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

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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.

ATP

Entry Lists For Hamburg, Atlanta, Gstaad LIVE

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The ATP summer tour continues with the tournaments of Hamburg and Gstaad in Europe and Atlanta in USA. 

 

The Hamburg European Open is an ATP 500 event (former Masters) played on the red clay courts of the Rothenbaum Tennis Center. In this year’s field, Dominic Thiem will be the first seed, followed by Alexander Zverev, who received a Wild-Card, Fabio Fognini and the defending champion Nikoloz Basilashvili. Richard Gasquet, Benoit Paire and Philipp Kohlschreiber will compete as well.

Two ATP 250 events will take place in Atlanta and Gstaad. The BB&T Atlanta Open in Georgia (USA) has been played on hard courts since 2010, when Mardy Fish captured the first edition’s title. Australia’s Nick Kyrgios has been the only non-American winner, in 2016. Five-time former champion John Isner leads the entry list; Alex De Minaur, Taylor Fritz and Pierre-Hugues Herbert have committed to play as well.

The Swiss Open Gstaad, held in the red clay courts of the Roy Emerson Arena, has one of the most beautiful views in the tour, inside the Swiss Alps. Roberto Bautista-Agut, Fernando Verdasco and Dusan Lajovic will be among the favourites, while the defending champion Matteo Berrettini will not play due to injury.

NEWS: Grigor Dimitrov has accepted a Wild-Card into Atlanta.

 

ATP 500 Hamburg (GER, Red Clay), entry list:
Thiem, Dominic (AUT)
Fognini, Fabio (ITA)
Basilashvili, Nikoloz (GEO)
Djere, Laslo (SRB)
Paire, Benoit (FRA)
Garin, Cristian (CHI)
Struff, Jan-Lennard (GER)
Cecchinato, Marco (ITA)
Gasquet, Richard (FRA)
Cuevas, Pablo (URU)
Mayer, Leonardo (ARG)
Chardy, Jeremy (FRA)
Kohlschreiber, Philipp (GER)
Fucsovics, Marton (HUN)
Krajinovic, Filip (SRB)
Klizan, Martin (SVK)
Carreno Busta, Pablo (ESP)
Londero, Juan Ignacio (ARG)
Ruud, Casper (NOR)
Jarry, Nicolas (CHI)
Haase, Robin (NED)
Delbonis, Federico (ARG)
Rublev, Andrey (RUS)
(SE)
WC Zverev, Alexander (GER)
WC Zverev, Mischa (GER)
(WC)
(WC)
Alternates:
1. Kovalik, Jozef (SVK)
2. Bedene, Aljaz (SLO)
3. Dellien, Hugo (BOL)

 

ATP 500 Hamburg, qualifying:
Dellien, Hugo (BOL)
Bedene, Aljaz (SLO)
OUT Maden, Yannick (GER)
Travaglia, Stefano (ITA)
Monteiro, Thiago (BRA)
Martinez, Pedro (ESP)
Davidovich Fokina, Alejandro (ESP)
Ofner, Sebastian (AUT)
Mager, Gianluca (ITA)
OUT Coppejans, Kimmer (GER)
OUT Molleker, Rudolf (GER)
OUT Brown, Dustin (GER)
OUT Otte, Oscar (GER)
(WC)
(WC)
(WC)
Alternates:
IN Kovalik, Jozef (SVK)
IN Domingues, Joao (POR)
OUT Marterer, Maximilian (GER)
IN Berlocq, Carlos (ARG)
IN Vatutin, Alexey (RUS)
IN Nagal, Sumit (IND)
OUT Marcora, Roberto (ITA)
OUT Benchetrit, Elliot (FRA)
1. Arnaboldi, Andrea (ITA)
2. Miedler, Lucas (AUT)

 

 

ATP 250 Atlanta (USA, Hard), entry list:
Isner, John (USA)
OUT Auger-Aliassime, Felix (CAN)
OUT Schwartzman, Diego (ARG)
De Minaur, Alex (AUS)
Tiafoe, Frances (USA)
Albot, Radu (MDA)
Fritz, Taylor (USA)
Herbert, Pierre-Hugues (FRA)
Norrie, Cameron (GBR)
OUT Hurkacz, Hubert (POL)
OUT Millman, John (AUS)
Opelka, Reilly (USA)
Thompson, Jordan (AUS)
Humbert, Ugo (FRA)
Ebden, Matthew (AUS)
Evans, Daniel (GBR)
Copil, Marius (ROU)
Kecmanovic, Miomir (SRB)
Kudla, Denis (USA)
(SE)
(SE)
WC Dimitrov, Grigor (BUL)
(WC)
(WC)
Alternates:
IN Bublik, Alexander (KAZ)
OUT Karlovic, Ivo (CRO)
OUT Harris, Lloyd (RSA)
IN Tomic, Bernard (AUS)
IN Klahn, Bradley (USA)
IN Gunneswaran, Prajnesh (IND)
1. Sandgren, Tennys (USA)
2. Popyrin, Alexei (AUS)
3. Schnur, Brayden (CAN)

 

ATP 250 Atlanta, qualifying:
OUT Bublik, Alexander (KAZ)
OUT Klahn, Bradley (USA)
OUT Gunneswaran, Prajnesh (IND)
Sandgren, Tennys (USA)
OUT Tomic, Bernard (AUS)
Popyrin, Alexei (AUS)
Majchrzak, Kamil (POL)
Andreozzi, Guido (ARG)
Jung, Jason (TPE)
Gojowczyk, Peter (GER)
Kwon, Sun-Woo (KOR)
Harrison, Ryan (USA)
Koepfer, Dominik (GER)
OUT Fratangelo, Bjorn (USA)
(WC)
(WC)
Alternates:
IN Paul, Tommy (USA)
IN Stakhovsky, Sergiy (UKR)
IN Ivashka, Ilya (BLR)
IN Bolt, Alex (AUS)
IN Mmoh, Michael (USA)
OUT Giron, Marcos (USA)
OUT Halys, Quentin (FRA)
1. Troicki, Viktor (SRB)
2. Torpegaard, Mikael (DEN)
3. Eubanks, Christopher (USA)
4. Young, Donald (USA)
5. Smith, John-Patrick (AUS)

 

 

ATP 250 Gstaad (SUI, Red Clay), entry list:
Bautista-Agut, Roberto (ESP)
OUT Pella, Guido (ARG)
OUT Berrettini, Matteo (ITA)
Lajovic, Dusan (ITA)
Verdasco, Fernando (ESP)
Sousa, Joao (POR)
Carballes Baena, Roberto (ESP)
Munar, Jaume (ESP)
Sonego, Lorenzo (ITA)
Andujar, Pablo (ESP)
Gulbis, Ernests (LAT)
Darcis, Steve (BEL) PR
Laaksonen, Henri (SUI)
Stebe, Cedrik-Marcel (GER)
Istomin, Denis (UZB)
Lorenzi, Paolo (ITA)
Jaziri, Malek (TUN)
Ramos-Vinolas, Albert (ESP)
Moutet, Corentin (FRA)
(SE)
(SE)
(WC)
(WC)
(WC)
Alternates:
IN Fabbiano, Thomas (ITA)
IN Vesely, Jiri (CZE)
1. Daniel, Taro (JPN)
2. Travaglia, Stefano (ITA)

 

ATP 250 Gstaad, qualifying:
Novak, Dennis (AUT)
Daniel, Taro (JPN)
OUT Bachinger, Matthias (GER)
OUT Vesely, Jiri (CZE)
Hanfmann, Yannick (GER) PR
Baldi, Filippo (ITA)
OUT Bagnis, Facundo (ARG)
Trungelliti, Marco (ARG)
Garcia-Lopez, Guillermo (ESP)
Robredo, Tommy (ESP)
Napolitano, Stefano (ITA)
Arguello, Facundo (ARG)
Galan, Daniel-Elahi (COL)
Galovic, Viktor (CRO)
(WC)
(WC)
Alternates:
OUT Vatutin, Alexey (RUS)
OUT Nagal, Sumit (IND)
OUT Marcora, Roberto (ITA)
IN Benchetrit, Elliot (FRA)
IN Arnaboldi, Andrea (ITA)
OUT Masur, Daniel (GER)
OUT Weintraub, Amir (ISR)
OUT Kamke, Tobias (GER)
OUT Rodionov, Jurij (AUT)
IN Moroni, Gian Marco (ITA)
1. Robert, Stephane (FRA)
2. Escobar, Gonzalo (ECU)
3. Pavlasek, Adam (CZE)

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The 22 Matches That Roger Federer Lost After Having Match Point

Ubitennis looks back at the times where the Swiss maestro was on the verge of victory before going out.

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On Sunday Roger Federer was twice a point away from winning his 21st grand slam title at Wimbledon. Taking on world No.1 Novak Djokovic, the Swiss player failed to convert two match points. Resulting in him eventually losing in the final set tiebreaker after five hours of play on Center Court.

 

It was the 22nd time Federer has lost after having match point opportunities and the sixth time he has done so in a grand slam tournament. 13 out of those 22 matches saw him have more than one chance to seal victory. The most notable of those took place back in 2010 at the Paris Masters. Playing France’s Gael Monfils, Federer failed to convert five match point opportunities as he lost 7-6(7), 6-7(1), 7-6(4).

The unfortunate outcome has happened to the 37-year-old at least once every year since 2013. Furthermore, since 2017 he has failed to win after having match points twice each season.

Djokovic is the only person to fight back against Federer on multiple occasions at grand slam level. Besides his recent triumph at Wimbledon, the Serbian also saved two match points to beat Federer in their US Open clashes in 2010 and 2011. Djokovic is the only player to have ever done this against Federer on three separate occasions.

Looking at the overall picture, those 22 matches represents only 0.83% of his total losses on the ATP Tour since turning pro (22 out of 265). Federer’s current win-loss record stands at 1222-265. Claiming a total of 102 titles, which is the second highest in the Open Era. Jimmy Connors is currently first with 1274 wins and 109 titles.

Since 2000, there has been five seasons where the former world No.1 hasn’t lost a match after being in prime position. They were in 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2012.

Here is a breakdown of those 22 matches:-

YEAR TOURNAMENT ROUND OPONENT
MATCH POINTS  WASTED
2019 Wimbledon Final Novak Djokovic 2
2019 Madrid Quarter-final Dominic Thiem 2
2018 Wimbledon Quarter-final Kevin Anderson 1
2018 Indian Wells Final Juan Del Potro 3
2017 Stuttgart Two Tommy Haas 1
2017 Dubai Two Evgeny Donskoi 3
2016 Stuttgart Semi-final Dominic Thiem 2
2015 Madrid Two Nick Kyrgios 2
2014 Rome Two Jeremy Chardy 1
2013 Dubai Semi-final Tomas Berdych 3
2011 US Open Semi-final Novak Djokovic 2
2010 Paris-Bercy Semi-final Gael Monfils 5
2010 US Open Semi-final Novak Djokovic 2
2010 Miami Two Tomas Berdych 1
2010 Indian Wells Third Marcos Baghdatis 3
2006 Rome Final Rafael Nadal 2
2005 Monte Carlo Quarter-final Richard Gasquet 3
2005 Aust. Open Semi-final Marat Safin 1
2003 Miami Quarter-final Albert Costa 3
2002 Rotterdam Quarter-final Nicolas Escudé 1
2002 Aust. Open Two Tommy Haas 1
2001 Paris-Bercy Two Jiri Novak 1
2001 Halle Quarter-final Pat Rafter 1
2000 Wien Semi-final Tim Henman  2

source of data – Simon Graf/derbund.ch

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Albert Ramos Vinolas beats Fernando Verdasco in all-Spanish clash in Bastad

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Albert Ramos Vinolas beat his compatriot Fernando Verdasco 6-2 6-4 in one hour and 46 minutes to secure his spot in the quarter final at the Swedish Open in Bastad.

 

Ramos Vinolas fended off eight of the nine break points he faced. Verdasco broke for the first time in the match at 2-5 in the second set. Ramos Vinolas broke serve four times to build up a 6-2 5-2 lead and converted his seventh match point in the 10th game to secure his spot in his fourth quarter final in 2019.

Ramos Vinolas will take on his compatriot Roberto Carballes Baena, who knocked out Damir Dzumhur 6-1 7-6 (7-4). Carballes Baena saved eight of the ten break points and broke three times a row.

Dzumhur came back from 3-5 down in the second set to set up a tie-break, which Carballes Baena sealed 7-4.

Frenchman Jeremy Chardy beat top seed Christian Garin 6-4 6-4 after 1 hour and 44 minutes. Chardy broke in the fifth game of the first set after a double fault from Garin. Chardy served well in the next three service games to seal the first set 6-4 with a service winner in the 10th game. Garin broke serve at the beginning of the second set with a forehand down the line winner, but he was broken back at 3-1 when he hit his forehand into the net.

Chardy got another break in the seventh game with a forehand. The Frenchman sealed the win with a forehand winner at 5-4 to secure his spot in the quarter final.

Nicolas Jarry beat Mikael Ymer 7-5 6-3 after 1 hour and 41 minutes. Jarry wasted three set points at 5-4 before sealing the first set with a break in the 12th game. Both players traded breaks at the beginning of the second set. Jary dropped three points in the last four service games and broke serve at love in the eighth game. The Chilean player reeled off 12 of the final 15 points to reach his fourth quarter final of the season.

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