Recent Achievements By Those Outside The Big Three Good For Tennis, Says Matteo Berrettini - UBITENNIS
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Recent Achievements By Those Outside The Big Three Good For Tennis, Says Matteo Berrettini

The world No.10 is using the rise of his younger peers as motivation to improve his own game.

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Matteo Berrettini says he believes the Big Three’s monopoly in men’s tennis is starting to change and expects the same to start happening in Grand Slams soon.

 

The world No.10 says it is ‘nice’ that the trio, which is made up of Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, hasn’t been dominating tournaments in recent weeks. All three of them were absent from the Miami Masters which was won by Poland’s Herbert Hurkacz. Although Djokovic and Nadal did play in the Monte Carlo Masters where they lost in the second round and quarter-finals. Stefanos Tsitsipas ended up winning the title with a straight sets win over Andrey Rublev.

I think It’s a nice thing for tennis that it’s not all the Big 3,” Sportskeeda quoted Berrettini as saying on Monday. “Even though the Slams are still a little bit. But I think something’s going to change even in the Slams.”

It remains to be seen when that change will come even with the ongoing resurgence of the Next Generation. Since 2017, 15 out of 16 Grand Slam titles have been won by a member of the Big Three. The only exception is Dominic Thiem who was victorious at the US Open last year.

Nevertheless, Berrettini believes as the youngsters get more experience it will only be a matter of time before they challenge for the big titles.

“I think eventually it’s going to happen (Next Gen taking over),” he said. “Not just because of the age, but because of the experience, because these guys you get are really good.”

A former Grand Slam semi-finalist, 25-year-old Berrettini is hoping for a strong run of results in the coming weeks after what has been a tough start to the season. During the Australian Open he suffered an abdominal injury and ended up missing almost two months of the Tour. He returned to singles competition last week in Monte Carlo but lost in the first round to Spain’s Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.

The next test for Berrettini is this week’s Belgrade Open where he is the second seed after Djokovic. Now back to full fitness, he says his desire to improve further has been inspired by the development of his younger peers.

“I’m healthy now, I have been working hard to get ready. I went to Miami but I wasn’t ready to play, so I decided to withdraw. The injury was serious, it was something I had never experienced before, and it affected my serve big time,” Berrettini commented.
“I feel ready to compete now, and I need matches to shape up my form. Young players have had a lot of success recently, and that helps me to get better, improve my level and follow their pace. They have proven they can play on a very high level, also gathering experience.”

Berrettini will play Marco Cecchinato in his opening match in Belgrade later this week.

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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 reaches his first ATP Tour final in Umag

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Spanish Next Gen star Carlos Alcaraz secured a spot in his first ATP tour-level final with a 6-2 7-6 (7-3) at the Plava Laguna Croatia Open in Umag. 

 

Alcaraz has become the youngest ATP Tour finalist since 18-year-old Kei Nishikori won the Delray Beach title in 2008. 

Alcaraz broke twice to open up a 4-0 lead and held his next service games to close out the first set 6-2. 

Ramos Vinolas came back from a break down three times in the second set, when Alcaraz served for the match. Alcaraz battled through the second-set tie-break to clinch the win after two hours. 

Alcaraz set up a final against Richard Gasquet, who battled past German qualifier Daniel Altmeier 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 6-3 after three hours and 11 minutes. 

Gasquet has become the second oldest finalist in tournament history. The 35-year-old saved seven of hi sten break points, but he converted just just 3 of his 17 break points.  

Gasquet rallied from a break down twice to draw level to 4-4 before winning the tie-break 7-2. Altmeier converted his third break point in the eighth game to win the second set 6-3. Altmeier saved three break points in the second game, before Gasquet converted his second break point in the sixth game to win the second set 6-3. 

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Novak Djokovic Cruises Past Dellien In Olympics Opener

Novak Djokovic’s bid for a historic golden slam continued in Tokyo.

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Novak Djokovic (@ITFTennis - Twitter)

Novak Djokovic cruised past Hugo Dellien 6-2 6-2 to open his bid for a gold medal at the Olympics.

 

The world number one’s bid to achieve the golden slam is on after thrashing the Bolivian in humid conditions.

A perfect start for the Serbian who is looking to achieve the one thing he is yet to achieve and that’s win a gold medal.

Next for Djokovic will be Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff.

In 32C temperatures, Djokovic was looking to start his campaign off against Bolivian veteran Hugo Dellien.

The slow paced courts would suit Dellien as he engaged in some long rallies with the world number one early on.

Despite creating three break points in the fourth game, Djokovic would fail to break early on.

However Djokovic increased his level mixing up the pace and depth of his shots to create angles for simple winners.

On his fifth break point Djokovic would break for a 4-2 lead and the top seed would break for a second time as Dellien had no answers for the Serb’s defensive skills. First set to Djokovic in 33 minutes.

A similar pattern evolved in the second set only this time Djokovic did get a break in the fourth game, breaking to love.

Accurate serving and construction of points gave Djokovic an easy first round match as another break secured the match and sealed his spot into the second round.

A fine performance in tough conditions gave Djokovic’s bid for history the best possible start.

Next for Djokovic will be Jan-Lennard Struff who beat Thiago Monteiro 6-3 6-4.

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