Novak Djokovic Capable Of Breaking Federer’s Grand Slam Record, Says Woodbridge - UBITENNIS
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Novak Djokovic Capable Of Breaking Federer’s Grand Slam Record, Says Woodbridge

The former Australian player has praised the world No.6 following his win at the US Open.

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Former world No.1 doubles player Todd Woodbridge believes Novak Djokovic poses a serious threat to Roger Federer’s record of the most grand slam titles won.

Djokovic defeated Juan Martin del Potro in the final of the US Open on Sunday. Clinching his 14th major title to draw level with his idol Pete Sampras. The Serbian has won two consecutive grand slams following his triumph at the Wimbledon Championships. He is only the eighth man in the Open Era to win both of those tournaments within the same season.

“Pete Sampras is one of the biggest legends ever to play the game. He was my childhood idol. He was someone I was looking up to.” Djokovic told reporters in New York.
“There is a lot of significance of me being now shoulder to shoulder in terms of Grand Slam wins with him. It’s truly incredible when you think about it. I watched him win one of his first Wimbledon championships, and I grew up playing and thinking that one day I’ll be able to do what he does. To actually be here, it’s a dream come true.”

Overall, Djokovic is still six major titles behind Federer’s record of 20. However the Serbian is six years younger than the 37-year-old. Also in the race is current world No.1 Rafael Nadal. The Spaniard has 17 major titles to his name with 11 of those occurring at the French Open.

Weighing in on the discussion, Woodbridge thinks the rapid improvement in Djokovic’s game in recent months has positioned him to once again pose a serious threat at all of the majors. Last year, Djokovic missed six months of the tour due to a serious elbow injury. After what was a roller coaster start to his comeback, which included undergoing minor surgery, he has risen back to the top of the sport. Winning 26 out of 28 matches played since his loss at the French Open.

“He’s 31, so he’s got three, four more years, given what (Federer and Rafael Nadal) have been doing. There’s at least five slams in there for him,” Woodbridge said about Djokovic during an interview with Tennismash.
“Now that’s a long way off, but that was the quality that I saw in his last couple of majors.
“His ball-striking was mediocre (in Australia), but all of a sudden he’s finding the centre of the racquet. His serving has really improved; the big-point serving and consistency. There were a couple of points (in the US Open final) I saw him move forward and hit a couple of volleys and I thought, ‘oh that was a good volley, like a really good volley, under pressure.”

Djokovic’s resurgence has been praised by Woodbridge, who believe it has been enhanced by the return of coach Marian Vajda at the start of the clay-court season. During his first six tournaments of 2018, Djokovic only won back-to-back matches twice.

“What I was watching at the Australian Open, it looked like he was done,” Woodbridge said.
“He looked like a guy who had achieved just about everything, had really fallen off and was playing some pretty ordinary tennis by everybody’s measure.
“To turn it back around and be playing almost as good as he ever has, I think he has a real opportunity to pass (Federer) and be the all-time leader in Grand Slams.”

Djokovic is currently ranked sixth in the ATP rankings. He is set to return to action next month at the Shanghai Masters in China.

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Kei Nishikori battles past Nikoloz Basilashvili to advance to the semifinals in Metz

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This year’s US Open semifinalist and Monte-Carlo finalist Kei Nishikori edged past fifth seed and this year’s Hamburg champion Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-3 4-6 6-4 after 2 hours and seven minutes in the quarter final at the Moselle Open in Metz. Nishikori rallied from 1-3 down in the third set by winning five of the next six games to secure his spot in the semifinal.

Nishikori won 83 % of his first service points and converted five of his eight break points to book his spot in the quarter finals where he will face either German Matthias Bashinger or Yannick Maden.

Nishikori broke serve in the third game with a backhand down the line winner. He dropped two points in four service games. He went up a double break in the ninth game, when Basilashvili sent a backhand long.

Nishikori went up a break in the second game of the second set with a return winner. Basilashvili pulled the break back in the second game of the second set. Basilashvili got another break, when Nishikori made a double fault. The Georgian player fired an ace to wrap up the second set 6-4 setting up a deciding set.

The Georgian player broke Nishikori in the third game of the decisive set and held serve with an ace to take a 3-1 lead. Nishikori broke back in the sixth gme with a smash winner and in the 10th game to wrap up the match.

“It was a tough match today, but I fought through and I am happy to be in the semifinals tomorrow. He was playing better in the second set. I thought I played almost perfect game in the first set and I almost had it, but he came back. It was tough. He was up 3-1 in the third, and I had to refocus and rebuild my confidence and play a little bit better in the end. It wasn’t an easy game”,said Nishikori.

Twice Metz champion Gilles Simon beat his compatriot Richard Gasquet 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 in one hour and 34 minutes.

Radu Albot edged Ricardas Berankis 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 in one hour and 42 minutes.

 

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Stan Wawrinka beats Damir Dzumhur in St. Petersburg to advance to his first semifinal since February

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World Number 88 Stan Wawrinka has advanced to his first semifinal since Sofia in February with a 6-2 6-4 win over Damir Dzumhur in one hour and 12 minutes.

Wawrinka dropped just 12 points in 10 service games and saved three of the four break points he faced. Stan the Man converted three of the eight break points.

Dzumhur, who beat Wawrinka in their only head-to-head match in Dubai last year, went up an early break in the third game to take a 2-1 lead, when Wawrinka sent a forehand long.

Wawrinka broke back in the next game with a forehand down the line. He earned his second consecutive break in the sixth game with a volley. The Lausanne player hit three winners to clinch the opening set 6-2 in 32 minutes.

Wawrinka converted his third break point at deuce in the third game to clinch the second set 6-4. Dzumhur earned two break points in the next game, but he failed to convert them. The Bosnian player fended off a match point at 3-5 with a volley winner, but Wawrinka closed out the match with a service winner in the next game.

Wawrinka set up a match against Martin Klizan, who came back from one set and 3-5 down to beat Canadian Next Gen star Denis Shapovalov 3-6 7-5 6-3.

Shapovalov won the first set 6-4 with his only break in the sixth game. The young Canadian went up a set and a break in the third game of the second set to take a 2-1 lead. Klizan broke back in the 10th game to draw level to 5-5 and sealed the second set 7-5 with another break in the 12th game. Klizan sealed the match with his only break at deuce on his second opportunity.

Klizan won all his the six finals he played in his career and will be bidding to win his seventh title against Wawrinka.

Dominic Thiem battled past Danil Medvedev 6-2 3-6 7-6 (7-2). Thiem got an immediate break in the first game. Medvedev saved three break points to hold his serve in the fifth game. Thiem saved a break point before breaking for the second time in the seventh game to close out the first set 6-2. Medvedev saved four break points (three in the first game and one in the third game) to win the second set. The third set went on serve in the first five games before a trade of breaks in the sixth and seventh games. The third set was decided by the tie-break where Thiem cruised through to a 7-2 win.

Thiem will face Roberto Bautista Agut, who beat this year’s Roland Garros semifinalist Marco Cecchinato 7-6 (7-0) 6-3. Bautista Agut saved the only two break point of the first set, which went on serve until the tie-break. Bautista Agut won the breaker by a bagel. Cecchinato saved four break points to hold his serve at deuce in the second game but dropped his serve at love in the fourth game to trail 1-3. Cecchinato saved a break point at deuce in the sixth game to hold his serve for 2-4. Bautista Agut won his final two service games to close out the match.

 

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Ricardas Berankis rallies from one set down to beat Stefanos Tsitsipas in Metz

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Ricardas Berankis came back from one set down to upset second seed and this year’s Barcelona finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-7 (5-7) 7-6 (8-6) 6-3 after two hours and 36 minutes reaching his first quarter final since Moscow in 2017. Tsitsipas hit 17 aces but he dropped his serve three times from the 13 break points he faced. Berankis saved six of the seven break points.

Both players saved all five break points they faced in the first set, which came down to the tie-break. Tsitispas hit two service winners to cruise through to a 5-0 lead in the tie-break, but Berankis reeled off five of the next six games to claw his was back to 5-6. The Greek Next Gen player converted his fourth set point at 6-5 when Berankis netted a forehand.

Tsitsipas fended off three break points in the second game of the second set. Both players held their service games with no breaks setting up a second tie-break. Tsitsipas raced out to a 5-1 lead in the tie-break. Berankis reeled four consecutive points to draw level to 5-5. Tsitsipas earned a match point at 6-5, but Berankis won three consecutive points to take the tie-break 8-6 forcing the match to the third set.

Berankis went up a double break to race out to a 3-0 lead. Tsitsipas saved three break points  in the fifth game to hold his serve at deuce before pulling one break back with a forehand winner to claw his way back to 2-4.

Berankis saved three break points to hold his serve at deuce in the eighth game before converting his second break point in the ninth game to win the decider 6-3.

 

 

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