US Open: Federer Misses Last Chance to Win a Grand Slam Title - UBITENNIS
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US Open: Federer Misses Last Chance to Win a Grand Slam Title

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TENNIS US OPEN – Suddenly, Roger Federer looked older. It wasn’t so much the creases in his face, the age lines. It was the creases in his game. It was the inability to handle Marin Cilic, to whom he never before had lost. Art Spander for bleacherreport.com

 

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

Suddenly, Roger Federer looked older. It wasn’t so much the creases in his face, the age lines. It was the creases in his game. It was the inability to handle Marin Cilic, to whom he never before had lost.

It was the comments after his defeat, the lack of belief to do what he had done for so many matches over so many years, which is make a comeback.

Federer was a lock to make the final of this U.S. Open. The day the draw came out, that’s what we heard. That’s what we wrote.

No road in a Grand Slam tennis tournament is without potholes, obstacles. Every one of those 128 people in a Slam is a consummate professional, a player who at his best or your worst can knock you out.

Yet, at his age, at this stage—and maybe considering he had five victories here, the Broadway of tennis—this Open highway seemed like a thoroughfare for Federer.

He would be there at the end, facing Novak Djokovic in the final. Or so we thought. And he thought.

Djokovic didn’t make it, stunned Saturday by Kei Nishikori. Federer didn’t make either, ripped in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4, in his semifinal by Cilic.

The great chance, with Rafael Nadal not in the tournament and with nobody higher than a 14th seed—that would be Cilic—as an opponent, instead most likely became, at age 33, Federer’s last chance for that 18th Slam.

Father Time keeps sneaking up. So do people such as Cilic, 24, or Nishikori, 24. Nadal is 28. Djokovic is 27. They figure to be in the mix for a good while. Federer does not.

Experience counts in tennis. Speed and quickness count more. It’s a tough time when the mind realizes what the body no longer can accomplish, when the player grasps the awful idea he isn’t the man he used to be, that shots he once reached now go screaming by him.

It all played out on the court at Arthur Ashe Stadium. Cilic, who was 0-5 against Federer—but took him to three sets a couple of weeks ago in Toronto, which may have been telling—not only pounded Federer with his serve, 13 aces, but outplayed him from the backcourt.

Two nights earlier, Federer was down two sets to Gael Monfils and won, as much due to Monfils’ shakiness as Federer’s consistency. So when similarly he was in a 2-0 hole against Cilic, the sellout crowd of more than 23,000 pleaded for Federer to produce. He couldn’t. The fans were bereft. So was Federer.

“I wasn’t as confident this time,” he conceded, “because Marin played more aggressive. He was serving huge. From that standpoint I knew that margins were slim, even though I still believed in my chance.

“I knew this comeback would be tougher, because of the risk he was taking, how big he was serving.”

But Andy Roddick served big. Djokovic serves big. Against them, Federer returned serve adroitly, expertly—not Saturday against Cilic. He almost seemed resigned, acknowledging his days of winning Slams—Federer’s taken only one of the last 19, the 2012 Wimbledon—were at an end.

“I’m really disappointed,” said Federer, “after how well I played this season, especially here also at the tournament. I really felt like I could win the tournament. Obviously, that’s not going to happen.”

And here, at Flushing Meadows, or at the Australian, French Open or Wimbledon, surely it’s never again going to happen. He already changed his training routine, already altered his tactics. He can’t make himself 25 again.

Federer made a marvelous run at Wimbledon this summer, on the grass where he always played spectacularly starting in 2001, reaching the final against Djokovic. In retrospect, it was more an aberration than an indication.

Where do the summers go? One day you’re the kid headed for greatness. Then in the figurative blink of an eye, you’re the veteran, with a family of four children, who is trying to turn the past into the future.

No Federer, no Djokovic, no Nadal, no Andy Murray…it’s a Slam final without any of these players for the first time since the 2005 Australian Open. Change is inevitable in sport. Whatever happened to Pete Sampras or Andre Agassi? Soon we’ll be asking whatever happened to Roger Federer.

In the last year or so, three times Federer was beaten in three straight sets in Slams. Now the number is four, and it’s justified to ask whether his number is up. Whether in the biggest events of tennis he’ll merely be an entrant instead of a contender.

“I’ll give it a go in Australia,” he insisted, meaning the Australian Open, the next Grand Slam, far off in January. “It’s been one of my most consistent Slams. I hope, you know, I get another chance at it. I can’t do more than really try hard, which I am doing.”

What he can’t do is stop the clock from ticking, and so he was asked whether a final without any of the Big Four meant a new generation was taking over.

“You create your stories,” was Federer’s response. “You said the same in Australia. Then we know what happened at the French Open final, Wimbledon final. But this is another chance for you guys (in the press). So you should write what you want.”

What we don’t want is to see the decline of Roger Federer, but it’s underway. He was all but awarded a place in the final of the U.S. Open but was unable to accept it.

Article from bleacherreport.com

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Filip Krajinovic To Skip Australian Open If Required To Quarantine For More Than Five Days

The world No.34 says he ‘sees no reason’ why vaccinated players should have to go through a long quarentine in Australia.

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Image via twitter.com/atptour (Alexander Scheuber)

The second highest-ranked Serbian player in men’s tennis says it would be ‘unacceptable’ for organisers of the Australian Open to require players to quarantine for more than a week if they have been fully vaccinated.

 

Filip Krajinovic has become the first player to publicly state that they will not be prepared to travel to Melbourne at the end of this season if they have to go through strict quarantine measures once again. All the players who participated in this year’s Australian Open were required to be quarantined in a designated hotel for 14 days upon arrival in the country. During their stay they were allowed to use training facilities but that was the only time they could leave the premises unless there was an emergency.

There is no final decision regarding the travel requirements for the 2022 tournament but there are concerns that unvaccinated players may not be allowed to enter the country. The Victorian government recently issued a mandate ordering all essential workers to be vaccinated, including athletes. However, the regional government will not have the final say concerning tennis players arriving in the country with the national government being the ones in charge of that decision.

“They are very rigorous there and honestly, if I have to be in quarantine for 14 days after arriving in Melbourne, I will not go to Australia,” Krajinovic told Serbian newspaper Blic.
“I was vaccinated, I did everything in my power to protect myself and the people around me, so I really see no reason to sit there for 14 days in a room.’
“If they (the organisers) say that after arrival I need, say, five days to be in isolation, that’s OK for me, but anything beyond that is unacceptable to me. With the season ending late, I will have 20 days to get ready and go. Charter flights will be organized again and the last one is planned for December 28 for the players and that is the final date when I can go to Australia. I will see what the final decision from Melbourne will be, so I will cut what is the best thing to do.”

Earlier this week Victoria’s Sports minister Martin Pakula urged players to be vaccinated because it give them ‘the best opportunity to play in the Australian Open.’ It is expected that if unvaccinated players are allowed to attend, they will be subjected to stricter restrictions. This might include a longer quarantine period upon arrival and limitations of where they can go during their stay.

Last year, all of those players had to do their 14 days of quarantine. Right now there looks like there will be different rules for people who enter this country who are vaccinated as against unvaccinated and I don’t think the tennis will be any exception to that.” Pakula told the Sports Entertainment Network (SEN).
“In terms of what rules apply for people to enter Australia, whether unvaccinated people are allowed in at all, I don’t the answer to that yet. That’s going to be the subject of discussion at national cabinet and among the federal cabinet … those rules are not set by state governments.” He added.

Krajinovic is currently ranked 34th in the world and has a win-loss record this season of 18-18. At the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells he reached the second round before falling in straight sets to Daniil Medvedev. His best run so far this year was at the Hamburg Open where he reached the final.

“When we look at the whole of 2021, I played one final, one semifinal, there were good victories, but also worse results,” the 29-year-old commented.

Krajinovic is currently without a coach but is currently in ‘negotiations’ with somebody without elaborating further about who that person is.

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Alexander Zverev Secures Place In ATP Finals With Indian Wells Win

Zverev will be seeking to win the season-ending extravaganza for the second time in his career.

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Alexander Zverev (GER) Credit: AELTC/Edward Whitaker

Germany’s Alexander Zverev has become the fourth player to officially qualify for the ATP Finals after reaching the third round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.

 

The world No.4 defeated America’s Jenson Brooksby 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, in his second round match on Sunday which pushed him over the points threshold to secure his spot in the end-of-season event. It is the fifth year in a row he has qualified for the ATP Finals which he won back in 2018. He is one of only three German players to ever win the title after Boris Becker and Michael Stich.

This year’s tournament will take place in Turin, Italy for the first time in history after being held at The O2 Arena in London for more than a decade. Only the eight highest ranked players are eligible to play in the round-robin tournament which has on offer up to 1500 rankings points for an undefeated champion.

“My first time in Turin. I’ve been to London four times before. London is obviously very special to me because I won there, as well. I think the stadium is incredible, one of the most special events that we had,” Zverev told reporters on Sunday.
“But I also love playing in Italy. I had great success in Italy. I won my first Masters in Rome. I’m looking forward to being there. I’m looking forward to playing in front of the Italian fans. It’s going to be a great week.”

The 24-year-old approaches the final quarter of this season with four titles already won this year. He has won two Masters 1000 trophies, an ATP 500 event in Mexico and a gold medal in singles at the Tokyo Olympic Games. Zverev, who has recorded seven wins over top 10 players, also reached the semi-finals at both the French Open and US Open.

Zverev joins Novak Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas as the players who have qualified for the ATP Finals so far. It is the third straight season the quartet has qualified for the event.

This year’s ATP Finals will get underway on November 14th. Medvedev is the defending champion.

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Denis Shapovalov Advances After Pospisil Retires In Indian Wells

The battle of the two Canadians didn’t go as planned…

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Denis Shapovalov (CAN) Credit: AELTC/Edward Whitaker

Vasek Pospisil faced off against his fellow Canadian Denis Shapovalov in the second round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells and it was the world number 13 who got the win after the Vernon native pulled out due to an injury whilst trailing 0-3.

 

It was a rough start for Pospisil who seemed to struggle with his serve in the opening game of the match and double-faulted twice in a row to give the early break and Shapovalov had no issues consolidating the break.

Shapovalov continued to apply pressure on the Pospisil serve and after saving two breakpoints the world number 68 pulled up after a serve and stopped play, calling for the trainer. He ended up taking a medical timeout off the court and a couple of minutes later returned to court. Pospisil was broken once again and the following game after a couple of returns decided to call it quits.

” It was pretty awful…and if I’m being honest I am shaking a bit…It really sucks I hope it’s nothing serious…He’s a great guy he’s a real warrior he’s fought back from some injuries surgeries to such a great level.” Shapovalov said of his compatriot.

Shapovalov will face 19th seed Aslan Karatsev in the next round after the Russian thrashed Salvatore Caruso 6-2, 6-0.

In the other results of the day sixth seeed Casper Ruud dominated Roberto Carballes Baena 6-1, 6-2, Roberto Bautista Agut beat the Argentine Guido Pella 7-5, 6-3 and Sebastien Korda won an all American battle with Frances Tiafoe 6-0, 6-4.

Finally, Diego Schwartzman needed three sets to beat another American in Maxime Cressy winning 6-2, 3-6, 7-5.

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