2014/10/25

Novak and Jelena Djokovic Welcome Birth of Baby Boy Stefan

 

Jelena and Novak Djokovic photo from www.NovakDjokovic.com

Jelena and Novak Djokovic photo from www.NovakDjokovic.com

(October 22, 2014) No. 1 men’s tennis player Novak Djokovic is a new father. Djokovic’s wife Jelena gave birth to a son Stefan in Nice, France on Tuesday. They reside in nearby Monaco.

 

Djokovic announced the birth on his twitter account and his website:

 

 

We are delighted to announce that Jelena Djokovic gave birth to a wonderful, healthy and a lovely boy, called Stefan. The birth went in the best possible manner, baby and the mother feel well.

Novak will spend the following several days with the baby and his wife Jelena, after which he travels to Paris, where he will compete at the ATP Masters tournament.

-from www.novakdjokovic.com

 

The Djokovics were married on July 10, days after Novak claimed his second Wimbledon title.

 

 

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Federer Ends Djokovic’s 28-Match Win Streak in China to Reach Shanghai Final

Federer fist pump 2

(October 11, 2014) Roger Federer upset top player Novak Djokovic 6-4, 6-4 in the semis of the Shanghai Masters on Saturday to reach the final Federer’s win halts Djokovic’s 28-match win streak in China. Regardless of the outcome of the final between the Swiss and the Frenchman Gilles Simon, who defeated Feliciano Lopez 6-2, 7-6(1),  Federer will move to No. 2 in in the rankings on Monday.

Federer played an aggressive serve-and-volley game against the Serb hitting 35 winners, winning 20 of 35 points at net.

“If you come to net, you have to be agile and explosive,” Federer said in press.

“I had it all today. I’m very happy that I’m feeling so good every single day.”

“He played a perfect match,” Djokovic said. “Definitely one of the best matches he has played against me, that’s for sure.”

“He’s playing as good as ever.”

Federer will be trying to capture his 23rd Masters 1000 events leads 4-2 head-to-head against Simon.

“I’m not going to come into the match and play terrible,” said Federer after his semifinal win. “It just won’t happen – not in the finals, not against Simon. That’s the confidence I have right now.”

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Djokovic and Sharapova Win China Open Titles

Novak Djokovic

(October 5, 2014) Novak Djokovic won his 24th straight match in Bejing to caoture his 5th china Open on Sunday, dismantling Tomas Berdych 6-0, 6-2 in the final.

The Serb was a point away from a “double bagel,” 6-0, 6-0 win over the Czech, who fought off match point and broke Djokovic’s serve.

“This has been, in the circumstances, probably the best performance of any final in my career,” said the world No. 1 who captured his 5th tournament win of the year, 46th in his career. “It was incredible. Incredible. Especially against Tomas, who has a big game and is already an experienced player. It was 6-0, 5-0 in under an hour. Everything I tried worked. To be proud of the performance is the least I can say of how I played tonight.

“I have played some great finals, had some convincing wins, some straight-set wins against top rivals. But with this kind of performance and with this domination result-wise, I mean it’s never happened.”

Berdych was in stunned disbelief: “I met somebody in the final who I’ve never seen before. The way that he performed today was really outstanding. There is really not much I can add to that because, really, I was just swept off the court.

“I just said to my coach now that I probably played over 700 matches in my career, and I met guys like Andre (Agassi), Roger (Federer), all those probably in their best times. But I have never, ever experienced anything like that.”

 

Sharapova

On the women’s side, in a re-match of the 2011 Wimbledon final, Maria Sharapova moved into the No. 2 spot in the rankings when she beat Petra Kvitova 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 to win the China Open.

At this time last year the Russian was off the tour with a shoulder injury.

“It’s definitely great to be a year later in a situation where this is my fourth title of the year, you know, a Grand Slam this year,” she said. “A lot to put in perspective. You look back and think about how you kind of struggled, but you kept going.”

“I knew she’d been on a roll in the last couple of weeks,” Sharapova said. “It’s probably the toughest opponent you can face in a final, that’s had that success, yet you just want to focus on your side, what you do best.

“She became the more aggressive player in the second set. I think I took a few too many steps back and let her play that way. But I was able to lift my game again in the third and come out with a win.”
“Yeah, I was tired,” said the Czech Kvitova bidding to win tournaments in two straight weeks, playing 9 matches in 13 days. “But it was a final, and every time I’m playing a final, I’m giving everything I have inside. What I did today was a great battle. It was small things and small points that made the difference in the end. I had some chances, but Maria just didn’t let them go.”

For Sharapova it was her fourth title of the season, tying her with Ana Ivanovic for second on the year behind No. 1 Serena Williams who has six titles.

The China Open was Sharapova’s 33rd career title, putting her in a tie for 15th place in the Open Era with Conchita Martinez.

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Djokovic Reaches 5th Beijing Final After 23rd Straight Win

Novak Djokovic

(October 4, 2014) No. 1 Novak Djokovic improved his perfect record to 23-0 in Beijing on Saturday when he defeated Andy Murray 6-3, 6-4 to reach his fifth China Open final.

Despite the straight set score, Djokovic felt as though he worked a lot harder.

“It was a two‑set victory today, but still it felt like I had to work hard to win the points,” the Serbian said. “There was a lot of rally exchanges. He had a lot of chances to come back. He was 4‑3 up. Just in important moments I managed to play the best tennis.”

“I just wasn’t myself on the court,” Djokokic commented about his lackluster performances since winning Wimbledon. “I wasn’t really prepared emotionally to go back and compete again after Wimbledon and a very exhausting summer, everything that happened in my professional and private life.

“I’m glad that I’m back in the form that I would like to be in, especially in these courts where I still haven’t lost ever since I played this tournament.”

Djokovic will face Czech Tomas Berdych for the China Open title on Sunday. Berdych defeated Martin Klizan, who upset Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals, 6-4, 6-1.

“It’s a final and it’s against Novak,” Berdych said. “It’s really special day for me. Every Sunday that we have to go on court and play, it means a lot because it’s a final. Playing with No. 1 player in the world is always a bit special.

“But Novak is playing in incredible form, back again. Really, he’s having a great record playing here in China Open. There is a new challenge, a new day, a new opportunity for me. I’m going to try to go there, try to take my chance and, again, try to play my tennis. Let’s see what I can do with that.”

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On the ladies side, it will be a rematch of the 2011 Wimbledon title, with the added bonus for the winner to move to No. 2 in the world with Petra Kvitova facing Maria Sharapova on Sunday.

Kvitova was pushed by Samantha Stosur 6-3, 5-7, 6-2, while Sharapova dominated Ana Ivanovic 6-0, 6-4.

Kvitova is going for her second title in China in as many weeks. She captured the inaugural Wuhan Open last week.

He chance to move up to No. 2 is not that important to the Czech.

“I was No. 2 already, so I’m not really excited about,” she said. “But, no, I’m kidding.”

“I’m not really focusing on the number. I mean, it’s just number before my name. More important for me are results on the big tournaments and on the Grand Slams, as well.

“So tomorrow I will play for the title, not for be No. 2.”

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Kei Nishikori Stuns No. 1 Novak Djokovic to Reach US Open Final

(September 6, 2014) Under brutal heat and humidity, Japan’s Kei Nishikori became the first man from Asia to reach a major final, when on Saturday afternoon, the 24-year-old shocked top player Novak Djokovic 6-4, 1-6, 7-6 (4), 6-3 at the US Open.

“It’s just amazing, amazing feeling to beat the No. 1 player,” Nishikori said after the match in an on-court interview.

“I expected him to be able to play another five-setter because he had two days off,” Djokovic said of Nishikori’s stamina. “He hasn’t played before this tournament, so he had a big break. He could prepare himself for this tournament. He played some great tennis. I congratulate him for the effort. He was the better player today.”

Nishokori came into the semifinals having played two marathon five-set matches against top 5 players. In the fourth round the 10th seed stopped fifth seed Milos Raonic in a match which ended at 2:26 a.m. on Thursday morning. In his quarterfinal, Nishikori defeated reigning Australian Open champions and third seed Stan Wawrinka. Nishikori played more 81/2 hours combining those two matches.

“That second set my game today was not even close to what I wanted it to be,” said the Serb. “A lot of unforced errors, a lot of short balls. Just wasn’t myself.”

“I don’t want to talk about conditions,” Djokovic continued. “It’s same for both of us. I think he just played better in these conditions than I did. I just wasn’t managing to go through the ball in the court. You know, I wasn’t in the balance. Unforced errors. Even when the ball gets back to his part of the court it’s pretty short; he takes advantage of it. On the other side I didn’t. That’s it.”

 

“Well, this is definitely huge for Japan,” Djokovic commented. “It’s a big country. Over a hundred million people. This can definitely be a great encouragement for tennis in that country. He’s been around for last couple of years. He’s been making a lot of success. But playing finals of a Grand Slam and now fighting for title is definitely something different. You know, he has gotten to another level, and I’m sure that people will praise him.”

Nishikori will face Roger Federer or Marin Cilic in Monday’s final.

More to follow.

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Novak Djokovic Reaches Eighth Straight US Open Semifinal

Djokovic applauds

(September 4, 2014) Novak Djokovic stood toe-to-toe for two sets with Andy Murray until the world No. 1 took charge over the eighth seed in the third set and came through 7-6 (1), 6-7 (1), 6-2, 6-4 to reach his eighth straight US Open semifinal. The match which had many long and intense rallies, lasted three hours and 32 minutes, and finished at 1:17 a.m. on Thursday morning.

When I get to play Andy, at the Grand Slams especially, where we both try to peak with our performances obviously, I know that the matches are going to go the distance,” said the Serb.. “We’re going to have a lot of long rallies and a lot of exchanges. It’s going to be physical but also mental. I get the feeling that if I get to stay with him and kind of, you know, work, work, and, you know, not get too loose and too frustrated with points and not allow him to get into a big lead, I feel like there is a point where I feel I have that edge, you know, maybe physically. That’s where I try to always focus on and, you know, it paid off tonight.”

“I’d say definitely physically he was fresher, but towards the end I tried to hang in as best I could in the fourth set,” Murray said. “But, yeah, he was definitely — well, he appeared fresher than me. Whether he was or not I don’t know, but maybe he does a better job of hiding it than me. The pace of my serve slowed significantly towards the end of the third set.”

Murray, who underwent back surgery late last year, has not reached a Grand Slam semifinal all year, nor any other tournament.

“I’m obviously disappointed,” Murray said of the loss. ”It’s extremely late. You know, I’m tired. I don’t feel particularly proud right now. I feel disappointed. But, yeah, I think there was some good tennis. I obviously haven’t, you know, analyzed the match or had time to think about it yet, but I think there was some good tennis there. You know, hopefully I can build on that.”

 

Djokovic will play Kei Nishikori in the final four. Nishikori beat Stan Wawrinka in five sets.

 

“Well, I haven’t played Kei in a while,” Djokovic said. “He’s very, very good player, obviously. I think he’s playing best tennis of his life in the last 12 months. He started working with Michael Chang and he changed a few things in his game. He serves very efficiently. Obviously he’s very, very fast, maybe one of the fastest on the tour player. Great backhand, great forehand, all-around player. He won today against Stan, who is playing some great tennis. To be able to come back after winning against Raonic 2:30 a.m., again five sets, five sets, it’s pretty impressive. I give him credit for that. We both had some long matches in quarters, but I’m sure Uniqlo family will be happy to see us play against each other. (Both men wear UNIQLO clothing) You know, the better will win.”

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Top Seeds Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic Win: Eugenie Bouchard Beaten by the Heat

Eugenie Bouchard

Eugenie Bouchard

(September 1, 2014) FLUSHING MEADOWS – The US Open top seeds had straight set victories on Labor Day Monday. Novak Djokovic, was a 6-1, 7-5, 6-4 winner over No. 22 seeds Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany, and Serena Williams defeated No. 50 Kaia Kanepi of Estonia 6-3, 6-3.

For the Serb Djokovic it’s his 8th straight US Open quarterfinal he’s reached and his 22nd major tournament overall.

“I’m very glad obviously that I had so many consecutive quarterfinals of Grand Slams,” said the Serb. “It says that I do value these tournaments the most and try to always perform my best tennis in them. Obviously motivates me for the future to continue that streak, of course.”

Djokovic will meet two-time major champion Andy Murray in the quarterfinals. Murray beat No. 9 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-5, 7-5, 6-4.

For Serena Williams the two-time defending US Open champion, this will be her first Grand Slam quarterfinal this year.

“I never thought it would be so exciting,” Williams said smiling. “Yeah! It feels good. Obviously I don’t want this to end. But I’m just happy that I’m able to be performing a little better at the end of the year.”

Williams has a perfect 5-0 record against her next opponent Flavia Pennetta.

“Of course, she’s better than me, but if I still believe I can beat her, maybe if she doesn’t have a good day I can do that,” Pennetta said. If I get in the court and just play and try to don’t take 6-Love 6-Love, I gonna take 6-Love 6-Love.”

Canadian Eugenie Bouchard was beaten by the heat during her fourth round match-up against Ekaterina Makarova. The Canadian said that she felt dizzy and her vision was blurry as she was bothered by the New York City heat and humidity. She took two medical time outs.

“I was feeling very light headed and dizzy on the court,” said Bouchard. “You know, just seeing things a little blurry. You know, feeling well physically on the court is very important to me, so when I don’t feel that — I just generally didn’t feel good.”

Makarova, the 17th seed from Russia beat Bouchard 7-6 (2), 6-4, ending the Canadian’s streak of reaching at least the semifinals of each major in 2014.

“I definitely felt a lot of outside expectations and pressure to win matches. I felt more like it’s normal if I win and it’s a bit more of a disaster when I lose,” Bouchard said. “But that’s something that I need to block out.”

“I remember as a junior a few times in Australia when it was hot I felt this way. Last year here actually in the second round I felt it a little bit. You know, once in a while I get a little bit light headed. That’s what happens.”

Makarova said: “Today was really tough condition definitely. So humid, and sometimes I think because of that the game was going like up and down. Against Bouchard it’s always tough because she’s running good. She’s also really — like physically she’s hard. So I think it was really good match, and I’m really happy that in the end of the first and the second set I was a little bit more aggressive.”

In round of 16 men’s matches on Monday night, No. 3 Stan Wawrinka beat No. 16 Tommy Robredo 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (7), 6-2, No. 5 Milos Raonic fell to  No. 10 Kei Nishikori 4-6, 7-6(4), 6-7(6), 7-5, 6-4, in a match which ended at 2:26 a.m. Tuesday, equaling the latest finish in US Open history.

Two-time US Open finalist Victoria Azarenka rallied past qualifier 145th-ranked Aleksandra Krunic of Serbia to win 4-6, 6-4, 6-4.

“I didn’t have a lot of data on her or, you know, much of an idea,” Azarenka said. “I think she played exceptionally well today. I’m not sure if I would have watched the matches before that would help me a lot, I think because I felt like not knowing much she still played on a really high level and pretty consistent through the whole match. She gave a fight, and she wasn’t afraid to go big on the important moments. I was a little bit surprised that she’s not that tall, and she hits the ball and unleashes her forehand with so much power. So that was quite surprising. But, you know, I think she’s a young player. She has a good future if she keeps going this way.”

 

Next for Azarenka will be Makarova. The Belarusian evaluated her next challenger.

“I think she’s a very tough opponent because she’s very consistent. You know, she reads the game really well. We had some tough matches in the past. I think she’s not afraid to play against top players. She handled herself well against, you know, big names in Grand Slams. She’s definitely playing well. I’m looking forward to that match.”

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Novak Djokovic Crushes Paul-Henri Mathieu to Reach US Open Third Round

DJOKOVIC

(August 28, 2014) FLUSHING MEADOWS – Novak Djokovic wasted no time on Thursday in dismantling French man Paul-Henri Mathieu at the US Open. The No. 1 seed earned a place in the third round by a 6-1, 6-3, 6-0 score in 87 minutes.

“I wanted to get my job done as quick as possible,” said the Serbian. “I don’t feel like I need to play long matches to get into the groove. I mean, I feel that I’m hitting the ball very well. Second match even better than the first one. Under the circumstances I think I came up with a very good performance. Stayed mentally tough and not allowed myself to get frustrated because of the wind and conditions that were obviously very tough for both of us.”
The 27-year-old Djokovic will face American Sam Querrey next. Querrey upset 28th seed Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-3, 6-4, 6-4.

Djokovic talked about the upcoming match against the American.

“Sam is playing in front of his crowd. I’m sure that he’s going to have some good support. But on the other hand, if we get to play on center court maybe night session, that’s where my experience kicks in, I think. I have had a lot of matches, night sessions if we get to play, as I said, and try to neutralize his serve that is his big weapon. If he serves well he’s very dangerous. I saw a little bit of his match today and he played great. He’s in good form, good shape, and has nothing to lose. It’s going to be a tough one.”

Djokovic is 7-1 against Querrey.

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Sharapova and Djokovic make Quick Work of Challengers during US Open Night Session

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(August 25, 2014) FLUSHING MEADOWs – Night session on day one of the 2014 US Open had Maria Sharapova and Novak Djokovic with easy victories. Sharapova won the last 10 games of her match to dismiss friend Maria Kirilenko 6-4, 6-0, making a return to Flushing Meadows as she missed last year’s event due to an injured right shoulder.

“I thought there was a few times where I could have broken her in the beginning of the match. But I think she started off playing well and solid,” Sharapova said. “Despite not taking those opportunities in a couple of her service games, I felt pretty good, especially towards the end of the match.”

No. 113 Kirilenko, never won another game after taking a 4-2 lead. She had not played since Wimbledon.

“We spent a lot of time in the juniors away from the courts practicing a lot together, competing against each other,” Sharapova said. “We certainly have a big history together. But when you go out on the court, it’s always that fine line between, of course you want to be the winner, you have to face that person as a competitor, not someone that you’ve known for years and developed a friendship with. It’s always a tricky balance, I guess.”

Djokovic cruised past a 22-year-old Argentine Diego Schwartzman 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 in his first main draw at Flushing Meadows.

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“I thought I hit the ball very well throughout the whole match,” Djokovic said. “Diego is a talented player; very quick on the court. He has to work on his serve a little bit more, I feel. He didn’t put so much pressure on his serve. You know, he’s not so tall so it’s difficult for him to serve well. But it was obviously first big match for him, first hard court Grand Slam match on the biggest stadium in the night session. I’m sure he was a bit nervous. I thought he played well. I was happy with the first match.”

Djokovic has reached the US Open final four straight years running. The Serbian won the event back in 2011 and is currently No. 1.

“It’s definitely a privilege, you know, and responsibility,’ Djokovic said of being the top seed.. “Pressure is part of the sport. I’m used to it already

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2014 US Open Men’s Contender Profiles

Djokovic

(August 24, 2014) Profiles of the top Men’s Singles contenders for 2014 U.S. Open. Note: Grand Slam records for main draw matches only.  – by Jack Cunniff     http://twitter.com/jrcunniff

 

1.Novak Djokovic

2014 Record: 39-6

Grand Slam Record: 175-32

U.S. Open Record: 45-8

U.S. Open Best Result: W (2011)

Fast Fact: Djokovic is looking for his fifth consecutive U.S. Open Final, tying Connors for third place in the Open Era (Lendl – 8, Federer – 6).

 

2. Roger Federer

2014 Record: 49-9

Grand Slam Record: 274-44

U.S. Open Record: 67-9

U.S. Open Best Result: Won (2004-’08)

Fast Fact: With 67 U.S. Open match wins, Federer could pass both Sampras (71) and Lendl (73) at the 2014 U.S. Open. Connors (97) and Agassi (79) have the most U.S. Open match wins.

 

3. Stan Wawrinka

2014 Record: 31-10

Grand Slam Record: 79-37

U.S. Open Record: 23-9

U.S. Open Best Result: SF (2013)

Fast Fact: Wawrinka’s only loss to a Top Ten opponent in 2014 came in the Wimbledon quarterfinals against Federer. He has compiled a 6-1 record vs. Top Ten opponents for the year.

 

4. David Ferrer

2014 Record: 43-16

Grand Slam Record: 120-47

U.S. Open Record: 27-10

U.S. Open Best Result: SF (2007, ‘12)

Fast Fact: On August 11, 2014, Ferrer celebrated 200 consecutive weeks ranked in the ATP Top Ten, dating back to October 10, 2010.

 

5. Milos Raonic

2014 Record: 34-12

Grand Slam Record: 32-15

U.S. Open Record: 6-3

U.S. Open Best Result: 4R (2012-‘13)

Fast Fact: Raonic will pass $6 million in career earnings after the U.S. Open. He has earned 46% of his prize money ($2.75M) over the last 12 months.

 

6. Tomas Berdych

2014 Record: 37-14

Grand Slam Record: 99-44

U.S. Open Record: 24-11

U.S. Open Best Result: SF (2012)

Fast Fact: Berdych is attempting to win his 100th Grand Slam match in the first round of the U.S. Open. In nine of the last ten years, Berdych has lost at least one first round match at a Grand Slam, but he has not in 2014.

 

7. Grigor Dimitrov

2014 Record: 38-12

Grand Slam Record: 17-16

U.S. Open Record: 0-3

U.S. Open Best Result: 1R (2011-‘13)

Fast Fact: In 2014, Dimitrov has a 9-3 record in Grand Slam events (75% winning pct). Prior to 2014, Dimitrov had an 8-13 record in Grand Slam events (38% wining pct).

 

8. Andy Murray

2014 Record: 34-14

Grand Slam Record: 130-32

U.S. Open Record: 33-8

U.S. Open Best Result: W (2012)

Fast Fact: If he fails to reach the U.S. Open final, it will be the first year since 2009 that Murray does not reach a final in a Grand Slam event.

 

9. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

2014 Record: 30-14

Grand Slam Record: 81-27

U.S. Open Record: 12-5

U.S. Open Best Result: QF (2011)

Fast Fact: Tsonga is the only player in 2014 to defeat four top ten players in the same event (Toronto, defeated Djokovic, Murray, Dimitrov, Federer)

 

10. Kei Nishikori

2014 Record: 34-9

Grand Slam Record: 31-20

U.S. Open Record: 7-5

U.S. Open Best Result: 4R (2008)

Fast Fact: Nishikori is the last player to reach the second week of the U.S. Open at 18 years old (2008).

 

11. Ernests Gulbis

2014 Record: 35-15

Grand Slam Record: 26-28

U.S. Open Record: 6-7

U.S. Open Best Result: 4R (2007)

Fast Fact: Gulbis needs only three more wins this season to break his personal record of most match wins in a season (37 wins, 2013).

 

12. Richard Gasquet

2014 Record: 25-13

Grand Slam Record: 72-39

U.S. Open Record: 19-8

U.S. Open Best Result: SF (2013)

Fast Fact: Gasquet hasn’t defeated a Top Ten opponent since David Ferrer in Beijing (October, 2013).

 

13. John Isner

2014 Record: 31-15

Grand Slam Record: 35-25

U.S. Open Record: 15-7

U.S. Open Best Result: QF (2011)

Fast Fact: The last event that Isner played where he didn’t contest a tiebreak was Nice, France (May 2013), a streak of 31 consecutive events.

 

14. Marin Cilic

2014 Record: 40-16

Grand Slam Record: 56-27

U.S. Open Record: 13-5

U.S. Open Best Result: QF (2009, ’12)

Fast Fact: Only two players in the US Open draw have more match wins than Cilic in 2014 (Federer – 49, Ferrer – 43).

 

16. Tommy Robredo

2014 Record: 29-19

Grand Slam Record: 99-50

U.S. Open Record: 30-12

U.S. Open Best Result: QF (2013)

Fast Fact: Milestones: Robredo is attempting to win his 100th Grand Slam match in the first round. If he reaches the fourth round, he will play in his 800th professional match.

 

Related article:

Serena Williams

2014 US Open Women’s Contender Profiles

 

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