Evaluating The London Hopefuls: Roger Federer And Novak Djokovic - UBITENNIS
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Evaluating The London Hopefuls: Roger Federer And Novak Djokovic

In the final part of the series, we evaluate the seasons of Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic.

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Roger Federer (zimbio.com)

In the final part of this series, we evaluate the seasons of Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic as the ATP World Tour ends next week in London. 

Roger Federer

Despite not reaching the heights of his 2017 season, it has been another great season for Roger Federer. The Swiss started his season by winning his 20th grand slam title after a five set win over Marin Cilic. This remarkable achievement was followed by reclaiming the world number one spot by winning the title in Rotterdam.

The 37 year old’s 17 match winning streak came to an end in the Indian Wells final, when he lost a tough three set battle to Juan Martin Del Potro. The loss clearly took its toll on Federer, as he lost a tough first match in Miami to Thanasi Kokkinakis before announcing that he would once again skip the clay season.

After winning his third title in Stuttgart, unusual losses in Halle to Borna Coric and at Wimbledon to Kevin Anderson saw many people raise their doubts over whether Federer can still compete at a high level consistently. Another final was satisfying for the Swiss although a forehand disaster-class prevented him from beating Novak Djokovic in the final.

A US Open fourth round loss to John Millman was arguably his worst loss of the season as the New York curse continued. The 20 time grand slam champion is playing some sublime tennis on indoor hard courts though as a Basel title and a Paris semi-final epic loss to Djokovic proves that he is one of the contenders for the ATP Finals.

STAT: Roger Federer has a 12-5 head-to-head record against his round robin opponents and has played Nishikori twice in the last five weeks. 

Roger Federer won both of those meetings against Nishikori in Shanghai and Paris, as he looks to start his campaign with victory on Sunday evening.

Federer’s Best Five Tournaments

Australian Open Champion – 2,000 pts

Indian Wells Final – 600 pts

Cincinnati Final – 600 pts

Rotterdam Champion – 500 pts

Basel Champion – 500 pts

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic (zimbio.com)

It has been an incredible season for the Serb as he finished the year world number one despite starting it outside the world’s top 20. However it was a rough start to the year after a fourth round defeat to Hyeon Chung at the Australian Open in January.

This was followed by back-to-back defeats to Taro Daniel and Benoit Paire in America as he decided to sack Andre Agassi and hire his old coach Marian Vajda. As they say don’t change a winning formula and slowly the Serb was getting back to his best.

A semi-final loss to Rafael Nadal in Rome was nothing to be ashamed as he played some awesome tennis in Italy. A Roland Garros quarter-final defeat to Marco Cecchinato lead to that infamous press conference where he stated he wouldn’t play the grass season.

Well he did and it paid dividends as a Queens Club final and his first title of the season at Wimbledon saw his hard work being rewarded. A Canada loss to Stefanos Tsitsipas lead to motivation as he would then go on a 22 match winning streak, which saw titles in Cincinatti, the US Open and Shanghai.

Illness and a Karen Khachanov masterclass saw his run end in the Paris final but its safe to say the Serb is in red-hot form and has had a dream season ending the year world number one.

Deep Returning

One key success of Djokovic’s year is how deep he returns especially under pressure. Here is a key graphic of how the Serb re-directs his opponents body serve. It’s a dream shot and he gets it deep 42% of the time which is enough to cause trouble.

Via ATPWorldTour.com

The world number one will need to copy this strategy when he takes on big-serving John Isner on Monday evening.

Djokovic’s Best Five Tournaments

Wimbledon Champion – 2,000 pts

US Open Champion – 2,000 pts

Cincinnati Champion – 1,000 pts

Shanghai Champion – 1,000 pts

Paris Final – 600 pts

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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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