TENNIS ATP FINALS – Roger Federer has announced on court after the doubles final that he won’t play in the final of the ATP Finals due to an injury. For the fans the organisers have set up a singles match between Murray and Djokovic and then a doubles match with Henman-Cash versus Murray-McEnroe. From London, Paul Sassoon
After the doubles match ended and the Bryan brothers received their winners trophy Roger Federer came on court in a tracksuit accompanied by ATP Chairman Chris Kermode to announce that he wasn’t going to play in the final, “Well, good evening. I’m sorry I’m here in a track suit and not in a match outfit. Unfortunately I’m not match fit to play the match tonight. Clearly I wish that it wasn’t so. I try all year to be ready for the ATP World Tour Finals, and I didn’t want it to end this way. But I tried everything I could last night, also today, painkillers, treatment, rest and so forth, warmup till the very end. But just I can’t compete at this level with Novak. In finals like this, it would be too risky at my age to do this right now. I hope you understand. I wanted to come out personally and excuse myself for not playing. It’s been a great week for me. I played some great tennis. I love coming to the O2, to London. I’ve had so many great memories from here. Congrats, of course, to Novak who’s played an amazing season, amazing tournament here as well. I hope we can play some more great matches hopefully next year. Last, but not least, just thanks to all you guys for making it special to come out and play tennis all around the world. I know you guys travel as well, spend a lot of money on tickets and so forth. We really, really appreciate that, me in particular. It keeps me going. It’s what makes me tick really at this age. I hope I come back again next year and get another chance to compete for the title here. Thank you very much and I’ll see you soon. Appreciate it.” Surprisingly there were no boo’s as is usually the case when a final is not played.
Only in 1931 a major final wasn’t played and it was at Wimbledon when Frankie Shields, the uncle of Brooke Shields, retired before playing Sidney Wood.
The ATP chairman Chris Kermode then took the microphone to explain what they had managed to organise to entertain the fans that were present in the arena. Murray had accepted to play one long set against Djokovic and then the British player was going to team up with John McEnroe in a doubles match against Pat Cash and Tim Henman. Kermode also told the fans that the ticket retailers would contact the spectators for what will probably be a refund on their expensive tickets. Though he didn’t give any further details.
There is going to be no more explanations from Federer apart from a single interview of which we just receive a transcript, but he is not holding a press conference. I the private ATP interview the world number two said, “Yeah, it’s a very disappointing end to the season. You know, I was playing so well here, had a great season so far. I was feeling great, you know, until yesterday’s tiebreaker. I felt all of a sudden the back was feeling funny. I tried to have treatment on it, medication on it, just tried to turn around as quick as possible really, but didn’t really feel that much of an improvement overnight. Then you don’t have a day off or anything to work with, obviously it’s not enough time to recover. The way I feel right now, there’s no way I can compete at any level really. So probably in a few days it’s going to be better, but right now it’s not good enough. So clearly it’s very disappointing. Nevertheless, congratulations to Novak. That’s how it goes. You have to put yourself in those positions. He’s done that again. Congrats on World No. 1, as well. He’s had a terrific season.”
Regarding his plans, “Well, recovery obviously as quick as possible, and then traveling to France at some point and getting ready on the clay for the Davis Cup final.”
It was in the air in the press from starting an hour before the match was due to start. The speculation that Roger Federer wasn’t going to play the final started after he failed to show up for his warm up session on practice court 1 at the O2 Arena. As rumours spread around Twitter and other social media it became clear that Federer was injured, but whether he was going to play or not was a mystery. When we were told that Federer was going to announce something on court it was clear that the final was not going to happen. We shall see if the Swiss will play in the Davis Cup final.
Djokovic came into the press conference and before giving us some chocolates as a thank you he explained his strange day, “During the doubles match, that’s when I found out. Well, I did my warmup, obviously prepared for the battle, prepared for a great match as it was anticipated, as the people expected it to be. It was the last match of the season. I was ready to give it all. I’m sure he was ready, too, to give it all if he could. I spoke to him. As I understand, he retired a match maybe three times in his career in over a thousand matches. You cannot blame him. I’m sure he would play World Tour Finals if he could. This is probably the first time in the history that this happens. It’s very awkward situation to talk about it, to be honest, today. You never like to win, especially these big matches against big rivals, with the retirement. But that’s the way it is.”
And about the match with Andy Murray he said, “I was as surprised as probably you guys were when you heard the news. I was in my locker room. I was doing the routine that I do always before my matches. I received the news, you know, during the doubles. Then we started talking about possibilities, what we can do in order to save this day in some way. Because the people were already there watching. The stadium was already full. They wanted to see some singles match. Luckily Andy was in London. I want to thank him, you know, for coming out and making an effort. It really is an effort. I know how it feels when you finish the season, as he did on Thursday. Probably the last thing he’s thinking about is tennis now. He wants to rest after a long season. He receives a call. He comes out and plays an hour. Now he’s still playing doubles. It’s very genuine from him. I tried also to play. I thought we played on a good level. Hope the crowd enjoyed because there was not much you can do really. On the ceremony, as well, I didn’t feel so comfortable again receiving that trophy. Of course, I know that I’ve had a great season and I’m very proud to be holding the trophy. But the way things happened today was definitely awkward.”
Chris Kermode also came into the press room and confirmed that there will be a refund for the spectators today, but they haven’t worked out how much.
Team World One Win Away From Victory in Laver Cup
Team World take a huge 10-2 lead over Team Europe heading into the final day
After losing the first four editions of the Laver Cup, Team World look set to win the event for a second time as the event reaches its conclusion tomorrow.
Team World Captain John McEnroe was thrilled with the day’s results but warned against complacency: “We’re just going to keep doing what we’re doing. The job’s not done but we’re pretty close.”
American duo Taylor Fritz and Frances Tiafoe both earned straight sets wins over Andrey Rublev and Hubert Hurkacz, while Felix Auger-Aliassime and Ben Shelton beat Hurkacz and Gael Monfils.
“I want to play well for the guys,” said Tiafoe after his singles victory. “I played really well tonight. Just being in a team environment is so foreign to us as tennis players, it’s such an individual sport.”
After winning his third singles match in three appearances at the Laver Cup, Fritz was also motivated to do well:
“Yesterday, all the guys played really well. I felt that and wanted to come out on court and show what I can do. That definitely motivated me. Any type of team environment, I feel like it always elevates my game. I feel like my record in team events is really strong because I have a team cheering for me. I get pumped up. I’m excited to play for them. It just adds more pressure and fire to it. I think I play better in those situations.”
The doubles was a typically dynamic and feisty affair, and after the match Shelton was full of praise for his partner:
“It’s amazing, when you play with a guy who serves and returns like Felix, is as athletic as him, and goes back for the overhead as strong as him, it’s a fun time,” said Shelton. “We call him ‘Laver Cup Felix’ because he turns into something special this week, just glad I got to share the court with him at least once.”
Auger-Aliassime returned the compliments: “The best comes out of me when I’m playing not only for myself but for team-mates. Ben carried me through the end of that match, it was tough for me to get it done.”
Casper Ruud, meanwhile, beat Tommy Paul for Europe’s only points so far.
Matches on the final day are worth three points each – meaning that Team Europe would have to win all four remaining matches to prevent Team World from winning the trophy.
T. Fritz def A. Rublev 6-2, 7-6
F. Tiafoe def H. Hurkacz 7-5, 6-3
F. Auger-Aliassime & B. Shelton def H.Hurkacz & G. Monfils 7-5, 6-4
C. Ruud def T. Paul 7-6, 6-2
ATP RANKINGS UPDATE: Novak Djokovic, No.1 once more
After the US Open the Serbian champion reclaims top spot. Alexander Zverev is back in the Top 10
By Roberto Ferri
“Don’t ever underestimate the heart of a champion”
Rudy Tomjanovich coined this maxim just after his Houston Rockets won the NBA championship in 1995. He was paying homage to Akeem Holajuwon. It perfectly suits the heart of Daniil Medvedev, who proved 99% of tennis fans in the world to be wrong, convinced as they were that he would lose the semifinal to former No 1 Carlos Alcaraz.
But his dream to win a second US Open, after his triumph in 2021, was shattered by another champion, whose heart and class is even greater: that’s Novak Djokovic, who affixes his seal on his return to No.1, equalling Margaret Court Smith’s record of 24 majors.
Djokovic dethroning Alcaraz is not the only change in the top 20: Sascha Zverev is back in the top 10 after almost one year and Ben Shelton, great protagonist of the Us Open, debuts in the top 20 best players in the world.
A few comments:
Stefanos Tsitsipas, Andrei Rublev and Alexander Zverev gain 2 positions.
Ben Shelton devours 28 positions.
Sinner, Tiafoe, Norrie and Dimitrov lose one.
Casper Ruud and Karen Khachanov, runner up and semi-finalist respectively at the 2022 US Open, drop 4 positions.
One step forward for Fritz, de Minaur, Paul, Auger-Aliassime and Hurkacz.
ATP NITTO FINALS
From 12 to 19 November the 8 best players of the ranking based on the points earned in the ongoing solar season will be playing the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin.
Will Novak Djokovic succeed in winning a second straight title? He appears to be heading in the right direction.
Thanks to his triumph at the US Open the Serbian overtakes Alcaraz also in the Race to Turin.
Jannik Sinner holds fourth spot while Andrei Rublev overtakes Stefanos Tsitsipas and is now fifth.
The eighth position is occupied by Alexander Zverev.
Last year runner up, Casper Ruud is currently 10th. This means he would feature in Turin as a reserve.
ATP NEXT GENERATION FINALS
The Next Gen Finals, dedicated to the best under 21s, (8 effectives and 2 reserves) of the season will take place this year in Gedda, Saudi Arabia.
The 2022 winner, Brandon Nakashima, will not be defending his title, since he was born in 2001.
Taking for granted that Alcaraz and, most likely Rune, will be playing the ATP Finals, we have included in the chart the 12 current top under 21s.
Besides Ben Shelton, other 11 players have achieved their career highest this week.
We tribute a double applause to the four players who are making their debut in the top 100.
The 25-year-old Croatian Borna Gojo, 22-year-old Australian Rinky Hijkata and the Swiss next gen Dominic Stricker all reap the reward for their brilliant runs at the US Open. Seyboth Wild, the Brazilian who stunned Medvedev in the first round of Roland Garros leaps to No.76 after winning the Challenger in Como last week.
Translated by Kingsley Elliot Kaye
COMMENT: Novak Djokovic Proves His Greatness At US Open
Love him, or hate him. But respect him.
No tennis player has ever been better than Novak Djokovic.
Even Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer have to take their hats off to Novak, and admire him.
Now that Rafa and Roger have left Djokovic on his own stage at least for now, tennis fans love Novak.
DJOKOVIC WENT ONE STEP FURTHER
Djokovic’s performance on Sunday evening in the U.S. Open final was simply amazing. Daniil Medvedev also played his heart out, but Djokovic went one step further. He was sensational.
It was a thrill-a-minute three-set match. It lasted well into the night after starting at mid-afternoon. The second set alone lasted 104 minutes.
Djokovic was the winner, 6-3, 7-6 (5), 6-3, but New York still loves 2021 champion Medvedev.
A FOURTH AND 24TH TITLE, AND A 24 TRIBUTE
At 36, the oldest U.S. Open men’s champion ever, Djokovic obviously has a special place in his heart for the number four. It’s the number of times he has won this tournament and the 24th time he has won a Grand Slam title.
The number 24 also was displayed prominently on the white jacket. Novak, his team members and family wore for the victory celebration as a tribute to the No. 24 jersey of deceased friend Kobe Bryant.
Djokovic lost his footing at least three times in the tight second set, stumbling to the surface once, apparently due to the length of the rallies.
Djokovic could look like he was almost completely wiped out of it physically one minute, and then play like Superman the next minute.
THREE POINTS MAY HAVE BEEN DECISIVE
Both men played great tennis, especially in the thrill-a-second second set in which Medvedev gained one set point in the 12th game before Djokovic recovered to force a tiebreaker.
Medvedev appeared to be in charge after out-playing Novak to win one of his drop shots to take a 5-4 lead in the tiebreaker. The match may have been decided on the next three points, all won by Djokovic on errors by the 6-6 Russian.
The big question now is what happens next January in the Australian Open. Right now, Djokovic probably wants to play . . . and win what has been his favorite tournament as far as success. But things can change quickly for players in their mid-30s. Just ask Roger or Rafa.
James Beck was the 2003 winner of the USTA National Media Award. A 1995 MBA graduate of The Citadel, he can be reached at Jamesbecktennis@gmail.com.
Danil Medvedev is on a collision course for a potential quarter final against Jannik Sinner in Shanghai
Jannik Sinner beats Grigor Dimitrov to set up semifinal against Carlos Alcaraz
Iga Swiatek beats Sara Sorribes Tormo to reach the second round in Beijing
Carlos Alcaraz beats Casper Ruud to reach the semifinal in Beijing
‘My Brain Works Different’ – Coco Gauff Talks Positives From Online Criticism After China Open Win
‘Bulls**t’ – Expert Involved In Simona Halep’s Anti-Doping Case Blasts Four-Year Ban
Maria Sakkari ‘Scared’ Of Anti-Doping Testing Measures After Halep Ban
Gutsy Novak Djokovic Prevails In Grueling Battle With Medvedev To Win US Open
Iga Swiatek Dismisses Criticism Over Recent US Open Exit
COMMENT: Novak Djokovic Proves His Greatness At US Open
(VIDEO EXCLUSIVE) Steve Flink, Ubaldo Scanagatta Review The 2023 Wimbledon Men’s Final
(VIDEO EXCLUSIVE) Steve Flink, Ubaldo Scanagatta Review The 2023 Wimbledon Women’s Final
(VIDEO): Novak Djokovic Faces Sinner Test, Women’s Semis Take Centre Stage
(VIDEO): Novak Djokovic Sets Rublev Quarter-Final Clash
(VIDEO EXCLUSIVE) Plenty Of Surprises Could Occur In This Year’s Wimbledon Women’s Draw
Hot Topics2 days ago
Iga Swiatek Says Her Priority Is Form, Not Reclaiming No.1 Spot
Hot Topics15 hours ago
Iga Swiatek Reacts To Row Over Use Of Performance Byes At China Open
Latest news2 days ago
Ons Jabeur beats Diana Schnaider at the Ningbo Open to claim her fifth WTA Tour title
Latest news1 day ago
Jannik Sinner sets up a quarter final against Grigor Dimitrov in Beijing
Latest news2 days ago
Danil Medvedev beats Alex De Minaur to reach the quarter final at the China Open
Latest news2 days ago
Alexander Zverev reaches his 10th quarter final of the season in Beijing
Latest news2 days ago
Aryna Sabalenka and Anhelina Kalinina reach the second round at the China Open in Beijing
Hot Topics2 days ago
Resurgent Veronika Kudermetova Upsets Pegula To Win Pan Pacific Open