ATP Finals 2014: Nishikori beats Ferrer qualifying Federer for the semifinals - UBITENNIS
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ATP Finals 2014: Nishikori beats Ferrer qualifying Federer for the semifinals

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TENNIS ATP FINALS 2014 – Kei Nishikori defeated David Ferrer, who replaced the injured Milos Raonic 4-6, 6-4, 6-1. With this result Federer is qualified for the semifinals. The Japanese will have to hope that the Swiss wins this evening against Murray to qualify. From London,  Paul Sassoon

 

To have a third set match at this tear’s ATP Finals Raonic had to retire to leave his space to David Ferrer. The Spanish player was in London as the first alternate and his presence was rewarded with a match and a $85,000. Other players, Dimitrov, Tsonga and Gulbis, declined the role as alternate, but the Spaniard was keen to be here, “I cannot talk about the other players. I was one out for play here. It was a good idea, no, because I can play one match in London. It was good. Anyway, it was perfect if I win the match, but it’s not easy. Here are the best players of the world.”

The injury to Milos Raonic highlighted how this format does not fit tennis. No matter what happens tonight and who will qualify for the semifinals, the result will be tainted by the fact that Nishikori was the only player to face Ferrer and not to play against Raonic.

Nishikori said after the match that he was surprised by Raonic’s retirement, but he was ready for the challenge, “I was surprised little bit because I didn’t know he was injured, Milos. I wasn’t expecting, you know, David is coming. But we played a lot of times. We know each other, how we play. Even they change one hour before, I was ready to play anybody. You know, both tough players. I mean, I didn’t want to play both players, but luckily I won today. So very happy to win today.”

The first set was a close affair. Ferrer was running and hunting down every ball as usual whilst Nishikori was trying to end the rallies by suddenly switching to down-the-line strokes and occasionally coming to the net. Ferrer saved the first break point in the match in the fifth game of the first set, in the following game it was Nishikori’s turn to cancel break points on his serve. The first break came at 3 all, but the Japanese player failed to consolidate the lead losing the next three games (from 4-3 to 4-6) losing his serve twice in the process. Ferrer won the first set 6-4.

The second set opened with a break for the Nishikori. This time he held on to his advantage through better serving and never gave Ferrer a chance to get back into the match. After 1 hour and 23 minutes of play the Japanese player equalled the set score with a down-the-line backhand winner. 6-4 and the first third set of the tournament was on the cards.

The first third set of the tournament though was quick and one-sided as the sets that have characterized the tournament so far. Nishikori made the break in the opening game and never looked back. Another two breaks arrived in the third and seventh games allowing him to end the match 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 in 1 hour and 56 minutes of play.

This season the Japanese player has a fantastic deciding set record (3rd or 5th set), but he does not seem to know why he is performing so well in the final set of matches, “I don’t know. I don’t know why I always win third set. It’s been long time, so it’s not like my physical. I think it’s more mental thing. I try to stay there all the time. Try to stay focus first couple games. Obviously today I was up 3 0 in the first couple games. I was more relax, you know, till the end. I mean, also physical, you know. You have to be really fit to play three sets. But for me, I think it’s more mental. Stay there all the time and, you know, be very positive and strong.”

As for tonight’s match, Kei said he won’t be watching, “I just going to wait for result ’cause I want to eat good dinner today. It’s going to be same time. I think I will just see the result.”

After the match Ferrer spoke about the situation with his coach, “this year after US Open I stop with Jose Altur. My personal relation with him, it was perfect, but professional I think we have different things about tennis. Just for that, I change, no? Paco Fogues is my new coach. I have a lot of confidence with him. He’s a good friend. I practice a lot of years with him. The last year when I finish the 21 of December with Javier Piles, my first option was Paco Fogues, but Paco Fogues was practicing with Dani Gimeno. I have no chance to practice with him. Now I am happy because I think is the best coach I can have.”

Group B scenarios

– As Nishikori defeated Ferrer then Federer is first if he defeats Murray regardless of score

– As Nishikori defeated Ferrer in 3 sets, Murray wins the group if he beats Federer in 2 sets and Federer qualifies as second

– As Nishikori defeated Ferrer in 3 sets, Federer will win the group even if he loses to Murray in 3 sets. Nishikori would qualify as second

Ferrer-Nishi

 

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Singapore Champion Alexi Popyrin Dedicates Maiden ATP Title To Family

The world No.114 battled back from a set down to become the fifth active Australian player to win an ATP singles title.

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Rising star Alexi Popyrin has claimed the biggest title in his career to date after triumphing in the final of the Singapore Open on Sunday.

 

The 21-year-old battled back from a set down to defeat world No.46 Alexander Bublik 4-6, 6-0, 6-2, in what was his first ever final on the ATP Tour. Popryin, who had never got past the quarter-final stage of a Tour event prior to this week, managed to turn his fortunes around with the help of an emphatic service display. During the second set he dropped no points behind serve and only one in the third. Overall, the Australian produced 11 aces and broke Bublik five times en route to victory.

A former junior world No.2 who won the 2017 French Open boys’ title, Popyrin has become the fifth active player from Australia to have won an ATP title. The other four are Nick Kyrgios, Alex de Minaur, Bernard Tomic and John Millman. During the trophy ceremony Popyrin said the breakthrough was a result of hard work as he paid tribute to his family.

“I’ll definitely have very fond memories of Singapore now, I’ll definitely remember this for the rest of my life,” he said.
“We put a lot of hard work in the pre-season and it’s paying off in the start of the year I’ve had. In Australia I felt really good so it’s just good to see all the hard work paying off.
“My family behind the scenes, they’ve sacrificed so much for me and to finally win a tournament just shows how much hard work they put in with me also. This is for them 100 per cent.”

Prior to Bublik, Popyrin also scored a win over former US Open champion Marin Cilic in the semi-finals. The breakthrough continues what has been an encouraging start to the season for the Next Gen star. At the Murray River Open in Melbourne he took Grigor Dimitrov to three sets before losing in the third round. Then at the Australian Open he knocked out top 20 player David Goffin.

Meanwhile, Bublik is left wondering what might have been. It was the second time the Kazakh has reached a Tour final this season after Antalya where he had to retire due to injury.

“His first final, his first title, I have four finals, which hurts now but just congratulate you and next time we’ll see if we can face in the final,” Bublik said.

Popyrin will rise to a ranking high of 82nd when the standings are updated on Monday.

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Alejandro Davidovich Fokina beats Hubert Hurkacz to reach the quarter final in Montpellier

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Alejandro Davidovich Fokina came back from 1-3 in the opening set and converted four of the ten break points to claim a 7-5 6-2 win over Hubert Hurkacz in 1 hour and 34 minutes at the Open Sud de France in Montpellier. 

 

Hurkacz went up a break in the fourth game at deuce to take a 3-1 lead. Davidovich Fokina broke back in the fifth game at 15 and held serve to draw level to 3-3. Hurkacz saved a break point in the seventh game to hold serve after two deuces. Davidovich Fokina converted his second break point in the 11th game to win the first set 7-5. 

Hurkacz saved three break points in the third game of the second set, but Davidovich Fokina broke twice in the fifth and seventh games at deuce to win the final four games from 2-2 securing his spot in the quarter final. 

The 21-year-old Spanish player set up a quarter final against Egor Gerasimov, who knocked out Aljaz Bedene 6-4 7-6 (7-4) after 1 hour and 51 minutes. Bedene converted his second break point at deuce in the first game. Gerasimov broke back in the fourth game to draw level to 2-2. Gerasimov closed out the first set 6-4 with a break on his opportunity in the 10th game.

Bedene went up a break in the third game of the second set to take a 2-1 lead. Gerasimov broke back in the 10th game to draw level to 5-5. Gerasimov earned five match points at 6-1 in the tie-break. Bedene saved the first three chances, but Gerasimov closed out the tie-break 7-4 on his fourth opportunity. 

Roberto Bautista Agut cruised past Gregoire Barrère 6-0 6-3. The Spanish player built up a 6-0 2-0 lead with four consecutive breaks. Barrère came back by winning three consecutive games to take a 3-2 lead with a break in the fourth game. Bautista Agut reeled off four consecutive games with two consecutive breaks to win the second set 6-3 

Dennis Novak came back from 3-5 down by winning the final four games in the second set to beat Dusan Lajovic 7-6 (7-5) 7-5 after 1 hour and 35 minutes. Novak set up a quarter final clash against German Peter Gojowczyk, who came back from one set down to beat Juri Vesely 6-7 (3-7) 7-4 (7-4) 6-3 after 2 hours and 28 minutes. Gojowczyk hit 17 aces and won 86 % of his first service points. Gojowczyk saved four break points in the ninth game. Vesely earned two mini-breaks to win the tie-brek 7-3. The second set went on serve en route to the the tie-break. Gojowczyk earned one mini-break to win the tie-break 7-4. The German player converted his only break point in the second game to seal the third set 6-3.

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John Isner not happy with the cut in prize money for Miami Masters

John Isner took to Twitter to raise some issues about the ATP and latest state of affairs in Tennis.

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John Isner (@usta - Twitter)

The American took to social media to vent his frustration saying it doesn’t make sense.

 

John Isner took to twitter today after hearing the news that the Miami Open will be cutting its prize money down with the singles champion only taking $300,110 with a first round loser only winning $10,000 in prize money.

Isner and many other players on tour believe the tournament should be forced to due an audit to truly reveal what their finances are and to see if they are hiding anything.

“How about a true audit to see how much tourneys are actually hurting and then a money formula after the event to reconcile?”

“Amazing we still don’t have this in a lot of our big events. How does that make any sense?” 

He also tweeted about the promoters saying the system the ATP uses is broken.

The American also spoke of the unfairness in the cuts the players are taking in comparison to the actual events.

“So players should take a 60% cut and 80% champions cut while ATP executives keep full salaries, benefits, and expense accounts? Make that make sense. Seems just a little bit hypocritical, don’t ya think?”.

Isner finally believes the players should benefit from the tournament not just in the short term but over a long tenure.

““Tennis is plagued by conflict and lack of transparency”

The tournament is scheduled for March 23rd at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami and the tournament has confirmed they won’t be doing a quarantine like the Australian Open.

The players will need to provide a negative PCR test to board a flight to the US and once they land they will be tested once again and isolate until a negative result is shown.

The players will only be allowed at the hotel and the venue and any player who doesn’t respect the rules will be subject to penalties and be withdrawn from the tournament.

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