Published October 18, 2015
Tags: 2011, 2015, atpworldtour, djokovic, dominant, federer, murray, nadal, Serbian, wawrinka
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2015 has been Novak Djokovic‘s year. The Serb has won eight ATP World Tour titles, three of which were Grand Slams. He has accumulated an impressive 72-5 win-loss record with four of his losses coming in title matches. Only one player (Roger Federer) has beaten him more than once this year and comparisons are already being made to his successful 2011 season. His biggest regret will be his failure to capture the French Open title after dethroning Rafael Nadal in the quarter-finals, the man who has denied him on many occasions. The tears on the podium said it all, reflecting on a lost chance. Nevertheless, this has been a season that will go down in the history books along with Federer’s 2006-7 and Nadal’s 2010.
Is Djokovic better than he was four years ago? A breakdown of both his seasons is provided below along with my personal view below.
Even though the 2015 season has not concluded yet (Djokovic is still scheduled to play in Paris and London) we can safely say that this has been the best season of his career. He is the overwhelming favourite to beat Tsonga in the Shanghai final (he leads 13-6) and is a strong contender to take out both Paris and London, titles he won last year. Victory in Shanghai and Paris would break his 2011 record of five wins and be an all-time record for most Masters 1000 wins in a year. That would put him ahead on all the categories listed above and would justify why this has been his best yet. The Belgrade native is injury free and is in the prime of his life. Novak Djokovic, take a bow this has been your year.
Published August 30, 2015
Tags: 2015, cilic, djokovic, federer, grand slam, murray, nadal, nishikori, us open, wawrinka
The final Grand Slam kicks off this coming Monday, and as always critics and pundits are keen to rate each players chances of capturing the title. Here’s my personal take.
- Novak Djokovic (SRB): Arguably the player to beat in 2015 and is hoping to capture his third major this year, a feat he achieved in 2011. He is in excellent form at the moment, reaching finals in Canada and Cincinnati. Has reached the semis or better at the US Open since 2007 and that streak looks set to continue in 2015.
- Roger Federer (SUI): Built on his resurgence in 2014 by once again reaching the final at Wimbledon before falling to his nemesis Djokovic. Has had mixed fortunes at the Grand Slams this year but will be buoyed by his recent title win in Cincinnati. Hasn’t captured the US Open since 2008 but would expect his name in the second week of the tournament.
- Andy Murray (GBR): Bounced back superbly in 2015 after a dismal 2014 to his standards. Back troubles seem to be behind him and has reached the semi-finals or better at the Grand Slams this year. Recently clinched the Canadian Open against Djokovic, ending an eight match losing streak against the Serbian. Has a tricky opener against Kyrgios.
- Stan Wawrinka (SUI): Proven that he’s no one-slam wonder by winning the French title against the heavy favourite Djokovic. Has had mixed results of late but would expect him to reach the latter stages of the tournament. Been unfairly dragged into the Nick Kyrgios controversy, and is scheduled to meet the controversial Australian in the quarter-finals.
- Kei Nishikori (JPN): Made history last year at the Open by becoming the first Asian born man to reach a Grand Slam final. Built on his success in 2014, by winning titles in Memphis, Barcelona and the Citi Open. Beat Nadal for the first time in his career in Canada before falling to Murray. Faces a potential rematch with Cilic in the quarter-finals.
- Marin Cilic (CRO): Not to take anything away from him, but I’m sure few would of expected the tall Croatian to be last year’s winner. Has struggled in 2015, with a quarter-final at Wimbledon his only noteworthy mention. Hard to see him replicating his success from last year but does have a good draw to make at least the quarter-finals.
- Rafael Nadal (ESP): It’s hard to believe that on his last visit to New York he was hoisting the trophy. 2015 hasn’t been a good year for the Spaniard, for the first time since 2009 he hasn’t won Roland Garros and his woes at Wimbledon continued. Has had to resort to the lower tier to find form. Making the quarters would be a respectable acheivement.
Published August 16, 2015
Tags: 2015, atpworldtour, banging, girlfriend, kokkinakis, kyrgios, mate, sorry, vekic, wawrinka
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To put it simply, it’s hasn’t been a good week to be an Australian tennis player. And to make things even worse, reports have been circulating this afternoon that Kokkinakis, one of the innocent parties dragged into the Nick Kyrgios controversy, has been involved in a post match stoush with Ryan Harrison, which started off with the Australian taking exception to a few overrules from the umpire which escalated when the American appeared to reference the controversy which has gripped world headlines.
Kyrgios has already been fined heavily by the ATP and apologized personally and publicly. However, calls have grown louder for a hefty sanction to be imposed on the 20 year-old. These calls are yet to be answered by the governing body but I strongly believe there will be stronger penalties against the dual Grand Slam quarter-finalist. A few years back, another Australian by the name of Brydan Klein was fined exactly the same amount and suspended by the ATP for 6 months for racially abusing an opponent.
Christos Kyrgios, brother of Nick Kyrgios inflamed further tensions between his family and Wawrinka by suggesting that the Swiss would have withdrawn from the next few tournaments if he had been there with his brother in the locker room. In subsequent radio interviews (one which initially saw him kicked off after suggesting Vekic loved the “Kokk”) he persistently defended his brother’s actions by referencing a previous incident between the two players. Clearly he wasn’t going to win the debate by comparing apples and oranges and it just goes to show how immature he is.
The media coverage surrounding the saga has been immense and rightly so because these kind of comments have no place in society. Innocent parties have been named and defamed and these are things that they’ll have to carry for the rest of their career. Kyrgios has won himself a new legion of critics who are itching to give him a bad name for every unorthodox move he makes. One man who has been quick to defend the Greek Australian is Wally Masur, Australia’s Davis Cup captain. Australia have reached the Davis Cup semi-finals for the first time in 10 years and any dent in their armory would be fatal against the team expected to be led by Andy Murray.
But by suggesting that Kyrgios would still be in the mix for Davis Cup selection in September drew the ire of Ray Warren, a respected Rugby League commentator who said that winning Davis Cup was more seemingly important than recognizing misogyny and working towards its eradication. And he is absolutely correct to think that way. Besides it seems more likely than not that the Australian will face further penalties and may not be available for the tie come September. To put the record straight, this has not been a good month for Australian sport, with the Ashes lost and barbs thrown but we can take some pride with the Australian Diamonds netball team who won their third-straight Netball World Cup.