Ruthless Rafael Nadal Sets Up Showdown With Dimitrov In Mexico - UBITENNIS
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Ruthless Rafael Nadal Sets Up Showdown With Dimitrov In Mexico

The world No.2 is yet to drop a set in the tournament.

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Top seed Rafael Nadal has continued his dominant run at this week’s Mexican Open by dropping just three games during his quarter-final clash against South Korea’s Soonwoo Kwon.

 

The 19-time grand slam champion dictated proceedings from the onset as he broke his rival twice in each set to score the 6-1, 6-2, victory. Hitting a total of 25 winners against 11 unforced errors. Despite the scoreline, the Spaniard was tested at times by the world No.76 during their encounter as he saved all eight break points he faced.

”The match has been much tougher than what the result said. I think it was a beautiful match to see,” atptour.com quoted Nadal as saying after. “It was a good match against a tough opponent. I think he’s going to have a very good tennis career.”

So far in the tournament, the 33-year-old has only dropped 15 games in total. Earlier in the week he also scored victories over Miomir Kecmanović and Pablo Andujar. The win-loss record of the two-time champion in Acapulco now stands at 18-2.

Awaiting Nadal in the semi-finals will be Grigor Dimitrov, who got a revenge win over Stan Wawrinka. Coming into the last eight of the tournament, Dimitrov has lost to his Swiss rival five consecutive times on the tour. He managed to end the losing streak with a 6-4, 6-4, victory to reach his first semi-final of 2020. The former grand slam semi-finalist said his victory was inspired by those previous losses.

”I’ve played quite a few times against Stan and we’ve practised together so many times. Between us, it’s mainly a mental battle,” Dimitrov said. “I had lost the past five times against him, but those losses have inspired me. Those losses helped me. Even though it hurts saying it, I’m admitting it. I wanted to stand tall tonight.”

Nadal has a one-sided head-to-head lead of 12-1 against his upcoming rival in Mexico. The only time he lost to Dimitrov was at the 2016 Beijing Open. Although he is taking nothing for granted.

”[Dimitrov] finished last year much better than how he had played the rest of that year. He started to play some good tennis and is showing it here, winning some very good matches,” Nadal said. “I’m going to need my best and I hope I’m ready to make it happen.”

In the other section of the draw, Taylor Fritz is experiencing his best run at a tournament since the Los Cabos Open in August after downing Kyle Edmund 6-4, 6-3. Despite a tentative start where he lost two out of his first three service games, he managed to gain momentum with the help of 11 aces as he won 74% of his first service points.

”When Kyle and I play each other, it’s all about who is going to get the first big shot in,” Fritz reflected on his win. “Even when I was nervous, I was telling myself to still go for my shots.”

The 22-year-old faces compatriot John Isner for a place in the final. Isner experienced a much tougher encounter on Thursday as he battled past Tommy Paul 7-6(3), 3-6, 6-2. The world No.20 is playing in Acapulco for the sixth time in his career and is yet to reach the final.

”I’m expecting a really good match. Taylor is confident every time he takes the court,” Isner previewed. “He’s an absolute gamer and I respect the heck out of him. He straps on his shoes and goes to battle.”

Isner lost to Fritz earlier this year at the ASB Classic in Auckland, but leads their head-to-head 2-1.

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‘Coronabros Stay In Your Basement’ – John Isner Plays Down Concerns Over COVID-19 Threat

The world No.21 believes players have to ‘learn and adapt’ to the virus.

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America’s top tennis player have said the world ‘can’t come to a complete standstill’ due to the Coronavirus pandemic as he hit back at criticism concerning an upcoming exhibition tournament he is participating in.

 

John Isner weighed in on the debate following a comment from freelance writer Ben Rothenberg whom on Twitter voiced concerns that Atlanta and West Virginia is staging tennis events with crowds despite a rise in cases. The world No.21 is set to play in the DraftKings All-American Team Cup in Atlanta, which will feature the eight top male players in the country. Officials plan to allow 450 people to attend the event on each day, which is estimated to be around 30% of the stadium’s maximum capacity.

“Ben, your concerns are valid, but, as someone who covers our sport for a living it would be nice if you would be supportive of WTT and Atlanta with their efforts to put on safe events instead of posting spooky headlines like this one that are factually incorrect,” Isner said making reference to an article Rothenberg posted.

Other Twitter users have also questioned the decision to allow fans to attend the event. Georgia, which is the state Atlanta is in, officially reported 2946 daily cases of the virus on July 1st. The highest amount within 24 hours since the pandemic began. Furthermore, Reuters News Agency reports that there was a record rise of more than 47,000 cases on Tuesday in America.

Nevertheless, Isner has dismissed calls for the event to be held behind closed doors or even cancelled. Branding his online critics as ‘coronabros’ before saying he wants to go on and live his life.

“You coronabros can stay in your basement all you want. I choose to live my life and play/promote the sport I love in a safe manner,” he said.

Unsurprisingly Isner has now been accused of downplaying the severity of the virus, which has killed more than 500,000 people worldwide. Including 130,000 in his home country alone. Challenged by one Twitter user who said she lost a family member due to the virus, Isner replied:-

“I’m incredibly sorry to hear that. I, in no way, was downplaying the effect of the virus, but I understand that perception can be reality.”

It is not fully understood by what he means with the phrase ‘perception is a reality’. Although he did like one tweet which said ‘the virus is much less lethal than the first models predicted. It’s now close to the flu.’ Although some medical experts have a differnt view on the perspective. White House coronavirus advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci has recently said the virus is “very different” from other outbreaks such as Ebola and HIV.

“We may not have a vaccine for a while and the world can’t come to a complete standstill. The reality is, we are going to have to learn and adapt to this virus in the safest manner possible,” he says.

The DraftKings All-American Team Cup in Atlanta will take place this weekend.

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Liverpool Ace Van Dijk Sees Similarities Between Him And Roger Federer

The Swiss Maestro has been praised for his seemingly effortless approach to the sport.

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Liverpool defender Virgil Van Dijk says he believes his approach to football is similar to that of Roger Federer in tennis.

 

In a recent interview the 28-year-old admitted that he can be perceived as laid back by some people whilst playing. Van Dijk recently helped Liverpool lift the Premier League title for the first time since 1990. The Dutch centre-back has scored four goals during the 2019-2020 Premier League season so far and was also part of the team which won the UEFA Champions League title last year.

Addressing his style of play on the pitch, Van Dijk said he has partly modelled his approach on the demeanour of Federer. Who currently holds the record for most Grand Slam titles won and weeks spent at No.1 on the ATP Tour.

“I have naturally always been a bit laid back, the way I look and the way my presence is,” The Express quoted him as saying.
“I think a good example is in tennis if you watch Federer playing tennis.
“It looks like he’s not even putting in any work and it can frustrate opponents as well thinking they’re trying as hard as they can and your putting on the slippers for example.”

Van Dijk isn’t the first Liverpool player to pay tribute to Federer. During the Swiss Indoors last October winger Xherdan Shaqiri said he can learn ‘so much’ from the world No.4. Shaqiri is also from Switzerland and started his career playing for FC Basel, which has been Federer’s favourite football club since he was a child.

“He’s here at home in Basel, then he’s running well and he’s winning. It went very fast and I’m happy for him,” Shaqiri commented on Federer’s win over Peter Gojowczyk at the Swiss Indoors last year.
“He is no longer the youngest and still plays at a top level, because you can look a lot off.”

Federer will not play any more professional tournaments this year after undergoing a second surgical procedure on his right knee within the last six months. The first was in February. Although he has pledged to return to action in 2021 when he will be 39-years-old.

It is only the second time in his career that Federer has ended a season half way through due to injury.

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Nick Kyrgios Blasts ‘Selfish’ Zverev Over Viral Party Video

The world No.7 has been blasted for breaking his pledge to self-isolate after playing in the Adria Tour where a series of players and coaches tested positive for COVID-19.

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Australian tennis star Nick Kyrgios has hit out at Alexander Zverev and the wider tennis community after it emerged on Sunday the German broke his self-isolation pledge to attend a party.

 

The world No.7 was caught attending a party at the Anjuna Plage Private Club in southern France after a video of him surfaced on the Instagram story of millionaire fashion designer Philipp Plein. Two other Instagram accounts also showed Zverev at the event on Sunday afternoon. The German issued a statement less than a week prior saying that he would go into a period of self-isolation after attending the Adria Tour in Zadar. Where Grigor Dimitrov, Borna Coric and Novak Djokovic tested positive for COVID-19. According to standard medical advice, those who have been in close contact with people with the virus should self-isolate for 14 days to avoid potentially spreading it.

“I will proceed to follow the self-isolating guidelines advised by our doctors. As an added precaution, my team and I will continue with regular testing,” the world No.7 said in a statement last Monday.

Zverev’s video sparked a series of criticism on social media, but Nick Kyrgios is by far the most well known figure in the sport to have spoken out. Releasing an Instagram video, the former top 20 player slammed the behaviour of his rival. Accusing him of being selfish before adding the tennis world was ‘pi**ing him off.’ During the Adria Tour players were seen attending parties and engaging with members of the public which was allowed under local laws.

“So I wake up and I see more controversial things happening all over the world. But one that stuck out for me was seeing (Alexander) Zverev again man, again, again, how selfish can you be? How selfish can you be?” Kyrgios said on Instagram.
“I mean, if you have the audacity to put out a f—ing tweet that you made your management write on your behalf saying you are going to self isolate for 14 days and apologising to f—ing general public for putting their health at risk, at least have the audacity to stay inside for 14 days. My god.
“Have your girlfriend with you for f—ing 14 days. Jesus, man. It pisses me off. This tennis world pisses me off. How selfish can you all get?”

Kyrgios isn’t the only player to criticise Zverev. Saschia Vickery wrote on Twitter ‘risking lives to dance off beat with no rhythm around hundreds of people how is this real life?’ and British player Katie Boulter said she was ‘speechless.’ Meanwhile, Noah Rubin wrote ‘we are far from being ok’ in reference in Zverev’s video.

French player Lucas Pouille was also spotted at the same party as Zverev. However, he didn’t play on the Adria Tour and has not been self-isolating. He recently withdrew from the United Tennis Showdown (UTS) due to injury.

Neither Zverev or a member of his team have commented on the video so far.

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