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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Diego Schwartzman Receives Threats On Social Media Following Shock Davis Cup Defeat

The world No.15 is the latest player to speak out about recieving abusive messages on social media.

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The weekend has been an emotional rollercoaster for Diego Schwartzman, who suffered ‘one of the worst’ losses of his career before helping secure victory for his country in their Davis Cup tie against Belarus.

 

On Saturday the world No.15 was stunned by unranked 18-year-old Daniil Ostapenkov who is yet to play a professional match on the pro Tour. Ostapenkov is currently ranked 63 in the world on the junior circuit. The comprehensive victory shocked the Argentinian team who was hosting the tie at the Buenos Aires Lawn Tennis Club.

Despite the shock upset, Schwartman managed to redeem himself the following day when he defeated Alexander Zgirovsky 6-1, 6-2. That victory handed his country an unassailable 3-1 lead in their tie and secured their place in the 2022 Davis Cup qualifiers which will take place next March.

Not only playing Davis, but in Buenos Aires, with a lot of people you don’t see, it’s not easy. My level can be and has to be much better. After the game on Saturday I had a difficult day in the spirit of being able to get up and enjoy with the group,” La Nacion quoted Schwartzman as saying.
“The most normal thing was that we won the series. It’s what everyone expected. But when you have a very difficult day at work like it was on Saturday and then you win, it excites you because you have some internal things withheld.”

Between those two matches, Schwartzman revealed that he was trolled on social media by some people unhappy about his loss in the tie. The 2020 French Open semi-finalist said he received criticism and even threats from some asking him to leave his home country. Something he admits affected him at times.

“It was one of the worst days of my career,” Schwartzman commented on his loss to Zgirovsky. “I lost to an unranked, inexperienced player. All that already affects (me) a lot. Although 80 or 90 percent of the people are always encouraging (me), there was a minority who criticized me with bad intentions.’
“I received threats, insults and requests not to return to Argentina. More or less, it affects (me)”.

Schwartzman is not the first player to speak out about online abuse. During the US Open Shelby Rogers said she was expecting to receive ‘death threats’ following her loss to Emma Raducanu who went on to win the title. Sloane Stephens has also previously spoken out about being the victim of racism online.

The 29-year-old says he has previously tried to interact with those who have trolled him on social media to find out why they are doing so.

Sometimes I start to answer some messages and I ask those people if they realize what they are sending,” Schwartzman said during his press conference. “The vast majority apologize and say they had not realized it. But at the moment it hurts. That very ill-intentioned criticism is the only bad thing about social networks.”

Schwartzman has won four ATP titles and earned more than $10M in prize money so far in his career.

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Spanish Veteran Feliciano Lopez Addresses Future On The Tour

23 years after he played his first main draw match on the ATP Tour, Lopez says his longevity in the sport has been achieved with the help of of some luck.

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Feliciano Lopez of Spain is pictured during the semi-final of ATP Fever-Tree Championships tennis tournament at Queen's Club in west London on June 20, 2019.

Feliciano Lopez has dismissed any speculation that he could retire in the coming weeks after saying he is taking life on the Tour in his stride.

 

The 39-year-old Spaniard is currently the second oldest player in the world’s top 200 after Roger Federer, who is a year older than him. Lopez made his ATP Tour debut at the 1998 Barcelona Open which was before the birth of Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz. In June he became the 10th active player to record his 500th win on the Tour.

Currently ranked 111th in the world, some are starting to wonder how much longer Lopez will continue playing. So far this season he has achieved a win-loss record of 9-19 with his best performance being a run to the quarter-finals of the Mallorca Open which was held on the grass. It was in Mallorca where he defeated Karen Khachanov who is the only top 30 player he has beaten so far in 2021.

I play year-by-year, the last 6-7 years have been like this, a tennis player at that age cannot think about extending his career. After turning 30 I have been lucky, I have obtained the best results of my career,” Lopez told reporters on Friday.
It is not very common for players my age, at (almost) 40 years to continue playing in the best tournaments.” He added.

Throughout his career, Lopez has impressively played in a record 78 consecutive Grand Slam tournaments dating back to the 2002 French Open. During that period he has reached the quarter-finals of a major tournament on four occasions.

“I don’t play to break records, what makes me most excited is to continue playing Grand Slams. For me, maintaining that record (78 consecutive Grand Slams played) is very nice, but more to follow. Being competitive,” he commented on the milestone.
“It is difficult for someone to overcome it because it is 20 years in a row without missing a great one. I have had continuity and enormous luck. Those of my generation are practically all retired.”

Away from the court, the former world No.12 is the current tournament director of the Madrid Open. Making him one of a few players historically to both be playing on the Tour and managing a tournament at the same time. Recently it was confirmed that Madrid will continue hosting it’s combined event until at least 2030 following a renewed agreement between the city council and the Madrid trophy promotion.

Lopez has won a total of seven ATP titles so far in his career and has earned more than $18M in prize money.

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ATP Moves Closer To Staging Five More 12-Day Masters 1000 Events After Board Approval

Changes are coming to the men’s Tour which includes a brand new ‘profit-sharing formular’ for players.

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Masters tournaments in North America, Europe and Asia are set to be expanded over the coming months after the ATP Board recently approved some ‘key aspects’ of their strategic plan.

 

In a letter issued to players, ATP chairman Andrea Gaudenzi said an agreement has been reached concerning a variety of topics, which include the expansion of various Masters 1000 events. It is understood that the plan is for Rome, Madrid, Canada, Cincinnati and Shanghai to be increased to 12-day events instead of just one week. Putting them more in line with Indian Wells and Miami. Tennis.com reports that under the new structure, ATP 250 events will also take place during the second week of those tournaments and they could receive a subsidy from the ATP Tour, provided by extra fees paid by the Masters tournaments.

Masters 1000 events are the third highest-ranked category events in men’s tennis after Grand Slams and the ATP Finals in terms of prize money and ranking points on offer. The series was first introduced back in 1990 but it wasn’t until 2009 that the name ‘Masters 1000’ was born. The number represents how many ranking points the winner receives.

Besides the proposed changes to the Masters series, the Board has also given a green light to “a new Profit-Sharing formula” and “long-term prize money levels.” The prize money increase is reportedly said to be 2.5 percent of a base level, plus a bonus pool with a 50 percent share of the collective profit of the Masters events.

“This represents significant progress for our sport and the way our player and tournament members operate under the equal partnership of the ATP Tour. It is only through the spirit of this partnership, transparency, and alignment of interests that we can truly maximise your potential and switch our focus to the competition we face in the border sports and entertainment landscape,” Gaudenzi wrote in his letter to players.

Part of the plan also include making changes to ATP Media, who are in charge of broadcasting the events. At present it is currently jointly owned by the Tour and each of the Masters 1000 events. However, in the future it has been proposed that those tournaments trade in their ownership rights for shares in ATP media. Exact details about this process have not been publicly disclosed and it is unclear if all of the tournaments would agree to such a move.

The ATP also wants to create a ‘Tennis Data Innovations’ which will be an independent entity.

All of these proposed changes are still subject to further agreement around additional matters. The ATP have been working on details of their strategic plan for the past 18 months.

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