Chris Evert, Lindsay Davenport Back Djokovic To Break All-Time Grand Slam Record - UBITENNIS
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Chris Evert, Lindsay Davenport Back Djokovic To Break All-Time Grand Slam Record

The two former players speak out about Djokovic’s chances of becoming the most decorated male singles player in grand slam history.

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Novak Djokovic (photo by chryslène caillaud, copyright @Sport Vision)

Two former world No.1 players believe Novak Djokovic has the ability to break Roger Federer’s record for most grand slam titles won in history.

 

Newly appointed chairwoman of the USTA Foundation, Chris Evert, believes Djokovic has the ability to achieve the milestone following his resurgence on the tour. Since Wimbledon, the Serbian has won 21 consecutive matches in grand slam tournaments. Should he win the French Open later this year, he would be the champion of all four majors at the same time. Something he has already achieved between 2015-2016.

“Djokovic was inhuman during the Australian Open. I’ve never seen anybody with that much mental focus, that much clarity and that much determination.” Evert told The Tennis Channel. “Even better than Rafael Nadal, who is also 100% great in those categories. If he has another great two or three years, I think he can pass them all (grand slam titles won).” She added.

Federer, who is six years older than Djokovic, currently holds the all-time record in the majors with 20 titles to his name. Including a record eight Wimbledon trophies. His last triumph at a major was in Melbourne in January 2018. Since then, Federer has failed to progress beyond the quarter-final stage at any other grand slam.

“I’m a big Roger Federer fan, but I’m not as optimistic about Roger winning another grand slam, unless it is Wimbledon.” Evert admitted. “The points are shorter, power plays a big role and serving plays a big role.”

Backing Evert, Lindsay Davenport is another person who believes Djokovic can overtake Federer. Davenport won 55 titles during her career on the WTA Tour, including three at grand slam level.

“I think so. The other two (Federer and Nadal) has never hold all four (grand slams) at the same time. Novak is one slam away from doing it twice.” Davenport outlined. “It’s just unheard of that we have a player that are that good within the same era.”

What has Djokovic said?

Speaking to reporters last month in Australia, the 31-year-old said breaking records is what motivates him in the sport. Shortly after his one-sided win over Nadal in the final at the Australian Open, Djokovic said he was focused on improving his game further.

“I am aware that making history of the sport that I truly love is something special. Of course, it motivates me. How many seasons are to come? I don’t know. I’m not trying to think too much in advance.” He said.
“I do want to definitely focus myself on continuing to improve my game and maintaining the overall well-being that I have – mental, physical, emotional – so I would be able to compete at such a high level for the years to come, and have a shot at eventually getting closer to Roger’s record. It’s still far.”

It isn’t just the Federer record on his mind. According to coach Marian Vajda, he is hoping to achieve the calendar grand slam one day. Where a player win all four majors within the same season. The achievement is a rarity in men’s tennis. In the Open Era, it has only been achieved by Rod Laver back in 1969.

“Novak would like to win the calendar grand slam, to win all four of the biggest tournaments in the same year.” Vajda told Sport Klub.

When asked about emulating Laver one day, Djokovic was more coy about his aspirations.

“Well, I got to get Rod Laver in my team in order to achieve that,” Djokovic said. “He’s the only one that has managed to do the impossible challenge, the ultimate challenge of tennis.
“We’ll see.”

Most grand slam titles won (men only)

Rank Player Total Years Australian Open French Open Wimbledon US Open
1  Roger Federer 20 2003–2018 6 1 8 5
2  Rafael Nadal 17 2005–2018 1 11 2 3
3  Novak Djokovic 15 2008–2019 7 1 4 3
4  Pete Sampras 14 1990–2002 2 0 7 5
5  Roy Emerson 12 1961–1967 6 2 2 2
6  Rod Laver 11 1960–1969 3 2 4 2
 Björn Borg 11 1974–1981 0 6 5 0
8  Bill Tilden 10 1920–1930 0 0 3 7

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Richard Gasquet reaches his first Masters 1000 semifinal since Miami 2013

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Frenchman Richard Gasquet edged past this year’s Wimbledon semifinalist Roberto Bautista Agut 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 6-2 after 2 hours and 12 minutes to reach his first Masters 1000 semifinal since the 2013 Miami Open.

 

 Gasquet missed six months of action after undergoing groin surgery last January.

The French player set up a semfinal against David Goffin, who reached the semifinal after his Japanese opponent Yoshihito Nishioka withdrew from the match due to illness.

The first set went on serve with no break points en route to the tie-break. Bautista Agut hit a backhand wide at 1-2. Gasquet sealed the tie-break when Bautista Agut hit a forehand long.

Bautista Agut earned two breaks of serve in the second set and sealed it, when Gasquet made his third double fault on set point.

Gasquet broke serve with a volley in the third game of the decisive set. The French player went up a double break to race out to 4-1 lead. He saved two break points to hold his serve at deuce before serving out the third set on his first match point.

“I know how tough it was to come back. I know the moments I had at the start of the year, so I just wanted to enjoy, to fight. It is not easy to come back after six months out, but I am here. I am in semis tomorrow”,said Gasquet.

 

 

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Danil Medvedev cruises past Jan-Lennard Struff to set up an all Russian quarter final against Andrey Rublev

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Ninth seed Danil Medvedev cruised past Jan-Lennard Struff 6-3 6-1 in 66 minutes to reach the quarter final at the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati.

 

Medvedev committed just 12 unforced errors and won 18 of Struff’s 25 second serve points.

 Medvedev broke twice in the second and eighth games to win the first set 6-2. The young Russian player got two consecutive breaks in the second and fourth games to race out to a 4-0 lead and held his service game at deuce after saving a break point in the fifth game. Struff held his serve to get his first game on the scoreboard, but Medvedev sealed the win on his first match point. The Russian player has improved his head-to-head record to 3-0 againt Struff.

Medvedev has won 11 of his past 13 matches during the North American hard-court season. He has a solid 41-16 record this season. He finished runner in two consecutive finals to Nick Kyrgios at Washington and to Rafael Nadal in Montreal.  In the quarter final the Russian star will face his compatriot Andrey Rublev, who upset Roger Federer 6-3 6-4.

Recent Wimbledon semifinalist Roberto Bautista Agut cruised past Miomir Kecmanovic 6-1 6-2 in just under an hour setting up a quarter final against Richard Gasquet, who beat Diego Schwartzman 7-6 (8-6) 6-3.

Japanese qualifier Yoshihito Nishioka beat Australian player Alex De Minaur 7-5 6-4 in 83 minutes with one break in each set. Nishioka rallied from 4-6 down in the tie-break of the first set to edge Adrian Mannarino 7-6 (8-6) 6-2 in 1 hour and 37 minutes.

“It was a great match and I got better as it went on. I am feeling sharp. I am feeling great now and I am looking forward to the quarter finals of a Masters 1000. I have nothing to lose”, said Goffin.

 

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Roger Federer Crashes Out Of Cincinnati Masters

The seven-time champion has suffered a blow to his preparations for the US Open.

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World No.3 Roger Federer has been knocked out of the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati after falling in straight sets to Russia’s Andrey Rublev.

 

The 20-time grand slam champion struggled to find his range as he was overwhelmed by his fearless opponent during the 6-3, 6-4, loss. Despite the huge disparity in experience between the two, 21-year-old Rublev managed to dominate the majority of rallies with the help of some heavy hitting. Producing 17 winners to six unforced errors, compared to Federer’s tally of 19 and 20.

“I respect him a lot, I respect all the top players a lot, but today when I was going to court I was going there to win.” Rublev said during an interview with Amazon Prime.
“I was not going (to the match) to enjoy. I was going to fight, try to win and do my best.”

Rublev’s shock win saw the underdog outdo the Swiss maestro in almost every area of the match. Winning the most first serves (85% to 63%), second serves (57% to 63) and a bigger majority of points at the net (5/6 to 7/19). Breaking him twice in the opening set and once in the second. The Russian, who is 70th in the world, is the lowest ranked player to defeat Federer on the tour since Thanassi Kokkinakis at the 2018 Miami Open.

The loss leaves a mark on Federer’s impressive record in Cincinnati, which he has won a record seven times. It is the first time he has failed to reach the quarter-final stage since losing to Ivo Karlovic in the third round back in 2008.

“He was playing well. I was maybe struggling especially on the offensive, because overall I didn’t think I was feeling the ball badly.” Federer reflected during his press conference. “It’s just, you know, sort of fast-court conditions and when you sometimes then can’t rely on that serve to go or on the one-two punch, which I didn’t think was excellent today from my side, you need an opponent that maybe lets you get by some tougher moments, but he didn’t do that.”
“He was super clean. Defense, offense, serving well. Didn’t give me anything. He was everywhere. So it was tough for me, but excellent match by him. I was impressed.”

Rublev now has a meeting with compatriot Daniil Medvedev in what will be his first quarter-final at Masters level. Medvedev has reached the final of tournaments in Washington and at the Rogers Cup since Wimbledon. He is yet to drop a set this week and brushed aside Jan-Lennard Struff 6-2, 6-1, in his third round match.

“It’s going to be an interesting match for Russia.” Rublev previewed. “It will be a tough match for me because the way he plays. Nobody likes to play him.”
“I lost to him in a Challenger a few years ago, so it’s going to be interesting tomorrow.” He added.

The latest victory is only Rublev’s second over a top five player in his career. His first was against Dominic Thiem at the German Open last month.

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