Bemused Stan Wawrinka Hits Out At Swiss Press - UBITENNIS
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Bemused Stan Wawrinka Hits Out At Swiss Press

The former world No.3 has accused reporters in his native country of being disrespectful towards him.

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Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland is pictured in action during day three of ATP Fever-Tree Championships tennis tournament at Queen's Club in west London on June 19, 2019.

Three-time grand slam champion Stan Wawrinka has launched an attack on the media in his home country by saying he no longer enjoys talking with them.

 

Wawrinka shared his frustration earlier this week at the Swiss Indoors following his first round win over Pablo Cuevas. On two consecutive days he was asked about whether or not he can return back to his best form. Wawrinka has been blighted by injury in recent years and underwent knee surgery back in 2017. However, this season the Swiss player has been gradually regaining his form and has reached two ATP Finals this season.

“There is an impression here, in this room and in Switzerland, that I have not had a good year.” Wawrinka said during a press conference.
“I am exaggerating, but I have that feeling and, frankly, I have lost the joy of talking to the media in Switzerland. I’m 15th in the race, could theoretically qualify for the ATP finals. And you ask me: what are you missing to find your best level again?’
“Who won Grand Slam tournaments in the last few years? I’m the only one outside Big Four who has won three. This must not be forgotten.”

Continuing his response, the 34-year-old cites a duo of his 2019 milestones as reasons why others shouldn’t be critical of his performance. At present, he has won 31 out of 50 matches played this season, according to data provided by the ITF. Four of those wins have been over top 10 players Kei Nishikori (twice), Stefanos Tsitsipas and Djokovic.

“I’ve come back from a serious injury, I’m 15th in the race, was injured a month after the US Open and have just reached a final (in Antwerp). And I’m one of the few who beat Novak (Djokovic), even though he had to give up in the third set (at the US Open). And you ask me what’s missing to win a Grand Slam title again?” He argues.
“Everything I did this year makes it a very good year. I have regained my confidence, have beaten the very best again at certain times. Sure, I did not win any Grand Slam tournaments, but who won them (Nadal and Djokovic). I’m back in a position where I know what I will be capable of next year. And that was my goal for 2019. Would I like to finish in the Top 10 this year? Yes. Would I like to win a Grand Slam title? Yes. But you also have to be a realist.”

In a direct jibe at reporters, Wawrinka said he believes they have been ‘too spoiled’ by the success of the Swiss contingent. Which also includes 20-time grand slam champion Roger Federer and Belinda Bencic. He argues that his year would have been appreciated more by the media if it was during another era where his compatriots hasn’t been as successful in the sport.

This week Wawrinka is 17th in the ATP rankings in what is his highest position since May 2018. It has been 29 months since his last won an ATP trophy at the 2017 Geneva Open. Despite the dry spell, he believes he still has what it takes to challenge for the biggest trophies in the sport.

“Who knows, maybe I’ll win a Grand Slam title next year? My career has always been in stages. I know where I stand now. I continue to play to win titles and beat the best. I had an incredible career and won almost everything that is possible for a tennis player. I would not have much interest in continuing to play if I could not continue to win tournaments.”

Wawrinka was scheduled to play Federer in the quarter-finals of the Swiss Indoors. However, he has been forced to pull out of the match due to a back injury. Federer will play either third seed Tsitsipas or Filip Krajinović in the last four on Saturday.

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Andy Murray Surging In Confidence After Reaching First ATP Quarter-Final Since 2019

The 34-year-old believes he is getting better with every match played on the Tour as he eyes a spot in the final later this week.

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Andy Murray (image via https://twitter.com/ATPTour_ES)

Former world No.1 Andy Murray says he is starting to gain more belief in his game after reaching the quarter-finals of the Moselle Open on Wednesday.

 

The three-time Grand Slam champion rallied to a 6-3, 6-3, win over Canada’s Vasek Pospisil in the French city. Murray dropped serve only once at the start of the second set but broke his opponent four times en route to the victory. It is the first time he has registered back-to-back wins on the ATP Tour since Wimbledon and it is the first time he has reached a quarter-final since winning the 2019 Antwerp Open.

Murray showed glimmers of his best tennis recently at the US Open where he took Stefanos Tsitsipas to five sets in the first round before losing. However, in his following tournament on the Challenger circuit he lost in the second round to world No.154 Roman Safiullin. Despite the mixed performances, the Brit says his fitness continues to improve and he believes he is heading in the right direction.

“For me, this period of the last few years has been the most I have played really,” Murray said following his win over Pospisil.
“My body feels good and I am starting to gain just a little bit of confidence with each match, starting to see the points and how I want to play them, which is great.
“There have been times in the past year where I have been a little bit confused and not seeing how the points are developing which was always a strong part of my game.
“It made me feel quite uncomfortable on court when I was feeling that way, so I am starting to get that back and the results are coming, my tennis is getting better.”

The 34-year-old, who now plays on the Tour with a metal hip after undergoing two operations, is targeting a return back into the world’s top 100 for the first time since 2018. He came agonisingly close in July when he reached 102. At present, he is currently ranked 113 but will climb at least four places following his run in Metz this week.

In the next round Murray will play either top seed Hubert Hurkacz or former top 10 player Lucas Pouille. Both players are likely to be a stern challenge for the three-time Grand Slam champion who is hoping to reach the final for the first time since 2007.

“I would love to get another opportunity to play here in the final, but there is a lot of tennis to be played before then potentially against the number one seed in the next round,” he reflected.
“It is not going to be easy if I want to reach the final, but I am playing well and have an opportunity.”

Murray has won 42 ATP titles and has earned more than $62M in prize money so far in his career.

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Diego Schwartzman Receives Threats On Social Media Following Shock Davis Cup Defeat

The world No.15 is the latest player to speak out about recieving abusive messages on social media.

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The weekend has been an emotional rollercoaster for Diego Schwartzman, who suffered ‘one of the worst’ losses of his career before helping secure victory for his country in their Davis Cup tie against Belarus.

 

On Saturday the world No.15 was stunned by unranked 18-year-old Daniil Ostapenkov who is yet to play a professional match on the pro Tour. Ostapenkov is currently ranked 63 in the world on the junior circuit. The comprehensive victory shocked the Argentinian team who was hosting the tie at the Buenos Aires Lawn Tennis Club.

Despite the shock upset, Schwartman managed to redeem himself the following day when he defeated Alexander Zgirovsky 6-1, 6-2. That victory handed his country an unassailable 3-1 lead in their tie and secured their place in the 2022 Davis Cup qualifiers which will take place next March.

Not only playing Davis, but in Buenos Aires, with a lot of people you don’t see, it’s not easy. My level can be and has to be much better. After the game on Saturday I had a difficult day in the spirit of being able to get up and enjoy with the group,” La Nacion quoted Schwartzman as saying.
“The most normal thing was that we won the series. It’s what everyone expected. But when you have a very difficult day at work like it was on Saturday and then you win, it excites you because you have some internal things withheld.”

Between those two matches, Schwartzman revealed that he was trolled on social media by some people unhappy about his loss in the tie. The 2020 French Open semi-finalist said he received criticism and even threats from some asking him to leave his home country. Something he admits affected him at times.

“It was one of the worst days of my career,” Schwartzman commented on his loss to Zgirovsky. “I lost to an unranked, inexperienced player. All that already affects (me) a lot. Although 80 or 90 percent of the people are always encouraging (me), there was a minority who criticized me with bad intentions.’
“I received threats, insults and requests not to return to Argentina. More or less, it affects (me)”.

Schwartzman is not the first player to speak out about online abuse. During the US Open Shelby Rogers said she was expecting to receive ‘death threats’ following her loss to Emma Raducanu who went on to win the title. Sloane Stephens has also previously spoken out about being the victim of racism online.

The 29-year-old says he has previously tried to interact with those who have trolled him on social media to find out why they are doing so.

Sometimes I start to answer some messages and I ask those people if they realize what they are sending,” Schwartzman said during his press conference. “The vast majority apologize and say they had not realized it. But at the moment it hurts. That very ill-intentioned criticism is the only bad thing about social networks.”

Schwartzman has won four ATP titles and earned more than $10M in prize money so far in his career.

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Spanish Veteran Feliciano Lopez Addresses Future On The Tour

23 years after he played his first main draw match on the ATP Tour, Lopez says his longevity in the sport has been achieved with the help of of some luck.

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Feliciano Lopez of Spain is pictured during the semi-final of ATP Fever-Tree Championships tennis tournament at Queen's Club in west London on June 20, 2019.

Feliciano Lopez has dismissed any speculation that he could retire in the coming weeks after saying he is taking life on the Tour in his stride.

 

The 39-year-old Spaniard is currently the second oldest player in the world’s top 200 after Roger Federer, who is a year older than him. Lopez made his ATP Tour debut at the 1998 Barcelona Open which was before the birth of Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz. In June he became the 10th active player to record his 500th win on the Tour.

Currently ranked 111th in the world, some are starting to wonder how much longer Lopez will continue playing. So far this season he has achieved a win-loss record of 9-19 with his best performance being a run to the quarter-finals of the Mallorca Open which was held on the grass. It was in Mallorca where he defeated Karen Khachanov who is the only top 30 player he has beaten so far in 2021.

I play year-by-year, the last 6-7 years have been like this, a tennis player at that age cannot think about extending his career. After turning 30 I have been lucky, I have obtained the best results of my career,” Lopez told reporters on Friday.
It is not very common for players my age, at (almost) 40 years to continue playing in the best tournaments.” He added.

Throughout his career, Lopez has impressively played in a record 78 consecutive Grand Slam tournaments dating back to the 2002 French Open. During that period he has reached the quarter-finals of a major tournament on four occasions.

“I don’t play to break records, what makes me most excited is to continue playing Grand Slams. For me, maintaining that record (78 consecutive Grand Slams played) is very nice, but more to follow. Being competitive,” he commented on the milestone.
“It is difficult for someone to overcome it because it is 20 years in a row without missing a great one. I have had continuity and enormous luck. Those of my generation are practically all retired.”

Away from the court, the former world No.12 is the current tournament director of the Madrid Open. Making him one of a few players historically to both be playing on the Tour and managing a tournament at the same time. Recently it was confirmed that Madrid will continue hosting it’s combined event until at least 2030 following a renewed agreement between the city council and the Madrid trophy promotion.

Lopez has won a total of seven ATP titles so far in his career and has earned more than $18M in prize money.

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