Rafael Nadal 'Tired' Of Accusations Concerning Gender Inequality In Tennis - UBITENNIS
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Rafael Nadal ‘Tired’ Of Accusations Concerning Gender Inequality In Tennis

The former world No.1 has hit back at calls from Victoria Azarenka that men’s matches in majors should be shortened.

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Rafael Nadal (photo by chryslène caillaud, copyright @Sport Vision)

11-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal has said tennis ‘supports more women than any other sport’ as he hit back at Victoria Azarenka’s suggestion that men should play best-of-three set matches in the majors.

 

Earlier this week, Azarenka wrote on Twitter that there would be a ‘better quality’ of matches if they were reduced from best-of-five to best-of-three. Citing the physical toll they can take on players during tournaments. Last year two marathon semi-final clashes at Wimbledon amounted to almost 12 hours on the court. Kevin Anderson overcame John Isner 26-24 in the decider, and Novak Djokovic edged past Nadal 10-8. At the majors, three out of four grand slam tournaments now have a tiebreaker in the final set.

“Men should just play best of three in my opinion! Will be much better quality of tennis and hopefully no ruined finals or semifinals because of the exhaustion… like has happened quite a bit.” Azarenka wrote in reply to a question she was asked on Twitter.

Responding to Azarenka’s comment at the Barcelona Open, Nadal has hit back. Stating that he is happy with the current format. The Spaniard then said he was ‘tired’ at the criticism his sport receives when it comes to equal opportunities.

“Why does she want us to play best of three? We’re happy playing best of five,’ Nadal said following his win over David Ferrer.
“It doesn’t matter the prize money, or equal prize money or not, that’s your debate it’s not our debate. It’s interesting that you are always debating on equal prize money in tennis when we are probably the only sport in the world where we are almost equal prize money in most of the events.
‘So I don’t know why you don’t debate about football, basketball, about all the other important sports that women are miles away from the men. You always debate here, in our sport, when we support more the women tour than any other sport in the world.
‘So I’m a little bit tired thinking about we are against the girls. No, not at all.”

Equal prize money has been available at every grand slam since the 2007 Wimbledon Championships. However, it differs in other tournaments. According to one study by The Guardian newspaper, during the first seven months of 2018 over 71% of the top 100 players on the men’s tour had earned more than their female counterparts. Meanwhile, 24 men have earned at least $500,000 in prize money so far this year compared to seven on the women’s tour (as of 22/4/2019).

“Another thing is who sells more, who sells less, that is another debate, but it’s not about men or women, it’s about persons and that’s all.” Nadal explained. “We are the same, somebody deserve more and other ones deserve less. ‘If you are in the same company as another man, and I am doing better in my job than the other man, I have to win more than the other. It doesn’t matter if it’s a girl or man and I’m a little bit tired about this debate all the time.”

Both Nadal and Azarenka are in action this week on the tour. On Friday Nadal faces Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff in Barcelona. Meanwhile, Azarenka plays Anett Kontaveit in Stuttgart.

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Alexander Zverev edged past Hugo Dellien to reach the semifinal in Geneva

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World number 5 and 2018 Nitto ATP Finals champion Alexander Zverev battled past Bolivian player Hugo Dellien 7-5 3-6 6-3 to reach the semifinal at the Banque Eric Sturdza Geneva Open. Zverev is still seeking his first title of the year.

 

Dellien earned the first break in the second game to take a 3-0 lead. Zverev converted his fourth break-back chance in the fifth game and held his serve to draw level to 3-3. Zverev saved a set point at 3-5 at 3-5, while Dellien was serving at 40-30.

Dellien needed one break in the fourth game to win the second set 6-3. Zverev held serve in the third game at the seventh deuce after seven deuces to take a 2-1 lead. The German player got the decisive break in the fourth game and held his serve at love to build up a 4-1 lead. Zverev never looked back to win the third set 6-3.

“I played very aggressive in the important moments. I was very aggressive also in break points down, This is finally something I was looking for in the last few weeks. I think today I showed it”, said Zverev.

Radu Albot came back from 2-4 down to beat Damir Dzumhur 6-3 7-5. Albot went up a double break in the third and fifth games to open up a 4-1 lead. Dzumhur pulled one break back in the sixth game for 2-4, but Albot broke for the third time on her third break point chance to win the first set 6-3.

Dzumhur went up an early break in the first game of the second set. Albot broke back in the eight game to draw level to 4-4 and sealed the win with his second break in the 10th game.

Albot will take on Nicolas Jarry, who dropped just four of his first service points to defeat Taro Daniel 6-1 7-5.

 

 

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Nikoloz Basilashvili sets up Lyon semifinal against Felix Auger Aliassime

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Four-time ATP Tour finalist Nikoloz Basilashvili secured his spot in the semifinal where he will face Felix Auger Aliassime in Lyon

 

Basilashvili came back from an early break down to beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-4 6-4 in the quarter final of the Parc Auvergne Rhone Alpes Lyon.

Tsonga got an early break in the second game to take a 2-0 lead, but Basilashvili recovered from the early start by breaking serve twice in the third and seventh games to take a 4-3 lead. The Georgian player held his final two service games at 30 to close out the opening set 6-4.

Basilashvili needed only a break in the third game of the second set to clinch the second set 6-4 to reach his first semifinal since winning the China Open in 2018.

Basilashvili set up a semifinal clash against this year’s Rio de Janeiro finalist and Miami Open champion Felix Auger Aliassime, who edged Steve Johnson 6-4 2-6 6-4. Auger Aliassime got a break of serve in the third game to clinch the opening set 6-4. Johnson bounced back by breaking twice in the second and eighth game to claim the second set 6-2. Auger Aliassime went up a double break in the third and fifth games to build up a 5-2 lead, but Johnson pulled one break back in the eighth game, when the 18-year-old player was serving for the match. Auger Aliassime served out for the match 6-4 in the 10th game.

Benoit Paire battled past Denis Shapovalov 6-3 4-6 7-6 (7-4) in 1 hour and 55 minutes. Paire broke serve twice in the fifth and ninth games to seal the opening set 6-3. Shapovalov claimed his only break in the fifth game to win the second set 6-4. Paire saved a total of three break points in the first and third games. Both players held on their service games en route to the tie-break. Paire reeled off the final three points from 4-4 to claim the tie-break 7-4.

Taylor Fritz fought back from one set down to beat Roberto Bautista Agut 6-7 (6-8) 6-3 6-4 after two hours and five minutes. Bautista Agut fended off one set point at 5-6 to take the tie-break of the opening set. Fritz fought back to open up a 3-0 lead with a break in the second game to claim the second set 6-4. The US player earned the decisive break in he ninth game to secure his spot in his first semifinal since the 2018 Chengdu Open.

 

 

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Tomas Berdych to Miss French Open For The First Time Since 2003

It will be the third grand slam the former top 10 player has missed within the past 12 months.

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Tomas Berdych (photo by chryslène caillaud)

Former Wimbledon runner-up Tomas Berdych will not play any clay court tournaments in 2019 after withdrawing from the upcoming French Open.

 

The 33-year-old has been absent from the tour since his first round loss to Feliciano Lopez in Indian Wells. Berdych has been hampered by issues within his back in recent weeks. He has been hoping to be fit in time for Roland Garros, but made a decision to withdraw from the event on Wednesday.

“I am not 100% ready to play the way I want and need to be competitive on the courts I love so much,” Berdych wrote on social media.
“I came to Paris and I had to take a tough decision and want another few days to fully recover and be ready for the grass season.”
“I love this tournament so much but I have to make sure not to further injure myself,” he added.

The Czech had played at the tournament every year since making his debut back in 2004. However, the French Open is his worst performing grand slam in terms of wins. So far in his career, Berdych has won 25 out of 40 matches played at the French Open. His stand out performance occurred in 2010 when he reached the semi-finals before losing to Sweden’s Robin Soderling.

It is not the first time back issues have forced Berdych out of action. In 2017 he was advised by doctors to end his season early due to persistent ‘back pain.’ He was also forced to skip both Wimbledon and the US Open due to the same problem.

Berdych, who last won a title at the 2016 Shenzhen Open, has played six tournaments so far this year. His best result occurred in January with a run to the final of the Qatar Open. He also reached the fourth round of the Australian Open and was a semi-finalist in Montpellier.

As a result of his absence, Berdych is currently ranked 100th in the world rankings. He will be replaced in the French Open draw by a lucky loser.

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