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Matteo Berrettini: Novak Djokovic is absolute champion, much better than me

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World No. 7 Matteo Berrettini admitted Novak Djokovic is “much better” than him and described him as an “absolute champion.” Berrettini, 25, has established himself as a top-10 player on the ATP Tour but he hasn’t had any success against Djokovic.

Berrettini clashed Djokovic four times and he has zero wins over the world No. 1. The most painful defeat against Djokovic came at this year’s Wimbledon, where Berrettini fell short to the Serb in four sets in his maiden Grand Slam final.

“Novak is much better than me: he is an absolute champion,” Berrettini said, per Tennis Fever.

Berrettini never thought he’d reach a Wimbledon final
“In 2014 I lost in the second round of the Wimbledon junior tournament.

When I was leaving the complex I told myself I wanted to come back here at least one more time in my life. I always had the feeling that something incredible could happen on those courts. However, I never expected to reach the final,” Berrettini admitted.

Berrettini won a tight first set against Djokovic in the Wimbledon final but ended up losing in four sets. “Novak was better than me, as he is a great champion,” said Berrettini after the final. “He is right in the history of the sport and he deserves all the plaudits.

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I hope it’s not my last Grand Slam final. It’s such an honour to be here and it’s been a really great run the past couple of weeks and also at The Queen’s Club”. Djokovic said it was “more than a battle” after beating Berrettini.

“It was more than a battle,” said Djokovic. “Winning Wimbledon was always the biggest dream of mine as a child. I know how special this is and I don’t want to take this for granted. I was a seven year old boy in Serbia, constructing a Wimbledon tennis trophy with improvised materials in my bedroom and now I am standing here with six titles. It’s incredible”.

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Hamilton disappointment still “very deep” – Wolff

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Toto Wolff has revealed the disappointment at losing last year’s F1 drivers’ title still runs “very deep” inside Lewis Hamilton.

 

 

According to Wolff, the disillusionment felt at the time at the way the end of the grand prix in Abu Dhabi was handled by FIA race director Michael Masi remains.

With an FIA inquiry ongoing and no details due until early February as to what plans are likely to be in place for this season, and whether Masi will continue in his role, it is likely doubts around Hamilton will continue for at least another couple of weeks.

Asked in an interview with Auto Motor und Sport as to how deep the disappointment runs after losing out on the drivers’ title, Wolff said: “It’s very deep. Lewis, I and the whole team are disillusioned.

“We love this sport because it’s honest. The stopwatch never lies. But if we break the fundamental principle of fairness and the stopwatch is no longer relevant, then you doubt this sport, that all your work, blood, sweat and tears can be taken away from you.

“It’s going to take a long time to digest. I don’t think we’ll ever get over that, especially Lewis as a driver. At least we can try together with the FIA ​​to do better in the future.”

Wolff is now expecting the FIA to come up with a positive plan of action, the results of which will not be fully ratified until a World Motor Sport Council meeting on March 18, two days before the first grand prix of a record-breaking 23-race season in Bahrain.

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“I expect actions and not just words,” insisted Wolff. “In a sport that’s supposed to be a sport, we can’t freestyle like that with the set of rules.

“Before the start of the new season, there must be clarity about the rules so that every driver, team and fan knows what is allowed and what is not.

“In the end, we provide entertainment, but no decision should break the rules for the sake of the show.”

If Hamilton does return, Wolff is fully expecting him to display the qualities of a seven-time champion and take the fight to whichever driver will prove to be his main rival.

“The capacity of Lewis is often wrongly questioned,” remarked Wolff.

“Even after the events in Abu Dhabi, he immediately congratulated Max. Lewis only wants one thing – fair competition on the track. We will deliver that.”

If Hamilton does return, Wolff is fully expecting him to display the qualities of a seven-time champion and take the fight to whichever driver will prove to be his main rival.

“The capacity of Lewis is often wrongly questioned,” remarked Wolff.

“Even after the events in Abu Dhabi, he immediately congratulated Max. Lewis only wants one thing – fair competition on the track. We will deliver that.”

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Taro Daniel SWEARS in hilarious on-court interview after beating Andy Murray at Aus Open

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Taro Daniel had the Australian Open crowd inside the John Cain Arena in stitches during his on-court interview after beating Andy Murray for his honest assessment of the shock win. Murray rolled back the years on Monday when he defeated Nikoloz Basilashvili in a five-set thriller.

In 2019, Murray looked as though he was bowing out of the sport in a tearful press conference.

But three years later, he bounced back with a strong win against the No 21 seed.

An easier test was expected against Japan’s Daniel, who had never gone past the second round of a major in his career.

The 28-year-old had built up some momentum after coming through the qualifiers without dropping a set and defeated Chile’s Marcelo Tomas Barrios Vera in the first round.

Murray was expected to provide a tougher test for Daniel, but the three-time major champion was far from his best.

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While Murray was guilty of making a host of unforced errors, Daniel’s workrate and movement across the baseline was causing his opponent all sorts of problems.

Murray’s head dropped after going 2-0 down as he failed to take advantage of a few great opportunities.

And the former world No 1 even uncharacteristically smashed his racket to the floor before Daniel served for the match.

The Japanese tennis star was elated after winning the match with a serve-and-volley with the crowd jumping out their seats.

“It’s amazing,” Daniel said.

“Winning a match like this hear with a lot of people, especially after Covid playing without crowds and suddenly I’m able to play this big match. It’s unbelievable.

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Emma Raducanu urged to ‘turn off’ voices like Piers Morgan after torrent of criticism

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EMMA RADUCANU must “turn off” outside voices of criticism from the likes of Piers Morgan, Express.co.uk was told.

Raducanu has defeated her first opponent, the American Sloane Stephens, for a spot in the Australian Open second round. In what was her senior debut in Melbourne, the US Open champion won 6-0, 2-6 and 6-1 against Stephens, a former winner in New York. The Briton played sharply as she wrapped up the first set in 17 minutes before minor errors crept into her game.

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Stephens took advantage of this to level but Raudcanu soon reasserted control to win.

The 19-year-old will now face Montenegro’s Danka Kovinic in the second round today.

Raducanu has had something of a meteoric rise, having spent the beginning of 2021 studying hard for her A-level exams.

Now, however, she is British No 1, and looks set for a stellar career should she replicate her historic win in the US last year.

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