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.



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



Richard Gasquet reaches his first Masters 1000 semifinal since Miami 2013



Frenchman Richard Gasquet edged past this year’s Wimbledon semifinalist Roberto Bautista Agut 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 6-2 after 2 hours and 12 minutes to reach his first Masters 1000 semifinal since the 2013 Miami Open.


 Gasquet missed six months of action after undergoing groin surgery last January.

The French player set up a semfinal against David Goffin, who reached the semifinal after his Japanese opponent Yoshihito Nishioka withdrew from the match due to illness.

The first set went on serve with no break points en route to the tie-break. Bautista Agut hit a backhand wide at 1-2. Gasquet sealed the tie-break when Bautista Agut hit a forehand long.

Bautista Agut earned two breaks of serve in the second set and sealed it, when Gasquet made his third double fault on set point.

Gasquet broke serve with a volley in the third game of the decisive set. The French player went up a double break to race out to 4-1 lead. He saved two break points to hold his serve at deuce before serving out the third set on his first match point.

“I know how tough it was to come back. I know the moments I had at the start of the year, so I just wanted to enjoy, to fight. It is not easy to come back after six months out, but I am here. I am in semis tomorrow”,said Gasquet.



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Danil Medvedev cruises past Jan-Lennard Struff to set up an all Russian quarter final against Andrey Rublev



Ninth seed Danil Medvedev cruised past Jan-Lennard Struff 6-3 6-1 in 66 minutes to reach the quarter final at the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati.


Medvedev committed just 12 unforced errors and won 18 of Struff’s 25 second serve points.

 Medvedev broke twice in the second and eighth games to win the first set 6-2. The young Russian player got two consecutive breaks in the second and fourth games to race out to a 4-0 lead and held his service game at deuce after saving a break point in the fifth game. Struff held his serve to get his first game on the scoreboard, but Medvedev sealed the win on his first match point. The Russian player has improved his head-to-head record to 3-0 againt Struff.

Medvedev has won 11 of his past 13 matches during the North American hard-court season. He has a solid 41-16 record this season. He finished runner in two consecutive finals to Nick Kyrgios at Washington and to Rafael Nadal in Montreal.  In the quarter final the Russian star will face his compatriot Andrey Rublev, who upset Roger Federer 6-3 6-4.

Recent Wimbledon semifinalist Roberto Bautista Agut cruised past Miomir Kecmanovic 6-1 6-2 in just under an hour setting up a quarter final against Richard Gasquet, who beat Diego Schwartzman 7-6 (8-6) 6-3.

Japanese qualifier Yoshihito Nishioka beat Australian player Alex De Minaur 7-5 6-4 in 83 minutes with one break in each set. Nishioka rallied from 4-6 down in the tie-break of the first set to edge Adrian Mannarino 7-6 (8-6) 6-2 in 1 hour and 37 minutes.

“It was a great match and I got better as it went on. I am feeling sharp. I am feeling great now and I am looking forward to the quarter finals of a Masters 1000. I have nothing to lose”, said Goffin.


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Roger Federer Crashes Out Of Cincinnati Masters

The seven-time champion has suffered a blow to his preparations for the US Open.



World No.3 Roger Federer has been knocked out of the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati after falling in straight sets to Russia’s Andrey Rublev.


The 20-time grand slam champion struggled to find his range as he was overwhelmed by his fearless opponent during the 6-3, 6-4, loss. Despite the huge disparity in experience between the two, 21-year-old Rublev managed to dominate the majority of rallies with the help of some heavy hitting. Producing 17 winners to six unforced errors, compared to Federer’s tally of 19 and 20.

“I respect him a lot, I respect all the top players a lot, but today when I was going to court I was going there to win.” Rublev said during an interview with Amazon Prime.
“I was not going (to the match) to enjoy. I was going to fight, try to win and do my best.”

Rublev’s shock win saw the underdog outdo the Swiss maestro in almost every area of the match. Winning the most first serves (85% to 63%), second serves (57% to 63) and a bigger majority of points at the net (5/6 to 7/19). Breaking him twice in the opening set and once in the second. The Russian, who is 70th in the world, is the lowest ranked player to defeat Federer on the tour since Thanassi Kokkinakis at the 2018 Miami Open.

The loss leaves a mark on Federer’s impressive record in Cincinnati, which he has won a record seven times. It is the first time he has failed to reach the quarter-final stage since losing to Ivo Karlovic in the third round back in 2008.

“He was playing well. I was maybe struggling especially on the offensive, because overall I didn’t think I was feeling the ball badly.” Federer reflected during his press conference. “It’s just, you know, sort of fast-court conditions and when you sometimes then can’t rely on that serve to go or on the one-two punch, which I didn’t think was excellent today from my side, you need an opponent that maybe lets you get by some tougher moments, but he didn’t do that.”
“He was super clean. Defense, offense, serving well. Didn’t give me anything. He was everywhere. So it was tough for me, but excellent match by him. I was impressed.”

Rublev now has a meeting with compatriot Daniil Medvedev in what will be his first quarter-final at Masters level. Medvedev has reached the final of tournaments in Washington and at the Rogers Cup since Wimbledon. He is yet to drop a set this week and brushed aside Jan-Lennard Struff 6-2, 6-1, in his third round match.

“It’s going to be an interesting match for Russia.” Rublev previewed. “It will be a tough match for me because the way he plays. Nobody likes to play him.”
“I lost to him in a Challenger a few years ago, so it’s going to be interesting tomorrow.” He added.

The latest victory is only Rublev’s second over a top five player in his career. His first was against Dominic Thiem at the German Open last month.

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