Rafael Nadal Believes His French Open Record Will Be Matched By Another Player - UBITENNIS
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Rafael Nadal Believes His French Open Record Will Be Matched By Another Player

The 32-year-old reflects on his achievements at Roland Garros and looks ahead to the future.

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Rafael Nadal at the 2019 Australian Open (photo Roberto Dell'Olivo)

World No.2 Rafael Nadal has said that he would be unsurprised if his record at the French Open is matched or even broken in the future.

The 32-year-old is known as the ‘king of clay’ for his dominance on the surface throughout his career. At Roland Garros, he has won the grand slam title 11 times. He is the only player – man or woman – to win the same grand slam 11 times in the Open Era. In the history of the sport, Margaret Court is the only other player to achieve the milestone at the Australian Open. However, the majority of Court’s titles occurred before the start of the Open Era in 1968.

Despite the impressive achievement, Nadal insists that his record can be broken one day. During an interview at a Banco Sabadell event in Vigo he said ‘If I can do it, why not somebody else.’

“I consider myself a totally normal person, if I have done it, why will not someone else do it?” Spanish website Punto de Break quoted Nadal as saying.
“Another person will come in the future and will do it too, it is difficult because many factors have to be taken into account. I’ve been injured five times in my career, but in Roland Garros I only had one.
“It is important that in those two weeks (of the French Open) you’re perfect and that you do it for many years.” He added.

There is a strong change that Nadal will add to his trophy collection at the Paris major before he retires from the sport. The Spaniard has won a record 57 titles on the clay during his career and currently has a winning percentage of .920 (415-36) on the surface.

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The future

Now heading into the later stages of his career, Nadal is hoping for more success in the future. His latest achievement was reaching the final of the Australian Open, where he suffered a straight sets loss to Novak Djokovic. The tournament was his first since September after being sidelined from the tour with numerous injury issues.

“Things are not eternal, they do not have to be, the years go by, we are in the final stretch of our careers.” He said. “In my case I hope there is still more, I hope to stay competitive for more years and enjoy sports at this level. As long as possible, one cannot predict when the end arrives, I do not fear it, I am and I have been very happy playing tennis but I can also be without playing it.
“One of the keys to my success is that I have been able to enjoy all those things that a young person also needs to enjoy.”

In the immediate future, Nadal has his eyes cast on two major events outside of the grand slams. The first of which is the newly revamped Davis Cup. In November the finals of the competition will be held at the Caja Magica in Madrid. For the first time in the 119-year history of the event, the finals will feature 18 teams and be held over a week.

“I would like to be there, but there are still a lot of months to go, seven or eight months, almost nine,” he commented about playing in the team event.
“It’s very difficult to predict what is going on in nine months, but my hope is to be there.”

Then next year is the Tokyo Olympic Games. Nadal is already a two-time Olympic champion. Winning gold medals in the singles at the 2008 Games in Beijing and the men’s doubles at the 2016 Rio Games.

“You are talking about more than a year and a half away. I don’t know what is going to happen but, as I already said, my hope is to be there,” he said.
“I know Tokyo’s going to be spectacular, so I will do my best to be there.”

Nadal is set to return to action later this month at the Mexican Open in Acapulco.

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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.

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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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