Wimbledon draw: Djokovic with Murray, Federer with Nadal - UBITENNIS
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Wimbledon draw: Djokovic with Murray, Federer with Nadal

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TENNIS – The Draw of The Championships at Wimbledon, which was held today at the All England Club, pit seven-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer and 2008 and 2010 champion in the same bottom half as Rafa Nadal. The two super-stars could meet in a possible blockbuster semifinal. Defending champion Andy Murray has been drawn in the same top half as 2011 Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic. Diego Sampaolo

 

Gentlemen’s draw

Ladies’ draw

Possible quarter final: Djokovic vs Berdych

Novak Djokovic, who won in 2011 against Nadal and finished runner-up last year to Murray last year, will meet Andrey Golubev in the first round and either Radek Stepanek or Pablo Cuevas in the second round. Stepanek upset Murray last week at Queen’s and could be a potential threat as he plays well on grass.

Djokovic could meet Vasek Pospisil in the third round and 2011 and 2012 Wimbledon semifinalist Jo Wilfred Tsonga in the fourth round. The Frenchman will play against either Jurgen Melzer in the first round and and US Sam Querrey in the second round.

Djokovic could face 2010 Wimbledon runner-up Tomas Berdych in the quarter final. Berdych will start against Romanian Victor Hanescu before a possible second-round match against 2011 Wimbledon quarter finalist Bernard Tomic, Marin Cilic in the third round and Roland Garros semifinalist Ernests Gulbis in the fourth round. The Latvian player will play against Sergiy Stakhovsky in the second round and Fernando Verdasco in the third round.

Possible quarter final: Murray vs Ferrer or Dimitrov

Defending champion Andy Murray, who ended a 77-year-old British drought with his last year’s triumph over Novak Djokovic, will start his title defence against Belgian David Goffin. before facing either Pablo Andujar or Blaz Rota in the second round, Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut in the third round, either Fabio Fognini from Italy or Kevin Anderson in the fourth round.

Murray is on collision course with 2014 Australian Open quarter finalist Grigor Dimitrov who won his fourth title last week at the Queen’s which added to his previous triumphs in Stockholm, Acapulco and Bucharest.

Dimitrov also reached his first Master 1000 semifinal in Rome but was surprisingly beaten in the first round at the Roland Garros. The young Bulgarian star could face a fourth round match against David Ferrer who who will start his Wimbledon campaign against his compatriot and clay specialist Pablo Carreno Busta

Ferrer could square off against either German Dustin Brown or Marcos Baghdatis in the third round. Brown a crowd entertainer of Jamaican origin, was the big surprise last week in Halle where he beat Rafa Nadal before losing against Phillip Kohlschreiber in a very spectacular and unpredictable match.Ferrer may face Andreas Seppi in the third round if the Italian will be able to beat Leandro Mayer in the first round and the winner of the second round match between Brown and Baghdatis. The match between Brown and Baghdatis promises to be a highly spectacular match.

Possible quarter final: Federer vs Wawrinka

Roger Federer will be looking to avenge his shock defeat in 2013 against Sergiy Stakhovsky in the second round. He started his grass campaign with his seventh career title in his “backyard” in Halle. He won 14 titles on grass (7 at Wimbledon and 7 in Halle) and will be chasing his eighth crown two years after his last triumph at the famous All-England Club in Church Road.

The Swiss Maestro will start his campaign against Italian Paolo Lorenzi before a possible second-round match against either Frenchman Julien Benneteau or Gilles Muller in the second round. His potential rival in the third round could be Spaniard Marcel Granollers. He could face Australian 2002 Wimbledon champion Lleyton Hewitt who will make his debut against last year’s Wimbledon semifinalist Jerzy Janowicz in the second round. Janowicz has not played well recently and has won just two matches since February.

Federer is on collision course with his friend and rival Stan Wawrinka in a potential all-Swiss quarter final. This year’s Australian Open champion suffered early exits at the Roland Garros and Queen’s and has had a difficult period since his first clay Master 1000 triumph in the Monte-Carlo final against Federer, will play against Portugal’s Joao Sousa in the first round before potential clashes against Dmitry Tursunov in the third round and either Feliciano Lopez or John Isner in the fourth round

in the second round Lopez could play against Halle finalist Alejandro Falla who thrives well on grass as he showed last week in the Gerry Weber Tournament. Falla famously came very close to upsetting Federer in the first round at Wimbledon in 2010 after winning the first two sets and serving for the match at 5-4 in the fourth set. before Federer edged him 5-7 4-6 6-4 7-6 6-0.

Wawrinka’s build-up to Wimbledon has been hampered by high fever on Monday. He has been advised by doctors to rest.

Lopez is in very good form and was edged by Grigor Dimitrov in a hard-fought final at Queen’s last week. This year he went on to reach the semifinal in Eastbourne. Isner is well-known at Wimbledon as he won a 11-hour marathon match against Nicholas Mahut in 2010.

Possible quarter final: Nadal- Raonic

Rafa Nadal will open against Martin Klizan (winner in Munich on clay last May) in the first round before facing a possible second-round repeat match against Lukas Rosol. The Czech player famously upset the Mallorcan legend in the second round at the All-England Club in 2012. Nadal faced difficulties in the transition from his favourite clay surface to grass suffering a shock defeat last week at Halle against German Dustin Brown. Nadal could meet Croatian giant Ivo Karlovic in the third round and a possible French rival (either Gael Monfils, who reached the quarter final at the Roland Garros or Richard Gasquet, semifinalist this week at Eastbourne)

Nadal’s possible quarter final rival could be Milos Raonic who recently reached the semifinal in Rome and became the first Canadian player to reach the quarter final at the Roland Garros (losing to Novak Djokovic).

Raonic, who will play his first-round match against Australian Matthew Ebden, could face a mouth-watering fourth round match against Japanese Kei Nishikori, who has made a major breakthrough this year reaching his first Master 1000 final in Madrid and winning in Barcelona and lost the semifinal against Federer on grass last week in Halle. Nishikori will open his campaign against France’s Kenny De Schepper who reached the fourth round last year at the All-England Club.

The possible fourth round matches could be: Djokovic vs Tsonga, Gulbis vs Berdych, Murray vs Fognini, Dimitrov vs Ferrer in the top half of the draw and Wawrinka vs Isner, Janowicz vs Federer, Raonic vs Nishikori and Gasquet vs Nadal in the bottom half

Wimbledon is the only Grand Slam tournament which does not stick to the ATP World Ranking to seed the men’s tournament but uses a formula based on grass-court form in the past two years. This means that Djokovic has been seeded the Number One seed ahead of Nadal who was knocked out in the second round in 2012 and in the first round in 2013 and lost in the first match against Dustin Brown in Halle this year.

Murray, who has reached the final two years ago and won last year at the All-England Club, has been seeded Number 3 overtaking Stan Wawrinka who lost in the first round at Wimbledon in the past two years

ATP

Dominic Thiem Rules Federer Out Of GOAT Debate

The Austrian puts forward his theory on who should be regarded as the best player in history.

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Dominic Thiem; e-motion/Bildagentur Zolles KG/Martin Steiger, 27.10.2022

The honour of which player deserves to be regarded as the greatest of all time (GOAT) should be decided based on one factor, according to Dominic Thiem. 

 

The former world No.3 has weighed in on the debate by suggesting that the argument should be settled by the number of Grand Slam titles a player has won as they are the most prestigious tournaments in the sport. In tennis, the four major tournaments are the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open. 

Thiem’s GOAT criteria have therefore ruled Roger Federer out of contention. The Swiss maestro was at one stage the frontrunner due to the numerous records he has broken throughout his career. However, he retired from the sport last year with 20 Grand Slam trophies under his belt which is less than both Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic who are currently on 22 each. 

“In my opinion, the Grand Slam titles should be the defining criteria when determining the best of all time, they are the four most important tournaments in tennis,” Eurosport quotes Thiem as saying. 
“Everything else is fine, but it’s not the same. The Slams are what counts, so the GOAT will probably be the one with the most Grand Slams.”

Others will argue that more factors should be taken into account in the subjective debate. For example, Federer has won 103 ATP titles which are more than his two rivals, Djokovic holds the record for most weeks as world No.1 and Nadal has won more tournaments on clay than any other player in history. Furthermore, there is the players’ win-loss rate on the Tour and their records against the top 10 players. 

Recently at the Australian Open Djokovic won the men’s title for a historic 10th time in his career. An achievement that has been hailed by Thiem who was runner-up to the Serbian at Melbourne Park in 2021. 

“I am not very surprised, Djokovic still looks young,” he said. “Physically and mentally, because of the way he moves on the court. It’s like he was 25 years old.
“We have to be honest, he is the best, so his victory was not very surprising.”

Thiem has won one Grand Slam title which was at the 2020 US Open when he became the first man in the Open Era to come back from two sets down to win in the final. He has also been runner-up at the French Open twice, as well as the Australian Open once. 

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Andreescu edges Kostyuk to reach semis in Hua Hin

Bianca Andreescu is into the semi-finals in Thailand.

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Bianca Andreescu (@BenLewisMPC - Twitter)

The Canadian is into the final four in Thailand after beating the Ukrainian in straight sets.

 

Bianca Andreescu booked her spot in the semifinal of the Thailand Open in Hua Hin after beating the Ukrainian Marta Kostyuk in straight sets 6-0, 7-6 in one hour and 28 minutes.

The number one seed hit 19 winners and won 69% of her first serve points in a match where she had an amazing start but was dealt some adversity in the second set.

“I don’t think I started playing bad in the second set,” Andreescu said. “I think she just raised her game and she is always a tough opponent so I wasn’t expecting anything easy.”

The Toronto native who was making her first trip to Thailand came out to a flying start breaking three times in the first set en route to serving a bagel 6-0 set in a mere 25 minutes on court.

Riding the momentum into the second set, the Canadian broke again in the first game and at 3-1 went up a double break and found herself up 5-1 and a game away from the semis.

That’s when the number five seed started fighting back and at 5-2 broke Andreescu for the first time in the match and won the next two games to level the set at 5-5, using her powerful forehand to do it.

The set and the match were ultimately decided by a tiebreaker where the top seed got the early lead at 4-2 and served out the set and match at 6-3 in the breaker to secure the win.

After the match in her on-court interview, she was asked about her chances in the next match.

“I am hoping to win the tournament and I really believe in myself and if I get the support I need hopefully I can win the next two matches.”

Andreescu will face another Ukrainian in the semi-finals Lesia Tsurenko who had no issues getting past the German Tatjana Maria in straight sets 6-1 6-1 in one hour and 16 minutes.

In the other two quarterfinal matches, Lin Zhu of China beat the Slovenian Tamara Zidansek in straight sets 6-2, 6-2 in one hour and 15 minutes to set up an all-Chinese semi-final with the number seven seed Xinju Wang.

Wang needed three sets to get past the Brit Heather Watson 6-3, 6-7, 6-4 in two hours and 40 minutes.

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Australian Open Daily Preview: Novak Djokovic and Stefanos Tsitsipas Play for the Men’s Championship

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Novak Djokovic this week in Melbourne (twitter.com/australianopen)

A year ago, Novak Djokovic experienced quite an embarrassing debacle.  After the unvaccinated Djokovic was initially granted an exemption and allowed to enter Australia, he was later detained, and eventually deported and prevented from competing at this tournament.  His refusal to get vaccinated continues to prevent Novak from competing in North American tournaments, missing Indian Wells, Miami, Canada, Cincinnati, and the US Open last year. 

 

But at the events Djokovic has been allowed to participate in over the past seven months, he has been nearly unstoppable.  Since the beginning of Wimbledon last June, he is now 37-2, with five titles.  Novak comes into this championship match on a 16-match winning streak, with seven of those victories against top 10 opposition.  With a win on Sunday, Djokovic not only ties Rafael Nadal in their ongoing race for history with 22 Major titles, but he also regains the World No.1 ranking, despite all the tennis he’s missed.

However, standing in his way is a hungry and confident Stefanos Tsitsipas.  This is the Greek’s second Major final, and the second time he’s encountered Djokovic in this round of a Slam.  Two years ago in the championship match of Roland Garros, Tsitsipas secured the first two sets, before losing to Novak in five.  If Stefanos can win one more set on Sunday, he’ll not only win his first Major title, he’ll also become the World No.1 for the first time.

Also on Sunday, the women’s doubles champions will be crowned.  Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova, who have won six Majors as a team, face Shuko Aoyama and Ena Shibahara, who are vying for their first Major as a team. 


Stefanos Tsitsipas (3) vs. Novak Djokovic (4) – 7:30pm on Rod Laver Arena

Djokovic’s excellence in the latter rounds of the Australian Open is rivaled only by Nadal’s excellence at Roland Garros.  Novak is now 19-0 in the semifinals and finals of this tournament, which is quite staggering.  He’s also won his last 27 matches at this event, and his last 40 in Australia in general, a streak that dates back over five years.  While Novak suffered a hamstring injury a week before this fortnight, he has still advanced to this final rather easily, dropping only one set through six matches.

Tsitsipas has now reached the semifinals or better in four of the last five years at the Australian Open, but this is his first time reaching the final.  He enjoys plenty of Greek support at this event, and appears to have some extra swagger in his step during this fortnight.  Stefanos has dropped three sets to this stage, and has been superb at saving break points.  Through six matches, he has saved 44 of 53 break points faced.

Both men feel fully at home on Rod Laver Arena, and have described it as their favorite court.  But this is their first meeting on RLA.  They’ve met plenty of times on other courts though, in a rivalry that’s been thoroughly dominated by Djokovic.  The Serbian leads 10-2, and has claimed their last nine matches.  That includes four matches that took place in 2022, in which Novak won eight of their nine sets.  They played three times within a six-week period this past fall on indoor hard courts, with their closest and best matchup taking place in the semifinals of Bercy, where Djokovic prevailed in a final-set tiebreak.

Djokovic is undeniably a huge favorite to win his 10th Australian Open.  But that common knowledge takes a lot of pressure off Tsitsipas, who was so close to defeating Novak the last time they met in a Slam final.  Djokovic has been rather unbothered by all competition during this tournament, even with an injured hamstring.  Can Stefanos pull off one of the bigger surprises in recent tennis history?  I expect him to challenge Novak on Sunday, but Tsitsipas’ backhand remains a liability. And with Djokovic determined to avenge what he sees as mistreatment a year ago in Australia, a Novak loss would be truly surprising.


Sunday’s full Order of Play is here.

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