Kei Nishikori Seeks ‘New Voice’ As He Splits With Longtime Coach - UBITENNIS
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Kei Nishikori Seeks ‘New Voice’ As He Splits With Longtime Coach

The world No.9 has made a significant change to his team.

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Kei Nishikori (photo by chryslène caillaud, copyright @Sport Vision)

Japanese No.1 Kei Nishikori has shaken up his team after announcing his decision to split with his coach after spending almost a decade under his guidance.

 

Dante Bottini had been coaching the world No.9 for nine years and has overseen his rise on the tour since December 2010. During that time, Nishikori has won 12 ATP titles, reached the final of the 2014 US Open and has been ranked as high as fourth in the world. However, in recent months Nishikori has only won back-to-back matches in one out of three tournaments played. Doing so at the US Open where he reached the third round.

“After 9 years of working together literally day in and day out, I have decided it is time for a new voice.” Nishikori wrote in a Twitter post. “I am forever grateful for Dante’s contributions to my career and we will obviously remain very close friends. I appreciate so much the last 9 years and our friendship.”

Argentinian-born Bottini is a former player himself, but enjoyed limited success. Peaking at a ranking high of 827th in the singles and 380th in the doubles. He used to play for the University of Florida, where he graduated with a degree in Sports Management.

“They have been an amazing 9 years together with Kei on the road and training every day, but it’s time to say goodbye. I can’t have enough words to describe how good of a person he is.” Bottini said in a statement.
“I don’t have any doubts that he will be competing at a high level and having great success as always. I wish him and his team the very best.” He added.

So far this season the 29-year-old has won 29 out of 43 matches played. Claiming his only title at the start of the year in Brisbane, Australia. In the grand slams he managed to reach the quarter-finals in three out of the four tournaments for the first time in his career. Nishikori also reached the semi-finals of events in Rotterdam and Barcelona.

Nishikori is currently sidelined from the tour due to an elbow injury which forced him to miss the Asian swing. He had been due to play Roger Federer in an exhibition match in Tokyo on Monday but was replaced by John Isner. Nishikori was still at the event and at one staged umpired one of the matches.

There is no information about who will be replacing Bottini.

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Pierre Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut reach the doubles semifinal at the ATP Finals in London

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Pierre Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut secured their spot in the semifinal of the ATP Finals doubles tournament with a 7-5 7-6 (7-3) win over Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies in 1 hour and 33 minutes. The French teeam won 75 % of their first serve points and fended off three of the five break points.

 

The French doubles team earned the early break to race out to a 5-2 lead. Krwietz and Mies fended off a set point and broke back to draw level to 5-5. Herbert and Mahut held serve at love before breaking serve in the 12th game to win the opening set 7-5.

In the opening game of the second set Herbert made a double fault to drop serve. Mahut and Herbert broke back to draw level to 4-4. Herbert earned three mini-breaks to win the tie-break 7-3.

“We didn’t know before the match that we needed to win in straight sets to qualify tonight. We just wanted to come on court and win this match”, said Mahut.

 

 

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Alexander Zverev Denies Using Phone During Match At ATP Finals

The world No.7 has insisted that he didn’t break any rules at the season-ending event.

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LONDON: Reigning ATP Finals champion Alexander Zverev has denied allegations that he was swiping through his phone during a sit down in his latest match in London

 

A series of Twitter users posted footage of the German placing his hand in his bag. It appeared as if he was using a phone or some sort of electronic device. Using his thumb to either press a button or swipe something. Despite the allegations, Zverev has denied any wrongdoing. 

“My phone was in the locker room. I always leave it there. I don’t know what they saw, but it was definitely not a phone.” Zverev replied when quizzed in his press conference. 

Under rules set out by the ATP, it is an offence for players to use their phones during matches and they could potentially be penalised. The rule is in place as part of fight against match-fixing in the sport. 

“A player is not allowed to use any electronic devices (e.g. CD players, mobile phones, etc.) during matches, unless approved by the Supervisor.” The 2019 ATP rulebook states. 

Despite the 22-year-old stating his innocence, questions remain about what he was looking at inside his bag. Which is located next up the chair of the match umpire. Asked to explain, he said it might have been ‘an empty water bottle.’ 

 

Zverev will play his final match of the round-robin stage at the ATP Finals against Daniil Medvedev. He is currently 1-1 in the group after defeating Rafael Nadal before losing to Stefanos Tsitsipas on Wednesday. 

“Days like this happen. It’s just how it is in sports.” Said Zverev after his latest loss. “Against Rafa, I played a great match. Today I didn’t. This is just how it is sometimes, even though I have to give credit to him. He played really well.”
“There are a lot of things that I did not do great, and I have to change that to have a chance on Friday.”

There are three possible scenarios in which Zverev can qualify for the semi-finals. The most simple is that if both he and Nadal or Tsitsipas win their next matches. He can also qualify if he loses to Medvedev in three sets and Tsitsipas wins. 

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ATP Finals Comeback The Wrong Example To Focus On, Insists Rafael Nadal

The world No.1 spoke bluntly about his latest performance at the ATP Finals in London.

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LONDON: Relieved, but not complacent is the best way to describe Rafael Nadal’s feelings following his turbulent win at the ATP Finals on Wednesday afternoon.

 

In what was a rematch of the US Open final, the Spaniard hit back at Daniil Medvedev to clinch a critical win. Coming back from a set behind and then a 1-5 deficit in the decider. The win was his first victory on the tour since withdrawing from the Paris Masters due to an abdominal injury.

“It was not one of the best performances of my career. Not at all. I really hope that I can play better.” The 33-year-old reflected after.
“I was better than the other day, of course. I have been playing a better level of tennis than the first day in general terms. To win this match was a combination of a lot of things: luck, some mistakes by Daniil and some good moments from myself at the end.”

It is understandable as to why a perfectionist like Nadal was far from pleased with his latest win. Despite it reviving his chances of winning the season-ending tournament for the first time in his career. His 26 winners were canceled out by 27 unforced errors. Furthermore, his second service winning rate dropped at the match progressed from 62% in the first set to 45% in the second.

“In general terms, knowing that I was not able to practice the way that I would like before the tournament, to be able to increase the level since two days ago to today like this is a very positive thing and I’m very happy with this.” The Spaniard affirms.
“Winning or losing is another thing.” He added.

The implications of Nadal’s win not only means that he extends his perfect record of winning the decisive tiebreakers at the ATP Finals (3-0), his quest to end the season as world No.1 has also been helped. Although a certain Novak Djokovic could spoil the party if he wins the tournament this week.

The 19-time grand slam champion has been praised numerous times for his fighting spirit displayed on the court. Illustrated by his latest win on the tour. However, he believes this shouldn’t be the example for rising stars of the game should focus on.

“The example is not the comeback. The example, in my opinion, is not breaking a racquet when you are 5-1 (down) in the third or not lose your self-control when things are not going the right way.” Nadal explained.
“Just staying positive, staying on the court, accepting that the opponent is playing a little bit better than you and accepting that you are not that good. That’s the only example.”

Nadal will next play Stefanos Tsitsipas on Friday. He has now won 52 matches on the tour this season.

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