Novak Djokovic And Simona Halep Suffer Shock Losses In Indian Wells - UBITENNIS
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Novak Djokovic And Simona Halep Suffer Shock Losses In Indian Wells

Novak Djokovic unexpectedly lost to Kohlschreiber in Indian Wells, while Simona Halep was knocked out by Vondrousova.

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

Novak Djokovic tumbled out of the 2019 BNP Paribas Open with a surprising 6-4 6-4 loss to Philipp Kohlschreiber.

 

The Serb, 31, was chasing his sixth title in Indian Wells. Most of the tennis world expected him to get it.

However, the World No.1 was a long way off his best. He made 32 unforced errors and only managed to break Kohlschreiber once. By contrast, the German broke Djokovic four times as he took full advantage of his struggles.

Kohlschreiber earned his first break in game seven of the opening set thanks to a couple of excellent winners and some lacklustre play from the World No.1.

It ended up being the only break in the first set, which the German took 6-4. Just as importantly, the break gave the World No.39 momentum, and he broke Djokovic immediately in the second set.

From that point on, the Serb never looked like he would get back into the match. Even when he pulled a break back after falling 5-2 behind, it just delayed the inevitable. Kohlschreiber soon wrapped up the set 6-4 to secure arguably the biggest win of his career.

The defeat of Djokovic provides a great opportunity for the four men left in that quarter of the draw – Kohlschreiber, Gael Monfils, Dominic Thiem and Ivo Karlovic – to go a long way in the event.

Halep crashes out

Simona Halep (photo by chryslène caillaud, copyright @Sport Vision)

There was a shock of similar magnitude in the women’s draw, as Simona Halep lost 6-2 3-6 6-2 to Czech teenager Marketa Vondrousova.

The Romanian, 27, has endured a patchy start to 2019. After a horror draw landed her in the most difficult section, she lost to Serena Williams in the fourth round of the Australian Open . She was then unexpectedly defeated by Elise Mertens in the Doha final, before coming unstuck against Belinda Bencic in the last eight in Dubai.

It is not the kind of form you expect to see from a player who spent about 15 months at No.1 between October 2017 and January 2019.

“I shake off the losses faster now, but I’m still upset,” Halep said in her press conference. “Actually, today I cried for the first time in ages.”

She continued, “It’s normal. I give 100% to every match, every tournament, so that’s why I suffer a little bit when I lose. But I learn from these matches. I’m looking forward to the next week, next tournament, and I won’t give up.”

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Stefanos Tsitsipas ‘Happy’ To Follow In Grandfather’s Footsteps At Olympics

The Greek speaks out about carrying his family’s legacy at the Games.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas never met his grandfather but the two of them do have something in common – they are both Olympians.

 

The world No.4 has already created history in Tokyo by winning his first round match against Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber on Sunday to become the first male player from his country to win a singles match since 1924. Greece has won two medals at the Games but both of them were during its inaugural edition back in 1896.

Tsitsipas’ debut in Tokyo enables him to continue his family legacy of playing in the sporting extravaganza. His grandfather was Sergei Salnikov who played football for the Soviet Union during the 1950s. In 1956 Salnikov was part of the team who won Olympic gold in Melbourne. After retiring from the sport, he went on to manage the FC Spartak Moscow and the Afghanistan national team before passing away in 1984 aged 58.

“I’ve never had the opportunity to meet him. But my mom told me stories of his career and how he got it…. He kind of inspires me in a way,” said Tsitsipas. “I know what kind of athlete he was, with all the achievements and all the trophies. I’m proud of him.
“It’s something good, a legacy that is being carried on in the family. I’m happy to be the next in the family to be competing at the Olympics.”

It isn’t just a medal in the singles Tsitsipas has his eyes on, he will also be bidding for success in the mixed doubles alongside Maria Sakkari. The two previously paired up at the 2019 Hopman Cup where they finished second in their group.

“We have already played once (together), and we had great success,” Sakkari told reporters on Monday. “We know each other really well, and we are much better players two-and-a-half years later, and we are both really pumped to play together. Of course, I cannot predict that we will get a medal. We will try our best and I think we give ourselves the best chance we can.”

Tsitsipas will return to action tomorrow in the men’s singles where he will play Frances Tiafoe in the second round.

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Carlos Alcaraz reaches his first ATP Tour final in Umag

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Spanish Next Gen star Carlos Alcaraz secured a spot in his first ATP tour-level final with a 6-2 7-6 (7-3) at the Plava Laguna Croatia Open in Umag. 

 

Alcaraz has become the youngest ATP Tour finalist since 18-year-old Kei Nishikori won the Delray Beach title in 2008. 

Alcaraz broke twice to open up a 4-0 lead and held his next service games to close out the first set 6-2. 

Ramos Vinolas came back from a break down three times in the second set, when Alcaraz served for the match. Alcaraz battled through the second-set tie-break to clinch the win after two hours. 

Alcaraz set up a final against Richard Gasquet, who battled past German qualifier Daniel Altmeier 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 6-3 after three hours and 11 minutes. 

Gasquet has become the second oldest finalist in tournament history. The 35-year-old saved seven of hi sten break points, but he converted just just 3 of his 17 break points.  

Gasquet rallied from a break down twice to draw level to 4-4 before winning the tie-break 7-2. Altmeier converted his third break point in the eighth game to win the second set 6-3. Altmeier saved three break points in the second game, before Gasquet converted his second break point in the sixth game to win the second set 6-3. 

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Novak Djokovic Cruises Past Dellien In Olympics Opener

Novak Djokovic’s bid for a historic golden slam continued in Tokyo.

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Novak Djokovic (@ITFTennis - Twitter)

Novak Djokovic cruised past Hugo Dellien 6-2 6-2 to open his bid for a gold medal at the Olympics.

 

The world number one’s bid to achieve the golden slam is on after thrashing the Bolivian in humid conditions.

A perfect start for the Serbian who is looking to achieve the one thing he is yet to achieve and that’s win a gold medal.

Next for Djokovic will be Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff.

In 32C temperatures, Djokovic was looking to start his campaign off against Bolivian veteran Hugo Dellien.

The slow paced courts would suit Dellien as he engaged in some long rallies with the world number one early on.

Despite creating three break points in the fourth game, Djokovic would fail to break early on.

However Djokovic increased his level mixing up the pace and depth of his shots to create angles for simple winners.

On his fifth break point Djokovic would break for a 4-2 lead and the top seed would break for a second time as Dellien had no answers for the Serb’s defensive skills. First set to Djokovic in 33 minutes.

A similar pattern evolved in the second set only this time Djokovic did get a break in the fourth game, breaking to love.

Accurate serving and construction of points gave Djokovic an easy first round match as another break secured the match and sealed his spot into the second round.

A fine performance in tough conditions gave Djokovic’s bid for history the best possible start.

Next for Djokovic will be Jan-Lennard Struff who beat Thiago Monteiro 6-3 6-4.

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