Bits & Pieces from the World of Tennis: 25th of May 2014 - UBITENNIS
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Bits & Pieces from the World of Tennis: 25th of May 2014

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WORLD OF TENNIS – Roger Federer 15 years later. Chris Evert celebrates the anniversary of her first title at a Major. The Woodies receive an award. Happy birthday to Melzer, Gabashvili, Fognini and Newcomb. How are the Brits doing in Paris? Joshua Bosco

 

Federer wins after 15 years

On May 25th 1999 a little known Swiss player, ranked No.111 in the world, played his first career main draw match in a Grand Slam tournament. He lost the match, against Pat Rafter, 5-7 6-3 6-0 6-2 and afterwards the Australian said of him “The boy impressed me very much. If he works hard and has a good attitude, he could become an excellent player.” Yesterday, exactly fifteen years after this match, that same boy – Roger Federer – won his 266th career match in a major tournament beating Lukas Lacko 6-2 6-4 6-2.

Chris Evert’s 1st title

Forty years ago former World No.1 Chris Evert won the first of her eighteen Grand Slam titles. At the age of 19 the American won the 1974 French Open defeating Olga Morozova 6-1 6-2.

It wasn’t all bad news for Morozova though as the two then paired up to claim the women’s doubles title beating Gail Chanfreau and Katja Ebbinghaus 6-4 2-6 6-1.

Philippe Chatrier Award 2014

This year the International Tennis Federation’s highest honour, the Philippe Chatrier Award, will be presented to a doubles team for the first time since its introduction in 1996.

Australian legends Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde, better known as “The Woodies”, who won 11 Grand Slam titles, will receive the award at the ITF’s world championships dinner held during Roland Garros.

Happy Birthdays!

There were a lot of birthday celebrations last week: Jurgen Melzer turned 33 on Thursday and “celebrated” by losing 6-1 6-1 to Jiri Vesely in Dusseldorf.

On Friday Gabashvili turned 29, Dan Evans celebrated his 24th birthday and Australian legend John Newcombe, who won seven singles and seventeen doubles Grand Slam titles, blew out 70 candles.

On Saturday Fabio Fognini, who will play Andreas Beck in the first round of the French Open, turned 27. Happy Birthday to all of them!

Brit-pack at Roland Garros

A week after winning her second title of the year, British No.2 Heather Watson qualified for the main draw at the French Open defeating Estonian Anett Kontaveit 6-1 6-1 in just 48 minutes.

She joins James Ward – who became the first Brit to qualify for Roland Garros in 41 years after defeating Blaz Rola 12-10 in the third set in a match lasting more than three hours – and World No.8 Andy Murray who will face Andrey Golubev in his first round match on Tuesday.

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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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