Daniil Medvedev Tested But Prevails In Brutal Conditions At Muggy US Open - UBITENNIS
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Daniil Medvedev Tested But Prevails In Brutal Conditions At Muggy US Open

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Daniil Medvedev continued his quest for a second US Open title with a hard-fought straight-sets win over Andrey Rublev in the quarter-finals on what was a humid Wednesday afternoon.

The third seed battled to a 6-4, 6-3, 6-4, win over Rublev who is also the godfather to his daughter, Alisa. However, Medvedev’s latest victory was far from simple with the world No.3 having to come from behind on multiple occasions and he had two medical timeouts for some assistance from the doctor. He has now reached the semi-finals in Flushing Meadows in four out of his five most recent appearances.

Playing in the sweltering heat, the weather visibly impacted the playing performances of both players who hit more unforced errors than winners. During the match, forecasters estimated the temperature to be around 34 degrees which was adjusted to 37 degrees due to 43% humidity at the venue.

“It was brutal. The only good thing I see in these conditions is that both of us suffer,” Medvedev said after his latest win.
“There were some ups and downs but that is normal. Honestly, at the end of the first set, I couldn’t kind of see the ball anymore. I kind of played with sensations, you know, tried to go for it. He (Rublev) did the same. It was super tough to win.”

Immediately Medvedev found himself in trouble after losing the first 10 points played in the match. Down 0-3, he swiftly managed to turn his fortunes around with the help of some inconsistent shot-making coming from across the court. Paving the way for him to win six out of the next seven games to clinch the opener.

The roller-coaster continued into the second set as both struggled to hold serve. Four out of five games played ended with the server getting broken. Medvedev managed to weather the storm as he edged to a 4-3 lead before another twist unfolded with play being paused due to a medical timeout. The former world No.1 requested to see a doctor who gave him an inhaler to help with his breathing. He was also heard on camera complaining about some sort of pain in his stomach.

Ironically after the doctor left the court, it was Rublev who began to struggle in the heat as he struggled to find a solution to Medvedev’s defensive play. To add to his frustration, he failed to convert three break points which would have enabled him to draw level at 4-4. After missing those opportunities, he won no more games in the second frame.

Medvedev was given an inhaler for the second time after falling behind 1-2 in the third set before making an alarming comment on the conditions a few minutes later.

“One day a player’s gonna die and they’re gonna see,” he said directly to a camera on the court.

Eventually, the 27-year-old prevailed in the heat after more than two-and-a-half hours of play. After failing to convert four match points, he triumphed on his fifth attempt after a Rublev forehand slammed into the net.

“He never gives up but the thing is that he knows that I never do too,” Medvedev said of Rublev.

Medvedev has now recorded 28 wins at the US Open with a win rate of 88%. He has dropped just two sets in five matches played in this year’s tournament so far.

“Ten out of ten,” the 2021 champion replied when asked to rate his current form. “Starting from the third set of my match against (Chris) O’Connell (in the second round) they didn’t want to give me anything and every match was a hell of a fight.’
“I’m through to the semis, that is great. I am looking forward to seeing the match tonight and preparing for the winner.”

Medvedev will play either reigning champion Carlos Alcaraz or Alexander Zverev in the semi-finals on Friday.

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World No.32 Davidovich Fokina Replaces Long-Time Coach With Verdasco

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Fernando Verdasco was spotted earlier this week briefly watching Ons Jabeur play at the French Open but his focus this year is on another player.

The former top 10 player has landed a new coaching job after being hired by compatriot Alejandro Davidovich Fokina. Somebody who he once played a Tour-level doubles match alongside back in 2020. Fokina has opted to stop working with Jorge Aguirre, who has been his mentor since he was a child.

The change comes after what has been a mixed start to the season for Fokina who has only managed to win back-to-back matches in two out of 11 tournaments played before the start of Roland Garros. His sole win over a top 20 player occurred at the start of 2024 when he beat Hubert Hurkacz at the United Cup.  

“I will be very brief. I have left it with Jorge (Aguirre) and I start with Verdasco, with whom I have had a good relationship for years. He has not officially retired, but I knew that he was training other players and it was time,” Fokina told reporters after beating Valentin Vacherot in the first round of the French Open.
“It was time to close a stage and start a new one. With his experience, Verdasco can help me a lot to face the games, to assume that pressure and tension of the competition.”

Verdasco has won seven ATP titles during his career and reached the semi-finals of the 2009 Australian Open. At this year’s Madrid Open, he briefly helped Jabeur whose main coach Issam Jellali was unable to attend the tournament. 

Fokina will next play Casper Ruud in Roland Garros.

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Roland Garros 2024: Casper Ruud Explains Geneva Decision, Martin Etcheverry Talks Roland Garros And Djokovic Influence

Two-time finalist Casper Ruud is into the second round with a straight sets win over Felipe Meligeni Alves.

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Casper Ruud has explained the decision behind playing in Geneva last week after he defeated Felipe Meligeni Alves 6-3 6-4 6-3.

The world number seven is into the second round after a straight sets win over the Brazilian qualifier.

Ruud has reached the final the past two occasions here having lost to Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic in those respective finals.

Now the Norwegian is targeting more success in Paris this year and spoke about his opening round performance after the match, “Yeah, I was honestly very happy. I think it was a good start,” Ruud stated in his press conference.

“I think Felipe is a dangerous player, and obviously I didn’t know him so well. So not easy to know what’s going to come out of his racquet. I think he was firing pretty good serves and forehands.

“Overall, I think it was a pretty high-quality match and happy to be through in straight sets. That’s just what I was kind of hoping and looking for. Yeah, I’m very happy to be through.”

Given Ruud’s history at Roland Garros, there would be no reason to suggest that the Norwegian would need to play his way into form.

However that’s exactly what he did in Geneva the week before Roland Garros as he won the title in Switzerland.

After his opening round match Ruud was asked about why he always plays in Geneva instead of practicing on-site in Paris, “No, I decide based on the fact that I enter the tournament, and with the purpose of going. But of course, if you do super well in Madrid and Rome and you play, let’s say, 10 matches or more within those two weeks or the two tournaments, maybe, depending on how your body feels, it’s kind of easier to skip it,” Ruud explained.

“But that wasn’t the case for me in Madrid and Rome. I played only four matches there. I lost early in Rome. If I didn’t play Geneva I would have had 17 or 18 days since I lost in Rome until starting in Roland Garros, which in my eyes, my feeling, is just a bit too much. For some players, they don’t think it’s too much. They don’t have a problem with it.

“But for me I like going into tournament kind of mode and feeling in the zone when you’re playing an official match. That’s why I like playing. It gives me kind of confidence and match feeling going into a Grand Slam, which is the Grand Slam that I personally feel like I have the most chances to do well in.”

Ruud will aim to continue his good run of form when he takes on Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the second round.

Martin Etcheverry Speaks On Roland Garros And Djokovic Influence

Finally Tomas Martin Etcheverry defeated Arthur Cazaux in four sets to seal his place in the second round.

The Argentinian is a big Novak Djokovic fan and after the match spoke about his love for Roland Garros and has tipped Djokovic to win this year’s tournament, “I think it’s my favorite tournament since I was a child, and I always want to play here,” Martin Etcheverry explained.

“This is a moment of the year that I want to be here and try to play my best tennis because I want to get a good result here.

“Yeah, is he my idol, and he is the No. 1 of the world. I don’t know, like six years right now. Yeah, I always try to watch him, trying to improve the game. I always trying to saw him. Yeah, I think he’s going to be No. 1 a lot of time. I don’t know if they have a good year this year, but I think it’s Novak Djokovic. Maybe he can win this tournament.”

Martin Etcheverry will play another Frenchman in the form of Arthur Rinderknech in the second round with Ruud being the potential third round opponent.

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Grand Slam Quarter-Finalist Van De Zandschulp Pondering Retirement After French Open Exit

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Botic van de Zandschulp has revealed he is losing his passion for tennis and is considering retiring from the sport following his exit from the French Open on Monday.

The 29-year-old was knocked out of the tournament in straight sets by Fabio Fognini, who eased his way to a 6-1, 6-1, 7-5, victory. It is the second Grand Slam in a row where he has fallen at the first hurdle with the 2022 Wimbledon championships being the last major event where he won back-to-back matches.   

“I don’t look forward to competitions at all anymore,” Zandschulp told Dutch media.
“I have been asking myself more and more lately whether I want to continue.
“You have to do work that you enjoy. Everyone has a bad day every now and then. But if there are too many, then you have to ask yourself whether you want to continue.” 

Zandschulp has been the top-ranked player in his country with his most notable achievement being a run to the quarter-finals of the 2021 US Open. The former world No.22 is a two-time runner-up at the Munich Open but is yet to win an ATP Tour title. He has registered a total of six wins over top 10 players, including Casper Ruud and Andrey Rublev. 

However, recent difficulties on the Tour have left the Dutchman questioning if he wants to continue playing.  

“I like the training. Those are great days. But when I get up in the morning, I no longer look forward to the matches at all.” He commented.

Zandschulp’s remarks could be a reaction to his frustrating loss to Fognini. However, he confirmed that he has been considering retiring for a long time. 

“It was the worst match I have played in my life,” he said. 
“Of course, it is now fresh after the match. That plays a role in my mind, but the thoughts of quitting have been there for a long time. It is not an easy life as a tennis player. You really live your life, play thirty weeks a year and travel from pillar to post.
“If you don’t play, someone else will pass you by (in the rankings). That’s why I now play extra tournaments instead of charging myself at home.”

Zandschulp is currently ranked 102nd in the world and is scheduled to play in the French Open doubles event on Tuesday.

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