The ATP announces nominees for the Coach of the Year Award - UBITENNIS
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The ATP announces nominees for the Coach of the Year Award

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Apostolos Tsitsipas, Carlos Moya, Gilles Cervara, Nicolas Massu and Vincenzo Santopadre are the candidates for the ATP Coach of the Year Award. The five coaches have been nominated and voted by fellow ATP coach members. This award goes to the ATP Coach who helped guide his players to a higher level of performance during the year.

 

Apostolos Tsitsipas guided his son Stefanos to the ATP Finals title in London just one year after his triumph at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan. Apostolos and his wife Julia Salnikova (a former top 200 WTA player) started coaching Stefanos when he was just three. During a spectacular 2019 season Tsitsipas also won two more titles in Marseille and Estoril and reached the Australian Open semifinal and three finals in Dubai, Madrid and Beijing.

Carlos Moya guided Rafael Nadal to two Grand Slam titles in 2019 at Roland Garros and at the US Open and two Masters 1000 titles in Rome and Montreal. Nadal ended the season as world number 1 player in the ATP Ranking and clinched the Davis Cup title at the Caja Magica in front of his home fans. Nadal has won five Grand Slam titles since he started working together with Moya in 2016.

Frenchman Gilles Cervara played a vital role in Danil Medvedev’s rise to the top five during a spectacular 2019 season. Medvedev won two Masters 1000 finals in Cincinnati and Shanghai, two ATP tournaments in Sofia and St. Petersburg and reached the final in Brisbane, Barcelona, Washington, Montreal and at the US Open,. The 23-year-old Russian player qualified for the ATP Finals in London for the first time in his career.

Former Chilean star Nicolas Massu started working with Dominic Thiem at the start of March. Under the guidance of Massu Thiem won his first Masters 1000 title at Indian Wells. The Austrian player continued his successful season winning in Barcelona, Kitzbuehl, Beijing and Vienna and reached the French Open final.

Vincenzo Santopadre, who reached a career-high world number 100 on 3 May 1999, has coached Matteo Berrettini since 2011 and guided the 23-year-old player to his first Grand Slam semifinal at the US Open last September. Under the guidance of Santopadre Berrettini has become the third Italian player in history to qualify for the ATP Finals after Adriano Panatta and Corrado Barazzutti.

 

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Karolina Pliskova wins all-Czech semifinal against

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Defending champion Karolina Pliskova cruised past 2019 French Open finalist Marketa Vondrousova 6-2 6-4 on the Central Court after 82 minutes to set up a final against Simona Halep at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia at the Foro Italico in Rome.

 

Pliskova has reached her second consecutive final in the Eternal City. 

Pliskova had already beat Vondrusova last year in Miami en route to reaching the final, where she lost to Australia’s Ashleigh Barty. 

Pliskova got her first break in the fourth game to open a 4-1 lead. Vondrousova earned a break point in the seventh game, but Pliskova saved it with an overhead. Vondrousova saved two set points in the eighth game, but she faced a third chance after a forehand error. Pliskova broke serve with a backhand return on her third set point. 

Vondrousova broke serve in the first game of the second set with backhand. Pliskova broke straight back in the second game at deuce and saved two break point in the third game to hold serve for 2-1. Pliskova converted her third break point chance in the sixth game to take a 4-2 lead. Vondrousova broke straight back at 15 and held her service game to draw level to 4-4. Pliskova saved a break point to hold serve for 5-4 and sealed the win with a break at 30 in the 10th game. 

Pliskova set up a final against Simona Halep, who beat Garbine Muguruza in the first semifinal. Pliskova won her last two head-to-head against Halep in 2019 in Miami and at the WTA Finals in Shenzhen, but Halep leads 7-5.  

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Novak Djokovic reaches his 10th final in Rome

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Four-time Rome champion and 17-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic edged Norway’s Casper Ruud 7-5 6-3 after 2 hours and 11 minutes to advance to his 10th final at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia at the Foro Italico in Rome. Djokovic is one win away from his 36th ATP Masters 1000 title. 

 

Djokovic fended off two set points in the opening set and broke serve three times. The World Number 1 hit 26 winners to 29 unforced errors. 

In the first set Djokovic held serve in the first game after deuce. Ruud won his service game at love with a forehand winner. Ruud earned a break in the third game, when Djokovic made a backhand error. The young Norwegian player held serve at 30 after a forehand error from Djokovic to consolidate the break and build up a 3-1 lead. 

Djokovic held serve at love with a service winner and earned two break points in the fifth game, but Ruud saved them. Both players held serve at love in seventh and eighth games. The key moment of the match came when Ruud wasted two set points, as he was serving at 5-4 40-15. Djokovic hit a crosscourt backhand to save the first set point and reached deuce after hitting a backhand dropshot. 

Ruud lost four consecutive points to drop serve in the 10th game for 5-5. Djokovic saved three break points in the a 12-minute 11th game to hold serve for 6-5. Djokovic broke serve at 30 after Ruud made a forehand error to seal the first set 7-5. 

Djokovic held serve at love in the first game of the second set. Ten deuces and ten break points on both sides followed in the next two marathon games. Ruud held serve at love to draw level to 2-2. Djokovic broke serve at love in the sixth game with powerful groundsstrokes to open up a 4-2 lead. The 2020 Australian Open champion consolidated the break with a service winner to build up a 5-2 lead. Djokovic did not convert his first match point after a forehand error. Ruud saved the second chance with a forehand winner at deuce.

Ruud held serve with a service winner after five deuces to claw his way back to 3-5. Djokovic held serve at love with a service winner to close out the match. 

Djokovic tied Nadal’s Masters 1000 title record by claiming his second Career Golden Masters at the Western and Southern Open in New York. The Serbian legend fining runner-up in three of the past four editions of the Rome Masters 1000 tournament. Djokovic has improved his win-loss record in 2020 to 30-1. 

Ruud was attempting to reach his third final in four clay tournaments this year. The Argentine won the Buenos Aires tournamnet and reached the final in Santiago de Chlle. 

“It is super important to win the title. Otherwise, I would not be here. I don’t take anything for granted, even after 15 years on the Tour. I still enjoy it. I still have hunger for the titles and putting myself in a position to fight for the title is exactly where I want to be”, said Djokovic. 

Djokovic will face either Diego Schwartzman or Denis Shapovalov in the final. 

“Both players are in tremendous form. Diego played the match of his life last night and he is comfortable on clay. Denis has improved a lot on clay over the past few years and has got a powerful game. Whatever comes my way, i will be ready and hopefully I can get my hands on the trophy”. 

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Karolina Pliskova sets up all-Czech semifinal against Marketa Vondrousova in Rome

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Number 2 seed and defending Rome champion Karolina Pliskova edged Belgium’s Elise Mertens 6-3 3-6 6-0 to set up an all-Czech semifinal against her younger compatriot Marketa Vondrousova. 

 

Pliskova got an early break to open up a 3-0 lead at the start of the match. Mertens earned two break points in Pliskova’s first service game, but Pliskova saved them. 

Pliskova got an early break at the start of the second set to build up a 6-3 1-0 lead. Mertens earned break point opportunities in each of Pliskova’s first three service games before breaking serve in the seventh game to take a 4-3 lead. Mertens won five consecutive games to win the second set 6-3 sending the match to the third set.

Pliskova bounced back by breaking serve early in the third set to open up a 3-0 lead. The 2019 Rome champion sealed the third set 6-0 with her third break. 

“I think I played a great match. Even the second set I think there were some good moments. It was one of the best matches of this season, but it’s not so difficult because there were not so many matches. I felt great. Especially the first set was one of my best sets that I have played on clay ever. I thought I played a great set and a half, but of course she is a great player too, so she played some good shots and she made it difficult for me at the end of the second set, but I just changed my clothes, and I came back to the game which I was playing in the first set, which worked”, said Pliskova. 

Pliskova will take on 2019 Roland Garros finalist Marketa Vondrousova, who cruised past two-time Rome champion Elina Svitolina 6-3 6-0 to reach her first semifinal since 2019 Roland Garros. 

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