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Brady Inspired By Nadal, One Of TIME's 100 Most Influential People Of 2022

  • Posted: May 23, 2022

Brady Inspired By Nadal, One Of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People Of 2022

NFL star writes tribute to the 35-year-old lefty

Rafael Nadal earned more than just a first-round win at Roland Garros on Monday. The Spaniard was also named to the TIME 100 Most Influential People of 2022 list as part of the ‘Icons’ group, which also includes singers Adele and Mary J. Blige, actor Keanu Reeves and WTA player Peng Shuai.

Earlier this year, the lefty claimed a record 21st Grand Slam title at the Australian Open, and he could win a record-extending 14th Coupe des Mousquetaires at Roland Garros.

Legendary NFL quarterback Tom Brady wrote about Nadal for TIME, praising the 35-year-old’s “mental and physical toughness” as well as his focus.

“I admire athletes who push themselves to the limit, and I’m absolutely inspired every time Rafa takes the court,” Brady wrote. “There’s something to be learned from watching his determination, his strategy, everything that it takes for him to never take any moment for granted. He’s forever going to be remembered as one of the very best athletes in all of sports.”

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Sousa Soars Following Geneva Final Run, Mover Of Week

  • Posted: May 23, 2022

Sousa Soars Following Geneva Final Run, Mover Of Week looks at the top Movers of the Week in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, as of Monday, 23 May 2022

No. 63 Joao Sousa, +16
The 33-year-old has climbed 16 places to No. 63 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings after he reached his second tour-level final of the season at the Gonet Geneva Open. The Portuguese, who triumphed in Pune in February, did not drop a set en route to the final before he was edged by Casper Ruud in three sets in the championship match. Read Geneva Final Report & Watch Highlights.

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No. 38 Alex Molcan, +9 (Career High)
The Slovakian has jumped into the Top 40 for the first time after he advanced to his third ATP Tour championship match at the Open Parc Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes Lyon. The 24-year-old earned standout wins over seeds Karen Khachanov and Alex de Minaur, but was unable to overcome Cameron Norrie in a tight final. Watch Lyon Final Report & Watch Highlights.

No. 70 Richard Gasquet, +5
Following a run to his first semi-final of the season in Geneva, the 35-year-old has risen five spots. The Frenchman shocked World No. 2 Daniil Medvedev in the second round and also earned straight-set wins over John Millman and Kamil Majchrzak.

Other Notable Top 100 Movers
No. 17 Reilly Opelka, +1 (Joint Career High)
No. 20 Alex de Minaur, +1
No. 54 Federico Coria, +4
No. 58 Tallon Griekspoor, +6
No. 89 Roberto Carballes Baena, +13

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Wawrinka: Defeat ‘Mirrors Where I Am’

  • Posted: May 23, 2022

Wawrinka: Defeat ‘Mirrors Where I Am’

2015 champion sees positives despite first-round loss at Roland Garros

As can be expected of a three-time Grand Slam winner, Stan Wawrinka was disappointed with his first-round loss to Corentin Moutet at Roland Garros on Monday afternoon. But the 37-year-old was not too downbeat about his performance in just his third tour-level tournament after being out for more than a year with a foot injury.

“Obviously it’s a great disappointment to lose in a Grand Slam, but it’s the reality of my life now,” said the 2015 Roland Garros champion at his post-match press conference. “I knew before the match that I needed to work a lot physically, to work my tennis. It’s not [that] I’m playing badly or I’m not good, but I’m not yet feeling good for matches like that.

“This is the mirror of where I am now. You have to go through times like this with bad matches, with bad first rounds in a Grand Slam, because I need to play a few matches to renew the feelings you look for in a match.”

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Moutet Earns Wawrinka Win In Paris

The Swiss came out strongly on Court Suzanne Lenglen, but faded after the first set against Moutet, who ran out a 2-6, 6-3, 7-6(2), 6-3 winner. Wawrinka acknowledged he had been unable to sustain his level against the World No. 139, but credited the French wild card with raising his game to turn around the match.

“I played well in the first set, but he wasn’t into the match yet,” said Wawrinka. “The beginning of the second set he got into it a bit better. I started hesitating and you know things swing very fast, especially when you’re looking for confidence in yourself, in your game. As soon as you are heading in the wrong direction, the head goes very fast.

“Moutet fought very well, he played his game. His game is difficult to play because he has a lot of talent, he’s left-handed, he mixes his shots a lot. It’s beautiful to see for the fans, but it’s very complicated to return. He played his game today and he did well.”

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The 16-time tour-level titlist Wawrinka delivered a reminder of his abilities at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome two weeks ago, defeating Reilly Opelka and Laslo Djere at the ATP Masters 1000 event for his first victories in 14 months. Despite those promising results, he feels further physical improvements are required to reach the next level.

“[When] I renewed with training and at the end of February and beginning of March, I knew it would take time to get back into the competition and to renew the level where I feel good,” said Wawrinka. “[Where] I get on court and I’m okay, I’m fit and I’m ready to play a good match.

“I am okay, but I’m not as fit as I would like to be. As far as tennis is concerned, I’m not back to the level I wanted, I have to take weeks of physical preparation and do some training matches. I’m getting close. A few weeks and I should be there.”

Wawrinka accepts that the whole process can take time, and the Swiss is prepared to put in the hard yards to get there.

“At my age when you’re out of the Tour for over a year, you take time to get back to the level you want,” he said. “I know what I want.

“I’m convinced that I can [come back] with a very good level because I have many clues that show that I can do it. It will take months, but I’m not afraid. It’s not a problem for me to train hard.”

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Djokovic Breaks Early Nishioka Resistance For Opening Win

  • Posted: May 23, 2022

Djokovic Breaks Early Nishioka Resistance For Opening Win

Serbian faces Molcan or Coria next

Novak Djokovic enjoyed a belated 35th birthday celebration with a dominant opening-round win Monday evening at Roland Garros. The World No. 1, whose birthday was Sunday, improved to 18-0 in the first round at the clay Grand Slam with a strong performance against Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka.

In a 6-3, 6-1, 6-0 result, Djokovic broke through stubborn early resistance in each of the first two sets to ease past his World No. 99 opponent for his 82nd win at the Paris event.

“Have to be pleased with the start [to the tournament],” Djokovic assessed. “Beginning of the match, until I really got used to and adapted to his game, it was difficult to go through him. He’s very quick, one of the quickest players on the tour.

“The conditions [were] quite slow. The ball was not bouncing, and it was just difficult to penetrate him. So the first set was very close, but I managed to find the right serves at the right time. That helped. Then I cruised through the second and third really when I started going through the ball a bit more.”

In a nearly 10-minute opening game, the Serbian saved three break points across five deuces. But once the Court Philippe Chatrier roof closed midway through the opening set, Djokovic took command. He saved a break point in his first service game of set two before racing out to a 5-0 lead. Though he could not serve out the middle set from 5-0, he completed the shutout in set three to ease through.


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Nishioka frustrated Djokovic at times with his determination and movement, and the match was much closer than the scoreline suggested until the Serbian pulled away late. The World No. 1 triumphed with a display of great variety, mixing in drop shots and looped baseline groundstrokes with more direct attacks throughout.

Djokovic did not drop a set in his Rome title run two weeks ago, and extended that streak to 13 sets in a row with victory on Chatrier.

“I have been feeling very well on clay in the last three, four weeks, of course,” Djokovic said. “Excited to bring out intensity on the court and compete with the guys. I’m happy to be back. Roland Garros is one of the biggest tournaments in the world, and the memories from last year still are fresh in my head, in my mind. It was nice to be back on the centre court.”

He has not lost a set in the opening round in Paris since 2010, and has never dropped more than three games in a set against Nishioka, whom he beat for the third time on Monday.

Nishioka, who was playing in just his second clay-court main draw of the season (Munich), drops to 2-14 against Top 10 opponents, including 0-4 on clay. He was seeking his first clay win of 2022.

Djokovic, the No. 1 seed for the fourth straight year and eighth year overall at Roland Garros, has never lost before the semi-finals as top seed, including his title runs in 2016 and 2021. He has reached the quarter-finals or better each year since 2010, and 15 of the past 17 years. Should he get to the last eight this year, he is seeded to meet Rafael Nadal in a rematch of their semi-final classic from 2021.

The Serbian is in his record 371st week atop the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, though his position is under threat from both Daniil Medvedev and Alexander Zverev this fortnight. Djokovic remains atop the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings but will soon lose the 2,000 points he earned from his 2021 title.

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Djokovic vs Medvedev vs Zverev: The 3-Way Roland Garros Battle For World No. 1

Alex Molcan or Federico Coria will provide the next opposition for Djokovic, with their opening-round match delayed by rain Monday. Slovakia’s Molcan is coached by Marian Vajda, who previously worked with Djokovic.

“It’s nice to have the full crowd, and I was lucky to be scheduled on the centre court because of the rain interruptions today. Many matches were not completed,” Djokovic said. “Obviously centre court being the only one with the roof helps a lot when you know you’re going to finish your match.

“At night usually in all Slams, in all tournaments, the atmosphere is more energetic, more electric, crowd gets into it. It was a good experience.”

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From France To Texas & Back Again, Rinderknech 'Climbing The Big Mountain'

  • Posted: May 23, 2022

From France To Texas & Back Again, Rinderknech ‘Climbing The Big Mountain’

Learn more about the 26-year-old Frenchman

Arthur Rinderknech was born to play tennis. The Frenchman’s mother, Virginie Paquet, won a round at Roland Garros in 1986. His father, Pascal, is the director of a tennis club in Paris. The fact that he is competing in singles at his home Grand Slam for the third time makes sense.

His journey, however, is not what you might expect.

Rinderknech can’t remember his earliest moments with a tennis racquet in his hand because of how young he was. “I had the racquet in my hand and wanted to hit the ball and that’s how it started,” he told “Then I just fell in love with this sport.”

But Rinderknech, now 26, did not prove his generation’s Richard Gasquet. In fact, he did not crack the Top 500 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings until 2018, when he was 23. That is partly because he did not turn professional as a teen. Instead, he spent four years more than 8,000 kilometres from home in College Station, Texas. Rather than a place visited for its tourist attractions, he was on a campus renowned for college football. Rinderknech opted to attend Texas A&M University, where he played college tennis.

“I think I’m a player that is a little different to a lot of the guys,” Rinderknech told “The way I made it, going through college [was different], especially as an international, not as an American player. I never played juniors when I was young, I never played for the French junior team when I was young.”

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The Frenchman added: “I felt like it was the best fit for me. I wasn’t the best in juniors. I was probably only ranked about fifth, sixth or seventh at my age in France, so I didn’t have much help. I wanted to keep playing tennis, not only go to school, and I could do both of them in the States, so that’s why I decided to go there. It was just a great experience and I kept improving.”

When Rinderknech was young, he went with his family to visit friends in Florida a few times between Boca Raton and Miami, so the United States was not completely new to him when he decided on following the college tennis route. He “loved the country and the culture”. The Gassin-native competed under head coach Steve Denton, the two-time Australian Open finalist.

“I felt like he had some good experience to give me, good teaching. He also had a big game, he was tall and served big, which is what I am trying to do,” Rinderknech said. “So I felt like it was the best fit for me, and of course the school is amazing, so it was perfect for me.”

It was not clear from the moment he stepped on campus that professional tennis was the next step, though. “I had this dream but was not really sure I wanted to do it,” Rinderknech admitted.

In the meantime, he studied business. “I’m pretty interested in business. Sports business, or business in general. I think it’s pretty interesting to know what’s going on. You know, manage people, manage money, stuff around. So I felt like it was the best thing for me to study, and also I think it leaves quite a lot of doors open for the future,” the Frenchman said.

But as Rinderknech’s time in Texas went on, his tennis improved. By the end of his college career, he cracked the Top 10 of the college rankings. When he was a junior at Texas A&M, he knew he wanted to play tennis for a living.

“I felt like I was improving in the States at college. My coach told me I should give it a shot, [that my] level was getting better and better,” Rinderknech said. “Then it’s just step by step. You’re getting better, you feel like you’re part of it and you want to get even better, and keep on climbing the big mountain.”

Team France
Rinderknech was a member of the 2022 French ATP Cup team. Photo Credit: Peter Staples/ATP Tour
Rinderknech’s big breakthrough came in January 2020, when he won his first ATP Challenger Tour title in Rennes, France, as the No. 328 player in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings. He has not looked back since.

Last season, the Frenchman advanced to his first ATP Tour quarter-final and semi-final, and also cracked the Top 100 for the first time in July. Rinderknech’s season finished late, and by the time he ramped up his training for the new year, he did not have much time to reflect, which he did not mind.

“I feel like I belong where I am now, so I’m fine with that,” Rinderknech said. “I’m playing some big tournaments every week, against some good guys, so I feel fine with that.”

The 26-year-old right-hander, who plays big-serving, aggressive tennis, was a member of this year’s French ATP Cup team and made his first tour-level final in Adelaide, where he lost to Thanasi Kokkinakis.

Now Rinderknech, the man with tennis in his DNA, is competing at the biggest events in the world. This will be the first time he competes at Roland Garros without needing a wild card. But he is not overwhelmed by the spotlight. He just wants to be viewed as “a nice guy” who is trying his best to get better.

“It doesn’t change anything,” Rinderknech said. “I just feel lucky to be a part of the biggest tournaments in the world.”

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Play Resumes On All Courts After Rain At Roland Garros

  • Posted: May 23, 2022

Play Resumes On All Courts After Rain At Roland Garros

Norrie and Wawrinka in action

Play has resumed on all courts at Roland Garros after rain had halted action on Monday at 1:02 p.m. local time.

The action continued throughout the two-hour, eight-minute delay on Court Philippe Chatrier, where Spaniard Rafael Nadal and World No. 1 Novak Djokovic will be starting their title quests on Philippe Chatrier later, following the completion of two WTA singles matches.

The 13-time champion Nadal will open against Australian Jordan Thompson, while reigning titlist Djokovic will start the defence of his crown against Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka not before 8:45 p.m. in the first night match of the tournament.

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Day 2 Preview: Nadal & Djokovic Aim For Fast Start In Paris

Despite the early rain, there was still time for Filip Krajinovic to notch the first victory of the day, as the Serbian upset 17th seed Reilly Opelka with a 7-6(5), 6-2, 6-3 win.

American Taylor Fritz is in a tight battle with Argentine qualifier Santiago Rodriguez Taverna. The Indian Wells champion Fritz resumes with a 7-6(2), 3-6, 3-1 lead.

Former World No. 3 Stan Wawrinka will get his campaign underway against French wild card Corentin Moutet on Court Suzanne Lenglen, while 10th seed Cameron Norrie begins against French wild card Manuel Guinard on Court Simonne Mathieu.

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