Tag

tennis

Browsing

Iga Swiatek creates history at Roland Garros!

It has been just a while since the tennis star raised her hand in excitement after securing a massive straight-set win over Jasmine Paolini. While she’s headed on the right track to chase the legendary legacy of former pros like Serena Williams and Chris Evert, she managed to etch her name forward with a record that even the biggest names couldn’t hit.

Iga Swiatek’s attempt to defend her Roland Garros title turned out to be successful. While the history books already have names of those who have secured bigger digits, the fact that she hit this feat at just the age of 23 carves her name with golden alphabets. An active social media page recently shared a post to regard her massive feat.

READ: Successful operation puts Novak Djokovic on track for Olympics

“Iga Swiatek is the only woman EVER to win Roland Garros four times before turning 24,” the update said, making it clear that she achieved it even before Serena and Chris Evert. Along with that, the post also stated a fact that drew her name parallel to that of ATP clay court legends Rafael Nadal and Boris Becker.

“On the men’s side, only Rafael Nadal and Bjorn Borg have done this,” the caption included. Iga Swiatek’s early success has brought feats that no other WTA star could achieve. While she currently stands on a massive win streak of 21 matches, including titles in Madrid, Rome, and now at Roland Garros, it is evident that her path to success barely has any hurdles to slow her down.

Iga Swiatek has proved to be unstoppable lately. The Pole started the clay court season with the event in Madrid and therefore didn’t lose even a single match so far. Along with that, she also etched her fourth Roland Garros title at just the age of 23, making everyone bow down to her determination. While Chris Evert was exposed to queries about her thoughts on the Pole’s form, she agreed to the fact that it scares her.

“I think about it every day! When I put my head on the pillow I’m worried about Iga,” Evert said. While this was just a cheeky statement, the former pro also made a legendary prediction for Swiatek. “I think Iga Świątek will end up on double digits,” she added, along with accepting the fact that the Pole would easily surpass her number.

The whole tennis world is currently regarding the massive win of Iga Swiatek. As she now has four French Open titles along with a US Open win, her portfolio continues to be even stronger!

Novak Djokovic’s operation went well, according to the man himself, and despite there being no return date, there is an array of optimism that he will be fit enough to participate at the upcoming Olympics this summer.

The 2024 Paris Games get officially underway in just over a month, starting from 26 July until 11 August, and tennis lovers will certainly be hopeful of getting a glimpse of the 24-time Grand Slam winner in the French capital.

Djokovic underwent surgery on his right knee on Wednesday, an injury that ultimately ended his Roland Garros outing. Though there is no time frame for when he could step foot on court, there is certainly a glimmer of hope that he will be back to make another appearance on French soil in the showpiece event.

Novak Djokovic says his knee surgery went well and he wants to return to  action as soon as possible | Yourbasin

READ: Alcaraz v Sinner ‘the match everybody wants to watch’

The Serbian star was forced to withdraw from the French Open after winning his five-set match against Francisco Cerundolo, therefore being unable to take on Casper Ruud in the quarter-finals. It means for the first time since 2004, the men’s final in Paris will not feature Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, or Roger Federer.

Djokovic will lose his position as the world number one in the rankings. He will be surpassed by the Italian player and widely-popular fan favourite, Jannik Sinner, who will ascend to the top spot next week. “In the past day, I had to make some tough decisions after sustaining a meniscus tear during my last match,” Djokovic said on X.

“I’m still processing it all, but I am happy to update you that the surgery went well. I am so appreciative of the team of doctors who have been by my side as well as the overwhelming support I have received from my fans.”

The 37-year-old didn’t address his availability for Wimbledon, commencing on 1 July. However, he expressed his determination to strive for a swift return to court by prioritising his health and fitness. “My love for this sport is strong, and the desire to compete at the highest level is what keeps me going,” he added.

“My love for this sport is strong, and the desire to compete at the highest level is what keeps me going.” Djokovic’s main priority is ensuring he is ready to go to the Olympics, as he eyes an elusive gold. “The Paris Olympics are very important; the Olympics have always been a priority for me,” he said in April.

“It’s all about building my game for clay courts. I want to reach my peak for Paris – that’s where I want to play my best tennis. Anything else is a bonus, so let’s see what happens.”

Scheduled to take place from 27 July to 4 August at the Stade Roland Garros, the tennis will host 172 players competing across five medal events: singles and doubles for both men and women, as well as mixed doubles.

Carlos Alcaraz has labelled his French Open semi-final against Jannik Sinner as the match “everybody wants to watch”.

The pair are the highest-ranked players remaining in the men’s singles draw following Novak Djokovic’s withdrawal.

Italy’s Sinner, who will become the new world number one on Monday, is on a 12-match winning streak at Grand Slams this year after winning his first major at January’s Australian Open.

Rivalries: Jannik Sinner vs. Carlos Alcaraz | ATP Tour | Tennis

READ: ‘All Pressure’s On Her’: Gauff Going Into Swiatek Clash With Confidence

“I love these kind of matches. I love this kind of challenge, to have a really difficult battle against him,” said Spain’s Alcaraz.

He and Sinner will face off on Court Philippe Chatrier – not before 13:30 BST – before Alexander Zverev takes on Casper Ruud in the second semi-final.

Regardless of Thursday’s results, there will be a new French Open champion lifting the Coupe des Mousquetaires on Sunday.

In fact, it will be the first time since 2004 that one of the ‘Big Three’ – Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal or Djokovic – will not feature in the Roland Garros final.

Wimbledon winner Alcaraz and Australian Open champion Sinner have proved themselves as potential successors to the ‘Big Three’ following their Grand Slam victories in the past 12 months.

Both players struggled with injury issues in the build-up to the French Open, but they have cruised into the last four, dropping just one set each.

Third seed Alcaraz – who also won the US Open title in 2022 – was triumphant in the pair’s last encounter, with victory at Indian Wells moving him level at 4-4 in his head-to-head record with Sinner.

However, Sinner holds just one clay-court ATP Tour title compared to Alcaraz’s seven, and the Spaniard has long been destined for French Open glory.

Despite this, Alcaraz, 21, says it will be the “hardest thing” to face Sinner.

“Everything he does, he does it perfectly,” Alcaraz said of his 22-year-old opponent.

“He probably is one of the most difficult challenges that we can face in tennis right now. I think he’s the best player in the world.”

Coco Gauff is returning to her Cincinnati Open approach ahead of her match against Iga Swiatek at the 2024 Roland Garros, because that’s the only place where she bested the Polish player.

The two players have faced each other 11 times in WTA Tour-level matches so far, with the Polish player winning 10 of those. The tenth win came not too long ago in Rome, and it was just one of many lopsided wins for Swiatek.

Gauff has a Swiatek problem, and solving it will be very tough, considering how well the Polish player has played so far this year. The American has also been pretty solid, but given how things have gone in the past, she will be entering their semi-final match as an underdog.

Coco Gauff faces Iga Swiatek in French Open semifinals in Paris

READ: Coco Gauff’s Trailblazing 3-Year-Old Speech Turns ESPN Tennis Analyst Emotional

Speaking ahead of the match, Gauff admitted that she would approach it the same way she approached their match in Cincinnati, and that does not ignore what happened in the past.

“I’m just going in it with confidence. When I played her in Cincinnati, I didn’t go into the match thinking, ‘Oh I’ve never beaten her before, never taken a set off of her’.”

The approach has some merit because, given how the world no. 1 has played, it will be difficult to consider Gauff a favorite. Swiatek has been so dominant that backing anything but her winning the tournament makes no sense, and that’s why all the pressure will be on her.

She’s also the defending champion, which adds more pressure as well, and Gauff isn’t really bothered by the fact that the top seed managed to beat Anastasia Potapova 6-0, 6-0, or the fact that she outplayed reigning Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova 6-0, 6-2.

“I can’t think about past players, you know, Potapova isn’t me, I’m not Vondrousova, maybe I could lose with the same score, maybe not. I’m just gonna go in and just try to win. I’ve nothing to lose, all the pressure’s on her.”

Novak Djokovic has aired concerns about his form heading into the French Open this weekend. The 37-year-old suffered a shock defeat at the hands of Tomas Machac at the Geneva Open on Friday, with a ‘horrible’ feeling leading him to consult medical attention after the first set.

Djokovic’s early 4-1 advantage was obliterated by the world No 44 in Switzerland as he won five games on the trot to take a one-set lead in the semi-final.

READ MORE:Tennis legend praises Novak Djokovic’s ‘remarkable achievement’ after latest world No 1 record

The Serb was seen by a doctor on court and responded by winning the second set 6-0.

Novak Djokovic : cet objet brandi par son père qui fait scandale en plein  Open d'Australie - Closer

Novak Djokovic has aired concerns about his form heading into the French Open this weekend. The 37-year-old suffered a shock defeat at the hands of Tomas Machac at the Geneva Open on Friday, with a ‘horrible’ feeling leading him to consult medical attention after the first set.

Djokovic’s early 4-1 advantage was obliterated by the world No 44 in Switzerland as he won five games on the trot to take a one-set lead in the semi-final. The Serb was seen by a doctor on court and responded by winning the second set 6-0.

RELATED:Goran Ivanisevic makes Novak Djokovic motivation confession as he discusses Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz challenge

After the match, with his French Open first-round match against Pierre-Hugues Herbert just around the corner, Djokovic admitted that poor recent form is weighing on his mind heading into Roland Garros.

On the match itself, and what prompted him to seek medical attention on court, Djokovic added: “I didn’t have a great night, and today it was difficult.

“I had horrible sensations during the first set of the match. I don’t want to take any credit away from Tomas, who deserved his victory, but I don’t know what to think of this match. I prefer to forget it.”

Why Djokovic hasn't won US Open in five years - Tennis Majors

Djokovic was desperate for a positive outcome in Geneva, having failed to reach the final of a tournament this calendar year. His Italian Open bid was ended by Alejandro Tabilo earlier this month, and Casper Ruud dumped him out of the Monte-Carlo Masters before that.

UPDATE:$6,000,000 PRIZE MONEY CONFIRMED FOR 6 KINGS SLAM WINNER OF NOVAK DJOKOVIC AND RAFAEL NADAL LED EVENT

favourable draw on paper – against French wildcard Herbert – gives Djokovic a good chance of rebuilding some momentum early on in Paris. But bookmakers now make Carlos Alcaraz favourite for the French Open, ahead of the 24-time Grand Slam champion.

World No 1 Djokovic notched straight-sets wins over Yannick Hanfmann and Tallon Griekspoor in Geneva before coming up short against Machac.

 

Tennis legend Paul McNamee has hailed Novak Djokovic’s latest “remarkable achievement,” with the Serbian set to extend his reign as the oldest No 1 in ATP history.

Having recently overtaken Roger Federer as the oldest player to ever be world No 1 – across either the men’s or women’s games – recent results mean his time at the top will continue.

READ MORE:Goran Ivanisevic makes Novak Djokovic motivation confession as he discusses Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz challenge

Jannik Sinner’s withdrawal from his Madrid Open quarter-final means it is now all but impossible that he can replace the Serbian at the top spot before the French Open later this month.

Djokovic bate Mannarino sem sustos e se classifica às quartas de final do Australian Open | tênis | ge

While Carlos Alcaraz’s loss in the last eight of his home Masters 1000 event means that he has lost even further ground, with the world No 3 set to be over 2,500 points behind Djokovic when the rankings update next week.

All that means Djokovic will be No 1 on May 22nd – when the 24-time Grand Slam champion celebrates his 37th birthday, just before his Roland Garros title defence.

Federer was aged 36 when he was last world No 1 in 2018, while Serena Williams was the oldest WTA No 1 in WTA history, aged 35 in 2017.

A long-time supporter of Djokovic, Australian McNamee – a five-time doubles major winner and former No 1 in that discipline – took to social media to congratulate the Serbian.

RELATED:Rafael Nadal hints Novak Djokovic has had it easy against new generation

He said: “After all Novak Djokovic has been through, including in my country, which would have broken many athletes, let’s give credit where credit is due… being #1 turning 37 years of age is a remarkable achievement.”

Recent results mean that Djokovic is not only going to be the first 37-year-old to be world No 1 but will also extend his reign as the longest-reigning No 1 in ATP history.

He currently has spent 423 weeks at the top of the ATP rankings, first holding the top spot in July 2011, and having spent the last 34 weeks as No 1 after regaining the ranking following his US Open victory last September.

Open d'Australie : bousculé par le 178e mondial, Djokovic, « un peu malade », évite le naufrage - Le Parisien

Though there will be rankings pressure on him across Roland Garros and also Wimbledon – where he reached the final in 2023 – it is not impossible to imagine Djokovic reaching 450 weeks as No 1.

With fewer points to defend over the next two months, Sinner has a fairly strong chance of usurping him.

But doubts currently circle over the world No 2’s fitness after sustaining a hip injury during his Madrid campaign.

UPDATE:$6,000,000 PRIZE MONEY CONFIRMED FOR 6 KINGS SLAM WINNER OF NOVAK DJOKOVIC AND RAFAEL NADAL LED EVENT

After missing Madrid, Djokovic is set to return at the Italian Open next week, where he reached the quarter-final 12 months ago.

It will be his second clay event of 2024, after reaching the last four in Monte Carlo.

 

Rafael Nadal reflects on ’emotional’ Madrid exit and future plans,” tennis superstar Rafael Nadal expresses his plans to compete in the Rome tournament, a event he has won ten times and holds a special place in his career.

READ MORE:Madrid Open: Rafael Nadal Grabs Phone From a Fan to Take Selfie but Horribly Fails in Hysterical Scenes – WATCH

Despite regretting his absence at Monte Carlo, another cherished tournament, Nadal remains focused on performing well in Rome and aiming for good tennis results.

People didn't know Rafael Nadal very well, he was...', says former ATP star

Reflecting on his emotional departure from Madrid, where he has received immense love and support throughout his career, Nadal acknowledges that his career continues with personal goals in the coming weeks.

He explores the possibility of achieving these goals while maintaining his dedication to hard work.

RELATED:Rafael Nadal hints Novak Djokovic has had it easy against new generation

Ranked no.512, Rafael played his last match on the 30th of April when he capitulated to world no.31 Jiri Lehecka 7-5 6-4 in the 4th round in Madrid (draw).

I feel that I can miss' - Rafael Nadal identifies key weakness in his game

Until now, during this year Nadal achieved an overall 6-3 match record.

UPDATE:Can Rafael Nadal retire from tennis on a high? Laura Robson hopes he gets send off he wants

He is also scheduled to play at the French Open (French Open) after Rome. The main draw will start on the 8th of May.

 

Novak Djokovic has only played 12 regular tour matches in 2024, but his reign as world No 1 is set to continue after the events at this week’s Madrid Open.

Djokovic will toast his 37th birthday later this month and history would suggest he should not be topping the ATP Rankings at that relatively mature age for an athlete.

Yet with most of the ranking points in Djokovic’s current record compiled in the second half of 2023, he is still holding a strong lead over Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz in the race to be No 1.

READ MORE:Novak Djokovic left teenage tennis star fearful of hoax after showing true intentions

ATP Rankings are based on the points earned by the players over the preceding 52-week time frame, with Djokovic’s current total of 9,990 including the 2,000 ranking points he collected at of the French Open and US Open last year.

Novak Djokovic gets warm Australian Open welcome, then cruises to win

He also has 1,200 ranking points on his record from his run to last year’s Wimbledon final, 1,000 points from each of his wins at the Cincinnati and Paris Masters tournaments and 1,300 from his ATP Finals win in Turin last November, where he beat Sinner in the final.

All of those points will come off Djokovic’s ranking in the coming months and with Sinner a little over 1,000 points behind the Serbian in the current live rankings, he could be close to toppling him if he wins this week’s Madrid Open.

Sinner would have been just 330 points behind Djokovic in the rankings if he won in Madrid and that would have given him a glorious chance to overtake the Serbian – who has opted against playing in the Spanish’s capital – in the Rome Masters event that gets underway on May 8.

Yet Sunner was forced to withdraw from the Madrid Open due to an ongoing hip injury and there have to be doubts whether he will now play at the ATP 1000 tournament in Rome.

It means Djokovic is guaranteed to toast his 37th birthday on May 22nd as world No 1, extending his record as the oldest world No 1 in the history of the rankings.

RELATED:Goran Ivanisevic makes Novak Djokovic motivation confession as he discusses Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz challenge

Djokovic has admitted he is no longer focused on the world No 1 ranking, as he has held that position for more than two years more than any player in history over the course of his remarkable career.

“It’s a matter of weeks before Sinner becomes world No 1,” declared Djokovic earlier this month. “This year the ranking is not my goal.”He’s the strongest at the moment. He has shown it

since the start of this season by being extremely dominant. The results are the consequence of the tennis he is developing, of the confidence accumulated with victories will become world No 1 if he manages to remain as strong.

“When you have a start to the season like that, you give yourself a good chance of achieving this objective, but it will go through the work which will bring the result which, itself, will bring the ranking. He certainly has other objectives before becoming world No 1.”

Novak Djokovic: 'Let's not get ahead of ourselves' | ATP Tour | Tennis

Djokovic could lose his No 1 status if he lost in the early stages of the French Open, but this enduring champion continues to set new records and he believes there is much more to come.

“This year it’s a bit different, but that’s okay, that’s fine,” said Djokovic last month. “There’s still flare inside, I still want to do more in this sport, I still enjoy the thrill of the competition and see how far I can go.

“We’re just in the fourth month of the season. The tennis season is very long, still have three Slams, the Olympic Games, many other tournaments. So going to get ready and try to win more.”

“I like competing with different generations. You have the young guys that are coming up – Alcaraz, Sinner – they’re all incredibly hungry and fit and fast, but I use my adaptability to adjust my tactics and my game to them and understand what it takes to stay at the top and compete with these guys and try to win more titles.

“It hasn’t been the start that I’ve had for most of my career. I’ve been really blessed and fortunate to kick-start most of the seasons in the last 20 years of my career with a win in Australia and that has been very nice to me.

“Obviously when you kickstart the year with a Grand Slam win you get the wind in your sails and it sets the tone for the rest of the season.

UPDATE:Rafael Nadal hints Novak Djokovic has had it easy against new generation

“I feel like it’s so important always to remind yourself to be in the present moment, really to appreciate, to acknowledge, to remember where you came from, the journey, the path, also the people that surround you,” he added.

“I have a lot of people around me other than my family and the closest people in my life. There’s a great team of people that really helps me perform at my best when it’s most necessary. And you know, tennis is also a sport that has a very long season, very, very intense calendar and schedules.

“So every single week there’s something new happening and new events. So I think I will truly be able to appreciate everything that we have accomplished really, only post-career, to be honest, because while you’re still active it’s – what’s the next task, what’s the next challenge?”

 

Teenage sensation Jakub Mensik was worried that he was the victim of a hoax after receiving an unlikely offer from Novak Djokovic. Mensik announced himself earlier this year when he reached the Qatar Open final and cracked the world’s top 100. After reaching the third round in Madrid, the 18-year-old and his coach explained how Djokovic “opened doors” for them.

READ MORE:Goran Ivanisevic makes Novak Djokovic motivation confession as he discusses Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz challenge

Mensik is currently the youngest player in the top 100, sitting at No. 74 in the world. The Czech star is enjoying a breakthrough season which really got going in Doha. He received a wildcard into the tournament as part of a Next Gen programme allowing young players a free pass into one ATP 250 event and made the most of it, storming into the final.

Novak Djokovic: undisputed king of tennis

The 18-year-old got his first top-five win over Andrey Rublev during his run, also beating the likes of Andy Murray and Gael Monfils before falling to Karen Khachanov in the championship match. And he enjoyed more success in Madrid, upsetting No. 9 seed Grigor Dimitrov en route to the third round, where he was forced to retire injured while facing Felix Auger-Aliassime.

As he continues to climb up the rankings and make his mark on the professional circuit, Mensik and his coach Tomas Josefus explained how Djokovic played a part in his success after selflessly reaching out to offer guidance. “We were taking stock when Jakub received a video on his phone from a Serbian number that he didn’t know,” his coach told L’Equipe.

“He did not hesitate to share his knowledge and contacts. We had closed doors in front of us, Novak opened them.” Mensik, who idolises Djokovic and hopes to face the 10-time Australian Open champion in Melbourne one day, originally thought it could be a scam.

RELATED:Rafael Nadal hints Novak Djokovic has had it easy against new generation

He added: “I first thought it was a hoax, but it was really him. Novak is my childhood idol, you can imagine my joy. Weight, lunch, recovery… Everything he did, I did. I understood a lot of things there. I observed him, I tried to analyse his functioning, how he warms up, stretches, recoveries. He recommended them (contacts) to us and gave us their number. Many things we put in place were thanks to him.”

NOVAK DJOKOVIC MAKES TENNIS AND SPORTS HISTORY BY WINNING ALL-TIME RECORD  23RD GRAND SLAM AT THE FRENCH OPEN | Hublot PT

Mensik also got to learn first-hand from Djokovic when he trained with the world No. 1 ahead of Wimbledon in 2022, before the Serb went on to lift his seventh trophy at the All England Club. “It was before Wimbledon, so I was able to observe his specific preparation for a Grand Slam, all the little details of everyday life,” he explained.

UPDATE:Novak Djokovic still unsure about coaching appointment ahead of Roland-Garros defence

iveDjokovic’s assistance is clearly paying off, as Mensik is enjoying a series of impress firsts. He has already recorded his maiden match wins at Grand Slam and Masters 1000 level and reached his first tour-level final in Doha. Thanks to his impressive start to the year, Mensik is No. 39 in the Race to Turin – a set of rankings made up solely of points earned in 2024.

The arena in Madrid experienced a completely different level of enthusiasm as soon as Rafael Nadal entered. Stepping in for his showdown against Alex De Minaur, the Spaniard was welcomed with loud cheers of his name echoing around the stadium, creating an experience like never before. As he decided to surprise the fans by spending some moments with them, he took a moment to guide an older fan to take a selfie.

READ MORE:Andreea Prisacariu OPENLY says: Rafael Nadal was a hard worker and Roger Federer was pure talent, but

After securing a remarkable victory over the Aussie, the Spaniard took a turn on his way out of the court. Moving toward the stands where the fans were going crazy to earn a moment from their favorite tennis star, Rafa stopped there and started greeting the fans by clicking pictures and signing balls for the budding enthusiasts.

Rafael Nadal wins again on return from injury in Brisbane | The Independent

Amid the adorable moments of fan interaction, an aged fan struggled to access the camera application on his phone. While he seemed to be in a hurry to make sure that he didn’t miss the opportunity, the Spaniard raised a positive gesture by borrowing his device and started swiping around to locate the camera app. The fan, lucky enough to grab this moment with the Spaniard, missed a chance for the selfie as Rafa himself failed to access the camera in his device!

RRLATED:Underrated prodigy because he was in same era as Rafael Nadal Fans awed by Novak Djokovic remaining youngest player

However, another fan showed up in support to offer his phone and therefore the King of Clay finally clicked a selfie with him. Rafa’s recent victory over Alex De Minaur not only helped him gain more stability in the game but also gave signs of a returning dominance. The tennis star showed no mercy on his chance to seek revenge against the Aussie, hitting him down with a final scoreline of 7-6, 6-3.

TENIS WIMBLEDON | Rafael Nadal: "Aceptaré ser el tres si lo ven así y  lucharé" - Plaza Deportiva

As the Spaniard now looks forward to his upcoming showdown against Pedro Cachin, it is sure that the fans will be getting to grab more such moments with the star.

UPDATE:Can Rafael Nadal retire from tennis on a high? Laura Robson hopes he gets send off he wants

The excitement levels to witness Rafael Nadal’s dominance extended beyond the audience present in the arena during the match. Sitting miles apart from him, Rafa’s die-hard fan and famous Hollywood celebrity Ben Stiller came forward with a comment to express his excitement behind Rafa’s rise.