Wimbledon Day 14 Preview: The Gentlemen’s Singles Championship - UBITENNIS
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Wimbledon Day 14 Preview: The Gentlemen’s Singles Championship

On the final day of The Championships, Novak Djokovic goes for his 13th Major title, as Kevin Anderson vies for his first.

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Novak Djokovic (zimbio.com)

The first four rounds of the gentlemen’s singles tournament were pretty ordinary, but the last two rounds were rather extraordinary. The six matches in the quarterfinals and semifinals were played over the course of 28 sets, out of a possible 30. The semifinals alone combined for 11 hours and 51 minutes of play, in the two longest Wimbledon semifinals ever contested.

Over the last two rounds, Kevin Anderson has played for 10 hours and 50 minutes, in what equates to a mind-boggling 16 sets of tennis. What can he possibly have left for Sunday’s final? But at least he had a full day of rest on Saturday, while Djokovic had to play almost three sets worth of tennis to complete his defeat of Rafael Nadal on Saturday. Djokovic’s semifinal was over an hour shorter than Anderson’s semifinal, but the points he played against Nadal were much more grueling. Both men will be challenged to be physically fit on Sunday afternoon, though they’ll surely give their every last bit of energy as they compete for the most prestigious tennis championship in the world.

Kevin Anderson vs. Novak Djokovic

Two years ago, Novak Djokovic walked into The All England Club as the reigning champion at all four Majors. But that’s where a tumultuous two years of mental, emotional, and physical turmoil began for Novak, who was upset by Sam Querrey in the third round of The Championships. In the last two years, he’s won no Majors, and only three titles overall. Last year at Wimbledon, he retired during his quarterfinal match due to an elbow injury that would keep him off the court for the duration of 2017. He continued to struggle with his elbow in 2018, as just two months ago, he was a meek 5-5 on the year. Just when it appeared he was becoming his old self again last month in Paris, he suffered the biggest upset of his career to Marco Cecchinato, a man who had never before won a singles match at a Major prior to this year’s Roland Garros. But as many have declared, Novak Djokovic is officially back, following his statement victory over Rafael Nadal in the semifinals.
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Kevin Anderson has long had the reputation of being a choke artist, to put it bluntly. Coming into this tournament, he was just 2-10 in the fourth round of Majors, and just 1-10 in the quarterfinals of Masters 1,000 events. However, that criticism should now be retired. On Wednesday in the quarterfinals, the 32-year-old South African came back from two sets down against Roger Federer, saving a match point on his way to a 13-11 fifth set victory. Then on Friday in the semifinals, Anderson, outlasted John Isner 26-24 in the fifth. Kevin is now into the second Major final of his career, and his second of the last four Grand Slam events played.

The head-to-head between these two is rather lopsided, as Djokovic leads Anderson 5-1. Novak has won the last five, as Kevin’s only victory came over 10 years ago. Their last meeting was their best and most notable, in the round of 16 at this very tournament three years ago. Anderson won the first two sets in tiebreaks, but Djokovic would come back to win 7-5 in the fifth, in a match played over the course of two days. That match occurred during Novak’s last title run at Wimbledon in 2015. Considering their history, as well as the amount of tennis Anderson has played since Wednesday, it’s hard to imagine Kevin pulling off the upset. That being said, if he can get an early lead and have another excellent serving day, obtaining his first Major title on Sunday is not impossible. And as tired as Anderson is, Djokovic will be plenty sore as well following his two-day battle with Nadal. Let’s also not forget this is the most significant match Novak has played in nearly two years, since he lost the 2016 US Open final to Stan Wawrinka. Djokovic will certainly be nervy on this day, and we’ve seen how frustrated he can become on court, even in victory. We’ve also watched Djokovic blink at the finish line just a few weeks ago, when he had a match point against Marin Cilic in the final at Queen’s Club, yet lost the match. Anderson can find some hope in all of those points, but the fact remains Djokovic is the favorite to win his fourth Gentlemen’s Singles Trophy, which would put him behind only Roger Federer, Pete Sampras, and Bjorn Borg in the open era.

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Acapulco Faces Safety Issues Ahead Of ATP 500 Tournament

Acapulco faces safety and infrastructure issues before the ATP 500 tournament next week.

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Acapulco has faced safety concerns ahead of the tournament as players have been advised to stay in the tournament hotels or tennis venues.

As exclusively revealed by James Gray of the i newspaper, Acapulco is facing security and infrastructure concerns ahead of the tournament.

ATP players have reportedly been told in an email to stay confined to the tournament hotels and the tennis venue as crime rates have increased in the city.

Organisers in Mexico have reassured people that players will be able to train safely with the following statement, “The Arena GNP, venue for the Mexican Open of Tennis, and the host hotel are currently operational to carry out the tournament,” the tournament organisers told the i newspaper.

“Since Tuesday, we have been receiving players in Acapulco, and they have already had the opportunity to train at the venue.”

However there are still infrastructural problems including lack of flights to Acapulco as well as other safety concerns which have been affected by Hurricane Otis.

Despite the problems the ATP seem confident that the event will be safe and secure ahead of the ATP 500 event, “It is not uncommon for players to receive security advisories from ATP as a precautionary measure across more than 250 Tour and Challenger Tour events each season,” A spokesperson told the i newspaper.

“The advisory sent for Acapulco factors in the additional complexity of Hurricane Otis’ disruption. There have been major efforts and investment to restore the Acapulco venue in recent months.”

The ATP 500 event in Acapulco will take place next week with Alex De Minaur being the defending champion.

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Ons Jabeur’s Latest Withdrawal Raises Doubts Over Season Ambitions

Ons Jabeur will be hoping to re-energize herself ahead of a big few months in her career.

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Ons Jabeur’s latest withdrawal in Dubai has raised doubts over how successful the Tunisian can be this season.

Despite having high hopes for revitalizing her season in Dubai, Ons Jabeur has had another setback in 2024.

The Tunisian was forced to withdraw from one of her favourite tournaments of the year in Dubai due to a knee injury.

This withdrawal came days after Jabeur said she was ready for the challenge in Dubai and was excited to compete in front of a passionate crowd in Dubai.

In a statement Jabeur explained her injury and why she was unable to compete in Dubai this week, “After consultation of my doctors and team we have decided that I will have to withdraw from Dubai this week and go for more medical treatments,” Jabeur was quoted by tennishead as saying.

“Looking forward to reconnect with all on the courts for the US swing. Thank you for your continuous support.”

This latest setback isn’t a coincidence though as Jabeur has struggled with injuries ever since her Wimbledon final.

The mental and physical toll that the last eight months have taken of Jabeur are starting to show.

There doesn’t seem to be a plan in place as Jabeur has been open about her mental health struggles since that comprehensive defeat to Marketa Vondrousova at Wimbledon.

That’s a potential problem for Jabeur going forwards as it continues to get tougher for the world number six to find motivation going forwards.

A long break away from tennis may be beneficial for Jabeur as it feels like this summer may be the Tunisian’s last opportunity at Grand Slam glory.

An innovative and new approach may be required for Jabeur as her physical and mental stamina continues to fade with every week.

However will Jabeur manage reinvent herself before it’s too late? Only time will tell and SW19 may be the final destination in that bid.

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Iga Swiatek ‘Proud’ After Claiming Doha Title

World number one Iga Swiatek won her 18th career title in Doha.

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Iga Swiatek defeated Elena Rybakina 7-6(8) 6-2 to claim the title in Doha.

The world number one sealed an 18th career title with a straight sets win over Rybakina.

Swiatek had previously struggled to beat the Kazakh and that continued at the start of the opening set with the Pole conceding a double break deficit at 4-1.

However Swiatek was resilient as she won four games in a row to get back on track in the opening set.

Rybakina broke in the eleventh game and had the opportunity to serve for the opening set but couldn’t take the opportunity.

In the tiebreak, Swiatek converted her fourth set point as she claimed a mammoth tiebreak 10-8.

After that Swiatek seized control as she broke twice after saving two break points in the second game.

The Pole held comfortably to claim her maiden title of the 2024 season in what was her first tournament since a third round exit at the Australian Open.

In her-post match speech Swiatek admitted that she is proud of her performance in Doha this week, “You don’t even know hard it was not to think about it,” Swiatek was quoted by France 24 as saying after winning her 13th match in Doha.

“I came here and was pretty stressed because I felt the expectations. I wanted to do everything step by step like I always do. I’m really happy. I’m really proud of myself.”

Swiatek will now look to continue that form in Dubai next week where she takes on either Sloane Stephens or Clara Burel in her opening round match.

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