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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‘I Love Tennis Because Of Him’ – Argentine Football Sensation Praises Roger Federer

The forward for Juventus F.C. Speaks out about the 20-time Grand Slam champion as well as other topics concerning the world of tennis.

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Roger Federer is used to various public figures praising him for his record-breaking career with his latest compliment coming from a star of Argentinian football.

 

Paulo Dybala, who has played for Serie A club Juventus since 2015, says he always tries to watch tennis because of him. The 26-year-old spoke out about the Swiss Maestro during a video Q and A session with the Tennis Channel for whom he is currently an ‘athlete analyst’ for. When asked ‘who was the player that made you fall in love with the game?’ he replied with Federer.

“Well at home, we used to watch a lot of sports, the TV was always on, and the sport we watched the most was football, followed by tennis,” Dybala said. “I always had a lot of admiration and respect. I liked Roger Federer’s style… I believe that I and many people have him as a tennis reference. We try to watch his matches, he has a style and elegance that makes everyone want to be like him. I always tried to watch him play so I love tennis because of him.”

Although Federer isn’t the only tennis player to have drawn praise from Dybala, who was part of his country’s national football team for the 2018 World Cup. He also speaks about his ‘great relationship’ with Diego Schwartzman. Schwartzman recently broke into the world’s top 10 for the first time in his career after reaching the semi-finals of the French Open.

“I have a great relationship with Diego, I have known him for years,” he said. “We always talk and I am very happy with what he is achieving.’
“I text him after some of his matches to congratulate him for what he has done.”

It was at the French Open this year where Rafael Nadal won the tournament for a historic 13th time in his career after defeating Novak Djokovic in straight sets. Dybala says that there are ‘no words’ to describe the latest achievement by the world No.2.

“Rafael Nadal won Roland Garros in a match in which he gave no chance to Novak Djokovic,” Dybala reflected. “I think it was more than well-deserved to win his 13th Roland Garros in his career. Something amazing. He matched Roger Federer with 20 Grand Slams. There are no words for this player, no words.”

Dybala is currently dating Oriana Sabatini who is the niece of 1990 US Open champion Gabriela Sabatini.

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Dan Evans On The Look Out For New Coach

The 30-year-old has come to a surprise decision to end his current coaching agreement despite achieving a career ranking high earlier this year.

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British No.1 Dan Evans is making a big change to his team after confirming that he will part ways with coach Mark Hilton at the end of the season.

 

The world No.35 reunited with Hilton just last year after also previously working with him prior to his drugs ban in 2017. Under his guidance Evans has achieved several wins over top 10 players, reached his first ever semi-final of an ATP 500 event in Dubai and peaked at a ranking best of 28th in March.

“I want to take this opportunity to thank Mark for his work and efforts over the past 12 months and we are both excited for what is next for each of our respective careers,” Evans said.

Evans’ announcement came on the same day he ended his five-match losing streak on the Tour. In the first round of the European Open on Tuesday he defeated Italy’s Salvatore Caruso in three sets. Making it his first win since the US Open when he defeated Brazil’s Thiago Seyboth Wild.

Hilton will now return to working for the British LTA. A former player himself he reached the semi-finals of the 2009 Wimbledon boys doubles championships and peaked at a ranking high of 202 on the ATP Tour in singles. His best performance at a Grand Slam occurred at Wimbledon when as a wild card he stunned Spain’s Albert Costa in the first round of the 2004 tournament. Besides Evans, he has also previously worked with the likes of Liam Broady and Kyle Edmund.

“After discussing our plans for 2021, Dan and I have made the mutual decision to part ways at the end of November,” Hilton said in a statement.
“Both of us are very proud of our collaboration this year, helping Dan achieve a career-high ranking of number 28, seven wins over top-20 players and reaching his first ATP 500 semi-final.
“I’m looking forward to taking the experience I have gained over the last three years at the highest levels of the ATP Tour and re-investing that back into the LTA’s Performance Team for the benefit of our British players and coaches.”

It is unclear as to who may step in as Evans’ next coach. The Brit will return to action on Wednesday when he plays Frances Tiafoe in the second round.

Evans’ win-loss for 2020 currently stands at 14-11 on the ATP Tour.

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Borna Coric Admits He Was Difficult To Work With As He Targets Top 10 Milestone

The Croatian No.1 believes ‘controlled aggression’ is key to rising back up the rankings.

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Croatian tennis star Borna Coric says he has become more ‘easy-going’ in recent years after working under a variety of different coaches.

 

The 23-year-old has been guided on the Tour by no fewer than eight coaches since 2014 which includes the likes of Thomas Johansson (2015) and Riccardo Piatti (2017-2019). At present, he is now working with Martin Stepanek. A former Czech player who has worked with the likes of Thomas Berdych and Ivan Dodig.

“I am not going to deny it, I was difficult to work with before, high-maintenance if you like, and now I am more easy-going. But I really have never been the type of guy that fires a coach after two first-round losses,” Coric told tennismajors.com.
“Actually, looking back at all my coaches, only with one it was entirely up to me, where I felt we weren’t working well and I decided to end it. With everyone else there were different issues – personal problems on their side, or inability to reach an agreement in regard to finances, or that the coach wasn’t able to travel enough weeks with me, things like that.”

Coric’s various changes in his team can be partly attributed to his roller-coaster journey. Growing up he was portrayed as the next big thing in the sport following a series of high-profile wins during his teenage years. At the age of 17 he defeated Rafael Nadal at the Swiss Indoors followed by Andy Murray in Dubai the year after.

Despite his early promise, Coric is yet to scale the top of men’s tennis with his best ranking being 12th which was first achieved back in 2018. He looked on course to rise further last season but another coaching split combined with back injury problems resulted in him falling down the rankings again.

Given that the average age of professional tennis players peaking is on the rise, there is still time for Coric to get the breakthrough many have predicted for him. He is once again showing signs of a resurgence during what has been a limited 2020 season due to the Covid-19 pandemic. At the US Open, which was his 22nd appearance in a main draw of a Grand Slam, he reached the quarter-finals of a major for the first time in his career. More recently at the St. Petersburg Open the Croat reached the final before losing to the in-form Andrey Rublev.

As to what the key has been to Coric’s recent resurgence, he explains that it is due to what he describes as ‘controlled aggression.’

“It depends on numerous factors (whether he’ll be aggressive). The surface, my gut feeling, am I confident or not, if I am moving well and feeling fresh, have I got the right feel for the ball, the opponent’s style of play… A lot comes into it, but generally speaking, I am a far better player when I am being aggressive, not just retrieving, even though I am perhaps making a bit more errors,” he explains.
“You could see that on display in New York and me being aggressive, along with further improvement of my serve, are two of the biggest emphasis of my work with Martin. I am not there yet, but if I am healthy and able to maintain the level I had at the US Open, then I can get close to Top 10. But it’s still a long way to go.”

Coric is currently ranked 24th in what is his best ranking so far this season and has achieved a win-loss of 14-10. Out of those 14 wins, two were over top 10 players Dominic Thiem and Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Coric’s 2020 season summary

  • ATP Cup – one win and two losses
  • Australian Open – lost in first round to Sam Querrey
  • Buenos Aires – granted a bye in the first round, lost in the second to Thiago Monterio
  • Rio de Janeiro – reached the semi-finals before losing to Christian Garin
  • Western and Souther Open – in first ATP tournament following a five-month break due to COVID-19, Coric reached the second round before going out to David Goffin
  • US Open: Achieved his best ever Grand Slam result by reaching the quarter-finals. He was knocked out of the tournament by Alexander Zverev
  • Rome – lost in round two to Stefano Travaglia
  • French Open – upset in the first round by Norbert Gombos
  • St. Petersburg – achieved best result of the season so far by reaching the final.

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