(EXCLUSIVE) Mats Wilander: “Lendl Had Nightmares Playing Me And Djokovic Meant No Harm With Adria Tour" - UBITENNIS
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(EXCLUSIVE) Mats Wilander: “Lendl Had Nightmares Playing Me And Djokovic Meant No Harm With Adria Tour”

Spanning from his unforgettable 1988 season to his thoughts about the public role of professional athletes, the Swede is never trivial in his comments. Now an Idaho resident, the seven-time Slam champion talks about Bjorn Borg’s influence on his game, the epic Davis Cup tie against McEnroe in ’82, and the behind-the-scenes of his infamous quote on Federer’s balls.

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UbiTennis’ latest exclusive video chat with Ubaldo Scanagatta and Steve Flink’s includes a guest who really needs no introduction.

 

Mats Wilander is one of the most recognisable tennis figures. He is arguably the greatest player to speak with Ubitennis in our special series so far and is also the face of tennis on Eurosport. His résumé includes 33 singles titles, 7 Slams in the singles (plus one more in the doubles), he was the 1988 world champion, when he clinched the first-ever Australian Open played on hardcourts as well as the French and the US Open, winning the longest final in Flushing Meadows history (tied with the 2012 one).

A three-time Davis Cup champion, he spent 20 weeks at the top of the rankings after becoming the youngest Slam champion ever (he was subsequently overtaken by Becker and Chang), and was just the second man to win a Slam on three different surfaces after Connors (he and Nadal are the only ones to have won multiple titles on each surface, though) – the list could go on. In addition, he had a decisive role in the creation of the ATP Tour, starting the Parking Lot Revolution just outside the US Open’s grounds in 1988, when he announced the split of the players from the Grand Prix, spear-heading the first ATP Tour edition in 1990. Nowadays, when he isn’t anchoring “Game, Schett & Mats” on Eurosport, he coaches at a club in Hailey, in Idaho.

THE FULL INTERVIEW

 

VIDEO SCHEDULE

Minute 00: Introduction. A quick glance through Wilander’s resumé while he talks about his life in Idaho.

5:51: Moving from New York to Greenwich thanks to some unexpected advice from a rival… Why did he move to Idaho next?

6:51: Djokovic and the Adria Tour fiasco – who’s to blame, and will the tennis season suffer from this mishap?

11:18: Why is Djokovic alone getting most of the criticism?

13:21: US Open or US Closed? Will it be a proper Slam tournament?

15:18: On Kyrgios and his sudden moral high ground…

17:07: Should Djokovic resign from the presidency of the Player Council? Why the political engagement of the Big Three is a good thing…

20:16: 1988, the best year of his career…

22:18: … followed by a sharp downturn – what happened? Mats reminds us that all players are human…

25:28: How his game changed through the years, and his best match – an impromptu hit…

29:14: Why did he often beat Lendl in Slam finals? Also, go to the 31:17 mark to catch his impression of the Czech champion…

31:43: Borg’s influence on Swedish players, and what the two had in common…

34:30: The respect that the greatest players have for each other, plus an infinite Davis Cup tie against John McEnroe that sent his confidence through the roof…

39:11: His great record against Jimmy Connors, countered by a subpar tally against Miloslav Mecir…

42:52: An unprecedented moment of sportsmanship at the 1982 French Open, which his brothers didn’t take well… Also a few words about fellow countryman and friend, Stefan Edberg.

49:08: How was it to coach Marat Safin? His broadcasting job on Eurosport, and the type of player he sympathises with, as well as a few missteps vis-à-vis his choice of words in the past.

59:17: Mats concludes with a passionate manifesto of what he looks for in the game, and what the players should do as public figures.

Article written by Tommaso Villa

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(VIDEO EXCLUSIVE) ITF President David Haggerty ’Satisfied’ With Davis Cup Format Despite Issues

During an interview with Ubitennis in Bologna, the tennis chief addressed some of the concerns raised about the event.

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MADRID, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 24: David Haggerty during the press conference of Davis Cup by Rakuten Madrid Finals 2019 at Caja Magica on November 24, 2019 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Diego Souto / Kosmos Tennis)

The head of the International Tennis Federation believes the development of the Davis Cup in recent times has been positive but admits there are still areas to work on during an interview with UbiTennis.

 

Davis Haggerty, who has headed the ITF for seven years, stated that there was nothing about the team event that he is ‘unsatisfied’ with. In recent years the historic competition, which started in 1900, has undergone significant changes. In 2019 the Davis Cup was changed to an 18-team event held at the end of the season at one location. However, further changes to the structure were made in 2022 with the four group stages being held in various European cities in September and the top two of each group then progressing to November’s finals in Malaga.

“This year with the four group stages it has added a new dimension which I think is very good. You have a home and away atmosphere in four different cities, we’re taking the Davis Cup world wide and the finals will be in Malaga. Every year we will continue to look at the Davis Cup and say ‘what can we do better?’” Haggerty told UbiTennis.

As with every event, there are issues and the Davis Cup is no exception. Earlier this week Andy Murray called for ties to begin earlier after Great Britain’s clash with America didn’t finish until 0100 BST. There are also concerns about low attendance to some of the ties which involve teams playing at a neutral location.

“We have to continue to work on making sure that we have the fans in the stands. Some matches we do, some matches we don’t and will continue to work on it (addressing attendance issues).”

David Haggerty


It appears that the current format is one that the ITF aims to keep for the foreseeable future. Citing player fatigue at the end of the season, Haggerty ruled out the idea of reintroducing best-of-five matches in the finals. Something that had for so many years been a pivotal aspect of the Davis Cup.

Ubitennis’ full interview with David Haggerty can be watched below:-

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(VIDEO EXCLUSIVE) Novak Djokovic Wins 7th Wimbledon Title Over Kyrgios

Novak Djokovic won a 21st Grand Slam title after beating Nick Kyrgios in four sets.

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Novak Djokovic (@rolandgarros - Twitter)

Ubitennis founder Ubaldo Scanagatta and hall of famer Steve Flink reflect on Novak Djokovic’s four set win over Nick Kyrgios. Djokovic completed a 4-6 6-3 6-4 7-6(3) victory over the Australian to seal a 7th Wimbledon title, a fourth in a row and a 21st Grand Slam title.

 

Scanagatta and Flink reflect on Djokovic’s achievement and where that puts him amongst the sport’s greats. They also talk about Pete Sampras and his effect on Djokovic as a role model and they also praise Nick Kyrgios’ fighting spirit as they talk what’s next for him.

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(VIDEO EXCLUSIVE) Elena Rybakina’s Wimbledon Win Was Good But The Level Wasn’t Great

Tennis Hall of Famer Steve Flink joins Ubitennis to reflect on what was a historic Wimbledon women’s final.

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Image via https://twitter.com/Wimbledon/

Elena Rybakina has become the first Kazakh player in history to win a major title after fighting her way back from a set down to defeat Ons Jabeur.

 

The 23-year-old had only ever beaten a top 10 payer on the grass once before going into the final but held her nerve to claim the biggest win of her life. But how does the level of this final compare to others in the past?

Ubaldo Scanagatta and Flink analyze the match, as well as preview a mouth-watering clash in the men’s final between Novak Djokovic and Nick Kyrgios.

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