Roger Federer, Kei Nishikori Voice Concerns Over Calls To Use Towel Rails On Courts - UBITENNIS
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Roger Federer, Kei Nishikori Voice Concerns Over Calls To Use Towel Rails On Courts

The potential idea being trailed at the upcoming Next Gen Finals is a far from popular one on the men’s tour.

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It appears that an initiative to install towel rails on tennis courts in the future could be met with criticism from some high-profile players on the tour.

At present players are given their towels between points by the ball kids. Although this method has come under fire in recent weeks following Fernando Verdasco’s fiery interaction with one ball kid at the Shenzhen Open. The Spaniard has received heavy criticism as he was heard shouting at the youngster and told him to be more faster in handing him his towel. Former Fed Cup captain Judy Murray wrote on Twitter ‘“What about a rule that makes players get their own towels?” in response to Verdasco’s actions.

https://twitter.com/doublefault28/status/1046024008532144131

The controversy has switched focus on the upcoming ATP Next Gen Finals in Italy. For the first time a towel rail will be used for players to get their own towel when required. Removing ball kids from the equation. In the past the tournament has been used to test out new ideas before they are implemented on the tour.

Should the towel rail become a permanent fixture on the ATP Tour, it may not go down too well with some players. 20-time grand slam champion Roger Federer has expressed his concern about the idea. Arguing that players will have less time to get ready between rallies. Under current rules, players are allowed a maximum of 25 seconds between points. Should they violate that, they are subjected to penalties from the umpire.

“I think the idea of having the ball kids bring it (the towel) to you is to speed up the points in between.” Federer said following his second round win at the Shanghai Masters on Tuesday.
“If now you’ve got a hook or a rail in the back, It’s like are you wasting extra three seconds of time each and every point?”
“Which doesn’t sound like a lot, but you add that over a five-hour match, next thing you know, you saw much less tennis.”

Former US Open finalist Kei Nishikori also expressed a similar viewpoint to that of Federer. The Japanese No.1 says players are already ‘struggling’ to keep within the time limit.

“Maybe I don’t prefer that one. Maybe that may take some time,” he said.
“Sometimes you have to rush for the point. You have to think about the point, next points. So it may be good for tennis, but I think some of the players struggling too.”

Respect the ball kids

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When questioned by the media over Verdasco’s incident, 37-year-old Federer has stated that all players must ‘respect’ ball kids on the court. The world No,2, who was a ball boy during the 1991 Swiss Open, refrained from criticising his Spanish rival.

“Sure you always want to respect the ball kids for who they are and the great job that they’re doing,” Federer explained.
“But it’s not easy for each and every player to control their emotions exactly.” He added.

Whilst there was no criticism directed at Verdasco, Federer has insisted that ball kids must be given a positive environment to work in at tournaments. Citing his own experience during his youth.

“The ball kids are really important to us because they are also maybe the future of our game,” Federer stated.
“I was happy when I left a tennis tournament, I felt like, ‘oh man, it was just all good’.”
“There were no negatives, so you don’t want to have them leave feeling like, oh my god, like I was not appreciated or I was not liked or it was actually a horrible thing, you know?
“So yes, it needs to be taken care of.”

As things currently stand, the ATP has not publicly commented about the possibility of towel racks being used throughout the World Tour in the future.

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Kei Nishikori completes his third came-back win to reach the quarter final at the Australian Open

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Kei Nishikori won his third five-set match at this year’s edition of the Australian Open by completing his third come-back from two sets down with a 6-7 (8-10) 4-6 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 7-6 (10-8) win over Pablo Carreno Busta after a 5-hour and 5-minute battle.

Kei Nishikori lived up to his reputation as a marathon man, when he completed his third come-from-behind win at the 2019 Australian Open following up his previous two five-set wins over Kamil Majchrzak and Ivo Karlovic.

Carreno Busta went down a break twice in the early stages of the opening set, but he managed to pull back both breaks in the fourth and sixth games to draw level to 3-3. Nishikori got an early mini-break to take a 2-0 lead, but Carreno Busta won three consecutive points for 3-2 after three errors from Nishikori. The Spaniard did not convert three set points at 6-5, 7-6 and 8-7, but he converted his fourth chance for 10-8 with a forehand winner.

Carreno Busta went up a set and a break with two forehand winners in the third game before saving two break points at 2-1. The Spanish player did not convert two set points at 5-3, when he made two forehand errors as Nishikori was serving at 15-40, but he closed out the second set at love in the 10th game.

Nishikori went down a break in the fifth game of the third set, but he broke straight back in the sixth game to draw level to 3-3. Nishikori won the tie-break 7-4 to keep his hopes alive Nishikori broke serve in the first game of the fourth set at 30, but Carreno Busta broke straight back to draw level to 2-2. Nishikori broke for the second time in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead and earned three break points for 5-2 in the seventh game, but Carreno Busta held his serve. Nishikori held his next three service games at love to seal the fourth set 6-4.

Nishikori converted his third break point chance in the third game of the fifth set to take a 2-1 lead. The Japanese player came back from 15-40 down in the sixth game to hold his serve at deuce for 4-2, but he dropped his serve while he was serving for the match in the 10th game at 5-4. Carreno Busta built up a 8-5 lead in the decisive super tie-break, but Nishikori reeled off the final five points to seal a thrilling five-set match.

“I don’t know what to say. That was the toughest match. I have no idea how I broke back and I fough my way through. It was a great match. I feel like I have not played enough. It hasn’t been easy of course, especially not today. It was hard against Karlovic with a super tie-break, but today had longer rallies”, said Nishikori.

The Japanese star will face Novak Djokovic, who beat Danil Medvedev 6-4 6-7 6-3 6-2 in his fourth round match. Djokovic leads 15-2 in his 17 head-to-head matches against Nishikori.

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Lucas Pouille beats Borna Coric in four sets to set up a quarter final against Milos Raonic in Melbourne

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Lucas Pouille upset Borna Coric in four sets by the scoreline of 6-7 (4-7) 6-4 7-5 7-6 (7-2) after 3 hours and 15 minutes to reach the quarter final at the Australian Open in Melbourne.

Pouille set up a quarter final against Canadian player Milos Raonic, who beat Alexander Zverev 6-1 6-1 7-6 (7-5). The Frenchman has not won a single set in his three head-to-head matches against Raonic.

Coric broke serve in the first game of the opening set, but Pouille pulled back the break in the fourth game to draw level to 2-2. Both players held serve in the next games to set up a tie-break. Coric converted the first of his two set points at 6-4 in the tie-break with his ninth ace to close out the first set.

Pouille got the only break in the seventh game of the second set to draw level to 1 set apiece after Coric made his fourth double fault the match and a forehand error.

Both players held their serve in the first ten games of the third set. Coric went down 0-40 on serve in the 11th game, but he managed to saved the first two break points. Pouille converted his third opportunity with a forehand winner to seal the third set 7-5.

Pouille got an immediate break in the first game of the fourth set. Coric converted his fourth break-back point chance at deuce to draw level to 4-4 setting up a second tie-break. Pouille sealed the win on his first match point, when Coric made his 55th unforced error of the match.

Pouille fired 57 winners and won 66 % of his second serve points.

Lucas Pouille has become the 13th French player to reach the quarter final at the Australian Open and the first since Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in 2017. The Frenchman reached the third quarter final at Grand Slam level in his career after Wimbledon and the US Open in 2016.

Pouille lost in the first round for the fifth consecutive year at the 2018 edition of the Australian Open and won his fifth title in Montpellier against his compatriot Richard Gasquet after saving two match points in the semifinal against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Pouille reached a career-high of world number 10 after advancing to his third ATP Tour level final in Dubai, where he lost against Roberto Bautista Agut. After a difficult second half of the season Pouille hired Amelie Mauresmo as his new coach.

“It feels great. It has been a tough match against Borna. He is one of the best players in the world. The last time we played I lost 6-4 in the third set, so I knew what to expect. A few points here and there. In the first tie-break I had 5-4 and made two lets and the ball went out. It was just a few details that made the difference. I am now very happy to be in the quarter final. The atmosphere is great here. In the previous round I played against Popyrin, an Australian guy, and the atmosphere was just electric”,said Pouille.

Pouille has not won a set in his three head-to-head matches against his next rival Milos Raonic and lost in straight sets against the Canadian player in their previous head-to-head match at the 2016 Australian Open.

“He is playing well. I watched the match against Alexander Zverev. I am going to be ready for it and try to reach my first semifinal”,said Pouille.

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Racket-Smashing Alexander Zverev Unfazed By Shock Australian Open Exit

The world No.4 reacts to his disappointing loss at Melbourne Park.

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‘I’m not happy, but I’m not depressed’ was Alexander Zverev’s response to his surprise defeat to Milos Raonic at the Australian Open.

The German fourth seed produced an erratic performance during his 6-1, 6-1, 7-6(5), loss to the world No.17 as he failed to hold serve in six out of his first seven service games. Zverev’s lacklustre performance saw him make more unforced errors than winners (23-21) and produced 10 double faults. At one stage of the match, Zverev let his own emotions get the better of him. Trailing 1-6, 1-4, he decided to destroy one of his rackets on the court. An act that unsurprisingly earned him a code violation.

“It made me feel better. I was very angry, so I let my anger out.” Zverev said during his press conference.
“I played bad. The first two sets, especially, I played horrible. I mean, it’s just tough to name one thing. I didn’t serve well, didn’t play well from the baseline. Against a quality player like him, it’s tough to come back from that.”

https://twitter.com/espn/status/1087214145957752833

Monday’s loss continues Zverev’s patchy record in grand slam tournaments. Tipped by many as a future world No.1 in the sport, he has only managed to reach the quarter-finals of a major in one out of 15 attempts. His sole success was at the French Open last year. On the other hand, his run to the last 16 in Melbourne was his best run yet at the tournament.

“I’m not happy, but I’m not depressed, either. It’s fine. It’s a tennis match.” He reflected.
“I have learned to take tennis matches as tennis matches and not the end of the world. If I would think it’s the end of the world every time I lose a tennis match, I would be very depressed about 15 to 20 times a year. So I’m not going to do that.”

Heading into the Australian Open, there were concerns about Zverev’s fitness. The week prior he was dealing with issues concerning his hamstring and foot. However, the 21-year-old ruled out that any kind of injury had an impact of his match against Raonic.

Trying to pinpoint the cause of his display, the world No.4 admitted that he would have liked a longer off-season. Zverev ended 2018 by winning the ATP Finals on November 19th and returned to action on December 30th to play in the Hopman Cup alongside Angelique Kerber.

“For sure, I didn’t have a very long off-season, didn’t have a lot of rest. But, you know, this is us as tennis players. I’m happy how the season ended. I wouldn’t want it the other way.” Zverev stated.
“It’s always a give and take. If the season is 11 months long, it’s always that kind of give and take in what you do, how you rest, and how much work you put in. That’s just how it is for us tennis players.” He added.

Zverev’s conqueror Raonic will play either Lucas Pouille or Borna Coric in the next round.

Zverev’s grand slam record

Tournament 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 W–L Win %
Australian Open A Q1 1R 3R 3R 4R 7–4 64%
French Open A Q2 3R 1R QF 6–3 67%
Wimbledon A 2R 3R 4R 3R 8–4 67%
US Open Q2 1R 2R 2R 3R 4–4 50%
Win–Loss 0–0 1–2 5–4 6–4 10–4 3–1 25–15 62%

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