Women’s Wimbledon Final Faces Delay As Curfew Halts Novak Djokovic's Clash With Nadal - UBITENNIS
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Women’s Wimbledon Final Faces Delay As Curfew Halts Novak Djokovic’s Clash With Nadal

Djokovic is just six games away from a place in his 22nd grand slam final.

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Novak Djokovic is a set away from a place in the Wimbledon final as he leads Rafael Nadal 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(9), during their semi-final clash at The All England Club.

The 52nd meeting between the two players didn’t get underway until past 20:00 local time due to the record-breaking match that preceded. Kevin Anderson outlasted John Isner after six hours and 35 minutes of play. Leaving former champions Nadal and Djokovic less than three hours to finish their match. The tournament has an agreement with the local council to finish play by 23:00. Triggering a debate about if tiebreakers should be used in the final set of men’s matches.

“I think if you ask the players, when you get stuck in these positions, playing such long matches, it’s very tiring.” Anderson said during his press conference. “It’s very tough, playing six-and-a-half hours, whatever we were out there for. I personally don’t see the added value or benefit compared to, say, at the US Open where we’re playing tiebreaks in the fifth set.”  

Despite the later than expected match, the quality was not hindered as both players illustrated their best tennis with some sublime defensive play. At first it was 12-time grand slam champion Djokovic, who started the stronger of the two. The Serbian got his first breakthrough during the seventh game of the match. A backhand shot was initially ruled out, before a successful hawk-eye challenge called it in. Granting Djokovic a break point, which he converted with the help of a Nadal error. The blip from the Spaniard cost him the opening set as Djokovic roared to a 6-3 lead with the help of a love service game.

Nadal, who is contesting his first Wimbledon semi-final since 2011, continued to feel the heat on Centre Court. Saving a trio of break points at the start of set number two. Nevertheless, the world No.1 managed to turn his fortunes around with the help of a slight decline in Djokovic’s form. Two consecutive breaks in Nadal’s favour revived his chances. As he raced around the court returning some seemingly impossible angle shots from the Serbian. Levelling at a set apiece with the help of a Djokovic backhand drifting wide.

With everything to play for, the quality of exchanges between the two players increased as the 11pm deadline approached. Nadal’s ability to turn defence into attack was matched by Djokovic’s relentless shot-making. Paving the way for a pulsating tiebreaker in the third set.  Nadal had a trio of set points, but was denied the lead by his nemesis. Meanwhile Djokovic, who lost a 4-2 advantage early on, went on to seize his opportunity. Leading 10-9, a gut-busting 18-shot rally ended with a Nadal backhand ploughing into the net. Gifting the Serbian a two-sets-one lead as the match went past the 11pm curfew.

Djokovic, who last played in a major final at the 2016 French Open, will resumed proceedings with Nadal on Saturday. The match will be played under the roof to replicate the same conditions as Friday. Although the roof could be opened if both players agree to do so.

The semi-final will start at 13:00 on Saturday. Meaning that the women’s final between Serena Williams and Angelique Kerber will likely be delayed. In accordance with Wimbledon tradition, the ladies final always start at 14:00.

The match so far in numbers

Aces – Nadal 2, Djokovic 13
Winners – Nadal 39, Djokovic 42
Unforced errors – Nadal 22, Djokovic 29
1st serves won – Nadal 66%, Djokovic 72%
2nd serves won – Nadal 61%, Djokovic 54%

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Daniil Medvedev Ousts Former Quarter-Finalist Tiafoe, Kyrgios Reigns Supreme At Australian Open

Both players endured a testing start to their campaigns at Melbourne Park.

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Two players tipped to fill in the void when the big three of men’s tennis departs from the sport have got off to a winning start at the Australian Open.

 

US Open runner-up Daniil Medvedev manoeuvred his way past a tricky encounter with Frances Tiafoe. Who reach the last eight of the tournament 12 months ago in what is his best grand slam performance to date. Despite the threat posed, Medvedev held his nerve to prevail 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2, on the premier Rod Laver Arena. The night-time encounter saw the Russian fired 13 aces and 42 winners past Tiafoe en route to the second round.

“It was a really tough match. I think it was a bit up and down from both of us.” Medvedev said during his on-court interview.
“I’m really happy to win because the first round is never easy. Especially against Frances, who was in the quarters last year.”

Medvedev, who turns 24 next month, has been labelled as one of potential players who can end the reign of Roger Federer and Co by winning a grand slam title this season. Last year he claimed 59 wins on the ATP Tour, which was more than any other player. During his breakthrough season he clinched his first two Masters titles as well as a duo of ATP 250 events.

Despite his victory, the world No.4 was far from contempt when it came to his latest performance. Medvedev dropped serve at least once in every set played and also leaked 35 errors. The same amount of mistakes as Tiafoe.

“There were many moments during the match where I felt I was getting momentum and then he came back.” He reflected.
“I think I can do many things better, but for the first round it’s a big win and I’m really happy.’
“I didn’t like my serve today to be honest. But hopefully I can do better in the next round, otherwise I will be in trouble.”

Kyrgios Topples Italian rival

Taking to the court at the same time as Medvedev, Nick Kyrgios also experienced a tricky start to his title bid in Melbourne. Seeded 23rd in the draw this year, the home favourite roared his way to a 6-2, 7-6(3), 7-6(1), win over Italy’s Lorenzo Sonego. Claiming his fourth tour win of the season following his trio of singles victories at the ATP Cup earlier this month.

“I was just excited to get out here. It has been a pretty emotional couple of months for all of us,’ Kyrgios commented in reference to the ongoing bushfire crisis in Australia.
“I just wanted to come out here and put on a good performance.”

Kyrgios has been one of the driving forces behind Tennis Australia’s series of fundraisers to support the bushfire appeal. He has pledged to donate $200 for every ace he produces during the Australian Open. Working out at $2800 from his latest match along after firing 14 past Sonego. Overall, Kyrgios won an impressive 87% of his first service points during the 135-minute clash.

“I feel good. I’m not looking ahead in the draw at all.” Kyrgios stated.
“Everyone can play in the draw, they are all capable. So I’m just going to take it one match at a time.” He added.

During his on-court interview, John McEnroe make an unexpected announcement. The former world No.1 has said he will donate $1000 for every set Kyrgios wins in the remainder of the tournament to the bushfire appeal. Prompting a huge cheer from the crowd.

Both Medvedev and Kyrgios will play their second round matches on Thursday.

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Ernests Gulbis upsets Felix Auger Aliassime to advance to the second round in Melbourne

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World number 256 Ernests Gulbis upset Canadian Next Gen star Felix Auger Aliassime 7-5 4-6 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 to reach the second round at the Australian Open at Melbourne Park.

 

Auger Aliassime was the second Canadian Next Gen player to lose in the first round at this year’s edition of the Australian Open after his compatriot Denis Shapovalov was defeated by Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics on Monday.

Auger Aliassime started the 2020 season with just one win in four matches at the ATP Cup, but he reached the semifinal in Adelaide last week, losing to eventual champion Andrey Rublev in three sets.

Auger Aliassime earned the first game in the ninth game at 30 to take a 5-4 lead, but Gulbis broke twice in the 10th and 12th game to win the first set 7-5. In the second set Auger Aliassime saved three break points in both the eighth and tenth games and broke in the ninth game at deuce to seal the second set 6-4.

In the third set Auger Aliassime saved four break points to hold his serve at deuce in the fourth game to draw level to 2-2. Gulbis fended off a break point in the fifth and eleventh games before winning the tie-break 7-4.

Gulbis earned an early break in the first game of the opening set. Auger Aliassime broke back in the third game and held his serve at deuce to draw level to 2-2 after saving two break points. Gulbis broke for the second time in the fifth game and held his next service games to close out the fourth set 6-4.

“Every time you come to Australia the main goal is the Aussie Open, so it’s not good. That’s what the result show, but at the same time I am staying calm and positive because I feel I am not far from playing well and winning matches”,said Felix Auger Aliassime.

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Dominic Thiem beats Adrian Mannarino to reach the second round in Melbourne for the fifth consecutive year

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Fifth seed and last year’s Roland Garros finalist Dominic Thiem beat Adrian Mannarino 6-3 7-5 6-2 to extend his winning record in his head-to-head against the French player to 8-0. The Austrian player hit 36 winners to 34 unforced errors. Thiem set up a second round match against either Albert Ramos Vinolas or Australian wild card Alex Bolt.

 

Thiem earned the first break in the fourth game to open up a 3-1 lead. Mannarino fended off two break points in the eighth game while he was serving at 2-5, but Thiem sealed the first set 6-3 on his third set point after a 27-shot rally.

Thiem went up a set and a break in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead, but Mannarino pulled the break back to draw level to 4-4, as Thiem sent a forehand long. Thiem got his second break in the 11th game to take a 6-5 lead after a 28-shot rally and reeled off 12 of the last 14 points to clinch the second set 7-5.

Thiem started the third set with an early break and won 16 of the first 20 points to seal the win after 2 hours and 21 minutes. The 2019 ATP Finals runner-up reached the Australian Open second round for the fifth consecutive year.

Thiem leads 2-1 in his three head-to-head matches against Ramos Vinolas, but the Spaniard won their only clash on hard-court in Chengdu four years ago.

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