Sunday, January 29, 2023

Djokovic beats Korda to win Adelaide Int’l 1

Word No.5 Novak Djokovic pulled off a remarkable escape to clinch the Adelaide International 1 men’s singles title on Sunday, saving a championship point to beat American Sebastian Korda in the final.
The top seed Serb saved a championship point at 5-6 in the second set before rallying past the American 6-7(8), 7-6(3), 6-4 after a gruelling three hours and nine minutes.
The 22-year-old Korda was on the cusp of becoming the first man since Hyeon Chung in the 2018 Australian Open fourth round to defeat the Serbian Down Under, but his opponent snuffed out his chance with an overhead winner.
This is Djokovic’s 92nd tour-level title from his 131st final.
The 35-year-old Serb is now tied with Rafael Nadal at the fourth position in the list of most men’s singles titles in the Open Era, trailing only Jimmy Connors (109), Roger Federer (103) and Ivan Lendl (94). He has won 34 consecutive matches in Australia since the start of 2019. Djokovic had treatment on his left leg during Saturday’s semi-final win against Daniil Medvedev, but he moved well in an intense baseline exchange on the first point of the match that set the tone for an absorbing match.
The American player played fearless baseline tennis to take the action against the Serbian. With Djokovic serving at 5-6, 30/40 in the second set, Korda needed just one more clutch strike to earn the biggest win of his career.
But Djokovic took the initiative in the point and finished it off by putting away a tricky overhead. From there, he surged through the tie-break and forced a decider.
Despite the disappointment of letting slip his opportunity, Korda continued to battle as he saved two break points at 1-2 and slowed down Djokovic’s momentum.
But at 5-4 in the third set with Korda serving, Djokovic pounced on his first chance to seal his victory. The top seed won 85 per cent of his first-serve points in the match and converted two of his seven break points.

Sabalenka beats Noskova to claim 11th career title

Aryna Sabalenka

Aryna Sabalenka ended her 20-month title drought, as she claimed her 11th career singles title with a 6-3, 7-6(4) victory over Czech player Linda Noskova in the Adelaide International 1 final on Sunday.
This is World No.5 Sabalenka’s first title since she took the crown at Madrid in May of 2021, where she beat Australian Ashleigh Barty
It is the third time Sabalenka has won a title in the opening week of the season. She pulled off the same feat with Week 1 titles in both 2019 (Shenzhen) and 2021 (Abu Dhabi), according to WTA.
Sabalenka hit 12 aces and saved all three break points she faced in the final match.
Both the players dodged a pair of early break points, but Sabalenka took control by breaking for 4-2 behind a powerful backhand. She raced through the rest of the first set, dropping only one more point on her delivery as she deployed excellent serves and forehands.
She claimed her first two top-10 wins over Daria Kasatkina and top seed Ons Jabeur en route to the final.
Having started the week just outside the top 100 Noskova was bound for Melbourne as the new world No.56.

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