Novak Djokovic Opens Up On Grand Slam Misfortunes, Criticism Over Line Judges Stance - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

ATP

Novak Djokovic Opens Up On Grand Slam Misfortunes, Criticism Over Line Judges Stance

The 17-time Grand Slam winner addressed a variety of topics during an extensive press conference in Belgrade on Thursday.

Avatar

Published

on

Despite relishing in what has been a successful season so far Novak Djokovic admits he has a ‘little regret’ when it comes to his performances at two premier events.

 

The world No.1 heads the ATP Tour this season with a near perfect win-loss record of 37-2 along with four titles. However, his two defeats occurred at Grand Slams in very different circumstances. At the US Open Djokovic was the overwhelming favourite to win until he got disqualified from the fourth round after accidentally striking a lines judge with a ball. A month on from that misfortune, he was comprehensively beaten in the final of the French Open by nemesis Rafael Nadal.

“There is a little regret because I have not won a trophy in New York or Paris since I have been in extraordinary form for both. At the French Open I have had a much better opponent in the finals and I was not at my level. In New York there was this unfortunate incident, but I have won both Cincinnati and Rome,” journalist Sasa Ozmo quoted Djokovic as saying in Serbian.
“If we don’t count the default, I have lost only one match this year, so I am free to say that I am maybe playing the tennis of my life. The season is what it is, with the break and everything, but I have won a lot of matches, so I can compare this year with 2011 and 2015.’

Amid his blips the 17-time Grand Slam winner believes he is still potentially playing the ‘tennis of his life.’ Speaking to reporters in Belgrade following a practice session on Thursday, Djokovic made clear his primary objective for the rest of the year.

“(The) Goals are clear – I want to end the year as No 1 and I want to have as big an advantage as possible for the first three months of 2021, which would allow me the historic No 1, one of the two biggest goals in my career.”

Djokovic is highly likely to secure the year-end No.1 ranking for a record-equalling sixth time. The only scenario that would prevent him from achieving this would be if Nadal wins both Paris and London. Furthermore, Djokovic would have to lose before the semi-finals in Vienna and all of his matches in London.

On calls to replace lines judges

As one of the Tour’s principal figures the 33-year-old raised eyebrows in Paris earlier this month when he suggested that it was time to replace the sports tradition of lines judges with a technology. This year’s US Open used Hawk-Eye Live for the first time which is an automatic calling system instead of humans. Ironically it was a mishap with a lines judge, who were still used on the two principle courts, that got Djokovic booted out of the New York major. Although he insists that his view has nothing to do with the incident.

“I have received a lot of criticism because I have said that we should take into consideration excluding the line umpires. That is an opinion I have had for several years now, it did not have anything to do with me being disqualified at the US Open,” Djokovic explains.
“We have seen that technology in New York for the first time and it went smoothly, there was no room for human error. I am not a person who adores technology and cannot live without it, in some regards technocratic society has gone too far in my opinion, but if we in tennis can be more efficient and precise, why not?’
“For people who volunteer as line umpires we would find other roles within the organisation of tournaments. In this particular matter I think that we should use technology.”

It is unclear as to what other roles the judges could take on in such a scenario. Furthermore, those individuals who work at Grand Slams are only able to after obtaining specific qualifications and they are paid usually based on experience. In 2018 CNBC reported that 850 umpires applied to work at the US Open that year but only 350 were successful.

The Djokovic Open?

Besides his current activities in the sport, Djokovic has also shed light on his future ambitions which includes getting his country back on the map. Bringing up his hopes of an ATP Tournament being held in Belgrade once again. The Serbia Open was a 250 event on the calendar between 2009-2012 before being replaced.

Djokovic has told reporters that he will personally request for such an event to be held with his argument being the interest generated by the Adria Tour. An exhibition series he co-founded that ended early after an outbreak of COVID-19 among players and coaches. The event was criticised by many over the protocols used during a pandemic with players attending parties and a lack of social distancing at times.

“I hope that we will be able to organize a return of a professional tournament to Serbia. Although the Adria Tour ended as it did, and was followed with a negative story, for me it showed why Serbia and Belgrade deserve to have a professional tournament. I will personally ask that we bring a professional tournament to Belgrade,” Djokovic pledges.
“Everyone who comes from here and who came from Serbian tennis is in a situation where they have to go around the world in order to play. We all have to consolidate, to unite to find a solution together, for all cities in Serbia to compete to bring in a tournament.” He added.

Djokovic is set to play two more tournaments this year with the first being at next week’s Vienna Open. After that he will head to London for the prestigious ATP Finals.

ATP

The ATP announces the nominees for the 2020 ATP Awards

Avatar

Published

on

Nominees have been announced for the ATP Awards for all player-voted categories (Comeback Player of the Year, Most Improved Player of the Year, Newcomer of the year, Stefan Edberg Sportmanship Award) and Coach of the Year. 

 

The Fans’s Favourite Award and and the Arthur Ashe Humanitarian Award Award will be announced later this month. Fans can vote for their favourite singles player and doubles team through 11 December. 

Three-time winner and 20-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal will be up against 2020 Rome finalist and Roland Garros semifinalist Diego Schwartzman, US Open champion Dominic Thiem and John Millman in the Sportsmanship category. 

Schwartzman is among the nominees in the Most Improved player category and will be against Ugo Humbert, five-time ATP Tour titlist Andrey Rublev and 2020 Sofia ATP Tour champion and 2019 Next Gen ATP Tour champion Jannik Sinner. The Most Improved player of the Year reached a higher ATP Ranking by year’s end and showed an increasingly improved level of performance through the year. 

The nominees for the Comeback Player of the Year are Kevin Anderson, Andrey Kuznetsov, Vasek Pospisil and Milos Raonic. The Compeback Player of the Year has overcome a serious injury in re-establishing as one of the top players on the ATP Tour. 

The contenders for the Newcomer of the Year Award are Carlos Alcaraz (winner in three Challenger tournaments in Trieste, Barcelona and Alicante), Sebastian Korda (winner of his first Challenger title in Eckental), Lorenzo Musetti (title in Parma and third-round in Rome Masters 1000), Jurij Rodionov (first Challenger titles in Dallas and Morelos) , Emil Ruusuvuori (semifinalist in Nur Sultan) and Thiago Seyboth Wild (first title in Santiago de Chlle)

The Coach of the Year Award contenders are Juan Ignacio Chela (Diego Schwartzman), Gilles Cervara (Danil Medvedev), Nicolas Massu (Dominic Thiem), Riccardo Piatti (Jannik Sinner) and Fernando Vicente (Andrey Rublev). 

Continue Reading

ATP

French Legend Leconte Speaks Out On Upcoming Return Of Roger Federer

The Grand Slam finalist gives his view on Federer’s chances for 2021.

Avatar

Published

on

A former star of French tennis says he is hopeful but wary that Roger Federer will be able to return to the pinnacle of sport next year.

 

Henri Leconte, who is a former French Open finalist that achieved a ranking high of No.5, admits that the Swiss Maestro may find it tough on the Tour given the rise of what he describes as the ‘younger generation.’ This season Dominic Thiem won his maiden Grand Slam title at the US Open at the age of 27. More recently Daniil Medvedev defeated both Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal en route to the ATP Finals title.

We want to believe it. We all want to believe it! It’s been a long and difficult year. Will the motivation still be there? Will this break, the fact of having been able to enjoy his family, have changed something or will he still have that renewed motivation that has always fascinated us?” Leconte told TennisActu.

Federer hasn’t played a competitive match since his semi-final loss at the Australian Open in January. Since then, he has been sidelined from action due to a right knee injury which required two surgical procedures. The second took place after the first failed to produce the desired results.

Despite the setbacks, 20-time Grand Slam champion Federer is eyeing a return to the Tour in 2021. He is currently the oldest player in the world’s top 100 and one of two to be aged 39. The other is Spain’s Feliciano Lopez.

No one can say it. We all wish him, we would like him to stop on a Grand Slam title but the train (momentum) is gone with this younger generation which has put in an extra speed,” said Leconte.
“I would like to believe it. Roger has done so many things, that’s why he makes us dream, we would like to see him at the top. It will be very, very hard. ..”

It is not the first time Federer has taken a lengthy break due to injury. He missed six months of the 2017 season due to another knee issue before returning to action the following year when he won the Australian Open.

Earlier this week it was confirmed that Federer will head into the new season being able to use his iconic ‘RF’ logo. He hasn’t been able to use the logo for the past two years after switching from Nike, which held the rights, to UNIQLO. However, he has managed to regain control of ownership which means he will be allowed to use it on his apparel once again.

“The RF cap is back,” Federer said in a video message to fans on Twitter.
“After a long wait and extensive fine-tuning, UNIQLO and I are extremely excited to announce the return of the RF hat in 8 fresh colours starting December 8th, 2020,” he also wrote.
“This hat has meant so much to me and to my fans over the years.
“It has given us a way to visibly connect, and I have appreciated the opportunity to thrive off this supportive energy.”

As it currently stands Federer’s first tournament is set to be the Australian Open. The tournament had been scheduled to start on January 18th but it is believed that the date has been delayed until February 8th due to travel and quarantine arrangements.

Continue Reading

ATP

Casper Ruud Opens Up About What It Is Like Playing Roger Federer

The 21-year-old explains what it is like to face somebody who is considered by some as the ‘greatest legend’ in tennis.

Avatar

Published

on

Norway’s top tennis player admitted that he had difficulty sleeping the night before he was set to play Roger Federer for the first time in his career.

 

Casper Ruud has shed light on what it was like for him playing the Swiss Maestro during an interview with TV 2. The 21-year-old took on Federer in the third round of the French Open last year which he ended up losing 6-3, 6-1, 7-6. At the time it was only Ruud’s fourth appearance in the main draw of a Grand Slam.

“When you meet the man who is considered the greatest legend in your sport in history, it is clear that then you were a little extra nervous,” he said of 20-time Grand Slam winner Federer.
“I remember before I was going to play against Federer, it was a bit difficult to sleep the night before. When you lie with your head on the pillow, your thoughts come.”

Ruud says Federer’s achievements in the sport made him feel more nervous about playing him. Overall, the 39-year-old has won 103 ATP titles and currently holds the record for most time spent holding the world No.1 ranking at 310 weeks. He played his first ATP event at the 1998 Gstaad Open, which was a year before Ruud was born.

Although the Next Gen star says he has admiration for all members of the Big Three, which also include Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. The two highest ranked players currently on the men’s tour.

“It was in Melbourne a few years ago, and then I remember that we sat in a large cafe where all the players sit to eat. When Federer came in, it was completely quiet and everyone turned around. Now the legend is here,” he said.
“These three legends, they look taller than they might be. They are probably around 1.85 meters, but it may seem that they are two meters because of the respect you have for them.”

Since his meeting with Federer in Paris, Ruud has managed to make a name for himself as he gradually climbs up the world rankings. In February he won the Argentina Open to become the first Norwegian player in history to have won a title on the ATP Tour. He also reached the final of another tournament in Santiago. In September he defeated Matteo Berrettini in the Italian Open to record his first and so far only win over a top 10 player in his career.

“I do not remember everyone in my career. But there are some matches that stand out a bit, and that you remember extra well. Some ball exchanges, some punches here and there that you get, which you usually do not do. It is something that stands out a bit,” Ruud explains.

Unusually Ruud confirmed that both of his parents are now classed as his employees. He is coached by his father Christian who is a former player himself. Christian is a former world No.39 who was his country’s highest ranked male player in history until his son.

“The ultimate boss is probably (my) mother. She rules over both of us. In between at least,” he jokes.

After ending his season with three consecutive Tour losses, Ruud closes out 2020 with a win-loss record of 22-13 and has won $965,653 in prize money. He is currently ranked 27th in the world.
.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending