Paul McNamee ridicules authorities over court speed at the 2023 ATP Finals after Novak Djokovic fails to win a single break point against Hubert Hurkacz
Djokovic defeated Hurkacz with score 7-6, 4-6, 6-1.
Paul McNamee shares his thoughts on the court speeds at the ATP Finals (Via Imago/news.au)
Australian former tennis player Paul McNamee ridiculed the authorities over the court speed as Novak Djokovic failed to win a single break point against Hubert Hurkacz in the first set. The Serb is considered one of the best returners in the history of the sport. Despite this statistic, Djokovic was not able to break a single point in his match against the Pole.
Players like Carlos Alcaraz have been critical about the speed of the court at the season-ender. The Spaniard admitted that the players were used to much slower courts in other tournaments. However, the courts at the year-end seem to be speeding up the ball, making it truly hard to hit returners.
This sentiment was shared by the former World No.1 doubles player as he questioned the court. Paul McNamee pointed out that the speed of the court was quite evident when Novak Djokovic, the best returner, could not hit returns.
ATP have commissioned a court so quick that the best returner in history needs to rely on tie-breaks. Not a single break point in the first set of Djokovic vs Hurkacz.Paul McNamee on X
He also claimed that the tour had gone back into the dark ages, following decisions such as these. It is safe to say that McNamee was extremely critical of the hardcourts at the ATP Finals.
ATP have a commissioned a court so quick that the best returner in history needs to rely on tiebreaks… not a single break point in 1st set of Djokovic v Hurkacz … ATP showcase for men’s tennis? No, it’s back to the dark days— 🎗️ Paul McNamee (@PaulFMcNamee) November 16, 2023
Despite struggling in the first set and losing the second set, the Serb ultimately exerted dominance over his opponent. The first set was quite a thriller, going to a tie-break. However, it was the 24-time Grand Slam champion who won the set. Hurkacz won the second set, 6-4 over the Serb. However, Djokovic dominated the Pole in the third set, winning 6-1.
Hubert Hurkacz serves the most number of aces against Novak Djokovic in six years
Djokovic is regarded as the best returner in the history of tennis by many. However, Pole Hubert Hurkacz proved that he is capable of firing good serves as he hit 24 aces against the Serb.
The round-robin match between the duo was a three-set thriller. While the third set was a showcase of Djokovic dominance, the first two sets were an equal fight. The first set consisted of no breakpoints, with the set going to a tiebreaker. For the duration of the match, the Pole had fired 24 serves at the 24-time Grand Slam champion, becoming the first to do so in a three-set match in six years.
This feat was formerly accomplished by Nick Krygios. The Australian had once upped the Pole by serving 25 aces at the World No.1 at the 2017 Mexican Open. Despite the Serb being an excellent returner, the court conditions did not allow him to play his best game.
In case you missed it:
- Nick Kyrgios makes funny rookie blunder in broadcasting debut at the 2023 ATP Finals
- Rafael Nadal opens up on almost retiring due to his injury struggles this season, confirms his participation for 2024