Novak Djokovic - 16th of November 2014 - UBITENNIS
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Novak Djokovic – 16th of November 2014



TENNIS ATP FINALS 2014 – Novak Djokovic at the press conference.


Q. When did you find out that Roger wasn’t going to be playing? How did that all work?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: 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.

Q. It’s not the same situation, but many times you had Davis Cup, US Open. It’s too much, you need more rest, but it’s impossible. How can you solve this?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, the schedule is such that it doesn’t really go into the favor of the players who are doing really well in Davis Cup, let’s say, and who are playing in the later stages of all the major events.

I’ve experienced that in my own skin in last couple of years. I did experience a few times some bad injuries that kept me away from the tour because I’ve played so many matches.

But, again, I’m not the first or the last player to have this schedule. It’s the way it is for now. We have to deal with it.

Q. Can you talk us through how the exhibition with Andy came about. Were you asked to do it? Did you know right away you were playing Andy? How did you feel about doing it?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Look, 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.

Q. It may not have mattered with Roger, but is there any sense to the idea of maybe putting the semis in one session, not having that long gap, having one finish much later than the earlier one, in terms of fairness going forward?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: You have the fair point there. That can be a solution because there is a gap. Usually in the group stage matches, the schedule is such that you play one singles match at 2:00, one at 8:00. You have doubles before those singles matches. There is always probably two, three hours’ gap when there are no matches on center court.

I think they can decrease that gap. I agree with you.

Q. There were a lot of lopsided matches through the tournament. The matches yesterday were close. Now there’s no final. Probably a lot of fans that had higher expectations. Is it fair for people to be disappointed?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes, I understand people. I understand speculations about, you know, the whole week in general, and what has happened. We had probably two, maybe three matches that went the distance, that went over an hour.

But this is something you cannot predict. Obviously this is World Tour Finals. I’m sure that every single player, especially the ones that were losing those matches, you know, in an hour, didn’t do that on purpose. You know, this is sports. It’s the way it is.

In individual sports, you’re on the court by yourself. If you’re having a bad day, nobody can substitute you, nobody can help you.

Not many times has happened throughout the history that you have this amount of matches finish under an hour, around an hour. But, you know, again, it’s not something that is going to happen, I’m sure, every year.

Q. If you were in the same shoes as Roger, obviously you’re not in his body, going into a Davis Cup final, his first, little bit of something going on, can you imagine what you might have done in the same situation?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: As I said, you know, the stats are saying clearly that he is one of those players that would compete and would always fight if he can. He has had, what, three retirements in his entire career.

I don’t think he was calculating and trying to save his body for Davis Cup final. I’m sure that that wasn’t the case. This is probably one of the biggest matches of the year for him, as well as for me. You know, you have Grand Slams that are the pinnacle of the sport, and you have World Tour Finals. Then you have of course Davis Cup, 1000 events, there are many tournaments, but you know this is probably the biggest match of the season next to the final of a Grand Slam.

I’m sure if he could have, he would be on the court. I mean, I spoke to him. Also he doesn’t know. It’s a question mark for the Davis Cup final, as well.

Q. I would like to talk to you about this No. 1 achievement. You are 27 now. Do you know what will be the next goal in your career? Can we consider the French Open will be your main goal for the future? Do you think about becoming a legend being No. 1 five times?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, right now I’m at my pinnacle in the career. I physically feel very fit. I’m very motivated to keep on playing on a very high level. So as long as it’s like that, I’m going to try to use these years in front of me to fight for No. 1 of the world and to fight for, you know, biggest title in the sport.

Roland Garros is and was and still will be, you know, one of the biggest goals that I have. I’ll keep on trying, of course. Any Grand Slam win is another page in the history books of this sport. Of course, being No. 1 is also one of the biggest challenges and biggest goals a player can have.

Q. You’ve spoken at several of the press conferences this year and last about your personal preference to see this tournament move around the world. Do you think one of the advantages that London has is that someone like Andy Murray is here, there’s so many former legends that are around or it’s easy for them to travel to the tournament?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I don’t think that traveling is an extremely important matter when it comes to this tournament. Of course, London is one of the most important cities in the world. Of course, it’s good when you have a tournament here. For tennis, as well, because there is a long tennis tradition and history in this country. People love tennis. They show their respect and appreciation to the players by coming in big numbers for Wimbledon and for World Tour Finals.

I want to say it again. The reason why I was saying I wanted this tournament to move around is because I feel like this is big leverage for ATP to use as one of the ways to promote the sport. Best eight players in the world, you know, what more can you ask for if you are a fan of tennis and the sport. I’m sure this is one of the biggest events that we have in sport in general because tennis is a very global sport.

I’m not saying that because I think it’s not supposed to be here. In contrary, I have only praises for this event over the years. Since 2009, it has been an incredible success in this city. The people would say, Why then change it? Why move it around?

But I think still you need to give the opportunity to other big cities, maybe some new markets, growing markets, emerging markets that start to emerge and like tennis, like China, Middle East, that can have facilities and have possibilities to host the event like this.

You know, America has always been, again, a big market for tennis. So there are places. I know that they’re negotiating the extension here, or if they want to move this event around. I just wish that this event can and should be used the way it’s used here in London. It deserves to be one of the biggest tennis events and sporting events in the world.

Q. To end on a lighter note, I guess you’re going back to domestic duties with the baby. How hands on are you? What surprised you the most with the baby and your new role as a father?

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I’m very hands on. My wife told me what’s expecting me. I’ve seen it before I came to Paris and London. I’m glad during the stay in London for these 10 days I got a lot of sleep, because that will not be the case from now.

I’m looking forward to it. It’s the most beautiful feeling that I experience and my wife have experience as well holding a baby in your arms. That will be a lot of that without the racquet in next couple weeks for me.


Tennis Player Disqualified From Shanghai Qualifying Match Two Points Away From Victory



Image via

It will be a match that Australia’s Marc Polmans will never forget but for all the wrong reasons.


The World No.140 looked to be on the verge of victory against Italy’s Stefano Napolitano when leading their match 7-6(3), 6-6(6-5), in the final round of qualifying at the Shanghai Masters. However, disaster struck at the next point when Polmans temper got the better of him and subsequently cost him.

With match point, he approached the net to hit a backhand shot but it ended up in the net. Prompting the frustrated 26-year-old to hit a tennis ball that unfortunately hit the umpire. As a result of that action, he was automatically disqualified from the match which handed Napolitano the victory and a place in the main draw.

It is not the first time a tennis player has been disqualified for such an incident. During a 2017 Davis Cup tie between Canada and Great Britain, Denis Shapovalov was disqualified for firing a tennis ball that hit the umpire’s eye. Novak Djokovic was also disqualified from the 2020 US Open after hitting a ball that accidentally struck a lines judge.

“Players shall not violently, dangerously or with anger hit, kick or throw
a tennis ball while on the grounds of the tournament site except in the reasonable pursuit of a point during a match (including warm-up),
” the 2023 ATP rulebook outlines.
“For purposes of this rule, abuse of balls is defined as intentionally or reckless- ly hitting a ball out of the enclosure of the court, hitting a ball dangerously or recklessly within the court or hitting a ball with disregard of the conse- quences.’
“Violation of this section shall subject a player to a fine of up to $350 for each violation. In addition, if such violation occurs during a match, the player shall be penalized in accordance with the Point Penalty Schedule.”

It is a tough lesson for Polmans to learn. He was on the verge of playing in the main draw of a Masters 1000 event for the first time in his career. He is currently the 10th highest-ranked Australian player on the ATP Tour and reached the final of a Challenger event in Guangzhou, China last month.

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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



Image via Laver Cup twitter

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

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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.

TOP 20

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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.


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.


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.

PositionPlayerCountryPtsYOB ATP rank
6Van AsscheFrance597200469
12Llamas RuizSpain3702002133

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.

Seyboth Wild76Brazil30

Translated by Kingsley Elliot Kaye

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