2014/07/29

Novak Djokovic Dominates in Opening Round Victory at Wimbledon

 

(June 23, 2014) WIMBLEDON – Top seed Novak Djokovic, who lost to Andy Murray in last year’s Wimbledon final, put on a clinic on Centre Court in dismissing Andrey Golubev of Kazakhstan 6-0, 6-1, 6-4 in less than 90 minutes. The Serbian won the first 11 games of the match.

“Was a great start,” Djokovic said.  “Obviously first official match on a grass court season this year.  Coming into Wimbledon with no official matches, it always gives you an extra reason to get that commitment and focus from the start and try to play as best as you can.

“So that’s what I did.  Very, very pleased with my performance overall today.”

“You know, in the third, credit to him coming back, playing some good points.  But generally it was the match that I had control over, and just happy with the performance.”

For the No. 56 Golubev, it was his 10th straight loss on a grass court.

“Centre Court in Wimbledon is the most special center court we have in sport,” sad the world No. 2 and 2011 champion.  “You cannot not notice and just feel the present moment and the experience of being out there.  You can feel the history and you can feel the tradition.

“That’s something that is always present and obviously a feeling for a player.”

Rain came late in the day at Wimbledon forcing the suspension of seven matches including Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the 14th seed who was about to serve for the match at 5-4 in the fifth set.

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Rafael Nadal Wins Ninth French Open Title for 14th Major

 

 

(June 8, 2014) Rafael Nadal captured his ninth French Open title, his 14 major title by defeating No. 2 Novak Djokovic 3-6, 7-5, 6-2, 6-4 on Sunday in Paris in three hours and 31 minutes. For Nadal it’s a record breaking five straight French Open titles, a 66-1 record at Roland Garros and a 35 match winning streak in Paris.

In capturing his 14 major, the twenty-eighth-year-old Spaniard has won his 64th tournament title. He is tied with Pete Sampras for second on the all-time list of major tournament titles, three behind Roger Federer who has 17. Nadal has one at least one major for the ten straight years.

Nadal lifts his record against Djokovic to 23-19, a perfect 5-0 when playing him at Roland Garros. He is now 4-3 in major finals against the Serb. Djokovic won at Wimbledon and the US Open in 2011 and at the 2012 Australian Open, while Nadal won at the 2010 US Open, 2012 Roland Garros, the 2013 US Open and Roland Garros.

“For me playing here in Roland Garros is just unforgettable, forever,” Nadal said.

Djokovic won the first set, after breaking Nadal in the eighth game and saving break points in the ninth for 6-3.

Nadal broke Djokovic in the 12th game to win the second set 7-5. In the third set, Nadal jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the third and broke serve again to take the set 6-2.

Djokovic had two chances to get the break back in the third set, in the fifth game and in the seventh, but Nadal held both times and then broke serve again in the final game for 6-2.

In the fourth set Nadal broke Djokovic in the sixth game to take a 4-2 lead, but the Serb broke back and held to even the set at 4-4. Nadal held for 5-4 and won the match when Djokovic double-faulted on match point.

“It was a great start; came back in the second,”Djokovic said in his post-match interview with media.  “Could have gone to the tiebreak and was quite even.  I lost that service game 6 5, and then the momentums went his side.

“I started, you know, playing quite bad, you know, and didn’t move as well.  Struggled a little bit physically throughout that third set.

“Then in the fourth started to feel a little bit better, but then just crucial points he played better.  I wasn’t playing at the level that I wanted, especially in the second part of the match.

“You know, that’s sport.  It’s how it is.  These kind of big matches obviously take the best out of players.  And of course it’s a huge challenge.  I tried to do my best.  My best wasn’t as the best against him in Rome a couple weeks ago.

“But, you know, it’s how it is.  Congratulations to him.  He was a better player in the crucial moments.  Of course it’s disappointing for me, but life goes on.  It’s not the first time or last time that I lost a match.”

“Without that second set, I don’t know if I have this trophy with me now,” Nadal said.

“He deserves to win this tournament,” Nadal said. “I am sure he will do it in the future.”

For his efforts, Nadal will receive €1,650,000 in prize money. He will remain No. 1 in the world.

At 45 clay court singles titles, Nadal is one title away from equaling the record of Guillermo Vilas at 46.

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Rafael Nadal Routs Andy Murray to Reach Ninth Roland Garros Final

 

 

(June 6, 2014) Rafael Nadal will play in the French Open title for the ninth time after crushing Andy Murray 6-3, 6-2, 6-1 on Friday. The win extends his record streak to 34 straight wins at Roland Garros. He is now 65-1 in Paris.

The world No. 1 and eight-time champion moved out to a 3-0 lead to begin the match and never had to look back.

“It was a bad, bad day,” Murray said.

Nadal will face Novak Djokovic in Sunday’s final. Djokovic beat Ernests Gulbis 6-3, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.

The No. 1 ranking will be at stake in the final, with the winner claiming the top spot.

“It’s unbelievable to be in [a ninth] final,” Nadal said. “It’s very emotional for me. When I was a kid, to come here any day and play. Now, 10 years coming here. It’s something I’ll never forget in my life.”

It will be Nadal’s 20 Grand Slam final, second on the all-time list to Roger Federer’s 24.

More to follow…

 

Novak Djokovic Reaches Second French Open Final

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Novak Djokovic Reaches Second French Open Final

 

(June 6, 2014) No. 2 Novak Djokovic advanced to his second French Open final on Friday defeating 18th seed Ernests Gulbis 6-3, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3. For the 27-year-old Djokovic it will be his 13th major tournament final appearance. Djokovic has won 6 Grand Slam titles and is hoping to complete a career Grand Slam, should he capture the Roland Garros title. Djokovic lost in the 2012 final to Rafael Nadal.

In the opening set in the third game, Djokovic dug out of 15-40 and saved two break points to hold for 2-2. The critical game in the first set came in the next game as Djokovic needed four break point chances, but broke the Latvian’s serve for 3-2. Djokovic went on to win the next three games to close out the first set 6-3.

In the second set, both men held to form until the eight game when a Gulbis double fault gave Djokovic a break point chance which he took for a 5-3 lead when Gulbis sent a forehand shot long. Djokovic took the set 6-3 on his third set point.

In the third set Djokovic saved break points in the second and sixth games, but in the eighth game, Gulbis, making his first appearance in a major semifinal, finally took advantage to take a 5-3 lead to serve for the set. During the set Gulbis appeared to be stretching his back as though it were bothering him. The 18th seed captured the third set with an ace to send the match into a fourth set.

Djokovic broke Gulbis’ serve to go up 2-0 but is broken back at 15 to get back on serve. In frustration, Djokovic broke his racquet.

The set stayed even until the eighth game, when the Serbian broke the Latvian’s serve to go up 5-3. Djokovic closed the match out on his serve 6-3, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.

“First two sets went well,” Djokovic said.  “I thought I played well, very solid, putting a lot of returns back in the court, serving at the high percentage.”
“Then suddenly midway through the third set started to feel physically fatigued a little bit, and you could feel that.  You could see that both me and him, we struggled on the court.

“It happens, you know.  It happens in the tournament, and important thing for me is that I realize what’s going on.  It’s nothing serious.  I’m going to have now two days of recovery and get ready for the final.”

“Difference in the match was, first of all, I’m not used to play these kind of big matches,” Gulbis said.  “It’s just normal I felt extra nervous and extra tense.
“I can take one positive side out of the match:  that I could still win a third set feeling that nervous and that extra tired, and I saw that he was feeling the same.  So it’s not only me.
“That’s one thing what I take for the future.  I take it out of this match.  Was a good thing.”

Djokovic will play  8-time champion Rafael Nadal in Sunday’s final.

More to follow…

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Novak Djokovic to Play Ernests Gulbis in the Semis of Paris

 

Djokovic on court 321-001

(June 3, 2014) Novak Djokovic will play Ernests Gulbis for a place in the French Open. Both men had straight set wins on Tuesday to advance to the semis.

No. 2 Djokovic stopped No. 8 Milos Raonic 7-5, 7-6(5), 6-4. Djokovic stands two winning matches away from claiming his first French Open title completing a career grand slam and returning to the No. 1 spot.

Ernests Gulbis broke the “curse” with his win over Tomas Berdych – the last eight players to beat Roger Federer at a major tournament lost the very next match. The 25-year-old Latvian reaches his first major semifinal and extends his current winning streak to 13.

“It’s very special,” Gulbis said in an on-court after the match. “Today was the best match of the tournament. I did everything well.”

 

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ITF to Honor Woodies, Williams, Djokovic and Others

Novak Djokovic

(June 2, 2014) Australian doubles legends Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde will be presented with the ITF’s highest accolade, the Philippe Chatrier Award, at the 2014 ITF World Champions Dinner on Tuesday 3 June in Paris at the Pavillon d’Armenonville.

 

The World Champions Dinner will celebrate the achievements of the 2013 ITF World Champions. This year’s recipients are singles champions Novak Djokovic (SRB)and Serena Williams (USA); doubles champions Bob and Mike Bryan (USA), and Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci (ITA); junior champions Alexander Zverev (GER) and Belinda Bencic (SUI); and wheelchair champions Shingo Kunieda (JPN) and Aniek van Koot (NED). The Bryans win the men’s doubles trophy for the 10th time.

 

The evening will also see the presentation of the second ITF Seniors Award to Heide Orth of Germany. The 71-year-old is the most decorated senior women’s player in history and has won ten ITF Seniors and Super-Seniors World Individual Singles titles, ten World Individual Doubles titles and ten World Team Championships representing Germany.

 

Former British Davis Cup player and current television broadcaster Andrew Castle hosts the evening, with ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti presenting the awards to the World Champions, and the distinctive trophies once again being designed by internationally-recognised sculptor Laurence Broderick.

 

Woodbridge and Woodforde receive the Philippe Chatrier Award both for their achievements on court, and their dedication in their varied roles as coaches, commentators, administrators and mentors.

 

Known as the ‘Woodies’, the pair enjoyed outstanding results together between 1990 and 2000, winning 11 Grand Slam men’s doubles titles and a total of 61 tournaments. Their greatest success came at Wimbledon, where they are the only men’s partnership in the Open era to win five straight titles (1993-97), and hold the Open era record of six championships.

 

The Woodies won the Olympic gold medal at Atlanta 1996, and four years later took silver in Sydney. In Davis Cup, they compiled a 14-2 record together, scoring the vital doubles point that helped Australia defeat France for the title in 1999. The pair completed their set of Grand Slam titles when they won the elusive Roland Garros crown in 2000, shortly before adding their sixth Wimbledon title. By Woodforde’s retirement after the 2000 Olympics they had a 508-137 career record.

 

ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti said: “Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde were unbeatable in their prime, in a nine-year span winning 11 Grand Slam titles, Olympic gold and silver medals, and helping Australia to Davis Cup glory. They continue their commitments to tennis in a variety of capacities and are being honoured for their outstanding – and ongoing – contributions to the game.”

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Novak Djokovic Dominates Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in Paris

 

 

(June 1, 2014) No. 2 Novak Djokovic thoroughly dominated 13th-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-1, 6-4, 6-1 in only 90 minutes on Sunday at the French Open to reach the quarterfinals for his 20th straight major tournament in a row.

Djokovic broke Tsonga seven times as Tsonga hit 38 unforced errors.

“I didn’t go through happy moments today,” Tsonga told press. “It was not fun for me. It was tough. I didn’t have time to go for my shots. I didn’t get off to a good start. Then against this type of player, things started to deteriorate. He played better and better.”

Djokovic raised his record over Tsonga to 12-5 overall, winning the last 10 encounters.

The Serb will face No. 8 Milos Raonic of Canada in the quarterfinals. The Canadian beat Marcel Granollers of Spain 6-3, 6-3, 6-3.

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Djokovic and Federer Gain Berth in French Open Round of 16

 

Djokovic and Federer shake hands

(May 30, 2014) Both No. 2 Novak Djokovic and No. 4 Roger Federer needed four sets to reach the round of 16 of the French Open on Friday.

Djokovic won 6-3, 6-2, 6-7 (2), 6-4 over Marin Cilic, while Federer, who missed four chances to win the second set, defeated Dmitry Tursunov 7-5, 6-7 (7), 6-2, 6-4.

“I’m pleased I found a way and played it solid and tough toward the very end,” Federer said after the match”

Djokovic is looking to win the French Open for the first time to complete a career grand slam.

More to follow.

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“Chatrier-gate” and Rain-Delay Chats in Notes and Quotes for Day 2 of the French Open

ext stade Roland Garros

(May 25, 2014) Taking a quick look at some of the off-beat stories on Day 2 at Roland Garros.

Chatrier-gate?

There was an uproar by many in the tennis world when on Sunday, it was announced that Rafael Nadal the 4-time defending champion and 8-time French Open winner was assigned to the second show court Suzanne Lenglen and not the primary show court Philippe Chatrier.

 

A tweet from Nadal’s management team:

 

 

When asked about this after he won his first round match on Monday, Nadal said:

“Doesn’t really matter a lot.  Always playing Roland Garros is a pleasure for me, is a really honor, and is a special feeling.  So all the memories at this place give me are unforgettable. And doesn’t matter if it’s Chatrier or Lenglen or another court, be around here in Roland Garros always gonna be great.  And I started in Lenglen this year, is a great court. I am not sure, but probably next one I gonna play in Chatrier.  That’s it.”

 

Rain-Delay amusement

In the second rain delay of the Novak Djokovic match in the second set, Djokovic went into showman mode by making funny faces at the TV camera and inviting a ball boy who was holding his umbrella to sit beside him on the bench to chat. Djokovic let the ball boy hold his racquet and gave him a bottle of Perrier water, while the Serb had a sports drink. A few minutes later the rain delay ended and they shook hands hands to end their chat.

“We had a nice chat,” Djokovic said. He’s a tennis player, so I asked him how long he’s playing, and how he’s enjoying his time as a ball kid. It was a nice, fun time, something unusual for the Grand Slams.”

 

 

Racquet Relationship

Q.  This is not strictly related to Roland Garros, but how would you describe your relationship with your racquet?
RAFAEL NADAL:  With my racquet?

Q.  Yes.  How do you feel with it?  And what does it represent with you?
RAFAEL NADAL:  I know my racquet since a long time (smiling).  No, that’s the best thing that I can say about my racquet is for some reason I am playing with this one.

It’s because I feel the racquet give me what I need for my game and is long, long time ago that I am playing with Babolat, since the age of 10 or 11, I don’t remember.  Always Babolat did the best possible for me, trying to help me in what I really need.

I think is great to be part of a great company of Babolat and a great company in the world of tennis.  I have a great relationship with them, and that makes the things a little bit easier.

 

Journalist Cogratulates player when he lost

Seems a reporter was misinformed about whether Nicolas Mahut won or lost his match at the French Open on Monday just before Mahut’s post-match news conference.

Here is the first portion of the official transcript:

Mahut

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Novak Djokovic Shares a Chat with a Ball Boy During First Round Win at Roland Garros

(May 26, 2014) Novak Djokovic played through some rain and some rain delays on Monday before reaching the second round at the French Open with a 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 win over Joao Sousa of Portugal.

In the second rain delay of the match in the second set, Djokovic went into showman mode by making funny faces at the TV camera. Afterwards Djokovic invited a ball boy who was holding his umbrella to sit beside him on the bench to chat. Djokovic let the ball boy hold his racquet and gave him a bottle of Perrier water, while the Serb had a sports drink. A few minutes later the rain delay ended and they shook hands hands to end their chat.

“We had a nice chat,” Djokovic said. He’s a tennis player, so I asked him how long he’s playing, and how he’s enjoying his time as a ball kid. It was a nice, fun time, something unusual for the Grand Slams.”

See video below.

 

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