With The No.1 Ranking In Sight, Rafael Nadal Is Ready To Fight - UBITENNIS
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With The No.1 Ranking In Sight, Rafael Nadal Is Ready To Fight



Rafael Nadal (zimbio.com)

Closing in on the world No.1 position, Rafael Nadal knows he faces a tough road ahead of him during the second half of the season.

The first six months of 2017 has seen the Spaniard once again establish himself as a heavyweight in men’s tennis following a troublesome wrist injury. At the Australian Open he reached his first grand slam final since the 2014 French Open. Following on from that, the Spaniard dominated the clay-court season by winning four titles, including a record tenth French Open title. He currently leads the ATP Race to London with 7095 points accumulated this season.

“To return to the highest level after the injuries has been key to maintaining the illusion and the desire to continue competing at the highest level,” Nadal recently said on Argentine talk show Con Amigos Asi.

It isn’t just Nadal that has enjoyed a resurgence on the tour this year. Roger Federer continues to prove that age in no barrier after winning four titles, including two grand slam trophies this year. The two have renewed their infamous rivalry this season with Federer winning all three of their encounters on hard-courts.

Due to both men’s absence in 2016 with injury issues, they have few points to defend during the remainder of the season. Nadal is defending just 370 points and Federer has nothing to defend. This situation places them both in a strong position to contest for the world number one accolade. Especially with Novak Djokovic out of action due to injury and Andy Murray is undergoing rehab on his arm.

The future could be reminiscent of past times when it was just Nadal and Federer fighting for the biggest titles on the tour. Still, the Spanish player is determined to do things on his own terms.

“The truth is, I always follow my own path,” said Nadal.
“It’s true that we (Roger and I) are better prepared to compete for nice things at the end of the year but it depends on what we’re able to do from now until the end of the year. We’ll have to wait and see.
“The person who will be able to keep his high level for a longer period of time will have more options to fight for the world No 1 ranking.
“But the same can be said of Murray… and many others who are up there. Maybe they haven’t had the best six months this year but they are also candidates.”

Preparing for the North American swing of the tour, Nadal has been training at his own academy in Manacor along with Grigor Dimitrov. He is set to play in two tournaments prior to the US Open with the Rogers Cup in Canada being the first of them.

“As always, the goal [in next tournaments] is to try to arrive as ready as possible and win as many matches as possible.” He said about his preparation during an interview with IB3 TV.

Nadal is currently 285 points adrift from Murray in the Emirates rankings. Should he rise to the top later this year, it will be the first time he has done so since June 2014.

Nadal’s season so far

Brisbane International – QF (lost to Milos Raonic)
Australian Open – Runner-up (lost to Federer)
Acapulco Open – Runner-up (lost to Sam Querrey)
Indian Wells Masters – R4 (lost to Federer)
Miami Masters – Runner-up (lost to Federer)
Monte Carlo – champion
Barcelona – Champion
Madrid – Champion
Rome – QF (lost to Thiem)
French Open – champion
Wimbledon – R4 (lost to Gilles Muller)

Win-loss record of 46-7


Andy Murray Makes Retirement Hint After 500th Hard Court Win In Dubai

Andy Murray won his 500th hard court match in Dubai, placing him fifth on the all-time list.



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Andy Murray further hinted at retirement after securing a 500th hard court win of his career in Dubai.

The former world number one picked up his second win of the year with a 4-6 7-6(5) 6-3 victory over Denis Shapovalov.

In typical Andy Murray fashion, the Brit came back from a set down to defeat the out-of-sorts Canadian as he progressed to the second round.


The win means Murray now has 500 career wins on a hard court and that is an achievement the world number 67 is proud of, “It’s not bad,” Murray told the ATP website as he sits fifth on the all-time list of hard court wins.

“Obviously hard court has been a great surface for me over the years and 500 is a lot of matches so I’m very proud of that. There are not many players that have done that, so great to get to 500 before I’m done.”

However those post-match comments weren’t the most shocking ones as Murray once again hinted at retirement this season.

The Brit has made subtle remarks that this year may be his last one but Murray’s comments today suggests that he may have already made his decision, “I probably don’t have too long left but I’ll do as best as I can these last few months,” Murray was quoted by ESPN as saying.

“I still love competing and still love the game but it gets harder and harder to compete the older you get, to keep your body fit and fresh.”

If the end is near for Murray than the Brit will look to end his career on a high for the next few months.

Before thinking about retirement Murray will look to go further in Dubai when he takes on either Ugo Humbert or Gael Monfils in the second round.

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Perspective And Fatigue: The Two Sides Of Iga Swiatek’s Dubai Defeat

Iga Swiatek spoke about perspective and fatigue after her semi-final exit in Dubai.



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Iga Swiatek showed two sides to her defeat in Dubai as the world number one surprisingly failed to win the title despite being the favourite in the semi-finals.

Heading into her semi-final in Dubai, Swiatek was heavy favourite to win her second consecutive WTA title after claiming the title in Doha the week before.

However Swiatek was unsuccessful in her bid to reach the final as she lost to Anna Kalinskaya 6-4 6-4.

It was a bitterly disappointing defeat for Swiatek who missed a golden opportunity to establish even more dominance ahead of Indian Wells.

As all champions do Swiatek offered perspective to her defeat as she looks ahead to the rest of the season, “I mean, I’m angry but on the other hand, there aren’t many players that actually survive these kinds of tournaments so I just kind of have to let it go and accept it,” Swiatek was quoted by Tennis Majors.

There was not only perspective offered but also fatigue as expectations and pressure can force simple mistakes from the best players in the world.

The world number one acknowledged Kalinskaya’s performance but did admit her own performance contributed to the defeat, “Today I would say, I mean she [Kalinskaya] played well and for sure she deserves to be in the final, but I feel like it was more about me and my level,” Swiatek told Tennis Majors.

“I wanted to be focused on myself and I wasn’t really able to implement any tactics that I had. Usually, when I tell myself what to do, I can improve my game but today I was so out of power and tired that I just couldn’t. Day by day, it was a little bit worse.”

Swiatek will hope to re-energize herself ahead of the sunshine double in America.

Last year Swiatek lost to eventual champion Elena Rybakina in the semi-finals at Indian Wells before withdrawing from Miami.

The Pole will look to improve last year’s performance when she plays Indian Wells, which starts on the 6th of March.

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‘Speechless’ Mensik Reaches Maiden ATP Final In Doha

Jakub Mensik is into his first ATP final in Doha.



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Jakub Mensik admitted he was left speechless after reaching his first ATP final in Doha.

The 18 year-old continued his remarkable week with a 6-4 1-6 6-3 semi-final victory over Gael Monfils.

The Czech Republican produced clinical tennis as he beat the 2018 champion to reach his maiden ATP final.

After the match Mensik admitted he was left ‘speechless’ and spoke about the influence Monfils had on his career, “It is amazing. Hopefully not the last one [final]. Incredible week so far,” Mensik told the ATP website.

“Today again with Gael, he played unbelievable. I know it is tough to play against him, especially with his good movement. For me every point I have to play my best game.

“I have to say this performance was one of the best in my entire life. I am so glad I reached this level in the semis, so hopefully tomorrow I play like this. An amazing feeling with my first ATP final. I am speechless.

“I told him when I was young I watched him a lot on the TV. One of the biggest showman on court. He is a great guy, so hopefully in the future we will meet once again. The rallies were so fun with him.”

Mensik has so far beaten three former champions this week as he also defeated Andy Murray and Andrey Rublev this week.

Now Mensik will aim to win his first ATP title as he takes on Karen Khachanov in Saturday’s final.

Should Mensik win the title he could climb to 75 in the world as he started the week at 116 in the world.

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