ATP Finals Day 2 Preview: Novak Djokovic Begins the Quest for his Sixth Title - UBITENNIS
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ATP Finals Day 2 Preview: Novak Djokovic Begins the Quest for his Sixth Title

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Novak Djokovic is 39-3 in 2020 (Ella Ling/ATP Tour)

Djokovic has already clinched the year-end No.1 ranking for a record-tying sixth time. 

 

While Novak won this event four consecutive times from 2012-2015, the last four years have seen four first-time champions crowned.  In his opening match today, Djokovic will face ATP Finals debutante Diego Schwartzman, who last month reached a career-high ranking of No.8 in the world.  And the evening session will host a rematch of the Paris Masters final from eight days ago, between the champion of that event, Daniil Medvedev, and runner-up Sascha Zverev.

Novak Djokovic (1) vs. Diego Schwartzman (8)

Djokovic has dominated their head-to-head 5-0, winning 13 of 16 sets played.  On hard courts, Schwartzman has never taken a set from Novak, including at this year’s Australian Open.  Their last meeting was in the Rome Masters final, which came just two days after Diego earned his first victory over another all-time great, Rafael Nadal.  But defeating Djokovic this year hasn’t been easy.  Novak has only suffered three losses: his default at the US Open, his defeat to Nadal at Roland Garros, and a lopsided loss to Lorenzo Sonego where he obviously wasn’t giving his best effort.  And despite not winning this event since 2015, Novak has reached the final in two his of last three appearances, and owns a 36-14 career record here.  All this makes Djokovic a heavy favorite to win today.

Daniil Medvedev (4) vs. Sascha Zverev (5)

Two Sundays ago in Bercy, Medvedev came back from a set down to defeat Zverev, only his second victory over the German in seven tries.  That ended Sascha’s 12-match winning streak, after claiming back-to-back titles in Cologne the month before.  Both men served extremely well throughout that Masters 1,000 tournament, which bodes well for their chances this week in London.  But the difference in that Paris final was Medvedev’s returning skills, as he broke Zverev four times and surrendered his own serve only once.  A year ago in his ATP Finals debut, Daniil went a disappointing 0-3.  However, he was understandably exhausted after a four-month stretch where he reached six consecutive tournament finals.  Zverev’s ATP Finals results are quite the opposite: he was the champion here in 2018, and a semifinalist a year ago.  But despite Sascha’s 5-2 record against Daniil, his loss to Medvedev in Bercy makes the Russian the slight favorite on this day.

Other Notable Matches on Day 2:

US Open champions Mate Pavic and Bruno Soares (1) vs. Jurgen Melzer and Edouard Roger-Vasselin (7), who won the St. Petersburg event last month.

Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos (4) vs. John Peers and Michael Venus (6).  Both teams impressively won three ATP titles in this shortened season.

Full order of play is here.

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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.


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)
Karatsev, Aslan (RUS)
Evans, Daniel (GBR)
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)
Munar, Jaume (ESP)
Kwon, Soonwoo (KOR)
(SE)
WC Nadal, Rafael (ESP)
WC Kudla, Denis (USA)
WC Nakashima, Brandon (USA)
WC Lopez, Feliciano (ESP)
(WC)
(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)

Alt.1 Daniel, Taro (JPN)
Alt.2 Kukushkin, Mikhail (KAZ)
Alt.3 Martinez, Pedro (ESP)
Alt.4 McDonald, Mackenzie (USA)
Alt.5 Galan, Daniel Elahi (COL)


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)

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

Bonzi, Benjamin (FRA)
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)

Alt.1 Fratangelo, Bjorn (USA)
Alt.2 Krueger, Mitchell (USA)
Alt.3 Ito, Tatsuma (JPN)
Alt.4 Eubanks, Christopher (USA)
Alt.5 Ramanathan, Ramkumar (IND)

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