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Mahut, Nicolas

21.07.2020 - 06:57 Uhr
atptour.com

One of the most important shots in tennis is the serve. It starts the point, and it is the only shot a player fully controls. In doubles, a good server can win free points and set up his partner for an easy putaway.If a player is struggling on serve, he allows the returning team to play more aggressively and gain confidence, changing the tone of the match.According to some of the best doubles players in the world, being a “great doubles server” does not boil down to one skill. A great server could overwhelm opponents with power, or he could keep returners off balance with an assortment of spins and locations.In the first installation of ATPTour.com’s ‘Ultimate Doubles Player’ series, some of the world’s doubles stars selected the man whom they believe is the best doubles server.Players' Choice, Best Serve: Horia Tecau"I think there are two ways of serving in doubles: First there’s the bulldozer style, and I’d categorise Horia Tecau with that. When he gets his rhythm going, he really can just get through you with his serve and it’s really difficult to deal with. It’s actually quite nice to be his net player because you don’t end up having to do much work. Regardless of conditions, whether the ball is playing heavy or it’s at night or whether it’s a clay court, his sheer ability to generate force [is amazing]." - Raven Klaasen"Playing with Horia was very easy. I take it he’s called ‘Sniper’ for that reason, because he’s always hitting his target. He does serve very, very well. When it comes to serving, Horia is just solid. [His serve is] always within a small margin of speed. He rarely drops below, he just serves at a high speed all the time, and it doesn’t matter if it’s windy or anything. He always seems to time the ball well and that’s an unbelievable skill to have, no matter what weather you have or anything, just to always deliver the same quality shot. When it’s windy, I need a map and compass to find my toss." - Robert Lindstedt"He has a very, very good serve. He’s always solid. It doesn’t matter if he stops for three, six months or he’s playing every day, it’s the same. His serve is unbelievable. He can serve wherever he wants, the way he wants. He’s always dangerous when he serves and it’s very tough to break him." - Marcelo MeloBob Bryan"Definitely throughout his career it’s been one of the most respected serves. When he’s on a roll, it’s just impossible to do anything with it. You don’t know where he’s serving, he’s got a great pace, great swing and even if you do manage to get it back, you’ve got Mike cleaning up at the net." - Joe Salisbury "Over the course of the past 20 years, Bob’s serve has always been the one that most people have said is the best serve in the game. It’s his power, his ability to put the ball where he wants in big moments. He’s got a pretty decent partner to finish things at the net. For those guys to win so much, they’ve both been very reliable at everything they’ve done over the years. But Bob being the lefty, and the actual pace of his serve, it’s very difficult to get the ball away from both guys, especially Mike when he’s taking the middle at the net." - Ken SkupskiHenri Kontinen"He has a very good serve, especially on the deuce side. Probably one of the best wide swingers on the deuce side. Gets it very short, and his shoulder turn when he goes back, he gets so much rotation and that’s where all his power comes from. He changes the spin up a lot of the time. You think he’s going to hit a big pop, but then he takes a lot off it and puts a lot of spin on it. I find Henri very tough to read, and also, he doesn’t hold back on his serve. Even if it’s a big point, he may even go big on his second serve. You can’t really get on his serve consistently and that’s why he holds pretty easily." - Neal Skupski"When he was at his best, he could go 200 kilometres per hours on both serves and returning bombs, so he doesn’t give you rhythm. He makes you doubt all the time, because you don’t have rhythm, and he was on fire all the time making shots and had the talent to make really crazy shots." - Bruno Soares Ben McLachlan"There’s a different style of serving, too. I think one of the younger guys, Ben McLachlan, has a fantastic service action. He’s a very explosive guy. He’s able to make the ball jump, he’s able to make the ball slide. He’s able to go with pure pace, too, and when he tosses it up you know he’s coming with a variety of stuff to you. He keeps you off balance with his ability to shape the ball and move the ball, but he still has plenty of power to get it through you." - Raven Klaasen"He’s got a super-live arm, can create power with really no effort, can hit all the spots on both sides of the court and from ‘I’, from regular. He’s got a great kick serve, a great second serve. I just feel like when he steps up to the line, you know you’re getting a big serve. He’s at the top of the list." - Rajeev RamJack Sock"He has a lot of movement on his first serve. It’s not only the pace. He can serve hard, but he can move it around really well. It’s also because of what comes after the serve. He’s very tough to play." - Jurgen MelzerNicolas Mahut"His serve is maybe not the biggest, but he always finds a great spot. He’s really tough to return against, and he’s always giving you difficulty. He’s really preparing the situation for winning the point. Maybe not with just the serve, but with the serve and one more ball." - Filip Polasek

12.07.2020 - 04:54 Uhr
atptour.com

“We won Wimbledon! Can you believe it?,” Farah asked Cabal while they were locked in the most emotional embrace of their sporting lives.“You’d better believe it because we just did it!,” answered Cabal, still not completely aware of what he was saying.The quick exchange between Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah, moments after defeating Nicolas Mahut and Edouard Roger-Vasselin in a four-hour and 57-minute final, perfectly sums up the Colombians’ achievement when they won their first Grand Slam title in July 2019. Neither of them could quite grasp the magnitude of what they had just done on Wimbledon’s Centre Court."We were in shock,” said Cabal. "It was pure joy, ecstasy. It was a dream come true, a goal we had been pursuing for a long time. But in that moment, when we did it, we didn’t really understand the impact of our achievement.”With a backhand cross-court volley, Farah sealed a 6-7(5), 7-6(5), 7-6(6), 6-7(5), 6-3 victory that made the pair the first Colombian team to win a Grand Slam men’s doubles title. After that point, they both fell to the ground. They were both laughing nervously. They got up amid the applause, hugged each other and then asked themselves if what they were experiencing was real.[COACHES]Their disbelief came from the fact that they had forged a path through a very demanding draw. The pair had to survive an 11-9 fifth-set in their quarter-final against Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau. But it was also because they did not think their first Grand Slam title would come at Wimbledon, on their least favourite surface."We thought we were more likely to win our first major at Roland Garros, because it’s on clay, which suits us best,” said Farah."But the good result in Paris really gave us a boost for the grass swing,” said Cabal. "And winning our first title on the surface in Eastbourne gave us enormous confidence."Even so, their surprise at fulfilling their dream at SW19 was inevitable. Not only did they win the only Grand Slam event where they had never before made it to the quarter-finals, they also climbed to the top of the FedEx ATP Doubles Team Rankings.“That made it much more unforgettable. It was a double triumph,” said Farah. “That day, for the first time, we achieved both our goals, that’s why it will be special for the rest of our careers.”But it would take two days until the impact of their win, particularly in Colombia, would completely sink in."I remember that we were at the club until very late, and then we went to our friends’ house to celebrate,” said Farah. "But the president [of Colombia, Iván Duque] wanted us to be in Bogota on Monday to receive an award so we had to go to the airport early. We didn’t have time to celebrate.”[ATP APP]When they got to Colombia, greeted by a packed crowd, they found more clues as to what they had achieved. A large part of the country — where the most popular sports are football and cycling — had come to a standstill after their achievement.“When I saw the welcome from the people, I thought ‘Wow, what has happened here?’ We never imagined that our title could have caused such euphoria in Colombia,” said Cabal.Once they were home, they were finally able to celebrate. But two weeks later they were competing again in Washington, with their ambition intact.“We are still the same, working just as hard. Winning Wimbledon made us hungry for more titles,” said Farah.They soon qualified for their second successive Nitto ATP Finals, and would later win the US Open, extending their hot streak.But it was on the lawns of Wimbledon where they sewed the seeds of their greatness.

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Editor's Note: ATPTour.com is resurfacing features to bring fans closer to their favourite players during the current suspension in tournament play. This story was originally published on 28 July 2018..It’s not often that you find two iconic athletes from different sports on the same court. But on Friday, British stars Andy Murray and Wayne Rooney met at the Citi Open for a short hit and game of football-tennis.“He’s obviously had an incredible career, one of the best players ever in English football history,” said Murray, whose grandfather played for Scotland’s Hibernian F.C. “It’s nice to finally meet him. I’ve never met him before, so it’s very cool.”Rooney, the leading goal-scorer in England National Team and Manchester United history, currently plays for local club D.C. United of Major League Soccer, so he couldn’t pass up an opportunity to meet Murray. The football legend was in the stands when the Scot captured his first Wimbledon title in 2013 to end Great Britain’s 77-year wait for a home champion.“It was incredible, a real achievement, and [Novak] Djokovic at the time looked unbeatable, so it was a great victory and a great experience to be there,” Rooney said. “It was the first time I was at Wimbledon, and [it was] history for Britain, so it was a fantastic moment to be there.”Murray, who was joined by brother Jamie Murray — the fourth seed in the doubles draw with Bruno Soares at the Citi Open — on Stadium Court, grew up playing football and follows the Premier League as he travels the world. Rooney hasn’t been able to pick up a tennis racquet much, but he says he loves watching the sport. His game was put to the test when the pair rallied, and Murray hit some serves to the football star.“It was decent. Forehand was alright, he almost returned a couple serves. But yeah, not bad. Backhand needs a bit of work,” Murray joked. “He did alright for someone who doesn’t play much. It was good.” Murray will now turn his attention to the ATP World Tour 500-level tournament in Washington D.C. The 31-year-old will face American Mackenzie McDonald in the first round, and could face compatriot and fourth seed Kyle Edmund in a second-round blockbuster. .videoWrapper { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; /* 16:9 */ padding-top: 25px; height: 0; } .videoWrapper iframe { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; }

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