Rafael Nadal Ousts Reigning Champion Tsitsipas To Reach ATP Finals Semis - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

ATP

Rafael Nadal Ousts Reigning Champion Tsitsipas To Reach ATP Finals Semis

The 20-time Grand Slam winner has moved to just two wins away from his maiden title at the championships.

Avatar

Published

on

Spanish king of clay Rafael Nadal has extended his stay at this year’s ATP Finals after outlasting Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4, 4-6, 6-2, in a must win showdown on Thursday. 

The world No.2 headed into the match knowing the loser of the encounter would also be eliminated from the round-robin competition. Nadal has also beaten Andrey Rublev but lost to Dominic Thiem earlier in the week. In his latest match against Tsitsipas, he remained largely dominant behind serve as he won 81% of his first serves throughout the 126-minute showdown. Furthermore, Nadal also produced eight aces and 32 winners to seal a spot in the semi-finals.

 

“I think I played quite well for such a long time,” Nadal said afterwards. “That game at 5-4 in the second affected me a little bit… I think I was winning my serves quite comfortably until that moment. After that, everything changed a little bit. I think I started to serve a little bit worse.’
“But in general terms have been a very positive match for me, to be in the semi-finals here at the last tournament of the year is an important thing.”

Seeking his first ever ATP Finals title at the age of 34, Nadal entered the match with a dominant record against his Greek opponent. Not only did he lead their head-to-head 5-1, the Spaniard had only been broken by Tsitsipas once in their three previous meetings on a hard court.

Continuing that trend in their clash at The O2 Arena, both players went toe-by-toe early on. Nadal had two opportunities to break in the seventh game but was unable to convert thanks to some spirited play from across the court. However, two games later he secured the breakthrough after a Tsitsipas double fault net gifted him the break for 5-4. Gaining in momentum Nadal went on to clinch the opener with ease after producing back-to-back aces, which registered at 123mph and 126 mph.

In a match of fine margins even the slightest of blips could prove critical which was the case during the second frame. Both players looked solid behind serve with Nadal dropping just five points overall. Unfortunately for the Spaniard he faltered at the worst possible moment. Trailing 4-5, he came under intense pressure from Tsitsipas. A smash at the net by the world No.6 elevated him to set point, which he converted after a Nadal double fault.

Turning into a mental and physical test for both players, they traded blows at the start of the decider before Nadal edged ahead 3-1 to restore his lead once again. Turning up the heat on a fading Tsitsipas, he extended his stronghold to 5-2 by clinching a double break after a wild forehand from his opponent. Tasked with serving the roller-coaster clash out, he prevailed on his second match point after hitting a clean backhand winner. Making it the 71st match in a row Nadal has won after winning the first set.

“It’s always difficult to play here (at the ATP Finals) against the best players in the world every single day at the end of the season. Most of the time when you get here you’re a little bit tired but this year is a little bit different,” the 20-time Grand Slam champion explained.
“I’m sad about the situation (of no fans attending). Normally after a good match the atmosphere should be fantastic as always but it is a different story (this year).’
“I’m exited to be in the semi-finals and I hope to be ready to play my best. “

Thursday’s win brings an end to Tsitsipas’ 2020 season. Overall, he has achieved a win-loss record of 29-14 with the only title he won being at the Open 13 in Marseille. Although he has reached the final of two ATP 500 events in Dubai and Hamburg, as well as the semi-finals of the French Open.

“I fought very hard during the second set and played with the right intentions which gave me a lot of opportunities. I am quite disappointed with the third (set). It didn’t go as planned. I was rushing and I don’t even know what I was trying to do,” a critical Tsitsipas said during his press conference.

Nadal is through to the semi-final stage for the first time since 2015 and sixth overall. This year marks his 10th appearance at the event. He will next take on Daniil Medvedev in what will be a repeat of the 2019 US Open final. Medvedev has already beaten Alexander Zverev and Novak Djokovic in straight sets this week. Nadal leads their overall head-to-head 3-0.

ATP

Alejandro Davidovich Fokina beats Hubert Hurkacz to reach the quarter final in Montpellier

Avatar

Published

on

Alejandro Davidovich Fokina came back from 1-3 in the opening set and converted four of the ten break points to claim a 7-5 6-2 win over Hubert Hurkacz in 1 hour and 34 minutes at the Open Sud de France in Montpellier. 

 

Hurkacz went up a break in the fourth game at deuce to take a 3-1 lead. Davidovich Fokina broke back in the fifth game at 15 and held serve to draw level to 3-3. Hurkacz saved a break point in the seventh game to hold serve after two deuces. Davidovich Fokina converted his second break point in the 11th game to win the first set 7-5. 

Hurkacz saved three break points in the third game of the second set, but Davidovich Fokina broke twice in the fifth and seventh games at deuce to win the final four games from 2-2 securing his spot in the quarter final. 

The 21-year-old Spanish player set up a quarter final against Egor Gerasimov, who knocked out Aljaz Bedene 6-4 7-6 (7-4) after 1 hour and 51 minutes. Bedene converted his second break point at deuce in the first game. Gerasimov broke back in the fourth game to draw level to 2-2. Gerasimov closed out the first set 6-4 with a break on his opportunity in the 10th game.

Bedene went up a break in the third game of the second set to take a 2-1 lead. Gerasimov broke back in the 10th game to draw level to 5-5. Gerasimov earned five match points at 6-1 in the tie-break. Bedene saved the first three chances, but Gerasimov closed out the tie-break 7-4 on his fourth opportunity. 

Roberto Bautista Agut cruised past Gregoire Barrère 6-0 6-3. The Spanish player built up a 6-0 2-0 lead with four consecutive breaks. Barrère came back by winning three consecutive games to take a 3-2 lead with a break in the fourth game. Bautista Agut reeled off four consecutive games with two consecutive breaks to win the second set 6-3 

Dennis Novak came back from 3-5 down by winning the final four games in the second set to beat Dusan Lajovic 7-6 (7-5) 7-5 after 1 hour and 35 minutes. Novak set up a quarter final clash against German Peter Gojowczyk, who came back from one set down to beat Juri Vesely 6-7 (3-7) 7-4 (7-4) 6-3 after 2 hours and 28 minutes. Gojowczyk hit 17 aces and won 86 % of his first service points. Gojowczyk saved four break points in the ninth game. Vesely earned two mini-breaks to win the tie-brek 7-3. The second set went on serve en route to the the tie-break. Gojowczyk earned one mini-break to win the tie-break 7-4. The German player converted his only break point in the second game to seal the third set 6-3.

Continue Reading

ATP

John Isner not happy with the cut in prize money for Miami Masters

John Isner took to Twitter to raise some issues about the ATP and latest state of affairs in Tennis.

Avatar

Published

on

John Isner (@usta - Twitter)

The American took to social media to vent his frustration saying it doesn’t make sense.

 

John Isner took to twitter today after hearing the news that the Miami Open will be cutting its prize money down with the singles champion only taking $300,110 with a first round loser only winning $10,000 in prize money.

Isner and many other players on tour believe the tournament should be forced to due an audit to truly reveal what their finances are and to see if they are hiding anything.

“How about a true audit to see how much tourneys are actually hurting and then a money formula after the event to reconcile?”

“Amazing we still don’t have this in a lot of our big events. How does that make any sense?” 

He also tweeted about the promoters saying the system the ATP uses is broken.

The American also spoke of the unfairness in the cuts the players are taking in comparison to the actual events.

“So players should take a 60% cut and 80% champions cut while ATP executives keep full salaries, benefits, and expense accounts? Make that make sense. Seems just a little bit hypocritical, don’t ya think?”.

Isner finally believes the players should benefit from the tournament not just in the short term but over a long tenure.

““Tennis is plagued by conflict and lack of transparency”

The tournament is scheduled for March 23rd at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami and the tournament has confirmed they won’t be doing a quarantine like the Australian Open.

The players will need to provide a negative PCR test to board a flight to the US and once they land they will be tested once again and isolate until a negative result is shown.

The players will only be allowed at the hotel and the venue and any player who doesn’t respect the rules will be subject to penalties and be withdrawn from the tournament.

Continue Reading

ATP

Novak Djokovic’s Father Accuses Serbian Media Of Promoting ‘Ugly News’ Started By English Journalists

Srdjan Djokovic has defended his son by making a series of claims and describes him as a godlike figure to many.

Avatar

Published

on

The father Novak Djokovic has hit out at the media in both his home country and the western world for not giving enough respect towards his son over the past decade.

 

Srdjan Djokovic has spoken out about the treatment of the 18-time Grand Slam winner less than a week after he triumphed at the Australian Open. On Sunday Djokovic defeated Daniil Medvedev in straight sets to win the tournament for an historic ninth time in his career. On the same day as the triumph it was confirmed that he played the tournament whilst suffering from a tear in the abdominal area.

Despite Djokovic’s recent success, Srdjan believes the world’s media doesn’t praise the achievements of his son enough and focuses too much on the negative side. In the past the tennis star has been under fire over the Adria Tour which he co-founded and the formation of the Professional Tennis Players Association (PTPA) aimed at supporting his peers on the Tour.

“The agony has been going on for 10 years and they have extended it for another year, instead of surrendering nicely and realising Novak is the best in the world and let it go. Novak is incomparable,” Srdjan told Kurir.rs.

Continuing to express his frustration further, Srdjan has accused Serbian journalists of not ‘glorying and celebrating’ Djokovic. Alleging that his country’s media are promoting what he describes as ‘ugly news’ which originated from England.

“There’s always something wrong. And you journalists in Serbia, ask yourself when you will have such a miracle as Novak. Why don’t you glorify and celebrate him, through his character and work – look at this, you journalists need to ask yourself, you are actually generating public opinion and that is what is required of you,” he said.
“But all the evils and upside down are on the front pages and successes are put aside. I guess something will change, you know if I let someone tell me, come on, do this, do that … Why are you transmitting that ugly news stated by journalists from England, why are you transmitting it in our media, let them do what they want and we do what we want.”

Besides the media, Djokovic’s father also claims that ‘every normal person in the world’ loves the world No.1 who he describes as a ‘deity.’ A word used to describe god or goddess. He attributes the support from Chinese fans as to why Djokovic has enjoyed success in the country. He has won a total of 11 ATP titles in China.

Srdjan also took aim at the lack of recognition the 33-year-old receives for his charitable actions through his own foundation and his support of his peers.

“He is not only fighting for himself and his interests, but for other tennis players who can barely make ends meet,” he stated.
“We record something about all of Novak’s nice manners during his entire career, how he says goodbye to the opponent, how he is towards the host, how he extends his hand and kisses the opponent when he loses. Which athlete does that?
“Rarely has anyone ever received an award for fair play, and you know how many such awards Federer has – about fifteen.”

Recently journalist Milomir Marić has claimed the Western World wants to prevent Djokovic from becoming the best tennis player in the world. Although it is unclear as to what evidence he has used to make this statement. However, Srdjan believes it is only a matter of time before his son becomes the GOAT.

“They will not stop because they must understand that Novak is finally the best tennis player of all time and they will have to accept that because it is a fact and he comes from Serbia,” he concluded.

The men’s all-time Grand Slam title tally is currently jointly held by Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer who have 20 each. Next month Djokovic will break Federer’s record for the most weeks spent as world No.1 on the ATP Tour.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending