WASHINGTON, June 21, 2020 (by Michael Dickens)
The second weekend of the Adria Tour in Zadar, Croatia, got off to a contentious start on Friday when Srdjan Djokovic, father of the charity tournament’s founder, Novak Djokovic, suggested that Roger Federer has animosity towards his son.
In an interview with Sport Klub, Srdjan Djokovic was quoted as saying:
“Federer is the best player in the world, it’s a fact when you look at the record books but it won’t last. He has animosity towards Novak. They have developed a form of mutual respect over the years, but why do you think Federer is still playing at 40?” (Federer is actually 38 and won’t turn 40 until August 2021.)
“He could do a lot of other interesting things, but since Nadal and Novak are right behind him, he continues. He cannot accept that they will overtake him. Come on, man! Do something else, raise your children, go and ski, do something.”
Mind you, the elder Djokovic’s bold statements came in a week in which the younger Djokovic, who has won 17 Grand Slam singles titles, described the Swiss maestro as “possibly the greatest tennis player in history.”
Srdjan Djokovic (Novak’s father): “Why do you think he still plays at 40? (…) He simply cannot accept the fact that they will be better than him. Come on man, raise children, do something else, go ski, do something.”
— We Are Tennis (@WeAreTennis) June 19, 2020
The younger Djokovic didn’t seemed fazed by his father’s remarks. Staying above the fray, on Saturday, he advanced toward Sunday’s championship final with a pair of victories. Djokovic won his first group match against fellow Serbian Pedja Krstin, ranked 244th, 4-3 (3), 4-1, in 46 minutes after trailing 3-1 in the opening set. Djokovic fired five aces, converted three of four break points against his younger opponent three times and outscored Krstin 39-32. Later, he faced No. 33 Borna Coric, who opened the weekend with a 4-1, 4-1 drubbing of No. 19 Grigor Dimitrov, and beat the Croatian No. 1, 4-1, 4-3 (1), in 53 minutes to lead his group with a 2-0 win-loss record after the first day.
Meanwhile, Andrey Rublev also went 2-0 with a pair of victories – 4-3 (5), 2-4, 4-1 over No. 37 Marin Cilic and 4-2, 4-1 over No. 157 Danilo Petrovic.
— Tennis Channel (@TennisChannel) June 20, 2020
UTS – Tsitsipas remains undefeated
World No. 6 Stefanos Tsitsipas improved to 3-0 with a 3-1 (12-14, 18-13, 16-11, 15-10) victory over Dustin Brown Saturday afternoon as the second weekend of play in the Ultimate Tennis Showdown began at the Mouratoglou Tennis Academy near Nice, France. After the third day of competition in the month-long exhibition, Tsitsipas is the only remaining undefeated player after both previously undefeated Matteo Berrettini and Alexei Popyrin lost their respective Saturday matches (Popyrin 4-0 to David Goffin and Berrettini 4-0 to Feliciano Lopez).
— UTS | Ultimate Tennis Showdown (@UTShowdown) June 20, 2020
In Saturday evening’s featured match, Richard Gasquet defeated Dominic Thiem, 3-1 (16-10, 15-12, 16-12, 14-17). Thiem was making his UTS debut after winning the Adria Tour event in Belgrade last weekend.
— UTS | Ultimate Tennis Showdown (@UTShowdown) June 20, 2020
Everybody’s back on court
Stan Wawrinka / No better feeling training …
— Stanislas Wawrinka (@stanwawrinka) June 19, 2020
Elise Mertens / Serving into the weekend
Serving into the weekend, well tomorrow is another practice day 😆 Enjoy your weekend everyone! pic.twitter.com/PDxlfuB5G1
— Elise Mertens (@elise_mertens) June 19, 2020
Noah Rubin / Home court advantage
Home court advantage? 🤔👟 pic.twitter.com/Dndtdz7ocE
— Noah Rubin (@Noahrubin33) June 17, 2020
The Way Back Machine – Inaugural Fed Cup, 1963
Billie Jean King led the United States to a 2-1 victory over Australia to win the inaugural Fed Cup title at the Queen’s Club in London. The Fed Cup was launched in 1963 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the International Tennis Federation.
USA lead the way 🏆🇺🇸#OnThisDay in 1963 the inaugural #FedCup champions were crowned at Queen’s Club in London@BillieJeanKing, Darlene Hard & Carole Caldwell formed the team that defeated Australia pic.twitter.com/3IEpVJ2fgP
— Fed Cup (@FedCup) June 20, 2020
What they’re saying
Angelique Kerber, interviewed by the WTA website on her desire to help grow tennis in her native Germany: “Tennis is such a beautiful sport that can teach you many valuable lessons. But first, you have to make it visible and accessible to get people to start picking up the racquet. For this reason, I have become more involved in other projects to get people engaged with tennis. I am not the only one with this vision and especially in the last months, it was great to see how motivated people are to work on new approaches to grow tennis in Germany.”
What they’re writing
Bill Simons, Inside Tennis editor and publisher, in an exclusive interview with USTA Executive Director Mike Dowse, who has spearheaded a three-month effort to save this year’s US Open – “Mighty Dowse to the Rescue” – asks:
Some have said there has never been an effort in tennis that so battle against the tide. You dealt with so many contingencies. Was there a time when you said, “I don’t know if this is going to work?”
From the start we considered twelve different versions or simulations. I would say we put six of them through due diligence. And one of the options was absolutely to cancel the Open. We kept going back to our three criteria: can we do it safely, is it good for tennis, does it make sense financially? And this is a version that checked all three of those boxes more than any other.
What they’re podcasting
With tour tennis on hiatus, The Tennis Podcast (co-hosted by David Law, Catherine Whitaker and Matt Roberts) recently shared two podcasts devoted to Hall of Famer Chris Evert. The first was a one-on-one interview Whitaker shared with Evert. The second is an oral history, in which The Tennis Podcast discussed Evert’s “most extraordinary records and achievements,” considered “her influence and legacy in the sport,” pondered reasons “she might be under-appreciated” and reflected upon her comments “about the struggle of developing as a person while playing professional tennis” and, finally, looked at the way she’s using her platform for good.
Chris Evert played in 56 Grand Slam tournaments in her career.
She reached the semifinals in 52 of them.
— David Law (@DavidLawTennis) June 15, 2020
What they’re sharing on social media
Novak Djokovic / Forgive my shorts selection …
After tennis session with Stefan, we cleaned 🧹the court. Forgive my shorts selection. Came to the court from the beach 🏖. Some guys have this kind of shorts style for official tennis matches @stanwawrinka 🩳 pic.twitter.com/D0U9GIyo8Q
— Novak Djokovic (@DjokerNole) June 20, 2020
Alize Cornet / Green therapy …
Green therapy🌱🌳🌿🌺 pic.twitter.com/H8hC7zOaEm
— Alize Cornet (@alizecornet) June 20, 2020
Ash Barty / On days off …
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