Novak Djokovic clinches his fourth title in Paris Bercy - UBITENNIS
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Novak Djokovic clinches his fourth title in Paris Bercy

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Novak Djokovic crushed Andy Murray 6-2 6-4 to clinch his fourth title in Paris and became the first player to win six Masters 1000 tournaments in the same season. He has done better than his coach Boris Becker who won this tournament three times in 1986, 1989 and 1992 and Marat Safin who lifted this trophy in 2000, 2002 and 2004. 

 

Djokovic broke serve to love in the third game to take the 2-1 lead winning eight consecutive points. Murray won the next game at deuce with a drop-shot winner from the baseline. Murray fended off three break points in a 16-point fifth game which lasted 11 minutes to hold his service game. In the seventh game Djokovic got the double break to pull away to a 5-2 lead before closing out on his first set point after 42 minutes.

Murray saved a break point in the first game of the second set at deuce to take a 1-0 lead. At 1-1 Murray faced a break point which Djokovic converted on his first opportunity for 2-1. Murray broke back to love with a second serve return to draw level to 2-2. Murray went up 0-30 on Djokovic’s serve at 3-2 but Djokovic won eight of the next nine points to hold his serve before getting the crucial break in the seventh game for 4-3.

Djokovic backed up his break to go ahead 5-3 with his service winner before earning two match points as he was serving out for the match and converted his first chance to win 6-2 6-4 after 92 minutes for his fourth title in Paris Bercy and his sixth Masters 1000 triumph in 2015.

Djokovic fired 10 winners and converted four of his nine break point chances to extend his winning streak to 22 matches. Murray, who reached the final in Paris Bercy for the first time in his career, made too many unforced errors and was unable to break Djokovic who has beaten the Dunblane star in six of his seven matches this year.

Djokovic has won 10 of his last 11 head-to-head matches against Murray and now leas 21-9 in all their 30 clashes. He has become the first player to win four titles in Paris Bercy, one more than his coach Boris Becker, who won here three time n 1986, 1989 and 1992

He has extended his record to 78 winning matches this year. No players before in tennis history has won so many Masters 1000 as Djokovic in a single season. With his 26th career Masters 1000 title Djokovic is just title away from reaching Rafa Nadal who holds the record with 27 trphies in the Masters 1000 tournaments

Djokovic has become the first player in the Open Era to reach 14 consecutive finals in a calender year and won six Masters 1000 titles in Indian Wells, Miami, Monte-Carlo, Rome, Shanghai and Paris Bercy losing two more finals in Montreal and Cincinnati. He has not lost a match since the Cincinnati final against Roger Federer last August. He suffered his last pre-final defeat against Ivo Karlovic in the Doha quarter finals. He has played in all Masters 1000 finals during his career and won eight of them at least once. The only tournament he has not won yet is Cincinnati.

“I want to congratulate with Andy for the great week and I wish him all the best for the ATP Finals and the Davis Cup Final. It’s always very special to win in Paris, a city with a great sport tradition and culture. I hope to win the Roland Garros in the future”, said Djokovic after the match

Murray isthe fourth player in history to reach at least the semifinal stage in all Masters 1000 tournaments after Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal.  The Scotsman has become the first British player to reach the final in Paris Bercy since Tim Henman. Murray has won 68 matches so far this year setting a personal record (his previous record was 66 in 2009)

“Congratulations to Novak for another fantastic week. It’s been another great year for him. He fully deserves the number one spot. Hopefully I can get a bit closer next year. It was a pleasure to play here this week in the beautiful stadium. It’s been a great week for me, first time past the quarter finals. That’s progress  and I hope to be back next year”, said Murray

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Roger Federer Says ‘Revolution’ Needed To Help Next Generation Of Tennis Players

The Swiss Maestro has called for more to be done to address the issue of social media abuse.

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Roger Federer (SUI) Credit: AELTC/Jed Leicester

20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer believes there needs to be a rethink regarding how the rising stars of tennis are supported on the Tour.

 

The former world No.1 has called for what he describes as the ‘press situation’ to be reconsidered in the wake of some tennis players opening up about their mental health. Earlier this year at the French Open Naomi Osaka revealed that she has been suffering from depression and social anxiety. Osaka opted to skip press conferences during the French Open but it wasn’t until after the tournament she spoke about the reason why she did so. Meanwhile, Emma Raducanu’s run to the fourth round at Wimbledon ended up with her withdrawing from the Grand Slam due to ‘breathing difficulties’ which was partly due to the unfamiliar situation she was in.

40-year-old Federer, who has been one of the biggest names in the sport for well over a decade, says the stress his younger peers experience on the Tour is partly due to social media. Something he said wasn’t as prevalent when he was younger.

It hurts when you see what happens and when they don’t feel well. The stress is so great. And I think a lot has to be down to social media: the first ten years of my life there was no social media, maybe I had just a website, then the next ten years social media was everywhere,” Federer told GQ magazine.

As for how players are treated by the media, the Swiss Maestro has called for a revamp of the protocols with all parties sitting together for discussions. Although he didn’t outline what changes he would make. In Grand Slams players are usually required to conduct press conferences following their matches and could be fined for not doing so.

“In regards to this (social media), the press situation does need to be reconsidered. I think I’m one of the athletes who’s done the most press – ever! And I agree that it’s always the same,” he said.
“I think players, the tournaments, journalists, we need to sit down together in a room and go, “OK, what would work for you and what works for us… We need a revolution. Or at least an evolution of where we are today.’
“I think we do need to help, coach and mentor the younger generation more. I can’t imagine going through the beginning of my career with social media; I have no clue how I would have handled it.”

In recent years one common problem faced by players is a rise in social media abuse. During the US Open Shelby Rogers said she was expecting to receive ‘death threats’ following her loss to Raducanu and Sloane Stephens has been targeted by racist abuse. Meanwhile, during his country’s Davis Cup tie against Belarus Diego Schwartzman was targeted by trolls following a shock loss.

“For every ten nice comments there’s always one negative comment and, of course, that is the one you focus on,” Federer commented. “It’s a horrible situation. Even when I am feeling down I know I need to act a certain way in front of the world’s press. We need to remember that tennis players are athletes and professionals, but we are also human too.”

Federer is currently sidelined from the Tour due to a right knee injury which also troubled him throughout 2020. So far in his career he has won 103 ATP titles, spent 310 weeks as world No.1 and has earned more than $130M in prize money. According to Forbes Magazine, he was the seventh highest paid athlete in the world between May 2020 and May 2021.

Despite the numerous records he has broken and reaching the milestone age of 40, there are still no signs that Federer has any plans to retire from the sport in the near future.

“When, like any athlete, you will just know when the time is right. I am not going to be the one that’s just going to stick around because I want to stick around. You know, I still want to play exhibitions down the road and have fun and go to markets in places I’ve never been before. The fans mean a lot to me, but I do not want to abuse my body. I still want to run around with my kids and ski… So I think you just know,” he concluded.

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Anett Kontaveit Lifts Ostrava Title After Rediscovering Passion For Playing

The 25-year-old is closing in on a place in the world’s top 20 for the first time in more than two years.

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image via https://twitter.com/JTBankaOpen

The recent resurgence of Anett Kontaveit shows no signs of slowing down after she cruised to the Ostrava Open title on Sunday without dropping a set in the entire tournament.

 

Kontaveit, who is currently ranked 30th in the world, battled her way to a 6-2, 7-5, win over Greek fourth seed Maria Sakkari. Throughout the clash the Estonian didn’t drop her serve as she fired a total of 26 winners past her opponent who is the third consecutive top 20 player she has defeated on the Tour. Earlier in the tournament she also dismissed Olympic champion Belinda Bencic and home favourite Petra Kvitova.

Impressively Kontaveit has won 12 out of her past 13 matches played with her only loss being to Iga Switek at the US Open. Her rise started in August at the Cleveland Championships where she lifted only the second WTA title of her entire career. Prior to the tournament, she was on a four-match losing streak.

“I think I really started enjoying playing again, and I think that’s been the main key,” the 25-year-old commented on her recent results on the Tour. “I’m having a really good time on court and I’m having fun through the battles and the tough matches as well. I sort of started finding my way in Cleveland.”

Helping her find footing once again is Dmitry Tursunov, who previously worked with Aryna Sabalenka. The two started collaboration on a trial basis during the summer. Tursunov reached a high of No.20 on the men’s Tour during his professional career and won seven ATP 250 titles.

“My new coach also has given me some new energy and new perspectives as well. I’m just feeling a little more comfortable and enjoying myself more.” She said.

After her success in the Czerch Republic, Kontaveit will climb up the rankings on Monday as she nears an entry back into the world’s top 20 for the first time since September 2019. She is projected to rise to 23rd spot.

“When you are winning matches it definitely gives you confidence,” she explains. “I feel like I am definitely playing better than I was in the middle of the season and I think good things can come of it. I don’t want to put any pressure on myself, I’ve really had a good time on court, and I’ve enjoyed it. That’s the thing I’m really most happy about.’
“One of my friends, who is here this week in Ostrava, she played doubles, she told me ‘While we’re here we might as well enjoy it’ – that really sort of stuck with me this week.”

Kontaveit has won 31 matches so far this season.

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Hubert Hurkacz Reigns Supreme In Metz, Kwon Breaks New Ground In Nur-Sultan

The two players achieved personal career milestones on the ATP Tour but for different reasons.

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Image via https://twitter.com/MoselleOpen/

Top seed Hubert Hurkacz has ended his title drought on European soil after defeating Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta in straight sets to win the Moselle Open in France.

 

The world No.13, who claimed his first Masters title in Miami earlier this year, rallied his way to a 7-6(2), 6-3, win over Carreno Busta in less than 90 minutes. Throughout the tournament Hurkacz didn’t drop a set against players such as former world No.1 Andy Murray and Lucas Pouille. In the final, the Pole broke Carreno Busta four times and won 73% of his service points to seal the victory.

“Pablo is an amazing player, so playing against him in the final here is something special,” Hurkacz said in his on-court interview. “I needed to raise my level to play my best to be able to compete with him and today I came out on top and I am super, super happy about this.”

Metz was the first Tour-level event that Hurkacz has played as the top seed. His latest triumph continues what has been a successful season for the 24-year-old who also won the Delray Beach Open earlier this year, as well as Miami. He is the fifth player this year to have won a third title on the ATP Tour after Novak Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev, Casper Ruud and Alexander Zverev who have all won four trophies.

Speaking during the trophy presentation, Hurkacz paid tribute to the support he has received during the tournament and the atmosphere he has been playing in. Giving a special mention to the band who was playing in the arena.

“The atmosphere here is very special here with all of you guys,” he added. “You guys [the band] make it an amazing atmosphere, so that is so nice that you guys are here.”

Hurkacz’s win-loss for the season has now been improved to 29-16. Besides his successes on the Tour in recent months, he has also experienced disappointment. At one stage of the year he was on a six-match losing streak before reaching the semi-finals of the Wimbledon in what was his best-ever performance at a Grand Slam tournament.

As a result of his win in Metz, Hurkacz will climb one spot in the ATP rankings to 12th on Monday. He is yet to break into the world’s top 10.

Kwon ends South Korea’s 18-year wait

Elsewhere on the ATP Tour, Soon-woo Kwon has become only the second man from his country to ever win a title and the first since 2003. The 23-year-old underdog defeated James Duckworth 7-6(6), 6-3, to complete what has been a memorable performance at the Astana Open. Earlier in the week he knocked out second seed Alexander Bublik and third seed Dusan Lajovic.

“I was thinking before the match this could be my last chance to win an ATP trophy, you never know what is going to happen,” The KTF Press-Service quoted Kwon as saying.
“I did what I can. Thanks to this tournament, I now have a lot of confidence and hopefully I can lift more trophies in the future.’
“After today, I can reach for something like the Top 20, after this week I have more belief that I can do this.”

One of the most impressive aspects of Kwon’s milestone win is the tight turnaround he has made in recent days. Last weekend he was playing a Davis Cup tie on the Grass in America where he scored two crucial wins for his country in their tie against New Zealand.

“Last week I played Davis Cup in Newport. I flew all the way from there to here. it’s a 10-hour difference,” he said.
“I just came with an open mind, an open heart. I knew it would take time to adjust to the courts, so I wasn’t tight. From the first round I was relaxed and hit the ground running. Each match I was getting better and better, I stayed calm and played freely.”

Kwon, who reached the third round of the French Open earlier this year, is now set to break into the world’s top 60 for the first time in his career.

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