Juan Martin del Potro triumphs over Roger Federer in US Open quarter - UBITENNIS
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Juan Martin del Potro triumphs over Roger Federer in US Open quarter

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Juan Martin del Potro pulled off a stunning quarterfinal win Wednesday night over reigning Australian Open and Wimbledon champion Roger Federer.  

 

With booming serves, fierce forehands and a backhand that refused to break down, del Potro defeated Federer in four sets, 7-5, 3-6, 7-6(8), 6-4. This just two days after an ill del Potro came back from two sets down to No. 6 seed Dominic Thiem.

This isn’t del Potro’s first big win over Federer in Flushing; he also beat him in five sets in the US Open’s 2009 final.

The victory sets up a semifinal between del Potro and world No. 1 Rafael Nadal.

“He’s a lefty guy, so he has [a] chance to find easily my backhand,” del Potro said about the coming match. “So I don’t know what’s gonna be my strategy for that match. But for sure I will try to make winners with my forehands and don’t run too much, because my legs are tired (smiling).”

The first 10 games were very clean. Both players had more winners than unforced errors, and there were no breaks of serve. Then, at 5-5, Federer double-faulted into 30-40 situation. On the break point, del Potro threaded a crosscourt forehand pass right through the minuscule space between Federer and the far sideline.  

Del Potro held to 15 in the next game, taking the first set 7-5.

Federer seemed shaky serving in the first game of Set 2, but he managed to hold with an ace. In del Potro’s first service game, The Gentle Giant set Federer up with a break point by missing a down-the-line backhand wide. But, due to a flubbed Federer backhand return, del Potro was able to fight it off easily with a short forehand winner. He went on to hold for 1-1.

Up 2-1, Federer took a 0-40 lead of del Potro’s serve. Federer, with an inside-out forehand pass that del Potro could barely get the frame of his racket on, broke at love. He then consolidated for a 4-1 advantage.

Federer maintained his lead for the remainder of the set, winning it 6-3 to even the match at one set each.

But his start to Set 3 was not the one he wanted. Down 0-1 and 30-40, he double-faulted, giving up an early break. In the next game, del Potro held his serve to biggen Federer’s hole to 0-3.

Federer then saved a break point to get out of the Bagel Zone for 1-3.

Later on, del Potro was serving from up 4-2, but facing a break point. Del Potro missed his first serve, and the Arthur Ashe crowd cheered inordinately loudly. He then missed his second as well, letting the set get back on serve. Federer consolidated make it 4-4.

Four games later, the set went to a tiebreak, in which del Potro lost his serve on the first point by letting a forehand fly long. But del Potro, with a crosscourt backhand return pass winner, broke Federer to put the tiebreak back on serve. On the next point, though, del Potro netted a backhand, giving Federer the break once again. The players traded breaks yet another time, and Federer led 5-4 with the ball in his hand.

But then del Potro hit a forehand return that skidded off the baseline, and Federer was unable to hit it back. The score went to 6-6. On the next point, del Potro double-faulted, giving Federer another set point on his own serve, which he failed to convert. 7-7.

Federer, behind 8-9, decided to serve and volley. He missed the first volley, a backhand one that went long, and lost the tiebreak 8-10. This gave del Potro a two-sets-to-one lead.

At 2-2 in Set 4, Federer fought off two break points, letting out a big “Come on!” after the second. But del Potro later in the game got his hands on another break point. That one he converted with a crosscourt two-handed backhand pass for a return winner. Del Potro then held, putting himself  two games from a semifinal versus Nadal.

Federer, serving to stay in the set while trailing 3-5, fell behind 0-30, but got out of the game safely. Still, the match was on the racket of del Potro, who got to serve for from 5-4 ahead.

With a forehand winner down the line, del Potro finished Federer off in four sets.

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Dominic Thiem Rules Federer Out Of GOAT Debate

The Austrian puts forward his theory on who should be regarded as the best player in history.

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Dominic Thiem; e-motion/Bildagentur Zolles KG/Martin Steiger, 27.10.2022

The honour of which player deserves to be regarded as the greatest of all time (GOAT) should be decided based on one factor, according to Dominic Thiem. 

 

The former world No.3 has weighed in on the debate by suggesting that the argument should be settled by the number of Grand Slam titles a player has won as they are the most prestigious tournaments in the sport. In tennis, the four major tournaments are the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open. 

Thiem’s GOAT criteria have therefore ruled Roger Federer out of contention. The Swiss maestro was at one stage the frontrunner due to the numerous records he has broken throughout his career. However, he retired from the sport last year with 20 Grand Slam trophies under his belt which is less than both Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic who are currently on 22 each. 

“In my opinion, the Grand Slam titles should be the defining criteria when determining the best of all time, they are the four most important tournaments in tennis,” Eurosport quotes Thiem as saying. 
“Everything else is fine, but it’s not the same. The Slams are what counts, so the GOAT will probably be the one with the most Grand Slams.”

Others will argue that more factors should be taken into account in the subjective debate. For example, Federer has won 103 ATP titles which are more than his two rivals, Djokovic holds the record for most weeks as world No.1 and Nadal has won more tournaments on clay than any other player in history. Furthermore, there is the players’ win-loss rate on the Tour and their records against the top 10 players. 

Recently at the Australian Open Djokovic won the men’s title for a historic 10th time in his career. An achievement that has been hailed by Thiem who was runner-up to the Serbian at Melbourne Park in 2021. 

“I am not very surprised, Djokovic still looks young,” he said. “Physically and mentally, because of the way he moves on the court. It’s like he was 25 years old.
“We have to be honest, he is the best, so his victory was not very surprising.”

Thiem has won one Grand Slam title which was at the 2020 US Open when he became the first man in the Open Era to come back from two sets down to win in the final. He has also been runner-up at the French Open twice, as well as the Australian Open once. 

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Novak Djokovic’s Australian Open Injury ‘Hard To Believe’ In The Eyes Of His Opponent

Some details surrounding Djokovic’s battle with a hamstring issue ‘doesn’t make sense,’ according to Enzo Couacaud.

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Image via Adelaide International Twitter

The only man to take a set off Novak Djokovic during the Serbian’s run to a historic 10th Australian Open title believes there are unanswered questions over his injury. 

 

France’s Enzo Couacaud took a set off the world No.1 before losing their encounter in the second round at Melbourne Park. At the tournament Djokovic was dealing with a hamstring problem which he picked up at the Adelaide International earlier this year. Throughout the tournament, he was wearing strapping on his leg and there was uncertainty about if he would be able to continue playing in the Grand Slam event. 

Despite the issue, Djokovic claimed a record-equalling 22nd Grand Slam title by disposing of Stefanos Tsitsipas in straight sets in the final. Afterwards his coach, Goran Ivanisevic, claimed that 97% of players would not have played if they were in a similar situation. The exact diagnosis of Djokovic’s injury hasn’t been addressed by his team but Australian Open director Craig Tiley said he suffered a 3mm tear. 

However, Couacaud has questioned the significance of the injury to begin with. During an interview with Tennis Actu, the world No.172 believes that some of the details appear to be ‘far-fetched’ as he draws parallels with Rafael Nadal, as well as footballer Kylian Mbappe.  

“Novak claimed he was playing with an injury, a big injury,” said Couacaud. “When athletes are injured in combat sports, they often can’t continue. When Rafael Nadal is injured, he can’t run. Kylian Mbappe, for example, is out for two weeks.
“And those are the greatest athletes, not those who don’t have access to top-notch care. It is therefore difficult to believe that only one man in the world can continue with an injury.
“When you take the examples of Nadal or Mbappe, but especially Rafa, with an injury to Wimbledon, he couldn’t even serve. When you see the greatest who can’t set foot on the pitch and another who wins a Grand Slam by playing every day for 15 days. It still seems a bit far-fetched.
“There are little things that don’t make sense to me. I was always told not to stretch with an injury. You saw Novak stretching all the time. You say to yourself, either they have a new method in Serbia, or it’s weird. Little things like that, he has his staff, but I’m too far to judge the authenticity of anything. It is true that it seems hard to believe.”

It is not the first time Djokovic has faced accusations that he has in some way exaggerated the significance of an injury. He encountered a similar situation during the 2021 Australian Open where he suffered an abdominal injury. After winning the tournament, he confirmed that he sustained a tear in the region. 

Speaking to journalists at Melbourne Park last month, the tennis star once again hit back at his critics and claimed that he was being singled out. 

“I leave the doubting to those people – let them doubt,” Tennis Majors quoted Djokovic as saying in Serbian following his fourth round win over Alex de Minaur. “Only my injuries are questioned. When some other players are injured, then they are the victims, but when it is me, I am faking it. It is very interesting… I don’t feel that I need to prove anything to anyone.
“I am not really interested at this point what people are thinking and saying. It is fun, it is interesting to see how the narrative surrounding me continues, narrative that is different compared to other players that have been going through similar situation. But I am used to it, and it just gives me extra strength and motivation. So I thank them for that.”

Djokovic has won 93 ATP titles during his career which is the fourth-highest tally in history. Only Ivan Lendl (94), Roger Federer (102) and Jimmy Connors (109) have won more. 

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Nick Kyrgios Admits Assaulting Former Girlfriend But Avoids Prosecution

The tennis star says he ‘deeply regrets’ how he reacted during an argument with his former partner.

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Nick Kyrgios (AUS) playing against Felix Auger-Aliassime (CAN) in the third round of the Gentlemen's Singles on No.1 Court at The Championships 2021. Held at The All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon. Day 6 Saturday 03/07/2021. Credit: AELTC/Jonathan Nackstrand

Nick Kyrgios will not be charged with assault despite pleading guilty to shoving over his former girlfriend following an argument. 

 

The Wimbledon finalist attended court on Friday after he was accused by his former partner, Chiara Passari, of assaulting her during an incident that took place on January 10th 2021. Kyrgios was initially charged following an argument which took place outside of Passari’s apartment in the inner-city Canberra suburb of Kingston. 

At a hearing at the ACT Magistrates Court, it was revealed that Kyrgios’ ex-girlfriend was standing in front of an Uber car door which prevented him from closing it before he pushed her over. When she fell to the ground, he was heard saying ‘seriously.’ In the minutes leading up to what happened, Kyrgios told Passari “leave me the f*** alone” and to “just f***ing piss off” when he was asked to get out of the car and calm down. He had called for an Uber ride following their argument. 

Passari, who didn’t report the incident to the police until 10 months after it happened, suffered a grazed knee and hurt her shoulder as a result of her fall, according to her legal filing. Kyrgios apologized for his actions two days later when the two met at a Canberra cafe. Unknown to him at the time, that conversation was recorded by Passari. The two continued their relationship for some months before breaking up. 

Magistrate Beth Campbell has ruled in Kyrgios’ favour despite him owning up to his actions. In her verdict, Campbell said the seriousness of the matter was ‘low’ and the tennis star was not likely to re-offend again. 

“You acted in the heat of the moment,” she said.
“I am dealing with you in the same way I would deal with any young man in this court. You are a young man who happens to hit a tennis ball particularly well.”

During the hearing, evidence was heard from Kyrgios’ psychologist, Sam Borenstein, who said his mental health issues were ‘recurrent’ and he has suffered from thoughts of self-harm. Although Borestein says his condition has improved in recent times. Furthermore, Kyrgios’ lawyer, Michael Kukulies-Smith, said there was “a relationship between the mental health and the offending – even though he no longer suffers it to the same extent today.”

In a statement issued following the court’s decision, Kyrgios said he reacted ‘in a way he regretted’ and apologized for his actions. He went on to attribute what happened to his mental health condition at the time. 

“I respect today’s ruling and I am grateful to the court for dismissing the charges without conviction,” he said.
“I was not in a good place when this happened and I reacted to a difficult situation in a way I deeply regret. I know it wasn’t OK and I am sincerely sorry for the hurt I caused.
“Mental health is tough. Life can seem overwhelming. But I have found that getting help and working on myself has allowed me to feel better.”

Before his guilty plea, Kyrgios had argued that the charge should be dropped on the grounds of his mental health but that appeal was withdrawn when the court found that he is not currently suffering from a major depressive illness. 

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