ATP Delray Beach: Juan Martin Del Potro Grinds Out A Win Over Damir Dzumhur, Sets Up Quarterfinal Clash With Defending Champ Sam Querrey - UBITENNIS
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ATP Delray Beach: Juan Martin Del Potro Grinds Out A Win Over Damir Dzumhur, Sets Up Quarterfinal Clash With Defending Champ Sam Querrey

The 7th seeded Argentine and fan favorite Juan Martin Del Potro battled past unseeded Damir Dzumhur of Bosnia and Herzegovina in a surprisingly tough match, 7-6(5) 4-6 6-3. Defending champion Sam Querrey will be Del Potro’s quarterfinal opponent after besting Jared Donaldson 6-2 6-3.

Jakub Bobro

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Juan Martin Del Potro sets up re-match with defending champion Sam Querrey

 

Dzumhur started the match off with an unlucky break of serve, hitting the tape twice. Del Potro was solid on serve, but Dzumhur didn’t give up and stuck with it. The Bosnian broke back to 4-4, and had a set point at 5-4. Then he managed to fend off a break point and the first set headed to a tiebreak. Del Potro controlled the tiebreak, and won it 7-5. Del Potro went up 3-1 in the second set, outplaying Dzumhur and it seemed like it was over, but in an incredible second set comeback, World No. 79 took the second set 6-4 with incredible defence, making Del Potro play the extra ball and expose his backhand. Dzumhur was playing a very physical game, and started to run out of steam. Del Potro didn’t take any risks with his serve, and won the final set 6-3.

“It was a really tough match for me, he [Dzumhur] was really fast from the baseline and I couldn’t put away winners from my forehand, but I remained positive all the time. I got my chances in the end of the match and I took them, I played my best game in the final set,” said Del Potro about the match.

He played very smart, kept hitting the ball to my backhand, played slices, but in the end I was more offensive from the baseline and I came to the net in important moments and that made the difference. I didn’t expect this battle, I didn’t know him but I think he is so good and can play even better on clay courts. He will be an interesting guy to watch too,” said Del Potro about Dzumhur.”

Del Potro’s next opponent is 4th seed and defending champion Sam Querrey, who defeated a fellow American and doubles partner for this week, Jared Donaldson 6-2 6-3.

This is what the Argentine had to say about this match-up: “It’s going to be a completely different match tomorrow. He plays and serves as strong as me and he plays really fast from the baseline. I think he is the favorite to win, because he beat me here last year and has a better ranking. I will see what I can do against him tomorrow.”

Donald Young through to semifinals

In the second round, Young was faced with a fellow American Taylor Fritz. After taking a medical time out for his left knee and dropping the first set, the 27 year-old came back to win 4-6 6-3 6-4.

“My knees were bothering me, it happens when I jump or put pressure on it. Some days are better than others, but today it happened to really bother me in the match. The Ibuprofen kicked in, and I felt a lot better,” said Young about his medical timeout.

I’m an emotional player. When I’m feeling good, I’m playing well. When I’m not, it’s really showing on the court. It’s something I have been trying to even out and it’s a constant battle,” commented Young on his game.

Donald Young has gotten lucky and will have more recovery time, as his quarterfinal opponent, Belgian qualifier Steve Darcis withdrew from the tournament due to personal reasons and had to return to Belgium.

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Gael Monfils Joins Forces With Former Long-Time Coach Of Dominic Thiem

Will the Frenchman return to his best form with the help of his new mentor?

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Tennis star Gael Monfils will start the 2021 season with a new team setup after confirming the appointment of a new coach.

 

The former US Open semi-finalist has paired up with the renowned Gunther Bresnik who is best known for his time spent working alongside Dominic Thiem for over a decade until their split in 2019. Thiem is now coached by Nicolas Massu. Bresnik is the former Davis Cup captain of Austria and has worked with numerous top names such as Ernests Gulbis, Jerzy Janowicz, Boris Becker and Henri Leconte.

Monfils has been training with Bresnik during the off-season but only now has it been confirmed that the two have formed an agreement to work together. However, over the coming weeks Monfils will be guided by another Austrian. Co-coach Richard Ruckelshausen will work with the world No.11 in Australia and has been appointed as the captain of the French ATP Cup team.

“I’ve known Gaël for a long time,” Bresnik told krone.at on January 9th. “With Ernests Gulbis and Stefan Lochbihler’s son, he worked on his shape here in Spain (during the off-season).”

The 34-year-old will be looking to get back on top form following what was a roller-coaster 2020. Monfils started last year by winning 16 matches within a three-month period. However, following the pause in tennis due to the COVID-19 pandemic he struggled to regain that form. Ending the season with three consecutive first round losses.

Monfils had been working with Liam Smith. The upcoming Australian Open will be his 54th appearance in a Grand Slam main draw. He has only reached the quarter-finals at the Melbourne major once which was back in 2016.

So far in his career Monfils has won 10 ATP titles and has been ranked as high as sixth in the world.

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Andy Murray won’t travel to Australia

Andy Murray will miss next month’s Australian Open after testing positive for COVID-19 a couple of weeks ago.

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Andy Murray (@the_LTA - Twitter)

Andy Murray has made it official, he won’t be making the trip down under after working with Tennis Australia to find a viable solution to make it work.

 

“We’ve been in constant dialogue with Tennis Australia to try and find a solution which would allow some form of workable quarantine, but we couldn’t make it work.”

Murray was scheduled to fly to Australia with one of charter flights but due to a positive Covid test wasn’t able to make the flight and put his tournament in jeopardy.

Although he missed the chartered flights there was still a small chance he would play but had to workout an agreement with Tennis Australia to make it work. However it didn’t work and was gutted with the news.

“I want to thank everyone there for their efforts, I’m devastated not to be playing out in Australia. It’s a country and tournament that I love.”

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‘If I knew, I Wouldn’t Come’ – Victor Troicki Slams Hard Quarantine In Melbourne

Troicki, who will head the Serbian ATP Cup team next month, says his career has been thrown into ‘chaos.’

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Former top 20 player Victor Troicki says his ‘Grand Slam is failing’ after implying that he felt that he was misled about the quarantine rules ahead of the Australian Open.

 

Troicki, who is currently ranked 202nd in the world, is among 72 players who have been placed in a strict quarantine where they are not allowed to leave their room for a 14-day period. Those affected have all been deemed as a ‘close contact’ of somebody who tested positive for COVID-19. A series of positive tests was detected on flights en route to the country.

34-year-old Troicki travelled to Australia from Doha after successfully qualifying for the Australian Open with wins over Cedrik-Marcel Stebe, Ulises Blanch and Jurij Rodionov. This year’s two qualifying tournament’s took place in the Middle East due to the pandemic.

“If I knew, I wouldn’t come,” Troicki told Sportski Zurnal earlier this week.
“Total chaos, horror as far as everything is concerned. I’m locked up for 14 days, I can’t leave the room. No training, nothing. My Grand Slam is failing, I can’t get ready for five sets in the room.”

In recent days there has been some dispute over whether players knew about the conditions regarding going into a strict quarantine. Carlos Martinez, who is the coach of Daria Kasatkina, told UbiTennis that players were initially under the impression that sections of a plan would have to be isolated if there was a positive case and not the entire plane. Ultimately the decision was up to the Australian health authorities.

“Tennis Australia was doing a great job in my opinion. The only thing that was a bit unclear was about the quarantine when somebody gets infected on the plane. They were talking like they were going to make sections inside the plane so if they found somebody in a section (who tests positive) they would isolate those people,’ said Martinez.
“But in the end the government didn’t want to do this and they preferred to isolate all on the plane because it was safer for everyone.”

Amid the debate over whether Troicki and his peers knew the full story or not, Spain’s Paula Badosa has become the first Australian Open player to contract the virus during quarantine. She had previously criticised the procedure before later apologising.

As for Troicki, he says the current situation is creating ‘chaos’ in his career.

“All preparations are failing,” he said. “Two weeks of lying in bed, it is certain that I will have to get back in shape for the next month and a half. All this is creating chaos in my career.”

Troicki is the team captain of the Serbian ATP Cup team. The tournament will start a week prior to the Australian Open on February 1st.

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