Tennis News

From around the world

Chang: The Hate Against Asian-Americans Has To Stop

  • Posted: May 04, 2021

In commemoration of Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, American legend Michael Chang penned a poignant essay urging unity and calling for the end of racially motivated hate crimes.

Chang, who was born in Hoboken to parents from Chinese Taipei, also wrote about the way mistrust and misinformation surrounding COVID-19 has fueled the recent wave of violent crime and discrimination against the AAPI community in the US.

It’s a subject that Chang knows all too well, as he recalled being on the receiving end of racially motivated discrimination during a recent outing with his wife Amber Liu Chang.

Chang is best known for his 1989 run to the French Open title at 17 years old, and his International Tennis Hall of Fame career includes 34 tour-level singles titles. The former World No. 2 has also been the long-time coach of Kei Nishikori.

Read this excerpt below from Chang’s essay penned for

These hate crimes are incredibly disturbing to me, an Asian-American born and raised in the United States. My parents are in their late seventies and, just like everyone else in this COVID-19 pandemic, have taken many precautions to protect themselves, their loved ones and their community from contracting the virus. But now, even with vaccinations being made more available and COVID-19 infection numbers falling, they have a new fear and concern: racial hate crime.

I understand that this pandemic has not been easy for anyone. Many of us have lost someone that matters or been sick ourselves. And we have all had to make changes and sacrifices in our lives which we never envisioned in order to do our part to stop the spread of this terrible virus. But unfortunately, some individuals have targeted their frustration and anger, choosing to place blame for this pandemic on my fellow Asian-Americans. I’ve experienced this type of discrimination firsthand. Recently, when walking into my local Walmart with my wife (thankfully without our kids), a man told me to, “Go back to China—you brought the coronavirus here!”

My wife and I were shocked and immediately replied, “Excuse me?” He made another similar comment and walked away. My first thought was, “Wait, I was born and raised in the United States just like you.” But even if I had been born and raised in China, would that make me worthy of harassment? As I have come to realize, ignorance doesn’t always recognize what is true, and the truth often remains unseen—particularly when there is so much misinformation being shared around us.

While I know that people sometimes make comments without thinking or out of ignorance, we are seeing that kind of ignorance taken to another level entirely—that of violence upon completely innocent people—and this is unacceptable. Every day, we all see the disturbing images and video clips of these hate crimes all around the U.S. It HAS to stop because it only results in shattered lives.

Visit to read Chang’s full essay.

Source link

Rust For Domi? Thiem Shows None In Madrid

  • Posted: May 04, 2021

If you thought Dominic Thiem would be rusty in his first match in nearly two months, you thought wrong.

The Austrian star was in full flight on Tuesday evening when he defeated American qualifier Marcos Giron 6-1, 6-3 to reach the third round of the Mutua Madrid Open. The third seed is off to a good start at the Caja Magica, where he made the final in 2017 and 2018.

“I was uncertain how things will be going. The game worked out very well in the past days of practice, but I was always practising on the outside courts which are faster, which are smaller, so I was just not sure how it was going to be in the match,” Thiem said. “But there were some things which I think made [the match] a little bit easier after such a long time, especially the conditions in Madrid, which are great for me.

“Then [I have] amazing memories on this court, where I already played probably some of the best matches of my career. I think that’s why things worked out quite well tonight.”

Thiem had not competed since 16 March, when he lost against Lloyd Harris in his opening match in Dubai. But the 27-year-old looked refreshed in the Spanish capital, playing an aggressive, but tidy match to triumph inside Stadium Manolo Santana after 58 minutes. 

“For my game, I need 100 per cent intensity and 100 per cent energy. I’m not the guy who can serve through a match or who can play with a little bit of intensity and still win. I’m just not that type of guy,” Thiem said. “I need 100 per cent in every aspect of my game.
I was just not able to put that on court in Doha, Dubai, or towards the end of the Australian Open, so that’s why it was better to take a break.

“[It was] better to come back when it’s possible again to play with that 100 per cent in every aspect of my game.”

Giron is a physical baseliner who had already played two matches lasting more than three hours in Madrid this year, defeating Thiago Monteiro in the first round of qualifying and Pablo Andujar in the first round of the main draw on Monday. But the American couldn’t find the energy to match Thiem’s greater physicality. 

The two-time Roland Garros finalist and reigning US Open champion hit bigger than Giron and with more spin, pinning the qualifier deep in the court. Thiem broke the World No. 91’s serve four times and did not face a break point.


In the next round, Thiem will face Australian Alex de Minaur, who led Lloyd Harris 6-2, 3-0 when the South African retired.

De Minaur has only won one of 10 sets he has played against Thiem, who leads their ATP Head2Head series 3-0. Two of those matches came at the US Open, in 2017 and 2020, respectively.

Source link

Berrettini Battles Past Fognini In Italian Generational Clash

  • Posted: May 04, 2021

Matteo Berrettini won a generational all-Italian battle on Tuesday, beating Fabio Fognini 6-3, 6-4 to reach the third round of the Mutua Madrid Open.

The first time these two Italian stars met was four years ago at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia. Berrettini was 21 years old and No. 249 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, and he managed just four games. Berrettini is now the No. 1 Italian and he reenforced his status with an 82-minute victory at the Caja Magica. He has now won five consecutive matches including his title run in Belgrade.


“I’m pretty happy for my physical shape, for my mental performance so far, and the way I came back after a big injury. I think I’m playing good. I’m really feeling confident,” Berrettini said. “These conditions I think are good for my tennis. It’s tough to build the momentum in these conditions and it was tougher for me because I got injured, but I’m trying really hard. The results so far are pretty good.”

The eighth seed will next play Estoril champion Albert Ramos-Vinolas or Argentine qualifier Federico Delbonis. Earlier in the day, Ramos-Vinolas beat Taylor Fritz7-5, 5-7, 6-4 to reach the second round.

Fognini hit one more winner than Berrettini in the match, 17-16. But the World No. 10 dominated with his serve, winning 85 per cent of his first-serve points to avoid facing a break point in the match. Berrettini closed out the match without difficulty, holding to love in his final service game with a forehand drop shot.

“I really put a lot of effort and energy, I really try to focus a lot in order to serve like this. It’s not something that is coming really easily,” Berrettini said. “When it’s working like it was working today, I feel confident, but at the same time I ask myself to not get [drop my attention], because just one game can change the whole match.
That’s what I try to do, but I guess today [it] worked pretty well.” 

Did You Know?
Berrettini and Fognini helped lead Team Italy to the final of the ATP Cup earlier this year. At that event, Berrettini earned Top 15 victories against Dominic Thiem, Gael Monfils and Roberto Bautista Agut.

Source link

Zverev Picks Up Doubles Win In Madrid

  • Posted: May 04, 2021

Singles stars were all over the doubles court on Tuesday at the Mutua Madrid Open. In first-round action, Alexander Zverev teamed with compatriot Tim Puetz to defeat Felix Auger-Aliassime and Hubert Hurkacz 6-2, 6-4.

Zverev will play his opening singles match against Kei Nishikori on Wednesday while Auger-Aliassime and Hurkacz were knocked out of the draw earlier on Tuesday. 

Stefanos Tsitsipas and his younger brother Petros Tsitsipas challenged seventh seeds Wesley Koolhof and Lukasz Kubot but ultimately fell 6-4, 5-7, 10-6. The Tsitsipas brothers have teamed up five times in 2021, winning two matches.

Germans Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen eased past the tandem of Marton Fucsovics and Casper Ruud 6-3, 6-4. Gille and Vliegen are fresh off a final appearance in Munich and won in Singapore earlier this season for their fifth ATP Tour crown together.

In the only match that didn’t feature a prominent singles star, Kevin Krawietz and Horia Tecau topped Henri Kontinen and Edouard Roger-Vasselin 6-3, 6-4. Last week in Munich, Krawietz teamed up with Koolhof to win the title.

Source link

My Pandemic: Sinner Raises Mental Health Awareness

  • Posted: May 04, 2021

As the world still deals with the impact of COVID-19, Jannik Sinner is doing his part to raise mental health awareness. The 19-year-old Italian recently spoke about the pandemic, mental health and the launch of his Instagram series, “What’s Kept You Moving”.

“Mental health is important,” Sinner said. “Many people don’t speak about that, so I would like to speak a little bit more about that.”

The World No. 18 spent the lockdown trying to stay in shape from the confines of his Monaco apartment with the help of a fitness trainer from the Piatti Tennis Center.

“I have to say it was tough,” Sinner said. “What I missed the most was touching the ball, feeling the ball especially hearing the ball.”

The #NextGenATP star’s family members contracted COVID-19, making tennis a second priority to health.

“For me, the most important thing was my family,” the teenager said. “Everyone had COVID in my family, but everyone is safe now so I’m very glad and happy that everyone survived that.”

Sinner would rejoin the tour in August and finish the 2020 season on a high note by winning his first ATP Tour title in Sofia. He’d start 2021 with a second title, at the Great Ocean Road Open. After reaching his first ATP Masters 1000 final in Miami and appearing in the semi-finals in Barcelona, Sinner made his Top 20 debut.

As his star rises on court, Sinner wants to use his growing platform to increase mental health awareness, especially in young people.

“I think many young people don’t talk much about tough situations in their lives. It doesn’t have to be only COVID, but all the rest together,” Sinner said. “I think if you have a great family behind you, don’t be scared about talking with them about everything. You have to be honest with yourself, even if it hurts trying to speak about that. I think it’s not only in normal life, but even if you play sports, the mental part is maybe the most important thing you have in your life.”

His Instagram series has seen him speak with sports figures about how their life has changed because of the pandemic.

“I think it’s very interesting to see other people’s opinions,” Sinner said. “I’m looking forward to speaking with normal people with normal jobs. Just trying to mix it up as much as possible.”

This week in Madrid, he’s into the second round after Guido Pella retired while Sinner was leading 6-2, 4-4. Sinner will next take on Alexei Popyrin Wednesday.

Source link

Bublik Bounces Shapovalov In Madrid

  • Posted: May 04, 2021

The best season of Alexander Bublik’s career continues to get better.

The Kazakhstani battled past 11th seed Denis Shapovalov 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 after two hours and 20 minutes on Tuesday to reach the third round of the Mutua Madrid Open. The 23-year-old will next play seventh seed Diego Schwartzman or 2021 breakthrough star Aslan Karatsev for a spot in the quarter-finals in his tournament debut.

Bublik now has a career-high 18 wins in 2021 just more than four months into the season. The 23-year-old was the more consistent player inside Stadium 3, taking advantage of Shapovalov’s 40 unforced errors to take a 2-0 ATP Head2Head series lead against the Canadian, who hit 14 double faults.

“I started on the same level as the other day, so it’s not so much of my game not working. It’s more mental,” Shapovalov said. “Throwing in five doubles in one game, it’s not like I don’t know how to serve. It’s completely mental.”

Bublik Second-Serve Return Placement

Alexander Bublik
Graphic courtesy of Hawk-Eye Innovations/ATP Media
Bublik had never previously won an ATP Masters 1000 match outside of Miami. But now he has two impressive wins under his belt against in-form Hungarian Marton Fucsovics and Shapovalov.


In other action, Albert Ramos-Vinolas maintained his high level with a 7-5, 5-7, 6-4 victory against Taylor Fritz. Just two days ago, the Spaniard lifted his third ATP Tour trophy in Estoril, but he managed to quickly adjust to the Madrid altitude to move on after two hours and 29 minutes.

Ramos-Vinolas will next play Argentine qualifier Federico Delbonis, who eliminated 10th seed Pablo Carreno Busta in Monday’s final match of the evening. Delbonis leads their ATP Head2Head series 4-2.

The 33-year-old Ramos-Vinolas leads the ATP Tour with 17 tour-level wins on clay this year, and Delbonis is second with 10.

Did You Know?
With his win against Shapovalov, Bublik is now 9-0 against left-handers.

Source link

Rublev Survives Paul Challenge In Madrid

  • Posted: May 04, 2021

Andrey Rublev overcame a tough challenge on his Mutua Madrid Open debut on Tuesday to beat Tommy Paul 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-4 for a place in the third round. Paul put forth a brilliant effort while Rublev struggled to control the ball in the unfamiliar high altitude. 

“It’s important to win when you’re not [playing] your [best] game and things are not going well,” the Russian said on-court. “So it’s really important to win this match to have more confidence. I’m happy that I turned it around.”

The World No. 7, who has advanced to the quarter-finals or better in all seven tournaments he has played this season, is now 9-2 at the ATP Masters 1000 level in 2021, after reaching the semi-finals in Miami and the final in Monte-Carlo.

Rublev’s next opponent is still undecided as John Isner awaits the winner of Roberto Bautista Agut and Marco Cecchinato, who play later Tuesday.


Rublev opened up a 4-2 lead in the first set, but Paul stayed calm, even with this week also marking his Madrid debut. After four straight service breaks heading into the tie-break, and later a 1/5 deficit, the American held his nerve to fight back and clinch the 49-minute opener by winning six points in a row.

In the second set, Paul showed signs of fatigue, and after trading service games, Rublev capitalised on Paul’s slight letdown in energy to break for 5-3. The third set could have gone either way with both raising their intensity. Paul had a look at a break point at 4-3, but Rublev saved it and then took all of the momentum to break in the very next game. He sealed his first win in Madrid with an ace.

Rublev improves to 3-0 in their ATP Head2Head Series and inches ahead of Stefanos Tsitsipas to take the lead for most ATP wins in 2021 with 27.

Source link