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Australian Open 2021: Djokovic Beats Zverev and Qualifies for Semi

Hailed as one of the world’s top male tennis players, Novak Djokovic beat Alexander Zverev in a challenging game with 6-7(6) 6-2 6-4 7-6(6). Because of this, he remains a contender for the Australian Open 2021 semi-finals to the joy of some of the best betting brokers. This means more appealing offers for the smart tennis punters. Moreover, the number one player did not have an easy time beating 23-year old Zverev.

Djokovic vs Zverev: How Did the Match Play Out?

Zverev was able to begin the first break of the match with confidence with 5-3, but he hesitated on his own serve at 5-4. Because of this, Djokovic took the set into a tiebreak. The Serbian tennis player was doing well and won the second set. However, his level dropped at the beginning of the third set. Because of this, Djokovic destroyed his racket in anger as he got left behind with 4-1.

In the next game, Zverev was ahead with 0-30. But, Djokovic was able to turn the tides and won 20 of the next 24 points and moved one set from victory. Zverev tried to get another momentum going with a 3-0 lead in the fourth set and only needed three points to move 4-0 ahead. But to his dismay, the world number one male tennis player was able to save a set point at 5-6. Djokovic then finished the match with his twenty-third ace. 

Djokovic’s Thoughts on the Australian Open 2021 Mandatory Quarantine

There’s no doubt that Novak Djokovic is one of the best male players out there. While having his match with Zverev, he suffered from an abdominal injury that he got in the third round of his match with Taylor Fritz.

He blames the mandatory 14-day quarantine that all tennis players have to go through for the Australian Open 2021. Djokovic demanded a better solution and suggested the NBA-style bubbles.

According to an interview after his match with Zverev, Djokovic stated, “Talking to a lot of players, a majority of the players just don’t want to go ahead with the season if we are going to have to quarantine most of the tournaments.”

He further added, “I’m waiting for some answers. I want to understand how our continuation of the season post-Australia is going to look like, because this definitely is not good for players in terms of their wellbeing.”

The reigning champion is also not the only player suffering from a battle injury at this year’s Grand Slam. There’s Italian player, Matteo Berrettini who also suffered from an abdominal problem. Another one would be Grigor Dimitrov who suffered back spasms during his quarter-final defeat by Aslan Karatsev.

To find a solution to this problem, Djokovic suggests playing several tournaments at the same venue. This is similar to the NBA basketball’s “bubble” solution last year at Disney World in Florida.

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Tennis and Mask

Dozens of Australian Open Tennis Players Quarantined for 14-days

With the Australian Open tournament looming in close, many tennis professionals have been arriving in Melbourne ahead of the game. However, officials forced the tennis players into a 14-day hotel quarantine for safety protocols. This is because weeks before, some of them had tested positive for coronavirus.

Australian Open Tennis Players and Staff Quarantined

More than 1,200 players, officials, and support teams have arrived in Australia for the two-week Australian Open tournament. They have already anticipated the strict measures in place. This is because Australia has come close to eliminating community transmission with the help of the hotel quarantine system for international arrivals, vigilant and prompt tracing methods, and high testing rates. 

According to Tournament Director Craig Tiley, in an interview with Channel 9, “We are in this situation, we have to deal with it, the Australian Open is going ahead. It’s a tough situation and we have got to do whatever we can to make it as fair as possible for those players that are in lockdown.”

Rising Tensions Between Australian Officials and Players

Australia holds a record of fewer than 29,000 cases of Covid-19 and 909 deaths. Because of the U.K. Covid-19 variant, they tightened the rules more in order to prevent an outbreak. But, because of the government restrictions, many of the quarantined tennis players felt like they were losing time to practice. 

Isolated players and tennis officials are not given permission to leave their hotel rooms, but some people are causing issues because they open doors for conversations. According to Emma Cassar, Quarantine Victoria commissioner, “There are a few people who are testing our procedures and we would encourage them to remain in their rooms.”

Moreover, Danial Andrews, Victoria state Premier, also told reporters, “I know that there’s been a bit of chatter from a number of players about the rules. Well, the rules apply to them as they apply to everybody else, and they were all briefed on that before they came. And that was the condition on which they came. There’s no special treatment here.”

Tennis Professionals Making the Best Out of their Situation

On a positive note, despite the 14-day quarantine, many tennis professionals are doing their best to adjust to the circumstances. You have Pablo Cuevas and Yulia Putintseva taking to social media to show what they’ve been up to. They uploaded videos of themselves “training” for the tournament by hitting balls against upended mattresses inside their hotel rooms. 

Although, Novak Djokovic, the world’s No. 1 male tennis player, is not among those ordered into the strict quarantine in Melbourne. According to News Corp., Djokovic issued a list of demands to the tournament organizers. This included reducing the length of the isolation period and moving tennis players into private houses with a tennis court.

The Australian Open might be off to a rocky start. But, tennis players and punters still have high hopes for many tennis tournaments. For the tennis punter, they can use quantitative analysis sports betting for their wagers, among others.

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Nadal vs Federer vs Djokovic: Which is the Best Tennis Rivalry?

Which tennis rivalry is considered the best?

Tennis fans mull over which is the better rivalry: Nadal vs Djokovic or Federer vs Djokovic. Nonetheless, the third and equally important rivalry is Nadal vs Federer. 

There is mutual respect between the two, and thus, their fans do not consider them as rivals although they are.

1) Nadal vs Djokovic

A rivalry that started in 2006, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have met each other for 54 times with Djokovic prevailing at 28-26. Nonetheless, theirs is considered as an underappreciated tennis rivalry.

Djokovic leads the finals with 15 against Nadal’s 11. However, Nadal is ahead with their Grand Slam matches at 9-6. Nadal also leads the French and US Opens while Djokovic leads the Australian Open and Wimbledon. 

The two played on hard courts (26), clay (24), and grass (4). Djokovic owns the hardcourt while, knowing Nadal as the King of Clay, he prevailed in clay. They are 2-2 on the grass court, though. Djokovic famously said also that “[Nadal] was beatable on clay.”

Some of their most memorable matches are the 2013 French Open and 2018 Wimbledon semifinal games. The latter lasted for five sets played for more than 5 hours.

This rivalry was dubbed as the third greatest men’s tennis rivalry of the 2000s.

2) Federer vs Djokovic

Roger Federer and Djokovic played with one another for 48 matches. Djokovic also leads the rivalry with 26-22. Despite this, this tennis rivalry is also underappreciated compared to the last one.

They met at the Grand Slam about 16 times —10 semifinals and five finals. Djokovic also leads their Grand Slam standings at 10-6. 

The most exciting aspect of this rivalry is that Federer used to be ahead of Djokovic until 2010 with 13-6. Djokovic grabbed the lead from Federer in 2011 with his record 20-9.

Yet another notable aspect of the rivalry is they are the only male tennis players to beat one another in Grand Slam titles. The two holds the record for the most number of Grand Slam tournament meetings.

Federer and Djokovic are the only two players who achieved the Sunshine Triple or those players who won the Australian Open, Miami Masters, and Indian Wells. Djokovic did it thrice while Federer, twice.

Their match results are even regardless of the surface they are playing. 

Although they have faced each other in the majors and other ATP matches, their 2019 Wimbledon’s final match has been the most remarkable. It was the longest match in the history of this major with 4 hours and 57 minutes.

3) Nadal vs Federer

The Nadal-Federer rivalry is one of the most historic rivalries of all time, if not the most historic.

Nadal and Federer played one another for 40 times. Nadal leads with 24-16; he also leads their finals meeting count with 14-10. 

The two have played in 14 major meetings, which Nadal also dominates at 10-4. Nadal leads the French and Australian Opens with 6-0 and 3-1, respectively. Federer owns Wimbledon with 3-1. They haven’t met at the US Open yet.

They played on hard courts (20), clay (16), and grass (4). Federer leads the matches on hard court and grass while Nadal dominated the clay court. 

Their most memorable tennis game was the 2008 Wimbledon final. Nadal and Federer played for 4 hours and 48 minutes.

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Who are you rooting for—Nadal, Federer or Djokovic? Let us know.