Mats Wilander Addresses Andy Murray Wild Card Criticism As Ex-Coach Lendl Speaks Out - UBITENNIS
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Mats Wilander Addresses Andy Murray Wild Card Criticism As Ex-Coach Lendl Speaks Out

The former world No.1 had previously implied that it was wrong for Murray to have used a wild card to play at the French Open this year.

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Former Swedish tennis star Mats Wilander says he is ‘100 per cent‘ pulling for Andy Murray after previously criticising him for using a wild card to play at the French Open.

 

Wilander, who won seven Grand Slam titles during his career, accused the former world No.1 of ‘thinking about himself’ following his first round loss at Roland Garros. Murray was brushed aside 6-1, 6-3, 6-2, by Stan Wawrinka in what was his joint-worst loss at a major in terms of games won. Speaking shortly after Murray’s performance, Wilander questioned if it was right for the Brit to have taken a wild card into the tournament which could have been given to a younger player. Prompting backlash from some over his comments.

‘I worry about Andy Murray. I would love to hear him say why he is out there, giving us a false sense of hope that he going to come back one day,’ said Wilander who was commentating for Eurosport at the time.
‘I keep getting a little bit disappointed, is it his right to be out there doing that? Why? I did it and I shouldn’t have, it was the biggest mistake I did in my career. I think Andy Murray needs to stop thinking of himself and start thinking about who he was. Does he have a right to be out there taking wildcards from the young players?’

Murray, who has been blighted by injury trouble in recent years, responded by uploading a screenshot of the comments on his Instagram story with the caption ‘love this.’ The 33-year-old has undergone two hip surgeries and has only played in four majors since the start of 2018.

https://twitter.com/josemorgado/status/1310381239057121281

Speaking on Eurosport’s Tennis Legends podcast earlier this week, Wilander acknowledged that his view on Murray got him in ‘a little bit of trouble.’ Nevertheless, the Swede has insisted that he fully backs the former world No.1.

“I’m pulling for him 100 percent. He has deserved it,” he said. “I think the interesting question is passion. Does Andy have the passion? And I think he does. I am 100 percent sure. But are you supposed to show it every time you go on court?”

Speaking on the same podcast as Wilander, former coach Ivan Lendl says he disagrees with the previous comments and argued that the history of wild cards doesn’t justify that they should be handed out to younger players. Lendl has worked with Murray during two separate periods. Between 2012-2014 he guided him to winning Wimbledon, the US Open and an Olympic gold medal.

“I think players like Andy Murray or Pete Sampras, before he won his last US Open, everybody was asking me, shouldn’t Pete Sampras retire? And I said, Pete Sampras has earned the right to retire when he wants to retire,” the 60-year-old commented.
“Let’s go a little bit back in the history of wild cards. The wild cards in general were given to the sponsors to get attractive players for the tournament. It turned somewhat towards young players, which is fine as well. But it’s nowhere written that it needs to be a young player, not somebody older.’
“To me, Andy Murray has earned the right to play when he wants to play, as long as he has a passion for it.”

After another season marred by injury, as well as 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.

Murray is currently ranked 19th 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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Novak Djokovic Opens Up About Wimbledon Points Removal

The world No.1 states that he will always support the views of his peers.

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Novak Djokovic (Roberto Dell'Olivo)

By Kingsley Elliot Kaye

In his press conference following his win over Yoshihito Nishioka at the French Open, Novak Djokovic expressed his views about the ATP decision to remove points from Wimbledon.

 

Negatively affected by such a decision – he will drop 2000 points – the world No.1 praised the ATP’s stance and called for players’ unity.

“I think collectively I’m glad that players got together with ATP, the governing body of the men’s tennis, and showed to the Grand Slam that when there is a mistake happening, and there was from the Wimbledon side, then we have to show that there are going to be some consequences. So I support the players, unification always. I have always done that. I will always do that.” He said.

Djokovic criticized the lack of communication between the parties involved, in particular with regard to a document of recommendation by the English Government which contained diverse options. Had it been discussed by the All England Club with ATP and players, a compromise may have been reached.

“I think it was a wrong decision. I don’t support that at all. But, you know, during these times, it’s a super sensitive subject, and anything that you decide, it’s unfortunately going to create a lot of conflict, a lot of separation instead of unification.” He continued.

Djokovic also mentioned other suggestions coming from WTA and ATP, that possibly men’s and women’s players from Belarus, Ukraine, and Russia could play together at some exhibition event during the slam or something like this and prize money could go to the victims in Ukraine. There were different ideas, but there was never really a strong communication coming from Wimbledon.

He stressed that removing the points from Wimbledon, therefore not allowing players to earn or to defend points, is a decision that affects everyone, a lose-lose situation for everyone, as he called it.

Nonetheless, the charm and prestige of Wimbledon shall rest unaltered and its meaningfulness extends far beyond: “A Grand Slam is still a Grand Slam. Wimbledon for me was always my dream tournament when I was a child. You know, I don’t look at it through the lens of points or prize money. For me, it’s something else.”

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Injury-Hit Borna Coric Reacts To First Grand Slam Win In 16 Months

The Croat admits he was unsure how his shoulder would hold up in his opening match at Roland Garros.

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Borna Coric - US Open 2020 (via Twitter, @usopen)

Borna Coric said he is relieved that his body managed to hold up during his opening win at the French Open on Sunday.

 

The former world No.12 spent almost three hours on the court before defeating Spain’s Carlos Taberner 3-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-1, in what was his first Grand Slam match of any kind since the 2021 Australian Open. Paris is only the seventh tournament Coric has played in since returning to the Tour following a year-long absence due to shoulder surgery. The 25-year-old is yet to win back-to-back matches this season.

It does feel great. I didn’t know what to expect in terms of my shoulder because I’ve never been in the fourth set, fifth set (of a match) for one-and-a-half years,” said Coric.
“So it was also kind of worrying for me, I didn’t know what to expect, I didn’t know how I’m going to feel and how my whole body is going to behave in those later sets. Obviously I’ve been practicing it, but it’s really never the same.”

Impressively the Croat produced a total of 54 winners against 39 unforced errors in his latest match in the French capital. Furthermore, he won 76% of his first service points and 53% of his second.

“The last few weeks haven’t been very easy, I lost many tight matches. I mean, I was also quite happy with my tennis, but I was just losing,” he reflected.

Coric was once tipped to be the future of men’s tennis after rising quickly up the ranks at a young age. In 2014 he was the youngest player to end the season in the top 100 and a year last he was the youngest to do so in the top 50. He has recorded a total of nine wins over top five players, including Roger Federer, as well as winning two Tour titles.

In the second round at Roland Garros Coric will take on the formidable Grigor Dimitrov who has been ranked as high as third in the world. He will enter the clash as the underdog given his ongoing comeback from injury. At present Coric’s principal focus is on his body but that will change in the coming weeks.

Until Wimbledon my health needs to come first and after Wimbledon I can kind of try to switch in my mind so I can start playing more and more tournaments. I can train more and I can focus more on the tennis rather than on my shoulder,” he explains.

Coric has reached the third round of the French Open on four previous occasions.

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Felix Auger Aliassime Wins First Ever Roland Garros Match In Five Sets

Felix Auger-Aliassime earned his first ever victory at Roland Garros.

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Felix Auger-Aliassime (@MatchPointCAN - Twitter)

The Canadian found himself down two sets to none but fought back to pull off the comeback in a thrilling five set victory.

 

Felix Auger Aliassime is into the second round of the French Open for the first time in his career after battling back to beat the Peruvian qualifier Juan Pablo Varillas in five sets 2-6, 2-6, 6-1, 6-3, 6-3 in three hours and 14 minutes.

The Montreal native finished the match serving 14 aces and hitting 52 winners in a match that featured a lot of long rallies from behind the baseline.

“It was a dream for me to play here, it was an honor and my first time on Phillipe Chatrier and my first win at Roland Garros and I had to work hard to get it and credit my opponent he played very well today.”

The Peruvian started the match by breaking the number nine seed right out of the gate and at 3-1 managed to turn that break into a double break as he served out the first set with ease.

The first two games of the second went on serve but again the world number 122 seemed to play better as the Canadian looked stunned, searching for answers.

The Lima native once again took an early lead to take a 3-1 lead and again that seemed like enough for the Peruvian as he served out the second set and was one set away from an improbable upset.

The third set is where the Canadian started to turn things around and his groundstrokes seemed to have more precision. At 2-1 it was the Montreal native who got the first break of serve.

After consolidating the break the world number nine was hungry for more and turned that break into a double break and it looked like the match was turning in his favour.

The Canadian served out the third set to send it to a fourth looking to send it to a decider.

The Montreal native rode the momentum from winning the third into the fourth set where after holding the opening service game got the early break once again taking a 2-0 lead.

At 5-3 with the Peruvian looking to stay in the set, Auger Aliassime managed to get another break to win the set and send the match to a fifth set.

The fifth set stayed on serve until 4-3 when the Canadian had four chances to break and at the fourth time of asking he was able to break and serve out the match to complete the comeback.

After the match in his on court interview he was asked about the adjustments he made in the third set to turn the match around and pull off the win.

“I tried to give myself some more space and a little more time, my opponent at the beginning was playing very quick, aggressive, and flat so I tried a couple things and I also served better and after that it was easier.”

The Canadian will next face either Aslan Karatsev or Camilo Ugo Carabelli in the next round.

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