Novak Djokovic Cliches Record-Equalling 33rd Masters 1000 Title In Madrid - UBITENNIS
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Novak Djokovic Cliches Record-Equalling 33rd Masters 1000 Title In Madrid

The world No.1 has won his first clay-court trophy in almost three years.



Novak Djokovic (photo by Roberto Dell Olivo)

MADRID: Novak Djokovic has become the third player in history to win the Madrid Open for a third time after defeating Greek rising star Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3, 6-4.


The world No.1, who last won a title at the Australian Open in January, outmaneuvered and tamed his 20-year-old opponent with the help of some clever defensive play. Tsitsipas entered the match in high confidence after stunning Rafael Nadal on Saturday. Recording his first-ever win over a top-two opponent. Nevertheless, it was the more solid Djokovic in control of proceedings at the Caja Magica as he hit 28 winners to 18 unforced errors, and won 78% of the points behind his first serve.

“I wasn’t playing my best tennis after Australia, so I was looking to regain the momentum this week.Djokovic told ATP Radio after. “I started off well. I didn’t drop a set during the entire tournament. I’m very pleased, I played some of my best tennis here (in Madrid).”

The Sunday evening clash in the Spanish capital was an opportunity for Djokovic to get revenge. In his only previous meeting with Tsitsipas at the Rogers Cup last year, he suffered a three-set loss. It was at that tournament where the world No.9 defeated four top 10 players. Becoming the youngest person to ever do that since the creation of the ATP Tour in 1990.

A tentative start to the final from Tsitsipas enabled the top seed to ease to a 3-0 lead after he hit a forehand error when breakpoint down. The form of the Greek did rise further on in the opener as he illustrated glimmers of his true talent. Producing delicate drop shots alongside his powerful forehand. However, he was unable to break down the brick wall built by his rival. 41 minutes into the match, Djokovic locked the 6-3 lead with the help of a serve out wide that triggered another error from across the court.

Opportunities continued to come for the Serbian, but a resurgent Tsitsipas refused to let him run away with the title. Three games into the second set, a duo of break point opportunities came and went for Djokovic. Nevertheless, he prevailed during the business end. A backhand down the line, followed by a forehand winner secured him another break and this time the chance to serve for the title. A game away from victory, closing the match out was far from easy. Three championships points disappeared as the consequence of errors on the Djokovic forehand before he triumphed on the fourth time of asking.

“He defeated Rafa yesterday, I think they finished their match around midnight. He had a very late night. I could see that he wasn’t very dynamic as he was against Nadal.” Djokovic commented about his rival.
He’s had a terrific week. It’s a big win for me today and I’m looking forward to trying to continue the streak in Rome. 

Djokovic’s win rewards him his first title on the clay since the 2016 French Open and his 14th overall. He has now won 33 Masters 1000 titles, which is the joint-highest of all-time alongside Nadal.

“These are the biggest tournaments we have on the ATP, alongside the Grand Slams. This is as important as it gets in terms of tournament size and organization.” He concluded.

Djokovic has now won 74 titles on the ATP Tour since 2006. The joint-sixth highest of all time along with Rod Laver.


Alexander Zverev edged past Hugo Dellien to reach the semifinal in Geneva



World number 5 and 2018 Nitto ATP Finals champion Alexander Zverev battled past Bolivian player Hugo Dellien 7-5 3-6 6-3 to reach the semifinal at the Banque Eric Sturdza Geneva Open. Zverev is still seeking his first title of the year.


Dellien earned the first break in the second game to take a 3-0 lead. Zverev converted his fourth break-back chance in the fifth game and held his serve to draw level to 3-3. Zverev saved a set point at 3-5 at 3-5, while Dellien was serving at 40-30.

Dellien needed one break in the fourth game to win the second set 6-3. Zverev held serve in the third game at the seventh deuce after seven deuces to take a 2-1 lead. The German player got the decisive break in the fourth game and held his serve at love to build up a 4-1 lead. Zverev never looked back to win the third set 6-3.

“I played very aggressive in the important moments. I was very aggressive also in break points down, This is finally something I was looking for in the last few weeks. I think today I showed it”, said Zverev.

Radu Albot came back from 2-4 down to beat Damir Dzumhur 6-3 7-5. Albot went up a double break in the third and fifth games to open up a 4-1 lead. Dzumhur pulled one break back in the sixth game for 2-4, but Albot broke for the third time on her third break point chance to win the first set 6-3.

Dzumhur went up an early break in the first game of the second set. Albot broke back in the eight game to draw level to 4-4 and sealed the win with his second break in the 10th game.

Albot will take on Nicolas Jarry, who dropped just four of his first service points to defeat Taro Daniel 6-1 7-5.



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Nikoloz Basilashvili sets up Lyon semifinal against Felix Auger Aliassime



Four-time ATP Tour finalist Nikoloz Basilashvili secured his spot in the semifinal where he will face Felix Auger Aliassime in Lyon


Basilashvili came back from an early break down to beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-4 6-4 in the quarter final of the Parc Auvergne Rhone Alpes Lyon.

Tsonga got an early break in the second game to take a 2-0 lead, but Basilashvili recovered from the early start by breaking serve twice in the third and seventh games to take a 4-3 lead. The Georgian player held his final two service games at 30 to close out the opening set 6-4.

Basilashvili needed only a break in the third game of the second set to clinch the second set 6-4 to reach his first semifinal since winning the China Open in 2018.

Basilashvili set up a semifinal clash against this year’s Rio de Janeiro finalist and Miami Open champion Felix Auger Aliassime, who edged Steve Johnson 6-4 2-6 6-4. Auger Aliassime got a break of serve in the third game to clinch the opening set 6-4. Johnson bounced back by breaking twice in the second and eighth game to claim the second set 6-2. Auger Aliassime went up a double break in the third and fifth games to build up a 5-2 lead, but Johnson pulled one break back in the eighth game, when the 18-year-old player was serving for the match. Auger Aliassime served out for the match 6-4 in the 10th game.

Benoit Paire battled past Denis Shapovalov 6-3 4-6 7-6 (7-4) in 1 hour and 55 minutes. Paire broke serve twice in the fifth and ninth games to seal the opening set 6-3. Shapovalov claimed his only break in the fifth game to win the second set 6-4. Paire saved a total of three break points in the first and third games. Both players held on their service games en route to the tie-break. Paire reeled off the final three points from 4-4 to claim the tie-break 7-4.

Taylor Fritz fought back from one set down to beat Roberto Bautista Agut 6-7 (6-8) 6-3 6-4 after two hours and five minutes. Bautista Agut fended off one set point at 5-6 to take the tie-break of the opening set. Fritz fought back to open up a 3-0 lead with a break in the second game to claim the second set 6-4. The US player earned the decisive break in he ninth game to secure his spot in his first semifinal since the 2018 Chengdu Open.



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Tomas Berdych to Miss French Open For The First Time Since 2003

It will be the third grand slam the former top 10 player has missed within the past 12 months.



Tomas Berdych (photo by chryslène caillaud)

Former Wimbledon runner-up Tomas Berdych will not play any clay court tournaments in 2019 after withdrawing from the upcoming French Open.


The 33-year-old has been absent from the tour since his first round loss to Feliciano Lopez in Indian Wells. Berdych has been hampered by issues within his back in recent weeks. He has been hoping to be fit in time for Roland Garros, but made a decision to withdraw from the event on Wednesday.

“I am not 100% ready to play the way I want and need to be competitive on the courts I love so much,” Berdych wrote on social media.
“I came to Paris and I had to take a tough decision and want another few days to fully recover and be ready for the grass season.”
“I love this tournament so much but I have to make sure not to further injure myself,” he added.

The Czech had played at the tournament every year since making his debut back in 2004. However, the French Open is his worst performing grand slam in terms of wins. So far in his career, Berdych has won 25 out of 40 matches played at the French Open. His stand out performance occurred in 2010 when he reached the semi-finals before losing to Sweden’s Robin Soderling.

It is not the first time back issues have forced Berdych out of action. In 2017 he was advised by doctors to end his season early due to persistent ‘back pain.’ He was also forced to skip both Wimbledon and the US Open due to the same problem.

Berdych, who last won a title at the 2016 Shenzhen Open, has played six tournaments so far this year. His best result occurred in January with a run to the final of the Qatar Open. He also reached the fourth round of the Australian Open and was a semi-finalist in Montpellier.

As a result of his absence, Berdych is currently ranked 100th in the world rankings. He will be replaced in the French Open draw by a lucky loser.

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