Novak Djokovic Overcomes Opening Set Hurdle To Reach Roland Garros Semi-Finals - UBITENNIS
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Novak Djokovic Overcomes Opening Set Hurdle To Reach Roland Garros Semi-Finals

Novak Djokovic is into the semi-finals of Roland Garros after a hard-fought win over Karen Khachanov.



Novak Djokovic (@WeAreTennis - Twitter)

Novak Djokovic is into the semi-finals of Roland Garros after a 4-6 7-6(0) 6-2 6-4 win over Karen Khachanov.


Djokovic was the second best player for the majority of the first two sets but raised his level when needed to reach the last four in Paris.

Khachanov’s improved level showed in this competitive quarter-final match but came up short after lacking consistency in the big moments.

Next for Djokovic is Carlos Alcaraz or Stefanos Tsitsipas on Friday.

It was an aggressive start to the match from both players as they brought their confident tennis to the occasion.

Khachanov wasn’t afraid to remain aggressive off both forehand and backhand as he used the angles to set up effective winners.

Djokovic remained solid on serve but lacked consistency on serve when dealing with Khachanov’s aggressive tennis.

Despite missing some easy chances on break points, Khachanov converted his fifth break point to seal the early break for a 3-2 lead.

There was a solid response from Djokovic but the Serb just couldn’t find attacking first serves when it mattered as the world number 11 threatened another break.

The third saved two set points to hold serve in the ninth game but ultimately couldn’t deny Khachanov the set as the 11th seed sealed the opening set in 58 minutes.

Just like Djokovic did in his previous matches, the Serb planned to make this a war of attrition as the Serb forced four of Khachanov’s service games to Deuce in the second set.

For the majority of the set, Khachanov was too solid and strong for the majority of the set as he came up with clutch points to hold on serve.

The Serb’s returning pressure was bound to be rewarded eventually and Djokovic’s consistency was too much in the tiebreak.

An incredible defensive performance in the second point of the tiebreak gave Djokovic the confidence boost needed as his clinical play tactically and mentally saw him prove a class above Khachanov.

The 22-time Grand Slam champion won all seven points in the tiebreak to level the match at one set all.

In the third set, Djokovic snuffed out all momentum Khachanov gained up until this point as he continued to produce shot-making of the highest quality.

A grinding break in the opening game was the perfect example of how Djokovic’s physical and mental strength was a class above Khachanov’s.

Another clinical break in the seventh game was evidence of how Djokovic’s all-court game had much more depth than Khachanov’s inconsistent accurate power.

Djokovic wrapped up the third set for a two sets to one lead and was well in control of the match after a break in the third game.

However Khachanov’s resilience and determination was admirable as he continued to create and save break point opportunities.

The 11th seed was rewarded with his hard work with a well-earned break in the eighth game.

Ultimately Djokovic had warned Khachanov out by this point and the Serb sealed an eighth consecutive point with an ace to seal a place in the semi-finals.

After his victory Djokovic said he has the greatest respect for Khachanov and is happy for the win, “I played the perfect tie-break and from that moment onwards I played a couple of levels higher than I did at the beginning,” Djokovic was quoted as saying by the BBC.

“A little bit scared at the end of the fourth set so I managed to win. It’s a big fight, it’s what you expect in the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam. You are not going to have your victories handed to you and I’m glad to have overcome it today.

“I think I missed a couple of really easy shots today. I think it was 15 easy put-away backhands. Sometimes it works really well. Against players like Karen that have big serve and maybe don’t move as well, I try and make it unpredictable for him.

“Playing long shots, drop shots. It was a big fight, it always is. I have great respect for Karen and I wish him the best for the rest of the year.”

The former world number one is now two wins away from a 23rd Grand Slam title as he keeps getting better with each match.

Next for Djokovic is the ultimate test as he takes on either world number one Carlos Alcaraz or former finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas.


Tennis Player Disqualified From Shanghai Qualifying Match Two Points Away From Victory



Image via

It will be a match that Australia’s Marc Polmans will never forget but for all the wrong reasons.


The World No.140 looked to be on the verge of victory against Italy’s Stefano Napolitano when leading their match 7-6(3), 6-6(6-5), in the final round of qualifying at the Shanghai Masters. However, disaster struck at the next point when Polmans temper got the better of him and subsequently cost him.

With match point, he approached the net to hit a backhand shot but it ended up in the net. Prompting the frustrated 26-year-old to hit a tennis ball that unfortunately hit the umpire. As a result of that action, he was automatically disqualified from the match which handed Napolitano the victory and a place in the main draw.

It is not the first time a tennis player has been disqualified for such an incident. During a 2017 Davis Cup tie between Canada and Great Britain, Denis Shapovalov was disqualified for firing a tennis ball that hit the umpire’s eye. Novak Djokovic was also disqualified from the 2020 US Open after hitting a ball that accidentally struck a lines judge.

“Players shall not violently, dangerously or with anger hit, kick or throw
a tennis ball while on the grounds of the tournament site except in the reasonable pursuit of a point during a match (including warm-up),
” the 2023 ATP rulebook outlines.
“For purposes of this rule, abuse of balls is defined as intentionally or reckless- ly hitting a ball out of the enclosure of the court, hitting a ball dangerously or recklessly within the court or hitting a ball with disregard of the conse- quences.’
“Violation of this section shall subject a player to a fine of up to $350 for each violation. In addition, if such violation occurs during a match, the player shall be penalized in accordance with the Point Penalty Schedule.”

It is a tough lesson for Polmans to learn. He was on the verge of playing in the main draw of a Masters 1000 event for the first time in his career. He is currently the 10th highest-ranked Australian player on the ATP Tour and reached the final of a Challenger event in Guangzhou, China last month.

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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



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.

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

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



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

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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.


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.


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.


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
6Van AsscheFrance597200469
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.


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.

Seyboth Wild76Brazil30

Translated by Kingsley Elliot Kaye

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