Challenging Yet Safe Take-Off For Rafael Nadal In Paris - UBITENNIS
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Challenging Yet Safe Take-Off For Rafael Nadal In Paris

The world No.2 has made a winning start to his Paris campaign.

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Current World No.2 Rafael Nadal has kicked off his quest for year-end world No.1 successfully in Paris Bercy on Wednesday.

 

The Spaniard, who played his first official match since his participation in Laver Cup last month, has shown up in a good shape, getting past Frenchman Adrian Mannarino 7-6, 6-4 in an intense match that should be considered a fair indication of Nadal’s readiness for the last two weeks of the season.

The Wednesday night encounter was far from simple for the Spaniard, but one he expected nonetheless. Against Mannarino he won 77% of his service points without facing a single break point throughout the match. A solid start for a player who has only reached the final in Paris once before back in 2007.

“I know how dangerous is Adrian in this court. The court here is fast, the bounce is low, so I think is a perfect court for him, So I went on court knowing it was going to be a very tough one. I needed to play well, and I think I did. My serve worked very well during the whole match. I think I played at the right level.” said Nadal.
“Not easy to come back on the tour after a while without being on the tour. And playing in this surface is difficult, and against a very dangerous opponent, in the first round for me, second for him, So very happy with the victory.” He continued.

It was a very tough match for both players. It was the big serves from the French player, which kept him highly competitive throughout the match to a great extent, along with utilizing his blistering forehand in an offensive way, exploiting the very fast hard-courts in France’s capital.

Asked about his physical condition, the Spaniard said there’s no problem so far .“Well, here we are, It’s always — historically, I had issues at the end of the season, and sometimes at the beginning and sometimes during. But here we are, It’s always a little bit scary when I am here because in this tournament I had plenty of things during all my career. So when you are here, it is always a little bit more dangerous for me.”

However, France’s Mannarino was playing very well offensively, he couldn’t bring any threat to Nadal’s service games as the Spaniard faced no break points at all. That could be attributed as well to the high quality of Nadal’s first and second serves; serving 77% for 1st serve and 78% for 2nd serve, hitting 8 aces to 13 aces for his lefty opponent. Nadal has been happy with the way he was serving during the match saying he was working on his serve at home as he believes it could help him much in such surfaces “So very happy the way that I served. I think I didn’t face no one break point during the whole match, and against a player who returns well. So that means a lot.”

Both players approached the net many times efficiently where Nadal got 5 out of 7 points and Mannarino 5 out of 6. The Spaniard hit 24 winners to 11 enforced errors unlike Frenchman Mannarino, who committed 21 unforced errors that made the difference in the crucial moments of the match.

The 19-time grand slam champion had the advantage in short and intermediate rallies with long rallies slightly drifted to the Frenchman.

Rafa had converted two out of seven break points successfully, each on a set to get through to the 3rd round in Paris.

Nadal is facing Swiss Stan Wawrinka in the 3rd round, who got his victory over Marin Cilic earlier on Wednesday. Should Wawrinka play with full potential, he could be a big obstacle for Nadal on this fast surface.

“Tomorrow is another day, another tough match against Stan.” Nadal said on his next opponent.

Wawrinka had pulled out of Basel last week due to a back injury.

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Filip Krajinovic To Skip Australian Open If Required To Quarantine For More Than Five Days

The world No.34 says he ‘sees no reason’ why vaccinated players should have to go through a long quarentine in Australia.

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Image via twitter.com/atptour (Alexander Scheuber)

The second highest-ranked Serbian player in men’s tennis says it would be ‘unacceptable’ for organisers of the Australian Open to require players to quarantine for more than a week if they have been fully vaccinated.

 

Filip Krajinovic has become the first player to publicly state that they will not be prepared to travel to Melbourne at the end of this season if they have to go through strict quarantine measures once again. All the players who participated in this year’s Australian Open were required to be quarantined in a designated hotel for 14 days upon arrival in the country. During their stay they were allowed to use training facilities but that was the only time they could leave the premises unless there was an emergency.

There is no final decision regarding the travel requirements for the 2022 tournament but there are concerns that unvaccinated players may not be allowed to enter the country. The Victorian government recently issued a mandate ordering all essential workers to be vaccinated, including athletes. However, the regional government will not have the final say concerning tennis players arriving in the country with the national government being the ones in charge of that decision.

“They are very rigorous there and honestly, if I have to be in quarantine for 14 days after arriving in Melbourne, I will not go to Australia,” Krajinovic told Serbian newspaper Blic.
“I was vaccinated, I did everything in my power to protect myself and the people around me, so I really see no reason to sit there for 14 days in a room.’
“If they (the organisers) say that after arrival I need, say, five days to be in isolation, that’s OK for me, but anything beyond that is unacceptable to me. With the season ending late, I will have 20 days to get ready and go. Charter flights will be organized again and the last one is planned for December 28 for the players and that is the final date when I can go to Australia. I will see what the final decision from Melbourne will be, so I will cut what is the best thing to do.”

Earlier this week Victoria’s Sports minister Martin Pakula urged players to be vaccinated because it give them ‘the best opportunity to play in the Australian Open.’ It is expected that if unvaccinated players are allowed to attend, they will be subjected to stricter restrictions. This might include a longer quarantine period upon arrival and limitations of where they can go during their stay.

Last year, all of those players had to do their 14 days of quarantine. Right now there looks like there will be different rules for people who enter this country who are vaccinated as against unvaccinated and I don’t think the tennis will be any exception to that.” Pakula told the Sports Entertainment Network (SEN).
“In terms of what rules apply for people to enter Australia, whether unvaccinated people are allowed in at all, I don’t the answer to that yet. That’s going to be the subject of discussion at national cabinet and among the federal cabinet … those rules are not set by state governments.” He added.

Krajinovic is currently ranked 34th in the world and has a win-loss record this season of 18-18. At the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells he reached the second round before falling in straight sets to Daniil Medvedev. His best run so far this year was at the Hamburg Open where he reached the final.

“When we look at the whole of 2021, I played one final, one semifinal, there were good victories, but also worse results,” the 29-year-old commented.

Krajinovic is currently without a coach but is currently in ‘negotiations’ with somebody without elaborating further about who that person is.

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Alexander Zverev Secures Place In ATP Finals With Indian Wells Win

Zverev will be seeking to win the season-ending extravaganza for the second time in his career.

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Alexander Zverev (GER) Credit: AELTC/Edward Whitaker

Germany’s Alexander Zverev has become the fourth player to officially qualify for the ATP Finals after reaching the third round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.

 

The world No.4 defeated America’s Jenson Brooksby 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, in his second round match on Sunday which pushed him over the points threshold to secure his spot in the end-of-season event. It is the fifth year in a row he has qualified for the ATP Finals which he won back in 2018. He is one of only three German players to ever win the title after Boris Becker and Michael Stich.

This year’s tournament will take place in Turin, Italy for the first time in history after being held at The O2 Arena in London for more than a decade. Only the eight highest ranked players are eligible to play in the round-robin tournament which has on offer up to 1500 rankings points for an undefeated champion.

“My first time in Turin. I’ve been to London four times before. London is obviously very special to me because I won there, as well. I think the stadium is incredible, one of the most special events that we had,” Zverev told reporters on Sunday.
“But I also love playing in Italy. I had great success in Italy. I won my first Masters in Rome. I’m looking forward to being there. I’m looking forward to playing in front of the Italian fans. It’s going to be a great week.”

The 24-year-old approaches the final quarter of this season with four titles already won this year. He has won two Masters 1000 trophies, an ATP 500 event in Mexico and a gold medal in singles at the Tokyo Olympic Games. Zverev, who has recorded seven wins over top 10 players, also reached the semi-finals at both the French Open and US Open.

Zverev joins Novak Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas as the players who have qualified for the ATP Finals so far. It is the third straight season the quartet has qualified for the event.

This year’s ATP Finals will get underway on November 14th. Medvedev is the defending champion.

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Denis Shapovalov Advances After Pospisil Retires In Indian Wells

The battle of the two Canadians didn’t go as planned…

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Denis Shapovalov (CAN) Credit: AELTC/Edward Whitaker

Vasek Pospisil faced off against his fellow Canadian Denis Shapovalov in the second round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells and it was the world number 13 who got the win after the Vernon native pulled out due to an injury whilst trailing 0-3.

 

It was a rough start for Pospisil who seemed to struggle with his serve in the opening game of the match and double-faulted twice in a row to give the early break and Shapovalov had no issues consolidating the break.

Shapovalov continued to apply pressure on the Pospisil serve and after saving two breakpoints the world number 68 pulled up after a serve and stopped play, calling for the trainer. He ended up taking a medical timeout off the court and a couple of minutes later returned to court. Pospisil was broken once again and the following game after a couple of returns decided to call it quits.

” It was pretty awful…and if I’m being honest I am shaking a bit…It really sucks I hope it’s nothing serious…He’s a great guy he’s a real warrior he’s fought back from some injuries surgeries to such a great level.” Shapovalov said of his compatriot.

Shapovalov will face 19th seed Aslan Karatsev in the next round after the Russian thrashed Salvatore Caruso 6-2, 6-0.

In the other results of the day sixth seeed Casper Ruud dominated Roberto Carballes Baena 6-1, 6-2, Roberto Bautista Agut beat the Argentine Guido Pella 7-5, 6-3 and Sebastien Korda won an all American battle with Frances Tiafoe 6-0, 6-4.

Finally, Diego Schwartzman needed three sets to beat another American in Maxime Cressy winning 6-2, 3-6, 7-5.

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