Federer moves through in Halle as Wawrinka is dismissed in London - UBITENNIS
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Federer moves through in Halle as Wawrinka is dismissed in London

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TENNIS – Roger Federer beat Ernests Gulbis 6-3 7-5 to get through to the quarterfinal of the Gerry Weber Open. Diego Sampaolo

 

After saving 2 break points in the 3rd game Federer converted his 2nd break point chance in the 6th game of the opening set for a 4-2 lead. He dropped just one point in his next two service games en route to winning the set with 6-3 in just 27 minutes.

In a tougher second set Federer made consecutive double faults but held his serve for 4-4. He earned three break points at 5-5. Gulbis saved the first two break points but dropped his serve for 5-6 after committing a double fault at 30-40. Federer served out for the match for 7-5. Federer has reached the quarterfinal in Halle for the 13th time in 13 appearances. This is surely one of his favourite events having won 7 titles here.

Federer will face Florian Mayer in the quarterfinals. The Swiss star won all 5 of their previous matches. Mayer beat Steve Johnson 6-3 7-6(4). Mayer fought back from 0-3 in the 1st set by reeling off 6 consecutive games to win 6-3. After  trading breaks in the 2nd set, they remained on serve forcing a tie-breaker where Mayer won 7-4 points.

Tomas Berdych, winner at Halle in 2007, eased past Borna Coric 6-3 6-2. The Czech player went down 0-30 on his serve but avoided the risk of a break by hitting two service winners. Berdych broke serve in the 4th game and held his next service games to close out in the 9th game with 6-3. Coric saved a break point at the start of 2nd set but Berdych eventually broke serve soon afterwards when Coric made yet another unforced error. Berdych got a double break in the next game before holding his next three service games, 6-3 6-2.

Ivo Karlovic fought back from a set down to edge Alexander Zverev 6-7(5) 6-3 6-3. The 1st set went on serve until the tie-break where Zverev got the mini-break and the set all on the same point. Karlovic broke serve three times to win the next two sets with a 6-7 6-3 6-3.

Anderson beats Wawrinka in the second round at Queen’s

Kevin Anderson battled past this year’s Roland Garros champion Stan Wawrinka 7-6(4) 7-6(11) in the 2nd round of the Aegon Championships at the Queen’s Club in London. The Swiss player lost his first match since his winning run in Paris two weeks ago.

Anderson held a break point in the 1st game of the match whereas Wawrinka held two set points at 6-5. However, neither converted on these opportunities. Yet Anderson took the win in the tie-break of the first set with 7-4.

Wawrinka saved a break point when he was down 2-3 in the 2nd set and neither player was again able to break serve. Thus, the match came down to the tiebreaker. Wawrinka saved 5 match points before sending a forehand wide on his lone set point. Anderson got the decisive mini-break for 12-11 and closed out the match on his 6th match point with his 22nd ace. Anderson scored his 4th consecutive win against Wawrinka including the three wins from part .

Anderson will face  Guillermo Garcia Lopez who knocked out in straight sets, 6-4 7-6(4) Alexsandr Dolgopolov the man responsible for dismissing Rafael Nadal in the previous round.

“I felt I was serving really well. Grass definitely helps a little bit especially on some of the wide serves. I felt a very good serving performance.  I just kept patient throughout. I found I was having quite a few chances on his serve. tt was a terrific match for me. He is a terrific player so it means a lot to me and to do on such a great makes it extra special. I feel like I play good tennis against him. I can take a lot of confidence from that and take that same sort of belief against some of the other top guys”, said Anderson

Despite his defeat, Wawrinka was happy with his match. “I did one big mistake. I think he is playing really well. He was going for his shots and going for the line without really a plan. Just going and putting a lot of pressure”, said Wawrinka

Giles Simon beat Thannasi Kokkinakis 6-4 6-2. The Frenchman converted on 4/6 of his break points

Milos Raonic, who is playing his first event after undergoing surgery to correct a nerve in his right foot, edged passed Richard Gasquet 6-4 6-7(5) 6-1. Raonic broke serve in the opening game of the 1st set and quickly jumped out to a 2-0 lead en route to winning the set 6-4. Gasquet won the 2nd set tie-break to draw level in the match. Raining took complete charge of the decisive set as he soon up 4-0 before taking it 6-1.

 

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Janko Tipsarevic retires from tennis

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Janko Tipsarevic has announced that he will retire from professional tennis at the age of 35 next November. The Belgrade native enjoyed his best seasons in 2011, when he qualified for the ATP Finals, and in 2012, when he reached the quarter final at the US Open for the second consecutive year. In 2012 he reached the quarter final or better in 14 tournaments, including the semifinal at Masters 1000 tournaments in Madrid and Toronto.

 

He reached his best ranking of world number 8 in April 2012 after qualifying for the quarter final in Miami. He won four titles in his career and reached the fourth round at Roland Garros, Wimbledon and Australian Open.

He returned to action at the Australian Open last January after a long absence of 16 months following two harmstring surgeries. The Serbian player lost to Grigor Dimitrov in the first round at the Australian Open. Later this year he reached the quarter final in Houston.

Tipsarevic is planning after the Davis Cup finals in Madrid next November.

“It has been a great 16 years. After a lot of sour searching and thinking what is important to me in this stage of my life and what does make make me happy, I have decided to retire from professional tennis. My last competition will be the Davis Cup in Madrid. In the following years my focus will be my family, franchising our Tennis Academy and International coaching for several weeks per year. Thank you for your ongoing support”, announced Tipsarevic via social media.

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Intriguing Team-Ups Lure Eyes Doubles’ Way. Will They Stay For The Problems, Too?

Will the recent surge in high-profile double partnerships have any impact on the long term future of the discipline?

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Cincinnati Open, Western and Southern Open, Andy Murray, Feliciano Lopez
Photo Credit: ATP Tour Twitter

In one of his press conferences at the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati, Andy Murray said he would not be playing the US Open. His announcement came a day or so after his initial declaration that he would be playing only the two doubles events in the final Major of the season. A few things came out of Murray’s remarks. The first and the obvious was that the former world no. 1 was ready to give it his all (yet again) to play singles. The second, the understated aspect, was that doubles while seeming easy vis-à-vis singles required just as much focus, if not more. Then, there was a third.

 

In tennis’ continuity though, the relevance of the doubles game is not a recent epiphany. However, the last few tournaments of the 2019 season that featured some eclectic partnerships – Stefanos Tsitispas and Nick Kyrgios, Andy Murray and Feliciano Lopez, the Pliskova twins, Andy and Jamie Murray, and so on – has made doubles slightly more prominent than singles.

Singles has become monotonous with the same set of players making it to the final rounds. On the other hand, doubles has brought in more verve to the existing status quo of the Tour, with each player’s individuality adding to the dynamics of the team. After his first outing as Kyrgios’ doubles partner at the Citi Open in Washington in July, Tsitsipas pointed this out.

“It’s the joy of being with a person who thinks differently and reacts differently. I would characterise him (Kyrgios) as someone who likes to amuse. I’m very serious and concentrated when I play, but he just has the style of speaking all the time. It’s good sometimes to have a change,” the Greek had said.

These changes – as seen with Murray’s recent decision – may not extend for a longer period. The culmination of these short-term team-ups does – and should – not mean the end of the road of doubles piquing attention, per se. At the same time, these transitory partnerships also reroute the discussion back to the financial side of the doubles game.

In a recent interview with Forbes, Jamie Murray – a doubles specialist – shared how conducive it had become for players to take up doubles as the sole means of a tennis career these days, as compared to in the past.

“Because the money is always increasing in tennis, it is a much more viable option to go down the doubles route a lot earlier than previous generations. Before, people would play singles and then when their ranking dropped, they played an extra few years of doubles. Now it is a genuine option to start off much younger and have a career in doubles,” the 33-year-old said.

Despite Murray’s upbeat attitude, these increases have not exactly trickled towards doubles, especially at the Slams including the upcoming edition of the US Open. For 2019, the USTA showed-off yet another hike in the prize-money coffer. The men’s and women’s singles champions will be awarded $3.8 million. In comparison, the men’s and women’s doubles teams winning the respective title will get $740,000. This sum gets further diluted for the mixed-doubles’ titlists who will get $160,000 as a team.

This is the third and final takeaway that emerged from Murray’s US Open call. For several of these singles players, intermittent doubles play is an option. For those who play only doubles, that is the only option they have. The doubles game requires similar effort – travel, expenses and fitness – the costs continue to outweigh the benefits. These momentary team formations are a gauge revealing the disparity of tennis’ two sides, visible yet obliviated beyond tokenism.

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Svetlana Kuznetsova upsets Ashleigh Barty in Cincinnati to reach the 42nd final of her career

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Russian wild card Svetlana Kuznetsova edged top seed this year’s Roland Garros champion Ashleigh Barty 6-2 6-4 in the semifinal of the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati to reach the 42nd final of her career.

 

Two-time Grand Slam champion Kuznetsova, who is now ranked world number 153, scored her third win against top 10 players this week  after beating former US Open champion Sloane Stephens and Karolina Pliskova.

Barty missed her chance to regain world number 1 spot from Naomi Osaka, who was forced to retire from her quarter final.

Barty earned the first break of the match in the second game of the opening set, when Kuznetsova netted a backhand. Kuznetsova broke back in the third game with a smash winner and earned another break at 2-2 when Barty netted a backhand. Kuznetsova hit a return winner to build up a 5-2 lead. Barty asked a medical time-out to treat he right leg. Kuznetsova held serve at 15 to close out the opening set after 30 minutes.

Kuznetsova went up a break in the first game of the second set. Barty won just three points on return in the second set. Kuznetsova closed out the second set with three winners in the 10th game.

“I am really happy. I am not really an analyzing person, but on my intuition, I am doing so much better, not repeating so many of my mistakes, just playing smarter and wiser now. It’s been so many different things when I was off, so I just enjoyed time off. Honestly, I was not missing at all the travelling and all the stress when you play tournaments, but now I have missed it and I feel good. I feel joy staying here and being here. It definitely helped me to have some time off to see other things outside tennis”, said Kuznetsova.

 

Kuznetsova set up a final against Madison Keys, who beat Sofia Kenin in straight sets. The Russian 34-year-old veteran player has qualified for her first final since last year, when she beat Donna Vekic in Washington.

 

“Madison is extremely tough. When she is on fire, it is really hard to play against her. It’s going to be a difficult match-up”, said Kuznetsova.  

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