Posts Tagged ‘Novak Djokovic’

Aces and Faults: Stanislas Wawrinka checks off another career first

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Stanislas Wawrinka

Stanislas Wawrinka solidified his No. 3 ranking with a title in Monte Carlo. (Mitchell Gunn/Getty Images)

Aces and Faults recaps the week in tennis. Last week, Stanislas Wawrinka won his first ATP Masters 1000 title, a teenager won a WTA title and the Czech Republic and Germany advanced to the Fed Cup final.

Winners

Stanislas Wawrinka: A year ago, Wawrinka was ranked 17th with three career titles, all won at ATP 250 tournaments. Now, the 29-year-old Swiss is ranked No. 3, and has a Grand Slam title (Australian Open) and his first ATP Masters 1000 title after defeating Roger Federer 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-2 on Sunday in the final of the Monte Carlo Masters; he leads the tour with three titles this season. Wawrinka entered 2014 having lost 14 consecutive matches to Novak Djokovic, 12 straight to Rafael Nadal and 11 in a row to Federer. He’s snapped all three of those streaks on his way to a 6-0 record against top-10 players, results that have helped elevate Wawrinka to the No. 1 spot in the Race to London.

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  • Published On Apr 21, 2014
  • Photos: Best of the Monte Carlo semifinals and finals

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    Stanislas Wawrinka won the first all-Swiss final since 2000. (Julian Finney/Getty Images)

    It was an eventful week at the Monte Carlo Masters, where Stanislas Wawrinka became just the second man outside the ATP’s Big Four to win one of the last 30 Masters 1000 events.

    Wawrinka’s come-from-behind 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-2 win over Roger Federer in the final makes him 6-0 against top 10 players this year and moves him to No. 1 in the Race to the London, a ranking based solely on points earned this year. His first Masters title was his tour-leading third title of the season., which isn’t bad for a guy who hadn’t won anything bigger than an ATP 250 a year ago.

    In short: Stan really is The Man.

    See some of our favorite photos from the final weekend below: Read More…


  • Published On Apr 20, 2014
  • Roger Federer knocks out defending champ Novak Djokovic in Monte Carlo

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    Roger Federer improved to 18-16 against Novak Djokovic. (Julian Finney/Getty Images)

    No. 4 Roger Federer ousted defending champion Novak Djokovic 7-5, 6-2 on Saturday to advance to his first final at the Monte Carlo Masters since 2008.

    Federer, who accepted a last-minute wild card into the first clay-court ATP Masters 1000 tournament of the season, took control after saving two set points at 4-5 in the first set. He broke in the next game before serving out the set. Backed by a solid serve and sustained aggression, he ran away with the second set, ultimately needing just 74 minutes to reach his fourth final of the season and improve to 2-1 against the second-ranked Djokovic this year.

    “I’m very happy with the way I played,” Federer said. “I tried to stay aggressive, like I have all week.”

    Federer will play his Davis Cup teammate and world No. 3 Stanislas Wawrinka, who defeated David Ferrer 6-1, 7-6 (3), in Sunday’s final. It’s the first all-Swiss ATP final since 2000, when Marc Rosset beat Federer in Marseille. If Federer wins, he would move up to No. 3 in Monday’s rankings and replace Wawrinka as the No. 1 Swiss.

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  • Published On Apr 19, 2014
  • Roundtable Part II: Analyzing ATP and WTA storylines from the season so far

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    (Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

    Serena Williams won her seventh title at the Sony Open in Miami this year. (Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

    With the first three-plus months of the 2014 tennis season behind us, Ricky Dimon of The GrandstandLindsay Gibbs of The ChangeoverErik Gudris of Tennis Now and Ben Rothenberg of The New York Times joined Courtney Nguyen for a roundtable to reflect on what’s happened so far, and look ahead to what’s to come. The roundtable took place on Wednesday, April 16 before Rafael Nadal’s loss to David Ferrer in the Monte Carlo quarterfinals, but edits have been made where necessary.

    Click here to read part one of the roundtable, and be sure to check out our winners and losers of the season so far for the ATP and the WTA.

    WTA: What to make of it?

    Nguyen: Am I wrong, or is the first part of the WTA season much more difficult to explain than the ATP’s?

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  • Published On Apr 18, 2014
  • Daily Bagel: Roger Federer caught off guard by his missed backhand

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    The Daily Bagel is your dose of the interesting reporting, writing and quipping from around the Internet.

    • Video: Roger Federer is just as shocked at his backhand shanks as we are.

    • Here’s how Steve Tignor saw David Ferrer’s upset of Rafael Nadal at the Monte Carlo Masters on Friday.

    Rafa was uncharacteristically subdued throughout, and he saved his worst, least confident tennis for the most crucial 10 minutes of the match, the first-set tiebreaker. Hanging his head and playing tentatively, he virtually conceded the breaker after falling behind early. At 1-4, Nadal had a chance to take a rip at his favorite shot, an inside-out forehand, from on top of the baseline. Instead, he tried to thread a risky drop shot; too risky, it turned out, as the ball caught the tape and fell back. The shot selection, the execution, the demeanor: None of it was what we’ve come to expect from Rafa at these stages.

    What we usually expect from a match between these two is an elemental battle of wills. Ferrer grinds, until you think no one could possibly have the mental endurance to stay with him—nobody except Nadal, that is. Rafa’s superior shotmaking always gives him the last word. Today, though, Nadal didn’t have those shots; he finished with 24 winners and 44 unforced errors, his backhand was short and often shanked, and at the moment in the first set when he appeared ready to come up with something special, he came up with something pedestrian instead.

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  • Published On Apr 18, 2014
  • Roundtable Part I: Analyzing ATP and WTA storylines from the season so far

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    Stanislas Wawrinka surprised everyone by beating Rafael Nadal in the final of the 2014 Australian Open. (David Callow/SI)

    Stanislas Wawrinka surprised everyone by beating Rafael Nadal in the final of the 2014 Australian Open. (David Callow/SI)

    With the first three-plus months of the 2014 tennis season behind us, I’ve asked Ricky Dimon of The Grandstand, Lindsay Gibbs of The Changeover, Erik Gudris of Tennis Now and Ben Rothenberg of The New York Times to reflect on what’s happened so far, and look ahead to what’s to come. 

    This roundtable has two parts — click here to read the second part. Be sure to check out our winners and losers of the season so far for the ATP and the WTA.

    What has been the most significant development, result or storyline so far?

    Erik Gudris: It’s been a busy first quarter that gave us Stanislas Wawrinka’s first ever major title, Novak Djokovic bouncing back to win the Indian Wells/Miami double, Serena Williams winning Miami though giving us a few unexpected losses and the recent surge of some young WTA players all with bright prospects moving ahead.

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  • Published On Apr 17, 2014
  • Daily Bagel: Rafael Nadal wins his 300th match on clay

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    The Daily Bagel is your dose of the interesting reporting, writing and quipping from around the Internet.

    • Video: In honor of Rafael Nadal’s 300th clay win, here is a song dedicated to him called “Vamos Rafa.”

    • Behind the numbers: Rafael Nadal got his 300th win on clay today.

    • Nick Bollitieri tells The Telegraph that winning Wimbledon with Andre Agassi was his greatest tennis memory.

    “He called me about four days before the tournament and said: ‘Let’s go to Boca Raton to practise’. He had a girlfriend there, Wendi. We played golf, hit with [Robert] Seguso for 30 minutes.

    “Then we got to England and he gave a clinic. They said ‘Andre, where you been?’ He said ‘I been practising for two weeks.’ We hadn’t hit one ball on grass, but he went on to win the title.

    “He had the ladies from England trying to buy those short shorts for Chrissakes. He turned the crowd on, he really did. He had a way, man. He had ‘em jumping, man. When he retired at the US Open, the concession stands stopped to hear his speech. Everybody stopped. Not many people can do that.”

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  • Published On Apr 17, 2014
  • Daily Bagel: Dominika Cibulkova chooses Malaysian Open over Fed Cup

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    The Daily Bagel is your dose of the interesting reporting, writing and quipping from around the Internet.

    • Video: Tommy Robredo’s 31-year old legs can still motor through the dirt.

    • While her Slovakian teammates are playing in the Fed Cup this week in Quebec, Dominika Cibulkova chose to fly all the way to Kuala Lumpur. She was also pleased that after finally breaking into the top 10, she didn’t have to answer questions about her inability to do so.

    “Finally, I am in the top 10 and don’t have to answer questions about it.

    “Of course, I want to go further as I am playing good tennis. I am ready to do better,” said Dominika.

    “I will take it one match at a time but of course, I am going to do 100 per cent here,” said Dominika, who turned professional in 2004.

    Dominika said she is still jet-lagged but hopes to overcome it before her first round match.

    “So far, it has been terrible as I travelled from the US, so it was not easy waking up in the morning today.

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  • Published On Apr 15, 2014
  • Photos: ATP’s elite prepare for Monte Carlo Masters

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    Rafael Nadal is trying to win the Monte Carlo Masters for the ninth time in his career. (Julian Finney/Getty Images)

    The third ATP Masters 1000 tournament is already underway at the Monte Carlo Masters — blink and you already missed Ernests Gulbis’ first round loss to Alexandr Dolgopolov on Sunday.

    The top names won’t take the court until Tuesday afternoon when Novak Djokovic kicks off his title defense against No. 57 Albert Montanes, while Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer won’t begin their tournaments until Wednesday.

    That just means there’s more time for practice before the first big clay tournament of the season. See how the ATP’s top guys are preparing.

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  • Published On Apr 14, 2014
  • Best matches, best Tweeter, biggest bummer: Early-season offbeat awards

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    Stanislas Wawrinka and Novak Djokovic pushed each other to the limit in their five-set quarterfinal match at the Australian Open. (Getty Images)

    Stanislas Wawrinka and Novak Djokovic pushed each other to the limit in their five-set quarterfinal match at the Australian Open. (Getty Images)

    Before the clay-court season heats up, Beyond The Baseline is taking stock of the year in tennis so far. We’ve already covered the winners and losers for the ATP and WTA. Here’s a look at more highlights and lowlights from the first three months of the season.

    Best ATP match: Stanislas Wawrinka d. Novak Djokovic, 2-6, 6-4, 6-2, 3-6, 9-7 in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open

    Once again at the Australian Open, these two played an unforgettable five-set match, and this year, Wawrinka earned his revenge. Will these guys end up playing the match of the year at the Australian Open for the second season in a row?

    Read More…


  • Published On Apr 11, 2014


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