Stefanos Tsitsipas stuns Novak Djokovic in Shanghai tennis quarter-finals

Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece has now defeated all the ‘Big Three’ this year — Novac Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. (AFP)
Updated 11 October 2019

Stefanos Tsitsipas stuns Novak Djokovic in Shanghai tennis quarter-finals

  • Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas has now defeated all the ‘Big Three’ this year — Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal

SHANGHAI: World number one Novak Djokovic was stunned in the Shanghai Masters quarter-finals by young Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas in three sets on Friday.
The 21-year-old has now defeated all the “Big Three” this year — Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal — and faces another major talent in his Saturday semifinal against 23-year-old Daniil Medvedev.
He recovered from losing the opening three games in just seven minutes to shock the reigning champion 3-6, 7-5, 6-3.
Tsitsipas sealed the deal with a gleeful smash and held both arms aloft, while Djokovic met his opponent with a warm embrace at the net.
“He deserved the victory, he was the better player,” said the 32-year-old Serbian, who had looked imperious up until now.
“Second and third set I started off very well, but then I wasn’t sharp.
“I lacked that little bit of dynamic movement and acceleration in my shots.
“I didn’t have any breakpoints for two sets. I mean, he did serve well, credit to him, but just wasn’t pleased with the way I played.”
Asked if the seventh-ranked Tsitsipas has the potential to be number one, Djokovic replied: “He definitely has, yes.”
After a dreadful start, Tsitsipas found his feet in the second set, winning on a tie break, then went 3-1 up in the decider when Djokovic planted his forehand wide on the third break point.
It was a double celebration for the young Greek, who has also confirmed his place in the prestigious season-ending ATP Finals.
He did so after fourth-ranked Medvedev tamed self-styled “wild horse” Fabio Fognini 6-3, 7-6 (7/4) to canter into the semifinals. Fognini was vying for a place at the Finals.
Djokovic said that he is fully recovered from a shoulder injury.
He did not drop a set in winning the title in Tokyo and had carried that ominous form into Shanghai — until he came across Tsitsipas.
Medvedev — another of the next generation — sent down 12 aces to help see off Fognini and said: “I don’t know what happened, my serve was crushing it.”
The Russian has a 12-0 record in quarter-finals this year and Djokovic this week described him as “very complete” player.
Federer, the 20-time Grand Slam champion, faces young German Alexander Zverev later Friday in his quarter-final.
The other match is between Austria’s Dominic Thiem, who beat Tsitsipas to the China Open title on Sunday, and Italy’s Matteo Berrettini.
US Open champion Nadal is not in Shanghai because of a wrist injury.


Spanish driver Carlos Sainz takes third Dakar Rally title after winning Saudi edition

Updated 17 January 2020

Spanish driver Carlos Sainz takes third Dakar Rally title after winning Saudi edition

  • Asked about defending his title next year Sainz said: “It’s too early to think about it, let me enjoy this”
  • He has now won the Dakar with three different manufacturers, having previously triumphed with Volkswagen in 2010 and Peugeot in 2018

QIDDIYA: Veteran Spanish driver Carlos Sainz won the Dakar Rally for the third time on Friday, finishing with a comfortable winning margin in the first running of the event in Saudi Arabia.
The 57-year-old crossed the line in the 12th and final stage 6min 21sec ahead of nearest challenger and reigning champion Nasser Al-Attiyah of Qatar, who had managed to cut Sainz’s lead to just 24 seconds on Tuesday but fell back after navigation blunders.
“I feel very happy. There’s a lot of effort behind this. A lot of training, practice,” Sainz told the race’s website.
“It has been a flat out rally since the beginning. It was fantastic, a first time in Saudi Arabia, of course you can always improve but it was a fantastic effort,” he added.
Asked about defending his title next year Sainz said: “It’s too early to think about it, let me enjoy this.”
Sainz, the father of F1 driver Carlos Sainz Jr., seized control of the race from the third stage in his X-raid Mini.
He has now won the Dakar with three different manufacturers, having previously triumphed with Volkswagen in 2010 and Peugeot in 2018.
Stephane Peterhansel was third at 9min 58sec behind in his Mini. Both the Frenchman and Sainz won four stages in the marathon 12-day, 7,800-kilometer (4,800-mile) race.
Ricky Brabec triumphed in the motorbike section for Honda, becoming the first US rider to win the gruelling race.
Two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso finished 13th on his Dakar debut, nearly five hours behind the winner.
Alonso came second in one stage but his first participation in the Dakar was a bruising affair as the 38-year-old Spaniard suffered a double rollover in the 10th stage after hitting a dune at an awkward angle.