Tennis Prose




Feb/21

10

Australian Open News & Updates

The Australian Open is one of the most anticipated ATP tours for sports betting sites around the globe and already there have been upsets. In the early going, No. 10 seeded Gael Monfils lost in five sets to Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori in the first round of the Aussie Open. The 34-year-old French native has endured his seventh consecutive loss and this most recent setback clearly took an emotional toll.

“I would like to get up and tell you that this nightmare is over, but here I am,” he told reporters after the match, via Insider. “I feel judged. I’m already on the ground, you shoot me. I ask for a little mercy. It hurts me because I train like a madman and it doesn’t work. When the guy is down, don’t shoot him.”

It was in October of last year when Monfils suffered a neck injury in the Round of 32 at the Vienna Open 2020 and floundered in the final set to Pablo Carreno Busta. He decided to take a break based on mental, rather than physical, exhaustion.

He stated the following after the match, “I can’t relax when I’m on the court…It is a mental block that becomes physical. I need to get back to work with a mental trainer. Now, I can’t visualize and when it goes I see myself sad. I get frustrated too quickly in a match. Mentally, there is a problem. I have no more fire,” admitted Monfils.

Monfils attributes his malaise to the forced hiatus due to COVID-19 and the adverse impact that it has had on his mental well-being.

“I lost a lot during confinement…When I resumed, I no longer had the same confidence. There, at home, I was touched by many more things. I have lost my mental strength. I spent a lot of time without seeing my family. It’s been over a year since I saw my mother … Psychologically, it’s hard and it left its mark,” said the 34-year-old.

AO Highlights

Young Aussie Stuns Belgian

Alexei Popyrin, a 21-year-old wildcard entry, shocked No. 13, David Goffin, in a five-set thriller that had tongues wagging all across the tennis world. The Sydney native fought back gamely after saving four match points to overcome the decorated Belgian player.

“I was near the brink of losing so coming back from match points, it really gives you confidence for the upcoming rounds,” Popyrin said.

“The way I played was really pleasing to me. All the preseason work I did – physically and on my game – it paid off today.

“I managed to stay in it, I managed to dig deep and I came out on top.”

Although Popyrin’s victory was far more stunning, it should also be noted that another young Aussie also vanquished his first-round opponent when No. 21, Alex De Minaur, made short work of 29-year-old American, Tennys Sandgren, the man who blazed his way to the fourth round of last year’s Open and gave the legendary Roger Federer all he could handle until bowing in five sets.

But this year was much different and De Minaur defeated the brash American, 7-5, 6-1, 6-1, before lauding his fellow countrymen.

“I truly believe what we’re doing in Australia… We’ve got so many [players] knocking on the door and so many in the Top 100, so I think we’re in a great spot,” said De Minaur. “It definitely does motivate me because I know that we’ve got all these teammates pushing top players. It’s amazing to see.

”We’ve got Christopher O’Connell beating his first Top 40 opponent in Jan-Lennard Struff,

played an unbelievable ATP Cup. We’ve got Popyrin, who just beat Goffin. I think it’s truly exciting. It’s exciting times, and it’s amazing. Us Aussies, we always seem to play really well here in Australia. Now it’s time to hopefully take this momentum with us and go conquer the world.”

De Minaur will face Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas in the second round while Popyrin will meet South African, Lloyd Harris. Both could very well find themselves advancing after these matches but De Minaur is not counting his chickens just yet.

“He’s (Cuevas) a very tough opponent, very solid. He’s going to make me play a lot of balls,” de Minaur said. “It’s another tough match, similar in ways. I’m going to have to try and focus on my side of the court and do what I have planned and try to execute.

“At the end of the day, that’s what we’ve been working on to try to control the controllables and stay positive.”

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2 comments

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 10, 2021 at 10:01 am

    Hsieh defeated Bibi yesterday 63 62. Masterpiece by Hsieh who is the most intelligent impressive player I ever saw. She has no weapons, she win by intellect. She is 35 and still taking down top players in majors. Unbelievable. Djokovic struggled with Tiafoe, he is still vulnerable, and I believe he is still not fully recovered from the Busta loss at US Open. He can’t finish players like he used to. Fritz has a shot at the upset. Tiafoe again showed his flashes of brilliance but again he lost a close battle with a top player, as he has done several times with Federer, Delpo, etc. Wawrinka had a heartbreaker, fought back from two sets down to have MPs and then he still lost it to Fucsovics. Epic win for the Hungarian.

  • Scoop Malinowski · February 10, 2021 at 12:54 pm

    Felix vs Shapo next. Not sure if they are still good friends. Saw that photo two weeks ago of the whole Canadian team out to dinner, everyone except Felix… Errani rushed Venus 6061… Raonic handled Moutet in four sets… my two picks are Thiem and Swiatek.

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