ATP Shanghai: Ferrer stops Murray. Federer and Djokovic into the quarter finals - UBITENNIS
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ATP Shanghai: Ferrer stops Murray. Federer and Djokovic into the quarter finals

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TENNIS ATP SHANGHAI – David Ferrer fought back from a set down to overcome Andy Murray with 2-6 6-1 6-2 in the third round of the Shanghai Rolex Master to boost his chances to qualify for the ATP Finals in London. Roger Federer beat Roberto Bautista Agut 6-4 6-2. Novak Djokovic was forced by Mikhail Kukushkin to the third set before prevailing with 6-3 4-6 6-4. Diego Sampaolo

 

Murray, who beat Ferrer in the Shanghai final in 2011, got off to a good start in the first set where he broke serve in the opening set and dropped just four points on serve. The Dunblane player got a double break to seal the first set in 36 minutes. However the match changed completely in the second and the third sets. Ferrer got a break lead in the second set to cruise to a 6-1 win in the second set to force the match to the decider. The Spanish player cruised to a 5-2 lead with a double break to seal the win. Murray won just three of his 18 points on the second serve in the second and the third sets.

Murray still leads 7-6 in his head-to-head matches against Ferrer, although the Spaniard broke a two-match losing streak.

Ferrer overtakes Murray in the ATP Race to London in ninth place with 3715 points ahead of the Scotsman who is ranked 10th wit 3655 points. Ferrer is just 35 points behind Number 8 Milos Raonic who is currently eighth with 3750 points. Murray’s hopes to qualify for the ATP Finals in London are now slim, although he has not lost all his chances. If Murray had beaten Ferrer, he would have moved to within of the eighth place

“I needed to play my best tennis. This match was very important for both players. Today was a good victory”, said Ferrer

“He barely missed a ball for a set and a half. I couldn’t find a way around him. He just played great tennis, especially the last set and a half. At the beginning of the second set I still had a couple of opportunities, but after that I have got to give it to him. He played fantastically well and deserved to win”, said Murray

Ferrer will face Novak Djokovic who had to fight hard to battle past Mikhail Kukushkin in three sets with 6-3 4-6 6-4 to extend his winning streak on Chinese soil to 27 match wins in a row, including the five titles in Beijing and the two trophies won at the Shanghai Rolex Master in 2012 and 2013.

Djokovic broke serve in the eighth game of the opening set to take a 5-3 lead and held serve to 15 in the final game to wrap it up after 31 minutes.

Kukushkin played aggressively from the baseline and won the first three games of the second set to take a 3-0 lead in the second set before pulling away to 5-2. Djokovic fended off a set point at 2-5 30-40 before breaking serve for 4-5. The Kazakh player hit a forehand winner to convert on his third set point to force the match to the decider. Kukushkin broke the losing streak of 13 consecutive sets won by Djokovic in their previous head-to-head matches.

In the fifth game of the third set Kukushkin saved two break points before Djokovic converted on his third chance to take a 3-2 lead. Djokovic won 81 percent of his first service points in the third set.

Djokovic leads 12-5 in his previous head-to-head matches against Ferrer and has not lost against the Valencia native since the 2011 ATP Finals.

“I congratulate him for fighting. I am really glad to come out as the winner and stay mentally strong. I won because I fought my way through”, said Djokovic

Roger Federer eased past Roberto Bautista Agut with 6-4 6-2 one day after surviving “the great escape” in the second round match against Leonardo Mayer where he had to save five match points. In comparison to yesterday’s match, the third round match against Bautista Agut looked like a routine win for Federer. The Swiss legend wasted five break point chances before converting on his sixth opportunity to 15 in the 10th game to convert on his first set point with 6-4 after 42 minutes.

In the second set Federer cruised to a 3-0 lead before saving the only break point chance he faced at 4-2. Federer cruised to 5-2 before sealing the win as Bautista Agut hit his backhand return into the net. In the quarter finals Federer will face Frenchman Julien Benneteau who advanced to the quarter final with his 6-3 6-4 win over Jack Sock. Federer leads 5-2 in his head-to-head matches against Benneteau who won their last hard-court match in Rotterdam in 2013 with 6-3 7-5. Benneteau also qualified for the doubles semifinals teaming up with Edouard Roger-Vasselin. The French team beat Alexander Peya and Bruno Soares 3-6 6-3 10-7.

Tomas Berdych beat Ivo Karlovic 6-3 6-4 to advance to the quarter finals where he will face Frenchman Giles Simon who continued his good period of form winning in straight sets over Tunisia’s Malek Jaziri with 6-2 6-3 in one hour and 14 minutes.

Berdych could overtake US Open champion Marin Cilic at Number 6 in the ATP Race to London if he beats Simon tomorrow. The Czech player, runner.up in Beijing, is just 45 points behind Cilic who lost in the first round of the Shanghai Rolex Master against Karlovic last Monday

Berdych, who reached the semifinal in Shanghai in 2012 converted on his second break point chance in the sixth game of the first set to take a 4-2 lead. Berdych did not face a single break point chance in the whole match and closed out with 6-3 6-4.

Giles Simon, who beat Stan Wawrinka in the second round yesterday, got a double break in the first set for 4-1 and 5-2. Jaziri earned two break point chances in the first game of the second set but Simon saved them. The Frenchman broke serve in the sixth game of the second set to pull away to 4-2 and closed the match on his serve.

Mikhail Youzhny recovered from a set down to battle past Juan Monaco with 5-7 6-3 6-2 to clinch the third of their four head-to-head matches. The Russian player will play his first Master 1000 quarter final since Miami 2010.

Feliciano Lopez, who upset Rafa Nadal yesterday, defeated John Isner 6-3 6-4

These are the quarter finals at the Shanghai Rolex Master:

Novak Djokovic vs David Ferrer

Roger Federer vs Julien Benneteau

Tomas Berdych vs Giles Simon

Mikhail Youzhny vs Feliciano 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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