This Wimbledon Final One of Novak’s Most Impressive - UBITENNIS
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This Wimbledon Final One of Novak’s Most Impressive

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TENNIS – This Wimbledon championship was one of Novak Djokovic’s most impressive victories. Roger Federer played a terrific match, even though he’s less than a month away from celebrating his 34th birthday. Unlike Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka who appeared to play for games or tiebreakers they never reached as they fumbled along the way, Djokovic only flinched in a second set that went to a tiebreaker. James Beck

 

NOVAK LEAVES NO DOUBT ABOUT NO. 1
After splitting a pair of tiebreakers with Federer, Djokovic left no doubt in the third and four sets who was the best player at this year’s Wimbledon.

In the process, Djokovic is getting closer to making his own case for inclusion in the greatest players ever chatter. Three or four more Grand Slam titles added to his current total of nine would thrust Djokovic in the middle of the conversation, alongside the likes of Federer, Rod Laver, Rafa Nadal and Pete Sampras.

DJOKOVIC HAS TIME TO STAMP HIS OWN SEAL OF GREATNESS
Having just turned 28 years old less than two months ago, Djokovic has time to stamp his own name on the list, especially considering that only he and Nadal have won nine of the last 15 Grand Slam titles, and only Murray and Wawrinka with two each have won multiple major titles the last four years. Federer and Marin Cilic own the other two major titles since the start of 2012.

Federer never gave up on Sunday as he unleashed a barrage of brilliant shots at Djokovic, only to suffer a 7-6 (1), 6-7 (10), 6-4, 6-3 setback in the Wimbledon final. The Swiss great simply couldn’t match Djokovic off the ground. Too many unforced errors.

FEDERER’S SERVE INFLUENCED BY NOVAK
Of course, Federer’s serve wasn’t working the way it was in a straight-set win over Murray in the semifinals when his serve was virtually untouchable.

But then again, Murray isn’t in Djokovic’s league when it comes to quick starts and movement against an opponent’s serve. So, Djokovic obviously had something to do with Federer trying to put a little extra on his first serves.

THIS ONE COULD HAVE BEEN A THREE-SETTER
Djokovic actually should have won this one in straight sets as he carelessly hit a forehand long with a set point in the 10th game of the second set and then had six more set points, two on his serve, in the tiebreaker he lost, 12-10.

But you have to credit Federer for the way he staged an all-out assault on Djokovic after falling behind 6-3 in the second-set tiebreaker. He was the Federer of old, blending his marvelous quick-hitting talents with his seasoned experience to deal Djokovic what at the time looked like a serious blow to his chances of repeating as the Wimbledon champion.

In reality, Djokovic was still the same player who should have been up two sets to none at that point.  Djokovic wore out Federer in the last two sets with his awesome serving and even more awesome court coverage.

WHAT TO EXPECT IN NEW YORK
Where does all of this leave the men’s game heading to New York for the final Grand Slam event of the year? Novak has to be the favorite.

But in the summer heat of Arthur Ashe Stadium, anything can happen. Just look back to 2014 when the only fluke win in the last four years might have been Cilic’s title in the U.S. Open.

With that in mind, Wawrinka might be ready to step it up in another major after appearing to have dead feet on second-service returns against Richard Gasquet in the Wimbledon quarterfinals. The Swiss powerhouse will have to get his head back together and go for service returns rather than little chips that usually ended up in the net.

WAWRINKA EXPLOSIVENESS MIGHT RETURN
If Wawrinka brings the explosiveness in his game he demonstrated two years ago against Djokovic in the U.S. Open semifinals as well as in his two Grand Slam conquests, he certainly has to be among the top three or four contenders.

And even though it’s been a really off year for Nadal, surely the Spanish left-hander has been off somewhere practicing and searching for the secret that he possessed just a couple of years ago. If Nadal decides to play aggressively, rather than passively as he has most of the year, he has to be considered a threat in New York.

NADAL HAS NOTHING TO LOSE
It’s almost as if Nadal has nothing to lose these days. Some of the so-called experts are saying he is washed up.

But don’t count on it. He is still the same player, with the same capabilities he had when he won an Australian Open title and nearly won a couple more Down Under; won two U.S. Opens; and also captured an Olympic gold medal on hard courts in 2008.

Nadal is less than a year older than Djokovic.

Nadal just needs to step “inside” the lines and play aggressive tennis by going for his shots the way he did in his major conquests.


James Beck is the long-time tennis columnist for the Charleston (S.C.) Post and Courier newspaper. He can be reached at Jamesbecktennis@gmail.com

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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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Vasek Pospisil dispatches James Ward in Eastbourne

Vasek Pospisil is into the second round at Eastbourne.

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Vasek Pospisil (@TennisCanada - Twitter)

The Canadian won his first match on grass of the year beating the local favourite James Ward.

 

Vasek Pospisil is through to the second round of the Viking International ATP 250 in Eastbourne after beating the Brit James Ward in straight sets 6-4, 6-4 in one hour and 13 minutes on court number two.

“It was a good match, I played pretty well, I thought I served well and he is a tough opponent on grass because he has a tough first serve but I was pretty sharp and played well when I needed to and happy to get the win”.

It was the Canadian who had the first chance to break at 1-1 and he got the early break and that one break was good enough for him to serve out the first set.

The second set was much of the same and actually was identical to the first with the world number 66 getting the break to take a 2-1 lead but faced a breakpoint when consolidating the break.

Again that one break was enough for him to serve out the match and book his spot in the next round. This is Pospisil’s first win since the month and after the match, he spoke about how the last couple of months have been for him.

“It was good I just took a break from the tour just to refresh the mind and the body and I hadn’t seen my family in nine months so it was a good reset and I felt I needed a break to kinda be excited about touring and the covid conditions and now I’m back and I am happy to be back and I am playing well so it was a nice break.”

Pospisil will now face Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the next round after the Spaniard beat the Swede Mikael Ymer in straight sets 7-5, 6-1.

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Daniil Medvedev Searching For Confidence Boost Ahead Of Wimbledon

The two-time Grand Slam finalist says he is not the same player as he was two years ago when he last played Wimbledon.

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When it comes to playing on the grass this year Daniil Medvedev admits that the biggest issue for him might concern the mental side of the sport as opposed to the physical side.

 

The world No.2 kicked-off his grass swing last week in Halle where he was stunned in the first round by Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting the Tour in 2020, that was the first time the Russian had played a match on the surface in almost two years. Short on matches, Medvedev is back in action this week in Mallorca after taking a wildcard into the tournament.

“I like to play on grass, I just need to get some confidence in my game on the surface, because we didn’t play [on it] for two years. Two years ago, I was not the same player as I am right now,” Medvedev told atptour.com. “It is tough for me to say where I see myself, but I know I can play very good on this surface. I just need to find the right balance.”

Since he last played at Wimbledon, Medvedev surged on the ATP Tour by winning six titles with all of them being on a hardcourt. Furthermore, he also reached the final of the US Open in 2019 and the Australian Open this year. He is the first player outside of the Big Four to be ranked in the world’s top two since July 2005.

Despite his previous success on the grass, Medvedev admits he remains wary about playing on the surface and the conditions he may face.

“When I started playing on grass, I played in Challengers and even in [ATP] Tour tournaments on the outside courts, not on the central courts, and I can tell that the central courts are quite slow,” he said. “Especially the match I played with Gilles Simon at Queen’s [Club], we had rallies of 40 shots every second point. That is what makes it a little bit tougher.
“When I practise on practice courts, I feel like I am playing so good as the ball is so fast. Then I come onto the centre court to play the match, and the ball just stops after the bounce, and you have to adapt your game, so it can be tough. But I know I can play really well on grass.”

In Mallorca Medvedev has a bye in the first round. His opening match will be against either South Africa’s Lloyd Harris or France’s Corentin Moutet.

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