Stefan Edberg Backs Zverev To Win Grand Slam Titles In The Future - UBITENNIS
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Stefan Edberg Backs Zverev To Win Grand Slam Titles In The Future

The Swedish legend talked about the Next Gen star as well as the current state of the sport in his home country.

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Former world No.1 Stefan Edberg believes that it will be ‘only a matter of time’ before Alexander Zverev wins a major title.

 

Edberg, who won six grand slam trophies during his career, believes the world No.3 has what it takes to go to the top. 21-year-old Zverev is positioned as the most likely successor to take over from the ‘big four’ in the future. He has already won eight titles on the tour, including three at Masters 1000 level.

“He had his big breakthrough in 2017 with some tournament victories. Everyone will agree if I say that he has the weapons and punches to win big titles. He will win a Grand Slam – it’s only a matter of time. Whether it will be this year, next year or two years is hard to predict.” Edberg told German publication Tennis Magazin.

Zverev’s record at grand slams has improved in recent time, but he is yet to secure a significant breakthrough. At the French Open he achieved his best run in a major event by reaching the quarter-finals. It was a far from straightforward task for the German, who won three consecutive five-sets matches on route. Becoming only the eighth player in the Open Era to do so at a grand slam. His momentum was halted by Dominic Thiem, who went on to play Rafael Nadal in the final.

“It would be good for many reasons, not only for German tennis, but also generally for tennis, if he makes the breakthrough in the Grand Slams.” Edberg commented.

Renowned for his serve-and-volley tennis on the tour, which was a common practice during the 1980s, Edberg believes Zverev will become better at playing at the net as he matures. Zverev’s brother Mischa remains one of the few players that continues to conduct an old-school serve-and-volley approach on the court.

“He is still very young. He will improve his volley game. But it is not enough to practice it in training, he has to do it in the match. It runs like this: fail, fail again, succeed, fail, succeed. And then one day he will have internalized it.” Edberg explained.
“You have to use your strengths and work on them. Many people focus on their weaknesses instead of hone the things they are really good at. When you work on your strengths, you automatically improve your weaknesses.”

The decline in Swedish tennis

Edberg played during a period where Sweden was regarded as one of the strongest tennis nations in the world. Besides him, there were also Mats Wilander, Magnus Norman and Bjorn Borg. In 2018 Swedish tennis is in a very different situation with there currently being no male ranked in the world’s top 100. The highest is Elias Ymer at 105th.

”During the eighties, I was constantly asked why Swedish men’s tennis is so successful. Now it is the opposite. I have no suitable answers.” He said.
“The times have changed. Since tennis is in the Olympics again, there is more competition. Many associations have more money available. Maybe we have lost some of our expertise in Sweden as well.
“It will be a while before we have a top player again.”

Earlier this month, another former Swedish player, Robin Soderling, spoke about the state of Swedish tennis. Soderling, who reached a high of fourth back in 2010, believes part of the blame is down to the national association. Accusing them of failing to adapt to the changes occurring in the sport over the years.

“I think the federation, the coaches in Sweden got a little bit lazy because one thing had been working for so many years, and they thought it would just be working by itself in the future.” He said.
“But when the tennis changed, the sport improved, I don’t think the coaches really improved. They didn’t see what was going on, and they were coaching the players in the same way.”

Overall, there are currently three Swedish players ranked in the top 300. Besides Ymer, there are also two on the Women’s tour. Johanna Larsson (62) and Rebecca Peterson (76).

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Richard Gasquet upsets Danil Medvedev in Geneva

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Richard Gasquet upset Danil Medvedev 6-2 7-6 (7-5) with three breaks of serve in 90 minutes to reach the second round at the Gonet Geneva Open. 

 

Gasquet scored his first win over an opponent ranked in the top 2 since he beat world number 1 Roger Federer at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters 2005. 

Medvedev had beaten Gasquet in their only previous head-to-head match at the 2021 US Open en route to his first Grand Slam title. 

Medvedev was playing his first match since Miami in March after undegoing hernia surgery.

Gasquet won six consecutive games from 2-2 in the first set and built up a 6-2 2-0 lead.  

Medveved dropped his serve after three double faults with three double faults. The Russian player broke back in the sixth game to draw level to 3-3 and held serve at love with an ace. 

Medvedev recovered from a mini-break down in the tie-break. Gasquet earned his third mini-break to win the tie-break 7-5. 

The Frenchman will face Kamil Majchrzak, who cruised past Marco Cecchinato 6-2 6-3.

Thanasi Kokkinakis earned his first win on clay in seven years with a 6-4 6-3 win over Fabio Fognini in 1 hour and 28 minutes. 

Kokkinakis went up a break to take a 4-1 lead. Fognini broke back in the seventh game to draw level to 4-4.  Kokkinakis broke serve at love in the tenth game to claim the first set 6-4. 

Fognini made two double faults and missed three game points before dropping serve in the second game of the second set. Kokkinakis did not face any break points in his remaining four service games. 

Christopher O’Connell edged past Albert Ramos Vinolas 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 to set up a second round match against Reilly Opelka. 

Paulo Sousa cruised past 2021 semifinalist Pablo Andujar 6-1 6-4. Sousa will face Nikoloz Basilashvili, who was leading 6-4 before Facundo Bagnis retired from the match.

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Former Finalist Marketa Vondrousova To Miss French Open Following Surgery

The Olympic silver medallist will miss a Grand Slam tournament for the first time in two-and-a-half years.

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Image via https://twitter.com/WTA_insider

Czech world No.35 Marketa Vondrousova has pulled out of next week’s French Open after undergoing what she describes as a ‘small surgery.’

 

Vondrousova, who reached the final at Roland Garros back in 2019, underwent a procedure on her left wrist after experiencing recurring pain. She decided to do so following a medical consultation and will be soon going through rehab. It will be the first Grand Slam event she has missed since the 2019 US Open which she also withdrew from due to a wrist injury.

“The last few weeks were not easy, I have been experiencing recurring pain in my wrist,” Vondrousova wrote in an Instagram post published on Monday. “After seeing a couple of doctors I decided to get this small surgery done to be able to play pain-free.”
“Staying positive through the recovery and can’t wait to be back on the court soon,”
she added.

The 22-year-old last played on Tour at the Stuttgart Open where she lost in the first round to Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur. So far this season she has achieved a win-loss record of 13-5 with her best run being to the semi-finals of the Dubai Tennis Championships as a qualifier. Vondrousova also reached the fourth round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells and defeated Emma Raducanu in the Billie Jean Cup.

A former junior world No.1, Vondrousova has been ranked as high as 14th in the world. So far in her career, she has won just one WTA title which was back in 2017 at the Lugano Open in Switzerland. However, she has reached the final at another four events with the last being at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. She has scored a total of six wins over top 10 players.

Another player in doubt for the French Open is defending champion Barbora Krejcikova who hasn’t played a match on the Tour since February. The world No.2 has been sidelined from action due to an elbow injury but remains on the entry list for the Grand Slam which will begin on Sunday.

The French Open draw will take place on Thursday.

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Roger Federer’s Team8 Considering Bid To Buy Cincinnati Masters Rights From USTA

The potential move has gained support from one former world No.1 player who says ‘it is nice to see responsible names’ in the mix to buy the prestigious event.

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Roger Federer Wimbledon 2021
Roger Federer (SUI) playing against Adrian Mannarino (FRA) in the first round of the Gentlemen's Singles on Centre Court at The Championships 2021. Held at The All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon. Day 2 Tuesday 29/06/2021. Credit: AELTC/Jed Leicester

It is understood that sports and entertainment company Team8 which was co-founded by Roger Federer is looking into potentially submitting an application for ownership of the Cincinnati Masters, according to two sources.

 

Sports business publication Sportico and Steve Weissman from The Tennis Channel have both reported that the business is among a number of interested parties who want to buy the event that is best known as the Western and Southern Open. In February this year it was confirmed that the USTA is selling their 93.8% stake in the tournament for a ‘nine-figure sum.’ It is understood that the organization doesn’t want the event to be relocated from Cincinnati in part of any deal.

“The USTA’s Board of Directors believes now is the right time to explore potential strategic options and alternatives in order to optimize the long-term growth of the tournament and take the tournament to the next level,” the USTA said in a statement published by tennis.com.

The USTA brought the rights to the men’s event back in 2009 for $12.5M and has since spent an additional $65M. Whilst Cincinnati is a combined tournament, the ongoing negotiations only apply to the men’s section. The women’s tournament is overseen by Octagon management.

Neither Federer or a member of Team8 have commented on the reported plans. The company was founded by the 20-time Grand Slam champion and his agent Tony Godsick back in 2013. Since then they have been involved in the creation of the Laver Cup, became a ‘major investor’ in the Universal Tennis system and are a ‘strategic investor and partner’ to On Running.

Should Team8 become the new owners, questions may arise about conflicts of interest with Federer still being an active player on Tour. The 40-year-old is currently sidelined from action due to a knee injury but is aiming to stage a comeback at the Swiss Open later this year. However, former world No.1 Andy Roddick has given his full backing to the possible takeover.

“In the world of tennis, where conflicts of interest know no bounds at all, Roger can do this. He has, obviously, been a great steward for the game and has created an incredible relationship with the fans in the city of Cincinnati. You’d like to see it stay in the tennis family with someone who actually knows and loves our sport.” Roddick told The Tennis Channel.

Federer has won the Cincinnati Masters a record seven times in his career.

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