Tour Suspension A Blessing In Disguise For Dominic Thiem - UBITENNIS
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Tour Suspension A Blessing In Disguise For Dominic Thiem

The world No.3 reveals what areas of his game he has been working on in recent weeks during the lockdown.

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Amid the uncertainty in the world of sport caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, Dominic Thiem believes there are positives to be drawn from it as well.

 

All professional tournaments have been suspended since March due to the pandemic and there is yet to be a date as to when or if the 2020 season will start again. Both the French Open and ATP are optimistic about the chances of men’s tennis starting before the year ends. Although Rafael Nadal isn’t so convinced. The situation leaves uncertainty and anxiety for many players who rely on the Tour for their income, but for Thiem he believes there is a silver lining for him.

“I see this break more as a relaxation. Recuperation and switching off are as important as the training itself,” he told The Times of India. “And of course, coming home is extremely important to me. This is where I recover the fastest, especially mentally.”

The 26-year-old started 2020 by becoming one of only four male players to have made more than $1 million in prize money. His stand out achievement was at the Australian Open where he reached the final before losing to Novak Djokovic. Becoming the first Austrian player in history to do so. Against Djokovic, he led by two sets before losing in five.

After being just six games away from his maiden grand slam, Thiem’s main focus during the lockdown has been on one particular aspect of his game – his mentality. Training for longer in a bid to boost his chances at future grand slams. Thiem is also a two-time French Open finalist.

“I think mental fitness is extremely important, especially in Grand Slams and the long best-of-five set matches,” he explains. “Thus, I am working on my mental fitness during my regular work out. If I can achieve my performance in training for up to four hours, it will also be easier to use my strengths during the match.’
“ The physical aspect is also very important because if I know that I’m going into a match in top form and I can run for four or five hours without any problems, then I’m also mentally at a top level!” He added.

Whenever the Tour does get going again, Thiem is unfazed about the potential challenges that he may face associated with being away from the sport for so long. He is a player renowned for his hectic schedule. Last year he played 68 matches across 23 different events (including Davis Cup) and was one of only two players to win five ATP titles. The other being Djokovic.

“Of course it is difficult, it will have a massive impact on my remaining season, but that’s the same for everyone on the tour. It means everyone will have to adjust. We’ll have to wait and see when it starts again.” Thiem commented on resuming his campaign.
“Then I’ll work out with my team how we can optimally prepare for it and plan the rest of the season.”

For the time being Thiem will be keeping himself busy with the upcoming Generali Pro Series. A round-robin tournament set up in Austria that enables players to have match play during the lockdown. He will be participating alongside compatriots Dennis Novak, Sebastian Ofner and Jurgen Melzer.

Thiem started 2020 by winning nine out of 13 matches played on the ATP Tour before it was suspended.

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Anett Kontaveit beats Petra Martic to reach the final in Palermo

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World number 22 Anett Kontaveit from Estonia upset number 1 seed Petra Martic 6-2 6-4 to reach the final at the Ladies Open in Palermo. 

 

Martic has scored her third win in her seven matches against top 20 players after beating Belinda Bencic and Elina Svitolina. 

Kontaveit avenged her defeat against Martic in their only previous match played in Dubai last February before the lockdown. 

Kontaveit had to fight to hold her serve in the first game of the opening set at deuce and took control of the match by breaking in the fourth game to open up a 4-1 lead. 

Martic won only 56% on her first serve in the opening set. Kontaveit came back from 0-30 down to hold serve in the seventh game before breaking for the second time in the eighth game to win the first set 6-2. 

Martic earned an early break in the first game of the second set at deuce, but Kontaveit broke straight back to draw level to 1-1. The Estonian player saved a break point before holding serve to take a 2-1 lead. Kontaveit saved five of the six break points she faced. Kontaveit broke for the second time in the fourth game to open up a 4-1 lead. Martic held serve at 2-5 down before breaking serve at 15 in the ninth game to claw her way back to 4-5. The Croatian player received a medical time-out before Kontaveit for the third time in the tenth game at love to close out the second set 6-4. 

Kontaveit will chase her second title in tomorrow’s final three years after winning in S’Hertogenbosch in 2017.

“I felt like I played a very good match today. I was quite aggressive, consistent, and I served especially well in the first set. It got a bit close in the end, but I played a good game at 5-4 and I am happy to be in the final”, said Kontaveit. 

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Petra Martic comes back from one set down to beat Ludmila Samsonova in Palermo

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Top seed Petra Martic from Croatia came back from one set down to beat qualifier and world number 117  Ludmila Samsonova 5-7 6-4 6-2. 

 

Martic saved six break points in the 10th game of the opening set, but Samsonova converted her third break point in the 12th game to win the first set 7-5. 

Martic earned an early break in the first game to open up a 2-0 lead. Samsonova broke back at love in the eighth game to draw level to 4-4. Martic broke for the second time in the ninth game to win the second set 6-4. The Croatian player broke twice in the third and seventh games to close out the third set 6-2. 

Martic will face world number 50 Aliaksandra Sasnovich from Belarus in the quarter finals. Sasnovich came through the qualifying round before beating Jasmine Paolini in straight sets. 

Former top 30 Camila Giorgi rallied from losing the first set to beat Slovenian teenager Kaja Juvan 3-6 6-2 6-4 after 2 hours reaching her second WTA quarter final of the season. Before the outbreak of the Covid-19 outbreak Giorgi reached the top 8 in Lyon. Juvan qualified for the Main Draw at the Australian Open and beat five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams in three sets at the Abierto Mexicano in Acapulco. 

Giorgi started with an early break at deuce at the start of the first set and opened a 2-0 lead. Juvan broke twice to take a 4-3 lead. Giorgi dropped serve for the third time after a double fault on the set point. 

Giorgi came back from 1-2 down by winning five consecutive games with two consecutive breaks in the fifth and seventh games. 

Giorgi broke twice to race out to a 3-0 lead at the start of the third set. Juvan pulled one break back at love in the fourth game but Giorgi got another break to race out to a 5-1 lead. Juvan broke at 30, when Giorgi was serving for the match at 5-2. The Italian player earned two match points and sealed the win on her second chance. 

“I think I was more solid in playing my game. I was moving more forward, so it was much for me. At the start of the match, I was making too many tactical mistakes because I was trying to finish points for no reason. I started to adopt better tactics in the second set and that’s when things started working for me”, said Giorgi. 

Number 4 seed Anett Kontaveit from Estonia came back from one set down to beat Laura Siegemund 3-6 6-2 6-2 after 2 hours and 20 minutes booking her spot in the quarter finals at the Palermo Ladies Open. 

The Estonian player has reached her third quarter final this year after the Australian Open and Dubai. 

Kontaveit set up a quarter final against Elisabetta Cocciaretto, who became the youngest Italian player to reach the quarter final of a tournament since Sara Errani in 2006. 

“I am quite happy about the way I was handling close situations, playing the close games and turning the close games around. I thought I actually handled that sort of pressure, that I didn’t think I would be used to, quite well”, said Kontaveit. 

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Andrea Gaudenzi recognizes the contribution of the Italian Tennis Federation in staging the Internazionali d’Italia

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ATP President and former Italian tennis player Andrea Gaudenzi spoke in an interview to Italian TV channel Supertennis about staging the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome before the French Open and recognised the contribution of the Italian tennis Federation (FIT) in staging the tournament in the Italian capital. 

 

The Rome ATP Masters 1000 and WTA Premier 5 tournaments will be held from 20th to 27th September one week before the French Open (27th September to 11th October). 

“We are grateful to everyone, holding an event this year is difficult from an organizational and financial point of view. We thank the Italian Federation and those who organize the Challengers. Italy is making a great contribution. I think the players are waiting for the BNL Internazionali d’Italia. The Foro Italico is among the most beautiful venues in the world. Rome is splendid in September”, said Gaudenzi. 

During his tennis career Gaudenzi scored wins over Roger Federer in Rome 2002, Pete Sampras in the first round of the 2002 French Open, Jim Courier in the 1994 US Open, Goran Ivanisevic, Thomas Muster, Michael Stich and Yevgeny Kafelnikov. Gaudenzi claimed three ATP titles in Casablanca in 1998, St. Poelten and Bastad in 2002. He graduated in law at the Bologna University and obtained a MBA with Honours at IUM.

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