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

Thomas Musters Hints At Conflict With Thiem After Sudden Axe From Team

The unexpected move by Thiem has left more questions than answers.

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Australian tennis legend Thomas Muster has seemingly suggested that a difference in opinion was behind his sudden departure from Dominic Thiem’s team after just two weeks.

 

On Saturday the world No.5 unexpectedly confirmed that the former French Open champion has left his team. Exactly 18 days after Thiem said during a press conference at the ATP Cup that the two have arranged a ‘working relationship.’ The announcement followed Thiem’s four-set win over Taylor Fritz in the third round of the Australian Open.

“We ended our working relationship,” He told Austrian reporters in Melbourne. “It did not fit. It’s easy like that. It is just about work. We get along well personally, and we said in the beginning, if anything is not all right we will tell each other.”

Questions are left remaining about what the exact reason for the two to go their separate ways. Especially given their short period spent working together. Both have been coy on the subject, but Muster has shed some light during an interview with Eurosport.

Speaking with fellow former world No.1 Becker, Muster said he was initially expecting to be working with Thiem for a two-year period. Adding to the mystery, the 52-year-old fuelled further speculation when he gave a cryptic insight about the two-time French Open finalist. Who had previously said that his career was to emulate and surpass Muster’s career achievements.

“To be honest, I have seen myself in this role for the next two years.” He told Becker.
“Why he chose differently…l I know why, but I don’t want to say the details.’
“It’s like this. There are houses which look nice from the outside, wonderfully from the outside, but you rarely know who lives inside.”

Speaking about Thiem’s performance on the court, Muster believes there are still areas of his game that requires further improvement. Last year the 26-year-old won five titles on the ATP Tour, including his first at Masters level. Something that was only matched by Novak Djokovic.

“He’s a fine guy and likes to learn a lot,” he told Eurosport.
“But he has also got some shortcomings, he has to work on if he wants to be at the top. He has improved a lot, but he to catch up in the technical, physical and foremost in the mental area.”

Muster isn’t the only former professional with a view that Thiem needs to improve. Mats Wilander recently called on the tennis star to improve his attitude on the court.

Thiem will play fifth seed Gael Monfils in the fourth round of the French Open on Monday.

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Injury-Stricken Juan Martin Del Potro Suffers New Blow And An Uncertain Future

There is more bad news for fans of the former world No.3 and his hopes of a return to tennis.

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Hopes of Juan Martin del Potro returning to the tour in the coming weeks have ended after it was announced that he will undergo further surgery on Monday.

 

The former US Open champion hasn’t played a competitive match since June after fracturing his right kneecap at the Fever-Tree Championships in London. The same one he also hurt towards the end of the 2018 season. Shortly after his mishap the Argentine underwent surgery in Barcelona in an attempt to fix the issue and have been undergoing rehabilitation ever since.

Unfortunately for the former top-five player, the surgery hasn’t been a success with him continuing to have pain in the region. In an official press release published on Sunday, it was confirmed that the issue is affecting the Argentine in everyday tasks such as walking up a flight of stairs. As a consequence, Del Potro will have yet another operation on his knee in Miami.

“We want to update you that after long weeks of inter consultations in Argentina, Europe and the United States, most doctors have come to the conclusion that a new intervention in the right knee of Juan Martin del Potro is necessary.” A statement reads.
“After analyzing the options, Delpo trusted Dr. Lee Kaplan to perform the surgery scheduled for Monday, January 27th in Miami.”
“We hope that this is the definitive solution to eliminate the pain that not only has prevented Delpo from playing tennis, but also making it difficult for him to perform daily activities.”

Speculation over the future intentions of the 31-year-old started earlier this week when he withdrew from the Delray Beach Open. The tournament were where he was set to make his comeback next month.

During his rehabilitation, Del Potro has sought various treatments. Including types of diets, training and trips to specialists. All of which failed to deliver the desired outcome and forced him to undergo surgery.

“Thank you for your patience and for understanding that these past weeks we have taken our time before communicating his next steps. The situation is never easy when it comes to the physique of an athlete and, more importantly, the health of a person.” Team del Potro said.

The latest revelation has cast concerns over Del Potro’s future career. Who at one stage said he was unsure if he would be able to continue playing due to his knee injury (prior to his first surgery). It is the latest setback for the injury-stricken player who have also been forced to undergo four wrist surgeries.

So far in his career, Del Potro has won 22 ATP titles and has been ranked as high as third in the world last year.

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Milos Raonic reaches the Australian Open quarter finals for the fifth time in his career

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Milos Raonic beat Marin Cilic 6-4 6-3 7-5 to advance to the quarter final at the Australian Open for the fifth time in his career and for the second consecutive year. The Canadian player has advanced to the quarter final for the tenth time in his career at Grand Slam level.

 

Raonic saved an early break point with a big serve and hit a backhand down the line to force an error to break in the 10th game closing out the first set 6-4.

The former Wimbldon finalist and eight-time ATP Tour champion hit a backhand return winner in the second game to open up a 2-0 lead in the second set.

Cilic brought up two set points on Raonic’s serve in the 10th game of the third set, but Raonic fended them off with three serves. Raonic got a break in the 11th game at 15 and sealed the win on his first match point with an ace.

“It feels pretty good. I have got to say. I can’t complain about it and I am just happy with how things are going. I am happy I have another chance to play in two days here and it’s been an exciting tournament for me so far, but hopefully there are more exciting things ahead. I did a lot of things really well, and I had the idea of how I wanted to play. I was happy I could execute and live up to that”, said Milos Raonic in the post-match interview.

 

 

 

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