Novak Djokovic Fights Back To Reach Record 32nd Major Final At Wimbledon - UBITENNIS
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Novak Djokovic Fights Back To Reach Record 32nd Major Final At Wimbledon

The world No.3 overcame an early scare to set up a blockbuster showdown with Nick Kyrgios on Sunday at The All England Club.

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Image via https://twitter.com/Wimbledon/

Novak Djokovic has extended his winning streak at Wimbledon to 27 matches after battling from a set down to defeat Cameron Norrie in the semi-finals on Friday.

 

Djokovic, who is seeking a seventh title at the All England Club, suffered an early scare before staging a triumphant 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4, victory on Center Court. In doing so he has become the first male player and the fourth overall to reach 32 Grand Slam finals. Djokovic is also only the third player in the Open Era to reach a Wimbledon men’s final after turning 35.

“I didn’t start well,” Djokovic said during his on-court interview. “He was the better player for the first set. I had played my Grand Slam semifinals in the past but it is never easy walking out.’
“You have a lot of expectations for yourself and from others, as well. Cameron didn’t have much to lose, he was probably playing the tournament of his life. Playing at home is never easy for him and I wish him all the best. He’s a player I have a lot of respect for.”

Coming into the encounter Norrie had only won four games against Djokovic in their previous encounter. When asked about that match two days ago he said he had learned a lot from it. That was evident during the start of the semi-final showdown as the Brit unexpectedly wore down an erratic Djokovic to clinch the opener in just 33 minutes. Producing heavy hitting from both his forehand and backhand sides, Norrie broke three times en route to a commanding 5-2 lead. He set himself up with two set points by firing a 127 mph ace before sealing the opener with another ace at the slightly slower speed of 124 mph.

It wasn’t the first time in the tournament Djokovic has been forced to come from behind after also doing so against Jannik Sinner in the quarter-finals. He managed to turn his fortunes around in the second set with the help of a clinical service display where he won 20 out of 23 points played. Taming the threat from across the court, Djokovic secured the breakthrough whilst leading 4-3. A costly Norrie forehand drifted beyond the baseline to hand him a vital break before he levelled the match in the following game with the help of more mistakes from his opponent.

Continuing his fight back Djokovic broke instantly at the start of the third set following a Norrie shank to go into the lead for the first time. At this point, the match had a different feel compared to the start with the Serbian being in full control. After breaking once more, he sealed the two-set lead at the expense of yet another Norrie unforced error.

Admirbally Norrie battled until the end with the help of an animated crowd lending their full support behind him. However, it was enough to prevent Djokovic from securing a place in his eighth Wimbledon final. He did so by firing a serve down the centre of the court that Norrie returned into the net.

“Cameron was dominating the play. I got lucky in the second set to break his serve at 4-3 after he missed a couple put aways. From then the momentum shifted a little bit,” Djokovic commented on his comeback.

The 20-time major winner will next take on Nick Kyrgios for the title on Sunday afternoon in could be a blockbuster encounter.

“One thing for sure is that there is going to be a lot of fireworks, emotionally, from both of us,” Djokovic jokes about playing the Australian.
“It’s going to be his first Grand Slam final. He’s very excited and doesn’t have much to lose. He always plays like that, freely and he has one of the biggest serves in the game.’
“We haven’t played for some time and I have never won a set off him. Hopefully, it can be different this time. It’s another final for me at Wimbledon and hopefully, that experience can work in my favour. “

Kyrgios is through to his maiden Grand Slam final after Rafael Nadal withdrew from their clash due to an abdominal tear. The Australian admits he previously had a rocky relationship with Djokovic but the two have since put their differences aside. Revealing that they message each other on Instagram with the former world No.1 joking earlier this week he would see Kyrgios on Sunday (in the final) which he now will.

“We have a bit of a bromance now, which is weird,” said Kyrgios. “I think everyone knows there was no love lost for a while there. I think it was healthy for the sport. Every time we played each other, there was hype around it. It was interesting for the media, the people watching and all that.’
“I felt like I was almost the only kind of player and someone to stand up for him with all that drama at the Australian Open. I feel like that’s where respect is kind of earned. Not on the tennis court, but I feel like when a real-life crisis is happening and someone stands up for you.”

Djokovic trails Kyrgios 0-2 in their head-to-head but they haven’t clashed on the Tour since 2017.

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Alexander Zverev Deserves More Respect According To Boris Becker

According to Boris Becker, Alexander Zverev deserves more respect from tennis journalists.

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Alexander Zverev (@WeAreTennis - Twitter)

Boris Becker has claimed that Alexander Zverev deserves more respect despite Zverev failing to live up to his potential at Grand Slams.

 

Zverev has only reached one Grand Slam final in his career despite being a regular inside the world’s top ten as well as performing at regular ATP events.

This season Zverev played a limited schedule after recovering from an ankle injury but still managed to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals.

However most critics have been loud when judging Zverev’s career as it was looking likely that he would be a regular Grand Slam champion.

The German has failed to live up to expectations but former Grand Slam champion Boris Becker believes Zverev deserves more respect.

Speaking to Eurosport Becker also said that Zverev’s father being the coach is a more than successful approach when it comes to the former US Open finalist’s career, “In my opinion, he doesn’t get enough respect from the tennis experts internationally,” Becker explained.

“They’re all talking about the young three or four, but don’t give Zverev, Medvedev or Rublev enough respect. He’s playing with his fist in his pocket a little bit, wants everyone show that he is not a thing of the past, but that his best time is yet to come.

“Surely his father knows best what is good for his son, but if you look into the box at the competition, you can also see changes.”

Becker has followed Zverev for most of his career so knows that the best is yet to come from the German.

Alexander Zverev will look to prove himself next season when he starts his 2024 season when he represents Germany at the United Cup.

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Juan Carlos Ferrero Analyses Key Areas For Carlos Alcaraz’s Development

Juan Carlos Ferrero has outlined the next steps in Carlos Alcaraz’s development.

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(@tennisnewsbrazil - Twitter)

Carlos Alcaraz’s coach, Juan Carlos Ferrero has analysed the key areas for the Spaniard’s development heading into the 2024 season.

 

The former world number one’s season has come to an end after a successful year which saw him win the Wimbledon title as well as winning two Masters 1000 titles.

Alcaraz capped off an incredible season by reaching the semi-finals at the Nitto ATP Finals, where he lost to Novak Djokovic.

However there is a long way for the Spaniard to go if he wants to consistently go toe-to-toe with Novak Djokovic.

Speaking to Marca Alcaraz’s coach Juan Carlos Ferrero spoke about the Spaniard’s development and said that Alcaraz is too emotional, “Be more regular in games, not open doors. Sometimes there are mistakes and it is something that we have to improve a lot,” Ferrero commented.

“Although it is true that he opens doors, he always competes well and at the highest level. He knows it, the other day he already said that Novak doesn’t give you one. He has to improve his decision making and he will achieve that with experience. Carlos is very emotional and that sometimes helps him and other times not so much.”

It’s clear Alcaraz’s high-quality is there but to consistently do it against Djokovic is another task altogether as the Spaniard looks to go from strength-to strength next season.

One area that is clearly a priority for Alcaraz is physical conditioning especially considering what happened against Djokovic at Roland Garros earlier in the season.

Ferrero said that will be a clear focus heading into 2024 but couldn’t guarantee that Alcaraz will play a tournament before the Australian Open, “Because of the year and the fatigue he has been in, what he needs is rest and disconnecting for 8-10 days with his friends,” Ferrero stated.

“From there, the thinking must go back to working really hard, strong and well to start very strongly in Australia. One can never be sure of that. Sometimes you play a tournament and it doesn’t go well, you left home too early. There are many ways of thinking.

“This year we haven’t played Australia and he finishes number two. That means there is no urgency to play a tournament early. Carlos is a player who enters competition quickly, you don’t usually see him without rhythm.

“Although it is true that he becomes more dangerous from the round of 16, from the quarter-finals. I am confident that the two exhibition matches and the training sessions will help us play a good tournament.”

Alcaraz will be looking to play the Australian Open which starts on the 15th of January after the Spaniard missed last year’s tournament due to a leg injury.

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Australian Open Chief Confident Nadal Will Play But Kyrgios’ Participation Uncertain

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Nadal RG 2022 by Night (foto @RolandGarros)

The tournament director of the Australian Open says he is ‘certain’ that Rafael Nadal will play at the Grand Slam even though the Spaniard has yet to outline his comeback plans. 

 

Craig Tiley told reporters in Melbourne on Thursday he hopes to receive some clarity over Nadal’s intentions in the next couple of weeks but is confident he will play. However, the tennis official had previously claimed in October that the former world No.1 had already committed to play in the event before his team denied that statement.  

Nadal, who has won 22 Grand Slam titles, hasn’t played a Tour match since his second round defeat at the Australian Open in January due to a hip injury. He was originally expecting to take an eight-week break but the recovery didn’t go to plan and he ended up having surgery. In May he confirmed that he will take an extended break from the sport to heal his body and admitted that retirement next year is a possibility.

“Rafa has been training, I follow him closely, probably every day because he’s a massive drawcard for us,” the Reuters News Agency quoted Tiley as saying. 
“He wants to play, he’s obviously planning on playing. It all depends on how he pulls up.
“Hopefully in the next week or the next two weeks, we get some specific confirmation of that. I’m certain Rafa will be here because he’s not going to want to miss the opportunity to repeat what he did a couple of years ago.”

Earlier this month Nadal confirmed that he intends to return to the Tour but admits that he will continue to experience a degree of pain. Although he has yet to give any information about which tournament he will begin his comeback at. The 2024 season begins during the first week of January.

“I’m well, training, and happy. I’m at a good stage of my life,” atptour.com quoted Nadal as telling reporters in Barcelona.
“Until now I didn’t know if I would play tennis again someday, and now I genuinely believe I will. I’m still not ready to say when, but I’m able to train increasingly longer, and the progress is good.’

Will Kyrgios play?

Another player Tiley is eager to welcome back is home player and former Wimbledon Finalist Nick Kyrgios who has only played one Tour-level match this season due to injury. He underwent knee surgery in January and then tore a ligament in his wrist during the summer. As a result, the Australian currently doesn’t have an ATP ranking due to his inactivity. 

“We have spoken to Nick, and he obviously wants to do the best he possibly can to give him the best chance to play in January,” Tiley said of Kyrgios.
“Whether he’s playing, whether he’s doing something else, Nick will be here in January and to get him to play will be great. But we’ve got to take it as it comes and he’s got to make sure he takes care of his health …” 

Kyrgios recently worked as an analyst for the Tennis Channel during this year’s ATP Finals in Turin and gave a brief update on his ongoing recovery during a segment. 

“After last year, I had such a great year, and I’m so hungry to get back out there,” the 2022 Wimbledon finalist commented.
“So I’m doing everything I can to get back out there. Obviously, you know how injuries are every day, just doing the rehab, doing the gym work.”

The Australian Open will begin on Sunday 14th January. Novak Djokovic and Aryna Sabalenka are the defending champions. 

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