Roger Federer Believes Djokovic Has ‘Room To Improve’ Ahead Of Meeting No.46 In Cincinnati - UBITENNIS
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Roger Federer Believes Djokovic Has ‘Room To Improve’ Ahead Of Meeting No.46 In Cincinnati

The 20-time grand slam champion gives his assessment of his Serbian rival ahead of their first clash since 2016.



Former world No.1 Roger Federer admits that he is intrigued to see how Novak Djokovic finishes this season as he continues his resurgence on the tour.


At the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati, Federer will take on Djokovic for the first time in two years after both players came through their semi-final matches. Federer moved into the showdown after his opponent, David Goffin, was forced to retire during the early stages of the second set due to a shoulder injury. Meanwhile, Djokovic battled past former champion Marin Cilic 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.

“A lot has happened since (our last meeting) with injuries, both of us have been fighting, and we both came back strong again. So I think that’s what’s nice about this time around with Novak.” Federer previewed about the upcoming final.

Their last meeting was on the hardcourt’s in Melbourne at the Australian Open where Djokovic prevailed in four sets to move ahead 23-22 in their head-to-head. Since then, Federer missed six months of action due to a knee injury in 2016. Then a year later Djokovic experienced his own misfortunes with a elbow injury that sidelined him from the tour. Djokovic also underwent a operation on his elbow earlier this year.

Both men have staged an emphatic return to the tour. Highlighted by Djokovic‘s impressive run on the grass which saw him claim the Wimbledon title. Since then, the Serbian world No.10 has won 17 out of 19 matches played on the tour.

“When they asked me in Indian Wells and Miami to judge Novak, I was, like, It’s not real Novak, then.” Federer explained.
“He was just coming back, and he came back too soon. Same at the Australian Open. That one wasn’t quite the 100% Novak we know he can be.
“I don’t look at that kind of match like what could he be struggling with, because if you give him time, he’ll fix that.”

Route to the final

R1: Bye
R2: 6-4, 6-4 Peter Gojowczyk
R3: 6-2, 7-6 Leonardo Mayer
QF: 6-7, 7-6, 6-2 Stan Wawrinka
SF: 7-6 1-1 RET David Goffin

R1: 6-4, 7-6 Steve Johnson
R2: 4-6, 6-2, 6-1 Adrian Mannarino
R3: 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 Grigor Dimitrov
QF: 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 Milos Raonic
SF: 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 Marin Cilic

The upcoming final is set to make Cincinnati history regardless of the winner. Federer is yet to lose in the final of the tournament with a perfect 7-0 record. Should he win again, he would be the first person to win the title for an eighth time. Meanwhile, if Djokovic prevails, he would become the first player to win all nine Masters 1000 titles since the series was introduced in 1990.

“I think it gives him a lot of confidence, as well, winning all those three-setters now, because in Indian Wells and Miami, what I saw there was a tired Novak, which was very rare to see that.” Federer commented about his rival.
“But that’s why it wasn’t real. He hadn’t had enough practice yet. Still coming fresh off his injury.
“I think he’s playing much better tennis now, much more solid off the baseline. I mean, I still think he’s got room to improve. Will be interesting to see how he finishes the year.”

When pressed further by the media about what specific areas Djokovic needs to improve, Federer refrained from mentioning any specifics.

“Just everything, like, a little bit of everything. I don’t know what it is exactly, but it could start with the serve, could start with whatever it may be. Transition game, I don’t know.” He said.

Federer’s respect for his rival is one that goes both ways. Shortly after his win over Cilic, Djokovic spoke about his rivalry with the Swiss player. Which started 13 years ago at the 2006 Monte Carlo Masters.

“The rivalry with him and him personally has influenced the evolution of my game.” Djokovic said during his press conference.
“It would be the greatest challenge in Cincinnati, without a doubt, and many tournaments, especially here, because he’s been dominating this tournament historically. He won against me several times in finals.”

Heading into the final, Federer is yet to be broken in the tournament. Winning all 43 of service games. Meanwhile Djokovic has won 55 out of 68 played.

The men’s final will take place after 16:00 local time (21:00 GMT) on Sunday.


Alexander Zverev Deserves More Respect According To Boris Becker

According to Boris Becker, Alexander Zverev deserves more respect from tennis journalists.



Alexander Zverev (@WeAreTennis - Twitter)

Boris Becker has claimed that Alexander Zverev deserves more respect despite Zverev failing to live up to his potential at Grand Slams.


Zverev has only reached one Grand Slam final in his career despite being a regular inside the world’s top ten as well as performing at regular ATP events.

This season Zverev played a limited schedule after recovering from an ankle injury but still managed to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals.

However most critics have been loud when judging Zverev’s career as it was looking likely that he would be a regular Grand Slam champion.

The German has failed to live up to expectations but former Grand Slam champion Boris Becker believes Zverev deserves more respect.

Speaking to Eurosport Becker also said that Zverev’s father being the coach is a more than successful approach when it comes to the former US Open finalist’s career, “In my opinion, he doesn’t get enough respect from the tennis experts internationally,” Becker explained.

“They’re all talking about the young three or four, but don’t give Zverev, Medvedev or Rublev enough respect. He’s playing with his fist in his pocket a little bit, wants everyone show that he is not a thing of the past, but that his best time is yet to come.

“Surely his father knows best what is good for his son, but if you look into the box at the competition, you can also see changes.”

Becker has followed Zverev for most of his career so knows that the best is yet to come from the German.

Alexander Zverev will look to prove himself next season when he starts his 2024 season when he represents Germany at the United Cup.

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Juan Carlos Ferrero Analyses Key Areas For Carlos Alcaraz’s Development

Juan Carlos Ferrero has outlined the next steps in Carlos Alcaraz’s development.



(@tennisnewsbrazil - Twitter)

Carlos Alcaraz’s coach, Juan Carlos Ferrero has analysed the key areas for the Spaniard’s development heading into the 2024 season.


The former world number one’s season has come to an end after a successful year which saw him win the Wimbledon title as well as winning two Masters 1000 titles.

Alcaraz capped off an incredible season by reaching the semi-finals at the Nitto ATP Finals, where he lost to Novak Djokovic.

However there is a long way for the Spaniard to go if he wants to consistently go toe-to-toe with Novak Djokovic.

Speaking to Marca Alcaraz’s coach Juan Carlos Ferrero spoke about the Spaniard’s development and said that Alcaraz is too emotional, “Be more regular in games, not open doors. Sometimes there are mistakes and it is something that we have to improve a lot,” Ferrero commented.

“Although it is true that he opens doors, he always competes well and at the highest level. He knows it, the other day he already said that Novak doesn’t give you one. He has to improve his decision making and he will achieve that with experience. Carlos is very emotional and that sometimes helps him and other times not so much.”

It’s clear Alcaraz’s high-quality is there but to consistently do it against Djokovic is another task altogether as the Spaniard looks to go from strength-to strength next season.

One area that is clearly a priority for Alcaraz is physical conditioning especially considering what happened against Djokovic at Roland Garros earlier in the season.

Ferrero said that will be a clear focus heading into 2024 but couldn’t guarantee that Alcaraz will play a tournament before the Australian Open, “Because of the year and the fatigue he has been in, what he needs is rest and disconnecting for 8-10 days with his friends,” Ferrero stated.

“From there, the thinking must go back to working really hard, strong and well to start very strongly in Australia. One can never be sure of that. Sometimes you play a tournament and it doesn’t go well, you left home too early. There are many ways of thinking.

“This year we haven’t played Australia and he finishes number two. That means there is no urgency to play a tournament early. Carlos is a player who enters competition quickly, you don’t usually see him without rhythm.

“Although it is true that he becomes more dangerous from the round of 16, from the quarter-finals. I am confident that the two exhibition matches and the training sessions will help us play a good tournament.”

Alcaraz will be looking to play the Australian Open which starts on the 15th of January after the Spaniard missed last year’s tournament due to a leg injury.

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Australian Open Chief Confident Nadal Will Play But Kyrgios’ Participation Uncertain



Nadal RG 2022 by Night (foto @RolandGarros)

The tournament director of the Australian Open says he is ‘certain’ that Rafael Nadal will play at the Grand Slam even though the Spaniard has yet to outline his comeback plans. 


Craig Tiley told reporters in Melbourne on Thursday he hopes to receive some clarity over Nadal’s intentions in the next couple of weeks but is confident he will play. However, the tennis official had previously claimed in October that the former world No.1 had already committed to play in the event before his team denied that statement.  

Nadal, who has won 22 Grand Slam titles, hasn’t played a Tour match since his second round defeat at the Australian Open in January due to a hip injury. He was originally expecting to take an eight-week break but the recovery didn’t go to plan and he ended up having surgery. In May he confirmed that he will take an extended break from the sport to heal his body and admitted that retirement next year is a possibility.

“Rafa has been training, I follow him closely, probably every day because he’s a massive drawcard for us,” the Reuters News Agency quoted Tiley as saying. 
“He wants to play, he’s obviously planning on playing. It all depends on how he pulls up.
“Hopefully in the next week or the next two weeks, we get some specific confirmation of that. I’m certain Rafa will be here because he’s not going to want to miss the opportunity to repeat what he did a couple of years ago.”

Earlier this month Nadal confirmed that he intends to return to the Tour but admits that he will continue to experience a degree of pain. Although he has yet to give any information about which tournament he will begin his comeback at. The 2024 season begins during the first week of January.

“I’m well, training, and happy. I’m at a good stage of my life,” quoted Nadal as telling reporters in Barcelona.
“Until now I didn’t know if I would play tennis again someday, and now I genuinely believe I will. I’m still not ready to say when, but I’m able to train increasingly longer, and the progress is good.’

Will Kyrgios play?

Another player Tiley is eager to welcome back is home player and former Wimbledon Finalist Nick Kyrgios who has only played one Tour-level match this season due to injury. He underwent knee surgery in January and then tore a ligament in his wrist during the summer. As a result, the Australian currently doesn’t have an ATP ranking due to his inactivity. 

“We have spoken to Nick, and he obviously wants to do the best he possibly can to give him the best chance to play in January,” Tiley said of Kyrgios.
“Whether he’s playing, whether he’s doing something else, Nick will be here in January and to get him to play will be great. But we’ve got to take it as it comes and he’s got to make sure he takes care of his health …” 

Kyrgios recently worked as an analyst for the Tennis Channel during this year’s ATP Finals in Turin and gave a brief update on his ongoing recovery during a segment. 

“After last year, I had such a great year, and I’m so hungry to get back out there,” the 2022 Wimbledon finalist commented.
“So I’m doing everything I can to get back out there. Obviously, you know how injuries are every day, just doing the rehab, doing the gym work.”

The Australian Open will begin on Sunday 14th January. Novak Djokovic and Aryna Sabalenka are the defending champions. 

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