Novak Djokovic: “These are the best clay courts in the world, no question about that” - UBITENNIS
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Novak Djokovic: “These are the best clay courts in the world, no question about that”

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TENNIS 2014 ROLAND GARROS – 28th of May 2014. N. Djokovic d. J. Chardy 6-1, 6-4, 6-2. An interview with Novak Djokovic

 

Q. How did you feel out there today? How do you feel about the match?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, the conditions were changing from the beginning to the end. So again, it was another match where I had to stay mentally tough and then try to be consistent and not have, you know, many ups and downs.

I knew he’s gonna come out trying to take his chances with the forehand, and he has a big serve. But, you know, I managed to make him play an extra shot. I managed to stay solid from the baseline, and I think that forced him to make a lot of unforced errors, which definitely helped me to win in straight sets.

 

Q. Seeing favorites of the tournament, men’s side and women’s side, losing, is it sending an extra warning to the ones who remain in the draws?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, you know, in the Grand Slam we all know that in the opening rounds that the lower ranked players have a lot of motivation to play their best and to win against top players on the big stadiums.

I just saw that Serena also lost. So, I mean, it’s definitely a surprise to see the big favorites coming out.

But again, you can never underestimate any opponent in a Grand Slam, because Grand Slams are, you know, the biggest events we have in this sport, and it’s where all the players want to perform their best and it’s where they get this extra strength and inspiration to play their best.

 

Q. Wawrinka when he lost, he said that suddenly it has all become way too much for him, the pressure, expectations, and that we don’t realize how hard it is for you, Roger, and Rafa, to do it weeks in, weeks out. Can you reflect on this a bit?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, I mean, it’s part of the sport. It’s part of what you’re doing.

I can say from my side I always have kind of high ambitions for myself in terms of results and in terms of goals.

But with that, there is a lot of responsibility, a lot of hard work, a lot of understanding on and off the court, what you need to do and what you need to become in order to have the chance to be successful.

So I understand what is Wawrinka going through. 2008 when I won my first Grand Slam, I know how that period went after that. It’s the first time that you have to encounter pressure or expectations, you know, of being a favorite on Grand Slams.

I think it’s a new experience, and it’s something that is going to be with him for the rest of his career, because he’s a Grand Slam winner now, so he’s going to be favorite in most of the events where he plays.

That’s something new. It’s a new dimension, I think, from the mental aspect, but it’s part of the sport.

 

Q. I want to ask you about the football World Cup. Who is your favorite and why?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, it’s difficult to pick up. There are so many great teams. I’m going to be supporting the    unfortunately, Serbia is not there, so I’m going to be supporting the neighboring countries. Bosnia and Croatia, they are playing. Few others.

I love football, you know. I will be watching, of course, as all the other tennis players, I guess. I can’t pick up    there are so many great teams. Spain. Brazil is the host. Germany is always tough. It’s difficult to say, and I’m not an expert in football, so I better keep it with tennis.

 

Q. What do you think of the clay here compared to other clay surfaces? How dirty does it leave your socks and shoes and basically your body?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, luckily where I’m staying there is a washing machine, so I’m washing my socks every day (laughter). So it doesn’t matter really how dirty.

These are the best clay courts in the world, no question about that. Roland Garros has always had this tradition and history of the best courts and this surface. And, you know, this year the weather has been so and so, you know, a lot of rain, and it makes the job very difficult for the people who are working on the courts.

But, you know, regardless of that, I still think that these are the best courts.

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Juan Martin Del Potro Splits From Coach

The tennis star has announced a big change to his team.

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Former US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro is on the hunt for a new coach after agreeing to end his collaboration with Sebastian Prieto to continue focus on his rehabilitation from injury.

 

Del Potro has been working alongside Prieto since 2017 and achieved a series of career milestones under his guidance. Including winning his maiden Masters 1000 title at the 2018 BNP Paribas Open and reaching a ranking high of third in August that same year. Their decision has been made to allow Prieto to focus all of his attention on Juan Londero. Another Argentine player who is currently ranked 62nd in the world.

“I want to share that I have agreed with Sebastian Prieto to end our partnership, so that he can work with Juan Londero, while I continue my rehab process,” Del Potro said on Twitter.
“I’m very thankful to Piper for all of these years together. He is a great coach and even a better person. All the best!”

45-year-old Prieto is a former ATP player who peaked at a ranking high of 22nd in the doubles. During his career, he won 10 Tour titles with all of those occurring on the clay. He also reached the quarter-finals of the men’s doubles tournament at the 2003 French Open.

It is currently unknown as to who will be taking over as Del Potro’s new coach. The former grand slam champion hasn’t played a competitive match since last June due to a serious knee injury. At the Fever-Tree Championships in London, he fractured his right kneecap and was forced to undergo surgery to repair it. The second time he had to undergo that procedure within as many years after also suffering a similar injury at the 2018 Shanghai Rolex Masters.

Del Potro is currently undergoing rehabilitation and it is unclear as to when he will be able to return to the Tour again. All professional tennis tournaments have been either suspended or cancelled until at least July 31st due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although both the US Open and French Open are hoping to go ahead as planned.

So far in his career, the 31-year-old has won 22 ATP titles and earned almost $26 million in prize money. Earning more money than any other player from his country in the history of the sport.

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Novak Djokovic On Why He Didn’t Post Details Of Lockdown Training

The Serbian tennis star has shed some light on his recent training routines as he outlines plans for a Balkan tennis tour.

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World No.1 Novak Djokovic has been training almost daily since the world of tennis came to a halt due to the COVID-19 pandemic but opted to keep his activities out of the limelight to avoid any potential backlash from fellow players.

 

The ATP Tour has been suspended since March due to the Pandemic with officials hoping to restart the sport in some capacity during the summer ahead of the US Open. Nevertheless Djokovic, who started 2020 by winning 18 matches in a row, has been able to continue practicing in Marbella. He and his family were staying in a house located next to a tennis court.

Speaking with Serbian reports on Monday, the 17-time grand slam champion admitted that he didn’t want to ‘anger’ others by posting updates on social media of him training. Showing that he has been able to stay active more than other players during the lockdown.

“I had the opportunity to train almost every day during coronavirus because we stayed in a house next to a tennis court. I played a lot of tennis on a hard surface, but I didn’t upload anything on the net so as not to anger other players,” he told The Telegraf.
“I started recently on clay, I had two training sessions here, I feel good physically. I was quite active, I followed my program. Of course, the intensity decreases because I was not preparing for tournaments.”

https://twitter.com/DavisCup/status/1264885745916968960

With uncertainty surrounding when the Tour may start again, numerous countries have created their own domestic tournaments. In Djokovic’s case, he is the founder of his own event that will be played across the Balkan region. The Adria Tour is set to take place between June and July with three top 20 players set to participate. Besides Djokovic, Alexander Zverev and Grigor Dimitrov are also taking part.

“I started the whole idea of ​​the project and I communicate every day with TSS (Serbian Tennis Federation) and the company that organizes all this,” said Djokovic.
“The current international competitions, ITF and ATP will not happen before the first of August, and even that is uncertain. Afterwards, I will have time again if things resume on a hard surface in America, because I will have a month to prepare for the continuation of the season.”

Should it all go to plan, the clay-court tournament is set to be played in Belgrade (Serbia), Zadar (Croatia), Montenegro and Banja Luka (Bosnia and Herzegovina). Although it has been confirmed that the locations of the Bosnian and Montenegrin events are still not fully confirmed with the possibility of Sarajevo hosting one leg of the tour. Sarajevo hosted the 1984 Winter Olympics.

Prior to the Tour suspension, Djokovic was unbeaten in 2020. He started the season by winning three consecutive titles at the ATP Cup, Australian Open and Dubai Tennis Championships. Those triumphs enabled him to earn prize money of $4,410,541. He also earned just over $70,000 from playing doubles so far this year.

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Nikoloz Basilashvili Domestic Abuse Case: Extraordinary Claims Emerge From Both Sides

One journalist says she has ‘inside knowledge’ that the tennis pro has a history of domestic abuse, but his family has issued a statement claiming the accuser has a record of making false allegations.

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On what has been a dramatic day for tennis star Nikoloz Basilashvili, his family has now issued a statement in which they have made a series of allegations against his ex-wife.

 

The world No.27 was arrested on May 22nd over allegations that he ‘physically attacked’ Neli Dorokashvili during a confrontation on the outskirts of Tbilisi. Prosecutors have launched charges against him under the article ‘Domestic violence in the presence of a minor against a member of his family.’ Officials have confirmed that the alleged incident took part in front of their son.

After his initial hearing on Sunday, Basilashvili denied any wrongdoing and paid for a bail. His lawyer, Irma Tchkadua, has said that there is ‘no evidence’ in this case. However The Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia is demanding a pre-trial detention of the 28-year-old.

In a new twist to the case, Basilashvili’s family has now issued a statement to news agency IPN in which they have accused Dorokashvili of deliberately making false allegations. Claiming she has made similar claims in the past in order to damage the reputation of the tennis star. Revealing that Basilashvili’s mother, Natalia, have previously faced child abuse accusations.

“We want to respond to the allegations made against Nikoloz and our family today,” the statement begins.
“First of all, we want to apologize to the fans for the false allegations. We declare with full responsibility that the information about violence is not true and there is no evidence that would prove any violent action.’
“It is not happening for the first time that Neli Dorokashvili, Nikoloz’s ex-wife, is trying to inflict moral, financial and reputation damage on Nikoloz and his family’
“After the divorce, Neli Dorokashvili sued Nikoloz Basilashvili’s mother about child abuse. The court considered the complaint and acquitted Basilashvili’s mother.”

Touching on the incident that is alleged to have taken place, the Basilashvili family has said that Dorokashvili broke into the property and tried to start a fight. However, the family statement didn’t address reports that Nodar Basilashvili, who introduced his son to tennis at the age of five, was issued with a restraining order.

“As for the May 21 incident, Neli Dorokashvili broke into the property of the parents of Nikoloz Basilashvili without permission, where she deliberately tried to provoke a conflict. Nevertheless, there was no any violent action against her, not even an attempt. Fortunately, there is evidence for this and the court will consider it on July 16, 2020,” the family insists.
“The trial continues. We believe that Nikoloz will prove his innocence very soon.”

The claims made by a journalist

Despite the calls to dismiss the case, one Georgian journalist has made an extraordinary claim in which she said that Basilashvili has a history of domestic abuse. Magda Kldiashvili, who is the former editor-in-chief of goal.ge, has claimed that the two have been separated for some time and there was a contract drawn up in which he has to pay his ex-wife 100,000 Georgian Lari per month. Their contract is said to be kept confidential according to the journalist. Furthermore, Kldiashvili claims the argument between the two started when Dorokashvili asked for her monthly payment to be increased from 100,000 to 300,000 Lari.

“I have behind-the-scenes information that Nikoloz Basilashvili has been abusing his wife for many years and they have been separated for many years,newsreport.ge quoted Kldiashvili as writing on Facebook.
“Neli Dorokashvili had a formal contract with her husband, according to which Basilashvili paid her one hundred thousand GEL every month. Basilashvili saw the child with the permission of a social worker and rarely!”

‘It might have been an axe’

The Recorder is one of the first news outlets to obtain a testimony from Dorokashvili herself on the incident. Contradicting a comment previously made by Kldiashvili, she said she has no idea as to why the alleged confrontation occurred. Although she claims that she was chased after by Basilashvili’s father Nodar who was holding what she ‘thought was an axe’ but is unsure.

“The reason for the controversy is still unclear to me, I just went to fetch my son,” Kldiashvili told The Recorder.
“An examination (investigation) has been conducted and is still ongoing. I was not expecting (him) to be released on bail.’
“At my sight, when I visited my son, I don’t know what happened, he (Nodar) was drunk or what he needed, I don’t know, he and his son chased me with some weapons.”
I can’t confirm what it was, because it had some big tarry, I think it was an axe.” She later added.

It is important to note that all three statements have not been verified and the police investigation is ongoing. The Public Defender of Georgia, Nino Lomjaria, is examining the case.

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