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 sets up blockbuster third round match against Matteo Berrettini in Rome

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Stefanos Tsitsipas edged past Marin Cilic 7-5 6-2 to advance to third round at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. 

 

Tsitsipas has improved his win-loss record to 28-7 this season, equalling Andrey Rublev for most match wins after Rublev beat Jan-Lennard Struff 6-7 (7-9) 6-1 6-4 earlier today. 

Tsitsipas had to save two break points in the ninth game to hold serve after four deuces. The 2021 Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters winner earned his crucial break in the 12th game to win a hard-fought first set 7-5. 

Tsitsipas was in control of the match and cruised to a 6-2 win in the second set with two breaks in the second and eighth games. 

“Sometimes I need to adjust my game and Marin is someone I respect a lot. I knew he was going to come out here and play his best tennis. He made move a lot. It was quite tricky to adjust to that at the beginning, but towards the very end of the first set I stayed calm and stayed calm and resilient. I had to play deep on the returns and find solutions from the baseline rallies. That worked well for me from 6-5”, said Tsitsipas. 

Tsitsipas set up a blockbuster third round match against last week’s Madrid Mutua Open finalist Matteo Berrettini, who beat John Millman 6-4 6-2 in front of fans, who will return on Thursday. Tsitsipas enjoyed the atmosphere on the Pietrangeli Stadium. 

“The Pietrangeli Stadium is very beautiful. It’s one of the best courts on tour. I feel like the Pietrangeli here is great. We are surrounded by trees in the city and it’s very quiet which is very important for tennis. Honestly, I can’t wait for the fans to come and fill in the stadium”, said Tsitsipas. 

Berrettini missed three consecutive break points in the third game of the opening set and earned his first break in the ninth game to take a 5-4 lead. The Rome-native star served out the first set at 15. Berrettini earned two consecutive breaks to race out to 4-0 lead. Millman saved a break point to hold serve in the fifth game, but Berrettini never looked back in his next two service games to claim the second set 6-2. 

Berrettini has improved with his each appearance in the Rome tournament, reaching the second round in 2018, the third round in 2019 and the quarter final in 2020. 

Tsitsipas beat Berrettini in their only head-to-head match at the 2019 Australian Open. 

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Alexander Zverev eases past Hugo Dellien to set up a third round match clash against Kei Nishikori in Rome

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This year’s Madrid Mutua Open champion Alexander Zverev cruised past qualifier Hugo Dellien 6-2 6-2 on Nicola Pietrangeli Court to move into the third round at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. 

 

Zverev fired 27 winners and fended off all six of the break points he faced. The German won five consecutive games from 0-1 down with a double break to race out to a 5-1 lead and served out the opening set at 15 in the eighth game. 

Zverev went up a break in the third game to take a 2-1, but he had to save six break points in a 12-game fourth game. Zverev managed to hold serve after seven deuces before breaking serve in the fifth game to open up a 4-1 lead. The German served out the win on on his second match point in the eighth game. 

The  German star will face Kei Nishikori for the second time in two weeks. He beat Nishikori, Dan Evans, Rafael Nadal, Dominic Thiem and Matteo Berrettini last week at the Madrid Mutua Open en route to the fourth ATP Masters 1000 title of his career after claiming three previous trophies in Rome and Canada in 2017 and Madrid in 2018.  

Federico Delbonis didn’t face a break point and converted four of his nine break points in his 6-2 6-1 win over David Goffin. The Argentine player will take on Felix Auger Aliassime, who cruised past last year’s Rome finalist Diego Schwartzman 6-1 6-3. 

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Aslan Karatsev beats Danil Medvedev in all-Russian clash in Rome

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Aslan Karatsev beat his compatriot Danil Medvedev 6-2 6-4 after 1 hour and 18 minutes in an all-Russian match to move into the third round at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia at the Foro Italico in Rome. Karatsev has scored his fifth career win against top 10 opponents.

 

Karatsev has improved his win-loss record to 21-6 in his 27 matches this year, including the ATP 500 title in Dubai, the semifinal at the Australian Open and the final at the Serbian Open in Belgrade. 

Karatsev has scored his second top 5 win in the past month after taking an upset win over world number 1 Novak Djokovic in the semifinal in Belgrade. 

Karatsev earned a double break in the fifth and seventh games to open up a 5-2 lead. The 27-year-old Russian player earned another break in the seventh game with a volley to take a 4-3 lead. He never looked back and served out the win on his first match point in the 10th game. 

Karatsev won 90% of his first serve points and saved just one break point. 

Karatsev faced Medvedev for the first time in his career on the ATP Tour. They teamed up with Andrey Rublev at the ATP Cup in Melbourne last winter helping Russia win the final against Italy. 

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