Novak Djokovic

Semifinals: Djokovic defeats Nishikori 6-1 3-6 6-0

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic
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For the first time in years, all the big stars (minus Murray who had back surgery) played the BNP Paribas Masters in Paris. Nadal and Djokovic were fighting for the number 1 ranking whereas Federer, Wawrinka, Tsonga and co were all fighting for a qualification to the ATP Finals in London.
For the first time in the tournament history, the eight quarter-finalists were qualified for the ATP Finals in London. Djokovic defeated the defending champion David Ferrer in the final, and clinched his 40th career title.

Marin Cilic

One week before the start of the US Open, I did attend the Optima Open, the Belgian stop of the ATP Champions Tour. Goran Ivanisevic was taking part to the tournament, and after his match against Pat Cash, he talked a bit about his protege Marin Cilic, said Cilic was playing really well and that he had high expectations for the US Open. I thought, well we gonna have a Djokovic-Federer final, and Cilic could maybe reach the last eight.

I’ve watched Cilic live more than once (at practice with Djokovic, Ivanisevic and Becker at Roland Garros this year, at Bercy last year after his doping ban, at Roland Garros in 2012) and never thought he could be one day a Grand Slam champ: too nonchalant, lack of focus, one-dimensional playing style… How wrong I was.

As for Nishikori, I’ve watched him playing twice at Bercy last year (against Benneteau and Tsonga), and at practice with Michael Chang at Roland Garros this year.
Nishikori is a player I enjoy watching: quick feet, good hands but he clearly lacks power and is sometimes too naive in his shots’ selection.

Cilic and Nishikori met in the final on Monday and the match was even more one-sided than the Williams-Wozniacki final the day before. Nishikori was paralyzed with nerves, whereas Cilic was ready to jump on the opportunity to capture a Slam, and became the unlikeliest winner of a men’s Grand Slam title in a decade, as New York Times wrote.

What did you think of the final? Do you think Cilic will be a one Slam wonder or this major win will be first of many? What about Nishikori, will he bounced back? Please share your thoughts.

Here some pictures of the final:

US Open 2014 Kei Nishikori vs. Marin Cilic final matchup

US Open 2014 Kei Nishikori vs. Marin Cilic final matchup

US Open 2014 Kei Nishikori vs. Marin Cilic final matchup
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Kei Nishikori
Kei Nishikori’s road to the final
Round Opponent Score
R1 Wayne Odesnik 6-2 6-4 6-2
R2 Pablo Andujar 6-4 6-1 ret
R3 Leonardo Mayer 6-4 6-2 6-3
R4 Milos Raonic 4-6 7-6 6-7 7-5 6-4
QF Stan Wawrinka 3-6 7-5 7-6 6-7 6-4
SF Novak Djokovic 6-4 1-6 7-6 6-3
Marin Cilic’s road to the final
Round Opponent Score
R1 Marcos Baghdatis 6-3 3-1 ret
R2 Illya Marchenko 7-6 6-2 6-4
R3 Kevin Anderson 6-3 3-6 6-3 6-4
R4 Gilles Simon 5-7 7-6 6-4 3-6 6-3
QF Tomas Berdych 6-2 6-4 7-6
SF Roger Federer 6-3 6-4 6-4
Kei Nishikori – Marin Cilic head to head
Year Tournament Surface Winner Score
2014 Barcelona QF Clay Kei Nishikori 6-1 6-3
2014 Brisbane QF Hard Kei Nishikori 6-4 5-7 6-2
2013 Memphis QF Hard Kei Nishikori 6-4 6-2
2012 US Open R32 Hard Marin Cilic 6-3 6-4 6-7 6-3
2011 Chennai R32 Hard Kei Nishikori 4-6 7-6 6-2
2010 US Open R64 Hard Kei Nishikori 5-7 7-6 3-6 7-6 6-1
2008 Indian Wells R128 Hard Marin Cilic 6-2 6-4

Who do you think will win, Nishikori or Cilic? One thing is sure: a new Grand Slam champ will be crowned.

Wimbledon 2014 has certainly seen the event live up to its billing as the ‘most social Wimbledon ever’, with the event organisers bringing people closer to the action with a string of cutting edge activations promoted via the @Wimbledon Twitter profile. Adding to this is the fact that 85% of the competing seeded players now have a presence on Twitter, and with this in mind I wanted to have a look at some of the themes emerging from the outbound activity published to Twitter by those competing in week one at this years event.

Celebrity Spotting

If you have an interest in our great sport then Wimbledon is the place to be, and that is consistently the case for a series of superstar actors, musicians and sports people who turn out annually to watch the action live, to the delight of the players

There happens to be World Cup Taking Place

Novak Djokovic has shown support for the countries neighboring his native Serbia, and appears to have taken a particular liking to Greece

As has Nick Kyrgios, who despite representing Australia has family roots in Greece

Given Spain’s early exit, Rafa Nadal has refrained from tweeting about the tournament, which is in contrast to Roger Federer, who has been ever so insightful in his live tweets during Switzerland’s matches

Maria Sharapova has been following Russia’s progress – luckily for Maria, should things not fair so well with Grigor, she will have no problems finding a new partner in her native homeland

Whilst Tomas Berdych weighed in on the discussion around the Luis Suarez ‘bite’ – Tomas, are you implying that Suarez is a vampire?

Players interacting with one another

Andrea Petkovic is always good value on Twitter and after the BBC referred to her as “an up and coming 20 year old rising star”, she took to the micro blog to highlight her secret to sustaining her youthful complexion, prompting replies from fellow players Ana Ivanovic and Angelique Kerber

The Sky

Tomas Berdych lost out to Marin Cilic in a match that ended at 21:38 in almost total darkness – the latest end time for an outdoor match in Wimbledon’s history. Despite the ‘Bird man’s’ protests to the umpire to suspend the match at the latter end of the third set and with Hawk Eye failing to operate given the lack of light, Berdych took to Twitter to congratulate Cilic on his victory

His tweet prompted humorous response from the @PseudoFed profile (in my opinion at least) one of the best parody accounts on Twitter

On the subject of Mr Federer, the Swiss maestro also appears to have a slight sky obsession this Wimbledon, and sparked conversation amongst his community with this ”what do you see?” tweet

Roger seemed to enjoy some of the responses too….

It is great to see players take to Twitter to give an insight into their thoughts, feelings and personalities at an event that ranks as the pinnacle of the sport, and the highlight in the annual ATP and WTA calendar. As we transition from the middle Sunday to the ‘business end’ of Wimbledon 2014, I look forward to seeing yet more fun, reactive and heart felt Twitter activity from the players.

Article written by Andreas Plastiras