Paula Badosa reveals she has the virus and apologises for making complaints about quarantine rules.
Paula Badosa reveals she has the virus and apologises for making complaints about quarantine rules.
Milos Raonic has been doing anything but sleeping in during his 14-day quarantine period ahead of the Australian swing. The World No. 15 in the FedEx ATP Rankings is gearing up to represent Canada in the ATP Cup alongside Denis Shapovalov, Peter Polansky and Steven Diez, and he’s determined to maximise precious time on the tennis court.
But what is Raonic up to when he’s not on court? And what is his go-to delivery dish? The Canadian sat down for a chat with ATPTour.com to reveal seven things he’s been up to during quarantine…
1. Getting creative with his in-room workouts.
“I hope the hotel doesn’t see that’s the use of the minibar fridge… But you can get creative in a hotel room. Our creativity has been using a fridge as a step-up, but there’s other ways. Towels can be used for different workouts. There’s many ways you can get creative, but for us our big thing was coming prepared and trying to have as much with us as possible… I was aware of how the conditions would be, so we came here and we brought a lot of things that we could use.”
2. Organising his day to make the most of practice court time.
“So you hear the night before what time your slot is [to go outside for five hours] and what time you’ll get picked up. And then you adjust your day to that. You get ready and wait by your door for them to come around again once they’ve also corralled your team and the player you’re practising with. And then you’ll all come out to the elevator, go down in the same elevator. By the way, getting your hands sanitised and always wearing masks throughout this whole process. Then get in the car and head to the courts. You step straight out on court and you practice for your allotted time – that’s what we’re all trying to make the most of, the time on court.
“After that you get to go to the gym, one of many across the whole venue that was built for the players. Your gym is actually correlated with your court. So anybody that day that practised on that court uses the exact same gym after, so that way they have time to clean it, to sanitise it… So you go to your gym, after that you have one hour to eat. And again… so if you practised on Court 3, you go to the gym for Court 3, then you go for the table in the area outside that’s for Court 3 for your time to eat.
“And after that you get picked up. Straight in the elevator, straight upstairs, straight to your room… The rest of the time, you really try to make the most of it. I’ve spent time doing other things, other kind of workouts to supplement the trainings that I’ve been able to do at the venue. Spent time reading, studying, doing various things. But you know, with the consistency it has been settling. It has been generous that we get to get out for those five hours.”
3. Getting a lot of chevapi delivered.
“There’s a great restaurant here called Chevapi Grill. It’s Balkan cuisine and the dish [chevapi, made of grilled sausages] I believe originated from Bosnia. But it’s a dish that’s famous throughout all of former Yugoslavia. I’ve had it many times. Growing up in Canada, my parents would always take us out to get it. There’s a great one here that I get on Uber Eats from Chevapi Grill. I’ve had it a good portion of the time since I’ve been here, and it’s been nostalgic and it’s been enjoyable.”
4. Picking up some interesting reading material.
“I’ve actually been reading a book called Barbarians at the Gate. It’s from a famous company takeover [RJR Nabisco] in the ’80s that’s actually been very interesting for me. That’s sort of kept me busy, but I have a long ways to go.”
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5. Keeping in touch with loved ones.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s quarantine or not, the person that I speak to the most is my girlfriend. Facetime, text, phone calls… whatever is possible at the moment. At this moment she’s also in quarantine in Belgium, so we’ve actually both had a bit more time than normal to keep in touch.”
6. Beating boredom by staying mentally engaged.
“Just make sure you’re always doing something. I think if you get yourself caught up in doing stuff mindlessly, either you get caught up in a binge of a TV show or you can get caught up going through YouTube videos or scrolling through social media.
“I think you have to find something that engages you a bit more. That’s what makes the biggest difference. Because if you have something that you’re excited to stay awake for and that you’re eager about, that helped make that transition a lot easier. If you’re sort of like, I’m just doing stuff to kill time, then you could also be sleeping to kill time too. So it’s harder to weigh out those options.”
7. And beating jet lag by not sleeping in.
“I don’t really tend to sleep in. I’ve actually gotten on a schedule pretty well, it only took me about two days to get used to it. Obviously the first four days we didn’t get to go anywhere, and the toughest thing about those days was keeping yourself awake… But once I was able to get through that and now with the benefit of being able to get out and being in the sun, it’s helped significantly to get used to the jetlag.”
The 12 countries set to compete in the second edition of the ATP Cup, taking place in Melbourne the week prior to the Australian Open, were assigned to four groups at the official tournament draw on Friday.
Top seed Serbia, headlined by World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, will lead Group A, which will also consist of Germany and Canada. One year ago, Serbia battled through the field to lift the inaugural ATP Cup trophy in Sydney.
Second seed Spain, which finished runner-up in 2020, will aim to move through Group B, which includes Greece and Australia. World No. 2 Rafael Nadal leads the way for his country for the second consecutive year.
Austria, headed by World No. 3 Dominic Thiem, will look to advance through Group C against Italy and France. Fourth seed Russia, headlined by reigning Nitto ATP Finals champion Daniil Medvedev, will try to do the same in Group D, which includes Argentina and Japan.
Watch The ATP Cup Draw
The draw was hosted by Todd Woodbridge, with participation from Mark Philippoussis, John Fitzgerald, Jim Courier and Mark Petchey.
This year’s five-day event will be played at Melbourne Park alongside two ATP 250 events, the Murray River Open and Great Ocean Road Open. Following the group stage, the four group winners will advance to the knock-out semi-finals to continue battling for the prestigious title.
The 2021 ATP Cup will feature 12 of the Top 13 players in the FedEx ATP Rankings. Each country will consist of four players, with each tie comprised of two singles and one doubles match.
Follow the latest ATP Cup news and live updates at ATPCup.com and on Twitter and Instagram.
Former British number one Laura Robson says she is “not sure” where a third hip operation leaves her tennis career.
Jonny O’Mara has been unable to practice with isolating new doubles partner Artem Sitak before the Australian Open but says it is “a huge difference” to be able to train himself.
The draw for the 2021 edition of the ATP Cup will be held on Friday, 22 January at 12:00pm AEDT (1am GMT). This year 12 countries will battle it out for the newest team trophy in men’s tennis.
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic and No. 2-ranked Rafael Nadal headline the event as the top-ranked singles players for Team Serbia and Team Spain, respectively.
Reigning Nitto ATP Finals champion Daniil Medvedev leads Team Russia alongside fellow Top 10 star Andrey Rublev, and World No. 3 Dominic Thiem will lead Team Austria. The 2021 ATP Cup will feature 14 of the Top 15 players in the FedEx ATP Rankings. Each team will consist of four players per country.
Watch Draw Friday
Qualification for the 2021 ATP Cup is based on the FedEx ATP Rankings of each country’s top-ranked singles player, while Australia qualifies by virtue of a host wildcard.
The 12 teams will be divided into four groups of three for group stage, round-robin play. The four group winners will qualify for the knock-out stages, starting with the semi-finals.
|Team||No. 1 Player||Captain|
|Serbia||Novak Djokovic||Viktor Troicki|
|Spain||Rafael Nadal||Pepe Vendrell|
|Austria||Dominic Thiem||Wolfgang Thiem|
|Russia||Daniil Medvedev||Evgeny Donskoy|
|Greece||Stefanos Tsitsipas||Apostolos Tsitsipas|
|Germany||Alexander Zverev||Mischa Zverev|
|Argentina||Diego Schwartzman||Diego Schwartzman|
|Italy||Matteo Berrettini||Vincenzo Santopadre|
|Japan||Kei Nishikori||Max Mirnyi|
|France||Gael Monfils||Richard Ruckelshausen|
|Canada||Denis Shapovalov||Peter Polansky|
|Australia||Alex de Minaur||Lleyton Hewitt|
HOW TO WATCH THE DRAW
Todd Woodbridge, a winner of 22 Grand Slam doubles titles, will be joined by former Wimbledon and US Open finalist Mark Philippoussis and John Fitzgerald to conduct the draw. Commentators Jim Courier and Mark Petchey will also feature. Official Martin Oosthuysen and ATP Cup Tournament Director Tom Larner will oversee proceedings.
The draw will be broadcast on ATP Cup Facebook at 12:00pm AEDT so fans can follow from around the world. The latest news and live updates will be posted on Twitter and Instagram.
HOW THE DRAW WORKS
The first four countries will be placed into separate groups. Countries ranked 5 to 8 will then be randomly drawn, followed by countries ranked 9 to 12.
The ATP has issued updates to the 2021 ATP Tour calendar alongside measures to create increased playing opportunities, in the face of scheduling challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The updates are headlined by the addition of two new ATP 250 events, granted as single-year licenses for the 2021 season, in Singapore, following the conclusion of the Australian Open, and Marbella, following the Miami Open presented by Itau, from 5 April.
View 2021 Calendar
Other measures to create additional playing opportunities include the expansion of the Singles Main Draw/Qualifying Draw size at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships from 32/16 to 48/24, while the Qualifying Draw size at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel will increase from 16 to 32. In addition, qualifying draw sizes at ATP 250 Cordoba Open, Argentina Open (Buenos Aires) and Chile Dove Men+Care Open (Santiago) are also to be expanded from 16 to 32.
Elsewhere, the Hungarian Open, the ATP 250 clay-court tournament typically held in April in Budapest, has been approved for relocation to Belgrade, Serbia, from 2021.
The Fayez Sarofim & Co. U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship, the ATP 250 event in Houston, typically scheduled in April, has announced it will not take place in 2021. The ATP continues to assess opportunities for additional single-year licenses to fill any gaps in the calendar and will communicate any additions in due course.
All other tournaments on the original 2021 calendar remain unchanged at this time and are planned to take place as scheduled.
Novak Djokovic says his letter calling for better conditions for players self-isolating in Melbourne was written with “good intentions” and has been “misconstrued as being selfish, difficult and ungrateful”.
Australian Open players are told not to feed mice at their quarantine hotel in Melbourne after one player complains of rodent infestation.
Frances Tiafoe has used the COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity to reflect, step away from the sport and assess his game and his career.
Having dropped more than 30 places in the FedEx ATP Rankings in the early months of 2020, he struggled for form and confidence. But while the five-month suspension of the ATP Tour stopped many in-form stars from carrying their momentum into further events, it helped Tiafoe to break a cycle of disappointing results and find his way out of a difficult position.
“The pandemic was probably the best thing that happened to me in my career, if we are going to be frank. I was in a dark place pre-pandemic,” Tiafoe told ATPTour.com. “My ranking took a serious hit, obviously losing the quarter-finals [points] in Melbourne. It kind of saved me, because I had Miami coming up where I was defending quarter-finals [points].
“I looked at the guy in the mirror [and asked], ‘Why are you here? What are the things you need to change and what are the things you need to keep building on?’ It helped me a lot. There were a lot of deep conversations with my guys and I wouldn’t have made it to the second week of the US Open without that.”
There were many difficult questions that Tiafoe had to answer during the ATP Tour suspension. The 6’2” right-hander decided that to move forward in his career, he needed to embrace change.
“It was like, ‘Frances Tiafoe. What does that look like post-pandemic? What do you want to change? Are you going to be the same guy or are you going to add some things and change some things?’ I just wanted to be a different guy,” said Tiafoe.
After a couple of months away from the sport, Tiafoe began to miss the feeling of competition. The 2019 Australian Open quarter-finalist returned to action at the Western & Southern Open with a renewed sense of enthusiasm and he pushed former World No. 1 Andy Murray to three sets in his first match.
Despite the loss, Tiafoe took the positives out of his first performance in more than five months and overcame Andreas Seppi, John Millman and Marton Fucsovics to reach the Round of 16 in New York for the first time.
“I was so happy once [I found out that] the US Open was going to get underway,” said Tiafoe. “I couldn’t wait to get out there and I think that was why I did well. I’m at my best when I am enjoying the game and loving the game.”
As Tiafoe prepares to celebrate his 23rd birthday on 20 January, he is ready to begin a new phase of his career.
“When you first come on Tour, you are Bugs Bunny [and] just excited to be out there,” said Tiafoe. “You want to play everybody, you want to go to all the tournaments. I am young, but I feel like a veteran. I have been playing on Tour for a while, I am going on 23 now and now I know everybody. I have definitely changed a lot, it doesn’t maybe seem that way but I have definitely changed a lot.”
Having started to work with former World No. 6 Wayne Ferreira during the 2020 lockdown, part of Tiafoe’s maturation has been in the way he now approaches the game. The World No. 62 is keen to find the right balance when it comes to having fun on the court, as he aims to make his mark on the sport.
“I definitely understand that you are going to be one of the guys who is going to have fun every week and everyone loves or you are going to be a guy that everyone loves, but [also someone] they are going to see going deep in tournaments with the fans really embracing you,” said Tiafoe. “I think with me doing that, obviously with the Australia run, fans really embraced that and really got behind that. Instead of being the guy that has fun, I am trying to be the guy who is going to be legendary.”
With a quarter-final run in Delray Beach to open the year, Tiafoe will aim to build on his encouraging start to the season at the Great Ocean Road Open (Melbourne 2). After finding his way through dark times, the American is now ready for a bright and successful 2021 campaign.
“[My motivation] is at a pretty high scale,” said Tiafoe. “I’m ready to do a lot of great things in 2021.”