Federer through to the quarterfinals, but he won't face Wawrinka - UBITENNIS
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Federer through to the quarterfinals, but he won't face Wawrinka

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TENNIS – Roger Federer has reached the quarter final for the ninth time at the BNP Paribas in Indian Wells after beating Tommy Haas after an entertaining match with a double 6-4 but he will not face his fellow countryman Stanislas Wawrinka who was defeated by South African Kevin Anderson in three sets with 7-6(1), 4-6, 6-1. Diego Sampaolo

 

Federer capitalized on just three of his 11 break points to claim his 13th win in 16 head-to-head matches against his German friend Haas.

The first set went on serve in the first four games until Federer broke serve in the 10-minute fifth game after Haas made a double fault and hit a forehand long to trail 2-3. It was the first of three consecutive breaks in the first set. Haas broke back immediately for 3-3 after a 24-shot rally ended with a forehand error by Federer.

Federer converted on his fourth break back point chance to take the 4-3 lead after Haas saved three break point opportunities. Federer held serve to love to close out the first set on his first set point after 43 minutes. In the first set Federer hit 12 winners to Haas’ six and won nine of his 10 net points.

Federer converted on his fourth break point chance to take a 3-2 edge in the fifth game of the second set before closing out o his first match point with his seventh ace.

There will not be the eagerly-awaited Swiss quarter final derby as this year’s Australian Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka was beaten by in-form Kevin Anderson who clinched the win in three sets 7-6(1), 4-6, 6-1.

Federer beat Anderson 6-4, 6-4 in their only head-to-head match last autumn in Paris Bercy but Anderson is enjoying a good period of form as he reached two consecutive hard-court finals in Delray Beach and Acapulco moving up to World Number 18.

The South African player put an end to Wawrinka’s winning streak this year. It was the first 2014 defeat for the Australian Open champion who won 13 previous consecutive matches.

Anderson broke serve in the second game of the opening set but he dropped serve in the following game after a backhand unforced error. Wawrinka got two break point chances at 4-all but he failed to convert on them. Anderson wasted a 40-0 lead at 5-5 with two consecutive double faults. The first set came down to the tie-break which Anderson dominated with 7-1.

Stan called the medical time-out at the start of the second set. On his return to the court Anderson broke serve to love at 1-1. Wawrinka received again treatment on his hamstring and he looked to be on the verge of withdrawing from the match but he managed to break serve at 3-2 for Anderson. Wawrinka earned four break points when he was leading 4-3 but Anderson saved them. Anderson saved to stay in the set but he made a double fault to hand Wawrinka two set points.

Anderson saved both set points but Wawrinka converted the third break point with an incredible backhand return to force the match to the third set after two hours.

Wawrinka made three consecutive forehand errors to earn Anderson two break point chances. Wawrinka managed to save them but Anderson converted on a third break point chance. The South-African player broke serve to love for 3-1 before closing out the 19-minute third set on his first match point with 6-1.

Wawrinka fought back from a break down in the second set but he was broken serve in the first game of the decider and dropped serve again in the fifth game to love. The Lausanne player was broken four times after not facing a single break a single break point in the first two matches at Indian Wells.

Anderson scored his fifth career win against a top-ten player and improved his seasonal record to 14-4.

Federer showed great respect for his quarter final rival Anderson. “I know how tough he is. He is the best on hard court outdoors here in the United States. That’s when he has had his best success. I am aware that it is not going to be an easy match.”

Federer and Wawrinka will not meet in the singles quarter final but they teamed up to win their doubles quarter final match against Radek Stepanek and Leander Paes with 6-3, 6-7(6), 10-4.

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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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