‘I’m A Different Person’ - Simona Halep Credits Academy Trip For Resurgence In Form - UBITENNIS
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‘I’m A Different Person’ – Simona Halep Credits Academy Trip For Resurgence In Form

The former world No.1 reveals how she managed to get the confidence back in her game.




After a turbulent past few months linked to injury Simona Halep looks to be back on track following what was a clinical performance during her second round match at the Madrid Open.


Taking on second seed and home favourite Paula Badosa, Halep produced tennis reminiscent of her best form as she strolled to a 6-3, 6-1, victory with relative ease. Although her Spanish rival was far from her best and did take a medical timeout for treatment on her shoulder. Nevertheless, Halep was in control throughout the encounter by winning 84% of her first service points and at one stage broke Badosa four times in a row. It is the first time she has beaten a top two player on the Tour since Angelique Kerber at the 2016 Canadian Open.

“She has confidence. She’s No. 2 in the world. I knew that I have to be focused for every point and to give everything I have, to give my best, and I think I did it great,” said Halep.
“I’m really pleased with the way I played. It’s exactly what we (my coaching team) talked about before the match, so that makes me super happy.”

Madrid marks the start of a new era in the career of 30-year-old Halep. It is the first tournament she is playing under the watchful eye of her new coach Patrick Mouratoglou who has previously worked with Serena Williams. The two managed to form an agreement earlier this year and the Romanian spent time training at Mouratoglou’s academy in France.

It was that four-week trip to the academy which Halep credits for reviving both her form and confidence. In a recent interview with tennismajors.com she revealed that she contemplated retirement from the sport last season due to uncertainty about how she will recover from injury.

I was in doubt when I arrived there. I didn’t know how much I could play and how good I could still play,” Halep reflected.
“But now I’m a different person. I feel more confident. I feel that the pleasure helps me to work harder, to work more. I spend more time on the court.’
“I think it’s everything coming from inside, and at this point I feel happy with myself. I feel that I have the chance to play good tennis again.”

Speaking specifically about her new mentor, Halep says she trusts Mouratoglou ‘100%’ to guide her on the Tour and the two only talk about the present, not the past.

The resurgence of Halep coincides with a tournament which has brought her success in the past. She is a two-time champion in Madrid after winning the title in 2016 and 2017. In the third round of this year’s draw she will be bidding to win her 30th match at the tournament. Standing in her way is Coco Gauff who beat Yulia Putintseva in her second round match. Gauff has also in the past received guidance from Mouratoglou and belongs to his academy’s ‘Super Team’ group which supports transitioning players.

“I played against her in Indian Wells not a long time ago,” Halep said of the American. “She’s always a dangerous, tough player. I think she’s super young, and she’s playing great tennis, so credit to her.’
“It’s great to see that in tennis. I’m just focusing, sounds like a cliché from me, but I’m really focusing on myself, and I just want to give everything I have every match and to follow what I need to follow.”

Halep is the only former champion remaining in the Madrid Open women’s draw following early exits from reigning champion Aryna Sabalenka and three-time winner Petra Kvitova.

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Carlos Alcaraz, Holger Rune and Jack Draper are nominated in three categories for the 2022 ATP Awards



The ATP has announced the Awards Nominees for the 2022 season for five categories: Comeback Player of the Year, the Most Improved Player of the Year, Newcomer of the Year, Stefan Edberg Sportsmanships Award and Coach of the Year. 


Carlos Alcaraz and his coach Juan Carlos Ferrero have received a total of three nominations. Alcaraz has been nominated for the Most Improved Player of the Year alongside Maxime Cressy, Jack Draper and Holger Rune. This award will be given to the player who reached a significantly higher ATP Ranking by year’s end and who showed an improved level of performance through the year. 

Alcaraz is the youngest and first teenage player in ATP Rankings history since 1973, rising to top spot at the age of 19 after his US Open title after ending the 2021 season at world number 32. He beat Casper Ruud in the 2022 US Open final, becoming the youngest Grand Slam men’s champion since Rafael Nadal won the 2005 French Open, and the youngest US Open champion since Pete Sampras in 1990. 

Former world number 1 junior player Holger Rune broke into top 100 in January 2022 and ended the season in the top 10 after winning his first Masters 1000 title in Paris Bercy. 

French-born American born Maxime Cressy broke into Top 100 in January 2022 and achieved a career-high of world number 31 in August 2022. 

Jack Draper and Holger Rune have been nominated in both the Most Improved Player of the Year and Newcomer of the Year categories.

Draper started the 2022 season outside the top 200 and broke into the top 50 reaching world number 45 last October. During the 2022 season Draper reached his first ATP Tour semifinal in Eastbourne as wild card. He earned the biggest win of his career over world number 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas en route to reaching the quarter final at the Montreal Masters 1000 as qualifier and beat Felix Auger Aliassime to reach the US Open third round. 

Alcaraz has also been nominated for the Stefan Sportsmanship Award for the first year alongside Felix Auger Aliassime, Rafael Nadal, Casper Ruud and Frances Tiafoe. The player, who conducted himself at the highest level of professionalism and integrity, who competed with the utmost spirit of fairness and who promoted the game through his off-court activities.

The nominees for the Comeback Player of the Year are are Borna Coric, Dominic Thiem, Stan Wawrinka and Wu Yibing. The player who has overcome serious injury in re-establishing himself as one of the top players on the ATP Tour. 

Coric beat world number 3 Rafael Nadal as world number 152 en route to his title in Cincinnati, becoming the lowest-ranked champion in Masters 1000 series history. 

Thiem fell out of top 300 last June after losing to Hugo Dellien at Roland Garros, but he returned to good form last autumn when he reached the semifinals at the 2022 European Open after beating Hubert Hurkacz. The Austrian player beat Tommy Paul in a tight three-set match with two tie-breaks after saving two match points. 

Wawrinka returned to his best form last October, when he beat world number 3 Casper Ruud and Brandon Nakashima at the Swiss Open in Basel, climbing 15 positions up to the top 150 in the ATP Ranking. 

Wu Yibing did not play from March 2019 to January 2022 due to injuries, rising from 1869 in March 2022 to career-high number 173 in August 2022 after winning titles at Orange Park, Orlando Challenger, Rome, USA Challenger and Indianapolis Challenger. 

The candidates for the the Newcomer of the Year are Holger Rune, Jack Draper, Jiri Lehecka, Ben Shelton, Chun-Hsin Tseng. The Newcomer of the Year is the Next Gen player who broke into the top 100 for the first time in 2022. 

Lehecka broke into the top 100 in February 2022 before reaching his career-high of world number 59 in August 2022 and qualified for the Intesa San Paolo Next Gen Finals. The Czech player world number 12 Denis Shapovalov for his first ATP Tour Main Draw win en route to reaching the semifinal at the ATP 500 tournament in Rotterdam as a qualifier. 

Shelton achieved his career-high of world number 165 at the age of 19 last August, becoming the third highest-ranked teenager behind Alcaraz and Rune. He beat world number 5 Casper Ruud to reach the third round in Cincinnati in his Masters 1000 debut, becoming the youngest US player to beat a top 5 opponent since Andy Roddick at Montreal in 2001. 

Chun-Hsin Tseng broke into top 100 last June and reached a career-high of world number 83 last August. He qualified for the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan. 

The nominees for the Coach of the Year Award are Juan Carlos Ferrero (Carlos Alcaraz), Frederic Fontang (Felix Auger Aliassime), Goran Ivanisevic (Novak Djokovic), Michael Russell (Taylor Fritz) and Christian Ruud (Casper Ruud). 

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Novak Djokovic starts the 2023 season in Adelaide



Novak Djokovic will open his 2023 season in Adelaide. Djokovic ended the 2022 season with five titles at Rome Masters 1000, Wimbedon, Astana, Tel Aviv and at the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin. 


Djokovic will also play in the exhibition tournament “World Tennis League) in Dubai from 19 to 24 December, where the Serbian player will team up with Grigor Dimitrov, Aryna Sabalenka and Paula Badosa for the Falcons team. 

In the first week of January Djokovic will warm up for the Australian Open at the ATP 250 tournament in Adelaide from 2 to 8 January. The 21-time Grand Slam champion won nine Australian Open titles in 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2019, 2020 and 2021 but he was not able to play in the first Grand Slam tournament of the season last January due to his Covid vaccination status. 

Djokovic joins a star-studded field that already features 2021 US Open champion Danil Medvedev, Jannik Sinner and two-time Olympic champion Andy Murray.

Murray will play for the first time in his career in Adelaide. 

“I will be starting the year in Australia, which I always really enjoy. Playing at the Adelaide International for the first time is something I am looking forward to”, said Murray. 

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Davis Cup

(VIDEO) Ubaldo Scanagatta On A Week To Remember For Canada At The Davis Cup

The CEO of Ubitennis also shares his view about the format of the tournament and how he thinks it can be improved.



MALAGA, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 27: Davis Cup by Rakuten Finals 2022 at Palacio de Deportes Jose Maria Martin Carpena on November 27, 2022 in Malaga, Spain. (Photo by Pedro Salado/ Quality Sport Images / Kosmos Tennis)

Canada has become the 16th nation to win the Davis Cup after producing a clinical performance against Australia in the final on Sunday. Denis Shapovalov and Felix Auger-Aliassime both eased through their matches in straight sets to claim an historic victory for their country.


Watching the matches unfold from the sidelines was Ubitennis CEO Ubaldo Scanagatta who gives his verdict on events that has taken place in Malaga over the past week.

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