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

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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.

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‘I See Him Running A Show’ – Alex Corretja On Federer’s Possible Return To Wimbledon As Pundit

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Roger Federer (SUI) playing against Adrian Mannarino (FRA) in the first round of the Gentlemen's Singles on Centre Court at The Championships 2021. Held at The All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon. Day 2 Tuesday 29/06/2021. Credit: AELTC/Jed Leicester

Former world No.2 Alex Corretja says broadcasters must value Roger Federer if he works for them amid growing speculation that the Swiss maestro could join the BBC for this year’s Wimbledon Championships. 

 

British media reports have claimed that the 20-time Grand Slam winner is currently in negotiations with the BBC over possibly joining their team for the grass-court major in what would be a major coup for the organization. The Express newspaper says a ‘special condition’ must be met for such an agreement to take place but it is unclear as to what this alleged condition will be. 

Federer, who has won Wimbledon more times than any other male player in history, pulled the plug on his record-breaking career last year. In recent months, he has vowed to stay connected with the sport in some capacity to avoid becoming what he describes as a ‘tennis ghost.’ In an interview with the newspaper Tages Anzeiger, he expressed an interest in potentially going into broadcasting.

“I never thought I would say this but six months ago I suddenly thought (about) commentating on tennis someday. Who knows? Although I always said I would never do that,” he said.

Speaking about the possibility of having Federer on the TV screen once again, Correrja said ‘it would be awesome.’ The Spaniard is a former coach of Andy Murray who has since worked as a tennis analyst for Eurosport. 

“I mean Roger can do whatever he likes, he’s going to be welcome anywhere he goes,” he told Express Sport.
“He knows tennis, he loves tennis, he is well respected, he’s such a classy guy and definitely that would be awesome for us to have him somewhere related to tennis.”
“I think it’s nice to have the ex-players involved because they can add lots of things, lots of experiences that no one lived before so if you’ve been there before it’s much easier to explain why players are feeling one way or another than if you’ve never been there before.”

It is unclear when the BBC will release their line-up of presenters for this year’s tournament which will not feature Sue Barker as the broadcaster’s main anchor for the first time since 1999. Barker retired from her position last year and is rumoured to be replaced by Claire Balding. 

Corretja says If Federer agrees to join the team it would be a waste of time having him just call matches and argue that he should be given his own segments. Even though the former world No.1 hasn’t got any presenting experience yet. 

“I’m not so sure if he’s going to be calling matches or not, I’m not so sure if he’s going to be sitting in the booth, maybe he might do it from time to time,” he said.
“But I see him running a show, being the main one there and saying ‘Okay, I’m the man here’, guiding the whole thing. Maybe doing interviews or a programme, doing something special.”
“But it has to be something special and knowing Roger, for sure it’s going to be something special.
“He’s not going to be calling matches for eight hours a day, I don’t think that makes sense. You need to value Federer as what he is and he has to be something very unique because he is very unique.”

Should Federer join the BBC, he could earn thousands depending on how much he commits to doing and his contract terms. According to the BBC’s 2021/2022 star salaries list, John McEnroe earned between £180,000-£184,999 for his work during the tournament. 

The 2023 Wimbledon Championships will begin on July 3rd. 

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Emma Raducanu Can Win More Grand Slam Titles, Says Former Olympic Champion Puig

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Emma Raducanu reacts during a Women's Singles match at the 2021 US Open, Monday, Sep. 6, 2021 in Flushing, NY. (Darren Carroll/USTA)

The rapid rise of Emma Raducanu in women’s tennis is something Monica Puig can relate to. 

 

At the 2021 US Open the Brit stunned the tournament by becoming the first qualifier in history to win the Grand Slam. In 10 matches played, Raducanu won them all without dropping a set in what was only her second appearance in the main draw of a major event. The achievement elevated the youngster to the limelight as she experienced a surge in interest in her by both fans and endorsement deals. 

However, since the triumph Raducanu is yet to contest another final on the Tour and is now ranked 80th in the world. Last year she won 16 matches on the WTA Tour with her best run being to the semi-finals of the Seoul Open in South Korea. Part of her lacklustre results can be attributed to a series of injury issues she has experienced with the most recent being an ankle injury she sustained at the start of this season in Auckland.

Raducanu’s roller-coaster journey is one that Puig knows all too well from her time on the Tour. The Puerto Rican made history in 2016 by becoming the first athlete from her country to win a gold medal at the Olympic Games. Since then, she only reached one Tour final at the 2017 Luxemburg Open and never progressed beyond the third round of a Grand Slam. Puig retired from tennis in 2022 following a lengthy battle with injury.

“I saw her many times courtside during the US Open when she did when that title and she is a very talented player,”
Puig said of Raducanu during an interview with Sky Sports.
“Physically, she’s still very young. I’m not going to say she’s already a very established player with a lot of experience. She won that US Open title having not played many WTA events and she hasn’t had a full calendar.
“She still needs time to develop and time to find out who she is as a tennis player, who she is as a person and I can sympathise with her because when I won the Olympics it came out of nowhere.
“I didn’t have as much media attention as she does and I can only imagine coming from the UK where something like that is so big. It just exploded.”

Offering her advice to the tennis star, Puig believes it is important that she establish a strong foundation in her team before setting out any goals. Raducanu has gone through numerous coaches over the past two years. She is currently working alongside Sebastian Sachs who has previously mentored Victoria Azarenka and Belinda Bencic.

As for the possibility of Raducanu claiming more major glory in the future, Puig believes she is more than capable of doing so.

“Absolutely! She’s still young. It’s a matter of time. We’re always seeing generational changes with so players like myself and Serena Williams having now stepped away. The new generation that’s going to come and carry the torch for the future generation,” she commented. 
“Yes, she is going to be in that circle of names that are going to be a force to be reckoned with. She just needs to settle, find her ground and take the pressure and expectation off because she already did something that not many people can do.
“Remember the reason why you started playing tennis in the first place. It’s because of the love of the sport.”


Raducanu has played just two tournaments so far this season but was forced to retire from her second round match at the ASB Classic after she hurt her ankle. At the Australian Open, she won her opening match before losing in straight sets to Coco Gauff.

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Dominic Thiem Vows To Fight On In Hope Of Returning To Top Forn

The former world No.3 admits he is in a ‘difficult situation’ after failing to win a match so far this year.

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Dominic Thiem; e-motion/Bildagentur Zolles KG/Martin Steiger, 27.10.2022

Dominic Thiem says he must continue to ‘give everything’ on the court if he wishes to return to the top of the men’s game after what has been a challenging past few months. 

 

Thiem, who won the 2020 US Open title, has endured mixed results on the Tour ever since returning to the sport following a wrist injury which sidelined him for nine months. Towards the end of last year, he showed glimmers of finding his momentum after reaching back-to-back semi-finals at ATP 250 events in Gijon and Antwerp. 

However, the start to this season has been a frustrating one for Thiem who is yet to win a match of any sort. After losing in the first round of the Adelaide International and Australian Open, he failed to win two matches during his country’s Davis Cup clash with Croatia over the weekend. He is currently on a five-match losing streak. 

“It’s a difficult situation, definitely,” The 29-year-old admitted during an interview with Kronen Zeitung“It’s not always easy for me, which has been the last year and a half since the US Open. What I have to do is give everything, and fight hard from the first to the last ball. Then I definitely have a chance of getting back to a very good level. This is also the only chance.”

Thiem is coached on the Tour by Nicolas Massu who oversaw him win his maiden Masters 1000 title in Indian Wells a year before he claimed the US Open crown. Although given his recent difficulties in the sport, would he be willing to get some extra help?

“Ultimately, it depends mostly on me, or just me. If there are too many outside voices, it’s not good,” he said. “I’m 29, turning 30 soon, and it’s the only chance I’ll have 100 per cent determination to get back to a top level.’
“I can also get a Roger Federer if I can’t muster it… I have to see if I can do it.”

So far in his career, the Austrian has won 17 Tour titles and was runner-up in 11 other ATP tournaments. He is only one of two players to have scored five or more wins over every member of the Big Three. Furthermore, he has recorded 32 wins over top 10 opponents. 

Undoubtedly the pinnacle of Thiem’s career was at Flushing Meadows where he came back from two sets down against Alexander Zverev to win his first Grand Slam title. However, coming to terms with his achievement has been a struggle. The following year he only managed to win back-to-back matches in two out of eight tournaments played before a wrist injury brought his season to an abrupt end. 

“It (the fire) went out after the US Open,” he jokes. “But we’ve already talked about that. I don’t want to blame myself for that either. There are players who celebrate great success, who are spurred on even further, who are pushed even further to perform even better. Who are immediately on fire to win the next Grand Slam title.’
“It wasn’t like that for me, I’m a different guy. It took me a while before I accepted that. That I find it a bit harder than some others. What I certainly also had to learn is that it is only up to me and I have to regulate it myself.”

Thiem is currently ranked 96th in the world. This year is the first season he has started ranked outside of the top 90 since 2014. 

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