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Tennis At Home With Dominic Thiem

  • Posted: Mar 24, 2020

Tennis At Home With Dominic Thiem

Learn what the World No. 3 has been up to while staying at home in Austria

Dominic Thiem revealed in the ATP Tour’s #TennisAtHome campaign how he has been occupying himself at home during the coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s like everyone else. Safety first,” Thiem said. “Just try to keep fit a little bit, spend some time with my parents, spend some time with my dog. I think he’s the happiest about all of this situation, as he can see us now for a long time.”

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Thiem is staying at home with his family in Austria. The World No. 3 has taken advantage of that in the kitchen.

“I only eat food which is from the region here and I really enjoy that,” Thiem said. “Maybe I improve a little bit my cooking skills when I’m home that much.”

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Andrey Rublev Is A Man On A Mission

  • Posted: Mar 24, 2020

Andrey Rublev Is A Man On A Mission

Russian reflects on his red-hot start to 2020

Andrey Rublev played some of the best tennis of his career to start the 2020 season, winning his first 11 matches, including back-to-back titles in Doha and Adelaide.

“It’s amazing and it’s unbelievable,” Rublev told ATP Uncovered presented by Peugeot. “At the same time, I understand that it’s something unreal.”

The Russian came out firing from the beginning of the year, harnessing his massive baseline power to plow through opponent after opponent. The two-time Next Gen ATP Finals qualifier had long shown his potential to compete with the best in the world, but he slightly surprised himself with his incredible season-starting run, which ended with a loss against 2018 Nitto ATP Finals champion Alexander Zverev in the fourth round of the Australian Open.

“It was a little bit strange because during this pre-season, I was thinking, ‘I’m not working enough, I’m not working enough, I need to work harder, I need to work better.’ Every day it was like this. It was not enough,” Rublev said. “I was thinking, ‘What is this? If I want to be on a good level, this is not the game. I need to do something better, I need to work harder, I need to have a better attitude, I need to play smarter.’ The mood was never enough, never enough, never enough. But in the end, when I started the season, everything was good.”

Rublev earned a 38-19 record in 2019, finishing as No. 23 in the year-end FedEx ATP Rankings. But the 22-year-old was hungry for more, relentless in his pursuit of improvement. It wasn’t that he craved a certain milestone; he simply wanted to get better.

“I tried to work hard every day. I was not expecting nothing, I was not trying to think, ‘Oh, I hope I will start the season good.’ Of course I would like to start the season good, but I was not hoping, I was not expecting nothing, I was thinking like a machine, [that] I will work hard, I will try to do my best,” Rublev said. “If I lose first round, at least I know that I did my best and that’s it. If I do my best and I do third or fourth round okay, perfect, then it’s even better.”

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The current World No. 14 did not lose a set at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open, defeating #NextGenATP Frenchman Corentin Moutet in the final. Rublev’s third ATP Tour title left him with a decision to make.

“I remember when I won Doha, most of the members of my team were telling me to pull out, maybe it’s a better idea. But then I said, ‘Why not [play]? I’m having a bye there in Adelaide, I’m going to arrive there and still have two days. Let’s see how I feel. If I’ll be completely dead, if I feel that physically I am weak, I feel pain in some areas of my body, we have time to pull out. But at least let’s try, we never know,’” Rublev said. “I started to play better and better and in the end I won Adelaide. It’s something unreal, but of course it was amazing to start the season in this way.”

Rublev lost a set against Felix Auger-Aliassime and Daniel Evans at the Adelaide International, but he never panicked. Instead, he persevered. In the past, that might not have been the case.

“Everybody has his own problems that he needs to face and to learn how to face them strongly to grow up,” Rublev said. “I never even won two titles in one year, and now I won two titles in a row, so something is not real. I need to accept that it’s not going to be like that. That it happened is perfect, but I need to be in real life and understand that there are so many things to work on.”

ATP Heritage: Milestones. Records. Legends.

The Moscow native has proven to himself and the world that he could compete — and win — on the world’s biggest stages. That is no longer in doubt.

“When I have bad days, bad weeks, how will I face them? This is now the most important thing for me,” Rublev said. “There is still a mental part. I think out of the Top 20 I am one of the weakest, so we’ll see. I am looking positively forward and we’ll see what’s going to happen.”

Rublev is not setting his gaze on a particular FedEx ATP Ranking goal. Instead, he’s working on his mental and physical game, and letting the effects of that pay dividends.

“You just need to be calm and positive, which is so simple and so easy. No matter what happens, be positive, do your best. It’s so simple. But this is the tough thing,” Rublev said. “The main goal for this year is every day to be mentally strong, to be mentally always positive.”

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Tsonga's Training, Khachanov's Challenge: Best Social Media Posts Of The Week

  • Posted: Mar 24, 2020

Tsonga’s Training, Khachanov’s Challenge: Best Social Media Posts Of The Week looks at what your favourite players have been up to

Your favourite players are all finding ways to stay busy and remain in shape while doing their part to flatten the curve. From Jo-Wilfried Tsonga’s bold vow to Karen Khachanov’s unique challenge, find out how the biggest names in tennis are keeping active.

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Novak Djokovic is spending time with his family and encouraged his social media followers to stay at home.

Rafael Nadal thanked those on the frontlines of combatting COVID-19 and encouraged those who are suffering from it.

Fabio Fognini gave himself a new look.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vowed to return stronger than ever when he steps back on court.

Roberto Bautista Agut is finding ways to stay on top of his fitness from the comfort of home.

Diego Schwartzman is ramping up his cardio and strength training sessions.

No gym access? John Millman found a unique substitute for dumbbells.

Gael Monfils won’t skip leg day under any circumstances.

Karen Khachanov took the 20-Touch Challenge, but isn’t quite there yet.

Hubert Hurkacz is still learning how to navigate smaller spaces.

Alex de Minaur made a new friend at home.

Stan Wawrinka is finding unique ways to keep romance in his life.

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Gaudenzi Addresses Tour Suspension, Acknowledges Uncertainty

  • Posted: Mar 24, 2020

Gaudenzi Addresses Tour Suspension, Acknowledges Uncertainty

Chairman encourages tennis community to unite to help defeat COVID-19

ATP Chairman Andrea Gaudenzi says that resuming play in time for the grass-court season remains the Tour’s goal but acknowledges that definitive planning is difficult while the severity and duration of the COVID-19 pandemic remains unknown.

The BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells earlier this month was the first ATP Tour event to be hit by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. The current suspension of the Tour is scheduled to run through 7 June, inclusive of the entire Spring clay-court season.

“Unfortunately, the repercussions from the COVID-19 pandemic are being felt across all areas of society, as well as by our players, tournaments, and the Tour,” said Gaudenzi, who began serving as ATP Chairman on 1 January. “This is bigger than any sport. The current situation raises many questions which we empathize with greatly, and we are working hard on evaluating all options.

“Our ability to address any supportive measures will be best guided once we know the duration of the crisis and when the Tour will resume, which remains unknown at this time. This remains an evolving situation that will require significant time to deal with in the coming weeks and months, and we must avoid making any rushed decisions without knowing first when the crisis will end. Understanding the full duration and scale of this crisis will be critical to addressing any measures related to its repercussions.

Despite acknowledging the current uncertainty, Gaudenzi said that the calendar is under continuous review and further clarity about the likelihood of the grass season should come next month.

“We continue to assess all options related to preserving and maximising the calendar based on various return dates for the Tour. It goes without saying that full cooperation with the other governing bodies is essential. We are in close discussion with all the grass-court events and they remain on the calendar as scheduled at this time,” he said. “The reality is this is a rapidly evolving situation and there is no option other than to take this day-by-day and week-by-week.”

On 12 March ATP announced a six-week suspension of play at Tour and Challenger level through 20 April. Last week ATP and WTA jointly announced that no ATP and WTA tournaments in the Spring clay-court swing would be held as scheduled. This includes the combined ATP/WTA tournaments in Madrid and Rome, along with the WTA events in Strasbourg and Rabat and ATP events in Munich, Estoril, Geneva and Lyon.

Additionally, both Tours have frozen their rankings.

“It is hard to fathom what has happened in the world in the past few weeks and it’s remarkable to think that, in ordinary times, last Sunday would have seen the culmination of the first ATP Masters 1000 of the year in Indian Wells,” Gaudenzi said.

“The current suspension of the Tour leaves a big void in all our lives. However, we are seeking to play our part over the coming weeks through our digital and social media platforms which, among other initiatives, has included the launch of a #tennisathome content campaign to deliver some positive and fresh content to our fans.”

A native of Italy, the country hardest hit by the COVID-19 virus, Gaudenzi has implored players, tournaments and tennis fans to spread word of key countermeasures to combat the pandemic.

“This is a time of considerable uncertainty for all and there is nothing more important than prioritising health. On a personal level, the stories I have heard from acquaintances at home in Italy are harrowing. The need to take this seriously, stay at home and practice responsible social distancing, is paramount and we urge everyone in the tennis community to spread this important message in the days and weeks ahead.”

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