Stefanos Tsitsipas Finds New Appreciation For Father Following Recent Absence - UBITENNIS
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Stefanos Tsitsipas Finds New Appreciation For Father Following Recent Absence

The Greek sensation decribes his father as ‘a Swiss army knife’ after recent playing a tournament without him for the first time since he was a teenager.

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Prior to the French Open Stefanos Tsitsipas admitted that he was ‘struggling’ at one of the key build up tournaments but the issue wasn’t physical.

 

Taking to the courts at the Italian Open the tennis star suffered first round defeats in both the singles and doubles draws for the first time this season. Watching from the sidelines was his usual coaching team but with one key figure missing – his father Apostolos. It is unclear as to why Tsitsipas’ father wasn’t in Rome but it occurred shortly after the US Open where there was a minor outburst between the two. During his match against Borna Coric in New York, the Greek yelled at his father following a comment he heard from him.

Despite the minor blip between the two, they are back working together after reuniting at the German Open last week where Tsitsipas reached the final. Rome was the first tournament he played without his mentor at his side since he was a teenager.

“It was difficult not having my dad in Rome. Honestly, I was struggling a little bit. It was difficult, the separation, and not having him there,” he told reporters in Paris on Tuesday.
“I think it was the first time that my dad was absent from a match that I played since I was 12 or 13 when I first started travelling and playing.”

Apostolos’ journey into tennis is a unique one. Initially his go to sports was football, which he even briefly spent a stint with the national team, and basketball. It wasn’t until he went to university to study sports science when he started to venture into the world of tennis. Although he admits that he ‘doesn’t know’ why he decided to do so during an interview with atptour.com earlier this year.

“I felt like there was something missing, and I think that’s very valuable for a player to feel comfortable, having the right people around him,” Tsitsipas said of his father.
“I think I appreciate it and cherish that even more the fact that I have my dad next to me and the fact that he’s like my wing man, my right arm, helps me with everything and makes me feel important when I’m out on the court and in my daily life.”

New York wasn’t the first time the father-son relationship has hit a bumpy road with the two also locking horns at the ATP Cup back in January. At that event Tsitsipas unintentionally hit his father after smashing his racket on the ground. Something he later apologized for doing.

“My father serves, he’s like a Swiss knife. He has a lot of important roles around me. He knows me the best, and we share a great relationship,” he said. “I know I have been hard with him sometimes on the court, and I’m trying to change that. Some of my behaviour on the court has been a bit unacceptable, and I would totally agree with that. I’m trying to respect what he’s doing. I think he respects what I’m doing. Our relationship is very unique and special.”

Tsitsipas experienced a roller-coaster start to his French Open campaign after coming back from two sets down to see off Spain’s Jaume Munar 4-6, 2-6, 6-1, 6-4, 6-4. Something he had never previously done in his career. His next test will be Pablo Cuevas who defeated in straight sets last week in Germany.

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Singapore Champion Alexi Popyrin Dedicates Maiden ATP Title To Family

The world No.114 battled back from a set down to become the fifth active Australian player to win an ATP singles title.

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Rising star Alexi Popyrin has claimed the biggest title in his career to date after triumphing in the final of the Singapore Open on Sunday.

 

The 21-year-old battled back from a set down to defeat world No.46 Alexander Bublik 4-6, 6-0, 6-2, in what was his first ever final on the ATP Tour. Popryin, who had never got past the quarter-final stage of a Tour event prior to this week, managed to turn his fortunes around with the help of an emphatic service display. During the second set he dropped no points behind serve and only one in the third. Overall, the Australian produced 11 aces and broke Bublik five times en route to victory.

A former junior world No.2 who won the 2017 French Open boys’ title, Popyrin has become the fifth active player from Australia to have won an ATP title. The other four are Nick Kyrgios, Alex de Minaur, Bernard Tomic and John Millman. During the trophy ceremony Popyrin said the breakthrough was a result of hard work as he paid tribute to his family.

“I’ll definitely have very fond memories of Singapore now, I’ll definitely remember this for the rest of my life,” he said.
“We put a lot of hard work in the pre-season and it’s paying off in the start of the year I’ve had. In Australia I felt really good so it’s just good to see all the hard work paying off.
“My family behind the scenes, they’ve sacrificed so much for me and to finally win a tournament just shows how much hard work they put in with me also. This is for them 100 per cent.”

Prior to Bublik, Popyrin also scored a win over former US Open champion Marin Cilic in the semi-finals. The breakthrough continues what has been an encouraging start to the season for the Next Gen star. At the Murray River Open in Melbourne he took Grigor Dimitrov to three sets before losing in the third round. Then at the Australian Open he knocked out top 20 player David Goffin.

Meanwhile, Bublik is left wondering what might have been. It was the second time the Kazakh has reached a Tour final this season after Antalya where he had to retire due to injury.

“His first final, his first title, I have four finals, which hurts now but just congratulate you and next time we’ll see if we can face in the final,” Bublik said.

Popyrin will rise to a ranking high of 82nd when the standings are updated on Monday.

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Alejandro Davidovich Fokina beats Hubert Hurkacz to reach the quarter final in Montpellier

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Alejandro Davidovich Fokina came back from 1-3 in the opening set and converted four of the ten break points to claim a 7-5 6-2 win over Hubert Hurkacz in 1 hour and 34 minutes at the Open Sud de France in Montpellier. 

 

Hurkacz went up a break in the fourth game at deuce to take a 3-1 lead. Davidovich Fokina broke back in the fifth game at 15 and held serve to draw level to 3-3. Hurkacz saved a break point in the seventh game to hold serve after two deuces. Davidovich Fokina converted his second break point in the 11th game to win the first set 7-5. 

Hurkacz saved three break points in the third game of the second set, but Davidovich Fokina broke twice in the fifth and seventh games at deuce to win the final four games from 2-2 securing his spot in the quarter final. 

The 21-year-old Spanish player set up a quarter final against Egor Gerasimov, who knocked out Aljaz Bedene 6-4 7-6 (7-4) after 1 hour and 51 minutes. Bedene converted his second break point at deuce in the first game. Gerasimov broke back in the fourth game to draw level to 2-2. Gerasimov closed out the first set 6-4 with a break on his opportunity in the 10th game.

Bedene went up a break in the third game of the second set to take a 2-1 lead. Gerasimov broke back in the 10th game to draw level to 5-5. Gerasimov earned five match points at 6-1 in the tie-break. Bedene saved the first three chances, but Gerasimov closed out the tie-break 7-4 on his fourth opportunity. 

Roberto Bautista Agut cruised past Gregoire Barrère 6-0 6-3. The Spanish player built up a 6-0 2-0 lead with four consecutive breaks. Barrère came back by winning three consecutive games to take a 3-2 lead with a break in the fourth game. Bautista Agut reeled off four consecutive games with two consecutive breaks to win the second set 6-3 

Dennis Novak came back from 3-5 down by winning the final four games in the second set to beat Dusan Lajovic 7-6 (7-5) 7-5 after 1 hour and 35 minutes. Novak set up a quarter final clash against German Peter Gojowczyk, who came back from one set down to beat Juri Vesely 6-7 (3-7) 7-4 (7-4) 6-3 after 2 hours and 28 minutes. Gojowczyk hit 17 aces and won 86 % of his first service points. Gojowczyk saved four break points in the ninth game. Vesely earned two mini-breaks to win the tie-brek 7-3. The second set went on serve en route to the the tie-break. Gojowczyk earned one mini-break to win the tie-break 7-4. The German player converted his only break point in the second game to seal the third set 6-3.

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John Isner not happy with the cut in prize money for Miami Masters

John Isner took to Twitter to raise some issues about the ATP and latest state of affairs in Tennis.

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John Isner (@usta - Twitter)

The American took to social media to vent his frustration saying it doesn’t make sense.

 

John Isner took to twitter today after hearing the news that the Miami Open will be cutting its prize money down with the singles champion only taking $300,110 with a first round loser only winning $10,000 in prize money.

Isner and many other players on tour believe the tournament should be forced to due an audit to truly reveal what their finances are and to see if they are hiding anything.

“How about a true audit to see how much tourneys are actually hurting and then a money formula after the event to reconcile?”

“Amazing we still don’t have this in a lot of our big events. How does that make any sense?” 

He also tweeted about the promoters saying the system the ATP uses is broken.

The American also spoke of the unfairness in the cuts the players are taking in comparison to the actual events.

“So players should take a 60% cut and 80% champions cut while ATP executives keep full salaries, benefits, and expense accounts? Make that make sense. Seems just a little bit hypocritical, don’t ya think?”.

Isner finally believes the players should benefit from the tournament not just in the short term but over a long tenure.

““Tennis is plagued by conflict and lack of transparency”

The tournament is scheduled for March 23rd at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami and the tournament has confirmed they won’t be doing a quarantine like the Australian Open.

The players will need to provide a negative PCR test to board a flight to the US and once they land they will be tested once again and isolate until a negative result is shown.

The players will only be allowed at the hotel and the venue and any player who doesn’t respect the rules will be subject to penalties and be withdrawn from the tournament.

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