2014 Roland Garros: Nadal with Wawrinka, Federer on Djokovic's side - UBITENNIS
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2014 Roland Garros: Nadal with Wawrinka, Federer on Djokovic's side

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TENNIS – The Main Draw of the 2014 Roland Garros was held today in Paris. Defending champions Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams took part in the Draw Ceremony of the Tournament which starts on Sunday 25th May. Possible quarter finals: Nadal- Ferrer, Wawrinka-Murray, Berdych-Federer and Raonic-Federer. The two possible semifinals could be Nadal vs Wawrinka and Federer vs Djokovic. Diego Sampaolo

Men’s Singles Draw

Women’s Singles Draw

Nadal will face a very tough path to title defence as he has been drawn in the same half with this year’s Australian Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka, last year’s finalist David Ferrer, Olympic champion Andy Murray and Rome semifinalist Grigor Dimitrov.

Nadal will start against Ginepri in the first round. In the second round Nadal may face Austrian rising star Dominic Thiem who beat Wawrinka in Madrid before facing Vasek Pospisil in the third round, Tommy Haas or Nicholas Almagro (who beat Nadal in the quarter final in Barcelona) in the fourth round and a possible quarter final clash against David Ferrer, who lost the Roland Garros final last year but took a re-match this year beating Nadal in the Monte-Carlo quarter final. Nadal could face Wawrinka in the semifinal. Ferrer could meet last week Rome semifinalist Grigor Dimitrov in the fourth round.

After winning in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 the Mallorcan King of Clay is looking to improve his all-time record to nine Roland Garros singles titles. He currently heads the Roland Garros winners list with two more titles than Swedish legend Bjorn Borg, who won six times in 1974, 1975, 1978, 1979, 1980 and 1981. Nadal is also bidding to equal the second place on the all-time list of Grand Slam singles titles winners if he win his 14th Major crown. Roger Federer leads the all-time list with 17 Grand Slam titles ahead of Pete Sampras (14 titles), Nadal (13) and Roy Emerson (12). Nadal boasts an impressive record of 59 wins to just one defeat in Paris. If he wins in Paris, he would become the second youngest male player to win 14 Grand Slam titles after Roger Federer.

This year he has not shown the same dominance of the past years when he was used to conquer all the major clay tournaments before Paris. He won more clay titles than any other players taking Rio de Janeiro and Madrid but he lost in the quarter finals in Monte-Carlo and Barcelona and was beaten by Novak Djokovic in the Rome Master 1000 final.

Wawrinka, who won his first Master 1000 tournament on clay in Monte-Carlo beating his compatriot Federer in the all-Swiss final, will open with Spaniard Guillermo Garcia Lopez in the first round, another Spaniard Feliciano Lopez in the third round and could face either Fabio Fognini or Gael Monfils in the fourth round and Andy Murray in the quarter final. This could be a re-match of last year’s US Open quarter final match won by the Swiss player.

Wawrinka is bidding to become the first player since Jim Courier in 1992 to score the Australian Open-Roland Garros double.

Murray, who will start against Andrey Golubev in the first round, could meet Richard Gasquet in the fourth round, but the form of the French player is a question mark after a season plagued by injury problems. .

Federer, who boasts a 58-14 record at the Roland Garros, will play his first match against Lukas Lacko and could meet either Ernests Gulbis (finalist this week in Nice) or Mikhail Youzhny in the fourth round and Tomas Berdych in the quarter finals. Federer won one title in Dubai and reached two Master 1000 finals in Indian Wells and Monte-Carlo before losing in the second round against Jeremy Chardy one week after the birth of twin sons Leo and Lenny.

Berdych’s possible rivals on his path to the quarter final could be Roberto Bautista Agut in the second round, Tommy Robredo in the third round and John Isner in the fourth round

World Number 2 Novak Djokovic will start his Roland Garros campaign against Portugal’s Joao Sousa in the first round before facing a possible third round threat against Marin Cilic and last year’s semifinalist Jo Wilfred Tsonga in the fourth round

Djokovic could renew his battle against Milos Raonic in the quarter finals. The Serb squared off against the Canadian in a hard-fought semifinal in Rome last week, probably one of the best matches played in the Italian capital. Raonic is the youngest top-10 player and could be a danger for Djokovic especially because he has shown progress on clay, which was considered his less favourite surface.

Raonic, who is coached by Ivan Ljubicic and Riccardo Piatti, will open against Australian teenage sensation Nick Kyrgios in one of the most interesting matches of the first round before a second round match against Lukas Rosol or Jiri Vesely, who has reached the semifinal this week i Dusseldorf. The young Canadian could meet Giles Simon in the this round and Kei Nishikori in an exciting fourth round match between two of the representatives of the new generation of players who could threat the dominance of the Big Four in the next few years. Nishikori won his first clay title in Barcelona and came close to winning his first Master 1000 title in Madrid before being struck by a back injury during the final against Nadal.

Djokovic could overtake Nadal at the top of the ATP Ranking if he wins in Paris or Nadal and Djokovic lose in the same round, the Serb could become the new World Number 1.

Djokovic is bidding to become the eighth player in history to win all the four Grand Slam tournaments after André Agassi, Don Bridge, Roy Emerson, Roger Federer, Rod Laver, Rafa Nadal and Fred Perry.

Djokovic is looking to win his fourth title of the year after three Master 1000 wins at Indian Wells, Miami and Rome. Last week the Serb won a three-set battle with Nadal in the final of the Internazionali d’Italia in Rome clinching his third crown in the Eternal City. The Roland Garros is the only Grand Slam title missing in his impressive Trophy Cabinet. He lost two epic semifinals against Roger Federer in 2011 and Rafa Nadal in 2013.

The most interesting matches of the first round are Madrid finalist and Barcelona and Memphis champion Kei Nishikori vs Munich champion Martin Klizan, Andreas Seppi vs Santiago Giraldo, Richard Gasquet vs Bernard Tomic, Grigor Dimitrov vs Ivo Karlovic and the all-French clash between Jo Wilfried Tsonga and Edouard Roger Vasselin.

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Wrist Injury Threatening To End Holger Rune’s Olympic Dream

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Holger Rune will have a second medical opinion on Monday before deciding if he is fit enough to play at the Olympic Games, according to his team. 

The Danish world No.17 recently retired from his quarter-final match at the Hamburg Open due to a knee injury. The hope at the time was that his withdrawal would be just a precautionary measure ahead of the Olympics. However, he is also dealing with a second issue that appears to be more serious.

According to TV 2 Sport, Rune has been struggling with a wrist issue and underwent a scan on Sunday which his mother Aneke says ‘doesn’t look promising.’ Aneke is also the manager of her son’s career. Rune’s Olympic dreams now rest on the outcome of a second medical expert that he will visit tomorrow who has a better understanding of the sport. 

“Unfortunately, it does not look promising after the first medical opinion after the review of the scan of the wrist,” Aneke Rune told TV 2 Sport.

“We are waiting for two tennis-specific doctors who will give a second opinion tomorrow (Monday). Tennis wrists look different from regular wrists, so we’ll hold out hope for one more day.” 

Rune is one of three Danish players entered into the Olympic tennis event along with Caroline Wozniacki and Clara Tauson. The country has only won one medal in tennis before which was at the 1912 Games when Sofie Castenschiold won silver in the women’s indoor singles event. 

So far this season, the 21-year-old has won 27 matches on the Tour but is yet to claim a title. He reached the final of the Brisbane International and then the semi-finals of three more events. In the Grand Slams, he made it to the fourth round of the French Open and Wimbledon. 

It is not known when a final decision regarding Rune’s participation in Paris will be made.

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Hubert Hurkacz Undergoes ‘Knee Procedure’ Ahead of Olympic Bid

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Poland’s top player on the ATP Tour is not giving up on his dream of winning a medal at the Olympic Games despite recently undergoing a medical procedure.

World No.7 Hubert Hurkacz suffered a knee injury during his second round clash at Wimbledon against France’s Arthur Fils. In the fourth set tiebreak of their clash, Hurkacz dived for a shot but landed badly on his knee and required on-court medical attention. He then played two more points before retiring from the match. 

In a social media post published on Wednesday, the  27-year-old confirmed he underwent a procedure on his knee earlier this week but didn’t provide any further details.  Although Hurkacz has stated his intention to play at the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris, where the tennis event will be held on the clay at Roland Garros. 

“I had a knee procedure this Monday, but I’m feeling better already and my team and are dedicating extensive time each day to the rehab process.” He wrote on Instagram. 

“It’s a dream for every athlete to represent their country at the Olympics, and I want to make sure I am fully fit and ready before making the final decision to step on court. The aim is not only to participate, but to win a medal for my country.”

So far this season Hurkacz has won 34 out of 48 matches played on the Tour. He won the Estoril Open in April and was runner-up to Jannik Sinner in Halle. 

The Olympic tennis event is scheduled to begin a week Saturday on July 27th. Poland is yet to win a medal in the event but expectations are high with women’s No.1 Iga Swiatek also taking part. 

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Motivation, Pressure And Expectations – Novak Djokovic Targets History At Wimbledon

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image via x.com/wimbledon

Novak Djokovic has broken numerous records throughout his career but he still feels the pressure of trying to make history in the sport. 

The world No.2 is through to his 10th Wimbledon final where he will play Carlos Alcaraz, who beat him at this stage of the tournament 12 months ago. There is plenty on the line for the Serbian who could equal Roger Federer’s record for most men’s titles won at SW19 and break the overall record for most major singles won in the sport if he triumphs over the Spaniard. Djokovic currently has 24 Grand Slam trophies to his name which is the same as Margaret Court, who won some of her titles before the Open Era started. 

“Obviously I’m aware that Roger [Federer] holds eight Wimbledons. I hold seven. History is on the line.” Djokovic said on Friday after beating Lorenzo Musetti.

“Also, the 25th potential Grand Slam. Of course, it serves as a great motivation, but at the same time it’s also a lot of pressure and expectations.”

Coming into Wimbledon, there had been doubts over Djokovic’s form after he underwent surgery to treat a knee injury he suffered at the French Open. However, he has defied the odds to reach the final. His run has also seen him beat Alexi Popyrin and Holger Rune before getting a walkover in the quarter-finals from Alex de Minaur, who sustained an injury during the tournament. Then on Friday, he overcame a spirited Musetti in three sets. 

Despite the challenge, Djokovic has insisted that his expectations to do well are always high no matter what the situation is. During what has been a roller-coaster first six months of the season, he is yet to win a title this year or beat a player currently ranked in the top 10. Although he will achieve both of these if her beats Alcaraz on Sunday. 

“Every time I step out on the court now, even though I’m 37 and competing with the 21-year-olds, I still expect myself to win most of the matches, and people expect me to win, whatever, 99% of the matches that I play.” He said.

“I always have to come out on the court and perform my best in order to still be at the level with Carlos [Alcaraz] or Jannik [Sinner] or Sascha [Zverev] or any of those guys, Daniil [Medvedev]. 

“This year hasn’t been that successful for me. It’s probably the weakest results the first six months I’ve had in many years. That’s okay. I had to adapt and accept that and really try to find also way out from the injury that I had and kind of regroup.”

Djokovic hopes that a Wimbledon win will help turn his season around like it has done in the past for him. 

“Wimbledon historically there’s been seasons where I wasn’t maybe playing at a desired level, but then I would win a Wimbledon title and then things would change.” He commented.

“For example, that was the case in 2018 when I had elbow surgery earlier in the year, dropped my rankings out of top 20, losing in fourth round of Australian Open, I think it was quarters of Roland-Garros, and just not playing the tennis that I want to play. Then I won Wimbledon and then won US Open and then later on became No.1 very soon.”

Meanwhile, 21-year-old Alcaraz is hoping to stop Djokovic in his tracks. Should he defend his title at Wimbledon, he would become the first player outside the Big Three to do so since Pete Sampras more than 20 years ago. He has won their only previous meeting on the grass but trails their head-to-head 3-2. 

“I’m sure he knows what he has to do to beat me,” said Alcaraz.

“But I’m ready to take that challenge and I’m ready to do it well.”

When the two players take to the court to play in the Wimbledon final, Djokovic will be 15 years and 348 days older than Alcaraz. Making it the largest age gap in a men’s Grand Slam final since the 1974 US Open. Whoever is victorious will receive £2,700,000 in prize money. 

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