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History: Djokovic Stands Alone

  • Posted: Aug 20, 2018

History: Djokovic Stands Alone

Seventy per cent of Djokovic’s title haul has come at tennis’ biggest events

There are many words that could describe what Novak Djokovic did on Sunday when he captured his first Western & Southern Open title, but one stands out: historic.

Djokovic completed the Career Golden Masters, becoming the first player to win all nine ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events. The Serbian has now accomplished virtually everything a tennis player can in their career, reaching the peak of the ATP Rankings, triumphing at the Nitto ATP Finals, winning all four Grand Slams and now capturing each of the Masters 1000 trophies.

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History. That’s what Djokovic made in Cincinnati. He has proven his ability to thrive under the greatest pressure and shown his versatility by adjusting to every surface and all conditions. Even 98-time tour-level titlist Roger Federer, who owns more ‘Big Titles’ than anybody, made it a point to commend the Serbian for his efforts in completing the Career Golden Masters.

“It’s just something that the previous generation couldn’t even aim for,” Federer said after Sunday’s Cincinnati final. “It wasn’t like a goal of anybody, because you had so many experts on all different surfaces. And then all of a sudden things slow down. Everybody starts to play from the baseline. Only then you could win all four [Grand Slams] almost or you could only win all the Masters 1000s.”

Djokovic selife

But Djokovic has not just proven his ability to win at the biggest tournaments in the sport. The 31-year-old has shown that he rises to the occasion with the most on the line. With his Cincinnati victory, Djokovic has now won 49 ‘Big Titles’ (Grand Slams, Nitto ATP Finals, Masters 1000s), moving him to within one of Rafael Nadal, who has 50, and three of Federer, who owns 53.

But Djokovic stands out from the two legends. He has won a higher ratio of ‘Big Titles’ to tour-level titles than anyone else. Seventy per cent (49/70) of the Serbian’s victories have come at the sport’s highest levels. Nadal is second among the Big Three, capturing 62.5 per cent (50/80) of his championships at ‘Big Title’ tournaments, and Federer is third at 54.1 per cent (53/98).

Djokovic Big Titles

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US Open build-up: Murray set for Grand Slam comeback

  • Posted: Aug 20, 2018
2018 US Open
Dates: 28 August-9 September Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York Coverage: Live radio coverage on BBC Radio 5 live text commentaries on the BBC Sport website

Britain’s Andy Murray is set to play at a Grand Slam for the first time in almost 14 months as he continues his comeback from hip surgery at the US Open in New York.

The 31-year-old has not played at a major tournament since losing in the Wimbledon quarter-finals last year.

The Scot pulled out of this year’s Wimbledon on the eve of the Championships, saying he was not ready to compete in five-set matches following surgery in January.

The former world number one, who won his first Slam title at the US Open in 2012, is now ranked 378th in the world but will compete at Flushing Meadows because of his protected ranking.

Murray has played tournaments in Washington and Cincinnati in preparation for the fourth and final major of the tennis season.

He won three matches at the Citi Open in Washington, including a second-round victory over new British number one Kyle Edmund, but lost to France’s world number 17 Lucas Pouille in the first round at Cincinnati.

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Konta and Edmund lead British hopes

Johanna Konta is the only Briton to have gained direct entry to the women’s draw, but the world number 46 is outside of the seedings after a year during which she has tumbled down the rankings.

Konta, 27, was the seventh seed at Flushing Meadows last year and could have ended the tournament as the world number one, but lost to unseeded Serb Aleksandra Krunic in the first round.

She has struggled for consistent form since being beaten by Venus Williams in last year’s Wimbledon semi-finals, losing five matches in a row at the end of the year and reaching just one final in 2018.

The American hard-court season has given her some positivity going into the US Open, Konta inflicting a career-worst defeat on Serena Williams in San Jose before beating Grand Slam winners Jelena Ostapenko and Victoria Azarenka in Montreal.

Konta is continuing her Flushing Meadows preparations by playing in the Connecticut Open for the first time in her career.

Edmund, the highest-ranked Briton in either draw and seeded 16th at the US Open, is looking to at least match his run to the last 16 two years ago.

The 23-year-old Yorkshireman has only managed one victory in three tournaments on the American hard courts, leading to him accepting a wildcard at this week’s Winston-Salem Open.

Cameron Norrie is the only other Briton to gain direct entry into the main draw, while Jay Clarke, Heather Watson and Katie Boulter are among the others trying to earn a place through this week’s qualifying tournament.

Djokovic aims to equal Sampras tally

Murray is one of seven former US Open champions in the men’s field and all – except perhaps the Briton and wildcard Stan Wawrinka, who is also returning from long-term injury – are expected to be among the main challengers.

Novak Djokovic: After winning his 13th Grand Slam title at Wimbledon last month, the 31-year-old Serb is the favourite to win on his return to Flushing Meadows.

He missed the tournament last year with an elbow injury but his triumphs at SW19 and Cincinnati – where he beat Roger Federer to complete the career ‘Golden Masters’ – show he has recaptured his best form.

Now the sixth seed hopes to match the Grand Slam tally of Pete Sampras, whom he describes as his “biggest role model”.

Rafael Nadal: The world number one has only played in the Rogers Cup since his semi-final defeat by Djokovic at Wimbledon – and won the title.

The 17-time Grand Slam champion pulled out of the Cincinnati Masters last week, saying he wanted to rest his body before the US Open.

Roger Federer: Like Nadal, the 37-year-old Swiss has been smart with his scheduling as he continues to defy the ageing process.

The world number two, a 20-time Grand Slam winner, made his comeback at Cincinnati, reaching the final in his first outing since Wimbledon.

Juan Martin del Potro: When the giant Argentine won the US Open as a 20-year-old in 2009, many expected him to challenge for more Slams over the following years.

His career has been hampered by serious wrist injuries but he has battled back and reached a career-high third in the rankings last week.

Marin Cilic: The 2014 champion has won five matches in his two tournaments on the hard courts, losing to Rafael Nadal in Toronto and Djokovic in Cincinnati.

Williams ‘not going to New York to lose’

Despite reaching the Wimbledon final, where she lost to Angelique Kerber, Serena Williams says she is still at the start of a “long comeback”.

The 23-time Grand Slam champion has climbed back into the world’s top 30 after giving birth to daughter Olympia last September, and will be seeded at Flushing Meadows.

She fell to the heaviest defeat of her career against Konta in San Jose last month, later revealing she discovered shortly before the match that the man convicted of killing her half-sister had been released on parole.

The 36-year-old American is bidding for a seventh US Open title.

“I’m not going in there thinking I’m going to lose. That’s not being Serena. That’s being someone else,” she said.

Which other women will challenge?

Simona Halep: The world number one lifted her first Grand Slam trophy at the French Open in June which, according to the legendary Martina Navratilova, has increased the 26-year-old Romanian’s confidence and belief.

“I think Halep’s new confidence and attitude are going to make her more proactive during rallies, and that’s going to help her to play better on the US Open hard courts,” Navratilova told the WTA.

Sloane Stephens: The defending champion has a formidable record on the North American hard courts, having won 32 matches and lost eight on the surface in the past year.

The 25-year-old American, who is ranked third in the world, is aiming to become only the fourth woman to retain the title since 2000 after the Williams sisters and Kim Clijsters.

Angelique Kerber: Current form and past pedigree mark out the Wimbledon champion as one of the main contenders.

Only Halep stands above of her in the year-to-date rankings as the 30-year-old German continues her renaissance under Konta’s former coach Wim Fissette, and the 2016 champion has already shown she can win at Flushing Meadows.

Caroline Wozniacki: Like Halep, the world number two won her first Slam this year – with victory at the Australian Open in January. But she has been unable to build on that in recent months.

An early exit at Wimbledon has been followed by a knee injury which forced the 28-year-old Dane to retire during the recent Cincinnati Masters – not the ideal build-up as she aims to go one better than runner-up finishes in 2009 and 2014.

Schedule of play (all start times BST)

Monday, 27 August: Round one (day session 16:00, night session 00:00)

Tuesday, 28 August: Round one (day session 16:00, night session 00:00)

Wednesday, 29 August: Round two (day session 16:00, night session 00:00)

Thursday, 30 August: Round two (day session 16:00, night session 00:00)

Friday, 31 August: Round three (day session 16:00, night session 00:00)

Saturday, 1 September: Round three (day session 16:00, night session 00:00)

Sunday, 2 September: Round four (day session 16:00, night session 00:00)

Monday, 3 September: Round four (day session 16:00, night session 00:00)

Tuesday, 4 September: Quarter-finals (day session 16:00, night session 00:00)

Wednesday, 5 September: Quarter-finals (day session 16:00, night session 00:00)

Thursday, 6 September: Women’s semi-finals (00:00)

Friday, 7 September: Men’s semi-finals (21:00)

Saturday, 8 September: Women’s final (21:00)

Sunday, 9 September: Men’s final (21:00)

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Johanna Konta wins in Connecticut Open first round against Laura Siegemund

  • Posted: Aug 20, 2018

British number one Johanna Konta continued her US Open preparation with a first-round win over Germany’s Laura Siegemund at the Connecticut Open.

Konta, now ranked 46th, won 6-2 7-5 against the world number 146.

The Briton lost four points on serve in the opening set but had to dig deeper in the second before breaking to lead 6-5 and serving out the win.

She is the only British woman with direct entry into main draw of the US Open, which begins on 27 August.

Konta, 27, was the seventh seed at Flushing Meadows last year, but lost to unseeded Serb Aleksandra Krunic in the first round and has dropped down the rankings since.

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However, the American hard-court season has given the 2017 Wimbledon semi-finalist a lift going into the US Open.

After inflicting a career-worst defeat on Serena Williams in San Jose, she beat Grand Slam champions Jelena Ostapenko and Victoria Azarenka in Montreal.

Konta, making her first appearance in the main draw in New Haven, will play Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro in the second round.

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Djokovic Rises To No. 6, Mover Of The Week

  • Posted: Aug 20, 2018

Djokovic Rises To No. 6, Mover Of The Week looks at the top Movers of the Week in the ATP Rankings, as of Monday, 20 August 2018

No. 6 Novak Djokovic, +4
The 31-year-old became the first player to achieve the Career Golden Masters after completing his collection of ATP World Tour Masters 1000 trophies at the Western & Southern Open. In his sixth final at the Ohio-based event, Djokovic lifted his first trophy after a straight-sets win over seven-time champion Roger Federer.

The 31-time Masters 1000 titlist was pushed to a deciding set in four of his six encounters in Cincinnati and beat three Top 10 opponents en route to the title. With 4,445 points, Djokovic climbs four places to No. 6 in the ATP Rankings. Read More & Watch Highlights

View Latest ATP Rankings

No. 10 David Goffin, +1
Coming into the Western & Southern Open, Goffin had lost five of his seven most recent tour-level matches. But the Belgian found his form in Cincinnati, defeating Rogers Cup finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas, Benoit Paire and Top 10 rivals Kevin Anderson and Juan Martin del Potro to reach the semi-finals. At No. 10, Goffin moves up one position to re-enter the Top 10 of the ATP Rankings.

No. 25 Milos Raonic, +4
The Canadian reached his fourth Western & Southern Open quarter-final in six visits to Cincinnati without dropping a set. Raonic defeated Dusan Lajovic, Malek Jaziri and countryman Denis Shapovalov before a three-set loss to eventual champion Djokovic in the last eight. The 27-year-old, now 24-10 at tour-level this season, rises four positions to No. 25 in the ATP Rankings.

Other Notable Top 100 Movers This Week
No. 28 Denis Shapovalov, +4
No. 40 (Career High) Marton Fucsovics, +8
No. 41 Leonardo Mayer, +9
No. 48 Robin Haase, +7
No. 82 Marius Copil, +10
No. 85 (Career High) Jaume Munar, +6
No. 88 Vasek Pospisil +6
No. 94 Paolo Lorenzi, +9
No. 95 Bradley Klahn, +7
No. 99 (Career High) Jason Kubler, +10

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Medvedev, Seppi Among Day 1 Winners In Winston-Salem

  • Posted: Aug 20, 2018

Medvedev, Seppi Among Day 1 Winners In Winston-Salem

Six first-round matches are completed on Sunday at the Winston-Salem Open

All eyes are on Winston-Salem, North Carolina, this week as the ATP World Tour descends on the 250-level event at the home of Wake Forest University.

Daniil Medvedev set a highly-anticipated second-round clash against Alex de Minaur at the Winston-Salem Open, advancing with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Mirza Basic on Sunday. The Russian enters the hard-court tournament on the heels of an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 breakthrough in Toronto, where he reached the Round of 16 as a qualifier.

Medvedev is joined by Spaniards Guillermo Garcia-Lopez and Roberto Carballes Baena as Day 1 winners. Garcia-Lopez edged Marcos Baghdatis 7-6(2), 6-4, while his countryman ousted Guido Pella 6-4, 6-2 in just one hour and 22 minutes. The win was Carballes Baena’s first on hard courts in nearly one year. He faces another Spaniard, 13th seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas, in the second round.

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In other action, Italian veteran Andreas Seppi made efficient work of Joao Sousa, dispatching the Portuguese 7-5, 6-4 in one hour and 23 minutes. He drew level in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series at 2-all, having also prevailed this year in Rotterdam. Also in Seppi’s quarter of the draw, Jan-Lennard Struff moved into the second round with a 7-6(5), 6-3 win over Benoit Paire and awaits fourth seed Marco Cecchinato next.

Pablo Carreno Busta, champion in 2016, leads the field in Winston-Salem, with Steve Johnson and Sam Querrey the top home hopes.

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