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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Ugo Humbert claims the first title of his career after winning all-French final against Benoit Paire in Auckland

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Twenty-one year-old Ugo Humbert beat Benoit Paire 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 7-6 (7-5) after 2 hours and 34 minutes in the all-French final of the ASB Classic in Auckland to claim the first title of his career.

 

Humbert has become the first French player to win the Auckland tournament. He enjoyed a great week beating Denis Shapovalov and John Isner en route to reaching the final.

Humbert earned the first break of the match in the second game after a double fault from Paire and held his serve with a service winner in the next game to open up a 3-0 lead. Paire broke back in the fifth game with a backand return winner. Humbert broke serve again in the sixth game to take a 4-2 lead. Paire broke back in the seventh game to claw his way back to 3-4. Humbert earned three set points, when Paire was serving at 5-6. Humbert reeled off five consecutive points from 2-2 to claim the tie-break with three mini-break after a forehand error from Paire.

Paire fended off three break points in the third game of the second set before breaking serve in the fourth game after a double fault from Humbert. Paire saved a break point at 5-3 with an ace and closed out the second set with a backhand down the line winner.

Humbert earned an early break in the second game of the decider with a backhand crosscourt passing shot, before saving three break points at 4-2. Paire hit three consecutive backhand winners, as Humbert was serving for the match at 5-3 30-0. Paire got the crucial break in the next point, when Humbert sent a forehand long. Paire saved a championship point with a backhand volley winner in the 10th game. Paire held his serve with a backhand volley winner to draw level to 5-5. Paire rallied from 0-30 down in the 12th game to force the decisive set to the tie-break.

Humbert earned a mini-break on the sixth point with a forehand return to take a 4-2 lead and earned three championship points at 6-3. Humbert sealed the win on his third chance when Paire sent a backhand wide after 2 hours and 35 minutes.

“It’s a tournament of revenge because I have lost to four of five players I played this week. It’s a great improvement for me and I could not dream of a beginning for the season”, said Humbert.

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Andrey Rublev starts the year with back-to-back titles in Doha and Adelaide

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Andrey Rublev beat South Africa’s Lloyd Harris 6-3 6-0 to clinch the fourth title of his career at the first edition of the Adelaide International and his second title of the 2020 season one week after beating Corentin Moutet in Doha. Rublev saved all four break points he faced. He has extended his winning streak to 12 consecutive matches.

 

Rublev has become the first player to win back-to-back titles in the first two weeks of the year since 2004, when Dominik Hrbary triumphed in Adelaide and Auckland.

“I was not thinking about this statistic, but it’s an amazing feeling. I hope I keep improving. We will see what’s going to happen”, said Rublev.

Rublev earned the first break of the match in the sixth game to take a 4-2 lead. The 22-year-old Russian player rallied from 0-40 down to hold serve for 5-2 in the seventh game and served out the first set 6-3 two games later.

Rublev started the second set with his second break in the first game. He got two more breaks before clinching the win on his first match point, when he forced Harris to a backhand error with a short volley.

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Benoit Paire sets up all-French final against Ugo Humbert in Auckland

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Benoit Paire battled past Hubert Hurkacz 6-4 6-7 (1-7) 6-2 with six breaks of serve to his ninth career ATP Tour final at the ASB Classic in Auckland.

 

Paire went up a double break in the first and seventh games to build up a 5-2 lead. Hurkacz pulled a break back after two double faults after two double faults from Paire. The Frenchman served out at love in the 10th game.

Paire went up a break at 15 in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead. Hurkacz broke back at love to draw level to 3-3. Both players held on their next service games setting up a tie-break. Hurkacz cruised through to winning the tie-break 7-1.

After a trade of breaks at the start of the third set Paire broke twice in the fourth and eighth games to seal the decider 6-2.

“It was not easy. Not everything was perfect, but it is never easy against Hubert. He is a very good player and a tough opponent. I hope tomorrow will be better and I hope to enjoy the final”,said Paire.

Paire sets up an all-French final against his compatriot Ugo Humbert, who edged past John Isner 7-6 (7-5) 6-4. Humbert has reached the maiden final of his career after losing in the semifinal in Marseille, Newport and Antwerp in 2019.

Humbert and Isner went on serve with no breaks to set up a tie-break. Isner saved two set points from 3-6 but Humbert won the tie-break 7-5. Humbert started the second set with an early break to take a 1-0 lead. Isner saved five break points and held his serve at deuce, but Humbert won his final two service games at love to clinch the second set 6-4.

“I am really happy about this win. It was a great match. I returned very well and I played good on the key points. I am really happy to reach my first final”,said Humbert.

 

 

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