Stefanos Tsitsipas Emulates 'Nice Guy' Enqvist And Rosset With Second Straight Marseille Title - UBITENNIS
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Stefanos Tsitsipas Emulates ‘Nice Guy’ Enqvist And Rosset With Second Straight Marseille Title

The grand slam semi-finalist has returned back to the winner’s circle after a lacklustre start to 2020.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas (photo Cristina Criswald)

Second seed Stefanos Tsitsipas has become just the third player in the Open Era to win back-to-back Marseille titles after cruising to victory on Sunday.

 

The world No.4 dropped serve only once during his 6-3, 6-4, win over fellow top 20 player Felix Auger-Aliassime. A player who Tsitsipas had only beaten once in their three previous meetings on the tour prior to this week. In their latest clash the Greek claimed 78% of his first service points as he broke his Canadian rival three times. Once in the first set and twice in the second.

“I played a good quality of tennis today and I showed everyone what I am capable of,” said Tsitsipas. “Serving well, returning well, just being there behind every single ball, executing, dominating and being clever in my decision-making.”

The 21-year-old didn’t drop a set throughout the entire week in Marseille. Earlier in the tournament he also scored victories over Vasek Pospisil and Alexander Bublik. Tsitsipas entered the tournament winning just three out of seven matches played so far in 2020.

Claiming his first title since the ATP Finals in November and fifth in his career overall, the Next Gen player has hailed his mental performance in the final. During the opener, he was forced to save a trio of break points before closing it out. Then in the second, he lost his break advantage before breaking again in the following game to restore his lead.

“I am proud of the fact that mentally I didn’t even crack, not once,” said Tsitsipas. “That was really good. Although I got broken, I wouldn’t say that that was a mental lapse. Personally, I am very happy with my mental state throughout the whole match.”

Tsitsipas’ triumph extends Auger-Aliassime’s wait for his maiden ATP title. The world No.18, who is two years younger than his rival, has now featured in five finals on the tour within the last 12 months. He has lost all of them in straight sets.

“Playing a final is wonderful, you have to have that perspective, remember that everything is going in the right direction despite everything,” said Auger-Aliassime.
“It’s heavy, losing every time in the final. There is a little doubt… when will it be my turn?”

Claiming his second Marseille in a row, Tsitsipas joins Marc Rosset and Thomas Enqvist as the only players to have ever done so. Rosset won the first two editions on the event (1993 and 1994), whilst Enqvist went unbeaten between 1997-1998.

“I know [Thomas] pretty well,” said Tsitsipas. “He was our Laver Cup captain… He is a really nice guy. I am really happy that I get to break records and be part of some records. It is what keeps me going in the sport. It makes me hungry for more, in general. I want to go out there and break records and do things that others haven’t done yet. That’s what defines my personality.”

Tsitsipas leaves the tournament with 250 ranking points and €116,030 in prize money.

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Gael Monfils Joins Forces With Former Long-Time Coach Of Dominic Thiem

Will the Frenchman return to his best form with the help of his new mentor?

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Tennis star Gael Monfils will start the 2021 season with a new team setup after confirming the appointment of a new coach.

 

The former US Open semi-finalist has paired up with the renowned Gunther Bresnik who is best known for his time spent working alongside Dominic Thiem for over a decade until their split in 2019. Thiem is now coached by Nicolas Massu. Bresnik is the former Davis Cup captain of Austria and has worked with numerous top names such as Ernests Gulbis, Jerzy Janowicz, Boris Becker and Henri Leconte.

Monfils has been training with Bresnik during the off-season but only now has it been confirmed that the two have formed an agreement to work together. However, over the coming weeks Monfils will be guided by another Austrian. Co-coach Richard Ruckelshausen will work with the world No.11 in Australia and has been appointed as the captain of the French ATP Cup team.

“I’ve known Gaël for a long time,” Bresnik told krone.at on January 9th. “With Ernests Gulbis and Stefan Lochbihler’s son, he worked on his shape here in Spain (during the off-season).”

The 34-year-old will be looking to get back on top form following what was a roller-coaster 2020. Monfils started last year by winning 16 matches within a three-month period. However, following the pause in tennis due to the COVID-19 pandemic he struggled to regain that form. Ending the season with three consecutive first round losses.

Monfils had been working with Liam Smith. The upcoming Australian Open will be his 54th appearance in a Grand Slam main draw. He has only reached the quarter-finals at the Melbourne major once which was back in 2016.

So far in his career Monfils has won 10 ATP titles and has been ranked as high as sixth in the world.

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Andy Murray won’t travel to Australia

Andy Murray will miss next month’s Australian Open after testing positive for COVID-19 a couple of weeks ago.

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Andy Murray (@the_LTA - Twitter)

Andy Murray has made it official, he won’t be making the trip down under after working with Tennis Australia to find a viable solution to make it work.

 

“We’ve been in constant dialogue with Tennis Australia to try and find a solution which would allow some form of workable quarantine, but we couldn’t make it work.”

Murray was scheduled to fly to Australia with one of charter flights but due to a positive Covid test wasn’t able to make the flight and put his tournament in jeopardy.

Although he missed the chartered flights there was still a small chance he would play but had to workout an agreement with Tennis Australia to make it work. However it didn’t work and was gutted with the news.

“I want to thank everyone there for their efforts, I’m devastated not to be playing out in Australia. It’s a country and tournament that I love.”

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‘If I knew, I Wouldn’t Come’ – Victor Troicki Slams Hard Quarantine In Melbourne

Troicki, who will head the Serbian ATP Cup team next month, says his career has been thrown into ‘chaos.’

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Former top 20 player Victor Troicki says his ‘Grand Slam is failing’ after implying that he felt that he was misled about the quarantine rules ahead of the Australian Open.

 

Troicki, who is currently ranked 202nd in the world, is among 72 players who have been placed in a strict quarantine where they are not allowed to leave their room for a 14-day period. Those affected have all been deemed as a ‘close contact’ of somebody who tested positive for COVID-19. A series of positive tests was detected on flights en route to the country.

34-year-old Troicki travelled to Australia from Doha after successfully qualifying for the Australian Open with wins over Cedrik-Marcel Stebe, Ulises Blanch and Jurij Rodionov. This year’s two qualifying tournament’s took place in the Middle East due to the pandemic.

“If I knew, I wouldn’t come,” Troicki told Sportski Zurnal earlier this week.
“Total chaos, horror as far as everything is concerned. I’m locked up for 14 days, I can’t leave the room. No training, nothing. My Grand Slam is failing, I can’t get ready for five sets in the room.”

In recent days there has been some dispute over whether players knew about the conditions regarding going into a strict quarantine. Carlos Martinez, who is the coach of Daria Kasatkina, told UbiTennis that players were initially under the impression that sections of a plan would have to be isolated if there was a positive case and not the entire plane. Ultimately the decision was up to the Australian health authorities.

“Tennis Australia was doing a great job in my opinion. The only thing that was a bit unclear was about the quarantine when somebody gets infected on the plane. They were talking like they were going to make sections inside the plane so if they found somebody in a section (who tests positive) they would isolate those people,’ said Martinez.
“But in the end the government didn’t want to do this and they preferred to isolate all on the plane because it was safer for everyone.”

Amid the debate over whether Troicki and his peers knew the full story or not, Spain’s Paula Badosa has become the first Australian Open player to contract the virus during quarantine. She had previously criticised the procedure before later apologising.

As for Troicki, he says the current situation is creating ‘chaos’ in his career.

“All preparations are failing,” he said. “Two weeks of lying in bed, it is certain that I will have to get back in shape for the next month and a half. All this is creating chaos in my career.”

Troicki is the team captain of the Serbian ATP Cup team. The tournament will start a week prior to the Australian Open on February 1st.

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