Rafael Nadal Wary Of Tough Times Ahead In Madrid Despite Surge In Form - UBITENNIS
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Rafael Nadal Wary Of Tough Times Ahead In Madrid Despite Surge In Form

The 10-time French Open champion believes staying grounded is a key factor behind his success.

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MADRID: A winning streak of 12 matches has failed to ease Rafael Nadal’s apprehensions about his bid to win this year’s Madrid Open.

 

The world No.1 enters the tournament as the leader of the pack. Fresh off of winning back-to-back titles in Monte Carlo and Barcelona, the Spaniard hasn’t dropped a set on the clay since last May. The figures suggest that Nadal’s victory at the Caja Magica this week is a certainty, but he himself is taking nothing for granted.

“In Barcelona I played very well in totally different conditions. Here it’s completely different.” Nadal said on Monday. “In Monte-Carlo and Barcelona, you have the feeling that you are in control of the situation. Here, it’s different. It’s difficult to have the same feelings as in Barcelona and Monte-Carlo, especially the first days.
“It takes you time to adapt to how the ball bounces and flies. It’s not under control like the other two tournaments. Everything is a little bit more difficult.”

Madrid is located 450 meters above sea level. The high altitude means that the ball travels quicker during matches. Favoring the more aggressive and hard-hitting players. Nevertheless, Nadal has claimed the title five times since 2009.

“I have been training on the outer courts. The feeling is that the ball flies faster than other courts. I have a feeling these courts are faster.” He commented about his preparations for Madrid.

The 31-year-old has established himself as the king of clay in recent years. To date he is the most successful ATP player on the surface in the Open Era with a total of 55 titles to his name. At the French Open he is the first and only male player to win the same grand slam 10 or more times.

It could be argued that part of Nadal’s success is his ability to stay grounded. He could be forgiven to believe that he is invincible on the clay this season given his record. Although previous experience of injury and rivalry with other members of the ‘big four’ reminds him that nothing is guaranteed.

“I don’t think that I am superior to the other players. Maybe some tournaments have been better than others, but that doesn’t guarantee that in the future I’m going to be better than my opponents.”

Nadal will get his campaign under way in the second round against either Gael Monfils or Nikoloz Basilashvili. Both of whom he leads in their head-to-head. Against Monfils, Nadal is cautious over the threat the Frenchman poses despite winning 17 out of 29 matches against him.

“Gael is a tough opponent for everybody. He’s a player with a lot of talent, with a lot of potential. He’s a tough opponent.” He commented on Monfils. “Let’s see what’s going on in the first round between him and Basilashvili. Both will be a tough one. Gael always is a challenge.”

Since the birth of the tournament in 2002, Nadal is one of only two Spanish players to have won the trophy. The other was Juan Carlos Ferrero in 2003.

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David Goffin Out Of Wimbledon Following Halle Accident

It has been reported that the unfortunate injury he suffered is ‘more serious’ than a sprain.

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David Goffin has been forced to withdraw from Wimbledon after suffering an ankle injury during the Noventi Open earlier this week.

 

The former top 10 player was taking on Corentin Moutet in Halle where he slipped on the grass and subsequently hurt his right ankle. Forcing the Belgian to retire from the match at the start of the third set. Providing an update on Goffin’s health, agent Martin Roux said he is unsure how long he will be absent from the Tour for.

“Yes, David has officially withdrawn from Wimbledon following his ankle injury in Halle. For the moment we do not know more about the exact duration of unavailability, ” Roux told lesoir.be. “He is of course disappointed to miss a Grand Slam tournament, especially since he had recovered well on grass before his injury. “

Elaborating further, Roux confirmed Goffin’s injury is ‘more serious’ than a sprain and tests are ongoing to assess the extent of the damage which has been caused to the ankle. It is not the first time he has suffered a freak accident on the court. During the 2018 Rotterdam Open he hurt his eye after a tennis ball rebounded into his face, forcing him to pull out of Marseille and Indian Wells that year.

“David told me that it was more serious than a minor sprain, after exams in Belgium.”Roux added. “The ankle has not yet deflated (stopped swelling). David realizes that ice and bandages won’t be enough to play. The ligaments must be affected in one way or another. The idea is to do new exams at the end of the week in order to then have a healing protocol, especially since after Wimbledon the Olympic Games will arrive quickly. These are now his next goals. “

The 30-year-old has achieved a win-loss record of 14-13 so far in 2021 and won his fifth ATP title in Montpellier. He has also reached the semi-finals in Antalya and quarter-finals in Monte Carlo. However, recently Goffin has struggled on the Tour with Halle being the fifth tournament in a row where he has failed to win back-to-back matches.

Goffin is currently ranked 13th in the world.

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Dominic Thiem Follows Nadal In Olympic Games Snub

The world No.5 says his decision is related to his performance on the Tour so far this season.

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Dominic Thiem training at the 2021 Lyon Open (photographer Sammy Dancyger - Owned by Sport Plus Conseil - GM Sports Consulting)

Austria’s Dominic Thiem has pulled out of the Olympic Games in order to focus on his title defence at the US Open later this year.

 

The 27-year-old issued a statement on Thursday saying he was ‘not ready’ to play in Tokyo following what has been a roller-coaster start to the season. Thiem enters Wimbledon with a win-loss record of 9-8 and recently lost in the first round of the French Open. His best results so far this year were reaching the last 16 of the Australian Open and the semi-finals of the Madrid Open.

“Hi everybody, I have some sad news to share with you all. After talking with my team and analysing the situation I have taken the very difficult decision to withdraw from competing in the Tokyo Olympics,” the 27-year-old Austrian wrote on Twitter.
“For me, like all athletes, taking part in the Olympics and representing my country is a huge honour and that makes this decision even tougher.
“However, 2021 did not start as expected and I don’t feel ready to play my best in Tokyo.
“My goal is to work hard the coming weeks, give my best at Wimbledon and keep training and hopefully defend my US Open title.”

Thiem, who also skipped the 2016 Olympics, had previously said that his views on the multi-sport event have changed over recent time. During one interview with Tennis Deutschland he said it would be a ‘dream’ to play at the Olympics and he would ‘definitely play’ at the event if he had the chance to. Thiem is coached on the Tour by Nicolas Massu who won a gold medal back in 2004.

The world No.5 says he hopes to be able to play at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris where the tennis tournament will be held at Roland Garros. The same venue as the French Open.

On the same day as Thiem’s announcement on Thursday, Rafael Nadal was another player to confirm he would not be travelling to Tokyo, as well as Wimbledon, in order to recover from the clay season. The Spaniard said he wants to take a break from the Tour in order to preserve his body and prolong his career on the Tour.

The Olympic tennis event will take place between July 24th – August 1st. Andy Murray is the defending champion in the men’s tournament.

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Updated Entry Lists For Eastbourne, Mallorca

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Photo by mallorca-championships.com

Two ATP 250 events will be played on grass before Wimbledon, with a new tournament taking place in Mallorca (Spain).

 

The third week of the shortened grass-court season will see two ATP 250 events being played in Eastbourne (Great Britain) and Mallorca (Spain) from the 20th to the 26th of June. Eastbourne has been hosting a grass-court tournament since 2009, when it took the place of Nottingham in the ATP Tour’s calendar, while the Mallorca Championships is a new event.

World’s number one Novak Djokovic plans to play doubles in Mallorca, while Dominic Thiem and Daniil Medvedev have received a Wild-Card in the singles draw. The defending champion Taylor Fritz has withdrawn from Eastbourne due to injury.

NEWS: Aslan Karatsev has withdrawn from Eastbourne; he has been replaced by Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.


ATP 250 Eastbourne (GBR, Grass), entry list:
Monfils, Gael (FRA)
De Minaur, Alex (AUS)
OUT Wawrinka, Stan (SUI)
OUT Karatsev, Aslan (RUS)
Sonego, Lorenzo (ITA)
Basilashvili, Nikoloz (GEO)
OUT Fritz, Taylor (USA)
Opelka, Reilly (USA)
Davidovich Fokina, Alejandro (ESP)
Ramos-Vinolas, Albert (ESP)
Bublik, Alexander (KAZ)
OUT Paire, Benoit (FRA)
OUT Krajinovic, Filip (SRB)

Norrie, Cameron (GBR)
Millman, John (AUS)
Fucsovics, Marton (HUN)
OUT Cilic, Marin (CRO)
Djere, Laslo (SRB)
OUT (SE)
OUT (SE)

WC Broady, Liam (GBR)
WC Clarke, Jay (GBR)
WC Ward, James (GBR)
Alternates:
IN Bedene, Aljaz (SLO)
IN Koepfer, Dominik (GER)
IN Nishioka, Yoshihito (JPN)
IN Popyrin, Alexei (AUS)
IN Pospisil, Vasek (CAN)
IN Tsonga, Jo-Wilfried (FRA)
IN Tiafoe, Frances (USA)
IN Ruusuvuori, Emil (FIN)

IN Gerasimov, Egor (BLR)
OUT Giron, Marcos (USA)
Alt.1 Herbert, Pierre-Hugues (FRA)
Alt.2 Pouille, Lucas (FRA)
Alt.3 Mager, Gianluca (ITA)


ATP 250 Eastbourne (GBR, Grass), qualifying:
OUT Tiafoe, Frances (USA)
OUT Ruusuvuori, Emil (FIN)
OUT Gerasimov, Egor (BLR)
Kwon, Soonwoo (KOR)
OUT Herbert, Pierre-Hugues (FRA)
Gombos, Norbert (SVK)
Ivashka, Ilya (BLR)
Seppi, Andreas (ITA)
Duckworth, James (AUS)
Bagnis, Facundo (ARG)
Ymer, Mikael (SWE)
Anderson, Kevin (RSA)
Kukushkin, Mikhail (KAZ)
Kuzmanov, Dimitar (BUL)
ALT Smith, John-Patrick (AUS)
(WC)
(WC)
Alternates:
OUT Mahut, Nicolas (FRA)
OUT Viola, Matteo (ITA)
OUT Klein, Lukas (SVK)

OUT Zverev, Mischa (GER)
IN Purcell, Max (AUS)
IN Harrison, Christian (USA)
IN Miedler, Lucas (AUT)

OUT Aragone, JC (USA)
IN Blancaneaux, Geoffrey (FRA)
OUT Stricker, Dominic Stephan (SUI)
IN Jianu, Filip Cristian (ROU)

OUT Tirante, Thiago Agustin (ARG)
OUT Mejia, Nicolas (COL)
OUT Pecotic, Matija (CRO)
OUT Sanchez Izquierdo, Nikolas (ESP)

IN Chappell, Nick (USA)
OUT Safranek, Vaclav (CZE)
OUT Mansouri, Skander (TUN)
OUT Cobolli, Flavio (ITA)
OUT Leshem, Edan (ISR)
Alt.1 Saville, Luke (AUS)
Alt.2 Hidalgo, Diego (ECU)
Alt.3 Vanni, Luca (ITA)



ATP 250 Mallorca (ESP, Grass):
Carreno Busta, Pablo (ESP)
Ruud, Casper (NOR)
Khachanov, Karen (RUS)
Humbert, Ugo (FRA)
Lajovic, Dusan (SRB)
Mannarino, Adrian (FRA)
Struff, Jan-Lennard (GER)
Kecmanovic, Miomir (SRB)
Harris, Lloyd (RSA)
OUT Delbonis, Federico (ARG)
OUT Kyrgios, Nick (AUS)
OUT Chardy, Jeremy (FRA)

Pella, Guido (ARG)
Querrey, Sam (USA)
Lopez, Feliciano (ESP)
Sandgren, Tennys (USA)
Andujar, Pablo (ESP)
Simon, Gilles (FRA)
Thompson, Jordan (AUS)
OUT (SE)
OUT (SE)
WC Medvedev, Daniil (RUS)
WC Thiem, Dominic (AUT)
WC Bautista Agut, Roberto (ESP)
Alternates:
IN Vesely, Jiri (CZE)
IN Moutet, Corentin (FRA)
IN Travaglia, Stefano (ITA)
IN Munar, Jaume (ESP)

IN Caruso, Salvatore (ITA)
Alt.1 Giron, Marcos (USA)
Alt.2 Herbert, Pierre-Hugues (FRA)
Alt.3 Pouille, Lucas (FRA)


ATP 250 Mallorca (ESP, Grass), qualifying:
OUT Munar, Jaume (ESP)
OUT Mager, Gianluca (ITA)

Cuevas, Pablo (URU)
Albot, Radu (MDA)
Pouille, Lucas (FRA)
OUT Caruso, Salvatore (ITA)
OUT Hanfmann, Yannick (GER)
Carballes Baena, Roberto (ESP)
Martinez, Pedro (ESP)
Sousa, Joao (POR)
Galan, Daniel Elahi (COL)
Istomin, Denis (UZB)
Bachinger, Matthias (GER)
Kuhn, Nicola (ESP)
(WC)
(WC)
Alternates:
IN Viola, Matteo (ITA)
IN Watanuki, Yosuke (JPN)
IN Klein, Lukas (SVK)
OUT Zverev, Mischa (GER)
OUT Carabelli, Camilo Ugo (ARG)
IN Ortega-Olmedo, Roberto (ESP)
OUT Miedler, Lucas (AUT)
OUT Blancaneaux, Geoffrey (FRA)
Alt.1 Mukund, Sasi Kumar (IND)
Alt.2 Vavassori, Andrea (ITA)

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