Tommy Robredo Defeats Dan Evans At The French Open, Ramos-Vinolas & Carreno Busta Also Advance - UBITENNIS
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Tommy Robredo Defeats Dan Evans At The French Open, Ramos-Vinolas & Carreno Busta Also Advance

Joshua Coase

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Tommy Robredo

Tommy Robredo recovered from a set down to defeat Dan Evans 5-7, 6-4, 6-3, 6-1 to book his place in the second round in what is his last tournament with a protected ranking.

 

Evans has been very public about his dissatisfaction and lack of confidence playing on the clay but any signs of that looked far from his mind as he took a set and a break lead. Robredo did not panic and dug deep to get himself back in the set and once he snatched that he was in command. Breaks were traded but the 35-year-old was always in control and wrapped up the match after two hours and 47 minutes.

Elsewhere on day one at Roland Garros there were victories for three of Robredo’s Spanish compatriots. 19th seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas defeated qualifier Marius Copil 6-7(7), 6-1, 6-4, 6-2, while 20th seed Pablo Carreno Busta eliminated Florian Mayer 6-4, 6-2, 6-2. Guillermo Garcia-Lopez upset 26th seed Gilles Muller, winning 7-6(4), 6-7(2), 6-2, 6-2. There were also wins for Frenchman Benjamin Bonzi, Mikhail Kukushkin, Taro Daniel and Horacio Zeballos.

Evans got off to the perfect start in the blistering Paris heat, breaking his opponent’s serve immediately. The Brit was very fired up and swiftly took a 2-0 lead, but the highly experienced Spaniard hit back immediately, reeling off three games in a row to move in front.
After a series of service holds Evans capitalised at the perfect time, breaking in the eleventh game after forcing Robredo wide with a forehand to give himself the opportunity to serve for the opening set.

The Brit had impressed throughout the match on serve and only dropped two points behind his first serve as he closed it out on his second set point, sealing it with a powerfully struck forehand which his opponent could not return.

The British number three appeared to be struggling with an issue regarding his stomach and left the court at the end of the set but that did appear to affect him back on the court. Evans quickly moved to two break points and despite Robredo saving the first with a backhand volley, a backhand down the line winner from the Brit secured an immediate break and put him in charge of the first round match.

After losing five games in a row Robredo responded with three in a row of his own, breaking Evans to love as he closed out a perfect game with a forehand cross court winner. In the 10th game Evans’ level dropped, with a double fault, two missed volleys and a forehand long costing the Brit the game and the set as the 35-year-old levelled at one set all.

Robredo was the more animated player at the start of the third and it was his time to make the perfect start, winning four points in a row from 30-0 down to break his opponent’s serve before swiftly taking a 3-0 lead.

Dan Evans

Dan Evans (Photo: Zimbio.com)

With Evans’ challenge in this match somewhat fading, his opponent offered up a lifeline in the fifth game, playing several loose points on serve and the Brit capitalised to get back on serve. The reprieve did not last long as Robredo re-engaged, racing to a 0-40 advantage. The Brit saved the first break point with an overhead smash but has no answers to his opponent’s groundstrokes on the second opportunity to regain the break advantage.

The lapses on serve continued, with Robredo once again failing to stamp his authority on the match, dropping serve to love before regaining the break once again to move 5-3 in front. On this occasion the Spaniard had no trouble closing out the set on serve, moving just one set away from a place in the second round.

With Evans hitting 10 unforced errors compared to just five winners the odds of the Brit turning the match around looked slim. The odds of a comeback became even greater when Robredo secured an immediate break of serve. Seemingly on his last legs, the Brit staved off a break point in the third game to keep himself in the match.

Evans had the chance to hold in the fifth game to continue to stay in touch, but could not resist the pressure from Robredo as he moved up a double break and closed in at 5-1 up. Robredo broke serve in the very next game courtesy of a double fault from the Brit to secure a four set victory 5-7, 6-4, 6-3, 6-1.

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Next Gen Star Alexei Popyrin Fears He May Be Forced To Play US Open Despite Health Concerns

Like many other lower ranked players on the Tour, the 20-year-old finds himself in a tough situation.

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One of Australia’s rising stars has said he is worried that he may have to play at the US Open against his will or risk losing a chunk of ranking points.

 

Alexei Popryin has raised his concerns about travelling to the New York major in August amid a surge of COVID-19 cases in some areas of the country. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention there were 52,228 New Cases of the virus on July 5th compared to 24 hours before. Furthermore, the governor of New York recently announced that people travelling from 16 different states in America are now required to self-quarantine for 14 days if they visit the city. According to USA Today this ruling applies to roughly 48% of the entire American population.

Despite the concerns, the organisers of the US Open have insisted they will be able to hold the tournament in a safe manner and will be implementing various restrictions. Including holding the event without fans for the first time and conducting frequent testing of players. However world No.103 Popryin admits that he still has his concerns about attending.

“There are talks regarding the US Open but I really don’t want to go with the situation in America right now,” Popyrin said at the Ultimate Tennis Showdown over the weekend.
“But we have to see if we would be forced to go because of ranking points.
“If the ranking points won’t be frozen, then most of us would be forced to go play cause our ranking will drop and we wouldn’t have any say in it.
“But if the rankings are frozen, then I am staying here.
“I will stay in Europe where it’s safe with my family.”

Popryin has a considerable amount of points to defend in New York after reaching the third round there last year. Therefore, if he skips the event he faces dropping further down the rankings. Something which will then impact on his chances of entering the bigger tournaments later in the year. Usually the cut off for Grand Slam tournaments is around 105.

It is still to be announced as to what will happen with the ranking points system at the US Open and if there will be any adjustments made due to the pandemic. Although organisers will likely be against any idea to remove them from the event as it is a key factor to attract players to take part.

Another player to voice their concerns about the US Open is France’s Benoit Paire, who has said he would not attend the event if it was taking place today. Speaking to RMC Sport the world No.22 said he would rather not go to the event if he meant that he would be ‘taking a risk’ with his health.

“Going to the United States would be at risk of catching it. I am a great professional and I am one of those who would always like to play tennis, but your health is the most important thing,” he said.
“If going there is taking the risk of catching the disease and staying quarantined when I return, I prefer not to go, really.’
“It looks like if we play the US Open, we will have to sacrifice not to play the Mutua Madrid Open or the Masters 1000 in Rome.”

Meanwhile, world No.3 Dominic Thiem recently told Austrian media that he believes a final decision regarding the Grand Slam will be made within a week. Something that is yet to be confirmed by officials.

Should it go ahead, the US Open will start on August 31st.

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REPORT: Former Spanish Tennis Star In Talks To Coach Alexander Zverev

A former world No.3 could be returning to the Tour later this year in a new position.

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Tennis sensation Alexander Zverev could soon be mentored by somebody whose career he ended last year at the Madrid Open.

 

Spanish newspaper Marca have reported that the world No.7 is set to enter in a 15-day trial with former French Open finalist David Ferrer where the two will get to know each other better. Ferrer has reportedly travelled to Monte Carlo to start working alongside Germany’s top player. Should everything go well, the two could start a formal partnership in September ahead of the European clay-court swing of the Tour, which has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Both men are already fairly familiar with each other after facing off nine times on the ATP Tour, including three times last year. Zverev was the last player Ferrer played against at the Madrid Open before officially retiring from the sport at the age of 37.

“He’s the most respectful guy for me on Tour, and one of the most loved people on the Tour as well,” Zverev told reporters in the Spanish capital following their match.

Whilst never winning a Grand Slam, Ferrer achieved numerous accolades throughout his career. Including spending 4914 consecutive days in the world’s top 50, winning 27 ATP titles and achieving a ranking high of No.3 back in 2013. Overall, he has played 1011 matches on the ATP Tour (including Grand Slams) which is more than John McEnroe.

Should Ferrer receive the green light, Zverev will be the first high-profile player he will be responsible for. The Spaniard had previously hinted at his desire to enter coaching with his long time objective being to captain the Spanish Davis Cup team. He is also currently serving as the tournament director of the Barcelona Open.

“I would be very proud to be able to be (Davis Cup captain),” Ferrer told Marca in April 2019. “I also understand that this is very far away and there are players who are ahead. First, I have to train as a professional in teaching (coaching).”

Neither Ferrer or Zverev has publicly commented on the report. At present Zverev is coached on the Tour by his father who guided him to the semi-finals of the Australian Open in January.

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Father Of Dominic Thiem Condemns Criticism Of Novak Djokovic’s Role In Adria Tour Fiasco

Wolfgang Thiem has come to the defence of the world No.1 before suggesting that COVID-19 cases among players at charity events are worth it.

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The father of world No.3 Dominic Thiem has said it is ‘too cheap’ to blame Novak Djokovic over the outbreak of COVID-19 at the controversial Adria Tour.

 

Wolfgang Thiem lent his support behind the 17-time Grand Slam champion during an interview with Austrian newspaper Die Presses on Friday. The Adria Tour, which was founded by Djokovic, was cancelled following an outbreak of the virus during the Zadar leg of the event in Croatia with Grigor Dimitrov being the first player to confirm a positive test. Shortly after, Djokovic and Borna Coric also tested positive as well as some coaching staff. Viktor Troicki also contracted COVID-19, but only played the first leg of the Tour in Belgrade.

Throughout the Belgrade and Zadar events organisers were criticised for a lack of social distancing being applied. Players were seen playing basketball matches, attending nightclubs and interacting with the public. Although all of those actions were in line with local government rules.

“I do not approve of what happened on the Adria Tour, but condemning Djokovic and saying he screwed it up is too cheap for me,” Wolfgang commented.
“Of course the dance at the disco was not optimal, but Djokovic basically did nothing wrong. They just got a little sloppy, they were euphoric,” he continued.

Djokovic, who has been at the centre of the criticism, is yet to publicly speak about the incident. On Friday it was confirmed that both him and his wife Jelena have now tested negative for the virus. 10 days after they were first diagnosed.

As for Thiem, his father said the Austrian tennis star will be donating his money from the event to charity. Although he did not say how much that would be or which cause it would go towards. It comes just days after Djokovic donated 40,000 euros to the Serbian town of Novi Pazar, who has been hit hard by the pandemic.

Speaking about the outbreak of COVID-19 among players, Wolfgang has suggested that it is worth it if it meant raising money for charity.

“I prefer that there be a few more cases of coronavirus and be able to raise a few thousand euros for a childhood cancer clinic,” he explained.

Since the Adria Tour, Thiem has played at the Ultimate Tennis Showdown (UTS) in France. He has undergone five COVID-19 tests in recent days with all of them testing negative for the virus. The 26-year-old withdrew from the UTS on Wednesday to focus on the upcoming Thiem 7 event in Kitzbuhel which will start on July 7th.

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