World No.1 Novak Djokovic was seemingly a bit under the weather as he battled his way past French rising star Corentin Moutet in his opening match at the Paris Masters.
Djokovic, who has won the tournament a record four times, required more than an hour-and-a-half on the court before prevailing 7-6(2), 6-4. Overcoming an early scare, he won 67% of his service points. However, it was a far from perfect performance from Djokovic, who also hit 23 winners to 31 unforced errors.
“I must say that I didn’t feel so great on the court and didn’t play very well.” Djokovic said afterwards. “Especially in the first set, but I somehow managed to win.”
“You have those kind of days. I played an up and coming player from France for the first time. Respect to him, he fought well and was very quick.”
The top seed was in danger early on in the match after dropping serve to fall behind 3-5 in the opener. However, he managed to clay his way back to level and saved two set points in the process. Back in contention, Djokovic then went on to edge out his 20-year-old rival in a first set tiebreak. Continuing to gain momentum, a double break during the opening stages of the second set was enough to help him secure victory.
Speaking afterwards, it appeared as if the 16-time grand slam champion was struggling with a sore throat. He has been feeling unwell over the past couple of days, but is confident that it will not force him out of Paris.
“I’m healthwise not feeling my best. But I actually had quite a few cases where I was already in a tournament and kind of getting better as the days go by.” Djokovic explained during his press conference.
“Of course, it affects your energy, your vitality on the court. Your alertness, attention, endurance, all these different things are affected. Obviously it’s not ideal, but in this kind of circumstances, you just have to accept it and do everything that you can to recover.”
Illness wasn’t the only problem he encountered on Wednesday in the French capital. He was also caught off guard by the court conditions despite previously practising on it earlier in the week.
“The conditions are quite different to my practice days.” He said.
“I’ve practice for two days in a row on the centre court, but it’s quite different. The ball flies through the air more when you plan an official match. I guess it is because of the crowd, it’s a bit more humid.” He added.
The next challenge comes in the form of Kyle Edmund, who has regained some momentum after a dismal past few weeks on the tour. The Brit entered Paris on an eight-match losing streak. However, he ended that run on Tuesday and his latest triumph was over 14th seed Diego Schwartzman. Against the Argentine Edmund won 86% of his first service during the 7-5, 6-3, victory.
“I played him four times and it’s 3-1 to him. We know how each other play and for me I have nothing to lose.” Edmund previewed of his clash with Djokovic.
“He’s the one expected to win. I’m starting to get some momentum now, it’s really good to know what I’ve done well from today and take that into tomorrow’s match.”
Djokovic’s career record at the Paris Masters now stands at 33-8. He was runner-up in the tournament last year.
Filip Krajinovic To Skip Australian Open If Required To Quarantine For More Than Five Days
The world No.34 says he ‘sees no reason’ why vaccinated players should have to go through a long quarentine in Australia.
The second highest-ranked Serbian player in men’s tennis says it would be ‘unacceptable’ for organisers of the Australian Open to require players to quarantine for more than a week if they have been fully vaccinated.
Filip Krajinovic has become the first player to publicly state that they will not be prepared to travel to Melbourne at the end of this season if they have to go through strict quarantine measures once again. All the players who participated in this year’s Australian Open were required to be quarantined in a designated hotel for 14 days upon arrival in the country. During their stay they were allowed to use training facilities but that was the only time they could leave the premises unless there was an emergency.
There is no final decision regarding the travel requirements for the 2022 tournament but there are concerns that unvaccinated players may not be allowed to enter the country. The Victorian government recently issued a mandate ordering all essential workers to be vaccinated, including athletes. However, the regional government will not have the final say concerning tennis players arriving in the country with the national government being the ones in charge of that decision.
“They are very rigorous there and honestly, if I have to be in quarantine for 14 days after arriving in Melbourne, I will not go to Australia,” Krajinovic told Serbian newspaper Blic.
“I was vaccinated, I did everything in my power to protect myself and the people around me, so I really see no reason to sit there for 14 days in a room.’
“If they (the organisers) say that after arrival I need, say, five days to be in isolation, that’s OK for me, but anything beyond that is unacceptable to me. With the season ending late, I will have 20 days to get ready and go. Charter flights will be organized again and the last one is planned for December 28 for the players and that is the final date when I can go to Australia. I will see what the final decision from Melbourne will be, so I will cut what is the best thing to do.”
Earlier this week Victoria’s Sports minister Martin Pakula urged players to be vaccinated because it give them ‘the best opportunity to play in the Australian Open.’ It is expected that if unvaccinated players are allowed to attend, they will be subjected to stricter restrictions. This might include a longer quarantine period upon arrival and limitations of where they can go during their stay.
“Last year, all of those players had to do their 14 days of quarantine. Right now there looks like there will be different rules for people who enter this country who are vaccinated as against unvaccinated and I don’t think the tennis will be any exception to that.” Pakula told the Sports Entertainment Network (SEN).
“In terms of what rules apply for people to enter Australia, whether unvaccinated people are allowed in at all, I don’t the answer to that yet. That’s going to be the subject of discussion at national cabinet and among the federal cabinet … those rules are not set by state governments.” He added.
Krajinovic is currently ranked 34th in the world and has a win-loss record this season of 18-18. At the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells he reached the second round before falling in straight sets to Daniil Medvedev. His best run so far this year was at the Hamburg Open where he reached the final.
“When we look at the whole of 2021, I played one final, one semifinal, there were good victories, but also worse results,” the 29-year-old commented.
Krajinovic is currently without a coach but is currently in ‘negotiations’ with somebody without elaborating further about who that person is.
Alexander Zverev Secures Place In ATP Finals With Indian Wells Win
Zverev will be seeking to win the season-ending extravaganza for the second time in his career.
Germany’s Alexander Zverev has become the fourth player to officially qualify for the ATP Finals after reaching the third round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.
The world No.4 defeated America’s Jenson Brooksby 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, in his second round match on Sunday which pushed him over the points threshold to secure his spot in the end-of-season event. It is the fifth year in a row he has qualified for the ATP Finals which he won back in 2018. He is one of only three German players to ever win the title after Boris Becker and Michael Stich.
This year’s tournament will take place in Turin, Italy for the first time in history after being held at The O2 Arena in London for more than a decade. Only the eight highest ranked players are eligible to play in the round-robin tournament which has on offer up to 1500 rankings points for an undefeated champion.
“My first time in Turin. I’ve been to London four times before. London is obviously very special to me because I won there, as well. I think the stadium is incredible, one of the most special events that we had,” Zverev told reporters on Sunday.
“But I also love playing in Italy. I had great success in Italy. I won my first Masters in Rome. I’m looking forward to being there. I’m looking forward to playing in front of the Italian fans. It’s going to be a great week.”
The 24-year-old approaches the final quarter of this season with four titles already won this year. He has won two Masters 1000 trophies, an ATP 500 event in Mexico and a gold medal in singles at the Tokyo Olympic Games. Zverev, who has recorded seven wins over top 10 players, also reached the semi-finals at both the French Open and US Open.
Zverev joins Novak Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas as the players who have qualified for the ATP Finals so far. It is the third straight season the quartet has qualified for the event.
This year’s ATP Finals will get underway on November 14th. Medvedev is the defending champion.
Denis Shapovalov Advances After Pospisil Retires In Indian Wells
The battle of the two Canadians didn’t go as planned…
Vasek Pospisil faced off against his fellow Canadian Denis Shapovalov in the second round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells and it was the world number 13 who got the win after the Vernon native pulled out due to an injury whilst trailing 0-3.
It was a rough start for Pospisil who seemed to struggle with his serve in the opening game of the match and double-faulted twice in a row to give the early break and Shapovalov had no issues consolidating the break.
Shapovalov continued to apply pressure on the Pospisil serve and after saving two breakpoints the world number 68 pulled up after a serve and stopped play, calling for the trainer. He ended up taking a medical timeout off the court and a couple of minutes later returned to court. Pospisil was broken once again and the following game after a couple of returns decided to call it quits.
” It was pretty awful…and if I’m being honest I am shaking a bit…It really sucks I hope it’s nothing serious…He’s a great guy he’s a real warrior he’s fought back from some injuries surgeries to such a great level.” Shapovalov said of his compatriot.
Shapovalov will face 19th seed Aslan Karatsev in the next round after the Russian thrashed Salvatore Caruso 6-2, 6-0.
In the other results of the day sixth seeed Casper Ruud dominated Roberto Carballes Baena 6-1, 6-2, Roberto Bautista Agut beat the Argentine Guido Pella 7-5, 6-3 and Sebastien Korda won an all American battle with Frances Tiafoe 6-0, 6-4.
Finally, Diego Schwartzman needed three sets to beat another American in Maxime Cressy winning 6-2, 3-6, 7-5.
Kim Clijsters Still Capable Of Top-Level Wins, Says Former world No.1 Murray
Cameron Norrie’s Surprise Win at Indian Wells Could Land Him a Well-Deserved ATP Finals Berth
Aryna Sabalenka Believes Experience Is The Key To Grand Slam Glory
Victorian Premier: Unvaccinated Players Likely To Be Refused Visas To Play Australian Open
Anhelina Kalinina beats Daria Kasatkina at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow
REPORT: Unvaccinated Players Set To Be Banned From Playing Australian Open
WTA Luxembourg Open Axed Over Disagreements Between Tour And Organisers
Injured Roger Federer Says The ‘Worst Is Behind Him’ As He Targets Comeback In 2022
EXPLAINED: Why Novak Djokovic’s Latest Trip To Bosnia Has Caused Controversy
Roger Federer Says ‘Revolution’ Needed To Help Next Generation Of Tennis Players
US Open, Steve Flink: “Djokovic’s loss had more to do with fatigue than pressure”
US Open, Steve Flink on the Murray-Tsitsipas Controversy
(VIDEO) Dominic Thiem, Juan Martin Del Potro Gathering Momentum In Comeback Bids
Steve Flink On Wimbledon: “Bautista Agut would be a tough semifinal test for Djokovic”
Wimbledon, Flink: “Djokovic Will Beat Zverev in the Final”
Hot Topics17 hours ago
Novak Djokovic Undecided Over Playing Australian Open, Slams Speculation Over His Vaccination Status
ATP2 days ago
Filip Krajinovic To Skip Australian Open If Required To Quarantine For More Than Five Days
Hot Topics1 day ago
Lost Shoes Fails To Stop Cameron Norrie From Becoming First Brit To Win Indian Wells
Focus3 days ago
Indian Wells Daily Preview: The Men’s Semifinals
Hot Topics2 days ago
Nikoloz Basilashvili Puts ‘Small Country’ Georgia On The Map With Historic Run To Indian Wells Final
Focus3 days ago
Daniil Medvedev Withdraws From Moscow
Focus2 days ago
Indian Wells Daily Preview: Championship Sunday
Hot Topics2 days ago
Cameron Norrie Eyes Grand Slam Breakthrough Following Indian Wells Run