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Gilles Simon Says Time Off Will Benefit This Group Of Players…

  • Posted: Aug 05, 2020

Gilles Simon Says Time Off Will Benefit This Group Of Players…

The Frenchman blogs about how he feels different groups of players should approach the return to tennis

Which players will be best equipped to start strong when the five-month Tour suspension ends later this month?

I think this period is the best for middle-aged players, guys between 25 and 30. I believe they already have experience on the ATP Tour and it’s the right moment for them to improve their game and to do a “check-up” of what happened in the first part of their career.

They are starting to know a bit more about themselves as people and players. Middle-aged players are starting to understand the limitations they had before and now they’ve had the time to work on those things, while still having the energy to do so. They’re still very young and healthy. For them, it will be great.

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When you are young, you can still practise a lot without injury. You have many things to improve in your game. It’s the right time to work a lot, to improve on weaknesses, to finally have the time to work without having the pressure of having a tournament right after. This is the time if you want to improve something in your game. Some things need time to be fixed.

What is really hard in tennis is you always have things coming up and tournaments to play. You say, ‘I would really like to work on my second serve, but I need the time to do it.’ Let’s say I want to be more aggressive on the second serve, one week after working on it, you play a tournament and you hit 10 double faults in a row. Then you quit that attempt to improve. You just lost and you say, ‘Ah, but my ranking!’ You have a lot of pressure with that. 

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It’s never easy to find the time to work when you are young once you are on the Tour because it’s one tournament per week. When you have a bit more time like this, it’s the time to say, ‘Okay, I can work on this for two weeks, three weeks, four weeks and practise, test it in practice, test it in a match or in practice for one more month before you bring it into the match.’ That helps a lot sometimes. That’s what I would do if I was younger.

For people like me, for the older players, I think the key in this period is to work a lot with the body. It is most important to stay healthy and to try to work enough to stay in good shape, but not working too much, and take the time to prevent injuries. Your body is not the same as when you were 20. Then you were able to go four hours every day no matter what you are doing and have no problem. For us older players, it’s a bit different now.

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You can also use the time to work on court and what I said before is still true. But managing the body is even more important. You know a big injury when you are 35 or 36 may be the last injury and then your career is over. When you have this in mind, to stay healthy is more important. It’s also the hardest part of the practice. Try to practise, try to be ready, but don’t push too much. Don’t get injured in a stupid way.

It’s almost impossible for anyone to make some drastic changes to their game at this moment. In general it’s really hard to make significant changes, because when you come on Tour and you are 21 years old, it’s already 15 years you have been playing tennis. You are new on Tour, but you are already doing what you were doing for a long time. When you do something for a very long time, it’s always hard to change it. When you are 35, it’s 30 years you’ve been playing tennis.

One example: my volley is not great. I tried to improve this all my career, so I can still work on it now. It’s not a problem, but it’s never going to be a great volley. It’s just something that I don’t feel as good with as some other things on the tennis court. It will be a very big surprise if suddenly in three months I come back and I have the best volley on Tour and I play serve-and-volley and return-and-volley. It has to be realistic at some point.

Of course I’m improving and I know a lot of things that I can improve, but it’s not that much anymore about the tennis. It’s still about me being more relaxed, being more confident, trying to use the time to maybe see things differently and maybe having a different approach. Then the results will be very different on court, but without working that much on the tennis itself. The tennis is there for 30 years now, so that’s it.

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Is Shapovalov Returning To The Rap Game?

  • Posted: Aug 05, 2020

Is Shapovalov Returning To The Rap Game?

The #NextGenATP rapped at the 2019 BNP Paribas Open

Is #NextGenATP star Denis Shapovalov making a return to the rap game?

Judging by the 21-year-old’s social media activity, he is. The Canadian recently started a new Instagram account (, where he posted the teaser of a song called ‘Night Train’.


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A post shared by Shapo ( on

“Night Train 🚂… coming soon?” Shapovalov wrote in his post.

The lefty has entered the rap scene before. At last year’s BNP Paribas Open, Shapovalov beat Steve Johnson in his opening match. The #NextGenATP star agreed with the Stadium 3 emcee that if he won his next match on that court, he’d rap. After defeating Marin Cilic in the Round of 32, the Canadian kept his word.

“Definitely not ready, but I’ll give it a go,” Shapovalov said to a cheering crowd.

“I’m here in Cali with the fans gettin’ hella lit. Happy with the win today, now I gotta float a spit. Lovin’ the support, I leave it all on the court. Fightin’ like a wolf, I’ll be back for more so take care and good night. Know this the good life. Hot tubs and court time. Thursday we back, ight!?”

It was all in good fun. Even though Shapovalov was more focused on his match than being prepared to rap, he enjoys writing lyrics in his free time.

“That was cool,” Shapovalov said in his press conference that day. “It’s something I have been doing as a hobby. It’s just a fun little part of me.”

If Shapovalov does come out with produced music, perhaps he will soon have a new nickname; not ‘Shapo’, but ‘MC Shapo’.

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US Open Reveals 2020 Prize Money Distribution

  • Posted: Aug 05, 2020

US Open Reveals 2020 Prize Money Distribution

The US Open is set to begin on 31 August

The USTA today announced that the US Open will offer $53.4 million in total player compensation in 2020 – nearly 95 per cent of its total from 2019 – with $7.6 million dedicated toward player relief from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The USTA, ATP and WTA Tours worked collaboratively to build a payment structure for the 2020 US Open that would feature critical financial balance and support for players. First-round prize money for men’s and women’s singles increased by 5 per cent over 2019 ($61,000 from $58,000), while second and third-round singles prize money was unchanged. Doubles prize money for the rounds of 32, 16 and the quarter-finals also remained the same as 2019.

Both the men’s and women’s singles champion will earn $3 million.

2020 US Open Prize Money

 Round  Singles  Doubles (per team)
 Winner  $3,000,000  $400,000
 Runner-up  $1,500,000  $240,000
 Semi-finalist   $800,000  $130,000
Quarter-finalist  $425,000  $91,000
 Round of 16  $250,000  $50,000
 Round of 32  $163,000  $30,000 
 Round of 64   $100,000  xxxxx
 Round of 128  $61,000  xxxxx

The USTA will also provide $6.6 million in additional relief grants and subsidies due to the decision to not hold qualifying and the reduction of the doubles draws. These funds will be allocated equally to the ATP and WTA, which will then make the determination of how to distribute and/or utilise them to provide replacement playing and ranking-point opportunities. Previously in 2020, the USTA contributed $1 million to an international player relief fund.

“We’re proud to be able to offer a player compensation package that maintains nearly 95 per cent of the prize pool from 2019,” said Mike Dowse, USTA Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director. “The prize money distribution for the 2020 US Open is the result of close collaboration between the USTA, WTA and ATP, and represents a commitment to supporting players and their financial well-being during an unprecedented time.”

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Western & Southern Open will also be held at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center this year. The main draw of the ATP Masters 1000 begins on 22 August.

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Are You Not Entertained?! Kyrgios' Tips & Deliveries In Washington

  • Posted: Aug 05, 2020

Are You Not Entertained?! Kyrgios’ Tips & Deliveries In Washington

Aussie delivers unforgettable moments in 2019 title run

There’s never a dull moment when Nick Kyrgios is playing, but arguably the most event-filled week of his career took place during last year’s title run at the Citi Open.

The Aussie saved a match point in his semi-final victory against Stefanos Tsitsipas and overcame back spasms to defeat Daniil Medvedev for his second ATP 500 title of the season. With ATP Tour trainers treating his body, Tournament Manager Mark Ein orchestrating an emergency delivery of racquets and helpful fans doling out advice, it took a village to get Kyrgios to his sixth ATP Tour crown. looks back at some of his memorable moments on and off the court that week in Washington.

Suggested Serving
There’s no on-court coaching on the ATP Tour, but that didn’t stop fans from giving Kyrgios serving tips.

Upon reaching match point in his last three matches of the week, Kyrgios asked a fan where to direct his serve. In his quarter-final match against Norbert Gombos, a female spectator suggested going out wide. He obliged and cracked an ace, jogging back to her in celebration before she kissed the Aussie on the cheek and hugged him.

He did the same thing against against Tsitsipas, following a fan’s recommendation to hit his serve out wide before cracking a forehand winner and rushing back to shake the spectator’s hand. Kyrgios repeated the trend on championship point against Medvedev and was once again told to serve out wide, leading the Aussie to hit an ace before collapsing to the ground in celebration.

Racquet Emergency
Kyrgios was down to one racquet the night before his Sunday final against Medvedev. His dad had sent five more from Canberra, Australia, but they were stuck in customs at FedEx’s Washington Dulles International Airport distribution centre and not due to be delivered until Monday. Making matters worse, the centre was closed on Sunday.

After texting Ein with his dilemma, the Tournament Manager sprang into action and reached out to an executive contact he had at FedEx. By Sunday morning, Kyrgios had the racquet delivery in hand with plenty of time before taking to court.

“[Ein] was able to pull some strings for me, and that was massive honestly for FedEx to make an exception and get me some racquets for the final, which was awesome. I’m super thankful to Mark and to FedEx,” Kyrgios said. “Everything happens for a reason. I got the racquets and got the ‘W’.”

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Special Delivery
Kyrgios wasn’t only receiving deliveries that week. Early in the third set of his semi-final with Tsitsipas, the Greek had difficulties with one of his shoelaces. A ballboy rushed the shoe up to Tsitsipas’ father, Apostolos, who quickly went to work in repairing it.

When the problem was fixed, Kyrgios took the sneaker from Apostolos and jogged over to his opponent’s chair, presenting it on bended knee and with his head bowed. A bemused Stefanos smiled and gave a thumbs-up.

“Some people love him. Some people hate him. I believe we need people like him in the game,” Stefanos said afterwards. “Otherwise, everything becomes too serious. He’s fun.”

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