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Murray Handed Tough Start To Montpellier Debut



Andy Murray backed to copy Roger Federer after duo skip Australian Open - EXCLUSIVE

Bautista Agut, Goffin occupy top seeding positions at ATP 250

In his first ATP Tour event in four months, Andy Murray has landed in a packed section of the Open Sud de France draw in Montpellier.



Making his first tour-level appearance since last October’s bett1HULKS Indoors in Cologne, the former World No. 1 will open his campaign against Belarusian Egor Gerasimov. Murray will aim to build on a strong start to his 2021 season in Montpellier, following his run to the Biella Challenger Indoor 1 final last week (l. to Marchenko).

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The British wild card will compete in the third quarter of the ATP 250 draw, which features the only two players competing in Montpellier to have already lifted an ATP Tour title this year. Murray could meet Great Ocean Road Open champion Jannik Sinner in the second round, with Delray Beach Open by champion Hubert Hurkacz a potential quarter-final opponent.

Sinner, who fell in five sets to Denis Shapovalov in the Australian Open first round, is competing indoors for the first time since his maiden ATP Tour title run at the Sofia Open last November. The #NextGenATP Italian will meet Aljaz Bedene in his first match.

In the final quarter of the draw, second seed and two-time Montpellier semi-finalist David Goffin could face 2018 champion Lucas Pouille in his first match. Pouille will face countryman Benjamin Bonzi in the first round. Pouille is not the only past champion in this section. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the 2019 titlist, will meet #NextGenATP American Sebastian Korda in one of the picks of the first-round matches.

In the top half of the draw, Roberto Bautista Agut and Dusan Lajovic lead the way. In his first Montpellier appearance since his tournament debut in 2012, Bautista Agut will open his title bid against Nikoloz Basilashvili or a qualifier. The Spaniard is joined in the top quarter of the draw by sixth seed Ugo Humbert, who captured two ATP Tour titles on hard courts in 2020.

Third seed Lajovic will meet Dennis Novak or home favourite Gilles Simon in his opening match. The Serbian shares the second quarter with eighth seed Jan-Lennard Struff, who will begin his third appearance in Montpellier against a qualifier.

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Rafael Nadal’s message to Tiger Woods after car accident



In the past few hours, the entire world of sport has come to know with surprise and apprehension of the car accident involving the American Tiger Woods, star of world of golf. The American, born in 1975, boasts a truly formidable palmarès: world number one for a total of 683 weeks, he won 15 Majors trophies between 1997 and 2019.

Woods’ official Twitter account made it known on social media: “We thank everyone for the enormous support and messages received in this difficult period. As previously reported, Tiger was involved in a car accident with his car in California this morning.

He underwent a long surgery on his right leg and side after being transported to the hospital.”

Rafael Nadal’s message to Tiger Woods
Further below we read: “At the moment he is awake, responsive and recovering in his hospital room.

We thank the wonderful doctors and staff of Harbor UCLA Medical Center, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the Fire Department. Your support and your help has been incredible.” Taking up these words, ATP number 2 Rafael Nadal wrote: “When I heard about the news, I was really worried.

I am happy to know that you are fine. Get back to health soon, my friend!”

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‘Without Roger Federer’s patience…’, says famous trainer



After more than a year of inactivity, Roger Federer will return to play a tournament on 8 March in Doha. The Swiss maestro last played an official match at the 2020 Australian Open, when he was defeated in three sets with Novak Djokovic (later winner of the tournament).

Many questions that arise spontaneously to millions of fans around the world, above all “Will he be able to get back competitive?” His former coach, Heinz Gunthardt, told him about the matter. “It will be one of the greatest challenges ever seen in the world of sport.

There is no doubt. A couple of things have to be fine. He has to move well, he has to build a little confidence with the pitch and with the game, as well as with his body. Playing at a high level right away? Possible, but the first thing to do will be to serve well.

Of course, though, he won’t be used to the game, but that’s not the biggest problem. The focus will be on how well he can move. Why not, he could even win Wimbledon maybe. Why don’t fans have to be optimistic about his return? There is much more to be curious than pessimistic about his condition.”

While speaking with Rene Stauffer, Pierre Paganini made a startling revelation, explaining how Federer’s body has suffered significant degradation during this period – which is in sharp contrast to its condition during his 2016 injury hiatus.

Paganini talks about Roger Federer

“Without Roger Federer’s patience, the guillotine would have fallen long ago,” Pierre Paganini stated. “He depends on it (passion), and so do we! When a player who’s almost 40 has to do exercises that a 70-year-old can do without any problems, and is happy that it gets better every day – if that’s not passion (then what is).”

Paganini further revealed that Roger Federer’s participation at the Dubai Open is not yet a guarantee, as was previously believed to be. “At the moment it is only clear that he is playing Doha, then we’ll see,” Paganini revealed.

Federer is the most successful player at the Doha Open, winning the tournament previously on three occasions in 2005, 2006, and 2011. The event is played on hard courts in an outdoor environment. The tournament will be played from the 8th of march and will end on the 13th of the month. The ATP Dubai 500 will begin on the 14th of March and will end on the 20th of March.

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Novak Djokovic: ‘I once showed my son Stefan who Rafael Nadal is’



Novak Djokovic attended an event held by his endorsement Asics, shoe producer, on Saturday in Shanghai, China, and the interviewers showed him a photo featuring him and his son Stefan staying on a bench together looking at something on the Wimbledon practice courts.

That was actually a very funny moment. ‘I was showing him (Rafael) Nadal, who was playing two courts away because he doesn’t know anybody from tennis but he knows Nadal because I explained him, This is the guy who hits the ball very very hard.

When he sees him, he says, Oh, you are the guy who hits the ball very very hard’, said Djokovic. Talking on his comeback, the 31-year-old added: ‘I worked very hard to be able to regain confidence on the court after that I had surgery in February.

It took me several months to be able to get my game together. I have made some compensations with my game especially with my serve, I made certain changes with the racket so it took a little bit of time to get used to the new racket and serve and not to have the elbow disturbing me.

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