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02-Apr 2020 Thursday 1:34 PM (97 days ago)               #1
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ATP: Why Novak Djokovic is the Perfect Tennis Player

There’s no doubt that Novak Djokovic is the best tennis player in the world right now as he is currently ranked number one overall in the ATP rankings.

The 32-year-old Serbian international is in the thick of his physical prime and he’s made the most out of it by bringing home awards left and right over these past few years.

After leading Team Serbia to win the ATP Cup, he won the first Grand Slam tournament of the year by winning his eighth Australian Open title. And he will be always be favoured in our ATP 2020 odds of winning more trophies down the road.

79 overall titles and 17 Grand Slams are a hard feat to replicate, and that puts him in the conversation among the all-time great players of the sport because he continues to make history.

As we continue to wait for our sporting events to resume, SBOBET offers you today an in-depth look as to why Novak Djokovic is great at what he does.

 

The best backhand return in the business

The sport of tennis normally requires having strong forearms and Djokovic is one of those players who can make a vicious return after his opponent does a serve.

With most serves being directed for a backhand, Djokovic worked hard in developing his into a dangerous weapon, making it easier for him to score against opponents along with producing some of the best ATP 2020 highlights.

Djokovic’s technique is very simple. He would have his two hands on the grip of the racket, then his upper body will rotate 90 degrees sideways to generate just enough momentum to hit the ball with force.

Djokovic often gets creative on where to place the ball when he uses his backhand. He can either take the ball early and rip it hard cross court or he can roll it with an acute angle and even hitting a quick drop shot.

With his strong technique and great footwork, Djokovic’s backhand is something to look out for if you’re his opponent as he can negate your serve all in just one touch.

 

Don’t overlook at his serve either

Novak Djokovic beats Philipp Kohlschreiber during their clash in the ATP 500 Dubai Tennis Championships

Novak Djokovic serves the ball into Philipp Kohlschreiber during their clash in the ATP 500 Dubai Tennis Championships

Pundits in the past have overlooked Djokovic’s serves before, but statistics show that the 32-year-old superstar is one of the best at it.

“You actually don’t think about his serve, which is kind of disrespectful to him in a sense, because he does everything so well. He would even say probably six or seven years ago that his serve was a bit of a liability. But now, it’s not at all,” said John Isner in a past interview.

“If I was to put an empty can of ball on the court and you pick one player to hit a spot, typically it would have been Roger Federer. But today, I think Djokovic is that guy,” said Wimbledon analyst Craig O’Shannessy.

Novak Djokovic had proven just that especially this past year. In the 2019 Service Games Won Leaderboard, the 32-year-old is ranked fifth behind the likes of Rafael Nadal, Reilly Opelka, Roger Federer, and John Isner at 88-per cent.

He has also upped his aces for the last five years. From notching only 3.8 average aces in 2016, Djokovic has made a steady climb and has now reached to an average of 7.2 aces per match.

Djokovic had to deal with elbow issues in 2017 to 2018 which led him to introduce some tweaks to his service form. And so far, his hard work has bore fruit as he was won nearly 90-per cent of his service games this 2020 calendar year.

“We worked a lot in the offseason on my nerve. In terms of the way I’ve been serving now, it has been some of the best serving I’ve had in my career,” said Djokovic.

 

An apex predator on the tennis court

Djokovic’s tough upbringing in Serbia may have helped him in terms of his mental focus on the tennis court, especially with his poker face and steely demeanor.

At the same time, the Serbian superstar is also known for his tremendous work ethic as he would never stop despite being physically hurt at times.

Athletes can learn a thing or two about his approach as he often does mental visualisation and mindfulness whenever he trains. In his book called “Serve to Win”, Djokovic explained the benefits of doing such on a regular basis.

“I do it everyday for about 15 minutes and it is as important to me as my physical training. Instead of trying to find your ‘inner peace’, you allow and accept your thoughts as they come,” wrote Djokovic.

His mental approach has put him head and shoulders above the competition. Add that along with his physical gifts, now you know why Novak Djokovic is the best tennis player in the world today.

 

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This message was edited by SBOBET on 02-Apr-2020 at 1:35 PM


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02-Apr 2020 Thursday 1:37 PM (97 days ago)            #2
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ATP Tour 2020 – Break of Service

We’re playing a bit of a waiting game at the moment because there isn’t a lot else to play!

Football around the world has come to a standstill, there is little or no cricket and the PGA has been temporarily shelved until the coronavirus blows over.  So it’s little surprise that the ATP Tour 2020 is on hold, for a few weeks at least.

The global elite professional circuit draws in tens of thousands of fans wherever it goes and millions of viewers tune in worldwide, particularly to the Grand Slams. The tremendous trio of Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer are still at the top of their game, but there are plenty of up and coming challengers working day and night to depose the three kings of the sport.

 

 

A time to pull together

But the elder statesmen of tennis have a little more time to fine-tune their bodies and recover from any niggles as the French Open has been put back to September. The ATP and WTA released a joint statement, which reads: “After careful consideration, and due to the continuing outbreak of COVID-19, all tournaments in the Spring clay-court swing will not be held as scheduled.

“The professional tennis season is now suspended through to 7th June 2020. At this time, tournaments taking place from 8th June onwards are planning to go ahead as per the published schedule.” The ATP insists the challenges presented by the pandemic to professional tennis demand greater collaboration than ever from everyone in the tennis community.

The statement concludes: “Now is not a time to act unilaterally but in unison.”

 

 

The Grand Slam story so far

The 2020 tour got underway in Australia; but let’s take a quick look back at 2019, a year dominated by Djokovic and Nadal. The Serb beat Nadal in the Australian Open before the powerful Spaniard triumphed, as usual, on clay at the French Open where he beat Dominic Thiem in the Roland Garros final.

There were many tears shed at Wimbledon, mainly in the crowd, where Djokovic won an epic final clash with fans’ favourite Roger Federer; and then Nadal ended the season as number one, beating 6ft 6in Russian Daniil Medvedev.

When we get moving again later this year, the ATP Tour 2020 updates will keep coming thick and fast as news rolls in, but one of the Grand Slams is already done and dusted.

Novak Djokovic won the Australian Open in January, beating Dominic Thiem in a five-set final which means the Serbian has returned to the top of the ATP rankings. In a pulsating finale at Melbourne’s Rod Laver Arena, the 32-year-old claimed his 17th career grand slam title at the end of five sets, winning 6-4, 4-6, 2-6, 6-3 and 6-4.

The French Open has been postponed to September in a spectacular fait acomplis on the part of our Gallic friends. The French Tennis Federation announced that they would play their tournament six days after the end of the US Open, which finishes on 13th September. So, days after 700,000 fans flood into the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, New York, all eyes will turn to the clay-court spectacular in France.

But what of Wimbledon? The world’s best tennis stars descend on SW19 every year for one of England’s best-loved sporting events, alongside the Grand National, the FA Cup and Ashes cricket. But this year’s tournament is under threat.

ATP Tour 2020 News: Novak Djokovic extend win streak and claim fifth title in Dubai

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic kisses the trophy after winning the Final against Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas

Djokovic and women’s champion Simona Halep hope to defend their singles titles when Wimbledon is due to start on Monday, June 29th, running through to the men’s singles final on July 12th.

It’s a fast-moving situation so keep watching here and let’s hope we’re all scoffing strawberries and cream in June.

In the meantime, the three players who have dominated the ATP Tour for over a decade, Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer are sitting at One, Two and Four in the rankings with 26-year-old Thiem crashing the thirtysomethings party in third place.

As soon as the sports world starts turning again we’ll be back with the latest updates and ATP Tour 2020 betting odds right here at SBOBET.

But while we wait there’s plenty to keep us occupied. Rafa Nadal, who’s a Real Madrid fan, can watch a few re-runs of Los Blancos’ recent win in El Clasico!

 

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This message was edited by SBOBET on 02-Apr-2020 at 1:38 PM


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02-Apr 2020 Thursday 1:41 PM (97 days ago)            #3
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WTA: A Look on Maria Sharapova’s Tennis Career

Maria Sharapova came in as a transcendent young talent in the WTA scene as a teenager. And fast forward to exactly one month ago per our WTA 2020 news, the Russia native has decided to call it quits at the age of 32 after this year’s Australian Open.

“How do you leave behind the only thing you’ve ever known? How do you walk away from the courts you’ve trained on since you were a little girl, the game that you love – one which brought you untold tears and unspeakable joys – a sport where you found a family, along with the fans who rallied behind you for more than 28 years?” wrote Sharapova in her heartfelt essay.

“I’m new to this, so please forgive me. Tennis – I’m saying goodbye,” she added.

She ended her career that featured five Grand Slam titles and for a while she was on top of the WTA rankings. However, since her meteoric rise during her earlier years, it’s safe to say that Maria Sharapova wasn’t able to achieve her full potential.

Her retirement was oddly quiet. There were no farewell tours or a final moment in the spotlight, especially for someone who’s really used to the limelight with or without a racket on her hand.

Today, as we await for our sports to resume due to the coronavirus threat, SBOBET takes a quick look into Maria Sharapova’s tennis career.

 

Her rise to stardom

A 17-year-old Maria Sharapova burst into the scene when she pulled off an upset against Serena Williams to win the Wimbledon in 2004.

She would beat Williams again in that year’s season-ending tournament and went up 2-1 in their head-to-head matchups. However, she never won against her since then – dropping the next 19 in a row.

Maria Sharapova has bested Serena Williams in a number of WTA tournaments throughout her career

Maria Sharapova returns the ball against Serena Williams during a match at the 2019 US Open

Sharapova was at the peak of her powers in 2005. She was powerful at the baseline and she was known for her toughness and grit which led her to being the top-ranked WTA player at 18 years old.

She won the US Open in 2006 and then she collected an Australian Open trophy in 2008. At that time, Sharapova was very well on her way to bring home more trophies and be great.

 

Sharapova’s topsy-turvy pro career

But since her ascent to being one of the world’s best, the Russian’s pro career was riddled with injuries. She’s had multiple bouts in dealing with her shoulder and hamstring issues, which led her to fall out of the Top 5 in the world rankings since 2004.

After being fully recovered from her shoulder injuries, the Russian would struggle to find her form as she would suffer multiple losses against lesser known players in the earlier rounds of most tournaments.

But at the turn of the decade in 2011, Sharapova would find her way back in the Top 10 when she brought an iconic coach in Thomas Hogstedt.

After winning a couple of key exhibition matches that gave her a confidence boost, Sharapova would finally have a breakthrough year in 2012 where she would end up as the top-ranked player once more – which included a French Open championship (also in 2014) and a silver medal in the London Olympics.

She is one of the only six women in the professional era to win each major title at least once. Sharapova has made 10 Grand Slam Finals all in all, going 5-5.

 

The beginning of the end

In the 2016 Australian Open, Maria Sharapova tested positive for a banned substance called meldonium, giving her a two-year suspension.

The Russian appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, however, which reduced her ban to 15 months.

But since returning from suspension in 2017, Maria Sharapova managed to reach only one Slam quarterfinal. In fact, prior to her retirement last February, Sharapova was ranked as low as the 373rd best player in the WTA rankings.

She wasn’t at all favoured in our WTA 2020 odds during the last Australian Open and she bowed out of the first round losing to Donna Vekic. After that, she told the world that she was done with her playing career.

“Tennis showed me the world – and it showed me what I was made of. And so in whatever I might choose for my next chapter, my next mountain, I’ll still be pushing. I’ll still be climbing. I’ll still br growing,” said Sharapova in a post from her Twitter account.

With 36 singles titles, 645 singles matches, and more than $40-M in on-court prize purse, Sharapova’s career should be considered a success already as she’s achieved what most people couldn’t at the first place.

But even with her overall success, her tennis career will always be a tell-tale full of what-ifs.

 

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This message was edited by SBOBET on 02-Apr-2020 at 1:41 PM


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02-Apr 2020 Thursday 1:44 PM (97 days ago)            #4
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ATP: Big 3 Showing Their Big Hearts

There isn’t much happening in the tennis world due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which is why our athletes have turned their focus to other things which are far more important.

They say that big time players make big time plays on the floor. But this time around, these ATP players are making those big plays off the floor for those who are in need

Just like several other athletes around the globe, the Big 3 of Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, and Rafael Nadal took turns in showing how big their hearts are by partaking in various charity works.

It can be noted that Federer and Nadal hosted a huge fundraiser in Cape Town few weeks ago which drew arguably the biggest crowd ever at more than 51,000. The exhibition match between these two topnotch players have raised $3.5-M for the Roger Federer Foundation which supports the youth in various countries in Africa.

With the COVID-19 pandemic affecting everyone globally, these types of donations are very much welcome, especially to our frontliners who have been working very hard 24/7.

While still waiting for ATP 2020 updates, here at SBOBET, let us recognize these renowned players for their charitable efforts.

 

Novak Djokovic giving back to his home country

After coming in as the huge favourite in Melbourne as per our ATP 2020 odds, Djokovic secured his eighth Australian Open title last February. And since then, he has turned his focus to provide relief for his countrymen in Serbia.

Through his foundation, the top-ranked ATP player bared that he will donate €1-M for the purchase of ventilators and equipment to support medical facilities in their fight against the coronavirus.

“What has become clear to us is that this situation is going to be a marathon, rather than a speed race, and it would be good for us to rationally and strategically utilise both our strength and resources to be able to push through to the very end. In moments like this, having high-quality equipment is essential – ventilators – above all, which can save people’s lives,” said his wife Jelena Djokovic.

On top of his generous donation, Novak also urged everyone to do their part in order to fight this pandemic.

“The fight is not easy, numbers are not pleasant, but I am convinced that we will manage to make it out of this stronger than before,” said Novak Djokovic.

 

Rafael Nadal teams up with fellow countrymen

Rafael Nadal and former NBA All-Star Pau Gasol have teamed up in order to raise funds for their fellow Spaniards.

Together, they have launched the #NuestraMejorVictoria movement in order to gather donations hoping that they could raise around €11-M to provide for citizens in need during this medical emergency.

“You have always been on our side during happy times and difficult times. You have always been understanding. We athletes are what we are largely thanks to your support. Now is the time that we cannot let you down,” said Nadal on social media few days ago.

With more than 64,000 cases confirmed and around 5,000 deaths, Spain has been severely hit by COVID-19. Other notable Spanish athletes such as F1 drivers Fernando Alonso and Carlos Sainz, goalkeeper Iker Casillas, and WTA star Garbine Muguruza have done their parts as well.

Since March 14, Spain has been under the state of emergency, which includes imposing an enhanced community quarantine among its citizens.

 

 

ATP Player Roger Federer donates to Swiss families suffering from the coronavirus pandemic

Switzerland’s Roger Federer celebrates after defeating Serbia’s Filip Krajinovic in the second round of the singles match at the Australian Open

Roger Federer donates to the Swiss

Like Djokovic and Nadal, Roger Federer also did his part by announcing their pledge to donate a huge amount of money to families in Switzerland to combat the coronavirus.

Roger and his wife Mirka mentioned that vulnerable families in the country will be given utmost priority since they are the ones who are really affected by the pandemic.

“These are challenging times for everyone, and nobody should be left behind. Mirka and I have personally decided to donate one million Swiss Francs for the most vulnerable families in Switzerland,” said Roger Federer on his Instagram.

With more than 8,000 confirmed cases, like other countries, Switzerland is also on community quarantine. Their death toll as of this writing, however, is only at 66 lives.

 

Reruns, anyone?

Since most of us are missing our favourite sports, ESPN2 is doing us a solid when they announced that they will provide a 22-hour marathon this weekend that features six epic Grand Slam matches between Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.

Starting on March 28 at 6:00am EST, ESPN2 takes us back starting from the 2006 Wimbledon final up until their intense match during the 2017 Australian Open final.

With that said, let’s do our part by staying home and re-live these highlights for the meantime!

 

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This message was edited by SBOBET on 02-Apr-2020 at 1:44 PM


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02-Apr 2020 Thursday 1:47 PM (97 days ago)            #5
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ATP: Five Rising Stars Set to Succeed the Big Three

For the last decade plus, the ATP has been dominated by the “Big Three” of Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, and Rafael Nadal. They make up the top three in terms of all-time Grand Slam tournament victories and will go down among the greatest tennis players of all-time.

But all three are now well into their 30s, and their time at the very top likely won’t last that much longer. So who among the current crop of young men’s tennis players can step up to become the next stars of the game?

There are a number of candidates, but SBOBET has singled out the five contenders who have the best case to take over as the top players on tour.

 

Daniil Medvedev

Russian tennis is having quite a resurgence, with three players currently ranked in the top 20. But the one who is arguably the most promising among those three is Daniil Medvedev.

The 24-year-old has had a remarkable rise over the last couple of seasons. After winning three titles in 2018, he won four more in 2019 to break into the top five in the ATP rankings.

Medvedev had a brilliant stretch of making six straight tournament finals, which included his first career Grand Slam final in the US Open as he lost an epic five-setter against Rafael Nadal.

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic has described Medvedev as a “very complete player,” although the Russian still has a lot of room to improve on clay. He has a losing record for his career on clay (10-16) and has yet to make it out of the first round of the French Open.

But if Medvedev continues to make the improvements he’s shown over the past couple of years, it may be just a matter of time before he becomes the all-surface contender that like Djokovic and Nadal.

 

Stefanos Tsitsipas

Much like Medvedev, 2019 proved to be a breakout year for Stefanos Tsitsipas. After winning the 2018 Next Gen ATP Finals, the 21-year-old Greek shocked the world by beating Roger Federer in the round of 16 of the Australian Open. He went all the way to the semi-finals, where he lost to Rafael Nadal.

Stefanos Tsitsipas has proven to be a breakout athlete by winning notable ATP matches

Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas in action during a recent Davis Cup match

Tsitsipas would go on to reach five finals on the season, winning three titles. That includes his remarkable victory at the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals, where he defeated the likes of Medvedev, Federer, and World No. 3 Dominic Thiem.

Tsitsipas has already experienced success on both hard and clay court in his young career, although his record on grass remains a work in progress.

But all the tools and skills are clearly there for him to dominate on all surfaces, and will likely be among the top favourites in the ATP 2020 odds once the tour gets back up and running.

 

Alexander Zverev

Even at a young age, Zverev has been touted by many as the next big thing in men’s tennis, and with good reason. Technically speaking, the German has a tremendous skill set. He’s got powerful groundstrokes, a great service game, and an excellent two-hand backhand.

Zverev made it all the way up to No. 3 in the world at age 20 and already has 11 singles titles to his name at age 22. However, Zverev’s momentum took a big hit in 2019 as he won just one title.

Meanwhile, he still hasn’t had his big Grand Slam moment, which has raised questions about his mental make-up and physical endurance to battle through five-set matches. Although, he made it to the semi-finals of this year’s Australian Open, which is at least a promising sign of more ATP 2020 highlights to come.

Despite the doubts about Zverev, it’s easy to forget that he’s still only 22 years of age. The talent is undeniable, and perhaps he just needs a bit more time to develop into the superstar may believe he can be.

 

Felix Auger-Aliassime

Aside from Russia, Canada also has a couple of up-and-coming hotshots in the form of Felix Auger-Aliasimme and Denis Shapovalov. But the former just edges out his compatriot by virtue of sheer potential.

The 19-year-old — who shares a birthday with a certain Roger Federer — is currently the highest-ranked teenager on tour at No. 20. He became the first 18-year-old to break into the top 25 since Lleyton Hewitt on the back of three ATP finals appearances. While he lost all three, it’s just a matter of time before he claims his first title.

With his booming serve and forehand, he has the making of a future Wimbledon champion — at the very least.

 

Alex de Minaur

Speaking of Hewitt, Australia may finally have someone to follow in the former World No. 1’s footsteps in Alex de Minaur. The 21-year-old is coming off a terrific 2019 where he won the first three singles titles of his career.

Admittedly, de Minaur is not quite as gifted as the other players in terms of skill at this stage in his career. But he more than makes up for it in aggressiveness, determination, and sheer effort, which are qualities that should not be overlooked.

As his skills develop in time, this Aussie could be a force to be reckoned with in the near future.

 

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This message was edited by SBOBET on 02-Apr-2020 at 1:48 PM


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17-Apr 2020 Friday 2:54 PM (82 days ago)            #6
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WTA: How Will the Tennis Landscape Look Like After the Coronavirus Pandemic?

Another WTA event has been suspended as Wimbledon took a backseat, marking it the first time to be postponed since World War 2.

This is no longer a surprise for anybody given the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. In fact, both the WTA and ATP committees have formally announced that there will be further suspension of tours this season.

“Regrettably, the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic leaves us with no choice but to suspend the Tour further; a decision we’ve made in close cooperation with our members and the other governing bodies of tennis,” said ATP chairman Andrea Gaudenzi.

“Health and safety remains the top priority as we navigate the challenges ahead in these unprecedented times, and we will do everything we can for the Tour to resume at the earliest opportunity once it is safe to do so,” he added.

This will pose a huge challenge especially to our favourite players as the tennis landscape will change dramatically when this is all over.

With that said, together with SBOBET, let’s examine the outlook for some of our WTA players for the foreseeable future.

 

Will Ashleigh Barty stay on top?

Ashleigh Barty made history when she became the second Australian ever to sit atop of the WTA rankings since Evonne Goolagong Cawley, but can she stay there for a long time?

The 23-year-old has the tools to maintain her standing as she can overwhelm her opponents every time with her quickness and power on the tennis court.

But looking at the WTA 2020 odds, it’s inevitable that she’ll lose precious points with various events getting postponed left and right.

There’s a stipulation in the WTA point system that requires players to defend their points they earned at the events from last year.

For instance, if Barty couldn’t defend her French Open title assuming this year’s edition will be cancelled, she will indeed lose points. It can be noted that Barty earned around 40-per cent of her ranking points throughout the latter part of the 2019 calendar year.

Losing points will give the likes of Simona Halep, Karolina Pliskova, and 2020 Australian Grand Open champion Sofia Kenin more wiggle room to possibly catch up, although Ashleigh Barty has at least a 2,500-point buffer over those three players.

Ashleigh Barty had a solid showing last time at Melbourne and it took an amazing game by Sofia Kenin to be shown the door during the semifinals.

It’s a good thing, however, that this year’s French Open will take place around September to October. So hopefully by that time, we have flattened the curve and our sporting events will resume.

Serena Williams’ chance of grabbing another title in WTA 2020 season is in peril due to her advancing age

Serena Williams gestures during the Australian Open second round singles match against Slovenia’s Tamara Zidansek

Does this shut down Serena Williams’ Grand Slam chase?

We all know that Serena Williams is in pursuit of history. But her journey to making history anew might be derailed since this season is in great peril.

The 39-year-old American is chasing the untouchable record of Margaret Court’s 24 Grand Slam singles titles and she has been on the cusp of drawing level with the Australian legend for quite some time now.

Last season had been an up-and-down campaign for Williams. Despite having vintage performances in some tours, her season was hampered by injuries which didn’t help her form.

Since giving birth to her daughter Olympia last 2017, the 23-time Grand Slam titlist has reached only four Grand Slam finals but failed to win in any of them. Her closest was in last year’s Wimbledon final where she lost against Simona Halep.

Now because of the break, many believe that Williams’ chances of grabbing another title is slipping away especially with her advancing age.

“I was convinced last year she was going to win a Grand Slam title but now I’m just starting to feel that it’s not so possible,” said former player Barbara Schett.

“There are players out there who know they can beat her. Her mobility isn’t so good. She gets more nervous and she puts pressure on herself to win another Slam,” she added.

 

WTA to lay down contingency plan for players affected

For some good WTA 2020 news, the WTA announced that they’ve considered an extension of the 2020 tennis season in order to mitigate the financial losses suffered by the players due to the suspension of the tours.

As of this writing, all major tours in the WTA are postponed until June 7.

“Professional tennis players are independent contractors and not employees of the WTA. As a result, a player’s compensation is based on on-court competition and when tournaments are not held this puts a pause on their principal revenue flow,” said the WTA board in an official statement.

“The WTA fully recognises the challenges these athletes are facing as well as those similar challenges being dealt with from millions of people around the world during this unprecedented situation,” the statement ended.

 

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17-Apr 2020 Friday 2:57 PM (82 days ago)            #7
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ATP: Examining the Men’s Division

With ATP tours getting cancelled left and right, it’s safe to say that we won’t get to see our favourite players compete anytime soon.

Last week in our ATP 2020 news, the ATP and WTA committee have cancelled the much-awaited Wimbledon for the first time since World War 2, which put the whole world of tennis in uncharted territory.

Instead of hearing results of tennis matches lately, we’ve been hearing how players have given back to the community which should serve as our consolation for the meantime.

With the rest of the sports world still on hold, this time, let’s take a look into the ATP landscape just like in our last week’s feature for the WTA.

 

Wasted year for Roger Federer?

The clock has been ticking and time is not on Roger Federer’s side as he’s fast approaching in his 40’s.

However, if the last tour was any indication, the 38-year-old Swiss international should remain competitive despite his advancing age.

During the Australian Open last February, Federer reached all the way to the semifinals only to lose against the top-ranked ATP player in Novak Djokovic.

While he has won 20 Grand Slam titles in his decorated career, it has been a while since Federer won his last big trophy. The last time he won was when he defeated Croatian Marin Cilic in the 2018 Australian Open.

Roger Federer is in a similar quandary with Serena Williams as there have been more doubters when asked about their chances this year.

In fact, French tennis player Benoit Paire took it to his Instagram live a few days ago and candidly said that Roger Federer’s ATP 2020 odds of winning another Grand Slam looks to be very slim.

But while there are doubters, there are those who still believe that the Swiss can still win one more under his belt.

In his own Instagram live session, the eighth-ranked Matteo Berrettini expressed his admiration towards his idol saying that he is Mr. Tennis.

“Roger is tennis. He can do whatever he wants. It’s so easy and he is my idol. And I can talk about him for two days. He makes it look like he was born like that,” said Berrettini in his native language.

Federer has had his share of injuries over these past few years. However, if he could remain healthy throughout this year, getting his 21st Grand Slam is no longer a far fetched idea.

 

The youngsters are going to be all right

Over this past season, several young turks have risen to stardom. But these hotshots would have to wait for now as we wait for tennis action to resume.

Players such as Stefanos Tsitipas, Daniil Medvedev, and Alexander Zverev are expected to carry the mantle as the household names in the ATP for years to come.

Out of the three, it is Medvedev who ranks the highest as he is fifth overall behind the likes of Dominic Thiem and the Big 3.

The 24-year-old is enjoying a brilliant stretch over these past two years. He won three titles in 2018 and then he won four more in 2019 to break into the top 5 in the ATP rankings.

His play has caught the attention of pundits and fellow competitors. At one point, Novak Djokovic even called him a “complete player”.

On the other hand, Stefanos Tsitsipas has been making waves too at 21 years old. After winning the 2018 ATP Next Gen Finals, he burst into the scene when he pulled off an upset against Roger Federer in the succeeding Australian Open.

Tsitsipas would go on and reach five finals, winning three titles in the process last season and he is expected to do more since he has all the tools needed to succeed.

Another name that tennis fans should look out for is Alexander Zverev as he will be on a mission after a lacklustre 2019.

At one point, the young German made it to No. 3 in the world rankings after winning 11 titles. But he has yet to live up to his potential since he is yet to have his crowning moment in the Grand Slams.

Nonetheless, the future looks bright for Zverev and for his fellow young stars. The sport of tennis is, indeed, in good hands.

 

Novak Djokovic should sit steady at the top

Novak Djokovic has been continuously dominating all of his ATP counterparts this season

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic returns the ball to Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece during the final match of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship

Novak Djokovic is the best in the world right now and he is still in his prime, so unseating him at the top will always be a daunting task for his competitors.

I described the Serbian international as the perfect tennis player because of his mental make-up and his undeniable talent. In fact, because he’s so good, he can make his competitors look like amateurs.

“The toughest thing is to play against Novak. You feel like an amateur against him. I have never been close to winning a set against him. He doesn’t have any weaknesses,” said former World No. 33 Robin Haase.

Before the postponement of the season, Djokovic took home his eighth Australian Open as he continues to assert his dominance and for sure he will bring home more titles in the next few tours.

But for now, we have no choice but to wait. So tune in here at SBOBET for more of your sports news!

 

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17-Apr 2020 Friday 3:02 PM (82 days ago)            #8
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ATP Flashback: Nadal Clinches First Wimbledon Championship

Rafael Nadal vs Roger Federer, 6-4 ,6-4, 6-7(5), 6-7(8), 9-7

In what was one of the most anticipated matches of their budding rivalry back then, two ATP standouts in Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer took part in an epic 2008 Wimbledon final that would change their careers forever.

This marked the third straight time where these two locked horns in the Wimbledon final. Federer got the best of Nadal in the previous two matchups, so it is natural that the latter was very hungry to finally win one for himself.

These two players in our men’s division were on a tear prior to this match. Rafael Nadal was on a 23-game win streak, which included his first-ever grass court title at the Artois Championships in London while Roger Federer just won his fifth grass court title at the Gary Weber Open and then reached the final unscathed.

But unlike in their two previous encounters, pundits were keen on picking Nadal as the favourite here and the big stage was all set with tennis fans all over the world glued to the boob tube for this showdown.

As we continue to wait for more ATP 2020 updates due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, join SBOBET as we go back in time to this historic clash in London.

 

Highlights of the game

Rafael Nadal fought Roger Federer in the ATP finals of 2008 Wimbledon

Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer during the 2008 Wimbledon

Tennis legend and commentator John McEnroe described this match as one of the best ever, and rightfully so given the history between these two superstars.

Four weeks earlier, Rafael Nadal demolished Roger Federer at the Roland Garros, but memories of their past Wimbledon matchups were haunting the Spaniard.

Actually, this was the last match played on Centre Court before they installed a roof. Back then, rain delays interrupted matches like this on several occasions.

These two players gave it their best shot right from the get-go, which featured a superb 14-stroke rally in the first set. Nadal took a 5-4 lead and eventually came away with the first set when Federer missed two opportunities to draw level.

The Swiss native came back firing in the second set as he broke Nadal’s serve by unleashing a vicious cross-court forehand to start. Federer later on established a 4-1 lead, but Nadal won five games in a row to mount a furious comeback to go up two sets to love.

Down 0-2, Federer was desperate to extend this match. When the third set was at 3-3, Federer was down 0-40 but won five straight points to regain the lead. However, with him leading 5-4, the rain started pouring and both players had to leave the court momentarily.

The play resumed with the match still teetering in the balance. Looking to avoid another letdown, Federer used his trademark forehand shots and an ace to take the third set much to the enjoyment of the crowd.

“The rain delay probably woke me up. I said, ‘If you’re going to go out of this match, at least you’re going to go down swinging.’” said Roger Federer at the time.

Federer found himself in almost the same situation when he was down 4-5 in the fourth set. At 0-30, he was in danger to lose the match but he churned out four straight points to escape which prompted the crowd chanting his name all over the arena.

Tensions were running high when it all went down to the final and deciding set. Rafael Nadal quickly zoomed to a 5-2 lead and was threatening to break the game wide open. However, a double fault and a netted backhand attempt brought it to 5-4. Federer had a set point at 6-5 but he missed a forehand while Nadal couldn’t capitalise either at 7-6 when Federer answered back with a strong serve.

With the match level at 7-7, Nadal and Federer had an intense back-and-forth affair for the championship. But finally, a new champion was crowned when the Spaniard sent a forehead dagger into the net on his last salvo.

 

Key statistics

After almost five hours of grueling action, Nadal fell onto the grass in celebration of his first ever Wimbledon title. It was arguably one of the best tennis matches we’ve seen for a while. To be exact, the elapsed time is four hours and 48 minutes.

While Federer had a significant edge in terms of aces (25) and winners (89), he almost doubled Nadal’s total unforced errors in this match (52-27).

 

What happened next?

After winning over Federer in the 2008 Wimbledon Final, Nadal would continue his fantastic year by winning his second Davis Cup along with an Olympic gold medal. He was ranked as the No. 1 player in the ATP rankings.

These two players would go on to have fruitful careers in tennis. Even after 12 years, Federer and Nadal would still own two of the highest ATP 2020 odds in every upcoming tours this season.

Federer and Nadal are now approaching the twilight of their careers. And while they aren’t the same players that they used to be, that one fateful night in London should serve as a reminder of their greatness on the court.

 

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27-Apr 2020 Monday 3:43 PM (72 days ago)            #9
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WTA: Young Stars Who Have the Brightest Futures

The beauty of tennis is that it offers a great mix of talent from the veterans to their younger counterparts.

Names such as Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova, Caroline Wozniacki, Angelique Kerber, and Simona Halep have been dominant in the WTA as they took over for the better part of the decade.

However, over these past few years, we’ve seen several upstarts showing glimpses of their potential from time to time showing everyone that the world of tennis is in good hands for the foreseeable future.

And with the veterans slowly approaching past their primes, it’s inevitable that a new breed of standouts are going to emerge.

So who are expected to take over and become the next stars of the game? Join SBOBET as we take a look into some of the hottest young prospects today.

 

Naomi Osaka

Naomi Osaka quickly rose to fame when she defeated Serena Williams in the Flushing Meadows two years ago. And then she followed it up few months later when she won the Australian Open.

However, the Japanese sensation looked like a shell of herself for the most part last season since then, as she struggled with various injuries.

But once she got back into full fitness, the 22-year-old managed to score some big wins – namely the French Open and the WTA China Open.

Previously ranked as the 68th-best player in the WTA rankings from when she started, as of this writing, Osaka has cracked into the Top 10 and will look to stay there for the foreseeable future.

Osaka’s game is similar to Serena Williams’ as she is known for being an aggressive baseline player. While her power is still considered raw for now, once she hits her physical peak, she will be definitely a handful to deal with on the tennis court.

 

Sofia Kenin

Sofia Kenin remains as one of WTA’s durable players

Sofia Kenin holds the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup after a WTA win

Even with her small stature, Sofia Kenin should be considered as a dangerous opponent for every other players out there.

After winning three titles back in 2019 which included the likes of Ashleigh Barty, Elina Svitolina, and Serena Williams on her list of victims, the 21-year-old added another hardware to her trophy case when she defied the WTA 2020 odds winning the 2020 Australian Grand Open.

She’s young and has a lot of bounce to her step. But while she possesses a sublime backhand, her forehand needs more work in order to maximise her knockout power.

But overall, her killer instinct is something you can’t overlook. At the same time, she has yet to suffer any major injuries, making her one of WTA’s durable players.

Like the others in this list, Kenin has a bright future ahead of her. Now placed fourth in the WTA rankings, I wouldn’t be surprised if she will take the top spot sooner or later.

 

Bianca Andreescu

Another standout makes it in this list in Bianca Andreescu.

Despite suffering an injury late last year, the 19-year-old sensation still emerged as the highest-ranked Canadian in WTA history.

Andreescu is more than capable of producing some of the best WTA 2020 highlights. If you watch her perform during last year at Indian Wells and Toronto, that should paint a clearer picture for you.

The Canadian is known for her strong forehand and she is known for being one of the mentally toughest players out there.

Her laser-like focus and ability to visualize are some of the best practices that anyone can pick up and that would surely help in her continual rise as one of the world’s best.

 

Coco Gauff

Coco Gauff offers such a huge upside especially since she is the youngest player on this list.

Despite being only 16, the Atlanta native has shown to the world that she can play toe-to-toe against the best players out there.

Her crowning moment so far was when she won the Linz Open last year. Although she came in as the 110th-ranked player at the time, Gauff overcame the odds to qualify for the tournament.

She also defeated five topnotch players en route to the title – which included the eighth-ranked player in Kiki Bertens. Perhaps this will be a sign of things to come for the young American.

With the way she has been performing since last season, Gauff is expected to rack up more accolades as she goes along.

 

Ashleigh Barty

After an auspicious campaign last year, Ashleigh Barty’s ascent to the top of the WTA rankings is not a surprise. She is the first Australian since Evonne Goolagong Cawley to achieve such feat.

Barty’s tennis career was an arduous road at first. In fact, when she first came into the scene four years ago, the Queenslander ranked to as low as 623rd place.

But as she persevered, Barty’s game became multidimensional, and that led to her winning so many matches over these past few years.

Her meteoric rise has been well-documented already. And since she is the top-ranked player in the WTA rankings, for sure she has a big target on her back in the upcoming tours.

As long as she stays injury-free, Ashleigh Barty should very well be on her way to being one of the best players in tennis.

 

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01-May 2020 Friday 2:02 PM (68 days ago)            #10
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WTA: Stars Set To Compete in Virtual Tennis

Even if major sporting events are halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the trend nowadays is for our favourite athletes to still play sports, albeit in a video game setup.

SBOBET fans have seen that already in the NBA where stars join in an NBA 2K tournament before. And perhaps this time around, our WTA players will have their turn as they swap their racquets for video game consoles.

According to the latest WTA 2020 news provided by the federation’s official website, various high profile stars will compete in the Mario Tennis Aces game exclusively for Nintendo Switch. The tournament will be named as the “Stay at Home Slam” that will be held starting on Sunday, May 3 in Facebook Gaming.

On the other side of the fence, other tennis standouts will be competing in a different gaming competition altogether. Tennis stars will converge to play in the Virtual Madrid Open in Playstation 4 where several ATP and WTA players are to be headlining the event.

 

Who will compete in the “Stay at Home Slam”?

Naomi Osaka, Kei Nishikori, Maria Sharapova, and the Williams sisters will headline the playing field for the Stay at Home Slam. But what will make the competition more colourful is the mix of celebrities that they will compete against in the event.

Hollywood personalities such as Gigi Hadid, Seal, Hailey Bieber, and Steve Aoki will be joined by American fashion model Karlie Kloss, social media celebrity Addison Rae, and NFL standouts Ryan Tannehill and Juju Smith-Schuster.

Commentating the matches will be none other than legendary tennis icon John McEnroe and YouTube sensation iJustine.

Competitors for this event will play in their respective homes where they will choose which Mushroom Kingdom character they’ll play. Characters include Mario, Luigi, Peach, Donkey Kong, and Bowser.

Each participant will receive $25,000 for them to donate to the charities of their choice. The winner of the tournament will come home with an additional $1-M in donation as well.

“I am proud our IMG tennis clients came together so quickly to support a multitude of great causes. It is a testament to the people we work with across all out divisions that we were able to bring this to life in such a short amount of time,” said Max Eisenbud, SVP of tennis clients in IMG.

“Gaming’s superpower has always been bringing people together, and right now that’s the case more than ever. Blending that superpower with pro athletes and epic entertainment to raise money for COVID-19 relief and research efforts is a natural fit that we’re proud to be a part of,” said Leo Olebe, Global Director for Games Partnerships in Facebook Gaming.

 

Who will be the king and queen of “Clay-station?”

Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic are no longer strangers to holding charity events, and this one is no different.

They will be joined by the likes of Caroline Wozniacki, Bianca Andreescu, Johanna Konta, Dominic Thiem, and Stefanos Tsitsipas to compete in the Virtual Madrid Open.

Participants will get to play characters of themselves in the 32-player tournament which should compensate for now given that the real Madrid Open is postponed.

There will be a men’s and women’s division for this tournament, and each has separate prize pots of 150,000 euros that are expected to be given away for COVID-19 relief efforts.

Kiki Bertens will have the chance to defend her WTA Madrid open title virtually

Kiki Bertens celebrates during a match against Petra Kvitova in the Mutua Madrid Open Final

As early as now, these players have been doing all they can to be competitive in this event. For one, Kiki Bertens — who supposedly owns one of the biggest WTA 2020 odds of winning this year’s Madrid Open — have already devised some tactics as if she was defending her actual crown.

“Winning last year was the biggest title of my career so I have such great memories from Madrid. I wanted to defend my title. Now I’m not sure if I will be able to, because I’d rather play a tennis match in Madrid than a computer game! But I’m practising hard and we will see how it goes,” said Bertens.

In fact, the 28-year-old also shared that she has already played friendly matches against Belinda Bencic, Carla Suarez Navarro, and Fiona Fierro to get her acclimated with the game.

“On court I scream a lot and show my emotions, but I think my competitive spirit will come out even more when I’m playing the game. It is hard not to let my emotions go. Once already the controller was almost flying across the room,” bared Bertens.

 

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08-May 2020 Friday 3:58 PM (61 days ago)            #11
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Will We Witness An ATP-WTA Merger?

There have been a lot of talks about a possible ATP-WTA merger lately. Although it is no longer a new concept, it remains to be seen on whether it will come into fruition sooner or later.

Roger Federer brought up this concept once more when he made a series of posts from his official Twitter account two weeks ago in our ATP-WTA 2020 news, mentioning that this might be the perfect time for a possible merger especially since tours are halted due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Just wondering… Am I the only one thinking that now is the time for men’s and women’s tennis to be united and come together as one?” said Federer.

“I am not talking about merging competition on the court, but merging the 2 governing bodies (ATP and WTA) that oversee the men’s and women’s professional tours,” he added.

Several other players agree to the Swiss native’s thoughts, saying that it should have happened a long time ago since it would help the sport overall.

WTA boss Steve Simon and ATP chief Andrea Gaudenzi are apparently warming up to the idea, but does this mean that a plan is in the works?

WTA’s Steve Simon and ATP’s Andrea Gaudenzi are said to be considering the ATP-WTA merger

WTA CEO Steve Simon during the retirement of Martina Hingis in Singapore

What does it mean when these two organizations combine and how will this be executed? Today, allow SBOBET to discuss the ramifications of this possible move.

 

Looking at the current situation

Tennis as we know today is being led by three separate entities – the International Tennis Federation (ITF), Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), and the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA).

These three major groups are responsible for holding various tours which include the Grand Slams, the Olympic events, Davis Cup, and Federations Cup, among others.

The ATP and WTA operate as separate entities and they have their own set of tours besides the major ones mentioned. At the same time, the ATP and WTA have distinct platforms to where fans can watch their tours which are overseen by the ITF.

Around 2002, ATP has explored the idea of having a merger when the WTA was popularized by Serena and Venus Williams. However, fast forward to today, ATP has significantly overtaken WTA in terms of profits and star power which would make the merger a complicated proposition since the WTA will look to benefit more from it.

Especially with all sports taking a major financial hit due to COVID-19, if there’s one group who would be reluctant for a merger, it will most likely be the ATP.

 

The devil is in the details

Merging the ATP and WTA would definitely be a game-changer for the sport and it will invite drastic changes from its business model and how the game will be marketed across the globe.

A huge benefit for this possible move will be more on the marketing perspective since it will give additional exposure to both the men’s and women’s division.

For the most part, the audience seems to be more interested in watching ATP tennis with the likes of the Big 3 and their young upstarts. If you’re a fan of women’s tennis, chances are that you only know the likes of the Williams sisters, Naomi Osaka, and Coco Gauff.

With the merger, additional exposure is guaranteed especially since it will be likely that they will share a platform for fans to get their dose of tennis action.

However, the same can’t be said when it comes to the financial aspect of this possible merger. If these two groups are to be combined, expect the term “revenue sharing” to be a touchy subject in their talks.

Since the 2008 Wimbledon where both the men’s and women’s divisions agreed to pay their winners equal pot money, ATP’s revenue difference over WTA has increased to a staggering 54-per cent or $37.4-M according to a study in 2014. That is the same case last year when ATP made almost $150-M in yearly profits while WTA was really lagging behind.

In a merger, the ATP would most likely share their revenues with the WTA. But if they can beef up on their marketing efforts, I don’t see any reason as to why WTA won’t catch up with the ATP’s profit level soon.

While a merger is quite possible, the ATP-WTA 2020 odds of it happening any time soon isn’t likely just yet. By the looks of it, it seems that the WTA is pushing for it rather than the ATP as of the moment.

 

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08-May 2020 Friday 4:04 PM (61 days ago)            #12
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ATP: 5 Things to Know About Stefanos Tsitsipas

If you don’t know about Stefanos Tsitsipas yet, you should. The 21-year-old is one of the brightest young stars on the ATP Tour at the moment and has the potential to be the top player in the sport in a few years’ time.

Allow SBOBET to help you learn more details about this budding tennis superstar’s personal and professional life thus far.

 

Tsitsipas had a near-death experience as a teen

Stefanos Tsitsipas suffered a harrowing near-death experience as a teenager while swimming in a beach back in 2016.

Tsitsipas and a friend went out for a swim despite stormy conditions. And as the weather worsened, Tsitsipas found himself in serious trouble as he was unable to swim back to shore. He feared he wasn’t going to make it back alive.

“I remember surrendering,” Tsitsipas recalled. “I remember the flashback when time froze. Nothing moved. I couldn’t feel anything. There was a sudden flashback of my entire life.

“I remember drowning. I remember that feeling of dying. For a second I thought I was dead already.”

Fortunately, though, Tsitsipas’ father, Apostolos, was able to swim out in time and got both Stefanos and his friend back to the beach.

Tsitsipas admitted that from that day forward, he saw a different perspective on life and tennis.

 

Tsitsipas is a prankster

Tsitsipas has quite an interesting sense of humour. He’s a fun follow on social media, where he will share some of his rather weird thoughts.

Tsitsipas also isn’t afraid to pull a prank on his fellow players. Nick Kyrgios found this out first hand as Tsitsipas posted the Australian’s real phone number on Instagram — on Kyrgios’ birthday.

As a result, Kyrgios received a raft of calls from fans, which caused him to reply to Tsitsipas, “You are an absolute idiot everyone stop calling me!!!!!” Although, his comment did have several laughing emojis, so it’s clear he took the prank well.

Nick Kyrgios currently holds the ATP head-to-head lead against Stefanos Tsitsipas

Nick Kyrgios and Stefanos Tsitsipas meet at the net after their Citi open semi-final clash

Kyrgios owns a 2-0 lead over Tsitsipas in terms of their career head-to-heads. And when they get to meet on the court once again, the Australian will no doubt be ready to get his revenge.

Much like Novak Djokovic’s impressions, Tsitsipas’ sense of humour should help endure him to fans, especially as his public profile continues to grow.

 

Tsitsipas the Greek tennis god

Tsitsipas may only be 21 years of age, but he already owns the title of Greece’s greatest tennis player ever. He became the first player from the country to ever win an ATP tournament, and he did so as a teenager in 2018.

He’s also the highest-ranked Greek player in history after breaking through to the Top 5 last year. Prior to him, no Greek player had even broken into the Top 50 of the ATP rankings.

Tsitsipas realises his unique status in Greek tennis and is proud to bring honour to his country.

“I am very proud of myself and also I believe I made my country proud,” Tsitsipas said.

“I feel proud to represent Greek colours around the world,” added the towering teenager on Instagram on Sunday night. “I am sincerely grateful that every day I have the opportunity to make a fresh start, a new step and contribute to the development of tennis in Greece.”

 

Youngest ATP Finals winner since 2001

Aside from being a trailblazer for Greek tennis, Tsitsipas has also made some history on Tour. By far his biggest achievement to date was winning the season-ending Nitto ATP Finals in 2019, where he topped Dominic Thiem in the final.

In doing so, Tsitsipas became the youngest winner of ATP Finals since Lleyton Hewitt in 2001 and the sixth-youngest winner in the tournament’s history.

Tsitsipas defeated fellow young up-and-comers Daniil Medvedev and Alexander Zverev during the group stage before knocking out Roger Federer in straight sets in the semi-finals.

 

Tsitsipas targeting first Grand Slam in 2020

Tsitsipas has already achieved so much in his young career. But he has yet to tick off one major box, which is to win a Grand Slam. After winning the ATP Finals in 2019, Tstisipas made winning a Grand Slam his main goal in 2020.

Tsitsipas’ ATP 2020 results looked promising as he made back-to-back finals prior to the halt in play. However, he suffered a shock third-round exit in this year’s Australian Open. Meanwhile, it remains to be seen if and when the other Grand Slams will be held this year.

But if tennis does return, the ATP 2020 betting odds will no doubt have Tsitsipas as one of the favourites to claim that elusive Grand Slam this year.

 

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11-May 2020 Monday 12:58 PM (58 days ago)            #13
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WTA: 5 Things to Know About Coco Gauff

Cori “Coco” Gauff is one of the most intriguing young prospects in the WTA and she probably offers the highest upside since she is still very young.

If you don’t know her yet, you definitely should. So for today, allow SBOBET to help you learn more about this young standout’s personal and professional life thus far.
 

Yes, Gauff is only 16 years old

Coco Gauff started playing tennis when she was seven years old and she admitted that she wanted to model her game after Venus Williams.

She noted that she wanted to play tennis because of the skirts, according to her father. And while she tried various sports such as track and basketball, she was drawn to tennis because it was a perfect fit to her shy and competitive nature.

Her early success in winning the “Little Mo” eight-and-under nationals practically sealed the deal for her to commit to tennis early on.

“I wasn’t much of a team person. I loved tennis. I was so-so about it in the beginning because when I was younger I didn’t want to practice at all. I just wanted to play with my friends. When I turned eight, that was when I played “Little Mo” and after that I decided do that the rest of my life,” said Gauff.

Since then, Gauff has had a strong junior career which included a French Open Grand Slam and becoming the No. 1 junior player in the world. You can just imagine enjoying all of this success at the tender age of 16. It is quite unheard of.
 

Gauff got her athletic genes from her parents

Perhaps the main reason why Coco Gauff possesses raw athletic abilities is because she won the genetic lottery.

Her father Corey is a former college basketball player for Georgia State University while her mother Candi was a hepathlete and hurdler at Florida State.

With Coco decided to commit to tennis, Corey was her primary coach and he trains his daughter at Serena Williams’ coach Patrick Mouratoglou’s tennis academy.

Coco admitted that her father can sometimes be tough on her during training, but there’s no doubt that it shaped her to be where she is now.

“When we were younger it was pretty easy. And then when I turned 12 or 13, we used to argue because he used to be annoying. He would bring tennis home and he’s always around me. So now we talked, and understand each other now more,” said Coco Gauff.

“I’ve always challenged her from the beginning of this when we started. I always tell her that she’ll be able to change the world with her racket,” said Corey Gauff.
 

Gauff is still your typical teenager

Most kids at her age are either busy studying or playing and hanging out with friends, and Coco Gauff continues to find time in doing so.

Especially since all tours were halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Gauff bared that she’s been keeping herself busy by playing video games such as Fortnite, according to our WTA 2020 updates.

Coco Gauff has been deemed to be a long-term successor to Serena Williams in WTA

USA’s Coco Gauff during her fourth round match of Australian Open at Melbourne Park

She is also a fan of some of the hit music artists today. Looking at her Instagram, Coco attended an Ariana Grande concert and she expressed her excitement when Jaden Smith released his new album last year.

Coco Gauff is still expected to pursue her studies while playing professional tennis and it’s a great move towards setting up her future.
 

Gauff almost quit took a year off from tennis

With Coco Gauff rising to fame over these past few months, she mentioned that she struggled to deal with the hype and pressure.

The American teenager considered taking a year off in order to cope with depression as well as trying to rediscover her love to tennis.

“Throughout my life, I was always the youngest to do things, which added hype that I didn’t want. I was struggling to figure out if this was really what I wanted. I always had the results, so that wasn’t the issue. I just found myself not enjoying what I loved,” said the 16-year-old.

“I realised I needed to start playing for myself and not other people. For about a year, I was really depressed. It took many moments sitting, thinking, and crying. I came out of it stronger and knowing myself better than ever,” she added.
 

Gauff is a young star in the making

Coco Gauff has been touted a long-term successor to Serena Williams for women’s tennis in America. The teenage sensation has enjoyed a fabulous run in the professional ranks since last year, when she reached the fourth round of Wimbledon in her first major Grand Slam appearance.

She defied the WTA 2020 odds once more when she reached the fourth round in her Australian Open debut few months ago, which paved the way for her to break into the top 50 in the WTA rankings. Coco Gauff is the first 15-year-old to achieve such feat in the last 15 years.

With her mix of youth, athleticism, and drive to excel, Coco Gauff is one player that everyone should watch out for.
 

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25-Jun 2020 Thursday 8:06 PM (13 days ago)            #14
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ATP: Tour Suspension Extended to End of July

While some major sports leagues are finally starting up their seasons again after the long break in play due to the pandemic, tennis fans will have to wait a while longer for the sport to return.

That’s after both the ATP and WTA decided to extend the suspension of play a couple more weeks until the end of July. The men’s and women’s tours were scheduled to resume on July 13 following their hiatus due to the pandemic.

“Due to continued uncertainties surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, we regret to announce our decision to extend the suspension of the Tour,” said Andrea Gaudenzi, ATP Chairman. “Just like tennis fans, players and tournament hosts all over the world, we share in the disappointment the Tour continues to be affected in this way.

“We continue to assess all of our options in an effort to resume the Tour as soon as it is safe to do so, including the feasibility of rescheduling events later in the season. As ever, the health and well-being of the tennis community and wider public remains our top priority in every decision we make.”

ATP events in Hamburg, Bastad, Newport, Los Cabos, Gstaad, Umag, Atlanta and Kitzbühel will no longer take place as a result of this decision, while WTA’s events in Lausanne, Bucharest, and Jurmala are also officially off.

The ATP and WTA Tours have been suspended since March when the BNP Paribas Open was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Wimbledon and the entire British grass-court season has already been cancelled, but tournaments taking place from August 1, 2020 onwards are still expected to take place as scheduled. The US Open is scheduled for the end of August, with the French Open due in late September.

World No. 2 Rafael Nadal came out earlier this month expressing significant doubts that the 2020 season can resume after the pandemic. The Spaniard added that it would be best to just return in 2021.

“I would sign up right now just to being ready for 2021,” Nadal said. “I’m more concerned with the Australian Open than with what happens later this year. I think 2020 has been practically lost. I’m hopeful of being able to start next year.”

But just last week, Gaudenzi refused to rule out the Tour returning in 2020, saying it would be “unwise to call it quits now.”

While extending the suspension is a setback, there’s still time for the ATP and WTA to hold their events — especially the two remaining Grand Slams — in the second half of the year.

If the Tour does get restarted and plays those Grand Slams, the ATP 2020 betting odds would no doubt have Novak Djokovic among the favourites for those tournaments.

Djokovic will certainly be ready to go as he has his sights set on breaking the record for the most Grand Slam titles and becoming the longest-reigning world No. 1 when he retires.

“I’m always very confident in myself,” Djokovic said in an interview on In Depth with Graham Bensinger. “I believe I can win the most slams and break the record for longest No 1. Those are definitely my clear goals.”

The Serb had made the most ATP 2020 highlights. Aside from winning this year’s Australian Open — the 17th of his career — he had also won the ATP Cup as well as the Dubai Tennis Championships, where he defeated rising star Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final.

ATP's 2020 Australian Open sees Novak Djokovic winning over Dominic Thiem

Novak Djokovic defeated Dominic Thiem to nab the Men’s Singles title in the 2020 Australian Open

Djokovic is two Grand Slams behind rival Rafael Nadal and three behind all-time leader Roger Federer, who has 20.

Federer also holds the record for total weeks at No. 1 with 310; Djokovic is at 282, but while he’s currently at No. 1, his total is not adding up while the Tour is on pause.

The 32-year-old Djokovic still has a lot of time to catch up to Federer, especially since he can see himself playing until he’s 40.

“I don’t believe in limits. I think limits are only illusions of your ego or your mind,” he said.

But as Djokovic’s wife Jelena revealed, the world No. 1 was ready to quit the sport altogether just two years ago after a long-term elbow injury which eventually resulted in surgery.

However, Djokovic changed his mind after returning from a holiday, a decision that many SBOBET ATP fans loved. And if Djokovic has his way and plays until he’s 40, tennis fans will get to see a lot more of him in the future.

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25-Jun 2020 Thursday 8:08 PM (13 days ago)            #15
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WTA: 5 Things to Know About Serena Williams

Serena Williams’ path to greatness has been well-documented. With so many accolades along with her longevity in playing the sport, the American international’s name should be up there as one of the WTA greats.

But despite all that, there are still some pretty great things that people don’t know about her, which includes her various ventures outside the sport along with her personal life.

Serena Williams is not only an all-time tennis star as she is also a successful businesswoman, activist, humanitarian, and a mother. She is indeed an incredible personality.

Without further ado, allow SBOBET to help you get familiarized with Serena Williams’ story as we list some details of her personal and professional life just like what we did before for Coco Gauff and Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Williams started very young

Serena Williams started her tennis journey when she was merely a toddler. Her father Richard, who is part of the American Tennis Hall of Fame, was her first tennis coach at the time.

Her dad’s story was an inspirational one especially since he had no prior background in playing the game. When he learned on TV that the paycheck of a tennis match winner was big, Williams wrote a 78-page plan and took it upon himself to teach his daughters how to play the sport.

The result speaks for itself as his daughters combined for 30 Grand Slam singles titles, 14 Grand Slam doubles, two Olympic gold medals in singles, and two Olympic gold medals in doubles.

“My dad is amazing. I could never have done what he has done, not only with myself but with Venus. I remember when we were young we went out and trained and practised and didn’t miss a day,” said Serena Williams.

“To have that discipline actually makes me look at myself as a player, as a parent and just really appreciate my dad so much more than ever than I have in the past,” she added.

Williams loves travelling all over the world

Playing tennis has its perks which includes going to different places around the globe. Especially if you had a long career like Serena Williams did, chances are that you are lucky enough to have been to some of the world’s top tourist destinations.

Apparently, Serena Williams has a unique love for Rome especially since that’s where she met her lover Alexis Ohanian.

Many fans believe Serena Williams is still capable to create notable WTA 2020 highlights once the season resumes

Serena Williams in action during her WTA match against China’s Qiang Wang at the Australian Open

Serena and Alexis eventually tied the knot on November 2017, few months after giving birth to their daughter Olympia.

The 38-year-old knows how to speak other languages too. Whenever she plays matches in Paris, she flaunts her fluency with the native tongue by conducting interviews speaking French.

Williams is a big-time philanthropist and businesswoman

Serena Williams is one of the highest paid athletes in the world. But other than playing tennis, the Michigan-born superstar has done a whole lot of other ventures along with giving back to charity.

She became the first African-American female to hold a share of ownership in the NFL by investing in the Miami Dolphins back in 2009 and she has her own clothing line as well.

The Serena Williams foundation was created back in 2008 in order to help the youth all over the world. She’s had a huge hand in building schools in Uganda, Kenya, Jamaica, and Zimbabwe and she was also appointed as a UNICEF International Goodwill Ambassador too.

Williams had multiple appearances on TV

Like most high profile athletes, Serena Williams did some cameos from time to time.

She once appeared in a music video back in 2007 through rapper Common’s song “I Want You”, which also featured the likes of Alicia Keys and Kanye West.

Williams also played as Chloe Spears on an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit during their fifth season, plus some appearances in My Wife and Kids, ER, and even on The Simpsons as a drawn character.

Williams is arguably the greatest WTA player ever

There were doubts coming into this year on whether she can draw level with Margaret Court’s record of 24 Grand Slam titles. And while her WTA 2020 odds of doing so are lower than usual because of her advancing age, one can’t simply count her out since she is still very much capable of producing the best WTA 2020 highlights.

Whether she gets it or not, Serena Williams’ body of work is undeniable as she has been in the pantheon of tennis for so long. With 23 Grand Slams along with being ranked as the top player for a considerable period, there’s no doubt that Serena Williams is arguably the best tennis player in the modern era.

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25-Jun 2020 Thursday 8:10 PM (13 days ago)            #16
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ATP: Federer, Nadal Share Training Updates, Djokovic to Host New Tourney

The famed “Big 3” of the ATP — Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, and Roger Federer — are still making headlines even though the Tour remains on pause amid the pandemic.

While Djokovic and Nadal are making moves to return to tennis action, Federer is apparently going to take his time before getting back into the swing of things.

So as SBOBET ATP fans await for the Tour to get back to business, here’s a quick update as to what the three legends are currently up to.

Roger Federer believes Tour return still “way off”

Roger Federer isn’t ready to get back to tennis training just yet. The Swiss legend believes the Tour’s return from its pandemic-caused break of service is still “a long way off,” so he’s making the most out of the break to rest both physically and mentally.

“I’m not training at the moment because I don’t see a reason for that to be honest,” Federer said to Gustavo Kuerten on a video call.

“I am happy with my body now and I still believe that the return of the Tour is a long way off. And I think it’s important mentally to enjoy this break, having played so much tennis. When I’m getting towards returning and have a goal to train for, I think I will be super motivated.”

Federer also said he would be open to playing matches behind closed doors, but admitted that it would be “very difficult” to play major events with no fans.

The ATP and WTA recently extended the suspension of play until the end of July. While Wimbledon has been cancelled, the French Open is set to be rescheduled for September, which is when the US Open will also take place.

That should give the 38-year-old Federer enough time to enjoy his break, then get back to training as he goes in search for his 21st career Grand Slam title.

Rafael Nadal returns to training

While Federer is using his break to get some more rest and relaxation, Rafael Nadal is already getting back to work. The World No. 2 released a video showing himself returning to practice in his tennis academy.

“Hello everyone, here I am, finally back on court. Happy to be back to my practices,” Nadal said. “I’m super happy, too, that the kids can practise again here at the Rafa Nadal Academy. They are happy, and that’s the most important thing.”

In comments he made earlier this month, Nadal did not sound optimistic about the Tour’s chances of returning this year and hopes that it just restarts in 2021.

Rafael Nadal is back in training as he is maintaining in shape for the ATP’s return

Rafael Nadal grimaces after scoring a point against Roger Federer at their French Open match

But if the Tour does resume play as planned by August at the earliest, Nadal should be all ready to go after getting a headstart on his training.

If not for the coronavirus, Nadal would be in Paris right now to defend his French Open title. Nevertheless, the French Open 2020 betting odds will still have Nadal as the heavy favourite should the tournament push through in September.

Novak Djokovic to host Balkan tennis tournament

Novak Djokovic is not waiting around for the ATP Tour to get started. The World No. 1 has gone out and organised his own tennis tournament, the Adria Tour, which will be held across the different Balkan countries from June 13-July 5.

Djokovic, who is back home in Serbia after spending the past two months stranded in a Spanish resort due to the coronavirus lockdown, shared more details about the tournament and its big-name participants.

“I am delighted that Dominic Thiem, Grigor Dimitrov and Alexander Zverev will be my guests here in my hometown,” Djokovic said. “This is the first time any of them will be playing here and I will do everything in my power to be a good host.”

The first leg of the Adria Tour will take place on the clay courts of Belgrade on June 13 and 14 at Djokovic’s complex and the second in Croatia’s coastal resort Zadar on June 20 and 21.

Montenegro and Bosnia have been designated to host the final two legs but Djokovic said they are still not ready at this point.

All four legs will feature eight players, who will play in two pools of four on a round-robin basis. The winners of each pool will move on to the final.

The number of games to win a set have been reduced from six to four, while a total of 13 matches will be played over two days in each leg.

It remains to be seen whether Djokovic will actually be able to pull off this ambitious tournament. But if he does, fans would surely love to see some of the top players in the game making some ATP 2020 highlights once again.

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25-Jun 2020 Thursday 8:12 PM (13 days ago)            #17
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ATP: Federer Makes More History, Blockbuster NY Doubleheader in Play

Roger Federer continues to make history for the ATP. The Swiss legend accomplished something no other tennis player has ever done and beat out other sports superstars such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in the process.

Meanwhile, tennis in the US could return with a bang as one proposal tries to bring together two of the biggest events in American tennis to form a blockbuster doubleheader in New York City.

SBOBET sheds more light on all of these timely news stories concerning the men’s tennis tour.

Roger Federer tops Forbes rich list

Roger Federer has topped Forbes’ list of highest-paid athletes, becoming the first tennis player to rank No. 1 in the list’s 30-year history.

Federer, who finished second in 2013 and was No. 5 on the list in 2019, had estimated annual earnings of $106.3 million: $6.3 million in prize money and $100 million from endorsements and appearance fees.

The Swiss just edged football stars Cristiano Ronaldo ($105m) and Lionel Messi ($104m), who were the only other athletes to surpass the $100m milestone.

Brazilian footballer Neymar ($95.5m) and NBA superstar LeBron James ($88.2m) rounded out the top five.

Aside from Federer, three other ATP players made the top 40 of the Forbes list. World No. 1 Novak Djokovic came in 23rd with $44 million, World No. 2 Rafael Nadal was 27th at $40 million, and Japanese star Kei Nishikori was 40th at $32.1 million.

Federer, 39, has been using the break to rest and recover after undergoing knee surgery earlier this year. He has been invited to take part in a grass-court exhibition event in Berlin in July, but it remains to be seen if he will be ready to make ATP 2020 highlights by then.

USTA considering New York doubleheader

Rafael Nadal will once again among the big favourites according to the ATP 2020 betting odds

ATP star Rafael Nadal reacts after losing to Dominic Thiem during their quarterfinal match

The United States Tennis Association is considering holding two of the biggest events in American tennis — the Western & Southern Open and the US Open — back-to-back in New York City.

In a report by the New York Times, the proposal would see the USTA move the Western & Southern Open from Ohio to the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York.

The Western & Southern Open would be held from Aug. 17-23, and lead into the U.S. Open, which is scheduled for Aug. 31-Sept. 13.

This proposal would place all players in a centralised location for both tournaments and minimise the possible spread of COVID-19.

Just last week, USTA chief executive Stacey Allaster discussed the different scenarios they were preparing for in order to hold the 2020 US Open.

Among the plans the USTA have discussed are charter flights to ferry U.S. Open tennis players and limited entourages from Europe, South America and the Middle East to New York; negative COVID-19 tests before traveling; centralized housing; daily temperature checks; no spectators; and fewer on-court officials.

Allaster cautions that all of that is still fluid and that no decisions have yet been made. She adds that an official announcement as to whether the US Open will push through should come from “mid-June to end of June.”

The likes of Novak Djokovic and defending champion Rafael Nadal will once again be the big favourites according to the ATP 2020 betting odds, but given the unprecedented circumstances, this year’s US Open could see a few more surprises than usual.

World No. 11 Fabio Fognini undergoes surgery on both ankles

Fabio Fognini underwent arthroscopic surgery on both ankles last Saturday. The 33-year-old explained in an Instagram post that he had been dealing with ankle problems for several years now and believed this current break was the best time to have the procedures.

”I’ve been having a problem with my left ankle for three-and-a-half years now. It’s an issue I’ve learned to cope with. Then my right ankle started playing up in the past two years as well,” Fognini wrote. “I had hoped the various issues would go away during my two-month break from the game because of the lockdown, but when I resumed training, they were still there.

“After medical examination and a long discussion with my team, I decided to have arthroscopic surgery on both ankles. I believe it’s the right thing to do while the Tour is on this enforced break. I will undergo surgery in Italy today. I can’t wait to be back playing again!”

Fognini had a brilliant season in 2019. He won his first career ATP Masters 1000 event at Monte Carlo last April. He famously knocked out Rafael Nadal in straight sets in the the semi-finals before beating Dusan Lajovic in the final.

Months later, he reached a career-high ranking of ninth. In doing so, he became the oldest player to break into the top 10 for the first time since 1973.

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25-Jun 2020 Thursday 8:14 PM (13 days ago)            #18
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ATP: US Open Set to Go, Federer’s Season Done, Djokovic Event Draws Flak

Tennis looks set to take a major step toward restarting after the long pause in play as the ATP and WTA Tours are both expected to sign off on a plan to hold the US Open in late August.

However, that Grand Slam could be missing some of the biggest names in the sport due to safety and protocol concerns. One such superstar is already sure to miss out due to injury.

Meanwhile, World No. 1 Novak Djokovic is back in action, but his Balkans charity tournament has drawn criticism for its questionable health guidelines.

SBOBET is once again here to serve up all of the biggest headlines surrounding the Tour over the past few days.

US Open plans to push through for 2020

The U.S. Tennis Association intends to push through on its plans to play the 2020 US Open, with a formal announcement expected to come soon.

According to a report by Forbes, both the ATP and WTA are expected to approve a plan for the Open, which is scheduled to take place on Aug. 31-Sept. 13.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the USTA will have strict health protocols in place. Players will be tested regularly, but they will be under travel restrictions and will have just a limited number of people allowed to be with them while they are in New York. Also, fans will not be allowed at the event.

There are also plans to move the Western & Southern Open, which will begin just before the US Open, from Cincinnati to New York to form a two-event “bubble” at the National Tennis Center in New York.

However, top stars such as Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal have voiced concerns about taking part in the US Open under such unusual conditions.

Nadal said earlier this month that he wouldn’t play if the US Open were held today. He also stressed that the tour can’t come back until the situation is completely safe health-wise and that players from all countries can travel safely.

Meanwhile, Djokovic has pushed back on the US Open’s “extreme” protocols, which would see them not have access to Manhattan and sleep in airport hotels during the tournament. He is also against having just one member from his team accompanying him.

There’s still time to change their minds, but the ATP 2020 betting odds for the US Open will have a very different look to them if those two favourites do decide not to take part in the tournament.

Roger Federer suffers knee setback, done for 2020

Roger Federer is done for this ATP season after undergoing a surgery on his right knee

Roger Federer speaks to the press after his Australian Open semifinal loss against Novak Djokovic

One player who will surely not participate in the US Open is Roger Federer. The highest-paid athlete in the world made major ATP 2020 news by revealing that he has undergone another procedure on his right knee and will miss the remainder of the 2020 season.

Federer had surgery on his knee in February after taking part in the Australian Open, but he suffered a “setback” with his rehabilitation which required another procedure.

“A few weeks ago, having experienced a setback during my initial rehabilitation, I had to have an additional quick arthroscopic procedure on my right knee,” Federer said on Twitter on Wednesday.

“Now, much like I did leading up to the 2017 season, I plan to take the necessary time to be 100% ready to play at my highest level.”

Federer missed most of the 2016 season due to another knee injury, but he came back strong in 2017 to win both the Australian Open and Wimbledon.

But at 38 years of age, it remains to be seen whether Federer will still be able to reach his top form and add to his record 20 Grand Slams after these latest procedures on his knee.

Djokovic’s Adria Tour draws criticism

Novak Djokovic, along with other top-ranked players, were back on the court as Djokovic’s Balkans charity tennis tournament, the Adria Tour, got underway over the weekend.

Djokovic went 2-1 in the round-robin portion but was unable to reach the final of the event, which also featured World No. 3 Dominic Thiem, World No. 7 Alexander Zverev, and World No. 19 Grigor Dimitrov. He was brought to tears after his last match.

“I was very emotional on the court today. Childhood memories started flooding back, including those of growing up on these courts and playing here as a young boy,” Djokovic said. “I was overwhelmed and those were tears of joy after the match.”

However, Djokovic’s charity event has drawn criticism for its lack of social-distancing measures, as packed crowds were seen in the stands. As a result of Serbia’s lax guidelines, the Montenegro leg of the event was called off.

Djokovic has pushed back on those criticisms, though, claiming he was merely following the recommendations of the Serbian government.

“Of course you can criticise, you can also say this is dangerous or not, but it’s not up to me to make the calls what is health-wise right or wrong,” Djokovic said.

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30-Jun 2020 Tuesday 2:21 PM (8 days ago)            #19
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ATP: 5 Things to Know About Novak Djokovic

There’s no doubt that Novak Djokovic is the best tennis player in the world right now as he is currently ranked number one overall in the ATP rankings.

The 32-year-old Serbian international is in the thick of his physical prime and he’s made the most out of it by bringing home awards left and right over these past few years.

After leading Team Serbia to win the ATP Cup, he won the first Grand Slam tournament of the year by winning his eighth Australian Open title. And he will be always be favoured in our ATP 2020 odds of winning more trophies down the road.

79 overall titles and 17 Grand Slams are a hard feat to replicate, and that puts him in the conversation among the all-time great players of the sport because he continues to make history.

As we continue to wait for our sporting events to resume, SBOBET offers you today an in-depth look as to why Novak Djokovic is great at what he does.

The best backhand return in the business

The sport of tennis normally requires having strong forearms and Djokovic is one of those players who can make a vicious return after his opponent does a serve.

With most serves being directed for a backhand, Djokovic worked hard in developing his into a dangerous weapon, making it easier for him to score against opponents along with producing some of the best ATP 2020 highlights.

Djokovic’s technique is very simple. He would have his two hands on the grip of the racket, then his upper body will rotate 90 degrees sideways to generate just enough momentum to hit the ball with force.

Djokovic often gets creative on where to place the ball when he uses his backhand. He can either take the ball early and rip it hard cross court or he can roll it with an acute angle and even hitting a quick drop shot.

With his strong technique and great footwork, Djokovic’s backhand is something to look out for if you’re his opponent as he can negate your serve all in just one touch.

Don’t overlook at his serve either

Novak Djokovic beats Philipp Kohlschreiber during their clash in the ATP 500 Dubai Tennis Championships

Novak Djokovic serves the ball into Philipp Kohlschreiber during their clash in the ATP 500 Dubai Tennis Championships

Pundits in the past have overlooked Djokovic’s serves before, but statistics show that the 32-year-old superstar is one of the best at it.

“You actually don’t think about his serve, which is kind of disrespectful to him in a sense, because he does everything so well. He would even say probably six or seven years ago that his serve was a bit of a liability. But now, it’s not at all,” said John Isner in a past interview.

“If I was to put an empty can of ball on the court and you pick one player to hit a spot, typically it would have been Roger Federer. But today, I think Djokovic is that guy,” said Wimbledon analyst Craig O’Shannessy.

Novak Djokovic had proven just that especially this past year. In the 2019 Service Games Won Leaderboard, the 32-year-old is ranked fifth behind the likes of Rafael Nadal, Reilly Opelka, Roger Federer, and John Isner at 88-per cent.

He has also upped his aces for the last five years. From notching only 3.8 average aces in 2016, Djokovic has made a steady climb and has now reached to an average of 7.2 aces per match.

Djokovic had to deal with elbow issues in 2017 to 2018 which led him to introduce some tweaks to his service form. And so far, his hard work has bore fruit as he was won nearly 90-per cent of his service games this 2020 calendar year.

“We worked a lot in the offseason on my nerve. In terms of the way I’ve been serving now, it has been some of the best serving I’ve had in my career,” said Djokovic.

An apex predator on the tennis court

Djokovic’s tough upbringing in Serbia may have helped him in terms of his mental focus on the tennis court, especially with his poker face and steely demeanor.

At the same time, the Serbian superstar is also known for his tremendous work ethic as he would never stop despite being physically hurt at times.

Athletes can learn a thing or two about his approach as he often does mental visualisation and mindfulness whenever he trains. In his book called “Serve to Win”, Djokovic explained the benefits of doing such on a regular basis.

“I do it everyday for about 15 minutes and it is as important to me as my physical training. Instead of trying to find your ‘inner peace’, you allow and accept your thoughts as they come,” wrote Djokovic.

His mental approach has put him head and shoulders above the competition. Add that along with his physical gifts, now you know why Novak Djokovic is the best tennis player in the world today.

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This message was edited by SBOBET on 30-Jun-2020 at 2:21 PM


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