Fabio Fognini hopes to continue his career for three more years - UBITENNIS
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Fabio Fognini hopes to continue his career for three more years

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Fabio Fognini enjoyed a great 2019 season highlighted by his first Masters 1000 title in Monte-Carlo, but he faced a difficult season in which he played just 16 matches in 2020 because of a positive test to the covid-19 pandemic and a surgery on his ankle. The world number 17 is getting ready to the 2021 season under the guidance of his new coach Alberto Mancini, a former winner of the Rome and Monte-Carlo titles in 1989.

 

“The day I left the hospital on a wheelchair, I feared that my career could be over. I have to start from scratch and I am looking forward to 2021”, said Fognini to the Italian sports newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport. 

Fognini is optimistic about the future of his career and Italian tennis. 

“Corrado Barazzutti cannot not follow me during the whole season and I need a coach who can travel with me on the Tour. Ranking is not a priority. I will struggle at the beginning of the season. The goal is to return to my best shape for the clay season and remain in the top 30 to be seeded at Grand Slam tournaments. The pandemic has not been defeated and the calendar is the great unknown. Without the support of my family I would not have managed to return to the court. I don’t think I will work as coach. I will continue playing for three more years. Italian tennis has a good future. Jannik Sinner is very strong. I hope he will keep up the honour of Italian tennis. I played against Djokovic, Federer, Nadal, Del Potro, Wawrinka and Murray, but these players will end their career in five years. For him it will be easier to achieve good results, because he will not have to face the Big Three in the years to come”, said Fognini 

Turin will host the ATP Finals from 2021 to 2025 and it will be an important goal for the best Italian players. Italy has two players in the top 20 and four in the top 40 (Matteo Berrettini number 10, Fabio Fognini number 17, Lorenzo Sonego number 33, Jannik Sinner number 37). “It would be a dream to qualify for the ATP Finals in Turin. I gave the priority to the goal of qualifying for the ATP Finals in 2019 and it did not bring me luck. If I could choose, I would prefer a win in Monte-Carlo”,concluded Fognini.

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Jannik Sinner continues his winning streak at the Sofia Open

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Jannik Sinner cruised past Portugal’s Nuno Borges 6-3 6-4 in 1 hour and 26 minutes to continue his winning streak at the Sofia Open, where he won two consecutive titles in 2020 and 2021. Sinner has extended his winning streak to 10-0 in Sofia.

 

Sinner converted his second break in the second game and held serve to earn a 3-0 lead. The Italian player held his next service games to close out the first set 6-3. 

Sinner went up a break in the third game to take a 3-1 lead and sealed the win on his first match point. 

“Today’s match was tough, as always at the beginning of the tournament. I served well in the important moment. I am happy. It is a special place for me. Here I won my first title. I hope to play well in the next round as well. I don’t think about it so much. I always try to improve in every match. At the end of the year we will see. Every challenge is important. I am happy for today”, said Sinner. 

Sinner set up a quarter final against Alexander Vukic, who came back from one set down to beat Fernando Verdasco 1-6 6-4 6-3. Verdasco broke three times to win the first set 6-1. 

Vukic broke serve in the ninth game to win the second set 6-4. The Australian player broke serve in the fifth and ninth game to close out the third set 6-3. 

Holger Rune came back from one set down to beat Lorenzo Sonego 6-7 (1-7) 6-4 6-3 at the Sofia Open ATP 250 Tournament in a hard-fought match reaching his sixth tour-level quarter final this season.

Rune hit 38 winners and won 85% of his first serve points against Sonego, who won his ATP Tour level in Metz last week. 

Sonego did not convert a break point in the second game of the first set. The Italian player saved a break point in the fifth game. The first set went on serve en route to the tie-break. Rune earned three mini-breaks to win the tie-break 7-1. 

Rune sealed the second set 6-4 with a break at deuce in the 10th game. The Danish player broke serve in the eighth game and closed out the win on his first match point. 

Rune is currently fourth in the ATP Race to Milan and is looking to qualify for the Intesa San Paolo Next Gen ATP Finals for the second consecutive year. The Danish player won his first ATP Tour title in Munich and reached the quarter final at Roland Garros before losing to Casper Ruud. 

Rune will face a quarter final against Ilya Ivashka. 

“I feel very good. Today was a tough match. Lorenzo won a title last week in Metz, so he had a lot of confidence. I took my chances, played well and stayed in the in the moment, so I am proud”, said Rune.  

Jan Lennard Struff cruised past Ugo Humbert 6-3 6-1 setting up a quarter final match against Lorenzo Musetti, who is seeking his first semifinal of the season. Kamil Majchrzak rallied from one set down to beat Oscar Otte 4-6 6-2 6-4 reaching his third quarter final of the season. Majchrzak will face Marc Andrea Huesler, who knocked out Pablo Carreno Busta 6-3 3-6 6-2 with three breaks of serve after 1 hour and 44 minutes.

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Lorenzo Sonego continues his winning streak with a victory over Barnabe Zapata Miralles in Sofia

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Lorenzo Sonego beat Barnabe Zapata Miralles 6-3 6-4 after 1 hour and 19 minutes to reach the second round at the Sofia Open. Sonego won 86% of his first serve points. 

 

Sonego broke serve in the second game at 30, but he missed a double break point in the third game. The Italian player dropped just three points in his next three service games to close out the first set 6-3.  

Sonego broke serve in the ninth game at love, as Zapata Miralles made a double fault. He made a double fault and a forehand error at 5-4, but he won four consecutive points to close out the second set on his first match point. 

Last week Sonego won his title in Metz without dropping a set. 

Sonego will face Danish Next Gen player Holger Rune in the second round. 

“I am really happy because today I was really aggressive on court. I played so well. I did my best thing today. I am really happy for that. Zapata is a big wall. He served really well, but I started so good today, with good variation. The key was my performance on serve, and to be aggressive on serve”, said Sonego. 

Lorenzo Musetti battled past Alexander Lazarov 6-7 (5-7) 7-6 (10-8) 6-2 after 2 hours and 42 minutes. 

The first set went on serve with no break points. Lazarov earned his mini-break at 4-2 to win the tie-break 7-5. Musetti saved two break points at 4-4. The Italian player wasted a set point at 5-4 on Lazarov’s serve and dropped his serve in the next game. Lazarov earned his chance to close out the match at 6-5, but he was broken at 30. Musetti went up a 4-1 lead in the tie-break, but Lazarov  won four consecutive points to take a 5-4 lead. Lazarov had the chance to close the match, but he dropped two points on serve.  Musetti sealed the tie-break on his fourth set point. 

Musetti earned two breaks and held his next service games to win the third set 6-2. 

Ilya Ivashka upset Grigor Dimitrov 6-3 7-6 (7-3) after 1 hour and 52 minutes to reach the quarter finals. Ivashka saved all seven break points he faced. Dimitrov saved two match points in the second set forcing the match to the tie-break. Ivashka earned two mini-breaks to take a 7-3 lead. 

Ivashka will face either Sonego or Rune in the quarter final. 

“It was a very tough match and I am very happy that I got the victory at the end. It is very hard to play against Grigor, especially at his home”, said Ivashka.  

Fernando Vedasco edged past Nikoloz Basilashvili 7-6 (7-1) 7-5 to set up a second round match against Alexander Vukic. 

Jan Lennard Struff came back from a set down to beat Dusan Lajovic 4-6 6-3 6-2. 

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Playing Clay Events After Wimbledon Was A Mistake, Says Diego Schwartzman

The former French Open semi-finalist is seeking to win his first title since March 2021 at the Tel Aviv Open this week.

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Diego Schwartzman (Roberto Dell'Olivo)

Diego Schwartzman will likely reevaluate his schedule for next year after admitting that part of his plans for this summer backfired. 

 

The world No.17 enters into the final quarter of the season with 31 wins against 22 losses on the Tour but is yet to win a title. Although he did reach back-to-back finals back in February in Argentina and Brazil. He has won two out of eight matches against top 10 opposition, defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas at the ATP Cup and Felix Auger-Aliassime in Barcelona. 

Reflecting on his performance, Schwartzman admits that his decision to return to European clay after playing at Wimbledon was a mistake. He lost his second match in Gstaad to Pablo Carreno Busta and then his first in Hamburg to Emil Ruusuvori. 

“It’s difficult to play at the same level every tournament, I’ve made a bad decision playing clay tournaments after Wimbledon, I didn’t have time to rest,” he said during his pre-tournament press conference at the Tel Aviv Open. “I paid the price and had some bad losses. But I started to feel much better in USA hard court season, lost to Stefanos Tsitsipas who reached the final in Cincinnati and to Frances Tiafoe at the US Open. Now I am feeling very good, I really love playing indoor tournaments.”

The 30-year-old has headed straight to Tel Aviv from the Laver Cup where Roger Federer played the last match of his career. Despite Schwartzman’s Team World winning the title for the first time, his only contribution to the tie saw him lose 6-1, 6-2, to Tsitsipas. 

Retirement was very much the topic of conversation during the Laver Cup with others such as Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic questioned by reporters about their plans in the sport. As for Schwartzman, he stayed coy about how much longer he would continue playing after saying in the past he might stop at the age of 33. 

“33 — is a good age to retire, isn’t it? South Americans are in different situations compared to European players. We travel too much, and sometimes we are not coming back home for 2-3 months, while Europeans can fly home every week. It’s tough,” he said. 
“As for Roger — he’s a special player, I think he is just the greatest in our sport.”

The Argentine is seeded third this week in Israel and will begin his campaign against Arthur Rinderknech who defeated qualifier Marius Copil in his opening match. 

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