Novak Djokovic Wins Madrid Title, Takes Sole Control of Tennis Masters 1000 History - UBITENNIS
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Novak Djokovic Wins Madrid Title, Takes Sole Control of Tennis Masters 1000 History

Where it all started 10 years ago, Novak Djokovic went full circle in his historic rivalry against Andy Murray. The Serb won a tight three-set 2-hour battle with the final score of 6-2 3-6 6-3 to conquer his second Madrid title and a record 29th ATP Masters 1000 title.

Ivan Pasquariello

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Ten years after facing one another for the first time on the ATP World Tour in Madrid, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray went full circle meeting in the final of the tournament as World No.1 and No.2. In their 32nd career meeting, with Djokovic leading 22-9 in their rivalry, the match ended just like it did a decade ago: Djokovic won in three sets.

 

The Serb continued in his quest towards gaining tennis immortality, after becoming the first player to hold a total of 29 Masters 1000 title. After being tied with Nadal in this special chart for less than a month, the World No.1 conquered his 2nd Madrid title – the first coming in his golden year in 2011 – to sit alone on top of the greatest Masters 1000 champions of all time.

The match started with Murray appearing tight, knowing a flawless performance was needed to confirm his title in Madrid. Djokovic took advantage of a poor start from the Brit to break in the first game of the match. The World No.1 quickly built a 4-1 lead, breaking his opponent again in the 4th game as Murray hit a shot in the net. Soon after Novak closed the first set 6 games to 2, with a forehand cross court winner.

The first set stats:

Recovering from his poor performance in the first set, the 2013 Wimbledon champion showed major glimpses of the tennis that allowed him to take the crown in Madrid and which allowed him to beat Nadal in straight sets the day before. With the Brit more attentive, less prone to the miss, Djokovic was unable to dominate the court as he did in the first partial. The World No.1 was broken for the first time in the match and soon after lost the second set. Murray closed the set at 6-3 in 39 minutes.

The second set stats:

In the third set Djokovic got back to dominating the rallies, pushing Murray to miss first. The Serb broke in the second game of the set, with Murray serving his first service game of the third set, to take a 2-0 lead. Murray had a chance to break back in the third game, with Djokovic serving down 30-40. The Serb surprisingly surrendered to pressure, hitting a double fault to allow Murray back in the final set. The Brit made good use of the chance given, holding serve to 30 and setting the score tied at 2-2.

Djokovic saw another chance at 3-2, with Murray serving down 15-40 missing a forehand long. The Serb immediately stepped in, took control of the rally and won the game with a backhand down the line which hit the line. Murray cancelled the sign, inviting the chair umpire not to check if the ball had landed in. Djokovic got to a 4-2 lead, closing in on the match win.

Murray nervous, Djokovic continued to dominate with his first serve and pushing the ball deep on the court. Djokovic closed the 7th game with a forehand winner to lead 5-2 and be sure to have a chance to serve for the match and the title.

Murray faced the first match point at 2-5 30-40, but survived with an ace. Serving for the match at 5-3, Djokovic felt the nerves kicking in, allowing Murray with 3 chances to break serve. The Serb saved all three chance, the last seeing Murray hitting an easy forehand in the net. The Brit got another chance to break serve, but missed yet again, this time hitting a sliced defensive backhand long. Murray managed to take control of the following rally, getting another chance to break thanks to a forehand cross court winner. Murray went on to have 6 chances to break, but missed it all, as the game entered the 10-minute duration. As Andy missed a backhand in the net, Djokovic had another chance to close the match, the first on his serve. Djokovic missed his chance with a forehand in the net, but after saving a 7th break point had his third chance to close out the contest. Murray hit a forehand in the net, losing the match as Djokovic won with the final score of 6-2 3-6 6-3 after more than 2 hours of grueling battle.

The match stats:

Starting on next Monday, despite having the same ranking points as Roger Federer, Murray will surrender the 2nd spot to the Swiss.

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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.

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Image via twitter.com/atptour (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.

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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…

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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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