Wimbledon: Djokovic struggles past Stepanek in the 2nd Round - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

ATP

Wimbledon: Djokovic struggles past Stepanek in the 2nd Round

Avatar

Published

on

TENNIS WIMBLEDON 2014 – For the past two years, Wimbledon has provided some major upsets in the 2nd round; Rafael Nadal in 2012 and Roger Federer in 2013. This year, at one point, it looked as though Novak Djokovic was going to be this year’s victim. The Serb scraped his way through in 4 sets 6-4 6-3 65-7 7-65 in just over three and a quarter hours. Cordell Hackshaw

 

Results, Order of Play, Draws and Interviews from The Championships

For the past two years, Wimbledon has provided some major upsets in the 2nd round; Rafael Nadal in 2012 and Roger Federer in 2013. This year, at one point, it looked as though Novak Djokovic (1) was going to be this year’s victim. The 2011 champion and last year’s finalist never looked comfortable on Centre Court against the unseeded Radek Stepanek who had never won a set against Djokovic in any of their three previous meetings. Djokovic would by the ‘skin of his teeth’ slip, slide and scrape his way through in 4 sets 6-4 6-3 65-7 7-65 in just over three and a quarter hours.

Normally a solid server, Djokovic looked shaky on serve throughout the entire match. He would altogether save five break points and never be broken. However, several times he would be up 40-15 and then lose focus and find himself at deuce. Djokovic would save a break point at 4-4 and hold for 5-4 and put the pressure on Stepanek to serve and stay in the set. Stepanek buckled under the pressure as he was down 15-40 in no time. Those two set points would go awry as Djokovic was unable to clear the net with his backhand on the first and Stepanek came up with an amazing shoestring volley on the other. Djokovic was not going to let this opportunity go wasted. He earned himself a 3rd set point and converted with two backhand winners, 6-4. Djoker was not playing spectacular but he was playing well enough to stay ahead as he worked his way to 5-2 in the 2nd set. He would later serve it out at 6-3 and get the 2-0 sets advantage after 74 minutes of play.

Stepanek appeared to be anxious on court as he too sensed a vulnerable Djokovic. He was very alert and aggressive on every point as he figured that he was playing well enough to at least earn himself a set against Djokovic. Stepanek kept the pressure on in the 3rd set and Djokovic was barely getting by on his service games. Meanwhile, he was unable to break Stepanek. Two break points would come and go during the 7th game of the set with the final one squandered on another backhand error by Djokovic. Both players remained on serve and so a tiebreaker decided the matter. Djokovic was up 5-2 and then in what can only be described as a lack of concentration or as he would later label “complicating my own life,” Djokovic lost five straight points to drop the set 65-7.

Now Stepanek was the one with the momentum in the match. He was the one looking pumped up and getting the crowd cheering his efforts. Djokovic would later note of Stepanek, “[He] has great touch, great talent at the net. He covered my passing shots very well.” Meanwhile, Djokovic looked rather constricted on the court. Neither player would see a break point chance in the 4th set. They headed to another tiebreaker. Djokovic again edged out to a 5-2 lead and as before, Stepanek fought back for 5-5. However, this time he was unable to keep the momentum going as he dumped a forehand volley into the net to give Djokovic match point. Djokovic would not squander this golden opportunity as he took it with a forehand crosscourt winner. Stepanek fell to his knees in prayers hoping that the ball was out as he challenged the call. However, his prayers would not be answered as “Hawkeye” confirmed that it was indeed in. Djokovic secured the win 6-4 6-3 6-7 7-6.

“I didn’t come out with my first serve when I needed to in the tie-breaker, and he came back. He fought. It was a very close, very even fourth set. It could have gone either way … I’m just happy to have spent this amount of time on the court, to play a lot of rallies, to return and to serve. Physically I feel fine. This can just help me mentally,” Djokovic said after the match. Djokovic and Stepanek were near dead even in nearly all categories of the match including the winner/error ratio (Djokovic: 54/24 and Stepanek: 51/26). The exceptions were Djokovic had 18 aces compared to 9 from Stepanek who came to net 75 times (won 46 of those points) whereas Djokovic was 27/36 on net points. Djokovic broke Stepanek twice but had 5 other chances to break him. Stepanek on the other hand was 0/5 on break points. Djokovic would next face Gilles Simon in the 3rd round. He would definitely need to raise the level of his game or else he might find himself in a 5-set epic battle to get into the 4th round.

ATP

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.

Avatar

Published

on

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.

Continue Reading

ATP

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.

Avatar

Published

on

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.

Continue Reading

ATP

Denis Shapovalov Advances After Pospisil Retires In Indian Wells

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

Avatar

Published

on

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.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending