Kristijan Schneider, Former Coach Of Borna Coric And Others, Dies Aged 41 - UBITENNIS
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Kristijan Schneider, Former Coach Of Borna Coric And Others, Dies Aged 41

The tennis world is in mourning following the sad loss of a coach who worked at this year’s Australian Open despite being ill.

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Coach Kristijan Schneider who worked with players on both the ATP and WTA Tour’s has passed away following a battle with cancer.

News of Schneider’s death was announced in a statement and comes less than a year after a fundraiser was set up to help support his treatment. He was known best for his work with Borna Coric and it was during that time when he was diagnosed with colon cancer back in 2019. On that occasion he didn’t require any chemotherapy and returned to the court after roughly six months. Unfortunately, two years later he was diagnosed with stomach cancer which required treatment after returning from the Australian Open where he coached Olga Danilovic.

Known as ‘Kiki’ Schneider also worked alongside Ana Konjuh and just earlier this year supported rising junior star Petra Marcinko during her run to the Australian Open girls’ title. After Marcinko’s win, he spoke bravely about his battle with the disease and his struggles when he returned home from Melbourne.

Throughout his battle with cancer, he received support from others on the Tour. During last September’s Indian Wells Masters Daniil Medvedev’s coach, Gilles Cervara, wore a shirt with the logo “Kiki, coz I care.” Meanwhile, Italian player Thomas Fabbiano donated $1 for every minute he played during the Miami Masters tournament.

“Kristijan Schneider has died after a serious illness. One of our most famous coaches, the favourite Kiki everywhere, lost the hardest battle against a vicious disease,” The Croatian Tennis Federation said in a statement.
“He was the coach of many tennis stars, such as Borna Ćorić and Ana Konjuh. He recently participated (supported) junior Australian Open winner Petra Marčinko, and also worked with Bernard Pero, Olga Danilović…’
“Unfortunately, Kiki’s life ended prematurely, at the age of 41. Kiki, thank you for everything you gave to tennis and was what you are. We express our deepest condolences to the family in this way.”

Following the news of Schneider’s death Coric posted his own tribute on social media along with the caption ‘Rest in peace my friend and my coach. I was blessed to have you in my life.’

World No.66 Konjuh wrote on Instagram ‘I’m lost for words. Until we meet again, save me a hug up there (heaven). Rest in peace Kiki.” Commenting on the post, Frances Tiafoe wrote ‘had nothing but love and respect for you Kiki. Thankful for our friendship.’

Schneider had four children.

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Emma Raducanu Confident Of Full Fitness Ahead Of Grass Swing

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Emma Raducanu - Cincinnati 2022 (foto Twitter @cincytennis)

Emma Raducanu has no regrets about her decision to skip the French Open and now believes she is in a ‘really fit place’ ahead of Wimbledon. 

The former US Open champion opted to end her clay season earlier than other players to focus on fitness and training with her coach. Raducanu stated earlier this year that her primary focus in 2024 is on her health after undergoing a series of wrist and ankle surgeries last year which sidelined her for months. 

Raducanu will return to action this week at the Nottingham Open, which is the event where she made her WTA main draw debut back in 2021. Despite her lack of match play in recent weeks, the Brit is feeling good and relishing her return to the grass.

“Body-wise, physical-wise, I feel really healthy,” she said on Monday.
“I’ve done amazing work with my trainer over the last few months, since surgery. I’m in a really fit place. I’m healthy and just looking forward to starting playing.”

Shedding more light on her health, Raducanu says she has full confidence in her wrists and believes they are in top condition. Making her feel more at ease when playing matches on the Tour. 

“I think my wrists are actually in a better position than they ever were. So there’s zero doubt or apprehension whether I’m hitting the ball or designing my schedule,” she explained.
“It’s more about being proactive and not wanting to put yourself in any unnecessary situations. I don’t need to rush and try to win the French Open, it wasn’t my goal this year.
“I had to prioritise where I wanted to target and it was just a good block for me to get some physical work done.”

Raducanu has played seven WTA events so far this season with her best run being to the quarter-finals of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, where she was beaten by world No.1 Iga Swiatek. The 21-year-old is currently ranked 209th in the world. 

At the Nottingham Open, she will play her first match on Tuesday against Japanese qualifier Ena Shibahara. 

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

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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. 

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Russian World No.78 Elina Avanesyan To Switch Nationalities

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Image via https://x.com/WTAMeridaOpen/

A week after losing her fourth round match at the French Open, a government minister has confirmed that Elina Avanesyan is in the process of changing the nationality of who she plays for. 

The 21-year-old is switching her aligence from Russia to Armenia, according to Armenia’s deputy Minister of International Affairs and communication. Karen Giloyan has told the news agency Armenpress that Avanesyan will soon be representing his country. However, the tennis player has yet to comment on the matter.  Avanesyan was born in Russia but has Armenian parents.

“Elina Avanesyan will compete under the Armenian flag, but there is nothing official yet. We are waiting for her to get the citizenship of the Republic of Armenia so that everything will be official,” Giloyan told Armenpress.

Such a development would be a massive coup for the Armenian tennis federation which currently doesn’t have a player ranked inside the top 500 on either the men’s or women’s Tour. The country has a population of less than 3M. Perhaps their best-known player is Sargis Sargsian who reached the top 40 back in 2004. Others on the Tour also have Armenian heritage but don’t represent the country such as Karen Khachanov.  

Avanesyan is currently ranked 78th in the world, which is 18 places below her career high. This season, she has scored high-profile wins over Maria Sakkari at the Australian Open, Ons Jabeur in Charleston and Qinwen Zhang at the French Open. 

She has yet to play in the final of a WTA tournament.

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