Ivo Karlovic fought back from a set down to edge past Stan Wawrinka with 3-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-4. Wawrinka looked to be in control of the match until the second set when he was leading 6-3 3-1 but Karlovic turned around the match winning the second set with 7-2 at the tie-break. Karlovic got the break at the start of the third set. Wawrinka saved two match points at 3-5 but Karlovic served out for the match to take the third set with 6-4.
Swiss hero Stan Wawrinka, 2015 Roland Garros champion, faced a very tough debut against Ivo Karlovic, who hit 1340 aces this year and broke the record of aces held by his countryman Goran Ivanisevic during the China Open in Beijing. Wawrinka led 5-1 in his previous head-to-head matches against Karlovic, including a three-set win last August in Cincinnati.
The first three games went on serve. Wawrinka held his serve with a service winner in the third game before breaking serve in the the fourth game as Karlovic made two double faults.
Wawrinka consolidated the break by holding his serve in the fifth game for 4-1. Karlovic hit a service winner to win his service game for 4-2. Both players held their next service games en route to 5-3. Wawrinka served for the first set. He saved two break points in the ninth game before closing out the first set with a service winner.
In the second set Karlovic faced three break points. Wawrinka converted his third opportunity to go up 1-0 before winning his service game in the second game. Karlovic managed to hold his serve in the third game for 1-2. Wawrinka won his service game with a service winner to open up a 3-1 lead.
Karlovic won two consecutive games breaking back to draw level to 3-3 and consolidated the break to love to take the 4-3 lead. The break-back turned around the match in favour of Karlovic. Wawrinka won his next service game to love for 4-4. Both players held their next service games en route to the tie-break.
Karlovic got two mini-breaks on the second and the seventh points to take a 5-2 lead and served out for the set forcing the match to the third set.
Wawrinka faced two break points at the start of the third set. Karlovic converted the break point with a forehand error by Wawrinka and held his service game to open up a 2-0 lead. Both players went on serve in the next five games en route to 4-3 for Karlovic.
The Croatian ace record holder earned two match points on Wawrinka’s serve at 5-3. Wawrinka saved both match points with his serve and his backhand winner. Karlovic served out for the match with his third consecutive ace after 1 hour and 48 minutes.
“I had a poor first set and missed a lot of my volleys but I began improving in the second set and got a bit lucky when I converted my break points in the sixth game at 3-3. After that things started going my way”, said Karlovic
Wawrinka hit 35 winners to 24 unforced errors and converted two of his five break points. He won 82 percent of his first serve points. Karlovic hit 29 winners to 27 unforced errors and converted two of his six break points. He fired 21 aces and made 3 double faults
Karlovic will face Dusan Lajovic in the next round.
Wawrinka has lost for the fourth consecutive year and in eight of his twelve appearances in the first round in Basel.
“It’s never easy to lose a match like that, especially since I felt I played well for two sets. He is playing his best year. so far, he has improved his game a lot. He serves amazing and you don’t get many chances. Today I got my chances and I didn’t take them”, said Wawrinka
Kevin Anderson beat Croatian 18-year-old rising star Borna Coric (last year semifinalist in Basel) 6-3 6-2 in one hour to reach the second round of the Swiss Indoor Open in Basel where he will take on Donald Young. The South African player did not drop any of his service points and hit 29 winners, including 14 aces.
Marin Cilic, who won the Kremlin Cup in Moscow last week, beat local favourite Marco Chiudinelli 6-3 7-6 (7-3). The Croatian player dropped just four of his service points.
Jack Sock defeated lucky-loser Denis Kudla 6-4 6-2 setting up a second round against his compatriot John Isner. David Goffin rallied from a break down in the first set to beat Adrian Mannarino 6-4 6-3. Teymuraz Gabashvili overcame a second-set loss to edge Leonardo Mayer 7-5 4-6 6-4.
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.
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.
ATP NITTO FINALS
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.
ATP NEXT GENERATION FINALS
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.
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.
Translated by Kingsley Elliot Kaye
COMMENT: Novak Djokovic Proves His Greatness At US Open
Love him, or hate him. But respect him.
No tennis player has ever been better than Novak Djokovic.
Even Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer have to take their hats off to Novak, and admire him.
Now that Rafa and Roger have left Djokovic on his own stage at least for now, tennis fans love Novak.
DJOKOVIC WENT ONE STEP FURTHER
Djokovic’s performance on Sunday evening in the U.S. Open final was simply amazing. Daniil Medvedev also played his heart out, but Djokovic went one step further. He was sensational.
It was a thrill-a-minute three-set match. It lasted well into the night after starting at mid-afternoon. The second set alone lasted 104 minutes.
Djokovic was the winner, 6-3, 7-6 (5), 6-3, but New York still loves 2021 champion Medvedev.
A FOURTH AND 24TH TITLE, AND A 24 TRIBUTE
At 36, the oldest U.S. Open men’s champion ever, Djokovic obviously has a special place in his heart for the number four. It’s the number of times he has won this tournament and the 24th time he has won a Grand Slam title.
The number 24 also was displayed prominently on the white jacket. Novak, his team members and family wore for the victory celebration as a tribute to the No. 24 jersey of deceased friend Kobe Bryant.
Djokovic lost his footing at least three times in the tight second set, stumbling to the surface once, apparently due to the length of the rallies.
Djokovic could look like he was almost completely wiped out of it physically one minute, and then play like Superman the next minute.
THREE POINTS MAY HAVE BEEN DECISIVE
Both men played great tennis, especially in the thrill-a-second second set in which Medvedev gained one set point in the 12th game before Djokovic recovered to force a tiebreaker.
Medvedev appeared to be in charge after out-playing Novak to win one of his drop shots to take a 5-4 lead in the tiebreaker. The match may have been decided on the next three points, all won by Djokovic on errors by the 6-6 Russian.
The big question now is what happens next January in the Australian Open. Right now, Djokovic probably wants to play . . . and win what has been his favorite tournament as far as success. But things can change quickly for players in their mid-30s. Just ask Roger or Rafa.
James Beck was the 2003 winner of the USTA National Media Award. A 1995 MBA graduate of The Citadel, he can be reached at Jamesbecktennis@gmail.com.
Alcaraz Fell Victim To Unbeatable Medvedev
Carlos Alcaraz was no match for Daniil Medvedev in the US Open semi-finals.
A star had to fall. There was no other way.
This time, Carlos Alcaraz was the victim. Daniil Medvedev was unbeatable.
The 6-6 Russian was everywhere, playing almost perfect tennis in a 7-6 (3), 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 win over Alcaraz.
So, one former champion went down while one advanced to Sunday’s final at the U.S. Open.
And then there was Novak Djokovic, another former champion headed for the title match.
U.S. OPEN WAS THE BIG WINNER FRIDAY
The U.S. Open couldn’t lose once Djokovic dominated young American Ben Shelton, 6-3, 6-2, 7-6 (4).
Djokovic appeared to be content with just winning while getting the preliminaries over with. He seemed to be a little miffed by Shelton’s cockiness. There were no hugs or embraces when the match ended. Just a handshake.
Shelton has huge potential, but it’s going to take some time before he’s ready to join the likes of Djokovic, Medvedev and Alcaraz. He’s a better athlete than he is tennis player.
Novak is ready to go for a record 24th Grand Slam title.
Believe it or not, Medvedev will be playing in his fifth Grand Slam final.
Sunday should be a great day in Arthur Ashe Stadium, with two former champs, Djokovic and Medvedev, going against each other.
CAN COCO HIT WITH SABALENKA
The women’s final will be interesting. Can Coco Gauff compete with Aryna Sabalenka?
Sabalenka looked helpless against Madison Keys’ big strokes and serves in the first set of their semifinal on Thursday.
Sabalenka couldn’t win even one game in that set. She looked helpless.
But she obviously felt all along that she could beat Keys anytime she wanted. Or why else would the powerful Sabalenka go for broke on almost every shot? And it almost cost her.
Amazingly, Sabalenka waited almost to the final moments to decide to play within her game and stop the wildness.
Once Sabalenka decided to settle down and play to win, Keys went just the opposite way, similarly to her one-sided loss to Sloane Stephens in the 2017 U.S. Open final.
Keys appeared ready to win this time as she held a 6-0, 5-4 advantage over new world’s No. 1 Sabalenka, who seemed to be stumbling all over the court as she repeatedly hit wild shots in every direction.
Just like that, everything changed. Sabalenka started hitting winners everywhere as Keys reversed roles with Sabalenka. Not only did Sabalenka win the second set while dropping just one point in a tiebreaker, she stormed through a decisive 10-point third-set tiebreaker to win the match.
James Beck was the 2003 winner of the USTA National Media Award. 1995 MBA graduate of The Citadel, he can be reached at Jamesbecktennis@gmail.com.
Injury-Stricken Emma Raducanu Outlines Comeback Plans
Top seed Ons Jabeur Crashes Out Of Guadalajara As Sakkari Sails Through
Roman Safiulin cruises past Brandon Nakashima at the Chengdu Open
Caroline Garcia, Victoria Azarenka and Ons Jabeur to reach the Round of 16 at the Guadalajara Open
Iga Swiatek Dismisses Criticism Over Recent US Open Exit
‘Bulls**t’ – Expert Involved In Simona Halep’s Anti-Doping Case Blasts Four-Year Ban
Maria Sakkari ‘Scared’ Of Anti-Doping Testing Measures After Halep Ban
Gutsy Novak Djokovic Prevails In Grueling Battle With Medvedev To Win US Open
Holger Rune Accuses US Open Of Disrespect Over First Round Scheduling
Holger Rune ‘Disappointed’ With US Open Scheduling But Blames Shock Exit On Something Else
(VIDEO EXCLUSIVE) Steve Flink, Ubaldo Scanagatta Review The 2023 Wimbledon Men’s Final
(VIDEO EXCLUSIVE) Steve Flink, Ubaldo Scanagatta Review The 2023 Wimbledon Women’s Final
(VIDEO): Novak Djokovic Faces Sinner Test, Women’s Semis Take Centre Stage
(VIDEO): Novak Djokovic Sets Rublev Quarter-Final Clash
(VIDEO EXCLUSIVE) Plenty Of Surprises Could Occur In This Year’s Wimbledon Women’s Draw
Focus3 days ago
Simona Halep Claims Doing Ban Is ‘Based On Scenarios’ Without Proof
Latest news1 day ago
Jannik Sinner starts his autumn campaign in Beijing with the goal to qualify for the ATP Finals
Hot Topics2 days ago
Rafael Nadal Speaks Out On Djokovic’s Grand Slam Record, Future In Tennis
Latest news3 days ago
Italy seals its spot in the Davis Cup Final 8 with a win over Sweden
Hot Topics2 days ago
Great Britain To Face Djokovic’s Serbia In Davis Cup Finals
Latest news3 days ago
Leylah Fernandez reaches the second round at the Guadalajara Open
Focus2 days ago
(VIDEO): Malaga Line-Up Set As Davis Cup Most Unpredictable Tournament In History
Hot Topics1 day ago
Iga Swiatek Dismisses Criticism Over Recent US Open Exit