Phillip Kohlschreiber edges Ivo Karlovic in Munich - UBITENNIS
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Phillip Kohlschreiber edges Ivo Karlovic in Munich

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Three-time Munich Open champion Phillip Kohlschreiber beat his fellow Croatian veteran Ivo Karlovic 7-5 6-4 to score his 30th match win in the Bavarian ATP 250 tournament.

 

The German veteran dropped just 11 points in his 11 service games and never faced a break point. Karlovic faced six break points and dropped his serve once in each set.

Karlovic saved a break point in the third game of the opening set with a volley winner. Kohlschreiber earned three break points when he went up 0-40 in the seventh game, but Karlovic hit two service winners and a volley winner to save the three opportunities. The German 34-year-old player got the break in the 11th game with a volley winner earning the chance to serve for the first set. He closed out the set with three winners in the 12th game.

The second set went on serve in the first four games before Kohlschreiber got the break with two forehand winners to to take a 3-2 lead. The home player, who won the Munich title in 2007, 2012 and 2016, sealed the win with four winners in the 10th game.

Kohlschreiber will face his compatriot Misha Zverev, who beat Andreas Haider Maurer 6-4 6-3.

Norwegian Next Gen Casper Ruud beat Marius Copil 7-6 6-3 in 1 hour and 15 minutes to take his first win on the ATP Tour in three months. There were just six break points in this match. Ruud, who lost the ATP Challenger final against Gianluigi Quinzi, saved two break points to hold his service games. After a first set with just one deuce on Ruud’s serve the Norwegian got three mini-breaks to win the tie-break 7-3. In the second set Ruud fended off two break points at 1-2 and broke serve twice in the seventh and ninth games to win the final four games and clinched the second set by 6-3. Casper’s father Christian was a former world number 39 player, who reached the Australian Open fourth round in 1997.

Marco Cecchinato followed up his maiden ATP title in Budapest with a 5-7 6-3 6-2 win over his compatriot Fabio Fognini in an all-Italian first round match. In the opening set Cecchinato converted his fourth break point at deuce and held his serve at 15 to open up a 3-0 lead. Fognini bounced back by winning five consecutive games with two consecutive breaks to take a 5-3 lead. Cecchinato broke back in the 10th game at deuce to draw level to 5-5. Fognini converted his third break point in the 11th game at deuce with a backhand passing shot and served out at 30 to clinch the first set 7-5.

Cecchinato broke serve on his second opportunity in the third game with a double break from Fognini to win the second set 6-3 to force the match to the decisive set. The Palermo-native player earned a double break in the first and fifth games to clinch the third set after 1 hour and 49 minutes setting up a second round match against Marton Fucsovics.

Mirza Basic overcame Gael Monfils 6-2 3-6 6-3 in 1 hour and 35 minutes to score the 10th win of the season. The Bosnian player dropped serve twice and earned ten break points. Monfils, who played his first match since Indian Wells, was broken four times. Basic got his first break in the third game, when Monfils sent a backhand long. Basic dropped just three points on his serve.

Monfils dropped his serve at 2-4 after a poor drop-shot. Basic served out for the set after Monfils made another drop-shot error.

Both players traded breaks in the second and third games of the second set. Monfils saved two break points in the fifth game before breaking serve in the sixth game with a backhand down the line to take a 4-2 lead. The Frenchman sealed the second set in the ninth game with a service winner. Basic got the only break of the decider in the second game after Monfils made a double fault. Basic held his next service games and sealed the win in the ninth game with a smash winner. Basic will take Martin Klizan, who beat Florian Mayer in the next round.

Alexander Zverev will make his debut tomorrow against Yannick Hanfmann on the Central Court.

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Gael Monfils Joins Forces With Former Long-Time Coach Of Dominic Thiem

Will the Frenchman return to his best form with the help of his new mentor?

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Tennis star Gael Monfils will start the 2021 season with a new team setup after confirming the appointment of a new coach.

 

The former US Open semi-finalist has paired up with the renowned Gunther Bresnik who is best known for his time spent working alongside Dominic Thiem for over a decade until their split in 2019. Thiem is now coached by Nicolas Massu. Bresnik is the former Davis Cup captain of Austria and has worked with numerous top names such as Ernests Gulbis, Jerzy Janowicz, Boris Becker and Henri Leconte.

Monfils has been training with Bresnik during the off-season but only now has it been confirmed that the two have formed an agreement to work together. However, over the coming weeks Monfils will be guided by another Austrian. Co-coach Richard Ruckelshausen will work with the world No.11 in Australia and has been appointed as the captain of the French ATP Cup team.

“I’ve known Gaël for a long time,” Bresnik told krone.at on January 9th. “With Ernests Gulbis and Stefan Lochbihler’s son, he worked on his shape here in Spain (during the off-season).”

The 34-year-old will be looking to get back on top form following what was a roller-coaster 2020. Monfils started last year by winning 16 matches within a three-month period. However, following the pause in tennis due to the COVID-19 pandemic he struggled to regain that form. Ending the season with three consecutive first round losses.

Monfils had been working with Liam Smith. The upcoming Australian Open will be his 54th appearance in a Grand Slam main draw. He has only reached the quarter-finals at the Melbourne major once which was back in 2016.

So far in his career Monfils has won 10 ATP titles and has been ranked as high as sixth in the world.

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Andy Murray won’t travel to Australia

Andy Murray will miss next month’s Australian Open after testing positive for COVID-19 a couple of weeks ago.

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Andy Murray (@the_LTA - Twitter)

Andy Murray has made it official, he won’t be making the trip down under after working with Tennis Australia to find a viable solution to make it work.

 

“We’ve been in constant dialogue with Tennis Australia to try and find a solution which would allow some form of workable quarantine, but we couldn’t make it work.”

Murray was scheduled to fly to Australia with one of charter flights but due to a positive Covid test wasn’t able to make the flight and put his tournament in jeopardy.

Although he missed the chartered flights there was still a small chance he would play but had to workout an agreement with Tennis Australia to make it work. However it didn’t work and was gutted with the news.

“I want to thank everyone there for their efforts, I’m devastated not to be playing out in Australia. It’s a country and tournament that I love.”

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‘If I knew, I Wouldn’t Come’ – Victor Troicki Slams Hard Quarantine In Melbourne

Troicki, who will head the Serbian ATP Cup team next month, says his career has been thrown into ‘chaos.’

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Former top 20 player Victor Troicki says his ‘Grand Slam is failing’ after implying that he felt that he was misled about the quarantine rules ahead of the Australian Open.

 

Troicki, who is currently ranked 202nd in the world, is among 72 players who have been placed in a strict quarantine where they are not allowed to leave their room for a 14-day period. Those affected have all been deemed as a ‘close contact’ of somebody who tested positive for COVID-19. A series of positive tests was detected on flights en route to the country.

34-year-old Troicki travelled to Australia from Doha after successfully qualifying for the Australian Open with wins over Cedrik-Marcel Stebe, Ulises Blanch and Jurij Rodionov. This year’s two qualifying tournament’s took place in the Middle East due to the pandemic.

“If I knew, I wouldn’t come,” Troicki told Sportski Zurnal earlier this week.
“Total chaos, horror as far as everything is concerned. I’m locked up for 14 days, I can’t leave the room. No training, nothing. My Grand Slam is failing, I can’t get ready for five sets in the room.”

In recent days there has been some dispute over whether players knew about the conditions regarding going into a strict quarantine. Carlos Martinez, who is the coach of Daria Kasatkina, told UbiTennis that players were initially under the impression that sections of a plan would have to be isolated if there was a positive case and not the entire plane. Ultimately the decision was up to the Australian health authorities.

“Tennis Australia was doing a great job in my opinion. The only thing that was a bit unclear was about the quarantine when somebody gets infected on the plane. They were talking like they were going to make sections inside the plane so if they found somebody in a section (who tests positive) they would isolate those people,’ said Martinez.
“But in the end the government didn’t want to do this and they preferred to isolate all on the plane because it was safer for everyone.”

Amid the debate over whether Troicki and his peers knew the full story or not, Spain’s Paula Badosa has become the first Australian Open player to contract the virus during quarantine. She had previously criticised the procedure before later apologising.

As for Troicki, he says the current situation is creating ‘chaos’ in his career.

“All preparations are failing,” he said. “Two weeks of lying in bed, it is certain that I will have to get back in shape for the next month and a half. All this is creating chaos in my career.”

Troicki is the team captain of the Serbian ATP Cup team. The tournament will start a week prior to the Australian Open on February 1st.

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