Denis Shapovalov Ousts Ivashka in Miami - UBITENNIS
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Denis Shapovalov Ousts Ivashka in Miami

The Canadian survived a three set marathon and a rain delay to beat the Belorussian.

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Denis Shapovalov booked his spot in the third round of the Miami Open after beating world number 116 Ilya Ivashka 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-4 in a match where he hit 37 winners while his opponent produced 50 unforced errors.

“A super tough one against Ivashka, I think he played really well,@ said Shapovalov.
Never easy coming into a masters where you have a bye because the other player has already played a match and obviously he was in top form and for sure it was extremely difficult especially in the first set so I was happy I was able to turn the match around and kinda get those feelings from Dubai into the second and third set. I’m really happy and I was lucky with the rain delay and stuff like that overall just super happy to get through it”

The first two games of the match were pretty routine but at 1-2 it was the Canadian who was first to face some adversity as he faced the first two breakpoints of the match but managed to save them both with his huge lefty serve.

The very next game it was the world number 11 with a chance to break but it was his Belorussian counterpart who would come up saving it and holding serve.

Once again it went back and forth and the next game the number six seed had a chance to take the lead but failed to convert again and the match remained on serve.

The first set would be decided by a tiebreaker and it was the world number 116 who would take the first lead of the breaker as the Toronto native would double fault on the first point.

At 4-2 the Bahamas resident would break back but would immediately give the break back the very next point and that was enough for the Minsk native to take the first set.

The world number 11 was determined to stay in the match and broke the Belorussian serve in the opening game of the second set but once again it didn’t last long as his serve abandoned him and he would double fault twice in a row to give the break back.

The Canadian wasn’t giving up and responded by breaking right back the following game and that was enough for Shapovalov to take the second set needing four set points to send it to a decider.

The momentum stayed with the world number 11 in the beginning of the third set and he was able to earn two more breakpoints in the first game but the world number 116 hung in and saved both and would hold serve.

At 1-2 the Canadian got into a little more trouble with his serve again and another double fault set up two more breakpoints for the Belorussian but once again the number six seed came up big saving them.

At 3-3 the Toronto native had two more chances to break to take the lead and on the first one the Belorussian would save it before play was unfortunately halted due to a little rain.

After the short delay with the players waiting on court play would resume and on the first point back the Belorussian would double fault to give the Canadian the break to take a 4-3 lead.

After that it started to pour and the match was delayed for about an hour before the players were able to return on court and finish the match serving it out to book his spot in the next round.

Shapovalov will next face a familiar foe in the next round and that is Hubert Hurkacz who he most recently played in Dubai about a week ago.

” A super tricky next match, me and Hubert (Hurkacz) have played many times now and just recently in Dubai and I felt I played exceptional tennis and hopefully I can use that confidence and use those moments from last week to try and transition it to next week and of course it’s different conditions, different surface so it’s going to be a new match and a tough battle ahead of me”.

Shapovalov was also asked about the situation about his fellow countrymen Vasek Pospisil after the incident earlier in the week and he gave his sense of the situation.

” I don’t know, I wasn’t at the meeting so I don’t know what went down, and knowing Vasek (Pospisil) personally to get this upset and have it bothering him during a match something must have happened, I have heard from several players, not great information so I am on the PTPA side, I think we are not underrepresented but there are ways we could be represented better, I don’t think the ATP is doing the fullest job that they can be, I think there are other ways and other players that are trying to introduce helping the ATP bring in different information or sponsors and basically were all getting shut down and they’re basically telling us to go and play tennis which in my opinion is not right, they shouldn’t talk to us like that if we are partners and that’s my position”.

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Daniil Medvedev Targets French Open Breakthrough After Rome Disappointment

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Credit Francesca Micheli/Ubitennis

Daniil Medvedev believes there will be more title contenders at the French Open than previous editions with the Russian hoping to be one of them. 

The world No.4 heads into the Grand Slam after what has been a mixed clay swing. Medvedev suffered a third round defeat in Monte Carlo before bouncing back in Madrid where he reached the quarter-finals before retiring from his match with a minor injury. Meanwhile, at this week’s Italian Open, his title defence came to an end in the fourth round on Tuesday when he fell 6-1, 6-4, to Tommy Paul. 

“Mentally I had to be much better,” Medvedev said of his latest performance.
“I started to calm myself down and focus on the match only at the end of the match, and it was too late. I had to do better. I was expecting myself to play better.’
“It’s disappointing, but that’s how sport is. You lose and you go for the next tournament, which is a pretty important one.” He added. 

28-year-old Medvedev recently stated that he is seeing improvements in his game when it comes to playing on the clay. A surface which he has struggled on during stages of his career. Out of the 38 ATP Finals he has contested, only two of those were on the clay. Barcelona in 2019 when he finished runner-up and Rome last year which he won. 

As for the French Open, he has lost in the first round on five out of seven appearances. But did reach the quarter-finals in 2021 and the last 16 the following year. So could 2024 be his year?

“Now it’s maybe a little bit more open than it was ever before,” he said of this year’s event. 
“Good for me, too, because usually in Roland Garros I don’t play that well. The more open it is, the better it is for me.”

All of the top three players on the men’s tour are currently experiencing problems. Novak Djokovic crashed out of the Italian Open and recently underwent a medical assessment after getting hit in the head by a bottle in a freak accident. Jannik Sinner is reportedly on the verge of withdrawing from the French Open due to a hip issue and Carlos Alcaraz has been hindered by a forearm injury in recent weeks. 

“I’m feeling much better on clay,” Medvedev commented. “What is tough for me on clay sometimes is getting used to conditions. Every court – in every tournament in the world – is a bit different.
“On hard courts it’s the same: every court is different. On hard courts I have this ability to kind of quite fast get used to it. On clay, I need more time.”

Medvedev aims to become only the second Russian man in history to win the French Open after Yevgeny Kafelnikov in 1996. The tournament will begin a week on Sunday. 

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Stefanos Tsitsipas Says Expanded Masters Events ‘Playing A Massive Role’ In Player Injuries

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Credit Francesca Micheli/Ubitennis

Stefanos Tsitsipas has slammed the decision to extend the length of Masters 1000 tournaments to two weeks by warning that more injuries could occur in the future as a result. 

This week’s Rome Masters is taking place without two out of the world’s top three players. Jannik Sinner pulled out of his home event due to a hip injury and Carlos Alcaraz has been troubled by a forearm issue in recent weeks. Other players missing from the draw include Tomas Machac (Illness), Ugo Humbert (Left Knee) and Stan Wawrinka (Right Wrist). 

The tournament is taking place immediately after the Madrid Open which is also a Masters event that has been expanded to a two-week format in recent years. Supporters of the move argue that a bigger draw provides lower-ranked players with more opportunities to play in these events whilst others will have a day off between matches. 

However, world No.8 Tsitsipas isn’t completely happy with the schedule which he openly criticised on Monday following his 6-2, 7-6(1), win over Cameron Norrie. The Greek has won 12 out of 14 matches played on clay so far this season. 

“It’s a type of thing that hurt the sport a little bit, to have these types of things happen to the highest of the players,” Tsitsipas commented on his rival’s injuries.
“Without them, the show is not kind of the same. You have obviously the guys behind them (in the rankings). These kinds of tournaments deserve names like this to be playing and have the opportunity to play in front of these big stadiums and crowds.
“I’ve spoken about the fact that the schedule has a big toll on our bodies. It starts from the mental side, and it follows to the physical side. The extension of the days in the Masters 1000s I think plays a massive role and contributes a lot to the fact that these players are getting injured.”

The ATP’s extended format is set to be applied to seven out of the nine Masters 1000 tournaments from 2025. The only two yet to make or plan for such changes are Monte Carlo and Paris. However, Tsitsipas has called for changes to be made to the schedule.

“It was perhaps already a lot the way it was before with the seven-day events. Adding more days to that, well, you got to be some type of superhero to be consistent back-to-back 10 days in each event getting to the very end of it.” He commented.
“It’s not a very easy thing to do. Some people need to try it first to get an understanding and how it is to pull that off. Then they should make decisions based on that.
“I think this is not going to be the first time we see these types of things (player injuries). If these types of things continue with the same schedule not being adjusted or customized to the needs of the players, we might see more of these things occur in the future.”

It is not the first time a player has raised concerns about the extended format. Alexander Zverev previously said that the schedule is a disadvantage for the top players. Meanwhile, on the women’s Tour Caroline Garcia has criticised the move to expand WTA 1000 tournaments whilst Maria Sakkari said achieving the Madrid-Rome double has become harder to do

On the other hand, Daniil Medvedev has spoken in favour of the new format and describes injuries on the Tour as ‘part of the sport.’ The former US Open believes the issue is related to the quick surface changes players face and not the duration of tournaments. 

Tsitsipas will play Alex de Minaur in the fourth round of the Italian Open on Tuesday. 

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Novak Djokovic To Undergo Medical Check After Rome Thrashing, Bottle Incident

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Novak Djokovic – ATP Roma 2024 (foto: Francesca Micheli/Ubitennis)

Novak Djokovic has indicated that he will speak to doctors following his lacklustre performance at the Italian Open where he crashed out in straight sets. 

The five-time champion was far from his best against Chile’s Alejandro Tabilo as he struggled to generate any rhythm in his tennis or a single break point opportunity. Djokovic’s below-par performance caught many off guard, including the tennis player himself who admitted afterwards that he was ‘completely off’ his game. 

Trying to find the reason behind his latest performance, the world No.1 isn’t ruling out the possibility that it might be linked to an incident that took place at the tournament two days ago. Following his win over France’s Corentin Moutet, Djokovic suffered a blow to his head after a fan accidentally dropped a metal bottle from the stands. Immediately afterwards, he experienced nausea, dizziness and bleeding for up to an hour but was checked by medical officials.

“I don’t know, to be honest. I have to check that.” Djokovic replied when asked if the incident affected his form on Sunday.
“Training was different. I was going for kind of easy training yesterday. I didn’t feel anything, but I also didn’t feel the same.
“Today under high stress, it was quite bad – not in terms of pain, but in terms of this balance. Just no coordination. Completely different player from what it was two nights ago.
“It could be. I don’t know. I have to do medical checkups and see what’s going on. “

The tennis star said he managed to sleep fine after his head blow but did experience headaches. He looked to be in good spirits the day after it happened and even turned up to practice in Rome wearing a safety helmet.

Djokovic’s concerns come two weeks before the start of the French Open where he is seeking a record 25th Major title. He will undoubtedly be one of the contenders for glory but admits there is a lot of work that needs to be done in the coming days. 

“Everything needs to be better in order for me to have at least a chance to win it,” he said.
“The way I felt on the court today was just completely like a different player entered into my shoes. Just no rhythm, no tempo, and no balance whatsoever on any shot.
“It’s a bit concerning.”

The French Open will begin on Sunday 26th May. 

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