Novak Djokovic - Andy Murray QF Will Give 2014 US Open Its 1st Great Men's Match - UBITENNIS
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Novak Djokovic – Andy Murray QF Will Give 2014 US Open Its 1st Great Men's Match

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TENNIS US OPEN — Now it gets serious. Now the men’s game, existing almost in a vacuum while the ladies battered each other and the seedings—joyful confusion, you could call it—grabs its rightful place at the U.S. Open. Art Spander for bleacherreport.com

 

US Open: All the interviews, results, draws and OoP

Now the big names display what they hope are their big games.

Rafael Nadal isn’t here, true—another of his multiple injuries, a wrist this time. But Roger Federer is. Novak Djokovic is. Andy Murray is. And in the quarterfinals we get Djokovic, a former Open champ, No. 1 in the rankings, against Murray, also a former Open champ.

Such different personalities: Djokovic is upbeat, Murray is dour. Such similar qualities, both able to make the shot when the shot needs to be made. Able to ignore the incidentals—“Yeah, it was humid,” said Murray about the typical New York late summer weather. Able to concentrate on the essentials.

Murray, after an operation on his back last winter and a layoff, has slipped from No. 4 in the rankings to No. 9. That has an effect in the seedings, which is why he’s facing Djokovic in the quarters, the fifth round. But it has no effect on Murray’s thinking.

I think that’s really why we play matches,” Murray said when asked if he gets fired up about facing a star such as Djokovic. “That’s what you put in the work for, so that when you come to these events and do have to play the best players, you’re ready.

“Playing against the No. 1 player in the world is exciting.”

Murray’s tumble in the standings has no effect on Djokovic’s thinking. On Labor Day, with the thermometer near 90 degrees, Murray methodically won his fourth-round match, 7-5, 7-5, 6-4, over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who beat Djokovic three weeks ago in Toronto.

Andy, we all know his quality,” said Djokovic, who advanced to the quarters with a 6-1, 7-5, 6-4 win over Philipp Kohlschreiber. “He already has been Grand Slam champion, Wimbledon, U.S. Open, Olympic Games.” (And beating Djokovic in the final of each, by the way.)

“He has a lot of success. He knows how to play center court U.S. Open, where he’s played some great tennis, and we had some great matches.”

Which is exactly what this 2014 Open needs on the men’s side, a great match. It’s had humidity. It’s had rain. It’s had Americans tumbling by the wayside as usual (Thanks for stopping by, Mr. Querrey; appreciate the visit, Mr. Isner). It hasn’t had anything memorable from Djokovic, Federer or Murray. So far.

I don’t think it would be nice to say it’s the start of the U.S. Open now,” Djokovic said in response to a sarcastic but legitimate question. “Totally disrespect all of my opponents I played against in the opening rounds. But it’s normal to expect that I’m going to have tougher opponents as the tournament goes on.”

Djokovic and Murray are both 27, born seven days apart in 1987. They have played 20 times, beginning in 2006. The Joker, as he is nicknamed, has won 12 of those 20, but the margin shrinks to one—three to two—in Grand Slams. And two of the last three times they’ve met in a Slam (the Wimbledon final of 2013, the Australian Open final of 2013 and the U.S. Open final of 2012) Murray the Scotsman beat Djokovic the Serb.

I don’t know how well he’ll play,” Tsonga said when queried about Murray’s chances, “but for sure he was better than me.

The match will be important but not seminal, not something that will mark either as a success. Or a failure. This isn’t comparable to when Vitas Gerulaitis ended his 0-16 streak against Jimmy Connors and proclaimed, “Nobody beats Vitas Gerulaitis 17 in row.”

What’s important is the winner advances to the semifinals. “I feel good about my game,” said Djokovic, who edged Federer in the Wimbledon final some two months ago.

This the 22nd consecutive time Djokovic has made the quarters in a Slam. “It says,” he pointed out, “I do value these tournaments the most. It motivates me for the future to continue that streak.”

In this situation, after so many meetings, familiarity breeds not contempt but contemplation. Both understand how to go about the task.

I would say we play a fairly similar style, and that’s why a lot of the matches have been long games, long rallies, because we do a lot of things well,” agreed Murray. “I mean obviously there’s tactics that you go into the match with, and then there’s things that you make adjustments when the match starts.”

Said Djokovic: “Andy performs his best in the Slams. Even though he had back surgery last year that kept him off the tour the last few months of the (2013) season, he’s been on and off this year. But in the big matches, as the tournament progresses, he’s still fit. He still plays very high-quality tennis.

“That’s what I expect him to do.”

That’s what all of us expect both Djokovic and Murray to do. Finally, at the Open, the men’s game gets a match it deserves. And we deserve.

Original article on bleacherreport.com

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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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