Rafael Nadal Protest Innocence Of Fellow Player Over Failed Drugs Test - UBITENNIS
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Rafael Nadal Protest Innocence Of Fellow Player Over Failed Drugs Test

The 19-time grand slam champion has jumped to the defence of the former top 50 tennis star from South America.

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World No.1 Rafael Nadal has said he is “100% sure” that one of his fellow rivals on the tour didn’t deliberately take an illegal substance after being issued with a provisional suspension by the International Tennis Federation.

 

Nicolas Jarry is currently prohibited from playing on the tour after failing a drugs test during the Davis Cup finals last year. A sample of the Chilean player tested positive for traces of Ligandrol and Stanozolo, which are both banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). Jarry, who won his first ATP title at the Swedish Open last July, has since issued a statement in which he believes his failed tests was caused by the consumption of multivitamins made in Brazil.

“Last November, while I was playing Davis Cup for Chile, I underwent two urine tests. The first one was clean but the second one detected two banned substances.” Jarry said.
“The levels of these substances are so incredibly low that they are equivalent to a trillionth of a gram, levels so low that neither substances could have provided me any performance enhancing benefit.’
“I would like to let you know that I have never deliberately or intentionally taken any banned substance in my career as a tennis player and in fact, I am completely opposed to doping.”

Questioned about Jarry’s current suspension following his roller coaster win over Nick Kyrgios at the Australian Open, Nadal believes the 24-year-old did not intentionally mean to break the rules. The two have never faced each other on the ATP Tour.

“I am 100% sure it was not of his own accord. I know both Jarry and his family and I know what kind of people they are.” Mundo Deportivo quoted Nadal as saying in Spanish.
“Sometimes things happen unconsciously. We go to restaurants and anyone can leave you in an unprotected situation. From here I want to encourage him and tell him that I believe in him.”

However, it has since emerged that a previous coach of Jarry had also failed a doping test in the past. Former Argentinian player Martin Rodriguez forfeited his prize money earned at the 2002 Swiss Indoors due to an ‘excessive amount of caffeine’ in his sample. It is unclear as to if Jarry is related to Rodriguez by blood. An article published by the ATP says they are, but The Telegraph contradicts this in a separate investigation they conducted.

Nadal isn’t the only player to stand up for Jarry, who has been ranked as high as 38th in the world. Another is Dominic Thiem. The two-time French Open finalist has branded the suspension as ‘ridiculous.’ Thiem is coached by Nicolas Massu, who is the captain of the Chilean Davis Cup team.

“He [Jarry] was tested negative in Paris Bercy,” Thiem told The Telegraph on January 20th. “Then his mother brought him multivitamin tablets to the Davis Cup finals in Madrid. He took them there. Then he was tested positive. For me the whole story, that he was tested positive, is ridiculous.
“First of all, he lost 12 or 13 matches in a row. Then he is not that type of player, where doping would help him.
“In general it is a complete farce how much we are restricted about things. If we forgot our electrolyte drinks at home, we cannot buy anything – not even in a supplement store in the US – without being worried that something is contaminated.”

Jarry is awaiting a hearing with the ITF where a verdict will be made on his future in the sport.

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‘I Know How To Get There’ – Karen Khachanov Targets Return To Top 10

The world No.31 has showed signs of his talent this season with a run to the Olympic final but a lack of consistency and changes to the ATP ranking system has hindered him too.

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Karen Khachanov - Credit: AELTC/Ian Walton

It wasn’t that long ago when Karen Khachanov was the highest-ranked Russian man on the ATP Tour and billed as the next big thing from his country.

 

A breakout 2018 season saw Khachanov claim three Tour titles with the biggest of those being at the Paris Masters which remains his most prestigious trophy to date. He also reached his first major quarter-final at the French Open during the same season and scored five wins over top 10 players. Those triumphs helped elevate him in the ranking to a high of eight.

However, since that breakthrough Khachanov has found himself on a a rollercoaster journey. He is yet to win another title since Paris but came agonisingly close at the Tokyo Olympic Games where he finished runner-up to Alexander Zverev. In his nine previous Grand Slam tournaments his best run was at Wimbledon this season where he reached the last eight before losing to Denis Shapovalov.

Now ranked 31st in the world, the 25-year-old is aiming to claim back up the ladder after the ATP changed their ranking logic to the method used prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The rankings turned out to be a big pun, it was frozen for a year and a half, only now normal counting has begun. I am not fixated on this,” Khachanov told reporters in Moscow on Wednesday. “My main goal is to get back to the Top10. I know how to get there. And the intermediate goals are to be healthy and motivated.”

Khachanov has been ranked outside the world’s top 20 since February and hasn’t been in the top 10 since October 2019. He is currently coached on the Tour by Jose Clavet who has previously worked with a series of top Spanish players such as Feliciano Lopez, Alex Corretja, Tommy Robredo and Carlos Moya.

“He travels with me everywhere, for which I am grateful to him. I trust him as a specialist, as a coach and as a friend,” Khachanov said of Clavet.

Khachanov has returned to his home country this week where he is playing in Moscow at the Kremlin Cup. A tournament he won three years ago by defeating Adrian Mannarino in the final. Seeded third in the draw this time round, he began his campaign on Wednesday with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-1, win over James Duckworth. In the next round, he faces another Australian in the shape of John Millman which he believes will be a far from easy task.

He is a fighter, a complete player, he does everything well, forehand and backhand with good intensity. He does everything at a good level, but the main quality is that he fights till the end, so it will be hard for me,” he said of his next opponent.

Moscow is the seventh tournament this year where Khachanov has reached the quarter-final stage.

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Karen Khachanov and Marin Cilic advance to the quarter finals at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow

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Karen Khachanov came back from one set down to beat James Duckworth 3-6 6-3 6-1 with four breaks of serve reaching the quarter finals at the VTB Kremlin Cup in Moscow. 

 

Khachanov played at this tournament for the first time at the age of 17 in 2013 beating Albert Ramos Vinolas one month after earning his first ATP Tour win in St. Petersburg.

Duckworth saved four break points in the first and seventh games of the first set before breaking serve in the eighth game to seal the first set 6-3. 

Khachanov broke serve in the fourth game and saved two break points in the sixth game to win the second set 6-3. The Russian player broke three times to cruise to a 6-1 win in the decider. 

“It always feel great to be back in your hometown, in a tournament where everything started for me as a professional tennis player. This is where I won my first matches. I got my first points. Since then, it’s always great to come back home to see the crowd, get home support. It’s also little bit more nervous, of course, but on the other side, I always enjoy playing at home”, said Khachanov.

Khachanov set up a quarter final clash against John Millman, who overcame Ilya Marchenko 6-1 5-7 6-4 after 2 hours and 28 minutes. 

Marin Cilic broke serve four times to beat Tommy Paul 7-5 6-3. Both players traded breaks in the fifth and sixth games to draw level to 3-3. Cilic earned his break in the 12th game to close out the first set 7-5. Cilic got the decisive break in the sixth game when Paul missed a backhand long. Cilic never looked back and held his final two service games to close out the second set 6-3.  

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Jannik Sinner wins all-Italian Next Gen clash against Lorenzo Musetti in Antwerp

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Jannik Sinner edged Lorenzo Musetti 7-5 6-2 in an all-Italian Next Gen clash to reach the quarter finals at the European Open in Antwerp. 

 

Musetti showed his impressive shotmaking in the first set, but Sinner broke his younger compatriot in the 11th game at deuce by forcing a volley error with a forehand passing shot. 

Sinner did not drop his serve in the second game and broke twice in the third and fifth game to race out to a 5-1 lead. Musetti saved two break points in the seventh game to hold serve at deuce for 2-5. Sinner served out the second set on his first match point. 

Sinner reached the semifinal in Antwerp in 2019 as a semifinal when he ranked outside the top 100. The 20-year-old player is currently 11th in the ATP Race to Turin and is fighting for a qualifying spot for the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin. 

“In these past two years some things have changed obviously, I am happy to be in the position where I am right now. There are still a couple of tournaments to play this year, and hopefully I can play great tennis”. 

Sinner will face Frenchman Arthur Rinderknech, who edged Dusan Lajovic 6-3 4-6 6-2. Lajovic broke at love in the first game to open up a 2-0 lead. Rinderknech won five of the next six games with two breaks in the fourth and sixth games to win the first set 6-3. Lajovic saved a break point in the third game of the second set and earned his only break in the 10th game at love to close out the second set 6-4. 

Rinderknech saved three break points in the second game of the third set before breaking serve on his third chance at deuce to take a 2-1 lead. The Frenchman earned a double break at deuce in the seventh game to seal the third set 6-2. 

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