'Our Main Focus Is Roland Garros' Goran Ivanisevic Reflects On Novak Djokovic's Future - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

ATP

‘Our Main Focus Is Roland Garros’ Goran Ivanisevic Reflects On Novak Djokovic’s Future

Novak Djokovic’s main focus is Roland Garros according to coach Goran Ivanisevic.

Published

on

(@WeAreTennis - Twitter)

Goran Ivanisevic has reflected on Novak Djokovic’s future goals after a successful start to the season for the Serb.

 

It’s been a successful start to the season for Djokovic who has won two titles this season including the Australian Open.

The Serb became the world number one and enjoyed a successful return to Australia.

In an exclusive interview with Sasa Ozmo and Tennis Majors, Ivanisevic spoke about what it was like in Australia and how Djokovic dealt with his injury, “To sum it up: when you think you’ve seen it all, something new comes up. As I said before, Novak was a bit afraid of the reception in Australia, but everything was perfect since we arrived in Adelaide,” Ivanisevic said.

“The Serbian community backed him there big time, it was as if we were in Belgrade – but the Australian crowd was great as well. Personally, I felt like he had the biggest support ever in Melbourne this year.

“It wasn’t easy, that’s for sure. I am used to pressure, you have to be ready for everything when you’re Djokovic’s coach, but I felt bad for him. The injury occurred in Adelaide, but it worsened after a practice in Melbourne, on Saturday before the tournament. 

“I really thought that I’d seen it all in 2021, when he won the Australian Open with an abdominal tear, but this time he managed to surpass himself and not only my expectations, but the doctors’ as well.

“Every day he spent five-six hours in treatment, both on match days and off days. He just proved once again how great he is, by winning a Slam title without properly practicing.”

The comments from Ivanisevic show how incredible Djokovic’s achievement was to win the title in Melbourne.

Ivanisevic also spoke about the future as Djokovic is unable to compete at Indian Wells due to America’s rules on vaccination.

The Croat said when Djokovic found out he wasn’t playing Indian Wells and still holds out hope for participating at the Miami Open, “Namely, I think he was affected by everything that was going on regarding the exemption to come to the United States,” Ivanisevic told Tennis Majors that he found out about not playing Indian Wells before his match with Daniil Medvedev in Dubai.

“He has a strong desire to play in the U.S. this year, and the good thing is that it seems that the rule preventing him from entering will be abandoned in May. If that will be the case, Novak should be able to play the more important part of the year in the States: the US Open and the tournaments before New York. 

“We haven’t given up. He wants to play and I would love it if they allow him – it would be great both for him and for tennis. If not, it’s not the end of the world, he didn’t play last year as well. The most important thing is that we find out soon, so that we can make a plan.

“Although, in terms of preparing for the European clay court season, I’m not sure playing in Miami is the best solution. It depends on Novak – in the past he has triumphed in Monte Carlo having played in Indian Wells and Miami. If he is mentally ready and in his fighter mode, like he was in Australia, then anything is possible.”

As Ivanisevic alluded to the next big goal for Djokovic is Roland Garros, where he lost to Rafael Nadal last year.

The former Grand Slam champion said that he believes Djokovic is ready to win another title in Paris and outlined some of Djokovic’s big rivals on the clay, “So this year, the most important thing is to stay healthy and to prepare really well physically,” Ivanisevic said.

“Of course, our main focus is Roland Garros, he needs to be ready to give it his all there. He can do it. Nadal is the favourite on clay as long as he can walk, but if Novak is mentally up for it, he can beat anyone.

“Carlos Alcaraz, first and foremost. (Alexander) Zverev played a terrific Roland-Garros last year until the injury. (Stefanos) Tsitsipas is there as well, a former finalist. There are a lot of guys hungry for success, who want it badly and believe that they can do it, only to the point where they see that they can’t. It’s going to be an interesting clay court season, but for us the most important thing is to peak in Paris.”

Should Djokovic be unable to play the Miami Open, the Serb’s next tournament will be at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters on the 9th of April.

ATP

Team World One Win Away From Victory in Laver Cup

Team World take a huge 10-2 lead over Team Europe heading into the final day

Published

on

Image via Laver Cup twitter

After losing the first four editions of the Laver Cup, Team World look set to win the event for a second time as the event reaches its conclusion tomorrow.

 

Team World Captain John McEnroe was thrilled with the day’s results but warned against complacency: “We’re just going to keep doing what we’re doing. The job’s not done but we’re pretty close.”

American duo Taylor Fritz and Frances Tiafoe both earned straight sets wins over Andrey Rublev and Hubert Hurkacz, while Felix Auger-Aliassime and Ben Shelton beat Hurkacz and Gael Monfils.

“I want to play well for the guys,” said Tiafoe after his singles victory. “I played really well tonight. Just being in a team environment is so foreign to us as tennis players, it’s such an individual sport.”

After winning his third singles match in three appearances at the Laver Cup, Fritz was also motivated to do well:

“Yesterday, all the guys played really well. I felt that and wanted to come out on court and show what I can do. That definitely motivated me. Any type of team environment, I feel like it always elevates my game. I feel like my record in team events is really strong because I have a team cheering for me. I get pumped up. I’m excited to play for them. It just adds more pressure and fire to it. I think I play better in those situations.”

The doubles was a typically dynamic and feisty affair, and after the match Shelton was full of praise for his partner:

“It’s amazing, when you play with a guy who serves and returns like Felix, is as athletic as him, and goes back for the overhead as strong as him, it’s a fun time,” said Shelton. “We call him ‘Laver Cup Felix’ because he turns into something special this week, just glad I got to share the court with him at least once.”

Auger-Aliassime returned the compliments: “The best comes out of me when I’m playing not only for myself but for team-mates. Ben carried me through the end of that match, it was tough for me to get it done.”

Casper Ruud, meanwhile, beat Tommy Paul for Europe’s only points so far.

Matches on the final day are worth three points each – meaning that Team Europe would have to win all four remaining matches to prevent Team World from winning the trophy.

Results:
T. Fritz def A. Rublev 6-2, 7-6
F. Tiafoe def H. Hurkacz 7-5, 6-3
F. Auger-Aliassime & B. Shelton def H.Hurkacz & G. Monfils 7-5, 6-4
C. Ruud def T. Paul 7-6, 6-2

Continue Reading

ATP

ATP RANKINGS UPDATE: Novak Djokovic, No.1 once more

Published

on

After the US Open the Serbian champion reclaims top spot. Alexander Zverev is back in the Top 10

 

By Roberto Ferri

Don’t ever underestimate the heart of a champion”

Rudy Tomjanovich coined this maxim just after his Houston Rockets won the NBA championship in 1995. He was paying homage to Akeem Holajuwon. It perfectly suits the heart of Daniil Medvedev, who proved 99% of tennis fans in the world to be wrong, convinced as they were that he would lose the semifinal to former No 1 Carlos Alcaraz.

But his dream to win a second US Open, after his triumph in 2021, was shattered by another champion, whose heart and class is even greater: that’s Novak Djokovic, who affixes his seal on his return to No.1, equalling Margaret Court Smith’s record of 24 majors.

Djokovic dethroning Alcaraz is not the only change in the top 20: Sascha Zverev is back in the top 10 after almost one year and Ben Shelton, great protagonist of the Us Open, debuts in the top 20 best players in the world.

TOP 20

PositionPlayerCountryPts+/-
1DjokovicSerbia117951
2AlcarazSpain8535-1
3MedvedevRussia7280
4RuneDenmark4710 
5TsitsipasGreece46152
6RublevRussia45152
7SinnerItaly4465-1
8FritzUSA39551
9RuudNorway3560-4
10ZverevGermany30302
11TiafoeUSA2690-1
12de MinaurAustralia26851
13PaulUSA26601
14Auger-AliassimeCanada23401
15KhachanovRussia2135-4
16HurkaczPoland20351
17NorrieGB1985-1
18MusettiItaly1925 
19SheltonUSA173528
20DimitrovBulgaria1735-1

A few comments:

Stefanos Tsitsipas, Andrei Rublev and Alexander Zverev gain 2 positions.

Ben Shelton devours 28 positions.

Sinner, Tiafoe, Norrie and Dimitrov lose one.

Casper Ruud and Karen Khachanov, runner up and semi-finalist respectively  at the 2022 US  Open, drop 4 positions.

One step forward for Fritz, de Minaur, Paul, Auger-Aliassime and Hurkacz.

ATP NITTO FINALS

From 12 to 19 November the 8 best players of the ranking based on the points earned in the ongoing solar season will be playing the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin.

Will Novak Djokovic succeed in winning a second straight title? He appears to be heading in the right direction.

RankPlayerCountryPts+/-
1DjokovicSerbia89451
2AlcarazSpagna8175-1
3MedvedevRussia6590 
4SinnerItalia4365 
5RublevRussia36401
6TsitsipasGrecia3570-1
7RuneDenmark3055 
8ZverevGermania3030 
9FritzUSA3010 
10RuudNorway2625 

Thanks to his triumph at the US Open the Serbian overtakes Alcaraz also in the Race to Turin.

Jannik Sinner holds fourth spot while Andrei Rublev overtakes Stefanos Tsitsipas and is now fifth.

The eighth position is occupied by Alexander Zverev.

Last year runner up, Casper Ruud is currently 10th. This means he would feature in Turin as a reserve.

ATP NEXT GENERATION FINALS

The Next Gen Finals, dedicated to the best under 21s, (8 effectives and 2 reserves) of the season will take place this year in Gedda, Saudi Arabia.

The 2022 winner, Brandon Nakashima, will not be defending his title, since he was born in 2001.

PositionPlayerCountryPtsYOB ATP rank
1AlcarazSpain817520032
2RuneDenmark305520034
3SheltonUSA1455200219
4MusettiItaly1300200218
5FilsFrance953200444
6Van AsscheFrance597200469
7StrickerSwitzerland576200290
8MichelsenUSA4922004117
9MedjedovicSerbia4852003121
10CazauxFrance4552002130
11CobolliItaly4052002132
12Llamas RuizSpain3702002133

Taking for granted that Alcaraz and, most likely Rune, will be playing the ATP Finals, we have included in the chart the 12 current top under 21s.

BEST RANKING

Besides Ben Shelton, other 11 players have achieved their career highest this week.

We tribute a double applause to the four players who are making their debut in the top 100.

The 25-year-old Croatian Borna Gojo, 22-year-old Australian Rinky Hijkata and the Swiss next gen Dominic Stricker all reap the reward for their brilliant runs at the US Open. Seyboth Wild, the Brazilian who stunned Medvedev in the first round of Roland Garros leaps to No.76 after winning the Challenger in Como last week.

PlayerPositionCountryProgress
Shelton19USA28
Jarry22Chile3
Baez28Argentina4
Fils44France4
Arnaldi47Italy14
Altmaier49Germany4
O’Connell53Australia16
Seyboth Wild76Brazil30
Gojo77Croatia28
Watanuki78Japan7
Mmoh81USA8
Hijkata83Australia27
Stricker90Switzerland38

Translated by Kingsley Elliot Kaye

Continue Reading

ATP

COMMENT: Novak Djokovic Proves His Greatness At US Open

Published

on

Love him, or hate him. But respect him.

 

No tennis player has ever been better than Novak Djokovic.

Even Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer have to take their hats off to Novak, and admire him.

Now that Rafa and Roger have left Djokovic on his own stage at least for now, tennis fans love Novak.

DJOKOVIC WENT ONE STEP FURTHER

Djokovic’s performance on Sunday evening in the U.S. Open final was simply amazing. Daniil Medvedev also played his heart out, but Djokovic went one step further. He was sensational.

It was a thrill-a-minute three-set match. It lasted well into the night after starting at mid-afternoon. The second set alone lasted 104 minutes.

Djokovic was the winner, 6-3, 7-6 (5), 6-3, but New York still loves 2021 champion Medvedev.

A FOURTH AND 24TH TITLE, AND A 24 TRIBUTE

At 36, the oldest U.S. Open men’s champion ever, Djokovic obviously has a special place in his heart for the number four. It’s the number of times he has won this tournament and the 24th time he has won a Grand Slam title.

The number 24 also was displayed prominently on the white jacket. Novak, his team members and family wore for the victory celebration as a tribute to the No. 24 jersey of deceased friend Kobe Bryant.

Djokovic lost his footing at least three times in the tight second set, stumbling to the surface once, apparently due to the length of the rallies.

Djokovic could look like he was almost completely wiped out of it physically one minute, and then play like Superman the next minute.

THREE POINTS MAY HAVE BEEN DECISIVE

Both men played great tennis, especially in the thrill-a-second second set in which Medvedev gained one set point in the 12th game before Djokovic recovered to force a tiebreaker.

Medvedev appeared to be in charge after out-playing Novak to win one of his drop shots to take a 5-4 lead in the tiebreaker. The match may have been decided on the next three points, all won by Djokovic on errors by the 6-6 Russian.

The big question now is what happens next January in the Australian Open. Right now, Djokovic probably wants to play . . . and win what has been his favorite tournament as far as success. But things can change quickly for players in their mid-30s. Just ask Roger or Rafa.

James Beck was the 2003 winner of the USTA National Media Award. A 1995 MBA graduate of The Citadel, he can be reached at Jamesbecktennis@gmail.com.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending