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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Nadal survives three-set marathon with Shapovalov in Rome

Rafael Nadal saved match points to edge out Denis Shapovalov in Rome.

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Rafael Nadal (@atptour - Twitter)

The King of Clay needed three sets and over three hours to claim the win and avoid an upset.

 

Rafael Nadal needed three hours and 27 minutes to beat the Canadian Denis Shapovalov 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 at the Italian Open in Rome hitting 29 winners while his counterpart hit 46 unforced errors in the loss.

To everyone’s surprise it was the world number 14 who came out with the faster start earning two breakpoints in the first service game of the match with a stunning forehand winner.

He would break to take an early 1-0 lead and continued to have momentum earning another break and the Spaniard found himself staring at 3-0 defecit.

At 4-1 the world number three would get one of the breaks back but it wasn’t enough as the Toronto native would break one more time at 5-3 on his fourth breakpoint of the game to take the first set.

Once again we saw some really strong play from the Canadian in the beginning of the second set we saw history repeat itself when the world number 14 held serve and get the early break this time with his powerful forehand.

Nadal was fighting to stay in the set and the match and managed to earn a breakpoint but it was quickly saved with a big ace from Shapovalov. The very next game the Canadian had a chance to get another break but this time the Spaniard would deny him the opportunity.

After the world number three held serve he went on the attack looking to go back on serve and after three chances would get the break back. He would end up winning five games in a row and would take the second set to send it to a decider.

The third set remained on serve until 2-1 when the Canadian had a chance to break and he would take to jump out to a 3-1 lead. The break didn’t hold as Nadal came storming back the very next game breaking the world number 14 to love and equaling the set at 3-3.

The set and the match would ultimately be decided by a tiebreaker and in that breaker is when the Spaniard would take over winning it 7-3 to book his spot in the quarterfinals.

He will next face either Alexander Zverev or Kei Nishikori on Friday for a spot in the semifinals.

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Novak Djokovic Moving Into A ‘Good Trajectory’ After Reaching Rome Quarter-Finals

Novak Djokovic admitted that he is on a good trajectory after reaching the last eight in Rome.

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Novak Djokovic (@atptour - Twitter)

Novak Djokovic has said that he is on a ‘good trajectory’ after moving into the Rome Quarter-Finals.

 

The world number one moved into the last eight in the Italian capital with a comfortable 6-2 6-1 victory over Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.

Despite being broken in the first game, Djokovic rallied back to break on five occasions as he cruised past the Erratic Spaniard.

After 1 hour and 11 minutes, Djokovic’s overall game was too much for Davidovich Fokina as the Serb progressed to his 15th quarter-final in Rome.

After the match in his on-court interview the top seed admitted he is on a good trajectory as he builds momentum towards Roland Garros, “I thought I played well,” Djokovic told the ATP website.

“He started well and broke my serve in the first game. I made some errors, but I managed to break back right away and establish the control and consistency on the court. I think from the back of the court I was just a bit more solid than him.

“He made some unforced errors and double faults in key moments, which obviously helped me get that necessary break forward. I thought I played better, at least 20 or 30 per cent better, than I did against Fritz a few days ago. I am on a good trajectory and hopefully tomorrow will be even better.”

The real test for Djokovic will come tomorrow when he faces top 10 opposition in the last eight.

It will either be Monte-Carlo champion Stefanos Tsitsipas or Madrid finalist and home favourite Matteo Berrettini next up for the world number one.

Djokovic was well aware of the form either of his possible opponents are in heading into tomorrow’s showdown, “My next match will be against a Top 10 player, so it is going to be a battle,” Djokovic explained.

“Both of these guys are in great form. Tsitsipas won Monte-Carlo and Berrettini is just coming off the final in Madrid. I am obviously going to do my best to win that match, whoever I play against.”

In the other result in Rome today, Reilly Opelka reached the quarter-finals with a 7-6(6) 6-4 win over Aslan Karatsev.

The American hit 18 aces as he will now face Felix Auger-Aliassime or Federico Delbonis on Friday.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas sets up blockbuster third round match against Matteo Berrettini in Rome

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Stefanos Tsitsipas edged past Marin Cilic 7-5 6-2 to advance to third round at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. 

 

Tsitsipas has improved his win-loss record to 28-7 this season, equalling Andrey Rublev for most match wins after Rublev beat Jan-Lennard Struff 6-7 (7-9) 6-1 6-4 earlier today. 

Tsitsipas had to save two break points in the ninth game to hold serve after four deuces. The 2021 Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters winner earned his crucial break in the 12th game to win a hard-fought first set 7-5. 

Tsitsipas was in control of the match and cruised to a 6-2 win in the second set with two breaks in the second and eighth games. 

“Sometimes I need to adjust my game and Marin is someone I respect a lot. I knew he was going to come out here and play his best tennis. He made move a lot. It was quite tricky to adjust to that at the beginning, but towards the very end of the first set I stayed calm and stayed calm and resilient. I had to play deep on the returns and find solutions from the baseline rallies. That worked well for me from 6-5”, said Tsitsipas. 

Tsitsipas set up a blockbuster third round match against last week’s Madrid Mutua Open finalist Matteo Berrettini, who beat John Millman 6-4 6-2 in front of fans, who will return on Thursday. Tsitsipas enjoyed the atmosphere on the Pietrangeli Stadium. 

“The Pietrangeli Stadium is very beautiful. It’s one of the best courts on tour. I feel like the Pietrangeli here is great. We are surrounded by trees in the city and it’s very quiet which is very important for tennis. Honestly, I can’t wait for the fans to come and fill in the stadium”, said Tsitsipas. 

Berrettini missed three consecutive break points in the third game of the opening set and earned his first break in the ninth game to take a 5-4 lead. The Rome-native star served out the first set at 15. Berrettini earned two consecutive breaks to race out to 4-0 lead. Millman saved a break point to hold serve in the fifth game, but Berrettini never looked back in his next two service games to claim the second set 6-2. 

Berrettini has improved with his each appearance in the Rome tournament, reaching the second round in 2018, the third round in 2019 and the quarter final in 2020. 

Tsitsipas beat Berrettini in their only head-to-head match at the 2019 Australian Open. 

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