At His Best Novak Djokovic Is Better Than Federer And Nadal, Says Mouratoglou - UBITENNIS
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At His Best Novak Djokovic Is Better Than Federer And Nadal, Says Mouratoglou

The prestigious coach gave his verdict on the Big Three and also criticised Alexander Zverev in a recent interview.

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The Greatest Of All Time (GOAT) debate splits opinion in the world of men’s tennis, but the coach of Serena Williams has no doubt as to who he thinks he is the best.

 

Patrick Mouratoglou has lent his backing behind 16-time grand slam champion and current world No.2 Novak Djokovic. The Serbian is a member of the prestigious Big Three contingent, which also includes Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. Between them, the trio has won the last 12 grand slam tournaments and have occupied the year-end top three for three consecutive seasons.

Speaking about the Serbian in a recent interview, Mouratoglou believes he will one day break Federer’s all-time record for most grand slam titles. Which currently stands at 20.

“When the big three play their best tennis, Novak wins most of the time.” He told Spiegel. “If Novak had not had the two years when he almost disappeared from tennis, he would probably already be the player with the most Grand Slam titles. I can imagine that one day he will be the most successful player in history.”

At the age of 32, Djokovic is the youngest out of the three. He has already won more prize money than any other player in the history of the sport with more than $139 million in earnings (excluding endorsements). As of the end of 2019, Djokovic has won 77 ATP titles and spent 277 weeks as world No.1.

Djokovic isn’t the only member of the Big Three to earn praise from Mouratoglou, who also works with Stefanos Tsitsipas and Coco Gauff. He describes 38-year-old Federer as a ‘genius’ of the sport. Federer has won the second most ATP titles in the Open Era after Jimmy Connors.

“Roger is a genius. He plays tennis in perfection. I can not remember ever seeing a player playing tennis like this. And I think I will not, until I die.” He stated.
“You can film Roger and then play the tape in slow motion: Then you can see that everything he does is perfect. “

Looking at the head-to-head of the trio, Djokovic is the only player to have a positive record against his two other opponents.

Nadal Federer Djokovic
Nadal 24-16 26-28
Federer 16-24 23-26
Djokovic 28-26 26-23

Zverev far off winning a grand slam

Elsewhere in the interview, Mouratoglou took a swipe at German rising star Alexander Zverev. One of the players tipped to fill the void when Djokovic and co retire. Saying the world No.7 hasn’t developed his game enough in order to challenge for a major title yet. Zverev best grand slam result to date is reaching the quarter-finals of the French Open twice.

“He climbed fast in the ranking thanks to his qualities. But during this time he has not developed any other things necessary to win a Grand Slam.” Said the Frenchman.
“He has a great base, he moves incredibly well. He is super-cool. But that’s not enough. And if you do not develop the other things, you are in trouble.”

Earlier this year, former world No.1 Boris Becker made similar comments about his compatriot. Saying on Eurosport that he thinks Zverev ‘has not improved in the last 18 months’ and his game was ‘too readable’ for his opponents. The comment was made after he lost in the fourth round of the US Open.

Despite his criticism, Mouratoglou believes Zverev has the capability of winning the biggest titles in the sport if he changes his game style.

“He reminds me of Andy Murray. Murray has long been a fantastic player, but not a Grand Slam winner. Then he changed some things in his game and became a winner. I think Sascha can do that too. But he needs to evolve,” he concluded.

Zverev, who is 22-years-old, has experienced a roller-coaster 2019 season due to issues both on and off the court. Although he did reach the final of three events, winning the Geneva Open in May. At the season-ending ATP Finals he reached the semi-finals.

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Nick Kyrgios claims five-set thriller to set up a blockbuster fourth-round clash against Rafael Nadal in Melbourne

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Nick Kyrgios battled past Karen Khachanov 6-2 7-6 (7-5) 6-7 (6-8) 6-7 (7-9) 7-6 (10-8) after 4 hours and 26 minutes to set up a blockbuster fourth round clash against Rafael Nadal at the Australian Open.

 

Khachanov saved match points in both the third and fourth set tie-breaks before losing the decisive tie-break. Kyrgios converted on three of her six break point chances and dropped her serve only once in the entire match.

Kyrgios served well in the opening set and earned two consecutive breaks to cruise through to a 6-2 win. Both players wasted a break point chance to set up a tie-break in the second set. Kyrgios earned two mini-breaks to claim the tie-break 7-5 with a serve up the T.

Kyrgios went up a 4-2 lead in the third set with a break, when Khachanov made two double faults. Khachanov broke back in the eighth game to draw level to 4-4. Khachanov fended off a match point at 5-6 in the tie-break with a powerful serve and won the final three points to clinch the third set 8-6, as Kyrgios misfired a crosscourt forehand.

Kyrgios saved two break points in the seventh game and earned another match point in the seventh game of the fourth set. Khachanov saved it before winning the tie-break 9-7 forcing the match to the fifth set.

Both players held their serve in the fifth set with no break points setting up the decisive match tie-break. Kyrgios claimed an early mini-break to open up a a 3-0. Khachanov pulled back the mini-break and earned a match point at 8-7, but Kyrgios reeled off the final three points to clinch a thrilling win to the delight of the home fans.

“This is just epic match. I don’t even know what’s going on. Honestly, my legs feel about 40 kilos each. It’s emotional. I haven’t had a moment like that for four, five years, since I last played here against Seppi”, said Kyrgios.

 

 

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Danil Medvedev sets fourth round clash against Stan Wawrinka in Melbourne

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Danil Medvedev beat Alexei Popyrin 6-4 6-3 6-2 to set up a fourth round match against Stan Wawrinka at the Australian Open.

 

Medvedev earned the first break in the second game of the opening set. Popyrin broke straight back in the next game to draw level to 1-1, but Medvedev earned his second break to take a 2-1 lead. The 2019 US Open finalist held his serve in a hard-fought eighth game after saving a break point and sealed the first set 6-4 on his second set point.

Medvedev broke serve at love in the third game to take a 2-1 lead. Popyrin held his serve in the fifth game after saving two break points to claw his way back to 2-3. Medvedev sealed the second set with his second break at 15.

Medvedev got an early break at 15 in the second game of the third set. Kyrgios converted his fourth break-back point chance in the sixth game. Medvedev closed it out on his second match point.

“I am happy to win it in straight sets. I have good memories from last year, which was my first time in the second week of a Grand Slam and hopefully I can make it even further this year. I just try to win as many matches as I can. Hopefully I can win seven here”,said Medvedev.

Medvedev set up a fourth round match against Stan Wawrinka, who reached the fourth round, when US John Isner withdrew from the match due to a foot injury, when the Lausanne player was leading 6-4 4-1.

“You never want your opponent to pull out. I was playing well again today. I was really happy the way I was playing. That’s very positive. It’s great to be back in the second week, that’s for sure. Feeling way better. It’s positive to have a good practice tomorrow and to be ready for the next one”,said Wawrinka.

Medvedev won both his previous head-to-head matches against Wawrinka at 2017 Wimbledon and in the quarter final of the 2019 US Open.

“Stan is a very tough opponent. He has won three majors and has gone deep a lot of times. It’s never going to be an easy match against Stan. I will have to show my best game to have a chance”, said Medvedev.

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Dominic Thiem beats Taylor Fritz to set fourth-round clash against Gael Monfils in Melbourne

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Fifth seed and 2019 Roland Garros finalist Dominic Thiem beat Taylor Fritz 6-2 6-4 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 on a warm afternoon to advance to the fourth round at the Australian Open for the third time in his career.

 

Thiem fended off six of the seven break points he faced and broke three times to take a 2-0 lead before Fritz took the edge 7-5 in the tie-break of the third set. The Austrian player sealed the win with a break in the 10th game of the fourth set.

“I also have to say honestly, that I got pretty lucky in the three meetings against him. I remember that at the US Open and today that, I think especially in the second set, I saved six break points. Somehow in the meetings so far, the US Open and here, I pulled myself out of very close situations. In the Laver Cup he turned the tables. He is serving great. You have to expect close matches against him. That was again the case”,said Thiem.

Thiem will face Gael Monfils, who beat Latvian qualifier and 2014 Roland Garros semifinalist Ernests Gulbis 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 6-3 after 2 hours and 27 minutes. The French player reached the second week in Melbourne for the fourth time, and the first since 2017. Monfils has beaten Gulbis all the three times they have met on the ATP Tour, including in the second round match at 2013 Roland Garros. Gulbis earned the first break after two deuces to take a 2-1 lead. Monfils broke straight back in the fourth game to draw level to 2-2. Both players held their next service games en route to the tie-break. Monfils converted the first of his four set points to win the tie-break 7-2.

Both players traded breaks in the first two games of the second set. Monfils converted his second break point in the third game to take a 2-1 lead and held his next three service games at deuce. The 33-year-old Frenchman closed it out on his first set point.

The third set went on serve until the sixth game before Monfils broke twice in a row in the seventh and ninth games to win the third set 6-3.

Monfils is bidding to reach the quarter final at the Australian Open for the second time in his career. Monfils converted nine of his nine break points.

“Gael and I have had great matches, I have always had great rallies against him. It’s nice on court when you play him to see his show”, said Thiem.

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