Novak Djokovic Edges Thiem To Secure Historic 8th Australian Open Title - UBITENNIS
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Novak Djokovic Edges Thiem To Secure Historic 8th Australian Open Title

Novak Djokovic won a historic eighth Australian Open title as he edged out Dominic Thiem in five sets.

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Novak Djokovic (@AustralianOpen - Twitter)

Novak Djokovic edged out Dominic Thiem 6-4 4-6 2-6 6-3 6-4 to secure his 8th Australian Open title and 17th grand slam title. 

 

For the first time in his career, Novak Djokovic came back from 2 sets to 1 down in a grand slam final as he denied Dominic Thiem a first grand slam title.

The Serb lacked energy in the middle of the match but ultimately played his best tennis when it mattered as he made history once again.

As well as winning an 8th Australian Open title and 17th grand slam title, Djokovic will also return to world number one on Monday.

Looking for his 8th Australian Open title, Djokovic made an emphatic start as he rushed Thiem into errors from the back of the court.

The Austrian looked to take the match to Djokovic using his power but wasn’t allowed to implement that in the early exchanges as some impressive defence saw the Serb blast his way into a 3-0 lead.

However Thiem, who was into his 3rd grand slam final, started to find some rhythm and denied the red-hot Djokovic a double break lead.

This would cost Djokovic as the 5th seed finally found his fire-power that was missing in the opening five games as some stunning backhand winners gave him the break back in the 7th game.

Eventually though, Thiem got tight and nervous when serving to stay in the set and a costly double fault handed the 7-time Australian Open champion the opening set.

Although he didn’t show his best tennis in the opening set, Thiem bounced back in the second set with some powerful and smart retuning. This time it was Djokovic’s turn to double fault on break point down as the Austrian sealed the early break.

There was more tightness from Thiem in the latter stages of the set as he pushed too aggressively and Djokovic started to improve his level.

Even though the break back was secured, the world number two lost his concentration when called for two time violations in the game, which led to a loss of first serve and loss of game as well.

As Djokovic continued to share his anger with Damien Dumusois, Thiem held convincingly to level the match at one set all.

There was a momentum shift in the Austrian’s favour at the start of the third set as the Serb started to look physically drained.

Two quick breaks was sealed from Thiem who powered his shots past the tame Djokovic defence as a 4-0 lead was secured.

Despite some late resilience from Djokovic, it was all about the Austrian who was now a set away from his first grand slam title.

After an off-court medical time-out, the second seed started to look in better shape and became more solid as he looked to force a fifth set.

As both players started to play confidently on serve, something had to give in terms of players’ level and that is exactly what happened in the eighth game.

The Austrian’s level dipped which produced four unforced errors in a crucial service game. Just like all great champions, Djokovic pounced breaking serve and keeping his cool to seal the fourth set 6-3. This Australian Open final was going five sets.

Another few costly unforced errors cost Thiem to start the fifth set as Djokovic sealed the early break for 2-1 as he was closing in on history.

There were a few opportunities for the Austrian to break back but the pressure told when it really mattered as he couldn’t find his way past an unstoppable Novak Djokovic.

After 4 hours and 3 minutes, Djokovic secured a 17th grand slam title and an 8th Australian Open title to continue setting records in tennis.

https://twitter.com/doublefault28/status/1223957229801484289

In the trophy ceremony, both Dominic Thiem and Novak Djokovic praised each other’s achievements, “Huge congrats to Novak. Unreal what you are doing throughout all these years. You and two other guys have brought men’s tennis to a new level, I’m really proud I can compete in this time and period of tennis,” Thiem said.

“Congratulations to Dominic for an amazing tournament. It wasn’t to be tonight. You were very close to win it, you have a lot of time in your career to get one of the Grand Slam trophies,” Djokovic added.

It also means that the big three of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic will win the next 13 grand slam titles.

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REPORT: Japanese Tennis Association To Lose One Billion Yen In 2020

The loss of a key men’s event in the country has resulted in millions of dollars being loss in revenue.

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Venue of the 2019 Mens Japan Open (image via https://twitter.com/rakutenopen)

The cancellation of a premier tennis event in Japan due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is set to have a massive financial impact on the country’s governing body.

 

Last month organisers made the decision to scrap the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships this year amid fears of a second wave of the virus in October when the it is set to take place. The tournament is currently categorised as an ATP 500 event and has been held annually since 1973. In 2019 Novak Djokovic won the tournament for the first time in his career without dropping a single set throughout. Other previous winners also include Roger Federer (2006), Rafael Nadal (2010) and Andy Murray (2011).

“Given concerns about a second wave of the infection both in Japan and overseas, we came to the anguished conclusion that we had to cancel,” organisers said in a statement.

It has been estimated that as a result of the move, the Japanese Tennis Association (JTA) will lose millions of dollars in revenue. National news agency Kyodo has estimated the loss to be at least 1 billion Yen ($9.4 million) based on this event alone and no others.

JTA executive director Naohiro Kawatei told Kyodo that moving athletes in and out of the country is problematic due to the current situation. Tokyo has recently raised it’s Coronavirus alert level to the top of a four-point scale after there have been more than 100 new daily cases of the virus in the city for six days in a row. Furthermore, The Bank of Japan has revised down their growth forecasts.

“In addition to players coming from overseas, it is the responsibility of organizers to facilitate their departure, so there are some differences between our sport and others,” said Kawatei.

At present the women’s top tournament in the country is still on the 2020 schedule. The Pan Pacific Open, which is classed as a Premier event, is currently set to take place during the week commencing November 2nd.

Recently the Asian swing of the tennis season has been thrown into jeopardy after the Chinese General Administration of Sports recommended that no sports events take place in the country unless they are related to Olympic qualification. Although sports federations, including both the ATP and WTA, are seeking clarity from officials before they make their next move. China is usually where the majority of Asian tennis events are played, including the WTA Finals.

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Official: No Swiss Indoors In 2020 Due To COVID-19

Roger Federer’s home event was set to take place between October 26th and November 1st.

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By Emil Evtimov

The ATP 500 Swiss Indoors tournament in Basel won’t happen in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

The organizers of the Swiss Indoors already hinted a couple of weeks ago that the tournament in Roger Federer’s hometown was unlikely to happen due to the Coronavirus and the financial impact from the restrictions on spectator capacity.

This year’s edition would have been the 50th anniversary of the tournament, but is now out of the ATP calendar. Organizers are already making plans for the 2021 edition between 23 and 31 October.

“Dear tennis friends, As a result of the Corona pandemic, the world’s third largest indoor tournament has been definitively cancelled,” a statement issued by the tournament reads.
“The ATP has now formally approved the request to cancel the Swiss Indoors Basel, after the tournament management of the Swiss Indoors had already declared in mid-June that it would be irresponsible and unfeasible to hold the tournament in view of the medical, social and economic uncertainty.”

Founded by Roger Brennwald, the Swiss Indoors had been held every year since 1970. It became an event on the Grand Prix Circuit in 1977 and has been classed as a ATP 500 tournament since 2009. 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer, who is a former ball boy at the event, has won the title a record 10 times.

The latest development leaves another big question mark on the remainder of the 2020 season. ATP president Andrea Gaudenzi spoke frankly during an interview with Sky Sport Italia and admitted that he is still unsure of what the final quarter of the calendar will look like.

“We have no idea how the Asian swing or the European indoor season could go. It might sound obvious, but I can’t predict how the virus will affect us going forward, there are too many variables to consider,”  he said.

As of today, the ATP Tour should restart on 14 August with the Citi Open in Washington, followed by the Cincinnati Masters and US Open. After that the tour goes to Europe for a mini clay season with the two Masters (Madrid and Rome) and Roland Garros.

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France’s Lucas Pouille To Undergo Surgery

The 26-year-old has suffered another setback to his plans for a return to the Tour.

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Lucas Pouille (photo by chryslène caillaud, copyright @Sport Vision)

Two-time Grand Slam quarter-finalist Lucas Pouille says he is hopeful that he will be able to play tennis again this season after announcing plans to undergo surgery.

 

The world No.58 confirmed on Tuesday morning that he will be having an operation on his right elbow later this month in Paris. Pouille has only managed to play one match this year on the ATP Tour due to the injury, which was at the Indian Wells Challenger tournament where he lost in straight sets to Noah Rubin.  The issue has been bothering the Frenchman since last October when he shut down his season early after the Shanghai Masters.

“It’s never an easy decision to take, but I will get surgery on my right elbow this month in Paris. After new medical exams, it appeared it was the best solution in order to finally be able to play pain-free. I still hope to play before the end of the season.” Pouille said in a statement.

Pouille initially looked to be on track to making a return to action after participating in the Ultimate Tennis Showdown in June. An exhibition tournament created by Serena Williams’ coach Patrick Mouratoglou. However, he lost two matches to Feliciano Lopez and Elliot Benchetrit before being forced to withdraw from the competition due to his elbow.

In recent days the coach of the former world No.10,  Loic Courteau, said they will not be travelling to the US Open next month. Although it is unclear if Courteau’s comments were made before or after the decision to undergo surgery was made.

“I will not be in New York, for the good reason that Lucas… is not going to play the tournament,” he told French television.

Pouille has won five ATP titles so far in his career and has earned more than $7 million in prize money. He is currently the eighth highest ranked French player on the ATP Tour.

Pouille’s ATP titles breakdown

2018 1 Montpellier (Indoor/Hard)
2017 3 Vienna (Indoor/Hard)
Stuttgart (Outdoor/Grass)
Budapest (Outdoor/Clay)
2016 1 Metz (Indoor/Hard)

 

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