Roger Federer Wins Record 20th Major Title At The Australian Open Amid Roof Argument - UBITENNIS
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Roger Federer Wins Record 20th Major Title At The Australian Open Amid Roof Argument




Under the roof of the Rod Laver Arena, Roger Federer has become the first man in history to win a 20th grand slam title after defeating Marin Cilic 6-2, 6-7(5), 6-3, 3-6, 6-1, at the Australian Open.

In what was a repeat of last year’s Wimbledon final, Federer was pushed to his limits both mentally and physically. Having a seemingly one-sided lead wiped away by some warrior-like tennis produced from his rival. Nevertheless, the 36-year-old managed to prevail in the 183-minute encounter. Hitting 24 aces, 41 winners and 40 unforced errors. A stark contrast to Cilic’s winner-error ratio of 45-64.

“I’m so happy,” an emotional Federer said after the match.  “Winning is an absolute dream come true. The fairytale continues for us, for me. After the great year I had last year, it’s incredible.”

Drama off the court

Prior to the encounter, officials sparked outcry after deciding that the final should be played under the roof, despite no rain occurring. Former players Greg Rusedski and Pat Cash both slammed the move by saying that it gave Federer the edge.

“One guy warms up indoors, other warms up outdoors before the finals. Roof is closed.” Rusedski wrote on Twitter.
“This is so wrong for a GS final which is an outdoor event, which means you should have to deal with the elements. So far one sided. I hope Cilic can get back into the match.”

The Australian Open hit back by saying the roof was close in accordance with their heat policy. Although the ambient temperature didn’t go over 40 degrees, which is part of their guidelines. In a statement, they later admitted that the decision was due to the ‘discretion of the referee.’

Federer undeterred

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Despite the argument off-court, it had little impact on Federer’s start to the match. From the onset it was one-way traffic in his favour. The 36-year-old settled into his 30th grand slam final almost instantly. Breaking Cilic twice at the start of the match to seal the opening set in just 24 minutes. Nerves were visible in Cilic’s game as he produced 12 unforced errors compared to Federer’s tally of three. On top of that, the Swiss player dropped just two points behind his serve.

It wasn’t until the second set where Federer got tested. Former US Open champion Cilic had two opportunities to break for a 2-0 lead, but was denied by more tenacious play from the world No.2. From then on, there was little to distinguish between the two as Cilic continued to gain momentum. The Croat battled his way to a set point opportunity at 5-4 following a Federer double fault, but failed to convert. Still undeterred, Cilic secured his the breakthrough in the tiebreaker when a blistering forehand shot elevated him to two more set points. It was on the second where he prevailed after hitting a smash at the net.

With history at stake, Federer managed to regain his stronghold in the match during the third. A Cilic backhand crashed into the net to reward Federer a trio of chances of break for a 4-2 lead. He did so on his second attempt after another error from his rival. Prompting a huge roar of ‘come on’ from the Swiss player. The two sets leads was then sealed with an ace out wide.

Nudging towards a record-equaling sixth Australian Open title, nerves began to unravel Federer. Enabling a resurgent Cilic to illustrate why he remains one of the most prominent players in men’s tennis. Displaying shots reminiscent of his run to the 2014 US Open title, the Croat dismantled the Federer serve with ease to force proceedings into a decider. Prompting an eruption of cheers from his fans in the crowd.

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The tension inside the Rod Laver Arena reached its peak as history beckoned for whoever won the final. Once again, Federer got the lead in the cat and mouse chase by breaking for a 3-0 lead in the decider. This time the lead was enough to get him over the finish line. A Cilic forehand smashing into the net secured him another break to move him to a game away from history. Serving for grand slam title No.20, he achieved the milestone with a perfectly placed 140 km/h serve out wide. Prompting tears and jubilation from both him and his camp.

” I’d like to thank Marin, another great tournament. World No3, that’s a hell of an achievement.” Federer said in tribute to his opponent.

As tears fell down the face of the Swiss Maestro, he continued to praise those that has supported him. His team, his family and his fans.

“To all the fans. You fill the stadiums, you make me nervous, you make me go out and practice. I just want to thank you for everything.” He said.
“To my team, I love you guys.”

Runner-up Cilioc can seek some comfort  in his Melbourne run. On Monday he will rise to third on the ATP Emirates rankings in what will be the highest position in his career. He is also one of only two players from his country to contest three major finals after Goran Ivanisevic.

“It was an amazing journey for me. It could have been the best two weeks of my life. I had the chance at the beginning of the fifth but he played a great match.” Said Cilic.
“My team have been unbelievable for the last two weeks. We started this year amazingly well and hopefully we can reach more finals and lift more trophies!”

Federer is only the third man to win a sixth Australian Open title. Following in the footsteps of Roy Emerson and Novak Djokovic.



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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