Matteo Berrettini Hits Out At ‘Unfair’ Wimbledon Points Ban - UBITENNIS
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Matteo Berrettini Hits Out At ‘Unfair’ Wimbledon Points Ban

The world No.10 has become the latest player to speak out against the decision which was triggered by Wimbledon’s ban of Russian and Belarussian players.

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Matteo Berrettini (ITA) at The Championships 2021. Held at The All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon. Day 3 Wednesday 30/06/2021. Credit: AELTC/Edward Whitaker

Wimbledon finalist Matteo Berrettini has criticized the ATP for a lack of communication over their decision to remove points from this year’s championships.

For the first time since the ATP ranking system was introduced, points will not be awarded at The All England Club in response to their decision to ban Russian and Belarussian players. Earlier this year Wimbledon became the first Grand Slam event to introduce such a ban in response to the Ukrainian War. Breaking away from the sports united approach to the issue where those players had been allowed to compete on the Tour but as neutral athletes. Officials said their move was based on advice from the British government and they didn’t want to risk fueling Russian propaganda.

As a consequence, some players will face a drop in their ranking regardless of how well they perform at Wimbledon. This is because the points they earned at last year’s tournament will eventually drop off. For example Berrettini, who was runner-up to Novak Djokovic in the 2021 final, is now facing the prospect of exiting the world’s top 10.

“It’s a really difficult situation to handle for everybody,” Berrettini told reporters ahead of this week’s Queen’s tournament. “First of all for the people suffering [in Ukraine].
“In my specific case it’s really complicated because I played well last year on grass and it doesn’t matter how well I play this year, my ranking is going to drop. I think that is not fair.
“[If] the ranking is working normally, the more you play, the better you play, the better your ranking is going to be.
“I think this was taken away, that’s what I don’t agree with.”

Continuing to express his frustration, the world No.10 has blasted his own governing body for a lack of communication related to the decision. The ATP officially confirmed the removal of points from Wimbledon on May 20th.

“Nobody contacted us, nobody asked us our opinion about it, and I think it shouldn’t work like that.” Barrettini commented.
“Maybe we should do something in order to avoid these kind of situations, because I think this is the biggest decision the ATP has taken in the last 20 years at least.”

Despite the controversy, Berrettini said he doesn’t expect there to be a mass number of players refusing to play at the grass-court major which will begin on June 27th. Labeling the event as ‘one of the most important tournaments’ in tennis.

“I think everyone will play with their best effort and it’s going to be a great Wimbledon.” He concluded.

Berrettini returned to action last week at the Boss Open in Germany for the first time since undergoing surgery on his right hand. He went on to win the tournament after defeating Andy Murray in three sets in the final on Sunday.

The next test for Berrettini will be Queen’s this week where he will play Dan Evans in his opening match on Tuesday.

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Roland Garros 2024: Rafael Nadal Faces Alexander Zverev In Blockbuster Opening Round

Rafael Nadal and Alexander Zverev will meet at Roland Garros in the first round with Andy Murray taking on Stan Wawrinka in the opening round.

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Rafael Nadal has been drawn against Rome champion Alexander Zverev in the opening round of Roland Garros.

The 14-time Roland Garros champion will most likely be making his last appearance at the event where he has such a great history at.

It’s been a mixed clay court season for Nadal who built gradual momentum in Madrid but suffered an early exit in Rome to Hubert Hurkacz.

Now the Spaniard has been drawn to take on the champion of Rome, Alexander Zverev, in the opening round.

The match is a repeat of the 2022 semi-final where Zverev broke his ankle losing almost a year of his career.

This contest headlines the second quarter of the draw which also features Karen Khachanov, Holger Rune and Daniil Medvedev.

In the other quarter of the top half of the draw, defending champion Novak Djokovic will begin his Roland Garros campaign against Pierre-Hughes Herbert.

There is also a potential third round clash with either Gael Monfils or Lorenzo Musetti for Djokovic, who is currently in Geneva gaining extra match practice ahead of the second Grand Slam of the season.

The Serb could have a repeat of last year’s final in the quarter-finals with Casper Ruud as the Norwegian begins his campaign against Jakub Mensik.

In the bottom half of the draw Jannik Sinner plays his first tournament since suffering a hip injury in Rome as he takes on Christopher Eubanks in the opening round.

Sinner could face Cameron Norrie in the third round with the Brit taking on Pavel Kotov in his opening round before playing the winner of the battle of the Grand Slam champions between Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka.

Murray and Wawrinka will clash for the fourth time at Roland Garros with Wawrinka leading their head-to-head 2-1 in Paris.

This section also includes in-form players such as Hubert Hurkacz, Alejandro Tabilo and Rome finalist Nicolas Jarry.

Finally Carlos Alcaraz will begin his Roland Garros campaign against a qualifier before potentially playing Jack Draper in the second round.

Another exciting clash awaits Alcaraz in the third round in the form of Sebastian Korda with Andrey Rublev or Stefanos Tsitsipas being potential quarter-final opponents.

This is the full draw with Roland Garros beginning on Sunday.

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Alexander Zverev Secures Return To Top Four After Winning Italian Open

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Alexander Zverev has clinched his first Masters title since 2021 after downing Nicolas Jarry in straight sets at the Italian Open.

The world No.5 surged to a 6-4,7-5, victory at the Faro Italico to become the 10th player in the Open Era to win the Rome trophy on multiple occasions. He also won the tournament in 2017. Zverev’s latest win was aided by an impressive service display from the 27-year-old who also hit 15 winners against eight unforced errors. He is now 22-1 against players ranked outside the top five at the tournament with his only loss being to Matteo Berrettini five years ago.

“It means a lot. Winning my first (Masters) title and winning my first after my injury in Rome. Rome is a very special place for me,” the new champion said afterwards. 
“I said at the beginning of the week if Rome is the place of firsts for me I’m extremely happy about it. It’s a very special week.” 

Playing in his first Masters 1000 final since 2022, Zverev produced a serving masterclass throughout the opening set with the German winning 20 out of 21 points. In contrast, Jarry experienced more difficult but valiantly fought back with the Chilean saving two straight break points at 4-4. Eventually, the third seed sealed the opener two games later with the help of some costly shots coming from across the court. A deep shot towards the baseline was unsuccessfully returned by Jarry, handing Zverev a set point which he converted.

Continuing to pile the pressure on in the second set, Zverev had a double chance to break for a 3-1 lead but failed to capitalise on that opportunity. The opportunities continued to come and go. Back-to-back double faults from Jarry at 4-5 handed Zverev two championship points but once again he failed to take advantage. Eventually, he sealed victory two games later with the help of a forehand shot that Jarry returned out. Prompting Zverev to raise his hands in delight before later paying tribute to his rival. 

“He’s playing huge. You can see that by the opponents he beat and how he beat them,” he said of Jarry. 
“I told him if he continues playing like that he is going to have many more chances. I’m happy to be the winner.”

As a result of his Rome triumph, Zverev has secured a top-four seeding for the French Open. On Monday he will rise in the PIF ATP rankings to No.4 which will be his highest position since August 2022. During that same year, he sustained a serious ankle injury which sidelined him for months. 

“The focus is on Paris, that’s for sure. but let me enjoy this one for a day or so and then I will have my full focus on Paris,” said Zverev.

Zverev has now won six Masters 1000 titles which places him in joint-ninth on the all-time list along with Daniil Medvedev. 

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Novak Djokovic Accepts Geneva Wildcard Ahead Of Roland Garros

Novak Djokovic has accepted a wildcard into next week’s ATP 250 event in Geneva as he looks to improve his form ahead of Roland Garros.

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Novak Djokovic has shockingly accepted a wildcard into next week’s ATP 250 event in Geneva.

The world number one hasn’t had the best season so far having yet to reach a final at any of his events this season.

There was hope for Djokovic that his fortunes would change on clay and the Serb started his clay court season by reaching the semi-finals in Monte-Carlo before losing to Casper Ruud.

However Djokovic’s clay court hopes were dashed in Rome as he lost in the third round to in-form Chilean Alejandro Tabilo.

This has meant that Djokovic risks being undercooked for the second Grand Slam of the season at Roland Garros.

Therefore the Serb has had no option but to take a wildcard into next week’s ATP 250 in Geneva.

Djokovic will join Casper Ruud, Andy Murray, Denis Shapovalov and Taylor Fritz in next week’s event.

Next week’s appearance will be the first appearance in Geneva in Djokovic who will be the top seed in Switzerland.

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