AO2015: Djokovic and Wawrinka to meet in the semifinal - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

ATP

AO2015: Djokovic and Wawrinka to meet in the semifinal

Avatar

Published

on

TENNIS AO2015 – Defending champion Stan Wawrinka cruised past US Open finalist Kei Nishikori in straight sets with 6-3 6-4 7-6 (8-6) to get through to his second consecutive semifinal at the Australian Open. Wawrinka set up a blockbuster semifinal against Novak Djokovic who beat Milos Raonic in three sets with 7-6 6-4 6-2. Diego Sampaolo

 

AO2015: Interviews, Results, Order of Play, Draws

Stan the Man has showed impressive form so far this year winning the Chennai for the second year in a row before advancing to the semifinal of the Australian Open dropping just a set in the whole tournament. Nishikori was looking to improve the result achieved in 2012 when he was beaten by Andy Murray in the quarter final.

Nishikori overcame Wawrinka in a five-set quarter final at last year’s US Open with 3-6 7-5 7-6 6-7 6-4. Today’s match was expected to another thrilling match but this time around Wawrinka was too strong in the first two sets.

Wawrinka broke serve for the first time in the match in the fourth game of the opening set before pulling away to 5-3. In the ninth game Nishikori drew level to 30-30 but Wawrinka sealed the first set with 6-3 after a forehand winner and a backhand unforced error from Nishikori

Nishikori saved a break point opportunity in the third game of the second set but Wawrinka got the break in the fifth game. At 4-2 Wawrinka brought up three break point chances which Nishikori saved them.

Nishikori earned a break point chance for the first time in the match in the 10th game of the second set but Wawrinka saved it by hitting a first serve at 222 km/h and clinched the second set with 6-4.

Nishikori broke serve in the second time of the third set but was broken back immediately to love. The third set went on serve until the tie-break.

Wawrinka hit three aces to go up 6-1 in the third-set tie-break but he faced trouble when Nishikori rallied from 1-6 by saving five match points to draw level to 6-6. However, the Japanese player sent his forehand drop-shot into the net to earn Wawrinka the sixth match point. Wawrinka hit his 20th ace at 209 km/h to clinch the win after two hours and four minutes. Wawrinka won 86 percent of his first serve points and hit 46 winners.

I was really happy to see the dropshot hit the net because I was not going to get to that ball. I had the wind with me, so it was not easy to make a drop-shot, especially at that moment. It was a crazy tie-break, but it was a good tie-break. It was good to finish in three sets. Today I was serving really well. I am happy with that part of my game. It’s never easy to break Kei because he playing so well. You need to be focused on what you need to do. You need to change the speed. You need to change where you serve also. I think it was one of my best matches if I look about that”

Wawrinka is 5-0 in the tie-breaks he played at the Australian Open this year.

It’s just the beginning of the season. We’ll see at the end of the year. Two days ago I was lucky. I was down 6-2 and I won the tie-break with some luck. Today I was 6-1 up, but I started on the side with the wind, so that helped me a lot. He started with serve and volley. When he came back from 6-1 to 6-all, he was playing good, aggressive. I was a little bit hesitating. I didn’t put first serve. It’s never easy when you have so many match points to focus after. But at 6-all I had the wind again. I was trying to be aggressive. Luckily he missed the drop-shot. I am happy to make an ace after”

I am just happy to be back in the semifinals so far. It was important match for me today. It’s never easy against Nishikori. I had to be ready for that. I had to fight with myself to stay with him, to play really aggressive, to stay on my line not give him the opportunity to put me in a defensive play. I am really happy that I did that really well today. I think it was a great match in general”

Wawrinka feels that he is playing even better than last year when he won his first Grand Slam title and is confident that he can repeat the achievement this year.

I think I am playing better. I think we all improve every year. I am more aggressive. I have more confidence wit my game when I come to the net. It’s a Grand Slam. You play every two days. Today was a great match. I am now going to enjoy a little bit, watch who is going to win tonight and get ready for the semifinal. I know that now I have a Grand Slam at home. I have the Grand Slam trophy. I won the Davis Cup also. I have the confidence from that. I know I can make it. I trust my game. I trust myself on the court even when we start to play the semifinal or the final in Grand Slam. Apart from that, it’s a new year. It’s going to be a new semifinal. We’ll see whom I am going to play”

Wawrinka said that winning the Davis Cup at the end of last year game him the confidence.

I think I got a lot of confidence from first winning the Davis Cup at the end of the year. I think since Shanghai I have been playing great tennis. I am focused on what I am doing every day. I am trying to practice really hard, trying to improve my game. I had a really good Masters in London, playing one of my best tournaments indoors, losing the semifinal against Roger. Then I had the important Davis Cup final. It was important mentally to get there, to play well. That’s what I did. I had a short pre-season. I am trying to work hard. I am trying to improve my game. I have the chance to have a great team around me with Magnus Norman and Pierre Paganini who are really behind me trying to push me every day. I got a lot of confidence by winning Chennai, the first tournament. My game is there and I am happy to play here in Melbourne, to have a chance to play the semifinal again. As I said before the tournament, I do not feel pressure by defending the title because I don’t come here to defend it. I come here as a new challenge, a new Grand Slam. That’s how I start the tournament. I am really happy to be already in the semifinal, to play that well so far. This match was really important for me especially the way I deal with the pressure to play Nishikori. It’s never easy for me for my game.

Nishikori felt more aggressive in his game in the third set and he might have changed the match if he he had won the breaker. “I started to feel more comfortable in the third set, especially after I found out a couple of points that I could go little more aggressive than in the first and in the second sets. I was mixing up serve and volleys. My serve was much better than in the first couple of sets because I was making more first serve. I was struggling my serve. That’s why I couldn’t get good rhythm in the first and in the second set. The tie-break was really close. If I could get that one, I might change the whole thing. But he was serving really well until the end of the set. I have to give him credit. He obviously played really aggressive and played great tennis. I didn’t play really bad. Congratulations to him”, said Nishikori

Wawrinka will face Novak Djokovic for the third consecutive year at Melbourne Park.In 2013 Djokovic edged Wawrinka in the fourth round with an epic 12-10 in the fifth set. Last year Wawrinka overcame Djokovic with 9-7 in another dramatic five-set battle in the quarter final.

Djokovic beat Raonic 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 6-2

Djokovic beat Raonic in straight sets with 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 6-2. The match was expected to be a battle between the biggest returner (Djokovic) and the biggest server (Raonic) but only in the first set Djokovic faced stiff resistance from Raonic who kept pace with the World Number 1 with his big serve. Djokovic earned four break points in the first set. Predictably the opening set went on serve until the inevitable tie-break. In the previous matches Djokovic had a record of three tie-break wins in four against Raonic. The Canadian had already won 8 out of 10 tie-break this year.

Djokovic took advantage of a costly forehand unforced error from Raonic at 5-6 in the breaker allowed Djokovic to clinch the opening set.

Djokovic broke the resistance of Raonic and went from strength to strength holding serve with ease. He dropped just two points on serve and broke serve in the remaining two sets.

The Serb finally managed to break with his cross-court backhand at the start of the second set and won the second set in 33 minutes. Raonic did not earn a single break point in the match. Djokovic broke serve twice in the third set and sealed the win with a backhand volley on his first match point after 119 minutes to get through to his fifth Australian Open semifinal and to his 25th Grand Slam semifinal.

Djokovic extended his winning streak to 5-0 in his head-to-head matches against Raonic. He has not dropped a single set in the whole tournament so far.

Djokovic is looking to win his fifth title in Melbourne and equal Roy Emerson at the top of the ranking of players with more titles at the Australian Open.

I played my best tennis in the tournament so far. Tonight I played the way I wanted. It’s great to see Stan doing good three years. He didn’t believe he could win Slams. This has changed now. Stan is playing very confident and is one of the guys to beat in this tournament. I am ready for the battle.We get to play on a high level against each other. I am a very good friend but when we get on the court we wanna beat each other”

It was a close first set but I thought I had I had more chances in the first set than him. I managed to stay tough in the right moments and win the crucial first set. Obviously winning it in a tie-break and making the break of serve in the first game in the first game of the second set was definitely huge for me. I could start swinging through a little bit more, be more aggressive into the court. Since that first game of the second set I played a great match. I take a lot of confidence out of the last two matches that were very tricky, where I didn’t lose a set. I try to carry that in every next match, next challenge. I am going to play Stan, who Is the defending champion here. We played five-set matches in the 2013 and 2014 Australian Open. I am going to be ready for a fight. Knowing that I have raised the level of performance tonight, and probably playing the best match of the tournament so far is affecting my confidence in a positive way. Hopefully I can carry that into next one. I try to take the positives out of every match. Tonight there was not much I could complain about. From the first game till the last I played the way I wanted. I created a lot of breakpoint opportunities. The key of tonight’s match was to get an many balls back in play, returns back in play. I thought from the back of the court I had more more chances than him to win the points. I executed very well. It’s easier said than done, but I feel very good about my game in this moment”, said Djokovic.

ATP

Roger Federer’s Team8 Considering Bid To Buy Cincinnati Masters Rights From USTA

The potential move has gained support from one former world No.1 player who says ‘it is nice to see responsible names’ in the mix to buy the prestigious event.

Avatar

Published

on

Roger Federer Wimbledon 2021
Roger Federer (SUI) playing against Adrian Mannarino (FRA) in the first round of the Gentlemen's Singles on Centre Court at The Championships 2021. Held at The All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon. Day 2 Tuesday 29/06/2021. Credit: AELTC/Jed Leicester

It is understood that sports and entertainment company Team8 which was co-founded by Roger Federer is looking into potentially submitting an application for ownership of the Cincinnati Masters, according to two sources.

 

Sports business publication Sportico and Steve Weissman from The Tennis Channel have both reported that the business is among a number of interested parties who want to buy the event that is best known as the Western and Southern Open. In February this year it was confirmed that the USTA is selling their 93.8% stake in the tournament for a ‘nine-figure sum.’ It is understood that the organization doesn’t want the event to be relocated from Cincinnati in part of any deal.

“The USTA’s Board of Directors believes now is the right time to explore potential strategic options and alternatives in order to optimize the long-term growth of the tournament and take the tournament to the next level,” the USTA said in a statement published by tennis.com.

The USTA brought the rights to the men’s event back in 2009 for $12.5M and has since spent an additional $65M. Whilst Cincinnati is a combined tournament, the ongoing negotiations only apply to the men’s section. The women’s tournament is overseen by Octagon management.

Neither Federer or a member of Team8 have commented on the reported plans. The company was founded by the 20-time Grand Slam champion and his agent Tony Godsick back in 2013. Since then they have been involved in the creation of the Laver Cup, became a ‘major investor’ in the Universal Tennis system and are a ‘strategic investor and partner’ to On Running.

Should Team8 become the new owners, questions may arise about conflicts of interest with Federer still being an active player on Tour. The 40-year-old is currently sidelined from action due to a knee injury but is aiming to stage a comeback at the Swiss Open later this year. However, former world No.1 Andy Roddick has given his full backing to the possible takeover.

“In the world of tennis, where conflicts of interest know no bounds at all, Roger can do this. He has, obviously, been a great steward for the game and has created an incredible relationship with the fans in the city of Cincinnati. You’d like to see it stay in the tennis family with someone who actually knows and loves our sport.” Roddick told The Tennis Channel.

Federer has won the Cincinnati Masters a record seven times in his career.

Continue Reading

ATP

Daniil Medvedev ‘Happy To Play Wimbledon’ If Ban Is Lifted

The world No.2 says he is willing to speak with other players about the situation ahead of his return to action following surgery.

Avatar

Published

on

Daniil Medvedev (RUS) in action against Jan-Lennard Struff (GER) in the first round of the Gentlemen's Singles on No.1 Court at The Championships 2021. Held at The All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon. Day 2 Tuesday 29/06/2021. Credit: AELTC/Edward Whitaker

Daniil Medvedev says he is still hopeful that he might be able to play at this year’s Wimbledon Championships should officials at The All England Club decide to change their stance.

 

At present the reigning US Open champion will not be allowed to play at the grass court major due to his nationality. Officials at the Grand Slam have confirmed that Russian and Belarussian players have been banned from the event due to the war in Ukraine. Ian Hewitt, who is the chairman of The AELTC, said the action was taken in order to prevent ‘the propaganda machine of the Russian regime’ from potentially benefiting from their players’ success.

The ban is a controversial move for the sport which until now had a united approach when it came to allowing those players participate in tournaments but only as neutral athletes. Former Wimbledon champions Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokopvic and Andy Murray have all expressed some degree of opposition to the decision. Meanwhile, the ATP and WTA are considering the possibility of removing the allocation of ranking points at the event.

Speaking about the ban ahead of this week’s Geneva Open, Medvedev acknowledges that it is a ‘tricky situation’ but is still hopeful that a u-turn could occur which would allow him to play. The 26-year-old has made four main draw appearances at Wimbledon with his best result being a run to the fourth round last year.

“There has been a lot of talk around it. I just tried to follow what’s happening because I don’t have any decisions to make. It’s right now about Wimbledon itself, the ATP, maybe the British government is involved,” news agency AFP quoted Medvedev as telling reporters in Switzerland.
“It’s a tricky situation and like every situation in life, you ask 100 players, everybody’s going to give a different opinion.
“I can play: I’m going to be happy to play in Wimbledon. I love this tournament.
“I cannot play: well, I’m going to try to play other tournaments and prepare well for next year if I have the chance to play.”

The former world No.1 has been among a group of Russian players who have previously called for peace in the region. Although none of them have gone as far as publicly condemning the actions of their government. Something which has drawn criticism from Ukraine’s Elina Svitoliva.

“I had some time to follow what is happening, yeah, it’s very upsetting,” Medvedev commented on the war.

Geneva will be the first event Medvedev has played in since reaching the quarter-finals of the Miami Open. He took time away from the Tour to undergo hernia surgery but has confirmed he intends to play at next week’s French Open despite his lack of match play on the clay.

During his time at those events, the tennis star says he is more than happy to speak with other players about the Wimbledon ban should they want to.

“Since I haven’t been on the tour, I haven’t talked to any of them face to face. It was the first time when I came here on Saturday when I can talk to players, and if they start talking about this, we can discuss,” he said.
“I don’t know exactly what’s happening, what’s going to happen, if there are going to be more decisions made.
“Same about Wimbledon. I don’t know if this decision is 100 percent, and it’s over.”

Granted a bye in the first round, Medvedev will start his Geneva campaign against either Richard Gasquet or John Millman.

Continue Reading

ATP

Conquering the world: Carlos Alcaraz beats Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic to cement Barcelona-Madrid titles (Part Two)

Carlos Alcaraz will now look to translate his success from the ATP Tour to Roland Garros.

Avatar

Published

on

Carlos Alcaraz (@MutuaMadridOpen)

In part one, I assessed how Spanish teenager Carlos Alcaraz continues to take the tennis world by storm after his victory in Barcelona.

 

Now I turn my attentions to his success in another famous Spanish city.

Madrid Masters victory

Alcaraz again began his Madrid Masters campaign in style, beating the dangerous Georgian Nicoloz Basilashvili in straight sets.

A stern test came in the form of Britain’s Cameron Norrie, who pushed the birthday boy that day to three sets.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CdMSI6uKJZB/?igshid=MDJmNzVkMjY=

Alcaraz moving through 6-4, 6-7 (4-7), 6-3 to set up a blockbuster quarter-final clash with his idol Rafa Nadal.

Now, some context is needed that the 21-time Grand Slam was appearing in his first tournament back since recovering from a rib injury.

An opening round win against Serbian Miomir Kecmanović was backed up with a tight three-set triumph over Belgian David Goffin, with the veteran Spaniard saving four match points.

To his credit, Nadal pushed his young apprentice all the way, before going down 6-2, 1-6, 6-3, with the second set showing his obvious quality, despite being partially fit.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CdOP5Jtg2Pn/

If this moment was a changing of the guard in Spanish tennis, then Alcaraz’s impressive win over Novak Djokovic could point to the man who may dominant the future of tennis.

The world number one was fortunate to play a match less, after the shock withdrawal of old rival Murray in the third-round.

https://www.instagram.com/tv/CdRFDuFgIHv/?igshid=MDJmNzVkMjY=

But he was no match for the imperious Alcaraz who triumphed at front of the delighted home support, 6-7 (5-7), 7-5, 7-6 (7-5).

The first player ever to beat Nadal and Djokovic back-to-back on a clay court in the history of tennis.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CdQ4yADqinS/?igshid=MDJmNzVkMjY=

And Alcaraz made it a highly commendable 5-0 in finals, destroying Germany’s Alexander Zverev 6-3, 6-1, with little challenge unlike the previous encounters with Norrie, Nadal and Djokovic.

James Spencer (Twitter: @jspencer28) – Alcaraz Verdict

In truth, I had a sneaky feeling that Alcaraz would triumph in Barcelona.

The way he is playing with such finesse and confidence, particularly against the Monte Carlo Masters champion, Stefanos Tsitsipas, was incredible to see.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CdQ4yADqinS/?igshid=MDJmNzVkMjY=

Saving match points against Alex de Minaur, also showed his mettle.

He also has an unbelievable shot selection and fitness levels.

Beating Nadal and Djokovic back-to-back is no easy feat.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CdRGhGyq64J/?igshid=MDJmNzVkMjY=

Often just one win knocks the stuffing out of you, mentally and physically, but not for this kid.

Alcaraz doesn’t get carried away. And this has been shown consistently this season.

Winning the Miami Masters could have led to a drop in motivation, yet he has looked even more motivated if anything.

He’s performed on hard-court and clay court surfaces with an assuring dominance.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CdRDN0Hq_zY/?igshid=MDJmNzVkMjY=

In fact, he is unbeaten on clay this season, losing three times in total all season.

Matteo Berrettini in five at the Australian Open.

Nadal in the semis of Indian Wells in a tight three sets, that ultimately injured the elder Spaniard, which could have ramifications on his entire fitness this season, and the destination of the French Open trophy.

And a close three-set defeat to up and coming youngster Sebastian Korda in Monte Carlo.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CdTpZI6o1kX/?igshid=MDJmNzVkMjY=

The new world number six must surely be the new favourite to WIN the French Open later this month.

Skipping the Italian Open should help the 19-year-old heal any niggling injuries.

If he does win in Paris, he will be the youngest Grand Slam champion since you guessed it, Nadal.

Only time will tell.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending