Federer sets up Wimbledon semifinal against Murray - UBITENNIS
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Federer sets up Wimbledon semifinal against Murray

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TENNIS – Roger Federer has reached his 10th semifinal at Wimbledon after after his three- set win over Gilles Simon with 6-3 7-5 6-3 setting up a semifinal match against Andy Murray who beat Vasek Pospisil 6-4 7-5 6-4. Defending champion Novak Djokovic beat Marin Cilic 6-4 6-4 6-4 to qualify for the semifinals at Wimbledon where he will face Richard Gasquet who beat this year’s Roland Garros champion Stan Wawrinka. Diego Sampaolo

 

Roger Federer needed three sets to reach his 10th semifinal at the All England Club and is looking to qualify for his tenth final against Andy Murray in a repeat of the 2012 final. The Swiss Maestro won seven titles and lost two finals against Rafa Nadal in 2010 and Novak Djokovic in an epic five-set match in 2014.

Federer opened up a 3-0 lead before the match was interrupted by rain. After the match resumed after 37 minutes King Roger was unstoppable and wrapped up the first set after 37 minutes. Federer hit 15 winners and dropped only 15 seven points on serve.

Federer broke serve in the seventh game of the second set but Simon broke back to love for 5.4. This was the first time in this tournament that Federer dropped his serve. Federer regained the lead by breaking in the 11th game before the match was interrupted by rain for less than one hour. After the match resumed Federer hit three service winners to clinch the second set with 7-5.

Federer claimed an early break lead in the third set before getting a double break in the seventh game to take the win after one hour and 34 minutes.

“The conditions were not easy for either player and it was windy too. The stops and goes are tough but I used them to my advantage.  I stayed ahead or made a difference. The breaks helped me rather than hindered me. I had a great service game after the second rain delay and reset and took the lead in the third set. The game I got broken he was too good, so I have no problems accepting that”, said Federer.

Andy Murray beat Vasek Pospisil 6-4 7-5 6-4 after the match was interrupted twice by rain showers

Murray broke serve to take a 3-1 lead before the match was interrupted for 37 minutes. Murray closed out the first set with 6-4.

Murray was serving at 3-4 before the match was interrupted again by rain.  Murray converted on a set point at 30-40 with a backhand

In the third set Murray did not convert two break point chances at 3-3, but he capitalized on his opportunity at 4-4 30-40 on Pospisil’s next service game. Murray fended off a break point before wrapping up the match with 6-4.

“I needed to step up because at times he was serving very well. I just managed to come up with some good shots. The third set was tricky because I had a bunch of break points but overall it was a good match”, said Murray.

Djokovic has reached the  27th .Grand Slam  of his career. He will take on Richard Gasquet who battled past Richard Gasquet 6-4 4-6 3-6 6-4 11-9 to qualify for his  first Wimbledon semifinal in eight years.

Djokovic got his first braak in the third game of the opening set for 2-1 before converting on his fourth set point to clinch the first set with 6-4 after 35 minutes.

Djokovic earned four break point chances in the ninth game of the second set. He converted it on the second opportunity for 5-4 as Cilic hit a slice backhand into the net. The Serb served out for the second set on his first set point after 39minutes.

Djokovic got the only break of the third set in the seventh game for 4-3 following a forehand error from Cilic  and served out to 15 after one hour and 49 minutes.

“I came out with the right intensity, moved well all over the court and tried to get as many returns back in play. I didn’t allow Marin to come back in the match. It was a close game when I was serving for the set. I think that helped my confidence to feel better afterwards”, said Djokovic

Richard Gasquet avenged the defeat against Wawrinka of two years ago at the Roland Garros where he lost 8-6 in the fifth set.

Gasquet committed four unforced errors to Wawrinka’s 14 to win the first set with 6-4.

Gasquet went down a break to trail 0-3 in the second set but broke back in the fifth game. He faced set point chances at 4-5. He fended off the first two opportunities before committing a double fault to lose the second set.

Wawrinka broke serve at the start of the third set. He dropped just five points on serve en route to winning the third set with 29 minutes.

In the fourth set Wawrinka made a double fault on Gasquet’s set point allowing the Frenchman to draw level on sets with 6-4.

In the fifth Gasquet could not serve out for the match at 5-3 in the fifth set and faced a break point at 9-9. Wawrinka brought up a break point chance at 9-9 30-40 but he made three errors allowing Gasquet to earn three match points.

Gasquet converted on his third break point chance to close out the match after three hours and 26 minutes. It was the 10th time in 23 matches that the Frenchman won a match decided in the fifth set.

“Even if I lost this important game at 5-3, I kept fighting a lot. It was important because I know it’s a great match playing the Roland Garros winner in a quarter final of a Grand Slam, so I need to keep focus and to stay focused and to fight. It’s a very nice victory for me to win against him 11-9 in the fifth set”, said Gasquet

The Frenchman will try to break a nine-match losing streak against Djokovic in the Friday semifinal

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Nick Kyrgios Slams Thiem Over Defence Of Controversy-Stricken Adria Tour

The world No.40 has accused the Austrian of lacking an ‘intellectual level’ to understand his view.

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Australian star Nick Kyrgios has continued his public criticism of the Adria Tour by taking aim at two-time French Open finalist Dominic Thiem.

 

The 25-year-old has repeatedly hit out at the exhibition event, which Thiem participated in. Organised by world No.1 Novak Djokovic, the event took place in Belgrade and Zadar before it was scrapped following an outbreak of COVID-19 among both players and coaching staff. Djokovic, Grigor Dimitrov and Borna Coric all got infected. The outbreak came after the Adria Tour was criticised for a lack of social distancing and players attended various public events together. Although at the time, all of their actions were done in accordance with local regulations. Something the Serbian Prime Minister now admits was a mistake.

However, Thiem has called out Kyrgios over his vocal criticism of fellow Adria Tour competitor Alexander Zverev. The German attended a party in southern France less than a week after the COVID-19 outbreak despite issuing a statement saying he would go into self-isolation.

“It was his mistake, but I don’t why a lot of people want to interfere. Kyrgios has done a lot of mistakes. It would be better for him to come clear instead of criticising others,” Thiem told Tiroler Tageszeitung.

Continuing to defend the actions of his fellow players, Thiem also jumped to the defence of Djokovic. Who has been under heavy criticism over the event with some going as far as questioning his position as president of the ATP Players Council.

“He didn’t commit a crime. We all make mistakes, but I don’t understand all the criticism. I’ve been to Nice and also saw pictures from other cities. It’s no different from Belgrade during the tournament. It’s too cheap to shoot at Djokovic.”

The comments have now been blasted by Kyrgios, who stands by his previous criticism of players. Accusing Thiem of lacking an ‘intellectual level’ to see his point of view.

“What are you talking about @ThiemDomi? Mistakes like smashing rackets? Swearing? Tanking a few matches here or there? Which everyone does?” Kyrgios wrote on Twitter.
“None of you have the intellectual level to even understand where I’m coming from. I’m trying to hold them accountable.”
“People losing lives, loved ones and friends, and then Thiem standing up for the ‘mistake,'” he added.

The COVID-19 pandemic has killed more than 500,000 people worldwide and some players have voiced concerns over travelling to America which has recently seen a rise in cases. On Wednesday Alexi Popyrin became the first player to say he won’t play the US Open due to health concerns.

The ATP Tour is set to resume next month but it is unclear as to what events Thiem and Kyrgios will be playing in.

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Roger Federer Eyeing Olympic Glory At The Age Of 39 In 2021

The Swiss tennis star isn’t ready to step away from the sport just yet.

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20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer has vowed to play at next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo after undergoing two surgeries on his knee.

 

The former world No.1 hasn’t played a competitive match since his semi-final loss to Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open in January. Since then he had twice undergone arthroscopic surgeries which is a minimally invasive procedure that is used to diagnose and treat problems with the joints. Federer announced shortly after having the procedure done for a second time that he will not be returning to the Tour again this year.

Despite the setbacks, the 38-year-old has vowed to return to action at the start of 2021 with Olympic glory one of his main targets. He is already a two-time Olympic medallist after winning gold in the men’s doubles back in 2008 followed by silver in the singles draw at the 2012 London Games.

“My goal is to play Tokyo 2021. It’s a wonderful city. I met my wife in my first Olympics in 2000. It’s a special event for me,” Federer said on Monday during the launch of ‘The Roger’ shoe with Swiss brand ON.
“I had two surgeries and I can’t hit at the moment, but I’m very confident I will be totally ready for 2021.
“I do miss playing in front of the fans, no doubt. Now, I think if tennis comes back we know it won’t be in a normal way where we can have full crowds yet.”

Federer will be 39 when he returns to action, but is yet to speculate as to when he may close the curtain on his record-breaking career. He is currently the second oldest man in the top 200 on the ATP Tour after Croatia’s Ivo Karlovic, who is 41.

Besides the Olympics, the Swiss Maestro is also setting his eye on Wimbledon where he has claimed the men’s title a record eight times. However, he hasn’t won a major title since the 2018 Australian Open. The Grass-court major has been cancelled this year for the first time since 1945 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Of course I miss Wimbledon, of course I would like to be there currently playing on Centre Court for a place in the second week,” he said.
“Clearly, one of my big goals, and that’s why I do recovery work every day and work so hard, and why I’m preparing for a 20-week physical preparation block this year, is because I hope to play at Wimbledon next year.”

Even though he is not playing for the rest of the year, Federer incredibly still has a chance of qualifying for the ATP Finals due to recent changes in the rankings calculations. Due to the pandemic, players are now allowed to use their best results at 18 tournaments based on a 22-month period instead of 12 months. Something that could enable him to remain inside the top eight until the end of 2020 depending on how his rivals fair.

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ATP Announces 22-Month Ranking System To Support Players Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Parts of the changes have been done to help support those who prefer not to or can not travel to tournaments due to safety concerns.

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The ATP Tour has revised their calculations for this year’s ranking system with the governing body admitting that the new changes could also be applied in 2021 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Players on the men’s Tour have been given a wider period where they can select their best tournaments to determine their ranking. Prior to the suspension of competitive tennis, male players were allowed to select their 18 best performances in tournaments within a 52-week period. This has now been expanded to 22 months (March 2019-December 2020). Although they are not allowed to use the same tournament twice.

In a press release the ATP says their new measures allows ‘flexibility and fairness’ with players on the tour. Furthermore, it has been designed with the possibility of the rules continuing into 2021 should the ongoing pandemic continue to disrupt the Tour in some degree. Outlining their objectives, the ATP says one of their goals is to protect those who ‘cannot or prefer not to compete in 2020 due to health & safety.’ A point recently raised by Australian player Alexei Popyrin who has voiced concerns about playing at the US Open.

“There are talks regarding the US Open but I really don’t want to go with the situation in America right now,” Popyrin said at the Ultimate Tennis Showdown over the weekend.
“But we have to see if we would be forced to go because of ranking points.
“If the ranking points won’t be frozen, then most of us would be forced to go play cause our ranking will drop and we wouldn’t have any say in it.
“But if the rankings are frozen, then I am staying here.
“I will stay in Europe where it’s safe with my family.”

As a result of the changes, it remains to be seen if this will have any effect on other players concerning their decision to play at the New York major which will be held behind closed doors for the first time in history. Some parts of America have reported a surge in COVID-19 cases with 52,228 New Cases being reported on July 5th.

Under the new calculations, no player will have less ranking points than what they currently have at present. The ATP rankings have been frozen since March 16th but will resume on the Monday after the first tournament in the revised calendar concludes.

There are exceptions to the new 22-month ruling. Qualification for the ATP Finals will still be based on 52 weeks because the event is classed as an ‘additional tournament.’ Therefore it doesn’t count as one of the 18 key events to determine a player’s ranking. Points from last year’s tournament will drop off on November 9th after the Paris Masters. The reason for doing so is to make the chances of qualifying more fair. Furthermore Challenger and ITF events will also be based on the 52-week rule because ‘events are scheduled on a one-year basis and do not have consistent spots in the calendar.’

The ATP Tour is set to resume at the Citi Open in Washington during the second week of August.

A full FAQ of the new ranking system can be read here.

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