Novak Djokovic Fries Fritz and Sets 30-0 Record Against Americans At US Open - UBITENNIS
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Novak Djokovic Fries Fritz and Sets 30-0 Record Against Americans At US Open

The Serbian was in scintillating form and sent out a major message as he reached an unprecedented 47th Slam Semi.



By Anshu Taneja

What do these names have in common? John Isner, Frances Tiafoe, Sebastian Korda, Tommy Paul…well let’s stop there for now. Figured it out? Yes, they’re all Americans, and they’re just some of the top players from the United States to have been pummelled by Novak Djokovic as he continues to set, make, break, and smash every tennis record you can think of.


No American has beaten Novak Djokovic since Sam Querry in the third round of Wimbledon in 2016. Let that sink in for a moment.

By taking apart American number one Taylor Fritz – yet again – in straight sets 6-1, 6-4, 6-4, he also set a record of 47 Grand Slam semi-final appearances. To put that in perspective: that is almost twelve years of unrivalled consistency of reaching the latter stages of the Grand Slams when mere mortals would simply be content with a dozen healthy years on the tour. 

“I was very lucky to encounter some very knowledgeable, very passionate people that supported me, believed in my talent and without them, without their support–my parents are here–I wouldn’t be here,” said Djokovic.
“That’s the long answer of what goes through my head when I hear these numbers–there are a lot of things that I’m very grateful for. Obviously it’s a huge opportunity every single time I step out on the court at this age and this stage of my life, I don’t know how many more opportunities I’ll get so I’m trying to enjoy as much as I can.”

Tuesday’s match-up at the US Open featured an in-form Fritz against the super Serb but with a dreadful head-to-head record of 0-7 in which he had only ever won two sets, in one match. Every other encounter ended in a straight sets defeat and today’s contest was no different with Djokovic copying the same playbook that had served him so well before, namely taking his returns as early as possible and avoiding Fritz’s frightening forehand. 

Even though he lost serve once in the opening set on a hot and humid Arthur Ashe Stadium, Djokovic broke the Fritz serve three times to take a one set lead in 43 minutes. Fritz applied more pressure in the second and tried to make it more competitive but could not take advantage of his breakpoints, constantly struggled with winning points on his second serve and was again broken to go two sets down.

When Djokovic, who will regain the top-ranking next week after this tournament, broke serve to go 4-3 up in the third, the result looked a formality, but in the next game he became distracted when someone from the crowd yelled out during a point and he lost serve moments later. With the score now 4-4, this was Fritz’s big moment against an irate Djokovic, but instead went 0-40 down and lost serve himself. Djokovic served out and ended the match with 25 winners while Fritz was at an alarming 28% for points won on second serves.

“I like the energy and the atmosphere on the court here. I thrive on that energy, whatever the energy is, use it as a fuel to try and play my best tennis,” Djokovic said. “I have been playing on this court for so many years, so many epic matches. I can’t wait for another one in a few days time.”

And so, Djokovic breaks another Roger Federer record by reaching the most Grand Slam semi-finals, where – predicably – he will face another American for a place in the US Open Final on Sunday. 


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



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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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Grand Slam

Australian Open To Become 15-Day Event In Bid To Minimise Late-Night Finishes



Next year’s Australian Open will get underway on a Sunday following feedback from both players and fans.


For the first time in history, the Melbourne Grand Slam will take place over 15 days in a move that has been done to minimize the chances of late-night finishes at the tournament. In the past players and fans have criticised organisers for matches going on until the early hours. In this year’s edition, Andy Murray’s second round clash against Thanassi Kokkinakis didn’t finish until 4am.

Under the plan, first round matches will be spread over three days instead of two. Something that is already done in Paris at the French Open. Some data has shown that there is a growing trend in matches lasting longer.

“We’ve listened to feedback from the players and fans and are excited to deliver a solution to minimise late finishes while continuing to provide a fair and equitable schedule on the stadium courts,” Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley said.
“The additional day will achieve this, benefiting scheduling for fans and players alike. The first round will now be played over three days instead of two, also giving fans an extra day of unbelievable tennis, entertainment, food and family fun.
“Every year our team works hard to bring fans an event that feels new and exciting, and this is another opportunity to grow what is already the biggest annual sporting event in the world in January.”

Another change is that day sessions on the Rod Laver Arena and Margaret Court Arena will feature a minimum of two matches instead of three. However, the night sessions will remain the same at two matches and no changes will be made to the John Cain Arena schedule. Overall, the number of sessions in the three areas will increase from 47 to 52 in 2024.

Meanwhile, organizers said next week a raft of exciting initiatives will be announced by the Australian Open before tickets go on sale on October 12th. It is unclear as to what these initiatives will be.

The 2024 Australian Open will take place at Melbourne Park between 14-28 January. Novak Djokovic and Aryna Sabalenka are the current champions.

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Danil Medvedev is on a collision course for a potential quarter final against Jannik Sinner in Shanghai



This year’s US Open finalist Danil Medvedev returns to the Shanghai Masters 1000, where he won in 2019, when the Chinese tournament was last held in 2019. Medvedev is aiming to win his sixth ATP Tour title after his triumphs in Rotterdam, Doha, Dubai, Miami and Rome. 


Medvedev will take on either Cristian Garin or a qualifier in the second round. Medvedev is seeded to meet a potential fourth round match against 14th seed Felix Auger Aliassime. 

Medvedev is on a collision course for a blockbuster quarter final match against Jannik Sinner. Medvedev leads 6-0 in his head-to-head series against Sinner. 

This year’s US Open semifinalist Ben Shelton could face a possible third round match against 2019 Shanghai Open finalist Alexander Zverev in Sinner’s section of the draw. 

This year’s Wimbledon champion Carlos Alcaraz will make his debut in the Shanghai Masters 1000 tournament against either Nuno Borges or Gregoire Barrere. Alcaraz is seeded for a fourth round match against this year’s Zhuhai winner Karen Khachanov and could face either Taylor Fritz or Frances Tiafoe. 

Alcaraz will chase his seventh ATP Tour title this year after winning in Buenos Aires, Indian Wells, Barcelona, Madrid, Queen’s and Wimbledon. He will face Sinner in the semifinal at the China Open in Beijing. The Spaniard would arrive 315 points behind Novak Djokovic if he wins the title in the Chinese capital. 

Stefanos Tsitsipas and Andrey Rublev have been drawn in the same half as Alcaraz. Tsitsipas will start his campaign against either Laslo Djere or a qualifier and is seeded to play against Cameron Norrie in the Round of 16. 

Rublev, who won his first Masters 1000 title in Monte-Carlo this year, will play against either Quentin Halys or Aslan Karatsev in the second round and is seeded to meet this year’s Australian Open semifinalist Tommy Paul. 

This year’s Monte-Carlo and Rome Masters 1000 finalist Holger Rune will play in the second round against either Brandon Nakashima or Bernabe Zapata Miralles. 

Casper Ruud is seeded to meet this year’s Toronto Masters 1000 finalist Alex De Minaur in the fourth round and Rune in the quarter final. 

The most interesting first round matches are Andy Murray vs Roman Safiulin, Stan Wawrinka vs Dusan Lajovic and Shang Juncheng vs Yosuke Watanuki. 

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