Filip Krajinović Praises ‘Idol’ Djokovic For Supporting His Career - UBITENNIS
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Filip Krajinović Praises ‘Idol’ Djokovic For Supporting His Career

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Filip Krajinovic (zimbio.com)

After enjoying a breakout year on the tour, Filip Krajinović has praised the support he has received from former world No.1 Novak Djokovic.

 

The 25-year-old has risen almost 200 places in the world rankings since January. On the Challenger tour, he has won more singles titles than any other player this year. Winning a total of five trophies. Then at last week’s Paris Masters he shocked the tournament by reaching the final. Defeating seeded players John Isner and Sam Querrey. He was denied the trophy by Jack Sock, who prevailed in three sets.

“I barely slept for the last five-six days and I have eaten very little.” he told Sport Klub about his time in Paris. “I wanted to sleep, I was telling myself: ‘Come on, try, you have got a match tomorrow,’ but it was impossible because of the adrenaline – I just kept thinking about tactics, potential on court situations… It was all messed-up in my head, I didn‘t sleep after the finals either.’
“I think that my tears have shown what my feelings were and what have I gone through in my life.”

Prior to his success, Krajinović contemplated retiring from the sport after being hit by a series of injury setbacks with his shoulder and wrist. Dropping outside the top 200 last year, he lost contract deals with Nike, IMG and Wilson. All of which decided that they didn’t want to extend their partnership with the Serbian. Something he believes the sponsors now ‘regret’ due to his successful 2017. He opted to continue playing tennis after receiving some valuable advice from his father.

“I‘ve thought about retirement many times, I didn‘t have the energy anymore, I was playing small tournaments, I even told my dad I want out. But he told me: “Son, tennis is the only good thing in life you are really good at – be strong, you still have enough time, keep on playing.” He explained.
“So I kept on… I didn‘t even want to go to Helibronn challenger, I wanted to take a one month break and just cool of, but I went there, won the title from the qualies and it went on from there.”

The Djokovic effect

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Another instrumental person for Krajinović’s is 12-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic. Throughout his career, he has received support and guidance from the 30-year-old. Last week Djokovic uploaded an Instagram post praising Krajinovic’s run in Paris. In the post he wrote ‘This is proof that success is guaranteed when you love what you do and believe in yourself!

“He has helped me a few times and we are talking always, he always has my side. Whenever I need an advice or practice, he‘s there, he even invited me to Monte Carlo to work and to hang out.“ Said Krajinovic.

Djokovic is Serbia’s most successful tennis player of all time. So far in his career, he has won 68 ATP titles, including 30 at Masters level and 12 in the majors. He is also one of the first athletes from his country to win an Olympic medal in 2008 following the breakup of the former Yugoslavia. Due to his success, Djokovic has become a mentor and icon for players such as Krajinović.

“It is something extremely important for me, for all of us younger, because Novak was our idol. With him, you can learn something new every day, I have used on and off the court a lot of things he was telling me about.” The 25-year-old said about the support he has received from Djokovic.

Krajinović has now risen to 33rd in the world, securing him a year-end position in the world’s top 100 for the first time in his career. Posting a main draw win-loss of 53-18 this season, he is closing in on being seeded at a grand slam event. Positioning him in a strong position for next year.

“The rest of the guys have seen that I can play, so a lot more will be expected of me, but I am ready to deal with it.” He said about his next step on the tour. “I will have to play better at Grand Slams and that is why my primary goal for the off-season is to put on some muscles and to be physically fit for long matches and long season. I hope that I will be seeded for Melbourne.”

Currently Krajinović and Djokovic are the only two Serbian players ranked in the top 50 on the ATP Emirates rankings.

 

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Angelique Kerber: “I am heavy-hearted about the cancellation of the grass season”

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Former Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber has posted her thought on the Wimbledon cancellation.

 

“The thought of playing at Wimbledon has always been the biggest source of my motivation. It goes without saying that I I am heavy hearted that the cancellation of the grass court season also means that I won’t be able to play in front of my home crowd in sport unites, in good and bad times. Once this has passed, it may even help us appreciate our everydayday routines and the beauty of our sport even more than before. Thanks to everyone who is working 24/7 to get us through this uncertain time”.

The German player of Polish origin won three Grand Slam titles at the Australian Open and at the US Open in 2016 and at Wimbledon in 2018. She won the Olympic singles silver medal in Rio de Janeiro 2016 losing in the final to Monica Puig.

Kerber lost to Samantha Stosur in the first round in Brisbane. Kerber beat Wang Qiang in straight sets in the first round before retiring from her second round match against Ukraine’s Dayana Yastremska due to a left harmstring injury, after the German player was down a set and a break.

At the Australian Open Kerber beat Elisabetta Cocciaretto, Priscilla Hon, Camila Giorgi before losing to Anastasya Pavlyuchenkova. She is currently ranked world number 21 in the WTA Ranking.

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Tour Suspension Will Benefit Novak Djokovic More Than Nadal And Federer, Claims Woodbridge

The former world No.1 doubles player explains why he thinks Djokovic will benefit more than his rivals.

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Australian tennis great Todd Woodbridge believes the current suspension of tennis could have a silver lining for Novak Djokovic and his bid to claim the greatest of all time honour.

 

On Wednesday it was confirmed that all professional tennis tournaments have been suspended until at least July due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The decision came shortly after Wimbledon was forced to axe their event for the first time since 1945. Prior to the suspension, Djokovic started 2020 unbeaten by winning 18 matches in a row. During that period he guided Serbia to the ATP Cup title, won a record eighth Australian Open title and triumphed at the Dubai Tennis Championships.

Now with the tour being brought to a halt, some are speculating as to what the implications could be on the prestigious Big Three. A trio featuring Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. Between them they have won 52 out of the last 60 grand slam tournaments.

Woodbridge believes Djokovic is in the best situation because of his age. At the age of 32 he is younger than both Nadal (33) and Federer (38). Although neither of those players are planning to retire from the sport just yet.

“Because of the uncertainty, it makes it hard to see how the three can dominate when they come back because of the age of Roger and Rafa,” Woodbridge told Yahoo Sport Australia.
“It also puts more pressure on Rafa and it changes all of those storylines that were on the table for 2020.
“For Novak, it may come at a good time in his career to actually rejuvenate him again, give him another big burst.
“So if anything, this period helps him the most.”

The biggest question mark surrounds Federer, who recently underwent knee surgery and will turn 39 in August. However, the Swiss Maestro has recently confirmed that he intends to play the 2021 season after pledging to return to the court in Halle. One of the grass-court tournaments that has been cancelled this year.

“We experience difficult times, however, we will arise from it strengthened. Already today I am glad and excited about my return to Halle next year.” He said.

Although Woodbridge believes the suspension will hinder Federer’s dream of extending his record-breaking grand slam tally of 20 titles. He last won a major at the 2018 Australian Open. However, since then Federer has only reached a grand slam final in one out of seven attempts.

“The less match play that you get in this period at that age, it’s so much harder to come back and recover once you start again.” Woodbridge explained.
“So I really think that post-2020 will be a new era of people trying to create records because it’ll have really have broken up a great period in tennis.
“It has stopped the potential, I think, of Federer winning one or two more.
“It becomes very highly unlikely for him.”

Djokovic heads the world rankings with a 370-point lead over second place Nadal. Federer is currently in fourth position behind Dominic Thiem.

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Dominic Thiem Denies Allegation He ‘Misled’ Former Coach

A war of words has broken out between the world No.3 and his former long-time mentor Gunther Bresnik.

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Dominic Thiem - Australian Open 2020 (via Twitter, @AustralianOpen)

Dominic Thiem has stated that he has no intention to publicly disclose the reason as to why he stopped working with his former coach despite recently coming under fire from him.

 

The three-time grand slam finalist has been criticised by Gunther Bresnik, who claims he was ‘misled’ by the world No.3. Bresnik was a key figure in Thiem’s team until last year. Coaching the Austrian throughout his junior and professional career for a 15-year period. He was replaced last April by former Olympic champion Nicolas Massu.

It is unclear as to what was the decisive factor behind the split of a partnership that at one staged looked solid. Thiem met Bresnik at the age of eight when his father applied to work at his academy in Vienna. Under his guidance, he won 11 out of his 15 ATP titles so far in his career.

“Becomes clearer to me with time how things went. It doesn’t make it more aesthetic. There are things I totally don’t understand: honesty, loyalty, values…there was not much left.” Journalist Jannik Schneider quoted Bresnik as saying.
“I have no big problem with it besides the fact that I was misled. You can’t do that to someone that you owe everything. His dad would be a club coach and Dominic a futures player without me.”

The comment has triggered a response from Thiem, who has blasted Bresnik’s suggestion that he wouldn’t have been able to reach the top of the sport without his help. In a statement issued to the Austrian Press Agency (APA), the 26-year-old questioned if his former coach has developed ‘delusions of grandeur.’ A term loosely used to describe a person who believes they are greater than they actually are.

“When he complains about a lack of respect, and says that I owe it all to him, and seriously suggests that I would have been a futures player without him, I have to ask whether he has developed delusions of grandeur.” Said Thiem.

As to the root of the fallout between the two, Thiem is refusing to speak publicly about what happened. Although he denied that Bresnik has been misled in any way.

“I did not part ways with him without a reason,” he stated. “Bresnik knows the reasons and at this time I won’t make them public.”

Since pairing up with Massu, Thiem has enjoyed further success of the tour. During the early stages of their collaboration he won his first Masters 1000 title in Indian Wells last year. Since then, he has gone on to claim another four ATP titles and was runner-up to Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open in January.

Thiem is the first player from his country to break into the world’s top three since Thomas Muster back in 1997.

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