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

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Statistical Deep Dive: Sinner At Rotterdam One Year Later

Jannik Sinner’s Rotterdam title compared with his run to the final last year.

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By Federico Bertelli

Let’s delve into Jannik Sinner’s triumphant journey at the ABN Amro Open and compare it with his 2023 campaign. Service and down-the-line backhands were the keys to victory.

Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger. This is the version of Sinner that his opponents tasted, and it’s also the title of a Daft Punk song; the clip particularly reflects what the rest of the ATP circuit has been thinking about Jannik for some months now: an android emerging after a heavy upgrade. Jokes aside, as the sunshine double is about to start, we thought it wise to rewind and closely examine Sinner’s recent victories.

The focus of our analysis is the Rotterdam tournament: Sinner’s performance was spotless, a feat not seen since 2001 when Lleyton Hewitt, after his victory at Flushing Meadows over Pete Sampras, managed to repeat his success in Tokyo. If the Italian were to win next week under the California sun as well, he would be the first in ATP tennis history to win two consecutive ATP tournaments after the first Slam. But before we dive into the action of the Indian Wells, let’s scratch the surface of Sinner’s victory in the Netherlands a bit. The comparison is plausible as the Italian reached the final in both editions, playing 5 matches in each case.

Draw: The 2024 run was undoubtedly smoother compared to 2023, both on average and in absolute terms. In 2023, the average ranking of Sinner’s opponents increased significantly, from 50.6 in 2023 to 97 in 2024. This means that, in general, we can assume that the journey, at least on paper, was easier. Also, in absolute terms – considering the lowest ranking of an opponent faced – there was a notable difference. In 2023, the insurmountable obstacle was the Russian Medvedev, then the blue’s nemesis and number 3 in the rankings. In 2024, it was a more approachable De Minaur – number 11 in the ATP ranking – against whom the H2Hs have also always been in favour of Jannik.

Source, ATP data, ATP 500 Tournament Rotterdam: Comparison of Opposing Players’ Rankings

Break Points: One aspect frequently discussed about Sinner in the last 12 months is his overall growth in all areas: technical, physical, and mental. However, it’s not news that Jannik is mentally tough. Surely, Sinner will continue to tirelessly work on this aspect, as he has always stated, but his starting base has always been enviable. And the results are there for everyone to see. Despite facing a number of break points in the tournament equal to 20 in both 2023 and 2024 – which perhaps was unexpected given the more modest caliber of opponents – the Italian’s response was undeniable. An 80% break point save rate, compared to 65% in 2023 and against an ATP tour average of 61%. (Note: The tour average refers to the average of the last 52 weeks of players who have competed in ATP level tournaments). This figure, among other things, underscores Jannik’s solidity, already above average in 2023.

Source, ATP data, ATP 500 Tournament Rotterdam: Comparison of Break Points Saves, Years 2023-2024

Service – Overall Statistics: Another aspect that has been frequently discussed is Jannik’s improvement in his service game; indeed, the data speaks for itself. Both in terms of the percentage of first serves in play and in terms of effectiveness in converting such a play situation into a point, Sinner has significantly elevated his game. Working on the percentage of first serves in play was the number one priority to improve the Italian’s game performance, and the efforts of Vagnozzi, Cahill & co. have paid off handsomely. In 2023 in Rotterdam, the percentage of first serves in play was 57%, in line with the general performances recorded by Sinner up to that point. Considering that the ATP tour average was 62%, it’s clear this was an aspect still needing improvement until last year. However, the conversion rate from good became excellent. In 2023 in Rotterdam, the conversion rate of points on the first serve stood at 74%, a figure above the tour average, which is at 72%. In 2024, however, we witnessed a further leap forward, reaching the 80% threshold.

Source, ATP Data, ATP 500 Tournament Rotterdam: Service Performance Comparison

To understand how high this figure is, just look at the leaderboard rankings of the last 52 weeks. In terms of first serves converted into points, 80% is the threshold of absolute excellence. Consider that the two most impressive serving machines ever seen on a tennis court, Karlovic and Isner, had career averages of 83% and 80%, respectively.

ATP Leaderboard

Finally, a somewhat surprising data point is the success performance on the second serve. The Italian won 60% of the points on his second serve in 2023, while in 2024, “only” 56%. This rate is evidently more than sufficient to win matches and tournaments, but in 2023, it was not a problem at all, on the contrary.

Delving further into detail and referring to more detailed analyses (for the metrics used, we also refer to the general description found here), the analysis is further enriched. The data reported are the result of TennisViz processing, on data owned by Tennis Data Innovations (TDI).

Service – Detailed Data: The service performance, in terms of precision and reliability of the shot under pressure, has improved from all perspectives. Among the various metrics available, there are some of interest. Starting with the accuracy on the first serve, i.e., the distance with which the serve is placed from the service lines, measured in cm. Referencing a post from the X Tennis Insights account, we have an overview.

Source: TennisViz on TDI Data

In Rotterdam in 2023, Sinner executed this shot with an accuracy of 57 cm, better than what was measured over the course of the year. But in 2024, this figure impressively dropped to a notable 52 cm, in line with that of Hurkacz. We’ll spare you the statistical details, but the result (highly debatable, given the small sample size) is as follows.

Of course, there are many other variables that explain the yield on the first serve, but the inverse correlation between serve speed and precision is not bad, and generally leads us to say that serving at 125 mph with an accuracy of 52 cm, combined with an average quality in return shots, guarantees an untouchable performance of 80% of points won on the first serve. If the quality is that of Sinner’s serving machine, even less will suffice.

Continuing with the quality of the service shown by Sinner, another data point that deserves further exploration is that of unreturned serves, where the opponent fails to return the serve back into play. Here too, Jannik performed exceptionally well, with aces and opponents’ missed returns bringing home an impressive 40% in 2023 and an exceptional 42% in 2024. Remember, in tennis, variations of 1% can make the difference between a solid top ten player and a Grand Slam title winner. To put it in perspective, the ATP average is 38%.

Source: @Tennisinsight

Finally, to conclude the chapter on the serve, one last piece of data, which we’ve kept in reserve for the most deserving who have persisted in reading up to this point; do you know what the percentage of first serve balls on break points was in 2023? And in 2024? Well, we’ll present it to you in a table, and we’ll add nothing more:

Source: TenniViz on TDI Data

In 2023, when serving on break points, the first serve landed much less than usual in crucial moments. In 2024, however, the Italian did not lose his composure at all, serving as if it were any other point… not bad at all.

Performance in rallies: in this case, we rely on [metrics developed by TDI and TennisViz, which obviously carry the ATP brand](https://www.atptour.com/en/news/insights-introduction); (bonus: if you happen to watch a match on ATP TV, these advanced metrics are just a click away, in the stats section of the App).

Source: TenniViz on TDIData

It’s notable how Jannik has leveled up both in his ability to convert points where he had the advantage (conversion score) and in managing to seize the initiative from opponents when they were in a favorable position during the rally (steal score). Lastly, the final data point: from the baseline, with the current form of Jannik, it’s tough to come out on top, and if we consider his aptitude for turning defense into offense, the puzzle for his opponents is almost unsolvable. Indeed, this explains the overwhelming 56% of points won from the baseline, significantly above the ATP average. This data also finds an explanation in a significant tactical adjustment, the more pronounced use of the down-the-line backhand variation. The backhand crosscourt is already a comfort zone for Sinner, which he can comfortably use to extract points, like a boxer working his opponent with jabs; if we add that now Sinner is also able to find the down-the-line solution at the right moment, again, it spells trouble for his opponents. In 2023, Sinner hit 19.5% of his backhands down the line, while in 2024 this percentage rose to 31.4% in the Rotterdam tournament. A change that helped him tip the scale further in his favor in baseline battles.

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Juan Carlos Ferrero Remaining Positive Despite Carlos Alcaraz’s Poor Form

Juan Carlos Ferrero remains confident of Carlos Alcaraz’s abilities despite his poor form.

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Juan Carlos Ferrero is looking on the positive side despite Carlos Alcaraz’s poor form.

After winning Wimbledon last year, many people thought that Carlos Alcaraz would dominate the ATP tour over the next year.

However since then, Alcaraz has lost his world number one ranking with the Spaniard not winning a trophy since capturing his second Grand Slam title at SW19.

There are concerns that Alcaraz’s form is dipping with Jannik Sinner potentially overtaking him in potential to challenge Novak Djokovic at the big events.

Despite the lack of titles to Alcaraz’s name, there is no reason to worry for coach Juan Carlos Ferrero as he is confident that the Spaniard’s lack of form is normal, “He has been achieving good results,” Ferrero claimed in an interview with Marca.

“The Cincinnati tournament was a shame because we were one point away. At the US Open, he made the semi-finals. When you play with such good people, it is difficult to win every tournament.

“For any player, not winning tournaments can affect your confidence level. For very good players, it is important to achieve the results that one sets in their path. Of course Carlos wants to win, but I see him well, I don’t see him with any type of desire, and that is very important.

“He doesn’t have the stress of I want to win, I want to win. He wants to do things well and wants to improve in every aspect that he can, and at 20 years of age there are many. The objectives are there. Every tournament that goes, the objective is to achieve a good result.

“And if he is physically well, a great result for him is to win. When you have that level and that potential, it is not bad to think that. Then, when you don’t get it, you have to know how to manage it and come out just as motivated.”

Ferrero brings a great level of experience and composure to the Alcaraz team having been in the Spaniard’s position many times when he was a player.

The Spaniard’s experience is evident as he claimed that failure isn’t a bad thing for Alcaraz to go through, “Not every year you can win six or seven tournaments and that doesn’t mean it will be a failure,” Ferrero was quoted by tennis 365 as saying.

“[Michael] Jordan and Tiger [Woods] didn’t win every Grand Slam and every ring every year. We cannot call that a failure. There are many positive things in a year even if you have earned less.

“You may have evolved in aspects that can be useful for the future. That’s where we are. The most important thing is that he is happy, that he trains well, that traveling makes him happy and from there he generates good tennis, which is what he loves. We all agree on that.”

Alcaraz will look to return to his best when he looks to defend his title in Indian Wells which starts on the sixth of March.

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Daria Kasatkina And Alejandro Davidovich Fokina Lead Calls For VAR In Tennis

There have been calls for VAR to be introduced into the sport.

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Daria Kasatkina and Alejandro Davidovich Fokina have called for VAR to be implemented in tennis.

The calls have came after Andrey Rublev was disqualified from his semi-final with Alexander Bublik in Dubai.

As Bublik lead 6-5 in the final set, Rublev shouted in the face of an umpire allegedly swearing in Russian which was picked up by one of the officials.

This saw Rublev be disqualified from the event with Bublik reaching the final in Dubai.

However as a result of the incident players have called for a VAR review system with the video showing inconclusive proof of whether Rublev did swear in Russian.

Leading the calls for such innovation are Daria Kasatkina and Alejandro Davidovich Fokina as the duo called for VAR to be introduced on twitter, “So you can just disqualify a player, take away all his points and money, without even checking the video? What a joke, yet another confirmation that we need VAR in tennis and an electronic appeal system in all tournaments,” Kasatkina said on social media.

VAR has been implemented in football and also a similar system in rugby with mixed results.

It’s clear though that more technology would help umpires identify whether a grounds for disqualification would be necessary.

So far VAR has been trialled at the Next Gen Finals and the Nitto ATP Finals.

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