Bits & Pieces from the World of Tennis: 15th of August 2014 - UBITENNIS
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Bits & Pieces from the World of Tennis: 15th of August 2014

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TENNIS BITS & PIECES – Federer scores 300th win. Serena not happy with her season. McIlroy improves after breakup and the USTA has taken majority ownership of the ATP event in Memphis. Angelo Lo Conte

 

Federer gets 300 Master win in Cincinnati

By winning his opening match at the Western & Southern Open with a three-set victory over Vasek Pospisil, Roger Federer has earned his 300th career victory during a Masters tournament. He’s the first player to reach the mark; Rafael Nadal is second with 281 such wins. ‘‘It’s a nice, round number,” Federer said. ”I’ve had some more important ones over the one today. Nevertheless, it’s nice to reach such milestones.”

Serena comments her disappointing 2014

Serena Williams says she is not putting herself under any additional pressure at the U.S. Open after three early-round losses at this year’s Grand Slam tournaments. Asked about winning a major this season, the No 1 in the world said, “I’m not even thinking of it anymore. I haven’t even been able to get to the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam this year. At this point, I am just looking forward to next year.” Explaining her comment, Serena added, “I’m just saying I’ve had a really disappointing year, especially in the Grand Slams. So I’m not going to put any pressure on myself. I almost feel like the pressure is lifted because I haven’t performed the way I’ve wanted to personally.  Maybe for other people, but for me it’s not the way I’ve wanted to perform”. 

Rory McIlroy says breakup with Caroline Wozniacki has helped his golf game

After the recent success in the PGA Championships Rory McIlroy admitted life after Wozniacki has been more conducive to developing his golf game.“I think what happened has been for the better in terms of my golf,” he said. “I’ve put a bit more time into it and it has refocused me. I mean, what else do I have to do now? I go to the golf course, I go to the gym and it’s just my life at the minute”. McIlroy said that while he’s always taken golf seriously, he now devotes more time and effort to his craft than ever: “I worked pretty hard before but the past couple of months I’ve really just buried myself in my game. It obviously works pretty well, so I am going to keep doing it.”

USTA to run Memphis pro tennis event

The USTA has taken majority ownership of the ATP event in Memphis to keep the tournament in the city, reports the Memphis Commercial Appeal. David Brewer, the U.S. Open tournament director, told the paper that the ATP board had approved the sale. The USTA had bought the tournament to keep it “in the United States, and more importantly, in the market it’s been all these years”. The tournament was previously owned by Sharks Sports and Entertainment, which had an ATP 500 event in Memphis and a 250 event at San Jose. The group sold the 500 event a year ago to organizers from Rio, and moved the 250 event to Memphis. It also owned the Memphis Racquet Club, which was sold to the club managers. The United States now has only 11 ATP events, with two tournaments moving to South America during the previous two years. The Memphis tournament is looking for a new tournament director and a new title sponsor, preferably a local company.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas ‘Happy’ To Follow In Grandfather’s Footsteps At Olympics

The Greek speaks out about carrying his family’s legacy at the Games.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas never met his grandfather but the two of them do have something in common – they are both Olympians.

 

The world No.4 has already created history in Tokyo by winning his first round match against Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber on Sunday to become the first male player from his country to win a singles match since 1924. Greece has won two medals at the Games but both of them were during its inaugural edition back in 1896.

Tsitsipas’ debut in Tokyo enables him to continue his family legacy of playing in the sporting extravaganza. His grandfather was Sergei Salnikov who played football for the Soviet Union during the 1950s. In 1956 Salnikov was part of the team who won Olympic gold in Melbourne. After retiring from the sport, he went on to manage the FC Spartak Moscow and the Afghanistan national team before passing away in 1984 aged 58.

“I’ve never had the opportunity to meet him. But my mom told me stories of his career and how he got it…. He kind of inspires me in a way,” said Tsitsipas. “I know what kind of athlete he was, with all the achievements and all the trophies. I’m proud of him.
“It’s something good, a legacy that is being carried on in the family. I’m happy to be the next in the family to be competing at the Olympics.”

It isn’t just a medal in the singles Tsitsipas has his eyes on, he will also be bidding for success in the mixed doubles alongside Maria Sakkari. The two previously paired up at the 2019 Hopman Cup where they finished second in their group.

“We have already played once (together), and we had great success,” Sakkari told reporters on Monday. “We know each other really well, and we are much better players two-and-a-half years later, and we are both really pumped to play together. Of course, I cannot predict that we will get a medal. We will try our best and I think we give ourselves the best chance we can.”

Tsitsipas will return to action tomorrow in the men’s singles where he will play Frances Tiafoe in the second round.

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Carlos Alcaraz reaches his first ATP Tour final in Umag

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Spanish Next Gen star Carlos Alcaraz secured a spot in his first ATP tour-level final with a 6-2 7-6 (7-3) at the Plava Laguna Croatia Open in Umag. 

 

Alcaraz has become the youngest ATP Tour finalist since 18-year-old Kei Nishikori won the Delray Beach title in 2008. 

Alcaraz broke twice to open up a 4-0 lead and held his next service games to close out the first set 6-2. 

Ramos Vinolas came back from a break down three times in the second set, when Alcaraz served for the match. Alcaraz battled through the second-set tie-break to clinch the win after two hours. 

Alcaraz set up a final against Richard Gasquet, who battled past German qualifier Daniel Altmeier 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 6-3 after three hours and 11 minutes. 

Gasquet has become the second oldest finalist in tournament history. The 35-year-old saved seven of hi sten break points, but he converted just just 3 of his 17 break points.  

Gasquet rallied from a break down twice to draw level to 4-4 before winning the tie-break 7-2. Altmeier converted his third break point in the eighth game to win the second set 6-3. Altmeier saved three break points in the second game, before Gasquet converted his second break point in the sixth game to win the second set 6-3. 

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Novak Djokovic Cruises Past Dellien In Olympics Opener

Novak Djokovic’s bid for a historic golden slam continued in Tokyo.

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Novak Djokovic (@ITFTennis - Twitter)

Novak Djokovic cruised past Hugo Dellien 6-2 6-2 to open his bid for a gold medal at the Olympics.

 

The world number one’s bid to achieve the golden slam is on after thrashing the Bolivian in humid conditions.

A perfect start for the Serbian who is looking to achieve the one thing he is yet to achieve and that’s win a gold medal.

Next for Djokovic will be Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff.

In 32C temperatures, Djokovic was looking to start his campaign off against Bolivian veteran Hugo Dellien.

The slow paced courts would suit Dellien as he engaged in some long rallies with the world number one early on.

Despite creating three break points in the fourth game, Djokovic would fail to break early on.

However Djokovic increased his level mixing up the pace and depth of his shots to create angles for simple winners.

On his fifth break point Djokovic would break for a 4-2 lead and the top seed would break for a second time as Dellien had no answers for the Serb’s defensive skills. First set to Djokovic in 33 minutes.

A similar pattern evolved in the second set only this time Djokovic did get a break in the fourth game, breaking to love.

Accurate serving and construction of points gave Djokovic an easy first round match as another break secured the match and sealed his spot into the second round.

A fine performance in tough conditions gave Djokovic’s bid for history the best possible start.

Next for Djokovic will be Jan-Lennard Struff who beat Thiago Monteiro 6-3 6-4.

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