Novak Djokovic Appoints Agassi As Coach - UBITENNIS
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Novak Djokovic Appoints Agassi As Coach

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Novak Djokovic has confirmed that he will start working with former world No.1 Andre Agassi at the upcoming French Open.

 

Rumours of a potential partnership between the two circulated earlier in the week following a report published in The Telegraph newspaper.  Djokovic has been without a coach since the start of May after dismissing three members of his team. The move was triggered after the Serbian experienced a series of disappointing results on the tour where he failed to reach the final at four consecutive tournaments.

“I spoke to Andre the last couple weeks on the phone, and we decided to get together in Paris. So he’s gonna be there. We’ll see what future brings.” Djokovic said following his loss to Alexander Zverev at the Italian Open.

Agassi was one of a series of high profile players that Djokovic has spoken to. According to Italian media, he also approached Pete Sampras and Gustavo Kuerten. The two will work together only during part of the French Open. Agassi, who is also the husband of Steffi Graf, is unable to stay in Roland Garros for the full two weeks.

“We are both excited to work together and see where it takes us. We don’t have any long-term commitment.” The world No.2 explained. “It’s just us trying to get to know each other in Paris a little bit.”
“He will not stay the whole tournament. He’s gonna stay only to a certain time, and then we’ll see after that what’s gonna happen.”

Explaining his reasoning behind the new partnership, Djokovic revealed that it was his own respect for the America that influenced his decision. Agassi is an eight-time grand slam winner, becoming the first man in the Open Era to win four Australian Open titles. During his career, he won 60 ATP singles titles and spend 101 weeks as world No.1.

“Andre is someone that I have tremendous respect for as a person and as a player. He has been through everything that I’m going through. On the court he understands the game amazingly well.” He said.
“I am enjoying every conversation that I have with him. He’s a very humble man, is very educated in just, he’s a person that can contribute to my life on and off the court a lot.”

The two are yet to meet in person, discussing their plans via telephone over the past two-and-a-half weeks.

A mutual respect

In recent times, Agassi has publicly praised the Serbian player. In 2016 he told CNN that Djokovic was ‘the favourite to win the US Open.’ Djokovic lost in the final at Flushing Meadows to Stan Wawrinka.

“Anybody that knows me knows that I think he should win everything all the time,” Agassi once said about Djokovic.  “That is how he separated himself from everybody.”

In January, the 47-year-old spoke out in defence of the world No.2 amid a slump in his results on the tour. Agassi compared Djokovic’s dip to the misfortunes he endured during his career, insisting that everybody has ‘their own unique journey.’

“We all have our own unique journey. I hit rock bottom over the course of two years and I can assure you Novak won’t have to learn in as hard a way as I had to learn but he still has time.” He said.
“He’s a heck of an athlete and in my opinion one of the greats of all time.”

Djokovic will be the defending champion and second seed in this year’s French Open, which will get underway a week today.

Grand Slam

(VIDEO EXCLUSIVE) The Wimbledon Clash Between Djokovic And Sinner Could Have Been Better

It was an epic five-set clash but imagine how better the match would have been if both were playing well at the same time…

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Hall of Famer Steve Flink and Ubitennis’ Ubaldo Scanagatta analyse the dramatic events that unfolded on Tuesday at Wimbledon.

 

Top seed Novak Djokovic staged an epic comeback to oust Jannik Sinner in a match of two halves. Meanwhile, Cameron Norrie brought delight to the British fans.

On the other side of the draw, how will Rafael Nadal fair against the in-form Taylor Fritz? The Spaniard recently sidestepped a question about a potential new injury. 

As for the women’s draw, Ons Jabeur made history by becoming the first Arab player to reach a major quarter-final. She will next play 34-year-old mum-of-two Tatjana Maria who had never been beyond the third round of a major until now. 

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WIMBLEDON: 10 Facts About Semi-Finalist Ons Jabeur

All you need to know about the Trailblazing Tunisian who has created history at The All England Club.

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image via twitter.com/wimbledon

Second seed Ons Jabeur achieved a new milestone for both her and her country at Wimbledon on Tuesday. 

 

The world No.2 battled back from a set down to defeat Marie Bouzkova 3-6, 6-1, 6-1, to reach the last four of a major event for the first time in her career. Jabeur has now dropped only one set in five matches played and is the highest ranked player remaining in the draw. Her major breakthrough comes seven years after she made her Grand Slam debut at the 2015 Australian Open. 

“I played really good from beginning of the second set, especially having a early break kind of helps me gain confidence,” said Jabeur.
“I know it wasn’t easy playing Marie. She gets all the balls and doesn’t make, to win a point, easy for me. I’m glad I stepped in with my game. I was more aggressive in the second set, and especially tactically I was playing some angles that she didn’t like much.”

To mark Jabeur’s Wimbledon milestone, here are 10 facts to know about her:-

  1. She is the first North African player – male or female – to reach a Grand Slam semi-final. The last woman from the entire African continent to reach a major semi-final was Amanda Coetzer at the 1997 French Open. 
  2. Her win over Bouzkova is Jabeur’s 26th Tour-level win on the grass.
  3. Jabeur has now won 83 matches over the past two seasons. This is more than any other player on the WTA Tour. 
  4. Has won 21 out of her last 23 matches.
  5. She is the only Tunisian woman currently ranked in the world’s top 700.
  6. Jabeur had failed to win back-to-back matches on her three out of her four previous appearances at Wimbledon in 2017, 2018 and 2019. She reached the quarter-finals in 2021.
  7. Coming into Wimbledon she has already earned more than $6.2m in prize money in her career.
  8. She has won three Tour titles in Birmingham (2021), Madrid (2022) and Berlin (2022). 
  9. Has beaten a top 10 player four times in her career – Dominika Cibulkova (2017 French Open), Simona Halep (Beijing 2018), Sloane Stephens (Moscow 2018) and Karolina Pliskova (Doha 2020).
  10. In October 2021 she became the first Arab player (mae or female) to crack the world’s top 10 in tennis. 

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Tatjana Maria – Reaching Wimbledon Semi-Finals is ‘Amazing’ But It Doesn’t Beat Parenthood

The underdog is enjoying her best-ever run at a major 15 years after making her debut.

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Image via twitter.com/wta

Germany’s Tatjana Maria reveals people once doubted her ability to return to tennis after having her first child. Now a mother-of-two, she has secured a place in the Wimbledon semifinals. 

 

The fairytale run of the world No.103 continued on Tuesday when she ousted compatriot Jule Niemeier 6-4, 2-6, 7-5, in her quarter-final match. Until the tournament, Maria had never been beyond the third round of a major event. However, that changed with high-profile wins over Sorana Cirstea, Maria Sakkari and Jelena Ostapenko prior to Niemeier.

“It’s amazing. I mean, I tried to calm down a little bit in the locker room and to realize something, but it’s still hard to realize it,” she said of reaching the last four at Wimbledon.

Whilst some players prepare for their Grand Slam matches in the gym, Maria’s routine is somewhat unique. She began her day by taking her 8-year-old daughter to her tennis lesson. It wasn’t enough to keep her busy, she also has a 15-month-old baby.

“Outside of the court, nothing changes for me for the moment,” she said.  “I try to keep this going, everything the same. We keep going (to the tennis lessons) even if I’m playing the semifinals.”

Incredibly the 34-year-old returned to the circuit following maternity leave less than a year ago. It was during that absence that she decided to switch to a one-handed backhand. She has been ranked as high as 46th in the world and has two Tour titles to her name. 

“A lot of people who never believed I would come back. This was already after Charlotte and when I changed my backhand,” she said.
“I showed it last time already that I am back. I reached the top 50 with Charlotte, and now I’m back with my second child. Still, everybody was doubting.’
“I’m still here and I’m a fighter, and I keep going and I keep dreaming.”

Relishing in her best-ever performance at a major event, Maria is another example of a player having a breakthrough later in their career. To put her run in perspective, in the Open Era only five other women have reached the semifinals at Wimbledon after turning 34.

However, in Maria’s eyes, her achievements on the court can’t beat her top priority off the court.

“To be a mum is for me on the top of my life. So I think it helps me in tennis too because now my priority is my kids,” she explains. “I play tennis, I want to do my best, that’s all that I want. But my kids are the priority.’
“If I go out there, I want my kids to be happy, that they are healthy, that everything is okay. That’s the most important thing for me in my life.”

Maria made her Grand Slam debut back at Wimbledon in 2007. 

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