Novak Djokovic Topples Del Potro To Win US Open Title - UBITENNIS
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Novak Djokovic Topples Del Potro To Win US Open Title

The former world No.1 has triumphed at Flushing Meadows for the first time since 2015 after battling past a spirited Del Potro.

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Novak Djokovic has clinched his 14th grand slam title following a pulsating 6-3, 7-6(4), 6-3, win over Juan Martin del Potro in the final of the US Open.

The former world No.1 was in clinical fashion against a player who dropped just one set on route to Sunday’s showdown. Djokovic’s defensive play combined with a clear game plan was reminiscent of his best tennis.  Illustrated by the 32 winners he produced throughout the encounter. Continuing a stunning run on the tour that has seen him lose only one match since June.

 

“My success this summer is because of the support of the loved ones.” Djokovic said during the trophy ceremony. “When I had my surgery at my elbow at the beginning of the year I learned what Delpo was going through. That’s when you draw from the support of the loved ones and thrive on that support”

Heading into the match, Djokovic’s recent record against the Argentine has been flawless. Last year he defeated Del Potro in all three of their meetings to extend his overall head-to-head record to 14-4. Nevertheless, Del Potro’s thunderous forehand posed a danger as he was cheered on by his army of fans inside the Arthur Ashe stadium.

“It was great to play the final next to this idol, he’s one of my friends on tour, I’m happy for Novak, he deserves to win.” Del Potro said in tribute to his rival.
“He knows that he’s one of my friends on tour and one player I want to watch winning titles. Of course I’m sad because I lost, but I’m happy for Novak.”

After a close start between both players, Djokovic pounced in the eighth game of the match.     His game plan of patiently waiting for his opponent to buckle during some lengthy rallies proved successful. Trailing 15-40, Djokovic valiantly battled back by winning five consecutive points to break for a 5-3 lead. Triggering a cheer from his entourage. Gaining in momentum, the Serbian went on to clinch his first set point with the help of a perfectly placed 104 mph serve out wide that was unsuccessfully returned. Before seizing the 6-3 lead at the expense of a Del Potro forehand slamming into the net.

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The opener was a precursor to an electrifying 95-minute second set that delighted the New York crowd. Initially Djokovic looked destined to race towards the finish line after breaking for a 6-3, 3-1, lead. However, a fiery Del Potro powered his way back into the match with a three-game winning streak. To add to the drama, Djokovic was then forced to save a trio of break points during a marathon 20-minute service game to draw level at 4-4. During what was one of the most dramatic sets of the entire tournament, it was ironically Del Potro’s trusted forehand that was his undoing. Djokovic’s relentless defensive play drew three consecutive errors from his rival as he eventually seal the tiebreaker in his favour.

Closing in on his first US Open title since 2015, the roller coaster continued as both players exchanged breaks during the third frame. Nevertheless, Djokovic manoeuvred himself to a game away from victory after breaking once more for a 5-3 lead. Serving for the championships, he claimed glory with a smash at the net. Resulting in him collapsing onto the ground in jubilation.

Djokovic, who missed six months of the tour last year due to an elbow injury, has become the third most decorated grand slam champion in the history of men’s tennis. With 14 major titles to his name, he ties with his idol Pete Sampras.

“I was hoping he was going to be here (at the US Open) tonight. Pete, I love you, you’re my idol.” He said in a tribute to the 47-year-old. “I hope to see you on court.”

The newly crowned New York champion continued with his tributes by praising Del Potro’s comeback to the tour. The 2009 champion has been hindered by wrist issues throughout his career and underwent four surgeries. At one point he contemplated retiring from the sport.

“I want to congratulate Juan Martin for what he has done through these years through all his problems, I know he’s going to be back here with the championship trophy.”  Djokovic concluded.

Djkovic has become only the eighth man in the Open Era to win both Wimbledon and the US Open titles within the same season.

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Injured Rafael Nadal Ousts Fritz In Wimbledon Thriller

The world No.4 is through to the semi-finals but there are new doubts over his current health.

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Rafael Nadal has kept his chances of achieving a calendar slam alive by defeating American Taylor Fritz in a dramatic quarter-final match at Wimbledon where he struggled with injury. 

 

The second seed took a medical time out during the second set but continued to battle to a sensational 3-6, 7-5, 3-6, 7-5, 7-6(10-4), win over Fritz. Two days ago Nadal was seen wearing tape on his abdomen but refused to go into details when asked by reporters. Although it was clear that this issue is ongoing with the Spaniard crouching over a couple of times after serving in pain. 

“The body is generally fine. Of course, in the abdominal area, something is not going well. I had to find a way to serve a little bit differently,” said Nadal. “I was thinking during a lot of moments that I would not be able to finish the match but the energy (of Center Court) was something else.”

In the roller-coaster encounter, 19 breaks of serves occurred throughout the marathon match. During the gut-busting 260-minute showdown Nadal saw plenty of chances come and go. In each of the first two sets, he had a break advantage before losing them. He also failed to maintain a break advantage in the decider before coming through in the tiebreak. Nevertheless, he managed to come out on top with the help of 5 aces and 55 winners. 

“I enjoy playing these kinds of matches in front of you guys (the crowd),” the Spaniard continued. 
“It has been a tough afternoon against a great player. All the credit to Taylor, he has been playing great the whole season.’
“From my side, it was not an easy match and I am happy to be in the semifinal.”

The triumph is a bitter pill for Fritz to swallow who was bidding to become the youngest American man to reach the last four at Wimbledon since 2005. Until now he had been on an eight-match winning streak.

As for Nadal, he is through to his eighth Wimbledon semi-final and 38th at a major event. He is now 8-0 when it comes to playing quarter-final matches at the tournament.

Amid concerns over the abdomen, Nadal now has only two days to recover in time for his blockbuster showdown against the formidable Nick Kyrgios who came through his match in straight sets against Cristian Garin. Nadal leads their head-to-head 6-3 and has won their two previous meetings at SW19.  

“I hope to be ready to play it,” he said of the semi-final.
“TNick is a great player on all surfaces, especially on the grass. He’s having a great grass-court season and it’s going to be a great challenge. I need to be one hundred percent.”

At the age of 36 Nadal is seeking to reach his first Wimbledon final since 2011.

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“I Thought The Ship Had Sailed’ – Nick Kyrgios Reaches Maiden Wimbledon Semis

The 27-year-old reacts to achieving a new milestone in his career.

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Nick Kyrgios (AUS) - Credit: AELTC/Jonathan Nackstrand

Nick Kyrgios has achieved his best-ever result at a Grand Slam tournament after beating Cristian Garin in straight sets in the quarter-finals at Wimbledon. 

 

Kyrgios, who was playing in the last eight of the tournament for the first time since 2014, rallied to a 6-4, 6-3, 7-5(5) win over his Chilean rival. Becoming the first player from his country to reach the last four of the men’s draw since Lleyton Hewitt did so back in 2005.  


”I felt I was playing on the back foot a lot. He’s a hell of a player,” Kyrgios said afterward. “He’s obviously very confident. Hell of a tournament for him to make the quarter-finals. I got lucky on a couple of break points here and there. It could have been him standing here (giving the winner’s interview).”

In what was a largely controlled match from Kyrgios, he produced a total of 17 aces alongside 35 winners against 29 unforced errors. There were the occasional outbursts and criticism of the lines officials but it was by nowhere as controversial as his previous encounters against Stefanos Tsitspas in the third round and Paul Jubb in the first.

The breakthrough comes during what has been a turbulent career. Kyrgios has been a player involved in many controversies and was at one stage issued with a suspended ban from the Tour due to unsportsmanlike conduct. However, his talent was never doubted but many were unsure if he could be consistent enough to have a deep run at a major event. He once was at a pub until 4 am on the same day he was due to play Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon.

“It was an amazing atmosphere out here (on court one). I never thought I will be in the semifinal of a grand slam. I thought my ship had sailed.” He admits. 
“I didn’t go about things earlier in my career great and I may have wasted (time).’
‘I’m really proud of the way I’ve come back out here with my team and with that performance.”

As one of the few top 100 players who travel without a coach, Kyrgios paid tribute to those around him. 

“I don’t have a coach I would never put that burden on someone,” he jokes.
“Each and every one of my team plays an important role. I feel like nobody knows my tennis better than I do. I’ve been playing this sport since I was seven and to be in the semi-final of a slam I am pretty happy.”  

Kyrgios is the lowest-ranked Wimbledon semi-finalist since 2008.

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Why Cameron Norrie’s Historic Run To The Wimbledon Semi-Finals Is No Fluke

The Brit has already proved his worth on the ATP Tour, it was only a matter of time before he did so at the majors.

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image via twitter.com/wimbledon

Cameron Norrie joins a small contingent of British men to have ever reached the semi-final of a major after coming through a dramatic five-set epic against David Goffin at Wimbledon.

Spurred on by an animated crowd, the ninth seed battled from behind to win 3-6, 7-5, 2-6, 6-3, 7-5, against the former top 10 player. In doing so the 26-year-old has become only the fourth British man in the Open Era to reach the last four of the grass-court major and the seventh to do so at any Grand Slam. 

 

“To just be a semifinalist of a slam, especially this one, living just around the corner. It’s just all pretty crazy and all happened pretty quickly.” Said Norrie. 

A former college standout player for Texas Christian University, Norrie’s Grand Slam breakthrough has been one in the making. Last year he achieved his best-ever season with a win-loss record of 52-25. During that year he contested six tour finals across three different surfaces, winning two titles. The most prestigious being Indian Wells.  His coach, Facundo Lugones, was recognized for his work by being named ATP Coach of the Year.

Norrie’s 2021 wasn’t a one-off with him continuing his form into this year. Winning the Delray Beach Open in February and Lyon in May. More recently, he was runner-up at Queen’s to Matteo Berrettini who is absent from the tournament after testing positive for COVID-19

“When I was a kid watching guys on TV making the (Grand Slam) quarterfinals and thinking, ‘Wow, this looks so tough to do, and there’s almost zero chance I’m going to do that.’ But to actually be doing it, to be living it and experiencing it is very cool and pretty crazy.”

Until now the Grand Slams have been where Norrie has failed to shine. It was visible how much the latest Wimbledon win meant to the world No.12 who struggled to hold back his emotions whilst speaking during his on-court interview.

“All the hard work, the sacrifices and everything just kind of all hit me at once. Especially the situation here at Wimbledon in front of my family, my friends, and obviously a lot of people following that match.” Norrie explained.
“Thinking back about all the hard work, the sacrifices and everything was just…. I didn’t really know what to say. It got emotional there. (It was) just a crazy day and crazy match to get through.”

Standing in his way of becoming the first home player since Andy Murray to reach the Wimbledon final is Novak Djokovic. The top seed ousted Jannik Sinner in five sets earlier in the day.

“He has nothing to lose. Every victory from now onwards is a big deal for him. I know that.” Said Djokovic.
“But I practiced (with him) a few times. I know his game well. He’s been around. Of course, I will do my homework and get ready.”

Looking ahead to his showdown with the 20-time Grand Slam champion, Norrie describes playing him as one of the ‘toughest’ tasks in the sport. He first played Djokovic at last year’s ATP Finals in Milan where he lost 6-2, 6-1. Although the Brit believes he has learned a lot from that match and will be seeking tips from a former Wimbledon Champion as well. 

“Andy (Murray) has been super supportive to me and my team. I’m always practicing with him and always reaching out to him for ideas. He’s super supportive with us,” he said.
“I think he’s not a bad guy to ask about some tactics. I’m going to enjoy today and maybe reach out to him and see what he’s got.”

Norrie’s win-loss record against top 10 players in his career currently stands at 4-23. 

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