Novak Djokovic- 10th of November 2014 - UBITENNIS
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Novak Djokovic- 10th of November 2014

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TENNIS ATP FINALS 2014 – Novak Djokovic d. Marin Cilic 6-1, 6-1. Group A

Q. You had beaten Marin many times, but this was too much? The veterans are marking the land?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Veteran (smiling)? Thank you. I don’t feel like a veteran, but I’m a father, okay, I should call myself veteran. I hoped I would not reach this stage to call myself veteran this early in my career, but okay.

It was a great performance. I was hoping I could play this way. I was preparing myself for this match. I knew already one week ago that I’m going to play Marin at 8 p.m. on Monday.

My team did a good scouting. We thought about, you know, what’s the game plan. I stepped in and executed really well.

His debut in the World Tour Finals has gotten best out of him in terms of his nerves. You could see that he didn’t feel so comfortable. Tried to use my experience playing on this stage, the stadium, which is pretty different from any other.

Q. Stan won 6 1, 6 1. You win 6 1, 6 1. Are those surprising scorelines, in your opinion, for a tournament like this?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes, I think. I mean, realistically speaking, you know, maybe we both were favorites in our matches. But to win 6 1, 6 1 both is maybe something that people didn’t expect, and we, too.

But, again, we both played some great tennis. I’m sure that our match is going to be very interesting.

Q. You may correct me if I’m wrong, but I think you haven’t lost indoors since you lost to Querrey in Paris Bercy. What has changed with you? Four years ago your best surface probably was hard court. Now it seems to be indoors. Is that correct? Where do you feel more confident right now?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: It’s hard to say. I like outdoor hard court, as well. I love playing on clay. Grass not too bad (smiling).

But indoor has been very successful last couple years. I don’t play too many indoor events. As a matter of fact, only two, Paris and London. You know, I give myself a lot of time to prepare for these events, for indoor tournaments. I enjoy them. I really do.

They were asking me how do I feel returning indoors comparing to outdoors. It is different and it’s better for the returner. It’s better for the server, but I feel it’s better for the returner because the ball more or less bounces the same every time, so you can anticipate better.

Q. Is it just the surface? Something related to this specific period of the year? What makes the difference compared to the others? Sometimes you look a bit spent, and you reach a peak at this time of the year.

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I cannot speak in the names of the other players, but I do feel mentally, as everybody else, challenged at this time of the year to finish off the season in a best possible way. So I think considering how long the season is, everybody is mentally, physically, emotionally tired and exhausted.

But this is where, in last couple of weeks of the year, you have to find your last drop of strength and motivation to finish off the year in style. So that’s basically where I find mentally motivation.

Game wise, I explained why indoor surface and conditions are suitable to my style of the game.

Q. If Federer wins the Davis Cup, in your mind will that put him in a different light as far as his career? Secondly, last year when you came in here, you very harshly criticized the governing body of tennis, the doping. You didn’t trust it. You said they were unprofessional. I’m just wondering a year later if you feel the same way or differently? What do you think about Troicki almost making his way back to the top 100?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: First question, winning Davis Cup is truly something special because it’s a team competition, the only official team competition we have basically in the individual sport. So I’m sure that that’s going to be a very motivating fact prior to this Final for Roger. It’s probably the only thing he hasn’t won in his career.

Going back and looking what he has achieved, if Davis Cup title is going to impact it in a major way, I don’t think so. I mean, of course it’s going to mean a lot to him. We all know that it’s very difficult to win Davis Cup because you don’t win it by yourself. It’s a team effort. So I’m sure that he’s going to be having plenty of motivation to do so. But I don’t think in a major way it can influence his career.

The second question, I still feel the same regarding the situation with Viktor. I was referring only to his case. I wouldn’t talk more about it because I said what I needed to say.

I’m glad he’s back in tennis. I think he’s made one of the best comebacks for sure. He’s on the verge of the top 100. I don’t know if he’s got the top 100. He’s around. He’s going to be in the main draw of the Australian Open, which is incredible, considering the fact he started the end of July. Four, five months, he managed to get to where he is from scratch.

I’m very glad for him. He’s a very dear friend of mine.

Q. You were spotted at the doubles last night. I’m curious what you think about Zimonjic’s return? What does it mean to you to have a player like Nenad on tour when you were just getting started?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Nenad is a dear friend of mine and somebody that has helped me when I was developing into a professional player. Actually, when I was 13, 14, I was practicing with the same coach at that point, Bogdan Obradovic, he was the Davis Cup captain, he was his coach. At that time I was also practicing in Belgrade whenever I was there with Bogdan, and Nenad would hit with me a few times already.

Already at that time he was at that time one of the top doubles players. So for me that was an experience, a learning experience, and obviously something I respected a lot.

We have a relationship for a long time. He did always help with his advices. He was always there to play, to talk, whatever is necessary. I never forget that.

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Carlos Alcaraz And Novak Djokovic Wouldn’t Yield To Medvedev And Musetti At Wimbledon

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image via x.com/wimbledon

Carlos Alcaraz seemed to be on his own against a vastly improved Daniil Medvedev. The defending Wimbledon champion appeared to be out of tricks.

And Medvedev sensed it.

Alcaraz still scored a 6-7 (1), 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 victory over Medvedev. It may look rather easy on paper, but there was nothing easy about Alcaraz’s victory. The young Spaniard just came through when he needed it to advance to what he hopes will lead to his fourth Grand Slam title.

MEDVEDEV APPLIED ENDLESS PRESSURE

Medvedev was always there, ready to pounce on any mistake by Alcaraz. But mistakes didn’t happen that often after Medvedev took the first set in a tie-breaker.

Alcaraz hadn’t served that well in the first set that Medvedev had taken in a tiebreaker. But it was a different story once Alcaraz found the mark on his serves. He just kept holding service until the match was his.

Remember, he’s only 21 years old. But now he faces someone in this Wimbledon final almost twice as old in 37-year-old Novak Djokovic.

NOVAK DIDN’T LET INJURED KNEE STOP HIM

Early in the match, Djokovic looked like he might have problems against Lorenzo Musetti. He appeared to have a slight limp in the right knee that was covered by a band. Of course, it’s been less than six months since Novak underwent surgery to repair a torn meniscus in that knee.

Djokovic didn’t always chase after balls in situations where his service game wasn’t in jeopardy. He just hit winners when the opportunities came along, and his serve was always ready to win a point, a game or the match.

MUSETTI WASN’T THE SAME

Young 25th seed Musetti had been so strong and talented in his quarterfinal upset of Taylor Fritz. The 22-year-old Italian had looked like he might be a threat to the likes of Djokovic and Alcaraz in the last two rounds in London.

Musetti appeared to be able to run down everything against the speedy Fritz, until Fritz seemed to grow tired in a fifth set that Musetti won easily.

The Italian wasn’t the same against Djokovic.

Djokovic was just too good and too consistent to allow Musetti to stop his bid for another title.

NOVAK THE VIOLINIST

The setting was completely different this time with Djokovic looking questionable at the start. But Musetti could hardly push Djokovic, and ended up losing by a 6-4, 7-6 (2), 6-4. Once Novak charged through the second set tiebreaker, dropping only two points, Musetti couldn’t get back into the match.

And then Novak came out pretending to play a violin on his racket for his precious 6-year-old daughter Tara, whom Novak said has been learning to play the violin for about six months.

Some fans apparently didn’t like this, but then there probably were others who became Novak Djokovic fans. Novak obviously is a great guy and dad these days.

After all, Novak has just played his 97th Wimbledon match, and he’s hoping in his 37th Grand Slam final to tie Roger Federer’s record of eight Wimbledon titles.

James Beck was the 2003 winner of the USTA National Media Award  for print media. A 1995 MBA graduate of The Citadel, he can be reached at Jamesbecktennis@gmail.com. 

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Carlos Alcaraz Beats Fiery Medvedev To Reach Second Wimbledon Final

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Image via x.com/wimbledon

Carlos Alcaraz has become the second Spanish man in history to reach multiple Wimbledon finals after beating Daniil Medvedev who had a run-in with the umpire during their semi-final clash. 

The defending champion battled back from a set down to beat his opponent 6-7(1), 6-3, 6-4, 6-4. Making it the fifth time in a row he has defeated a top-five player at Tour-level events. Alcaraz has now won 18 out of 20 matches played at Wimbledon so far in his career.

Meanwhile, ex-US Open champion Medvedev produced a solid fight early on before getting outmanoeuvred on the court. The world No.5 got caught up in a dispute with umpire Eva Asderaki concerning one call which resulted in him receiving a code violation. Whilst his exact words were not picked up on camera, it appeared that he used offensive language against Asderaki. 

(It was) Different conditions, but I’m happy with my performance today.” Said Alcaraz.
“He (Medvedev) was dominating the match and playing great tennis with his serves. It was difficult for me and he tried to pull out all the shots. 
“It was helpful to be up 2-1 (in sets) and after that I could enjoy the match. In general I think I played a good match.”

A roller-coaster opening set saw Medvedev start by coming through a six-minute service game before his defensive shot-making began to draw a series of unforced errors from Alcaraz, who was struggling to find the right balance in his powerful hitting. Three consecutive breaks of serve midway through the set moved Medvedev to a 5-2 lead.

However, another twist unfolded on Centre Court with Alcaraz clawing his way back to level. It was during this period that the Russian landed himself in hot water. During a rally, the umpire called a double bounce against the 28-year-old, who then appeared to swear multiple times at the official. Following a brief discussion with the supervisor, he was hit with a code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct.

“If you use a swear word you’re going to get a code violation and a warning and a fine, but if you verbally abuse the umpire, that’s when there’s a question mark. It could be a default,” The I quoted Tim Henman as telling the BBC.
“Just from where we’re sitting to see the umpire get down off the umpire’s chair, to see the umpire and the supervisor to go on the court, that doesn’t happen unless something has gone on.”

The controversy did little to unsettle the fifth seed who cruised through the tiebreaker by winning seven out of eight points.

Urging the crowd to cheer him on by putting his finger to his ear, Alcaraz produced a clinical fightback in the second frame to turn the match around in his favour. A three-game winning run guided him to level the match. 

The Spaniard continued to weather the storm with the help of back-to-back Medvedev forehand errors handing him a break for 3-1 in the third. It wasn’t a perfect performance from Alcaraz, who made the occasional mistake such as a mishit on a smash which would have given him a set point when leading 5-3. Nevertheless, it was enough for him to extend his lead to two sets against one. 

Closing in on victory and elevating the quality of his tennis, he dismantled the Medvedev two more times before converting his first match point by hitting a forehand shot that his rival returned out.

I tried to play long rallies and tried to play to the net as much as I can. I tried to not play his game.” He said of his tactics used against Medvedev.
“There were a few points that were really long rallies, but I tried to put my own game [on the match]. It was difficult to break the wall!”

Alcaraz is bidding to become the first player outside the Big Three to defend the men’s Wimbledon title since Pete Sampras more than 20 years ago. 

“I feel like I am not new anymore,” he commented.
“I know how I feel before the final I have been in this position before – I will try to do the things that I didn’t do last year and be better. 

In the final, he will play either Novak Djokovic, in what will be a repeat of last year’s title clash, or Italy’s Lorenzo Musetti. 

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Alex De Minaur Speaks About Kyrgios’ Retun After Wimbledon Withdrawal

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Nick Kyrgios (AUS) playing against Felix Auger-Aliassime (CAN) in the third round of the Gentlemen's Singles on No.1 Court at The Championships 2021. Held at The All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon. Day 6 Saturday 03/07/2021. Credit: AELTC/Jonathan Nackstrand

Nick Kyrgios is expected to return to action in the coming weeks with an appearance at the US Open on the cards, according to his compatriot.

Alex de Minaur told reporters at Wimbledon on Wednesday that he believes the former top 20 player will return to action at some point during the upcoming US hardcourt swing. Marking the end of his lengthy absence from the sport due to various injury issues. 

Kyrgios underwent surgery on his left knee in January 2023 before suffering another injury blow with a wrist issue. The last Tour-level match that he played was at the Stuttgart Open in June last year. He has only been able to play six tournaments since reaching his first Grand Slam final at Wimbledon in 2022. 

“I’m trying to have some hits with the players who are here to see where my wrist is at. It’s been 10 months since my surgery, so I’ll try to work my way back onto the court,” Kyrgios told the UTS website in June.

“I’ll be playing doubles in the next month (on the ATP Tour). It will be exciting. I’ll probably start there and hopefully, if everything is OK, I’ll move to singles and then I’ll see how long I’ll hang around for.

“I missed competing, I missed hearing the crowd, my fans. Even the people that hate me, I miss them, I miss them all. I can’t wait to be back.”

It is yet to be confirmed when Kyrgios will be returning to the court as he commentates on this year’s Wimbledon Championships for the BBC. He had recently held a hitting session with Novak Djokovic and in De Minaur’s view, the tennis star is certainly improving. 

“I’ve seen him hitting. I think it looks like he’s feeling a little better. As far as I know, I think the U.S. hard court is when he’s planning to return.” He commented.

“I don’t know the exact specifics, but it will all depend on his injury and how he’s feeling.”

Unfortunately for De Minaur his Wimbledon run has come to a sad end after the Australian pulled out of his quarter-final encounter against Novak Djokovic on Wednesday due to what he describes as a ‘freak injury’ with his hip. He is estimated to be sidelined from action between three and six weeks. 

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