Bits & Pieces from the World of Tennis: 23rd of June 2014 - UBITENNIS
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Bits & Pieces from the World of Tennis: 23rd of June 2014

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TENNIS BITS & PIECES – Sabine and Martina split. Maiden wins for Bautista Agut and Keys. Haas out for the rest of the year. Almagro withdraws from Wimbledon. Happy birthday to Gasquet and Venus. Emmrich’s on court proposal to Krajicek. Joshua Bosco

 

Lisicki and Hingis split

2013 Wimbledon finalist Sabine Lisicki took to Facebook to announce her split with coach Martina Hingis after just five months of collaboration.

The split came as a result of a mutual agreement, said Lisicki, who will now be coached by her father Richard for the immediate future.

Murray given Freedom of Merton

Just three days before he steps back on Centre Court as defending champion, Andy Murray was awarded the Freedom of the London Borough of Merton for his merits in tennis, especially last year’s win at SW19.

Everyone knows how much this tennis tournament means to me, so I’m delighted […] I can’t wait for the tournament to start this year, fingers crossed I can defend my title” said Murray, who begins his title defence today against Belgium’s David Goffin.

Keys and Batista Agut first win

American teenager Madison Keys won her first career title after defeating No.5 seed Angelique Kerber in the final of the AEGON International in Eastbourne.

The young American hit 60 winners – and the fifth fastest serve ever on the WTA Tour, since records began in 1989, at 126mph – to beat the German 6-3 6-7(5) 7-5. It was a bit surreal playing in my first final but I tried to stay calm and not over-think it” said Keys, who will now move into the Top 30 for the first time.

In ‘s-Hertogenbosch Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain also collected his maiden title defeating another German, Benjamin Becker, 2-6 7-6(2) 6-4. It was a perfect way to celebrate a fantastic first half of the season for Bautista Agut, who started the year ranked No.78 in the world and today reached a new career-high of No.23.

Emmrich proposes to Krajicek

A year ago 29 year old doubles player Martin Emmrich met Michaella Krajicek, singles player and half-sister of 1996 Wimbledon champion Richard Krajicek, on the terrace of the clubhouse at ‘s-Hertogenbosch.

On Monday, after Krajicek’s win against Jana Cepelova at the same tournament, Emmrich stepped on court to propose to his girlfriend. After a speech punctuated by applause from the crowd, an emotional Krajicek didn’t hesitate to say yes!

Watch Emmrich propose to Krajicek

Haas out for the year

Another blow for Tommy Haas as the German was forced to undergo yet another operation on his right shoulder last Tuesday.

It’s the end of a season already marred by continued withdrawals for Haas, who has promised to come back next year and end his career on his own terms and not because of injuries.

Almagro out, Pospisil in

World No.26 Nicolas Almagro, who was seeded No.25 at Wimbledon, has been forced to pull out of the tournament due to a left foot injury.

His place was has been taken by Vasek Pospisil, who is now the No.31 seed and will play his first match against Robin Haase. The youngster is the second Canadian seed along with Milos Raonic, who is seeded No.8.

Happy Birthday Gasquet & Venus

Last Tuesday former World No.1 and seven time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams turned 34. The American, now ranked World No.26, will begin her Wimbledon campaign today against Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor of Spain.

On Wednesday World No.14 Richard Gasquet celebrated his 28th birthday beating Bernard Tomic 6-4 3-6 6-3 to reach the quarter-finals at the AEGON International. The Frenchman, who went on to lose in the final to Feliciano Lopez, will open his Wimbledon tournament with a first round match against James Duckworth.

Happy Birthday to both of them!

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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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