Extending The Record For Most Weeks As No.1 Is Not A Top Priority, Says Djokovic - UBITENNIS
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Extending The Record For Most Weeks As No.1 Is Not A Top Priority, Says Djokovic

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Novak Djokovic is relishing his reign at the top of the rankings but the Serbian has insisted that he is not fixated on the position with his main focus being elsewhere. 

Earlier this week Djokovic surpassed Steffi Graf to become the longest-reigning world No.1 in history after spending 378 weeks in the top spot. He held the position for 168 weeks longer than nemesis Rafael Nadal and 67 weeks longer than Roger Federer who is the only other male player to have surpassed the 300-week benchmark on the men’s Tour. So far in his career, he has been ranked No.1 in the world during seven different periods with his longest reign being 122 weeks between July 7th 2014 and November 6th 2016. 

“When I achieved the world No. 1 for the first time, in 2011, I had to set up new goals, new dreams. Being No. 1 was always the ultimate goal. That is the ultimate achievement in tennis, without a doubt,” Djokovic told reporters on Tuesday.
“I always tried to stay as long as I possibly can on that spot. I think the consistency of playing well, staying relatively healthy throughout my career and not facing too many big injuries has allowed me to have the consistency to accumulate a lot of points.”


Now that Djokovic has broken Graf’s record, some are starting to wonder if he is targeting another milestone in the future such as becoming the first player in history to spend 500 or more weeks at the top. However, the 35-year-old has played down such hype.

“I’m 36 this year, so I just don’t think at the moment this is the highest priority. I would like to stay healthy and prolong my career as much as I can to play at this highest level. That’s the one priority.”
He said.
“The other priority is playing the best tennis in Grand Slams and trying to win more Grand Slams. Then if the No. 1 ranking in the world comes as a consequence of good results, I’ll be very happy.”

Djokovic returned to action this week at the Dubai Tennis Championships where he endured a tricky first round encounter. Taking on Czech qualifier Tomas Machac, he narrowly avoided a shock upset by edging out his opponent 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(1), after two-and-a-half hours of play. The rollercoaster encounter saw him hit a total of 45 winners against 28 unforced errors.

Machc was the first player the top seed has played on the Tour since the final of the Australian Open after taking a brief break from the sport. In recent weeks he has been troubled by a leg injury which he is almost fully recovered from. 

“I know that after an injury, it’s going to take a little bit of time and a few matches for me to really find the groove, find the intensity on the court and find that movement,” said Djokovic.
“I made a lot of unforced errors tonight that got me into trouble.”

Djokovic, who is on a 13-match winning streak this year, will play Tallon Griekspoor in the second round. 

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Roland Garros 2024: Rafael Nadal Faces Alexander Zverev In Blockbuster Opening Round

Rafael Nadal and Alexander Zverev will meet at Roland Garros in the first round with Andy Murray taking on Stan Wawrinka in the opening round.

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Rafael Nadal has been drawn against Rome champion Alexander Zverev in the opening round of Roland Garros.

The 14-time Roland Garros champion will most likely be making his last appearance at the event where he has such a great history at.

It’s been a mixed clay court season for Nadal who built gradual momentum in Madrid but suffered an early exit in Rome to Hubert Hurkacz.

Now the Spaniard has been drawn to take on the champion of Rome, Alexander Zverev, in the opening round.

The match is a repeat of the 2022 semi-final where Zverev broke his ankle losing almost a year of his career.

This contest headlines the second quarter of the draw which also features Karen Khachanov, Holger Rune and Daniil Medvedev.

In the other quarter of the top half of the draw, defending champion Novak Djokovic will begin his Roland Garros campaign against Pierre-Hughes Herbert.

There is also a potential third round clash with either Gael Monfils or Lorenzo Musetti for Djokovic, who is currently in Geneva gaining extra match practice ahead of the second Grand Slam of the season.

The Serb could have a repeat of last year’s final in the quarter-finals with Casper Ruud as the Norwegian begins his campaign against Jakub Mensik.

In the bottom half of the draw Jannik Sinner plays his first tournament since suffering a hip injury in Rome as he takes on Christopher Eubanks in the opening round.

Sinner could face Cameron Norrie in the third round with the Brit taking on Pavel Kotov in his opening round before playing the winner of the battle of the Grand Slam champions between Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka.

Murray and Wawrinka will clash for the fourth time at Roland Garros with Wawrinka leading their head-to-head 2-1 in Paris.

This section also includes in-form players such as Hubert Hurkacz, Alejandro Tabilo and Rome finalist Nicolas Jarry.

Finally Carlos Alcaraz will begin his Roland Garros campaign against a qualifier before potentially playing Jack Draper in the second round.

Another exciting clash awaits Alcaraz in the third round in the form of Sebastian Korda with Andrey Rublev or Stefanos Tsitsipas being potential quarter-final opponents.

This is the full draw with Roland Garros beginning on Sunday.

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Alexander Zverev Secures Return To Top Four After Winning Italian Open

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Alexander Zverev has clinched his first Masters title since 2021 after downing Nicolas Jarry in straight sets at the Italian Open.

The world No.5 surged to a 6-4,7-5, victory at the Faro Italico to become the 10th player in the Open Era to win the Rome trophy on multiple occasions. He also won the tournament in 2017. Zverev’s latest win was aided by an impressive service display from the 27-year-old who also hit 15 winners against eight unforced errors. He is now 22-1 against players ranked outside the top five at the tournament with his only loss being to Matteo Berrettini five years ago.

“It means a lot. Winning my first (Masters) title and winning my first after my injury in Rome. Rome is a very special place for me,” the new champion said afterwards. 
“I said at the beginning of the week if Rome is the place of firsts for me I’m extremely happy about it. It’s a very special week.” 

Playing in his first Masters 1000 final since 2022, Zverev produced a serving masterclass throughout the opening set with the German winning 20 out of 21 points. In contrast, Jarry experienced more difficult but valiantly fought back with the Chilean saving two straight break points at 4-4. Eventually, the third seed sealed the opener two games later with the help of some costly shots coming from across the court. A deep shot towards the baseline was unsuccessfully returned by Jarry, handing Zverev a set point which he converted.

Continuing to pile the pressure on in the second set, Zverev had a double chance to break for a 3-1 lead but failed to capitalise on that opportunity. The opportunities continued to come and go. Back-to-back double faults from Jarry at 4-5 handed Zverev two championship points but once again he failed to take advantage. Eventually, he sealed victory two games later with the help of a forehand shot that Jarry returned out. Prompting Zverev to raise his hands in delight before later paying tribute to his rival. 

“He’s playing huge. You can see that by the opponents he beat and how he beat them,” he said of Jarry. 
“I told him if he continues playing like that he is going to have many more chances. I’m happy to be the winner.”

As a result of his Rome triumph, Zverev has secured a top-four seeding for the French Open. On Monday he will rise in the PIF ATP rankings to No.4 which will be his highest position since August 2022. During that same year, he sustained a serious ankle injury which sidelined him for months. 

“The focus is on Paris, that’s for sure. but let me enjoy this one for a day or so and then I will have my full focus on Paris,” said Zverev.

Zverev has now won six Masters 1000 titles which places him in joint-ninth on the all-time list along with Daniil Medvedev. 

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Novak Djokovic Accepts Geneva Wildcard Ahead Of Roland Garros

Novak Djokovic has accepted a wildcard into next week’s ATP 250 event in Geneva as he looks to improve his form ahead of Roland Garros.

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Novak Djokovic has shockingly accepted a wildcard into next week’s ATP 250 event in Geneva.

The world number one hasn’t had the best season so far having yet to reach a final at any of his events this season.

There was hope for Djokovic that his fortunes would change on clay and the Serb started his clay court season by reaching the semi-finals in Monte-Carlo before losing to Casper Ruud.

However Djokovic’s clay court hopes were dashed in Rome as he lost in the third round to in-form Chilean Alejandro Tabilo.

This has meant that Djokovic risks being undercooked for the second Grand Slam of the season at Roland Garros.

Therefore the Serb has had no option but to take a wildcard into next week’s ATP 250 in Geneva.

Djokovic will join Casper Ruud, Andy Murray, Denis Shapovalov and Taylor Fritz in next week’s event.

Next week’s appearance will be the first appearance in Geneva in Djokovic who will be the top seed in Switzerland.

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