Federer Takes Singles, Begemann & Knowle The Doubles. Gerry Weber Open 2014 - The Curtain Comes Down - UBITENNIS
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Federer Takes Singles, Begemann & Knowle The Doubles. Gerry Weber Open 2014 – The Curtain Comes Down

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TENNIS GERRY WEBER OPEN – Roger Federer won the Gerry Weber Open Singles final. Andre Begemann of Germany and Julian Knowle of Austria captured the Doubles, and Tournament Director, Ralf Weber kicked off the day summarizing the 2014 event and talked about the 2015 expectations when Halle becomes an ATP 500…From Halle, Mark Winters

 

A set routine is always followed on the final Sunday at the Gerry Weber Open, in Halle, Germany. It has been the same for the twenty-two years that the tournament has been held. Several hours before Roger Federer defeated Alejandro Falla of Columbia 7-6, 7-6 to earn his seventh title, dapper Tournament Director, Ralf Weber addresses the media. At these gatherings, he discusses the event that is about to conclude as well as some of the plans for the next championships (and the “progress” that will be made is always part of the Ralf Weber “Performa”).

Not only does he organize the Halle tennis operation, as if he was a symphony orchestra conductor, Weber appreciates the way professional tennis is played along with its captivating moments. He noted, “The Tie-Break that decided the Dustin Brown and Philipp Kohlschreiber match was electrifying and is one which none of us will ever forget.” He also enjoyed the performances of international stars, such as Kei Nishikori and Gael Monfils, as well as the German professionals who participated.

“They always tend to be able to get the best tennis out of themselves here at the Gerry Weber Open,” he said. “That is facilitated also by the way the venue is set up with the players always a short walk (during the tournament they stay at the Sportparkhotel) from everything. The concept of an oasis of well-being is spot on here.”

Weber was particularly pleased with Roger Federer reaching his ninth final saying, “He’s simply phenomenal”, as well as the performances of German wildcards, Peter Gojowczyk and Brown. As for Rafael Nadal, who lost to Brown, 6-4, 6-1 in the second round after receiving a first round Bye, Weber said: “It’s always saddening when the top seed goes out after the first match, and it is a bit disappointing too, but he came up against an opponent who rose above himself. Next year, there will be a full week between the end of the Roland Garros (French Open) and the start of the Gerry Weber Open and that will make the conditions more balanced and fairer for all of the players.”

Weber mentioned that ATP Executive Chairman and President, Chris Kermode visited Halle for the first time and told the Tournament Director that the experience was an “eye-opener.” Weber added, “He was hugely impressed and said it was an inspiration for how to stage a modern tennis event. By that, he meant what we offer above and beyond just tennis matches.”

As an aside, Weber called attention to the fact that television audiences were provided with exceptional coverage by Eurosport and the viewing numbers were similar to those realized in 2013.

The Gerry Weber Open mantra could be “Tennis for the people.” The Webers have always evidenced awareness and concern for, as Ralf said, “Helping people who may lead their lives in the shade of others.” He continued, “The social involvement of the tournament is an indispensable part of this event, and much more than merely fulfilling a duty.”

Over the years, the tournament has received accolades from the ATP and the tennis community for reaching out to the local community. Weber said of the effort, “It is an inspiration to go about this wonderful work with even greater dedication. Our players are also right behind these activities – they visit critically-ill children or handicapped people, gifting them with moments of joy and happiness.”

The close cooperation with Federer, in this regard, was also praised. “For ten years, the Gerry Weber Open has been supporting the work of the Roger Federer Foundation with another donation handed over to the Swiss player this year. At the start of the tournament, Federer paid the Bodelschwinghschen Foundation in Bielefeld a second memorable visit. Over all, the sum of donations to charitable organizations, in the tournament’s history, has now reached 1,243,772 Euros.”

The Weber tournament marketing magic continued as he admitted, “We managed to sell all the 80 VIP boxes we could sell, and 7,000 VIP tickets changed hands. We gained new global brands as sponsors. Recently, even Microsoft and EBay became involved. Furthermore, partnerships with Melitta, Dr. Oetker, Storck, Schüco and Mercedes-Benz continue to grow.”

Those celebrating Jubilee anniversaries of working more than ten years with the Gerry Weber Open were honored before the Men's Singles final. Photo GERRY WEBER OPEN

Those celebrating Jubilee anniversaries of working more than ten years with the Gerry Weber Open were honored before the Men’s Singles final. Photo GERRY WEBER OPEN

In 2015, the Gerry Weber Open will be a week later on the tennis calendar (meaning two weeks after Roland Garros) and more importantly, it will become an ATP World Tour 500 series event. Weber said: “We’re very confident dealing with this challenge. We’re planning to expand the facilities here, including a park for families and children. We’re already in talks with sports article manufacturers and sports associations.

Another project, in the pipeline, is the modernization and improvements to Court 1, which will be made fully accessible to television cameras. It should also receive Hawkeye technology. The capacity will be increased by 1,000, and Court 2 will increase its seating by 600-700 places.
“Even more world-class players will be invited to participate, but costs will be kept under control. With an extra million dollars in prize money, which we are going to have to put up, we have got to have enter into serious negotiations about appearance fees. I’m sure that we will have an even stronger field next year. The tournament is going to receive even more international recognition, even if it is only by the fact it will be broadcast in 120 countries.

Furthermore, Germany’s Sabine Lisicki is going to take part in the 2015 Champions Trophy (an exhibition match played in the Gerry Weber Stadion on the Sunday before the tournament begins). Last year’s Wimbledon finalist has spent the past few days training in Halle.”
Weber concluded saying, “The 22nd Gerry Weber Open was fantastic, thrilling experience for the spectators. The atmosphere, all over the venue, was fantastic from the first to the last minute. I was really able to see the pleasure many visitors were having – pleasure in this great sport and great entertainment. Indeed, the number of spectators was exceptional with around 50,000 passing through the gates over the Whitsun weekend (Pentecost) alone. Including Sunday’s finals day, 110,700 will have paid a visit of the tournament, which is a new record. Having famous German celebrities such as Tim Bendzko, Christina Stürmer, Milow, Marlon Roudette, VoXXclub and Rea Garvey all appeared. This is just a free extra that we like to give to the spectators and it is something that nobody else provides. This is done in order to facilitate things for the fans next year, and tickets will go on sale even earlier, starting this September.”
(Federer, who was looking to duplicate his 2005 Gerry Weber Open double win came up short with Marco Chiudinelli of Switzerland, losing in a dramatic doubles final to Andre Begemann of Germany and Julian Knowle of Austria, 1-6, 7-5, 1-0 (12-10).)

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Roland Garros Daily Preview: A Busy Day of Second Round Action on Wednesday

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A look at Court Philippe Chatrier (twitter.com/rolandgarros)

Wednesday’s schedule is overflowing with big names and compelling matchups.  Four of the top six men’s seeds will play their second round matches, and all face intriguing opposition.  Defending champion Novak Djokovic plays Alex Molcan, who is coached by Novak’s longtime coach, Marian Vajda.  13-time champ Rafael Nadal faces France’s Corentin Moutet, who took out 2015 champ Stan Wawrinka in the first round.  Spain’s new rising star, Carlos Alcaraz, takes on fellow Spaniard and accomplished clay courter Albert Ramos-Vinolas.  And third-seeded Sascha Zverev goes against Sebastian Baez, who won a clay court title last month in Estoril.

 

However, the day’s most competitive ATP matches may not involve those top names.  Second round clashes Sebastian Korda and Richard Gasquet, as well as between Grigor Dimitrov and Borna Coric, could prove to be two the day’s best men’s singles contests.

Women’s second round action on Wednesday features a blockbuster matchup, as 2019 US Open champion Bianca Andreescu meets Olympic gold medalist Belinda Bencic.  In a battle of two Major semifinalists from 2021, Maria Sakkari takes on Karolina Muchova.  And five other Major singles champions will take the court (Kerber, Kvitova, Azarenka, Stephens, Raducanu).

Throughout the tournament, this preview will analyze the day’s five most prominent matches, while highlighting the other notable matches on the schedule.  Wednesday’s play begins at 11:00am local time.


Sascha Zverev (3) vs. Sebastian Baez – Second on Court Philippe Chatrier

This is a dangerous draw for Zverev, as Baez is one the 2022’s fastest-rising players.  The 21-year-old from Argentina started the year ranked 99th, but is now 36th, having accumulated 28 match wins at all levels, and claiming a clay court title last month in Estoril.  He was also a finalist earlier this year on clay in Santiago.  These players met just two weeks ago in Rome, with Zverev prevailing in two tight sets.   I expect another tight affair on Wednesday, especially since Sascha has a history of getting involved in five-setters at Roland Garros.  In the last four years here, he’s played eight of them.  However, it’s worth noting his record in those matches is 7-1.  Zverev’s fire power should enable him to get past the up-and-coming Argentine.


Maria Sakkari (4) vs. Karolina Muchova – Second on Court Suzanne Lenglen

Their only previous encounter was a doozy.  Last year on clay in Madrid, Muchova dominated the first set 6-0, Sakkari took the second in an extended tiebreak, but Karolina eventually prevailed 7-5 in the third.  That’s one of many painful losses Maria suffered last season, with the most painful coming in the semifinals of this event a year ago, when she went down in defeat despite holding a match point over eventual champion Barbora Krejcikova.  Sakkari has persevered extremely well, and started off 2022 16-4, though she’s just 4-3 on clay this season.  However, Muchova is only 6-2 the entire year, as an abdominal injury kept her off the court.  The more in-form Sakkari should be favored to avenge her loss to Muchova from a year ago.


Belinda Bencic (14) vs. Bianca Andreescu – Third on Court Philippe Chatrier

This is a rematch from the semifinals of the 2019 US Open semifinals, when Andreescu was victorious after two extremely close sets on her way to her maiden Major title.  That semifinal remains Belinda’s best performance at a Slam.  And the French Open has easily been her worst Major, where she is 6-5 lifetime, and never advanced beyond the third round.  But Bencic is having a strong clay court season, with a 10-2 record, and a title in Charleston.  Andreescu has missed a lot of time over the last few years, including the first three months of 2022.  Yet she’s a decent 7-3 on the year, with her only three losses coming to top 15 players.  And on a big stage such as Court Philippe Chatrier, Andreescu usually brings her best tennis.  I give the Canadian the slight edge to grit out the upset over Bencic after a significant battle.


Sebastian Korda (27) vs. Richard Gasquet – Fourth on Court Suzanne Lenglen

Both players completed their first round matches on Tuesday due to rain, leaving them no day of rest, though they both won in straights sets and should feel rather fresh.  Korda eliminated Australia’s John Millman, while Gasquet dismissed South Africa’s Lloyd Harris.  It was this event two years ago where Sebi made his Major breakthrough, reaching the fourth round in just his second main draw appearance at a Slam.  The 21-year-old American is the only player to earn a victory over Carlos Alcaraz this season on clay, and also achieved a clay court semifinal in Estoril.  Gasquet spent much of this month playing Challenger events, though he did reach a tour-level semi of his own just last week in Geneva.  Clay is not Richard’s strongest surface, but he was a quarterfinalist here in 2016.  He’ll certainly be motivated by the inspiring efforts of his fellow countrymen Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Gilles from Tuesday.  And with this match scheduled late in the day, he’ll benefit from a rowdy French crowd behind him.  However, Korda’s more reliable groundstrokes should allow him to get past the Frenchman, with an Alcaraz rematch perhaps awaiting him in the third round.


Grigor Dimitrov (18) vs. Borna Coric – Fourth on Court 14

Dimitrov is a meek 13-11 lifetime at Roland Garros, but he is a solid 9-4 on clay this season, and was a semifinalist in Monte Carlo.  Coric is trying to rediscover his form after missing a full year of action due to shoulder surgery.  He’s just 2-6 at all levels since returning, and was on a five-match losing streak coming into this event before earning a first-round win over Carlos Taberner.  Borna has a clay court title on his resume, and has previously fought his way to victories at Majors in matches he had no business winning.  The 2020 US Open comes to mind, when Coric came back from seemingly sure defeat against Stefanos Tsitsipas, saving six match points along the way.  I would not be surprised if he pushes Dimitrov on Wednesday.  Yet Grigor seemed perfectly comfortable in his opening round, dropping only three games, and is the favorite in this match as well.


Other Notable Matches on Wednesday:

Angelique Kerber (21) vs. Elisa Jacquemot (WC) – Kerber survived the first round of this event for only the second time in seven years, and did so in thrilling fashion.  Angie defeated Magdalena Frech in an over three-hour affair, and was cheered on vociferously by the Parisian crowd.  On Wednesday, she plays France’s Jacquemot, a 19-year-old who earned her first Major win on Monday.

Amanda Anisimova (27) vs. Donna Vekic (Q) – Anisimova took out Naomi Osaka in the opening round.  Vekic is a former top 20 player who has battled injury in recent years.  Two years ago on clay in Rome, Amanda overcame Donna in two tiebreak sets.

Novak Djokovic (1) vs. Alex Molcan – Djokovic’s last loss in the second round of a Major was at the 2017 Australian Open, at the hands of Denis Istomin.  Molcan is a 24-year-old from Slovakia who reached finals at two 250-level clay events this season.  Last year on clay in Belgrade, Novak defeated Alex in straights.

Carlos Alcaraz (6) vs. Albert Ramos-Vinolas – Alcaraz is now 29-3 on the year, and is currently on an 11-match win streak.  Ramos-Vinolas was a quarterfinalist here in 2016, and has won four clay court titles in his career, including this February in Cordoba.  Alcaraz has claimed both of their previous meetings.

Rafael Nadal (5) vs. Corentin Moutet (WC) – Despite questions regarding the status of his chronically-injured foot, Nadal prevailed easily on Monday, dropping only six games.  Moutet beat Stan Wawrinka in four sets the same day. 


Wednesday’s full Order of Play is here.

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Planning Key For Daniil Medvedev’s Comeback From Hernia Surgery

Daniil Medvedev cruised past Facundo Bagnis in his opening round at Roland Garros.

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Daniil Medvedev (@atptour - Twitter)

Daniil Medvedev has spoke about preparation and planning after his first win since hernia surgery.

 

The second seed was victorious in his opening round at Roland Garros after beating Argentinian Facundo Bagnis 6-2 6-2 6-2.

Medvedev usually hates the clay court season but the Russian, who reached the quarter-finals last year, cruised to victory with the loss of just six games.

This is only Medvedev’s second tournament since hernia surgery which took place after the Miami Open.

Speaking to the press after his win Medvedev said that planning was the key to his comeback, “The thing is that, yeah, for sure when I made surgery, I didn’t know — I thought I’m not going to come back on clay. I thought I’m going to come back for grass,” the Russian admitted.

“But straightaway we made a good plan with my team, with my doctor team and physio team, to try to get me back on track as fast as possible. Because also what is tough is there is no sign of when you can actually start playing tennis. It’s just kind of you start, and if you feel pain, you should stop straightaway.

“So I started after four weeks, which usually it can take up to six weeks, I heard, average. I never had pain, so we are going step by step slowly, first day 30 minutes and then 45. Same, yeah, I went to Geneva to see how my body is. I felt great physically. I managed to put really strong practice hours here before Roland Garros. I feel 100% ready physically, so thanks to my team.”

Medvedev will look to build momentum as he prepares to miss Wimbledon due to Russian and Belarusian athletes being banned.

Now for the world number two the focus is on Roland Garros and on clay and after his match he broke down why he isn’t as effective on clay than he is on hard courts, “I would love to think that it’s not mental, because every time I start playing on clay every year, because you have to, I’m like, Come on, you know, just be better. This year is going to be different, is going to be, for you, the clay, and then I feel like I need a lot of time to adapt,” Medvedev explained.

“It’s about the movement, and I think my strokes are given like in the air because the balls are much heavier, they have dirt on them, so a lot of my balls, not at Roland Garros but other courts, for example, it was the case in Geneva, I feel like I’m doing a good job but it just goes in the net.

“When you don’t know what you can improve, that’s where it’s tough because you’re, like, What do I do next shot? Yeah, it’s not the case here, so I’m happy about it. So I know I’m capable of doing some good things. But, yeah, I need to be 100% focused and ready for what clay has to give to me. Right now I feel ready.”

Medvedev will look to continue his confidence on Thursday when he takes on Laslo Djere in his second round match.

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Denis Shapovalov Left ‘Frustrated’ After Early Roland Garros Exit

Denis Shapovalov has a lot thinking to do after his round one exit to Holger Rune in Paris.

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Denis Shapovalov (@andertennis - Twitter)

Denis Shapovalov left feeling frustrated after he lost 6-1 6-3 7-6(4) to Holger Rune in the first round of Roland Garros.

 

The Canadian headed into the opening round with confidence after reaching the last eight in Rome.

However Shapovalov hit 53 unforced errors in an underwhelming performance as he went to an in-form Holger Rune.

Rune, who won Munich and reached the semi-finals in Lyon, played electric tennis as he moves into the second round to play Henri Laaksonen or Pedro Martinez.

As for Shapovalov he was left frustrated and admitted improvement is needed ahead of the grass court season, “For sure I wasn’t able to bring out my best performance,” Shapovalov said in his post match press conference.

“It’s definitely frustrating. It just shows I have a lot to work on. And just
excited to get back to work. Never think I’m done learning and improving.
So, yeah, it’s difficult moment, but I just keep working. I didn’t really
show up today, so it’s a little bit difficult.

“Holger is playing some great tennis, won his first title, semis last week, I believe, pushing some top guys. So yeah, for sure not taking anything away from him, obviously he’s playing great tennis.

“But I think against most players today I wouldn’t come out the winner. So, yeah, a little bit frustrating on my side and just feel like I need to improve some things. Be sure that I’m ready for the slams.”

It’s another disappointing grand slam performance from Shapovalov who recognises he must do better in the future in order to break into the world’s top 10.

Speaking of the future the grass court season is up next where Shapovalov reached the semi-finals at Wimbledon.

However due to the ATP’s decision to remove ranking points as a result of the ban on Russian and Belarusian players at Wimbledon, whatever happens at SW19 Shapovalov will lose a hefty amount of points.

That is a decision that the Canadian doesn’t necessarily agree with, “I haven’t decided anything yet. Been trying to focus on this tournament,” Shapovalov admitted.

“I think first of all, if you have a pro competition, that everybody should be competing. I completely understand the politics and the situation they’re in. But again, if you have a tennis tournament that’s supposed to have the best athletes in the world, it shouldn’t matter where you’re from, this and that, you know? So everybody should be competing.

“I also don’t agree with the ATP to take out all the points. The most guys it’s affecting are the guys in the top rankings. Obviously Novak, me, Hubi, Berrettini, who is not playing here, we’re going to drop a lot. I think they could have gone with it a different way, maybe keep 50 percent like they have in the past or some kind of fairness. But even a guy like Fucsovics is going to drop out of the top 100, you know.

“So it’s difficult for the players when you don’t have a chance to defend and especially on a surface like grass where it’s already so short and the players that play well on that surface they don’t have that many opportunities tom make points, so you take a huge chunk of it out, it’s super difficult for players.”

It’s a dilemma many players will face heading into Wimbledon over the next few weeks.

As for Shapovalov his next tournament will be in Stuttgart which starts on the 6th of June.

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