Novak Djokovic Hits Back At Kyrgios Following ‘Tool’ Jibe - UBITENNIS
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Novak Djokovic Hits Back At Kyrgios Following ‘Tool’ Jibe

Djokovic says he has respect for his fellow player but only on the court.

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World No.1 Novak Djokovic has reignited his feud with Nick Kyrgios after saying that he only has a limited amount of respect for him.

 

The 17-time Grand Slam champion spoke out about his frosty relationship with Kyrgios on the eve of the Australian Open. Djokovic has been criticised by his rival on numerous occasions with Kyrgios being one of the biggest critics of the Adria Tour. An event co-founded by the Serbian that took place last summer before being cancelled due to an outbreak of COVID-19. Kyrgios has previously blasted the decision to stage the event during a pandemic which was played in front of crowds. On another occasion in 2019, he claimed his rival ‘has a sick obsession with wanting to be liked’ whilst speaking on the No Challenges Remaining podcast.

Kyrgios’ latest jibe at Djokovic took place last month when he called him a ‘tool’ on social media over a list of suggestions he sent to Tennis Australia chief Craig Tiley which leaked online. In it, he proposed ideas such as the use of more frequent testing in order to reduce the length of strict quarantine and moving players to private housing with tennis courts. Those requests were dismissed by local authorities.

“I think he’s good for the sport. Obviously he’s someone that is different. He goes about his tennis, he goes about his off court things in his own authentic way. I have respect for him. I have respect for everyone else really because everyone has a right and freedom to choose how they want to express themselves, what they want to do,” Djokovic said of Kyrgios.
“My respect goes to him for the tennis he’s playing. I think he’s a very talented guy. He’s got a big game. He has proven that he has a quality to beat any player really in the world in the past.”

Whilst praising the abilities of the world No.47, Djokovic admits that away from the sport he has a very different opinion of him.

“Off the court, I don’t have much respect for him, to be honest. That’s where I’ll close it,” he added.

On the ATP Tour Djokovic is yet to score a win over Kyrgios after losing both of their meetings in straight sets during 2017. The Australian is one of the few players to have recorded a win over every member of the Big Three.

The top seed in Melbourne Park will start his Grand Slam bid on Monday when he takes on France’s Jeremy Chardy who he has beaten in all 13 of their previous meetings. Djokovic has already won the Australian Open title more times than any other player male player in history. He is chasing after the all-time Grand Slam title record which is currently held by Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal who are on 20.

When I stepped on the court (at Melbourne Park) this year for the first time in the practice session, I relived some of the memories from last year, also the other years that I won the tournament here,” he said.
“It just gives me great sensation, great feeling, confidence. It feels right. It feels like the place where I should be and where I have historically always been able to perform my best tennis.”

Djokovic’s match session against Chardy will take place at night on the Rod Laver Arena.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas ‘Happy’ To Follow In Grandfather’s Footsteps At Olympics

The Greek speaks out about carrying his family’s legacy at the Games.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas never met his grandfather but the two of them do have something in common – they are both Olympians.

 

The world No.4 has already created history in Tokyo by winning his first round match against Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber on Sunday to become the first male player from his country to win a singles match since 1924. Greece has won two medals at the Games but both of them were during its inaugural edition back in 1896.

Tsitsipas’ debut in Tokyo enables him to continue his family legacy of playing in the sporting extravaganza. His grandfather was Sergei Salnikov who played football for the Soviet Union during the 1950s. In 1956 Salnikov was part of the team who won Olympic gold in Melbourne. After retiring from the sport, he went on to manage the FC Spartak Moscow and the Afghanistan national team before passing away in 1984 aged 58.

“I’ve never had the opportunity to meet him. But my mom told me stories of his career and how he got it…. He kind of inspires me in a way,” said Tsitsipas. “I know what kind of athlete he was, with all the achievements and all the trophies. I’m proud of him.
“It’s something good, a legacy that is being carried on in the family. I’m happy to be the next in the family to be competing at the Olympics.”

It isn’t just a medal in the singles Tsitsipas has his eyes on, he will also be bidding for success in the mixed doubles alongside Maria Sakkari. The two previously paired up at the 2019 Hopman Cup where they finished second in their group.

“We have already played once (together), and we had great success,” Sakkari told reporters on Monday. “We know each other really well, and we are much better players two-and-a-half years later, and we are both really pumped to play together. Of course, I cannot predict that we will get a medal. We will try our best and I think we give ourselves the best chance we can.”

Tsitsipas will return to action tomorrow in the men’s singles where he will play Frances Tiafoe in the second round.

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Carlos Alcaraz reaches his first ATP Tour final in Umag

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Spanish Next Gen star Carlos Alcaraz secured a spot in his first ATP tour-level final with a 6-2 7-6 (7-3) at the Plava Laguna Croatia Open in Umag. 

 

Alcaraz has become the youngest ATP Tour finalist since 18-year-old Kei Nishikori won the Delray Beach title in 2008. 

Alcaraz broke twice to open up a 4-0 lead and held his next service games to close out the first set 6-2. 

Ramos Vinolas came back from a break down three times in the second set, when Alcaraz served for the match. Alcaraz battled through the second-set tie-break to clinch the win after two hours. 

Alcaraz set up a final against Richard Gasquet, who battled past German qualifier Daniel Altmeier 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 6-3 after three hours and 11 minutes. 

Gasquet has become the second oldest finalist in tournament history. The 35-year-old saved seven of hi sten break points, but he converted just just 3 of his 17 break points.  

Gasquet rallied from a break down twice to draw level to 4-4 before winning the tie-break 7-2. Altmeier converted his third break point in the eighth game to win the second set 6-3. Altmeier saved three break points in the second game, before Gasquet converted his second break point in the sixth game to win the second set 6-3. 

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Novak Djokovic Cruises Past Dellien In Olympics Opener

Novak Djokovic’s bid for a historic golden slam continued in Tokyo.

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Novak Djokovic (@ITFTennis - Twitter)

Novak Djokovic cruised past Hugo Dellien 6-2 6-2 to open his bid for a gold medal at the Olympics.

 

The world number one’s bid to achieve the golden slam is on after thrashing the Bolivian in humid conditions.

A perfect start for the Serbian who is looking to achieve the one thing he is yet to achieve and that’s win a gold medal.

Next for Djokovic will be Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff.

In 32C temperatures, Djokovic was looking to start his campaign off against Bolivian veteran Hugo Dellien.

The slow paced courts would suit Dellien as he engaged in some long rallies with the world number one early on.

Despite creating three break points in the fourth game, Djokovic would fail to break early on.

However Djokovic increased his level mixing up the pace and depth of his shots to create angles for simple winners.

On his fifth break point Djokovic would break for a 4-2 lead and the top seed would break for a second time as Dellien had no answers for the Serb’s defensive skills. First set to Djokovic in 33 minutes.

A similar pattern evolved in the second set only this time Djokovic did get a break in the fourth game, breaking to love.

Accurate serving and construction of points gave Djokovic an easy first round match as another break secured the match and sealed his spot into the second round.

A fine performance in tough conditions gave Djokovic’s bid for history the best possible start.

Next for Djokovic will be Jan-Lennard Struff who beat Thiago Monteiro 6-3 6-4.

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