‘If You Don’t Want To Play, Stay At Home’ - Dominic Thiem's Advice To Benoit Paire - UBITENNIS
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‘If You Don’t Want To Play, Stay At Home’ – Dominic Thiem’s Advice To Benoit Paire

The Austrian speaks out about the world No.35 who has been hit with fines for unsportsmanlike conduct and banned from playing a top event later this year.

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Dominic Thiem (@RolandGarros - Twitter)

US Open champion Dominic Thiem says he is perplexed by the behaviour of one of his peers who recently got himself excluded from the Olympics.

 

The world No.4 has spoken out about French player Bernoit Paire who described the Tour as ‘sad, boring and ridiculous’ earlier this year. Paire has been a vocal critic of the COVID-19 restrictions which has been implemented within the sport and openly admitted that he struggles playing behind closed doors. Describing the Monte Carlo Masters as a ‘cemetery’ following his first round exit. Paire has also been issued with fines for unsportsmanlike conduct related to spitting on the court and was even accused of tanking during one of his matches.

Life on the Tour is far from perfect with 27-year-old Thiem also admitting he has struggled with ‘bubble life.’ He recently took a break from the sport in order to ‘reset’ and will be returning to action at the Madrid Open this week. In a recent interview with El Pais, the Austrian said he doesn’t understand Paire’s antics as he gives his own advice.

“I don’t understand. If you don’t want to play, you stay at home. If you are not motivated, nobody forces you to play,” he said.
“I think what I did was better: I took some time, I cancelled my participation in three or four tournaments, and at some point the motivation returns. Once you hit the track, I think you should be able to compete, even if you are not 100 percent. But if you don’t feel like playing, you better take a vacation.”

Thiem admits that the current situation he and others face on the Tour are tough. Branding each trip he makes to a tournament as ‘complicated’ due to the various travel restrictions each country has in place. Players in Madrid this week are only allowed to travel from their hotel to the tennis venue and back whilst participating in the tournament.

“It is not easy, of course. It is difficult for everyone because we are used to playing with crowded stands and to travel freely from one city to another without difficulties,” Thiem explained. “Now we play in empty enclosures and every trip is a complication. Life in the bubble is not fun at all. I understand that there are many players who find it difficult, but I also think that this will not last forever, that at some point things will return to normal.”

Paire’s behaviour has cost him a chance of being selected to play at the upcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo. The French Tennis Federation has barred him from the Games for repeated incidents of ‘deeply inappropriate behaviour’ but said they will offer him support if he wishes to receive any. The decision was made following a proposal put forward by technical director Nicolas Escude in consultation with France’s Davis Cup captain Sebastien Grosjean.

Thiem, who has a first round bye, will play his first match in Madrid against either Marcos Giron or Pablo Andujar. Meanwhile, Paire takes on Nikoloz Basilashvili in his first round match.

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French Open Chief: Roger Federer Would have Won Multiple French Open Titles If It Wasn’t For Nadal

Guy Forget also predicts how far the 39-year-old could go in the draw this year.

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The decision by Roger Federer to play at the French Open is the most logical step ahead of Wimbledon, according to tournament director Guy Forget.

 

The 20-time Grand Slam champion hasn’t played a competitive match on the surface since June 2019. Last year he missed most the season due to a right knee injury which required two surgical procedures, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic. So far this year he has only played in one tournament which was at the Qatar Open where he reached the semi-finals.

Federer will return to the court next week at the Geneva Open in his native Switzerland. It is the only event he will play before heading to Roland Garros. An event he had only played in once out of the past five editions. Forget, who is a former top 10 player himself, believes the match play is exactly what Federer needs.

“That Roger comes to play Roland Garros seems logical to me. This will allow him to play, and especially to test himself. Clay is a surface that requires you to be precise in your movements. The better Federer is at Roland Garros, the better he will be at Wimbledon,” he told reporters earlier this week.

The Swiss Maestro has only won the French Open once in his career which was back in 2009. Although he has reached the final on four other occasions. It was at the 1999 French Open where he made his main draw debut in a major at the age of 17. Overall, 11 out of Federer’s 103 ATP titles have been won on the clay.

However, Forget believes Federer would have won many more French Open titles if it wasn’t for the formidable Rafael Nadal. A player who has won more ATP trophies on the dirt than any other player in history, including 13 at the French Open alone.

“If Rafael Nadal hadn’t existed Federer would have had at least 5 or 6 titles at Roland, I’m sure of that.” Forget commented.
“Regarding this edition, I think it can happen that he could go into the second week.” He added.

Federer has lost to Nadal in all six of their meetings at the French Open – four times in the final and twice in the semi-finals. He trails their overall head-to-head 16-24.

The French Open will get underway on May 30th.

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Nadal survives three-set marathon with Shapovalov in Rome

Rafael Nadal saved match points to edge out Denis Shapovalov in Rome.

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The King of Clay needed three sets and over three hours to claim the win and avoid an upset.

 

Rafael Nadal needed three hours and 27 minutes to beat the Canadian Denis Shapovalov 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 at the Italian Open in Rome hitting 29 winners while his counterpart hit 46 unforced errors in the loss.

To everyone’s surprise it was the world number 14 who came out with the faster start earning two breakpoints in the first service game of the match with a stunning forehand winner.

He would break to take an early 1-0 lead and continued to have momentum earning another break and the Spaniard found himself staring at 3-0 defecit.

At 4-1 the world number three would get one of the breaks back but it wasn’t enough as the Toronto native would break one more time at 5-3 on his fourth breakpoint of the game to take the first set.

Once again we saw some really strong play from the Canadian in the beginning of the second set we saw history repeat itself when the world number 14 held serve and get the early break this time with his powerful forehand.

Nadal was fighting to stay in the set and the match and managed to earn a breakpoint but it was quickly saved with a big ace from Shapovalov. The very next game the Canadian had a chance to get another break but this time the Spaniard would deny him the opportunity.

After the world number three held serve he went on the attack looking to go back on serve and after three chances would get the break back. He would end up winning five games in a row and would take the second set to send it to a decider.

The third set remained on serve until 2-1 when the Canadian had a chance to break and he would take to jump out to a 3-1 lead. The break didn’t hold as Nadal came storming back the very next game breaking the world number 14 to love and equaling the set at 3-3.

The set and the match would ultimately be decided by a tiebreaker and in that breaker is when the Spaniard would take over winning it 7-3 to book his spot in the quarterfinals.

He will next face either Alexander Zverev or Kei Nishikori on Friday for a spot in the semifinals.

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Novak Djokovic Moving Into A ‘Good Trajectory’ After Reaching Rome Quarter-Finals

Novak Djokovic admitted that he is on a good trajectory after reaching the last eight in Rome.

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Novak Djokovic has said that he is on a ‘good trajectory’ after moving into the Rome Quarter-Finals.

 

The world number one moved into the last eight in the Italian capital with a comfortable 6-2 6-1 victory over Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.

Despite being broken in the first game, Djokovic rallied back to break on five occasions as he cruised past the Erratic Spaniard.

After 1 hour and 11 minutes, Djokovic’s overall game was too much for Davidovich Fokina as the Serb progressed to his 15th quarter-final in Rome.

After the match in his on-court interview the top seed admitted he is on a good trajectory as he builds momentum towards Roland Garros, “I thought I played well,” Djokovic told the ATP website.

“He started well and broke my serve in the first game. I made some errors, but I managed to break back right away and establish the control and consistency on the court. I think from the back of the court I was just a bit more solid than him.

“He made some unforced errors and double faults in key moments, which obviously helped me get that necessary break forward. I thought I played better, at least 20 or 30 per cent better, than I did against Fritz a few days ago. I am on a good trajectory and hopefully tomorrow will be even better.”

The real test for Djokovic will come tomorrow when he faces top 10 opposition in the last eight.

It will either be Monte-Carlo champion Stefanos Tsitsipas or Madrid finalist and home favourite Matteo Berrettini next up for the world number one.

Djokovic was well aware of the form either of his possible opponents are in heading into tomorrow’s showdown, “My next match will be against a Top 10 player, so it is going to be a battle,” Djokovic explained.

“Both of these guys are in great form. Tsitsipas won Monte-Carlo and Berrettini is just coming off the final in Madrid. I am obviously going to do my best to win that match, whoever I play against.”

In the other result in Rome today, Reilly Opelka reached the quarter-finals with a 7-6(6) 6-4 win over Aslan Karatsev.

The American hit 18 aces as he will now face Felix Auger-Aliassime or Federico Delbonis on Friday.

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