The latest exclusive interview brought to you by Ubaldo Scanagatta and Hall-of-Famer Steve Flink centres on one of the hottest prospects in tennis, the Australian Alexei Popryrin.
Born in 1999, he is currently ranked 103rd in the world, but his career best ranking is at N.87. A lanky 6ft5 power baseliner, he self-describes himself as “funny but shy,” meaning that it takes him a while to get going with strangers, but my impression during the interview was of a maturity level well beyond his years – he has a sense of purpose and clear objectives, and he’s also fully aware of the commitment they entail. A Sydney native, his family is Russian, while his tennis upbringing mainly happened between Spain and France. He had an outstanding junior career, winning the 2017 French Open while on a streak of four consecutive titles. Among the Next Gen studs, he has the peculiar distinction of being the only one who actually prefers long matches: he has an 8-6 record in the Slams, and he’s won at least a match in each of them, whereas he’s still finding his feet at the two-out-of-three level, where he is still required to play the qualies.
Here’s the interview:
Minute 00: introductory statements.
01:09: The Ultimate Tennis Showdown: “An unbelievable experience, everyone is enjoying it! About the cards…”
04:13: A true citizen of the world, he talks about his globetrotting and diverse background…
05:51: Did he expect to climb the rankings more quickly?
10:20: His best win, against Thiem at the 2019 Australian Open: “To play an injured opponent is often very tricky!”
12:29: “The Australian media are very supportive; I don’t feel the pressure at all.” His relationship with his peer, Alex De Minaur, as well as with Nick Kyrgios…
16:15: His first-ever coach is 1980 Australian Open finalist Kim Warwick (who is still a member of his team). Warwick is noted in Italy for wasting 11 match points against Adriano Panatta at the
1976 Italian Open- did he ever tell Alexei about it?
21:03: His third-round encounter Matteo Berrettini at last year’s US Open: “Don’t remind me about what happened in the fourth set!”
26:06: “I’m not going to Flushing Meadows, the bubble is still very much up in the air. About the French Open’s plan to go for a 50-60% crowd capacity…”
Text translated by Tommaso Villa
Ubitennis Photographer Roberto Dell’Olivo Awarded in Monte Carlo
Every year the Monte-Carlo tournament awards the best photographers. First prize for Ubitennis’ Roberto Dell’Olivo thanks to his artistic eye
Every year during the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters the tournament holds a small award ceremony to acknowledge the best pictures taken by credentialed photographers during the previous edition of the event. This year the best photos from the 2019 tournament were awarded since the 2020 edition had to be cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2021 edition took place behind closed doors.
Ubitennis’ photographer Roberto Dell’Olivo was already acknowledged in 2018 for his work during the week in Monaco, but this year he received an even more prestigious accolade. In fact, he has been awarded the ex-aequo first prize in the photographic contest, chosen among all the photographers credentialed at the tournament.
The ceremony was officiated by Alain Manigley, President and CEO of SMETT (Société Monégasque pour l’Exploitation du Tournoi de Tennis), the company in charge of the commercial development of the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters. Roberto Dell’Olivo has been taking pictures at professional tennis tournaments around the world for several years: from the Australian Open to Roland Garros, from Wimbledon to Paris-Bercy, he has become a stable presence at the most important tennis events around the world.
Ubitennis wants to congratulate Roberto on this important achievement, thanking him for the coverage of his fifth Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters and wishing him the best of luck for the rest of the season.
[VIDEO] Merry Christmas from Ubitennis!
Our CEO Ubaldo Scanagatta sends his greetings to all the readers of ubitennis.net
From everybody at ubitennis.net, we want to send to our readers our Christmas greetings: thank you for your ever-growing support! Here’s a message from the website’s CEO, Ubaldo Scanagatta:
“We Hope to Convince Federer to Play”: the Presentation of the 2022 Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters
Director Zeljko Franulovic talked about next year’s tournament, scheduled from April 9-17
The 2022 Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters will take place from April 9-17, so it’s difficult to guess what the pandemic situation will be in six months. At the moment, however, the prevalent hypothesis is that all spectators will need a Covid Pass or to bring proof of a negative test before being allowed in the Montecarlo Country Club at Roquebrune, France. If some players will refuse the vaccine, then they will need to be tested regularly in accordance to the rules devised by the French government.
Other than that, there will be no surprises when it comes to the event’s logistics, since the Country Club has already added a new players lounge and a new press room in the past few years. In 2020 the tournament was cancelled, while in 2021 it took place behind closed doors (while still being televised in 113 countries); the last edition staged with a crowd, in 2019, sold 130,000 tickets, constituting 30% of the total revenue – another 30% came from the sponsors, 30% from media rights (a number that tournament director Zeljko Franulovic hopes to see increase) and 10% from merchandising.
While it’s early days to know whether the tournament will operate at full capacity, Franulovic has made it clear that the organisers are already planning to provide a better covering for the No.2 Court, whose roof has not been at all effective in the past in the event of rain.
The tournament’s tickets can be bought on the official website of the event, but Franulovic has already vowed to reimburse immediately every ticket “if the government and the health authorities should decide to reduce the tournament’s capacity.”
Ticket prices have increased by 2 to 3 percent as compared to 2019, ranging from £25-50 for the qualifiers weekend, £32-75 for the opening rounds, £…-130 for the quarterfinals and semifinals, £65-150 for the final, £360-1250 for a nine-day tickets. Franulovic claims that the prices are in line with those of the other Masters 1000 tournaments.
Finally, Franulovic supports Andrea Gaudenzi’s decision to create a fixed prize money for the next decade. While tournaments like Madrid and Rome are trying to increase their duration from 8 to 12 days, the Monte-Carlo director has claimed that he prefers to remain a week-long event, especially because his is not a combined tournament. As for the players who will feature, Franulovic hopes to convince Roger Federer to participate: “I’m certain that he will give everything he has to be able to stage another comeback on the tour, ma no one knows where he’ll play. However, I think that on the clay he should opt for best-of-three events like Monte-Carlo and Rome rather than the French Open.”
For this and more information, you can watch the video above.
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