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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Anett Kontaveit beats Petra Martic to reach the final in Palermo

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World number 22 Anett Kontaveit from Estonia upset number 1 seed Petra Martic 6-2 6-4 to reach the final at the Ladies Open in Palermo. 

 

Martic has scored her third win in her seven matches against top 20 players after beating Belinda Bencic and Elina Svitolina. 

Kontaveit avenged her defeat against Martic in their only previous match played in Dubai last February before the lockdown. 

Kontaveit had to fight to hold her serve in the first game of the opening set at deuce and took control of the match by breaking in the fourth game to open up a 4-1 lead. 

Martic won only 56% on her first serve in the opening set. Kontaveit came back from 0-30 down to hold serve in the seventh game before breaking for the second time in the eighth game to win the first set 6-2. 

Martic earned an early break in the first game of the second set at deuce, but Kontaveit broke straight back to draw level to 1-1. The Estonian player saved a break point before holding serve to take a 2-1 lead. Kontaveit saved five of the six break points she faced. Kontaveit broke for the second time in the fourth game to open up a 4-1 lead. Martic held serve at 2-5 down before breaking serve at 15 in the ninth game to claw her way back to 4-5. The Croatian player received a medical time-out before Kontaveit for the third time in the tenth game at love to close out the second set 6-4. 

Kontaveit will chase her second title in tomorrow’s final three years after winning in S’Hertogenbosch in 2017.

“I felt like I played a very good match today. I was quite aggressive, consistent, and I served especially well in the first set. It got a bit close in the end, but I played a good game at 5-4 and I am happy to be in the final”, said Kontaveit. 

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Petra Martic comes back from one set down to beat Ludmila Samsonova in Palermo

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Top seed Petra Martic from Croatia came back from one set down to beat qualifier and world number 117  Ludmila Samsonova 5-7 6-4 6-2. 

 

Martic saved six break points in the 10th game of the opening set, but Samsonova converted her third break point in the 12th game to win the first set 7-5. 

Martic earned an early break in the first game to open up a 2-0 lead. Samsonova broke back at love in the eighth game to draw level to 4-4. Martic broke for the second time in the ninth game to win the second set 6-4. The Croatian player broke twice in the third and seventh games to close out the third set 6-2. 

Martic will face world number 50 Aliaksandra Sasnovich from Belarus in the quarter finals. Sasnovich came through the qualifying round before beating Jasmine Paolini in straight sets. 

Former top 30 Camila Giorgi rallied from losing the first set to beat Slovenian teenager Kaja Juvan 3-6 6-2 6-4 after 2 hours reaching her second WTA quarter final of the season. Before the outbreak of the Covid-19 outbreak Giorgi reached the top 8 in Lyon. Juvan qualified for the Main Draw at the Australian Open and beat five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams in three sets at the Abierto Mexicano in Acapulco. 

Giorgi started with an early break at deuce at the start of the first set and opened a 2-0 lead. Juvan broke twice to take a 4-3 lead. Giorgi dropped serve for the third time after a double fault on the set point. 

Giorgi came back from 1-2 down by winning five consecutive games with two consecutive breaks in the fifth and seventh games. 

Giorgi broke twice to race out to a 3-0 lead at the start of the third set. Juvan pulled one break back at love in the fourth game but Giorgi got another break to race out to a 5-1 lead. Juvan broke at 30, when Giorgi was serving for the match at 5-2. The Italian player earned two match points and sealed the win on her second chance. 

“I think I was more solid in playing my game. I was moving more forward, so it was much for me. At the start of the match, I was making too many tactical mistakes because I was trying to finish points for no reason. I started to adopt better tactics in the second set and that’s when things started working for me”, said Giorgi. 

Number 4 seed Anett Kontaveit from Estonia came back from one set down to beat Laura Siegemund 3-6 6-2 6-2 after 2 hours and 20 minutes booking her spot in the quarter finals at the Palermo Ladies Open. 

The Estonian player has reached her third quarter final this year after the Australian Open and Dubai. 

Kontaveit set up a quarter final against Elisabetta Cocciaretto, who became the youngest Italian player to reach the quarter final of a tournament since Sara Errani in 2006. 

“I am quite happy about the way I was handling close situations, playing the close games and turning the close games around. I thought I actually handled that sort of pressure, that I didn’t think I would be used to, quite well”, said Kontaveit. 

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Andrea Gaudenzi recognizes the contribution of the Italian Tennis Federation in staging the Internazionali d’Italia

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ATP President and former Italian tennis player Andrea Gaudenzi spoke in an interview to Italian TV channel Supertennis about staging the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome before the French Open and recognised the contribution of the Italian tennis Federation (FIT) in staging the tournament in the Italian capital. 

 

The Rome ATP Masters 1000 and WTA Premier 5 tournaments will be held from 20th to 27th September one week before the French Open (27th September to 11th October). 

“We are grateful to everyone, holding an event this year is difficult from an organizational and financial point of view. We thank the Italian Federation and those who organize the Challengers. Italy is making a great contribution. I think the players are waiting for the BNL Internazionali d’Italia. The Foro Italico is among the most beautiful venues in the world. Rome is splendid in September”, said Gaudenzi. 

During his tennis career Gaudenzi scored wins over Roger Federer in Rome 2002, Pete Sampras in the first round of the 2002 French Open, Jim Courier in the 1994 US Open, Goran Ivanisevic, Thomas Muster, Michael Stich and Yevgeny Kafelnikov. Gaudenzi claimed three ATP titles in Casablanca in 1998, St. Poelten and Bastad in 2002. He graduated in law at the Bologna University and obtained a MBA with Honours at IUM.

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