Master 1000 Paris: Federer battles past Chardy. Murray is one win away from the ATP Finals - UBITENNIS
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Master 1000 Paris: Federer battles past Chardy. Murray is one win away from the ATP Finals

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TENNIS MASTER 1000 PARIS – Roger Federer recovered from a slow start in the first set to battle past Jeremy Chardy in three sets with 7-6(5), 6-7(5), 6-4 in the second round of the BNP Paribas Indoor in Paris Bercy. Diego Sampaolo

 

Federer was broken in his opening game to go down 0-3. Chardy got a double break point chance at 4-1 and led 5-2 30-0 on Federer’s serve. Federer held serve before breaking serve with two forehand winners. The Swiss legend saved four set points when Chardy was serving for the first set when he was leading 5-4. In the 11th game Federer broke serve to love to take the 6-5 edge. Chardy, who beat Federer in Rome last May, drew level to 6-6 to force the first set to the tie-break. Federer clinched his 11th consecutive tie-break with 7-5 when Chardy hit his forehand into the net.

Chardy saved two match points in the second set which went on serve without breaks. After Federer failed to convert two match points at 5-4, the set came down to the tie-break where Chardy hit a forehand to take the 7-5 edge to force the match to the decider. Federer got a early break to take a 2-0 lead in the third set and held his serve to win the match after two hours and 31 minutes. Federer clinched his 67th match of the year and his 13th win in a row since the US Open semifinal where he lost against Marin Cilic. With this win Federer has extended his winning streak to 13 consecutive wins. Federer will take on French qualifier Lucas Pouille who edged Italian Fabio Fognini with 7-6(5) 7-6(7)

Chardy confirmed once again that he is a tough player to beat for Federer. “I thought it could be a tough match and it was. I could have lost the first set. I could have won the second set but it went the other way. I thought as the match went longer, the better I actually started to play and created more opportunities. Jeremy was hitting hard. He played well but I am happy that I pulled it out. Fortunately I was able to win the first set and it calmed him down. I could have won in two sets after that but it was fair that we played a third set. He played so well”, said Federer.

Andy Murray, fifth in the ATP Race beat Julien Benneteau 6-3 6-4 in 71 minutes and is one match from qualifying for the ATP Finals. He needs to reach at least the quarter finals to qualify for London. Murray cruised to a 3-0 lead in the opening set. After holding serve to love in the first game Murray broke serve in the second game after three unforced errors made by the French player. Benneteau won his first game but Murray pulled away to 4-1. He dropped one point on his serve. After closing out the first set with 6-3 Murray broke again in the first game of the second set. Benneteau broke back in the sixth game but Murray hold serve to love securing the 19th of his last 21 matches in a series which includes three titles in Shenzhen, Vienna and Valencia. In both finals in Shenzhen and Valencia he saved five match points in the third set against Tommy Robredo in two hard-fought matches.

“I put in a lot of hard work in the past few weeks. I played a lot of long and tough matches. If I get to London, I deserve to be there because it’s your results across the whole year. My results in most of the tournaments have been good enough to be in the top 8”, said Murray

Stan Wawrinka battled past Austrian rising star Dominic Thiem after a tight second set with 6-4 7-6 (8-6). Wawrinka got a break in the second game for 2-0 and held serve in the third game but Thiem drew level to 4-4. Thiem led 30-0 at 4-5 in the tenth game but dropped four consecutive games and was broken for the second time in the match. In the second set Wawrinka earned his first match point at 6-5. After leading 4-2 in the tie-break Wawrinka had to save a set point when Thiem was leading 6-5. Wawrinka hit a service winner for 7-6 before converting his second match point after one one hour and 36 minutes.

Wawrinka broke serve three times and hit 25 winners. The Lausanne player will face Kevin Anderson in the third round. Wawrinka took a re-match against Thiem who beat him at this year’s Mutua Open in Madrid. It was a confidence-boosting win for Wawrinka after three consecutive first-match defeats in Beijing, Shanghai and Basel. He has scored his first win since he beat Fabio Fognini in the Davis Cup semifinal against Italy last September.

“I am still trying to regain confidence. My whole year was up and down. I lost three opening matches in three consecutive matches after the US Open. I had never lost early so often but I wouldn’t trade my season for anything. I ma here to go as far as I can. I don’t feel pressure”, said Wawrinka.

Milos Raonic had to dig deep to edge US qualifier Jack Sock with 6-3 5-7 7-6(4) keeping his hopes to qualify for the ATP Finals alive.

In the third round Raonic will face Roberto Bautista Agut who upset Richard Gasquet in straight sets with 6-4 6-2. The Spanish player won 80 percent of his first serve points and did not face any breaks. He hit 30 winners to 19 unforced errors.

Grigor Dimitrov won 80 percent of his first service points to cruise past Pablo Cuevas with 6-0 6-2 Feliciano Lopez beat Sam Querrey 6-4 6-4.

Jo Wilfred Tsonga, who won the Master 1000 Tournament in Toronto, overcame a second-set loss to edge Austrian Jurgen Melzer 6-2 4-6 6-2 in one hour and 41 minutes. The Frenchman set up a third round match against US Open finalist Kei Nishikori who fought back from a set down to edge Tommy Robredo with 6-7(4) 6-2 6-3. Nishikori, who is bidding to become the first Asian player to qualify for the ATP Finals, won his 50th match of the year.

In the final match of the day Gael Monfils beat John Isner 6-4 7-6. The second set went on serve without breaks until the tie-break where the local favourite prevailed with 7-4 to set up a third round match against Novak Djokovic.

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Diego Schwartzman Receives Threats On Social Media Following Shock Davis Cup Defeat

The world No.15 is the latest player to speak out about recieving abusive messages on social media.

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The weekend has been an emotional rollercoaster for Diego Schwartzman, who suffered ‘one of the worst’ losses of his career before helping secure victory for his country in their Davis Cup tie against Belarus.

 

On Saturday the world No.15 was stunned by unranked 18-year-old Daniil Ostapenkov who is yet to play a professional match on the pro Tour. Ostapenkov is currently ranked 63 in the world on the junior circuit. The comprehensive victory shocked the Argentinian team who was hosting the tie at the Buenos Aires Lawn Tennis Club.

Despite the shock upset, Schwartman managed to redeem himself the following day when he defeated Alexander Zgirovsky 6-1, 6-2. That victory handed his country an unassailable 3-1 lead in their tie and secured their place in the 2022 Davis Cup qualifiers which will take place next March.

Not only playing Davis, but in Buenos Aires, with a lot of people you don’t see, it’s not easy. My level can be and has to be much better. After the game on Saturday I had a difficult day in the spirit of being able to get up and enjoy with the group,” La Nacion quoted Schwartzman as saying.
“The most normal thing was that we won the series. It’s what everyone expected. But when you have a very difficult day at work like it was on Saturday and then you win, it excites you because you have some internal things withheld.”

Between those two matches, Schwartzman revealed that he was trolled on social media by some people unhappy about his loss in the tie. The 2020 French Open semi-finalist said he received criticism and even threats from some asking him to leave his home country. Something he admits affected him at times.

“It was one of the worst days of my career,” Schwartzman commented on his loss to Zgirovsky. “I lost to an unranked, inexperienced player. All that already affects (me) a lot. Although 80 or 90 percent of the people are always encouraging (me), there was a minority who criticized me with bad intentions.’
“I received threats, insults and requests not to return to Argentina. More or less, it affects (me)”.

Schwartzman is not the first player to speak out about online abuse. During the US Open Shelby Rogers said she was expecting to receive ‘death threats’ following her loss to Emma Raducanu who went on to win the title. Sloane Stephens has also previously spoken out about being the victim of racism online.

The 29-year-old says he has previously tried to interact with those who have trolled him on social media to find out why they are doing so.

Sometimes I start to answer some messages and I ask those people if they realize what they are sending,” Schwartzman said during his press conference. “The vast majority apologize and say they had not realized it. But at the moment it hurts. That very ill-intentioned criticism is the only bad thing about social networks.”

Schwartzman has won four ATP titles and earned more than $10M in prize money so far in his career.

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Spanish Veteran Feliciano Lopez Addresses Future On The Tour

23 years after he played his first main draw match on the ATP Tour, Lopez says his longevity in the sport has been achieved with the help of of some luck.

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Feliciano Lopez of Spain is pictured during the semi-final of ATP Fever-Tree Championships tennis tournament at Queen's Club in west London on June 20, 2019.

Feliciano Lopez has dismissed any speculation that he could retire in the coming weeks after saying he is taking life on the Tour in his stride.

 

The 39-year-old Spaniard is currently the second oldest player in the world’s top 200 after Roger Federer, who is a year older than him. Lopez made his ATP Tour debut at the 1998 Barcelona Open which was before the birth of Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz. In June he became the 10th active player to record his 500th win on the Tour.

Currently ranked 111th in the world, some are starting to wonder how much longer Lopez will continue playing. So far this season he has achieved a win-loss record of 9-19 with his best performance being a run to the quarter-finals of the Mallorca Open which was held on the grass. It was in Mallorca where he defeated Karen Khachanov who is the only top 30 player he has beaten so far in 2021.

I play year-by-year, the last 6-7 years have been like this, a tennis player at that age cannot think about extending his career. After turning 30 I have been lucky, I have obtained the best results of my career,” Lopez told reporters on Friday.
It is not very common for players my age, at (almost) 40 years to continue playing in the best tournaments.” He added.

Throughout his career, Lopez has impressively played in a record 78 consecutive Grand Slam tournaments dating back to the 2002 French Open. During that period he has reached the quarter-finals of a major tournament on four occasions.

“I don’t play to break records, what makes me most excited is to continue playing Grand Slams. For me, maintaining that record (78 consecutive Grand Slams played) is very nice, but more to follow. Being competitive,” he commented on the milestone.
“It is difficult for someone to overcome it because it is 20 years in a row without missing a great one. I have had continuity and enormous luck. Those of my generation are practically all retired.”

Away from the court, the former world No.12 is the current tournament director of the Madrid Open. Making him one of a few players historically to both be playing on the Tour and managing a tournament at the same time. Recently it was confirmed that Madrid will continue hosting it’s combined event until at least 2030 following a renewed agreement between the city council and the Madrid trophy promotion.

Lopez has won a total of seven ATP titles so far in his career and has earned more than $18M in prize money.

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ATP Moves Closer To Staging Five More 12-Day Masters 1000 Events After Board Approval

Changes are coming to the men’s Tour which includes a brand new ‘profit-sharing formular’ for players.

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Masters tournaments in North America, Europe and Asia are set to be expanded over the coming months after the ATP Board recently approved some ‘key aspects’ of their strategic plan.

 

In a letter issued to players, ATP chairman Andrea Gaudenzi said an agreement has been reached concerning a variety of topics, which include the expansion of various Masters 1000 events. It is understood that the plan is for Rome, Madrid, Canada, Cincinnati and Shanghai to be increased to 12-day events instead of just one week. Putting them more in line with Indian Wells and Miami. Tennis.com reports that under the new structure, ATP 250 events will also take place during the second week of those tournaments and they could receive a subsidy from the ATP Tour, provided by extra fees paid by the Masters tournaments.

Masters 1000 events are the third highest-ranked category events in men’s tennis after Grand Slams and the ATP Finals in terms of prize money and ranking points on offer. The series was first introduced back in 1990 but it wasn’t until 2009 that the name ‘Masters 1000’ was born. The number represents how many ranking points the winner receives.

Besides the proposed changes to the Masters series, the Board has also given a green light to “a new Profit-Sharing formula” and “long-term prize money levels.” The prize money increase is reportedly said to be 2.5 percent of a base level, plus a bonus pool with a 50 percent share of the collective profit of the Masters events.

“This represents significant progress for our sport and the way our player and tournament members operate under the equal partnership of the ATP Tour. It is only through the spirit of this partnership, transparency, and alignment of interests that we can truly maximise your potential and switch our focus to the competition we face in the border sports and entertainment landscape,” Gaudenzi wrote in his letter to players.

Part of the plan also include making changes to ATP Media, who are in charge of broadcasting the events. At present it is currently jointly owned by the Tour and each of the Masters 1000 events. However, in the future it has been proposed that those tournaments trade in their ownership rights for shares in ATP media. Exact details about this process have not been publicly disclosed and it is unclear if all of the tournaments would agree to such a move.

The ATP also wants to create a ‘Tennis Data Innovations’ which will be an independent entity.

All of these proposed changes are still subject to further agreement around additional matters. The ATP have been working on details of their strategic plan for the past 18 months.

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