Ten Interesting Facts About The Men’s French Open Semifinals - UBITENNIS
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Ten Interesting Facts About The Men’s French Open Semifinals



Andy Murray (zimbio.com)

Men’s semi-finals day at the French Open promises to light up Roland Garros. World No.1 Andy Murray will be first up when he faces former champion Stan Wawrinka. Then title favourite Rafael Nadal will resume his campaign against Austria’s Dominic Thiem. History lurks for all four men involved, but these are the ten key facts to take note of.


1) Three players are yet to drop a set

On route to the last four at the French Open three out of the four players are yet to drop a set. Nadal, Wawrinka and Thiem have all enjoyed a straightforward journey. World No.1 Murray dropped sets against Andrey Kuznetsov (round 1), Martin Klizan (round 2) and Kei Nishikori (quarter-finals).

It is the first time three players have reached last last four without dropping a set since the 1988 Australian Open. On that occasion it was Pat Cash, Ivan Lendl and Mats Wilander who achieved the feat.

2) The oldest average since 1968

At the age of 23, Dominic Thiem is the baby of the last four. All three other semifinalists are over the age of 30 with Wawrinka being the oldest at 32. Taking into account all four ages, the average is 29 years 105 days. This is the highest average for a men’s French Open semifinal since 1968 and the 14th highest in the Open Era at any grand slam event.

3) Murray’s British record bid

Already the first British player to become world No.1 on the ATP Emirates rankings, a run to the final would also create further history for Murray. A win would make him the second player from his country to ever reach two French Open finals. The first was Fred Perry in 1935 and 1936. Bunny Austin was also runner-up in 1937.

A win would also take the top seed into his 12th grand slam final, expanding his lead with the most appearances achieved by a British man. Perry is second with 10 between 1933-1936.

4) Wawrinka out to prove age is nothing, but a number

A player that produces his best tennis in the biggest tournaments of the sport, 32-year-old Wawrinka could become the oldest finalist in Roland Garros since 1973.

Wawrinka is already the oldest man to reach the last four at Roland Garros since Jimmy Connors in 1985. A win over Murray would place him joint-23rd on the all-time last for most grand slam final appearances.

5) Nadal’s record run

So far in the tournament, Nadal has just dropped a record 22 games. No other player in the Open Era of the men’s tour has managed to progress to the semifinals of a major dropping fewer games.

If he drops four or less games against Thiem on Friday, he will break Bjorn Borg’s record. Borg dropped just 27 games on route to the 1977 French Open final.

6) Thiem’s hope to join an exclusive club in Austrian tennis

Austria’s 22-year wait for a grand finalist could come to an end if Thiem was to defeat Nadal. If he was to win, the 23-year-old would become the second player from his country to reach a major  final – male or female.

Thiem is targeting his 29th victory in a major tournament today. He currently lies fourth in the all-time list for most grand slams wins by an Austrian man after Thomas Muster (77), Jurgen Melzer (59) and Stefan Koubek (31).

7) Nadal targets magic No.10

Only two players have ever reached the final of a major tournament ten times. Bill Tilden was the first at the US Open between 1918-1929. More recently, Roger Federer achieved it at Wimbledon between 2003-2012.

Nadal is on verge of becoming the third man to do so. Already a nine-time champion at the French Open, he could become the first man in history to win the same major tournament ten times. With a 77-2 win-loss record at the French Open, Nadal is the tournament’s greatest ever player in terms of performance.

8) Murray’s multiple finals record

Murray could become only the seventh player in history to reach multiple finals at all four major tournaments if he wins today. So far in his career, he has played five finals at the Australian Open, three at Wimbledon, two at the US Open and one at Roland Garros.

Agassi, Djokovic, Federer, Nadal, Lendl and Roswell are the only players to achieve this so far.

9) Wawrinka on the verge of a new personal best

After recently winning his 16th title at the Geneva Open, Wawrinka could achieve his best ever winning streak on the clay with win No.10 over Murray. His quarter-final victory over Marin Cilic rewarded him his ninth straight clay-court win, which he has achieved on three previous occasions in his career.

10) Thiem’s potentially historic win

Should Thiem beat the odds and defeat Rafael Nadal, he would become only the third man in history to defeat Nadal three times on the clay after Novak Djokovic and Gaston Gaudio. He is also the only player to defeat the Spaniard on the surface this year after winning 6-4, 6-3, in Rome.


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



Image via https://twitter.com/nagalsumit/

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




(@DavisCup - Twitter)

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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