Ivanisevic: Treatment Of Novak Djokovic Is Like Watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre - UBITENNIS
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Ivanisevic: Treatment Of Novak Djokovic Is Like Watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

The coach of the world No.1 has also shed light on their plans for the future and the GOAT debate.

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Novak Djokovic (image via Australian Open Twitter)

Former Wimbledon champion and Coach of Novak Djokovic Groan Ivanisevic has slammed the media over their treatment of the world No.1 in recent months.

The Croat tennis great has suggested that the hostile treatment of Djokovic by some media outlets is due to the fact he is from Serbia because ‘people from the Balkans are always looked at differently.’ In recent months the tennis star has been under the spotlight for various reasons. Last summer he was heavily criticised over his involvement in the Adria Tour which was blasted over their approach to the COVID-19 pandemic before the event was cancelled due to an outbreak of the virus. Although the event didn’t break any rules as such. Other controversies include Djokovic’s involvement in the Professional Tennis Players Association and his unfortunate disqualification from the US Open for inadvertently hitting a lines judge.

Ivanisevic, who won 22 titles on the ATP Tour during an 11-year period as a player, believes Djokovic has been singled out more than any other player for his actions within the sport. The 49-year-old has been working with the 18-time Grand Slam winner since the summer of 2019.

“Everything started with the Adria Tour; they were after him even before that, but in the last year it seemed to me as if I am watching that film The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” he joked during an interview with Tennis Majors.
“Why is he being treated that way? Probably because of his background, people from Balkans are always looked at differently; also, Novak is not afraid to speak his mind and to fight for causes he believes in.’
“What happened at the US Open, it was as if everyone was glad because that kind of shit happened to him. In Australia he stood up for his fellow players and again – let’s kick Djokovic because he is the only one to speak up, everyone else stays silent. Throughout my career I have witnessed players doing all sorts of things, but nobody got the kind of treatment Novak does.”

The unwelcome media attention has failed to derail Djokovic from achieving successes on the Tour. His most recent achievement occurred at the Australian Open where he defeated Daniil Medvedev in the final to win the title. Although he was also under fire at the same time as playing. Prior to the start of the tournament he raised eyebrows by sending a letter to the head of Tennis Australia suggesting improvements to the quarantine system. Then during the major some questioned the extent of his abdominal injury.

“The most perfidious, actually the saddest thing were accusations that he was faking an injury,” said Ivanisevic.
“Why on earth would he do that? Why would the best player in the world make up an injury, and he was up two sets to love at that point?! When some other top player is injured, it is considered a heroic act for them to even step on the court. But when it is Novak, he is faking it.”

What’s next?

Playing with an injury comes with its consequences with Djokovic admitting that the tear in his abdominal region worsened during his time playing in Melbourne Park. It is for this reason why it is unclear as to when he will return to the Tour. The next high-profile event on the calendar is the Miami Open which is the first Masters 1000 event of the season. On Monday Roger Federer pulled out of the event to focus on training. Meanwhile, the chances of Djokovic playing is 50/50.

“It depends on the injury as well, but there is no need to rush it,” his coach explains. “The only tournament that he would play is maybe Miami. I think his next MRI is in two weeks, so we will see. There is no need to take any risks, I would rather see him one hundred per cent ready for the clay season in order to try to go after the Roland-Garros title once more.”

The desire to go after the Roland Garros title is part of Djokovic’s goal of trying to equal the all-time record for most major titles won by a male player. An accolade that is currently jointly held by Federer and Rafael Nadal who have 20 each. It is that desire to break the milestone which is leading to a change of approach of the Tour. In order to focus on the Grand Slams Ivanisevic says there is a possibility he may ‘play two or three’ less tournaments each year.

Then there is also the challenge of trying to keep Djokovic, who will turn 34 in May, in top shape as he gets older. According to the ATP he is the 15th oldest player in the top 100 at present.

“The key word for me is desire and Novak’s desire is huge. He might take an extra day of rest here and there. As you get older, you try to have shorter practices, but with higher intensity; that is what we pictured and what we accomplished in Australia,” Ivanisevic outlined.
“It turned out quite well since he was able to stay on the court for however long it takes. Also, there are a lot of things to factor in as well, things you need to adapt to such as your mood and will to practise, but the good thing about tennis is that you can get creative with the drills.”

This week marked a new milestone in the career of the tennis giant who has matched Federer’s record for most time spent in the No.1 position at 310 weeks. The achievement has added yet another dynamic to the Greatest Of All Time debate on the Tour with each member of the Big Three having their own credentials for the honour.

“The GOAT debate comes down to taste and preferences, but if you have the numbers on your side, it is hard to deny some things… For me, Novak is the best and most complete player ever, for someone else it is Nadal or Federer. It will be an interesting topic to discuss when their careers are over,” Ivanisevic concluded.

Djokovic has won 82 ATP titles so far in his career.

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Roland Garros 2024: Rafael Nadal Faces Alexander Zverev In Blockbuster Opening Round

Rafael Nadal and Alexander Zverev will meet at Roland Garros in the first round with Andy Murray taking on Stan Wawrinka in the opening round.

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Rafael Nadal has been drawn against Rome champion Alexander Zverev in the opening round of Roland Garros.

The 14-time Roland Garros champion will most likely be making his last appearance at the event where he has such a great history at.

It’s been a mixed clay court season for Nadal who built gradual momentum in Madrid but suffered an early exit in Rome to Hubert Hurkacz.

Now the Spaniard has been drawn to take on the champion of Rome, Alexander Zverev, in the opening round.

The match is a repeat of the 2022 semi-final where Zverev broke his ankle losing almost a year of his career.

This contest headlines the second quarter of the draw which also features Karen Khachanov, Holger Rune and Daniil Medvedev.

In the other quarter of the top half of the draw, defending champion Novak Djokovic will begin his Roland Garros campaign against Pierre-Hughes Herbert.

There is also a potential third round clash with either Gael Monfils or Lorenzo Musetti for Djokovic, who is currently in Geneva gaining extra match practice ahead of the second Grand Slam of the season.

The Serb could have a repeat of last year’s final in the quarter-finals with Casper Ruud as the Norwegian begins his campaign against Jakub Mensik.

In the bottom half of the draw Jannik Sinner plays his first tournament since suffering a hip injury in Rome as he takes on Christopher Eubanks in the opening round.

Sinner could face Cameron Norrie in the third round with the Brit taking on Pavel Kotov in his opening round before playing the winner of the battle of the Grand Slam champions between Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka.

Murray and Wawrinka will clash for the fourth time at Roland Garros with Wawrinka leading their head-to-head 2-1 in Paris.

This section also includes in-form players such as Hubert Hurkacz, Alejandro Tabilo and Rome finalist Nicolas Jarry.

Finally Carlos Alcaraz will begin his Roland Garros campaign against a qualifier before potentially playing Jack Draper in the second round.

Another exciting clash awaits Alcaraz in the third round in the form of Sebastian Korda with Andrey Rublev or Stefanos Tsitsipas being potential quarter-final opponents.

This is the full draw with Roland Garros beginning on Sunday.

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Alexander Zverev Secures Return To Top Four After Winning Italian Open

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Alexander Zverev has clinched his first Masters title since 2021 after downing Nicolas Jarry in straight sets at the Italian Open.

The world No.5 surged to a 6-4,7-5, victory at the Faro Italico to become the 10th player in the Open Era to win the Rome trophy on multiple occasions. He also won the tournament in 2017. Zverev’s latest win was aided by an impressive service display from the 27-year-old who also hit 15 winners against eight unforced errors. He is now 22-1 against players ranked outside the top five at the tournament with his only loss being to Matteo Berrettini five years ago.

“It means a lot. Winning my first (Masters) title and winning my first after my injury in Rome. Rome is a very special place for me,” the new champion said afterwards. 
“I said at the beginning of the week if Rome is the place of firsts for me I’m extremely happy about it. It’s a very special week.” 

Playing in his first Masters 1000 final since 2022, Zverev produced a serving masterclass throughout the opening set with the German winning 20 out of 21 points. In contrast, Jarry experienced more difficult but valiantly fought back with the Chilean saving two straight break points at 4-4. Eventually, the third seed sealed the opener two games later with the help of some costly shots coming from across the court. A deep shot towards the baseline was unsuccessfully returned by Jarry, handing Zverev a set point which he converted.

Continuing to pile the pressure on in the second set, Zverev had a double chance to break for a 3-1 lead but failed to capitalise on that opportunity. The opportunities continued to come and go. Back-to-back double faults from Jarry at 4-5 handed Zverev two championship points but once again he failed to take advantage. Eventually, he sealed victory two games later with the help of a forehand shot that Jarry returned out. Prompting Zverev to raise his hands in delight before later paying tribute to his rival. 

“He’s playing huge. You can see that by the opponents he beat and how he beat them,” he said of Jarry. 
“I told him if he continues playing like that he is going to have many more chances. I’m happy to be the winner.”

As a result of his Rome triumph, Zverev has secured a top-four seeding for the French Open. On Monday he will rise in the PIF ATP rankings to No.4 which will be his highest position since August 2022. During that same year, he sustained a serious ankle injury which sidelined him for months. 

“The focus is on Paris, that’s for sure. but let me enjoy this one for a day or so and then I will have my full focus on Paris,” said Zverev.

Zverev has now won six Masters 1000 titles which places him in joint-ninth on the all-time list along with Daniil Medvedev. 

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Novak Djokovic Accepts Geneva Wildcard Ahead Of Roland Garros

Novak Djokovic has accepted a wildcard into next week’s ATP 250 event in Geneva as he looks to improve his form ahead of Roland Garros.

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Novak Djokovic has shockingly accepted a wildcard into next week’s ATP 250 event in Geneva.

The world number one hasn’t had the best season so far having yet to reach a final at any of his events this season.

There was hope for Djokovic that his fortunes would change on clay and the Serb started his clay court season by reaching the semi-finals in Monte-Carlo before losing to Casper Ruud.

However Djokovic’s clay court hopes were dashed in Rome as he lost in the third round to in-form Chilean Alejandro Tabilo.

This has meant that Djokovic risks being undercooked for the second Grand Slam of the season at Roland Garros.

Therefore the Serb has had no option but to take a wildcard into next week’s ATP 250 in Geneva.

Djokovic will join Casper Ruud, Andy Murray, Denis Shapovalov and Taylor Fritz in next week’s event.

Next week’s appearance will be the first appearance in Geneva in Djokovic who will be the top seed in Switzerland.

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