Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic played doubles together for the first time ever on Friday night in Chicago at the Laver Cup. It will most likely be the only time they ever play doubles together. Two of the top three players in the world showed at times why they are two of the best players in the history of the game. They also showed why they don’t play a lot of doubles as well.
The sold out crowd in the Windy City were treated to an entertaining match but the more experienced team won in the end. Jack Sock, who won the past two Grand Slam doubles titles at both Wimbledon and the US Open partnered with hard serving Kevin Anderson to defeat Federer and Djokovic 6-7, 6-3 10-6 to give Team World their first points of the event.
Despite two very entertaining singles matches won by Kyle Edmund and Diego Schwartzman on Friday and one dominant performance by Grigor Dimitrov giving Team Europe a 3-0 lead in the Laver Cup, the packed house at the United Center were eagerly anticipating the final match of the night featuring the No. 2 and No. 3 players in the world.
The highlight, or lowlight of the opening set came when Djokovic accidentally hit Federer with a forehand right into his back. The reaction on the Serbian’s face was priceless realizing he just made contact with the co-founder of the event. During the changeover Federer could be heard saying to his partner “That’s why we don’t play doubles”, Djokovic replied “Oh my god, I think my heart stopped for three seconds”
Djokovic and Federer won their first set as a team, needing a tiebreak to do so. Federer put away a forehand volley to win it 7-5 with his partner displaying a trademark fist pump and even a friendly shove to his rival as they walked back to their seats.
The first break of the match came in the fourth game of the second set. With Team “Sockerson” putting Team “Djokerer” in a 0-30 hole, Anderson proceeded to hit a big forehand return winner eventually breaking Federer at Love.
After an Anderson ace, Sock used his crafty play at the net to put a forehand volley away down the middle evening the match.
The final match tiebreak (first to ten points win by two) was even until a Federer double fault seemed to deflate the great champions. The duo did manage to get within a point at 7-6 but a Federer mistake at the net and a huge backhand winner from Sock sealed the deal for Team World.
“It was a lot of fun, it was a great experience, I loved it,” said Djokovic. “Obviously I wanted to win as much as Roger did but these guys came up with some big shots when it mattered”
“I thought we actually played pretty good today,” said Federer.”Again like I did also with Rafa last year in terms of excitement it was similar to me to be honest. To team up with someone of his calibre is just a treat”
Sock, who has won five doubles titles in 2018 with four different partners, had never played with Anderson before. Anderson, born in South Africa, went to university in the Chicago area.
Saturday’s Laver Cup schedule will see new father John Isner take on Sascha Zverev. That match will be followed by a rematch of last years Laver Cup finale between Federer and Nick Kyrgios. Djokovic will face off against Anderson for the first time since meeting in the Wimbledon final. The night cap will see Kyrgios and Sock team up in doubles against Goffin and Dimitrov.
Kiki Bertens Believes In Stability And Trust Ahead Of 2020 Season
Kiki Bertens looks for stability in hope of grand slam success in 2020.
Kiki Bertens believes stability and trust is the key to success ahead of the 2020 season despite a time of change for the Dutchwoman.
A time of change is approaching for Kiki Bertens as she recently just got married to her physical trainer Remko De Rijke.
It’s not only off the court, change is approaching for the former Wimbledon quarter-finalist as her and coach Raemon Sluiter parted ways during the off-season.
After the split it would have been easy for Bertens to make a radical change to her coaching team but that is not her style as she has promoted Elise Tamaela to a main coaching role.
Even through a time of change, Bertens believes stability is crucial to success, “It takes me a while to be able to trust someone,” she admitted to Dutch website De Telegraaf.
“And I don’t want to spend that time on something like that. We’re going to continue in the same way for next year. The results were not as expected in the Grand Slams but I had other good weeks. It’s really not that I felt different playing in the Slams than in other weeks in which I could win titles.”
Although the formula to winning a grand slam has yet to be solved, the world number nine has achieved great consistency having won 55 matches in 2019, which also included the biggest title of her career in Madrid.
A new era await for Bertens with her new coach and plenty of praise was given to Elise Tamaela ahead of the new season, “For me the most important thing is that that person knows a lot about tennis. I have to be able to fully trust her,” Bertens said.
“To be able to laugh with that person, eat with her. I prefer to keep the equipment to the minimum possible and be able to feel comfortable in terms of confidence. Sometimes more people in the team only bring more opinions. And that style is not mine.”
This simplistic formula has worked for Bertens in the past and as the 2020 season approaches, she’s not looking to change it.
However will inexperience lead to the same results at grand slams, with the level of the Women’s game rising, Bertens may find that breaking the boundaries of stability is needed.
The former world number four will start her march towards more glory in Brisbane on the 6th of January.
Caroline Wozniacki Announces Retirement After Australian Open
Caroline Wozniacki has announced that she will retire from tennis after the Australian Open in January.
Caroline Wozniacki has announced that she will retire from tennis after the Australian Open as a new chapter in her life approaches.
The Dane won 30 WTA singles titles in her career and spent 71 weeks as world number one although a grand slam had haunted her for most of her career.
However that changed in 2018 after an epic win over Simona Halep sealed a dream come true as she won her first grand slam at the Australian Open.
Since winning her maiden slam though, it has been an uphill struggle on the court for Wozniacki as she was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis.
Some days the former world number one and on some days, it is a constant battle for her to even wake up in the morning.
Now with other priorities taking over having been married to former NBA player David Lee since June and already studying Business at Harvard, Wozniacki today took the decision to retire from tennis after the Australian Open.
In a statement on Instagram, Woznaicki told her followers that she had accomplished everything she wanted to and looks forward to the future, “I’ve accomplished everything I could ever dream of on the court,” she said.
“I’ve always told myself, when the time comes, that there are things away from tennis that I want to do more, then it’s time to be done. In recent months, I’ve realized that there is a lot more in life that I’d like to accomplish off the court.
“Getting married to David was one of those goals and starting a family with him while continuing to travel the world and helping raise awareness about rheumatoid arthritis (project upcoming) are all passions of mine moving forward.
“This has nothing to do with my health and this isn’t a goodbye, I look forward to sharing my exciting journey ahead with all of you!
“Finally, I want to thank with all my heart, the fans, my friends, my sponsors, my team, especially my father as my coach, my husband, and my family for decades of support! Without all of you I could have never have done this!”
Although this retirement may have been coming, not many people would have predicted it would come at the scene of her grand slam breakthrough.
Now in the last stretch of her career, the Dane will want to finish on a high as she looks to celebrate a career that has lasted nearly 15 years.
Ashleigh Barty, Simona Halep and Venus Williams are the stand-out names in Adelaide
Four top 10 players Ashleigh Barty, Simona Halep, Petra Kvitova and Kiki Bertens and former Grand Slam champions Venus Williams and Angelique Kerber will grab the headlines at the Adelaide International from 12 to 18 January 2020.
A total of seven Grand Slam champions and five former world number one players will take part in the Adelaide WTA tourament.
This year’s Roland Garros champion Ashleigh Barty leads a star-studded line-up, which includes 2019 Wimbledon champion Simona Halep, two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, Kiki Bertens and seven other members of the top 20.
The Main Draw also features Sofia Kenin, Alison Riske, Sloane Stephens and Danielle Collins, World Number 30 Quang Wang. World Number 12 and this Rome WTA Premier finalist Johanna Konta will play her first tournament since the US Open following a knee injury.
Seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams has been announced as the Top 20 wildcard.
“It is always exciting to play at a new tournament in front of new fans. I have had so many memorable times times in Australia over the years and I am looking forward to discovering Adelaide and all it has to offer”, said Venus Williams.
The men’s line-up includes 2019 Australian Open and Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic, Alex De Minaur, Lucas Pouille and Andrey Rublev.
“The full list of players is a real who’s who of tennis, from Australia’s favourite Ashleigh Barty to the iconic Venus Williams, right through to the young talent of Alex De Minaur and the experienced campaigner Novak Djokovic in the men’s field”, said South Australian Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment David Ridgway.
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