Jannik Sinner Battles Past Novak Djokovic In ATP Finals Epic - UBITENNIS
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Jannik Sinner Battles Past Novak Djokovic In ATP Finals Epic

Jannik Sinner recorded the biggest win of his career by beating Novak Djokovic at the Nitto ATP Finals.

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Jannik Sinner (@atptour - Twitter)

Jannik Sinner recorded one of the biggest wins of his career after edging out Novak Djokovic 7-5 6-7(5) 7-6(2) in three hours.

The Italian produced one of the best performances of his career after he defeated the world number one in three hours of brutal tennis.

Despite the win Sinner still isn’t qualified for the semi-finals yet as he prepares to face Holger Rune on Thursday.

The start of the match saw a quick tempo from both players as they used the fast conditions to their advantage.

This saw the first three games resulting in love service holds before Djokovic applied the first bit of pressure on return.

However Sinner continued the theme of firing down aces as he survived a tight fourth game.

Djokovic seemed to be the more confident on serve as well as the more consistent on return as the Serb was the one to create the first break points of the match.

The depth of Djokovic’s consistent baseline game was suffocating Sinner’s baseline firepower as the defending champion created break point in the sixth game.

However some world-class point construction saw Sinner survive a tight service game as he held for 3-3.

That seemed to be the energetic spark that the Italian was looking for as he increased the intensity on return and created a break point of his own, which Djokovic saved with authority.

As the end of the set was approaching, it was Djokovic who was more erratic in his decision-making on big points with a poor approach to the net giving Sinner the chance to break in the eleventh game.

An initiative Sinner took, as Djokovic was seemingly frustrated with the crowd disrupting his service motion, and the Italian broke for a 6-5 lead.

There were no signs of nerves from Sinner as he cruised through a decisive service game, holding to love, and sealing the opening set 7-5.

A response was needed from Djokovic in the second and a response was what happened as he elevated his game to new heights after a sizzling start by Sinner.

Both players continued to play dominant tennis on serve as Sinner was starting to come under more pressure but was rising to the occasion in impressive fashion.

The Italian produced a couple of tight holds while Djokovic was easing through his service games even if the Serb needed a medical time-out on a neck injury.

However the intensity in Djokovic’s play never seemed to dip as the Serb had the perfect opportunity to break to level the match at one set all.

That didn’t happen though as Sinner was brave in his tactics and persistent as well as resistant in his approach as the second set went to a tiebreak.

Sinner’s tactical boldness earned the Italian a mini-break advantage on two separate occasions but the fourth seed was too passive when it really mattered.

That cost the Italian the set as Djokovic came back to edge the tiebreak 7-5 and force a deciding set as he demanded a reaction from the passionate Turin crowd.

In the final set, both players brought a high level of play on serve as Sinner remained focused despite the second set setback.

The winner of this match would be defined by small margins and it was Sinner who broke first in the sixth game as the Italian hit two world-class returns to take a 4-2 lead.

However back game Djokovic in this long tug of war for dominance as it was the world number one’s turn to produce world-class returns as he broke back in the next game.

After that the atmosphere and drama continued to unfold between Djokovic and the crowd as both players cruised through their service games with the final set being decided by a tiebreak.

Despite Djokovic’s best efforts throughout the contest, it was Sinner who played an unbelievable tiebreak and claimed seven of the nine points on offer to win his second consecutive group stage match.

Sinner will now look to book place in the semi-finals on Thursday when he takes on Holger Rune while Novak Djokovic will know that a win over alternate Hubert Hurkacz will seal his place in the last four.

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Wrist Injury Threatening To End Holger Rune’s Olympic Dream

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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

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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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image via x.com/wimbledon

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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