ATP Finals Day 6 Preview: Can Novak Djokovic Make It Three Wins Out Of Three? - UBITENNIS
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ATP Finals Day 6 Preview: Can Novak Djokovic Make It Three Wins Out Of Three?

It’s the final day of round-robin play at the ATP Finals, with three players fighting for the remaining birth in the semifinals.

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Novak Djokovic at the 2018 ATP World Tour Finals in London (image via twitter.com/atpworldtour)

Novak Djokovic embarks upon his final round-robin match at The O2 Arena with the luxury of already qualifying for the semi-finals. The world No.1 will be looking to continue his flawless run when he takes on Marin Cilic on Friday evening. Cilic secured only his second ever win at the tournament two days ago after downing John Isner in three sets.

Elsewhere, Isner faces Alexander Zverev in a battle for the second qualifying spot in the group, which Cilic also has a shot at if he defeats Djokovic. Isner has a losing head-to-head record against his German rival (1-4), but they are square so far this season at 1-1.

The winner of the Guga Kuerten Group will play Kevin Anderson in Saturday’s semi-finals. Meanwhile, the runner-up will take on Roger Federer.

Advancement Scenarios for Thursday:

  • Novak Djokovic has already qualified for the semifinal round on Saturday.
  • Sascha Zverev advances with a win, or if he loses in three sets to Isner AND Djokovic defeats Cilic.
  • Marin Cilic not only needs to win, but also needs Isner to defeat Zverev.
  • John Isner needs to win in straight sets, and even then needs Djokovic to win as well.

source – atpworldtour.com

Sascha Zverev vs. John Isner


The biggest win of Isner’s career came at the expense of Zverev. That was earlier this year in the final of the Miami Masters. But that remains John’s only victory over Sascha. The 21-year-old German got revenge just a few weeks later on clay in Madrid, and holds a 4-1 record overall against the American on the ATP tour. And that doesn’t include their most recent meeting at the Laver Cup, which saw Zverev save a match point to prevail. Sascha has now twice defeated John on an indoor hard court. Neither man has played their best tennis this week, or in recent months for that matter. But Isner’s form this week has been particularly worrying, as the big man has seen his serve broken three times in each of his previous two matches. And considering John is only 5-5 during this fall’s indoor hard court season, I like Zverev’s chances to win today and qualify for the semifinals.

Novak Djokovic vs. Marin Cilic

image via twitter.com/atpworldtour

These two played a significant match in London just five months ago. In the Queen’s Club final this past June, Cilic saved a match point to come from behind and defeat Djokovic. Novak however has twice beaten Marin since that time: at the Cincinnati Masters, and just two weeks ago at the Paris Masters. All three of their 2018 meetings have gone the distance, so Cilic has been pushing the new world No.1 throughout the year. In their careers, Cilic only possesses two victories over Djokovic in 18 previous encounters, with his only other win coming at the Paris Masters in 2016. Novak actually won their first 14 matches, and they’ve now split their last four. Djokovic should be able to play extremely freely in this match, knowing he’ll be in Saturday’s semifinals regardless of the outcome. Cilic’s advancement will depend upon his performance on Friday, as well as that of the match from earlier in the day. Novak is now 33-11 lifetime at the ATP Finals, while Cilic only holds two victories out of eleven matches at the O2. Djokovic will be a heavy favorite to remain undefeated heading into the semifinal round.

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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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