Feliciano Lopez Set To Take Over As Director Of The Madrid Open - UBITENNIS
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Feliciano Lopez Set To Take Over As Director Of The Madrid Open

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World No.36 Feliciano Lopez has been appointed the assistant director of the Madrid Open, in what is set to be the start of a new era for the Spanish tournament.

The announcement was made on Thursday during a press conference at the AC Cuzco Hotel by tournament CEO Gerard Tsobanian. Lopez will be deputy to four-time grand slam champion Manolo Santana, who is credited for bringing the combined event to Madrid. During 2018 Lopez will be mentored by both Santana and Tsobanian for his new role.

“I have a lot to learn from Manolo and from Gerard. I have seen them run this tournament for more than 15 years and I have always admired what they have achieved.” Lopez told reporters.
“As time has gone by the Mutua Madrid Open has become one of the best tournaments on tour and one of the most valued by the players. And that is thanks to both of them. It will be a huge responsibility to make sure that their legacy continues for many years to come.”

The Madrid Open is a combined event played on the clay. It is categorised as a Masters 1000 event for the men and a Premier Mandatory event for the women. This year’s edition, which was won by Rafael Nadal and Simona Halep, attracted a record audience of 260,228 spectators. An increase of over 15,000 compared to the previous year. The current owner is former player and multimillionaire Ion Tiriac.

Lopez’s appointment is the start of his path to the top position. In plans outlined by the tournament committee, the 36-year-old will take over from Santana after 2018 to become chief director. Santana will maintain ties with the Madrid Open, but in a different format as an ‘honorary president’ after he turns 80 next May. Both of those plans are subjected to the approval of the board of directors, who will be holding meetings in the near future to discuss the motions.

“The Mutua Madrid Open is and always will be my home. We put a lot of effort into getting this tournament off the ground and I will always be working to help it grow.” stated Santana.
“I am really happy that Feli is joining the team, he is a wonderful addition to it and I will try to teach him as much as I can. He knows the tournament very well because he has played in it in every year. At first he will be the person by my side to learn and then I will be the one who is by his side to support him in everything he does. We will make a great team.”

During his career, Lopez has played in the Madird Open 16 consecutive times between 2002-2017. Overall, he has won 21 out of 37 matches played at the event, reaching the quarter-finals on four occasions. The Spaniard has been ranked as high as 12th in the world and currently has six ATP titles to his name. Including one from this year’s Aegon Championships.

“I can still remember when Manolo gave me a wildcard to play in the first tournament in 2002. That was when I realised that I could take on the best in the world (and I came close to beating Agassi!). I have a very special bond with the Mutua Madrid Open and I feel very lucky to work at the tournament. Today I feel as if Manolo has given me another wildcard to work with him and I hope to be able to make the most of it.” He said about his new posistion.

Next year will be the 17th edition of the Madrid Open and the tenth anniversary of it being held at the Caja Magica. It will take place from 4th – 13th May.

(Video in Spanish)

 

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Matteo Berrettini unsure about plating at the US Open

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Matteo Berrettini admitted in an interview to the Italian sports newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport that he will take his time before making his final decision on playing at the US Open in New York or not.

 

The US Open organizers received the green light from New york Governor Andrew Cuomo to proceed with the Grand Slam event, which will take place from 31st August to 13th September at Flushing Meadows.

“Not just me, actually. The situation is complex. There are many questions that need to be answered. People organising the US Open and these other tournaments have to be answered whether we have quarantine issues if we travel to the USA. First of all, I think about my healthand decide what I will do. If the conditions are good, I could play bot the US Open and the French Open, but we have to wait and see. We don’t know what will happen. We don’t know what will happen. A virus like this has never come along, so we don’t know what will happen. I understand it is difficult to solve all problems in a short period of time, but it is still too early to decide. Many players have asked for clarifications that have not yet arrived. Many players have for clarifications that have not arrived yet. I want to have more certainties than the current ones to be able to make my choice with the right serenity”, said Berrettini.

Berrettini reached the second round at the Australian Open in his only official tournament before being sidelined by an injury problem in the following two months. The world number 8 and last year’s US Open semifinalist is sure that Novak Djokovic had good intentions when he decided to organize the Adria Tour. He announced that the money raised at the Adria Tour would be donated to charities.

“Honestly, I don’t feel like questioning Djokovic for that matter. In general, he has always worked well and in everyone’s interest. In the circumstance he made a mistake and for the image of tennis it was a backlash which I hope does not affect the next decisions”, said Berrettini.

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Matteo Berrettini sets up final in Berlin exhibition tournament

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Matteo Berrettini and Dominic Thiem will meet in Berlin exhibition tournament final. Elina Svitolina sets up final against Petra Kvitova in the women’s tournament.

 

World number 8 Matteo Berrettini came back from one set down to beat 2019 Wimbledon semifinalist Roberto Bautista Agut 4-6 6-3 10-6 in the first semifinal of the Bett 1 Aces on grass at the Steffi Graf Stadium in Berlin.

Bautista Agut converted his second break point in the seventh game to take a 4-3 lead, as Berrettini hit his forehand into the net. The Spanish player saved two break points at 5-4 15-40 with two service winners before sealing the opening set 6-4 with an ace.

Berrettini, who reached the US Open semifinal in 2019 and won the Ultimate Tennis Showdown last week, did not face any break points in the second set and converted his second break point in the eighth game and held his serve at love in the ninth game to win the second set 6-3 forcing the match to the super tie-break. Bautista Agut took a 5-3 lead with a mini-break, but Berrettini rallied by winning seven of the next eight points to win the super tie-break 10-6.

Berrettini set up a final against Dominic Thiem, who beat Jannik Sinner 6-3 7-6 (7-5). Thiem converted his second break point in the fourth game and held on his serve to win the opening set 6-3 with a forehand winner.

Sinner saved a break point in the first game of the second set and two more chances in the 11th game to set up a tie-break. Sinner entertained the crowd at the start of the tie-break with a spectacular point despite slipping during the rally. Thiem edged his younger Italian rival 7-5, when the Italian teenager hit an unforced error.

“I think it was a pretty typical grass court match. Both of us served well. I am coming from clay, from high altitude in Kitzbuhel. It’s very different here. I tried to put the ball into the court with the good quality, because I did not have enough time to practice and get used to the baseline”, said Thiem.

Elina Svitolina beat Anastasija Sevastova 7-6 (7-2) 6-3. Svitolina earned the first break in the second game to open up a 4-1 lead. Sevastova broke back at love in the seventh game and held on his serve to draw level to 4-4. Both players traded breaks in the 11th and 12th games en route to the tie-break. Svitolina cruised through to a 7-2 win in the tie-break. Svitolina got an early break in the first game of the second set. Sevastova broke back in the sixth game to draw level to 3-3. Svitolina won the final three games with two consecutive breaks to seal the second set 6-3 with a forehand volley.

Svitolina set up a final match against twice Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, who beat Kiki Bertens 6-3 6-2. Kvitova will face Bertens for the seventh game in their careers and for the second time on grass. Kvitova won the first set 6-3 with a break at love in the second game. Bertens converted his third break point at deuce in the second game to open up a 2-0 lead. Kvitova broke serve three times in a row to win the second set 6-2.

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France’s Lucas Pouille To Undergo Surgery

The 26-year-old has suffered another setback to his plans for a return to the Tour.

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Lucas Pouille (photo by chryslène caillaud, copyright @Sport Vision)

Two-time Grand Slam quarter-finalist Lucas Pouille says he is hopeful that he will be able to play tennis again this season after announcing plans to undergo surgery.

 

The world No.58 confirmed on Tuesday morning that he will be having an operation on his right elbow later this month in Paris. Pouille has only managed to play one match this year on the ATP Tour due to the injury, which was at the Indian Wells Challenger tournament where he lost in straight sets to Noah Rubin.  The issue has been bothering the Frenchman since last October when he shut down his season early after the Shanghai Masters.

“It’s never an easy decision to take, but I will get surgery on my right elbow this month in Paris. After new medical exams, it appeared it was the best solution in order to finally be able to play pain-free. I still hope to play before the end of the season.” Pouille said in a statement.

Pouille initially looked to be on track to making a return to action after participating in the Ultimate Tennis Showdown in June. An exhibition tournament created by Serena Williams’ coach Patrick Mouratoglou. However, he lost two matches to Feliciano Lopez and Elliot Benchetrit before being forced to withdraw from the competition due to his elbow.

In recent days the coach of the former world No.10,  Loic Courteau, said they will not be travelling to the US Open next month. Although it is unclear if Courteau’s comments were made before or after the decision to undergo surgery was made.

“I will not be in New York, for the good reason that Lucas… is not going to play the tournament,” he told French television.

Pouille has won five ATP titles so far in his career and has earned more than $7 million in prize money. He is currently the eighth highest ranked French player on the ATP Tour.

Pouille’s ATP titles breakdown

2018 1 Montpellier (Indoor/Hard)
2017 3 Vienna (Indoor/Hard)
Stuttgart (Outdoor/Grass)
Budapest (Outdoor/Clay)
2016 1 Metz (Indoor/Hard)

 

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