Daniil Medvedev Ends Djokovic’s Calendar Slam Dreams To Win US Open - UBITENNIS
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Daniil Medvedev Ends Djokovic’s Calendar Slam Dreams To Win US Open

The world No.2 produced a powerful display to upset Djokovic who uncharacteristically faded as the match progressed.

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Daniil Medvedev hits a forehand during the Men's Singles championship match at the 2021 US Open, Sunday, Sep. 12, 2021 in Flushing, NY. (Darren Carroll/USTA)

Daniil Medvedev has become the third Russian man in history to win a major title after defeating a lackluster Novak Djokovic to lift the US Open trophy. 

 

Playing in the final at Flushing Meadows for the second time in his career after 2019, an inspired Medvedev produced a stern service display and belted the ball deep towards the baseline throughout his 6-4, 6-4, 6-4, triumph over the world No.1. In contrast Djokovic, who was bidding to become the first man to win a Calendar Slam for 53 years, looked weary on the court after coming through some tough matches earlier in the week.

The 25-year-old has become the ninth different player to win the US Open men’s title since 2007. Coming into the final he had won 14 out of his past 15 matches played on his favorite surface.  Medvedev has won more hard-court titles and matches than any other ATP player over the past three years. Against Djokovic, he won 81% of his first service points and fired 38 winners past him.

Sorry for you the fans and Novak. We all know what he was trying to achieve. What you have accomplished this year and throughout your career – I never said this to anybody but I will say it right now. For me, you are the greatest tennis player in history.” Medvedev said during the trophy ceremony.

In what was a rematch of this year’s Australian Open final, Medvedev made an emphatic start with the help of an almost flawless service performance. In Djokovic’s opening game the top seed struggled to find his footing with a series of unforced errors enabling his opponent to break in the first game. In the driving seat, Medvedev snatched the opening set by winning 20 out of his 23 service points against somebody who has been described as one of the best returners in the history of men’s tennis. Fittingly he would seal the 6-4 lead with the help of an ace.

Losing the opener has become an unwelcome tradition for Djokovic in New York who also found himself in the same scenario in his four previous matches.  To put that into perspective, it has been 132 years since a male player last reached the US Open final after coming back from a set down on four occasions.

However, Medvedev continued to have the upper hand against the 20-time Grand Slam champion who reached boiling point early on in the second frame. Djokovic’s inability to convert break point opportunities prompted him to smash his racket on the ground out of anger. Then in the following game, a series of uncharacteristic mistakes enabled Medvedev to issue his next blow as he broke for a 3-2 lead. Closing in on the 6-4, 6-4, lead he prevailed on his third set point with the help of another Djokovic error.

The former champion continued to struggle with his movement as Medvedev’s sublime defensive play resembled that of a brick wall. A double break in the third set moved him closer to the brink of winning the biggest title of his life. 

Serving for the title Medvedev encountered a fresh obstacle – the animated New York crowd. Bursts of boos erupted from fans who wanted the final to be prolonged and voiced their support for Djokovic who at one point looked to be clearly emotional by the situation. Leading 5-2 Medvedev failed to serve the match out but triumphed two games later when a shot from his nemesis slammed into the net. Prompting him to drop to the floor.

I want to thank you guys (the crowd). I mean today maybe (the support) was a little bit more for Novak but that’s completely understandable. Throughout the week you gave me a lot of energy. It helped me,” the new champion said.
“Today is the third anniversary for me and my wife. During the tournament, I couldn’t think of a present or anything . When I made the final, I thought, if I lose I need to find a present fast. I have no time to find a present, I have to win this match.” He added.

https://twitter.com/usopen/status/1437183989198983169

Whilst he didn’t win the title, Djokovic still managed to win over the hearts of many fans watching on the Arthur Ashe Stadium who gave him a standing ovation. Something he said makes him the ‘happiest man alive.’

I was thinking in both scenarios, visualing myself standing here in front of you guys and what would I say. I would like to say that tonight, even though I have not won the match, my heart is filled with joy and I am the happiest man alive because you guys made me feel very special on the court,” Djokovic said to the crowd.
“You guys touched my soul. I have never felt like this is New York. I love you guys. Thank you so much for your support and everything you have done tonight for me.”

Medvedev is the only active player to have a winning record against Djokovic as world No.1.

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Playing Clay Events After Wimbledon Was A Mistake, Says Diego Schwartzman

The former French Open semi-finalist is seeking to win his first title since March 2021 at the Tel Aviv Open this week.

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Diego Schwartzman (Roberto Dell'Olivo)

Diego Schwartzman will likely reevaluate his schedule for next year after admitting that part of his plans for this summer backfired. 

 

The world No.17 enters into the final quarter of the season with 31 wins against 22 losses on the Tour but is yet to win a title. Although he did reach back-to-back finals back in February in Argentina and Brazil. He has won two out of eight matches against top 10 opposition, defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas at the ATP Cup and Felix Auger-Aliassime in Barcelona. 

Reflecting on his performance, Schwartzman admits that his decision to return to European clay after playing at Wimbledon was a mistake. He lost his second match in Gstaad to Pablo Carreno Busta and then his first in Hamburg to Emil Ruusuvori. 

“It’s difficult to play at the same level every tournament, I’ve made a bad decision playing clay tournaments after Wimbledon, I didn’t have time to rest,” he said during his pre-tournament press conference at the Tel Aviv Open. “I paid the price and had some bad losses. But I started to feel much better in USA hard court season, lost to Stefanos Tsitsipas who reached the final in Cincinnati and to Frances Tiafoe at the US Open. Now I am feeling very good, I really love playing indoor tournaments.”

The 30-year-old has headed straight to Tel Aviv from the Laver Cup where Roger Federer played the last match of his career. Despite Schwartzman’s Team World winning the title for the first time, his only contribution to the tie saw him lose 6-1, 6-2, to Tsitsipas. 

Retirement was very much the topic of conversation during the Laver Cup with others such as Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic questioned by reporters about their plans in the sport. As for Schwartzman, he stayed coy about how much longer he would continue playing after saying in the past he might stop at the age of 33. 

“33 — is a good age to retire, isn’t it? South Americans are in different situations compared to European players. We travel too much, and sometimes we are not coming back home for 2-3 months, while Europeans can fly home every week. It’s tough,” he said. 
“As for Roger — he’s a special player, I think he is just the greatest in our sport.”

The Argentine is seeded third this week in Israel and will begin his campaign against Arthur Rinderknech who defeated qualifier Marius Copil in his opening match. 

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Laver Cup Daily Preview: Team Europe Goes for a Fifth Straight Laver Cup

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The lineup for Day 3 (twitter.com/lavercup)

Heading into Day 3, the 2022 Laver Cup is feeling extremely familiar.  Team Europe has an 8-4 advantage, and only needs two wins on Sunday to secure their fifth consecutive Laver Cup.  Team World needs to win three matches to pull off the upset and obtain their first. 

 

Sunday’s play gets underway in London at 12:00pm local time.  And each match on Sunday is worth three points.


Matteo Berrettini and Andy Murray (Team Europe) vs. Felix Auger-Aliassime and Jack Sock (Team World) – 12:00pm

Berrettini was victorious in both singles and doubles on Saturday, defeating Auger-Aliassime in singles, and teaming with Djokovic to overcome Sock and de Minaur in doubles.  So Matteo gained victories over both of his Sunday opponents on Saturday.  Murray lost to de Minaur in singles on Friday.  Andy and Jack are the most accomplished doubles players in this match, as Sock is pretty much Team World’s doubles specialist.  If he and Felix cannot pull of the victory on Sunday, it could be a pretty short day.


Novak Djokovic (Team Europe) vs. Felix Auger-Aliassime (Team World)

Like Berrettini, Djokovic won in singles and doubles on Saturday, comfortably dispatching of Tiafoe in singles.  While it was his first match in over two months, Novak showed no rust whatsoever.  Auger-Aliassime’s loss to Berrettini on Saturday will not help his confidence against the 21-time Major champion.

Novak and Felix have only played once before, and that occurred four months ago in Rome on clay.  It was a pretty tight affair, but Djokovic prevailed 7-5, 7-6(1).  And there’s not much evidence to support a different outcome on Sunday.  Novak is surely eager to re-assert his authority after missing so much of this season due to his vaccination status.


Stefanos Tsitsipas (Team Europe) vs. Frances Tiafoe (Team World) – If Necessary

Tsitsipas easily beat Diego Schwartzman on Friday, dropping just three games.  He is 3-2 against Tiafoe, and 3-1 on hard courts.  However, Frances claimed their most recent encounter, last fall in Vienna, which was also on an indoor hard court.


Casper Ruud (Team Europe) vs. Taylor Fritz (Team World) – If Necessary

Ruud defeated Sock on Friday, while Fritz defeated Norrie on Saturday.  If this match takes place, it will be their first career meeting.


The full Laver Cup schedule is here.

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Laver Cup Daily Preview: Novak Djokovic to Play Singles and Doubles on Saturday

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The lineup for Day 2 (twitter.com/lavercup)

In the wake of Roger Federer’s incredibly emotional retirement on Day 1, the focus of this event shifts to the rest of the competitors on Day 2.  And for the first time in the five-year history of the Laver Cup, Team World goes into Day 2 without a deficit.  With both Federer and Rafael Nadal replaced by alternates for Day 2 and Day 3, is this Team World’s opportunity to capture their first Laver Cup? 

 

Each day, this preview will look at all four scheduled matches, while taking an extended look at the most notable match of the day.  Saturday’s day session gets underway in London at 1:00pm local time, and the night session at 7:00pm.  And each match on Saturday is worth two points.


Matteo Berrettini (Team Europe) vs. Felix Auger-Aliassime (Team World) – 1:00pm

These two good friends have played four times, with Berrettini winning on three of those occasions.  Matteo’s wins came three years ago in the final of Stuttgart on grass, in the quarterfinals of last year’s Wimbledon, and a year ago in this event.  Auger-Aliassime’s only win occurred last summer in Cincinnati.  Matteo is coming off a quarterfinal run in New York, as well as three victories last week in Davis Cup.  Felix was upset in the second round of the US Open by Jack Draper, and went 2-1 in Davis Cup.


Cameron Norrie (Team Europe) vs. Taylor Fritz (Team World) – Second in the Day Session

Norrie was also an alternate in last year’s Laver Cup, but did not play.  Fritz was a part of Team World in 2019, when he went 1-1 in singles, defeating Dominic Thiem during Sunday’s play in a must-win match to keep his team alive.  Cam is now 45-22 on the year, while Fritz is 36-17.  Both men achieved their best-ever Major performances two months ago at Wimbledon.  They played each other just last week in Davis Cup, with Norrie prevailing after three tight sets.  Overall they have split 10 previous meetings.


Novak Djokovic (Team Europe) vs. Frances Tiafoe (Team World) – 7:00pm

Is Tiafoe ready to upset another member of “The Big Three” on Saturday?  He earned the biggest win of his career by taking out Rafael Nadal at the US Open, and defeated Nadal and Federer in doubles on Day 1 alongside Jack Sock.  Meanwhile, this will be the first match for Djokovic in over two months, since he won the Wimbledon final over Nick Kyrgios.  The unvaccinated Novak was unable to travel to North America for the hard court summer season.

Djokovic has only played seven tournaments this year, amassing a record of 23-5.  Tiafoe is 26-19, and is coming off his exciting semifinal run in New York.  Their only previous matchup was at the 2021 Australian Open, when Novak defeated Frances in four sets.  Frances is certainly the much more match-tough player on this day.  But despite his recent inactivity, Djokovic should still be considered the favorite.


Matteo Berrettini and Novak Djokovic (Team Europe) vs. Alex de Minaur and Jack Sock (Team World) – Second in the Night Session

Novak will have only a few minutes of rest ahead of this doubles match, so the length of his match with Tiafoe could impact the result here.  This will be Novak’s first time playing doubles since last year’s Davis Cup finals.  Berrettini played three doubles matches this past January at the ATP Cup, going 1-2.  De Minaur overcame Andy Murray in singles on Friday in what was a grueling contest, while Sock was defeated in singles and victorious in doubles.


The full Laver Cup schedule is here.

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