Rafael Nadal finishes second in the "World Male Athlete of the Year" Award carried by L'Equipe newspaper - UBITENNIS
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Rafael Nadal finishes second in the “World Male Athlete of the Year” Award carried by L’Equipe newspaper

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Rafael Nadal finished second in the “World Male Athlete of the Year” award behind seven-time Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton in the traditional end-of-year poll carried out by the French Sports newspaper L’Equipe. 

 

Nadal could not repeat last year’s win, but ranked second with 437 votes ahead of NBA champion Lebron James. Hamilton prevailed with 1866 points. 

The Spanish tennis legend finished the 2020 season inside the top 2 in the ATP Ranking for the record-breaking 12th year. 

Nadal started the 2020 season at the Australian Open, where he reached his 12th quarter final before losing to Dominic Thiem. 

He won his third Acapulco ATP 500 title and the 85th trophy  of his career beating Taylor Fritz and clinched the 13th Roland Garros and 20th Grand Slam title of his career. His win over world number 1 Novak Djokovic in the French Open final marked the 999th win of his career and the 100th win of his career. 

Nadal decided to skip the US hard-court season and did not play at the Western and Southern Open and the US Open in New York. He made his return to the court at the Rome Masters 1000 tournament, where he lost to Diego Schwartzman 6-2 7-5 in the quarter finals as defending champion. It was the 15th time he advanced to the top eight in the Italian capital. 

In his 16th appearance at Roland Garros Nadal suffered just eight breaks in seven matches and won his 13th crown in the French capital without dropping a set. The Mallorcan player beat Diego Schwartzman in the semifinal 6-3 6-3 7-6 to set up a final clash against Novak Djokovic. 

In the Roland Garros final Nadal beat Djokovic 6-0 6-2 7-5 in 2 hours and 41 minutes to equal Roger Federer’s record of 20 Grand Slam titles. One month later Nadal returned to the French capital to play at the Paris Rolex Masters. He won his 1000th match beating Pablo Carreno Busta 4-6 7-5 6-1 in the quarter final before losing to Alexander Zverev in the semifinal. Rafa reached the semifinal at the ATP Finals in London where he served for the match against Danil Medvedev 6-3 6-7 (4-7) 3-6. 

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ATP Cup Draw Ceremony to be held on Friday in Melbourne

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Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal will be in the spotlight at the second edition of the ATP Cup from 1 to 5 February 2021. The Draw Ceremony of the second edition of the ATP Cup will be held on Friday 22 January 2021 at 12 pm AEDT. 

 

The other stars will be Andrey Rublev (five-time titlist on the ATP Tour in 2020), the winners of the past three editions of the ATP Finals (Alexander Zverev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Danil Medvedev), 2020 US Open champion Dominic Thiem, 2019 US Open semifinalist Matteo Berrettini and Denis Shapovalov. The 2021 ATP Cup will feature 14 of the top 15 players in the ATP Ranking.  

Todd Woodbridge (winner of 22 Grand Slam doubles titles), Mark Philippousis (former Wimbledon and US Open finalist) and John Fitzgerald will conduct the draw ceremony. 

The draw will be broadcast on the ATP Cup’s official Facebook page. Fans will be able to follow the ceremony from around the world. Commentators Jim Courier and Mark Petchey will also feature. Official Martin Oosthuysen and ATP Cup Tournament Director Tom Larner wlll oversse proceedings.

The 12 teams will be divided into four round-robin groups of three each. The four group winners will qualify for the semifinals. 

Each tie will be comprised of two singles matches and one doubles match. The country that wins two matches will take the tie. Singles will be the best of three tie-break sets. Doubles will feature No-Ad scoring and a Match Tie-break instead of a third set.

The number 1 players and the team captains: 

Serbia: Novak Djokovic, Viktor Troicki

Spain: Rafael Nadal, Pepe Vendrell

Austria: Dominic Thiem, Wolfgang Thiem

Russia: Danil Medvedev, Evgeny Donskoy

Greece: Stefanos Tsitsipas, Apostolos Tsitsipas

Germany: Alexander Zverev, Misha Zverev

Argentina: Diego Schwartzman 

Italy: Matteo Berrettini, Vincenzo Santopadre

Japan: Kei Nishikori, Max Mirnyi

France: Gael Monfils, Richard Ruckelshausen

Canada: Denis Shapovalov, Peter Polansky

Australia: Alex De Minaur, Lleyton Hewitt

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Ashleigh Barty and Jannik Sinner join super field at “A Day at the Drive” exhibition event in Adelaide

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World number 1 Ashleigh Barty and 2019 Next Gen ATP Finals champion Jannik Sinner have joined a star-studded field at the exhibition tournament named “A Day at the Drive”, which will be held at the Memorial Drive Tennis Centre in Adelaide on Friday 29 January 2021.

 

The Adelaide event will feature 2020 Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic, 20-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal, 2020 US Open winner Dominic Thiem, three-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka, 2019 Wimbledon champion Simona Halep and 23-time Grand Slam legend Serena Williams, who are spending their mandatory 14-day quarantine in Adelaide ahead of the Australian Open. 

Adelaide will launch the Australian summer of tennis before the ATP Cup and the Australian Open in Melbourne. 

Barty has not played an official match since losing her semifinal against Petra Kvitova in Doha last February shortly before the outbreak of the global pandemic. The Australian star won the title at the inaugural edition of the Adelaide WTA tournament last year. 

“I am looking forward to playing my first match of the 2021 season in Adelaide. I have fond memories from the Adelaide International last year and i twill be great to get back on court here for “A Day at the Drive”, said Ashleigh Barty. The Australian Open has been delayed until 8 February 2021. The Melbourne Park will host warm-events one week before the first Grand Slam tournament of the year. 

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Roger Federer should make his come-back in Doha, according to Richard Krajicek

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Roger Federer is expected to make his come-back at the Qatar Exxon Mobil tournment on outdoor hardcourts in Doha from 8 to 13 March 2021, according to Rotterdam Tournament Director Richard Krajicek. 

 

Federer is currently training in Dubai, which is only 235 miles from Doha. The 20-time Grand Slam champion withdrew from the Australian Open last month. 

“As far as I know, Roger will play in Doha, the week after Rotterdam. If he is fit and ready, we will hear from him”, said Krajicek. 

Krajicek announced that Rafael Nadal will play in Rotterdam for the third time in his career next March. The former Dutch star still hopes to invite Federer, who claimed three titles in Rotterdam. 

Three years ago Federer became the oldest world number 1 at 36 after beating Robin Haase in the quarter final of the Rotterdam tournament and went on to win his 97th ATP Tour title by beating Grigor Dimitrov in the final. After undergoing the second knee surgery last May Federer decided to skip the rest of the 2020 season and returned to the court to train. He moved to Dubai to train in good weather conditions under the guidance of his coach Ivan Ljubicic, who was a former world number 3 player.

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