The Miami Open: Birthplace Of The Nadal-Federer Rivalry - UBITENNIS
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The Miami Open: Birthplace Of The Nadal-Federer Rivalry




It was almost as if it was written in the stars for Roger Federer to play Rafael Nadal at the place where it all began.

In 2004 the world watched with intrigue as world No.1 Federer faced 17-year-old 32nd seed Nadal in the third round of the Miami Open. Yet to win a grand slam title, the hype surrounding Spanish prodigy was mounting. Many expected experience to triumph in the encounter, but Nadal had other ideas. Powering to a 6-3, 6-3, victory he was rewarded with his first ever win over a world No.1 player.

“He hit some really incredible shots, and that’s what youngsters do,” Federer said in 2004. “I’ve heard a lot about him and saw some of his matches, so this is not a big surprise.”

A year later, Federer got his revenge in what was an epic win in five sets. The Swiss player was trailing the match 2-6, 6-7(4), before staging a comeback. It was a match that is still rooted deep inside the mind of Federer. 12 years has past since their second meeting, but still he hails it as a ‘turning point’ in his illustrious career.

“It was a turning point in my career, to be quite honest. For me to be able to focus for, I don’t know how long we played, maybe four hours, smashing forehand after forehand down the line I remember, I felt like I had to learn how to fight in matches, and there I showed it to myself and my team that I could do it.” He explained.
“It was against somebody who ended up being my biggest rival.”

The start of something special

At first nobody knew how significant the rivalry was between the two tennis icons. It was only in later years that it has become known. The two men have already played each other in 22 ATP finals, including nine grand slam tournaments. Their meeting in this year’s Australian Open broke television ratings around the world. 11 million viewers watched the finale on Eurosport and its affiliated channels, including a record 1.3 million people in Spain.

This weekend marks the 37th meeting of what is now regarded as one of the greatest rivalries in the history of tennis. Federer secured his Miami final place with a marathon three-set win over the blossoming Nick Kyrgios. Meanwhile, Nadal disposed of Italy’s Fabio Fognini with little difficulty.

Federer trails their head-to-head 13-23, but is currently that man in form. This season he has already defeated Nadal twice. He has also won titles in Melbourne and Indian Wells, an inspirational achievement for a man who missed six months of 2016 due to injury. Even Nadal, who is yet to win the Miami title, acknowledges that he has hit work cut out.

“He’s playing great. When a top player like him is playing that well, then it’s always a big challenge for every player. That’s all.” Nadal said of Federer.

Federer might be the man in form at the moment, but Sunday’s match is destined to be a unique occasion for both men. Both players has relished in the glory of winning major titles and been driven to despair with to injury woes. Still the love shown to them by their fans has remained unchanged, making their rivalry even more special.

“It’s definitely going to be very special playing Rafa here again.” Federer said of Sunday’s Miami final. “Of course I’m thrilled for him (Nadal) as well that he came back as well as he did after the comeback, the struggles that he had last year. Feels like old times. We’re playing each other every week now. We can’t get enough of each other.”

Regardless of the outcome of Sunday’s final, there will always be a feeling of nostalgia when these two meet in Miami.

Previous matches played between Federer and Nadal

2017: Indian Wells (Masters 1000), Outdoor Hard
Federer bt Nadal 6-2 6-3 (Last 16)

2017: Australian Open (Grand Slam), Outdoor Hard
Federer bt Nadal 6-4 3-6 6-1 3-6 6-3 (Final)

2015: Basel, Indoor Hard
Federer bt Nadal 6-3 5-7 6-3 (Final)

2014: Australian Open (Grand Slam), Outdoor Hard
Nadal bt Federer 7-6(4) 6-3 6-3 (SF)

2013: London (ATP World Tour Finals), Indoor Hard
Nadal bt Federer 7-5 6-3 (SF)

2013: Cincinnati (Masters 1000), Outdoor Hard
Nadal bt Federer 5-7 6-4 6-3 (QF)

2013: Rome (Masters 1000), Outdoor Clay
Nadal bt Federer 6-1 6-3 (Final)

2013: Indian Wells (Masters 1000), Outdoor Hard
Nadal bt Federer 6-4 6-2 (QF)

2012: Indian Wells (Masters 1000), Outdoor Hard
Federer bt Nadal 6-3 6-4 (SF)

2012: Australian Open (Grand Slam), Outdoor Hard
Nadal bt Federer 6-7(5) 6-2 7-6(5) 6-4 (SF)

2011: London (ATP World Tour Finals), Indoor Hard
Federer beat Nadal 6-3 6-0 (RR)

2011: French Open (Grand Slam), Outdoor Clay
Nadal bt Federer 7-5 7-6(3) 5-7 6-1 (Final)

2011: Madrid (Masters 1000), Outdoor Clay
Nadal bt Federer 5-7 6-1 6-3 (SF)

2011: Miami (Masters 1000), Outdoor Hard
Nadal bt Federer 6-3 6-2  (SF)

2010: London (ATP World Tour Finals), Indoor Hard
Federer bt Nadal 6-3 3-6 6-1 (Final)

2010: Madrid (Masters 1000), Outdoor Clay
Nadal bt Federer 6-4 7-6(5) (Final)

2009: Madrid (Masters 1000), Outdoor Clay
Federer bt Nadal 6-4 6-4 (Final)

2009: Australian Open (Grand Slam), Outdoor Hard
Nadal bt Federer 7-5 3-6 7-6(3) 3-6 6-2 (Final)

2008: Wimbledon (Grand Slam), Outdoor Grass
Nadal bt Federer: 6-4 6-4 6-7(5) 6-7(8) 9-7 (Final)

2008: French Open (Grand Slam), Outdoor Clay
Nadal bt Federer 6-1 6-3 6-0 (Final)

2008: Hamburg (ATP Masters Series), Outdoor Clay
Nadal bt Federer 7-5 6-7(3) 6-3 (Final)

2008: Monte Carlo (ATP Masters Series),  Outdoor Clay
Nadal bt Federer 7-5 7-5 (Final)

2007: China (Tennis Masters Cup), Indoor Hard
Federer bt Nadal 6-4 6-1 (SF)

2007: Wimbledon (Grand Slam), Outdoor Grass
Federer bt Nadal 7-6(7) 4-6 7-6(3) 2-6 6-2 (Final)

2007: French Open (Grand Slam), Outdoor Clay
Nadal bt Federer 6-3 4-6 6-3 6-4 (Final)

2007:  Hamburg (ATP Masters Series), Outdoor Clay
Federer bt Nadal 2-6 6-2 6-0 (Final)

2007: Monte Carlo (ATP Masters Series),  Outdoor Clay
Nadal bt Federer 6-4 6-4 (Final)

2006: China (Tennis Masters Cup), Indoor Hard
Federer bt Nadal 6-4 7-5 (SF)

2006: Wimbledon (Grand Slam), Outdoor Grass
Federer bt Nadal 6-0 7-6(5) 6-7(2) 6-3 (Final)

2006: French Open, Outdoor Clay
Nadal bt Federer 1-6 6-1 6-4 7-6(4) (Final)

2006: Rome (Masters 1000), Outdoor Clay
Nadal bt Federer 6-7(0) 7-6(5) 6-4 2-6 7-6(5) (Final)

2006: Monte Carlo (ATP Masters Series), Outdoor Clay
Nadal bt Federer 6-2 6-7(2) 6-3 7-6(5) (Final)

2006: Dubai, Outdoor Hard
Nadal bt Federer 2-6 6-4 6-4 (Final)

2005: French Open (Grand Slam), Outdoor Clay
Nadal bt Federer 6-3 4-6 6-4 6-3 (SF)

2005: Miami (Masters 1000), Outdoor Hard
Federer bt Nadal 2-6 6-7(4) 7-6(5) 6-3 6-1 (Final)

2004: Miami (Masters 1000), Outdoor Hard
Nadal bt Federer 6-3 6-3 (Last 32)


India’s Sumit Nagal Receives Sponsorship Boost After Revelling Financial Struggles



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A leading food and drink company has pledged to support India’s highest-ranked men’s player who was unable to train at his usual facility in Germany earlier this year due to a lack of money. 


Earlier this week world No.159 Sumit Nagal made a public plea for financial support to help him continue his career as a tennis player. In recent years he has been based at the Nansel Tennis Academy in Germany but was unable to train there during the first three months of the 2023 season due to a lack of funds. During this period he relied on his friends, including former player Somdev Devvarman, to help maintain his fitness. 

“If I look at my bank balance, I have what I had at the beginning of the year. It is 900 euros. I did get a bit of help. Mr Prashant Sutar is helping me with MAHA Tennis Foundation and I also get monthly (salary) from IOCL but I don’t have any big sponsor,” Nagal told the Press Trust of India.
“I am investing whatever I am making. The yearly cost where I travel with one coach is costing me around Rs 8 million to Rs 10 million (90,000-113,000 euros) and that is just with one travelling coach (no physio). Whatever I have made I have already invested,” he added.

Nagal, who is 26 years old, has reached the semi-finals of better at five tournaments on the lower-level Challenger Tour so far this season. His only Grand Slam result was at the US Open where he lost in the first round of qualifying to Taro Daniel. It was at the US Open where he took a set off Roger Federer before losing in 2019. 

Despite being the only player from his country to be ranked in the top 400, Nagal is currently not part of the Target Olympics Podium Scheme. An initiative set up by the Indian government to provide support to their top athletes.

After learning about Nagal’s ongoing struggles on the Tour, a leading company has decided to support the tennis player by signing a three-year deal with him. Gatorade specializes in sports drinks and is manufactured by PepsiCo. Under the deal, Nagal will receive support with his recovery and nutrition from experts at the Gatorade Sports Science Institute (GSSI).  

“I am deeply moved and grateful to join hands with Gatorade. This association comes to me at a pivotal time, and I am thankful my hard work and passion is getting recognized and appreciated. With Gatorade by my side, I am sure I will reach new heights and give it my all both on and off the court,” the Indo-Asian News Service quoted Nagal as saying on Thursday. 

Speaking about the new partnership, Ankit Agarwal from PepsiCo India has hailed the collaboration. Agarwal is the company’s Associate Director of Energy & Hydration. 

“Sumit is a role model for the new-gen athletes of India with his career being a true example of hard work and sweat that makes talent shine,” he said.
“As a brand that is dedicated to supporting athletes in removing barriers to sporting success, we are delighted to welcome Sumit to the Gatorade squad.”

Nagal has been ranked as high as No.122 in the world. So far in his career, he has won four Challenger titles with two of those occurring this year in Italy and Finland. 

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(VIDEO): Malaga Line-Up Set As Davis Cup Most Unpredictable Tournament In History

UbiTennis founder Ubaldo Scanagatta explains why any of the eight teams in Malaga could win November’s Davis Cup Finals




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The Davis Cup quarter-final line-up is set after an incredible Group Stage over Bologna, Split, Manchester and Valencia.


Now eight teams remain including Novak Djokovic’s Serbia, Great Britain and Australia.

However surprise teams such as the Netherlands, Finland and the Czech Republic will also appear in the quarter-finals.

Ten-time champions Great Britain will face Serbia with the winners taking on the winner of the quarter-final between Italy and the Netherlands.

In the other half of the draw Canada will be heavy favourites against Finland while the Czech Republic face Australia.

The final eight tournament will take place in Malaga and will take place between the 21st and the 26th of November.

However this year’s Davis Cup could be the most unpredictable version in the tournament’s history with there being no Spain or USA.

It really could be anyone’ tournament with Tennis’ most prestigious team competition up for grabs in November.

In this video UbiTennis founder Ubaldo Scanagatta explains why this year’s Davis Cup finals could be the most unpredictable edition of all-time and why any of the teams could win the title.

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Simona Halep Claims Doing Ban Is ‘Based On Scenarios’ Without Proof




Former world No.1 Simona Halep has questioned the fairness of her anti-doping hearing after being suspended from the sport for four years. 


The two-time Grand Slam champion is suspended from tour events until 2026 after an independent tribunal concluded that the Romanian broke rules set out in Tennis’ anti-doping program. In a 126-page report by the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA), investigators accepted that the collagen supplement taken by Halep – called Keto MCT – was contaminated with Roxadustat “on the balance of probability.” However, they stated that there must have been another source of Roxadustat based on the level detected in her sample taken during the 2022 US Open. 

Furthermore, three experts in the area said they have ‘a high degree of confidence‘ that there was not an ‘innocent explanation’ for the abnormalities detected in Halep’s Athlete’s Biological Passport (ABP). They reported that ‘likely doping’ occurred based on an analysis of 51 valid samples of Halep’s blood and rejected her explanation for the irregularity. The tennis star cited blood loss during surgery and spells when she was inactive as her defence. 

Despite the comprehensive ruling, Halep has insisted that she is innocent and never intentionally took any banned substances. During an interview with Front Office Sports on Monday, the 31-year-old claimed that the ITIA’s four-year ban handed to her was based on ‘scenarios’ instead of any proof. 

“I was confident after the hearing because there were so many things that made no sense and that are not fair,” she said.
“When I received the decision, I was in complete shock. I could not believe that they suspended me for four years when we found the contamination and my blood was totally normal. They didn’t find anything bad in my blood. It’s crazy that they made this decision with everything [her legal team presented]. They judged me on scenarios. There is no proof. It’s just insane.”

The ITIA originally requested a six-year ban for Halep due to what they described as ‘repetitive and sophisticated’ doping practices. She is accused of using blood doping to improve her performance during Wimbledon and the US Open last year. However, the report found it was not ‘completely satisfied’ that Halep has been doping since March 2022 despite there being ‘strong grounds for suspicion.’

As for the substance Roxadustat, Halep says she would have never deliberately taken the drug as it would ‘work against her.’ She says that the drug would have worsened a thyroid issue which she has been dealing with for several years. Front Office Sports referred to a European Medicines Agency study which finds a possible link between the drug and decreased thyroid function. 

“There was no point for me to take this,” Halep said. “It’d work against me. It wouldn’t help me.”

The study couldn’t establish how common this side effect is due to the amount of data available at the time. 

In the wake of Halep’s ban, some have publicly expressed their views on the matter. One of the most notable to do so was Serena Williams who wrote on social media ‘8 is a better number” in a jibe at her former opponent. The reference was to the 2019 Wimbledon final when seven-time champion Williams lost in straight sets to Halep. 

“I think everyone has the right to judge me because the tribunal decided that I have the fault here,” Halep commented. “Someone told me today that those players who are hating on me because I beat them.”

Halep is set to appeal against her ban to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). 

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