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

ATP

‘I Know How To Get There’ – Karen Khachanov Targets Return To Top 10

The world No.31 has showed signs of his talent this season with a run to the Olympic final but a lack of consistency and changes to the ATP ranking system has hindered him too.

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Karen Khachanov - Credit: AELTC/Ian Walton

It wasn’t that long ago when Karen Khachanov was the highest-ranked Russian man on the ATP Tour and billed as the next big thing from his country.

 

A breakout 2018 season saw Khachanov claim three Tour titles with the biggest of those being at the Paris Masters which remains his most prestigious trophy to date. He also reached his first major quarter-final at the French Open during the same season and scored five wins over top 10 players. Those triumphs helped elevate him in the ranking to a high of eight.

However, since that breakthrough Khachanov has found himself on a a rollercoaster journey. He is yet to win another title since Paris but came agonisingly close at the Tokyo Olympic Games where he finished runner-up to Alexander Zverev. In his nine previous Grand Slam tournaments his best run was at Wimbledon this season where he reached the last eight before losing to Denis Shapovalov.

Now ranked 31st in the world, the 25-year-old is aiming to claim back up the ladder after the ATP changed their ranking logic to the method used prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The rankings turned out to be a big pun, it was frozen for a year and a half, only now normal counting has begun. I am not fixated on this,” Khachanov told reporters in Moscow on Wednesday. “My main goal is to get back to the Top10. I know how to get there. And the intermediate goals are to be healthy and motivated.”

Khachanov has been ranked outside the world’s top 20 since February and hasn’t been in the top 10 since October 2019. He is currently coached on the Tour by Jose Clavet who has previously worked with a series of top Spanish players such as Feliciano Lopez, Alex Corretja, Tommy Robredo and Carlos Moya.

“He travels with me everywhere, for which I am grateful to him. I trust him as a specialist, as a coach and as a friend,” Khachanov said of Clavet.

Khachanov has returned to his home country this week where he is playing in Moscow at the Kremlin Cup. A tournament he won three years ago by defeating Adrian Mannarino in the final. Seeded third in the draw this time round, he began his campaign on Wednesday with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-1, win over James Duckworth. In the next round, he faces another Australian in the shape of John Millman which he believes will be a far from easy task.

He is a fighter, a complete player, he does everything well, forehand and backhand with good intensity. He does everything at a good level, but the main quality is that he fights till the end, so it will be hard for me,” he said of his next opponent.

Moscow is the seventh tournament this year where Khachanov has reached the quarter-final stage.

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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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