Federer’s Grand Slam Record ‘Primary Objective’ For Novak Djokovic, Says Ex Coach Piatti - UBITENNIS
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Federer’s Grand Slam Record ‘Primary Objective’ For Novak Djokovic, Says Ex Coach Piatti

The veteran Italian tennis mentor looks ahead to to Djokovic’s chances in New York and the threat he faces. The 61-year-old also speaks out about the rise of Jannik Sinner whom he is now coaching.

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The former coach of Novak Djokovic has backed him as one of the top favourites to win the upcoming US Open title along with one other of his rivals.

 

Riccardo Piatti, who worked with Djokovic during the early stages of his career, describes the Serbian as ‘the most tennis-focused player of them all’ during a recent interview with Super Tennis. The 61-year-old believes the main motivation of the world No.1 over the coming weeks will be to close in on Roger Federer’s record Grand Slam tally of 20, which he is three behind at present. Although it is unclear as to what shape Djokovic and his rivals are currently in due to the lengthy suspension of the ATP Tour due to COVID-19. During the five-month break, he co-founded and participated in the Adria Tour. An event that was heavily criticised by some for a lack of anti-COVID measures before it was cancelled following an outbreak of the virus.

“Djokovic is the most tennis-focused player of all. Especially right now. He organized the Adria Cup not because he wanted to compete with other players but because he thought he was doing a good thing for everyone: his people, the players. He was wrong but in good faith,” said Piatti.
“Then he trained to be ready. Nole is very focused on his tennis also because he can pass very quickly in front of Federer in terms of Grand Slams which is his primary objective “.

Djokovic is already in New York practicing ahead of next week’s Western and Southern Open. Which has also been relocated to the city due to the pandemic. Due to the restrictions in place, he has travelled to the venue with coach Goran Ivanisevic, physio Ulysses Badio and agent Edoardo Artaldi.

Looking ahead to the Grand Slam, Piatti believes there will be two main contenders for the trophy. Besides Djokovic, he has also lent his backing behind Dominic Thiem who finished runner-up to the 17-time major winner at the Australian Open in January. Thiem has maintained his match-fitness through the shutdown by taking part in a series of exhibition events across Europe where he won 25 out of the 28 matches he played.

“In my opinion Djokovic and Thiem are the main candidates to win the US Open,” he states.
“Thiem has improved a lot during the period of the pandemic, he has trained a lot, he is in great shape and therefore I believe that the two most qualified to play for the final are the two of them.”
“he climatic conditions, the length and the toughness of the matches can have a great impact but Djokovic and Thiem both have enough experience to know how to handle many different situations that can arise,”
he added.

As for others, the Italian names 2019 runner-up Daniil Medvedev, Matteo Berrettini and Stefanos Tsitsipas as the next group of players who have a shot at winning. This year’s 128-player draw will only feature three men who have previously won a Grand Slam. Besides Djokovic, Andy Murray and Marin Cilic are also playing.

Sinner could have a breakthrough

Piatti is currently working alongside Next Gen star Jannik Sinner, who is the youngest player in the top 100. The rising star rocketed up the rankings last year when he won a trio of Challenger titles, as well as the Next Gen Finals in Milan. Then in February he clinched his first top 10 win over David Goffin in Rotterdam.

“Jannik has improved a lot. So much,” Piatti commented on his progress in recent months.
“We will have to see how the draws will go and there will be many factors to influence but for sure his level is high today. We will need to be patient and see if he will also be a bit lucky: with a good draw he can do something really good.”

The first test for the 18-year-old will be at the Western and Southern Open over the weekend. Due to his current ranking, he has to go through qualifying first where he is likely to face some stern challenges. Although his mentor is confident that Sinner will rise to the occasion.

They are difficult opponents, whom he knows and does not know, but Jannik has the ability to interpret games better and better,” he said.
“In this period I have worked a lot with him on how to face the different moments of the match and he begins to master the situations well. By now he knows that if he is facing Medvedev he must play in a certain way. And that if he sets the game in another way, he makes a mistake and loses.”

Sinner joined Piatti’s academy in Bordighera when he was 13.

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Cameron Norrie ‘Happy’ With Performance After Extending Winning Run Against Kyrgios

Cameron Norrie spoke about his confidence after reaching the last eight in Atlanta.

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Cameron Norrie (@the_LTA - Twitter)

Cameron Norrie is satisfied with his recent performances after reaching the Atlanta quarter-finals.

 

The in-form Brit extended his winning streak to five matches after defeating Nick Kyrgios in Atlanta.

Norrie eased to victory with a 6-1 6-4 win in a match which saw three breaks of serve from the Brit to make the last eight.

After winning his maiden title in Los Cabos, Norrie now is starting to feel confident in his game.

In his post-match interview the world number 29 insists that he is happy with his level as he continues his great season, “It’s very nice to be back here in Atlanta,” Norrie explained.

“It’s good to have Nick back… really enjoyed the match and really happy with my level. It’s cool to be playing at this level and [I am] happy and satisfied to be getting some wins. I’m enjoying my tennis.”

Next for Norrie will be Emil Ruusuvuori as he looks to continue his momentum and solidify his status as the man to beat in US hard court swing.

The other quarter-finals will see Los Cabos finalist Brandon Nakashima take on Jordan Thompson, Taylor Fritz will face fellow American Reilly Opelka.

While five-time champion John Isner will face Christopher O’Connell in the last eight with the American serving 49 aces in two matches so far.

Play will begin at 17:00 BST while Norrie’s match will likely take place at 20:00 BST.

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‘Probably Gonna Quit’ – Tennys Sandgren Blasts Performance After missing Out On Olympic Medal

The tennis star described his fourth place finish as ‘dog s**t.”

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Former Australian Open quarter-finalist Tennys Sandgren said he is close to retiring from tennis after missing out on a bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics.

 

Sandgren and doubles partner Austin Krajicek fell in straight sets to the New Zealand pairing of Michael Venus and Marcus Daniell, who are the first tennis players from their country in over 100 years to win a medal. The loss is a frustrating outcome for the American who wasn’t afraid to express how he felt after the match. Tokyo was the ninth doubles tournament Sandgren has played in this year.

“I mean, who f*ing cares you know, what do I have to show for it? We have a good week and fourth place is dog s**t.” He told the Olympic News Service.

Speaking straight after his loss, the highly emotional 30-year-old then cast doubt on his future in the sport. He is currently ranked 82nd in the world and has a win-loss record of 6-14 so far this year. However, he is yet to reach a quarter-final in singles.

I’m probably gonna quit. That might be my last match. I’m close, yeah, I’m close.” He replied when asked about his career.

As for if he would have done anything different in the bronze medal match, Sandgren replied ‘not to have been so bad.’ He also expressed disappointment that the tennis tournament took place behind closed doors. Prior to the Olympics, organisers decided to hold all events in Tokyo without fans due to a surge of COVID-19 cases in the city.

“It would have been a great event with fans,” he via via teamusa.org. “Playing on an outside court without fans, I mean, you might as well be playing in Idaho in the middle of nowhere.”

Sandgren and Krajicek were America’s last chance to win a medal in the tennis competition. It is the first time the country has failed to win any medal since tennis returned as an Olympic event in 1988.

“There’s not much you can say about that except it’s pretty, pretty devastating to lose that one. You know, give yourself a chance to get a medal and then to lose those two (matches – including the men’s doubles semifinal) is tough, but you have to give those guys credit today. They played well.” Krajicek concluded.

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Updated Entry List For Washington

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photo by atptour.com

The US Open Series is ready to get to the heart, with the historic tournament of Washington D.C.

 

The Citi Open in Washington, the only ATP tournament to be contested next week, will follow Atlanta in the American summer tour. The event has been taking place on hard-courts since 1969, when Thomaz Koch from Brazil won the first edition defeating Arthur Ashe in the final.

Rafael Nadal, who has received a Wild-Card, Felix Auger-Aliassime and Alex De Minaur will be the first three seeded players. Jannik Sinner, Aslan Karatsev, Karen Khachanov and the defending champion Nick Kyrgios are committed to play as well, while Milos Raonic and John Isner have withdrawn. Denis Kudla, Brandon Nakashima and Feliciano Lopez will play with a Wild-Card.

NEWS: Karen Khachanov (who is playing the Olympics) has pulled out from the tournament; Mackenzie McDonald takes his place in the main draw.

NEWS: Aslan Karatsev has withdrawn, he has been replaced by Colombia’s Daniel-Elahi Galan.


ATP 500 Washington (DC, USA), entry list:
OUT Shapovalov, Denis (CAN)
Auger-Aliassime, Felix (CAN)
De Minaur, Alex (AUS)
OUT Hurkacz, Hubert (POL)
Auger-Aliassime, Felix (CAN)
Dimitrov, Grigor (BUL)
OUT Raonic, Milos (CAN)
Sinner, Jannik (ITA)
OUT Karatsev, Aslan (RUS)
Evans, Daniel (GBR)
OUT Khachanov, Karen (RUS)
Opelka, Reilly (USA)
OUT Isner, John (USA)
Norrie, Cameron (GBR)
Bublik, Alexander (KAZ)
OUT Ramos-Vinolas, Albert (ESP)
Fritz, Taylor (USA)
Millman, John (AUS)
Paire, Benoit (FRA)
Kecmanovic, Miomir (SRB)
Korda, Sebastian (USA)
Harris, Lloyd (RSA)
Paul, Tommy (USA)
Nishikori, Kei (JPN)
Querrey, Sam (USA)
Tiafoe, Frances (USA)
Nishioka, Yoshihito (JPN)
OUT Pella, Guido (ARG)
Kyrgios, Nick (AUS)
OUT Koepfer, Dominik (GER)
Pospisil, Vasek (CAN)
Giron, Marcos (USA)
Popyrin, Alexei (AUS)
Sandgren, Tennys (USA)
OUT Munar, Jaume (ESP)
OUT Kwon, Soonwoo (KOR)
(SE)
WC Nadal, Rafael (ESP)
WC Sock, Jack (USA)
WC Nakashima, Brandon (USA)
WC Lopez, Feliciano (ESP)
(WC)
OUT (WC)
Alternates:
IN Gerasimov, Egor (BLR)
IN Johnson, Steve (USA)
IN Ruusuvuori, Emil (FIN)
IN Thompson, Jordan (AUS)
IN Ivashka, Ilya (BLR)
IN Berankis, Ricardas (LTU)
OUT Monteiro, Thiago (BRA)
IN Seppi, Andreas (ITA)
IN Duckworth, James (AUS)

IN Anderson, Kevin (RSA)
OUT Daniel, Taro (JPN)
OUT Kukushkin, Mikhail (KAZ)

OUT Martinez, Pedro (ESP)
IN McDonald, Mackenzie (USA)
IN Galan, Daniel Elahi (COL)
IN Kudla, Denis (USA)

Alt.1 Uchiyama, Yasutaka (JPN)
Alt.2 Bonzi, Benjamin (FRA)
Alt.3 Sousa, Joao (POR)
Alt.4 Zapata Miralles, Bernabe (ESP)
Alt.5 Seyboth Wild, Thiago (BRA)


ATP 500 Washington, qualifying:
OUT Ivashka, Ilya (BLR)
OUT Thompson, Jordan (AUS)
OUT Duckworth, James (AUS)

OUT Ruusuvuori, Emil (FIN)
OUT Johnson, Steve (USA)
OUT Berankis, Ricardas (LTU)
OUT Seppi, Andreas (ITA)
OUT Ymer, Mikael (SWE)

OUT McDonald, Mackenzie (USA)
OUT Kudla, Denis (USA)
OUT Daniel, Taro (JPN)

OUT Bonzi, Benjamin (FRA)
OUT Galan, Daniel Elahi (COL)
OUT Sugita, Yuichi (JPN)
OUT Anderson, Kevin (RSA)

Uchiyama, Yasutaka (JPN)
Wolf, J.J. (PR, USA)
(WC)
(WC)
(WC)
(WC)
Alternates:
IN O’Connell, Christopher (AUS)
IN Broady, Liam (GBR)
IN Donskoy, Evgeny (RUS)
IN Brooksby, Jenson (USA)
IN Gunneswaran, Prajnesh (IND)
IN Cressy, Maxime (USA)
IN Marchenko, Illya (UKR)
IN Gomez, Emilio (ECU)
IN Jung, Jason (TPE)
IN Ofner, Sebastian (AUT)
IN Ymer, Elias (SWE)
IN Soeda, Go (JPN)
IN Mmoh, Michael (USA)
IN Escobedo, Ernesto (USA)
IN Kokkinakis, Thanasi (AUS)
IN Fratangelo, Bjorn (USA)
IN Krueger, Mitchell (USA)

IN Ito, Tatsuma (PR, JPN)
Alt.1 Eubanks, Christopher (USA)
Alt.2 Ramanathan, Ramkumar (IND)
Alt.3 Torpegaard, Mikael (DEN)
OUT Sock, Jack (USA)
Alt.4 Purcell, Max (AUS)
Alt.5 Ebden, Matthew (AUS)

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