Uncle Toni Backs Rafael Nadal To Win First Wimbledon Title Since 2010 - UBITENNIS
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Uncle Toni Backs Rafael Nadal To Win First Wimbledon Title Since 2010

Will the world No.2 return back to winning ways on the grass after claiming another French Open trophy?

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Rafael Nadal (photo by chryslène caillaud, copyright @Sport Vision)

The former coach of 12-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal believes he has a strong chance of winning next months Wimbledon Championships.

 

Toni Nadal, who is the uncle of the world No2, believes his nephew has ‘the possibility’ to win the title after his latest triumph. On Sunday, Nadal defeated Dominic Thiem to win his 18th grand slam trophy. The second highest amount of all time behind Roger Federer’s tally of 20. He is now on a 12-match winning streak after also claiming the Italian Open title last month.

“When I talked with him today, I told him, ‘I think you have the possibility to win Wimbledon this year again’,” Toni told reporters on Sunday.

Nadal is a two-time Wimbledon champion. Claiming the title in 2008 and 2010. Overall, he has won 48 out of 59 matches played at The All England Club. Last year he reached the semi-finals before getting edged out by eventual champion Novak Djokovic in five sets. The run was his best performance at the major since reaching the final back in 2011.

“Last year he was very close, I think he had the possibility to win and I want to hope that this year will be possible,” Toni said.
“I know Federer is there, Djokovic is there, Dominic, many good players, but I think that Rafael has the possibility, because it’s impossible to work well without confidence. So he has to think that.”

The 33-year-old will play no warm-up tournaments on the grass prior to Wimbledon. A decision he has taken over the past few years. As for his rivals, Novak Djokovic is likely to do the same unless he takes a last-minute wild card. Meanwhile, Roger Federer will play in Halle. A tournament he has a lifetime contract to play in for the rest of his career.

Weighing up his chances at Wimbledon, Nadal is staying coy about the prospect of claiming grand slam title No.19. If he would be successful, he would become only the seventh man in the Open Era to win the tournament on three different occasions.

“Realistically, I’ve had my chances at Wimbledon when I’ve been fit and playing well. I played five finals in a row there (2006-08, 10-11).” He told atptour.com.
“I was on the cusp of reaching the final last year. Winning at Roland Garros has definitely given me a boost in confidence going into Wimbledon. If I’m fit and I can prepare sufficiently, well, we’ll see what happens.”

The Wimbledon Championships will get underway on July 1st.

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Svetlana Kuznetsova upsets Ashleigh Barty in Cincinnati to reach the 42nd final of her career

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Russian wild card Svetlana Kuznetsova edged top seed this year’s Roland Garros champion Ashleigh Barty 6-2 6-4 in the semifinal of the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati to reach the 42nd final of her career.

 

Two-time Grand Slam champion Kuznetsova, who is now ranked world number 153, scored her third win against top 10 players this week  after beating former US Open champion Sloane Stephens and Karolina Pliskova.

Barty missed her chance to regain world number 1 spot from Naomi Osaka, who was forced to retire from her quarter final.

Barty earned the first break of the match in the second game of the opening set, when Kuznetsova netted a backhand. Kuznetsova broke back in the third game with a smash winner and earned another break at 2-2 when Barty netted a backhand. Kuznetsova hit a return winner to build up a 5-2 lead. Barty asked a medical time-out to treat he right leg. Kuznetsova held serve at 15 to close out the opening set after 30 minutes.

Kuznetsova went up a break in the first game of the second set. Barty won just three points on return in the second set. Kuznetsova closed out the second set with three winners in the 10th game.

“I am really happy. I am not really an analyzing person, but on my intuition, I am doing so much better, not repeating so many of my mistakes, just playing smarter and wiser now. It’s been so many different things when I was off, so I just enjoyed time off. Honestly, I was not missing at all the travelling and all the stress when you play tournaments, but now I have missed it and I feel good. I feel joy staying here and being here. It definitely helped me to have some time off to see other things outside tennis”, said Kuznetsova.

 

Kuznetsova set up a final against Madison Keys, who beat Sofia Kenin in straight sets. The Russian 34-year-old veteran player has qualified for her first final since last year, when she beat Donna Vekic in Washington.

 

“Madison is extremely tough. When she is on fire, it is really hard to play against her. It’s going to be a difficult match-up”, said Kuznetsova.  

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David Goffin reaches his first Masters 1000 in Cincinnati

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David Goffin beat Richard Gasquet 6-3 6-4 on an overcast afternoon to reach the first Masters 1000 final of his career and his 13th title match at ATP Tour level at the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati. Goffin has dropped just one set en route to the final.

 

Goffin is returning to his best form this summer under the guidance of former Swedish player Thomas Johansson. He reached the final in Halle and his first quarter final at Wimbledon. He received a walkover after Yoshihito Nishioka was forced to withdraw from the match due to food poisoning.

The Belgian player started the match with two consecutive holds before breaking at love to open up a 4-1 lead with a backhand winner down the line.

Goffin held his next service games to seal the opening set 6-3. Gasquet earned an early break to open  2-0 lead, but Goffin won five of the next six games with two breaks. The 2017 Nitto ATP Finals runner-up served out the win at love in the 10th game after 1 hour and 16 minutes, as Gasquet sent his backhand long.

Goffin reached the semifinal in Cincinnati last year, but he was forced to retire due to an arm injury.

“I am very happy. It’s a tournament I like and I have played the best tennis in the past few years. I am really happy to reach my first Masters 1000 final here. It’s a great moment for me.”

 

 

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Richard Gasquet reaches his first Masters 1000 semifinal since Miami 2013

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Frenchman Richard Gasquet edged past this year’s Wimbledon semifinalist Roberto Bautista Agut 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 6-2 after 2 hours and 12 minutes to reach his first Masters 1000 semifinal since the 2013 Miami Open.

 

 Gasquet missed six months of action after undergoing groin surgery last January.

The French player set up a semfinal against David Goffin, who reached the semifinal after his Japanese opponent Yoshihito Nishioka withdrew from the match due to illness.

The first set went on serve with no break points en route to the tie-break. Bautista Agut hit a backhand wide at 1-2. Gasquet sealed the tie-break when Bautista Agut hit a forehand long.

Bautista Agut earned two breaks of serve in the second set and sealed it, when Gasquet made his third double fault on set point.

Gasquet broke serve with a volley in the third game of the decisive set. The French player went up a double break to race out to 4-1 lead. He saved two break points to hold his serve at deuce before serving out the third set on his first match point.

“I know how tough it was to come back. I know the moments I had at the start of the year, so I just wanted to enjoy, to fight. It is not easy to come back after six months out, but I am here. I am in semis tomorrow”,said Gasquet.

 

 

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