2014 ATP Finals: Djokovic in superb form as he dismantled Wawrinka - UBITENNIS
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2014 ATP Finals: Djokovic in superb form as he dismantled Wawrinka



TENNIS 2014 ATP FINALS – Before the start of the 2014 Barclay’s World Tour Finals just after group assignments were made, many pundits held that Group A was the toughest of the two groups as it held 3 major winners, however, as it turned out, Group B is the one that has provided only moderately more interesting affairs.

Before the start of the 2014 Barclay’s World Tour Finals just after group assignments were made, many pundits held that Group A was the toughest of the two groups as it held 3 major winners, (Novak Djokovic [1], Stan Wawrinka [3], Marin Cilic [8]) and all 4 players had made it to a major final at least once in their career, (Tomas Berdych [6] back in 2010). Group B on the other hand only has two major winners (Roger Federer [2] and Andy Murray [5]) and Kei Nishikori [4] who recently made it to the last two at the US Open. Milos Raonic [7] was the lone man in the entire field without an impressive resume. However, as it turned out, Group B is the one that has provided only moderately more interesting affairs. Through two rounds of play in Group A, all matches have been consummate blowouts for the winners. Prior to the Djokovic verses Wawrinka match, the final match of Day 4, the three previous matches in the group featured at least one breadstick set (6-1). Wawrinka ended this streak in favour of having something much more “hefty” like a bagel set as Djokovic simply crushed the Swiss 6-3 6-0 in a mere 65 minutes.

The very early goings of the match captivated fans of the players and the sport alike as Wawrinka broke Djokovic and held serve for a 2-0 lead. The last time these two met was back in Australia when Wawrinka won a tight 5-setter in the quarterfinals and moved on to claim his first major title and in doing so ending Djokovic’s reign in Melbourne. However, as any fan of the sport knows, Wawrinka has not shown any real sign of that type of player outside of his winning run at Monte Carlo in April. He came into this tournament winning one match in his last four tournaments. Yet at the start of the match, one almost believed that Wawrinka was back to that winning major form. However, Djokovic crushed all hopes of that when he fully asserted himself in the match for a 5-2 lead. At one point, Djokovic had won 16/17 straight points on a 5-game streak. It was then fans knew that Wawrinka is back to his old Grade C form self and this matchup was not going to turn into a long awaited 3-setter that the tournament has been crying out for. This was going to be another whitewashing.

Wawrinka showed some true resilience to win the 8th game but Djokovic easily served out the set, 6-3. Djokovic was on another level. In fact, he was several levels above Wawrinka and thus virtually unplayable. In the 2nd set, Djokovic was simply hitting impossible shots from all corners of the court. Everything was working for the Serbian and anything that Wawrinka threw at him, he had the correct response. Nothing from the Swiss fazed him. The numbers alone tell the tale. Djokovic was winning 76% of his 1st serves and 50% on his 2nd serves whilst Wawrinka was at a measly 45% on his 1st serve and a pitiful 26% on his 2nd serve. The Swiss only won 3 points on serve and 7 points total in the entire 2nd set along with a 29 errors and 8 winners for the match. This poor level of play from Wawrinka only allowed for mere target practice for Djokovic as he hit winner after winner, (16 in all for the match) that even Wawrinka had to stop and applaud one of these magnificent shots. So it was no surprise that the match ended 6-3 6-0 in favour of Djokovic.

“[T]his year everybody before the tournament was expecting some big matches because was more surprise during all the year with me winning Grand Slam, Cilic also, Raonic, Nishikori being there”, Wawrinka noted. Those big matches have yet to occur at the O2 Arena in London. Of the 8 singles matches played, they have all been 8 straight-set victories to the higher ranked player with 1 bagel set (6-0), 6 breadsticks (6-1), 1 tiebreaker (7-6) where the loser did not win a single point for a total of 8 hours and 26 minutes of actual play, averaging just about 1 hour and 3 minutes per match. Djokovic, himself expressed surprise at this statistic but said that he hoped that he can keep up his level of play and continue to be on the winning side. He added, “After I lost the first two games, you know, obviously I didn’t start so great. I thought he played very well the first two games. But, again, I wasn’t frustrated. I kept my calm. After that, was a really amazing performance.” He will play Tomas Berdych this Friday to maintain his unblemished record in group play and solidify his claim as the world’s No. 1 player for the rest of the year.



Alexander Zverev: “My coach won’t stop crying until next year”



Zverev has been very consistent during the Masters 1000 season winning the third title of his career in the series at the Madrid Mutua Open in the Caja Magica one year after his wins in Rome and Toronto. He also lost two Masters 1000 finals in Miami to John Isner and in Rome to Rafa Nadal. During the 2018 season Zverev also won two more tournaments at ATP 250 level in Munich and Washington.

During an interview with the BBC Zverev thanked all the people who are working with him and helped him win at the ATP Finals at the O2 Arena in London.

“My dad has been coaching me for most of my life. I think he is the best tennis coach. He won’t stop crying until next year probably but that’s fine. He also probably doesn’t understand what I am saying but it’s fine. Thanks to Ivan Lendl for joining the team. I think it’s working out all right for now. Hopefully it stays like that. Nobody can probably see it but I have actually put on muscle. I was skinnier before than I am now”, said Zverev.

Zverev congratulated with Novak Djokovic and talked about his relationship to the Serbian world number 1 player, who qualified for the final without dropping a set during the whole week.

I really can’t believe it. It’s the biggest title I have ever won. Firstly I want to congratulate Novak and we may never have seen the tennis he has played in the last few months before. He barely lost a match but thankfully he did me to. We had many talks on life, not only about tennis, but al different types of subjects. Huge congratulations to Djokovic’s team. Finishing as world number one after having surgery, I don’t know if it has been done before. You are one of the best teams on tour, so good luck for next year”, said Zverev.



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Mike Bryan and Jack Sock lift their third doubles title as a team in 2018 at the Nitto ATP Finals in London



Mike Bryan and Jack Sock came back from one set down to edge Frenchmen Pierre Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut 5-7 6-1 13-11 in just over 90 minutes after a dramatic tie-break in the doubles final at the Nitto ATP Finals in a packed O2 Arena in London. They have clinched their third doubles title in their eighth together as a team.

The US team crowned an impressive season adding the ATP Finals title to the wins achieved at Wimbledon and at the US Open. They became the first doubles team to win these two Grand Slam titles since Jonas Bjorkman and Todd Woodbridge.

Bryan and Sock converted three of their ten break points and saved six of the eight chances they faced.

The opening set featured six deuce deciding points in twelve points went on serve until the seventh game when Mahut earned the first break to take a 4-3 lead with a lob. Bryan and Sock broke straight back in the eighth game on their fifth break point after a double fault from Mahut.

Herbert and Mahut broke serve again in the 11th game to take the 6-5 edge before fending off four break points in row to seal the first set on the deciding point.

Bryan and Sock went up a double break in the second and sixth games to cruise through to winning the second set 6-1 forcing the match to the Tie-Break.

After a series of mini-breaks Herbert and Mahut fended off three match points in the tie-break at 9-6 to draw level to 9-9 keeping their chance alive. The 2018 Rotterdam and French Open champions earned their own match point at 11-10. Sock and Bryan reeled off three points to save the match point and clinch the tie-break 13-11 on their sixth match point after 1 hour and 31 minutes, when Herbert made a double fault.

Forty-year-old Bryan won his fifth doubles title at the ATP Finals in his career after the four previous wins in 2003, 2004, 2009 and 2014 achieved together with his twin brother Bob Bryan. He has become the sixth player in history to win multiple year end titles with at least 2 different partners. Only John McEnroe and Peter Fleming won more doubles titles in the history of this event with their seven consecutive triumphs from 1978 to 1984 at the Madison Square in New York.

Sock is the first player to reach the year-end final in doubles and semifinals in singles (2017) since McEnroe back in 1984. He has also become the oldest champion in the ATP Finals history. Bryan and Sock began their partnership in another London venue last June. Bryan has lifted his 121st title in his legendary career. His impressive collection includes 18 Grand Slam doubles titles and the Olympic doubles gold medal in London 2012.

They were presented with the title by ATP Executive Chairman Chris Kermode and Nitto President Hideo Takasaki.

Mahut and Herbert were bidding to be the first French champions since 2005. The French team ended the season with a win-loss record of 23-11.

“This is how you want to start a partnership and end one. To win here is just an epic experience. To finish a great year off  the right way, winning here against some of the best teams in the world. The way we did, it came down to the wire. It was pretty exciting. I have real memories with Jack. We are closing the book on our partnership because Bob is coming back.We are always going to be great friends and hang out in the off season. We are going to spend our off-season training together”, said Mike Bryan. 


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‘If You Win a Grand Slam, It’s A Good Season’ – Roger Federer On 2018 And His Off-Season Goals

The Swiss player has named two improvements he would like to make to his game ahead of the next season.



20-time grand slam champion Roger Federer has said that he is contempt with his performance this year despite experiencing a slight dip in form during the second half.

The 37-year-old officially ended his season on Saturday after bowing out in straight sets to Alexander Zverev at the ATP Finals in London. This year the Swiss player has won four titles on the tour, including the Australian Open in January. Overall, he has achieved a win-loss record of 48-10.

“(Pete) Sampras once upon a time said, ‘If you win a slam, it’s a good season.’” Reflected Federer, who held the world No.1 ranking for a total of eight weeks during 2018.
“So started great. I played super well in Australia again. So obviously I can’t wait to go back there in a couple of months.”

Despite the success, he has also suffered his share of disappointment. Prior to his last tournament of the year, Federer had only won two out of six matches against top 10 players. He also suffered a surprise loss to Kevin Anderson at Wimbledon before falling in the fourth round at the US Open. Making it the first time he has only reached one grand slam semi-final out of four since 2013.

“The second half of the season could have been better maybe.” Admitted Federer. “I also have high hopes to always do well. So I’m happy I gave myself opportunities again in that second half of the season.”
“I maybe lost a couple too close matches that could have changed things around for me a little bit.” He added.

Work to be done in the off-season

Fortunately, the positives overweight the negatives for the Swiss veteran, who is the oldest player currently in the world’s top 100. In September he celebrated the 20th anniversary of his debut on the ATP Tour at the Grand Prix de Tennis de Toulouse in France.

“I’m very proud that at 37 I’m still so competitive and so happy playing tennis. From that standpoint, as disappointed as I might be about this match if I take a step back, I’m actually very happy about the season.” He told reporters after his loss to Zverev on Saturday.

Federer will now embark upon the off-season where he is expected to conduct his usual preparation in Dubai. During a recent interview with newspaper Tages-Anzeiger, he has outlined two areas of his game that he wants to improve on. His forehand and his play at the net.

“As far as tennis is concerned, I would like to find my way back to the net more often,” he said.
“And of course I want to whip the forehand right again.
“Then there is the condition training with Pierre (Paganini).
“Of course, deciding whether to play on clay or not has an impact on the training program.”

Federer will return to action at the Hopman Cup, which will get underway on December 29th.

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