Halep hoists Italian Open trophy after Plíšková retires in final

Top-seeded Simona Halep accomplished her ambition of winning her first Italian Open title on Monday, when 2019 champion Karolína Plíšková retired midway through the final with a left thigh injury.

Novak Marches On

Serbian world number one Novak Djokovic has collected his 36th Masters 1000 title and can now reflect in the knowledge that he has surpassed his rivals at that particular level of competition and set a new record.

Djokovic and Schwartzman with plenty to play for

Novak Djokovic likes records and he is on the verge of winning his 36th Masters 1000 title if he is successful in the final of the Italian Open at the Foro Italica today, to edge him one ahead of Rada Nadal.

Top seeds Halep and Plíšková to meet in Rome Final

For the first time since 2016, the top two seeds in a WTA tournament will contest the final of of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia after both Simona Halep and Karolina Plíšková came through their respective semi-finals with wins over Garbiñe Muguruza and Marketa...

Nadal stunned by Schwartzman

Diego Schwartzman pulled off the biggest upsets of the Rome Masters when he toppled the nine-time champion Rafa Nadal in the quarterfinals, a feat he achieved in straight sets!

Plíšková passes Mertens test as Vondrousova swats Svitolina

No 2 seed Karolina Plíšková took another step toward her Rome title defence on Saturday after correcting a mid-match wobble to defeat No 11 seed Elise Mertens in the Internazionali BNL d’Italia quarter-finals; while 12th seed Marketa Vondrousova upset two-time winner...

Muguruza stops Azarenka to meet Halep in Rome semis

Garbiñe Muguruza stopped Victoria Azarenka’s outstanding run of 14 wins in the quarter-finals at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, coming from a set and a break down to reach her third semi-final in Rome where she will meet Simona Halep, who advanced into the last 4...

Muguruza downs Konta to face Azarenka

On a day of attrition and compassion in Rome, Friday’s play at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia saw Johanna Konta fall to Garbiñe Muguruza, Victoria Azarenka comfort an injured Daria Kasatkina after a nasty tumble, and top seeds Simona Halep and Karolina Plíšková...

Nadal not obsessed with records

The two tournament favourites draw closer to settling this year’s Rome Masters 1000 title as they successfully reached the last eight on opposing sides of the draw with the second seeded Rafa Nadal seemingly having the easier passage so far.

Musetti continues his Roman run

At four-all in the second set the lights went out during the Italian Open which could have disrupted the concentration of Italy’s emerging starlet, the 18-year-old Lorenzo Musetti, who was on his way to eliminating another top player from the Rome Masters listings.
Tennis News, Tennis Results, Live Tennis Scores & Interviews

Wimbledon | Djokovic reflects on his win

Novak Djokovic revealed his near five-hour, five-set epic Wimbledon final victory over Roger Federer was the most “mentally the most demanding match I was ever a part of”.

It was probably the most demanding, mentally most demanding, match I was ever part of. I had the most physically demanding match against Nadal in the finals of Australia that went almost six hours. But mentally this was different level, because of everything. Novak Djokovic

The longest decider in the history of the Championships – 4hr.57min – saw the defending champion complete a title hat-trick over Federer in their third such meeting.

But the world No.1, who has been in countless epics in a career that has now gleaned 16 Grand Slams, was more concerned about the psychological rather than the physical demands of the roller-coaster encounter.

And he hinted it was brought on by the fact he was playing an eight-time champion with a “perfect” game for grass and the fact most of the crowd were pro-Federer.

Djokovic, 32, might be one of the greatest players of all time, only trailing rivals Federer and Rafa Nadal in his major singles collection by four and two respectively.

But it was his Swiss opponent who felt the love of Centre Court, even the Duchess of Cambridge was caught smiling when one shot went right for Federer.

Djokovic said: “I promised myself coming on to the court, that I need to stay calm and composed, because I knew that the atmosphere will be as it was.

“It was probably the most demanding, mentally most demanding, match I was ever part of. I had the most physically demanding match against Nadal in the finals of Australia that went almost six hours. But mentally this was different level, because of everything.

“First of all, playing against Roger on any surface, but on grass, in a finals? It’s a lot of constant pressure because he stays close to the line. Regardless of who he’s playing against, whether the serve is coming 150 miles an hour or as mine, 120, he’s there.

“He blocks the shots very well. He anticipates very well. He’s so talented. He’s got a perfect game for this surface. So I knew that I needed to bring in some variety in play. I needed to be sharp when the opportunity is there, when I have a shorter ball, to go for it.

“At times I did. At times, I didn’t. Especially in the second-serve returns, I was not doing well at all. I thought I had many opportunities, and I just didn’t hit the ball, I didn’t capitalize on those opportunities.

“But, you know, in a way it’s normal also to expect that there are more nerves in play. Playing finals of Wimbledon against Roger, so… I thought most of the match I was on the back foot actually. I was defending. He was dictating the play. I just tried to fight and find a way when it mattered the most, which is what happened.

“I always try to imagine myself as a winner. I think there is a power to that. Also there has to be, next to the willpower, strength that comes not just from your physical self, but from your mental and emotional self. For me, at least, it’s a constant battle within, more than what happens outside.”

In this match, you’re playing not only Roger Federer but the crowd?

He replied: “Yeah.”

They are decidedly for Roger. Even though you have all the inner strength, how aware are you of the crowd as the match is unfolding?

He said: “It’s hard to not be aware. You have that kind of electric atmosphere, that kind of noise, especially in some decisive moments where we’re quite even. It’s one way or another. The crowd gets into it. Of course, if you have the majority of the crowd on your side, it helps, it gives you motivation, it gives you strength, it gives you energy. When you don’t, then you have to find it within, I guess.”

And that was the case against Federer? He said: “Yeah.”

Can you take that energy and block it out or repurpose it and channel it? Is it fun in a way?

Djokovic said with a smile: “That’s a good question because at times you just try to ignore it, which is quite hard. I like to transmutate it in a way: When the crowd is chanting ‘Roger’ I hear ‘Novak’. It sounds silly, but it is like that. I try to convince myself that it’s like that. Mental training? Of course. Of course. It’s similar ‘Roger’ and ‘Novak’!”

Djokovic had his customary munch of grass on Centre Court in celebration. Several.

How did it taste?. He said smiling: “Better than ever It tasted amazing. I’m still digesting it!”

Roger Federer shows off hs runners-up plate

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Federer reflected on two missed match points.

Did you think you’d lost it after those two match points?

He said: “No. I mean, really, look, I was still happy to be at 8-all, 9-all. I don’t remember what it was. You try to see the positives, you try to take it as a good thing, I guess, that you’re not down a break or that the match is not over yet. If I could have picked it before the match to be at 9-all in the fifth, that wouldn’t be a terrible thing. You just always try to push yourself to see things on the better side. But, yeah, it was definitely tough to have those chances.

“I know what I did well, how close I was. I think I can be happy about my performance.”

How do you bounce back?

Federer, 37, said: “Yeah, I mean, similar to getting broken when serving for the match: take it on your chin, you move on. You try to forget, try to take the good things out of this match. There’s just tons of it. Like similar to ’08 maybe (when beaten by Nadal in the final), I will look back at it and think, Well, it’s not that bad after all. For now it hurts, and it should, like every loss does here at Wimbledon. I think it’s a mindset. I’m very strong at being able to move on because I don’t want to be depressed about actually an amazing tennis match.”

It was the first singles match in the Championships to be decided by a tie-break in the fifth set.

Were you looking forward to the tiebreak or would you have preferred it to go open-ended?

Federer said: “It is what it is. I respect whatever the rule is. You play with it. I don’t know if I was looking forward to it or not. I was feeling good about either scenario.”



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