Novak Djokovic Sinks Sinner To Reach Record 35th Major Final At Wimbledon - UBITENNIS
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Novak Djokovic Sinks Sinner To Reach Record 35th Major Final At Wimbledon



image via Wimbledon twitter

Novak Djokovic is one win away from a record-equalling eighth Wimbledon title after battling his way past Jannik Sinner in the semi-finals on Friday afternoon. 

The defending champion rallied to a 6-3, 6-4, 7-6(4), victory to become the first player in the history of the sport to reach a major final for the 35th time in their career. Djokovic has now recorded 92 main draw wins at the grasscourt major. It is also the ninth time in a row he has beaten a top 10 player at Wimbledon with the last person to get the better of him being Andy Murray in 2013. 

Djokovic’s latest performance featured a total of 33 winners against 21 unforced errors in what was a largely straightforward encounter. Although he was hampered with two warnings from the umpire in one game which did not go down too well with the former world No.1 and his team.

“The Semifinal was always going to be very close,” said Djokovic. “It was three very close sets, I think the score doesn’t give the reality of what was happening on the court. The third set could have gone his way but he missed a few shots which allowed me to go into the tiebreak’
He (Sinner) has proven why he is one of the leaders of the next generation and why he is one of the best players in the world,” he added.

For the second year running both players locked horns at the All England Club after their 2022 thriller which saw Djokovic fight back from a two-set deficit. This time round the Serbian made sure that history wouldn’t repeat itself by clinching a hard-fought opener.

In two out of his first three service games, he was forced to fend off break points. He secured his first breakthrough in the second game after back-to-back sinner forehand errors granted him an early break. That proved to be a pivotal moment as Djokovic went on to seal a 6-3 lead with relative ease by firing a 118 mph ace followed by a 121 mph serve that his rival returned into the net.

The controversy unfolded early on in the second frame when Djokovic lost a point after being hit with a penalty for hindrance after making a noise following one of his shots. Something which bemused the world No.2 who protested his innocence but was unsuccessful in getting the decision overturned. Then to add to his woes he was slammed with a time violation a few minutes later.

“The hindrance could have changed the course of the match,” Djokovic commented before adding, “I felt nervous after that call but I managed to regroup. It was probably the first time in my career that this happened. I don’t normally have extended grunts. Maybe there was an echo in the court?”

As for what was happening in the match, one break in Djokovic’s favour enabled him to ease into a two-set lead. Sinner produced glimmers of his powerful hitting but he struggled to find a way to get back on level terms.

Closing in on his ninth Wimbledon final at the age of 36, Djokovic had three chances to break Sinner early on in what was a highly competitive third set but his Italian rival valiantly saved all of them. Then under his real first sense of pressure at 4-5, he saved two set points whilst also trying to contend with a rowdy crowd, of which some were heckling him.
Despite this, he went on to prevail in the tiebreaker which concluded with three consecutive shots from Sinner crashing into the net.

“We are part of an individual sport and you have to rely on yourself. I try not to look at the age difference as a factor. I feel that 36 is the new 26,” said Djokovic.
“I feel a lot of motivation and I am inspired to play the sport that I love.”

Djokovic will face either Carlos Alcaraz or Daniil Medvedev in the final. Should he win he will join Roger Federer in becoming the most decorated men’s singles champions of all time at Wimbledon.


Wrist Injury Threatening To End Holger Rune’s Olympic Dream



Holger Rune will have a second medical opinion on Monday before deciding if he is fit enough to play at the Olympic Games, according to his team. 

The Danish world No.17 recently retired from his quarter-final match at the Hamburg Open due to a knee injury. The hope at the time was that his withdrawal would be just a precautionary measure ahead of the Olympics. However, he is also dealing with a second issue that appears to be more serious.

According to TV 2 Sport, Rune has been struggling with a wrist issue and underwent a scan on Sunday which his mother Aneke says ‘doesn’t look promising.’ Aneke is also the manager of her son’s career. Rune’s Olympic dreams now rest on the outcome of a second medical expert that he will visit tomorrow who has a better understanding of the sport. 

“Unfortunately, it does not look promising after the first medical opinion after the review of the scan of the wrist,” Aneke Rune told TV 2 Sport.

“We are waiting for two tennis-specific doctors who will give a second opinion tomorrow (Monday). Tennis wrists look different from regular wrists, so we’ll hold out hope for one more day.” 

Rune is one of three Danish players entered into the Olympic tennis event along with Caroline Wozniacki and Clara Tauson. The country has only won one medal in tennis before which was at the 1912 Games when Sofie Castenschiold won silver in the women’s indoor singles event. 

So far this season, the 21-year-old has won 27 matches on the Tour but is yet to claim a title. He reached the final of the Brisbane International and then the semi-finals of three more events. In the Grand Slams, he made it to the fourth round of the French Open and Wimbledon. 

It is not known when a final decision regarding Rune’s participation in Paris will be made.

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Hubert Hurkacz Undergoes ‘Knee Procedure’ Ahead of Olympic Bid



Poland’s top player on the ATP Tour is not giving up on his dream of winning a medal at the Olympic Games despite recently undergoing a medical procedure.

World No.7 Hubert Hurkacz suffered a knee injury during his second round clash at Wimbledon against France’s Arthur Fils. In the fourth set tiebreak of their clash, Hurkacz dived for a shot but landed badly on his knee and required on-court medical attention. He then played two more points before retiring from the match. 

In a social media post published on Wednesday, the  27-year-old confirmed he underwent a procedure on his knee earlier this week but didn’t provide any further details.  Although Hurkacz has stated his intention to play at the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris, where the tennis event will be held on the clay at Roland Garros. 

“I had a knee procedure this Monday, but I’m feeling better already and my team and are dedicating extensive time each day to the rehab process.” He wrote on Instagram. 

“It’s a dream for every athlete to represent their country at the Olympics, and I want to make sure I am fully fit and ready before making the final decision to step on court. The aim is not only to participate, but to win a medal for my country.”

So far this season Hurkacz has won 34 out of 48 matches played on the Tour. He won the Estoril Open in April and was runner-up to Jannik Sinner in Halle. 

The Olympic tennis event is scheduled to begin a week Saturday on July 27th. Poland is yet to win a medal in the event but expectations are high with women’s No.1 Iga Swiatek also taking part. 

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Motivation, Pressure And Expectations – Novak Djokovic Targets History At Wimbledon



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Novak Djokovic has broken numerous records throughout his career but he still feels the pressure of trying to make history in the sport. 

The world No.2 is through to his 10th Wimbledon final where he will play Carlos Alcaraz, who beat him at this stage of the tournament 12 months ago. There is plenty on the line for the Serbian who could equal Roger Federer’s record for most men’s titles won at SW19 and break the overall record for most major singles won in the sport if he triumphs over the Spaniard. Djokovic currently has 24 Grand Slam trophies to his name which is the same as Margaret Court, who won some of her titles before the Open Era started. 

“Obviously I’m aware that Roger [Federer] holds eight Wimbledons. I hold seven. History is on the line.” Djokovic said on Friday after beating Lorenzo Musetti.

“Also, the 25th potential Grand Slam. Of course, it serves as a great motivation, but at the same time it’s also a lot of pressure and expectations.”

Coming into Wimbledon, there had been doubts over Djokovic’s form after he underwent surgery to treat a knee injury he suffered at the French Open. However, he has defied the odds to reach the final. His run has also seen him beat Alexi Popyrin and Holger Rune before getting a walkover in the quarter-finals from Alex de Minaur, who sustained an injury during the tournament. Then on Friday, he overcame a spirited Musetti in three sets. 

Despite the challenge, Djokovic has insisted that his expectations to do well are always high no matter what the situation is. During what has been a roller-coaster first six months of the season, he is yet to win a title this year or beat a player currently ranked in the top 10. Although he will achieve both of these if her beats Alcaraz on Sunday. 

“Every time I step out on the court now, even though I’m 37 and competing with the 21-year-olds, I still expect myself to win most of the matches, and people expect me to win, whatever, 99% of the matches that I play.” He said.

“I always have to come out on the court and perform my best in order to still be at the level with Carlos [Alcaraz] or Jannik [Sinner] or Sascha [Zverev] or any of those guys, Daniil [Medvedev]. 

“This year hasn’t been that successful for me. It’s probably the weakest results the first six months I’ve had in many years. That’s okay. I had to adapt and accept that and really try to find also way out from the injury that I had and kind of regroup.”

Djokovic hopes that a Wimbledon win will help turn his season around like it has done in the past for him. 

“Wimbledon historically there’s been seasons where I wasn’t maybe playing at a desired level, but then I would win a Wimbledon title and then things would change.” He commented.

“For example, that was the case in 2018 when I had elbow surgery earlier in the year, dropped my rankings out of top 20, losing in fourth round of Australian Open, I think it was quarters of Roland-Garros, and just not playing the tennis that I want to play. Then I won Wimbledon and then won US Open and then later on became No.1 very soon.”

Meanwhile, 21-year-old Alcaraz is hoping to stop Djokovic in his tracks. Should he defend his title at Wimbledon, he would become the first player outside the Big Three to do so since Pete Sampras more than 20 years ago. He has won their only previous meeting on the grass but trails their head-to-head 3-2. 

“I’m sure he knows what he has to do to beat me,” said Alcaraz.

“But I’m ready to take that challenge and I’m ready to do it well.”

When the two players take to the court to play in the Wimbledon final, Djokovic will be 15 years and 348 days older than Alcaraz. Making it the largest age gap in a men’s Grand Slam final since the 1974 US Open. Whoever is victorious will receive £2,700,000 in prize money. 

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