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Tennis News

Sunday 25th April 2021

Rafael Nadal wins 12th Barcelona Open title

Rafael Nadal won his 12th Barcelona Open title, saving a match point in a thrilling three-set victory over Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Nadal trailed 4-2 in the opener but recovered, breaking twice to take it.

World number five Tsitsipas showed great grit in the second set, saving two match points in game 10 game before levelling the match on a tie-break.

In a tight third set, Nadal faced a match point before piling on the pressure to win 6-4 6-7 (6-8) 7-5.

The victory, which took three hours 38 minutes, gave the 34-year-old his 61st clay court title and came against an in-form opponent who had won his maiden Masters crown in Monte Carlo last week.


Djokovic equals Federer's world number one record

Novak Djokovic has equalled Roger Federer's record of 310 weeks ranked as world number one.

The 33-year-old Serbian is guaranteed to break the mark next week.

Djokovic won his 18th Grand Slam title and his ninth Australian Open crown in Melbourne last month.

His victory in Melbourne takes him to two wins behind the joint holders of the men's Grand Slam record, Federer and Rafael Nadal.

Djokovic has been helped by temporary changes to the ranking system because of the coronavirus pandemic which means players can currently count tournaments from two years instead of one.

However, he is still the in-form player on the men's tour, beginning 2021 by winning nine consecutive matches while last year he did not lose a completed match until the French Open final in October.

Djokovic's fifth spell at the top of the rankings began on 3 February last and he has been number one for all but 32 weeks since Federer hit 310 weeks in June 2018.

His longest stint as number one was 122 weeks between July 2014 and November 2016.


French Open: Nadal beats Djokovic to win 13th Roland Garros title

Rafael Nadal produced one of his finest French Open displays to stun Novak Djokovic and equal Roger Federer's record of 20 Grand Slam men's titles.

Spanish second seed Nadal outclassed world number one Djokovic in a 6-0 6-2 7-5 win, which clinched a record-extending 13th title at Roland Garros.

Questions had been asked about 34-year-old Nadal's level, but he responded with an almost flawless performance.

Top seed Djokovic was overwhelmed by Nadal's rapid start and produced a despondent display as a result.

Defeat also meant Djokovic, who was bidding for an 18th Grand Slam title, lost ground on Nadal and Federer in their ongoing battle to finish with the most major wins.


US Open 2020: Thiem fights back to beat Zverev

Austria's Dominic Thiem clinched his first Grand Slam title after a gritty fightback from two sets down stunned Alexander Zverev in the US Open final.

Second seed Thiem, 27, had lost his previous three major finals and looked destined for another agonising defeat.

But 23-year-old Zverev, playing in his first Slam final, became edgy at key moments and Thiem took full advantage.

Both players failed to serve out victory in a tense decider before Thiem sealed a 2-6 4-6 6-4 6-3 7-6 (8-6) win.

Thiem took his third championship point when Zverev pulled a backhand wide, leaving the Austrian falling flat on his back in celebration.

When he climbed back to his feet, he found a gracious Zverev - with whom he is close friends - waiting to hug him at the net.

"I wish we could have two winners today, we both deserve it," Thiem told Zverev, whom he has known since they were juniors.

Thiem is the first player to claim a Grand Slam title from two sets down since Argentine Gaston Gaudio at the French Open in 2004.

It had been longer since anyone achieved this feat in New York, with Thiem emulating American Pancho Gonzales' comeback in 1949.


Battle of the Brits victory for Bulldogs

Salisbury and Dart won 6-4 6-2 to seal a 63-56 win for the British Bulldogs.

Union Jacks pair Andy Murray and Naomi Broady set up the deciding rubber by winning the penultimate match of the week-long tournament in Roehampton.

But Salisbury and Dart dominated the decider as the Bulldogs celebrated.

With the sides tied at 45-45 going into Sunday, the Bulldogs won six of the 10 matches on the final day in an innovative format where matches were worth different points.


Wimbledon cancelled due to coronavirus

Wimbledon has been cancelled for the first time since World War Two because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The tournament was due to be played between 29 June and 12 July.

The entire grass-court season has been abandoned, and there will be no professional tennis anywhere in the world until at least 13 July.

Wimbledon is the latest major summer sporting event to be called off, with Euro 2020 and the Tokyo Olympics postponed for 12 months.

It follows the postponement of the French Open, which was due to begin in May but has been rescheduled to 20 September-4 October.


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