TENNIS – Andy Murray recovered from a set down to win over David Ferrer in a crucial three-set match with 5-7 6-2 7-5 in one hour and 42 minutes in a decisive Play-off match for one of the remaining spots for the ATP Finals in London. Ferrer served for the match at 5-3 but he dropped serve allowing Murray to claw his way back into the match by winning four consecutive games. Thanks to this win Murray has moved up to World Number 8 with a gap of 110 points over Ferrer in the ATP Race to London. Tomas Berdych battled past Grigor Dimitrov in three sets in Stockholm with 5-7 6-4 6-4 and backs up his 7th place ahead of Murray. Diego Sampaolo
Ferrer got the first break of the match in the sixth game to take a 4-2 lead. Murray broke back and earned a chance to take the lead at 4-4 but he made two forehand errors when he served at 5-6 and dropped his serve.
In the second set Murray broke serve twice in the third and the seventh games and fended off all the six break points he faced. The Scotsman reeled off five games in a row en route to winning the second set 6-2 and taking the third set with 2-0. Ferrer fought back by reeling four consecutive games to take a 4-2 lead but he dropped serve to 15 in the seventh game.
Ferrer served for the match at 5-3 but he made his seventh double fault and dropped serve to 15. Murray came back winning taking three breaks and reeled off four games in a row. He closed out the match with an ace to clinch his second title of the year after Shenzhen. Murray has become the third British player to win in Vienna after greg Rusedski in 1999 and Tim Henman in 2000.
Murray has boosted his chances to qualify for the ATP Finals in London as he is now ranked 7 110 points ahead of Ferrer.
The Dunblane player won his 30th career title and the second of the year after Shenzhen. He will next play in the Valencia ATP 500 and in the Master 1000 in Paris Bercy.
“It was an extremely difficult match. Ferrer deserved to win the first set. I deserved to win the second and the third could have gone either way”, said Murray
Kremlin Cup ATP 250 Moscow
Marin Cilic is ranked sixth and secured his spot as US Open winner. The Croatian player beat Roberto Bautista Agut 6-4 6-4 to lift the Kremlin Cup in Moscow
Cilic has improved his record to 54 match wins becoming the second player this year behind Roger Federer who clinched 61 match wins. He lifted his fourth title of the season after Delray Beach and Zagreb and his 13th career title.
The first set was tough as it featured many deuces. Cilic saved three break points in his first game before breaking serve in the seventh game for 4-3. Bautista Agut put pressure on Cilic but the Croatian player claimed the first set with 6-4 before breaking serve at the start of the second set and held his serve to take the win after one hour and 24 minutes. Cilic follows in the footsteps of his coach Goran Ivanisevic who won the Kremlin Cup in 1996
The current stand of the ATP Race to London for the players who are still bidding to qualify is the following: 5 Kei Nishikori 4265 points, 7 Tomas Berdych 4105 points, 8 Andy Murray 3855 points points, 9 David Ferrer 3775 points, 10 Milos Raonic 3750 points, 11 Grigor Dimitrov 3555 points
IF Stockholm Open ATP 250:
Tomas Berdych fought back from a set down to battle past Stockholm defending champion Grigor Dimitrov with 5-7 6-4 6-4. With this wi Berdych makes a step forward to claim his spot for the ATP Finals for the fifth year in a row.
Berdych served for the set in the first set but Dimitrov recovered to take the edge in the first set. Berdych broke serve at the start of the second and the third sets to clinch the 10th title of his career with a solid performance. Berdych dropped just six points on serve in the second set and just four in the decider.
Dimitrov still leads 3-2 in their head-to-head matches but the Czech player won his first match on hard-court against the Bulgarian.
WTA Premier Moscow Kremlin Cup
Anastasya Pavlyuchenkova battled past Irina Camelia Begu from Romania 6-4 5-7 6-1 to clinch the Combined Kremlin Cup in Moscow. Pavlyuchenkova has become the fourth Russian player to claim the Kremlin Cup win but the first since Elena Dementieva in 2007. Pavlyuchenkova, who dropped just one set in the whole tournament, converted her second match point to claim her seventh WTA title and the second this year after Paris Indoor.
Begu broke serve in the first set but Pavlyuchenkova fought back to claim the first set. The Romanian cruised to a 3-1 lead en route to winning the second set. Pavlyuchenkova pulled away to 5-0 in the decider before closing out the match after two hours and 29 minutes. Begu player her first final at a Premier Tournament.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Denis Shapovalov Advances After Pospisil Retires In Indian Wells
The battle of the two Canadians didn’t go as planned…
Vasek Pospisil faced off against his fellow Canadian Denis Shapovalov in the second round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells and it was the world number 13 who got the win after the Vernon native pulled out due to an injury whilst trailing 0-3.
It was a rough start for Pospisil who seemed to struggle with his serve in the opening game of the match and double-faulted twice in a row to give the early break and Shapovalov had no issues consolidating the break.
Shapovalov continued to apply pressure on the Pospisil serve and after saving two breakpoints the world number 68 pulled up after a serve and stopped play, calling for the trainer. He ended up taking a medical timeout off the court and a couple of minutes later returned to court. Pospisil was broken once again and the following game after a couple of returns decided to call it quits.
” It was pretty awful…and if I’m being honest I am shaking a bit…It really sucks I hope it’s nothing serious…He’s a great guy he’s a real warrior he’s fought back from some injuries surgeries to such a great level.” Shapovalov said of his compatriot.
Shapovalov will face 19th seed Aslan Karatsev in the next round after the Russian thrashed Salvatore Caruso 6-2, 6-0.
In the other results of the day sixth seeed Casper Ruud dominated Roberto Carballes Baena 6-1, 6-2, Roberto Bautista Agut beat the Argentine Guido Pella 7-5, 6-3 and Sebastien Korda won an all American battle with Frances Tiafoe 6-0, 6-4.
Finally, Diego Schwartzman needed three sets to beat another American in Maxime Cressy winning 6-2, 3-6, 7-5.
Simona Halep cruises through to the second round with a straight-set win over Anastasia Potapova in Moscow
Andy Murray battles past Frances Tiafoe in a marathon match in Antwerp
Jenson Brooksby upsets Reilly Opelka to boost his chance to qualify for the Next Gen Finals in Milan
Ekaterina Alexandrova moves into the second round at the Kremlin Cup after Ons Jabeur’s retirement due to injury
Kim Clijsters Still Capable Of Top-Level Wins, Says Former world No.1 Murray
REPORT: Unvaccinated Players Set To Be Banned From Playing Australian Open
Injured Roger Federer Says The ‘Worst Is Behind Him’ As He Targets Comeback In 2022
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Roger Federer Says ‘Revolution’ Needed To Help Next Generation Of Tennis Players
Roger Federer Eyes Laver Cup Captaincy Role Post-Retirement
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Steve Flink On Wimbledon: “Bautista Agut would be a tough semifinal test for Djokovic”
Wimbledon, Flink: “Djokovic Will Beat Zverev in the Final”
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