Novak Djokovic Beats Alcaraz To Book Title Showdown With Sinner At ATP Finals - UBITENNIS
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Novak Djokovic Beats Alcaraz To Book Title Showdown With Sinner At ATP Finals

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Novak Djokovic is on the verge of claiming a historic seventh title at the ATP Finals after defeating Carlos Alcaraz in straight sets on Saturday evening. 

The world No.1 muscled his way to a comprehensive 6-3, 6-2, triumph over Alcaraz to record his second consecutive victory over the Spaniard and his third overall. It is the 16th time this year that Djokovic has beaten a top-10 player which is more than anybody else on the ATP Tour. In his latest match, he hit a total of 15 winners and won 81% of his first service points. Djokovic also committed just eight unforced errors compared to Alcaraz’s costly tally of 22. 

“It was the best match of the tournament for me without a doubt,” Djokovic told TennisTV.
“It came at the right time for me after spending a lot of hours on the court in the first three matches. I didn’t know how I was going to feel tonight.’ 

Heading into their fifth meeting and fourth of the season, Djokovic faced some stern resistance early on against Alcaraz after saving two break points in his opening service game. Despite the early scare, the world No.1 weathered the storm as he started to dismantle his opponent on the court. He first drew blood in the eighth game after an Alcaraz backhand into net net enabled him to break for a 5-3 lead. In control of proceedings, Djokovic closed out the opening set with a love service game which concluded with an ace out wide. 

Alcaraz’s inconsistency started to frustrate him early in the second frame as he let out verbal outbursts after missing shots. His mood deteriorated further when a forehand shank enabled Djokovic to break for a set and a 2-1 lead. Prompting him to shake his head in disappointment. 

From that point onwards, Djokovic had all the answers despite some impressive fighting spirit displayed by his younger rival. Best illustrated during a high-quality service game that saw him recover from a 15-40 deficit by winning five straight points to nudge ahead 4-2. He went on to secure his 49th career win at the season-ending event by converting his second match point after hitting a smash shot. 

“I think from the very beginning I felt the ball well,” the 24-time Grand Slam champion said of his latest performance.
“I was approaching the net with the right attitude and mentality. I knew that from the first point, it was going to be high-intensity. He had break points in the first game but that’s Carlos, he brings out his best in these kinds of matches.”

Standing in the way of Djokovic becoming the most decorated player in ATP Finals history will be the in-form Jannik Sinner who he lost to in three sets earlier in the week. The Italian is currently on a 10-match winning streak. 

“It’s a huge privilege to be here in the final,” Sinner said following his semi-final win over Daniil Medvedev.
“It’s going to be a tough match. I’m looking forward to it. Trying to give all that I have, 100%, and hopefully, it’s going to be a good matchup.’
“It doesn’t really matter the matches before, how they have been. Especially with this format, you can win against one, but after you can lose. It’s different.”

Despite his recent defeat, Djokovic does hold a winning 3-1 head-to-head record against Sinner and is prepared to once again take on the boisterous crowd in the final who will be cheering on their home player. 

“He’s been playing fantastic tennis, arguably the best tennis of his life on this stage against top 10 players,” Djokovic said of Sinner.
“The other night (in their group match) the atmosphere was unbelievable and don’t expect anything less, probably even more (in the final).’
“It’s the finals, I’ve been in this situation many times before. I’m happy with the way I’m feeling and hopefully I can deliver my A game tomorrow.”

The two will face off against each other in the Turin final on Sunday evening which is scheduled to get underway at 17:00 GMT.

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Roland Garros 2024: Rafael Nadal Faces Alexander Zverev In Blockbuster Opening Round

Rafael Nadal and Alexander Zverev will meet at Roland Garros in the first round with Andy Murray taking on Stan Wawrinka in the opening round.

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Rafael Nadal has been drawn against Rome champion Alexander Zverev in the opening round of Roland Garros.

The 14-time Roland Garros champion will most likely be making his last appearance at the event where he has such a great history at.

It’s been a mixed clay court season for Nadal who built gradual momentum in Madrid but suffered an early exit in Rome to Hubert Hurkacz.

Now the Spaniard has been drawn to take on the champion of Rome, Alexander Zverev, in the opening round.

The match is a repeat of the 2022 semi-final where Zverev broke his ankle losing almost a year of his career.

This contest headlines the second quarter of the draw which also features Karen Khachanov, Holger Rune and Daniil Medvedev.

In the other quarter of the top half of the draw, defending champion Novak Djokovic will begin his Roland Garros campaign against Pierre-Hughes Herbert.

There is also a potential third round clash with either Gael Monfils or Lorenzo Musetti for Djokovic, who is currently in Geneva gaining extra match practice ahead of the second Grand Slam of the season.

The Serb could have a repeat of last year’s final in the quarter-finals with Casper Ruud as the Norwegian begins his campaign against Jakub Mensik.

In the bottom half of the draw Jannik Sinner plays his first tournament since suffering a hip injury in Rome as he takes on Christopher Eubanks in the opening round.

Sinner could face Cameron Norrie in the third round with the Brit taking on Pavel Kotov in his opening round before playing the winner of the battle of the Grand Slam champions between Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka.

Murray and Wawrinka will clash for the fourth time at Roland Garros with Wawrinka leading their head-to-head 2-1 in Paris.

This section also includes in-form players such as Hubert Hurkacz, Alejandro Tabilo and Rome finalist Nicolas Jarry.

Finally Carlos Alcaraz will begin his Roland Garros campaign against a qualifier before potentially playing Jack Draper in the second round.

Another exciting clash awaits Alcaraz in the third round in the form of Sebastian Korda with Andrey Rublev or Stefanos Tsitsipas being potential quarter-final opponents.

This is the full draw with Roland Garros beginning on Sunday.

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Alexander Zverev Secures Return To Top Four After Winning Italian Open

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Alexander Zverev has clinched his first Masters title since 2021 after downing Nicolas Jarry in straight sets at the Italian Open.

The world No.5 surged to a 6-4,7-5, victory at the Faro Italico to become the 10th player in the Open Era to win the Rome trophy on multiple occasions. He also won the tournament in 2017. Zverev’s latest win was aided by an impressive service display from the 27-year-old who also hit 15 winners against eight unforced errors. He is now 22-1 against players ranked outside the top five at the tournament with his only loss being to Matteo Berrettini five years ago.

“It means a lot. Winning my first (Masters) title and winning my first after my injury in Rome. Rome is a very special place for me,” the new champion said afterwards. 
“I said at the beginning of the week if Rome is the place of firsts for me I’m extremely happy about it. It’s a very special week.” 

Playing in his first Masters 1000 final since 2022, Zverev produced a serving masterclass throughout the opening set with the German winning 20 out of 21 points. In contrast, Jarry experienced more difficult but valiantly fought back with the Chilean saving two straight break points at 4-4. Eventually, the third seed sealed the opener two games later with the help of some costly shots coming from across the court. A deep shot towards the baseline was unsuccessfully returned by Jarry, handing Zverev a set point which he converted.

Continuing to pile the pressure on in the second set, Zverev had a double chance to break for a 3-1 lead but failed to capitalise on that opportunity. The opportunities continued to come and go. Back-to-back double faults from Jarry at 4-5 handed Zverev two championship points but once again he failed to take advantage. Eventually, he sealed victory two games later with the help of a forehand shot that Jarry returned out. Prompting Zverev to raise his hands in delight before later paying tribute to his rival. 

“He’s playing huge. You can see that by the opponents he beat and how he beat them,” he said of Jarry. 
“I told him if he continues playing like that he is going to have many more chances. I’m happy to be the winner.”

As a result of his Rome triumph, Zverev has secured a top-four seeding for the French Open. On Monday he will rise in the PIF ATP rankings to No.4 which will be his highest position since August 2022. During that same year, he sustained a serious ankle injury which sidelined him for months. 

“The focus is on Paris, that’s for sure. but let me enjoy this one for a day or so and then I will have my full focus on Paris,” said Zverev.

Zverev has now won six Masters 1000 titles which places him in joint-ninth on the all-time list along with Daniil Medvedev. 

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Novak Djokovic Accepts Geneva Wildcard Ahead Of Roland Garros

Novak Djokovic has accepted a wildcard into next week’s ATP 250 event in Geneva as he looks to improve his form ahead of Roland Garros.

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Novak Djokovic has shockingly accepted a wildcard into next week’s ATP 250 event in Geneva.

The world number one hasn’t had the best season so far having yet to reach a final at any of his events this season.

There was hope for Djokovic that his fortunes would change on clay and the Serb started his clay court season by reaching the semi-finals in Monte-Carlo before losing to Casper Ruud.

However Djokovic’s clay court hopes were dashed in Rome as he lost in the third round to in-form Chilean Alejandro Tabilo.

This has meant that Djokovic risks being undercooked for the second Grand Slam of the season at Roland Garros.

Therefore the Serb has had no option but to take a wildcard into next week’s ATP 250 in Geneva.

Djokovic will join Casper Ruud, Andy Murray, Denis Shapovalov and Taylor Fritz in next week’s event.

Next week’s appearance will be the first appearance in Geneva in Djokovic who will be the top seed in Switzerland.

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