Toni Nadal Hits Out At Next Gen - UBITENNIS
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Toni Nadal Hits Out At Next Gen

The Spanish tennis coach has suggested that a majority of the rising stars in the men’s game are underachieving.

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The former coach of Rafael Nadal has criticised the rising stars of men’s tennis after saying the majority of them have achieved ‘practically nothing’ so far in their careers.

 

Toni Nadal spoke out about the contingent during an interview with Gazzetta Dello Sport. The Next Gen refers to a group of players on the ATP Tour under the age of 21 who are tipped to be the next big things in the sport. At present the only player from that age group in the world’s top 20 is Stefanos Tsitsipas at seventh.

58-year-old Toni, who is the uncle of the 12-time French Open champion, has also criticised former members of the Next Gen clan for failing to break the dominance of the Big Three. A trio consisting of Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer. The group has won the past 12 grand slam tournaments between them.

“I am critical of the players considered Next Gen. We talk many times that they are young and have to wait a little longer, but many of them are already 23 years old and have practically achieved nothing.” He said.
“Rafael at 19 was already at the top, Djokovic at 21 won the Australian Open and we can also talk about Sampras or Federer.”

However, there is one player who has unsurprisingly generated praise from Toni. Daniil Medvedev has enjoyed a stellar summer and took world No.2 Nadal to five sets in the final of the US Open. The Russian has made consecutive finals in Washington, Canada, Cincinnati and Flushing Meadows. Becoming only the third player in history to do so after Ivan Lendl (1982) and Andre Agassi (1995). Medvedev is currently ranked fourth in the world.

“Daniil is a very serious boy with a great tennis level. He has been the best of the Next Gen in this year’s US Open and throughout the summer, getting to face the best players in the circuit.” He said.
“I consider him a very complete tennis player, with a lot of control in the game and able to beat any tennis player. In recent years, it has been said that Zverev will be the tennis player destined to win Grand Slams in the future, but it seems that everything has changed with the arrival of this type of tennis player. “
“I consider Medvedev as the tennis player that seems to be willing to do anything to get to the top.” Toni later added.

Only three players born in the 1990s have contested the final of a major – Milos Raonic, Dominic Thiem and Medvedev. The last player to win a grand slam title before their 30th birthday was Andy Murray (29) at the 2016 Wimbledon Championships.

Comparison of top 20 players under the age of 25

NAME

AGE OF PLAYER

RANKING OF PLAYER

ATP TITLES WON

BEST GRAND SLAM RUN

Daniil Medvedev

23

No.4

5

US Open runner-up (2019)

Alexander Zverev

22

No.6

11

French Open quarter-finalist (2018 and 2019)

Stefanos Tsitsipas

21

No.7

3

Australian Open semi-finalist (2019)

Karen Khachanov

23

No.9

4

French Open quarter-finalist (2019)

Matteo Berrettini

23

No.13

3

US Open semi-finalist (2019)

Borna Coric

22

No.15

2

-US Open R4 (2018)
-Australian Open R4 (2019)

Note: figures based on data obtained on September 13th 2019

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Monte Carlo Breakthrough Leaves Andrey Rublev With Mixed Emotions

The world No.8 takes confidence from his latest run but admits it is ‘impossible’ to play at his very top level every week on the Tour.

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After achieving a career milestone at the Monte Carlo Masters, Andrey Rublev was sent crashing down to earth on Sunday.

 

The Russian tennis star broke new territory at the tournament by reaching his first ever Masters 1000 final at the age of 23. However, he was denied the title by Stefanos Tsitsipas who produced a clinical performance to seal victory in just 71 minutes. Ending Rublev’s run of winning seven finals in a row.

“I feel happy with the week, and I feel super sad with the final, that I couldn’t show my game,” he told reporters on Sunday.
“Of course, I’m happy with the week because I beat so many great players and I beat one of the best players in history. It’s a special week.”

Earlier in the tournament Rublev stunned the draw when he upset Rafael Nadal in three sets en route to the semi-finals. Making it the fourth time in his career he has scored a win over a player ranked No.3 in the world. He is also the first player in history to come back from a set down to defeat Nadal at the tournament.

Besides the king of clay, Rublev also dismissed Roberto Bautista Agut and Casper Ruud. He has now won 24 matches on the ATP Tour this season which is more than anybody else. However, he is reluctant to link all of his match play with his latest performance.

“I feel tired after all the matches that I play, exhausted. But this is not excuse. He was just better than me, and that’s it,” he stated.
“Not always everything goes your way. It happened today. I was completely exhausted. Stefanos, he showed great game. He was just better than me, and that’s it.”

Despite his recent success, Rublev is eager to not get too far ahead of himself heading into the French Open. A Grand Slam where he has only played in the main draw twice before, including last year where he reached the quarter-finals.

“I would like to play really good in Madrid and I would like to play really good in Rome. I would like to play all of the weeks good. But it’s impossible,” he explains.
“Some of the weeks for sure will be better, some will be worse and some will be amazing.’
“For the moment I’m playing really consistent. I’m really happy I’m playing my best season so far. We’ll see what’s going to happen.”

Rublev is set to return to action next week at the Barcelona Open where he will be the third seed.

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Former Australian Open Semi-Finalist Kyle Edmund Undergoes Surgery

It has been reported that the world No.69 may not be able to return to the Tour for ‘several more months.’

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British world No.69 Kyle Edmund is set to be sidelined from the Tour for some time after having surgery to treat a long-standing problem in Switzerland. 

 

The former British No.1 has confirmed he had a ‘small procedure’ on his knee after being hampered with issues in the area ever since 2018 when a scan revealed that he had fluid behind his left knee. Details of the surgery have not been disclosed by the person who conducted the operation was Dr Roland Biedert, according to BBC Sport. A specialist Orthopaedic surgeon who has also operated on Roger Federer, Stan Wawrinka and Juan Martin del Potro.

“I had a small procedure on my knee. I’m currently rehabbing. The recovery is going well and I hope to be back on court as soon as possible.” Edmund said.

Currently ranked 69th in the world, Edmund hasn’t played a competitive match since losing in the first round of qualifying at the Vienna Open last October due to his knee. 2020 saw mixed fortunes for the 26-year-old. After winning the New York Open during February of that year, he lost seven out of 10 matches played during the rest of the season. Including five defeats in a row.

No return date has been outlined by Edmund or his team following the surgery. However, British media have reported that he may be out for ‘several more months.’ Casting doubts over his chances of being ready in time for Wimbledon which starts on June 28th. He hasn’t been absent from a Wimbledon main draw since 2012.

Edmund has been ranked as high as 14th in the world with his best Grand Slam run being to the semi-finals of the 2018 Australian Open. Overall, he has won two ATP titles and has earned more than $5.7 in prize money. 

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Grigor Dimitrov Blames Poor Monte Carlo Performance On ‘Big Infection’

The 29-year-old reveals the reason behind his error-stricken performance at the Monte Carlo Country Club on Thursday.

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Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov said he simply ‘didn’t play’ in his latest match at the Monte Carlo Masters after winning just two games against Rafael Nadal.

 

The world No.17 fell 6-1, 6-1, to the 20-time Grand Slam champion in less than an hour on Thursday. He won 48% of his first service points and 32% of his second, as he hit 32 unforced errors. A dismal performance from Dimitrov who had beaten Jan-Lennard Struff and Jeremy Chardy earlier in the tournament.

Whilst it was never going to be easy playing somebody of Nadal’s calibre, Dimitrov has revealed that he had been troubled by an issue away from the court. He has been suffering from a ‘big infection’ in his tooth which has had an impact on his preparation for the match.

“I’ve been struggling with a massive tooth problem for the past four or five days,” he said. “I have a big infection in my tooth. It’s been hard. I haven’t been able to sleep well or eat well or anything like that.’
“I was bearing it for a while this whole week.”

It is another case of bad luck for Dimitrov on the Tour this season. At the Australian Open he reached the quarter-finals in what was his best Grand Slam performance since the 2019 US Open. However, in his last eight showdown with Russia’s Aslan Karatsev he was hindered by a back injury.

“It’s straight to the doctor’s, unfortunately,” he commented on his tooth. “Very, very unpleasant moment. It is what it is.’
“At least I’m glad it happened on a home soil so I can go see my dentist and figure this problem as soon as possible.Hopefully it’s not too serious and I’ll be able to come back as soon as possible.”

Speaking in his press conference, Nadal said he ‘felt sorry’ for his opponent who ‘played a bad match.’ During the match the world No.3 wasn’t aware of Dimitrov’s problem but was told about it afterwards.

“I wish him all the best. He’s a great guy, a good friend. I just hope the situation is to improve as soon as possible,” he said.

Nadal, who is seeking a record 12th title in Monte Carlo, will play Russia’s Andrey Rublev next.

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