Breaking Roger Federer’s Records Would Be Good For Tennis, Says Simon - UBITENNIS
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Breaking Roger Federer’s Records Would Be Good For Tennis, Says Simon

Former top 10 player Gilles Simon speaks out about why he believes the hype surrounding Federer has had a negative impact on the sport!

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Roger Federer is one of the biggest names to emerge from the world of tennis but one player believes the attention placed on the Swiss Maestro has in some way had a negative impact on the sport.

 

Gilles Simon wrote extensively about what he describes as the ‘Federer myth’ in his autobiography Ce Sport Qui Vous Rend Fou (This Sport that Makes You Crazy). Speaking to Le Parisien, the former world No.6 said he believes the hype surrounding Federer has resulted in other players being overlooked. Simon has played the 20-time Grand Slam winner nine times over a 10-year period and won only two of their meetings back in 2008.

I have nothing against Roger Federer personally, but [have something] against the image we have of him,” he told the newspaper.
“For decades, it has been believed that only Federers should be trained. And he, with his style of play, his way of going forward, the confidence he exudes, came to validate these choices. He made us lose 20 years!”

The 35-year-old Frenchman argues that greater focus should be placed on other players and how they have managed to come out on the top of the sport with their own methods. Making a direct reference to Rafael Nadal who recently drew level with Federer’s record all-time Grand Slam tally. The Spaniard in the only player in history to have won the same major, the French Open, 13 times.

In France, everyone wants Federer: parents, coaches… We don’t realise that Rafael Nadal has won so many Grand Slams (20) by doing something quite different. That’s why it would help if Federer’s records fell because we’d finally have to see the others. We weren’t lucky enough to have a Federer. But why haven’t we had a [Marin] Cilic?” Simon points out.

Federer is a member of the prestigious Big Three along with Nadal and Novak Djokovic. Between them they have won 57 Grand Slam titles since Wimbledon 2003 and won 99 Masters 1000 trophies. During that period only Stan Wawrinka and Andy Murray have managed to win a major on multiple occasions.

Although Simon cites the example set by Marin Cilic, who won the 2014 US Open and was runner-up at two other Grand Slams in 2017 and 2018. He believes Cilic’s mental approach is one that should also be taken by his fellow countrymen on the Tour.

“Despite the Big 3, Cilic won a Grand Slam and made two finals. Why? It’s not about his forehand, his game and even less his physique. But in his mind, he’s stronger than us. Four levels above,” he said.
“We (French players) have beaten Cilic many times, but when we got to a little more important matches like in the Davis Cup, he beat us every time. Was Jo [Wilfred Tsonga] less strong? No. But he didn’t win. And so we are going to talk about the mind again. There it is, it’s cultural, French athletes are not mentally tough!”

Elaborating further about the state of French tennis, Simon has suggested that there needs to be a rethink when it comes to how the younger players enter the sport. At present the country has 11 men ranked in the top 100 with Gael Monfils the only one in the top 20. Simon is currently ranked 58th himself.

“You have to question priorities, the work of coaches and their speech. The famous “you have to get into the top 100” drives me crazy. A kid would never think about it at 12, when he wants to be number 1, but that becomes his goal at 18. Do you know a lot of players who become number one by aiming for the 100? I know the opposite,” Simon concluded.

Simona has achieved a win-loss of 10-10 so far this season and recently reached the quarter-finals in Cologne.

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Alexander Zverev Ditches Federer’s TEAM8 Management Firm To Return To His ‘Roots’

Zverev speaks out about his ‘short and long term strategies going forward.’

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German tennis star Alexander Zverev has confirmed his departure from TEAM8 as he set out his coaching plans for the season ahead.

 

The world No.7 posted a statement on Instagram saying that he no longer wants to be represented by the management firm, which was co-founded by Roger Federer and his agent Tony Godsick. Zverev says part of his decision was because he wanted his family to take a greater role once again. Instead, he will be managed by his brother Misha, who is the captain of the German ATP Cup team, as well as Sergei Bubka.

“I have decided to go back to the roots and have my family help me with my coaching, as well as Mischa and Sergei Bubka with my management,” Zverev wrote.
“I want to thank TEAM8 for the great work and tremendous experience, but we both feel that it’s the right decision to have my family take on a bigger role once again.”

Zverev’s announcement comes less than two weeks after it was confirmed he will no longer be working with David Ferrer. A former world No.3 player who joined his camp last year. Ferrer confirmed that the ending of their partnership was on mutual terms and there was no conflict between the two. The Spaniard said his role as tournament director of the Barcelona Open and family commitments contributed towards his decision.

Last year the 23-year-old broke new territory in his career by reaching the final of the US Open which he lost in five sets to Dominic Thiem. Zverev also won two ATP titles in Cologne. However, his on-court success was overshadowed by events in his personal life. He has been accused of mental and physical abuse by his former girlfriend Olga Sharypova, which Zverev has denied. Meanwhile, it was revealed that another former partner of his is pregnant with his child.

Heading into the Australian Open, Zverev is likely to face more scrutiny over the domestic abuse allegations after it was confirmed that a new account from Sharypova will be published in the coming weeks. New York Times journalist and freelance writer Ben Rothenberg confirmed that a second interview will be released before the start of the Melbourne major. It is unknown as to what the interview will entail but there has been a prior reference to one ‘incident’ in China.

Zverev’s Instagram statement in full

“What a year 2020 has been, for the whole world and for myself. I reached my first Grand Slam final without my parents and brother being court-side due to them contracting COVID-19. An almost 2 year long legal dispute with my former agent finally came to a successful resolution, so I have spent a lot of time thinking about my short and long term strategies going forward. For this reason and because of the ongoing worldwide restrictions, I have decided to go back to the roots and have my family help me with my coaching, as well as Mischa and Sergei Bubka with my management. I want to thank TEAM8 for the great work and tremendous experience, but we both feel that it’s the right decision to have my family take on a bigger role once again.”

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Hubert Hurkacz Aims To Build On Delray Beach Triumph

The best way to start the season for the world No.35.

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Hubert Hurkacz (image via https://twitter.com/DelrayBeachOpen)

Poland’s Herbert Hurkacz says he hopes to play at an even higher level over the coming weeks after winning the Delray Beach Open title on Wednesday.

 

The world No.35 eased to a 6-3, 6-3, win over Sebastian Korda in the final to claim only the second title in his career after Winston Salem back in 2018. Hurkacz, who was the fourth seed in the tournament, didn’t drop a set all week en route to becoming the first Polish player in history to win the title. In the final he won 68% of his service points and broke Korda four times overall.

“It feels great. It is great to win the title and I am so happy about that. This Is a great start to the season,” Hurkacz said afterwards.
“I am happy that I am improving and we (my team) are doing good stuff with C.B (coach Craig Boynton), and things are working. So I am really pleased with this result.”

The 23-year-old is hoping to improve on what was a challenging 2020 season for him. After reaching the semi-finals of the Auckland Open in January last year, he could only win back-to-back matches in two out of his next 12 tournaments prior to Delray Beach. His best Grand Slam result was reaching the third round of the 2019 Wimbledon Championships.

Seeking to break new territory in 2021, Hurkacz will today start his 24-hour journey to Australia which begins with a 5am departure from America this morning. His coach Craig Boynton also currently worked with Steve Johnson and previously mentored Jim Courier.

“It’s the beginning of the season and I still need to work on a couple of things, but I hope I can play even better in Australia,” Hurkacz stated.

Hurkacz is only the second Polish player to have won an ATP Tour title in the Open Era after Wojciech Fibak. At present he is the only player from his country ranked inside the top 100 on the Tour.

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Cristian Garin Out Of Australian Open Following Fall

The South American tennis star will not travel to Melbourne due to both injury and the travel restrictions implemented.

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Chile’s Cristian Garin has become the third top 30 player to pull out of the men’s draw at next month’s Australian Open.

 

The world No.22 has confirmed that he will not be travelling to the Grand Slam after suffering a fall in which he hurt his wrist a week ago. Announcing his decision on Instagram, Garin said the limitations in place at the tournament which wouldn’t allow him to travel with his physio played a factor. This year’s Australian Open is taking place amid strict COVID-19 rules which requires players to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival and limits the number of team members they can bring. The majority of players will be spending their quarantine in Melbourne but the top names will be in Adelaide following a recent deal secured by Tennis Australia.

I am very sad to report that a week ago I suffered a fall, which left me with a lot of pain in my left wrist (sprain),” Garin wrote on his Instagram story. “It has been very difficult for me to play the last days and given the restrictions of the tour, they do not allow me to travel with my physiotherapist, which makes it impossible to find a good recovery. Unfortunately I will not be able to play this year in Australia, which is something very difficult for me to accept. I hope to return in good condition and with the best energy for the tour in South America.”

photo via – https://www.instagram.com/garincris/

Garin kicked-off his season on Saturday at the Delray Beach Open where he was the top seed. However, he lost his opening match in straight sets to Christian Harrison who went on to reach the semi-finals. It is only the second tournament he has played since the French Open in October.

The setback comes after the 24-year-old confirmed that he has started working with Franco Davin back in November. A tennis coach known best for his work with Juan Martin del Potro. Davin has also previously worked with Grigor Dimitrov and Kyle Edmund.

The withdrawal of Garin follows that of Roger Federer and John Isner. Former champion Federer has pulled out due to his ongoing recovery from a right knee injury. Although one Australian Open official believes his decision was due to another factor. Meanwhile, Isner has opted not to travel to Australia because he didn’t want to spend an extended time away from his family.

The Australian Open will start on February 8th.

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