control and the better player. The scoreline read 7-5 6-4 6-4 for the young Austrian. His next opponent will be also a young player, Jiri Vesely of Czech Republic. Vesely defeated the Dutch Igor Sijsling 6-2 6-4 7-6(7).

19th seed Bernard Tomic came out today to come to a conclusion in the first round match against Fernando Verdasco. Today the play started with the fifth set, and Tomic broke for 4-2. Verdasco got a 0-40 lead on Tomic’s serve to make it 4-4, but Tomic kept on fighting and kept the lead. He won the final set 6-4. The final scoreline read 4-6 6-3 6-3 3-6 6-4 and pure match play time was 2 hours and 50 minutes. However Tomic will be far more exhausted, having to be constantly ready to play with the rain delays.

“I was a bit tired in the fourth set and was happy to get the chance to stop,” he said. “But it also makes it tough because you have to go to sleep with one set to go and then you need to come out playing well.”

The Australian had solid results on grass prior to this tournament, reaching semifinals of Queen’s Club. En route to that result he defeated 3 quality grass player, one of them being Verdasco. Tomic’s next opponent will be Moldavian qualifier Radu Albot. Albot got through an equally matched opponent Gastao Elias in four sets.

Easiest of the matches was definitely for Alexander Zverev. The German young star reached finals of the tournament at Halle, falling to Florian Mayer. Zverev is the 24th seed at Wimbledon, and got by with a smooth win over Paul-Henri Mathieu 6-3 6-4 6-2. Zverev was going into the match today with a 3-0 lead in the third set, and made sure to finish strong. Zverev will face either Mikhail Youzhny or Horacio Zeballos in the second round.

The most experienced of the seeded players playing today, 10th seed Tomas Berdych was finishing off his match against Ivan Dodig. Berdych was leading 4-1 in the fourth set, but Dodig did not give up and kept on fighting. The Croat broke back, but two more breaks came and Berdych had his first match point. Dodig saved it and saved another at 5-6. Berdych finally finished the match, winning 7-2 in the tiebreak. 7-6(5) 5-7 6-1 7-6(2) was the final score of the match after 3 hours and 20 minutes for Berdych. The Czech No. 1 will face Benjamin Becker in the second round.

 

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Rival Backs Dominic Thiem To Win Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award

Only two players have won the award since 2004.

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For the past 15 years only two players have managed to get their hands on the prestigious Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award, but one player thinks there could be a brand new winner this year.

 

Diego Schwartzman has lent his support behind world No.4 Dominic Thiem. The award recognizes those who have conducted the highest level of professionalism and integrity on the ATP Tour throughout the season. Established in 1977, Roger Federer has won the honour in 13 out of the past 15 years. The only other player to triumph during that period was Rafael Nadal, who won it in 2010 and 2018.

“I think Thiem can win it, he showed throughout the year a competitiveness and a respect with everyone that was spectacular,” Schwartzman told ole.com. “On top of that he is having great years of his career and this season was even better for the achievements he had.’
“He has a good chance of winning it.” He added.

Schwartzman, who reached the quarter-finals of the US Open earlier this year, has also been shortlisted for the award. Along with regular nominees Federer and Nadal. Only once has an Argentinian player won the title, which was José Luis Clerc back in 1981. At that time it was known as the ATP Sportsmanship award before getting renamed in 1996.

“I learned first (of getting nominated) through social networks rather than the official designation that the ATP sends you by mail.” The 27-year-old revealed.
“It is more spectacular than anything for the players I have next to me. It is a very important prize that recognizes a little what you do off the court, not only hitting the ball.”

Whilst he is dreaming of winning the honour himself, Schwartzman is just happy that he has been nominated.

“If I won this award, it would be spectacular. Now I am on that payroll that is very good and represents the values ​​that I try to maintain on a day-to-day basis and that (my coaching teams over the years) have taught me. It is very nice to be recognized for that. “ He concluded.

The four nominees for the Stefan Edberg Award was shortlisted by the ATP. However, it will be the players who will decide the winner. The result will be revealed later this month.

Multiple winners of the Stefan Edberg/ATP Sportsmanship award

Roger Federer – 13
Stefan Edberg – 5
Pat Rafter – 4
Alex Corretja – 2
Todd Martin – 2
Paradorn Srichaphan – 2
Rafael Nadal – 2

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Kei Nishikori In Doubt For The Australian Open

Asia’s highest ranked male tennis player is contemplating when he should return to the tour following surgery.

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Kei Nishikori (photo by chryslène caillaud, copyright @Sport Vision)

World No.13 Kei Nishikori is refusing to rule out the prospect of skipping the first grand slam event of 2020 as he continues his recovery from surgery.

 

Nishikori hasn’t played a match on the tour since his third round loss at the US Open back in September. A month later he underwent a procedure on his right elbow in a move that brought his season to an early end. Currently undergoing rehabilitation, it is unclear as to when the Japanese player believes he will return to the ATP Tour.

“The prospect of a return from surgery on right elbow in January. Maybe February. In the second half of next year I want to be able to play well.” Nikkan Sports quoted Nishikori as saying.
“I don’t want to overdo it,” he added.

The Australian Open will get underway on January 20th in Melbourne. Should he miss the grand slam, it will be the second time he has done so in the last three years. Nishikori also withdrew from the 2018 edition due to a wrist injury. In January he reached the quarter-finals and therefore has 360 points to defend next year.

During his time away from the court, the 29-year-old has been kept busy making changes to his team. Recently it was confirmed that he has started working alongside Max Mirnyi, who is a former world No.1 doubles player. Mirnyi, who has won 10 grand slam titles in men’s and mixed doubles, will be working full-time with Nishikori alongside existing coach Michael Chang.

“I’m getting closer to retirement. I want to be cured and come back to play good tennis in the second half of next year.” Nishikori stated.

Despite the injury setback, Nishikori has enjoyed success in 2019. Reaching the quarter-finals in three out of the four grand slam tournaments. The first time he has ever done that in his career. He also claimed his 12th ATP title at the Brisbane International. Overall, he won 29 out of 43 matches played.

Nishikori will turn 30 on December 29th.

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Family Of Venezuelan Doubles Star Launches GoFundMe Page For Cancer Treatment

Roberto Maytin was playing on the Challenger tour less than a month ago, but now faces a new battle.

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One of Venezuela’s highest ranked players on the ATP Tour is facing challenges off the court after being recently diagnosed with cancer.

 

Roberto Maytin, who currently has a doubles ranking of 136th, is undergoing treatment for testicular cancer Non-Seminoma. Non-seminomas are made up of different types of tumour, such as teratomas, embryonal tumours, yolk sac tumours and choriocarcinomas. Maytin’s brother Ricardo has launched a GoFundMe page to help cover the costs. The tennis player made $19,441 in prize money this season, which doesn’t factor into account numerous expenses such as travel, accommodation and paying for his coaching team.

“If life gives you a chance to live longer, I think nobody would miss the opportunity. In this plane, we all want to be (alive) for years however we forget that we are with a 50% chance of leaving at any time every day.” The fundraising page reads.
“My brother was diagnosed with testicular cancer NO Seminoma, at 30 years old. He now faces a crucial match that life has put him for growth as an individual, as a man and as an athlete. He is forced to undergo 4 stages of aggressive chemotherapy in order to heal at all and leave no trace of a Cancer that has been moving for months causing some damage.”

A former top 25 junior player, Maytin is one of only two players from his country to be ranked inside the top 200 in either singles or doubles on the men’s tour. This season he has won four Challenger titles across America. However, he has only played in one ATP Tour event since the start of 2018. He achieved a ranking high of 85th in the doubles back in 2015.

Once a student at Baylor University in Texas, Maytin formed a successful partnership with former world No.2 doubles player John Peers. Together they earned All-American honours with a win-loss of 36-5 and reached the quarter-finals of the 2011 NCAA tournament.

Maytin is also a regular fixture in his country’s Davis Cup team. Since 2007 he has played 15 ties and won 10 out of 16 matches played.

“I am also clear that the family is the gift of God for each one of us, so in this way and in whatever way I will put my desire and my energy so that my Brother Roberto Maytin, a Venezuelan professional tennis player, is back to the courts, which is where he belongs as soon as possible.”

Almost $25,000 has been raised so far to fund Maytin’s treatment. Click here to visit his GoFundMe page.

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