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Boris Becker talks about the possible successors of the Big 3 and the impact of the coronavirus crisis on tennis

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Six-time Grand Slam champion Boris Becker talked about the possible successors of the Big three and the possible impact ofthe current crisis on tennis due to the coronavirus pandemic on Eurosport Germany’s Vocal Podcast.

 

Becker hopes that the new generation will be able to take over, when Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are still at the top.

“Federer, Nadal and Djokovic are incredibly strong and have been doing so consistenly for almost 15 years. On the other hand, the young players might not be good enough. In my generation, there were 20 and 21-years old players who won Grand Slam tournaments. I would like to see this change happening while the big three are still strong, not when they are old and fragile and have retired from tennis. If the US Open or Roland Garros still take place this year, I would like to see another final between Nadal against Thiem. Maybe then the Austrian will win. I would like to see that”.

Becker talked about his involvement in the world of tennis and his passion for this sport.

“I hope that I can remain in the tennis business, my favourite sport, for a long time. Either as a coach or as a TV expert. I still enjoy it very much; I really love this sport. I really enjoy dealing with the young players and chatting with them about tennis. I also enjoy discussing tennis with Roger, Rafa and Novak. I hope it will stay that way for a long time.”.

The former Wimbledon champion is concerned about the future of tennis players during the coronavirus crisis.

“I am concerned about the profession of the tennis player. Not about the first hundred players of the world, who hopefully have enough money in their accounts and don’t need next week’s prize money, but the thousand players, who also call themselves tennis pros, they have nothing to work for at the moment. If this break lasts any longer, they will have to look for another job. They have to feed themselves and pay the rent. On the other hand, I see this is an opprtunity for the three big federations. They all face the same situation. There is no tennis. So, you have to think: Can there be so many tournaments in the future ? Or should every major tournament be held as so-called combined event for men and women over ten days ? That means fewer jobs for the thousands who are involved”.

Becker, who previously worked with Novak Djokovic, has not ruled out a return to coaching. Under Becker’s guidance Djokovic claimed six-time Grand Slam titles.

“I would not rule out the possibility of becoming a coach again. In the current situation, it’s not possible because I am responsible for the men’s Team Germany, but nothing is eternal. If there are players who interest me, who allow me to coach and want to be open with me, then that’s something I could definitely consider. The problem is that it is very time-consuming. As a coach of Novak Djokovic, I spent 25 to 30 weeks with him. I have a family and I have other professional projects that I need to manage, but I don’t want to rule it out completely”.

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Taylor Fritz saves two match points to upset Alexander Zverev in Indian Wells

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Taylor Fritz saved two match points to score the second top 5 win of his career against 2021 Olympic champion Alexander Zverev at he BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. Fritz has reached his first Masters 1000 semifinal. 

 

After a trade of breaks at the start of the opening set, Fritz saved two break points in the fifth game. Zverev broke serve in the seventh game to win the first set 6-4. 

Fritz broke in the fourth game to open up a 4-1 lead and served out 6-3 at deuce in the ninth game. 

Zverev earned an early break to take a 2-0 lead at the start of the third set and held on his next service games to open up a 5-2 lead. Fritz broke back in the ninth game, when Zverev made two double faults, as he was serving out the match.  

Fritz came back from 2-5 down in the third set and fended off two match points at 3-5 30-40 and 4-5 30-40 to beat Zverev 4-6 6-4 7-6 (7-3) after 2 hours and 22 minutes. 

Despite today’s defeat Zverev still leads 3-2 in his head-to-head matches against Fritz. The US player will face Nikoloz Basilashvili, who beat Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4 2-6 6-4 to reach his first Masters 1000 semifinal. 

“I was really down and out but I found a way to put myself into it. I really wanted to make him have to close me out and I was able to get back into the match Normally you would be so nervous in those situations and in the third set tie-break, but I felt so confident being aggressive, going after my game. It feels really great to play well with the pressure on”, said Fritz. 

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Nikoloz Basilashvili upsets Stefanos Tsitsipas in Indian Wells to reach his first ATP Masters 1000 semifinal

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Nikoloz Basilashvili upset world number 3 Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4 2-6 6-4 to reach his first ATP Masters 1000 semfinal. 

 

Basilashvili, who was playing in his first Masters 1000 quarter final, went up a 4-1 lead with a double break in the first and fifth games. Tsitsipas pulled one break back in the sixth game for 2-4. Basilashvili held on his next service games to claim the first set 6-4. 

Tsitsipas broke twice in the fourth and eighth games and did not face a break point to seal the second set 6-2. 

After a trade of breaks in the first and fourth games of the third set, Basilashvili earned his second break in the seventh game to take a 4-3 lead and fended off a break point in the eighth game to hold serve after three deuces. He served out the win on his first match point in the 10th game.   

Despite the defeat Tsitsipas still leads 2-1 in his three head-to-head matches against Basilashvili. The Georgian player had never won a main draw match in Indian Wells in his four previous appearances at this tournament. Earlier this year he won two titles at Doha and Munich. 

Tsitsipas was aiming to reach his third consecutive Masters 1000 semifinal in North America after advancing to the last four in two consecutive hard-court tournaments in Toronto and Cincinnati. 

“I have played really great matches this tournament. I was not played with how I played today but I was happy with how I managed my stress levels. First time in the quarter finals and it is a big court and Stefanos is still a tough player. I had to keep my physical levels and energy levels in a really good shape because I knew mentally I would be a little bit tight and stressed”, said Basilashvili.

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Carlos Moya, Flavia Pennetta and Ana Ivanovic are among the candidates for the 2022 International Tennis Hall of Fame

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Carlos Moya, the first Spanish player the number 1, and former Grand Slam champions Flavia Pennetta and Ana Ivanovic are among the candidates for 2022 International Tennis Hall of Fame. 

 

Ivanovic lifted the 2008 French Open Trophy after a final at the 2008 Australian Open and a semifinal at 2007 Wimbledon and claimed 15 WTA titles during her career. Since her French Open triumph, she spent 12 weeks as world number 1 player. She would become the first player representing Serbia to be voted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame. 

“Many of the women who I looked up to as a young girl are Hall of Famers and to be nominated to receive an honour that places my career alongside those who inspired me is just incredible”, said Ana Ivanovic. 

Flavia Pennetta became the oldest first-time Grand Slam champion when she beat her childhood friend Roberta Vinci in the all-Italian US Open Final in 2015. Pennetta teamed up with Vinci in guiding Italy to four Fed Cup titles. 

“I loved competing and to have my tennis career recognized in this way among the sports all-greats is such an incredible honour”, said Pennetta. 

Moya won the 1998 Roland Garros title and reached the 1997 Australian Open final. He became the first Spanish player to reach the top of the ATP Ranking and won 20 ATP titles, including three ATP Masters 1000 trophies. Moya lifted the Davis Cup title in 2004 for Spain after taking his his second singles win of the tie with his straight-set win over Andy Roddick. 

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