Novak Djokovic Outlasts Nemesis Nadal In Epic To Reach Wimbledon Final - UBITENNIS
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Novak Djokovic Outlasts Nemesis Nadal In Epic To Reach Wimbledon Final

The Serbian will take on Kevin Anderson in the final.






Former world No.1 Novak Djokovic has reached his first grand slam final since 2016 after battling past Rafael Nadal 4-6, 6-3, 6-7(9), 6-3, 10-8, after a two-day roller-coaster clash at The All England Club.

The meeting between the two was postponed on Friday night after Djokovic valiantly rallied his way to a two-sets-to-one lead. Unfortunately for the Serbian, he couldn’t continue his momentum as the 11pm Wimbledon curfew halted proceedings. Giving both players a chance to reflect upon their performance overnight.

“When you finish at 11pm and you have to come back to the practice court at 1030am. The adrenaline is really high, but it is not easy to relax. “ Djokovic said during his post-match interview.
“At the end of the day, I’m just so glad to overcome this challenge.”

14 hours after the last ball was hit in the match, the battle resumed on Centre Court. Resulting in the delay of the women’s Wimbledon final. A decision that has angered some in the sport. Nevertheless, the high calibre of exchanges between the two continued in what was their 52nd tour meeting. The was little to tell between the two with Djokovic winning just four points more than Nadal in the entire match (195-191). Coincidentally, both produced 73 winners to 42 unforced errors. Although Djokovic lead the ace count with 23 to nine.

“It’s hard to pick the words. I’m just going through things such as flashbacks over the past 15 months and everything I have been through to get here to the finals.” Said Djokovic, who missed six months of 2017 due to an elbow injury.
“It is one of the longest matches I’ve ever played. I’m just overwhelmed.”

At the start of the fourth set, Nadal saved two break points to battle through a 16-minute opening service game during what was a set of cat and mouse chase. The Spaniard then stormed to a 3-0 lead with the help of his sublime aggressive play. Only for a determined Djokovic to draw back and level 3-3. Nadal continued to apply pressure on his opponent and once again got rewarded for it. A low shot trigger a Djokovic forehand slamming into the net to gift another break to the second seed and the chance to serve the set out. A task that was far from simple. Nadal recovered from a 0-40 deficit by winning five points in a row. Forcing the match into a decider with the help of an ace.

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With a minimum prize money pay-check of £1.125 million at stake for the winner, there was little disparity between Nadal and Djokovic during the closing stages. Paving the way for a marathon 18-game final set that will go down as one of the most memorable in the history of their 52-match rivalry.  In total the 111-point set featured 14 aces and 42 winners.

Ultimately, it was a single falter that would prove instrumental in the outcome of the encounter. That was the case for Nadal more than five hours into the match. Serving behind 8-9, a slip on the grass enabled Djokovic return the ball in to work his way to three match points. His place in the final was then sealed after a Nadal forehand drifted out. Prompting Djokovic to look up at the air in delight.

“It (the match) was really special. I think it could have gone either way. It was very clear that few things separated the two players. I didn’t know if I was going to win until the last shot. I believed it, but I knew that he was very close.” Djokovic reflected.
“These are the kind of matches you live for. You work for.“ He later added.

A win away from his 13th grand slam title, Djokovic will next take on Kevin Anderson.  On Friday the South African prevailed over John Isner after six hours and 35 minutes of play. Making it the second longest match in Wimbledon history.

“Hopefully we can both play.” Djokovic joked about the upcoming final. “It has been a roller-coaster ride for him in the last couple rounds. He has had a day off, which means a lot. I wish I could have one.
“I’m in the finals of Wimbledon. It is an incredible achievement for me after what I have been through. I’m just trying to digest it for and then look ahead.”

Djokovic has now won 250 matches in grand slams. He leads Anderson 5-1 in their head-to-head and has won both of their previous meetings at Wimbledon.


Fabio Fognini Hits Out At ‘Inexplicable’ Disqualification From Barcelona Open

The world No.27 has protested his innocence after losing his temper over a call made by an official.




Italy’s Fabio Fognini describes the decision to kick him out of the Barcelona Open on Wednesday as a ‘shock’ and has vowed to look further into the matter.


The 33-year-old was taking on Spanish qualifier Bernabe Zapata Miralles in the second round of the tournament where he was trailing the match 0-6, 4-4. After losing his temper, the world No.27 is said to have been verbally abusive towards a lines official and was subsequently defaulted from the match for his behaviour. The incident occurred over a line call decision which Fognini didn’t agree with.

On court, he tried to protest his innocence by telling the umpire ‘I didn’t say anything’ but it failed to overturn the decision. Leaving Fognini fuming as he broke his racket on purpose.

Speaking to reporters afterwards, the Italian continued to protest his innocence in the match and said he would ‘investigate’ the matter. It is unclear what he is referring to but players are allowed to make an appeal against any fine if they feel it is unjust.

“I’m really surprised with the ATP, especially the chair umpire and the supervisor, because I was here to play tennis, I was here to fight in the match, and even if I was losing, doesn’t matter,” he said. “But what they did to me was something inexplicable, so I’m going to investigate it, but nothing more, I paid for something that I didn’t do, that’s the first and clearest thing that everybody has to know.”

Zapata Miralles said he was initially unaware of what was going on in his clash with Fognini as he was focusing on closing out the match. Barcelona is only the seventh ATP main draw he has played in so far in his career.

“I was on the other side of the court, I wasn’t listening to be honest,” Tennis Majors quoted the 24-year-old as saying afterwards. “When I saw the referee on the court, I asked the umpire what’s going on. But I was focused on my work on the court, I was thinking on the next point, the next game, on things I had to focus on.”

Fognini has never previously been defaulted from a tennis match but he is no stranger to controversy. At the 2017 US Open he was fined $24,000 for insulting a female chair umpire and at the 2019 Wimbledon Championships he was heard saying ‘I wish a bomb would explode on this club.’ He later apologised for his remarks.

Zapata Miralles will play compatriot Pablo Carreno Busta in the third round.

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Matteo Berrettini beats Marco Cecchinato in all-Italian match in Belgrade




Number 2 seed Matteo Berrettini beat Marco Cecchinato 6-4 6-3 after 1 hour and 21 minutes in an all-Italian match to advance to the quarter finals at the Serbia Open in Belgrade. 


Berrettini broke serve three times and saved all three break points he faced showing that he is returning to his best form after an abdominal injury, which forced him ahead of his fourth-round match at the Australian Open. 

Berrettini saved three break points in the fourth game before earning his first break at 30 in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead. Berrettini dropped just five points in his final three service games to win the first set 6-4. 

Berrettini went up a set and a break at 15 and never looked back in his next service games. He sealed the match 6-3 with his third break in the ninth game. 

This year Berrettini earned three top 15 wins to lead Italy to the ATP Cup in Melbourne. Last week he lost his opening match against Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters. 

“Confidence is something that goes away, it comes back. For sure I know that is my level. I know that I can play that kind of tennis. I work hard to be there, to be in good shape. It was obviously a shame. I work hard to be there, to be in good shape. It obviously was a shame. I was sad about my injury, but I know that I can play well on clay, on grass and on hard-court”, said Berrettini. 

Berrettini set up a match against Serbia’s Filip Krajnovic, who eased past Nikola Milojevic 6-1 6-1. Berretini defeated Krajinovic in their only previous head-to-head match in the Budapest final in 2019. 

“It’s going to be very tough. He is top 10, he is a huge champion. He is very tough to play against. I played him once in the final of an ATP Tour event and he beat me, so I know how to play. It’s going to be very tricky, very tough, but I will give my best playing on my court. We see how it goes”, said Krajinovic. 

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Felix Auger Aliassime battles back to beat Lorenzo Musetti in Barcelona

Felix Auger-Aliassime reached the third round in Barcelona, where he will meet Denis Shapovalov.




Felix Auger-Aliassime (@BATennisCom - Twitter)

The Canadian needed three sets and over two hours to get the win and set up a third round encounter with his good friend Denis Shapovalov.


Felix Auger Aliassime needed two hours and five minutes to beat the Italian Lorenzo Musetti 4-6, 6-3, 6-0 hitting nine aces in the win and setting up his next match with fellow Canadian Denis Shapovalov.

“It’s not always easy, to be honest, now I’m sitting here, I am happy that I won but things were difficult at some point in the match, I was facing breakpoints in the second set again and things got tight so trying to stay calm, trying to find solutions that was the main goal, I mean there was some ups and downs but in the end, I’m happy with the way the match ended, sometimes your not playing your best tennis but you gotta believe and have courage and fight through”.

The Italian got off to a great start earning a breakpoint in the opening game of the match but the Montreal native was able to save it and hold serve. At 1-1, the world number 20 was under pressure once again but hung in to save the breakpoint.

The Canadian got his first breakpoint of the match at 2-1 but this time it was the Italian who would do a good job of saving it. The very next game the world number 87 went back to work trying to get the early break and this time he was able to pull it off with a superb lob to take a 3-2 lead.

He would serve out the first set to take it 6-4 and a comeback was required if the Canadian didn’t want to be upset at the hands of the Italian.

The world number 87 kept it going in the beginning of the second set earning more breakpoints in the opening game but the Canadian would save both and hold serve.

The very next game the number 10 seed would set up two breakpoints with a stunning forehand winner and would break for the first time in the match to take a 2-0 lead.

The next game the Canadian struggled on serve and the Italian earned two more breakpoints and broke right back to go back on serve. At 3-2 the Montreal native would have another chance to break but the world number 87 would save it again.

At 4-3 the Italian started to get tight and the world number 20 earned three more chances to break and this time would break through to take a 5-3 lead and serve out the second set to send it into a decider.

Clearly the momentum was with the Canadian and he would earn three more breakpoints in the opening service game of the third set and broke to take a 1-0 lead.

After consolidating the break he would earn three more breakpoints and break once more to go up a double break. At the changeover Musetti called for the trainer and took a medical timeout to have work on his lower back.

The Canadian didn’t give in and after holding serve once again he would earn more breakpoints and break one more time and would serve out the match to win the decider with a 6-0 bagel.

As mentioned this win sets up a match with Denis Shapovalov on Thursday with both players meeting a total of four times and each player has two wins.

After the match Auger Aliassime spoke about the matchup and gave Ubitennis his thoughts.

“I feel like we played quite a lot lately and the past year so It’s always a challenge to play him, hopefully, I can play a good match, we can have a great battle but it’s always a tough task so I’ll try to rest and get ready as good as I can for the match tomorrow”.

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