Daniil Medvedev Speaks Out Following Shock St Petersburg Exit - UBITENNIS
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Daniil Medvedev Speaks Out Following Shock St Petersburg Exit

Medvedev’s bid for another title on home soil came to an end on Thursday as he hopes for a strong end to the season.

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Former US Open finalist Daniil Medvedev says he is looking at the wider picture after crashing out of his home tournament on Thursday.

 

The top seed fell 6-2, 5-7, 6-4, to America’s Reilley Opelka in the second round of the St. Petersburg Open in what is the third consecutive tournament where he has failed to win back-to-back matches. Medvedev, who won the title 12 months ago, did manage to win 91% of his first service points but it was still not enough to guide him to victory.

Reflecting on his latest defeat on the Tour, the Russian insists that overall his 2020 season has been mainly positive. He is currently ranked sixth in the world rankings which is just two spots below his career best and has already made more than $1.6 million in prize money this season.

“Of course, after each loss, especially in the second round of a home tournament, I would like to say: “That’s it, the season is terrible,” but I reached the US Open semifinal and at the beginning of the year I played well at the ATP Cup,” Medvedev said during his press conference.
“Ups and downs are natural. I just want to finish the season well and win as many matches as possible. If you manage to win a lot, then the season will be successful.”

Medvedev first rose to prominence in the summer of 2019 when he reached six straight finals after Wimbledon with a 29-3 run. Since then he has become a continuous member of the top 10 and now has seven ATP titles to his name.

Despite his surge in success and rise in the world of men’s tennis, the 24-year-old believes little have changed when it comes to his style of play.

“As a player, it’s not that I haven’t changed, it’s just that at this age, when you have already established yourself as a player, it’s already difficult to change anything,” he explained.
“You can only add something slightly or improve what is already there. This is what we (my team) try to do, so as a player I don’t change, I have my own style, which I adhere to and which often works.’
“As a person, then I generally think that I change quite a lot every year, but I cannot name specific things.”

Heading into the closing stages of 2020, Medvedev’s win-loss record for the year now stands at 16-9 and he is yet to win a title of any sort. A contrast to last year when he won four. He will shortly be travelling to Vienna for his next tournament prior to the Paris Masters and ATP Finals in London.

“On average, I recover from defeats for an hour or two, although it depends on defeats … In general, no more than two days,” Medvedev revelled. “This is a plus of tennis: the next tournament is coming soon, the day after tomorrow (Friday) I will train, so there is nothing left but to continue to work and try to be better.”

Medvedev is one of only two seeded players who have not made it to the quarter-final stage in St. Petersburg. The other is Taylor Fritz who lost in the first round.

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The Greatest Tennis Players On Clay In The Open Era: An Analysis

UbiTennis investigated the results of over 200 tournaments to ascertain who have been the most successful on the dirt in men’s tennis since 1968.

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NOTE: This study was conducted before the 2020 French Open. For those who might be interested in checking out the original dataset, click on the link below: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1TLJp3EYsRn5KE2FZKRv_rNA0K6ACOtmmC_XI8tan08o/edit#gid=0

 

The beginning of the clay season is generally perceived as a rebirth for European fans, partly because the elite of world tennis comes back to the Old Continent at the end of the Oceanic and North American trips, partly because the matches start to take place again at times that do not compromise circadian rhythms and private lives, partly due to the ancient association with blooms of the Romance spring, a double-edged sword in the context of the Roman May, especially for those allergic to poplars. The latter aspect has had no reason to exist in 2020, since the clay was re-invented in an unprecedented late-summer or early-autumn outfit, but in some ways the theme of renewal has never been more relevant, for reasons we all know. Given the caesura that the pandemic represented for tennis and beyond, our editorial team decided to sum up 52 Open tennis seasons on the surface, trying to find objective measures to see who they were the most dominant in this specialty.

The analysis focuses on the concept, which has risen to great popularity in recent years among Big Three fans, of “big titles”, that is Slams and Masters 1000 or whatever their name was since the creation of the Grand Prix (which took place in 1970) – since then, they have been called Grand Prix Super Series (until 1989, also including events of the WCT circuit), and then Championship Series, Super 9 and Masters Series, before being bestowed their current denomination in 2009. In the case of the clay, therefore, we will talk about Roland Garros (since 1968), Monte Carlo (since 1970), Hamburg/Madrid (this one since 1978), Rome (since 1970), and more, as will be explained.

To analyse the performance of the players in the aforementioned tournaments, two data types were chosen from the original dataset that would give a complete overview or at least allow them to be studied from several points of view. The first is the total score obtained in the above tournaments, with a very simple scoring system: 2 points for a Grand Slam victory, 1 for a final, 0.5 for a semi-final, 0.25 for a quarter final, 1 point for a win in a 1000 or Masters Series or Super 9 if you prefer, 0.5 for a final, and 0.25 for a semi-final. These data are the most relevant, because they permit to identify the best performers over the long term, that is, in short, who has actually won the most. 

The contrast for such a clear-cut figure is provided, obviously, by the average achieved by the players in the tournaments in which they reached the final stages (the defeats in the first rounds are therefore not part of the study, because the point of the article is to define the winning spirit of the various athletes). This is a more ambiguous but useful parameter when interpreted correctly and in synergy with the other, because a high average allows us to understand which players were able to win more often when it counted, i.e. when they reached the final stages of a tournament. The two variables were then graphed in a Cartesian plane by putting in abscissa the average points per event and in ordinate the total points obtained.

A brief digression: big data (or advanced statistics, or sabermetrics, or moneyball) are revolutionizing all sports, whether we like it or not, providing means to overcome the preconceptions related to a single sport, in particular from a tactical point of view. and they are infinitely more complex than the study reported here. Figures related to the length of the exchanges, the spin or the direction of the serve, and shot placement, help us understand the game as it happens, in some ways assisting the identification (within the limit of our knowledge of the psycho-physical conditions of the players, decidedly less predictable), whereas a ‘dry analysis of the performance’ such as this one (which exclusively examines the final results and their continuity) is completely a posteriori, and therefore has a purely historical value, it photographs and legitimises the existence of a previous state almost like the Domesday Book, straight out of Norman lore.

This article can at best be called a social media debate’s debate, that is, a social media debate in which the contenders bring concrete and unbiased data to support their arguments (perhaps even politely) – John Lennon would tell us that it is easy to imagine (if we try), however improbable it may seem. Out with deference and caveats, we can move on to analysis.

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Andrey Rublev On Why He Believes Rafael Nadal Is The ‘Best Ever Athlete’

The world No.8 comments on Nadal’s latest achievement at the French Open earlier this month.

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The mental strength of world No.2 Rafael Nadal has been hailed by one of his rivals on the Tour following their win at the St. Petersburg Open.

 

Andrey Rublev has paid tribute to the Spaniard following his historic triumph at the French Open. In Paris Nadal defeated Novak Djokovic 6-0, 6-2, 7-5, to win the Grand Slam for the 13th time in his career to become the first player – male or female – to have won the same major event that amount of times. He has also drawn level with Roger Federer for most Grand Slam trophies won at 20 on the men’s tour.

“I can’t imagine not only how it is possible to win so many Slams but also how it is possible to achieve what he has done and how it is possible to be as mentally strong during the whole career,” Rublev told reporters on Sunday.
“Even Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic have bad days through their career but Rafa is the only one who no matter how he is feeling himself emotionally he always finds the way to win. And even if he loses, he is fighting in three-five set for many hours.”

The two tennis figures have only played against each other on the Tour once before which was three years ago in the quarter-finals of the US Open. Nadal eased to victory by dropping just five games in the process. Rublev is 11 years younger than his opponent.

“All the athletes have bad days, but in team sports your partners help you, so the team can win at the end if all the other players are good enough. It is very difficult to compete in any match no matter what is going on in your off-court life. He is not just the best tennis player he is the best athlete ever,” Rublev added.

As a result of his latest win, Rublev has risen to a ranking high of eighth in the world this week. So far this year he has achieved a win-loss of 34-7 and made more than $1.6 million in prize money. At the age of 22 he is currently the youngest player in the world’s top 10. Stefanos Tsitsipas is also the same age as the Russian but was born two months before him.

“Every position in the ranking means a lot now. The most important thing for me is to keep working. I still have a lot of elements that I need to improve. I want to believe that I will have the opportunity to become better for the next season,” he said.

The rise of Rublev has placed him on good footing to clinch a spot at the season-ending ATP Finals next month where the top eight players will play. He has withdrawn from the European Open this week but is planning to play events in Vienna, Paris and Sofia before the season ends. Then, if he qualifies, he will travel to London for the ATP Finals.

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Andy Murray’s Injury Woes Continue With Another Tournament Withdrawal

There is more bad news for the injury-stricken former world No.1.

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Three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray has suffered another setback in his fight to regain fitness after being forced to withdraw from the BET1Hulk Championships on Sunday.

 

The former world No.1 has officially withdrawn from the event in cologne due to what is being described as ‘inflammation of the left psoas.’ A muscle that is located in the lumbar region of the spine and extends through the pelvis to the femur. Murray, who underwent hip resurfacing surgery last year, has been troubled by an issue with his pelvis in recent months.

According to The Associated Press, it is believed that the issue Murray is currently experiencing flared up during his most recent event in Germany. He lost in the first round of the Bet1HULKS Indoors to Spain’s Fernando Verdasco in straight sets last Tuesday. It was after that match where the Brit admitted that he has lost his ways on the court.

“I need to get back to playing my game on the court, I’ve kind of gone away from that a little bit,” said Murray.
“I’m maybe making a few more mistakes than usual because of that.”

Due to a pelvis issue forcing him to start the 2020 season later than planned combined with the COVID-19 pandemic, Murray has only managed to play in four tournaments this year. Overall, he has won three out of seven matches played with his best run being at the Western and Southern Open where he defeated Alexander Zverev en route to the third round.

The situation is a stark contrast to 12 months ago where Murray showed signs of returning back to the top by winning the European Open after defeating Stan Wawrinka in the final. The first and only title he has won since 2018. However, since then continuous battles with his physical shape have derailed his progression on the Tour.

There is still a chance that Murray will play again before the season comes to a close with his eyes being on the Paris Masters. An event he won back in 2016 that will get underway during the first week of November.

Murray is currently ranked 115th in the world.

Murray’s 2020 season

Western and Southern Open, New York
R1: Def Frances Tiafoe USA 7-6(6), 3-6, 6-1
R2: Def Alexander Zverev GER 6-3, 3-6, 7-5
R3: Lost to Milos Raonic CAN 2-6, 2-6

US Open, New York
R1: Def Yoshihito Nishioka JAP 4-6, 4-6, 7-6(5), 7-6(4), 6-4
R2: Lost to Felix Auger-Aliassime CAN 2-6, 3-6, 4-6

French Open, Paris
R1: Lost to Stan Wawrinka SWI 1-6, 3-6, 2-6

Bett1Hulks Indoors, Cologne
R1: Lost to Fernando Verdasco ESP 4-6, 4-6

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