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Tag: Novak Djokovic

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Wimbledon 2022 preview: Can unique Championships throw up a surprise champion?

The sun shines brightly on the pristine grass at SW19 as Wimbledon, devoid of ranking points but full of intrigue, is set to kick off on Monday. Two of the main draw’s biggest personalities – Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams – were confirmed at the last moment, and the men’s World No. 1, and three of the women’s Top 20 are barred from participating in light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Top seeds Novak Djokovic and Iga Swiatek, both coming into the Championships in polar opposite form, are the overwhelming favourites. The pressure of expectation weighs heavily on both as they open the play on Centre Court on Monday and Tuesday respectively. There are questions to be asked about the form and level of each of the heavy favourites though, leaving the door slightly open for fans to see a...
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Novak Djokovic doubles down on anti-vaccination stance, says US ban is fuelling his motivation for Wimbledon

Defending champion Novak Djokovic says he will be extra motivated to claim a fourth successive Wimbledon title as it could be his last Grand Slam action of the year. The 35-year-old Serb missed the Australian Open after being deported for not having been vaccinated against COVID-19 and will not be allowed to compete at the U.S. Open for the same reason. Those decisions have severely impacted Djokovic’s hopes of winning the most Grand Slam titles, with Rafael Nadal now holding the record on 22, compared to Djokovic’s 20. With Australia enforcing strict entry criteria, it is likely that Wimbledon could be Djokovic’s last Grand Slam event until next year’s French Open. “As of today I’m not allowed to enter the States under these circumstances. I’m aware of that. That is an extra motivation...
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Djokovic top men’s seed for Wimbledon in absence of Medvedev, Zverev

Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic will head into next week’s tournament as the men’s top seed with Russian world number one Daniil Medvedev banned from taking part while Germany’s second-ranked Alexander Zverev is out injured. Organisers of the grasscourt Grand Slam have banned players from Russia and Belarus from playing at this year’s Wimbledon following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, which Russia calls a ‘special operation’. Zverev had surgery on torn ligaments in his right ankle this month after he was forced to retire from his French Open semi-final against Rafael Nadal. Djokovic, who was unable to defend his 2021 Australian Open title and the 2,000 ranking points he earned due to his non-vaccinated status against COVID-19, recently lost his world number one spot to Medvedev. Top 🔟...
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None of Federer, Nadal, Djokovic in ATP top 2; 1st since ’03

None of the so-called Big Three of men’s tennis — Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic — was in the No. 1 or No. 2 spots in the ATP rankings on Monday, the first time that’s been the case in nearly 20 years. Daniil Medvedev rose one place to return to No. 1, where he briefly spent time earlier this season, and Alexander Zverev moved up to a career-best No. 2. Djokovic slid from No. 1 to No. 3, because his points for winning the French Open in 2021 dropped off his record on Monday. The ATP rankings are based on a player’s top 18 tournament results over the preceding 52 weeks (19 if he participated in the ATP Tour Finals). There was not nearly as much shifting in the WTA rankings on Monday, with Iga Swiatek remaining at No. 1. The only change in the women’s top 20 was Aryna Saba...
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I will play at Wimbledon if my body allows me to, says Rafael Nadal | Tennis News – Times of India

PARIS: French Open champion Rafael Nadal will play at Wimbledon later this month if his body allows him to, the Spaniard said on Sunday after winning Roland Garros for a record-extending 14th time. "I am going to be in Wimbledon if my body is ready to be in Wimbledon. Wimbledon is not a tournament that I want to miss," said Nadal, who has been suffering from a chronic foot injury. Nadal destroyed Norwegian Casper Ruud 6-3 6-3 6-0 to stay undefeated in Roland Garros finals. The 36-year-old, who has won the season's first two majors, now owns a men's record 22 Grand Slam singles titles - two more than nearest rivals Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer. Wimbledon starts on June 27. !(function(f, b, e, v, n, t, s) { window.TimesApps = window.TimesApps || {}; ...
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Timeline: Rafael Nadal’s journey to a men’s record 22 Grand Slam titles | Tennis News – Times of India

Rafael Nadal beat Casper Ruud in the French Open final on Sunday to win a men's record-extending 22nd Grand Slam title. The following is a timeline charting how Nadal, playing in what is considered to be the greatest era of men's tennis, surpassed the haul of Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic. 2003: Federer became the newest entrant into the Grand Slam club with the first of his eight Wimbledon titles, beating Mark Philippoussis in the final. Tally: Federer 1 2004: The Swiss flexed his muscles by winning three majors -- the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. Tally: Federer 4 2005: While Federer defended his Wimbledon and U.S. Open titles, Nadal burst on to the scene with his first French Open title beating Mariano Puerta in the final. Tally: Federer 6; Nadal 1 2006: Federer's ...
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Rafael Nadal, modest warrior with iron will to win | Tennis News – Times of India

PARIS: There are three certainties in life -- death, taxes and Rafael Nadal winning the French Open. The Spaniard secured a 14th title at Roland Garros with a straight-sets rout of Casper Ruud on Sunday, swelling his record-setting Grand Slam collection to 22. Nadal, the oldest ever champion in Paris at 36, now has 112 match wins on the famous crushed red brick against just three defeats in 17 years. (AFP photo)"He is a great champion, he is humble. He is the best athlete I have ever seen in any sport," another tennis legend, John McEnroe said in January when Nadal collected the Australian Open. However, you will never hear Nadal indulge in any similar self-praise. Just as happy fishing or playing golf in Manacor, Nadal is ruthless on the tennis court but disarmingly humble off it. "I h...
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Thanks for the memories: Rafael Nadal’s 14 French Open titles | Tennis News – Times of India

PARIS: Rafael Nadal won his 14th French Open title on Sunday when he defeated Norwegian Casper Ruud in straight sets. Here's a look at the Spaniard's 14 triumphs in Paris: -- At just 19, Nadal became the youngest winner of a Grand Slam title since Michael Chang won at Roland Garros in 1989 at 17. He was the first man since Mats Wilander in 1982 to win the French Open on his debut. Puerta was to later fail a drugs test and handed an eight-year ban, eventually reduced to two years. (AFP photo)-- Nadal became the first man to beat Federer in a Slam final, ending the Swiss star's hopes of holding all four majors at the same time. It was Nadal's 60th win in a row on clay. -- The 21-year-old Nadal became the first man since Bjorn Borg in 1980 to win three successive titles at Roland Garros. H...
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French Open 2022: How Rafael Nadal’s aggressive groundstrokes and serving toppled Novak Djokovic

Despite concerns over his declining physicality, the disadvantageous night scheduling, and his previous record against his great rival, Rafael Nadal provided an over-four-hour-long exhibition in clay-court mastery to take down Novak Djokovic and book his customary spot in the semifinals of the French Open. The Spaniard did so through an aggressive strategy from start to finish, with precise execution of his tactics. This. This is what it means 🥺@RafaelNadal #RolandGarros pic.twitter.com/99Jp27qDyYBest of Express PremiumPremiumPremiumPremiumPremium — Tennis TV (@TennisTV) May 31, 2022 Nadal’s baseline strategy His incredible legacy on clay has long been lauded for his ability to outlast opponents from the baseline. But on this occasion, the Spaniard started far more aggressively than us...
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‘A very emotional night for me’ – Nadal after his epic French Open win over Djokovic | Tennis News – Times of India

PARIS: Knowing this French Open could be his last, Rafael Nadal had already turned his thoughts to his Roland Garros semi-final match minutes after beating Novak Djokovic in an epic quarter- final on Tuesday. The 13-time French champion is chasing a record-extending 22nd men's Grand Slam title. But time might be running out for the Spaniard, who has been suffering from a chronic foot injury that had put his participation in the claycourt major in doubt. "I don't know what can happen. I think I'm gonna be playing this tournament because we are doing the things to be ready to play this tournament, but I don't know what's gonna happen after here," Nadal told a news conference after his 6-2, 4-6, 6-2, 7-6(4) win against world number one Djokovic. The 35-year-old said that the presence of hi...
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French Open: Djokovic vs Nadal put on night session despite Spaniard’s reluctance

Tuesday’s highly-anticipated French Open quarter-final between world number one Novak Djokovic and 13-time champion Rafa Nadal has been scheduled to be played during the controversial night session despite the Spaniard expressing reservations against it. The night session, for which Amazon Prime has exclusive broadcasting rights in France, starts at 9 p.m. local time and was introduced for the first time at the 2021 edition of the claycourt major. 🚨 Limited Time Offer | Express Premium with ad-lite for just Rs 2/ day 👉🏽 Click here to subscribe 🚨 “I don’t like night sessions on clay. I am very clear with that,” Nadal, who enjoys a near mythical status at Roland Garros, where he has a statue erected in his honour, told reporters last week.Best of Express PremiumPremiumPremiumPremiumPremiu...
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Nadal stays on course for possible Djokovic clash in quarter-finals

Rafael Nadal hammered Dutch 26th seed Botic van de Zandschulp 6-3 6-2 6-4 in the French Open third round on Friday to remain on course for a potential mouth-watering showdown against world number one Novak Djokovic in the quarter-finals. Nadal has 13 Roland Garros titles among his 21 majors — the highest among men — but the Spaniard was denied last year when he went down in the semi-finals to eventual champion Djokovic. Around the same time on nearby Court Philippe Chatrier, the Serb also put on a prolific display to book his spot in the fourth round with a 6-3 6-3 6-2 win over Slovenia’s Aljaz Bedene to stay in the hunt for a record-equalling 21st major. While Djokovic will next meet Argentine Diego Schwartzman, Nadal will take on Canadian ninth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime before their ...
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Five sets separate men from boys

The first week of a Grand Slam usually sets the tone for the rest of the fortnight. The men’s draw – played in the best-of-five-sets format – usually produces predictable, lopsided results, while the best-of-three women’s draw throws up plenty of upsets. Roland Garros has stayed true to that this week. Taylor Fritz, seeded 13th, is the highest-ranked men’s player to fall so far, while only three of the top eight seeds are left in the women’s draw. Defending champion Barbora Krejcikova – still reeling from an elbow injury – had to withdraw after testing positive for Covid-19. There have been calls to do away with the best-of-five format altogether. Due to long matches and complicated schedules, tennis has struggled to compete with other sports for younger viewership, and the likes of Nov...
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Djokovic eases into French Open last 16 | Tennis News – Times of India

PARIS: Top seed Novak Djokovic powered past Aljaz Bedene of Slovenia 6-3 6-3 6-2 on Friday to advance to the French Open fourth round and stay firmly on course to challenge for a record-equalling 21st Grand Slam win. The 35-year-old world number one, who was on the court for less than two hours, next plays 15th seed Diego Schwartzman of Argentina. "It's not possible to play perfectly but to strive to play close to perfection," Djokovic said in an on-court interview. "I want to play my characteristic game, my aggressive game. It is not always possible but today it was very good." Bedene, ranked 195th in the world after an eight-month layoff and a return to action in March, was no match for Djokovic's power and near-flawless service games. The Serb wasted three break points at 2-1 in the ...
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French Open 2022: Novak Djokovic beats Slovakia’s Alex Molcan to enter third round | Tennis News – Times of India

PARIS: World number one Novak Djokovic completed a solid 6-2 6-3 7-6(4) victory over Slovakia's Alex Molcan in the second round of the French Open on Wednesday to keep his title defence and quest for a record-equalling 21st Grand Slam on track. With Djokovic unable to defend his Australian Open title due to his refusal to be vaccinated against COVID-19, Spaniard Rafa Nadal broke a three-way tie for the most Grand Slam titles with the Serb and Roger Federer by winning the Melbourne Park major at the start of the year. Yet a successful rerun of his 2021 Roland Garros campaign, when he beat 13-time French Open winner Nadal in the semi-finals, will lift Djokovic alongside his great rival. Nouvelle victoire en 3 sets du champion en titre ✅#RolandGarros | @DjokerNole https://t.co/0nggADZp1x— ...
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French Open 2022: Angelique Kerber, Victoria Azarenka win; Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal eye third round | Tennis News – Times of India

PARIS: Former Grand Slam champions Angelique Kerber and Victoria Azarenka advanced to the third round of the French Open on Wednesday, as Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal prepared to keep their Roland Garros title ambitions on course. Kerber, who won her first clay title in six years on the eve of the French Open, defeated French wildcard and 2020 junior champion Elsa Jacquemot 6-1, 7-6 (7/2) as she seeks the only Grand Slam missing from her collection. The German 21st seed next plays Aliaksandra Sasnovich, the Belarusian who knocked out US Open champion Emma Raducanu 3-6, 6-1, 6-1. "I think the last week was really important for me to get the title," former number one Kerber said of her Strasbourg triumph. "I had a lot of confidence. It's great to be back here and I hope I can still pla...
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Second seed Daniil Medvedev wins Roland Garros opener | Tennis News – Times of India

PARIS: World number two Daniil Medvedev coasted into the French Open second round on Tuesday, beating Argentina's 103rd-ranked Facundo Bagnis 6-2, 6-2, 6-2. The second seed hit 35 winners and broke eight times against Bagnis, who suffered a nasty slip while serving in the second set and sported a heavily strapped right calf. "I love Roland Garros, especially since last year," said Medvedev, who had lost in the opening round on his first four trips to Paris before reaching the quarter-finals in 2021. "I hope this year I can go further." Medvedev, in the opposite half of the draw to Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz, ruled himself out as a Roland Garros title contender last week after losing his only match on clay this year in Geneva on his return from a hernia operation. Th...
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Zverev says Nadal plays ‘30% better’ at Roland Garros | Tennis News – Times of India

PARIS: Alexander Zverev believes Rafael Nadal plays "30% better" at Roland Garros as he backed either the 13-time winner or defending champion Novak Djokovic to triumph at the French Open. German world number three Zverev, who is seeded to meet Djokovic in the semi-finals, said Nadal seems to have shrugged off the recurrence of a foot injury which saw him limp to an early defeat in Rome last week. "I just watched Rafa practise and it's funny because all of a sudden his forehand is just 20 miles an hour faster. He moves lighter on his feet," said Zverev. "There is something about this court that makes him play 30% better, just being on this court." World number one Djokovic, bidding for a third Paris title to move level with Nadal on 21 Grand Slams, comes into the tournament with a sixth...
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Relieved Novak Djokovic resumes quest to boost Grand Slam tally at French Open | Tennis News – Times of India

Novak Djokovic was ready to skip Grand Slams rather than take a COVID-19 vaccine following the Australian Open fiasco, but the world number one has been building up steam in a stop-start season to peak in time for his French Open title defence. The 20-times Grand Slam champion was unable to defend his Australian Open title in January after being deported from the country, having initially been admitted to the tournament despite not taking the vaccine. Djokovic began his season late in Dubai and was knocked off top spot following a shock loss to qualifier Jiri Vesely in the quarter-finals before pulling out of Indian Wells and Miami as he was unable to gain entry into the United States. The Serbian risked being frozen out of Roland Garros as well due to his vaccine stance but earned a re...
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Djokovic, Nadal, Alcaraz in same half of French Open draw | Tennis News – Times of India

PARIS: Defending champion Novak Djokovic, 13-time winner Rafael Nadal and new teenage star Carlos Alcaraz were drawn in the same half of the French Open on Thursday. World number one Djokovic and Nadal, ranked five, are seeded to meet as early as the quarter-finals. Alcaraz, 19, is bidding to become just the eighth teenager to win a Grand Slam men's title. Roland-Garros men's singles draw :#RolandGarros https://t.co/jf6XCS0yyo— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) 1652981735000He could face either Djokovic or Nadal, who holds a record 21 majors, in the semi-finals in a top-heavy draw for the second Grand Slam of the season. "I am very motivated to play my best tennis," said two-time French Open champion and 20-time major winner Djokovic. "In Paris, I always play very strong. Last year, it was ...