Novak Djokovic Speaks Out About His ‘Biggest Motivation’ And Federer's Injury Ahead of Dubai Bid - UBITENNIS
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Novak Djokovic Speaks Out About His ‘Biggest Motivation’ And Federer’s Injury Ahead of Dubai Bid

The world No.1 believes he hasn’t reached his peak yet!

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Already regarded as one of the best players in the history of men’s tennis, Novak Djokovic is the first person to say that there is still room for him to improve further.

 

The world No.1 is set to return to action later this week at the Dubai Tennis Championships. It will be his first taste of competitive tennis since lifting the Australian Open title last month. His 17th grand trophy, which is the third highest tally off all-time on the ATP Tour. Overall, the Serbian has claimed 78 titles and has won more prize money than any other player in history.

Despite his numerous accolades achieved in the sport, Djokovic is not contempt with his game. Believing that there are still areas that he can improve further to become an even more formidable force on the tour. He has started 2020 with 13 consecutive wins after also guiding his country to victory in the ATP Cup earlier this year.

“There is room for improvement and that’s my biggest motivation at the moment.” Djokovic told reporters in Dubai on Sunday.
“That’s probably one of the biggest reasons why I keep on playing this sport and why I put a lot of effort and dedication every single day. I feel that tennis is a great place for me to improve, not just in tennis but also as a human being to build my character,”

It is his love for the sport which the 32-year-old believes has helped shaped him as a person. Praising the support he also received from his team. He is currently coached on the tour by Marián Vajda, who reunited with him back in April 2018.

“Tennis, like no other place in life, triggers my emotions. It’s a great way for me to understand myself on deeper levels. I see tennis as a great school of life in a way. I also enjoy it. I really love to hold the racquet. I enjoy the process, I enjoy the journey. I have a great team of people around me that puts a lot of energy and faith in me, in my game. Together, we create beautiful things on the court and I’m grateful for that.”

Djokovic will be hoping that he can continue to produce what he describes as ‘beautiful things’’ over the coming days at Dubai’s Aviation Club Tennis Centre. A tournament he won on four previous occasions with the last being back in 2013.

Judging on his start to the season, many are tipping Djokovic to once again be a dominant force in the coming months. Although he stays cautious when it comes to his future.

“I’m aware of the fact that I’m feeling great on the court. Of course, when you win that many matches, it translates to your high level of confidence.” He explained.
“But I’m aware that it could easily be disturbed, as well, and lost. I try to approach every tournament and every match as a fresh start basically: continuation of the great streak, yes, from the confidence perspective, but fresh start gamewise.”

‘Roger is Roger’

One notable absentee from Dubai will be Roger Federer, who fell to Djokovic in straight sets last month. The 38-year-old has been ruled out of action until at least June after undergoing knee surgery on Wednesday. A move that has surprised many, including his rivals.

“I knew he was struggling with an injury in the Australian Open. I think no one knew really what is the injury and the extent of that injury.” Djokovic commented.
“I really don’t like to see anybody going through a process of surgery. I’ve been through that once and hopefully the last time in my life. I know that for doctors, that’s routine-like procedure, but it’s quite invasive.”

Djokovic has played his Swiss rival 50 times on the ATP Tour and has won 27 of their meetings. Despite being one of his biggest rivals in the sport, the world No.1 is hoping that Federer will have a quick recovery.

“I know it also creates a psychological trauma. I’m really sad to see Roger and Kevin Anderson going through that kind of procedures. I hope that they will be back very soon. Roger is Roger. This sport needs him,” He concluded.

Djokovic will open up his Dubai campaign on Monday against Tunisia’s Malek Jaziri.

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French Open Chief: Roger Federer Would have Won Multiple French Open Titles If It Wasn’t For Nadal

Guy Forget also predicts how far the 39-year-old could go in the draw this year.

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The decision by Roger Federer to play at the French Open is the most logical step ahead of Wimbledon, according to tournament director Guy Forget.

 

The 20-time Grand Slam champion hasn’t played a competitive match on the surface since June 2019. Last year he missed most the season due to a right knee injury which required two surgical procedures, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic. So far this year he has only played in one tournament which was at the Qatar Open where he reached the semi-finals.

Federer will return to the court next week at the Geneva Open in his native Switzerland. It is the only event he will play before heading to Roland Garros. An event he had only played in once out of the past five editions. Forget, who is a former top 10 player himself, believes the match play is exactly what Federer needs.

“That Roger comes to play Roland Garros seems logical to me. This will allow him to play, and especially to test himself. Clay is a surface that requires you to be precise in your movements. The better Federer is at Roland Garros, the better he will be at Wimbledon,” he told reporters earlier this week.

The Swiss Maestro has only won the French Open once in his career which was back in 2009. Although he has reached the final on four other occasions. It was at the 1999 French Open where he made his main draw debut in a major at the age of 17. Overall, 11 out of Federer’s 103 ATP titles have been won on the clay.

However, Forget believes Federer would have won many more French Open titles if it wasn’t for the formidable Rafael Nadal. A player who has won more ATP trophies on the dirt than any other player in history, including 13 at the French Open alone.

“If Rafael Nadal hadn’t existed Federer would have had at least 5 or 6 titles at Roland, I’m sure of that.” Forget commented.
“Regarding this edition, I think it can happen that he could go into the second week.” He added.

Federer has lost to Nadal in all six of their meetings at the French Open – four times in the final and twice in the semi-finals. He trails their overall head-to-head 16-24.

The French Open will get underway on May 30th.

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Nadal survives three-set marathon with Shapovalov in Rome

Rafael Nadal saved match points to edge out Denis Shapovalov in Rome.

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Rafael Nadal (@atptour - Twitter)

The King of Clay needed three sets and over three hours to claim the win and avoid an upset.

 

Rafael Nadal needed three hours and 27 minutes to beat the Canadian Denis Shapovalov 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 at the Italian Open in Rome hitting 29 winners while his counterpart hit 46 unforced errors in the loss.

To everyone’s surprise it was the world number 14 who came out with the faster start earning two breakpoints in the first service game of the match with a stunning forehand winner.

He would break to take an early 1-0 lead and continued to have momentum earning another break and the Spaniard found himself staring at 3-0 defecit.

At 4-1 the world number three would get one of the breaks back but it wasn’t enough as the Toronto native would break one more time at 5-3 on his fourth breakpoint of the game to take the first set.

Once again we saw some really strong play from the Canadian in the beginning of the second set we saw history repeat itself when the world number 14 held serve and get the early break this time with his powerful forehand.

Nadal was fighting to stay in the set and the match and managed to earn a breakpoint but it was quickly saved with a big ace from Shapovalov. The very next game the Canadian had a chance to get another break but this time the Spaniard would deny him the opportunity.

After the world number three held serve he went on the attack looking to go back on serve and after three chances would get the break back. He would end up winning five games in a row and would take the second set to send it to a decider.

The third set remained on serve until 2-1 when the Canadian had a chance to break and he would take to jump out to a 3-1 lead. The break didn’t hold as Nadal came storming back the very next game breaking the world number 14 to love and equaling the set at 3-3.

The set and the match would ultimately be decided by a tiebreaker and in that breaker is when the Spaniard would take over winning it 7-3 to book his spot in the quarterfinals.

He will next face either Alexander Zverev or Kei Nishikori on Friday for a spot in the semifinals.

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Novak Djokovic Moving Into A ‘Good Trajectory’ After Reaching Rome Quarter-Finals

Novak Djokovic admitted that he is on a good trajectory after reaching the last eight in Rome.

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Novak Djokovic has said that he is on a ‘good trajectory’ after moving into the Rome Quarter-Finals.

 

The world number one moved into the last eight in the Italian capital with a comfortable 6-2 6-1 victory over Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.

Despite being broken in the first game, Djokovic rallied back to break on five occasions as he cruised past the Erratic Spaniard.

After 1 hour and 11 minutes, Djokovic’s overall game was too much for Davidovich Fokina as the Serb progressed to his 15th quarter-final in Rome.

After the match in his on-court interview the top seed admitted he is on a good trajectory as he builds momentum towards Roland Garros, “I thought I played well,” Djokovic told the ATP website.

“He started well and broke my serve in the first game. I made some errors, but I managed to break back right away and establish the control and consistency on the court. I think from the back of the court I was just a bit more solid than him.

“He made some unforced errors and double faults in key moments, which obviously helped me get that necessary break forward. I thought I played better, at least 20 or 30 per cent better, than I did against Fritz a few days ago. I am on a good trajectory and hopefully tomorrow will be even better.”

The real test for Djokovic will come tomorrow when he faces top 10 opposition in the last eight.

It will either be Monte-Carlo champion Stefanos Tsitsipas or Madrid finalist and home favourite Matteo Berrettini next up for the world number one.

Djokovic was well aware of the form either of his possible opponents are in heading into tomorrow’s showdown, “My next match will be against a Top 10 player, so it is going to be a battle,” Djokovic explained.

“Both of these guys are in great form. Tsitsipas won Monte-Carlo and Berrettini is just coming off the final in Madrid. I am obviously going to do my best to win that match, whoever I play against.”

In the other result in Rome today, Reilly Opelka reached the quarter-finals with a 7-6(6) 6-4 win over Aslan Karatsev.

The American hit 18 aces as he will now face Felix Auger-Aliassime or Federico Delbonis on Friday.

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