Herbert & Mahut claim second Roland Garros doubles title

France claimed the Men’s Doubles title on Saturday when Pierre-Hughes Herbert & Nicolas Mahut defeated Alexander Bublik & Andrey Golubev from Kazakstan, 4-6 7-6(1) 6-4, to become the first all-French team to win twice at the clay-court major since World War...

Krejcikova bags French Open title

It was nip and tuck but, at the last, it was unseeded Czech Barbora Krejcikova who hoisted the French Open trophy aloft after a 3-set victory over Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, the No 31 seed, in the final at Roland Garros on Saturday.

Konta steps into her third straight Nottingham final

British No.1 Johanna Konta has reached her third consecutive final at the LTA’s Viking Open Nottingham after defeating Serbia’s Nina Stojanovic 6-2 6-7(2) 7-5 in two-hours and 53-minutes.

Swiatek and Krejcikova to meet in Paris Doubles Final

Iga Swiatek may have lost her singles crown at Roland Garros but she has her eyes firmly set on taking home the French Open doubles title with her partner, Bethanie Mattek-Sands, but the pair will have to navigate past Barbora Krejcikova & Katerina Siniakova, who...

Nadal is brought down in classic

Two classic semi-finals and a change of heart by the French pandemic authorities, a boisterous crowd and excellent weather all helped to ensure that the French Open, the second grand slam of the season, reached its Sunday climax with the appropriate fanfare

Sue Barker awarded CBE

Sue Barker has been awarded a CBE in the 2021 Queen's Birthday Honours for services to sport, broadcasting and charity.

Konta through to third straight Nottingham semi-final

Johanna Konta is safely through to her third consecutive Viking Open Nottingham semi-final after defeating eighth seed Alison Van Uytvanck 6-3 7-6(6), having reached the final in her last two visits to the Nottingham Tennis Centre in 2017 and 2018.

Evans loses in last eight.

In the Viking Nottingham Open Challeneger event, the top seed from Birmingham Dan Evans was pipped to the post in his quarterfinal against No.6 seed Denis Kudla falling 6-4 1-6 6-4 after two=hours and two-minutes.

Salisbury & Krawczyk win French Mixed Doubles title

Britain’s Joe Salisbury teamed up with American Desirae Krawczyk to win the French Open mixed doubles title on Thursday at Roland Garros, marking his second Grand Slam triumph.

Krejcikova outlasts Sakkari to reach Paris final

Barbora Krejcikova held her nerve to see off a match point and a controversial line call to advance to the French Open final after upsetting Maria Sakkari, the No 17 seed from Greece, 7-5 4-6 9-7, in a 3 hour 18 marathon semi-final battle.
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No change at the top!

Its been a struggle but despite the ‘next generation’ getting close to eliminating the ‘old guard’ during the course of the last week at the Rome Masters, the final itself shows that youngsters still have a way to go!

Kind of felt like we played two matches. We did. One yesterday, obviously where he was the better player. He started better also today. I managed somehow to hold my nerves, break his serve in the important moments in the second and third set Novak Djokovic

The last two Masters have been won by Stefanos Tsitsipas (Monte Carlo) and Alexander Zverev (Madrid) and on Sunday, it will be either Novak Djokovic or Rafa Nadal who will join the list by claiming the Rome Trophy — much as they have done over the past decade — having this time successfully overcome a series of tough hurdles.

The King of Clay, Nadal, was a point away from elimination twice two days ago against Canada’s Denis Shapovalov having been forced into a tight three-setter the previous round by the Italian teenage prodigy Jannik Sinner.

He then enacted revenge over Germany’s Zverev for his Madrid loss and on Saturday, topple the American 6’11” giant, Reilly Opelka comfortably 6-4 6-4 to take his expected place in the final.

For the Spaniard, who will turn 35 in June, avoiding another marathon was the order of the day which seemed unlikely on paper bearing in mind Opelka, with his howitzer serve, had not been broken all week.

Fortunately for Nadal, the Opelka serve was slightly off and Nadal broke him once in each set to bring to an end the American’s best run on ever on clay.

“When you play these kind of matches, you know (it’s) not going to be a beautiful match,” Nadal said following his win. “That you not going to find rhythm on the match. You’re going to have just a few chances to have a break or even not one.

“I think I played the match that I had to play, no? I saved that moment. I had two breaks, two sets. That’s a positive thing for me. Be in the final again here means a lot to me.”

Rafael Nadal shakes hands at the net after his straight sets victory in his semi-final match with the American giant Reilly Opelka

Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

In contrast Djokovic had a much easier passage into the quarter-finals where Tsitsipas had him on ropes and ready for the knock-out but for the intervention of rain.

The Serb was 4-3 down when play was first suspended and then trailed 6-4 2-1with the Greek serving when the decision was made to suspend the match overnight.

That break was enough for his team to reinvigorate their charge when play resumed early on Saturday when he took control.

At first Tsitsipas extended his second set lead to 4-2 at which point Djokovic started to apply the pressure to break twice and force a deciding third set.

Again the pair were locked together but it was Djokovic who finally got the result 4-6 7-5 7-5.

“Kind of felt like we played two matches. We did. One yesterday, obviously where he was the better player,” Djokovic admitted. “He started better also today. I managed somehow to hold my nerves, break his serve in the important moments in the second and third set.

“Without a doubt, until the last shot, I didn’t know whether I was going to win. But I believed that I can. You can always fight and give your best, let the god decide who takes the win.

“I’m just really, really glad to overcome this challenge. It’s the toughest match of the year for me so far.”

Later in the afternoon he had to return to the court to take on the local hero Lorenzo Sonego and was forced into another three setter before being able to claim his expected place in the final 6-3 6-7(5) 6-2 where his rival Nadal awaited.

Djokovic mastered the Italian early and could have won in straight sets as he served for the match at 6-3 6-5 but failed to convert two match points.

Sonego also struck back from 3-0 sown in the tie-break to force a deciding set, Djokovic’s second of the day.

“I think I bounced back very well after the second set,” Djokovic said following his 6-3 7-6(5) 6-2 victory. “I lost the first game Love-40, 30-40, missed a forehand down the line. Maybe if he started with a break up in the third, things would look differently.

“I have only myself to blame for not closing the match in two sets. At the end of the day he is showing why he reached his first semi-finals.

“He’s a quality player. Not easy to play against him. Obviously he had the crowd behind him. It was an electric atmosphere out there on the court.”

And so to the 57th meeting between these two rivals with the World No. 1 Djokovic leading 29-27 in what will be their 15th meeting in Rome and their first of the season.

On clay, though, Nadal leads 18-7 while in Rome the Spaniard is also ahead, this time 9-5 and on the current statistics, he emerges as the favourite.

Whatever the outcome, it will be a very watchable final.



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