Novak Djokovic Will Break Federer’s Records, Says Coach - UBITENNIS
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Novak Djokovic Will Break Federer’s Records, Says Coach

Marian Vajda speaks out about Djokovic’s record hunt, US Open controversy, French Open thrashing and the secret behind their partnership.

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The coach of world No.1 Novak Djokovic believes it is only a matter of time before the Serbian break two records in the world of men’s tennis.

 

Marian Vajda, who has been a member of Djokovic’s team for over a decade overall, has backed his player to break the all-time record for most weeks spent as world No.1 on the ATP Tour. Which is currently held by Roger Federer who has spent a total of 310 weeks at the top spot but Djokovic is currently on track to overtake him during the first half of next year. Furthermore, Vajda believes he will eventually pass the Swiss maestro when it comes to the most Grand Slam titles won.

“That is his goal and I very much believe that it will happen. He can break all records. And he’s so close to doing that. He is healthy, he is still young compared to Federer, and we all support him in that,” he told Novosti.rs.

Djokovic currently has 17 major titles to his name compared to 20 for Federer and Rafael Nadal. This season he triumphed at the Australian Open but has fallen short at the other two Grand Slam events. At the US Open he was the hot favourite but got disqualified in the fourth round after accidentally hitting a lines judge with a ball. An unfortunate event for the tennis star but one Vajda says he is proud about how he handled the situation.

“You can’t say much in moments like that. You can only support him, as a coach, but also as a friend. The whole team and family stood behind him, and that was the most important thing to him,” he said.
“We know each other, we went through a lot together. I totally know what he’s going through. I was very happy when, after everything that happened, he accepted everything in a positive way.”

Less than a month after his New York mishap, Djokovic had another shot at adding to his major collection at the French Open where he reached the final. However, he was thrashed 6-0, 6-2, 7-5, by Rafael Nadal in what was one of the most one-sided matches in their extensive rivalry. Heading into the title match Djokovic’s other coach, Goran Ivanisevic, branded him the overwhelming favourite for the title.

It was one of Novak’s bad days and the best day for Nadal,” Vajda reflected. “But Novak still remains the champion and is the first in the world (rankings). Our team is proud of his great results this year and is happy to work with him because he still has the motivation to improve in all areas and to be the best player in history.”

Vajda is a former player himself who peaked at a ranking high of 34th back in 1987. He won two titles on the ATP Tour and represented his country at the 1992 Olympic Games. After retiring from tennis, he also enjoyed stints working as the Davis Cup and Fed Cup captain for Slovakia.

Vowing to continue coaching Djokovic ‘until he breaks all the records,’ Vajda has also shed light on what the secret behind their successful partnership on the Tour.

“Long relationship! If you have such a long friendship with him as I have, for so many years, then you will succeed! We are like a family. And the magic word is – compromise. It always has to be. There are no other secrets,” he explains.
“At the beginning, when I was a very young coach, it was not easy with Novak. Both he and his family wanted to be the best in the world. So, I had to be an extremely good coach in order to fulfil his and his family dreams. I was focused from day one and I was not allowed to make mistakes. And, I don’t seem to have made a lot of them!’
“In time, I became not only a coach, but also a good friend.”

Djokovic will return to action later this month at the Erste Bank in Vienna. The tournament will start a week on Monday.

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Filip Krajinovic To Skip Australian Open If Required To Quarantine For More Than Five Days

The world No.34 says he ‘sees no reason’ why vaccinated players should have to go through a long quarentine in Australia.

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Image via twitter.com/atptour (Alexander Scheuber)

The second highest-ranked Serbian player in men’s tennis says it would be ‘unacceptable’ for organisers of the Australian Open to require players to quarantine for more than a week if they have been fully vaccinated.

 

Filip Krajinovic has become the first player to publicly state that they will not be prepared to travel to Melbourne at the end of this season if they have to go through strict quarantine measures once again. All the players who participated in this year’s Australian Open were required to be quarantined in a designated hotel for 14 days upon arrival in the country. During their stay they were allowed to use training facilities but that was the only time they could leave the premises unless there was an emergency.

There is no final decision regarding the travel requirements for the 2022 tournament but there are concerns that unvaccinated players may not be allowed to enter the country. The Victorian government recently issued a mandate ordering all essential workers to be vaccinated, including athletes. However, the regional government will not have the final say concerning tennis players arriving in the country with the national government being the ones in charge of that decision.

“They are very rigorous there and honestly, if I have to be in quarantine for 14 days after arriving in Melbourne, I will not go to Australia,” Krajinovic told Serbian newspaper Blic.
“I was vaccinated, I did everything in my power to protect myself and the people around me, so I really see no reason to sit there for 14 days in a room.’
“If they (the organisers) say that after arrival I need, say, five days to be in isolation, that’s OK for me, but anything beyond that is unacceptable to me. With the season ending late, I will have 20 days to get ready and go. Charter flights will be organized again and the last one is planned for December 28 for the players and that is the final date when I can go to Australia. I will see what the final decision from Melbourne will be, so I will cut what is the best thing to do.”

Earlier this week Victoria’s Sports minister Martin Pakula urged players to be vaccinated because it give them ‘the best opportunity to play in the Australian Open.’ It is expected that if unvaccinated players are allowed to attend, they will be subjected to stricter restrictions. This might include a longer quarantine period upon arrival and limitations of where they can go during their stay.

Last year, all of those players had to do their 14 days of quarantine. Right now there looks like there will be different rules for people who enter this country who are vaccinated as against unvaccinated and I don’t think the tennis will be any exception to that.” Pakula told the Sports Entertainment Network (SEN).
“In terms of what rules apply for people to enter Australia, whether unvaccinated people are allowed in at all, I don’t the answer to that yet. That’s going to be the subject of discussion at national cabinet and among the federal cabinet … those rules are not set by state governments.” He added.

Krajinovic is currently ranked 34th in the world and has a win-loss record this season of 18-18. At the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells he reached the second round before falling in straight sets to Daniil Medvedev. His best run so far this year was at the Hamburg Open where he reached the final.

“When we look at the whole of 2021, I played one final, one semifinal, there were good victories, but also worse results,” the 29-year-old commented.

Krajinovic is currently without a coach but is currently in ‘negotiations’ with somebody without elaborating further about who that person is.

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Alexander Zverev Secures Place In ATP Finals With Indian Wells Win

Zverev will be seeking to win the season-ending extravaganza for the second time in his career.

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Alexander Zverev (GER) Credit: AELTC/Edward Whitaker

Germany’s Alexander Zverev has become the fourth player to officially qualify for the ATP Finals after reaching the third round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.

 

The world No.4 defeated America’s Jenson Brooksby 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, in his second round match on Sunday which pushed him over the points threshold to secure his spot in the end-of-season event. It is the fifth year in a row he has qualified for the ATP Finals which he won back in 2018. He is one of only three German players to ever win the title after Boris Becker and Michael Stich.

This year’s tournament will take place in Turin, Italy for the first time in history after being held at The O2 Arena in London for more than a decade. Only the eight highest ranked players are eligible to play in the round-robin tournament which has on offer up to 1500 rankings points for an undefeated champion.

“My first time in Turin. I’ve been to London four times before. London is obviously very special to me because I won there, as well. I think the stadium is incredible, one of the most special events that we had,” Zverev told reporters on Sunday.
“But I also love playing in Italy. I had great success in Italy. I won my first Masters in Rome. I’m looking forward to being there. I’m looking forward to playing in front of the Italian fans. It’s going to be a great week.”

The 24-year-old approaches the final quarter of this season with four titles already won this year. He has won two Masters 1000 trophies, an ATP 500 event in Mexico and a gold medal in singles at the Tokyo Olympic Games. Zverev, who has recorded seven wins over top 10 players, also reached the semi-finals at both the French Open and US Open.

Zverev joins Novak Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas as the players who have qualified for the ATP Finals so far. It is the third straight season the quartet has qualified for the event.

This year’s ATP Finals will get underway on November 14th. Medvedev is the defending champion.

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Denis Shapovalov Advances After Pospisil Retires In Indian Wells

The battle of the two Canadians didn’t go as planned…

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Denis Shapovalov (CAN) Credit: AELTC/Edward Whitaker

Vasek Pospisil faced off against his fellow Canadian Denis Shapovalov in the second round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells and it was the world number 13 who got the win after the Vernon native pulled out due to an injury whilst trailing 0-3.

 

It was a rough start for Pospisil who seemed to struggle with his serve in the opening game of the match and double-faulted twice in a row to give the early break and Shapovalov had no issues consolidating the break.

Shapovalov continued to apply pressure on the Pospisil serve and after saving two breakpoints the world number 68 pulled up after a serve and stopped play, calling for the trainer. He ended up taking a medical timeout off the court and a couple of minutes later returned to court. Pospisil was broken once again and the following game after a couple of returns decided to call it quits.

” It was pretty awful…and if I’m being honest I am shaking a bit…It really sucks I hope it’s nothing serious…He’s a great guy he’s a real warrior he’s fought back from some injuries surgeries to such a great level.” Shapovalov said of his compatriot.

Shapovalov will face 19th seed Aslan Karatsev in the next round after the Russian thrashed Salvatore Caruso 6-2, 6-0.

In the other results of the day sixth seeed Casper Ruud dominated Roberto Carballes Baena 6-1, 6-2, Roberto Bautista Agut beat the Argentine Guido Pella 7-5, 6-3 and Sebastien Korda won an all American battle with Frances Tiafoe 6-0, 6-4.

Finally, Diego Schwartzman needed three sets to beat another American in Maxime Cressy winning 6-2, 3-6, 7-5.

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