Dominic Thiem Plays Down French Open Chances Following Barcelona Triumph - UBITENNIS
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Dominic Thiem Plays Down French Open Chances Following Barcelona Triumph

The world No.5 is keeping grounded about his chances at the upcoming grand slam.

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DFominic Thiem (photo by Chryslène Caillaud, copyright @Sport Vision)

Newly crowned Barcelona Open champion Dominic Thiem has said the prospect of him challenging for the Roland Garros title is ‘far away’ as he gains momentum on the tour.

 

At the Spanish tournament, Thiem achieved a series of milestones. Becoming the first ever player to defeat Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals or final of the tournament and only the second Austrian to win the title after Thomas Muster. Overall, he has defeated Nadal four times on the clay. Something that has only ever been achieved by world No.1 Novak Djokovic, who has managed to score seven victories in total.

Securing his ninth clay-court title with a 6-4, 6-0, win over Daniil Medvedev in Sunday’s final, some are labelling Thiem as the next king of clay. The 25-year-old is one of the favourites to clinch the French Open title, which has been won a record 11 times by his rival Nadal.

“Paris is still pretty far away, I’m happy with my clay form right now, this is actually my biggest clay title – this one here,” said Thiem.
“It makes me happy to have won it, Paris is not really in my head.”

The world No.5 already has a solid record at the French Open. Reaching the semi-finals or better every year since 2016 and finishing runner-up in 2018. Overall, he has won 18 out of 23 matches played there.

Barcelona is the second tournament Thiem has won this season. Last Month he defeated Roger Federer to win the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. His first ever Masters 1000 title.

Despite his successes on the tour, Thiem still believed Nadal remains the favourite to win the French Open title. The Spaniard is continuing to find his form following a series of injury setbacks in recent months. The most recent being a knee injury that forced him out of Indian Wells. As a consequence, this season is the first time since 2004 where Nadal enters the fifth month of the year without at least one title on the clay.

“I’ve not changed my opinion that Rafa is always the biggest favourite for any clay title,” Thiem said.
“But I love Roland Garros, I’ve played well there for the past three years.
“I hope this can continue. But I’m thinking next of Madrid.”

The next test for both players will be at next week’s Madrid Masters. 12 months ago Thiem reached the final of the tournament before losing to Alexander Zverev. It is the only Masters tournament where he has managed to reach back-to-back finals at.

“I go to Madrid playing well and in a good mood,” he stated. “But the special thing about tennis is that I will start from zero there. All the guys will be strong.
“I need to train well and get used to the conditions. In the matches I must be there from the first point, it can go very quickly in tennis.”

In this week’s ATP rankings, Thiem remains in fifth place. One place adrift from his career high.

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Pierre Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut claim their first ATP Finals title in London

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The French team formed by Pierre Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut claimed their first men’s doubles title with a 6-3 6-4 win over Raven Klaasen and Michael Venus in 70 minutes at the ATP Finals at the O2 Arena in London ending the 2019 ATP season on a high note with back-to-back titles in Paris Bercy and London. They remained unbeaten during the whole week at the ATP Finals in London winning all five matches in straight sets.

 

Herbert and Mahut fended off all four break points they faced scoring their ninth consecutive match win. The French doubles specialists have become the first team to win the doubles ATP Finals title without dropping a set since Jean Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau in 2015.

Herbert and Mahut fended off break points in the third game of the match before earning the only break of the opening set in the next game. The Frenchmen saved a break point in the sixth game before breaking serve in the seventh game.

They have become the French team to win the ATP Finals doubles title since Michael Llodra and Fabrice Santoro, who triumphed in Shanghai in 2005.

Herbert and Mahut have won 15 doubles titles as a team during their career. This year they became the eighth men’s doubles team to complete the career Grand Slam at last January’s Australian Open and also won the Rolex Paris Masters in front of their home fans.

Last year they came within one point of winning the ATP Finals title against Mike Bryan and Jack Sock after holding a match point.

“Thank you Nicolas for sharing the court, for having so much enjoyable moments and giving me so much joy, when I am with you on the court. You played an unbelievable final, so thank you for that”, said Pierre Hugues Herbert.

 

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Jannik Sinner wins his third ATP Challenger in Ortisei

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Jannik Sinner won the ATP Challenger in Ortisei adding another title to his impressive collection of trophies he lifted during a memorable 2019 season.

 

The 2019 Next Gen ATP Finals champion beat world number 173 Sebastian Ofner from Austria 6-2 6-4 in 1 hour and 6 minutes in the final of the Sparkasse Challenger Val Gardena Sudtirol at the Tennis Center in Ortisei.

Sinner won his third ATP Challenger title in 2019 after his previous wins in Bergamo and Lexington. He also reached the final in Ostrava. During the tournament the 18-year-old player from San Candido beat Lucas Miedler in the first round, Roberto Marcora in the second round, Federico gaio in the quarter final and Antoine Hoang in the semifinal without dropping a set.

Sinner will improve his ranking to his career-high at world number 78 in the ATP Ranking becoming the sixth best ranked Italian player after Matteo Berrettini, Fabio Fognini, Lorenzo Sonego, Marco Cecchinato and Andreas Seppi.

Sinner broke serve in the fifth game of the opening set to take a 3-2 lead. Ofner missed two game points in the seventh game. The Austrian player faced another break point after his third double fault. In the next game Sinner saved the first break point he faced. Sinner closed out the first set 6-2 after two backhand errors from Ofner in the eighth game.

Sinner went up a break to open up a 2-0 lead, but Ofner broke back in the fourth game and held on his serve to take a 3-2 lead. Ofner saved three break points in the seventh game to take a 4-3. Sinner converted his fourth break point in the ninth game to take a 5-4 lead and served out the win with two consecutive aces.

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Tomas Berdych: It Is Up To Others To Decide My Legacy

The former top-10 player spoke with reporters for the first time since officially retiring from the sport

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Tomer Berdych (far left) among group of recently retired player's attending special presentation at The 2019 ATP Finals

LONDON: Tomas Berdych has said his future plans is ‘to not have a plan’ after officially retiring from tennis on Saturday at the age of 34.

 

The former Wimbledon runner-up joined a series of other former players to celebrate their careers in a special on-court presentation at the ATP Finals. Also present was Radek Stepanek and David Ferrer. News of Berdych’s decision to walk away from the sport surfaced earlier this week after a Czech newspaper spoke with his father Martin.

Speculation has mounted in recent months about Berdych’s future in the sport after struggles with injury issues concerning his back and hip. He hasn’t played on the tour since the US Open. Overall, he has only managed to play 22 matches this season. Winning 13 of them.

“I was able to train, practice, prepare, and then you get to the tournament, and then I play three games, the problem came back.” Berdych explained during a press conference about his decision.
“You put all the negative stuff on the one side, and then the positive is to go on court, fight, win the match, and there was no chance to achieve that. There is really no point to continue.”

Playing in the shadows on the Big Four contingent, the Czech still managed to establish himself as a household name. Albeit on a smaller scale. As of this week, he is ranked as the 11th highest-earning player on the ATP Tour in history with more than $29 million in prize money. His achievements include winning 13 ATP titles and spending 794 consecutive weeks in the top 100. At his peak, he was fourth in the world rankings and finished seven seasons inside the top 10.

Like any other player, it hasn’t always been a smooth journey for Berdych. One example was during the 2012 Australian Open where he was booed off the court after defeating Nicolas Almagro during what was a bad-tempered encounter. However, fortunately, most of his career has been free from controversy.

“Do I have any regrets? No, I think even the bad things or the negative experience that I went through or I experienced or I have done, I think they were there for the reason. I think without them, I wouldn’t be as good as I was.” Berdych stated.
“I think even the bad ones were there for a reason.”

Now he has stepped away from the sport for good, what does the future have in store? According to the Czech, he is in no intention of rushing into anything else soon. Although he admits that it may not be tennis-related.

“The plan is actually not to have any plans. The last 15, 20 years was so hectic and so demanding that I just need to just to breathe out easily after all those years.”

As the chapter closes on the career of one of the Czech Republic’s most successful male players in the Open Era, he leaves the sport with high respect from both his fans and fellow rivals. As for his legacy, he says that it is not for him to decide.

“I think I’m not the correct one to judge that. I was trying to do the best I possibly can, and I think this is something that you created with your achievement and with your behavior.” He concludes.

Berdych’s career in numbers

2 – number of Davis Cup titles won
4 – highest ATP ranking achieved
13– number of ATP titles
53 – number of wins over top 10 players
342 – number of losses on the ATP Tour
640 – number of wins on the ATP Tour
2002 – the year he turned pro
2019 – the year he retired
29,491,328 – career prize money (in US dollars)

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