Stefanos Tsitsipas Fights Back To Stun Djokovic In Shanghai - UBITENNIS
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Stefanos Tsitsipas Fights Back To Stun Djokovic In Shanghai

The 21-year-old staged an emphatic comeback to defeat the world No.1 for the second time in his career.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas has ended Novak Djokovic’s seven-match winning streak at the Shanghai Masters to reach the semi-finals of the tournament for the first time in his career. 

 

The world No.7 overcame some stern resistance from across the court to prevail 3-6, 7-5, 6-3, at the Masters 1000 tournament on Friday. Tsitsipas is the youngest player in history to have scored wins over every member of the big three by the age of 21. Having also previously  defeating Djokovic at the 2018 Rogers Cup. In their latest clash, Tsitsipas hit 34 winners to 22 unforced errors and won 83% of his first service points.

“I was a bit worried at the beginning of the match because I haven’t been great since the moment I woke up.” Tsitsipas said during his on-court interview. “I wasn’t sure how my body would adjust to this new challenge.”
“I’m glad that I managed to find some spare energy and give it my all.” He added.

It was a dream start for the defending champion who raced out to a 3-0 lead in just seven minutes. Capitalising on Tsitsipas’ early match nerves. The early offensive by Djokovic was enough to guide him through the opening as the level of his opponent started to rise. Saving a break point whilst leading 4-2, Djokovic race clinched his first set point two games later. Doing so with the help of a serve out wide. The lead was then sealed after a Tsitsipas backhand slammed into the net on the following point.

There was no one-way start in the second frame with both players matching each other game-by-game during what was a high-level contest. Djokovic was tested at 2-3 when he was forced to save two consecutive break points before fighting back to draw level. However, a relentless Tsitsipas refused to buckle as he forced proceedings a decider. A Djokovic double fault handed him his first set point, which he converted thanks to another error from across the court.

Rapidly gaining in momentum, Tsitsipas continued to prove problematic for the 16-time grand slam champion. Breaking for a 3-1 lead in the decider after a Djokovic forehand drifted wide. Continuing to demonstrate some of his best tennis, the Greek refused to let the world No.1 back into the match. Tasked with serving for the win, two aces helped him to a trio of match points. Tsitsipas managed to triumph on the third of those after hitting a smash at the net.

“Novak wasn’t an easy task. I know that I had to go beyond my limits. It was a great match by me. As for Novak, he gave a great fight.”

There is a double celebration for Tsitsipas, who last won a title back in May at the Estoril Open. Today he has officially qualified for the season-ending ATP Finals in London. Becoming the first player from his country to ever do so. He is the sixth player to officially qualify for the event, which is held at The O2 Arena in London. Only two spots remain.

Tsitsipas secured his place in London after Fabio Fognini lost to his next opponent. In the semi-finals he will take on third seed Daniil Medvedev. A player who is bidding to reach his sixth consecutive final on the ATP Tour since Wimbledon. Medvedev disposed of Fognini 6-3, 7-6(4). Claiming his 57th win of the season, which is more than any other player on the men’s tour.

“It was a great match and a great level of tennis. Especially after yesterday where I felt I could have done a lot of things better.” Said Medvedev, who has now won his past 15 quarter-final matches.

In their head-to-head Tsitsipas trails the Russian 0-4. Although he has taken a set off Medvedev in each of those encounters.

“He has played great tennis and it isn’t easy facing him because he plays very difficult tennis.“ He previewed about the upcoming clash on Saturday.

It is the first time Tsitsipas has defeated a world No.1 player in his career.

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Rival Backs Dominic Thiem To Win Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award

Only two players have won the award since 2004.

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For the past 15 years only two players have managed to get their hands on the prestigious Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award, but one player thinks there could be a brand new winner this year.

 

Diego Schwartzman has lent his support behind world No.4 Dominic Thiem. The award recognizes those who have conducted the highest level of professionalism and integrity on the ATP Tour throughout the season. Established in 1977, Roger Federer has won the honour in 13 out of the past 15 years. The only other player to triumph during that period was Rafael Nadal, who won it in 2010 and 2018.

“I think Thiem can win it, he showed throughout the year a competitiveness and a respect with everyone that was spectacular,” Schwartzman told ole.com. “On top of that he is having great years of his career and this season was even better for the achievements he had.’
“He has a good chance of winning it.” He added.

Schwartzman, who reached the quarter-finals of the US Open earlier this year, has also been shortlisted for the award. Along with regular nominees Federer and Nadal. Only once has an Argentinian player won the title, which was José Luis Clerc back in 1981. At that time it was known as the ATP Sportsmanship award before getting renamed in 1996.

“I learned first (of getting nominated) through social networks rather than the official designation that the ATP sends you by mail.” The 27-year-old revealed.
“It is more spectacular than anything for the players I have next to me. It is a very important prize that recognizes a little what you do off the court, not only hitting the ball.”

Whilst he is dreaming of winning the honour himself, Schwartzman is just happy that he has been nominated.

“If I won this award, it would be spectacular. Now I am on that payroll that is very good and represents the values ​​that I try to maintain on a day-to-day basis and that (my coaching teams over the years) have taught me. It is very nice to be recognized for that. “ He concluded.

The four nominees for the Stefan Edberg Award was shortlisted by the ATP. However, it will be the players who will decide the winner. The result will be revealed later this month.

Multiple winners of the Stefan Edberg/ATP Sportsmanship award

Roger Federer – 13
Stefan Edberg – 5
Pat Rafter – 4
Alex Corretja – 2
Todd Martin – 2
Paradorn Srichaphan – 2
Rafael Nadal – 2

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Kei Nishikori In Doubt For The Australian Open

Asia’s highest ranked male tennis player is contemplating when he should return to the tour following surgery.

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Kei Nishikori (photo by chryslène caillaud, copyright @Sport Vision)

World No.13 Kei Nishikori is refusing to rule out the prospect of skipping the first grand slam event of 2020 as he continues his recovery from surgery.

 

Nishikori hasn’t played a match on the tour since his third round loss at the US Open back in September. A month later he underwent a procedure on his right elbow in a move that brought his season to an early end. Currently undergoing rehabilitation, it is unclear as to when the Japanese player believes he will return to the ATP Tour.

“The prospect of a return from surgery on right elbow in January. Maybe February. In the second half of next year I want to be able to play well.” Nikkan Sports quoted Nishikori as saying.
“I don’t want to overdo it,” he added.

The Australian Open will get underway on January 20th in Melbourne. Should he miss the grand slam, it will be the second time he has done so in the last three years. Nishikori also withdrew from the 2018 edition due to a wrist injury. In January he reached the quarter-finals and therefore has 360 points to defend next year.

During his time away from the court, the 29-year-old has been kept busy making changes to his team. Recently it was confirmed that he has started working alongside Max Mirnyi, who is a former world No.1 doubles player. Mirnyi, who has won 10 grand slam titles in men’s and mixed doubles, will be working full-time with Nishikori alongside existing coach Michael Chang.

“I’m getting closer to retirement. I want to be cured and come back to play good tennis in the second half of next year.” Nishikori stated.

Despite the injury setback, Nishikori has enjoyed success in 2019. Reaching the quarter-finals in three out of the four grand slam tournaments. The first time he has ever done that in his career. He also claimed his 12th ATP title at the Brisbane International. Overall, he won 29 out of 43 matches played.

Nishikori will turn 30 on December 29th.

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Family Of Venezuelan Doubles Star Launches GoFundMe Page For Cancer Treatment

Roberto Maytin was playing on the Challenger tour less than a month ago, but now faces a new battle.

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One of Venezuela’s highest ranked players on the ATP Tour is facing challenges off the court after being recently diagnosed with cancer.

 

Roberto Maytin, who currently has a doubles ranking of 136th, is undergoing treatment for testicular cancer Non-Seminoma. Non-seminomas are made up of different types of tumour, such as teratomas, embryonal tumours, yolk sac tumours and choriocarcinomas. Maytin’s brother Ricardo has launched a GoFundMe page to help cover the costs. The tennis player made $19,441 in prize money this season, which doesn’t factor into account numerous expenses such as travel, accommodation and paying for his coaching team.

“If life gives you a chance to live longer, I think nobody would miss the opportunity. In this plane, we all want to be (alive) for years however we forget that we are with a 50% chance of leaving at any time every day.” The fundraising page reads.
“My brother was diagnosed with testicular cancer NO Seminoma, at 30 years old. He now faces a crucial match that life has put him for growth as an individual, as a man and as an athlete. He is forced to undergo 4 stages of aggressive chemotherapy in order to heal at all and leave no trace of a Cancer that has been moving for months causing some damage.”

A former top 25 junior player, Maytin is one of only two players from his country to be ranked inside the top 200 in either singles or doubles on the men’s tour. This season he has won four Challenger titles across America. However, he has only played in one ATP Tour event since the start of 2018. He achieved a ranking high of 85th in the doubles back in 2015.

Once a student at Baylor University in Texas, Maytin formed a successful partnership with former world No.2 doubles player John Peers. Together they earned All-American honours with a win-loss of 36-5 and reached the quarter-finals of the 2011 NCAA tournament.

Maytin is also a regular fixture in his country’s Davis Cup team. Since 2007 he has played 15 ties and won 10 out of 16 matches played.

“I am also clear that the family is the gift of God for each one of us, so in this way and in whatever way I will put my desire and my energy so that my Brother Roberto Maytin, a Venezuelan professional tennis player, is back to the courts, which is where he belongs as soon as possible.”

Almost $25,000 has been raised so far to fund Maytin’s treatment. Click here to visit his GoFundMe page.

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