Master 1000 Rome: Djokovic withstood the charge of young upstart Raonic - UBITENNIS
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Master 1000 Rome: Djokovic withstood the charge of young upstart Raonic




TENNIS Master 1000 Rome – In the battle of the ATP stars; Novak Djokovic (2) against Milos Raonic (8), it was the legitimate star, Djokovic who was able to withstand the barrage of shots from the raising star Raonic to get to another Roma final. Cordell Hackshaw

Interviews, results, order of play, draws of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome

In the battle of the ATP stars; Novak Djokovic (2) against Milos Raonic (8), it was the legitimate star, Djokovic who was able to withstand the barrage of shots from the raising star Raonic to get to another Roma final 6-7 7-6 6-3. “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” Djokovic said after the match. However, there many instances in the match where it looked as though Djokovic was not going to get to the final and Raonic was on the verge of one of the biggest wins of his young career. The Canadian threw everything he had at the Serbian including 17 aces for the match but in the end, Djokovic showed why he is at the top of the game.

The tension in the match was high from the very onset as both players were showing their A-games. Raonic was serving well in addition to his monster forehands and Djokovic had his trademark defensive skills and backhand on full display. All break point opportunities were quickly dismissed by the servers including the first set point Raonic had in the 10th game to take the set 6-4. A huge serve from the Serbian saw the Canadian pushing the backhand long. With such high quality tennis as both players won most of the points on their 1st serve (79% Raonic and 77% Djokovic), a tiebreaker seemed best to decide the matter of the first set. Djokovic raced out an early 3-0 lead but then Raonic showed why he is most definitely on track to be a future world’s number one. Raonic won the next 6 points earning himself three more set points. Djokovic was able save two but Raonic would not be denied a fourth time. He took the set 7-6(5) in just over 70 minutes.

Raonic was not about to rest on his laurels. He knew that if he wanted this match, he had to take it in straight sets. He became aggressive on the Djokovic serve and earned himself early break points but he was unable to capitalize as his opponent sensed the imminent danger of being down a set and a break in the match. Djokovic pressed the issue in the 4th game and earned himself a break point. Raonic missed the first serve for the first time on break point and Djokovic was all over the weaker 2nd serve and earned the break. However, he was unable to consolidate the break as Raonic broke back. Both players remained on serve avoiding any more break chances for the remainder of the set. Hence a tiebreaker would yet again decide the matter. The Serbian again took an early lead in the breaker but this time, he produced some of his best tennis of the match to maintain it and was able to take the set 7-6(4).

Raonic blinked and perhaps forgot that he was dealing with an opponent of the highest caliber in the form of Novak Djokovic. Opportunities for an upset of this magnitude are rare in these Master Series 1000 events and Raonic had his chances and he let them slipped. Djokovic wrest control of the decisive set with an early break going up 2-0. Raonic did all he could to maintain his serve and get the break back but Djokovic proved too strong. The world’s number 2 broke again in the 9th game to close out the set 6-3 and take the match 6-7 7-6 6-3.

“He played better than me and he deserves to win.” Raonic stated after the match. He added that his main game plan was to hold serve which would allowed him to be more aggressive on his return game. However, he acknowledged how difficult it is to do this against the current top players like Djokovic. It should be some consolidation for the Canadian that Djokovic had high praise for him in the press conference noting that he is definitely the future of the game singling out his serve and movement around the court. However, Djokovic will be concentrating on dealing with Rafael Nadal who he will face in yet another Master Series 1000 finals. Djokovic’s mind is also on the devastating floods taking place in his homeland of Serbia right now stating that his thoughts are ever with victims.


Dominic Stricker cruises past Luca Nardi at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Jeddah



Third seed Dominic Stricker cruised past Luca Nardi 4-1 4-1 4-2 in 54 minutes in the fastest match in the history of the Next Gen Finals at the Next Gen ATP Finals at the King Abdullah Sports City in Jeddah bouncing back from his defeat in the first match against Flavio Cobolli on Tuesday. 


Stricker converted four of his six break points and hit 13 winners, including 3 aces. 

Stricker came back from 15-40 down in the first game after two double faults from Nardi and broke serve with a return winner on the deciding point to take a 1-0 lead. The world number 94 saved three break-back-back points in the second game from 15-40 down before breaking for the second time in the fifth game to win the first set 4-1. 

Stricker broke serve at 30 in the second game of the second set and held serve at love in the third game to race out to a 3-0 lead. Stricker served it out on his second set point. 

Stricker earned an early break in the first game of the third set on the deciding point and held his next service games. Nardi saved the first match point but he hit his backhand into the net on the second match point after the longest rally of the match. 

“We had a long discussion yesterday evening about how to do it today. I think it was really good that we talked a lot after what maybe was not my best performance. Now to come out today like that, I think nobody expected that. I am just happy that I did it and now I am going to try my best to recover for the third group match”, said Stricker. Stricker is now 1-1 in Green Group. The Swiss player is aiming to reach his second consecutive semifinal at the Next Gen Finals. He is looking to crown a good year after reaching the fourth round at the US Open. 

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Jannik Sinner, Arnaldi End Italy’s 47-Year Wait For Davis Cup Title



An in-form Jannik Sinner has secured Italy’s first Davis Cup title in almost half a century after crushing Alex de Minaur in straight sets. 


The world No.4 headed into the crucial match with his country boasting a 1-0 lead over Australia after Matteo Arnaldi won his clash against Alexi Popryin in three sets. Taking on a fiery de Minaur, a composed Sinner surged to a 6-3, 6-0, victory in Malaga to hand his country an unassailable lead and the title. The dominant performance saw Sinner produce a total of 25 winners with 18 of them coming from his forehand side. It is the sixth time he has beaten de Minaur on the Tour and he is yet to lose against him. 

“It helps a lot to play for the whole team,” Sinner said of his latest win. “It has been an incredible thing for all of us and we are really happy.”

Sinner first broke three games into his encounter with de Minaur after the Australian hit a lob shot that landed out. In control of proceedings, he rallied his way to 5-3 before opening up a 40-0 lead against his opponent’s serve. With three set points at his disposal, Sinner converted his second with the help of another unforced error coming from across the court. 

Closing in on the historic victory, the 22-year-old was in clinical form throughout the second frame as he raced to a 5-0 lead in under 30 minutes. Destroying whatever hopes Australia had of a shock comeback. Sinner closed out the match on his third attempt after a De Minaur backhand drifted wide, prompting an almighty smile on his face. 

Thanks to Australia. I know with the new format it is a little bit different to have to all come to one place. it means a lot.” Said Sinner.

In the first match of the day, Arnaldi ousted Popryin 7-5, 2-6, 6-4, in a two-and-a-half-hour marathon. The world No.44, who made his Davis Cup debut in September, held his nerve throughout a tense deciding set where he saved all eight break points he faced. Overall, he hit a total of 40 winners past Popryin and was visibly emotional afterward. 

“This match was very important and emotional for a few reasons,” Arnaldi told reporters. 
“This year for me was the first time playing for my country. I played when I was junior, but Davis Cup is just different.’
“And three weeks ago, an important person passed away. I think he gave me the power to try to stay there (in the match). It wasn’t easy to play, but they gave me the power at the end to try to win.”

It is the second time in history Italy has won the Davis Cup and the first since 1976. The triumph caps off what has been a memorable week for the team who 24 hours earlier beat Novak Djokovic’s Serbia in the semi-finals with Sinner saving three match points against the world No.1 in the singles. 

“I’m really thankful and proud to have these guys,” Italian captain Filippo Volandri commented.
“We have had to manage with a lot of emergencies during these past two years but we did it and we did it like a family.” He added.

Italy, who has become the 11th country in history to win Multiple Davis Cup titles, currently has six players in the ATP top 100 with four of those being in the top 50. 

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Alexander Zverev Deserves More Respect According To Boris Becker

According to Boris Becker, Alexander Zverev deserves more respect from tennis journalists.



Alexander Zverev (@WeAreTennis - Twitter)

Boris Becker has claimed that Alexander Zverev deserves more respect despite Zverev failing to live up to his potential at Grand Slams.


Zverev has only reached one Grand Slam final in his career despite being a regular inside the world’s top ten as well as performing at regular ATP events.

This season Zverev played a limited schedule after recovering from an ankle injury but still managed to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals.

However most critics have been loud when judging Zverev’s career as it was looking likely that he would be a regular Grand Slam champion.

The German has failed to live up to expectations but former Grand Slam champion Boris Becker believes Zverev deserves more respect.

Speaking to Eurosport Becker also said that Zverev’s father being the coach is a more than successful approach when it comes to the former US Open finalist’s career, “In my opinion, he doesn’t get enough respect from the tennis experts internationally,” Becker explained.

“They’re all talking about the young three or four, but don’t give Zverev, Medvedev or Rublev enough respect. He’s playing with his fist in his pocket a little bit, wants everyone show that he is not a thing of the past, but that his best time is yet to come.

“Surely his father knows best what is good for his son, but if you look into the box at the competition, you can also see changes.”

Becker has followed Zverev for most of his career so knows that the best is yet to come from the German.

Alexander Zverev will look to prove himself next season when he starts his 2024 season when he represents Germany at the United Cup.

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