Toni Nadal Optimistic Over Rafael Nadal's Australian Open Participation Hopes - UBITENNIS
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Toni Nadal Optimistic Over Rafael Nadal’s Australian Open Participation Hopes

Rafael Nadal’s chances of playing in the Australian Open have improved according to Toni Nadal.

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Toni Nadal has spoken positively over Rafael Nadal’s hopes of playing at next year’s Australian Open.

Rafael Nadal has been injured since this year’s Australian Open after suffering a hip injury during his match with Mackenzie McDonald.

The Spaniard had initially been scheduled to be out for eight weeks but has had surgery and multiple setbacks since then.

Earlier in the year, Nadal had revealed his intention for 2024 to be his last year in the sport.

However Nadal is taking it one step at a time as he looks to participate at the tournament in Melbourne at the start of next season.

Craig Tiley had initially guaranteed that Nadal would be in Australia before the Spaniard downplayed those claims.

Now Nadal’s uncle, Toni Nadal, has remained optimistic over his nephew’s hopes of playing in Melbourne, “My nephew intends to be cautious, which is the right approach,” Nadal said to Spanish radio station Onda Cero.

“But I believe that for the Australian Open, my nephew should be in good condition to compete, all going well, because I have seen him train. Every day he is improving a bit. It’s true that it has been a very long-term injury, but well, that’s how it is. In high-level sports, in the end, it’s almost obligatory to play with pain, unfortunately, because you push your body to the limit, and pushing it to the limit is what leads to all these problems.

“He is aware that the situation is complicated. Let’s say he manages to get to Australia, it won’t be easy to compete again with an added problem. He won’t be a top seed, and from the very beginning he could face a high-level player.

“When Rafa plays a Grand Slam and faces a manageable opponent in the beginning, he gains momentum and becomes dangerous starting from the quarter-finals.”

Nadal will hope that he is fit in time as he aims to continue building on his Grand Slam title count which stands at 22.

The 2024 edition of the Australian Open starts on the 14th of January.

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Daria Kasatkina And Alejandro Davidovich Fokina Lead Calls For VAR In Tennis

There have been calls for VAR to be introduced into the sport.

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Daria Kasatkina and Alejandro Davidovich Fokina have called for VAR to be implemented in tennis.

The calls have came after Andrey Rublev was disqualified from his semi-final with Alexander Bublik in Dubai.

As Bublik lead 6-5 in the final set, Rublev shouted in the face of an umpire allegedly swearing in Russian which was picked up by one of the officials.

This saw Rublev be disqualified from the event with Bublik reaching the final in Dubai.

However as a result of the incident players have called for a VAR review system with the video showing inconclusive proof of whether Rublev did swear in Russian.

Leading the calls for such innovation are Daria Kasatkina and Alejandro Davidovich Fokina as the duo called for VAR to be introduced on twitter, “So you can just disqualify a player, take away all his points and money, without even checking the video? What a joke, yet another confirmation that we need VAR in tennis and an electronic appeal system in all tournaments,” Kasatkina said on social media.

VAR has been implemented in football and also a similar system in rugby with mixed results.

It’s clear though that more technology would help umpires identify whether a grounds for disqualification would be necessary.

So far VAR has been trialled at the Next Gen Finals and the Nitto ATP Finals.

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Casper Ruud Overcomes ‘Tough Start’ To Set De Minaur Final In Acapulco

Casper Ruud is into his first ATP 500 final after defeating Holger Rune in three sets.

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Casper Ruud is into his second consecutive final in Mexico after defeating Holger Rune 3-6 6-3 6-4 in Acapulco.

The Norwegian had to overcome an electric start from Rune to prevail in 2 hours and 24 minutes.

It was a clinical performance from Ruud who is now into his second consecutive final in Mexico after reaching the final in Los Cabos last week.

Speaking after the match Ruud admitted it was a tough start but he’s pleased to be in another final, “It was a tough start,” Ruud told the ATP website.

“Holger just came out firing bullets from the forehand, from the backhand and I had not too much time to play my game. I was frustrated at times, especially at the end of the first set, beginning of the second.

“I didn’t really feel like I got to play any points how I wanted to, so there was some frustration towards myself, towards my box, because I didn’t feel like we were doing the right thing.

“But luckily with one break in the second, it turned around a bit and in the third set it got a little physical. I think maybe Holger seemed like he was struggling a little bit and started firing even more and a couple of games it went in and he broke me, which is frustrating.

“Some unforced errors crept up on him and I served really well in the last game to close it out.”

Ruud is now into his first ATP 500 final in Acapulco where he will face defending champion Alex De Minaur.

De Minaur overcame Jack Draper after the Brit retired at 4-0 down in the deciding set.

Heading into Saturday’s final, De Minaur leads the head-to-head 1-0 although that was in a completely different scoring format in the Next Gen Finals.

Whatever happens on Saturday, Ruud will return to the world’s top ten.

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Andrey Rublev Disqualified In Dramatic Dubai Semi-Final

Andrey Rublev was disqualified from his semi-final in Dubai.

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Andrey Rublev was disqualified from his semi-final with Alexander Bublik after being accused of swearing in Russian.

The event took place in Dubai where Rublev had more than enough opportunities to win the match having been 4-2 40-0 up in the deciding set.

However Bublik came back into the match as he caught up with Rublev in what was turning into a fascinating contest.

The score was at 6-5 Bublik when Rublev’s frustrations boiled over when he allegedly told the official at the side of the court that he was a ‘f****** moron’ in Russian.

One of the officials on the sidelines at the side of the court reported the incident and the supervisor ruled that Rublev should be defaulted.

The incident below means that Rublev will now lose all his ranking points and prize money, resulting in Rublev exiting the world’s top five.

An ending that didn’t warrant the dramatic contest and after the match Bublik agreed that the consequences, “I highly doubt Andrey said something crazy,” Bublik was quoted by Sports Illustrated.

“He’s not this kind of guy. But I guess that’s the rules. That’s what they did, they just follow the procedure.”

Bublik will hope for a smoother finish to the final when he takes on Ugo Humbert for the title.

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