Roland Garros Daily Preview: Novak Djokovic Goes for his 19th Major Title Against Stefanos Tsitsipas - UBITENNIS
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Roland Garros Daily Preview: Novak Djokovic Goes for his 19th Major Title Against Stefanos Tsitsipas

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An airborne Novak Djokovic on Friday in Paris (twitter.com/rolandgarros)

In 2006 at this event, Novak Djokovic reached his first Slam quarterfinal.  15 years and 18 Major titles later, the 34-year-old has become one of the greatest players of all-time.  On Friday, in a fantastic semifinal, he became the only man to ever defeat Rafael Nadal twice at the French Open.  A win today would pull him within one Major title of not only Nadal, but also Roger Federer.  And it would make him the first man to win each Grand Slam tournament twice since Rod Laver in 1969.

 

In 2016 at this event, Stefanos Tsitsipas made his Slam debut.  Five years and four Major semis later, the 22-year-old has reached his first Slam final.  On Friday, he survived a dramatic five-set semifinal against Sascha Zverev.  A win today would make him the youngest man to win a Major since Juan Martin Del Potro in 2009.  And it would make him the first man to win in his first Grand Slam final appearance since Marin Cilic in 2014.

Also on Sunday, the women’s doubles championship will be decided, with the two most recent French Open women’s singles champions on opposite sides of the net.

Novak Djokovic (1) vs. Stefanos Tsitsipas (5) – Not before 3:00pm on Court Philippe-Chatrier

Djokovic leads their head-to-head 5-2, and 3-0 on clay.  After winning two of their first three encounters, Tsitsipas has now lost the last four.  Last October in the semifinals of this tournament, Djokvoic was up two-sets-to-love when Tsitsipas came storming back to even the match, yet Novak closed out the fifth set decisively.  They also met just a few weeks ago in Rome, where Djokovic won an extremely-tight three-setter, which took over three hours to decide, and was played over the course of two days.

The last time Djokovic defeated Nadal at Roland Garros, in 2015’s quarterfinals, he was upset in the championship match by Stan Wawrinka.  Will Tsitsipas play the role of Wawrinka on Sunday?  Both men played grueling matches on Friday, but Novak’s ended about five hours later, was over 30 minutes longer, and undoubtedly was more physically and emotionally draining.  And Tsitsipas should fine some confidence in knowing his last two matches against Djokovic on clay have been anything but blowouts.

Novak is 18-10 in Major finals, with four of his losses coming in Paris.  He will fully understand what a huge opportunity this is to win the French Open for a second time, after eliminating Rafa on Friday.  I expect Djokovic to be much more prepared for this moment than he was six years ago against Wawrinka, and than Tsitsipas will be in his first Slam final.  Novak Djokovic is a considerable favorite to win his 19th Major title.

Other Notable Matches on Sunday:

Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova (2) vs. Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Iga Swiatek (14) – Saturday was the biggest day of Krejcikova’s career, winning her first Major in singles.  Less than 24 hours later, she looks to be a double champion.  Her and Siniakova were two-time Slam winners in 2018.  Swiatek was of course the champion here in singles last October, while Mattek-Sands has won all five women’s doubles finals she’s ever played at Majors, and all with her former partner, Lucie Safarova.

Sunday’s full schedule is here.

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Andy Murray Explains ‘Crushing’ Feeling After Olympics Exit

Andy Murray explained his emotions after exiting the Olympics today.

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Andy Murray and Joe Salisbury (@the_LTA - Twitter)

Andy Murray admits he feels ‘crushed’ after losing in the Men’s Doubles quarter-finals at the Olympics.

 

The two-time Olympic gold medallist failed in his attempt to win a medal for a third consecutive Olympics after him and Joe Salisbury lost to Croatian duo Ivan Dodig and Marin Cilic 4-6 7-6(2) 10-7.

It means that Murray will likely not win another Olympic medal with this expected to be his last Olympic Games.

On social media Murray admitted that he was crushed about today’s result:

Having been a set and a break up it looked like that Murray was going to have a fairytale ending to his Olympic career.

However the Croatians turned the match around to seal victory and a place in the semi-finals.

Murray also spoke to BBC Sport about whether he will indeed compete at another Olympics, “I don’t know if I’ll get the opportunity to play again,” the three time grand slam champion added.

“I’ve loved every minute of playing in the Olympics. I wished today could have gone differently. I had another chance with Joe to win a medal. We were so close, and that’s what’s disappointing. I would like to have done some stuff differently in the match to try to help out more. Very disappointed.”

Murray will now look ahead to the US hard court season where he will look to compete at this year’s US Open where he is one withdrawal away from the main draw.

As for Cilic and Dodig they will now face New Zealand duo Marcus Daniell and Michael Venus.

The other semi-final will see top seed Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic take on US duo Austin Krajicek and Tennys Sandgren.

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Novak Djokovic Thrashes Davidovich Fokina To Set Nishikori Showdown At Olympics

Novak Djokovic moved into the last eight at the Olympics where he will face Kei Nishikori next.

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Novak Djokovic (@ITFTennis - Twitter)

Novak Djokovic’s bid for a historic gold medal continues after a convincing 6-3 6-1 victory over Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.

 

The world number one’s bid for the golden slam rolls on after a dominating straight sets win over the Spaniard.

Despite the win the top seed had to defend break points early on as Davidovich Fokina showed early signs of consistent aggression.

Davidovich Fokina’s all-round game was working effectively on return and the Spaniard managed to save two break points himself with some neat patterns of play.

However Djokovic eventually grinded out the break for a 3-1 lead as his defensive skills were too strong for the Spaniard.

After that the Spaniard did well to fend off Djokovic’s returning pressure as he maintained a good percentage of 1st serve points won.

However the Serb eventually served out the opening set in 47 minutes in a strong performance.

From there the Serb increased his level and intensity as he made Davidovich Fokina work harder than the first serve.

A flawless second set display was enough as Djokovic broke three times to seal his place in the quarter-finals.

The win means Kei Nishikori stands in Djokovic’s way of competing in a medal match as the Serb looks to win the one thing that has alluded his career and that is a gold medal.

Nishikori beat Ilya Ivashka to make the last eight after winning 7-6(7) 6-0 in just over two hours.

Alexander Zverev also went through to the Olympics quarter-finals with a straight sets win over Nikoloz Basilashvili.

The German will now face Jeremy Chardy in the last eight after the Frenchman ended Liam Broady’s run in Tokyo.

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Svitolina Beats Giorgi to Reach Semis in Tokyo

Elina Svitolina has guaranteed herself a medal match after beating Camila Giorgi in Tokyo.

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Elina Svitolina (@ITFTennis - Twitter)

The world number six booked her spot in the final four after beating Camila Giorgi of Italy.

 

Elina Svitolina is into the semi-finals of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics almost guaranteeing herself a medal after beating the world number 61 and Italian in straight sets 6-4, 6-4 serving 6 aces and hitting 13 winners in the while Giorgi hit 32 unforced errors in the loss.

The Ukrainian went on the attack from the word play earning two breakpoints in the match’s opening game as the Italian seemed to get off to a slow start and she made her pay by getting the early break.

After consolidating the break the number four seed was hungry for more getting two more chances to break and breaking once more to go up a double break.

At 5-1 the Ukrainian had two set points but failed to convert and the Italian took advantage of it breaking back the very next game with a stunning forehand winner to get one of the breaks back.

The world number six eventually served out the first set and continued to ride the momentum into the second set where just like the beginning of the first set she broke in the first game and cruised from there.

At 3-1, she had three more chances to go up a double break once again and she earned it with a sublime forehand winner up the line before getting broken the very next game.

Despite giving one of the breaks back, Svitolina could serve out the match and will play Marketa Vondrousova in the last four.

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