Four Key Storylines To Follow At The 2019 Rogers Cup - UBITENNIS
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Four Key Storylines To Follow At The 2019 Rogers Cup

Ubitennis outlines the key stories to follow over the next week at the biggest tennis tournament in Canada.

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Monday will see the main draw of the prestigious Canadian Open get underway. Unlike other tournaments on the calendar, the women’s and men’s tournaments are held at the same time, but in different locations. This year the women head to Toronto and the men will play in Montreal.

The tournament will see the return of Serena Williams for the first time since 2015. Meanwhile, Naomi Osaka will be hoping to regain some momentum after a below-par grass season. In the men’s draw, player’s are hoping to capitalize on the absence of Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer with a deep run. Both of those players have chosen to withdraw in order to have a longer rest period.

With a lot of action set to take place over the next seven days, here are four topics to follow.

Nadal looks to make his mark

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For a player regarded as one of the greatest of all time, hard court tennis hasn’t been easy going for Rafael Nadal in recent months. In fact, over the past 20 months he has only won one event on the surface. That was at the Rogers Cup 12 months ago in Toronto. During this period the Spaniard has been troubled by numerous injury issues, but has still managed to continue his reputation of the king of clay. Winning six titles, including two grand slams, on the dirt.

As the only member of the Big Three entering this year’s draw, Nadal is a heavy favourite to defend his title and win the tournament for the fifth time in his career. This year will be his 13th appearance and he currently boasts a win-loss record of 34-8 at the event.

“When I get to a tournament, I try to work on my things and work on my game. It doesn’t matter whether Novak or Roger are here or not here,” Nadal told atptour.com. “There are many great players here, so I have to just prepare myself as soon as possible and be ready for the action.”

As for how his body will cope during the North American hard-court swing, the 33-year-old has played down any concerns. Nadal has withdrawn or retired from three out of his past six tournaments that was played on hard court’s.

“If I’m thinking about this stuff when I play tennis, I cannot play tennis,” he said. “I’m thinking about the ball, the opponent and what I have to do to play my best. I’m not worried. If something happens, then I will accept it and that’s it. I’m not putting more emphasis on it because when you think negatively, there’s more of a chance that things can happen.”

Nadal’s opening match will be far from simple. Granted a bye in the first round he will play either Alex de Mianur or Daniel Evans. Two players who have already posted strong results on the tour. De Minaur defeated Taylor Fritz to win the Atlanta Open just over a week ago. Meanwhile, Evans’ has the potential to trouble any top player if he is on his game. The Brit has already won two matches in qualifying to reach the main draw.

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Matteo Berrettini battles past Alejandro Tabilo to reach the quarter final in Kitzbuehl

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Matteo Berrettini beat second seed Alejandro Tabilo 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (7-5) to reach the quarter final at the Generali Open in Kitzbuehl. 

Berrettini has extended his winning streak to seven consecutive matches following his second title of the year in Gstaad against Quentin Halys. The Italian player won 79% of his first service points.  

Berrettini went up 2-2 0-30 but Tabilo hit two aces to hold  serve. Tabilo led 30-15 at 3-4, but Berrettini hit three aces to hold serve. Berrettini earned his first mini-break to take a 5-4 lead after a double fault from Tabilo and won the final two points to close out the tie-break 7-4. 

Tabilo saved four break points in the second game from 0-40 down to hold serve at deuce. Berrettini went up a break in the eight game to take a 5-2 lead. The Italian player was not able to serve out the match at 5-3 in the second set, as Tabilo broke back in the 10th game. Both players went on serve en route to tie-break. Berrettini earned two mini-breaks to take a 5-2 lead. Tabilo pulled one mini-break back, but Berrettini sealed the win on his third match point.

“Having the chance to just play, feeling good and healthy, fighting for matches is just what I wanted for so many matches. So I am enjoying it and I am looking forward for my next match”, said Berrettini.

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Jannik Sinner Withdraws From Olympics Due To Tonsillitis

Jannik Sinner has withdrawn from the Olympics due to tonsillitis.

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World number one Jannik Sinner has withdrawn from the Olympics due to tonsillitis.

The Italian was well placed to win a medal in Paris but has now had to withdraw from the games due to illness.

It was supposed to be his first Olympics as he was set to be the top seed in both singles and doubles.

However Sinner seems to still be struggling from his health problems that he had at Wimbledon in his quarter-final match against Daniil Medvedev.

In a statement on Twitter Sinner said he was strongly advised to miss the Olympics and will now watch from home.

Sinner will now be replaced in the singles draw by Andrea Vavassori while Luciano Darderi will now team up with Lorenzo Musetti in doubles.

Now Sinner aims to be healthy in time for his title defence in Canada which starts on the 5th of August.

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Coco Gauff ‘Proud’ Of Being Named Olympic Flagbearer alongside Lebron James

Coco Gauff will be the US flagbearer alongside Lebron James at the opening ceremony in Paris.

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Coco Gauff has explained her pride about being named Olympic flagbearer alongside NBA legend Lebron James.

The American found out when Christopher Eubanks revealed the news to Gauff and the rest of the US tennis team in a video that was posted on Instagram.

It was news that came as a shock to Gauff who is set to make her first appearance at the Olympics.

The incredible news got better as she will be flagbearer alongside idol and NBA legend Lebron James.

Speaking about the news Gauff spoke about the pride she feels and how the Olympics is one of her goals for the season, “I still feel like this is all a dream.” Gauff said to Vogue.

“There is no greater honor than being chosen by my fellow athletes to be this year’s flag bearer, especially alongside one of my idols, Lebron. I would say the biggest things on there are to win another Slam, and a medal at the Olympics.”

Gauff is in a good position to win a medal at the Olympics and will be full of confidence heading into the event having reached the semi-finals of Roland Garros, where the Olympic tennis event is being played.

Now the American gets to complete her Olympic experience by having a moment of a lifetime alongside one of America’s all-time great athletes, “I never thought in a million years I would have the honour of carrying the American flag for Team USA in the Opening Ceremony,” Gauff stated.

“I could not be more proud to lead my teammates with LeBron as we showcase our dedication and passion on the biggest stage there is — at a moment where we can bring athletes and fans together from around the world.”

The opening ceremony will take place on Friday evening while the tennis event gets underway on Saturday.

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