Rafael Nadal Creates History With 11th French Open Title - UBITENNIS
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Rafael Nadal Creates History With 11th French Open Title

The king of clay has continued his love affair with Roland Garros by winning his 17th grand slam title at the age of 32.




World No.1 Rafael Nadal has become the first man in history to win the same grand slam title 11 times after defeating Dominic Thiem 6-4, 6-3, 6-2, in the final of the French Open.

The 32-year-old, who has only ever lost two matches at Roland Garros in his entire career, thwarted the threats posed by his dangerous rival. Thiem is one of only three men in history to have scored three or more wins over Nadal on the clay. On the Philippe Chatrier Court, the Spaniard held his nerve against an animated Thiem, who was not afraid to show his emotions on the court. Blasting 26 winners along with 24 unforced errors to  extend his reputation as the most decorated player in the history of the French Open.

“I’m very happy to have won the tournament. I played a very good match today.” Nadal said immediately after his win. “Well played today by Dominic. He has played a good week (at Roland Garros. I’m happy (for him) because he’s a great friend. One of the players that the tour needs.”

Gunning for his seventh win over the Austrian at Roland Garros, Nadal was tested from the onset. After getting off to a perfect start by breaking for a 2-0 lead, Thiem broke back instantly. The Austrian’s ability to combine power and slice rewarded him and earned him praise from the crowd. Nevertheless, a more composed and experienced Nadal remained on the offensive, forcing his opponent to come through some tricky service games. Including one where Thiem required 12 minutes to hold serve to level 3-3. It appeared that a tiebreaker could be on the cards, but a disastrous Thiem service game, consisting of four consecutive unforced errors, handed the world No.1 the first set. Providing an anti-climax to what was an opening set of high quality by both players.

Firmly in the driving position, Nadal gathered in momentum as the match progressed. Breaking immediately at the start of set number two following a Thiem backhand sailing beyond the baseline. The problem for the 24-year-old wasn’t his ability on the court, but maintaining it against a player as consistent as Nadal.  As for Nadal, he too felt the pressure on the court. Receiving a code violation for breaking the 25-second rule between points. Still, it failed to hinder Nadal’s progress.

Continuing to dodge the threats coming from across the court, the Spaniard extended his lead to a set and 5-2. Two games later the two-set lead was sealed with the help of another Thiem backhand error, which landed in the tramlines.

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The scare

Twice Thiem has managed to battle from two-sets down to win, but not this time. Once again another marathon service game concluded with Nadal breaking. Elevating him to just four games away from the title.

Even an unexpected issue with his finger failed to halt Nadal. Leading the third set 2-1, 30-0, he stopped play to undergo a medical assessment. The reason was due to the middle finger of his left hand, which froze in one place.

“It was a tough moment in the third set when I got cramp in my hand. I was very, very scared. But that’s sport. It was very humid today I was against a player that pushed me to my limits.” Nadal commented about the problem.

Storming towards the finish line with the help of a double break, Nadal finally sealed title No.11 at Roland Garros after 202 minutes of pulsating action. Four championship points came and went before he triumphed on his fifth after a Thiem backhand shot landed just beyond the baseline. Prompting a relieved Nadal to lift his arms in delight.

“I played my best match (of the tournament) today in the final. It is very important to play your best against Dominic. I had to be very aggressive because he is a difficult opponent.” Said the 17-time grand slam champion.
“It’s just amazing. I can’t describe my feelings because it’s not even a dream. It was impossible to think that I could win this title 11 times.”

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Thiem’s tribute

Runner-up Thiem praised his rival following their clash in Paris. The Austrian is only the second male player from his country to contest a major final after Thomas Muster. He is the youngest Roland Garros finalist since 2010.

“I think what you are doing is one of the most outstanding things to do in sport.” He said to Nadal. “To win this tournament 11 times is amazing.
“For me this has still been two great weeks. I still remember when you (Nadal) won here the first time. I was 11-years-old and watching it on TV. I honestly never expected that I would one day be playing the final here, I’m really happy.”

Nadal is now the fourth player in the Open Era to win three grand slam titles after their 30th birthday. Joining Rod Laver, Ken Rosewall and Roger Federer. He exits Roland Garros with 2.2 million euros in prize money and 2000 ranking points. Guaranteeing that he will be world No.1 at the start of the grass season, which will officially get underway tomorrow.


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 Jamesbecktennis@gmail.com.

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