Wimbledon 2015 Day 1: Djokovic wins his opener - UBITENNIS
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Wimbledon 2015 Day 1: Djokovic wins his opener

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TENNIS – Defending champion Novak Djokovic got through to the 2nd round of Wimbledon after taking a 6-4 6-4 6-4 win over German Philipp Kohlschreiber, the 33rd player in the world in 2 hours and 5 minutes. Diego Sampaolo

 

After a trade of breaks in the first three games of the 1st set, Djokovic (1) closed out the set 6-4, in the 10th game after Kohlschreiber made double faulted to be broken.  In the 2nd set, Djokovic again broke Kohlschreiber in the 10th game after the German was unable to break in the 7th game. In the 3rd set, Djokovic went up 3-1 but Kohlschreiber broke back immediately. However, as was the pattern in the other two sets, Djokovic broken Kohlschreiber in the 10th game for the match 6-4 6-4 6-4. Djokovic broke serve five times. He hit 12 aces and 36 winners

“It’s always an honour to play in the cradle of tennis. I am privileged and honoured to open this year’s Wimbledon Centre Court as defending champion. It is a special feeling. I had a very tough opponent who can be very tricky on all surfaces, especially on the grass. He had nothing to lose.  I remained focused on this surface playing well on the most important moments of the match … I thought the return was exceptionally well, good from my side, serving efficiently. Overall a great performance against a quality opponent”, said Djokovic.

Lleyton Hewitt, 2002 champion at Wimbledon, lost against Jarkko Nieminen after a thrilling five-set battle with 3-6 6-3 4-6 6-0 11-9. It is the final appearance at Wimbledon for both players. Nieminen converted 10 of his 22 break point chances and hit 62 winners. After the match Hewitt received the standing ovation of the fans. Djokovic will face Nieminen, who also announced that he will retire at the end of the year

This year’s Roland Garros champion Stan Wawrinka (4) beat Joao Sousa 6-2 7-5 7-6 (3). Wawrinka broke serve in the third game for 2-1 before holding his serve to love. Wawrinka sealed the first set after 20 minutes. In the 2nd set Wawrinka earned break points at 2-1 but Sousa saved them. Sousa put Wawrinka under pressure but the Swiss player held his serve for 3-3. They remained on serve until the 11th game when Wawrinka broke for 6-5 and served it out for 7-5. In the 3rd set, here were no breaks and/or break points. The set would come down to a tiebreaker where Wawrinka dominated to take it 7-3 points and the match. Wawrinka hit 35 aces, 45 winners and did not face any break points. He converted six of his nine break point opportunities. Wawrinka will take on Victor Estrella Burgos who overcame Benjamin Becker 5-7 6-1 6-4 6-4. It was repeat of last year’s first round match where Wawrinka won in three sets.

“When I was younger, up until age 19, I only played on clay, so from the baseline I needed to have time to prepare my shots.  On grass it’s important to be aggressive and stay close to the baseline. I had to find the solutions over the years and now I am able to play my best tennis on grass as well”, said Wawrinka

Kei Nishikori (5) battled past Simone Bolelli again in five sets with 6-3 6-7(4) 6-2 3-6 6-3 after 3 hours and 22 minutes in a repeat of last year’s third-round match. Nishikori broke serve twice to seal the first set 6-3. Bolelli bounced back winning the second set 7-4 points in the tie-break. Bolelli took a 2-1 lead in the third set but Nishikori reeled off five cosecutive games to go up 2-1 sets. Bolelli took the 4th set 6-3 after breaking early 4th game. Nishikori broke for 3-0 in the 5th set and maintained this lead to take the match 6-3 in the fifth.

“I knew it was going to be a tough one because we played long five sets last year here. I know he is good on grass. I was ready but there were many ups and downs. My concentration wasn’t there some moments. But I finished very strongly in the end, so I am very happy to win today”, said Nishikori

John IsneR (17) recorded a 7-6(5) 6-4 6-4 win over Go Soeda in one hour and 45 minutes. Milos Raonic (8) edged Daniel Gimeno-Traver 6-2 6-3 3-6 7-6(4). Fernando Verdasco rallied from losing the first set to battle past Martin Klizan 4-6 6-2 6-3 6-7 (6-8) 13-11 in a 3-hour and 57-minute match where the Spanish player fended off nine of the 10 break points. Verdasco will take on Dominic Thiem (32) who rallied from a set down to edge Dudi Sela from Israel with 2-6 6-3 6-4 6-4.

Grigor Dimitrov (11), semifinalist last year at Wimbledon, beat Federico Delbonis 6-3 6-0 6-4. Richard Gasquet (21) beat Luke Saville (wnner of the Junior title at Wimbledon in 2011) 6-3 6-2 6-2. Gasquet hit 33 winners and 18 unforced errors. Marin Cilic (9) beat Hiroki Moriya 6-3 6-2 7-6(4). Last year’s Wimbledon quarter finalist Nick Kyrgios (26) defeated Diego Schwartzman 6-0 6-2 7-6(6).

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Kontaveit upsets Bianca Andreescu in Eastbourne

Anett Kontaveit knocked Bianca Andreescu out of Eastbourne.

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Anett Kontaveit (@ribella96 - Twitter)

The Estonian beat the Canadian on Center Court in straight sets in an hour and six minutes.

 

Anett Kontaveit only needed 66 minutes on Center Court to dispatch the world number seven and the third seed at the tournament Bianca Andreescu 6-3, 6-3 firing 16 winners while the Canadian hit 28 unforced errors.

“I thought I played a really good match today and I was consistent throughout the whole match and I feel like I kept my level up and played some good tennis”.

It was the world number 27 with the aggressive start earning the first breakpoint of the match in the opening game with a stunning forehand winner and on the following point ripped a forehand return winner to take a 1-0 lead.

The Canadian was keen to bounce back and earned her first breakpoint the following game with a backhand winner up the line and broke right back to go back on serve.

The Talinn, Estonia native once again responded by breaking right back and this time was able to consolidate the break until 3-2 when once again the Toronto native broke again to level the first set at 3-3.

Once again the Estonian broke Andreescu serve to take another lead and at 5-3 had two set points set up by a powerful backhand winner and took the first set 6-3 in 31 minutes.

The second set started with both players holding serve for the first three games until the 25 year old earned three more breakpoints and got the first break of the set.

After that it went back on serve until 4-2 when the Canadian once again had two chances to go back on serve and she broke when the Estonian struggled with her serve.

Again the resiliency and the determination of the Estonian kept her going and she broke right back the following game and served out the match. In her post match press conference she was asked how she was able to keep bouncing back in the face of adveristy.

“I think I am a pretty good returner and she is as well so sometimes it’s difficult when the other person so consistent hitting deep returns off your serve so I just tried to stay with it especially in the second set and she never gives up so I had to keep playing and be ready for it”.

Kontaveit will now face the Swiss player Viktorija Golubic who pulled off another upset beating the number six seed and fellow Swiss player Belinda Bencic.

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PTPA Outline Vision After Appointing Executive Director And Advisory Board

The PTPA has announced a new executive director and advisory board.

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The Professional Tennis Players Association has outlined their vision for the future after appointing an advisory board and an executive director.

 

Vasek Pospisil made the announcement last night as he and Novak Djokovic look to secure a legitimate players voice at the tennis political table.

In the main core of the statement they announced the make-up of the PTPA’s backroom board, “PTPA co-founders Vasek Pospisil and Novak Djokovic have named Adam Larry executive director, enlisted Carrie Gerlach Cecil to lead Brand and Communications and appointed Bill Ackman, Michael Hirshfeld, Rebecca Macdonald, Katarina Pijetlovic and Anton Rabie to its Advisory Board,” the statement read.

“Created by the players for the players, the PTPA is an integrated association for professional tennis players. The PTPA movement is uniting and mobilizing tennis players in order to create transparency and fairness throughout decision-making in professional tennis.”

The move is an interesting one as up until now it was a mystery as to what the PTPA’s strategy was and who was involved so far with there being no idea from the ATP or WTA’s side what the PTPA was trying to achieve.

Now there is an advisory board there may be sharp movement and progress made into how the PTPA can secure more player-related decisions in Tennis and ensure that there is a level playing-field in terms of decisions affecting the players.

In the statement Vasek Pospisil, Novak Djokovic and new executive director Adam Larry all gave strong hints about the PTPA’s future vision as they look to challenge the establishment in providing change for tennis.

“With the establishment of our advisory board, our branding and communications team and the appointment of Adam Larry as executive director, we have taken one step closer to toward our goal of facilitating a fair and sustainable competitive environment for tennis players today, and for generations to come,” Pospisil said.

“We are working toward growth to help all players, not just the top 100, to make sustainable livelihoods and have their rights protected on and off the court. From top to bottom, we must use our collective voices to help players today and tomorrow,” stated world number one Novak Djokovic.

“The PTPA wants to work with all of the tennis governing bodies to inspire collective reform to better the sport,” new executive director Adam Larry claimed.

What comes next for the PTPA nobody knows but this new board means that business is expected to pick up very quickly in the latest twist in the political tennis game.

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Novak Djokovic Confirmed For Olympics But Del Potro Pulls Out After Medical Advice

The Serbian will be bidding to win gold in Tokyo later this year for the first time in his career.

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This year’s Olympic tennis tournament has been given a boost after officials confirmed world No.1 Novak Djokovic will be playing at the Games.

 

The 19-time Grand Slam champion had been contemplating whether to play at the event or not amid ongoing COVID-19 conditions. Djokovic previously said he would reconsider travelling to Tokyo if fans weren’t allowed to attend. Since that comment, organisers have given the green light for up to 10,000 domestic fans to attend Olympic venues. Although foreign fans are banned from attending this year due to the pandemic.

Amid questions over Djokovic’s participation, the Serbian Tennis Federation has told Sportski Zurnal that he has pledged to play. It will be the fourth time the 34-year-old has represented his country in the Olympics. So far in his career, Djokovic has only won one medal which was bronze back in 2008. He also finished fourth in 2012.

“Novak has confirmed his desire to participate in the Olympic Games and we have already sent a list with his name on it to the Olympic Committee of Serbia. It will be forwarded from there,” the Tennis federation told Sportski Zurnal.

As it currently stands Djokovic is on course to achieve the calendar ‘golden slam.’ A rare achievement where a player wins all four Grand Slam titles, as well as the Olympics, within the same year. In singles competition the only person to have ever achieved this was Stefi Graf back in 1988.

“Everything is possible, and I did put myself in a good position to go for the Golden Slam,” Djokovic said after winning the French Open
“But, you know, I was in this position in 2016 as well. It ended up in a third-round loss in Wimbledon. This year we have only two weeks between the first round of Wimbledon and the finals here, which is not ideal because you go from really two completely different surfaces, trying to make that transition as smooth as possible, as quickly and efficiently as possible.
“So obviously I will enjoy this win and then think about Wimbledon in a few days’ time. I don’t have an issue to say that I’m going for the title in Wimbledon. Of course, I am.”

Del Potro’s comeback delayed again

There is less positive news for Juan Martin del Potro, who was the player who beat Djokovic to win a bronze medal back in 2012. The Argentine hasn’t played a competitive match on the Tour since June 2019 due to a troublesome knee injury. Back in March the former US Open champion said playing at the Olympics again was motivating him during his rehabilitation.

However, since then progress has been slower than what Del Potro would have liked. As a result, he has been advised not to play in the event and continue his recovery.

Delpo won’t be able to play the Olympics Games. The knee rehab is going well according to the doctor’s plan but he suggested Juan Martin to go on with his rehab process and training, and skip Tokyo 2020,” a statement from Del Potro’s communication team reads.

Since 2010, the former world No.3 and two-time Olympic medallist has undergone eight surgeries.One on his right wrist, three on his left wrist and four on his knee. He has won a total of 22 ATP titles so far in his career.

The Olympic Tennis event will start on July 24th at the Ariake Coliseum.

RELATED STORY: Why Are So Many Tennis Players Skipping The Olympics?

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