Federer recovers from set down to win 6th title in Dubai - UBITENNIS
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Federer recovers from set down to win 6th title in Dubai

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TENNIS – Roger Federer recovered from a set and a break down against Tomas Berdych with a 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory to clinch his sixth Dubai title and his 78th career win in his 115th final at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, a ATP 500 Tournament. 

 

Federer and Berdych met for their 18th head-to-head match. Berdych beat their last two matches against Federer in the 2012 US Open quarter finals and in the 2013 Dubai semifinals but this time Federer was unstoppable. The Swiss 17-time Grand Slam champion showed signs of his past glorious tennis in the second and third sets and was able to recover from a set down. Federer won his first ATP title since last June when he won his favourite Halle Tournament on grass, It’s the 14th consecutive year that Federer wins at least one tournament. Federer broke Berdych’s unbeaten streak of 11 consecutive match wins.

Federer played his eighth final in Dubai. Before today’s match he won five times and lost twice in 2006 against Nadal and in 2011 against Djokovic. Berdych played his second consecutive final in Dubai after losing last year against Novak Djokovic and his second final this year two weeks after winning in Rotterdam. The Czech player has a 9-12 record in his 21 career finals.

Federer broke serve to love in the third game of the opening set to take a 2-1 lead but Berdych broke back immediately. Federer made three forehand mistakes enabling Berdych to break serve again in the fourth game. Berdych won a tough fifth game at deuce after leading 40-15. Berdych got the decisive break in the sixth game to 30 to open up a 4-2 lead before winning his fourth consecutive game for 5-2. In the ninth game Berdych went down 0-30 but he rallied to close out the first set with 6-3.

Berdych earned three break points in the fifth game of the second set. Federer managed to save the first two with an ace but Berdych converted the third chance to go up  a break for 3-2 as the Swiss sent a forehand wide. Federer hit two forehand winners before Berdych made an unforced error with his backhand to drop serve for 3-all.

The match changed completely. Federer did not drop a single point on his serve and broke to love in the tenth game to force the match to the third set.

Federer won the first game of the third set and went up 40-0 on Berdych’s serve but the Czech player saved all the break point chances by reeling off .five straight points.

Berdych rallied from 0-30 to take the lead 40-30 and earned a break ball chance for 2-1 but Federer fended it off with a forehand winner.

Berdych did not recover and Federer earned three break point chances at 40-0 and converted it at the second chance as Berdych sent a forehand long. Federer produced a superb drop-shot to hold serve and increase his lead to 4-1.

The match was not finished as Federer faced two break back ball chances at 4-2, 15-40 but he managed to save them. Berdych saved two match points at 2-5 but Federer closed out in the ninth game as Berdych fired his return wide and clinched his sixth win in Dubai in just under two hours.

He had already lifted the Dubai Trophy in 2003,2004, 2005, 2007 and 2012. With this title Federer overtakes John McEnroe in third place in the all-time leaders list. The Swiss legend has won at least one ATP title every year since 2000. He now leads 12-6 in his head-to-head matches against Berdych.

“I was happy I was able to use momentum and win the second set. The nit was a tough opening period in the third, wasting the love.40 game on Tomas’ first service game. I saved break points myself. Anything could have happened there. Things definitely went my way out tonight.but I have had a lot of tougher matches in the last one and a half years, so this is nice to get a lucky break again”, said Federer.

Berdych expressed his disappointment after the match after qualifying for the final without dropping a set in the whole tournament. “I would say many things went wrong. The match started pretty well  I had really many chances and then basically I gave him the game and that’s it. It’s very disappointing for me the way I handled the situation. I don’t keep the losses in my head for a long time. I will try to learn from the mistakes in the second set and to take the positives from that.”

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Unseeded Ugo Humbert Becomes First Player In Over A Decade To Win Halle On Debut

The 22-year-old fired nine aces and 29 winners to claim his first ATP 500 title.

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image via https://twitter.com/ATPHalle

France’s Ugo Humbert has clinched his maiden ATP title on the grass after defeating Andrey Rublev in straight sets at the Noventi Open in Halle.

 

Humbert remained unbroken throughout his 6-3, 7-6(4), win over the Russian fourth seed who has won more matches on the ATP Tour than any other player since the start of 2020 (74). The Frenchman was particularly impressive behind serve where he won 83% of his first service points and 55% on his second. It is the first time he has beaten Rublev on the Tour after losing to him on two previous occasions in 2019 (Monte Carlo) and 2020 (St. Petersburg).

“It’s incredible,” said Humbert. “The best victory of my career. I’m very proud because it wasn’t easy, I was a little but tired today but I tried to stay focused on each point. It’s very nice.”

The triumph concludes what has been a marathon week in Halle for the 22-year-old. En route to the final he had to come through four three-set matches where he scored wins over Sam Querrey, Alexander Zverev, Sebastian Korda and Felix-Auger Aliassime. Becoming only the second player in Halle’s 28-year history to have reached the final by playing only three-set matches.

Meanwhile, runner-up Rublev paid tribute to his opponent following their clash. The world No.7 is now 1-2 in finals played so far this season after winning Rotterdam before losing to Stefanos Tsitsipas in Monte Carlo. To put that into perspective, in 2020 he won all six finals he played in.

“I have often told my coach that you play in an incredible way,” he said. “You have everything to be a very great player. So keep working, doing everything you do. You play very well, you have incredible shots. I wish you a great career.”

Humbert, who won two ATP titles last year in Auckland and Antwerp, is the first player to win Halle on the debut since 2010. On that occasion Lleyton Hewitt prevailed over Roger Federer in the final. He is now projected to rise to a ranking high of 25 on Monday when the ATP standings are officially updated.

The Frenchman will be hoping that he can continue his winning streak heading to Wimbledon where he reached the fourth round back in 2019. His best ever result in a Grand Slam to date.

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David Goffin Out Of Wimbledon Following Halle Accident

It has been reported that the unfortunate injury he suffered is ‘more serious’ than a sprain.

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David Goffin has been forced to withdraw from Wimbledon after suffering an ankle injury during the Noventi Open earlier this week.

 

The former top 10 player was taking on Corentin Moutet in Halle where he slipped on the grass and subsequently hurt his right ankle. Forcing the Belgian to retire from the match at the start of the third set. Providing an update on Goffin’s health, agent Martin Roux said he is unsure how long he will be absent from the Tour for.

“Yes, David has officially withdrawn from Wimbledon following his ankle injury in Halle. For the moment we do not know more about the exact duration of unavailability, ” Roux told lesoir.be. “He is of course disappointed to miss a Grand Slam tournament, especially since he had recovered well on grass before his injury. “

Elaborating further, Roux confirmed Goffin’s injury is ‘more serious’ than a sprain and tests are ongoing to assess the extent of the damage which has been caused to the ankle. It is not the first time he has suffered a freak accident on the court. During the 2018 Rotterdam Open he hurt his eye after a tennis ball rebounded into his face, forcing him to pull out of Marseille and Indian Wells that year.

“David told me that it was more serious than a minor sprain, after exams in Belgium.”Roux added. “The ankle has not yet deflated (stopped swelling). David realizes that ice and bandages won’t be enough to play. The ligaments must be affected in one way or another. The idea is to do new exams at the end of the week in order to then have a healing protocol, especially since after Wimbledon the Olympic Games will arrive quickly. These are now his next goals. “

The 30-year-old has achieved a win-loss record of 14-13 so far in 2021 and won his fifth ATP title in Montpellier. He has also reached the semi-finals in Antalya and quarter-finals in Monte Carlo. However, recently Goffin has struggled on the Tour with Halle being the fifth tournament in a row where he has failed to win back-to-back matches.

Goffin is currently ranked 13th in the world.

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Dominic Thiem Follows Nadal In Olympic Games Snub

The world No.5 says his decision is related to his performance on the Tour so far this season.

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Dominic Thiem training at the 2021 Lyon Open (photographer Sammy Dancyger - Owned by Sport Plus Conseil - GM Sports Consulting)

Austria’s Dominic Thiem has pulled out of the Olympic Games in order to focus on his title defence at the US Open later this year.

 

The 27-year-old issued a statement on Thursday saying he was ‘not ready’ to play in Tokyo following what has been a roller-coaster start to the season. Thiem enters Wimbledon with a win-loss record of 9-8 and recently lost in the first round of the French Open. His best results so far this year were reaching the last 16 of the Australian Open and the semi-finals of the Madrid Open.

“Hi everybody, I have some sad news to share with you all. After talking with my team and analysing the situation I have taken the very difficult decision to withdraw from competing in the Tokyo Olympics,” the 27-year-old Austrian wrote on Twitter.
“For me, like all athletes, taking part in the Olympics and representing my country is a huge honour and that makes this decision even tougher.
“However, 2021 did not start as expected and I don’t feel ready to play my best in Tokyo.
“My goal is to work hard the coming weeks, give my best at Wimbledon and keep training and hopefully defend my US Open title.”

Thiem, who also skipped the 2016 Olympics, had previously said that his views on the multi-sport event have changed over recent time. During one interview with Tennis Deutschland he said it would be a ‘dream’ to play at the Olympics and he would ‘definitely play’ at the event if he had the chance to. Thiem is coached on the Tour by Nicolas Massu who won a gold medal back in 2004.

The world No.5 says he hopes to be able to play at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris where the tennis tournament will be held at Roland Garros. The same venue as the French Open.

On the same day as Thiem’s announcement on Thursday, Rafael Nadal was another player to confirm he would not be travelling to Tokyo, as well as Wimbledon, in order to recover from the clay season. The Spaniard said he wants to take a break from the Tour in order to preserve his body and prolong his career on the Tour.

The Olympic tennis event will take place between July 24th – August 1st. Andy Murray is the defending champion in the men’s tournament.

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