09.06.2021 - 02:27 Uhr
Drop shots, tweener lobs, and “a very millennial shot” – Stefanos Tsitsipas had to overcome every weapon in Daniil Medvedev’s arsenal on Tuesday night, but the Greek player passed the test with flying colours to reach the semi-finals at Roland Garros. In an exchange that summed up the 6-3, 7-6(3), 7-5 encounter, Tsitsipas had worked his way to match point on Medvedev’s serve in the third set. From nowhere, the second-seeded Russian struck the most unexpected shot from his typically unorthodox game: an underarm serve.But Tsitsipas seemed to read it perfectly, and didn’t panic when Medvedev rushed in behind it. Instead, Tsitsipas blasted a backhand winner up the line to clinch the victory. “A very millennial shot, so true,” the fifth seed commented in his post-match press conference. “Well, once he took like a short break, I saw he stopped. I felt like there was something coming up, so at that point I think I got prepared for it. “It’s that, like, less of a second when you realise something is about to change from a regular [serve]. It was fine. I [did] what I had to do.”That’s what the 22-year-old Greek player has been doing all fortnight long: working hard, staying prepared, and taking care of business to return to the semi-finals in Paris for the second year in a row. The FedEx ATP Race To Turin leader has only dropped one set en route to the last four, in the third round against big-serving John Isner. He’s been on song with wins over Jeremy Chardy, Pedro Martinez and 12th seed Pablo Carreno Busta, and overcame the mental challenge of his 1-6 ATP Head2Head against Medvedev in the quarter-finals for a tour-leading 38th win on the season. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Stefanos Tsitsipas (@stefanostsitsipas98)“I'm playing good. That will show by itself,” Tsitsipas said. “I don't think there's a player out there [in the draw] that thinks they can't win the tournament. I'm pretty sure they all know they can play well. “Of course I'm playing good [too], and I think if I keep repeating the process, keep repeating the everyday hustle that I put [in], for sure there's going to be a reward. And why not?” After reaching his third consecutive Grand Slam semi-final, the Greek player told press he is still hungry for more.Standing between Tsitsipas and his first appearance in the championship match of a major will be sixth seed Alexander Zverev, whom he leads 5-2 in their ATP Head2Head. It will be the youngest Roland Garros semi-final since Rafael Nadal, 22, defeated Novak Djokovic, 21, here in 2008. But Tsitsipas won’t be satisfied emulating the Big Three or setting ‘youngest since’ records for much longer – he wants to leave his own mark on the game.“I feel privileged that I'm in that position,” Tsitsipas said. “I feel obviously I've put in a lot of daily hard work and [that] has been a key element of me being here. But my ego tells me I want more.”



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Isner, John

29.07.2021 - 05:19 Uhr

John Isner has won five titles in the past 10 editions of the Truist Atlanta Open, and he is looking to keep that dominance going this week at the ATP 250 event. The 36-year-old foodie is not shy about dropping his name at tournament cities – including Atlanta – to try to get into a nice restaurant, but when was the last time that it actually paid off?The big-serving American is the latest player to feature in our popular Q&A series, and he revealed The Last Time… I strung a tennis racquet?Oh that’s a good one… I’ve been very spoiled there, it was in juniors. Maybe 16 years old. Even in college we would have someone who would string our racquets. We were very lucky there. And ever since I turned pro I haven’t had to. But I remember I had an Ektelon Stringing Machine, one of the best stringing machines out there for sure.Actually, I used to be pretty good. I was quite meticulous about how I went about it. I was very particular. I mean, I dreaded doing it, but it was something my parents made me do simply as a cost-efficiency thing. When you think about how much the stringing fees are, I would say over the course of my whole junior career I definitely more than paid for that thing.It was a good lesson to learn. My parents bought that machine for me, and they made me do my own racquets, which I guess gave me some discipline as well. I shared a hotel room with another player?Gosh, I guess I’m so spoiled. It had to have been right out of college. I think 2007, in Aptos, California. There was an ATP Challenger [Tour] event out there. That must have been the last one, and luckily I got my ranking up pretty quickly after that and I didn’t have to do that again. I paid money to rent a tennis court?I remember I paid money in Shanghai a couple of years ago. The drive from the hotel to the tennis courts can be pretty far. I had an off day, and I was able to find an indoor court nearby, super close by in the city. I was lucky enough to get a court, even though I had to pay for it. I forget what the conversion rate was, but I swiped my credit card for maybe $20 or $25 [USD] and practised. So it was well worth it to save the hour and a half drive in the car.I was recognised or dropped my name, and it helped me?I’ve played the ‘I’m a tennis player’ card trying to get restaurant reservations before in some of the cities we’ve been at. A lot of times it actually doesn’t work and they don’t know who the hell I am. But sometimes it does work… It does work in Atlanta, sometimes.I remember being in Paris at the famous restaurant, L’Avenue. I like to eat. I don’t spend money on a lot of things, but I do spend money on eating well. So I went to L’Avenue and I dropped a ‘I’m playing at the French Open’ and I was able to get in. I felt… Well, I was pretty shameless, actually! [laughs] I asked someone famous for an autograph or selfie?It’s not a selfie, but I had [U.S.] President George W. Bush sign an autograph for me. I got to meet with him, and got a photo with my wife and daughter with President Bush. He kindly signed it for us, and I thought that was very, very cool. Really, only living presidents are about the only people I would ask for an autograph. Whether it’s Jimmy Carter, Barack Obama, George W. Bush, whom I’ve met, or Donald Trump – I think that would be very cool. But honestly that could change as my kids get older. We’ll see who they look up to, whether they’re athletes or entertainers. I would have no shame in asking those people to give my kid an autograph. View this post on Instagram A post shared by John Isner (@johnrisner)I cooked for friends or family?That was this morning. In Atlanta, we get these mini-apartments here with a little kitchen. My family is here with me, my wife and kids are here, and I love to cook them breakfast. I do that every day when we’re at home anyways. I’m kind of particular with what I feed my kids, so having a little kitchenette with a grocery store literally right next door has been great. We got eggs, oatmeal, and the cereal that they liked. I definitely love cooking for my kids. I went to a music concert?I think it was a Taylor Swift concert. That was probably about six months before the pandemic set in, so it would have been 2019, maybe right around after the US Open. I made my debut at an ATP Tour event?Last week in Los Cabos. But prior to that… oh man. Good question. Chengdu in 2019. I’m pretty sure that’s the correct answer... View this post on Instagram A post shared by John Isner (@johnrisner)I visited a city for the first time?For the first time? It would be… off the top of my head, that would be last year in May. So a little more than a year ago. I went to a place called Alcoba in Wyoming to go trout fishing. It was great, and it was a lot of fun. I missed a flight?Off of my own doing, never. I mean, I’m not one of those people who has to get to the airport crazy early. But I guess I’ve just had good luck, because I’ve never really encountered horrible traffic or a wreck on the way there or anything like that that would hold me up. Off the top of my head, I can’t think of an instance.

28.07.2021 - 15:22 Uhr

The ATP has partnered with three internationally acclaimed institutions to offer ATP members access to world-class education opportunities, in line with a commitment to promoting welfare and development across its membership.The trio of new strategic partners – MIP Politecnico di Milano Graduate School of Business, the University of Florida and the Institute for Civic Leadership (ICL) Academy – will offer access to subsidised courses for ATP players, tournaments, agents, alumni and coaches. Courses will be available mostly online and cover various qualification levels, subject areas and languages to reflect the breadth of requirements across the membership.MIP Politecnico di Milano Graduate School of Business, which ranks among the Top 10 globally in the Financial Times’ 2021 Online MBA Ranking for its i-Flex EMBA, will offer subsidised short courses and post-graduate degrees. Delivered in partnership with several globally renowned brands, the i-Flex EMBA is a two-year Executive MBA aimed at professionals who want to combine international studies with work commitments, with a focus on digital transformation and featuring lectures by top managers leading digital transformation in their companies.The University of Florida, ranked within the Top 10 of U.S. public universities, will offer members the chance to enroll in any of the four online master’s programmes and graduate certificate programmes offered through its renowned College of Health & Human Performance (UFHHP). Graduate programmes include Applied Physiology and Kinesiology, Sport Management, Health Education and Behavior, Tourism and Hospitality Management, as well as a graduate certificate in Sport Event Management. In addition, the ICL Academy, a one-of-a-kind online private school for students from grades 7-12, will allow ATP members to take flexible courses for credit and graduate with an American High School diploma, including the option for AP and IB courses, on a full-time or course-by-course basis. Through its Impact Learning Model, ICL Academy delivers world-class academics, award-winning service leadership, and world champion partners who serve as master teachers from across the sports, venture capital, entertainment and technology sectors, with Novak Djokovic, Monica Seles, Dr. Jim Loehr, Tommy Haas, Vasek Pospisil and the Bryan Brothers supporting ICL tennis initiatives.Stephen Farrow, ATP VP Member Services, said: “Our vision is for all ATP members to have professional opportunities open to them beyond their time in tennis. Key to that is offering access to quality education that can work around life on Tour and cater to the different interests and needs of our member groups. Partnering with three world-class institutions is an exciting step for us in that process.” John Isner, ATP player and University of Georgia graduate, said: “These new education initiatives are very important. As tennis players, we have a shelf life. We can’t play this sport and earn money forever. Being able to lean on a top-notch education after your tennis career is over will set a lot of us up very well in the future.”The exciting new partnerships build on the ATP’s existing education portfolio which includes Coursera, University of Palermo and Indiana University East, offering members a broad range of courses in English and Spanish. The ATP has also established a number of partnerships and internal initiatives across the mental health space in recent years, in an ongoing bid to support the broader welfare of members beyond the court.

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