ATP Halle: Federer through to his 11th semifinal - UBITENNIS
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ATP Halle: Federer through to his 11th semifinal

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TENNIS – Seven-time champion Roger Federer beat Florian Mayer 6-0 7-6 to qualify for his 11th semifinal at this event. He has moved on to the finals 9 times to win it on 7 ocassions.  Thirty-six year-old Ivo Karlovic battled past Tomas Berdych in three sets with 7-5 6-7 (8-10) 6-3 in two hours and 11 minutes in the first quarter of the Gerry Weber Open in Halle to get through to the semifinals. Kei Nishikori had to fight hard to beat Jerzy Janowicz in three sets to reach his second consecutive semifinal in Halle. The Japanese player will face Andreas Seppi who was leading 6-1 1-0 when Gael withdrew from the match after 32 minutes Diego Sampaolo

 

Roger Federer won his sixth head-to-head match against Florian Mayer with 6-0 7-6. The Swiss legend broke serve three times in the first set to win with a bagel after just 19 minutes. Federer earned a break point in the first game of the second set but Mayer saved it. He could not convert a break point at 4-4. The second set came down to the tie-break where Federer cruised to 7-1 after one hour and four minutes on a closed roof. He has reached the semifinal in Halle for the 11th time. He lost only one of his previous 10 semifinals in this tournament in 2002 against Nicolas Kiefer

“It was a super start. He was able to recover well and it got close. Luckily I was able to play a perfect tie-break

In the semifinal Federer will face Karlovic who hit 45 aces setting a record for a best-of-three set match. Karlovic shared this record of 44 aces with Mark Philippousis. Last February he fired 44 aces in Zagreb equalling Philippousis’ record of 44 aces set in Kuala Lumpur in 1995.

Karlovic got the first break at 5-5  when Berdych made a double fault. Karlovic recovered to draw lvel in the tie-break of the second set after Berdych missed three set points. However, Karlovic could not convert the match point. Berdych won the tie-break with 10-8 as Karlovic hit his return into the net. Karlovic took a 3-1 lead before wrapping up the match with his 45th ace after 2 hours and 12 minutes.

Karlovic scored his second win over a top-10 player in 2015 after beating Novak Djokovic last January in Doha. With his 45 aces he increased his total to 94 aces during the week after his 28 aces against Santiago Giraldo and his 21 aces against Aleksander Zverev.

“I am extremely happy about my record. Hitting records helps a lot. I was surprised when I was told on court after the match how many aces I hit. I didn’t know it was that many. Hopefully I can continue like that in the semifinal”, said Karlovic

Federer leads 12-1 in his previous head-to-head matches against Karlovic.

Kei Nishikori edged past Jerzy Janowicz 6-4 5-7 6-3 in a highly-entertaining match after two and a half hours and a half under a closed roof because of rain to reach his second consecutive semifinal in Halle. Nishikori broke serve at 5-4 in the first set and held his serve in the next game to win the first set.

Nishikori converted on his fifth break point which was also the match point to clinch the first set with 6-4. Janowicz bounced back breaking serve for 2-1. As Janowicz was serving at 5-4, Nishikori drew level to 5-5 but the Pole broke again to clinch the second set with 7-5.

Janowicz entertained the crowd with his aggressive serves and volleys but Nishikori broke serve twice. Janowicz recovered one of the two breaks but Nishikori converted his first match point to take a hard-fought win.

“It was a tough match today because I let Jerzy get back into the match in the second set. In the end I am so glad to be in the semifinals

Nishikori will face Italian Andreas Seppi who was leading 6-1 1-0 over Gael Monfils when the Frenchman withdrew after 32 minutes due to a right kne injury. Seppi will play his third semifinal of the year after Doha and Zagreb

ATP

Richard Gasquet reaches his first Masters 1000 semifinal since Miami 2013

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Frenchman Richard Gasquet edged past this year’s Wimbledon semifinalist Roberto Bautista Agut 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 6-2 after 2 hours and 12 minutes to reach his first Masters 1000 semifinal since the 2013 Miami Open.

 

 Gasquet missed six months of action after undergoing groin surgery last January.

The French player set up a semfinal against David Goffin, who reached the semifinal after his Japanese opponent Yoshihito Nishioka withdrew from the match due to illness.

The first set went on serve with no break points en route to the tie-break. Bautista Agut hit a backhand wide at 1-2. Gasquet sealed the tie-break when Bautista Agut hit a forehand long.

Bautista Agut earned two breaks of serve in the second set and sealed it, when Gasquet made his third double fault on set point.

Gasquet broke serve with a volley in the third game of the decisive set. The French player went up a double break to race out to 4-1 lead. He saved two break points to hold his serve at deuce before serving out the third set on his first match point.

“I know how tough it was to come back. I know the moments I had at the start of the year, so I just wanted to enjoy, to fight. It is not easy to come back after six months out, but I am here. I am in semis tomorrow”,said Gasquet.

 

 

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Danil Medvedev cruises past Jan-Lennard Struff to set up an all Russian quarter final against Andrey Rublev

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Ninth seed Danil Medvedev cruised past Jan-Lennard Struff 6-3 6-1 in 66 minutes to reach the quarter final at the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati.

 

Medvedev committed just 12 unforced errors and won 18 of Struff’s 25 second serve points.

 Medvedev broke twice in the second and eighth games to win the first set 6-2. The young Russian player got two consecutive breaks in the second and fourth games to race out to a 4-0 lead and held his service game at deuce after saving a break point in the fifth game. Struff held his serve to get his first game on the scoreboard, but Medvedev sealed the win on his first match point. The Russian player has improved his head-to-head record to 3-0 againt Struff.

Medvedev has won 11 of his past 13 matches during the North American hard-court season. He has a solid 41-16 record this season. He finished runner in two consecutive finals to Nick Kyrgios at Washington and to Rafael Nadal in Montreal.  In the quarter final the Russian star will face his compatriot Andrey Rublev, who upset Roger Federer 6-3 6-4.

Recent Wimbledon semifinalist Roberto Bautista Agut cruised past Miomir Kecmanovic 6-1 6-2 in just under an hour setting up a quarter final against Richard Gasquet, who beat Diego Schwartzman 7-6 (8-6) 6-3.

Japanese qualifier Yoshihito Nishioka beat Australian player Alex De Minaur 7-5 6-4 in 83 minutes with one break in each set. Nishioka rallied from 4-6 down in the tie-break of the first set to edge Adrian Mannarino 7-6 (8-6) 6-2 in 1 hour and 37 minutes.

“It was a great match and I got better as it went on. I am feeling sharp. I am feeling great now and I am looking forward to the quarter finals of a Masters 1000. I have nothing to lose”, said Goffin.

 

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Roger Federer Crashes Out Of Cincinnati Masters

The seven-time champion has suffered a blow to his preparations for the US Open.

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World No.3 Roger Federer has been knocked out of the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati after falling in straight sets to Russia’s Andrey Rublev.

 

The 20-time grand slam champion struggled to find his range as he was overwhelmed by his fearless opponent during the 6-3, 6-4, loss. Despite the huge disparity in experience between the two, 21-year-old Rublev managed to dominate the majority of rallies with the help of some heavy hitting. Producing 17 winners to six unforced errors, compared to Federer’s tally of 19 and 20.

“I respect him a lot, I respect all the top players a lot, but today when I was going to court I was going there to win.” Rublev said during an interview with Amazon Prime.
“I was not going (to the match) to enjoy. I was going to fight, try to win and do my best.”

Rublev’s shock win saw the underdog outdo the Swiss maestro in almost every area of the match. Winning the most first serves (85% to 63%), second serves (57% to 63) and a bigger majority of points at the net (5/6 to 7/19). Breaking him twice in the opening set and once in the second. The Russian, who is 70th in the world, is the lowest ranked player to defeat Federer on the tour since Thanassi Kokkinakis at the 2018 Miami Open.

The loss leaves a mark on Federer’s impressive record in Cincinnati, which he has won a record seven times. It is the first time he has failed to reach the quarter-final stage since losing to Ivo Karlovic in the third round back in 2008.

“He was playing well. I was maybe struggling especially on the offensive, because overall I didn’t think I was feeling the ball badly.” Federer reflected during his press conference. “It’s just, you know, sort of fast-court conditions and when you sometimes then can’t rely on that serve to go or on the one-two punch, which I didn’t think was excellent today from my side, you need an opponent that maybe lets you get by some tougher moments, but he didn’t do that.”
“He was super clean. Defense, offense, serving well. Didn’t give me anything. He was everywhere. So it was tough for me, but excellent match by him. I was impressed.”

Rublev now has a meeting with compatriot Daniil Medvedev in what will be his first quarter-final at Masters level. Medvedev has reached the final of tournaments in Washington and at the Rogers Cup since Wimbledon. He is yet to drop a set this week and brushed aside Jan-Lennard Struff 6-2, 6-1, in his third round match.

“It’s going to be an interesting match for Russia.” Rublev previewed. “It will be a tough match for me because the way he plays. Nobody likes to play him.”
“I lost to him in a Challenger a few years ago, so it’s going to be interesting tomorrow.” He added.

The latest victory is only Rublev’s second over a top five player in his career. His first was against Dominic Thiem at the German Open last month.

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