Connect with us

Sports

Beyond the ‘big three’, King Djokovic sets sights on Williams, Court

Published

on

Not content with challenging Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for the men’s Grand Slams record, Novak Djokovic has Serena Williams and Margaret Court in his sights after claiming an astonishing ninth Australian Open title.

The world number one’s bold statement followed Sunday’s final, when he ended a turbulent tournament marked by a muscle injury and media attacks by humbling an in-form Daniil Medvedev.

Djokovic’s 18th major crown placed him within striking distance of the men’s record of 20, jointly held by Nadal, who lost in the quarter-finals, and Federer, who was absent through injury.

But the Serb also raised the prospect of a bigger goal: reaching the 23 held by Williams, and even the 24 won by Court straddling the amateur and Open era.

“Getting closer to maybe Roger’s, Rafa’s record, Serena, Margaret,” said Djokovic, when asked about his goals and schedule for this year.

“Everyone has their own journey and their own way of making history. They’ve made history already. They made a tremendous mark in our sport.

“I think about winning more Slams and breaking records, of course. And most of my attention and my energy from this day forward, until I retire from tennis, is going to be directed in majors, trying to win more major trophies.”

Djokovic, 33, said he would play a slimmed-down schedule focusing on the majors, rather than the rankings, now he’s guaranteed to surpass Federer’s record of 310 weeks as world number one on March 8.

His triumph follows a difficult tournament, after he suffered a muscle tear in the third round and was criticised for requesting better conditions for players during quarantine.

“It hurts,” he said of the criticism. “I’m a human being. I have emotions.”

The Serb’s 7-5, 6-2, 6-2 win over the 25-year-old Medvedev, who was on a 20-match winning streak, was also a sobering moment for the younger players hoping to dislodge the ‘Big Three’.

“The three knights of tennis,” Djokovic smiled.

“Roger and Rafa inspire me,” he added. “I think as long as they go, I’ll go. In a way it’s like a race who plays tennis more and who wins more.

“It’s a competition between us in all areas. But I think that’s the very reason why we are who we are, because we do drive each other, we motivate each other, we push each other to the limit.”

Djokovic’s coach Goran Ivanisevic said the Big Three were producing “better and better tennis” and also noted that Court’s record was on the horizon.

“I don’t know where is the end. Maybe they’re going to overtake Margaret Court and Serena, maybe not,” he said.

“But it’s amazing what they doing on the court. It’s amazing how they perform in the big matches.”

And Djokovic, dubbed the “king of Melbourne” by Medvedev, had a warning for the generation coming up behind the Big Three.

“Roger, Rafa, myself are still there for a reason,” he said. “We don’t want to hand it to them and we don’t want to allow them to win Slams.

“I think that’s something that is very clear. Whether you communicate that message or not, we are definitely sending that vibe out there.”

Continue Reading
Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Sports

Ronaldo receives blessing from Ighalo to move to Saudi Arabia

Published

on

Ighalo, Ronaldo

Super Eagles of Nigeria striker Odion Ighalo is thrilled with the possibility of football icon Cristiano Ronaldo moving to the Saudi Arabian professional league.

Ronaldo departed Premier League giants Manchester United recently after an explosive interview about the club with Piers Morgan.

The 37-year-old is now without a club as the winter transfer window approaches after the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

Ronaldo is regarded as one of the greatest players of all time and now as a free agent is in talks with several sides around the world.

There are reports that after several years of high-level football Ronaldo will be open to a move away from Europe after 20 years.

READ ALSO:

Ronaldo has been in talks about a move to Major League Soccer (MLS) in the United States of America (USA).

The most concrete offer for Ronaldo according to reports are from Saudi Arabian giants Al-Nassr.

Super Eagles star Ighalo also plays in the Saudi Arabian top flight and is already open to the possibility of Ronaldo joining.

According to a report by the Athletic, Ighalo will love for Ronaldo to join him in the Saudi Arabian league.

He however expressed fears that the move will happen as Ronaldo may still be willing to take part in the Champions League.

The statement made by Ighalo said, “I would love for him to come to Saudi Arabia because he would boost the League and add more fanbase, People who are not watching the League will start doing so and see what they are missing.”

Ighalo is regarded as one of the best players in Saudi Arabia as he led Al-Hilal to the title but could soon face stiff competition from Ronaldo in the coming months. Pulse

Continue Reading

Sports

QATAR 2022: England ease past loose Senegal with 3 goals

Published

on

England will meet France in the World Cup quarter-finals on Saturday after an impressive demolition of Senegal at Al Bayt Stadium.

Gareth Southgate’s side survived a nervy opening in which goalkeeper Jordan Pickford made an outstanding save from Boulaye Dia to run out convincing winners with a powerful display of attacking strength.

Jude Bellingham was England’s star man, setting up the first goal for Jordan Henderson with a perfect cross after 38 minutes then having a hand in the second on the stroke of half-time, combining with Phil Foden as captain Harry Kane powered home his first of the tournament.

READ ALSO:

It left Kane just one behind Wayne Rooney’s all-time record of 53 England goals and he now has the perfect stage here in Qatar to write a fresh page in the history books.

Foden was the creator once more as England wrapped the game up in the 57th minute, crossing for Bukayo Saka to show great awareness and touch to flick a delicate finish past Senegal goalkeeper Edouard Mendy.

It capped the perfect night for manager Southgate, who opted to restore Saka and keep faith with Foden, leaving out Marcus Rashford despite his two goals in the win over Wales. Raheem Sterling was not considered as he dealt with a family matter. The Nation

Continue Reading

Sports

Mbappe scores brace as France beat Poland 3-1

Published

on

Olivier Giroud became France’s all-time leading goalscorer as the World Cup holders coasted past Poland to reach the quarter-finals.

The AC Milan striker scored his 52nd goal for France to claim the country’s outright record, surpassing the great Thierry Henry
The historic goal came on the stroke of half-time after Giroud controlled Kylian Mbappe’s pass before converting low into the net beyond the reach of Wojciech Szczesny.

But having provided the assist for the first goal, the brilliant Mbappe turned on the style by scoring two fabulous strikes in the second half.

He hit a powerful drive into the roof of the net from 16 yards for his first and curled home a wonderful second in injury time to take the lead in the Golden Boot race with five goals.

READ ALSO:

Didier Deschamps’ side had been left frustrated up until the opener and could well have fallen behind.

Poland’s best opening in the first half came when the ball dropped for Piotr Zielinski in the centre of the penalty area, but his strike was straight at Hugo Lloris.

Robert Lewandowski did manage a consolation for the Poles, rolling in a penalty with the last kick of the game.

England and Senegal meet on Sunday (19:00 GMT) for the right to play France in next Saturday’s quarter-final.

The Nation

Continue Reading

Trending