At His Lowest Ranking Since 2014, Sam Querrey Switches Focus To Aggression On The Court - UBITENNIS
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At His Lowest Ranking Since 2014, Sam Querrey Switches Focus To Aggression On The Court

The American looks back on what has been a challenging past few months on the ATP Tour for him.

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Sam Querrey (photo by chryslène caillaud, copyright @Sport Vision)

13 months ago Sam Querrey was on the verge of cracking inside the world’s top 10 before he found himself spiralling down the rankings.

 

A mixed start to 2019 has seen the American fall to a current ATP ranking of 71st. His lowest position since June 2014. During Querrey’s first six tournaments of the season, he only managed to win back-to-back matches at one of those. Reaching the semi-finals of the New York Open in February. Heading into this week’s Men’s Clay Court Championships in Houston, Querrey win-loss record for the year currently stands at 6-6.

Despite his recent run of lacklustre results, the 31-year-old is confident that he is on the right path to regain his form. On Tuesday he kicked-off his clay season in Houston with a 6-3, 6-4, win over compatriot Bjorn Fratangelo. Hitting 13 aces and winning 90% of his first service points.

“I need to play like that, I need to play aggressive, serve big, go after returns and just kind of impose myself on the guys.” Querrey told The Tennis Channel following his match.
“I feel like the more I do that, the more confidence I’ll gain and I will win more matches. Then, inevitably the ranking will climb.”

Querrey is seeded eighth in the tournament this week. He is a two-time singles finalist in Houston and won the doubles title back in 2012 alongside James Blake. Reflecting on his year so far, the former Wimbledon semi-finalist admits that it hasn’t been perfect, but not terrible.

“It’s had its ups and downs. I had a good week in New York and I played well in Indian Wells. I lost to (Milos) Raonic in a tough one.” He said.
“I feel like I’m doing good things in practice and if I keep doing that good things will come.”

The next challenge for Querrey comes in the shape of Guillermo García López in the second round at Houston. Lopez defeated Noah Rubin 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-3, in his opening match. The 35-year-old Spanish veteran has been ranked as high as 23rd in the world, but it now outside the top 100.

“Right now I’m feeling like I am playing a good match and then not. I just need to throw a string of two, three,four or five (matches) together week in, week out.” Querrey commented about his consistency on the tour.

Querrey is one of only four American players left in the tournament.

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Stan Wawrinka Parts Way With Long-Time Coach Norman

Stan the man is on the look out for a new coach for the first time in almost a decade.

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It is the end of an era for three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka after he announced his split from coach Magnus Norman.

 

The former world No.3 confirmed on Monday that the two have decided to end their collaboration with ‘mutual consent’ following eight years working together on the Tour. Norman was last with Wawrinka at the Italian Open last week where the Swiss player lost his opening match to rising star Lorenzo Musetti. It is unclear as to exactly when the decision was made.

“After 8 great years together Magnus Norman and I have decided to part ways by mutual consent. We have had an amazingly strong, enjoyable and hugely successful partnership. We reached the height of this sport together and I want to thank him for helping me win everything that I could ever dream of winning,” Wawrinka said in a statement posted on Instagram.

44-year-old Norman is a former world No.2 player himself who reached the final of the French Open back in 2000. During his coaching career, he guided Wawrinka to various milestones in his career that includes 13 ATP titles with three of those being at Grand Slam level. The Swede has also been recognized by the ATP for his work with Wawrinka after winning the inaugural Coach of the Year award back in 2016.

“He’s been a great coach, friend and mentor and will always be a dear friend,” Wawrinka said in a tribute.
“I want to publicly thank him for all his hard work, dedication and commitment in making me a better player over the years. Winning three grand slams have been a life changing experience for me and I could not have done that without him. I wish him all the best in his next chapter in his life.”

The announcement from the world No.17 comes a week before the French Open starts. Wawrinka has been training on the clay for the past few weeks after deciding against travelling to North America to play in the US Open. Instead, he played in a couple Challenger events and won a trophy in Prague last month. Overall, he has achieved a win-loss record of 15-3 so far in 2020.

It is unclear as to who will be replacing Norman in Wawrinka’s team.

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Novak Djokovic Survives Krajinovic Battle To Seal Last Eight Berth In Rome

Novak Djokovic reached an 85th Masters 1000 Quarter-Final in Rome.

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Novak Djokovic (@ATPTour - Twitter)

Novak Djokovic survived a tough battle in Rome to beat Filip Krajinovic 7-6(7) 6-3 to reach the last eight.

 

Although the World Number one got the victory, it was a tough battle as he fought his compatriot for a place in the Quarter-Finals.

Breaks were shared to start the match as Krajinovic brought his fearless game to the top seed.

Djokovic created a total of ten break points, with only one executed as Krajinovic saved two set points in the tenth game to hold for 5-5.

After two comfortable holds, a tiebreak settled the winner of the first set as Djokovic was having a hard time to contain Krajinovic’s power.

The world number one battled from 3-0 down to edge the tiebreak 9-7 and win the opening set in 88 minutes.

Once Djokovic had survived the Krajinovic stormed, he took control and went into another gear as a break of serve in the third game was all that was needed to seal his place in the quarter-finals.

Winning 47% of his 2nd return points was key as Djokovic reaches his 85th Masters 1000 Quarter-Final of his career.

Next for Djokovic will be either talented teen sensation Lorenzo Musetti or Dominik Koepfer.

In other results today, Denis Shapovalov and Grigor Dimitrov set a last eight showdown after tight three set wins.

Shapovalov edged out Ugo Humbert 6-7(5) 6-1 6-4 while Dimitrov defeated Jannik Sinner 4-6 6-4 6-4 in a tough match.

There were also third round wins for Casper Ruud and Matteo Berrettini.

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Rafael Nadal Missing Fan Support Despite Emphatic Win At Italian Open

The 19-time Grand Slam winner reacts to his latest win 200 days after his last.

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Rafael Nadal (image via https://twitter.com/InteBNLdItalia)

The absence of a crowd at this year’s Italian Masters has been branded as ‘not beautiful’ by Rafael Nadal following his opening match on Wednesday.

 

The world No.2 raced to a 6-1, 6-1, triumph over US Open semi-finalist Pablo Carreno Busta in what was his first competitive match of any sort since March 1st. Despite his lengthy break from the Tour, Nadal showed little rust as he dropped only eight points behind his serve and broke the world No.18 five times overall. The latest victory is Nadal’s 62nd in Rome and he has only won more matches at four other tournaments.

“Of course I have to improve things. The things that I have to improve, the only way to improve is to keep practising with the right attitude, the right intensity and to spend hours in competition matches,” he said afterwards.
“Today has been a positive start for me,”
Nadal later added.

Choosing to skip the New York bubble due to concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic, Nadal is still getting used to the concept of playing without the crowds. Something many of his rivals has already had experience of. The Italian Open had originally hoped to allow fans to enter its grounds before the local authorities ruled against it over concerns it could trigger an outbreak of the Coronavirus.

“It’s Not beautiful the feeling of playing without the spectators because the energy of the fans is impossible to describe. But for me, at least, today has been a very positive comeback,” Nadal assessed.

It is a case of wait and see as to how the Spaniard will fare in the coming days given his recent lack of match play compared to his rivals such as Dominic Thiem and Novak Djokovic. Fortunately for Nadal, he is playing on the clay which is a surface which he has won more ATP titles on than any other player in the Open Era. As for the upcoming French Open, will a lack of play in recent weeks be problematic for him?

“I don’t think so, no. If Roland Garros was this week, maybe yes. Roland Garros is two weeks away.” He concluded.

Nadal will next play either Milos Raonic or Dusan Lajovic who will play their second round match on Thursday.

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