Novak Djokovic Determined To Move On After Norrie Incident - UBITENNIS
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Novak Djokovic Determined To Move On After Norrie Incident

Novak Djokovic is into the quarter-finals in Rome as he bids for a seventh title.

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Novak Djokovic (@InteBNLdItalia - Twitter)

Novak Djokovic spoke on bad sportsmanship shown by Cameron Norrie during their encounter in Rome.

 

It was a straight sets win for Djokovic over Norrie that saw him reach the last eight in Rome.

The top seed will now face Holger Rune in the quarter-finals at 12:00 BST time on Wednesday afternoon.

However the current world number one’s contest with Norrie wasn’t without incident as their was a very frosty handshake at the end of the match.

That was because Djokovic wasn’t happy with a Norrie smash that hit the six-time champion on the leg.

After the match Djokovic addressed his tense altercation with the 13th seed, “I did watch the replay when he hit me. Yeah, maybe you could say he didn’t hit me deliberately,” Djokovic said in his press conference.

“I don’t know if he saw me. I mean, peripheralically [sic] you can always see where the player is positioned on the court. The ball was super slow and super close to the net. I just turned around because the point was over for me.

“It was not so much maybe about that, but it was maybe a combination of things. From the very beginning, I don’t know, he was doing all the things that were allowed. He’s allowed to take a medical timeout. He’s allowed to hit a player. He’s allowed to say C’mon in the face more or less every single point from basically first game.

“Those are the things that we players know in the locker room it’s not fair play, it’s not how we treat each other. But, again, it’s allowed, so…”

It’s quite clear that Djokovic wasn’t happy with the unsportsmanlike conduct of Norrie during the match.

However later in his answer about the incident, Djokovic said he is determined to move on as he gets on with the Brit well, “I got along with Cameron really well all these years that he’s been on the tour,” Djokovic admitted.

“Practiced with each other. He’s very nice guy off the court, so I don’t understand this kind of attitude on the court, to be honest. But it is what it is. He brought the fire, and I responded to that.

“I’m not going to allow someone behaving like this just bending my head. I’m going to respond to that. That’s all it is. What happens on the court, we leave it on the court, and we move on.”

Well Djokovic will look to continue to focus on his on-court tennis rather than the issue of sportsmanship in the future days as he looks to intensify his preparations for Roland Garros.

Roland Garros starts on the 28th of May with Djokovic projected to be the second seed.

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Roland Garros Daily Preview: Iga Swiatek Plays Karolina Muchova for the Women’s Championship

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Karolina Muchova after winning her first Major semifinal on Thursday (twitter.com/rolandgarros)

The women’s singles championship match will be played on Saturday afternoon in Paris.

 

Iga Swiatek is playing for her fourth Major title, and her third French Open out of the last four.  She would become the first woman to win three RG titles in such a short span since Justine Henin, as well as the first woman to defend this title since Henin did in 2007.  And a fourth Slam title would tie Iga with Naomi Osaka as the second-most among non-retired female players, trailing only Venus Williams.  In short, a victory on Saturday would put Swiatek in elite company, especially on clay.

A year ago, Karolina Muchova left this tournament in a wheelchair, after turning her ankle in a third round encounter with Amanda Anisimova.  Multiple injuries across the last few years almost forced her into retirement, as doctors suggested she leave the sport.  But she pulled off an amazing comeback on Thursday against Aryna Sabalenka, where Karolina was down 2-5, 0-30 in the third, yet she won 20 of the last 24 points and saved a match point to achieve her first Major final.

Also on Saturday, the men’s doubles championship match features Ivan Dodig and Austin Krajicek (4) vs. Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen.  Dodid and Krajicek lost last year’s final in three sets, though Ivan is a two-time Major champ in men’s doubles, including here with Marcelo Melo back in 2015.  This is a first Slam final in men’s doubles for Gille and Vliegen, but Joran was a runner-up here in mixed doubles a year ago.


Iga Swiatek (1) vs. Karolina Muchova – Not Before 3:00pm on Court Philippe-Chatrier

Swiatek is 34-6 on the year overall, and 18-2 on clay.  She’s only lost two of her 29 career matches at Roland Garros, and only six of 58 completed sets. Iga hasn’t lost a set in Paris since the fourth round a year ago, to Qinwen Zheng.  She is 3-0 in Major finals, having never lost a set, and 13-4 in finals overall, though she has lost two of her last three.

Muchova is 23-7 this season, after going only 9-9 at tour level a year ago due to aforementioned injuries.  She’s the only player to defeat Aryna Sabalenka at a Slam this year, and is now 5-0 lifetime against top three opposition, with four of those upsets taking place at Majors.  Karolina dropped two sets to this stage, and this is only her third-ever WTA-level final, and her first in nearly four years.

Both players should be keen to win the first set on Saturday.  As Simon Cambers highlighted on Twitter, the winner of the first set has won the women’s final at Roland Garros in 19 of the last 21 years.  And Swiatek has only lost four times at Majors after taking the first set.

Muchova claimed their only previous meeting, which was a three-setter four years ago on clay in Prague, the biggest event in Karolina’s home country of the Czech Republic.  But four years later, Swiatek must be considered the favorite.  She has separated herself from all her competition on this surface.

But I do expect Muchova to challenge Swiatek on Saturday.  She has a well-rounded game with many offensive weapons, and will be feeling uber-confident after what she accomplished in the semifinals.  Plus, Karolina knows she is a considerable underdog, just as Iga knows she is a significant favorite, so the pressure will land decisively on the World No.1’s side of the net.  It should be a great final.


Saturday’s full Order of Play is here.

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Casper Ruud Praises Father, Embracing Underdog Status Ahead Of Second Roland Garros Final

Casper Ruud is into his third Grand Slam final after thrashing Alexander Zverev.

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Casper Ruud (@WeAreTennis - Twitter)

Casper Ruud is embracing being the underdog heading into his second consecutive Roland Garros final.

 

The Norwegian cruised into the Roland Garros final after a 6-3 6-3 6-0 demolition job of Alexander Zverev.

Ruud was too clinical for the German as he broke on six occasions to seal a place in his third Grand Slam final.

Speaking in his on-court interview, Ruud admitted he was pleased to reach a second Roland Garros final, “I just went out there and tried to play without too many feelings, without trying to think too much,” Ruud was quoted by BBC Sport as saying.

“Towards the end of the tournament, everyone has done so well. I’m trying to play without pressure, and not too much emotion and today I just played really well from the beginning to the last point. Everything was going my way and I’m very happy to win this match.

“I didn’t come into Roland Garros thinking I was the favourite to reach the final. Not at all. I was going one match at a time. I would obviously love to be back in the final and always thinking I would love to defend this finals spot from last year, and here we are.

“It’s been two fun weeks in in Paris, and hopefully third time will be the charm for me.”

It’s been an incredible turnaround for Ruud who was struggling for form heading into the second Grand Slam of the season.

However the Norwegian is now into a second consecutive Roland Garros final and after the match praised his father for contributing heavily to his success, “I think I owe almost almost all my success to him. We had a very good goal, since I was this tall and told him I wanted to become a professional,” Ruud said about his father Cristian, who was a former ATP player himself.

“He has taken these words very seriously and pushed me every day and been around me every day since I was 12 years old. Without him I don’t think I would be where I am today. Also my mother. Without them I would not be here today. It has been very good to have support from my family and everyone else around me.”

Now Ruud will play one of the greatest players of all-time in the form of Novak Djokovic in Sunday’s final.

After playing Rafael Nadal last year, Ruud has said that he will enjoy the occasion and is embracing being the underdog, “It’s going to be tough,” Ruud spoke of facing Djokovic.

“Last year was against Rafa, this year against Novak so what do you say? It’s two of the toughest players in the history, I’m going to be the underdog, so try to play without feelings, try to enjoy and smile as much as I can.

“Novak is going for his 23rd [Grand Slam title], I am going for my first – it’s a big difference but I will give it my all and I hope we can have a good match.”

Heading into the match Djokovic has a 4-0 winning head-to-head record but they have never played a best of five set match.

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Carlos Alcaraz Admits Nerve And Tension After Cramping During Roland Garros Semi-Final

Carlos Alcaraz admitted to being tense after cramping during his Roland Garros semi-final against Novak Djokovic.

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Carlos Alcaraz (@TheTennisLetter - Twitter)

Carlos Alcaraz has admitted tension lead to him cramping during his 6-3 5-7 6-1 6-1 defeat to Novak Djokovic.

 

The world number one will have to wait for his first Roland Garros final after losing in four sets to Novak Djokovic.

It was a competitive opening two sets before a cramping issue effectively ended Alcaraz’s Parisian dream.

After the match, Alcaraz admitted it was a tough thing to deal with and the cramping didn’t just effect his legs it was also his arms, “Well, yeah, it’s been really tough for me, honestly,” the Spaniard started his press conference by saying.

“I disappointed myself honestly, you know, and in a match like this, coming to this match with great feeling, feeling great physically, and, yeah, cramping at the end of the second set, beginning of the third set, it was really disappointing.

“Well, I would say the first set and the second set was really, really intense, you know, and I started to cramp, you know, in my arm. At the beginning of the third set I started to cramp every part of my body, not only the legs. The arms, as well, every part of the legs.

“Well, it was really tough for me to move at the third set, and in the fourth set let’s say I had a little chance, but it was really tough. You know, my full body start to cramp.”

Later on in the press conference Alcaraz reflected on the reasons why he started to cramp.

The top seed said the tension and nerves of the occasion got the best of him and his body reacted by getting tense and cramping, “Yeah, the tension. The tension of the match. You know, I started match really nervous,” Alcaraz explained.

“The tension of, you know, the first set, the second set, it was really intense two sets, as well. Really good rallies, tough rallies, you know, dropshots, sprints, rallies, you know. It’s a combination of a lot of things. But, you know, the main thing, it was the tension that I had all the two first sets.”

It was a tough experience for Alcaraz to go through as he will hope to become a champion in Paris next year.

The Spaniard spoke about learning from his experiences and the reasons why he didn’t retire in the third set, “Well, you have to learn from these kind of matches, you know, these kind of experience,” Alcaraz stated.

“I would say I take lesson from that match, you know. I will try to not happen again, you know, in these matches. You know, I have to take lesson from that experience and, you know, it’s something that I have to deal, and of course I will have more experience in the next match.

“Well, I would have felt sorry about myself if I would retire, you know. I’m in a semi-final of a Grand Slam. If I retired from that, it could have been really tough for me.

“Of course in the third set, no, but thinking about the fourth set, I thought that probably I have 1% chance, you know, to come back. It was really tough.

“But, you know, in the fourth set I had breakpoints in the first game. But, you know, after that, I just continue playing, you know. In my mind, in the fourth set, it was not the retirement.”

Alcaraz’s willingness to play is commendable as he looks to take the fighting spirit into the rest of the season.

Providing he is fully fit, Alcaraz will now prepare for Wimbledon by playing Queen’s Club which starts on the 19th of June.

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