Bits & Pieces from the World of Tennis: 23rd of June 2014 - UBITENNIS
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Bits & Pieces from the World of Tennis: 23rd of June 2014



TENNIS BITS & PIECES – Sabine and Martina split. Maiden wins for Bautista Agut and Keys. Haas out for the rest of the year. Almagro withdraws from Wimbledon. Happy birthday to Gasquet and Venus. Emmrich’s on court proposal to Krajicek. Joshua Bosco


Lisicki and Hingis split

2013 Wimbledon finalist Sabine Lisicki took to Facebook to announce her split with coach Martina Hingis after just five months of collaboration.

The split came as a result of a mutual agreement, said Lisicki, who will now be coached by her father Richard for the immediate future.

Murray given Freedom of Merton

Just three days before he steps back on Centre Court as defending champion, Andy Murray was awarded the Freedom of the London Borough of Merton for his merits in tennis, especially last year’s win at SW19.

Everyone knows how much this tennis tournament means to me, so I’m delighted […] I can’t wait for the tournament to start this year, fingers crossed I can defend my title” said Murray, who begins his title defence today against Belgium’s David Goffin.

Keys and Batista Agut first win

American teenager Madison Keys won her first career title after defeating No.5 seed Angelique Kerber in the final of the AEGON International in Eastbourne.

The young American hit 60 winners – and the fifth fastest serve ever on the WTA Tour, since records began in 1989, at 126mph – to beat the German 6-3 6-7(5) 7-5. It was a bit surreal playing in my first final but I tried to stay calm and not over-think it” said Keys, who will now move into the Top 30 for the first time.

In ‘s-Hertogenbosch Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain also collected his maiden title defeating another German, Benjamin Becker, 2-6 7-6(2) 6-4. It was a perfect way to celebrate a fantastic first half of the season for Bautista Agut, who started the year ranked No.78 in the world and today reached a new career-high of No.23.

Emmrich proposes to Krajicek

A year ago 29 year old doubles player Martin Emmrich met Michaella Krajicek, singles player and half-sister of 1996 Wimbledon champion Richard Krajicek, on the terrace of the clubhouse at ‘s-Hertogenbosch.

On Monday, after Krajicek’s win against Jana Cepelova at the same tournament, Emmrich stepped on court to propose to his girlfriend. After a speech punctuated by applause from the crowd, an emotional Krajicek didn’t hesitate to say yes!

Watch Emmrich propose to Krajicek

Haas out for the year

Another blow for Tommy Haas as the German was forced to undergo yet another operation on his right shoulder last Tuesday.

It’s the end of a season already marred by continued withdrawals for Haas, who has promised to come back next year and end his career on his own terms and not because of injuries.

Almagro out, Pospisil in

World No.26 Nicolas Almagro, who was seeded No.25 at Wimbledon, has been forced to pull out of the tournament due to a left foot injury.

His place was has been taken by Vasek Pospisil, who is now the No.31 seed and will play his first match against Robin Haase. The youngster is the second Canadian seed along with Milos Raonic, who is seeded No.8.

Happy Birthday Gasquet & Venus

Last Tuesday former World No.1 and seven time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams turned 34. The American, now ranked World No.26, will begin her Wimbledon campaign today against Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor of Spain.

On Wednesday World No.14 Richard Gasquet celebrated his 28th birthday beating Bernard Tomic 6-4 3-6 6-3 to reach the quarter-finals at the AEGON International. The Frenchman, who went on to lose in the final to Feliciano Lopez, will open his Wimbledon tournament with a first round match against James Duckworth.

Happy Birthday to both of them!


Team World One Win Away From Victory in Laver Cup

Team World take a huge 10-2 lead over Team Europe heading into the final day



Image via Laver Cup twitter

After losing the first four editions of the Laver Cup, Team World look set to win the event for a second time as the event reaches its conclusion tomorrow.


Team World Captain John McEnroe was thrilled with the day’s results but warned against complacency: “We’re just going to keep doing what we’re doing. The job’s not done but we’re pretty close.”

American duo Taylor Fritz and Frances Tiafoe both earned straight sets wins over Andrey Rublev and Hubert Hurkacz, while Felix Auger-Aliassime and Ben Shelton beat Hurkacz and Gael Monfils.

“I want to play well for the guys,” said Tiafoe after his singles victory. “I played really well tonight. Just being in a team environment is so foreign to us as tennis players, it’s such an individual sport.”

After winning his third singles match in three appearances at the Laver Cup, Fritz was also motivated to do well:

“Yesterday, all the guys played really well. I felt that and wanted to come out on court and show what I can do. That definitely motivated me. Any type of team environment, I feel like it always elevates my game. I feel like my record in team events is really strong because I have a team cheering for me. I get pumped up. I’m excited to play for them. It just adds more pressure and fire to it. I think I play better in those situations.”

The doubles was a typically dynamic and feisty affair, and after the match Shelton was full of praise for his partner:

“It’s amazing, when you play with a guy who serves and returns like Felix, is as athletic as him, and goes back for the overhead as strong as him, it’s a fun time,” said Shelton. “We call him ‘Laver Cup Felix’ because he turns into something special this week, just glad I got to share the court with him at least once.”

Auger-Aliassime returned the compliments: “The best comes out of me when I’m playing not only for myself but for team-mates. Ben carried me through the end of that match, it was tough for me to get it done.”

Casper Ruud, meanwhile, beat Tommy Paul for Europe’s only points so far.

Matches on the final day are worth three points each – meaning that Team Europe would have to win all four remaining matches to prevent Team World from winning the trophy.

T. Fritz def A. Rublev 6-2, 7-6
F. Tiafoe def H. Hurkacz 7-5, 6-3
F. Auger-Aliassime & B. Shelton def H.Hurkacz & G. Monfils 7-5, 6-4
C. Ruud def T. Paul 7-6, 6-2

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ATP RANKINGS UPDATE: Novak Djokovic, No.1 once more



After the US Open the Serbian champion reclaims top spot. Alexander Zverev is back in the Top 10


By Roberto Ferri

Don’t ever underestimate the heart of a champion”

Rudy Tomjanovich coined this maxim just after his Houston Rockets won the NBA championship in 1995. He was paying homage to Akeem Holajuwon. It perfectly suits the heart of Daniil Medvedev, who proved 99% of tennis fans in the world to be wrong, convinced as they were that he would lose the semifinal to former No 1 Carlos Alcaraz.

But his dream to win a second US Open, after his triumph in 2021, was shattered by another champion, whose heart and class is even greater: that’s Novak Djokovic, who affixes his seal on his return to No.1, equalling Margaret Court Smith’s record of 24 majors.

Djokovic dethroning Alcaraz is not the only change in the top 20: Sascha Zverev is back in the top 10 after almost one year and Ben Shelton, great protagonist of the Us Open, debuts in the top 20 best players in the world.

TOP 20

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A few comments:

Stefanos Tsitsipas, Andrei Rublev and Alexander Zverev gain 2 positions.

Ben Shelton devours 28 positions.

Sinner, Tiafoe, Norrie and Dimitrov lose one.

Casper Ruud and Karen Khachanov, runner up and semi-finalist respectively  at the 2022 US  Open, drop 4 positions.

One step forward for Fritz, de Minaur, Paul, Auger-Aliassime and Hurkacz.


From 12 to 19 November the 8 best players of the ranking based on the points earned in the ongoing solar season will be playing the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin.

Will Novak Djokovic succeed in winning a second straight title? He appears to be heading in the right direction.


Thanks to his triumph at the US Open the Serbian overtakes Alcaraz also in the Race to Turin.

Jannik Sinner holds fourth spot while Andrei Rublev overtakes Stefanos Tsitsipas and is now fifth.

The eighth position is occupied by Alexander Zverev.

Last year runner up, Casper Ruud is currently 10th. This means he would feature in Turin as a reserve.


The Next Gen Finals, dedicated to the best under 21s, (8 effectives and 2 reserves) of the season will take place this year in Gedda, Saudi Arabia.

The 2022 winner, Brandon Nakashima, will not be defending his title, since he was born in 2001.

PositionPlayerCountryPtsYOB ATP rank
6Van AsscheFrance597200469
12Llamas RuizSpain3702002133

Taking for granted that Alcaraz and, most likely Rune, will be playing the ATP Finals, we have included in the chart the 12 current top under 21s.


Besides Ben Shelton, other 11 players have achieved their career highest this week.

We tribute a double applause to the four players who are making their debut in the top 100.

The 25-year-old Croatian Borna Gojo, 22-year-old Australian Rinky Hijkata and the Swiss next gen Dominic Stricker all reap the reward for their brilliant runs at the US Open. Seyboth Wild, the Brazilian who stunned Medvedev in the first round of Roland Garros leaps to No.76 after winning the Challenger in Como last week.

Seyboth Wild76Brazil30

Translated by Kingsley Elliot Kaye

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COMMENT: Novak Djokovic Proves His Greatness At US Open



Love him, or hate him. But respect him.


No tennis player has ever been better than Novak Djokovic.

Even Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer have to take their hats off to Novak, and admire him.

Now that Rafa and Roger have left Djokovic on his own stage at least for now, tennis fans love Novak.


Djokovic’s performance on Sunday evening in the U.S. Open final was simply amazing. Daniil Medvedev also played his heart out, but Djokovic went one step further. He was sensational.

It was a thrill-a-minute three-set match. It lasted well into the night after starting at mid-afternoon. The second set alone lasted 104 minutes.

Djokovic was the winner, 6-3, 7-6 (5), 6-3, but New York still loves 2021 champion Medvedev.


At 36, the oldest U.S. Open men’s champion ever, Djokovic obviously has a special place in his heart for the number four. It’s the number of times he has won this tournament and the 24th time he has won a Grand Slam title.

The number 24 also was displayed prominently on the white jacket. Novak, his team members and family wore for the victory celebration as a tribute to the No. 24 jersey of deceased friend Kobe Bryant.

Djokovic lost his footing at least three times in the tight second set, stumbling to the surface once, apparently due to the length of the rallies.

Djokovic could look like he was almost completely wiped out of it physically one minute, and then play like Superman the next minute.


Both men played great tennis, especially in the thrill-a-second second set in which Medvedev gained one set point in the 12th game before Djokovic recovered to force a tiebreaker.

Medvedev appeared to be in charge after out-playing Novak to win one of his drop shots to take a 5-4 lead in the tiebreaker. The match may have been decided on the next three points, all won by Djokovic on errors by the 6-6 Russian.

The big question now is what happens next January in the Australian Open. Right now, Djokovic probably wants to play . . . and win what has been his favorite tournament as far as success. But things can change quickly for players in their mid-30s. Just ask Roger or Rafa.

James Beck was the 2003 winner of the USTA National Media Award. A 1995 MBA graduate of The Citadel, he can be reached at

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