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Zvervev: 'Torn Several Lateral Ligaments'

  • Posted: Jun 04, 2022

Zvervev: ‘Torn Several Lateral Ligaments’

World No. 3 flying to Germany for further tests

Alexander Zverev has reported that initial medical checks indicate that he has torn several lateral ligaments in his right foot following his sickening injury at Roland Garros Friday.

The 25-year-old German was more than three hours into an epic semi-final with Rafael Nadal when he badly rolled his ankle while moving to his right. The World No. 3 crashed to the ground and was taken off court in a wheelchair before returning several minutes later to shake the hand of the chair umpire and hug Nadal.

“I am now on my way back home,” the World No. 3 wrote on Instagram. “Based on the first medical checks, it looks like I have torn several lateral ligaments in my right foot.

“I will be flying to Germany to determine the best and quickest way for me to recover. I want to thank everyone all over the world for the kind messages that I have received since yesterday.”

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Zverev and Nadal had enthralled fans on Court Philippe Chatrier for three hours and 13 minutes before Zverev’s injury brought the match to a jarring conclusion on the eve of the second-set tie-break. Nadal had rallied from 2/6 in the first set tie-break to hold a 7-6(8), 6-6 lead at the time.

Zverev was chasing his first Grand Slam title and the No. 1 Pepperstone ATP Ranking, which he would have claimed for the first time by winning the title.

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Arevalo/Rojer Save 3 Championship Points, Capture Roland Garros Crown

  • Posted: Jun 04, 2022

Arevalo/Rojer Save 3 Championship Points, Capture Roland Garros Crown

12th seeds clinch first major trophy as a team

Marcelo Arevalo and Jean-Julien Rojer captured their first Grand Slam title as a team Saturday, rallying past Ivan Dodig and Austin Krajicek 6-7(4), 7-6(5), 6-3 in the Roland Garros final.

In a hard-fought clash on Court Philippe Chatrier, Arevalo and Rojer produced a strong serving display and showed their fighting qualities. They saved three championship points on serve at 5-6 in the second set, before raising their level in the third set to seal victory after three hours and three minutes.

“I am really proud,” Rojer said during the trophy ceremony. “I know I am getting older and it makes these moments much more special because you don’t know how many more times you have left to play on such beautiful courts. I am extremely, extremely grateful.”

“I want to congratulate Ivan and Austin, this was an amazing battle,” Arevalo said. “You guys are amazing opponents… I feel we are super lucky to win the title today. I want to thank everyone inside the stadium, it was amazing. You guys made our moment precious. Thank you Roland Garros and Paris for this.”

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Arevalo of El Salvador and Rojer of the Netherlands have now captured three tour-level titles as a team this season, having triumphed on hard in Dallas and Delray Beach in February. With their victory, they have improved to 24-10 as a team in 2022.

The 40-year-old Rojer is now the oldest Grand Slam men’s doubles champion in the Open Era. It is the third time he has captured a major title, after lifting trophies with Horia Tecau at Wimbledon in 2015 and the US Open in 2017.

“I really want to thank my partner,” Rojer added. “We spent a lot of time living and training in Miami. We decided to play together. I know this kid has a big heart. He showed it today and I thank him. I am glad he trusts me and I am so happy and proud of this moment here.”

Arevalo, 31, is the first Grand Slam men’s double champion from Central America. He has now clinched five tour-level doubles crowns.

In a tight final, both teams dominated behind serve in the first two sets, with opportunities on return limited. After Dodig and Krajicek won the first set, the unseeded tandem then conjured up three championship points on Arevalo and Rojer’s serve at 5-6 in the second set.

However, the 12th seeds saved all three championship points, before they won the tie-break to force a decider. Fuelled by momentum, Arevalo and Rojer gained the first break of the match to move 4-2 ahead in the third set, before they held serve to secure a memorable victory.

Dodig and Krajicek, who saved five match points en route to victory over Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury in the quarter-finals, were competing as a team for the fifth time this season. They arrived in the French capital in form, after winning the trophy in Lyon last month.

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Moya's Warning: ‘There’s Still Work To Be Done’

  • Posted: Jun 04, 2022

Moya’s Warning: ‘There’s Still Work To Be Done’

Rafael Nadal’s coach previews Roland Garros final

As the sun beat down on Saturday, in over 25 degrees of heat, Rafael Nadal was training at Roland Garros in preparation for his final against Casper Ruud. Surrounded by his family and friends in the stands, and accompanied by his team, Spaniard put the finishing touches on his game as he prepares to do battle for the Musketeers Cup for the 14th time.

“There’s still work to be done and it’s the most important work, closing out the tournament,” warned coach Carlos Moya in conversation with “We’ll see how it goes Sunday, there is a lot of wear and tear but it’s the final push.

“It’s not the way you want to reach a final. We’re very sorry for [Alexander] Zverev and we wish him a speedy recovery. So far, Rafa has done an astonishing job of surviving without playing his best tennis. It was an epic effort up to the moment when Zverev was injured.”

<a href=''>Rafael Nadal</a>
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Now, Nadal can turn his attention to Ruud, who has been training at the Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar since August 2018. Although they have never crossed swords in anger (Sunday’s tie will be the first match in their ATP Head2Head series), they know each other very well.

“Those of us that are close to Rafa knows how good Casper is,” explained Moya. “We have a lot of respect for him and are anticipating a long and hard battle. He’s a player who knows the intricacies of this surface very well and it’s going to be a tough match. He’s very confident. He’s one of the best clay players on Tour. We expect a battle from the baseline, with long rallies.”

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However, it will be Ruud’s first Grand Slam final and experience may be key.

“It’s not the easiest place to play your first Grand Slam final,” admitted Moya. “And anything can happen. I won’t get tired of saying it; we’re talking about Roland Garros and Rafa Nadal.”

Now, the opportunity to pull away in the Grand Slam titles race is just one victory away for Nadal. The Spaniard is searching for a record-extending 22nd major title, with Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer tied on 20. However, it is a subject that has not been broached in the fifth seed’s camp, not now or at any time over the past two weeks.

“We haven’t spoken about number 22,” admitted Moya. “Obviously, it’s on the horizon, but that would add pressure to Rafa. It’s not necessary,” he continued. “The fact that he has won 13 Roland Garros [titles], maybe 14 tomorrow, … is practically impossible to beat. In 17 years, with all the injuries he’s had, he hasn’t spent a single week outside the Top 10 and has achieved all of that. It is incredible.”

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‘Sacrifices Gave Me Strength’: Arevalo's Journey To Roland Garros Final

  • Posted: Jun 04, 2022

‘Sacrifices Gave Me Strength’: Arevalo’s Journey To Roland Garros Final

El Salvadorian partners Rojer in Saturday’s doubles final in Paris

If he had not come through such adversity when embarking on his professional career, Marcelo Arevalo believes he would not have come so far.

Travelling for up to 20 hours by bus from one country to another, sharing beds with his peers and stringing their racquets to scrape together enough money to eat dinner. Without the lessons learned from his baptism of fire, it is unlikely Arevalo would be stepping onto court on Thursday at Roland Garros as the first Central American doubles player in history to reach a Grand Slam final.

“Sacrifice makes you stronger, as does seeing that things aren’t so easy to achieve and that you have to work to get them,” the 31-year-old El Salvadorian told “Good things are hard to get. I feel that is something that personally has given me mental strength. To keep fighting for my dream of being a professional tennis player and competing in the biggest tournaments.”

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That dream was born at six years of age in Sonsonate, just over an hour from San Salvador, the capital of El Salvador. There, at the club where his parents (Rafale and Sofia) and his siblings (Erika and Rafael) would go every Sunday, Marcelo tried out his first racquet; a yellow Head Radical like that of his hero Andre Agassi. Although the American’s 1990s battles against countryman Pete Sampras were Arevalo’s inspiration, the man known as ‘Chelo’ always wanted to follow in the footsteps of his brother Rafael, four years his senior.

As he grew older, Arevalo realised that if he wanted to emulate Rafael (who reached No. 374 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings in 2008), he would have to leave the country to play in tournaments. Comfort was not the priority. “I wasn’t privileged, but I cannot complain either,” said Arevalo. “I always had the support of my family, which is the most important thing. That gives you a lot of security. We weren’t a family with lots of money, but my parents always made an effort to send me to the tournaments. Obviously, you had to make sacrifices when you travelled.”

Often, the best option was the bus, even when he had to cross borders and spend more than 20 hours on the road to reach tournament venues in Costa Rica, Mexico and other countries in the region. Austerity continued to rule when he arrived at tournaments, where he almost always shared accommodation. Once in 2007, he shared a twin room with five other tennis players.

“That was the most challenging thing that happened to me,” said Arevalo. “There were only two beds and we would take turns. You had to win to sleep in a bed with another player. And if you lost, you’d sleep on a duvet on the floor.”

As well as focussing on his on-court performance, he would sometimes also have to turn his attention to washing kit, which he would then hang on balconies or in bathrooms in the accommodation. And he was never guaranteed food.

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“In Juniors and Futures I travelled with my stringing machine, a Barton that my dad bought at a tournament in Costa Rica from Gonzalo Tur, who now travels as [Andrés] Molteni’s coach. That machine had already strung thousands of racquets by the time I got my hands on it, but it really helped me save and earn some money,” said Arevalo.

“I would string my racquets, and other people’s. And if at the tournament venue they charged 10 dollars, I would charge seven. It worked well. I remember that if I strung one or two racquets for others, I would always say, ‘That’s for lunch’. I would say it as a joke, but it was actually very true,” added Arevalo, who was the No. 8-ranked junior in the world in 2008.

Arevalo always found a way to make sure he had food while competing away from home. He remembers one example from a tournament in Mexico when he was a teenager. His lunch was cheap bread with tinned tuna from the supermarket, which he would alternate with 75 cent tacos bought opposite a fire station. On other occasions, he would simply have a late breakfast and lunch in order to save his dinner money.

“We couldn’t afford ourselves the luxury of going to a restaurant to eat pasta or meat,” explains Arevalo. “But we always ate. Many tennis players have been through the same thing, especially in our region. It wasn’t easy for us, but it makes you tough.”

At one point, however, he began to doubt his potential, and decided to study business management at the University of Tulsa, where he continued to compete at university level.

Two years later he rediscovered the belief that he could become what he had always dreamed of, leaving university and setting his sights on the ATP Tour once more. Starting from zero, he travelled on a shoestring just as he used to, never complaining when he had to drive a hire car for 15 hours to get to a tournament in Houston or when he had to ask to stay with his peers in their hotel room.

Austerity started to become a thing of the past when his tournament earnings began to grow. The maturity he had acquired at university also helped him establish himself on the ATP Challenger Tour (where he won three singles titles) and reach his best singles position (No. 138) in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings. But there was soon another obstacle in his path.

A hernia in Arevalo’s back meant that he was unable to fulfil his goal that season of continuing to progress. However, realising that his injury was not such a burden when playing doubles, he started to lean more towards that discipline. His final year competing in singles came in 2019. Since then he has enjoyed a steady progression in doubles. His win alongside Jean-Julien Rojer over Rohan Bopanna and Matwe Middelkoop in the semi-finals at Roland Garros on Thursday was his 100th as an ATP Tour doubles player.

On Saturday in Paris, he will be battling it out for his fifth tour-level title and the biggest of his career against Ivan Dodig and Austin Krajicek. Regardless of the result, he and Rojer will move into the Top 3 of the Pepperstone ATP Doubles Team Rankings as a result of their run in the French capital, giving Arevalo hope of qualifying for November’s Nitto ATP Finals for the first time in his career.

“It has not been an easy road, and certainly not a short one either,” said Arevalo, who on Monday will also break into the Top 20 of the Pepperstone ATP Doubles Rankings for the first time. “My story has been one of hard work, climbing the ranks, fighting every week. On the way I faced difficult moments, [but] things came little by little and I always believed I could do it.”

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