Novak Djokovic Thrashes Anderson To Close In On Federer’s All-Time Record At ATP Finals - UBITENNIS
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Novak Djokovic Thrashes Anderson To Close In On Federer’s All-Time Record At ATP Finals

The 14-time grand slam champion faced little resistance as he raced into the final of the season-ending championships.

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World No.1 Novak Djokovic is a win away for equalling Roger Federer’s record of six titles won at the ATP Finals after defeating a below-par Kevin Anderson 6-2, 6-2, at The O2 Arena in London.

Djokovic, who entered the match winning all of his 28 service games this week, proved too strong against a tentative and lackluster Anderson. The world No.6 was not the same player who played the Serbian in the Wimbledon final earlier this year as he struggled to find consistency throughout. Resulting in the very much in-form Djokovic controlling the proceedings. Storming into the final with the help of 11 winners to 13 unforced errors.

“I think it was the best match that I have played so far this week. It came at the right time.” Said Djokovic.
“Kevin was playing some really good tennis earlier this week. Obviously, his first serve percentage was low and wasn’t working quite as well.’
“I thought the crucial stat was to try to win as many points off his second serve as possible. I tried to apply pressure on his service game and use my serve accurately. It worked really well.”

Heading into the semi-final showdown in London, Djokovic was the overwhelming favorite. Besides losing only two out of 36 matches since the start of Wimbledon, the world No.1 boasted a 7-1 head-to-head record against Anderson. Last losing to him in their maiden meeting at the 2008 Miami Open.

Extending that record, Djokovic got off to perfect start during what was a seven-minute opening game. Reading the Anderson serve like a book, the top seed broke immediately with the help of back-to-back forehand errors from his opponent. Continuing to gain in momentum, Djokovic proved too strong against his erratic rival. Securing the double break with the help of more mistakes from his across the court before clinching the first set after 40 minutes of play.

Unlike their previous encounters that have seen some mammoth exchanges between the two, Djokovic dictated proceedings throughout against the growing frustrated South African. To make Anderson’s mood worst, he was slammed with a warning for a verbal obscenity after being broken at the start of the second set. Although he protested that he said no such thing.

” I hold myself pretty highly accountable out there. What I said — I think it was a misunderstanding.” Said Anderson. “If I did swear, it was definitely under my breath. I didn’t mean for it to be heard by anybody. Obviously, that wasn’t great. I was Obviously frustrated out there. It’s definitely not an excuse.”

Cruising towards his 53rd win of 2018, Djokovic only needed one match point to seal the deal. Racing to a 6-2, 5-2 (40-0) lead, he claimed the victory with the help of a volley that tapped the top of the net before landing in.

“I’m very pleased that I am able to play at a high level consistently,” Djokovic commented about his current form.  
“A lot of players are tired coming into the last couple of weeks of the year. This tournament has always been one of the most important for us. We always try to find whatever is left in us and get it out on the court.’
“I’m really glad to reach another final.”


In Sunday’s final Djokovic will take on Germany’s Alexander Zverev. The world No.5 knocked out Roger Federer in straight sets earlier in the day. Djokovic has already defeated Zverev twice this year,  including on Wednesday at the tournament, but did lose to him at the 2017 Italian Open.

“Novak right now is the best player in the world. It’s very tough to beat him.” Said Zverev.  “He’s barely lost a match in the last six months. He’s playing amazing tennis. You have to play your best game to even have a chance. I hope I’ll be able to do that tomorrow.”

Djokovic heads into the final yet to be broken in the entire tournament. He is the first player to reach the final without dropping a set since 2010.

It is the 18th time in the history of the tournament that two players they have played against each other in both the round-robin and final. Out of those 18, nine times the loser in the round-robin has gone on to win in the final.

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Roger Federer: “I am not too disappointed after my defeat against Dominic Thiem in Indian Wells”

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Twenty-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer was not too disappointed after losing the Indian Wells final against Dominic Thiem last Sunday.

Roger Federer lost the Indian Wells final for the fourth time in his career after finishing runner-up in 2014, 2015 and 2018. Last year he did not convert three championship point against Juan Martin Del Potro.

“I am not too disappointed. I feel like he had to come up with the goods, and it felt like to some extent it was on my raquet. I just came up against somebody who was a bit better when it really mattered. That’s how it goes. Sure, it’s frustrating, disappointing and sad to some extent. I have been in these positions so many times that I get over it very quickly. I feel like I am actually playing good tennis. Like in Australia, I was not too down on myself because I feel like my game is there. My body is there. That keeps me upbeat, and I feel it’s a privilege when I feel this way leaving a tournament. I have been playing every single day for the past three weeks. I can be very happy and proud of that fact. I feel really good”, said Federer after the final against Thiem in Indian Wells.

Federer congratulated with Thiem, who won his maiden Maiden 1000 title in the Californian desert after losing his previous two finals in the series in Madrid on his favourite clay surface.

“I am happy with Dominic, winning his first Masters 1000 title, as well. It’s a massive event to win. I just got my 100th title in Dubai and I had a great week. There is no reason to get down. There is more to look forward to Miami”.

This season Federer has a positive record of 12 wins in his 14 matches and lifted the 100th title of his career beating Stefanos Tsitsipas in Dubai.

Federer is looking forward to the Miami Open where he headlines the bottom half of the draw. Federer, who won three titles in Miami in 2005, 2006 and 2017, will take on either Matthew Eden from Australia or a qualifier in the second round and could renew his battle against his compatriot Stan Wawrinka in the third round for the second consecutive tournament after winning their recent all-Swiss clash in Indian Wells in straight sets last week. Federer leads 22-3 in his 25 head-to-head clashes against Wawrinka. Wawrinka beat Federer three times in clay court matches in Monte-Carlo in 2009 and in the 2014 final and Roland Garros in 2015 and is chasing his first win on hard court against his compatriot.

“I think Stan knows that he is very close and it’s just a matter of time until he is going to break through again”,said Federer after their most recent clash at Indian Wells.

Federer could face Danil Medvedev in the Round of 16, Kevin Anderson or Karen Khachanov in the quarter final and a semifinal against either Stefanos Tsitsipas or last year’s Miami finalist Alexander Zverev.

 

 

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Nikola Mektic and Horacio Zeballos lift their maiden Masters 1000 title as a title in Indian Wells

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Unseeded Nikola Mektic from Croatia and Horacio Zeballos won their first doubles title as a team after beating Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo 4-6 6-4 10-3.

Kubot and Melo drew the first blood by getting an early break in the first game, but Mektic and Zeballos broke straight back in the second game. Mektic and Zeballos fended off two break points in the third game to take a 2-1 lead. Kubot and Melo went up a break in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead. The Polish and Brazilian team fended off a break point before serving out for the first set in the 10th game.

Mektic and Zeballos were not able to convert any of their two break points in the fourth game of the second set, but they held their service games easily and broke serve in the 10th game on the deciding point forcing the match to the decisive Match tie-break. Mektic and Zeballos cruised through to winning the tie-break 10-3 clinching their maiden doubles title as a team. Zeballos and Mektic won 40 % of their return points.

Earlier this week Mektic and Zeballos saved two match points in a match tie-break against this year’s Australian Open Pierre Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut before beating Colombian doubles specialists Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah in the quarter finals and Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic in the semifinal.

“It’s unbelievable. Being in the big press conference, it’s great. I have never been in this room. I love it”,said Zeballos in the post match press conference.

“Oh my God, we won Indian Wells. We are a great team. We can beat anyone. Especially on this tournament where the difference is a few balls. A few points will decide who is going to win. Of course you are not expecting to win, but we are going into every match confident that we can win, so we just went step by step and it happened”, said Mektic.

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Marcelo Melo and Lukasz Kubot beat Novak Djokovic and Fabio Fognini to reach the Indian Wells doubles final

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Brazil’s Marcelo Melo and Poland’s Lukasz Kubot secured their spot in the final of the doubles tournament of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells after beating singles world number 1 player Novak Djokovic and Fabio Fognini 7-6 (7-5) 2-6 10-6 in the super tie-break.

Melo and Kubot will face Horacio Zeballos and Nikola Mektic, who beat Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (7-3). Melo and Kubot have played together since 2017, while Zeballos and Mektic are teaming up for their second time in their careers.

In the first set Kubot and Melo earned an immediate break in the first game in the first game. Djokovic and Fognini broke back in the 10th game at 15 to draw level to 5-5. Kubot and Melo came back from 1-4 down to win the tie-break 7-5. Djokovic and Fognini broke twice in the first and fifth games to clinch the second set 6-2. Kubot and Melo took the 10-6 edge in the super tie-break.

Djokovic and Fognini thrilled the crowd with their spectacular tennis, but doubles specialists won the most crucial points.

“I think the fact we played together for a long time, this makes a difference. We were aggressive in important moments. We do what we have to do and most of the time for us, it pays off. I am very happy with this, so let’s go forward for tomorrow to the finals”, said Melo.

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