Nadal, Kyrgios and Norrie reach Wimbledon quarter-finals
(Tennis news) Rafael Nadal reached his eighth Wimbledon quarter-final after defeating Dutchman Botic van de Zandschulp 6-4 6-2 7-6 (8-6) in two hours and 22 minutes at the Centre Court. The 36 year old Spaniard remains on course for a calendar slam and will now face Taylor Fritz in the quarter-finals. In the on-court interview after the match, Nadal said “I am a little bit tired to talk about my body. Sometimes I am tired about myself and all the issues that I am having. I prefer to not talk about that now. Sorry for that.
"But I am in the middle of the tournament and I have to keep going. All respect for the rest of the opponents. I am just trying my best every single day. For the moment I am healthy enough to keep going and fight for the things that I want. It takes a lot of mental and physical effort to try to play this tournament after the things that I went through the last couple of months. But as everybody knows, Wimbledon is a tournament that I like so much. I have been three years without playing here. I really wanted to be back. That's what I am doing. So that's why it means a lot for me to be in the quarter-finals."
Taylor Fritz defeated Australia's Jason Kubler 6-3 6-1 6-4 to set up a match against Nadal in the quarter-finals. The 24 year old hasn’t dropped a single set at the tournament yet and won his eighth straight victory on the grass surface, having played at Eastbourne before Wimbledon began. Speaking after the match, Fritz said “My first Grand Slam quarter-final, that's really a big deal. Part of the final eight and... I'm glad I could get the win on the Fourth of July, being American."
In other results, Nick Kyrgios also reached the quarter-finals after a five set win over Brandon Nakashima, winning 4-6 6-4 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 6-2. The Australian tennis player was on his best behaviour after a fiery clash with Stefanos Tsitsipas and successfully made it to the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam for the first time in seven years. During the on-court interview after the match, Kyrgios said “It wasn't near my best performance, level wise, but I'm just super, super happy to get through. I've never lost a fifth set here. Honestly, that's what I was thinking about. I was like, I've been here before, I've done it before and I came through again."
Meanwhile, British tennis player Cameron Norrie will face David Goffin in the quarter-finals after defeating Tommy Paul 6-4 7-5 6-4. When asked about being the only British player still playing at Wimbledon, Norrie said “I'll take it. At the beginning of the tournament, you guys were asking me, 'You're British No 1, you got a lot of pressure, a lot of expectations on your shoulders'. For me to play the way that I did in all my matches so far means a lot. Unfortunately I'm the last one standing. But I think it's even more reason for everyone to get behind me. The atmosphere was great today and definitely helped me get over the line there. Especially on that last game, I was obviously pretty nervous. I was serving for my first quarter-final of a Slam. I wanted to get it done there.
"It's great to be through to the quarters. But no reason to be satisfied. I want to keep pushing. I'm looking forward to the next match. Another challenge. Very experienced player. There's still a long way to go, but it's pretty nice to tick the box making the quarters. I feel like I'm improving and my level is getting better. Definitely a little bit more calm in the bigger matches. It's nice to do it that way round."
As for Goffin, the 31 year old is playing at Wimbledon after a year’s gap, having suffered an ankle injury in the 2021 edition and was subsequently ruled out due to a knee problem. However, he reached the quarter-finals after defeating Frances Tiafoe in four hours and 36 minutes. He said “I have another opportunity to play on Centre Court to try to have a win, finally to have a win on Centre Court. I didn't have any chances. I had [Andy] Murray and I had [Novak] Djokovic. Not easy," said the former world No 7.
"Another British, against Cameron. He played less than me. He played well from the start of the tournament. He played really well. He's very consistent. He's a tough opponent to play, but I will try to recover. That's the most important now, today and tomorrow, try to be ready to play against the whole country."
Wimbledon: Mirza-Pavic pair cruises to mixed doubles semifinals
Wimbledon, Jul 5 (Tennis News) Indian tennis ace Sania Mirza and her Croatian partner Mate Pavic advanced to the Wimbledon mixed doubles semifinals with a hard-fought win over fourth seeds Gabriela Dabrowski and John Peers.
Mirza and Pavic, seeded sixth, eked out a thrilling 6-4 3-6 7-5 win over Canadian-Australian duo in one hour 41 minutes on court 3 on Monday night.
The Indo-Croatian pair will take on the the winners of the quarterfinal between Robert Farah and Jelena Ostapenko, the seventh seeds, and second seeds Neil Skupsi and Desirae Krawczyk.
This is Mirza's best mixed doubles performance at the All England Club. She had previously reached the quarterfinals in 2011, 2013 and 2015.
A Wimbledon title is the only mixed doubles Grand Slam missing from her trophy cabinet.
Mirza, a six-time Grand Slam winner, has already announced her retirement at the end of this season.
Also Read : Wimbledon: Novak Djokovic to face Jannik Sinner in the quarter-finals
News Source : PTI
Wimbledon: Novak Djokovic to face Jannik Sinner in the quarter-finals
(Tennis news) Defending champion Novak Djokovic progressed to the quarter-finals of the Grand Slam after defeating Van Rijthoven 6-2 4-6 6-1 6-2. It was a landmark victory for the Serbian, who managed to secure his 83rd Wimbledon match-win, 25th consecutive win on grass, 13th Wimbledon quarter-final, 53rd Grand Slam quarter-final and 83rd Wimbledon match-win. The result sets up an epic match between Djokovic and Italian youngster Jannik Sinner.
During the on-court interview after the match, Djokovic said “Thanks for staying for this late finish to watch tennis. Thank you Billie Jean for staying, I know it's been a long day. Under the roof it takes a bit of time to get used to the conditions, but I finished the match well. I don't know if there was a curfew. There is? Phew! I am lucky, thank God. I remember playing a match over two days with (Rafael) Nadal a few years ago, in the semi-final. It's never very pleasant."
The 20 year old defeated one of the tournament’s favourites Carlos Alcaraz to progress into the quarter-finals. It was a match between two of the most promising tennis players of the next generation but the Italian secured a fairly comfortable 6-1 6-4 6-7 (8-10) 6-3 victory in three hours and 35 minutes. Speaking after the match, Sinner said “I think what we showed today is a great level of tennis, great attitude from both of us.
“Hopefully this is going to be the case, but we never know. There are still so many other players who are playing incredible tennis. For sure we are the two youngest at the moment, so let's see. I don't know in the future what's going to happen. Yeah, I think it's just great for tennis to also have some new names, new players." As for Alcaraz, the Spaniard struggled on the grass surface but remained optimistic for the 2023 edition. The 19 year old said “I started really nervous. Playing on Centre Court is not easy for me. Jannik could handle it better than me, the nerves and the pressure, I'd say.
“But I felt really well here in Wimbledon. I got a lot of experience playing on grass. Now I'm thinking that I could be a great player on grass. Next year I hope to play some tournaments before here in Wimbledon to adapt my game, to get used to playing here on grass. But I would say I'm going to be a great player here."
In other results, Ons Jabeur defeated Elise Mertens 7-6 (11-9) 6-4 to reach the Wimbledon quarter-finals where she will face Marie Bouzkova. Both players will be battling it out to reach their first ever Wimbledon semi-final. Bouzkova defeated Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia 7-5 6-2 in what can only be considered to be an upset. Speaking after the match, the unseeded Czech player said “If you would have told me before the tournament started I would be in the quarters, I probably wouldn't have believed you. Always try to take it match by match. Since the first match it has been a really tough journey for me. Just to be now in the quarters, it's something very special for me. I'm just really proud that I've been able to handle everything the way I have and just enjoy the moment."
Norrie defeats Johnson to progress into the fourth round at Wimbledon
(Tennis news) Britain’s number 1 Cameron Norrie defeated Steve Johnson 6-4 6-1 6-0 at the Centre Court. The 26 year old was in sublime form and his victory meant that it will be the first time in five years that a British man will be in the fourth round of Wimbledon. He will take on 30th seed Tommy Paul in the next match after the American defeated Jiri Vesley 6-3 6-2 6-2.
In the on-court interview after the match, Cameron Norrie said “I couldn't be happier, especially with all of my friends and family watching. I enjoyed the match today and it was a little less stressful for my squad! I'm enjoying playing at this level, enjoying the process of it all and enjoying improving. My team and I have all got the same goals and it's been a lot of fun. I want to keep going and keep on ticking more boxes."
It was a tight first set between Norrie and Johnson, with the 26 year old narrowly edging out his opponent with a backhand to make it 6-4. The British tennis player made a few uncharacteristic unforced errors but settled down after winning the first set, displaying a relentless performance in the second set. Steve Johnson struggled to match Norrie's intensity and athleticism, eventually resulting in the match ending in under two hours. “I'm as ready as I can be," Norrie added about playing in the fourth round. "I'm training as hard as I can. I'm moving better, feeling a lot better on the court and as I say, I'm as ready as I can be."
In other results, Novak Djokovic progressed to the fourth round after defeating fellow Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic 6-0 6-3 6-4. It was Djokovic’s 35th straight win at the Centre Court and has now reached Wimbledon’s Round of 16 for the 13th time in his career. However, what lies ahead is a tricky fixture against Dutch wildcard Tim van Rijthoven who the Serbian has never faced in his career. Van Rijthoven has won eight consecutive matches on the grass surface, his latest being a 6-4 6-3 6-4 third-round victory over Nikoloz Basilashvili.
Speaking ahead of his match against Djokovic, Van Rijthoven said “Before the tournament started, it was a dream for me to play him [Djokovic], basically. So, to be able to have that chance and to maybe even play on Centre Court or Court One is beautiful and magical. I go into every match thinking I can win the match. Also against Djokovic, I'll go into that match thinking I can win that match."
Carlos Alcaraz also progressed to the fourth round after defeating Oscar Otte 6-3 6-1 6-2 in just one hour and 38-minutes. Despite it only being Alcaraz’s third tournament on the grass surface, the 19 year old looked exceptionally comfortable and will now set his sights on Jannik Sinner, who the Spaniard will face in the next round. Alcaraz said “This was the best match on grass that I played so I'm enjoying every time I play on these amazing courts. It's tough to play on grass but Wimbledon gives you a special energy. I'm trying to get better every match and every day."
Wimbledon: Andy Murray gets knocked out while Djokovic secures win
(Tennis news) Scottish tennis player Andy Murray got knocked out of Wimbledon after succumbing to a four set defeat at the hands of John Isner with the score of 6-4 7-6 (7-4) 6-7 (3-7) 6-4. Murray could only manage to get 15 points against Isner’s first serve and took time to get into the rhythm, with Isner breaking Murray’s serve for only the second time in 25 sets over 12 years.
Speaking after the match, Murray reiterated his belief that he can produce his best tennis at Grand Slams and does not intend to step away from the game. He said “I think most of the players on the tour would tell you that a match like that was won or lost based on a few points here and there. I didn't play well enough on those points tonight. Like I said, I certainly didn't serve well enough at the beginning of the match, which I think is understandable. Look, he's a difficult opponent to play against. Like you say, I obviously played well against him in the past.
"Tonight's match, I don't see why it should change that, change that view really. Physically I feel good, then we'll try to keep playing. But it's extremely difficult with the problems I've had with my body in the last few years to make long-term predictions about how I'm going to be even in a few weeks' time, never mind in a year's time. If physically I'm in a good place, yeah, I will continue to play. But it's not easy to keep my body in optimal condition to compete at the highest level."
In the on-court interview after the match, John Isner said “I am most definitely not a better tennis player than Andy Murray, I might have just been a little better than him today. It was an incredible honour to play him on this court in front of this crowd. At the age I'm at now, I need to relish these moments. This was one of the biggest wins of my career. To play as well as I did against one of our greatest players ever was a huge accomplishment for me. He's a massive inspiration to each one of us in the locker room and we are so lucky to still have him around."
In other results, defending champion Novak Djokovic remained on course for his fourth consecutive title after defeating Thanasi Kokkinakis 6-1 6-4 6-2 in two hours. The Serbian may have been unconvincing in his win against Kwon Soon-woo, but was back to his dominant best. Speaking after the match, Djokovic said “I'm happy with my performance today. A really high-quality performance. I must say I'm quite pleased with the way I've raised the level of tennis in two days. Hopefully I can keep that trajectory, just thinking about the next challenge and hope things will get better as the tournament goes on." The Serbian will now face either Chile's Alejandro Tabilo or Serb compatriot Miomir Kecmanovic in the next round.
Meanwhile, British number 1 Cameron Norrie survived a 6-4 3-6 5-7 6-0 6-2 scare to defeat Juame Munar. Ugo Humbert, who forgot his rackets in the locker room despite the match being delayed by more than an hour and a half, overcame Casper Ruud 3-6 6-2 7-5 6-4. Ranked 112, Humbert has never won a match at the All England Club before this week and will now face David Goffin in the next round for a place in the Round of 16.
Serena Williams knocked out of Wimbledon’s first round
(Football news) Seven time Wimbledon champion Serena Williams was knocked out of the first round by Harmony Tan 7-5 1-6 7-6 (10-7) on Centre Court. Having been sidelined for 12 months due to a hamstring injury, Williams couldn’t recreate her old magic, looking rusty and error prone throughout the encounter, suffering her third first-round loss at a Grand Slam event.
At the age of 40, Serena Williams’ time is running out on her illustrious career but the American remained coy about her future in the post-match interview. She said “Like I said coming into this, I'm just planning for right now, seeing how I feel, just to go from there.” When asked if this might be her final Wimbledon appearance, Williams said “That's a question I can't answer. I don't know. Who knows? Who knows where I'll pop up."
Despite a disappointing start to the match, Williams took a shaky 4-2 in the opening set but committed 21 unforced errors, resulting in her losing 7-5. However, the American bounced back in the second set to win comfortably (1-6) and looked to have edged out Harmony Tan in the deciding set after leading 3-1, only to falter at the end. Williams said “I think physically I did pretty good. I think the last couple of points, I was really suffering there. But I feel like in just those key points, winning some of those points, is always something mentally that you kind of need. I did pretty well on maybe one or two of them, but obviously not enough."
When asked if she was satisfied with the first round defeat being her final Wimbledon appearance, Williams said “Obviously not. You know me. Definitely not. But today I gave all I could do. Maybe tomorrow I could have given more. Maybe a week ago I could have given more. But today was what I could do. At some point, you have to be able to be OK with that."
In other results, World Number 1 Iga Swiatek defeated Jana Fett 6-0, 6-3 to win her 36th consecutive match. The Polish tennis player remains unbeaten since February, winning six tournaments and overcoming Venus Williams’ record set in 2020. She defeated her Croatian opponent on Centre Court, usually reserved for the defending champion, and is undoubtedly the favourite to win the Wimbledon title, especially in the absence of defending champion Ashleigh Barty.
Swiatek was playing in her first professional match since the Roland Garros and only took 33 minutes to win the opening set 6-0. However, Jana Fett threatened to make a comeback after being 3-1 up in the second set, only for Swiatek to win five games in a row to maintain her 36 game unbeaten run. Speaking after the match, Swiatek said “I'm just figuring out how to play. "I knew it was going to be tricky. I am pretty happy I came back and did it in two sets. I feel I have only played 12 weeks of my life on grass but the whole atmosphere and tradition is pumping me up and just looking forward to the next matches."
Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray secure wins at Wimbledon
(Tennis news) Defending champion Novak Djokovic made a winning start at Wimbledon after defeating Kwon Soon-woo in four sets 6-3 3-6 6-3 6-4. The Serbian will hope to become only the fourth player to win the prestigious grass court event for the fourth consecutive time along with Roger Federer (2003-2006), Pete Sampras (1997-2000) and Bjorn Borg (1976-80). Djokovic has won the Wimbledon title six times in his career so far and will face either Thanasi Kokkinakis or Kamil Majchrzak in the second round.
The 35 year old secured his 80th Wimbledon match in under two and a half hours and despite dropping the second set, Djokovic looked firmly in control of the proceedings. The win makes him the first tennis player to have won at least that many singles matches in each of the four Grand Slams. Speaking after the match from the Centre Court, the Serbian said “I've said this a few times before, but this court is truly special for me. It's always been the court I dreamed of playing and winning on. All of my childhood dreams came true here on this court at this tournament, so of course, it's an absolute honour and pleasure to come back."
Djokovic hadn’t played on grass since winning the Wimbledon final in 2021 against Matteo Berrettini and gave credit to his opponent Kwon Soon-woo. Djokovic said “Credit to Kwon for playing some really high-quality tennis. I didn't have any lead-up, preparation tournaments or matches prior so you're always going to feel a little bit less comfortable than you would like to, particularly playing against someone as talented as him who stays close to the line and hits very cleanly on both sides. It was really difficult to hit through him, so I had to figure out a way tactically to get in control of the point. It wasn't easy."
Meanwhile, Andy Murray fought back to defeat James Duckworth 4-6 6-3 6-2 6-4 in two hours and 43 minutes to progress into the second round of Wimbledon. The Scottish player was playing for the first time since he suffered an abdominal injury at the Stuttgart Open finals and will now face John Isner, who defeated Enzo Couacaud in five sets. Murray would be fairly confident heading into his next match, having an 8-0 record against the former semi-finalist. In the on-court interview, Murray said “It's amazing to be back out here with a full crowd. I am getting on a bit now so I don't know how many more opportunities I will get to play on this court so I want to make the most of every time. Glad I managed to get through and hopefully get another match on here in a couple of days.
"I did well to rebound after the first set, he likes playing on grass, he was playing very well, once I started playing my returns a bit more as the match went on I felt a bit more comfortable and did well to get through it.” Speaking about his fitness, Murray said “The last few days when I've been serving was fine. I went to get a scan, an ultrasound scan on it on Saturday after my practice just to see how it was progressing. It was all clear for the first time on the scans, which is really positive. I wanted that kind of peace of mind to know that the injury has healed. Obviously I still need to take precautions and still do some rehab and protect it when I can. In the match today it was absolutely fine."
Also read: Wimbledon: Ramanathan, Bhambri knocked out in first round qualifying matches
Nadal set to compete at Wimbledon after recovering from foot injury
(Tennis news) Rafael Nadal has confirmed that he will be competing at Wimbledon after the pain in his injured foot has eased. The Spaniard suffers from a rare degenerative condition called Muller-Weiss syndrome which affects the bones in his feet and will travel to London to the The Hurlingham Club in order to prepare for the prestigious grass court event which will begin on Monday, June 27.
In an interview, Nadal said “I'm happy, I haven't been limping for a week. I have noticed changes with the treatment, I still have strange sensations, sometimes I can't feel my foot, but the pain that did not allow me to support my weight on my foot has subsided. My intention is to play Wimbledon, but it will all depend on what happens with my body next week. I'm without pain for a week and have been practising, so it tells me there may be a chance to play in the tournament."
Nadal was forced to take pain-killers in every match at the Roland Garros but won his 14th French Open and 22nd Grand Slam title in Paris. The Spaniard has not played at Wimbledon since 2019, having missed the 2021 edition due to injury while it was cancelled the year before that due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 36 year old appears to be in the form of his life and will look to go all the way at Wimbledon, having failed to reach the finals since 11 years where he finished runner-up to Novak Djokovic.
Nadal said “I haven't played on grass for three years and I have to adapt, every day I have been recovering sensations and feeling better. I have a week left before playing and I have to test myself little by little. Advancing in the first rounds is crucial. If you advance, you pick up the pace to reach the end. You have to survive no matter what."
The Spaniard also confirmed that his wife Mery Perello is pregnant with their first child. "If everything goes well, I'm going to be a father. I'm not used to talking about my private life. We live more peacefully with a lower profile. I don't expect that my life will change much with it," he said. "At the moment all has worked well for me and I am not a friend of changing what works well. My intention is to play Wimbledon, rest, then Canada and then be ready for the US Open."
Rafael Nadal wins 14th Roland Garros and 22nd Grand Slam title
(Tennis news) Rafael Nadal claimed his 22nd Grand Slam title by winning the Roland Garros, which meant that he is level with Steffi Graf for second-most major singles titles in the Open Era with Serena Williams in first place with 23 titles. The Spaniard secured a straight set 6-3 6-3 6-0 victory over Norwegian tennis player Casper Ruud on Court Philippe Chatrier, which means he now has two Grand Slams more than his closest rivals Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer.
In his acceptance speech, Nadal said “For me personally, it is very difficult to describe the feelings that I have. It's something that I never believed, that I would be here at 36, being competitive again, playing on the most important court of my career one more time in a final. It means everything to me. It means a lot of energy to try to keep going. I just want to say 'merci, merci beaucoup'. I don't know what can happen in the future but I am going to keep fighting to try to keep going."
Approaching the match, Ruud knew that he was against a seasoned veteran on his favourite court but the Norwegian could not have predicted just how quickly Nadal would begin to dominate as the opening set was quickly wrapped up. Ruud got a break to love for a 3-1 lead in the second set due to a double fault but Nadal fought back immediately with a forehand winner bringing up the set point for the Spaniard after which the Norwegian double-faulted to give his opponent a 2-0 lead.
Nadal may be 36 and a chronic foot injury means that the time is ticking for the Spaniard to call it a day on his illustrious career, however, the Spaniard is already halfway through the calendar Grand Slam for the first time in his career. His record at the Roland Garros is impeccable, having lost only three times at the tournament since his debut in 2005. In his post game interview, Casper Ruud said “This is a first time for me so let's see how I do. The first and most important thing is to congratulate Rafa. It's your 14th time, 22nd all round in Grand Slams. We all know what a champion you are. Today I got to feel how it is to play against you in a final. It's not easy and I'm not the first victim. I know there have been many before."
Nadal to aim for 14th French Open title with win over Alexander Zverev
(Tennis news) Rafael Nadal will hope to give himself the perfect birthday present by reaching the finals of the French Open by defeating Alexander Zverev in the semi-finals. The 21 time Grand Slam winner turns 36 today and it may very well be the last time he plays at the Roland Garros, a tournament that he has been extremely successful in throughout his career. The Spaniard is suffering from a chronic “foot” injury and is yet to find a solution to the longstanding problem, but it didn’t stop him from defeating rival Djokovic in a four set encounter that lasted four hours.
Speaking about his foot injury, Nadal said “The last three months and a half, for me, the only thing that I can say is they haven't been easy. If we are not able to find an improvement or a small solution, then it's becoming super difficult for me. So that's it. It's not the moment to talk about [what happens after the French Open]. We are going to talk about that when my tournament finishes. I am just enjoying every day that I have the chance to be here, and without thinking much about what can happen in the future. Of course I'm going to keep fighting to find a solution, but for the moment, we haven't. I don't know what's going to happen after this."
Victory in France would mean Nadal could move another title clear of both Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic and his chances of reaching the finals is quite likely, especially considering that Nadal has defeated Zverev in six of their last nine encounters and four out of five meetings on clay. The wait continues for the 25 year old’s maiden Grand Slam but the German defeated in-form Carlos Alcaraz to reach the semi-finals and underestimating the World Number 3 could have disastrous consequences for Nadal. The winner of this match will face either Norwegian eighth seed Casper Ruud or Croatia's Marin Cilic in the finals.
Speaking ahead of the match, Zverev said “I'm not 20 or 21 years old anymore. I'm 25. I am at the stage where I want to win, I'm at the stage where I'm supposed to win. Yes, I have not beaten [Djokovic or Nadal] in majors, but I feel like I was very close. "I feel like I have had very difficult and tough matches against them. But there is a big difference between having a tough match and beating them. Still a major difference."
In the other semi-final, World Number 23 Marin Cilic, who defeated Russian seventh seed Andrey Rublev in a fifth-set tie-break, will take on Norway’s Casper Ruud. The 33 year old Croatian became the fifth active men's player apart from Djokovic, Nadal, Federer and Andy Murray to reach the semi-finals of all four Grand Slams. As for Casper Ruud, he is the first Norwegian player to reach the semi-finals of a Grand Slam, recording the most ATP clay-court wins since the start of 2020 with an impressive 65. Speaking ahead of the match, Ruud said “These are the matches that you dream about playing, and hopefully of course even the final if it's possible. "I have to be really focused and bring my A-game to the semi-final. Marin has played great all week, and it's going to be another tough match."
Rafael Nadal defeats Djokovic in an epic encounter at Roland Garros
(Tennis news) It was a blockbuster encounter between old foes Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic in a clash that lasted a staggering four hours and 12 minutes on Court Philippe Chatrier. The Spaniard managed to secure passage into the semi-finals of the French Open with a 6-2 4-6 6-2 7-6 (7-4) win over the defending champion, avenging last year’s defeat at the hands of Djokovic.
In the post match interview, Nadal said “A very tough match. Novak is one of the best players in history and playing against him is always an amazing challenge. Today was another one. The only way to win against him is to play your best from the first point to the last. A magic night for me." The Spaniard had already survived a five set game against Felix Auger Aliassime in the last round but continues to defy his age on his favourite venue, where he has already won 13 times and lost on only three occasions since 2005.
The King of Clay had the better start, winning the first 11 games against Djokovic and leading the set 3-0 with a double break. However, Nadal’s intensity dropped which allowed Djokovic to restore parity as the Serbian won the second set in 88 minutes. Nadal, who knows court Philippe Chatrier better than anyone, was not to be defeated that easily and regained momentum to secure the third set. He saved two set points on Djokovic’s serve and levelled the fourth set from 5-2 down to 5-5. Nadal took a 6-1 lead in the tie-break but Djokovic fought back to make it 6-4 but it was the Spaniard’s backhand that finally brought an end to this incredible encounter between two all-time tennis greats.
Speaking after the match, Novak Djokovic said “He was a better player, I think, in the important moments. He started very well. I didn't start so well. I was gaining momentum, managed to win the second set and thought OK, you know, I'm back in the game. But then he had another two, three fantastic games at the beginning of the third. He was just able to take his tennis to another level in those. He showed why he's a great champion. Staying there mentally tough and finishing the match the way he did."
Nadal will face Alexander Zverev in the semi-finals of the French Open after the German defeated 19 year old Spanish teenager Carlos Alcaraz 6-4 6-4 4-6 7-6 (9-7). The 25 year old defeated a top-10 opponent at a Grand Slam for the first time in 12 attempts with Alcaraz making 56 unforced errors while Zverev saved a set point in the fourth set tie-break before securing the second match point with a backhand.
Speaking in the on-court interview after the match, Zverev said “I knew I had to play my best tennis today and I'm happy I did. I told him on the net he will win this a lot of times, I just hope I win it before he starts.” Carlos Alcaraz said “I would say I finished the match playing better. I leave the court, leaving the tournament with my head very high. I fought until the last ball. I fought until the last second of the match, and I'm proud of it."
Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas knocked out of the French Open
(Tennis news) Stefanos Tsitsipas’ French Open dreams came to a disappointing end as the Greek player was eliminated by Danish teenager Holger Rune 7-5 3-6 6-3 6-4. The 19 year old had not won a single match at a major since arriving in Paris and had to save three break points in the final game before getting over the line. The Danish tennis player will take on fellow Scandinavian Casper Ruud in the last eight.
Speaking after the match, Rune said “I have an unbelievable feeling. I was so nervous in the end. I was very nervous. I told myself to keep at it and play my plan. I mean it is so great to still be here. Part of the tactic was to play as aggressive as possible, when he gets shorter balls he attacks them. I really liked playing the drop shots and it worked out pretty good so I am happy."
Meanwhile, World Number 2 and US Open champion Daniil Medvedev lost to Marin Cilic 6-2 6-3 6-2. The Russian was recently sidelined with a hernia surgery and that may have played a role in his defeat to the Croatian veteran, being dominated from start to finish in what can only be considered a disappointing loss. Cilic said “It was an absolutely fantastic match from the first point to the last. I enjoyed the atmosphere and enjoyed the night session here. I played incredible tennis - one of the best matches of my career from start to finish."
Casper Ruud overcame Poland's Hubert Hurkacz 6-2 6-3 3-6 6-3 to reach his maiden Grand Slam quarter-final. The Norwegian has been one of the most consistent players on clay, winning seven out of his last eight titles on the surface but has been eliminated in the third round of Roland Garros in 2019, 2020 and 2021. Speaking after the match, Ruud said “It feels great, it was one of my goals this year. I feel more experienced playing best of five sets. Hubert has improved a lot on clay, he has become a dangerous player on all surfaces; he has a dangerous serve but I did well at returning it today."
Italian tennis player Jannik Sinner was forced off injured against Andrey Rublev. The 20 year old was hoping for his second quarter-final since 2020 and won the opening set 6-1 before sustaining a knee injury which led him to lose 6-4 in the second set. Rublev was 2-0 up in the third set before Sinner withdrew from the match. The Italian said “I felt good or quite ok in the first set and after serving at 2-1 (in the second) I felt something from that point.”
Novak Djokovic to face Rafael Nadal in French Open quarter-finals
(Tennis news) Novak Djokovic was at his dominant best at Roland Garros as he defeated Schwartzman 6-1 6-3 6-3 in two and a quarter hours. The defending champion and World Number 1 will now take on 21 time Grand Slam winner Rafael Nadal in the quarter-finals. The Spaniard overcame Felix Auger-Aliasimme 3-6 6-3 6-2 3-6 6-3. Djokovic was booed at Court Suzanne Lenglen by a large South American and Spanish contingent in the stands and the Serbian was seen cupping his ear by the third set as he inched closer towards victory.
Speaking in the post match interview, Djokovic said “I have a lot of respect for him (Schwartzman). He's a good guy on and off the court and he's a clay-court specialist so it's not easy, especially in slow conditions today with a ball that was not bouncing high. I found the good serves at the right moments." As for Nadal, the Spaniard said this about his upcoming match against Djokovic “Of course we know each other well. We have a lot of history together. I am going to be focused, I will try my best. I don't know what will happen but I will fight until the end."
The two players will face each other for the 59th time, the most number of times in the professional era of tennis. Djokovic leads Nadal 30-28 in their 58 previous meetings. It remains to be seen if Roland Garros decides to schedule this blockbuster match at night, with Nadal already stating that he doesn’t enjoy playing under the lights while Djokovic said “All I will say is Rafa and I would make different requests."
In other results, Alexander Zverev defeated Spanish qualifier Bernabe Zapata Miralles 7-6 (13-11) 7-5 6-3 after two hours and 45 minutes to progress into the quarter-finals for the fourth time in five years. Speaking after the match, Zverev said “He was driving me nuts. He is one of the fastest players. I felt every return was put on the baseline. We played three sets but we played three hours. He was playing the best tennis of his life, with the crowd supporting him. You can see how hardworking he is.” The German will take on Alcaraz after the Spaniard defeated Karen Khachanov 6-1 6-4 6-4.
French Open: Djokovic and Nadal secure wins while Norrie is knocked out
(Tennis news) Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal secured straight set victories at Roland Garros to progress into the fourth round of the tournament. Djokovic defeated Aljaz Bedene 6-3 6-3 6-2 on Court Philippe-Chatrier while Nadal overcame Botic van de Zandschulp 6-3 6-2 6-4. Their results mean that if the pair manage to win their fourth round matches, they will face each other in an epic clash at the French Open quarter-finals. The Serbian will take on Diego Schwartzman next while the 21 time Grand Slam winner will face Felix Auger-Aliassime.
Speaking after his match, Nadal said “I had my chance with a breakpoint for 5-0 in the third but then he made a great second serve, an ace wide. I played a bad game with my serve after and he played very aggressive tennis. You always feel the nerves to finish the match [off], so I'm happy to be through I straight-sets. I think it was my best match of the tournament for two-and-a-half sets. So, I'm very happy about that."
Nadal’s opponent Felix Auger-Aliassime is coached by the Spaniard’s uncle Toni. "I already talked with Toni after my match," Nadal said. "I know you are going to ask the question, but for me it's very simple. He's my uncle. I don't think he will be able to want me to lose, without a doubt, but he's a professional and he's with another player. I don't know what's going to happen, if he's going to stay in the box or not, but I don't care. I have zero problem with that. So it's not a story at all for me. I know the feelings that we have between each other. I know he wants the best for me. Now he's helping another player. But honestly, for me, it's zero problem and I know he wants the best for me."
Djokovic’s next opponent Diego Schwartzman overcame Grigor Dimitrov in three sets 6-3 6-1 6-2 on Friday. The Argentinian only made 20 unforced errors compared to Dimitrov’s 50 and Schwartzman will take on Djokovic for the seventh time on the ATP tour, with the Serbian having won every match from their encounters. Alexander Zverev defeated Brandon Nakashima of the United States 7-6 (7-2) 6-3 7-6 (7-5) on Court Suzanne-Lenglen. The German will take on Bernabe Zapata Miralles in the fourth round after the Spaniard defeated John Isner in five sets 6-4 3-6 6-4 6-7 (7-5) 6-3.
British Number 1 Cameron Norrie was knocked out of the third round at Roland Garros after losing to Karen Khachanov 6-2 7-5 5-7 6-4. The result meant that there are no more British players competing in the singles main draws at the French Open. Speaking during the on-court interview after the match, Norrie said “I'm very disappointed but I tried as hard as I could and had a good attitude, gave myself a chance. I need to keep doing what I'm doing and learn from these matches. I think Karen was better than me, he played the bigger points better and deserved the win. I had a lot of break points but he made it difficult for me. I thought he played great. I wanted to make the second week for the first time but I didn't play my best."
French Open: Djokovic and Nadal progress while Raducanu gets eliminated
(Tennis news) French Open’s defending champion Novak Djokovic and 21 time Grand Slam winner Rafael Nadal progressed to the third round of Roland Garros with relative ease. The World Number 1 Serbian defeated Alex Molcan 6-2 6-3 7-6, hitting 40 winners and 10 aces on Court Suzanne-Lenglen while Rafael Nadal overcame France's Corentin Moutet 6-3 6-1 6-4, securing his 300th Grand Slam victory and 107th of the French Open.
Carlos Alcaraz also secured a narrow victory at the French Open after surviving a match-point during a five set game. The Spaniard has been the in-form player in 2022 and defeated his countryman Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-1, 6-7, 5-7, 7-6, 6-4. Alcaraz, who is 15 years younger than Ramos-Vinolas, saved the match point in the 10th game of the fourth set to take it on a tiebreak and went on to rally after a poor start to the fifth and final set to win it 6-4. He will face Sebastian Korda in the next round.
In other results, Alexander Zverev defeated Sebastian Baez 2-6 4-6 6-1 6-2 7-5 in a match that lasted for three hours and 36 minutes on Court Philippe-Chatrier. The German struggled against Baez and had to be at the top of his game to secure passage into the next round where he will face Brandon Nakashima of the United States.
Speaking after the match, Zverev said “I said to him that how he feels now is the worst you're going to feel on a tennis court. It was such an incredible match. I know how it feels, as I lost the US Open final by two sets to love up. I was two points away from winning it and I lost 7-6 in the fifth. You always get better from it. I wish him nothing but the best, he's an unbelievably great kid and he's going to do a lot of great things in this sport."
In the women’s category, Emma Raducanu was knocked out from the 2nd round of the French Open after losing to Aliaksandra Sasnovich 3-6 6-1 6-1. The Belarusian tennis player will now face Angelique Kerber in the third round while Raducanu will shift her attention to the grass-court season. In other results, Maria Sakkari was also knocked out of the Roland Garros after a 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-4) defeat to Karolina Muchova while Coco Gauff overcame Alison van Uytvanck of Belgium 6-1 7-6 (7-4).
Nadal and Djokovic win at the French Open while Osaka crashes out
(Tennis news) Rafael Nadal comfortably defeated Jordan Thompson 6-2 6-2 6-2 in the opening round of the French Open. The Spaniard has suffered from a chronic foot injury in the season so far but will hope to secure the Roland Garros title at a venue he has traditionally excelled in throughout his career. The victory against Thompson was his 106th at the French Open, the most wins at a single Grand Slam (Roger Federer is in 2nd place with 105 wins at Wimbledon).
Speaking after the match, Nadal said “Of course the confidence is higher when you win in Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Madrid, or Rome. Without a doubt, things are easy in this world to understand, no? When you are winning more matches and more tournaments you have better confidence. When this is not the case, things are different. But I never expected to be winning 15 Monte Carlos and Romes, so that's the situation today.
“I got injured, and that's it. What happened is past and here we are. We are in Roland Garros. I am here to try my best. And how is my level of confidence? How the things would be or if I didn't get injured, I don't know. We never know. So I'm not a big fan of thinking about the things that could happen if... 'if' is a dangerous word. And then it's the moment to accept the situation and to have the confidence to put all my effort into every single day, to get better and better. Let's see how far I can keep going."
Speaking about Wimbledon, Nadal said “In the end, I understand both sides. I respect and I understand Wimbledon's position, without a doubt, but on the other hand, I understand and I respect too that the ATP is protecting its members. That's it. Is not that one is doing a negative thing and the other one is doing the good thing. Everyone is half. In my personal opinion, (they) have good reasons to make the decisions that they make today. Hopefully ATP and Wimbledon can be together and sit together and negotiate a better future for both sides."
In other results, World Number 1 Novak Djokovic defeated Japan's Yoshihito Nishioka 6-3 6-1 6-0. The in-form Serbian, who recently won in Rome, dropped just four games against Nishioka to seal his passage into the second round by wrapping up the match in just under two hours. Speaking after the match, Djokovic shared his thoughts about Wimbledon as the Grand Slam will not be a ranked event due to the actions taken by the ATP, WTA and ITF. He said “I think collectively I'm glad that players got together with ATP, the governing body of the men's tennis, and showed to the Grand Slam that when there is a mistake happening, and there was from the Wimbledon side, then we have to show that there is going to be some consequences."
Meanwhile, Naomi Osaka crashed out of the first round of the French Open after losing to Amanda Anisimova 7-5 6-4. The Japanese tennis player had withdrawn from the 2021 French Open due to her mental health and raised her doubts about playing in Wimbledon next month. She said “I would say like the decision is kind of affecting, like, my mentality going into grass, like I'm not 100 percent sure if I'm going to go there. I would love to go just to get some experience on the grass court, but at the same time, for me, it's kind of like - I don't want to say pointless, no pun intended, but I'm the type of player that gets motivated by... seeing my ranking go up.”
In other results, defending champion Barbora Krejcikova lost to French teenager Diane Parry 1-6 6-2 6-3 while Iga Swiatek extended her unbeaten run to 29 with a win against Ukrainian qualifier Lesia Tsurenko 6-2 6-0. Britain's Harriet Dart narrowly lost to Italy's Martina Trevisan 6-0 6-2 while Emma Raducanu overcame Czech qualifier Linda Noskova 6-7 (4-7) 7-5 6-1. The British number 1 said after the match “I mean it was an absolute battle. I have to say Linda is playing some amazing tennis and she really came out there firing.
“As soon as I dropped my ball speed, she was all over me and killing me from the end of the first set. So, it was definitely really challenging in the second set to hold on and keep holding my serve and break back a couple of times. I am really proud of the way I fought but all props to Linda as she played an amazing match. Honestly, I have no expectations of myself. You know I am really happy to be able to compete here after Rome. I really fought hard to be here in this second round and I am looking forward to trying to stay as long as possible."
Wimbledon stripped of ranking points by the ATP and WTA
(Tennis news) The ATP and WTA have stripped Wimbledon of its ranking points after the prestigious event banned Russian and Belarusian players from competing in the tournament. The decision was taken following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with the verdict being criticised by the ATP, WTA and a number of players such as Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray. According to Wimbledon chairman Ian Hewitt, they were left with no “viable alternative” but to ban the players from the two countries due to the UK Government. Hewitt has said that there were only two options, one being to make players sign declarations condemning the invasion of Ukraine or an outright ban.
A statement released by the ATP said “The ability for players of any nationality to enter tournaments based on merit, and without discrimination, is fundamental to our Tour. The decision by Wimbledon to ban Russian and Belarusian players from competing in the UK this summer undermines this principle and the integrity of the ATP Ranking system. It is also inconsistent with our Rankings agreement. Absent a change in circumstances, it is with great regret and reluctance that we see no option but to remove ATP Ranking points from Wimbledon for 2022."
The statement continued “Our rules and agreements exist in order to protect the rights of players as a whole. Unilateral decisions of this nature, if unaddressed, set a damaging precedent for the rest of the Tour. Discrimination by individual tournaments is simply not viable on a Tour that operates in more than 30 countries. We greatly value our long-standing relationships with Wimbledon and the LTA and do not underestimate the difficult decisions faced in responding to recent UK Government guidance.
"However, we note that this was informal guidance, not a mandate, which offered an alternative option that would have left the decision in the hands of individual players competing as neutral athletes through a signed declaration. Our internal discussions with affected players in fact led us to conclude this would have been a more agreeable option for the Tour. We remain hopeful of further discussions with Wimbledon leading to an acceptable outcome for all concerned. More broadly, we believe this matter again highlights the need for a united governance structure across professional tennis so that decisions of this nature can be made in a joint manner."
Following ATP’s statement, Steve Simon, WTA Chairman, said in a statement: "As a result of the AELTC's position that it will not honour its obligation to use the WTA Rankings for entry into Wimbledon and proceed with a partial field not based on merit, the WTA has made the difficult decision to not award WTA ranking points for this year's Wimbledon Championships. The stance we are taking is about protecting the equal opportunities that WTA players should have to compete as individuals. If we do not take this stance, then we abandon our fundamental principle and allow the WTA to become an example to support discrimination based on nationality at other events and in other regions around the world. The WTA will continue to apply its rules to reject such discrimination."
Meanwhile, the International Tennis Federation has also confirmed that junior and wheelchair events at Wimbledon will also be unranked. "The ITF has determined that Wimbledon's entry criteria banning Russians and Belarusians compromises the integrity of its international competition, in particular its ranking system, as there is a lack of alternative equivalent opportunities for players to compete for ranking points and prize money," it said in a statement.
In response, Wimbledon released their own statement in which they stood by their decision by saying “We appreciate that opinions differ in relation to our decision to decline entries from Russian and Belarusian players to the championships this year, and we deeply regret the impact of this decision on the individuals affected. However, given the position taken by the UK Government to limit Russia's global influence, which removed automatic entry by ranking, and the widespread response of Government, industry, sport and creative institutions, we remain of the view that we have made the only viable decision for Wimbledon as a globally renowned sporting event and British institution, and we stand by the decision we have made.
"We therefore wish to state our deep disappointment at the decisions taken by the ATP, WTA and ITF in removing ranking points for the championships. We believe these decisions to be disproportionate in the context of the exceptional and extreme circumstances of this situation and the position we found ourselves in, and damaging to all players who compete on tour. We are considering our options, and we are reserving our position at this stage. We are also in discussion with our Grand Slam colleagues."
WTA to keep ranking points for UK’s grass court events next month
(Tennis news) Following the ATP’s decision to award ranking points for United Kingdom’s grass court events next month, the WTA has followed suit with the same decision. However, Wimbledon could still be stripped of points after the All England Club and the LTA decided to ban Russian and Belarusian players from competing in the prestigious event due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The verdict regarding the outcome of the Grand Slam event is expected to be announced in the coming days.
Speaking for the first time since the ban was announced, LTA chief executive Scott Lloyd said “I acknowledge the fact that it is a very complex matter and there's a range of opinions, but given the circumstance that we are operating under in this country and public sentiment about Ukraine, I feel we have made the right decision. I don't believe discriminatory is the right description here. We are necessarily needing to work within the framework of government guidance here in the UK. We, alongside a number of other sports, have come to the same conclusion - the likes of boxing, motor sport, athletics and the IOC."
According to the ATP, the decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players “undermines the ability for players of any nationality to enter tournaments based on merit.” The Lawn Tennis Association and the All England Club have reiterated that their decision is based on "directional guidance" from the United Kingdom government, with the LTA recently receiving a £10.2m support package from Sport England.
Lloyd spoke about the importance of government funding by saying “Our partnership with Sport England and indeed the government is very important to tennis in this country. The government is going to invest some £22m in helping the LTA to restore park tennis facilities, which is very important for grassroots tennis. And of course we've got to remember that last summer tennis tournaments, and Wimbledon in particular, were one of the first sporting events to get back to some sense of normality post the Covid pandemic. That couldn't have been done without the support and partnership of the government."
While the decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players has attracted a lot of criticism, the decision to strip an event like Wimbledon would be unfair to the players participating in the tournament and it is not beyond the realm of possibility that the ATP and WTA may reach different conclusions. The idea of stripping Wimbledon off points could also have bigger repercussions on certain players, such as Novak Djokovic, who will not be able to defend the 2000 points he secured last year, which would mean he will lose his number one ranking.
Andy Murray withdraws from French Open to focus on Wimbledon
(Tennis news) British tennis player Andy Murray has withdrawn from next week’s French Open in order to prepare for Wimbledon. The soon to be 35 year old had initially planned to skip the clay court season but changed his mind after receiving a wildcard entry for the Madrid Open. He reached the third round in the Spanish capital, defeating the likes of Dominic Thiem and Denis Shapovalov but was forced to withdraw ahead of a clash against Novak Djokovic due to illness.
Murray has only played in one French Open since 2017, suffering elimination in the first round in 2020. The Scottish player hasn’t progressed beyond the third round of a Grand Slam event since he reached the quarter-finals at Wimbledon five years ago. Murray will now prepare for the grass court season which will begin in early June with Wimbledon scheduled for June 27th. The Scot could play in the Surbiton Trophy, a second-tier Challenger event in London beginning on May 30 before going to Stuttgart for the ATP tournament.
One of the biggest talking points from this year’s iteration of Wimbledon is the ban on Russian and Belarusian players from competing. The ATP and WTA are yet to announce the repercussions of that ban with the removal of all ranking points a realistic possibility. The two organisations have been holding meetings in Rome and Madrid to discuss the consequences of the ban, which means that Murray could be choosing to not participate in the French Open for an event in which he might not receive any ranking points.
Djokovic wins Italian Open after defeating Tsitsipas in the finals
(Tennis news) Novak Djokovic secured his first title in over six months after defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-0 7-6 (7-5) in the Italian Open finals on Sunday. The Serbian had not won a title since the Paris Masters in November but his performance in Rome was so sublime that he didn’t drop a single set to secure the Italian Open title. Djokovic produced 24 winners to Tsitsipas’ eight and had only 14 unforced errors to Tsitsipas' 20.
Speaking after his match, Djokovic said “I've been building my form the last few weeks. It couldn't be better timing coming into Roland Garros. Perfect scenario for me. This year it was a particular situation. With everything that happened in Australia, it took some time. I found my best shape here. I'm going to Paris with a lot of confidence."
It was his sixth successive win over the Greek tennis player as Djokovic stormed through the first set. In the fourth game of the second set, an unforced error by Djokovic gave Tsitsipas two break points which led to him taking a 3-1 lead. However, the Serbian then gained momentum to win five of his next seven games to take it to a tie-break before winning his sixth Italian Open title in his illustrious career.
The 34 year old became only the fifth player in the Open era to reach the 1,000 wins milestone, joining the exclusive club of Jimmy Connors, Roger Federer, Ivan Lendl and Rafa Nadal. During the trophy ceremony, Djokovic dedicated his title to his son Stefan. He said “Today at 4pm, when we started this match, my son Stefan, who is seven-years-old, was playing his first tennis match. I hope he won. This is for him."
Novak Djokovic progresses to the semi-finals of the Italian Open
(Tennis news) Novak Djokovic secured his 999th career victory with a straight sets victory over Felix Auger-Aliassime. The Serbian triumphed over his Canadian opponent 7-5 7-6 (7-1) and will now face Casper Ruud for a spot in the finals after the Norwegian won 7-6 (9-7) 7-5 against Denis Shapovalov.
Speaking after the match, Djokovic said “I thought it was high-level tennis. He did ask me to raise the level and I had to play consistently well. I thought I could have finished the job earlier... but credit to him for fighting back. Amazing atmosphere as well tonight. I know Felix well. He's been around the top of the men's game for quite a few years. He's got a lethal serve, honestly... He's hitting his spots in the box incredibly well with the serve, and it was not easy for me at all to return. He's also returning well, he's moving well. He's a very complete player.”
In the other semi-final, Stefanos Tsitsipas will take on Alexander Zverev after the pair defeated Jannik Sinner and Chilean Cristian Garin. Tsitsipas won 7-6 (7-5) 6-2, with Zverev, who is ranked third, progressing 7-5 6-2. In the women’s category, reigning champion Iga Swiatek will take on Aryna Sabalenka after defeating Bianca Andreescu 7-6 (7-2) 6-0. The result meant that Swiatek extended her winning streak to 26 matches while Sabalenka beat Amanda Anisimova 4-6 6-3 6-2.
In other results, Ons Jabeur upset World Number 4 Maria Sakkari 1-6 7-5 6-1. She will play Daria Kasatkina, who defeated 6-4 3-2 against Jil Teichmann after the Swiss tennis player was forced to retire due to a thigh injury.
Swiatek and Djokovic progress to quarter-finals while Nadal knocked out
(Tennis news) Iga Swiatek and Novak Djokovic progressed to the quarter-finals of the Italian Open while Denis Shapovalov defeated Rafael Nadal. Swiatek, who is aiming for her fifth consecutive title, defeated Victoria Azarenka 6-4 6-1 while Novak Djokovic defeated Stan Wawrinka in straight sets 6-2 6-2. As for Nadal, the Spaniard started strongly against Shapovalov, winning the first set 6-1 but the 23 year old levelled the game. In the decider, Nadal appeared to be in visible discomfort and struggled to cope with the match.
During the post match press conference, Nadal spoke about his injury by saying “I had my foot again with a lot of pain, and that's it. (The pain) is sometimes more, sometimes less. Today was crazy. I am not injured. I am a player living with an injury. That's it. (This) is nothing new. It's something that is there. Unfortunately my day-by-day is difficult, honestly. Even like this, I am trying hard. Of course, it's difficult for me to accept the situation sometimes. What can happen in the next couple of days, I don't know. What can happen in one week, I really don't know now. It's time to accept the situation and fight. That's it."
Swiatek saved eight out of 11 breakpoints as the first set took 79 minutes. However, the Polish tennis player picked up momentum in the second set and will now face Bianca Andreescu in the next round. Swiatek’s result means that the Pole extended her winning streak to 25 matches, the longest run since Serena Williams won 27 straight games in 2015. She will now face former US Open champion Bianca Andreescu who defeated Petra Martic 6-4 6-4 while Aryna Sabalenka overcame Jessica Pegula 6-1 6-4.
Speaking after the match, Swiatek said “For sure I didn't start well, and everybody could see that. I'm really happy with the way I reacted and how I improved in the first set. Also how different the second set looked to the first one because I could really reset and really change the way I played. That's the most positive thing for me."
World Number 1 Novak Djokovic defeated Stan Wawrinka 6-2 6-2 to reach the quarter-finals of the Italian Open. The Serbian will now face eighth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime who defeated Marcos Giron 6-3 6-2. Speaking after the match, Djokovic said “It's great to see Stan back. He won two tough matches and you could see he's not physically where he wants to be. But, nevertheless, he's Stan Wawrinka, he can hurt you if you give him time and I managed to do well I think. From the beginning I really moved him around the court and held my serve pretty comfortably, except for that loss of serve in the second set."
In other results, Alexander Zverev defeated Alex De Minaur 6-3 7-6 (7-5) while Stefanos Tsitsipas overcame Karen Khachanov 4-6 6-0 6-3 despite being a set down and will now face Jannik Sinner in the next round.
Emma Raducanu forced to retire from Italian Open due to back injury
(Tennis news) Emma Raducanu was forced to retire during her first-round match against Bianca Andreescu in the Italian Open due to a back injury. The 19 year old was trailing 6-2 2-1 at the time of her withdrawal and was seen clutching her back when she took a medical timeout but returned just minutes later, after which her Canadian opponent took the opening set. At the start of the second set, Raducanu looked uncomfortable yet again and took the decision to retire when the score was 2-1, claiming that she couldn’t move.
The World Number 12 has failed to replicate her form that saw Raducanu win the US Open last year but did manage to reach the quarter-finals in Stuttgart and the last 16 at the Madrid Open, where she faced back issues as well. Raducanu is currently without a full time coach after splitting with Torben Beltz last month. She will be aiming to return to full fitness ahead of the Roland Garros in two weeks time.
In the men’s results, Novak Djokovic defeated Aslan Karatsev 6-3 6-2 in the second round. The World Number 1 is on his way to win his sixth Italian Open title and needs to at least reach the semi-finals to maintain his ranking after missing out on a number of tournaments due to not being vaccinated against COVID-19. The Serbian made only 10 unforced errors compared to Karatsev’s 36 and will now face either Stan Wawrinka or Laslo Djere in the next round. British number 1 Cameron Norrie also won his second round match against Luca Nardi 6-4 6-4 and will now face Marin Cilic in the next round.
Carlos Alcaraz defeats Alexander Zverev to win the Madrid Open title
(Tennis news) Spanish teenager Carlos Alcaraz showed exactly why he’s the best in the world after defeating defending champion Alexander Zverev in straight sets in the final of the Madrid Open. The 19 year old already defeated Rafael Nadal in the quarter-final and Novak Djokovic in the semi-final before brushing aside World Number 3 Zverev 6-3, 6-1.
The 19 year old broke Zverev for love, taking a 4-2 lead and closed the set on his own serve quite comfortably. Alcaraz then went on to take a 2-1 lead in the second set, frustrating his German opponent and enjoyed tremendous home support. He went on to find a double break at 4-1 and won the next two games to wrap up the match in an hour. The result meant that Alcaraz earned his seventh straight top-10 win and his fourth title of the season so far, becoming the youngest winner of the Madrid Open, having previously won in Miami, Barcelona and Rio De Janeiro.
Speaking after the match, Alexander Zverev said “Right now you (Carlos Alcaraz) are the best player in the world. It is great for tennis that we have such a new superstar that is going to win so many Grand Slams, that is going to be World No 1 and I think is going to win this tournament many more times.” Alcaraz was ranked 120th just a year ago and his mercurial rise to superstardom has seen the 19 year old rise up to World Number 6 and with the most wins this season, one more than Stefanos Tsitsipas.
After winning the Madrid Open, Carlos Alcaraz said “It feels great to be able to beat these players. To beat two of the best players in history and then Zverev, the World No. 3. He is a great player. I would say this is the best week of my life. I am 19 years old, which I think is the key to being able to play long and tough matches in a row. I am feeling great physically. Watching Rafa (Rafael Nadal) lift this trophy gave me a lot of power to work hard for this moment. It is a great moment for me. It is the first tournament I watched, so lifting the trophy today is so emotional.”
Nadal knocked out of Madrid Open while Djokovic to face Alcaraz
(Tennis news) Novak Djokovic progressed to the semi-final of the Madrid Open after defeating Hubert Hurkacz 6-3 6-4 while Rafael Nadal was knocked out of the tournament after losing to Carlos Alcaraz 6-2 1-6 6-3. The teenager defeated Nadal for the first time on clay and the 21 time Grand Slam winner will be disappointed, especially considering that it was his first tournament after recovering from a rib injury. The 19 year old had previously defeated Nadal at the semi-finals of Indian Wells and the last 32 of the Madrid Open in 2021.
Nadal, who has won the Madrid Open in 2005, 2010, 2013, 2014 and 2017 was hoping to meet rival Djokovic in the semi-finals, which would have been their 59th meeting on the ATP Tour. The Serbian currently leads 30-28 with regards to games won, having secured a victory in their last encounter in the semi-finals of the French Open in 2021. Djokovic has won the Madrid Open in 2011, 2016 and 2019 and defeated Hurkacz in an hour and 20 minutes to extend his winning streak against the Polish tennis player to 4-0.
In their Madrid Open journey so far, Djokovic defeated Gael Monfils before receiving a walkover as Andy Murray withdrew because of illness. As for Nadal, the Spaniard defeated Miomir Kecmanović before overcoming David Goffin in a game where he saved four match points. However, the 35 year old fell short against Carlos Alcaraz, who will be hoping for a fourth title, having already won in Rio de Janeiro, Miami and Barcelona.
In other results, Greek fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas defeated Andrey Rublev 6-3 2-6 6-4 to progress into the semi-finals and will now face defending champion Alexander Zverev. Speaking after the match, Tsitsipas said “It wasn't easy playing him, it was tough to predict what's coming next from him.” It was the Greek player’s 27th win of the season while his upcoming opponent Zverev defeated Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-3 7-5 despite getting eight double faults in the second set.
Murray withdraws due to illness while Evans and Norrie knocked out
(Tennis news) Andy Murray was forced to withdraw from his clash against Novak Djokovic at the Madrid Open due to illness. The pair were expected to face each other for the 37th time on tour and for the first time in five years. A statement on the Madrid Open’s twitter feed read “Unfortunately, Andy Murray is unable to take to the Manolo Santana Stadium due to illness." The Scottish tennis player had accepted a wildcard entry to compete in the Spanish capital despite initially planning to skip the entire clay-court season in order to focus on the grass-court events.
In other results, British number 2 Dan Evans was knocked out of the tournament 7-6 7-5 by Andrey Rublev. The match between the two took place at the centre court as Djokovic and Murray’s fixture was called off. Evans managed to break Rublev in the opening game of the contest and had a setpoint during the tiebreak after he failed to convert two opportunities to go 5-3 up in the second set. World number 8 Andrey Rublev will now face Grigor Dimitrov or Stefanos Tsitsipas in the quarter-finals while Novak Djokovic will take on Poland's Hubert Hurkacz.
As for Cameron Norrie, Britain’s number 1 tennis player fell short against Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz and lost the match 6-4 6-7(7) 6-3. It was Alcaraz’s 19th birthday and the teenager prevailed against his more experienced opponent despite being pushed hard. Alcaraz will now face Rafael Nadal in the quarter-finals after the 35 year old defeated David Goffin 6-3 5-7 7-6(9). In the post match interview, Nadal revealed that he used Real Madrid’s triumph over Manchester City in the Champions League semi-final as inspiration.
Nadal said “Yesterday was an unforgettable night. The spirit that Real Madrid had was just incredible. For me today, in some way, it was an inspiration. It was a tough match, David played at a very high level but at the same time I am not completely happy, because I think I had to finish the match in straight sets, without a doubt."
Dan Evans and Norrie progress into the third round of Madrid Open
(Tennis news) British history was created on Wednesday when Dan Evans and Cameron Norrie joined Andy Murray in the third round of the Madrid Open as it is the first ATP Masters 1000 event on clay where three British players are being featured at the stage. A tough test lies ahead, especially for Andy Murray who will face Novak Djokovic in the next match while Dan Evans and Cameron Norrie will play the following day.
Norrie defeated American John Isner in three sets, winning 6-4 6-7 (5) 6-4. The British No 1 could find decisive breaks at important moments in the first and third set and will now face a monumental task ahead of him as Carlos Alcaraz is his next opponent. As for Dan Evans, the 31 year old overturned his poor form to secure an impressive 6-3 5-7 7-6 (2) win over Roberto Bautista Agut and will take on world No 8 Andrey Rublev in the next round.
Rafael Nadal also progressed to the last 16 Miomir Kecmanovic 6-1 7-6(4). The Spaniard is competing in his first tournament since March after recovering from a rib injury. Rain suspended play early in the second set which resulted in the Spaniard losing momentum but the 21 time Grand Slam winner recovered from failing to serve out the match at 6-5 and sealed the win in just under two hours.
If Nadal manages to go all the way and win the Madrid Open, it will be his sixth title on home turf in Madrid, having last won in 2017 but will first need to overcome David Goffin in the next round. In other results, German tennis player and World Number 3 Alexander Zverev defeated Marin Cilic 4-6 6-4 6-4 while qualifier Dusan Lajovic beat fifth seed Casper Ruud 7-6(7) 2-6 6-4.
Anhelina Kalinina knocks out Emma Raducanu from the Madrid Open
(Tennis news) Despite a spirited comeback, Emma Raducanu was knocked out of the Madrid Open’s third round by Ukraine’s Anhelina Kalinina. The first set lasted just 35 minutes as Raducanu couldn’t keep up with the demands and was forced to leave the court for a medical timeout, clutching her back on multiple occasions.
Raducanu put up a valiant fight and took the third round match to a decider but Kalinina displayed nerves of steel to win 6-2 2-6 6-4. Speaking after the match, Kalinina said “I want to give credit to Emma because I think we both played very good quality tennis, the match was great in my opinion. I appreciate in this moment I was maybe luckier and I did better in the decisive points. I am happy I won this match."
The match lasted for a total of two hours and 19 minutes with the last set going on for a mammoth 63 minutes. It was a one sided first set for Kalinina who has only lost three games when she defeated former French Open and Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza earlier this week. Raducanu had no answer to Kalinina’s groundstrokes despite putting up a much improved performance in the second set. As the match progressed, Kalinina couldn’t maintain her intensity which allowed Raducanu to mount a spirited comeback.
When Kalinina found her range again, Raducanu refused to concede and the pair competed hard for the points with the Ukrainian fighting back from 3-1 to win three games in a row. Fatigue ended up creeping in for both the players, Kalinina managed to get a decisive break with a magnificent backhand and eventually won the match when Raducanu volleyed wide. It will be the Ukrainian’s first WTA 1000 quarter-final of her career and she will face Switzerland’s Jil Teichmann.
Andy Murray to face Novak Djokovic at the Madrid Open
(Tennis news) Andy Murray defeated Denis Shapovalov 6-1 3-6 6-2 in two hours and nine minutes to set up a last 16 meeting with world No 1 Novak Djokovic at the Madrid Open. The Scottish tennis player produced a magnificent first-set display but Shapovalov fought hard to level the match. However, Murray ended up sealing a 6-1 3-6 6-2 win in two hours and nine minutes.
It will be the first time since 2017 that Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic will face each other. The Serbian advanced to the last 16 with a straight set win over Gael Monfils. Speaking ahead of the match, Murray said that he has been looking forward to a 37th career meeting with Djokovic. He said “I thought about it a little bit at the beginning of the third set. I didn't know if I was going to get the chance to play matches like that again. In theory I shouldn't have a chance in the match, but I've put myself in a great position. I worked extremely hard in the last five or six weeks to get myself here and it's a fantastic opportunity to play against him again on a huge court in a big tournament."
Murray’s first match on clay in two years was against Dominic Thiem at the Madrid Open’s first round and the Scot won the game in straight sets. In the match against Shapovalov, Murray broke his serve twice before taking the opening set in 36 minutes. Currently ranked third, Murray applied more pressure on Shapovalov’s serve in the fifth game of the second set but ended up squandering two break points for the first time in the match in the next game and trailed 5-2 before Shapovalov served out to level at one set all after one hour and 25 minutes of play.
The deciding set went with serve until the fifth game and Murray subsequently seized on his first break point to go ahead 4-2. Currently 78th in the ATP rankings, Murray held at 5-2 and went 40-0 before Shapovalov’s serve and eventually won the game on his third match point. The Scotsman received a wild card entry for the Madrid Open which led him to reverse his decision to skip the entire clay court season and rigorous four weeks of training on clay has led the Scotsman to play at his vintage best.
Djokovic and other unvaccinated players to feature at Wimbledon
(Tennis news) Wimbledon organisers have confirmed that players unvaccinated against COVID-19 will be permitted to participate in this year’s tournament. This means that World Number 1 Novak Djokovic will be competing in the tournament and attempt to defend his title, after defeating Italy's Matteo Berrettini in last year's final to win the Wimbledon title for the sixth time.
Chief executive of the All England Club, Sally Bolton, said: "The requirements set out by the government to enter the UK do not include mandatory vaccination, therefore whilst of course it is encouraged, it will not be a condition of entry to compete at the Championships this year." Earlier this year, the Serbian was deported from Australia due to his vaccination status and couldn’t compete at the Australian Open as well as enter the United States for any tournament.
"We are planning to return to a normal Championship this year. And so we don't intend to implement any of the Covid-19 measures that we saw last year in any substantial fashion. But we are, of course, keeping it on our radar in case we need to take further action when we continue to engage with DCMS, public health officials and with other sports. But this means that players will be able to return to their own choice of accommodation. We will see full capacity crowds for the whole event. And we're absolutely thrilled to welcome back the wider tennis family to Wimbledon this year."
Despite the lack of competitive action so far, Djokovic will undoubtedly be one of the favourites to win his seventh Wimbledon title. With most countries relaxing their COVID-19 regulations, the Serbian can now expect an almost full calendar in the clay and grass events. The Wimbledon Championship will begin from 27 June to 10 July.
Iga Swiatek wins fourth WTA title after defeating Aryna Sabalenka
(Tennis news) World Number 1 Iga Swiatek extended her winning streak to 23 matches after defeating Aryna Sabalenka 6-2 6-2 in the finals. The 2020 French Open champion defeated Emma Raducanu in the quarter finals and overcame Ludmilla Samsonova from a set down in the semi finals on Saturday.
The 20 year old Polish international showed little signs of fatigue as she saved an early break point and got a 3-0 lead while third seeded Sabalenka had a double fault. Despite the 23 year old Belarusian player attempting a comeback after getting a hold of the serve at the start of the second set, Swiatek managed to go 4-2 ahead and secured her win when Sabalenka’s effort went long.
The result means that Swiatek is the first player to get 30 match wins this season, with an impressive overall record of 30-3. By winning the Stuttgart Open, she will take home a Porsche as well as the prize money of the tournament as well as get a monumental 2,000 points lead in the rankings.
Meanwhile, Novak Djokovic lost to Russia’s Andrey Rublev in the final of the Serbia Open. The 34 year old fought back from a set down but couldn’t mount a comeback as Rublev ended up winning the match 6-2 6-7 (4-7) 6-0 in two hours and 29 minutes. It was the Russian’s first win over Djokovic who broke the World Number 1’s serve twice in the opening set and saved five set points to force a tie-break in the second. Rublev then saved two break points in the opening game of the third set and proceeded to break Djokovic’s serve three times to win the game.
Spanish teenager Carlos Alcaraz defeated compatriot Pablo Carreno Busta 6-3 6-2 in the final of the Barcelona Open to secure his third title of the season. The result meant that the 18 year old is the youngest player to break into the top 10 in the World Rankings since Rafael Nadal 17 years ago. Speaking after the match, Alcaraz said “It means a lot. I've watched this tournament since I was a kid. I always wished to play in and of course to be able to win this tournament."
Tsitsipas defeats Davidovich to win Monte Carlo Masters title
(Tennis news) Stefanos Tsitsipas defended his Monte Carlo Masters title after winning against Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-3 7-6 (7-3) in a little over 90 minutes, moving the Greek player into second in the ATP Race to Turin. His opponent, Davidovich Fokina knocked out Novak Djokovic and Indian Wells champion Taylor Fritz in the earlier rounds, and had the better start in the finals, leading 2-1 against the reigning champion.
However, the world number 46 surrendered his serve in the next game, which allowed Tsitsipas to take control of the match and the Greek player subsequently went a set up in just 31 minutes after an almost perfect display. Tsitsipas capitalised on a tie-break to secure the win and get his eighth career title while Davidovich Fokina struggled to deal with his backhand. Speaking after the match, Tsitsipas said “I am very proud of myself. Things weren't going well at one point, but I managed to stay composed to finish the match off. I am really proud of the belief I put in my game. Sometimes you doubt yourself, but it is always important to keep your head high."
In other results, Joe Salisbury and Rajeev Ram defeated Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah 6-4 3-6 10-7 to cement their place as the top-ranked doubles pairing in the world. At 29, Salisbury reached the Number 1 spot in rankings for the first time on Monday. Speaking after the match, Salisbury said “It's unbelievable. I'm so happy right now. It's a first title on clay together, on a surface that we always thought was a weaker one for us. [We have] not done too well here before, but we've been working really hard, and we knew we could play well. [I am] just so happy that it's come together and to get the win here."
Tsitsipas will now turn his attention to the Barcelona Open where he reached the final in 2021. He could face Grigor Dimitrov in the third round while Carlos Alcaraz could be a potential opponent in the quarter-finals. The bottom half of the draw will feature the likes of Casper Ruud and Felix Auger-Aliassime and their opponents could be Frances Tiafoe and Alexander Bublik respectively.
Djokovic knocked out of Monte Carlo Masters to to Davidovich Fokina
(Tennis news) World number 1 Novak Djokovic was knocked out of the Monte Carlo Masters to Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in a match that lasted two hours and 54 minutes. Playing in just his second event of the year, the Serbian made 51 unforced errors, resulting in his first loss at the opening round of a tournament since being defeated by Martin Klizan in Barcelona in 2018.
After the match, Djokovic said “I'm disappointed. No one likes to lose. We're professional athletes. This is what we do. We go out on the court to compete and try to win against each other. I didn't like the way I felt physically in the third set. I just ran out of the gas completely. Just couldn't really stay in the rally with him. If you can't stay in the rally, not feeling your legs on the clay, it's mission impossible. So I don't like that feeling I experienced in the third set but I'm going to look with my team into reasons why that was the case and go back to the drawing board and hopefully next week will be better in Belgrade."
Having already won the Monte Carlo Masters twice in his career, Djokovic simply lacked match fitness this time around, lost the first set and was immediately broken at the start of the second set. Davidovich Fokina, being 12 years younger than Djokovic, showed his inexperience by diving at the start of the seventh set on the clay court, which prompted injury fears and allowed Djokovic to take 10 points in a row.
However, the momentum turned back into Davidovich Fokina’s favour when Djokovic committed four unforced errors while serving on the set, allowing the 22 year old to get back in the tie and force a tie-break. The 34 year old Serbian’s lack of match fitness was evident as he was broken three more times in the deciding set, ultimately costing him the match.
In the post match interview, Djokovic said “This win is so special to me because I grew up watching Nole (Djokovic) and I'm a big fan of his. I knew Nole didn't have the confidence because he didn't play a lot this season. I had my chances in the beginning of the match and I took them. When he won the second set it was tough mentally, but I worked hard to be focused. I had to be prepared for the war."
After his disappointing exit, Djokovic will now shift his attention to the French Open next month and will be undoubtedly hoping to defend his crown. The Serbian said “That's the big goal of the clay season. I knew a few days ago when I spoke to you... that it's going to take time for me to really feel my best on the clay. That's historically always been the case. Never played very well in the opening tournaments of the clay season. But it's OK, I have to accept the defeat and keep working."
In other results, Britain’s Dan Evans defeated Frenchman Benjamin Bonzi 6-0 7-6 (7-4) to reach the second round and will face David Goffin who overcame Jiri Lehecka 6-4 6-3.
Berrettini undergoes surgery, to miss three ATP Masters 1000 events
(Tennis news) Italian tennis player Matteo Berrettini is set to miss three ATP Masters 1000 events after recovering from a minor surgery on his right hand. The 25 year old reached the final at Wimbledon last year, losing to Novak Djokovic and was eliminated from the semi finals of the Australian Open earlier this year. He also reached the first Masters 1000 final last year, losing to Alexander Zverev in the Madrid Open.
In a statement released by Berrettini on Instagram, he said “Following advice from the medical experts, my team and I have decided that it is crucial I do not put time pressure on my recovery process. We have therefore decided I should withdraw from the Monte-Carlo, Madrid and Rome tournaments to ensure I give myself the proper amount of time to return at my highest level.
“Withdrawing from these events, particularly Rome, was an extremely tough decision, however it is the right one to ensure many more years of competing at the highest level for the biggest trophies. Thanks very much for all the support. My recovery process is on track and I look forward to seeing you on-court soon."
The Italian World Number 6 has won three of his last five ATP Tour titles on clay but has played only one event on the surface this year, losing to Carlos Alcaraz in the Rio De Janeiro quarter-finals.
Hubert Hurkacz defeats Daniil Medvedev in the Miami Open
(Tennis news) Polish tennis player Hubert Hurkacz defeated Daniil Medvedev 7-6 6-3 in the quarter-finals of the Miami Open, denying the Russian the opportunity to reclaim the World Number 1 ranking. Hurkacz won the first three games while Medvedev appeared unwell because of the heat and struggled on his first serve and suffered four double faults in the first set.
Medvedev attempted a comeback, fighting off two set points to hold the serve in the eighth game and breaking in the ninth, but Hurkacz maintained his composure during the tiebreak. In the second set, the Polish tennis player managed to break in the fifth game that lasted 11 minutes while the high temperature seemed to greatly affect Medvedev who complained of dizziness and requested assistance from his physiotherapists.
Speaking after the match, Hurkacz said “Playing Daniil is always fun but it's super competitive. "I was hitting my forehand a little better and I was returning better so that was big for me." In order to reclaim the World Number 1 rankings, Medvedev needed to reach the semi finals or higher in the Miami Open. Having claimed the top spot from Novak Djokovic earlier this season, the Russian was forced to concede it after his disappointing third round exit at the Indian Wells.
Meanwhile, Naomi Osaka is set to face Iga Swiatek of Poland in the final of the Miami Open after defeating Belinda Bencic 4-6 6-3 6-4. It will be the first time the Japanese tennis star will reach a finals since her 2021 Australian Open victory. Her opponent, Iga Swiatek is currently ranked 2nd and defeated American Jessica Pegula 6-2 7-5, becoming the first player to reach the finals of both American hard-court events since Victoria Azarenka, who won both tournaments in 2016.
Swiatek is on a 16-match winning streak and has won 18 consecutive sets but has not faced Osaka since 2019 where the Japanese player won in straight sets. Swiatek said “My second match on the WTA Tour, when I felt I was making a breakthrough, was against Osaka. Even though I lost that match, it inspired me to work harder because she was number one back then. Right now I feel like I am on a different level, so I can actually compete. I'm really excited."
Murray set to face Medvedev in the second round of the Miami Open
(Tennis news) Former World Number 1 Andy Murray will face World Number 2 Daniil Medvedev in the second round of the Miami Open after a straight sets win over Argentina's Federico Delbonis 7-6 (7-4) 6-1. The Scotsman bounced back from his defeat to Kazakhstan's Alexander Bublik in the second round at Indian Wells last week but now faces an uphill task against top seed Medvedev.
Medvedev was recently crowned World Number 1 and must reach the semi finals of the Miami Open to overthrow Novak Djokovic for the first place once again. Speaking about his meeting with Medvedev, Murray said “[It's] obviously a tough match. He's played extremely well on the hard courts the last few seasons. He deserves to be right up there at the top of the game. It'll be a big challenge for me, it'll be a great test for where my game's at and the things I need to work on."
Meanwhile, Simona Halep is out of the Miami Open after withdrawing due to a leg injury and is expected to be sidelined for up to three weeks. The former World Number 1 reached the semi-finals at the Indian Wells last week, her first appearance in the semi finals of a WTA 1000 event since her title run in the 2020 Italian Open.
Rafael Nadal out for up to six weeks due to rib injury
(Tennis news) Rafael Nadal is expected to be out of action for up to six weeks due to stress fracture of the rib, which means his involvement at the French Open is doubtful. The Spaniard experienced breathing difficulties during his defeat to Taylor Fritz in the finals of the Indian Wells on Sunday, having initially sought treatment after his semi-final match against Carlos Alcaraz.
The 35 year old will most definitely miss the Monte-Carlo Masters and the Barcelona Open, tournaments that he has won on many occasions in his illustrious career and is also doubtful for the Madrid Open in May. The Spaniard will be hoping to regain fitness for the French Open in late May, a tournament that he has won 13 times in his career, four years in a row from 2017 to 2020 until he lost to Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals in 2021.
Nadal is the most successful tennis player amongst the big three, winning 21 Grand Slam titles and was on a 20 game unbeaten streak until he lost to Fritz in California. The Spaniard had already decided to miss the Miami Open to prepare for the clay court season but his appearance will be delayed due to his ongoing injury.
Announcing on twitter, Nadal said: "Hello everyone, I wanted to announce that I have returned to Spain and I immediately went to visit my medical team to do the tests after the Indian Wells final that I played with discomfort. As it turns out, I have a stress crack in one of my ribs and will be out for four to six weeks. This is not good news and I did not expect this.
"I am down and sad because after the start of the season I have had such a good time. I reached a very important part of the year with very good feelings and good results. But I've always had that fighting and overcoming spirit and what I will do is be patient and work hard after my recovery. Once again I thank everyone for the support."
After the match against Fritz at the Indian Wells, Nadal said “It's tough for me to breathe. When I try to breathe, it's painful and it's very uncomfortable. When I'm breathing, when I'm moving, it's like a needle all the time inside here. I get dizzy a little bit because it's painful. It's a kind of pain that limits me a lot. It's not only about pain, I don't feel very well because it affects my breathing."
Rafael Nadal overcomes Opelka to reach Indian Wells quarter-finals
(Tennis news) Rafael Nadal claimed his 18th consecutive win this season after defeating Reilly Opelka 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (7-5) to progress to the quarter-finals of the Indian Wells on Wednesday. Only Novak Djokovic has had a better record than Nadal; the Serbian won 26-0 to begin 2020 and won 41 consecutive games in 2011.
Opelka served nine aces as compared to Nadal’s six, but the 21 time Grand Slam winner used his experience to progress into the next round. At 6 feet 11 inches, Opelka served at 140 mph and produced some trademark big shots, but Nadal withstood the attack and produced some incredible winners of his own. The Spaniard is targeting a fourth title in the California desert.
Speaking after the match, Nadal said “It's difficult because it's not only about the speed. It's difficult to read his serve because the serve is sometimes with a topspin, sometimes slice. At the same time it's not enough just to put the ball in because then he has a huge forehand. So it's a great victory for me against one of the toughest opponents that I can play."
In other results, World Number 6 Matteo Berrettini lost to unseeded Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic 6-3 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 to set up a quarter-final clash against Taylor Fritz. It was only the second time that Kecmanovic progressed to the quarter-finals of the tournament; the Serbian absorbed his opponent’s power swerve in the first set and converted on the break-point chance in the fourth game.
Late in the second set, Kecmanovic failed to close the match as a break-point opportunity slipped through his fingers. Berrettini struck 21 winners to win a tense tie-break to level the score and saved two breaks in the eighth game in a tightly fought final, only for Kecmanovic to pounce on the Italian’s serve to love in the final game. The Serbian will play against Fritz, who defeated Australian Alex de Minaur 3-6 6-4 7-6 (7-5).
In other results, Australian Nick Kyrgios advanced to the next round after getting a walkover from Italian Jannik Sinner who was forced to withdraw from the tournament due to illness. Grigor Dimitrov progressed to the quarter-finals for the second consecutive year after defeating John Isner 6-3 7-6 (7-6).
Raducanu defeated Garcia to make winning start to Indian Wells
(Tennis news) Emma Raducanu made a winning start at the BNP Paribas Open in the Indian Wells after defeating Caroline Garcia 6-1 3-6 6-1. After passing a late fitness test, Raducanu overcame the World Number 69 and showed glimpses of the form that we had previously witnessed at the US Open.
In an on-court interview, Raducanu said “I'm so happy to have just got my first win in the desert here and I hope to come back for many more years. I think the level of tennis was pretty high today so it means a lot to come through that because it could have gone either way. To get this win after a stop-start year that I've had at the beginning means a lot and I'm really happy to have given myself another opportunity”
Raducanu was hampered by blisters at the Australian Open in the second round and she picked up an injury at Guadalajara in her season so far. The former World Number 4 was left bewildered by the 19 year old’s aggressive and accurate shot making. She maintained her high intensity in the opening game but then her level dropped, allowing Garcia the space to move 4-2 up. The British tennis player refocused and surged through the first three games, winning 12 points in a row from 3-1 up to claim a superb win.
Raducanu will face Petra Martic in the third round on Sunday in her next match, the Croatian upset 19th seed Tamara Zidansek 7-5 7-6 (8-6).
Novak Djokovic set to participate at the Monte Carlo ATP Masters
(Tennis news) Serbian tennis star and World Number 2 Novak Djokovic has confirmed his participation at the Monte Carlo ATP Masters as he looks to defend his French Open title. The 20 time Grand Slam winner couldn’t defend his Australian Open title due to the COVID-19 vaccination requirements in Australia and recently withdrew from the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells as well as the Miami Open.
Djokovic is a resident of Monaco and the country allows international travellers with a proof of recovery from COVID-19 in the last six months. The Serbian had recently recovered from COVID-19 in December for the second time. A post on Djokovic’s website said “Novak will open his 2022 clay court season in Monte Carlo, where he won the Masters 1000 title twice, in 2013 and 2015.
The Monte Carlo Masters will take place from April 10th to 17th and will be the second tournament Djokovic will participate in during the 2022 season so far. The Serbian was recently eliminated from the quarter finals of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships last month and will hope to regain his rank 1 in the foreseeable future.
Novak Djokovic withdraws from Indian Wells and Miami Open
(Tennis news) Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic has withdrawn from the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells and Miami Open due to the COVID-19 restrictions in the United States. The World Number 2 remains unvaccinated and is not permitted to enter the US to compete in the tournaments.
In a statement released on social media, Djokovic said “While I was automatically listed in the @bnpparibasopen and @miamiopen draw, I knew, given the entry requirements to the US, it would be unlikely I'd be able to travel there. But as international COVID regulations are always being amended, I wanted to wait and see if anything would change. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) confirmed today that regulations are not changing which means I will not be playing in the US."
Having been recently deported from Australia, the 20 time Grand Slam winner saw his visa cancelled twice after arriving in the country with a medical exemption. Since then, Djokovic has reiterated that he is willing to miss tournaments due to his vaccination status and his withdrawal from the tournaments means that Grigor Dimitrov will take the Serbian’s place in the draw while a qualifier will get Dimitrov’s place after it’s completed.
Djokovic last appeared at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships and was defeated by Jiri Vesely from the Czech Republic in the quarter finals, resulting in the Serbian conceding his number 1 status to Daniil Medvedev.
Djokovic entered into Indian Wells draw despite vaccination uncertainty
(Tennis news) World number 2 Novak Djokovic has been added to the Indian Wells draw by the tournament’s organisers but there remains uncertainty about whether the Serbian will be eligible to enter the United States. The 20 time Grand Slam winner has refused to take the COVID-19 vaccination and is prepared to miss tournaments as a consequence of his decision. Djokovic was deported from Australia due to his vaccination status after two visa cancellations, two court challenges and five nights at an immigration detention hotel.
In a statement by the Indian Wells organisers on Tuesday, they said on Twitter “Novak Djokovic is on the tournament entry list, and therefore is placed into the draw today. We are currently in communication with his team. However, it has not been determined if he will participate in the event by getting CDC (US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention) approval to enter the country."
As things stand, the CDC website says that non-US citizens who are not immigrants must show proof of vaccination against COVID-19. The California based tournament is often regarded as the “fifth major” in the tennis calendar and was previously cancelled in 2020 and moved to October last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Djokovic recently competed at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships where he lost the quarter finals to Jiri Vesely from the Czech Republic.
Bopanna-Sharan pair keeps India in World Group I after saving three match points
New Delhi, Mar 5 (Tennis News) Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan saved three match points in an edge-of-the-seat thriller to prevail against a fighting Danish pair of Frederik Nielsen and Mikael Torpegaard as India kept its place in the Davis Cup World Group I by taking an unassailable 3-0 lead in the Play-off tie, here on Saturday.
Sharan, playing his first Davis Cup tie since February 2019, and Bopanna came from behind to win 6-7 (4) 6-4 7-6 (4) in one hour and 58 minutes.
The tense win ensured that India will stay in World Group I for the 2022 season while Denmark will now again go back to World Group II.
Serving to stay in the match in the 12th game of the decider, Sharan faced three match points but the Indian team held nerves to save all, two of them on second serves, to force a final tie-breaker, in which they raced to a 4-1 lead and sealed the win when Torpegaard could make a return on Bopanna's serve.
This is India's first win since they beat Pakistan 4-0 in November 2019 when Rohit Rajpal took over as non-playing captain. After that India lost to Finland (1-3) and Croatia (1-3) in away ties.
The reverse singles have been rendered inconsequential now.
Bopanna's big serve was at work since the beginning as he started off with three consecutive aces for an easy hold. Torpeggard and Nielsen too were sharp and solid even as Sharan's serve was put under pressure.
In both the third and seventh games that Sharan served, he was down 15-30 but somehow managed to hold.
Nielsen's smooth-actioned serves and precise placings combined with Torpegaard's firepower made it a tough contest for the home pair. Nielsen did not lose a single point on his serve in the entire opening set and that made a huge difference.
There was no break of serve in the opening set and a tie-breaker was required. Bopanna lost the first point on his serve and the Danish team opened up a huge 5-1 lead from where Torpegaard found a volley winner on Sharan's return to earn five set points.
Bopanna managed to save two with his booming serves but Torpeggard fired a body serve on Bopanna to seal the opening set.
Ironically, it was Nielsen who blinked in the second set, dropping his serve in the opening game. At 15-30, he could not return one shot from Bopanna to be down by two break chances. He saved the first but double-faulted on the second to hand the Indians an advantage.
That break stayed with the Indians and Sharan served out the set in the 10th to force a decider.
The Indian team had three break chances against Torpegaard in the fifth game but fluffed all. The Danish team showed nerves of steel to hold that crucial game after going down 0-40. Credit to Torpegaard to pull off those big serves under pressure.
Bopanna came out to serve to stay in the match in the 10th game and was under pressure when Torpegaard found a backhand winner to make it 30-all but the Indian held to stay afloat after one deuce point.
Edge of the seat action followed in the 12th game when the Indian team, saved three match points and sealed the match in tie-breaker.
Nielsen double faulted at 1-2 and then made a backhand overhead volley error to give India a handsome 4-1 lead which proved enough for India to seal the win.
Also Read : Novak Djokovic set to play French Open after change in vaccine rules
News Source : PTI
Novak Djokovic set to play French Open after change in vaccine rules
(Tennis news) Novak Djokovic is most likely to play at Roland Garros this season after the new vaccine rules were imposed. France will be announcing new rules later this month which can provide a safe passage to the Serbian after a controversial Australian affair. Djokovic has only played 3 matches this year all at Dubai, he reached the quarterfinals and lost to Jiri Vesely.
With the decline in cases, Djokovic is expected to have a smooth run to the rest of the season after a tough opening month. By missing the Australian Open and losing his no 1 status, the 20 time Grand Slam winner will have positive results as places around the globe will go easy on the current restrictions. Djokovic had earlier said in an interview with BBC that he is willing to miss Wimbledon or Roland Garros because of his stance because of his principles but his rankings will be affected as he continues to miss events.
The 34 year old has now won 991 matches in his career, he needs 9 more matches to become the 5th player in history to have won 1000 or more matches. Rafael Nadal is in 4th place with 1043 wins, Roger Federer is in 2nd place with 1251 wins but the Spaniard has the highest win percentage of 83.31 and Djokovic comes in second with 83.21 percent.
Djokovic is also into his 19th year as a professional and hasn’t missed the French Open since making his debut at the event in 2005. He missed the Australian Open for the first time in 17 years as he had been playing at the event from 2005. This year’s clay major will witness Nadal coming back for revenge and Djokovic aiming for a 21st Slam to tie with Nadal. The 13 time French Open winner was beaten for the 2nd time by Djokovic in the semi final last year and this time, Nadal has the edge since he started the year with a 15 match win streak.
The world number 2 has been inviting criticisms about his stance on vaccination but has also received praises from former players for his bold and courageous decision. Roland Garros will be held in May and from March 14, spectators will not have to show their vaccination certificates to get access to stadiums in France. If there won’t be any change of rules by May then it is guaranteed that Djokovic will be able to defend his title.
Barty to miss Miami and Indian wells, Murray receives wildcard
(Tennis news) Ashleigh Barty has announced her withdrawal from Indian Wells and Miami events this month. Both the WTA 1000 events will be held back to back, Barty is the double defending champion in Miami. She has only played twice at Indian Wells and has not progressed beyond the fourth round. The world number 1 has won 11 matches this season along with two titles, she has only lost a single set so far against Cori Gauff in her opening match of the season at Sydney.
"I wanted to share an update on my schedule for the coming months," Barty said in a statement. "Unfortunately my body has not recovered the way I’d hoped after the Australian Open and I have not been able to adequately prepare for Indian Wells and Miami. I don’t believe I am at the level necessary to win these events and as a result I have decided to withdraw from both tournaments. I love these events and am sad not to be there competing but getting my body right must be my focus”.
The Australian has a healthy lead in the rankings as second place Barbora Krejcikova is almost 3000 points below her. Barty had won her third major at Australia a month back, she became the first from her country to win the title in 4 decades. Australian Open runner up Danielle Collins will also be missing the Indian Wells event due to an injury. Sofia Kenin will be seen in action in Indian Wells for the third time as she received a wildcard entry and will be looking to go beyond the second round for the first time.
In the ATP tour, Andy Murray will be playing at Indian Wells for the 14th time as he will play as a wildcard entry this season. Murray had first played at the tournament in 2006 where he reached the second round and lost to Nikolay Davydenko. The former world number 1 has already played 14 matches this year, he won 8 of them and reached the finals in Sydney.
The Indian Wells continues to remain the only hardcourt Masters 1000 title the right hander has not won. He had reached the finals in 2009 after beating Roger Federer but lost to Rafael Nadal in straight sets to take the runner up trophy. Murray also reached the semifinals in 2007, 2015 and both times it was Novak Djokovic who emerged on the winning side. The 3 time Grand Slam winner hasn’t won a title in 3 years and hasn’t reached a Masters 1000 final in 6 years.
There is a gap in Indian tennis but structured plan in place for future: Rohit Rajpal
New Delhi, Mar 2 (Tennis News) India's Davis Cup captain Rohit Rajpal acknowledged that there is a "gap" in Indian tennis at the moment with the next line not quite visible but asserted that a "structured plan" is in place to ensure that the fresh pool of talent emerges soon.
Speaking to the media ahead of the Davis Cup World Group 1 play-off tie against Denmark on Friday and Saturday, Rajpal was asked about the plan for the future in Indian tennis given that the squad still features a 41-year-old doubles specialist in Rohan Bopanna.
"We have a decent line-up for singles, we have a good line-up for doubles but we do have an issue that some of the players are getting older for example, Rohan is getting on the other side of 40, and that is worrying for me," Rajpal said in a press conference here.
"There is a gap in Indian tennis at this moment. We are also opening centre of excellence and sports science centre. Overall, we are trying to create a pipeline. (Davis Cup coach) Zeeshan Ali has moved to Delhi, we have picked up some kids, some more will be picked. We have a structured plan. We are trying to cover the gap. That's the effort," he added.
About the tie, Rajpal reiterated that the grass court would work to India's advantage and was especially pleased to have Yuki Bhambri back in the mix. Bhambri (863) along with Ramkumar Ramanathan (182) and Prajnesh Gunneswaran (228) make up the singles line-up.
"Ram has been playing well, he won a Challenger in the Middle East. I am very happy to have Yuki Bhambri in the team. We have been working on his fitness to make sure he is ready for the tie," Rajpal said.
Asked about the home advantage against the Danes, Rajpal said the surface certainly gives India the edge.
"It all depends who you are playing against, if you have a Federer and Nadal then you haven't won half the battle. Otherwise, the home side has advantage because you get to choose the surface," he pointed out.
Denmark Captain Frederik Nielsen agreed with that assessment.
"I trust my boys, playing on the grass court will not be the biggest upset in the history of Davis Cup but it's needless to say that it may cause some upsets to win this tie," said Nielsen.
The two captains also touched on the dying art of serve and volley in an increasingly power-driven game.
"The art of serve and volley is dying. The players are strong, athletic, stroking machines, they run down and hit back, and they hit very hard. The touch is gone, the craft is dying, which is quite sad. (But) over here you will see lot of serve volley," said Rajpal.
Nielsen was not particularly sad about the craft's fading relevance and listed the practical reasons why players are looking for big, powerful shots.
"Conditions don't suit serve and volley anymore. The players are big, the conditions are slow. The equipment is too good. It's too easy to hit and hit harder shots.
"In order to change that you have to change the surface, play on faster surfaces. There is really no benefit in encouraging serve and volley anymore. The surface encourages baseline rallies," he said.
Also Read : Novak Djokovic parts ways with long term coach Marian Vajda
News Source : PTI
Novak Djokovic parts ways with long term coach Marian Vajda
(Tennis news) Former world number 1 Novak Djokovic has split with his long term coach Marian Vajda for the second time. The 34 year old Serbian lost his number 1 ranking to Daniil Medvedev on Monday and announced the decision to part ways with Vajda, who has been with him since 2006 on Tuesday. The pair previously parted ways during Djokovic’s injury-stricken 2017 season with Vajda alongside fitness specialist Gebhard Phil-Gritsch and physio Miljan Amanovic departing at the same time.
Djokovic was deported from Australia due to his vaccination status earlier this year and one notable absentee from his camp was Vajda with head coach Goran Ivanisevic present at not just Australia but also in Dubai. The split between Djokovic and Vajda was mutually decided during the ATP Finals in Turin at the end of last season and 56 year old Vajda had expressed his desire to spend more time with family after being associated with Djokovic for 15 years. The Slovakian joined Djokovic’s camp in 2006 and has been an integral part of his team ever since, even though his role has evolved over the years.
"Marian has been by my side during the most important and memorable moments in my career," said Djokovic. "Together we have achieved some incredible things and I am very grateful for his friendship and dedication over the last 15 years." "During my time with Novak, I have been lucky to watch him transform into the player he is today. I will look back on our time together with immense pride and am so very thankful for the success we have achieved. I remain his biggest support on and off the court and look forward to new challenges," said Vajda.
Ivanisevic is expected to continue as Djokovic’s head coach while the rest of the team structure is also expected to remain the same including physios Ulises Badio and Amanovic and fitness coach Marco Panichi. It remains to be seen how much Vajda's departure affects Djokovic in a period of uncertainty for the Serbian who has only played three matches this year. In an interview with BBC, Djokovic said "Yes, that is the price that I'm willing to pay because the principles of decision making on my body are more important than any title or anything else.”
Rafael Nadal looking to extend winning streak in US
(Tennis news) Rafael Nadal is having the best start to the 2022 season with a hat trick of titles and 15 consecutive match wins. The Spaniard became the fourth player in ATP history to have won more than 90 career titles in singles, he is three short of Ivan Lendl’s record and will most likely overtake the former player.
Nadal had ended the 2021 season with a foot injury but his comeback has been highlighted by a record 21st Grand Slam title and for the time in his career has won two titles at Australia. The left hander also became the second player on the ATP tour after Novak Djokovic to win all the four Grand Slams more than once. The former world number 1 also defeated Danill Medevedev twice this season, he defeated the Russian in straight sets at Acapulco.
The world number 4 is a thousand points behind Alexander Zverev in terms of rankings and was last ranked in the top three in August. Nadal so far has been the top player in the first two months of the season, his form last week suggested it will be tough for Djokovic and Medvedev to battle for two Masters 1000 titles this month.
The current world number 1 will need to fend off challenges by Djokovic and Nadal to keep a stable lead at top. The next gen has got hold off the rankings as of now, two consecutive losses to Nadal will definitely be in Medvedev’s head when the pair meets next. The 26 year old needs to improve his form on clay in the coming months as he will be expected to battle against Nadal and it will be their first meeting on the surface. It will be tough for any player to beat the veteran as April and May have clay events lined up and the surface has been ruled by Nadal since 2005.
Nadal had a 11 match inning streak in 2014 which was his personal best while starting a season, this time he has added four matches and is yet to play on a clay event. The Monte Carlo Masters, Barcelona and Rome Open have been his favourite as he has won each event at least 10 times. The 35 year old will also be seeking revenge for the semi final defeat at Roland Garros last year to Djokovic, Nadal can add to his Grand Slam tally when he triumphs for the 14th time.
Daniil Medvedev ends Novak Djokovic’s reign in ATP rankings
(Tennis news) Daniil Medvedev will create history on 28th February when he captures the no 1 ranking on the ATP tour. Medvedev will become the first player outside the big four to take the top spot, the last time it happened was in 2004 when Andy Roddick was the world number one. Since then Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray have never surrendered the top position in almost 18 years.
The 26 year old will become the third Russian after Yevgeny Kafelnikov in 1999 and Marat Safin 2000-01 to ascend to the top of the rankings. Medvedev will also become the 27th player in history to achieve the number 1 ranking on the ATP the tour, Djokovic had been holding the spot for over a year and Medvedev had his chances last year during Wimbledon but could not capture it back then.
Djokovic was trying to win the title in Dubai as he had to do well in order to delay the takeover. Djokovic's loss to Jiri Vesely in the quarterfinals confirmed the news for Medvedev who will take on Nadal in the semi final at Acapulco. An early loss for Medvedev and a deep run for Djokovic would have meant more time for the 20 time Grand Slam winner; while the current number 2 had to reach the final at Acapulco to confirm the ranking no matter what happened in Dubai.
The 2021 US Open winner first became number 2 in March 2021 but was floating around no 2 and 3 for a month, he has been sticking to number 2 since May. On Monday when the rankings will be released it will be a major change as the Serbian’s run will finally come to an end, the next gen has finally completed a key part of the mission.
Dominic Thiem’s US Open victory two years later opened the gates for the younger players as Medvedev made it bigger while beating Djokovic in a historic US Open final a few months ago. The last 2 years has seen the emergence of the next gen as they have won Grand Slams and now taken the rankings. Rafael Nadal won the Australian Open a month back, the next mission of the youngsters would be to win as many major titles as that will take care of the rankings and with time in their hands it will be a start of a new era.While there are still a lot of tournaments left in this season, it will be a positive change to the tennis community next week.
Vesely stops Djokovic in Dubai, Rublev looks for first win against Hurkacz
(Tennis news) Jiri Vesely recorded a historic win over Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinals of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. Vesley now has 2 wins against Djokovic as the Serbian is yet to secure a win in their career head to head meetings. There were service breaks by both players in the first four games of the match after which the Czech held his serve with powerful backhands and disguised dropshots.
In the second set, the world number 123 had faster serves than the earlier set which made him finish the points early. Even though the world number 1 served more aces in the second set, the left hander was more aggressive and even had a front facing tweener to win the point. Vesley’s serve reached speeds of 225 km/hour in the second set and his average second serve was around 180 km/ hour while for Djokovic it was 153 km/ hour. Daniil Medvedev will ascend to the top of the rankings on monday as he will face Rafael Nadal in the semifinals at Acapulco.
“It is an amazing feeling,” Vesely said in his on-court interview. “I never really thought I would have a chance against Novak. He is one of the greatest of all time. After the past 12 months, it is unbelievable. I have so many emotions inside. It is hard to describe. It is an amazing feeling.”
Hubert Hurkacz entered the semifinals in Dubai for the first time with a straight set victory over Jannik Sinner. Hurkacz had reached the quarterfinals in 2019 where he lost to Stefanos Tsitsipas, the Polish number one who will face Andrey Rublev for a place in the final. In the quarterfinal, the 25 year old placed the ball perfectly whenever Sinner failed to hit it with his punishing speed. The 20 year old was broken thrice in the match but could not get a single break not even a breakpoint as the service games gave Hurkacz the lead in the match. Hurkacz defeated Sinner 6-3, 6-3.
Andrey Rublev reached the last four for the second consecutive time in Dubai. Rublev beat Mackenzie McDonald as he had lost to the American three years ago at the Australian Open. This time, Mackenzie started well with 10 winners in the first set as Rublev had 4 and the 26 won the net points on all five occasions coming forward. Mackenzie broke thrice in the first set as the world number 7 managed to break once, in the second set both players had three breakpoints as the 24 year old converted two of them and saved all three points on serve.
In the third set, there were a handful of volleys as it was all baseline power hitting. The world number 61 stood no chance as Rublev only hit 1 unforced error and lost a single point out of 13 in his first serves. Rublev will look for his first against Hurkacz in their third career meeting. Rublev defeated Mackenzie 2-6, 6-3, 6-1.
Nadal, Medvedev and Norrie progress to last 8 of the Mexico Open
(Tennis news) Rafael Nadal extended his unbeaten run to 12 matches as he defeated Stefan Kozlov 6-0 6-3 to progress into the quarterfinals of the Mexico Open. It has been the Spaniard’s best start to a season since 2014 when he was unbeaten for 11 games before falling to Stan Wawrinka in the finals of the Australian Open.
The 35 year old will be facing Tommy Paul for a place in the semifinals of the tournament after which he could potentially face world number 2 Daniil Medvedev who he defeated in the finals at Melbourne in January. Speaking after his 76 minute match against Kozlov, Nadal said “It's always important to win as quick as possible but the most important thing is to win. Tonight has been straight sets - that's great news, and I'll try to be ready for tomorrow against a tough opponent."
Meanwhile, Russia’s Daniil Medvedev defeated Spain's Pablo Andujar 6-1 6-2 in just 64 minutes to progress into the quarterfinals. Medvedev will face Yoshihito Nishioka in the next match and will aim to win the tournament and progress to the top spot in the world rankings at the expense of Novak Djokovic by winning the title.
Britain’s Cameron Norrie was also one of the victors as he defeated America’s John Isner 6-7 (2-7) 6-3 6-4. Norrie will face Germany's Peter Gojowczyk in the quarterfinals. World number four Stefanos Tsitsipas defeated American qualifier JJ Wolf 6-1 6-0 in just 47 minutes to progress into the quarterfinals where he will face America’s Marcos Giron.
One of the controversial moments from the tournament has been when world number three Alexander Zverev was thrown out of the Mexico Open due to ‘unsportsmanlike conduct’ when the German attacked the umpire’s chair at the end of a doubles match. A statement released by the ATP said “Due to unsportsmanlike conduct at the conclusion of his doubles match on Tuesday night, Alexander Zverev has been withdrawn from the tournament in Acapulco”.
As a result, Zverev’s opponent Peter Gojowczyk will be given a walkover in the third round. The 24 year old German took to Instagram to apologise for his actions, calling his behaviour “unacceptable”. Zverev said he had "privately apologised" to umpire Alessandro Germani and that he was “disappointed in myself”. He wrote “As you know, I leave everything on the court. Yesterday, I left too much. I am going to take the coming days to reflect - on my actions and how I can ensure that it will not happen again."
Also read: Ostapenko sets up rematch with Krejcikova at Doha, Kvitova issues walkover
Mackenzie McDonald sends Aslan Karatsev packing in opening round at Dubai
(Tennis news) Mackenzie McDonald was playing at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships for the first time. He had a tough draw and was pitted against Aslan Karatsev in the opening round; the pair had met a month earlier at the Australian Open where Karatsev came out on top in four sets. The curtains came down early for the Russian as Mackenzie looked faster and stronger than his opponent, the defending champion was playing here for the second time after his strong run last year.
Karatsev was not looking sharp as usual and could not find a way to tackle the American’s serve. In the first set, Mackenzie served 8 aces and was behind in the number of winners but covered the margin in terms of unforced errors. Court coverage was also missing from the 28 year old while the world number 61 did not think twice in chasing the ball around the court. Mackenzie defeated Karatsev 7-5, 6-3.
Jannik Sinner has played 9 matches this year so far and has only lost one, he lost to Stefanos Tsitsipas at the Australian Open. Sinner has only played in hardcourt events so far in the 2022 season, this time in Dubai he had to down three match points against Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the opening round. Fokina was much more agile in the first two sets than Sinner as he got to most of the balls and kept overpowering the Italian in the rallies.
The word number 10 tried to be aggressive but the Spaniard had the final answer as he took the first set. In the second set, it seemed like the Italian was slowly building his power as he had to defend three match points in the tiebreak. The first match point was saved in a defensive rally by the 20 year old as the world number 42 hit an inside out forehand long, the second one was saved by a 203 km/ ace and the third one was all due to the reliability on Sinner’s backhand which returned the ball perfectly.
The 22 year old lost his form in the deciding set as Sinner began attacking especially from his backhand. The 5 time title winner had 2 winners in the first and in the next two sets he hit 22 winners as he finished the match with an attacking forehand. Sinner defeated Fokina 4-6, 7-6(6), 6-3.
“It was a very tough match,” said Sinner after completing the comeback. “I know Davidovich Fokina, but we’ve never played against each other. It was the first time for both of us and it was a tricky one, saving three match points. On the first one I got lucky because it was out, but not so far out.”
Novak Djokovic wins first match of the season at Dubai
(Tennis news) Novak Djokovic had a great start to his 2022 season by beating Lorenzo Musetti in the opening round at Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. The world number 1 has a task in hand in his first ever event of the year as his pole position is at risk, Djokovic will be keeping a close watch at the results in Acapulco as Daniil Medvedev is also on a mission. The Serbian had trouble in dealing with the one handed backhand which was slicing, hard hitting the ball as Musetti started the match with an inside out backhand winner.
The Italian had 7 chances to break serve in the match but failed to convert all of them, the 34 year old got the breaks as the rallies ended because of the untimely unforced errors. Djokovic defeated Musetti 6-3, 6-3.
“All in all, it’s a straight-sets win, so of course I have to be satisfied with my tennis, especially after not playing for two-and-a-half, three months,” Djokovic said in his on-court interview. “Of course, there were moments when I played great, there were moments when I made a couple of unforced errors in a row uncharacteristically. But it’s normal to expect that in my first match after a while.
Andy Murray pulled off a few textbook shots in his match against Christopher O'Connell. Murray also slammed his racquet to the ground a few times in the opening set, there was a huge improvement from the former world number 1 as his hand skills and speed gave him the second set. Each set lasted an hour but it was the qualifier who looked exhausted and not Murray who was getting to the ball somehow even though the match was short of nine minutes to 3 hours.
The 2017 champion got a break in the 12 game of the decider with defensive skills that got a standing ovation from the crowd as Christopher could not have played the rally better. Murray defeated Christopher 6-7(4-7), 6-3, 7-5.
Taro Daniel was playing at Dubai for the first time and made sure there was an upset on the opening day when he beat David Goffin. The Belgian is making his fourth appearance at the event but has not won a match yet, the streak continues as the world number 111 hit 18 winners and 3 unforced errors. In the second set, it was Goffin who was attacking the court with 20 winners but could not close it in the tiebreak. Daniel defeated Goffin 6-3, 7-6(7-5).
Also read: Carlos Alcaraz defeats Diego Schwartzman to reach new milestone at Rio
Carlos Alcaraz defeats Diego Schwartzman to reach new milestone at Rio
(Tennis news) Carlos Alcaraz won his second career title after defeating Diego Schwartzman 6-4, 6-2 in the final of the Rio Open. Alcaraz is now the youngest ever ATP Masters 500 winner and has now reached a career high ranking of number 20 as he climbed 9 places after the final. Schwartzman climbed a place above with a ranking of 13 with his loss in the final, the Argentine was playing in his second consecutive final after losing to Casper Ruud at Buenos Aires.
The 18 year old had a weak start by losing the first two games but set up two breakpoints in the third game and won the point with a strong backhand towards Schwartzman who failed to set up a forehand half volley. The Spaniard was hitting huge groundstrokes as the 29 year old was getting more winners of the backhand and through volleys at the net. Alcaraz made the crucial move in the 9th game with an outstretched cross court backhand passing shot which was totally misjudged by Schwartzman.
In the second set, the first three games were broken in which the youngster was leading with two breaks. The world number 29 started using more dropshots as the 2018 winner could not catch up on time, a final break in the 5th game and the champion dropped to his knees in celebration.
“I can’t believe it, honestly. It has been a great week for me playing at a great level,” Alcaraz said in his on-court interview. “First tournament on clay in a long time, so I’m really happy with the performance during the whole week. It’s an amazing feeling right now. I think this is my game. There's a lot of variety. It’s the key to how I won the match. I know how Diego plays and this was really important for me.”
Schwartzman has played 16 matches this year out of which he has won 11 and lost his first ever meeting against Alcaraz. The former world number 8 has now lost two consecutive finals and reached the semi final at Cordoba.
Alcaraz has so far played 8 matches this year, twice has he been taken to the deciding set and it was Matteo Berrettini on both the occasions. Berrettini also defeated him at the Australian Open which is the Rio winner’s only loss so far this season. The 6 foot one inch player is now 2-0 in finals as he defeated Richard Gasquet at Umag last year.
The players will be now shifting to hardcourts as the action starts in Dubai and Acapulco from today. The two Masters 500 event has top two players fighting for the top honour as Novak Djokovic will play his first match of the season while Daniil Medvedev needs to reach the final to become the world number one.
Sania-Hradecka pair enters semifinals of Dubai Tennis Championships
Dubai, Feb 17 (Tennis News) Indian tennis star Sania Mirza and her Czech partner Lucie Hradecka progressed to the semifinals of the Dubai Tennis Championships with a straight set win over Japan's Shuko Aoyama and Aleksandra Krunic of Serbia here on Thursday.
Sania and Hradecka, who had received a wild card for the tournament, claimed a 7-5 6-3 win over the Japanese-Serbian combination in the quarterfinals of the WTA 500 tournament.
The Indo-Czech pair will face the winner of the match between top seeds Japan's Ena Shibahara and China's Shuai Zhang and Ukraine's Lyudmyla Kichenok and Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia.
Sania is a past winner here, having lifted the title in 2013 with USA's Bethanie Mattek-Sands.
The 35-year-old, who is India's most accomplished woman tennis player, having won six Grand Slam titles, including three mixed doubles trophies, had earlier announced that 2022 would be her last season.
Also Read : Novak Djokovic’s return to 2022 season remains unclear
News Source : PTI
Novak Djokovic’s return to 2022 season remains unclear
(Tennis news) Novak Djokovic stood by his words in an exclusive interview with the BBC. Djokovic is yet to play a match on tour this year as he last played a match in December at the semifinals of the Davis Cup. This was the first time the Serbian has given his side of story after his controversial exit a day before the Australian Open.
The 20 time Grand Slam winner was the highlight last year as he reached the finals at the four Grand Slams and lost in the final at the US Open to Danill Medvedev. Djokovic is still firm on his stance about vaccination as he said it's a personal choice to take or not take the vaccine, he insisted that he is not an anti-vaxxer. If the pandemic protected his rankings last season, there are chances it will take a dark turn this year as his no 1 spot is in danger.
When asked whether he is willing to miss the French Open and Wimbledon because of his vaccination status, the 9 time Australian Open champion did not hesitate to say yes. Although both the majors will be played at the end of May and June respectively and the guidelines can change accordingly. It will be a question as to who will step up the no 1 ranking if Djokovic is absent.
The 34 year old has confirmed his stance on the topic, but the amount of time he has on tour is very limited. The next gen players are only getting better at every event and as months pass by it might be tough to get back on top. Medvedev can become the world number one if he wins at Acapulco which will start in 4 days while Djokovic will hope to play at Dubai and has to go for the title. If Medvedev wins the title or reaches the final then the position is confirmed, Djokovic will hope the Russian falls early while he can reach the semis or the finals at Dubai. The scenario can be confirmed by the end of next week as Medvedev prepares the third Russian to take top honours.
Roland Garros will be a stepping platform for Rafael Nadal to create another record at the Grand Slams. While he can aim for his 22nd title, the top three position will also be a possibility for the clay king. Nadal’s archnemesis has been Djokovic, although the absence of the 2 time Roland Garros winner won’t be a huge relief as the next gen has its way of rising to the occasion. There are still three Grand Slams to go this year as the tour will go on like usual, but Djokovic’s comeback to the season remains in doubt.
Bopanna-Ramkumar duo enters doubles semis, Yuki crashes out from Tata Open
Pune, Feb 3 (Tennis News) Indian pair of Rohan Bopanna and Ramkumar Ramanathan advanced to the doubles semi-finals, but it was curtains for Yuki Bhambri in singles second round at the 2022 Tata Open Maharashtra at the Balewadi Stadium here on Thursday.
Bopanna and Ramkumar defeated Austrian-Czech duo of Alexander Erler and Czech Jiri Vesely 7-6(7-3) 7-6(7-4) in the quarterfinals.
Bopanna and Ramkumar, playing their second ATP event together at the fourth edition of South Asia's only ATP 250 tournament, will now meet Sadio Doumbia and Fabien Reboul. The French duo entered last four round with a hard-fought win against Federico Gaio and Lorenzo Musetti 4-6 6-3 10-2.
Another Indian pair of N Sriram Balaji and Vishnu Vardhan will also be seen in the semifinals after their opponents, Gianluca Mager and Emil Ruusuvuori withdrew from the last-eight match due to an injury to the former.
The Indian duo, which entered the main draw as an alternate pair, defeated compatriots Arjun Kadhe and Purav Raja 6-1 6-4 in the opening round played late on Wednesday night.
However, it was curtains for comeback man Yuki as he suffered a 3-6 2-6 defeat against eight seed Stefano Travaglia of Australia in the singles second round.
Earlier in the day, Sweden's Elias Ymer stunned top-seed and world no 15 Aslan Karatsev of Russia in straight sets to storm into the singles quarterfinals.
Ymer handed Karatsev a shocking 6-2 7-6(7-3) defeat in a second round match that lasted for one hour and 36 minutes.
The 25-year-old Ymer, who came through the qualifiers, started the game well and took an early 3-1 lead against Karatsev, who struggled to find his rhythm at the South Asia's only ATP 250 event.
With 76 per cent of service points won, compared to Karatsev's 47 per cent, Ymer comfortably bagged the opening set.
The star Russian, who upstaged world no.1 Novak Djokovic on his home court to enter the Serbia Open final last year, tried to forge a comeback but Ymer showed phenomenal reflexes, coupled with some powerful shots to level the scores at 4-4 in the second set.
Ymer then held his serves and forced Karatsev, the first player in an Open Era to reach the Grand Slam semifinal on debut at 2021 Australian Open, to a tie-break.
"I was more focussed on my serves. When you serve well, you always win matches. I think the serve was the key," Ymer said after his match.
World no. 163 Ymer started strongly in the tie-breaker by racing to a 3-0 lead and then maintained his fine touch to complete a sensational victory.
Meanwhile, defending champion Jiri Vesely, who received opening-round bye, started his campaign with a confident 6-3 6-4 win against Bernabe Zapata Miralles.
Sixth-seeded Emil Ruusuvuori also had an easy outing against qualifier Vit Kopriva, securing a 6-3 6-3 victory during a lopsided last-16 contest.
Also Read : Sweden's Ymer stuns top seed Karatsev at Tata Open, sails into quarters
News Source : PTI
Sweden's Ymer stuns top seed Karatsev at Tata Open, sails into quarters
Pune, Feb 3 (Tennis News) Sweden's Elias Ymer stunned top seed and world no.15 Aslan Karatsev of Russia in straight sets to enter the singles quarterfinals of the 2022 Tata Open Maharashtra at the Balewadi Stadium here on Thursday.
Ymer registered a shocking 6-2 7-6(7-3) win over Karatsev in the a second round match that lasted for one hour and 36 minutes.
The 25-year-old Ymer, who came through the qualifiers, started the game well and took an early 3-1 lead against Karatsev, who struggled to find his rhythm at the South Asia's only ATP 250 event.
With 76 per cent of service points won, compared to Karatsev's 47 per cent, Ymer comfortably bagged the opening set.
The star Russian, who upstaged world no.1 Novak Djokovic on his home court to enter the Serbia Open final last year, tried to forge a comeback but Ymer showed phenomenal reflexes, coupled with some powerful shots to level the scores at 4-4 in the second set.
Ymer then held his serves and forced Karatsev, the first player in an Open Era to reach the Grand Slam semifinal on debut at 2021 Australian Open, to a tie-break.
"I was more focussed on my serves. When you serve well, you always win matches. I think the serve was the key," Ymer said after his match.
World no.163 Ymer started strongly in the tie-breaker by racing to a 3-0 lead and then maintained his fine touch to complete a sensational victory.
Meanwhile, defending champion Jiri Vesely, who received opening-round bye, started his campaign with a confident 6-3 6-4 win against Bernabe Zapata Miralles.
Sixth-seeded Emil Ruusuvuori also had an easy outing against qualifier Vit Kopriva, securing a 6-3, 6-3 victory during a lopsided last-16 contest.
Later in the evening, star Indian singles player Yuki Bhambri will look to secure a quarter-final berth as he up against eight-seed Stefano Travaglia in the second round.
Also Read : Schwartzman looks to be the favourite at Cordoba this season
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Matteo Berrettini moves to career best number 6 in ATP rankings
(Tennis news) The 2022 Australian Open has given the boost in rankings in the WTA and the ATP tour. Matteo Berrettini moved closer to the top 5 as he is now one place below Rafael Nadal in the rankings. Berrettini has 5,278 points as of now and was number before the semi final run at Australia.
Berrettini had cracked the top 100 for the first time in 2018 and entered the top 50 next year since then it has been a steady rise. The 25 year old then cracked the top 10 in a gap of eight months after the top 50 climb, the only route he has taken for the past 4 years is upwards. The Italian has his country mate in the top 10 as Jannik Sinner is ranked at 10. While Berrettini has made his move in the Grand Slams, Sinner has been going through the Masters and also progressing in the majors.
Berrettini has reached quarter finals or more in the last four Grand Slams and lost to Novak Djokovic in three of them while it was Rafael Nadal at Australia. The 2021 season was the best for Berrettini as he finished the year with 41 wins and 12 losses of which 8 was by a player in the top ten.
There has not been major changes at the top in the men’s ranking as Novak Djokovic held his top spot even after missing the Australian Open. Daniil Medvedev will again try to get on top of the rankings which has been at the control of the big four for a long time. Medvedev had his chances last year at Wimbledon and at Roland Garros but Djokovic winning the titles in both the places did not help the Russian’s cause.
Gael Monfils will have a crack at the top ten after a 2 year gap as he rose four places to be in the 16th position now. Monfils was ranked as high as 6 in 2016 after which there was not much consistency from the player. Denis Shapovalov also jumped two places to be ranked 12 as he lost the top ten status in August after a string of losses, the Canadian was close to recording an upset over Nadal at Australia. Canada has Felix Auger-Aliassime who has been in number 9 for over 3 weeks now, the 21 year old was number 10 for a week in December last year and now has been maintaining the position. Roger Federer is ranked at 30, he is out of the top 25 after 20 years as he was last ranked 30 in 2001.
I will try to go as far as I can and get confidence back: Musetti
Pune, Jan 30 (Tennis News) Emerging Italian star Lorenzo Musetti on Sunday said he is keen to make his mark in his debut appearance at the Tata Open Maharashtra tennis tournament, which begins here on Monday.
The 19-year-old second seed will start as one of the title contenders in the men's singles event in the fourth edition of South Asia’s only ATP 250 event at the Balewadi Stadium here.
“I’m here to win matches. I will try to go as far as I can and get the confidence that I used to have,” Musetti said during a virtual press conference on Sunday.
He is likely to face strong competition from top players like World No. 15 Aslan Karatsev and defending champion Jiri Vesely.
Musetti suffered first-round defeats at the season opener Adelaide 1 event and Australian Open.
“I played two good matches with two really great opponents. They showed they were playing best tennis and both the matches were close,” he said.
A Roger Federer fan, Musetti is one of the few players in the world with a strong single-handed backhand and he said it came naturally. Musetti had an impressive 2021 wherein he broke into the top-100, made Grand Slam debut and had two sets lead against the World No. 1 Novak Djokovic in a match at the French Open but retired in the fifth set. He rated that match as one of the best of his career.
“It helped me to understand a lot of things like I can be on that level and can reach there with my game. It was helpful especially for a young player who is coming on the tour. I hope to reach that level again and to play a lot of matches like that one,” Musetti concluded.
The tournament will continue till February 6.
Also Read : No change in playing style for Yuki but definitely more doubles tournament from now
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Daniil Medvedev once again in middle of Grand Slam history
(Tennis news) Daniil Medvedev is once again a barricade on the way to history only this time Rafael Nadal is on the other end. A few months back it was Novak Djokovic whose attempt to win a calendar slam at the US Open was thwarted by Medvedev right at the final turn. This time it's the 2022 Australian Open, both are hardcourts and the odds are stacked evenly. Both players have so far spent 17 hours on court and have got a day’s rest to let it all out in the final.
Daniil Medvedev has lost 5 sets on his way to the final, his first major hurdle was a 3 hour battle with Nick Kyrgios in the second round then Felix Auger- Aliassime in the quarterfinals where Medevdev even saved a matchpoint. In the semifinal, the Russian was fined $12000 for his behaviour with the chair umpire and was in a hot streak after that against Stefanos Tsitsipas. He has had a simpler route than Nadal in the draw and needs to bring in the game that gave him first his major at the 2021 US Open.
Medvedev had lost to Djokovic at last year’s final but since then he has taken on bigger challenges and succeeded. He needs to extend the match and put Nadal on the backfoot as the Spaniard has already played a couple of long enduring matches. He also needs to serve the same way like he did in the semifinal as serve and volleys might actually help combat the world number five’s groundstrokes. The world number two also stands way behind the court but can choose to come in especially during the serve as the left hander is not among the top servers on the tour.
The 25 year old will need to let pressure get to Nadal as all the expectations must put down the veteran. Medvedev can bring home his 2nd Grand Slam title and once again stop one among the big three in creating history. Rafael Nadal has not broken a racquet yet in his career which shows how hard it is to break the man’s spirit. The 21st Grand Slam is on the line as he aims to become the first player to win more than 20 majors, an effort which Roger Federer and Djokovic have failed to do. The 20 time major winner has dropped 4 sets so far and has had tougher opponents than Medvedev.
Nadal is into his 29th Grand Slam final so it will be all the usual for him as he will know what to expect. This will be the first time both players meet at the Australian Open but played a 5 hour match in the final of the 2019 US Open which was Nadal’s 19th title. The 35 year old is playing his first Grand Slam since losing to Djokovic at Roland Garros last year but has a patent in making comebacks as injuries have also failed to halt his speed and strength.
In terms of court coverage, although Nadal has been around since 2001 his speed has also kept him company even after so many years. His stamina might not be the same as an opponent 10 years younger can certainly outrun him in the longer race. Nadal is into the final at Melbourne for the 6th time and has only won one of them. In 2009 he won the title beating Federer in the final, he lost to the Swiss maestro in 2017. In 2014 he lost to Stan Wawrinka and lost twice to Djokovic 10 years ago in a match that lasted 6 hours then again in 2019.
Nadal has won three matches against Medevdev but the last time they faced it was Medvedev who got ahead. Predictions are Medvedev in four or five sets but Nadal will be longing to lift the trophy after more than a decade and has chances of taking down the next gen.
Also read: Ashleigh Barty wins singles title at 2022 Australian Open
Australian Open 2022: Medvedev and Sabalenka leading the next gen attack
(Tennis news) After more than 120 days since the last Grand Slam, the 2022 season is ready for the Australian Open to take place at Melbourne. At the beginning of every year, there are new expectations from the next gen to take over the older generation and there are few players who will look to take over the trophy from the seniors.
Daniil Medvedev had beaten Novak Djokovic at the 2021 US Open final and Djokovic had beaten Medvedev in the final of Australia at the start of the year. This year, the Serbian is currently playing against the Australian government as he needs a victory to compete in the main draw. Meanwhile the Russian will be keen to add a second major to his pocket but will be facing a challenge from the rest of the rising stars. Alexander Zverev has not won a major title yet, he has won everything else including the Olympic gold and can join Andre Agassi and Rafael Nadal in winning all the major titles in the sport.
Nadal won the Melbourne Summer Set which was his first title at Australia in 13 years, his first title was the 2009 Australian Open. The Spaniard was beaten by Stefanos Tsistsipas in the quarterfinal last year and the Greek player will also be in line to get his first big title. Most of the next gen players have not played any matches so far, the players who have started with year in form would be Felix Auger Aliassime, Denis Shapovalov. The two Canadians have shown how much they grew as players and would be willing to do the same at Melbourne. Carlos Alcaraz, Jannik Sinner would also play till the final days of the event as they had a good run last year.
In the women’s singles, Ashleigh Barty will be aiming for a third Grand Slam overall and a first at home. While the Australian has her targets, Aryna Sabalenka can set a sight at a first major as well as the top ranking when she plays next week. Sabalenka reached the semifinals of the last two Grand Slams, the 23 year old can steal the thunder from Barty and it would be daring to do it in front of the home crowd. In the top 10 rankings, all the players are below 30 years and a few made their debuts in the single digit platform. Barbora Krejcikova took the Roland Garros by storm by winning the singles and doubles trophy; Krejcikova takes on Paula Badosa who is yet another debutant in the top 10 and certainly one of them to watch out.
Naomi Osaka will also make her return and if she is in form then there is no doubt about her taking home her 5th major. The Japanese player issued a walkover in the semifinal at Melbourne Summer Set a few days ago but is expected to play at the event. The Australian Open is set to start from January 17 and the audience would want to wear their seat belts as its going to be a bumpy start to the year.
Novak Djokovic has long divided opinion. Now, his legacy will be complicated even further
Melbourne, Jan 15 (Tennis News) After a convoluted and shambolic visa approval process, followed by questions about his movements over the past month and the information provided to Australian border officials, Immigration Minister Alex Hawke has cancelled Novak Djokovic’s visa.
The decision is a major blow to Djokovic, who is tied with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal at 20 Grand Slam singles titles, the most ever by a male player. While his lawyers will attempt to challenge the latest visa cancellation, Djokovic is unlikely to chase history at his most successful Grand Slam tournament.
The decision is also a blow to the Australian Open. With Federer out with injury, Djokovic and Nadal were the prime draw cards in this year’s men’s tournament. If the top-ranked Serbian player and nine-time Australian Open champion is deported, some have feared serious repercussions for the longevity of the event.
Critics have gone so far as to theorise global tennis powerbrokers might look elsewhere to host the “grand slam of the Asia-Pacific”, so as: […] to be confident the tournament can proceed smoothly with strong levels of public and government support.
In that sense, the conservative MP and former professional tennis player John Alexander had urged allowing Djokovic to stay in the country, arguing: Retaining the Australian Open as a grand slam event […] is in our national interest.
While the Australian Open’s reputation certainly has taken a hit, its status as one of the four Grand Slam tournaments has plenty of support. The longer-term damage might be to Djokovic’s legacy.
Given the extraordinary backstory to his medical exemption from COVID vaccination to enter Australia – along with the many questions that have arisen about his COVID infection in December – public opinion about him has swayed back and forth on a daily basis.
Djokovic has long been a polarising figure in tennis. Despite his athleticism, endurance and mental toughness, he has sometimes been accused of gamesmanship, “exaggerating” injuries to allow for medical pauses when an opponent has the momentum.
Like other players, Djokovic has also exhibited unruly behaviour on court, with occasional racket smashes, as well as disqualification from the 2020 US Open after recklessly – albeit accidentally – smashing a ball into a line judge.
Compared with the much-loved Federer and Nadal, Djokovic has a narrower fan base. At the Australian Open, he’s always had the effervescent support of Melbourne’s large Serbian diaspora, with their patriotic singing and flag-waving. But the mood of the rest of the crowd this year would likely have been mixed, with some undoubtedly voicing their hostility.
Indeed, local tennis fans would have good reason to chafe at Djokovic’s medical exemption from immunisation given the stringent COVID protocols they must follow to attend the Australian Open.
The tournament requires fans to be double-vaccinated or provide evidence of a medical exemption. However, unlike Djokovic’s peculiar defence, prior COVID status does not absolve local residents from the need to be double-vaccinated, with “previous infection” no basis for an exemption.
Grand slammed? Further complicating Djokovic’s legacy is the question of whether he’ll now face visa difficulties at the other tennis majors. The rapid spread of the Omicron variant may alter the rules for unvaccinated players in different countries and tournaments.
As things stand, Djokovic appears to face no vaccine-related impediment to competing at the French Open in a few months. The French sports minister has said Djokovic “would be able to take part”, although unlike vaccinated players he would need to follow “health bubble” protocols.
French President Emmanuel Macron, however, has made headlines by declaring he wants to “piss off” the unvaccinated – in part by mandating a “health pass” for public venues, a requirement for which is to be vaccinated. Whether Macron insists on changes for competitors at Roland-Garros remains to be seen.
As far as Wimbledon is concerned, unvaccinated international arrivals to the United Kingdom are currently required to take repeat COVID tests over several days, plus quarantine for ten days at a residence of their choice.
Djokovic would, presumably, look to a rent a house with a lawn tennis court attached.
The US Open seems less certain. The unvaccinated are not permitted in specific indoor venues in New York without a medical exemption.
So, if one of Djokovic’s matches on the showcourts at the US Open was affected by rain and the roof needed to be closed, it is not clear what organisers would do. He might be forced to forfeit the match.
Given Djokovic has been less prone to injury than Federer or Nadal and is coming off one of his best years on tour, he is still likely to retire with the most men’s grand slam titles. If so, he can rightfully be feted as the greatest male tennis star of all time.
But how he will be remembered is a more complicated question. In one sense, Djokovic appears to revel in being depicted as the “arch-nemesis” of Federer and Nadal – it has fuelled his desire to surpass their grand slam title hauls.
Yet, for all his tennis greatness, Djokovic often attracts eye-rolling outside the court – not simply in relation to his views on vaccines, but the wider pseudo-scientific ruminations that underpin his public pronouncements.
As the Australian tennis player Nick Kyrgios has put it, Djokovic seems “a very strange cat”.
The drama from the past week will have an effect on the way others view him, too. It will inflame his supporters, infuriate his detractors, and prompt even neutral observers to take a stand in respect to his entry to Australia. When it comes to Novak Djokovic, everyone will now surely have an opinion. (The Conversation) MRJ
Also Read : Krejcikova wins epic semi final against Kontaveit at Sydney.
News Sources : PTI
Safiullin, Evans among the best players from the 2022 ATP Cup
(Tennis news) The third edition of the ATP Cup saw the young Canadians taking the title for the first time. The season opener gave the perfect start to the 2022 season as it saw many players giving all of their might to see their country winning. There were many senior and junior players who were in their zone on court as they proved to be an invaluable part of the team. Here are the top four players at the ATP Cup.
Roman Safiullin: Russia
When in Rome, do as the Romans do and that is what Safiullin exactly did. He formed a great duo with Daniil Medvedev in doubles and in singles he did what every player should for their country. Russia seemed to have lost its powerhouse as Rublev and Karatsev pulled which made way for Safiullin who unexpectedly became the hero for the team.
Safiullin became a fan favourite in the very first match against France when he defeated Arthur Rinderknech who was 120 places above him in the rankings. In the second match, the world number 167 secured his biggest win by beating James Duckworth and got his first top 50 win on tour. He lost the next two matches to Jannik Sinner and Denis Shapovalov but did his best to make them work hard for the win.
Safiullin and Medvedev were the lowest ranked doubles pair in every match they played but still won three matches and lost in the semifinals to Canada. Safiullin has been the latest Russia to make a mark in the sport and will hope to join the likes of Aslan Karatsev and Andrey Rublev.
Daniel Evans: Great Britain
Britain had everything at the event but luck as Canada’s victory over Germany put them out of the knockout stage. Evans played five matches in the ATP Cup and won every match dropping just one set in the final doubles match against USA. The world number 26 won all his singles matches beating Denis Shapovalov and John Isner in straight sets. He was the most valuable player for the team and partnered with Jamie Murray against Germany and USA.
Roberto Bautista Agut: Spain
Roberto led the Spanish team like a gladiator in every match. The 33 year old has been having fantastic starts to the season for the past 5 seasons piling up more than 40 wins and less than 10 losses. He won four matches and it was painful to watch the world number 17 lose in the final even after picking up two top 10 victories on the way.
Felix Auger-Aliassime: Canada
The Canadian team was led by two youngsters, the rising stars of the sport. Felix and Shapovalov were one the youngest players on the event, they carried the responsibility with quite a bit of maturity. The world number 9 defeated Cameron Norrie in the second match and also paired with Shapovalov to win the tie.
Felix played 5 singles matches and 3 doubles matches at the ATP Cup which showed the young Canadian had a lot of workload and pressure through the event. The doubles win against Russia put the team through the final and his win against Roberto gave the title to the team.
Novak Djokovic’s path to legal vindication was long and convoluted. It may also be fleeting
Melbourne, Jan 11 (Tennis News) Novak Djokovic is – at least for now – free to defend his title at the Australian Open after Judge Anthony Kelly of the Federal Circuit and Family Court quashed the cancellation of his visa following an agreement between the tennis star’s lawyers and the government.
After a confusing day-long hearing involving dense legal arguments, Djokovic was ordered to be released from immigration detention on procedural grounds – the judge said he hadn’t been given enough time to contest the original cancellation of his visa last Thursday morning.
But this left unresolved the bigger question of whether Djokovic was entitled to rely upon a medical exemption from Tennis Australia to enter the country and compete in the tournament without being vaccinated against COVID-19.
It is entirely possible Djokovic’s success in these proceedings is a hollow victory, with the government’s lawyer flagging Immigration Minister Alex Hawke will now consider whether to exercise his personal power to cancel the tennis star’s visa for a second time.
Grounds to challenge the visa cancellation The saga surrounding the nine-time Australian Open champion has gripped the sporting world since Djokovic was detained upon arriving in Melbourne last week due to questions about his medical exemption from vaccination to play in the tournament starting on January 17.
Djokovic was moved to immigration detention in Melbourne’s notorious Park Hotel following the cancellation of his visa. His lawyers then lodged an application to challenge that cancellation through judicial review proceedings.
The process of judicial review allows a judge to examine the lawfulness of government decision-making. It is a limited process, not concerned with whether a right, preferable or fair decision has been made, but only whether the decision followed the proper legal processes and requirements.
Before the hearing began today, Djokovic’s lawyers had put forth eight distinct grounds for why, in their submission, the decision to cancel Djokovic’s visa was not lawful.
These included some technical issues, such as a contention the notice given to Djokovic to cancel his visa was invalid and the decision was based on nonexistent grounds under the Migration Act.
Similarly, his lawyers argued the process was unfair as Djokovic was “pressured” to agree to a decision on his visa without first consulting his lawyers.
The bigger question around a medical exemption The substance of Djokovic’s challenge, however, revolved around his assertion that by testing positive to COVID-19 on December 16, he was exempt from any requirement to be vaccinated for six months.
His lawyers based this argument on guidelines set by ATAGI, the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation, which said: COVID-19 vaccination in people who have had PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection can be deferred for a maximum of six months after the acute illness, as a temporary exemption due to acute major medical illness.
In response, the government argued this approach was an inaccurate reading of the guidelines, saying that mere previous infection would not be enough to allow an unvaccinated person entry into Australia. In essence, the guidance provides for a deferment of vaccination, not a reason to avoid it altogether.
Moreover, the Commonwealth argued Djokovic’s reliance on the Tennis Australia exemption letter was misguided, and ultimately he did not provide sufficient information to justify entry without vaccination.
The medical exemption from Tennis Australia was a matter of significant disagreement between the parties. In the hearing, Kelly seemed to show some deference to Djokovic’s argument, saying: Here, a professor and an eminently qualified physician have produced and provided to the applicant a medical exemption. Further to that, that medical exemption and the basis on which it was given was separately given by a further independent expert specialist panel established by the Victorian state government […] The point I am agitated about is, what more could this man have done? The Commonwealth argued that irrespective of what Tennis Australia or the Victorian government may have decided, it is the federal government’s decision whether a visa ought be cancelled on public health grounds.
And this highlights the significant powers of the federal government in immigration matters, and that ultimately, according to the government’s court filings, there is “no such thing as an assurance of entry by a non-citizen into Australia”.
What could happen next Both sides agreed late in the day Djokovic hadn’t been given enough time to respond to the notification to cancel his visa. He was informed by border officials he would have until 8:30am on Thursday to respond, but his visa was cancelled at 7:42am. On this basis, Kelly ordered Djokovic to be released.
But the government’s lawyer immediately foreshadowed Hawke would consider using his personal power to cancel Djokovic’s visa again.
If such a decision is made, we should expect further litigation. Kelly said he expected to be “fully informed in advance” if he is required for future proceedings, ominously observing “the stakes have risen rather than receded”.
Kelly also noted Djokovic could be barred from re-entering Australia for three years if the personal power of the minister was used, though reports suggested this exclusion period could be waived.
For now, Djokovic is a free man. But it remains to be seen whether he will be spending the next few days on a tennis court or back in a federal court.
Also Read : Ashleigh Barty secures two podium finishes at Adelaide International 1
News Source : PTI
Sania-Nadiia pair enter semifinals of Adelaide International
Adelaide, Jan 6 (Tennis News) India's Sania Mirza and her Ukrainian partner Nadiia Kichenok entered the women's doubles semifinals of the Adelaide International 1 WTA event after beating American Shelby Rogers and Heather Watson of Great Britain in a hard-fought contest here on Thursday.
Sania and Nadiia got the better of their rivals 6-0 1-6 10-5 in a quarterfinal tie that lasted 55 minutes.
The Indo-Ukranian duo will now face Australia combination of Ashleigh Barty and Storm Sanders in the last-four round of the WTA 500 event.
Sania and Nadiia had earlier knocked out second seeds Gabriella Dabrowski and Giuliana Olmos 1-6 6-3 10-8 in the first round.
The Adelaide event is a tune up tournament for the Australian Open, starting January 17 in Melbourne.
Also Read : Novak Djokovic moved to quarantine hotel after being denied entry into Australia
News Source : PTI
Novak Djokovic moved to quarantine hotel after being denied entry into Australia
(Tennis news) Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic has been moved to a quarantine hotel in Melbourne after being denied entry into the country when his visa was cancelled by border force officials at Melbourne airport. The 20 time Grand Slam winner was forced to stay at the airport overnight and was told he would be removed from the country later on Thursday. Djokovic’s injunction request against the visa cancellation was listed for hearing at 4pm (0500 GMT) in the Federal Circuit and Family Court.
In a televised media briefing, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said “There are no special cases, rules are rules. We will continue to make the right decisions when it comes to securing Australian borders in relation to this pandemic. Our strong border policies have been critical to Australia having one of the lowest death rates in the world from COVID, we are continuing to be vigilant.” On Wednesday, Prime Minister Morrison had reiterated that Djokovic would be “on the next plane home” if his evidence for a COVID-19 exemption proved to be unsatisfactory.
The saga has gained international and political interest with the Serbian president Aleksandar Vucic claiming harassment of its star player. Vucic said “I just finished a phone conversation with Novak Djokovic. I told our Novak that the whole of Serbia is with him, and that our authorities are taking all measures to stop the harassment of the best tennis player in the world in the shortest possible period. In accordance with all norms of international public law, Serbia will fight for Novak Djokovic, for justice and truth."
The 34 year old announced on Tuesday that he would be travelling to Australia on an "exemption permission" but was held in isolation upon arrival after attempting to enter the country on a visa that did not allow medical exemptions for those unvaccinated against COVID-19. An Australian Border Force statement read: "The ABF can confirm that Mr Djokovic failed to provide appropriate evidence to meet the entry requirements to Australia, and his visa has been subsequently cancelled. Non-citizens who do not hold a valid visa on entry or who have had their visa cancelled will be detained and removed from Australia. The ABF can confirm Mr Djokovic had access to his phone."
Djokovic has won the Australian Open nine times, including the last three years. The 34 year old was hoping to surpass Roger Federar and Rafael Nadal by winning his 21st career Grand Slam title at the start of the tennis calendar but as things stand, the prospect looks unlikely.
World No. 18 Karatsev is the headline of the 4th Tata Open Maharashtra
(Tennis news) Defending champ Vesely and India’s Bhambri receive direct entry into single main draw for the Tata Open held in Pune. World number 18 Aslan Karatsev and defending champion Jiri Vesely will be eyeing the title alongside seven other Top-100 players as South Asia’s only ATP Tour tournament Tata Open Maharashtra gears up for a much-awaited comeback with an action-packed fourth edition, scheduled at the Balewadi Stadium in Pune from January 31 to February 6.
The Tata Open is one of Asia’s longest running tennis tournaments and will be in its 26th year, as they will return after a year’s break due to COVID-19 pandemic. The Maharashtra State Lawn Tennis Association (MSLTA) will be hosting the prestigious tournament, which is sponsored by Tata Group, in association with the Government of Maharashtra.
The 28-year-old Russian Karatsev had a phenomenal 2021, he became the first-ever player to reach the semi-finals on Grand Slam debut in Australia, bagged two singles titles and his highlight of last year would be defeating tennis great Novak Djokovic, he also went to win the mixed-doubles silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics. Hailed as Russia’s “secret weapon” by teammate and World No. 2 Daniil Medvedev during their team’s 2021 ATP Cup triumph, Karatsev will be eager to carry forward a sensational run and make his mark on debut at Tata Open Maharashtra and by winning this prestigious tournament.
“We are thrilled to announce the return of this prestigious tournament. It has a rich legacy of having top players from across the world participating in it and the upcoming edition will be a testament of the same tradition. Despite the challenges and the pandemic, we are glad to see such a good response with players coming from the world over. We promise to bring yet another edition with a high-voltage action for the fans,” said Prashant Sutar, Tournament Director of Tata Open Maharashtra.
With a stiff cut off at 149, the country’s premier ATP 250 event will also witness some of the experienced names as well as promising young guns from the tennis world such as Australia’s John Millman, Portugal’s best tennis player of all time Joao Sousa and teenage sensation Lorenzo Musetti.
The 19-year-old Musetti made the headlines last year when he became the youngest player to break into the Top-100. In his short career so far, the young Italian star has impressed everyone with his consistent match-winning performances against the Top-10 players including Stan Wawrinka, Grigor Dimitrov and Kei Nishikori. India’s Yuki Bhambri will also kickstart his campaign in the main draw with a protected ranking. After recovering from an injury, Bhambri is currently preparing for the upcoming Australian Open.
Czech Republic star Jiri Vesely, who ended his 5-year long wait for a singles title in the last edition, will be presenting a strong challenge on his comeback into the city. Former Youth Olympics champion Kamil Majchrzak, Moldova’s first-ever ATP singles title winner Radu Albot and World No. 62 Gianluca Mager are the other notable names from the acceptance list.
The qualifying draws will take place on January 30 and 31.
“We had worked really hard to bring back this tournament. I would like to thank all the stakeholders for their continuous support, throughout. We are aware of the challenges ahead but we are ready to tackle them all, strategically. MSLTA have successfully conducted a few tournaments recently and I believe we can pull this off too. Safety of the players as well as others involved is of prime importance to us and, as organisers, we will not compromise on that. We will be strictly following the government’s Covid-19 guidelines to bring yet another successful edition,” MSLTA Secretary Sunder Iyer said.
Ramkumar-Bopanna enter quarterfinals in Adelaide
Adelaide, Jan 5 (Tennis News) India's Ramkumar Ramanathan and Rohan Bopanna entered the men's doubles quarterfinals of the Adelaide International 1 ATP tournament with a hard fought win over their rivals here on Wednesday.
In the ATP 250 men's event, the Indian combination of Ramkumar and veteran Bopanna, pairing up together for the first time on the ATP tour, had to dig deep to stun the eighth seed American duo of Nathaniel Lammons and Jackson Withrow 6-7(4) 7-6(3) 10-4 in a super tie-breaker in the second round.
The Indians had earlier trounced American Jamie Cerretani and Brazilian Fernando Romboli 6-2 6-1 in the opening round on Tuesday.
They will face the winner of another pre-quarterfinal match between the French-Monegasque duo of Benjamin Bonzi and Hugo Nys and the Belgian combination of Sander Gille Joran Vliegen.
In the women's WTA 500 event here, India's Sania Mirza and her Ukrainian partner Nadiia Kichenok overcame a first-set thrashing to knock out second seeds Gabriella Dabrowski and Giuliana Olmos 1-6 6-3 10-8 on Tuesday.
They now await the winner of the match between Australian duo of Priscilla Hon and Charlotte Kempenaers-Pocz and American-British pair of Shelby Rogers and Heather Watson in the women's doubles quarterfinals.
The Adelaide event is a tune up tournament for the Australian Open, starting January 17 in Melbourne.
Also Read : Novak Djokovic confirms participation in 2022 Australian Open
News Source : PTI
Novak Djokovic confirms participation in 2022 Australian Open
(Tennis news) After more than a month of suspense, Novak Djokovic has finally confirmed that he will be playing at the 2022 Australian Open. Djokovic’s status has been under the scanner over the past few weeks as many players were withdrawing from injury but in his case it was a complicated scenario. News broke out a few hours ago about the medical exemption he received to play at the Grand Slam.
The world number 1 two years ago had publicly stated that he wouldn’t want to be forced to take the vaccine inorder to travel. Although since the pandemic, people have been encouraged to take the vaccine as it is one’s wish to finally take the shot or not and it is a personal choice. The travelling restrictions are there globally and the vaccination has been acting like a pass which confirms that the individual is abiding by the rules set by the lawmakers.
The organisers have said that there is no special treatment the Serbian received as due process was followed inorder to confirm his participation. "Fair and independent protocols were established for assessing medical exemption applications that will enable us to ensure Australian Open 2022 is safe and enjoyable for everyone," Tournament director Craig Tiley said. "Central to this process was that the decisions were made by independent medical experts and that every applicant was given due consideration."
Djokovic had tested positive two years ago when he organised an exhibition event at Zadar, Croatia. For a person who has already been affected by the pandemic, it should be easier to understand as to why the orgainsers stressed upon the vaccination. Taking the shot is a personal choice until it involves the public, no person should be put in danger just because of a personal decision. When the individual can pose a risk to other players then his personal reservations are not justifiable.
There has been criticism regarding the decision, if Djokovic can talk about the exemption then the audience will be able to get a clearer picture. Australia has been struggling to control the pandemic especially in the present situation as they have crossed the 5 lakh mark. When a place is affected by a pandemic then a top tennis star who has been private about his vaccination status gets allowed to participate is obviously not a very welcoming decision. Again only if Djokovic can explain on what conditions did he receive an exemption then it will be confirmed but until then there will be an angry audience especially in Australia.
The 20 time Grand Slam winner will be aiming for his 10th Australian Open title and 21st overall. Things will unfold in the next few days as the event will start on 17th January and Djokovic will be expecting hostility from the crowd but he will play as he has his own targets to achieve.
Samantha Stosur to play last singles match at Melbourne
(Tennis news) Samantha Stosur has announced she will retire from singles after the Australian Open. The 37 year old has over 600 career wins and has played 1000 matches on tour in singles. Stosur turned professional in 1999 then four years later won her first match on the WTA tour, she reached the semifinal for the first time in a Grand Slam at Roland Garros. She went on to reach the final next year but lost to Francesca Schiavone.
The former world number 4 won her biggest singles title in 2011 at US Open, defeating Serena Williams in the final. In 2012, she reached semis in Roland Garros and quarters at US Open after which her form dipped. Stosur’s last success in singles was in Roland Garros where she reached the semifinals in 2016 where she lost to eventual champion Garbine Muguruza. Stosur has won 40 matches at Roland Garros dating from 2004 to 2019.
"I’m so excited and very grateful to play in my 20th [Australian Open] in a couple of weeks time. A huge thank you to Tennis Australia for giving me this opportunity to finish my singles career at my home Grand Slam," Stosur wrote in an Instagram post.
"It really means a lot to me to be able to finish in front of my family, friends and Aussie fans who have stuck by me through thick and thin. I’m sure it’s going to be a mix of emotions but I wouldn’t want it any other way as I always thought I’d finish playing in Australia."
Stosur is currently ranked No. 382 in the world and received a wild card to play in her 20th career main draw in Melbourne. She made her debut here 2 decades ago when she was a 17-year-old. Although she has not been very active in singles , Stosur is 16th in the doubles ranking. She has reached the finals of all the four majors in doubles and is yet to win at Wimbledon.
Stosur won the US Open with Zhang Shuai last year which was her fourth Grand Slam title in women's doubles. The previous season also saw her finish as runner up at Melbourne with Matthew Ebden in mixed doubles. In the mixed doubles, Stosur has reached the last eight in all four majors, she has won at Australia and twice in Wimbledon.
Novak Djokovic looking to keep next gen waiting in 2022 season
(Tennis news) Novak Djokovic is on the edge of breaking more records in the 2022 season. Djokovic will not be playing at the ATP Cup and will be eager to make his return at the 2022 Australian Open. He has played 62 matches this year and only lost 7 of them including a 27-1 record at the Grand Slams.
Djokovic’s 2021 season was a constant reminder that the next gen will have to pull off a near impossible stunt to take the Grand Slam titles away from the big three. The Serbian won his record 9th Australian Open for a hat trick of victories at Melbourne. Djokovic had an early exit at Monte Carlo as Daniel Evans handed him the first defeat of the season, at Belgrade it was a semifinal exit and Aslan Karatsev did not hesitate in a three setter match.
The world number 1 then met his arch rival Rafael Nadal at Rome in the final as it took almost 3 hours when Nadal finally lifted the trophy. It was the Spaniard’s 28th victory over Djokovic and was trailing by one in their career head to head meetings. Djokovic then got a second chance at home as he won his second title of the season, at Roland Garros the 34 year old became the first man to defeat Nadal twice at the event. Djokovic recorded his 30th victory over the king of clay and went on to win the title after losing the first two sets against Stefanos Tstisipas.
Djokovic then moved on to grass as he was one Grand Slam away from equalling Roger Federer and Nadal’s record of 20 titles. Although he looked a bit hungover from clay madness as he dropped the first set in the opening round against world number 253 Jack Draper but did not drop a set after that until the final. The record books had to be edited as Djokovic won his 20th major.
Djokovic was aiming to repeat Steffi Graf’s Golden Slam in 1988, his hopes took a huge hit when Alexander Zverev defeated him in the semifinals of the Tokyo Olympics. The 20 time major winner was visibly upset in his bronze medal match, even throwing the racquet at one point as the pressure took a toll on the champion. His next stop was at US Open, he got the Tokyo revenge over Zverev in the semifinals but Daniil Medvedev got his for the Australian Open loss. Medvedev played so well that even Djokovic’s cheeky smile disappeared and he lost the opportunity to be in the likes of Rod Laver who was the last one to win a calendar slam four decades back.
Djokovic got the final laugh over Medvedev at Paris Masters but his all year charm was turned to dust at the US Open. Although he was on top this year, the pressure has affected him to the extent that he was in tears in the middle of the match against Medvedev in the final at US Open. The record breaking run came to an end which clearly devastated Djokovic, a similar picture was painted earlier when Federer lost the Melbourne final to Nadal in 2009 as it moved the Swiss player to tears.
The 2022 season has mainly two targets. The first one is to stop the big three from winning any more Grand Slams and the second is for the big three to win a few more until they bid farewell from the game. A few more heartbreaking victories can hurt the big three more than any physical injury as the next gen will be focused on starting a new era and the time has come.
Sinner and Berrettini boost Italy's chances of maiden title at ATP Cup
(Tennis news) The third edition of the ATP Cup is due to start from January 1st 2022 as the 16 teams have been divided into four groups. Former champions Serbia will be without Novak Djokovic as defending champions Russia are also without Andrey Rublev, Aslan Karatsev and Evgeny Donskoy. There are strong chances for the third time that a team will get its maiden trophy. Italy seems to be one of the favourites as they have their top players participating. Here are the top four teams to watch out for at the season opening tournament.
Italy: Group B
The strongest team in the event has four players in top 40 including two players in the top 10 and a doubles player ranked in the top 25. Among the top three ranked singles players, the oldest is Lorenzo Sonego who is 26 as the youngest is Jannik Sinner aged 20. Sinner and Matteo Berrettini will be leading the attack in singles as Simone Bolelli can team up with Sonego or Fabio Fognini for the final blow in doubles.
They can run into trouble against Daniil Medvedev when they play against Russia other than that Italy can finish as table toppers or can come second behind Russia. Group B will be one of the most competitive as compared to the rest of the groups as France and Australia will take every opportunity they get.
Great Britain: Group C
Britain has a complete set up for singles and doubles as they have seasoned players to stir up trouble. Cameron Norrie alongside Daniel Evans will be on the singles front while Joe Salisbury and Jamie Murray will be up for the doubles matches. Norrie has been the top player on his team this season and if the matches go till the decider then their doubles pair are also capable of making a comeback.
They can face tough competition from Germany as Alexander Zverev will be making the move in singles, Canada can pose problems with Felix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov forming a match winning singles combination. Britain will also be facing the US team which can field Taylor Fritz and out of form John Isner in their attack; they also have doubles multiple Grand Slam winner Rajeev Ram and next gen star Brandon Nakashima.
Spain: Group A
Spain will be playing without their hero Rafael Nadal but has Tokyo Olympics Bronze medalist and world number 20 Pablo Carreno Busta who is ranked just one below Roberto Bautista Agut. Their singles squad looks to be sorted but the doubles pair will have to be tested as youngsters Alejandro Davidovich Fokina and Pedro Martinez will have to provide support for the team.
The seniors in the team will have to do double duty as it will get tiring but if their singles matches go well then the workload will vanish. They will be up against Chile in the opening match as Spain will also play against Norway and Serbia.
Argentina: Group D
The team has the oldest players on their side with their youngest player being 29 years old. Diego Schwartzman and Federico Delbonis can be in the singles tie as Federico Coria can also walk in for crucial points. Their senior most player, Maximo Gonzalez aged 38 will be working his magic in doubles with Andres Molteni, the team has work to do but has the strongest chance to top Group D.
Argentina will be facing Greece, Poland and Georgia as their doubles pair will hold the final call on crucial matches. Stefanos Tsitsipas will be on top of Greece as Hubert Hurkacz will do the same for Poland but both the players don’t have enough support and experience like Argentina. The 2022 season will start in grand fashion as 16 countries will battle with each other and one will walk away with the trophy after 9 days of combat on court.
Novak Djokovic and Andrey Rublev withdraw from ATP Cup
(Tennis news) The ATP Cup groups and list of players were released on Wednesday as the latest updates saw many changes take place. Novak Djokovic will not be playing the event along with Andrey Rublev. Rublev had tested positive for COVID-19 a few days ago and will need to complete isolation before he comes back to court as even Rafael Nadal and Denis Shapovalov had also tested positive after playing the Abu Dhabi exhibition event.
Djokovic had beaten Rafael Nadal in the final of the inaugural edition last year. The world number one last played at the Nitto ATP Finals where he lost in the semifinals to Alexander Zverev who went on to win for a second time. Djokovic had a record breaking year by reaching the finals of the four Grand Slams and losing only at the US Open to give Daniil Medvedev his first major.
The Serbian is expected to play at the 2022 Australian Open as the vaccination rules keep him in doubt. Meanwhile at the ATP Cup, Serbia will be led by Dusan Lajovic as the team will find it tough without its top player. Things have got tougher for defending champions Russia as Andrey Rublev, Aslan Karatsev and Evgeny Donskoy have pulled out of the event; Daniil Medvdev will lead the field along with Roman Safiullin and Evgeny Karlovskiy.
“We have all been giving our best in the past days,” said Lajovic. “I'm looking forward to competing with these guys together by my side. Obviously, there are some tactical differences and pressure-wise, but at the end of the day, you've got to go out there, play your match and try to win.”
Meanwhile Andrey Rublev said, "I want to share some news with you. I am currently in Barcelona and unfortunately tested positive for COVID-19. I have minimal symptoms. I am in isolation and following all the protocols under the supervision of doctors. As you know, I am fully vaccinated and was preparing for tournaments -- ATP Cup and Australian Open. Now I have to recover and I will go to Melbourne only when it will be safe for everyone. I am very upset and concerned about what is happening. I will return to the court as soon as possible," added the world number 5
Russia were the strongest team this year as they also won the Davis Cup a few weeks back. Rublev had reached four finals this year including his first final in a Masters 1000 as he did it twice. The Russian had reached the quarterfinals of the Australian Open earlier this year which was his third consecutive last eight appearance after the US Open and Roland Garros last year.
Austria will not be playing this time with the withdrawal of Dominic Thiem and Dennis Novak as France will be a replacement. Austria had lost both the matches it played this year as in the previous edition it played three matches and won one. France this year lost their first match but won the second one against Austria, last year they won their first two matches and lost the third match to South Africa.
Dominic Thiem adds more woes with withdrawal from 2022 Australian Open
(Tennis news) Dominic Thiem has announced that he won't be taking part in the 2022 Australian Open. Thiem has been battling with a wrist injury since June this year, he had last played at Mallorca where retiring midway in the opening match against Adrian Mannarino. He has only played 18 matches this season and will see his ranking drop once he comes back in action at the end of next month.
"As you all know, I came back home to Austria to recover after the hard practice sessions I had in Dubai and the slight setback in my preparation. I am now feeling well again, my wrist is in optimal conditions and I am practicing normally with a very good intensity", said Thiem.
"After the short holidays, my team and I have assessed all matters and we have decided to make some changes to my initial tournament schedule: I will start the season in South America at the Cordoba Open in Argentina, end of January, and therefore I will not play this year at the Australian Open in Melbourne, a city that I love and where I have great memories of unforgettable matches in front of amazing crowds. I will miss the Australian fans but I will be back in 2023.”
The 2020 US Open champion will miss the Australian Open for the first time since making his debut in 2014. He had reached the finals last year by defeating Alexander Zverev and Rafael Nadal on the way, Novak Djokovic defeated Thiem in the final as the Serbian came back from a 2-1 set deficit in a four hour match. Thiem’s absence will also mean Austria taking a backseat at the ATP Cup as World number 119 Dennis Novak will be leading the team.
The 28 year old also won his first Grand Slam last year at the US Open and at Roland Garros he reached the quarterfinals to cap off the year as the world number 3. His current rank is 15 which will see a further fall after the first three three weeks in January. He was playing his 10th year on tour this season and failed to reach a final including a shock first round exit at Roland Garros.
Thiem has now joined Roger Federer, Milos Raonic, Stan Wawrinka as the list continues to grow for the 2022 Australian Open. Nadal so far has not given statements about missing the Slam although he tested positive a few days back. There are also questions looming about Novak Djokovic’s participation especially regarding the vaccination rules for the players entering the event. The 2022 Australian Open is set to start from 17th January as the next gen players will again play in a similar situation like the 2021 US Open.
Andy Murray receives wildcard for 2022 Australian Open
(Tennis news) Andy Murray is back in the Australian Open after two years, he last played in 2019 where he lost the opening round to Roberto Bautista Agut in a four hour marathon. Murray will be playing the Australian Open for the 14th time next year and is 2 victories away from 50 career wins at the first Grand Slam of the year.
“I’m really excited to be back playing at the Australian Open and grateful to Craig and the team for the opportunity," Murray said in a statement. "I’ve had some great times in Australia playing in front of the amazing crowds and I can’t wait to step back out on court at Melbourne Park.”
The 34 year old had one of his best streaks here a decade ago as from 2010 to 2016 he reached the finals 5 times and reached the quarterfinal and semifinal once. The Scot reached two consecutive finals twice in 2010,11 and in 2015,16; Novak Djokovic defeated him in four of the five finals while Roger Federer defeated him in the 2010 final.
Murray has been making a comeback since his hip surgery which almost brought down the curtains in his career after the 2019 event. The three time Grand Slam winner has shown strength in the toughest phase of his career as currently only Djokovic out of the big four has not suffered major injuries so far. Murray, Nadal and Federer are recovering from injuries as Federer won’t be seen in action this time.
More wildcards will be announced soon by the organizers as the five time finalist did have some convincing victories this year. He defeated Jannik Sinner, Hubert Hurkacz, Carlos Alcaraz and the list will grow next year. Murray played 29 matches this year same as Rafael Nadal and won 15 of them as Nadal had 24 wins. Nine more victories will give Murray 700 career wins which is the fourth most amongst active players after the big three.
The former world number one has never defeated Djokovic in five of their meetings at Australia, but has defeated Federer once and Nadal twice in which the Spaniard retired hurt in the second meeting. He has not faced Nadal for over 5 years, Federer for 6 years and Djokovic in 4 years and maybe the 2022 Australian Open can bring the old days back which can inspire the new gen even more.
Jurgen Melzer, Viktor Troicki bid farewell to the sport this year
(Tennis news) The 2021 season saw many players saying goodbye to the sport and they won’t be seen once the 2022 season begins. Although only few players are left who have been playing since the early 2000’s, most of them have been affected with injuries and exited the top 100 while some of them are still in the top 50. Let's look at some players who have retired this year.
Melzer has been playing on the tour since 1999 and turned 40 this year. The left hander had 350 wins in his singles and doubles career although he last played a singles match in 2018 at Vienna. His last Grand Slam match was in the 2017 Australian Open against Roger Federer in the first round, Melzer will be remembered for his two set comeback win against Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinals of the 2010 Roland Garros. That was the only instance a player beat the Serbian from two sets down, Melzer had also beaten Rafael Nadal at the Shanghai Masters 1000 that year. Melzer reached the fourth round in all the slams and the 2010 Roland Garros Semifinal was his best result.
In the doubles event, Melzer won the Wimbledon and US Open title with Philipp Petzschner. The former world number 8 also has five singles titles and retired from the singles tour in 2018.
Dolgopolov last played a match in 2018 at Rome when he suffered a wrist injury. The Ukrainian last won a title in 2017 at Buenos Aires defeating the then world number 5 Kei Nishikori in the final. Dolgopolov was known for his unconventional strokes as his forehand and backhand were unorthodox but quite effective as it was not predictable. The 6 time tour finalist had a rock solid backhand drop shot which had a huge amount of spin that made even players like Rafael Nadal and Grigor Dimitrov give up the chase.
Dolgopolov’s biggest moment came at the 2011 Australian Open where he reached the quarterfinals defeating Robin Soderling in the fourth round in a five setter match. 3 years later at Indian Wells he took out World number one Nadal in the opening round and went on to reach the semifinals where he lost to Roger Federer. In 2015, the former world number 13 reached the semifinals at Cincinnati as a qualifier.
Troicki was last seen playing a few months in the grass courts at the Cinch Championships where he reached the fourth round. The 35 year old had won three titles in the singles tour and last won a title at Sydney five years back. Troicki, Janko Tipsarevic and Djokovic were Serbia’s leasing singles players on tour until Tipsarevic retired two years back and now Troicki joined his fellow countryman. The 2020 ATP Cup saw Serbia winning the title as Troicki teamed up with Djokovic in the final doubles rubber against Spain and in the doubles he only lost one match against Chile. Troicki was the world number 11 a decade ago and is hanging up the racquets after being on the tour for 15 years.
Paolo has been on tour since 2003 although his first and only title came in 2016 making him the oldest first time singles champion since 1990. The Italian played two main tour matches this year and was one of the most hard working professionals on tour. The 40 year old cracked the top 35 in 2017 after two runner up finishes and a fourth round appearance at the US Open.
“I would like them to remember me as a player who was trying his best every time on court and was fighting until the end,” Lorenzi said. “This was the best journey of my life. I really enjoyed every moment. Every time I was on court, it was a dream that came true.”
Stefanos Tsitsipas to comeback strong for 2022 season after injury recovery
(Tennis news) Stefanos Tsitsipas is amongst the next big four in tennis along with Daniil Medvedev, Alexander Zverev and Dominic Thiem. Tsitsipas enjoyed a career best of 55 wins in a season which was one more than his 2019 season although he won 3 titles that year compared to 2 this year.
Tsitsipas started with the year with two victories at the ATP Cup and had one of the best starts to the season by reaching the last four in 7 of the next 11 events. He reached the semifinals of the Australian Open after a 4 hour quarter final battle against Rafael Nadal in one of the best matches at the tournament and had lost to him two years ago in the semifinal. Tsitsipas was a two time defending champion at Marseille but this time made a quarterfinal exit as he was beaten by Pierre-Hugues Herbert. Tsitsipas won his first title of the season at Monte Carlo which was his second biggest title after the Nitto ATP Finals win in 2019.
Tsitsipas reached the final at Barcelona to make it two consecutive finals after his win at Monte Carlo, this time he was beaten by Nadal in three sets as the final went on for 3 and half hours. At Roland Garros, Tsitsipas reached the final for the first after beating Zverev and Medvedev on the way to set up a summit clash with Novak Djokovic. After an hour, Tsitsipas took the first set even saving a set point and went on to win the second set as he inched closer to the title but Djokovic’s mental game was too good to break. The Serbian conceded five games in the next two sets and took the final set 6-4 to win his second title of the year.
Tsitsipas then lost in the first round at Wimbledon to Frances Tiafoe in straight sets but took revenge by beating him in the third round at Tokyo Olympics and lost the next match to Ugo Humbert. Tsitsipas then beat Humbert at Toronto and went on to reach the semifinals where he lost to server Reily Opelka. At Cincinnati, he again reached the semifinals but lost to Zverev after having a 4-1 lead in the third set. In the next 6 events he failed to reach the semifinals as his season came to an end at the Nitto ATP finals where he played one match and withdrew due to an elbow injury.
Tsitsipas reached his third consecutive Grand Slam semi final at Roland Garros this year. The Greek god has a classic one handed backhand like Thiem and is one of the few players to still have it. Tsitsipas showed fearlessness against Djokovic in his debut final but could not hold onto the momentum in the final stages which happens at the big stages. Tsitsipas is currently recovering from the injury and is set to make a comeback at the start of the 2022 season.
Tsitsipas will try to get a good start at the 2022 Australian Open and maybe beat Djokovic at his favorite Slam. Tsitsipas had defeated Roger Federer in the 2019 edition and this year took out Nadal so he can target big this time. Amongst the next gen, Tsitsipas is not the best in terms of court temperament as he had some issues at the US Open where had taken too much time for toilet breaks and it did not go well with Andy Murray. Tsitsipas is only 23 and winning big titles at the expense of a few racquets has been occurring for decades now.
Thiem and Nadal cast doubts over 2022 Australian Open participation
(Tennis news) The 2022 Australian Open may have more absentees as the latest updates about Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem added doubts about their participation. Nadal has tested positive after playing at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship exhibition event in Abu Dhabi last week. The Spaniard was playing after a gap of almost 3 months, he played two matches last week against Andy Murray and Denis Shapovalov. Although he lost both the matches, Nadal was looking in shape and is now doubtful about participating in the year’s first Grand Slam.
Nadal has been playing the Australian Open since 2004 and has only missed it twice since then. He did not play in 2006 and 2013, his only title here came in 2009 while defeating Roger Federer in the final. This year, Nadal had lost in the quarter final stage to Stefanos Tsitsipas and lost to Thiem in the same round last year.
“The idea is to go there and try my best there in Australia, being 100% honest, I can’t guarantee it," Nadal said. “I need to speak with my team. It's been more than six months since the last real official match. Things are difficult and I accept that I was able to compete in both matches and even had my chances, so if we put that in perspective it’s a very positive thing.
“I went through this process unfortunately a lot of times in my tennis career but I need to practice and I need to be healthy enough to go through this process. If that happens, I’m confident that I will be back."
Meanwhile Dominic Thiem also announced that he will be missing the ATP Cup and Sydney Tennis Classic next month. His absence will be a big loss for Austria, Thiem had injured his wrist this year and was out of tour for six months. Six months back he failed to record a win at Roland Garros for the first time in his career and broke his streak of winning at least one title every season since 2015.
"I caught a cold while I was in Dubai and was unable to practice last week. I will therefore not be in the physical condition to be able to compete in the ATP Cup and Sydney ATP 250. After not competing for the last six months I cannot take the risk of coming back too early and picking up a further injury. My aim is still to play the Australian Open, but we will make a final decision on my participation by the end of December,” said Thiem.
Thiem has been featuring in the Australian Open since 2014 and reached the final last year as he lost to Novak Djokovic after taking the first two sets. The 28 year old will look to add to his US Open win last year when he comes back on tour in 2022.
Daniil Medvedev targets no 1 spot in season 2022
(Tennis news) Daniil Medvedev has been part of the next gen for the past 3 years. He got his first tour win in 2016 in Grass at Libema Open, since then he has embarked on a record breaking run on tour. Medvedev finished this year with most wins on the ATP tour as he had 63 wins. He was the only player with 60 plus wins and reached 8 finals while winning 4 of them.
Medvedev first reached the no 2 spot in rankings in March as he became the first player other than big four to take the position since Lleyton Hewitt in 2005. Medvedev had his chances at Roland Garros and Wimbledon to ascend to the world no 1 ranking but could not as Djokovic ended up winning the titles. Medvedev can become the first world number one other than the big four who have held the top spot since 2003, Andy Roddick was the last person other than the big four to become world number one 18 years ago.
Medvedev’s top moment came this year at the US Open which will forever be one of the top moments in tennis history. Medvedev was facing Novak Djokovic who was aiming to be the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to win the calendar slam. Medvedev had lost to Djokovic in the Australian Open final earlier this year in straight sets, Djokovic was the favorite given his experience and his form this year. Medvedev had 3 wins against the Serb while losing 5 in the previous 8 matches, Medvedev produced one of the most dominant performances to beat Djokovic in straight sets. It was heartbreak for Djokovic as he lost the final hurdle and it will be unsure when a chance similar to this will come next.
Medvedev also got his first victory at Roland Garros in his fifth attempt and went on to reach the quarterfinals. He also reached the Wimbledon fourth round for the first time, thus bettering his record at every Grand Slam this year. Medvedev’s breakthrough in the Grand Slam came two years ago at US Open two years where he reached the final and fought Rafael Nadal for almost five hours to take the runner up trophy.
Medvedev’s US Open victory made him the second player born in the 90’s after Dominic Thiem to win a Grand Slam title. Medvedev has now won a Grand Slam and has reached the no 2 in rankings. His next step will be to be the world number one and follow the footsteps of Roger Federer, Nadal as they are currently recovering from injuries but will be back next year. Medvedev will spearhead the next gen’s attack on the big three along with Alexander Zverev and Dominic Thiem.
Medvedev will have strong chances of becoming the world number one as he has come the closest to it than any other player in the past 15 years other than the big four. As of now, Medvedev is not plagued by injuries unlike many players even though his schedule has also been packed. Medvedev’s court coverage and baseline attack has made him one of the toughest players to beat on tour. He is 6 feet 6 inches tall but can still run and pick up tough drop shots as the 25 year old Russian is peaking at the right time. Medvedev has one clear goal for season 2022 and that is to be at the peak of the rankings.
Juan Martin del Potro expected to make comeback in 2022 season
(Tennis news) Juan Martin del Potro announced through social media that he was hoping to make a comeback on tour in the 2022 season. He last played in 2019 and has been recovering from knee injury. Del Potro has had multiple surgeries on his knee and wrist which has caused multiple breaks in his career.
"I’ve been training really hard. Some days are better than others, but always with the hope of coming back to compete early next year," Del Potro said. "It would be very special to come back to Buenos Aires and then play in Rio. As you can imagine, I’m giving my all every day so we can meet again very soon. I’ll keep you all updated with my progress. Take care.”
Del Potro's best moment on tour came in 2009 at the US Open. He became the first to defeat Roger Federer and Rafeal Nadal during the same Grand Slam. Del Potro was then 20 years old as he defeated Nadal in straight sets in the semifinal and in the final against five time defending champion Federer. Federer was only two points away from winning the title in the fourth set but Del Potro came back to win his first and only Grand Slam title. Del Potro is the only man outside the big four to win a major since the 2005 Australian Open till the 2014 Australian Open where Stan Wawrinka broke the streak. Del Potro again reached the finals at the US Open in 2018 where he lost to Novak Djokovic.
Del Potro has been one of the hardest hitters of the ball on tour. His forehands are known to reach speeds of almost 190 km/ hour and at an average of around 140 km/hour. He uses the eastern grip for his forehand and hits it flat without much wrist use. His height and long arms allows him to hit the ball even harder, he can hit hard forehands multiple times in a rally and his on the run shot has been compared to Fernando González. González is known to have one of the best forehands in tennis history as it was often used to hit powerful winners.
The Argentine is 6 feet 6 inches tall which gives him fast first serves and good reach while picking up a dropshot. His backhand is much slower than his forehand which exposes his weakness although it was much stronger in his early days before the wrist surgeries which limited the movement.
Del Potro was last seen playing in 2019 at London at Cinch Championships, he issued a walkover in the second round after falling at the net in the previous match against Denis Shapovalov. He had to undergo surgery on his right knee since then has not played a match on tour. He last won a title in 2018 at Indian wells for his first Masters 1000 title as he defeated Federer in the final.
Rafael Nadal wins Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award for the fifth time
(Tennis news) The ATP year awards came to an end with the final award winner being Rafael Nadal who won the Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship for the fourth consecutive time. He first won it in 2010 and then has been the winner since 2018. Nadal played 29 matches this year and won titles at Rome and Barcelona.
Nadal last played at Washington after which he ended the season early in August. He is currently recovering from a foot injury, the Spaniard will be seen in action in the first week of January at Melbourne. This year marked his 20th year on tour with his entry coming as a teeanger, he even won the ATP newcomer award in 2003 and 2 years later he won the most improved player of the year title.
“I can’t be happier to receive the Sportsmanship Award one more time from my colleagues on the Tour,” Nadal said. “It means a lot to me, so thanks a lot to every player that thinks that I am the right one to receive this award.
"Honestly, it means a lot to me because I try to always be correct on court. Thanks for believing in me and I wish all the very best for the 2022 season to all my colleagues on the Tour and I hope to see you soon.”
The ATP also announced the best tournaments of the year from the 250, 500 and Masters 1000 series. Qatar ExxonMobil Open was the winner in the 250 series, having won the title in 2015, 2017 and 2019. It is held in Doha at the start of the year and is played on hardcourts. Roger Federer has won it thrice with Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray winning it twice. Nadal has won the singles title once and has been a winner in doubles on four occasions.
The Erste Bank Open which has been held since 1974 won the best event in the 500 series for the first time. It is held at Vienna in October and is played on hardcourts; Alexander Zverev won the title as there have been 7 different winners in as many years. Andy Murray has won the title twice with his last title coming 2016 and Djokovic’s lone win came 14 years back. Federer had won the 2002, 2003 in which he also won the doubles in 2003.
The BNP Paribas Open also known as Indian Wells Open since it is played at Indian Wells garden. It is the first event among the nine Masters 1000 series as it is held in March but this year it was held in October due to the pandemic. It has been winning the title since 2014 except in 2020 as the event was not held for the first time because of the pandemic. Federer and Djokovic lead with 5 titles each. Nadal has won the singles event thrice and the doubles event twice with Marc Lopez.
Jenson Brooksby wins Newcomer of the year award as Federer is fan favorite
(Tennis news) Jenson Brooksby won the ATP Newcomer of the year award for his outstanding performance in 2021. Roger Federer won the fans favorite award for the 19th straight year as the 40 year old is recovering from a knee injury.
Brooksby started the year with a ranking of 314 and after 11 months he is currently ranked career best 56. The 21 year old won 15 matches this year and only had one victory on the tour prior to this year. He reached the finals at Newport and reached the semifinals in Antwerp where he defeated Reily Opelka in the opening match. Brooksby’s best came at Washington where he reached the semifinals without dropping a set and defeated Felix Auger-Aliassime, Frances Tiafoe on the way.
At the Grand Slams, Brooksby made his debut at Roland Garros and lost in the first round to Aslan Karatsev. He took revenge at the US Open by beating Karatsev in the third round and beat Taylor Fritz in round two but lost to Novak Djokovic in the fourth round. Brooksby had made his debut at the Grand Slams three years ago at the US Open. He had qualified for the Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals but had to withdraw due to an abdominal injury but he beat fellow Gen stars to win the award.
“First, after the adversity I’d faced in 2020, not being able to play any matches and just knowing what it takes to win… fighting through that adversity to win the title in my second week in South Africa. Secondly I was proud of how well I adjusted to big moments and how well I consistently did in the Challengers after winning that first title, especially in Tallahassee and Orlando during that time of the season,” Brooksby said. “I’m proud of how I’ve been committed to my process and doing the things I need to do. I know there’s still work to do in that, but I’ve made good strides this year. Third, I’m proud of how well I translated my game and my belief into the ATP Tour tournaments. I translated my game really well and I had good results starting with my first ATP tournaments.”
There was no surprise in the ATP fans favorite award as Roger Federer took home the title for the 19th straight year. Federer had only played 13 matches this year as a knee injury kept him out of the tour since July, he lost to Hubert Hurkacz at Wimbledon this year in the quarterfinals which was his last match of the season. Federer is expected to come back next season after Wimbledon.
Alexander Zverev 6 titles this season paves way for big targets in 2022
(Tennis news) Alexander Zverev has been a regular in the top ten rankings of the ATP for the past four years. The 24 year old has been winning at least one title since 2016, his breakthrough year was 2017 where he won 5 titles including two Masters 1000 events. In 2018, he kept on winning as he picked up 4 titles and his biggest title which was the Nitto ATP Finals.
Zverev won 6 titles this year, the most by a player on ATP this season. He won two Masters 1000 titles, gold at Tokyo Olympics and also finished with a second title at the year end championships. Zverev also picked up 300th career win this season at Vienna in October and finished with 59 victories, one less than his personal best of 60 wins in 2018.
The right hander is one of the most promising next gen players. He stopped Novak Djokovic in the semifinals at the Tokyo Olympics which denied the Serbian the elusive gold and also defeated Djokovic again at the semifinals of the year end championship. Zverev is a baseliner who has a steady backhand and a powerful serve which is a hard to combat mixture in hard courts. Zverev has won titles in clay and hard courts with only grass remaining in his bucket list.
Zverev reached the semifinals of a Grand Slam for the first time last year at the Australian Open and reached the finals of the US Open. This year he reached the semifinals at Roland Garros and the US Open. He has been struggling in grass courts since beginning, at Wimbledon he has not progressed beyond the fourth round.
Zverev can target the grass courts next year as he has accomplished himself as a top player to beat in clay and hard courts. With his defense and control on court, he can land titles at grass too. Zverev has two runner up finishes at Halle and beat Roger Federer in the semifinals five years back. He will also look to win his first Grand Slam title in the 2022 season as he has been reaching the last four stages continuously over the past two years, the last German to win a Grand Slam in the ATP tour was Michael Stich at WImbledon in 1991.
Zverev will begin his quest at the 2022 Australian Open, he will look to follow Boris Becker as he has won the most Grand Slams for a German player on the ATP tour. Steffi Graff had won 22 Grand Slams which is the most by a German player and Angelique Kerber was the last German to win a Grand Slam in 2018 again at Wimbledon. History has been kind to Germany in grass and it might change Zverev’s fortune next season.
Four milestones which can be covered by the big three in 2022 season
(Tennis news) The 2022 season will begin in 16 days as players get ready for new records and challenges. The big three will also have their own targets set as Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic are expected to start on time, Roger Federer said he is expecting rest till the mid season. The three players have been on tour for a very long time especially Federer as it is going to be his 24th year on tour and Djokovic is the favorite to lead the attack after his performance this year
Roger Federer career wins record
Roger Federer currently has 1251 victories on tour and needs 23 more to eclipse Jimmy Connors record and will become the all time leader on most career wins. Over the past two years he has not played many matches as he only has 14 wins from 2020 but in 2019 he had 53 so he still has the chances of beating the record next season.
Novak Djokovic 1000th career victory
Djokovic has been on tour for the past 18 years and has had 989 career wins. He can become the 5th player to record 1000 career wins and the last player to do so was his arch rival Nadal. Djokovic needs 11 more victories which he can do for sure, he is 39 matches behind Nadal and both are expected to start the 2022 tour at the same time.
Nadal reaching a final for the 19th consecutive year
Nadal has been reaching at least one singles final since 2004 and will be his 19th consecutive year if he reaches a final in the 2022 season. Nadal is only behind Federer who has reached a final for 20 consecutive years and the Spaniard leads in the title records as he has been winning a title every year since 2004. Only Djokovic and Nadal have been winning a title for more than 15 consecutive years as the Serbian has been winning a title since 2006.
21st Slam in line
This is the milestone which the three will equally focus on as they look to become the first man in history to win 20 or more Grand Slams. Although Djokovic is the one in form, his US Open final loss this year is a sign that the record might take more time. Nadal will savor his chances on Roland Garros and Federer will look for Wimbledon success as Djokovic is a threat now in all the four. The next gen will give us more surprises as they are getting stronger in each tournament.
Rafael Nadal and Domnic Thiem look to start strong in 2022 season
(Tennis news) The 2022 season is only 23 days away as many stars had to take leave early this season due to injuries. Bianca Andreescu, Serena Williams and Roger Federer have already said that they won’t be playing the Australian Open next year. The calendar for next also has seen some changes in the order of events as it is tightly packed especially in the first half with the inclusion of the ATP Cup. Many top players did not play the entire 2021 season and given below are the top four players who withdrew early from the ATP tour this year.
Federer has only played 13 matches this year with Wimbledon being his last tournament. The 20 time Grand Slam winner is 40 years old and one of the oldest players on tour. He underwent a third knee surgery in August after having two of them done last year. He also won’t be playing at the 2022 Australian Open and will mostly return mid season. He is currently ranked 16 having last won a title two years ago in Basel.
Nadal played 29 matches this year and lost just five of them. He last played at Washington, losing to Lloyd Harris in the fourth round and then underwent treatment in his foot as he called off the season. The Spaniard won two titles this year and will next be seen at the Australian Open where he and Novak Djokovic will be battling for a record 21st Grand Slam title.
The 28 year old had a disappointing season having played 18 matches and missing out on the second half of the ATP calendar. Thiem last played at Mallorca Open where he suffered a wrist injury which led him to retire in the first round against Adrian Mannarino. He had won his first Grand Slam title at the US Open last year, becoming the first player born in the 90’s to do so. Thiem is expected to return at the 2022 Australian Open, he was the runner up last year losing to Djokovic.
Wawrinka has a lot to cover next year as his ranking dropped to 64 places and is currently ranked 82 in the world. He played 6 matches this year and was seen at Doha in March after undergoing a surgery on his foot. Wawrinka again had to undergo a surgery in June and his name was not on the list for Australian Open 2022. It is not sure when Wawrinka will make his comeback on tour as the three time Grand Slam champion will be waiting to set loose his backhand on court.
Also read: AITA begins process to identify venue for Davis Cup tie against Denmark
Aslan Karatsev is the latest addition to the Russian powerhouse
(Tennis news) Aslan Karatsev had three tour level victories before playing this year and now he has ended with 37 career wins. He started the season at No. 112 in the rankings and is currently ranked 18. The 28-year-old Russian created a sensation by reaching the semifinals of the Australian Open as a qualifier, becoming the first man in the open era to reach the last four in a Grand Slam debut. He defeated Diego Schwartzman, Felix Auger-Aliassime and Grigor Dimitrov on his way to the semifinal where he lost to Novak Djokovic.
Karatsev is a right hander with a two handed backhand, his aggressive style makes him lethal in hardcourts. Since he is a risk taker in most of the matches the unforced errors are winners are more. Karatsev hits the ball flat but hard down the court and at times finishes with a well set up volley. He takes the ball on the rise and does not give the opponent much time to move around the court. Karatsev is not the fastest mover on the court but has groundstrokes from both the ends which can give him winners.
While winning the title in Dubai, Karatsev earned his second top 10 win when he defeated Andrey Rublev in the semifinals. His biggest win came at Belgrade where he defeated Novak Djokovic to reach the final and lost in the final to Matteo Berrettini. He also beat Daniil Medvedev in their only career meeting at Rome Masters 1000 in the third round, Karatsev had a 16-3 win/loss record on hard courts in the first quarter of the season. In the next 12 events, he failed to reach the quarterfinals until at San Diego where lost to Dimitorv in the last eight and then won at Moscow defeating Marin Cilic in the final.
Karatsev is nominated in the most improved player of the year along with Carlos Alcaraz, Cameron Norrie and Casper Ruud. Karatsev is the oldest of the four as he is 28 but along with two singles titles and a runner up, he also won one doubles title at Doha along with a runner up finish in Indian Wells all with Andrey Rublev. The ATP cup was also won by Russia where Karatsev played in the doubles but lost all the three matches he played.
Karatsev is currently playing doubles at the Davis Cup for Russia and has won all the three matches he has played so far with Rublev. Russia will be playing against Germany today in the semifinals of the Davis Cup and will look to win a third title. It has been a great year for Russian tennis fans as there are two players in the top five and a total of four players in the top 30.
Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic steer Croatia into the final of the Davis Cup
(Tennis news) Croatia entered the final with a win over Serbia as the doubles pair of Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic won the final match for the team at Davis Cup. Borna Gojo won the first tie against Dusan Lajovic for his third victory in as many matches to give Croatia the first point of the match. In the second match, Novak Djokovic annihilated Marin Cilic for his 18th win over the Croatian in 20 matches as the semifinal was back on track. In the final match, Mektic and Pavic were just too good for Djokovic and Filip Krajinovic as Serbia’s run came to an end.
Borna Gojo was once again the hero of the match as he continued playing above his standards. Borna had leads at the start of all the three sets against Lajovic, in the first set Borna was leading 4-2, 40-0 until Lajovic came back into the match like a madman to take the first set. Overcoming heartbreak, Borna gave life to the Croatian supporters as he took the second set and then went on to do the same in the final set as it was 1-0 for Croatia.
In the second match, Novak was playing like he had played all year, something only few players could handle as Cilic found no way out as he lost in an hour to give Serbia the point and make it 1-1. The doubles match started with Pavic and Mektic as favourites as they have been the top doubles this pair and were against Djokovic and Krajinovic. The favourites did not give the Serbian supporters a ray of hope as they demolished the pair to win the final match and reach the final which will take place on Sunday.
Croatia defeated Serbia 2-1
Borna Gojo defeated Dusan Lajovic 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, Djokovic defeated Cilic 6-4, 6-2, Mektic and Pavic defeated Djokovic and Krajinovic 7-5, 6-1.
Russia will face Germany in the second semi final which will take place today. The Russians are the clear favourites as in the last match, they took only three hours to beat Sweden while Germany had to play all the three matches against Great Britain. Andrey Rublev’s victory in the first match will help them seal the tie as Daniil Medvedev is in great form, if Rublev is defeated then the doubles match will be in favour of Germany as Kevin Krawietz and Tim Puetz have won their last three matches.
Aslan Karatsev and Rublev played twice in the group stage against Spain and Ecuador and even though the pair won in three setters, it will be difficult against the Germans. Rublev’s all three matches have gone till the third set, there will be pressure on him but is expected to win the tie for the team. Germany can win the tie which is unlikely if they win the first tie against Rublev and then win the doubles match. Prediction Russia 2-0, 2-1.
Russia seals semifinal spot with victory over Sweden in Davis Cup
(Tennis news) Russia seems to be having no trouble as of now as they only needed 3 hours to beat Sweden for a place in the semifinal of the Davis Cup. Russia didn’t have to play the third rubber as the doubles team can get the maximum rest, Andrey Rublev looked a bit out of form in the second and third set in the opening match as he was stretched by Elias Ymer who is 166 places below him. In the second match, Daniil Medvedev beat Mikael Ymer in just over an hour as Mikael even broke the World number 2 a couple of times but did not pose a major issue.
The results were as expected in both the matches but Rublev survived a scare in the second and third set. In the first set, Elias was aided by huge forehands as he took a 2-1 lead but an unforced error in the 4th game prevented him from breaking Rublev who seized the opportunity with 5 consecutive games to take the set. In the second set, Rublev was down 0-2 as Elias played like a top 50 player with quality groundstrokes to keep the Russian camp at bay.
Rublev leveled the scores with powerful serves and even went on to take a 5-3 lead as victory was just a game away but Elias took the next four games to take the set. Elias even hit service return winners as Rublev had no answer in the last few rallies of the set, Elias tested Rublev even more in the final set as both players held their serves which called for a tie breaker. In the tie break it was Rublev who had a good start and kept the momentum going his ball striking made Elias exhausted. With a backhand unforced error, it was the end of the first tie as Rublev secured victory as Russia got its first point of the match.
In the second match Medvedev faced Mikael who has been quite a player this year with a runner up finish at Winston Salem and had defeated Frances Tiafoe, Albert Ramos Vinolas on the way. Mikael also defeated Carlos Alcaraz twice this year and reached the third round at French Open and Australian Open. But in the tie against Medvedev, Mikael was down 1-3 in the first set until he won the next three games to take a one game lead over him. Medevedev took the next game to seal the first set and in the second set saw Mikael down with a 0-3 lead. Mikael fought back with two back to back games with frequent visits to the net which worked well and in the end Medvedev raced for a third straight win at the event.
Russia defeated Sweden 2-0
Rublev defeated Elias 6-2, 5-7, 7-6(7-3), Medvedev defeated Mikael 6-4, 6-4.
The first semi final will take place today between Serbia and Croatia. Serbia had to play all the three matches against Kazakhstan in the quarterfinal as Novak Djokovic won the singles and doubles to confirm the semi final place. Miomir Kecmanović will play a major part as his victory will give the team enough confidence as Djokovic showed his supremacy in the previous match and will be able to do it again. As for Croatia, their doubles team of Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic have won the last three matches but will need Marin Cilic to be in form and Borna Gojo will have to play like how he played against Italy. Predicted score is 2-0 or 2-1 for Serbia.
Also read: Novak Djokovic wins back to back matches to push Serbia into the semifinals at Davis Cup, Russia faces Sweden in quarterfinals
Nominees announced for this season’s ATP awards, Casper Ruud leading with two nominations
(Tennis news) The tennis season is now fully centered around the Davis Cup which is into its final stages. It is time to celebrate the top athletes of the year as the ATP awards have stated the nominees in each category. Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic are the big missing names in the nominees as of now as there are still other categories coming up later this month. The coach of the year will be a little hard to decide as all the nominees have achieved personal milestones in the past twelve months and the coaches will be proud of their results.
Comeback Player of the Year: The player who has come back after a serious injury and has been one among the top players on the ATP Tour. Andy Murray had won it in 2019 and Vasek Pospisil won it last year. This year Murray again has a strong chance to take the title.
Thanasi Kokkinakis, Mackenzie McDonald, Andy Murray, Jack Sock
Most Improved Player of the Year: Players who have gained a significant increase in their rankings by the season end and have played well throughout the year. Andrey Rublev won the award last year and this year Ruud, Carlos Alcaraz are the favourites to win.
Carlos Alcaraz, Aslan Karatsev, Cameron Norrie, Casper Ruud
Newcomer of the Year: On among the Next Gen ATP players who are inside the top 100 and were the highlight of the season. Alcaraz had won it last year, this year Jenson Brooksby and Brandon Nakashima look to be the favourites.
Sebastian Baez, Jenson Brooksby, Juan Manuel Cerundolo, Hugo Gaston, Brandon Nakashima
Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award: The award is for the player who has maintained high standards of professionalism and competed with respect and fairness against his opponents. Nadal is the three time defending winner of the title and has won it a total of four times.
Felix Auger-Aliassime, Rafael Nadal, Casper Ruud, Frances Tiafoe
Coach of the Year: The award is voted by coaches on tour and it describes the coach who has helped his player achieve great performances in the season. Hubert won his first Masters 1000 title this year alongside Norrie, Ruud has won five titles this year, Medvedev won his first Grand Slam of the year and Alcaraz won the next Gen ATP which gave him a perfect end to the season.
Craig Boynton: Hubert Hurkacz, Gilles Cervara: Daniil Medvedev, Juan Carlos Ferrero: Carlos Alcaraz, Facundo Lugones: Cameron Norrie, Christian Ruud: Casper Ruud.
Also read: Women’s Tennis Association suspends all tournaments in China amidst Peng Shuai
Women’s Tennis Association suspends all tournaments in China amidst Peng Shuai case
(Tennis news) The Women’s Tennis Association has announced an “immediate suspension of all tournaments in China” amid concern for Peng Shuai’s safety after the Chinese tennis player accused a top government official of sexual assault. The former doubles world number 1’s safety became an international concern a month ago when Peng Shuai was said to be missing after accusing former vice-premier Zhang Gaoli for sexually assaulting her.
The 35 year old reappeared around 10 days ago at a dinner with her friends at a children’s tennis tournament with Chinese state media journalists publishing photographs and videos of the tennis player. A statement released by WTA chairman and CEO Steve Simon emphasized that the safety of players is of paramount concern. He said “When on November 2, 2021, Peng Shuai posted an allegation of sexual assault against a top Chinese government official, the Women's Tennis Association recognized that Peng Shuai's message had to be listened to and taken seriously. The players of the WTA, not to mention women around the world, deserve nothing less.
"From that moment forward, Peng Shuai demonstrated the importance of speaking out, particularly when it comes to sexual assault, and especially when powerful people are involved. As Peng said in her post, 'Even if it is like an egg hitting a rock, or if I am like a moth drawn to the flame, inviting self-destruction, I will tell the truth about you'. She knew the dangers she would face, yet she went public anyway. I admire her strength and courage.
"Since then, Peng's message has been removed from the internet and discussion of this serious issue has been censored in China. Chinese officials have been provided the opportunity to cease this censorship, verifiably prove that Peng is free and able to speak without interference or intimidation, and investigate the allegation of sexual assault in a full, fair and transparent manner.
"Unfortunately, the leadership in China has not addressed this very serious issue in any credible way. While we now know where Peng is, I have serious doubts that she is free, safe and not subject to censorship, coercion and intimidation. The WTA has been clear on what is needed here, and we repeat our call for a full and transparent investigation - without censorship - into Peng Shuai's sexual assault accusation.
"None of this is acceptable nor can it become acceptable. If powerful people can suppress the voices of women and sweep allegations of sexual assault under the rug, then the basis on which the WTA was founded - equality for women - would suffer an immense setback. I will not and cannot let that happen to the WTA and its players.
"As a result, and with the full support of the WTA Board of Directors, I am announcing the immediate suspension of all WTA tournaments in China, including Hong Kong. In good conscience, I don't see how I can ask our athletes to compete there when Peng Shuai is not allowed to communicate freely and has seemingly been pressured to contradict her allegation of sexual assault.
"Given the current state of affairs, I am also greatly concerned about the risks that all of our players and staff could face if we were to hold events in China in 2022.
"I have been gratified by the massive amount of international support the WTA has received for its position on this matter.
"To further protect Peng and many other women throughout the world, it is more urgent than ever for people to speak out. The WTA will do everything possible to protect its players. As we do so, I hope leaders around the world will continue to speak out so justice can be done for Peng, and all women, no matter the financial ramifications.
"I very much regret it has come to this point. The tennis communities in China and Hong Kong are full of great people with whom we have worked for many years. They should be proud of their achievements, hospitality and success.
"However, unless China takes the steps we have asked for, we cannot put our players and staff at risk by holding events in China. China's leaders have left the WTA with no choice. I remain hopeful that our pleas will be heard and the Chinese authorities will take steps to legitimately address this issue."
Since then, World Number 1 Novak Djokovic has reiterated that he fully supports WTA’s decision to suspend its tournaments in China over concerns about Peng Shuai’s safety. Speaking from Madrid where the Serbian is currently participating in the Davis Cup, Djokovic said “I fully support the WTA's stance because we don't have enough information about Peng Shuai and her well-being. I think the position of the WTA is very bold and very courageous”. The tennis star has also expressed his support for the WTA to cut all lucrative business ties with China.
Novak Djokovic wins back to back matches to push Serbia into the semifinals at Davis Cup, Russia faces Sweden in quarterfinals
(Tennis news) World number one Novak Djokovic made it two in two as Serbia made its way into the semifinal of the Davis Cup where they will face Croatia. Kazakhstan made a winning start to the tie as Mikhail Kukushkin overcame Miomir Kecmanović in a three hour battle to give the first point for the team, in the second match Djokovic secured the first point in an hour. In the final match, the pair of Nikola Cacic and Novak Djokovic confirmed their place into the last four as they beat Andrey Golubev and Aleksandr Nedovyesov.
Mikhail Kukushkin gave slight hopes in the beginning as the 33 year old took the opening set in a tiebreaker which lasted 59 minutes. In the second set, Kecmanović came back to make it 1-1 and in the decider Kukushkin rose on top, even saving four match points to give the team a chance to reach the semifinals for the first time. Novak Djokovic played as expected, to beat Alexander Bublik as Bublik could only take 7 games and the tie was back into contention.
"I'm proud of my fighting spirit. We had a little drop energetically in the second set, but we managed to bounce back. The start of the third set was crucial, the first couple of games to hold our nerves, try to switch the momentum to our side and that's what we managed. I'm proud of Nikola, proud of this team and I think we deserve to be in the semi-finals." Djokovic said in his on-court interview
Nikola Cacic and Novak Djokovic took the first set against Golubev and Nedovyesov to again take the lead but it was soon over as they lost the second set. The tie was into its last set as Serbia cemented their place by taking the final set to set up a clash against Croatia.
The last quarterfinal match will be between Russia and Sweden which will take place today. Russia had won the title 2002 and 2006, Sweden on the other hand have won the title seven times. Russia will be the favorites to win as Daniil Medvedev, Andrey Rublev, Karen Khachanov and Aslan Karatsev head the field. Mikael Ymer and Elias Ymer have been very successful for the Swedish team but the Ymer brothers will have to expect strong competition from their opponents.
The expected score is 3-0 for Russia or 2-1 as Sweden has a minute chance of winning the tie. The winner of the quarterfinal will face Germany in the second semifinal on 4th december. The first semi final is on 3rd december as Serbia will take on Croatia.
Also read: Germany into the semifinals after beating 10 time champion Britain at Davis Cup
Germany into the semifinals after beating 10 time champion Britain at Davis Cup
(Tennis news) Germany followed Croatia's path to the semifinals as they shocked favourites Great Britain to reach the semifinals of the Davis Cup. Germany’s fate has been decided in the third match in the past three matches but have always managed to come through to the next round. Daniel Evans gave Britain their first point by dominating the first tie after beating Peter Gojowczyk as he conceded only three games and completed the match under an hour. The second match gave Germany the much needed win as Jan-Lennard Struff beat Cameron Norrie to level the match for the three time champion. All four players showed never ending competitive spirit and flashes of brilliant shotmaking in all the three matches. But the Germans stayed cooler under pressure to overcome their opponents. Krawietz and Puetz saved four set points in the first-set tie-break and rallied from 0/5 in the second-set tie-break to secure their victory.
In the final match, the pair of Kevin Krawietz and Tim Puetz proved to be successful yet again as they beat Joe Salisbury and Neal Skupski in straight sets. In the second set tie breaker, they were down 0-5 as Britain looked to capitalize the opportunity but failed to do so as the Germans were too high spirited.
Jan-Lennard was the first one to bring hopes for the team as he saved two set points against Norrie in the opening set tie breaker. Norrie had won his first Masters 1000 title this year at Indian Wells and was the highest ranked player from both the teams. But the world number 12 came back strong in the second set to force the match into the decider as pressure mounted for Jan-Lennard who took it like his life depended on it. The final set saw Jan-Lennard only give away two games as the scores were leveled.
The third quarterfinal match will take place today between Serbia and Kazakhstan as Serbia looks to win their second title. Kazakhstan are into their sixth quarterfinal but haven’t won a title yet, Serbia are the favourites to win. With World number one Novak Djokovic on their side, Serbia are predicted to win 3-0 or 2-1 as Alexander Bublik has been in form in the past few matches. Mikhail Kukushkin will look to continue his form from the previous match against Canada, Kazakhstan will look to gain inspiration from Croatia and Germany when they face the higher ranked Serbia.
Also read: Croatia cruises into semifinals at Davis Cup, Britain to face Germany for semi final berth
Feliciano Lopez and Carreno Busta deliver as Spain begins title defence with victory at Davis Cup
(Tennis news) Spain had lost three crucial players before the start of the match at the Davis Cup but 40 year old Feliciano Lopez gave Spain exactly what it needed as he put the first point on the scoreboard when he beat Roberto Quiroz in straight sets. Next, it was the turn of Tokyo Olympics Singles bronze medalist Pablo Carreno Busta who had a tougher battle than his team mate, he lost the first set and could not end the match early onto the third set as a tiebreaker brought things to a conclusion.
In the doubles, Busta and Marcel Granollers gave them their third and final victory in a match which lasted for almost 3 hours as it also had two tiebreaks. Spain is up against a tough Russian team on 28th November.
Spain defeated Ecuador 3-0
Lopez defeated Quiroz 6-3, 6-3, Busta defeated Emilio Gomez 5-7, 6-3, 7-6 (7-5), Busta and Marcel Granollers defeated Gonzalo Escobar and Diego Hidalgo 6-4, 6-7(5-7), 7-6(7-2).
Italy’s youngsters were on fire as they won both their singles rubber to confirm victory over USA. The first match was a clash between world number 26 Reily Opelka and world number 27 Lorenzo Sonego but it was the Italian who gave the perfect start as he defeated Opelka in straight sets. In the second match, Jannik Sinner had played at the Nitto ATP Finals a few days earlier and paid no heed to size as John Isner was bageled in the second set to confirm victory for the Italians.
In the doubles match, US Open winner Rajeev Ram paired with former US Open winner Jack Sock as they got a consolation point by defeating Fabio Fognini and Lorenzo Musetti. Italy will next play against Colombia today.
Italy defeated USA 2-1
Sonego defeated Opelka 6-3, 7-6 (7-4), Sinner defeated Isner 6-2, 6-0, Rajeev and Jack defeated Fognini and Musetti 7-6 (7-5), 6-2.
Captain Viktor Trovicki would not have expected any other result from Serbia as they won all the three matches against Austria. Austria was missing the company of injured Dominic Thiem who went out the season early and it did reflect on the team. Dusan Lajovic played a long match against Gerlad Melzer as two of the sets needed an hour to settle when he finally gave Serbia its first point. In the second match, Novak Djokovic did the complete opposite as he closed out two sets under an hour to confirm victory for Serbia and in the doubles the pair of Nikola Cacic and Filip Krajinovic added the finishing touches. Serbia is up against Germany today.
Serbia defeated Austria 3-0
Lajovic defeated Melzer 7-6(7-5), 3-6, 7-5, Djokovic defeated Dennis Novak 6-3, 6-2, Cacic and Krajinovic defeated Oliver Marach and Philipp Oswald 7-6(7-4), 4-6, 6-3.
Alexander Zverev claims his second ATP Finals title after defeating Daniil Medvedev
(Tennis news) Germany’s Alexander Zverev defeated reigning champion Daniil Medvedev 6-4 6-4 to win the ATP Finals title for the second time in four years, having previously won his first title at London's O2 in 2018. It was an upset by all means as the Russian was a heavy favourite to win this clash after defeating Zverev in their last five meetings.
The third seed had already defeated World Number 1 Novak Djokovic on Saturday and needed a flawless display against Medvedev to ensure a straight sets victory. By doing so, Zverev became the fourth player to defeat the top two players in the world in the semi-finals and finals of the season ending tournament and the first since Andre Agassi in 1990. Zverev had already faced Medvedev in Turin where the Russian defeated the 24 year old in a lengthy three set match but a repeat of such a result was not on the cards as Zverev took an early break in both the sets.
Such was his display that Zverev only dropped four points on serve in the first set and won 83% of first serve points, wrapping up the win with a fitting ace. Moreover, the fixture was an indication of what the next generation has in store as it was the first time since 2005 that the finalists were 25 years old or younger. The German has already won six titles of the year including an Olympic gold and said “I had to play one of my best matches, I'm super thrilled and super happy right now. There is no better way to end the season than to win here."
Despite not being as prestigious as the Grand Slams, the ATP Finals have always been a good indicator of future major champions as it features the eight leading male players of the year with the likes of Alexander Zverev, Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas possibly the next generation trio who can replicate the incredible achievements of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. Medvedev said as much that Zverev has the potential to become a Grand Slam champion, “He is a great player who is capable of beating anybody so he definitely can win a Grand Slam, it's just obvious, but he's not the only one and that's where it gets tough” hinting at Tsitsipas. "Is he capable? Yes. Is he going to do it? We never know,” Medvedev concluded.
Casper Ruud beats Andrey Rublev for semifinal spot at Nitto ATP Finals
(Tennis news) Casper Ruud made most of his debut at the Nitto ATP Finals as he came back from a set down to secure his first win against Andrey Rublev in their fifth meeting. Rublev started out well by breaking Ruud from the start as he took the first set and looked in form. In the second set, Ruud started unleashing forehands which even overpowered Rublev’s strokes as he threw his racquet after losing the second set.
In the final set, Ruud took the first break with an absolute controlled defense as he returned a smash by Rublev in the 7th game. Rublev came back quickly and had a breakpoint in the 11th game but could not take the lead as Casper held his serve as the match went for a tie breaker. Ruud started off well in the first few points and was leading by two points but Rublev’s attacking shots kept him in the closing distance. Casper with some well set up volleys reached matchpoint and finished it with an ace to reach the semifinals. Casper defeated Rublev 2-6, 7-5, 7-6(7-5).
Novak Djokovic joined Daniil Medvedev as he finished unbeaten on the group stage. Djokovic defeated Cameron Norrie in the final group stage match of the event, the Serbian only dropped three games on his way to maintaining a perfect record. Norrie had come as the second alternate for Stefanos Tsitsipas and lost both of his matches in the event to confirm his exit well before this match started. As for Djokovic he was already in the last four but did not give any chances to the left hander who had won his first Masters 1000 event at Indian Wells this year. Djokovic defeated 6-2, 6-1.
In doubles, Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut defeated Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares 6-3, 7-6(7-5).
Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury entered the semifinals with a win over Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah. Joe made some superhuman efforts to hit the ball back in the opening set as the par broke Cabal and Farah in the 12th game, the second set saw Cabal and Farah hitting back at the US Open champions to level the score. The final set saw an exchange of skills but it was Joe all over the place as he put the ball back in from a smash and finished the match on the first matchpoint. Rajeev and Joe defeated Cabal and Farah 7-5, 2-6, 11-9.
Casper Ruud and Andrey Rublev battle for semifinal spot at Nitto ATP Finals, Daniil Medvedev makes it three out of three
(Tennis news) Daniil Medvedev kept proving why he is a mental giant as he beat Jannik Sinner at the Nitto ATP Finals. Medvedev kept his foot on the gas and managed to break him twice as Sinner was still rusty to give him a 3-0 lead in just 11 minutes of play. It turned out to be a triple break which gave Medvedev a 5-0 lead then comfortably served for a bagel in the first set which showed the scale of Sinner's challenge against the Russian.
Much to the delight of the home crowd, Sinner won his first game after 33 minutes to enter the scoreboard at the start of the second set, but took the opportunity to build some momentum and took a 3-1 lead. Sinner went on to take the set as he held his serve and in the tiebreaker pulled out a few quick groundstrokes. In the final set, Sinner had two match points in the tie breaker but Medvedev managed to save them both and take the match with a powerful backhand winner. Medvedev defeated Sinner 6-0, 6-7(5-7), 7-6(10-8).
Alexander Zverev booked the third spot in the semifinals as he beat Hubert Hurkacz in their final group stage match. Zverev started with a 5-1 lead in just 17 minutes in the first set when winless Hurkacz was broken two times and Zverev quickly found his first serve. Hurkacz couldn't get control over the match as Zverev secured the opening set in 19 minutes but Hurkacz took advantage of a lucky net rope and pinned him down to keep at least one more game in the first set. Zverev had only missed his first serve twice in the set.
Hurkacz's serve improved a bit in the second set which allowed him to stabilize for the start of the second set, but couple of misfired forehands allowed Zverev to break him in the 9th game for a 5-4 lead as he won the final service game to win in straight sets. Zverev defeated Hurkacz 6-2, 6-4.
Andrey Rublev will face Casper Ruud in their final group match as the winner will face Novak Djokovic in the semifinal. Rublev has won all of their four meetings against Ruud and will be facing him for the third time this year. Ruud has managed to take a single set in the four meetings, he took the opening set when they met for the first time at Hamburg in 2019.
In doubles, top seeds Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic booked the semifinal spot with a win over Ivan Dodig and Filip Polasek. Mektic and Pavic defeated Dodig and Polasek 6-4, 7-6(8-6). The pair of Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballo who had first secured the semifinal spot lost their final group stage match to Horia Tecau and Kevin Krawietz. Granollers and Zeballo defeated Tecau and Krawietz 6-3, 6-7(1-7), 10-6.
Alexander Zverev and Andrey Rublev eyeing last two semifinal spots at Nitto ATP Finals
(Tennis news) Novak Djokovic was in compelling form again as he advanced to his 10th semi-final in the Nitto ATP Finals after a straight-set victory over Andrey Rublev in Turin. The Serbian didn't have everything he wanted for much of the first set as Rublev's thunderous forehand posed a lot of problems, but that all changed in 8th game as Djokovic made the most of rublev's backhand error and rushed inside to nail a cross pass and gained a crucial break. The five-time champion then served while not giving a single point to take the lead in 36 minutes before going ahead with another break to lead 2-1 early in the second set.
Djokovic's characteristic elasticity in defensive positions was once again the key as he produced a devastating pass down the stretch to outclass the world No.5 and ensure a win. Djokovic defeated Rublev 6-3, 6-2.
Cameron Norrie couldn't bring out the first set as his ATP Finals debut ended in a three set loss to Casper Ruud. Norrie has become the fourth British player to play singles in the history of the event, he has come in to replace Stefanos Tsitsipas after the Greek player pulled out of the tournament with a right elbow injury but failed to win in his debut. Norrie was eager to make the most of his opportunity and got off to a strong start and was rarely put to the test until he served for the set while defending a breakpoint before finishing the job in just 33 minutes.
In the second set, both players served strong as Norrie was the first to falter with a few unforced errors on the forehand and a failed volley which allowed the world number eight to grab the crucial breakpoint and go ahead for a final set. Ruud started to hit faster groundstrokes which put stress on Norrie's serve and paid huge dividends in the fifth game when a double fault on a third breakpoint gave the advantage to the Norwegian. Chances of victory stayed solid with Ruud from that point on as he once again got the better of the Briton by serving a tough battle in one hour and 52 minutes on his fourth match point to secure his first victory in the tournament. Ruud defeated Norrie 1-6 6-3, 6-4.
In doubles, Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah beat Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares as they will try to reach the semifinals for a third time when they face Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury in the final group match. Juan and Farah defeated Jamie and Bruno 6-4, 7-5.
US Open champions Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury were almost out of the event as they saved two match points to beat Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut. The final set saw the pair saving a matchpoint at 9-8 and at 10-9 as they will need to win their final match to stand a chance to enter the semi finals. Rajeev and Joe defeated Herbert and Mahut. 6-7(7-9), 6-0, 13-11.
Also read: Jannik Sinner makes dream debut at Nitto ATP finals, Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic suffer shock defeat
Jannik Sinner makes dream debut at Nitto ATP finals, Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic suffer shock defeat
(Tennis news) Jannik Sinner made his dream debut at the the Nitto ATP Finals with a straight set victory over Hubert Hurkacz. The 20 year old was expected to qualify for the event over a month ago but fell short of qualifying and was the first alternate for the event. He is the youngest player at the event since Juan Martin del Potro in 2008 who was at the same age when he played at Shanghai. Matteo Berrettini had to withdraw from the event which brought in another young Italian as Sinner lit up the court and was charged up by the spectators. Sinner has a chance of becoming the first alternate to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals semi-finals if he manages a win against Daniil Medvedev and if Alexander Zverev loses against Hurkacz.
Sinner was out of form in the last two events he played but was in his own world when he took over Hurkacz. Sinner broke him early on the first set and his retrieval skills also put on a show which Hurkacz couldn't decode. Sinner battled from the baseline as his groundstrokes were too powerful for Hurkacz to handle, the second set saw nothing change as Sinner continued his rampage to mark his first victory at the event. Sinner defeated Hurkacz 6-2, 6-2.
“At the moment I’m just happy about today's match. Tomorrow I will go on court to practise, and then we’ll see what’s coming,” Sinner said. “Of course, you want to go on to the semi-finals, you’re trying to do your best but on the other hand, these are the best eight players in the world. And with me, nine. Everyone is tough to beat here, so let’s see what’s coming.”
Daniil Medvedev booked his place in the semifinal with a fifth consecutive victory over Alexander Zverev. The match saw Medevedev meddling with Zverev’s defense as both of them did not want to slow down at any point. Medvedev looked for the winners as Zverev tried blocking them which made Medvedev come at the net to set things in order. The first set did not involve much hassle as Medvedev came strong from the opening game.
The second set was filled with breathtaking rallies and shots as Zverev also made few successful appearances at the net and even saved a break point in the seventh game with an overhead smash. The scores were level at 6 all as a tiebreak and Medvedev sarcastically clapped towards the crowd when he lost a point at 3-5 which gave Zverev the set point then went on to win the set. In the final set, both the players held their serve as Medvedev came back from 2-4 in the tie breaker and had two match points at 6-4 until it was Zverev’s turn to come back. Medvedev then got his third matchpoint at 7-6 as he won the set and will face alternate Jannik Sinner in the final round robin match for both. Medvedev defeated Zverev 6-3, 6-7(3-7), 7-6(8-6).
“Definitely one of the matches to remember,” Medvedev said. “When you win 8/6 in the tie-break in the third, it was 4/2 for him so I was like okay, he serves a few aces it’s done. I made it 6/4 and I was like okay, that’s my moment now. It’s back to 6/6, you get really tight, because I wanted to make a brave move on the 6/5 second serve and volley, but it didn't work out at all.
In doubles, the top seeded pair of Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic were beaten by Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos. The pair had lost to the top seeds in the final of Wimbledon a few months ago and have now booked their place in the semifinals. Zeballos denied the second set for Pavic and Mektic with two powerful serves as they will have to win the next match to stand a chance to qualify for the semifinals. Marcel and Horacio defeated Pavic and Mektic 6-4, 7-6(7-4).
Ivan Dodig and Filip Polasek kept their semifinal chances afloat as they beat Kevin Krawietz and Horia Tecau who have now lost both their opening matches. Dodig and Polasek combined strong serves and quick but precise returns as they will now face the top seeds Nikola and Mate for a place in the semifinals. Dodig and Polasek defeated Kevin and Horia 7-6(7-2), 7-5.
Novak Djokovic off to a good start at Nitto ATP Finals, Andrey Rublev knocks down Stefanos Tsitsipas
(Tennis news) Novak Djokovic has overcome many challenges and has risen up on every occasion. He did just that when he faced debutante Casper Ruud at the Nitto ATP Finals, as the opening set saw both the players exchanging long rallies and covering a lot of ground. Djokovic even had a fall in the first game but got back on his feet in no time to hit the next shot and Ruud also hit a tweener as the fireworks were present right from the beginning.
Djokovic’s defensive shields were returning every shot Ruud hit as the Serbian somehow was able to predict most of the strokes. Even though Djokovic is 12 years older to Ruud, the court coverage and the ball striking were precise and timed to perfection. Ruud also toned his groundstrokes as his patience was tested, the first set went till a tie breaker as Ruud fell short and Djokovic was halfway to victory. In the second set, Ruud could not do the same as Djokovic began building his lead as he served at 5-2 and finished the match with a wide angled serve. Djokovic now has 39 victories at the event and is second in the list alongside Ivan Lendl as Roger Federer is leading with 59 victories.
“I recovered from that fall on that breakpoint in that first game,” Djokovic said in his on-court interview. “It was very strange. I played a good forehand and came into the net and had a pretty comfortable overhead and I slipped, tripped, dropped my racquet and lost my serve. The conditions here are quite tough. If you lose your serve, it is difficult to get it back. But I managed to stay in. I am very pleased with the way I handled the match.”
Andrey Rublev beat Stefanos Tsitsipas in a one way match as Rublev’s serve added to his firepower. Tsitsipas and Rublev did not have a good run before coming at this event as Tsitsipas seemed to be worn out as the Russian did not face a single break point in the match. Tsitsipas had beaten Rublev in the finals at Monte Carlo and also met last year at ATP Finals where again Tsitsipas won.
Rublev’s serve and forehand was a successful mixture as it kept the rallies short and fast. Tsitsipas unforced errors also contributed to his loss as now the pair has split their 8 meetings with 4 wins each. In the second set, Rublev broke the Greek god’s serve in the fifth game as it gave a crucial lead once again to Rublev who kept the lead as Tstispas will wait to come in form in the next match. Rublev defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4, 6-4.
In doubles, 2019 champions Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert also made their entrance with a victory over Juan Sebastián Cabal and Robert Farah in their first match. Nicolas and Herbert defeated Cabal and Robert 7-6(7-1), 6-4.
Roger Federer likely to be ruled out of the Australian Open says coach Ivan Ljubicic
(Tennis news) 20 time Grand Slam winner Roger Federer is unlikely to participate in the Australian Open as the Swiss tennis star continues to recuperate from his knee surgery. The 40 year old has not featured in any tournaments since losing in the Wimbledon quarter-finals this year.
Speaking to Stats Perform, Federer’s coach Ivan Ljubicic said “I think there are very few chances, he is still recovering and knowing him, he wants to be sure he can play to win the tournament and be at 100 percent. So I think the Australian Open is not a real possibility right now. But he will go step by step because he is 40 years old now and he needs to be patient. He cannot recover as quickly as he used to.”
The trio of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic are tied with 20 Grand Slams each and are vying to become the most successful men's singles Grand Slam champion of all time. As things stand, only Nadal is a confirmed participant at the Australian Open with Djokovic refusing to confirm or deny his attendance until Tennis Australia reveals the health protocols of the tournament.
The Australian government has revealed that they will allow unvaccinated players to compete at the Grand Slam tournament provided they undergo 14 days of quarantine and negotiations between Tennis Australia and the government are currently ongoing about the health protocols of the tournament. Djokovic has declined to disclose his vaccination status and has said it’s doubtful he will participate in the Australian Open.
Daniil Medvedev battles past Hubert Hurkacz in Nitto ATP finals, Matteo Berrettini withdraws midway due to injury
(Tennis news) Daniil Medvedev began his title defense with a three set victory over Hubert Hurkacz on the first day of Nitto ATP Finals. Medvedev had to use his all wits to tackle Hurkacz’s volleys as the first set went to the tie breaker as Hurkacz took the set in a dream debut. Medvedev made sure that was the last hope for Hurkacz as he made no mistakes in the second set, in the final set Medvedev was determined to take the match and did what he had in mind. Medvedev joined Stefanos Tsitsipas for the second most wins this season with 55 as Alexander Zverev has 56. Medvedev defeated Hurkacz 6-7(5-7), 6-3, 6-4.
“I had zero break points to save, so in a way I was never under pressure," Medvedev said in his on-court interview. "I had only two games on Hubert’s serve where I had breakpoints. Super happy to make this work and that I managed to get both breaks.”
Alexander Zverev looked like a man on a mission as the crowd broke the sound barrier against Matteo Berrettini. The Italian found great support from the crowd as Zverev saved a matchpoint at 5-6, Zverev took it to tiebreak and took the set on the first chance. In the second set, Berrettini appeared to be in tears when he dropped the racquet after hitting a forehand into the net. A medical time out was called as the physio came in and checked his abdomen, Berrettini played one more point but he could not go play any longer. Zverev came across the net to hug Berretini as he was visibly broken and the crowd too encouraged the Italian who was making his second appearance at the event. If Berrettini is unable to play the next two matches, the second alternate Jannik Sinner will be called in for the remaining matches. Zverev defeated 7-6(9-7), 1-0.
“It is mentally really tough for me because I used to have an injury close to the same area, so it is tough to play," Berrettini said. "Also, I don’t know what it is. I have to figure out what it is and then if it is nothing really big, maybe I can play. Tomorrow with my team and the doctor I will do some checks and I hope it won’t be something that won’t let me play the next two matches.
In doubles, US Open champions Joe Salisbury and Rajeev Ram had a good start as they won against Bruno Soares and Jamie Murray in straight sets. Joe and Rajeev defeated Bruno and Jamie 6-1, 7-6(7-5). This season’s top doubles pair of Mate Pavić and Nikola Mektić recorded their 60th victory of the year as they defeated Horia Tecău and Kevin Krawietz 6-4, 6-4.
Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos recorded the first upset of the event as they defeated Ivan Dodig and Filip Polášek 4-6, 7-6(12-10), 10-6.
Novak Djokovic aiming to end season on a winning note at Nitto ATP Finals
(Tennis news) The 51st edition of the ATP Year end finals will be up and running from tomorrow as the top eight players battle for the prestigious crown. The event is held at Turin for the first time until 2025 after being in London since 2009. Hubert Hurkacz and Casper Ruud will be making their debuts this year as they grabbed the final spots a few weeks back. Hurkacz is the only player who has less than 40 match wins this season as he has 36 wins in 56 matches. Novak Djokovic at 34 will be the oldest player in the draw this year and Casper Ruud who is 22 is the youngest.
This year there are no left handers for the first time since 2018 as Rafael Nadal is out with injury and Cameron Norrie is the second alternate. The event will be played in Pala Alpitour arena with 65 percent of the capacity as the players will enjoy the spectators presence as it was not there last year. Here are the top four players to watch out for as the event begins tomorrow.
Djokovic will be keen to win a record 6th title and tie with Roger Federer for most number of titles. The Serbian is fresh off from winning a record 6th Paris title where he defeated Daniil Medvedev in the final, Djokovic can also become the oldest man to win the title since Federer won it when he was 30 in 2011. The Serbian last won here in 2015 which was the last of his four consecutive wins and is the only man to have done it. He lost to Dominic Thiem last year at the semifinals but this year his form has made him invincible on court.
Medvedev at present has the highest chances of stopping Djokovic even though he lost to him in the finals at Paris. He is the defending champion and did not lose a match last year as he defeated Djokovic in the round robin stage and went on to beat Thiem for the title. Medvedev will be eager to become the first player in 6 years to defend a title at the event. He will look to add to his US Open victory to end the year with yet another trophy.
The 2018 champion is the only player this year to have won two Masters 1000 titles and has the joint highest number of wins this season along with Stefanos Tsitsipas as they both have won 55 matches. Zverev celebrated his 300th career win last month and has had a season worth remembering. Zverev has all the machinery to become a champion.
The Greek god had won the title in 2019 which was his first appearance at the event. Tsitsipas won his first Masters 1000 title this year at Monte Carlo and also reached the finals of a Grand Slam for the first time at the French Open. Tsitsipas retired in his opening match at the Paris Masters due to a long term right arm injury and hopefully is hundred percent fit when he plays at Turin.
Carlos Alcaraz and Sebastian Korda leading the young field at Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals
(Tennis news) The Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals will begin from tomorrow as the young superstars will battle with each other for the crown. The withdrawal of defending champion Jannik Sinner has made way for Holger Vitus Nodskov Rune making his debut at the event as Felix Auger Aliassime has also skipped the event since he is playing at the ongoing Stockholm Open. This year all the 8 players will be making their debut and these are the top four players to watch out for.
The Spaniard is the highest ranked player in the field and also the youngest player. The 18 year old had reached the fourth round at Paris Masters by beating world number 9 Jannik Sinner in the third round, he also reached the semifinals at Vienna by beating Mario Berrerttini on the way. One of the rising stars this year, Carlos became the youngest quarterfinal at the US Open in the open era and can make it big here this time. Carlos won his first ATP tour title at Umag this year. Carlos is an aggressive baseliner who uses his raw power in his groundstrokes.
The 21 year old is the oldest player in the draw, Korda started the year with a runner up finish at Delray Beach and reached the quarterfinals at Miami Masters 1000. Korda won his first ATP tour title at Parma without dropping a set and went on to reach the fourth round at Wimbledon. One of the most skillful players in the draw, Sebastian can play from the baseline as well as come up on the net for some neatly played volleys.
Brandon made a breakthrough this year when he reached two consecutive finals in two weeks at Los Cabos and Atlanta. He defeated John Isner in straight sets at Los Cabos and lost to him in the finals at Atlanta, he again defeated the giant server at the US Open. Brandon also defeated Fabio Fognini at San Diego and also reached the quarterfinals at Antwerp. Brandon has the ability to play well in pressure along with returning strong serves which was clearly evident in matches against Isner.
Gaston was ranked 103 in the world before his quarterfinal run at Paris Masters which pulled his ranking to 67. He was the final player to qualify for the event and with his current form is the dark horse. Gaston has incredible court coverage although he is one of the shortest players on tour as he is 5 feet 8 inches and defeated Alcaraz at Paris which involved coming back from 0-5 to take the next seven games to win the match. Gaston is the second oldest player after Sebastian and can manage more upsets when he lands in Italy.
Novak Djokovic gets US Open revenge over Daniil Medvedev at Paris Masters, Tim Pütz and Michael Venus win doubles title
(Tennis news) It was the battle of the world’s top two players and the last time they met was at the US Open final. Novak Djokovic beat Daniil Medvedev as he took revenge for his US Open loss two months ago by winning his sixth title at the Paris Masters and a record 37th Masters 1000 title. Djokovic also became the first man to finish the year as world number for a 7th time as has beaten the existing record of Pete Sampras who had done it 6 times.
Daniil Medvedev broke Djokovic in the opening game of the match as he opened up a two game, Medvedev again broke Djokovic’s serve in the seventh game of the match which further pushed him closer to winning the set and it was done in the next two games. In the second set, Djokovic hyped up the crowd as he opened up a 4-1 lead on his way to winning the set as Medvedev smashed one ball to the crowd at the end.
In the final set, the crowd was chanting and boosting Medvedev’s confidence which proved to be futile as Djokovic broke Medevedev’s serve in intervals as he started at the trophy which he last won in 2019. Djokovic held his hands wide with a smile on his face as he won the final set and even gave his racquet to the crowd along with his armbands. Djokovic defeated Medvedev 4-6, 6-3, 6-3.
In men’s doubles, Tim Puetz and Michael Venus captured their second title of the year as they beat the 2019 champions Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut. Tim and Michael were fired up in the opening set as they took the first two games and went on to win the set as Tim smashed three overheads. In the second set, Herbert and Mahut missed a couple of chances as they were 1 or 2 points away from winning the set but in the tie break both of them did not fall prey to pressure as they won the set inviting standing ovations from the crowd.
In the final set, the scores were tied at 7 all as Tim and Michael pushed ahead with thundering forehand winners which gave them a matchpoint as Michael finished the proceedings with a high forehand volley. Tim and Micheal had lost in the 1st round at Vienna before coming here and had beaten US Open winners Joe Sailsbury and Rajeev Ram along with the US Open finalists Bruno Soares and Jamie Murray on the way to winning the title. Tim and Michael defeated Herbert and Nicholas 6-3, 6-7(7-4), 11-9.
Novak Djokovic eyeing yet another record at Paris after quarterfinal victory, Hubert Hurkacz secures berth in Nitto ATP finals
(Tennis news) Novak Djokovic was in sublime form as he beat Taylor Fritz in straight sets in the quarterfinals at Paris Masters. Djokovic will end the year as number one for the record seventh time if he manages to reach the final at Paris, he will be playing his 71st Masters semifinal and is also on the way to win a record extending 6th Paris Masters title. Fritz’s groundstrokes were timed to perfection but Djokovic played more than perfect tennis to set up a clash against Hubert Hurkacz. Djokovic defeated Fritz 6-4, 6-3.
“I was absent from the Tour for two months, coming into this tournament, and the last competitive match I played was in the US Open final, compared to the other guys playing one or two events prior to Paris,” said Djokovic. “I knew that I needed to start well, with good intensity and put in a lot of hours on the practice court. But it’s different when you get points in a competitive match."
Hubert Hurkacz secured the eighth and final berth in the Nitto ATP finals with a hard fought win over James Duckworth. Hurkacz was the first to break in the match as Duckworth sliced a backhand into the net in the fifth game as Hurkacz won the next four games to take the set. In the second set, Duckworth fought back as it went till tie break and hit a well placed backhand pass to take the set and force a decider. In the decider, Hubert did not let pressure take the driver's seat as he came into the net with some fine volleys and won the end as he stretched far enough for a backhand lob over Duckworth to enter the semifinals. Hurkacz defeated Duckworth 6-2, 6-7(4-7), 7-5.
“It feels incredible. Obviously going to Turin is a dream,” Hurkacz said. “Growing up as a kid, seeing all those top guys playing in the Finals, it’s inspiring. Now being among them, it’s very special because it’s just eight spots there, so it’s not that easy to get there.”
Daniil Medvedev was put to the test by Hugo Gaston in the opening set as he defeated the Frenchmen for a second straight semifinal at Paris. Medevedev is the defending champion at Paris and is also chasing the World number one spot. Medvedev had to face a stern test as Gaston’s defense lifted up the crowd’s spirits especially in the tiebreak as the world number 2 took the set under pressure. In the second set, Medvedev made sure he would not give any chances to Gaston as he punched a forehand winner for a place in the last four. Medvedev defeated Gaston 7-6(9-7), 6-4.
In a clash of the leading title winners this season, Alexander Zverev beat Casper Ruud in a convincing victory for German who was the runner up last year. Zverev hit a massive forehand for a crucial break point in the 11th game of the first set and then served out the set. In the second set, a couple of breakpoints early gave Zverev a four game lead over Ruud as he got a breakpoint at 4-2 but Ruud played a sensational rally to get back on board, but Zverev did not let his service go down as he won the match to set up a rematch of last year’s final against Medvedev. Zverev defeated Ruud 7-5, 6-4.
In men’s doubles, Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares upset third seeds Robert Farah and Juan Sebastian Cabal in the quarterfinals at Paris Masters. Bruno along with Mate Pavić were the runners up last year. Murray and Bruno defeated Robert and Juan 6-1, 7-5.
Tim Pütz and Michael Venus continued their run as they defeated Fabrice Martin and Andreas Mies in the quarterfinals. Tim and Michael defeated Fabrice and Andreas 7-5, 7-5. Tim and Michael had won the German Open and had reached the semifinals at the Indian Wells.
Hugo Gaston manages incredible comeback at Paris, Casper Ruud qualifies for year end finals
(Tennis news) Hugo Gaston made every shot count against Carlos Alcaraz Garfia in a match of the tournament so far at Paris. The Frenchmen was making his debut in the main draw this year as he pulled off an unbelievable comeback in the fourth round, Alcaraz was on the way to win the second set as he opened up a 5-0 lead but things went in a downward spiral aftermath. Gaston won 20 of the next 21 points to level up and then went on to win the match giving the home crowd what it wanted. The qualifier will next face Daniil Medvedev in the quarterfinals, Gaston defeated Carlos 6-4, 7-5.
“The atmosphere was incredible”, Gaston said. “Honestly, I have been playing tennis for this. It was actually incredible. It was really wonderful to live this match with them. I actually won because they supported me from beginning to the end even when I had a letdown during the first or the second set, they were always cheering me. It's incredible to have such a great public.”
Casper Ruud qualified for the Nitto ATP finals with an emphatic victory over Marcos Giron in the fourth round of the Paris Masters. Ruud has become the seventh player this year to qualify as there is one more position left for the season finale, Ruud won five consecutive games in the second set to secure the match in an hour and will face Alexander Zverev in the quarterfinals. There is one more spot left in the ATP finals as Hubert Hurkacz needs to win his quarterfinal matchup against James Duckworth to qualify for the event. Ruud will be making his debut at the season ending event this year, Ruud defeated Giron 6-2, 6-1.
"It's been an unbelievable year that will have the perfect end to the season," said Ruud. "It's been a stressful couple of weeks and months, because it’s been such a tight FedEx ATP Race to Turin. It’s been fun at the same time and so exciting to watch as a tennis fan."
Alexander Zverev recorded a third consecutive win over Grigor Dimitrov as the pair met five years after their previous meeting at Rome. Zverev took the first set in a tight tie breaker and had two match points in the second set which Dimitrov saved on his way to level the score. In the final set Zverev saved three break points in the sixth game which involved a quick backhand volley at the net to deny Dimitrov a 4-2 lead. To make things worse for the Bulgarian, Zverev broke him in the very next game and went to win the dramatic encounter. Zverev defeated Dimitrov 7-6(7-4), 7-6(3-7), 6-3.
Taylor Fritz struck a huge blow to Cameron Norrie’s hopes of qualifying for the year end finals with a straight victory. Fritz had defeated Andrey Rublev in the previous round and now beat the left hander to proceed to his second consecutive quarter final at a Masters 1000 event. Fritz wrapped up the first set in no time as Norrie battled hard to take the second one as he also had two set points which Fritz saved and went on to win the set in a tie breaker. Fritz defeated Norrie 6-3, 7-6(7-3).
In men’s doubles, the top two seeds tumbled at Paris as Joran Vliegen and Sander Gillé tasted sweet revenge when they defeated top seeds Mate Pavić and Nikola Mektić 6-3, 7-6(8-6).
Michael Venus and Tim Pütz staged the second shocking win of the day as they defeated second seeded Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury in a marathon two set tie breaker. Venus and Tim defeated Rajeev and Joe 7-6(14-12), 7-6(8-6).
Novak Djokovic starts off with a victory at Paris, Gael Monfils steals the show in opening round
(Tennis news) Novak Djokovic made a winning return on tour with a three set win over Márton Fucsovics at the Paris Masters. Djokovic took no time to take an early lead as his strokes were looking strong as he took the first set, in the second set it was Marton’s chance to take the lead as he took some brave shots to take the set. In the final set, Djokovic broke early with a loud roar towards the crowd and broke him again as he won the match. The Serbian defeated Fucsovics 6-2, 4-6, 6-3.
“It was great to be back on the court after almost two months without competition,” Djokovic said. “I did not expect anything but I knew this was not going to be an easy match. Marton is a very talented player, he has a lot of quality. It was a great fight. I couldn’t break his serve, he was playing with a lot of precision and we pushed each other to the limit. It was a great opening match for me. I am very pleased.”
Casper Ruud shook off a rusty start in the opening set to beat this season’s ace leader Alexander Bublik. Ruud got a breakpoint in the fourth game with a well played defense as Bublik attempts went in vain but saved the breakpoint to win the game. Ruud took seven consecutive games to take the second set under half an hour and keep his chances of qualifying for the season finale alive. Ruud defeated Bublik 6-4, 6-0.
Gael Monfils' forehand was the winner in his match against Miomir Kecmanović as he kept firing winners which kept increasing by each set. Monfils hit a humongous forehand on his serve which was timed at 190km/ hour and in the match he hit a total of 54 winners as compared to 13 by Miomir Kecmanović. Monfils had a slow start but in the final two sets he simply swung the racquet as hard as he could to march on to the next round. Monfils defeated Kecmanović 4-6, 7-5, 6-3.
Carlos Alcaraz Garfia once again made good use of his endurance as he rallied on to beat Pierre-Hugues Herbert in a 39 game three set match. Both the players took at least five games in each set as two tie breaks were needed to settle the scores, Herbert used his serve and volley to win points as Carlos depended upon his baseline play. Carlos also showed off his quick reflex skills at the net as he had to come forward multiple times in the match and found answers to Herbert’s angled serves mixed with excellent half volleys. Carlos defeated Herbert 6-7(4-7), 7-6(7-2), 7-5.
“It’s not easy to play against a home player,” said Alcaraz. “I think we played at a good level and it was a great match, so I am happy to win. He has a great serve, so I had to return better and remain focused. I think that was the key. I am playing at a good level and I want to finish the year strong.
In men’s doubles, Joran Vliegen and Sander Gillé scored a straight victory over Máximo González and Simone Bolelli in their opening match at Paris. Joran and Sander defeated Maximo and Simone 7-6(7-2), 6-4. Joran and Sander had won the title at Singapore in the beginning of the season and were runners up at the BMW Open. They will next face top seeds Mate Pavić and Nikola Mektić in the round of 16, the pair had met them last time in the semifinals at Madrid where the top seeds won in straight sets.
Arthur Rinderknech and Benjamin Bonzi also recorded straight victories over Stefanos Tsitispas and Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi. Qureshi had reached the quarterfinals in Moscow while partnering with Rohan Bopanna but this time he had to depart early. Arthur and Benjamin defeated Stefanos and Qureshi 7-6(7-3), 6-4.
Dominik Koepfer pulls a stunner against Andy Murray at Paris, Sebastian Korda eliminates Aslan Karatsev
(Tennis news) Dominik Koepfer saved 7 match points on his way to victory against Andy Murray in the opening round of Paris Masters 1000. Koepfer got into the main draw as a lucky loser as Jenson Brooksby had to withdraw due to an injury, Koepfer made full use of the rare opportunity as he beat the 2016 champion in a 3 hour match. Murray had it in him but could not finish off the final points as Koepfer kept saving himself with last minute heroics. Koepfer defeated Andy Murray 6-4, 5-7, 7-6(11-9).
Sebastian Korda made sure Aslan Karatsev’s chances of qualifying for the year end championships came to an end as he delivered an opening round defeat for the Russian. Korda took the opening set in his debut appearance in Paris as he was looking at a straight set until Karatsev saved two match points and won the second set. The final set saw both baseline players taking it to tie break as Sebastian called the shots at the end to take the match. Korda defeated Karatsev 6-2, 6-7(9), 7-6(7-5).
Cameron Norrie kept his chances of qualifying for the season finale alive as he quickly closed out his opening match against another left hander Federico Delbonis. Norrie only took an hour and ten minutes while conceding only three games. The pair had met in the qualifying rounds two years earlier in Paris where Norrie defeated Delbonis 6-2, 6-1.
Márton Fucsovics rode off a three set win over Fabio Fognini which saw Fabio saving a match point in the second set. Marton started with a dominating first set as Fabio committed unforced errors and in the second set Fabio came back in form to take the match to the third set. In the final set, Marton hit an unbelievable banana shot to take the first point in the fifth game, Fognini was close to victory but couldn’t make it to the next round as Fucsovics will take on Novak Djokovic in the next round. Fucsovics defeated Fognini 6-1, 7-6(6-8), 7-6(7-5).
In men’s doubles, Djokovic returned to court with a victory as he partnered with Filip Krajinović to beat Luke Saville and Alex de Minaur. Djokovic last played at the US Open final where he lost to Daniil Medvedev, Djokovic and Krajinović defeated Luke and Minaur 4-6, 6-4, 10-7. The pair will next face 6th seeds Filip Polášek and John Peers in the next round.
Casper Ruud and Jannik Sinner hoping to gain crucial points at Paris
(Tennis news) The final Masters 1000 Rolex Paris event will be held from 1st November and all the top players will be playing to end the year with some valuable points in their pocket. This is the 8th Master 1000 event since the Shanghai tournament was cancelled due to the pandemic.
Novak Djokovic is expected to play in the event since his defeat to Daniil Medevedev at the US Open final. The Serbian will be leading the field along with Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev. The Paris Masters has seen five different winners in the last five editions, Medevedev is the defending champion and had defeated Zverev in the final.
Zverev has already won two Masters 1000 titles this year and will aim to win a third one to reach the top three of the rankings. Medvedev has a chance to inch closer to the number 1 rankings if Djokovic is out early, Matteo Berrettini can enter the top five if he can reach deep in the event. Andrey Rublev is still looking for a Masters 1000 title as he has reached two finals this year.
Djokovic has won the most titles here with five wins including a hat trick of titles from 2013- 2015. He won his last title in 2019 defeating Denis Shapovalov in the final and will be looking to win a 6th title in his comeback. Since 1986, only three left handers have won the event and Greg Rusedski was the last one to win it in 1998. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was the last Frenchman to win it as he had lifted the title in 2008 and was also the last one to reach the final in 2011.
Jannik Sinner now has chances of qualifying in the year end championships if he performs well in France. Sinner and Casper Ruud are now level in points as Hubert Hurkacz is just behind them both. The event has a history of players jumping up the rankings to qualify for the season ending championship with the most memorable one coming in 2017 when Jack Sock won the event which saw his rankings jump from 24 to 9 and qualified for the Nitto ATP finals.
Cameron Norrie had won in Indian Wells and will be looking to win here as Rusedski was also a left handed player from Britain. Norrie is just behind Hubert in the race to the season finals and both of them fell early at Vienna. This year there are a handful of players who can spring a surprise and climb up the rankings to enter the top eight.
Matteo Berrettini secures ATP finals berth, Casper Ruud and Hubert Hurkacz next in line
(Tennis news) Matteo Berrettini’s sparkling season continued as he qualified for the season ending championship for the second time. The Italian reached the fourth round of the Australian Open and then went even further by reaching the quarterfinals of the French Open. His Wimbledon performance was his first breakthrough in the Grand Slams where he lost in the finals to Novak Djokovic.
This season, Berrettini has had 40 victories in 50 matches. After losing in the quarterfinals of the US Open to Djokovic in September, he climbed to a career-high No. 7 in the ATP Rankings. In April, the Italian won the Serbia Open in Belgrade, defeating Aslan Karatsev of Russia. In May, he reached his first ATP Masters 1000 final, losing to Alexander Zverev of Germany and in June, he won the Cinch Championships in London, defeating Cameron Norrie of Great Britain.
He became the first Italian male tennis player to reach the fourth round of every Grand Slam tournament at the French Open. He has been impressive on all surfaces and excels in a team setting, as he powered Italy to the ATP Cup finals in January. Berrettini, an aggressive all-court player with a booming serve that can reach speeds of 146 mph (235 km/h), blasted his way to the No. 8 ranking in 2021 across all surfaces, the highest for an Italian male in more than four decades. He won two Championships, one on grass and the other on clay.
To finish off points, he uses his attacking groundstrokes and net game, and he has been known to serve-and-volley. Many have compared him to Fernando González and Juan Martin del Potro because of his aggressive style, which is based on huge serves and forehands. His play style has earned him the moniker "The Hammer."
“My words aren’t going to describe the happiness I feel in my heart," said the world number seven. “2020 was a tough year for me on and off the court. Here I am about to play my second ATP Finals and I can’t believe it.
“I always have to remember where I started. I didn’t dream about this, because it was so big, but now it’s happening. I want to do my best."
Berrettini will compete at the ATP Finals against world number one Novak Djokovic, U.S. Open champion Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Alexander Zverev, and Andrey Rublev, with Casper Ruud and Hubert Hurkacz next in line.
Also read: Unvaccinated tennis stars will be allowed to compete at the Australian Open after fulfilling two weeks hard quarantine and regular testing
Unvaccinated tennis stars will be allowed to compete at the Australian Open after fulfilling two weeks hard quarantine and regular testing
(Tennis news) Unvaccinated players are set to be granted a visa for participation at the Australian Open, provided they fulfill two weeks of hard quarantine at a hotel and undergo regular testing throughout the duration of the event. This update comes after political leaders from federal and state governments had stated last week that players who have not received two doses of a recognized vaccine will not be allowed to compete at the first Grand Slam of the year.
Reports by the New York Times and Melbourne’s The Age newspaper revealed leaked contents of an email from WTA to its Players Council which revealed that only unvaccinated players will be made to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. The email reportedly said “We feel the need to reach out to you all to clear up false and misleading information that has recently been spread by other parties about the conditions that players will be forced to endure at next year's Australian Open. We have been communicating regularly with... the Tennis Australia team in recent months and they shared some good news with us on our Players Council call last Friday so that you know the facts."
The conditions for the players are set to improve significantly as the state of Victoria will achieve a 90% vaccination target of the adult population by the end of next month. Tennis Australia has been working with the government to ensure the protocols are in place before players are expected to arrive from December 1st. A statement said “Everyone has been buoyed by the easing of restrictions over the past week. We are optimistic that we can hold the Australian Open as close to pre-pandemic conditions as possible."
Sports Minister of Victoria state Martin Pakula has reassured that a decision would be made about the requirements of unvaccinated players well in advance to ensure they can make the necessary preparations for the Grand Slam tournament. Pakula said “The main point still to be resolved between the tournament organisers and government is the question whether unvaccinated foreign nationals will be allowed into Australia at all and, if so, under what circumstances.”
Australia is set to reopen its international borders for the first time in 18 months starting next month on a state by state basis, depending on the vaccination rates. Visitors who are fully vaccinated will be subjected to fewer restrictions. Earlier this year, the US Open required all spectators to show proof of at least one vaccination jab with no compulsory vaccination for players. However, both the men and women’s tour have recommended players to get the two jabs but have not enforced it as a rule.
The decision to allow unvaccinated players to participate in the Australian Open will come as a boost for Novak Djokovic’s hopes to participate in the Grand Slam as the Serbian has previously advocated that taking a vaccine should be a personal choice and he would be a doubt for the tournament if compulsory vaccination is required.
Alexander Zverev sets his sight on a record third Masters title of the year
(Tennis news) Alexander Zverev is a powerful baseliner who relies heavily on his first serve to rack up a lot of free points. His strong topspin forehand and flat backhand, as well as his piercing groundstrokes, may put opponents under pressure.
His forehand, on the other hand, may be inconsistent when he is off-color. The German's volleying abilities are also lacking as he struggles to score at the net. While there is no doubt about his technique, Alexander Zverev's mental toughness has room for improvement, as he has lost multiple matches from winning situations. He's still only 24, so there's still time for him to make a significant career change. Another aspect is his performance on the Grand Slams, he reached his first final last year at the US Open.
Zverev has been improving since last year at the Grand Slams, this year he reached the semifinals at the French Open and the quarterfinals at the Australian Open. In Wimbledon, Zverev has failed to reach beyond the fourth round.
Zverev has 47 victories this year so far and with only Paris Masters left this year, he can hope to achieve this record but is not under pressure as he has already qualified for the year end finals. He lost in the quarterfinals at the Indian Wells to Taylor Fritz and even though he had matchpoints, he lost to Novak Djokovic in the semifinals of the US Open.
"Today was just not really my day, to be honest. I was close to winning, but the level of tennis was just not quite there for me," said Zverev after his loss to Taylor Fritz at Indian Wells.
"Today mentally is not easy for me. My next tournament is in Vienna. Hoping I can deal with it well there, but right now I just want to go home.
"It was a very long season. I have played well. But this one hurts because I knew that after Stefanos lost this morning, I was kind of the favourite to win this tournament, but my tennis wasn't there yet."
In the Masters 1000, Zverev has so far won five titles and only the big four have won more than him. This year he won two titles, he won at Cincinnati and Madrid and looks to be the 10th player to win three or more Masters 1000 titles in a year. With only four weeks to go, the German can prove himself in quick time and by next year he has high chances of holding a Grand Slam trophy.
The race to be world number one, next gen seeks new possibility
(Tennis news) To become the world number one in any sport is a challenge in itself, to be crowned the best of the best and to sit on top is an accomplishment for every athlete. In tennis, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray have shared the world number one ranking for a long time. The last time the four of them were not on top was in 2003 when Andy Roddick was the world number one.
This year Daniil Medvedev became the world number two as the last time the big four were not in the number two position was in 2005 when Lleyton Hewitt was number two. Medvedev has a golden chance to secure the world number one ranking if he manages to perform well in the Paris Masters and the year end Championships. Alexander Zverev also has a chance but not this year as he has to cover a huge lead to end up first, he has been one of the most consistent players over the years.
The Grand Slams have been slipping past the veterans as the next gen have been getting their hands on the trophy. Consistency is what keeps the big three on top as Andy Murray is still yet to come back to his old self, age is something that no matter how hard they control it will eventually catch up. This year the injury toll was on the rise and it showed how the curtains will fall for the former champions soon but the next gen should not wait for these players to step out of the game. This year, Djokovic went into the time machine to reach the final of all four slams but there were three different finalists and next year this might not be the case.
With the entry of new players the next gen will need to bring in the consistency card in order to reach the top ranking. In the current set of players, Dominic Thiem has been efficient in clay as well as Stefanos Tsitsipas as Medvedev has been brilliant in hardcourts. Zverev has struggled at the Grand Slams, something which he will need to look upon as the other three have reached the finals and also won slams except Tsitsipas.
The next gen should be able to play similar to the big three like how they used to play in their prime. Playing well in the slams as well as the tournaments and getting enough rest as the calendar is getting hectic year by year. They have to be careful with the injuries as it affects the career of any young player and can even end one’s career. With the year coming to an end, there are huge possibilities in 2022 as the next gen is proficient in stopping records and now they can get to know how to make them.
Novak Djokovic unsure about participating at the Australian Open 2022
(Tennis news) Twenty time Grand Slam winner Novak Djokovic has revealed that he’s unsure about playing at the Australian Open 2022 claiming that things are “not good at all” Down Under. The Serbian has already confirmed he will be playing at the Paris Masters, ATP Finals and Davis Cup Finals.
The World Number 1 has not participated in a tournament since Daniil Medvedev defeated Djokovic in the US Open final. The 34 year old revealed that he started training on Monday after an extended break from the sport. “I started training today, It's been a long time since I last trained with a racket. Admittedly, I trained my fitness, but I have only just started tennis. Today I was Olga's sparring partner. I am preparing her, and we will see what kind of work I do as sparring when she goes to the next tournament" said Djokovic.
Djokovic has been particularly private about his vaccination status, a factor that will be of importance with respect to the Australian Open. He has previously pointed out that it’s against the law in Serbia to enquire about personal medical details. “I will not reveal my status whether I have been vaccinated or not," Djokovic said. "It is a private matter and according to our law, whoever asks you, you can in some way charge him for asking you. That is an immoderate question."
“I still don't know if I will play in Melbourne," Djokovic stressed. "I don't know what my schedule will be. There is too much speculation. The media speculates a lot and that bothered me a lot. I didn't advertise too much because everyone made some assumptions based on what I said a year ago. One and the same thing is going on and there is a lot of division in the society, not only in sports, but in the whole society, between those who have not been vaccinated and those who have been vaccinated and that's really scary."
There were a plethora of watertight rules at the 2021 Australian Open that annoyed a lot of tennis players including Novak Djokovic. Several of them were forced to quarantine for 14 days without any training, a factor which affected their fitness and form. Djokovic has urged players to unite and be involved in the decision making process before stringent rules are in place before the next edition of the Australian Open.
“The main problem is that if you are on a plane with a person who is positive, whether you are vaccinated or not, you automatically have to go to the room for 14 days," Novak Djokovic said. "That happened to Viktor Troicki in January this year. Not only him, but also 70 players had to be quarantined. I talked to a lot of players and that is something that everyone has a bad memory of," he added. "I would like the players to unite a little more, whether through PTPA or something independent or through ATP or WTA, just so that in some way we are relevant in some decision-making process. Now, I feel like the players aren’t wondering about anything at all."
The Serbian has reiterated that he does not expect much to change in the Australian Open 2022 compared to last year. He has revealed that his manager is in touch with the Federation of Australia about the latest ongoings. “I do not believe that the conditions will change much in relation to what we already know," Djokovic said. "As was the case this year, there will be plenty of restrictions. What I heard from my manager, who is in direct contact with people from the Federation of Australia, is that they are trying to improve conditions for everyone. Both for those who have been vaccinated and for those who have not."
Looking back at Rafael Nadal’s record breaking run at the 2020 French Open
(Tennis news) The 2020 French Open was played from September to October instead of its usual schedule due to the pandemic. Rafael Nadal had won the last three editions and was looking for a 13th title here and 20th Grand Slam overall. Roger Federer was leading the list with 20 Slams, Nadal had 19 and Novak Djokovic came in third with 17 slams.
Nadal had lost in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open to Dominic Thiem in four sets and was looking to win his first title of the year after winning two slams the previous year. Nadal recorded two bagels in the first four matches and faced stiff competition in the quarterfinals from Jannik Sinner as the first set went till tiebreak. In the semifinals he faced Diego Schwartzman and had lost to him for the first time at Rome, the first two sets went in favour of Nadal and in the third set a tie break was needed in which the Spaniard prevailed to head into the final for a 13th time.
Nadal and Djokovic were meeting at Roland Garros for the seventh time. Djokovic had handed Nadal his second defeat at the French Open when they met last time five years ago and had beaten Nadal at the ATP finals in the beginning of the year. Beating Nadal at the French Open has been one of the most difficult tasks in the sport since 2005 and Djokovic was the favourite to do so.
Nadal began his title defense by taking the first six games as he recorded his third bagel of the tournament and went on to win the next two to take his 13th French Open and join Federer with 20 Grand Slams. Nadal had not dropped a set while winning the title and did it for the fourth time and the first time since the 2017 French Open. This has been Nadal’s last slam till date and is currently recovering from an injury in his left foot having played three slams this year.
Nadal will be 36 next year and is still the favourite to win the French Open. Given his record at the Slam in the past 16 years there is little chance anyone can topple the “King of clay” other than Djokovic as even Federer has failed in multiple attempts even at his prime he could not defeat Nadal at Roland Garros. The left hander undoubtedly is the best when it comes to the clay surface and the French Open has his name written all over, Nadal has every chance to take the crown in 2022.
Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev heading the field at Indian Wells
(Tennis news) The Indian Wells will begin from tomorrow and there are plenty of players waiting to get their hands on the trophy. The top seeds will be the favourite but with the recent results anything can happen and a new champion is waiting in line to step in court and deliver. With only a month to go, players will hope to end the year with good rankings and collect maximum points.
The US Open champion stunned Novak Djokovic for a first Grand Slam title, Medvedev has four Masters 1000 titles and won his fourth one this year at Toronto. He has not progressed beyond the third at Indian Wells but 12 of his 13 career titles have come in hard courts and this year’s progression will put him in the top spot. Medvedev is two victories short of 50 victories in a season and his personal best of 59 victories came in 2018.
Tsitsipas is the only player this season with 50 plus match wins, the Greek god won his first Masters 1000 title this year at Monte Carlo. He has never progressed beyond the second round here and will look to win shrug off his US Open performance where he lost in the third round to Carlos Alcaraz. Tsitsipas has reached the quarterfinals of all the Master 1000 events except at Madrid where he lost in the fourth round.
Zverev is the only player to win two Masters 1000 crowns this year and will look to add a third one. He won in Cincinnati and in Madrid where he defeated Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinal in straight sets. Zverev beat Djokovic at the Tokyo Olympics singles semifinals to deny him a chance for the Gold medal although he lost to Djokovic at the US Open in a tight five set contest. Zverev’s best performance at Indian Wells came five years ago where he reached the fourth round and lost to Nadal after missing a forehand volley on matchpoint. He will look to be the first person since Nadal in 2018 to win three Masters 1000 in a season.
Rublev is yet to win a Master 1000 title but reached the finals at Monte Carlo and Cinicinnati. The Russian had a shock defeat in the semifinals of the San Diego Open to Cameron Norrie and will now look to win his crown here. He has not progressed beyond the third round at Indian Wells although has been playing well this season and with a great win here will ensure his place at the World Tour Finals.
Indian Wells back on tour after a year, first time champion confirmed in men’s draw this time
(Tennis news) The Indian Wells tournament will begin from 7th October as it usually is played in the month of March. It always is the first Masters 1000 event of the year but this time due to the pandemic has become the second last event of the year. It is one the most watched and attended events after the four Grand Slams. It's the first time since 2000 when any of the big three were not featured in the tournament. The men’s and women’s draw will be finalised once the qualifiers are over tomorrow.
Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have won the title every year from 2004 till now except in 2010 when Ivan Ljubicic won the title, 2018 when Juan Martin Del Potro captured the crown and in 2019 when Dominic Thiem secured his Masters 1000 title. This time there will be no former champions playing as Djokovic withdrew from the event a few days earlier, which means that there will be a first time winner.
In the women’s event, Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka will not be featuring this time. Emma Raducunu and Leylah Fernandez will be making their debut in the event and will be playing for the first time since the US Open. Former champions like Victoria Azarenka, Simona Halep and defending champion Bianca Andreescu will also be playing, making the women’s event as competitive as ever.
The Indian Wells was not held last year due to the pandemic as it was the first time that the event was cancelled since its inception in 1976. Nadal is the only left hander to win the tournament in the last 20 years and he last won it in 2013, in the women’s field the last left hander to win the event was Martina Navratilova in 1991 and is the only one.
Federer and Djokovic have won the most singles crown in the men’s field with five titles. In the women’s field nine players have the title twice but in the current players only Victoria Azarenka, Serena Williams and Kim Clijsters have won it twice. There have been three different champions in the last three editions in the men’s field and seven different champions in the women’s field.
Wildcard Kim Clijsters is playing the event for the first time in 10 years and she had last won it in 2005. Andy Murray and Jack Sock are the other prominent wild card entries. Carlos Alcaraz, Sebastian Korda, Lorenzo Musetti and Jenson Brooksby along with Coco Gauff, Iga Swiatek and Barbora Krejcikova are all making their debut at the event this time.
Top players who can make their debut at the Next Gen ATP Finals
(Tennis news) The fourth edition of Next Gen ATP Finals is set to begin from next month as the top eight players aged 21 or under will fight for the title. Defending champion Jannik Sinner, Felix Auger-Aliassime, Carlos Alcaraz and Sebastian Korda have already qualified for the event with four spots remaining and a month left there are players who are close to qualifying for the prestigious event.
The 18 year old Spaniard secured his place in the event when he made the quarterfinals at the US Open and defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas in the third round. He also reached the semifinals at Winston Salem and Marbella Open and won his first tour level title at Umag while defeating Richard Gasquet in the final. Carlos also made his debut in all the Slams this year, he reached the second round at Wimbledon and Australian Open and the third round at French Open. He has an aggressive style of play which is well suited at hard courts and can bring out his powerful forehand.
Korda had reached the fourth round of the French Open as a qualifier last year and had defeated John Isner on the way. This year he started with a runner up finish at Delray Beach and defeated John Isner at the quarterfinals, Korda then reached the quarterfinals at Miami Masters 1000 defeating Fabio Fognini, Aslan Karatsev and Diego Schwartzman on the way.
His biggest win came at Parma Open when he won the title without dropping a set the whole tournament. He also reached the fourth round at Wimbledon losing to Karen Khachanov in a thrilling four hour battle. Korda is 6 feet five inches tall which gives him good reach and also is a defensive player with great control over the ball.
Jenson had reached the fourth round of the US Open losing to world number one Novak Djokovic in four sets while defeating Karatsev and Taylor Fritz on the way. He was the runner up at Newport and had reached the last four at Washington. Jenson has a powerful cross court forehand and pulls out a sudden backhand dropshot which looks like a typical double handed backhand.
The 19 year old Italian will be eager to prove himself in front of his home crowd. Lorenzo first came into the spotlight last year when he reached the round of 16 at Rome while defeating Stan Wawrinka and Kei Nishikori in straight sets and later won to reach the semifinals at Sardinia. This year he reached the semifinals at Acapulco Open losing to Tsitsipas while defeating Frances Tiafoe and Grigor Dimitrov on the way and then reached the semifinals at Lyon again losing to Tsitsipas. He has a classic one handed backhand which has been quite lethal and has quite a bit of trickshots up his sleeve.
Casper Ruud beats Cameron Norrie to win fifth title at San Diego Open
(Tennis news) Casper Ruud won a season leading fifth title at the San Diego Open by beating Cameron Norrie in a one sided final. Ruud only lost two games in the final as he unleashed powerful winners against the left hander and now has the most titles this season.
Ruud took the first six games as he gave away no options to Norrie who never got the chance to settle in the match as the first set got over in 26 minutes. In the second set, Ruud continued his dominating performance to lift the trophy and now has more titles than Novak Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev and Alexander Zverev who have four each.
Ruud has won all the five finals he has reached this year, his previous four titles came on clay as this is his first hardcourt title. He is currently in eighth position in the race for World Tour Finals and has improved his game in the hardcourt this year. Ruud had defeated Andy Murray, Lorenzo Sonego and Grigor Dimitrov on his way to winning the title at San Diego.
Ruud is now three wins away from 50 tour wins this season and has lost 12 matches. He won his first tour title last year in clay at Buenos Aires and this year is on top with five titles. The Norwegian now sets his eyes on the Masters 500 and 1000 as he reached the semifinals at Rome last year where he lost to Novak and also reached the last four at Hamburg losing to Andrey Rublev. This year he reached the quarterfinals at Toronto where lost to Stefanos Tsitsipas and also in Cincinnati as he lost to Zverev.
Ruud also reached the fourth round of the Australian Open and the last four at Monte Carlo and Madrid. Clay has been his favourite surface as the numbers clearly suggest, the world tour finals is only a month away and Ruud will be eager to bring out his San Diego form. The next tournament is the Indian Wells as the Shanghai Masters, China Open and the Japan Open have been cancelled owing to the pandemic.
There are two Masters 1000 and 500 events left as there are four 250 events left. The players will look to accumulate as many points as possible for the World Tour finals as only Djokovic, Medvedev and Tsitsipas have qualified for the event and the remaining five spots are crucial for the players who are next.
Aslan Karatsev knocks out Hubert Hurkacz at the San Diego Open
(Tennis news) Aslan Karatsev had a giant killing run from the start of the year as he became the first man to reach the semifinals of a Grand Slam in his debut. He had come through the qualifiers in the Australian Open and defeated Diego Schwartzman, Félix Auger-Aliassime, Grigor Dimitrov on the way to the semifinals where he lost to Novak Djokovic. His run didn't stop there as he went on to win the Dubai Open and defeated Djokovic in the semifinals in his home turf at the Belgrade Open in Serbia.
After his performance at the Belgrade Open, he slumped to poor form which saw him failing to advance to the quarterfinals in the next 11 tournaments. In the San Diego Open, Aslan beat in form Hubert Hurkacz in a three set contest which lasted for two and half hours. Hubert started well by taking the first set but an aggressive Aslan kept hitting the ball harder than his opponent. Aslan took the next two sets as the match looked more predictable towards the end and defeated Hubert 5-7, 6-4, 6-2.
Rising star Casper Ruud was in relentless pursuit for a win against Andy Murray as the rallies were long and gruelling. Ruud took the first set after finally managing to break Murray as both of them did not seem to give in at any point of time. In the second set Ruud managed to take a 3-0 lead as the crowd started engaging more with every rally as both were playing from the baseline. Ruud defeated Murray 7-5, 6-4.
Denis Shapovalov found answers from the net as well as the baseline as Taylor Fritz kept attacking Denis. Fritz came at the net multiple times in the opening set but could not keep the ball away from Denis who covered the court effortlessly and took the first set with a running winner across Fritz at the net. In the second set, Fritz played from the back of the court which clearly was not a good idea as Denis raced to take the second set with powerful forehands. Denis defeated Fritz 7-6(9-7), 6-2.
Grigor Dimitrov lost only two games against August Holmgren in his fourth round match up as he will be facing Aslan in the quarterfinals and will look to avenge his Australian Open defeat earlier this year. Dimitrov was a sight to watch against Holmgren as he cooked up great shots to give the 901 ranked player a free tennis lesson, Holmgren hit the ball hard but was not fast enough for Dimitrov as he was too good at every point simply showing his experience and agility on court. Dimitrov defeated Holmgren 6-1, 6-1.
Cameron Norrie saved a handful of set points in the first set and came back from 2-5 down to take the first set in a tiebreaker against Daniel Evans. Evans failed to capture the set after multiple set points and faced the forehand wrath of Norrie. In the second set, Norrie broke Evans as Evans missed an easy backhand volley in the eighth game to give Norrie the advantage and then Norrie served out the match to set up a clash with Denis in a battle of left handers in the quarterfinal. 7-6(7-3), 6-3.
Andy Murray given wildcard entry into the main draw at Indian Wells
(Tennis news) British tennis player Andy Murray will be making his first appearance at the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells since 2017 after the three time Grand Slam champion was given a wildcard entry into the main draw of the prestigious California based tournament. Murray reached the quarter-finals of the Moselle Open and suffered a straight set defeat to Norway’s Casper Ruud at the San Diego Open on Thursday.
Fellow former World Number 1 and four time Grand Slam champion Kim Clijsters was also given a wildcard entry as she makes her comeback in tennis. The mother of three gave credit to Andy Murray’s resilience and desire to succeed in tennis after recovering from a hip surgery as a source of motivation.
Despite not being a Grand Slam, the BNP Paribas Open is one of the most prestigious tournaments on the tennis calendar and is usually held in March but was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. US Open winner Emma Raducanu was also given a wildcard entry for the tournament earlier this week while Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Ashleigh Barty, Serena and Venus Williams are set to miss out.
1988: Steffi Graf’s Golden Slam marks 33 year anniversary
(Tennis news) Steffi Graf is one of the most complete tennis players in the world, she was only 19 years old in 1988 when she completed a historic quest, something which has never been achieved in tennis before and has been achieved by Diede de Groot and Dylan Alcott in wheelchair tennis this year.
On October 1st 1988, Graf made history as she wore the gold medal around her neck which was a symbol of pure domination that year. She was only a teenager when she won all the four slams and the Olympic gold as it was regarded as the one of the most dominating periods in the history of tennis. She had only won one slam before this year which came at the French Open, this record saw the beginning of her supremacy in women's tennis.
She began the Golden Slam run at the Australian Open where she beat Chris Evert in the final, in the French Open she brutally defeated Natasha Zvereva with a double bagel in the final and has never happened ever since. In Wimbledon, she lifted the trophy after coming back from a set deficit and a two game lead against Martina Navratilova in the final and in the final slam of the year beat Gabriela Sabatini who had two successive wins against Graff in the start of the year. She had achieved the calendar slam and became the first woman and the second player to win it all along with Rod Laver in the open era.
Nobody hoped for a Golden Slam but it seemed inevitable for the young German who kept crushing every player she met on the court. The Olympic gold was now in reach as Graff had to win five matches to win the gold medal and once again defeated Sabatini in the women’s singles final to complete the Golden Slam. She had also won the Wimbledon doubles that year along with a doubles bronze at the Seoul Olympics.
Graf had won all the slams at least four times which showed her remarkable talent. The surfaces didn't matter to her as she transformed herself into another level from that year. To be unbeaten in a particular surface and tournament is heard of but to remain unbeaten in all the four slams given their surfaces is a lot to take for. The amount of pressure she would have faced is not imaginable as the audience watched Novak Djokovic vent out his frustration at the Tokyo Olympics and how one of the toughest men in sport cried before losing the match to Daniil Medvedev at the US Open final.
It's been 33 years but the record seems to be in safe hands as players have not come close to it other than Novak Djokovic this year and looks to be even more safer in the women’s field. The level of consistency and adaptability which made the Golden Slam year possible is almost impossible to find in today’s game as players mostly perform according to the courts. Many players miss out on the Olympic gold or even a medal as top players have not won the gold medal in their career. But Graf did it in one year and was a young player who had come into the WTA tour as a thirteen year old. The age factor is still a question which puzzles the audience as many athletes over the age of 35 still get into the teams because of their performance while teenagers also play well and now like Graf there are many youngsters in the tennis court who aspire to become like her and the US Open this year was a strong signal sent to the veterans.
Top four players who can qualify for the ATP World Tour Finals for the first time
(Tennis news) The Nitto ATP finals will be held from November second week which will feature the top 8 players in the world. With the Sofia and San Diego Open going on, the players will look to capitalize on the two Masters 1000 series which will bring them closer to the top 8 rankings. There are a few players who have the chance to make it to the tournament for the first time.
Hubert won the Moselles Open in singles and doubles, he has won three titles this year and looks in great form. Hubert is currently in 7th position in the race for the year end championships and so far will not have trouble qualifying. All of his titles have come in hard courts and will be an added advantage for the polish number one. On his way to winning a first Masters 1000 title at Miami he recorded successive wins over Stefanos Tsitsipas and Andrey Rublev. His game does not allow him to commit many unforced errors and has excellent control at the net.
Casper is having the best year in his career as he has won four titles and all of them have come on clay. He has won 43 matches with 12 losses and recently played in the Laver Cup where he defeated Reilly Opelka in straight sets. He had reached the quarterfinals in Toronto and Cincinnati where he lost to Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev respectively. Casper had reached the last four in Madrid and Monte Carlo while defeating two top 10 players on the way. He won three successive titles in the month of July with a winning streak of fourteen matches which ended at Toronto. He is currently in 8th position to qualify for the Tour finals.
Jannik has won two titles this year both in hardcourts and reached the finals in Miami Masters 1000 losing to Hubert in two sets. He has defeated Gael Monfils in the US Open and Andrey Rublev at Barcelona, he has an attacking game as he is always looking for winners. Jannik last played in the US Open reaching the fourth round, he has already qualified for the ATP next Gen where he is the defending champion. Jannik had won the first title of the year at Melbourne where he defeated Karen Khachanov in a marathon semifinal which involved two tie breaks.
He is the youngest player in the race for the Tour Finals and along with Jannik has qualified for the ATP next Gen with his record breaking performance at the US Open. The 21 year old has progressed to the fourth round in all Slams except the French Open this year and has two runner up finishes. He had defeated Roger Federer at the Halle Open and has four wins over top ten players this year. Felix has shown great composure while playing at the Grand Slams and will be needing the same when he qualifies in the final tournament of the year.
World number 1 Novak Djokovic withdraws from the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells
(Tennis news) Five time BNP Paribas Open champion Novak Djokovic has confirmed his withdrawal from the Indian Wells, the Serbian along with the tournament organizers have confirmed.
In a twitter post, Djokovic said “I am sorry I won't get to see my fans in Indian Wells and play in the desert, my favourite place to go. I hope to see you next year!". Tommy Haas, tournament director of the BNP Paribas Open said “We are disappointed that Novak will not be able to join us at the BNP Paribas Open this fall. We hope to see him back in Tennis Paradise next March to contend for a record-setting sixth title in the desert."
The 34 year old last made an appearance at the US Open where he lost to Daniil Medvedev. The Serbian has enjoyed a successful year, winning the Australian Open, Roland Garros and Wimbledon and was attempting to become the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to win all four major honours in a single season.
Djokovic has already earned a spot at November’s ATP Finals in Turin and is on course to finish the season as World Number 1 for the seventh time, becoming the only tennis player in history to do so. His fellow greats Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have already ended their seasons while Dominic Thiem, the 2019 BNP Paribas Open champion is also out due to an injury.
Andy Murray and Kei Nishikori race against time in San Diego Open
(Tennis news) Andy Murray last won a title on tour two years ago as he is now ranked 109 in the world and will play against Kei Nishikori who is making a comeback on tour with significant victories this year. Nishikori is currently ranked 52 and last won a title two years ago same as Murray, both the players met for the first time 10 years ago this month at the Shanghai Masters 1000 semifinal as Murray triumphed in two sets and went on to win the title.
Murray showed he is still in the game against Stefanos Tsitsipas in the first round of the US Open as the former world number one fought for over five hours against the third seed. Murray is known for his defensive skills which have been affected due to two hip surgeries slowing him down but still can be a warrior on court. The three time Grand Slam champion was almost about to retire after the hip surgery but continues to play and can still cover the court like the youngsters.
Murray’s returns are his saviour as he can keep the point going and can also find angles with his forehand. His lobs are the best in the game and famously lobbed the 6 foot 11 inch Croatian Ivo Karlovic multiple times in 2015 at Wimbledon. His backhand is always dependable while it is accurate and can hit winners down the line as well as cross court.
Kei Nishikori has also been making second comeback after wrist injury in 2017 which saw his rankings drop and come back in the top ten in 2019. Since then he has had few victories on the tour and this year is back on form and looks to come back in the rankings. Nishikori lost to Novak Djokovic in the third round of the US Open even though he took the opening set but couldn’t keep up in the next three sets.
Nishikori is one of the shortest players on tour but was a top contender in Grand Slams until 2019. He is very athletic and can run down to take drop shots while his stamina can be evidently seen in five setters. He had reached the finals of the US Open in 2014, he also has an effective dropshot which can come unexpected in long rallies. Nishikori also has a strong defense similar to Murray and his backhand down the line is hard to read or touch, he had reached the semifinals at Washington and the quarterfinals at the Tokyo Olympics.
Nishikori and Murray have faced each other eleven times with Murray having nine victories and Nishikori with two. They last faced in the 2017 French Open quarterfinals where Murray secured victory as Nishikori last won against him in 2016 at the US Open quarterfinals. This will be their twelfth meeting, Nishikori looks the favourite given the current conditions and form as for Murray he will try to keep the ball in play.
Team Europe win four consecutive Rod Laver Cups with a dominant 14-1 win over Team World in Boston
(Tennis news) Team Europe won the Rod Laver Cup yet again to maintain their unbeaten run in the competition against Team World in Boston. Having already won the previous three editions held in Prague, Chicago and Geneva, Team Europe won with a margin of 14-1 to record yet another victory.
The Ryder Cup style event had Team Europe with an 11-1 lead heading into Sunday with a single win enough to guarantee the Rod Laver Cup. Doubles' pairing of Germany's Alexander Zverev and Russian Andrey Rublev defeated American Reilly Opelka and Canadian Denis Shapovalov 6-2 6-7 (4-7) 10-3. Unlike the previous editions of the Rod Laver Cup where the result went down to the wire, Team Europe comfortably won in Boston, a testament to their clinical performance.
The Rod Laver Cup format means that match victories on Friday are worth 1 point, Saturday is two points and Sunday is three points. Unlike the previous editions, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic were unavailable in the contest, which meant that Zverev, Rublev, Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Matteo Berrettini and Casper Ruud competed for Team Europe.
Team World comprised Felix Auger-Aliassime (Canada), Diego Schwartzman (Argentina), John Isner (United States) and Nick Kyrgios (Australia). Kyrgios, who lost both his singles and doubles matches for Team World at the Rod Laver Cup, has also announced that he won’t be competing in future editions of the competition. "I'm sure I won't be here again, so I took everything in this week. I will be watching from my couch, the next Laver Cup, cheering for Team World,” said Kyrgios.
In an on-court interview, Zverev said “At the end of the day, the score says that it was 14-1, but it could have gone both ways a lot of the time. We (did) a lot of hard work for this victory throughout the whole week. The group of this team has been absolutely amazing. I think a lot of us came a lot closer together and to be honest I can't wait for London next year.”
Rublev, who won a gold medal in mixed doubles at the Tokyo Olympics, commented on how special the experience was of winning the Rod Laver Cup. The Russian said “This year I had two really emotional moments. One was the Olympic gold medal and this week is the second. It's something that's going to stay forever with me."
Hubert Hurkacz wins singles and doubles at the Moselle Open
(Tennis news): Hubert Hurkacz kept his winning record in ATP finals intact as he beat Pablo Carreño Busta in the battle of top two seeds at the Moselle Open. Hubert has won three titles this year which includes the Miami Masters 1000 and Delray Beach Masters 250. Hubert had lost to Pablo in their only meeting at Cincinnati Open and will now look to enter the top ten of the rankings as there are two more Masters 1000 events coming up before the year end championships.
Hubert took almost an hour to take the first set as there were two exchanges of breaks with Pablo having had a chance to take the lead early on but Hubert broke back to level the scores. Pablo’s defensive play did stretch out the first set as Hubert won in the tiebreak, in the second set Hubert broke Pablo’s serve at 3-3 and that was all he needed to close out the match. Hubert defeated Pablo 7-6(2), 6-3.
In the doubles final, Hubert was again on the winning side with his partner Jan Zieliński as they defeated Arthur Rinderknech and Hugo Nys 7-5, 6-3. This is Hubert’s second title as he had won the title in Paris with Felix Auger-Aliassime last year and is proving himself as a player who can play from the baseline as well as from the net. His volleying skills were evident in the singles match against Pablo.
Hubert has become the seventh non French player to win the Moselle Open and the first one to win both the singles and doubles in a single edition, Arnaud Clement won the singles crown in the inaugural edition in 2003 and the doubles the next year. Hubert and Zieliński are the second Polish pair to win the title after Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski had won in 2014. Hubert had lost to Gregoire Barrere in 2019 in the third round at his first outing here.
Hubert did not drop a set in singles as well as doubles on the way to winning the crown and played a tiebreak in his last three matches. He recorded his second victory over Andy Murray as he defeated him in Cincinnati with the scores being identical and defeated the 2017 champion Peter Gojowczyk in the semifinals.
Hubert has had a breakthrough year by reaching his first Grand Slam semifinal in Wimbledon, defeating Daniil Medvdev and Roger Federer on the way. He also won titles after two years as his last title came in 2019 at the Winston Salem Cup and now is only hundred points from making a top ten entry. He is currently ranked 12th as this victory pushed him ahead of Denis Shapavalov and is only trailing 30 points behind Felix Auger-Aliassime.
Pablo was also looking for a third title this year and a first hardcourt title as both his titles came at clay. He won the Bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics defeating Novak Djokovic and had defeated Daniil Medvedev in the quarterfinals. He is currently the second highest ranked Spaniard behind Rafael Nadal, Pablo and Gael Monfils are the only ones in their thirties other than the big three in the top 20 rankings.
Also read: Hubert Hurkacz looking to make it two in two at the Moselle Open
Hubert Hurkacz looking to make it two in two at the Moselle Open
(Tennis News) The 18th edition of Moselle Open is now left with two former champions in the last four. There have been a total of 6 players outside France to win the Moselle Masters 250 title from its inaugural edition in 2003, the top seed Hubert Hurkacz is in the semifinals in singles and doubles.
Gael Monfils, the winner in 2009 will face Tokyo Olympics Singles Bronze Medallist Pablo Carreno Busta in the semifinals. Monfils defeated Nikoloz Basilashvili as it proved to be a one sided contest as the Frenchmen served 11 aces to edge out the eighth seed in straight sets. Monfils defeated Basilashvili 6-3, 6-3.
Pablo Carreno Busta showed his experience and skill against Holger Vitus Nodskov Rune to outclass the 18 year old in the quarterfinals. Holger had taken a set off Novak Djokovic at the US Open and did the same against Pablo when he took the second set. Pablo then broke Holger in the eighth game as Holger was visibly frustrated as he lost the last two games. Pablo defeated Holger 6-4, 3-6, 6-4.
Monfils is leading the head to head against Pablo with three victories, their last meeting came a year ago in Austria when Monfils retired mid match. This will be their sixth meeting with Pablo looking the favourite but when in form Monfils can overcome any player with no doubt.
Hubert had a physically enduring first set against Andy Murray as he displayed a bit of old Murray magic. Murray was able to chase down balls without much difficulty as he is aiming to come back into the top four rankings. The Wimbledon semi finalist this year played some great net shots against Murray to take the second set comfortably and progress into the semifinals. Hubert defeated Murray 7-6(7-4), 6-3.
Peter Gojowczyk, the champion here in 2017 hung in till the end to beat Marcos Giron in a quick three set quarterfinal match. Giron had defeated fourth seed Alex de Minaur in the previous match and was in search of a second upset of the tournament but the former champion took the next two sets to advance into the semifinals. Peter will next face Hubert in the semifinals. Peter defeated Marcos Giron 3-6, 6-1, 6-3.
Peter and Hubert will be facing each other for the second time as they had met at last year’s US Open where Hubert won in straight sets. The world number 13 is the favourite to progress into the finals against Peter who will be prepared for volleys and strong serves.
In Men’s Doubles, Arthur Rinderknech and Hugo Nys went into the finals with a shocking victory over second seeds Nikola Ćaćić and Tomislav Brkić. The second set went till tiebreak but Arthur and Hugo did not let the pressure get to them. Arthur and Hugo defeated Nikola and Tomislav 6-3, 7-6(7-3).
Top seeds Henri Kontinen and Ben McLachlan played a nail biting final set to beat Lucas Pouille and Grégoire Barrère. Lucas had won the singles title five years ago and with his partner Grégoire were halfway there when took the first set while conceding a single game but the top seeds took the next two sets to shut the door for the French pair. Henri and Ben will next face the Polish pair of Jan Zieliński and Hubert in the semifinals. Henri and Ben defeated Lucas and Grégoire 1-6, 7-5, 10-7.
Also read: US Open champion Emma Raducanu splits from coach Andrew Richardson
Boston to host the fourth edition of the Laver Cup, New generation leading the pack
(Tennis news): Laver Cup will begin from 24th of September and will be led by the next generation as the big three won’t be taking part this time. Team Europe is led by the US Open champion Daniil Medvedev and Diego Schwartzman will be leading team World, the tournament is back after a year as it was not held last year due to the pandemic.
The Laver Cup is played in honour of the living legend Rod Laver who dominated the game during the early 60’s and set records which still stands today. He is the only man to have achieved a calendar year slam and was the first player to do it when he won all the four slams in 1969. He played left handed and had strong groundstrokes along with an attacking serve and volley.
Laver also became the first Open era champion at Wimbledon in 1968, he had a total of 198 titles with 111 titles coming in the Open era. He also played doubles, winning all the slams except the US Open in the pre open era and won the Australian Open and Wimbledon in the open era. He was one of the highest paid players and had a total of 11 slams in which 5 of them came in the open era. Laver had laid the foundation for tennis, he was even present in this year’s US Open final and Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne is named after him.
The Laver Cup was created by Roger Federer’s management company TEAM8 along with former player Jorge Paulo Lemann with a partnership of Tennis Australia. It is based on the Ryders Cup in Golf and the top players from the US play against top professionals from Europe. The Laver has two teams, team Europe and team world and there six players in each team who will be captained by a legend in the sport. The current captain for team Europe is Bjorn Borg and vice captain being Thomas Enqvist as for the team world they are being captained by John Mcenroe and the vice captain being Patrick Mcenroe.
The Laver Cup does not have ATP points and is played between the top players. The players are chosen according to team ranking and the captain also chooses players, Team Europe has won the first three editions of the game and Alexander Zverev is the only one player from team Europe to feature in all the editions. John Isner and Nick Kyrgios and have also been part of all the editions in team world.
The first edition was notable as Federer and Rafael Nadal were part of the doubles team and in the second edition Federer and Novak Djokovic were part of the doubles team. There were outstanding performances from Sock in the doubles, Isner and Kyrgios in the singles. All the players watch the match on the court and also receive coaching during the match from the captain and the players.
Team Europe: Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Alexander Zverev, Andrey Rublev, Matteo Berrettini and Casper Ruud.
Team World: Félix Auger-Aliassime, Denis Shapovalov, Diego Schwartzman, Reilly Opelka, John Isner and Nick Kyrgios.
John Isner is the only player this time who is aged above 30 as the rest of the players are all in their twenties. Isner who is 36 is the oldest and Félix Auger-Aliassime who is 21 is the youngest this time. Team Europe is filled with youngsters and is the favourite to win the Cup as for Team world they will look to hold the cup for the first time.
The 21st Slam in 2022 or the end of the big three reign, two groups on two different missions
(Tennis news) With the end of the final Grand Slam this year, the big three will start next year with 20 Grand Slams and there will be pressure on each of them when they face their younger rivals who are also on a mission. The US Open final saw youngsters all over the place as the older players just couldn’t match the energy with their juniors.
Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, the three greatest players whose rivalry has a new target. Federer and Nadal are plagued by injuries as they would not be competing this year, something which was supposed to clear the route for Djokovic but the next generation came in the way. The Australian Open next year will be a must watch as now the draw is hard to predict.
Focusing on the big three’s mission, Djokovic is the youngest as he is 34 years old with Nadal being a year older and Federer at 40 being the oldest. Djokovic is aging gracefully as he has reached the last four finals at the Grand Slam and won three of them which means that he is the clear favourite on any surface. Djokovic is the third man to win all the Grand Slams twice and the first one in over four decades, he defeated Nadal in the semifinals at the French Open this year and also saved two match points in the final at Wimbledon against Federer two years back.
Nadal has his best chances at the French Open which he has won a record 13 times. Even though he is affected by injury a comeback is never off the charts and is a fighter off court too. Nadal’s attacking style has cost him multiple times but he has the never give up spirit which even troubled Federer at his prime. Nadal has struggled in Wimbledon and also in Australian Open, French Open has been his home and the US Open also has been kind to him in recent times.
Federer was written off by critics 4 years back as he had not won a Slam since 2012. In the 2017 season he came back from an injury and made one of the most inspiring comebacks by winning two slams in the year which included a record 8th Wimbledon title. Federer is always a contender even though his last Slam was the Australian Open which he won three years ago and will hope to come back next year to further add more records in his glittering career. Maybe even a dream US Open clash facing Rafael Nadal as both of them have never played at Flushing Meadows.
The second mission is spearheaded by the newly crowned US Open champion Daniil Medvedev followed by Alexander Zverev, Dominic Thiem and Stefanos Tsitsipas. These players are most likely to take the game ahead in the coming years when the big three step out of the court. They have the potential to win slams even if the big three is on the way and even if the odds are against them as seen at the US Open.
Dominic Thiem and Daniil Medvedev are the only players to win a Slam in their pack. Zverev and Tsitsipas have reached the finals of a Slam and are expecting to open their tally next year. This year there were a lot of matches where these players made up for the absence of the veterans. Players like Matteo Berrettini who made the Wimbledon final, Andrey Rublev, Felix Auger Aliassime, Denis Shapovalov are also not far behind in troubling the big three and the emergence of even younger players like Carlos Alcaraz Garfia, Jannik Sinner, Lorenzo Musetti and Jenson Brooksby add more woes to the seniors.
Next year it might not even be about who will win the 21st Slam. It will be about who’s going to take the baton or to rephrase who’s going to grab it as the chances are high that the younger generation start their dominance and assert their presence on court. These players are ready to make history and take what is rightfully theirs, the courts are going to get messy but that's what happens in an invasion.
Also read: Daniil Medvedev’s groundbreaking run at the US Open gives hope to the next generation of stars
Daniil Medvedev’s groundbreaking run at the US Open gives hope to the next generation of stars
(Tennis news): Daniil Medvedev has pulled off one of the biggest upsets in tennis history as he defeated Novak Djokovic in the most unforeseen circumstances at the US Open. The odds were against Medvedev as he was facing arguably the most versatile tennis player on the planet but Medvedev put all that aside and did not let Djokovic in his head.
Djokovic was having the best possible year as he was unbeaten in Grand Slams and was looking to repeat the feat achieved by Rod Laver in 1969. Rod Laver was himself present in the crowd as his record was in danger but as the match started the record seemed to move further away. Medvedev played like he had nothing to lose and just broke Djokovic mentally as the pressure to win the calendar slam rocketed.
Djokovic lost the opening set as he had done previously in the last four matches and he had always come back in those matches but this time it looked like it was getting delayed as Medvedev did not falter at any point of time and kept winning points as he looked at the crowd which was witnessing a major upset.
Djokovic changed his shirt in the beginning of the last set as he tried one last time to make a comeback and there was a slight hope that the match would go another set and the crowd was suddenly chanting for Djokovic’s revival. Djokovic had the lost the first set at Wimbledon against Matteo Berrettini but even more notable was that he had the lost the first two sets against Stefanos Tsitsipas at the French Open but found ways to finish with the trophy in hand.
It was looking as if Medvedev had lost control and would choke in the end but Medvedev made sure the crowd would get the answer quick and clear. Maybe the Australian Open final against Djokovic in the year beginning played a major part in Medvedev’s victory or the pressure got to Djokovic in winning the calendar slam which does not seem likely.
The match saw both the players becoming emotional as there was a lot at stake especially for Djokovic. Djokovic was also seen smiling in the end as it reminded the crowd of the same grin which was there 10 years back when Djokovic saved one of the match points against Roger Federer in the semifinal with a powerful cross court forehand. This time Djokovic was seen in tears as he put the towel in his face before the last game and Medvedev who is known for his celebrations which involves a smile or just a thumbs up also did not hold back as he just fell on the court after winning the last point.
This victory is one of the most significant victories ever in the game, Rafael Nadal was defeated for the first time at the French Open in 2009 by Robin Soderling and it was a huge victory as Nadal had won the last four titles. Roger Federer was defeated in the same year at the US Open final by Juan Martín del Potro and Federer had won the last five titles. Nadal was defeated by the brutal strength of Soderling’s forehand and Federer was annihilated by Potro’s forehand, but the difference here is Djokovic had won all the Slams in the year, something which had not happened in the last 52 years.
Roger Federer was known for his ability to excel in all the surfaces but even he had his troubles in clay as he struggled especially against Nadal. Djokovic has proved himself to be a court player as he has continued to win no matter what the surface or opponent is but will be wondering what went wrong against Medvedev.
Medvedev stopped Djokovic from a historic calendar Slam and also from a record 21st Grand Slam title. Medvedev had already lost to Djokovic in the Australian Open final but none of that mattered to him when he played the final here at the US Open. Medvedev has now cemented his place in the list of greatest upsets and is the second man born in the 90’s to win a Grand Slam after Dominic Thiem took the title here last year.
Daniil Medvedev will celebrate his achievement now as he will lift the trophy and make sure he gets more next year. As for Djokovic it will be a painful defeat as he was only victory away but being the athlete he is there is no need to wait for him to bounce back. Djokovic will look to defend the titles next year and hope to give company to Rod Laver next time.
Also read: Paralympic stars Dylan Alcott and Diede de Groot create history by winning the Golden Slam in wheelchair tennis
Paralympic stars Dylan Alcott and Diede de Groot create history by winning the Golden Slam in wheelchair tennis
(Tennis news) History was created on Sunday when Dylan Alcott and Diede de Groot won the U.S Open to conclude the most successful tennis campaign imaginable. Nobody in the history of wheelchair tennis had won the Golden Slam until yesterday and when it finally happened, it occurred not once but twice.
Having already won the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and Paralympic gold medals, Dylan Alcott and Diede de Groot won the U.S Open in dominant fashion to cement their historic accomplishment. World number 1 from Australia Dylan Alcott defeated Niels Vink of the Netherlands 7-5, 6-2 in the quad singles division while Dutch World Number 1 Diede de Groot defeated 2nd seed Yui Kamiji of Japan 6-3, 6-2 in the Women’s Singles Final.
Only Steffi Graff in 1988 has won all four Grand Slam titles and an Olympic gold medal in the same year. The accomplishment was not possible in wheelchair tennis until 2016, when Wimbledon was added for wheelchair tennis players. Alcott, who previously won a Paralympic gold medal in basketball in 2008 became the only male tennis player to win the Golden Slam.
In his acceptance speech, Alcott said “To all the sponsors, everybody that makes it happen, thank you for putting us on stadium courts, changing my life, changing Niels's life, but hopefully changing the lives of millions of people with disability around the world, that they can see themselves on the big stage doing what they love." He continued, "I used to hate myself so much. I hated my disability. I didn't even want to be here anymore. And I found tennis, and it changed and saved my life, and now I've become the only male ever in any form of tennis, I think, to win the Golden Slam, which is pretty cool."
Both Dylan Alcott and Diede de Groot were honoured during the men’s final between Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev. Alcott poured a can of beer into his trophy and chugged it, much to the crowd's delight. "I just haven't done it in front of 20,000 people and 50 million watching. There was no chance I wasn't going to skull that beer on Arthur Ashe after I just won the Golden Slam.
"I saw I got a smile from Novak and Medvedev, action which was nice. I wouldn't want to be a beer in New York tonight, because you're going to get destroyed. That's for sure.''
Also read: Daniil Medvedev does the impossible against Novak Djokovic at the US Open final, Emma Raducanu captures first Grand Slam in style
Daniil Medvedev does the impossible against Novak Djokovic at the US Open final, Emma Raducanu captures first Grand Slam in style
(Tennis news): The final slam of the year never had any shortage of records or entertainment as the tournament came to an end with the last match being the Men’s Singles. The Men and Women’s Singles saw first time Grand Slam champions as the last two weeks saw the younger generation hogging the limelight.
In Men’s Singles, Daniil Medvedev won his first Grand Slam in the most extraordinary way possible and did it when it mattered the most. Medvedev was just better than Novak Djokovic in the final and has marked an important day in the history of tennis. Medvedev's service helped him against the Serbian, Djokovic dropped the first set but it looked like his usual games and a comeback was expected but Medvedev simply decided to continue.
Medvedev’s serve looked in trouble as he double faulted in his first championship point as the crowd started cheering for Djokovic. The Russian made sure the chants did not affect him as he served out the match and just fell on the court when he won the final point. Medvedev defeated Djokovic 6-4, 6-4, 6-4.
In Women’s Singles, Emma Raducanu picked up her first Grand Slam in a record second appearance as she beat Leylah Annie Fernandez in a full packed Arthur Ashe Stadium. Emma did not drop a set in the tournament and looked super confident right from the start of the match as she became the first qualifier ever to win a Grand Slam title.
Emma relied on quality shotmaking and placement as Leylah was unable to pick up momentum in both the sets. The 18 year old did not slow at any point and always had the upper hand over Leylah as she won the title to end the week with a remarkable performance. Emma defeated Leylah 6-4, 6-3.
In Women’s Doubles, Samantha Stosur and Zhang Shuai defeated tennagers Caty McNally and Cori Gauff in a match between two generations. The match saw Caty and Cori lifting up the crowd set as they took the second set with wild celebrations. Stosur and Shuai finally delivered in the end as they captured the title in under 2 hours. Stosur and Shuai defeated Cori and Mcnally 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.
In Mixed Doubles, Joe Salisbury and Desirae Krawczyk captured the title as they beat Marcelo Arévalo and Giuliana Olmos in straight sets. The first saw them holding their serves till the 11th game as Joe and Desirae finally broke the serve and it was all needed to win the set. In the second set Joe and Desirae broke serve in the very first game as it proved to be a major breakthrough for the pair. Joe had earlier won the doubles title with Rajeev Ram and followed it up with a win in the mixed doubles too. Joe and Desirae defeated Giuliana and Marcelo 7-5, 6-2.
Also read: Joe Salisbury and Rajeev Ram win doubles title at the US Open, Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev reach summit clash
Joe Salisbury and Rajeev Ram win doubles title at the US Open, Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev reach summit clash
(Tennis news): In Men’s Singles, Daniil Medvedev proved why he is the world number 2 as outsmarted Felix Auger Aliassime in the semifinals of the US Open. Medvedev has been finishing matches quickly in the tournament so far and the semifinal was no different. Felix started well as he came into the net and picked up a few points in the first set but Medvedev was always a step ahead.
In the second set Felix gave his best shot as he raked up a 5-2 lead and even had a set point at 5-4 even as Medvedev slowly started coming back. Medvedev took the second set as he reeled off the final five games and the third set saw Felix making an exit from his best ever performance in a Grand Slam. Medvedev defeated Felix 6-4, 7-5, 6-2
Novak Djokovic beat Alexander Zverev for the third time this year to reach the finals of the US Open. Djokovic made sure what happened in Tokyo stayed in Tokyo as he did not let his guard down and kept fighting till the last point. Djokovic repeatedly came into the net to outplay Zverev, Zverev then could not get the ball past him. Although Djokovic won the match it certainly brought out some great rallies from the players. Djokovic defeated Zverev 4-6, 6-2, 6-4, 4-6, 6-2.
Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Andy Murray have been exchanging the world number one ranking since 2004. The last time someone outside the big four became world number was in 2003 when Andy Roddick was on top and Daniil Medvedev has a chance to topple Djokovic if he manages to stop him in the final.
Djokovic is reaching the finals of all the Slams for the second time as he did it first in 2015. The last Calendar Slam was achieved by Steffi Graf in 1988 and in the Men’s field by Rod Laver in 1969. Djokovic will be under pressure as he is going to break many records when he steps on the court against Medvedev, but he has excelled in times like these and acts quick in times of crisis.
Djokovic is the hot favourite to win the Championship as Medvedev continues to spearhead the next generation against the big three. Medvedev has it in him to stage an upset and if he does it will be one to be remembered for ages. Whatever the result is on Monday it will be historic and a landmark in the sport.
In Men’s Doubles, Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury won the title as they defeated Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares 3-6, 6-2, 6-2. Rajeev and Joe did not let the first set defeat wear them down as they played aggressively against the error free pair of Jamie and Bruno.
Rajeev and Joe won the Australian Open last year and also reached the final this time. They will look to compete in the year end Championships but for now will celebrate the victory here.
In Women’s Doubles, the pair of Caty McNally and Cori Gauff have reached the finals and will play against Samantha Stosur and Zhang Shuai. Cori and Caty received a walkover in the semifinals against Luisa Stefani and Gabriela Dabrowski. Meanwhile Samantha and Zhang defeated Desirae Krawczyk and Alexa Guarachi 6-2, 7-5 to make it to the finals.
Caty and Cori upset top seeds Hsieh Su-wei and Elise Mertens in the quarterfinals, Cori is only 17 years old and Caty is 19 as Samantha is 37 years old and Zhang is 32. The US Open is indeed an entrance for future superstars as many veterans made their breakthroughs at New York. Samantha Stosur won the Singles title in 2011 and the doubles title in 2005 and it will be interesting to see how they perform against the teenagers given their success at the Singles this time. The Women’s Singles and doubles final will take place tomorrow.
In Mixed Doubles, Giuliana Olmos and Marcelo Arévalo will face Joe Salisbury and Desirae Krawczyk in the championship match. Giuliana and Marcelo defeated Max Purcell and Dayana Yastremska 4-6, 6-4, 10-6 in the semifinals and will expect to have a tough fight against Joe and Desirae. Joe and Desirae defeated Jessica Pegula and Austin Krajicek 7-6(7-2), 6-4 to save some energy for the finals. The finals will be played today.
Also read: Teenagers Emma Raducanu and Leylah Fernandez into the finals of the US Open
Teenagers Emma Raducanu and Leylah Fernandez into the finals of the US Open
(Tennis News): In Women’s Singles, Emma Raducanu showed no intentions of slowing down in her semifinal match against Maria Sakkari. Emma has become the first qualifier to reach the Women’s Singles final in the Open era and she has won all her matches in straight games. Maria tried her best with her powerful groundstrokes but it proved futile as Emma somehow managed to get to them and even return with more power.
Raducanu got off to a fine start as she took the first five games and Maria could only watch as the teenager took the set with ever growing confidence. In the second set again Raducanu never really lost control as Maria tried everything. There was a 17 point rally as Maria was trying to hold off a breakpoint at 2-4 and it involved two overhead smashes at the net which Raducanu defended brilliantly even though Maria won the point, it summed up the whole match. Raducanu defeated Maria 6-1, 6-4.
Leylah Annie Fernandez had to reserve her best for the end as she beat Aryna Sabalenka in her semifinal match. Leylah was down 0-3 in the first set but played like a veteran and took it till tiebreak to take the set even though Sabalenka gave her a tough time. The World number 2 was not going to go down against Leylah without a fight as she took the second set, Sabalenka had strong winners to lift up her spirit from time to time.
Leylah at times could not reach some of the groundstrokes produced by Sabalenka as it was a display of raw power. Although Sabalenka kept hitting powerful strokes it also brought many unforced errors which gave the teenager a hold of the match. Leylah defeated Sabalenka 7-6(7-3), 4-6, 6-4.
Last time the US Open saw two teenagers in a final was in 1999 when Serena Williams defeated Martina Hingis in the final.
Novak Djokovic versus Alexander Zverev
Djokovic and Zvere have played three matches this year with Djokovic leading 2-1. But in their last meeting Zverev pulled off a historic victory against the World number one. All of their matches have gone till the final set this year and Djokvic is the favourite to win the clash against young German.
In this year’s US Open Zverev has only spent 8 hours on the court and Djokovic has spent over 12 hours on the court. The time difference will play a major role even though Zverev will be getting two days and Djokovic will get one day rest. Zverev wil try breaking the Serb physically and also try getting into his head. Djokovic showed visible frustration against Pablo Carreño Busta in the Bronze medal playoff even smashing his racket in the court.
Zverev will try to repeat what he had done in the Tokyo Olympics and if he does will be one of the biggest upsets in tennis history. Djokovic has been invisible this year and stopping him in the Grand Slams is a tough task especially on hardcourts, he has had slow starts this time but once he finds his form there is no chance that he can be beaten this time.
Daniil Medvedev versus Felix Auger Aliassime
Daniil Medvedev is one of the most successful players on tour other than the big three over the past few years. He is the first man other than the big three to hold either of the top two spots in the rankings since 2005 and looks to be the next world number 1.Medvedev has won three titles this year with the latest one being the Toronto Open. He also has 40 victories this year and 10 losses, Medvedev was also the runner up in this year’s Australian Open where Novak Djokovic prevailed in straight sets. He also reached the quarterfinals of the French Open where he lost to Stefanos Tsistipas, Medvedev has so far only lost one set in the tournament.
Medvedev is a very cool and calm player on the court and he does express his emotions a lot. He has a very unorthodox forehand and backhand which enables him to change the direction of the ball quickly. Even though he is tall, Medvedev moves around the court like a gazelle and also has fast serves. He returns far away from the baseline which has been very effective in recent matches. Medvedev has spent over 10 hours on court and looks to be the favourite.
Felix Auger Aliassime is one of the latest players to have come up in the big stages, he has had a decent year but reached the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam for the first time in Wimbledon. Felix is quick around the court and has a stable backhand which comes to play during long rallies. Felix has spent over 14 hours on court and has had tough matches on his way to the semifinals.
Felix did have a great time in the grass courts but on the hard courts this year he has struggled a bit. But in the US Open he showed that he is ready for big time tennis and will look to preserve as much as stamina against Medvedev, Felix will try to finish the rallies quickly as Medvedev is a baseliner and doesn’t come to the net much. The match will be in Medvedev's favour if it goes too long as he has had a similar experience against Rafael Nadal two years back, Felix will try to create more chances early in the match and continue his record breaking run here.
In Men’s Doubles, Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares defeated the pair of Filip Polášek and John Peers 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 in the semifinals. In the second semifinals Steve Johnson and Sam Querrey’s brilliant run came to an end as they lost to Joe Salisbury and Rajeev Ram. Rajeev and Joe defeated Querrey and Johnson 7-6(7-5), 6-4.
Also read: Novak Djokovic books semifinal showdown against Alexander Zverev at the US Open, Emma Raducanu breaks into the last four
Young tennis players Sumit Nagal and Sasi Mukund's refusal to play for India upsets AITA
New Delhi, Sep 9 (Tennis news): Sumit Nagal excused himself from the upcoming Davis Cup tie against Finland, citing a hip injury, but the young tennis player continues to play on the ATP Challenger tour, upsetting the national federation, which will soon take up the matter with him.
Nagal wrote to All India Tennis Association (AITA) on August 28 that due to a hip injury he won't be able to compete against Finland because playing on the hard courts would aggravate his injury.
Finland will host India on indoor hard court from September 18.
The AITA then replaced Nagal with Saketh Myneni.
However, Nagal has competed in two Challenger events since then on clay courts -- Meerbusch (Germany) and Banja Luka (Bosnia & Herzegovina) -- which took the AITA by surprise.
Experts say it's impossible to play either on hard courts or clay courts if a player is carrying a hip injury. They say irrespective of the surface, the player can't escape from running which is not possible in case of a hip injury. Before reaching out to Myneni, the AITA also approached Sasi Kumar Mukund to take the place of Nagal in the national team but he also refused to play since he wanted to defend points in Pro Tour.
The lack of commitment of the young tennis players for the national team has stumped the AITA, which says it will speak to Nagal once the Finland tie is over.
"To see our player Sumit Nagal playing other tournaments and not playing Davis Cup is upsetting. We definitely want our best players to play for the country, no doubt about it. We are definitely going to take this matter up once we are back (from Finland)," AITA Secretary General Anil Dhupar told PTI.
"We want him in the Davis Cup team. Let's see what appropriate action we can take once we are back. We expect our top players to make themselves available (for national team)," he added.
Non-playing captain Rohit Rajpal also did not appreciate Nagal's decision.
"Obviously any captain will like his best players available. It's disappointing to go without our best team. Yuki Bhambri is injured," said Rajpal.
The 24-year-old Nagal could not be reached for a comment and his manager did not respond to messages.
Somdev Devvarman, who is also part of Nagal's team in a mentor's role, also did not respond to messages.
However, Mukund gave his reasons for not joining the Indian team.
"I am not as high ranked as Prajnesh and Ramkumar, so I don't have the liberty to choose tournaments, so I have two main draws in the states (USA) so I need to play it.
"I have made 30 points this year and I worked really hard to come back to form and now would be tough for me to break momentum," Mukund said.
The talented young player said his Austrian coach also advised him against playing the upcoming Davis Cup tie.
"My coach (Martin Spottl) said it's better for me to stay on Tour. Even though it was his decision to send me 15 days to Kolkata to practice on grass but this time it was a tough call for him to do that," he said.
Mukund, 24, also said that it would have been extremely difficult for him to get the appropriate visa. "I will just not be able to be in Europe unless they get me a new visa which when I asked the German ambassador he said it's nearly impossible. So I would have to exit EU to either India or Tunisia or somewhere which my coach can't come because someone in his family has a surgery.
"And I am not ready to forego my existing visa for new short term visa," he said.
It may be mentioned that Mukund had made himself unavailable for the tie much before the selection committee meeting took place but the AITA reached out to him again after Nagal pulled out.
Also read: Novak Djokovic books semifinal showdown against Alexander Zverev at the US Open, Emma Raducanu breaks into the last four
News source: PTI
Novak Djokovic books semifinal showdown against Alexander Zverev at the US Open, Emma Raducanu breaks into the last four
(Tennis News): In Men’s Singles, Novak Djokovic is now only two wins away from winning the Calendar Grand Slam. Djokovic has now beaten Matteo Berrettini thrice this year, all of them coming in the Grand Slams. Berrettini took advantage of Djokovic’s slow start to take the first set but that was it as Djokovic delivered a masterclass to take the three sets to set up a semifinal clash against Alexander Zverev. Djokovic defeated Berrettini 5-7, 6-2, 6-2, 6-3.
Alexander Zverev put an end to Lloyd Harris’s fairytale run at the US Open. Harris had earlier beaten Reilly Opelka, Denis Shapovalov and Karen Khachanov on his way to the quarterfinals. Zverev was in no way threatened by Harris although in the first set Zverev had to bring out his top game. Zverev also came to the net and effectively used the volley to win points even at crucial stages. Zverev defeated Harris 7-6(8-6), 6-3, 6-4.
In Women’s Singles, Emma Raducanu is making sure she spends more time at the US Open as she beat Belinda Bencic in the quarterfinal. Emma has become the first Qualifier in the open era to make the semifinals at the US Open. Emma was down 1-3 in the first set as Belinda kept showering blows to take an early lead but then Emma came back with an inspiring performance as she took the next five games to take the set. Emma kept hitting better and better as the match went on and Belinda waved goodbye to the crowd. Emma defeated Belinda 6-3, 6-4
Aryna Sabalenka was on her usual attacking form when she beat Barbora Krejcikova in the Quarterfinals. Sablenka had reached the semifinals in Wimbledon this year and looks to win the Championship to reach closer to the number 1 ranking which she has been chasing for some time now. Barbora could not withstand her opponent’s shots in the first set and in the second set made a brief comeback but it was not enough as Sabalenka will play against Leylah Annie Fernandez in the semifinal. Sabalenka defeated Barbora 6-1, 6-4.
Maria Sakkari’s backhand was too powerful and accurate as it played a major role in her quarterfinal match against Karolína Plíšková. The rallies were short as tournament’s ace leader Pliskova could not match Maria’s serve and groundstrokes. Maria is the first Greek player to ever reach a US Open semifinal; she had reached the semifinal at the French Open earlier this year. Maria defeated Pliskova 6-4, 6-4.
Leylah Annie Fernandez versus Aryna Sabalenka
Leylah Annie Fernandez is the second youngest in the last four. The 19 year old produced a huge upset as she knocked out defending champion Naomi Osaka in the third round. She also defeated 2016 champion Angelique Kerber in the fourth round, her powerful strokes and athleticism has served her well in the hardcourts.
Aryna Sabalenka is the world number two and has plenty of experience by her side. She is 6ft tall and uses that for her powerful serves and groundstrokes to beat the opponent. Aryna is also very ruthless and can hit winners from any side of the court; she has dropped only one set in the tournament. She won the doubles title here in 2019 and the Australian Open doubles this year and can use the serve and volley combination to beat the teenager. Aryna will also have the mental strength over her young opponent.
Emma Raducanu versus Maria Sakkari
Emma is having the time of her life as she is into the last four in her second Grand Slam. She has not dropped a set in the tournament and even in the qualifiers did not lose a set. She has grown physically stronger and has not been challenged so far in the tournament. She is the youngest player left in this tournament and in the third round was almost close to a double bagel against Sara Sorribes Tormo. Although she has less experience she certainly looks the favourite given her form in the past few days
Maria Sakkari is a strong server and has powerful groundstrokes to accompany her all-court style of play. She will look to use her experience against the 18 year old and put her under pressure, Maria will also look to use her backhand which was particularly useful against Pliskova. This will be Maria’s second career semifinal after reaching the semifinal at the French Open.
Emma Raducanu is the youngest of the four as she is only 18 years old and Maria Sakkari is the oldest as she is 26 years old. Of the four semi finalists, none of them have ever reached a Grand Slam final and we will be looking at a first Grand Slam winner at this year’s US Open.
Also read: Canadians Felix Auger Aliassime and Leylah Fernandez into the semifinals at the US Open
India's Jeev Milkha Singh becomes first golfer in world to be granted 10-year Dubai Golden Visa
Dubai, Sep 8 (Golf news) Star Indian golfer Jeev Milkha Singh has become the first professional golfer in the world to receive the prestigious 10-year Dubai Golden Visa in recognition of his outstanding achievements in the sport.
The 49-year-old Jeev has had a long association with Dubai, having featured in several tournaments and making many friends in the city.
"I am really honoured and humbled that the Dubai government has considered me for the Golden Visa and I am looking forward to making many more special memories here," Jeev said in a release.
During the 2001 Dubai Desert Classic, Jeev had established a world record at that time when he completed the four rounds with just 94 putts while finishing tied sixth.
Jeev, winner of four titles on the European Tour, four on Japan Golf Tour and six on the Asian Tour, has received the 10-year 'Gold card' for being an elite professional athlete.
Also read: Jahanvi aims to continue good form at the 8th leg on the Hero WPGT
"This is a huge honour. I think I came to Dubai for the first time in 1993, and I have loved every moment of my stay here and greatly admired the energy of this fascinating city," he said.
"My family has enjoyed the many offerings of Dubai, like the variety of restaurants and shopping, but being a professional golfer, the biggest attraction for me is the quality of golf courses and the practice facilities that you get here, which really are second to none.
"I have also got a lot of support from Dubai. I was one of the first ambassadors for Jumeirah Golf Estates, and also of 'Golf in Dubai' for many years." The Golden Visa was instituted by the UAE government in 2019 as a new system which allowed investors (minimum of AED 10 million) and entrepreneurs, as well as professionals and specialised talents like in the field of science, knowledge and sports, to apply for it.
Other sportspersons who have been granted the Golden Visa by Dubai include footballers Cristiano Ronaldo, Paul Pogba, Roberto Carlos, Luis Figo and Romel Lukaku, tennis superstar Novak Djokovic, Indian tennis star Sania Mirza and her husband and Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik.
Bollywood stars Shah Rukh Khan and Sanjay Dutt have also received their visas.
Son of the legendary Indian athlete, the late 'Flying Sikh' Milkha Singh, Jeev won two of the biggest tournaments on the European Tour -- the 2006 Volvo Masters at Valderrama and the 2012 Scottish Open.
He also won the 2008 Singapore Open and rose to No. 28 in the Official World Golf Ranking, a high that few Asian golfers have managed to surpass.
News source: PTI
Canadians Felix Auger Aliassime and Leylah Fernandez into the semifinals at the US Open
(Tennis news): In Men’s Singles, Felix Auger-Aliassime did not have to break much sweat in his quarterfinal match against Carlos Alcaraz Garfia. Alcaraz retired in the second set due to a right adductor injury, Alcaraz had spent over 7 and half hours in his last two matches. Meanwhile Felix has spent 14 hours in five matches this year at the US Open, he played well in the first set as his serves were under control and also came into the net to finish points quickly.
Felix is the first player born in the 2000’s to make it into the semifinals of a Men’s Grand Slam and is also the first Canadian man to make the last four in the US Open. Although he did not expect the match to finish in this way, Felix has been in good form this year. As for Alcaraz his campaign ended in painful fashion and will look to comeback stronger, he could not produce his magic often in the match as he bids farewell to the final Slam of the year. Felix defeated Alcaraz 6-3, 3-1 (retired hurt).
Daniil Medvedev reached the semifinals for the third consecutive time at the US Open as he overcame Dutch qualifier Botic van de Zandschulp in four sets. Medvedev dropped a set for the first time as he had straight set victories till the fourth round, he played his usual self in the first two sets, even served and volleyed a couple of times. The first two sets were wrapped up quickly until Botic took control in the third set but Medvedev didn’t let that affect his performance as he came back to take the fourth and advance into the semifinals. Medvedev defeated Botic 6-3, 6-0, 4-6, 7-5.
In Women’s Singles, Leylah Annie Fernandez continued her giant killing run as she beat Elina Svitolina in the quarterfinals. Elina had won the Singles bronze in the Tokyo Olympics and was looking to make her second semifinal in the US Open after 2019. Leylah’s groundstrokes were no match for Svitolina, Leylah also returned the ball somehow no matter where and how hard Svitolina hit it. Both of them had powerful groundstrokes but Leylah also covered the court like a machine even at the end moments of the match.
In the final set it was 5 all in the tie break, Leylah then hit a banana like forehand which hit the net cord as Svitolina approached it and it was match point for Leylah as she apologised to Svitolina who couldn’t believe it. Svitolina then hit a backhand long to send Leylah into the semifinals. Leylah defeated Svitolina 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(7-5). Two Candians are into the semifinals of the US Open for the first time in the Open era.
In Men’s Doubles, Bruno Soares and Jamie Murray had a close call in the first set as they defeated Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos 6-7(7-5), 6-4, 6-4 in the quarterfinals . Sam Querrey and Steve Johnson made a surprising entry into the semifinals as they defeated Horia Tecău and Kevin Krawietz 6-2, 7-6(7-5).
In Women’s Doubles, American pair of Caty McNally and Coco Gauff did not make it look like an upset as they defeated Andreja Klepač and Darija Jurak 6-4, 6-4 in the fourth round. Caty and Gauff will face top seeds Hsieh Su-wei and Elise Mertens who seem to be the favourites to take the title. Zhang Shuai and Samantha Stosur defeated Caroline Dolehide and Storm Sanders 6-2, 6-3 in the quarterfinals. Zhang and Samantha have not lost a set so far in the tournament.
In Mixed Doubles, Joe Salisbury and Desirae Krawczyk overcame Sander Gillé and Demi Schuurs in the quarterfinal as the match swung in both the teams favour until the final set tiebreak. The first two sets saw the teams dominating each other until the tiebreak finally ended in favour of Joe and Desirae. Joe and Desirae defeated Sander and Demi 6-1, 1-6, 10-7.
Giuliana Olmos and Marcelo Arévalo defeated Marcelo Demoliner and Ellen Pérez 3-6, 6-3, 10-4. Olmos and Arévalo only committed 8 unforced errors as they kept the defensive mode throughout the quarterfinal.
Also read: Emma Raducanu breezes past Shelby Rogers at the US Open, Matteo Berrettini seeks Wimbeldon revenge against Novak Djokovic
Bopanna-Dodig pair goes down fighting in US Open
New York, Sep 7 (Tennis news) Veteran Indian tennis player Rohan Bopanna and his Croatian partner Ivan Dodig fought their hearts out before losing their men's doubles third round to fourth seeds Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury at the US Open here.
Bopanna and Dodig, seeded 13th, lost 7-6(4) 4-6 6-7(3) to the Australian Open runners-up in a gruelling contest that lasted two hours and 30 minutes on Monday night.
With this defeat, India's challenge has ended at the last Grand Slam of the season.
Also read: Emma Raducanu breezes past Shelby Rogers at the US Open, Matteo Berrettini seeks Wimbeldon revenge against Novak Djokovic
Sania Mirza lost her both women's doubles and mixed doubles first rounds and Ankita Raina also lost in the women's doubles.
Prajnesh Gunneswaran, Sumit Nagal and Ramkumar Ramanathan could not not qualify for the singles main draw, falling in the Qualifiers.
News source: PTI
Emma Raducanu the top newcomer in the WTA tour this season
(Tennis news): Emma Raducanu is playing in her second Grand Slam tournament and is into the quarterfinals of the US Open where she will face Tokyo Olympics Singles champion Belinda Bencic. Emma is only 18 years old and has been playing professional tennis since 2018 and played her first main draw tour level match at the 2021 Nottingham Open.
Emma was ranked 338 in the world when she got the wildcard for the Nottingham Open in June, she lost her first match against Harriet Dart in straight sets. Emma also earned a wild card in Wimbledon defeating Russian qualifier Vitalia Anatolyevna Diatchenko in the first round. She had a tough first set but bageled her opponent in the second one. In the second round she defeated 2019 French Open runner up Markéta Vondroušová and Emma didn’t stop there. In the third round she defeated Sorana Cîrstea to become the youngest British woman to reach the last 16 in the open era. She lost in the fourth round to Ajla Tomljanović as Emma had to retire in the second set due to breathlessness. The level of physical fitness of Emma was questioned as she seemed to struggle in the match.
Emma’s efforts were a boon to her rankings as she rose to a career best 179 in the world. She again gained a wild card to the Silicon Valley Classic tournament which was her first entry into a 500 event. She lost in the first round to Zhang Shuai in straight sets, Emma then reached the final of the WTA 125 tournament in Chicago which propelled her to a career best ranking of 150.
Emma’s Meteoric rise on the tour has been exceptional. The sport has seen many different champions in the past twenty years, in the Grand Slam stages there have been different winners as only Serena Williams, Venus Williams and Maria Sharapova have made it multiple times. Serena of course is on a different pedestal but now these young players are slowly rising. Emma played well in Wimbledon, where she reached the fourth round in just her Grand Slam debut. Players of this generation are used to huge crowds and have advanced technologies to analyse their opponents matches. They are well equipped, but the amount of dedication and hardwork will always be the same to be a top ranked player on tour.
The top players have always started out young, some have found success at a very young age like Serena, Rafael Nadal in the recent past and a handful of the players can play for a long time. This US open was a painful reminder to the fans and the audience that the older generation players cannot compete continuously like the younger ones. The youngsters gave the fans and audience a happy reminder that there are more records to come, even though it will take some time. Players like Emma who were not even in the top 300 at the start of the year but now are in the top 150 can be the future superstars of the game.
Emma came in the US Open as a qualifier, where she played three matches and did not drop a set. In the main draw she was expected to have tough challenges but so far has not been facing trouble. Emma upset Shuai Zhang, a player ranked 100 places above her in the second round and in the next round caused a bigger upset as she defeated Sara Sorribes Tormo also bageled her in the second set. Sara had defeated Ashleigh Barty in the Tokyo Olympics and is having a good tour this season, Emma took the first 11 games of the match. In the next round was the biggest upset by Emma yet as she defeated Shelby Rogers. Rogers again had defeated Barty in the earlier round and reached the quarterfinals last year.
It is interesting to see that Emma has not dropped a set yet in the US Open, she has not conceded more than four games in a set against her opponents. In her eight Grand Slam matches so far, she has lost one to Ajla Tomljanović in Wimbledon other than she has won all her matches in straight sets. Emma also recorded a bagel in her very first Grand Slam match, she seems to be very promising and will look to be at her best against Belinda Bencic.
Emma is a right hander who plays a two handed backhand, she has powerful groundstrokes which has been a nuclear weapon in the US Open. She has a total of 92 winners in four matches and so far has quickly closed out the matches. Emma’s physical fitness has improved ever since her Wimbledon retirement, she is now used to the game of the top players. Emma hopefully won’t fall prey to the heavy expectations as every upcoming young player faces this stern task of facing the audience in times of defeat. She will need every bit of strength in the coming matches and the crowd so far has been super supportive of the players. Emma looks to be the flag bearer of the latest generation.
Also read: Emma Raducanu breezes past Shelby Rogers at the US Open, Matteo Berrettini seeks Wimbeldon revenge against Novak Djokovic
Emma Raducanu breezes past Shelby Rogers at the US Open, Matteo Berrettini seeks Wimbeldon revenge against Novak Djokovic
(Tennis news): In Men’s Singles, Novak Djokovic was challenged initially in the start of the match by Jenson Brooksby. Jenson seemed not to be bothered by the World’s best player as he took the first set. The crowd went wild only to watch in despair as Djokovic took the next three as Andy Roddick, a former world number 1 and the champion here in 2003 tweeted perfectly about the match that First he takes your legs, then he takes your soul. Djokovic defeated Jenson 1-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2.
Matteo Berrettini looked strong and fast as he took on World no 144 Oscar Otte in the fourth round of the US Open. Oscar had reached the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the first time and suffered blows from Berrettini, Oscar took the second set to add some mystery in the clash but it was soon put off as Berrettini close with an ace as he faces Djokovic for third time in a Grand Slam this year after the French Open quarterfinal and the Wimbledon final. Berrettini defeated Oscar 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.
Lloyd Harris reached his first Grand Slam Quarterfinal as he out performed Reilly Opelka in every aspect of the game. Harris even lobbed the ball over the 6 foot 11 inch American in the very first game of the match, even though Opelka took the first set Harris simply played better throughout the match. Harris even served more aces than Opelka in every set and in the final two sets Harris was seen toying with perfection as he did not commit a single unforced error and progressed to the quarterfinals. Harris defeated Opelka 6-7(6-8), 6-4, 6-1, 6-3.
In Women’s Singles, Emma Raducanu took just an hour to knock out Shelby Rogers who had beaten Asheligh Barty in the previous game. The scoreboard was supposed to be the same but not in favour of Emma as she took the first set with a blazing forehand return winner. Emma just continued her A game in the second set as she was up 5-0 and Rogers somehow got one game off her. Emma defeated Rogers 6-2, 6-1.
Maria Sakkari reached the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam for the second time after reaching the semifinals of the French Open a few months earlier. Maria had to play a marathon match against 2019 champion Bianca Andreescu in the fourth round. Biana had the chance to settle the match in the second set tiebreak as she needed two points for a win but Maria took the set and took the last three games in the final set to finally finish out in the match in three and half hours. Maria defeated Bianca 6-7(2-7), 7-6(8-6), 6-3.
Barbora Krejčíková won her first Grand Slam in Singles this year at the French Open, She was facing Garbiñe Muguruza for the third time this year and Barbora had won their last meeting in the fourth round of the Cincinnati Open. In the first twelve points of the match, Muguruza could only win two points as Barbora raced off to a 3-0 lead. Muguruza came back with 3 continuous games but Barbora took the next three to take the first set and in the next set Barbora again took the first 4 games. This time there was a much stronger Muguruza as she took the next five games and even had two set points while Barbora was serving at 4-5. Barbora took it to a tie break as it was a close contest in the second set. Barbora defeated Muguruza 6-3, 7-6(7-4).
In Men’s Doubles, Joe Salisbury and Rajeev Ram defeated Rohan Bopanna and Ivan Dodig in the fourth round as the Indian contention at the US Open came to an end. Joe and Rajeev defeated Rohan and Ivan 6-7(3-7), 6-4, 7-6(7-3). Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos did not face much trouble as they defeated Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi and Jonny O'Mara 7-5, 7-5 to go into the quarterfinals.
In Women’s Doubles, Hsieh Su-wei and Elise Mertens continued their smooth run with a hat trick of straight set victories. Hsieh Su-wei and Mertens defeated Greet Minnen and Alison Van Uytvanck 6-0, 6-2 in the fourth round. Luisa Stefani and Gabriela Dabrowski had it rough in the start but eventually defeated Dayana Yastremska and Marta Kostyuk 6-7(5-7), 6-4, 6-2.
In Mixed Doubles, Marcelo Demoliner and Ellen Perez faced tough competition as they defeated Joran Vliegen and Andreja Klepač 6-7(4-7), 6-4, 10-5 to advance into the quarterfinals. Max Purcell and Dayana Yastremska only lost five games as they defeated Fabrice Martin and Yaroslava Shvedova 6-2, 6-3 to enter the semifinals.
Also read: Novak Djokovic four victories away from making history at the US Open, Leylah Fernandez knocks out Angelique Kerber in fourth round clash
Young Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz is breaking records one step at a time
(Tennis news): Carlos Alcaraz Garfia is just 18 years old and already making heavy strides in the game. The US Open has been his major spotlight although he has been making progress since the start of the year. At the start of the 2019 season, he was ranked 490 and by the end of the year he was ranked 130. In 2020 he started the year ranked 130 and the rankings didn't change much as there were few tournaments taking place. He has made his debut in all the Grand Slams this year.
In the 2021 season, Alcaraz made his Grand Slam debut at the Australian Open where he beat Botic van de Zandschulp in the first round but lost to Mikael Ymer in the next round. His major breakthrough came in the AnyTech365 Andalucia Open, a 250 tier tournament where he made the semifinals beating Feliciano Lopez, Casper Ruud on the way. Alcaraz also faced his idol Rafael Nadal in the third round of the Madrid Masters 1000 losing in straight sets.
In the French Open, Alcaraz won his opening match against Nikoloz Basilashvili but lost his next match to Jan-Lennard Struff. In Wimbledon too he won his first match against Yasutaka Uchiyama and in the next match lost to Daniil Medvedev. His next tournament, the Croatia Open 250 will always be special to him as he beat Filip Krajinovic, Albert Ramos-Vinolas and in the final demolished Richard Gasquet for his first ATP tour title.
The Croatia Open has an interesting history behind it. Alcaraz’s coach, Juan Carlos Ferrero had won it in 2010. Novak Djokovic also made his tour level appearance in Umag back in 2003 when Alcaraz was born. The year 2003 is also when Rafael Nadal made his Grand Slam debut and Roger Federer won Wimbledon which was his first Grand Slam title. Alcaraz has a lot of players he can look upto especially his own countrymen, he considers Nadal as his idol.
Juan Carlos Ferrero, a former world number 1 and French Open winner in 2003 has been instrumental in the young Spaniard’s career. He has been coaching him since 2018 and has been bringing in changes constantly especially on his aggressive play. Stefanos Tsitsipas said that he has never seen anybody striking the ball that hard after losing to Alcaraz in the fourth round of the ongoing US Open.
Alcaraz is a right hander and plays a two handed backhand, he employs his powerful forehand to hit winners and also uses a drop shot as he can also finish off points in the net. His endurance was heavily tested against Stefanos Tsitsipas in the fourth round of the US Open, the match lasted for over four hours and Alcaraz had covered 9kms in distance during the match. Although he is young, he has the strength and grit to trouble the top players.
Alcaraz is the youngest Grand Slam quarter finalist since Michael Chang in the 1990 French Open and is the youngest to reach the US Open quarterfinals since 1963. He is the youngest man from Spain to reach the US Open fourth round since Nadal in 2006, Nadal had lost in the quarterfinals to Mikhail Youzhny that year. Alcaraz is also the youngest player to beat a top three ranked opponent since the start of the ATP rankings in 1973.
Alcaraz has a lot to look forward to since he has just started his career and has done it in the best way possible. 16 years ago, on a different surface another aggressive young Spaniard won his first Grand Slam and now will be looking for a successor. Nadal has set the bar high for the future players from Spain, Alcaraz has his targets in sight as he will try to reach the last four and maybe even face Novak Djokovic in a thrilling battle. There are a lot of expectations from the young lad as he will try to break in the next Gen which will be carrying the tour hopefully soon. Alcaraz has been a major headline of this year’s US Open and who knows might even lift a Grand Slam in a year or two.
The tour has seen a lot of youngsters making the top cut, but someone so young shining in the Grand Slams has not been seen in recent years. The pressure and facing the crowds itself is a difficult task and adding to facing top players who have had years of experience. Alcaraz doesn't seem to be distracted by all this as he is now a crowd favourite and showed his best tennis in Arthur Ashe Stadium which is the largest tennis stadium in the world. He will next face Felix Auger Aliassime who is also a rising star himself, it will be a eye dropping battle as the crafty Canadian will take on the aggressive rough Spaniard. A battle of the future stars and they have indeed added more spice in the tournament. The future of tennis is in safe hands and the ball is in the court, let's admire the show while it lasts.
Also read: Novak Djokovic four victories away from making history at the US Open, Leylah Fernandez knocks out Angelique Kerber in fourth round clash
Novak Djokovic four victories away from making history at the US Open, Leylah Fernandez knocks out Angelique Kerber in fourth round clash
(Tennis news): In Men’s Singles, Novak Djokovic shook off a slow start to secure victory over former US Open finalist Kei Nishikori. Nishikori took control in the first set as Djokovic made few unforced errors in crucial stages, but after losing the first set Djokovic made sure the audience will have to wait to see him lose as he progressed into the fourth round. Djokovic defeated Nishikori 7-6(7-4), 6-3, 6-2.
Carlos Alcaraz Garfia continued to scale new heights as he beat Peter Gojowczyk in another five set contest to progress into the quarterfinals. Alcaraz is the youngest Grand Slam quarter finalist since 1990 and will look to create more milestones ahead. Both the players had a good start as they started with a set apiece, Gojowczyk then took the third set for a two set lead as Alcaraz looked in danger. Alcaraz responded sharply as he gave no chances to Gojowczyk in the next two sets to steer the match in his favour. Alcaraz defeated Gojowczyk 5-7, 6-1, 5-7, 6-2, 6-0.
Botic van de Zandschulp from the Netherlands is another player who is seen making great progress in this year’s US Open. He has battled through the qualifiers and has so far 5 career victories all of which have come this year. Zandschulp had taken out eighth seed Casper Ruud in the second round and in his biggest career win defeated Diego Schwartzman in the fourth round. In his four hour battle against Diego, Zandschulp was on fire from the start and took the first two sets. Diego, under pressure fought hard and took the next two and was the favourite to win the final set. Zandschulp crushed the hopes of the world number 14 to progress into the quarterfinals. Zandschulp defeated Diego 6-3, 6-4, 5-7, 5-7, 6-1.
In Women’s Singles, Leylah Annie Fernandez took on another US Open champion and the result was the same as the previous round. Angelique Kerber could only delay her fate as Leylah proved to be too good for her. In the first set Kerber played her usual self and took the first set but in the next set the teenager shot back by winning the second through a tie breaker. In the final set Leylah gave away no chances to Kerber as she cruised into the quarter finals. Leylah defeated Kerber 4-6, 7-6(7-5). 6-2.
Shelby Rogers secured a huge win as she overcame World number 1 Ashleigh Barty in a final set thriller. The first set saw Rogers taking the lead with a defensive play and tried to land the shots in the court, in the second set Barty played even more aggressively as she used her serve and netplay to force the match into a decider. In the final set Barty looked promising with a 5-2 lead until Rogers turned into a gladiator and fought back with mighty force as it came to a tiebreaker. In the tiebreak both the players were on level with five points each until Rogers took two points as the crowd could not believe what they had just witnessed. Rogers defeated Barty 6-2, 1-6, 7-6(7-5).
In Men’s Doubles, Rohan Bopanna and Ivan Dodig had mid match hiccups as they outplayed Arthur Rinderknech and Hugo Nys in a three set second round clash. Bopanna and Dodig defeated Rinderknech and Hugo 6-3, 4-6, 6-4. Jack Sock and Neal Skupski started their campaign with a thumping win over Filip Krajinović and Laslo Đere in the first round, Sock and Skupski defeated Krajinović and Laslo 6-2, 6-3.
In Women’s Doubles, Luisa Stefani and Gabriela Dabrowski had a tight second round clash against Shelby Rogers and Petra Martić as it took two and half hours to secure a victory. Stefani and Dabrowski defeated Rogers and Petra 6-4, 6-7(7-5), 7-6(7-3). Top seeds Elise Mertens and Hsieh Su-wei had an relatively easy second round as they defeated Ulrikke Eikeri and Elixane Lechemia 6-4, 6-2.
In Mixed Doubles, Giuliana Olmos and Marcelo Arévalo caused an uproar as they took out top seeds Nicole Melichar-Martinez and Ivan Dodig in the fourth round. Olmos and Marcelo defeated Nicole and Dodig 7-5, 3-6, 10-5. Jessica Pegula and Austin Krajicek had to struggle in the beginning as they defeated the Japanese pair of Ena Shibahara and Ben McLachlan 7-6(7-1), 6-3.
Also read: Carlos Alcaraz and Leylah Fernandez lead with huge victories at the US Open
Jack Sock and Kei Nishikori turn back the clock at the US Open, Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić exit in the first round in doubles
(Tennis news): In Men’s Singles, Jack Sock entered the third round of a Grand Slam after 4 years. Sock defeated Alexander Bublik in an entertaining contest as both the players were engaged in trickshots and super fast forehands. Sock began to win points at the net right from the start whereas Bublik was simply firing aces along with winners, in the end Sock managed to slow down his opponent for an emotional victory. Sock defeated Bublik 7-6(7-3), 6-7(2-7), 6-4, 4-6,6-3.
Kei Nishikori, also on the verge of a comeback defeated Mackenzie McDonald after spending 4 hours on the court. Nishikori was on course for a comfortable straight set victory as he took the first two sets but a sudden surge from Mackenzie forced the match to the decisive set. Nishikori charged ahead early in the final set as Mackenzie failed to outsmart him, Nishikori will face Novak Djokovic in the third round. Nishikori defeated Mackenzie McDonald 7-6(7-3), 6-3, 6-7(5-7), 6-2.
Andreas Seppi reached the third round of the US Open Singles for the fourth time in 18 years and the first since 2015 as he staged an upset over 10th seed Hubert Hurkacz. Seppi was totally beaten by Hubert in the first set but managed to come back without any trouble to take the next two sets. Seppi then showed no signs of slowing down as he won the match by taking the fourth set tiebreaker. Seppi defeated Hubert 2-6, 6-4, 6-4, 7-6( 8-6).
In Women’s Singles, Varvara Gracheva secured her 13th career win as she beat Paula Badosa. Varvara did not show any form of fear or pressure when faced the world number 26, Varvara led the fight early on as it took her only an hour and 14 minutes to send Paula packing. Varvara defeated Paula 6-4, 6-4.
Jil Teichmann continued to struggle in Grand Slams as she lost to Anett Kontaveit in straight sets. Anett played aggressively and used her serve and volley to beat the in-form Teichmann, Anett made Teichmann run all over the court as the second set saw Anett improving her serve game by game. Anett defeated Teichmann 6-4, 6-1.
Tokyo Olympics Singles Gold Medallist, Belinda Bencic dominated her match against Martina Trevisan to enter the third round. Belinda won 12 of her last 13 points to take the 1st set and took the first five games in the second set as Martina found support from the crowd when she won her fourth and last game. Belinda defeated Martina 6-3, 6-1.
In Men’s Doubles, Wimbledon champions Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić were stunned by Nathaniel Lammons and Jackson Withrow in straight sets. The Americans beat the Croatians 6-2, 7-5. Kevin Krawietz and Horia Tecău had an easy outing against Márton Fucsovics and Stefano Travaglia as they beat them 6-3, 6-2.
In Women’s Doubles, Elise Mertens and Su-Wei Hsieh took just 43 minutes to demolish the pair of Yulia Putintseva and Anna Kalinskaya with a 6-0, 6-0 victory. The double bagel will give them the boost for the next round. Sania Mirza and CoCo Vandeweghe lost their opening match to Raluca Olaru and Nadiia Kichenok. Even though Sania and Coco started off well by winning the first set, things didn’t go their way as the pair lost the next two. Raluca and Nadiia defeated Mirza and Coco 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.
In Mixed Doubles, 8th seeded Demi Schuurs and Sander Gillé beat Bruno Kuzuhara and Elvina Kalieva as they relied on their serves to get past their opponents. Demi and Sander defeated Bruno and Elvina 6-4, 6-3. Marcelo Melo and Luisa Stefani were beaten by Gabriela Dabrowski and Marcus Daniell in a three set thriller. The final set saw the pair come heartbreakingly close as Gabriela and Marcus edged them in the finish line.
Also read: Rain takes centre stage in the US Open as matches get delayed, Cori Gauff loses to Sloane Stephens
Novak Djokovoc hits few minor bumps against Debutant in the US Open, Maxime Cressy upsets Pablo Carreño Busta
(Tennis news): In the US Open Men’s Singles, Novak Djokovic started off his historic run with minor setbacks as teenager Holger Vitus Nodskov Rune made an impact on his Grand Slam debut. Djokovic wasted no time as made the moves from the very beginning but was outsmarted by Holger at times who gave his everything as he shocked the crowd by taking the second set. Djokovic carried on even though the crowd was not on his side and went on to take the next two sets for victory as Holger had cramps in the final moments of the match. The score line read 6-1, 6-7 (7-5) , 6-2, 6-1.
Tokyo Olympics Gold medalist, Alexander Zverev sailed smoothly over Sam Querrey as he began his quest for a first Grand Slam and the man who is the top bet in stopping Djokovic. Zverev played an error free game and had a top notch serve over the match which helped him seal the match. Zverev beat Querrey 6-4, 7-5, 6-2 in over an hour and forty minutes.
Pablo Carreño Busta made a shock exit as he was defeated by Maxime Cressy in a five set thriller. Maxime played it like old times as he attacked the net relentlessly and it worked against Carreno Busta who had defeated Djokovic in the Bronze medal playoff. Maxime did not let anything stop him as he was almost out of contention in the fifth set tiebreak fighting off four match points for victory. After 3 and half hours and a total of 123 winners, Maxime took the match with the scoreboard reading 5-7, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, 7-6 (9-7).
In Women’s Singles, Ashleigh Barty blasted off in her opening match against Vera Zvonareva who had reached the finals here 11 years ago. Barty had no issues in the first set but in the second set had to showcase her best and even saved a set point as she looked to win her second slam of the year. Barty won the match with a score of 6-1, 7-6 (9-7).
2019 US Open champion, Bianca Andreescu was tested to the limit as she battled her way across Viktorija Golubic. Golubic after losing the first set managed to take the second to take the match into the decisive set. The final set had an interesting fact as both the players won 36 points and Golubic was playing it safe but Andreescu went in for the kill by playing in attacking mode and finishing off the match. Andreescu recorded a 7-5, 4-6, 7-5 victory over Golubic.
Karolína Plíšková sprinted towards the finish line in her match against Caty McNally. Karolína set the tone from the beginning as she kept firing winners across Caty who was unable to counter them. Karolina will be trying to carry the same attacking style into the second round of the US Open. The final scoreboard read 6-3, 6-4.
Also read: Stefanos Tsitsipas survives Murray scare in the 1st round of US Open, Madison knocked out by Sloane Stephens
Mirza-McHale reach finals in Cleveland
Cleveland, Aug 28 (Tennis News) Ace Indian tennis player Sania Mirza and her American partner Christina McHale sailed into the women's doubles final of the 'Tennis in the Land' tournament with a straight-set win over Ulrikke Eikeri and Catherine Harrison here.
Mirza and McHale took one hour and 23 minutes to defeat the Norwegian-American pair 7-6 (5) 6-2 in the semifinals of the WTA 250 tournament on Friday.
Also read: Novak Djokovic aims to break multiple records, 21st Grand Slam on sight
The unseeded Indian-American pair will battle it out for the top honours with top seeds Shuko Aoyama and Ena Shibahara of Japan in the summit clash.
Mirza and McHale had notched comprehensive wins without dropping a set in their previous two games.
News source: PTI
Novak Djokovic aims to break multiple records, 21st Grand Slam on sight
(Tennis news): There are certain instances in history where the chances of a particular event happening is nearly impossible but everyone wants it to happen as that little desire, that little madness which jumps across logic and imagination takes over statistics and science. Time plays a crucial role here as Rod Laver was the last man to win all the four Grand Slams in a year and it was 52 years ago. Novak Djokovic is chasing history and is en route to become the greatest ever. In a sport that requires stamina, agility, strength and speed, abilities a young 18 year old or a 20 year old should possess but that has not been the case here for the past 17 years. The big four have shattered the stereotypes and broken all physical barriers that built the sport earlier, they have quantum leaped and have rebuilt the game.
Djokovic burst into the Tennis world in 2008 when Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer were sharing the spotlight in the court no matter what the surface they played on. It was supposed to be a predictable final but two young gentlemen decided to take matters into their own hands. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga simply broke Nadal’s defense and Djokovic made sure Federer gave him company afterwards. Both the semifinals were whitewashed in straight sets, Tsonga was the biggest surprise as Djokovic had earlier reached the US Open finals in the previous year. Djokovic prevailed in the final over the frenchmen to win his first Grand Slam title.
Djokovic’s breakthrough year was in 2011 where he won three of the four Grand Slams and looked unbeatable the whole year. Even in 2015 he again won three of the four Grand Slams and was sweeping the Masters 1000 titles. But there was one similarity in both the years, he lost in the French Open and both the defeats featured swiss players with one handed backhand. Federer defeated Djokovic in the 2011 semi final of the French Open and Stan Wawrinka defeated him in the 2015 Final. Both the Swiss players won't be playing in this year’s US Open due to an injury and this year things are different, Djokovic not only captured the French Open but defeated Nadal in the semi final. Nadal has won the French Open a record 13 times and Djokovic is the only player to defeat him twice at the French Open.
Djokovic is an aggressive player who has the current best backhand in the world as it is effective on both sides of the court. His defense is outstanding and can turn into a Rahul Dravid when needed, he is very flexible on court and oftens employs it to win some breathtaking points and not to mention his speed. Overall he can perform every possible stunt in the court but has not been impressive in the net play as his smash has been the best on tour. Djokovic is also a great returner of the serve and to serve an ace will require loads of luck and power.
Djokovic has won the US Open three times with the last one coming in 2018 when he defeated Juan Martin Del Potro in the final. Last year he was defaulted from the tournament while accidentally hitting a line official in the throat with a tennis ball during his fourth round match. Djokovic will look to change things this year and continue his exceptional season.
This year Djokovic has played 43 matches and lost only five of them. He won the Australian Open for a record 9th time as he defeated Daniil Medvedev in the title match, won the French Open defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final and won Wimbledon by beating Matteo Berrettini in the final match. Djokovic will look to be in his best shape, especially mentally as he has a lot riding on him and the pressure might get into him as seen in the Tokyo Olympics. But he has been known to have one of the strongest mental games in the sport and has played mind blowing tennis under pressure. Djokovic will face stern competition from Alexander Zverev, Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev. Djokovic has an all round game so tactics won't be much of a use and if he is on form then Rod Laver just might get company.
Djokovic is the favourite to win this time and will take some monumental tennis to shake him up from the top. He is the perfect embodiment of a tennis player and there is no reason why he won’t win his record 21st Grand Slam. Djokovic lost his last match to Zverev but in Grand Slams it is tough to uproot Djokovic and we can expect some shocks in the first few days. Djokovic will look to be calm and only let the court decide who is the winner and keep his racket intact and break the milestones.
Also read: A new chapter is beginning to unfold with the next generation of tennis stars hungrier than ever
A new chapter is beginning to unfold with the next generation of tennis stars hungrier than ever
(Tennis news): In every sport there are moments where a new generation of players take over, the baton is exchanged as the young ones carry legacy forward. In tennis since the late 90s, the William sisters started dominating the Women’s tour, Roger Federer came into the frame in 2003, Rafael Nadal came in 2005 and Novak Djkovic in 2008 and since then these players have taken the sport to new heights. The matches have been nothing short of epic, the courts have seen rallies that brought the spectators to their feet and for over two decades, these athletes have shown extraordinary skills that have kept them on the top of the game for so long.
Only few sports have seen athletes dominating for so long in the international era, Sachin Tendulkar, Carl Lewis, Peter Gade, Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo to name a few. It takes years of dedication and hardwork to excel in the field for such a long time, it is even tougher to deal with it when they start ageing. It's only a matter of years when we see some legends of the game retire and watch others script history.
Last year’s US Open saw history in the making as Dominic Thiem became the first male player born in the 90’s to win a Grand Slam title, he finally broke the jinx as it was time for the young stars to shine and take the spotlight. This year, Novak Djokovic has won all the Grand Slams but has faced tough competitions from the younger players. He was outmatched by Alexander Zverev in the Tokyo Olympics Semifinals and will now have to wait three more years for the prestigious Gold. He left Tokyo without a medal after losing in the Bronze medal playoff Djokovic lost to Pablo Carreño Busta.
The 2021 season has seen 6 Masters 1000 tournaments take place, Rafael Nadal was the oldest winner aged 35 as the second oldest is Daniil Medvedev aged 25. Five of the tournaments were won by players born in the 90’s and one was won by Nadal. All the finalists were also born in the 90’s except in Rome where Djokovic lost to Nadal. Times like these are inevitable and happen in every field, although it had not happened in tennis for a very long time.
Also read: Ashleigh Barty back in the US Open, aiming to win her 2nd Major this year
The new generation players have come out in top form in recent times, with Thiem leading with a Grand Slam title, Daniil Medvedev is a two time finalist, Alexander Zverev is a Olympic champion, Stefanos Tsitsipas is also Grand Slam finalist. They have led the younger players and have played some great matches against their idols which brings in the question of who’s next. Who will set the benchmark now, who will lead the force and what new records will be made. Reily Opelka has served his way into the top 25 Singles ranking with a semifinal finish in Rome and a runner up in Toronto Open. Pete Sampras set the bars high when he finished with 14 slams but now records are tumbling in every slam. Serve and volley are not used as much anymore as trickshots and power are winning matches now.
Alexander Zverev has a great return percentage with a steady backhand and he is also very athletic when it comes to drop shops and volleys. Daniil Medvedev is 6 feet 6 inches but his movements on court don't reflect his height as he is very swift and has an unorthodox style in his forehand and backhand, he can cause real damage as he is also mentally tough. Medvedev was booed multiple times last year in the US Open but faced it like a true champion and even said that it's because of the crowd’s behaviour he won certain matches. Tsitsipas reached the finals of the French Open and is expected to strike when he enters the court next week. Andrey Rublev is also a major contender who can use his extremely powerful groundstrokes to finish off points especially in the hardcourt, Nick Kyrgios has had a poor show in recent events but can produce magic when in form.
In the Women’s competition, Naomi Osaka has won four Grand Slams and will turn 24 in two months. She is the defending champion and won her first major title here, Ashleigh Barty also looks to continue her great season forward as she looks to win her second major and 6th title this year. Barbora Krejčíková is having one of the best seasons in Singles ever, she started this year with a ranking of 65 and now is ranked 9th. Barbora won her first Singles Grand Slam by capturing the French Open along with the Doubles title and also won the mixed doubles title in the Australian Open.
The US Open starts from August 30th and many top players have pulled out as injuries have made them rest for now. As older players also take more time to recover, their future endeavours look doubtful. The younger ones look fitter than ever and ready to write a new chapter in the game.
Interesting fact: This is the first time in 24 years that neither Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Serena Williams and Venus Williams are not featuring in a Grand Slam draw.
Ashleigh Barty back in the US Open, aiming to win her 2nd Major this year
(Tennis news): Ashleigh Barty will be looking for a third Grand Slam victory at this year’s US Open. She won the French Open two years ago and this year’s Wimbledon. Next, she will try to capture a Grand Slam in the hardcourt too. Barty was at her best in Cincinnati Open as she didn’t lose a set on the way to capturing the title, defeating Victoria Azarenka, Barbora Krejcikova, Angelique Kerber. In the final she overcame Jil Teichmann who upset Naomi Osaka, Belinda Bencic and Karolina Pliskova. It was supposed to be a tight contest between Barty and Teichmann but Barty proved to be too good.
Barty is a top contender for the US Open as her style is suited for hardcourts as she has won 9 of them out of thirteen career titles in hardcourt. She will also look to improve her previous best in the US Open which is a fourth round finish in 2018 and 2019. Barty won the 2018 US Open doubles title with Coco Vandeweghe thus showing that she is an all round player capable of playing any style. She also has a strong serve and uses efficient volleys as she has also found success in doubles. Barty is leading in aces this year with 297 and has won 74.9 percent of her first serve proving that it will be tough to find a way across her. Barty also has a strong forehand which comes to use while playing cross court or creating sharp angles and her backhand slice can disturb the speed and rhythm of the rally. She has won titles on hardcourt, grass, clay this year which shows she can adapt to any surface
Barty has won five Singles titles this year, she won in Yarra Valley Classic, Miami Open, Stuttgart Open, Wimbledon and the last one coming in Cincinnati. She also won the doubles in Stuttgart partnering with Jennifier Brady. Although she was knocked out in the first round of Tokyo Olympics by Sara Sorribes Tormo from Spain, Barty found success in the mixed doubles as she won the bronze with John Peers. She has the most titles with 5 and most victories with 40 in this WTA Singles season.
Also read: Alexander Zverev waiting to halt Novak Djokovic from a historic Grand Slam victory
Barty did not participate last year due to the pandemic and would try to add the two Slams she hasn’t won yet that includes the Australian Open. She has progressed beyond the quarterfinals in all the Slams except the US Open, this year she looks to be the player to watchout for. Barty will face tough competition from two time champion Naomi Osaka, Bianca Andreescu who also won here in 2019 defeating Serena Williams in the final. Belinda Bencic will also prove to be a tough one to beat as she won the Singles Gold in the Tokyo Olympics and Karolina Pliskova who lost to Barty in the Wimbledon final.
This year’s US open will miss a lot of players due to the injuries, Barty will look to dominate from the start like she did in Cincinnati sending a warning to the other players. She has played over 19 tournaments this year and has a healthy lead over world number 2 Aryna Sabalenka. She has been the World number since 2019 and will look to end the year as number 1 for a third consecutive time. Barty suffered injuries earlier in the year that caused her to miss the French Open and the run up events to Wimbledon but she came back strong by capturing the title on grass. Barty will look to finish the year with a first US Open title and will be waiting to get back on court.
Alexander Zverev waiting to halt Novak Djokovic from a historic Grand Slam victory
(Tennis news): Alexander Zverev is on a roll this year, winning the last two tournaments he has entered. He has won four titles this year, including two Masters 1000 and an Olympic Gold. He is one of the players who has beaten Novak Djokovic this year. Zverev stopped him in the Tokyo Olympic semi finals, denying Djokovic a chance for an Olympic Gold and this time he will be trying to stop him from winning a calendar slam. The calendar slam was last achieved in 1969 by Rod Laver in the Men’s tour and Steffi Graf in 1988 in the Women’s tour. Zverev is the second German player after Steffi Graf to win the Olympic Gold in Singles and the first German man to do it.
Zverev last year entered the finals of the US Open and was on the course of winning his first title when he was up two sets against Dominic Thiem but fumbled in the next three sets. He will look to win his first Grand Slam and has been in exceptional form in hard courts as three of his four titles this year have come in hard courts. Zverev has faced Djokovic nine times overall, winning thrice. The pair has met thrice this year with Djokovic leading 2-1, they have met in the Grand Slam twice and Zverev is looking for a maiden win against him at the majors.
Their first meeting was back in 2017 in the Rome Masters 1000 final when a 20 year old Zverev prevailed over Djokovic in straight sets to take the title. They last met in the Tokyo Olympics where Zverev shocked the World number 1 in three sets on the way to winning the Gold medal. He is known to handle high pressure, the best one coming in 2018 in the Nitto ATP finals against Novak Djokovic and came out blazing to take the trophy in just his second attempt against the five time champion.
Also read: Serena Willams hoping for a comeback, looking to win first major since 2017
Zverev has a strong return percentage in the tour, he also has a fast first serve. He can move around the court as quick with his feet, he also has a powerful reliable backhand along with a strong forehand which will play a crucial role as he will start his preparations. His backhand is one of the best in the game and also is very agile. He also volleys from time to time and uses his height in the net. Zverev is one of the top players in the next gen and a possible future world number no 1.
In the Cincinnati Open, Zverev only lost a single set on the way to winning the tournament. He lost a set in the semifinals against Stefanos Tsitsipas and showed no signs of trouble when he defeated Andrey Rublev in the final. He is currently on a 11 match winning streak and last lost to Felix Auger Aliassime in fourth round of Wimbledon even after winning the first two sets. Zverev will need to be at his best against Djokovic as power and speed won’t guarantee victory, he will look to break Djokvic’s defense and fire aces to put the brakes on a calendar slam. Zverev will also be looking to close in the mental edge over Djokovic as he will look to remind him of Tokyo but Djokovic is on top form this year. Djokovic has won three slams in a year for a third time and won't be thinking of stopping there.
The Serbian had a similar run in 2015 and 2011 where he won three slams and both the years faced losses in French Open. Roger Federer defeated him in the semifinal of the French Open in 2011 and Stan Wawrinka defeated him in the final of the French Open in 2015. Zverev will have to produce the magic they both did. The only difference is that this time it is on a hard court. The last few tournaments have seen the young players trying to take over the reins, in the three slams this year the oldest finalist was Matteo Berrettini in Wimbledon who is 25 years old. Zverev already has some years of experience and has played Djokovic on several occasions including this year and will be ready to prevent Djokovic again from making history.
Alexander Zverev and Ashleigh Barty emerge as champions in Cincinnati
(Tennis news): Alexander Zverev continued his winning run as he clinched his second title on the run after his Tokyo Olympics gold medal. He beat Andrey Rublev 6-2, 6-3 to take the trophy, his dominance over the past two tournaments has brought questions about the next Gen. Have they finally started their own dominance as the big three are slowly backing up or is it not time yet, only time will tell us as the final slam starts in a week. Rublev’s missiles were not strong enough to make an impact on Zverev as his defense was simply impeccable. Zverev is on a 11 match winning streak and can produce fine magic when in form.
Zverev took his fourth title this year and his second Masters 1000 title after the Madrid Masters 1000 in May where he beat Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinal. His best performance in a Grand Slam is a runner up finish last year in the US Open losing to Dominc Thiem after taking a two set lead. Zverev will be a major threat in the final slam if he continues this form and will be the favourite this year other than Novak Djokovic. It will take a tremendous amount of work to stop Djokovic especially in Grand Slams, Zverev will try to win his first Grand Slam and provide an open door to the next gen which has been struggling against the big three. Zverev can look to become the 2nd player born in the 90s to win a Grand Slam after Thiem.
Zverev has a strong return percentage in the tour, he also has a fast first serve. He can move around the court as quick with his feet, he also has a powerful reliable backhand along with a strong forehand which will play a crucial role as he will start his preparations. Zverev had skipped the Toronto Open citing he needed to rest after the Olympics. He has a week to rest and will look to prepare himself for the stern test.
Also read: Top four seeds into the last four in Cincinnati, Jil Teichmann upsets Belinda Bencic
Ashleigh Barty seemed like the perfect person to stop Jil Teichmann from making her next kill as she proved why she is the current world number one. She won her fifth title this season as Teichmann couldn’t trouble her. Barty hasn’t dropped a set in this tournament and will look to win her second grand slam this year after her Wimbledon victory. Barty leads the WTA tour this season in victories with 40. She also won the Yarra Valley Classic, Miami Open and now will head to the final slam looking to go beyond the fourth round which she hasn’t done before. She is in her best form after Cincinnati and will look to finish with a trophy beside her.
There have been 8 different winners over the past 10 years, with Serena Williams leading with three titles and Naomi Osaka coming in second with two titles. Barty had not participated last year due to the pandemic but won the mixed doubles title with Coco Vandeweghe in 2018. Barty has a strong serve along with strong gameplay at the net since she is also a well established doubles player. She will be the favourite to win given her recent form and will look to capture her third Grand Slam title overall after the French Open victory in 2019.
Top four seeds into the last four in Cincinnati, Jil Teichmann upsets Belinda Bencic
Cincinnati (Tennis news): In Men’s Singles, the top four seeds entered the semifinals of the Cincinnati Masters 1000. Andrey Rublev registered his second victory in as many meetings over Benoit Paire. The pair had met in the same stage in the Toronto Open, Rublev with his powerful strokes got off to a good start. Paire later used his defensive skills and trick shots as he took the second set. In the final set Rublev continued to use his hammer forehand and reached his third masters 1000 final of the season. He will face Daniil Medvedev for a place in the final.
Daniil Medvedev also got his second victory over Pablo Carreno Busta after the pair had met in the Toronto Open. Medvedev took just 54 minutes to secure a place in the semifinal, he beat Pablo 6-1, 6-1 with just seven unforced errors and twenty winners. Medvedev played a flawless battle as he was also serving great against the Spaniard. Medvedev seems to be a serious contender in the US Open as he has shown exceptional form over the past two weeks.
Alexander Zverev had a great outing as he beat Casper Ruud 6-1, 6-3 to set up a blockbuster semifinal against Stefanos Tsitsipas. Zverev is also a major contender who can stop Novak Djokovic in the US Open as he showed what he's capable of during the Tokyo Olympics. Casper was also in great form but couldn't withstand Zverev’s attack.
Stefanos Tsitsipas beat Felix Auger Aliassime 6-2, 5-7, 6-1 as he suffered a setback in the second set. He had 2 match points in the second set when Felix suddenly made a glorious comeback and won the next three games to take the set. Stefanos was playing exceptionally level till then but didn't let that affect his game as he stormed in and took the final set.
Also read: Injuries piling up this season as Rafael Nadal becomes latest casualty
In Women’s Singles, Angelique Kerber defeated Petra Kvitová 6-4, 3-3. Kvitova had to retire midway as she was suffering from stomach issues and began struggling in the second set. Kerber will face Ashleigh Barty who defeated Barbora Krejcikova in straight sets. Barty was simply unstoppable in the match as she played calm and rallied hard to take the first set 6-2 and in the second set Barbora was leading 4-2 until Barty took four straight games to take the match. Barty has been too good in the last few matches as her patience paid off in this match.
Karolina Pliskova also proceeded into the semifinals as Paula Badosa had to retire in the second set. Paula had to pull out as she suffered a shoulder injury, injuries are becoming a major concern as the schedule is getting tighter for the players. Pliskova will next face Jil Teichmann who put up an excellent performance against Olympic champion Belinda Bencic. She sent a warning for the semifinal clash with a resounding 6-3, 6-2 victory over Belinda. Belinda simply couldn't match her opponent’s intensity.
In Men’s Doubles, Fabio Fognini and Marcelo Arévalo shocked Toronto champions Joe Salisbury and Rajeev Ram as they defeated them in straight sets. They will now play against Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballo for a place in the final. Hubert Hurkacz and Jannik Sinner after defeating the top seeds Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić in round 16 couldn't repeat their upset as they lost to American pair of Austin Krajicek and Steve Johnson.
In Women’s Doubles, Zhang Shuai and Samantha Stosur overcame Anna Blinkova and Allaksandra Sasnovich in three sets to book a place in the final. In the second semifinal Gabriela Dabrowski and Luisa Stefani who also had a tough time against Barbora Krejčíková and Kateřina Siniaková. Gabriela Dabrowski and Luisa Stefani are into their second consecutive title match as they captured the Toronto Title last week.
Injuries piling up this season as Rafael Nadal becomes latest casualty
(Tennis news): Rafael Nadal won't be seen on court until next year as he is still recovering from a foot injury. He is joined by Roger Federer and Dominic Thiem as the players who won’t be playing the remainder of 2021 season. This is the second consecutive time Nadal and Federer won't feature in the year end slam. Nadal played 29 matches this season winning 24 of them and failed to defend his French Open title as he lost to Novak Djokovic in the semifinals. Djokovic became the first man to beat Nadal twice in French Open and the first man to defeat him in the Semifinals.
Also read: Benoit Paire continues to impress in Cincinnati, Ashleigh Barty shines bright with a stellar performance
In the Australian Open, Rafael Nadal lost to Stefanos Tsitsipas in the quarterfinals. The Spaniard won two titles this year, both in clay courts. Nadal won the Barcelona Open Masters 500 beating Stefanos Tsitsipas in the Final and a Masters 1000 title in Rome beating Novak Djokovic in the final. Nadal has also won the US Open four times with his last one coming 2 years ago when he defeated Daniil Medvedev in the final. He also missed last year’s US Open due to the pandemic. Nadal completed the career Grand slam when won the US Open in 2010. The 35 year old will look to come back next year and achieve more milestones.
Defending champion Dominic Thiem out of the U.S Open due to injury
(Tennis news): 2020 U.S Open champion Dominic Thiem has pulled out of this year’s Championship due to a wrist injury. He stated he won't be available for the rest of the season and has played 18 matches so far. He also missed out on the Tokyo Olympics and Wimbledon. He has a 9-9 win/ loss record this year, with his last match coming in June at Mallorca. He lost in the 1st round of the French Open to Pablo Andujar and lost in the fourth round to Grigor Dimtrov in the Australian Open. He had won his first Grand Slam last year at the US Open defeating Alexander Zverev after losing the first two sets.
Also read: Jannik, Opelka and Murray stumble in Cincinnati, Halep withdraws due to injury
Thiem had also reached the final of the Australian Open last year where he lost to Novak Djokovic in five sets. He also reached the final of the French Open for two consecutive years in 2018 and 2019 losing to Rafael Nadal on both the occasions. He is the first Austrian to win the US Open and the first player born in the 90’s to win a Grand Slam and is one of the most successful players from the next generation. Thiem is known for his powerful groundstrokes and a strong serve, he also adds topspin into his forehand and single backhand which also has a strong slice game to slown rallies. He will be joined by Roger Federer who will be missing the US Open and also the remainder of the season. It will be interesting to see the top 8 in the World tour finals which will conclude the tennis season.
Cincinnati Open looks promising as two weeks left for the final Slam of the year
Cincinnati (Tennis news): The Western and Southern Open mostly known as the Cincinnati Open Masters 1000 has gotten underway. With the big three missing, there will be plenty of opportunities, especially for the new gen who are slowly making a mark on the tour. With Alexander Zverev capturing the gold in the Tokyo Olympics and Daniil Medevdev winning the title in Toronto they will be keen to make a name in the US Open too. Roger Federer has the most titles in Cincinnati with his 7th title coming in 2015 where he defeated Novak Djokovic. Defending champion Novak Djkovic is also out due to injury along with Rafael Nadal and Federer won't be in action for a few months missing out on the final slam. Daniil Medvedev will be expected to win his second title here as he won it in 2019 defeating David Goffin in straight sets. He will be strongly challenged by Stefanos Tsitsipas who reached the semifinals of the recently concluded Toronto Open, Reily Opelka has been in tremendous form as he finished as runner up in Toronto. Andy Murray will also look for inspiration as has won the titles in 2008 and 2011 and will look to bring his old magic into the court.
Also read: Tennis star Roger Federer set to undergo knee surgery, expected to be sidelined for months
In Men’s Singles, 2019 runner up David Goffin lost to Guido Pella in straight sets in the first round. Both the players were coming back after being affected by injuries. Pella was joined by Benoit Paire who defeated Miomir Kecmanović in three sets. He had a shaky start as he lost the first set 7-5 but came back strongly 6-3,6-2 to proceed to the round of 64.
Andrey Rublev and Karen Khachanov started off their doubles campaign by defeating Máximo González and Simone Bolelli in a three set gruelling encounter. They will be facing Horacio Zeballos and Marcel Granollers in the round of 16.
The Women’s Singles and doubles opening rounds will start today. Simona Halep will be looking to finish strong before the US Open in Singles and the pair of Gabriela Dabrowski and Luisa Stefani will look to win back to back titles in doubles.
Shanghai Masters 1000 cancelled this year as COVID-19 cases rise in China
(Tennis news): Shanghai Open won’t be held for a second consecutive time as the COVID-19 cases have gone up in China. Even last year most of the tournaments were cancelled due to the pandemic and only three of the Masters 1000 were played as the other 6 got cancelled. It is the only Masters 1000 tournament which is held in Asia and will be the only Masters event which won't be played this year as the Indian Wells this time will be played in October. The last time it was played was in 2019 in which Daniil Medvedev took the title after defeating Alexander Zverev in straight sets in the final.
Also read: Injured Rafael Nadal pulls of Toronto Open, as Novak Djokovic withdraws from Cincinnati Masters
Novak Djokovic has won the Shanghai Open four times with his most recent victory coming in 2018 where he beat Borna Coric in the final. He is the only tennis player to win all the nine Masters titles at least once. The cancellation of the tournament will be a major roadblock for qualifying in the Nitto ATP Finals as every point matters for the race ahead. So far, only Novak Djokovic has sealed his place in the year end championship.
Injured Rafael Nadal pulls of Toronto Open, as Novak Djokovic withdraws from Cincinnati Masters
Toronto (Tennis news): Rafael Nadal has pulled out from the Toronto Open due to a foot injury, it will be a major crisis as the US Open is only two weeks away. His withdrawal ensured lucky loser Feliciano Lopez taking his place in the draw where he will be facing Lloyd Harris. Stefano Tsitsipas overcame Ugo Humbert in a three set marathon in which the second set tiebreak needed 18 points to decide the winner. Benoit Paire sailed smoothly as he won in straight sets against Mackenzie McDonald in round 64 and next will face Diego Schwartzman. In round of 32, Karen Khachanov will face his compatriot Aslan Karatsev which will prove to be a mouth watering clash. Reilly Opelka continued his fine form as he beat Grigor Dimitrov 6-3, 6-4 and had earlier beaten Nick Kyrgios in the first match.
In the Women’s Singles, Bianca Andreescu started her title defence by beating Harriet Dart as she had to struggle in between as Harriet stretched it till the deciding set. Garbiñe Muguruza is out of the tournament as Kateřina Siniaková came out as the winner in the final set even after being bageled in the second set.
In Men’s Doubles Ivan Dodig and Rohan Bopanna defeated the pair of Fabio Fognini and Lorenzo Sonego, they will face Simone Bolelli and Máximo González in the round of 16.
In the Women’s doubles Ellen Perez and Květa Peschke continued their winning run as they will face next Jeļena Ostapenko and Dayana Yastremska in the round of 16.
Also read: Reilly Opelka overcomes Nick Kyrgios in opening match, Garbiñe Muguruza to start her campaign today
With Nadal out in Toronto it has raised concerns as Novak Djokovic has withdrawn from the Cincinnati Masters which starts on 15th August. Djokovic’s last match was the Bronze medal playoff in the Tokyo Olympics and is resting after winning three Grand Slams this year. Roger Federer has also pulled out of the Cincinnati Masters as he is down with a knee injury. There is only one Tournament just before the US Open that is the Winston-Salem Open which ends 2 days before the US Open, Cincinnati is the last Masters 1000 before the US Open. The big three will look to come back in form and compete in the year end Grand Slam as the tennis season is slowly coming to an end.
Rafael Nadal looking for a Hatrick in Toronto, chases record Masters 1000 title
The Canadian Open, which is currently known as the National Bank Open will be getting underway today in Toronto. The 5th masters 1000 of the season is coming back as it was not played last year due to the pandemic. First started in 1881, the Canadian Open is the second oldest tennis tournament in the world after Wimbledon. Rafael Nadal has won the tournament five times with his first title coming in 2005 when he beat Andre Agassi in the final. The top players will be seen in action as double defending champion Rafael Nadal will be looking to make up for his early exit in the Washington Open. The Spaniard will also be looking to win a record 37th Masters 1000 title and is currently on par with Novak Djokovic with 36 titles. Daniil Medvedev will be looking to make up for his 2019 final loss to Nadal and Stefanos Tsitsipas will also be looking to win here as he was the runner up in 2018 after losing to Nadal.
Also read: Bopanna retains place in Indian team for Davis Cup tie against Finland in September
Nick Kyrgios has been given a wildcard and will be looking to improve from his last two outings here, as he failed to win a match in both. He will be seen playing his first match against big server Reilly Opelka. Jannik Sinner, fresh off from winning the Washington Open will be looking to continue his fine run here. There can be a lot of surprises as Grigor Dimitrov will be playing and will be looking to come up good as he has had a rather tough year, Gael Monfils is also in contention as he has also struggled this year and will be looking for his first title of the season. Kei Nishikori is back on tour as he reached the semifinal of the Washington Open and was beaten by Mackenzie McDonald. Lloyd Harris caused an uproar when he beat Rafael Nadal on his route to winning the title in the Washington Open.
In Tennis news, Novak Djokovic will not be playing this time as he is resting after his Olympic heartbreak due to a hectic schedule. Roger Federer who turned 40 yesterday will not be playing as he is suffering from a knee injury. Tokyo Olympics Singles Gold medalist Alexander Zverev is resting as he needs to recover for the US Open which starts on 30th. Dominic Thiem will also not be seen in action as he is still recovering from a wrist injury while other big names like Stan Wawrinka have withdrawn from the tournament because of a surgery on his left foot in July and David Goffin would not be seen on court because of an ankle injury. Lorenzo Musetti was not allowed to play as he had left his Covid bubble and it was considered as a breach of protocol.
Interesting fact: Ramanathan Krishnan won the Canadian Open in 1968, he remains the only Indian player to do so.
Sumit’s run comes to an end as Medvedev clinches victory in straight sets
(Tennis sport news) Olympic 2021 Live Update: After beating Denis Istomin in the first round, Sumit Nagal created history as the first Indian to secure a win in Olympic Singles in 25 years. Today in the 2nd round he faced Danii Medvedev from Russia and lost 6-2,6-1 in an hour and six minutes. The Russian is the current world number 2 and has good chances of winning a medal here. He is also one of the few players expected to give Novak Djokovic a shock in the Tokyo Olympics. Medvedev is also playing doubles this time partnering with Aslan Karatsev but lost their opening match to Lukas Klein and Filip Polasek from Slovakia.
Also read: Indian men’s archery team outclassed by South Korea in the quarter-finals
With his loss India has ended its Tennis run as Sania Mirza and Ankita Raina lost their opening match yesterday in Women’s Doubles.
AITA Secretary General Anil Dhupar rues Bopanna and Mirza comments on social media, calls it inappropriate and misleading
With the Tokyo Olympics just around the corner, controversy surrounding veteran Indian tennis player Rohan Bopanna and AITA continues over the Tokyo 2020 Olympics qualification. Taking to Twitter, Bopanna accused the Indian body of misleading him, resulting in a public exchange between the two parties.
In an exclusive interaction with SPOGO, the Hon’ Secretary General of AITA Mr. Anil Dhupar clarified the controversy that has made waves on social media and condemned the tweets by Indian senior tennis players Rohan Bopanna and Sania Mirza.
Full statement below:
“These tweets by Rohan Bopanna and Sania Mirza are most inappropriate and misleading. They are without facts, in fact I’m shocked that they don’t know the basic knowledge about the guidelines regarding the ITF rules about getting entry into the Olympics. I don’t understand Rohan and Sania’s frustration and they are most unwarranted. To make things clear, it’s up to the players who get good ranking who get into the qualifying of the Olympics. The Federation does not have a wild card to make our own kids enter into the Olympic qualifying.”
“Till 16th of July, Divij (Sharan) and Rohan (Bopanna), who are our best doubles players, were on the waiting list. All of a sudden, we received the good news from ITF on the 16th of July that Sumit Nagal has qualified to play singles. Anybody in the tennis fraternity who understands the sport knows that when a doubles player participates in the Olympics, they are also entitled to play the mixed doubles, the entry is not separate. We were very happy that we will be able to get doubles entry now with the singles entry of Sumit Nagal as the IOC has already mentioned in their rules that singles players will have priority over doubles players. Everyone is aware of this, including Mr. Rohan Bopanna”
“Since 16th of July was a Friday, we sent a note to the ITF that since our singles player has been included, we would like to change our nomination from Rohan - Divij to Rohan Bopanna and Sumit Nagal, if the rules permit. They wrote back to us on the 16th itself that there is no provision to change the nomination unless a player is injured, illness or due to special circumstances. However, this proposal will be open for seven hours and even if the nomination is accepted, the new player will not qualify as there are two better singles players already in the pipeline, so they became number three.”
“If Mr. Rohan Bopanna does not have a better ranking and he is not getting qualification because of that, then what is he talking about? Our job is to promote tennis, send recommendations which we are doing day in and out and instead of appreciating the efforts of the Federation, there are words being used that are not appreciated at all. We at AITA condemn his (Rohan Bopanna) and Sania Mirza’s statements. Sania doesn’t know if there is no men’s double entry, how does one win the medal? We feel proud that she is the only Indian lady to feature in the Olympics for the fourth time, but she is supporting a cause that she’s well aware of, despite that she is still writing things for reasons I don’t know.”
“If a men’s doubles team is not entered into the Olympics qualifying, no mixed doubles can be played. Everyone is aware of this, including Sania (Mirza) so why is she saying that we lost an opportunity to win a medal? No you have not lost, because losing is when we are not able to send the team. It is the ITF rules and it’s a sad thing for Indians as tennis players who have been supported by TOPS, who have been funding Indian players are unable to qualify. It’s bad luck.”
“Making such comments will not help the tennis fraternity or the sport at all. The fact is that we tried our best, despite the lack of time. The good news is, Sumit Nagal is playing singles and we applied for accreditation, invitation and other formalities for him on Saturday which needs to be done because of COVID. We only had Saturday and Monday where his application needed to be approved and I’m thankful to the Indian Olympic Association, the Deputy Chief Dr Prem Verma who worked very hard on Saturday evening and Monday to get Nagal his accreditation and invitation and he is flying to Tokyo today (20th July).”
“Through good teamwork we have managed to secure his entry in 24 hours, so allegations and words are only showing their frustration, we are all feeling bad that India is not playing doubles. For senior players to speak out, tweeting, retweeting, deleting and recording is not showing maturity. Nobody in the world can record without their consent, it’s against the law. Stop all these things Mr. Rohan Bopanna, we all feel proud of your achievements, you still have the age to accomplish more things and we can do that together.”
Also read: The Golden Slam Awaits Novak Djokovic at the Tokyo Olympics
The Golden Slam Awaits Novak Djokovic at the Tokyo Olympics
Novak Djokovic is in fine form coming into the Tokyo Olympics 2020, winning the first three Grand Slams of the season. This year he has been creating records at each Grand Slam, in the Australian Open he won a record 9th title, in the French Open he became the first man to defeat Rafael Nadal twice at the French Open, in Wimbledon he won his 100th grass court win and in the US open he will be looking to be the first man in the open era to win all four Grand Slams in a year. More records are waiting for him at the Tokyo Olympics as he will look to win a Golden Slam and become the first male player and the second tennis player after Steffi Graf to do it. He is the favourite to win the title given his form this year and the way it has dominated this season. Ten years ago he gave us a stellar season to watch, as players around the globe were mesmerized by the high quality of tennis. It took the sport to another level as he won three slams that year, defeated Rafael Nadal in six finals at three different surfaces and had a 41 match winning streak that ended in the French Open semifinals where he lost to Roger Federer. He had a phenomenal season in 2015 too where again he won three slams, won 82 matches while losing a mere 6 and won 16 titles including the Grand Slams. These show us that he has the ability to win matches all year long, even if the surfaces change and the venues change. He has the ability to defeat Nadal on clay and Federer on grass and he has done it. He has come out on top every surface, he recently became the first man to win 75 matches in all four Grand Slams.
Age doesn't seem to be slowing him down, this year seems like a sequel to 2011 and 2015. The Olympic Gold medal is something he has to hunt down as he has won every tournament the sport has to offer. His best performance came in the 2008 Beijing Olympics where the Bronze medal, in the 2012 London Olympics he lost to Juan Martin Del Potro in the Bronze medal watch and in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics lost again to Del Potro in the opening match. Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas would love to have their revenge for their loss in the Grand Slam finals. The players need to bring out their best to stop him as it will be a major upset and would be a crucial mental advantage at the US Open. In Olympic news, Alex de Minaur has withdrawn from the Olympics after testing positive, joining this year’s Wimbledon runner up Matteo Berrettini who will not be playing because of a thigh injury. Bets will be in for Djokovic but for someone to pull off an upset would rely on the young guns for sure and the experienced players like Fabio Fognini or Gael Monfils. The tennis event starts on 24th July and will end on August 1st, it will be played on Hard Courts.
Interesting fact: Jennifer Capriati is the youngest tennis player to win an Olympic gold, she was 16 when she won the title in Barcelona 1992.
Also read: Naomi Osaka is looking to triumph at home in the Tokyo Olympics
Swiss tennis star Roger Federer pulls out of Tokyo Olympics due to knee problem
Lausanne (Switzerland), Jul 13 (Tennis news) Tennis icon Roger Federer on Tuesday announced that he is pulling out of the upcoming Tokyo Olympics owing to a knee injury.
The Olympics, in which on-site spectators will not be allowed owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, are scheduled to be held in the Japanese capital from July 23 to August 8.
In a statement, he said that he had "suffered a setback" with his knee.
Federer announced the news on Twitter saying that he is "greatly disappointed" on missing out on an opportunity to represent Switzerland in the world's biggest sporting spectacle.
"During the grass court season, I unfortunately experienced a setback with my knee, and have accepted that I must withdraw from the Tokyo Olympic Games," Federer said in the statement.
"I am greatly disappointed, as it has been an honour and highlight of my career each time I have represented Switzerland," he added.
Federer won the silver medal in men's singles at the 2012 London Olympics and gold old in men's doubles at the 2008 Beijing Games.
Also read: ‘The stars aligned’: Ash Barty’s Wimbledon win is an historic moment for Indigenous people and women in sport
The 39-year-old Federer, who has won 20 Grand Slam men's singles titles, a record he shares with his great rivals Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, has begun rehabilitation and hopes to return to action later this summer.
"I have already begun rehabilitation in the hopes of returning to the tour later this summer. I wish the entire Swiss team the best of luck and I will be rooting hard from afar. As always, Hopp Schwiz!" he added.
Last week, Federer was knocked out of Wimbledon by Poland's Hubert Hurkacz in the quarter-finals.
Hurkacz beat the legend in straight sets to reach the semi-final. In the first round of the tournament, Federer survived a scare before France's Adrian Mannarino retired due to injury.
In 2020, Federer had two knee surgeries. He even had to withdraw from French Open despite winning three matches to save himself for Wimbledon.
Federer has been dealing with knee issues for a while now. He had pulled out of French Open this year to help improve his condition before the Wimbledon. News source: PTI
Rafael Nadal withdraws from Wimbledon and Tokyo Olympics
In the latest tennis news, Rafael Nadal has announced his withdrawal from Wimbledon and Tokyo Olympics after making the decision in consultation with his team due to an inadequate recuperation period after a physically and mentally demanding Roland Garros.
The 35 year old Spaniard announced his decision on Twitter to not participate in two of the biggest and most anticipated tennis events of the year. He said, “Hi all, I have decided not to participate at this year’s Championships at Wimbledon and the Olympic Games in Tokyo. It’s never an easy decision to make but after listening to my body and discussing it with my team I understand that it is the right decision.”
“The goal is to prolong my career and continue to do what makes me happy, that is to compete at the highest level and keep fighting for those professional and personal goals at the maximum level of competition.”
“The fact that there has only been 2 weeks between RG (Roland Garros) and Wimbledon, didn’t make it easier on my body to recuperate after the always demanding clay court season. They have been two months of great effort and the decision I take is focused on looking at the mid and long term,” said Rafa.
“Sport prevention of any kind of excess in my body is a very important factor at this stage of my career in order to try to keep fighting for the highest level of competition and titles. I want to send a special message to my fans around the world, to those in the United Kingdom and Japan in particular.The Olympic Games always meant a lot and they were always a priority as a Sports person, I found the spirit that every sports person in the world wants to live. I personally had the chance to live 3 of them and had the honor to be the flag bearer for my country,” he concluded.
The world number 3 has won 20 Grand Slams in his career so far and will have to wait a little longer to increase that tally. Last week, Novak Djokovic defeated Rafael Nadal 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-2 and stopped the Spaniard from winning his 14th French Open title.