In Triumph Of Consistency, Dominic Thiem’s 2019 French Open Loss Had A Lesson, Too - UBITENNIS
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In Triumph Of Consistency, Dominic Thiem’s 2019 French Open Loss Had A Lesson, Too

There is a lesson to be learned for Dominic Thiem despite another impressive Roland Garros run in 2019.

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Dominic Thiem (@RolandGarros - Twitter)

Dominic Thiem made it count at Roland Garros for the second consecutive year, what was there to know more beyond his winning a set from Rafael Nadal in the final?

 

It has now been twice in two years in a row that Dominic Thiem has had to return emptyhanded from the French Open on the second Sunday. That both of his losses have come against Rafael Nadal make them starker than what they would have been against any other player. However, there are several positives to be taken from this result of the Austrian – even beyond him managing to win a set off the Spaniard in the 2019 final unlike his straight-set defeat in 2018.

Thiem’s biggest success coming off the Major was that he put himself out there as a contender for the title. The 25-year-old’s run was apropos of defying pre-tournament consensus of Nadal vying against Novak Djokovic for the Coupe des Mousquetaires. Thus, even while Nadal’s win kept the Big Three’s dominance’s niche protected from the younger generations thanks to Thiem, cracks in this supremacy have become palpable. Just as unmistakeable it is to see how Thiem has separated himself from the rest of his peers on the circuit – both among his age-group and the younger pros.

With the ‘NextGen’ frenzy mushrooming, and each juvenile millennial’s performance being examined for finesse and fallacies after every match, Thiem’s French Open sojourn was a reality check of its own. In that it reiterated how men’s tennis needed to leave its youngsters alone for them to set their own rhythm and pace when it came to tackling the bigger titles.

“Even though I didn’t win the tournament, still, two years finals in a row, it’s nice. I think that I developed my game,” Thiem acknowledged in his post-final press conference in Paris. “I was also closer than last year in the finals, I have the feeling, I mean, especially in the first two sets. So, I’m on the right way. And I failed today, but my goal and my dream (are) still to win this tournament or to win a Grand Slam tournament. I will try my best next year again.”

But after having said so, in a roundabout way, Thiem admitted it was tougher for him to play against Nadal merely a day after he had beaten Djokovic in Saturday’s semi-final, on 8th June. “That’s a unique and also brutal thing, I guess, in our sport, in tennis, that I won six amazing matches. I beat yesterday one of the biggest legends of our game. Not even 24 hours later, I have to step on court against another amazing legend of our game, against the best clay-court player of all time. That also shows how difficult nowadays it is to win a Grand Slam,” Thiem observed.

Thiem’s comments cannot be perceived as excuses about his inability to carry his momentum from the semi-final to the final. Nonetheless, they also do not fit well for a potential Major champion. This, despite the tournament organisers short-changing the two-time Roland Garros finalist once too many in the course of the tournament.

These occurrences, especially the way his semi-final against Djokovic was truncated partway on Friday, 7th June, should have been Thiem’s catalysts to impose himself – and his stature – as a player whose interests were also prioritised by the event organisers. Thiem succinctly verbalised his irritation in the way his press conference was shifted to a smaller room to accommodate Serena Williams’. He was unable to do the same – with his actions on the court – when they mattered the most in the last couple of days in the tournament.

Inconvenient scheduling notwithstanding, had Thiem found it in himself to either determinedly win his semi-final in four sets, or jostle Nadal in their final in a firmer manner, the learning curve’s scope would have been entirely different. As it would have been demonstrative.

That the Big Three for all their pre-eminence in all these years have let their games be their voice. Not only to speak up for them when their routes in tournaments are easy enough but also when their paths are the toughest, at their worst.

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Grigor Dimitrov – ‘Tennis Is A Microscopic Thing In The World Right Now’

The world No.19 speaks out about how he is coping during the tour suspension.

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Former grand slam semi-finalist Grigor Dimitrov has become the latest player to urge the governing bodies of tennis to make a united decision regarding when play will resume again.

 

The ATP and WTA Tours are currently suspended until June due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Although it is likely that the suspension will be extended further with rumours that Wimbledon will be cancelled for the first time since the second world war later this week. Dimitrov’s last tournament was at the Acapulco Open in Mexico, where he reached the semi-finals before losing in straight sets to eventual champion Rafael Nadal.

“Tennis is a microscopic thing in the world right now. The ATP supervisors I’ve talked to in recent days have a variety of theories, but for the time being, we can really only guess if we’re being honest.” Tenniskafe quoted Dimitrov as saying during an interview with bTV.
“The tournaments are cancelled, but we have a big luxury in tennis – there is always next week. Yes, it is very difficult right now, you have seen the Olympics cancelled. The only thing that is at the forefront is to go through this situation we are in, and then start rebuilding. “

The world No.19 is currently residing in California during the lockdown. Describing the situation where he is as ‘more casual’ compared to other parts of the world. California is where the Indian Wells tennis tournament was set to take place earlier this month before it was cancelled.

“In my opinion all federations and players, no matter what rank they are, must come together and make a general decision. Because it’s really not easy at the moment to talk to everyone about points, tournaments, competitions … But now other things are really more important – to be safe, to be healthy and to go through this thing.” He said.

During the suspension, the 28-year-old is keeping himself busy in other ways. Recently he has signed up for an online course with Harvard Business School. Becoming the latest of a series of players to do so. He also manages to keep in touch with his fellow rivals on the tour thanks to the world of social media.

“One of the first players I wrote to was Fabio (Fognini) because he was in Italy. Everyone is on Instagram, we know everyone what they do every minute.”

When the restrictions related to the pandemic comes to an end, Dimitrov has vowed to return back to Europe as he outlines the first thing he would do.

“I just want to go back to Europe. Whether it will be in Bulgaria or in Monaco – I do not know. I certainly want to go home, gather all my relatives and just spend time together. I’ve been in the US for over a month now. As things currently look, there will certainly be another two months. Hopefully it will be faster, but I just want to go home and be with my loved ones.” He concluded.

In the fight against Covid-19 in his home country, Dimitrov has made a donation to a hospital in Haskovo. The city where he was born.

Dimitrov has started the 2020 season with a win-loss record of 7-5. Besides his run to the semifinals in Acapulco, he also reached the second round at the Australian Open and Rotterdam. He has been ranked as high as third in the world.

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Tennis Could Be Suspended For ‘A Long Time,’ Warns Millman

The top 50 player isn’t expecting to play on the tour anytime soon.

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Australian player John Millman has indicated that he believes the current suspension of the ATP Tour is all but certain to be extended in the coming weeks.

 

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, both the ATP and WTA Tour have been suspended until at least June 8th. Although those in change of both of those governing bodies have previously admitted they are uncertain as to when play will resume. ATP chairman Andrea Gaudenzi has said that ‘it is unknown at this time’ as to when men’s tournaments will resume. Meanwhile, Steve Simon has echoed a similar view during an interview with The Tennis Channel.

Speaking about the current situation, world No.43 Millman said the sport is in a difficult situation due to its global reach with both tournaments and players based around the world. For example the Australian started his season by playing four tournaments in four different countries across three continents within five weeks.

“We’re going to have to be pretty unified in terms of our recovery process before the tour can resume,” Millman told The Age.
“Maybe the tournament location has got the COVID-19 situation under wraps and then manage to contain it, but if someone’s flying in from South America, say, and their country hasn’t got a hold of it, then the tournament can’t (go ahead).
“You can’t have the tournament going when only certain players can get there. I think that’s
where the problems lie.”

The 30-year-old didn’t speculate as to when he and his rivals will be returning to the court, but believes it could be a while. During the coming week the fate of Wimbledon will be decided at an emergency meeting. The All England Club is pondering the motion of cancelling this year’s tournament. A move that has never been taken during peacetime. Wimbledon has been scrapped a total of 10 times during the first and second world wars.

“It’s almost like we have to have a vaccine or the virus has to run its course before there’ll be any let-up there.” Millman commented.

Besides trying to maintain fitness, many players like Millman are in a difficult situation financially due to a lack of income. He has managed to earn $290,705 on the tour this year before the suspension. This is the 44th highest total on the men’s tour. In total, 131 players have surpassed the $100,000 mark. Although the earnings don’t take into account travel costs, coaching, accommodation and so on.

“I just can’t see us playing tennis for a long time and now it’s a matter of trying to stay (the) fight, trying to scrape by a little bit while not much is coming in,” he said.
“You’re used to a bit of money coming in and obviously that’s not the case anymore. Yeah, it’s tough. It’s just not easy. You try and make do.
“But I don’t want to be a sob story, that’s for sure, because I know Australians are doing it a lot tougher than me.”

Millman reached the third round of the Australian Open earlier this year before losing to Roger Federer in a five-set thriller.

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Jamie Murray Speaks Out On Wimbledon Dilemma

The two-time mixed doubles champion shares his thoughts about the current situation and the problems that could arise.

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Former world No.1 doubles player Jamie Murray says he is unsure how much longer Wimbledon can be delayed this season ahead of a crucial meeting on its future next week.

 

The All England Club is set to hold an emergency meeting to make a final decision as to what to do with this year’s tournament. Including the possibility of cancelling the event for the first time since 1945. The tennis calendar has been brought to a standstill due to the covid-19 pandemic. There have been more than 500,000 cases of Coronavirus worldwide, according to John Hopkins University.

Speaking about Wimbledon’s potential decision during an interview with BBC Scotland’s The Nine, Murray admits that organisers face a difficult decision. Saying it would pose as a big challenge for them to reschedule the event. Both the ATP and WTA are currently reviewing their calendars with the French Open now taking place a week after the US Open.

“I don’t know how long they could push it back,” said Murray.
“They’re desperate to have their event on, it’s still over three months away and a lot can change in that time,” he added.

Murray has featured in the doubles main draw at Wimbledon every year since his debut back in 2006. He has won the Mixed doubles trophy twice in 2007 (with Jelena Jankovic) and 2017 (with Martina Hingis). The 34-year-old currently has a doubles ranking of 34th.

“For them, optics don’t necessarily look great, I guess, if there’s sporting events all over the world getting cancelled and they’re trying to crack on with things.” He commented on the scheduling difficulties.
“There’s a lot of other stakeholders, a lot of other tournaments to consider. Even things like daylight for the tournament. Once the tournament gets put back, there’s less and less daylight. When you play at Wimbledon normally, you can play until 10 at night.”

The UK is currently in a lockdown with members of the public only allowed to leave their houses for specific reasons. Furthermore, 1.5 million people have been advised to self-isolate for 12 weeks. The government is hopeful that they can flatten the spread of the disease within this period, which is extremely close to the Wimbledon start date.

According to AFP News, any decision to scrap this year’s tournament is likely to have a massive financial impact. Between 2017-2018 Wimbledon made an estimated pre-tax profit of $52 million with over 90% of that invested back into British tennis. Furthermore, the BBC could also suffer a big blow. It is reported that the broadcaster pays in the region of $72 million for the TV rights.

It is unclear as to what day the decision will be made next week. Since its creation in 1877, Wimbledon has been cancelled a total of 10 times before. All of which happened during the first world war (1915-1918) and second (1940-1945). The event has never been delayed or scrapped during peacetime.

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