Four Things We Learned From Novak Djokovic’s Latest Press Conference In London - UBITENNIS
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Four Things We Learned From Novak Djokovic’s Latest Press Conference In London

The world No.2 speaks out on facing Federer, his presence at the Davis Cup, as well as other things at the ATP Finals.

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LONDON: After his triumph over Matteo Berrettini, Novak Djokovic was bombarded with questions from the media at the O2 Arena. Inevitably there were discussions over his upcoming showdown with Federer, as well as some that were not as expected. 

 

Here is what we learned from Djokovic’s latest talk at the ATP Finals in London. 

1. Federer will not be intimidated

One of the most anticipated matches of the round-robin stages is set to be Djokovic’s upcoming clash with Federer. It will be the first time the two players have locked horns since their mammoth clash at the Wimbledon Championships. Where Djokovic saved two match points before prevailing in the deciding tiebreaker. 

There was no doubt the latest clash between the two tennis heavyweights left a mark on the Swiss player. But how much does Djokovic think it will have an impact on their forthcoming meeting? 

“I will not expect it, to be honest, because Roger’s experience and mental strength have been almost unprecedented. He’s one of the greatest players ever to hold the racquet.” Said Djokovic.
“His ability to recover after big losses and cope with the pressure in tough moments on the court has been phenomenal over the years. I have tons of respect for him.”

Whey they do meet, it remains to be seen what the crowd will be like. Despite being the top seed in Wimbledon, Djokovic was undoubtedly the underdog with the pro-Federer crowd. Something few can dispute. 

“Sometimes, the majority of the crowd is on your side, and sometimes it’s against you. It’s something throughout my career I had to learn how to handle, how to accept, and how to deal with that.” He stated.
“It will not be anything particularly different in terms of my reaction if that happens. I’m going to accept it and respect it, and that’s it. I’m going to try to focus on what needs to be done for me, you know, tactically in order to win a tennis match. That’s all it is.”

Djokovic leads Federer 26-22 in their head-to-head.

2. The key to his current form

Djokovic entered London with 53 wins under his belt from 14 tournaments played. The second-highest amount among those who have qualified. Daniil Medvedev leads with 59. The Serbian has always managed to do well at the end of the season, but what is his secret behind his success? 

“I try to surround myself with the right people and be professional, I guess, committed with the routines daily because I know that in the long run that pays off.” He explains.
“That’s probably one of the reasons why I have managed to be healthy and fit, I guess, and fresh at the end of the season.”

It is hard to criticize the approach taken by the 32-year-old. Since his ATP Finals debut in 2007, Djokovic has progressed to the final seven times. Including all of his last six appearances. 

“I think mentally you kind of are obliged to draw that last, I guess, drop of energy that you got in order to finish the season in the best possible way.”

3. He takes a standard approach to newcomers

Sunday was Djokovic’s first-ever meeting against Berrettini. Evidently, he handled the occasion pretty well. Dropping only three games in 62 minutes. One of which prompted a roar of frustration from him. 

So how does Djokovic get ready to play somebody he has never taken on before? It turns out, that is is pretty much the same as any other player on the tour. 

“I try to do my homework with my team.” He outlines. “We watched videos, tried to collect data and do the thorough analysis of his game, prepare ourselves well.”
“It’s not a guarantee that it will work well, but at least you know the patterns of play of your opponent, which helps, especially if you have never faced him before.”

Djokovic lost in both of his first-ever meetings with Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. However, he did defeat Andy Murray. 

4. Davis cup duty is no problem 

As a result of the restructuring of the Davis Cup, the off-season has been delayed by one week. As soon as Djokovic’s ATP Finals campaign concludes, he will be heading to Madrid for the week-long team event. There he faces the prospect of playing daily in singles and even doubles too. It seems like a daunting task for many players after what has been a long season. However, Djokovic is in it for the title. 

“I do feel good. I have been taking care of myself pretty well with my team. So my body has been responding positively, considering it’s final, you know, stages and final few weeks of the year where you tend to, you know, maybe have a bit more pain, so to say, than at the beginning of the year.” He evaluates.

Djokovic has represented Serbia in 25 Davis Cup ties. He has won 34 out of 44 matches played to date. In 2010 he was part of the team who won defeated France 3-2 in the final.

“I’m sure regardless of the fact that it has been a long season and it’s the last week of the year, I still will find that necessary strength in order to play well there.”

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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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