Soon-To-Be-Retired David Ferrer Relishing Barcelona Showdown With Nadal - UBITENNIS
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Soon-To-Be-Retired David Ferrer Relishing Barcelona Showdown With Nadal

The 37-year-old is hoping to test the king of clay in what could be their last ever meeting.

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David Ferrer (photo by chryslène caillaud, copyright @Sport Vision)

Former Roland Garros finalist David Ferrer has described his upcoming showdown with Rafael Nadal at the Barcelona Open as a ‘gift’ as he approaches the end of his career.

 

The 37-year-old wild card will take on the top seed on Thursday after producing straight sets wins over Mischa Zverev and 15th seed Lucas Pouille. Barcelona is Ferrer’s penultimate tournament before he retires from the sport next moth. This year is his 15th appearance at the tournament.

“I’m happy because I’ve won two games (matches) and I’m enjoying myself.” Marca quoted Ferrer as saying. “I’ll try to do what I can and try to win, playing against Rafa would be a gift for me. We already played in New York and I hope this time I can finish the game.

The Ferrer-Nadal rivalry has extensive history in Barcelona. They have clashed four times in the final of the tournament between 2008-2012 with Nadal winning all of those matches. Overall, Ferrer trails Nadal 6-25 in their head-to-head and last defeated him at the 2014 Monte Carlo Masters.

“He’s a good friend, one of the best players that we have been watching the last 15 years. It’s going to be a special one, and he’s playing well,” Nadal said of Ferrer.

In previous years, many would expect Nadal to cruise to victory against the veteran. However, the Spaniard has experienced a turbulent clay-court season so far. In his opening match against Leonardo Mayer, Nadal dropped a set in the tournament for the first time since 2015 before fighting back to win. The world No.2, who has been troubled by injury over recent months, is yet to find his best form.

“The job is to find myself. During the last 18 months, I have had too many stops and ups and downs, non-tennis related. And when that happens, it’s hard to pick up rhythm and continuity.” The defending champion told reporters earlier this week.

In contrast, Ferrer has insisted that he is ‘feeling good.’ Like Nadal, he has endured his fair share of physical problems in recent time.

“Physically I’m feeling good, and when I’m preparing for a few tournaments, the physical problems are less, technically I’m fine.” He said.

Earlier this year at the Miami Masters, Ferrer recorded his first win over a top five player since 2014 when he defeated Alexander Zverev. Now with a chance to upset Nadal on clay, he has insisted that he isn’t looking too much into the match. Ferrer has defeated Nadal three times when he was world No.1.

“I do not dream anything, I do not think or expect anything.” He stated. “I try to enjoy what I am doing the match by match without thinking about it. Things have come out better than expected, and on Thursday I have the opportunity to play on the centre court and enjoy.”

The upcoming match will be the third to be played on the premier court on Thursday.

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Rival Backs Dominic Thiem To Win Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award

Only two players have won the award since 2004.

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For the past 15 years only two players have managed to get their hands on the prestigious Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award, but one player thinks there could be a brand new winner this year.

 

Diego Schwartzman has lent his support behind world No.4 Dominic Thiem. The award recognizes those who have conducted the highest level of professionalism and integrity on the ATP Tour throughout the season. Established in 1977, Roger Federer has won the honour in 13 out of the past 15 years. The only other player to triumph during that period was Rafael Nadal, who won it in 2010 and 2018.

“I think Thiem can win it, he showed throughout the year a competitiveness and a respect with everyone that was spectacular,” Schwartzman told ole.com. “On top of that he is having great years of his career and this season was even better for the achievements he had.’
“He has a good chance of winning it.” He added.

Schwartzman, who reached the quarter-finals of the US Open earlier this year, has also been shortlisted for the award. Along with regular nominees Federer and Nadal. Only once has an Argentinian player won the title, which was José Luis Clerc back in 1981. At that time it was known as the ATP Sportsmanship award before getting renamed in 1996.

“I learned first (of getting nominated) through social networks rather than the official designation that the ATP sends you by mail.” The 27-year-old revealed.
“It is more spectacular than anything for the players I have next to me. It is a very important prize that recognizes a little what you do off the court, not only hitting the ball.”

Whilst he is dreaming of winning the honour himself, Schwartzman is just happy that he has been nominated.

“If I won this award, it would be spectacular. Now I am on that payroll that is very good and represents the values ​​that I try to maintain on a day-to-day basis and that (my coaching teams over the years) have taught me. It is very nice to be recognized for that. “ He concluded.

The four nominees for the Stefan Edberg Award was shortlisted by the ATP. However, it will be the players who will decide the winner. The result will be revealed later this month.

Multiple winners of the Stefan Edberg/ATP Sportsmanship award

Roger Federer – 13
Stefan Edberg – 5
Pat Rafter – 4
Alex Corretja – 2
Todd Martin – 2
Paradorn Srichaphan – 2
Rafael Nadal – 2

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Kei Nishikori In Doubt For The Australian Open

Asia’s highest ranked male tennis player is contemplating when he should return to the tour following surgery.

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Kei Nishikori (photo by chryslène caillaud, copyright @Sport Vision)

World No.13 Kei Nishikori is refusing to rule out the prospect of skipping the first grand slam event of 2020 as he continues his recovery from surgery.

 

Nishikori hasn’t played a match on the tour since his third round loss at the US Open back in September. A month later he underwent a procedure on his right elbow in a move that brought his season to an early end. Currently undergoing rehabilitation, it is unclear as to when the Japanese player believes he will return to the ATP Tour.

“The prospect of a return from surgery on right elbow in January. Maybe February. In the second half of next year I want to be able to play well.” Nikkan Sports quoted Nishikori as saying.
“I don’t want to overdo it,” he added.

The Australian Open will get underway on January 20th in Melbourne. Should he miss the grand slam, it will be the second time he has done so in the last three years. Nishikori also withdrew from the 2018 edition due to a wrist injury. In January he reached the quarter-finals and therefore has 360 points to defend next year.

During his time away from the court, the 29-year-old has been kept busy making changes to his team. Recently it was confirmed that he has started working alongside Max Mirnyi, who is a former world No.1 doubles player. Mirnyi, who has won 10 grand slam titles in men’s and mixed doubles, will be working full-time with Nishikori alongside existing coach Michael Chang.

“I’m getting closer to retirement. I want to be cured and come back to play good tennis in the second half of next year.” Nishikori stated.

Despite the injury setback, Nishikori has enjoyed success in 2019. Reaching the quarter-finals in three out of the four grand slam tournaments. The first time he has ever done that in his career. He also claimed his 12th ATP title at the Brisbane International. Overall, he won 29 out of 43 matches played.

Nishikori will turn 30 on December 29th.

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Family Of Venezuelan Doubles Star Launches GoFundMe Page For Cancer Treatment

Roberto Maytin was playing on the Challenger tour less than a month ago, but now faces a new battle.

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One of Venezuela’s highest ranked players on the ATP Tour is facing challenges off the court after being recently diagnosed with cancer.

 

Roberto Maytin, who currently has a doubles ranking of 136th, is undergoing treatment for testicular cancer Non-Seminoma. Non-seminomas are made up of different types of tumour, such as teratomas, embryonal tumours, yolk sac tumours and choriocarcinomas. Maytin’s brother Ricardo has launched a GoFundMe page to help cover the costs. The tennis player made $19,441 in prize money this season, which doesn’t factor into account numerous expenses such as travel, accommodation and paying for his coaching team.

“If life gives you a chance to live longer, I think nobody would miss the opportunity. In this plane, we all want to be (alive) for years however we forget that we are with a 50% chance of leaving at any time every day.” The fundraising page reads.
“My brother was diagnosed with testicular cancer NO Seminoma, at 30 years old. He now faces a crucial match that life has put him for growth as an individual, as a man and as an athlete. He is forced to undergo 4 stages of aggressive chemotherapy in order to heal at all and leave no trace of a Cancer that has been moving for months causing some damage.”

A former top 25 junior player, Maytin is one of only two players from his country to be ranked inside the top 200 in either singles or doubles on the men’s tour. This season he has won four Challenger titles across America. However, he has only played in one ATP Tour event since the start of 2018. He achieved a ranking high of 85th in the doubles back in 2015.

Once a student at Baylor University in Texas, Maytin formed a successful partnership with former world No.2 doubles player John Peers. Together they earned All-American honours with a win-loss of 36-5 and reached the quarter-finals of the 2011 NCAA tournament.

Maytin is also a regular fixture in his country’s Davis Cup team. Since 2007 he has played 15 ties and won 10 out of 16 matches played.

“I am also clear that the family is the gift of God for each one of us, so in this way and in whatever way I will put my desire and my energy so that my Brother Roberto Maytin, a Venezuelan professional tennis player, is back to the courts, which is where he belongs as soon as possible.”

Almost $25,000 has been raised so far to fund Maytin’s treatment. Click here to visit his GoFundMe page.

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