ATP Cincinnati: Federer survives a Ferrer scare for his 6th title - UBITENNIS
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ATP Cincinnati: Federer survives a Ferrer scare for his 6th title

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TENNIS ATP CINCINNATI – Federer is not just anybody. He is considered by many to be the greatest of all time and by his estimates, his record in finals for the year has been abysmal at 2-5. At one point in the match, it looked like it would be a 4th straight loss in a Masters final for the Swiss but he soon got his A-game back on track to end the drought of big titles. Federer took out Ferrer 6-3 1-6 6-2. Cordell Hackshaw

 

Roger Federer (2) is having a great 2014 season by anyone’s standard. He has made it to eight finals including his 9th Wimbledon final. However, Federer is not just anybody. He is considered by many to be the greatest of all time and by his estimates, his record in finals for the year has been abysmal at 2-5 so far, (Dubai and Halle). He has not won a major title since 2012, which coincidentally was the last time he won a Masters title. Despite this Cincinnati final being his 4th Masters final for the year, Federer has failed to capture any of the titles even though he was the pre-match favourite in each of the previous three. Therefore, Federer having a 15-0 lifetime record against Ferrer did not seem an advantage as the other three opponents who Federer faced in Masters finals, Novak Djokovic (Indian Wells), Stan Wawrinka (Monte Carlo) and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (Toronto), all trail Federer in their head-to-head. At one point in the match, it looked like it would be a 4th straight loss in a Masters final for the Swiss but he soon got his A-game back on track to end the drought of big titles. Federer took out Ferrer 6-3 1-6 6-2.

Federer started the match at a comfortable pace. He sent earlier signs to Ferrer that he intended to break him as soon as possible. However, Ferrer shook off early signs of nerves to hold through to 3-3. Federer had another easy service game for 4-3 and began piling the pressure on the Spaniard. Ferrer buckled after digging himself out of a 0-30 hole. At 30-30, he sent his forehand long and then double faulted to give Federer the break to serve for the set 5-3. Federer serving out the set proved to be anything but easy as he was soon down triple break points. He held it together and served his way out of trouble to close it out 6-3 in just over half an hour.

One expected Federer to go on a tear in the 2nd set as he had a couple of break points in Ferrer’s opening service game. Ferrer fought them off valiantly to hold and quickly turned the table around on Federer by gaining three more break points on his serve. Federer too came up with some good stuff to save all three but on Ferrer’s 8th break point, he could not come up with something special. Ferrer lead 2-0. What happened next seems inexplicable as Federer became a mere shadow of himself. He completely went offline on court. Whereas in the 1st set Federer was winning 78% behind his 1st serve, in the 2nd set, he could only garner 54%. In the opening set, Federer had 5 errors total but in the 2nd, he had 16. Ferrer capitalized on this poor performance and raced out to an insurmountable 5-0 lead. “[L]et’s not talk about the second set … I just think he played a pretty good game to break, and then he played a great game to break again. Then it was 40, quickly 50,” Federer later noted. Federer was able to hold serve once in the set but only after saving two set points to avoid the bagel. Ferrer served it out for 6-1.

Many viewers were not sure what to make of this match. There appeared to be nothing physically wrong with Federer and he was hardly one to choke in big matches. However, it was clear that he could not continue with this level of play if he expected to win. Ferrer’s level and intensity was not likely to drop thus Federer had to re-charge and so he did. After a quick bathroom break between the final two sets, Federer game out a new man. He served first in the 3rd set, opening with an ace and continued this fine serving till the end of the match, dropping only 3 points on serve in the set. Ferrer said, “The third set he serve unbelievable.” Ferrer was now on the back foot and struggling to hold serve. Federer broke in the 4th game for a 3-1 lead. Up 4-1, he saw more break points for the double break but Ferrer was able to hold for 2-4. Federer held for 5-2 and then continued to pounce on the Ferrer serve. The 5-time champion in Cincinnati soon had triple match points. On the final point, Ferrer’s groundstroke was ruled good but Federer challenged and the call was overturned. Federer won 6-3 1-6 6-2.

Ferrer had some good numbers for the match. He won 70% of his 1st serve points and 41% behind his 2nd serve with 29 winners and 24 errors. Ordinarily, these stats would have garnered him a win against most players but then again, Federer is not most players. If Ferrer is to beat Federer and stop a 17 straight win, he could not be average. He had to be phenomenal. Federer spoke of his one-sided affair, “I never lost against him. I don’t feel like that at all because I know how tough he is and how close sometimes winning and losing is.” This win gives Federer his 22nd Masters title and 80th career title. The 17-time major champion is confident about his game going into the US Open, “[N]ow I come in with great confidence. I can really rest now, rather than having to work on stuff. So it’s just about maintaining. That’s also really good for the mind.”

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Daniil Medvedev Eyes Further Improvement Despite Straight Sets Win At Australian Open

The world No.4 rates his performance so far in the grand slam tournament.

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Daniil Medvedev (image via https://twitter.com/AustralianOpen)

Fourth seed Daniil Medvedev believes he is yet to reach full throttle at the Australian Open after cruising into the third round of the tournament with a straight sets victory.

 

The US Open runner-up eased to a 7-5, 6-1, 6-3, win over Spanish qualifier Pedro Martinez Portero. Who was playing in the main draw of a grand slam for only the second time in his career at the age of 22. Dropping serve only one during the match, Medvedev blasted 19 aces and 40 winners past his rival. He also won 74% of his first service points.

Through to the last 32 in Melbourne Park for the second year in a row, the 23-year-old still believes that he could improve further on the court. Earlier in the week he also defeated Frances Tiafoe, who was a quarter-finalist at the Australian Open last year.

“I think there are still some things to improve. I think I could be more aggressive few moments of the match.” Said Medvedev.
“At the same time when you win three sets, you don’t want to discuss too much your level or something.’
“Of course, my next match is going to be completely different, so I’m happy with the win and happy to finally win in three sets without a tiebreak.”

As well as battling Martinez on the court, Medvedev was also forced to temporarily halt his match due to a nose bleed. Which occurred during the second set when he was leading 5-0. The Russian insisted that his bleed was not tension related and is something he has gotten used to.

“Let’s say it happens maybe two times a year or maybe once.” He said.
“I remember it actually happened last year Australian Open in first round. I think it was the only time last year, so it can happen sometimes but it’s nothing.”

Medvedev is one of a group of players who have been tipped to break the dominance of the Big Three in grand slam tennis this year. A group consisting of Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer. Last year he won 59 matches on the ATP Tour, which was more than anybody else.

Despite the high expectations, the world No.4 is playing down the hype surrounding him. Branding the Australian Open as ‘just another slam.’ It was during the last major at New York, where he reached his first final before losing to Nadal in three sets.

“I don’t know about other people, but for me, it’s just another slam where I have to win round by round again and again, where I had two tough rounds in my opinion in terms of games, especially the first one against Frances.” He stated.
“So I just take it as any new tournament, as an ATP one, any tournament I play. I just take it round by round. I try to win my matches.”

This year, Medvedev is seeking to go beyond the round round in Melbourne for the first time in his career.

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Fabio Fognini wins epic five-set match against Jordan Thompson

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Fabio Fognini battled past local favourite Jordan Thompson 7-6 (7-4) 6-1 3-6 4-6 7-6 in an epic five set match to score his five-set win at this year’s edition of the Australian Open.

 

The first set went on serve in the first five games. Fognini earned the first game in the sixth game, but Thompson broke back to draw level to 4-4. Fognini won the tie-break 7-4 after saving two set points in the 10th game.

Fognini earned an early break in the second game of the second set with a forehand passing shot. The Italian star went up a double break at 15 to race out to a 4-0 lead and closed out the second set 6-1 on his second set point.

Thompson saved two break points in the first game of the third set before breaking serve in the second game to open up a 3-0 lead. The Australian player saved a break point at deuce in the ninth game and held his serve to win the third set 6-3.

Both players went on serve with no break points in the first four games of the fourth set. Thompson converted his only break point in the fifth game and held his serve at 15 to open up a 4-2 lead. The home player did not look back in the next games to win the fourth set 6-4 forcing the match to the fifth set.

Fognini started the fifth set with a hold at love. The fifth set went on serve with no break points until the eighth game when Fognini earned the first break point of the set, but Thompson saved it at deuce to draw level to 4-4. Fognini earned his first match point at 5-4 with a forehand down the line. Thompson saved it with a big ace down the middle.

Thompson fended off another match point with a forehand down the line before holding serve after five deuces to draw level to 5-5. Fognini earned two consecutive match points, but Thompson saved them to force a super tie-break. Thompson made a forehand error at 1-1, but Fognini  double faulted. Fognini took a 7-3 lead after two unforced errors from Thomson. Fognini sealed the fifth set 10-4 with a backhand down the line after 4 hours and 5 minutes. Fognini will face Argentina’s Guido Pella.

“It was a good fight. It was amazing. It’s perfect. I feel good. I am tired for sure. I was two sets to zero in front. He was playing better, he was serving unbelievable. I had 75 match points, and it is more sweat, because it is tood easy winning in three sets”, joked Fognini.

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Marin Cilic takes the Match tie-break to beat Benoit Paire in Melbourne

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Marin Cilic battled past Benoit Paire 6-2 6-7 (8-10) 3-6 6-1 7-6 (10-3) in the match tie-break after 3 hours and 33 minutes in windy conditions to advance to the third round at the Australian Open. Paire won 82 % of his first serve points, but he made 51 unforced errors.

 

Cilic broke three times in a row to seal the opening set 6-2. Paire rallied from 3-5 down to win the tie-break 10-8. Paire earned a break of serve at deuce in the eighth game to win the third set 6-3. Cilic broke twice in the second and sixth games to win the fourth set 6-1.

Each player saved a break point in the fifth set, but they held on their service games en route to reaching the the match tie-break, where Cilic sealed the win 10-3.

Cilic booked his spot in the third-round, where he will face Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut, who came back from one set down to beat Michael Mmoh 5-7 6-2 6-4 6-1 after 2 hours and 44 minutes. The match was moved to the Melbourne Arena after it was interrupted by rain, when Mmoh was leading 2-1 in the fourth set.

Last year’s Australian Open semifinalist Stefanos Tsitsipas reached the third round, when Phillip Kohlschreiber pulled out of the match due to a muscle injury. Tsitsipas set up a third round match against Milos Raonic, who converted each of his four break points to beat Cristian Garin 6-3 6-4 6-2.

Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics beat last year’s Next Gen ATP Finals champion Jannik Sinner 6-4 6-4 6-3 after 2 hours and 16 minutes. Fucsovics earned his first break in the third game to take a 2-1 lead. Sinner broke back in the sixth game to draw level to 3-3, but Fucsovics earned another break in the next game to take the opening set 6-4. Fucsovics went up an early break in the first game of the second set, but Sinner broke straight back. Sinner dropped his serve at love in the seventh game to lose the second set 6-4. Sinner went up a 2-0 lead with an early break. Fucsovics broke straight back in the third game to claw his way back to 1-2. Fucsovics broke serve in the seventh game to take a 4-3 lead and sealed the win in the ninth game on his first match point.

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