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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Andy Murray Makes Retirement Hint After 500th Hard Court Win In Dubai

Andy Murray won his 500th hard court match in Dubai, placing him fifth on the all-time list.

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Andy Murray further hinted at retirement after securing a 500th hard court win of his career in Dubai.

The former world number one picked up his second win of the year with a 4-6 7-6(5) 6-3 victory over Denis Shapovalov.

In typical Andy Murray fashion, the Brit came back from a set down to defeat the out-of-sorts Canadian as he progressed to the second round.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUVj537F-wQ

The win means Murray now has 500 career wins on a hard court and that is an achievement the world number 67 is proud of, “It’s not bad,” Murray told the ATP website as he sits fifth on the all-time list of hard court wins.

“Obviously hard court has been a great surface for me over the years and 500 is a lot of matches so I’m very proud of that. There are not many players that have done that, so great to get to 500 before I’m done.”

However those post-match comments weren’t the most shocking ones as Murray once again hinted at retirement this season.

The Brit has made subtle remarks that this year may be his last one but Murray’s comments today suggests that he may have already made his decision, “I probably don’t have too long left but I’ll do as best as I can these last few months,” Murray was quoted by ESPN as saying.

“I still love competing and still love the game but it gets harder and harder to compete the older you get, to keep your body fit and fresh.”

If the end is near for Murray than the Brit will look to end his career on a high for the next few months.

Before thinking about retirement Murray will look to go further in Dubai when he takes on either Ugo Humbert or Gael Monfils in the second round.

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David Ferrer Backs Nadal To Continue His Career Beyond 2024

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Rafael Nadal - Parigi-Bercy 2022 (Twitter @RolexPMasters)

Spanish Davis Cup captain David Ferrer believes there is a good chance that Rafael Nadal will play next season as long as he doesn’t suffer another significant injury blow. 

Nadal has only played one tournament so far this season which was during the first week of January at the Brisbane International where he reached the quarter-finals. The former world No.1 recorded wins over Dominic Thiem and Jason Kubler before losing to Jordan Thompson. It was the first time he had played on the Tour in almost a year due to a hip injury. 

Shortly after that event, the Spaniard was sidelined from action once again due to a small tear in his hip muscle and hasn’t played since. He is set to begin his latest comeback next week at an exhibition event in Los Vegas where he will play Carlos Alcaraz before travelling to Indian Wells. 

Nadal’s physical issues have triggered speculation about when the 37-year-old might retire from the sport and he has previously mentioned this year might be his last. Although his future is still up in the air with Ferrer maintaining an upbeat outlook. 

“If he does not have physical injuries, I am convinced that he will be competitive. It was already shown in the first week of the year in Brisbane that he was at a very high level without barely competing. If he doesn’t have any injuries he will be competitive and if he is competitive, he will continue for another year.” Ferrer said during an interview with Marca

Ferrer, who won 27 ATP titles and reached a ranking high of number three during his career, says one of Nadal’s priorities for the 2024 will be the upcoming Summer Olympics. The four-year sporting extravaganza is being held in Paris with the tennis competition being staged at Roland Garros. The venue of the French Open which Nadal has won a record 14 times, including in 2013 when he beat Ferrer in the final. 

“What I can say is that we have to wait a little to see how Rafa goes on the Indian Wells tour and then on the clay tour, which is very important to see how he feels.” He said.
“Today, Rafa’s priority, before the Davis Cup, is the (Olympic) Games. Have a good clay tour, feel competitive and be at the Paris event.”

Nadal is a two-time Olympic champion, winning the singles title in 2008 and the doubles event in 2016. 

As for the Davis Cup, Ferrer is hopeful that Nadal will play in the event with the possibility of the king of clay teaming up with Alcaraz to play in the doubles. Spain failed to qualify for the finals last year which was staged in their home country. 

“The option that he (Nadal) can play doubles with Carlos Alcaraz is something that all tennis fans and I, as captain, are very excited to see being there,” Ferrer stated. 

Nadal’s upcoming exhibition showdown against Alcaraz will take place on March 3rd at the Michelob ULTRA Arena in Las Vegas. Ferrer will be commentating on the match alongside Feliciano Lopez. 

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Past And Present Stars Back Andy Murray’s Call For Expansion Of South American Swing

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Andy Murray’s so-called ‘unpopular opinion’ about tennis in South America is proving to be more popular than he thought. 

On Saturday the former world No.1 and three-time Grand Slam champion published a post on social media calling for the continent to have a designated place in the Tour calendar, including a Masters 1000 tournament. This month events are taking place across South America alongside those happening in Europe and the Middle East. The most prestigious of those are the Rio Open in Brazil and Alcapulco Open in Mexico which are both classed as ATP 500 tournaments. 

A recent report from tennis publication Clay quoted unnamed sources as saying that Argentina is set to lose one of their ATP 250 events next year and the only ATP-Tour event in Chile could be under threat in the future. Hampering efforts to bring world-class tennis to the region. Something Murray fully backs.

“Unpopular opinion, South America should have its own dedicated swing on the tennis tour with its own masters series,” he wrote on X.
“The way the fans support the tournaments there is incredible. Amazing atmospheres and is clearly part of their sporting culture.”

Murray’s post has been met with support from others in the world of tennis who agree with him. Former top 10 player Diego Schwartzman says the governing body of men’s tennis has been showing less support to tennis in his region. Even though the current top 100 include six Argentines, three Chileans and one Brazillian. 

“Let (the) ATP Tour know this Andy! Every year they put (give) us less support. Not just because of how the fans support the tournaments,” Schwartzman wrote.
“Also how many players we have and we had on the top as u know. We deserve more than this from the ATP.”

Nicolás Pereira, who is currently a member of the ATP Players Advisory Council, wrote on X that Murray ‘got that right’ with his comment. Meanwhile, Boris Becker stated that ‘Tennis should go to countries/continents where tennis is booming.’ 

John Isner also weighed in on the topic by saying that a Masters 1000 in South America would create an ‘insane atmosphere.’ Masters events have been a prominent fixture on the Tour since 1990 but a tournament of this level has never been held in the region. This season five are being staged in North America, four in Europe and one in Asia. South America has also never staged the ATP Tour Finals. 

Currently, Murray’s post on South America has received more than 5,000 reposts and 43,000 likes.

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