Six Facts About The French Open Final Between Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem - UBITENNIS
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Six Facts About The French Open Final Between Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem

Ubitennis looks at the milestones and records at stake for both men in the final of Roland Garros on Sunday.

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It is a case of deja vu for tennis fans on the final day of the 2019 French Open.

 

For the second year in a row Rafael Nadal will lock horns with Dominic Thiem for a chance to win the most prestigious prize in clay-court tennis. Nadal has rallied to the final by dropping one set on route. Meanwhile, Thiem has spent an extra two hours on the court and will be playing for the fourth day in a row after poor weather caused havoc with the scheduling during the second week of the tournament.

All the experts are pointing to another Nadal win, but Thiem will not go down with a fight. A lot is at stake for both men and here are six key storylines to watch out for on Sunday.

The perfect 12

Nadal boasts one of the most perfect records at a grand slam in the history of tennis. Since making his debut at the 2005 French Open, the Spaniard has won 92 out of 94 matches. His only losses were to Robin Soderling in 2009 and Novak Djokovic in 2015.

Should Nadal prevail in Sunday’s final, he would claim a record 12th title. Becoming the first player – man or woman – in history to do that at the same major. He is currently tied with Margaret Court, who claimed 11 Australian Open titles between 1960-1973.

In the Open Era only one player has won a tour-level tournament 12 times. That was Martina Navratilova at the Chicago Open between 1978-1992.

Thiem hopes to achieve the double

Out of active players on the ATP Tour, Stan Wawrinka in the only one to have defeated both the top two ranked players at the same grand slam. The Swiss player achieved the milestone twice at the 2014 Australian Open and the 2015 French Open.

Thiem could join Wawrinka if he defeats Nadal. The Austrian previously defeated world No.1 Novak Djokovic in what was his first ever five-set match played at the tournament in his entire career. Overall, he has a 7-6 win-loss record when it comes to five-set matches.

In the Open era, only eight players have defeated the two two seeds at a grand slam and only three since 1990. Mats Wilander, Stefan Edberg and Boris Becker are some of the players who have managed to achieve the double.

Nadal’s joins the old-man’s club

Victory at Roland Garros would make Nadal the oldest man to win the title since Andres Gimeno back in 1972. At the age of 33 years and six days, the world No.2 world be the third oldest winner in the French Capital in the Open Era. Gimeno claimed the trophy when he was 34 and Ken Rosewall was 214 days older than Nadal at the time of his triumph in 1968.

Nadal would also become only the fourth man in the Open Era to win four or more grand slams after turning 30. Joining Rosewall, Roger Federer and Rod Laver. Furthermore, he would become the ninth oldest grand slam champion in men’s tennis since 1968.

Thiem aims to emulate Muster

The fourth seed is hoping to become only the second player from his country to win a major title. The only Austrian victory took place back in 1995 at the French Open when Thomas Muster defeated Michael Chang in the final.

Thiem has won 54 grand slam matches so far in his career. The third highest ever achieved by a male player from his country. Muster holds the record at 77, followed by Jurgen Melzer at 59.

Target 950 for Nadal

Should Nadal win, he would become only the fourth player in history to win a 950th match on the tour. Only Federer (1207), Jimmy Connors (1156) and Ivan Lendl (1069) have won more than him.

Victory would also reward the 11-time French Open winner his 260th in a grand slam. Placing him third on the all-time list behind Federer (347) and Djokovic (270).

Nadal’s first ever win was back in 2002 when he was only 15 -years-old. Granted a wild card into the Mallorca Open, he defeated Paraguay’s Ramon Delgado 6-4, 6-4, in the first round. He was then knocked out of the tournament by Olivier Rochus.

Overall, Nadal has a win-loss record of 949-194 before today’s final. This equates to a 83% winning rate.

Thiem’s record

Whilst the odds are against him, Thiem knows what it takes to defeat Nadal on the clay. He has done so on four previous occasions, including this year’s Barcelona Open. To put that into context, only Djokovic has managed to defeat him more times on the dirt.

One of the most impressive things about those victories is the consistency. He has defeated his rival once a year since 2016. However, Nadal does lead their head-to-head 8-4 and, more crucially has won all of their four meetings at grand slam level. Three of which were at the French Open.

The head-to-head


The men’s French Open final will take place at 15:00 local time on Sunday.

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Juan Martin Del Potro Splits From Coach

The tennis star has announced a big change to his team.

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Former US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro is on the hunt for a new coach after agreeing to end his collaboration with Sebastian Prieto to continue focus on his rehabilitation from injury.

 

Del Potro has been working alongside Prieto since 2017 and achieved a series of career milestones under his guidance. Including winning his maiden Masters 1000 title at the 2018 BNP Paribas Open and reaching a ranking high of third in August that same year. Their decision has been made to allow Prieto to focus all of his attention on Juan Londero. Another Argentine player who is currently ranked 62nd in the world.

“I want to share that I have agreed with Sebastian Prieto to end our partnership, so that he can work with Juan Londero, while I continue my rehab process,” Del Potro said on Twitter.
“I’m very thankful to Piper for all of these years together. He is a great coach and even a better person. All the best!”

45-year-old Prieto is a former ATP player who peaked at a ranking high of 22nd in the doubles. During his career, he won 10 Tour titles with all of those occurring on the clay. He also reached the quarter-finals of the men’s doubles tournament at the 2003 French Open.

It is currently unknown as to who will be taking over as Del Potro’s new coach. The former grand slam champion hasn’t played a competitive match since last June due to a serious knee injury. At the Fever-Tree Championships in London, he fractured his right kneecap and was forced to undergo surgery to repair it. The second time he had to undergo that procedure within as many years after also suffering a similar injury at the 2018 Shanghai Rolex Masters.

Del Potro is currently undergoing rehabilitation and it is unclear as to when he will be able to return to the Tour again. All professional tennis tournaments have been either suspended or cancelled until at least July 31st due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although both the US Open and French Open are hoping to go ahead as planned.

So far in his career, the 31-year-old has won 22 ATP titles and earned almost $26 million in prize money. Earning more money than any other player from his country in the history of the sport.

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Novak Djokovic On Why He Didn’t Post Details Of Lockdown Training

The Serbian tennis star has shed some light on his recent training routines as he outlines plans for a Balkan tennis tour.

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World No.1 Novak Djokovic has been training almost daily since the world of tennis came to a halt due to the COVID-19 pandemic but opted to keep his activities out of the limelight to avoid any potential backlash from fellow players.

 

The ATP Tour has been suspended since March due to the Pandemic with officials hoping to restart the sport in some capacity during the summer ahead of the US Open. Nevertheless Djokovic, who started 2020 by winning 18 matches in a row, has been able to continue practicing in Marbella. He and his family were staying in a house located next to a tennis court.

Speaking with Serbian reports on Monday, the 17-time grand slam champion admitted that he didn’t want to ‘anger’ others by posting updates on social media of him training. Showing that he has been able to stay active more than other players during the lockdown.

“I had the opportunity to train almost every day during coronavirus because we stayed in a house next to a tennis court. I played a lot of tennis on a hard surface, but I didn’t upload anything on the net so as not to anger other players,” he told The Telegraf.
“I started recently on clay, I had two training sessions here, I feel good physically. I was quite active, I followed my program. Of course, the intensity decreases because I was not preparing for tournaments.”

https://twitter.com/DavisCup/status/1264885745916968960

With uncertainty surrounding when the Tour may start again, numerous countries have created their own domestic tournaments. In Djokovic’s case, he is the founder of his own event that will be played across the Balkan region. The Adria Tour is set to take place between June and July with three top 20 players set to participate. Besides Djokovic, Alexander Zverev and Grigor Dimitrov are also taking part.

“I started the whole idea of ​​the project and I communicate every day with TSS (Serbian Tennis Federation) and the company that organizes all this,” said Djokovic.
“The current international competitions, ITF and ATP will not happen before the first of August, and even that is uncertain. Afterwards, I will have time again if things resume on a hard surface in America, because I will have a month to prepare for the continuation of the season.”

Should it all go to plan, the clay-court tournament is set to be played in Belgrade (Serbia), Zadar (Croatia), Montenegro and Banja Luka (Bosnia and Herzegovina). Although it has been confirmed that the locations of the Bosnian and Montenegrin events are still not fully confirmed with the possibility of Sarajevo hosting one leg of the tour. Sarajevo hosted the 1984 Winter Olympics.

Prior to the Tour suspension, Djokovic was unbeaten in 2020. He started the season by winning three consecutive titles at the ATP Cup, Australian Open and Dubai Tennis Championships. Those triumphs enabled him to earn prize money of $4,410,541. He also earned just over $70,000 from playing doubles so far this year.

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Nikoloz Basilashvili Domestic Abuse Case: Extraordinary Claims Emerge From Both Sides

One journalist says she has ‘inside knowledge’ that the tennis pro has a history of domestic abuse, but his family has issued a statement claiming the accuser has a record of making false allegations.

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On what has been a dramatic day for tennis star Nikoloz Basilashvili, his family has now issued a statement in which they have made a series of allegations against his ex-wife.

 

The world No.27 was arrested on May 22nd over allegations that he ‘physically attacked’ Neli Dorokashvili during a confrontation on the outskirts of Tbilisi. Prosecutors have launched charges against him under the article ‘Domestic violence in the presence of a minor against a member of his family.’ Officials have confirmed that the alleged incident took part in front of their son.

After his initial hearing on Sunday, Basilashvili denied any wrongdoing and paid for a bail. His lawyer, Irma Tchkadua, has said that there is ‘no evidence’ in this case. However The Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia is demanding a pre-trial detention of the 28-year-old.

In a new twist to the case, Basilashvili’s family has now issued a statement to news agency IPN in which they have accused Dorokashvili of deliberately making false allegations. Claiming she has made similar claims in the past in order to damage the reputation of the tennis star. Revealing that Basilashvili’s mother, Natalia, have previously faced child abuse accusations.

“We want to respond to the allegations made against Nikoloz and our family today,” the statement begins.
“First of all, we want to apologize to the fans for the false allegations. We declare with full responsibility that the information about violence is not true and there is no evidence that would prove any violent action.’
“It is not happening for the first time that Neli Dorokashvili, Nikoloz’s ex-wife, is trying to inflict moral, financial and reputation damage on Nikoloz and his family’
“After the divorce, Neli Dorokashvili sued Nikoloz Basilashvili’s mother about child abuse. The court considered the complaint and acquitted Basilashvili’s mother.”

Touching on the incident that is alleged to have taken place, the Basilashvili family has said that Dorokashvili broke into the property and tried to start a fight. However, the family statement didn’t address reports that Nodar Basilashvili, who introduced his son to tennis at the age of five, was issued with a restraining order.

“As for the May 21 incident, Neli Dorokashvili broke into the property of the parents of Nikoloz Basilashvili without permission, where she deliberately tried to provoke a conflict. Nevertheless, there was no any violent action against her, not even an attempt. Fortunately, there is evidence for this and the court will consider it on July 16, 2020,” the family insists.
“The trial continues. We believe that Nikoloz will prove his innocence very soon.”

The claims made by a journalist

Despite the calls to dismiss the case, one Georgian journalist has made an extraordinary claim in which she said that Basilashvili has a history of domestic abuse. Magda Kldiashvili, who is the former editor-in-chief of goal.ge, has claimed that the two have been separated for some time and there was a contract drawn up in which he has to pay his ex-wife 100,000 Georgian Lari per month. Their contract is said to be kept confidential according to the journalist. Furthermore, Kldiashvili claims the argument between the two started when Dorokashvili asked for her monthly payment to be increased from 100,000 to 300,000 Lari.

“I have behind-the-scenes information that Nikoloz Basilashvili has been abusing his wife for many years and they have been separated for many years,newsreport.ge quoted Kldiashvili as writing on Facebook.
“Neli Dorokashvili had a formal contract with her husband, according to which Basilashvili paid her one hundred thousand GEL every month. Basilashvili saw the child with the permission of a social worker and rarely!”

‘It might have been an axe’

The Recorder is one of the first news outlets to obtain a testimony from Dorokashvili herself on the incident. Contradicting a comment previously made by Kldiashvili, she said she has no idea as to why the alleged confrontation occurred. Although she claims that she was chased after by Basilashvili’s father Nodar who was holding what she ‘thought was an axe’ but is unsure.

“The reason for the controversy is still unclear to me, I just went to fetch my son,” Kldiashvili told The Recorder.
“An examination (investigation) has been conducted and is still ongoing. I was not expecting (him) to be released on bail.’
“At my sight, when I visited my son, I don’t know what happened, he (Nodar) was drunk or what he needed, I don’t know, he and his son chased me with some weapons.”
I can’t confirm what it was, because it had some big tarry, I think it was an axe.” She later added.

It is important to note that all three statements have not been verified and the police investigation is ongoing. The Public Defender of Georgia, Nino Lomjaria, is examining the case.

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