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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Kyle Edmund Confirms Split With Coach After Early Exit In Chengdu

It is a turbulent time for the former Australian Open semi-finalist.

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Kyle Edmund’s recent lull in form is showing no signs of letting up after he crashed out in the first round of the Chengdu Open in China.

 

The seventh seed could only win five games during his 6-2, 6-3, loss to Chile’s Christian Garin. A player ranked just one spot below him in the ATP rankings at 33rd. During the 72-minute encounter, Edmund won 50% of his service points compared to his opponents tally of 75%. He was also broken two consecutive times in both sets.

“I think it’s my best match this year on hard court for sure,” Garin told atptour.com. “Kyle is a tough opponent to face in the first round, so I’m very happy with the way I played.”

Edmund has now lost four consecutive matches on the tour dating back to the Rogers Cup in August. Something that last occurred during the European clay-court swing of the tour earlier this year. However, two of those losses were to rising star Daniil Medvedev, who has won more matches than any other ATP player so far in 2019.

Shortly after his exit from Chengdu, Edmund confirmed that he has parted ways with coach Mark Hilton. A former professional tennis player who reached the second round of the 2004 Wimbledon Championships. The two officially ended their partnership last week.

Until a replacement is found, Edmund will be guided in Asia by Colin Beecher. Beecher had worked with Edmund in the past and is the former captain of the British Fed Cup team. The 48-year-old is also currently working with Dan Evans, who is also without a permanent coach.

Evans faired better on the first day of competition in Chengdu. Taking on Chinese world No.222 Bai Yan, he battled to a 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(4), victory after two-and-a-half hours of play. Evans was down a break twice in the decider before fighting back to clinch victory. He will play Grigor Dimitrov in the fourth round.

Evans has now recorded 36 wins in 2019 compared to 17 for Edmund. Although Edmund has been hampered by a knee issue in recent months.

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Jo-Wilfried Tsonga becomes the first player to win four titles in Metz

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Jo-Wilfried Tsonga came back from one set down to beat Slovena’s Aljaz Bedene 6-7 (4-7) 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 after becoming the first player to win four titles at the Moselle Open in Metz.

 

Tsonga becomes the ninth French winner in the past eleven editions of the Metz ATP 250 tournament. Since Gael Monfils’s triumph in 2009 David Goffin and Peter Gojowczyk are the only non French players to win the Moselle Open.

Tsonga, who made his come-back from a seven-month lay-off due to a left knee injury at last year’s edition of the Metz tournament, held each of his 17 service games and dropped just four first serve points.

The first set went on serve without break points en route to the tie-break. Bedene opened up a 4-0 lead en route to winning the tie-break 7-4 after 57 minutes.

Tsonga saved the only break point of the second set which came down to the tie-break. Tsonga won the tie-break 7-4 to force the match to the decider.

Tsonga claimed the first break in the second game of the third set to race out to a 3-0 lead. Bedene saved two break points in the fourth game and one more chance in the sixth game but he he held his serve at deuce. Tsonga never looked back in his service games and closed out the match on his first championships point with a crosscourt forehand winner.

Tsonga has won 10 of his 18 trophies on French soil.

“Mentally I was very strong. I served really well when I needed to. The match was not easy at all. Aljaz was playing really well and it was a long match. I am definitely happy to win here again. It was a very difficult match. I stayed calm, focused on doing the basics well and waited for the right moment to change the rallies. ”,said Tsonga.

 Bedene beat two seeded players Gilles Simon and Benoit Paire to reach his first final since Buenos Aires last February.

“I only dropped serve twice this week, so that is probably the best serving week of my career. I had chances today, I had a set, 4-3 and a break point. He served well and I picked the wrong side, but it was close and it could have gone either way. I am disappointed. I wanted to win, but I am also happy with the week”, said Bedene.

 

 

 

 

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In-Form Daniil Medvedev Conquers St Petersburg

The world No.4 produced a dominant display to clinch his first ever ATP trophy on home soil.

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Rapidly rising star Daniil Medvedev produced an emphatic display to become the first Russian man to win the St Petersburg Open since 2004.

 

The world No.4 brushed aside Croatia’s Borna Coric 6-3, 6-1, to clinch his third ATP trophy of 2019. Medvedev was in clinical form against Coric from the onset as he dropped only eight points behind his serve and broke four times in total. The only negative to Medvedev’s performance was his unforced error count of 21, which was more than twice the number of winners he produced (nine).

“I’m really happy, my style is more to hide my emotions, but it was hard not to scream with joy,” Medvedev said during his on-court interview.
“I am really very happy, and thank you very much for your (the crowd) support, today was a full house.’
“I won’t list all the people to whom I would like to devote this victory to because even if my tennis is where I am now (in fourth place in the world), all this would have been impossible without many people.”

Sunday’s victory continues what is a remarkable run for the 23-year-old, who has reached the final of five consecutive tournaments on the ATP Tour. During the Summer Medvedev clinched his maiden Masters title in Cincinnati and then finished runner-up to Rafael Nadal at the US Open. He has now recorded 54 wins this season. More than any other player on the tour so far this year.

Medvedev’s surge in form is one that has impressed Coric, who was playing this week for the first time since withdrawing from the last grand slam of the season due to a back issue. St Petersburg was the first final Coric has contested since October 2018.

“Naturally, he picked up the keys to my game. He was better in absolutely everything and did everything much better than me.” Coric analyzed during his press conference.
“I tried everything I could, all the tactics and everything I could think of. Nothing more to say here. He had the answers to all my questions. He played just incredible.”

Medvedev has now won 24 out of his last 27 matches played and claimed 56 out of 68 sets played. He is the fourth Russian to win the St Petersburg title and first since Mikhail Youzhny back in 2004.

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