Novak Djokovic lived a double comeback in Cincinnati. He returned to the slopes after losing his Wimbledon crown to Alcaraz and he did so in the United States two years after his last appearance. And he didn’t have the best rival to get an easy start: Alejandro Davidovich, who opened his best position in the standings (23rd in the ranking) after a great week in Canada, reaching the semifinals, where he appeared with a new mentality. The match promised entertainment but the Spanish back said enough just before the end of the first set. Even so, he took a risk and at the first point of the second set another strain on his back forced him to retire. It begins with Novak’s victory, although without the filming that he would have wanted because he will have a demanding round of 16 against a tough man like Gael Monfils.
The match, in its beginnings, was seen as a fight between a well-oiled machine, such as Davidovich, against one that had to get going again, that of ‘Nole’. Novak was pushed too hard early on as he didn’t like to miss balls that he normally wouldn’t miss. As if he won’t accept having been on hiatus for more than a month and wanting to refine his set-up for the US Open as soon as possible. Nor was his team comfortable, since the norm of the coaching He has relaxed, they did not stop giving him orders.
“Lots of legs!” Jorge Aguirre also advised Davidovich, his coach since he was eleven years old. It was at that moment, when he tried to go up one more gear, the moment in which his back denied him. The match was at 4-3 and the man from Malaga asked for a physical and went to the locker room to try to ease the pain. He didn’t make it because he came back to the track stiffer and unable to move. Concern seized the Spaniard who shook his head and gave up his service in favor of Nole who would serve to take the set. However, the number two, still with a lot of room for improvement, did not sit well with the break, he cooled down, lowered his guard and lost the opportunity to win the first set. But the back of ‘Foki’ gave him a second chance that the Serbian did not miss and scored the first 6-4.
“This does not add up, if you cannot, do not continue. Either you break your back or you leave, but playing like this is worthless. Either you face it with everything, or you leave, ”Aguirre’s coach reflected from the stands. And the man from Malaga thought about it a lot, and in the end he opted for the option of fighting and continuing the game. He made the wrong decision because, at the first blow of the second set, another bad gesture from the back made him cut in the bud and retire from the match. Davidovich leaves Cincinnati with back problems and less than a week and a half before the start of the US Open. Djokovic advances, who was concerned about the state of the Spaniard and also about his short time on the track. He could barely show any play and he will have to do it against a volcanic Monfils in the round of 16.
Rune injured, Sinner eliminated and Alcaraz against his executioner
Many surprises are taking place in the Cincinnati men’s team, it shows how everything is at stake in just ten days in the last Grand Slam of the season and no tennis player wants to take unnecessary risks. This has been the case of the Danish Holger Rune who also withdrew from his match against Mcdonald (6-4, 2-0) due to back discomfort. While the Italian Jannik Sinner has hardly been able to rest and enjoy his first Masters 1000 after falling in his first match in Cincinnati against Dusan Lajovic (6-4, 7-6) and the number one, Carlos Alcaraz, will have another opportunity to redeem himself of the American Tommy Paul in the afternoon-night of this Thursday (not before 9:30 p.m., Movistar +).
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Source: EL PAIS