Milos Raonic ready for challenges of ATP’s return after making most of hiatus

During a global pandemic, Milos Raonic is not using his newfound time off for video games and Netflix binging.

With the ATP on hiatus, the world No. 30 and former Wimbledon finalist is taking the extended time off to build up his body, sharpen his game and prepare tactically for a return to live tennis later this summer.

“I took a very short break and then got straight into training,” said Raonic, appearing on the Match Point Canada podcast.

Speaking from his home via a Zoom call, the Canadian revealed how he’s dedicated his time to separate training blocks alongside his coaching team led by Mario Tudor.

“The first block we really focused on was a little bit of tennis,” Raonic said. “Just to keep the feel of the ball, to keep hitting the ball on court, but really focused on fitness and making sure that I could sort of restructure and rebuild my body.

“The second block we definitely increased the intensity and volume of tennis and started working on more things, implementing different situations. Specific movements, different strategies that I would like to use — coming forward a bit, striking on the first ball with returns.

“The next block is going to be really situational, a lot more time on court, and obviously going to keep fine-tuning the fitness.”

Before COVID-19 halted play on tour, Raonic had been exhibiting signs of his best tennis, the level that allowed him to reach world No. 3 in 2016 and made him the first (and only) men’s grand slam singles finalist in Canadian tennis history.

He produced a quarterfinals run Down Under at the Australian Open that featured dominant straight-set victories over Stefanos Tsitsipas and Marin Cilic. He also reached the semifinals of the Delray Beach Open in February.

More promising

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Thiem apologizes for playing in Djokovic’s tennis event

VIENNA — Third-ranked tennis player Dominic Thiem apologized Thursday for taking part in an exhibition series hosted by Novak Djokovic in which four players tested positive for the coronavirus.

Thiem wrote on Instagram: “Our behaviour was a mistake, we acted too euphorically. I am extremely sorry.”

The top-ranked Djokovic tested positive on Tuesday. Grigor Dimitrov, Borna Coric and Viktor Troicki have also said they tested positive after taking part in the Adria Tour exhibition series in Serbia and Croatia.

Thousands of spectators attended the matches in Belgrade and the Adriatic resort of Zadar, and no social distancing was observed.

Thiem won the opening event in Belgrade on June 14.

“We played without an audience for weeks, so we have been more than happy about the fans at the event,” the Austrian wrote. “We trusted the Serbian government’s corona rules, but we have been too optimistic.”

Thiem, a two-time French Open finalist who lost to Djokovic in the Australian Open final this year, said he has been tested five times in the last 10 days but is negative for the virus.

The final for the event in Croatia was cancelled and subsequent matches in other countries were also called off.

Djokovic said on Tuesday that he and his wife tested positive and admitted it was “too soon” to host such an event.

The coronavirus outbreak led to the suspension of the ATP and WTA professional tennis tours in March. Plans were announced last week for the sport’s sanctioned events to return in August.

But the infections have raised questions about the full-fledged return of competitive tennis, including the U.S. Open, which is scheduled to begin on Aug. 31 without spectators. Djokovic has called the rules to keep everyone safe at the U.S. Open “extreme.”

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Glaiza de Castro regains Instagram account after losing access to hacker

Glaiza De Castro (Image: Instagram/@glaizaredux)

Glaiza de Castro has recovered her Instagram profile hours after it was seized by a hacker who demanded $335 (about P16,700) to return it to her.

The actress revealed she had lost access to her page yesterday, June 24, via her Twitter account.

“Na hack Instagram account ko (My Instagram account was hacked),” she said. “What to dooooooo wahhh.”

She later shared a screenshot of her emails with the hacker who went by the name Any Hirl and whose email address was [email protected]. The hacker told De Castro that he/she had already told her “what to do” to regain access to her page.

Following her posts, her fans quickly offered help to the actress. One @withasecondn shared an article of a photographer named Diana Vartanova, who detailed how she regained access to her account after it was seized by the same person.

Another fan (@itsloviiieee) later asked De Castro what the hacker was requesting from the actress. De Castro revealed that the person was demanding $335 (about P16,700) before returning the account to her.

“Nagtaas na nung presyo kumpara dun sa article na nabasa ko,” she added. “Updated  na po yung ransom.”

(The price increased compared with the article I read. The price of the ransom is updated.)

De Castro was referring to

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