TENNIS AO2015 – Novak Djokovic clinched his fifth Australian Open and the eighth Grand Slam title of his career with a 7-6 (7-5) 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 6-0 win over Andy Murray after three hours and 39 minutes in the Rod Laver Arena at Melbourne Park to close the gap on Australian Open legend Roy Emerson who won six times in the home Slam in 1961, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966 and 1967. Djokovic won his overall 8th Grand Slam title in a collection of Major titles which features the US Open in 2011 and Wimbledon in 2011 and 2014. His coach Boris Becker celebrated his second Grand Slam triumph after Wimbledon last July when Djokovic edged Roger Federer in a epic five-set final. Diego Sampaolo
Novak Djokovic b. Andy Murray 7-6 6-7 6-3 6-0
Novak Djokovic part 1: “I’m not going to talk bad things about him in the press or find any excuses or something like this”
Novak Djokovic part 2: “you go through some particular moments that you can call crises during matches like these. This is what I had in these 15, 20 minutes. After that I felt better”
Novak Djokovic part 3: “I think tonight I played better (than against Wawrinka)”
Djokovic was unbeaten in the last four head-to-head matches against Murray but the Scotsman won two Grand Slam finals at the 2012 US Open and at Wimbledon in 2013. The two friends and rivals met for the fifth time in a Grand Slam final. Djokovic extended his winning streak to 16-8 in the 23 head-to-head matches overall including seven of the last eight match-ups and 13-6 in hard-court matches. They met for the third time in the final at the Australian Open after Djokovic beat his Scottish rival in the previous two title matches at Melbourne Park in 2011 and 2013.
Djokovic rallied from 0-40 to reel off five straight points at 1-1. In the fourth game the Serbian star broke serve to 15 with a crosscourt forehand return winner to build a 3-1 lead. Djokovic pulled away to 4-1 playing well on serve, although Murray did not play badly. Murray did not convert on two break point chances at 2-4 15-40 with two groundstrokes errors. Djokovic dropped serve when he hit his backhand wide allowing Murray to claw his way into the match. Murray went up 30-0 on his serve in the 8th game but Djokovic fought back to convert on his second break point chance to build a 5-3 lead. Djokovic had a problem with the thumb of his right hand and Murray took advantage breaking back to 15 in the next game for 4-5. The first set came down to the tie-break. Djokovic made a double fault at the start of the breaker but he fought back from 2-4 by winning three consecutive points to take the 5-4 lead. Djokovic clinched the breaker with 7-5 when Murray hit a backhand return into the net.
Murray opened up a 2-0 lead at the start of the second set when Djokovic hit his backhand into the net. Djokovic looked to have twisted his ankle. Djokovic rallied from 0-2 0-15 to reel off 12 consecutive points to build up a 4-2 lead. At 4-3 Djokovic missed two first serves at 30-all before Murray got the break with a forehand winner. Murray held serve to love to take the edge with 5-4. Murray recovered from 15-40 down at 5-4 but he failed to capitalize on a set point in the tenth game which lasted 15 minutes and featured five deuces. Djokovic finally managed to hold serve. Murray fended off three break points at 30-40 and twice more at deuce. The second set was decided by another tie-break where Murray opened up to a 4-1 lead before winning a rally of 26 strokes to pull away to 5-2. He brought up four set points at 6-2 but Djokovic recovered winning the next two points before Murray converted on his fourth set point to wrap up the second set with 7-4 in the breaker after a 80-minute battle.
After a two-hour and 32-minute battle in the first two sets Murray broke serve early in the third set for a 2-0 lead and looked to have taken control of the mach. Djokovic appeared injured at the start of the third set but he soon recovered with a series of winners. The Scotsman went down 0-30 at 1-2 and fended off one break point with an ace but he hit a wild forehand allowing Djokovic to break back for 2-all.
Murray failed to convert on a break point in the seventh game at 3-3 30-40 when he missed out on a backhand winner down the line. Murray faltered when he made a double fault in the 8th game at 3-4 15-40 allowing Djokovic to break again. Murray earned a break-back point in the next game but he hit the net with a half-volley. Djokovic wrapped up the third game with 6-3 after 39 minutes.
From then on Djokovic took the full control of the match winning the fourth set with 6-0. It was the second match in a row that Djokovic won the final set with 6-0 two days after his five-set bagel against Stan Wawrinka in the semifinal. In the fourth set Murray dropped serve to 30. Djokovic got two more breaks in the third game to 15 and again in the fifth game to 15 before clinching his third final win over Murray in Melbourne. Murray lost his fourth Australian Open final (the three against Djokovic and the other against Roger Federer in 2010)
Djokovic hit 53 winners to 40 unforced errors and converted on nine of his break point chances. He hit 8 aces and made just one double fault. Murray produced 41 winners and 49 unforced errors and broke serve five times.
Djokovic was presented with the Australian Open Trophy by Australian Open legend Roy Emerson, who holds the record of six Melbourne titles.
“I am privileged and honored and grateful to be standing here here for the fifth title, to be in an elite group of players, with legends of our sport out watching”, said Djokovic
Nole paid tribute for his close friend Andy, who is just one week older than the Belgrade native and offered him his best wishes to the Scotsman for his wedding which will be celebrated at the end of the year.
“First of all I want to congratulate Andy for his great tournament. And congratulations to you and Kim on your engagement. I wish you many kids”, said Djokovic during the award ceremony
Despite the injury problem in the third set Djokovic won 12 of the last games.
“There were a lot of turning points in the match. As I think everybody predicted, it was going to be a big battle. Regardless of the record that I have here and regardless of the fact that he played three finals here, without winning a title, we both knew that we had equal chances to win it, It was very similar match to the Australian Open final in 2013 when we played the first two sets for two and a half hours, It was very physical and very exhausting. We both went through some tough moments physically. You could see that I had a crisis at the end of the second set and at the beginning of the third. I just felt exhausted and I needed some time to regroup and recharge and get back on track. That’s what I have done. I started hitting ball and trying to be a little bit more aggressive coming to the net, shortening the points. I got a very important break of serve at 2-Love for him in the third that got me back in the match mentally as well. It was a cat and mouse fight. It always is. We always try to outplay the opponents with the groundstrokes, with the long rallies, a lot of variety of the games, spin, flat, slice and dropshots. I think both went out with the full repertoire of the shots we have. From my side it was very exhausting. I am just glad that I believed that I believed it all the way through. I saved some breakpoints at 3-all in the third set and managed to make that break and win the third set. After that I felt huge relief. I felt I could swing through the ball. I felt the momentum was on my side and I wanted to use that. At this level very few points can turn things around on the court as we could see tonight”, reflected Djokovic
“In matches like this a lot of emotions go through, a lot of tension. It’s not easy to keep the concentration 100% all the way through. There was the interruption with people coming into the court. It was a long delay. I was a set and a break up serving. I lost that serve. He started going through the ball more, being more aggressive, He was not the freshest player as well in the second and third set. It’s normal to expect that after the amount and length of rallies that we had. It’s just all so physical”
Djokovic expressed his feeling on the importance of winning such an important title in one of the best moments of his life following the marriage to Jelena and the birth of their son Stephan.
“This fifth title has a deeper meaning, more intrinsic value now to my life because I am a father and a husband. It’s the first Grand Slam title I won as a father and a husband. I just feel very proud of it. It try on the right path and committed to this sport in every possible way that I have had in the last couple of years and try to use the prime time of my career where I am playing and feeling the best at 27. This is why I play the sport to win big titles and to put myself in a position to play also for the people around me. I know how much sacrifice they put in my own career. I try to thank them and not take anything for granted. As my life progresses, there are circumstances, situations and events that define these beautiful moments. Getting married and becoming a father in the last six months was definitely something that I never felt before. Right now everything has been going in such a positive direction in my life. I am so grateful for that. I try to live these moments with all my heart”, said Djokovic
Despite the defeat Murray can be happy with his Australian Open in which he returned to a Grand Slam final after a difficult 2014 season.
“It has been my most consistent Grand Slam throughout my career. I just haven’t been able to win it. We have put in a lot of work to try and get back in this position after a difficult year. Unfortunately we could not do it tonight but I am a little bit closer than I was a few months ago. We will keep working hard to try and get there. I will try to come back next year and have a slightly different outcome in the final”, said Murray.
The Dunblane native admitted after the match that he was disappointed with the third set when he broke serve in the second game.
“I had opportunities in the first three sets. Then in the fourth set I needed to watch it back to see if I played badly. He was just ripping everything. He was hitting returns on the baseline which were far from the line all the time. Once he got up a break, he just loosened up and was just going for his shots. I couldn’t recover. So the fourth set wasn’t as frustrating to me. The third set was frustrating because I got a bit distracted when he fell on the ground after a couple of shots. It appeared that he was cramping and then I let that distract me a little bit. That’s what I am most disappointed about, not so much the fourth set because especially at the end of it, he was just going for everything and it was going in. But the third set was more frustrating for me”, reflected Murray
“I don’t think he went for broke at the end because he was afraid of a fifth set, that he thought he couldn’t last a fifth set. He was moving unbelievable at the end of of the third set, sliding and chasing everything down. I think it was just more that once he got up he loosened up a bit, and then was just going for his shots. Maybe if he started to miss a couple, then you kind of rein it back a little bit. But he wasn’t missing, so he just kept going for it”
“Novak looked like he was in quite a bad way at the beginning of the third set and came back unbelievable at the end of the third set. Then obviously the way he was hitting the ball in the fourth and moving was impressive. I don’t know exactly what the issue was for him. If it was cramp, how he recovered from it, that’s a tough thing to recover from and play as well as he did at the end. So I am frustrated at myself for letting that bother me at the beginning of the third set because I was playing well. I had a good moment, and then just dropped off for like 10 minutes and it got away from me. That’s the most frustrating thing because I thought I had opportunities in the first set. I couldn’t quite get them.I managed to sneak the second. Then there was that break up in the third. There were definitely opportunities there”
Andrey Rublev wins Rotterdam dispatching Marton Fucsovics in straight sets
The Russian and world number 8 won the title in Rotterdam beating his Hungarian opponent in straight sets.
Andrey Rublev is the 2021 ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament champion after beating Marton Fucsovics in Sunday’s final 7-6 (4),6-4. He was clinical from the word play not giving an inch in a match that was pretty tight.
The triumph has extended the unbeaten run of the 23-year-old in ATP 500 tournaments to 20 matches. To put that into perspective, only Roger Federer and Andy Murray has achieved more consecutive wins in that tournament category. In his latest match Rublev won 75% of his first service points and 63% of his second.
“Marton was playing with a lot of confidence, having come through qualifying,” said Rublev.
“He played an extraordinary tournament. It was a tricky final for me as I was favourite. But in a final, that doesn’t matter.”
Initially it was Fucsovics who got off to a very fast start as it seemed nerves were playing a factor in the early on going for the Russian and he was facing three breakpoints in the opening service game of the match.
Thanks in large part to his big serve the number four seed was able to save those break points and hold his opening service game. From there the nerves had gone and tennis fans were witnessing the Rublev they had watched all week with his powerful serve and ground strokes.
The following game the Russian earned two breakpoints of his very own but it was the world number 59 who would save them this time with his forehand. There wasn’t another breakpoint until 6-5 when Rublev earned a set point but it was Fucsovics again coming up big to save it and force a tiebreak.
In that breaker Rublev would bring his game up an extra level and broke on the opening point with his ferocious forehand up the line. After jumping out to a 3-1 lead the world Fucsovics wasn’t going to throw in the towel and managed to win two straight points with some solid groudstrokes to tie the breaker at 3-3.
It was then Rublev’s turn to respond and he won three points off the trot with three stunning winners that were unreturnable and would take the first set when the Hungarian sent a return long.
The momentum clearly with the Russian from winning the first set and in the first game of the second set earned an early breakpoint and would break playing another amazing rally and finishing the net with a volley winner.
At 4-2 the number four seed had a chance to go up a double break when he had two more breakpoints but the world number 59 came up with two huge serves to save them and eventually hold serve.
Rublev would serve it out to take the set and the match and the title and was very pleased with the win.
” I’m doing everything right, I’m moving in the right direction, I need to keep working the same way to improve the things I need to improve to be able to compete even better”
On the other side of the spectrum Fucsovics spoke on the fact that he started in qualifying and made it all the way to the final.
“I’m very happy, I’m very satisfied with my performance, it wasn’t too bad to play two matches in the qualies, I got used to the court, and I think physically I was fit the whole time all the matches even today, I’m very happy to be in the top 50, to reach the final in the 500, my goal is to win a 500 or win a tournament “
Rublev has now won eight ATP titles in his career.
Rankings Monopoly Of ‘Big Four’ To End
The will be a brand new world No.2 for the first time in more than a decade!
Later this month there will be a change to the ranking system which hasn’t occurred in almost 16 years on the Tour.
Daniil Medvedev is set to overtake Rafael Nadal and climb into the world No.2 position to become the first player outside of the Big Four to do so since Lleyton Hewitt on July 25th 2005. The Russian has been on the verge of taking the spot away from the Spaniard following his run to the final of the Australian Open last month. He had an opportunity to secure the spot in Rotterdam but suffered a shock loss in the first round.
Confirmation of Medvedev’s rise to the second spot was announced by the ATP on Saturday after Nadal officially withdrew from the Acapulco Open. Meaning that a series of points will drop off.
25-year-old Medvedev has won three out of the past five tournaments he has played in on the Tour. During that period he won 12 out of his 13 matches against a member of the top 10. The only loss was to Novak Djokovic in Melbourne. He is already the highest ranked Russian man since Nikolay Davydenko in 2007.
“There’s some confidence when you win tournaments. I won three in a row, one of them [the ATP Cup] was a team competition, of course,” Medvedev said prior to playing Rotterdam. “When you get the confidence going, in the tight moments you feel like you can always make the winners or put the ball back in the court when you have to and make your opponent miss.”
There is still a way to go for a player outside of the elusive Big Four to top the rankings with Djokovic currently having a lead of more than 2000 points. The last player outside of the quartet to do so was Andy Roddick back in 2004.
Medvedev returns to action next week at the Open 13 in France. Granted a bye in the first round, he will start his campaign against either Egor Gerasimov or Yannick Hanfmann.
Marton Fucsovics upsets Borna Coric to reach Rotterdam Final
The Hungarian is into his third ATP final after stunning the Croatian with a straight sets win.
Marton Fucsovics is through to his third ATP final after beating Borna Coric 6-4, 6-1 in an hour and 25 minutes at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam.
The 29-year-old Hungarian broke Coric fives time and won 75% of his first service points at the Ahoy Arena to become only the second qualifier in history to reach the title match. The first was France’s Nicolas Esdcude back in 2001. It is also the first time Fucsovics has beaten Coric on the Tour following on his forty attempt.
” I come here every year, it’s not my favourite surface but I can say after this week I love it, I love the atmosphere, I love the people here,” the world No.59 said during his press conference.
“It’s a very famous tournament, it has a long history and I haven’t seen any Hungarians on the winners list but hopefully I can do that tomorrow.”
Coric, who is ranked 33 places higher, didn’t get off to a good start and Fucsovics made sure to take advantage of it in the first game of the opening set by earning three early breakpoints. He broke by winning an intense rally and finishing the point with a sensational forehand winner down the line that was almost picture perfect. There was a small lapse in his game at 3-2 when he served an off game and the Croat would break to put the set back on serve.
That’s when the world number 59 went into full overload earning two more breakpoints the following game after playing a solid point and finishing with a powerful smash at the net. He would break once more as the world number 26 would send a ball long to regain a 4-3 lead. The underdog would save two breakpoints from the Zagreb native who was starting to find his game playing some outstanding tennis and eventually serve out the first set.
The second set is where the Hungarian dominated and went for the kill. Eager to book his spot in the final against Andrey Rublev on Sunday afternoon. At 1-1 he would earn another breakpoint winning a long intense rally with a stunning forehand winner.
He would break the following point as Coric hit another unforced error and was visibly frustrated as he belted out in Croatian. After holding serve to consolidate the break Fucsovics smelled blood and once again unforced errors were creeping into the Croats game and he would break once again to take a commanding 4-1 lead.
Once again after having no issues holding serve the world number 26 was serving to stay in the match but the day belonged to the Fucsovics as he finished the match in style overpowering his opponent to break for a third time to take set and the match.
When asked what it is going to take to end up victorious on Sunday against one of the best players in the world, the Hungarian hopes he will be cheered on by his country.
” It’s going to be a tough match, I just want to enjoy it, I want to play my best tennis, I hope the people from Hungary will be supporting me “
Fucsovics beat Rublev in a Davis Cup World Group Playoff while Rublev got his revenge three years later at Roland Garros. Although both those meetings were on a outdoor clay court and this will be their first meeting on indoor hard.
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