Novak Djokovic Downs Nadal In Crucial ATP Cup Clash - UBITENNIS
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Novak Djokovic Downs Nadal In Crucial ATP Cup Clash

It was a thrilling 55th meeting between the two giants of men’s tennis.



Novak Djokovic has resuscitated Serbia’s chances of winning the ATP Cup after ousting world No.1 Rafael Nadal in a must-win clash.


The world No.2 produced some of his best tennis throughout the high-quality encounter that saw him prevail 6-2, 7-6(4) after almost two hours of pulsating action. Extending his hard court record against the Spaniard to nine consecutive wins on the surface. During their latest clash, Djokovic went off guns blazing with a clinical opening set before facing more resistance during the second. Producing an impressive display behind his serve, where he fired 12 aces and won 78% of the points.

“Every time I get to play Rafa, we get to play a lot of exciting points. There were some incredible exchanges today.” Djokovic said during his on-court interview.
“I started off the match perfectly. Everything worked for me. I think the serve got me out of trouble in the second set when I was love-fourty.” He added.

Taking to the court for their 55th meeting on the ATP Tour, it was Djokovic who dominated from the onset. Settling down into the match the quicker out of the two, the Serbian broke at the start to gain an early advantage. Nadal illustrated glimmers of his top form, but it was not consistent enough to derail his rival. Seven games into the clash, Djokovic struck once again by securing a double break for a 5-2 lead at the expense of two consecutive errors from Nadal. Firmly in control, he closed the opening set out with three consecutive aces. Throughout the opener, the Serbian dropped just four points behind his first serve and none behind his second.

Nadal, who had only ever lost two singles matches whilst representing Spain in team events, refused to go down without a fight. Midway through the second frame, a marathon Djokovic service game that exceeded 10 minutes saw the Spaniard have five break point opportunities. However, he was unable to convert all of them as Djokovic battled to draw level at 3-3.

“If he broke my serve at that moment the match could have gone to a third set and then it would have been anybody’s game.” Djokovic reflected about that game.
“I’m glad to hold my nerves at the end.”

It looked as if Serbia would clinch victory with ease. A tussle at the net concluded with a lob forcing Nadal to make an error. Rewarding Dkokovic two chances to break for 6-5 and serve the match out. However, it wasn’t to be for team Serbia as Nadal displayed some emphatic tennis to battle back and hold serve. Prompting an erupting of cheers from his supporters.

Will little disparity between the two titans of tennis, it would be a single point in a tiebreaker that would prove critical to the outcome. A Nadal backhand crashing into the net moved Djokovic to a 5-4 lead with two serves in hand. Moving to match point, victory was secured at the expense of another error from team Spain. This time coming from Nadal’s forehand.

“It is really unbelievable. The amount of support we got is Brisbane and here in Sydney. You guys took it to a different level.” The 16-time champion commented on the crowd.

Following Roberto Bautista Agut’s straight sets win over Dusan Lajovic, the winners of the first ever ATP Cup will be decided in the doubles. Where Djokovic will return to the court, but not Nadal.

“That’s the plan. I got to go back to the locker room and speak to the team. It’s a team event, team effort and it’s a team decision as well.” He said.
“If he (the captain) picks me, I be back (on the court) soon).“

Djokovic now leads Nadal 29-26 in their head-to-head.


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



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



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



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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