Fabio Fognini rallies from a set down to oust Andrey Rublev in Montecarlo - UBITENNIS
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Fabio Fognini rallies from a set down to oust Andrey Rublev in Montecarlo

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Fabio Fognini came back from one set down to knock out Andrey Rublev 4-6 7-5 6-4 after 2 hours and 30 minutes in the opening round at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters.

 

Fognini, who reached the semifinal in Monte-Carlo in 2013, saved a break point in the second game before breaking serve in the third game. Rublev broke straight back in the next game.

Fognini got another break at 15 in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead. Rublev reeled off eight of the next 10 points to take a 4-3 lead with a break-back in the sixth game. Fognini won three consecutive points in the eighth game to hold his serve for 4-4. Rublev converted his second break point chance in the 10th game to clinch the first set 6-4.

Rublev went up a set and a break in the fourth game on his second opportunity and held his service game to take a 4-1 lead. In the sixth game Fognini saved five break points to hold his service game. The Italian player broke back on his first chance in the seventh game to claw his way back to 3-4 and saved a break point in the eighth game to hold on his service game for 4-4. Fognini turned around the match in the 11th game, when he converted his second break point to take a 6-5 lead. Fognini sealed the second set 7-5 on his second chance sending the match to the third set.

Fognini went up a break in the third game to take a 2-1 lead. He held his service game in the fourth game with a half volley for 3-1. He saved a break point to hold serve for 4-2. Fognini won a crucial point at 5-4 15-15 after a long rally before sealing the win on his first match point to the delight of the Italian fans, who packed the Court Rainier III.

Fognini will face either Alexei Popyrin or Gilles Simon in the second round,

Diego Schwartzman fought back from a break down to beat Kyle Edmund 4-6 6-3 6-1 after just over two hours. Edmund got the break in the 10th game to clinch the first set 6-4. He built up a 3-0 lead with a break, but Schwartzman reeled off six consecutive games to close out the second set 6-3. Schwartzman built up a 3-0 lead to extend his winning streak to nine consecutive games. Edmund stopped the losing streak by taking the fourth game, but Schwartzman won the final three games to close out the third set 6-1. Schwartzman set up a second round clash against either Jo-Wilfried Tsonga or Taylor Fritz.

Lorenzo Sonego edged past Andreas Seppi 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 after 1 hour and 45 minutes setting up a second round match against Karen Khachanov.

The first set went on serve without break points and was decided by the tie-break. Sonego, who reached the quarter final in Marrakesh last week and came through the qualifying round in Monte-Carlo, earned two set points at 6-4 and sealed the first on his first chance. Seppi saved two set points in the first game of the second set. Both players went on serve until the seventh game when Sonego got the decisive break. Sonego served out the win 6-4 on his second match point at deuce.

David Goffin beat Argentina’s Guido Andreozzi 6-1 6-4 after 85 minutes to clinch his 10th win in Monte-Carlo. Goffin beat Dominic Thiem and Novak Djokovic to advance to the semifinal in Monte-Carlo before losing to Rafael Nadal. Goffin will face Dusan Lajovic, who beat Malek Jaziri 6-4 6-4.

Mikhail Kukushkin beat France’s Jeremy Chardy 6-3 6-4 setting up a second round match against Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Last year’s Roland Garros semifinalist Marco Cecchinato was leading 4-0 before Damir Dzumhur was forced to retire due to injury. Cecchinato will face Stan Wawrinka in the second round.

This year’s Sofia semifinalist Marton Fucsovics edged Nikoloz Basilashvili 7-5 3-6 6-1 to secure his spot in the second round, where he will face either Adrian Mannarino or Cameron Norrie.

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‘Coronabros Stay In Your Basement’ – John Isner Plays Down Concerns Over COVID-19 Threat

The world No.21 believes players have to ‘learn and adapt’ to the virus.

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America’s top tennis player have said the world ‘can’t come to a complete standstill’ due to the Coronavirus pandemic as he hit back at criticism concerning an upcoming exhibition tournament he is participating in.

 

John Isner weighed in on the debate following a comment from freelance writer Ben Rothenberg whom on Twitter voiced concerns that Atlanta and West Virginia is staging tennis events with crowds despite a rise in cases. The world No.21 is set to play in the DraftKings All-American Team Cup in Atlanta, which will feature the eight top male players in the country. Officials plan to allow 450 people to attend the event on each day, which is estimated to be around 30% of the stadium’s maximum capacity.

“Ben, your concerns are valid, but, as someone who covers our sport for a living it would be nice if you would be supportive of WTT and Atlanta with their efforts to put on safe events instead of posting spooky headlines like this one that are factually incorrect,” Isner said making reference to an article Rothenberg posted.

Other Twitter users have also questioned the decision to allow fans to attend the event. Georgia, which is the state Atlanta is in, officially reported 2946 daily cases of the virus on July 1st. The highest amount within 24 hours since the pandemic began. Furthermore, Reuters News Agency reports that there was a record rise of more than 47,000 cases on Tuesday in America.

Nevertheless, Isner has dismissed calls for the event to be held behind closed doors or even cancelled. Branding his online critics as ‘coronabros’ before saying he wants to go on and live his life.

“You coronabros can stay in your basement all you want. I choose to live my life and play/promote the sport I love in a safe manner,” he said.

Unsurprisingly Isner has now been accused of downplaying the severity of the virus, which has killed more than 500,000 people worldwide. Including 130,000 in his home country alone. Challenged by one Twitter user who said she lost a family member due to the virus, Isner replied:-

“I’m incredibly sorry to hear that. I, in no way, was downplaying the effect of the virus, but I understand that perception can be reality.”

It is not fully understood by what he means with the phrase ‘perception is a reality’. Although he did like one tweet which said ‘the virus is much less lethal than the first models predicted. It’s now close to the flu.’ Although some medical experts have a differnt view on the perspective. White House coronavirus advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci has recently said the virus is “very different” from other outbreaks such as Ebola and HIV.

“We may not have a vaccine for a while and the world can’t come to a complete standstill. The reality is, we are going to have to learn and adapt to this virus in the safest manner possible,” he says.

The DraftKings All-American Team Cup in Atlanta will take place this weekend.

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Liverpool Ace Van Dijk Sees Similarities Between Him And Roger Federer

The Swiss Maestro has been praised for his seemingly effortless approach to the sport.

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Liverpool defender Virgil Van Dijk says he believes his approach to football is similar to that of Roger Federer in tennis.

 

In a recent interview the 28-year-old admitted that he can be perceived as laid back by some people whilst playing. Van Dijk recently helped Liverpool lift the Premier League title for the first time since 1990. The Dutch centre-back has scored four goals during the 2019-2020 Premier League season so far and was also part of the team which won the UEFA Champions League title last year.

Addressing his style of play on the pitch, Van Dijk said he has partly modelled his approach on the demeanour of Federer. Who currently holds the record for most Grand Slam titles won and weeks spent at No.1 on the ATP Tour.

“I have naturally always been a bit laid back, the way I look and the way my presence is,” The Express quoted him as saying.
“I think a good example is in tennis if you watch Federer playing tennis.
“It looks like he’s not even putting in any work and it can frustrate opponents as well thinking they’re trying as hard as they can and your putting on the slippers for example.”

Van Dijk isn’t the first Liverpool player to pay tribute to Federer. During the Swiss Indoors last October winger Xherdan Shaqiri said he can learn ‘so much’ from the world No.4. Shaqiri is also from Switzerland and started his career playing for FC Basel, which has been Federer’s favourite football club since he was a child.

“He’s here at home in Basel, then he’s running well and he’s winning. It went very fast and I’m happy for him,” Shaqiri commented on Federer’s win over Peter Gojowczyk at the Swiss Indoors last year.
“He is no longer the youngest and still plays at a top level, because you can look a lot off.”

Federer will not play any more professional tournaments this year after undergoing a second surgical procedure on his right knee within the last six months. The first was in February. Although he has pledged to return to action in 2021 when he will be 39-years-old.

It is only the second time in his career that Federer has ended a season half way through due to injury.

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Nick Kyrgios Blasts ‘Selfish’ Zverev Over Viral Party Video

The world No.7 has been blasted for breaking his pledge to self-isolate after playing in the Adria Tour where a series of players and coaches tested positive for COVID-19.

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Australian tennis star Nick Kyrgios has hit out at Alexander Zverev and the wider tennis community after it emerged on Sunday the German broke his self-isolation pledge to attend a party.

 

The world No.7 was caught attending a party at the Anjuna Plage Private Club in southern France after a video of him surfaced on the Instagram story of millionaire fashion designer Philipp Plein. Two other Instagram accounts also showed Zverev at the event on Sunday afternoon. The German issued a statement less than a week prior saying that he would go into a period of self-isolation after attending the Adria Tour in Zadar. Where Grigor Dimitrov, Borna Coric and Novak Djokovic tested positive for COVID-19. According to standard medical advice, those who have been in close contact with people with the virus should self-isolate for 14 days to avoid potentially spreading it.

“I will proceed to follow the self-isolating guidelines advised by our doctors. As an added precaution, my team and I will continue with regular testing,” the world No.7 said in a statement last Monday.

Zverev’s video sparked a series of criticism on social media, but Nick Kyrgios is by far the most well known figure in the sport to have spoken out. Releasing an Instagram video, the former top 20 player slammed the behaviour of his rival. Accusing him of being selfish before adding the tennis world was ‘pi**ing him off.’ During the Adria Tour players were seen attending parties and engaging with members of the public which was allowed under local laws.

“So I wake up and I see more controversial things happening all over the world. But one that stuck out for me was seeing (Alexander) Zverev again man, again, again, how selfish can you be? How selfish can you be?” Kyrgios said on Instagram.
“I mean, if you have the audacity to put out a f—ing tweet that you made your management write on your behalf saying you are going to self isolate for 14 days and apologising to f—ing general public for putting their health at risk, at least have the audacity to stay inside for 14 days. My god.
“Have your girlfriend with you for f—ing 14 days. Jesus, man. It pisses me off. This tennis world pisses me off. How selfish can you all get?”

Kyrgios isn’t the only player to criticise Zverev. Saschia Vickery wrote on Twitter ‘risking lives to dance off beat with no rhythm around hundreds of people how is this real life?’ and British player Katie Boulter said she was ‘speechless.’ Meanwhile, Noah Rubin wrote ‘we are far from being ok’ in reference in Zverev’s video.

French player Lucas Pouille was also spotted at the same party as Zverev. However, he didn’t play on the Adria Tour and has not been self-isolating. He recently withdrew from the United Tennis Showdown (UTS) due to injury.

Neither Zverev or a member of his team have commented on the video so far.

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