Monte-Carlo 2014: Federer, Nadal and Djokovic safely in the quarter finals. Berdych out. - UBITENNIS
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Monte-Carlo 2014: Federer, Nadal and Djokovic safely in the quarter finals. Berdych out.

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TENNIS – Monte-Carlo 2014: Roger Federer went down a break to trail 2-4 in the first set but he cruised to a easy victory against Czech Lukas Rosol in straight sets with 6-4 6-1 in just 57 minutes. Rafa Nadal claimed a easy 6-1 6-3 win over Italian Andreas Seppi to become the 11th player in the Open Era to win 300 matches on clay. Diego Sampaolo

Interviews and images from the Monte-Carlo Country Club

Roger Federer continues his chase to his elusive Monte-Carlo title by sweeping aside Lukas Rosol in the second set. However the first set was far from easy for the 17-time Grand Slam champion as he had to save two break points in the first game. On his next service game he trailed 15-40. He managed to save the first break point but he dropped his serve on the second break point in the third game.

Federer recovered from 2-4 down by reeling off four games in a row and 16 points to 2. Both players went on serve until 3-4 when he converted his first break.back point chance. Federer won the next game with a serve and volley before sealing the first set 6-4 after 33 minutes with a break to love to take the first set.

Federer broke serve at 2-1 in the second set en route to a easy 6-1 in just under 57 minutes with a forehand winner and a serve and volley.

Federer won 15 of his 16 net points.

It was a bit rocky in the beginning. At 1-3 I was able to find my way back into the match. After four games you know what’s going to write and what’s not going to work. At the end I had good variation. I also came to the net. I was effective on break points. My first serve worked better”, said Federer.

Federer will take on Frenchman Jo Wilfred Tsonga who fought back from a set down to beat Fabio Fognini 5-7 6-3 6-0. Tsonga beat Federer last year on clay at the French Open but Federer took a re-match against the Frenchman in the fourth round at this year’s Australian Open. Federer leads 10-4 in the previous head-to-head matches against Tsonga.

I didn’t play a very good match against Jo at the French Open last year. That was a bit of disaster for me. On the other side I played a very good match this year at the Australian Open. I am excited to see what’s going to happen this time around. Jo played the semifinal here last year and has played here well in the past. I have to be sure that I play aggressive and not become too passive”, continued Federer.

After yesterday’s match Federer hinted that he could skip Madrid, Rome or Roland Garros to stay with his wife Mirka when she gives birth again.

It’s a priority for me trying to be there, trying to support my wife. I have played enough matches. Missing a tournament or a match wouldn’t change anything for me”, said Federer

Asked if he would miss the Roland Garros, Federer said: “Let’s talk about it when it would happen. At the moment we hope it’s not going to be that way”.

Djokovic vs Carreno Busta 6-0 6-1

On a day where the top players won very quick matches, Novak Djokovic dropped just one game to cruise to a easy win over Pablo Carreno Busta with 6-0 6-1 in just 47 minutes, just two minutes longer than in the second round match against Albert Montanes. Carreno Busta, who was voted as the ATP Most Improved Player in 2013, won his first game in the fourth game of the second set after 40 minutes but Djokovic stormed to a easy win just seven minutes later.

Djokovic is bidding to win his second consecutive Monte-Carlo title and his his fifth consecutive Master 1000 win after Shanghai and Paris and the second Indian Wells-Miami double of his career.

Nadal vs Seppi 6-1 6-3

Eight-time Monte-Carlo champion Nadal faced little trouble against Andreas Seppi, who reached the third round in Monte-Carlo for the first time in his nine editions, Nadal took control of the match from the first set storming to an unchallenged 4-0 in the first set. He was untroubled in the first set apart from the sixth game where he had to save five break points.

Nadal faced more a stiffer challenge in the second set when Seppi converted his sixth break point chance to love in the seventh game to claw her way back to 3-4 in the second set. The Italian was not able to hold serve and Nadal closed out the match on his first match point with an ace to clinch his 300th milestone win on the ATP circuit.

Nadal has improved his head-to-head record against Seppi to 5-1. The Italian claimed his only win over Nadal in a indoor match in Rotterdam in 2008.

Nadal converted all his five break points and won 82 percent of his first serve points.

I think today I played better than yesterday. For a long time I was playing at a good level. changing directions very well and playing with the right intensity. At 4-1 in the second set I stopped a little bit with my legs. Seppi is a player who takes the ball early. If you are not playing from inside, you are in big trouble. I lost a little intensity, made a few mistakes. I was lucky to have the break back again”, said Nadal.

Nadal will be bidding to win his ninth Monte-Carlo after losing last year’s final against Novak Djokovic.

In the quarter finals Nadal will take on his compatriot David Ferrer who beat Grigor Dimitrov 6-4 6-2. It will be a re-match of last year’s Roland Garros Final won by Nadal.

Ferrer vs Dimitrov 6-4 6-2

Dimitrov faced his third Spanish rival after defeating both Marcel Granollers and Albert Ramos in three sets. On the contrary Ferrer had a easier path to the third round after dropping just three games against Jeremy Chardy.

Dimitrov earned the first break point of the match but Ferrer saved it with an ace. The Bulgarian converted his second break point chance. At 2-2 Ferrer put Dimitrov under pressure and broke serve to take the lead for the time in the match.by reeling four consecutive games. Dimitrov wasted two break points at 4-3. Ferrer won his fifth consecutive game as Dimitrov sent his forehand into the net. Ferrer served for the set at 5-2 but he trailed 15-40. Dimitrov recovered one of the two breaks with a forehand down the line. Ferrer served out for the set at deuce after a very long rally.

Both player held serve in the first two games of the second set before Ferrer broke serve in the third game. Dimitrov saved the break point in a very long fifth game with seven deuces. Dimitrov faced another break point in the seventh game. Ferrer converted it to take a 5-2 lead before closing out the match on his first match point.

Raonic vs Robredo 6-4 6-3

Milos Raonic beat Tommy Robredo 6-4 6-3 in 1 hour and 12 minutes. The first set went on serve until 5-4 40-0 when Raonic created three break points. Robredo saved the first break point but the Canadian converted the second with a smash to close the first set. The second set started with another break for Raonic in the first game. Raonic created three break points at 3-0 40-0 but Robredo saved all of them. Raonic held his last two serve games to love to wrap up the match to set up a quarter final match against this year’s Australian Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka who took advantage of a walkover after Nicholas Almagro was forced to pull out because of pain in his left foot. Yesterday Wawrinka took just 46 minutes to dispel Marin Cilic.

Garcia Lopez vs Berdych 4-6 6-3 6-1

The big upset of the third round matches was Guillermo Garcia Lopez’s win against Tomas Berdych in three sets in the match which concluded another packed day of action in sunny weather conditions at the Monte-Carlo Country Club. Berdych won the first set 6-4 but the Spaniard made a sensational recovery by winning the second and the third sets dropping just four games to win 4-6 6-3 6-1.

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‘I Know How To Get There’ – Karen Khachanov Targets Return To Top 10

The world No.31 has showed signs of his talent this season with a run to the Olympic final but a lack of consistency and changes to the ATP ranking system has hindered him too.

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Karen Khachanov - Credit: AELTC/Ian Walton

It wasn’t that long ago when Karen Khachanov was the highest-ranked Russian man on the ATP Tour and billed as the next big thing from his country.

 

A breakout 2018 season saw Khachanov claim three Tour titles with the biggest of those being at the Paris Masters which remains his most prestigious trophy to date. He also reached his first major quarter-final at the French Open during the same season and scored five wins over top 10 players. Those triumphs helped elevate him in the ranking to a high of eight.

However, since that breakthrough Khachanov has found himself on a a rollercoaster journey. He is yet to win another title since Paris but came agonisingly close at the Tokyo Olympic Games where he finished runner-up to Alexander Zverev. In his nine previous Grand Slam tournaments his best run was at Wimbledon this season where he reached the last eight before losing to Denis Shapovalov.

Now ranked 31st in the world, the 25-year-old is aiming to claim back up the ladder after the ATP changed their ranking logic to the method used prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The rankings turned out to be a big pun, it was frozen for a year and a half, only now normal counting has begun. I am not fixated on this,” Khachanov told reporters in Moscow on Wednesday. “My main goal is to get back to the Top10. I know how to get there. And the intermediate goals are to be healthy and motivated.”

Khachanov has been ranked outside the world’s top 20 since February and hasn’t been in the top 10 since October 2019. He is currently coached on the Tour by Jose Clavet who has previously worked with a series of top Spanish players such as Feliciano Lopez, Alex Corretja, Tommy Robredo and Carlos Moya.

“He travels with me everywhere, for which I am grateful to him. I trust him as a specialist, as a coach and as a friend,” Khachanov said of Clavet.

Khachanov has returned to his home country this week where he is playing in Moscow at the Kremlin Cup. A tournament he won three years ago by defeating Adrian Mannarino in the final. Seeded third in the draw this time round, he began his campaign on Wednesday with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-1, win over James Duckworth. In the next round, he faces another Australian in the shape of John Millman which he believes will be a far from easy task.

He is a fighter, a complete player, he does everything well, forehand and backhand with good intensity. He does everything at a good level, but the main quality is that he fights till the end, so it will be hard for me,” he said of his next opponent.

Moscow is the seventh tournament this year where Khachanov has reached the quarter-final stage.

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Filip Krajinovic To Skip Australian Open If Required To Quarantine For More Than Five Days

The world No.34 says he ‘sees no reason’ why vaccinated players should have to go through a long quarentine in Australia.

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Image via twitter.com/atptour (Alexander Scheuber)

The second highest-ranked Serbian player in men’s tennis says it would be ‘unacceptable’ for organisers of the Australian Open to require players to quarantine for more than a week if they have been fully vaccinated.

 

Filip Krajinovic has become the first player to publicly state that they will not be prepared to travel to Melbourne at the end of this season if they have to go through strict quarantine measures once again. All the players who participated in this year’s Australian Open were required to be quarantined in a designated hotel for 14 days upon arrival in the country. During their stay they were allowed to use training facilities but that was the only time they could leave the premises unless there was an emergency.

There is no final decision regarding the travel requirements for the 2022 tournament but there are concerns that unvaccinated players may not be allowed to enter the country. The Victorian government recently issued a mandate ordering all essential workers to be vaccinated, including athletes. However, the regional government will not have the final say concerning tennis players arriving in the country with the national government being the ones in charge of that decision.

“They are very rigorous there and honestly, if I have to be in quarantine for 14 days after arriving in Melbourne, I will not go to Australia,” Krajinovic told Serbian newspaper Blic.
“I was vaccinated, I did everything in my power to protect myself and the people around me, so I really see no reason to sit there for 14 days in a room.’
“If they (the organisers) say that after arrival I need, say, five days to be in isolation, that’s OK for me, but anything beyond that is unacceptable to me. With the season ending late, I will have 20 days to get ready and go. Charter flights will be organized again and the last one is planned for December 28 for the players and that is the final date when I can go to Australia. I will see what the final decision from Melbourne will be, so I will cut what is the best thing to do.”

Earlier this week Victoria’s Sports minister Martin Pakula urged players to be vaccinated because it give them ‘the best opportunity to play in the Australian Open.’ It is expected that if unvaccinated players are allowed to attend, they will be subjected to stricter restrictions. This might include a longer quarantine period upon arrival and limitations of where they can go during their stay.

Last year, all of those players had to do their 14 days of quarantine. Right now there looks like there will be different rules for people who enter this country who are vaccinated as against unvaccinated and I don’t think the tennis will be any exception to that.” Pakula told the Sports Entertainment Network (SEN).
“In terms of what rules apply for people to enter Australia, whether unvaccinated people are allowed in at all, I don’t the answer to that yet. That’s going to be the subject of discussion at national cabinet and among the federal cabinet … those rules are not set by state governments.” He added.

Krajinovic is currently ranked 34th in the world and has a win-loss record this season of 18-18. At the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells he reached the second round before falling in straight sets to Daniil Medvedev. His best run so far this year was at the Hamburg Open where he reached the final.

“When we look at the whole of 2021, I played one final, one semifinal, there were good victories, but also worse results,” the 29-year-old commented.

Krajinovic is currently without a coach but is currently in ‘negotiations’ with somebody without elaborating further about who that person is.

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Alexander Zverev Secures Place In ATP Finals With Indian Wells Win

Zverev will be seeking to win the season-ending extravaganza for the second time in his career.

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Alexander Zverev (GER) Credit: AELTC/Edward Whitaker

Germany’s Alexander Zverev has become the fourth player to officially qualify for the ATP Finals after reaching the third round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.

 

The world No.4 defeated America’s Jenson Brooksby 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, in his second round match on Sunday which pushed him over the points threshold to secure his spot in the end-of-season event. It is the fifth year in a row he has qualified for the ATP Finals which he won back in 2018. He is one of only three German players to ever win the title after Boris Becker and Michael Stich.

This year’s tournament will take place in Turin, Italy for the first time in history after being held at The O2 Arena in London for more than a decade. Only the eight highest ranked players are eligible to play in the round-robin tournament which has on offer up to 1500 rankings points for an undefeated champion.

“My first time in Turin. I’ve been to London four times before. London is obviously very special to me because I won there, as well. I think the stadium is incredible, one of the most special events that we had,” Zverev told reporters on Sunday.
“But I also love playing in Italy. I had great success in Italy. I won my first Masters in Rome. I’m looking forward to being there. I’m looking forward to playing in front of the Italian fans. It’s going to be a great week.”

The 24-year-old approaches the final quarter of this season with four titles already won this year. He has won two Masters 1000 trophies, an ATP 500 event in Mexico and a gold medal in singles at the Tokyo Olympic Games. Zverev, who has recorded seven wins over top 10 players, also reached the semi-finals at both the French Open and US Open.

Zverev joins Novak Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas as the players who have qualified for the ATP Finals so far. It is the third straight season the quartet has qualified for the event.

This year’s ATP Finals will get underway on November 14th. Medvedev is the defending champion.

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