David Goffin saves four match points to battle past Gael Monfils at Roland Garros - UBITENNIS
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David Goffin saves four match points to battle past Gael Monfils at Roland Garros

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David Goffin battled past Gael Monfils 6-7 (6-8) 6-3 4-6 7-5 6-3 after 3 hours and 58 minutes after saving four match points in the 10th game of the fourth set. Goffin won the 38th Grand Slam match of his career and reached the fourth round at Roland Garros for the fourth time.

 

The match featured a total of 39 break points. Goffin broke 11times to Monfils’ 8. Both players traded breaks in the second and third games. Goffin held his serve in the fourth game after saving three break points. Monfils saved two break points in the fifth game. The set went on serve until the tie-break where Monfils edged by 8-6. Goffin went up a double break to open up a 4-0 lead. Monfils pulled one break back in the seventh game for 2-5, when Goffin was serving for the set. Goffin served out for the set at 30 to win the second set 6-3.

Goffin was leading by a break in the first game to take a 3-2 lead in the third set before the match was suspended on Friday. Monfils broke back to draw level to 3-3. Both players traded breaks in the seventh and eighth games to draw level to 4-4. Monfils won the final two games of the third set including a break at love in the 10th game to win the third set 6-4.

Both players traded breaks in the fourth and fifth games of the fourth set. In the 10th game Goffin was on verge of defeat, when Monfils was serving for the match at 5-4 in the fourth set. The Belgian fended off four match points in a very long 10th game to draw level to 5-5 before getting the decisive break in the 11th game at deuce to clinch the fourth set.

After a trade of breaks at the start of the fifth set Goffin got two breaks in the third and seventh games to open up a 5-2 lead. Monfils pulled one of the two breaks back in the eighth game but Goffin sealed the win with his fourth break of the fifth set to book his spot in the fourth round where he will face Italian Marco Cecchinato, who beat Pablo Carreno Busta 2-6 7-6 6-3 6-1.

“During the four match points I was just focused on what I had to do. I just had to control the point and to be aggressive, because I knew if I gave him only one opportunity to take the point, he will take it with his forehand. So I had to be aggressive, and that’s what I did”, said Goffin to atpworldtour.com.

Karen Khachanov beat Lucas Pouille 6-3 7-5 6-3 in another match, which was suspended on Friday, as the Russian player was leading 6-3 7-5 1-1. Khachanov beat Pouille for the second time in his career on French soil after beating the Frenchman in the final of the Open 13 in Marseille.

Khachanov will take on number 2 seed Alexander Zverev, who battled past Damir Dzumhur 6-2 3-6 4-6 7-6 7-5.

“We know each other pretty well from juniors. Zverev is a tough opponent, but we are in the fourth round. Only the best players are still in the tournament, so hopefully it can be a good match”, said Khachanov.

Diego Schwartzman beat this year’s Indian Wells semifinalist Borna Coric 7-5 6-3 6-3. The Argentine got his only break in the 11th game to take the first set 7-5. He broke twice in the first and ninth games to win the second set 6-3. He went up a double break to open up a 4-0 lead to start a streak of four consecutive breaks. Schwartzman dropped his serve in the fifth game, but broke serve for the third time to open up a 5-1 lead. Coric broke for the second time at love for 2-5 but Schwartzman broke at love to seal the third set 6-3 setting up a fourth round against Kevin Anderson, who beat Misha Zverev 6-1 6-7 6-3 7-6.

 

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Rival Backs Dominic Thiem To Win Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award

Only two players have won the award since 2004.

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For the past 15 years only two players have managed to get their hands on the prestigious Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award, but one player thinks there could be a brand new winner this year.

 

Diego Schwartzman has lent his support behind world No.4 Dominic Thiem. The award recognizes those who have conducted the highest level of professionalism and integrity on the ATP Tour throughout the season. Established in 1977, Roger Federer has won the honour in 13 out of the past 15 years. The only other player to triumph during that period was Rafael Nadal, who won it in 2010 and 2018.

“I think Thiem can win it, he showed throughout the year a competitiveness and a respect with everyone that was spectacular,” Schwartzman told ole.com. “On top of that he is having great years of his career and this season was even better for the achievements he had.’
“He has a good chance of winning it.” He added.

Schwartzman, who reached the quarter-finals of the US Open earlier this year, has also been shortlisted for the award. Along with regular nominees Federer and Nadal. Only once has an Argentinian player won the title, which was José Luis Clerc back in 1981. At that time it was known as the ATP Sportsmanship award before getting renamed in 1996.

“I learned first (of getting nominated) through social networks rather than the official designation that the ATP sends you by mail.” The 27-year-old revealed.
“It is more spectacular than anything for the players I have next to me. It is a very important prize that recognizes a little what you do off the court, not only hitting the ball.”

Whilst he is dreaming of winning the honour himself, Schwartzman is just happy that he has been nominated.

“If I won this award, it would be spectacular. Now I am on that payroll that is very good and represents the values ​​that I try to maintain on a day-to-day basis and that (my coaching teams over the years) have taught me. It is very nice to be recognized for that. “ He concluded.

The four nominees for the Stefan Edberg Award was shortlisted by the ATP. However, it will be the players who will decide the winner. The result will be revealed later this month.

Multiple winners of the Stefan Edberg/ATP Sportsmanship award

Roger Federer – 13
Stefan Edberg – 5
Pat Rafter – 4
Alex Corretja – 2
Todd Martin – 2
Paradorn Srichaphan – 2
Rafael Nadal – 2

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Kei Nishikori In Doubt For The Australian Open

Asia’s highest ranked male tennis player is contemplating when he should return to the tour following surgery.

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Kei Nishikori (photo by chryslène caillaud, copyright @Sport Vision)

World No.13 Kei Nishikori is refusing to rule out the prospect of skipping the first grand slam event of 2020 as he continues his recovery from surgery.

 

Nishikori hasn’t played a match on the tour since his third round loss at the US Open back in September. A month later he underwent a procedure on his right elbow in a move that brought his season to an early end. Currently undergoing rehabilitation, it is unclear as to when the Japanese player believes he will return to the ATP Tour.

“The prospect of a return from surgery on right elbow in January. Maybe February. In the second half of next year I want to be able to play well.” Nikkan Sports quoted Nishikori as saying.
“I don’t want to overdo it,” he added.

The Australian Open will get underway on January 20th in Melbourne. Should he miss the grand slam, it will be the second time he has done so in the last three years. Nishikori also withdrew from the 2018 edition due to a wrist injury. In January he reached the quarter-finals and therefore has 360 points to defend next year.

During his time away from the court, the 29-year-old has been kept busy making changes to his team. Recently it was confirmed that he has started working alongside Max Mirnyi, who is a former world No.1 doubles player. Mirnyi, who has won 10 grand slam titles in men’s and mixed doubles, will be working full-time with Nishikori alongside existing coach Michael Chang.

“I’m getting closer to retirement. I want to be cured and come back to play good tennis in the second half of next year.” Nishikori stated.

Despite the injury setback, Nishikori has enjoyed success in 2019. Reaching the quarter-finals in three out of the four grand slam tournaments. The first time he has ever done that in his career. He also claimed his 12th ATP title at the Brisbane International. Overall, he won 29 out of 43 matches played.

Nishikori will turn 30 on December 29th.

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Family Of Venezuelan Doubles Star Launches GoFundMe Page For Cancer Treatment

Roberto Maytin was playing on the Challenger tour less than a month ago, but now faces a new battle.

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One of Venezuela’s highest ranked players on the ATP Tour is facing challenges off the court after being recently diagnosed with cancer.

 

Roberto Maytin, who currently has a doubles ranking of 136th, is undergoing treatment for testicular cancer Non-Seminoma. Non-seminomas are made up of different types of tumour, such as teratomas, embryonal tumours, yolk sac tumours and choriocarcinomas. Maytin’s brother Ricardo has launched a GoFundMe page to help cover the costs. The tennis player made $19,441 in prize money this season, which doesn’t factor into account numerous expenses such as travel, accommodation and paying for his coaching team.

“If life gives you a chance to live longer, I think nobody would miss the opportunity. In this plane, we all want to be (alive) for years however we forget that we are with a 50% chance of leaving at any time every day.” The fundraising page reads.
“My brother was diagnosed with testicular cancer NO Seminoma, at 30 years old. He now faces a crucial match that life has put him for growth as an individual, as a man and as an athlete. He is forced to undergo 4 stages of aggressive chemotherapy in order to heal at all and leave no trace of a Cancer that has been moving for months causing some damage.”

A former top 25 junior player, Maytin is one of only two players from his country to be ranked inside the top 200 in either singles or doubles on the men’s tour. This season he has won four Challenger titles across America. However, he has only played in one ATP Tour event since the start of 2018. He achieved a ranking high of 85th in the doubles back in 2015.

Once a student at Baylor University in Texas, Maytin formed a successful partnership with former world No.2 doubles player John Peers. Together they earned All-American honours with a win-loss of 36-5 and reached the quarter-finals of the 2011 NCAA tournament.

Maytin is also a regular fixture in his country’s Davis Cup team. Since 2007 he has played 15 ties and won 10 out of 16 matches played.

“I am also clear that the family is the gift of God for each one of us, so in this way and in whatever way I will put my desire and my energy so that my Brother Roberto Maytin, a Venezuelan professional tennis player, is back to the courts, which is where he belongs as soon as possible.”

Almost $25,000 has been raised so far to fund Maytin’s treatment. Click here to visit his GoFundMe page.

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