Rafael Nadal Praises ‘Great Guy’ Gasquet For 500th Win On The Tour - UBITENNIS
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Rafael Nadal Praises ‘Great Guy’ Gasquet For 500th Win On The Tour

The 10-time French Open champion takes a trip down memory lane as he reflects on his rivalry with the world No.34.

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World No.1 Rafael Nadal has paid tribute to Richard Gasquet after the Frenchman reached a milestone in his career at the Monte Carlo Masters.

 

On Thursday the world No.34 defeated Mischa Zverev 6-2, 7-5, to get his 500th tour win. Coincidentally, his first ever tour win occurred at the same venue back in 2002 when he defeated Franco Squillari at the age of 15. Gasquet is the first player from his country to win 500 matches on the ATP tour and only the eighth active player to do so.

“I’m happy I did it here rather than in Budapest.” Said Gasquet. “ There are very few players who have achieved this. I don’t know exactly how many.”
“I certainly am among the worst of players, among the players who achieved this (winning 500 matches). But I’m happy I did it in Monte-Carlo 16 years after my first victory.”

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The achievements of the 31-year-old has earned him praise from Nadal. Following his win over Karen Khachanov, the Spaniard said that Gasquet deserved the honour. Born just 15 days apart, the two first played against each other on the professional tour back in 2003 at a Challenger tournament in France.

“It is a great news for him. Especially because he’s a great, great person, great guy. Humble.” Said Nadal. “He’s one of the players that you want on the tour. He’s an easy person. He’s a great player.”

Nadal has a one-sided 15-0 lead over Gasquet in their head-to-head. Nevertheless, he admits that Gasquet was a better junior player than him. During his teenage years, the Frenchman won the boys’ title at both the French Open and US Open in 2002. During that same year he made his grand slam debut at Roland Garros at the age of 15. Nadal was 17 before he made his debut in a major.

“He’s a great player. We grow up together. Different countries.” Reflected Nadal. “He was better than me. We didn’t have the chance to play very often when we were kids because he was better than me, so he was not playing in the same age (group) as me. He was playing with the older guys.”

More than a decade on from their junior years, Nadal continues to be impressed by his rival. Gasquet has 14 ATP titles to his name and has been ranked as high as seventh in the world. Despite his young promise, he is yet to reach the final of a major. Reaching the last four of a grand slam on three previous occasions.

“He’s a classic player. I like the way he plays. Well done for him. I wish him all the best.” Concluded Nadal.

On Friday Gasquet will be bidding to reach his first Masters 1000 semi-final since 2012 when he takes on Alexander Zverev. Meanwhile, Nadal will lock horns with Dominic Thiem.

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(VIDEO EXCLUSIVE) Rafael Nadal Doesn’t Care How Much Pain He’s In, He Gets The Job Done

Hall of Famer Steve Flink gives his verdict on Rafael Nadal’s epic victory which might result in his withdrawal from Wimbledon!

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Image via https://twitter.com/atptour/

Matches don’t come as dramatic as the one Rafael Nadal played on Wednesday. 

 

The 22-time grand slam champion dealt with an abdominal injury, lost a break advantage in three sets and still managed to win after four hours of pulsating play. Awaiting him in the next round will be Nick Kyrgios if he is fit enough to play. Kyrgios dismissed Cristian Garin in straight sets in his quarter-final match. 

Flink and Ubitennis’ CEO Ubaldo Scanagatta review all the action that took place on day 10

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Injured Rafael Nadal Ousts Fritz In Wimbledon Thriller

The world No.4 is through to the semi-finals but there are new doubts over his current health.

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Rafael Nadal has kept his chances of achieving a calendar slam alive by defeating American Taylor Fritz in a dramatic quarter-final match at Wimbledon where he struggled with injury. 

 

The second seed took a medical time out during the second set but continued to battle to a sensational 3-6, 7-5, 3-6, 7-5, 7-6(10-4), win over Fritz. Two days ago Nadal was seen wearing tape on his abdomen but refused to go into details when asked by reporters. Although it was clear that this issue is ongoing with the Spaniard crouching over a couple of times after serving in pain. 

“The body is generally fine. Of course, in the abdominal area, something is not going well. I had to find a way to serve a little bit differently,” said Nadal. “I was thinking during a lot of moments that I would not be able to finish the match but the energy (of Center Court) was something else.”

In the roller-coaster encounter, 19 breaks of serves occurred throughout the marathon match. During the gut-busting 260-minute showdown Nadal saw plenty of chances come and go. In each of the first two sets, he had a break advantage before losing them. He also failed to maintain a break advantage in the decider before coming through in the tiebreak. Nevertheless, he managed to come out on top with the help of 5 aces and 55 winners. 

“I enjoy playing these kinds of matches in front of you guys (the crowd),” the Spaniard continued. 
“It has been a tough afternoon against a great player. All the credit to Taylor, he has been playing great the whole season.’
“From my side, it was not an easy match and I am happy to be in the semifinal.”

The triumph is a bitter pill for Fritz to swallow who was bidding to become the youngest American man to reach the last four at Wimbledon since 2005. Until now he had been on an eight-match winning streak.

As for Nadal, he is through to his eighth Wimbledon semi-final and 38th at a major event. He is now 8-0 when it comes to playing quarter-final matches at the tournament.

Amid concerns over the abdomen, Nadal now has only two days to recover in time for his blockbuster showdown against the formidable Nick Kyrgios who came through his match in straight sets against Cristian Garin. Nadal leads their head-to-head 6-3 and has won their two previous meetings at SW19.  

“I hope to be ready to play it,” he said of the semi-final.
“TNick is a great player on all surfaces, especially on the grass. He’s having a great grass-court season and it’s going to be a great challenge. I need to be one hundred percent.”

At the age of 36 Nadal is seeking to reach his first Wimbledon final since 2011.

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“I Thought The Ship Had Sailed’ – Nick Kyrgios Reaches Maiden Wimbledon Semis

The 27-year-old reacts to achieving a new milestone in his career.

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Nick Kyrgios (AUS) - Credit: AELTC/Jonathan Nackstrand

Nick Kyrgios has achieved his best-ever result at a Grand Slam tournament after beating Cristian Garin in straight sets in the quarter-finals at Wimbledon. 

 

Kyrgios, who was playing in the last eight of the tournament for the first time since 2014, rallied to a 6-4, 6-3, 7-5(5) win over his Chilean rival. Becoming the first player from his country to reach the last four of the men’s draw since Lleyton Hewitt did so back in 2005.  


”I felt I was playing on the back foot a lot. He’s a hell of a player,” Kyrgios said afterward. “He’s obviously very confident. Hell of a tournament for him to make the quarter-finals. I got lucky on a couple of break points here and there. It could have been him standing here (giving the winner’s interview).”

In what was a largely controlled match from Kyrgios, he produced a total of 17 aces alongside 35 winners against 29 unforced errors. There were the occasional outbursts and criticism of the lines officials but it was by nowhere as controversial as his previous encounters against Stefanos Tsitspas in the third round and Paul Jubb in the first.

The breakthrough comes during what has been a turbulent career. Kyrgios has been a player involved in many controversies and was at one stage issued with a suspended ban from the Tour due to unsportsmanlike conduct. However, his talent was never doubted but many were unsure if he could be consistent enough to have a deep run at a major event. He once was at a pub until 4 am on the same day he was due to play Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon.

“It was an amazing atmosphere out here (on court one). I never thought I will be in the semifinal of a grand slam. I thought my ship had sailed.” He admits. 
“I didn’t go about things earlier in my career great and I may have wasted (time).’
‘I’m really proud of the way I’ve come back out here with my team and with that performance.”

As one of the few top 100 players who travel without a coach, Kyrgios paid tribute to those around him. 

“I don’t have a coach I would never put that burden on someone,” he jokes.
“Each and every one of my team plays an important role. I feel like nobody knows my tennis better than I do. I’ve been playing this sport since I was seven and to be in the semi-final of a slam I am pretty happy.”  

Kyrgios is the lowest-ranked Wimbledon semi-finalist since 2008.

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