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Djokovic Reveals His Most Exhausting Match

  • Posted: Jun 13, 2020

Djokovic Reveals His Most Exhausting Match

World No. 1 also reveals some of his “firsts”

Novak Djokovic has played 1,098 tour-level matches, and he has been in several gruelling, physical encounters. But according to the Serbian, one battle was more exhausting than the rest.

“The final of the Australian Open in 2012 against Rafa. Five hours, 53 minutes. Probably hard to repeat that ever in my career,” Djokovic said on Tennis United. “You understand that it’s the final of a Slam, it’s the fifth set, and the end is around the corner. [You think], ‘I don’t want to stop now.’

“You keep pushing yourself mentally. You lose a sense of what’s happening in your body and then there’s something that carries you all the way through. It’s quite amazing.”

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Djokovic also discussed some of his tennis “firsts”. Through the highs and lows of life as a professional tennis player, the Serbian always calls the same person after his matches.

“Mom for sure. Mom is always there in good and bad times,” Djokovic said. “[Moms] truly care about you, you care about them, and then you can share that moment of joy with them intrinsically.”

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The World No. 1 played his first junior tournament 25 years ago. Djokovic remembers it vividly, revealing that he cried multiple times at the event.

“The first tournament I ever played in my life, the first competition I had officially, I was eight, I won [the] first match ever, [an] 8-8 tie-break, 10/8,” Djokovic recalled. “I was really obviously filled with joy and everything, but I was very exhausted. My mom was there. She hugged me, and when she hugged me, I started crying.”

Djokovic lost 0-9 against good friend Viktor Troicki in his next match, and he shed tears again.

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Thiem's Need For Speed: Social Media Roundup

  • Posted: Jun 13, 2020

Thiem’s Need For Speed: Social Media Roundup

ATPTour.com looks at what your favourite players have been up to

Your favourite players are finding plenty of ways to keep busy this week. From Dominic Thiem getting in the driver’s seat, to Stefanos Tsitsipas showing off his artistic side, find out how the world’s best players have been spending their days.

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Thiem put the pedal to the metal with former F1 racing driver Patrick Friesacher.

 

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Unbelievable racing experience today with @p.friesacher Thanks to Patrick and the team @redbullring

A post shared by Dominic Thiem (@domithiem) on

Tsitsipas kept it simple for his latest photo shoot and only required an iPhone.

 

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Grainy days. #ShotOniPhone

A post shared by Stefanos Tsitsipas (@stefanostsitsipas98) on

Roberto Bautista Agut looked back at his visit to the Museum of Illusions during the ATP Tour event in Dubai.

 

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Cuántos Robertos podéis contar? Yo me pierdo 😂 Recuerdo de cuando visitamos el “Museum of Illusions” durante el ATP de Dubái. . #RobertoBautistaAgut #Tenis #Tennis @ddftennis 📸 #JorgeFerrari

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Felix Auger-Aliassime continued to build on his powerful baseline game.

 

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Little clip from this week’s training 👊🏽💥#çacavale

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Stan Wawrinka made serving a priority in his practice session.

 

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Same shirt, same court, different day !♟🎾🌅💛 #practice #hardwork #enjoy #trusttheprocess #stantheman

A post shared by Stanislas Wawrinka (@stanwawrinka85) on

Jan-Lennard Struff reminisced about his grass-court success on home soil in Stuttgart.

 

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Grass season I miss you 🤗❤️🌱 #neverquit

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Soonwoo Kwon was all smiles after completing a tough training session with his coach.

 

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😁😀🔥🎾💚❤

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Reilly Opelka made the most of a day out in Los Angeles.

 

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3:44 on Melrose

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Robert Farah took an adventure-filled vacation with his girlfriend.

 

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Definitivamente nuestra tierrita es muy bella.

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Mr. Momentum: Why Kei Is King

  • Posted: Jun 13, 2020

Mr. Momentum: Why Kei Is King

Nishikori wins more than three out of four three-set matches when he wins second set

It’s a set all and you are about to play the deciding third set. Would you rather be the player who won the first set or the second?

Tennis folklore often talks about the first few games of the second set being the most critical in a three-set match, as breaking serve at this specific juncture provides a springboard to capture set two and steam into the deciding set holding the momentum. We may have just found statistical evidence to support this time-honoured tennis theory.

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An Infosys ATP Beyond The Numbers analysis of three-set matches on the ATP Tour identifies that the winner of the second set is more likely to win the third set. Japanese star Kei Nishikori leads the pack, winning an impressive 76.5 per cent (65/85) of matches throughout his career when he has split sets after dropping the opening set and rebounded to win set two.

The data set is comprised of 166 players who have played a minimum of 50 three-set matches in either category since 1991, when official statistics in tennis were first recorded.

1991-2020 Tour Averages

•Winner of Set 2 wins the match = 57.2% (7844/13708)
•Winner of Set 1 wins the match = 52.1% (6870/13182)

Nishikori was the only player in the data set to win greater than three out of four matches after winning set two in a three-set encounter. The leading 10 players winning the third set after capturing the second set are:

1. Kei Nishikori = 76.5% (65/85)
2. Rafael Nadal = 74.3% (75/101)
3. Stefan Edberg = 72.0% (36/50)
4. Lleyton Hewitt = 71.3% (87/122)
5. Pete Sampras = 71.3% (62/87)
6. Andy Murray = 71.2% (74/104)
7. Novak Djokovic = 71.0% (76/107)
8. Yevgeny Kafelnikov = 70.4% (88/126)
9. Andy Roddick = 70.1% (54/77)
10. Stefan Koubek = 70% (35/50)

Players generally fell into three sub-sets:

1. Those who carried the momentum of winning set two into the third set
2. Those who successfully fought back after dropping the second set
3. Players who performed about the same after winning set one or set two

Nishikori fell into the last group, as he also finished fourth best winning the match after winning set one but dropping set two. The leading 10 players winning the third set after capturing the first set are:

1. Novak Djokovic = 76.0% (73/96)
2. Thomas Muster = 73.1% (57/78)
3. Juan Martin del Potro = 70.5% (43/61)
4. Kei Nishikori = 69.2% (45/65)
5. Andy Murray = 67.4% (60/89)
6. Andy Roddick = 67.0% (61/91)
7. Roger Federer = 66.7% (110/165)
8. Pete Sampras = 66.7% (62/93)
9. Michael Chang = 65.1% (69/106)
10. Tommy Haas = 64.2% (77/120)

Former World No. 4 James Blake was a player who performed much better winning the match after capturing set two.

•Blake winning Set 2 & winning the match = 57% (58/102)
•Blake winning Set 1 & winning the match = 45.8% (38/83)

Former World No. 1 Andre Agassi didn’t have a preference of which set he won as he marched to a three-set victory.

•Agassi winning Set 2 & winning the match = 63.2% (48/76)
•Agassi winning Set 1 & winning the match = 63.1% (53/84)

Juan Monaco, who reached a career high of No. 10 in 2012, performed significantly better winning the opening set and then losing the second set as he navigated his way to a three-set victory.

•Monaco winning Set 1 & winning the match = 57.3% (55/96)
•Monaco winning Set 2 & winning the match = 45.3% (34/75)

The three-set journey to victory can travel along different roads, but if you drop the first set and get an early break in the second set, you have got to feel good about the pathway you are on.

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10 For Federer, German History & An Aces Record In Halle

  • Posted: Jun 13, 2020

10 For Federer, German History & An Aces Record In Halle

Learn more about the NOVENTI OPEN, an ATP 500 event

The NOVENTI OPEN has been played since 1993, when Henri Leconte captured the title. One of eight grass-court tournaments held during the season, the Halle event was made an ATP 500 in 2015.

The 2020 edition of the tournament would have been held this week, if not for the Tour suspension due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

ATPTour.com looks at five things to know about the tournament.

1) 10 For Roger
Roger Federer has won a record 19 grass-court titles in the Open Era, with 10 coming at the NOVENTI OPEN. The Swiss has lifted more trophies in Halle than at any other event except the Swiss Indoors Basel, where he has also triumphed 10 times.

A 21-year-old Federer won his first grass-court title in Halle in 2003, claiming his first Grand Slam crown at Wimbledon just weeks later. He owns the record for most wins at the tournament with 68, and last year he set the record for oldest tournament champion, triumphing as a 37-year-old.

“It’s amazing. For some reason I didn’t think I was going to make it anymore,” Federer said last year. “[It’s the] first time ever I could win a title 10 times in one place, so it’s obviously a very special moment in my career.”

<a href=Roger Federer celebrates his 10th Halle trophy” width=”100%” src=”https://www.atptour.com/-/media/images/news/2019/06/23/13/56/federer-halle-2019-trophy.jpg” />

2) Roger-Federer-Allee
Officials in Halle paid tribute to Federer in 2012 by naming a street, Roger-Federer-Allee, in his honour. The road leads to the tournament’s centre court, OWL ARENA.

Federer said it was “an amazing honour” and that he was “extremely humbled”.

Federer Halle Street

3) Borna’s Breakthrough
Borna Coric arrived in Halle in 2018 with just two tour-level grass-court wins. But the Croatian played his best tennis to claim the biggest title of his career.

“[I am] just really surprised,” Coric said. “I had not even dreamed of this.”

Coric defeated World No. 3 Alexander Zverev in the first round and World No. 1 Federer in the final. The Swiss was pursuing his 10th Halle crown, but Coric upset the top seed 7-6(6), 3-6, 6-2.

“It is the most unbelievable feeling, [to beat Federer],” said Coric. “I looked up to him when I was younger, watching his matches back at home with my mum, my dad and my sister. Just playing him here today was a very special moment and beating him just makes it even bigger for me.”

4) German History
Six Germans have triumphed on home soil in Halle, with former World No. 2 Tommy Haas winning the title twice. Haas’ two triumphs in front of his home fans came against legendary opponents. In 2009, he defeated Novak Djokovic in the final, and in 2012 he beat Federer for the trophy.

The other German winners in Halle are Michael Stich (1994), Nicolas Kiefer (1999), David Prinosil (2000), Philipp Kohlschreiber (2011) and Florian Mayer (2016).

There have been two all-German finals in the event’s 27-year history: Mayer facing Zverev in 2016 and Kohlschreiber defeating Philipp Petzschner in 2011.

Haas

5) Karlovic’s Record
In 2015, Ivo Karlovic hit 45 aces in his Halle quarter-final win against Tomas Berdych, setting a record for the most aces in an ATP Tour match that still stands today.

“I’m extremely happy about the record,” Karlovic said. “Hitting aces helps a lot, you can avoid the volleys. I was surprised when I was told on court after the match how many aces I hit. I didn’t know it was that many.”

Karlovic holds the record for most career aces with 13,599. The only other players to crack the 10,000-ace mark are John Isner (12,266), Federer (11,365) and Goran Ivanisevic (10,131).

Karlovic

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Social Change In Sports: Blake & Navratilova Join Tennis United

  • Posted: Jun 13, 2020

Social Change In Sports: Blake & Navratilova Join Tennis United

MaliVai Washington discusses his foundation, Gustavo Kuerten & Mary Pierce reflect on their Roland Garros success

”Sports have always been a very powerful tool for social change.”

The tenth episode of Tennis United features a powerful discussion between James Blake and Martina Navratilova about equality in tennis.

“Younger people are starting to lead the way… about having inclusivity and being together and Tennis United is a great platform for that. With so many young players on Tour, they are the ones who are so much more open-minded and you’re not dealing with the status quo,” Blake said. “So many barriers got shattered and I feel like at times it was cracks, cracks, cracks and then shattered by people like Martina, by people like Serena and Venus, by Arthur Ashe, by Althea Gibson.”

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Former WTA World No. 1 Navratilova has long championed equal rights, and she is happy with progress that has been made in the sport in recent years.

“It’s just gradually come to where gay people come out, and less and less attention is being paid to that. This is what the whole idea was,” Navratilova said. “I was marching so that one day we don’t have to march at all. We’re still marching, but it’s so nice to have those steps forward where people don’t care.”

Also in this episode, 1996 Wimbledon finalist MaliVai Washington chats about the work his MaliVai Washington Youth Foundation does in Florida. The foundation utilises tennis, daily homework help and a life skills curriculum to engage local youth.

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