Novak Djokovic won his third Shanghai title beating Jo Wilfred Tsonga 6-2 6-4 scoring the third Beijing-Shanghai double of his career after 2012 and 2013. Djokovic won his ninth title of the year (three Grand Slams at the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the US Open, five Master 1000 at Indian Wells, Miami, Monte-Carlo, Rome and Shanghai and one ATP 500 in Beijing). He missed the chance to win the Calender Grand Slam losing the Roland Garros final against Stan Wawrinka. He played two more finals in Toronto where he lost to Andy Murray and in Cincinnati where he lost against Roger Federer.
Tsonga beat Djokovic in their last head-to-head match in the semifinals of the 2014 Roger’s Cup with 6-2 6-2. Before today’s final Djokovic led 13-6 in their previous 20 head-to-head matches. They met for the first time in the final of the 2008 Australian Open where Djokovic won in four sets. In Shanghai they met in the semifinal of the 2013 edition where Djokovic won in straights sets with 6-2 7-5.
Djokovic qualified for his 13th straight final of the year with winning streaks of 16 matches and 20 sets. He came into the final with 37 wins in his last 38 matches in China. He won five titles in Beijing where he extended his winning streak to 29-0 and three in Shanghai. Last week he dropped just 18 games in Bejing. With his 25th Master 1000 title of the season Djokovic overtook Roger Federer as the second best player in the history of the Master 1000 series behind Rafa Nadal who won 27 Master 1000 tournaments
Tsonga won his first title of the year in Metz. He has reached his first Master 1000 since the Roger’s Cup in Toronto in August 2014 when he defeated Roger Federer in the final. With his win over Rafa Nadal in the semifinal the player from Le Mans has moved up from Number 15th to 9th in the ATP Race to London
Djokovic brushed aside Tsonga in the first set cruising to 6-2. Nole broke serve in the first game for 1-0 and held his serve to love in the second game. Djokovic got the double break to cruise to 3-0. Tsonga recovered one of the two breaks for 1-3. Djokovic got his third break to love to pull away to 4-1. Tsonga went up 0-30 but Djokovic won four consecutive points for 5-1. The Frenchman saved four set points by rallying from 0-40 down to hold his first service game for 2-5 but Djokovic sealed the first set in the next game with 6-2.
Tsonga played more aggressively in the second set where he he saved five break points. The French player held his service game to take the lead for the first time in the match for 1-0. At 1-1 the third game went to deuce. Djokovic earned a break point but Tsonga saved it with his serve for 2-1. Djokovic won his service game for 2-2. Tsonga made a double fault in the fifth game to go down 15-40 but he saved the break point to take the 3-2 lead. In the seventh game Tsonga went up 40-0 but Djokovic drew level to 40-all forcing the game to deuce. Tsonga held his serve by saving the break point for 4-3. Tsonga faced another break point at 4-4 30-40 but Djokovic earned a second break point chance in the ninth game with his forehand but Tsonga saved it with a stop-volley. Djokovic converted his third break point in the ninth game to take the 5-4 lead as Tsonga made a double fault while he was serving at 4-4. Djokovic served out for the match in the 10th game after one hour and 18 minutes.
“The first set was quick. It’s not easy to stop him. He is very consistent on his return”, said Tsonga. “Today I didn’t serve well enough, especially in the first set. In the second I served a little bit better and it gave me the opportunity to have a chance on his serve. But finally I was not able to do it and he brke me at 4-4”, said Tsonga
Djokovic hit 18 winners including three aces and converted four of his 13 break point chances
With his third triumph in the last four editions of the Shanghai Rolex Master Djokovic has extended his lead in the ATP Race to London ranking reaching 14285 points
“Today the key was to get as many serves back into play to Jo because he has one of the biggest serves in the game. He has shown that in the second set, with some break points early in the second set. He came up with some aces, some big serves. I felt always in control of the match. I felt like I have done everything right, I have won many of my service games very comfortably. I didn’t allow him to get into the rhythm, get into the match.The match and the tournament went incredibly well for me”, said Djokovic
Nikoloz Basilashvili survives scare in Sardinia
The third day of the Italian 250 event saw a trio of seeded players secure their places in the quarter-finals.
A strong Mediterranean wind was not enough to blow away Nikoloz Basilashvili at the Sardegna Open as he came through a tense 3-setter against Slovakian qualifier Jozef Kovalik.
The fourth seed’s typically aggressive style at times threatened to prove his undoing in Cagliari. A topsy-turvy encounter in blustery conditions was ultimately defined by the marathon tenth game in the deciding set, Kovalik missing five match points as his opponent’s serve just about held firm. Basilashvili then immediately broke himself, going on to complete a 4-6, 6-4, 7-5, victory.
He will take on Jan-Lennard Struff in the quarter-finals. The fifth seed overpowered Britain’s Liam Broady 6-4 6-2, a much-improved performance from the German after his nervy first-round slugfest with Joao Sousa.
Qualifier Broady, whose strong start to the year has seen him reach a career-high ranking of 152, started well. He broke the fifth seed in the second game, but Struff was able to respond immediately before going on to take the first set 6-4. The Brit faded in the second set, Struff’s superior ranking showing as he overpowered his opponent with some brutal forehands and booming serves. If both men bring their best form, his match-up with Basilashvili on Friday should be an entertaining encounter.
Elsewhere, Aljaz Bedene defeated Egor Gerasimov 6-4, 7-6(5). Fresh from an impressive win over Guido Pella in round one, qualifier Gerasimov would have had high hopes to progress further, facing an opponent ranked only 22 places higher. It looked good for the Belarussian as he edged a break ahead early on, but the ever-reliable Bedene reeled off three games in a row to take the first set. A similarly tight second set looked to be going Gerasimov’s way when he stormed to a 4-0 lead in the tie break, but Bedene once again took charge, winning 7 of the next 8 points to book a spot in the next round.
His opponent there will be second seed Taylor Fritz, who enjoyed a relatively easy ride in the final match of the day. He breezed through the opening set against Andrej Martin 6-2, looking strong in his first outing on clay in 2021. The players traded two breaks each in the second set before Fritz took the tie break 7-4. This week is the first tournament Fritz is playing as American No.1 after recently overtaking John Isner.
Roger Federer Set To Start Clay Campaign In Madrid
The world No.7 will be back on the Tour shortly as he seeks his first title since the 2019 Swiss Indoors.
20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer is set to return to competitive tennis later this month after being included in the entry list for a key Masters 1000 tournament.
The former world No.1 is currently down to play the Madrid Open which will start on April 30th and takes place over 10 days. Federer returned to the Tour at the Dubai Tennis Championships last month in what was his first tournament in over a year due to a knee injury which required two operations. In Dubai he reached the quarter-finals before losing to Nikoloz Basilashvili who went on to win the title.
Since then the Swiss maestro has returned to the practice courts to “work his way back out on tour,” according to his agent Tony Godsick. Federer has already confirmed that he will play on the clay this season but admits that it is because he has little choice. The 39-year-old has already stated that his goal is to be in top shape in time for the grass-court swing which starts after the French Open.
“What comes before the grass courts are the clay courts,” Federer told reporters on March 11th. “So I have no choice but to play on clay if I want to play matches.
“The clay could be good or bad for me. I will only know in practice, but I don’t think it’s going to be bad. I assume I will play some clay.”
It isn’t the first time Federer has started his return to the clay in Madrid. In 2019 he played his first match on the surface in almost three years at the tournament after skipping the clay-court season the two previous years.
Also on the Madrid entry list is Federer’s rivals Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal who both missed the Miami Open. Dominic Thiem is also set to play in the tournament after he recently announced a delay to his return to professional tennis because he isn’t ready to compete yet.
The Madrid Open has been largely dominated by the Big Four (including Andy Murray) for more than a decade. Since 2008 only one player outside of the quartet has won the title which was Alexander Zverev back in 2018. Last year’s edition was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rafael Nadal Will Be Ready For Start Of Clay Season, Says Doctor
A member of Nadal’s team has issued some encouraging news.
It appears that Rafael Nadal’s recent woes are behind him as he looks to get back on track at next week’s Monte Carlo Masters.
The 34-year-old hasn’t played a tournament since his loss to Stefanos Tsitsipas in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open earlier this year. Throughout the first quarter of the season Nadal has been troubled by a back problem which he first picked up in Melbourne. The injury forced him to pull out of both the Rotterdam Open and Miami Masters. Overall, he has played just five matches so far in 2021.
Nadal will be looking to regain momentum on his beloved clay. A surface which he has won 60 ATP titles on, including a record 13 French Open trophies. According to his doctor, Ángel Ruiz-Cotorro, the world No.3 is ‘training well’ at present.
“He is training well, he is training hard. His goal is clay. First is Monte Carlo and his final goal is Roland Garros. It is clear,” Cotorro told RTVE.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion will be seeking his 12th title in Monte Carlo in what is a tournament record. He has won three out of the four past editions with the only exception being Fabio Fognini who won the title in 2019. Last year’s tournament was axed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Looking further on in the calendar, Nadal is expected to play tournaments in Barcelona, Madrid and Rome before the French Open which is set to start in May. Although it is possible that his commitments could change. A member of the French government has also admitted that it is possible that Roland Garros could be delayed for a second year in a row due to the pandemic but no such change has been formally announced.
So far in his career Nadal has won 86 ATP titles and earned more then $123 million in prize money. He is only the fourth player in the Open Era to have won 1000 or more matches on the men’s Tour.
Lorenzo Sonego and Andrea Vavassori claim the doubles title in Cagliari
Pablo Carreno sets up all-Spanish final against Jaume Munar in Marbella
Lorenzo Sonego reaches his third career final in Cagliari
Halle tournament to be held behind closed doors
Ons Jabeur Acknowledges Mental Toughness Ahead Of Charleston Semi-Finals
Model Claims She Was Offered 60,000 Euros To Set Up Novak Djokovic
Furious Vasek Pospisil Blames Miami Open Meltdown On Heated Meeting With ATP
Updated Entry Lists For Marbella, Cagliari
‘He’s Got To Be Clever’ – Roger Federer Urges Del Potro To Make Cautious Return To Tennis
REPORT: Rafael Nadal To Play Exhibition At Real Madrid’s New Bernabéu
Steve Flink: “Jannik Sinner Will Be a Top 10 Player by the US Open”
(VIDEO) Miami Open Final Preview: Jannik Sinner Is The Favourite But Don’t Underestimate Hurkacz
Steve Flink: “Naomi Osaka Will Win At Least A Dozen Slams”
Steve Flink: “Djokovic and Nadal will end up with more Slams than Federer”
Steve Flink: “Why would Djokovic fake an injury when he’s two sets up?”
Latest news2 days ago
Lorenzo Musetti saves four match points to beat Daniel Evans in a dramatic tie-break in Cagliari
Latest news3 days ago
‘It Came Back Quite Naturally’ – Ash Barty Returns To The Charleston Clay In Clinical Fashion
Latest news2 days ago
Lorenzo Musetti receives a wild-card to play in the main draw in Monte-Carlo
Latest news3 days ago
EXCLUSIVE: Leylah Fernandez On Why She Isn’t Fully Satisfied With Her Season So Far
Focus2 days ago
Felix Auger Aliassime adds Toni Nadal to his coaching team
Focus2 days ago
Danka Kovinic Upsets Petra Kvitova In Charleston
Latest news1 day ago
Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal are drawn in opposite halves at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters
Latest news2 days ago
Carlos Alcaraz comes back from one set down to beat Feliciano Lopez in Marbella