Novak Djokovic has finally caught Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in the grand slam counter with yet another Wimbledon win.…
Novak Djokovic has finally caught Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in the grand slam counter with yet another Wimbledon win.…
Ashleigh Barty is now a grand slam winner for the second time in her career, adding Wimbledon to her 2019 French Open victory.…
Stefanos Tsitsipas lost his first-round match at Wimbledon, which was his first tournament after falling short in a heartbreaking five-set Roland Garros final against Novak Djokovic. But the Greek, who is the top seed at this week’s Hamburg European Open, is working hard to improve so that he is prepared to take advantage of his next big opportunity.
“I try and get the best out of it. I think this particular match I will most likely take it as strength, because I am mad. Of course you are mad. I want something different. I want a different outcome,” Tsitsipas said in an interview with tournament reporters and WTA star Andrea Petkovic. “I want a different result in the next encounter and I want to be able to show something better. That’s why I’m out on the court.
“If I was somebody who feels comfortable with ordinary, with average, I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing. For me, it’s always taking it to the next level.”
The 2019 Nitto ATP Finals champion is not leaving that clash against Djokovic — in which he led two-sets-to-love — in the rearview mirror. Instead, he is trying to use the experience to his advantage.
“There were a lot of physical elements that I was weaker at than Novak. I think that was the main reason I wasn’t able to withstand that match and play at the level that I was playing [throughout],” Tsitsipas said. “There are a few things that of course with my team I will have to discuss and come to a solution in order to be able to win my first Grand Slam. I was really close, for sure I was.
“It was frustrating and sad at the end, although I didn’t really show it in the locker room. It was a difficult moment to reflect [on]. It wasn’t easy, especially when you are that close.”[WATCH LIVE 1]
Tsitsipas will try to get back on track this week in Hamburg, where he will try to lift the ATP 500 trophy. Two years ago, he made the final here and fell just short against Russian Andrey Rublev in a thrilling three-set final. The Greek is excited to be back.
“We are away from our home many times a year and we don’t really get to connect with our homeland. For sure, we want to have places that when we travel, we feel connected,” Tsitsipas said. “It just clicks with certain places. You feel the atmosphere, the vibe better than any other place. For me it’s just so organised here… it definitely has something to it in the air.”
The World No. 4, who will begin his Hamburg run against one of two Germans — Dominik Koepfer or Maximilian Marterer — is not just trying to improve on the court. Tsitsipas is pushing the boundaries in everything he does to try to connect with fans through social media and other platforms.
“There is a constant need for development, for clarification of myself, which I haven’t been able to expose to its full potential yet. I’m a guy who has a lot of interests outside the court. I’m still looking for my voice,” Tsitsipas said. “It’s a daily thing, where I’m trying to see the things i can bring to the table, how many people I can potentially inspire with the ideas I have to bring.”
There is a trash skimmer in Newport Harbor operated by Clean Ocean Access to help keep the water clean. And before the start of this week’s Hall of Fame Open, passionate environment supporter Kevin Anderson visited it to learn how the skimmer works and help tidy up.
“It’s definitely been something I’m really interested in. It’s a huge problem, keeping waterways across the world clean, both in the oceans and rivers. It’s everywhere,” Anderson said. “The whole issue of plastics is something that I think everybody really needs to play their part in. It’s not going to happen overnight, but it really needs to be people’s focus, because the problem is only going to get worse.
“This could really make a difference. It’s great to see that there are a lot of people who are spending a lot of time and trying to fix this. On the Tour, we’re really trying to shift our focus and try to make a difference, so I’m really excited to be a part of that.”
The Hall of Fame Open’s Official Sustainability Sponsor, 11th Hour Racing, is a Newport-based organisation that works with Clean Ocean Access. It uses sports to help promote change that will benefit the health of the oceans.
Anderson spent time talking with Clean Ocean Access Program Manager Max Kraimer about how the skimmer works, plastics’ harmful impact and the environment.
“It’s really important for tournaments, like the Hall of Fame Open, to lead the way. Joining forces with these initiatives, it’s really important,” Anderson said. “Obviously from a player’s standpoint, we need to do our part. But we need to work together with the tournaments, and having things like specific environment days and just raising awareness is really valuable. I was happy to see this.”
Italian Marco Cecchinato beat former World No. 7 Richard Gasquet 6-2, 5-7, 6-3 on Monday to reach the second round at the Nordea Open in Bastad. The victory meant more than a typical three-set triumph for the 2018 Roland Garros semi-finalist.
“I’m very happy for today because I beat Richard for the first time in my career,” Cecchinato said. “When I was young, he was my idol, so I’m very happy to beat him.”[WATCH LIVE 1]
Cecchinato remembers watching Gasquet compete in the Nitto ATP Finals. The 28-year-old has a one-handed backhand like the Frenchman, and enjoys playing a similarly artistic game.
“So many years he was in the Top 10. He was like me with the one-handed backhand, his forehand, good kick, good drop shot,” Cecchinato, who will next face Francisco Cerundolo or Federico Coria, said. “He was my idol for that, so I’m very happy with this match today.”
In other first-round action, German Yannick Hanfmann beat Brazilian Thiago Monteiro 6-2, 7-5. Hanfmann will next play Czech Jiri Vesely or Italian Salvatore Caruso.
Philipp Kohlschreiber, who first competed at the Hamburg European Open in 2002, recorded a 7-6(5), 6-4 victory over Spain’s Jaume Munar in two hours and five minutes on Monday at the ATP 500 event.
The German, a semi-finalist in 2014 and 2017, saved three set points when Munar served for the first set at 5-4. Kohlschreiber broke early in the second set and will next play sixth-seeded Serbian Filip Krajinovic or fellow German wild card Daniel Altmaier.[WATCH LIVE 1]
Earlier in the day, Brazilian qualifier Thiago Seyboth Wild recorded his first tour-level victory of the season, 1-6, 6-1, 6-2, over Spanish wild card Nicola Kuhn in just under two hours. The Brazilian qualifier awaits the winner of seventh-seeded German Jan-Lennard Struff and Laslo Djere of Serbia.
Argentine lucky loser Sebastian Baez swept past Corentin Moutet of France 6-1, 6-2 in 63 minutes and will next challenge third-seeded Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili, the 2018 and 2019 titlist. Baez is currently in eighth position in the ATP Race To Milan for a spot at the Next Gen ATP Finals.
You can say Novak Djokovic has the flexibility of a cat. But according to one of his coaches, former World No. 2 Goran Ivanisevic, the 20-time Grand Slam champion has more than nine lives.
“He’s like in the movies. You have to kill the guy 27 times and still he gets up and you have to kill him again and he gets up, he gets up,” Ivanisevic said in a press conference after Djokovic won his sixth Wimbledon title on Sunday. “This is great. I’m proud to be there and to witness that, to be part of that. [He] is going to make history, I strongly believe he will do it.”
Ivanisevic was referencing Djokovic’s chase for a calendar-year Grand Slam. The World No. 1 has won the first three major championships of the season, and now he will try to become just the second man in the Open Era (Rod Laver, 1969), to triumph at all four. The US Open is less than two months away.
“Everything is possible. I’m not going to say [he will reach] 30 [Grand Slams] because it’s a long way. But five, six, seven years ago, we were talking about [Roger] Federer, only about Federer. Now you have [Rafael] Nadal and him competing [for] who is going to be the best ever,” Ivanisevic said. “For me, Novak is the best ever. He’s writing history. He’s going to do it [at the] US Open. I strongly believe he’s going to do it, he’s going to win all four in one year.”
Part of what makes Djokovic great is his constant hunger for history. The Serbian is always chasing big goals, and he pushes himself to get there.
“Working with him is a privilege, is an honour, it’s everything, but it’s not easy. It’s a lot of pressure. [Making the] final is not good enough. We count only wins,” Ivanisevic said. “It’s pressure. It’s not easy. But it’s fun. It’s a challenge. He is writing history. Unbelievable. When he won [Roland Garros], he came here very confident, played with a lot of confidence, played good. Some matches he didn’t play well, but still won. That’s why he’s such a champion.”
Ivanisevic did not believe that anybody this century would be able to challenge for a calendar-year Grand Slam. But the Croatian feels his fellow Balkans-native is special.
“We are from [the] Balkans. [For] people from [the] Balkans, everything is possible,” Ivanisevic said. “When nobody expects anything, we create everything. We are very, very special, special people there.”
The 2001 Wimbledon champion did not believe Sunday’s championship clash against Matteo Berrettini featured both men at their very best. But Ivanisevic pointed out that whether Djokovic is at his top level or not, he finds a way to win.
“He is [getting] better and better. He’s competing better every day. He’s [an] unbelievable competitor, unbelievable. Something new every day,” Ivanisevic said. “Even when he’s not playing the best tennis, he’s winning. So imagine when he’s playing [his] best tennis, it’s impossible to beat him.”
A reporter asked Ivanisevic how he would have approached playing Djokovic when the lefty was in his prime. The Croatian, who is being inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame on Saturday, did not have much hope for himself.
“It’s impossible that you can even believe that you can beat him, because the guy is unbeatable at the moment,” Ivanisevic said. “It was tight against Shapovalov a little bit, but still he came up with some unbelievable shots. He produces some unbelievable things on the court. He’s amazing.
“Every day [is] something new, something better, better, better. And he’s not going to stop. He just doesn’t want to stop.”
No. 11 Hubert Hurkacz, +7 (Career High)
The Pole rose seven places to a career-high No. 11 in the FedEx ATP Rankings following a run to his first Grand Slam semi-final at The Championships, Wimbledon (l. to Berrettini). The 24-year-old returned to the kind of form that helped him capture his first ATP Masters 1000 final in April at the Miami Open presented by Itau (d. Sinner), with wins over Daniil Medvedev and Roger Federer at the All England Club.
View Latest FedEx ATP Rankings
No. 10 Denis Shapovalov, +2 (Joint Career High)
The Canadian has returned to the Top 10 for the first time since the week beginning 21 September 2020 (No. 10) after he advanced to his first major semi-final at Wimbledon (l. to Djokovic). The 22-year-old defeated two-time former champion Andy Murray in the third round.
No. 15 Felix Auger-Aliassime, +4 (Career High)
The Canadian No. 2 has jumped up four spots to a career-high of World No. 14. Auger-Aliassime beat No. 6-ranked Alexander Zverev in the Wimbledon fourth round, before losing to his friend Matteo Berrettini in four sets.
Other Notable Top 100 Movers
No. 25 Karen Khachanov, +4
No. 32 Cameron Norrie, +2
No. 39 Marton Fucsovics, +9
No. 46 Sebastian Korda, +4 (Career High)
No. 52 Frances Tiafoe, +5
No. 56 Aljaz Bedene, +8
No. 63 Ilya Ivashka, +16 (Career High)
No. 74 Facundo Bagnis, +18
No. 75 Guido Pella, +16
No. 76 James Duckworth, +15
No. 77 Federico Coria, +10 (Career High)
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic will attempt to bookend his banner 2021 season with a record-tying sixth Nitto ATP Finals title in Turin after clinching the first of eight spots at this year’s season finale, to be held 14-21 November.
The Serb qualified for the tournament for the 14th time on Sunday by winning his sixth Wimbledon crown, a victory that saw him join Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal with 20 Grand Slam singles titles.
Read the full story at NittoATPFinals.com.
Bombard the forehand return.
Novak Djokovic defeated Matteo Berrettini 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 in the Wimbledon final on Sunday by creating holes in Berrettini’s game all over the lush green turf. The biggest one of all was the Serbian’s relentless pursuit of Berrettini’s forehand return with his first serve in both the Deuce and Ad courts. The Italian’s forehand groundstroke was an apex predator in the match, racking up 20 powerful winners. On the other hand, his forehand return ended up as prey for the Super Serbian, committing 17 errors.
Novak Djokovic First-Serve Location To Berrettini’s Forehand
|Deuce Ct – Wife||28||22 (79%)||21 (95%)|
|Ad Ct – T||26||13 (50%)||13 (100%)|
Deuce Court – Slicing his first serve wide to Berrettini’s forehand return was a masterstroke, winning a jaw-dropping 21 of 22 points with the slider out wide. Tactically, it forced Berrettini to defensively chip forehand returns and then sprint to the vacant Ad court to cover the next attacking shot to his backhand wing. It also enabled Djokovic to serve and volley and feast on Berrettini’s defensive block forehand returns. Ten of Berrettini’s 17 forehand return errors were from this specific location. Overall, Djokovic made 61 per cent (75/122) of first serves for the match, but that elevated to 79 per cent (22/28) to this location. It also contributed to Djokovic winning seven of nine serve-and-volley points in the final.
Ad Court – Djokovic only landed 50 per cent (13/26) of his first serves when he aimed down the T, but he won every single one of them. Overall, Djokovic won an almost perfect 34/35 first-serve points to these two specific locations, providing a key “go-to” strategy he could trust when he needed a point.
Djokovic Crushed 0-4 Rallies
The final was dominated by quick points in the 0-4 shot range, with almost seven points out of 10 coming from a rally where either player hit the ball in the court a maximum of just two times.
Rally Length Played In The Final
0-4 Shots = 68%
5-8 Shots = 23%
9+ Shots = 9%
What’s fascinating is that you would expect Djokovic to dominate the longer rallies and Berrettini to triumph in the short rallies courtesy of his explosive first serve and Serve +1 forehand. The exact opposite played out in the final.
Rally Length Points Won
|Rally Length||Djokovic Won||Berrettini Won|
Djokovic won 14 more points than Berrettini for the match (145-131). He won 19 more points in the 0-4 rally length to totally dominate the short exchanges. When a fifth ball landed in the court, Berrettini actually triumphed 46-41, which is a combination of 5-8 and 9+ rallies.
Forehands & Backhand Groundstrokes
As with most tennis matches, the match winner hit fewer winners overall, with Djokovic hitting just 31 to Berrettini’s 57. Committing fewer errors is the secret sauce to winning matches at all levels of our sport, and as you can see from the table below, Djokovic’s groundstrokes put up superior numbers to Berrettini off both the forehand and backhand wings.
|Player/Stroke||Winners||Errors (Forced & Unforced)||+/-|
The match looked close on the scoreboard, but always had an air of inevitably that Djokovic would successfully navigate himself to the finish line first. The reason why was the several “go-to” strategies such as first serves to the forehand, serve and volley, and pummeling Berrettini’s backhand from the back of the court.
The intrinsic nature of Djokovic’s dominance is his innate ability to uncover or create a weakness in his opponent’s game and relentlessly devour it.
Like a wolf with a bone.
Editor’s Note: Craig O’Shannessy is the strategy analyst for the Italian Tennis Federation and players including Matteo Berrettini.