Roger Federer Blames Age For Rise In Player Injuries, Not Scheduling - UBITENNIS
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Roger Federer Blames Age For Rise In Player Injuries, Not Scheduling

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LONDON: World No.2 Roger Federer has hit back at critics of the current ATP Tour calendar, arguing that the surge in injured players is due to age.

 

The 36-year-old weighed in on the debate moments after qualifying for the semifinals of the ATP World Tour Finals for the 14th time in his career. This year’s event has been marred by notable absentees. Defending champion Andy Murray is nursing a hip injury, Novak Djokovic is recovering from an elbow problem and Kei Nishikori has been troubled by his wrist. On top of that, world No.1 Rafael Nadal withdrew from the tournament on Monday due to a knee injury.

“Shave 10 years of our age, and we probably will do better.” Federer joked about resolving the extensive casualty list.

The men’s tour has previously been criticized for their long season, with tournaments taking place between January-November. Former Wimbledon finalist Milos Raonic, who also ended his season early due to physical problems, has been very vocal in his opposition. Calling for the calendar to be reduced to seven months.

Raonic’s calls have been met with scepticism from tour veteran Federer, who points out that more players are playing into their 30s. Meaning that injury is more likely to occur. In the 2016 ATP year-end rankings, 36 players inside the top 100 were over the age of 30. Furthermore, 12 of those were either at or tied with their ranking best.

“A lot of the guys are just touching 30 plus. Back in the day, at 30, a lot of guys were retiring. Edberg, Sampras, it was like normal at 29, 32, to start looking towards the end of your career.” Federer pointed out.
“Now you guys expect everybody to play till 36. When somebody is injured at 31, it’s like, ‘Oh, my God, how is this possible?’”

Of course people like 26-year-old Raonic disproves Federer’s theory. Although, he explains why so many younger players are being hit with wrist injuries. Once again insisting that it isn’t due to the scheduling of tournaments.

“Wrist to me is not something that comes from overplaying, especially if it’s your left hand.” Said Federer. “ From what I’ve been told, the wrist is always in a troubled position with that flicking that’s going on more and more these days.”

So what is the solution to the problem? Should tennis fans just accept that in the future more players will be spending time away from the sport to recover? Federer has an answer to that, illustrated by his own approach to the tour. His decision to skip the entire clay-court season raised eyebrows, but it enabled him to return stronger. An approach he urges his rivals to follow.

“The season has been the same for many, many years, as we know.” He explained.
“I think just when you get older, you maybe have to manage your schedule, maybe a little bit differently.’
“But some guys, they just go maybe all out for 15 years, and they do it until you sort of break down, then they just reset.”

List of injured players

PLAYER INJURY AGE
Rafael Nadal Knee 31
Stan Wawrinka knee 32
Novak Djokovic Elbow 30
Andy Murray Hip 30
Tomas Berdych Back 32
Kei Nishikori Wrist 27
Milos Raonic Various 26

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Gerard Pique Believes Long-Term Davis Cup Project Will Work Despite Critics

Gerard Pique claims that the new Davis Cup is a long-term project as the competition kicks off today in Madrid.

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Gerard Pique (@bbctennis - Twitter)

Footballer Gerard Pique believes the Davis Cup is a long-term project that can work despite criticism over the re-formatted competition. 

 

Last August, the Barcelona defender had his re-formatted idea of the Davis Cup approve as part of big funding put in by his company Kosmos.

The competition, which starts today in Madrid, sees 18 teams compete in a one-week competition where they will fight for the Davis Cup title.

Despite Pique’s enthusiasm for the event, many fans and players have criticised the move explaining how the 118 year history of the competition has ended.

However for the Spaniard, he believes that he has convinced many doubters on this journey, “In terms of the event we needed to convince different people who were maybe sceptical and were against the idea of changing the format,” Pique admitted to Davis Cup.com.

“We’ve had to face it since the beginning. This is something I believe we did an amazing job at because we feel people in the game are now more convinced.

“The Davis Cup has a big meaning in the world of sport and tennis, there were some people against it, but right now I feel that Davis Cup is going to be stronger than it has been in the last 10 years.”

Despite the likes of Roger Federer and Daniil Medvedev missing from this week’s competition, there are eleven top 20 players competing including Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.

Many critics are seeing this innovation as a short-term project but Pique hasn’t seen it that way and believes that in five years time people will be convinced about the event, “I like to think big and our idea since the beginning is to put this competition where it deserves to be, and maybe to create an event longer than one week,” the Spaniard said.

We understand we have to start little by little. I don’t want to compare ourselves to any other tournament because I think we are unique. In five years’ time I want everyone, players and fans, to think ‘Davis Cup is in November and I want to be there.'”

Even though there are doubters players such as Andy Murray have told people to give the event a chance despite the amount of tickets that are still available for the event.

The action begins today at 3pm GMT time with three ties:

Croatia v Russia

Italy v Canada

Belgium v Colombia

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Pierre Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut claim their first ATP Finals title in London

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The French team formed by Pierre Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut claimed their first men’s doubles title with a 6-3 6-4 win over Raven Klaasen and Michael Venus in 70 minutes at the ATP Finals at the O2 Arena in London ending the 2019 ATP season on a high note with back-to-back titles in Paris Bercy and London. They remained unbeaten during the whole week at the ATP Finals in London winning all five matches in straight sets.

 

Herbert and Mahut fended off all four break points they faced scoring their ninth consecutive match win. The French doubles specialists have become the first team to win the doubles ATP Finals title without dropping a set since Jean Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau in 2015.

Herbert and Mahut fended off break points in the third game of the match before earning the only break of the opening set in the next game. The Frenchmen saved a break point in the sixth game before breaking serve in the seventh game.

They have become the French team to win the ATP Finals doubles title since Michael Llodra and Fabrice Santoro, who triumphed in Shanghai in 2005.

Herbert and Mahut have won 15 doubles titles as a team during their career. This year they became the eighth men’s doubles team to complete the career Grand Slam at last January’s Australian Open and also won the Rolex Paris Masters in front of their home fans.

Last year they came within one point of winning the ATP Finals title against Mike Bryan and Jack Sock after holding a match point.

“Thank you Nicolas for sharing the court, for having so much enjoyable moments and giving me so much joy, when I am with you on the court. You played an unbelievable final, so thank you for that”, said Pierre Hugues Herbert.

 

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Jannik Sinner wins his third ATP Challenger in Ortisei

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Jannik Sinner won the ATP Challenger in Ortisei adding another title to his impressive collection of trophies he lifted during a memorable 2019 season.

 

The 2019 Next Gen ATP Finals champion beat world number 173 Sebastian Ofner from Austria 6-2 6-4 in 1 hour and 6 minutes in the final of the Sparkasse Challenger Val Gardena Sudtirol at the Tennis Center in Ortisei.

Sinner won his third ATP Challenger title in 2019 after his previous wins in Bergamo and Lexington. He also reached the final in Ostrava. During the tournament the 18-year-old player from San Candido beat Lucas Miedler in the first round, Roberto Marcora in the second round, Federico gaio in the quarter final and Antoine Hoang in the semifinal without dropping a set.

Sinner will improve his ranking to his career-high at world number 78 in the ATP Ranking becoming the sixth best ranked Italian player after Matteo Berrettini, Fabio Fognini, Lorenzo Sonego, Marco Cecchinato and Andreas Seppi.

Sinner broke serve in the fifth game of the opening set to take a 3-2 lead. Ofner missed two game points in the seventh game. The Austrian player faced another break point after his third double fault. In the next game Sinner saved the first break point he faced. Sinner closed out the first set 6-2 after two backhand errors from Ofner in the eighth game.

Sinner went up a break to open up a 2-0 lead, but Ofner broke back in the fourth game and held on his serve to take a 3-2 lead. Ofner saved three break points in the seventh game to take a 4-3. Sinner converted his fourth break point in the ninth game to take a 5-4 lead and served out the win with two consecutive aces.

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