Novak Djokovic Joins Players In Urging Caution Over Andy Murray’s Return - UBITENNIS
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Novak Djokovic Joins Players In Urging Caution Over Andy Murray’s Return

Media day at The Queen’s Club saw players discuss the return of the former world No.1.

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Novak Djokovic (zimbio.com)

LONDON:  Novak Djokovic believes Andy Murray needs to conquer his mental demons if he wants to return back to the top of the men’s game.

 

31-year-old Murray is set to return to action at the upcoming Fever-Tree Championships in London. It will be his first tournament since Wimbledon after missing 11 months of the tour due to a hip injury. In January the Brit underwent surgery to treat the problem after failing to recover in time for the Australian Open. Resulting in a slow and frustrating comeback.

“He has been absent for longer than I have.” Djokovic said on Sunday. ”Hips – I don’t know how painful it is but I think the biggest challenge will always be mental. How to get it out of your head, know it’s behind you and focus on your game.”

Djokovic knows what it is like to be on the sidelines of the tour. At an almost identical time to Murray (shortly after Wimbledon) he ended his 2017 season. He did so due to a serious elbow injury that has been bothering him for months prior. Djokovic returned to competitive tennis at the start of this year, but has since undergone a minor medical procedure. During his rehabilitation, he had also had to change his service motion to alleviate the pressure put onto his elbow.

“I faced myself a major injury that got me off the court for six plus months. You feel the consequences of that more mentally than Physically, I think.” He explained. “I never knew that it was going to take so much time for me to get back into the state of mind where I am comfortable and confident with my game, with the changes I have made.”

The physical struggles of the 12-time grand slam champion are now in the past. Although Djokovic admits himself that he finds its frustrating that he can no longer execute parts of his game as well as he has previously done. Asked about what advice he would give to Murray, the Serbian continued to reiterate the importance of the mental side of the sport.

“If you don’t have mental clarity on the court, especially on the grass where everything happens very quickly, it is very difficult to play.” He stated.
“I wish him (Murray) all the best. Tennis misses him. He’s a great champion. A great guy. Very dedicated.”

Others speak out

Marin Cilic, who trails Murray 3-12 in their head-to-head, believes his decision to start his comeback on the grass is a tricky one. The Brit has won eight out of his 45 titles on the surface. Including two Wimbledon trophies.

“I would say that it is the most difficult thing to come back on the grass. In terms of movement you’re exposed. Especially Andy, who hasn’t played for nearly 12 months now.” He said.
“Even though he probably one of the most natural playing guys on the grass. I believe it’s still going to be a bit difficult for him to find his ground.”

Grigor Dimitrov believes that the home advantage will help the five-time Queen’s champion overcome any difficulty. Murray will start his campaign against the formidable Nick Kyrgios, who recently reached the semifinals of the Stuttgart Open. Kyrgios has been blighted by a shoulder injury in recent weeks.

“It’s a tough match for a first match in a long time.” Said Dimitrov.
“To see somebody coming back, especially Andy, it is great. Not only great for the tournament, but for the British fans. I think for him to play in a home tournament in front of his home crowd and family. That will help boost him up. Even if he is not 100 percent ready. That’s going to help him stay positive and look into the future.”

The main draw of the Fever-Tree Championships will get underway on Monday.

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Canada beats Italy 2-1 in the opening day of the Davis Cup in Madrid

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Denis Shapovalov battled past Matteo Berrettini 7-6 (7-5) 6-7 (3-7) 7-6 (7-5) in a hard-fought second match of the round-robin Group F at the Davis Cup in Madrid to give Canada a 2-0 lead over Italy

 

Berrettini faced three break points in the third game of the opening set. Shapovalov earned two break points in the ninth game, but Berrettini held on his serve at deuce. Both players held on their service games. In the 10th game Berrettini earned three set points on return, but Shapovalov fended them off. Barrettini saved another break point to set up a tie-break. Shapovalov took a 6-3 lead earning three set points. Berrettini won two consecutive points to claw his way back to 5-6, but Shapovalov sealed the tie-break with a backhand passing shot.

Both players went on seve setting up a second tie-break. Berrettini got an early mini-break, but Shapovalov broke straight back. Berrettini took another mini-break to take a 3-2 when Shapovalov hit a volley into the net and sealed the second set 7-3 on his first set point.

Shapovalov earned a break point in the fifth game of the third set with a forehand winner. Berrettini held on his serve with his 11th ace. Both players went on serve in the next games setting up a third tie-break. Berrettini got the first mini-break to take a 4-3 lead after a double fault from Shapovalov. The young Canadian player broke straight back, when Berrettini made a forehand volley error. Shapovalov sealed the tie-break 7-5, when Berrettini fired his forehand long on his first match point after 2 hours.

“After making semifinals in the Madrid Mutua Open here, and winning the Junior Davis Cup in 2015, I feel like Madrid is a really good city for me. We will see how this week goes, but it’s a good step today”, said Shapovalov.

Fognini and Berrettini won the doubles match over beating Shapovalov and Pospisil 6-2 3-6 6-3. The Italian team got a double break to win the first set 6-2. Shapovalov and Pospisil drew level by winning the second set with a break in the eighth game. Italy saved two break points in the seventh game of the decisive set before breaking serve in the eighth game. Berrettini sealed the win for Italy with an ace.

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Pierre Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut claim their first ATP Finals title in London

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The French team formed by Pierre Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut claimed their first men’s doubles title with a 6-3 6-4 win over Raven Klaasen and Michael Venus in 70 minutes at the ATP Finals at the O2 Arena in London ending the 2019 ATP season on a high note with back-to-back titles in Paris Bercy and London. They remained unbeaten during the whole week at the ATP Finals in London winning all five matches in straight sets.

 

Herbert and Mahut fended off all four break points they faced scoring their ninth consecutive match win. The French doubles specialists have become the first team to win the doubles ATP Finals title without dropping a set since Jean Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau in 2015.

Herbert and Mahut fended off break points in the third game of the match before earning the only break of the opening set in the next game. The Frenchmen saved a break point in the sixth game before breaking serve in the seventh game.

They have become the French team to win the ATP Finals doubles title since Michael Llodra and Fabrice Santoro, who triumphed in Shanghai in 2005.

Herbert and Mahut have won 15 doubles titles as a team during their career. This year they became the eighth men’s doubles team to complete the career Grand Slam at last January’s Australian Open and also won the Rolex Paris Masters in front of their home fans.

Last year they came within one point of winning the ATP Finals title against Mike Bryan and Jack Sock after holding a match point.

“Thank you Nicolas for sharing the court, for having so much enjoyable moments and giving me so much joy, when I am with you on the court. You played an unbelievable final, so thank you for that”, said Pierre Hugues Herbert.

 

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Jannik Sinner wins his third ATP Challenger in Ortisei

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Jannik Sinner won the ATP Challenger in Ortisei adding another title to his impressive collection of trophies he lifted during a memorable 2019 season.

 

The 2019 Next Gen ATP Finals champion beat world number 173 Sebastian Ofner from Austria 6-2 6-4 in 1 hour and 6 minutes in the final of the Sparkasse Challenger Val Gardena Sudtirol at the Tennis Center in Ortisei.

Sinner won his third ATP Challenger title in 2019 after his previous wins in Bergamo and Lexington. He also reached the final in Ostrava. During the tournament the 18-year-old player from San Candido beat Lucas Miedler in the first round, Roberto Marcora in the second round, Federico gaio in the quarter final and Antoine Hoang in the semifinal without dropping a set.

Sinner will improve his ranking to his career-high at world number 78 in the ATP Ranking becoming the sixth best ranked Italian player after Matteo Berrettini, Fabio Fognini, Lorenzo Sonego, Marco Cecchinato and Andreas Seppi.

Sinner broke serve in the fifth game of the opening set to take a 3-2 lead. Ofner missed two game points in the seventh game. The Austrian player faced another break point after his third double fault. In the next game Sinner saved the first break point he faced. Sinner closed out the first set 6-2 after two backhand errors from Ofner in the eighth game.

Sinner went up a break to open up a 2-0 lead, but Ofner broke back in the fourth game and held on his serve to take a 3-2 lead. Ofner saved three break points in the seventh game to take a 4-3. Sinner converted his fourth break point in the ninth game to take a 5-4 lead and served out the win with two consecutive aces.

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