Novak Djokovic Is A Better Player Than Federer, Says Krajicek - UBITENNIS
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Novak Djokovic Is A Better Player Than Federer, Says Krajicek

The former Wimbledon champion has given his opinion on the GOAT debate.

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Former world No.4 Richard Krajicek has weighted into the Greatest Of All Time (GOAT) debate by saying that he believes Novak Djokovic is ahead of his rivals.

In recent years the landscape of men’s tennis has been dominated by the Big Four. A nickname for the group featuring Djokovic, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray. There has been numerous arguments concerning who in the quartet is the best, with all players having strong cases. Nevertheless, 1996 Wimbledon champion Kracijek believes Djokovic is the best player when comparing them all at their best form.

“When you look at the results and length of his career, you say Roger. But when they play at their best each other, Djokovic is the better player and he wins most of the times,” Krajicek told Tennis World USA.

Djokovic has ended his season as world No.1 for the fifth time in his career. Becoming the oldest player in the history of the ATP Tour to do so at the age of 31. Against the other players currently ranked in the world’s top 20, he has a winning head-to-head record against 15 of them. The only top 20 player he has a negative record against is Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas, who he lost to in their first meeting earlier this year at the Rogers Cup.

“He is unbeatable in the level of tennis. Novak had two or three amazing years. Federer played for 20 years at the top, his consistency is incredible. But Novak has won four Grand Slams in a row, which Federer and Nadal have not done.” Explained Krajicek.

The are of course counter arguments to Kracijek’s opinion. Roger Federer has won a record 20 grand slam titles in the singles, bringing his overall ATP record to 99. The second highest in history after Jimmy Connors. Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal has won more clay court titles than any other player in the Open Era and is the only person to have won the same major 11 times at the French Open.

Kracijek retired from tennis in 2003 after claiming 17 ATP titles. Since then, he has remained involved in tennis through numerous activities. One of the most prominent of those being the tournament director of the Rotterdam Open for the past 14 years. An ATP 500 event that takes place every February.

Asked if Djokovic would be playing at the event in 2019, the Dutchman left the door open for the world No.1 to join the field. Alexander Zverev, Marin Cilic, Kei Nishikori and Nick Kyrgios have already confirmed their intention to play there.

“We would like to have him as a world No. 1. It’s a tournament that doesn’t fit in his schedule. He is winning basically everything and we will always keep trying. If he wants to play Rotterdam, the doors are open,” he said.

Djokovic has only played at Rotterdam three times with the last occurring back in 2010.

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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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