Teniste Büyük Üçülü Dönemi Bitiyor mu?

  2009 yapımı Facing Ali belgeseli bana göre Muhammad Ali ile ilgili en iyi belgesellerden biri. Belgeselde eski rakiplerinden Ron Lyle , Ali’nin Vietnam Savaşı sonrası 3 yıllık aranın ardından boksa geri dönüşünü çok güzel anlatıyor. ‘Onca yıl sonra bile Ali geri döndüğünde hepimizden hala bir adım öndeydi. Ama ona yetişmeye de başlamıştık. Artık ona vurabiliyor ve onu zorlayabiliyorduk. Eskiden ona eldivenlerimizi bile süremezdik.’ sözleriyle Ali’nin ara öncesi ve sonrası durumunu çok güzel özetliyordu.  

 İşte teniste 2021 sezonu öncesi de böyle bir durum söz konusuydu. Yıllardır Atp Tour’a hiç kimsenin yapamadığı kadar uzun süre hükmeden büyük üçlü birçok kez geri döndü bu süreçte. Federer 2013 ve 2016 sonrası artık bitti denilen anlarda geri döndü. Nadal defalarca artık dizi düzelmez denilirken geri döndü. Djokovic ilk onun dışına düştüğünde ve yeniden zirveye çıkamaz denilirken geri döndü. Hep döndüler ve hep bir adım önde kalmayı başardılar ama artık rakipleri de onlara yetişmeye başladı. Bu üç büyük tenisçi yıllarca adeta Olimpos dağının zirvesindeki ölümsüz birer tanrı gibiydi. Diğer isimler ise onları oradan indirmek isteyen faniler olarak ellerinden geleni yapsa da bunu başaramamıştı. Ancak mitolojide olmasa da gerçek hayatta en büyükler bile yaşlanıp zirveyi terk etmek zorunda kalıyor. En sevdiğimiz isimler en iyiler bile yaşlanıyor. Bu durumu bence en iyi açıklayan cümle Creed filminde Rocky’ den geldi. ”Time takes everybody out.It’s undefeated.” Çevirisi ”Zaman herkesi dışarı çıkarıyor.O yenilgisiz.” Ne yazık ki gerçekten zaman tek yenilgisiz rakip ve tek yapabileceğiniz yenilgiyi biraz daha geciktirebilmek. Bu üçlü zamana uzun süre direndi ama acaba mutlak sondan daha ne kadar kaçabilecekler?


   Teniste daha önce 30 yaş üstünde başarılı olmak hayal bile edilemezken bugün zirvedeki üçlünün yaş toplamı neredeyse 110. Öyle bir üçlü ki benim gibi 30 yaş civarı izleyicileri tenise bağladılar ama aynı yaş grubu oyuncuları tenisten soğuttular. Thiem 1990lı yıllarda doğup grand slam kazanan ilk isim oldu ve 27 yaşında. 10 yıl önce yeni nesil denilen Raonic, Nishikori ve Dmitrov gibi isimler ise artık yaşlanan oyuncular sayılıyor. 80li yıllarda doğan bu üçlü bir nesli adeta tenis tarihinden sildi. Şimdi de bir sonraki nesle kafa tutuyorlar. Birkaç yıldır masters ve sezon sonu turnuvalarında resim değişse de en büyük sahnede hala bir değişiklik yok. Geçen sene bile Thiem Amerika’da şampiyon olurken Nadal ve Federer yoktu. Djokovic de diskalifiye olarak elendi. Yani bir anlamada onların olmadığı bir turnuvayı kazandı diyebiliriz.


2020 sezon sonu turnuvasına gelirken ise özellikle Djokovic iddialı konumdaydı. Bu turnuvayı bir kez daha kazanıp 6 şampiyonluğu bulunan Federer’i yakalamak istiyordu. Nadal ise yıllardır olduğu gibi ilk şampiyonluğu için gelmişti. Ancak A grubunda Medvedev Djokovic’i yenerek grubu lider bitirdi. B grubunda ise Thiem Nadal’ı yenerek grubunu lider tamamladı. Yarıfinalde de kazanan Thiem ve Medvedev finale çıktı. Böylece finale çıkan iki isim de hem Nadal hem de Djokovic’i yenmiş olarak finale çıkmış oldu. Bu durum bir devrin yavaş yavaş kapanması olarak algılandı ve benim de bu yazıyı yazma sebebim oldu bu maçlar. Acaba bir bayrak değişimi, yeni bir dönemin başlangıcı mıydı bu maçlar? Belki abartı gibi gelebilir şu an ama zaten böyle anların önemi genelde yaşanılan dönemde değil de çok daha sonra anlaşılıyor. Mesela Sampras üst üste 6. Wimbledon şampiyonluğunu kovalarken 2001’de genç bir İsviçreli tenisçiye mağlup olduğunda kimse o an ne olduğunu fark etmedi. Ancak yıllar sonra bakınca o an Sampras ve Federer arasında kendileri dahil kimsenin fark etmediği bir bayrak değişimi olduğu görülüyor.
  İşte erkekler tenisinde 2021’e bu en büyük sorunun cevabını bulmak için başlıyoruz. Avustralya’da tablo değişmedi ama sonraki turnuvalarda birçok yeni isim ve yeni hikaye ile tanıştık. En son Miami Masters bunun en iyi örneği.Ben dahil çoğu isim bundan sonraki büyük turnuvaları izlerken acaba o yıl bu yıl mı diyerek izleyeceğiz. Belki bu büyük isimler bir kez daha herkesi şaşırtarak zirveden inmeden bir yılı daha tamamlayacak. Belki de geç tenisçiler artık tanrıların devrinin bittiğini ilan edecek.

Miami Masters 2021′ den Akılda Kalanlar

İndian Wells’ in ertelenmesi ile sezonun ilk masters turnuvası olan Miami’ye kötü haberler ile başlandı. Son şampiyon Federer sezon başında turnuvaya katılamayacağını zaten söylemişti. Turnuva tarihi yaklaşırken ise önce Nadal sonra da Djokovic turnuvadan çekildi. Daha sonra ise wildcard ile turnuvaya gelen Murray de turnuvadan çekildiğini açıkladı. Böylece eski şampiyonlardan sadece John İsner kalmış oldu. 2018’de turnuvayı kazanan Isner bir yıl sonra da final görmüş ama Federer’e yenilmekten kurtulamamıştı.

  Djokovic’in çekilmesi ile yeni dünya iki numarası Medevedev turnuvaya seri başı olarak katılmış oldu. Tablonun alt yarısında ise iki numaralı seri başı Tsitsipas yer aldı. Seri başlarının maç yapmadan üst tura geçtiği ilk turda gözler 19 yaşındaki İtalyan Musetti’nin üzerindeydi. Geçen hafta ilk kez katıldığı Dubai’ de iki top 20 oyuncusu yenerek yarı finale gelen Musetti yarı finalde Tsitsipas’ a mağlup olmuştu. Miami’ de ilk turda Amerikalı rakibini yenen genç İtalyan çok zorlanmadan ikinci tura çıkmış oldu.

  İkinci turda 3 numaralı seri başı Zverev süpriz şekilde 21 yaşındaki Finlandiyalı Emil Ruusuvori’ ye mağlup oldu. Musetti Pire’ yi mağlup ederek üçüncü tura çıkarken sakatlık öncesi formunu arayan Nishikori de üçüncü tura çıkan bir diğer isim oldu. 8 numaralı seri başı Goffin ve 9 numaralı seri başı Dmitrov ise turnuvaya ikinci turda veda eden isimlerden oldu.

  3.turda Tsitsipas Nishikori’ yi üç sette geçerek rakibini ilk kez mağlup etti. Hurkacz, altı numaralı seri başı Shapaovalov’ u iki sette mağlup ederken Cilic de genç Musetti’ yi aynı skorla mağlup etmeyi başardı. Son finalist İsner, Kanadalı genç yetenek Auger-Aliassime’yi iki tie-break ile geçmeyi başardı.

 Sezona rüya gibi başlayarak önce Avustralya Açık yarı finaline çıkan, ardından geçen hasta Dubai’ de kariyerinin ilk ATP 500 turnuvası şampiyonluğunu yaşayan Karatsev de turnuvaya üçüncü turda veda edenler arasına adını yazdırdı.

 Üçüncü tur maçlarından en dikkat çekeni şüphesiz Rublev-Fucsovics eşleşmesi oldu. Miami öncesi 2021 yılı içerisinde üç turnuvada eşleşen ikiliden gülen taraf hep Rublev olmuştu. Rus tenisçi Rotterdam ve Dubai eşleşmelerini 2-0 kazanırken Doha eşleşmesinde Fucsovics maç öncesi turnuvadan çekilmişti. Dubai’de oynanan maçtan sonra Rublev hakkında umarım 2021 yılında bir daha karşılaşmayız şeklinde konuşan Macar tenisçinin isteği yine gerçekleşmedi ve Dubai sonrası ilk turnuvada yine yolları kesişti. Diğer maçların aksine çok rahat bir galibiyet alan Rublev rakibine sadece üç oyun vererek bir üst tura yükseldi.

 Dördüncü turun ilk maçında Medvedev Amerikalı rakibi Tiafoe’yi 2-0 ile geçti. Bautista Agut ise eski şampiyon İsner’ı zorlu bir maç sonunda final setinde tie-break ile geçmeyi başardı. İspanyol raket tie-breakte bir de maç puanı çevirdi. Bu sonuçla yeni bir Miami şampiyonu göreceğimiz kesinleşmiş oldu. Hurkacz Shapovalov’un ardından bu kez de bir başka Kanadalı Raonic’i yenerek çeyrek finale yükseldi. Genç İtalyan Sinner da çeyrek finale çıkarken son sekize kalan diğer isimler Tsitsipas, Rublev, Korda ve Bublik oldu.

 Çeyrek finalde dünya iki numarası Medvedev daha önce iki kez karşılaşıp hiç mağlup edemediği B.Agut ile karşılaştı. Gülen taraf bir kez daha İspanyol raket oldu. Böylece yarı finale çıkan Agut’un rakibi ise Bublik’i mağlup eden Sinner oldu. Bir diğer eşleşmede ise 2021’in en formda isimlerinden Rublev , Korda’yı mağlup ederek yarı finale yükseldi. Hurkacsz için ise 2021 hesaplarını kapattığı bir turnuva olmaya devam ediyor. Polonyalı raket önce kendisini Dubai’den eleyen Shapovalov’u mağlup etmeyi başarmıştı. Çeyrek finalde ise Rottherdam’da elendiği Tsitispas’ ı yendi ve yarı finale yükseldi. 

  Yarı finalin ilk eşleşmesinde Sinner ile Agut karşı karşıya geldi.İlk seti tecrübeli raket Agut kazanırken sonraki seti genç Sinner kazandı. Final seti ise oldukça heyecanlı geçti. Agut servis kırarak 3-1 öne geçse de sonraki 6 oyunun beşini alan Sinner seti 6-4 ve maçı da 2-1 kazanarak finale yükseldi. Miami de en son 19 yaşında final gören isim 2007′ de Djokovic olmuştu. Bunu başaran diğer isimler ise 2005-Nadal ve 1990-Agassi. Bu isimleri görünce Sinner’ın ulaştığı başarının büyüklüğü bir kez daha ortaya çıkıyor.

 Diğer eşleşmede Hurkacz çok zorlanmadan Rublev’i de geçerek harika yürüyüşünü sürdürdü. Polonyalı raket finale çıkarken dört tane ilk 20 oyuncusunu yenmiş oldu bu turnuvada.

 Daha önce çiftlerde aynı takımda olan iki arkadaşın karşılaştığı finale iyi başlayan Hurkacz oldu. Maçın başında break bulan ve 3-0 öne geçen Polonyalı avantajını hemen kaybetti se ilk set tie-breake gitti. Tie-breakte rakibine 7-4 üstünlük kuran Hurkacz ilk seti kazanmış oldu. İkinci sete de iyi başlayan Hurkacz iki kez servis kırarak 4-1 öne geçti. Daha sonra belki de yaklaşan şampiyonluğun heyecanı ile servis oyununda ard arda basit hatalar yaparak servisini kırdırdı. Sonraki servis oyunlarında hata yapmayan Hurkacz seti 6-4 maçı da 2-0 kazanarak kariyerinin ilk Masters 1000 şampiyonluğunu kazanmış oldu. Delray Beach turnuvasını da yılın başında kazanan 24 yaşındaki tenisçi 2021′ de Kuzey Amerika’da mağlubiyet almamış oldu. 

 Bu şampiyonluk sonrası kariyerinin en iyi derecesi olan Hurkacz 16 numaraya yükseldi. Sinner ise 19 numaraya yükseldi ve böylece iki isim de ilk 20 oyuncusu olmayı başardı.

Miami Masters 2021

Because of the postponement of Indian Wells, the first masters tournament of the season, Miami, started with bad news. The last champion Federer had said at the beginning of the season that he would not be able to participate in the tournament. As the tournament date approached, first Nadal and then Djokovic withdrew from the tournament. Later, Murray, who came to the tournament with the wildcard, announced that he withdrew from the tournament. Thus, only John Isner remained of the former champions. Isner, who won the tournament in 2018, saw the final a year later, but could not avoid losing to Federer.

With the withdrawal of Djokovic, the new world number two Medevedev entered the tournament as seeded. In the bottom half of the table was Tsitsipas, seeded number two. Eyes were on the 19-year-old Italian Musetti in the first round, when the heads of the series went to the next round without a match. In Dubai, where he participated for the first time last week, after beating two top 20 players, Musetti was defeated by Tsitsipas in the semi-finals. Defeating his American rival in the first round in Miami, the young Italian made it to the second round without much difficulty.

In the second round, seed number 3 Zverev was surprisingly defeated by 21-year-old Finnish Emil Ruusuvori. Nishikori, who was looking for his pre-injury form while defeating the Musetti Piraeus, went to the third round. Seeded 8 Goffin and seed 9 Dmitrov were among those who died in the second round of the tournament. In the third round, Tsitsipas beat Nishikori in three sets, defeating his opponent for the first time. Hurkacz beat six-seeded Shapaovalov in two sets, while Cilic defeated young Musetti with the same score. The last finalist, Isner, managed to beat Canadian young talent Auger-Aliassime in two tie-breaks.

Karatsev, who started the season like a dream, first went to the semi-finals of the Australian Open and then went on to win the first ATP 500 tournament championship of his career in Dubai, made his name among those who said goodbye to the tournament in the third round.

The most notable of the third round matches was undoubtedly the Rublev-Fucsovics match. Before Miami, Rublev had always been the laughing party from the matching duo in three tournaments in 2021. Russian tennis player won the Rotterdam and Dubai matches 2-0, while Fucsovics withdrew from the pre-match in Doha matchup. After the match played in Dubai, the Hungarian tennis player, who spoke about Rublev as I hope we will not meet again in 2021, did not come true and his paths crossed again in the first tournament after Dubai. Unlike other games, Rublev won a very comfortable victory, giving only three games to his opponent, and advanced to the next round.

In the first match of the fourth round, Medvedev beat his American rival Tiafoe 2-0. Bautista Agut, on the other hand, managed to beat former champion Isner with a tie-break in the final set after a tough match. He also scored a match point in a Spanish racket tie-break. With this result, it is certain that we will see a new Miami champion. After Hurkacz Shapovalov, this time another Canadian beat Raonic and reached the quarterfinals. Young Italian Sinner also made it to the quarterfinals, while Tsitsipas, Rublev, Korda and Bublik were the last eight.

In the quarterfinals, world number two Medvedev faced B.Agut, whom he faced twice before and never defeated. The laughing side has once again become a Spanish racket. Thus, the rival of Agut, who entered the semi-finals, was Sinner, who defeated Bublik. In another matchup, Rublev, one of the most formidable names of 2021, defeated Korda and reached the semi-finals. For Hurkacsz, it continues to be a tournament where it closes 2021 accounts. The Polish racket first managed to defeat Shapovalov, who eliminated him from Dubai. In the quarter-finals, he beat Tsitispas, which he was eliminated at Rottherdam, and reached the semi-finals.

In the first match of the semi-finals, Sinner and Agut faced off. Experienced racket Agut won the first set and young Sinner won the next set. The final set was very exciting. Although Agut broke the serve 3-1, Sinner, who took five of the next 6 games, won the set 6-4 and the game 2-1 and reached the finals. The last name to see the final at the age of 19 in Miami was Djokovic in 2007. Other names that have achieved this are 2005-Nadal and 1990-Agassi. Seeing these names, the magnitude of Sinner’s success becomes clear once again.

In the other pairing, Hurkacz continued his great walk, passing Rublev without much difficulty. While the Polish racket made it to the final, it beat four of the top 20 players in this tournament.

It was Hurkacz who started well in the final, where two friends who were in the same team before in the doubles. Finding a break at the beginning of the match and taking the lead 3-0, the Polish lost his advantage immediately, but the first set went to a tie-breake. Hurkacz, who had a 7-4 advantage over his opponent in tie-break, won the first set. Hurkacz, who started well in the second set, broke the service twice and went ahead 4-1. Later, perhaps with the excitement of the upcoming championship, he broke his service by making simple mistakes one after another in the service game. Making no mistake in the next service games, Hurkacz won the set 6-4, 2-0, and won the first Masters 1000 championship of his career. The 24-year-old tennis player, who won the Delray Beach tournament at the beginning of the year, did not lose in North America in 2021.

Hurkacz, which is the best time in his career after this title, reached number 16. Sinner, on the other hand, rose to number 19 and thus both became the top 20 players

Russia a Champion of ATP Cup

The first day of the Atp Cup started with the Serbia-Canada match. Raonic comfortably defeated Lajovic in his first singles match, putting Canada ahead 1-0. The Canadian racket scored 11 aces and never gave his opponent a chance to break-point his service game. In the second singles match, Djokovic and Shapovalov faced each other. Last year, Djokovic was the party that laughed from the duo who met in the group match again. Djokovic, who started the game well due to the simple mistakes of his opponent, earned the service break point in the fourth game, but he missed this opportunity with his forehand that he threw 2 cm off the line. When Shapovalov made two simple mistakes in a row in the game he served for the tie-break, he broke his service and fell 1-0 behind in sets. In the balanced second set, Djokovic, who got a break in the service in the 12th game, finished the match with a nice passing shot and the match came to balance 1-1. At the end of this match, this duo faced this time in a doubles match. The Djokovic / Krajinovic duo defeated the Raonic / Shapovalov pair 7-5 and 7-6, and Serbia won the series 2-1. One day later, Canada, who lost to Germany 2-1, said goodbye to the tournament in the group stage. In the final match of the group, Serbia and Germany faced each other for the semi-final. In singles matches, while Djokovic beat Zverev 2-1, Struff passed Lajovic with the same score and the doubles match started to determine the winner. Zverev / Struff duo won the ti-break set 10-7 in the doubles match and took Germany to the semi-finals. The last champion Serbia has not passed the group stage this year.

Rafeal Nadal could not play in group B due to injury. Although Greece and Australia reached 1-1 in the group, the finalist of last year, with a better set average, finished the group as the leader and reached the semi-finals.

Italy, France and Australia, led by Foggini and Berrettini in Group C, finished the group as leader with a 2-0 score and reached the semi-finals. While Berretini won both singles matches he played, the Foggini group finished with a win and a loss.

Argentina, Russia and Japan competed in Group D. Medvedev and Rublev won both singles matches, leading Russia to the semi-finals. Returning from injury, Nishikori was disappointed by losing both of his matches.

Germany and Russia matched in the first semi-final. Rublev defeated Struff, Medvedev de Zverev, and Russia advanced to the final. The doubles win was no more than a small consolation for Germany. In the other semi-finals, Spain and Italy matched. Italy, which beat its rival 3-0, became Russia’s rival in the final.

In the final, Russia dominated the series. Russia, which got both matches 2-0, gave a total of nine games to its opponent in two matches. Medevedev won all his matches and put 500 points in his household.

Federer Returning in March

Having closed the season for knee surgery after the Australian Open last year, Federer plans to return to the courts with the Doha tournament in March. Federer first stated that his post-surgery goal was to take part in the 2021 Australian Open, but he announced that he withdrew from the tournament last month because he could not regain his full form after the surgery. This is the first time that 20 grand slam champion tennis player have not participated in the Australian Open draw since 2000. Stating that he did not want to return to tennis before he fully recovered, the Swiss tennis player stated that his main goal was to get ready for Wimbledon. He said feeling good right now and said that he wanted to start with a small tournament first. Stating that he will be assertive for the remainder of the season after opening the season with Doha, which started on March 8, Federer said that he especially gives importance to Wimbledon, Olympic and American Open tournaments.

Atp Cup 2021

Atp Cup tournament was held for the first time in 2020. Last year, a total of 24 countries in 6 groups took part in the tournament. The group leaders and the top two group runners-up reached the quarterfinals and the tournament qualifying procedure was progressing. Also, the point earning system was different from other tournaments. The points earned after winning the match varied depending on the world rank of the opponent at that time. In addition, after the group matches, the points earned at each stage were increasing. Djokovic finished the tournament with 650 points and Serbia became the champion.

This season, some changes were made to the tournament with the effect of covid. First of all, the number of groups dropped to four. Three countries took part in each group. The four teams that finished their groups as leaders will have reached the semi-finals. Matches will be played over three matches as last year. Each country will consist of four player. In the form of two singles match and a doubles match. Also, unlike last year, even if a tennis player wins all his matches, the maximum score he can earn will be 500(in 2020 Djokovic earned 650 points).

Groups

A: Serbia, Germany, Canada

B: Spain, Greece, Australia

C: Austria, Italy, France

D: Russia, Argentina, Japan

The tournament starts on February 2nd. and will finish February 7.

Topluluk Tarafından Doğrulandı simgesi

Season Begins

The 2021 season begins in the shadow of the Corona virus. There is a different tournament ranking than the usual calendar. In addition, the indian wells tournament, which was canceled last year, was postponed again.

The season starts with Antalya and Delray Beach. Only Italian Berrettini among the top 10 tennis players took part in these 250-point tournaments. Goffin and Berrettini participated in the draw as the first two seedlings in Antalya. However, both were eliminated before they made it to the final. The two names that eliminated them played in the final. In fact, it is not quite correct to say that he played in the final because the match lasted only two games. Bublik withdrew from the game due to a injury in his right ankle while he was 2-0 behind in the games in the first set. In fact, he was injured in the semi-finals and received intensive treatment until the final, but still had to quit the match when the first two games were very difficult. Bublik also left the third ATP final at the site empty-handed. De Minaur reached the fourth title in the eighth ATP final.

The first two seeds were eliminated early in the Delray Beach tournament. After defeating young talent Korda in the final, Polish Hurkacz became the champion. Having become the champion with two sets ending 6-3, Polish left the second ATP tournament final of his career with the championship. American Korda could not find what she was looking for in her first final

Federer withdraws from Australian Open


Federer, who had knee surgery after the semi-finals of the Australian Open last year and was not involved for the remainder of the season, was delayed once again. The Swiss tennis player, who previously said that his goal is to return to the courts with the 2021 Australian Open, stated that he will return to tennis after Australia because he is not fully ready. This is the first time it has been in Australia since 2000. The Swiss tennis player, who was the only tennis player to win more than a hundred games at the Australian Open, where he was eliminated only twice before the semi-finals since 2004, has not had the chance to improve this record a little more this year.

Federer won the 2017 Australian Open after a long break in 2016, beating Nadal in the final. Although fans expecting a similar comeback in 2021 are upset by this decision, there are still many goals until the end of the season. Already Federer said his goal for 2021 is Wimbledon, the Olympic and the US Open. Federer, who did not want to return before he was ready, showed how appropriate his decision not to rush every time. After 2014 and 2017 comebacks, what kind of Federer comeback will we watch this year?

GODS vs humans

The 2009 documentary Facing Ali is for me one of the best documentaries about Muhammad Ali. In the documentary, Ron Lyle, one of his former rivals, describes Ali’s return to boxing after a 3-year hiatus after the Vietnam War. ‘Even after all these years, when Ali returned, he was still one step ahead of us all. But we were also starting to catch up with him. Now we could hit him and force him. In the past, we couldn’t even put our gloves on him. ‘ He summarized Ali’s situation before and after the break very well. This is the case in tennis before the 2021 season. The big trio, who have ruled the Atp Tour for years like no one else, returned many times in the process. Federer is back after 2013 and 2016 when it was over. Nadal returned again and again as it was said that the series would no longer improve. When Djokovic first fell out of him and was told he could not rise to the top again, he returned. They always turned around and always managed to stay one step ahead, but now their rivals are catching up with them. These three great tennis players for years were like immortal gods on the summit of Mount Olympus. Other names did their best as mortals who wanted to get them out of there, but they did not. However, even if not in mythology, in real life, even the greatest ones have to get old and leave the summit. This trio resisted this for a long time, but how far will they escape the absolute end?

While it was unimaginable to be successful over the age of 30 before in tennis, today the sum of the top trio’s age is almost 110. It is such a trio that tied the audience around 30 years old like me, but they kept the same age group players from tennis. Thiem was born in the 1990s and became the first name to win a grand slam, at age 27. The names such as Raonic, Nishikori and Dmitrov, which were called the new generation 10 years ago, are now considered aging players. This trio, born in the 80s, almost erased a generation from the history of tennis. Now they stand up to the next generation. Although the picture in masters and end-of-season tournaments has changed for several years, there is still no change in the biggest stage. Even last year, Thiem won the championship in America, while Nadal and Federer were absent. Djokovic was also eliminated by disqualification. In a sense, we can say thathe won a tournament without them.

Djokovic was especially ambitious when he came to the end of the season tournament this year. He wanted to win this tournament once again and catch Federer, who has 6 championships. Nadal had come for his first championship, as he has been in years. However, in Group A, Medvedev beat Djokovic and finished the group as leader. In group B, he defeated Thiem Nadal and finished the group as the leader. Thiem and Medvedev, who also won the semifinals, made it to the finals. Thus, the two names that made it to the finals beat both Nadal and Djokovic and reached the finals. This situation was perceived as the slow closing of an era and these matches became the reason for me to write this article. Were these matches a flag change, the beginning of a new era? It may seem like an exaggeration right now, but the importance of such moments is understood much later, not in the usual period. For example Sampras 6 in a row. While chasing the Wimbledon championship, no one realized what was happening in 2001, when he lost to a young Swiss tennis player. But years later, it seems that there was a flag change between Sampras and Federer that no one noticed, including them.

Here we are starting 2021 to find the answer to this biggest question in men’s tennis. While most names, including me, watch the big tournaments, we will watch this year by saying whether this year. Maybe these big names will once again surprise everyone and complete another year before they come down from the top. Perhaps late tennis players will now announce the end of the age of the gods.

Tennis 2020 – Episode 3

After a long break, the season started again in August without an audience. However, even if the season started in the first stage, not all of the players were interested in playing. Nadal announced that he will start the season in Rome by not playing in the hard court season. Thus, only Djokovic of the big trio took part in the US Open fixture. He looked good in Cincinnati, the last preparation tournament before America, and his rivals were eliminated in the early rounds. Djokovic, who became the champion by beating Raonic in the final, became perhaps the only favorite for America. Another remarkable result in Cincinnati was that Murray, who was looking for his old form after the injury, defeated Zverev. Although he was eliminated by Raonic in the next round, Zverev’s injury return was the biggest win for Murray.

In the US Open draw, Djokovic and Tsitsipas were in the upper half of the table, and Thiem and the 2019 finalist Medvedev were in the lower half. In the striking match of the first round, 2012 champion Murray defeated Nishioka in the game in which he fell 2-0. However, Murray did not escape being eliminated in round 2. The first surprise came in the next round, and Tsitsipas lost to Coric after a five-set match, and said goodbye to the tournament. Thus, the final road was opened for Djokovic. In the fourth round, the most talked about event of recent years took place. In the first set of the Carreno-Busta match, Djokovic was disqualified for hitting the referee by throwing the ball in his hand with a racket to the referee. In fact, a few points ago, he had thrown a hard ball again, but the ball hit the wall a little further from the referee. In fact, that ball was perhaps the footsteps of the upcoming event. Realizing his mistake the moment he threw the ball, Djokovic immediately went to the referee. However, after the ball hit his throat, the referee fell to the ground and was out of breath for a while, and it was already clear what the decision would come. The decision was discussed a lot after the match. There were those who said the same decision would not have been given to Nadal or Federer. One party said the referee was exaggerating the incident. Djokovic received this incident very mature and apologized. He stated that he understood the decision. No matter how much the decision was debated, there was a truth now. The first grand slam championship was only three games away for the 8 people who made it to the US Open Quarterfinals, and there would not be a former grand slam champion on this road. In the last 15 years only Murray has been able to win a grand slam at 2016 Wimbledon without facing the big trio. All the other trophies were won by either the big three or the player who beat at least one of them. It was not surprising in the Quarter-finals played under these conditions and the matches of Thiem-Medvedev and Zverev-Busta occurred. To me and many people, the first match was considered an early final, but Thiem passed last year’s finalist without a set and made it to the final. Trailing 2-0 in the other semi-finals, Zverev advanced to the first grand slam final of his career. Although Thiem was experienced in the final, Zverev started well and won the first two sets 6-2 and 6-4. In the third set, he broke the service and went ahead 2-1, but he lost his advantage when he broke his service right after. Then, when he was serving while staying on the set, he got his service and the sets became 2-1. The championship reached the last set when Thiem bought the fourth set. After mutual service breaks in the last set, Zverev took the lead 5-3 and served for the match. However, he broke his service without seeing the match points. Even though it was Thiem who served 6-5 and served for the match, he also broke his service without seeing the match points. Evaluating his third match score in the tie-break set, Thiem won the first grand slam of his career. Thiem lost his first two finals to the king of France, Nadal. Earlier this year, he became the champion for the first time in the fourth final after losing his first hard floor final to the king of Australia, Djokovic. In an interview, the Austrian stated that winning a grand slam is very special, but a championship won while the big trio is active will be much more special, and the Austrian achieved this goal. Zverev, on the other hand, after seeing the semi-final in Australia, saw the final here as well, and those who had high expectations from him for 2020 were more than satisfied.

After America, soil season started without a break. Djokovic won the cup while Nadal was eliminated in the quarterfinals in Rome. Despite being an early eliminated pre-RG masters tournament in recent years, the favorite for RG was again Nadal. In the most notable matchup of the first round, Wawrinka beat Murray in a casual game. Murray seemed to be moving hard on the court, and it was really sad to see him like this. The surprise result of the first round was that Fucsovics eliminated Medvedev 3-1. In the tournament, which was not too surprising until the quarter-finals, he lost to the final finalist Thiem Schwartzman after five sets and bid farewell to the tournament in the quarter-finals. Thus, even though the expected Thiem-Nadal semi-final did not take place when the draws were drawn, Schwartzman’s eliminating Nadal in Rome made the semi-final a little interesting. On the other hand, a match between Djokovic and Tsitsipas occurred. In the first game of the semi-final, there was no match that met the expectations and Nadal won 3-0 without much difficulty and reached the 13th final. In the other semi-finals, even though Djokovic was comfortable 2-0, Tsitsipas managed to equalize the sets. In the final set, there was absolute Djokovic dominance. Serbian racket, which gave only one game to its opponent, managed to become the second name to reach the finals. In the final, Nadal wanted to catch Federer in the number of grandslams, while Djokovic wanted to both reduce the difference with this pair and get ahead of his rivals by winning all slams at least twice. Although Djokovic was ahead 29-26 in 55 matches between the two so far, Nadal was ahead 6-1 in the French Open. Although the favorite was Nadal, all tennis fans expected a great game, but the match ended unexpectedly with a quick Nadal win. In the match that ended in three sets, Nadal won the first set with a bagel. In a sense, we can compare this match to the 2019 Australian Open final. In that match, too, Nadal looked very helpless and Djokovic won an easy victory. This time, Nadal was the easy winner. He also won the first set 6-0 against Djokovic in France, where the Spanish racket won the first set 6-0 against Federer in 2008. Nadal thus triumphed from the French territory for the 13th time and became a partner in Federer’s record in this field by winning the 20th grand slam. Djokovic remained at 17 and could not take the chance to reduce the gap once again after America. He also won the first set 6-0 against Djokovic in France, where the Spanish racket won the first set 6-0 against Federer in 2008. Nadal thus triumphed from the territory of France for the 13th time, winning the 20th grand slam, and shared Federer’s record in this field. Djokovic remained at 17 and could not take the chance to reduce the gap once again after America. He also won the first set 6-0 against Djokovic in France, where the Spanish racket won the first set 6-0 against Federer in 2008. Nadal thus triumphed from the territory of France for the 13th time, winning the 20th grand slam, and shared Federer’s record in this field. Djokovic remained at 17 and could not take the chance to reduce the gap once again after America.

In a sense, after the tournament, Federer’s reign was also the end. Having lost the h2 lead over his arch-rivals for a long time, Federer’s only trump card was the number of grand slams and the number of weeks he stayed at number 1. With Nadal also winning 20 slams, he is no longer alone in this field. The number 1 record also seems to be ended by Djokovic in March 2021.

Most of the top 10 players after Roland Garros appeared in the Atp 500 tournament in Vienna. Russian tennis player Rublev won the tournament where favorites like Djokovic, Thiem and Medvedev were eliminated early. This cup was the 5th Atp cup won by the Russian tennis player this year and with this result, Rublev has reserved his place for the end of season tournament. Medvedev, who defeated Zverev in the final in the Paris Masters tournament, which was held later, reached a happy ending.

At the end of the season tournament to be hosted by London for the last time, group A was formed as Djokovic, Medvedev, Schwartzman, Zverev and B group Thiem, Nadal, Tsitsipas, Rublev as a result of lots. At the end of the group matches, Medvedev and Thiem ended the groups as the leader, while Djokovic and Nadal came in second. The first match was played between Thiem and Djokovic. Thiem started the game well and won the first set. However, Thiem spent four match points in the tie-break in the second set. When there was no service break in the final set, a tie-breake to determine the finalist was passed. Although Djokovic got ahead 4-0, this time Thiem was behind in tie-brek and became the first to make it to the finals. He also beat both Nadal and Djokovic in the final. In the other semifinals, a match was played as a rematch of last year. For those who do not remember, Medvedev lost the match by spending the match points, although he got ahead 5-1 in the last set, while the sets were equal 1-1 in the match in this tournament in London last year. This time, the opposite scenario happened. Nadal took the first set and served for the match in the second set. But he broke his service and lost the set first and then the match. Thus, Medvedev, who defeated Djokovic in the group match, defeated both Nadal and Djokovic and reached the finals. While Thiem, who was the loser in the final last year, was the loser once again, while Medvedev won the biggest trophy of his career. Russian Davydenko won the first cup in London in 2009, and the last cup was won by citizen Medvedev. In addition, the tradition of the trophy, which has been going on since 2015, to go to a different name every year has continued.