Bianca Andreescu: ‘I can do big things with my game style’ - UBITENNIS
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Bianca Andreescu: ‘I can do big things with my game style’

Bianca Andreescu spoke about her high hopes for her career, dealing with increased expectations and her time away with injury.

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Bianca Andreescu (@rolandgarros on Twitter)

After she battled to a 5-7 6-4 6-4 win over Marie Bouzkova in the first round of the French Open, Bianca Andreescu told the media that she believes the way she plays could contribute to a very successful career.

 

“Ever since I was young, I would always change the rhythm,” the Canadian said in her press conference. “I would never hit more than two shots the same. And I guess that transitioned through my junior career, and I saw that it was helping me win matches because not many players played like that.”

She continued, “So I kept doing it and improving it, and it’s obviously paying off even at this level. So I just want to keep doing my thing, and I think I can do big things with my game style.”

Andreescu, 18, announced herself to the tennis world in March with her stunning triumph in Indian Wells. In the Californian desert, she beat Garbine Muguruza, Elina Svitolina and Angelique Kerber on her way to the title.

Since then, the Canadian has barely been seen on court due to a shoulder injury she picked up in the next event in Miami. Understandably, she feels she is some distance away from top form.

“This wasn’t one of my best matches at all,” Andreescu said. “I was getting pretty mad at myself. But it’s my first tournament back after an injury, so I tried to stay as calm as possible. I’m really proud of how I fought through the match with the tennis I had.”

Andreescu manages soaring expectations

Bianca Andreescu (@rolandgarros on Twitter)

Despite her youth, the Canadian has already risen to No.23 in the world. Unsurprisingly, this is a statistic she puts to the back of her mind whenever possible.

“There’s outside expectations and pressure from the fans,” she said. “But I really try not to focus on that. It’s not easy, but I think I’ve been doing it really well.”

Andreescu will face another of the WTA’s rising stars, Sofia Kenin, in round two. They have played four times before, with two wins apiece, so she knows what to expect from the American.

“I have a really good sense of how she plays, although not on clay,” the Canadian said. “I know it’s going to be a tough match. She gets to a lot of balls well. She’s a fighter. So I’m going to do the same things.”

It could be an excellent match between two exciting young talents, so make sure you tune in.

[Also published on womenssporthub.com]

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Roger Federer Survives Tsonga Test To Reach Halle Quarter-Finals

Roger Federer reached the quarter-finals in Halle after a tough three set win over Jo-Wilfred Tsonga.

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Roger Federer (@ATP_Tour - Twitter)

Roger Federer edged out Jo-Wilfred Tsonga 7-6(5) 4-6 7-5 to reach the quarter-finals in Halle as he searches for a 10th title. 

 

The nine-time champion didn’t have it all his own way against the dangerous Frenchman as he edge to victory to reach the last eight.

A crucial break in the eleventh game sealed the win for Federer as he had his first test on a grass court in 2019 as he bids for a 10th title.

Tomorrow, Federer will face Roberto Bautista Agut in the last eight.

Today would test Federer’s grass-court ability as he was up against a player that had beaten him on grass before and was capable of outpowering him.

There were signs of that early on in the match as Tsonga used his first serve to dominate play and cause trouble for the nine-time champion.

It wasn’t only on serve that the Frenchman looked comfortable as he even created two break points on the Federer serve early on.

However some short and sharp points for the 37 year-old sealed a crucial hold of serve as he looked to build on his first round win over Millman.

After saving set point with a big serve down the middle, Tsonga felt confident in his game as a first set tiebreak loomed between the pair.

Despite leading by the early mini-break, Tsonga had become too predictable with his serving patterns and Federer used his experience to take advantage.

A mini-break of his own and another big serve sealed the deal for Federer as he took the tiebreak 7-5 in 50 minutes.

The consensus was that the opening set was crucial in Tsonga’s chances of getting a much-needed win and that’s what it turned out to be as he had lost the momentum.

Another serve out wide became too regular for Federer on return as he smashed home a forehand winner for the break in the first game.

However it was too late to rule out Tsonga just yet, remember he did overturn a two set deficit against Federer eight years ago at Wimbledon.

These memories are still in Tsonga’s memory today and after pressurising Federer, he finally earned his reward as the Swiss couldn’t handle a powerful forehand as he conceded the break advantage.

There was a new-found aggression about Tsonga towards the end of the second set as the momentum was now with him.

Some stunning forehands had Federer on the ropes and a break in the last game secured the set as this match would be heading to a deciding set.

The momentum was firmly with the Frenchman as he created a few break points to put the nine-time champion under pressure.

For Federer now, he had to raise his level as Tsonga was now dominating the majority of the rallies with his powerful forehand.

Despite the opportunities though, the world number 77 couldn’t convert and would eventually be punished as the top seed pounced in the big moment.

Some smart returning saw a break in 11th game and a hold to 30 sealed the win as he reaches the quarter-finals in what was a big test.

Next up for Federer in his bid to win a 10th title is Roberto Bautista Agut tomorrow.

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On-Court Coaching: A Terrible Idea Or The Next Logical Step In Men’s Tennis?

Whilst the WTA Tour has relished the on-court coaching rule for the past 11 years, opinion among the men’s tennis elite reflect a completely different scenario.

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Nick Kyrgios of Australia is pictured in action during day four of ATP Fever-Tree Championships tennis tournament at Queen's Club in west London on June 19, 2019. (photo by Alberto Pezzali)

LONDON: Five games into his opening match Fernando Verdasco looked lost on the court at The Queen’s Club. Down a double break and only able to take two points off his opponents serve, he glared towards the camp in the crowd. They could not say anything without getting Verdasco a penalty. Something his female counterparts don’t fear.

 

On-court coaching has been allowed on the WTA Tour since 2008. A process where the coaches of players are allowed to interact with them during changeovers to issue advice and so forth. The bosses of the WTA at the time said it was done to add entertainment value and give insight to fans watching. 11 years on from that decision, other tournaments have started their own experiments.

The US Open, which was the first major to introduce equal prize money back in 1973, has outlined their plans. Involving allowing coaches to shout to players from the sidelines in between points. A move that was undoubtedly triggered by last year’s women’s final where Serena Williams was penalized for receiving coaching. Something her guru Patrick Martogolou, who is a supporter of on-court coaching, initially admitted to before she later denied took place. It was assumed that organizers wanted to implement this change in 2019, but it appears that this will not happen now.

Should these changes occur, it will move men’s tennis closer to the prospect of on-court coaching. Something that raises one crucial question – do the players want it on the ATP Tour?

“I personally don’t feel that there is a need for it. Obviously, the WTA does it, but I feel there is no need because I’m used to not having it on the court.” Kyle Edmund said at the Fever-Tree Championships on Sunday.

Critics of the technique argue that it takes away the player’s ability to think for themselves. Making them mentally weaker. In the Open Era, there has never been a grand slam main draw where the competitors could seek help from anybody else during matches. However, what about a compromise similar to the one proposed by the US Open?

“With the debate concerning having coaching off the court in terms of speaking, as other sports do, I’d say I’m more interested in that aspect.” Edmund indicates.

Nick Kyrgios could potentially be the kind of person who would benefit from a change in the rules. In a recent interview with The Telegraph, he admits that he struggles mentally during the big tournaments. So potentially having somebody to speak to him during matches could help.

However, the Australian doesn’t have a mentor and is a fierce critic of on-court coaching. Arguing that it could create an uneven playing ground if it was implemented in men’s tennis.

“I don’t agree with it at all. I think on-court coaching shouldn’t be a part of the sport.” He stated.
“I don’t think — like, it’s supposed to be one on one. You’re supposed to figure out things yourself when you’re out there on the court.”
“For guys who don’t have a coach, like myself or guys who can’t afford a coach, it’s not really a level playing field when you have a guy that’s literally talking to their players on the court. It makes no sense.”

Kyrgios’ view is one that has been backed by one of the biggest names in men’s tennis – Roger Federer. In the German city of Halle, the Swiss Maestro was questioned about on-court coaching.

“I don‘t support on-court coaching, I think that I have the best team in the world, and so I don‘t think it‘s fair that I could profit from that and another guy, who has maybe no coach can‘t benefit at all.” Federer explained.

2019 prize money rankings (as of 17/6/2019)
1. Rafael Nadal $6.28M
20. Jan Lennard-Struff $910, 090
50. Filip Krajinovic $521, 146
100. Marcelo Melo $306, 269
200. Elias Ymer $83, 342

A logical step forward?

Embed from Getty Images

Daniil Medvedev was straight to the point when asked his own opinion of the subject. Saying such a change will have zero benefits for him. Although he believes changing the rules is only logical. During numerous matches coaches in the crowd has been caught making gestures towards their players. Something that is hard to police for the umpires.

“I am for it. Not because it will benefit me because I don’t think it will. Even if I asked my coach to come onto the court one time per match.” Medvedev told Ubitennis.
“But when we see a lot of sports it is allowed. During matches, they can say anything and when you are working with your coach almost 365 days a year and he can’t say anything, it’s a bit strange.’
“It won’t change a lot (for me), but I think it should be legalized.”

There is also the role of technology in the debate. Application software company SAP works alongside the WTA. Under the rules, they are able to provide coaches with real-time data so they can feedback to players during matches. Something some argue enhances the quality of matches.

“The WTA introduced the on-court coaching rule in 2008. That gave SAP the opportunity to bring real-time data to players and coaches as they need it,” SAP’s Global Sponsorships Technology Lead Jenni Lewis told intel.co.uk.
“And they need it as the match is happening, so the coach can go out during on-court coaching and share that information.”

Tennis is a sport that has developed a reputation of priding itself on its history and rightfully so. However, the downside is trying to maintain a balance between traditionalists and those driving for change. Illustrated by past debates concerning the use of tiebreakers in the final set of grand slam matches, the unique rules set out at the next Gen Finals and the fallout over the Davis Cup revamp.

Given these sticking points, would the ATP really want to bother with on-court coaching?

Only time will tell.

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Matteo Berrettini: “The top 10 and a Grand Slam semifinal are my goals”

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Last week’s Stuttgart champion Matteo Berrettini beat sixth seed Nikoloz Basilashviil 6-4 6-4 after 70 minutes to set up an all-Italian second round match at the Moventi Open in Halle.

 

Before this week’s week match Basilashvili led over Berrettini 2-1 in his previous head-to-head matches, but the Italian player beat his Georgian rival in the first round in Winston Salem last year.

Berrettini saved both break points he faced to stay unbroken in the sixth consecutive match on grass this season. Last week the 23-year-old Italian player won the Stuttgart tournament without dropping his serve in the whole tournament.

In his opening round match in Halle Berrettini produced another solid performance breaking serve in the fifth game of the first set and in the ninth game of the second set.

“I take a match at a time. It is strange to be ranked world number 22 but I would lie if I said that the top 10 and a Grand Slam semifinal are not my goals. I am surprised that I adjusted so well to different conditions. It’s always difficult to play another tournament after winning a title the previous week. In Stuttgart I beat unbelievable guys. I never lost my serve, but all the matches were so close. I am really happy for what I did on the court because it was mentally really difficult to stay there and I am really proud of myself”, said Berrettini.

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