Internazionali BNL d'Italia Interviews. Novak Djokovic: “Half of my country is in danger not having electricity, immobilization, and where are talking about cities not small village” - UBITENNIS
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Internazionali BNL d'Italia Interviews. Novak Djokovic: “Half of my country is in danger not having electricity, immobilization, and where are talking about cities not small village”

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TENNIS Internazionali BNL d’Italia – N. Djokovic d. M. Raonic 6-7, 7-6, 6-3. An interview with Novak Djokovic.

Q:How tough and maybe frustrating and important was that win for you?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It is a big win because it gives a lot of strength and belief that I can carry into tomorrow’s final and also to the continuation of the season. He played on a very high level throughout the match especially with his serve that, I can say, is the best in the world. I can’t recall the last time when I was feeling so helpless on the return game, and also his second was brutal. It was a very tight match decide in the first two set for very few points, I could have won the first set tie break. He put pressure on my serve because when you serving like this and win comfortably your game then you don’t have much pressure on your return game. I got myself regrouped in the second tie break when I was 3-2 and him serving and at the end I won and that’s why it is important for my game and my confidence.

Q:What was that you wrote on camera?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I wrote for Serbian in Cyrillic ‘I love you’ to my people.

Q:Looking at the Roland Garros, do you think play against a player like this in 5 set is better or worse?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: In a way is better because you expect he drops his level of service and get tired because the clay is demanding physically. But he did surprise with his movements around the court, he improved his backhand down the line and moving very well. The variety in his shot, he play aggressively and you can feel the improvements in his game. It isn’t easy to play against these guy on any surfaces: you think clay is the slowest compared to the others, but the ball bounces so high when you hit it from the 4th floor…

Q:Both you and Rafa had tough matches this week. But looking at Raonic, Dimitrov, Nishikori, do you think there is change going on, more players who are challenging you guys at the top?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: You name the 3 guys who are the leaders of a new generation of young and potentially very successfully tennis player. Obviously there is few transition in a tennis player career, coming to the top 15, top10 and then becoming a top5 is definitely one of the toughest competitors. You have to play on high level during all the season, be injury free. Dimitrov, Raonic and Nishikori are very talented players and they are a big challenge for the top guys.

Q:How much are you following what’s going on in Serbia and how those facts affected your concentration?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I followed it as much as I can, I am on the phone, following the news online. It’s the nature, higher force, a flood like hasn’t been remembered in all the story of my country, it’s a total catastrophe of biblical proportion. Half of the country is in danger not having electricity, immobilization, and where are talking about cities not small village. I enjoy be here and play but on the other hand I feel a little bit uncomfortable, so many sportsmen back in the country because of this situation, they stop playing and I am here to do this. I hope this little event we organize go viral cause unfortunately there is not enough awareness of what’s going on. There’s non coverage and this is the biggest flood Europe have ever seen. I hope people can find a common sense and spread the awareness about this flood. We need help. After that there will be a period of minimum several months of recovering, and we need as much as help possible in all the possible.

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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

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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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