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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Andy Murray won’t travel to Australia

Andy Murray will miss next month’s Australian Open after testing positive for COVID-19 a couple of weeks ago.

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Andy Murray (@the_LTA - Twitter)

Andy Murray has made it official, he won’t be making the trip down under after working with Tennis Australia to find a viable solution to make it work.

 

“We’ve been in constant dialogue with Tennis Australia to try and find a solution which would allow some form of workable quarantine, but we couldn’t make it work.”

Murray was scheduled to fly to Australia with one of charter flights but due to a positive Covid test wasn’t able to make the flight and put his tournament in jeopardy.

Although he missed the chartered flights there was still a small chance he would play but had to workout an agreement with Tennis Australia to make it work. However it didn’t work and was gutted with the news.

“I want to thank everyone there for their efforts, I’m devastated not to be playing out in Australia. It’s a country and tournament that I love.”

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‘If I knew, I Wouldn’t Come’ – Victor Troicki Slams Hard Quarantine In Melbourne

Troicki, who will head the Serbian ATP Cup team next month, says his career has been thrown into ‘chaos.’

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Former top 20 player Victor Troicki says his ‘Grand Slam is failing’ after implying that he felt that he was misled about the quarantine rules ahead of the Australian Open.

 

Troicki, who is currently ranked 202nd in the world, is among 72 players who have been placed in a strict quarantine where they are not allowed to leave their room for a 14-day period. Those affected have all been deemed as a ‘close contact’ of somebody who tested positive for COVID-19. A series of positive tests was detected on flights en route to the country.

34-year-old Troicki travelled to Australia from Doha after successfully qualifying for the Australian Open with wins over Cedrik-Marcel Stebe, Ulises Blanch and Jurij Rodionov. This year’s two qualifying tournament’s took place in the Middle East due to the pandemic.

“If I knew, I wouldn’t come,” Troicki told Sportski Zurnal earlier this week.
“Total chaos, horror as far as everything is concerned. I’m locked up for 14 days, I can’t leave the room. No training, nothing. My Grand Slam is failing, I can’t get ready for five sets in the room.”

In recent days there has been some dispute over whether players knew about the conditions regarding going into a strict quarantine. Carlos Martinez, who is the coach of Daria Kasatkina, told UbiTennis that players were initially under the impression that sections of a plan would have to be isolated if there was a positive case and not the entire plane. Ultimately the decision was up to the Australian health authorities.

“Tennis Australia was doing a great job in my opinion. The only thing that was a bit unclear was about the quarantine when somebody gets infected on the plane. They were talking like they were going to make sections inside the plane so if they found somebody in a section (who tests positive) they would isolate those people,’ said Martinez.
“But in the end the government didn’t want to do this and they preferred to isolate all on the plane because it was safer for everyone.”

Amid the debate over whether Troicki and his peers knew the full story or not, Spain’s Paula Badosa has become the first Australian Open player to contract the virus during quarantine. She had previously criticised the procedure before later apologising.

As for Troicki, he says the current situation is creating ‘chaos’ in his career.

“All preparations are failing,” he said. “Two weeks of lying in bed, it is certain that I will have to get back in shape for the next month and a half. All this is creating chaos in my career.”

Troicki is the team captain of the Serbian ATP Cup team. The tournament will start a week prior to the Australian Open on February 1st.

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No Advantage For Those Quarantining In Adelaide, Says Dominic Thiem

The 27-year-old dispute claims of unequal treatment ahead of the first major of 2021.

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Dominic Thiem has dismissed allegations of special treatment for top ranked players going through quarantine ahead of the Australian Open next month.

 

The World No.3 is among a series of players who are staying in Adelaide instead of Melbourne where an estimated 1200 players and their teams have travelled to. Under an agreement struck by Tennis Australia, the top three players on both the men’s and women’s Tour’s have been allowed to quarantine in Adelaide along with their hitting partners, family and team members. The move is to help ease the flow of people into Melbourne.

Some players have claimed that special treatment is being provided to those in Adelaide with the use of a private gym among other extras. However, Thiem has insisted that he is no better off than his peers.

“It’s a privilege to be here in Adelaide. But it’s not that huge an advantage,” Thiem told The Guardian. “We get the same amount of practice time as the guys in Melbourne. It’s just not that busy on-site. It’s just that we are [fewer] players here. Compared to the players who are not in hard quarantine in Melbourne, we have pretty similar conditions.”

Earlier in the week Tennis Australia boss Craig Tiley openly admitted that those in Adelaide had gotten a better deal. Speaking to Nine News of Melbourne he said ‘My general rule is if you’re at the top of the game, a Grand Slam champion, it’s just the nature of the business. You are going to get a better deal.’ Meanwhile in a recent interview with UbiTennis, world No.44 doubles player Marcelo Demoliner pointed out that the disparity in treatment between the top names and other players is a common trait in the sport.

“I do believe they are receiving preferential treatment, quite different from us. But this is part of the tour,” he said.
“The top tennis players always had these extras, we are kinda used to it. We came here knowing that they would have better conditions for practicing, structure, hotels… they also have merits to have achieved all that they have to be the best players in the world. I don’t know if it’s fair, but I believe the conditions could be more similar than they are in this situation.”

Strict quarantine woes

Perhaps those most frustrated with Thiem and Co are the ones currently placed in strict quarantine. 72 players are not allowed to leave their rooms for 14 days after being deemed a close contact of somebody who has tested positive for COVID-19. A series of positive tests occurred on flights en route to Melbourne.

Speaking about the group, US Open champion Thiem admits they face a struggle in the coming weeks but stress that it was a risk they took. There have been arguments over the quarantine rules and whether they were clear enough upon arrival. Carlos Martinez, who is the coach of Daria Kasatkina, told UbiTennis that players were unaware that if somebody tested positive on a plane all passengers would be required to isolate.

It’s going to be really tough to play a good ATP Cup or good tournament before the Australian Open and then a good Australian Open,” said Thiem.
“They have a huge disadvantage, but that’s the risk we take when we go on to a plane nowadays.”

Novak Djokovic has previously sought to help out those in strict quarantine by writing a letter to Tiley outlining a series of suggestions including the increased use of testing to reduce the isolation period. However, government officials rejected calls for any changes to their system. Djokovic issued a statement on Thursday outlining his motive was made with ‘good intentions’ after he received backlash from some.

“He received unnecessary criticism a lot in the past. This topic, I don’t really know,” Thiem commented.
“He tried to help the other players in Melbourne but in Australia they did a great job with corona. It almost doesn’t exist here any more so Australia wants to keep it that way.”

The Australian Open will get underway on February 8th. Thiem is aiming to go one step better than last year when he finished runner-up to Djokovic.

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