US Open Men's Draw: Djokovic Starts Title Charge Against Dzumhur As Zverev Handed Anderson Test - UBITENNIS
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US Open Men’s Draw: Djokovic Starts Title Charge Against Dzumhur As Zverev Handed Anderson Test

Novak Djokovic will look for a 4th US Open title, while many contenders will look for their first grand slam.

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Novak Djokovic (@WeAreTennis - Twitter)

Novak Djokovic will start his bid for a fourth US Open title against Damir Dzumhir while Alexander Zverev has been handed a difficult opening round match at Flushing Meadows.

The Serb will look to take advantage of the fact that Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer are absent from this year’s tournament, as he chases a fourth US Open champion.

Djokovic, who has yet to lose a match this season, will begin his campaign against Damir Dzumhur in what is a comfortable quarter of the draw for the top seed.

Kyle Edmund could await in the second round, should he beat Alexander Bublik and then matches against Jan-Lennard Struff, John Isner and David Goffin could await the Serb on his way to the semi-finals.

In the other quarter of the top half of the draw, Alexander Zverev has a dangerous opening round match as he takes on 2017 finalist Kevin Anderson.

Adrian Mannarino and Jack Sock are potential last 32 matches for the German should he get that far as Diego Schwartzman and Hubert Hurkacz are also waiting in this section of the draw.

A potential last eight match could be 4th seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, who will play Albert Ramos-Vinolas in the first round.

Tsitsipas could then face Borna Coric in the third round before a last 16 clash with Cristian Garin.

In the bottom half of the draw. last year’s finalist Daniil Medvedev will open up his campaign against Federico Delbonis.

Medvedev, who lost to Nadal in five sets last year, has a favourable section of the draw with his toughest coming against Grigor Dimitrov in the fourth round.

Dimitrov, who had COVID-19 a couple of months ago, will play Tommy Paul in R1 and possibly come up against Nikoloz Basilashvili in the last 32.

Matteo Berrettini is a potential last eight match-up for Dimitrov or Medvedev. The Italian’s toughest opponent is expected to be Andrey Rublev in round four, although he has Jeremy Chardy awaiting in the first match of the week.

The final quarter of the draw sees Dominic Thiem and Roberto Bautista Agut feature but both have stern challenges awaiting them in their path to the quarter-finals.

Thiem, who reached the Australian Open final in January, begins with Jaume Munar with Marin Cilic potentially awaiting in R3.

Felix Auger-Aliassime is another obstacle awaiting for the Austrian but the Canadian could have to overcome Brits Andy Murray and Dan Evans in consecutive matches to set up a showdown with Thiem.

As for Bautista Agut, he begins with Tennys Sandgren while the in-form Milos Raonic and Karen Khachanov could await in later rounds.

Here is the draw for the men’s singles, with play starts on Monday:

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Wrist Injury Threatening To End Holger Rune’s Olympic Dream

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Holger Rune will have a second medical opinion on Monday before deciding if he is fit enough to play at the Olympic Games, according to his team. 

The Danish world No.17 recently retired from his quarter-final match at the Hamburg Open due to a knee injury. The hope at the time was that his withdrawal would be just a precautionary measure ahead of the Olympics. However, he is also dealing with a second issue that appears to be more serious.

According to TV 2 Sport, Rune has been struggling with a wrist issue and underwent a scan on Sunday which his mother Aneke says ‘doesn’t look promising.’ Aneke is also the manager of her son’s career. Rune’s Olympic dreams now rest on the outcome of a second medical expert that he will visit tomorrow who has a better understanding of the sport. 

“Unfortunately, it does not look promising after the first medical opinion after the review of the scan of the wrist,” Aneke Rune told TV 2 Sport.

“We are waiting for two tennis-specific doctors who will give a second opinion tomorrow (Monday). Tennis wrists look different from regular wrists, so we’ll hold out hope for one more day.” 

Rune is one of three Danish players entered into the Olympic tennis event along with Caroline Wozniacki and Clara Tauson. The country has only won one medal in tennis before which was at the 1912 Games when Sofie Castenschiold won silver in the women’s indoor singles event. 

So far this season, the 21-year-old has won 27 matches on the Tour but is yet to claim a title. He reached the final of the Brisbane International and then the semi-finals of three more events. In the Grand Slams, he made it to the fourth round of the French Open and Wimbledon. 

It is not known when a final decision regarding Rune’s participation in Paris will be made.

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Hubert Hurkacz Undergoes ‘Knee Procedure’ Ahead of Olympic Bid

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Poland’s top player on the ATP Tour is not giving up on his dream of winning a medal at the Olympic Games despite recently undergoing a medical procedure.

World No.7 Hubert Hurkacz suffered a knee injury during his second round clash at Wimbledon against France’s Arthur Fils. In the fourth set tiebreak of their clash, Hurkacz dived for a shot but landed badly on his knee and required on-court medical attention. He then played two more points before retiring from the match. 

In a social media post published on Wednesday, the  27-year-old confirmed he underwent a procedure on his knee earlier this week but didn’t provide any further details.  Although Hurkacz has stated his intention to play at the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris, where the tennis event will be held on the clay at Roland Garros. 

“I had a knee procedure this Monday, but I’m feeling better already and my team and are dedicating extensive time each day to the rehab process.” He wrote on Instagram. 

“It’s a dream for every athlete to represent their country at the Olympics, and I want to make sure I am fully fit and ready before making the final decision to step on court. The aim is not only to participate, but to win a medal for my country.”

So far this season Hurkacz has won 34 out of 48 matches played on the Tour. He won the Estoril Open in April and was runner-up to Jannik Sinner in Halle. 

The Olympic tennis event is scheduled to begin a week Saturday on July 27th. Poland is yet to win a medal in the event but expectations are high with women’s No.1 Iga Swiatek also taking part. 

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Motivation, Pressure And Expectations – Novak Djokovic Targets History At Wimbledon

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image via x.com/wimbledon

Novak Djokovic has broken numerous records throughout his career but he still feels the pressure of trying to make history in the sport. 

The world No.2 is through to his 10th Wimbledon final where he will play Carlos Alcaraz, who beat him at this stage of the tournament 12 months ago. There is plenty on the line for the Serbian who could equal Roger Federer’s record for most men’s titles won at SW19 and break the overall record for most major singles won in the sport if he triumphs over the Spaniard. Djokovic currently has 24 Grand Slam trophies to his name which is the same as Margaret Court, who won some of her titles before the Open Era started. 

“Obviously I’m aware that Roger [Federer] holds eight Wimbledons. I hold seven. History is on the line.” Djokovic said on Friday after beating Lorenzo Musetti.

“Also, the 25th potential Grand Slam. Of course, it serves as a great motivation, but at the same time it’s also a lot of pressure and expectations.”

Coming into Wimbledon, there had been doubts over Djokovic’s form after he underwent surgery to treat a knee injury he suffered at the French Open. However, he has defied the odds to reach the final. His run has also seen him beat Alexi Popyrin and Holger Rune before getting a walkover in the quarter-finals from Alex de Minaur, who sustained an injury during the tournament. Then on Friday, he overcame a spirited Musetti in three sets. 

Despite the challenge, Djokovic has insisted that his expectations to do well are always high no matter what the situation is. During what has been a roller-coaster first six months of the season, he is yet to win a title this year or beat a player currently ranked in the top 10. Although he will achieve both of these if her beats Alcaraz on Sunday. 

“Every time I step out on the court now, even though I’m 37 and competing with the 21-year-olds, I still expect myself to win most of the matches, and people expect me to win, whatever, 99% of the matches that I play.” He said.

“I always have to come out on the court and perform my best in order to still be at the level with Carlos [Alcaraz] or Jannik [Sinner] or Sascha [Zverev] or any of those guys, Daniil [Medvedev]. 

“This year hasn’t been that successful for me. It’s probably the weakest results the first six months I’ve had in many years. That’s okay. I had to adapt and accept that and really try to find also way out from the injury that I had and kind of regroup.”

Djokovic hopes that a Wimbledon win will help turn his season around like it has done in the past for him. 

“Wimbledon historically there’s been seasons where I wasn’t maybe playing at a desired level, but then I would win a Wimbledon title and then things would change.” He commented.

“For example, that was the case in 2018 when I had elbow surgery earlier in the year, dropped my rankings out of top 20, losing in fourth round of Australian Open, I think it was quarters of Roland-Garros, and just not playing the tennis that I want to play. Then I won Wimbledon and then won US Open and then later on became No.1 very soon.”

Meanwhile, 21-year-old Alcaraz is hoping to stop Djokovic in his tracks. Should he defend his title at Wimbledon, he would become the first player outside the Big Three to do so since Pete Sampras more than 20 years ago. He has won their only previous meeting on the grass but trails their head-to-head 3-2. 

“I’m sure he knows what he has to do to beat me,” said Alcaraz.

“But I’m ready to take that challenge and I’m ready to do it well.”

When the two players take to the court to play in the Wimbledon final, Djokovic will be 15 years and 348 days older than Alcaraz. Making it the largest age gap in a men’s Grand Slam final since the 1974 US Open. Whoever is victorious will receive £2,700,000 in prize money. 

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