Tag Archives: Novak

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal setting trend to oppose Novak Djokovic PTPA

When the PTPA was announced last year, world No 2 Nadal was quick to voice his opinion.

“Just because they created this organisation doesn’t mean they help tennis more than other players who believe in the usual structure,” he said.

“If we have experienced positive situations, it is thanks to the involvement of Roger, myself, but also Novak and Andy, because we have always been concerned with asking others what they need.

“If we compare the earnings of five, six, seven or eight years ago to today, it is clear that we have significantly reduced the gap between the lowest ranked and the best players.

Roger Federer explains the key question fans always ask him involving Novak Djokovic

Roger Federer has revealed the one question he continuously gets asked by supporters and it involves one of his long-term rivals Novak Djokovic. Federer is hoping to cement his place as the greatest tennis player of all time but there is one moment in his career which still haunts fans.
One of the most agonising defeats of the Swiss star’s career came in the 2019 Wimbledon final against Djokovic.

Federer spurred two Championship points as the match went to a fifth-set tiebreak.

World No 1 Djokovic dug in deep to win the blockbuster finale and claw back some of the deficit to Federer’s Grand Slam tally.

Federer has not won a major tournament since and fans remain curious about how he will bounce back.

“Fans talked to me about that defeat for weeks on the internet,” Federer told Numero Homme magazine. “And still today it happens to me.

“I think, ‘What are they still thinking about?’ But I understand.”

Federer has become an expert and not dwelling on defeats and he explains how he got over the dramatic loss.

“The most important thing is not to give them too much emotional importance,” he added.

“Don’t judge yourself at all costs. Analyse and understand. You can do this alone, or by talking with others to get them out of the disappointment.

“Some people think for days and nights about the mistakes they made. I chose to analyse very quickly. It helps me to move on.

“When I was young, I wasn’t even angry when I lost, but extremely sad. I couldn’t think straight.

“Now I only need half an hour to recover from a defeat, maybe an hour if it’s the Wimbledon final.”

Federer sat out of the majorty of last season because he underwent surgery on a knee injury.

The 39-year-old returned to action at the Qatar Open earlier this month where he lost to Nikoloz Basilashvili in the quarter-finals.

Federer has returned to Switzerland to continue his recovery ahead of the clay season.

Novak Djokovic divides opinion again after backing co-president of controversial new tennis players’ group over on-court meltdown

Tensions over Novak Djokovic’s new tennis players’ group have reopened after the world No1 publicly offered his backing to Vasek Pospisil, who appeared to call the head of the ATP a “f***ing a*****e” in an umpire row this week.

Canadian Pospisil, with whom Djokovic announced the creation of the controversial Professional Tennis Players Association (PTPA) in August, was at the center of a shocking on-court meltdown at the Miami Open this week, apparently fueled by an earlier meeting with Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) chairman Andrea Gaudenzi.

Chair umpire Arnaud Gabas challenged the world number 65 over his enraged outburst after watching him throw a huge wobbly that included smashing his racket and angrily recounting his exchange with Gaudenzi the previous day.

“An hour and a half yesterday, the chair of the ATP, f***ing screaming at me in a player meeting for trying to unite the players,” Pospisil ranted, evidently indicating that the row over the new association is not likely to dissipate anytime soon.

“For an hour and a half. The leader of the ATP, get him out here.”

When Gabas asked why the ATP chief should be summoned, Pospisil offered the reply “f***ing a*****e” – widely interpreted as a further reference to Gaudenzi.

Unsurprisingly, Djokovic supported his co-president. “Concerning matters at hand, I am not in Miami,” the Australian Open champion told his following of almost nine million on Twitter.

“However, Vasek Pospisil is my good friend and I empathize with him wholeheartedly.

“Players on tour would agree that he is an individual of the highest integrity who cares about the wellbeing of his fellow competitors. I am hopeful that players recognize the importance of standing together.”

Fellow modern greats Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal had hinted that they felt the inception of the new association was divisive, with the Spaniard speaking out against “separation” and the Swiss urging players to remain “united” in response to Djokovic and Pospisil’s proposals at the time.

While the Serbian superstar received a familiar deluge of love from his legion of admirers after his latest message, others were unconvinced that Pospisil should be supported.

“Didn’t care about his fellow competitor while he was throwing his hissy fit and ruining his opponent’s rhythm,” replied one.

Another argued: “There is a time and a place, Novak – and on the court and to an umpire is not that place.”

Talk of the PTPA has quietened since the two players directly behind Djokovic in the rankings appeared to at least temporarily shun the idea.

“Spoken like a true leader,” said one Djokovic admirer. “The biggest tragedy is that it never should have reached that level in the first place.

“The players are not employees of the ATP. They are in a mutually beneficial relationship so when the ATP chairman becomes toxic, it is time for them to step down.”

Another respondent also criticized Gaudenzi. “He has poisoned the well, no matter how the players interact with the ATP now or in the future,” they warned.
Also on rt.com ‘I disrespected the game’: Tennis ace Vasek Pospisil apologizes for on-court tantrum after calling umpire a ‘f***ing a**hole’
“When you burn that credibility and show your colors, you cannot recover. He has to go, no matter what history will show. The players need to demand action.”

Djokovic initially welcomed the appointment of Gaudenzi in 2019, although his patience with the supremo may have been tested by the one-time world number 18 comparing him to a child riding a bike while suggesting that his ill-fated Adria Tour last summer had “endangered many” within the context of the pandemic.

Gaudenzi and Djokovic met fora  two-and-a-half hour meeting the month after the PTPA plan was announced, with Djokovic praising their “open and transparent” relationship while claiming that the associations would work together.

Speaking earlier this month, Gaudenzi credited Djokovic with “redefining excellence” in tennis.
Also on rt.com ‘Where are the women?’ Tennis No. 1 Novak Djokovic SLAMMED for ‘TONE DEAF’ men-only union as Nadal and Federer SHUN idea

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Novak Djokovic's coach details key to surpassing Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal records

Novak Djokovic found it incredibly difficult to break down the seemingly immoveable barriers of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal when he first burst onto the scene. However, the Serbian has chipped away at his long-term rivals’ success and it is viable he could retire with the most glittering career that tennis has ever seen.
Federer and Nadal have set the pace over the past two decades, amassing 20 Grand Slam titles each.

Djokovic is six years younger than Federer and one year below Nadal , meaning he has time on his side.

The 33-year-old won his 18th Major at the Australian Open last month and he is expected to win more Grand Slams this year.

But first Djokovic had other ambitions in his bid to end the GOAT debate once and for all.

Djokovic is the only player to have won all nine Masters titles. He has also spent the longest time at the top of the world rankings.

The world No 1 surpassed Federer’s record when he spent his 311th week at the top of the standings earlier this month.

Helping Djokovic hit the lofty heights has been Marian Vajda’s job – and now the coach has spilled the beans on the secret to success.

Speaking of Djokovic, who is an ASICS shoe ambassador, Vajda said: “Initially, when I began working with Novak, he did not make it to No 1 as he wanted to get there too fast – I always emphasised that he had to work hard and to put in the quality of the practise to get there.

“He really did put through the sweat and patience for the sport, developing his game through pain and effort even when there was a time that he didn’t believe he could make it to No 1 for those five years between 2006 and 2011.

“I always believed in building up slowly to improve his game until Novak himself believed he could get to the level required, like in 2011 where he broke through and performed such an incredible season.

“After he became No 1 in Wimbledon and his life changed, I was worried that would be it as he’d reached his dream, but now he is dominating the game and is beating the likes of Federer and Nadal, which was impossible before.

“He is physically stronger, altered his diet and changed his attitude to the practices.

“If his health remains stable, I know he can break more records, he is very motivated.”

Fellow coach Goran Ivanisevic added: “With Novak, every day is to improve he pushes to be better and when I see the amazing results, it makes me a better coach.

“However, it’s not easy, there are a lot of ups and downs with a lot of pressure because a final is not good enough. Novak only strives for records and to win so it’s a lot of pressure, but without pressure, life is boring!

“Novak looks to us to provide insight to his questions and we need to be able to answer them.”

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‘I am humbled’: Wild parties, light show & fireworks as tennis icon Novak Djokovic hails new record on streets of Belgrade (VIDEO)

Serbian icon Novak Djokovic has raucously celebrated his new all-time record for the most weeks as world No1 in men’s tennis, joining a huge street party staged by his devoted fans in Belgrade.

The 33-year-old, who won his 18th Grand Slam last month, has topped the ATP rankings for a record-breaking 311 weeks, beating Roger Federer’s achievement of 310.

Djokovic’s latest stint as the highest-ranked men’s player began in February 2020, when he reclaimed the No.1 spot from his principal rival, Rafael Nadal of Spain.

The player’s remarkable achievement didn’t go unnoticed by his fans, who took to the streets of Belgrade to stage an impromptu party in honor of their idol. Djokovic and his family joined the crowd, watching fireworks in front of the restaurant they own in Belgrade.

The all-time great was spotted singing along with fans outside the restaurant in recognition of his historic feat.

Hundreds of fans chanted, “Nolo! Nolo!” and waved Serbian flags, while a stunning light show displaying the best moments from Djokovic’s career was projected onto Belgrade’s town hall.

After sharing the moment with fans, Djokovic celebrated the new record over dinner with his family and close friends.

Speaking of his pride the following day, Djokovic reflected: “As a kid, I would dream of lifting trophies and being best in the world. The hope was so powerful that it manifested itself against all the odds – finances, injuries, doubts, competing in the era of the biggest champions the sport has ever seen.

“I’m humbled to walk the path of our tennis legends and giants. To know I’ve earned my place among them gives me chills. It’s proof that anything is possible if your heart is in it and you’re championed by a team that never loses faith in you.

“I’m grateful for receiving each and every supportive message yesterday, which still proves to me that sport isn’t just records and trophies. The adversities we face, our highs and lows, the intensity with which we go for crazy, big dreams – all of it connects us deeper to each other.

“We are all together in this game. I’m celebrating this moment and so happy knowing that not only have I reached a huge milestone doing what I love to do, but that I also have many more years ahead of me playing my favorite sport in the world.”

Meanwhile, Spanish veteran Guillermo Garcia Lopez has recalled how his rival made him shed tears in his early days on the way to becoming a player who he describes as near-flawless.

Speaking about encountering the young Djokovic in the second round of Wimbledon in 2005, Garcia Lopez told The Times Hub: “When I came back, I was 6-5 and 40-0 – but he turned that game around and then [came] back. It was one of the few times that I have cried when leaving a court.
Also on rt.com Novak on top: Djokovic hailed as he surpasses Roger Federer’s record for most weeks spent as world number one
“Novak is a phenomenon and a good person. He shows pain more than others, and that sometimes feels bad.

“I remember playing against him in Estoril and, when the game was very even, he stopped for 10 or 15 minutes because he said he couldn’t see well. He was gone for ages.

“People do not quite understand how someone is able to recover when a moment ago he was not able to walk or his shoulder fell. I think he has a higher [pain] threshold than the others.

“I fully understand that…he likes to show his problems. He’s warm-blooded, Balkan, he gets nervous.”
Also on rt.com Novak Djokovic closes in on eclipsing Serena Williams run as Serbian tennis ace admits ‘relief’ at equaling mammoth Federer record
Unsurprisingly, Garcia Lopez rates his countryman Nadal, Djokovic and fellow great Roger Federer as “different souls” in the sport.

“He is a misunderstood idol,” the former US Open finalist said of Djokovic. “Who should set an example? He must do what he believes and feels. Nobody should act like a robot.

“Perhaps he has little filter when it comes to speaking and he says what comes to mind – maybe not like you would say to a friend.

“But if he wants to say something, he says it and that sometimes takes its toll on [your reputation]. In any case, no one can argue that he is one of the best in history.”
Also on rt.com ‘He was sent by god’: Novak Djokovic’s dad accuses media of ignoring Serbian superstar and says he is ‘loved by all normal people’

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Novak on top: Djokovic hailed as he surpasses Roger Federer's record for most weeks spent as world number one

Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic has carved out a unique piece of tennis history after he finally beat Roger Federer’s record for the most weeks spent at the summit of the men’s rankings.

On Monday Djokovic marked a total of 311 weeks spent atop the ATP rankings, one more than the long-standing record held by Swiss great Federer. He has enjoyed five different spells as the world’s top-ranked men’s player, most recently seizing the honor from Rafael Nadal just under 13 months ago.
Also on rt.com Yet again, Novak Djokovic rises above the slings and arrows to prove his class on court
The 33-year-old made his first appearance as the world number one back in 2011 and boasts an incredible 18 Grand Slam wins in a career which stands out as one of the finest in the sport’s long history.

It really excites me to walk the path of legends and giants of this sport,” Djokovic said in a statement released by the ATP Tour.

To know that I have earned my place among them by following my childhood dream is a beautiful confirmation that when you do things out of love and passion, everything is possible.

Djokovic opted for a more measured reaction to the start of his reign as the holder of the rankings record, simply writing on Twitter Monday morning that it was a “big day today“.

The ATP Tour, meanwhile, noted Djokovic’s feat as being “nothing short of extraordinary“. 

Novak’s many achievements in tennis are nothing short of extraordinary,” ATP chairman Andrea Gaudenzi announced. “Among them this record may stand as his single most impressive. 

Reaching No. 1 is something many players dream of and very few ever accomplish, and to have held the top spot for longer than anyone is testament to the levels of sustained excellence that Novak has redefined in our sport.

Speaking after winning the recent Australian Open, Djokovic said that he was now concentrating on bettering the all-time Grand Slam record dually held by Federer and Nadal (20), though the Serb also has a pack of rising stars attempting to keep pace behind him.

Elsewhere, Russia’s Andrey Rublev, 23, has been in imperious form lately and added another tournament win to his impressive resume this past weekend in Rotterdam when he won the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament. The win for the world number eight means he has now won 20 straight matches at ATP500 events, while also claiming seven successive ATP Tour championship victories.

And while Rublev doesn’t yet have a Grand Slam win to his name, tennis insiders are forecasting that the dynamic Russian’s name could once be etched onto some of the major titles claimed by the irrepressible Djokovic. 

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Roger Federer wades into GOAT debate vs 'extraordinary' Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic

Roger Federer believes he is the “measuring stick” for Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic as he reflected the ‘Greatest of All Time’ (GOAT) debate in men’s tennis. The trio have won a combined 58 Grand Slams since Federer won his first at Wimbledon back in 2003.
Since the Swiss icon last played on the ATP Tour in the 2020 Australian Open, long-time rival Nadal has matched him on 20 Slams while Djokovic has won another two majors.

Djokovic emerged later than the pair, a year younger than Nadal and six years Federer’s junior, but has racked up 18 Grand Slams since his first in Australia in 2008.

He won his ninth Australian Open last month to move within two of Federer and Nadal and will hope to further narrow the gap later this year at Wimbledon and the US Open, with the Spaniard the overwhelming favourite to win an astonishing 14th French Open.

Victory at Roland Garros in June would see the ‘King of Clay’ become the first male player of all time to reach 21 Slams but world No 1 Djokovic is going as strong as ever.

The Serbian on Monday surpassed 103-time tour-level champion Federer for the most weeks spent ranked No 1 in the world having now enjoyed 311 weeks atop the rankings.

And Federer said his ‘Big Three’ counterparts have enjoyed some “extraordinary” achievements in recent years, insisting he has perhaps acted as the one for his younger rivals to aspire to beat

“I think it’s a great debate to have,” Federer who returns to the court at the Qatar Open in Doha this week having enjoyed almost the entire 2020 season out after two knee surgeries.

“What Novak and Rafa have done lately is extraordinary, they’re not 25 years old either, but they seem at the peak.

“For them I am maybe the measuring stick, like Pete [Sampras] was for me.”

Having defeated Daniil Medvedev in the Australian Open final, Djokovic insists he, Nadal and Federer are not ready to give up their status as the best in the game just yet.

“I have tremendous respect for anybody that is in the tennis shoes and competing at this level,” the 33-year-old said.
Kyrgios beat Federer in their first meeting in Madrid in 2015 but has lost the six matches against him since.

And he said: “In my opinion, I believe Roger is the greatest of all time. With his skill set, the way he plays the game, I think it’s pure.

“I actually think talent-wise Nadal and Djokovic aren’t even close to Roger. Talent-wise, just purely based on talent the way Federer plays, his hands, his serving, his volleys, untouchable.

“Roger’s chopped me a couple of times.  Roger makes you feel like you’re really bad at tennis sometimes.  

“He walks around, he flicks his head, and I’m, like, ‘I don’t even know what I’m doing out here.’ Roger is the greatest, for me.”

Roger Federer sends Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal warning – 'The story is not over yet'

Roger Federer is confident his story in tennis is “not over yet” in a pointed message to long-time rivals Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. Federer returns to the court for the first time in 14 months at the Qatar Open in Doha, taking on the winner of Jeremy Chardy vs Dan Evans in the second round.
Federer has not played since the 2020 Australian Open semi-finals when he lost in straight sets to Djokovic on the Rod Laver Arena, having since undergone two knee surgeries.

During his time off the Swiss icon has watched Nadal join him on 20 Grand Slams while Djokovic’s third straight triumph in Melbourne moves him on to 18.

Both are expected to surpass Federer’s tally but the 39-year-old is plotting more major success, having not added to his haul since winning in Australia three years ago.

Federer came devastatingly close to a 21st Slam at Wimbledon, where he is a record eight-time winner, in 2019 but wasted two championship points against Djokovic to lose a five-hour thriller.

And it is SW19 where Federer wants to be back at his best this year as he slowly looks to improve his condition to be at 100 per cent for his favoured grass-court tournament.

“At this moment I feel like it’s about: Let’s see how matches go. Let’s how see training goes with all the top guys and professional players, not just sparring partners,” Federer said ahead of his return in Doha.

“I was playing a lot of two-on-ones the last few months and so forth. I know I need to go back to training after here again.

“From this standpoint, it’s still building up to being stronger, better, fitter, faster, all that stuff. So, I hope by Wimbledon I will be 100 per cent and from then on the season really starts for me.

“Everything until then, let’s see how it goes. I might surprise myself, which I have actually already done in practice the last three weeks.

“I was surprised how well it did go. Like we know matches are a different animal. Right now, I take it day-by-day, happy I am back on the Tour again, and see how things go.

“For me, everything starts hopefully with the grass, yeah.

“I just feel like the story’s not over yet. I don’t know how to explain. It’s not like for one particular reason why I wanted to keep on playing tennis other than I enjoy playing tennis, I enjoy being on the road.
“That will all be checked and tested this year with bubble life, quarantine all around. The whole mask situation. Travel is difficult. Rehabbing and all that stuff is not complete yet, you know?

“So I’m still a work in progress. Probably one of the reasons is that I would like to get the high again of playing against the best players, playing the biggest tournaments.

“Winning them, hopefully, and winning the best tournaments. Hopefully I will play long enough to see full crowds again.

“That will be a nice thing as well and we all hope for that. But for me it was just more like the knee was not good anymore, I’m not happy with it and it needs to be fixed.”

Asked about his second keyhole operation on his right knee, Federer explained: “It came about just like that.

“I would go for a walk with the kids and my knee would swell up, which surprised me because training had gone well for the first few weeks. This is a moment when you question yourself a little bit more.”

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Speaking after landing in Doha, 103-time tour-level champion Federer – who is six titles off matching Jimmy Connors’ all-time record – spoke of his excitement about getting back on to the court.

“It’s been a year since my last travel to any event and I’m very excited,” the Qatar Open second seed, who could face Dominic Thiem or defending champion Andrey Rublev in the final, said.

“This is the moment where I could maybe thank all the people involved who made this possible. It’s been a long and hard road.

“I know I’m not at the finish line yet, but it’s good. I feel like I’m in a good place, I’ve been practising very well.

“Hope you guys also are going to tune in to watch it and I hope I see you again very soon. Take care everybody.”

Rafael Nadal injury: Daniil Medvedev has Rotterdam Open shot to end Novak Djokovic duopoly

Rafael Nadal’s withdrawal from the Rotterdam Open gifts Daniil Medvedev a chance to overtake him in the ATP rankings and break up the long-standing duopoly of Novak Djokovic and Nadal. The Spaniard is currently hampered by a back injury that affected him at this month’s Australian Open and will not play in next month’s tournament.
At the Australian Open, Nadal lost to Stefanos Tsitsipas in the quarter-finals, the Greek then going down to Medvedev in the semis.

Djokovic however dispatched of the Russian in straights sets in the final to claim his ninth Melbourne title in far more routine fashion than was expected at the Rod Laver Arena.

The Serbian kept his full 2,000 points as a result of defending his title and is 2,180 clear of Nadal in the ATP rankings.

Now an 18-time Grand Slam winner, Djokovic ended 2020 as No 1, topping the standings at the end of a calendar year for the sixth time in his career, with Nadal coming second.

That was the third straight year in which the pair have made up the top two of the rankings, with Nadal now on 20 Slams alongside long-time rival Roger Federer.

The ‘King of Clay’ will be expected to surpass the Swiss at the French Open later this year where he is a 13-time winner having reigned supreme in all of the last four successive years.

But before then, the world No 2 could drop down to No 3 – if Medvedev gets to the final of the Rotterdam Open which takes place March 1-7.

Nadal confirmed on Thursday: “It is with great sadness that I have to forfeit from Rotterdam. As most of the fans know, I suffered some back problems in Australia that started in Adelaide and continued during Melbourne.

“We found a temporary solution that allowed me to play without pain in the second week of the tournament.

“Once I got back to Spain I visited my doctor and together with my team they’ve advised not to play this upcoming week.

“I was really looking forward to coming back to Rotterdam and the Netherlands since it’s been a while I played there this was the perfect year for my calendar.
The 25-year-old, a nine-time titlist, won the ATP Finals last year and is looking to continue his ascent, and overtaking Nadal for another new career best ranking would certainly be a significant milestone.

Moving to No 2 would see Medvedev become the first player since Lleyton Hewitt 16 years ago to rank in the top two, outside of the quartet of Djokovic, Nadal, Federer and Andy Murray.

Djokovic is unlikely to be caught at the top of the rankings any time soon though and he will overtake Federer for the most weeks as No 1 on March 8.

The field in Holland for the Rotterdam Open elsewhere includes world No 6 Tsitsipas, seventh-ranked Alexander Zverev and Andrey Rublev the world No 8.

British three-time Grand Slam champion Murray is a wildcard entrant but in addition to Nadal, the likes of Milos Raonic, Dan Evans, Gael Monfils, Matteo Berrettini, Denis Shapovalov and Pablo Carreno Busta have also pulled out.

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