Grigor Dimitrov, Marin Cilic and Jannik Sinner reach the second round in Rome - UBITENNIS
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Grigor Dimitrov, Marin Cilic and Jannik Sinner reach the second round in Rome

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Grigor Dimitrov edged this year’s Rio de Janeiro’s finalist Gianluca Mager 7-5 6-1 in 74 minutes at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in the Foro Italico in Rome. Dimitrov won seven consecutive games from 5-5 in the first set to score his 10th win of the season. 

 

Both players traded breaks in the fourth and fifth games of the opening set. Dimitrov earned his second break in the 12th game to win the first set 7-5. The Bulgarian player went up a double break in the second and fourth games to win the second set 6-1. 

Dimitrov, who reached the semifinal in Rome in 2014, set up a second round match against either Yoshito Nishioka or Serbia’s Miomir Kecmanovic. 

Former Rome semifinalist Marin Cilic came back from one set down to beat Alexander Bublik 6-7 (4-7) 6-2 6-4 after 2 hours and 14 minutes securing a spot in the second round. 

Cilic was not able to convert a set point on Bublik’s serve at 4-5 30-40 and fended off four break points in his next service game. Bublik won the final three points from 4-4 to win the tie-break 7-4. Cilic broke twice in the first and the seventh games to win the second set 6-2 and once in the third game of the decider to seal the win setting up a second round match against David Goffin. 

Kei Nishikori beat Albert Ramos Vinolas 6-4 7-6 (7-3) to score his first win since the 2019 US Open. The Japanese star earned his only break of the match in the 10th game to win the opening set 6-4. Ramos Vinolas saved a total of nine break points in the second set, which came down to tie-break with no breaks. Nishikori converted his sixth match point to seal the win after 2 hours and four minutes. Nishikori saved two break points he faced and converted one of the ten break points he faced. Nishikori will face either three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka or Italian qualifier and 2019 Australian Open Junior champion Lorenzo Musetti. 

Last year’s Next Gen ATP champion Jannik Sinner eased past Benoit Paire 6-2 6-1 with two breaks in each set setting up a second round match against reigning ATP Finals champion Stefanos Tsitsipas. 

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Paul Annacone On Why Nadal’s French Open Record Should Be Considered As ‘Greatest In History’

The former mentor of Pete Sampras explains why he believes no player will become the GOAT in tennis.

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One of America’s most prominent tennis coaches believes that Rafael Nadal’s run at the French Open is unlikely to be repeated again as he weighs in on the Great All All Time Debate.

 

Paul Annacone, who is a former top 20 player that went on to coach the likes of Andre Agassi and Roger Federer, has hailed the world No.2 during an interview with Tennis Magazine Italia. Earlier this month Nadal became the first player – male or female – to win the same Grand Slam tournament for a 13th time following his triumph at the French Open. Overall, he has won 100 out of 102 matches with his two losses being to Novak Djokovic and Robin Soderling.

Nadal’s latest triumph has added fire to the continuous debate over which player should be considered as the GOAT out of the Big Three. A group that also includes Federer who also has 20 Grand Slam titles to his name, as well as world No.1 Novak Djokovic. Some have argued that Nadal’s dominance at the same event could be a negative because the player who receives the honour should have it based on a variety of events. Although Annacone has dismissed this view.

“I understand the concept, but just considering that having won a Grand Slam 13 times could be a flaw in some way is madness,” he said.
“Indeed, I believe it can be considered the greatest achievement in the history of the sport.
“it is a goal that I cannot even think can be beaten.”

The 57-year-old is a critic of the subjective GOAT debate and believes that a player’s place in history should be based on the records they set alone. He revealed that Sampras once said to him that he considered finishing six separate seasons as world No.1 a greater achievement than the Grand Slam titles he has won. Sampras’ year-end tally is currently a record on the ATP Tour but it is likely that Djokovic will equal it at the end of 2020.

“I don’t believe in the concept of ‘greatest of all time’. I think we can debate, if anything, the “most successful”, who has achieved the most in their career. And to do this we can consider yes, the Slams won, the weeks spent at the top of the ranking, the number of Masters 1000 tournaments, the Davis Cups … .” Annacone explains.
“Most people tend to consider Grand Slam wins as the most important meter, and so do the players themselves. But I’m not sure: for example, once Pete Sampras told me that his biggest success was not the 14 Slams, or the 7 Wimbledon’s, but the 6 years in a row as number one in the world at the end of the year.’

Instead of GOAT Annacone has his own acronym that he feels is more fitting to the debate. In his view one of the Big Three will earn the right to be called the ‘MAOAT’ which stands for the Most Accomplished Of All Time.

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Updated Entry Lists For Vienna And Nur-Sultan

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The indoor season continues on the ATP World Tour with the Erste Bank Open in Austria and the new Astana Open in Kazakhstan.

 

The Erste Bank Open in Vienna is an ATP 500 and one of the biggest events of the hard-court indoor season. Having a prize money of $ 1.409.510, it regularly shows a very high-level entry list. This year, seven of the top-10 players are committed to play, as Dominic Thiem, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev are just some of the stars in the entry list. Word’s number one Novak Djokovic has received a Wild-Card and will compete as well. John Isner and Fabio Fognini have withdrawn from the main draw.

With the Swiss Indoors Basel cancelled for this year, the Astana Open, an ATP 250 tournament, will be the second event of the week. France’s Benoit Paire, Serbia’s Miomir Kecmanovic and USA’s Tennys Sandgren will be some of the main draw’s seeds. Richard Gasquet, Laslo Djere and Juan Ignacio Londero have pulled out and they have been replaced by Federico Delbonis, Radu Albot and Egor Gerasimov.

NEWS: Matteo Berrettini and Milos Raonic have withdrawn from Vienna; Taylor Fritz and Hubert Hurkacz have replaced them. Jannik Sinner has pulled out from qualifying.

NEWS: Jannik Sinner has been given a Wild-Card in the main draw of Vienna.

ATP 500 Vienna (AUT, Hard indoor), entry list:
Thiem, Dominic (AUT)
Tsitsipas, Stefanos (GRE)
Medvedev, Daniil (RUS)
Rublev, Andrey (RUS)
Schwartzman, Diego (ARG)
OUT Berrettini, Matteo (ITA)
Monfils, Gael (FRA)
Shapovalov, Denis (CAN)
Goffin, David (BEL)
Carreno Busta, Pablo (ESP)
OUT Fognini, Fabio (ITA)
Khachanov, Karen (RUS)
Wawrinka, Stan (SUI)
OUT Raonic, Milos (CAN)
Dimitrov, Grigor (BUL)
Garin, Cristian (CHI)
Auger-Aliassime, Felix (CAN)
OUT Isner, John (USA)
Coric, Borna (CRO)
Lajovic, Dusan (SRB)
Ruud, Casper (NOR)
Nishikori, Kei (PR, JPN)
Anderson, Kevin (PR, RSA)
WC Djokovic, Novak (SRB)
WC Novak, Dennis (AUT)
WC Sinner, Jannik (ITA)
(WC)
SE Evans, Daniel (GBR)
Alternates:
IN De Minaur, Alex (AUS)
IN Krajinovic, Filip (SRB)
IN Fritz, Taylor (USA)
IN Hurkacz, Hubert (POL)

IN Struff, Jan-Lennard (GER)
Alt.1 Basilashvili, Nikoloz (GEO)
Alt.2 Evans, Daniel (GBR)


ATP 500 Vienna, Qualifying:
OUT Fritz, Taylor (USA)
OUT Hurkacz, Hubert (POL)
OUT Struff, Jan-Lennard (GER)
OUT Opelka, Reilly (USA)
OUT Pella, Guido (ARG)

Basilashvili, Nikoloz (GEO)
OUT Evans, Daniel (GBR)
Pella, Guido (ARG)
Humbert, Ugo (FRA)
OUT Cilic, Marin (CRO)
OUT Ramos-Vinolas, Albert (ESP)

Sonego, Lorenzo (ITA)
Edmund, Kyle (GBR)
OUT Querrey, Sam (USA)
(WC)
(WC)
(WC)
ALT Sachko, Vitaliy (UKR)
ALT Ram, Rajeev (USA)
(ALT)
Alternates:
IN Nishioka, Yoshihito (JPN)
IN Bedene, Aljaz (SLO)

OUT Lopez, Feliciano (ESP)
OUT Davidovich Fokina, Alejandro (ESP)
OUT Sinner, Jannik (ITA)

IN Pospisil, Vasek (CAN)

IN Herbert, Pierre-Hugues (FRA)
OUT Monteiro, Thiago (BRA)
OUT Caruso, Salvatore (ITA)

IN Balasz, Attila (HUN)
OUT Novak, Dennis (AUT)
IN Giron, Marcos (USA)
IN Gombos, Norbert (SVK)

IN Jung, Jason (TPE)
OUT Karlovic, Ivo (CRO)
OUT Istomin, Denis (UZB)

OUT Rodionov, Jurij (AUT)
Alt.1 Diez, Steven (CAN)
Alt.2 Ferreira Silva, Frederico (POR)
Alt.3 Broady, Liam (GBR)

ATP 250 Nur-Sultan (KAZ), entry list:
Paire, Benoit (FRA)
Kecmanovic, Miomir (SRB)
Mannarino, Adrian (FRA)
Millman, John (AUS)
Sandgren, Tennys (USA)
Bublik, Alexander (KAZ)
OUT Gasquet, Richard (FRA)
OUT Andujar, Pablo (ESP)
OUT Simon, Gilles (FRA)
Paul, Tommy (USA)
Thompson, Jordan (AUS)
Verdasco, Fernando (ESP)
Tiafoe, Frances (USA)
Vesely, Jiri (CZE)
OUT Londero, Juan Ignacio (ARG)
Norrie, Cameron (GBR)
Travaglia, Stefano (ITA)
Moutet, Corentin (FRA)
OUT Djere, Laslo (SRB)
WC Seppi, Andreas (ITA)
WC Popko, Dmitry (KAZ)
WC Skatov, Timofey (KAZ)
(SE)
(SE)
Alternates:
IN Albot, Radu (MDA)
IN Delbonis, Federico (ARG)
IN Gerasimov, Egor (BLR)

IN McDonald, Mackenzie (USA)
IN Kukushkin, Mikhail (KAZ)
IN Harris, Lloyd (RSA)
IN Duckworth, James (AUS)

Alt.1 Ruusuvuori, Emil (FIN)
Alt.2 Sugita, Yuichi (JPN)
Alt.3 Hanfmann, Yannick (GER)


ATP 250 Nur-Sultan, Qualifying:
OUT Harris, Lloyd (RSA)
Hanfmann, Yannick (GER)
OUT Duckworth, James (AUS)
Ruusuvuori, Emil (FIN)
Sugita, Yuichi (JPN)
Popyrin, Alexei (AUS)
Karatsev, Aslan (RUS)
Dzumhur, Damir (BIH)
Donskoy, Evgeny (RUS)
Polmans, Marc (AUS)
OUT Jung, Jason (TPE)
Ivashka, Ilya (BLR)
Safwat, Mohamed (EGY)
Gulbis, Ernests (LAT)
Alternates:
OUT Ito, Tatsuma (JPN)
OUT Ofner, Sebastian (AUT)

IN Istomin, Denis (UZB)
OUT Diez, Steven (CAN)
OUT Ymer, Elias (SWE)

IN Troicki, Viktor (SRB)
IN Broady, Liam (GBR)

OUT Lestienne, Constant (FRA)
Alt.1 Purcell, Max (AUS)

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‘I Love Tennis Because Of Him’ – Argentine Football Sensation Praises Roger Federer

The forward for Juventus F.C. Speaks out about the 20-time Grand Slam champion as well as other topics concerning the world of tennis.

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Roger Federer is used to various public figures praising him for his record-breaking career with his latest compliment coming from a star of Argentinian football.

 

Paulo Dybala, who has played for Serie A club Juventus since 2015, says he always tries to watch tennis because of him. The 26-year-old spoke out about the Swiss Maestro during a video Q and A session with the Tennis Channel for whom he is currently an ‘athlete analyst’ for. When asked ‘who was the player that made you fall in love with the game?’ he replied with Federer.

“Well at home, we used to watch a lot of sports, the TV was always on, and the sport we watched the most was football, followed by tennis,” Dybala said. “I always had a lot of admiration and respect. I liked Roger Federer’s style… I believe that I and many people have him as a tennis reference. We try to watch his matches, he has a style and elegance that makes everyone want to be like him. I always tried to watch him play so I love tennis because of him.”

Although Federer isn’t the only tennis player to have drawn praise from Dybala, who was part of his country’s national football team for the 2018 World Cup. He also speaks about his ‘great relationship’ with Diego Schwartzman. Schwartzman recently broke into the world’s top 10 for the first time in his career after reaching the semi-finals of the French Open.

“I have a great relationship with Diego, I have known him for years,” he said. “We always talk and I am very happy with what he is achieving.’
“I text him after some of his matches to congratulate him for what he has done.”

It was at the French Open this year where Rafael Nadal won the tournament for a historic 13th time in his career after defeating Novak Djokovic in straight sets. Dybala says that there are ‘no words’ to describe the latest achievement by the world No.2.

“Rafael Nadal won Roland Garros in a match in which he gave no chance to Novak Djokovic,” Dybala reflected. “I think it was more than well-deserved to win his 13th Roland Garros in his career. Something amazing. He matched Roger Federer with 20 Grand Slams. There are no words for this player, no words.”

Dybala is currently dating Oriana Sabatini who is the niece of 1990 US Open champion Gabriela Sabatini.

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