2014/12/18

Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal to Headline U. S. Open

2011-US-Open-Tennis-Tournament

White Plains, N.Y., July 17, 2014 – The USTA announced that world No. 1 Novak Djokovic and defending champion Rafael Nadal lead the men’s singles field for the 2014 US Open Tennis Championships. The field features six former US Open champions, including Djokovic (2011), two-time champion Nadal (2010, 2013), five-time champion Roger Federer (2004-08), Andy Murray (2012), Juan Martin del Potro (2009) and Lleyton Hewitt (2001).

Each of the world’s top 104 men received direct entry into the US Open, representing 36 countries.

The 2014 US Open will be played August 25 through September 8 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y. The US Open Men’s Singles Championship is presented by Mercedes-Benz.

Leading the entry list is Djokovic, the Serbian world No. 1 who has reached the US Open final every year since 2010. He won his seventh major title earlier this month at Wimbledon, beating Federer in five sets, after which he reclaimed the world No. 1 ranking from Nadal.

Nadal, the world No. 2, defeated Djokovic in four sets last year to win his second US Open championship, joining Federer (2007) as the only men to win the Emirates Airline US Open Series and US Open titles in the same year. This spring, the Spaniard won his record ninth French Open title, giving him 14 Grand Slam singles championships, tied with Pete Sampras for second all-time.

World No. 3 Federer, of Switzerland, is the all-time leader with 17 major singles titles, and was bidding for his eighth Wimbledon title this month before falling to Djokovic in the five-set final. Federer is competing for his sixth US Open title, which would surpass Pete Sampras and Jimmy Connors for the most US Open men’s singles titles in the Open Era.

Stanislas Wawrinka, the Swiss No. 4 and a 2013 US Open semifinalist, won his first major singles championship at the Australian Open this year, joining del Potro (2009 US Open) as the only men outside the “Big Four” of Djokovic, Nadal, Federer and Murray to win a Grand Slam since the 2005 French Open.

Filling out the field’s top 10 are No. 5 Tomas Berdych, of the Czech Republic, a 2012 US Open semifinalist and 2010 Wimbledon finalist; No. 6 Milos Raonic, of Canada, a 2014 Wimbledon semifinalist; No. 7 David Ferrer, of Spain, a French Open finalist (2013) and two-time US Open semifinalist (2007, 2012); No. 8 and 2009 US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro, of Argentina; No. 9 Grigor Dimitrov, of Bulgaria, a 2014 Wimbledon semifinalist; and No. 10 Andy Murray, the 2012 US Open champion and 2013 Wimbledon champion.

American men who received direct entry are No. 12 John Isner, of Greensboro, N.C., No. 62 Sam Querrey, of Las Vegas, Nevada, No. 64 Steve Johnson, of Orange, Calif., No. 69 Jack Sock, of Lincoln, Neb., No. 70 Donald Young, of Atlanta, and No. 77 Bradley Klahn, of Poway, Calif.

Germany’s Dustin Brown, ranked No. 104, is the last man to receive direct entry into the field of 128. No players used protected or special rankings to gain direct entry. Sixteen more players will gain entry through the US Open Qualifying Tournament, held August 19-22, while the eight remaining spots are wild cards awarded by the USTA.

Among the players competing in the US Open Qualifying Tournament will be the winner of the fifth annual US Open National Playoffs – Men’s Championship, held during the Emirates Airline US Open Series women’s event in New Haven, Conn., prior to the US Open Qualifying Tournament. The USTA created the US Open National Playoffs in 2010 to allow players 14 and older, regardless of playing ability or nationality, to vie for a spot in the US Open Qualifying Tournament via one of 13 sectional qualifying tournaments.

The July 14 edition of the Emirates ATP World Tour rankings was used to determine the US Open main draw entry list. Seeds will be determined and announced closer to the start of the event.

The 2014 US Open will mark the culmination of the Emirates Airline US Open Series, the North American summer season of eight ATP World Tour and WTA events that begin this Monday, July 21. The US Open is the highest-attended annual sporting event in the world and will again be televised domestically on CBS Sports, ESPN and Tennis Channel, with international coverage reaching more than 180 countries.

The 2014 US Open will be played from Monday, August 25 through Monday, September 8. Tickets can be purchased: at USOpen.org; by calling Ticketmaster at 1-866-OPEN-TIX; at all Ticketmaster outlets; at the box office at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

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Nadal, Bryans Qualify For 2014 Barclays ATP World Tour Finals

Nadal waves and smiles

ATP World Tour -LONDON – Rafael Nadal will return to London this November in an attempt to capture his first career season-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals title. Nadal joins three-time champion Novak Djokovic as the first two singles players to qualify for this year’s season finale, to be held at The O2 from 9-16 November.

Nadal has qualified for the elite eight-player tournament for the 10th straight year. The Spaniard has finished runner-up on two occasions, in 2010 (l. to Federer) and 2013 (l. to Djokovic). The Barclays ATP World Tour Finals title is one of the few major prizes in the sport still to elude the Spanish superstar.

ATP Executive Chairman and President, Chris Kermode, said, “Rafa’s qualification for this year’s Barclays ATP World Tour Finals is terrific news for tennis fans in the UK. They now have another chance to see a true sporting icon battle it out for the last title of the season. Rafa has previously come close to winning the title in London a number of times. This year, once again, many will consider him to be a leading contender as he looks to add this prestigious title to his long list of career achievements.”

The 28-year-old Nadal has lifted four trophies this year, including the Qatar ExxonMobil Open (d. Monfils) in January; the Rio Open presented by Claro hdtv (d. Dolgopolov) in February; an all-time record 27th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title at the Mutua Madrid Open (d. Nishikori) in May and his ninth Roland Garros (d. Djokovic). Roger Federer, currently at No. 3 in the Emirates ATP Race To London, is the next in line to qualify for the 2014 Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, where he is a record six-time former winner.

Last week Nadal relinquished No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Rankings to Djokovic following the Serb’s triumph at Wimbledon. Nadal, who has been No. 1 for a total of 143 weeks, was crowned the year-end ATP World Tour No. 1 in 2008, 2010 and 2013. Nadal and Djokovic have dominated the year-end No. 1 position for the past four years and the battle for top spot should not be an exception this year.

Bob and Mike Bryan will also be bidding to crown their 2014 season by winning the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals for a fourth time, adding to titles in 2003-04 and 2009. They have qualified for the eight-team season finale for the 13th consecutive time (2001, 2003-2014). No doubles event was held in 2002.

The American brothers have captured five team titles in eight finals this year. In 2013, the American brothers clinched the year-end No. 1 Emirates ATP Doubles Team Ranking for a record ninth time and for a fifth consecutive season.

The Barclays ATP World Tour Finals has welcomed more than 1.25 million fans to The O2 arena over the past five years, establishing itself as the biggest indoor tennis tournament in the world since moving to London in 2009. Tickets can be purchased at: www.BarclaysATPWorldTourFinals.com.

Emirates ATP Race to London – Top 15 (as of Monday, 14 July, 2014)

Singles
Pos. Name YTD Points
1. N. Djokovic (SRB) 7,250
2. R. Nadal (ESP) 6,645
3. R. Federer (SUI) 4,560
4. S. Wawrinka (SUI) 4,095
5. T. Berdych (CZE) 3,050
6. G. Dimitrov (BUL) 2,785
7. A. Murray (GBR) 2,435
8. D. Ferrer (ESP) 2,410
9. K. Nishikori (JPN) 2,405
10. E. Gulbis (LAT) 2,265
11. M. Raonic (CAN) 2,205
12. M. Cilic (CRO) 1,710
13. R. Bautista Agut (ESP) 1,565
14. F. Fognini (ITA) 1,500
15. A. Dolgopolov (UKR) 1,410


Emirates ATP Doubles Team Race to London – Top 10 (as of Monday, 14 July, 2014)

Doubles
Pos. Name YTD Points
1. B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) 6,445
2. D. Nestor (CAN) / N. Zimonjic (SRB) 5,100
3. J. Benneteau (FRA) / E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA) 3,600
4. L. Kubot (POL) / R. Lindstedt (SWE) 2,855
5. A. Peya (AUT) / B. Soares (BRA) 2,650
6. M. Llodra (FRA) / N. Mahut (FRA) 2,480
7. E. Butorac (USA) / R. Klaasen (RSA) 2,235
8. J. Cabal (COL) / R. Farah (COL) 2,045
9. V. Pospisil (CAN) / J. Sock (USA) 2,000
10. M. Granollers (ESP) / M. Lopez (ESP) 1,990


Bold denotes qualification

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French Open Champions Rafael Nadal and Maria Sharapova Lose at Wimbledon

(July 1, 2014) WIMBLEDON – French Open Champions Rafael Nadal and Maria Sharapova were the victims of major upsets on Tuesday at Wimbledon.

World No. 1 and No. 2 seed Nadal fell to Australian wild card Nick Kyrgios 7-6(5), 5-7, 7-6(5), 6-3 in the fourth round. For the up-and-coming Kyrgios ranked 144th in the world who hit 37 aces against Nadal, it was the match of his life and the biggest upset of the tournament.

“I’m pretty happy,” said the 19-year-old Australian. “That’s the biggest win of my career obviously, and that’s something I’m never going to forget. I’m going to draw so much confidence out of that no matter where I play now. To have that under my belt, it’s massive.”

“The thing is this surface,” Nadal said. “When you have an opponent that he decides to serve and to hit every ball very strong, you are in trouble.

“I think that I didn’t play really bad. But that’s the game in this surface.

“I think in the second and the third set I was better than him, but I was not able to convert that opportunities. And for the rest, I think he play better than me.

“So, in general, talking about what you need to win in this surface, he did the things better than me.”
It was the fourth straight match at Wimbledon where Nadal dropped the opening set.

Kyrgios became the first man to reach the quarterfinals in his Wimbledon debut in 10 years. He is also the first teenager to defeat the No. 1 player man at a major since Nadal did it at 19 when he beat Roger Federer at the 2005 French Open.

“I think I had to play a solid game that gave me the best shot,” said the 6’ 4” Australian. “That’s serving big and playing aggressive. I thought today my serve was something that got me over the line. It made me, you know, be able to put pressure on his serve as well.

“I think that was very important.”

“In the tiebreak he was able to serve better than me,” the Spaniard said. “So that’s an advantage. I could serve better on the tiebreaks. But 5‑All in the second set in the tiebreak, second serve, net, inside for him, second serve big. Then he repeat the second serve with 140 miles the second serve.

“You know, that’s happens when you have nothing to lose. You can play that way. Players who really play for being in the last rounds, think about win the titles, it’s not easy to create the second serve 114 5-All in the tiebreak, but that’s what happened today.

“Congratulations to him. For me, beach,” Nadal said smiling.

“It still hasn’t sunk in yet,” Kyrgios said of the win. “I was just overwhelmed with every feeling out there. I turned to my whole box, you know, just shared that moment with them. It still hasn’t hit me what I’ve done.”
Next up in the quarterfinal for the Aussie will be another big server in Canadian Milos Raonic.

“Milos has probably got the best serve in the world,” he said. I’m just going to go out there and have fun again.”
Maria Sharapova became the favorite to win Wimbledon when Serena Williams lost on Saturday. Germany’s Angelique Kerber, the No. 9 seed dismissed the fifth-seeded Russian from the tournament 7-6 (4), 4-6, 6-4. The match was a tale of errors.

Sharapova made 49 unforced errors, 38 more than her opponent.

“I think there were a few little key moments in each set actually that I can learn from,” Sharapova said. “I was up in the tiebreaker and didn’t follow through. You know, it was great to come back in that second.
“Had a really slow start in the third. She rode with that confidence. It was just a few points in the end of that. Maybe things would have been different if I won that game, but in the end I didn’t.”

“Before I went on court I was just telling myself, you know, Just go out there, enjoy it, and play like you are at practice,” Kerber said. “You know, not focus on her, just focus on yourself, yeah, and believe that you can beat her.”

“At the end I was trying to focus just from point to point. I was telling me, you know, You can do it. She will not make mistakes. If you would like to win the match, you need to do it, to be aggressive, just go for it.
“Yeah, and I did it. Yeah, I’m just happy that, you know, actually I won the match. I think she didn’t lost the match; I won it. That feels good.”

“The next match against Bouchard, it will be tough one,” Kerber added. “I lost against her in Paris, but I’m feeling right now better and I’m feeling better on grass.

“I never played against her on this surface, so I will be focused like today just on myself. Just try to be aggressive, play my game, and not focusing on her.”

The women’s quarterfinals set for Wednesday are No. 3 Simona Halep against 2013 runner-up Sabine Lisicki, and No. 9 Angelique Kerber versus No. 13 Eugenie Bouchard. The semifinal on the other side of the draw is already complete 2011 champion Petra Kvitova against No. 23 Lucie Safarova

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After a Slow Start, Nadal Cruises Past Kukushkin at Wimbledon

 

(June 28, 2014) WIMBLEDON – While rain suspended play on the outer courts on Saturday, under the roof at Centre Court, No. 2 seed Rafael Nadal dropped the first set for the third striaght match, but rebounded for a 6-7(4), 6-1, 6-1, 6-1 win over Mikhail Kukushkin to reach the last 16 at Wimbledon.

In the opening set the Kazakh, played powerful tennis, kept pace with Nadal, giving the world No.1 all he could handle. Both men stood toe-to-toe until the tiebreak.

The first three points of the tiebreak went against serve, giving Kukushkin the immediate advantage. He went on the take the tiebreak 7-4.

:I am a good first set player,” Nadal said.  “I think my opponent played great the first set today and I think I was playing fine.  He played fantastic.  The only thing that I did not good in the first set was some returns with the second serve that I make a few mistakes with his second serve.

“And then in the tiebreak I didn’t serve well, didn’t serve enough well.  Then I give him the opportunity to attack me with the second serve, my second serve.  He did well.  He was playing great.

“Accept that the match is long.  Accept that if he is able to play like this for three sets I will be in trouble.  But always waiting that I can improve one step.  If I improve one step, I can be there.  I think I did.”

Kukushkin hit 17 winners with five aces in the first set.

The tide took a tremendous turn for the Spaniard, whose game picked up.  After 1-1 in the second set, Nadal won 11 of the next 12 games to take the next two sets 6-1, 6-1.

Nadal hit 10 winners and made only 2 unforced errors in the second set. He won 31 out of 47 points in the set. Nadal was  two for three on break points.

Nadal opened the third set with a break and held to go up 2-0. Seven straight games until Kukushkin could hold to break the string of games against him. An additional break in the fifth game extended Nadal’s lead to 4-1 and a hold for 5-1 and another break gave him the set.

The fourth set saw more of the same dominance from 14-time major champion. He hit 27 winners in the match with and won 92 percent of his points at the net.

Nadal is now 187 – 24 in grand slam matches.

Nadal will play ATP youngster Nick Kyrgios in the round of 16.

 

 

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Rafael Nadal Bounces Back to Knock Out Lukas Rosol at Wimbledon

 

(June 26, 2014) WIMBLEDON – Rafael Nadal rallied from a set and a break down to stop Lukas Rosol 4-6, 7-6(6), 6-4.

Lukas Rosol burst on the scene when he upset Nadal in five sets in the second round of Wimbledon back in 2012. The Czech picked up where he left off two years ago taking the first set 6-4, using his powerful serves and groundstrokes.

The Czech jumped out to a break to take a 4-2 lead in the second set, when a momentum shift seemed to take place. Nadal was serving bigger and was more accurate with his returned and took the break back to even up the set at 4-4.

 

Both men held to get into a second set tiebreaker. The first mini-break of the tie break went to Rosol to go up 5-3. Serving at 5-4, Rosol gave the break back when he netted a soft volley. A 125 mph serve gave him set point at 6-5 and a forehand winner by Nadal evened up at 6-6.

“Maybe if I lose that set point in the second set, if that forehand down the line went out, maybe will be here with a lose,” Nadal said.

“But that’s the sport.  That forehand was a perfect forehand for that moment.  Is true that even if I was losing, I was fighting for every ball.  I was fighting mentally, physically.  Positive thing about tennis, I was able to find solutions through the whole match.  At the same time my physical performance was different today than a few years ago”

Nadal’s strong serve forced a Rosol error to give him set point and a double fault gave Nadal the set 7-6(6) to even the match.

 

In the third set Nadal had three break points in Rosol’s second serving game which he failed to take advantage of. But with Rosol’s first serves losing their luster, Nada look advantage of another second serve to take the fourth break point for a 2-1 lead in the third.

Nadal held at love to extend his lead to 3-1. Nadal held the rest of the set to claim it 6-4. Nadal hit 16 winners in the set to Rosol’s 2.

Nadal continued his momentum by breaking Rosol at love to open the fourth set. He never relinquished the lead, but saved a break point as he was serving for the match.

“When I am playing the match today, I am not thinking about the match two years ago,” said the 28-year-old.  “I am thinking what I have to do to win the next point in that match.

“What happened happened.  That’s it.  We already congratulate him for what happened two years ago.

“Today is another history, another story.  I needed to find the solution.  Finally I did.  That’s the most important thing.

” I think I played with fantastic energy during the last three sets.  Very positive.  Very quick with my legs.  You know, very quick mentally.  I was returning great last three sets.  I was able to have more breaks.

“But he was serving well, hitting the ball well.  When I had the chance to touch the ball with the return, every return was in, and a good one.  So I am very pleased the way that I played.”

Nadal hit 46 winners to just 11 unforced errors in the match, going 13 for 19 in points won at the net.

The No. 2 seed will play Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan in the third round on Saturday.

More to follow…

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Nadal Tops Klizan for 700th Win

Nadal waves and smiles

(June 24, 2014) Rafael Nadal recovered from a first set loss to earn his first match win at Wimbledon since 2012 with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 win over Martin Klizan. The world No. 1, but seeded No. 2 entered special company on Tuesday afternoon becoming the 11th player in the Open Era to earn his 700th career win.

“Well, was a positive match for me,” Nadal said.  “First thing because I won.  That’s the most important thing.  I didn’t play much on grass for the last three years.  So always is like you restart.

“So happy for the victory.  In the end the match was difficult.  After the first set was even more difficult.  So I was able to fight.  I was able to try to find some solutions, some changes during the match.  I think I can do it better than what I did today, but at the same time I know I will not play today at my 100%.  I will not play perfect today after not playing in grass for a while.

“So you need to find the routines again.  You need to find the confidence on some shots.  The only way to find that things that comes automatic, the only way is play matches.”

Next up for the two-time former Wimbledon champion will be Lukas Rosol, the man who upset Nadal in the second round of Wimbledon in 2012.

“He’s a very dangerous player, very strong, very powerful shots from the baseline,” Nadal said.

“He’s aggressive player.  Will be a tough match again.  I know if I want to have chances to win, I need to play very well.  That’s what I going to try.  If not, I don’t have chances to be in the third round.  But I going to fight for it.”

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Quotes of the Day from the Pre-Wimbledon News Conferences

Serena in press 3

(June 21, 2014) WIMBLEDON – Players met the media on Saturday for pre-Wimbledon news conferences, days ahead of the The Championships, 2014.

 

Who says I was over it (smiling)?

-No. 1 seed Serena Williams  asked about how long it took for her to get over her stunning second round loss at the French Open to Garbine Muguruza.

 

-Simona Halep on her new found fame in her homeland of Romania

It was amazing feeling when I arrived home, because they stopped the plane just on the red carpet at the airport and everybody was waiting for me, about 300 fans.  I went to them and I said hello, many things there.  They ask me many things.

Yeah, was incredible.  For me was the best moment of my life.  Was incredible.  I will never forget that moment.

 

The big change is that everybody knows me now and a lot of people are speaking about me and are watching me.  In Romania all the press, every day they are watching me.  I don’t know why.

It’s a little bit difficult, but I want just to stay very far of this and just to keep focus my mental for the tennis.  I just want to think about tennis now and nothing else.

 

On looking at her ranking years ago:

A few years ago I was looking at the rankings on Internet, and I saw I was fourth page.  I said my dream is to be on first page.

So now I am there, and I am really happy.  I cannot be sad that I lose some matches.  I want just to enjoy this moment and to try to improve more in my game and to be maybe second or first.

 

Roger Federer on his second round loss at Wimbledon last year:

That was done a week after Wimbledon.  After that, I didn’t need to think about it a whole lot anymore.  It was just one of the big goals I set for myself.  I failed.  Back to work.  Get yourself in shape.

Rafael Nadal on Wimbledon:

I say before:  Is really the most dangerous tournament of the year.  When I arrive to Roland Garros I already played for one month on clay.  I played a lot of matches.  So more or less I can imagine how I am going to play.

 

 

 

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Dustin Brown Stuns No. 1 Rafael Nadal in Halle

 

(June 12, 2014) Just four days after winning his ninth Roland Garros title, world No. 1 Rafael Nadal fell in his opening match at the Gerry Weber in Halle, Germany to German wild card No. 85 Dustin Brown 6-4, 6-1 in 58 minutes. With the victory, Brown becomes the lowest-ranked player to beat a No. 1 player since No. 98 Mardy Fish beat Roger Federer at Indian Wells in 2008.

“I lost today because my rival was playing better than me,” said the Spaniard “And at the same time, as I said yesterday, the transition from clay to grass is difficult, especially when you arrive a little bit tired and not at 100 per cent. But I tried my best.”

Nadal is now 1-3 at Halle, with all three losses coming to German players.

“It was the worst draw possible against a player like this,” Nadal said. It’s very difficult to talk about the match because I don’t know what to say. I didn’t play. My opponent always served over 200kph with his first and second serves. So, that can happen on this surface if you face an opponent like this.

“I tried but my serve was not good enough. At the same time he changed the dynamic completely. For four games he really didn’t put many returns on the court and then suddenly he was playing winners from the return. So, it’s difficult to analyze these kind of matches.”

“I’ve had a lot of great wins before, but this was my first time playing against a World No. 1, at home in Germany and on grass – my best surface,” said the German Brown. “Everything came together. I tried to play my game as aggressively as possible.

“I took away the big things in (Nadal’s) game that make him the unbelievable player that he is. I hit a lot of big serves. I had a plan and it worked out.”

It’s Brown’s second top ten win of the year, he defeated No. 10 John Isner at the tournament in Houston in April.

Brown will play countryman Philipp Kohlschreiber in the quarterfinals.

Nadal has now lost his last three grass court matches to Brown, No. 135 Steve Darcis at last year’s Wimbledon and No. 100 Lukas Rosol at 2012 Wimbledon.

Roger Federer had to rebound from a first set loss to stop Portugal’s Joao Sousa 6-7 (8), 6-4, 6-2.

RESULTS – THURSDAY, 12 JUNE 2014

Singles – Second Round
[WC] D Brown (GER) d [1] R Nadal (ESP) 64 61
[2] R Federer (SUI) d J Sousa (POR) 67(8) 64 62
S Johnson (USA) d T Gabashvili (RUS) w/o (right knee)
Y Lu (TPE) d I Karlovic (CRO) 76(2) 76(3)

Doubles – Quarter-finals
M Draganja (CRO) / F Mergea (ROU) d [1] L Kubot (POL) / R Lindstedt (SWE) w/o (Kubot – left heel)
A Begemann (GER) / J Knowle (AUT) d R Haase (NED) / K Nishikori (JPN) 63 64
[WC] M Chiudinelli (SUI) / R Federer (SUI) d A Falla (COL) / S Giraldo (COL) 63 63

SCHEDULE – FRIDAY, 13 JUNE 2014

STADIUM start 12:00 noon
[WC] P Gojowczyk (GER) vs A Falla (COL)
[WC] D Brown (GER) vs P Kohlschreiber (GER)
S Johnson (USA) vs [4] K Nishikori (JPN)

Not Before 5:30 pm
Y Lu (TPE) vs [2] R Federer (SUI)

COURT 1 start 1:00 pm
M Draganja (CRO) / F Mergea (ROU) vs A Begemann (GER) / J Knowle (AUT)
After Suitable Rest – [WC] D Brown (GER) / J Struff (GER) vs I Karlovic (CRO) / M Pavic (CRO)

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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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