Novak Djokovic moves past Cameron Norrie to reach the quarter final in Rome - UBITENNIS
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Novak Djokovic moves past Cameron Norrie to reach the quarter final in Rome



Novak Djokovic moved past Cameron Norrie 6-3 6-4 in 89 minutes to reach the quarter final at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome for the 17th time in his career. Djokovic dropped his serve once and broke serve three times. 


Djokovic is chasing his seventh title in Rome after his previous wins in 2008, 2011, 2014, 2015, 2020 and 2022. 

Djokovic earned an early break in the second game of the opening set after a forehand error from Norrie. The Serbian player held at 15 in the third game to race out to a 3-0 lead in 11 minutes. Djokovic held at 30 in the seventh game to open up a 5-2 lead. Norrie saved two set points for 3-5.

Djokovic served out to close out the first set 6-3 on his fourth set point after 40 minutes following a medical time-out for Norrie. 

Both players traded holds in the first two games of the second set. Djokovic earned two break points with a running pass in the third game and converted his first chance after a backhand error from Norrie to take a 2-1 lead. The British player broke straight back to draw level to 2-2 and held serve for 3-2. 

Djokovic broke serve at love in the ninth game after a loose backhand from Norrie to take a 5-4 lead. Norrie received a medical time-out due to an issue on his hip. 

Djokovic came back from 0-30 down and missed his first match point, as he was serving for the match.  

Djokovic converted his second chance with a service winner to set up a quarter final match against Holger Rune, who hit 34 winners and committed just three unforced errors in the third set to beat Australian qualifier Alexei Popyrin 6-4 5-7 6-4 after 3 hours. Rune beat Jannik Sinner to reach the final at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters before winning the fourth title of his career in Munich. 

“So far so good. It was an early start today. Strange conditions today and we warmed up for just 20 minutes. I was rushing a little bit and we could not play before because of the rain, so I am glad to overcome the challenge in straight sets and move on”, said Djokovic. 

Rune earned the first break and served well throughout the first set. The Danish player did not convert three break points but he held his serve to win the first set 6-4. 

Both players earned a lot of break points in the second set. Rune was not able to convert any of his four chances. Popyrin converted his break point in the 12th game to win the second set 7-5 forcing the match to the decider. 

Rune earned six break points in the third set and converted only one chance in the fifth game to seal the third set 6-4. 

Lorenzo Musetti came back from one set down to beat Frances Tiafoe 5-7 6-4 6-3 after 2 hour and 35 minutes. The match resumed today after it was interrupted by rain yesterday, as Musetti was leading 2-1 in the third set. 

Musetti was not able to convert three consecutive break points at 4-2. The Italian player earned a second break in the ninth game to close out the third set 6-3. 

Musetti set up a fourth round match against Stefanos Tsitsipas, who beat Lorenzo Sonego 6-3 7-6 (7-3) in another match that was interrupted by rain yesterday. Sonego earned two set points at 5-4 and 6-5 in the second set. Tsitsipas saved them with two service winners. Tsitsipas earned an early mini-break to take a 1-0 lead. Sonego pulled back on serve to draw level to 2-2. Tsitsipas sealed the tie-break 7-3 on his first match points after Sonego made a double fault at 3-5 down.

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World Tennis League: Swiatek And Medvedev Among Top Names To Play Exhibition Event



image via ATP Twitter

During the off-season, some of the world’s best players will head to the United Arab Emirates next month to play in a four-day team event. 


The World Tennis League (WTL) will host its second edition between December 21-24 at the Yas Island’s Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi. The event features a total of 16 players split into four groups with each of those teams competing for the trophy. Every group will have their own coach and even an owner. 

Earlier this week, organizers confirmed the last players to be added to the line-up. Casper Ruud, Hubert Hurkacz and Taylor Fritz will all play in the event which will feature a combination of singles and mixed doubles matches. Those who have already confirmed their entry include Iga Swiatek, Daniil Medvedev, Aryna Sabalenka, Elena Rybakina, Andrey Rublev and Stefanos Tsitsipas.

As for who is in what group, the SG Mavericks Kites features Sabalanka, Tsitsipas, Paula Badosa and Grigor Dimitrov. The owners of that team are SG Sports, the sporting arm of APL Apollo Tubes. An Indian-based structural steel tube brand. Their coach will be former Australian Open doubles champion Robert Lindstedt.

Team Eagles will be made up of Medvedev, Rublev, Sofia Kenin and Mirra Andreeva. Their owners are the Punit Balan Group. Balan is an Indian film producer and owner of several sporting teams. They will be coached by John-Laffnie De Jager who has previously worked with the likes of Kevin Anderson, Daniella Hantuchova and Ajla Tomljanovic.

The Honor FX Falcons is named after owners Honor FX features. Rybakina, Fritz, Frances Tiafoe and Leylah Fernandez are in that group which will be led by Chris Groh. Groh has previously coached Fritz during his teenage years. 

Finally, The Hawkes team has Swiatek, Hurkacz, Ruud and Caroline Garcia. The team are the only one yet to have an official owner. Sweden’s Simon Aspelin will be their coach. 

“We’re thrilled to be announcing more star names to our exceptional tennis line-up for season two of the World Tennis League,” Rajesh Banga, chairman of the World Tennis League, said.
“These players are of the highest calibre and prominent names around the world so we’re pleased they will be competing in the unique tournament at our new home in Etihad Arena.”

The schedule of the event will be the following:-

DAY ONE: Hawks Vs Honor FX Falcons, Team Eagles Vs SG Mavericks Kites

DAY TWO: Honor FX Falcons Vs SG Mavericks Kites, Team Eagles Vs Team Hawks 

Day Three: Team Eagles Vs Honor FX Falcons, SG Maverick Kites Vs Team Hawks

Day Four: knockout rounds

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Luca Van Assche rallies from two sets to one down to beat Alex Michelsen



Luca Van Assche came back from two sets to one down to defeat Alex Michelsen 4-3 (7-0) 3-4 (4-7) 3-4 (4-7) 4-1 4-3 (8-6) in 2 hours and 36 minutes at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Jeddah in the second longest match in the history of this tournament. 


Van Assche and Michelsen went on serve in the first three sets. Both players saved all five break points they faced in the first three sets. 

There were three consecutive breaks in the fourth set. Van Assche earned two of them and served out the set at love in the fifth game. 

Both players traded breaks in the fifth and sixth games of the fifth set. Van Assche earned a chance to serve for the match, but Michelsen pulled back on serve to force a tie-break. 

Van Assche built a 3-0 in the tie-break with an early mini-break. Michelsen saved two match points to draw level to 6-6. Van Assche sealed the win with another mini-break on the second match point. 

“He was playing very well the whole match. It was really close. Not a lot of breaks and it was difficult for me but I am very happy”, said Van Assche. 

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Arthur Fils beats Dominic Stricker to end Green Group unbeaten



Arthur Fils battled past Dominic Stricker 4-2 3-4 (3-7) 4-2 4-3 (7-5) after 1 hour and 47 minutes in the final round-robin match to end the Green Group unbeaten with a 3-0 record at the Next Gen ATP Finals. 


Stricker knew that he would advance to the semifinals if he won just one set. The Swiss player won the set he needed against the already qualified Fils to secure his spot in the semifinal despite the defeat. 

Stricker saved a break point on the deciding point in the third game of the fourth set. Fils earned the break in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead and served out on his second set point. 

Stricker held serve at love in the first game of the fourth set. The Swiss player broke serve on the deciding point to open up a 2-0 lead. Fils broke straight back in the third game and held serve at 15 to draw level to 2-2. Fils earned three mini-breaks, but Stricker pulled back on serve each time. Fils sealed the tie-break 7-5 on his second match point. 

Stricker beat Fils 7-6 7-6 in Gstaad in their only previous head-to-head match last summer. 

Fils saved two break points in the first game to hold serve. Stricker fended off a break point in the fourth game on the deciding point to draw level to 2-2. Fils earned his first break on his third set point with a forehand return winner in the sixth game to clinch the first set 4-2. 

Stricker saved the only break point of the second set in the fourth game. Both players held on their serve en route to the tie-break. Stricker won six consecutive points from 0-1 down with two mini-breaks to win the tie-break 7-3. 

Fils won his first title in Lyon and reached the final in Antwerp

“I knew before the match that I qualified, but I just want to win every match that I am playing. I think I put a little bit more focus out there out there today than the first two days because I know this opponent and he already beat me this year. It was a tough match but I am really happy to win and let’s see who I get in the semifinal”, said Fils in the post- match interview. 

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