Gael Monfils Apologises To Fans Following French Open Defeat - UBITENNIS
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Gael Monfils Apologises To Fans Following French Open Defeat

The two-time Grand Slam semi-finalist exits Paris in frustration during what is a troublesome season.

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14th seed Gael Monfils said he is not looking for excuses after crashing out in the second round of the French Open on Thursday.

 

The world No.15 hit a total of 62 unforced errors during his 6-0, 2-6, 6-4, 6-3, loss to Sweden’s Mikael Ymer. A player who is currently ranked 90 places lower than Monfils and had only ever won two Grand Slam main draw matches prior to the tournament starting. It is the second year in a row that he had failed to win back-to-back matches at the French Open after losing in the first round in 2020.

During his latest clash against Ymer, Monfils suffered from what French newspaper L’Equipe described as a ‘physical problem.’ Although he refused to blame the issue on his latest performance. Besides his unforced error count, the former top 10 player also produced three double faults and only won 40% of his second serves.

You know I won’t talk about it (the problem), I was on the court, I played and I lost,” Monfils said during his press conference. “I lost, I have to do better, much better.’
“It’s a match that I have to win as it is and I didn’t win it, Mikael was better than me.”

The loss continues what has been a lacklustre 2021 season for the 34-year-old who has only won two matches. Although he has missed three months of the Tour between February-May due to injury. Monfils last won back-to-back matches in a tournament almost 16 months ago at the Dubai Tennis Championships.

“It’s very hard. Another bad start to the match, a match that I control quite well. I am very frustrated, I can do better,” he said of his latest performance.
“I apologize to all my fans and to the people who must have watched this game. It’s a game I clearly have to win and I didn’t get through. I am the first to be frustrated, I am so disappointed not to find the solution to drive the point home and play a little better. I tried to relax but I was very tense. I made a lot of bad choices.’
“I hope the confidence will return.”

As for Ymer, he has become the first Swedish man to reach the third round at Roland Garros since Robin Soderling in 2011. He will next play Italian 18th seed Jannik Sinner whom he did defeated in Montpellier last year.

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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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