Age-Defying Roger Federer Downs Nadal To Seal The Sunshine Double In Miami - UBITENNIS
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Age-Defying Roger Federer Downs Nadal To Seal The Sunshine Double In Miami





Roger Federer has become the oldest man in history to win the Miami Open after overcoming Spain’s Rafael Nadal 6-3, 6-4, in the final.

The 37th meeting of the two tennis icons sent Miami into a frenzy with the Tennis Center at Crandon Park nearing maximum capacity. The occasion was an opportunity for the seemingly ageless Federer to clinch his third victory over the Spaniard is as many months for the first time in his career. Meanwhile, Nadal was a win away from clinching a title that has eluded him throughout his entire career. It was the mouth-watering clash that many dreamt of and an outcome that Federer would have never imagined six months ago.

“For me the dream continues. It’s been a fabulous couple of weeks here in Miami. Indian Wells was beautiful as well, but the atmosphere here in Key Biscayne is very special.” Said Federer, who hit a total of 29 winners in the match.
“It really is a beautiful stop on the tour and I hope it’s going to be a successful tournament for years to come.” He added.

Resuming their rivalry at the place where it began 13 years ago, both players were able to illustrate their superiority in the match with some supreme shot-making. As the Miami humidity rose to 75%, making the balls bounce lower, chances came and went for both men throughout the opening set.

Federer’s tactic of pushing his rival around the court was matched by Nadal’s stern forehand. Seven break-point chances came and went (three for Nadal and four for Federer) before a breakthrough occurred in the eighth game. Enduring another tightly contested game, a blistering Federer forehand return rewarded him another chance to break. Finally, the 18-time grand slam champion seized his opportunity as Nadal failed to return a Federer shot. Fighting for the 5-3 lead, the closeness between the two eroded. Serving for the opening set, Federer strolled to the lead with the help of a serve out wide.

On the verge of the sunshine double, there was an inevitable burst of excitement in the Federer camp. Still, it was a far from certain outcome given who he was playing. Once again the two men were inseparable due to the resilience in their service games. Federer’s start to set two saw him win 12 consecutive points on his serve as Nadal claimed 12 out of 15 on his.

Twice Federer had a break point to lead by a set and 4-3 before he was pegged back by a highly animated Nadal. Despite the heavy investments of the Spaniard, it failed to derail the inevitability of Federer’s win. A stroke of luck thanks to a dead net cord aided the Swiss to hit a winning lob on route to a break point chance for 5-4. It was a task he passed with flying colours after a backhand down the line force his rival to produce an unforced error. The luck of the tennis gods continued to be on the side of the 35-year-old after a mishit landed in, rewarding him championship point. Serving for ATP title No.91, Federer sealed victory with a swift serve down the line that his opponent returned out.

Praise for Nadal

Extending his winning streak against Nadal to four, Federer spoke of the nostalgia surrounding their latest encounter. It was a third round meeting in the 2004 tournament that started one of the greatest rivalries the sport has ever seen.

“I’m happy we’re both here together. I enjoy playing against you, this is where it all started for us in 2004 when you were a little boy and grew into a big man, A strong man. We had some epic matches on the years, which I didn’t always enjoy, but mostly we had some great battles over the years.” Federer said in a tribute to Nadal.

Federer has now won three out of the four tournaments he has played this year. At the start to the season he returned to the tour after a six-month hiatus due to a knee injury. Since then he has won his 18th major title at the Australian Open, 90th ATP title in Indian Wells and sealed the sunshine double in Miami.

“It’s an amazing start to the season. I think it’s one of the best comeback on the tour after a long injury.” Runner-up Nadal said about the Swiss players resurgence.

Minimal plans for the clay

Following his Miami win, the 35-year-old provided an update about his intentions for the clay swing of the tour. In recent weeks, speculation has mounted about how many tournaments he will play prior to the French Open.

“I probably won’t play any clay court event except the French (Open). I need a rest. My body needs healing.” He told ESPN’s Brad Gilbert.

Out of Federer’s 91 titles, 11 of those have occurred on the clay. His last title on the surface occurred at the 2015 Istanbul Open in Turkey.

This year’s French Open will start on May 29th.


Team World One Win Away From Victory in Laver Cup

Team World take a huge 10-2 lead over Team Europe heading into the final day



Image via Laver Cup twitter

After losing the first four editions of the Laver Cup, Team World look set to win the event for a second time as the event reaches its conclusion tomorrow.


Team World Captain John McEnroe was thrilled with the day’s results but warned against complacency: “We’re just going to keep doing what we’re doing. The job’s not done but we’re pretty close.”

American duo Taylor Fritz and Frances Tiafoe both earned straight sets wins over Andrey Rublev and Hubert Hurkacz, while Felix Auger-Aliassime and Ben Shelton beat Hurkacz and Gael Monfils.

“I want to play well for the guys,” said Tiafoe after his singles victory. “I played really well tonight. Just being in a team environment is so foreign to us as tennis players, it’s such an individual sport.”

After winning his third singles match in three appearances at the Laver Cup, Fritz was also motivated to do well:

“Yesterday, all the guys played really well. I felt that and wanted to come out on court and show what I can do. That definitely motivated me. Any type of team environment, I feel like it always elevates my game. I feel like my record in team events is really strong because I have a team cheering for me. I get pumped up. I’m excited to play for them. It just adds more pressure and fire to it. I think I play better in those situations.”

The doubles was a typically dynamic and feisty affair, and after the match Shelton was full of praise for his partner:

“It’s amazing, when you play with a guy who serves and returns like Felix, is as athletic as him, and goes back for the overhead as strong as him, it’s a fun time,” said Shelton. “We call him ‘Laver Cup Felix’ because he turns into something special this week, just glad I got to share the court with him at least once.”

Auger-Aliassime returned the compliments: “The best comes out of me when I’m playing not only for myself but for team-mates. Ben carried me through the end of that match, it was tough for me to get it done.”

Casper Ruud, meanwhile, beat Tommy Paul for Europe’s only points so far.

Matches on the final day are worth three points each – meaning that Team Europe would have to win all four remaining matches to prevent Team World from winning the trophy.

T. Fritz def A. Rublev 6-2, 7-6
F. Tiafoe def H. Hurkacz 7-5, 6-3
F. Auger-Aliassime & B. Shelton def H.Hurkacz & G. Monfils 7-5, 6-4
C. Ruud def T. Paul 7-6, 6-2

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ATP RANKINGS UPDATE: Novak Djokovic, No.1 once more



After the US Open the Serbian champion reclaims top spot. Alexander Zverev is back in the Top 10


By Roberto Ferri

Don’t ever underestimate the heart of a champion”

Rudy Tomjanovich coined this maxim just after his Houston Rockets won the NBA championship in 1995. He was paying homage to Akeem Holajuwon. It perfectly suits the heart of Daniil Medvedev, who proved 99% of tennis fans in the world to be wrong, convinced as they were that he would lose the semifinal to former No 1 Carlos Alcaraz.

But his dream to win a second US Open, after his triumph in 2021, was shattered by another champion, whose heart and class is even greater: that’s Novak Djokovic, who affixes his seal on his return to No.1, equalling Margaret Court Smith’s record of 24 majors.

Djokovic dethroning Alcaraz is not the only change in the top 20: Sascha Zverev is back in the top 10 after almost one year and Ben Shelton, great protagonist of the Us Open, debuts in the top 20 best players in the world.

TOP 20

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A few comments:

Stefanos Tsitsipas, Andrei Rublev and Alexander Zverev gain 2 positions.

Ben Shelton devours 28 positions.

Sinner, Tiafoe, Norrie and Dimitrov lose one.

Casper Ruud and Karen Khachanov, runner up and semi-finalist respectively  at the 2022 US  Open, drop 4 positions.

One step forward for Fritz, de Minaur, Paul, Auger-Aliassime and Hurkacz.


From 12 to 19 November the 8 best players of the ranking based on the points earned in the ongoing solar season will be playing the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin.

Will Novak Djokovic succeed in winning a second straight title? He appears to be heading in the right direction.


Thanks to his triumph at the US Open the Serbian overtakes Alcaraz also in the Race to Turin.

Jannik Sinner holds fourth spot while Andrei Rublev overtakes Stefanos Tsitsipas and is now fifth.

The eighth position is occupied by Alexander Zverev.

Last year runner up, Casper Ruud is currently 10th. This means he would feature in Turin as a reserve.


The Next Gen Finals, dedicated to the best under 21s, (8 effectives and 2 reserves) of the season will take place this year in Gedda, Saudi Arabia.

The 2022 winner, Brandon Nakashima, will not be defending his title, since he was born in 2001.

PositionPlayerCountryPtsYOB ATP rank
6Van AsscheFrance597200469
12Llamas RuizSpain3702002133

Taking for granted that Alcaraz and, most likely Rune, will be playing the ATP Finals, we have included in the chart the 12 current top under 21s.


Besides Ben Shelton, other 11 players have achieved their career highest this week.

We tribute a double applause to the four players who are making their debut in the top 100.

The 25-year-old Croatian Borna Gojo, 22-year-old Australian Rinky Hijkata and the Swiss next gen Dominic Stricker all reap the reward for their brilliant runs at the US Open. Seyboth Wild, the Brazilian who stunned Medvedev in the first round of Roland Garros leaps to No.76 after winning the Challenger in Como last week.

Seyboth Wild76Brazil30

Translated by Kingsley Elliot Kaye

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COMMENT: Novak Djokovic Proves His Greatness At US Open



Love him, or hate him. But respect him.


No tennis player has ever been better than Novak Djokovic.

Even Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer have to take their hats off to Novak, and admire him.

Now that Rafa and Roger have left Djokovic on his own stage at least for now, tennis fans love Novak.


Djokovic’s performance on Sunday evening in the U.S. Open final was simply amazing. Daniil Medvedev also played his heart out, but Djokovic went one step further. He was sensational.

It was a thrill-a-minute three-set match. It lasted well into the night after starting at mid-afternoon. The second set alone lasted 104 minutes.

Djokovic was the winner, 6-3, 7-6 (5), 6-3, but New York still loves 2021 champion Medvedev.


At 36, the oldest U.S. Open men’s champion ever, Djokovic obviously has a special place in his heart for the number four. It’s the number of times he has won this tournament and the 24th time he has won a Grand Slam title.

The number 24 also was displayed prominently on the white jacket. Novak, his team members and family wore for the victory celebration as a tribute to the No. 24 jersey of deceased friend Kobe Bryant.

Djokovic lost his footing at least three times in the tight second set, stumbling to the surface once, apparently due to the length of the rallies.

Djokovic could look like he was almost completely wiped out of it physically one minute, and then play like Superman the next minute.


Both men played great tennis, especially in the thrill-a-second second set in which Medvedev gained one set point in the 12th game before Djokovic recovered to force a tiebreaker.

Medvedev appeared to be in charge after out-playing Novak to win one of his drop shots to take a 5-4 lead in the tiebreaker. The match may have been decided on the next three points, all won by Djokovic on errors by the 6-6 Russian.

The big question now is what happens next January in the Australian Open. Right now, Djokovic probably wants to play . . . and win what has been his favorite tournament as far as success. But things can change quickly for players in their mid-30s. Just ask Roger or Rafa.

James Beck was the 2003 winner of the USTA National Media Award. A 1995 MBA graduate of The Citadel, he can be reached at

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