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 Backs Djokovic’s Refusal To Disclose Vaccination Status

The Russian shares his view about comments made by Djokovic to a Serbian newspaper earlier this week.

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Daniil Medvedev (Garrett Ellwood/USTA)

US Open champion Daniil Medvedev says he agrees with Novak Djokovic that players shouldn’t be forced to disclose information about their medical history amid speculation over the vaccination status of the world No.1.

 

During a recent interview with Blic newspaper Djokovic refused to reveal whether or not he had been jabbed against COVID-19 which has raised questions over his ability to participate in next year’s Australian Open. According to a government minister, It is expected that only fully vaccinated players will be allowed to enter the country but an official confirmation is yet to be issued. The 20-time Grand Slam champion has hit out at the media over what he believes has been an unfair portrayal of those who have some reservations about the vaccine. Djokovic, who contracted COVID-19 last year, had previously said he didn’t want to be in a situation where he would be forced to have a vaccination.

“There is a lot of division in the society, not only in sports, but in the whole society, between those who have not been vaccinated and have been vaccinated. And that’s really scary. That we fell for discriminating against someone if he wants to decide for himself one way or another, whether he wants to be vaccinated or not,” he told Blic.
“It’s really…I am very disappointed with the world society at this moment and the way in which the media transmit and put pressure on all people. There is too much ambiguity, too much information that is not valid, so it turns out that it is, so it is not, everything changes a lot.”

Medvedev, who beat Djokovic in this year’s US Open final, says ‘likes’ the view of his peer. Speaking to reporters at the Kremlin Cup on Thursday, the world No.2 also said he would not be disclosing his vaccination status publicly. Medvedev was due to Moscow this week but withdrew due to fatigue.

“I liked what Novak said about this. He said the vaccination was a personal matter and he would not be making it public. And I also decided not to disclose medical things,” he said.
“As for Australia: there everyone will see who is vaccinated and who is not. Of course, the players can say that they are injured, but this will be a play on words.’
“I want to play in Australia, that’s all I can say.” He added.

According to Djokovic, Tennis Australia are set to confirm their rules for players wanting to play at the Australian Open at some stage next month.

So far this season Medvedev has won 50 matches and four trophies on the ATP Tour. Besides the US Open, he was also victorious at Marseille, Mallorca and Canada. Earlier this year he became the first player outside of the Big Four to crack the world’s top two since Lleyton Hewitt back in 2005.

The next couple of weeks will be a challenge for the Russian who will be aiming to defend his title at both the Paris Masters and ATP Finals. Looking further ahead, he hopes to one day dethrone Djokovic at the top of the rankings.

“The goal is to win more Slams, become world №1 and be in the top for many more years. For this I train and will continue to do it with even greater dedication,” Medvedev stated. “But again, the main goal is to improve and be demanding of yourself. It’s impossible to win everything, no one won 60 matches in a row, but if you play well, there will be victories.”

However, one obstacle in Medvedev’s way continues to be the Big Three who are a trio made up of Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer that has dominated the men’s Tour in recent years.

“Like everything in life, their dominance will also pass,” he commented. “Roger and Rafa finished the season early, they had injuries, they didn’t play the US Open, that’s a fact. But still, out of the last 20 “slams” 17 or 18 were taken by those three guys. The three of them are the greatest tennis players in history. Due to the fact that they are getting old, it became a little easier for us to play with them, in this regard we were lucky.”

Medvedev is currently 1800 points behind Djokovic in the ATP rankings.

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Andy Murray Blasts Own Performance Following Antwerp Exit

The Brit was far from happy about his latest match in Austria.

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Andy Murray (image via https://twitter.com/EuroTennisOpen)

Former world No.1 Andy Murray said he had a ‘poor attitude’ during his second round defeat at the European Open on Thursday.

 

The three-time Grand Slam champion was knocked out of the tournament in straight sets by second seed Diego Schwartzman who prevailed 6-4, 7-6(6). Murray started the match on good footing by opening up a 4-1 lead before losing five games in a row. The second set was a closer encounter between the two as they exchanged breaks before the Agretianian edged his way to the victory in the tiebreak.

“Mentally, today (Thursday) I was poor,” Murray told reporters after the match. “My attitude was poor on the court and those are two things you can control. If they’re not there, that also will make the decision-making harder.
“You’re not going to get every single one (decision) right in the match, but you also have to be present enough to acknowledge what is actually happening in the points and why you are winning and losing points.”

It was in Antwerp two years ago where Murray won his last Tour title by defeating Stan Wawrinka in the final. Since then it has been a frustrating journey for the Brit who now plays with a metal hip and has also been troubled by other issues over the past year. His win-loss for the season currently stands at 12-11 and he has only reached the quarter-final stage at one event which was in Metz. Murray also reached the third round at both Wimbledon and Indian Wells.

Outlining his plans for the rest of the year, Murray has confirmed that he will play in both Vienna and Stockholm. He also has his sight set on the Paris Masters where he could enter into the qualifying draw if he doesn’t receive a wildcard. Murray is currently ranked 172nd in the world.

“There’ll be a decision on the final Paris wildcard on Monday, but I might even play the qualis there,” he said. “Sport is a results business. Play well or poorly doesn’t really matter if you lose matches. You need to be winning. That’s what I want in the last few tournaments. They are really strong tournaments and there are no guarantees the results will come, but I want to win more matches.”

Meanwhile, Schwartzman will take on America’s Brandon Nakashima in the quarter-finals on Friday. This week the 29-year-old is seeking only his second Tour title on a hardcourt and his first since the 2019 Los Cabos Open in Mexico.

“It was a pleasure to play against Andy,” Schwartzman said in his on-court interview. “We had not played before and he is coming back and every week he is playing better and moving better. I have a lot of respect because when I grew up playing tennis, I was watching Roger [Federer], Rafa [Nadal], Andy and Novak [Djokovic] and right now playing against him, is a pleasure for me.”

Schwartzman is one of only three seeded players to make it through to the last eight along with Jannik Sinner and Lloyd Harris.

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New British No.1 Cameron Norrie Inspired By Compatriot Raducanu

The Indian Wells champion believes Raducanu’s triumph will trigger a new generation of players in the country.

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Cameron Norrie ad Indian Wells 2021 (Credits: @BNPPARIBASOPEN on Twitter)

Cameron Norrie says he drew inspiration from Emma Raducanu prior to winning the biggest title of his career at the BNP Paribas Open on Saturday.

 

The world No.16 stunned the men’s field at the tournament where he had never won a main draw match prior to this year. Norrie defeated Diego Schwartzman, Grigor Dimitrov and Nikoloz Basilashvili to become the first player from his country to win the prestigious title. The run has resulted in him achieving a series of career milestones. After claiming his maiden Masters 1000 title, Norrie has broken into the world’s top 20 for the first time this week and has overtaken Dan Evans to become British No.1.

Norrie credits Raducanu’s US Open run for inspiring him and believes her success is ‘huge for British tennis.’ The 18-year-old became the first qualifier in history to win a major title in New York as she won 10 matches in a row without dropping a set. Her victories include wins over top 20 players Belinda Bencic and Maria Sakkari.

“That was utterly incredible what she did in New York. To come through qualifying and then to go out and just whack every opponent that she had,” he told Sky Sports.
“She won in straight sets and to do that at such a young age. To do it with that kind of confidence and come out and own every match was extremely impressive.
“It will definitely give the girls around her ranking where she was before the US Open a lot of confidence and a lot of belief.
“I was inspired by her triumph in New York. It’s huge for British tennis. I think for sure it’s going to put a lot of rackets in hand for the next generation of younger boys and girls to start playing tennis at home in the UK.”

Norrie himself is currently in the midst of what has been a breakout season for the 26-year-old who was a former top-ranked player in the US during his college years. He ties Novak Djokovic for most appearances in a Tour final this season at six. Three of those finals were on a hardcourt, two on the clay and one on grass. He won his maiden Tour title in July at the Los Cabos Open. Norrie has also scored multiple wins over top 10 players this season for the first time in his career – beating Dominic Thiem in Lyon and Andrey Rublev in San Diego.

“I want to get to world No 1, that’s the ultimate goal. Everyone on my team has the same target. Clearly it’s extremely difficult to do, and there’s a long road ahead. But we set high expectations and we’re going to strive towards them.” Norrie told The Telegraph earlier this week.

Norrie enters the final stretch of the 2021 season with 47 match wins to his name and is within contention of qualifying for the ATP Finals. To put that into perspective, since its inception in 1970 only three British players has ever participated in the event.

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