US Open Best Grand Slam To Topple The Big Three, Says Djokovic - UBITENNIS
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US Open Best Grand Slam To Topple The Big Three, Says Djokovic

Could there be a huge shock on the horizon in Flushing Meadows?

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Whilst the three forces of men’s tennis are tipped to once again dominate this year’s US Open, world No.1 Novak Djokovic is taking nothing for granted.

 

The Big Three has dominated the landscape of grand slam tennis in recent years and has won the past 11 major titles. Between them Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer have triumphed in 54 out of the last 65 grand slam tournaments. Underlining their status as some of the greatest players to ever play the sport.

However, the US Open is not free of surprises in the draw. In fact, four other players have managed to win the title over the past decade. Juan Martin del Potro in 2009, Andy Murray in 2012, Marin Cilic in 2014 and Stan Wawrinka in 2016. A stark contrast to the other grand slam events. Within the same period, only Stan Wawrinka has triumphed at both the Australian and French Open tournaments. Meanwhile, Murray is the sole person to upstage the Big Three at Wimbledon.

So what makes the US Open so different?

“Well, maybe what I would point out is this Grand Slam is the last Grand Slam of the year. So some players maybe might have been more exhausted, less freshness in the legs, so to say, than is the case, for example, in Australia is the beginning of the season,” Djokovic explained during his press conference.
“Because it’s a long season, it’s a lot of surfaces that you have to change and it takes a toll on your body.
“So maybe that’s the case why this tournament has provided some different names from the big three, big four that have won the major title.
“Nevertheless, Del Potro and Cilic are not the outsiders, so to say. They have been in top of the men’s game, played finals of other slams. They deservedly won this title at least once.”

Top seed Djokovic breezed through his first round match against Roberto Carballés Baena. However, it was a different story for Federer, who dropped a set before defeating India’s Sumit Nagal. The world No.3 admitted to being ‘rusty’ in his match as he admitted that a recent lack of match play has hindered him.

“I played a little bit like my beard, rusty.’ He said.
“Yeah, I mean, you can see that way that I haven’t played so much. But I feel like I played a lot this year. I don’t want to say like I feel my body.”

Despite Federer’s blip, he along with Djokovic and Nadal remains the key contenders for the title. Although Kei Nishikori believes the dominance of the trio will end sooner than later.

Nadal is the only member of the trio yet to play his opening match at the US Open. He takes on John Millman in the first round on Tuesday. The player who knocked Federer out of the tournament last year.

The big three in grand slams

  • At least one member has reached the final in 56 out of the last 58 majors
  • Should one of them win, it would be the third consecutive season they have claimed ever grand slam trophy. Something they previous achieved between 2006-2008
  • The 2019 US Open is the 23rd major where they have occupied the top three seedings

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Fabio Fognini and Taylor Fritz win singles matches in Madrid

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The clash between Italy and the USA came down to a decisive doubles match at the Caja Magica in Madrid after Fabio Fognini and Taylor Fritz won their respective singles matches.

 

Fabio Fognini  beat Relly Opelka 6-4 6-7 6-3 after 1 hour and 54 minutes to give Italy a much-needed win to the Italian team.

Fognini earned an early break at 1-1 after two errors from Opelka and dropped just five points in five service games. Fognini did not face a break point to close out the first set 6-4 in 33 minutes.

Both players stayed neck and neck setting up a tie-break. Opelka earned a mini-break to take a 5-3 lead in the tie-break and earned three set points. The US player sealed the first set point, but Opelka converted his second chance 7-4.

Opelka saved the first break point with an ace, but Fognini converted his second chance with a forehand passing shot in the second set to take a 2-0 lead. Fognini dropped just three points to build up a 5-2 lead. Fognini served out the win on his first match point to give Italy a 1-0 win.

“I am tired for sure because it was tough. One of the things I did today was my serve, don’t ask me why. I am surprised about that”, said Fognini.

Taylor Fritz came back from one set down to beat Matteo Berrettini 5-7 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 in the second match. Berrettini saved a break point in the second game with a forehand down the line and a service winner. In the fifth game Fritz saved two break points in the fifth game. Berrettini broke serve in the 11th game to take a 6-5 and sealed the first set on his first set point.

In the third set both players stayed neck and neck til the sixth game to draw level to 3-3. In the seventh game Fritz saved a break point. Berrettini held his serve at love. Fritz closed out the second set at 6-5 after 51 minutes.

Berrettini saved two consecutive break points in the first game of the third game. Fritz rallied from 0-30 down to hold his serve for 1-1. Fritz broke twice in the third and fifth games to race out to a 5-1 lead. Berrettini saved a match point and held his serve for 2-5, but Fritz sealed the win on his second match point.

“Playing for my country is all the motivation I need. I just kept digging, kept fighting. It was really close. I lost the first set by close margin, and I told myself to tough out the second set like I know I can do, and my aggressive and fitness carried me through the third”,said Fritz.

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Germany takes a 3-0 lead over Argentina

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Phillip Kohlschreiber and Jan Lennard Struff scored two win in the singles matches over Argentina’s Guido Pella and Diego Schwaartzman.

 

Kohlschreiber came back from one set down to beat Guido Pella 1-6 6-3 6-4 scoring his 23rd Davis Cup win. Pella earned two consecutive breaks in the fourth and the sixth games to cruise through to a 6-1 lead. Kohlschreiber served well in the second set and broke serve in the sixth game. The German veteran player saved two break points to force the match to the decisive set. Kohlschreiber broke serve in the first game and did not drop in his five service games in the third set. He sealed the win at 5-4 on his fifth match point.

Jan Lennard Struff beat Diego Schwartzman 6-3 7-6 (10-8) after 1 hour and 50 minutes in the second match. Struff earned the first break after a backhand error from Schwartzman and held on his serve with a forehand winner to open up a 3-1 lead.

Schwartzman wasted his only break point in the fifth game. Struff held his serve with a volley winner in the ninth game to take a 6-3 win.

Both players stayed neck and neck holding on their serve in the second game until 4-4 when Struff broke serve with a backhand error. Schwartzman fended off a match point and broke back with a backhand down the line winner in the 10th game. Schwartzman saved the match point at 5-6 with a service winner. The Argentine did not convert a set point at 8-7 before Struff won the final two points with two winners.

 

Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies battled past Maximo Gonzales and Leonardo Mayer 6-7 (4-7) 7-6 (7-2) 7-6 (20-18) after saving six match points in the tie-break of the third set (the longest tie-break in Davis Cup history) to give Germany a 3-0 win.

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Nicolas Mahut and Pierre Hugues Herbert seal a hard-fought win in decisive doubles match

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Ten-time Davis Cup champions France beat Japan 2-1 scoring the fifth win in as many Davis Cup matches against the Asian team.

 

French star Jo Wilfried Tsonga reeled off seven games from 4-2 in the first set to beat Japan’s Yasutaka Uchiyama 6-2 6-1 in 58 minutes in his 12th Davis Cup season.

Tsonga saved two break points and converted four of the five break points. The Frenchman held four service games and broke twice in the fourth and eighth games to take a 6-2 lead.

Tsonga broke twice in the second and fourth games and closed out the match in the seventh game after saving two break points.

“It was very important for our team to start well. I am also happy about my game, what I did today, so I hope it continues like this”, said Tsonga.

 Yoshihito Nishioka claimed 9 of the last 11 games in his 7-5 6-2 win over Gael Monfils in 66 minutes to level the score at 1-1 sending the tie into a decisive doubles match. The Japanese player saved one break point and earned two breaks to seal the win in straight sets.

“I wanted to show to the whole world Japan are still strong. Of course, if Key was here we would be strong, but even when he is not here, we can play. Hopefully next time Kei is here and we can play better”, said Nishioka.

Both players traded breaks at the start of the first set and stayed neck and neck until the 11th game of the first set when Nishioka got the break at 5-5 to seal the first set. Nishioka broke twice to seal the second set 6-2.

Last week’s ATP Finals doubles champions Nicolas Mahut and Pierre Hugues Herbert fought back from losing the first set to beat Ben McLachlan and Yasutaka Uchyama 6-7 6-4 7-5 after 2 hours and 40 minutes.

After losing the first set at the tie-break, Herbert and Mahut broke serve in the fifth game to win the second set 6-4. Herbert and Mahut went up a break in the third set. Uchiyama and Nishioka got the break back in the 10th game, when Herbert and Mahut were serving for the match. Mahut and Herbert got another break at 5-5 and held at 15 to seal the decisive win for France.

“They played at a very high level. We know we have arrived late from London, but the captain had a lot of confidence in our team. We were 1-1, we really had to win to give France the win. There was a lot of intensity in the win but we are really happy today, this was a really difficult tie”, said Mahut.  

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