Indian Wells: Federer to clash with Dolgopolov in the semifinal - UBITENNIS
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Indian Wells: Federer to clash with Dolgopolov in the semifinal

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TENNIS – Roger Federer got through to the Indian Wells semifinals after beating Kevin Anderson 7-5, 6-1. He has not dropped a set in the whole tournament. The Swiss legend, who won his first tournament since June 2013 in Dubai last month, has improved his seasonal record to 18-2. Federer will take on Dolgopolov who won his first-ever match against Raonic in straight sets with 6-3, 6-4. Diego Sampaolo

 

The quarter final match was supposed to be a all-Swiss derby between Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka. However World Number 18 Anderson upset Wawrinka in three sets in the third round on Wednesday becoming the first player to beat this year’s Australian Open champion in 2014.

Anderson, who reached two back-to-back finals recently in Delray Beach and Acapulco, saved saved four break points at 2-2 in the opening set before Federer converted the first of his break point chances in the first set at 6-5 while Anderson was serving at 0-40.
Federer broke twice in the second and fourth games of the second set to clinch the second set with 6-1.

Federer hit 17 winners to six unforced errors and faced just one break point chance.

Federer is back to his glorious past form and is bidding to win his second tournament of the year after Dubai. He will be looking to win his fifth Indian Wells title and the 79th career trophy.
“It was a very good match. I felt very well from the start. I am just happy playing enough matches where you feel like you have momentum, you have some confidence and you are enjoying it at the same time. Last year that wasn’t always the case. Things are easier now and I am able to take advantage of the fact that I am just healthy. There is a sense of confidence in my game. Also that grit and that feeling of wanting to win badly, which was hard to find at times last year. It’s nice to prove to myself, my fans and my team that they can count on me”, said Federer.

Federer set up a semifinal against Ukraine’s Aleksandr Dolgopolov who played one of his best ever matches beating Canadian Milos Raonic 6-3, 6-4 in the first quarter final of the day. Dolgopolov is in very good form this week and knocked out last year’s Indian Wells champion Rafa Nadal in the third round and Fabio Fognini in the fourth round.

Raonic knocked out last year’s Wimbledon champion Andy Murray but he could not pose a threat against Dolgopolov who got off to a great start by breaking serve in the second game of the opening set. Raonic could not create a single break point in the first set. Dolgopolov closed out the first set with 6-3 in just 29 minutes with seven winners and 4 unforced errors. On the contrary Raonic hit six winners to 11 unforced errors.

Raonic was more aggressive in the early stages of the second set and got the break in the second game. The Canadian player opened up a 3-0 lead but Dolgopolov fought back by breaking back on his seventh break point of the fifth game with a backhand winner. In this game Raonic went down 0-40 but he saved three consecutive break points before earning two points for 4-1.

However Raonic made double faults enabling Dolgopolov to convert the fifth break point chance for 2-3 with a backhand pass.
This break turned around the second set completely. Dolgopolov first drew level to 3-3 before getting the decisive break in the seventh game. Raonic went up 40-0 but he made a double fault and made four consecutive errors with his forehand and dropped the serve after wasting another point for 4-3.

Dolgopolov was unstoppable dropping just two points on his serve in the final games of the second set and closed out the match after 1 hour and 18 minutes to seal the first Master 1000 semifinal of his career.
“I was quite fast today. I was really happy with that. I was able to get more returns than you usually can against him. He serves really well and I knew I had to do that and I am pleased how I anticipated on his serve. I played good for three weeks. i am quite fresh. I felt quite good physically today. I am confident enough to come out and play good tennis. Then who knows. I beat a lot of good players around here, so I wouldn’t see why not win more matches”, said Dolgopolov.

The Ukrainian player has improved his seasonal record against top-20 players this year. Dolgopolov, who reached the Rio Open final losing to Rafa Nadal last month, confirmed his great period of form this year in which he has moved up 26 spots in the Ranking since the end of last year and started Indian Wells as the World Number 31.

It will the first match between Federer and Dolgopolov in more than three and a half a years. Federer won his only clash against Dolgopolov in his home city Basel in 2010.

Federer, who plays his eighth Indian Wells semifinal, will move up to World Number 5 in the ATP Ranking next week. He will also team up with his countryman Stanislas Wawrinka in the doubles semifinal against Alexander Peya and Bruno Soares.

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Year-End No.1 Not A Priority For Rafael Nadal, Says Murray

Murray spoke about his rival as he gives a update on his current form.

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Three-time grand slam champion Andy Murray believes rival Rafael Nadal is not focusing on the prospect of ending the season as world No.1.

 

Murray spoke about the big three during an extensive interview with The Times. A group compromising of Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer. The Brit is currently on the comeback from hip resurfacing surgery and recently reached the quarter-finals of the China Open. His best run on the ATP Tour so far this season. Currently ranked 289th in the world, Murray admits that he still has a way to go to the top. However, the 32-year-old is drawing inspiration from some of his rivals.

“If I do get up there, I’m not going to be focusing on ranking targets. You look at what Roger [Federer], Rafa [Nadal] and I guess Novak [Djokovic], to a certain extent, are doing to give themselves a chance to play longer.” Murray told The Times.
“Right now, Rafa could be fighting to finish number one in the world and it’s not a priority for him. I would like to be competitive in the big events against the best players. I’m not there yet, but I’m closer than I was a month ago, and much closer than a couple of months ago,” he said.

Nadal is currently closing in on the world No.1 spot despite not playing since winning the US Open. On Monday Djokovic’s lead over him will be reduced to 320 points after the Serbian lost in the third round of the Shanghai Masters. Then on November 4th he is guaranteed to return to the top spot before the ATP Finals. Even more significant is that Nadal has no ranking points to defend for the rest of the season compared to 1600 for Djokovic.

Murray’s comments on Nadal echoes what the Spaniard has previously said. During the US Open in September, the king of clay stated that returning to the top was ‘not his main goal’ with his health being top priority.

“I don’t compete for it. I just do my way. If I am able to be No.1 doing it my way, great. But I always say the same: today is not my main goal.” He explained.
“Of course, it’s great to be in that fight. But for me personally, it’s not really a fight. I just try be competitive the weeks that I need to compete, or the weeks that I want to compete.’
“With my age and with my goals, I cannot lose energy or time to follow the No.1. I need to think about my career in a different way.
‘For me, my main goal is play as long as possible and compete, being competitive. Sometimes if you need to follow the No.1, you are going to lose years of your career.”

Nadal is set to return to action in November at the Paris Masters. Meanwhile, Murray returns to the court tomorrow at the European Open where he will play Kimmer Coppejans in the first round.

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Danil Medvedev beats Stefanos Tsitsipas in Shanghai semifinal to reach his sixth consecutive final

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Danil Medvedev reached his ninth final this year and his sixth consecutive title match after beating Greek Next Gen star Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-6 (7-5) 7-5 after 1 hour and 38 minutes in the semifinal of the Shanghai Rolex Masters.

 

The 23-year-old Russian player has now beaten his 21-year-old Greek rival in all their five head-to-head matches. Medvedev has reached his third Masters 1000 final after finishing runner-up to Rafael Nadal and winning the Cincinnati final last August. In an impressive hard-court season Medvedev lost the US Open final in five sets against Rafael Nadal and won the indoor tournament in St. Petersburg. Since losing to David Goffin the Moscow player has won 28 of his last 31 matches. He has become the 16th player in the Open Era to reach six consecutive finals.

Medvedev hit 25 winners to 18 unforced errors and saved four of the five break points.

Tsitsipas earned three break points at 4-4 in the opening set. Medvedev saved them with two serves and a forced error from Tsitsipas. The first set came down to the tie-break where both players stayed neck and neck until 5-5. The first 10 points of the tie-break went on serve. Medvedev got the decisive mini-break in the 11th game, when Tsitsipas made a forehand error. Medvedev closed out the first set after a backhand error from Tsitsipas.

In the second set Tsitsipas wasted game points at 1-1. Medvedev got the break in the third game of the second set with a backhand down the line winner. He consolidated the break by holding his serve with three service winners. Tsitsipas broke back at 15, when Medvedev was serving for the match. Medvedev broke for the second time in the 11th game with a forehand return before sealing the win in the 12th game with three service winners. Medvedev has become the 13th player since 1990 to reach three consecutive Masters 1000 finals.

“I think it’s a great achievement. I am proud of myself. Hopefully I can get the win tomorrow. It’s actually quite crazy. Here I had a lot of opportunities. to lose sets. I was close to losing a lot of them, especially with Vasek Pospisil with five set points. I think that’s also the confidence and the dynamic I am going through”, said Medvedev.

Tsitsipas was bidding to reach his second consecutive final after finishing runner-up to Dominic Thiem in Beijing.

 

 

 

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Alexander Zverev beats Roger Federer in Shanghai to reach his eighth Masters 1000 semifinal

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Alexander Zverev battled past Roger Federer 6-3 6-7 (7-9) 6-3 in 2 hours and 4 minutes to reach his eighth Masters 1000 semifinal and the first since Shanghai last year.

 

The German star has moved up to seventh in the ATP Race to London after reaching two consecutive semifinals in Beijing and Shanghai and has a good chance to qualify for his third consecutive ATP Finals.

Zverev hit 43 winners (including 17 aces) to 23 unforced errors and faced three just three break points in the entire match. He dropped his serve twice and broke four times.

Zverev did not convert five match points in the final stages of the second set.

Zverev dropped three points in his service games and hit 11 winners to 6 unforced errors. The Hamburg native earned a break at 3-2 and held his next service games to close out the first set with four service winners in the ninth game after 27 minutes.

Both Federer and Zverev traded breaks in the second and third games of the second set and held their serve in the next seven games to draw level to 5-5. Zverev broke serve in the 11th game with a forehand winner, when Federer was serving in the 11th game. Zverev wasted three match points on serve in the 12th game and was broken by Federer, who drew level to 6-6 to set up a tie-break.

Federer saved match points at 5-6 and 6-7 in the tie-break and closed out the second set with an ace.

Zverev held at 15 in the first game with a service winner in the first game and broke serve in the second game after a forehand error from Federer.

Zverev held serve at love in the third game to build up a 3-0 lead. He earned two break points in the fourth game, but Federer saved them. The Swiss player fended off another break point at 1-4 with a forehand winner. Zverev held serve at love to build up a 5-2 lead.

Zverev closed out the match with a hold at 15, as he was serving for the match in the ninth game, to set up a semifinal against either Dominic Thiem or Matteo Berrettini.

Zverev adds to his ATP Race to London ranking with 2615 points to take seventh place ahead of  Roberto Bautista Agut.

“Finally starting to kind of play the way I should play, I was really playing really defensive the whole year, and I was not with a lot of confidence. He will always find a way. He will always make it tricky for you like he did today with me, and always got to play your best tennis to have a chance. I knew if I am going to keep playing the way I played the first two sets, I am going to have a chance in the third set as well”, said Zverev after the match.

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