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Surgery To Success: Murray’s Memorable 2019 Season

  • Posted: Jul 16, 2020

Surgery To Success: Murray’s Memorable 2019 Season

Brit claimed trophies in singles and doubles in 2019

Just five months after making his return from a career-saving second right hip surgery, Andy Murray finished his final ATP Tour event of 2019 in tears of joy at the European Open in Antwerp.

After making a series of doubles appearances to prepare for his singles comeback, the Brit arrived in the Belgian port city at No. 243 in the FedEx ATP Rankings. Fresh from a positive run of results during the Asian swing, Murray dropped just one set to reach his first singles semi-final of the year at the ATP 250.

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From there, the Dunblane native showcased his signature grit. Murray rallied from a set down in back-to-back matches against Ugo Humbert and Stan Wawrinka to capture his 46th tour-level singles crown. The victory completed a rollercoaster year for Murray, who nine months earlier had suggested the 2019 Australian Open might be the final tournament of his career in an emotional press conference.

“It means a lot. The past few years have been extremely difficult. Both me and Stan have had a lot of injury problems in the past couple of years. Amazing to be back playing against him in a final like that. I think it was a great match,” said Murray. “I didn’t expect to be in this position at all, so I’m very happy.”

<a href=Andy Murray holds the Antwerp 2019 trophy” />

Murray’s road to Antwerp success began in doubles at his most successful singles event: the Fever-Tree Championships in London. Competing in front of a partisan home crowd, the five-time singles champion at The Queen’s Club joined forces with Feliciano Lopez to gain match practice and a greater understanding of how his hip would react to the pressures of competing on the ATP Tour. The Brit immediately found success alongside the Spaniard, beating top seeds Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah in his comeback match.

“I expected to enjoy the match because I told myself I was going to regardless of what happened,” said Murray. “To feel as well as I did there — not perfect in terms of everything like my movement, but pain-free…I enjoyed it. I feel like I’m going to continue to progress.”

Throughout the week, Murray and Lopez continued to produce their best tennis to advance through the draw. The British-Spanish duo beat defending champions Henri Kontinen and John Peers in the semi-finals, before a victory against Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury in the final.

“I felt relaxed at the beginning of the week, but felt more nervous as it went on. I think my competitive instincts started kicking in,” said Murray.

<a href=Feliciano Lopez and Andy Murray hold the Queen’s Club 2019 doubles trophy” />

After a series of doubles appearances, Murray returned to the singles court during the North American hard-court season. The 32-year-old’s competitive instincts were clear to see, but he struggled to find his best level with losses in his opening matches in Cincinnati and Winston-Salem. Ahead of the upcoming Asian swing, Murray made the decision to compete at the Rafa Nadal Open By Sotheby’s, an ATP Challenger Tour event, to work on his game and gain confidence.

Following two victories in Mallorca, Murray began to rediscover his form during a three-week run in China. The three-time Grand Slam champion claimed four wins from seven matches, including a straight-sets victory against US Open semi-finalist Matteo Berrettini in Beijing.

The experience Murray gained in China — where his only losses came against Dominic Thiem, Fabio Fognini and Alex de Minaur — prepared him for his title run in Antwerp. At the ATP 250, the Brit’s perseverance was finally rewarded. Two-and-a-half years after lifting the 2017 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships trophy as World No. 1, Murray was back in the winners’ circle.

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Thomas Muster: Tragedy To Top Spot

  • Posted: Jul 16, 2020

Thomas Muster: Tragedy To Top Spot

The hard-working Austrian is one of the greatest clay-court players of all time

In the latest profile on the 26 players to rise to No. 1 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, looks back on the career of Thomas Muster. View Full List.

First week at No. 1: 12 February 1996
Total weeks at No. 1: 6

At World No. 1
Best known for his impressive balance off both wings and attritional game style, Muster overtook Andre Agassi to reach World No. 1 in the FedEx ATP Rankings for the first time on 12 February 1996. The Austrian’s rise was largely built on a phenomenal clay-court record in 1995, when he captured the Roland Garros trophy and a further 10 titles on the dirt. The left-hander also defeated Pete Sampras en route to the ATP Masters 1000 Essen title, an indoor carpet event. “My No. 1 in 1996 was based on my 12 tournament wins in 1995… I don’t know how many people can say that, measurably, they have been No. 1 at something, the best in the world. I loved that moment,” said Muster. He held his World No. 1 ranking for just one week, before Pete Sampras climbed above him. After three weeks at No. 2, Muster began his second stint as the top-ranked player in the game following his fourth straight title run in Mexico City. The Austrian maintained his position at the top of the sport for five weeks and lifted his second consecutive Estoril trophy during that period.

Grand Slam Highlights
Five years on from a semi-final loss to eventual champion Andres Gomez in the 1990 Roland Garros semi-finals, Muster entered the clay-court Grand Slam championship with a 28-0 unbeaten record on clay. After dropping just one set en route to the quarter-finals, the Austrian was forced to recover from two-sets-to-one down against a 19-year-old Albert Costa to make his return to the last four in Paris. Following a straight-sets loss to Muster in the semi-finals, Yevgeny Kafelnikov stated that he felt ‘like a small moth against a big elephant’. In his only Grand Slam final, Muster lifted the Coupe des Mousquetaires with a dominant 7-5, 6-2, 6-4 triumph against 1989 champion Michael Chang. “To have a Slam in your pocket is very special. You can imagine that rock that falls off your shoulders when you actually win that match point… I enjoyed that moment. I was very emotional,” said Muster. He advanced to semi-finals at the Australian Open in 1989 and 1997, losing on both occasions to the eventual tournament winner. The Leibnitz native also made three quarter-final appearances in four years at the US Open, reaching the last eight in New York in 1993, 1994 and 1996.

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Nitto ATP Finals Highlights
Muster made four appearances at the Nitto ATP Finals between 1990 and 1997. On his tournament debut in Frankfurt, the 23-year-old defeated Gomez in three sets to finish his group with a 1-2 record. After losing each of his three matches in deciding sets in 1995, Muster came closest to moving out of the group stages in 1996. The Austrian overcame World No. 2 Chang in straight sets but, once again, finished with a 1-2 record after a three-set loss to Richard Krajicek. Muster made his last appearance at the elite eight-man event as an alternate in 1997.

Tour Highlights
After turning professional in 1985, Muster claimed five titles and established himself as a Top 20 player by the end of the 1988 ATP Tour season. In the following year, the 5’11” Austrian reached his first championship match of the season at the Miami Open presented by Itau, coming from two sets down to beat Yannick Noah. With a Top 10 ranking assured in the following week, Muster’s career was on the rise. But, in the hours after his semi-final victory in Miami, Muster was hit by a drunk driver while searching the inside of his car. The impact left the Austrian with severed tendons in his left knee and Muster flew back to Vienna for surgery. The 21-year-old was famously pictured hitting tennis balls in a special chair, with his left leg in a cast before making his comeback more than five months later at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell. Muster soon returned to winning ways and was named ATP Comeback Player of the Year in 1990. “I was very lucky to survive that,” said Muster. “It could have been much worse… It was a terrible situation, but it was also a way for me to get grounded again, to focus more on what I wanted to do.”

Between May 1990 and July 1995, Muster won 24 consecutive tour-level finals on clay. During his best season on the ATP Tour in 1995, Muster claimed 65 victories from 67 clay-court matches, including 40 straight wins. The 40-match winning streak was the longest winning run on the surface since Bjorn Borg’s run of 46 straight victories between 1977-1979, leading to Muster being nicknamed ‘The King of Clay’. Muster captured 12 trophies during his 1995 campaign, an ATP Tour record he has shared with Roger Federer since 2004. Fittingly, the Austrian captured his 44th and final tour-level trophy in Miami in 1997, eight years after his career-threatening accident. Eleven years after his retirement at Roland Garros in 1999, Muster followed a number of ATP Challenger Tour appearances with a return to the ATP Tour at the 2010 Erste Bank Open in Vienna. “Many people will say, ‘What does the old fool want?,’” said Muster. The 43-year-old lost his opening match to Andreas Haider-Maurer, before committing to play at further ATP Tour events in Kitzbühel and Vienna in 2011. Muster lost in the opening round at both events to Philipp Kohlschreiber and Dominic Thiem, respectively.

Biggest Rivalries
Muster contested many rivalries during his career on the ATP Tour. Between 1990 and 1997, the Austrian met Sergi Bruguera on 15 occasions. Muster claimed 12 victories from 15 ATP Head2Head contests against the Spaniard and won each of their four meetings in finals. The left-hander also enjoyed a combined 20 matches against Sampras and Agassi. Muster managed just two victories from 11 ATPHead2Head contests against Sampras, but fared better against Agassi with four wins from nine ATPHead2Head encounters.

As the only Austrian to reach No. 1 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, Muster is Austria’s most successful player to date. In between the eras of Bjorn Borg and Rafael Nadal, the 1995 Roland Garros champion was labelled as his generation’s ‘King of Clay’, winning 40 of his 44 tour-level trophies on the dirt. He is considered one of the greatest clay-court players of all time. Muster was notoriously difficult to beat in finals, winning 81.5 per cent of his championship matches (44-10). It remains the greatest winning percentage of any player to have contested 15 or more tour-level finals. With 45 wins, Muster also holds the record for most Davis Cup victories by an Austrian player. In 1990, he guided his nation to the semi-finals, Austria’s best result in the tournament’s history. In 2020, at the inaugural ATP Cup in Australia, Muster also represented his country as Team Captain.

Overall Match Win-Loss Record: 625-273
Overall Titles/Finals Record: 44-10

Memorable Moment
After struggling with fatigue, dehydration and a lack of sugar in his blood in his 1995 Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters semi-final victory against Andrea Gaudenzi, the current ATP Chairman, Muster returned to the court just 24 hours later to face Boris Becker in the final. Becker led by two sets and held two match points at 6/4 in a fourth-set tie-break. But with help from a double fault on the first opportunity, Muster won four straight points before cruising to a 4-6, 5-7, 6-1, 7-6(6), 6-0 victory after three hours and 16 minutes. “I don’t know how I won the match,” said Muster. “After what happened yesterday, I didn’t think I could be able to play today. I would like to thank the medical service that got me ready to play.”

Sampras on Muster
“You just have to listen to him out there. He sounds like a bulldog who’s chewing on your leg and will not stop chewing, no matter what.”

Muster on Muster
“I have so many things to tell. I hope I can one day have grandchildren and they will ask me… I would love to tell them those stories. I think they are fantastic and they have been part of my life, but you can learn so much out of these situations. I really enjoyed what I did. I will never regret anything I did and that decision to become a tennis professional was the best decision I have ever made. There is a wish, there is a dream and sometimes there is success. You have just got to believe in it.”

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Broadcaster/Journalist Graeme Agars
The enduring image of Thomas Muster will always be the image of him sitting in a specially made chair, his left leg in a cast, hitting balls on a practice court. The hard-hitting Austrian found himself in his predicament after being injured in a freak accident in April 1989, just hours after winning his semi-final in Key Biscayne, Florida.

Muster was hit by a drunk driver and immediately returned to Vienna for emergency surgery. Any hopes of a quick return were dashed when doctors found severed ligaments in his left knee, but the courageous Austrian defied the odds anyway and remarkably returned to competition after only five months on the sidelines.

Muster was a fierce competitor and reached his pinnacle in 1995 with victory at Roland Garros. After that he was named the ‘King of Clay’, as his amazing 65-2 record on clay in 1995 attests. That year he went on to win a record 12 titles for the season, a mark only equalled, but not surpassed by Roger Federer. His supreme fitness and heavy topspin game saw him a win a remarkable 44 of his 55 tour-level singles finals.

Not surprisingly, Muster was twice named the Austrian Sportsman of the Year and also earned the ATP Comeback Player of the Year award in 1990. Off the court, his interests were many and varied. He had a licence to fly helicopters, was an excellent drummer, dabbled in art and photography and had business forays in wine and fashion.

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New Fan Essay Winners: Changing History

  • Posted: Jul 15, 2020

New Fan Essay Winners: Changing History

Fans 18-and-under show off tennis writing skills

The ATP editorial team has enjoyed reading alternate endings to some of the most memorable matches in recent history, as part of the fourth instalment of our Fan Essay Contest.

Writers aged 18 and under were asked to write an essay of 500 words or less on the topic: ‘If you could re-write history and turn one defeat of your favourite player into a win, what match would that be and why?’

The winning entries are featured below:

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The Bulgarian’s Fighting Spirit (Australian Open 2017: Nadal v Dimitrov)
By Harold Brent Ho, 13, Malaysia

If I would change one part of the history of my favourite tennis player, Grigor Dimitrov, that match would be the Australian Open classic semi-final encounter between Rafael Nadal and Dimitrov.

The reason behind why I would change that match is because of the intensity put into the match, both players back and forth like a hardcore table tennis match or a close soccer match. The passion and never-giving-up spirit from Grigor mixed with the fiery attitude from Rafael always makes it an intriguing match to watch. The most excruciating pain that I ever had in front of the TV, sweat dripping down both players’ faces, stamina shooting down lower and lower, and intensity exceeding the limit. I was devastated when Grigor lost.

I imagine the ending being this – Dimitrov and Nadal tied down to the very last minute in the tie-break, Grigor is 15/16 down to the match point of Nadal. It’s Dimitrov’s turn to serve, he hits the ball over the net and unleashes an ace with the utmost topspin ever, now the score is tied 16/16.

Now it is back to Nadal to serve, he hits a good serve, Grigor is able to hit it forward, Rafa hits the cross-court all the way to the right, Grigor hits the ball straight down the line, Rafa goes full speed ahead all the way to the ball to return the ball, and then out of the blue, Grigor unleashes a super backhand swing down the line, Rafa is unable to get back in time.

At first, Grigor was down 15/16 and now he’s leading 17/16. Now on-screen, the big bold letters, MATCH POINT. Now it’s Grigor’s match point and serve, he smashes the serve down to Nadal, but Rafa doesn’t return the ball and the serve is called out.

Grigor challenges it, everyone in the stadium looks onto the challenge screen, as the ball flies in the replay, nerve-racking emotion from everyone around. The short suspense and silence are momentarily turned into loud cheers and celebrating shouts. The ball has caught a little glimpse of the line, Grigor has won the tie-break, and that is how I imagine the ending being like, subsequently Grigor goes on to win the final too.


Wimbledon 2019: Federer v Djokovic
By Joaquin Ramirez Kakarieka, 17, Santiago, Chile

Throughout Federer’s tennis career there have been many painful defeats, included in those, many finals and matches that could have changed the course of history on many of these occasions.

I choose the final of Wimbledon 2019, because of how recent, key and painful that match was. Federer, 37 years old and almost 38, was returning to a Grand Slam final, at an excellent level and beating Nadal in the semi-finals.

It was a very good and long match, where Federer’s level was always higher than Djokovic’s, but that at decisive moments, the Serbian showed his best level. The match was lived with tremendous intensity, where the Wimbledon public all they wanted was to see Federer succeed again in the cathedral of tennis. I lived each point with a passion that you can’t even imagine, and more than anything in that fifth set. My hands were sweating and trembling, my heart was beating at 200 an hour, as if I were the one playing there on the Wimbledon court against Djokovic.

We all knew it was a historic match, because Federer was going to win the 21 and consolidate as the best in history, or Djokovic was going to win and get closer and closer to Nadal and Federer. And perhaps Roger missed one of the last chances to win a Grand Slam.

My alternate ending is clearly watching Federer convert one of the two match points he had on that 8-7 in the fifth set, watching him cry and the crowd jumping with excitement. Telling the world that he is the only king of this sport.

If Federer won this final, clearly everything changes, the whole world of tennis would be talking until today, about how incredible the final was that Federer beat Djokovic with almost 38 years of age. Roger didn’t have to prove anything to anyone. For me, it would have earned the GOAT title.

It was an incredible game and where I saw Roger play one of his best matches. It was amazing to see his agility and ability to move so fast on the court, beating Djokovic in every aspect of the game. After this defeat I did not cry, but because I was in shock. He did not know what he had lived, what he had seen. Those 2 match points, and those 2 break points that escaped him on 11-11 of the fifth set … all that has stuck in my head until today. It is a difficult game to overcome and clearly that a Federer victory would have changed the history of tennis.

Federer, Djokovic

A Small Slip, A Great Fall (Australian Open 2010: Nadal v Murray)
Ediz Bostanci, 11, Frisco, Texas, United States

I watched eagerly as Nadal began his title defense at the year’s first major. Seeded second, he breezed through his first four matches and finally met his match against fifth seed Andy Murray for a spot in the semi-finals. Nadal was the favourite, but the rallies were always long and pleased the crowd.

After back-to-back exchanges of breaks, Murray consolidated his and won the first set 6-3. The second set was the same; both men held until Nadal broke and served for 5-2. He was broken back immediately, and at 5-5, Nadal tumbled to the ground after a serve, but it didn’t seem important. I worried that the end was near for Nadal, but nevertheless, he went on, and the set was to be decided in a tie-break where Nadal ultimately succumbed.

The pain from the fall resurfaced at 0-1 in the third set when Nadal took a medical timeout. He was able to play for two more games, but eventually made the understandable decision to retire, which led to a heartfelt exit. I felt horrible for Nadal, but if you told me he would go on to win the three remaining majors that year, I wouldn’t believe you.

He was so close to joining Rod Laver as the second man in the Open Era to hold all four Grand Slam titles at the same time, a feat nearly impossible. He would also be one step closer to being the first man in the Open Era to win each Grand Slam twice, something Federer and Djokovic, arguably the best players of all time have not done.

In addition, if he won his quarter-final match, he would face Cilic, the lowest-ranked player in the semis, against whom he owns a 6-2 record on hard courts. Nadal was the on-paper favourite, and there is no stopping him once he is deep in a Slam.

If he had some more luck during his career, he could have avoided injury and won the 2010 Australian Open, and carry his form into Roland Garros where he has had endless success. That could put him in the lead for the most Grand Slam titles. But, you have to accept what has happened, and perhaps pretend that what you wanted to happen is actually what did take place.

Nadal was down two sets to love against Murray, but Nadal, if anyone, is the player that can win even from a deficit such as this one. Murray seemed to be checked out mentally, but Nadal gathered himself to win the third set 7-6, and then the next two 6-1, 6-0 with a bang.

In the semis, Nadal made no mistake en route to beating 14th seed Marin Cilic in straight sets. On finals day, the world waited for two of the world’s best players to go head-to-head. Just like their 2008 Wimbledon match, it went on for hours until Nadal clinched victory 7-6 in the fifth. Another titanic battle between two legends in the history books.

(I wished so)!

<a href=Rafael Nadal lost his only Grand Slam match of 2010 against Andy Murray in the Australian Open quarter-finals.” />

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Norman On Wawrinka: ‘He’s A Little Bit Underestimated’

  • Posted: Jul 15, 2020

Norman On Wawrinka: ‘He’s A Little Bit Underestimated’

Norman gives insight into the Swiss’ game and discusses the lesson he will provide with Wawrinka and Vallverdu to raise money for ATP coaches in need

Magnus Norman first began working with Stan Wawrinka in 2013, and since then the Swiss has proven himself one of the best players on the ATP Tour. He has reached No. 3 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, won three Grand Slam titles, and competed in the Nitto ATP Finals four times. However, Wawrinka has had to compete against the likes of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray for the spotlight.

“Stan is one of the best players to ever play the game, if you look at his record, if you look at winning three Grand Slams, winning three different Grand Slams in the era where he had the Big Four playing,” Norman told ATP Tennis Radio. “He’s a little bit underestimated for sure, and he’s been in numerous semi-finals as well, another Grand Slam final. He’s had an unbelievable career.”

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It hasn’t all been easy for Norman and Wawrinka. The Swiss is still on the road back to his top form since undergoing two left knee surgeries in August 2017, which sent him as low as World No. 263 in 2018.

“It’s been a little bit up and down. He doesn’t have the same stability as Andy Murray or Novak or Roger or Rafa, but in his best moments, I think he can beat all of those names on a very good day,” Norman said. “That’s what makes him a little bit special, also. You don’t really know which Stan to expect on the day or on that occasion, and that’s why I think a lot of people really like him.”

Norman admitted it could be frustrating when Wawrinka has ups and downs, which in part comes from his aggressive play. But those same traits make the Swiss as dangerous as he is.

“Stan is a gambler. He plays with small margins. He’s the kind of guy that will put everything in red, do or die,” Norman said. “This is his personality a little bit, so I think it’s very tough to change his personality. But I also think that’s the reason why he won three Grand Slams. He can rise to the occasion. He can go for shots that normally someone else will play a little bit safe. That makes him that dangerous, I think.”

The Swede doesn’t like to discuss how he’s affected Wawrinka’s career; he’d rather the Swiss speak to that. But Norman has tried to get Wawrinka to rely on his physical strength — Norman calls him “super-super strong” — to challenge opponents. They also have a strong chemistry as a coach-player tandem.

“One of the things he mentioned is I made him a winner… everybody saw before he could play great tennis,” Norman said. “He told me that the words I’m telling him before a match calms him down a little bit and makes him believe that he could win in big moments.”

In addition to his duties with Wawrinka, former World No. 2 and 2000 Roland Garros finalist Norman is the co-founder and technical director of the Good to Great Tennis Academy in Sweden. He gets to work with one of the most talented players in the world in Wawrinka, but Norman says talent isn’t all that makes a great player.

“The most important thing is the passion, that they have the passion and drive that they want to become better. A lot of coaches, a lot of parents, they talk about talent,” Norman said. “Real talent for me is the ability to work hard on a daily basis, even if you lose sometimes, you lose some matches, but you don’t lose motivation. When you lose, you go out and you work even harder. That’s the real talent for me. That’s important, to look at the passion and drive, the coachability.”

At an ATP Tour event in Europe or the Americas between January and July 2021, Norman will have a new student who will be plenty eager to do whatever he says. Norman will conduct a private two-hour session alongside Wawrinka and fellow team member Daniel Vallverdu for the winner of an auction to support members of the ATP Coach Programme in need due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’m going to give it everything I have. When the player comes on court I’m going to try to make the player as good as possible,” Norman said. “I think it will be a great experience… It’s going to be a great session and I’m really looking forward to it.”

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For now, Norman plans to meet Wawrinka in Monaco to prepare for the scheduled American hard-court swing. Although his charge is 35, Norman says they still have plenty of expectations.

“If he can play a good match, if he can play good tennis, it’s going to take a lot to beat him,” Norman said. “He’s that good.”

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Nadal's Memorable Marathon Win Against Djokovic In Hamburg

  • Posted: Jul 15, 2020

Nadal’s Memorable Marathon Win Against Djokovic In Hamburg

Nadal saved 15 of 19 break points to scrape past the Serbian

The ATP Head2Head rivalry between Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal has developed into one of the classic rivalries in tennis history. But early on in their careers, the budding stars typically played relatively one-sided matches.

It wasn’t until their 10th meeting — in the 2008 Hamburg semi-finals — that they went to a deciding set for the first time.

Djokovic was the No. 3 player in the FedEx ATP Rankings, and the Serbian led the ATP Race To London. Earlier in 2008, he had earned his first Grand Slam trophy at the Australian Open and his first clay-court ATP Masters 1000 title in Rome. Although Nadal had won their first three clay-court matches without losing a set, Djokovic was playing the best tennis of his career. The winner would leave Hamburg as World No. 2.

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The moment brought the best out of both stars, with Nadal ultimately triumphing 7-5, 2-6, 6-2 in a three-hour, three-minute marathon.

“It was unfortunate it finished as a loss for me but I have to take the positives out of the match,” Djokovic said, according to Eurosport. “I feel that with this performance and the match in general I am getting closer to him on clay and hopefully next time I can get a win.”

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The final-set scoreline makes it seem like Nadal found another level — which he did — and simply ran away with the third set. But the 6-2 score is deceiving, as Djokovic battled until the very end. It was a back-and-forth affair, with the last game lasting more than 15 minutes and Nadal needing five match points to break through. The lefty saved 15 of 19 break points.

“It was an amazing match,” Nadal said according to Eurosport. “I am a little bit tired right now, so let’s see how I feel tomorrow.”

Nadal went on to beat Roger Federer in the championship match, avenging a loss against the Swiss in the 2007 Hamburg final.

Shortly thereafter, Nadal claimed his fourth Roland Garros crown and his first Wimbledon trophy, ascending to World No. 1 for the first time in August.

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Djokovic completed his breakthrough season by winning the Tennis Masters Cup and remaining World No. 3 through the entire year. After losing his first nine clay-court matches against the Spaniard, Djokovic finally beat Nadal on the surface in the 2011 Mutua Madrid Open final.

The Hamburg match was a sign of things to come. When playing well, Djokovic and Nadal bring the best out of each other, with grinding baseline rallies keeping fans across the world on the edge of their seats.

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Pouille Announces Right Elbow Surgery

  • Posted: Jul 14, 2020

Pouille Announces Right Elbow Surgery

The Frenchman has climbed as high as World No. 10

Frenchman Lucas Pouille announced Tuesday on social media that he will undergo right elbow surgery later this month in Paris.

“It’s never an easy decision to take,” Pouille wrote. “After new medical exams, it appeared it was the best solution in order to finally be able to play pain-free. I still hope to play before the end of the season. See you all soon.”

Pouille climbed to a career-high No. 10 in the FedEx ATP Rankings in March 2018, but he has since fallen as low as World No. 62. The 26-year-old’s lone tournament of the 2020 season came at the Indian Wells ATP Challenger Tour event, where he lost his opening match against Noah Rubin.

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Pouille, whose final tournament of 2019 came at the Rolex Shanghai Masters due to his right elbow injury, is a five-time ATP Tour titlist.

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