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 and Alexander Zverev reach the second round in Hamburg

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Dominic Thiem beat 2016 finalist Pablo Cuevas 6-3 7-6 (7-3) after 1 hour and 40 minutes in the first round of the Hamburg European Open to score his 24th win of the season and the 250th win of his career.

 

Thiem beat Cuevas for the fifth time in his seventh head-to-head clash against Cuevas and for the third time this year after his previous wins in Buenos Aires and at Roland Garros.

Thiem broke serve in the second game of the opening set after a lucky net cord return and hit a service winner in the ninth game to seal the first set 6-3. Both players traded breaks at the start of the start of the second set. Cuevas fended off a break point chance in the fifth game. Both players stayed neck and neck in the next game setting up a second set.

Thiem earned a mini-break at 2-1 after two mini-breaks from Cuevas. The Austrian player got a double mini-break with a backhand down the line winner on the ninth point. He closed out the match with a service winner on the next point.

“I wish that the grass court season would have been longer. I love this surface, but it was only one match unfortunately. I hope that I can do it better next year. I am back on clay for two weeks and the last two weeks of the year, so I will try to enjoy the mas much as possible”, said Thiem.

Last year’s ATP Finals champion Alexander Zverev made a winning start to his campaign in his home tournament with a 6-4 6-2 victory over last week’s Bastad winner Nicolas Jarry in 71 minutes. Zverev converted four of his six break point chances and saved four of the five chances he faced. Zverev broke serve in the third game to build up a 5-2 lead, when Jarry netted a backhand.

Zverev did not convert three set points, as he was serving for the set. He dropped five consecutive points before serving out the set at 5-4. Both players went on serve in the first four games before Zverev broke at 15 in the fifth game, when Jarry netted a backhand. The German player held serve at love before earning a break to build up a 5-2 after a forehand error from Jarry. The Chilean player earned two break points in the eighth game, as Zverev was serving for the win. Zverev saved them before sealing the second set 6-2 with an ace.

Nikoloz Basilashvili beat Bolivian qualifier Hugo Dellien 6-4 6-3 after 67 minutes. This year’s Monte-Carlo champion Fabio Fognini came back from one set down to beat Julian Lenz 6-4 6-4 setting up a match against Rudolf Molleker. Former Hamburg finalist Richard Gasquet beat Indian qualifier Sumit Nagal 6-2 7-6 (7-3) setting up a match against his compatriot Jeremy Chardy. Federico Delbonis saved three match points to beat Marco Cecchinato 6-7 (5-7) 7-6 (7-3) 6-2.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Rudolf Molleker knocks out two-time champion Leonardo Mayer in Hamburg

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German 18-year-old Next Gen player Rudolf Molleker knocked out 2014 and 2017 Hamburg champion Leonardo Mayer 7-6 (8-6) 6-4 after 1 hour and 39 minutes at the Hamburg European Open.

 

Molleker beat Mayer in 2017 in the Hamburg qualifying round, but Mayer got a spot in the main draw as a lucky loser and went on to win the title.

Molleker fended off all three break points in two consecutive games of the first set, before saving two set points in the tie-break. He sealed the second set with a single break.

The German teenager saved two break points in the seventh game with two service games with two service winners and one more chance in the ninth game to set up a tie-break. Mayer took the lead twice at 6-5 and 8-7, but Molleker saved both chances with two winners and sealed the tie-break on the 18th point after a double fault from Mayer.

Molleker earned an early break at the start of the second set and held his service games in the next games before sealing the win with a service winner at 5-4 to secure his spot in the round of 16.

Marton Fucsovics cruised past Phillip Kohlschreiber 6-3 6-0 dropping just 16 points on serve. Fucsovics got an early break in the fourth game to clinch the opening set 6-3. The Hungarian player broke three times in a one-sided second set and sealed the win with a service winner.

Andrey Rublev, who lost in the second round at Wimbledon and Umag, edged this year’s Munich and Houston champion Christian Garin 6-4 7-6 (7-5) after 1 hour and 39 minutes to score his second win over the Chilean player this year. Rublev broke three times to seal the opening set 6-4. The Russian player got the break back at 4-5 in the second set to set up a tie-break, which he sealed 7-5.

Jeremy Chardy came back from losing the first set to beat Jeremy Chardy 6-7 (4-7) 7-5 6-3 after 2 hours and 34 minutes. Paire fended off a set point at 4-5 in the opening set to clinch the tie-break 7-4. Paire got a late break in the second set, but Chardy won two games at 5-5 to force the match to the third set. Chardy went up a double break to seal the third set 6-3.

Martin Klizan converted all five break points to cruise past Daniel Altmaier 6-2 6-2.

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Nicolas Jarry Breaks New Ground To Win The Swedish Open

The 23-year-old has become the latest player to win their first ATP title in 2019.

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Nicolas Jarry (@FOXSport_Chile - Twitter)

Chilean fifth seed Nicolas Jarry has won his first ATP title at the Swedish Open after prevailing in straight sets on Sunday.

 

The world No.64 held his nerve to edge his way past Argentina’s Juan Inacio Londero 7-6(3), 6-4. Playing in only his third ATP final, Jarry dropped serve once as he blasted 10 aces and won 76% of the points behind his first serve. Becoming the first person his country to win the tournament since Luis Ayala back in 1960.

“I’m very happy to be able to have this (the title). I know it is not very easy to get the first one in anything that you do. I’m really happy.” Jarry said during the trophy presentation.
“I want to say thank you to my team. I have a big team back home and we are very united. This is for all of them and all of my family who has been there since I was born.”

Jarry achieved his career milestone without dropping a set during the entire tournament. Earlier in the week he also scored wins over Jeremy Chardy and Frederico Delbonis. Londero was the only seeded player he faced in Sweden this year. Overall, he was broken eight times in six matches played.

The 23-year-old isn’t the first member of his family to win a title on the men’s tour. His grandfather is Jaime Fillol, who is a former top 20 player that reached the quarter-finals of the 1975 US Open. During his career, Fillol claimed eight trophies and was the former president of the ATP.

“He is one of the best Chilean tennis players. He taught me the sport since I was little,” Jarry told atptour.com earlier this week. “He took me to great tournaments. I remember Wimbledon when I was 12 and I remember going to the US Open a couple of times. There used to be an ATP [tournament] in Santiago, so I was always involved in the tennis.”

The new Swedish Open champion is the second player from Chile to win a title in 2019. Christian Garin claimed his maiden title back in April at the US Men’s Clay Court Championships in Houston. He then went on to win the Munich Open, which is also a clay-court event.

Jarry exits Sweden with 250 ranking points and €90,390 in prize money earnings. He will next travel to Germany to play in the Hamburg Open.

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