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



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




Team World One Win Away From Victory in Laver Cup

Team World take a huge 10-2 lead over Team Europe heading into the final day



Image via Laver Cup twitter

After losing the first four editions of the Laver Cup, Team World look set to win the event for a second time as the event reaches its conclusion tomorrow.


Team World Captain John McEnroe was thrilled with the day’s results but warned against complacency: “We’re just going to keep doing what we’re doing. The job’s not done but we’re pretty close.”

American duo Taylor Fritz and Frances Tiafoe both earned straight sets wins over Andrey Rublev and Hubert Hurkacz, while Felix Auger-Aliassime and Ben Shelton beat Hurkacz and Gael Monfils.

“I want to play well for the guys,” said Tiafoe after his singles victory. “I played really well tonight. Just being in a team environment is so foreign to us as tennis players, it’s such an individual sport.”

After winning his third singles match in three appearances at the Laver Cup, Fritz was also motivated to do well:

“Yesterday, all the guys played really well. I felt that and wanted to come out on court and show what I can do. That definitely motivated me. Any type of team environment, I feel like it always elevates my game. I feel like my record in team events is really strong because I have a team cheering for me. I get pumped up. I’m excited to play for them. It just adds more pressure and fire to it. I think I play better in those situations.”

The doubles was a typically dynamic and feisty affair, and after the match Shelton was full of praise for his partner:

“It’s amazing, when you play with a guy who serves and returns like Felix, is as athletic as him, and goes back for the overhead as strong as him, it’s a fun time,” said Shelton. “We call him ‘Laver Cup Felix’ because he turns into something special this week, just glad I got to share the court with him at least once.”

Auger-Aliassime returned the compliments: “The best comes out of me when I’m playing not only for myself but for team-mates. Ben carried me through the end of that match, it was tough for me to get it done.”

Casper Ruud, meanwhile, beat Tommy Paul for Europe’s only points so far.

Matches on the final day are worth three points each – meaning that Team Europe would have to win all four remaining matches to prevent Team World from winning the trophy.

T. Fritz def A. Rublev 6-2, 7-6
F. Tiafoe def H. Hurkacz 7-5, 6-3
F. Auger-Aliassime & B. Shelton def H.Hurkacz & G. Monfils 7-5, 6-4
C. Ruud def T. Paul 7-6, 6-2

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ATP RANKINGS UPDATE: Novak Djokovic, No.1 once more



After the US Open the Serbian champion reclaims top spot. Alexander Zverev is back in the Top 10


By Roberto Ferri

Don’t ever underestimate the heart of a champion”

Rudy Tomjanovich coined this maxim just after his Houston Rockets won the NBA championship in 1995. He was paying homage to Akeem Holajuwon. It perfectly suits the heart of Daniil Medvedev, who proved 99% of tennis fans in the world to be wrong, convinced as they were that he would lose the semifinal to former No 1 Carlos Alcaraz.

But his dream to win a second US Open, after his triumph in 2021, was shattered by another champion, whose heart and class is even greater: that’s Novak Djokovic, who affixes his seal on his return to No.1, equalling Margaret Court Smith’s record of 24 majors.

Djokovic dethroning Alcaraz is not the only change in the top 20: Sascha Zverev is back in the top 10 after almost one year and Ben Shelton, great protagonist of the Us Open, debuts in the top 20 best players in the world.

TOP 20

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A few comments:

Stefanos Tsitsipas, Andrei Rublev and Alexander Zverev gain 2 positions.

Ben Shelton devours 28 positions.

Sinner, Tiafoe, Norrie and Dimitrov lose one.

Casper Ruud and Karen Khachanov, runner up and semi-finalist respectively  at the 2022 US  Open, drop 4 positions.

One step forward for Fritz, de Minaur, Paul, Auger-Aliassime and Hurkacz.


From 12 to 19 November the 8 best players of the ranking based on the points earned in the ongoing solar season will be playing the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin.

Will Novak Djokovic succeed in winning a second straight title? He appears to be heading in the right direction.


Thanks to his triumph at the US Open the Serbian overtakes Alcaraz also in the Race to Turin.

Jannik Sinner holds fourth spot while Andrei Rublev overtakes Stefanos Tsitsipas and is now fifth.

The eighth position is occupied by Alexander Zverev.

Last year runner up, Casper Ruud is currently 10th. This means he would feature in Turin as a reserve.


The Next Gen Finals, dedicated to the best under 21s, (8 effectives and 2 reserves) of the season will take place this year in Gedda, Saudi Arabia.

The 2022 winner, Brandon Nakashima, will not be defending his title, since he was born in 2001.

PositionPlayerCountryPtsYOB ATP rank
6Van AsscheFrance597200469
12Llamas RuizSpain3702002133

Taking for granted that Alcaraz and, most likely Rune, will be playing the ATP Finals, we have included in the chart the 12 current top under 21s.


Besides Ben Shelton, other 11 players have achieved their career highest this week.

We tribute a double applause to the four players who are making their debut in the top 100.

The 25-year-old Croatian Borna Gojo, 22-year-old Australian Rinky Hijkata and the Swiss next gen Dominic Stricker all reap the reward for their brilliant runs at the US Open. Seyboth Wild, the Brazilian who stunned Medvedev in the first round of Roland Garros leaps to No.76 after winning the Challenger in Como last week.

Seyboth Wild76Brazil30

Translated by Kingsley Elliot Kaye

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COMMENT: Novak Djokovic Proves His Greatness At US Open



Love him, or hate him. But respect him.


No tennis player has ever been better than Novak Djokovic.

Even Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer have to take their hats off to Novak, and admire him.

Now that Rafa and Roger have left Djokovic on his own stage at least for now, tennis fans love Novak.


Djokovic’s performance on Sunday evening in the U.S. Open final was simply amazing. Daniil Medvedev also played his heart out, but Djokovic went one step further. He was sensational.

It was a thrill-a-minute three-set match. It lasted well into the night after starting at mid-afternoon. The second set alone lasted 104 minutes.

Djokovic was the winner, 6-3, 7-6 (5), 6-3, but New York still loves 2021 champion Medvedev.


At 36, the oldest U.S. Open men’s champion ever, Djokovic obviously has a special place in his heart for the number four. It’s the number of times he has won this tournament and the 24th time he has won a Grand Slam title.

The number 24 also was displayed prominently on the white jacket. Novak, his team members and family wore for the victory celebration as a tribute to the No. 24 jersey of deceased friend Kobe Bryant.

Djokovic lost his footing at least three times in the tight second set, stumbling to the surface once, apparently due to the length of the rallies.

Djokovic could look like he was almost completely wiped out of it physically one minute, and then play like Superman the next minute.


Both men played great tennis, especially in the thrill-a-second second set in which Medvedev gained one set point in the 12th game before Djokovic recovered to force a tiebreaker.

Medvedev appeared to be in charge after out-playing Novak to win one of his drop shots to take a 5-4 lead in the tiebreaker. The match may have been decided on the next three points, all won by Djokovic on errors by the 6-6 Russian.

The big question now is what happens next January in the Australian Open. Right now, Djokovic probably wants to play . . . and win what has been his favorite tournament as far as success. But things can change quickly for players in their mid-30s. Just ask Roger or Rafa.

James Beck was the 2003 winner of the USTA National Media Award. A 1995 MBA graduate of The Citadel, he can be reached at

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