Novak Djokovic Impressed By ‘Very Complete’ Medvedev - UBITENNIS
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Novak Djokovic Impressed By ‘Very Complete’ Medvedev

The world No.1 shares his thoughts about one of the most in form players currently on the men’s tour

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Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev – Montecarlo 2019 (foto Roberto Dell’Olivo)

16-time grand slam champion Novak Djokovic has hailed Daniil Medvedev’s improvement on the tour following his surge in success.

 

The 23-year-old has won 25 out of his past 28 matches since the conclusion of the Wimbledon Championships. During that Period he has reached five consecutive finals. Winning his first Masters 1000 title in Cincinnati before later adding to his trophy collection in Moscow. Medvedev also reached his first grand slam final at the US Open before losing in a five-set thriller to Rafael Nadal.

“I think he has proven to anybody who doubted that he can be a top 5 player, he has proven them wrong.” Djokovic said of his rival.
“The last several months he’s been playing tennis of his life. He’s played finals at least in every event in the last whatever, five, six events, which is amazing.”

Djokovic last locked horns with Medvedev back in August in Cincinnati. He lead their match by a set before losing to the Russian for a second time this season. He also lost in three sets during their meeting in Monte Carlo back in April. Medvedev is one of only two players to have scored multiple wins over Djokovic so far in 2019. The other is Roberto Bautista Agut.

“I was a set and almost a break up and kind of controlling the pace of the match, but then he stepped it up, started serving two first serves and going for the shots. Seems like that it’s kind of like a storyline of every event that he played on in the last several months.” The Serbian recounted.

Medvedev is currently ranked fourth in the world, but is still almost 6000 points behind tour leader Djokovic.To put that into perspective, this time last year he was 22nd. It is possible that the two could meet once again this week at the Shanghai Masters if both of them progress to the semi-finals. A potential match that Djokovic expects will be tough for him.

“He’s improved his movement, his fitness. He’s got the big serve, he’s got the height and he uses angles very well,” said Djokovic.
“Backhand — hard to break that backhand, it’s very flat. He doesn’t make many mistakes and he can hit anything he wants from that corner.
“Forehand maybe has been his weaker side, but now he’s improved that, so he’s a very complete player.”

Medvedev kicked-off his Shanghai campaign on Tuesday with a straightforward 6-3, 6-1, win over Great Britain’s Cameron Norrie. Meanwhile, Djokovic’s opening match will take place later today against Denis Shapovalov. He is currently on a five-match winning streak after claiming the Japan Open title last week.

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Fabio Fognini beats Guido Pella in straight sets to reach the fourth round in Melbourne

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Fabio Fognini beat Guido Pella 7-6 (7-0) 6-2 6-3 to reach the fourth round at the Australian Open in Melbourne. The Italian star converted five of his six break points to close out the match after 2 hours and nine minutes.

 

Fognini saved two break points in the first set with a forehand and a backhand and held his serve. The Italian star did not convert a break point in a long seventh game. Both players went on serve to set up a tie-break. Fognini did not drop a single point to cruise through to a 7-0 win.

In the second set Fognini earned a crucial break in the sixth game to take a 4-2 lead. He held his serve on the second deuce after saving a break point. The 2019 Monte-Carlo champion sealed the second set with another break with a forehand return winner.

Fognini earned a break lead in the fourth game of the decisive set. Pella broke straight back in the fifth game. Both traded breaks again in the sixth and seventh games. Fognini broke for the third time and converted his second match point with a serve up the T.

He is also the 12th player to come back from two sets down at all four Grand Slam tournaments.

With his five-set victories over Reilly Opelka and Jordan Thompson in the first two matches Fognini made history on Wednesday when the “Come-back king” became the first player to win back-to-back Australian Open matches in final set tie-breaks.

“I am so happy to be in the fourth round again in Australia. Now it’s time to recover. I played a really solid game against a really tough opponent. I am happy with the performance”, said Fognini.

Fognini set up a fourth round match against 2018 Australian Open quarter finalist Tennys Sandgren, who beat Sam Querrey 6-4 6-4 6-4 after 1 hour and 52 minutes. Sandgren fended off nine break points and converted just 2 of his 14 break point chances. Two years ago Sandgen beat Stan Wawrinka and Dominic Thiem en route to reaching his first quarter final at a Grand Slam event.

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Marin Cilic prevails over Roberto Bautista Agut in five-set thriller in Melbourne

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Marin Cilic overcame Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut 6-7 (3-7) 6-4 6-0 5-7 6-3 after 4 hours and 10 minutes to score his first top 10 win since the 2018 US Open, when he beat David Goffin.

 

Cilic fought back from losing the first set at the tie-break, but he bounced back in the second set by breaking serve in the ninth game, when Bautista Agut made a forehand error. Cilic held on his serve to win the second set 6-4 to draw level to 1-1.

Cilic cruised through to a bagel win in the third set. The Croatian player got an early break in the fourth set to open up a 3-1 lead. Bautista Agut broke back in the sixth game to draw level to 3-3. Cilic did not convert a break point chance at 5-5. Bautista Agut earned the break at 6-5 to force the match to the fifth set.

Cilic broke serve in the opening game of the fifth set with a forehand winner, but he did not convert a break point at 4-2. He broke for the seventh time in the match in Bautista Agut’s next service game to clinch a thrilling win, as Bautista Agut fired a backhand into the net.

Cilic took a re-match against the Spanish player, who won their previous head-to-head clash at the 2019 Australian Open in five sets.

“I had an incredible patch. It was a surreal level. Every ball I was hitting was going in. It was coming off my raquet incredibly well. I knew Roberto would always fight and he pushed me all the way in the fourth set”, said Cilic.

 

 

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Karen Khachanov edges Mikael Ymer in marathon match in Melbourne

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Karen Khachanov battled past Mikael Ymer 6-2 2-6 6-4 3-6 7-6 (10-8) in a marathon match after 4 hours and 14 minutes.

 

Ymer broke serve twice in the second and fourth games of the fourth set to open up a 4-1 lead. Khachanov broke back in the seventh game, but Ymer broke for the third time to take the fourth set 6-3.

Khachanov broke serve in the sixth game to take a 4-2, but he was broken back in the next game.

Khachanov was not able to serve out the match at 5-3 in the fifth set before trailing 6-8 in the decisive match tie-break. Khachanov came back by winning four consecutive points to clinch a thrilling win.

Australia’s Alexei Popyrin beat Spain’s Jaume Munar 6-2 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 after 2 hours and 4 minutes setting up a third round match against Danil Medvedev. Popyrin broke twice in each of the first and third sets and saved all four break point chances.

Taylor Fritz came back from two sets down to beat Kevin Anderson 4-6 6-7 (5-7) 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 6-2. Anderson was leading by two sets and 4-2 in the third set, but Fritz broke back before winning the third set at the tie-break. Fritz cruised through the fourth and fifth sets. Fritz will face Dominic Thiem in the third round.

“That was huge for me. He played a really tough five setter just the other day and then obviously coming back. Going back to back five setters is going to be tougher for him than usual. I felt fresh, so I just told myself that I have to keep running”,said Fritz.

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