Novak Djokovic Topples Qualifier Millman To Clinch 76th Tour Title In Tokyo - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

ATP

Novak Djokovic Topples Qualifier Millman To Clinch 76th Tour Title In Tokyo

The world No.1 rounds off a perfect week in his first tournament since pulling out of the US Open with an injury.

Published

on

Novak Djokovic - Tokyo 2019 (foto via Twitter, @rakutenopen)

World No.1 Novak Djokovic has got his Asian swing off to a perfect start after clinching the Japan Open on Sunday without dropping a set in the entire tournament.

 

The 16-time grand slam champion overcame a spirited challenge from Australia’s John Millman to prevail 6-2, 6-3. A player best known for knocking Roger Federer out of the US Open last year en route to the quarter-finals. However, Millman proved to be no match against Djokovic, who hit 23 winners to 19 unforced errors without facing a single break point.

“‘It was a fantastic week in every sense.” Djokovic said during an on-court interview. “I felt great on the court, felt really welcome from the Japanese people off the court as well. They made me feel at home. Didn’t drop a set, played really well, served great… overall great experience.”

In the opener it a single break that separated the two players. Four games into the match, a Millman forehand landed out to reward the Serbian his first break point. An opportunity Djokovic seized with a winning forehand at the net to break for a 3-1 lead. Despite nudging ahead, Millman continued to fight hard on the court, but failed to find a way to break back. Enabling the top seed to close out the first set with an unreturned serve out wide.

Continuing to dictate the proceedings, Djokovic rallied to a double break at the start of the second frame. In both of those games he managed to break in rallies that concluded with a mistake made from across the court. It wasn’t so much that Millman was playing poor, but Djokovic was playing at a level above him on the court. The breakthrough was enough to guide the top seed towards victory after 69 minutes of play. Serving for the title, Djokovic closed the match out with the help of a Millman backhand crashing into the net.

“He had a great tournament. I mean, considering he was close to losing in the first round of qualifying, to get this far I think he’ll take it.” The new champion said of his rival.
“He’s a great fighter. He started off really solid in the match today. In the first set it was a tough battle. In the second I stepped it up and swinging (the racket) a little bit better.”

The Japan Open is the first tournament Djokovic has played since withdrawing from Flushing Meadows due to a shoulder injury. It is the 10th time he has won an ATP Tournament on his debut and first since Eastbourne 2017. He overtakes Roger Federer for the most matches won this season with 46 under his belt. Only Rafael Nadal (48) and Daniil Medvedev (54) has won more in 2019.

“I think this is definitely a level higher than the last couple of months in terms of my tennis and hopefully I can maintain it for Shanghai as well.” Djokovic concluded about his latest performance.

Djokovic exits Tokyo with 500 ranking points and $391,430 in prize money. He has now won 76 titles on the ATP Tour so far, including four this season alone. The sixth highest tally in the Open Era by a male tennis player.

ATP

Stefanos Tsitsipas extends his winning streak with straight-set win over Pablo Carreno Busta in Minsk

Published

on

Last week’s Marseille champion and 2019 Dubai finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas beat Pablo Carreno Busta 7-6 (7-1) 6-1 after 1 hour and 34 minutes to reach the second round at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Touurnament.

 

Tsitsipas earned the first break in the second game to take a 3-0 lead. Carreno Busta won three consecutive games with a break-back in the fifth game to draw level to 3-3. The opening set went on serve without breaks to set up a tie-break. Tsitsipas cruised through to 7-1 to win the tie-break.

Tsitsipas broke three times in the first, fifth and seventh games to win the second set 6-1.

The Greek player has extended his winning streak to 10 consecutive wins and has a record of 8-4 in his 12 matches this year.

“I am happy that I got two-set victories for a very long time. I am not spending extra hours out on the court, which for sure is going to help me”, said Tsitsipas.

Tsitsipas sets up a second round match against Alexander Bublik, who fended off three of his four break points in his 6-2 7-5 win over Hubert Hurkacz. Tsitispas beat Hurkacz 7-5 6-3 last week in the Marseille semifinal last week.

“Bublik is a tricky player. He does unexpected things on the court. I just need to be there, do my job the way I am doing it so far”, said Tsitsipas.

Continue Reading

ATP

Benoit Paire saves four match points to beat Marin Cilic in Dubai

Published

on

Eighth seed Benoit Paire saved four match points to beat Marin Cilic 2-6 7-5 7-6 (7-1) at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships taking a re-match for the tie-break loss in the fifth set at last January’s Australian Open in Melbourne.

 

Cilic saved two break points before breaking serve in the second game to open up a 2-0 lead. The Croatian player saved a break point at deuce before holding serve in the third game for 3-0. Cilic broke serve from 0-40 down to break serve at deuce in the final game of the opening set.

Paire broke serve in the first game of the second set to open a 2-0 lead. Cilic broke back in the sixth game to draw level to 3-3. Both players traded breaks in the eighth and ninth games. Cilic won the final three games with a break to win the first set 7-5.

Both players traded breaks in the second and third games of the decisive set. Cilic saved break points in the fifth and eleventh games. Paire saved two break points to hold serve at deuce. Paire reeled off six consecutive points from 1-1 to win the tie-break 7-1.

“I am really happy about the win. It was not easy today. I was not feeling really good on court. I have been a little bit sick for two, three days. I am really happy to win today and to fight until the end”, said Paire.

 Daniel Evans rallied from one set and one break down to edge Fabio Fognini 3-6 6-4 7-5 after 2 hours and 38 minutes. Fognini went up a double break to take a 4-0 lead. Evans pulled one break back in the fifth game, but Fognini held his next service games and wrap up the first set 6-3.

Fognini saved two break points before breaking serve at 15 to take a 3-1 lead. Evans broke back at deuce in the sixth game to draw level to 3-3. Evans converted his second break back in the 10th game to wrap up the second set 6-4.

Fognini started the third set with a break at deuce to take a 1-0 lead. Evans broke straight back in another deuce game to draw level to 1-1. Fognini earned another break at 15 to take a 3-2 lead. Evans broke straight back to draw level to 3-3. Evans wrapped up the third set with a break in a marathon 12th game on his sixth match point.

Paire set up an all-French match against Richard Gasquet, who beat Marton Fucsovics 6-4 7-5.

Another Frenchman Pierre Hugues Herbert defeated Delray Beach finalist Yoshihito Nishioka 7-5 6-2 in 78 minutes.

Continue Reading

ATP

Queen’s Organizers Optimistic Over Andy Murray’s Return As Two Top 10 Players Join Entry List

The first four names set to play in the ATP 500 event has been announced.

Published

on

The director of the Fever-Tree Championships has said he is ‘hopeful’ that Andy Murray will play in the tournament later this year after he was included in the first group of names on the official entry list.

 

The three-time grand slam champion hasn’t played a competitive match since the Davis Cup last November due to a pelvic injury. Murray has already delayed his return to the tour on numerous occasions as he continues his rehabilitation process. It is the latest setback for the injury-stricken 32-year-old, who also underwent career saving hip resurfacing surgery last year.

“Andy is our greatest champion. We know Andy is still working his way back to fitness, but we also know that he wants to play, so fingers crossed that he will be able to.” Stephen Farrow said in a press release on Tuesday.

Murray, who is currently ranked 130th in the world, is the most decorated player in the history of the Queen’s event. He has won the trophy five times between 2009-2016 and has won 30 out of 37 matches played there. Last year he also won the doubles title alongside Feliciano Lopez in what was his comeback tournament following his hip surgery.

Tuesday’s announcement of Murray playing at The Queen’s Club comes as no surprise. He has a lifetime contract to play there for the rest of his career unless he is ill or injured. Similar to what Roger Federer has with the Halle event, which takes place during the same week as Queen’s.

Other names to play in London this year include ATP Finals champion Stefanos Tsitsipas, who lost to Felix Auger-Aliassime in the quarter-finals last year. The Greek is yet to contest an ATP final on the grass, but did win the Wimbledon boys’ doubles title back in 2016.

“London will always be a special place for me after winning the ATP Finals last year and I am looking forward to coming back in June.” Said Tsitsipas. “The crowd at the O2 touched my heart in a very special way and I am excited to play at Queen’s again this June. It is a big tournament and important to play in the lead up to Wimbledon.”

World No.5 Daniil Medvedev is another top name set to play in what will be his fourth appearance at Queen’s. In 2019 he produced his best ever run at the tournament by reaching the semi-finals before falling in three sets to France’s Gilles Simon.

“The last 6 months have been incredible for me, a real breakthrough, and now I want to try to do the same on grass.” The US Open finalist stated. “The Fever-Tree Championships at The Queen’s Club is a great event with perfect grass courts, and I am looking forward to playing there ahead of Wimbledon.”

Completing the quartet of confirmed names is 38-year-old two-time champion Lopez, who won the singles title last year, as well as the doubles with Murray. He is one of only two Spanish men to have ever won the event in the Open Era. There other was Rafael Nadal back in 2008.

“I thought when I won the title in 2017 that it was the best moment of my career. I was wrong. It was last year! Winning singles and doubles was something incredible, more than I could ever have dreamed when Stephen (Farrow) gave me the wild card.” Lopez reflected.
“That final day is one that I will never forget, Queen’s is always going to be one of the most special places of my career, and I am already looking forward to coming back to the Fever-Tree Championships in June to defend my title.”

The ATP 500 event will get underway on June 15th.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending