Pablo Carreno Busta And Pablo Cuevas Both Reach Maiden Masters 1000 Quarterfinal - UBITENNIS
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Pablo Carreno Busta And Pablo Cuevas Both Reach Maiden Masters 1000 Quarterfinal

Joshua Coase

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Pablo Carreno Busta (Photo: zimbio.com)

Pablo Cuevas celebrated reaching his first Masters 1000 quarterfinal after defeating last year’s semifinalist David Goffin 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 in Indian Wells. The Uruguayan set up a clash with another first time quarterfinalist in the form of Pablo Carreno Busta, who saw off Dusan Lajovic 6-4, 7-6(5)

 

Both Cuevas and Carreno Busta made strong starts, needing just the one break of serve to help secure their opening sets respectively. Goffin bounced back against the Uruguayan to force a decider, but the 27th seed made a pivotal breakthrough in the sixth game to help secure victory. Meanwhile the 21st seeded Spaniard squandered an early second set lead against Lajovic but recovered from 5-3 down in the tiebreak to see off the Serb.

Cuevas Shocks Goffin 6-3, 3-6, 6-3

Cuevas looked in complete control of his game early on, capitalising on errors from his Belgian opponent to break the 11th seed to love midway through the set. Holding serve was routine for the 27th seed as he sealed the set with an ace after exactly half an hour.

In the second set the Uruguayan dropped his opening service game after back to back unforced errors. The seventh game saw Goffin under pressure at 30-30 on serve but the 11th seed won a 17 shot rally with an overhead to hold for a 5-2 lead.

When serving for set, a double fault and sprayed forehand left Goffin facing break point. The Belgian saved it with a strong first serve, but sprayed another forehand wide to face a second break point. The 11th seed showed great discipline in the next point, closing with a cross court forehand winner back behind his opponent before a mishit one handed backhand flew long from Cuevas to secure the second set for Goffin 6-3.

Cuevas faced the first pressure which either player had faced on serve in the fifth game of the final set, getting pushed to 30-30. Goffin narrowly missed an attempted backhand cross court winner wide, allowing the Uruguayan to keep his nose in front in the set. After missing that, a couple of errors from the 11th seed left him having to save a break point of his own. His opponent broke down in an extended rally to spurn the chance but earned another opportunity to make a crucial breakthrough. It was a chance which the 27th seed duly took, forcing Goffin into an error to move two games away from a maiden Masters 1000 quarterfinal.

Cuevas closed out the match with a strong second serve, much to his delight as he let out a roar to celebrate a landmark win in the 31-year-old’s career.

Carreno Busta Sees Off Lajovic 6-4, 7-6(5)

In the opening match on Stadium 2 Carreno Busta ended the qualifier Lajovic’s excellent run in the desert. The 21st seed had only played one match prior to this encounter having received a bye in the first round and due to Roberto Bautista Agut’s injury withdrawal in the previous round. By contrast, his opponent had already come through the qualifying and had played six matches, three of which went to three sets.

The huge difference in the two players court time looked to be an important factor early on as Carreno Busta broke in the fifth game. The Spaniard was exceptional when serving, dictating the play after dropping just one point behind his first serve (93%) and only losing one point behind his second serve too (86%). That form allowed him to wrap up a routine first set, which he finished with a forehand winner to take it 6-4.

Lajovic looked a beaten man as he dropped serve in the opening game of the second set. However, that set back spurred him on as the Serb broke back after finding more joy in returning his opponent’s serve, taking three points on the first serve and six points on the second over the course of the set.

After a series of holds Lajovic moved close to forcing a decider at 30-30 on Carreno Busta’s serve when leading 5-4. An attempted cross court backhand pass from the Serb narrowly went wide and the 21st seed was able to escape with the hold.The Spaniard had a half chance of his own in the following game at deuce but missed a guilt edged chance after his attempted forehand cross court winner struck the net.

The second set went into a tiebreak and the match looked set to go the distance following errors from the 21st seed, which saw him squander a 2-0 advantage to quickly find himself 5-3 down. With Lajovic on the verge, Carreno Busta raised his level, nailing a backhand down the line winner to stay in touch before serving strongly to reach match point. The Serb went wide with an attempted slice backhand, securing a quarterfinal spot for the 25-year-old.

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Updated Entry Lists For Eastbourne, Mallorca

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Photo by mallorca-championships.com

Two ATP 250 events will be played on grass before Wimbledon, with a new tournament taking place in Mallorca (Spain).

 

The third week of the shortened grass-court season will see two ATP 250 events being played in Eastbourne (Great Britain) and Mallorca (Spain) from the 20th to the 26th of June. Eastbourne has been hosting a grass-court tournament since 2009, when it took the place of Nottingham in the ATP Tour’s calendar, while the Mallorca Championships is a new event.

World’s number one Novak Djokovic plans to play doubles in Mallorca, while Dominic Thiem and Daniil Medvedev have received a Wild-Card in the singles draw. The defending champion Taylor Fritz has withdrawn from Eastbourne due to injury.


ATP 250 Eastbourne (GBR, Grass), entry list:
Monfils, Gael (FRA)
De Minaur, Alex (AUS)
OUT Wawrinka, Stan (SUI)
Karatsev, Aslan (RUS)
Sonego, Lorenzo (ITA)
Basilashvili, Nikoloz (GEO)
OUT Fritz, Taylor (USA)
Opelka, Reilly (USA)
Davidovich Fokina, Alejandro (ESP)
Ramos-Vinolas, Albert (ESP)
Bublik, Alexander (KAZ)
OUT Paire, Benoit (FRA)
OUT Krajinovic, Filip (SRB)

Norrie, Cameron (GBR)
Millman, John (AUS)
Fucsovics, Marton (HUN)
OUT Cilic, Marin (CRO)
Djere, Laslo (SRB)
(SE)
(SE)
(WC)
(WC)
(WC)
Alternates:
IN Bedene, Aljaz (SLO)
IN Koepfer, Dominik (GER)
IN Nishioka, Yoshihito (JPN)
IN Popyrin, Alexei (AUS)
IN Pospisil, Vasek (CAN)

Alt.1 Tsonga, Jo-Wilfried (FRA)
Alt.2 Tiafoe, Frances (USA)
Alt.3 Ruusuvuori, Emil (FIN)


ATP 250 Eastbourne (GBR, Grass), qualifying:
Tiafoe, Frances (USA)
Ruusuvuori, Emil (FIN)
Gerasimov, Egor (BLR)
Kwon, Soonwoo (KOR)
Herbert, Pierre-Hugues (FRA)
Gombos, Norbert (SVK)
Ivashka, Ilya (BLR)
Seppi, Andreas (ITA)
Duckworth, James (AUS)
Bagnis, Facundo (ARG)
Ymer, Mikael (SWE)
Anderson, Kevin (RSA)
Kukushkin, Mikhail (KAZ)
Kuzmanov, Dimitar (BUL)
(WC)
(WC)
Alternates:
Alt.1 Mahut, Nicolas (FRA)
Alt.2 Viola, Matteo (ITA)
Alt.3 Klein, Lukas (SVK)



ATP 250 Mallorca (ESP, Grass):
Carreno Busta, Pablo (ESP)
Ruud, Casper (NOR)
Khachanov, Karen (RUS)
Humbert, Ugo (FRA)
Lajovic, Dusan (SRB)
Mannarino, Adrian (FRA)
Struff, Jan-Lennard (GER)
Kecmanovic, Miomir (SRB)
Harris, Lloyd (RSA)
OUT Delbonis, Federico (ARG)
OUT Kyrgios, Nick (AUS)
OUT Chardy, Jeremy (FRA)

Pella, Guido (ARG)
Querrey, Sam (USA)
Lopez, Feliciano (ESP)
Sandgren, Tennys (USA)
Andujar, Pablo (ESP)
Simon, Gilles (FRA)
Thompson, Jordan (AUS)
(SE)
(SE)
WC Medvedev, Daniil (RUS)
WC Thiem, Dominic (AUT)
(WC)
Alternates:
IN Vesely, Jiri (CZE)
IN Moutet, Corentin (FRA)
IN Travaglia, Stefano (ITA)

Alt.1 Munar, Jaume (ESP)
Alt.2 Caruso, Salvatore (ITA)
Alt.3 Giron, Marcos (USA)


ATP 250 Mallorca (ESP, Grass), qualifying:
Munar, Jaume (ESP)
Mager, Gianluca (ITA)
Cuevas, Pablo (URU)
Albot, Radu (MDA)
Pouille, Lucas (FRA)
Caruso, Salvatore (ITA)
Hanfmann, Yannick (GER)
Carballes Baena, Roberto (ESP)
Martinez, Pedro (ESP)
Sousa, Joao (POR)
Galan, Daniel Elahi (COL)
Istomin, Denis (UZB)
Bachinger, Matthias (GER)
Kuhn, Nicola (ESP)
(WC)
(WC)
Alternates:
Alt.1 Viola, Matteo (ITA)
Alt.2 Watanuki, Yosuke (JPN)
Alt.3 Klein, Lukas (SVK)

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Dominic Thiem Signs Up To New Athlete Management Agency Launched By Kosmos

The world No.5 has become the first athlete to ever be represented by Kosmos.

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Dominic Thiem says he is ‘proud’ to be joining a new agency that has been launched by Kosmos which specialises in athlete management.

 

Kosmos, which was founded by Barcelona F.C star Gerard Pique, says their venture is aimed at supporting those in the world of sport. In a statement issued on Thursday, their objective is to provide ‘comprehensive service to athletes where, in addition to representation, commercial and public relations, it will also provide sports, legal and financial advice.’ The new division will be headed by Galo Blanco who is a former player and coach. Blanco previously served as the Competition Director of Kosmos.

“We are very excited about this project. Many people who have been linked to sport for many years and specialise in different key areas in the development of an athlete’s career work at Kosmos. We know what is important for the active player and for their future, because many of us are or have been professional players,” says Gerard Piqué, President of Kosmos.

27-year-old Thiem is the first athlete to have signed up to the agency. Coincidentally the Austrian was co-coached by Blanco on the Tour between 2017-2018. Blanco ended their collaboration in order to focus on the redevelopment of the Davis Cup. Thiem is now coached on the Tour by Nicolas Massu, as well as his father Wolfgang.

“I am very happy that Galo is part of the team again. He has been very close to me and my family, even when he stopped being my coach,” said Thiem.
“The season has not started as I would have liked, I am working very hard to get back to the level of the end of 2020, and adding Galo and the rest of the Kosmos team can bring a lot of positive things.”

Kosmos has become a growingly influential business in tennis since its launch. The company are the financial masterminds behind transforming the Davis Cup and have pledged to invest $3bn into the competition over a 25-year period.

This year’s Davis Cup finals have been spread across three cities in Madrid, Innsbruck and Turin over 11 days. Pique said the decision to use multiple cities is to prevent late-night finishes in the competition which was a problem back in 2019. Two year’s ago, Italy’s clash with the USA concluded at 4am.

“Some of the matches ended very late, so we made the decision to go to other cities and to play in 11 days instead of seven,” he said at the event’s official launch earlier this year. “The event has been evolving, maturing.”

Albert Costa, who is currently the Davis Cup Finals Director, will also take on the role of Competition Director for Kosmos.

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Uncle Toni Backs Rafael Nadal To Win 21st Grand Slam Title Before Season Ends

Nadal’s former mentor also explains why he was hoping Novak Djokovic would lose in the French Open final.

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The former coach of Rafael Nadal says he remains confident that he will win another major title in 2021 despite losing in the semifinals of the French Open.

 

Toni Nadal, who is Nadal’s uncle that introduced him to the sport at a young age, says he is ‘maintaining confidence’ that the Spaniard can achieve more major glory. The king of clay is currently tied with Roger Federer for the most Grand Slam titles won by a male singles player, which is 20. Although Novak Djokovic is now on 19 and could possibly overtake his two rivals this year should he achieve a calendar Grand Slam.

It was Djokovic who knocked Nadal out of the French Open after prevailling in four sets during their semi-final encounter. The Serbian has become the first player in history to have beaten him at the tournament on multiple occasions.

“We saw a good game and a denouement that brings Novak dangerously close to Federer and Rafael, in their struggle to close their respective careers as the greatest conqueror of Grand Slam titles,” Toni wrote for El Pais. “The next two tournaments, Wimbledon and the US Open, will probably be decisive in unveiling it. I would not dare to venture conclusions, but I do dare to maintain the confidence that it is my nephew who raises one of the two.”

Nadal is a two-time Wimbledon champion but he hasn’t lifted the trophy since 2010 and it has been a decade since he reached the final. At the US Open he has enjoyed more success by winning four titles, including two out of the past four times. He missed the US Open last year due to concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In his column the 60-year-old admitted that he was hoping Djokovic would lose the French Open final to Stefanos Tsitsipas because it ‘would help alleviate’ his nephew’s disappointment. In the title match the world No.1 battled back from two sets down to clinch the title. Becoming the first man in the Open Era to have won every major tournament at least twice.

“The only thing that could have somewhat alleviated the disappointment over Rafael’s defeat in his Roland Garros semi-final match against Novak Djokovic would have been that he was defeated in the final by Stefanos Tsitsipas,” he wrote.
“Throughout these last two weeks of competition I was telling my children. The player that I saw as most capable of beating the Serbian on clay if the opportunity arose, apart from my nephew, of course, was precisely the Greek. And for much of the meeting I held out hope that it would happen.”

Nadal is currently back home in Manacor where he attended the graduation ceremony of his academy on Wednesday. He is not expected to play in any tournament leading up to Wimbledon which will begin a week Monday.

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