heDjokovic Receives Hero’s Welcome in Belgrade:
New Wimbledon Champion and world No.1 Novak Djokovic was treated like a rock star on his victorious return to Belgrade this week as his adoring fans took to the streets to welcome him home. Nearly 100,000 gathered in Parliament Square to see him with his trophy and Nole’s journey there from the airport took several hours as his open-top bus became swamped in traffic on the motorway as fans got out of their cars to salute their hero. When he finally reached the stage with his family, he said: “This is absolutely unbelievable and I will owe you forever for tonight because you succeeded in making this day the biggest day of my life. The time has come to bare all my emotions to you and all I can say is that you are the best in the world because only Serbian fans can throw a party like this. This trophy is dedicated to you; this trophy is dedicated to Serbia. We have a soul that is second to none and with the team event [Davis Cup] coming up, I can promise you we will do everything in our power to win it all again,” added the Serb. His attentions now turn to his country’s Davis Cup quarterfinal with Sweden in Halmstad this weekend as they look to defend the title they won for the first time last year. Meanwhile, former No.1 Roger Federer has described Djokovic’s rise to the pinnacle of the sport, and his consequent breaking of the Federer-Rafael Nadal dominance of tennis, as good for the sport. “When you lose so rarely, your confidence carries you a long way,” Federer said at a Davis Cup press conference. “He’s proved before at Wimbledon that he can play on grass. It’s good for tennis that it happened.”
Bryans Equal Woodies’ Haul:
The world No.1 doubles pair, the Bryan brothers, equaled Mark Woodforde and Todd Woodbridge’s Open Era-record 11 Grand Slam titles by lifting their second Wimbledon trophy on Saturday. A straight-set 6-3, 6-4, 7-6(2) win over the 2010 runners-up Robert Lindstedt and Horia Tecau makes it look very likely they will surpass the legendary Aussie duo and make that record their own before they retire. “This is as special as it gets,” said Mike Bryan afterwards. “I always thought we’d play our best at Wimbledon, and we’ve lost three heartbreaking finals. To get on that board again, to have two Wimbledon titles, is really special. And then to equal the Woodies, a team that we idolised, the greatest team in our mind, is unbelievable. We’d love to try to get to 12 and do that at the US Open.”
Federer set for Davis Cup Return:
Roger Federer is looking to put his Wimbledon quarterfinal capitulation against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga swiftly behind him this weekend as he turns out for Switzerland in the Davis Cup for the first time since September 2009. He posted a picture of himself on his official Facebook page posing in Bern with the comment: “In Bern having a nice time with the Swiss Davis Cup team, walked through the city earlier today.” Switzerland are looking to return to the World Group, having been relegated last year, and R-Fed will be joined by close friend Stanislas Wawrinka this weekend as they look to overcome a Portugal side spearheaded by Federico Gil and Rui Machado.
Lloyd Criticism Baffles Murray:
Former Davis Cup captain David Lloyd believes that as well as his service game, world No.4 Andy Murray should work on his on-court appearance if he is to reach the level of the three players ahead of him: new world No.1 Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. “If you look at Nadal, Djokovic and Federer when they come on the court, they have a demeanour,” said the 1973 Wimbledon doubles semi-finalist. “They are exceptionally well-dressed and clean-shaven. Andy doesn’t come on like that.” Speaking of his need to improve his serve, Lloyd added: “If Andy is going to become that slightly better player – number two or number one in the world – he has to get more percentage of first serves. Then he can win a major. Otherwise, he’s not quite good enough.” But Murray dismissed the criticism, pointing to the appearance of the likes of 11-time Grand Slam winner Bjorn Borg as contradicting Lloyd’s claims. “I don’t think [appearance] makes any difference, guys like Borg didn’t shave for weeks and months until they lost,” the 24-year-old said. “I heard what he said yesterday and I used to actually practice at one of his clubs, in Renfrew I think. He’s entitled to whatever his opinion is, but I think he should stick to what he does best and that’s building leisure clubs.”
Querrey Unsure when he’ll be back:
Sam Querrey admits that he is unsure when he will return to the tour despite the recent elbow surgery he underwent and the consequent rehabilitation going well. His doubles partner, John Isner, told the press at Wimbledon he could be out for up to two months, which would give him very little time to prepare for the US Open. Elsewhere, women’s world No.1 Caroline Wozniacki has pulled out of her second-round match against Sofia Arvidsson in Bastad on Wednesday afternoon with a shoulder injury. She was a set up and 1-0 down in the second when the decision was made. Injury-plagued Argentine David Nalbandian has also pulled out of his country’s upcoming Davis Cup quarterfinal with Kazakhstan with a hematoma. The Argentine lineup will now consist of Juan Martin del Potro, Juan Ignacio Chela, Juan Monaco and Eduardo Schwank.
Fish and Verdasco handed Washington Wildcards:
World No.7 Gael Monfils and No.23 Fernando Verdasco have been handed wildcards for the 2011 Legg Mason Classic in Washington. Monfils reached the quarterfinals at Roland Garros last month, falling to Roger Federer, while Verdasco will be looking for a third final this year after reaching the Championship matches at Estoril and San Jose. They join a field already including eight of the world’s Top 25 players, including American stars Andy Roddick and John Isner. World No.21 David Nalbandian, Wimbledon mixed doubles Champion Jurgen Melzer, Viktor Troicki, Marcos Baghdatis, Milos Raonic, Lleyton Hewitt, James Blake and Fernando Gonzalez will all also feature.
Americans give Fans a Tennis Treat:
Around 1,000 youngsters turned up to the University of Texas Penick-Allison Tennis Center on Tuesday to hit with top American stars Andy Roddick, Mardy Fish and Mike Bryan as part of the USTA’s program for this weekend’s upcoming Davis Cup match with Spain. The event was aimed at keeping America’s next generation of athletes interested in the sport when they decide which route to take to aim for sporting greatness. “If four kids who don’t play tennis come out here and have a good experience with it, that’s a great start,” said Roddick. “If they enjoy their time here, then they’ll look at tennis, and that’s their positive memory of it. It makes them more likely to do it again.”
Davenport Pregnant Again:
Former world No.1 Lindsay Davenport has pulled out of this year’s World TeamTennis tournament due to becoming pregnant again.
Djokovic 25th Man to be No.1 in Rankings Watch:
Novak Djokovic became the first Serbian No.1, and the 25th man to take the accolade, when this week’s South African Airways ATP World Rankings were announced on Monday morning. Gael Monfils moves up to No.7, while Mardy Fish also climbs to No.8. 2009 US open winner Juan Martin del Potro re-enters the Top 20 at No.19. Feliciano Lopez climbs 13 to No.31 while Dmitry Tursunov, Adrian Mannarino and Kei Nishikori are all in to the Top 50. Aussie teen Bernard Tomic leaps 87 places to No.71 in the world after his exceptional Wimbledon performance and James Blake climbs 14 to re-enter the Top 100 at No.88. Italian Roberta Vinci is now a career-high No.25 in the world in the Sony Ericsson WTA World Rankings this week. Sabine Lisicki’s semi-final run at Wimbledon sees her back to No.27 in the world, just below her career-best No.22, while Tamira Paszek is now No.41. Petra Kvitova’s Wimbledon final win over Maria Sharapova, now world No.5, sees her move up one to a career-high No.7 and Anna Tatishvili climbs from No.118 to No.84, making her Top 100 debut.
Rafa Pulling Further Ahead in GOAT Race:
World No.2 Rafael Nadal is pulling further ahead in the 2011 Greatest Of All Time Race after another Grand Slam final appearance bested the second successive SW19 quarterfinal showing from Roger Federer. With points again doubled for a Grand Slam event, both players receive 20 points for entering, while Federer picks up 50 for his exit, and Rafa picks up 200 for his.
Roger: 955 Rafa: 1665