Novak Djokovic: “ I think there is no doubt that he (Nadal) is the favorite to win the title there. But, okay, I have been playing some good tennis” - UBITENNIS
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Novak Djokovic: “ I think there is no doubt that he (Nadal) is the favorite to win the title there. But, okay, I have been playing some good tennis”

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TENNIS 2014 ROLAND GARROS – 6th of June. N. Djokovic d. E. Gulbis 6-3, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3. An interview with Novak Djokovic.

 

Q. Ernest said it was like a struggle from start to finish, and he felt that maybe you weren’t also at your best. How did you feel today?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: First two sets went well. I thought I played well, very solid, putting a lot of returns back in the court, serving at the high percentage.

Then suddenly midway through the third set started to feel physically fatigued a little bit, and you could feel that. You could see that both me and him, we struggled on the court.

It happens, you know. It happens in the tournament, and important thing for me is that I realize what’s going on. It’s nothing serious. I’m going to have now two days of recovery and get ready for the final.

 

Q. What is going on? I know it took you longer than usual to come to press, also. What was bothering you?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: There is nothing bothering me. Just the general fatigue that, you know, probably was influenced by conditions or other things that I felt today.

But I’m not going to talk about. That’s it. I just    I’m glad I won in four sets, because if it went to a fifth, God knows in which direction the match could go.

I’m just going to rest today and tomorrow, try to not spend too much energy on the courts, and get ready for finals.

 

Q. This final, we all know that it’s very important for the Paris title that you want in your career. Do you think that you will have some different type of approaching Nadal, or will you play the game that you usually play? What do you have in mind in trying how to deal with Nadal?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, there is not going to be a significant difference in my tactics against Nadal comparing to other prior matches that are played, especially the one in Rome. I’m going to try to be aggressive, because that is the only way I can win against him.

I know that of course this is the court he’s most dominant on. He has only lost one time in his career. This is where he plays his best.

It’s a very wide and very big court. He likes to have that visual effect, as well, because it appears that he gets every ball back, you know. He feels more comfortable when he plays on the bigger court. That’s one of the reasons why he’s so successful here.

But, you know, we played some really close and good matches, good quality matches the last two years here, especially the one last year serving at 4 3 in the fifth set to go 5 3. It was a very close one.

And knowing that I was that close to win against him the past two years gives me that reason to believe that I can make it this time. Of course I’m going to go out on the court trying to win, trying to do my best. I’m not going to serve and volley, that’s for sure, but I’m going to try to stay with my own tactics. I know what I need to do in order to win.

It’s easier said than done, of course, because we all know how good he is on this court. But he’s not unbeatable. You know, winning against him last couple of matches in the finals, big events, definitely gives me confidence that I can do it again.

 

Q. You have been in a lot of mentally stressful finals before, Grand Slam finals. Is this the most mentally stressful scenario here going into this final because this tournament is so important to you?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Not so much as I would say last year, maybe two years ago. I guess each year I gain that experience in knowing how to handle the certain situations psychologically.

So it is more of a motivation for me, more of a I would say positive emotion going into the finals. Of course pressure is there. Expectations are there. They are always present when you are playing on this level.

But I’m trying to channel this energy into the right direction and not get carried away too much by the stress of the occasion.

So it is the final. It is the finals of a Grand Slam that I never won. Of course I’m going to give my best to lift the trophy in two days. I’m going to have the ultimate challenge on clay across the net, Nadal. We all know how successful he is.

But I have to believe and I have to try to win it.

 

Q. Even though you and Rafa have met many, many times, there has been some interesting momentum swings in your rivalry: 2011 when you had the upper hand you didn’t get to play him in the final here. Seems like you have the upper hand again. Talk about those momentum swings and how that makes you feel going into the final this time. Secondly, can you talk about the physical challenge you both present to each other.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, talking about the upper hand, I don’t know how much upper hand I have, really. You have to take in consideration the results that he had in Roland Garros and that I had in my career.

I think there is no doubt that he is the favorite to win the title there. But, okay, I have been playing some good tennis. The win in Rome a few weeks ago against him in the final definitely gives me confidence and hopefully self belief before the finals in our match.

Other hand, the physical challenge that we present to each other is a very important factor in our matches. I know that I’m going to be facing a player who plays every point in a match point, a great competitor. He’s a great fighter, and I know that it’s going to be a physically very demanding match.

But I’m ready for it. It’s been a good tournament for me so far. Today has been a tough match.

But again, I have a day off and it’s not the first time that I’m encountering, facing these kind of situations. I know what I need to do with my team. I’m going to recover, prepare myself tactically, physically, emotionally, and give my best in two days.

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Filip Krajinovic To Skip Australian Open If Required To Quarantine For More Than Five Days

The world No.34 says he ‘sees no reason’ why vaccinated players should have to go through a long quarentine in Australia.

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Image via twitter.com/atptour (Alexander Scheuber)

The second highest-ranked Serbian player in men’s tennis says it would be ‘unacceptable’ for organisers of the Australian Open to require players to quarantine for more than a week if they have been fully vaccinated.

 

Filip Krajinovic has become the first player to publicly state that they will not be prepared to travel to Melbourne at the end of this season if they have to go through strict quarantine measures once again. All the players who participated in this year’s Australian Open were required to be quarantined in a designated hotel for 14 days upon arrival in the country. During their stay they were allowed to use training facilities but that was the only time they could leave the premises unless there was an emergency.

There is no final decision regarding the travel requirements for the 2022 tournament but there are concerns that unvaccinated players may not be allowed to enter the country. The Victorian government recently issued a mandate ordering all essential workers to be vaccinated, including athletes. However, the regional government will not have the final say concerning tennis players arriving in the country with the national government being the ones in charge of that decision.

“They are very rigorous there and honestly, if I have to be in quarantine for 14 days after arriving in Melbourne, I will not go to Australia,” Krajinovic told Serbian newspaper Blic.
“I was vaccinated, I did everything in my power to protect myself and the people around me, so I really see no reason to sit there for 14 days in a room.’
“If they (the organisers) say that after arrival I need, say, five days to be in isolation, that’s OK for me, but anything beyond that is unacceptable to me. With the season ending late, I will have 20 days to get ready and go. Charter flights will be organized again and the last one is planned for December 28 for the players and that is the final date when I can go to Australia. I will see what the final decision from Melbourne will be, so I will cut what is the best thing to do.”

Earlier this week Victoria’s Sports minister Martin Pakula urged players to be vaccinated because it give them ‘the best opportunity to play in the Australian Open.’ It is expected that if unvaccinated players are allowed to attend, they will be subjected to stricter restrictions. This might include a longer quarantine period upon arrival and limitations of where they can go during their stay.

Last year, all of those players had to do their 14 days of quarantine. Right now there looks like there will be different rules for people who enter this country who are vaccinated as against unvaccinated and I don’t think the tennis will be any exception to that.” Pakula told the Sports Entertainment Network (SEN).
“In terms of what rules apply for people to enter Australia, whether unvaccinated people are allowed in at all, I don’t the answer to that yet. That’s going to be the subject of discussion at national cabinet and among the federal cabinet … those rules are not set by state governments.” He added.

Krajinovic is currently ranked 34th in the world and has a win-loss record this season of 18-18. At the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells he reached the second round before falling in straight sets to Daniil Medvedev. His best run so far this year was at the Hamburg Open where he reached the final.

“When we look at the whole of 2021, I played one final, one semifinal, there were good victories, but also worse results,” the 29-year-old commented.

Krajinovic is currently without a coach but is currently in ‘negotiations’ with somebody without elaborating further about who that person is.

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Alexander Zverev Secures Place In ATP Finals With Indian Wells Win

Zverev will be seeking to win the season-ending extravaganza for the second time in his career.

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Alexander Zverev (GER) Credit: AELTC/Edward Whitaker

Germany’s Alexander Zverev has become the fourth player to officially qualify for the ATP Finals after reaching the third round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.

 

The world No.4 defeated America’s Jenson Brooksby 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, in his second round match on Sunday which pushed him over the points threshold to secure his spot in the end-of-season event. It is the fifth year in a row he has qualified for the ATP Finals which he won back in 2018. He is one of only three German players to ever win the title after Boris Becker and Michael Stich.

This year’s tournament will take place in Turin, Italy for the first time in history after being held at The O2 Arena in London for more than a decade. Only the eight highest ranked players are eligible to play in the round-robin tournament which has on offer up to 1500 rankings points for an undefeated champion.

“My first time in Turin. I’ve been to London four times before. London is obviously very special to me because I won there, as well. I think the stadium is incredible, one of the most special events that we had,” Zverev told reporters on Sunday.
“But I also love playing in Italy. I had great success in Italy. I won my first Masters in Rome. I’m looking forward to being there. I’m looking forward to playing in front of the Italian fans. It’s going to be a great week.”

The 24-year-old approaches the final quarter of this season with four titles already won this year. He has won two Masters 1000 trophies, an ATP 500 event in Mexico and a gold medal in singles at the Tokyo Olympic Games. Zverev, who has recorded seven wins over top 10 players, also reached the semi-finals at both the French Open and US Open.

Zverev joins Novak Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas as the players who have qualified for the ATP Finals so far. It is the third straight season the quartet has qualified for the event.

This year’s ATP Finals will get underway on November 14th. Medvedev is the defending champion.

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Denis Shapovalov Advances After Pospisil Retires In Indian Wells

The battle of the two Canadians didn’t go as planned…

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Denis Shapovalov (CAN) Credit: AELTC/Edward Whitaker

Vasek Pospisil faced off against his fellow Canadian Denis Shapovalov in the second round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells and it was the world number 13 who got the win after the Vernon native pulled out due to an injury whilst trailing 0-3.

 

It was a rough start for Pospisil who seemed to struggle with his serve in the opening game of the match and double-faulted twice in a row to give the early break and Shapovalov had no issues consolidating the break.

Shapovalov continued to apply pressure on the Pospisil serve and after saving two breakpoints the world number 68 pulled up after a serve and stopped play, calling for the trainer. He ended up taking a medical timeout off the court and a couple of minutes later returned to court. Pospisil was broken once again and the following game after a couple of returns decided to call it quits.

” It was pretty awful…and if I’m being honest I am shaking a bit…It really sucks I hope it’s nothing serious…He’s a great guy he’s a real warrior he’s fought back from some injuries surgeries to such a great level.” Shapovalov said of his compatriot.

Shapovalov will face 19th seed Aslan Karatsev in the next round after the Russian thrashed Salvatore Caruso 6-2, 6-0.

In the other results of the day sixth seeed Casper Ruud dominated Roberto Carballes Baena 6-1, 6-2, Roberto Bautista Agut beat the Argentine Guido Pella 7-5, 6-3 and Sebastien Korda won an all American battle with Frances Tiafoe 6-0, 6-4.

Finally, Diego Schwartzman needed three sets to beat another American in Maxime Cressy winning 6-2, 3-6, 7-5.

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