Federer’s Ukrainian Conqueror Swaps Racquet For Kalashnikov

Former Ukrainian tennis man Sergiy Stakhovsky walks prior to an interview with AFP journalists at Independence Square in Kyiv, on March 15, 2022.  Sergei SUPINSKY / AFP

 

In 2013 he achieved one of the great shocks in tennis history, knocking defending champion Roger Federer out of Wimbledon.

Today, the Ukrainian player Sergiy Stakhovsky is a volunteer fighter on a military patrol in Kyiv, which he vows to defend “to the end” against Russian forces.

Now 36, he looks much the same as the journeyman player ranked 116 in the world who lay stretched out in his tennis whites on the hallowed London turf after toppling Federer in the second round nine years ago.

But his outfit now could not be more different as he patrols Maidan Square, symbol of Ukraine’s “fight for democracy”, armed with a Kalashnikov, a pistol in his belt, and his 1.93 metre (6 ft 4 in) frame dressed in khaki camouflage.

“I cannot say that I feel comfortable around a rifle. I am not sure how I am going to react to shooting at somebody,” he tells AFP. “I wish I would never have to be preoccupied with these things.”

READ ALSO: Russia Faces Debt Payment Amid Default Fears

It’s been just over two weeks since he returned to Ukraine and signed up for the territorial brigade, the volunteers tasked with helping the army against the Russian invasion launched on February 24.

“I knew I had to go there”, he says.

‘Despair’

On the eve of the invasion, Stakhovsky was on holiday in Dubai with his wife and three children aged four, six, and eight, having hung up his racquet as a professional player in January after the Australian Open.

The next day, after seeing the television images of Russian bombs falling on his homeland, he says he was plunged into a mixture of “despair” and “misery”.
Much of his family still lived in Ukraine. He spent the next three days at the hotel in a blur as he tried to get information about the situation on the ground, to find shelter for people

“I was full of adrenaline, I slept three or four hours (overall), I didn’t eat”.
He then told his wife he had decided to go back.

“My wife was really upset, I mean, she knew, she understood but she was really upset,” he said. But “now she understands that I couldn’t really do it other way”.

The heartbreaking decision torments him every time he thinks of his family.
“Leaving the kids is not something I’m proud of,” he says.

“My kids don’t know that I’m here, well, they know that I’m not at home, but they don’t know what war is and I’m trying to not get them involved. I told them I’d be right back, it’s been 15 days now… And God knows how many more it’s going to be”.

Like all Ukrainian men aged 18 to 60, Stakhovsky is eligible for call-up by the army and cannot leave the country when the country is at war.
He says that he finds the strength to go because of his countrymen, whom he has seen sign up “in their thousands”.

“If we don’t stand up, we don’t have a country to live in,” he said.
Federer ‘hopes for peace’

The former tennis pro now carries out two patrols a day lasting two hours each to guard the centre of Kyiv from possible infiltrations, particularly around the palace of President Volodymyr Zelensky, the hero of the resistance against Moscow.

“Listen, I am here on foot patrolling,” he said, adding of Zelensky that he was “remarkably brave and knows what he’s doing, and we all believe he knows what he’s doing.”

People from “India to South America” have sent thousands of messages of support and asking how they can help Ukraine, says Stakhovsky.

Among those are “hundreds” of professional tennis players who have not forgotten their former colleague, who rose to a world ranking of 31 in 2010 and was an unofficial spokesman for junior players.

Tennis legends have also offered their support — including the man he stunned at Wimbledon, Roger Federer himself.

“He said that he wishes that there will be peace soon,” said the Ukranian, adding that Federer and his wife were trying to help Ukranian children through their foundation.

One message that particularly touched him came from Serbian world number two Novak Djokovic.

“He lived through this when he was young so he knows exactly what our kids are going through. So from him, that message is, I would say, heavier in terms of meaning.”

As the Russians close in on Kyiv there are fears it could face the same fate as destroyed cities like Kharkiv and Mariupol.

“That’s disturbing”, he said, because “they don’t care whether they’re going to kill a child or military personnel, they just don’t care”.

AFP

Federer Oldest Man In Wimbledon Third Round For 46 years

Switzerland’s Roger Federer celebrates after winning the men’s singles first round tennis match against Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin at the Philippe Chatrier court on Day 2 of The Roland Garros 2021 French Open tennis tournament in Paris on May 31, 2021. (Photo by Anne-Christine POUJOULAT / AFP)

 

Roger Federer became the oldest man in 46 years to reach the Wimbledon third round on Thursday with a straight sets win over Richard Gasquet.

Federer, 39, defeated his French rival 7-6 (7/1), 6-1, 6-4 to make the last 32 for the 18th time.

Australia’s Ken Rosewall was 40 when he made the third round at the All England Club in 1975.

Federer, who has eight Wimbledon titles, beat Gasquet for the 19th time in 21 meetings and will take on Cameron Norrie of Britain for a place in the last 16.

“I know Richard really well, we’ve played so many times against each other. It’s always a pleasure playing against him,” said Federer.

“It was a wonderful match, I’m happy with my performance. A tough first set, I was happy with the second set and I was better in the third, so I’m very, very happy.”

Federer admits the Centre Court crowd may have split loyalties when he faces 25-year-old Norrie for a place in the last 16.

“I hope the crowd will get into it regardless of whether they are for him or me for the last 20 years,” said Federer.

“Cam is a good guy and is having a wonderful year. He has done well here but it’s time for him to go out!”

AFP

Djokovic Takes Federer’s World Number One Record, Eyes Grand Slam History

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic celebrates beating Russia’s Aslan Karatsev in their men’s singles semi-final match on day eleven of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on February 18, 2021. (Photo by Brandon MALONE / AFP)

 

Novak Djokovic will on Monday set a new landmark of 311 weeks as world number one, surpassing Roger Federer whose hold on a record-equalling 20 Grand Slam titles is now firmly in the Serb’s sights.

The 33-year-old Djokovic, already the winner of 18 majors, has time on his side with Federer turning 40 in August.

He is also a year younger than Rafael Nadal who also has 20 majors.

“Now that I’ve become the historic No.1, I’m relieved,” said Djokovic after sweeping to a ninth Australian Open last month which guaranteed his extended stay at the top.

“Now, I’m going to be able to focus mainly on the Grand Slams.”

Djokovic reclaimed the top ranking from Nadal in February 2020 and finished as year-end number one for the sixth time, tying the mark set by Pete Sampras.

He is currently in his fifth different spell atop the rankings.

Nadal, currently at number two, has been at the top for ‘only’ 209 weeks in total although the 13-time Roland Garros champion can boast being a top 10 ever-present since April 2005.

He will, however, lose his world number two spot to Daniil Medvedev a week on Monday.

READ ALSO: Global Players Brainstorm To Boost COVID-19 Vaccine Output

Federer, who returns to action in Doha next week after more than a year out of action to recover from two knee surgeries, will slip out of the top five on Monday.

Djokovic made his top 100 debut in July 2005, just weeks after Nadal had won his first Roland Garros.

He was top 50 in June 2006, top 20 for the first time in October 2006 and top 10 by March 2007.

He first became world number one at the age of 24 on July 4, 2011, the day after winning Wimbledon for the first time, beating Nadal in the final.

– Brief dip and swift return –

Only a six-month injury absence in 2017 saw his ranking plunge, all the way to 22 the following summer.

It was just a blip — Djokovic was back at number one again by November and with the exception of November 2019 until January last year, when Nadal reclaimed pole position, he has been rock solid.

Few would bet against Djokovic, who in 2016 was the first man to break the $100 million prize money barrier, ending his career with more Slams than Federer and Nadal.

In head-to-heads, he leads Federer 27-23 and has won all six of their last meetings at the majors, including 2019’s epic Wimbledon final where he saved two match points.

Federer hasn’t beaten Djokovic at the Slams since Wimbledon in 2012.

Against Nadal, he has a 29-27 lead and is still one of only two men to have beaten the Spaniard at Roland Garros since 2005.

At least Nadal, however, can boast comfortably seeing off Djokovic in the 2020 Roland Garros final, denying the Serb the opportunity to become the first man in half a century to win all four Slams more than once.

Djokovic, whose lone French Open title came in 2016, has comfortably more Australian Opens than Federer (six) and Nadal (one).

His Wimbledon total stands at five to Federer’s eight and Nadal’s two.

At the US Open, he has three to Federer’s five and Nadal’s four.

“Obviously I have in my mind to win more Grand Slam titles and to break records.

“Until I retire from the tour, I will be devoting most of my attention and energy to winning the other major titles,” Djokovic said.

Federer Out Of Tennis Until 2021 After Knee Surgery

Switzerland’s Roger Federer celebrates after victory against Tennys Sandgren of the US during their men’s singles quarter-final match on day nine of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 28, 2020. William WEST / AFP

 

Twenty-time Grand Slam singles champion Roger Federer said Wednesday he will be sidelined until 2021 after undergoing his second knee operation in a matter of months.

The 38-year-old Swiss said he underwent follow-up arthroscopic surgery “a few weeks ago” after undergoing a similar keyhole procedure in February.

Federer, whose last Grand Slam win was the 2018 Australian Open, said he “experienced a setback during (his) initial rehabilitation”.

“I plan to take the necessary time to be 100 percent ready to play at my highest level,” he said in a statement on Twitter.

“I will be missing my fans and the tour dearly but I will look forward to seeing everyone back on tour at the start of the 2021 season.”

The announcement is likely to renew speculation about retirement for Federer, who holds the record for men’s Grand Slam singles titles and last month topped Forbes’ list of the world’s highest earning athletes.

Federer, who won his first major trophy in 2003, lies just ahead of his longtime rivals Rafael Nadal (19) and Novak Djokovic (17) on the all-time list.

The biggest title he has yet to win is an Olympic singles gold medal.

READ ALSO: Elevated Extreme Poverty To Persist Through 2021 – World Bank

The Tokyo Games — seen as Federer’s final opportunity to complete a career “golden” Grand Slam — have been postponed until next year because of the pandemic, and Federer will turn 40 on the day of the closing ceremony.

After the initial operation, Federer had originally planned to return for the now cancelled grass-court season this month. His last tournament match was on January 30 in the Australian Open semi-finals, where he lost to eventual champion Djokovic.

His last appearance on court was in front of 51,954 fans — touted by organisers as a world record for tennis — at a charity match against Nadal in Cape Town in early February.

Tennis ground to a halt in March because of the coronavirus, and the globetrotting sport faces an uncertain route to recovery given crippling travel restrictions.

In April, Federer said he was “devastated” when Wimbledon, where he has won a record eight titles, was cancelled for the first time since World War II.

Federer, known for his elegant style of play, has got off lightly with injuries during a career in which he has won 103 singles titles, including all four majors.

He had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee — the first operation of his career — in early 2016 after suffering a freak injury while running a bath for his daughters.

But after failing to win a title that year Federer returned strongly in 2017, winning seven tournaments including the Australian Open and Wimbledon — his most prolific season in a decade.

He is still six ATP titles short of Jimmy Connors’ all-time record of 109.

Tour-level tennis has been suspended until the end of July at the earliest, with the US Open scheduled to start on August 24 and the rescheduled French Open on September 20.

Federer has not won the title at either Flushing Meadows or Roland Garros since his only French Open triumph in 2009.

AFP

Tsitsipas Shocks Federer To Reach Final At ATP Finals

Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas celebrates victory against Switzerland’s Roger Federer during the men’s singles semi-final match on day seven of the ATP World Tour Finals tennis tournament at the O2 Arena in London on November 16, 2019,./AFP

 

Stefanos Tsitsipas shocked six-time champion Roger Federer 6-3, 6-4 to reach the final of the ATP Finals in his tournament debut on Saturday.

The Greek sixth seed, 17 years younger than his 38-year-old opponent, beat the Swiss at the Australian Open but had fallen to him twice since then.

Federer was unrecognisable from the player who dominated Novak Djokovic in his final round-robin match, struggling on serve and hitting a total of 26 unforced errors compared with just five against the Serbian.

But Tsitsipas belied his years with a performance full of confidence and grit, saving 11 out of 12 breakpoints during the match.

“I’m so proud of myself today, great performance and once again the people were great,” he said.

“I really enjoyed myself on the court and sometimes in matches like these, you wonder how you recover from difficulties and breakpoint down.

“It is a mental struggle and I’m proud how many I saved today, I was trying not to give an easy time to Roger, he was playing well.”

Coming into the match, the Greek 21-year-old led the tournament in service games won, with 35 out of 37.

Tsitsipas conceded a breakpoint in his first game as cries of “Let’s go, Roger, let’s go” rang around London’s O2 Arena but he survived the scare and broke Federer in the next game, taking advantage of two missed overheads from the Swiss.

Thereafter it was a case of what might have been for Federer, who dropped just six points on his serve in the first set and saw a whopping six break points come and go.

Tsitsipas was forced to dig deep to see out the set in a dramatic 13-minute final game in which he saved two break points and needed seven set points to close it out 6-3.

Federer was in deep trouble when Tsitsipas broke him to love in the third game of the second set but he finally made a breakpoint count — his 10th, to level at 2-2.

Undaunted, Tsitsipas, dominating rallies from the back of the court, broke again straight away with a forehand cross-court winner for a 3-2 lead.

At 5-4 down Federer knew he had to break Tsitsipas for only the second time in the match.

The Greek slipped to 15-40 down but Federer again could not take advantage, spraying a forehand out to give his opponent a match point and he won with a thundering ace.

A year ago, Tsitsipas won the Next Gen ATP Finals. Now, on his tournament debut, he is one match away from winning the season-ending event, featuring the year’s best eight players.

Tsitsipas first broke into the top 100 of the ATP rankings only 25 months ago.

He will play either defending champion Alexander Zverev or fifth seed Dominic Thiem in Sunday’s final.

Federer Drops Out Of Inaugural ATP Cup For Family Reasons

Swiss Roger Federer returns a ball to Australian Alex De Minaur during their final match at the Swiss Indoors tennis tournament in Basel on October 27, 2019.
FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP

 

Roger Federer has withdrawn from the ATP Cup, a new team competition to be held in Australia in January, citing “family reasons”.

“It is with great regret that I am withdrawing from the inaugural ATP Cup event,” Federer said in a statement.

“When I entered the event last month, it was a really difficult decision because it meant less time at home with the family and a fully intense start to the season.

“After much discussion with both my family and my team about the year ahead, I have decided that the extra two weeks at home will be beneficial for both my family and my tennis.”

The world number three, 38 years old, withdrew on Monday from this week’s Masters 1000 tournament in Paris, two hours before the start also saying he needed to rest.

The ATP Cup organisers tweeted: “@rogerfederer announced that he would not play the #ATPCup for family reasons and therefore Switzerland was removed” from the competition.

The ATP Cup is a new competition which competes with the revamped Davis Cup and will be held in Brisbane, Perth and Sydney from January 3-12.

“It pains me to not be a part of the most exciting new event on the calendar,” Federer said.

“But this is the right thing to do if I want to continue to play for a longer period of time on the ATP Tour.”

“For my Australian fans, I look forward to seeing you all at the Australian Open, fresh and ready to go.”

The Davis Cup will be held November 18-24 in Madrid but Switzerland did not qualify.

Federer will next play at the ATP Tour Finals in London, which get underway on November 10.

Federer Wins Shanghai Masters Opener

Roger Federer of Switzerland celebrates a point against Albert Ramos of Spain during their second-round men’s singles match at the Shanghai Masters tennis tournament in Shanghai on October 8, 2019./AFP

 

 Roger Federer claimed victory in his Shanghai Masters opener on Tuesday with a straight-sets win over Spain’s Albert Ramos-Vinolas.

The 38-year-old Swiss won 6-2, 7-6 (7/5) and plays Belgium’s 13th seed David Goffin or Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan in the last 16.

The third-ranked Federer is looking to end the season on a high with a fourth title of the year — although he failed to win a 21st Grand Slam this season.

The 46th-ranked Ramos-Vinolas put up a better fight in the second set, forcing the tie break and taking a 2-0 and then 4-1 lead in it.

But cheered on by his band of local supporters, who held aloft banners proclaiming their hero “superhuman”, Federer won the tie break — and the match — with a forehand smash.

Wimbledon Men’s Final – Five Facts

 

 

Five facts on Sunday’s Wimbledon men’s singles final between Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer:

‘Big Three’ dominate

— With Djokovic and Federer in the final, the winner of Sunday’s match will extend the streak of Grand Slam titles won by the ‘Big Three’ of the pair plus Rafael Nadal to 11 straight major titles. Since Federer won his first Grand Slam title at Wimbledon in 2003, just five Grand Slam finals have been contested by pairs of players outside the ‘Big Three’.

Golden oldie Federer

— At 37 years 340 days, Federer is bidding to become the oldest player in the Open era to win a Grand Slam men’s singles title.

Ken Rosewall is the only 37-year-old to have won a major singles title in that time – he won the 1972 Australian Open aged 37 years 62 days.

30-somethings still special

— The champion will extend the streak of Grand Slam titles won by players aged 30 or older. The last 12 Grand Slam titles – including at Wimbledon this year – will have been shared between players aged 30 or older.

Djokovic chases fifth Wimbledon title
— Defending champion Djokovic is bidding to win his fifth Wimbledon title and equal Bjorn Borg and Laurie Doherty in fourth place on the all-time list. He is also chasing a 16th career major.

Federer to level Navratilova with nine?

— Federer is bidding to become the second player in history to win nine Wimbledon singles titles after Martina Navratilova who won nine women’s singles. Federer is also after 21st career Grand Slam title.

AFP

Federer Wins 100th Wimbledon Match To Reach 13th Semi-Final

 

Roger Federer racked up his 100th match win at Wimbledon on Wednesday to reach his 13th semi-final at the All England Club and a possible duel with old rival Rafael Nadal.

Eight-time champion Federer recovered from losing the opening set to defeat Japan’s Kei Nishikori 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 and book his place in the semi-finals of a Grand Slam for the 45th time.

READ ALSO: Djokovic Enters Ninth Wimbledon Semi-Final

The 37-year-old is also the oldest man to make the last-four of a major since Jimmy Connors at the 1991 US Open.

Federer will now face Nadal at Wimbledon for the first time since their epic 2008 final should the two-time champion Spaniard defeat Sam Querrey in his quarter-final.

Federer Survives ‘Emotional’ Tsonga Scare To Reach Last Eight In Halle

Switzerland’s Roger Federer celebrates after winning against France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga during their tennis match at the ATP Open tennis tournament in Halle, western Germany, on June 20, 2019. / AFP

 

Roger Federer admitted that he got lucky after avoiding a major setback in his preparations for Wimbledon in a gruelling 7-6 (7/5), 4-6, 7-5 victory over Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at the ATP event in Halle on Thursday.

Federer, 37, appeared firmly on course for a place in the quarter-finals at a set and a break up before an impressive comeback from Tsonga took the second-round match to a decider.

“I knew when I gave away that lead that it would be tight. Then it was about holding my nerve,” he said.

“The third set was more of a battle. I tried to stay calm.

“It had a bit of everything: happiness, sadness, frustration. I maybe got a bit lucky, but you need that sometimes.

“It was a bit emotional at the end, which was nice.”

Federer said he felt for the defeated Tsonga, who returned to the tour this year after a seven-month absence due to a knee operation in 2018.

“I was pleased for him when he got an ovation at the end.”

The Swiss, who is eyeing a record tenth career title at Halle this year, faces Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut in the last eight on Friday.

“Roberto wins his points differently than Jo does. Jo does it with the serve, the power, the variety. Roberto does it with repetition,” said Federer.

– Zverev eases into quarters –
Bautista Agut promised to take the fight to Federer after he eased to a 6-1, 6-4 victory over France’s Richard Gasquet.

READ ALSO: FIFA’s Secretary General To Oversee CAF Reforms

“I feel I am a better player now than in the past. I will have to be aggressive with my return and push him as much as possible,” he said.

The 31-year-old Spaniard has not beaten Federer in eight meetings, and missed out on a chance to play him in last year’s final at Halle after retiring injured in the semi-finals.

“Hopefully I can finish the week better this year. It was bad luck last year because I felt really good on court in every match,” he said.

Home favourite Alexander Zverev also advanced to the quarter-finals with a comfortable 6-3, 7-5 win over American Steve Johnson.

The world number five faces Belgium’s David Goffin in the last eight on Friday.

“I am just happy to be on the court,” said Zverev, who has been struggling with a knee injury this week.

“My knee is very swollen. There are still some moves where it really hurts, but the pain is less than yesterday,” he said.

Elsewhere, Italy’s Matteo Berrettini, who was crowned champion in Stuttgart last week, came from behind to beat compatriot Andreas Seppi 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 and secure a quarter-final clash with third-seeded Russian Karen Khachanov.

Federer, Nadal To Meet In French Open Semi-Final Blockbuster

Nadal and Federer (File photo)

 

Roger Federer set up a mouthwatering French Open semi-final clash with Rafael Nadal on Tuesday when he defeated Stan Wawrinka in four sets to become the oldest men’s Grand Slam semi-finalist in 28 years.

The 37-year-old Swiss beat his compatriot 7-6 (7/4), 4-6, 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 to reach his 43rd major semi-final and eighth at Roland Garros.

Defending champion Nadal, bidding for a 12th title at the French Open, blitzed a weary Kei Nishikori 6-1, 6-1, 6-3.

Federer trails his head-to-head record with Nadal 23-15 — despite winning their last five matches — and 13-2 on clay.

The Spaniard has a 5-0 stranglehold over Federer at Roland Garros with Nadal winning their most recent Paris clash in 2011 final.

“The complete dream would be to win the tournament,” said Federer. “Other players won’t agree. It will be difficult, but I believe it anyway.”

The 20-time Grand Slam champion is the oldest man to make the semis at one of the big four tournaments since Jimmy Connors at the 1991 US Open aged 39.

Wawrinka saved 16 of 18 break points in a thrilling encounter, but Federer quickly finished off the match after a rain delay to progress.

It is the third seed’s first appearance at the French Open since 2015 after taking time away from clay to focus on Wimbledon, but he has been in fine form in Paris and has only lost one set so far — as has Nadal.

Nadal, who turned 33 on Monday, is three behind Federer in the all-time list of Grand Slam singles titles heading into their 39th career clash.

It will be Federer’s first Roland Garros semi-final since a defeat by Novak Djokovic in 2012.

The 2009 French Open champion struck 53 winners on Tuesday, as Wawrinka’s 61 unforced errors proved costly.

In a dramatic opening set on Court Suzanne Lenglen, Federer saved four break points before taking it in a tie-break.

Wawrinka had saved 22 of 27 break points in his epic last-16 victory over Stefanos Tsitsipas, including all eight in the deciding set, and he was at it again on Tuesday, making it seven from seven to move 3-1 in front in the second.

He suffered from a few jitters when serving to level the match, but took his fourth set point.

The topsy-turvy nature of the encounter continued in the third set, as Federer missed two set points before salvaging two break points himself after the players had earlier traded breaks.

Wawrinka held his nerve to force the quarter-final’s second tie-break, but Federer moved two sets to one in front on his fifth set point.

After the threat of thunderstorms and dark skies forced the players from the court with the fourth set level at 3-3, Federer returned refreshed 80 minutes later and sealed a 23rd victory over Wawrinka in their 26th meeting, despite needing three match points to get over the line.

– Nadal thrashes Nishikori –
Nadal took his record in Paris to 91 wins and just two defeats in a one-sided contest with Nishikori to reach his 31st Slam semi-final.

“It’s a great satisfaction to be in another semi-final, there are lots of emotions,” said Nadal.

“My level has been very good throughout the tournament and I am happy to be able to come back and play another day.”

Tuesday’s win was Nadal’s 11th in 13 meetings against Japanese seventh seed Nishikori who had played back-to-back five-setters to reach his third quarter-final at Roland Garros.

The 29-year-old Nishikori managed just nine winners in total in the first two sets.

As the skies darkened over the city, so did Nishikori’s mood as he slipped 4-1 down in the third.

Even the weather delay didn’t help as Nadal needed just another eight minutes to finish the job.

Johanna Konta became the first British woman in 36 years to reach the semi-finals by sweeping past seventh-seeded Sloane Stephens, last year’s runner-up, 6-1, 6-4 to set up a tie against Czech teenager Marketa Vondrousova.

The 28-year-old Konta had not won a match at Roland Garros in any of her previous four visits.

But now she has emulated Jo Durie who was the last British woman to make the French Open semi-finals in 1983.

“I’ve always said that whenever I step out onto the court, I’m always going to have a chance. I’m always going to have a shot,” said Konta.

The 19-year-old Vondrousova battled past Croatian 31st Petra Martic 7-6 (7/1), 7-5.

“She had beaten me four times before but I think Roland Garros must be my lucky place,” said the Czech after securing victory on a fourth match point.

Djokovic Tightens Grip On Top Of Rankings, Federer Slides

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic reacts after a point against Spain’s Rafael Nadal during the men’s singles final on day 14 of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 27, 2019.
Peter PARKS / AFP

 

Novak Djokovic strengthened his grip at the top of the men’s ATP tennis ranking Monday following his destruction of Rafael Nadal in the Australian Open final.

An outclassed Nadal, beaten in straight sets in just over two hours, held on to the second spot in the rankings while Roger Federer slipped from third to six places.

Federer, the defending champion, was eliminated in the round of 16 by Greek giant-killer Stefanos Tsitsipas

Alexander Zverev replaces Federer in third position ahead of Juan Martin Del Potro, fourth, who missed the Australian Open.

Despite his early elimination in Melbourne, South African Kevin Anderson, a Wimbledon finalist last year, moved up a spot into fifth.

READ ALSO: Djokovic Wins Seventh Australian Open

Japan’s Kei Nishikori, meanwhile, rises two places to seventh after reaching the quarter-finals in Melbourne.

Tsitsipas, eliminated by Nadal in the semi-finals, jumped three places and is knocking on the door of the top 10 in 12th place.

Latest ATP ranking:

1. Novak Djokovic (SRB) 10,955 pts

2. Rafael Nadal (ESP) 8,320

3. Alexander Zverev (GER) 6,475 (+1)

5. Juan Martin Del Potro (ARG) 5,060 (+1)

6. Kevin Anderson (RSA) 4,845 (+1)

6. Roger Federer (SUI) 4,600 (-3)

7. Kei Nishikori (JPN) 4,110 (+2)

8. Dominic Thiem (AUT) 3,960

9. John Isner (USA) 3,155 (+1)

10. Marin Cilic (CRO) 3,140 (-3)

11. Karen Khachanov (RUS) 2,880

12. Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) 2,805 (+3)

13. Borna Coric (CRO) 2,605 (-1)

14. Milos Raonic (CAN) 2,250 (+3)

15. Fabio Fognini (ITA) 2,225 (-2)

16. Daniil Medvedev (RUS) 2,000 (+3)

17. Lucas Pouille (FRA) 1,955 (+14)

18. Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP) 1,955 (+6)

19. Marco Cecchinato (ITA) 1,870 (-1)

20. Diego Schwartzman (ARG) 1,835 (-4)

AFP