Novak Djokovic advanced to the fourth round of the French Open by defeating Roberto Bautista Agut 6-4, 6-7 (6), 7-6 (4), 6-2 on Friday.
“It was a great fight, almost four hours,” Djokovic said (h/t ESPN). “Bautista Agut, he’s not going to hand you the win. You have to deserve it. You know, for me, not having so many matches in the last period, this is great. I mean, of course I don’t want to play four, five hours every match, but I think it was a great test. I had to earn my victory.”
The win didn’t come without frustration for Djokovic who smashed his racket into the clay after losing a point during the tiebreaker in the 2nd set.
“I was a bit unlucky not to capitalize on the second set,” Djokovic explained. “Maybe the match would be shorter, but at the same time, credit to him. I mean, he was better player in the third set, for example, and it was supposed to go his way … he was serving for it. But that was a turning point.”
Djokovic improved to 7-1 against Bautista Agut and will now square off against Fernando Verdasco.
Lleyton Hewitt Not Backing Off Davis Cup Criticism
Austalia captain Lleyton Hewitt is not going to back off his criticism of the new-look Davis Cup, standing by his belief that the format should have never been changed in the first place.
“I still feel the same way,” Hewitt said (h/t ESPN).
“In terms of the Davis Cup and how we all knew it … two of the biggest differences and what the competition was all about was home and away ties and matches played over five sets.
“You couldn’t do that in any kind of form in our great game and if you look at the pinnacle of our game, which are the Grand Slams, they are played over five sets.
“But this is a new format and as I said at the start of the year, our boys get to wear the green and gold and play for their country.
“It doesn’t matter if we are playing marbles out there, we’re going to lay everything on the line and do what we can to represent our country and make everyone back home proud.
“In terms of that, nothing changes and we have to go out there and do our best.”
The 18-team, world cup-style Davis Cup event officially kicks off in Madrid on Monday, and the winners from each of the six groups will move on to the quarter-finals on Thursday, along with the two best runners-up.
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Roger Federer, Daniil Medvedev Advance to Third Round of Shanghai Masters
Roger Federer and Daniil Medvedev both reached the third round of the Shanghai Masters on Tuesday.
The second seeded Federer defeated Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-2, 7-6 (5), and didn’t face a break point, as he continues his quest for a third Shanghai Masters championship.
“I focused and had good energy, because sometimes, you know, when you travel around the globe, you’re missing a bit of energy,” Federer said (h/t ESPN). “Those first few games or matches can be sometimes a bit tricky.
“I think [my] serve was solid. I was hitting my spots and really was never in trouble there.”
Federer and Ramos-Vinolas have history, as the two faced off during the 2015 Shanghai Masters with Ramos-Vinolas pulling the upset victory in a match that still sits with Federer nearly four years later.
“All the time,” Federer said. “The truth, yeah, I was thinking about it. Watched highlights. Remember how it felt. I had my chances. I won many more points that time than I lost, so I should have actually won that match.”
Russian Daniil Medvedev was also victorious as he beat British Cameron Norrie 6-3, 6-1 in 54 minutes.
“I’m really happy with my performance, really happy with the score and am really looking forward to the next round,” Medvedev said. “It was my first match here in Shanghai after having a few weeks off, so I was a little bit stressed about how my level would be.
“I managed to get out of there in less than an hour.”
The win continues an impressive streak for Medvedev, who has reached the final of the last five tournaments he’s played in.
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Rafael Nadal Withdraws from Shanghai Masters
Two-time Shanghai Masters finalist Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from next week’s tournament due to a left-hand injury, according to the Associated Press (h/t ESPN).
Nadal was a finalist in the tournament back in 2009, and again in 2017, and was hoping to extend an impressive 11-match winning streak.
Recently, Nadal pulled out of his final match at the Laver Cup two weeks ago due to a left wrist injury.
Nadal was won 28 of his past 29 matches, including his fourth US Open title and 12th Frank Open Championship.
Nadal has also captured Masters 1000 crowns in both Montreal and in Rome.
Nadal’s next scheduled tournament is the Paris Masters, which take place on October 26th.
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