ATP Finals Day 4 Preview: Novak Djokovic Aims To Close In On Semi-Final Place - UBITENNIS
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ATP Finals Day 4 Preview: Novak Djokovic Aims To Close In On Semi-Final Place

Novak Djokovic plays Sascha Zverev for the top spot in the Guga Kuerten Group, while Marin Cilic plays John Isner to stay out of last place.

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Wednesday at the ATP Finals will see top seed Novak Djokovic aim to continue his almost perfect second half of the 2018. Since Wimbledon, he had only suffered two losses on the tour as he claimed three further titles. His next test will be against Germany’s Alexander Zverev, who is the only member of the next generation to qualify for the tournament for the second year in a row.

Elsewhere, Marin Cilic will be seeking only his second ever win at the ATP Finals when he takes on John Isner. The upcoming match will be an opportunity for the Croat to get revenge following his loss to Isner at the Miami Masters earlier this year.  

Novak Djokovic vs. Sascha Zverev

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This will be their third head-to-head meeting, having split the first two. Zverev defeated Djokovic in the Rome final last year to win his first Masters 1,000 title. 18 months ago, Djokovic is back to playing his best tennis, as evidenced by his 6-2, 6-1 victory over Zverev last month in the Shanghai semifinals. Judging by Monday’s action, there’s no reason to believe the result today will be much different. Djokovic easily disposed of John Isner, breaking the big server three times with the best returning game in the world. While Zverev prevailed on Monday, the win eas as much about Sascha’s play as it was about Marin Cilic giving away a big lead in the first set. And while Novak’s form has continued to climb back to the peak of his abilities as the year has progressed, Sascha has struggled through the second half of this season. Djokovic should obtain another comfortable win here to secure his place atop the Guga Kuerten Group.

Marin Cilic vs. John Isner

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Cilic owns a 7-3 record over Isner, with their most notable match coming at Wimbledon in 2015. That was another in a long line of Isner marathons at SW19, which Cilic survived 12-10 in the fifth. Isner though has won three of their last four encounters, including the last two times they’ve played on hard courts. John prevailed in straights sets two years ago at the Paris Masters, as well as earlier this year at the Miami Masters. While Isner doesn’t have a win over a top 10 opponent since Miami, Cilic’s recent losses are more concerning. The below tweet from Ravi Ubha (@raviubha) perfectly highlights this:


Just as concerning is Marin’s 1-9 record at the ATP Finals, his only win coming in 2016 when he still finished last in his round robin group. He’s surely overdue for a win at the O2, but he cannot be playing with much confidence right now. I like Isner’s chances to get his third consecutive hard court victory over Cilic in Wednesday.

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Acapulco Faces Safety Issues Ahead Of ATP 500 Tournament

Acapulco faces safety and infrastructure issues before the ATP 500 tournament next week.

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Acapulco has faced safety concerns ahead of the tournament as players have been advised to stay in the tournament hotels or tennis venues.

As exclusively revealed by James Gray of the i newspaper, Acapulco is facing security and infrastructure concerns ahead of the tournament.

ATP players have reportedly been told in an email to stay confined to the tournament hotels and the tennis venue as crime rates have increased in the city.

Organisers in Mexico have reassured people that players will be able to train safely with the following statement, “The Arena GNP, venue for the Mexican Open of Tennis, and the host hotel are currently operational to carry out the tournament,” the tournament organisers told the i newspaper.

“Since Tuesday, we have been receiving players in Acapulco, and they have already had the opportunity to train at the venue.”

However there are still infrastructural problems including lack of flights to Acapulco as well as other safety concerns which have been affected by Hurricane Otis.

Despite the problems the ATP seem confident that the event will be safe and secure ahead of the ATP 500 event, “It is not uncommon for players to receive security advisories from ATP as a precautionary measure across more than 250 Tour and Challenger Tour events each season,” A spokesperson told the i newspaper.

“The advisory sent for Acapulco factors in the additional complexity of Hurricane Otis’ disruption. There have been major efforts and investment to restore the Acapulco venue in recent months.”

The ATP 500 event in Acapulco will take place next week with Alex De Minaur being the defending champion.

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Ons Jabeur’s Latest Withdrawal Raises Doubts Over Season Ambitions

Ons Jabeur will be hoping to re-energize herself ahead of a big few months in her career.

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Ons Jabeur’s latest withdrawal in Dubai has raised doubts over how successful the Tunisian can be this season.

Despite having high hopes for revitalizing her season in Dubai, Ons Jabeur has had another setback in 2024.

The Tunisian was forced to withdraw from one of her favourite tournaments of the year in Dubai due to a knee injury.

This withdrawal came days after Jabeur said she was ready for the challenge in Dubai and was excited to compete in front of a passionate crowd in Dubai.

In a statement Jabeur explained her injury and why she was unable to compete in Dubai this week, “After consultation of my doctors and team we have decided that I will have to withdraw from Dubai this week and go for more medical treatments,” Jabeur was quoted by tennishead as saying.

“Looking forward to reconnect with all on the courts for the US swing. Thank you for your continuous support.”

This latest setback isn’t a coincidence though as Jabeur has struggled with injuries ever since her Wimbledon final.

The mental and physical toll that the last eight months have taken of Jabeur are starting to show.

There doesn’t seem to be a plan in place as Jabeur has been open about her mental health struggles since that comprehensive defeat to Marketa Vondrousova at Wimbledon.

That’s a potential problem for Jabeur going forwards as it continues to get tougher for the world number six to find motivation going forwards.

A long break away from tennis may be beneficial for Jabeur as it feels like this summer may be the Tunisian’s last opportunity at Grand Slam glory.

An innovative and new approach may be required for Jabeur as her physical and mental stamina continues to fade with every week.

However will Jabeur manage reinvent herself before it’s too late? Only time will tell and SW19 may be the final destination in that bid.

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Iga Swiatek ‘Proud’ After Claiming Doha Title

World number one Iga Swiatek won her 18th career title in Doha.

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Iga Swiatek defeated Elena Rybakina 7-6(8) 6-2 to claim the title in Doha.

The world number one sealed an 18th career title with a straight sets win over Rybakina.

Swiatek had previously struggled to beat the Kazakh and that continued at the start of the opening set with the Pole conceding a double break deficit at 4-1.

However Swiatek was resilient as she won four games in a row to get back on track in the opening set.

Rybakina broke in the eleventh game and had the opportunity to serve for the opening set but couldn’t take the opportunity.

In the tiebreak, Swiatek converted her fourth set point as she claimed a mammoth tiebreak 10-8.

After that Swiatek seized control as she broke twice after saving two break points in the second game.

The Pole held comfortably to claim her maiden title of the 2024 season in what was her first tournament since a third round exit at the Australian Open.

In her-post match speech Swiatek admitted that she is proud of her performance in Doha this week, “You don’t even know hard it was not to think about it,” Swiatek was quoted by France 24 as saying after winning her 13th match in Doha.

“I came here and was pretty stressed because I felt the expectations. I wanted to do everything step by step like I always do. I’m really happy. I’m really proud of myself.”

Swiatek will now look to continue that form in Dubai next week where she takes on either Sloane Stephens or Clara Burel in her opening round match.

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