AO2015: Andreas Seppi stuns Roger Federer in the third round - UBITENNIS
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AO2015: Andreas Seppi stuns Roger Federer in the third round

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TENNIS – World Number 46 player Andreas Seppi from Italy upset four-time Australian Open Roger Federer in four sets with 6-4 7-6 (7-5) 4-6 7-6 (7-5). The Sud-Tyrol player broke a 10-match losing streak against Federer, whose dream to reach his 11th consecutive semifinal at the Australian Open came to an end. The last time Federer lost in the third round in Melbourne dates back to 2001 when he lost against Arnaud Clement. Diego Sampaolo

 

AO2015: Interviews, Results, Order of Play, Draws

Seppi recorded his first win against a World Number 2 since he defeated Rafael Nadal in Rotterdam in 2008 and put an end to his 23-match losing streak against a top-10 player. It was the first time that Seppi beat Federer after losing in the previous 10 head-to-head matches.

Seppi, who reached the fourth round in Melbourne two in 2013 when he lost against Jeremy Chardy, played one of the greatest match of his career. He saved seven of Federer’s ten break point chances and hit 50 winners. He converted on three of his five break point chances to go up 2-0 on sets, while Federer had problems with his serve early in the match.

In the first eight games of the match Seppi did not face any break point chances The Italian player broke Federer to love to take a 5-4 lead before fending off three break point chances in the following game to clinch the first set with 6-4.

Both Federer and Seppi traded breaks at the start of a roller-coaster second set. Seppi got the break in the third game but Federer broke straight back in the next game. The Italian got the break in the ninth game to take a 5-4 lead. Federer broke back to draw level to 5-5. Both players held serve and the set came down to the inevitable tie-break where Seppi prevailed with 7-5 to go up 2-0. Federer got a mini-break earl in the breaker to pull away to a 4-1 lead but Seppi broke back. Seppi drew level to 5-5 with a forehand volley before taking the 6-5 lead. Seppi, who had one just a set against Federer in the previous 10 head-to-head matches, sealed the second set to go up 2-0

Seppi saved a break point in the opening game of the third set before Federer broke serve in the third game in the attempt to claw his way back from a 0-2 deficit for the 10th time in his career. He won the third set 6-4 to force the match to the fourth set.

Seppi saved a delicate break point in the opening game of the fourth set. From then on the set went on serve. Neither Seppi nor Federer managed to earn a single break point. In the 11th game Seppi lost a very long rally of 24 shots at 5-5 but he managed to force a tie-break in the fourth set with two aces. The breaker started with a trade of mini-breaks Federer committed a double fault at 3-3. Federer had two chances to earn a set point but he lost two points on his serve to go down 5-6. Seppi hit an inside-out forehand winner to earn a match point at 6-5 in the tie-break of the fourth set. He struck a forehand slice down the line to wrap up the match. He celebrated the greatest win for an Italian player in a Grand Slam and the finest win in his career. Seppi is the fourth Italian player to beat the Swiss Maestro. The last Italian to beat the Basel legend was Filippo Volandri in Rome in 2007. The other three players who beat Roger were Gianluca Pozzi in the 1999 Davis Cup, Davide Sanguinetti in Milan in 2002 and Andrea Gaudenzi in Rome in 2002.

Federer made 55 unforced errors, including 17 in the first set.

Seppi scored his second win against a Swiss star after taking a famous victory over Stan Wawrinka in Rome in 2011. Before today Seppi had reached the fourth round in his 39th appearances in a Grand Slam Tournament. Seppi dropped to outside the top-40 last year but he started the 2015 season on a high note reaching the semifinals at the Qatar Open in Doha earlier this month. In the first two rounds at the Australian Open Seppi beat once again Denis Istomin in five sets in the first round and Jeremy Chardy in the second round.

Seppi set up an intriguing fourth round match against Australian rising star Nick Kyrgios who beat Tunisian sensation Malek Jaziri (the first player from this country to reach the third round in a Grand Slam tournament) in straight sets with 6-3 7-6 6-1. Kyrgios won the previous match against Seppi in the second round at last year’s US Open in straight sets.

Kyrgios, who famously beat Rafa Nadal in the fourth round at Wimbledon last year, won the first two matches at this year’s Australian Open against Federico Delbonis in a five-set thrilling first round match and Croatian giant Ivo Karlovic in the second round.

To beat Roger first time, especially in a Grand Slam, best of five, is a special moment for me. At the beginning I just went on the court to enjoy the match and to play my best tennis and I did because I was playing Roger. You never feel comfortable playing against Roger but I was focusing on my service game. I didn’t have many chances on his serve. Especially after the first set I was hitting the ball very well.I start to believe that I can do more. I think it was very important to win the second set tie-break. It worked out pretty well. I went in the court to enjoy the moment. You don’t play every day on Centre Court in a full stadium in a Grand Slam against Roger. I was pretty calm from the beginning. It was the match where I felt more comfortable in my life with my emotions.I think that helped me for sure in the end of the match a lot. I can’t remember well what Roger told me. I think he said: Unbelievable last point. Congratulations, something like that”, said Seppi.

Seppi reached the fourth round in a Grand Slam in the 2012 Roland Garros when he went up 2-0 on sets against Novak Djokovic at the 2012 Roland Garros before the Serb fought back to win in the fifth set.

I wasn’t thinking about anything. I was very calm. I really enjoyed the atmosphere out there. I was not thinking I was leading two sets to love or tow sets to one. It was going to the end, so just if I could do that any time, it would be great. This win means a lot for my career. It’s the first time I beat him, I beat once Nadal in Rotterdam when he was Number 2 in the world. It was also a big win. I never went close against Roger. I never had the chance. To have this win in my career is for sure something big. It’s tough to say that I believed before the match that I could beat Roger. When the match went on, especially in the middle of the first set or after the first set, I started thinking I could win. When the match was getting close I started to believe that I could win, otherwise I didn’t win this win. Now I Know that I can handle some very difficult moments or some big pressure. Maybe I am a little bit more mature on court. I know I know myself a little bit better. It’s for sure a big confidence for the upcoming matches.

Seppi was asked if he had the chance to speak to Simone Bolelli who was beaten by Federer in four sets in the previous match.

I didn’t ask any advice or anything. I didn’t talk to Bolelli really. It’s tough to ask some advice because you know how Roger plays. You know him well. I just watched the first set yesterday. Bolelli played a great set but I didn’t watch the rest of the match. ”, said Seppi

I think Roger is still playing because he believes he can win another Grand Slam. He is a great player. I think that not many people thought that last year he could almost go again Number 1 in the world. I think he has good chances to win another one”

Federer did not look comfortable in the first two sets but admitted in the post-match interview that it was just a bad day at work

It was just a bad day. I wish I could have played better, but clearly it was tough losing the first two. I had chances to get back into it but I let it slip. I guess I won the wrong points out there today. I knew how important that second set tie-break was, so clearly that hurt, losing that one. The end wasn’t pretty. It wasn’t easy to play with the shadow. But it was the same for both of us. It was just a disappointing loss.We had some good matches in the past. He hits a good ball, forehand and backhand, so that I knew that on a quicker court where he gets more help on the serve it was potentially going to be more tricky. I felt for some reason yesterday and this morning that it was not going to be very simple today. Even in practice I still felt the same way. I was just hoping it was one of those feelings you sometimes have and it’s totally not true and you just come out and play a routine match. It was a mistake. I know the strength of Seppi, especially after he beat Chardy, who I know can play very well. I was aware of the test and was well prepared. I couldn’t play my best tennis today. It was definitely partially because Andreas played very well. I felt that maybe rhythm was missing. I feel like very often and then. I come out and play a good match. Sometimes you feel too good and then you play a horrible match. The practice to me doesn’t mean a thing anyway. I was aware that this could be a tough match, so I wasn’t mistaken this time around. It was just an overall feeling I had today out on the court that I couldn’t really get the whole game flowing. Was it backhand ? Was it forehand ? Was it serve ? it was a bit of everything. At the same time I got broken in the last couple of sets. The second set I only got broken once. I was hanging in there. It’s just when it counted the most somehow it just ended up going his way. I think that was because overall I wasn’t feeling it quite as well. I had to play it a little bit passively at times when normally I would play aggressive. It was just a tough match for me”, said Federer.

Asked if the defeat was due to the grueling end of the 2014 season where Federer clinched his first Davis Cup and if the Australian Open came in a bit of a rush, the Swiss star said. “I was actually very happy that it was the way it went because it allowed me to stay within the rhythm and take the break after the Australian Open. I was playing very well in practice. I was playing very well in Brisbane. I was playing great in the practice leading into the tournament. I don’t want to say that I peaked too early, but I was definitely hitting the ball very well. I will have a look at it but I don’t think I did anything wrong honestly. I wanted to go to India. I wanted to go back to Switzerland for Christmas. I practiced as hard as I possibly could. I can’t do more than that. The year ended late, but one week later than normal. At the end of the day, honestly, I am confident that what I did was the right thing.

I was able to iron out things a bit and I was able to play much more solid at the back end of the match. It just broke me to lose that second set and actually the fourth. I should win it too. Just a brutal couple of sets to lose there.”

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Raven Klaasen and Michael Venus secure their spot in the semifinal in the doubles tournament at the ATP Finals in London

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Raven Klaasen and Michael Venus beat Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo 6-3 6-4 in the evening’s double match securing their spot in the semifinal with a record of 2-0 in the Group Jonas Bjorkman.

 

Klaasen earned an early break with a forehand volley to open up a 3-1 lead. Venus and Klaasen dropped just four points on serve and did not face a break point. Venus held serve at 5-3 to close out the opening set 6-3 after 32 minutes.

Both teams held serve until the ninth game, when Venus got the first break at 4-4 with a half-volley winner, when Melo was serving on a deciding point. Kubot and Melo fended off two match points in the next game to force a deciding point and got their first break point of the match.

Venus sealed the win after 71 minutes with a big serve on their third match point in the 10th game. Klaasen and Venus won 86 % of their serve points.

US players Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury scored their first win in the Group Jonas Bjorkman at the Nitto ATP Finals, when they beat Ivan Dodig and Filip Polasek 3-6 6-3 10-6 in the Match Tie-Break. The US team improved their ranking to 1-1.

Dodig and Polasek earned the first break in the fourth game of the opening set to open up a 3-1 lead. They saved four consecutive break points in the ninth game, when they were serving for the first set at 5-3. Dodig and Polasek sealed the first set with a service winner after 33 minutes.

Ram and Salisbury did not convert break points in the most crucial moments of the first set. Ram and Salisbury earned their only break in the sixth game to take a 4-2 lead and did not face a single break point to win the second set 6-3 forcing the match to the third set.

Ram and Salisbury opened up a 3-0 lead with an early mini-break in the Match tie-break. Dodig and Polasek rallied to draw level to 5-5. Ram and Salisbury sealed the win on the first match point, when Polasek hit a backhand volley into the net at 9-6.

Dodig and Polasek, who won two titles in Cincinnati and Beijing, lost to Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo 10-5 in the Match Tie-Break in last Saturday’s first match.

 

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ATP Finals 2019 Day 3 Preview: A Must-Win Match Beckons For Roger Federer

Novak Djokovic plays Dominic Thiem for a commanding lead in the Bjorn Born Group, while Roger Federer faces Matteo Berrettini to stay out of last place.

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Djokovic completely dominated Berrettini on Sunday, allowing the debuting Italian just three games.  Matteo will likely need a win today to have any reasonable chance to advance to the semifinals. If advancement comes down to a tiebreak, he currently has no sets won and an extremely low percentage of games won.  With Federer’s 7-5, 7-5 loss to Thiem on Sunday, his situation is slightly less dire than Berrettini’s. But a loss today would make’s Roger’s likelihood of advancing extremely slim, especially with a match against Djokovic looming on Thursday.

 

Roger Federer (3) vs. Matteo Berrettini (8)

Their only previous meeting was four months ago in this same city.  On Manic Monday at Wimbledon, Federer crushed Berrettini 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 in just 74 minutes.  Matteo was open about how disappointing his performance was that day, as he was overwhelmed by playing the 20-time Major champion on Centre Court.  However, it’s worth noting Berrettini had played a dramatic five-set match just 48 hours prior where he saved match points to come back and defeat Diego Schwartzman.  Matteo should be much fresher for the rematch today, but will he again be overwhelmed by the occasion? The beating he sustained at the hands of Djokovic two days ago will not inspire much confidence.  And he’s facing a man who has only once failed to advance to the semifinals of this event in 16 career appearances. It would be quite surprising if Federer failed to prevail today.

Novak Djokovic (2) vs. Dominic Thiem (5)

The last time these two men faced off was in the semifinals of this year’s Roland Garros.  That match began on an absurdly-windy Friday in Paris, conditions Thiem handled much better than Djokovic.  Their match would take two days to complete, with Dominic taking it 7-5 in the fifth, ending Novak’s campaign to win his fourth consecutive Major.  Overall however Djokovic leads their head-to-head 6-3. Novak is 3-0 on hard courts, though they haven’t played on this surface since this event three years ago, when Djokovic won in three.  Thiem was impressive in taking it to Federer on Sunday, and Dominic’s hard court skills have drastically improved over the past two seasons. But on an indoor hard court, Djokovic remains a considerable favorite to be the only undefeated player in the Bjorn Borg Group by the end of play Tuesday.

 

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‘I Wasn’t Good Enough’ – Rafael Nadal Reacts To ATP Finals Loss

The Spaniard speaks out about his current form and if he plans to continue playing in London.

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LONDON: Rafael Nadal believes his losing start to this year’s ATP Finals was partly down to a lack of practice in recent weeks due to a series of injury issues.

 

The world No.1 enters the event without finishing a tournament since winning the US Open after suffering from issues with his left hand and abdomen. A familiar scenario for the Spaniard who has qualified for the ATP Finals 15 times, but has only been able to play in eight of them. In his opening match against the reigning champion, Alexander Zverev, he was unable to find a way to break down his opponent’s serve as he leaked a series of costly errors.

“Honestly, Sascha played well and I played bad,” Nadal said during his press conference.
“We can find reasons or excuses, but at the end of the day, what matters is that I need to play much better in the next two days after tomorrow. That’s the only thing.”
“We (my team) knew that it was going to be tough at the beginning because of the period of time since my injury until today is very short, but we are here trying, and that’s it.”

Indoor events have never been Nadal’s strong point. Incredibly on the surface, he has only managed to clinch the title in one out of 28 tournaments played. Doing so at the 2005 Madrid Masters. At the ATP Finals, he has reached the final twice in 2010 and 2013.

Nevertheless, there is a silver lining for the Spaniard. Whilst his form isn’t where he would like it to be, physically there are no blips yet. Meaning that he intends to continue fighting in the tournament.

“I have no complaint about my physical condition. No pain in my abdominals. That’s the only positive thing, honestly. That’s all,” said Nadal.
“I’m happy with the way my abdominal held, and hopefully I can continue like this because it’s true that I was not able to do a lot of practice and make a lot of effort on that part of the body since last Saturday.”

The optimism expressed by the 19-time grand slam champion is also one that comes with a caution. When asked if he will be able to play seven or more matches over the next two weeks due to his participation in the Davis Cup, there was a brief silence. Then he replied to the journalist ‘I can’t give you an answer.’

It is up in the air as to how Nadal will fair over the week or if he will even complete all of his round-robin matches due to his troublesome body. However, there is one guarantee. He is ready to fight to the very end.

“I’m staying positive. I’m staying competitive, something that I was not today. That’s the thing that I am more disappointed because knowing that I will not be at my 100% in terms of feelings, in terms of movement, in terms of confidence or hitting the ball, I needed my best competitive spirit this afternoon, and I was not there in that way.”

As a onseuqence of the loss, the 33-year-old has opened the door further for rival Novak Djokovic to snatch the year-end No.1 spot. Although should he go on to win the title, he would claim the sport regardless of how the Serbian performs.

Nadal is down, but he isn’t out yet. Awaiting him next will be a clash with Daniil Medvedev on Wednesday. A player who he leads 2-0 in their head-to-head with both of those wins occuring in 2019.

Nadal’s recent record at the ATP Finals

2018 First to qualify Withdrew on November 5 (ankle)
2017 First to qualify Withdrew after first match against David Goffin (knee)
2016 Points accumulated to qualify Wrist injury ended season on October 20
2015 Fifth to qualify Semi-final loss to Novak Djokovic
2014 Second to qualify Withdrew on October 24 (appendix surgery)
2013 First to qualify Final loss to Novak Djokovic
2012 One of a trio of first qualifiers Withdrew on October 25 (knee )
2011 Second to qualify Two group match losses
2010 First to qualify Lost to Federer in the final
2009 Second to qualify Three group match losses

Source: Sky Sports UK

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