Quotes Often Don’t Tell The Real Story - UBITENNIS
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Quotes Often Don’t Tell The Real Story

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Dustin Brown (zimbio.com)

HALLE: Every tennis journalist approaches writing a daily story in a different way. Today with No. 1 seed, Roger Federer of Switzerland, No. 3 seed, Kei Nishikori of Japan, No. 4 seed, Alexander Zverev of Germany and No. 6 seed, Lucas Pouille of France in action at the Gerry Weber Open in Halle, Germany, there is a smorgasbord full of topic choices. Once the focus is decided on, the construction of the tale begins. And this is the fun aspect of the job.

 

Finding a way to capture a reader’s attention is enjoyable, as well as a test. Allowing creativity to “roam”, enables thoughts to flow and the journey to begin. The difficult part is not falling back on themes used in previous narratives. In other words, making the piece new and interesting, and most important – readable.

A journalist can select a match or matches, depending on the demands made by the publication, develop a storyline then watch what takes place. Hope is part of the process because a contrary result can destroy the approach that has been planned. If the puzzle pieces come together, all that is needed is a post-match quote or two and the story is ready for presentation.

Quotes can often make or break a narrative. To depend on insights from a competitor, occasionally calls for a walk through dangerous territory that could be filled with missteps or in some cases, outright stumbles. Stated simply, this may depend on a player. Many, no matter how elated or disappointed they are following a contest, will give the media workable responses to questions they are asked. Some, though, are only quotable following a victory. Losses bring about a cascade of verbal nothingness that must then be worked into something that will capture the attention of readers.

On Monday, two German players prevailed in three-set contests. The difference in their after-match comments reflected a variance in their personalities and the way they approach playing the game on the elite level.

After Philipp Kohlschreiber slipped past Joao Sousa of Portugal, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4, he offered a mixed bag of thoughts. He began by saying, “I wasn’t that happy with my game today. I don’t think there is a need to go into details.” But, then he did,  adding, “There were just too many mistakes.” He concluded, “But, the positives I am taking from that match are that I moved well and was mentally strong. I really wanted to win the match, and now I’m in the second round.”

Dustin Brown survived a 6-1, 6-7, 7-6 tussle with qualifier Vasek Pospisil of Canada. Following the contest, Brown explained, “I think he returned well and that doesn’t help me. He knows exactly what he is doing on grass. He was a quarterfinalist in singles (2015) and won the doubles (with Jack Sock in 2014) at Wimbledon. I feel I kept my calm and tried to use my chances to somehow win sets.”

Kohlschreiber is 33-years old and became a professional in 2001. He is a year older than Brown, who made the move to play for money just a year after Kohlschreiber. They differ in height as well as dispositions. Kohlschreiber stands 5’10” and Brown is a lofty 6’5”. One is a confirmed baseliner who appears to be staid and reserved – actually, controlled says it better. The other sports dread-locks, and is a serve and volleyer who is entertaining, effervescent and outgoing.

“I actually live by being very solid at the baseline and that’s not the case yet,” Kohlschreiber admitted. “Maybe I’ll sleep unbelievably well tonight, have an awesome practice day, and play as if I were from another planet. Who knows?”

Brown, whose favorite surface is grass, offered, “The Stadion Court plays faster than the other courts. I have played a few more matches and practiced a lot on the courts. I have tried to change things. I have also watched the other guys to see how they are playing. You can see that every player is returning much better. I have the feeling that many more first serves are being returned. It’s not so easy, and you have to find your way into a match.”

Words convey messages and both Kohlschreiber and Brown made a number of solid points. They also provided room for reading between the lines that might lead to opportunities for speculation. That, of course, was not the reason this story was written. Clarity may be in the eye of the beholder, because words can, on occasion, be just words. It depends on a journalist to offer their view using a player’s perspective and explain it by using a player’s own words

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LTA Fined One Million Dollars By ATP For Banning Russian Players From Grass Court Season

The LTA have been fined one million dollars by the ATP.

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Daniil Medvedev (@marioboc17 - Twitter)

The LTA has been fined one million dollars from the ATP after banning Russian players from competing at this year’s grass court tournaments.

 

This news follows the WTA taking the same action earlier this year after the LTA became the first organisation to ban Russian players from playing its tournaments.

At the moment on the ATP tour Russian players can currently play but play under a neutral flag which is the same thing on the WTA tour.

However the LTA decided to follow the All England Lawn Tennis Club’s decision which was to ban Russian players from playing grass court tournaments in England.

Now the ATP have responded by not only denying players ranking points at the time but have now fined the LTA one million dollars.

In a statement the LTA admitted that they were disappointed with the outcome and await not only the outcome of their appeal against the WTA’s decision but also await what response they will have to the ATP.

There has also been a threat from the ATP that if the LTA were to do the same thing in 2023, then they would face expulsion from the ATP.

However it’s not just the tennis governing bodies that have responded to the ATP as the UK culture secretary Michelle Donlan has also criticised the decision, “Over the past year, the vast majority of the international sporting community have stood shoulder to shoulder in condemning in Putin’s unprovoked and barbaric actions in Ukraine,” Donlan said.

“The UK has taken a world-leading role to build this international response. We are clear that sport cannot be used to legitimise this deadly invasion, and that athletes representing the Russian and Belarusian states should be banned from competing in other countries.

“Despite widespread condemnation, the international tennis tours are determined to be outcasts in this, with investment in the growth of our domestic game hampered as a result.

“This is the wrong move by the ATP and WTA. I urge them to think carefully about the message this sends, and to reconsider.”

What the future holds remains to be seen with just over seven months until Wimbledon.

Whether the LTA’s appeal will be successful will be questionable and whether the ATP and WTA will change their stance is also questionable.

But one thing is for sure and that is the political tensions in tennis and outside of tennis are far from over.

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Rafael Nadal ‘Excited’ For Showdown With Alcaraz In Las Vegas 

‘The Slam: Nadal Vs. Alcaraz’ will take place in the lead-up to Indian Wells with a charity fundraising event also being held. 

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MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - APRIL 23: Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates a point against Albert Ramos-Vinolas of Spain in the final on day eight of the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters at Monte-Carlo Sporting Club on April 23, 2017 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo via https://newsroom.mgmresorts.com)

The current top two players in men’s tennis will lock horns in Nevada next March after agreeing to take part in an exhibition match organized by MGM Rewards. 

 

Carlos Alcaraz and Rafael Nadal will play against each other at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on March 5th which will be hosted by MGM Resorts International. The 16,800-seat multi-purpose venue has also previously hosted a series of boxing matches, as well as this year’s Grammy Awards ceremony. 

The two Spanish tennis giants will also participate in a 90-minute individual VIP clinic before taking to the court. There will also be a ‘celebrity’ doubles match which will feature both of the Bryan brothers. One of the most successful double pairings in history who have won 16 Grand Slam titles together. 

“I’m very excited for my first visit to Las Vegas, one of the most iconic and entertaining cities in the world,” Nadal said in a press release. “I’ll be playing with my fellow countryman Carlos Alcaraz who’s had an amazing year. It should be a great night of tennis at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.”

19-year-old Alcaraz is the youngest player in ATP history to achieve the year-end No.1 ranking and is viewed as the successor to 22-time major winner Nadal. The duo have clashed three times on the Tour with Nadal winning two of those meetings. Although Alcaraz was triumphant the last time they clashed at the Madrid Masters. 

“I’m honored and so happy to be sharing the court with Rafa in Las Vegas. He’s an all-time great, of course, and his records and achievements speak for themselves. Rafa also is one of the nicest guys on Tour and I look forward to our match on March 5.” Said Alcaraz.

Immediately after their match on March 5th, THE SLAM Gala will be held at Rivea and Skyfall at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. The fundraising event has been created to raise money for Nadal’s foundation, as well as the MGM Resorts Foundation and National Tennis Foundation. 

Tickets for Alcaraz’s match with Nadal will go on sale from December 9th and are priced at $75 upwards. 

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Gael Monfils Targets Spot At Home Olympics Before Retirement 

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Image via ATP Twitter

Gael Monfils may be starting his 2023 season later than usual but he isn’t contemplating stepping away from the sport anytime soon. 

 

The former top 10 star has been absent from the Tour since August due to a foot problem during what has been an injury-stricken year for the Frenchman. Monfils also missed the French Open and Wimbledon due to a heel injury which required surgery. Overall, he has won 14 out of 21 matches played on the Tour in 2022. 

Providing an update on his current fitness during an interview with Canal+, Monfils confirmed that he will not be playing at the Australian Open in January which will be the fourth major tournament in a row he has missed. Whilst his recovery is progressing well, he is targeting a return during the clay season which concludes at the French Open. He is also unable to access his protected ranking at Melbourne Park because the rulebook states that a player must be absent for at least six months to be eligible. 

“I know that there is a protected ranking, when you don’t play for a certain amount of months. I know that if I take it, I have to not play the Australian Open to reach the six months needed and that will be my decision,” Tennis Head quotes Monfils as saying.

However, the 36-year-old isn’t planning to stop playing just yet with aspirations to play at his home Olympic Games, which will be held in Paris in 2024. Monfils is already a three-time Olympian and has reached the quarter-finals of the singles tournament twice before. 

Despite some speculation over his retirement, Monfils hopes to continue playing until the age of 40. Although he admits this depends on his family after he and his wife Elina Svitolina welcomed their first child earlier this year.

“2023 is an important year for me, a year of transition, transition between my injuries and the fact to be competitive to try to qualify for Paris 2024. I would not like to miss the Olympics, it would be my last one,” he added.
“I hope that 2024 would not be my last year but maybe the one after that. Before, I said that I wanted to play until I’m 40 but the more time I spend with my daughter, the more time I’m thinking maybe I’ll play a bit less.”

Monfils has won 11 Tour titles so far in his career, including this year’s Adelaide International. He has reached at least one final every year since 2005. 

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