Wimbledon Daily Preview: Novak Djokovic Plays Nick Kyrgios for the Gentlemen’s Singles Championship - UBITENNIS
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Wimbledon Daily Preview: Novak Djokovic Plays Nick Kyrgios for the Gentlemen’s Singles Championship



Novak Djokovic practicing this week at The Championships (twitter.com/wimbledon)

On Sunday, Novak Djokovic will play in his eighth final at Wimbledon, and his 32nd at a Major.  He is 6-1 in the gentlemen’s singles championship match at SW19, with his only loss coming in 2013 at the hands of Andy Murray.  Novak has claimed his last five finals at The Championships, with victories over Roger Federer (3), Kevin Anderson, and Matteo Berrettini.  At Slams, Djokovic has taken eight of his last 10 finals, though he lost his most recent one, at last year’s US Open, to Daniil Medvedev.


For Nick Kyrgios, this is a first singles final at a Major.  He previously achieved two Slam quarterfinals, though those both occurred over seven years ago.  But he did win a Major title in doubles six months ago at his home Major alongside close friend Thanasi Kokkinakis.  Kyrgios is 6-3 lifetime in singles finals, and has won his last three, though this will be his first in nearly three years.

Also on Sunday, the ladies’ doubles championship match will be played, and it is a blockbuster final featuring the top two seeds.

Novak Djokovic (1) vs. Nick Kyrgios – 2:00pm on Centre Court

These two men historically have not gotten along.  Ubitennis editor Adam Addicott outlined much of that history here.  As recently as last year’s Australian Open, Djokovic said of Kyrgios, “Off the court, I don’t have much respect for him.”  Yet as of late, they seem to have a budding friendship, after Nick was one of the few players to speak out in Novak’s favor during the deportation debacle prior to this year’s Australian Open.  On Saturday, they were even on Instagram discussing the idea of going out for drinks together after Sunday’s match, in one of 2022’s most surreal moments.

Djokovic of course has a vast edge in experience, but does not have the advantage in their head-to-head.  Kyrgios is an undefeated 2-0 against the 20-time Major champion.  Both of those matches occurred within a few weeks of each other in 2017.  At both Acapulco and Indian Wells, Nick prevailed after two tight sets.  However, that was during a considerable dip in Novak’s results.  Also, those were both best-of-three matches, and defeating Djokovic in best-of-five is currently one of the sport’s biggest challenges.  As per Tennis Abstract, Novak is an outstanding 36-10 in five-setters, and has won his last seven.  But if the match does go the distance, it’s worth noting Kyrgios is 11-3 in five-setters, and 6-0 at Wimbledon.

Both players survived five-setters during this fortnight to reach this stage.  In the quarterfinals, Djokovic came back from two-sets-down to take out Jannik Sinner.  And Kyrgios prevailed in two five-setters, over Paul Jubb and Brandon Nakashima.  Yet both men should be fully fresh for this final.  Novak only required two-and-a-half hours to defeat Cam Norrie in the semifinals, while Nick received a walkover in the semis from an injured Rafeal Nadal.

We know Kyrgios is capable of beating Djokovic, and the Australian’s physical conditioning is better than it’s been in years.  Grass may just be Nick’s best surface, and his serve should be even quicker than usual in the hot temperatures forecast on Sunday.  However, while Kyrgios will know he’s the underdog against the all-time great, he’ll certainly be feeling an enormous amount of nerves in his first Major final.  As much as Nick often tries to act as if he doesn’t care about his results, he very much does, and admitted to barely getting any sleep the night after he received the walkover into this final.  And that walkover may hurt his chances on Sunday, as he hasn’t played a competitive match in four days, and we’ve often seen players struggle in the round following a walkover.  Also, Kyrgios often performs better against players he despises, and this newfound mutual respect he’s found with Djokovic may not help his cause.  In a best-of-five match, Novak is the favorite to win his 21st Major, putting him just one title behind Nadal.

Other Notable Matches on Sunday:

Elise Mertens and Shuai Zhang (1) vs. Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova (2) – Krejcikova and Siniakova won this title in 2019, while Mertens is the defending champion, as she prevailed a year ago with Su-wei Hsieh.  And Shuai is a two-time Major doubles champion at other events.  This is only Mertens and Shuai’s second tournament as a team this season, though they’re undefeated during that time.

Sunday’s full Order of Play is here.


Rafael Nadal Announces First Tournament Since Injury

Rafael Nadal will make his ATP tour comeback in Brisbane.



Rafael Nadal (@WeAreTennis - Twitter)

Rafael Nadal has confirmed the date for his comeback to the ATP tour as he looks to add more Grand Slam titles to his collection before his potential retirement.


The 22-time Grand Slam champion has announced that his comeback will take place on the first week of the calendar as he will play the ATP 250 tournament in Brisbane which starts on the 31st of December.

It will be Nadal’s first tournament since last year’s Australian Open after he suffered a hip injury at the event.

In a video on social media Nadal announced his return to the tour as he looks to make an impact in Brisbane, “After a year away from competition, it’s time to come back. It will be in Brisbane the first week of January,” Nadal stated.

January’s event will be a welcome sight to Nadal as he had initially been expected to return during the clay court season but the hip injury was much worse than expected.

That lead to Nadal doing a press conference in Mallorca where he not only said that he was withdrawing from Roland Garros but also hinted that 2024 could be his last year, “My idea and my motivation is to try to enjoy and try to say goodbye to all the tournaments that have been important for me in my tennis career during [next] year, and just try to enjoy that, being competitive and enjoying being on the court, something that today is not possible,” Nadal was quoted by The News as saying.

There is a high level of motivation for Nadal next year as he will want to win the Olympics at Roland Garros in Paris.

However before Nadal can think about the end of his career, the Spaniard will be determined to make an impact in Australia as he looks to stop Novak Djokovic’s dominance.

The tournament in Brisbane starts on the 31st of December while the Australian Open takes place on the 14th of January.

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Nick Kyrgios Opens Up About His Self-Harm Battle And Murray’s Support



Nick Kyrgios (AUS) playing against Felix Auger-Aliassime (CAN) in the third round of the Gentlemen's Singles on No.1 Court at The Championships 2021. Held at The All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon. Day 6 Saturday 03/07/2021. Credit: AELTC/Jonathan Nackstrand

Nick Kyrgios says he became addicted to pain during his battle with self-harm that lasted between 18 and 24 months.


In an exclusive interview with Piers Morgan Uncensored on TalkTV, the former Wimbledon finalist spoke about his mental health issues. Kyrgios has previously spoken publically about the topic but has now revealed further details about the extent he went through and the role Andy Murray played in supporting him. He was admitted to a psychiatric ward in London and contemplated suicide following the 2019 Wimbledon Championships.

“It was pretty dark to be honest,” Kyrgios told Morgan. “I won tournaments on the professional tour, drinking every night, self-harming, burning things on my arm, cutting myself for fun. It became an addiction of pain. I hated myself. I hated waking up and being Nick Kyrgios.”

One of those who tried to help the Australian address his self-harm problem was three-time Grand Slam champion Murray who noticed cuts on Kyrgios’ arms during one of their practice sessions four years ago. According to The Times, the former world No.1 then alerted Kyrgios’ manager John Morris about the cuts.

Paying tribute to the Brit, Kyrgios says Murray has supported him throughout his career. The 28-year-old has been ranked as high as 13th in the world and has won seven ATP titles. Besides his run to the Wimbledon final last year, he has also reached the quarter-final stage of a major on three other occasions.

“Andy was always a big supporter of me,” Kyrgios said. “As soon as I came on the tour, he kind of saw a work in progress and took me under his wing. Then he realised later in my career that I don’t think I was coachable or I was on my own path, but he was always someone that was looking out for me.
“He saw it [the self-harm] and he said, ‘What’s that on your arm?’ It was pretty bad at that stage. Andy obviously was trying to give me advice on it. But I was just so stuck in my ways at that time that I didn’t listen. Obviously I’m very thankful. I thank him a lot.”

Kyrgios, who has only played one match on the Tour this season due to injury, hopes that he can help others by speaking publicly about his mental health battle. Something he describes as ‘the most powerful thing in his career.’

“I feel like I’ve helped so many people after I opened up about it and put it on social media,” Kyrgios said.
“I’ve almost been a beacon for people who are struggling. When they feel like they’re overwhelmed and they’re going towards drinking, drugs and stuff, they open up and they feel like I’m relatable.
“That’s been the most powerful thing in my career; people coming to me with genuine issues.
“They send me photos in my Instagram, direct messages, self-harming and genuinely wanting to commit suicide.
“I have conversations with these people. Sometimes I’ve had phone calls with these people. That’s making a real difference and I’m just really proud.”

Kyrgios recently had a stint in broadcasting after working for The Tennis channel during the ATP Finals in Milan. He is continuing his rehab from injury but it is unclear as to when he will make his return to professional tennis.

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Hamad Medjedovic earns first place in Red Group at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Jeddah



Hamad Medjedovic beat Abdullah Shelbayh 3-4 (6-8) 4-2 4-3 (7-5) 4-2 to earn first place in the Red Group with a perfect 3-0 record at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Jeddah. 


Medjedovic needed to win at least one set to reach the semifinals, while Shelbayh needed to win the match in three or four sets. Luca Van Assche qualified as the second-placed player from the Red Group.

Medjedovic will face Dominic Stricker in the semifinal, while Van Assche takes on Arthur Fils.  

Medjedovic fired 18 aces and won 88 % of his first-serve points. He saved all three break points against Shelbayh. 

Medjedovic fired a tournament-leading 45 aces and was broken twice. 

Medjedovic saved three break points to hold serve in the fourth game of the first set. Shelbayh went up a mini-break twice, but Medjedovic pulled back on serve both times. Shelbayh won the final three points to clinch the tie-break 8-6. Both players went on serve in the first five games before Medjedovic earned the break to win the second set 4-2. 

The third set went on serve with no break points en route to the tie-break. Shelbayh earned the first mini-break to take a 3-2 lead. Medjedovic pulled back on serve to draw level to 3-3. The Serbian player earned a second mini-break to close out the tie-break 7-5. 

Medjedovic started the fourth set with an early break in the first game. He held on his next service games and sealed the win on his first match point. 

Medjedovic set up a semifinal match against Dominic Stricker. Luc Van Assche will face Arthur Fils in an all-French semifinal.“It was a great match. I played really good after the first set He is a very good friend of mine. He is a very good player and obviously the crowd here loves him and I respect that. It was a pleasure to play in front of the crowd”, said Medjedovic. 

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