Former World No.1 Marcelo Rios Announces Comeback At The Age Of 43 - UBITENNIS
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Former World No.1 Marcelo Rios Announces Comeback At The Age Of 43

20 years after reaching the final of the 1998 Australian Open, the Chilean is eyeing a return to professional tennis.

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14 years after retiring from tennis, Marcelo Rios has outlined plans to return to the Challenger tour in 2019 with the goal of becoming the oldest ever ATP Champion.

 

Rios, who spent six weeks as world No.1 back in 1998, has told newspaper La Tercera that he has been training for a return to competitive tennis. It is understood that Rios only intends to return to action at the lower level events located in America at the moment and it is unclear if he will travel further. He currently lives in the Sarasota, Florida.

“I’ve been training with pretty high-level guys.” Rios said during an interview with La Tercera.
“There are no guys that plays badly. I’ve been getting tired and I’ve had to lose weight. I have lost 12 stone and has almost reached the weight I was when I was a player (on the tour). I’m happy, it’s something different.”

The return of the Chilean player could happen as soon as next month. A formal request for a wild card to play at the upcoming Columbus Challenger has been submitted. The tournament is hosted at the Ohio State Varsity Tennis Center and will get underway on January 7th.

“There is an invitation committee, which will finally decide who gets a wild card,” said tournament director Todd Alles.

The ultimate goal of an ambitious Rios is to become the oldest ever winner of a challenger tournament. A title that is currently held by Croatia’s Ivo Karlovic, who won the Calgary Challenger this year at the age of 39 years and seven months.

“If I had not felt good or I had not lost weight, I would not have made the decision (to come out of retirement).” He said.
“From here to 7th January I can injure myself, because I train a lot, but I would like to do it, to get a wild card, to try it.”
“Imagine: winning a challenger at 43 is nice, whatever it may be. I feel qualified to play it and win it. If I did not feel good playing, I would not.” He added.

Rios, who turned 43 on December 26th, could become the only player to have an ATP singles ranking in the new year. Currently 39-year-old Karlovic is the oldest player in the top 1000. Further down the rankings, Spain’s Roberto Menendez is ranked 1660th at the age of 42.

During his career, Rios won 18 ATP titles and reached the final of the 1998 Australian Open. He is the first South American player to have topped the ATP rankings back in 1998 and finished in the year-end top 10 three years in a row (1997-1999). He was forced to step away from the sport at the age of 28 following a series of leg and back injuries.

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Stan Wawrinka Pushes For Tennis To Be More Sustainable With The Help Of Sponsor Evian

The former world No.3 has called for more to be done in the sport to help protect the environment.

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Stan Wawrinka (photo by chryslène caillaud, copyright @Sport Vision)

Three-time grand slam champion Stan Wawrinka is hoping that he can inspire other players to follow his example after pledging to bring his own bottle to matches on the tour to reduce the use of plastic.

 

Starting at this week’s Monte Carlo Masters, the Swiss No.2 has started using personalised Evian Soma glass refillable bottles. The initiative came about after Wawrinka spoke with his sponsor about wanting to become more sustainable on the court. Due to the length of tennis matches, thousands of plastic water bottles are consumed during tournaments. At Wimbledon, it is estimated that 250,000 bottles are sold each year.

“I’m extremely happy to start using my evian® Soma® glass refillable bottles. Sustainability is very important to me and I am convinced that each one of us can make a difference every day.” Wawrinka said in a press release.
“As an athlete, I drink a lot of water, so I had the idea to use the new evian® Soma® glass refillable bottles on court. This project means a lot to me and I’m happy that evian® now provides such an offer.”


In recent months the world of tennis has moved to become more sustainable. In November at the season-ending ATP Finals, officials pledged to reduce the environmental impact caused by the eight-day event. Implementing initiatives such as water fountains around the venue and reusable bottles. The campaign was one praised by Wawrinka, who hopes it can be implemented throughout the tour.

“I spoke to my fellow players and the ATP leadership in order to reduce the use of plastic bottles at ATP events. All players received refillable bottles and it was a great initiative which we want to bring to more and more tournaments,” he said.

The 34-year-old isn’t the only player calling for more to be done to make tennis go green. Kevin Anderson, who is the vice-president of the ATP players’ council, has spoken on numerous occasions about doing more for the environment. The South African said he was inspired to do so after watching a documentary on Netflix.

“We are in a fortunate position where we might be able to affect some positive change, no matter how small it might be. Protecting the environment and reducing plastic waste on the Tour is something that I am very passionate about, along with many of my peers.” Anderson stated in 2018.

At this week’s Monte Carlo Masters, Wawrinka experienced a mixed performance. After defeating Lucas Pouille in his opening match, he was knocked out in the second round by Marco Cecchinato after boasting a one-set lead. His next tournament is set to be the Madrid Masters in May.

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Naomi Osaka Named ‘Pioneer’ In Time Magazine’s Most Influential People Of 2019

The two-time grand slam champion has another achievement to add to her expanding resume.

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Naomi Osaka (photo by chryslène caillaud, copyright @Sport Vision)

World No.1 Naomi Osaka has become the only tennis player to be included in this year’s edition of Time’s Magazine’s most influential people.

 

The Time 100 is an annual list published by the American news magazine. It recognises and celebrates the ‘pioneers, leaders, titans, artists and icons of 2019.’ For each person nominated to be on the list, they have an extract written about them by a fellow celebrity. In Osaka’s case, 18-time grand slam champion Chris Evert paid tribute to the Japanese player.

“Some people want her to embrace a single identity. She’s more concerned with just being herself.” Evert wrote for time.com. “No one represents our more globalized, multicultural future better than this honest, polite, self-deprecating tennis life force, a potential champion for years to come.”

Osaka’s place in the Time 100 is in a section called ‘pioneers.’ Other entrants include actress Sandra Oh, who is the first Asian woman to win two Golden Globes, and Italian restaurateur Massimo Bottura.

The past 18 months have seen the 21-year-old race up the world rankings to become a heavyweight in the world of women’s tennis. After claiming her maiden major title at the US Open, she went on to claim another grand slam at the Australian Open. Something that was last achieved by Serena Williams between 2014-2015. In January, Osaka became the first Asian player – man or women – to top the rankings and remains in that position at present.

Osaka’s surge in popularity has been highlighted by an array of endorsements. Earlier this month, she scored a high-profile deal with Nike. Reportedly skipping other offers from companies such as Uniqlo, according to Japanese media. She also has other deals with Nissan, All Nippon Airways and Proctor & Gamble.

Osaka is set to return to action at the Porsche Grand Prix in Germany later this month.

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At Monte Carlo Masters, Home Players Mourn The Devastating Notre-Dame Fire

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Monte Carlo Rolex Masters 2019 (photo by Tennis chryslène caillaud, copyright @Sport vision)

The talking point wasn’t what Pierre-Hugues Herbert did during his first round match at the Monte Carlo Masters, it was what he did afterwards.

 

Moments after scoring a 6-4, 6-4, win over Spain’s Fernando Verdasco, he grabbed a pen and proceeded to write on a camera lens. His message read ‘Notre Dame’ with a drawing of a broken heart below. Herbert’s words echoed those of many coming to terms with a serious fire that caused extensive damage to one of France’s most renowned landmarks.

“I think many French were affected by what happened in Paris, Notre-Dame.” Herbert told reporters on Tuesday. “And when we are French and we enjoy Paris, this beautiful city, we are proud of Paris. And when we see Notre-Dame on fire and the spire crumbling down, that was really shocking for me yesterday evening.’
“I said to myself that if ever I won, I would like to send a message of love for Notre-Dame that was crumbling down and that I was very affected yesterday evening.”

https://twitter.com/Stroppa_Del/status/1118104801315885057

The Notre-Dame cathedral was built over the course of 200 years with work starting back in 1163. 714 years before the first ever Wimbledon Championships took place in 1877. An estimated 13 million people visit the building every year, which was undergoing renovation at the time of the fire. One of its artefacts includes the Crown of Thorns, which some believe was worn by Jesus Christ.

“It took me a little while to learn that the fire was on, and the images were so shocking with this fire crumbling down. When you see this image of Paris on fire, it was really impressive, shocking.” Herbert commented.

In light of what the French president described as a natural tragedy, the mood at the Monte Carlo Masters was somewhat different to that of before. Tennis was not the only main talking point at the tournament. Despite its name, the event isn’t actually held in Monte Carlo. Its home is in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin in the extreme South East of France.

“It is something that is really sad for the French people, but also for everybody, for the whole world, actually, because this was a monument that was well known all over the world.” Jo-Wilfried Tsonga said after retiring injured from his first round match.
“It was really special in Paris, therefore in France, so we are really proud of that monument. We are really sad of what happened yesterday.”

Gilles Simon, who is one of only two Frenchman left in the tournament alongside Herbert, also spoke about the fire.

“Like everybody else, I was really sad. That’s it. And of course I saw the images, and it’s a real pity.” He said.

Officials are still assessing the extent of the damage caused by the fire. In the meantime, donors around the world have pledged millions to help with the restoration of the building and national governments have lent their support.

https://twitter.com/GuillaumeDaudin/status/1118180980341334017

 

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