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.


England cricket players donate, take pay cuts amid COVID-19 crisis

Updated 05 April 2020

England cricket players donate, take pay cuts amid COVID-19 crisis

  • The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has said the season will not start before May 28
  • ECB’s centrally contracted women players to take a salary reduction for the months of April, May and June

LONDON: England’s centrally contracted male cricketers will donate £500,000 ($613,000) to the Board and charities while their women’s team counterparts have volunteered a three-month pay cut amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the players’ association (PCA) said.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has said the season will not start before May 28 and speculation has been mounting over how their leading players would respond to the situation.

“Following a meeting today of all of the England men’s centrally contracted cricketers, the players have agreed to make an initial donation of £0.5 million to the ECB and to selected good causes ...” the Professional Cricketers’ Association said in a statement.

“This contribution is the equivalent of all of the England centrally contracted players taking a 20 percent reduction in their monthly retainers for the next three months.

“The players will continue to discuss with the ECB the challenging situation faced by the game and society as a whole and will consider how best to support the ECB and both the cricketing and wider community going forward.”

The ECB’s centrally contracted women players have volunteered to take a salary reduction for the months of April, May and June in line with their coaches and support staff.

England women’s captain Heather Knight said: “All the players felt like it was the right response in the current climate to take a pay cut in line with what our support staff are taking.

“We know how the current situation is affecting the game and we want to help as much as we can.

“We will be discussing with the ECB further ways we can help the game in the coming weeks,” added Knight, who has signed up with the National Health Service (NHS) as a volunteer.

The ECB has announced a 61 million pounds aid package to help the local game withstand the financial impact of the pandemic.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler is currently auctioning the shirt he wore in England’s 2019 World Cup final victory to raise funds for efforts to fight the coronavirus.