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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Wrist Injury Threatening To End Holger Rune’s Olympic Dream

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Holger Rune will have a second medical opinion on Monday before deciding if he is fit enough to play at the Olympic Games, according to his team. 

The Danish world No.17 recently retired from his quarter-final match at the Hamburg Open due to a knee injury. The hope at the time was that his withdrawal would be just a precautionary measure ahead of the Olympics. However, he is also dealing with a second issue that appears to be more serious.

According to TV 2 Sport, Rune has been struggling with a wrist issue and underwent a scan on Sunday which his mother Aneke says ‘doesn’t look promising.’ Aneke is also the manager of her son’s career. Rune’s Olympic dreams now rest on the outcome of a second medical expert that he will visit tomorrow who has a better understanding of the sport. 

“Unfortunately, it does not look promising after the first medical opinion after the review of the scan of the wrist,” Aneke Rune told TV 2 Sport.

“We are waiting for two tennis-specific doctors who will give a second opinion tomorrow (Monday). Tennis wrists look different from regular wrists, so we’ll hold out hope for one more day.” 

Rune is one of three Danish players entered into the Olympic tennis event along with Caroline Wozniacki and Clara Tauson. The country has only won one medal in tennis before which was at the 1912 Games when Sofie Castenschiold won silver in the women’s indoor singles event. 

So far this season, the 21-year-old has won 27 matches on the Tour but is yet to claim a title. He reached the final of the Brisbane International and then the semi-finals of three more events. In the Grand Slams, he made it to the fourth round of the French Open and Wimbledon. 

It is not known when a final decision regarding Rune’s participation in Paris will be made.

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Hubert Hurkacz Undergoes ‘Knee Procedure’ Ahead of Olympic Bid

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Poland’s top player on the ATP Tour is not giving up on his dream of winning a medal at the Olympic Games despite recently undergoing a medical procedure.

World No.7 Hubert Hurkacz suffered a knee injury during his second round clash at Wimbledon against France’s Arthur Fils. In the fourth set tiebreak of their clash, Hurkacz dived for a shot but landed badly on his knee and required on-court medical attention. He then played two more points before retiring from the match. 

In a social media post published on Wednesday, the  27-year-old confirmed he underwent a procedure on his knee earlier this week but didn’t provide any further details.  Although Hurkacz has stated his intention to play at the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris, where the tennis event will be held on the clay at Roland Garros. 

“I had a knee procedure this Monday, but I’m feeling better already and my team and are dedicating extensive time each day to the rehab process.” He wrote on Instagram. 

“It’s a dream for every athlete to represent their country at the Olympics, and I want to make sure I am fully fit and ready before making the final decision to step on court. The aim is not only to participate, but to win a medal for my country.”

So far this season Hurkacz has won 34 out of 48 matches played on the Tour. He won the Estoril Open in April and was runner-up to Jannik Sinner in Halle. 

The Olympic tennis event is scheduled to begin a week Saturday on July 27th. Poland is yet to win a medal in the event but expectations are high with women’s No.1 Iga Swiatek also taking part. 

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Motivation, Pressure And Expectations – Novak Djokovic Targets History At Wimbledon

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image via x.com/wimbledon

Novak Djokovic has broken numerous records throughout his career but he still feels the pressure of trying to make history in the sport. 

The world No.2 is through to his 10th Wimbledon final where he will play Carlos Alcaraz, who beat him at this stage of the tournament 12 months ago. There is plenty on the line for the Serbian who could equal Roger Federer’s record for most men’s titles won at SW19 and break the overall record for most major singles won in the sport if he triumphs over the Spaniard. Djokovic currently has 24 Grand Slam trophies to his name which is the same as Margaret Court, who won some of her titles before the Open Era started. 

“Obviously I’m aware that Roger [Federer] holds eight Wimbledons. I hold seven. History is on the line.” Djokovic said on Friday after beating Lorenzo Musetti.

“Also, the 25th potential Grand Slam. Of course, it serves as a great motivation, but at the same time it’s also a lot of pressure and expectations.”

Coming into Wimbledon, there had been doubts over Djokovic’s form after he underwent surgery to treat a knee injury he suffered at the French Open. However, he has defied the odds to reach the final. His run has also seen him beat Alexi Popyrin and Holger Rune before getting a walkover in the quarter-finals from Alex de Minaur, who sustained an injury during the tournament. Then on Friday, he overcame a spirited Musetti in three sets. 

Despite the challenge, Djokovic has insisted that his expectations to do well are always high no matter what the situation is. During what has been a roller-coaster first six months of the season, he is yet to win a title this year or beat a player currently ranked in the top 10. Although he will achieve both of these if her beats Alcaraz on Sunday. 

“Every time I step out on the court now, even though I’m 37 and competing with the 21-year-olds, I still expect myself to win most of the matches, and people expect me to win, whatever, 99% of the matches that I play.” He said.

“I always have to come out on the court and perform my best in order to still be at the level with Carlos [Alcaraz] or Jannik [Sinner] or Sascha [Zverev] or any of those guys, Daniil [Medvedev]. 

“This year hasn’t been that successful for me. It’s probably the weakest results the first six months I’ve had in many years. That’s okay. I had to adapt and accept that and really try to find also way out from the injury that I had and kind of regroup.”

Djokovic hopes that a Wimbledon win will help turn his season around like it has done in the past for him. 

“Wimbledon historically there’s been seasons where I wasn’t maybe playing at a desired level, but then I would win a Wimbledon title and then things would change.” He commented.

“For example, that was the case in 2018 when I had elbow surgery earlier in the year, dropped my rankings out of top 20, losing in fourth round of Australian Open, I think it was quarters of Roland-Garros, and just not playing the tennis that I want to play. Then I won Wimbledon and then won US Open and then later on became No.1 very soon.”

Meanwhile, 21-year-old Alcaraz is hoping to stop Djokovic in his tracks. Should he defend his title at Wimbledon, he would become the first player outside the Big Three to do so since Pete Sampras more than 20 years ago. He has won their only previous meeting on the grass but trails their head-to-head 3-2. 

“I’m sure he knows what he has to do to beat me,” said Alcaraz.

“But I’m ready to take that challenge and I’m ready to do it well.”

When the two players take to the court to play in the Wimbledon final, Djokovic will be 15 years and 348 days older than Alcaraz. Making it the largest age gap in a men’s Grand Slam final since the 1974 US Open. Whoever is victorious will receive £2,700,000 in prize money. 

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