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Inside Medvedev's preparation for Sinner showdown at Wimbledon

  • Posted: Jul 08, 2024

Daniil Medvedev is back in the Wimbledon quarter-finals for the second consecutive year.  Ahead of the tournament, he played “a great practice set” with World No. 1 Jannik Sinner. But that was training.

On Tuesday, the former No. 1 player in the PIF ATP Rankings will be tasked with snapping a five-match losing streak against the star who currently holds top spot.

“Look, the funny thing is I lost five times. But if I remember right, four times were really close. Did I get unlucky or not?” Medvedev wondered. “Even Beijing, two tie-breaks. What was it? Vienna, quite a crazy match. Turin, still a close match. I feel like maybe he won it easier, the Australian Open, close match. Then Miami he won easy.

“I feel like I was not far, but great job from him to win it five times in a row. [This will be the] first time we play on grass, I’m definitely going to come up with something.”

As difficult as it is entering a clash knowing he has lost five straight against Sinner, Medvedev still leads the pair’s Lexus ATP Head2Head series 6-5. Seven of those meetings have come since the start of 2023, which Medvedev’s head coach, Gilles Cervara, likes.

“It’s a good thing to have played Jannik so many times the last few months,” Cervara told “My feeling is the more times you lose against the same opponent, the more chances you have to beat him the next time.”

<img src=”/-/media/images/news/2024/07/08/21/50/sinner-wimbledon-2024-v-medvedev.jpg” style=”width:100%” alt=”Jannik Sinner hits a backhand at Wimbledon 2024.” />
Jannik Sinner has won five straight matches against Daniil Medvedev, but the players have never met on grass. Photo: Corinne Dubreuil/ATP Tour

According to Cervara, time has allowed Sinner to continually improve since his breakthrough on the ATP Tour until now.

“He still has his amazing speed of the ball,” Cervara said of the 22-year-old. “But he controls the ball so, so well now. He looks like he can’t miss now at the speed he plays. Now he has a big first serve that he didn’t have one year and a half ago. And winning gives him more and more self-confidence.”

Medvedev more or less echoed the same sentiments. The fourth seed explained that Sinner “plays better”, but actually misses less.

“When Jannik came on Tour, straightaway everyone was a little bit, not shocked but like how strong he hits, how he can run fast and hit strong from every position of the court,” Medvedev said. “But he was missing a lot and hence, losing some matches. As soon as he stopped missing less, well, now it’s very tough to beat him for anyone. Not only for me. That’s why he’s No. 1 in the world.”

The challenge for Team Medvedev is to find a way to take down this new-and-improved version of Sinner. Cervara is now joined by former World No. 6 Gilles Simon, who was called “The Professor” during his time on the circuit. Earlier this year, Medvedev revealed that Cervara had given Simon a list of players in particular the Frenchman would help find tactics against. Medvedev confirmed Sunday that Sinner is on that list.

“It is always interesting to have an ex-top player’s feeling and vision to share with my coaching experience,” Cervara said. “We communicate together with Daniil.”


How does the way the team prepares Medvedev change because he has played Sinner so many times lately?

“It changes and doesn’t change,” Cervara said. “You use the different matches to keep [tactics], to change [tactics] or to do better than the last times.”

One notable difference is that they have never played on grass. That could affect some details because speed and movement can be different, forcing adaptation according to Cervara.

Medvedev said: “Small details makes big difference in tennis. It’s definitely tougher to play him now than before. Again, as I said, the matches were close. I had my chances. I’ll try to use them better this time.”

At this year’s Australian Open, Medvedev played three five-setters en route to the final and produced ultra-aggressive tennis to start the final against Sinner. It worked for two sets before he ran out of legs and Sinner found solutions. Which tactic will he use this time?

“I’m going to try to see what I can do to play good, to surprise him, to make him in trouble,” Medvedev said. “He’s for sure going to do the same. Hopefully it’s going to be a good match. [I will] try my best to win.”


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Coaches' Corner: Russell on Fritz's comeback & what he learned from Wimbledon QF against Nadal

  • Posted: Jul 08, 2024

Taylor Fritz earned a thrilling two-sets-to-none comeback victory against Alexander Zverev on Monday in the Wimbledon fourth round. It was the third time he has rallied from two sets down and now he will face 25th seed Lorenzo Musetti for a place in the semi-finals. caught up with Fritz’s coach, Michael Russell, who detailed his charge’s comeback, what the American has learned from his previous major quarter-finals, facing Musetti and more.

You’ve coached Taylor in a lot of big matches. How would you describe how he was able to make that comeback?
His composure and collectiveness in the pressure moments and being down two sets to love was so perfect. It really was. He didn’t panic. He was playing excellent from the ground. Sascha was just having one of those service days where he was serving 80 per cent first serve, he’s averaging 133 miles an hour on the first and 111 on the second and hitting spots. So you look over at the scoreboard, you’re down two sets to love, but you’re playing well.

He played maybe a little tentative in the second-set tie-break. But in this sport, especially on grass, it’s the smallest of margins that can turn a match around, and Taylor did a great job of just staying in it and focusing on his service games, making sure he takes care of his service games and then kept putting the pressure on on Sascha. He was able to gut out a break in the third and the whole match just completely changes because now it’s two sets to one and you’re in for a dog fight.

How big of a sign was the double fault at 4-4 in the third set?
He hadn’t really double-faulted very much. So as soon as you see that, you think of the psychological factor, he’s feeling a little bit of pressure getting into the deeper end of the match. And that’s a big confidence booster for Taylor, because he sees that as well, because for two sets, the guy was infallible.

What was the message from the box?
It was obviously a lot of encouragement and just trying to give Sascha some different looks on the return of serve just because he was so comfortable hitting the spots and hitting them so big. And then for Taylor, just continue to play aggressive when he does have those chances, which is not always easy, because you feel the pressure when the guy is serving that well.

Taylor did a great job of moving the ball around, ripping backhands, absorbing Sascha’s backhands and mixing in a little variety with some drop shots at some key moments.

Taylor has always chased big goals. How do you balance being excited about this win, being back in a Grand Slam quarter-final, and wanting to go farther than he has before?
What you do is you always celebrate the victories that evening. And then the next day, you’re right back to work. It’s a brand new match, it’s a brand new tournament. You never want to have that complacency. You’re always striving to be better and have bigger goals and I think Taylor wants that. He knows that.

Being in these positions before, quarter-finals of almost all four Slams and he’s played quarter-finals here at Wimbledon, he wants to take further steps. It’s just keeping the routines, keeping that mindset, keeping calm and collected and composed in those pressure situations and having the belief in yourself that you can win titles.

<img src=”/-/media/images/news/2024/07/08/17/23/fritz-wimbledon-2024-monday.jpg” style=”width:100%;” alt=”Taylor Fritz” />
Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images
How much does it help that he’s had a few Slam quarter-finals already?
It helps a lot because he’s putting himself in these positions a lot more frequently. Quarter-finals of Australia played a good match with Novak, quarter-finals of the US Open again played Novak, quarter-finals of Wimbledon with Nadal. So he’s getting in these moments and playing quality matches against some of the best players of all time.

Being able to beat those guys gives you the confidence that you can beat anyone. And Taylor is one of the best competitors I’ve ever seen. When he steps on court, he believes that he can win every single match and he’s willing to sacrifice and put it on the line every time. That’s sometimes you can’t always teach, and so that’s why it’s really great to see him fighting back from two sets down and just [have] no panic. [He showed] great focus, kept the energy the whole time and gave himself another opportunity to play another match and be here another day.

What did he learn from the Rafa match here at Wimbledon two years ago, which he lost in five sets?
I think part of it is just making sure sometimes in big moments that you can step up. You don’t always have to resort to waiting for some errors or waiting for the other guy to be the aggressor. With Taylor’s game, he’s able to take the racquet out of the opponent’s hand with his serve and forehand and even today, being able to hit his backhand on a dime like that at that pace.

He’s really understanding that even in pressure moments, I can play safe, but I can still hit the ball big and play safe. And that’s what makes a great player into an ultimate champion at Grand Slams. He’s starting to believe that and we’ll see, he just has to continue to have that belief and mentality going into every round.


He’s had some matches now with guys who serve huge and the next one is against Lorenzo Musetti, who is more of a creative, artistic player, and his game is not as based on the serve. How do you adjust the game plan for that?
It’s a combination. Lorenzo is extremely crafty, very talented. He’s won some big matches and been on some big stages and he’s a very good grass-court player. At the end of the day, Taylor knows he has to serve well, look for big forehands that he can be the aggressor and take advantage of his point construction. Be smart with it.

Not giving away too much, but he knows that he’s going to have to be aggressive and look to finish points. Lorenzo is going to want to get in a little more cat-and-mouse points and use his craftiness to get Taylor to be uncomfortable.

It’s obviously still far away, it’s the quarter-finals. But what would it take for Taylor Fritz to leave here as Wimbledon champion?
As you said, you’re far away. There are three matches against three phenomenal players. At the end of the day, Taylor, what he’s been doing, he’s going to have to serve great, hit his spots, well, keep poised in these moments when it comes down to pressure and be willing to step up and be aggressive, but stay within his limits.

Stay healthy and keep fit, because that’s a big part of the game. You play five sets and he’s got a great team around him. So it’s important, and you just keep that mindset, you keep it in the routines, and you go out there and you’re ready.


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Fritz rallies to stun Zverev for spot in Wimbledon QFs

  • Posted: Jul 08, 2024

Taylor Fritz on Monday earned one of the most stunning victories of Wimbledon.

The 13th seed rallied from two sets down to shock fourth seed Alexander Zverev 4-6, 6-7(4), 6-4, 7-6(3), 6-3 for a spot in the quarter-finals of The Championships. The American will face 25th seed Lorenzo Musetti for a place in the semi-finals.

“It was amazing to do that on Centre Court from two sets down,” Fritz said. “I thought it would really suck to be playing this well and to lose in three straight. I had the belief. I thought I was playing really good tennis… and that it was just a couple of points here and there. I thought I could take it one set at a time and turn it around.”

It marked the third time the American has battled back from two sets down and emerged victorious. Fittingly, the first player Fritz achieved the feat against was Zverev’s older brother, Mischa Zverev (R1, 2018 US Open), who was in the Centre Court players’ box cheering on ‘Sascha’.

Zverev entered the match in imperious serving form having not lost serve through three matches. With plenty of confidence after his run to the Roland Garros final, he did not face a break point in the second round against Marcos Giron or the third round against Cameron Norrie.

But when the two-time Nitto ATP Finals champion double faulted at 4-4 in the third set to relinquish his first service break of the tournament, the tenor of the match changed. Fritz had been holding his own, but he grew in confidence as the match wore on and raised his level to triumph after hours and 29 minutes. Zverev now leads Fritz 5-4 in their Lexus ATP Head2Head series, including 2-1 at The Championships.


Zverev walked on Centre Court wearing a gray knee sleeve on his left knee after overextending it during his third-round victory against home favourite Norrie. The sleeve appeared similar to the one seven-time Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic has been wearing following the Serbian’s surgery to repair a torn meniscus. The fourth seed revealed the nature of his injury after the match.

“I have a bone edema in my knee, then I have also a tear in my capsule in my knee. That came from the fall. That came from the match against Norrie,” Zverev said. “So it is quite painful for that period of time. It is nothing that I need surgery on. It is nothing that doesn’t heal by itself. It just needs time.”

But Zverev, who was trying to reach his first quarter-final at SW19, did not show many signs of struggling with movement for most of the match. More glaringly, Fritz played a nearly flawless final three sets to surge past the German and into his second Wimbledon quarter-final in three years.

The 26-year-old hit 67 winners to just 23 unforced errors, and delivered 15 aces in the match. He won 69 per cent of his second-serve points compared to just 47 per cent for Zverev.

The American will next take on 25th seed Lorenzo Musetti, against whom he owns a 2-1 Lexus ATP Head2Head advantage. Musetti, a first-time major quarter-finalist, defeated Fritz 6-4, 6-4 earlier this year on clay in Monte-Carlo.

“It’s going to be a tough match. He’s had a really good grass-court season,” Fritz said. “It’s my second time in the quarter-finals, but this time it feels like I’ve earned it a lot more, so I’m really excited for the chance.”

Fritz has won eight consecutive grass-court matches dating back to the start of the Rothesay International in Eastbourne. The eight-time ATP Tour titlist has claimed three of his crowns on grass, all in Eastbourne.


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Musetti reaches first major QF, De Minaur advances

  • Posted: Jul 08, 2024

Lorenzo Musetti is a Grand Slam quarter-finalist.

The Italian reached the last eight at a major for the first time on Monday at Wimbledon, where he ended the run of French lucky loser Giovanni Mpetshi Perricard with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-2 victory.

Mpetshi Perricard was celebrating his 21st birthday and entered the match high in confidence. The big-serving Frenchman defeated Sebastian Korda, Yoshihito Nishioka and Emil Ruusuvuori en route to his first fourth-round appearance at a major, hitting 105 aces across his first three matches.

The Lyon champion was unable to fire at his best level against Musetti in the pair’s first Lexus ATP Head2Head meeting. The 25th seed broke Mpetshi Perricard’s serve five times and was the more consistent in the baseline exchanges, committing just eight unforced errors compared to 42 from his opponent.

“It is tough for me to get emotional but today I think I will,” Musetti said. “I have been dreaming about this moment since I was a kid. I always had a really beautiful family who always supported me in chasing my dream.”

With his two-hour, five-minute win on No. 2 Court, Musetti joined World No. 1 Jannik Sinner in the quarter-finals. It is the first time in history that multiple Italian men have reached the last eight at SW19, with Musetti becoming just the seventh Italian man in history to advance to that stage.

The 22-year-old will next face Alexander Zverev or Taylor Fritz on Wednesday.

The 6’8” Mpetshi Perricard, who hit several serves above 145mph during his run, was aiming to become the first lucky loser to reach a Grand Slam quarter-final. He is up 14 spots to No. 44 in the PIF ATP Live Rankings.


On No. 1 Court, Australian Alex de Minaur advanced to the quarter-finals at Wimbledon for the first time when he downed #NextGenATP Frenchman Arthur Fils 6-2, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 in an entertaining clash.

The ninth seed produced an intense performance to outlast Fils, scampering around the court to hang in points before turning the tables with his flat groundstrokes. The 25-year-old recovered from squandering a 4-2 lead in the third set to eventually finish the job in four, avenging his defeat to the 20-year-old in April in Barcelona.

“I will be alright, I will find a way,” De Minaur said when asked if he hurt his ankle when stretching to hit a volley on match point. “I made it a lot harder than I should have but happy to get through. It was a great job mentally to get through it, even though I couldn’t serve out at the end. I just back my return and very happy with that and now onto the next.”

De Minaur has reached consecutive major quarter-finals, having fallen to Alexander Zverev in the last eight at Roland Garros. He will aim to go one step further and reach his first Grand Slam semi-final when he takes on Novak Djokovic or Holger Rune on Wednesday.

Last month, De Minaur won his second grass-court tour-level title in ‘s-Hertogenbosch. With his run to the quarters in west London, he has climbed one spot to sixth in the PIF ATP Live Race To Turin. The Australian is aiming to make his debut at the Nitto ATP Finals in November.

Fils was competing in the fourth round at a major for the first time. The World No. 34 moved past Dominic Stricker and Hubert Hurkacz before he survived in five sets against Roman Safiullin.


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Skupski's journey from getting Federer & Nadal's autographs to shining bright at Wimbledon

  • Posted: Jul 08, 2024

At the 2001 Wimbledon boys’ singles event, Ken Skupski qualified and advanced to the quarter-finals of the main draw, a run that featured a victory against Robin Soderling. While the 18-year-old Briton was making a name for himself at the grass-court major, his 11-year-old brother, Neal Skupski, was autograph hunting.

“When I wasn’t watching Ken, I would be standing at Aorangi waiting for autographs the whole time, all day,” Neal told “[My] best autograph? Roger Federer. I’ve still got the books. I’ve got like a flipbook probably the size of a credential and it’s full of just old tennis players, guys that I didn’t know were going to be very good like Roger Federer, Djokovic. I’ve gotten Nadal. And then I’ve got some of the greats like Lleyton Hewitt. I’ve got Stan Smith in there, McEnroe, Navratilova. So it was time well spent out at Aorangi.”

Now Neal is one of the players kids seek out for autographs. In 2021 and 2022, two decades on from his glory days as an autograph hunter, Skupski claimed mixed doubles glory at The All England Club. Last year, he triumphed in men’s doubles alongside Wesley Koolhof.

“I’d hope to think I haven’t changed one bit. Obviously for me, it’s a nice thing to kind of be men’s doubles champion at Wimbledon,” Neal said. “I see my name on the board, which is an amazing thing for the rest of my life. But anybody that knows me, family, friends, nothing’s changed. I’m still normal Neal.”

Skupski never competed in the juniors at Wimbledon like his older brother. But the venue is still where Neal’s love of the sport came to life.

“He seemed to just go off on his own and just take a pen in his hand and his autograph book, and he’d be so proud to come back when he’d got names that you look at the name on the piece of paper, and you wouldn’t have a clue who it was,” Ken recalled. “But he’d seemed to know whether it was Lindsay Davenport, or Hingis, or all these different players. For both of us, we both had an upbringing playing a lot of club doubles. So he was more than happy to get some of the autographs of players that the average kid that would go and get autographs wouldn’t potentially ask for but he’d be looking for the Bryan brothers, Bhupathi, Knowles, Nestor, all the top guys at the time.”


Neither Skupski was a world-beating prospect. Ken played the Wimbledon main draw once, but had to qualify to do so. They both played college tennis at Louisiana State University and went on to enjoy great success as professionals.

Ken, who is now retired, climbed as high as No. 44 in the PIF ATP Doubles Rankings and claimed seven ATP Tour titles, including three with Neal.

The younger Skupski brother has reached World No. 1 and earned 17 tour-level titles. He is partnering Michael Venus, another former LSU competitor, this fortnight at Wimbledon in an attempt to claim more glory.

“Our parents have both given us an opportunity to sort of go far in this life of tennis and I think we’ve done a pretty good job of doing something about it and making the most of it,” Ken said. “But overall I can’t say how proud I am as a big brother of all the things he’s achieved and the part that I’ve played in nurturing him to give him the best opportunity because I think he’s gone above and beyond what I expected of him. But now he’s here and he’s doing what he’s doing and I still believe that there’s more in him.”

Ken today serves as Neal’s coach. The older brother admitted that he was not always expecting Neal to enjoy quite as much success as he has.

“I was very lucky to play with him and I cherish that greatly,” Ken said. “But to turn himself into the champion that he is… He’s gone above and beyond what everybody I think expects of him. And if he walked away from the game, now, I think everybody would be super proud. But he is super determined, he is super disciplined, he is as good a professional as he can be to give himself the best chance of being successful.”

According to Neal, it is “a bit strange” that he is not defending his title with Koolhof. But he is as eager as ever to earn more hardware. Skupski and Venus, who have already won titles this grass-court season at Queen’s Club and Eastbourne, are into the third round at SW19.

“I’m still as motivated as last year to try and go well. I’ve known Mike since the college times at LSU. We were teammates. He was a senior, I was a freshman. We played my first year together, we got to I think number two or three in the country in the NCAAs. So that’s where it all started back then down in Baton Rouge, and we’ve stayed good friends ever since,” Neal said. “That’s probably the reason why it’s been so smooth. As a tandem, we played once before in Washington made the final in the 500, but we haven’t played since. It’s never really come together.

“In the past, maybe we’ve wanted to play together, but it just hasn’t worked out because of the partners that we’ve had. But really enjoyed playing on the grass with Mike. We didn’t do so well in Stuttgart, we lost first round. But we went on to win Queen’s and Eastbourne. Let’s see what happens here, take it one match at a time. Looking forward to the rest of our time together.”


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