Former Russian Tennis Star Turned Coach Alexander Volkov Dead At 52 - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

ATP

Former Russian Tennis Star Turned Coach Alexander Volkov Dead At 52

Tributes have poured in following the passing of the former US Open semifinalist

Published

on

The world of tennis is in mourning following the death of former top 20 player Alexander Volkov.

 

News of Volkov’s passing was confirmed on Saturday by former world No.1 Yevgeny Kafelnikov, who made the announcement on Twitter. Volkov played on the ATP Tour during the 1980s and 1990s. Winning three professional titles in Milan (1991), Auckland (1993) and Moscow (1994). This week’s Kremlin Cup marks the 25th anniversary of his last triumph.

It was at the US Open where Volkov is best remembered. In 1990 he stunned Stefan Edberg in the first round of the grand slam. Becoming the first player to defeat a top seed in their opening match at the event since 1971. Three years later he recorded his best ever grand slam performance by reaching the semi-finals in Flushing Meadows before losing to eventual champion Pete Sampras. Volkov also reached the US Open quarter-finals in 1992.

In the Davis Cup the Russian represented his country in 16 ties and was a prominent member of the team who reached the final in 1994. He recorded wins over players such as Michael Stich and pat Rafter. Overall, he won 17 out of 27 matches played.

“Volkov was cheerful,” Kafelnikov told reporters in Moscow. “I was lucky to be with him to defend the colours of the Russian flag at the Davis Cup in 1994-95. I took my first title in Adelaide, beating Sasha (Alexander) in the final.’
“I have the brightest memories of him. It’s a pity that this happened to him. Today we will honour the winners of the Kremlin Cup, Sasha was one of them. It’s hard to believe that he left. I talked to him last year, everything was fine. Today’s has news shocked me.”

After retiring from professional tennis, Volkov remained connected to the sport. Taking up the role of coaching Marat Safin and helping guide him to two grand slam titles during their time together.

“For me, Sasha is more than a colleague. At some point, he began to help me in tennis. Thanks to him, I won the US Open, became the first in the world. We were friends.” Safin said in a tribute.
“He was cheerful and witty, with a big heart. But these qualities, unfortunately, are sometimes not enough to walk on this earth. He could not overcome himself in some things. Too kind and responsive is also not very good, because life can lead in the wrong situations.“ He added.

There has been no official statement concerning the cause of death. However, Russian media sources have quoted former players as saying that he suffered from numerous personal issues in recent years. Former world No.9 Andrei Chesnokov told Championat that Volkov had struggled with drinking.

“We always communicated well, lived in the same room, played together. It was part of my life in tennis. We played a tournament together five years ago. In the evening we sat down to dinner, I ordered a bottle of wine to drink by the glass, to which he (Volkov) replied: “I won’t, because I won’t be able to stop,” he explained.

Volkov’s career in brief

  • Ranking high of 14th achieved in 1993
  • Earned $3,362,840 in prize money during his career
  • Scored 17 wins over top 10 players
  • Finished six consecutive seasons in the top 50 (1990-1995)
  • Achieved a win-loss record of 303-255 on the tour

Continue Reading
Click to comment

ATP

Stefanos Tsitsipas extends his winning streak with straight-set win over Pablo Carreno Busta in Minsk

Published

on

Last week’s Marseille champion and 2019 Dubai finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas beat Pablo Carreno Busta 7-6 (7-1) 6-1 after 1 hour and 34 minutes to reach the second round at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Touurnament.

 

Tsitsipas earned the first break in the second game to take a 3-0 lead. Carreno Busta won three consecutive games with a break-back in the fifth game to draw level to 3-3. The opening set went on serve without breaks to set up a tie-break. Tsitsipas cruised through to 7-1 to win the tie-break.

Tsitsipas broke three times in the first, fifth and seventh games to win the second set 6-1.

The Greek player has extended his winning streak to 10 consecutive wins and has a record of 8-4 in his 12 matches this year.

“I am happy that I got two-set victories for a very long time. I am not spending extra hours out on the court, which for sure is going to help me”, said Tsitsipas.

Tsitsipas sets up a second round match against Alexander Bublik, who fended off three of his four break points in his 6-2 7-5 win over Hubert Hurkacz. Tsitispas beat Hurkacz 7-5 6-3 last week in the Marseille semifinal last week.

“Bublik is a tricky player. He does unexpected things on the court. I just need to be there, do my job the way I am doing it so far”, said Tsitsipas.

Continue Reading

ATP

Benoit Paire saves four match points to beat Marin Cilic in Dubai

Published

on

Eighth seed Benoit Paire saved four match points to beat Marin Cilic 2-6 7-5 7-6 (7-1) at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships taking a re-match for the tie-break loss in the fifth set at last January’s Australian Open in Melbourne.

 

Cilic saved two break points before breaking serve in the second game to open up a 2-0 lead. The Croatian player saved a break point at deuce before holding serve in the third game for 3-0. Cilic broke serve from 0-40 down to break serve at deuce in the final game of the opening set.

Paire broke serve in the first game of the second set to open a 2-0 lead. Cilic broke back in the sixth game to draw level to 3-3. Both players traded breaks in the eighth and ninth games. Cilic won the final three games with a break to win the first set 7-5.

Both players traded breaks in the second and third games of the decisive set. Cilic saved break points in the fifth and eleventh games. Paire saved two break points to hold serve at deuce. Paire reeled off six consecutive points from 1-1 to win the tie-break 7-1.

“I am really happy about the win. It was not easy today. I was not feeling really good on court. I have been a little bit sick for two, three days. I am really happy to win today and to fight until the end”, said Paire.

 Daniel Evans rallied from one set and one break down to edge Fabio Fognini 3-6 6-4 7-5 after 2 hours and 38 minutes. Fognini went up a double break to take a 4-0 lead. Evans pulled one break back in the fifth game, but Fognini held his next service games and wrap up the first set 6-3.

Fognini saved two break points before breaking serve at 15 to take a 3-1 lead. Evans broke back at deuce in the sixth game to draw level to 3-3. Evans converted his second break back in the 10th game to wrap up the second set 6-4.

Fognini started the third set with a break at deuce to take a 1-0 lead. Evans broke straight back in another deuce game to draw level to 1-1. Fognini earned another break at 15 to take a 3-2 lead. Evans broke straight back to draw level to 3-3. Evans wrapped up the third set with a break in a marathon 12th game on his sixth match point.

Paire set up an all-French match against Richard Gasquet, who beat Marton Fucsovics 6-4 7-5.

Another Frenchman Pierre Hugues Herbert defeated Delray Beach finalist Yoshihito Nishioka 7-5 6-2 in 78 minutes.

Continue Reading

ATP

Queen’s Organizers Optimistic Over Andy Murray’s Return As Two Top 10 Players Join Entry List

The first four names set to play in the ATP 500 event has been announced.

Published

on

The director of the Fever-Tree Championships has said he is ‘hopeful’ that Andy Murray will play in the tournament later this year after he was included in the first group of names on the official entry list.

 

The three-time grand slam champion hasn’t played a competitive match since the Davis Cup last November due to a pelvic injury. Murray has already delayed his return to the tour on numerous occasions as he continues his rehabilitation process. It is the latest setback for the injury-stricken 32-year-old, who also underwent career saving hip resurfacing surgery last year.

“Andy is our greatest champion. We know Andy is still working his way back to fitness, but we also know that he wants to play, so fingers crossed that he will be able to.” Stephen Farrow said in a press release on Tuesday.

Murray, who is currently ranked 130th in the world, is the most decorated player in the history of the Queen’s event. He has won the trophy five times between 2009-2016 and has won 30 out of 37 matches played there. Last year he also won the doubles title alongside Feliciano Lopez in what was his comeback tournament following his hip surgery.

Tuesday’s announcement of Murray playing at The Queen’s Club comes as no surprise. He has a lifetime contract to play there for the rest of his career unless he is ill or injured. Similar to what Roger Federer has with the Halle event, which takes place during the same week as Queen’s.

Other names to play in London this year include ATP Finals champion Stefanos Tsitsipas, who lost to Felix Auger-Aliassime in the quarter-finals last year. The Greek is yet to contest an ATP final on the grass, but did win the Wimbledon boys’ doubles title back in 2016.

“London will always be a special place for me after winning the ATP Finals last year and I am looking forward to coming back in June.” Said Tsitsipas. “The crowd at the O2 touched my heart in a very special way and I am excited to play at Queen’s again this June. It is a big tournament and important to play in the lead up to Wimbledon.”

World No.5 Daniil Medvedev is another top name set to play in what will be his fourth appearance at Queen’s. In 2019 he produced his best ever run at the tournament by reaching the semi-finals before falling in three sets to France’s Gilles Simon.

“The last 6 months have been incredible for me, a real breakthrough, and now I want to try to do the same on grass.” The US Open finalist stated. “The Fever-Tree Championships at The Queen’s Club is a great event with perfect grass courts, and I am looking forward to playing there ahead of Wimbledon.”

Completing the quartet of confirmed names is 38-year-old two-time champion Lopez, who won the singles title last year, as well as the doubles with Murray. He is one of only two Spanish men to have ever won the event in the Open Era. There other was Rafael Nadal back in 2008.

“I thought when I won the title in 2017 that it was the best moment of my career. I was wrong. It was last year! Winning singles and doubles was something incredible, more than I could ever have dreamed when Stephen (Farrow) gave me the wild card.” Lopez reflected.
“That final day is one that I will never forget, Queen’s is always going to be one of the most special places of my career, and I am already looking forward to coming back to the Fever-Tree Championships in June to defend my title.”

The ATP 500 event will get underway on June 15th.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending