US Open: Federer survived Hurricane Monfils - UBITENNIS
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US Open: Federer survived Hurricane Monfils




TENNIS US OPEN – When at his maximum potential, there are very few who can survive the onslaught that Monfils can unleash. However, just when the “Gael force” winds were about to blow Federer off course, the 5-time US Open champion somehow was able to sail on to victory 4-6 3-6 6-4 7-5 6-2. From New York, Cordell Hackshaw


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For just over 2 sets, Gael Monfils (20) showed the world once again the true tennis talent he possesses and the unlimited potential to be a great player. Like a hurricane, Monfils is a natural phenomenon that is both beautiful and destructive in motion. When at his maximum potential, there are very few who can survive the onslaught that Monfils can unleash. Monfils arrived in the quarterfinal without dropping a set unlike his opponent, Roger Federer (2). Monfils pulled Federer into his vortex and simply blew him off the court for much of the match. Monfils had cleared a definite path to victory arriving at two match points. However, just when the “Gael force” winds were about to blow Federer off course, the 5-time US Open champion somehow found the eye of the storm where he was able to sail on to victory 4-6 3-6 6-4 7-5 6-2.

In the beginning of the match, it looked as though Federer was going to set the tone of the match with early break point opportunities after a very easy opening service game. Monfils reacted to this early challenge by showing the focus and diligence which have seen him through this tournament. Any hope of him “checking out” of the match as he had done numerously in the past was quickly dispelled when Monfils saved those break points. He was the one fully engaged on the court playing precision tennis whereas Federer was missing wildly. The Frenchman responded to this assault on his serve by breaking Federer for a 3-2 lead. Federer would not see another break point on Monfils’ serve in the set as the Frenchman closed out the set 6-4.

Monfils was looking unplayable at times as he broke Federer to open the 2nd set. Nothing Federer did was having any impact on Monfils’ game other than extend his lead. Monfils was on a different level altogether and Mr. Federer was forced to play the dangerous game of waiting out this long stretch of a “Good Gael Game”. Monfils was overcoming all obstacles in his path including a rolled ankle sustained during the match. Monfils shook it off and continued to chip away at the Federer game. Up 5-3 Monfils broke Federer again to take the 2nd set and a 2-0 sets lead. Monfils said, “[A]t the beginning I feel good, because when you have a tactic or plan, a game plan, stick with.” Federer was unable to get any rhythm going and worst still he was very erratic. In the first two sets, he had 26 errors compared to only 18 from Monfils. In the 2nd set alone, Monfils had 4 unforced errors compared to 13 from Federer. If this trend continued, there was no doubt that Federer was out.

“I knew I could play better tennis, and I knew that once I started to play better I would be in control again. Even though I felt like I was, I had my opportunities, I just couldn’t get the big hit in, you know. And then every time it was a close point, you know. Deuce or whatever, I would miss a forehand by this much … It was a tough first couple of sets and it was actually quite frustrating,” Federer said. He finally broke Monfils to start the 3rd set but Monfils broke back to level the set 2-2. However, Federer found a way to break again and this time hold his serve for 4-2. The momentum was slowly inching over in Federer’s favour. He served out the set at love 6-4 to push the match to a 4th set. Federer again broke early for 2-1 and Monfils was there to get back the break for 2-2.

The real turning point of the match came when Federer was serving to stay in the match down 4-5, Federer began the 10th game making errors and handed Monfils two match points 15-40. “[I]t was one of those moments where you got the back against the wall and hope to get a bit lucky and you hope to play exactly the right shots that you need or that he completely just messes it up. Either way works as long as you get out of it,” Federer said. Federer pulled out some big time tennis and somehow saved those match points.

Monfils perhaps lost his focus there as he allowed Federer to level the set 5-5. Serving to maintain his lead, Monfils served up consecutive double faults to give Federer a break point. Federer did not waste this opportunity as he broke Monfils and served out the 4th set 7-5. Monfils later stated, “I think then my serve was not good, so it let me a bit down again at 5-All. I think maybe I hit a double fault. I think I had a point for 6-5 and could not really quite use my serve.” The match was in a decisive 5th set.

Monfils was winning this match handily and five minutes ago, he had double match points in the 4th set but yet he was in a 5th set. Federer broke early in the 5th set and consolidated the break for 2-0. The momentum shift was swift and Monfils still dazed over his losing that 4th set. Monfils recall this point in the match, “[T]o keep my emotion is fatigue me a little bit. It’s tough to handle it. And then it’s a matter of five minutes. You know, I think I was down five minutes. Roger just jump on me … Those two games came like so quick, and then, you know, it’s tough.” By the time he came to, Federer had broken again and was up 5-1. Now it was Monfils who was serving to stay in the match. The Frenchman was able to win a 2nd game in the set but he could not stop Federer from serving it out for a 4-6 3-6 6-4 7-5 6-2 victory in 3 hours and 20 minutes.

What mostly separated Monfils and Federer in this match were the intangibles; the brilliant start from Monfils, Federer remaining present in the match despite the negative scoreline, playing those two match points in the 4th set and the difference in energy levels in the 5th set. The match statistics show both players fairly even except in two areas, double faults and net play. Monfils had 10 double faults, many of which came at very crucial moments in the match. Federer had only 2. Federer came to the net 72 times and was successful on 53 of those occasions whereas Monfils was 17/23 at net. Monfils himself admitted this advantage for Federer, “[H]e try to come to the net like very often. It was a bit better for him. Then suddenly he start to mix everything. You know, that’s why he’s the greatest player, because he can do everything.” In the semifinal, Federer will play Marin Cilic (14) who beat Tomas Berdych (6) in straight sets 6-2 6-4 7-6.


Daniil Medvedev Backs Djokovic’s Refusal To Disclose Vaccination Status

The Russian shares his view about comments made by Djokovic to a Serbian newspaper earlier this week.




Daniil Medvedev (Garrett Ellwood/USTA)

US Open champion Daniil Medvedev says he agrees with Novak Djokovic that players shouldn’t be forced to disclose information about their medical history amid speculation over the vaccination status of the world No.1.


During a recent interview with Blic newspaper Djokovic refused to reveal whether or not he had been jabbed against COVID-19 which has raised questions over his ability to participate in next year’s Australian Open. According to a government minister, It is expected that only fully vaccinated players will be allowed to enter the country but an official confirmation is yet to be issued. The 20-time Grand Slam champion has hit out at the media over what he believes has been an unfair portrayal of those who have some reservations about the vaccine. Djokovic, who contracted COVID-19 last year, had previously said he didn’t want to be in a situation where he would be forced to have a vaccination.

“There is a lot of division in the society, not only in sports, but in the whole society, between those who have not been vaccinated and have been vaccinated. And that’s really scary. That we fell for discriminating against someone if he wants to decide for himself one way or another, whether he wants to be vaccinated or not,” he told Blic.
“It’s really…I am very disappointed with the world society at this moment and the way in which the media transmit and put pressure on all people. There is too much ambiguity, too much information that is not valid, so it turns out that it is, so it is not, everything changes a lot.”

Medvedev, who beat Djokovic in this year’s US Open final, says ‘likes’ the view of his peer. Speaking to reporters at the Kremlin Cup on Thursday, the world No.2 also said he would not be disclosing his vaccination status publicly. Medvedev was due to Moscow this week but withdrew due to fatigue.

“I liked what Novak said about this. He said the vaccination was a personal matter and he would not be making it public. And I also decided not to disclose medical things,” he said.
“As for Australia: there everyone will see who is vaccinated and who is not. Of course, the players can say that they are injured, but this will be a play on words.’
“I want to play in Australia, that’s all I can say.” He added.

According to Djokovic, Tennis Australia are set to confirm their rules for players wanting to play at the Australian Open at some stage next month.

So far this season Medvedev has won 50 matches and four trophies on the ATP Tour. Besides the US Open, he was also victorious at Marseille, Mallorca and Canada. Earlier this year he became the first player outside of the Big Four to crack the world’s top two since Lleyton Hewitt back in 2005.

The next couple of weeks will be a challenge for the Russian who will be aiming to defend his title at both the Paris Masters and ATP Finals. Looking further ahead, he hopes to one day dethrone Djokovic at the top of the rankings.

“The goal is to win more Slams, become world №1 and be in the top for many more years. For this I train and will continue to do it with even greater dedication,” Medvedev stated. “But again, the main goal is to improve and be demanding of yourself. It’s impossible to win everything, no one won 60 matches in a row, but if you play well, there will be victories.”

However, one obstacle in Medvedev’s way continues to be the Big Three who are a trio made up of Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer that has dominated the men’s Tour in recent years.

“Like everything in life, their dominance will also pass,” he commented. “Roger and Rafa finished the season early, they had injuries, they didn’t play the US Open, that’s a fact. But still, out of the last 20 “slams” 17 or 18 were taken by those three guys. The three of them are the greatest tennis players in history. Due to the fact that they are getting old, it became a little easier for us to play with them, in this regard we were lucky.”

Medvedev is currently 1800 points behind Djokovic in the ATP rankings.

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Andy Murray Blasts Own Performance Following Antwerp Exit

The Brit was far from happy about his latest match in Austria.




Andy Murray (image via

Former world No.1 Andy Murray said he had a ‘poor attitude’ during his second round defeat at the European Open on Thursday.


The three-time Grand Slam champion was knocked out of the tournament in straight sets by second seed Diego Schwartzman who prevailed 6-4, 7-6(6). Murray started the match on good footing by opening up a 4-1 lead before losing five games in a row. The second set was a closer encounter between the two as they exchanged breaks before the Agretianian edged his way to the victory in the tiebreak.

“Mentally, today (Thursday) I was poor,” Murray told reporters after the match. “My attitude was poor on the court and those are two things you can control. If they’re not there, that also will make the decision-making harder.
“You’re not going to get every single one (decision) right in the match, but you also have to be present enough to acknowledge what is actually happening in the points and why you are winning and losing points.”

It was in Antwerp two years ago where Murray won his last Tour title by defeating Stan Wawrinka in the final. Since then it has been a frustrating journey for the Brit who now plays with a metal hip and has also been troubled by other issues over the past year. His win-loss for the season currently stands at 12-11 and he has only reached the quarter-final stage at one event which was in Metz. Murray also reached the third round at both Wimbledon and Indian Wells.

Outlining his plans for the rest of the year, Murray has confirmed that he will play in both Vienna and Stockholm. He also has his sight set on the Paris Masters where he could enter into the qualifying draw if he doesn’t receive a wildcard. Murray is currently ranked 172nd in the world.

“There’ll be a decision on the final Paris wildcard on Monday, but I might even play the qualis there,” he said. “Sport is a results business. Play well or poorly doesn’t really matter if you lose matches. You need to be winning. That’s what I want in the last few tournaments. They are really strong tournaments and there are no guarantees the results will come, but I want to win more matches.”

Meanwhile, Schwartzman will take on America’s Brandon Nakashima in the quarter-finals on Friday. This week the 29-year-old is seeking only his second Tour title on a hardcourt and his first since the 2019 Los Cabos Open in Mexico.

“It was a pleasure to play against Andy,” Schwartzman said in his on-court interview. “We had not played before and he is coming back and every week he is playing better and moving better. I have a lot of respect because when I grew up playing tennis, I was watching Roger [Federer], Rafa [Nadal], Andy and Novak [Djokovic] and right now playing against him, is a pleasure for me.”

Schwartzman is one of only three seeded players to make it through to the last eight along with Jannik Sinner and Lloyd Harris.

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New British No.1 Cameron Norrie Inspired By Compatriot Raducanu

The Indian Wells champion believes Raducanu’s triumph will trigger a new generation of players in the country.




Cameron Norrie ad Indian Wells 2021 (Credits: @BNPPARIBASOPEN on Twitter)

Cameron Norrie says he drew inspiration from Emma Raducanu prior to winning the biggest title of his career at the BNP Paribas Open on Saturday.


The world No.16 stunned the men’s field at the tournament where he had never won a main draw match prior to this year. Norrie defeated Diego Schwartzman, Grigor Dimitrov and Nikoloz Basilashvili to become the first player from his country to win the prestigious title. The run has resulted in him achieving a series of career milestones. After claiming his maiden Masters 1000 title, Norrie has broken into the world’s top 20 for the first time this week and has overtaken Dan Evans to become British No.1.

Norrie credits Raducanu’s US Open run for inspiring him and believes her success is ‘huge for British tennis.’ The 18-year-old became the first qualifier in history to win a major title in New York as she won 10 matches in a row without dropping a set. Her victories include wins over top 20 players Belinda Bencic and Maria Sakkari.

“That was utterly incredible what she did in New York. To come through qualifying and then to go out and just whack every opponent that she had,” he told Sky Sports.
“She won in straight sets and to do that at such a young age. To do it with that kind of confidence and come out and own every match was extremely impressive.
“It will definitely give the girls around her ranking where she was before the US Open a lot of confidence and a lot of belief.
“I was inspired by her triumph in New York. It’s huge for British tennis. I think for sure it’s going to put a lot of rackets in hand for the next generation of younger boys and girls to start playing tennis at home in the UK.”

Norrie himself is currently in the midst of what has been a breakout season for the 26-year-old who was a former top-ranked player in the US during his college years. He ties Novak Djokovic for most appearances in a Tour final this season at six. Three of those finals were on a hardcourt, two on the clay and one on grass. He won his maiden Tour title in July at the Los Cabos Open. Norrie has also scored multiple wins over top 10 players this season for the first time in his career – beating Dominic Thiem in Lyon and Andrey Rublev in San Diego.

“I want to get to world No 1, that’s the ultimate goal. Everyone on my team has the same target. Clearly it’s extremely difficult to do, and there’s a long road ahead. But we set high expectations and we’re going to strive towards them.” Norrie told The Telegraph earlier this week.

Norrie enters the final stretch of the 2021 season with 47 match wins to his name and is within contention of qualifying for the ATP Finals. To put that into perspective, since its inception in 1970 only three British players has ever participated in the event.

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