Danielle Elliot at Busted Racquet 4 days ago
LONDON: Novak Djokovic capped off a phenomenal season Sunday night with a record fourth-straight ATP World Tour finals title.
"I couldn't ask for a better finish of the season," he said after the match. "I can't say I expected it, not at all... Managing to reach this kind of season and acheivement this year obviously gives me a lot of confidence for anything that is coming in the future."
Djokovic defeated Roger Federer, 6-3, 6-4, to claim the trophy. The match – a replay of last year's final here, from which Federer had to withdraw because of a back injury – started with Djokovic earning a break-point opportunity in the first game. Federer held him off, but not for long – Djokovic broke in the third game. He also held off both of the two break points he faced in the match.
The final result seemed inevitable once Djokovic took the first set, considering the Serb came in 76-2 this season in matches in which he'd done so.
The performance has many starting to name him among the best in history.
Danielle Elliot at Busted Racquet 5 days ago
LONDON: Roger Federer made it look easy Saturday night as he defeated countryman Stan Wawrinka in the semifinal round of the ATP World Tour finals, 7-5, 6-3.
The win sets up a championship meeting with No. 1 Novak Djokovic, who moved on with a win over Rafael Nadal earlier Saturday, 6-3, 6-3.
The atmosphere in the arena is so different from what fans might expect to find at a tennis match in London, with blue lighting flooding the seats, a nearly-flourescent blue court, flashing lights everytime a player records an ace, and sell-out crowds as rowdy as those at the U.S. Open. Overall, it's a giant party to end the ATP season.
Wawrinka led Federer by a break midway through the first set, but that was as good as it would get for the younger Swiss. Federer brought the match back on serve, then broke in the final game to take the first. He played a clean second set, jumping to a quick 3-0 lead and not looking back.
Federer holds six titles here, claimed in 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2010, and 2011. He holds a 22-21 lead in their career head-to-head, including a 7-5, 6-2 win earlier this week in round robin play.
Regardless, Federer knows he has a tough task ahead of him.
Danielle Elliot at Busted Racquet 1 mth ago
Gold medals, they're such precious items. Most athletes work their entire lives in hopes of earning one. A few actually pull it off. And when they do...some apparently misplace them.
That's what seems to have happened with one of Serena Williams's four gold medals. She didn't even realize it, until she decided to clean out her house.
" GOLD MEDAL! Cleaning out my house and I stumbled on this great memory. One of my 4 gold medals, " she wrote.
She added #Olympics2016, reminding everyone that she'll go for her fifth and sixth golds next summer in Rio.
Danielle Elliot at Prep Rally 1 mth ago
There's just no holding back these young football players, not when their song starts playing over the loud speakers. And we're not talking about an endzone dance.
This group of 9-year-old boys from Mildorf, Mass., stopped mid-game to get down to the ever-popular "Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)" – the song that Serena Williams walked out to throughout the U.S. Open.
The rest of their teams played on as the boys danced, and danced, and danced a little bit more.
Taking the court more than three hours later than originally planned, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic delivered two of the best sets of tennis this tournament has seen. By the fourth set, though, the crowd’s beloved Federer had lost a step.
He could not keep pace with No. 1 Djokovic, who earned his 10th Grand Slam title with a 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 win.
Djokovic has dominated the Grand Slams this year – this is his third major title, and he was runner-up at Roland Garros – but Federer has been playing like he did in his own dominant years. He’d won 93 percent of his service games this year, a career best, and the five-time U.S. Open champion hadn’t dropped a set en route to his first championship match here since 2009.
They’d played 41 times prior to this match, most recently at this year’s Wimbledon final, with Federer leading the head-to-head by the slightest margin: 21-20. This final was expected to be a battle.
From the moment they finally started, it was clear that each had brought his best tennis.
"I felt like I was sort of up in the score, they kept me going," the 34-year old would later tell reporters. "It was unreal."
NEW YORK – Flavia Pennetta won her first Grand Slam title Saturday afternoon – and minutes later, she told the U.S. Open crowd that it will also be her last. Pennetta will retire at the end of the year.
Love and support immediately poured in on Twitter, one of the first messages posted by a woman many had expected to see standing on the court on Saturday.
@flavia_pennetta congrats I'm so happy you won. You deserved it. I am also happy for the rest of your life's journey. I will miss your smile
@flavia_pennetta No better time to retire- on top and a Champion!! Well done!!!!!
NEW YORK – Flavia Pennetta finished her Grand Slam career in amazing fashion. The first-time Grand Slam finalist is the first Italian woman to win the U.S. Open, defeating countrywoman Roberta Vinci 7-6, 6-2 on Saturday afternoon.
As she finished her on-court interview, she announced that this would be her last U.S. Open match.
"This is the way that I would like to say goodbye to tennis," she said, an announcement that surprised everyone in the stadium. She later clarified that she will play the rest of the year, and will consider playing in the Olympics – but she will not attempt to defend U.S. Open title next year. What a way to go out.
Pennetta said she had decided prior to the tournament that she would retire. She never could have imagined what that last U.S. Open match would look like, that her Grand Slam career would end in front of her country’s prime minister and a slew of dignitaries, all flown in Friday night after she and Roberta Vinci pulled off a pair of shocking upsets against the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds.
NEW YORK – In a celebrity-packed stadium, Roger Federer moved on to his first U.S. Open final since 2009. Federer defeated Swiss countryman Stan Wawrinka in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3, 6-1.
Once lightyears apart, Wawrinka had beaten Federer in their most recent match: the quarterfinal at Roland Garros. The win gave Wawrinka confidence, he said in a press conference earlier this week. It meant that now, when they played each other, he wouldn’t be the only one that came in nervous.
If Federer was battling any nerves on Friday, it didn’t show. Federer earned an early break to go up 2-1 in the first set. It was the only break point he earned in the set, and the only one he needed.
By the second, he was making it look easy. He served four aces to claim his first service game, then converted two break-point opportunities while hitting 16 winners and only one unforced error in the set. He converted both of his opportunities in the final set.
"I tried everything with what I had today, for sure," he added. "If you look now, if you keep this level, he's going to be tough to beat."
NEW YORK – Go back and look at the tape of the seventh game of the third set of the semifinal between Novak Djokovic and Marin Cilic. That point will show you everything you need to see to understand the match.
Already holding a comfortable lead – 6-0, 6-1, 4-2 – Djokovic sprinted to the net. He managed three strides before the ball fell, barely sneaking his racket underneath. He wasn’t happy to just get it across the net - no, Djokovic managed to place it perfectly in the front corner, just along the line.
There was nothing Cilic could do. His attempt rattled into the sponsor signage hanging off the net.
About two minutes later, Djokovic held at 40-0 to close out the easiest semifinal in recent memory, 6-0, 6-1, 6-2. In just 85 minutes, the nine-time Grand Slam champion moved on to the U.S. Open final, where he has the chance to earn his first title here since 2011. Should he win, it would be the second time he’s one three major titles in a single year.
“I need to say, Marin was carrying an injury of an ankle for the last few matches,” Djokovic said. “He was courageous enough to come out and finish today.”
The New York Police Department and Mayor Bill de Blasio have issued an apology to former tennis pro James Blake. On Wednesday, Blake was forced to the ground and handcuffed in front of a hotel in New York City.
Blake, who is biracial, was leaving the Grand Hyatt Hotel to head to the U.S. Open, where he has been making appearances all week. He told the New York Daily News that he initially thought it was a friend running over to say hi. He was soon face-down on the ground. Blake was reportedly released when one of the officers recognized him.
“I want to talk to him because I want to apologize to him on behalf of the City of New York,” De Blasio said in a television interview Thursday. “This shouldn’t have happened and he shouldn’t have been treated that way.”
NYPD commissioner William Bratton also apologized Thursday, saying that Blake was mistaken for a criminal involved in a credit card fraud case. He said he wants “to extend my apologies for the incident which he found himself involved in yesterday.”