Novak Djokovic King of Return in Beijing - UBITENNIS
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Novak Djokovic King of Return in Beijing

Ivan Pasquariello

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Grand Slam

Steve Flink: “Djokovic and Nadal will end up with more Slams than Federer”

A final word on the 2021 Australian Open. Thiem was the biggest letdown of the fortnight, but which was the best match or the biggest upset?

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The men’s singles at the Australian Open ended in the most predictable way, with Novak Djokovic clinching his ninth title. However, the road to victory was laden with difficulties, as Hall-of-Famer tennis writer Steve Flink highlights in his third video chat about the tournament with Ubitennis founder and CEO Ubaldo Scanagatta. How close is the Next Gen to pushing out the Big Three? Was this Karatsev’s one shining moment or will he keep shocking the tennis world? This and more in the following chat:

 

0:00 – The men’s final: “I wasn’t sure Djokovic would be able to pull this off after his injury against Fritz, but after he beat Zverev I knew he’d win again.” Was such a trouncing of Medvedev at all predictable though?

5:00 – The keys to the Serbian’s masterclass win.

8:10 – “Medvedev had won most of his last meetings with Djokovic, but a Major final is a different story…” Did Djokovic actually tear an abdominal muscle?

14:30 – How close is the Next Gen to actually taking over?

17:30 – What was the impact of the 2-week quarantine on the tournament? “Many players struggled with injuries throughout the fortnight, but others, like Nadal, were already ailing at the beginning of the event.”

20:40 – Can Federer make another comeback? “His serve is so good that he can win many quick points, that will help him even if his fitness level isn’t up to par.”

24:30 – The best match of the tournament was…

29:45 – Who was the outbreak star? This is an easy one…

32:20 – What about the biggest letdown?

37:20 – A look into the future: will Djokovic end up surpassing Federer and Nadal’s 20-Slam tally?  

41:30 – The Serbian is also about to break the record for the most weeks spent at the top of the rankings – will he remain the world N.1 for much longer?

Transcript by Antonio Flagiello; edited by Tommaso Villa

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Steve Flink: “Why would Djokovic fake an injury when he’s two sets up?”

A preview of the second week of the Australian Open, from the physical issues bothering Djokovic and Nadal to the Russian trio in the quarter finals. Was the Osaka vs Muguruza match-up an early final?

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We are over halfway through the 2021 Australian Open, and Ubitennis veterans Ubaldo Scanagatta and Steve Flink have met on Zoom for the usual recap of what has happened so far, as well as for a preview of what’s to come in the last few days of the Happy Slam. Here’s their friendly debate:

 

VIDEO SCHEDULE

0:00 – Fognini was beaten by Nadal – could he have poached a set away from the Spaniard?

4:30 – “Fognini staged a great comeback against Rafa in New York in 2015, but this time the French Open champion came firing out of the gate…”

7:00 – Berrettini’s retirement: the right choice? “Just like Stefan Edberg in the 1990 final against Lendl…” Will the walkover give Tsitsipas more of a chance against Nadal?

10:30 – Three Russians in the quarter finals of a Major for the first time ever – can Karatsev keep going?

14:40 – His next opponent will be Grigor Dimitrov: “He surely has more to lose in this match…” The Bulgarian just beat Dominic Thiem – did the intense Kyrgios match weigh on the Austrian?

16:20 – The Medvedev-Rublev derby: will the world N.4 have the edge once again? “He needs to keep his emotions in check – they almost cost him the match against Krajinovic…”

20:50 – Djokovic vs Zverev: what’s the status of the Serbian’s fitness?

26:10 – Predicting the men’s semi-finals…

29:00 – The women’s draw: is Barty the overwhelming favourite in the top half of the draw? The great performance of American up-and-comers like Brady and Pegula.

32:10 – The world N.1 will face Muchova, who has survived a tough draw so far – will this help the Czech?

35:30 – A look at Serena Williams’ showing against Sabalenka: “Her experience prevailed in the key moments.” Up next, a rematch against Halep, who beat her handily in the 2019 Wimbledon final – were the match to go the distance, who would come out on top?

39:00 – Naomi Osaka struggled against Muguruza, coming back from the brink of defeat – is she still the favourite to win it all?

Transcript by Antonio Flagiello; translated and edited by Tommaso Villa

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Boos And Laughter: Awkward Interview Overshadows Stefanos Tsitsipas’ Australian Open Win

The world No.6 spoke to Jim Courier after his match and things didn’t exactly go to plan…….

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Fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas was in top form during his first round win at the Australian Open but the talking point was what he said on the court afterwards.

 

The world No.6 stormed to a 6-1, 6-2, 6-1, win over French veteran Gilles Simon in just over 90 minutes on the Rod Laver Arena. Producing a total of 25 winners as he broke seven times en route to the victory. Following the match Tsitsipas encountered a much tougher opponent – the Melbourne crowd.

Speaking to Jim Courier during his on-court interview, the awkwardness started almost instantly when the 22-year-old spoke openly about his latest win. When asked if he was surprised by the scoreline Tsitsipas initially replied ‘I don’t know’ before making a comment that triggered some booing from the stands.

“I wasn’t expecting it (the win) to come so easy. It was a great match from my side,” he said before swiftly pausing his swift following the crowd reaction.
“I mean, let’s be honest……..oh my god I feel like I messed this up already.”

Trying to call down the mixed reaction, the 22-year-old continued to speak about his latest performance but his choice of phrase didn’t do him any favours.

“I think I played a great, spectacular match from the beginning to the end,” he said.
“I don’t know what his tactic was.”

https://twitter.com/Eurosport_UK/status/1359096078801453056

Making another effort to diffuse the situation Tsitsipas joked ‘I didn’t expect to play on Rod Laver with everybody laughing at me.’ The tennis star probably didn’t feel any better when interviewer Courier commented ‘you’re looking really comfortable except in this interview.’ Prompting a bemused look from the former Melbourne semi-finalist.

Next up for Tsitsipas is a clash with Thanassi Kokkinakis who defeated South Korea’s Kwon Soon-woo in his opening match. In front of an already animated crowd, Courier decided to ask the Greek if he will have the majority of the fan support in the second round.

“I’ve known Thanassi for a really long time and we have practiced a lot of times. He is a really nice guy,” he begins.
“But that won’t really matter on the court.”

Inevitably the crowd’s response to the last part of Tsitsipas’ comment didn’t go down a storm, but fortunately the interview ended with him being cheered as he made a swift exit.

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