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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Roger Federer’s Team8 Considering Bid To Buy Cincinnati Masters Rights From USTA

The potential move has gained support from one former world No.1 player who says ‘it is nice to see responsible names’ in the mix to buy the prestigious event.

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Roger Federer Wimbledon 2021
Roger Federer (SUI) playing against Adrian Mannarino (FRA) in the first round of the Gentlemen's Singles on Centre Court at The Championships 2021. Held at The All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon. Day 2 Tuesday 29/06/2021. Credit: AELTC/Jed Leicester

It is understood that sports and entertainment company Team8 which was co-founded by Roger Federer is looking into potentially submitting an application for ownership of the Cincinnati Masters, according to two sources.

 

Sports business publication Sportico and Steve Weissman from The Tennis Channel have both reported that the business is among a number of interested parties who want to buy the event that is best known as the Western and Southern Open. In February this year it was confirmed that the USTA is selling their 93.8% stake in the tournament for a ‘nine-figure sum.’ It is understood that the organization doesn’t want the event to be relocated from Cincinnati in part of any deal.

“The USTA’s Board of Directors believes now is the right time to explore potential strategic options and alternatives in order to optimize the long-term growth of the tournament and take the tournament to the next level,” the USTA said in a statement published by tennis.com.

The USTA brought the rights to the men’s event back in 2009 for $12.5M and has since spent an additional $65M. Whilst Cincinnati is a combined tournament, the ongoing negotiations only apply to the men’s section. The women’s tournament is overseen by Octagon management.

Neither Federer or a member of Team8 have commented on the reported plans. The company was founded by the 20-time Grand Slam champion and his agent Tony Godsick back in 2013. Since then they have been involved in the creation of the Laver Cup, became a ‘major investor’ in the Universal Tennis system and are a ‘strategic investor and partner’ to On Running.

Should Team8 become the new owners, questions may arise about conflicts of interest with Federer still being an active player on Tour. The 40-year-old is currently sidelined from action due to a knee injury but is aiming to stage a comeback at the Swiss Open later this year. However, former world No.1 Andy Roddick has given his full backing to the possible takeover.

“In the world of tennis, where conflicts of interest know no bounds at all, Roger can do this. He has, obviously, been a great steward for the game and has created an incredible relationship with the fans in the city of Cincinnati. You’d like to see it stay in the tennis family with someone who actually knows and loves our sport.” Roddick told The Tennis Channel.

Federer has won the Cincinnati Masters a record seven times in his career.

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Daniil Medvedev ‘Happy To Play Wimbledon’ If Ban Is Lifted

The world No.2 says he is willing to speak with other players about the situation ahead of his return to action following surgery.

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Daniil Medvedev (RUS) in action against Jan-Lennard Struff (GER) in the first round of the Gentlemen's Singles on No.1 Court at The Championships 2021. Held at The All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon. Day 2 Tuesday 29/06/2021. Credit: AELTC/Edward Whitaker

Daniil Medvedev says he is still hopeful that he might be able to play at this year’s Wimbledon Championships should officials at The All England Club decide to change their stance.

 

At present the reigning US Open champion will not be allowed to play at the grass court major due to his nationality. Officials at the Grand Slam have confirmed that Russian and Belarussian players have been banned from the event due to the war in Ukraine. Ian Hewitt, who is the chairman of The AELTC, said the action was taken in order to prevent ‘the propaganda machine of the Russian regime’ from potentially benefiting from their players’ success.

The ban is a controversial move for the sport which until now had a united approach when it came to allowing those players participate in tournaments but only as neutral athletes. Former Wimbledon champions Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokopvic and Andy Murray have all expressed some degree of opposition to the decision. Meanwhile, the ATP and WTA are considering the possibility of removing the allocation of ranking points at the event.

Speaking about the ban ahead of this week’s Geneva Open, Medvedev acknowledges that it is a ‘tricky situation’ but is still hopeful that a u-turn could occur which would allow him to play. The 26-year-old has made four main draw appearances at Wimbledon with his best result being a run to the fourth round last year.

“There has been a lot of talk around it. I just tried to follow what’s happening because I don’t have any decisions to make. It’s right now about Wimbledon itself, the ATP, maybe the British government is involved,” news agency AFP quoted Medvedev as telling reporters in Switzerland.
“It’s a tricky situation and like every situation in life, you ask 100 players, everybody’s going to give a different opinion.
“I can play: I’m going to be happy to play in Wimbledon. I love this tournament.
“I cannot play: well, I’m going to try to play other tournaments and prepare well for next year if I have the chance to play.”

The former world No.1 has been among a group of Russian players who have previously called for peace in the region. Although none of them have gone as far as publicly condemning the actions of their government. Something which has drawn criticism from Ukraine’s Elina Svitoliva.

“I had some time to follow what is happening, yeah, it’s very upsetting,” Medvedev commented on the war.

Geneva will be the first event Medvedev has played in since reaching the quarter-finals of the Miami Open. He took time away from the Tour to undergo hernia surgery but has confirmed he intends to play at next week’s French Open despite his lack of match play on the clay.

During his time at those events, the tennis star says he is more than happy to speak with other players about the Wimbledon ban should they want to.

“Since I haven’t been on the tour, I haven’t talked to any of them face to face. It was the first time when I came here on Saturday when I can talk to players, and if they start talking about this, we can discuss,” he said.
“I don’t know exactly what’s happening, what’s going to happen, if there are going to be more decisions made.
“Same about Wimbledon. I don’t know if this decision is 100 percent, and it’s over.”

Granted a bye in the first round, Medvedev will start his Geneva campaign against either Richard Gasquet or John Millman.

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Conquering the world: Carlos Alcaraz beats Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic to cement Barcelona-Madrid titles (Part Two)

Carlos Alcaraz will now look to translate his success from the ATP Tour to Roland Garros.

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Carlos Alcaraz (@MutuaMadridOpen)

In part one, I assessed how Spanish teenager Carlos Alcaraz continues to take the tennis world by storm after his victory in Barcelona.

 

Now I turn my attentions to his success in another famous Spanish city.

Madrid Masters victory

Alcaraz again began his Madrid Masters campaign in style, beating the dangerous Georgian Nicoloz Basilashvili in straight sets.

A stern test came in the form of Britain’s Cameron Norrie, who pushed the birthday boy that day to three sets.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CdMSI6uKJZB/?igshid=MDJmNzVkMjY=

Alcaraz moving through 6-4, 6-7 (4-7), 6-3 to set up a blockbuster quarter-final clash with his idol Rafa Nadal.

Now, some context is needed that the 21-time Grand Slam was appearing in his first tournament back since recovering from a rib injury.

An opening round win against Serbian Miomir Kecmanović was backed up with a tight three-set triumph over Belgian David Goffin, with the veteran Spaniard saving four match points.

To his credit, Nadal pushed his young apprentice all the way, before going down 6-2, 1-6, 6-3, with the second set showing his obvious quality, despite being partially fit.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CdOP5Jtg2Pn/

If this moment was a changing of the guard in Spanish tennis, then Alcaraz’s impressive win over Novak Djokovic could point to the man who may dominant the future of tennis.

The world number one was fortunate to play a match less, after the shock withdrawal of old rival Murray in the third-round.

https://www.instagram.com/tv/CdRFDuFgIHv/?igshid=MDJmNzVkMjY=

But he was no match for the imperious Alcaraz who triumphed at front of the delighted home support, 6-7 (5-7), 7-5, 7-6 (7-5).

The first player ever to beat Nadal and Djokovic back-to-back on a clay court in the history of tennis.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CdQ4yADqinS/?igshid=MDJmNzVkMjY=

And Alcaraz made it a highly commendable 5-0 in finals, destroying Germany’s Alexander Zverev 6-3, 6-1, with little challenge unlike the previous encounters with Norrie, Nadal and Djokovic.

James Spencer (Twitter: @jspencer28) – Alcaraz Verdict

In truth, I had a sneaky feeling that Alcaraz would triumph in Barcelona.

The way he is playing with such finesse and confidence, particularly against the Monte Carlo Masters champion, Stefanos Tsitsipas, was incredible to see.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CdQ4yADqinS/?igshid=MDJmNzVkMjY=

Saving match points against Alex de Minaur, also showed his mettle.

He also has an unbelievable shot selection and fitness levels.

Beating Nadal and Djokovic back-to-back is no easy feat.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CdRGhGyq64J/?igshid=MDJmNzVkMjY=

Often just one win knocks the stuffing out of you, mentally and physically, but not for this kid.

Alcaraz doesn’t get carried away. And this has been shown consistently this season.

Winning the Miami Masters could have led to a drop in motivation, yet he has looked even more motivated if anything.

He’s performed on hard-court and clay court surfaces with an assuring dominance.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CdRDN0Hq_zY/?igshid=MDJmNzVkMjY=

In fact, he is unbeaten on clay this season, losing three times in total all season.

Matteo Berrettini in five at the Australian Open.

Nadal in the semis of Indian Wells in a tight three sets, that ultimately injured the elder Spaniard, which could have ramifications on his entire fitness this season, and the destination of the French Open trophy.

And a close three-set defeat to up and coming youngster Sebastian Korda in Monte Carlo.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CdTpZI6o1kX/?igshid=MDJmNzVkMjY=

The new world number six must surely be the new favourite to WIN the French Open later this month.

Skipping the Italian Open should help the 19-year-old heal any niggling injuries.

If he does win in Paris, he will be the youngest Grand Slam champion since you guessed it, Nadal.

Only time will tell.

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