Rafael Nadal Takes A Swipe At Djokovic’s Players’ Association - UBITENNIS
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Rafael Nadal Takes A Swipe At Djokovic’s Players’ Association

The Spanish tennis star believes it is ‘not the right moment’ to join such a movement as he prepares for his return to competitive tennis.

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World No.2 Rafael Nadal has reiterated his opposition to a new players association co-founded by rival Novak Djokovic.

 

The 19-time Grand Slam champion says there are ‘unanswered questions’ about the Professional Tennis Players Association (PTPA) that was launched in the lead up to the US Open. The association, which was founded by Djokovic and Vasek Pospisil, aims to campaign for players to have more power when it comes to decision making after branding the current structure of the ATP as ‘flawed.’ Matteo Berrettini, Diego Schwartzman, Denis Shapovalov and Felix Auger-Aliassime are some of the names to have already joined.

Although the PTPA has come under fire from some with the ATP Players Council issuing a letter to their peers advising them to not join. Djokovic was the president of the council until launching the association last month. Meanwhile, both Nadal and Roger Federer are members.

“I understand the dissatisfaction of some athletes who signed the proposal, but there are many unanswered questions,” Nadal told reporters at the Rome Masters.
“I think it’s not the right moment. And even if we weren’t in the current situation, many things are not clear.”

The 34-year-old argues that the Tour should be united and not follow what he labels as ‘own interests.’ Both Djokovic and Pospisil have previously said that the new initiative have not been created to rival the ATP but has admitted that strike action in the future is a possibility.

“There are a number of things that are not right. We are going through a world crisis in every aspect,” Nadal said.
“It’s a difficult time for all of us, for players, for the organisers, for the whole tour. We should stick together, and not pursue each of us our own interests.”

Pospisil had previously spoken out about his hopes of getting Nadal to sign on with the PTPA because he is ‘very aware of some of the struggles the players have had.’ The Canadian said during the US Open that he would like to hold a meeting with the Spaniard to speak about the topic but it is unclear as to if this has happened yet.

“I think of Roger and Rafa I believe Rafa probably will be more likely to be the first one to support it,” he said. “If that ever happens. But of course I like to think it will, because this is all just for the interests of the player and he’s still, he’s a player. I don’t know what he plans to do after he retires, but I think that he’s very aware of some of the struggles the players have had in the last 20 years. I know he’s been vocal about it in the past, so I don’t see why we couldn’t have constructive conversations with him and see how it goes.”

Besides the off-court politics, Nadal’s immediate focus is this week on the Italian Open in what will be his first competitive tournament since winning the Mexican Open on March 1st. He will be the top seed in Rome and is bidding to win a record 10th title. Nadal has won the past two editions of the event.

“[My] expectation is to always go on court and try to feel competitive. That’s the first goal. Go on court, feel [that I’m] competitive, and then I will see how I feel and what kind of goals I can look for,” he explains.

Nadal will start his campaign against Pablo Carreno Busta who recently reached the second round of the US Open.

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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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Dan Evans On The Look Out For New Coach

The 30-year-old has come to a surprise decision to end his current coaching agreement despite achieving a career ranking high earlier this year.

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British No.1 Dan Evans is making a big change to his team after confirming that he will part ways with coach Mark Hilton at the end of the season.

 

The world No.35 reunited with Hilton just last year after also previously working with him prior to his drugs ban in 2017. Under his guidance Evans has achieved several wins over top 10 players, reached his first ever semi-final of an ATP 500 event in Dubai and peaked at a ranking best of 28th in March.

“I want to take this opportunity to thank Mark for his work and efforts over the past 12 months and we are both excited for what is next for each of our respective careers,” Evans said.

Evans’ announcement came on the same day he ended his five-match losing streak on the Tour. In the first round of the European Open on Tuesday he defeated Italy’s Salvatore Caruso in three sets. Making it his first win since the US Open when he defeated Brazil’s Thiago Seyboth Wild.

Hilton will now return to working for the British LTA. A former player himself he reached the semi-finals of the 2009 Wimbledon boys doubles championships and peaked at a ranking high of 202 on the ATP Tour in singles. His best performance at a Grand Slam occurred at Wimbledon when as a wild card he stunned Spain’s Albert Costa in the first round of the 2004 tournament. Besides Evans, he has also previously worked with the likes of Liam Broady and Kyle Edmund.

“After discussing our plans for 2021, Dan and I have made the mutual decision to part ways at the end of November,” Hilton said in a statement.
“Both of us are very proud of our collaboration this year, helping Dan achieve a career-high ranking of number 28, seven wins over top-20 players and reaching his first ATP 500 semi-final.
“I’m looking forward to taking the experience I have gained over the last three years at the highest levels of the ATP Tour and re-investing that back into the LTA’s Performance Team for the benefit of our British players and coaches.”

It is unclear as to who may step in as Evans’ next coach. The Brit will return to action on Wednesday when he plays Frances Tiafoe in the second round.

Evans’ win-loss for 2020 currently stands at 14-11 on the ATP Tour.

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