US Open: Thiem eliminates Gulbis. Easy win for Federer - UBITENNIS
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US Open: Thiem eliminates Gulbis. Easy win for Federer

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TENNIS US OPEN – For the first four days at the US Open, the men’s draw has had no real shake up. All the usual suspects have played to form and made it through to the next round. There was nothing dramatic beyond Andy Murray’s first day “cramping” and the various retirements in the men’s draw. From New York, Cordell Hackshaw

 

US Open: All the interviews, results, draws and OoP

For the first four days at the US Open, the men’s draw has had no real shake up. All the usual suspects have played to form and made it through to the next round. There was nothing dramatic beyond Andy Murray’s first day “cramping” and the various retirements in the men’s draw. However, on Day 5, things got rather interesting with several upsets and other surprising results.

Well one knew that things were going to get interesting when David Ferrer (4) moved into the 3rd round without having to play a single ball. The ever enigmatic Bernard Tomic defaulted from his match claiming issues with his right hip and lingering effect of the flu.

The other more notable stars of the ATP had to go to work though and most of them had a relatively easy day. Roger Federer (2) moved past Sam Groth of Australia. Federer dealt with the 145+mph serves/bombs from Groth with much dexterity and secured the crucial break in each set for a 6-4 6-4 6-4 victory. Groth had this to say after the match, “I was trying not to get caught up in the whole Roger act out there. You walk out, you get a few cheers. He walks out and the crowd goes ballistic … [H]e’s got an aura because of how good his tennis is. Yes, there’s an aura because of what he’s done, but his tennis speaks for itself … I knew I was playing Roger Federer. I was pretty nervous probably all day … I am not happy I lost to Roger. Not saying I could have won, but I enjoyed my experience out there, and I want to be there more often.” Also winning in straight sets was Grigor Dimitrov (7) who knocked out Dudi Sela 6-1 6-2 6-2. Dimitrov is quietly moving through the draw not drawing a lot of attention to himself but playing some great tennis while on court. The fans are definitely eager to see a possible Dimitrov v Federer quarterfinal match here if both players progress to that stage.

Richard Gasquet (12) and his countryman Gael Monfils (20), a huge crowd favourite, got through in 3 sets. Gasquet beat Paolo Lorenzi 7-6 6-3 6-3 and Monfils took out Alejandro Gonzalez 7-5 6-3 6-2. Marin Cilic (14) beat Illya Marchenko 7-6 6-2 6-4. Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut played extremely well against American Tim Smyczek 6-3 6-2 6-1. Smyczek had absolutely no idea on how to effectively deal with the Spaniard’s game despite the crowd’s loudly cheering him on.

There were several players who needed 4 sets in order to get through to the next round. Kevin Anderson (18) rallied after dropping the opening set to Jerzy Janowicz to take the match 6-7 6-2 6-1 6-3. Both Feliciano Lopez (19) and Gilles Simon (26) each won the opening set in their respective mathes but then dropped the 2nd set. They then took the following two sets; Lopez over Tatsuma Ito 6-4 3-6 6-4 7-6 and Simon over Federico Delbonis 6-4 3-6 7-5 6-1.

There were a couple of upsets of seeded players though by no means were they epic losses to the main plot of the US Open. France’s Adrian Mannarino totally dismantled the game of Italy’s Fabio Fognini in straight sets, 6-3 6-4 6-1. Fognini appeared as though he was not quite prepared for the match nor the intensity from Mannarino. Either way, he was dismissed in just under two hours. The Italian made a staggering 64 unforced errors in the match compared to 25 from the Frenchman. Another blowout win was from David Goffin who has been having an incredible summer particularly on the Challenger Curcuit (minor league of professional tennis). His good fortunes continued here as he knocked out Jaoa Sousa (32) 6-4 6-2 6-0. Mannarino and Goffin will also be joined in the 3rd by another surprised entrant, that of Teymuraz Gabashvili who took out his compatriot Alexander Kudryavtsev 6-1 6-4 7-6.

The biggest upset of the day has to be the dismissal of Ernests Gulbis (11) by rising start Dominic Thiem who incidentally is a friend of Gulbis. Gulbis won the opening two sets in routine fashion though he later claimed that it was far from the case, “[S]erve was good the first two sets. I call it low quality because, you know, when I broke him I didn’t play good … [H]e gave it to me.” Nonetheless, Gulbis was leading 6-4 6-3, a two sets to love lead. However, from the 3rd set on, Gulbis began to move gingerly, which he said was due to cramps which at the time in the match he thought was possibly a pulled hamstring. Thiem came back from this huge deficit to take the match 4-6 3-6 6-4 6-3 6-3 in 3 hours and 45 minutes. Gulbis had 78 total unforced errors in the match compared to Thiem with 41.

There were two other 5-setters on the day with surprising results. First up, Tomas Berdych (5) took on Martin Klizan. As always, Berdych’s commitment and concentration were in question in the big matches. He allowed Klizan back into the match after being up 2-1 sets. Klizan won the 4th set but Berdych broke early in the decisive set for a 3-1 lead. He maintained this break advantage to close out the match 6-3 4-6 6-2 3-6 6-3. “The conditions were tough again. You go from day till early evening. You start with the sun, then you end up with the lights. It was quite windy, as well. Really, I mean, he play good, so I’m happy to have that on my belt, to win another five-setter, and just go forward,” Berdych said after the match. Marcel Granollers took out Ivo Karlovic (25) 7-6 6-7 7-6 3-6 6-4. This match started in daylight and ended with the lights which at one point went total blackout.

So the 3rd round matchups for the bottom half of the men’s are as followed: Federer (2) v Granollers; Bautista-Agut (17) v Mannarino; Gasquet (12) v Monfils (20); Goffin v Dimitrov (7); Ferrer (4) v Simon (26); Anderson (18) v Cilic (14); Thiem v Lopez (19) and Gabashvili v Berdych (6).

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Novak Djokovic Confirmed For Olympics But Del Potro Pulls Out After Medical Advice

The Serbian will be bidding to win gold in Tokyo later this year for the first time in his career.

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This year’s Olympic tennis tournament has been given a boost after officials confirmed world No.1 Novak Djokovic will be playing at the Games.

 

The 19-time Grand Slam champion had been contemplating whether to play at the event or not amid ongoing COVID-19 conditions. Djokovic previously said he would reconsider travelling to Tokyo if fans weren’t allowed to attend. Since that comment, organisers have given the green light for up to 10,000 domestic fans to attend Olympic venues. Although foreign fans are banned from attending this year due to the pandemic.

Amid questions over Djokovic’s participation, the Serbian Tennis Federation has told Sportski Zurnal that he has pledged to play. It will be the fourth time the 34-year-old has represented his country in the Olympics. So far in his career, Djokovic has only won one medal which was bronze back in 2008. He also finished fourth in 2012.

“Novak has confirmed his desire to participate in the Olympic Games and we have already sent a list with his name on it to the Olympic Committee of Serbia. It will be forwarded from there,” the Tennis federation told Sportski Zurnal.

As it currently stands Djokovic is on course to achieve the calendar ‘golden slam.’ A rare achievement where a player wins all four Grand Slam titles, as well as the Olympics, within the same year. In singles competition the only person to have ever achieved this was Stefi Graf back in 1988.

“Everything is possible, and I did put myself in a good position to go for the Golden Slam,” Djokovic said after winning the French Open
“But, you know, I was in this position in 2016 as well. It ended up in a third-round loss in Wimbledon. This year we have only two weeks between the first round of Wimbledon and the finals here, which is not ideal because you go from really two completely different surfaces, trying to make that transition as smooth as possible, as quickly and efficiently as possible.
“So obviously I will enjoy this win and then think about Wimbledon in a few days’ time. I don’t have an issue to say that I’m going for the title in Wimbledon. Of course, I am.”

Del Potro’s comeback delayed again

There is less positive news for Juan Martin del Potro, who was the player who beat Djokovic to win a bronze medal back in 2012. The Argentine hasn’t played a competitive match on the Tour since June 2019 due to a troublesome knee injury. Back in March the former US Open champion said playing at the Olympics again was motivating him during his rehabilitation.

However, since then progress has been slower than what Del Potro would have liked. As a result, he has been advised not to play in the event and continue his recovery.

Delpo won’t be able to play the Olympics Games. The knee rehab is going well according to the doctor’s plan but he suggested Juan Martin to go on with his rehab process and training, and skip Tokyo 2020,” a statement from Del Potro’s communication team reads.

Since 2010, the former world No.3 and two-time Olympic medallist has undergone eight surgeries.One on his right wrist, three on his left wrist and four on his knee. He has won a total of 22 ATP titles so far in his career.

The Olympic Tennis event will start on July 24th at the Ariake Coliseum.

RELATED STORY: Why Are So Many Tennis Players Skipping The Olympics?

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Vasek Pospisil dispatches James Ward in Eastbourne

Vasek Pospisil is into the second round at Eastbourne.

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Vasek Pospisil (@TennisCanada - Twitter)

The Canadian won his first match on grass of the year beating the local favourite James Ward.

 

Vasek Pospisil is through to the second round of the Viking International ATP 250 in Eastbourne after beating the Brit James Ward in straight sets 6-4, 6-4 in one hour and 13 minutes on court number two.

“It was a good match, I played pretty well, I thought I served well and he is a tough opponent on grass because he has a tough first serve but I was pretty sharp and played well when I needed to and happy to get the win”.

It was the Canadian who had the first chance to break at 1-1 and he got the early break and that one break was good enough for him to serve out the first set.

The second set was much of the same and actually was identical to the first with the world number 66 getting the break to take a 2-1 lead but faced a breakpoint when consolidating the break.

Again that one break was enough for him to serve out the match and book his spot in the next round. This is Pospisil’s first win since the month and after the match, he spoke about how the last couple of months have been for him.

“It was good I just took a break from the tour just to refresh the mind and the body and I hadn’t seen my family in nine months so it was a good reset and I felt I needed a break to kinda be excited about touring and the covid conditions and now I’m back and I am happy to be back and I am playing well so it was a nice break.”

Pospisil will now face Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the next round after the Spaniard beat the Swede Mikael Ymer in straight sets 7-5, 6-1.

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Daniil Medvedev Searching For Confidence Boost Ahead Of Wimbledon

The two-time Grand Slam finalist says he is not the same player as he was two years ago when he last played Wimbledon.

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When it comes to playing on the grass this year Daniil Medvedev admits that the biggest issue for him might concern the mental side of the sport as opposed to the physical side.

 

The world No.2 kicked-off his grass swing last week in Halle where he was stunned in the first round by Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting the Tour in 2020, that was the first time the Russian had played a match on the surface in almost two years. Short on matches, Medvedev is back in action this week in Mallorca after taking a wildcard into the tournament.

“I like to play on grass, I just need to get some confidence in my game on the surface, because we didn’t play [on it] for two years. Two years ago, I was not the same player as I am right now,” Medvedev told atptour.com. “It is tough for me to say where I see myself, but I know I can play very good on this surface. I just need to find the right balance.”

Since he last played at Wimbledon, Medvedev surged on the ATP Tour by winning six titles with all of them being on a hardcourt. Furthermore, he also reached the final of the US Open in 2019 and the Australian Open this year. He is the first player outside of the Big Four to be ranked in the world’s top two since July 2005.

Despite his previous success on the grass, Medvedev admits he remains wary about playing on the surface and the conditions he may face.

“When I started playing on grass, I played in Challengers and even in [ATP] Tour tournaments on the outside courts, not on the central courts, and I can tell that the central courts are quite slow,” he said. “Especially the match I played with Gilles Simon at Queen’s [Club], we had rallies of 40 shots every second point. That is what makes it a little bit tougher.
“When I practise on practice courts, I feel like I am playing so good as the ball is so fast. Then I come onto the centre court to play the match, and the ball just stops after the bounce, and you have to adapt your game, so it can be tough. But I know I can play really well on grass.”

In Mallorca Medvedev has a bye in the first round. His opening match will be against either South Africa’s Lloyd Harris or France’s Corentin Moutet.

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