Novak Djokovic Makes Tennis History, Wins Record 6th Australian Open Title - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

Hot Topics

Novak Djokovic Makes Tennis History, Wins Record 6th Australian Open Title

Novak Djokovic beat Andy Murray in straight sets by 6-1 7-5 7-6(3) conquering his 6th Australian Open title. He now joins Roy Emerson, Rod Laver, Bjorn Borg into tennis history books. The Calendar Grand Slam is once again possible…

Ivan Pasquariello

Published

on

He is just unbeatable in the finals in Melbourne. Six appearances, a record, six victories, a record. Novak Djokovic took the status of tennis legend for himself on Sunday at the Australian Open.

 

Beating Andy Murray for the 22nd time in 31 matches by 6-1 7-5 7-6(3) , Novak Djokovic opened history doors for himself in tennis, clinching a record 6th Australian Open title, equalling Roy Emerson for the most singles titles conquered in the Slam down-under. Novak also made sure to join in 5th place for most Grand Slam singles titles – with 11 successes – Rod Laver and Bjorn Borg. Six titles from the ultimate record, who can stop the Serb from taking full control of tennis history books? Novak leaves Melbourne on a 21-match winning streak in Grand Slam events, having lost one match in 5 tournaments, against Stan Wawrinka in the French Open final.

The Australian Open for Djokovic finished with a full circle of success. First the lead taken for the first time in his career in the Head-2-Head record against Roger Federer, a 23-22 success rate he has been chasing for as long as he has wanted to become the champion he has become. Then the 6th title in Australia beating a rival that was born just seven days before him, but that hardly ever managed to conquer him on a tennis court.

Just as it seemed in 2015, a Calendar Grand Slam could be possible for Djokovic this year, considering how not playing his best tennis he didn’t lose a set in the final against World No.2. The hard part starts now, or better two months from now, when the red clay season will kick off. There Nadal and Murray could be a bigger threat, even though the Serb has already beaten both many times on that surface. This player deserves a career Grand Slam in Paris, and that could be yet another start for another journey into tennis history books.

Murray on the other hand becomes the first player to lose 5 finals at the Australian Open without winning a title. Unable to change something in his game, unable to take his chances, Andy suffers the Serb’s game because it perfectly matches his own. Now not even a not so brilliant day at the office from the Serb is enough to have Murray win a set or look like he has a chance to win the match.

THE MATCH

Djokovic started the final in a very similar fashion as he did against Roger Federer in the semis. Hardly missing a ball, Novak put pressure on the baseline pushing Murray at the back of the court. Taking the initiative and moving fast, the World No.1 rolled over the No.2 winning the first set in just 30 minutes by 6 games to 1. At that point it seemed the match would turn out to be another perfect execution of dominance by the Serb.

Djokovic took the lead also in the second set, serving up 4-3. A sudden lack of attention and aggression however, allowed Murray back into the set. The Brit broke at 30 and then managed to hold in the following game, lasting 5 minutes, to pass the Serb up 5 games to 4. Returning well deep in the court, Andy was given a chance to dictate by the Serb. Up 15-30 on the Serb’s serve, Murray was 2 points away from the set. Two cross court shots in the net by the Brit however allowed Novak right back at 5-5. Up 40-0 on his serve, Murray saw the Serb finding the courage to attack again. Novak started to return into machine mode from the baseline not missing a ball and playing always deep in the opponent’s court. Rather than trying to use a different shot to break the rhythm of the Serb, Murray decided to engage in a baseline battle, losing 5 points in a row and the game, as Djokovic broke to serve for the set up 6-5. With Djokovic staying rock solid again, Murray kept hitting and losing the majority of points. Up 30-15, Djokovic surprised firing two double faults in a row, to face a break point at 30-40. The Serb saved the point with a dubious first serve and saw his first set points as Murray fired another backhand wide. Novak completed the feat, winning the second set by 7 games to 5 as Murray hit a forehand in the net.

Djokovic started the third set having two break points, as Murray killed a smash in the net. Djokovic took the break with a stunning backhand passing shot down the line which caught the line.

https://twitter.com/EurosportUKTV/status/693746303361269760

Djokovic leading 1-0 and serve, the match seemed already over. Djokovic followed with a hold to love to take a 2-0 lead. Murray had another chance to break in the 4th game, with Djokovic leading 2-1, but once again missed first, hitting a forehand wide.

Murray refused to give up in the match and had yet another break point at 30-40 with Djokovic serving at 3-2. The Serb saved the first break point with a good serve and forehand winner, but then faced another at 40-A and lost the point with a backhand finishing long. Murray came back in the set at 3-3. As the Brits on Rod Laver Arena grew louder, Andy took the lead in the set, holding serve and raising at 5-4. Djokovic served down 3-4 and hit another double fault at 30-15, giving another chance to the Scot. Murray once again failed to build on his chances and returned a forehand in the net, then missed another shot, letting Djokovic back at 4-4.

Serving well, Murray managed to hold serve once again, leading 5-4 and putting pressure on Djokovic to serve to stay in the set. As it usually happens, Djokovic reacted well to pressure, holding serve at 15 to impact on 5-5. The Brit found his best serve back in time to push the set into a possible tie-break. Firing three first serves on the line, Murray confirmed the lead up 6-5. Djokovic started the 12th game with three strong first serves, leading the points. Murray played a stunning point at the net, winning the rally with a backhand volley winner, but Novak held at 30, pushing the set to a deciding tie-break.

THE TIE-BREAK

Murray started the tie-break with a double fault on his serve, Djokovic thanked and responded with an ace, to lead 2-0. Down 0-3 Murray won the first point in the tie-break with a good first serve and backhand winner. The Brit however, lost focus and incredibly hit yet another double fault, the second in the tie-break, to allow Djokovic with a 4-1 lead. The Serb took immediately the chance firing a first serve in the middle, up 5-1. Murray hit a backhand down the line wide and Djokovic saw his first 5 consecutive match points at 6-1. On the first murray served an ace, on the second Djokovic hit a forehand wide. On his third chance, Djokovic fired an ace in the middle of the service box and won the match after almost 3 hours.

ztT

Screen Shot 2016-01-31 at 11.46.49

Hot Topics

Iga Swiatek Unfazed By Pressure Heading Into French Open

The 20-year-old says she has ‘accepted a few things’ which has made it easier for her to relax on the Tour.

Avatar

Published

on

Photo by Roberto Dell’Olivo

After claiming her fifth title in a row at the Italian Open, Iga Swiatek has insisted that she will be able to cope with the high expectations from those around her heading into the next Grand Slam later this month.

 

The world No.1 dispatched of Ons Jabeur in straight sets on Sunday at the Foro Italico to extend her winning streak to 28 matches. Becoming only the fourth woman to do so since 2000 after both of the Williams sisters and Justin Henin. Overall, she has won 35 matches this season against just three losses. Prior to Rome, she also won titles in Doha, Indian Wells, Miami and Stuttgart. A run she described as ‘pretty surreal.’

Given Swiatek’s surge on the Tour, she is heading into the French Open as the one to beat in the women’s draw. A former winner of the major back in 2020, the Pole has the extra pressure of being the No.1 seed in a Grand Slam draw for the first time at the age of 20. In recent weeks she has had to also deal with a surge of media interest in her.

However, ironically Swiatek believes her unbeaten run in the sport has in one way helped eased her own personal expectations.

“Right now it’s a little bit better ’cause I kind of accepted a few things,” she told reporters in Rome on Sunday when asked about how she is dealing with the pressure.
“I already know that I did some great stuff this season, so I feel like I can just play freely and not think I have to win some tournaments or I have to win some matches or I have to save some points.’
“This year the pressure that I always put on myself, it’s a little bit lower. For sure the expectations around are higher, but I never had a problem to cut it off and not to think about it.”

Approaching Roland Garros Swiatek believes the best method is to change nothing. She is currently coached on the Tour by Tomasz Witkorowski who joined her team during the off-season. Witkorowski has previously worked with Agnieszka Radwańska. Also supporting her is sports psychologist Daria Abramowicz who has been working with the tennis star for over two years.

“Honestly, I’m going to do the same way I’ve done here (in Rome), also in other tournaments,” Swiatek said of her preparations for the French Open. “For sure it’s going to be a little bit harder with all the breaks that we’re going to have between matches. I also like the rhythm that we have on Grand Slams. Again, I’m going to try to do step by step, just think of the next match as I did in these tournaments.”

Should she win the French Open, Swiatek would have the longest winning streak on the WTA Tour since Serena Williams back in 2013. Whilst many are tipping her for more Grand Slam glory, she is keeping an open mind about how much longer she can keep her winning streak for.

“Good question. I think nobody knows the answer,” she replied.

The French Open will begin next Sunday.

Continue Reading

Hot Topics

Novak Djokovic Topples Tsitsipas To Win Record 38th Masters Title In Rome

The world No.1 says his latest triumph ‘couldn’t be a better time of the year’ with the French Open swiftly approaching.

Avatar

Published

on

Novak Djokovic overcame a second set blip to seal his sixth Italian Open title after ousting an at times erratic Stefanos Tsitsipas.

 

The world No.1 enjoyed a dream start before later getting tested during his 6-0, 7-6(5),win over the 23-year-old in what was their ninth Tour meeting. After storming through the opener, Djokovic was forced to battle back from 2-5 down in the second set. Overall, he produced 24 winners against 14 unforced errors to extend his head-to-head record against Tsitsipas to 7-2.

“I can say that I pleasantly surprised myself even though I had a clear game plan and strategy coming into the match,” Djokovic told TennisTV when asked about his start to the final. “I knew what was expected from the other side so I knew what I had to do. I did play a perfect set, no doubt about it.’
“After that it was a little bit tough at the beginning of the second. At this level one or two points can turn a match around and he was back in the game. 1-4 and 30-40 to him (Tsitsipas), the match could have easily gone into the third set but I somehow managed to find the right shots at the right time.” He added.

Taking to the court to play in his 12th Rome final, Djokovic dictated proceedings from the onset by producing clinical tennis against Tsitsipas who struggled to find his rhythm on the court. The top seed first drew blood in the opening game when a forehand from his rival slammed into the net which rewarded him a break. Two games later Djokovic extended his lead further to 3-0 at the expense of more Tsitsipas mistakes. This time it was a double fault followed by a backhand going wide.

Djokovic’s relentless play frustrated Tsitsipas who appeared lost. A remarkable contrast to their previous meeting at last year’s French Open where the Serbian had to battle back from two sets down. In cruise control, he closed out the 30-minute opening set with a smash at the net to become the first player to bagel Tsitsipas since Rafael Nadal did so at the 2019 Australian Open.

Cheered on by the crowd who were hoping for a battle between two of the Tour’s best players, Tsitsipas finally ended his losing streak by holding at the start of the second set. Prompting chants of ‘Tsitsipas’ to erupt at the Foro Italico. The Greek capitalized on the support as Djokovic faltered with a forehand mistake to gift him a break for 3-1 and revive his title hopes. One notable difference between the sets was the change of his tactics by hitting more to the Djokovic backhand.

After positioning himself on the verge of forcing a decider, Tsitsipas was unable to seize the opportunity. Working his way to a 5-2 lead, a tentative service game saw him produce a failed drop shot followed by a backhand unforced error to hand his nemesis the break back. Who eventually battled back to level 5-5.

With a historic 38th Masters 1000 title at stake, Djokovic held his nerve to prevail in a roller-coaster second set tiebreaker. After getting the mini break for a 3-2 lead when a Tsitsipas backhand crashed into the net, he lost his advantage 5 points later when one of his shots touched the net and landed out. Nevertheless, Djokovic nudged his way to championship point with a serve down the line was returned out by Tsitsipas. The title was then sealed when his rival hit a backhand that drifted wide.

“I have been building my form over the last couple of weeks and like the previous years I knew that my best on the clay is usually coming around Rome time,” said Djokovic. “It couldn’t be a better time of year coming into Roland Garros with a (Masters) title in this wonderful tournament.”

Djokovic’s latest win is his 232nd over a top 10 player which is an Open Era record for the ATP Tour. Besides claiming his 87th Tour title, he has become the oldest player ever to have won the Italian Open. Beating the previous benchmark set by Nadal 12 months ago.

Continue Reading

Hot Topics

Clinical Iga Swiatek Storms Past Jabeur To Claim Second Successive Rome Title

Swiatek’s sensational 2022 season continues as she tames the world No.7 to claim her fifth Tour title in a row.

Avatar

Published

on

Iga Swiatek has become only the fourth WTA player since 2000 to win a 28th match in a row after dismantling Ons Jabeur in the final of the Italian Open.

 

The world No.1 largely dictated proceedings throughout her 6-2, 6-2, triumph over the Tunisian in what was yet another clinical performance from the 20-year-old. Overall, she won 67% of her first service points and broke five times. Recording her first win over Jabeur since the 2019 Washington Open and only the second in her career out of four attemps.

I want to congratulate Ons. You’ve shown the fighting spirit, so much variety on court that really, it’s so nice to have you on tour because your tennis is just different and it’s really interesting for women’s tennis. Also off court you’re such a great person,” she said during the trophy ceremony.

Swiatek entered the final as the bookmakers favorites given her stellar run on the Tour in recent weeks. The Pole was on a 27-match winning streak and had impressively won 40 out of her last 41 sets played. Meanwhile, Jabeur also had momentum on her side after recently winning the biggest title of her career last week in Madrid and claiming 11 straight wins for the first time in her career at the age of 27.

With the trophy at stake, it was the world No.1 who dedicated the match early on with some clinical play. Swiatek’s ability to play quickly and take time away from her opponent during rallies enabled her to break in just the second game. Back-to-back Jabeur forehand errors handed the former French Open champion the break as she eased to a 3-0 lead with relative ease. Triggering flashbacks of Swiatek’s win in the Rome final 12 months ago where she thrashed Karolina Pliskova 6-0, 6-0.

This time round Swiatek did drop games, but her performance was just as impressive. After missing her first set point, she earned a second chance by punishing a Jabeur dropshot with a cross-court forehand winner. The 6-2 lead was then sealed when a baseline exchange between the two concluded with a deep Swiatek forehand to the corner of the court which her opponent couldn’t return.

Historically winning the first set in the final of a WTA 1000 event is crucial with only 1 out of the last 24 title matches being won by a player who didn’t (Osaka at the 2019 China Open). On top of that, Swiatek boasted a staggering 30-0 record when claiming the opener at these tournaments.

Set number two was a case of deja vu with Swiatek once again utilizing her powerful shot-making to draw errors from across the court as she broke early on en route to a 3-0 lead. At this stage it was visible that Jabeur was getting fatigued and frustrated as she kicked one of the tennis balls.

Nearing towards the title, Swiatek encountered a blip by dropping one of her service games to the delight of a suddenly rejuvenated Jabeur and her fans. Then when leading 6-2, 4-2, she valiantly saved a quartet of break points to move to a game from victory. Avoiding the threat, Swiatek triumphed on her first championship point when yet another baseline exchange concluded with an error from across the court. Prompting a tearful Pole to collapse to the ground.

I want to congratrulate Iga for the great run,” said runner-up Jabeur.
“You’re a really great inspiration for all of us, so thank you.”
She added.

Swiatek has now won 35 WTA Tour matches this season which is 10 more than any other player, according to SAP Tennis Analytics.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending