Vincenzo Santopadre: "The top priority for Matteo Berrettini is to remain healthy" - UBITENNIS
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Vincenzo Santopadre: “The top priority for Matteo Berrettini is to remain healthy”

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Italian coach Vicenzo Santopadre talked about Matteo Berrettini’s preparation for the 2021 season in an interview to the Italian Tennis Federation. 

 

The main focus ahead of the next season is to remain healthy, work on his physical preparation and work on the court. Berrettini ended a up-and down season ranked world number 10 and was alternate at the ATP Finals in London. The Italian player lost to Andrey Rublev in the US Open fourth round and reached the second round at the Australian Open and the third round at the US Open. He was one of the five Italian players to advance to the third round at Roland Garros. At Masters 1000 level he advanced to the third round in Cincinnati in the quarter final in his home city Rome. 

“Our training for the 2021 season started one month ago at the ATP Finals in London. We travelled to London with the idea to train very hard for ten days focusing on his physical preparation and his tennis on the court”,said Santopadre. 

After a short holiday with his girlfriend Ajla Tomljanovic Berrettini is now training in Monte-Carlo. 

“Monte-Carlo is perfect for training. Many professional players are based in Monte-Carlo. In the past few days Matteo trained with Stan Wawrinka, Fabio Fognini, David Goffin and his brother Jacopo Berrettini. The top priority is to remain healthy. We are working on prevention and his physical preparation. Matteo struggled a lot in the past season. He was hindered by many problems, which prevented him from performing at his best level. We are doing everything to improve his tennis. After a successful 2019 season we needed to find a balance. We have learned a lot from this strange 2020 season. It’s natural that a young player has not reached a mental stability after achieving such a high level”, said Santopadre. 

Santopadre also talked about Berrettini’s plans for the 2021 season. 

“We are waiting to see when the next season will start and which tournaments will take place. If tournaments will be held before the Australian Open, we will consider the possibility to play in the build-up to Melbourne. It could be a good idea to take part in some tournaments to prepare for the Australian Open. We have to continue training hard every day. We want to progress as far as possible in the most important tournaments”. 

Italian tennis is enjoying a great period. Eight players ended the 2020 season in the top 100 of the ATP Ranking. A new generation of players led by Jannik Sinner and Lorenzo Musetti came to the fore this year. 

“Sinner and Musetti achieved incredible results. They are very good guys and have a good attitude on and off the court. They must be an example for Italian tennis”. 

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Why Newly Married Elina Svitolina Has No Plans To Change Her Surname

The Ukrainian explains why she isn’t using her husband’s surname of Monfils just yet as she books her place in the third round at Tokyo 2020.

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Just over a week ago Elina Svitolina tied the knot with her long-time partner Gael Monfils at a ceremony in Geneva, Switzerland.

 

Shortly after the world No.6 took to social media and changed her name on Twitter to Elina Monfils as part of the tradition that the woman takes on the man’s name once they are married. As a consequence, various websites started to identify the Ukrainian under that name. Although she would rather that they don’t do such a thing.

“I don’t know why they changed my surname. Maybe they saw that I had changed it on my social networks,” Svitolina told BTU.
“I’m going to play as Svitolina till the very end of my professional career and will change it only after retirement.”

Svitolina explains she believes it is better if all of her achievements are made under the same name instead of two. So far in her career she has won 15 WTA titles, reached two Grand Slam semi-finals and has earned more than $20.5M in prize money.

I had numerous achievements and people know me as Svitolina. My father would be upset if I changed the surname and played as Monfils,” she joked.
“I am proud to be Svitolina and my tennis career will always be connected with this surname.”

Over the coming week the 26-year-old is hoping to add an Olympic medal to her resume. On Monday Svitolina survived a stern scare after coming back from a set down to defeat Ajla Tomljanović 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 and move into the third round of the tournament. Her win came on the day where there were shocks galore in the women’s draw with seeds Aryna Sabalenka, Iga Swiatek and Petra Kvitova all crashing out.

Svitolina will play Greece’s Maria Sakkari in the next round whom she has lost to in two out of their three previous meetings.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas ‘Happy’ To Follow In Grandfather’s Footsteps At Olympics

The Greek speaks out about carrying his family’s legacy at the Games.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas never met his grandfather but the two of them do have something in common – they are both Olympians.

 

The world No.4 has already created history in Tokyo by winning his first round match against Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber on Sunday to become the first male player from his country to win a singles match since 1924. Greece has won two medals at the Games but both of them were during its inaugural edition back in 1896.

Tsitsipas’ debut in Tokyo enables him to continue his family legacy of playing in the sporting extravaganza. His grandfather was Sergei Salnikov who played football for the Soviet Union during the 1950s. In 1956 Salnikov was part of the team who won Olympic gold in Melbourne. After retiring from the sport, he went on to manage the FC Spartak Moscow and the Afghanistan national team before passing away in 1984 aged 58.

“I’ve never had the opportunity to meet him. But my mom told me stories of his career and how he got it…. He kind of inspires me in a way,” said Tsitsipas. “I know what kind of athlete he was, with all the achievements and all the trophies. I’m proud of him.
“It’s something good, a legacy that is being carried on in the family. I’m happy to be the next in the family to be competing at the Olympics.”

It isn’t just a medal in the singles Tsitsipas has his eyes on, he will also be bidding for success in the mixed doubles alongside Maria Sakkari. The two previously paired up at the 2019 Hopman Cup where they finished second in their group.

“We have already played once (together), and we had great success,” Sakkari told reporters on Monday. “We know each other really well, and we are much better players two-and-a-half years later, and we are both really pumped to play together. Of course, I cannot predict that we will get a medal. We will try our best and I think we give ourselves the best chance we can.”

Tsitsipas will return to action tomorrow in the men’s singles where he will play Frances Tiafoe in the second round.

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Carlos Alcaraz becomes the youngest ever champion at ATP Tour level since Kei Nishikori in 2008

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Carlos Alcaraz beat Richard Gasquet 6-2 6-2 in the final of the Plava Laguna Croatia Open Umag becoming the youngest ever champion at ATP Tour level since 18-year-old Kei Nishikori in Delray Beach in 2008 and the youngest Spanish ATP Tour champion since RafaelNadal in Sopot 2004. 

 

Alcaraz earned his first break in the third game to take a 2-1 lead with an inside-in forehand winner and he never looked back by holding his next service games. The Spanish teenager broke serve in the third game as Gasquet made a double fault. Alcaraz converted his third break point in the fifth game to open up a 4-1 lead. Gasquet earned three break points but he was not able to convert them. 

“I had a lot of good moments in this tournament. I beat five great tennis players. I think that I grew up a lot in this tournament and  I keep a lot of experience from this tournament. It’s going to be useful for the future”, said Alcaraz. 

Gasquet was aiming to win his first ATP Tour title since s’Hertogenbosch in 2018. 

“It was tough for me to play with his full intensity. I had a tough match yesterday. It was tough, and especially with a guy like Carlos, who is playing really fast with a lot of energy and spin. He is playing unbeievable. He is only 18 and of course he had a great future and Ijust could not play at his level and his intensity”, said Gasquet. 

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