Alexander Zverev Saves Match Point, Reaches French Open Round 4 - UBITENNIS
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Alexander Zverev Saves Match Point, Reaches French Open Round 4

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World No. 3 Alexander Zverev survived another five-set battle, saving a match point against Damir Dzumhur of Bosnia in what was a topsy-turvy third round encounter on Court Philippe Chatrier in Paris on Friday. The German prodigy indeed have to thank his stars as he looked to be going out before making a miraculous escape, eventually triumphing 6-2, 3-6, 4-6, 7-6, 7-5 to reach round four of the French Open in three hours and 54 minutes.

Bidding to get his first win over a top 50 player at a Grand Slam, Zverev muscled his way through the opening set with a combination of power and delicate drop shots. Bullying World No. 29 Dzumhur around the court, the second seed capitalized on his opponent’s mistakes at crucial moments. His first break occurred in the third game when Dzumhur produced a double fault to move him ahead to 2-1. Zverev went on to extend the lead to a double break following another error from the Bosnian. Then after 29 minutes of play, Zverev clinched set number one thanks to a Dzumhur shot drifting beyond the baseline.

Zverev started the second set in the same vein as he secured an early break once again. Zverev continued to out-hit and out-think Dzumhur at almost every juncture. He moved up a gear in the ensuing game to back up his break and take firm control of the proceeding in the contest.

However, suddenly the German’s consistency went for a toss as he failed to prevent Damir from mounting a comeback in the match. The Bosnian broke back in the sixth game to even out the scores at 3-3. Dzumhur’s hot streak continued in the subsequent games as well as twice he caught his rival at the net before hitting a winner down the line to break again in the 8th game. Dzumhur won his fifth game in a row to level the match at one set apiece. Zverev fell away after looking the more dominant player at the beginning of the encounter.

Zverev steadied the ship at the start of the third as he quickly got himself on the board. He couldn’t sustain his momentum for a longer duration, though, as he lost his serve in the third game. But, then Dzumhur helped him by producing an erratic game, committing a string of unforced errors to hand the break right back. However, the relief Zverev felt at that stage was short lived as Dzumhur got the all important break of serve in the ninth game before showing his superior net skills to volley his way to a two sets to one lead in the next game.

The quality of tennis went up a couple of notches in the fourth set as neither player was willing to give an inch to the other. It was Dzumhur who raised the bar of his game first as he smashed a sensational crosscourt winner way beyond Zverev to earn a massive break for a 3-2 advantage. But, Zverev wasn’t willing to go out without a fight as he upped the ante and drew a flurry of errors out of a tense Dzumhur to level the scores at 4 games all.

Thereafter Zverev continued to live dangerously. He fell triple break point down, but somehow managed to save all three including one of them with the assistance of a sublime drop shot before holding to his serve for 5-4. His adventurous shot-making, however, couldn’t save him from dropping his serve in the 11th game. Dzumhur served for the match in the 12th game, but nerves got the better of him as he was easily broken Zverev. At 6-6, set No. 4 moved into a tiebreaker.

The tiebreak was a complete disaster for Dzumhur as he completely went off the boil. Zverev on the other hand was hitting his spots well, surging to a 5-1 lead in no time whatsoever. Minutes later, Zverev took the match into a decider with a straight forward 7-3 victory in the tiebreak.

Dzumhur’s poor run continued in the fifth set as he immediately lost his serve in the opening game. In fact, nobody seemed to get going on serve as both players continued to trade breaks. Zverev could see the finish line at 4-3 when he served to take a 5-3 lead, but lost his concentration, handing the break back to Dzumhur for 4-4.

In the tenth game Zverev was forced to dig incredibly deep to stay alive. He saved a match point after surviving several deuce points before hanging on to his serve. The crucial service hold turned out to be the most pivotal moment of the match as he sprang forward and broke Dzumhur’s serve in the next game. The break gave Zverev the opportunity to serve for the match, which he duly did as he went on to accomplish another come from behind victory.

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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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