Novak Djokovic: “I believe I Can Beat Roger Federer’s 20 Slams” - UBITENNIS
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Novak Djokovic: “I believe I Can Beat Roger Federer’s 20 Slams”

At this year’s ATP Finals in London, Novak Djokovic talked to Serbian reporters about his willingness to achieve the 20 Slam milestone.

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LONDON – “It’s certainly not easy, but it’s also not impossible for me to equal Roger Federer’s record at 20 Slams,” world No. 1 Novak Djokovic admitted for the first time this week.

 

In the second half of 2018, Novak climbed back to the top of the world rankings after a massive crisis that saw him fall to No. 22. When the Serbian reporter Vojin Velickovic of Belgrade’s Sportski Zurnal asked him if he truly believed that he could reach 20 Slams, Novak replied: “Yes, I believe so. I really want it. I don’t know if it will happen, but I am confident that it might. It depends on many different factors. First, it depends on how long I will play. Secondly, we will see how long I will be able to compete at such a high level and how long my body and mind will hold up.  Right now, I believe that I have very good chances to keep up with all those things. I do believe in my ability, but only time will tell if I can really achieve such an incredible goal.”

Djokovic is now 31 years of age and has already captured a staggering 14 Slam titles. He is third in the all-time list behind Rafael Nadal at 17 and Roger Federer at 20.

“Federer is a true phenom and it’s amazing how he remains competitive at 37 years of age, even if he lost a little bit of his speed,” Marian Vajda told Ubitennis. Vajda, who was Djokovic’s coach for 12 years and started working with Novak again this year, also added: “Novak is five years younger than Roger and his body is even more extraordinary. He can still win many more big titles if he wants to. At the beginning of the year, he had so many doubts and, after losing 12 out of 19 matches, he thought that he wasn’t quite himself anymore. His season started to turn around at Queen’s despite the loss to Cilic in the final. And then Novak finally started believing in himself again after the incredible win over Nadal in the Wimbledon semifinal. His anxiety suddenly evaporated after that match.”  

Djokovic will play Kevin Anderson in tomorrow’s semifinal at the ATP Finals, in a revenge of this year’s Wimbledon final. The Serb leads the head-to-head against the South African 7-1. The first semifinal will feature Roger Federer against the big serving Alexander Zverev, with the Swiss maestro leading their head-to-head 3-2.

None of the clashes that featured the eight best players in the world have offered great entertainment at this year’s ATP Finals so far. Most matches were decided in straight sets and only the boring battle between the two serving giants John Isner and Marin Cilic went to a third. By the way, their effort proved to be in vain since they were both eliminated from the competition in the round-robin stage.

The tennis universe will certainly be delighted by a dream final between Djokovic and Federer. The two superstars have already faced each other a million times, but it’s fair to say how nobody ever gets tired of listening to Mozart and Beethoven.

(Article translation provided by T&L Global – Translation & Language Solutions – www.t-lglobal.com )

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Unseeded Ugo Humbert Becomes First Player In Over A Decade To Win Halle On Debut

The 22-year-old fired nine aces and 29 winners to claim his first ATP 500 title.

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image via https://twitter.com/ATPHalle

France’s Ugo Humbert has clinched his maiden ATP title on the grass after defeating Andrey Rublev in straight sets at the Noventi Open in Halle.

 

Humbert remained unbroken throughout his 6-3, 7-6(4), win over the Russian fourth seed who has won more matches on the ATP Tour than any other player since the start of 2020 (74). The Frenchman was particularly impressive behind serve where he won 83% of his first service points and 55% on his second. It is the first time he has beaten Rublev on the Tour after losing to him on two previous occasions in 2019 (Monte Carlo) and 2020 (St. Petersburg).

“It’s incredible,” said Humbert. “The best victory of my career. I’m very proud because it wasn’t easy, I was a little but tired today but I tried to stay focused on each point. It’s very nice.”

The triumph concludes what has been a marathon week in Halle for the 22-year-old. En route to the final he had to come through four three-set matches where he scored wins over Sam Querrey, Alexander Zverev, Sebastian Korda and Felix-Auger Aliassime. Becoming only the second player in Halle’s 28-year history to have reached the final by playing only three-set matches.

Meanwhile, runner-up Rublev paid tribute to his opponent following their clash. The world No.7 is now 1-2 in finals played so far this season after winning Rotterdam before losing to Stefanos Tsitsipas in Monte Carlo. To put that into perspective, in 2020 he won all six finals he played in.

“I have often told my coach that you play in an incredible way,” he said. “You have everything to be a very great player. So keep working, doing everything you do. You play very well, you have incredible shots. I wish you a great career.”

Humbert, who won two ATP titles last year in Auckland and Antwerp, is the first player to win Halle on the debut since 2010. On that occasion Lleyton Hewitt prevailed over Roger Federer in the final. He is now projected to rise to a ranking high of 25 on Monday when the ATP standings are officially updated.

The Frenchman will be hoping that he can continue his winning streak heading to Wimbledon where he reached the fourth round back in 2019. His best ever result in a Grand Slam to date.

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David Goffin Out Of Wimbledon Following Halle Accident

It has been reported that the unfortunate injury he suffered is ‘more serious’ than a sprain.

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David Goffin has been forced to withdraw from Wimbledon after suffering an ankle injury during the Noventi Open earlier this week.

 

The former top 10 player was taking on Corentin Moutet in Halle where he slipped on the grass and subsequently hurt his right ankle. Forcing the Belgian to retire from the match at the start of the third set. Providing an update on Goffin’s health, agent Martin Roux said he is unsure how long he will be absent from the Tour for.

“Yes, David has officially withdrawn from Wimbledon following his ankle injury in Halle. For the moment we do not know more about the exact duration of unavailability, ” Roux told lesoir.be. “He is of course disappointed to miss a Grand Slam tournament, especially since he had recovered well on grass before his injury. “

Elaborating further, Roux confirmed Goffin’s injury is ‘more serious’ than a sprain and tests are ongoing to assess the extent of the damage which has been caused to the ankle. It is not the first time he has suffered a freak accident on the court. During the 2018 Rotterdam Open he hurt his eye after a tennis ball rebounded into his face, forcing him to pull out of Marseille and Indian Wells that year.

“David told me that it was more serious than a minor sprain, after exams in Belgium.”Roux added. “The ankle has not yet deflated (stopped swelling). David realizes that ice and bandages won’t be enough to play. The ligaments must be affected in one way or another. The idea is to do new exams at the end of the week in order to then have a healing protocol, especially since after Wimbledon the Olympic Games will arrive quickly. These are now his next goals. “

The 30-year-old has achieved a win-loss record of 14-13 so far in 2021 and won his fifth ATP title in Montpellier. He has also reached the semi-finals in Antalya and quarter-finals in Monte Carlo. However, recently Goffin has struggled on the Tour with Halle being the fifth tournament in a row where he has failed to win back-to-back matches.

Goffin is currently ranked 13th in the world.

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Dominic Thiem Follows Nadal In Olympic Games Snub

The world No.5 says his decision is related to his performance on the Tour so far this season.

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Dominic Thiem training at the 2021 Lyon Open (photographer Sammy Dancyger - Owned by Sport Plus Conseil - GM Sports Consulting)

Austria’s Dominic Thiem has pulled out of the Olympic Games in order to focus on his title defence at the US Open later this year.

 

The 27-year-old issued a statement on Thursday saying he was ‘not ready’ to play in Tokyo following what has been a roller-coaster start to the season. Thiem enters Wimbledon with a win-loss record of 9-8 and recently lost in the first round of the French Open. His best results so far this year were reaching the last 16 of the Australian Open and the semi-finals of the Madrid Open.

“Hi everybody, I have some sad news to share with you all. After talking with my team and analysing the situation I have taken the very difficult decision to withdraw from competing in the Tokyo Olympics,” the 27-year-old Austrian wrote on Twitter.
“For me, like all athletes, taking part in the Olympics and representing my country is a huge honour and that makes this decision even tougher.
“However, 2021 did not start as expected and I don’t feel ready to play my best in Tokyo.
“My goal is to work hard the coming weeks, give my best at Wimbledon and keep training and hopefully defend my US Open title.”

Thiem, who also skipped the 2016 Olympics, had previously said that his views on the multi-sport event have changed over recent time. During one interview with Tennis Deutschland he said it would be a ‘dream’ to play at the Olympics and he would ‘definitely play’ at the event if he had the chance to. Thiem is coached on the Tour by Nicolas Massu who won a gold medal back in 2004.

The world No.5 says he hopes to be able to play at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris where the tennis tournament will be held at Roland Garros. The same venue as the French Open.

On the same day as Thiem’s announcement on Thursday, Rafael Nadal was another player to confirm he would not be travelling to Tokyo, as well as Wimbledon, in order to recover from the clay season. The Spaniard said he wants to take a break from the Tour in order to preserve his body and prolong his career on the Tour.

The Olympic tennis event will take place between July 24th – August 1st. Andy Murray is the defending champion in the men’s tournament.

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