Danil Medvedev: "Playing the ATP Cup is cool" - UBITENNIS
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Danil Medvedev: “Playing the ATP Cup is cool”



Last year’s ATP Finals champion Danil Medvedev will make his first appearance of the 2021 season, when Russia will take on Argentina in a 2020 knockout stage re-match.


Medvedev led Russia to the semifinal in the inaugural edition of the ATP Cup last year.

“I played the ATP Cup in 2020. These team competitions are always cool, because they put you out of the zone a little bit where you are always focusing on yourself. You want to win as a team. You have a team supporting you, behind you on the bench. It’s something special. We are playing for the country. It’s not usual to have team competitions in tennis. I think guys will feel it from the first second, especially when there is going to be a crowd. Everybody is in a great mood, ready to be there for the team. That’s the most important”, said Medvedev. 

Medvedev beat top two seeds Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal en route to reaching the title match at the ATP Finals in London last November. Medvedev ended the 2020 season by winning back-to-back titles in Paris Bercy and at the ATP Finals in London.

Russia headlines Group D which also includes Argentina and Japan in this week’s ATP Cup.

The Argentine team is led by Diego Schwartzman, who reached the final in the Rome Masters 1000 tournament and qualified for the ATP Finals for the first time in his career.

Schwartzman will lead a strong Argentine team, which features Guido Pella and a doubles team featuring Horacio Zeballos and Maximo Zeballos. 

In the first day Medvedev will face Schwartzman in a re-match of last year’s ATP Cup quarter final. Schwartzman created 10 break points and won his first set against Medvedev in three head-to-head matches. Medvedev fended off eight break points and converted three break points secure Russia a spot in the semifinal. Medvedev leads 5-0 in his head-to-head matches against Schwartzman. 

In their most recent clash Medvedev beat Schwartzman in straight sets en route to the 2020 ATP Finals title match. 

Medvedev led Russia to the semifinals with an unbeaten 4-0 record before losing to Djokovic 6-1 5-7 6-4 in three sets in the semifinal.

On the second day Medvedev will face Nishikori, who will make his debut in the ATP Cup. Nishikori tied 2-2 in his four head-to-head matches against Medvedev. The Japanese player won his only match against Medvedev in their only match on Australian soil in three sets in Brisbane in 2019. 

Rublev will face Guido Pella on Tuesday and Yoshihito Nishioka on Wednesday. The Japanese player beat his Japanese rival in their only head-to-head match in Sydney in 2019. 

Russia is the only team to feature two top 10 players. Medvedev’s countryman Andrey Rublev will be looking to carry his form into the 2021 ATP Cup after an impressive 2020 season. Rublev led the ATP Tour with five ATP Tour titles this year with titles in Doha, Adelaide, Hamburg, St.Petersburg and Vienna and tied Djokovic for the most tour-level wins. 

Rublev is the highest ranked number 2 player in this year’s competition.

“It’s going to be my first experience here. It’s amazing to be part of with such a great guys, especially when Donskoy is the captain. I think we have a great team. You have to be in reality and understand that all the players are playing so good. All the teams are strong. They have all the top players here. It’s going to really tough. In my case. I don’t expect nothing. I just hope we are going to do our best. In the end, what’s going to happen is going to happen. For me, my priority is to give my best, to enjoy, to give everything on the court, and then we will see what’s going to happen”, said Rublev.

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Casper Ruud Topples Rune To Reach French Open Semis



Casper Ruud came out on top in his all-Scandinavian clash with Holger Rune to seal his place in the semi-finals of the French Open. 


Ruud, who is seeded fourth in the draw, battled to a 6-1, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3, win over his Danish opponent in what was a topsy-turvy encounter on the Philippe Chatrier Court. It is the second year in a row that the Norwegian has defeated Rune in the last eight of Roland Garros and he now leads their head-to-head 6-1. He is through to the last four of a major for only the third time in his career. 

“I’m very relieved. I came into this match trying to not play with pressure but it is not easy when you’re playing a big match against Holger who is never easy,” Rune said during his post-match interview. “He is very aggressive. Luckily for me the first two sets he wasn’t feeling it too well. He made a lot of errors and I got a lot of points for free.’
“That helped settle my nerves but he fought back in the third set. In the fourth set, I was lucky to keep that break.”

The highly anticipated nighttime clash began in one-way fashion with Ruud claiming 12 out of the first 15 games with relative ease as an erratic Rune struggled to find his game on the court, hitting a total of 40 unforced errors during the first two sets. 

It wasn’t until the third frame that Ruud finally faced some resistance on the court as his opponent orchestrated the crowd to get behind him. Prompting the 20-year-old to hit a series of impressive shots to revive his hopes.

However, Rune’s comeback was short-lived as Ruud broke once more midway through the fourth set as he moved to a game away from victory. He earned his first match point at 5-2 following a double fault from his rival but failed to convert. Two more opportunities then came and went for Ruud before he managed to serve the match out in the following game.

“I think I did well,” he replied when asked about how he handled his nerves. “I kind of looked at it (the match) as if he was the favourite. He won the last time we played and he has had a better year than me so far.’
“He was hoping to get into his first (Grand Slam) semi-final and I was hungry to get into another semi-final. Luckily it worked out well for me.”

Awaiting the 24-year-old in the semi-finals on Friday will be Alexander Zverev who defeated Tomás Martín Etcheverry in four sets. He trails their head-to-head 1-2 but they have never faced each other on clay. 

“Ruud has been there before. He was in the final here last year, so he knows exactly what it means and what it takes,” Zverev told reporters.  

Ruud is now 16-5 this season when it comes to playing matches on the clay. Since the start of 2020, he has registered 86 wins on the surface which is more than any other player on the ATP Tour.

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Argentina’s Tomas Etcheverry Pays Tribute To Sister After Milestone French Open Win



Moments after booking his place in the quarter-finals of the French Open for the first time, Tomas Etcheverry paid tribute to his sister who passed away last year. 


The world No.49 overcame a tough opening set before storming past Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka 7-6(8), 6-0, 6-1, on Monday night. His win continues what has been a fairytale run for the 23-year-old who is yet to drop a set in Paris. Prior to the tournament, he had only ever won one main draw match at a Grand Slam in his career. 

Speaking to ESPN after his victory, Etcheverry mentioned his sister Magui who died in 2022 at the age of 32 following a two-year battle with breast cancer. She had two children called Galo and Juana. 

“The truth is that lately I’ve been asking my sister for strength a lot… Today, before a serve, I asked her: ‘Magui, please help me’. And she helped me. I hit an ace,” Etcheverry said

Etcheverry has already shown his credentials on the clay this season by reaching the final of ATP tournaments in Houston and Santiago. However, he has at times struggled for consistency. Coming into this year’s French Open, he had failed to win back-to-back matches at four consecutive tournaments before reaching the final of a Challenger event in Bordeaux. 

Besides Nishioka, the Argentine has also recorded convincing wins over Alex de Minaur and Borna Coric at the French Open. Making it the first time in his career that he has defeated players currently ranked in the world’s top 20. His next opponent will be Alexander Zverev who he has never played before on the Tour.

“In the next round it’s going to be tough,” Etcheverry said in his press conference. “Sascha Zverev, I think he has a lot more experience than me, but I feel really good to play against him.’
“I am playing incredible tennis this week, and just I have to focus on my game and try to do the same.”

Should Etcheverry upset Zverev, he will become the first Argentine to reach the last four at Roland Garros since Diego Schwartzman in 2020. 

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Holger Rune Capable Of Winning Multiple Grand Slam Titles, Says Former No.1



Denmark’s Holger Rune needs to work on maintaining his concentration during matches but still has the ability to win Grand Slam titles in the future, according to Mats Wilander.


Rune sealed his place in the quarter-finals of the French Open on Monday after coming through a roller-coaster five-set battle against Francisco Cerundolo. The world No.6 struggled with his consistency in the match as he produced 48 unforced errors and also appeared lethargic during certain stages. Despite the patchy play, he battled to a 7-6(3), 3-6, 6-4, 1-6, 7-6(10-7), victory. 

Reacting to Rune’s latest victory in Paris, Wilander has described the 20-year-old as ‘very mature on the court.’ It is the second year in a row that he has reached the last eight of the French Open but he is yet to reach this stage at any other Grand Slam. On the ATP Tour, he has won four ATP titles with the most prestigious of those being at last year’s Paris Masters. 

“I’m very impressed with his problem solving skills for sure,” Wilander told Eurosport.
“Obviously you’re always a little bit concerned when you’re playing a five setter in this, at this time of the tournament, especially losing the fourth set, 6-1. It’s a bit worrying.
“But at the same time, he kind of lets that set go. So he’s very mature in terms of the tactics in a tennis match, mentally, he’s very mature, but I feel like he might be losing his concentration here and there.”

Despite his criticism, seven-time major winner Wilander still believes Rune can become a multiple Grand Slam champion. Denmark has never had a Grand Slam singles champion in the history of men’s tennis. 

“But then I’m comparing him with Carlos Alcaraz who doesn’t seem to lose concentration that much. So Rune is going to be a great player one day,” he continued. 
“He’s already really good and I think he’s going to win Grand Slam tournaments because he’s got this ability to switch on and switch off a little bit – and he comes back and plays his best tennis nearly always when it means the most.”

Rune will next play Casper Ruud who defeated Nicolas Jarry in straight sets in his fourth round match. Coincidentally the two also faced off against each other in the quarter-finals of the same tournament last year in what was a tense encounter. After that match, Rune accused his opponent of excessively celebrating in the locker room and shouting ‘ja’ in his direction. An accusation that Ruud denied doing.

However, this time round Rune is hoping that there will be less tension between the two. 

There was drama last year and I hope we can make less drama this year. We played each other in Rome. It was a good match,” he said. 
“He’s a good player. I respect him. There’s no problem. We’re good. Should be a match without problems, hopefully. I’m just looking forward to it.”

Rune is only the second Danish man in history to reach at least the quarter-final stage of a Grand Slam on multiple occasions. The first to do so was Kurt Nielsen who reached the benchmark four times during the 1950s. 

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