ATP Halle 2014: Let’s Take A Look - UBITENNIS
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ATP Halle 2014: Let’s Take A Look

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TENNIS ATP HALLE – The Gerry Weber Open, in Halle, Germany, kicks off the grass court season on the Continent with Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer leading an all-star entry field that includes Milos Raonic, Kei Nishikori, Richard Gasquet , Mikhail Youzhny, Tommy Haas and Jerzy Janowicz as the Top 8 seeds. Mark Winters

 

The Gerry Weber Open, in Halle, Germany, kicks off the grass court season on the Continent, June 9th. Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer lead an all-star entry field that has been skillfully choreographed by Tournament Director, Ralf Weber. In addition to those illustrious “names”, Milos Raonic, the young Canadian whose game is becoming more solid with each tournament, and Kei Nishikori of Japan, who is anxious to transition his clay court successes to the lawns, are the No. 3 and No. 4 seeds. Richard Gasquet, of France, is No. 5, and he is followed by Mikhail Youzhny of Russia. Home-country favorite Tommy Haas (who is returning to competition after having shoulder issues at Roland Garros) is No. 7, and Jerzy Janowicz of Poland, rounds out the Top Eight seeds.

Lurking in the draw, and not to be overlook (ever) are Gael Monfils of France, Ivo Karlovic of Croatia and Lukasz Kubot another Polish contestant. Philipp Kohlschreiber and Dustin Brown are two of the dangerous Germans, who are always looking to excel when they are part of the Halle mix.

For Federer, the defending champion, the Gerry Weber Open is almost like his home away from home. After bowing out of Roland Garros in the fourth round because of the truly inspired play of Latvian Ernests Gulbis, he is anxious to return to the town where a street bears his name, and to the tournament where he has been a six-time winner (including four in a row after which he moved on to Wimbledon and won the same number of titles, resulting in a two tournament run of eight in a row). Haas, who earned the Halle title in 2009 and again in ’13, along Kohlschreiber, who finished on top in 2011, have fond memories of playing on the 12,300-seat center court with the amazing closeable roof, that set the “it may raining, but there still is play…” standard in the tennis world.

Tournament Director Ralf Weber. Photo by Mark Winters

Tournament Director Ralf Weber. Photo by Mark Winters

While expectations for a Nadal-Federer final will drive spectator’s hopes, reality intrudes. offering a flashing yellow-light caution. The World’s No. 1 will have taken on No. 2 Novak Djokovic of Serbia in the Roland Garros final, and if the Spaniard is extended beyond his seemingly boundless energy reserves, he may decide to give Halle a pass. He has done it before (and Federer has too).

So all Ralf Weber can hope for the best this year and look forward to 2015 when the Gerry Weber Open moves from an ATP World Tour 250 Series to a 500 Series event, and the time between Roland Garros and Wimbledon is lengthened by a week. Next year, the Topshelf Open ‘s-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands and the MercedesCup Stuttgart, Germany will follow play in Paris. Then the long-standing principle Wimbledon warm-ups, Halle and the Aegon Championships (Queen’s) in London, are set to take place. Having a lifetime contract with Federer and a lengthy agreement with Nadal, Weber will certainly have less concern about the possibility of “no shows.”

Moving back to the present, the 22nd Gerry Weber Open promises to showcase grass court tennis at its best. Given the players who will be participating, this is not a hope… This is what always takes place in Halle.

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Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo secure their semifinal spot in the ATP Finals in London

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Former ATP Finals runners-up Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo battled past Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 10-7 after 1 hour and 44 minutes to finish the Group Jonas Bjorkman with a 2-1 round robin record.

 

Kubot and Melo came back from an early break down and fended off four set points before Ram and Salisbury converted their fifth chance to win the opening set 6-4.

Kubot and Melo fended off a break point in the seventh game with a great serve, before they converted their first break point in the 10th game.

Kubot and Melo won five consecutive points in the Match Tie-Break to open up a 6-2 lead. The Polish and Brazilian players converted their fourth match point to secure their spot in the semifinal.

 

 

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Matteo Berrettini Scores Historic Win Before Exit From ATP Finals

The 23-year-old ends his breakthrough season on the ATP Tour with another milestone in his career.

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LONDON: Matteo Berrettini has become the first Italian man in history to win a match at the ATP Finals after defeating Dominic Thiem on Thursday afternoon.

 

The world No.8 managed to dismantle the game of his rival, who was far from his best at times, with the help of his blistering serve to seal the 7-6(3), 6-3, victory. Ending Thiem’s streak of four consecutive wins over top 10 players, including Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer earlier this week. In total Berrettini hit 30 winners to 21 unforced errors and converted both of his break point opportunities.

“I’ve always had great fights against him. I was able to stay mentally focused, especially in the first set when I lost my serve because I didn’t play a great game.” Berrettini said afterward.
“I’m really happy with my performance because I am not feeling great physically.” He added.

The downside to the round-robin format of the event is that some matches end up being irrelevant with this being one of them. Regardless of the outcome, Thiem has already qualified for the semi-finals and Berrettini is on his way out. Nevertheless, the 23-year-old Italian was playing for pride at The O2 Arena.

A close start to the match saw neither playing managing to gain any momentum during the first eight games. Then inconsistencies in Thiem’s game started to haunt him. Berrettini’s ability to hit the ball deep into the court forced his rival to make a series of errors as he broke for a 5-4 lead. However, it was his turn to stumble behind his serve as Thiem broke back to level with relative ease.

Despite neither player capitalizing on their advantages, the tiebreaker was a one-sided encounter. Three Thiem unforced errors, as well as a winning Berrettini slice, saw him go behind 0-4 in the blink of an eye. Creating enough of a margin for Berrettini to seal the first set with the help of a 134 mph ace.

Thiem clearly looked flat on the court compared to two days ago when he downed Djokovic, however, nothing should be taken away from Berrettini. Who kept focus and stuck to his game plan throughout the match. A backhand passing shot, followed by a crosscourt winner enabled him to break once again midway through the second set. Easing towards victory after just 76 minutes play, Berrettini closed the match out with a delicate drop shot.

“I’m really proud of myself, but also for my team, my family and my friends. It’s been an unbelievable season.” He reflected on his year.
“I didn’t expect at the beginning of the season to be here (in London). I hope to come back next year, but now I just want to say thanks to those guys (his team). Without them, it couldn’t be possible.”
“I’m happy to finish with a win.“

Despite the loss, Thiem will finish at the top of the Bjorg Born Group. He will play the runner-up of the other group in the semi-finals on Saturday.

Whilst Berrettini’s ATP season is over, he can’t rest yet. Next week he will be in Madrid playing for his country in the Davis Cup along with many other of his fellow players.

“There is one more event. I have to rest a little bit and then I think I deserve a holiday.” He declared.

Berrettini ends 2019 with 43 wins on the ATP Tour in what is a career best. He started the year ranked 54th in the world and didn’t make his top 10 debut until last month.

Italian men in the ATP Finals

-C. Barazzutti in 1978 – 0 wins and 3 loses
-A. Panatta in 1975 – 0 wins and 3 losses
-M. Barrettini in 2019 – 1 win and 2 losses

 

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ATP Finals 2019 Day 5 Preview: Will It Be Djokovic Or Federer In The Semis?

It’s the 49th installment of Federer against Djokovic, with the winner moving onto the semifinals, and the loser being eliminated from the tournament.

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The advancement scenarios for today are that simple, as Dominic Thiem has already guaranteed his place in the semis with tremendous back-to-back wins over both Djokovic and Federer.  For Djokovic, there are also year-end No.1 ranking implications, as he now needs to win this event to keep his hopes alive. And while Matteo Berrettini cannot advance to the semis after going 0-2 thus far, he’ll play to become the first Italian man to ever win a match at the ATP Finals.

 

Dominic Thiem (3) vs. Matteo Berrettini (8)

This will be their third meeting within the past five weeks.  Berrettini prevailed in the Shanghai quarterfinals to reach his first Masters 1,000 semi, while Thiem was victorious at home in Vienna on his way to that title.  Their only other previous encounter was last year at Roland Garros, where Dominic won in four. What a week it’s already been for Thiem, but he has a lot of work still ahead of him.  And perhaps he is due for a letdown after two sensational wins, especially with his qualification for the semifinals already secured. However, Dominic should feel supremely confident coming off his results earlier this week.  And I’m sure his team will warn him of the danger in allowing his level to drop today, even with the result having no impact on his advancement. On the other side of the net, Berrettini has absolutely nothing to lose. Matteo can play freely, and knows he owns a recent win over Thiem.  Still, based on his form this week, Dominic should be favored to go 3-0 in the Bjorn Borg Group round robin play.

Novak Djokovic (2) vs. Roger Federer (3)

Four months ago in this same city, Djokovic saved two championship points and went on to defeat Federer in the first-ever 12-all fifth set tiebreak at Wimbledon to win his 16th Major singles title.  It was a heartbreaking loss for Federer, who was just one point away from his record-extending 21st Major.  Instead, he’s now just four Majors ahead of Djokovic, and only one ahead of Nadal after Rafa’s US Open victory.  Overall Djokovic leads this prolific rivalry 26-22. Novak has claimed their last five meetings, dating back to the championship match at this event four years ago.  But notably, Roger’s last win was just a few days prior, during the round robin stage of this tournament in 2015. On hard courts, Djokovic leads their head-to-head 19-17.  At the ATP Finals, Novak leads 3-2. Djokovic looked extremely agitated at times on Tuesday, seemingly surprised by how vehemently the crowd was rooting for Thiem. But Djokovic will know the London audience to be fully behind Roger today, so I don’t expect that to throw him.  Federer will certainly be eager to avenge the Wimbledon defeat from earlier this year, though overcoming Djokovic on this surface is no easy task. I anticipate another tight contest today between these two all-time greats, but give the slight edge to Novak to prevent Roger from advancing to the semifinals for just the second time in 17 appearances at the ATP Finals.

A breakdown of the Djokovic-Federer rivalry

By tournament

Grand Slams: Djokovic leads 10-6
ATP Finals: Djokovic leads 3-2
Masters 1000: Djokovic leads 11-9
ATP 500 events: Federer leads 4-2
Davis Cup: Federer leads 1-0

By year

YEAR

DJOKOVIC

FEDERER

2006

0

2

2007

1

3

2008

1

2

2009

3

2

2010

1

4

2011

4

1

2012

3

2

2013

2

0

2014

3

3

2015

5

3

2016

1

0

2017

0

0

2018

2

0

2019

1

0

 TOTAL

26

22

 

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