ATP Shanghai: Close shave for Federer. Nadal and Wawrinka out - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

ATP

ATP Shanghai: Close shave for Federer. Nadal and Wawrinka out

Avatar

Published

on

TENNIS ATP SHANGHAI – On a day of big upsets three top players Stan Wawrinka, Kei Nishikori and Grigor Dimitrov were knocked out in the second round of the Shanghai Rolex Master. Roger Federer had to save five match points to battle past Argentina’s Leandro Mayer at the tie-break of the third set. Andy Murray beat Jerzy Janowicz in straight sets. David Ferrer fought back from a set down to overcome Martin Klizan. Diego Sampaolo

 

On a crazy day with a lot casualties where Stan Wawrinka lost against Gilles Simon, Grigor Dimitrov was upset by Julien Benneteau last week’s Tokyo champion Kei Nishikori lost against Jack Sock and Rafa Nadal was beaten by Feliciano Lopez, only Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray lived up to predictions qualifying for the third round.

Roger Federer, who had not played his first match since he help Switzerland reach the Davis Cup final in the semifinal against Italy in Geneva, had to dig deep to edge Leandro Mayer in three hard-fought sets. The Swiss Maestro had to save five match points to clinch the win with 7-5 3-6 7-6(7) after a thrilling match.

In the opening set Federer went down a break and fell behind 3-5 but he reeled off four consecutive games to clinch the first set with 7-5. Federer had to face a serious challenge when Mayer took a 3-1 40-15 lead. Federer fended off a set point as Mayer served at 5-4 before converted his fifth break point chance when Mayer hit a forehand into the net.

Federer dropped serve again in the first game of the second set but he did not recover and Mayer got a double break to draw level with a 6-3 win in the second set. Mayer won 80 percent of his first serve points in the second set.

The match became a thriller in the tenth game of the third set when Mayer earned two match points at 5-4 40-15. Federer managed to save both. Federer was lucky when a backhand passing shot down the line clipped the tape and fell back on his side of the net. The Swiss saved the second with a forehand down the line. It’s the second tournament in a row that Federer managed to save match points. At the US Open he saved two match points against Gael Monfils in the quarter finals and recovered from two sets down to clinch the win in the fifth set.

Mayer went up 2-0 and 5-2 and earned three more match points at 6-4 and 7-6 but Federer saved them before reeling off three points from 6-7 and converted his first match point with a backhand lob winner to scrape through with 9-7.

Thanks to this win Federer will overtake Nadal moving up to World Number 2 in the ATP Ranking. He will face Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut in the third round. Federer won their previous head-to-head match in three sets at the US Open.

Andy Murray, who won the Shanghai Rolex Master twice in a row in 2010 and 2011, took his second back-to-back win over Jerzy Janowicz with 7-5 6-2 one week after beating the Pole in three hard-fought sets in Beijing

Murray dropped just four points on his serve during the opening set. He earned a break point chance at 3-2 but Janowicz saved it with a forehand. The Polish player, semifinalist at Wimbledon 2013 and finalist at Paris Bercy in 2012, faced another break point in the following game but saved it with a powerful forehand and a volley.

The match went on serve until the final game of the first set. Janowicz served to stay in the set as he was 6-5 down, but Murray earned two break points. He converted on the first to wrap up the opening set when Janowicz hit his forehand into the net

The Dunblane star fended off two break points with aces at the start of the second set before getting the break to take a 3-1 lead. After Janowicz received medical treatment on his ankle when he was 1-3 down, Murray took control of the second set and got a double break in the fourth and in the eighth games to clinch the win. Murray has confirmed his good period of form in the Asian Swing winning nine of his last 10 matches including his first title of the year at Shenzhen and the semifinal in Beijing where he lost against Novak Djokovic.

“You have to play at a high level to win against him. He has not given me any matches when I have played against him”, said Murray

In the third round Murray will take on this year’s Cincinnati finalist David Ferrer who recovered from a set down to battle past Beijing semifinalist Martin Klizan with 4-6 7-6 (7-4) 6-4. It will be an important match for both players who are bidding for a spot in the ATP Finals (9-16 November). Murray and Ferrer are currently ranked number 9 and 10 in the ATP Race to London.

Klizan, who upset Rafa Nadal last week in the quarter final in Beijing, came close to another surprise when he served for the match when he was leading 6-5 against Ferrer in the second set. However the Slovak player dropped serve and then lost the tie-break. Ferrer fended off five break points in the third set before getting a decisive break at 4-4 to clinch the win.

The first big surprise was Giles Simon who rallied from a set down to battle past Stan Wawrinka with 5-7 7-5 6-4. The 2014 Australian Open champion got a break in the 12th game of the opener to win the first set with 7-5. The Swiss player made a lot of forehand errors allowing Simon to win the second set with 7-5 to force the match to the decider. Wawrinka built up a 3-0 lead in the third set but Simon overcame an early break to claim the win after two minutes and 30 minutes. It’s the second week in a row that Wawrinka lost in the opening match after his first round defeat against Tatsuma Ito in Tokyo.

“It wasn’t that I had everything under control. I did two stupid games when I was leading 3-0. I was rushing a little bit. It was not my best day. This year has been tough. It has been an amazing year but it was really tough. It is not easy to stay at the top.”, said Wawrinka

Simon, who reached the semifinals last week in Tokyo, will take on Tunisia’s Malek Jaziri, who eased past China’s World Number 553 Chuhan Wang who upset Fabio Fognini yesterday.

Rafa Nadal, who was diagnosed with appendicitis on Sunday and was not in his best form today when he faced his compatriot Feliciano Lopez who won his third match in eleven years against Nadal with 6-3 7-6 (8-6).

Feliciano got a break to go up 4-2 in the opening set en route to cruising to a 6-3 win in the first set. Lopez won 80 percent of his service points and hit 15 winners to 9 unforced errors. Lopez recovered from 3-5 down in the second set and saved a set point at 5-6 in the tie-break before clinching the win after 1 hour and 44 minutes. Lopez fended off four of the five break points he faced. He will take on John Isner who hit 24 aces to battle past Steve Johnson after two tie-breaks with 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (9-7).

“I hope to have the surgery to remove the appendix at the end of the season. My thought is to play in Basel, Paris and London. In the past few months I have not had the best of luck since Wimbledon. I was playing a very positive year. After that I was unlucky with the wrist. Even today the doctors told me that I was very lucky that I did not have to go for surgery and that I can treat with antibiotics. Pain is under control”, said Nadal

Many fans expected a third round match between Grigor Dimitrov and Kei Nishikori but this section of the draw will feature a match between their two conquerors Julien Benneteau and Jack Sock.

Few people would have bet on a win by Benneteau over Dimitrov, although the Frenchman had recently shown his good form by reaching the final in Kuala Lumpur where he lost to Nishikori. However Dimitrov, who is 11th in the ATP Race to London and is bidding to qualify for the ATP Finals, was upset in straight sets with 7-5 6-3.

Jack Sock knocked out Kei Nishikori 7-6(5) 6-4. The US player hit 13 aces and 80 percent of his service points to put an end to Nishikori’s nine-match winning streak. Unfortunately Nishikori suffered from pain in his hip and lower back. Sock claimed his first win over a top-10 player

“It’s been hurting these couple of matches, maybe two or three matches in Tokyo too. I could not really play my best tennis”, said Nishikori.

Tomas Berdych, runner-up last week in Beijing last week, beat Richard Gasquet 6-3 6-1. Mikhail Youzhny edged Ivan Dodig 7-6(7) 6-7(4) 6-3. Milos Raonic pulled out of the tournament due to illness when Juan Monaco was leading 5-2 in the first set.

ATP

Cincinnati Daily Preview: Brits Andy Murray and Cam Norrie Meet in the Second Round

Avatar

Published

on

A look at Center Court at the Lindner Family Tennis Center (twitter.com/cincytennis)

On Monday, Andy Murray overcame another three-time Major singles champion, Stan Wawrinka, in a three-hour thriller.  In the second round, he meets the new British No.1 Cam Norrie, who reached his first Slam semifinal last month at Wimbledon.

 

WTA action is headlined by three matches between Slam singles champs, which includes world No.1 Iga Swiatek.  Also on Wednesday, Rafael Nadal will play his first match since withdrawing from the Wimbledon semifinals.

Each day, this preview will analyze the two most intriguing matchups, while highlighting other notable matches on the schedule.  Wednesday’s play gets underway at 11:00am local time.


Andy Murray vs. Cameron Norrie – 11:00am on Center Court

Murray will be happy he had a day of rest after his emotionally and physically taxing match against Wawrinka.  He has compiled a solid record of 23-14 this season, with 2022 being his most active year since 2017, when his hip issues began.  But Norrie has taken his place as the top British male, and has really come into his own over the past 18 months.  Cam is now 38-18 this season, and has reached 10 finals since the start of last year.  Their only prior meeting occurred three years ago in Beijing, with Murray prevailing in a long, tight three-setter that lasted nearly three hours.  But three years later, Norrie is a much-improved competitor.  While playing your fellow countryman is often tricky, especially when they’ve been knighted, Cam should be favored to even their head-to-head.


Iga Swiatek (1) vs. Sloane Stephens (WC) – Not Before 3:00pm on Grand Stand

Swiatek is vying for her 50th win of the season on Wednesday, with 37 of those victories coming consecutively between February and July.  But since those 37 wins in a row, Iga is only 3-3, and suffered a frustrating loss last week in Toronto to Beatriz Haddad Maia 7-5 in the third after three hours of play.  Stephens continues to be a streaky player, as the 2017 US Open champion has gone on multiple winning and losing streaks of four matches or more throughout the year.  On Monday night, she crushed Alize Cornet 6-1, 6-0.  Sloane often plays her best tennis in American hard courts, and advanced to the third round or better of this tournament in seven straight appearances between 2012 and 2019.  These two Major champs have never played before.  Stephens could be primed for another win streak, and it would be understandable if Swiatek experienced a dip in her level after all the tennis she’s played this year.  Yet after dominating the tour for most of the year, Iga should still be favored.


Other Notable Matches on Wednesday:

Victoria Azarenka vs. Emma Raducanu (10) – It’s a two-time Australian Open champ against the reigning US Open champ.  Azarenka defeated Kaia Kanepi in three sets on Tuesday, while Raducanu easily prevailed over Serena Williams 6-4, 6-0.

Elena Rybakina vs. Garbine Muguruza (8) – It’s another two-time Major champ against the reigning Wimbledon champ.  Rybakina is 2-2 since her surprising run at The All-England Club, while Muguruza is a subpar 9-13 on the year.  They split two meetings last year, with Elena victorious in the more notable encounter, in the quarterfinals of the Tokyo Olympics.

Taylor Fritz (11) vs. Nick Kyrgios – Fritz started the summer by winning the title in Eastbourne, while Kyrgios was the champion in Washington.  This will be their first career meeting.

Rafael Nadal (2) vs. Borna Coric (PR) – Despite his injury issues, Nadal is a staggering 35-3 in 2022, and 20-1 on hard courts.  Coric missed a full year of action due to shoulder surgery, and is just 12-12 at all levels since returning.  Borna has won two of their four previous meetings, including six years ago at this event.


Wednesday’s full Order of Play is here.

Continue Reading

ATP

Cincinnati Daily Preview: Serena Williams Plays Emma Raducanu, Venus Faces Karolina Pliskova

Avatar

Published

on

Serena Williams practicing on Monday in Cincinnati (twitter.com/cincytennis)

In what is expected to be the next-to-last event of her storied career, Serena Williams will play her opening round match on Tuesday.  And in a blockbuster matchup, she faces reigning US Open champion Emma Raducanu.  Can the 19-year-old defeat the GOAT, or can Serena pull off one more high-profile victory before her career comes to an end?

 

Tuesday’s schedule in Cincinnati features many other top names as well.  Center Court alone also includes Naomi Osaka, Daniil Medvedev, Nick Kyrgios, and Venus Williams, who takes on Karolina Pliskova in a battle between two of the WTA’s all-time best servers.

Each day, this preview will analyze the two most intriguing matchups, while highlighting other notable matches on the schedule.  Tuesday’s play gets underway at 11:00am local time.


Karolina Pliskova (14) vs. Venus Williams (WC) – Second on Center Court

This will only be Venus’ third singles match of the season, as multiple injuries have hampered the 42-year-old in recent years.  Williams has only earned one singles win in the last 18 months.  Pliskova has struggled this season since a hand injury caused her to miss the first two months of 2022.  But Karolina had her best run of the season last week in Toronto, where she reached the semifinals, which included a three-set win over fourth-seeded Maria Sakkari.  Venus and Karolina played three times between 2015 and 2017, with Pliskova taking two of those three encounters.  Their most notable match was in the fourth round of the 2016 US Open, which Karolina won in a third-set tiebreak.  In 2022, Pliskova is a considerable favorite to prevail.


Serena Williams (DA) vs. Emma Raducanu (10) – Not Before 7:00pm on Center Court

This will only be Serena’s fourth singles match of the season, and she’s 1-2 since returning at Wimbledon.  Last week in Toronto, she made a tearful exit from the court after her straight-set loss to Belinda Bencic, as the Canadian crowd gave the 23-time Major singles champion a standing ovation.  With this mini-retirement tour being new territory for Serena, how will she react to what will be a boisterous American crowd on Tuesday?  She’ll surely feel nervous, but Raducanu will as well, as she likely assumed she would never get to play Serena.  Emma has understandably struggled since her shocking, life-changing run a year ago at the US Open, as she’s just 11-14 on the year.  But she’s still played a lot more tennis of late than Serena.  This match was originally scheduled for Monday evening, and reports indicated it was postponed until Tuesday due to an injury concern regarding Serena.  That’s advantage, Emma.  But as we’ve learned over the course of the last several decades, Serena is fully capable of willing her way to victory even when she’s far from her best.


Other Notable Matches on Tuesday:

Naomi Osaka vs. Shuai Zhang – Osaka is just 1-2 this summer, and was forced to retire last week in Toronto due to a back issue.  She is 3-2 against Shuai, though they haven’t played in nearly four years.

Nick Kyrgios vs. Alejandro Davidovich Fokina – Kyrgios has won 14 of his last 16 singles matches, and is on an eight-match win streak in doubles.  Davidovich Fokina is only 4-9 this season on hard courts.

Coco Gauff (11) vs. Marie Bouzkova (Q) – Gauff is now the new world No.1 in doubles, and is on the brink of making her top 10 debut in singles.  Bouzkova has claimed 18 of her last 22 matches at all levels. 

Mackenzie McDonald (WC) vs. Carlos Alcaraz (3) – McDonald was a finalist last year in Washington, but arrived in Cincinnati on a three-match losing streak.  Alcaraz was upset last week in an extended affair with another American, Tommy Paul.  Earlier this year at Indian Wells, Carlitos beat Mackie 6-3, 6-3.

Daniil Medvedev (1) vs. Botic van de Zandschulp – Medvedev needs to win at least two matches this week to ensure he maintains his No.1 ranking.  He’s 2-0 against van de Zandschulp, taking seven of their eight sets contested, all on hard courts.


Tuesday’s full Order of Play is here.

Continue Reading

ATP

Cincinnati Daily Preview: Major Champions Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka Square Off

Avatar

Published

on

Andy Murray practicing this past week in Cincinnati (twitter.com/cincytennis)

For the second consecutive week, a combined ATP Masters/WTA 1000 event is being staged in North America.  This week, it’s the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, Ohio.  The singles draws in American’s heartland are loaded: the ATP draw features 14 of the world’s top 16, while the WTA draw features all 16 top-ranked players.

 

Most notably, Serena Williams will play what is assumedly the next-to-last event of her career, and will face reigning US Open champion Emma Raducanu in the first round.  And Rafael Nadal will play his first match since withdrawing from the Wimbledon semifinals due to his ongoing left foot issues.

Monday’s action is headlined by Major champions Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka, who will play each other for the 22nd time. 

Each day, this preview will analyze the two most intriguing matchups, while highlighting other notable matches on the schedule.  Monday’s play gets underway at 11:00am local time.


Stan Wawrinka (PR) vs. Andy Murray – Third on Center Court

Their rivalry dates all the way back to 2005, when Wawrinka defeated Murray in Davis Cup.  Their most prominent encounter took place in the 2017 Roland Garros semifinals, when Stan outlasted Andy in a five-setter that lasted over four-and-a-half hours.  And neither man has been the same since that grueling battle.  Just weeks later, Murray’s hip problems derailed his career, while Wawrinka would undergo knee surgery.  Both men have now battled multiple serious injuries over the last five years.  Overall Andy is 12-9 against Stan, and 8-4 on hard courts.  Murray has gritted his way to 22 victories this year, while Stan is only 3-7 since returning from foot surgery this spring.  Based on current form, as well as Murray’s history at this event, where he is a two-time champion, the Brit is the favorite on Monday.


Matteo Berrettini (12) vs. Frances Tiafoe – Not Before 7:00pm on Center Court

Berrettini returned from surgery on his right hand in June, and promptly went on a 12-match win streak.  However, he unfortunately missed Wimbledon due to testing positive for COVID-19.  And last week in Montreal, Matteo lost in the opening round, though that one-sided loss to Pablo Carreno Busta doesn’t look quite as bad after Pablo’s fantastic run to his first Masters 1000 title concluded on Sunday.  Meanwhile, it’s been a disappointing year for Tiafoe, who is only 20-17 and has suffered some painful losses.  At Wimbledon, he lost a four-and-a-half hour fourth round match to David Goffin despite having a two-sets-to-one lead.  And just last week in Montreal, Frances was up 4-0 in the third over Taylor Fritz before losing the last six games of the match.  Their only previous meeting occurred four years ago on clay in Rome, where Matteo was victorious in his home country in straight sets.  Can Tiafoe avenge that loss in his own home country?  Frances often excels during night matches in the United States, with his five-set win over Andrey Rublev at last year’s US Open serving as a prime example.  But Matteo has been the much stronger performer for a few years now, and his potent serve/forehand combo makes him the favorite.


Other Notable Matches on Monday:

Amanda Anisimova vs. Daria Kasatkina (9) – Anisimova has reached the second week of every Major this season, while Kasatkina has won 18 of her last 24 matches, which includes a title run this month in San Jose.  Amanda leads their head-to-head 2-0, and dominated Daria 6-2, 6-0 at the beginning of this year.

Jil Teichmann vs. Petra Kvitova – Teichmann was a surprise finalist here a year ago.  Kvitova is only 17-15 this season, though she did win a title on grass in June.  They’ve played three times since last year, with Jil claiming two of those three matches.

Denis Shapovalov vs. Grigor Dimitrov (16) – Shapovalov has now lost nine of his last 10 matches dating back to May.  Meanwhile it’s been over four months since Dimitrov has won more than two matches in a row.  Grigor is 2-1 against Denis, and 2-0 on hard courts.

Sloane Stephens (WC) vs. Alize Cornet – It’s been a streaky season for Stephens, with nine of her 11 victories coming at just two events.  Cornet has achieved two noteworthy results this season: reaching her first Major quarterfinal in Melbourne, and ending Iga Swiatek’s 37-match winning streak at Wimbledon.  This is their first career meeting.


Monday’s full Order of Play is here.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending