Tennis News

From around the world

Andujar On Tuesday Federer Clash: 'I Want To Tell My Grandkids I Played Him'

  • Posted: May 17, 2021

Pablo Andujar has played Novak Djokovic twice (0-2) and Rafael Nadal four times (0-4). On Tuesday, the Spaniard will get his first crack at Roger Federer in the second round of the Gonet Geneva Open.

“[I am] really, really excited. It was something that I wanted, to have a match against Roger, just to tell my kids and my grandkids when I get older that I played him,” Andujar said. “This is something that for a long time I was looking for. I played Rafa, I played Novak, and I had to close that gap. I knew I was not going to have as many opportunities because years go on. I’m really excited and really happy to play Roger, and in Switzerland as well.”

The 35-year-old has won four ATP Tour titles and climbed as high as No. 32 in the FedEx ATP Rankings. Andujar has competed in big matches against the world’s best players, and he still gets excited for opportunities like this.

“I think when you play Rafa, Novak and Roger, these guys became myths. [They are] something above the sport,” Andujar said. “Of course the elegance that Roger has is something amazing and that [is] in all the tennis schools, we see him with the technique and everything. But I would say that the most important is that they grew the sport and now they are above the sport. They are like something else.”

Federer is playing just his second tournament since the 2020 Australian Open after undergoing two arthroscopic right knee surgeries. The Swiss lost in the Doha quarter-finals in March.

“I feel sympathy with all of the players that have been struggling with long-term injuries and of course Roger is one of them. I know how difficult it is because sometimes you try to come back and then it hurts. At least for me it [did], and you have a lot of doubts,” Andujar admitted. “For sure, it’s very difficult for your mentality. But I think with the level he’s got and how he plays, if he is 100 per cent fit, he is going to be Roger Federer once again. In that sense, it will probably not be as hard as it was for me to come back to my level.”

Andujar is no stranger to comebacks, having had three right elbow surgeries in a 13-month span between March 2016 and April 2017. In 2018, the Spaniard won his first ATP Tour title post-injury in Marrakech.

“Of course when you come back after a long time without playing, you don’t feel the same way as when you’ve played a lot of matches in the past weeks. But we’re talking about Roger Federer, we’re not talking about Pablo Andujar, and that is probably the big difference,” Andujar said. “He’s somebody who is so talented, even if he hasn’t played so many matches, I think he can play tomorrow as well as he did two or three years ago.”

Andujar has shared the court with the former World No. 1 before. More than a decade ago, he recalls hitting with Federer at Roland Garros when the Swiss was under the tutelage of coach Jose Higueras. The Spaniard also remembers warming up Federer as a sparring partner when the Mutua Madrid Open was played on hard courts.

“Even if I’m old, I was a kid [then],” Andujar said. “And he was already on the top.”

Source link

Roland Garros Announces 2021 Wild Cards

  • Posted: May 17, 2021

Hugo Gaston, a breakout star at last year’s Roland Garros, is among seven French players awarded wild cards for this year’s clay-court major.

In 2020, Gaston reached the fourth round as a wild card with an upset of 2015 champion Stan Wawrinka. He would push Dominic Thiem to five sets and finish the season inside of the Top 200 for the first time.

Seven of the wild cards are being awarded to French players with the eighth yet to be announced. It will go to an Australian player as part of the reciprocal agreement between the two Grand Slams.

French teenager Arthur Cazaux will make his Grand Slam debut. This week at the Gonet Geneva Open, Cazaux picked up his first tour-level victory by defeating Adrian Mannarino in three sets. He’s currently ranked No. 517 in the FedEx ATP Rankings and Geneva marks his fourth tour-level event. 

Gregoire Barrere will also appear in the main draw in Paris. Ranked World No. 123, Barrere just qualified for the main draw at the Open Parc Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes Lyon with a win over countryman Antoine Hoang.

The other wild cards will go to Benjamin Bonzi (who at No. 115 was on the cusp of the main draw), Mathias Bourgue, Enzo Couacaud and Arthur Rinderknech. Earlier this year, Rinderknech made a run to his first tour-level quarter-final, at the Open 13 Provence, and followed it by a third-round appearance at the Serbia Open.

Roland Garros will begin on 30 May.

Source link

Serena On Roger: 'He Is Really The Greatest Player'

  • Posted: May 17, 2021

WTA superstar Serena Williams won her first-round match at the Emilia-Romagna Open in Parma, and afterwards she had plenty of praise for former World No. 1 Roger Federer, who will play his second tournament of the year this week at the Gonet Geneva Open.

“I think two words sum it up: Roger Federer,” Williams said of Federer’s legacy. “He’s just a synopsis of greatness and class and amazing and really changed the game. You see players playing like him, moving like him, doing his techniques. The guy is [a] genius.”

Williams has accomplished everything there is to achieve in professional tennis, and even she admitted she is a Federer “superfan”.

“I just feel like he is really the greatest player. Just look at him,” Williams said. “You can’t not like the guy, that’s how I feel. His game is so fantastic. If I could only play like him!”

Source link

Korda Beats Herbert To Advance In Lyon

  • Posted: May 17, 2021

Sebastian Korda outlasted rainy skies and a tough Pierre-Hugues Herbert to advance 7-6(5), 6-4 at the Open Parc Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes Lyon on Monday. In the second round, he awaits the winner of seventh seed Felix Auger-Aliassime and Lorenzo Musetti.

Rain stopped the match at 5-4 in the second set, and Korda returned to the court to capatalise on his first match point, breaking Herbert for the third time. With the win, Korda snapped a four-match losing streak dating back to his quarter-final run at the Miami Open presented by Itau. At World No. 65, the #NextGenATP star is just three spots shy of his career-high FedEx ATP Ranking.

In other main-draw matches, Cameron Norrie defeated Corentin Moutet to set up a second-round clash with top seed Dominic Thiem. Thiem won their only ATP Head2Head meeting three years ago in Acapulco.

Aljaz Bedene beat Gilles Simon and takes on fourth seed David Goffin next, while Yoshihito Nishioka fought past Ugo Humbert 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.

The qualifying draw was completed with Kamil Majchrzak, Mikael Ymer, Joao Sousa and Gregoire Barrere snagging main-draw spots.

Source link

Cazaux, A Big Stephen Curry Fan, Lands Jaw-Dropping Tweener In First ATP Win

  • Posted: May 17, 2021

Arthur Cazaux made his ATP Tour debut in style in more ways than one on Monday at the Gonet Geneva Open.

The 18-year-old Frenchman not only defeated Adrian Mannarino 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-3 for his first tour-level, but he also hit a jaw-dropping tweener for a winner that might stand up as shot of the month at 5-6 in the second set.

“When I hit the shot, I didn’t think about nothing. I had my back to the net and I just hit the shot. I didn’t ask any questions in my head,” Cazaux told “It was a big shot. I’m so happy I hit this shot.”

This was the teen’s first tour-level match, but he also made a splash earlier this month by upsetting #NextGenATP star Sebastian Korda in the first round of Mutua Madrid Open qualifying. The Frenchman will next play Rome semi-finalist Reilly Opelka or Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas.

“It’s something very great. It’s a big win for me today. It’s the biggest win of my life,” Cazaux said. “I’m so grateful and I hope to continue in this tournament.”

Watch Monday Lyon Highlights:

Off the court, Cazaux said he is a fan of nature and sports, specifically basketball. That was apparent after he hit his magnificent tweener, quickly putting three fingers to his head, which is a celebration NBA stars use after making a three-point shot.

The World No. 517 has his eyes on his favourite team, the Golden State Warriors, who are seeded eighth in the NBA’s Western Conference.

“I’m a big fan of basketball, the NBA. I’m a big fan of Stephen Curry,” Cazaux said. “It’s an important moment now because the Warriors are playing the play-in tournament against the Lakers. It’s going to be tough, but I hope the Warriors are going to win.”

Source link

Nishikori To Become A Parent in 2021

  • Posted: May 17, 2021

The 2021 season is already a milestone for Kei Nishikori as he announced that he is going to become a new father. The 31-year-old shared the news on his app, saying “Mai and I are excited to announce that later this year we will add a little minion.”

Nishikori married his longtime girlfriend Mai Yamauchi in December. This will be their first child together.

Currently ranked World No 48 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, Nishikori reached the third round in Rome last week, challenging Alexander Zverev in a three-set loss. A former World No. 4, Nishikori became the first Asian male to contest a Grand Slam final when he reached the 2014 US Open final.

Source link

Federer: 'Everyone Is Playing Great, I Want To Achieve That Too'

  • Posted: May 17, 2021

Roger Federer is looking forward to returning to the ATP Tour this week at the Gonet Geneva Open.

The Swiss superstar, who has played just two matches this year at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in March, admitted on Monday, “I am just concerned about where my game is at. The guys are back on Tour in a good rhythm, the level everyone is producing is great. I want to achieve that again too.

“I need to play 10 matches to give you a better answer [about my level]. Things have been going well in practice. When you come back from an injury, you’re in a different place than everyone else. I am excited about the comeback, and won’t be focused on being at the same level as Rafa [Nadal] or Novak [Djokovic] right now.”

The 39-year-old brings a 32-match winning streak on home soil into the ATP 250 tournament, and is pursuing his first title since triumphing at the Swiss Indoors Basel in October 2019. Federer, who underwent two arthroscopic right knee surgeries in 2020, will play Australia’s Jordan Thompson or Pablo Andujar of Spain on Tuesday.

“I was happy that the knee didn’t feel any different from hard to clay, and I expect the same in the switch from clay to grass,” said Federer. “I’ve never had any major issues going between the surfaces, but with an injury and not having played as long as I have, there is always concerns. So far, the clay has been good for me and I hope it will be good for me for the grass.”

Federer lost his last tour-level match to eventual champion Nikoloz Basilashvili in the Qatar ExxonMobil Open quarter-finals on 11 March. Although he hasn’t watched much tennis since then, what coverage he has seen, he’s been impressed.

“I haven’t watched that much, but every time I have watched I’ve been impressed,” said Federer. “I’ve been excited to find out [how I’ll fare]. But going to Doha I was particularly worried about the level and the first set I played with Dani [Daniel Evans], I won it and I surprised myself a little.

“Now we’re on clay, I’m more focused on the clay than my opponent. Once I get healthy and matches under my belt, that will increase my confidence. I think then I’ll be a part of the top tier. If you want to be in the top tier you need to play 50, 80 or 100 matches per season and that gets tougher as you get older.

“One thing is for sure, that the generation of [Stefanos] Tsitsipas, [Andrey] Rublev, [Daniil] Medvedev and [Alexander] Zverev have all gotten better with more experience. Dominic [Thiem] won a Slam in the meantime, and Rafa and Novak are still where they are. You would think that the game has improved again. It will be an extra challenge to find that level, but it was never going to be simple, whether I was out for three months or almost a year-and-a-half.”

Source link

Sonego Returns To Top 30, Mover Of Week

  • Posted: May 17, 2021

No. 28 Lorenzo Sonego, +5 (Joint Career High)
The Italian returned to his career-high of No. 28 in the FedEx ATP Rankings after a run to the Internazionali BNL d’Italia semi-finals (l. to Djokovic). The 26-year-old beat Gael Monfils, Gianluca Mager, World No. 4 Dominic Thiem and World No. 7 Andrey Rublev en route to the last four of an ATP Masters 1000 tournament for the first time. Sonego first rose to No. 28 on 12 April 2021.

View Latest FedEx ATP Rankings

No. 35 Reilly Opelka, +12
The American sits four spots off his career-high of No. 31 after he reached his first Masters 1000 semi-final in Rome (l. to Nadal). The 23-year-old, who struck 88 aces in five matches, jumps 12 places to No. 35. He last reached the semi-finals (or better) at an ATP Tour event in February 2020, when Opelka captured his second title at the Delray Beach Open by (d. Nishioka).

No. 50 Federico Delbonis, +14
The Argentine, who qualified for the Rome tournament, moved up 14 spots to No. 50 after he reached the quarter-finals (l. to Opelka). It marks the first time Delbonis has been in the Top 50 of the FedEx ATP Rankings since the week of 6 March 2017 (No. 49).

Other Notable Top 100 Movers
No. 17 Jannik Sinner, +1 (Career High)
No. 19 Felix Auger-Aliassime, +2
No. 25 Aslan Karatsev, +2 (Career High)
No. 38 Alexander Bublik, +2 (Career High)
No. 45 Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, +3 (Career High)
No. 65 Sebastian Korda, +2
No. 80 Jaume Munar, +3
No. 86 Gianluca Mager, +4
No. 92 Yannick Hanfmann, +3 (Career High)

Source link