Novak Djokovic Eyes A Return To The Top After Record-Equalling Triumph At ATP Finals - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

Hot Topics

Novak Djokovic Eyes A Return To The Top After Record-Equalling Triumph At ATP Finals

After a turbulent 2022, the 35-year-old has ended the year on a high with plenty of motivation for the future.



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

The season might have just ended but Novak Djokovic has already issued a warning to his younger peers ahead of next year.


On Sunday the Serbian became only the second man in history to win the ATP Finals for the sixth time after Roger Federer. In the title match, Djokovic dispatched of Casper Ruud 7-5, 6-3, to lift the year-end trophy without losing a match in the round-robin event. In doing so, he has earned a staggering $4,740,300 in prize money. Overall the 21-time Grand Slam winner has won $9,934,582 this season which is more than any other player on the ATP Tour. 

Djokovic’s dominance at the ATP Finals concludes what has been one of the most, if not the most, challenging years of his career. Due to his stance on the COVID-19 vaccination and some countries’ policies on entry requirements, he missed two out of four Grand Slam tournaments, as well as a series of Masters 1000 tournaments in North America. Furthermore, at Wimbledon he won the title but didn’t receive any ranking points after they were removed from the event by the ATP in response to a ban imposed on Russian and Belarussian players. 

“I always see myself as the best player in the world,” Djokovic said during his press conference on Sunday. “I have that kind of mentality and that kind of approach. Regardless of who is across the net, regardless of what the surface is, regardless of what season it is, and what number of the professional season in my career we’re facing, it’s always the same. The ambitions are as high as possible.’
“That kind of approach, I feel it brought me to where I am sitting here today as a 35-year-old, holding one of the biggest trophies in the sport.”

While he ended the year ranked fifth in the world, some such as former world No.1 Andy Roddick believe Djokovic is the best player in the men’s game. Currently occupying the top spot is 19-year-old Carlos Alcaraz who won the US Open title earlier this year. 

“I don’t feel like there’s any stopping happening or thoughts about letting the tennis career go for some time now. I feel motivated. I feel good in my own body. I take care of myself,” Djokovic continued. 
“For me, it’s love and passion really. As long as that’s there I’ll do anything in my power to challenge the young guys for the biggest trophies.”

Perhaps one of the most striking aspects of Djokovic’s latest run in Turin was his serve. In all five of his matches, he won 75% of his first service points or more. In the final, that figure was 85%. 

Goran Ivanisevic, who has been coaching the tennis star since 2019, believes many underestimate this area of Djokovic’s game.

“His serve was a very underestimated shot all through his career. If you look at so many matches, five, 10 years ago, his serve always saved him somehow,” said Ivanisevic. 
“But now he’s even better. Now he always wants to improve. Especially this week, amazing percentage, amazing precision of the serve. Every time he needed to, he hit an unbelievable first serve. His second serve is much better (too).”

Djokovic enters into the off-season knowing he will be able to return to Australia in January after the government removed his Visa ban. Next month he is scheduled to play at the inaugural World Tennis League in Dubai which is an 18-player exhibition event taking place between December 19-24. 


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.



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 



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

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 –

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. 



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