ATP Halle: Roger Federer Through, Russian #NextGen Quarterfinal Awaited - UBITENNIS
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ATP Halle: Roger Federer Through, Russian #NextGen Quarterfinal Awaited

Day 4 at the Gerry Weber Open in Halle set the top half quarterfinals, including the No. 1 seed Roger Federer!

Jakub Bobro

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The headlining match of the day was last on Stadion, between 1st seed Roger Federer and the No. 29 ranked German Mischa Zverev. The match was very high quality, both players net rushing and providing entertaining grass court tennis. There was a funny moment in the first set when Federer thought he hit a winner so he let out a shout resembling a “come on”, but Zverev lobbed the ball back. It was a set point for Federer, and the point was replayed. Federer had several break/set points at 5-4, but Zverev prevailed, and it almost seemed like he would reciprocate as Federer went down 15-30 on his serve. The first set went into a tiebreak and after trading a mini-break each, Zverev was serving at 4-5. Federer powered through the two points and took the first set in a tiebreak, 7-4. Both players focused on their service games in the second sets, with no games going to deuce. In typical Federer fashion, the Swiss was conserving energy and waiting for Mischa Zverev to make the mistake. Federer got his chance at 4-4, broke serve, and won the match 7-6(4) 6-4. The legendary Swiss beat Mischa Zverev 6-0 6-0 in 2013 in quarterfinals of Halle, which proves Zverev’s improvement since then. Federer next faces defending champion Florian Mayer in the quarterfinals. The Swiss leads the head-to-head 7-0, including 3 previous wins over Mayer in Halle in 2005, 2012 and 2015.

 

Day 4 in Halle Westfalen was kicked off by a match between the 3rd seed Kei Nishikori and the 21-year-old Karen Khachanov, No. 3 in the #NextGen Race to Milan. Khachanov stands at 198 cm, and is generally a power player, giving him a solid chance at the upset over Nishikori, who prefers slower surfaces. Khachanov was the one to advance to the quarterfinals, but not based on his skill. Nishikori started to have problems with his left hip at 2-2, took a medical timeout. He seemed to be in a lot of pain while receiving the treatment, and after a couple of points, Nishikori retired from the match. Khachanov’s quarterfinal opponent is a fellow Russian #NextGen player, the 19-year-old Andrey Rublev. It was Nishikori’s first retirement, but the Japanese player is known for being rather frail and injury-prone. It is very unlucky for Nishikori to get injured so close to Wimbledon, and he has to hope that he will be fit by then.

Andrey Rublev faced a fellow Russian from a different generation in the second round, Mikhail Youzhny. Rublev upset 8th seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas in his opener, while Mikhail Youzhny beat s-Hertogenbosch finalist Ivo Karlovic in straight sets. Rublev started the set in a very dominant fashion, taking the opening set 6-0. Youzhny wasn’t giving up and broke for 4-2 in the second set. When serving out the set at 5-3, Youzhny turned away 3 break points and finally used the set point No. 4. The final set was more straightforward with only one game going to deuce. Rublev broke for 2-0, and both players held on to their serves, so Andrey Rublev won 6-0 3-6 6-3. Rublev has now broken the Top 100, the live ranking puts him at No. 91. With a win over Khachanov, the 19-year-old could move to Top 75. Rublev and Khachanov have never faced each other before, not even the junior circuit because of their 2-year difference, and this Russian derby will be one to follow for years to come.

Home crowd favorite and defending champion Florian Mayer also marches on to the quarterfinals. The German has had a lackluster year thus far, entering Halle with a win/loss record of 2-11. Things looked even worse after the 33-year-old lost to Jeremy Chardy in the opening round of Stuttgart. The 500 points Mayer won in Halle last year provided the majority of his points, and after they all dropped on Monday, Mayer’s ranking was in free fall. From No. 51, Mayer dropped by 83 places to No. 134. Wins over Paire and Pouille are his first main tour back-to-back wins since the Halle title last year. Reaching the quarterfinals now puts him at No. 109, still a long way from his initial ranking. In this match against Pouille, Mayer won 6-7(6) 6-4 6-3. The ending of the opening set was quite dramatic, with Pouille pulling off a 194 km/h second serve at 6-6, at Mayer foot faulting at set point for Pouille. Mayer was very dominant on serve in the other two sets and picked spots to break when Pouille was vulnerable. The German won 82% of points after the 1st serve and finally came back to win a match from set down for the first time this year. Pouille stayed true to his great tiebreak record and improved it to 81%, while Mayer won only 9% of tiebreaks this year. The biggest key to Pouille’s demise were the 52 unforced errors.

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Juan Martin Del Potro Splits From Coach

The tennis star has announced a big change to his team.

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Former US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro is on the hunt for a new coach after agreeing to end his collaboration with Sebastian Prieto to continue focus on his rehabilitation from injury.

 

Del Potro has been working alongside Prieto since 2017 and achieved a series of career milestones under his guidance. Including winning his maiden Masters 1000 title at the 2018 BNP Paribas Open and reaching a ranking high of third in August that same year. Their decision has been made to allow Prieto to focus all of his attention on Juan Londero. Another Argentine player who is currently ranked 62nd in the world.

“I want to share that I have agreed with Sebastian Prieto to end our partnership, so that he can work with Juan Londero, while I continue my rehab process,” Del Potro said on Twitter.
“I’m very thankful to Piper for all of these years together. He is a great coach and even a better person. All the best!”

45-year-old Prieto is a former ATP player who peaked at a ranking high of 22nd in the doubles. During his career, he won 10 Tour titles with all of those occurring on the clay. He also reached the quarter-finals of the men’s doubles tournament at the 2003 French Open.

It is currently unknown as to who will be taking over as Del Potro’s new coach. The former grand slam champion hasn’t played a competitive match since last June due to a serious knee injury. At the Fever-Tree Championships in London, he fractured his right kneecap and was forced to undergo surgery to repair it. The second time he had to undergo that procedure within as many years after also suffering a similar injury at the 2018 Shanghai Rolex Masters.

Del Potro is currently undergoing rehabilitation and it is unclear as to when he will be able to return to the Tour again. All professional tennis tournaments have been either suspended or cancelled until at least July 31st due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although both the US Open and French Open are hoping to go ahead as planned.

So far in his career, the 31-year-old has won 22 ATP titles and earned almost $26 million in prize money. Earning more money than any other player from his country in the history of the sport.

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Novak Djokovic On Why He Didn’t Post Details Of Lockdown Training

The Serbian tennis star has shed some light on his recent training routines as he outlines plans for a Balkan tennis tour.

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World No.1 Novak Djokovic has been training almost daily since the world of tennis came to a halt due to the COVID-19 pandemic but opted to keep his activities out of the limelight to avoid any potential backlash from fellow players.

 

The ATP Tour has been suspended since March due to the Pandemic with officials hoping to restart the sport in some capacity during the summer ahead of the US Open. Nevertheless Djokovic, who started 2020 by winning 18 matches in a row, has been able to continue practicing in Marbella. He and his family were staying in a house located next to a tennis court.

Speaking with Serbian reports on Monday, the 17-time grand slam champion admitted that he didn’t want to ‘anger’ others by posting updates on social media of him training. Showing that he has been able to stay active more than other players during the lockdown.

“I had the opportunity to train almost every day during coronavirus because we stayed in a house next to a tennis court. I played a lot of tennis on a hard surface, but I didn’t upload anything on the net so as not to anger other players,” he told The Telegraf.
“I started recently on clay, I had two training sessions here, I feel good physically. I was quite active, I followed my program. Of course, the intensity decreases because I was not preparing for tournaments.”

https://twitter.com/DavisCup/status/1264885745916968960

With uncertainty surrounding when the Tour may start again, numerous countries have created their own domestic tournaments. In Djokovic’s case, he is the founder of his own event that will be played across the Balkan region. The Adria Tour is set to take place between June and July with three top 20 players set to participate. Besides Djokovic, Alexander Zverev and Grigor Dimitrov are also taking part.

“I started the whole idea of ​​the project and I communicate every day with TSS (Serbian Tennis Federation) and the company that organizes all this,” said Djokovic.
“The current international competitions, ITF and ATP will not happen before the first of August, and even that is uncertain. Afterwards, I will have time again if things resume on a hard surface in America, because I will have a month to prepare for the continuation of the season.”

Should it all go to plan, the clay-court tournament is set to be played in Belgrade (Serbia), Zadar (Croatia), Montenegro and Banja Luka (Bosnia and Herzegovina). Although it has been confirmed that the locations of the Bosnian and Montenegrin events are still not fully confirmed with the possibility of Sarajevo hosting one leg of the tour. Sarajevo hosted the 1984 Winter Olympics.

Prior to the Tour suspension, Djokovic was unbeaten in 2020. He started the season by winning three consecutive titles at the ATP Cup, Australian Open and Dubai Tennis Championships. Those triumphs enabled him to earn prize money of $4,410,541. He also earned just over $70,000 from playing doubles so far this year.

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Nikoloz Basilashvili Domestic Abuse Case: Extraordinary Claims Emerge From Both Sides

One journalist says she has ‘inside knowledge’ that the tennis pro has a history of domestic abuse, but his family has issued a statement claiming the accuser has a record of making false allegations.

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On what has been a dramatic day for tennis star Nikoloz Basilashvili, his family has now issued a statement in which they have made a series of allegations against his ex-wife.

 

The world No.27 was arrested on May 22nd over allegations that he ‘physically attacked’ Neli Dorokashvili during a confrontation on the outskirts of Tbilisi. Prosecutors have launched charges against him under the article ‘Domestic violence in the presence of a minor against a member of his family.’ Officials have confirmed that the alleged incident took part in front of their son.

After his initial hearing on Sunday, Basilashvili denied any wrongdoing and paid for a bail. His lawyer, Irma Tchkadua, has said that there is ‘no evidence’ in this case. However The Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia is demanding a pre-trial detention of the 28-year-old.

In a new twist to the case, Basilashvili’s family has now issued a statement to news agency IPN in which they have accused Dorokashvili of deliberately making false allegations. Claiming she has made similar claims in the past in order to damage the reputation of the tennis star. Revealing that Basilashvili’s mother, Natalia, have previously faced child abuse accusations.

“We want to respond to the allegations made against Nikoloz and our family today,” the statement begins.
“First of all, we want to apologize to the fans for the false allegations. We declare with full responsibility that the information about violence is not true and there is no evidence that would prove any violent action.’
“It is not happening for the first time that Neli Dorokashvili, Nikoloz’s ex-wife, is trying to inflict moral, financial and reputation damage on Nikoloz and his family’
“After the divorce, Neli Dorokashvili sued Nikoloz Basilashvili’s mother about child abuse. The court considered the complaint and acquitted Basilashvili’s mother.”

Touching on the incident that is alleged to have taken place, the Basilashvili family has said that Dorokashvili broke into the property and tried to start a fight. However, the family statement didn’t address reports that Nodar Basilashvili, who introduced his son to tennis at the age of five, was issued with a restraining order.

“As for the May 21 incident, Neli Dorokashvili broke into the property of the parents of Nikoloz Basilashvili without permission, where she deliberately tried to provoke a conflict. Nevertheless, there was no any violent action against her, not even an attempt. Fortunately, there is evidence for this and the court will consider it on July 16, 2020,” the family insists.
“The trial continues. We believe that Nikoloz will prove his innocence very soon.”

The claims made by a journalist

Despite the calls to dismiss the case, one Georgian journalist has made an extraordinary claim in which she said that Basilashvili has a history of domestic abuse. Magda Kldiashvili, who is the former editor-in-chief of goal.ge, has claimed that the two have been separated for some time and there was a contract drawn up in which he has to pay his ex-wife 100,000 Georgian Lari per month. Their contract is said to be kept confidential according to the journalist. Furthermore, Kldiashvili claims the argument between the two started when Dorokashvili asked for her monthly payment to be increased from 100,000 to 300,000 Lari.

“I have behind-the-scenes information that Nikoloz Basilashvili has been abusing his wife for many years and they have been separated for many years,newsreport.ge quoted Kldiashvili as writing on Facebook.
“Neli Dorokashvili had a formal contract with her husband, according to which Basilashvili paid her one hundred thousand GEL every month. Basilashvili saw the child with the permission of a social worker and rarely!”

‘It might have been an axe’

The Recorder is one of the first news outlets to obtain a testimony from Dorokashvili herself on the incident. Contradicting a comment previously made by Kldiashvili, she said she has no idea as to why the alleged confrontation occurred. Although she claims that she was chased after by Basilashvili’s father Nodar who was holding what she ‘thought was an axe’ but is unsure.

“The reason for the controversy is still unclear to me, I just went to fetch my son,” Kldiashvili told The Recorder.
“An examination (investigation) has been conducted and is still ongoing. I was not expecting (him) to be released on bail.’
“At my sight, when I visited my son, I don’t know what happened, he (Nodar) was drunk or what he needed, I don’t know, he and his son chased me with some weapons.”
I can’t confirm what it was, because it had some big tarry, I think it was an axe.” She later added.

It is important to note that all three statements have not been verified and the police investigation is ongoing. The Public Defender of Georgia, Nino Lomjaria, is examining the case.

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