Djokerer Falls to Sockerson in Doubles at Laver Cup Europe Leads World 3-1 - UBITENNIS
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Djokerer Falls to Sockerson in Doubles at Laver Cup Europe Leads World 3-1

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-Chicago, Illinois

 

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.

 

 

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Former Roland Garros champions and five top 20 players to highlight a great edition of the Ladies Open in Palermo

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The Ladies Open WTA International in Palermo will be the first tournament to be held next August since last February.

 

The Italian tournament will feature a great line-up which includes two confirmed past Roland Garros champions Svetlana Kuznetsova and Jelena Ostapenko and five top 20 players. There is a good chance that 2018 French Open and 2019 Wimbledon champion Simona Halep could be added in the field.

“We are glad about Simona Halep’s great interest in Palermo Ladies Open. We will be waiting for her at the Country Club for an historic edition of the Palermo tournament. We have been in contact with Halep’s manager for some time. We have been talking for days about her potential participation in Palermo. She is one of the best players in the world and her presence would contribute to make an already high-level tournament extrahordinary. We will leave our doors open to her for as long as possible, as well as for other top ten players that will want to resume their season in Palermo”, said tournament’s CEO Oliviero Palma.

The other stars who have signed up to the Ladies Open are 2019 Roland Garros champion Marketa Vondrousova, two Grand Slam semifinalists Elise Mertens (2018 Australian Open) and Anastasija Sevastova (2018 US Open), Aryna Sabalenka (winner at the Wuhan Open in 2018 and 2019, WTA Elite Trophy in Zhuhai in 2019 and Doha in 2020) and Elina Rybakina (winner in Hobart and finalist in St. Petersburg and Dubai in 2020), Dayana Yastremska (winner of three tournaments in Hong Kong in 2018, Thailand and Strasbourg in 2019).

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Lorenzo Sonego and Liudmila Samsonova lift the titles in Perugia

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Lorenzo Sonego and Liudmila Samsonova won the Zzz Quill Tennis Tour in Perugia. Sonego followed up his Italian title won the previous week in Todi with a 3-6 7-6 (7-1) 6-4 win over Croatia’s Viktor Galovic (world number 269 and number 7 seed) in the final of the Perugia tournament.

 

“Galovic started very well. It was difficult to adjust to his game and improve during the match. I maintained the right attitude and I managed to win the title. I enjoyed two fantastic weeks in Todi and Perugia. This confirmed my good work in training in the past two weeks. I gave my best and I am confident for the rest of the season”, said Sonego.

World number 117 Liudmila Samsonova won the women’s title came back from one set down to beat world number 307 Stefania Rubini 4-6 6-4 7-6 (8-6) in the women’s final after saving two match points.

“I won a very tough final with a lot of ups and downs. I am happy that I played many matches. It was one of my goals on the eve of the tournament. I showed that I am able to keep the level of my tennis high, when I play focused”, said Samsonova.   

 

 

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[EXCLUSIVE] Brandon Nakashima: “I Love Federer, But My Game Resembles More Djokovic’s”

Nakashima speaks to UbiTennis about his liveliest memory of training with Nadal at Wimbledon. The duels he had with Lorenzo Musetti and Tseng Chun-Hsin, the high praise for Sebastian Korda and Hugo Gaston. Why he doesn’t like clubbing and what his new coach Pat Cash has been advising him to do.

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The latest instalment of UbiTennis’ video series sees Ubaldo Scanagatta and Steve Flink speak with Brandon Nakashima. An 18-year-old American tennis star born on August 3, 2001, who goes by the nickname B-Nak.

 

He is at No.220 in the ATP Rankings (with a career best at 218) and is second-best among those who were born in 2001, trailing only Jannik Sinner. His surname is of Japanese origin, but it was his Vietnamese maternal grandfather who initiated him to the game of tennis when he was three. He is 1.85 metres tall and weighs 78 kilograms. He was born in San Diego, and his father Wesley was also born in California – his parents are both pharmacists. He played for the University of Virginia, where he was the Freshman of the Year for the Atlantic Coast Conference, before moving on to the pros.

Since Delray Beach, in February, he’s been working with Pat Cash, immediately reaching the quarter finals and beating four Top 100 players. His best shot is his two-handed backhand, and his favourite player is Federer. A superb athlete, he is considered the best American prospect. He is self-described as shy, but he actually isn’t that much, once he gets going. He loves sushi, but also admits to having a sweet tooth. Given the status of some of his victims, it can be assumed that he’s already better than his ranking.

VIDEO SCHEDULE

Minute 00:00: Introduction and recap of his highest-profile wins.

03:40: His behaviour during the Covid-19 pandemic: “I wear a mask whenever I’m outside. I’ve been trying to stay cautious as much as possible in public areas”. He also appreciates the chance of being able to train at some local private courts.

05:07: The special relationship with his grandfather: “My mom’s dad is from Vietnam. He first started to get me out on the court when I was about three and a half years old, just feeding me balls at a local park and from that time onward I started practicing more and more everyday”.

06:45: Bonding with his main coach, Pat Cash, during the pandemic.

07:38: Cash claims he noticed immediately Brandon’s “extraordinary racquet control” – does he think that this is his best quality too?

08:42: Their first meeting: “We had a couple of mutual friends; at the time I had just turned pro and I was looking for a good coach…”

11:53: His idols growing up: “I always liked to watch Federer play, but I think now my game is more similar to Djokovic’s”.

12:40: The experience of hitting with Nadal: “A couple of years ago I was playing the junior Wimbledon tournament…”

14:36: His thoughts on the best future prospects…

17:20: His transition as a pro aged only 17: “It was crucial on and off the court for me to go to college and to then play a full season at 17 [Editor’s Note: at the University of Virginia], it helped my game and made me mature as a person. I’d advise most players to go to college and get that experience…”

19:45: Recapping his best junior Slam results.

21:25: Developing his game with Pat Cash: “During these training blocks here in California, we definitely decided to work a lot on the transition and net game to add more variety into my game…”

23:55: What are his current plans? “It’s tough to plan tournaments right now since we don’t know when or if they’re even starting…”

25:35: How does he feel about the issue of playing behind closed doors? “It will be interesting, everybody is so used to people watching, so I think most players will find it maybe a little weird at the beginning…”

26:47: His off-court life: “I try to relax and have fun. I like playing other sports, on days off I play golf with friends or relax at home watching TV, just getting the mind away from tennis. I don’t like going to dance or clubs, it never was my type of feeling of going out; I like a more chill state with my friends.”

30:04: His knowledge of tennis history.

31:30: Where does Brandon see himself in 2022/23? “The goal is to keep improving my results and my rankings, and maybe…”

33:20: After the Big Three era, who is his pick to become the next world N.1?

36:10: Pat Cash’s most frequent tip: “I have to train to get ready for the Slams…”

Article written and translated by Tommaso Villa

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