Tag: Novak Djokovic

Miami Open: Novak Djokovic beats Andy Murray to win fifth title

Novak Djokovic extended his winning streak against Britain’s Andy Murray to seven matches with victory in a gruelling Miami Open final.

The world number one prevailed 7-6 (7-3) 4-6 6-0 in hot and humid conditions to win his fifth Miami title.

Djokovic, 27, takes his record against Murray to 18-8, and the Serb will tie Rafael Nadal’s total of 141 weeks at the top of the rankings on Monday.

Murray, who gets married next Saturday, will move up from fourth to third.

The Scot, 27, twice led by a break in the first set and looked to have the momentum heading into the decider, but ultimately came up short once again.

“It has been a good start to the year for me so far,” he told the crowd. “I’m not quite there where Novak is at, but I feel I am getting there. I just need to keep working hard.”

Read more at BBC Sport

Indian Wells: Djokovic beats Federer to claim fourth title

Novak Djokovic needed three sets to defeat Roger Federer and win his fourth Indian Wells title for the second year in a row.

“I am at the prime of my career,” Djokovic said. “I’m going to try to use every part of this fact to stay where I am and to fight for as many major titles as possible.”

Djokovic, ranked No.1 in the world, and No.2 Federer met for the 38th time, second-most among rivalries in the Open era. Federer leads the series 20-18 and had won three of their last four meetings going into the final.

But Federer made too many mistakes at crucial times as he went down 6-3 6-7(5) 6-2, piling up 43 unforced errors to 35 for Djokovic. The Serb connected on 63% of his first serves, while Federer’s serve let him down. He double-faulted to trail 4-2 in the third as Djokovic won the last four games of the match.

“I felt huge relief, to be honest,” Djokovic said. “I saw I’m not the only one that is double-faulting under pressure. I got myself in a position to break and then he handed me that break. I thought I deserved it in a way because I really fought hard for it.”

Federer’s serve had carried him earlier in the tournament, when he faced just three break points in his first five matches and he saved two of those.

“I was trying to really focus a lot on my serve because it was very important because he returns so well off the second serve,” Federer said. “He really plays everybody really tough when he returns off the second serve, and I think that’s what also was tough today against him.”

Djokovic also won in three sets last year. He and Federer have combined to win eight of the last 11 titles in the desert, and they became the first two players to reach the final in consecutive years since the tournament began 40 years ago.

“He has been always the ultimate challenge, with [Rafael] Nadal, depending on which surface I get to play,” Djokovic said. “Obviously Nadal on clay is the toughest one to beat, and Roger on the quicker surfaces. But because they have been so dominant over the years and so consistent and so confident on the court, it’s very difficult to get into the mix and start winning titles against them.”

Simona Halep beat Jelena Jankovic 2-6 7-5 6-4 in the women’s final, giving the Romanian the biggest title of her career and a WTA Tour-leading third tournament victory of the year. Djokovic and Halep earned $900,400 (£604,000) each.

On his way to his 50th career ATP Tour title, Djokovic broke Federer once to take the first set. Federer rallied from a 3-1 deficit in the second set for a 5-all tie. They traded love service games to get into the tiebreaker, where Djokovic took a 5-3 lead.

Djokovic double-faulted three times, including twice in a row, setting up Federer’s first break point. The Serb’s backhand lob sailed long, allowing Federer to tie the match at a set apiece.

Federer then broke Djokovic for a 2-1 lead in a game that went to deuce five times before Djokovic netted a backhand. Federer was the clear favorite among the crowd of 16,988, although chanting Serbian fans at the top of the stadium made their presence known.

“When I play Roger it’s something that you expect that he has more support because of who he is,” Djokovic said.

Federer held serve for a 2-2 tie before Djokovic won the final four games of the match.

“You miss a couple of shots which you shouldn’t and then maybe I didn’t serve as good as I should have, and then that’s all Novak needs,” Federer said. “Then he doesn’t blink. It’s pretty quick.”

Read more at ESPN

Australian Open: Djokovic gets the better of Murray again

Novak Djokovic defeated Andy Murray for the third time in an Australian Open final as the world No.1 clinched his fifth Melbourne Park crown with a 7-6(5) 6-7(4) 6-3 6-0 win.

Djokovic got the better of British No.1 Murray in both the 2011 and 2013 finals and once again it was the Serb prevailed after a lengthy, tight encounter on Sunday.

The opening set lasted a marathon 72 minutes on Rod Laver Arena: both players broke serve twice in a remarkable exchange of tennis, before Murray forced the tie-breaker. However, despite taking the braver approach, Murray was eventually undone by his own efforts.

His return to set up a winner and earn a first set point was too long and Djokovic, who appeared frustrated with apparent thumb blisters, claimed first blood when the Scot netted a backhand on the second serve. Previously, Murray had never come back from a set down to beat Djokovic and that was not about to change.

The second set started in opposite fashion as the pace from both players slumped dramatically. With Djokovic struggling with thumb and ankle problems, Murray broke into a two-love lead only to lose four successive games and hand momentum back to his opponent: a trait that would ultimately cost him a maiden Australian Open crown.

A brief stoppage due to protestors invading the court provided a turning point; the standard lifted and Murray broke back. After 80 minutes, some long and fiercely contested points and a second tie-break, the Scot was level.

However, Murray’s failure to kick on when ahead proved detrimental. Flying from his levelling tie-break, he broke immediately at the start of the third and quickly held to move two-love up. Djokovic, though, was soon let off the hook; the same as he had been against Wawrinka in their semi-final and earlier in the match.

Two breaks of serve later and set three was over in less than half the time it took to finish set two. The four-time champion moved within a set of his fifth title.

Momentum had clearly shifted the Serb’s way and Murray looked to have given up the ghost. The Briton was broken immediately and, after Djokovic secured advantage with a comfortable hold, Murray dropped serve again. From that point there was only one outcome as, after over three-and-half gruelling hours on court, Djokovic wrapped up his third Australian Open final triumph against his old friend and rival with a bagel.

Read more at ESPN

Australian Open: Novak Djokovic in final after beating Stan Wawrinka

Top seed Novak Djokovic beat defending champion Stan Wawrinka in another dramatic five-set contest to reach the Australian Open final.

The Serb won 7-6 (7-1) 3-6 6-4 4-6 6-0 – the third year running they have played five sets at Melbourne Park.

Djokovic, chasing a fifth Australian Open title, will play Britain’s Andy Murray in the final on Sunday.

He beat the Scot – who is in his fourth final at Melbourne Park – to claim the 2011 and 2013 titles.

Murray will have taken some encouragement from the length and quality of the second semi-final, however.

The third instalment of Djokovic-Wawrinka did not hit the heights of the previous two, with a combined 118 unforced errors and 12 breaks of serve.

“I did not play on the level that I intended before the match,” said Djokovic.

“There were parts of the match where I stepped in and played a game I needed to play, but parts where I played too defensive and allowed him to dictate the play from the baseline.

“I’m in the finals, that’s why I’m here, to try to get far in the tournament. Getting to the finals in any way possible is a great achievement.”

Read more at BBC Sport

Australian Open: Novak Djokovic beats Milos Raonic in quarters

Four-time champion Novak Djokovic dismantled the big serving of Milos Raonic to reach the Australian Open semi-finals.

The world number one needed just one hour and 55 minutes to beat eighth seed Raonic 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 6-2.

Djokovic, 27, is through to his 25th Grand Slam semi-final as he chases an eighth major title.

He will next face defending champion Stan Wawrinka for the third year running in Melbourne.

“I take a lot of confidence,” sad Djokovic. “I try to carry that in every next match, next challenge. Obviously I’m going to play Stan, who is the defending champion here.

“We played five-set matches in 2013 and 2014 Australian Open. I’m going to be ready for a fight. But knowing that I have raised the level of performance tonight, and probably playing the best match of the tournament so far is affecting my confidence in a positive way.

“Hopefully I can carry that into next one.”

Raonic, 24, went into the match with 99 aces to his name and having dropped serve just twice in four matches.

Djokovic’s return proved too much to handle, however, and while lacking the Canadian’s service speed, the Serb moved into the last four having been broken just once in the tournament.

There were moments of frustration for Djokovic as four break points came and went in the first set, but a wild Raonic forehand at 3-2 down in the tie-break handed over the initiative.

Djokovic capitalised, before taking an even firmer grip on the contest with a brilliant cross-court backhand winner to finally break at the start of the second.

Raonic, who reached the semi-finals at Wimbledon last year, could not hurt the top seed and failed to muster a single break point as the match raced away from him.

Djokovic broke twice more as he cruised through the third set, sealing victory with a backhand volley to reach his fifth Australian semi-final.

“He just didn’t allow me to organise my game. Even when he was returning well, by the end of the match he was doing a good job of playing deep and never allowing me to go forward,” said Raonic.

“Obviously if you watch the footage, he was pretty much on the baseline the whole time and I was further back.”

Read more at BBC Sport

Australian Open: Djokovic sets up Raonic quarter-final

Novak Djokovic battled to reach his 23rd consecutive grand slam quarter-final with a 6-4 7-5 7-5 win over Gilles Muller.

Djokovic is trying to become the second man after Roy Emerson to win five Australian Open titles – as well as his eighth major title overall.

The top-seeded Serb hasn’t lost a set yet in the tournament. He was rarely in trouble against Muller, saving all four break points he faced and hitting 47 winners to just 16 unforced errors.

The last time Djokovic failed to reach the last eight of a slam was at the 2009 French Open.

“I [have] dropped serve only once during the whole tournament – and that is a very encouraging fact,” Djokovic told his post-match press conference.

“I have to motivate myself and obviously use the off days to work on a few things. There are a few things I think I can do better. Overall it’s a positive feeling going into the quarter-finals.”

Djokovic will face his toughest test of the Australian Open so far when big-serving Milos Raonic advanced with a thrilling 6-4 4-6 6-3 6-7(7) 6-3 win over Feliciano Lopez.

Read more at ESPN

Australian Open: Dominant Novak Djokovic marches past Fernando Verdasco

The Serbian cemented his status as tournament favourite with a forensic dismantling of the number 31 seed Verdasco, who barely laid a racket on the Djokovic serve.

So rarely was the end result in doubt that the greatest moment of tension came when a fan chose to propose to his girlfriend during a change of ends. She said yes, Djokovic applauded.

The four-times winner in Melbourne will face Gilles Muller of Luxembourg in the last 16, after Muller defeated John Isner in straight sets.

Read more at Yahoo Sport

Australian Open: Serena Williams & Novak Djokovic into third round

Serena Williams reached the third round of the Australian Open with a straight-sets win over Russia’s Vera Zvonareva.

The American top seed, 33, came through a tight first set to win 7-5 6-0 as the temperature reached 33C in Melbourne.

Two-time champion Victoria Azarenka defeated eighth seed Caroline Wozniacki 6-4 6-2.

Men’s top seed Novak Djokovic thrashed Andrey Kuznetsov 6-0 6-1 6-4 and defending champion Stan Wawrinka beat Marius Copil 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (7-4) 6-3.

djokovic-through-to-3rd-round

Battle of the former number ones

Victoria Azarenka was back to form after an injury-blighted season as she beat eighth seed Caroline Wozniacki.

After overcoming her fellow former world number one, the Belarusian will play Czech 26th seed Barbora Zahlavova in the third round.

There was no missing Azarenka, in bright yellow, as she dictated play from the baseline and wrapped up victory in 98 minutes.

The 2012 and 2013 champion broke the Dane twice in the second set and clobbered 31 winners in the match.

Williams sisters roll back the years

Serena and Venus Williams are back in round three of the Australian Open, 17 years after their first visit to Melbourne.

Venus, 34, beat Lauren Davis 6-2 6-3 to ensure both sisters will be involved in the last 32 on Saturday.

The pair first played at Melbourne Park in 1998, with Venus beating Serena in the second round.

“I just remember what a tough match [it was],” Venus said. “It was just relentless. I think it finally ended with a break in the third. That’s all I can remember.

“It was very tough I think for both of us. Neither one of us could get the upper edge. It was just a marathon.”

Watson progress in doubles

Heather Watson was back on court – the same court – 48 hours after losing in the singles, and requiring treatment from the doctor.

The British number one said on Tuesday she had struggled for energy but that she expected the issue to pass quickly, and so it appeared on Thursday.

Watson and her Russian partner Alexandra Panova, who held two match points against Maria Sharapova on Wednesday, fought through to round two of the doubles.

With the temperature nudging 34C, the pair led Shahar Peer and Annika Beck 2-6 7-5 3-1 on court 10 when the Israeli-German team retired.

Read more at BBC Sport

Australian Open: Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic win

World number one Serena Williams overcame a second-set wobble to beat Belgian Alison van Uytvanck 6-0 6-4 in the Australian Open first round.

The five-time champion, who has not been past the last eight since 2010, breezed through the first set, but was put under pressure before prevailing.

Four-time winner Novak Djokovic beat Slovenia’s Aljaz Bedene 6-3 6-2 6-4 in the men’s competition.

Defending champion Stan Wawrinka saw off Turkey’s Marsel Ilhan 6-1 6-4 6-2.

Czech fourth seed Petra Kvitova opened with a 6-1 6-4 win over Dutch qualifier Richel Hogenkamp in the women’s draw.

Read more at BBC Sport

 

Australian Open: Andy Murray is sixth seed, Novak Djokovic No 1

Andy Murray, will be seeded sixth for the Australian Open, with Novak Djokovic the number one seed.

Five-time champion Serena Williams is top seed for the women’s event while Britain’s Heather Watson will have no protection in Friday’s draw.

Former champion Victoria Azarenka, who is ranked 41st in the world after an injury-hit 2014, is also unseeded.

The tournament, the first Grand Slam of the year, begins on Monday.

The seedings mirror the world rankings.

Spain’s David Ferrer is the ninth seed in the men’s draw after the withdrawal of US Open champion Marin Cilic, while world number 12 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga’s absence with a forearm strain means Ernests Gulbis moves up to 11th seed.

Britons Kyle Edmund and Liam Broady are two matches away from reaching the main draw after wins in the first round of qualification.

Men’s top 16 seeds

1. Novak Djokovic (Ser)
2. Roger Federer (Swi)
3. Rafael Nadal (Spa)
4. Stan Wawrinka (Swi)
5. Kei Nishikori (Jpn)
6. Andy Murray (GB)
7. Tomas Berdych (Cze)
8. Milos Raonic (Can)
9. David Ferrer (Spa)
10. Grigor Dimitrov (Bul)
11. Ernests Gulbis (Lat)
12. Feliciano Lopez (Spa)
13. Roberto Bautista Agut (Spa)
14. Kevin Anderson (SA)
15. Tommy Robredo (Spa)
16. Fabio Fognini (Ita)

Women’s top 16 seeds

1. Serena Williams (US)
2. Maria Sharapova (Rus)
3. Simona Halep (Rom)
4. Petra Kvitova (Cze)
5. Ana Ivanovic (Ser)
6. Agnieszka Radwanska (Pol)
7. Eugenie Bouchard (Can)
8. Caroline Wozniacki (Den)
9. Angelique Kerber (Ger)
10. Ekaterina Makarova (Rus)
11. Dominika Cibulkova (Svk)
12. Flavia Pennetta (Ita)
13. Andrea Petkovic (Ger)
14. Sara Errani (Ita)
15. Jelena Jankovic (Ser)
16. Lucie Safarova (Cze)

Read more at BBC Sport