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Novak Djokovic gets Medvedev US Open revenge as Nadal and Federer comeback plans revealed

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WEEKLY TENNIS ROUND-UP: Novak Djokovic made history once again as he secured the year-end No 1 ranking, and got revenge over Daniil Medvedev in the Rolex Paris Masters final. Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal confirmed his comeback while Roger Federer also edged closer to a return.

 

 

Novak Djokovic made a triumphant return to the tennis court at the Rolex Paris Masters. The Serb had not played a match since suffering a devastating loss to Daniil Medvedev in the US Open final but managed to get revenge over the Russian on Sunday as he lifted a record 37th Masters 1000 title, and also made history by becoming the first man to secure a seventh year-end No 1 finish.

While his rivals Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer have been sidelined for several months, news of their respective comebacks surfaced last week as the Spaniard entered his first tournament, while Australian Open insiders revealed that the Swiss star was hoping to come back at the tournament in January.

Elsewhere, the first edition of the revamped Billie Jean King Cup was held in Prague last week and won by the Russian Tennis Federation, though not after some drama saw their final opponents Switzerland accuse them of using “ugly” tactics.

Express Sport takes a look at the biggest headlines in the last week of the tennis world from both on and off the court.

Novak Djokovic gets US Open revenge while clinching two records
The world No 1 was back in action last week for the first time in almost two months. Djokovic had not played since suffering a straight-sets loss at the hands of world No 2 Medvedev in the US Open final, losing the chance to make history by becoming the first man in 52 years to complete the Calendar Grand Slam, and the first male singles player in history to reach a record 21 Major titles.

Entering the Paris Masters, the Serb looked rusty as he dropped a set to world No 40 Marton Fucsovics in his first match and, after being given a walkover to the quarter-final, showed some tension as he gave several breaks away to Taylor Fritz, before springing to life partway through the second set and racing to glory.

The world No 1 was also forced to come from a set down in his final two matches, but clinched significant wins in both. A 3-6 6-0 7-6(5) victory over seventh seed and final qualifier for the ATP Finals, Hubert Hurkacz, gave him a record seventh finish as year-end No 1, breaking the record he previously shared with Pete Sampras.

He also mounted an impressive comeback against his US Open conqueror Medvedev in the final, securing a 4-6 6-3 6-3 victory to win a record 37th Masters 1000 title, and the first title of his career he won with his two children, Stefan and Tara, in the crowd.

Rafael Nadal confirms comeback after season-ending foot injury
Nadal has played just two matches after suffering a shock semi-final defeat at the French Open, where he is a 13-time champion, back in June.

The 35-year-old attempted a comeback at the Washington ATP 500 in August, playing two three-setters, but later flew home and announced he was ending his season to give his left foot time to recover, having aggravated the issue during his loss to Djokovic at Roland Garros.

Now, the Spaniard is gearing up for his return to the match court after building back up to successfully training for “an hour and a half a day”.

“My plan is to play Abu Dhabi in December and then in a tournament before Australia and then the Australian Open. That’s my goal,” Nadal said earlier last week, before organisers of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship exhibition in Abu Dhabi confirmed his return.

Roger Federer could make return sooner than expected
Within days of his long-time rival and friend Nadal’s comeback announcement, a new claim about Federer’s own return to competition was made.

The 40-year-old has undergone three knee surgeries in less than two years, as he ended his 2020 season after the Australian Open – and before tennis was suspended for the pandemic – to have two surgeries on his troublesome right knee.

Having played just five tournaments this year, the former world No 1 admitted he suffered a “setback” with his knee during the grass court season and would be out for “many months” after opting to have another operation, but now it has been revealed that he could be back as soon as January, at the Australian Open.

Aussie former pro-turned-coach and pundit Darren Cahill told Sportsday Radio that organisers were “pretty sure” the six-time champion would make his return in Melbourne’s season-opening Grand Slam, saying: “Look, there’s so many great stories coming into the Australian Open. Not just on the men’s side with Roger apparently playing as well and we’re not quite sure.

“I know he’s doing a lot of work on the court at the moment and we’re pretty sure he’s coming down to play the Australian.”

Cahill, who recently ended a six-year coaching partnership with two-time Grand Slam champion Simona Halep, later tweeted to clarify his comments, though said it was still understood that Federer was hoping to be back in time for January’s Grand Slam, as he wrote: “So I rechecked with my contact at TA and we got our wires mixed. My wording should’ve been that he’s working hard and doing everything possible to play the AO. So, my bad if I’ve jumped the gun. Sorry Fed fans. But like everyone, hoping he makes it to the AO.”

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Maria Sharapova Gives a Sarcastic Reply to Mardy Fish About Gifting Him a Porsche

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The Porsche Tennis Grand Prix 2021, popularly known as the WTA Stuttgart Open, will be taking place soon. Interestingly, Maria Sharapova is promoting the tournament since she is the brand ambassador of Porsche.

 

 

Hilarious as always, former tennis player Mardy Fish asked Maria Sharapova if he could get a Porsche from her on Twitter. Interestingly, the 5-time Grand Slam champion came up with a witty reply.

“Yes. I’d be happy to help you with the purchase,” said Sharapova sarcastically in response.

Sharapova didn’t deny Fish a Porsche but instead agreed to help him with the purchase. Some fans are even suspecting that Sharapova might gift a Porsche to her fellow countryman.

Sharapova has been working as the brand ambassador for Porsche since 2013. Thus, she often promotes its events across many social media platforms. She reminded the fans that even though the WTA Stuttgart Open 2021 is happening in the closed stadium this year, they can still watch it from the safety of their homes.

The tournament will begin on April 19, 2021, and will run till April 25, 2021.

Maria Sharapova at the WTA Stuttgart Open 2021
Sharapova has won the Stuttgart Open title three times in her career. Stunningly, she won the title for three consecutive years in 2012, 2013, and 2014.

In 2012, she led a tough campaign but managed to win the title by defeating Victoria Azarenka in the final. Next year, she thrashed Li Na to win her second back-to-back title. The final match against Caroline Wozniacki in 2014 was probably her toughest, where she made an incredible comeback after losing the first set to clinch her third title.

Only Martina Navratilova and Tracy Austin have won the title on more occasions than Sharapova. Navratilova won it six times while Austin won the initial four editions of the tournament. However, before 2006, the Porsche Grand Prix used to take place in Filderstadt instead of Stuttgart.

Fans got quite disappointed when Sharapova retired suddenly in 2020. They believe that she still has a lot of tennis left in her and can make a comeback. Will Sharapova return to the court?

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‘Suffered a lot’: Roger Federer’s startling confession about wife

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Roger Federer has opened up about wife Mirka in a revealing insight into the most famous WAG in world tennis.

 

 

Roger and Mirka are arguably the most-loved couple in tennis, with fans swooning over their relationship.

Mirka was a budding tennis player before meeting Roger at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, before a number of debilitating injuries forced her to retire.

“My wife Mirka has suffered a lot due to her physical problems,” Federer said in an interview with Ringier.

“Her career ended very early and I myself advised her to end that pain.

“I told her as if it were the simplest thing in the world.

“Looking back on it today, I get a weird feeling. I am still playing tournaments at 40 and I find it difficult to stop.”

Federer also revealed a funny anecdote about when Mirka called him in the middle of a match.

“She once phoned me while I was in the middle of a game,” he recalled.

“She had completely forgotten that I was playing.

“This is exactly what I like about her. When we are in a tournament, she is 100% involved, while at home she is free from all thoughts.”

Roger and Mirka have been married since 2009 and have two sets of twins together – Myla and Charlene and Leo and Lenny.

After retiring from tennis in 2002, Mirka went on to serve as Federer’s manager for a brief period before having children.

Mirka and the kids are often spotted courtside at Federer’s matches, cheering on the Swiss legend.

Meanwhile, Federer will almost certainly miss the Australian Open for the second year in a row, with the Swiss maestro said to be recovering slowly from a third knee surgery in 18 months.

Federer’s long-time coach Ivan Ljubicic has played down fears the tennis world has seen the last of the 20-times grand slam champion, who turned 40 in August.

Federer has played just 13 matches in 2021 and not one since suffering a straight-sets quarter-final loss to Hubert Hurkacz at Wimbledon in July.

The six-time Open champion’s latest four-month lay-off comes after he spent a year on the sidelines following his record-setting 15th semi-final appearance at Melbourne Park in 2020.

“Roger Federer is very unlikely to play the Australian Open,” Ljubicic told Sky Sport TV on Sunday.

“He is 40 and doesn’t recover as fast as before. But he wants to compete again and won’t retire all of a sudden.

“We will be able to see Roger again next year. I don’t know when exactly, but he is undergoing rehabilitation. He is recovering slowly, he is not in a hurry.”

The veteran superstar was still on crutches when he made a surprise appearance courtside at the Laver Cup in Boston in late September.

“Given that he was still on crutches, I doubt we’d see him here because he needs a longer prep to get ready for a grand slam than what he’s going to be able to have,” Australian doubles great turned commentator Todd Woodbridge told AAP.

Federer contested a record 21 successive Opens from 2000 to 2020 and boasts a remarkable 102-15 win-loss record at the tournament.

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EMINEM’S CONVICTED BURGLAR IS BACK ON THE PROWL BEATING DOWN SECURITY GUARDS

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Matthew David Hughes, the man who broke into homes looking for Eminem multiple times in an effort to kill him back in 2020, is once again in legal trouble.

Hughes was originally charged with first-degree home invasion and malicious destruction of property but pleaded no contest to second-degree home invasion in exchange for the former charges being dropped.

Hughes pleaded guilty in Macomb County Circuit Court on Monday (November 22) for failing to show up for his probation appointment on September 30. According to court records, he also pleaded not guilty to assaulting the security guard. Following his sentencing, his attorney Richard Glanda said he didn’t know where Hughes would be residing considering he was reportedly homeless upon being arrested.

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The man known to be Eminem’s stalker was originally sentenced to five years probation after serving 524 days in jail for breaking into the Detroit rap star Clinton Township house in April 2020 and threatening to kill him. Eminem allegedly woke up to Hughes towering over his bed and escorted him out of his house where a security guard restrained him until police arrived.

Hughes is currently being held in the county jail on $10,000 bond. He’s scheduled to be sentenced on December 15 for his parole violation.

Drake once had a similar stalking-related situation happen to him, when a knife-wielding woman was arrested in March for trying to break into his Toronto estate. She allegedly struck a security guard with a metal pipe when trying to gain access to the property.

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