Novak Djokovic cruises past Kei Nishikori in London - UBITENNIS
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Novak Djokovic cruises past Kei Nishikori in London




Novak Djokovic in action during the 2015 ATP Finals (image via

Novak Djokovic has started the defence of his title at the ATP Finals by crushing Kei Nishikori 6-1, 6-1,  at the O2 Arena.


Djokovic is bidding to win his 11th title of 2015 at the prestigious year-end championship and become the first man in history to win the ATP Finals four consecutive times. Leading up to the final event of 2015, Djokovic defeated Andy Murray to claim a record breaking sixth Masters title of the season at the BNP Paribas Masters. In Contrast Nishikori was forced to end his presence at the tournament early due to injury.

The world No.1 settled into the match instantly as he dominated proceedings on the court to take the first game before having a double chance to break Nishikori in his first service game. The Japanese player successfully fended off both of the break points, with the help of a poor drop shot from Djokovic, but was still unable to prevent the Serbian from breaking him as Djokovic surged to a 3-0 lead. Despite the early onslaught, Nishikori finally got himself onto the scoreboard as he took the fourth game following an unforced error from his opponent, setting off a big cheer at the O2 Arena. Despite getting on the scoreboard, Nishikori was unable to tame Djokovic. The world No.1 moved effortlessly around the court, pushing Nishikori side to side, as he broke once again to lead 5-1. Serving for the first set, Djokovic fired a serve out wide to get two set points. He required only one as a second successive serve out wide force the world No.8 to return into the net.

The Djokovic dominance continued as he broke at the start of the second set due to a sluggish unforced error from Nishikori. Despite the one-sided scoreline, the world No.8 did at times produced impressive play, but they were rare against the brilliant display produced from the top seed. Last year Nishikori was the only player to take a set off Djokovic during the ATP Finals.

Leading by a set and a break, Djokovic appeared relaxed on the court against an increasingly frustrated Nishikori. The pressure applied by the 28-year-old was relentless as he broke yet again to grab a strong hold on the match, leading by a set and 4-1. Nishikori appeared on course to claim his third game of the match before a double fault enabled Djokovic to level at deuce. As the pressure bombarded Nishikori, a forehand unforced error gave Djokovic his first match point. The top seed only required one match point as he finished off a beautifully constructed rally with a backhand winner at the net to secure the victory.

During the 66-minute match, Djokovic lost only nine points on his serve. In addition the world No.1 also produced 6 aces, 17 winners and converted 5/9 break points.

Following his win, Djokovic received a trophy from the ATP for finishing the year as the world No.1. It is the fourth time in Djokovic’s career that he has ended the year at the top of the world rankings after 2011, 2012 and 2014. Following his trophy presentation, Djokovic reflected on his year.

“Undoubtedly it has been the most successful and best year of my life. I have become a father and got married. Those are the kind of trophies that means that most. These have positively reflected on my performance this year”. Said Djokovic.
“2011 and 2015 has stood out, I look back at them with pride and joy”.

The top seed also thanked his team for supporting him throughout the year, including both his family as well as his coaching team.

“They are helping me each and every day to get better, not just as a player but as a person”. He said.

Djokovic ended his on-court interview by paying tribute to the victims in last Friday’s Paris terror attacks, ending with an applause from the London crowd.

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Filip Krajinovic To Skip Australian Open If Required To Quarantine For More Than Five Days

The world No.34 says he ‘sees no reason’ why vaccinated players should have to go through a long quarentine in Australia.




Image via (Alexander Scheuber)

The second highest-ranked Serbian player in men’s tennis says it would be ‘unacceptable’ for organisers of the Australian Open to require players to quarantine for more than a week if they have been fully vaccinated.


Filip Krajinovic has become the first player to publicly state that they will not be prepared to travel to Melbourne at the end of this season if they have to go through strict quarantine measures once again. All the players who participated in this year’s Australian Open were required to be quarantined in a designated hotel for 14 days upon arrival in the country. During their stay they were allowed to use training facilities but that was the only time they could leave the premises unless there was an emergency.

There is no final decision regarding the travel requirements for the 2022 tournament but there are concerns that unvaccinated players may not be allowed to enter the country. The Victorian government recently issued a mandate ordering all essential workers to be vaccinated, including athletes. However, the regional government will not have the final say concerning tennis players arriving in the country with the national government being the ones in charge of that decision.

“They are very rigorous there and honestly, if I have to be in quarantine for 14 days after arriving in Melbourne, I will not go to Australia,” Krajinovic told Serbian newspaper Blic.
“I was vaccinated, I did everything in my power to protect myself and the people around me, so I really see no reason to sit there for 14 days in a room.’
“If they (the organisers) say that after arrival I need, say, five days to be in isolation, that’s OK for me, but anything beyond that is unacceptable to me. With the season ending late, I will have 20 days to get ready and go. Charter flights will be organized again and the last one is planned for December 28 for the players and that is the final date when I can go to Australia. I will see what the final decision from Melbourne will be, so I will cut what is the best thing to do.”

Earlier this week Victoria’s Sports minister Martin Pakula urged players to be vaccinated because it give them ‘the best opportunity to play in the Australian Open.’ It is expected that if unvaccinated players are allowed to attend, they will be subjected to stricter restrictions. This might include a longer quarantine period upon arrival and limitations of where they can go during their stay.

Last year, all of those players had to do their 14 days of quarantine. Right now there looks like there will be different rules for people who enter this country who are vaccinated as against unvaccinated and I don’t think the tennis will be any exception to that.” Pakula told the Sports Entertainment Network (SEN).
“In terms of what rules apply for people to enter Australia, whether unvaccinated people are allowed in at all, I don’t the answer to that yet. That’s going to be the subject of discussion at national cabinet and among the federal cabinet … those rules are not set by state governments.” He added.

Krajinovic is currently ranked 34th in the world and has a win-loss record this season of 18-18. At the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells he reached the second round before falling in straight sets to Daniil Medvedev. His best run so far this year was at the Hamburg Open where he reached the final.

“When we look at the whole of 2021, I played one final, one semifinal, there were good victories, but also worse results,” the 29-year-old commented.

Krajinovic is currently without a coach but is currently in ‘negotiations’ with somebody without elaborating further about who that person is.

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Alexander Zverev Secures Place In ATP Finals With Indian Wells Win

Zverev will be seeking to win the season-ending extravaganza for the second time in his career.




Alexander Zverev (GER) Credit: AELTC/Edward Whitaker

Germany’s Alexander Zverev has become the fourth player to officially qualify for the ATP Finals after reaching the third round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.


The world No.4 defeated America’s Jenson Brooksby 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, in his second round match on Sunday which pushed him over the points threshold to secure his spot in the end-of-season event. It is the fifth year in a row he has qualified for the ATP Finals which he won back in 2018. He is one of only three German players to ever win the title after Boris Becker and Michael Stich.

This year’s tournament will take place in Turin, Italy for the first time in history after being held at The O2 Arena in London for more than a decade. Only the eight highest ranked players are eligible to play in the round-robin tournament which has on offer up to 1500 rankings points for an undefeated champion.

“My first time in Turin. I’ve been to London four times before. London is obviously very special to me because I won there, as well. I think the stadium is incredible, one of the most special events that we had,” Zverev told reporters on Sunday.
“But I also love playing in Italy. I had great success in Italy. I won my first Masters in Rome. I’m looking forward to being there. I’m looking forward to playing in front of the Italian fans. It’s going to be a great week.”

The 24-year-old approaches the final quarter of this season with four titles already won this year. He has won two Masters 1000 trophies, an ATP 500 event in Mexico and a gold medal in singles at the Tokyo Olympic Games. Zverev, who has recorded seven wins over top 10 players, also reached the semi-finals at both the French Open and US Open.

Zverev joins Novak Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas as the players who have qualified for the ATP Finals so far. It is the third straight season the quartet has qualified for the event.

This year’s ATP Finals will get underway on November 14th. Medvedev is the defending champion.

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Denis Shapovalov Advances After Pospisil Retires In Indian Wells

The battle of the two Canadians didn’t go as planned…




Denis Shapovalov (CAN) Credit: AELTC/Edward Whitaker

Vasek Pospisil faced off against his fellow Canadian Denis Shapovalov in the second round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells and it was the world number 13 who got the win after the Vernon native pulled out due to an injury whilst trailing 0-3.


It was a rough start for Pospisil who seemed to struggle with his serve in the opening game of the match and double-faulted twice in a row to give the early break and Shapovalov had no issues consolidating the break.

Shapovalov continued to apply pressure on the Pospisil serve and after saving two breakpoints the world number 68 pulled up after a serve and stopped play, calling for the trainer. He ended up taking a medical timeout off the court and a couple of minutes later returned to court. Pospisil was broken once again and the following game after a couple of returns decided to call it quits.

” It was pretty awful…and if I’m being honest I am shaking a bit…It really sucks I hope it’s nothing serious…He’s a great guy he’s a real warrior he’s fought back from some injuries surgeries to such a great level.” Shapovalov said of his compatriot.

Shapovalov will face 19th seed Aslan Karatsev in the next round after the Russian thrashed Salvatore Caruso 6-2, 6-0.

In the other results of the day sixth seeed Casper Ruud dominated Roberto Carballes Baena 6-1, 6-2, Roberto Bautista Agut beat the Argentine Guido Pella 7-5, 6-3 and Sebastien Korda won an all American battle with Frances Tiafoe 6-0, 6-4.

Finally, Diego Schwartzman needed three sets to beat another American in Maxime Cressy winning 6-2, 3-6, 7-5.

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