Novak Djokovic A Bigger Favourite To Win Wimbledon Than Any Other Major, Says Zverev - UBITENNIS
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Novak Djokovic A Bigger Favourite To Win Wimbledon Than Any Other Major, Says Zverev

The German was asked following his second round match if he has the game to win Wimbledon this year and this is what he said.

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Alexander Zverev (GER) in action against Tallon Griekspoor (NED) in the first round of the Gentlemen's Singles on No.1 Court at The Championships 2021. Held at The All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon. Day 2 Tuesday 29/06/2021. Credit: AELTC/Edward Whitaker

Germany’s Alexander Zverev says he has high expectations of himself at this year’s Wimbledon Championships but admits he faces a tall order to win his maiden major title.

 

The world No.6 disposed of Tennys Sandgren 7-5, 6-2, 6-3, in his second round match on Thursday. He is now through to the last 32 of the tournament for the fourth time in his career but only once has he reached the fourth round. Against Sandgren, the German won 84% of his first service points and was unbroken throughout their clash.

Gaining momentum, Zverev is quietly confident about his chances of having a deep run in the draw. Although he admits that rival Novak Djokovic remains the frontrunner. The Serbian is bidding to win his third consecutive Wimbledon title and sixth overall. Djokovic is currently unbeaten in major tournaments this year after winning both the Australian Open and French Open.

“I do believe I’m at a stage where I can come to a tournament to win,” said Zverev. “I think it’s no secret that Novak is the favourite. I think he’s an even bigger favourite here than all the other Grand Slams simply because of the surface.”

Zverev belongs to a contingent of players trying to take over from the reign of the Big Three who are all over the age of 30. He has already won a quartet of Masters 1000 titles, as well as the 2018 ATP Finals. Facing top 10 opposition, he has scored 31 wins with four of those taking place this season over Stefanos Tsitsipas (Acapulco), Rafael Nadal (Madrid), Matteo Berrettini (Madrid) and Dominic Thiem (Madrid).

“I think the young guys still need to learn how to play on a grass court. But we are doing that each year,” he explains. “We need to learn how to move on it, we need to know the position of the court.But I’m not in a position right now where I’m satisfied with just a quarterfinal or a semifinal. I am here to compete and at least give myself the best chance to do so.”

The 24-year-old is competing in his 24th Grand Slam main draw. His best ever run was to the final of the US Open last year where he lost to Dominic Thiem, as well as the semi-finals of the Australian Open (2020) and French Open (2021).

In the third round at Wimbledon, Zverev faces a showdown with Taylor Fritz who is enjoying a dream run at the event. The American underwent meniscus surgery on his right knee just last month and hadn’t played a match on the grass leading up to the Grand Slam. Nevertheless, Fritz outlasted Steve Johnson 6-4, 7-6(4), 4-6, 6-7(4), 6-4, in his second round match.

“I’m very surprised that he’s actually playing here and I’m very surprised how well he’s playing. I have to give credit to him for coming back this quickly,” Zverev commented on his upcoming rival.
“I think on a grass court he’s extremely dangerous. He has a very fast serve and has big weapons. We played a very difficult match here (in 2018). I’m looking forward to it because I know it’s not going to be easy.”

Should he win, Zverev will then play either Nick Kyrgios or Felix Auger-Aliassime.

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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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Brandon Nakashima shocks John Isner to reach first ATP final in Los Cabos

Brandon Nakashima stunned John Isner to reach the final in Los Cabos.

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Brandon Nakashima (@AbiertoLosCabos - Twitter)

The American became the youngest American to reach a final outside the US since Andy Roddick back in 2001.

 

Brandon Nakashima booked his spot in the final beating an out of sorts John Isner 7-5, 6-4 in one hour and 28 minutes firing 12 aces and winning 82% points with his first serve.

“It’s always going to be tough playing against him, It’s always so hard to return his serve and try to get into the rallies with him but I tried to get back as many returns as I could and there was blocking or chipping the return or hitting over it and just try to mix it up a lot while getting different looks and I knew when I had the opportunities and when I got close in games I knew I had to take advantage of that as much as possible so luckily I was able to do it and of course taking care of my service games was important as well”.

For the first six games of the opening set, neither player had an issue holding serve but at 3-3, it was the San Diego native with the first chance to break but was denied by the world number 39’s big serve.

At 5-4, the world number 134 had two more chances to break and he got the crucial break and served out the first set.

Winning the first set seemed to invigorate the 19-year-old and he earned an early chance to break in the first game of the second set and broke to take a 1-0 lead. Once again that one break was enough to serve out the match and seal the victory.

After the match, Nakashima spoke about becoming the first American player to reach a final outside the US since Andy Roddick back in 2001.

“It feels great and it’s a big accomplishment for me and of course all the Americans, we like to play in the US but it’s nice to see that I am playing well outside the US and luckily it’s not too far from my home here so I have been enjoying it here a lot both on and off the court and really looking forward to playing tomorrow again”.

Nakashima will face the number one seed Cameron Norrie in the final and can feel confident as the last time these two players met, the American beat him.

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