Stan Wawrinka Returns To The Australian Open For His First Competitive Tournament In Six Months - UBITENNIS
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Stan Wawrinka Returns To The Australian Open For His First Competitive Tournament In Six Months




2014 Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka returns to the sight of his first Grand Slam triumph, as the three-time Grand Slam champion had been ruled out of action for six months due to a knee injury which required surgery.


However, Switzerland’s number two has not withdrawn from the Australian Open, and it remains to be seen how the former world number three will do at Melbourne Park. He is drawn in the tricky bottom half of the draw, where he could clash with Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinals and compatriot Roger Federer in the last four.

Wawrinka stunned world number one Rafael Nadal in the final four years ago to claim his first Grand Slam singles title, and he was inevitably asked about his health.

“I’m here so I’m better, it’s been six months now, it’s been tough, really tough, to get back to be able to play again but I’m feeling better, slowly getting there, first thing was a last minute choice to come here for a week to practice without  knowing if I was able to play or not, it was the right choice after a few months being home, practicing a lot to get my knee a little better.”

The three-time Slam champion is pleased to be back at Melbourne Park, and it will be intriguing to see how his knee will react.

“For me, I think the fact that I’m here, it’s a big victory, it’s the best I could have done after surgery to be here sitting in front of you, saying I’ll be playing the first match that’s something really from my side, especially from the knee it’s getting way better.

“I still have a lot of work to do physically, tennis wise to be at my top level but I’m going to take the time I need for that and I know I need to start somewhere and here was a good start, it’s a good place to start, to get pushed to see how mentality I’m going to react how I’m going to feel when I play matches.”

Wawrinka withdrew from the Tie-Break Tens exhibition in Melbourne citing that he was not ready to compete with Milos Raonic replacing him at the last minute.

“For sure, where I come, I was injured, there was a lot of up and downs, I pulled out because I wasn’t ready to play, “the question was if he was not ready to play a super tiebreak, why would we be ready to play a best of five set match?” but nothing compares a super tiebreak you need to be ready for quick points, I wasn’t ready at all to do that.”

The 2014 winner is going to be careful with his knee, and revealed that it was a last minute decision to participate at the first Grand Slam of the year.

“It’s the most important for me to be careful with my knee, i waited the last minute to see If i would play or not, we decided with my team to practice today, to make the decision if I was ready or not.”

Wawrinka’s successful partnership with Swede Magnus Norman ended last year, and the Swiss was upset that their partnership ended during a tough period.

For sure it is already a tough moment for myself to get surgery, six months to be back, it was for sure, it was tough to hear from him that he would stop from that moment, when you are in a tough place like that as an athlete, you want the people who know you the best to stick with you, your team and family will help you the most where you want to be.

“For me Magnus was my coach but he was a friend and even closer as a friend it was tough to know he will not be here to start again with me, I was more sad than angry with him at the end of the day, I will always be grateful for all of the work, we have done together, winning Grand Slams with him and also that’s what I want to keep from our relationship but for sure when he told me it was the not the best moment to tell me, we were stopping like that.”

Wawrinka begins his quest for a second Australian Open crown against Lithuania’s Ricardas Berankis on Tuesday.


Denis Shapovalov Battles Back To Reach The Quarterfinals In St Petersburg

The Canadian got off to a slow start in his first match but was able to recover nicely for a big three-set win.




Denis Shapovalov (CAN) Credit: AELTC/Edward Whitaker

Second seed Denis Shapovalov needed to go the distance at the St Petersburg Open to beat his Spanish opponent Pablo Andujar 2-6, 6-3, 6-0 in one hour and 49 minutes.


The Toronto native didn’t have the best start to the match but was able to recover and pull off a comeback to take the win. Serving a total of 11 aces to reach the quarterfinals.

” It’s very tough to play Pablo (Andujar) first round of a tournament, he’s a great player and it was a tough start to the match,” said Shapovalov. “I didn’t feel so great but I just told myself to keep going because obviously there is still a lot of tennis to be played and I wanted to turn it around in the second set and I did a really good job.”

It was the Spaniard who got off to a better start, earning a breakpoint in the first game of the match before grabbing the early break and he was able to consolidate it. At 2-0, Andujar had two chances to go up a double break but the Canadian saved both and it stayed on serve until 4-2 when the world number 92 was able to earn another breakpoint. This time converted for the double break lead and served out the first set.

The second set stayed on serve until 2-1 when Shapovalov broke to love and that one break of serve was enough for him to serve it out and send the match into a decider.

The Canadian continued pushing as his level improved. In the first game of the final set, he broke the Spaniard with a perfectly timed cross-court winner to take an early 1-0 lead. After consolidating the break he was hungry for more and broke Andujar’s serve once again to go up a double break. Shapovalov closed the match out with a bagel set.

During his on-court interview, Shapovalov was asked how happy he was back to be in St Peterburg and he mentioned the amazing memories he had playing in the event last year.

” It always feels great to be back and I remember last year playing Andrey (Rublev) in the semifinals. I was one set up and I lost this match but I am happy to be here due to the fact I always get great support from the fans here”. He said.

Shapovalov will face Jan-Lennard Struff in the quarterfinals after the German upset seventh seed Alexander Bublik in straight sets (6-4, 6-3).

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Former World No.8 And Grand Slam Champion Jurgen Melzer Retires

Melzer ends a career which has seen him crack the world’s top 10 in both singles and doubles.




Jurgen Melzer (AUT) - Alexander Zverev (GER) vs John Peers (AUS) - Filip Polasek (SVK), (Erste Bank Open 2021 #glaubandich Court); Copyright: e-motion/Bildagentur Zolles KG/Martin Steiger,

After more than two decades on the Tour, Jurgen Melzer has played his final match after bowing out of the Vienna Open on Wednesday.


The 40-year-old confirmed earlier this year that he would end his career at his home tournament. Teaming up with Alexander Zverev in the doubles, the duo lost in straight sets to third seeds Filip Polášek and John Peers. Melzer is a two-time champion in Vienna after winning back-to-back titles in 2009 and 2010. He later went on to win the doubles title in 2014.

I was a bit afraid that not so many would come after all. Thank you very much, it was a huge honour for me to leave here,” Melzer said during his on-court interview.
“He (Zverev) didn’t hesitate five seconds to play here with me, that is not a matter of course when you’re at number four and you’re close to the Masters. Unfortunately, it was a short undertaking, but thank you.” He added.

Melzer first rose to prominence as a junior when he became the first Austrian to win the Wimbledon boys’ title back in 1999. He would go on to play in a total of 53 Grand Slam main draws during his professional career with his best run being to the semi-finals of the 2010 French Open. On the ATP Tour he claimed five titles with his most prestigious being at an ATP 500 event in Memphis during the 2012 season.

Against top 10 opposition, Melzer has beaten every member of the Big Three at least once. The most notable being against Novak Djokovic where he battled back from two sets down to stun the Serbian at the 2010 French Open. Overall, he recorded 13 wins over top 10 players during his career.

“My career started here (in Vienna) on an international level almost 22 years ago, in 1999 here in the town hall, where for the first time I was allowed to dream of really going the way as a professional tennis player. 22 years later and I would have signed everything, what I have achieved. It was an unbelievable journey that ends today. That I couldn’t have dreamed of.”

It wasn’t just in the singles where Melzer enjoyed success on the Tour. As a double player he achieved a ranking high of sixth and won two men’s Grand Slam titles with Philipp Petzschner, as well claiming the 2011 Wimbledon mixed doubles trophy with his ex-wife Iveta Benešová. More recently, Melzer reached the final of the 2020 ATP Finals alongside Édouard Roger-Vasselin. That was to be the last Tour final of his career.

“Of course you still hope to be at the top, but at some point you will be realistic enough to be able to assess that it will not be enough. It was an unbelievable journey that was a lot of fun. It is over, but it is also good that way.” He concluded.

Whilst his time on the Tour has come to an end, Melzer will remain involved in tennis. He is currently working as the Sports director of the Austrian Tennis Federation (OTV). A role he has held since January.

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Carlos Alcaraz Gets Revenge On Andy Murray To Reach Vienna Last Eight

Carlos Alcaraz is into the Vienna quarter-finals after beating Andy Murray in straight sets.




Carlos Alcaraz (@WeAreTennis - Twitter)

Carlos Alcaraz got revenge on Andy Murray after beating the former grand slam champion 6-3 6-4 to reach the Vienna Quarter-Finals.


The Spaniard lost to Murray in a three set battle at Indian Wells earlier this month but was victorious in Austria.

Despite being a break up in the second set, the three time grand slam champion couldn’t consistently out-power the aggressive Spaniard.

Alcaraz will now play Nikoloz Basilashvili or Matteo Berrettini in the last eight.

Alcaraz was aggressive from the very first ball as he controlled rallies behind the baseline and punished Murray’s weak second serve.

After being broke in the first game, the Brit got his revenge in the fourth game as he converted in his sixth break point of the game to seal the break back.

However Alcaraz’s firepower was too much and the Spaniard’s consistent firepower was too much for Murray as two hard-fought breaks followed as he sealed the opening set in 65 minutes.

Murray utilised a more attacking style of play in the second set and was rewarded with an early break of serve as he would take a 4-2 lead.

But Alcaraz displayed too much power and accuracy as he reeled off four games in a row to complete his victory and progress into the Vienna quarter-finals.

Alcaraz will now play Basilashvili or Berrettini in the quarter-finals as he looks for a strong finish to a career-best season.

As for Murray that will be the end of his season unless he gets a wildcard into Paris next week or makes the Davis Cup Finals team for Great Britain.

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