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.



Rafael Nadal claims his ninth title in Rome



Rafael Nadal beat Novak Djokovic 6-0 4-6 6-1 in the eagerly awaited final of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia on the Centre Court in Rome to claim his ninth title of his legendary career in the Italian capital. Nadal has become the first player in history to win 34 Masters 1000 titles.


Nadal and Djokovic met for the 54th time in their careers and for the 26time in a final. Djokovic entered the Rome final with a 28-25 win-loss record and beat Nadal in three sets in this year’s Australian Open final by the scoreline of 6-3 6-2 6-3.

The top 2 players of the ATP Ranking won 12 of the last 14 Rome titles.

Nadal took a bagel win in a one-sided first set with three consecutive breaks and earned 59 % of his return points. Nadal broke in the first game of the opening set after a loose forehand from Djokovic. Nadal went up a double break to open a 3-0 lead with a forehand down the line and claimed the opening set in the sixth game with a service winner after 38 minutes.

Djokovic bounced back in the second set and earned a break point in the fourth game, but Nadal saved it with a forehand down the line winner.

The Serbian player saved three break points he faced in the seventh game of the second set and fended off another chance at 4-4. Nadal wasted a game point in the 10th game and sent a forehand long to drop serve in the 10th game. With his only break Djokovic claimed the second set 6-4 forcing the match to the third set.

The Serbian player earned his first break point of the match at 2-1 in the second set with a forehand, but Nadal saved it with an inside.in forehand winner. Nadal brought up three break points at 3-3 0-40 with a lob that Djokovic smashed into the net.

Djokovic saved the 4th fourth break point of the second set at 4-4 before breaking serve at deuce in the 10th game to close out the second set 6-4, when Nadal missed wide.

Nadal started the decisive set with an immediate break at deuce in the opening game. Djokovic saved a break point in the third game at deuce, but dropped his serve for the second time at 30 in the fifth game to trail 1-4 after a backhand error Nadal wrapped up the match with his third break in the seventh game on his first match point at deuce to clinch his ninth title in Rome and his 34th Masters 1000 trophy. Nadal has lifted his first title of the 2019 season and his first tournament since last August’s Rogers Cup.

Nadal won the Rome title for the second consecutive year becoming the first player to successfully defend a title in 2019. The Spanish player had not won a single tournament in 2019, but he reached three consecutive semifinals in Monte-Carlo, Barcelona and Madrid.

The Spanish player becomes the oldest Rome champion in the history of the Rome tournament.

Nadal received the Rome trophy from former Roland Garros and Rome champion Gustavo Kuerten during a ceremony attended by Italian tennis legend Nicola Pietrangeli and Italian tennis Federation President Angelo Binaghi.

“For me it’s always an honour to play in Rome. I played here for the first time in 2005. I thank the crowd for their support. I played the first set very well. The most important thing is to return to my best level. All titles are special, but this win means a lot to me, because Rome has a very important place in the history of our sport. I had a very difficult week. For me, as I have said ever day, winning titles is important, but for me the most important thing is to feel myself competitive and healthy. And then with the feeling I am improving.” Nadal said during a post-match interview with TennisTV.

 “I know if I reach my level, you can win or you can lose, but normally I will have my chances. Especially on this surface. I am very happy with my victory. It was a great match, I played well and now I’m just enjoying the moment.” Nadal summarised.

 “It is always special playing against Novak, against Roger (Federer). These kind of matches has been tradition in the sport for the last 10 or so years.” he said.

 “Novak is having a great season. Winning in Australia and winning last week in Madrid. It’s an important win for me, but what means a lot is winning again here in Rome. It is one of the most important events of the year.”

Nadal did not drop a set en route to reaching the final, while four-time Rome champion Djokovic won two three-set marathon matches against Juan Martin Del Porto in the quarter final and Diego Schwartzman in the semifinal and spent 5 hours and 34 minutes compared to Nadal ‘s 3 hours and 22 minutes.

“No, I don’t want to talk about the fatigue. Simply Nadal was the better player today.” Djokovic said during the trophy presentation.


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Novak Djokovic battles past Diego Schwartzman to set up a blockbuster final against Rafael Nadal in Rome



Novak Djokovic battled past Diego Schwartzman 6-3 6-7 (2-7) 6-3 in the semifinal of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia setting up a blockbuster final against Rafael Nadal.


In their previous head-to-head match Djokovic recovered from 2 sets to one down to win in five sets at 2017 Roland Garros.

Both players played a good match, but Djokovic raised his level in the most decisive moments of the match. Djokovic was not affected by his 3-hour marathon match against Juan Martin Del Potro, where he saved two match points.

Djokovic won another thrilling match after 2 hours and 31 minutes against Schwartzman reaching his 9th final in Rome and his 49th title match at Masters 1000 level.

Djokovic converted four of his five break points and dropped his serve twice.

Djokovic got his first break in the eighth game, when Schwartzman netted a backhand. Djokovic held his serve with three winners in the ninth game to close out the opening set 6-3 after 38 minutes.

Djokovic and Schwartzman traded four consecutive breaks from 3-2 in the second set. Schwartzman went up a break twice at 4-2 and 5-3, but Djokovic broke back both times in the seventh and ninth games to draw level to 5-5 setting up a tie-break. Schwartzman took two mini-breaks and won all points on serve to win the tie-break 7-2 forcing the match to the third set.

In the third set they traded five service games before Djokovic earned the decisive break in the sixth game to take a 4-2 lead, when Schwartzman made a backhand error. The Serbian player held serve in the ninth game to secure his spot in the final.

Djokovic and Nadal will meet for the 54th time. The Serbian player leads 28-25 in his head-to-head matches against the Spaniard. Both players hold the record of 33 Masters 1000 titles.

“He keeps on showing to the world why Nadal is one of the biggest legends of tennis history. I have the greatest respect for him. He is my greatest of all time. Every time we get to play each other, it’s a thrill. It’s the ultimate challenge”, said Djokovic.  

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Novak Djokovic Keeps Faith Ahead Of Schwartzman Semi-Final In Rome

Novak Djokovic is keeping the faith as he looks forward to a semi-final match with Diego Schwartzman in Rome.



Novak Djokovic (@ATP_Tour - Twitter)

World number one Novak Djokovic is keeping the faith ahead of his Rome semi-final against Diego Schwartzman. 


The four-time champion survived a massive test late last night as he battled past Juan Martin Del Potro 4-6 7-6(6) 6-4 in just over three hours.

After saving two match points the Serb proved to be too clinical as he clinched victory at about 1am in the morning on Saturday.

In a short interview after his match Djokovic said that keeping faith was important in his quarter-final victory, I never lost faith I could come back to the match,” Djokovic explained.

“One break of serve, mini break in the tiebreak when he was 6-4, more or less open forehand that he was making the entire match, that’s all it took for me to come back. I’m just really pleased to overcome.”

In addition to keeping mentally strong, Djokovic also praised Del Potro’s performance as he continues his recovery from a knee injury, “He was playing really good. I tried my best obviously all the way till the end,” Djokovic said.

I lost probably the positioning of the court over him. Towards the end of the first he just started hitting the ball really well from both corners. Also backhand side, backhand down the line. He was playing really well. Gave me a lot of trouble.”

Next up for Djokovic is Diego Schwartzman who is into his first ever masters 1000 semi-final and is yet to drop a set this week.

The Serb leads the head-to-head 2-0 although their last match went to five sets at Roland Garros a couple of years ago. It should be a fascinating match which takes place at 8pm local time as Djokovic looks to keep the faith heading into the French Open.



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