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.

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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.

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‘Coronabros Stay In Your Basement’ – John Isner Plays Down Concerns Over COVID-19 Threat

The world No.21 believes players have to ‘learn and adapt’ to the virus.

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America’s top tennis player have said the world ‘can’t come to a complete standstill’ due to the Coronavirus pandemic as he hit back at criticism concerning an upcoming exhibition tournament he is participating in.

 

John Isner weighed in on the debate following a comment from freelance writer Ben Rothenberg whom on Twitter voiced concerns that Atlanta and West Virginia is staging tennis events with crowds despite a rise in cases. The world No.21 is set to play in the DraftKings All-American Team Cup in Atlanta, which will feature the eight top male players in the country. Officials plan to allow 450 people to attend the event on each day, which is estimated to be around 30% of the stadium’s maximum capacity.

“Ben, your concerns are valid, but, as someone who covers our sport for a living it would be nice if you would be supportive of WTT and Atlanta with their efforts to put on safe events instead of posting spooky headlines like this one that are factually incorrect,” Isner said making reference to an article Rothenberg posted.

Other Twitter users have also questioned the decision to allow fans to attend the event. Georgia, which is the state Atlanta is in, officially reported 2946 daily cases of the virus on July 1st. The highest amount within 24 hours since the pandemic began. Furthermore, Reuters News Agency reports that there was a record rise of more than 47,000 cases on Tuesday in America.

Nevertheless, Isner has dismissed calls for the event to be held behind closed doors or even cancelled. Branding his online critics as ‘coronabros’ before saying he wants to go on and live his life.

“You coronabros can stay in your basement all you want. I choose to live my life and play/promote the sport I love in a safe manner,” he said.

Unsurprisingly Isner has now been accused of downplaying the severity of the virus, which has killed more than 500,000 people worldwide. Including 130,000 in his home country alone. Challenged by one Twitter user who said she lost a family member due to the virus, Isner replied:-

“I’m incredibly sorry to hear that. I, in no way, was downplaying the effect of the virus, but I understand that perception can be reality.”

It is not fully understood by what he means with the phrase ‘perception is a reality’. Although he did like one tweet which said ‘the virus is much less lethal than the first models predicted. It’s now close to the flu.’ Although some medical experts have a differnt view on the perspective. White House coronavirus advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci has recently said the virus is “very different” from other outbreaks such as Ebola and HIV.

“We may not have a vaccine for a while and the world can’t come to a complete standstill. The reality is, we are going to have to learn and adapt to this virus in the safest manner possible,” he says.

The DraftKings All-American Team Cup in Atlanta will take place this weekend.

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Liverpool Ace Van Dijk Sees Similarities Between Him And Roger Federer

The Swiss Maestro has been praised for his seemingly effortless approach to the sport.

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Liverpool defender Virgil Van Dijk says he believes his approach to football is similar to that of Roger Federer in tennis.

 

In a recent interview the 28-year-old admitted that he can be perceived as laid back by some people whilst playing. Van Dijk recently helped Liverpool lift the Premier League title for the first time since 1990. The Dutch centre-back has scored four goals during the 2019-2020 Premier League season so far and was also part of the team which won the UEFA Champions League title last year.

Addressing his style of play on the pitch, Van Dijk said he has partly modelled his approach on the demeanour of Federer. Who currently holds the record for most Grand Slam titles won and weeks spent at No.1 on the ATP Tour.

“I have naturally always been a bit laid back, the way I look and the way my presence is,” The Express quoted him as saying.
“I think a good example is in tennis if you watch Federer playing tennis.
“It looks like he’s not even putting in any work and it can frustrate opponents as well thinking they’re trying as hard as they can and your putting on the slippers for example.”

Van Dijk isn’t the first Liverpool player to pay tribute to Federer. During the Swiss Indoors last October winger Xherdan Shaqiri said he can learn ‘so much’ from the world No.4. Shaqiri is also from Switzerland and started his career playing for FC Basel, which has been Federer’s favourite football club since he was a child.

“He’s here at home in Basel, then he’s running well and he’s winning. It went very fast and I’m happy for him,” Shaqiri commented on Federer’s win over Peter Gojowczyk at the Swiss Indoors last year.
“He is no longer the youngest and still plays at a top level, because you can look a lot off.”

Federer will not play any more professional tournaments this year after undergoing a second surgical procedure on his right knee within the last six months. The first was in February. Although he has pledged to return to action in 2021 when he will be 39-years-old.

It is only the second time in his career that Federer has ended a season half way through due to injury.

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Nick Kyrgios Blasts ‘Selfish’ Zverev Over Viral Party Video

The world No.7 has been blasted for breaking his pledge to self-isolate after playing in the Adria Tour where a series of players and coaches tested positive for COVID-19.

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Australian tennis star Nick Kyrgios has hit out at Alexander Zverev and the wider tennis community after it emerged on Sunday the German broke his self-isolation pledge to attend a party.

 

The world No.7 was caught attending a party at the Anjuna Plage Private Club in southern France after a video of him surfaced on the Instagram story of millionaire fashion designer Philipp Plein. Two other Instagram accounts also showed Zverev at the event on Sunday afternoon. The German issued a statement less than a week prior saying that he would go into a period of self-isolation after attending the Adria Tour in Zadar. Where Grigor Dimitrov, Borna Coric and Novak Djokovic tested positive for COVID-19. According to standard medical advice, those who have been in close contact with people with the virus should self-isolate for 14 days to avoid potentially spreading it.

“I will proceed to follow the self-isolating guidelines advised by our doctors. As an added precaution, my team and I will continue with regular testing,” the world No.7 said in a statement last Monday.

Zverev’s video sparked a series of criticism on social media, but Nick Kyrgios is by far the most well known figure in the sport to have spoken out. Releasing an Instagram video, the former top 20 player slammed the behaviour of his rival. Accusing him of being selfish before adding the tennis world was ‘pi**ing him off.’ During the Adria Tour players were seen attending parties and engaging with members of the public which was allowed under local laws.

“So I wake up and I see more controversial things happening all over the world. But one that stuck out for me was seeing (Alexander) Zverev again man, again, again, how selfish can you be? How selfish can you be?” Kyrgios said on Instagram.
“I mean, if you have the audacity to put out a f—ing tweet that you made your management write on your behalf saying you are going to self isolate for 14 days and apologising to f—ing general public for putting their health at risk, at least have the audacity to stay inside for 14 days. My god.
“Have your girlfriend with you for f—ing 14 days. Jesus, man. It pisses me off. This tennis world pisses me off. How selfish can you all get?”

Kyrgios isn’t the only player to criticise Zverev. Saschia Vickery wrote on Twitter ‘risking lives to dance off beat with no rhythm around hundreds of people how is this real life?’ and British player Katie Boulter said she was ‘speechless.’ Meanwhile, Noah Rubin wrote ‘we are far from being ok’ in reference in Zverev’s video.

French player Lucas Pouille was also spotted at the same party as Zverev. However, he didn’t play on the Adria Tour and has not been self-isolating. He recently withdrew from the United Tennis Showdown (UTS) due to injury.

Neither Zverev or a member of his team have commented on the video so far.

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