Wawrinka: Is it the year of Stan? - UBITENNIS
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Wawrinka: Is it the year of Stan?

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TENNIS – The 2014 season is shaping up as the year of Stanislas Wawrinka who clinched his first Master 1000 title in Monte-Carlo with his 4-6 7-6 6-2 over Roger Federer adding to his first Grand Slam at the Australian Open. The 28-year-old Lausanne player has moved up to World Number 3 overtaking his illustrious compatriot Roger Federer as the best Swiss player in the ATP Ranking and is now the World Number 1 in the Race to London. Diego Sampaolo

Wawrinka finally managed to win his first Master 1000 title in his third attempt after losing his first two finals in Rome 2008 against Novak Djokovic and in Madrid 2013 against Nadal. The Swiss broke the duopoly of Nadal and Djokovic who totally dominated the circuit winning all the 2013 Master 1000 Tournaments and the first two events of 2014 at Indian Wells and Miami. In 34 of the last 36 previous Master 1000 Tournaments only players belonging to the exclusive Big Four club (Djokovic, Nadal, Federer and Murray) had managed to lift trophies. This is the only third time in the past 37 Master 1000 Tournaments that a title has been won by a player other than the Big Four. The other two were Robin Soderling and David Ferrer.

Thanks to his win in the Principality, Wawrinka has moved to Number 1 player in the Race to London, which takes into account only the results achieved in 2014. He has improved his record to 20-3 this year and won six times in six matches against Top-ten players. Wawrinka, who was ranked World Number 17 at the start of 2013, was able to beat Novak Djokovic in the quarter final and Rafa Nadal in the final at the Australian Open and Roger Federer in Monte-Carlo. He broke a 14-match losing streak against Djokovic and beat Nadal for the first time after 12 defeats in a row. Before Monte-Carlo Federer won 11 consecutive matches against his compatriot.

I did an amazing job. I am very happy to win a Master 1000 so quickly after clinching my first Grand Slam. When I came here, It was more like a test. I knew I was playing good tennis but I didn’t expect to win because the draw was so strong”, said Wawrinka

It was not the first time that Wawrinka managed to beat Federer on the Monte-Carlo clay of the famous Country Club. This was the only win achieved by Wawrinka over Federer in the previous 14 head-to-head matches before last Sunday’s final. Federer lost his second all-Swiss final 14 years after losing against Marc Rosset in Marseille in 2000. “I have never been able to win finals against Swiss players”, said Federer referring to his previous defeat in a all-Swiss final against Rosset and Sunday’s defeat against Wawrinka.

Federer and Wawrinka showed big respect before and after the match because of their friendship. They even practised in the morning before the final.

It’s always special to play against Federer. We know it’s always a strange match, especially in the final here. He is my best friend on the circuit. We respect each other so much. I am just trying on the court to win the match. Before and after we are very good friends. During the match, we just try everything to win the match”, said Wawrinka.

Federer praised his friend after the Monte-Carlo final and was not so disappointed despite the defeat which prevented him from winning his first Monte-Carlo Tournament.

Of course, I am very happy for Stan. It’s a huge for him after winning his first Grand Slam, also to win his first Master 1000. To take the opportunities when they are there, that’s the key in a tennis player’s career.So I am very happy for him. I would have loved to win my second title this year but Stan deserved this title because he was tough at the end. It was a great pleasure to share this moment with Stan. It was a tennis celebration on a beautiful court. This was one of those weeks we were able to capitalize on it. Stan did the same at the Australian Open. I didi t in Dubai. It’s definitely a good start to the season for all four of us”, said Federer

Will Wawrinka be able to continue his impressive season and lift other Master 1000 or Grand Slam Tournaments this year ? This is the big question of many tennis experts and fans ahead of the next big clay tournaments in Madrid, Rome and Paris followed by Wimbledon on grass and the US Open on hard-court.

Wawrinka has showed his versatility on all surfaces winning his first Grand Slam on hard court at the Australian Open last January and reaching the semifinal at the US Open on hard court. He also won a grass tournament at s’Hertogenbosch. He has the experience to maturity to continue winning on the big stage.

Secondly, some of his biggest rivals did not show their best form recently. Djokovic won Indian Wells and Miami but he was hampered by a wrist injury during his semifinal against Federer in Monte-Carlo. Djokovic needs a period of rest to treat this problem. Nadal has not reached the Monte-Carlo final for the first time since 2005 and was not the only dominant player on his favourite clay surface but he will have a chance to bounce back this week in Barcelona. However, he will have to defend a lot of points. Federer will now take a break before Madrid waiting for the birth of his child who is expected in the next weeks. Andy Murray, who skipped Monte-Carlo, is practicing in preparation for Madrid.

I am capable of beating any of the best players. The win in Monte-Carlo has given me an extra motivation and to beat Roger is such an important moment. I believe in myself and in my game and if I can bring this level all the time, I will have a chance to win any match”, said Wawrinka.

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Carlos Alcaraz reaches his first ATP Tour final in Umag

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Spanish Next Gen star Carlos Alcaraz secured a spot in his first ATP tour-level final with a 6-2 7-6 (7-3) at the Plava Laguna Croatia Open in Umag. 

 

Alcaraz has become the youngest ATP Tour finalist since 18-year-old Kei Nishikori won the Delray Beach title in 2008. 

Alcaraz broke twice to open up a 4-0 lead and held his next service games to close out the first set 6-2. 

Ramos Vinolas came back from a break down three times in the second set, when Alcaraz served for the match. Alcaraz battled through the second-set tie-break to clinch the win after two hours. 

Alcaraz set up a final against Richard Gasquet, who battled past German qualifier Daniel Altmeier 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 6-3 after three hours and 11 minutes. 

Gasquet has become the second oldest finalist in tournament history. The 35-year-old saved seven of hi sten break points, but he converted just just 3 of his 17 break points.  

Gasquet rallied from a break down twice to draw level to 4-4 before winning the tie-break 7-2. Altmeier converted his third break point in the eighth game to win the second set 6-3. Altmeier saved three break points in the second game, before Gasquet converted his second break point in the sixth game to win the second set 6-3. 

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Novak Djokovic Cruises Past Dellien In Olympics Opener

Novak Djokovic’s bid for a historic golden slam continued in Tokyo.

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Novak Djokovic (@ITFTennis - Twitter)

Novak Djokovic cruised past Hugo Dellien 6-2 6-2 to open his bid for a gold medal at the Olympics.

 

The world number one’s bid to achieve the golden slam is on after thrashing the Bolivian in humid conditions.

A perfect start for the Serbian who is looking to achieve the one thing he is yet to achieve and that’s win a gold medal.

Next for Djokovic will be Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff.

In 32C temperatures, Djokovic was looking to start his campaign off against Bolivian veteran Hugo Dellien.

The slow paced courts would suit Dellien as he engaged in some long rallies with the world number one early on.

Despite creating three break points in the fourth game, Djokovic would fail to break early on.

However Djokovic increased his level mixing up the pace and depth of his shots to create angles for simple winners.

On his fifth break point Djokovic would break for a 4-2 lead and the top seed would break for a second time as Dellien had no answers for the Serb’s defensive skills. First set to Djokovic in 33 minutes.

A similar pattern evolved in the second set only this time Djokovic did get a break in the fourth game, breaking to love.

Accurate serving and construction of points gave Djokovic an easy first round match as another break secured the match and sealed his spot into the second round.

A fine performance in tough conditions gave Djokovic’s bid for history the best possible start.

Next for Djokovic will be Jan-Lennard Struff who beat Thiago Monteiro 6-3 6-4.

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Brandon Nakashima shocks John Isner to reach first ATP final in Los Cabos

Brandon Nakashima stunned John Isner to reach the final in Los Cabos.

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Brandon Nakashima (@AbiertoLosCabos - Twitter)

The American became the youngest American to reach a final outside the US since Andy Roddick back in 2001.

 

Brandon Nakashima booked his spot in the final beating an out of sorts John Isner 7-5, 6-4 in one hour and 28 minutes firing 12 aces and winning 82% points with his first serve.

“It’s always going to be tough playing against him, It’s always so hard to return his serve and try to get into the rallies with him but I tried to get back as many returns as I could and there was blocking or chipping the return or hitting over it and just try to mix it up a lot while getting different looks and I knew when I had the opportunities and when I got close in games I knew I had to take advantage of that as much as possible so luckily I was able to do it and of course taking care of my service games was important as well”.

For the first six games of the opening set, neither player had an issue holding serve but at 3-3, it was the San Diego native with the first chance to break but was denied by the world number 39’s big serve.

At 5-4, the world number 134 had two more chances to break and he got the crucial break and served out the first set.

Winning the first set seemed to invigorate the 19-year-old and he earned an early chance to break in the first game of the second set and broke to take a 1-0 lead. Once again that one break was enough to serve out the match and seal the victory.

After the match, Nakashima spoke about becoming the first American player to reach a final outside the US since Andy Roddick back in 2001.

“It feels great and it’s a big accomplishment for me and of course all the Americans, we like to play in the US but it’s nice to see that I am playing well outside the US and luckily it’s not too far from my home here so I have been enjoying it here a lot both on and off the court and really looking forward to playing tomorrow again”.

Nakashima will face the number one seed Cameron Norrie in the final and can feel confident as the last time these two players met, the American beat him.

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