Master 1000 Monte-Carlo: Successful debut for defending champion Djokovic - UBITENNIS
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Master 1000 Monte-Carlo: Successful debut for defending champion Djokovic



TENNIS – Master 1000 Monte-Carlo defending champion Novak Djokovic swept aside Albert Montanes 6-1, 6-0 in just 45 minutes in a one-sided match in the second round of the Monte-Carlo Rolex Master, the first European clay tournament of the season. Diego Sampaolo

The match did not break the record as the quickest match in history recently set by Jarkko Nieminen against Bernard Tomic with 28 minutes but there was no match today as Djokovic was simply too strong for Montanes.

The match lasted just two games. Montanes won the second game for 1-1 before Djokovic dominated the rest of the match without dropping his serve. Montanes, who beat Benoit Paire in three sets in the first set, earned three consecutive break points but Djokovic saved them to take the 2-1 lead. Djokovic converted his fourth break point chance at 4-1. This was one of the five breaks of serve in this match for Djokovic who lost just 10 points on serve and saved four break points.

Montanes saved two set points but Djokovic closed out the first set at third opportunity. The second set was a training session for Djokovic who dropped just five points in the second set to seal the win on his first match point in just 45 minutes. Djokovic improved his record in his head-to-head matches against Montanes to 6-0. Djokovic will take on either lucky loser Pablo Carreno Busta or Gael Monfils who beat Kevin Anderson.

Djokovic admitted that he has a different approach this year to the clay season in preparation for the Roland Garros, the only Grand Slam title missing in his cabinet.

Last year I put a lot of energy into winning the Roland Garros title. It was in my thoughts constantly. It didn’t help me for the tournaments prior to that, like Madrid and Rome. I have a different approach this year. I want to do well in the next clay tournaments in preparation and eventually get myself in a very good position in terms of confidence for the French Open”, said Djokovic

Djokovic has claimed his 11th consecutive win. The Monte-Carlo based star is looking to clinch his fifth consecutive Master 1000 Tournament, including Shanghai, paris Bercy last year and the second Indian Wells-Miami double of his career last March. He won last year’s final against Nadal and finished runner-up twice to the Spaniard in 2009 and 2012.

His coach Boris Becker followed Djokovic from the stands after missing Indian Wells and Miami

Jo Wilfred Tsonga, semifinalist last year in Monte-Carlo, had to dig deep to battle past Phillip Kohlschreiber. The German won the second set 6-1 to force the match to the third set. After wasting two match points Tsonga broke closed out the match on his third match point when Kohlschreiber sent his forehand wide.The Frenchman hit 19 winners to 39 unforced errors and won 76 percent of his first serve points to win for the seventh time in eight matches against the German. Tsonga, a semifinalist at the Roland Garros last year,

Last year’s Roland Garros finalist David Ferrer swept aside Jeremy Chardy with 6-3 6-0 in 65 minutes.

Italian Andreas Seppi won for the first time in his career after four defeats against Michail Youzhny with 6-3 7-6 (7-4) in just over two hours. Seppi entertained the crowd for a spectacular Federer-style tweener at 3-3 in the first set which could become one of the candidates for “the shot of the week” award.

Seppi broke serve in the fourth game of the first set with a backhand Youzhny broke straight back before saving five break point chances to draw level to 3-all. Seppi got the decisive break at 4-3 before sealing the first set with 6-3 in 44 minutes.

The second set went on serve. In the fifth game Seppi earned a break point chance and Youzhny got two break point chances in the following game but all three chances were saved. Youzhny saved a break point at 4-4 with an ace. Seppi had to save three set points at 4-5 with his serve. The second set came down to the tie-break. Seppi stormed to 5-2 before earning two match points. He closed it out on his first match point.

Seppi is playing for the ninth time in Monte-Carlo but he has never got through the second round. He lost eight times in the second round and in the first round last year against his compatriot Fabio Fognini.

I have already made a tweener against Murray in Rome. It is so special to made a special shot on this prestigious stage in Monte-Carlo”, said Seppi.

Seppi fended off six of the seven break points he faced to set up a second round against Pablo Andujar. Seppi has not claimed back-to-back wins this year so far this year.

Grigor Dimitrov recovered from a break down in the third set before winning the final six games of the match to beat Marcel Granollers with 6-2 4-6 6-2.

French qualifier Michael Llodra upset last year’s Wimbledon qualifier Jerzy Janowicz 6-4 6-2 in just 66 minutes to set up the next match against Lukas Rosol. The young Pole suffered his sixth consecutive defeat since the quarter finals in Rotterdam.

Teymuraz Gabashvili fought back from a set down to overcome Giles Simon 4-6 6-4 6-4 to set up a second round match against eight-time champion Rafa Nadal.


Roland Garros 2024: Rafael Nadal Faces Alexander Zverev In Blockbuster Opening Round

Rafael Nadal and Alexander Zverev will meet at Roland Garros in the first round with Andy Murray taking on Stan Wawrinka in the opening round.



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Rafael Nadal has been drawn against Rome champion Alexander Zverev in the opening round of Roland Garros.

The 14-time Roland Garros champion will most likely be making his last appearance at the event where he has such a great history at.

It’s been a mixed clay court season for Nadal who built gradual momentum in Madrid but suffered an early exit in Rome to Hubert Hurkacz.

Now the Spaniard has been drawn to take on the champion of Rome, Alexander Zverev, in the opening round.

The match is a repeat of the 2022 semi-final where Zverev broke his ankle losing almost a year of his career.

This contest headlines the second quarter of the draw which also features Karen Khachanov, Holger Rune and Daniil Medvedev.

In the other quarter of the top half of the draw, defending champion Novak Djokovic will begin his Roland Garros campaign against Pierre-Hughes Herbert.

There is also a potential third round clash with either Gael Monfils or Lorenzo Musetti for Djokovic, who is currently in Geneva gaining extra match practice ahead of the second Grand Slam of the season.

The Serb could have a repeat of last year’s final in the quarter-finals with Casper Ruud as the Norwegian begins his campaign against Jakub Mensik.

In the bottom half of the draw Jannik Sinner plays his first tournament since suffering a hip injury in Rome as he takes on Christopher Eubanks in the opening round.

Sinner could face Cameron Norrie in the third round with the Brit taking on Pavel Kotov in his opening round before playing the winner of the battle of the Grand Slam champions between Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka.

Murray and Wawrinka will clash for the fourth time at Roland Garros with Wawrinka leading their head-to-head 2-1 in Paris.

This section also includes in-form players such as Hubert Hurkacz, Alejandro Tabilo and Rome finalist Nicolas Jarry.

Finally Carlos Alcaraz will begin his Roland Garros campaign against a qualifier before potentially playing Jack Draper in the second round.

Another exciting clash awaits Alcaraz in the third round in the form of Sebastian Korda with Andrey Rublev or Stefanos Tsitsipas being potential quarter-final opponents.

This is the full draw with Roland Garros beginning on Sunday.

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Alexander Zverev Secures Return To Top Four After Winning Italian Open



Alexander Zverev has clinched his first Masters title since 2021 after downing Nicolas Jarry in straight sets at the Italian Open.

The world No.5 surged to a 6-4,7-5, victory at the Faro Italico to become the 10th player in the Open Era to win the Rome trophy on multiple occasions. He also won the tournament in 2017. Zverev’s latest win was aided by an impressive service display from the 27-year-old who also hit 15 winners against eight unforced errors. He is now 22-1 against players ranked outside the top five at the tournament with his only loss being to Matteo Berrettini five years ago.

“It means a lot. Winning my first (Masters) title and winning my first after my injury in Rome. Rome is a very special place for me,” the new champion said afterwards. 
“I said at the beginning of the week if Rome is the place of firsts for me I’m extremely happy about it. It’s a very special week.” 

Playing in his first Masters 1000 final since 2022, Zverev produced a serving masterclass throughout the opening set with the German winning 20 out of 21 points. In contrast, Jarry experienced more difficult but valiantly fought back with the Chilean saving two straight break points at 4-4. Eventually, the third seed sealed the opener two games later with the help of some costly shots coming from across the court. A deep shot towards the baseline was unsuccessfully returned by Jarry, handing Zverev a set point which he converted.

Continuing to pile the pressure on in the second set, Zverev had a double chance to break for a 3-1 lead but failed to capitalise on that opportunity. The opportunities continued to come and go. Back-to-back double faults from Jarry at 4-5 handed Zverev two championship points but once again he failed to take advantage. Eventually, he sealed victory two games later with the help of a forehand shot that Jarry returned out. Prompting Zverev to raise his hands in delight before later paying tribute to his rival. 

“He’s playing huge. You can see that by the opponents he beat and how he beat them,” he said of Jarry. 
“I told him if he continues playing like that he is going to have many more chances. I’m happy to be the winner.”

As a result of his Rome triumph, Zverev has secured a top-four seeding for the French Open. On Monday he will rise in the PIF ATP rankings to No.4 which will be his highest position since August 2022. During that same year, he sustained a serious ankle injury which sidelined him for months. 

“The focus is on Paris, that’s for sure. but let me enjoy this one for a day or so and then I will have my full focus on Paris,” said Zverev.

Zverev has now won six Masters 1000 titles which places him in joint-ninth on the all-time list along with Daniil Medvedev. 

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Novak Djokovic Accepts Geneva Wildcard Ahead Of Roland Garros

Novak Djokovic has accepted a wildcard into next week’s ATP 250 event in Geneva as he looks to improve his form ahead of Roland Garros.



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Novak Djokovic has shockingly accepted a wildcard into next week’s ATP 250 event in Geneva.

The world number one hasn’t had the best season so far having yet to reach a final at any of his events this season.

There was hope for Djokovic that his fortunes would change on clay and the Serb started his clay court season by reaching the semi-finals in Monte-Carlo before losing to Casper Ruud.

However Djokovic’s clay court hopes were dashed in Rome as he lost in the third round to in-form Chilean Alejandro Tabilo.

This has meant that Djokovic risks being undercooked for the second Grand Slam of the season at Roland Garros.

Therefore the Serb has had no option but to take a wildcard into next week’s ATP 250 in Geneva.

Djokovic will join Casper Ruud, Andy Murray, Denis Shapovalov and Taylor Fritz in next week’s event.

Next week’s appearance will be the first appearance in Geneva in Djokovic who will be the top seed in Switzerland.

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