Andy Roddick Hails Alcaraz’s ‘Meteoric’ Rise To No.1 But Says Djokovic Remains The Best Player - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

Hot Topics

Andy Roddick Hails Alcaraz’s ‘Meteoric’ Rise To No.1 But Says Djokovic Remains The Best Player

Published

on

CARLOS ALCARAZ OF SPAIN - PHOTO: ANGEL MARTINEZ / MMO

Andy Roddick has praised Carlos Alcaraz’s breakthrough season after the Spaniard officially became the youngest player in history to seal the ATP year-end No.1 position on Tuesday. 

 

The 19-year-old achieved the latest milestone in his blossoming career after his only challenger for the top spot, Rafael Nadal, lost his first two matches at the ATP Finals. Alcaraz is unable to play at the tournament in Turin due to an abdominal injury which has brought a premature end to his season. This time 12 months ago the youngster had a year-end ranking of 32 and his rise to the top within this period is the biggest jump ever seen on the men’s Tour since records began. 

Alcaraz has also become the first player outside the Big Four to clinch the year-end No.1 ranking since Roddick in 2003 who has been extremely impressed with the performance of the Spaniard.

“This kid’s rise has been meteoric and he obviously passes the eye test for somebody who is going to win majors,” Roddick told The Tennis Channel

In 2022 Alcaraz won his maiden Grand Slam title, claimed two Masters 1000 trophies and won two ATP 500 events. Overall, he has won 57 out of 70 matches played. He became No.1 just 140 days after making his top-10 debut. 

However, in Roddick’s view, the debate over who should be named the best player in the world is subjective with the American siding with Novak Djokovic. Djokovic is currently ranked eighth in the world but has missed two Grand Slam events, as well as a series of tournaments in North America due to his vaccination status. At the time those countries required all visitors to be jabbed against COVID-19 which Djokovic isn’t.

“To get to number one that quickly is a different story. As we look forward to next year, I think you will be hard-pressed to find somebody who doesn’t think Novak Djokovic is the best player in the world,” he commented. 
“But the number one ranking is Carlos Alcaraz’s. It’s well deserved. It was unbelievable to watch this year. I wish he was in Turin (at the ATP Finals) this week mixing it up with these phenomenal players but we want health. He has a long career ahead of him. What a gift to the game Alcaraz has been.”

Alcaraz’s rise has disturbed the recent dominance of the Big Four who are all aged 35 or over. Roger Federer has retired and Andy Murray is currently ranked outside the top 40. Although Djokovic and Rafael Nadal remain formidable forces in the sport. Between the quartet, they have won 36 out of the last 43 Grand Slam tournaments played.

“It just goes to show those guys are selfish, very very selfish… keeping titles from us mortals,” Roddick said. “I don’t know if we are ever going to see consistency like we’ve seen from the Big 4 over the last 20 years. They completely revolutionized the game, it’s just absurd!”
“It took an all-world talent like Carlos Alcaraz who is already a complete player at 19 years old now (to put an end to the domination of the Big 4). What a talent Alcaraz is,” he added.

Alcaraz will be in Turin on Wednesday to attend a special presentation to mark him becoming the year-end No.1. He is the 18th player on the ATP Tour to do so. 

Focus

LTA Fined One Million Dollars By ATP For Banning Russian Players From Grass Court Season

The LTA have been fined one million dollars by the ATP.

Published

on

Daniil Medvedev (@marioboc17 - Twitter)

The LTA has been fined one million dollars from the ATP after banning Russian players from competing at this year’s grass court tournaments.

 

This news follows the WTA taking the same action earlier this year after the LTA became the first organisation to ban Russian players from playing its tournaments.

At the moment on the ATP tour Russian players can currently play but play under a neutral flag which is the same thing on the WTA tour.

However the LTA decided to follow the All England Lawn Tennis Club’s decision which was to ban Russian players from playing grass court tournaments in England.

Now the ATP have responded by not only denying players ranking points at the time but have now fined the LTA one million dollars.

In a statement the LTA admitted that they were disappointed with the outcome and await not only the outcome of their appeal against the WTA’s decision but also await what response they will have to the ATP.

There has also been a threat from the ATP that if the LTA were to do the same thing in 2023, then they would face expulsion from the ATP.

However it’s not just the tennis governing bodies that have responded to the ATP as the UK culture secretary Michelle Donlan has also criticised the decision, “Over the past year, the vast majority of the international sporting community have stood shoulder to shoulder in condemning in Putin’s unprovoked and barbaric actions in Ukraine,” Donlan said.

“The UK has taken a world-leading role to build this international response. We are clear that sport cannot be used to legitimise this deadly invasion, and that athletes representing the Russian and Belarusian states should be banned from competing in other countries.

“Despite widespread condemnation, the international tennis tours are determined to be outcasts in this, with investment in the growth of our domestic game hampered as a result.

“This is the wrong move by the ATP and WTA. I urge them to think carefully about the message this sends, and to reconsider.”

What the future holds remains to be seen with just over seven months until Wimbledon.

Whether the LTA’s appeal will be successful will be questionable and whether the ATP and WTA will change their stance is also questionable.

But one thing is for sure and that is the political tensions in tennis and outside of tennis are far from over.

Continue Reading

Hot Topics

Novak Djokovic To Begin Bid For Record Tenth Australian Open Title In Adelaide 

Published

on

Novak Djokovic - 2022 Nitto ATP Finals Turin (photo Twitter @atptour)

Novak Djokovic will return to action during the first week of 2023 by playing at the Adelaide International in what will be his first appearance on Australian soil since being deported from the country. 

 

Earlier this year the 22-time Grand Slam champion was involved in a high-profile legal dispute with authorities over the legitimacy of his visa. Djokovic said he was assured by Tennis Australia that he would be allowed entry with the use of a special exemption despite not being vaccinated against COVID-19. However, border force officials declared that reason to be insufficient which paved the way for two court appeals. The tennis star won his first appeal after it was decided that the process to detain him was incorrect but he lost his second which paved the way for the government to deport him.

Due to his deportation, Djokovic was facing the prospect of a three-year ban from re-entering Australia but has had that penalty waived by the latest government administration who was more sympathetic towards him about the situation. 

“It was a relief obviously knowing what I and people closest to me in my life have been through this year with what happened in Australia and post Australia obviously.” Djokovic commented on the decision last month. 

Looking ahead to the new season, the world No.5 will headline the Adelaide International which will start on January 1st. Djokovic is one of eight top 20 players who have entered to play the men’s tournament. 

Despite being one of the most decorated players in the history of men’s tennis, the Serbian has only ever won one ATP title on Australian soil outside of the Australian Open which he has won a record nine times. That was at the 2007 Australian Hard Court Championships. 

Also playing in Adelaide will be Felix Auger-Aliassime, Daniil Medvedev, Andrey Rublev and Holder Rune. Meanwhile, the women’s tournament that takes place the following week includes top 10 players Ons Jabeur, Aryna Sabalenka, Daria Kasatkina and Veronika Kudermetova. 

“We are thrilled to confirm such a world-class line up for week one of the Adelaide International,” tournament director Alistair MacDonald said in a statement.
“The calibre of both ATP and WTA players who have entered ensures that tennis fans are going to see the world’s best in Adelaide ahead of the Australian Open.
“We are urging tennis fans to secure their tickets early to see what is shaping up to be one of the strongest fields we’ve seen here at The Drive, which is newly redeveloped.”

Adelaide is one of the key tournaments that takes place leading up to the Australian Open which begins on January 16th. 

Entry lists

WTA 500

Rank PlayerCountry
2Ons JabeurTUN
5Aryna Sabalenka
8Daria Kasatkina
9Veronika Kudermetova
14Danielle CollinsUSA
17Anett KontaveitEST
18Jelena OstapenkoLAT
19Ekaterina Alexandrova
20Liudmila Samsonova
22Elena RybakinaKAZ
22 (SR)Bianca AndreescuCAN
23Amanda AnisimovaUSA
24Zhang ShuaiCHN
26Victoria Azarenka
27Zheng QinwenCHN
30Aliaksandra Sasnovich
31Karolina PliskovaCZE
32Kaia KanepiEST
32 (SR)Marketa VondrousovaCZE
34Irina-Camelia BeguROU

ATP 250

RankPlayerCountry
5Novak DjokovicSRB
6Felix Auger-AliassimeCAN
7Daniil Medvedev
8Andrey Rublev
11Holger RuneDEN
15Jannik SinnerITA
18Denis ShapovalovCAN
20Karen Khachanov
21Roberto Bautista AgutESP
29Miomir KecmanovicSRB
33Sebastian KordaUSA
34Maxime CressyUSA
36Yoshihito NishiokaJPN
42Jack DraperGBR
45Lorenzo SonegoITA
47Brandon NakashimaUSA
48Kyle EdmundGBR
49Andy MurrayGBR
51Corentin MoutetFRA
57Pedro CachinARG
61Marcos GironUSA
63Mackenzie McDonaldUSA
64Quentin HalysFRA
65Constant LestienneFRA
67Daniel Elahi GalanCOL

Source – https://adelaideinternational.com.au/

Continue Reading

Hot Topics

Late Bloomer Cameron Norrie Hopes To Inspire Next Generation Of British Players 

The Grand Slam semi-finalist has also spoken about one of his ultimate goals in the sport. 

Published

on

Cameron Norrie (GBR) in action against Lucas Pouille (FRA) in the first round of the Gentlemen's Singles on No.2 Court at The Championships 2021. Held at The All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon. Day 3 Wednesday 30/06/2021. Credit: AELTC/Simon Bruty

Camron Norrie’s route to the top of men’s tennis has been somewhat different to the likes of compatriot Andy Murray. 

 

Norrie was 21 when he made his ATP Tour main draw debut at The Queen’s Club back in 2017 after playing college tennis in America where he became the top collegiate player at Texas Christian University. A year later he cracked the top 100 for the first time before breaking into the top 10 in 2022. 

Since the start of 2021, when he was outside the world’s top 70, Norrie has reached the final of 10 Tour events where he has won four titles. The most prestigious of those was at Indian Wells where he won his first Masters 1000 title just over 12 months ago. 

Now at the age of 27, Norrie is spearheading British men’s tennis which is benefitting from the rise of youngsters such as Jack Draper. The country has 12 players in the ATP year-end top 100 – four in singles and a further eight in the doubles. 

“There’s obviously a lot of young Brits coming through, so hopefully I can provide some inspiration to show them that anyone can get to the top of the game, especially with the route that I chose, going through college,” Norrie said during an interview with The National. “It was a lot different a route than a lot of other players take.”

Coached by Argentina’s Facundo Lugones who he met at university, Norrie produced his best Grand Slam run in July by reaching the semi-finals at Wimbledon before losing to Novak Djokovic in four sets. Becoming the first home male player to reach that stage of the tournament since Murray in 2016. 

“It’s been a great year, especially being able to back up last year was huge for me,” he reflected. “There were a lot of highlights, especially Wimbledon, making the semi-finals and having my family and friends there watching and supporting.
“But from there it was straight into focusing on the next events. As a tennis player you don’t really get to enjoy when you’re doing well, but looking back, having some time off resting in London, I’ve been going through a few things and there are definitely some highlights.”

Currently ranked 14th in the world, Norrie insists that his ultimate goal is to one day reach world No.1. He has been ranked as high as eighth in the world so far in his career. 

Although to reach that milestone, he needs to work more on his game against the best players in the world. This season the Brit has won just three out of 11 matches against top 10 opposition. 

“There are a lot more eyes on me now: going into Wimbledon as British No 1 then having the run I did, I feel like I am more well known in the UK. But for me, that is not the goal: it’s to be world No 1,” he said. “So, I’m not really thinking about that. There are still 13 players better than me so I need to improve.”

Norrie will return to action later this month at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship exhibition in Abu Dhabi. Carlos Alcaraz, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Casper Ruud are also taking part. 

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending