Tennis News: Andrea Petkovic and Jimmy Connors defend two current players

  • Petkovic discusses Medvedev
  • Connors defends Sabalenka
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Tennis is obviously in a monumental transitional phase. Roger Federer has already retired and Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic are getting ever closer to not playing professional tennis anymore. Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz are ascending and appear to be the future of the sport. But where does this leave Daniil Medvedev?

Medvedev is a funny player off the court, though he seems to be divisive in many ways. Some players have complained that he takes longer breaks during matches than he should and slows the pace when he begins to fall behind. But honestly, how many players do not do something like this? Tennis is as much mental as it is physical at the highest levels.

But Medvedev has one former WTA top-ten player on his side, Andrea Petkovic. Petkovic is now a commentator on the sport and a good one. She feels that the transition from the Big 3 to Alcaraz-Sinner has left no room for Medvedev to be noticed.

Andrea Petkovic stands up for Daniil Medvedev and Jimmy Connors does the same for Aryna Sabalenka

Speaking on a recent episode of the Rennae Stubbs Tennis Podcast, Petkovic lamented the fact that too little attention gets paid to Medvedev, a perennial top-five player. Petkovic said, "Medvedev is in the worst position, he is a big star but he has always been number two or three. First there was Novak Djokovic, now there are Jannik Sinner or Carlos Alcaraz and this is a problem...Even if he will be number one in the world, as long as Sinner or Alcaraz are there, he will always be next. This is all a shame."

Another former player-turned-commentator who is standing up for a current player is Jimmy Connors. Connors recently spoke about the situation surrounding WTA No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka and about people saying they understand what the Belarusian is going through after the unexpected death of her ex-boyfriend, Konstantin Koltsov. Connors pointed out that while people try to force their way into sympathy, sometimes simply being empathetic is better.

The reality is that many people do not understand what Sabalenka might be thinking. Not unless they know the player, of course. Many times after the sudden passing of someone, it is best to show appreciation for those who remain than to guess what the situation may have been before the other person died.

On his Advantage Connors podcast, Jimmy Connors said, "With all due respect, there are some topics where people should keep their comments to themselves. Unless you're actually in her shoes and know her thoughts, it's best to avoid certain statements. (Sabalenka) would have been criticized even if she had decided to withdraw from the (Miami Open) because people are like that.

"In my time, when I played, tennis was a great escape for me. When you're going through a tough time, playing games gives you a chance to have a mental break. It distracts you from everything that happens off the pitch. It's her choice. My thoughts go out to her."

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