Mehr Nachrichten zu
Thiem, Dominic

Interessante Nachrichten

After Tennys Sandgren advanced to his second Australian Open quarter-final on Sunday, a member of the media told the American that he is now 5-2 against Top 20 opposition at Grand Slams. “Wow,” Sandgren said.The 28-year-old has proven over the past three years he has the game to play on the sport’s biggest stages, beating the likes of Dominic Thiem, Stan Wawrinka, Matteo Berrettini and Fabio Fognini at the season’s first Grand Slam. But it all seems a bit surreal to him still.“The fact that I am [on this stage], I get kind of amped up. I want to perform. I want to do well. I don't want to take the time on the court for granted,” Sandgren said. “Getting to play on a big stadium, getting to play in front of a lot of people, because I've played a lot of tennis in front of the very few people, the fact I get to do that, seems to bring out the best tennis in me. It seems if I play pretty well, I have a shot.” It’s not lost on Sandgren that it took him several years to get to this point. The Tennessee native turned professional in 2011 after competing for two years at the University of Tennessee. But he would not break into the Top 100 of the FedEx ATP Rankings for the first time until 12 June 2017, when he was one month shy of his 26th birthday.“I wasn't supposed to be here. I spent a lot of time in my career not sniffing these opportunities. So there are better players than me that I played with in Futures and Challengers that have stopped playing because they just ran out of money or got injured or something like that. The fact that I was blessed enough to keep hold of my dream and to be able to try and fulfill it, have the body to do so, the opportunities, [I am] definitely blessed,” Sandgren said. “It's worked out pretty well. There's definitely a world where it didn't work out. Some of the margins were pretty small for me to have some of these opportunities. I definitely don't take it for granted.”[ATP APP]On the three occasions Sandgren has made at least the fourth round of a major, he has been ranked outside the Top 90. So his success against top players on these huge stages isn’t something fans would expect. But that doesn’t mean last year’s Auckland titlist, who has been ranked as high as World No. 41, hasn’t worked to best prepare himself so that he’d be ready in such moments.“There’s been a few things in the past two years that I wouldn’t have thought would be the case. It’s too far away. That’s how these things go a lot of the time. You can’t see into the future enough to know how good things could be or what kind of successes you might have,” Sandgren told ATPTour.com in Zhuhai last year. “There are so many stories where people are nowhere — in the entertainment industry or business, if you started your company in their garage. Did you ever imagine that you’d have a multi-billion dollar company? No, of course not. But you put in the work every day and you try to have a vision of the future that you can tolerate, and you try to manifest that somehow, and work hard and do all the right stuff in the hopes that something might materialise that’s worthwhile.”When Sandgren left Tennessee, the Big Four had already established themselves at or near the top of the sport, providing a model to aspire to. The American went through a number of years during which playing them was not possible because of the level at which he was competing. But now he’s faceed Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray twice each, with his matches against the Serbian coming at Grand Slams. Of course it’s sunk in that he’s gotten to compete against tennis legends, but that’s not what hit him the most during his climb.“It hit me more when I started playing ATP events that I was playing ATP events because I felt maybe a little out of place. But playing guys who I’ve watched play has been more comfortable because I feel like I belong more in the tournaments, so I’m just a guy playing,” Sandgren told ATPTour.com. “I’m just one of the guys who gets the opportunity to play a legend and that’s cool. That’s an enjoyable experience. I’ve played a lot of matches in relative obscurity, so to be able to have those opportunities is a lot of fun. It’s of course challenging because you have to figure out what the heck you’re going to do and there’s more people and there’s pressure that comes with that, sure, but it’s way more of an opportunity and an enjoyable experience to go out there and compete and entertain some people and have fun with it.”[MY POINT]Sandgren first played in a major main draw at 2017 Roland Garros, for which he earned a wild card. That was around the time period when he began to play more tour-level events. And at first, he didn’t always feel that he belonged at that level, even if his game was there. But that core belief has grown over time, and that has made a big difference during his Australian Open quarter-final runs.“Getting the confidence to believe in myself, that I do actually belong on this stage, is crucial for competing,” Sandgren said. “I mean, if you don't feel like you should be there, you're probably not going to play very well.”It certainly would be a confidence boost for Sandgren to hear what his next opponent, 20-time Slam winner Roger Federer, said after defeating Marton Fucsovics to set a clash against the World No. 100. They will play one another for the first time on Tuesday.“I wonder why he's not ranked higher, to be honest. Every time I see him play, I feel like he plays very well,” Federer said. “He's got a lot of stuff in his game that he's deserving of being higher.“I like how he moves. Very explosive. Has a nice first serve as well. He can counter-punch, but also likes to go on the attack. Reminds me a little bit of the olden days when you would do the transition game very good and very quickly. I feel like that's what I've seen a lot of him doing very well.”[ATP HERITAGE]Just four months ago, during a match against Murray in Zhuhai, Sandgren tore a ligament and suffered a stress fracture in a toe in his right foot. It would have been easy to get frustrated, as he had only 78 FedEx ATP Ranking points to defend from the end of the 2019 US Open through the end of last season. But due to the injury, he only earned 10, playing just one ATP Challenger Tour event after Zhuhai.But Sandgren worked hard during the off-season, balancing training with recovery for his toe, and his conditioning has paid dividends, with his physical game holding up against some of the world’s best at Melbourne Park. And now, he’s earned a shot at Federer. “I was kicking myself that I lost to a too-good Sam Querrey at Wimbledon [last year] in the Round of 16 because I would have played Rafa in the quarters. That would have been very special. I was a little upset I wasn't able to get to that match,” Sandgren said. “It would be incredibly special to be able to play [Roger] at least once in my career. To play him on a big stage like [the] quarters of a Slam would be a ton of fun, really.”

Having already completed an improbable run to the Australian Open quarter-finals two years ago, Tennys Sandgren proved he’s not a one-hit wonder with his latest effort to reach the last eight in Melbourne. But if the American is to achieve his maiden Grand Slam semi-final, he’ll need to tackle third-seeded Swiss Roger Federer when they meet on Tuesday.“I wonder why he's not ranked higher, to be honest,” Federer said. “Every time I see him play, I feel like he plays very well. He's got a lot of stuff in his game that he's deserving of being higher.”The 38-year-old Swiss is eager to add to his legacy with a 21st Grand Slam title. Should he capture a seventh crown in Melbourne, he’ll share the all-time record with Novak Djokovic for most titles at this event.Federer’s path to the last eight hasn’t been smooth sailing. He was two points from defeat in an epic third-round clash with Aussie John Millman and dropped a set in his fourth-round victory over Hungarian Marton Fucsovics.But the Swiss brings his best to the business end of tournaments and holds a flawless 14-0 record in quarter-final matches in Melbourne. Federer also has far more experience at this juncture than the American. Tuesday will mark his 57th Grand Slam quarter-final, compared to two for Sandgren.Federer, who kicked off his fourth decade on Tour this month, finds himself in the unusual position of going up against a player he’s never faced. With longtime coaches Ivan Ljubicic and Severin Luthi tasked with a fact-finding mission on the American, he’s confident that he’ll have a sound strategy in place.“The good thing is you have enough time here. It's not like at an [ATP] Masters 1000 or 500 or 250, where you finish late, then next thing you know, you have to play again at 6:00pm the next day, scrambling to get all the info together,” Federer said. “I think the coaches have seen him quite a bit. They'll try to get some more info, maybe look into how he's played in the past against players like me.”[ATP APP]One thing that Federer already knows to expect is that Sandgren’s current form defies his FedEx ATP Ranking of No. 100. The 28-year-old has continued to thrive at the start of the year. In addition to his pair of quarter-finals at this event, he captured his maiden ATP Tour title 12 months ago in Auckland (d. Norrie). Fourteen of his 36 tour-level wins have come in the month of January.“I like how he moves. Very explosive. Has a nice first serve as well. He can counter-punch, but also likes to go on the attack,” Federer said. “It reminds me a little bit of the olden days, when you would do the transition game very good and very quickly. I feel like that's what I've seen a lot of him doing very well.”Sandgren is regarded as one of the fittest players on Tour, but he arrived Down Under with even greater speed around the court and a noticeable increase in muscle. His hard work during the pre-season paid off last week with wins over Italy’s top players, scoring a five-set victory in the second around against eighth seed Matteo Berrettini and prevailing in a grueling fourth-round battle with No. 12 seed Fabio Fognini.Although Sandgren may be reserved off the court, he has a clear love for the spotlight when facing top players in elite evehts. He holds a 5-2 record against Top 20 players in Grand Slams and relishes the opportunities that marquee matches bring.[LISTEN AO]“I haven't had that many looks or wasn't supposed to. The fact that I am [in the quarter-finals], I get amped up. I want to perform. I want to do well. I don't want to take the time on the court for granted,” Sandgren said. “Getting to play in a big stadium, in front of a lot of people, because I've played a lot of tennis in front of very few people, the fact I get to do that seems to bring out the best tennis in me.”Having already reached the last eight once before at this event, Sandgren won’t be awe-struck for the occasion. The baseline battler is ready to leave it all on the court against Federer and believes he still has more Melbourne magic to create.“It seems if I play pretty well, I have a shot. With the way I serve, some of the offensive and defensive skills I bring to the table, [it] seems to translate in some of these bigger matches,” Sandgren said. “I spent a lot of time in my career not sniffing these opportunities. The fact that I was blessed enough to keep hold of my dream and be able to try and fulfill it, have the body to do so, the opportunities… I definitely don’t take it for granted.”

your_interactive_betslip

loading...