'Excited' Juan Martin Del Potro Feeling Good Ahead Of Return - UBITENNIS
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‘Excited’ Juan Martin Del Potro Feeling Good Ahead Of Return

The world No.4 speaks out about a variety of topics, including his upcoming return to the sport.

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Juan Martin del Potro (photo by chryslène caillaud, copyright @Sport Vision)

After having a successful 2018 season ended by injury, Juan Martin del Potro is hoping to once again stage a strong comeback to men’s tennis later this month.

The world No.4 hasn’t played a competitive match since the Shanghai Masters back in October. It was at the tournament where he fractured his right patella bone. Commonly known as the kneecap. The injury forced him to withdraw from last year’s ATP Finals after qualifying for the event for the first time since 2013, as well as the Australian Open.

Del Potro is targeting a return to the tour at the Delray Beach Open, which he last won back in 2011. Leading up to his latest comeback, the Argentine conducted an open practice session in his home city of Tandill on Saturday. The day drew big crowds to the session with members of the public bringing food to donate to a local food bank.

“I feel good, I think it was the most intense week I had since my injury and the rehabilitation.” Del Potro told local media after his practice session.
“I finished it well, which is important for the intensity that comes up a little bit.
“I still have to climb a couple of steps, if I continue like that I will get there,” He added.

The public event had been arranged to be done two weeks prior, but was cancelled by the 30-year-old. Who says that he wasn’t in good enough shape at the time.

Despite his delay to the new season, Del Potro to hoping that he can pick up from where he left. In 2018 the Argentine rose to a ranking high of third in the world. On the tour, he won two ATP titles, including his first at Masters level in Indian Wells. Then at the US Open he reached the second grand slam final of his career and first since 2009. He lost in straight sets to Novak Djokovic. Overall, Del Potro featured in six finals during that year.

“It is difficult to repeat a year like the previous one, but obviously I would like to. Even if i didn’t play in Australia, started a bit behind those I have above me in the rankings. In recent years my career has surprised me.” He said.
“I’m very excited to be able to start (the 2019 season) at last, I’ve already missed an important tournament.” The Argentine added.

Besides his goal of returning back to the top of the men’s game once again, Del Potro is also aware of the wider impact he has. Known as the ‘tower of Tandil’ due to his height of 6’4”, Del Potro want to continue inspiring the next generation of players. On social media he has 3.35 million Twitter followers and 2.027 million Facebook likes.

“I try to be an example on and off the court, the youngest ones (children) imitate you when you’re playing, but also in your physical form, how you dress, what you eat or who you surround yourself with.” He explained.

Del Potro has also given his view about the current state of the tour. At present men’s tennis is dominated by three of the four members of the ‘Big Four.’ The only exception is Andy Murray, who may be forced to retire from the sport soon during to persistent hip problems. At the Australian Open, Novak Djokovic clinched the title after thrashing nemesis Rafael Nadal in the final.

Looking ahead to the rest of the season, Del Potro believes it will continue to be dominated by the usual suspects. Even though the Next Generation contingent are making progress. Highlighted by Alexander Zverev’s triumph at the ATP Tour Finals in November.

“I think it will continue to be them (Nadal and Djokovic) who are fighting for the top places.” Said del Potro. “There are a lot of good players, it’s a matter of time for those to move places, but still Rafa, Djokovic, the same with Federer, when it comes to playing the big tournaments, they are a little higher.”
“The new group (Next Gen) is going to push and move us. They have to be consistent throughout the season and in the big tournaments.”

The Delray Beach Open will get underway from February 18th. Del Potro is set to be the highest ranked player in the draw.

https://twitter.com/delpotrojuan/status/1091809762268930048

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Dominic Thiem Edges Cuevas To Remain Unbeaten In Buenos Aires, Schwartzman Awaits

Dominic Thiem has extended his unbeaten streak to 11 matches in Bueno Aires after edging past Pablo Cuevas to reach the semi-finals.

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Dominic Thiem (@SectaDeportivaa - Twittter)

Dominic Thiem won an 11th consecutive match in Buenos Aires as he edged out Pablo Cuevas 4-6 6-4 6-3 to reach the semi-finals. 

After a slow start the Austrian won 73% of first service points to seal a place in the last four as he made it 11-0 in the Argentinian capital.

In the semi-finals he will play good friend and doubles partner this week Diego Schwartzman, who comfortably beat Albert Ramos-Vinolas.

The other semi-final will see Roland Garros semi-finalist Marco Cecchinato take on Guido Pella, who saved match points against Jaume Munar.

There was a threat to Thiem’s unbeaten streak early on as his Uruguayan opponent got off to the perfect start with a break in the third game.

Struggling on serve and failing to create any break point opportunities Thiem surrendered the first set in 34 minutes to the world number 78.

However the world number eight adjusted tactically and remained focused on the task at hand as he took a 3-0 lead. Despite being broke back while serving for the set, the top seed broke straight back to force a deciding set as he looked a relieved figure.

The deciding set went in similar fashion with the only exception being that Thiem wasn’t broken back this time. After holding his lead from 3-0 up, Thiem served out the match to secure his first ATP semi-final of the season.

https://twitter.com/TennisTV/status/1096580571327799299

After edging past Cuevas, the world number eight will now play Diego Schwartzman in the last four in what is set to be a busy day for the duo.

Not only will they play against each other in singles, they will also team up with each other in doubles as they reached the semi-finals there as well.

The talented Argentinian defeated Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-q 7-5 to reach the last four in his home country and will look to end Thiem’s unbeaten streak on Saturday afternoon.

The other semi-final will see Marco Cecchinato play Guido Pella with the action starting at 2pm local time.

While in New York the action starts at 4pm local time with Brayden Schnur taking on Sam Querrey and John Isner playing Reilly Opelka in the semi-finals.

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Dominic Thiem Extends Unbeaten Run As Ferrer Says Farewell To The Argentina Open

There were mixed emotions for players at the Buenos Aires Lawn Tennis Club on Thursday.

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Dominic Thiem (image via @sportsvision)

Top seed Dominic Thiem has made a winning start to the Argentina Open after triumphing in what was his first competitive match for a month.

The Roland Garros finalist has been absent from the tour in recent weeks after retiring from the Australian Open due to illness. During his absence, Thiem underwent a series of tests to establish the root of his problem and has been cleared to return to the tour.

Taking on Germany’s Maximilian Marterer in his opening match on Thursday, the Austrian powered his way to a 6-4, 6-4, victory. Converting four out of his eight break point opportunities. However, there is still room for improvement for Thiem, who only managed to win 48% of the points behind his second serve. The victory is his 10th consecutive at the tournament in Buenos Aires.

“I like the conditions here. I was able to develop a good performance to win it.” Thiem said afterwards.

This week the world No.8 is being mentored by Nicolas Massu. A former top 10 players who is best known for winning a gold medal at the 2004 Olympic Games. It is understood that the partnership is set to last only a week, however, Austrian newspaper Kleine Zeitung have suggested that it could be extended if proven successful.

In the quarter-finals Thiem will take on Pablo Cuevas. Cuevas, who has won all six of his ATP titles on the clay, knocked out Portuguese fifth seed Joao Sousa 6-4, 7-5.

“He is one of the best players on the clay.” Said Thiem. “We already played at Roland Garros and a Master 1000, so I’m expecting an open match.”

Thiem is currently tied at 2-2 in his head-to-head with the Uruguayan player.

Farewell continues his goodbye tour

Three-time champion David Ferrer has played his last ever match at the Buenos Aires Lawn Tennis Club. The Spaniard, who will officially retire from the tour in May, was edged out in a three set roller coaster against Albert Ramos-Vinolas. Ferrer failed to convert two match points during the second set as he suffered a 3-6, 7-6(9), 6-3 defeat.

“I feel at home because of the love they (the crowd) have for me. Loved.” Ferrer said following his loss.
“Without a doubt. It is very special since I will not step on this court again. What I will miss most is your affection.”

Ferrer is one of only two players in history to have won the tournament three years in a row. The other was Argentine legend Guillermo Vilas during the 1970s. Following his first round win there was a special presentation conducted to honour his career. Attendees to the on-court presentation included Gabriela Sabatini, Martin Jaite, Federico Delbonis, Marc Lopez, Diego Schwartzman, Juan Ignacio Chela, Mariano Zabaleta, Juan Monaco and Gaston Gaudio.

Ferrer’s conqueror Ramos-Vinolas will take on fourth seed Diego Schwartzman next. Schwartzman defeated Aljaz Bedene 6-4, 2-6, 6-2.

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Kei Nishikori cruises past Ernests Gulbis to cruise through to the quarter final in Rotterdam

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This year’s Brisbane champion Kei Nishikori cruised past Ernests Gulbis 6-1 6-4 to advance to the quarter final at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam.

Nishikori reeled off the first 12 points of the match and broke serve twice to race out to a 5-0 lead. The Japanese star went up an early break at 15 in the first game of the second set. Gulbis broke back in the sixth game to draw level to 3-3, but Nishikori broke for the fourth time in the ninth game and served out the match 6-4 with an ace in the 10th game.

Nishikori lost just once in his eleven matches played this year. He beat Danil Medvedev in the final in Brisbane and reached the quarter final at the Australian Open before losing to eventual champion Novak Djokovic.

Nishikori sets up a quarter final against Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics, who beat Nikoloz Basilashvili 7-6 (7-1) 6-1.

Basilashvili got the first break of the match in the fifth game of the opening set to take a 3-2 lead. Fucsovics pulled the break back in the tenth game at 15 to draw level to 5-5 before winning the tie-break 7-1. In the second set Fucsovics broke three times in the first, third and seventh games to win the third set 6-1.

Fucsovics continues his impressive period of form one week after finishing runner-up to Danil Medvedev in the final of the Sofia Open.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga edged Tallon Griekspoor 7-6 (7-5) 6-1 to secure his spot in the quarter final against Danil Medvedev. Tsonga lost to Medvedev 7-6 (7-2) 6-2 in the semifinal of the Brisbane International.

Griekspoor fended off four set points on serve in the first set, before Tsonga closed out the tie-break 7-5 with an unreturned serve after 54 minutes. Tsonga broke serve in the third game of the second set when Griekspoor made two consecutive forehand errors. Tsonga got his third break with a backhand return winner to close out the match improving his winning streak to seven matches.

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