Thiem edges Nadal in classic match, leads London 2020 group - UBITENNIS
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Thiem edges Nadal in classic match, leads London 2020 group

Dominic Thiems defeated Rafael Nadal for the second time this season in a two tie-break epic. Thiem now favourite to advance to the semifinals




Dominic Thiem at the 2020 ATP Finals in London (Photo Twitter @atptour)

D. Thiem b. R. Nadal 7-6(7) 7-6(4)


Most likely the best match so far in these 2020 ATP Finals, and possibly one of the best matches of this indoor season, has opened Day 3 of the men’s year-end championships at the O2 Arena in London. Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem put up a great show for tennis fans gathered in front of screens around the world, as the COVID-19 pandemic is keeping the stands of the Greenwich Arena empty.

Nadal missed his chance to take a lead in the match during the first tie-break, when he was leading 5-2 and was serving to end the hard-fought set. But Thiem played well, won three points with winners from the baseline and eventually won the tie-break by 9 points to 7. Then in the second set Nadal managed to take a break to serve at 4-3, but his opponent raised his level to break back immediately and was the better player at the end of the second tie-break after having seen three consecutive match points pass by at 5-4.


Not much to distance the two in the first set: no break points in the first six games, with Nadal having to come back from 15-30 at 2-3 and from 0-30 at 4-5, when Thiem helped him missing three returns in a row, but no real danger for neither contender on their respective serves.

Funnily enough, as it often happens in these cases, the tie-breaker opened with four mini-breaks in the first four points. Then at 2-3 Thiem put an easy drop shot wide on a very short return by the Spaniard, and could not fend off Nadal’s passing shots on the point after the change of end. Serving for the set at 5-2, the world no. 2 was however ineffective at wrapping up the set, losing three points in a row on some very good progressions from the baseline by his opponent.

Nadal was however the first to get to set-point, following a disastrous double fault by Thiem at 5-5, but he squandered it putting a backhand in the net. The Austrian held his two serves at 6-7 canceling Nadal’s second set point, and at 8-7, he thundered an inside-out forehand to clinch the first set after 72 minutes of battle.

The first game of the second set saw the first break point of the match, which Thiem quickly dismissed with a similar forehand progression that gave him the second set. After a first set full of net approaches and serve and volley dashes by two players who normally play from well behind the baseline, both competitors went back to schemes more usual to them trading shots from the baseline and returning from very close to the advertising backboard.

It was Nadal who finally obtained the first break, edging to 4-3 in the second set, but that turned out to be a short-term advantage as the match seemed to take a quick turn for the Austrian when Thiem broke back, held for 5-4 and was gifted three match point by three unusual unforced errors by Nadal.

After putting a backhand volley wide and missing a smash in rapid sequence, the Spaniard, as clutch as ever, pulled out of his hat a string of five consecutive points to level the set at 5-5.

It came down to another tie-break, where at 3-3 Thiem threaded a powerful backhand passing down the line and then held two serves for three more consecutive match points at 6-3. A cross-court backhand by Nadal landing wide after 2 hours, 25 minutes of play gave the match to Dominic Thiem, finishing the match with 37 winners and only 22 unforced errors.


“It’s one of the best matches I have played so far in my career – said Dominic Thiem immediately after the match – close to the second groups match last year against Nole. Probably he was the better player in the first set breaker, but I still won. Although Rafa is 100% from first to last point, but it is very important to win the first set, because he has an incredible percentage after he wins the first set. The second set had everything; I played the best game of the match to get the rebreak – it’s a match I will remember for a very long time”.

With this match Thiem boosts his chances to qualify to the semifinals, and will be sure of being part of the top 4 of the tournament in case of a win by Rublev over Tsitsipas, but above all he obtains a prestigious win after a bleak period: “Today probably I played a bit better than at the US Open, maybe the best match since the restart. It was hard to come back after US Open and Paris, then the home tournament in Vienna with a little injury, I am really happy to have come back this way”.

As for Nadal, he was obviously disappointed for the result, but still happy about his level: “A great match of tennis, decided by a few details. Well done to him, he played an amazing match, I played well, too. I had chances in the first, being 5-2 and two serves in the tie-break, I was a break up in the second. My chances to have a big result are bigger than they were five days ago, my level of tennis is higher now”.


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




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.

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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.




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.

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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.




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

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.

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