Novak Djokovic Slams Quality Of Stadium Court At Italian Open Ahead Of Del Potro Clash - UBITENNIS
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Novak Djokovic Slams Quality Of Stadium Court At Italian Open Ahead Of Del Potro Clash

The world No.1 had mixed feelings about playing on the Grandstand court.

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Novak Djokovic (photo by Roberto Dell'Olivo)

World No.1 Novak Djokovic has hit out at the quality of one of the premier court’s at the Italian Open following his latest win over Philipp Kohlschreiber.

 

The top seed said he was left with mixed emotions after playing on the Grandstand Court, which has a capacity of 5000 spectators. The second biggest of the tournament after Centre Court (10,500). Nevertheless, the Serbian disposed of Kohlschreiber 6-0, 6-3, in what is his second victory over the German on the clay this year.

“It was fun to play on the different court because you’re kind of closer to the crowd, you feel the atmosphere is really nice on the Grandstand.” Djokovic said during his press conference.
“The quality of the court is really, really bad. But it is what it is. You just enjoy the experience of playing outside.”

Earlier in the day, Djokovic also enjoyed a 6-3, 6-1, triumph over Denis Shapovalov during a match that took place on the main court. Like rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, he had to play two matches due to poor weather on Wednesday. During what has been a manic session in Rome, some players have criticised the scheduling of the event. Dominic Thiem slammed organisers for keeping players on site until 7:30pm yesterday, despite no matches taking place.

Asked his opinion about the scheduling, Djokovic has said that some seeded players from the men’s draw should have played on the Tuesday. However, he admits that it was a difficult situation to deal with.

“It’s unfortunate for the tournament to have all day rain. A lot of complications. Obviously the schedule was completely full today with singles, doubles, men, women.” Said Djokovic.
“Maybe they should have played some guys on Tuesday from the seeds. Maybe, maybe not. I don’t know. It’s always in these kind of situations you can think about what could have been done or not. It’s just sometimes the nature is too strong and you just have to deal with it.” He added.

Del Potro next

Bidding to claim his eighth consecutive win on the clay, Djokovic’s next test comes in the form of Juan Martin del Potro. Who is playing in only his third tournament of the season. The Argentine moved to the last eight following straight sets win over David Goffin and Casper Ruud.

“With that serve and forehand, it doesn’t really matter what surface you play on. It’s quite a weapon that he has. He’s very tall. He uses that height really well. He’s very smart with the way he moves around the court.” The 15-time grand slam champion said of Del Potro.
“Obviously it’s not easy for him to move like me or someone else that is not as tall. For him it’s more effort. He’s positioning himself very well on the court.”

Del Potro is currently on the comeback from a knee injury that has kept him off the tour for two months since the Delray Beach Open. Overall, the former US Open champion has missed 36 months of tennis since 2010 due to injury problems, according to the ATP.

“It’s unfortunate that he struggled throughout his career with injuries. But he’s always, in my eyes, one of the best players in the world.” Djokovic analysed.
“If he’s on, he’s mentally strong, he’s got weapons. He’s been in the situations where you play against the biggest rivals in the biggest tournaments in the sport, the biggest stadiums in the sport. He’s not overwhelmed by the occasion.”

In their head-to-head, Djokovic leads 15-4 and won their most recent meeting at the US Open last September.

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

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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

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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.

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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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