US Open: Gilles Simon to play Marin Cilic in 4th Round - UBITENNIS
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US Open: Gilles Simon to play Marin Cilic in 4th Round

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TENNIS US OPEN – All week long, the women have had to answer questions regarding the numerous upsets taking place within their draw. As of today, only 4 of the top 10 seeded women remain in the draw and all 4th round matches have not been completed. However, today, the men’s draw has suffered its first major casualty. Ferrer was dismissed by Simon. From New York, Cordell Hackshaw

 

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All week long, the women have had to answer questions regarding the numerous upsets taking place within their draw. As of today, only 4 of the top 10 seeded women remain in the draw and all 4th round matches have not been completed. However, today, the men’s draw has suffered its first major casualty. David Ferrer (4) was dismissed by Gilles Simon (26) 3-6 6-3 1-6 6-3 in 2 hours and 48 minutes. Simon will take on in the 4th round the ever rising star, Marin Cilic (14) who knocked out Kevin Anderson (18) 6-3 3-6 6-3 6-4.

Coming into this match, Ferrer had a 5-1 lead head to head over Simon. However, four of those victories came on clay where Ferrer’s one of the world’s best. On hardcourts however, the record is 1-1 so this encounter had the potential to be an interesting matchup especially when coupled with the very hot and humid conditions. Both Ferrer and Simon were holding serve with relative ease in the opening set. At 3-3, Simon made a huge push to break Ferrer and was rewarded for his efforts with a 4-3 lead. Ferrer quickly tried to get back on levelled terms but he could not convert on the two break points in the 8th game. Simon extended the lead to 5-3. Serving to stay in the set, Ferrer began to leak errors giving Simon set points. On his first, Simon unleashed a forehand winner to take the set.

Simon extended his lead early in the 2nd set by breaking Ferrer and went up 2-0. Ferrer broke back in the 4th game to level the set. They remained on serve through to the 7th game when Ferrer broke Simon for 4-3. Ferrer then took the set 6-3 to level the match. At this point, one expected Ferrer to take control of this match and Simon to wilt under the pressure of trying to beat a top seed in a major. However, it was Ferrer who went flat in the 3rd set. He won his opening service game but Simon simply raised his play level to something just short of amazing. He was making incredible shots inch perfect on the line. The crowd was with him every step of the way and in about half an hour’s time, Simon won the set for a 2-1 sets lead; 6-3 3-6 6-1.

In the 4th set, it was very clear that the conditions were severely affecting Ferrer. His shorts were soaked through and he had them tucked into the sides of his underwear. “[I]t was a tough match today. There is a lot of humidity, very sun and it was not easy for me. I was not good with my fitness,” Ferrer said after the match. He attempted to get something going on his end but after he was broken in the 6th game to give Simon a 4-2 lead, Ferrer looked like he had had enough. Simon served for the match 5-3 and looked rather tentative in the process but he closed it out for the win. Ferrer had a staggering 52 errors in the match compared to 30 from Simon. Simon had this to say after the match, “I feel it was one of the hardest days for me on the court because it was hot and it was so humid … [T]o play David in this condition is really demanding physically … But then I had more energy; I felt he was in trouble also.”

Simon next plays Cilic, a player who he has never lost to in his career. Cilic came through a tough battle of serves contest against Anderson. With both players relying heavily on his respective serve, this match was not about rallies but about who can be most effective with the serve in these conditions. With the conditions being so humid, it made matters difficult for the server. There were 10 breaks of serves in the match and no tiebreaks. Anderson broke first in the opening set for a 3-2 lead but he could not consolidate the break and it was back even at 3-3. Cilic continued with the momentum to take the set 6-3. Anderson quickly turned things around as he edged out to 5-2 in the 2nd set and ended any hope of Cilic getting back into the set with two monster aces for 6-3.

With the match levelled at a set a piece, Cilic quickly gained a 2-0 lead in the 3rd set but he was unable to maintain this advantage as Anderson broke back for 2-2. Cilic seized the opportunity to break again in the 8th game for a 5-3 lead and served it out for a 2-1 sets lead. In the 4th set, both players remained on serve till the 9th game when Cilic broke for 5-4. He then closed out the match 6-3 3-6 6-3 6-4 in 3 hours. After the match, Cilic noted that the conditions definitely made things difficult for him as well as the missed opportunities he had in the 2nd set to get an early break. There were only 25 aces in the match between the two players. However, Cilic was just a bit more solid on the serve and total game. Cilic won 82% of the points behind his 1st serve compared to Anderson with 65%. Anderson was also making far too many errors in keys moments totalling 53 for the entire match as opposed to Cilic with only 34.

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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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