Ball Mishap Fails To Derail Novak Djokovic From Reaching 11th Straight French Open Quarter-Final - UBITENNIS
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Ball Mishap Fails To Derail Novak Djokovic From Reaching 11th Straight French Open Quarter-Final

The world No.1 accidentally hit a lines judge as he moves to three wins away from his 18th Grand Slam title at Roland Garros.

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Novak Djokovic has continued his dominant run at the French open with a straight sets win over Karen Khachanov in the fourth round on Monday.

 

The former champion, who last won the Paris trophy back in 2016, overcame some stiff resistance early on to prevail 6-4, 6-3, 6-3, on the Philippe Chatrier Court. Becoming only the second player in history to reach the last eight of a major for the 47th time after Roger Federer. Djokovic’s latest victory saw him hit 44 winners to 28 unforced errors as he clinched 70% of points behind his first serve. He is yet to drop a set in the tournament.

“It was definitely a closer match that what the score indicates,” Djokovic told Eurosport’s The Cube. “All three sets were kind of even and I managed to break his resistance towards the end of every set.’
“I’m happy with the way I closed out the match but it was a close one. Karen was very solid. Conditions, if you play a bit later in the day with the roof closed, there is no bounce at all.’
“I managed to find a way to win and that’s what matters.”
He added.

It was during his latest encounter where Djokovic got flashbacks of his US Open disqualification for hitting a lines judge. Trying to return a monster Khachanov early on he accidentally hit the ball at an official and immediately apologised. Due to it being a pure accident, he received no warning or violation unlike New York.

https://twitter.com/doublefault28/status/1313122898136137730

Heading into the fourth round Djokovic had only dropped 15 games in three matches played but he was still wary of the threat posed by his Russian opponent. Khachanov is a former quarter-finalist at Roland Garros and had defeated the world No.1 once before in the final of the 2018 Paris Masters.

The latest showdown between the two started with a mainly high-quality opening set consisting of lengthy exchanges. After failing to convert a quartet of break points Djokovic finally prevailed 39 minutes into the match with the help of a Khachanov shot going out. Promoting an almighty roar from the Serbian as he nudged ahead 5-3. However, he still had his work cut out with his rival breaking back instantly. Despite the tussle the top seed capitalised on a momentary lapse in form from Khachanov in the following game who hit a double fault to hand him the opening set.

It was a case of deja vu in the second frame with another break proving decisive for Djokovic as he extended his stronghold. This time it took place four games into the set following another Khachanov forehand error. Despite dominating proceedings, the 17-time Grand Slam champion still showed glimmers of frustration on the court. Hitting the net with his racket after failing to break when up 5-3 and then glaring towards his camp in the crowd. Still, his temperament failed to derail him on the court.

Closing out the match was far from simple for Djokovic as he faced another resurgence in Khachanov’s form. Nevertheless, he once again wore down his opponent en route to victory after converting his first match point when a shot out wide proved too much for his opponent to return.

“I try to be mentally solid in my game all the time, especially in these kinds of conditions,” Djokovic explained. “You can’t afford to drop your focus or go too wild with your shots because if you play someone as experienced as Karen he is going to take his chances.’
“My drop shot was not that particularly great from the second set but you just find a way (to win).”

Reaching the quarter-finals for a record 11th time in a row, the 33-year-old will play either Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta or German underdog Daniel Altmaier. Carreno Busta was the player who he was facing at the US Open last month when he got disqualified.

Djokovic has now won 72 matches at Roland Garros, which is second on the all-time list for male players after Rafael Nadal who is on 97.

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Hubert Hurkacz Aims To Build On Delray Beach Triumph

The best way to start the season for the world No.35.

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Hubert Hurkacz (image via https://twitter.com/DelrayBeachOpen)

Poland’s Herbert Hurkacz says he hopes to play at an even higher level over the coming weeks after winning the Delray Beach Open title on Wednesday.

 

The world No.35 eased to a 6-3, 6-3, win over Sebastian Korda in the final to claim only the second title in his career after Winston Salem back in 2018. Hurkacz, who was the fourth seed in the tournament, didn’t drop a set all week en route to becoming the first Polish player in history to win the title. In the final he won 68% of his service points and broke Korda four times overall.

“It feels great. It is great to win the title and I am so happy about that. This Is a great start to the season,” Hurkacz said afterwards.
“I am happy that I am improving and we (my team) are doing good stuff with C.B (coach Craig Boynton), and things are working. So I am really pleased with this result.”

The 23-year-old is hoping to improve on what was a challenging 2020 season for him. After reaching the semi-finals of the Auckland Open in January last year, he could only win back-to-back matches in two out of his next 12 tournaments prior to Delray Beach. His best Grand Slam result was reaching the third round of the 2019 Wimbledon Championships.

Seeking to break new territory in 2021, Hurkacz will today start his 24-hour journey to Australia which begins with a 5am departure from America this morning. His coach Craig Boynton also currently worked with Steve Johnson and previously mentored Jim Courier.

“It’s the beginning of the season and I still need to work on a couple of things, but I hope I can play even better in Australia,” Hurkacz stated.

Hurkacz is only the second Polish player to have won an ATP Tour title in the Open Era after Wojciech Fibak. At present he is the only player from his country ranked inside the top 100 on the Tour.

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Cristian Garin Out Of Australian Open Following Fall

The South American tennis star will not travel to Melbourne due to both injury and the travel restrictions implemented.

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Chile’s Cristian Garin has become the third top 30 player to pull out of the men’s draw at next month’s Australian Open.

 

The world No.22 has confirmed that he will not be travelling to the Grand Slam after suffering a fall in which he hurt his wrist a week ago. Announcing his decision on Instagram, Garin said the limitations in place at the tournament which wouldn’t allow him to travel with his physio played a factor. This year’s Australian Open is taking place amid strict COVID-19 rules which requires players to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival and limits the number of team members they can bring. The majority of players will be spending their quarantine in Melbourne but the top names will be in Adelaide following a recent deal secured by Tennis Australia.

I am very sad to report that a week ago I suffered a fall, which left me with a lot of pain in my left wrist (sprain),” Garin wrote on his Instagram story. “It has been very difficult for me to play the last days and given the restrictions of the tour, they do not allow me to travel with my physiotherapist, which makes it impossible to find a good recovery. Unfortunately I will not be able to play this year in Australia, which is something very difficult for me to accept. I hope to return in good condition and with the best energy for the tour in South America.”

photo via – https://www.instagram.com/garincris/

Garin kicked-off his season on Saturday at the Delray Beach Open where he was the top seed. However, he lost his opening match in straight sets to Christian Harrison who went on to reach the semi-finals. It is only the second tournament he has played since the French Open in October.

The setback comes after the 24-year-old confirmed that he has started working with Franco Davin back in November. A tennis coach known best for his work with Juan Martin del Potro. Davin has also previously worked with Grigor Dimitrov and Kyle Edmund.

The withdrawal of Garin follows that of Roger Federer and John Isner. Former champion Federer has pulled out due to his ongoing recovery from a right knee injury. Although one Australian Open official believes his decision was due to another factor. Meanwhile, Isner has opted not to travel to Australia because he didn’t want to spend an extended time away from his family.

The Australian Open will start on February 8th.

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Christian Harrison Speaks Out After ATP Fines Him For Not Wearing A Mask

The American says he is against ‘masking people for the sake of it for TV.’

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Christian Harrison (image via https://twitter.com/DelrayBeachOpen)

American tennis player Christian Harrison has said he will appeal a fine issued to him at the Delray Beach Open after he refused to do an on-court interview because he was required to wear a mask.

 

The ATP has slammed the 789th ranked player with a fine of $3000 for refusing to do the mandatory interview. However, Harrison is arguing his case by saying he believed that wearing a mask was optional and has been told by the tournament supervisor he can appeal against the fine. He has previously spoken out against wearing masks after writing last week ‘Healthy enough to play 3 hour matches. But I’m an absolute safety hazard walking maskless through a restaurant.’ On Twitter he also liked a Tweet last month by Political commentator Liz Wheeler who wrote ‘Wear a mask until EVERY person is vaccinated?! Are you insane?’

“Christian Harrison was fined $3,000 for declining the mandatory post-match on-court interview following his second round win over Cristian Garin on Saturday,” the ATP said in a statement.

Arguing his defence Harrison wrote on social media that it is ‘not healthy’ to wear a mask in the sun for longer than necessary after a match. The rule implemented is one of a series that has been taken in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. In America, where Harrison is playing at the Delray Beach Open, the country has recorded more deaths from the virus than any other.

“After my second round match I chose not to do my post match interview due to wearing a mask. It’s not healthy to wear a mask in the hot sun for more time than absolutely necessary after a tough match,” he wrote on Instagram.
“I was given the impression it was optional. I wasn’t told I would be fined. That night I was told it is a requirement for T.V. matches and I would be fined. When I spoke to the supervisor the following morning, I was told since I wasn’t notified that it was mandatory I could appeal the fine and it would be taken away. Unless something changes now I still believe that to be true.”

Refusing to admit any wrongdoing, the 26-year-old says he ‘doesn’t agree’ with masking people for the sake of TV. Although he has stated that he will follow the rules in the future.

“I was required to do a sit down interview after the match with the same person which I agreed to and I did not have to wear a mask for it,” he continues.
“It’s not about safety to wear mask for TV to talk to a microphone with no one around . Playing the tournaments I’ll follow whatever is required even if I don’t agree with it. I don’t support masking people for the sake of it for TV.”

The controversy coincides with Harrison’s fairytale run at the Delray Beach Open this week. On Monday he defeated Gianluca Mager 7-6(2), 6-4, to reach the semi-finals of an ATP tournament for the first time in his career. He did wear a mask during his on-court interview following that win. The breakthrough comes after more than a decade of setbacks for Harrison who has undergone a total of eight surgeries on both legs, both hips, his right wrist, and both adductors.

Harrison will play fourth seed Hubert Hurkacz in the semi-finals.

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