Day 3 Wimbledon 2015: Djokovic, Wawrinka, Cilic moved on as Nishikori withdrew - UBITENNIS
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Day 3 Wimbledon 2015: Djokovic, Wawrinka, Cilic moved on as Nishikori withdrew

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 TENNIS – Novak Djokovic (1) beat Jarkko Nieminen 6-4 6-2 6-3 in the 2nd round of Wimbledon on an unusual very hot day with temperatures rising to 34°C. The defending champion will take on Bernard Tomic (27) in the third round. Stan Wawrinka (4) beat Victor Estrella-Burgos in 2 sets with 6-3 6-4 7-5. Grigor Dimitrov (11) also won in three sets with 7-6(8) 6-2 7-6(2) against Steve Johnson Diego Sampaolo

 

Nieminen, who is playing his last Wimbledon, started the 1st set with a break thanks to 3 winners. Djokovic initially had trouble reading the Nieminen serve but finally managed to break serve in the 6th game. Djokovic closed out the set 6-4 when Nieminen made a couple of double faults. Djokovic broke twice the 2nd set for 6-2 before cruising to 6-3 in the 3rd set.

“I am glad with the way I am playing and I am getting into form. As the tournament progresses, hopefully I will be able to elevate the level of my performances,” said Djokovic

Wawrinka defeated Estrella-Burgos 6-3 6-4 7-5 in an hour and 31 minutes. Wawrinka broke serve at 4-3 in the first set, at 4-4 in the second set and at 5-5 in the third. Wawrinka faced two break point chances at 4-5 0-30 in the third set but Estrella Burgos did not convert them. Shortly afterwards Wawrinka converted his first match point. Wawrinka made 28 unforced errors of which 6 were double faults.

Stan the Man set up a 3rd round match against Fernando Verdasco who battled past Dominic Thiem (32) with 5-7 6-4 5-7 6-3 6-4, the second 5-setter of the tournament for the Spaniard. The 1st set went on serve until 5-5 when Verdasco committed 2 double faults and dropped his serve. Thiem closed out the set. The 2nd set was similar to the 1st as it went on serve until the 10th game when Verdasco broke serve to take the set. Verdasco made too many mistakes in the 3rd set to be broken in the 11th game. Thiem again served it out to take a 2-1 sets lead. Thiem did not convert a break point chance at the start of the 4th set and Verdasco broke in the 6th game to win the 4th set with 6-3. Thiem bounced back in the 5th set to take a 3-1 lead but was broken back in the next game. Verdasco clinched the decisive break in the eighth game before closing out on his next service game with a backhand passing shot.

Grigor Dimitrov (11) overcame Steve Johnson 7-6(8) 6-2 7-6(2). The tie-break of the opening set was a close fight. Both players held serve until Dimitrov got a mini-break as he was leading 9-8. The Bulgarian star broke serve twice to clinch the second set with 6-2. In the third set Johnson earned a set point on Dimitrov’s serve but the Bulgarian saved it with his first serve winner. Dimitrov dominated the tie-break 7-2 points.

“I loved out there. I enjoyed it. It was a great day to play tennis. I knew what to expect from Johnson. We have played each other a couple of times and also practised together,” said Dimitrov. Dimitrov will take on Richard Gasquet (21) who beat fellow Frenchman Kenny De Schepper 6-3 6-0 6-3.

Another semifinalist from last year Milos Raonic (7) battled past Tommy Haas 6-0 6-2 6-7(5) 7-6(4). The Canadian hit a 145 mph, the third fastest serve at Wimbledon, and fended off all three break points he faced. Raonic will face last year’s quarterfinalist Nick Kyrgios (26) who beat Juan Monaco 7-6(5) 6-3 6-4 on a match where he did not face any break point chances.

“Playing on Court 1 in Wimbledon at my age, my career was very special. I am not going to forget it, that’s for sure,” said Raonic

Marcos Baghdatis, Australian Open finalist in 2006, fought back from two sets down to battle past World Number 120 John Millman from Australia 6-7(5) 2-6 6-3 6-2 6-4. Both players traded breaks five times between the 5th and the 10th games. The 1st set came down to the tie-break. Baghdatis got a mini-break at the start of the tie-break but Millman broke twice before closing out on the third set point. Millman broke serve twice in the fifth and the seventh games to take the second set with 6-2. Millman broke serve in the first game of the third set and opened up a 2-0 lead but Baghdatis broke serve twice in the fourth and in the eighth games to clinch the third set with 6-3.

Baghdatis broke at the start of the start of the fourth set and got a double break in the eighth game before closing out on the third set point. In the fifth-set battle Baghdatis broke serve in the third game. Millman failed to convert a break point in the sixth game. Baghdatis wasted two match points on Millman’s serve before closing out the match with 6-4

Marin Cilic (9), last year’s quarterfinalist, battled past Rikardas Berankis 6-3 4-6 7-6 (8-6) 4-6 7-5. Cilic started well winning the first set with 6-3 but Berankis broke serve in the 10th game to win the second set with 6-4. Cilic won the third set at the tie-break with 8-6 but committed too many mistakes allowing Berankis to win the fourth set and force the match to the fifth set. Berankis earned two break points at 5-5 but Cilic saved them. Cilic clinched a hard-fought fifth set with 7-5 setting up a third round match against John Isner.

Kei Nishikori (5) withdrew from the tournament before his match against Santiago Giraldo due to a left calf injury which forced him to retire from the semifinal against Andreas Seppi in Halle.

“It got better last week before the first match. I thought it was going to be okay but in the last match against Simone Bolelli in the fifth set I was hurting too much. I tried to warm up today when I was running and walking. I decided not to play today”, said Nishikori

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‘I Know How To Get There’ – Karen Khachanov Targets Return To Top 10

The world No.31 has showed signs of his talent this season with a run to the Olympic final but a lack of consistency and changes to the ATP ranking system has hindered him too.

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Karen Khachanov - Credit: AELTC/Ian Walton

It wasn’t that long ago when Karen Khachanov was the highest-ranked Russian man on the ATP Tour and billed as the next big thing from his country.

 

A breakout 2018 season saw Khachanov claim three Tour titles with the biggest of those being at the Paris Masters which remains his most prestigious trophy to date. He also reached his first major quarter-final at the French Open during the same season and scored five wins over top 10 players. Those triumphs helped elevate him in the ranking to a high of eight.

However, since that breakthrough Khachanov has found himself on a a rollercoaster journey. He is yet to win another title since Paris but came agonisingly close at the Tokyo Olympic Games where he finished runner-up to Alexander Zverev. In his nine previous Grand Slam tournaments his best run was at Wimbledon this season where he reached the last eight before losing to Denis Shapovalov.

Now ranked 31st in the world, the 25-year-old is aiming to claim back up the ladder after the ATP changed their ranking logic to the method used prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The rankings turned out to be a big pun, it was frozen for a year and a half, only now normal counting has begun. I am not fixated on this,” Khachanov told reporters in Moscow on Wednesday. “My main goal is to get back to the Top10. I know how to get there. And the intermediate goals are to be healthy and motivated.”

Khachanov has been ranked outside the world’s top 20 since February and hasn’t been in the top 10 since October 2019. He is currently coached on the Tour by Jose Clavet who has previously worked with a series of top Spanish players such as Feliciano Lopez, Alex Corretja, Tommy Robredo and Carlos Moya.

“He travels with me everywhere, for which I am grateful to him. I trust him as a specialist, as a coach and as a friend,” Khachanov said of Clavet.

Khachanov has returned to his home country this week where he is playing in Moscow at the Kremlin Cup. A tournament he won three years ago by defeating Adrian Mannarino in the final. Seeded third in the draw this time round, he began his campaign on Wednesday with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-1, win over James Duckworth. In the next round, he faces another Australian in the shape of John Millman which he believes will be a far from easy task.

He is a fighter, a complete player, he does everything well, forehand and backhand with good intensity. He does everything at a good level, but the main quality is that he fights till the end, so it will be hard for me,” he said of his next opponent.

Moscow is the seventh tournament this year where Khachanov has reached the quarter-final stage.

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Filip Krajinovic To Skip Australian Open If Required To Quarantine For More Than Five Days

The world No.34 says he ‘sees no reason’ why vaccinated players should have to go through a long quarentine in Australia.

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Image via twitter.com/atptour (Alexander Scheuber)

The second highest-ranked Serbian player in men’s tennis says it would be ‘unacceptable’ for organisers of the Australian Open to require players to quarantine for more than a week if they have been fully vaccinated.

 

Filip Krajinovic has become the first player to publicly state that they will not be prepared to travel to Melbourne at the end of this season if they have to go through strict quarantine measures once again. All the players who participated in this year’s Australian Open were required to be quarantined in a designated hotel for 14 days upon arrival in the country. During their stay they were allowed to use training facilities but that was the only time they could leave the premises unless there was an emergency.

There is no final decision regarding the travel requirements for the 2022 tournament but there are concerns that unvaccinated players may not be allowed to enter the country. The Victorian government recently issued a mandate ordering all essential workers to be vaccinated, including athletes. However, the regional government will not have the final say concerning tennis players arriving in the country with the national government being the ones in charge of that decision.

“They are very rigorous there and honestly, if I have to be in quarantine for 14 days after arriving in Melbourne, I will not go to Australia,” Krajinovic told Serbian newspaper Blic.
“I was vaccinated, I did everything in my power to protect myself and the people around me, so I really see no reason to sit there for 14 days in a room.’
“If they (the organisers) say that after arrival I need, say, five days to be in isolation, that’s OK for me, but anything beyond that is unacceptable to me. With the season ending late, I will have 20 days to get ready and go. Charter flights will be organized again and the last one is planned for December 28 for the players and that is the final date when I can go to Australia. I will see what the final decision from Melbourne will be, so I will cut what is the best thing to do.”

Earlier this week Victoria’s Sports minister Martin Pakula urged players to be vaccinated because it give them ‘the best opportunity to play in the Australian Open.’ It is expected that if unvaccinated players are allowed to attend, they will be subjected to stricter restrictions. This might include a longer quarantine period upon arrival and limitations of where they can go during their stay.

Last year, all of those players had to do their 14 days of quarantine. Right now there looks like there will be different rules for people who enter this country who are vaccinated as against unvaccinated and I don’t think the tennis will be any exception to that.” Pakula told the Sports Entertainment Network (SEN).
“In terms of what rules apply for people to enter Australia, whether unvaccinated people are allowed in at all, I don’t the answer to that yet. That’s going to be the subject of discussion at national cabinet and among the federal cabinet … those rules are not set by state governments.” He added.

Krajinovic is currently ranked 34th in the world and has a win-loss record this season of 18-18. At the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells he reached the second round before falling in straight sets to Daniil Medvedev. His best run so far this year was at the Hamburg Open where he reached the final.

“When we look at the whole of 2021, I played one final, one semifinal, there were good victories, but also worse results,” the 29-year-old commented.

Krajinovic is currently without a coach but is currently in ‘negotiations’ with somebody without elaborating further about who that person is.

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Alexander Zverev Secures Place In ATP Finals With Indian Wells Win

Zverev will be seeking to win the season-ending extravaganza for the second time in his career.

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Alexander Zverev (GER) Credit: AELTC/Edward Whitaker

Germany’s Alexander Zverev has become the fourth player to officially qualify for the ATP Finals after reaching the third round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.

 

The world No.4 defeated America’s Jenson Brooksby 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, in his second round match on Sunday which pushed him over the points threshold to secure his spot in the end-of-season event. It is the fifth year in a row he has qualified for the ATP Finals which he won back in 2018. He is one of only three German players to ever win the title after Boris Becker and Michael Stich.

This year’s tournament will take place in Turin, Italy for the first time in history after being held at The O2 Arena in London for more than a decade. Only the eight highest ranked players are eligible to play in the round-robin tournament which has on offer up to 1500 rankings points for an undefeated champion.

“My first time in Turin. I’ve been to London four times before. London is obviously very special to me because I won there, as well. I think the stadium is incredible, one of the most special events that we had,” Zverev told reporters on Sunday.
“But I also love playing in Italy. I had great success in Italy. I won my first Masters in Rome. I’m looking forward to being there. I’m looking forward to playing in front of the Italian fans. It’s going to be a great week.”

The 24-year-old approaches the final quarter of this season with four titles already won this year. He has won two Masters 1000 trophies, an ATP 500 event in Mexico and a gold medal in singles at the Tokyo Olympic Games. Zverev, who has recorded seven wins over top 10 players, also reached the semi-finals at both the French Open and US Open.

Zverev joins Novak Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas as the players who have qualified for the ATP Finals so far. It is the third straight season the quartet has qualified for the event.

This year’s ATP Finals will get underway on November 14th. Medvedev is the defending champion.

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