Five Facts About Rafael Nadal's 52nd Meeting With Novak Djokovic At Wimbledon - UBITENNIS
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Five Facts About Rafael Nadal’s 52nd Meeting With Novak Djokovic At Wimbledon

The numbers behind one of the biggest rivalries in tennis.

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Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer (zimbio.com)

Friday at the All England Club will see the resumption of one of the greatest rivalries in the modern history of tennis.

 

Second seed Rafael Nadal faces 12th seed Novak Djokovic for a place in the Wimbledon final. The winner will secure themselves at least £1.125 million in prize money as well as 1200 ranking points. Both of which would almost double if they go on to win the title.

With so much at stake for both men, here are five things to know about Nadal’s latest match against Djokovic.

1. It’s the most comprehensive rivalry in history

The upcoming clash at Wimbledon will be the 52nd meeting between the two players. An Open Era record for the most tour match-ups. Both Nadal and Djokovic are involved in the three biggest rivalries in men’s tennis in terms of matches played :-

Most tour-level match-ups in the Open Era (prior to 13/7/18)
1. Djokovic – Nadal at 51 (Djokovic leads 26-25)
2. Djokovic – Roger Federer at 45 (Djokovic leads 22-23)
3. Nadal – Federer at 38 (Nadal leads 23-15)

Looking at solely grand slam matches, they will lock horns for the 14th time in a major. In the history of the modern game, only twice have two men’s players faced each other 14 or more times in a grand slam. The other is Djokovic and Federer, who has played each other 15 times so far.

2. Head-to-head in detail

(2004–present) Djokovic Nadal
Grand Slam 4 9
Tennis Masters Cup 3 2
ATP Masters Series 16 11
ATP International Series Gold 2 0
ATP International Series 1 1
Davis Cup 0 1
Olympics 0 1
Total 26 25

By surface

Clay -Nadal leads 16-7
Grass – Nadal leads 2-1
Hard courts – Djokovic leads 14-5
Indoor hard-courts – Djokovic leads 4-2

3. Djokovic looks to break the semi-final jinx

Wimbledon is the fifth time the two have squared off in the semi-final of a grand slam. In the past, facing Nadal at this stage of a major has been a nightmare for Djokovic. The Serbian has lost all of those previous encounters. However, three of those occurred at the French Open. A event Nadal has won 11 times before. The other was at Wimbledon 2007 when Djokovic was forced to retire due to an infected toe blister.

4. The level of their rivalry

Incredibly, there has only been four occasions in history where Nadal has faced Djokovic before the quarter-final of a tournament. To put this into perspective, they have met 24 times in a tournament final.

Early round meetings

  • 2007 Tennis Masters Cup (round robin)
  • 2009 Davis Cup (R1)
  • 2009 ATP World Tour Finals (round robin)
  • 2010 ATP World Tour Finals (round robin)

5. The unique record

No other player in history has defeated Djokovic in a grand slam more times than Nadal. He has recorded a total of nine wins over the Serbian so far in his career. Coincidentally, Djokovic is the only player to have ever scored four wins over the Spaniard in a major.

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Maria Sharapova Announces Retirement From Tennis

Maria Sharapova has announced the end of her 18 year long tennis career.

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Maria Sharapova (@WeAreTennisFR - Twitter)

Five time grand slam champion Maria Sharapova has announced her retirement from tennis after a career lasting 18 years. 

 

The Russian burst on the scene in 2004, when she won her first grand slam title at Wimbledon beating Serena Williams at the age of 17.

What followed after that was 36 WTA titles, four more grand slam titles which included winning the career grand slam and becoming world number one at the age of 18.

Off the court, Sharapova became a commercial phenomenon and a pioneer for sponsorship deals and clothing deals in the women’s game.

However the latter stages of her career where tarnished by being caught positive with Meldonium, which was handled with atrocity by her management team.

In an essay written in Vanity Fair, Sharapova says it’s time to say goodbye to the game she has played since she was four years old, “I’m new to this, so please forgive me. Tennis—I’m saying goodbye,” Sharapova said in her long piece.

“In giving my life to tennis, tennis gave me a life. I’ll miss it everyday. I’ll miss the training and my daily routine: Waking up at dawn, lacing my left shoe before my right, and closing the court’s gate before I hit my first ball of the day. I’ll miss my team, my coaches. I’ll miss the moments sitting with my father on the practice court bench. The handshakes—win or lose—and the athletes, whether they knew it or not, who pushed me to be my best.”

In the announcement, Sharapova also revealed that it was at the US Open last year before her match against Serena Williams that she first had thoughts of retirement, “Listening to this voice so intimately, anticipating its every ebb and flow, is also how I accepted those final signals when they came,” Sharapova explained.

“One of them came last August at the U.S. Open. Behind closed doors, thirty minutes before taking the court, I had a procedure to numb my shoulder to get through the match. Shoulder injuries are nothing new for me—over time my tendons have frayed like a string.

“I’ve had multiple surgeries—once in 2008; another procedure last year—and spent countless months in physical therapy. Just stepping onto the court that day felt like a final victory, when of course it should have been merely the first step toward victory. I share this not to garner pity, but to paint my new reality: My body had become a distraction.”

Maria Sharapova had lived out her dream to be a champion, in a career lasting nearly two decades, but her chances of being a tennis icon and legend were tarnished by her reputation by taking a performance enhancing drug.

Although tennis will miss Maria Sharapova and Maria Sharapova will miss tennis, the divorce between the two will be not acknowledged by many tennis stars as Tennis continues to evolve and live without the Russian.

 

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ATP

Alexander Bublik reaches his third career semifinal with win over Denis Shapovalov in Marseille

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Alexander Bublik reached the third ATP Tour semifinal of his career after beating Canadian Canadian Next Gen player Denis Shapovalov 7-5 4-6 6-3 after 2 hours and 18 minutes at the Open 13 Provence in Marseille.

 

Bublik fended off a total of four break points in the first set, including three chances from 0-40, got the break in the 12th game to close out the first set 7-5, when Shapovalov hit a forehand volley wide at 30-40 after 45 minutes.

Both players traded breaks at the start of the second set. Bublik did not convert three break points at 3-2, when he hit a forehand into the net on his first break point chance. Shapovalov broke serve in the seventh game to take a 4-3 lead with a drop shot and wrapped up the second set with his third ace.

Bublik opened up a 2-0 lead with a break in the second game of the third set. Shapovalov broke straight back in the third game. Bublik got another break lead in the eighth lead at 15, when Shapovalov hit a forehand wide. Bublik sealed the win with a hold at love.

“He is a great player and serve. It was our first match, but I have known him for a very long time. I was happy to break in the first set, then in the second set he was better, and I had my chances in the third and I held on. So I am very happy”,said Bublik.

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ATP

Milos Raonic, Steve Johnson, Frances Tiafoe and Ugo Humbert reach the quarter final in Delray Beach

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Milos Raonic hit 11 aces and saved the three break points he faced to beat German Cedrik Marcel Stebe 7-5 6-3 after 1 hour and 36 minutes reaching the quarter final at the Delray Beach, an ATP Tour 250 tournament.

 

Raonic earned a break in each set. Stebe earned a break point in the ninth game with a forehand down the line, but Raonic saved it with a forehand. Raonic faced two more break points in the 11th game, but Raonic saved them with service winners. Raonic earned a break with a forehand down the line winner in the 12th game to close out the first set 7-5. Raonicwon four consecutive points on return to earn a break and closed out the match 6-3 with a hold of serve.

“I got lucky through that first set and then I tried to be a bit more aggressive, create more things and that put a bit more pressure on him. It opened up the match for me a bit more”, said Raonic.

Raonic set up a quarter final against Steve Johnson, who edged past his compatriot Jack Sock 6-4 5-7 6-1 after 2 hours and 5 minutes to reach his first quarter final at ATP Tour level in six months. Johnson came back from losing the second set by racing out to a 5-0 lead.

“This is just one of those tournaments where you feel comfortable coming back every year. It’s great to see Sock back. I thought he played a really good second set and I just got bit of a momentum in the third set”, said Johnson.

French Next Gen player Ugo Humbert edged Miomir Kecmanovic 6-4 7-6 (8-6) after 1 hour and 42 minutes to reach his third quarter final in 2020. Humbert fended off eight of the ten break points he faced and earned three breaks to win the last four games of the first set from 2-4 down. Humbert broke Kecmanovic, as the Serbian player was serving for the second set at 6-5. The Frenchman saved a set point and came back from 5-6 down by winning the final three points of the tie-break to clinch the win after 1 hour and 43 minutes. Humbert has improved his win-loss record this year to 8-3.

“It’s always tough to play against Miomir, because he is a great player. He always plays at a high level. I lost to him last week and I was a little bit stressed before the match, so I am very happy to get the win today. You have to enjoy the victory because it’s not easy every week. Winning in Auckland gave me a lot of confidence. I beat some great players, but I have to continue my improvement every day”,said Humbert.

Humbert will face US player Frances Tiafoe, who battled past Tommy Paul 7-5 7-6 (7-4). Both players stayed neck and neck in the first set until the 11th game when Tiafoe earned a break with a return winner. He served out the set 7-5 with a service winner in the 12th game.

Paul earned a break in the sixth game, but he dropped his serve, while he serving for the set at 5-3. Tiafoe closed out the match with a backhand crosscourt winner at 6-4 in the tie-break.

“It’s never easy playing a good friend. It’s awkward, but I thought it was a pretty good match overall. My forehand was definitely on, so that helped. I am starting to play good tennis again and just competing hard in every match”,said Tiafoe.  

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