Novak Djokovic Backs Female Version Of ATP Cup As He Calls For ‘Super Cup’ In Men’s Tennis - UBITENNIS
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Novak Djokovic Backs Female Version Of ATP Cup As He Calls For ‘Super Cup’ In Men’s Tennis

The world No.2 shares his opinion about the current structure of team events and what should happen in the future.

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Novak Djokovic believes the possibility of having a female version of the ATP Cup would bring both ‘benefits’ and ‘positives’ to the WTA Tour.

 

The 16-time grand slam champion has hailed the new team competition after guiding Serbia to the quarter-finals on Wednesday. Djokovic brushed aside Christian Garin 6-3, 6-3, during his country’s 2-1 victory over Chile. Dusan Lajovic got the other win for Serbia after defeating Nicolas Jarry. He is yet to lose a match in the competition after winning three singles matches and one doubles during the group stage.

“I’m enjoying it. I enjoy the fact that we (team Serbia) will actually go to a different city together, travel today, practice there tomorrow, play in a different environment.” Djokovic said during his press conference.
“Having that journey through various places in Australia together feels like a World Cup to us a little bit, which I’ve never felt. The only time when we were playing together as a team was Davis Cup or playing at home or away. So this is like changing location, it’s quite exciting.” He added.

Taking place over three cities, the ATP Cup has got off to a strong start for its first edition. Over the first four days of the competition, tournament director Tom Larner said there was an attendance of 116,412 fans. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, 43,000 fans visited the city. To put that into perspective, the 2019 Sydney International attracted a total attendance of 55,000.

Whilst there remain teething problems for the new event, Djokovic supports the idea of his female counterparts having a similar version. There is currently no plan in motion about such a thing happening. In Brisbane, there have been criticism of the ATP Cup being played on the premier stadium whilst the women’s WTA tournament played their early round matches on the outdoor courts.

“I think this kind of format is something that would, I think, bring benefits as well and kind of positive outcomes for the WTA tour, that’s my opinion.” Said Djokovic.
“Of course, I don’t know what are the numbers and how is that going to affect their schedule. But it would make sense, considering the fact that we have ATP Cup also played in Australia, they’re playing the WTA tour in Brisbane as well, in Auckland, so most of the top players from female side are in Australia already, so I think it would make sense.”

Speaking more specifically about the men’s game, Djokovic has reiterated his view that there needs to be a merger of team events. A view that has also been expressed by players such as Rafael Nadal and Denis Shapovalov. Five weeks separate the Davis Cup finals, which takes place in November, from the start of the ATP Cup.

“Maybe finding a better solution (is) to have one super cup, World Cup competition for us on the men’s side.” Djokovic proposes.
“We are going to have some discussions in the council about it and see what is the feedback from players from the first ATP Cup year.’
“The Davis Cup has generated some good things, but also some negative comments. And one thing that stands out about Davis Cup and about discontent from the players’ side is the fact that you cannot play at home anymore.”
“In my opinion there should be some groupstages like ATP Cup has in several different locations,and then merging in to the final eight, you know, similar to what we have.” He added.

The 32-year-old argues that such a change would provide players with more time for the already limited off-season. At present the tour takes place from the first week of January to the last week of November.

“I saw Nadal actually speaking about it the other day, and he says that he doesn’t actually feel like the last season has ended because he just started right away.” He said.
“We have an 11-month season, it’s fantastic, lots of opportunities, but at the same time I think it can be balanced, should be balanced a little bit better, maybe Slams not being so close or so far from each other.”

At the ATP Cup, Djokovic-lead Serbia will play their quarter-final match on Friday.

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Petra Kvitova set semifinal against Anett Kontaveit in Ostrava

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Anett Kontaveit upset this year’s Olympic singles gold medallist Belinda Bencic 6-4 6-3 after 74 minutes in the quarter finals of the J&T Banka Ostrava Open. Kontaveit set up a semifinal clash against two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova. 

 

Kontaveit has extended her winning streak against Bencic to 2-0. The Estonian had beaten her Swiss rival in the third round of the 2020 Australian Open. 

Kontaveit scored her fourth win over a top 20 player this year. She won the second WTA title of her career in Cleveland before the US Open. 

Kontaveit hit 29 winners to just 18 unforced errors and converted five of her eight break points. Bencic produced 12 winners to 18 unforced errors. 

In the first set Kontaveit broke serve in the fourth and sixth games to race out to a 5-1 lead and earned a set point in the seventh game. Bencic fired a winner to save the set point. The Swiss player fended off another set point at 5-3. 

Bencic pulled both breaks back to get back on seve at 5-4. However, Kontaveit converted the first of her three set points. Both players traded breaks in the first two games of the third set. Kontaveit hit a backhand winner down the line to break serve for 4-2 in the sixth game. She held serve at love for 5-2 and sealed the win in the ninth game on her second match point with a crosscourt backhand winner. 

Petra Kvitova knocked out Jill Teichmann 6-4 6-4. The Czech player saved seven of the eight break points she faced. 

Kvitova saved five break points in the fourth game of the first set to hold serve for 2-2. The Czech player earned the break in the ninth game to take a 5-4 lead, as Teichmann sent her forehand long. Kvitova hit her forehand to earn three set points and converted her second chance by forcing an error. 

Kvitova earned an early break in the second game to take a 2-0 lead. Teichmann broke straight back to draw to 2-2. Kvitova hit a series of backhands to get her second break in the fifth game for 3-2 and saved three break points to hold serve for 4-2. The home player earned three set points with a backhand winner at 5-4. After missing her first match point with a double fault, she converted her second chance with an unreturnable serve. 

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Iga Swiatek sets up semifinal against Maria Sakkari in Ostrava

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Last year’s Roland Garros Iga Swiatk reached the first semifinal since May in Rome with a 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 win over Elena Rybakova after 1 hour and 41 minutes. 

 

Swiatek earned the first break in the fourth game to take a 3-1 lead. Rybakina broke back with a crosscourt backhand to draw level to 3-3. Swiatek held serve easily for 6-6 to set up a tie-break. 

Swiatek earned the first set point at 6-5 and converted her chance when Rybakina sent a backhand wide. 

Swiatek raced out to a 5-1 lead with a double break. Rybakina pulled one break back for 2-5 with a backhand down the line winner on break point. Swiatek sealed the second set 6-2 on the third match point. 

Swiatek set up a semifinal clash against Maria Sakkari, who secured a place in her sixth semifinal of the season with a 7-5 6-3 win over Tereza Martincova after 1 hour and 36 minutes. Sakkari has extended her head-to-head lead to 3-0. Sakkari has reached a career-high of world number 12 after reaching two Grand Slam semifinals at Roland Garros and at the US Open. 

Sakkari earned an early break in the first game. The Greek faced two break points in the 10th game of the first game, when she was broken at 5-4 in the first set. Sakkari converted her third break point in the 11th game to win the first set 7-5. 

Sakkari broke twice in the third and ninth games to win the second set 6-3. She has lost all her five semifinals in 2021 so far.  

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Pablo Carreno Busta moves into semifinals in Metz with a win over Holger Rune

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Pablo Carreno Busta beat Danish Next Gen rising Holger Vitus Notskov Rune 6-4 3-6 6-4 after 2 hours and 11 minutes to advance to the semifinals in Metz. Carreno Busta won 77% of his first serve points. 

 

Carreno Busta broke serve in the fifth game to win the first set 6-4. Rune bounced back by breaking serve in the second game to claim the second set 6-3. The third set went on serve until the eighth game when Carreno Busta earned a break in the eighth game to take a 5-3 lead. Rune broke straight back in the ninth game but Carreno Busta earned his second break to close out the third set 6-4.

“Rune is playing really well. He is playing really well. He is going to improve a lot in the next months. I am happy as it was a very important victory for me. When you play this kind of player, you have all the pressure to win and at the end it was a really good battle”, said Carreno Busta. 

Carreno Busta won the Olympic bronze medal, won the Marbella Open and his first ATP 500 title on clay in Hamburg. 

Rune beat Lorenzo Sonego en route to the quarter final. The young Dane is aiming to qualify for the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan. 

Carreno Busta will face Gael Monfils, who eased past Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-3 6-3 with four breaks after 68 minutes. The Frenchman has reached his first ATP Tour level semifinal since Dubai in February 2020. 

“At the beginning I was more comfortable but then in the second set he started to be more aggressive with the returns and I was not as comfortable then. It will be a tough match against Monfils. I will be younger in the next match. I will try to do my best. Gael is an incredible player”, said Carreno Busta. 

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