WASHINGTON, November 25, 2020 (by Michael Dickens)
After Daniil Medvedev secured match point against Dominic Thiem to win the season-finale Nitto ATP Finals singles title in London Sunday evening, there was no dropping to his knees made famous by Bjorn Borg when he won Wimbledon. In fact, there was no burst of emotion of any kind shown by the new champion. Sure, he was happy. Who wouldn’t be? It’s just not his style – and it’s something that takes a little bit getting used to it.
“I’m very happy when I win matches,” Medvedev said Sunday evening during his virtual press conference following his 4-6, 7-6 (2), 6-4 victory over the World No. 3 Thiem at The O2 Arena. “I don’t celebrate my victories. That’s just my thing and I like it.”
An incredible moment 🏆
— ATP Tour (@atptour) November 22, 2020
Instead, while Medvedev expresses his happiness internally, he no less is still very happy when he wins. “That’s what I’m playing for,” said Medvedev, who also won the Rolex Paris Masters earlier this month. “That’s why all the big champions, if we don’t want to win, we would not be here. So, it’s just something that I decided to do last year, because at one moment of the career, everybody decides to do something special. Somebody does a special celebration. Somebody, how you call it, applauds the fans. Especially you can see many people doing some things with the racquet.
“So, I decided during [the 2019] US Open when I had a tough time with the crowd that hopefully I can have a lot more big titles in my career, and it’s going to be my thing. I’m probably in tennis maybe the first one.”
— ATP Tour (@atptour) November 22, 2020
When Medvedev was asked to express what it meant to beat the World No. 1, World No. 2 and World No. 3 players – all in the same tournament – he said, “Yeah, it is amazing. I mean, to be honest, to win it, it means that you beat everybody who is Top 10, anyway, when you win a Masters. But also, yeah, to be able, in a group I beat Novak, then Rafa in the semis, and Dominic in the final, best players in the world. …
“Means a lot. Shows what I’m capable of when I’m playing good, when I’m feeling good mentally, physically. I know what I’m capable of. Just I need to produce it more and more and hopefully more matches like this.”
Rafael Nadal – Through the camera lens of Ella Ling
Throughout last week’s Nitto ATP Finals in London, ATP Tour photographer Ella Ling (@EllaLing23) took a plethora of colorful and interesting photographs, many which were posted on the ATP Tour’s website. She also shared some of her work on her Twitter platform. Here’s a series of candid photos of Rafael Nadal from his last match of the season.
So close…at least there’s a plethora of shots to enjoy 😌☺️ @RafaelNadal #vamosrafa #nittoatpfinals @babolat @Nikecourt #tennis #photography #photographer #arty #sportsphotography pic.twitter.com/8I7YVLUfpz
— Ella Ling (@EllaLing23) November 22, 2020
Andrey Rublev – Thank you, ATP Tour
Just 23, Andrey Rublev of Russia knows there’s many things he can still improve upon. He received his ATP Top 10 trophy before departing London to return home to Moscow. “That’s the main goal in the off-season. Now, I’m really motivated to improve the main parts [of my game] before we start the new season,” he said.
Rublev told the ATP Tour website he wasn’t focused on setting goals for his ranking for next year or predict how many titles he might win. Rather, he hopes to improve his fitness and the mechanics of his game.
“There are so many things [to improve],” Rublev said. “Physically, I still can be much faster, I still can improve my defense. Out of the Top 10 players, I’m still one of the worst in this aspect. I can improve my serve, my volleys and my returns, my slices, backhands, still even forehands, there is still space for much improvement.”
The World No. 8 Rublev finished the 2020 season with a 41-10 win-loss record and won five tournaments – Doha, Adelaide, Hamburg, St. Petersburg and Vienna.
It was an incredible experience to play at the #NittoATPFinals for the first time in my career. I was very lucky to qualify this year in London and be part of one of the main tournaments of the season. Thank you @atptour for this award, I’m happy to finish this year #8 pic.twitter.com/uRfdKXYJsM
— Andrey Rublev (@AndreyRublev97) November 23, 2020
Billie Jean King – The Dollar Rebellion in her own words
In a new audio documentary released this week, Hall of Famer Billie Jean King – in her own words – talks about the trailblazing Original 9, the story of how women’s professional tennis got started 50 years ago when she and eight others signed $1 dollar contracts with promoter Gladys Heldman.
My Audible Original, The Dollar Rebellion, is out now.
It’s the story of the #OriginalNine, spoken in my own words.
I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as I enjoyed recording it.
— Billie Jean King (@BillieJeanKing) November 22, 2020
Worth a good read
Richard Evans, writing in Tennis.com, interviewed Hall of Famer Rod Laver about how the ATP Tour Finals have changed over the course of its 50-year history. After all, Laver is one who is in a keen position to be able to make comparisons between tennis in the early ’70s and now. He was there from the beginning.
If anyone is in a position to make a comparison to the inaugural edition of the ATP’s season-ending event from 50 years ago, it’s @RodLaver.
— TENNIS (@Tennis) November 23, 2020
Remembering David N. Dinkins
David N. Dinkins, New York City’s first Black mayor, died at age 93 on Monday. He was a great friend of tennis.
“Tennis is not a matter of life and death,” the former Mayor once said. “It’s more important than that.”
During his term as New York City mayor from 1990 to 1993, Dinkins was a daily fixture at US Open matches at the National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens.
“I’ve been on the court with Chris Evert, Bjorn Borg, John McEnroe, Arthur Ashe, Billie Jean King, Virginia Wade,”Mr. Dinkins once told The New York Times. “And let me tell you, tennis players are the nicest people.”
One of Dinkins’ last acts as mayor in 1993 was signing an agreement with the United States Tennis Association that gave the governing body of U.S. tennis a 99-year lease on city land in Queens in return for building a tennis complex. What transpired was the expanding and refurbishing of the NTC into what it is today as the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, including the building of Arthur Ashe Stadium. The deal signed by Dinkins guaranteed that the US Open would remain in New York City for decades.
Among the first to remember Mr. Dinkins was Katrina Adams, who after serving an unprecedented two consecutive terms as USTA Chairman and President, is now serving as Immediate Past President. She was the first Black, first former professional tennis player and youngest person ever to serve as USTA President.
This man was the most #supportive #inspiring #motivating person that I knew. He was my 2nd father and my biggest cheerleader that didn’t have my blood. Rest in Heaven Mayor Dinkins. You are reunited with your #bride You gave us your all🙏🏽💔 pic.twitter.com/zVSanFes5R
— Katrina Adams 🦋 (@katadams68) November 24, 2020
What they’re sharing on social media
Alizé Cornet / What a team …
What a team to start my… 🤔 ??th pre season (I lost count 😅)
Very happy to work with these two great persons, and ready to rock 2021, whenever it’s gonna start 🤞💪💥 pic.twitter.com/59yO9vzwiZ
— Alize Cornet (@alizecornet) November 23, 2020
Fabio Fognini / Day One
— Fabio Fognini (@fabiofogna) November 23, 2020
Marie Bouzkova / Missing these moments
Missing these moments!❤️🎾 Stay safe and be well, everyone!😷🍀 pic.twitter.com/xQ3JhtKtKk
— Marie Bouzkova (@MarieBouzkova) November 21, 2020