2014/09/18

Nadal Struggles Against Berlocq, But Gets Through in a Tough Three-Setter

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By Barbara Galiza

(February 15, 2013) São Paulo – In an unexpected struggle, Rafael Nadal took two hours and 24 minutes to beat Carlos Berlocq, the 78th ranked player in the world, on clay. To the delight of the Brazilian crowd, the number one seed in ATP 250 São Paulo came back to beat the Argentinean in three sets, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4.

 

“Today all wins are important for me, specially after six months without playing. This is the first match I win in three sets since my return. It helps me feeling physically better and having a little more confidence in my body. I am very happy for surviving”, he said.

 

The Spaniard had an injury scare in the first set, serving at 3-4. Nadal was sliding on clay – that has been the aim of criticism by players during the week – at break point when his foot got stuck. He was broken and play was stopped right after, at 5-3, for the court to be fixed.

 

After the win, Nadal complained about the enforcement of the “25 seconds to serve” rule yet again:

 

“I believe it’s an unfair rule. I believe it harms the show, 25 seconds it’s not enough to play point after point after point. It seems like an error from the ATP. I hope it will be changed soon.”

 

In the semifinals, the world number five will play the lucky loser Martin Alund.

 

Barbara Galiza is a journalist from Rio de Janeiro covering the Brasil Open  as media in São Paulo for Tennis Panorama. She likes tennis and writing. Sometimes she blogs, most of the time she tweets. – @fiercetennis. Follow her São Paulo updates on @TennisNewsTPN.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Nadal Blames ATP for São Paulo Tournament Conditions

 

Rafael Nadal photo by William Lucas/Inovafoto

Rafael Nadal photo by William Lucas/Inovafoto

By Barbara Galiza

(February 14, 2013) São Paulo – During the week, players and coaches complained about the indoor clay courts in the  ATP World Tour 250 event in São Paulo, but Rafael Nadal doesn’t think they are in a bad state. The Spaniard, that got through the second round Thursday night, admitted the playing conditions are complicated, but believes the tennis balls are to blame.

 

“The balls are very fast and with very little hair, it’s hard to control. The problem isn’t the courts, it’s the ball”, said Nadal after beating Brazilian João Souza in two sets 6-4, 6-4. “It’s the ATP’s fault, not the tournament’s. The ATP doesn’t have the capacity and infrastructure to choose balls before the start of the tournament.”

 

Nadal’s quarterfinal match will be played Friday at 8pm local time. The world No. 5 faces Carlos Berlocq, from Argentina, the 78th ranked player.

Barbara Galiza is a journalist from Rio de Janeiro covering the Brasil Open  as media in São Paulo for Tennis Panorama. She likes tennis and writing. Sometimes she blogs, most of the time she tweets. – @fiercetennis. Follow her São Paulo updates on @TennisNewsTPN.

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Bellucci Loses to Volandri in São Paulo and Gets Booed Out

Thomaz Bellucci photo by Gaspar Nóbrega/Inovafoto

Thomaz Bellucci photo by Gaspar Nóbrega/Inovafoto

By Barbara Galiza

(February 14, 2013) São Paulo – Brazil’s biggest hope of a home winner ended today, after the country’s No. 1, Thomaz Bellucci, was upset by Filippo Volandri, in two sets. In a match full of errors, the fifth seed of the ATP 250 São Paulo fell in the second round to the Italian, 6-3, 6-2, and the crowd wasn’t happy. The 8,000 fans present booed their local man off of the court.

 

“It’s very sad getting booed in your country. This has never happened to me in my career before. It’s hard knowing people don’t appreciate our sport here”, said the 35th player in the rankings. “It’s never easy for me to play in Brazil. I’m always extra nervous here.”

 

“Here in Brazil, the mentality is different, people don’t appreciate athletes like they do in Europe or America,” complained Bellucci, that, in 2010, had a career high of 21. “It’s hard for the crowd to understand that I have bad days. People come here to watch good tennis and if I don’t play good tennis, they boo. ”

 

In his first round victory over countryman Guilherme Clézar, the fans present also cheered against Bellucci. After the win, he stated he understood the choice: “I am not the most charismatic player.”

 

Last year, Bellucci and Volandri met in the semifinals. The Italian also won, but in three sets. In the quarterfinals of São Paulo, Volandri, 88th, will play the lucky loser Martin Allund, from Argentina.

 

Barbara Galiza is a journalist from Rio de Janeiro covering the Brasil Open  as media in São Paulo for Tennis Panorama. She likes tennis and writing. Sometimes she blogs, most of the time she tweets. – @fiercetennis. Follow her São Paulo updates on @TennisNewsTPN.

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São Paulo: What To Do Other Than Watch Nadal

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By Barbara Galiza

(February 13, 2013) São Paulo – If you’ve seen the video of Rafael Nadal’s entrance in São Paulo Tuesday night (posted on his Facebook), you probably got excited about the tournament. Very few ATP 250 events can proud themselves into bringing a 10,000 crowd for a doubles first round at 11pm. Sure the tournament is currently far from perfect – hot arena, court complaints – but the major city has much to offer.

On Sunday, the final (that could include the Argentine Juan Monaco,  the Spaniard Nicolas Almagro or even the local Thomaz Bellucci) will make the Ibirapuera arena boil. So why not relax first in the biggest park in São Paulo, that goes by the same name, right on the corner of the grounds? To find out what are the best things to do in the city, I had a chat with two press room neighbors: Sheila Vieira and Felipe Priante, from Tênis Brasil. They shared what are the must-do things in São Paulo.

Ciclofaixa

Where Rio de Janeiro is famous for the cities, “paulistas” got to rely on their parks to enjoy the Brazilian Summer. On Sundays, the streets around and connecting the three biggest parks (Ibirapuera, Villa-Lobos and Parque do Povo) close, giving cyclists over 10km of free space.

Federer in Brazil

Mercado Municipal Paulistano

Opened in 1933, this is the place to find cheap things in São Paulo. Shopping is the city’s middle name and in the Municipal Market, you can buy fruits, vegetables, meats, spices and still eat the traditional “mortadela sandwich”. It is always absolutely packed but it was visited by Roger Federer last month, during his South American exhibition tour. If Federer can survive the masses, so you can you.

MASP

The São Paulo Modern Art Museum is not only a beautiful concrete and glass structure built in 1968, but it’s also located in the busiest street in the city, Avenida Paulista. Their collection includes a handful of Degas, Van Goghs, Cézannes and more. They also have a few exhibitions going on at a time, check out before you go

Bairro da Liberdade

Brazil is the biggest home outside Japan for Japanese people and they’re mostly located in São Paulo. Bairro da Liberdade is the Japanese neighborhood in the city. Expect to find there the best sushi places, food fairs that sell gyoza in the streets, traditional clothes shops and other Asian hard-to-find products.

Museu do Futebol

If you’re at the country of football, you might as well learn something about the most popular sport in the world. Located in the Pacaembú Stadium, home of Corinthians.

Vila Madalena

The neighborhood with the coolest bars. It has rich people and normal people, everyone having a drink. If you’re still hung up on the Football Museum, check out São Cristóvão – a bar football-themed where they sell vintage jerseys.

Even when Rafa isn’t playing, São Paulo is still full of sights and touristic attractions. If you’re looking for more things to do, the historic Casa das Rosas and the famous shopping streets, like Oscar Freire, are all good places to see before or after the tennis.

Barbara Galiza is a journalist from Rio de Janeiro covering the Brasil Open  as media in São Paulo for Tennis Panorama. She likes tennis and writing. Sometimes she blogs, most of the time she tweets. – @fiercetennis. Follow her São Paulo updates on @TennisNewsTPN.

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Bellucci to Play Up-and-Coming Compatriot in São Paulo’s First Round

 

Thomaz Bellucci

Thomaz Bellucci

By Barbara Galiza

(February 11, 2013) São Paulo -Thomaz Bellucci, Brazil’s highest ranked player at number 35 in the world, will face a young compatriot in his first round match at ATP 250 São Paulo: Guilherme Clezar. Last year, Clezar made a splash on the tour, becoming the top player on the under-19 ATP rankings. At 20 years old, he is the youngest player in Brasil Open’s main draw.

“He must be confident at the moment and seems to be very solid from the baseline. I think he will be really strong, really wanting the victory,” said Bellucci ahead of their match-up. Clezar already has three wins under his belt in the Brasil Open, since he got through the qualifying rounds this afternoon.

On Tuesday the Brazilians will clash at 7 pm local time. Afterwards, Rafael Nadal will make his debut in the tournament, alongside David Nalbandian in the doubles.

Barbara Galiza is a journalist from Rio de Janeiro covering the Brasil Open in São Paulo for Tennis Panorama. She likes tennis and writing. Sometimes she blogs, most of the time she tweets. – @fiercetennis. Follow her São Paulo updates on @TennisNewsTPN.
RESULTS – MONDAY, 11 FEBRUARY, 2013

Singles – First Round
[7] P Andujar (ESP) d S Giraldo (COL) 64 76(5)
*[LL] M Alund (ARG) d [WC] R Mello (BRA) 64 64
S Bolelli (ITA) d [WC] T Robredo (ESP) 62 64

*[LL] M Alund (ARG) replaced L Mayer (ARG) – back

SCHEDULE – TUESDAY, 12 FEBRUARY, 2013

COURT CENTRE start 12:00 noon
[6] F Fognini (ITA) vs G Pella (ARG)

Not Before 2:30 PM
G Garcia-Lopez (ESP) vs [8] A Ramos (ESP)

Not Before 5:00 PM
D Gimeno-Traver (ESP) vs F Volandri (ITA)

Not Before 7:00 PM
[Q] G Clezar (BRA) vs [5] T Bellucci (BRA)
R Nadal (ESP) / D Nalbandian (ARG) vs P Andujar (ESP) / G Garcia-Lopez (ESP)

COURT 2 start 2:00 PM

Not Before 2:00 PM
A Kuznetsov (RUS) vs C Berlocq (ARG)
[3] F Cermak (CZE) / M Mertinak (SVK) vs [PR] L Arnold Ker (ARG) / J Monaco (ARG)
[PR] R Ramirez Hidalgo (ESP) / T Robredo (ESP) vs [2] A Peya (AUT) / B Soares (BRA)
O Marach (AUT) / H Zeballos (ARG) vs [4] L Dlouhy (CZE) / A Sa (BRA)

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Alves Fails to Qualify, Questions About Court Conditions at Brasil Open

Brazil Open

By Barbara Galiza

 

(February 10, 2013) Even with an impressionable run in the Davis Cup play-off against America last week, Brazilian Thiago Alves still failed to quality for his home tournament. The 135th player in the world fell in the second round of qualifying and his reaction hinted the indoor clay at São Paulo was to blame. After his loss, the Brazilian smacked his racket and kicked the surface so hard, some areas had to be refilled.

 

Fabio Fognini‘s coach, José Perla, also complained about the surface, but on Twitter: “The only problem with São Paulo are the courts. They are in terrible conditions and the balls are from the supermarket. (…) We hope no one gets hurt.”

 

The ATP 250 São Paulo has the presence of Rafael Nadal confirmed, after just returning to tour last week from a seven-month injury lay-off. The Spaniard will make his debut on Tuesday, but the organizers insist the courts will be in perfect condition for the start of the tournament tomorrow.

 

“The courts are still being adjusted. The clay hasn’t even had a month to settle down (since the Federer Tour exhibitions, held on the same site, but on hardcourts). The people from the ATP will still arrive and make the conditions 100% for the start of the tournament,” says Brasil Open’s press agent.

 

Barbara Galiza is a journalist from Rio de Janeiro covering the Brasil Open in São Paulo for Tennis Panorama. She likes tennis and writing. Sometimes she blogs, most of the time she tweets. – @fiercetennis. Follow her São Paulo updates on @TennisNewsTPN.

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