US Open to host temporary hospital & Federer back in action31 March 2020 / Miguel Coelho
What's been happening in Tennis during the last few days?
Novak Djokovic was crowned champion in the ATP Masters 1000 Paris-Bercy for the fifth time in his career, defeating next gen superstar Denis Shapovalov in the final by 6-3, 6-4.
The Serbian who struggled with a disease to start the week, has made it all the way in Paris to raise the title, leaving the No.1 spot to be decided in the final tournament of the season between him and Rafael Nadal. Djokovic had a near perfect match in the final, giving Shapovalov no chance to win his first Masters 1000. The youngster disposed of a break point in the 2nd set that would allow him to even the score at 4-4, but the multi Grand Slam winner didn’t want to lengthen the game any further, as he quickly closed it, giving him a 5-3 in the set. Tactically, the player borned in Belgrade was impeccable as most of the quick points went his way. To beat Djokovic, you either hope for him to miss, something that is the Serbian specialty, as his defense is known for being one of the best ever, or you’ll try to be aggressive and go for it. The Canadian is a super offensive player, but that comes with risks. One of the biggest players known to have Djokovic number is Stan Wawrinka, someone who produced great displays in Roland Garros and US Open finals, hitting all kind of winners to earn himself Grand Slam honors. However, to duplicate that kind of game, is almost impossible, as Denis still needs to mature his game. Still, he produced the biggest result of his career and hopes to continue to build off that for the new season.
Due to this win, Novak is in a great position to claim World’s year-end No.1, which would give him his sixth year in a row finishing in that spot, tying Pete Sampras’ record.
“That puts me in a better position after this week. But, again, I have to keep on winning. There's always a chance that I win all my matches in London, that I play well,” Djokovic said after receiving his trophy. “I have done it in the past, and I like playing there. But it's [an] extremely difficult task considering who my opponents are going to be. You're playing a Top 10 player every single match.
“So that's a big task on my end that I have to focus on. And as a consequence, if I manage to get the year-end No. 1, that would be, of course, fantastic.”
Rafael Nadal, who had a tough draw, ended up walking away from the tournament in the semi-final as he suffered an injury in the warm-up before his match against Shapovalov. If he managed to go through and defeat Djokovic in the final, he would’ve clinched already his fifth year-end No.1 finish. However, that puts more emphasis on the upcoming Nitto ATP Finals. The eight participants who made the most points during this year are the big three, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer, along with this season’s wonder Daniil Medvedev, and young superstars in Dominic Thiem, Alexander Zverev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Matteo Berrettini.
Every point, every set and every match will be a battle, so Nadal’s health and endurance might play a factor here. We all know that Rafa is known to be a warrior, but he needs to be in great shape to have a shot. Adding to his health problems, the Spaniard has a terrible record in London as he hasn’t won there in his whole career. It’s safe to say that Djokovic is the clear favorite to claim the No.1 spot in the rankings when it’s all said and done, but one thing that we learned is to never count Rafael Nadal out. Last week of tennis should be amazing, fingers crossed that injuries don’t stand in the way.
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