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

‘He Needs To Bulk Up’ – Tennis Great Cast Doubt On Alex De Minaur’s French Open Chances

John Newcombe believes it will be a few more years before the world No.27 reaches his peak.

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One of Australia’s most decorated Grand Slam champions of all time believes compatriot Alex de Minaur still has a way to go before he poses a threat at the French Open.

 

Former world No.1 John Newcombe believes the 21-year-old needs to improve on his physicality before reaching his peak on the surface. De Minaur comes into the Grand Slam high in confidence after reaching the quarter-finals of the US Open in what was his best performance at a major so far in his career. He was knocked out of the tournament by eventual winner Dominic Thiem.

Although De Minaur’s preparations for the clay took a blow last week after he lost the first round of the Italian Open to German qualifier Dominik Koepfer. The world No.27 had a set and 3-0 lead over Koepfer before losing. He is not playing in any tournament this week leading up to Roland Garros.

“I’d have to see the draw, how it comes out, but it will be hard work for him,” Newcombe told the Australian Associated Press about de Minaur’s chances in Paris.
“He’s going to have to do a hell of a lot of work. If he got to the quarters, it would be a terrific effort.
“He’s not going to be physically where he needs to be, just bulking up a bit, until he’s 25, 26.
“But he’s got a good all-court game and he understands the game well, so there’s no reason he can’t be a pretty good late maturer (on clay).”

This year’s clay-court major will be the fourth time the Australian has played in the main draw. In his three previous appearances, de Minaur has only won one match which was against Bradley Klahn last year.

During a recent interview with atptour.com, the Next Gen star gave little away about his expectations for the clay this year given the revised schedule. The French Open is taking place just two weeks after New York due to the COVID-19 pandemic which brought the sport to a five-month standstill earlier this year.

“Realistically, you never know until you step out and play matches. It’s a very quick turnaround, something that has never happened to play such an important event after a slam. I’m taking it all in, doing as best as I can and we will have to see,” he said.

De Minaur has won three ATP titles and has scored four wins over top 10 players so far in his career. He is currently the only player from his country ranked in the world’s top 40 on the ATP Tour.

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Novak Djokovic claims his 36th Masters 1000 title in Rome

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Novak Djokovic came back from 0-3 down in the first set to beat Diego Schwartzman 7-5 6-3 after 1 hour and 53 minutes in the final of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia at the Foro Italico in Rome. Djokovic claimed his fifth title in the Eternal City and his 36th Masters 1000 trophy and his 81st career title. Djokovic has become the oldest Rome champion. 

 

The World number 1 player extended his record in 2020 to an impressive record of 31 wins in 32 matches, including four titles at the Australian Open, Dubai, the Western and Southern Open in New York and Rome. 

Djokovic dropped his serve three times and earned five breaks of serve. 

Djokovic wasted a game point and dropped his serve, when he netted his backhand. Schwartzman hit four service winners in the second game to consolidate the break for 2-0. 

Djokovic made a backhand error to face a break point in the third game. Schwartzman earned his second break to open up a 3-0 after 18 minutes, as Djokovic netted another backhand.  Djokovic earned a break point chance and conveted it after a double fault from Schwartzman. 

Djokovic held serve at 15 with an ace in the fifth game to claw his way back to 2-3. The Serbian star forced an error from Schwarzman to earn a breka point in the sixth game and got the break, when the Argentine netted a forehand. Djokovic held serve at 15 to take a 4-3 in the seventh game. Schwartzman hit a forehand down the line winner at 30-15 in the eighth game and held serve with a service winner to draw level to 4-4. 

Djokovic saved a break point in the ninth game with a volley winner and held serve to take a 5-4 lead. Schwartzman saved a set point with a forehand winner and drew level to 5-5 after two deuces with a backhand the line winner. 

Djokovic held serve after a deuce to take a 6-5 lead forcing Schwartzman to serve to stay in the set for the second time. Djokovic converted his third set point to win the opening set 7-5 after 70 minutes. 

Schwartzman earned an early break at the start of the second set. Djokovic got the break back to draw level to 1-1 when Schwartzman sent a forehand wide. 

Djokovic hit a winner at the net to hold serve in the third game. Schwartzman hit four winners in the fourth game to draw level to 2-2.

Djokovic saved two break points in the fifth game and held serve with a service winner to take a 3-2 lead. Schwartman held serve with a drop shot. Djokovic won his service game at love to take a 4-3 lead and broke serve at love in the eighth game with a backhand down the line winner. Djokovic held serve at love to close out the final. 

“”It was a great week. A very challenging week. I don’t think I played my best tennis throughout the entire week, but I think I found my best tennis when I needed it the most in the decisive moments today, yesterday and in every match. That definitely makes me very satisfied and proud that I managed to find that fifth gear when it was most needed. Turning to Paris, I could not ask for a better tournament here in Rome. Another big title and i super pleased with it”, said Djokovic. 

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Stan Wawrinka Parts Way With Long-Time Coach Norman

Stan the man is on the look out for a new coach for the first time in almost a decade.

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It is the end of an era for three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka after he announced his split from coach Magnus Norman.

 

The former world No.3 confirmed on Monday that the two have decided to end their collaboration with ‘mutual consent’ following eight years working together on the Tour. Norman was last with Wawrinka at the Italian Open last week where the Swiss player lost his opening match to rising star Lorenzo Musetti. It is unclear as to exactly when the decision was made.

“After 8 great years together Magnus Norman and I have decided to part ways by mutual consent. We have had an amazingly strong, enjoyable and hugely successful partnership. We reached the height of this sport together and I want to thank him for helping me win everything that I could ever dream of winning,” Wawrinka said in a statement posted on Instagram.

44-year-old Norman is a former world No.2 player himself who reached the final of the French Open back in 2000. During his coaching career, he guided Wawrinka to various milestones in his career that includes 13 ATP titles with three of those being at Grand Slam level. The Swede has also been recognized by the ATP for his work with Wawrinka after winning the inaugural Coach of the Year award back in 2016.

“He’s been a great coach, friend and mentor and will always be a dear friend,” Wawrinka said in a tribute.
“I want to publicly thank him for all his hard work, dedication and commitment in making me a better player over the years. Winning three grand slams have been a life changing experience for me and I could not have done that without him. I wish him all the best in his next chapter in his life.”

The announcement from the world No.17 comes a week before the French Open starts. Wawrinka has been training on the clay for the past few weeks after deciding against travelling to North America to play in the US Open. Instead, he played in a couple Challenger events and won a trophy in Prague last month. Overall, he has achieved a win-loss record of 15-3 so far in 2020.

It is unclear as to who will be replacing Norman in Wawrinka’s team.

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