‘He’s Got To Be Clever’ - Roger Federer Urges Del Potro To Make Cautious Return To Tennis - UBITENNIS
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‘He’s Got To Be Clever’ – Roger Federer Urges Del Potro To Make Cautious Return To Tennis

The Swiss Maestro shares his thoughts about the future return of the former US Open champion.

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20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer says he is hoping that Juan Martin del Potro will be able to return to the Tour ‘sooner than later’ following a lengthy absence due to injury.

 

The former world No.3 hasn’t played a match since injuring his knee at the 2019 Fever-Tree Championships in London. It was at the tournament where Del Potro fractured his patella for the second time in two years and subsequently had to undergo multiple surgeries. However, the Argentine continues to be struggling with the injury. He has also reportedly undergone BMAC (Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate) which involves collecting regenerative stem cells from a person’s body and then injected into the affected area to aid recovery.

Like Del Potro Federer has also been sidelined by a knee problem in recent months but not as severe. The 39-year-old underwent two surgical procedures on his right knee last year. Questioned about his peer at the Qatar Open earlier this week, Federer stated that no timeline should be placed on when he should return. Instead the focus should be fully on his recovery.

“Of course I wish that Juan Martin can come back onto the tour like I did now. But the thing is when you’ve been at our level, you want to come back and feel like you can give more,” Federer told reporters.
“For me, this was a test, a true test to see how things are going to go and how things are. I hope for him he will find that sooner than later, but if it takes another month, two months, three months, however long it’s going to take, I just wish he’s going to come back and then he will be finally healthy for good.”

Del Potro, who is almost seven years younger than Federer, has said he is targeting the Tokyo Olympic Games as his comeback event. In the last Olympics he knocked out Novak Djokovic in the first round en route to winning a silver medal for his country. He also repeated that he wants to end his career on his own terms and not due to his health.

“I know he has to take the time because everything he went through is even bigger than what I went through,“ Federer commented. “So he’s got to be very clever about his return to the tour, when he does it, how he does it. And the problem about matches is you go out there, you play in front of people. There is no pulling out, really.’
“In practice you can wake up and feel, oh, today we’ll just maybe do an hour or we’ll do an hour of fitness and an hour of tennis because I know I can control that.’
“But in a match you don’t control things, and that is why you have to think twice how you return to the tour.”

It is not the first time in Del Potro’s career that he has faced serious injury issues. Besides having three surgeries on his knees, he has also undergone surgery on his right wrist three times and another on his left wrist. He has spent nine or more months away from the tour due to injury on four separate occasions.

The two tennis stars have an extensive rivalry on the Tour after playing each other 25 times. Federer currently leads their head-to-head 18-7 but lost their most recent meeting at the 2018 BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. One of their most notable meetings was in the final of the 2009 US Open where Del Potro prevailed in five sets to win his first and so far only Grand Slam title.

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Novak Djokovic Opens Up About Wimbledon Points Removal

The world No.1 states that he will always support the views of his peers.

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Novak Djokovic (Roberto Dell'Olivo)

By Kingsley Elliot Kaye

In his press conference following his win over Yoshihito Nishioka at the French Open, Novak Djokovic expressed his views about the ATP decision to remove points from Wimbledon.

 

Negatively affected by such a decision – he will drop 2000 points – the world No.1 praised the ATP’s stance and called for players’ unity.

“I think collectively I’m glad that players got together with ATP, the governing body of the men’s tennis, and showed to the Grand Slam that when there is a mistake happening, and there was from the Wimbledon side, then we have to show that there are going to be some consequences. So I support the players, unification always. I have always done that. I will always do that.” He said.

Djokovic criticized the lack of communication between the parties involved, in particular with regard to a document of recommendation by the English Government which contained diverse options. Had it been discussed by the All England Club with ATP and players, a compromise may have been reached.

“I think it was a wrong decision. I don’t support that at all. But, you know, during these times, it’s a super sensitive subject, and anything that you decide, it’s unfortunately going to create a lot of conflict, a lot of separation instead of unification.” He continued.

Djokovic also mentioned other suggestions coming from WTA and ATP, that possibly men’s and women’s players from Belarus, Ukraine, and Russia could play together at some exhibition event during the slam or something like this and prize money could go to the victims in Ukraine. There were different ideas, but there was never really a strong communication coming from Wimbledon.

He stressed that removing the points from Wimbledon, therefore not allowing players to earn or to defend points, is a decision that affects everyone, a lose-lose situation for everyone, as he called it.

Nonetheless, the charm and prestige of Wimbledon shall rest unaltered and its meaningfulness extends far beyond: “A Grand Slam is still a Grand Slam. Wimbledon for me was always my dream tournament when I was a child. You know, I don’t look at it through the lens of points or prize money. For me, it’s something else.”

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Injury-Hit Borna Coric Reacts To First Grand Slam Win In 16 Months

The Croat admits he was unsure how his shoulder would hold up in his opening match at Roland Garros.

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Borna Coric - US Open 2020 (via Twitter, @usopen)

Borna Coric said he is relieved that his body managed to hold up during his opening win at the French Open on Sunday.

 

The former world No.12 spent almost three hours on the court before defeating Spain’s Carlos Taberner 3-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-1, in what was his first Grand Slam match of any kind since the 2021 Australian Open. Paris is only the seventh tournament Coric has played in since returning to the Tour following a year-long absence due to shoulder surgery. The 25-year-old is yet to win back-to-back matches this season.

It does feel great. I didn’t know what to expect in terms of my shoulder because I’ve never been in the fourth set, fifth set (of a match) for one-and-a-half years,” said Coric.
“So it was also kind of worrying for me, I didn’t know what to expect, I didn’t know how I’m going to feel and how my whole body is going to behave in those later sets. Obviously I’ve been practicing it, but it’s really never the same.”

Impressively the Croat produced a total of 54 winners against 39 unforced errors in his latest match in the French capital. Furthermore, he won 76% of his first service points and 53% of his second.

“The last few weeks haven’t been very easy, I lost many tight matches. I mean, I was also quite happy with my tennis, but I was just losing,” he reflected.

Coric was once tipped to be the future of men’s tennis after rising quickly up the ranks at a young age. In 2014 he was the youngest player to end the season in the top 100 and a year last he was the youngest to do so in the top 50. He has recorded a total of nine wins over top five players, including Roger Federer, as well as winning two Tour titles.

In the second round at Roland Garros Coric will take on the formidable Grigor Dimitrov who has been ranked as high as third in the world. He will enter the clash as the underdog given his ongoing comeback from injury. At present Coric’s principal focus is on his body but that will change in the coming weeks.

Until Wimbledon my health needs to come first and after Wimbledon I can kind of try to switch in my mind so I can start playing more and more tournaments. I can train more and I can focus more on the tennis rather than on my shoulder,” he explains.

Coric has reached the third round of the French Open on four previous occasions.

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Felix Auger Aliassime Wins First Ever Roland Garros Match In Five Sets

Felix Auger-Aliassime earned his first ever victory at Roland Garros.

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Felix Auger-Aliassime (@MatchPointCAN - Twitter)

The Canadian found himself down two sets to none but fought back to pull off the comeback in a thrilling five set victory.

 

Felix Auger Aliassime is into the second round of the French Open for the first time in his career after battling back to beat the Peruvian qualifier Juan Pablo Varillas in five sets 2-6, 2-6, 6-1, 6-3, 6-3 in three hours and 14 minutes.

The Montreal native finished the match serving 14 aces and hitting 52 winners in a match that featured a lot of long rallies from behind the baseline.

“It was a dream for me to play here, it was an honor and my first time on Phillipe Chatrier and my first win at Roland Garros and I had to work hard to get it and credit my opponent he played very well today.”

The Peruvian started the match by breaking the number nine seed right out of the gate and at 3-1 managed to turn that break into a double break as he served out the first set with ease.

The first two games of the second went on serve but again the world number 122 seemed to play better as the Canadian looked stunned, searching for answers.

The Lima native once again took an early lead to take a 3-1 lead and again that seemed like enough for the Peruvian as he served out the second set and was one set away from an improbable upset.

The third set is where the Canadian started to turn things around and his groundstrokes seemed to have more precision. At 2-1 it was the Montreal native who got the first break of serve.

After consolidating the break the world number nine was hungry for more and turned that break into a double break and it looked like the match was turning in his favour.

The Canadian served out the third set to send it to a fourth looking to send it to a decider.

The Montreal native rode the momentum from winning the third into the fourth set where after holding the opening service game got the early break once again taking a 2-0 lead.

At 5-3 with the Peruvian looking to stay in the set, Auger Aliassime managed to get another break to win the set and send the match to a fifth set.

The fifth set stayed on serve until 4-3 when the Canadian had four chances to break and at the fourth time of asking he was able to break and serve out the match to complete the comeback.

After the match in his on court interview he was asked about the adjustments he made in the third set to turn the match around and pull off the win.

“I tried to give myself some more space and a little more time, my opponent at the beginning was playing very quick, aggressive, and flat so I tried a couple things and I also served better and after that it was easier.”

The Canadian will next face either Aslan Karatsev or Camilo Ugo Carabelli in the next round.

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