ATP Shanghai: Djokovic will clash with Federer in the semifinal - UBITENNIS
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ATP Shanghai: Djokovic will clash with Federer in the semifinal

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TENNIS ATP SHANGHAI – Novak Djokovic beat David Ferrer for the seventh consecutive time with 6-4 6-2 to extend his winning streak on Chinese soil to 29 consecutive matches in China. In his career he collected five titles in the China Open in Beijing and two at the Shanghai Rolex Master. Djokovic set up a blockbuster semifinal against Roger Federer who beat Julien Benneteau 7-6 6-0. Feliciano Lopez will face Giles Simon in the other semifinal. Lopez battled past Mikhail Youzhny 5-7 6-4 6-4. Simon defeated Tomas Berdych 7-6 4-6 6-0. Diego Sampaolo

 

Djokovic broke serve in the second game of the opening set. He had to save two break points at 5-4 before closing it out after 57 minutes. Djokovic hit 16 winners to 18 unforced errors and won 25 of his 33 service points in the first set.

Djokovic broke serve twice in the first game and at 4-2 of the second set and closed out after one hour and 35 minutes. The final score does not reflect the good quality of the match as it featured a spectacular long rally which concluded the first set. Djokovic hit 26 winners against Ferrer’s 11.

Djokovic will face Roger Federer in a blockbuster semifinal on Saturday. Federer beat Julien Benneteau in the fourth quarter final with 7-6 6-0.

The first set came down to the tie-break with no breaks. Benneteau got a mini-break at 2-2 but Federer broke back and won five of the last five points to pull away to a 6.3 lead in the breaker. Federer got the first break of the match in the opening game of the second set and broke twice more. He converted the match point with an ace. In the second set Federer won 25 points to seven for Benneteau. he hit 11 aces and 34 winners

Federer and Djokovic will meet for the 36th time. The Swiss Maestro leads 18-17 in their previous head-to-head matches. They have not squared off against since their epic five-set Wimbledon won by Djokovic. The Serb also won their last clash on hard court in the Indian Wells final. Djokovic has not lost in China since losing to Roger Federer in the Shanghai semifinal in 2010.

Every time we play against each other, it’s a thriller. It’s really a big challenge for both of us”, said Djokovic

Giles Simon beat Tomas Berdych 7-6 (7-4) 4-6 6-0 in just under two and a half hours to advance to his first Master 1000 semifinal since Paris Bercy in 2012. The Frenchman will take on Feliciano Lopez who fought back from a set down to edge Mikhail Youzhny with 5-7 6-4 6-4.

In the first quarter final between Giles Simon and Tomas Berdych the Frenchman earned two break points at 3-3 and 4.4 but Berdych saved them. The first set came down to the tie-break where Simon had to save two set points before taking the win with 7-4. In the first set Berdych hit 28 winners to 38 unforced errors. Simon produced 8 winners to 11 unforced errors.

The second set went on serve until 4-3 for Simon. The Frenchman wasted a break point before dropping his serve in the next game at 4-4. Berdych won the next two games to clinch the second set with 6-4 to force the match to the decider.

Simon cruised to a 3-0 lead with a break in the second set. Simon reeled off 13 points to 2 to win the second set with a bagel. The Frenchman, who beat another top-10 player Stan Wawrinka earlier this week, played in a Master 1000 final once in 2008 at the Mutua Open in Madrid.

“I feel my tennis is coming back. I am finding a better rhythm. I feel physically strong. Tomas is a great player. He is always hard to beat. I almost played the perfect match”, said Simon.

Simon set up a semifinal match against Feliciano Lopez who fought back from a 5-7 2-4 to overcome Mikhail Youzhny with 5-7 6-4 6-4. In the first set the Russian player broke serve before saving two tie-break points.

Youzhny got a break lead but he was broken back when he was leading 4-3. He faced a set point as he was serving at 4-5. Lopez clinched the decisive point with a backhand passing shot to take the second set and and forced the match to the third set.

Lopez led 4-1 in the third set and served for the match at 5-3. Lopez went down 0-40 as he was serving for the match. He saved two break points with his serve but he made a double fault on the third. Youzhny faced a match point as he was serving at 4-5. Lopez hit a passing shot to convert his first match point on Youzhny’s serve at 4-5 30-40 after two hours and three minutes.

Lopez hit 35 winners to 40 unforced errors. Youzhny produced 27 winners to 43 unforced errors.

Lopez will play his third semifinal in Shanghai after losing to Rafael Nadal in 2009 and David Ferrer in 2011. I twill be his second Master 1000 semifinal of the year after Toronto last August

“It’s a great feeling to be in the semis of a Master 1000. I always play my best tennis here”, said Lopez

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Injured Rafael Nadal Ousts Fritz In Wimbledon Thriller

The world No.4 is through to the semi-finals but there are new doubts over his current health.

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Rafael Nadal has kept his chances of achieving a calendar slam alive by defeating American Taylor Fritz in a dramatic quarter-final match at Wimbledon where he struggled with injury. 

 

The second seed took a medical time out during the second set but continued to battle to a sensational 3-6, 7-5, 3-6, 7-5, 7-6(10-4), win over Fritz. Two days ago Nadal was seen wearing tape on his abdomen but refused to go into details when asked by reporters. Although it was clear that this issue is ongoing with the Spaniard crouching over a couple of times after serving in pain. 

“The body is generally fine. Of course, in the abdominal area, something is not going well. I had to find a way to serve a little bit differently,” said Nadal. “I was thinking during a lot of moments that I would not be able to finish the match but the energy (of Center Court) was something else.”

In the roller-coaster encounter, 19 breaks of serves occurred throughout the marathon match. During the gut-busting 260-minute showdown Nadal saw plenty of chances come and go. In each of the first two sets, he had a break advantage before losing them. He also failed to maintain a break advantage in the decider before coming through in the tiebreak. Nevertheless, he managed to come out on top with the help of 5 aces and 55 winners. 

“I enjoy playing these kinds of matches in front of you guys (the crowd),” the Spaniard continued. 
“It has been a tough afternoon against a great player. All the credit to Taylor, he has been playing great the whole season.’
“From my side, it was not an easy match and I am happy to be in the semifinal.”

The triumph is a bitter pill for Fritz to swallow who was bidding to become the youngest American man to reach the last four at Wimbledon since 2005. Until now he had been on an eight-match winning streak.

As for Nadal, he is through to his eighth Wimbledon semi-final and 38th at a major event. He is now 8-0 when it comes to playing quarter-final matches at the tournament.

Amid concerns over the abdomen, Nadal now has only two days to recover in time for his blockbuster showdown against the formidable Nick Kyrgios who came through his match in straight sets against Cristian Garin. Nadal leads their head-to-head 6-3 and has won their two previous meetings at SW19.  

“I hope to be ready to play it,” he said of the semi-final.
“TNick is a great player on all surfaces, especially on the grass. He’s having a great grass-court season and it’s going to be a great challenge. I need to be one hundred percent.”

At the age of 36 Nadal is seeking to reach his first Wimbledon final since 2011.

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“I Thought The Ship Had Sailed’ – Nick Kyrgios Reaches Maiden Wimbledon Semis

The 27-year-old reacts to achieving a new milestone in his career.

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Nick Kyrgios (AUS) - Credit: AELTC/Jonathan Nackstrand

Nick Kyrgios has achieved his best-ever result at a Grand Slam tournament after beating Cristian Garin in straight sets in the quarter-finals at Wimbledon. 

 

Kyrgios, who was playing in the last eight of the tournament for the first time since 2014, rallied to a 6-4, 6-3, 7-5(5) win over his Chilean rival. Becoming the first player from his country to reach the last four of the men’s draw since Lleyton Hewitt did so back in 2005.  


”I felt I was playing on the back foot a lot. He’s a hell of a player,” Kyrgios said afterward. “He’s obviously very confident. Hell of a tournament for him to make the quarter-finals. I got lucky on a couple of break points here and there. It could have been him standing here (giving the winner’s interview).”

In what was a largely controlled match from Kyrgios, he produced a total of 17 aces alongside 35 winners against 29 unforced errors. There were the occasional outbursts and criticism of the lines officials but it was by nowhere as controversial as his previous encounters against Stefanos Tsitspas in the third round and Paul Jubb in the first.

The breakthrough comes during what has been a turbulent career. Kyrgios has been a player involved in many controversies and was at one stage issued with a suspended ban from the Tour due to unsportsmanlike conduct. However, his talent was never doubted but many were unsure if he could be consistent enough to have a deep run at a major event. He once was at a pub until 4 am on the same day he was due to play Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon.

“It was an amazing atmosphere out here (on court one). I never thought I will be in the semifinal of a grand slam. I thought my ship had sailed.” He admits. 
“I didn’t go about things earlier in my career great and I may have wasted (time).’
‘I’m really proud of the way I’ve come back out here with my team and with that performance.”

As one of the few top 100 players who travel without a coach, Kyrgios paid tribute to those around him. 

“I don’t have a coach I would never put that burden on someone,” he jokes.
“Each and every one of my team plays an important role. I feel like nobody knows my tennis better than I do. I’ve been playing this sport since I was seven and to be in the semi-final of a slam I am pretty happy.”  

Kyrgios is the lowest-ranked Wimbledon semi-finalist since 2008.

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Why Cameron Norrie’s Historic Run To The Wimbledon Semi-Finals Is No Fluke

The Brit has already proved his worth on the ATP Tour, it was only a matter of time before he did so at the majors.

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image via twitter.com/wimbledon

Cameron Norrie joins a small contingent of British men to have ever reached the semi-final of a major after coming through a dramatic five-set epic against David Goffin at Wimbledon.

Spurred on by an animated crowd, the ninth seed battled from behind to win 3-6, 7-5, 2-6, 6-3, 7-5, against the former top 10 player. In doing so the 26-year-old has become only the fourth British man in the Open Era to reach the last four of the grass-court major and the seventh to do so at any Grand Slam. 

 

“To just be a semifinalist of a slam, especially this one, living just around the corner. It’s just all pretty crazy and all happened pretty quickly.” Said Norrie. 

A former college standout player for Texas Christian University, Norrie’s Grand Slam breakthrough has been one in the making. Last year he achieved his best-ever season with a win-loss record of 52-25. During that year he contested six tour finals across three different surfaces, winning two titles. The most prestigious being Indian Wells.  His coach, Facundo Lugones, was recognized for his work by being named ATP Coach of the Year.

Norrie’s 2021 wasn’t a one-off with him continuing his form into this year. Winning the Delray Beach Open in February and Lyon in May. More recently, he was runner-up at Queen’s to Matteo Berrettini who is absent from the tournament after testing positive for COVID-19

“When I was a kid watching guys on TV making the (Grand Slam) quarterfinals and thinking, ‘Wow, this looks so tough to do, and there’s almost zero chance I’m going to do that.’ But to actually be doing it, to be living it and experiencing it is very cool and pretty crazy.”

Until now the Grand Slams have been where Norrie has failed to shine. It was visible how much the latest Wimbledon win meant to the world No.12 who struggled to hold back his emotions whilst speaking during his on-court interview.

“All the hard work, the sacrifices and everything just kind of all hit me at once. Especially the situation here at Wimbledon in front of my family, my friends, and obviously a lot of people following that match.” Norrie explained.
“Thinking back about all the hard work, the sacrifices and everything was just…. I didn’t really know what to say. It got emotional there. (It was) just a crazy day and crazy match to get through.”

Standing in his way of becoming the first home player since Andy Murray to reach the Wimbledon final is Novak Djokovic. The top seed ousted Jannik Sinner in five sets earlier in the day.

“He has nothing to lose. Every victory from now onwards is a big deal for him. I know that.” Said Djokovic.
“But I practiced (with him) a few times. I know his game well. He’s been around. Of course, I will do my homework and get ready.”

Looking ahead to his showdown with the 20-time Grand Slam champion, Norrie describes playing him as one of the ‘toughest’ tasks in the sport. He first played Djokovic at last year’s ATP Finals in Milan where he lost 6-2, 6-1. Although the Brit believes he has learned a lot from that match and will be seeking tips from a former Wimbledon Champion as well. 

“Andy (Murray) has been super supportive to me and my team. I’m always practicing with him and always reaching out to him for ideas. He’s super supportive with us,” he said.
“I think he’s not a bad guy to ask about some tactics. I’m going to enjoy today and maybe reach out to him and see what he’s got.”

Norrie’s win-loss record against top 10 players in his career currently stands at 4-23. 

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