Federer cruises to easy win against Dolgopolov to set up a blockbuster final against Djokovic - UBITENNIS
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Federer cruises to easy win against Dolgopolov to set up a blockbuster final against Djokovic

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TENNIS – Roger Federer beat Aleksander Dolgopolov 6-3 6-1  to qualify for his fifth Indian Wells final without dropping a single set in the whole tournament. Federer set up a blockbuster final against Nole Djokovic who overcame a tough match against John Isner Diego Sampaolo

 

Federer showed once again his superb form in 2014 on a sunny but windy day.

Federer and Dolgopolov held their serve until the Basel star converted on his first break point chance in the eighth game when the Ukrainian player made five unforced errors and wrapped up the first set in just 30 minutes by hitting his sixth ace. He started the second set with another break and backed up it with another break for 4-1 in a 20-point fifth game which came down to deuce. Dolgopolov saved two break point chances but finally dropped his serve.

Federere broke again to love to close out the second set after just 61 minutes.

Federer was solid on serve winning 72 percent of his first serve points. He hit seven aces. He broke serve four times and did not face a single break point chance. On the contrary Dolgopolov won just 40 percent of his first serve points.

The Swiss Maestro has extended his winning streak to 11 consecutive matches in a series which includes his first triumph of the year in Dubai where he beat Novak Djokovic in the semifinal and Tomas Berdych in the final.

Dolgopolov played a solid tournament in which he reached his first Master 1000 semifinal after beating Rafa Nadal in the third round, Fabio Fognini in the fourth round and Milos Raonic in the quarter final. .

Federer is bidding to win his fifth Indian Wells title after three consecutive triumphs in 2004, 2005 and 2006 and 2012. He is enjoying a 19-2 record in his matches this year.

“The results are better than I thought they would be. That’s very encouraging and super positive. It’s a matter of just keeping up, taking the right decisions not to overplay and enjoy yourself. I have the right balance and it’s very encouraging”, said Federer.

“The conditions were tough for both of us. I really served well when I had toand that allowed me to take more chances. Aleksander has had a great tournament, so it’s really a big win for me. I served a lot of aces. It was one of the best serving performances of my career”, said Federer.

“I am just feeling more freely overall and with more confidence. I can wake up in the morning without feeling sore. I can go to bed not feeling like I hope I feel better tomorrow. I don’t have these thoughts going through my mind and I am not worried every single minute of the day”, said Federer

The Swiss legend will renew his rivalry against Novak Djokovic in a re-match of this year’s Dubai semifinal, which will certainly vie for the “best match of 2014 award” as it was a highly entertaining clash with a lot of fantastic shots.

Djokovic overcame a tough opposition in the second semifinal against John Isner prevailing in three sets with 7-5 6-7 6-1 in a re-match of the semifinal match two years ago at Indian Wells won the US player.

Isner prevented Djokovic from serving out the match in the second set twice at 4-5 and 5-6. The US giant prevailed over Djokovic with 7-2 in the tie-break to force the match to the third set. It was the fifth time in this tournament that Isner won a tie-break.

Djokovic broke serve for 3-1 in the third set as Isner double faulted and saved a break point in the next game holding serve for 4-1. Djokovic backed it up with another break for 5-1 to seal the win on his third match point with his big serve.

Federer leads 17-15 in his head-to head matches against Djokovic. The Serb won their previous clash at Indian Wells in the 2011 semifinal before clinching his second Indian Wells title. Before his defeat in Dubai two weeks ago Djokovic had beaten his Swiss rival in three consecutive matches.

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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