Rafael Nadal ‘Proud’ To Feature In Federer’s Farewell Match - UBITENNIS
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Rafael Nadal ‘Proud’ To Feature In Federer’s Farewell Match

The king of clay has hailed his ‘positive relationship’ with Federer who will officially retire from the sport tomorrow.

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Image via twitter.com/lavercup

Rafael Nadal hopes he will be able to make Roger Federer’s last-ever match ‘more special’ by pairing up with the Swiss maestro at the Laver Cup. 

 

The two giants of the sport will join forces at the three-day team competition which also marks the end of Federer’s career. On Friday evening the duo will take on Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe in what will be only the second time they have played competitively together after the 2017 Laver Cup. 

It is fitting that Nadal has been selected to play alongside Federer considering their historic rivalry. They have locked horns on the Tour 40 times with Nadal winning 24 of those encounters. Nine of their meetings have been in a Grand Slam final and their most recent clash was in the semi-finals of the 2019 Wimbledon Championships.  

“Well, it will be a difficult match to handle, honestly,” Nadal told Eurosport about playing alongside his long-time rival.
“Let us see how the thing evolves, but I just hope to help in a small way to help make his last match even more special.
“I think it is going to be unforgettable, and I am just proud and happy to be next to him on this very special moment.”

During a rivalry which started 18 years ago at the 2004 Miami Open, Nadal said the two have managed to form a strong bond and have always enjoyed a ‘positive relationship’ with each other. Between them, they have won 42 major trophies and held the No.1 position for a staggering 519 weeks (nine years and 51 weeks). 

“We have always had a very easy and positive relationship since the beginning,” Nadal said. 
“I don’t know, but since the beginning, I think the feelings have been positive. They have even grown in a better way over the years.
“In some way, when you have a rivalry like we have had, we have played exhibitions for our foundations, we have shared important moments in the history of this sport.
“On court and off court we were together, on the council for a long time. So we were able to build this relationship in a very positive way.
“He has been a very positive example for everyone, and for me personally, without a doubt.”

Federer, who hasn’t played since Wimbledon last year due to a right knee injury, spoke extensively with the media on Wednesday during what was one of the last press conferences of his career. Vowing not to disappear from the sport after retirement, he said playing his farewell match alongside the Spaniard would be the ideal scenario for him. 

“It is clear that the most beautiful thing would be to play doubles here with Nadal, because it has been my great rivalry,” he said.

The first day of the Laver Cup will start at 13:00 BST and three matches will take place before Federer takes to the court. 

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Top Seed Casper Ruud Vows To Learn From His Mistakes After Shock Exit

The world No.3 admits fatigue affected him throughout his latest match in Tokyo.

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Image via US Open Twitter

Norway’s Casper Ruud says he was almost running on empty after crashing out in the first round of the Japan Open to Jaume Munar. 

 

The US Open runner-up fell 6-3, 6-3, to the Spanish world No.58 in just over 90 minutes at the Ariake Coliseum. It is the first tournament where Ruud has lost his opening match since the Western and Southern Open back in August. 

Dropping serve four times in the match and winning less than half of his second service points, Ruud admitted afterwards that his packed schedule in recent weeks had caught up with him. Since the US Open earlier this month, he has played the Davis Cup, Laver Cup, Korean Open and this week in Tokyo.  

“I might have pushed a little too much and tried to go for too many tournaments and too many matches in a row but I really wanted to come to Asia and play these tournaments,” he said during his press conference.
“Today I wasn’t able to bring my best level but it’s an experience and a situation I will try to learn from.”

The 23-year-old has played 65 matches so far this season, winning 47 of them. He has won three Tour titles and was runner-up at another three tournaments, including two Grand Slam events. Ruud is the highest-ranked Norwegian player in ATP history. 

“It’s been a long summer,” he said.
“I’ve been playing non-stop and I think my body felt it a little bit today – it was tough to get the machinery going.”

As for Munar, he has beaten a top 10 player for only the second time in his career after previously defeating Alexander Zverev back in 2019. A former world No.3 junior player, the Spaniard is a win away from booking a place in his third Tour quarter-final of 2022 after Melbourne and Gstaad. He will play compatriot Pedro Martínez in the next round. 

“I think it’s one of the best [wins of my career],” Munar said afterwards. “Casper is a great player. We all know that maybe this is not his best surface, not even mine. But I managed to play the tennis I needed to play today.
“I think it wasn’t a great match but from my side I did what I needed to do. Very happy to be through. Casper is one of the best players in the world right now.”

Elsewhere at the Japan Open, fifth seed Nick Kyrgios produced a clinical performance in what was his first match since losing in the fourth round of the US Open. The Australian eased to a 6-3, 6-1, win over Tseng Chun-Hsin in just over an hour. 

Kyrgios’ win occurred on the same day his lawyer submitted a request to Australian courts that his assault case is dismissed for reasons relating to the tennis player’s mental health. His former girlfriend has accused him of assaulting her back in December 2021. The court case will not resume until February next year. 

Also through to the second round is Borna Coric, who defeated Thanasi Kokkinakis 6-4, 7-6(4). Meanwhile, Dan Evans battled to a 6-7(3), 6-1, 6-4, win over Radu Albot.  

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Nick Kyrgios’ Legal Team Seek To Dismiss Assault Charge On Mental Health Grounds

Kyrgios legal team say the application has been submitted after ‘reviewing’ his medical history since 2015.

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Nick Kyrgios (AUS) playing against Felix Auger-Aliassime (CAN) in the third round of the Gentlemen's Singles on No.1 Court at The Championships 2021. Held at The All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon. Day 6 Saturday 03/07/2021. Credit: AELTC/Jonathan Nackstrand

There has been a new twist in the ongoing assault case involving Nick Kyrgios with his lawyers formally requesting that the charge be dismissed on the grounds of his mental health. 

 

The Wimbledon runner-up is accused of ‘common assault’ by his former girlfriend Chiara Passari concerning an incident which allegedly took place in December 2021. In the worst-case scenario, those convicted of such offences can face up to two years in prison in extreme cases.

At a court hearing on Tuesday Kyrgios’ lawyer, Michael Kukulies-Smith, applied for the ACT Magistrates Court to deal with his charge under Section 334 of the Crimes Act, which gives the court the power to dismiss a charge where it is satisfied the accused is mentally impaired. 

An adjournment has been granted for a mental health assessment to be conducted. Mr Kukulies-Smith said he has made such a request after reviewing Kyrgios’ ‘medical history since 2015, including public disclosure of his mental health struggles.’ 

The 27-year-old was not present in court for the hearing as he is currently participating in the Tokyo Open where he will play his first round match against Tseng Chun-Hsin later today. Before the start of the tournament, he told reporters that it is ‘not difficult at all’ for him to focus despite his ongoing court case. 

“There’s only so much I can control and I’m taking all the steps and dealing with that off the court,” said Kyrgios.
“I can only do what I can and I’m here in Tokyo and just trying to play some good tennis, continue that momentum and just try to do my job – and that’s play tennis, play it well. That’s it.”

The court case is set to resume on February 3rd when a hearing will take place regarding the application for it to be dismissed. For legal cases to be thrown out on grounds of mental health, they must be approved by the director of public prosecutions. 

Kyrgios is not required to attend in person but his lawyer said he intends do so.

“My client’s preference is to attend in person,” Mr Kukulies-Smith said.

Earlier this year, Kyrgilos spoke publicly about his mental health struggles in a post published on social media. In it, he revelled that in the past he has dealt with self-harm and suicidal thoughts. 

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Iga Swiatek Demands Talks With ITF And WTA After Withdrawing From Billie Jean King Cup

Iga Swiatek is not happy with the ITF and WTA after withdrawing from the Billie Jean King Cup Finals.

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Iga Swiatek (@IgaSwi_France - Twitter)

The world number one has announced that she will not compete at the Billie Jean King Cup Finals in November after criticising tennis’ governing bodies for not looking after player welfare.

 

The event is set to take place the week after the WTA Finals in Glasgow which causes a huge problem and obstacle for many players.

This is definitely the case for Swiatek who has qualified for the WTA Finals which takes place in Texas on the 31st of October.

A huge dilemma which now means Swiatek will not compete for her country at the Billie Jean King Cup.

Speaking on Instagram the Pole criticised the decision from the ITF and WTA and wants to speak to them about player welfare to prevent future decisions from happening, “I was thinking it through a lot and discussing it with my team all over again, but I will not be able to play at the Billie Jean King Cup in Glasgow,” Swiatek said in her Instagram story.

“And it makes me sad. I’m very sorry because I play for Poland whenever it’s possible and I always give it my best. Playing in Poland this year was an honour and I hoped to do this again at the end of the season.

“I’m disappointed that tennis governing bodies didn’t come to an agreement on something as basic as the calendar of tournaments, giving us only one day to travel through the globe and changing the time zone. This situation is not safe for our health and could cause injury.

“I’m going to talk to the WTA and ITF in order to change something. This situation is difficult not only for the players like me, but mainly for the tennis fans that support our fans.”

It’s clear Swiatek wants change in terms of player welfare and communication between governing bodies on how to facilitate the schedule.

However Swiatek now turns her attention to preparing for the WTA Finals and first up for the Pole is Ostrava this week.

In her opening match Swiatek will face either Ajla Tomljanovic or Shuai Zhang.

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