Tag Archive | "Del Potro"

Consistency Earns Tipsarevic Berth in Delray Beach Final

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Consistency Earns Tipsarevic Berth in Delray Beach Final



Earlier this year, Janko Tipsarevic and Kei Nishikori met in the quarterfinals of the Chennai Open with the former besting the latter 6-4,6-4.  This afternoon, the two had a rematch in the semifinals of the Delray Beach International Tennis Championships.  Once again, Tipsarevic got the better of Nishikori by the same score to move on to his third career final.

As the 2008 champion, Nishikori has great memories from this venue and began strongly with a love hold.  When Tipsarevic flubbed an overhead off a defensive lob, Nishikori was one point away from taking a 2-0 lead.  However, with his opponent making three consecutive errors, Tipsarevic managed to guard serve.  From that point on in the first set, Nishikori was the one pushing the envelope while Tipsarevic was satisfied with putting the ball in play.  As a result of that tactic, Tipsarevic forced multiple miscues from his rival.  Nishikori had to bounce back from love-30 to stay ahead 3-2.  But serving at 4 all, Nishikori netted a backhand crosscourt to hand Tipsarevic double break point.  When Nishikori sent another backhand long, Tipsarevic captured the break for a 5-4 edge.  Then at 40-0, Tipsarevic thumped an ace to put the set to bed.

During the interlude, Nishikori had an injury time out to address his foot.  Showing no ill effect, Nishikori went back to work.  Subsequent to an opening double fault, Nishikori fought hard and salvaged the game for 1-0.  Now in a groove, at love, Tipsarevic found the equalizer.  Next, by floating a forehand wide and committing a double fault, Nishikori was in a love-30 hole.  After recovering and getting to game point, Nishikori produced another mistake leading to deuce.  When Nishikori sliced a backhand wide, Tipsarevic had break point.  Tipsarevic converted as a result of Nishikori loosing control of a forehand stroke.  With another error plagued game from Nishikori, Tipsarevic easily consolidated for 3-1.  Despite staying one break down, with a myriad of errors, Nishikori failed to rattle Tipsarevic’s serve.  Consequently, as in the first set, an untroubled Tipsarevic arrived at triple match point and with an ace booked his spot into the final.

In his post match interview, Tipsarevic stated:  “I’m really happy with the week and my match today.”  When asked what he thought was the key to his win, Tipsarevic commented:   “the main difference was the serve. I managed to win one or two points per service game on my serve just by making an ace or a good serve while Kei had to grind for every possible point on his service game.”  Moreover, Tipsarevic cited:  “Novak [Djokovic] beating [Roger] Federer today made me want to win just a little bit more”.  In fact, Tipsarevic received a congratulatory text message from his countryman, Djokovic, after his victory.

To claim his first ATP title, Tipsarevic will have defeat either 2009 Delray Beach champion Mardy Fish or 2009 U.S. Open champ Juan Martin Del Potro.  Fish and Del Potro will clash in the night session.

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Del Potro, Fish Advance to Quarters in Delray

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Del Potro, Fish Advance to Quarters in Delray



Juan Martin Del Potro advanced to the quarterfinals of the Delray Beach Tennis International Championships Thursday night with a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Teymuraz Gabashvili.

After the match Del Potro commented that he “had a good night” adding that he is “getting better match by match” and that he “played better than [his opening match on] Tuesday”.

Looking ahead to BNP Paribas and Sony Ericsson Open, MiamiTennisNews asked Del Potro the following :

Q : Do the matches that you have won last week in Memphis and here in Delray give you confidence heading into Indian Wells and Miami?

Del Potro : Yes, I need to get more confidence and rhythm in matches. [I need] to get on the courts and feel the sensations of playing a match – nerves, being in a stadium with crowds – it is something that I lost while being out for a year. I need to recover [these experiences] as they are what lets one win matches.

Del Potro will face fifth-seeded Kevin Anderson in the quarterfinals on Friday. Anderson advanced in straight sets by defeating Florent Serra 6-1, 6-4 in the final match of the night session.

In the afternoon session second-seeded Mardy Fish advanced in straight sets over Ricardo Mello 6-2, 6-1. Fish is attempting to return to the Delray final after winning the title in 2009.

In another second round match, qualifier Alejandro Falla advanced in straight sets over Adrian Mannarino 6-3, 6-2. Falla faces Fish in the first match of Friday’s night session.

The first quarterfinal match of Friday features qualifier Ryan Sweeting taking on 2008 Delray champion Kei Nishikori. Ivan Dodig faces sixth-seeded Janko Tipsarevic in the second quarterfinal match.

Here is the order of play for Friday, February 25 :

STADIUM start 11:00 am
[1] E Butorac (USA) / J Rojer (AHO) vs A Fisher (AUS) / S Huss (AUS)

Not Before 12:30 PM
[Q] R Sweeting (USA) vs K Nishikori (JPN)

Not Before 2:30 PM
I Dodig (CRO) vs [6] J Tipsarevic (SRB)

5:30 PM
F Ferreiro (BRA) / A Sa (BRA) vs M Ebden (AUS) / S Groth (AUS)

Not Before 7:15 PM
[Q] A Falla (COL) vs [2] M Fish (USA)
[5] K Anderson (RSA) vs J Del Potro (ARG) 

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Tipsarevic Advances in Delray, Querrey and Blake Bounced

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Tipsarevic Advances in Delray, Querrey and Blake Bounced



Six-seeded Janko Tipsarevic advanced to the third round of the Delray Beach Tennis International Championships Wednesday night with a 6-2, 6-7, 6-3 win over Blaz Kavcic.

In the first night session match, Kei Nishikori eliminated wild card James Blake 6-3, 6-4. The second round encounter was a rematch of the 2008 final whereby Nishikori was also victorious.

In the afternoon session third-seeded Sam Querrey went down in straight sets to qualifier Ryan Sweeting, while Ivan Dodig advanced over Dudi Sela 2-6, 6-3, 6-2.

In another second round match Adrian Mannarino rallied from a set down to advance over Leonardo Mayer 1-6, 7-6, 6-4.

Thursday afternoon, 2009 ITC champion Mardy Fish will take on the 2004 ITC champion Ricardo Mello. The night session is highlighted by 2009 US Open champion Juan Martin Del Potro who takes on Teymuraz Gabashvili. Gabashvili eliminated John Isner in the first round.

Here is the order of play for Thursday, February 24 :

STADIUM start 11:00 am
B Becker (GER) / M Kohlmann (GER) vs C Kas (GER) / A Peya (AUT)

Not Before 12:30 PM
R Mello (BRA) vs [2] M Fish (USA)

Not Before 2:30 PM
[8] A Mannarino (FRA) vs [Q] A Falla (COL)

5:30 PM
S Lipsky (USA) / R Ram (USA) vs J Murray (GBR) / K Skupski (GBR)

Not Before 7:15 PM
J Del Potro (ARG) vs T Gabashvili (RUS)
[5] K Anderson (RSA) vs F Serra (FRA)

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Del Potro Advances In Delray Beach Debut

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Del Potro Advances In Delray Beach Debut



Juan Martin Del Potro advanced to the second round of the Delray Beach Tennis Championships Tuesday night with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Richard Berankis of Lithuania.

Del Potro and Berankis traded breaks early in the first set before going back on serve in the sixth game. Serving at 4-5, Berankis was broken, handing Del Potro the first set. In the second set, Berankis was no match for Del Potro who easily ran away with the second set and the match.

In the post match interview, Del Potro responded to following questions from MiamiTennisNews.com:

Q: Since your return from your wrist surgery have you had to adjust the way you play or are are playing at the same level when you won the US Open?
Del Potro: It depends on the climate and how I feel on a given day. I do not have the same strength however my game remains the same. I try to be aggressive with all my shots as that is what has allowed me to win tournaments.

Q: Are you taking any special measures to protect your wrist or are you back to 100%?
Del Potro: No, I’m still rehabbing and receiving treatments. It is a very long process. It still hasn’t been a year since I had the surgery. The norm would be that I would have some pain. At the moment [the recovery] is going well.

Del Potro, who is making his first appearance in Delray, will face Teymuraz Gabashvili of Russia in the second round. On Monday night Gabashvili upset the fourth-seeded American John Isner in a three sets.

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Andy Roddick Pulls Out of Delray Beach ITC

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Andy Roddick Pulls Out of Delray Beach ITC



Citing flu-like symptoms, Andy Roddick has pulled out of the the 2011 Delray Beach International Championships.

Roddick held a press conference this afternoon where he expressed his disappointment at having to pull out of the event given that he has not played the tournament since 2003. On his condition, Roddick stated that ” I woke up yesterday and felt like I got hit by a bus”. Tuesday’s night session will now feature Juan Martin Del Potro taking on Richard Berankis.

Here is the official press release from ITC tournament following Roddick’s press conference :

Delray Beach, FL – Top seed Andy Roddick has pulled out of the Delray Beach International Championships because of illness.

Roddick said during a press conference late Monday afternoon that he began experiencing flu-like symptoms prior to his Memphis final and has been prescribed antibiotics.

“I’m very disappointed. I’ve waited too long to come back and play this tournament,” said Roddick, who is a former resident of nearby Boca Raton where he played in high school. “It’s just unfortunate timing. I was looking forward to coming back. I honestly don’t feel I can go out there and give my best.”

Roddick won his 30th ATP World Tour title Sunday when he defeated Canadian Milos Raonic in three sets at the Regions Morgan Keegan Championships in Memphis, joining Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal as the only active tennis players to win at least 30 ATP titles. Roddick, ranked No. 8 in world, notched the victory with a remarkable diving forehand shot down the line on match point.

Roddick’s spot atop the bracket has been filled by qualifier Marinko Matosevic.

Tournament director Mark Baron announced that Tuesday’s evening session would begin at 5:30 pm with a Ashley Fisher/Stephen Huss vs. Jack Sock/Donald Young doubles match, followed by a 7:15 pm Juan Martin del Potro vs Richard Berankis ATP World Tour first round match, followed by the ATP Champions Tour Final.

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Delray Beach Draw Displays Potential for an Exciting Final

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Delray Beach Draw Displays Potential for an Exciting Final



As usual, Delray Beach will be the ATP’s first stop in South Florida.  This year, the field is more spectacular than ever with 2003 U.S. Open title holder Andy Roddick and 2009 U.S. Open champion Juan Martin Del Potro gracing fans with their appearance.  Moreover, former champions Marty Fish, Kei Nishikori, Xavier Malisse and Ricardo Mello will also take part in the festivities.  The draw has been announced, here’ a closer look as to how this thrilling week may unfold.

Roddick, the top seed, may have to face Janko Tipsarevic for the second consecutive week.  This time, Roddick would battle Tipsarevic or 2010 finalist Ivo Karlovic for a spot in the semifinals.

Third seed and wildcard entry Sam Querrey may be another threat to Roddick’s quest to the final.  However, prior to a potential date with Roddick, Querrey may have to overcome either Nishikori, Russian Igor Andreev or the always dangerous Benjamin Becker in the quarterfinals.

In the bottom section, 2009 titlist Fish is the second seed.  Veteran Rainer Schuettler could present a grave challenge for Fish in the second round.  Then, in the quarterfinals, Fish could contend with Radek Stepanek.

Also, in Fish’s part of the draw are John Isner and Del Potro.  These latter two just clashed in Memphis and could see each other again in the second round.  American teenager Ryan Harrison has a terrific opportunity to get to the quarterfinals.  But, in that round, Isner or Del Potro may await him.  Consequently, Fish, Del Potro, Stepanek and Isner appear the ones with the truest chance to advance to the final.

While the likelihood of an all American final exist, Roddick vs. Isner or Roddick vs. Fish, there are plenty of potential spoilers.  Since returning from his wrist injury, Memphis seems to be a turning point for Del Potro.  The Argentine looks to have regained some of the form and confidence which propelled him to the top ten.  As a result, it would not be surprising to see two former U.S. Open champions Del Potro and Roddick duke it out for the ITC title.

Click here for a complete look at the draw as it appears on the ITC tournament website.

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Nadal, Federer, Djokovic and Murray Still In the Hunt at Australian Open

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Nadal, Federer, Djokovic and Murray Still In the Hunt at Australian Open




Seven days of competition have passed at the Australian Open.  While Rafael Nadal has breezed through his matches to get to the round of 16, defending champion Roger Federer had a hiccup in the second round.  As usual, there were a few unexpected departures in the first week.  Here’s a summary of what has taken place this initial week.

It’s been smooth sailing for Nadal in getting through to the round of 16.  The world number one’s excellent form will come in handy as he faces 2010 semifinalist Marin Cilic.  After two easy matches, Cilic edged out John Isner 9-7 in the fifth to earn a crack at Nadal.

After a thrilling first round five setter against Lleyton Hewitt, David Nalbandian called it quit in the second round, four games away from being handed a straight set loss.  Mikhail Youzhny also departed earlier than expected.  The tenth seed was sent packing in the third round by Milos Raonic.  The 20 year old Canadian qualifier with the humongous serve also ousted Michael Llodra, the 22nd seed in the second round.  Next up for Raonic will be David Ferrer who is a relentless competitor.  Ferrer’s experience may prove too much for the youngster.  Thus, a Ferrer-Nadal quarterfinal showdown is the likely scenario.

Without much fuss, both Robyn Soderling and Andy Murray have been taking care of business.  Soderling’s fourth round match will be against Alexandr Dolgopolov.  The Ukrainian upset 13th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the third round.  Following an impressive second round match versus Juan Martin Del Potro, Marcos Baghdatis was forced to retire down two sets to one with a hand injury in his third round match against Jurgen Melzer.  As such, Murray will battle Melzer for a quarterfinal berth.

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Andy Roddick and Juan Martin Del Potro Headline 2011 Delray Beach ITC

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Andy Roddick and Juan Martin Del Potro Headline 2011 Delray Beach ITC



The field of competitors scheduled to appear at the 2011 Delray Beach International Tennis Championships in February has shaped up to be the strongest in the tournament’s history.

The draw is headlined by former US Open Champions Juan Martin del Potro (2009) and Andy Roddick (2003). Joining Del Potro and Roddick are past Delray Beach ITC champions Marty Fish, James Blake, Kei Nishikori, Xavier Malisse, and Ricardo Mello.

The tournament will also host a stop of the ATP Champions Tour event with John McEnroe, Mats Wilander, Pat Cash, Todd Martin and Mark Philippoussis scheduled to play.

Here is the official press release from the tournament :

DELRAY BEACH, FL (January 20, 2011) – Former Delray Beach International Tennis Championships (ITC) champions Xavier Malisse, Kei Nishikori and Ricardo Mello, along with 2010 runnerup Ivo Karlovic and 2007/2008 runnerup James Blake have signed up to play in the ITC’s 19th annual ATP World Tour event from February 21-27 at the Delray Beach Stadium & Tennis Center.

Also committing to the draw: 2009 world No. 12 Radek Stepanek and Janko Tipsaravic, who played a hero’s role in leading Serbia to the 2010 Davis Cup title.

The group joins a pair of US Open Champions – Andy Roddick (2003) and Juan Martin del Potro (2009) – as well as current Top 20 players Mardy Fish and John Isner – in giving the ITC arguably its best draw in history.

“We can’t wait to see how this one plays out,” said tournament director Mark Baron, who has added a 2011 Porsche 911 Carrera to the $500,000 pool of prize money.  “Our group of stars stands out,  but the depth of talent in this draw and guys who have had great results is very impressive.”

Malisse, the winningest player in ITC history, reached the Chenai final earlier this month. The 31-year-old is a three-time champion (2 singles titles, 1 doubles title) and has reached three other singles finals at the ITC.

Nishikori’s incredible run in 2008 as an 18-year-old made him Delray Beach’s youngest champion, and Mello will long be known for winning the 2004 title following one of South Florida’s four hurricanes that season.

Karlovic enjoyed an exciting run to the ITC final last year that included a tournament-record 89 aces, while Blake, with an 11-5 record in this tournament, received a wildcard to play this year.

Stepanek has played in 11 career ATP World Tour finals – winning four – and was the Delray Beach doubles champion in 2004. Tipsaravic owns an impressive record vs. Top 10 players, and his win in the decisive 5t rubber in last year’s Davis Cup semifinal propelled Croatia to the final.

The tournament’s ATP Champions Tour event, featuring John McEnroe, Mats Wilander, Pat Cash, Todd Martinand Mark Philippoussis, will kick off the Delray Beach ITC on Friday, February 18 at the Tennis Center. Fans buying tickets on Monday and Tuesday, February 21 and 22, will see both ATP World Tour and ATP Champions matches.

Baron also announced a ‘blockbuster’ Tuesday evening session that will include Roddick’s opening match in addition to the ATP Champions Tour final. The world No. 8 is expected to be the top seed in the ITC’s ATP World Tour event.

Individual session tickets range in price from $15 for grandstand seats to $85 for box seats, while a wide variety of tournament packages are available from $200 to $490. A limited number of ON-COURT “Best Seats in the House” remain, and there are unique “Fan Experiences” also available for purchase.

Here is Delray Beach’s 2011 draw: Kevin Anderson (RSA), Igor Andreev (RUS), Benjamin Becker (GER), Julien Benneteau (FRA), Richard Berankis (LTU), James Blake (USA), Dustin Brown (GER), Brian Dabul (ARG), Juan Martin del Potro (ARG), Ivan Dodig (CRO), Mardy Fish (USA), Teymuraz Gabashvili (RUS), John Isner (USA), Xavier Malisse (BEL), Adrian Mannarino (FRA), Ricardo Mello (BFA), Kei Nishikori (JPN), Bjorn Phau (GER), Michal Przysienzny (POL), Andy Roddick (USA), Rainer Schuettler (GER), Florent Serra (FRA), Radek Stepanek (CZE), Janko Tipsarevic (SRB); Balance of 32-player field will be filled by 4 qualifiers, 2 special exempts (at ATP discretion) & 1 wildcard.

Visit the Delray Beach ITC website www.YellowTennisBall.com to purchase tickets. For more information, please call 561-330-6000.

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Can Nadal Make it Four in a Row or Will Federer Defend?  Australian Open Preview

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Can Nadal Make it Four in a Row or Will Federer Defend? Australian Open Preview


1969 was the year when Rod Laver accomplished the calendar grand slam for the second time.  Laver had done so previously in 1962.  At the Australian Open, Rafael Nadal will attempt to become the first person to hold all four majors simultaneously, although not in the same calendar year.  Like Nadal, Roger Federer has won three majors in a single year on multiple occasions, but never held all four.  With a historic sixteen majors, Federer, the defending champion, will be one of the competitors trying to halt Nadal from revising  the tennis annals.  Indeed, if the Australian Open draw holds up, Nadal’s route to his second title is fraught with red flags.

After seemingly comfortable initial two rounds, Nadal may see Marin Cilic in the round of 16.  Despite disappointing results the remainder of 2010 after a semifinal placement in Melbourne, for Cilic knowing that he’s gone that far at this major can be an inspiration.  Moreover, the only time these two met in 2009, Cilic was the victor. In the quarterfinals, Nadal also has a few pesky potential opponents to look forward to: Mikhail Youzhny, David Ferrer and David Nalbandian.  On any given day, these men can be a real thorn on any individual’s side.

The second part of the top half of the draw has Robin Soderling and Andy Murray as the top seeds.  Either player could clash with Nadal in the semifinals.  Soderling appears to have a favorable trek until the round of 16 where he will possibly collide with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the 2007 Australian Open finalist and 2010 semifinalist.  On the other hand, 2010 finalist Murray may get Juan Martin Del Potro, Marcos Baghdatis or Jurgen Melzer.  Del Potro, the 2009 U.S. Open champion, and Baghdatis, the 2006 Australian Open finalist, would be a contest for anyone.  Whether it’s Murray, Soderling or Tsonga in the semis, Nadal will have to his hands occupied in order to reach his second Australian Open final.

To say Federer is hungry for the title is an understatement considering the implications if Nadal prevails. Could Mardy Fish or Sam Querrey trouble the defending champion in the round of 16?  Possibly.  However, with Federer’s four titles out of five his last five tournaments, it’s unlikely anyone will down him early on. Both Gael Monfils and Stanislas Wawrinka have a win over Federer, but are a combined 2-11.  Therefore, it’s inconceivable that either Monfils or Wawrinka will upend Federer in the quarterfinals.  Once again, Andy Roddick may find himself in the position of needing to go through Federer to advance to the semifinals.  Despite Roddick’s 2-20 against Federer, he is the most formidable rival who can actually put a crimp in Federer’s style.

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Nothing but Nadal in 2010

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Nothing but Nadal in 2010


No room for dispute, 2010 was a banner year for Rafael Nadal.  The Spaniard captured three majors, regained the world number one ranking and completed the career grand slam.  As such, Nadal’s domination left no ambiguity as to who was the most outstanding player in 2010.  With the year at a close, here’s a snapshot of the stories which caught the headlines this foregone season.

After a slow start, Nadal found his footing on clay with his first calendar title at the Monte-Carlo Masters.  Subsequent to banking titles at the Masters in Rome and Madrid, Nadal culminated his clay campaign with his fifth big prize at Roland Garros.  At Wimbledon, the Spaniard defended his 2008 title to seize his second major at the All England Club.  Finally, at U.S. Open, with troublesome obstacles removed from his half of the draw,  Nadal reached his first final in New York.  Nadal stared down a strong challenge from Novak Djokovic to hoist his first U.S. Open trophy.  With a total of seven titles, Nadal topped his peers in 2010.

For Roger Federer, this year was a mixed bag.  After grabbing his sixteenth major in Australia, Federer had a fourth round loss at the Sony Ericsson Open to Tomas Berdych which sent him into a tailspin.  As defending champion at the French Open, Federer was beaten in the quarterfinals by Robin Soderling which ended an unprecedented streak of twenty-three consecutive semifinals at the majors.  Furthermore, defending champ Federer was ousted in the quarterfinals by Berdych at Wimbledon.  In fact, Federer’s ranking dropped to number three, his lowest since November 2003.  Yet, with his second title of the season at the Cincinnati Masters, Federer seemed again on the right road.  However, Federer failed to take advantage of match points in the U.S. Open semifinals against Djokovic and went down in flames.  After the New York fiasco, Federer resurfaced with a fresh coach, Paul Annacone, and won three of four finals including the ATP World Tour finals where he toppled Nadal.

The Australian Open appeared a turning point for Andy Murray.  Easily handled in the final by Federer, Murray could do nothing right with the racket for a while. Eventually at Wimbledon, Murray advanced to the semifinals only to be disappointed by Nadal.  With the defense of his title at the Rogers Cup, Murray seemed to be back.  But, another setback occurred at the U.S. Open where Murray was stunned in the third round by Stanislas Wawrinka.  In besting Federer in the Shanghai Masters final, Murray looked to be heading for a strong finish.  Yet, at the ATP World Tour Finals, Murray took another  downturn.  This was emblematic of the Scot’s tumultuous year which included a rupture with coach Miles Maclagan, a brief ceding of the world number four spot to Soderling and only two titles.

With solely two titles and a U.S. Open final appearance, Djokovic had a so-so year.  The Serb even ascended to number two for a bit, but finished at number three.  While individual success was sparse, Djokovic led his country to its first Davis Cup title.  Along with countryman Viktor Troicki, Djokovic mounted a brilliant comeback to stop France from a tenth trophy.

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