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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Wrist Injury Threatening To End Holger Rune’s Olympic Dream

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Holger Rune will have a second medical opinion on Monday before deciding if he is fit enough to play at the Olympic Games, according to his team. 

The Danish world No.17 recently retired from his quarter-final match at the Hamburg Open due to a knee injury. The hope at the time was that his withdrawal would be just a precautionary measure ahead of the Olympics. However, he is also dealing with a second issue that appears to be more serious.

According to TV 2 Sport, Rune has been struggling with a wrist issue and underwent a scan on Sunday which his mother Aneke says ‘doesn’t look promising.’ Aneke is also the manager of her son’s career. Rune’s Olympic dreams now rest on the outcome of a second medical expert that he will visit tomorrow who has a better understanding of the sport. 

“Unfortunately, it does not look promising after the first medical opinion after the review of the scan of the wrist,” Aneke Rune told TV 2 Sport.

“We are waiting for two tennis-specific doctors who will give a second opinion tomorrow (Monday). Tennis wrists look different from regular wrists, so we’ll hold out hope for one more day.” 

Rune is one of three Danish players entered into the Olympic tennis event along with Caroline Wozniacki and Clara Tauson. The country has only won one medal in tennis before which was at the 1912 Games when Sofie Castenschiold won silver in the women’s indoor singles event. 

So far this season, the 21-year-old has won 27 matches on the Tour but is yet to claim a title. He reached the final of the Brisbane International and then the semi-finals of three more events. In the Grand Slams, he made it to the fourth round of the French Open and Wimbledon. 

It is not known when a final decision regarding Rune’s participation in Paris will be made.

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Hubert Hurkacz Undergoes ‘Knee Procedure’ Ahead of Olympic Bid

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Poland’s top player on the ATP Tour is not giving up on his dream of winning a medal at the Olympic Games despite recently undergoing a medical procedure.

World No.7 Hubert Hurkacz suffered a knee injury during his second round clash at Wimbledon against France’s Arthur Fils. In the fourth set tiebreak of their clash, Hurkacz dived for a shot but landed badly on his knee and required on-court medical attention. He then played two more points before retiring from the match. 

In a social media post published on Wednesday, the  27-year-old confirmed he underwent a procedure on his knee earlier this week but didn’t provide any further details.  Although Hurkacz has stated his intention to play at the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris, where the tennis event will be held on the clay at Roland Garros. 

“I had a knee procedure this Monday, but I’m feeling better already and my team and are dedicating extensive time each day to the rehab process.” He wrote on Instagram. 

“It’s a dream for every athlete to represent their country at the Olympics, and I want to make sure I am fully fit and ready before making the final decision to step on court. The aim is not only to participate, but to win a medal for my country.”

So far this season Hurkacz has won 34 out of 48 matches played on the Tour. He won the Estoril Open in April and was runner-up to Jannik Sinner in Halle. 

The Olympic tennis event is scheduled to begin a week Saturday on July 27th. Poland is yet to win a medal in the event but expectations are high with women’s No.1 Iga Swiatek also taking part. 

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Motivation, Pressure And Expectations – Novak Djokovic Targets History At Wimbledon

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image via x.com/wimbledon

Novak Djokovic has broken numerous records throughout his career but he still feels the pressure of trying to make history in the sport. 

The world No.2 is through to his 10th Wimbledon final where he will play Carlos Alcaraz, who beat him at this stage of the tournament 12 months ago. There is plenty on the line for the Serbian who could equal Roger Federer’s record for most men’s titles won at SW19 and break the overall record for most major singles won in the sport if he triumphs over the Spaniard. Djokovic currently has 24 Grand Slam trophies to his name which is the same as Margaret Court, who won some of her titles before the Open Era started. 

“Obviously I’m aware that Roger [Federer] holds eight Wimbledons. I hold seven. History is on the line.” Djokovic said on Friday after beating Lorenzo Musetti.

“Also, the 25th potential Grand Slam. Of course, it serves as a great motivation, but at the same time it’s also a lot of pressure and expectations.”

Coming into Wimbledon, there had been doubts over Djokovic’s form after he underwent surgery to treat a knee injury he suffered at the French Open. However, he has defied the odds to reach the final. His run has also seen him beat Alexi Popyrin and Holger Rune before getting a walkover in the quarter-finals from Alex de Minaur, who sustained an injury during the tournament. Then on Friday, he overcame a spirited Musetti in three sets. 

Despite the challenge, Djokovic has insisted that his expectations to do well are always high no matter what the situation is. During what has been a roller-coaster first six months of the season, he is yet to win a title this year or beat a player currently ranked in the top 10. Although he will achieve both of these if her beats Alcaraz on Sunday. 

“Every time I step out on the court now, even though I’m 37 and competing with the 21-year-olds, I still expect myself to win most of the matches, and people expect me to win, whatever, 99% of the matches that I play.” He said.

“I always have to come out on the court and perform my best in order to still be at the level with Carlos [Alcaraz] or Jannik [Sinner] or Sascha [Zverev] or any of those guys, Daniil [Medvedev]. 

“This year hasn’t been that successful for me. It’s probably the weakest results the first six months I’ve had in many years. That’s okay. I had to adapt and accept that and really try to find also way out from the injury that I had and kind of regroup.”

Djokovic hopes that a Wimbledon win will help turn his season around like it has done in the past for him. 

“Wimbledon historically there’s been seasons where I wasn’t maybe playing at a desired level, but then I would win a Wimbledon title and then things would change.” He commented.

“For example, that was the case in 2018 when I had elbow surgery earlier in the year, dropped my rankings out of top 20, losing in fourth round of Australian Open, I think it was quarters of Roland-Garros, and just not playing the tennis that I want to play. Then I won Wimbledon and then won US Open and then later on became No.1 very soon.”

Meanwhile, 21-year-old Alcaraz is hoping to stop Djokovic in his tracks. Should he defend his title at Wimbledon, he would become the first player outside the Big Three to do so since Pete Sampras more than 20 years ago. He has won their only previous meeting on the grass but trails their head-to-head 3-2. 

“I’m sure he knows what he has to do to beat me,” said Alcaraz.

“But I’m ready to take that challenge and I’m ready to do it well.”

When the two players take to the court to play in the Wimbledon final, Djokovic will be 15 years and 348 days older than Alcaraz. Making it the largest age gap in a men’s Grand Slam final since the 1974 US Open. Whoever is victorious will receive £2,700,000 in prize money. 

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