TENNIS ATP FINALS 2014 – Roger Federer d. Stan Wawrinka 4-6, 7-5, 7-6(6). Semifinal
Q. Tennis sometimes is cruel. But this was a big fight between two colleagues. Four match points. It was a miracle, one of your miracles?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, I thought it was a very exciting match, to say the least. I think the crowd got really into it. I mean, I really didn’t think I was going to turn it around anymore because Stan looked very good for a long time, was able to win the second set somehow by hanging around.
Then in the third, you know, I think he played very well. Maybe a serve let him go a little bit when he needed it the most.
You know, I mean, I clearly got lucky tonight. There’s no doubt about that. But you’ve got to keep believing that maybe there is a slight, you know, chance that you are going to be able to turn it around somehow. It happened today.
I’m very pleased. It’s very hard, obviously, against Stan. It’s been a long season for both of us. I’m happy we’re able to play such a good match. Maybe not always the best quality, but still I was very impressed by his shot making again, his capabilities of playing forward, just keep on going. I think if he would have served a little bit better today he would have won probably.
Q. Novak said he’s physically exhausted. How hard is it mentally for you to keep your cool in this phase of the season?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, today it was a shot here or there. But it wasn’t in my control anymore at the very end. I’m actually pretty good. Even though today I was like the first day it would be good to see the sun again to be outdoors more often, I’m locked indoors now. It starts to be a bit long now. I know it’s only going to be another nine, ten days now before I’m on vacation.
It’s cool. I can handle it. The season’s been long for all of us, there’s no doubt. But I think Stan and myself left everything out on the court today.
Q. It was a tough match, and of course it’s very late now. How are you going to recover for the match tomorrow?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, I’m going to try to get back as quick as possible, try to recover, stretching, massage, sleep, eat. Do all those things fast. The problem is it’s a bit of a drive home. So it takes a while. It’s not like it’s five minutes away like in other places. Going to lose some time there.
But the match is 6:00 p.m. tomorrow, which is good it’s not earlier than that, so at least it gives me the chance to sleep in in the morning.
Q. Saving match points today, you saved them against Monfils, against Mayer. How can you compare those comebacks? Was this less lucky than the other two?
ROGER FEDERER: This was maybe luckier than Monfils because Stan served three times and whereas Monfils served twice. Mayer, I was crazy lucky there. So maybe that was the most luck overall because I was out of the point and he had it.
But this is obviously huge in the semifinals of the World Tour Finals. It’s very big. Clearly it’s not the way you want to win. But I still kept my cool and tried to hang around. I got myself back into it.
I was frustrated being down in the third. But, yeah, it was definitely a lucky escape tonight again.
Q. What was going on between you and the umpire at the beginning of the third set? Did you not hear the overrule and the score until Love 40? Do you feel he should have told you more clearly what was going on?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I don’t know. I mean, I was right there on top of the bounce. I thought, Oh, it was going to go in. Net cord, maybe out. I thought it was out.
I heard something, but I wasn’t sure. I looked at him. There’s nothing. Then I checked out Stan, if he was going to challenge. There was nothing. So then I heard, Breakpoint, Love 40. I was like, Hold on, it’s 15 30. I would have played my points totally different than 15 Love, so forth.
Yeah, I couldn’t believe it that he wouldn’t ask me more clearly because it was clearly a very close call. I still don’t know if it was in or out.
I just don’t quite understand how he cannot be louder. At Love 15, if he tells the score, it would probably be too late anyway. He would have said, Oh, yeah, now you got to challenge, you smart guy. I would have lost it there anyway.
But in the moment, just to assume, you know, I think is not good enough, to be quite honest. I’m not blaming him. But I remember hearing something, but not loud enough for me that it was actually an overrule, I guess. That’s how it went for me.
Tennis Player Disqualified From Shanghai Qualifying Match Two Points Away From Victory
It will be a match that Australia’s Marc Polmans will never forget but for all the wrong reasons.
The World No.140 looked to be on the verge of victory against Italy’s Stefano Napolitano when leading their match 7-6(3), 6-6(6-5), in the final round of qualifying at the Shanghai Masters. However, disaster struck at the next point when Polmans temper got the better of him and subsequently cost him.
With match point, he approached the net to hit a backhand shot but it ended up in the net. Prompting the frustrated 26-year-old to hit a tennis ball that unfortunately hit the umpire. As a result of that action, he was automatically disqualified from the match which handed Napolitano the victory and a place in the main draw.
It is not the first time a tennis player has been disqualified for such an incident. During a 2017 Davis Cup tie between Canada and Great Britain, Denis Shapovalov was disqualified for firing a tennis ball that hit the umpire’s eye. Novak Djokovic was also disqualified from the 2020 US Open after hitting a ball that accidentally struck a lines judge.
“Players shall not violently, dangerously or with anger hit, kick or throw
a tennis ball while on the grounds of the tournament site except in the reasonable pursuit of a point during a match (including warm-up),” the 2023 ATP rulebook outlines.
“For purposes of this rule, abuse of balls is defined as intentionally or reckless- ly hitting a ball out of the enclosure of the court, hitting a ball dangerously or recklessly within the court or hitting a ball with disregard of the conse- quences.’
“Violation of this section shall subject a player to a fine of up to $350 for each violation. In addition, if such violation occurs during a match, the player shall be penalized in accordance with the Point Penalty Schedule.”
It is a tough lesson for Polmans to learn. He was on the verge of playing in the main draw of a Masters 1000 event for the first time in his career. He is currently the 10th highest-ranked Australian player on the ATP Tour and reached the final of a Challenger event in Guangzhou, China last month.
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
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
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.
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.
ATP NITTO FINALS
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.
ATP NEXT GENERATION FINALS
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.
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.
Translated by Kingsley Elliot Kaye
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‘He’s Here To Stay’ – Stefanos Tsitsipas Brings Father Back Into Team After Philippoussis Split
‘Bulls**t’ – Expert Involved In Simona Halep’s Anti-Doping Case Blasts Four-Year Ban
Maria Sakkari ‘Scared’ Of Anti-Doping Testing Measures After Halep Ban
Gutsy Novak Djokovic Prevails In Grueling Battle With Medvedev To Win US Open
Iga Swiatek Says Her Priority Is Form, Not Reclaiming No.1 Spot
Iga Swiatek Dismisses Criticism Over Recent US Open Exit
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(VIDEO EXCLUSIVE) Steve Flink, Ubaldo Scanagatta Review The 2023 Wimbledon Women’s Final
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