Ruthless Rafael Nadal Secures French Open La Decima With Magical Win Over Wawrinka - UBITENNIS
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Ruthless Rafael Nadal Secures French Open La Decima With Magical Win Over Wawrinka

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Rafael Nadal (zimbio.com)

It was an outstanding performance for an historic achievement by Rafael Nadal as he brushed aside Stan Wawrinka 6-2, 6-3, 6-1, to become the first ever player to win a tenth French Open title.

 

Few could doubt Nadal’s form going into the final after he dropped just 29 games on route. Nevertheless, it was expected that the unpredictable Wawrinka was the one player that could trouble him. The expectation failed to occur as the 31-year-old hit a total of 27 winners and dominated his opponent during the majority of the rallies to become the first man aged over 30 to win a 15th major title. The relentless and audacity of Nadal’s play made the third best player in the world look somewhat ordinary.

“It’s really unbelievable. To win my tenth (title in Roland Garros) is incredible, it is very very special. I would like to thank everybody today. I’m very emotional.” The champion said following the win.
“The feeling I have here (in Roland Garros) is impossible to describe compared to other places.” He added.

On what was a crucial day for both men playing on Court Philippe Chatrier, nerves were visible from the onset. Nadal was bidding to become the first player in the Open Era to win the same grand slam event for a tenth time. Meanwhile, Wawrinka was aiming to become only the second man in history to win their first four grand slam finals after Roger Federer.

As the nerves resulted in a series of errors from both, it was Nadal that appeared the more consistent and settled of the two. In only his second service game, Wawrinka was forced to save a quartet of break points to level 2-2 with the Spaniard. It wasn’t long before the Swiss buckle under Nadal’s intensity, hitting a backhand into the net and allowing him to break for 4-2. With the Spaniard in control of the match, the superiority of his shot-making secured set point after just 40 minutes of play. The lead was then sealed following error No.17 from the Swiss.

Muscling his way through, Nadal continued to bully Wawrinka around the court with the help of his swift and deep shots. The performance drew admiration from the French crowd and moved Wawrinka, a three-time grand slam champion, to the brink of despair. This was illustrated when Wawrinka was seen trying to eat a tennis ball as he dropped his serve to love at the start of set number two.

Even Wawrinka’s signature backhand shot failed to derail the Nadal party. The fourth seed was a wall that refused to be broken, as he returned some impressive angle shots from his opponent back with extra interest. It wasn’t just Nadal’s defensive play on fire, his serving was also pivotal. On route to a 6-2, 5-2, lead he dropped just three points behind his first serve. Securing the two-sets lead was a walk in the park as a Nadal serve was too much for Wawrinka to handle, who received a warning for racket abuse on the previous point.

Charging towards the Roland Garros finish line, a forehand winner into the corner of the court secured Nadal an early break at the start of the third. It was only a matter of time before the ‘La Decima’ dream became a reality. Even 0-30 down in one of his service games, Nadal conjured up some magic to hold. In contrast, Wawrinka struggled to hold, firing a forehand beyond the baseline to secure a double break for 4-1 in Nadal’s favour. The emphatic victory was secured a fraction over the two-hour mark when an attempted drop-shot from Wawrinka backfired, prompting Nadal to fall to the floor.

Relishing in his latest triumph in Paris, a somewhat emotional Nadal paid tribute to the tournament. He is the first fourth seeded player to win the trophy since his maiden achievement in 2005 and has now won 79 out of 81 matches played at the tournament.

“For me the nerves, the adrenaline, I feel when I play this is impossible compare to another feeling.” He explained.
“It is the most important event in my career without a doubt. To win again here is something I can not describe.”

Wawrinka pays tribute

A bitterly disappointed Wawrinka hailed his opponent following their match. The rocky performance of the Swiss player saw him produce 29 unforced errors, more than two-times that of Nadal.

“Rafa, I have nothing to say about today. You were too good. You are a great example and it’s always been an honour to play against you. Congrats on your career, to you and your team.” Said Wawrinka.

Following the loss, the 32-year-old has also missed out of the No.2 position, which would have been a new high in his career.

During the trophy presentation, there was a feeling of nostalgia around the court with a video showing all ten of Nadal’s wins. It was a moment that will be embedded in the Spaniards memory for as long as he lives.

“It’s difficult to talk today but the only thing I can say is thank you. For me to be here for many years is difficult to describe. I come back and see people I have a good relationship with and it’s very special.” Said 10-time French Open champion Nadal.
“It’s difficult for me to compare this to any other event. You are always going to be in my heart.”

Securing 2.1 million euros in Prize Money, Nadal will rise to second in the world when the rankings are published on Monday. It will be his highest position since October 2014.

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Andy Murray won’t travel to Australia

Andy Murray will miss next month’s Australian Open after testing positive for COVID-19 a couple of weeks ago.

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Andy Murray (@the_LTA - Twitter)

Andy Murray has made it official, he won’t be making the trip down under after working with Tennis Australia to find a viable solution to make it work.

 

“We’ve been in constant dialogue with Tennis Australia to try and find a solution which would allow some form of workable quarantine, but we couldn’t make it work.”

Murray was scheduled to fly to Australia with one of charter flights but due to a positive Covid test wasn’t able to make the flight and put his tournament in jeopardy.

Although he missed the chartered flights there was still a small chance he would play but had to workout an agreement with Tennis Australia to make it work. However it didn’t work and was gutted with the news.

“I want to thank everyone there for their efforts, I’m devastated not to be playing out in Australia. It’s a country and tournament that I love.”

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‘If I knew, I Wouldn’t Come’ – Victor Troicki Slams Hard Quarantine In Melbourne

Troicki, who will head the Serbian ATP Cup team next month, says his career has been thrown into ‘chaos.’

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Former top 20 player Victor Troicki says his ‘Grand Slam is failing’ after implying that he felt that he was misled about the quarantine rules ahead of the Australian Open.

 

Troicki, who is currently ranked 202nd in the world, is among 72 players who have been placed in a strict quarantine where they are not allowed to leave their room for a 14-day period. Those affected have all been deemed as a ‘close contact’ of somebody who tested positive for COVID-19. A series of positive tests was detected on flights en route to the country.

34-year-old Troicki travelled to Australia from Doha after successfully qualifying for the Australian Open with wins over Cedrik-Marcel Stebe, Ulises Blanch and Jurij Rodionov. This year’s two qualifying tournament’s took place in the Middle East due to the pandemic.

“If I knew, I wouldn’t come,” Troicki told Sportski Zurnal earlier this week.
“Total chaos, horror as far as everything is concerned. I’m locked up for 14 days, I can’t leave the room. No training, nothing. My Grand Slam is failing, I can’t get ready for five sets in the room.”

In recent days there has been some dispute over whether players knew about the conditions regarding going into a strict quarantine. Carlos Martinez, who is the coach of Daria Kasatkina, told UbiTennis that players were initially under the impression that sections of a plan would have to be isolated if there was a positive case and not the entire plane. Ultimately the decision was up to the Australian health authorities.

“Tennis Australia was doing a great job in my opinion. The only thing that was a bit unclear was about the quarantine when somebody gets infected on the plane. They were talking like they were going to make sections inside the plane so if they found somebody in a section (who tests positive) they would isolate those people,’ said Martinez.
“But in the end the government didn’t want to do this and they preferred to isolate all on the plane because it was safer for everyone.”

Amid the debate over whether Troicki and his peers knew the full story or not, Spain’s Paula Badosa has become the first Australian Open player to contract the virus during quarantine. She had previously criticised the procedure before later apologising.

As for Troicki, he says the current situation is creating ‘chaos’ in his career.

“All preparations are failing,” he said. “Two weeks of lying in bed, it is certain that I will have to get back in shape for the next month and a half. All this is creating chaos in my career.”

Troicki is the team captain of the Serbian ATP Cup team. The tournament will start a week prior to the Australian Open on February 1st.

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No Advantage For Those Quarantining In Adelaide, Says Dominic Thiem

The 27-year-old dispute claims of unequal treatment ahead of the first major of 2021.

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Dominic Thiem has dismissed allegations of special treatment for top ranked players going through quarantine ahead of the Australian Open next month.

 

The World No.3 is among a series of players who are staying in Adelaide instead of Melbourne where an estimated 1200 players and their teams have travelled to. Under an agreement struck by Tennis Australia, the top three players on both the men’s and women’s Tour’s have been allowed to quarantine in Adelaide along with their hitting partners, family and team members. The move is to help ease the flow of people into Melbourne.

Some players have claimed that special treatment is being provided to those in Adelaide with the use of a private gym among other extras. However, Thiem has insisted that he is no better off than his peers.

“It’s a privilege to be here in Adelaide. But it’s not that huge an advantage,” Thiem told The Guardian. “We get the same amount of practice time as the guys in Melbourne. It’s just not that busy on-site. It’s just that we are [fewer] players here. Compared to the players who are not in hard quarantine in Melbourne, we have pretty similar conditions.”

Earlier in the week Tennis Australia boss Craig Tiley openly admitted that those in Adelaide had gotten a better deal. Speaking to Nine News of Melbourne he said ‘My general rule is if you’re at the top of the game, a Grand Slam champion, it’s just the nature of the business. You are going to get a better deal.’ Meanwhile in a recent interview with UbiTennis, world No.44 doubles player Marcelo Demoliner pointed out that the disparity in treatment between the top names and other players is a common trait in the sport.

“I do believe they are receiving preferential treatment, quite different from us. But this is part of the tour,” he said.
“The top tennis players always had these extras, we are kinda used to it. We came here knowing that they would have better conditions for practicing, structure, hotels… they also have merits to have achieved all that they have to be the best players in the world. I don’t know if it’s fair, but I believe the conditions could be more similar than they are in this situation.”

Strict quarantine woes

Perhaps those most frustrated with Thiem and Co are the ones currently placed in strict quarantine. 72 players are not allowed to leave their rooms for 14 days after being deemed a close contact of somebody who has tested positive for COVID-19. A series of positive tests occurred on flights en route to Melbourne.

Speaking about the group, US Open champion Thiem admits they face a struggle in the coming weeks but stress that it was a risk they took. There have been arguments over the quarantine rules and whether they were clear enough upon arrival. Carlos Martinez, who is the coach of Daria Kasatkina, told UbiTennis that players were unaware that if somebody tested positive on a plane all passengers would be required to isolate.

It’s going to be really tough to play a good ATP Cup or good tournament before the Australian Open and then a good Australian Open,” said Thiem.
“They have a huge disadvantage, but that’s the risk we take when we go on to a plane nowadays.”

Novak Djokovic has previously sought to help out those in strict quarantine by writing a letter to Tiley outlining a series of suggestions including the increased use of testing to reduce the isolation period. However, government officials rejected calls for any changes to their system. Djokovic issued a statement on Thursday outlining his motive was made with ‘good intentions’ after he received backlash from some.

“He received unnecessary criticism a lot in the past. This topic, I don’t really know,” Thiem commented.
“He tried to help the other players in Melbourne but in Australia they did a great job with corona. It almost doesn’t exist here any more so Australia wants to keep it that way.”

The Australian Open will get underway on February 8th. Thiem is aiming to go one step better than last year when he finished runner-up to Djokovic.

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