Stefanos Tsitsipas On Why He Returned To His Old Ways During 2020 - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

ATP

Stefanos Tsitsipas On Why He Returned To His Old Ways During 2020

The world No.5 spoke to reporters ahead of his campaign at the Vienna Open.

Avatar

Published

on

As the ATP Tour approaches the end of what has been a turbulent season marred by COVID-19 Stefanos Tsitsipas has a testing time ahead of him.

 

The 22-year-old Greek sensation will return to action this week in Vienna for the first time since his semi-final loss to Novak Djokovic at the French Open. He is one of six top 10 players featuring in this year’s star-studded draw where he will make his debut in the event. At stake is a chance for him to win his sixth ATP title and his first at a 500 event.

“I would like a title and play good tennis. I’m happy when I see myself playing good tennis,” Tsitsipas said of his year-end objectives during a virtual press conference on Monday.

Besides the COVID-19 pandemic, Tsitsipas is hoping to continue what has mainly been a successful year for him where he has won 27 out of 37 matches played on the Tour so far. Although there have also been the inevitable blips with him losing to Borna Coric after having a two-set lead at the US Open followed by a second round loss to Jannik Sinner at the Italian Open.

Speaking out about the brief spell of patchy play, the world No.5 explained that he went through a stage of trial and error where he tried to add new elements to his game. An approach that ended up being short lived.

“It was a period where I was trying and testing new things,” he said. “I just happened to try these new things during the US Open swing and Rome. Then I went back to my old ways and I started feeling more comfortable and confident on the court after that.”

Although to every drawback is a silver lining for Tsitsipas who says he has learned a lot since lifting the biggest title of his career so far last November. At the ATP Finals in London he defeated Roger Federer and Dominic Thiem en route to the trophy. Since then his only other triumph occurred at an ATP 250 event in Marseille, France.

“A lot of things have changed (since the ATP Finals). I think I’ve grown up and faced pain on and off the court. So there were a lot of lessons to be taken and I had a lot of matches since that time but not as many as I hoped to have due to COVID,” he reflected.

Unlike Vienna this week, there are currently no plans to allow fans to the season finale in accordance with local COVID-19 regulations. Although Tsitsipas has insisted that it will have no impact on his performance. Last year the ATP Finals attracted 242,883 fans to The O2 across the eight days of competition.

“It will be sad that we won’t have spectators but that won’t stop me from playing good tennis and wanting to repeat the same thing as last year.”

The immediate focus is on Vienna this week where Tsitsipas will start against Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff. Somebody who he has previously experienced difficulty against with their head-to-head tied at 2-2. Three out of their four meetings have gone the full distance with Tsitsipas winning their most recent clash in Dubai earlier this year.

“Right now, I’m not thinking about the ATP Finals. I’m focusing [on] this week and then next week in Bercy. I feel like these are tournaments that I can do better [at] this year and have a better version of Stefanos on the court, so I’m glad that I’m here,” he said.
“I’m glad that we get to play these tournaments given the current state of the world.”

Tsitsipas is the third seed in Vienna.

ATP

Kei Nishikori Issues Fitness Update Ahead Of New Season

After a difficult season where he could only win two matches, the world No.41 is hoping to get back on track next year.

Avatar

Published

on

Kei Nishikori (photo by chryslène caillaud, copyright @Sport Vision)

Former US Open finalist Kei Nishikori says he is eager to start competing against the best in the world again after what has been a troublesome season.

 

The 30-year-old has only been able to play four tournaments this year due to a combination of injury, the pandemic and illness. Nishikori underwent surgery on his shoulder in October 2019 which subsequently resulted in him missing the start of this season. Then he was forced to pull out of his planned return at the US Open after testing positive for COVID-19. Eventually he returned to action in Kitzbuhel during September but had to close his season early a few weeks later after injuring his shoulder at the French Open.

“We had a few tournaments (due to the pandemic) and my season came to an end when I was beginning to get my feel back,” Kyodo news quoted Nishikori as saying on Friday. “I really can’t wait for next year.”

Overall, Nishikori won just two out of six matches played on the Tour in 2020. Scoring wins over Spain’s Albert Ramos-Vinolas in Rome and Britain’s Dan Evans at Roland Garros. The highest ranked player he faced was No.22 Christian Garin, who he lost 6-0, 6-3, to in Hamburg.

Despite his setbacks, the Japanese player insists that he is now back on track and his shoulder is at ‘a decent level.

“(My shoulder) has recovered to a decent level. It’ll be definitely okay for next year,” Nishikori said. “I’ll prepare (for the Olympics) assuming that they will take place.”
“I couldn’t face top-10 ranked players this season. I want to compete at that level again as soon as I can.”

One of Nishikori’s goals for next year will be the Olympic Games which are taking place in Tokyo for the first time since 1964. The Games have to be postponed until next year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Nishikori is the only player from his country to have won an Olympic medal during the Open Era after winning bronze in 2016.

I think it’s hard for athletes and the public to think about the Olympics right now. I just want to prepare well,he said in reference to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nishikori has been ranked as high fourth in the world but is currently in 41st position. So far in his career he has won 12 ATP titles and earned more than $24 million in prize money.

Continue Reading

ATP

The ATP announces the nominees for the 2020 ATP Awards

Avatar

Published

on

Nominees have been announced for the ATP Awards for all player-voted categories (Comeback Player of the Year, Most Improved Player of the Year, Newcomer of the year, Stefan Edberg Sportmanship Award) and Coach of the Year. 

 

The Fans’s Favourite Award and and the Arthur Ashe Humanitarian Award Award will be announced later this month. Fans can vote for their favourite singles player and doubles team through 11 December. 

Three-time winner and 20-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal will be up against 2020 Rome finalist and Roland Garros semifinalist Diego Schwartzman, US Open champion Dominic Thiem and John Millman in the Sportsmanship category. 

Schwartzman is among the nominees in the Most Improved player category and will be against Ugo Humbert, five-time ATP Tour titlist Andrey Rublev and 2020 Sofia ATP Tour champion and 2019 Next Gen ATP Tour champion Jannik Sinner. The Most Improved player of the Year reached a higher ATP Ranking by year’s end and showed an increasingly improved level of performance through the year. 

The nominees for the Comeback Player of the Year are Kevin Anderson, Andrey Kuznetsov, Vasek Pospisil and Milos Raonic. The Compeback Player of the Year has overcome a serious injury in re-establishing as one of the top players on the ATP Tour. 

The contenders for the Newcomer of the Year Award are Carlos Alcaraz (winner in three Challenger tournaments in Trieste, Barcelona and Alicante), Sebastian Korda (winner of his first Challenger title in Eckental), Lorenzo Musetti (title in Parma and third-round in Rome Masters 1000), Jurij Rodionov (first Challenger titles in Dallas and Morelos) , Emil Ruusuvuori (semifinalist in Nur Sultan) and Thiago Seyboth Wild (first title in Santiago de Chlle)

The Coach of the Year Award contenders are Juan Ignacio Chela (Diego Schwartzman), Gilles Cervara (Danil Medvedev), Nicolas Massu (Dominic Thiem), Riccardo Piatti (Jannik Sinner) and Fernando Vicente (Andrey Rublev). 

Continue Reading

ATP

French Legend Leconte Speaks Out On Upcoming Return Of Roger Federer

The Grand Slam finalist gives his view on Federer’s chances for 2021.

Avatar

Published

on

A former star of French tennis says he is hopeful but wary that Roger Federer will be able to return to the pinnacle of sport next year.

 

Henri Leconte, who is a former French Open finalist that achieved a ranking high of No.5, admits that the Swiss Maestro may find it tough on the Tour given the rise of what he describes as the ‘younger generation.’ This season Dominic Thiem won his maiden Grand Slam title at the US Open at the age of 27. More recently Daniil Medvedev defeated both Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal en route to the ATP Finals title.

We want to believe it. We all want to believe it! It’s been a long and difficult year. Will the motivation still be there? Will this break, the fact of having been able to enjoy his family, have changed something or will he still have that renewed motivation that has always fascinated us?” Leconte told TennisActu.

Federer hasn’t played a competitive match since his semi-final loss at the Australian Open in January. Since then, he has been sidelined from action due to a right knee injury which required two surgical procedures. The second took place after the first failed to produce the desired results.

Despite the setbacks, 20-time Grand Slam champion Federer is eyeing a return to the Tour in 2021. He is currently the oldest player in the world’s top 100 and one of two to be aged 39. The other is Spain’s Feliciano Lopez.

No one can say it. We all wish him, we would like him to stop on a Grand Slam title but the train (momentum) is gone with this younger generation which has put in an extra speed,” said Leconte.
“I would like to believe it. Roger has done so many things, that’s why he makes us dream, we would like to see him at the top. It will be very, very hard. ..”

It is not the first time Federer has taken a lengthy break due to injury. He missed six months of the 2017 season due to another knee issue before returning to action the following year when he won the Australian Open.

Earlier this week it was confirmed that Federer will head into the new season being able to use his iconic ‘RF’ logo. He hasn’t been able to use the logo for the past two years after switching from Nike, which held the rights, to UNIQLO. However, he has managed to regain control of ownership which means he will be allowed to use it on his apparel once again.

“The RF cap is back,” Federer said in a video message to fans on Twitter.
“After a long wait and extensive fine-tuning, UNIQLO and I are extremely excited to announce the return of the RF hat in 8 fresh colours starting December 8th, 2020,” he also wrote.
“This hat has meant so much to me and to my fans over the years.
“It has given us a way to visibly connect, and I have appreciated the opportunity to thrive off this supportive energy.”

As it currently stands Federer’s first tournament is set to be the Australian Open. The tournament had been scheduled to start on January 18th but it is believed that the date has been delayed until February 8th due to travel and quarantine arrangements.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending