Tour Shutdown Unlikely To Affect The Top Guns Of Tennis, Says Becker - UBITENNIS
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Tour Shutdown Unlikely To Affect The Top Guns Of Tennis, Says Becker

The German tennis legend believes it will be another group of players that will suffer the most from a break in the sport.

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Former world No.1 Boris Becker believes the current suspension of tennis due to COVID-19 could be a blessing in disguise for the likes of Roger Federer and Serena Williams.

 

Becker, who won six grand slam titles during his career, dismissed concerns about if the two stars of the sport could suffer from a lack of play due to their age. Both of whom will be turning 39 later this year. Federer is currently the oldest top 100 player on the men’s tour and Williams is the second oldest in the women’s after her sister Venus. Between them, they have won 43 Grand Slam singles trophies and spent 619 weeks as world No.1.

“If the year is lost, I don’t think it’s bad for Federer or Serena (Williams) because they haven’t really abused their bodies for another year, in a way they have gained a year,” Becker told Reuters.

The German tennis legend believes it will actually be the younger players who will suffer during the Tour suspension due to their inexperience. All professional tournaments have been suspended since March in the wake of the worldwide coronavirus outbreak. At present the sport is scheduled to restart on July 13th, however, it is expected that the extension will be extended in the coming weeks.

“I think it (the lockdown) is good for Andy Murray because it gives him more time to come back and get physically ready for 2021,” the 52-year-old later added.
“I think it benefits more (Novak) Djokovic, (Rafa) Nadal, Federer because they know how good they are, they know what to do, and I don’t think we are going to see a change of form from them.”

It is up in the air if Federer and Co will be seen playing in another grand slam tournament in 2020 with both the US Open and French Open having doubts cast over their events. The USTA, which is in charge of the US Open, recently confirmed that a final decision regarding the tournament will be made next month. They are currently looking at options that include potentially moving the event from New York, which is the epicentre of the American COVID-19 outbreak, to Indian Wells. Meanwhile, the French Tennis Federation is still in the process of finalising the date their event with relevant stakeholders.

Becker believes the outcome of those two events will be decisive as to if the 2020 season will resume or not. Recently Rafael Nadal said he is pessimistic that any more events will take place this year. On top of that, the organisers of the 2021 Australian Open have admitted that there is a chance the tournament could be cancelled due to the pandemic.

“I think a lot depends on the decision regarding the U.S. Open and the French Open,” he said.
“I think if that’s positive then we will have a tournament or two before the Open in America. I think it was good of the Open to say ‘listen, let’s wait and see and not make a rushed decision’.
“If it is positive then I think we will have tennis for the rest of the year. If we don’t have the Open, the French Open, I don’t think we will have tennis for the rest of the year.”

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Unseeded Ugo Humbert Becomes First Player In Over A Decade To Win Halle On Debut

The 22-year-old fired nine aces and 29 winners to claim his first ATP 500 title.

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image via https://twitter.com/ATPHalle

France’s Ugo Humbert has clinched his maiden ATP title on the grass after defeating Andrey Rublev in straight sets at the Noventi Open in Halle.

 

Humbert remained unbroken throughout his 6-3, 7-6(4), win over the Russian fourth seed who has won more matches on the ATP Tour than any other player since the start of 2020 (74). The Frenchman was particularly impressive behind serve where he won 83% of his first service points and 55% on his second. It is the first time he has beaten Rublev on the Tour after losing to him on two previous occasions in 2019 (Monte Carlo) and 2020 (St. Petersburg).

“It’s incredible,” said Humbert. “The best victory of my career. I’m very proud because it wasn’t easy, I was a little but tired today but I tried to stay focused on each point. It’s very nice.”

The triumph concludes what has been a marathon week in Halle for the 22-year-old. En route to the final he had to come through four three-set matches where he scored wins over Sam Querrey, Alexander Zverev, Sebastian Korda and Felix-Auger Aliassime. Becoming only the second player in Halle’s 28-year history to have reached the final by playing only three-set matches.

Meanwhile, runner-up Rublev paid tribute to his opponent following their clash. The world No.7 is now 1-2 in finals played so far this season after winning Rotterdam before losing to Stefanos Tsitsipas in Monte Carlo. To put that into perspective, in 2020 he won all six finals he played in.

“I have often told my coach that you play in an incredible way,” he said. “You have everything to be a very great player. So keep working, doing everything you do. You play very well, you have incredible shots. I wish you a great career.”

Humbert, who won two ATP titles last year in Auckland and Antwerp, is the first player to win Halle on the debut since 2010. On that occasion Lleyton Hewitt prevailed over Roger Federer in the final. He is now projected to rise to a ranking high of 25 on Monday when the ATP standings are officially updated.

The Frenchman will be hoping that he can continue his winning streak heading to Wimbledon where he reached the fourth round back in 2019. His best ever result in a Grand Slam to date.

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David Goffin Out Of Wimbledon Following Halle Accident

It has been reported that the unfortunate injury he suffered is ‘more serious’ than a sprain.

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David Goffin has been forced to withdraw from Wimbledon after suffering an ankle injury during the Noventi Open earlier this week.

 

The former top 10 player was taking on Corentin Moutet in Halle where he slipped on the grass and subsequently hurt his right ankle. Forcing the Belgian to retire from the match at the start of the third set. Providing an update on Goffin’s health, agent Martin Roux said he is unsure how long he will be absent from the Tour for.

“Yes, David has officially withdrawn from Wimbledon following his ankle injury in Halle. For the moment we do not know more about the exact duration of unavailability, ” Roux told lesoir.be. “He is of course disappointed to miss a Grand Slam tournament, especially since he had recovered well on grass before his injury. “

Elaborating further, Roux confirmed Goffin’s injury is ‘more serious’ than a sprain and tests are ongoing to assess the extent of the damage which has been caused to the ankle. It is not the first time he has suffered a freak accident on the court. During the 2018 Rotterdam Open he hurt his eye after a tennis ball rebounded into his face, forcing him to pull out of Marseille and Indian Wells that year.

“David told me that it was more serious than a minor sprain, after exams in Belgium.”Roux added. “The ankle has not yet deflated (stopped swelling). David realizes that ice and bandages won’t be enough to play. The ligaments must be affected in one way or another. The idea is to do new exams at the end of the week in order to then have a healing protocol, especially since after Wimbledon the Olympic Games will arrive quickly. These are now his next goals. “

The 30-year-old has achieved a win-loss record of 14-13 so far in 2021 and won his fifth ATP title in Montpellier. He has also reached the semi-finals in Antalya and quarter-finals in Monte Carlo. However, recently Goffin has struggled on the Tour with Halle being the fifth tournament in a row where he has failed to win back-to-back matches.

Goffin is currently ranked 13th in the world.

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Dominic Thiem Follows Nadal In Olympic Games Snub

The world No.5 says his decision is related to his performance on the Tour so far this season.

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Dominic Thiem training at the 2021 Lyon Open (photographer Sammy Dancyger - Owned by Sport Plus Conseil - GM Sports Consulting)

Austria’s Dominic Thiem has pulled out of the Olympic Games in order to focus on his title defence at the US Open later this year.

 

The 27-year-old issued a statement on Thursday saying he was ‘not ready’ to play in Tokyo following what has been a roller-coaster start to the season. Thiem enters Wimbledon with a win-loss record of 9-8 and recently lost in the first round of the French Open. His best results so far this year were reaching the last 16 of the Australian Open and the semi-finals of the Madrid Open.

“Hi everybody, I have some sad news to share with you all. After talking with my team and analysing the situation I have taken the very difficult decision to withdraw from competing in the Tokyo Olympics,” the 27-year-old Austrian wrote on Twitter.
“For me, like all athletes, taking part in the Olympics and representing my country is a huge honour and that makes this decision even tougher.
“However, 2021 did not start as expected and I don’t feel ready to play my best in Tokyo.
“My goal is to work hard the coming weeks, give my best at Wimbledon and keep training and hopefully defend my US Open title.”

Thiem, who also skipped the 2016 Olympics, had previously said that his views on the multi-sport event have changed over recent time. During one interview with Tennis Deutschland he said it would be a ‘dream’ to play at the Olympics and he would ‘definitely play’ at the event if he had the chance to. Thiem is coached on the Tour by Nicolas Massu who won a gold medal back in 2004.

The world No.5 says he hopes to be able to play at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris where the tennis tournament will be held at Roland Garros. The same venue as the French Open.

On the same day as Thiem’s announcement on Thursday, Rafael Nadal was another player to confirm he would not be travelling to Tokyo, as well as Wimbledon, in order to recover from the clay season. The Spaniard said he wants to take a break from the Tour in order to preserve his body and prolong his career on the Tour.

The Olympic tennis event will take place between July 24th – August 1st. Andy Murray is the defending champion in the men’s tournament.

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