ATP Finals Draw: Defending Champion Tsitsipas Faces Nadal Obstacle; Djokovic Faces In-form Medvedev And Zverev - UBITENNIS
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ATP Finals Draw: Defending Champion Tsitsipas Faces Nadal Obstacle; Djokovic Faces In-form Medvedev And Zverev

The ATP Finals sees some intriguing matches as the season reaches its climax in London for the final time.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas (@WeAreTennis - Twitter)

Defending Champion Stefanos Tsitsipas will face Rafael Nadal in his group while Novak Djokovic faces Paris finalists Daniil Medvedev and Alexander Zverev

 

In its 50th anniversary of the ATP Finals, the season’s ending finale will stop off in London for the 12th and final time as the ATP ends an era at the O2 Arena.

Even though this year’s event will be held behind closed doors due to COVID-19, some sensational tennis will be played as this year hosts an intriguing line-up.

Defending champion Stefanos Tsitsipas has been placed in Group London 2020 alongside 20-time grand slam champion Rafael Nadal, US Open champion Dominic Thiem and Andrey Rublev.

Although Tsitsipas’ form has been cagey this year, he’ll look to be inspired from last year’s showing as he looks to defend his title.

Tsitsipas will face Dominic Thiem in his first match, with the Austrian only just recovering from injury. However don’t let that fool you as Thiem’s form in 2020 has been stunning having reached the Australian Open final and won the US Open.

Rafael Nadal won a 20th grand slam title at Roland Garros this year and will look to use that to end the season well although the ATP Finals has never been kind to the Spaniard.

Andrey Rublev awaits in his first match who has arguably been the joint-best player of the year, playing unbelievable tennis and winning five titles.

Meanwhile in Group Tokyo 1970, World number one Novak Djokovic has only lost two completed matches in 2020 and on most occasions has been simply unplayable.

With the year-end number one ranking secure, Djokovic may not have the same intensity about him but will still look to produce his best tennis in a tough group.

First for Djokovic, is Diego Schwartzman who has had another impressive season which included a first grand slam semi-final at Roland Garros and makes his ATP Finals debut.

Daniil Medvedev didn’t have the best of debuts at last year’s event and hasn’t had the same incredible impact in 2020 with signs of inconsistency. But he may be hitting the right notes when it matters as he dazzled to the Paris-Bercy title last week.

His first match will see him play the man he beat in that final, Alexander Zverev. The German reached new grand slam heights in 2020 with a US Open final and an Australian Open semi-final. Although off the court, there are some damaging allegations against him, Zverev will look to end a stunning season on the court.

So we’re all set for a sensational 50th edition of the ATP Finals and the last edition at the O2 Arena in London. Play starts on Sunday.

Group Tokyo 1970

Novak Djokovic (1)

Daniil Medvedev (4)

Alexander Zverev (6)

Diego Schwartzman (8)

Group London 2020

Rafael Nadal (2)

Dominic Thiem (3)

Stefanos Tsitsipas (5)

Andrey Rublev (7)

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Monte Carlo Breakthrough Leaves Andrey Rublev With Mixed Emotions

The world No.8 takes confidence from his latest run but admits it is ‘impossible’ to play at his very top level every week on the Tour.

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After achieving a career milestone at the Monte Carlo Masters, Andrey Rublev was sent crashing down to earth on Sunday.

 

The Russian tennis star broke new territory at the tournament by reaching his first ever Masters 1000 final at the age of 23. However, he was denied the title by Stefanos Tsitsipas who produced a clinical performance to seal victory in just 71 minutes. Ending Rublev’s run of winning seven finals in a row.

“I feel happy with the week, and I feel super sad with the final, that I couldn’t show my game,” he told reporters on Sunday.
“Of course, I’m happy with the week because I beat so many great players and I beat one of the best players in history. It’s a special week.”

Earlier in the tournament Rublev stunned the draw when he upset Rafael Nadal in three sets en route to the semi-finals. Making it the fourth time in his career he has scored a win over a player ranked No.3 in the world. He is also the first player in history to come back from a set down to defeat Nadal at the tournament.

Besides the king of clay, Rublev also dismissed Roberto Bautista Agut and Casper Ruud. He has now won 24 matches on the ATP Tour this season which is more than anybody else. However, he is reluctant to link all of his match play with his latest performance.

“I feel tired after all the matches that I play, exhausted. But this is not excuse. He was just better than me, and that’s it,” he stated.
“Not always everything goes your way. It happened today. I was completely exhausted. Stefanos, he showed great game. He was just better than me, and that’s it.”

Despite his recent success, Rublev is eager to not get too far ahead of himself heading into the French Open. A Grand Slam where he has only played in the main draw twice before, including last year where he reached the quarter-finals.

“I would like to play really good in Madrid and I would like to play really good in Rome. I would like to play all of the weeks good. But it’s impossible,” he explains.
“Some of the weeks for sure will be better, some will be worse and some will be amazing.’
“For the moment I’m playing really consistent. I’m really happy I’m playing my best season so far. We’ll see what’s going to happen.”

Rublev is set to return to action next week at the Barcelona Open where he will be the third seed.

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Former Australian Open Semi-Finalist Kyle Edmund Undergoes Surgery

It has been reported that the world No.69 may not be able to return to the Tour for ‘several more months.’

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British world No.69 Kyle Edmund is set to be sidelined from the Tour for some time after having surgery to treat a long-standing problem in Switzerland. 

 

The former British No.1 has confirmed he had a ‘small procedure’ on his knee after being hampered with issues in the area ever since 2018 when a scan revealed that he had fluid behind his left knee. Details of the surgery have not been disclosed by the person who conducted the operation was Dr Roland Biedert, according to BBC Sport. A specialist Orthopaedic surgeon who has also operated on Roger Federer, Stan Wawrinka and Juan Martin del Potro.

“I had a small procedure on my knee. I’m currently rehabbing. The recovery is going well and I hope to be back on court as soon as possible.” Edmund said.

Currently ranked 69th in the world, Edmund hasn’t played a competitive match since losing in the first round of qualifying at the Vienna Open last October due to his knee. 2020 saw mixed fortunes for the 26-year-old. After winning the New York Open during February of that year, he lost seven out of 10 matches played during the rest of the season. Including five defeats in a row.

No return date has been outlined by Edmund or his team following the surgery. However, British media have reported that he may be out for ‘several more months.’ Casting doubts over his chances of being ready in time for Wimbledon which starts on June 28th. He hasn’t been absent from a Wimbledon main draw since 2012.

Edmund has been ranked as high as 14th in the world with his best Grand Slam run being to the semi-finals of the 2018 Australian Open. Overall, he has won two ATP titles and has earned more than $5.7 in prize money. 

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Grigor Dimitrov Blames Poor Monte Carlo Performance On ‘Big Infection’

The 29-year-old reveals the reason behind his error-stricken performance at the Monte Carlo Country Club on Thursday.

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Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov said he simply ‘didn’t play’ in his latest match at the Monte Carlo Masters after winning just two games against Rafael Nadal.

 

The world No.17 fell 6-1, 6-1, to the 20-time Grand Slam champion in less than an hour on Thursday. He won 48% of his first service points and 32% of his second, as he hit 32 unforced errors. A dismal performance from Dimitrov who had beaten Jan-Lennard Struff and Jeremy Chardy earlier in the tournament.

Whilst it was never going to be easy playing somebody of Nadal’s calibre, Dimitrov has revealed that he had been troubled by an issue away from the court. He has been suffering from a ‘big infection’ in his tooth which has had an impact on his preparation for the match.

“I’ve been struggling with a massive tooth problem for the past four or five days,” he said. “I have a big infection in my tooth. It’s been hard. I haven’t been able to sleep well or eat well or anything like that.’
“I was bearing it for a while this whole week.”

It is another case of bad luck for Dimitrov on the Tour this season. At the Australian Open he reached the quarter-finals in what was his best Grand Slam performance since the 2019 US Open. However, in his last eight showdown with Russia’s Aslan Karatsev he was hindered by a back injury.

“It’s straight to the doctor’s, unfortunately,” he commented on his tooth. “Very, very unpleasant moment. It is what it is.’
“At least I’m glad it happened on a home soil so I can go see my dentist and figure this problem as soon as possible.Hopefully it’s not too serious and I’ll be able to come back as soon as possible.”

Speaking in his press conference, Nadal said he ‘felt sorry’ for his opponent who ‘played a bad match.’ During the match the world No.3 wasn’t aware of Dimitrov’s problem but was told about it afterwards.

“I wish him all the best. He’s a great guy, a good friend. I just hope the situation is to improve as soon as possible,” he said.

Nadal, who is seeking a record 12th title in Monte Carlo, will play Russia’s Andrey Rublev next.

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