2014/07/30

Djokovic Heads list of Recipients for Davis Cup Commitment Award

Djokovic wins 89

(September 12, 2013) World No. 1 Novak Djokovic will be one of 27 players to receive the Davis Cup Commitment Award during this weekend’s Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group and zone group ties on Saturday 14 September.  The presentations are being made by the ITF through its National Associations.

 

This new award was conceived as part of the ITF’s 2013 Centenary celebrations, and will be presented to Davis Cup players who have shown long-standing dedication to representing their country in this prestigious competition. Each award recipient will have competed in a minimum of 20 home-and-away ties or 50 ties at any level of the competition (including week-long zone group events) over their career.

 

The ITF presented the first seven trophies to players in an on-court presentation at the 100th Davis Cup Final in Prague last November. Among those presented with awards at last year’s final were Italy’s Nicola Pietrangeli, who heads the elite list of players having played 66 home or away ties for his country, and San Marino’s Domenico Vicini, who holds the record for the most ties played in all levels of the competition with a total of 89.

 

This weekend presentations will be made to the following players at their respective Davis Cup home ties before the doubles rubber on Saturday 14 September:

 

Belgium* - Patrick Hombergen

Croatia** – Boro Jovanovic

Dominican Republic - Victor Estrella

Germany - Jurgen Fassbender

Latvia – Andis Juska, Deniss Pavlovs

Netherlands – Paul Haarhuis

Philippines – Felicisimo Ampon (posthumous), Johnny Arcilla, Raymundo Deyro, Juan Johnson Jose

Serbia – Novak Djokovic, Janko Tipsarevic, Nenad Zimonjic, Slobodan Zivojinovic

Slovak Republic – Dominik Hrbaty, Karol Kucera

Slovenia – Marko Tkalec, Grega Zemlja

Switzerland – Heinz Gunthardt, Jakob Hlasek, Marc Rosset

United Arab Emirates – Esam Abdulaal (BRN), Sultan Khalfan Al Alawi (QAT), Omar Al Awadhy (UAE), Mahmoud Nader Alblooshi (UAE), Khalid Al Nabhani (OMA)

 

A total of 305 players have already qualified to receive the award, of whom 258 are still alive. Presentations have been made to award winners at Davis Cup home ties throughout 2013. The Commitment Award trophies are based on the design of the current Davis Cup trophy. All recipients will also be recognised on an honours board at the ITF headquarters in London and in a dedicated section on the official Davis Cup website. A full list of award winners can be viewed here

 

ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti said: “The Davis Cup Commitment Award reflects the dedication by players for more than a century to represent their country in this prestigious competition. These players have continued to rise to the unique challenge of competing in a team environment in front of their home fans, and we believe that it is fitting to recognise their efforts in our centenary year.”

 

 

*presentation to be made on Friday 13 September

**presentation to be made on Thursday 12 September

 

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Top Seeds Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams Ease into Wimbledon Round of 16

Novak Djokovic3

(June 29, 2013) Top seeds Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams showed their dominance on the Centre Court of Wimbledon on Saturday, each with straight set victories to advance to the round of 16.

Williams won 600th career match by demolishing 42-year-old Kimiko Date-Krumm 6-2, 6-0 under the lights of the closed roof of Centre Court.  Williams has become the 15th WTA player 600 career tour match wins. Date-Krumm is the oldest woman to make the third round of The Championships.

Williams was utterly dominant against her Japanese opponent hitting 28 winners. Williams hit 8 aces and broke serve 5 times.

“I honestly never thought I would play until my 30s, to be honest,” said the 31-year-old Williams.  “I don’t see my stopping any time soon.

“However, I don’t see myself playing into my 40s.  That’s why I have so much respect for Kimiko Date.  She’s playing so well and she’s so fit and she’s so good.”

SWilliams will play 23rd seed Sabine Lisicki in the fourth round on Monday.  Lisicki defeated 2011 U.S. Open champion Sam Stosur, the 14th seed 4-6, 6-2, 6-1.

No. 1 Novak Djokovic blew his opponent off court, beating Jeremy Chardy 6-3, 6-2, 6-2.

“It was a fantastic match,” said the world No. 1.  “I felt great from the start till the end.  I had that super focus, you know, and tried to, you know, be out there every point and not allow him to come back to the match or to have any chance.

“I saw the stats that I won 100% of first serves and I served over 80% of serves in in the whole match.  That was incredible for me.  I enjoyed every moment of it, especially at the end.  I managed to read his serve.  Everything went well.  So when you play that well, obviously you feel great, you feel confident.

“This kind of performance came in the right time for me.”

Djokovic was almost perfect as he committed only three unforced errors, winning 93% of first serve points.

Djokovic will play Tommy Haas in the fourth. The 35-year-old 13th seed Haas stopped Feliciano Lopez 4-6, 6-2, 7-5, 6-4.

“I’m looking at my next opponent, that I’m playing Djokovic again, which I’m really looking forward to,” Haas said.

No. 4 David Ferrer survived a five-set clash with Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-7 (6), 7-6 (2), 2-6, 6-1, 6-2.

No. 6 seed Li Na escaped Klara Zakopalova 4-6, 6-0, 8-6.  Zakopalova actually served for the match at 6-5 in the third set, only to see Li win the next three games.

“Is pretty tough match,” said Li.  “I mean, she has to serve for the match.

“But I was really happy I didn’t give up.  Still hang in there, yeah.  Fight like crazy, but still at least I will be in the second week of Wimbledon”

Bernard Tomic who made history back in 2011 by becoming the youngest quarterfinalist  at 18 since Boris Becker in 1985 defeated 9th seed Richard Gasquet 7-6 (7), 5-7, 7-5, 7-6 (5) in the third round.

Tomic’s father and coach John is prohibited from attending The Championships and other tennis tournaments. John Tomic is accused of assaulting his son’s practice partner during the Madrid Open.

Despite his father’s absence from being courtside, Tomic is still getting advice from his father.

“When I leave the site, I’m with my dad.  He’s helping me at this tournament.  We’re doing the right things.

“This is why the results are showing off now.  I’m not doing it on my own.  My dad is still involved.  That’s why I’ve gotten to where I am in this tournament and the results have shown.”

Tomic will face Tomas Berdych in the round of 16. The former Wimbledon finalist defeated 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 7-5.

No. 8 seed Juan Martin Del Potro survived a fall on the court to beat Grega Zemlja 7-5, 7-6 (3), 6-0.

“I was going for the dropshot and I twist my ankle,” Del Potro said describing his fall.  “I did like hyperextended my knee, as well.  It was really painful.  I was a little scared at that moment.

“I finish the match very quick.  Now I start to feel something in my knee and my ankle, as well.  I will check with the doctor very soon.”

Del Potro will take on Andreas Seppi who defeated 12th seeded Kei Nishikori 3-6, 6-2, 6-7 (4), 6-1, 6-4.

 

No. 4 seed and 2012 Wimbledon finalist Agnieszka Radwanska, withstood  the challenge from promising American teenager Madison Keys to win 7-5, 4-6, 6-3.

Keys fired 15 aces in the loss. “I was kind of impressed with my serving today,” Keys said with a smile.

“I think (the momentum changed) in the third set when she broke me, that really just kind of, you know, changed the momentum up a little bit,” Keys commented.

“She was really playing great tennis,” Radwanska said.  “Especially she was serving unbelievable.  Even when I have some breakpoints and couple times couldn’t do anything.”

2011 champion Petra Kvitova came back from a break down in the final set to stop Ekaterina Makarova of Russia 6-3, 2-6, 6-3 in a resumption of a match halted by darkness on Friday with Makarova up 2-1 in the third set.

“It was another day for me,” Kvitova said.  “Yesterday when we start to play was quite close every game, and we were keeping our serves with 3‑All.  Then after suspended, I play so well, I came back to the court.  I was really on fire.”

“I should go for every point and play my game, Kvitova said.  “So I played quite aggressively.  That was the key.”

Laura Robson made the home folks happy for the second day in a row when the Briton came back from a set and a break down to erase Marina Erakovic of New Zealand 1-6, 7-5, 6-3. Robson broke Erakovic’s serve as the New Zealander was serving for the match in the second set.

A controversial call came in the second set when Robson challenged a call which was called out and overturned. The point was replayed and Erakovic double faulted to give Robson the set 7-5.

Robson explained the turnaround to press: “In the beginning she was just playing really, really well.  And, you know, her serve was firing, so I wasn’t getting a chance on her service games.

“Then, you know, wasn’t quite, uhm, hitting the ball well enough in my service games as well.  So she was just on top of things.

Y”eah, that’s the way it goes sometimes.  But you just have to hang in and wait for them to start making a few errors.”

With the win Robson becomes the first British woman since 1991 to reach the fourth round at Wimbledon. She will also be the first woman to reach the WTA top 30 since 1987.

“It’s now my second time in the second week of a Slam, so that’s pretty cool. Except at the U.S. Open, I played on the Sunday, so it didn’t quite feel like a `second week,’” Robson said to media, “and my brother said it didn’t count.”

Sloane Stephens the 17th seed completed a darkness-delayed match by stopping 196th ranked qualifier Petra Cetkovska 7-6 (3), 0-6, 6-4.

It’s been good fortnight for the over-30 set at Wimbledon. Nine players 30-and-over have reached the round of 16 at 2013 Wimbledon -Tommy Haas, Jurgen Melzer, David Ferrer, Lukasz Kubot,  Mikhail Youzhny, Serena Williams, Li Na, Flavia Pennetta, and Roberta Vinci. It’s a record for the most combined 30-somethings into the fourth round at Wimbledon in the Open Era, equaling the feat also done in1975.

On Monday both the men and women will play in the round of 16, here are the match-ups:

Men

Novak Djokovic vs. Tommy Haas

Bernard Tomic vs. Tomas Berdych

David Ferrer vs. Ivan Dodig

Andreas Seppi  vs. Juan Martin Del Potro

Lukasz Kubot vs. Adrin Mannarino

Fernando Verdasco vs. Kenny De Schepper

Mikhail Youzhny vs. Andy Murray

 

Women

Serena Williams vs. Sabine Lisicki

Laura Robson vs. Kaia Kanepi

Agnieszka Radwanska vs.  Tsvetana Pironkova

Roberta Vinci vs Li Na

Sloane Stephens vs. Monica Puig

Marion Bartoli vs. Karin Knapp

Petra Kvitova vs. Carla Suarez Navarro

Kirsten Filpkens vs. Flavia Pennetta

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Del Potro Wins Vienna Crown

(October 21, 2012) Top seed Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina nabbed his 12th career title stopping qualifier Grega Zemlja of Slovenia 7-5, 6-3 at the Erste Bank Open in Vienna on Sunday.

“I didn’t have a very good start to the match,” Del Potrol said of falling to 2-4 in the first set. “I made a lot of errors and I was nervous because it was a final. I tried to find a way to play aggressive. In the second set, I broke early and that gave me confidence to play the final like I was expected. I was a little lucky to survive from 2-4 down in the first set.”

No. 8 Del Potro’s win strengthens his chances of making the ATP World Tour Finals.

“I’m so happy, “the Argentine said. It’s important to have a good end of the year. I’m looking forward to keep improving, keep playing well at the same level as I had here. I also look forward to London. I’m looking better to qualify there. We have two big tournaments coming next week. They have the chance to get points also, so it will be very interesting to see how we are going.”

For qualifier Zemlja it was a career week: “I am satisfied with the way I played. I did my best. I felt I played really well the first seven games. Maybe I wasn’t serving my best, but I was fighting till the end. I think Juan played really well from 4-4 (in the first set), to 3-0 (in the second set). He was serving really good.

“I’m happy with how I played all week. I just have to continue with that. Also, I still have two Challengers to play at the end of the year. I have to get motivated to play the same level as I did here.”

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