After Australian Open Exit, Stan Wawrinka Hits Back At Player Council Over Leadership Calls - UBITENNIS
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After Australian Open Exit, Stan Wawrinka Hits Back At Player Council Over Leadership Calls

The argument over who should govern men’s tennis in the future continues.

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Three-time grand slam champion has reiterated his backing for the ATP CEO Chris Kermode amid speculation that certain players are calling for his removal.

It has recently emerged that some aspects of the ATP Player Council are calling for a change of leadership. Vasek Pospisil, who is a member of council, has sent a letter to players ranked between 50-100. In it, he wrote that it is time to ‘start acting and running like a business not like a bunch of scared kids … we need a CEO that first and foremost represents OUR interests.’ Meanwhile, council president Novak Djokovic is keeping coy about the subject and Rafael Nadal said earlier this week he has not been consulted about the topic.

“Nobody from the council side came to me and asked me my opinion.” Nadal said following his first round win over James Duckworth.
“So I can’t have a real opinion on all of this, because no one of my representatives came to me and asked me if I am happy with the president or not.”

Kermode’s term as ATP CEO ends later this year. Leading to some players calling for his contract to not be renewed, however, more are lending their support behind him. Wawrinka has already written his own letter of support for Kermode. Stating that his removal would be counterproductive.

“I think I’ve been talking to a lot of players recently. I think they all see that right now it (the tour) is going the right direction with Chris Kermode.” Wawrinka said following his loss to Milos Raonic at the Australian Open.
“There is a lot of support about him in general. I think they talk about it a lot. There is maybe a few, little group of player that want to change completely. I don’t think is the best idea for the tennis.”

On Sunday there was the annual ATP Tour Presentation for players. It is at the event where it has been reported by sources that that Djokovic voted against keeping Kermode as chief. Although, unless the world No.1 says himself, it is impossible to verify the claim due to the secrecy of the meeting.

It is this secrecy that has left some players in the dark about what some may be plotting. Now light has been shed onto the topic due to the media interest, Wawrinka believes it will lead to a positive outcome.

“I think there is a lot of people who didn’t realize this was happening, and now I will say that more player getting involved to know exactly what’s going to happen, what’s not going to happen, what’s the best. Everybody is starting now to talk a little bit more about it.” He explained.

Due to his role as president, some are laying the blame solely with Djokovic. Asked his own opinion in Melbourne, Wawrinka partly disagreed with that viewpoint. Although pointed out that his friend should partly expect to bear the brunt.

‘No, I think he’s also the president of the council,’ Wawrinka said. ‘He’s the No. 1 player. He’s the best player into this council. So for sure, if you look, he’s at the head of the spot there.
‘But again, I think there’s for sure a lot of talk going on. I’m pretty sure nothing will happen here, so that’s mean there is also some stuff that are putting on stand, and that’s everybody can think about it. ‘We will see. I think we can only see what’s going to happen in the next few months.’

Now Wawrinka is out of the Australian Open, he has dismissed the idea that the revolt against Kermode could occur in his absence. Stating that the ‘next big meeting’ won’t happen until Indian Wells in March.

List of members of the ATP Player Council
1-50 Singles: Kevin Anderson – Vice President
1-50 Singles: Robin Haase
1-50 Singles: John Isner
1-50 Singles: Sam Querrey
51-100 Singles: Yen-Hsun Lu
51-100 Singles: Vasek Pospisil
1-100 Doubles: Jamie Murray
1-100 Doubles: Bruno Soares
At-Large: Novak Djokovic – President
At-Large: Sergiy Stakhovsky
Coach: Daniel Vallverdu
Alumni: Colin Dowdeswell

 

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Ugo Humbert stuns Borna Coric to advance to the quarter final in Marseille

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French Next Gen player Ugo Humbert upset world number 12 Borna Coric 6-3 6-3 at the Open 13 in Marseille scoring the biggest win of his career.

Humbert broke three times in the third game of the first set and twice in the third and ninth games of the the second set to reach his first ATP quarter final.

Humbert, who won the Challenger title in Cherbourg, converted three of his eight break points. The young French player held his serve in the first game before earning three break points in the second game, but Coric saved them.

The Frenchman got the first break in the fourth game with a volley winner and fended off a break point in the next game. The Frenchman saved a break point, as he was serving for the first set at 5-3 and sealed the first set with a good serve.

In the second set Humbert broke serve in the third set and sealed the second set with another break, when Coric made a backhand error.

Humbert will face German qualifier Matthias Bachinger, who beat Fernando Verdasco 6-4 6-3 in 77 minutes. Bachinger saved eight of the nine break points and broke three times.

David Goffin beat Benoit Paire 6-2 6-3 after 63 minutes to reach his first quarter final since Cinicinnati last year.

“My level was good, very positive. The atmosphere was great, and it’s always easier when you are not the favourite. This was the first time I played a player ranked that high. I was able to stay calm and play well”,said Humbert.

 

Goffin won five consecutive points in the sixth game to break serve after a backhand error from Paire. Goffin got another break in the eighth game to close out the first set after another error from Paire.

Paire broke serve in the third game of the second set to open up a 3-1 lead. Goffin broke back in the sixth game at love to draw level to 3-3.

Goffin converted his sixth break point in the eighth game and held serve at love in the eighth game with a service winner at 5-3 to close out the match securing his spot in the quarter finals, where he will face Gilles Simon.

Andrey Rublev edged Matteo Berrettini 6-3 7-6 after 1 hour and 31 minutes to avenge his last year’s defeat against the Italian player in Gstaad. Rublev, who beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the opening round, broke serve in the second game and held his next service games to close out the first set 6-3.

Rublev broke serve in the fifth game to take a 4-2 lead, but Berrettini broke back in the 10th game to draw level to 5-5. Rublev won the tie-break 7-2 to secure his spot in the quarter final, where he will face Mikhail Kukushkin, who beat Denis Shapovalov on Wednesday.

 

 

 

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Following Career-Best Win, Félix Auger-Aliassime Achieves Another Milestone In Rio

The former US Open boy’s champion is a win away from reaching the semi-finals of a ATP Tour event for the first time in his career.

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Felix Auger-Aliassime - Toronto 2018 (via Twitter, @rogerscup)

Félix Auger-Aliassime’s week at the Rio Open keeps getting better and better.

The 18-year-old Canadian began his campaign at the tournament on Tuesday with a shock straight sets win over second seed Fabio Fognini. The Italian veteran, who is currently ranked 16th in the world, is Auger-Aliassime’s biggest win in terms of ranking. Furthermore, that sole victory has ensured that the Canadian will break into the top 100 next week for the first time in his career.

Continuing his momentum at the tournament, Auger-Aliassime followed up on his first round triumph by defeating Chile’s Christian Garin 7-5, 6-4, in the second round. Hitting 27 winners to 31 unforced errors. Auger-Aliassime will now play in only his second quarter-final on the ATP Tour and his first in a 500 event.

“It’s been good, I didn’t know what to expect when I got here, hadn’t won many matches this year. I knew I was playing well from the practices. I thought I had the chance to have tournaments like these. I came in, believed in my game and it’s paying off now. I was able to stay strong physically and mentally at these conditions,” tournament website rioopen.com quoted the Next Gen star as saying.

Wildcard Auger-Aliassime has been tipped as a future star in the sport since his teenage years. At the age of 14 he qualified for the main draw of a Challenger event for the first time. He is a former US Open boys champion and is one of the youngest players of all time at win a Challenger title at the age of 16 years and 10 months. In total, the Canadian currently has four Challenger titles to his name.

Awaiting Auger-Aliassime in the next round will be another rising star on the men’s tour. Spain’s Jaume Munar prevailed in a marathon clash against Great Britain’s Cameron Norrie. The Spaniard required almost three-and-a-half hours to defeat Norrie 7-6(6), 5-7, 7-6(4).

“It’s probably the toughest game I’ll have to play so far this week. Munar has been playing good, having good results. He already beat me two times on clay last year so I’m expecting a tough match. But I believe in myself and I know I have what it takes to beat a guy like him”, Auger-Aliassime said about his upcoming opponent.

In their head-to-head, Auger-Aliassime is yet to defeat Munar after losing to him twice last year.

Following a series of shocks, there are only one seeded player remaining in the Rio Open draw. That is fifth seed Joao Sousa, who will play his second round match on Thursday.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas beats Hubert Hurkacz in straight sets in Marseille

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Stefanos Tsitsipas beat Hungary’s Hubert Hurkacz 6-4 6-2 after just 59 minutes in a match between two Next Gen players at the Open 13 in Marseille to score his first win in his third appearance in the French tournament

Tsitsipas had already beaten Hurkacz at last November’s Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan. The Greek star, who reached the Australian Open semifinal last January, converted his second break point chance in the 10th game to close out the first set 6-4. He earned back-to-back breaks in the sixth and eighth games to seal the second set 6-2, when Hurkacz fired his forehand into the tramline.

“It was a good match. I enjoyed it. I am moving on. It is nice to start so well. It was a no-trouble match. Everything went smooth. Breaks happened when they had to happen. It was a solid match”, said Tsitsipas.

Mikhail Kukushkin upset Denis Shapovalov 6-4 7-6 (7-4) in 82 minutes. The Kazakh player earned his break in the seventh game for 4-3 en route to winning the first set 6-4. Kukushkin saved two break in the fourth game of the second set, which went on serve with no breaks until the tie-break. Kukushkin won the first four points to win the tie-break 7-4.

Gilles Simon rallied from one set down to beat Peter Gojowczyk 4-6 6-4 6-2 to secure his spot in the quarter final where he will face either David Goffin or Benoit Paire. Gojowczyk sealed the first set 6-4 with his only break in the 10th game. Simon converted his second break chance in the third game to win the second set 6-4. Simon broke twice at love in in the first and fifth games to win the decisive set 6-2.

French Next Gen player Ugo Humbert edged Ernests Gulbis 6-3 7-6 (7-3). German qualifier Matthias Bachinger fought back from one set down to beat Steve Darcis 4-6 6-3 6-4 in two hours and three minutes.

 

 

 

 

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