Receiving Advice From Federer, Alexander Zverev Is Confident Of Future Success - UBITENNIS
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Receiving Advice From Federer, Alexander Zverev Is Confident Of Future Success

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Alexander Zverev congratulates Roger Federer follwing their singles match on day three of the 2017 Nitto ATP World Tour Finals (zimbio.com)

This year’s Australian Open was a bitter experience for Alexander Zverev, but it was also the place where he received some valuable advice from his idol.

 

Despite his young age, the 20-year-old has already been described as the next big thing in tennis. Portrayed as a potential leader when the era of the illustrious ‘big four’ comes to an end. Last year Zverev illustrated his potential by winning two Masters 1000 titles. It is an honour to receive such high praise, but there are also drawbacks for the German. Who believes the media places too much pressure on him at times.

“I understand that everybody thinks I have to win a Slam within the next three months otherwise it’s a disaster for me.” He joked with reporters in Indian Wells.
“But to be very honest, I think the pressure comes a little bit from you guys (the media) as well, everybody keeps talking about the Grand Slams in our sport but obviously I’ve won two Masters so I know what it takes to win big tournaments, I know what it takes to beat the best players in the big tournaments.”

Grand slams are very much an achilles heel for the world No.5. He is yet to progress to the quarter-finals of a major in 11 attempts. At the Australian Open he crashed out to Hyeon Chung in the third round, who went on to reach the semifinals. It was a bittersweet loss for Zverev, who has since praised the talent of his opponent.

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Picking up the pieces of his loss, Zverev was supported by an unexpected person – Roger Federer. In the Melbourne locker room, he was approached by the 20-time grand slam champion, who offered him some words of encouragement. Zverev grew up idolising Federer and has described him as one of the greatest players of all time. They have faced each on the court five times with the world No.1 leading their head-to-head 3-2.

“I didn’t expect it. I was on my bench in the locker room and he’s actually on the other side of the locker room there,” Zverev remembered.
“He came up talking to me, I was obviously really upset, I was bummed out, losing a five-set match in a Grand Slam is never easy, especially I knew I was actually playing alright.
“It’s obviously very encouraging. He told me a little bit of a story that the first time he got past the quarters he was already 22 years old. So for me that was very encouraging, he’s the greatest player of all-time and he told me something like that, that he never passed the quarters until he was 22.
“And I’m only 20 years old. In that case I still have time to win a few majors I’m guessing. For me it’s more about winning matches and winning big titles until I get there.”

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According to Zverev, Federer’s advice is part of an ongoing mission by him to pass on his experience to the next generation of the tour. Citing the Swiss players support of Grigor Dimitrov. The advice isn’t just generic, Federer has previously advised Zverev about some of his technical play.

“We know that he wants to pass on his knowledge to the guys that he thinks are going to be great as well. He’s done it on a few occasions, he’s done it with Grigor [Dimitrov] a little bit when he was a bit younger,” he elaborated.
“He’s doing it with me a little bit now, he’s trying to talk to me, he’s trying to give me advice, even in practice when he sees something that I should do differently, like play a shot in a different way, he tells me.”

The season starts now

After what has been a roller coaster couple of months on the tour, Zverev has declared that Indian Wells is when the season ‘really stars.’ The Californian tournament is the first of nine Masters 1000 events to take place in 2018. Seeded fourth in the draw, he is hoping to capitalize on his recent run to the semifinals of the Mexican Open in Acapulco.

“I feel like the year has barely started,” he said. “I’ve played three tournaments so far. For me, this is where this season really starts. The first Masters [1000], the first big ATP tournament that we have. I feel like I’m playing really good again and feel ready to play with anyone and for me that’s the most important thing coming into a big event like this.”

Zverev, who has a first round bye, will get his campaign underway against either Joao Sousa or Mikhail Youzhny.

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French Tennis Star Jo-Wilfried Tsonga Shares His Experiences With Racism

The grand slam finalist opens up about what it for like being the only ‘half-breed’ in his school as well as other problems he has experianced.

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Former top 10 player Jo-Wilfried Tsonga has become the latest sporting figure to speak out about his personal struggles with racism in the wake of mass protests gripping America.

 

Dozens of cities in the north American country have been placed under overnight curfews following violent demonstrations that have resulted in various injuries and looting. The outcry started when an unarmed black man called George Floyd died whilst being arrested. Video footage showed that a police officer was leaning on his neck which resulted in him dying from asphyxia, according to a private post-mortem paid by his family.

The incident has sent shockwaves throughout the world with various top names speaking out against the use of disappropriate force against minority groups. Speaking about the situation, Tsonga said that racism is a problem everywhere before sharing some of his own personal experiences.

“This type of behaviour that we see frequently in the United States, but that’s on another scale, is repeated continuously throughout the world, is unbearable for me,” he told radio station France Info.
“Such an event removes the consciences of everything and shows how necessary a change is.’
“The non-acceptance of the difference and racism, as well as other issues, such as sexuality, religion or sexual orientation, continue to be used as an excuse to commit atrocities.”

Growing up the 35-year-old said he was singled out as a youngster for being a half cast. His mother is white and father is black. The problems he encountered took place both during and outside of school. Tsonga was born in the French town of Le Mans, which is famous for its annual 24-hour Motor sport race.

“Since I was a child I have had to regularly experience racial discrimination and inappropriate comments,” he said.
“I was the only half-breed in my elementary school, so you can imagine what was happening.’
“All of them were nicknames, insults, I had to bear that when I was a teenager I was continually stopped on the street asking for my papers, people who met me covered their bag as if they was afraid I was going to steal from them and they wouldn’t even let me pass in some places when I went with my friends.”

Whilst nowadays France has grown to be a much more tolerant country like many others, incidents such as the one involving Floyd proves that there is still much more needed to be done. As for Tsonga, he hopes his son Sugar, who was born in 2017, will not go through the same as him.

“There are still a lot of people who make offensive comments without realizing it because discrimination is so ingrained that for many it is not even so. But there are words that can hurt a lot. I have had a hard time finding my place and my identity; I just hope that my son doesn’t feel like a stranger wherever you go,” he concluded.

Tsonga is the last Frenchman to contest a grand slam final at the 2008 Australian Open. So far in his career he has won 18 ATP titles and peaked at a ranking high of fifth back in 2012.

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Karen Khachanov and Andrey Rublev sign up to play exhibition tournament in Khimki

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Karen Khachanov and Andrey Rublev have signed up to play an exhibition tournament in the Russian city of Khimki in the Moscow region in June.

 

Khachanov won his first Masters 1000 title in Paris Bercy in 2018. He broke into top 10 of ATP Rankings in June 2019 and achieved his career-high of number 8 on 15th July. Last year he reached two semifinals at the Masters 1000 tournament in Montreal and at the China Open in Beijing (ATP 500 tournament). He defeated Juan Martin Del Potro to reach his first Roland Garros quarter final. The Russian player also advanced to the quarter finals in Indian Wells, Halle, Moscow and Vienna. In 2020 he won four of his five singles matches at the ATP Cup for the Russian team, who qualified for the semifinals before losing to Serbia. He advanced to the Australian Open third round for the second consecutive year and to the quarter final in Dubai in the last tournament played before the suspension due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Rublev started the 2020 season with back-to-back titles in Doha and Adelaide and reached the fourth round at the Australian Open and two quarter finals in Rotterdam and Dubai.

The best WTA players expected to take part in the Kimkhi tournament are Anastasya Pavlyuchenkova, Veronika Kudemertova, two-time Grand Slam champion Svetlana Kuznetsova and Vitalia Diatchenko. Pavlyuchenkova came back from a set down to beat Angelique Kerber advancing to the quarter finals for the second consecutive year at the 2020 Australian Open.

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Barty’s father said that her daughter was sad and wanted to step away from tennis in 2014

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Ashleigh Barty rose up the ranking sas a teenager after finishing runner-up at three Grand Slam doubles tournaments with Australian veteran Casey Dellacqua at the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the US Open in 2013. The Aussie team also won one title at the Birmingham Classic. Barty decided to step away from tennis in 2014 to play women’s cricket and started playing for the Western Suburbs Cricket Club, a local team that competes in Brisbane Women’s Premier Cricket Twenty League.

 

“It was too much too quickly for me as I have been travelling from quite a young age. I wanted to experience life as a normal teenaged girl and have some normal experiences”, said Barty at that time.

 Ashleigh’s said during a webinar organised by the Active SG Voyager Tennis Academy that he was not surprised when his daughter decided to step away from the sport after the 2014 US Open.

“Ash was sad all the time. She was not herself on the court. I said to my wife that we had just got to make sure that Ashleigh was happy. Her happiness was more important. Were we disappointed ? Of course we were, because we love watching tennis and we were hooked on tennis. To see Ash happy and see her around her sisters and having fun again was so much better than having her miserable and going out and playing tennis”, said Rob Barty.

Barty started her 2019 season with a runner-up finish to Petra Kvitova in Sydney. The Aussie player reached her first quarter final at the Australian Open, where she beat Maria Sharapova before losing again to Kvitova. Barty won her first maiden Premier Mandatory title in Miami and claimed her first Grand Slam trophy at Roland Garros. Barty became the first Australian player to win at Roland Garros since Margaret Court in 1973.

Barty followed up her Roland Garros with a back-to-back title in Birmingham on grass. She has become the second Australian player to be number 1 in the WTA Ranking since Evonne Goolagong Cawley. Barty’s winning streak came to end when she was beaten by Alison Riske in the fourth round at Wimbledon.

Barty reached the semifinal in Wuhan before winning the WTA Finals in Shenzhen beating Elina Svitolina in the final. Barty finished the season as the world number 1. Last January she started the 2020 season with a title in Adelaide before losing to eventual champion Sofia Kenin in the semifinal at the Australian Open. During her career Barty clinched eight singles titles and ten doubles titles.

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