Novak Djokovic Gives Special Mention To Andy Murray Following French Open Win - UBITENNIS
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Novak Djokovic Gives Special Mention To Andy Murray Following French Open Win

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Andy Murray and Nopvak Djokovic (photo by :Gianni Ciaccia)

World No.1 Novak Djokovic has become the latest player to hail the return of Andy Murray to the tour later this month.

 

Three-time grand slam champion Murray is set to play in his first tournament since undergoing hip resurfacing surgery. At the Fever-Tree Championships he has entered into the doubles draw alongside Spain’s Feliciano Lopez. The British No.1 said during the Australian Open that he may be forced to quit the sport due to injury, but he is hoping to return to singles competition in the near future following the surgery.

https://twitter.com/QueensTennis/status/1136267177449992192

Shortly after his three-set win over Alexander Zverev in the quarter-finals of the French Open, Djokovic paid tribute to the Brit during his press conference. The two players were born a week apart with Murray being the oldest by seven days. On the tour, they have clashed 36 times with Djokovic winning 25 of those meetings. Seven on those matches have taken place in a grand slam final.

“I want to say that I’m really pleased to see that he’s coming back to the court. He’s going to play doubles, and hopefully singles very soon after.” The Serbian said of his rival.
“What has happened with him in the last couple of years, I can, you know, relate to the issues that he had because I kind of went through my elbow surgery in a similar time. But obviously his injuries are much worse than mine.”

The two players have mutual respect for each other and their rivalry goes back to their childhood. First playing against each other in an under 12s tournament in France, which Murray won.

“I have shared my trajectory of my career in a very similar fashion and probably in the same time as Andy, so I feel very connected with him.” Djokovic explained. “We are the same age, same generation. We have known each other for a long time. So it’s really nice to see him.”

At the French Open, Djokovic is bidding to win his fourth consecutive grand slam title and 16th overall. Yet to drop a set in the tournament, he will next take on 2018 runner-up Dominic Thiem. The top seed defeated the Austrian in two close tiebreakers earlier this year in Madrid and leads their overall head-to-head 6-2.

“Dominic is deservedly where he is, one of the top four guys, especially on clay. That’s where he’s playing his best tennis. He’s got that tremendous power in his game, especially with forehand and serve. I think backhand also has improved a lot in the last couple of years.”

The semi-final match between Djokovic and Thiem will be the second to take place on Philippe Chatrier on Friday. The play is scheduled to get underway at 12:50 local time.

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Svetlana Kuznetsova upsets Ashleigh Barty in Cincinnati to reach the 42nd final of her career

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Russian wild card Svetlana Kuznetsova edged top seed this year’s Roland Garros champion Ashleigh Barty 6-2 6-4 in the semifinal of the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati to reach the 42nd final of her career.

 

Two-time Grand Slam champion Kuznetsova, who is now ranked world number 153, scored her third win against top 10 players this week  after beating former US Open champion Sloane Stephens and Karolina Pliskova.

Barty missed her chance to regain world number 1 spot from Naomi Osaka, who was forced to retire from her quarter final.

Barty earned the first break of the match in the second game of the opening set, when Kuznetsova netted a backhand. Kuznetsova broke back in the third game with a smash winner and earned another break at 2-2 when Barty netted a backhand. Kuznetsova hit a return winner to build up a 5-2 lead. Barty asked a medical time-out to treat he right leg. Kuznetsova held serve at 15 to close out the opening set after 30 minutes.

Kuznetsova went up a break in the first game of the second set. Barty won just three points on return in the second set. Kuznetsova closed out the second set with three winners in the 10th game.

“I am really happy. I am not really an analyzing person, but on my intuition, I am doing so much better, not repeating so many of my mistakes, just playing smarter and wiser now. It’s been so many different things when I was off, so I just enjoyed time off. Honestly, I was not missing at all the travelling and all the stress when you play tournaments, but now I have missed it and I feel good. I feel joy staying here and being here. It definitely helped me to have some time off to see other things outside tennis”, said Kuznetsova.

 

Kuznetsova set up a final against Madison Keys, who beat Sofia Kenin in straight sets. The Russian 34-year-old veteran player has qualified for her first final since last year, when she beat Donna Vekic in Washington.

 

“Madison is extremely tough. When she is on fire, it is really hard to play against her. It’s going to be a difficult match-up”, said Kuznetsova.  

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David Goffin reaches his first Masters 1000 in Cincinnati

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David Goffin beat Richard Gasquet 6-3 6-4 on an overcast afternoon to reach the first Masters 1000 final of his career and his 13th title match at ATP Tour level at the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati. Goffin has dropped just one set en route to the final.

 

Goffin is returning to his best form this summer under the guidance of former Swedish player Thomas Johansson. He reached the final in Halle and his first quarter final at Wimbledon. He received a walkover after Yoshihito Nishioka was forced to withdraw from the match due to food poisoning.

The Belgian player started the match with two consecutive holds before breaking at love to open up a 4-1 lead with a backhand winner down the line.

Goffin held his next service games to seal the opening set 6-3. Gasquet earned an early break to open  2-0 lead, but Goffin won five of the next six games with two breaks. The 2017 Nitto ATP Finals runner-up served out the win at love in the 10th game after 1 hour and 16 minutes, as Gasquet sent his backhand long.

Goffin reached the semifinal in Cincinnati last year, but he was forced to retire due to an arm injury.

“I am very happy. It’s a tournament I like and I have played the best tennis in the past few years. I am really happy to reach my first Masters 1000 final here. It’s a great moment for me.”

 

 

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Richard Gasquet reaches his first Masters 1000 semifinal since Miami 2013

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Frenchman Richard Gasquet edged past this year’s Wimbledon semifinalist Roberto Bautista Agut 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 6-2 after 2 hours and 12 minutes to reach his first Masters 1000 semifinal since the 2013 Miami Open.

 

 Gasquet missed six months of action after undergoing groin surgery last January.

The French player set up a semfinal against David Goffin, who reached the semifinal after his Japanese opponent Yoshihito Nishioka withdrew from the match due to illness.

The first set went on serve with no break points en route to the tie-break. Bautista Agut hit a backhand wide at 1-2. Gasquet sealed the tie-break when Bautista Agut hit a forehand long.

Bautista Agut earned two breaks of serve in the second set and sealed it, when Gasquet made his third double fault on set point.

Gasquet broke serve with a volley in the third game of the decisive set. The French player went up a double break to race out to 4-1 lead. He saved two break points to hold his serve at deuce before serving out the third set on his first match point.

“I know how tough it was to come back. I know the moments I had at the start of the year, so I just wanted to enjoy, to fight. It is not easy to come back after six months out, but I am here. I am in semis tomorrow”,said Gasquet.

 

 

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