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Relive A Much-Loved Tradition: The ATP Player Revue In Monte-Carlo

  • Posted: Apr 18, 2020

Relive A Much-Loved Tradition: The ATP Player Revue In Monte-Carlo

Go behind the curtain as players set aside their inhibitions to entertain 

Where else could you see Sergiy Stakhovsky as the Greatest Showman, Ryan Harrison as the Joker, Pierre-Hugues Herbert as Ed Sheeran or Jean-Julien Rojer as Judy Murray? 

One of the highlights during the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters is the annual Player Revue, when stars of the ATP Tour set aside their inhibitions to entertain their friends, family and fellow players in a series of sketches, poking good-humoured fun at life on tour and showing off their singing and dancing talents.

Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares gave fans a rare peek behind the curtain at the 2016 Player Revue:

Murray had been the subject of the first sketch of the evening, in which fellow doubles stars Rojer and Horia Tecau imagined how life may have changed in the Murray household with Jamie standing atop the FedEx ATP Doubles Rankings. Jamie’s mom, Judy Murray, then joined the cast on stage.

“I never get to do this anywhere else,” said Tecau. “This is my shot to Hollywood, so I’m going to take it and I’m going to milk the show as much as I can. Every year, I can’t wait to be here and see the results of the show.”

The show was brought to a thunderous close with a lively rendition of Uptown Funk, performed by Gilles Simon, Rohan Bopanna, Jeff Coetzee, Raven Klaasen, Robert Farah and Stephane Robert.

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Soares hosted another memorable off-court moment in 2018 at this ATP Masters 1000 tournament. In this “James Bond-inspired challenge”, Milos Raonic, Borna Coric and Feliciano Lopez attempted to hit a target on top of a speedboat in the Monte-Carlo Bay for Unbelievable Tennis: The Speedboat Shot.

Lopez emerged as the winner on the 11th try. “You get to swim and pick up all the balls,” joked Raonic regarding the prize.

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Wawrinka & Djokovic Reunite On Instagram Live

  • Posted: Apr 18, 2020

Wawrinka & Djokovic Reunite On Instagram Live

Top stars chat on Saturday

Top players on the ATP Tour have been forming their own talk show circuit this week on social media. Just 24 hours after Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray held an Instagram Live together, the Serbian returned to the platform on Saturday for a chat with Stan Wawrinka that covered plenty of ground.

As the pair discussed last year’s Wimbledon final and the crowd support that Roger Federer received, Wawrinka asked Djokovic why he thinks this happens in many of their matches. The World No. 1 in the FedEx ATP Rankings responded by paying tribute to both Federer and Rafael Nadal, acknowledging that their games and personalities make it easy for fans to get behind them.

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“In most places, I’m not expecting the majority of the crowd to be on my side [when I play them]… I think it’s just the greatness of Federer and Nadal, not just as tennis players, but as people,” Djokovic said. “[They’re] very charismatic and nice guys, humble guys, great champions who have made a huge mark in our sport. I’m part of their era, so in one way I’m lucky and in another way, not so much.”

Djokovic and Wawrinka also shared light-hearted moments during their talk. They joked about the Serbian’s playful banter on the shorts that Wawrinka wore while winning the 2015 Roland Garros title, as well as Djokovic’s regimented diet.

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Italian Seppi On Fatherhood In Colorado During COVID-19 Pandemic

  • Posted: Apr 18, 2020

Italian Seppi On Fatherhood In Colorado During COVID-19 Pandemic

Seppi became a first-time father on 20 February

Italian Andreas Seppi and his wife, Michela Bernardi Seppi, welcomed their first child, Liv Bernardi Seppi, on 20 February in Colorado, where they own a residence. As exciting as it was, Seppi planned to return to action in Miami.

Little did he know that he’d still be home with his wife and daughter due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s a really new experience and of course very interesting. In the end, it was nice to be with my wife and my baby girl the whole time to see how she’s been evolving and getting bigger. Now she’s starting to laugh and she’s a little more into things, so it’s very nice,” Seppi told ATPTour.com. “The first weeks you can’t do a lot because she needs to sleep and to eat and that’s it. It’s not that you could do much as a father, I would say.

“I think the most interesting thing to see is in two months, she got a lot bigger and she’s started to laugh a little bit. You talk to her and she looks at you now, so you feel like she’s getting more interested in what’s going on around her.”

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Andreas Seppi: From Italy To… Colorado?

Seppi and his wife are both Italian, and one thing this pandemic has limited is their ability to introduce their daughter to relatives. Bernardi Seppi’s parents arrived in Colorado just after Liv was born, but they returned after eight days, right before Italy went into lockdown due to the virus.

“They were lucky to come here at least for a bit and then they went back and everything had to be closed. We had that experience here and that was it. Of course it would be nice to have some people you know around, especially with the baby,” Seppi said. “But we’re in a perfect place, we love it here. It’s almost better to be here than in Italy because at least we can go out and go for a hike on our property. We have a lot of outdoor space, so I think it’s almost better to be here right now.”

The couple first visited Colorado when Seppi’s wife wanted to earn a Master’s degree at the University of Colorado. They immediately enjoyed the state, buying a house in Boulder in December 2017, where they own about 60 acres of land. Seppi says as tough as it is not being with family due to the pandemic, it has worked out.

“[In Italy] you can’t really do anything. You have to stay in the house,” Seppi said. “If you don’t have a garden or something there you are stuck in the apartment all the time. We have no neighbours around, we are pretty isolated, so in this kind of situation I think it’s for sure very good.”

That didn’t make it any easier to see the struggle his home country has gone through. According to Johns Hopkins’ Coronavirus Resource Center, 22,745 people have passed away due to COVID-19 in Italy as of 17 April.

“I think it’s bad everywhere. I think Italy got hit really [bad] at the beginning, so all the focus was on Italy. Now other places are also in a worse position, so it’s tough to see for the country and the problem is nobody knows how long this is going to last and when we’ll go back to normal routines. I think that’s the most scary thing,” Seppi said. “If they say in one month everything’s going to be over, it would be great, but every week they’re going to prolong the quarantine.”

In Colorado, Seppi has shared on social media that there has been plenty of snow, giving him a natural way to exercise: shovelling.

 

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Never ending story 🌨☃️🥶⛷🤷🏼‍♂️ #usa #colorado #boulder #snowshoveling #goodworkout #stayactive #stayhome

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“We have a lot of snow. The past couple days it was snowing nonstop. I haven’t seen this much snow in a while. I heard that Boulder is the city with the most snow in the United States this year,” Seppi said. “Snow shovelling, it’s happening almost every week now, and that keeps me in shape for sure. It’s good strength exercise.

“I can work out at home, I go for runs sometimes. You also can’t work out like crazy like in the off-season because you don’t know how long this is going to last. You can’t practise fully for months, especially at my age. If I was 20 years old, that would be different.

“Maybe Jannik Sinner, he’s 18, if he works out three months heavily I think it’s okay. But for me I like to be a little bit more careful about my body. Of course I try to remain in shape and I do some exercises, but I don’t do it like in the off-season, I do it to maintain a certain level of activity. That’s the most important thing.”

Throughout this period, Seppi has been able to enjoy fatherhood, even if he would have never expected the circumstances.

“She’s just two months old, so you wouldn’t go for a bicycle ride or skiing. At the end, for her it doesn’t make a big difference,” Seppi said of the pandemic. “Of course for me and for my wife, we’d be in Europe now and maybe going around a little bit and seeing some different things. From that side, it’s different. But for the baby’s side it doesn’t matter a lot.

“She’s pretty quiet, she’s not crying a lot and she’s also sleeping now six, seven hours in a row, which makes it pretty easy at night. On that side, we were pretty lucky.”

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Nadal: 'We Have To Help Those That Are Really Struggling'

  • Posted: Apr 18, 2020

Nadal: ‘We Have To Help Those That Are Really Struggling’

Spaniard reflects on the health emergency

At midnight on Thursday, increasing his efforts to raise awareness about the COVID-19 pandemic, Rafael Nadal was one of the biggest names on a record-breaking day for radio in Spain. In a programme broadcast simultaneously on El Partidazo (Cadena Cope) and El Transistor (Onda Cero), two of the biggest night-time sports programmes, the Mallorcan reflected on the tough times we are going through as a society.

In a programme that brought together a range of figures from Spanish sport, including basketball player Pau Gasol, racing driver Fernando Alonso and goalkeeper Iker Casillas — with contributions in Spanish from Novak Djokovic who is spending his time isolated in Marbella, Malaga — Nadal was keen to talk about the need to join forces and together overcome one of the greatest challenges of the 21st century.

“I’m coping with it better now than three weeks ago.” said the Mallorcan, who has been in confinement since 14 March, the day on which the state of emergency was officially declared in Spain. “Although we have been in confinement for longer and the situation is what it is, we human beings adapt to what we have to. Without a doubt, we are capable of that.”

In the face of this global threat that knows no borders, Nadal is keeping up his humanitarian activities. Nadal was the driving force behind the #NuestraMejorVictoria (Our Best Victory) campaign a few weeks ago, bringing together Spain’s sports stars in order to raise €11 million for the Spanish Red Cross. Later, encouraging people to work together, he donated one of the shirts in which he won the 2019 Roland Garros final to the charity campaign created by the Basketball Clubs Association (ACB), raising more than €20,000 to fight the social impact of the health emergency caused by COVID-19.

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“At the beginning of it all, the events happening were so terrible that it made it difficult to want to do anything,” recognised Nadal from his home in Spain, where the pandemic has cost more than 18,000 lives. “I had a week in which I was practising sport but without much interest. I was sad, of course, and in some ways lethargic. I found it hard to find the energy to get up and do things that helped me feel better. It really was getting very difficult.”

Surrounded by his loved ones, the 19-time Grand Slam champion is making an effort to keep up his physical activity within the confines of the current situation.

“I was in front of the television all day, listening to what they were telling us and there was nothing positive. I found it difficult to isolate myself from all that. As the days have gone by, little by little I’ve returned to my routines, doing fitness training in the morning and afternoon, and thinking positively,” said the current World No. 2, whose social media activity is focussed on giving people hope.

“There are a lot of people that are really struggling. We are as well as can be expected and there is no reason at all to be negative. Only to try, in some way, to help and contribute as far as our means allow us. We have to help the people that are really struggling, which is not us.”

As Spain faces its fifth week of confinement and limited movement, which will remain in place until 26 April, Nadal is approaching the situation with patience and perseverance.

“I don’t have any courts at home and I’m not that worried about it. In the situation we’re going through, the thing that worries me the least at the moment is tennis,” reasoned the Spaniard. “I’m doing work at home so that my body doesn’t atrophy more than it already may have. From there, I’m very aware of the fact that this is very serious, that it is long-term and there are so many people that are suffering a really terrible reality. The least important thing at this time is sport.”

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Schwartzman: 'We’ve Done Something To Help Entertain People In Their Homes'

  • Posted: Apr 18, 2020

Schwartzman: ‘We’ve Done Something To Help Entertain People In Their Homes’

Argentine has helped organise charity competition, which will include Thiem

Diego Schwartzman is both relaxed and electrifying at the same time; he is always thinking not just about himself, but also about others. From his home in Buenos Aires, the World No. 13 was unable to sit back and do nothing in light of the unprecedented situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

And so, he began to plan #LaChamplay with his footballer friend Paulo Dybala. What is it? Two FIFA 20 knock-out competitions that will include the participation of the two organisers and 14 celebrities, set to take place this weekend. All money raised will go to Red Cross Argentina, with World No. 3 Dominic Thiem among the stars competing.

“Paulo and I are friends and we normally play a lot of FIFA like any group of friends with other sportsmen, too. We connect and play online… and that’s how it came about,” Schwartzman told ATPTour.com. “We had the idea of doing something for charity and so we started to set it up.”

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The tournament, which will be broadcasted by DirecTV and TYC Sports, will be shown for three hours per day on 18 April and 19 April. It will be produced and supervised by La Liga de Videojuegos Profesionales (LVP).

“The team in Europe is going to play on Saturday and us, in the Americas, we are going to play on Sunday. There will be quarter-final, semi-final and final matches,” Schwartzman said. “There will also be some surprise guests during the broadcast and some draws so that people join, donate and also have fun.”

“At first it was a pretty small idea, but then we started to see that we could get important and well-known people from around the world. It started to turn into something really nice,” explained Schwartzman, who has been settling the details for the past week, and doing Instagram Lives with various players to announce the pairings for the weekend. Were any of the stars more difficult to convince? “Luckily they all thought it was fun… some had things to do too, and they had to see if they could. We received a ‘yes’ quickly from most of them.”

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What led Schwartzman to take charge of this charity initiative with the hard work it requires in terms of organisation and attention to detail?

“I was seeing the things that were going on and during quarantine I saw athletes and the messages from figures that people look up to. It can be important for people that are at home, to support them and to act in solidarity,” he said. “This idea built from there, to do something to help everyone, entertain people who are at home and to have a good time. There is nothing more beautiful than being able to help.”

The tennis star, who has already decided that he will be playing as Real Madrid in the game, sees himself as one of the men to beat.

“I’m going to see what I can do,” he modestly told his friend Dybala before his opener against the Argentine singer Paulo Londra in his zone (Americas), which also includes fellow tennis player Juan Mónaco, singers René (Residente) and Maluma, the actor Chino Darín, and football players Filipe Luis and ‘Toto’ Salvio.

Meanwhile, the European Zone, led by Dybala, will include Dominic Thiem, footballers Sergio Agüero, Leandro Paredes, Chicharito Hernández and James Rodríguez, basketball player Facundo Campazzo and influencer Mariano Di Vaio. Several sponsors and companies have already committed to making donations and there will be a link during the broadcast so that the public can contribute.

Despite the good-natured friendship between all of the participants, as high-performance competitors, none of them will want to be the one to lose.

“To an extent it replaces the competition on Tour,” Schwartzman said, cracking a laugh. “There is adrenaline when you play on the PlayStation, but it’s very enjoyable and funny… the idea is that the charity event goes well, but we’ll all want to win.”

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