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.

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WTA Bronx: Camila Giorgi Set For Title Showdown With Magda Linette

Camila Giorgi has twice survived a third set tiebreak this week, and saved four match points just yesterday, but can she claim the title?

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In Friday’s semifinals, Giorgi faced the top seed and world No.18 Qiang Wang.  This match would see a ton of service breaks, with each set consisting of five or more.  They would split the first two sets by identical scores of 6-4. In the third, the 27-year-old from China served for the match at 5-4, and would hold a match point, but Giorgi would save it and break for 5-5.  Camila’s firepower allows her to dictate play more often than not, and she’s continually lifted her game at the right moments this week.

 

Giorgi would then garner a match point of her own on Wang’s serve at 6-5, but also failed to convert.  In the deciding tiebreak, Qiang gained the early mini-break on the first point with a backhand winner down the line.  But Camila would punish an extremely soft second serve and get the breaker right back on serve. Wang then took advantage of a Giorgi forehand clipping the net, giving her extra time to rip a forehand and regain the mini-break.  They switched sides with Wang leading 4-2.

A few Giorgi errors gave Wang three more match points 6-3, with two of them on Qiang’s serve.  But Wang’s forehand misfired on both of the match points on her serve, and then Giorgi would put away a backhand volley to level things at 6-6.  Camila would again strike some deep and powerful groundies when she needed them, granting herself a match point at 7-6 on Wang’s serve. And Wang would sail a backhand beyond the baseline, sending the 27-year-old Italian into tomorrow’s final in dramatic fashion.

It’s the second final in four weeks for Giorgi, who was stunned in the Washington final by a first-time WTA champion, Jessica Pegula.  Camila saw her ranking fall outside the top 50 last month when her Wimbledon quarterfinalist points from 2018 dropped off her 52-week tally, but she’ll return to the top 50 with today’s win.  In her career, Giorgi is 2-5 in WTA tournament finals, with her most recent title coming last October at the Linz Open.

On Saturday in the first Bronx Open singles final, she’ll face another 27-year-old in Magda Linette of Poland.  This is only Linette’s second WTA-level final in her career, with the last coming four years ago in Tokyo. She lost in that final to Yanina Wickmayer, so a win today would give Magda her first career singles title.  Linette had to qualify to get into this draw, meaning this will be her seventh match in nine days. On Friday, she ousted Katerina Siniakova in straight sets, a day after surviving a third set tiebreak of her own in the quarterfinals against Karolina Muchova.

As much tennis as Linette has played in the Bronx, she may be the fresher of the two finalists.  Giorgi’s semifinal was played later in the day on Friday, and lasted nearly three hours. In their only previous meeting, Giorgi prevailed in three sets, on a hard court in Linette’s home country four years ago.

The first Bronx Open doubles champions were crowned on Friday, with Darija Jurak and Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez defeating Margarita Gasparyan and Monica Niculescu in a deciding 10-point tiebreak 10-7.  This is the first title for this team, which was formed just a few weeks ago in Canada.

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Jannick Sinner saves two match points to reach the third round at the US Open qualifying round

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Italian 18-year-old rising star Jannick Sinner came back from one set down to beat Croatia’s Viktor Galovic 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 7-5 after two hours and 49 minutes advancing to the third round of the US Open qualifying round.

 

Galovic went up an early break in the first game and held his serve until the 10th game, when Sinner earned two break-back points. Golovic held his serve to win the first set 6-4.

Sinner wasted a break point in the fourth game, but he broke serve in the sixth game to open up a 4-2 lead. Galovic broke back, when Sinner was serving for the set. Galovic saved two set points at 6-5 forcing the second set to the tie-break, where Sinner cruised through to winning the second set 7-2.

Galovic went up a break in the fourth game to build up a 4-1 lead.

Sinner saved two two match points at 2-5 on his serve before winning five consecutive games to win the third set 7-5. Galovic dropped his serve, when he was serving for the match. Sinner broke again in the 11th game, but he had to save two break-back points, as he was serving for the match.

Sinner won his first match on the ATP Masters 1000 in Rome beating Steve Johnson in three sets and is currently ranked world number 131.

The player from SudTyrol will play against Spain’s Mario Vilella Martinez for a spot in the main draw.

Martinez fought back from losing the first set to beat Akira Santillan 6-7 (6-8) 6-4 6-2.

 Jiri Vesely overcame Jason Jung 6-4 5-7 7-5 setting up a match against Paolo Lorenzi for a spot in the main draw. Lorenzi beat Enzo Couacaud 7-6 (7-3) 6-3.

Guillermo Garcia Lopez cruised past Noah Rubin 6-1 7-6 (7-3) securing his spot in the third round where he will face Constant Lestienne, who swept aside Paolo Lorenzi 6-3 6-0.

 

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Dominic Thiem Downplays US Open Chances

The world No.4 has given a frank assessment about his hopes at the New York major shortly after the draw was made on Thursday.

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Dominic Thiem may be a top four seed in next week’s US Open, but the Austrian has played down the prospect of him winning his first grand slam title at the event.

 

The 25-year-old has experienced a setback in his build up to the tournament. Since winning the Kitzbuhel Open on clay, Thiem has only managed to play three matches on a hard court. Reaching the quarter-finals of the Rogers Cup in what what was his best-ever run at the tournament. However, more recently Thiem has been sidelined from action due to a virus and pulled out of the Cincinnati Masters.

Thiem’s first round opponent at the US Open will be Italy’s Thomas Fabbiano, who has suffered two consecutive first round losses on the tour. Fabbiano reached the third round in New York back in 2017, but has missed the two most recent editions.

“Without a doubt, there are much tougher rivals than Thomas Fabbiano in a first round, although I must say that, after overcoming this viral disease, I do not expect miracles.” Thiem told Sky Sport Austria on Thursday.

Heading into the event, Thiem has said he has set out no goal. He will be defending 360 ranking points after reaching the quarter-finals 12 months ago before losing in a five-set thriller to Rafael Nadal. Overall, Thiem’s win-loss at the US Open is 15-5 heading into this year.

“Right now I do not consider reaching a quarterfinals or a semifinal. I want to go round to round, looking beyond would be presumptuous.” He said.
“In the next few days I will keep my training to a minimum, the goal is to be in perfect shape on Monday.”

Despite his recent setbacks, 2019 has been a season of success for the world No.4. In March he won the biggest title of his career at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. He would then go on to win trophies in Barcelona and Kitzhbuel. However, in the grand slams he has been less consistent. At the French Open Thiem reached the final, but has failed to win back-to-back matches at both the Australian Open (second round) and Wimbledon (first round). Although at the Australian Open he was forced to withdraw from the tournament due to illness.

The US Open will get underway on Monday.

Dominic Thiem at the US Open

2018
Round Rank Opponent W-L Score
Quarter-Finals 1
Rafael Nadal ESP
L 60 46 57 764 675
Round of 16 5
Kevin Anderson RSA
W 75 62 762
Round of 32 74
Taylor Fritz USA
W 36 63 765 64
Round of 64 31
Steve Johnson USA
W 675 63 57 64 61
Round of 128 81
Mirza Basic BIH
W 63 61 64
2017
Round Rank Opponent W-L Score
Round of 16 28
Juan Martin del Potro ARG
L 61 62 16 671 46
Round of 32 34
Adrian Mannarino FRA
W 75 63 64
Round of 64 108
Taylor Fritz USA
W 64 64 46 75
Round of 128 186
Alex de Minaur AUS
W 64 61 61
2016
Round Rank Opponent W-L Score
Round of 16 142
Juan Martin del Potro ARG
L 36 23 (RET)
Round of 32 39
Pablo Carreno Busta ESP
W 16 64 64 75
Round of 64 89
Ricardas Berankis LTU
W 64 63 62
Round of 128 66
John Millman AUS
W 63 26 57 64 63
2015
Round Rank Opponent W-L Score
Round of 32 14
Kevin Anderson RSA
L 36 673 673
Round of 64 70
Denis Istomin UZB
W 64 64 10 (RET)
Round of 128 76
Daniel Gimeno-Traver ESP
W 75 63 75
2014
Round Rank Opponent W-L Score
Round of 16 7
Tomas Berdych CZE
L 16 26 46
Round of 32 21
Feliciano Lopez ESP
W 64 62 63
Round of 64 12
Ernests Gulbis LTA
W 46 36 64 63 63
Round of 128 84
Lukas Lacko SLO
W 63 63 62

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