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.


Canada Thumps Australia To Win Historic Davis Cup Title 

The dream of the North American team has finally become a reality.



MALAGA, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 27: Davis Cup by Rakuten Finals 2022 at Palacio de Deportes Jose Maria Martin Carpena on November 27, 2022 in Malaga, Spain. (Photo by Silvestre Szpylma / Quality Sport Images / Kosmos Tennis)

109 years after making their Davis Cup debut, Canada has finally claimed the trophy after producing two clinical wins over Australia in the final on Sunday. 


The duo of Denis Shapovalov and Felix-Auger Aliassime both shined in their matches to give the North American nation an unassible 2-0 lead in the three-match tie. It is the first time Canada has won the title with 2022 being only the second time they have reached the final. Three years ago they missed out on the title to Spain. 

“The emotions are tough to describe,” said Auger-Aliassime. “All of us here, we’ve dreamt of this. All of these guys grew up together dreaming of this moment, dreaming of winning the Davis Cup. It’s a great moment for me and my country…. I am happy we were able to get our first Davis Cup with this group.”

Shapovalov kicked-off the final with a 90-minute 6-2, 6-4, win over Thanasi Kokkinakis who also lost his semi-final match against Borna Coric. The world No.18 blasted 28 winners past his opponent and broke him four times in the match. Besides handing Canada the crucial lead, it was a much-needed confidence boost for Shapovalov who earlier in the week lost to Lorenzo Sonego and Jan-Lennard Struff. 

“I’m very happy with my performance today,” said Shapovalov. “I had a long one against Sonego yesterday and was struggling with my back a little bit. So huge credit to the medical staff for putting me back in shape. There were a lot of doubts if I’d be ready to play today. It was amazing to play pain-free today.”

Closing in on the title, Felix Auger-Aliassime secured victory for his country with a 6-3, 6-4, triumph over world No.24 Alex de Minaur. Producing a total of six aces and saving all eight break points he faced. 

Canada’s run to their first title occurred with a bit of luck on their side. Originally they were eliminated from the finals after losing to the Netherlands at the start of this year. However, they received a wildcard to play in the group stages following the removal of Russia from the competition. Russia and Belarus are currently suspended from team events due to the war in Ukraine. 

In Group B they scored wins over South Korea and Spain to secure a place in the finale this week. Before dismissing Australia, they beat Italy 2-1 in the semi-finals and Germany 2-1 in the quarter-finals. 

“From juniors it was our dream, growing up watching Vasek (Pospisil), Milos (Raonic), and [Daniel Nestor] taking Canada to new [heights],” Shapovalov said. “We wanted to grow up and help the country win the first title. It’s so surreal right now. After we lost in the final in 2019, we really wanted this bad. It’s such a team effort; everyone was putting in 120 percent every day.”

Canada’s team captain is former player Frank Dancevic who has held the role since 2017. 

 “This is a historic moment,” Dancevic commented on the achievement. “We’ve never won this title in the past. It’s the first time for us. It’s an incredible feeling.”

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Lleyton Hewitt Admits Pride After Australia Reach First Davis Cup Final For 19 Years

Lleyton Hewitt admitted he is proud after Australia reached their first Davis Cup final since 2003.



Lleyton Hewitt (@CopaDavis - Twitter)

Lleyton Hewitt admitted he was proud of his Australian Davis Cup Team after they reached their first Davis Cup final for 19 years.


Australia reached their first Davis Cup final for 19 years after defeating Croatia 2-1.

After singles wins for Borna Coric and Alex De Minaur it was Max Purcell and Jordan Thompson who pulled off the upset over Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic to seal victory for Australia.

The Aussie pairing were victorious in a 6-7(3) 7-5 6-4 victory as they sealed Australia’s place in the Davis Cup final for the first time since 2003.

It’s a proud moment for captain Lleyton Hewitt, who will be competing in his fourth Davis Cup final but a first as captain, “I just couldn’t be prouder of these guys and the heart and the passion and the pride that they are playing with out there,” Hewitt told Tennis Australia’s website.

“It’s great. Obviously Australia has a really rich history in this competition, and we have been fortunate enough to win it on a lot of occasions, back a long time ago.

“I know how much it meant for me as a player to get the opportunity to play in finals. So I’m thrilled that these boys get that opportunity on Sunday.”

Sunday will be Australia’s 48th Davis Cup final as they seek to win a 29th Davis Cup title.

The last time Australia competed in a Davis Cup final was back in 2003 in front of a full house at the Rod Laver Arena where Hewitt was influential in a 3-1 victory over Spain.

Although Hewitt admitted it would be nicer to play the final in Melbourne, the Australian captain said that winning the title would mean a lot, “I’d love it to be in Australia,” Hewitt said.

“I’m disappointed the boys don’t get to play in front of 15,000 at Rod Laver Arena. It would be very satisfying and especially if you do it with a lot of my good mates around in the coaching staff as well, it would mean a lot.”

The final will take place on Sunday with Australia facing the winner of the second semi-final between Italy and Canada.

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The Year-End Rankings: The Rise Of Alcaraz And The Eternals, Djokovic and Nadal

Image via ATP Twitter



By Roberto Ferri

Let’s start our last article on the ATP rankings by quoting the words which are said to be the last of emperor Augustus: “The play is over, applaud”.


We cannot but applaud Novak Djokovic, six-time ATP Finals winner just like Roger Federer. And we applaud the season, which, for good or ill, has been unique. Just consider the most striking events: Carlos Alcaraz rising to No. 1, Roger Federer’s retirement, all the issues involving Djokovic and the Wimbledon affair.  

The top positions of the ranking have been significantly impacted by Djokovic’s absence from two Majors (Australian Open and US Open), four Masters 1000 (Indian Wells, Miami Open, Canadian Open, Cincinnati) and by ATP’s decision to not award points for Wimbledon.

If we compare the ATP rankings published after the ATP Finals in 2021 and 2022, this fact is clearly noticeable. 

22 NOVEMBER 2021

19Bautista AgutSpain2260
20Carreno BustaSpain2230

14 NOVEMBER 2022:

13Carreno BustaSpain2495

Novak Djokovic ended 2021 with 4720 points more than Carlos Alcaraz; also Medvedev and Tsitsipas earned more points than the Spaniard, who would not have reached 7000 points even counting the 135 points he wasn’t awarded at Wimbledon.

A few comments on the 2022 rankings:

  • Casper Ruud, the ATP Finals finalist, concludes his excellent year in third place, overtaking Stefanos Tsitsipas with an impressive final rush.
  • Novak Djokovic and Rafa Nadal are the only top 10 players born in the 80s; the other 8 were born in the second half of the 90s.
  • Cameron Norrie and Pablo Carreno Busta are the survivors of the lost generation, born between 1990 and 1995 and that was most overpowered by the Big Four dominance. 
  • Only North America, beyond Europe, is represented at the very highest: Auger Aliassime, Fritz, Shapovalov and Tiafoe.
  • Holger Rune has gained 92 positions since the start of the year. Carlos Alcaraz “just” 31.
  • A final note: Kei Nishikori ends 2022 without a ranking. Does this suggest he’s going to retire?


Owing to earned and dropped points, as well as results in the Challenger events, five players in the top 100 have achieved their career highest this week:

Emil Ruusuvuori – 40

Quentin Halys – 64

Christopher O’Connell – 79

Roman Safiullin – 89

Nuno Borges – 91

A special applause for the 20-year old Ben Shelton, a bright prospect for USA tennis, who has made his debut in the top 100. Thanks to his victory in the Champaign-Urbana Challenger he’s now ranked 97.

Is that all? Not yet! Just a quiz for everybody: which was the last year which saw the first two places in the rankings occupied at the end of the season by two players of the same nationality?

That’s really all for now. We’ll be back in 2023.

Translated by Kingsley Elliot Kaye

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