Novak Djokovic Overcomes Nishikori And Argument With Umpire To Reach Wimbledon Semis - UBITENNIS
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Novak Djokovic Overcomes Nishikori And Argument With Umpire To Reach Wimbledon Semis

The three-time champion has reached his 32nd grand slam semifinal following his latest triumph at The All England Club.

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12th seed Novak Djokovic has denied Kei Nishikori the chance to become the first Japanese Wimbledon men’s semi-finalist since 1933 with a roller-coaster 6-3, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 win in the quarter-finals.

The clash between the two was one full of drama as Djokovic argued with the umpire after receiving a code violation during the second set. Nevertheless, he managed to overcome the blip to see off Nishikori. Who was wearing heavy strapping on his right arm, but moved freely around the court without discomfort. Hitting 39 winners to 21 unforced errors.

“It feels great to be in the last four of a slam. I’ve been building on the last couple of weeks, the level of tennis I was playing over the last couple of months.” Djokovic told BBC Sport.
“I feel like I am peaking at the right moment. It’s not the first time I’m in the semifinals. I’ve been here before. But I will try to enjoy this victory and try to think about my next opponent.”

Taking on Nishikori for the 16th time in his career, both players illustrated their talent on Center Court. Djokovic’s defensive play won over the cheers and admiration from many. In what was a somewhat different atmosphere to his match against Kyle Edmund. Meanwhile, Nishikori hit a series of breathtaking shots. The only problem was that the Japanese player wasn’t consistent enough to deny Djokovic. Illustrated by his 34 errors produced during the match.

Exchanging breaks midway through the opening set, Djokovic went on to extend his lead to 5-3 at the expense of back-to-back Nishikori errors. The ability of the Serbian to return the ball deep towards the baselines frustrated his opponent, who last defeated Djokovic at the 2014 US Open. Racing to a 40-15 lead, two set points came and went for the Serbian. It was on the third where he prevailed after hitting a backhand to the baseline to draw yet another error from Nishikori.

Following the strong start from the Serbian came controversy. During the early part of set number two Djokovic failed to convert four break point chances during two Nishikori service games. Throwing his racket to the ground out of frustration. Umpire Carlos Ramos penalised him with a code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct. Resulting in a heated exchange between the two.

‘So you’re saying basically that if I hit a ball and then ruin the court I get a warning?’ Djokovic said to Ramos.
‘You think I ruined the court for just throwing my racket [down]? Do you think that or not? Be honest.’
Adding at the end of his argument ‘Come on.’

Meanwhile, a composed Nishikori stuck to his game plan to level the match at one set apiece.

Following his win, Djokovic continued to slam Ramos. Saying during his post-match that Nishikori did the same as him and wasn’t penalised for it.

“I thought it was not necessary to get the warning.” He stated. “I didn’t harm the grass. I knew I threw the racket, but he (Nishikori) threw his racket during the fourth set. The chair umpire said he didn’t see him. I get the warning and he didn’t. I think it’s not fair, but it is the way it is.”

The fightback

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The vulnerability in Djokovic’s mentality placed him in danger of going behind, but it was a lapse of concentration from his opponent that proved costly. A lacklustre Nishikori service game saw him fall behind 4-2 in the third frame. Triggering an almighty roar of ‘come on’ from the 12-time grand slam champion. Back in pole position, Djokovic stormed to a two-sets lead with the help of a sublime return to the corner of the court that his rival couldn’t return.

Strolling towards the finish line, Nishikori continued to fade. Allowing Djokovic to surge in momentum. However, his mood with the umpire deteriorated further when he was slammed with a time violation during the later stages of the match. Nevertheless, he proceeded to seal his place in the last four after 154 minutes of play. Hitting a forehand cross-court winner.

“I’m very grateful that I get the opportunity to play the sport that I love and compete at this high level.” He said. “I worked very hard and very smart to get myself in the best possible shape for the biggest events. It doesn’t get any bigger than Wimbledon.”

Claiming win No.806 on the tour, Djokovic has moved into joint-eighth position for most matches won by a player on the ATP World Tour. Equalling Stefan Edberg. His reward is a upcoming meeting against either Rafael Nadal or Juan Martin del Potro.

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Andy Murray Surging In Confidence After Reaching First ATP Quarter-Final Since 2019

The 34-year-old believes he is getting better with every match played on the Tour as he eyes a spot in the final later this week.

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Andy Murray (image via https://twitter.com/ATPTour_ES)

Former world No.1 Andy Murray says he is starting to gain more belief in his game after reaching the quarter-finals of the Moselle Open on Wednesday.

 

The three-time Grand Slam champion rallied to a 6-3, 6-3, win over Canada’s Vasek Pospisil in the French city. Murray dropped serve only once at the start of the second set but broke his opponent four times en route to the victory. It is the first time he has registered back-to-back wins on the ATP Tour since Wimbledon and it is the first time he has reached a quarter-final since winning the 2019 Antwerp Open.

Murray showed glimmers of his best tennis recently at the US Open where he took Stefanos Tsitsipas to five sets in the first round before losing. However, in his following tournament on the Challenger circuit he lost in the second round to world No.154 Roman Safiullin. Despite the mixed performances, the Brit says his fitness continues to improve and he believes he is heading in the right direction.

“For me, this period of the last few years has been the most I have played really,” Murray said following his win over Pospisil.
“My body feels good and I am starting to gain just a little bit of confidence with each match, starting to see the points and how I want to play them, which is great.
“There have been times in the past year where I have been a little bit confused and not seeing how the points are developing which was always a strong part of my game.
“It made me feel quite uncomfortable on court when I was feeling that way, so I am starting to get that back and the results are coming, my tennis is getting better.”

The 34-year-old, who now plays on the Tour with a metal hip after undergoing two operations, is targeting a return back into the world’s top 100 for the first time since 2018. He came agonisingly close in July when he reached 102. At present, he is currently ranked 113 but will climb at least four places following his run in Metz this week.

In the next round Murray will play either top seed Hubert Hurkacz or former top 10 player Lucas Pouille. Both players are likely to be a stern challenge for the three-time Grand Slam champion who is hoping to reach the final for the first time since 2007.

“I would love to get another opportunity to play here in the final, but there is a lot of tennis to be played before then potentially against the number one seed in the next round,” he reflected.
“It is not going to be easy if I want to reach the final, but I am playing well and have an opportunity.”

Murray has won 42 ATP titles and has earned more than $62M in prize money so far in his career.

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Diego Schwartzman Receives Threats On Social Media Following Shock Davis Cup Defeat

The world No.15 is the latest player to speak out about recieving abusive messages on social media.

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The weekend has been an emotional rollercoaster for Diego Schwartzman, who suffered ‘one of the worst’ losses of his career before helping secure victory for his country in their Davis Cup tie against Belarus.

 

On Saturday the world No.15 was stunned by unranked 18-year-old Daniil Ostapenkov who is yet to play a professional match on the pro Tour. Ostapenkov is currently ranked 63 in the world on the junior circuit. The comprehensive victory shocked the Argentinian team who was hosting the tie at the Buenos Aires Lawn Tennis Club.

Despite the shock upset, Schwartman managed to redeem himself the following day when he defeated Alexander Zgirovsky 6-1, 6-2. That victory handed his country an unassailable 3-1 lead in their tie and secured their place in the 2022 Davis Cup qualifiers which will take place next March.

Not only playing Davis, but in Buenos Aires, with a lot of people you don’t see, it’s not easy. My level can be and has to be much better. After the game on Saturday I had a difficult day in the spirit of being able to get up and enjoy with the group,” La Nacion quoted Schwartzman as saying.
“The most normal thing was that we won the series. It’s what everyone expected. But when you have a very difficult day at work like it was on Saturday and then you win, it excites you because you have some internal things withheld.”

Between those two matches, Schwartzman revealed that he was trolled on social media by some people unhappy about his loss in the tie. The 2020 French Open semi-finalist said he received criticism and even threats from some asking him to leave his home country. Something he admits affected him at times.

“It was one of the worst days of my career,” Schwartzman commented on his loss to Zgirovsky. “I lost to an unranked, inexperienced player. All that already affects (me) a lot. Although 80 or 90 percent of the people are always encouraging (me), there was a minority who criticized me with bad intentions.’
“I received threats, insults and requests not to return to Argentina. More or less, it affects (me)”.

Schwartzman is not the first player to speak out about online abuse. During the US Open Shelby Rogers said she was expecting to receive ‘death threats’ following her loss to Emma Raducanu who went on to win the title. Sloane Stephens has also previously spoken out about being the victim of racism online.

The 29-year-old says he has previously tried to interact with those who have trolled him on social media to find out why they are doing so.

Sometimes I start to answer some messages and I ask those people if they realize what they are sending,” Schwartzman said during his press conference. “The vast majority apologize and say they had not realized it. But at the moment it hurts. That very ill-intentioned criticism is the only bad thing about social networks.”

Schwartzman has won four ATP titles and earned more than $10M in prize money so far in his career.

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Spanish Veteran Feliciano Lopez Addresses Future On The Tour

23 years after he played his first main draw match on the ATP Tour, Lopez says his longevity in the sport has been achieved with the help of of some luck.

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Feliciano Lopez of Spain is pictured during the semi-final of ATP Fever-Tree Championships tennis tournament at Queen's Club in west London on June 20, 2019.

Feliciano Lopez has dismissed any speculation that he could retire in the coming weeks after saying he is taking life on the Tour in his stride.

 

The 39-year-old Spaniard is currently the second oldest player in the world’s top 200 after Roger Federer, who is a year older than him. Lopez made his ATP Tour debut at the 1998 Barcelona Open which was before the birth of Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz. In June he became the 10th active player to record his 500th win on the Tour.

Currently ranked 111th in the world, some are starting to wonder how much longer Lopez will continue playing. So far this season he has achieved a win-loss record of 9-19 with his best performance being a run to the quarter-finals of the Mallorca Open which was held on the grass. It was in Mallorca where he defeated Karen Khachanov who is the only top 30 player he has beaten so far in 2021.

I play year-by-year, the last 6-7 years have been like this, a tennis player at that age cannot think about extending his career. After turning 30 I have been lucky, I have obtained the best results of my career,” Lopez told reporters on Friday.
It is not very common for players my age, at (almost) 40 years to continue playing in the best tournaments.” He added.

Throughout his career, Lopez has impressively played in a record 78 consecutive Grand Slam tournaments dating back to the 2002 French Open. During that period he has reached the quarter-finals of a major tournament on four occasions.

“I don’t play to break records, what makes me most excited is to continue playing Grand Slams. For me, maintaining that record (78 consecutive Grand Slams played) is very nice, but more to follow. Being competitive,” he commented on the milestone.
“It is difficult for someone to overcome it because it is 20 years in a row without missing a great one. I have had continuity and enormous luck. Those of my generation are practically all retired.”

Away from the court, the former world No.12 is the current tournament director of the Madrid Open. Making him one of a few players historically to both be playing on the Tour and managing a tournament at the same time. Recently it was confirmed that Madrid will continue hosting it’s combined event until at least 2030 following a renewed agreement between the city council and the Madrid trophy promotion.

Lopez has won a total of seven ATP titles so far in his career and has earned more than $18M in prize money.

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