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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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Daniil Medvedev Targets French Open Breakthrough After Rome Disappointment

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Credit Francesca Micheli/Ubitennis

Daniil Medvedev believes there will be more title contenders at the French Open than previous editions with the Russian hoping to be one of them. 

The world No.4 heads into the Grand Slam after what has been a mixed clay swing. Medvedev suffered a third round defeat in Monte Carlo before bouncing back in Madrid where he reached the quarter-finals before retiring from his match with a minor injury. Meanwhile, at this week’s Italian Open, his title defence came to an end in the fourth round on Tuesday when he fell 6-1, 6-4, to Tommy Paul. 

“Mentally I had to be much better,” Medvedev said of his latest performance.
“I started to calm myself down and focus on the match only at the end of the match, and it was too late. I had to do better. I was expecting myself to play better.’
“It’s disappointing, but that’s how sport is. You lose and you go for the next tournament, which is a pretty important one.” He added. 

28-year-old Medvedev recently stated that he is seeing improvements in his game when it comes to playing on the clay. A surface which he has struggled on during stages of his career. Out of the 38 ATP Finals he has contested, only two of those were on the clay. Barcelona in 2019 when he finished runner-up and Rome last year which he won. 

As for the French Open, he has lost in the first round on five out of seven appearances. But did reach the quarter-finals in 2021 and the last 16 the following year. So could 2024 be his year?

“Now it’s maybe a little bit more open than it was ever before,” he said of this year’s event. 
“Good for me, too, because usually in Roland Garros I don’t play that well. The more open it is, the better it is for me.”

All of the top three players on the men’s tour are currently experiencing problems. Novak Djokovic crashed out of the Italian Open and recently underwent a medical assessment after getting hit in the head by a bottle in a freak accident. Jannik Sinner is reportedly on the verge of withdrawing from the French Open due to a hip issue and Carlos Alcaraz has been hindered by a forearm injury in recent weeks. 

“I’m feeling much better on clay,” Medvedev commented. “What is tough for me on clay sometimes is getting used to conditions. Every court – in every tournament in the world – is a bit different.
“On hard courts it’s the same: every court is different. On hard courts I have this ability to kind of quite fast get used to it. On clay, I need more time.”

Medvedev aims to become only the second Russian man in history to win the French Open after Yevgeny Kafelnikov in 1996. The tournament will begin a week on Sunday. 

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Stefanos Tsitsipas Says Expanded Masters Events ‘Playing A Massive Role’ In Player Injuries

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Credit Francesca Micheli/Ubitennis

Stefanos Tsitsipas has slammed the decision to extend the length of Masters 1000 tournaments to two weeks by warning that more injuries could occur in the future as a result. 

This week’s Rome Masters is taking place without two out of the world’s top three players. Jannik Sinner pulled out of his home event due to a hip injury and Carlos Alcaraz has been troubled by a forearm issue in recent weeks. Other players missing from the draw include Tomas Machac (Illness), Ugo Humbert (Left Knee) and Stan Wawrinka (Right Wrist). 

The tournament is taking place immediately after the Madrid Open which is also a Masters event that has been expanded to a two-week format in recent years. Supporters of the move argue that a bigger draw provides lower-ranked players with more opportunities to play in these events whilst others will have a day off between matches. 

However, world No.8 Tsitsipas isn’t completely happy with the schedule which he openly criticised on Monday following his 6-2, 7-6(1), win over Cameron Norrie. The Greek has won 12 out of 14 matches played on clay so far this season. 

“It’s a type of thing that hurt the sport a little bit, to have these types of things happen to the highest of the players,” Tsitsipas commented on his rival’s injuries.
“Without them, the show is not kind of the same. You have obviously the guys behind them (in the rankings). These kinds of tournaments deserve names like this to be playing and have the opportunity to play in front of these big stadiums and crowds.
“I’ve spoken about the fact that the schedule has a big toll on our bodies. It starts from the mental side, and it follows to the physical side. The extension of the days in the Masters 1000s I think plays a massive role and contributes a lot to the fact that these players are getting injured.”

The ATP’s extended format is set to be applied to seven out of the nine Masters 1000 tournaments from 2025. The only two yet to make or plan for such changes are Monte Carlo and Paris. However, Tsitsipas has called for changes to be made to the schedule.

“It was perhaps already a lot the way it was before with the seven-day events. Adding more days to that, well, you got to be some type of superhero to be consistent back-to-back 10 days in each event getting to the very end of it.” He commented.
“It’s not a very easy thing to do. Some people need to try it first to get an understanding and how it is to pull that off. Then they should make decisions based on that.
“I think this is not going to be the first time we see these types of things (player injuries). If these types of things continue with the same schedule not being adjusted or customized to the needs of the players, we might see more of these things occur in the future.”

It is not the first time a player has raised concerns about the extended format. Alexander Zverev previously said that the schedule is a disadvantage for the top players. Meanwhile, on the women’s Tour Caroline Garcia has criticised the move to expand WTA 1000 tournaments whilst Maria Sakkari said achieving the Madrid-Rome double has become harder to do

On the other hand, Daniil Medvedev has spoken in favour of the new format and describes injuries on the Tour as ‘part of the sport.’ The former US Open believes the issue is related to the quick surface changes players face and not the duration of tournaments. 

Tsitsipas will play Alex de Minaur in the fourth round of the Italian Open on Tuesday. 

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Novak Djokovic To Undergo Medical Check After Rome Thrashing, Bottle Incident

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Novak Djokovic – ATP Roma 2024 (foto: Francesca Micheli/Ubitennis)

Novak Djokovic has indicated that he will speak to doctors following his lacklustre performance at the Italian Open where he crashed out in straight sets. 

The five-time champion was far from his best against Chile’s Alejandro Tabilo as he struggled to generate any rhythm in his tennis or a single break point opportunity. Djokovic’s below-par performance caught many off guard, including the tennis player himself who admitted afterwards that he was ‘completely off’ his game. 

Trying to find the reason behind his latest performance, the world No.1 isn’t ruling out the possibility that it might be linked to an incident that took place at the tournament two days ago. Following his win over France’s Corentin Moutet, Djokovic suffered a blow to his head after a fan accidentally dropped a metal bottle from the stands. Immediately afterwards, he experienced nausea, dizziness and bleeding for up to an hour but was checked by medical officials.

“I don’t know, to be honest. I have to check that.” Djokovic replied when asked if the incident affected his form on Sunday.
“Training was different. I was going for kind of easy training yesterday. I didn’t feel anything, but I also didn’t feel the same.
“Today under high stress, it was quite bad – not in terms of pain, but in terms of this balance. Just no coordination. Completely different player from what it was two nights ago.
“It could be. I don’t know. I have to do medical checkups and see what’s going on. “

The tennis star said he managed to sleep fine after his head blow but did experience headaches. He looked to be in good spirits the day after it happened and even turned up to practice in Rome wearing a safety helmet.

Djokovic’s concerns come two weeks before the start of the French Open where he is seeking a record 25th Major title. He will undoubtedly be one of the contenders for glory but admits there is a lot of work that needs to be done in the coming days. 

“Everything needs to be better in order for me to have at least a chance to win it,” he said.
“The way I felt on the court today was just completely like a different player entered into my shoes. Just no rhythm, no tempo, and no balance whatsoever on any shot.
“It’s a bit concerning.”

The French Open will begin on Sunday 26th May. 

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