Toni Nadal Believes Roger Federer Will Not Win Another Grand Slam - UBITENNIS
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Toni Nadal Believes Roger Federer Will Not Win Another Grand Slam

The former coach of Rafael Nadal has shared his opinion on the future of men’s tennis and what to expect in 2019.

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The former coach and uncle of Rafael Nadal believes it will be ‘difficult’ for Roger Federer to win another grand slam title in 2019.

 

Toni Nadal, who was the key coach of Rafael during the majority of his career, believes the glittering career of the Swiss star in the majors is coming to an end. Federer has won a record 20 grand slam titles with his last occurring in January at the Australian Open. However, more recently, he has suffered disappointment in the big tournaments. At Wimbledon he fell in the quarter-finals to Kevin Anderson. Then at the US Open he lost in the fourth round to Australian underdog John Millman. It is the first year Federer has managed to reach the semifinals at only one out of the four grand slams since 2013.

“I’m not sure what we can expect from 2019, but it seems difficult for us to see Federer lifting another Grand Slam trophy,” Toni Nadal wrote in his weekly column for El Pais.
“I have to confess, though, that I have said this on other occasions about him and he has repeatedly surprised me.”

Federer is currently the oldest player in the top 100 at the age of 37. Nevertheless, the world No.3 is showing no signs of retiring from the sport soon as he outlines his goals for the off-season after a mixed second half of 2018. Prior to his last tournament of the year, Federer had only won two out of six matches against top 10 players. On the other hand, he has won four titles this year with the last occurring in October at the Swiss Indoors.

“As far as tennis is concerned, I would like to find my way back to the net more often,” he told Tages-Anzeiger about his plans for the off-season.
“And of course I want to whip the forehand right again.
“Then there is the condition training with Pierre (Paganini).
“Of course, deciding whether to play on clay or not has an impact on the training program.”

Federer will return back to the tour at the start of January in the Hopman Cup, where he will be teaming up with Belinda Bencic.

The rise of the Next Gen

Elsewhere is his column for El Pais, uncle Toni has also noted that there has been a momentum shift among the next generation following the ATP Finals. At the event Alexander Zverev scored back-to-back wins over Federer and Novak Djokovic to claim the biggest title of his career. The German is one of three players to have defeated Djokovic since Wimbledon, along with Stefanos Tsitsipas and Karen Khachanov. All three of those players are under the age of 22.

“For some time I had my doubts about whether the youngsters would be able to overcome the game of Federer on grass, the one of Djokovic on the fast courts and the one of Rafael on clay. The final in London has made me think about it,” he wrote.
“I think we’ve seen, at last, a quality leap in the Next Gen game.”

Looking ahead to 2019 Toni expects the rising stars to figure more prominently on the tour along with a a ‘fully fit’ Nadal. The 11-time French Open champion hasn’t played since the US Open due to injury issues concerning his abdomen and knee. He also recently underwent surgery to fix a minor issue with his ankle.

“For the coming year, I trust in the full physical recovery of Rafael, I feel new episodes of his rivalry with Djokovic will occur and, in general, a more open panorama (of the men’s tour) with the incorporation of the new generation.”

Zverev, who has won four titles in 2018, is the only member of the Next Gen to finish the season in the top 10. The second highest is 20-year-old Tsitsipas at 15th.

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Dominic Thiem and Alexander Zverev reach the second round in Hamburg

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Dominic Thiem beat 2016 finalist Pablo Cuevas 6-3 7-6 (7-3) after 1 hour and 40 minutes in the first round of the Hamburg European Open to score his 24th win of the season and the 250th win of his career.

 

Thiem beat Cuevas for the fifth time in his seventh head-to-head clash against Cuevas and for the third time this year after his previous wins in Buenos Aires and at Roland Garros.

Thiem broke serve in the second game of the opening set after a lucky net cord return and hit a service winner in the ninth game to seal the first set 6-3. Both players traded breaks at the start of the start of the second set. Cuevas fended off a break point chance in the fifth game. Both players stayed neck and neck in the next game setting up a second set.

Thiem earned a mini-break at 2-1 after two mini-breaks from Cuevas. The Austrian player got a double mini-break with a backhand down the line winner on the ninth point. He closed out the match with a service winner on the next point.

“I wish that the grass court season would have been longer. I love this surface, but it was only one match unfortunately. I hope that I can do it better next year. I am back on clay for two weeks and the last two weeks of the year, so I will try to enjoy the mas much as possible”, said Thiem.

Last year’s ATP Finals champion Alexander Zverev made a winning start to his campaign in his home tournament with a 6-4 6-2 victory over last week’s Bastad winner Nicolas Jarry in 71 minutes. Zverev converted four of his six break point chances and saved four of the five chances he faced. Zverev broke serve in the third game to build up a 5-2 lead, when Jarry netted a backhand.

Zverev did not convert three set points, as he was serving for the set. He dropped five consecutive points before serving out the set at 5-4. Both players went on serve in the first four games before Zverev broke at 15 in the fifth game, when Jarry netted a backhand. The German player held serve at love before earning a break to build up a 5-2 after a forehand error from Jarry. The Chilean player earned two break points in the eighth game, as Zverev was serving for the win. Zverev saved them before sealing the second set 6-2 with an ace.

Nikoloz Basilashvili beat Bolivian qualifier Hugo Dellien 6-4 6-3 after 67 minutes. This year’s Monte-Carlo champion Fabio Fognini came back from one set down to beat Julian Lenz 6-4 6-4 setting up a match against Rudolf Molleker. Former Hamburg finalist Richard Gasquet beat Indian qualifier Sumit Nagal 6-2 7-6 (7-3) setting up a match against his compatriot Jeremy Chardy. Federico Delbonis saved three match points to beat Marco Cecchinato 6-7 (5-7) 7-6 (7-3) 6-2.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Rudolf Molleker knocks out two-time champion Leonardo Mayer in Hamburg

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German 18-year-old Next Gen player Rudolf Molleker knocked out 2014 and 2017 Hamburg champion Leonardo Mayer 7-6 (8-6) 6-4 after 1 hour and 39 minutes at the Hamburg European Open.

 

Molleker beat Mayer in 2017 in the Hamburg qualifying round, but Mayer got a spot in the main draw as a lucky loser and went on to win the title.

Molleker fended off all three break points in two consecutive games of the first set, before saving two set points in the tie-break. He sealed the second set with a single break.

The German teenager saved two break points in the seventh game with two service games with two service winners and one more chance in the ninth game to set up a tie-break. Mayer took the lead twice at 6-5 and 8-7, but Molleker saved both chances with two winners and sealed the tie-break on the 18th point after a double fault from Mayer.

Molleker earned an early break at the start of the second set and held his service games in the next games before sealing the win with a service winner at 5-4 to secure his spot in the round of 16.

Marton Fucsovics cruised past Phillip Kohlschreiber 6-3 6-0 dropping just 16 points on serve. Fucsovics got an early break in the fourth game to clinch the opening set 6-3. The Hungarian player broke three times in a one-sided second set and sealed the win with a service winner.

Andrey Rublev, who lost in the second round at Wimbledon and Umag, edged this year’s Munich and Houston champion Christian Garin 6-4 7-6 (7-5) after 1 hour and 39 minutes to score his second win over the Chilean player this year. Rublev broke three times to seal the opening set 6-4. The Russian player got the break back at 4-5 in the second set to set up a tie-break, which he sealed 7-5.

Jeremy Chardy came back from losing the first set to beat Jeremy Chardy 6-7 (4-7) 7-5 6-3 after 2 hours and 34 minutes. Paire fended off a set point at 4-5 in the opening set to clinch the tie-break 7-4. Paire got a late break in the second set, but Chardy won two games at 5-5 to force the match to the third set. Chardy went up a double break to seal the third set 6-3.

Martin Klizan converted all five break points to cruise past Daniel Altmaier 6-2 6-2.

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Nicolas Jarry Breaks New Ground To Win The Swedish Open

The 23-year-old has become the latest player to win their first ATP title in 2019.

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Nicolas Jarry (@FOXSport_Chile - Twitter)

Chilean fifth seed Nicolas Jarry has won his first ATP title at the Swedish Open after prevailing in straight sets on Sunday.

 

The world No.64 held his nerve to edge his way past Argentina’s Juan Inacio Londero 7-6(3), 6-4. Playing in only his third ATP final, Jarry dropped serve once as he blasted 10 aces and won 76% of the points behind his first serve. Becoming the first person his country to win the tournament since Luis Ayala back in 1960.

“I’m very happy to be able to have this (the title). I know it is not very easy to get the first one in anything that you do. I’m really happy.” Jarry said during the trophy presentation.
“I want to say thank you to my team. I have a big team back home and we are very united. This is for all of them and all of my family who has been there since I was born.”

Jarry achieved his career milestone without dropping a set during the entire tournament. Earlier in the week he also scored wins over Jeremy Chardy and Frederico Delbonis. Londero was the only seeded player he faced in Sweden this year. Overall, he was broken eight times in six matches played.

The 23-year-old isn’t the first member of his family to win a title on the men’s tour. His grandfather is Jaime Fillol, who is a former top 20 player that reached the quarter-finals of the 1975 US Open. During his career, Fillol claimed eight trophies and was the former president of the ATP.

“He is one of the best Chilean tennis players. He taught me the sport since I was little,” Jarry told atptour.com earlier this week. “He took me to great tournaments. I remember Wimbledon when I was 12 and I remember going to the US Open a couple of times. There used to be an ATP [tournament] in Santiago, so I was always involved in the tennis.”

The new Swedish Open champion is the second player from Chile to win a title in 2019. Christian Garin claimed his maiden title back in April at the US Men’s Clay Court Championships in Houston. He then went on to win the Munich Open, which is also a clay-court event.

Jarry exits Sweden with 250 ranking points and €90,390 in prize money earnings. He will next travel to Germany to play in the Hamburg Open.

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