ATP Montpellier Preview: Alexander Zverev looking to put disappointing Davis Cup behind him - UBITENNIS
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ATP Montpellier Preview: Alexander Zverev looking to put disappointing Davis Cup behind him

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Alexander Zverev earned many fans after his match with Rafael Nadal at the Australian Open, but disappointed in the Davis Cup (Zimbio.com)

Teenage German Alexander Zverev will be looking to put a dreadful Davis Cup result behind him as men’s tennis returns to the ATP World Tour for the first time since before the Australian Open. He is the fourth seed at the Sud de France Open in Montpellier.

 

Zverev was part of a favoured German team that lost to a Belgium side inspired by Steve Darcis, who defeated Zverev on Sunday, after he had taken down Philipp Kohlschreiber on Friday in five sets. Zverev had also paired with his brother Mischa, but had lost to the Belgian pair of Rueben Bemelmans and Joris de Loore. Mischa Zverev is seeded for the first time in an ATP event after his run to the quarter-finals of the Australian Open.

The tournament also sees Marin Cilic feature as the top seed. Cilic is under heavy pressure to win ATP points now, as early season losses to Jozef Kovalik in Chennai, and Dan Evans in the second round of the Australian Open, mean the Croatian will be under pressure later in the year.

Richard Gasquet is the defending champion and has a bye in the first round as the third seed. Veteran Paul-Henri Mathieu, who made last year’s final, will be under severe pressure to defend 150 ATP points.

ATP Montpellier Draw: (Picks in bold)

(1) Marin Cilic – Bye

Dustin Brown vs Guillermo Garcia-Lopez

Benoit Paire vs Karen Khachanov

Qualifier vs (5 WC) Feliciano Lopez

(3) Richard Gasquet – Bye

Qualifier vs Malek Jaziri

Illya Marchenko vs (WC) Quentin Halys

Dan Evans vs (6) Mischa Zverev

(7) Marcel Granollers vs Jeremy Chardy

Paul-Henri Mathieu vs Qualifier

Aljaz Bedene vs Borna Coric

Bye – (4) Alexander Zverev

(8) Fernando Verdasco vs Qualifier

Daniil Medvedev vs Tobias Kamke

Qualifier vs Pierre-Hugues Herbert

Bye – Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

  • Qualifiers identities are not yet determined, so it is not fair to make the picks in their matches just yet.

I have picked Daniil Medvedev to defeat Tobias Kamke, though it is worth noting that Medvedev was forced to retire from his Davis Cup rubber with Novak Djokovic at the weekend. However, he took a set so I’m inclined to believe he should be sufficiently fit to take on Kamke

 

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‘Probably Gonna Quit’ – Tennys Sandgren Blasts Performance After missing Out On Olympic Medal

The tennis star described his fourth place finish as ‘dog s**t.”

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Former Australian Open quarter-finalist Tennys Sandgren said he is close to retiring from tennis after missing out on a bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics.

 

Sandgren and doubles partner Austin Krajicek fell in straight sets to the New Zealand pairing of Michael Venus and Marcus Daniell, who are the first tennis players from their country in over 100 years to win a medal. The loss is a frustrating outcome for the American who wasn’t afraid to express how he felt after the match. Tokyo was the ninth doubles tournament Sandgren has played in this year.

“I mean, who f*ing cares you know, what do I have to show for it? We have a good week and fourth place is dog s**t.” He told the Olympic News Service.

Speaking straight after his loss, the highly emotional 30-year-old then cast doubt on his future in the sport. He is currently ranked 82nd in the world and has a win-loss record of 6-14 so far this year. However, he is yet to reach a quarter-final in singles.

I’m probably gonna quit. That might be my last match. I’m close, yeah, I’m close.” He replied when asked about his career.

As for if he would have done anything different in the bronze medal match, Sandgren replied ‘not to have been so bad.’ He also expressed disappointment that the tennis tournament took place behind closed doors. Prior to the Olympics, organisers decided to hold all events in Tokyo without fans due to a surge of COVID-19 cases in the city.

“It would have been a great event with fans,” he via via teamusa.org. “Playing on an outside court without fans, I mean, you might as well be playing in Idaho in the middle of nowhere.”

Sandgren and Krajicek were America’s last chance to win a medal in the tennis competition. It is the first time the country has failed to win any medal since tennis returned as an Olympic event in 1988.

“There’s not much you can say about that except it’s pretty, pretty devastating to lose that one. You know, give yourself a chance to get a medal and then to lose those two (matches – including the men’s doubles semifinal) is tough, but you have to give those guys credit today. They played well.” Krajicek concluded.

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Fabio Fognini Apologises For Use Of Homophobic Slur During Olympic Match

The Italian says he regrets using the ‘stupid expression’ during his third round clash.

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Fabio Fognini said the heat got to him during his third round clash with Daniil Medvedev at the Tokyo Olympics after he was caught saying a homophobic slur at himself.

 

The world No.31 lost to Medvedev in three sets during what was incredibly hot and humid conditions with both players taking a 10-minute break after the second set under the extreme weather policy. Frustrated with how his match was going, Fognini was caught by broadcasters saying the word ‘frocio’ which is an anti-gay term in his native language. The exact phrase he used was ‘Frocio, sei un frocio’ which was directed towards himself only.

Following his Olympic exit, the 34-year-old issued a statement on social media in which he apologised for making those remarks during his match. In a post uploaded onto his Instagram story which had a rainbow theme background, Fognini reiterated that he supports the LGBT community and the use of the slur was done in the heat of the moment.

The heat got to my head!” Fognini wrote.
“In today’s (Wednesday’s) match I used a really stupid expression towards myself. Obviously I didn’t want to offend anyone’s sensibilities.
“I love the LGBT community and I apologize for the nonsense that came out of me.”

It is not the first time a player has been caught using a homophobic term during a tennis match this year. Earlier in the season Denmark’s Holger Rune was fined for a term he used during a Challenger match. The former world No.1 junior player later apologised for those comments.

Unlike the women’s Tour, there are currently no publicly out players in men’s tennis and only a select few have come out in the past. In June former top 100 player Brain Vahaly, who came out as gay after retiring from the sport, spoke to UbiTennis about his experience.

Despite his loss, Fognini was the only player from his country to reach the third round of the men’s draw in Tokyo. Lorenzo Sonego, who was seeded two places higher than him, lost in the second round to Nikoloz Basilashvili.

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Why Newly Married Elina Svitolina Has No Plans To Change Her Surname

The Ukrainian explains why she isn’t using her husband’s surname of Monfils just yet as she books her place in the third round at Tokyo 2020.

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Just over a week ago Elina Svitolina tied the knot with her long-time partner Gael Monfils at a ceremony in Geneva, Switzerland.

 

Shortly after the world No.6 took to social media and changed her name on Twitter to Elina Monfils as part of the tradition that the woman takes on the man’s name once they are married. As a consequence, various websites started to identify the Ukrainian under that name. Although she would rather that they don’t do such a thing.

“I don’t know why they changed my surname. Maybe they saw that I had changed it on my social networks,” Svitolina told BTU.
“I’m going to play as Svitolina till the very end of my professional career and will change it only after retirement.”

Svitolina explains she believes it is better if all of her achievements are made under the same name instead of two. So far in her career she has won 15 WTA titles, reached two Grand Slam semi-finals and has earned more than $20.5M in prize money.

I had numerous achievements and people know me as Svitolina. My father would be upset if I changed the surname and played as Monfils,” she joked.
“I am proud to be Svitolina and my tennis career will always be connected with this surname.”

Over the coming week the 26-year-old is hoping to add an Olympic medal to her resume. On Monday Svitolina survived a stern scare after coming back from a set down to defeat Ajla Tomljanović 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 and move into the third round of the tournament. Her win came on the day where there were shocks galore in the women’s draw with seeds Aryna Sabalenka, Iga Swiatek and Petra Kvitova all crashing out.

Svitolina will play Greece’s Maria Sakkari in the next round whom she has lost to in two out of their three previous meetings.

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