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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Playing Clay Events After Wimbledon Was A Mistake, Says Diego Schwartzman

The former French Open semi-finalist is seeking to win his first title since March 2021 at the Tel Aviv Open this week.

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Diego Schwartzman (Roberto Dell'Olivo)

Diego Schwartzman will likely reevaluate his schedule for next year after admitting that part of his plans for this summer backfired. 

 

The world No.17 enters into the final quarter of the season with 31 wins against 22 losses on the Tour but is yet to win a title. Although he did reach back-to-back finals back in February in Argentina and Brazil. He has won two out of eight matches against top 10 opposition, defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas at the ATP Cup and Felix Auger-Aliassime in Barcelona. 

Reflecting on his performance, Schwartzman admits that his decision to return to European clay after playing at Wimbledon was a mistake. He lost his second match in Gstaad to Pablo Carreno Busta and then his first in Hamburg to Emil Ruusuvori. 

“It’s difficult to play at the same level every tournament, I’ve made a bad decision playing clay tournaments after Wimbledon, I didn’t have time to rest,” he said during his pre-tournament press conference at the Tel Aviv Open. “I paid the price and had some bad losses. But I started to feel much better in USA hard court season, lost to Stefanos Tsitsipas who reached the final in Cincinnati and to Frances Tiafoe at the US Open. Now I am feeling very good, I really love playing indoor tournaments.”

The 30-year-old has headed straight to Tel Aviv from the Laver Cup where Roger Federer played the last match of his career. Despite Schwartzman’s Team World winning the title for the first time, his only contribution to the tie saw him lose 6-1, 6-2, to Tsitsipas. 

Retirement was very much the topic of conversation during the Laver Cup with others such as Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic questioned by reporters about their plans in the sport. As for Schwartzman, he stayed coy about how much longer he would continue playing after saying in the past he might stop at the age of 33. 

“33 — is a good age to retire, isn’t it? South Americans are in different situations compared to European players. We travel too much, and sometimes we are not coming back home for 2-3 months, while Europeans can fly home every week. It’s tough,” he said. 
“As for Roger — he’s a special player, I think he is just the greatest in our sport.”

The Argentine is seeded third this week in Israel and will begin his campaign against Arthur Rinderknech who defeated qualifier Marius Copil in his opening match. 

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Laver Cup Daily Preview: Team Europe Goes for a Fifth Straight Laver Cup

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The lineup for Day 3 (twitter.com/lavercup)

Heading into Day 3, the 2022 Laver Cup is feeling extremely familiar.  Team Europe has an 8-4 advantage, and only needs two wins on Sunday to secure their fifth consecutive Laver Cup.  Team World needs to win three matches to pull off the upset and obtain their first. 

 

Sunday’s play gets underway in London at 12:00pm local time.  And each match on Sunday is worth three points.


Matteo Berrettini and Andy Murray (Team Europe) vs. Felix Auger-Aliassime and Jack Sock (Team World) – 12:00pm

Berrettini was victorious in both singles and doubles on Saturday, defeating Auger-Aliassime in singles, and teaming with Djokovic to overcome Sock and de Minaur in doubles.  So Matteo gained victories over both of his Sunday opponents on Saturday.  Murray lost to de Minaur in singles on Friday.  Andy and Jack are the most accomplished doubles players in this match, as Sock is pretty much Team World’s doubles specialist.  If he and Felix cannot pull of the victory on Sunday, it could be a pretty short day.


Novak Djokovic (Team Europe) vs. Felix Auger-Aliassime (Team World)

Like Berrettini, Djokovic won in singles and doubles on Saturday, comfortably dispatching of Tiafoe in singles.  While it was his first match in over two months, Novak showed no rust whatsoever.  Auger-Aliassime’s loss to Berrettini on Saturday will not help his confidence against the 21-time Major champion.

Novak and Felix have only played once before, and that occurred four months ago in Rome on clay.  It was a pretty tight affair, but Djokovic prevailed 7-5, 7-6(1).  And there’s not much evidence to support a different outcome on Sunday.  Novak is surely eager to re-assert his authority after missing so much of this season due to his vaccination status.


Stefanos Tsitsipas (Team Europe) vs. Frances Tiafoe (Team World) – If Necessary

Tsitsipas easily beat Diego Schwartzman on Friday, dropping just three games.  He is 3-2 against Tiafoe, and 3-1 on hard courts.  However, Frances claimed their most recent encounter, last fall in Vienna, which was also on an indoor hard court.


Casper Ruud (Team Europe) vs. Taylor Fritz (Team World) – If Necessary

Ruud defeated Sock on Friday, while Fritz defeated Norrie on Saturday.  If this match takes place, it will be their first career meeting.


The full Laver Cup schedule is here.

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Laver Cup Daily Preview: Novak Djokovic to Play Singles and Doubles on Saturday

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The lineup for Day 2 (twitter.com/lavercup)

In the wake of Roger Federer’s incredibly emotional retirement on Day 1, the focus of this event shifts to the rest of the competitors on Day 2.  And for the first time in the five-year history of the Laver Cup, Team World goes into Day 2 without a deficit.  With both Federer and Rafael Nadal replaced by alternates for Day 2 and Day 3, is this Team World’s opportunity to capture their first Laver Cup? 

 

Each day, this preview will look at all four scheduled matches, while taking an extended look at the most notable match of the day.  Saturday’s day session gets underway in London at 1:00pm local time, and the night session at 7:00pm.  And each match on Saturday is worth two points.


Matteo Berrettini (Team Europe) vs. Felix Auger-Aliassime (Team World) – 1:00pm

These two good friends have played four times, with Berrettini winning on three of those occasions.  Matteo’s wins came three years ago in the final of Stuttgart on grass, in the quarterfinals of last year’s Wimbledon, and a year ago in this event.  Auger-Aliassime’s only win occurred last summer in Cincinnati.  Matteo is coming off a quarterfinal run in New York, as well as three victories last week in Davis Cup.  Felix was upset in the second round of the US Open by Jack Draper, and went 2-1 in Davis Cup.


Cameron Norrie (Team Europe) vs. Taylor Fritz (Team World) – Second in the Day Session

Norrie was also an alternate in last year’s Laver Cup, but did not play.  Fritz was a part of Team World in 2019, when he went 1-1 in singles, defeating Dominic Thiem during Sunday’s play in a must-win match to keep his team alive.  Cam is now 45-22 on the year, while Fritz is 36-17.  Both men achieved their best-ever Major performances two months ago at Wimbledon.  They played each other just last week in Davis Cup, with Norrie prevailing after three tight sets.  Overall they have split 10 previous meetings.


Novak Djokovic (Team Europe) vs. Frances Tiafoe (Team World) – 7:00pm

Is Tiafoe ready to upset another member of “The Big Three” on Saturday?  He earned the biggest win of his career by taking out Rafael Nadal at the US Open, and defeated Nadal and Federer in doubles on Day 1 alongside Jack Sock.  Meanwhile, this will be the first match for Djokovic in over two months, since he won the Wimbledon final over Nick Kyrgios.  The unvaccinated Novak was unable to travel to North America for the hard court summer season.

Djokovic has only played seven tournaments this year, amassing a record of 23-5.  Tiafoe is 26-19, and is coming off his exciting semifinal run in New York.  Their only previous matchup was at the 2021 Australian Open, when Novak defeated Frances in four sets.  Frances is certainly the much more match-tough player on this day.  But despite his recent inactivity, Djokovic should still be considered the favorite.


Matteo Berrettini and Novak Djokovic (Team Europe) vs. Alex de Minaur and Jack Sock (Team World) – Second in the Night Session

Novak will have only a few minutes of rest ahead of this doubles match, so the length of his match with Tiafoe could impact the result here.  This will be Novak’s first time playing doubles since last year’s Davis Cup finals.  Berrettini played three doubles matches this past January at the ATP Cup, going 1-2.  De Minaur overcame Andy Murray in singles on Friday in what was a grueling contest, while Sock was defeated in singles and victorious in doubles.


The full Laver Cup schedule is here.

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