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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Stefanos Tsitsipas ‘Happy’ To Follow In Grandfather’s Footsteps At Olympics

The Greek speaks out about carrying his family’s legacy at the Games.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas never met his grandfather but the two of them do have something in common – they are both Olympians.

 

The world No.4 has already created history in Tokyo by winning his first round match against Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber on Sunday to become the first male player from his country to win a singles match since 1924. Greece has won two medals at the Games but both of them were during its inaugural edition back in 1896.

Tsitsipas’ debut in Tokyo enables him to continue his family legacy of playing in the sporting extravaganza. His grandfather was Sergei Salnikov who played football for the Soviet Union during the 1950s. In 1956 Salnikov was part of the team who won Olympic gold in Melbourne. After retiring from the sport, he went on to manage the FC Spartak Moscow and the Afghanistan national team before passing away in 1984 aged 58.

“I’ve never had the opportunity to meet him. But my mom told me stories of his career and how he got it…. He kind of inspires me in a way,” said Tsitsipas. “I know what kind of athlete he was, with all the achievements and all the trophies. I’m proud of him.
“It’s something good, a legacy that is being carried on in the family. I’m happy to be the next in the family to be competing at the Olympics.”

It isn’t just a medal in the singles Tsitsipas has his eyes on, he will also be bidding for success in the mixed doubles alongside Maria Sakkari. The two previously paired up at the 2019 Hopman Cup where they finished second in their group.

“We have already played once (together), and we had great success,” Sakkari told reporters on Monday. “We know each other really well, and we are much better players two-and-a-half years later, and we are both really pumped to play together. Of course, I cannot predict that we will get a medal. We will try our best and I think we give ourselves the best chance we can.”

Tsitsipas will return to action tomorrow in the men’s singles where he will play Frances Tiafoe in the second round.

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Carlos Alcaraz reaches his first ATP Tour final in Umag

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Spanish Next Gen star Carlos Alcaraz secured a spot in his first ATP tour-level final with a 6-2 7-6 (7-3) at the Plava Laguna Croatia Open in Umag. 

 

Alcaraz has become the youngest ATP Tour finalist since 18-year-old Kei Nishikori won the Delray Beach title in 2008. 

Alcaraz broke twice to open up a 4-0 lead and held his next service games to close out the first set 6-2. 

Ramos Vinolas came back from a break down three times in the second set, when Alcaraz served for the match. Alcaraz battled through the second-set tie-break to clinch the win after two hours. 

Alcaraz set up a final against Richard Gasquet, who battled past German qualifier Daniel Altmeier 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 6-3 after three hours and 11 minutes. 

Gasquet has become the second oldest finalist in tournament history. The 35-year-old saved seven of hi sten break points, but he converted just just 3 of his 17 break points.  

Gasquet rallied from a break down twice to draw level to 4-4 before winning the tie-break 7-2. Altmeier converted his third break point in the eighth game to win the second set 6-3. Altmeier saved three break points in the second game, before Gasquet converted his second break point in the sixth game to win the second set 6-3. 

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Novak Djokovic Cruises Past Dellien In Olympics Opener

Novak Djokovic’s bid for a historic golden slam continued in Tokyo.

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Novak Djokovic (@ITFTennis - Twitter)

Novak Djokovic cruised past Hugo Dellien 6-2 6-2 to open his bid for a gold medal at the Olympics.

 

The world number one’s bid to achieve the golden slam is on after thrashing the Bolivian in humid conditions.

A perfect start for the Serbian who is looking to achieve the one thing he is yet to achieve and that’s win a gold medal.

Next for Djokovic will be Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff.

In 32C temperatures, Djokovic was looking to start his campaign off against Bolivian veteran Hugo Dellien.

The slow paced courts would suit Dellien as he engaged in some long rallies with the world number one early on.

Despite creating three break points in the fourth game, Djokovic would fail to break early on.

However Djokovic increased his level mixing up the pace and depth of his shots to create angles for simple winners.

On his fifth break point Djokovic would break for a 4-2 lead and the top seed would break for a second time as Dellien had no answers for the Serb’s defensive skills. First set to Djokovic in 33 minutes.

A similar pattern evolved in the second set only this time Djokovic did get a break in the fourth game, breaking to love.

Accurate serving and construction of points gave Djokovic an easy first round match as another break secured the match and sealed his spot into the second round.

A fine performance in tough conditions gave Djokovic’s bid for history the best possible start.

Next for Djokovic will be Jan-Lennard Struff who beat Thiago Monteiro 6-3 6-4.

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