(VIDEO) Australian Open Day 14: Novak Djokovic Proves He Is Invincible - UBITENNIS
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(VIDEO) Australian Open Day 14: Novak Djokovic Proves He Is Invincible

Ben Rothenberg from The New York Times joins Ubitennis to reflect on the men’s final at Melbourne Park.

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Novak Djokovic has extended his record as the most decorated male singles players in Australian Open history. The Serbian outlasted Dominic Thiem in five sets to claim his eighth title in Melbourne and 17th at a grand slam overall. The triumph has also guaranteed his return world world No.1 on Monday.

 

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Matteo Berrettini beats Stefanos Tsitsipas in sudden death to claim the Ultimate Tennis Showdown title

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Matteo Berrettini saved match points to beat Stefanos Tsitsipas 16-15 15-12 12-14 8-15 3-2 in Sudden Death at the first editiion of the Ultimate Tennis Showdown.

 

Tsitsipas took a 7-4 lead in the first quarter. Berrettini hit an easy volley when he was using his Winner x3 Card and hit an easy volley to lead 11-9. Tsitsipas was not able to convert with his card, but won two points to draw level to 11-11 with 3 minutes and a half to go.

Berrettini served for the deciding point at 15-15. Tsitsipas hit a shot wide after a long rally and Tsitsipas sealed the first set 16-15.

Tsitsitipas took an early 8-4 lead in the second quarter. The “Greek God” used the “Steal Serve” Card to increase his lead to six points. Berrettini clawed his way back and drew level to 10-10. After a time-out Tsitsipas was not able to use his Winner x3 card and Berrettini completed the come-back to seal the second set 15-12.

Berrettini raced out to a 4-0 lead in the third quarter. Tsitsipas used his x3 winner card and fired an ace to claw his way back to 4-4. Both players stayed level until 8-8. Tsitsipas served well to take a two-point lead before Berrettini used his 3x winner card. Berrettini had an opportunity for a volley winner, but he hit the ball into the net. Tsitsipas hit his return into the net, as the Greek player was leading 11-9. They were level at 12-12 as Berrettini was serving with 30 seconds to go. Tsitsipas hit a backhand passing shot to take the 13-1 lead. Tsitsipas claimed the third quarter 14-12, as Berrettini hit a double fault.

Tsitsipas took a 6-2 lead in the fourth quarter. Berrettini used the Winner x3 card, but he lost both points. Tsitsipas increased his lead to six points at 8-2. Tsitsipas claimed the third quarter forcing the match to the Sudden Death. Tsitsipas came close to win the match after a lucky net cord, but Berrettini came back and hit a forehand on the next point to seal his sudden death today. Berrettini avenged his recent defeat against Tsitsipas, who claimed a sudden death win over the Italian last weekend.

Berrettini and Tsitsipas met only once in the first round of last year’s Australian Open, where the Greek player took the edge in four tight sets 6-7 (3-7) 6-4 6- 7-6 (7-4). They also played in the 2017 US Open qualifiers, when Tsitsipas prevailed 6-7 (6-8) 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (7-2) in a hard-fought match.

“I guess that was the secret, serving well, on the important moments. I think this format is going to help me going forward, you have to be there for every point”, said Berrettini.

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Matteo Berrettini sets up Ultimate Tennis Showdown final against Stefanos Tsitsipas

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Matteo Berrettini edged out Richard Gasquet 24-8 12-14 16-12 10-13 2-1 in the sudden death to become the first player to reach the final at the Ultimate Tennis Showdown.

 

Berrettini came into the semifinal with a 5-3 record at this tournament and made his return to Southern France after playing in Thiem’s 7 tournament in Kitzbuhel.

Berrettini hit a series of serves from his forehand side and rallied from 0-2 down by winning six consecutive points to take a 6-2 lead. Berrettini hit his winner x3 card, as he was leading 12-6, and won three consecutive points with a forehand volley and with a forehand winner. The Italian player cruised through the first quarter and hit a backhand pass to take it 24-8.

Berrettini stole Gasquet’s serve to take a 9-5 lead. Gasquet used the x3 winner card and hit an ace and a regular point to draw level to 9-9 with four minutes to go.

Gasquet earned a point on Berrettini’s serve and won his next serves to take a 12-10 lead. Berrettini used used his winner x3 card but won just two points from it. Gasquet clinched the second quarter 14-12 after a missed backhand from Berrettini.

At the start of the third quarter Berrettini used his x3 winner card at 5-5 and found two aces to take a six-point lead. Berrettini pulled away to win the third quarter 16-12.

Berrettini hit two more aces in the fourth quarter. Gasquet fought hard and hit two backhand winners as he was leading 8-6. Berrettini could not use his x3 winner card. Gasquet won the next two points and used his steal serve card to seal the fourth quarter 13-11 forcing the match to the sudden death.

Gasquet won the first point on Berrettini’s serve, but Berrettini saved a match point with a big forehand to draw level to 1-1. Berrettini hit a volley on the match point to clinch a tight win.

“I played really good. I was serving really well and was able to win the card counts 3 twice, so I guess that enabled me to win the game”, said Berrettini.

Berrettini set up a final against Stefanos Tsitsipas, who beat David Goffin 15-11 13-11 13-12 in the other semifinal. Goffin came into the match with a 5-4 record compared to Tsitsipas’8-1 record.

Goffin used his -1 serve card, but Tsitsipas won both points, but Tsitsipas reeled off five of the next six points to take the lead. Goffin used his winnerx3 card at 7-9 and won two consecutive points to draw level to 9-9. Tsitsipas won both points on Goffin’s serve at 12 to clinch the first quarter 15-11.

Tsitsipas won six consecutive points from 2-3 to take a 8-3 lead. Goffin clawed his way back to 11-12, but Tsitsipas held on to win the second quarter 13-11.

Tsitsipas took a 8-5 lead in the third quarter. Goffin hit a backhand pass and hit an ace to draw level to 8-8 before taking a 12-11 lead with just 30 seconds to go. Tsitsipas forced Goffin into the corner with a forehand on the deciding point to to win the third quarter 13-12.

“I knew it’s not going to be as easy as Saturday. David worked really hard to be in the semifinals so he won’t let it go easy”, said Tsitsipas.

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David Goffin casts doubts on travelling to New York for the US Open

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David Goffin casts doubts on his participation at the the US Open, which starts on 31st August at Flushing Meadows in New York with no fans. The tournament will have to respect strict social distancing rules.

 

New York is one of the worst hit areas by the coronavirus pandemic. The number of covid-19 cases is surging in Florida, Arizona, Texas and California.

Goffin is sceptical about travelling to the USA to play the US Open. He is the latest star to cast doubts about participating at the US Open joining Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Simona Halep.

“I would love to go to New York and fit the US Open into my schedule, but I don’t know if we will go at the moment. The cases over there are increasing, so I don’t know if it’s good to go but we will try. We will practice on hard courts in preparation for the Cincinnati Masters and the US Open. At the end of the day I don’t know because it’s not been good but of course the conditions can change. The conditions are really tough with a player plus one or maybe plus two maximum. I am still hesitating. I am not 100 % sure that I will go. You have seen the last few days and weeks that players have picked up the virus. The virus in the tennis world. We don’t know what will happen if there are cases during the tournament. Will it be cancelled ? We would love to hear more details and it will be more clear for us to make a choice”, said Goffin.

 Goffin reached three Grand Slam quarter finals at Roland Garros 2016, at the Australian Open 2017 and at Wimbledon 2019 and finished runner-up to Grigor Dimitrov at the 2017 ATP Finals in London. The Belgian player ended the 2019 season in top 20 for the 4th time in the last five seasons. He became the first Belgian player to reach an ATP Masters 1000 final in Cincinnati. He also finished runner-up to Roger Federer in Halle final and advanced to his third Grand Slam quarter final at Wimbledon before losing to eventual champion Novak Djokovic. He reached the US Open fourth round for the third consecutive year. In 2020 Goffin lost to Andrey Rublev in the third round at the Australian Open and advanced to Montpellier semifinal.

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