Nadal in semifinals in Acapulco, Gauff out in Doha
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From Melbourne Park to Acapulco. From the twenty-first Slam title for Nadal, who won thirteen of the thirteen games played this season, to the top of the ranking for Medvedev. The conditions for the best semi-final currently available in the major circuit are all there, even the chance of a small revenge on the plate.
More complicated than expected, if only in the second stage, the practice of Tommy Paul for the very Spanish champion. In two cases he was forced to recover a late break after a rather emblematic 6-0. Basically, everything happens: Nadal remedies an almost desperate situation of 3-5, cancels a handful of break points at the foot of the jeu decisif and just in the twelfth game does not exploit two match points.
The Spanish champion, who also misses 5-3 in the final rush, breaks the balance at 5-5 and at the third useful opportunity closes at 6-0 7-6 (5). The first as number one for Medvedev, on the other hand, turns out to be a very good competitive training session as per protocol.
After the defeat of Novak Djokovic in Dubai, the Russian actually manages the practice Yoshito Nishioka with a very rocky 6-2 6-3. The one against Nadal will be the sixth direct confrontation in the major circuit: Nadal has won on four occasions (two Grand Slam finals, one in New York and one in Melbourne, but also the round robin challenge at the Finals in 2019 recovering a disadvantage of 1- 5 in the third set) Medvedev in London in 2020.
Cameron Norrie and Stefanos Tsitsipas will compete for a place in the final on the other side of the draw. Jelena Ostapenko doesn't seem willing to stop. Not even in Doha. Fresh from the success in Dubai, the Latvian tennis player reaches at least the table of the first four thanks to a very clear 6-2 6-2 against Garbine Muguruza.
On the way to the second consecutive final Anett Kontaveit, a very fresh champion of the '250' from St. Petersburg. In the lot also Maria Sakkari and Iga Swiatek: Coco Gauff and Aryna Sabalenka beaten respectively to the quarters.
Djokovic eliminated in Dubai: Medvedev new World No. 1!
Novak Djokovic hoped to start his 2022 with a title, after the sad Australian story and the related controversies. The Serbian's race in Dubai was unexpectedly interrupted in the quarters by the hand of Jiri Vesely, author of an exceptional performance.
The world number 1 did everything possible to avoid defeat, but he had to bow to the Czech after two hours of battle. This defeat by Nole will allow Daniil Medvedev to climb to the top of the ATP rankings, putting an end to the hegemony of the Fab Four.
The choice not to get vaccinated risks compromising Nole's season, who will not be able to travel to the United States to compete in the Masters 1000 in Indian Wells and Miami. Barring any last-minute changes, we could see the 34-year-old from Belgrade directly on clay.
In the press conference, Novak Djokovic spent nice words for his opponent: "The atmosphere was fantastic, just like in the first two matches. I want to thank the Dubai crowd, who supported me incessantly throughout the week.
Unfortunately I couldn't win, it wasn't my day. Congratulations to Jiri. He played better overall, always finding the help of the serve in decisive moments. His aggressive tennis is perfect for this surface. I would have liked to have done better, but the glory is all for Vesely today.
"Playing in segments is certainly not ideal for Nole at 34:" I know very well. The more games I play, the more comfortable I feel on the pitch. I miss the pace of the match, not having played much in the last few months. I can only observe the situation and see how it will evolve.
When I get a chance to play, I will. Hopefully soon." The Serbian doesn't care too much about the ranking: "My goal is to keep playing tennis. I'm still motivated and I want to win every game. I don't think age is limiting me, my body still responds very well.
This is a further incentive to continue playing. " The match The first set turns out to be quite turbulent for the Serbian. Ready, go, the five-time champion of the tournament (who hasn't lost a match since 2015) goes to serve and makes up the gap in the fourth game.
When logic seems to support the plan of the very champion Serbian, rather destabilized by the very low number of prolonged exchanges, the hierarchies are overturned. Vesely reconstructs the advantage - thanks also to the negligence of the Serbian out of the service - and closes the last two rounds on serve without particular worries.
Djokovic tries to make some small improvements to the tactical plan, at least to improve the yield in response. The number one of the group - who hooks the 0-30 at the start - terribly struggles to read the direction of the service and to find other chances.
On the contrary. He fails to remedy an unlucky tape at 15-30 at 2-3. He saves himself with the serve-volley scheme in the first case, but makes a rather gross mistake with the backhand at 30-40. Called to keep the lead, Vesely trembles at 30-30 (with a double fault) but opens the right corner perfectly and gets the support of the serve in the moment of maximum difficulty.
Djokovic, an incredibly reluctant character to defeat, recovers the break from a disadvantage at the last minute and remedies once again a situation of 0-30 (with two aces) and 30-40. The tie break, however, does not prove to be sufficient to solve all the problems.
While recovering a mini-break from a disadvantage, the Serbian commits a very bloody double foul on 3-4 and practically leaves the way open to Vesely.