Juan Mata On Why The Rivalry Between Rafael Nadal And Roger Federer Is Special - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

Latest news

Juan Mata On Why The Rivalry Between Rafael Nadal And Roger Federer Is Special

The football star opens up about his admiration for the two tennis stars.

Published

on

It is one of the most renowned rivalries in tennis with millions of admirers around the world.

 

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have locked horns on the ATP Tour no fewer than 40 occasions since the 2004 Miami Masters. Nadal currently leads their head-to-head 24-16, however, Federer has won six out of their seven most recent meetings (excluding walkovers). Nine of their meetings have taken place in the final of a grand slam tournament.

The rivalry between the two players have been hailed by numerous high-profile athletes in the past with the latest being Juan Mata. Mata is a Spanish international footballer who has played for Manchester United in the Premier League since 2014.

“When you look at Federer and Nadal, they have achieved something that is incredible and almost unique in sport because when they play each other, most of us watching are enjoying the spectacle and appreciate the quality of what we are seeing rather than worrying about who wins,” Mata said during a recent interview with Tennis365.com.
“Normally in sport, we have someone to support and want to see them come out on top, but when it is Federer v Nadal, we are just excited to see something special between two incredible players.”

Mata, who developed a passion for tennis after taking lessons during his youth, describes the duo as ‘all-time greats’ of sport. Federer currently has a record 20 grand slam singles titles to his name, which is just one ahead of his Spanish opponent. He believes that it is the mutual respect between the two which makes their rivalry on the court so special.

“This is a big rivalry, maybe the biggest in tennis, but it is not like other rivalries. Sometimes rivals struggle to get along, but there is so much respect and admiration from both sides of the net in this rivalry that is made for something special.” Mata explains.
“They are examples of how sportsmen can play at the highest level for so long, compete for the same prizes and still have respect for each other. This is why, as the viewers, we have so much respect for both of them. They have been fantastic for tennis as a sport and will be so badly missed when their careers end.” He added.

In the past Mata has met his fellow athletes. Back in 2015 Federer was one of the players he spoke to during a trip to Wimbledon for the men’s semi-finals day with his fellow teammates David De Gea and Ander Herrera. Mata also attended the 2013 ATP Finals and cheered on compatriot Nadal.

Federer will return to action later this week at the Swiss Open in Basel where he will be bidding to win the title for a record 10th time. Meanwhile Nadal, who got married on Saturday, is set to return to the ATP Tour later this month at the Paris Masters.

Latest news

Great Britain and Germany secure their spot in the quarter finals

Published

on

Great Britain secured their spot in the quarter final of the Davis Cup at the Caja Magica in Madrid with a 2-1 win over Kazakhstan.

 

Kyle Edmund, who replaced Andy Murray, beat Mikhail Kukushkin 6-3 6-3 in the first singles match. Edmund saved all the break points he faced and broke serve in the sixth game of the second set to take a 4-2 lead and converted his first match point when Kukushkin hit a forehand long.

Alexander Bublik came back from losing the first set to beat Dan Evans 5-7 6-4 6-1. Bublik broke serve in the seventh game to take a 4-3 lead. Evans broke straight back to draw level to 4-4. Evans rallied from 15-40 to break serve at deuce in the 12th game to take a 7-5 lead.

Bublik converted his fourth break point in the ninth game to win the second set 6-4 sending the second set 6-4. Bublik broke three times to clinch the third set 6-1.

Jamie Murray and Neal Stupski beat Mikhail Kukushkin and Alexander Bublik 6-1 6-4. Murray and Kukushkin cruised through to a 6-1 win in the first set before breaking twice in the second set. The British team secured the win on their second match point.

“We played a great match from start to finish. We started quickly, were aggressive and did not give them time to settle”, said Jamie Murray.

Germany set up a quarter final against Great Britain after beating Chile 2-1. Phillip Kohlschreiber beat Nicolas Jarry 6-4 6-3 in the opening match. Christian Garin came back from losing the first set to beat Jan Lennard Struff 6-7 (3-7) 7-6 (9-7) 7-6 (10-8) after saving three match points. Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies beat Barrios and Tabilo 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 to secure Germany the decisive 2-1 win.

Continue Reading

ATP

American No.3 Reilly Opelka Blasts ‘Shocking’ ATP Cup

The new event has been described as unfair and a embarrassment by the American.

Published

on

MADRID, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 19: Reilly Opelka of United States during the Group F match between USA and Canada during Davis Cup by Rakuten Madrid Finals 2019 at Caja Magica on November 19, 2019 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Corinne Dubreuil / Kosmos Tennis)

With the Davis Cup currently under close scrutiny this week, one player on the tour have turned his criticism to a brand new team event coming to the tour in 2020.

 

Reilly Opelka has launched a verbal attack on the ATP Cup, which will get underway in January. The event features 24 teams playing in three cities across Australia. Unlike the Davis Cup, both prize money and ranking points are available. Many of the world’s top players have already confirmed their intention to play in the event. Although one noticeable absence will be Roger Federer.

“The ATP Cup is pathetic. I think it’s shocking on behalf of the ATP for them to pass that and allow that.” The 22-year-old told reporters in Madrid.
“It’s pretty embarrassing, actually. It’s pretty bad for the sport. It makes it (the tour) more top-heavy than it already is.”

The teams for the ATP Cup are determined by the ranking of the country’s highest ranked player. However, with only two singles players allowed to play in each team some countries find themselves in a tough spot. Once being America, who currently has eight players in the top 100. Opelka argues that due to the rules of the competition, the distribution of ranking points is unfair.

“I’m 35 in the world. I’m not going to play because I’m the second- or third-highest ranked American, and only the top two guys play.” He stated.
“It counts as an additional 19th tournament. So every player gets 18 tournaments on their ranking card. So you have to take your top 18 results, those go for your ranking. Those that play ATP Cup gets a 19th. So it’s unfair, there’s not equal opportunity for everyone.”

Opelka used the example of Moldova playing in the ATP Cup as one of the reasons why he is frustrated. The country has qualified due to the ranking of their top player Radu Albot, who is currently ranked 46th in the world. However, Moldova’s second highest ranked player is outside the top 800.

Fortunately concerning the Davis Cup, the former Wimbledon junior champion has a much more favourable view. This week is the inaugural week-long finals, which has encountered some blips already. The most being the schedule of the event with some ties now finishing until as late as 4am.

“I’m a fan of the new format. Maybe making it every two years or every three years would be I think the next step in the right direction.” Opelka concluded.
“Tennis players are pretty good at that. You don’t really know when you’re going to play matches. You can go really long, or you can go really quick. We’re used to being on standby.” He added.

This week is Opelka’s debut in the Davis Cup.

Continue Reading

Latest news

Dayana Yastremska Appoints Former Naomi Osaka Mentor As Coach

The youngster is hoping to build on her 2019 breakthrough next year with a new coach by her side.

Published

on

Dayana Yastremska - Zhuhai 2019 (photo credit: WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai)

Rising star Dayana Yastremska will head into the 2020 season under new guidance of the 2018 WTA Coach of the Year winner Sasha Bajin.

 

The 19-year-old confirmed her new coach in a Facebook post published on Thursday morning. Bajin is best known for his work with former world No.1 Naomi Osaka, who won two grand slam titles whilst working with him, as well as her first Premier title in Indian Wells. The two ended their collaboration shortly after the Australian Open earlier this year. Since then, Bajin briefly worked with Kristina Mladenovic before deciding to depart.

“I am very happy to share the news that I am starting the 2020 season with a new coach!” Yastremska wrote.
“I am extremely happy, and I am very excited to start our collaboration as it is going to be very interesting and impressive work. I am confident that he (Bajin) can help me in achieving my ambitions.’
“I’m Super excited for the beginning of our pre-season preparation and I am confident that everything works out!”

In recent weeks there has been speculation about the two joining forces on the tour. During the WTA Elite finals in China, the world No.22 was asked about the rumours concerning her team speaking with Bajin. However, at the time she dodged the question by replying ‘I would like to build a great team, but for now I won’t say anything about it.’

Yastremska has enjoyed her best season on the tour yet in his career and broke into the world’s top 30 back in September. She is currently at a career ranking high of 22nd. On the tour in 2019, the Ukrainian has clinched two WTA titles in Hua Hin and Strasburg. In the grand slams, she reached the fourth round at Wimbledon for the first time.

As of this week, Yastremska is one of only four players under the age of 20 who are in the world’s top 30.

Elsewhere on the WTA Tour there has been another development on the coaching front. Former world No.1 Angelique Kerber has confirmed that she will be working with Didi Kindlmann. A former hitting partner with Maria Sharapova, who have previously worked with Elise Mertens and Ajla Tomljanović. Kerber is currently ranked 20th in the world compared to 12 months ago when she was in second spot.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending