‘Toughest Match Of My Career’ - Juan Martin Del Potro Refuses To Give Up On Title Dreams - UBITENNIS
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‘Toughest Match Of My Career’ – Juan Martin Del Potro Refuses To Give Up On Title Dreams

The former world No.3 has outlined when he hopes to return to the Tour whilst visiting the US Open this week.

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Juan Martin del Potro watches the Men's Singles quarterfinal match between Botic Van de Zandschulp and Daniil Medvedev at the 2021 US Open, Tuesday, Sep. 7, 2021 in Flushing, NY. (Garrett Ellwood/USTA)

It is hard to fault Juan Martin del Potro for his determination and belief in his game considering everything he has been through.

 

On multiple occasions, the Argentine has contemplated stepping away from the sport permanently due to various injury issues that have sidelined him for months at a time. However, he is somewhat of a comeback king in the world of tennis. Del Potro’s first surgery was back in 2010 on his left wrist, followed by another three operations of his right wrist between 2014 and 2015. After the quartet of surgeries, he returned to the Tour winning a series of ATP titles, as well as silver at the 2016 Olympic Games. Two years after that, he was at a ranking high of third in the world. Del Potro, known by many for his thunderous forehand, was back in full force before disaster struck once again.

At the 2018 Shanghai Masters, he fractured his right patella before injuring it again last than 12 months later on the Grass at Queen’s. Once again Del Potro was sidelined from playing and is still yet to return to competition after undergoing three knee operations. The most recent of which occurred back in March.

“I love the challenge. It could be a tennis challenge or a different challenge in life, and this is the toughest match of my career because I cannot deal with this kind of injury, this kind of pain that I’ve had, but I’m still trying,” Del Potro told ESPN.
“I believe in myself that this is going to be in the past, for sure, and I think it’s also a message to young kids, all players, all people around the world that they never have to give up in following a dream, and that’s what I’m doing.”

This week the 32-year-old has returned to Flushing Meadows where he achieved the biggest win of his career to date. Back in 2009 at the tender age of 20, he produced back-to-back wins over Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer to win the US Open. Becoming one of the youngest men to do so in the history of the tournament.

According to US Open.com, Del Potro’s visit to New York included a hitting session with John McEnroe and being a guest analyst for ESPN’s Spanish language broadcast. Of course, he also fit in some time to watch his peers in action. Something that he has mixed feelings about.

“When I was watching Medvedev’s match, it was a little bit frustrating to me to watch these guys play and [have] me [be on the] outside… to not be the guy who’s playing, fighting for the trophy,” he said. “This is what’s happened to me at the moment, but I’m going to fight to keep moving and hopefully, next year, I can be a protagonist again and playing tennis.”

Only time will tell as to how much of a force the Tower of Tandill came become once again on the men’s Tour. Although there is no question that Del Potro still believes he can beat the best in the world, should his body allow him to do so.

“All the players are playing an aggressive game, with serves and forehands and very short points. From my point of view, a guy who makes a smart game, a smart play, he has the chance to win a tournament,” he said.
“That’s the reason, I think, that Novak (Djokovic) is still playing. He has the experience, he has the game, and he’s very smart on court. The other guys are very strong, but that’s a little bit of a message to me that, if I’m healthy, I can be in that position again.”

Should all go to plan, Del Potro is targeting a comeback at the start of 2022 which will be two-and-a-half years on from when he last played on the Tour. Plans concerning when or where he will return are still to be decided.

“The knee is much better for now. I’m still recovering, but I’m on court, which is a good thing for me. I’m looking forward to being ready in a couple of months. If everything goes well, next season will be fine to start,” he concluded.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas Names His Best Personality Trait Ahead of Wimbledon Showdown With Kyrgios

The Greek has named one ‘defining aspect’ of her personality but will it have any relevance for his next match?

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Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) - Credit: AELTC/Joe Toth

Stefanos Tsitsipas says he is ‘thrilled’ to book a Wimbledon third round meeting with Nick Kyrgios later this week after seeing off Jordan Thompson in straight sets on Thursday.

 

The world No.5 rallied his way to a 6-2, 6-3, 7-5, over Thompson to record only his fifth main draw win at the tournament in his career. Despite his accolades on the Tour, Tsitsipas has endured disappointment at The All England Club. In his four previous appearances, he lost in the first round three times.

Nevertheless, the Greek appears to be heading in the right direction on the grass after winning the Mallorca Open less than a week ago. Although he will be truly tested on Saturday when he faces the dangerous Kyrgios who he lost to in Halle earlier this year after winning the first set. Kyrgios produced a clinical performance in his second round match which he said was a message sent to media criticism him.

“Nick has more matches on me in these courts. He claims to like grass. I think his game is good for the grass,” said Tsitsipas.
“I am definitely thrilled to be facing him. I respect him a lot, on the court, what he’s trying to do. Although he has been a little controversial in the past, I think he’s playing good tennis.’
“I’m going to try and concentrate on doing my thing and pay attention to my own game from start to finish. Hopefully I can stay there and do something great, have a great competitive match against him.”

Kyrgios’ talent has never been disputed but it is his mentality which has at times been his downfall. In his first round match, he was aggravated by the crowd, argued with a match official and spat in front of some people in the stands who were ‘disrespecting’ him.

As for Tsitsipas, the 23-year-old believes his mental strength is one of his best personality traits.

“My mentality is pretty strong. If I fall, I’ll always get up and work hard. I never really have these days where I’m saying, I don’t want to practice today,” he said
“I feel like other players would have that a bit more often than I do. If I fall, I always get up, one thing to get stronger.”

It remains to be seen if Tsitsipas will come back stronger against Kyrgios as he seeks revenge for his recent loss. Although he has lost to the Australian on two other occasions with his only victory in their rivalry being at the Laver Cup.

You just go out on the court hoping to have a good match, hoping to be able to get balls back, be precise with your shot selection. That comes with good preparation. The rest will hopefully follow if you’re able to approach that with the right mindset.” Tsitsipas explained.

Tsitsipas is the only seeded player remaining in his section of the draw after two rounds played.

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Andy Murray, Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer form dream team for London’s Laver Cup

Build-up to September’s Laver Cup has already begun and some big names are set to feature.

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Andy Murray’s Wimbledon may have come to a disappointing end yesterday, but there is hope on the horizon yet.

 

It was announced shortly before his second-round encounter with John Isner, that the three-time Grand Slam champion has signed up to play in September’s Laver Cup.

This would mark Murray’s first appearance in the competition.

Being a home tournament for the Brit, fans will be hoping and praying he stays fit for September’s showpiece at the O2 Arena.

Team Europe assembles dream team

With the confirmation of tennis legends Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal, the addition of Murray adds more stellar firepower and history to Europe’s cast.

With three of six confirmed, who could the other three names be?

Surely, teen sensation Carlos Alcaraz should be given a place at the table.

The Spaniard has taken the ATP Tour by storm this season, winning not one but TWO Masters 1000’s in Miami and Madrid.

He also became the youngest member of the top ten since you guessed it, his idol Nadal.

Another strong contender would be Italy’s Matteo Berrettini.

Having spent three months out with a hand injury, he stormed to titles in Stuttgart and Queen’s proving to be the season’s standout player on grass.

He unfortunately had to pull out of Wimbledon on the eve of his first-round match after contracting Coronavirus.

If fit, he would be a worthy addition after debuting at the event last year.

The romantics would love for another big name in Stan Wawrinka.

The Swiss is well and truly in the twilight of his career.

Like Andy, he has won three Grand Slam’s and would be warmly welcomed by close friend Roger, who he won the 2008 Beijing Olympics doubles gold alongside.

And then there’s Marin Cilic who was in fine form to reach the semi-finals of the French Open, making him only one of five active players to reach all four Grand Slam semi-finals.

The former US Open champion played in the inaugural Laver Cup back in 2017.

Team World – Diego Schwartzman, Taylor Fritz and Felix Auger Aliassime confirmed

The challenge of Team Captain John McEnroe is that his counterpart, Bjorn Borg has a wealth of talent at his disposal.

Whilst, the American doesn’t quite have the same luxury.

Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman and Indian Wells winner Taylor Fritz were the first two confirmed names.

Canadian talents Felix Auger Aliassime (confirmed) and Denis Shapovalov (not yet confirmed), are the standout names that Team World will bolster their ranks with.

That would then leave two places left with McEnroe likely to call on past stalwarts from previous editions.

This could be 37-year-old Isner, who was highly impressive in defeating Murray yesterday at Wimbledon.

Meanwhile, the seven-time Grand Slam champion is a known fan and admirer of the feisty Nick Kyrgios.

The two big servers could therefore be the final names.

Other possibilities would be American’s Frances Tiafoe, who has played the Laver Cup before, and the talented Sebastian Korda.

Following the announcement of Murray, more confirmations cannot be far away.

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Spain’s Bautista Agut Latest Player To Test Positive For Covid At Wimbledon

It is understood that The All England Club is reviewing their Covid-19 policy amid fears of an outbreak.

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Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP) - Credit: AELTC/Edward Whitaker

This year’s Wimbledon men’s tournament has had a third seeded player forced to pull out after testing positive for COVID-19.

Roberto Bautista Agut, who was the 17th seed in the draw, has withdrawn from his second-round match against Daniel Elahi Galan which was set to get underway on Thursday afternoon on Court Three. Announcing his decision on Twitter, the Spaniard said his symptoms are ‘not very serious‘ but he believes not playing is the right thing to do.

“Today I have notified Wimbledon of my withdrawal. I have tested positive for Covid-19. Fortunately, the symptoms are not very serious but I think it is the best decision (not to play).” Bautista Agut wrote.
“I hope to be back soon.”

 

The 34-year-old was making his eighth main draw appearance at The All England Club this year. In 2019 he reached the semi-finals in what is his best-ever result at a Grand Slam tournament to date.

Earlier this week Marin Cilic and Matteo Berrettini also withdrew from Wimbledon after positive Covid tests. However, they hadn’t played their first round match which Bautista Agut did. The trio of cases raise fears of a possible outbreak in the tournament given how contagious it can be.

Wimbledon’s Covid-19 policy is made in conjunction with advice issued by local health officials. Although it is unclear if a player is required to withdraw from an event if they have the virus. Ubitennis asked a spokesperson for clarity on the matter but was instead given a generic statement.

As a major event we have and continue to work in conjunction with the UK Public Health Security Agency and our Local Authority,’ An All England Club spokesperson said via email on June 26th.

“As a major event we have and continue to work in conjunction with the UK Public Health Security Agency and our Local Authority.

“We have maintained enhanced cleaning and hand sanitising operations, and offer full medical support for anyone feeling unwell. We are following UK guidance around assessment and isolation of any potential infectious disease.

“Our player medical team also continue to wear face masks for any consultation.”

The Guardian has reported that a review of Wimbledon’s guidelines is underway. This was before Agut said he had also contracted the virus. However, there has been no formal announcement concerning any review. 

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