Federer beats Karlovic in straight sets to advance to the third round - UBITENNIS
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Federer beats Karlovic in straight sets to advance to the third round

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TENNIS – In a match between two over-30 players, Roger Federer made a winning debut in the second round beating Croatian ace specialist Ivo Karlovic in straight sets with 6-4 7-6 (7-4) of the Sony Open, the second Master 1000 of the season, at Key Biscayne in Miami Diego Sampaolo

 

Federer, who has moved up to World Number 5 after reaching the Indian Wells final last week, played a very solid first set in which he held serve to love four times in a row until he dropped just one point on serve at 5-4 40-0.

The 17-time Grand Slam champion broke serve in the opening game and held serve to love to back up the break for 2-0. The rest of the opening set went on serve.

Federer closed out the first set with 6-4 in 29 minutes. Karlovic hit six aces compared to three for Federer in the first set.

In the second set Karlovic held serve for 1-0. Federer held to love to level to 1-1. Karlovic held serve in the seventh game for 4-3. In the ninth game the Croatian giant saved a couple of break points from 15-40 to hold serve. The second set went on serve until the tie-break. Federer got the mini-break on the first point in the breaker as Karlovic hit a forehand volley long. The Swiss legend took a 3-1 lead before wrapping up the tie-break on his first match point after 74 minutes.

Federer was in control of the match in the second set in which he dropped just one service point to extend his winning record to 11-1 against Karlovic. Federer won 7-4 in the tie-break to easily advance to the third round. It was the 15th tie-break between the two players.

In their 12 matches Federer dropped just three sets against the Croatian giant who won only once in Cincinnati 2008 in three sets (7-6 4-6 7-6). Five of their 12 head-to-head matches Federer and Karlovic came down to the third set.

Federer was very solid on serve winning 75 percent of his first serve points, held serve to love nine times He did not face a single break point in the whole match and lost just three points on serve. He produced 27 winners to six unforced errors and hit six aces.

Federer won his 20th match in 2014, in which he won his first title since last June in Dubai and lost the final against Nole Djokovic in Indian Wells last week. Karlovic lost the final in Memphis and reached the quarter final in Acapulco.

Karlovic has a positive record of 11-8 in his 19 matches this year where he fired 308 aces.

He joins a elite club of players who hit more than 8000 aces during their careers which includes Goran Ivanisevic, Andy Roddick, Pete Sampras, Roger Federer and Ivan Ljubicic.

Federer will take on Thiemo de Bakker who upset Fernando Verdasco 7-6 6-7 6-2.

Diego Sampaolo

 

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Svetlana Kuznetsova upsets Ashleigh Barty in Cincinnati to reach the 42nd final of her career

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Russian wild card Svetlana Kuznetsova edged top seed this year’s Roland Garros champion Ashleigh Barty 6-2 6-4 in the semifinal of the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati to reach the 42nd final of her career.

 

Two-time Grand Slam champion Kuznetsova, who is now ranked world number 153, scored her third win against top 10 players this week  after beating former US Open champion Sloane Stephens and Karolina Pliskova.

Barty missed her chance to regain world number 1 spot from Naomi Osaka, who was forced to retire from her quarter final.

Barty earned the first break of the match in the second game of the opening set, when Kuznetsova netted a backhand. Kuznetsova broke back in the third game with a smash winner and earned another break at 2-2 when Barty netted a backhand. Kuznetsova hit a return winner to build up a 5-2 lead. Barty asked a medical time-out to treat he right leg. Kuznetsova held serve at 15 to close out the opening set after 30 minutes.

Kuznetsova went up a break in the first game of the second set. Barty won just three points on return in the second set. Kuznetsova closed out the second set with three winners in the 10th game.

“I am really happy. I am not really an analyzing person, but on my intuition, I am doing so much better, not repeating so many of my mistakes, just playing smarter and wiser now. It’s been so many different things when I was off, so I just enjoyed time off. Honestly, I was not missing at all the travelling and all the stress when you play tournaments, but now I have missed it and I feel good. I feel joy staying here and being here. It definitely helped me to have some time off to see other things outside tennis”, said Kuznetsova.

 

Kuznetsova set up a final against Madison Keys, who beat Sofia Kenin in straight sets. The Russian 34-year-old veteran player has qualified for her first final since last year, when she beat Donna Vekic in Washington.

 

“Madison is extremely tough. When she is on fire, it is really hard to play against her. It’s going to be a difficult match-up”, said Kuznetsova.  

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David Goffin reaches his first Masters 1000 in Cincinnati

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David Goffin beat Richard Gasquet 6-3 6-4 on an overcast afternoon to reach the first Masters 1000 final of his career and his 13th title match at ATP Tour level at the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati. Goffin has dropped just one set en route to the final.

 

Goffin is returning to his best form this summer under the guidance of former Swedish player Thomas Johansson. He reached the final in Halle and his first quarter final at Wimbledon. He received a walkover after Yoshihito Nishioka was forced to withdraw from the match due to food poisoning.

The Belgian player started the match with two consecutive holds before breaking at love to open up a 4-1 lead with a backhand winner down the line.

Goffin held his next service games to seal the opening set 6-3. Gasquet earned an early break to open  2-0 lead, but Goffin won five of the next six games with two breaks. The 2017 Nitto ATP Finals runner-up served out the win at love in the 10th game after 1 hour and 16 minutes, as Gasquet sent his backhand long.

Goffin reached the semifinal in Cincinnati last year, but he was forced to retire due to an arm injury.

“I am very happy. It’s a tournament I like and I have played the best tennis in the past few years. I am really happy to reach my first Masters 1000 final here. It’s a great moment for me.”

 

 

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Richard Gasquet reaches his first Masters 1000 semifinal since Miami 2013

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Frenchman Richard Gasquet edged past this year’s Wimbledon semifinalist Roberto Bautista Agut 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 6-2 after 2 hours and 12 minutes to reach his first Masters 1000 semifinal since the 2013 Miami Open.

 

 Gasquet missed six months of action after undergoing groin surgery last January.

The French player set up a semfinal against David Goffin, who reached the semifinal after his Japanese opponent Yoshihito Nishioka withdrew from the match due to illness.

The first set went on serve with no break points en route to the tie-break. Bautista Agut hit a backhand wide at 1-2. Gasquet sealed the tie-break when Bautista Agut hit a forehand long.

Bautista Agut earned two breaks of serve in the second set and sealed it, when Gasquet made his third double fault on set point.

Gasquet broke serve with a volley in the third game of the decisive set. The French player went up a double break to race out to 4-1 lead. He saved two break points to hold his serve at deuce before serving out the third set on his first match point.

“I know how tough it was to come back. I know the moments I had at the start of the year, so I just wanted to enjoy, to fight. It is not easy to come back after six months out, but I am here. I am in semis tomorrow”,said Gasquet.

 

 

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