‘I noticed the desire of the fans for that match to arrive’

Tim van Rijthoven delivered the big upset on the first day of the 49th ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament qualifier. The Dutchman claimed an impressive victory over Italian Salvatore Caruso 6-4, 7-6 (5). It was the first win for the world number 244 under his new trainer Igor Sijsling.

Tim van Rijthoven had to carry the burden of being named super talent for a long time. The 24-year-old from Brabant made his qualifying tournament debut at Rotterdam Ahoy in 2016 and even received a wildcard into the main draw a year later.

However, Van Rijthoven had to withdraw due to injury. And that is perhaps typical of the career of the former number 13 in the junior world ranking. He was frequently off the pitch during periods of injury. « In tennis years I feel younger than 24, because I was very unlucky with injuries in the past.

Having to perform can make or break you. Now I am on the court by myself. » Van Rijthoven made the necessary progress last year. passed under the leadership of Paul Haarhuis. « The collaboration with Paul went very well, but it stopped with the federation.

I have a good click with Igor Sijsling and his type of game is comparable to mine. » After winning the set, Van Rijthoven showed resistance in the second set against Caruso, who is one hundred places higher in the ATP ranking.

« This win gives me a lot of confidence. These are the steps you have to take. I think I have it in me and the goal this year is to get into the top 100. I know you can go fast. This is shown by players like Botic, Tallon or Karatsev”.

With the win at Melbourne Park, Rafael Nadal joins the extremely elite group comprising the great Rod Laver, Novak Djokovic, and himself, with 2 calendar slams each.

Rafa on the final of the 2017 Australian Open

Rafael Nadal reminisced about the encounter with Roger Federer in the final of the 2017 Australian Open.

The 35-year-old remarked that it was evident that fans wanted the pair to meet in the final, making for « two beautiful weeks » preceding the encounter. « Those were two very beautiful weeks [at the 2017 Australian Open].

As the days passed, the fans wanted a final between Roger and I, » the Spaniard said. « Both when he played and I played, I noticed the desire of the fans for that match to arrive. We both came from time off the tour and the game did not disappoint.

Roger played at a very high level and I think it was a resurgence for both of us. He ended up winning but it was the start of a positive year. It helped me have one of my best years, » the Spaniard said. « I won two Grand Slams and so did he. I also finished the year World No. 1 and that start to the year helped me for the future. »

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