Unvaccinated Pierre-Hughes Herbert Putting New Season In Danger, Warns Doubles Partner Mahut - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

ATP

Unvaccinated Pierre-Hughes Herbert Putting New Season In Danger, Warns Doubles Partner Mahut

The French tennis veteran believes Herbert faces a tough time ahead as more countries are set to tighten their rules on unvaccinated players.

Published

on

Pierre-Hughes Herbert and Nicolas Mahut in action at the Davis Cup by Rakuten Madrid Finals 2019 (photo by Ben Solomon/Kosmos Tennis)

The long-time doubles partner of France’s Pierre-Hughes Herbert has backed his decision to not get vaccinated against COVID-19 and miss the Australian Open but warns it could make life on the Tour more difficult for him.

Nicolas Mahut says he respects the decision of Herbert who confirmed earlier this week that he isn’t vaccinated against the virus. As a consequence, he will not be allowed to play in the first Grand Slam of the new year due to a health mandate implemented by the Victorian government which required all players to be vaccinated unless they qualify for a medical exemption. 30-year-old Herbert is currently ranked eighth in the ATP doubles rankings and won the 2019 Australian Open title with Mahut.

During an interview with L’Alsace, the Frenchman said getting a vaccine is a ‘personal choice’ and has no regrets about his decision.

Personally, I am not vaccinated and the trip to Australia was not an option for me,” he said.
“It is certain that from the moment when I could not go there without being vaccinated, it necessarily complicated things. And there is not only Australia. Today, there is the United States, Austria…It is a rather complex topic.
“On the other hand, it is a personal choice not to get the vaccine.”

On the other hand Mahut is fully vaccinated and will be travelling to Australia where he is teaming up with Fabrice Martin. He told newspaper L’Equipe that he has known about Herbert’s decision since October. Herbert confirmed the following month that he is not double-jabbed when questioned by reporters at the Paris Masters.

“He does not want to be vaccinated, at least until now, and he measures the consequences of his decision. He is well aware that this could seriously complicate his season. The question arises in particular for the trip to Indian Wells and Miami (next March).” Mahut commented.

Over the coming months it is likely that more countries will require tennis players to be vaccinated in order to enter. UbiTennis can confirm that during January Challenger tournaments in America, Puerto Rico and Chile will only allow vaccinated entrants to play. This could be expanded to more tournaments, especially in America. However, certain events are able to apply for exemptions to local authorities to overcome this. So it is possible that unvaccinated players will not be allowed to play Challenger events but can play at high-level tournaments if they have received a special status.

“I am not on the side of people who judge and who say that it is good or that it is bad. I respect his decision,” Mahut said. “I didn’t make that choice, I got vaccinated very early on, but I totally understand. It’s a very personal choice.’
“I do not know to what extent he will hold his convictions. To what extent it risks undermining him and preventing him from carrying out his job. When I say that I refuse to go play in China to support Peng Shuai, it’s easy, it doesn’t impact my season. He, on the other hand, can put his season in danger,” he added.

Herbert and Mahut have been one of the most successful doubles pairings in recent years. Together they have won seven Masters 1000 tournaments, five Grand Slam titles and two ATP Finals trophies.

ATP

Jack Draper Wins In Stuttgart, Potentially Faces Andy Murray in Round Two

Published

on

Jack Draper – ATP Monaco di Baviera 2024 (foto via Twitter @atptour)

Britain’s Jack Draper tight first round win headlined the opening day’s results at the Boss Open 2024 in Stuttgart – and possibly faces a second-round match with Andy Murray who takes on Marcos Giron tomorrow.

Less than 24 hours from the last ball being hit at Roland Garros, the ATP Tour had already switched surfaces onto the grass, and 22-year-old Draper was well tested but ultimately came through in two tie-breakers over Sebastian Ofner.

The sixth seed’s 7-6, 7-6 win contained just one break of serve each, both coming in the second set, as serve dominated proceedings on the faster grass courts in Germany.

While the Austrian won 75% on his first serve, Draper won a whopping 89% behind his first delivery as well as hitting eight aces. These kind of service stats will surely take him far during the grass court season.

“I thought it was a really good match,” Eurosport quoted Draper saying after his match. 
“Both of us played really clean tennis, executing really well.
“When it came down to it, I’m glad I competed really well and got over the line – it’s good to be back on the grass as well.”

There were also wins for Germany’s Yannick Hanfmann who won 6-3, 6-3 over wildcard Henri Squire, while compatriot Dominik Koepfer won in three sets over China’s Zhizhen Zhang 4-6, 7-6, 7-6. 

Continue Reading

ATP

Carlos Alcaraz Still Owns A Magical Racket

Published

on

The legend of Carlos Alcaraz and his magical racket lives on.

The 21-year-old Spaniard executed one magical shot after another with his racket and legs  Sunday afternoon in the French Open final. That bit of magic spelled defeat for Germany’s Alexander Zverev.

This was a final to remember, one of the great matches of all the Grand Slams. It just wasn’t in the cards for the 26-year-old Zverev to finally win a Grand Slam title.

HE HAD IT, THEN HE DIDN’T

Both players seemed to play a game of “he had it and then he didn’t.”

Alcaraz appeared to have everything under control in the first set, but Zverev rushed through the second set and then made a comeback from 5-2 down in the third set to win five straight games.

Zverev had everything going for him when he started the fourth set with a two-set advantage. It appeared that all the 6-6 Zverev had to do was to continue playing his masterful game of big serves and mighty ground strokes.

But Zverev couldn’t get started in the fourth set until he was down 4-0. So much for a smooth and easy ride to a Grand Slam title. By then, the magic of Alcaraz was heating up.

MAGIC OF ALCARAZ HEATING UP

Zverev still had his chances, even when he fell behind 2-1 in the fifth set. He had to feel pretty good about his chances when he took a triple break point lead against Alcaraz’s serve and appeared ready to even the set at 2-2. Even after Carlos came up with a winner to bring the  game score to double break point.

Zverev still was ready to even the entire match.

That’s when everything seemed to go haywire for the German, while all the while, Alcaraz was able to repeatedly come up with his magical shots as the Spaniard made critical shots that looked almost impossible to make.

ALCARAZ HEADED FOR GREATNESS

Everything for Zverev was lost in the magical racket of Alcaraz.

What was then initially called a game-ending Alcaraz double fault and a 2-2 deadlock quicky reversed itself and Alcaraz stayed alive by winning the next three points while taking a 3-1 advantage.

Zverev did get back to a 3-2 deficit and had a break point in the sixth game, but that was it for the hopes of Zverev. The last two games went rather easily in favor of Alcaraz to wrap up a 6-3, 2-6, 5-7, 6-1, 6-2 victory for Alcaraz.

That moved the Spaniard to a higher level of success on the ATP Tour. He became the youngest man to win Grand Slam titles on all of the different surfaces, clay, grass and hard courts.

Carlos Alcaraz and his magical racket appear to be headed for greatness.

James Beck was the 2003 winner of the USTA National Media Award  for print media. A 1995 MBA graduate of The Citadel, he can be reached at Jamesbecktennis@gmail.com. 

Continue Reading

ATP

Tsitsipas Brothers Hit With Trio Of Fines At French Open

Published

on

Stefanos Tsitsipas and his brother Petros have been fined more than 20,000 euros for multiple violations of the coaching rules at this year’s French Open. 

The brothers received a financial penalty during three different matches that they played in. Two of those were in the second and third rounds of the men’s doubles tournament. Furthermore, Stefanos was also penalised during his singles quarter-final match against Carlos Alcaraz, which he lost in straight sets. According to French newspaper L’Equipe, all three of those fines were issued as a result of coaching rules being broken.

Ironically, coaching is allowed during matches at the French Open but certain rules must be followed. ‘Verbal’ coaching can only be issued from the coaches and their team if they are sitting in the designated player’s box. Instructions must be limited to a few words and can only be given if the player is in the same half of the court as their coach. Although non-verbal coaching is allowed regardless of what side the player is on. Finally, players can’t start a conversation with their coach unless it is during a medical break, a bathroom break or when their opponent is changing clothes.

However, the Tsitsipas brothers have been found in violation of these rules, which is likely due to their animated father in the stands who is also their coach. Apostolos Tsitsipas has been given coaching violations in the past at other events, including the 2022 Australian Open. 

The value of the fines are €4,600 and €9,200 for the Tsitsipas brothers in the doubles, as well as an additional €7,400 just for Stefanos in the singles. In total, the value of their fines is €21,200. However, the penalty is unlikely to have an impact on the duo whose combined earnings for playing in this year’s French Open amount to roughly €495,000. 

So far in the tournament, the highest single fine to be issued this year was against Terence Atmane who hit a ball out of frustration that struck a fan in the stands. Atmane, who later apologised for his actions, managed to avoid getting disqualified from the match. Instead, he was fined €23,000. 

Continue Reading

Trending