Novak Djokovic says he holds nothing against Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal after the duo ignored his call to make a new players' association.
Nadal and Federer called for "unity, not separation" after Djokovic revealed his decision to be at the forefront to form a new union for professional male players.
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"I respect, of course, completely their choice that they don't want to be involved in it at the moment," said Djokovic. "They don't think it's the right time. That's fine. That's their opinion. I disagree with that.”
Djokovic said this idea has been a part of the tennis world and he is "following up on what the previous generations have attempted to do."
"For a players' association, it's always the right time, and it has been the right time for the last 20 years. Somehow it was never really accomplished, never really realized. Right now it is. We are moving forward," he added.
Djokovic defeated Britain's Kyle Edmund 6-7 (5/7), 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 in the second round of the US Open to take his unbeaten streak this year up to 25.
Pliskova Crashes Out
Top seed Karolina Pliskova crashed out of the US Open after she was beaten in straight sets by France's Caroline Garcia.
Pliskova was listed as the top seed in a filed severely diminished because of lots of high ranking players — which include the World No. 1 and 2 —withdrawing from the tournament. Pliskova lost 6-1, 7-6 (7/2) in an encounter that threatened to blow by her for large period of time.
Caroline Garcia, currently ranked at world number 50 will face 28th seed Jennifer Brady in the third round on Friday.
Garcia had a 5-0 lead after she managed to score two service breaks before winning the first set. Pliskova’s game improved in the second set, she could not find the needed break of serve when required. Garcia , playing confident tennis much like her breakthrough 2018 season blew past the Czech in the tiebreak to settle the result.
Mladenovic Blasts US Open
France’s Kristina Mladenovic complained of living a “nightmare” due to the Covid-19 health protocols at the US Open after suffering a spectacular meltdown to lose to Russian Varvava Gracheva in her second-round match yesterday.
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Against an opponent ranked outside the top 100 and playing her first Grand Slam, Mladenovic looked set for a breezy win while serving at 6-1, 5-1 but things went downhill for her and she ended up losing 1-6, 7-6(2), 6-0.
“It’s absolutely abominable how they are treating us, but I don’t want that to be an excuse for my defeat,” Mladenovic said in the aftermath adding that, “It’s not the USTA’s fault that I didn’t convert four match points, don’t get me wrong.”
Mladenovic is one of several athletes placed under an “enhanced protocol plan” for being in contact with compatriot Benoît Paire, who tested positive for the coronavirus and was withdrawn ahead of the tournament. Players who had been in contact with Paire are being tested for Covid-19 every day rather than once in four days and are confined to hotel rooms.
“We’re living a nightmare here. I have only one desire and that is to regain my freedom,” Mladenovic said. “We have to fight to have our freedom and even that we don’t have yet.”
“The conditions are atrocious and if I had known that playing cards for 40 minutes with a player who tested positive, but ultimately negative, would have resulted in these consequences, I would never have set foot in this tournament,” she said.
Osaka in Round 3
Naomi Osaka made an easy run into the third round of the US Open beating Italy's Camila Giorgi in straight sets.
Osaka, the fourth seed at the tournament, had heavy strapping on her left thigh, but did not let the injury hamper her as she dismissed her opponent in an 1hr 9min, dropping three games enroute a 6-1, 6-2 win.
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Osaka will now play Marta Kostyuk of Ukraine on Friday. "I never want to depend on what the other person's going to do," she said.
"Even if I play a power player, for me, my goal is to be the dictator. I think that I was able to do that quite well. I think when she was hitting really hard, I was able to neutralize. When I had the chance, I went for the ball that I wanted.
"I definitely played the best out of the two weeks that I've been here today." Osaka remains one of three top 10 players still alive in the women’s side of the draw.
Nagal Ready to Face Thiem
Sumit Nagal will face Austrian Dominic Thiem in the second round of U.S. Open later and the 23 year old asserted that her was looking forward to the challenge on the biggest stage of the game.
Nagal became the first Indian to win a singles match at the U.S. Open after 2013 on Tuesday when he beat Bradley Klahn of the USA in four sets. His second round opponent is significantly more successful having reached two French Open finals and lost to Nagal’s near-namesake, Nadal at Roland Garros twice.
“I’ve got nothing to lose,” said Nagal, who took a set away from Roger Federer but was eventually defeated in the first-round defeat on his Grand Slam debut last year.
“Last year I played Roger Federer and this year Thiem. It’s going to be a great match. For sure, I’m not the favourite.” "About time, it's been too long," Nagal said when asked about the seven-year wait in US Open.
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