Djokovic defeats Federer for his 10th major win at US Open - UBITENNIS
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Djokovic defeats Federer for his 10th major win at US Open

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US OPEN – Roger Federer (2) winning his 18th major was not to be at this year’s US Open. Novak Djokovic (1) denied his that privilege of extending his all-time singles major titles when he defeated him 6-4 5-7 6-4 6-4 in 3 hours and 20 minutes. It was a thrilling match up as this was the 42nd meeting between the two. With this victory the head to head is tied at 21 wins each. For the Djokovic’s fans, their man played a wonderful match against one of the best the sport has ever produced. On the other hands, Federer’s fans will be ruing this loss for a long time. The Swiss player had so many opportunities to make the match far more compelling and perhaps even eek out the win but in the end Djokovic proved to be far too strong and superior in the big moments.

 

This match slated for a 4:00 pm start time did not begin until around 7:15 pm. This delay may have perhaps put off Federer for it appeared as though he left his service game in the locker room. Federer elected to serve to start the match but it soon became apparent that the stellar serving that was on full display this summer hardcourt season was not on the court on this day. Djokovic had three break points in that initial game alone and Federer just barely held serve winning the final two points of that 16-point game. In the 2nd Federer service game, he went down 0-40 allowing Djokovic to break him and get out to an early lead at 2-1. Federer broke back as Djokovic was left flailing and falling to the court, bruising himself in the process. However, the Serb would not let minor injuries deter him as broke Federer again for 4-3. He maintained this lead to take the set 6-4 in 41 minutes.

In the second set, Federer came out strong. He was the far more aggressive of the two players on court. However, the problem was that his aggression was not getting him ahead in the match. In fact it was putting him in trouble when he kept creating break opportunities for himself only to let them slip away. It was only at the last possible opportunity to break, in the 12th game, up 6-5, having already squandered 3 previous set points, that he finally converted on his 9th break point of the set with a backhand swinging volley that proved unreturnable by Djokovic. Federer won the set 7-5 to level the match at a set apiece.

Roger Federer - US Open 2015 - AP

The crowd was squarely behind Federer but this momentum was not able to lift the erratic Federer to high playing level. He was broken early in the 3rd set but broke back to level it 2-2. Again the break opportunities he earned went unconverted as he could not keep the ball in play. Djokovic on the other hand did not let his limited break opportunities go begging. He broke Federer in the 9th game for 5-4 and served it out for a 2-1 sets lead in the match.

Djokovic just looked the far superior player. Federer was moving well but Djokovic was so much the better athlete on the day. What was even more impressive from the Serb was his mental composure as he withstood the barrage from the clearly partisan crowd. Djokovic broke Federer to start the 4th set denying Federer two game points. Djokovic broke Federer again in the 7th game for a 5-2 and the match looked over at this point. In what would be a common theme of the match, Federer continued to waste break points especially when he clearly had the advantage in the point. Nonetheless, sensing it was either do or die, Federer broke Djokovic as he served for the match in the 8th game. Federer held serve for 4-5 and saw double break points as Djokovic attempted to serve for the match for the 2nd time. Federer simply could not convert his 22nd and 23rd break points. Djokovic muscled the ball over the net and Federer shot went flying. Djokovic collected his 2nd US Open title in 5 years 6-4 5-7 6-4 6-4.

Looking at the match statistics, the most glaring figures would be the fact that Federer was only 4/23 on break points and that Djokovic saved 19/23 break points. What was even worst was the fact that 11 of those break points, Federer had a 2nd serve to handle but only converted on one of those opportunities. After failing to convert those 3 break points in the opening game of the match, Djokovic was 6/10 for the rest of the match, 4/5 in the last two sets. Federer was 2/11 for the final two sets. Another real clear difference in the match were the number of errors Federer was making. He has 54 unforced errors for the match and in many cases they were careless strokes. So  many of those shots went wide of the mark for no good reason. Djokovic had 37 unforced errors. Federer’s 2nd serve was a huge liability for him as he was only winning 46% of the points compared to his 63% performance in his semifinal match against Stan Wawrinka.

 

on Day Fourteen of the 2015 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 13, 2015 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.

on Day Fourteen of the 2015 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 13, 2015 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.

This major win was the 7th title for Djokovic this year. There is no question that he is by far the number one player in the world with a very impressive season thus far. He has made it to all four major finals in one year for the first time of his career. He won three of those titles, losing the French Open to Wawrinka. He has made it to 6 ATP Master Series 1000 tournaments going 4-2 in the finals  Every single tournament that Djokovic has entered for the year, he has made it to the finals for an overall record of 7-4. His lone losses for the year have only been to players ranked in the top 5, Federer, Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka. It must be great to be him right now. Nonetheless, it must be said that it was a very impressive Roger Federer on court. He definitely brought excitement to the tournament which saw its biggest story, Serena’s Calendar Grand Slam, go by wayside on Friday. The Swiss promised the New York City crowd that he would be back next year for another US Open title run.

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French Legend Leconte Speaks Out On Upcoming Return Of Roger Federer

The Grand Slam finalist gives his view on Federer’s chances for 2021.

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A former star of French tennis says he is hopeful but wary that Roger Federer will be able to return to the pinnacle of sport next year.

 

Henri Leconte, who is a former French Open finalist that achieved a ranking high of No.5, admits that the Swiss Maestro may find it tough on the Tour given the rise of what he describes as the ‘younger generation.’ This season Dominic Thiem won his maiden Grand Slam title at the US Open at the age of 27. More recently Daniil Medvedev defeated both Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal en route to the ATP Finals title.

We want to believe it. We all want to believe it! It’s been a long and difficult year. Will the motivation still be there? Will this break, the fact of having been able to enjoy his family, have changed something or will he still have that renewed motivation that has always fascinated us?” Leconte told TennisActu.

Federer hasn’t played a competitive match since his semi-final loss at the Australian Open in January. Since then, he has been sidelined from action due to a right knee injury which required two surgical procedures. The second took place after the first failed to produce the desired results.

Despite the setbacks, 20-time Grand Slam champion Federer is eyeing a return to the Tour in 2021. He is currently the oldest player in the world’s top 100 and one of two to be aged 39. The other is Spain’s Feliciano Lopez.

No one can say it. We all wish him, we would like him to stop on a Grand Slam title but the train (momentum) is gone with this younger generation which has put in an extra speed,” said Leconte.
“I would like to believe it. Roger has done so many things, that’s why he makes us dream, we would like to see him at the top. It will be very, very hard. ..”

It is not the first time Federer has taken a lengthy break due to injury. He missed six months of the 2017 season due to another knee issue before returning to action the following year when he won the Australian Open.

Earlier this week it was confirmed that Federer will head into the new season being able to use his iconic ‘RF’ logo. He hasn’t been able to use the logo for the past two years after switching from Nike, which held the rights, to UNIQLO. However, he has managed to regain control of ownership which means he will be allowed to use it on his apparel once again.

“The RF cap is back,” Federer said in a video message to fans on Twitter.
“After a long wait and extensive fine-tuning, UNIQLO and I are extremely excited to announce the return of the RF hat in 8 fresh colours starting December 8th, 2020,” he also wrote.
“This hat has meant so much to me and to my fans over the years.
“It has given us a way to visibly connect, and I have appreciated the opportunity to thrive off this supportive energy.”

As it currently stands Federer’s first tournament is set to be the Australian Open. The tournament had been scheduled to start on January 18th but it is believed that the date has been delayed until February 8th due to travel and quarantine arrangements.

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Casper Ruud Opens Up About What It Is Like Playing Roger Federer

The 21-year-old explains what it is like to face somebody who is considered by some as the ‘greatest legend’ in tennis.

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Norway’s top tennis player admitted that he had difficulty sleeping the night before he was set to play Roger Federer for the first time in his career.

 

Casper Ruud has shed light on what it was like for him playing the Swiss Maestro during an interview with TV 2. The 21-year-old took on Federer in the third round of the French Open last year which he ended up losing 6-3, 6-1, 7-6. At the time it was only Ruud’s fourth appearance in the main draw of a Grand Slam.

“When you meet the man who is considered the greatest legend in your sport in history, it is clear that then you were a little extra nervous,” he said of 20-time Grand Slam winner Federer.
“I remember before I was going to play against Federer, it was a bit difficult to sleep the night before. When you lie with your head on the pillow, your thoughts come.”

Ruud says Federer’s achievements in the sport made him feel more nervous about playing him. Overall, the 39-year-old has won 103 ATP titles and currently holds the record for most time spent holding the world No.1 ranking at 310 weeks. He played his first ATP event at the 1998 Gstaad Open, which was a year before Ruud was born.

Although the Next Gen star says he has admiration for all members of the Big Three, which also include Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. The two highest ranked players currently on the men’s tour.

“It was in Melbourne a few years ago, and then I remember that we sat in a large cafe where all the players sit to eat. When Federer came in, it was completely quiet and everyone turned around. Now the legend is here,” he said.
“These three legends, they look taller than they might be. They are probably around 1.85 meters, but it may seem that they are two meters because of the respect you have for them.”

Since his meeting with Federer in Paris, Ruud has managed to make a name for himself as he gradually climbs up the world rankings. In February he won the Argentina Open to become the first Norwegian player in history to have won a title on the ATP Tour. He also reached the final of another tournament in Santiago. In September he defeated Matteo Berrettini in the Italian Open to record his first and so far only win over a top 10 player in his career.

“I do not remember everyone in my career. But there are some matches that stand out a bit, and that you remember extra well. Some ball exchanges, some punches here and there that you get, which you usually do not do. It is something that stands out a bit,” Ruud explains.

Unusually Ruud confirmed that both of his parents are now classed as his employees. He is coached by his father Christian who is a former player himself. Christian is a former world No.39 who was his country’s highest ranked male player in history until his son.

“The ultimate boss is probably (my) mother. She rules over both of us. In between at least,” he jokes.

After ending his season with three consecutive Tour losses, Ruud closes out 2020 with a win-loss record of 22-13 and has won $965,653 in prize money. He is currently ranked 27th in the world.
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Six Next Gen players to watch in 2021

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Six under 21 players born in the 2000s have come to the fore this season and are ready to make a major breakthrough in the coming years. 

 

We look back at the Next Gen season featuring six Next Gen players outside the top 100 (Thiago Seyboth Wild, Lorenzo Musetti, Sebastian Korda, Carlos Alcaraz, Hugo Gaston and Brandon Nakashima), who produced an impact on the ATP Tour and Challenger season in 2020 and could break into the top 100 next year. 

Thiago Seyboth Wild (world number 115) born in 2000

The 20-year-old Brazilian player emerged in 2018 when he won the US Open Junior title. He became the first ATP Tour champion born in 2000s when he beat number 1 seed Christian Garin in Santiago, followed by Norwegian clay specialist Casper Ruud 7-5 4-6 6-3 in the final. At the age of 19 Seyboth Wild became the youngest Brazilian champion in ATP Tour history and the youngest champion during the Golden Swing since an 18-year-old Rafael Nadal won the Acapulco title in 2005. 

Seyboth Wild was the lowest-ranked winner at World number 182 and the youngest tour-level champion at 19 years and 11 months. He broke into top 200 in the ATP Ranking on 24 February and climbed up 69 positions reaching his career-high of world number 113 on 2 March. 

“It’s an incredible achievement. It’s something I have always dreamed about”, said Seyboth Wild.

Thiago saved three match points to beat Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the first round in Rio de Janeiro as wildcard after 3 hours and 49 minutes in the longest ATP Tour match since the 2009 Madrid semifinal, when Rafa Nadal beat Novak Djokovic after 4 hours and 3 minutes.

Sebastian Korda (world number 117) born in 2000

Sebastian Korda is following in the footsteps of his father Petr Korda, who won the Australian Open title in 1998 and reached the French Open final in 1992, and tennis player Regina Rajchrtova. Sebastian grew up playing competitive ice hockey, but he decided to switch to tennis at the age of 9 after accompanying his father Petr to the US Open in 2009. 

The US player of Czech origin made a step forward in his career last summer, when he qualified for the main draw at the Western and Southern Open in New York by beating Gilles Simon. Korda pushed Denis Shapovalov in a four-set match in the first round at the US Open. 

At Roland Garros Sebastian came through the qualifying rounds to reach the main draw before beating Andreas Seppi and John Isner to get through the third round. He then beat Pedro Martinez becoming the first qualifier to reach the Round of 16 at Roland Garros in nine years. Korda won just four games in his straight-set defeat against 13-time Roland Garros champion Rafael Nadal, but the young US player will never forget this moment. 

“It was definitely the best moment of my life. It was super awesome”, said Korda. 

Korda went on to clinch his first ATP Challenger Tour title in Eckental (Germany). 

Lorenzo Musetti (world number 127) born in 2002

Lorenzo Musetti followed in the footsteps of Jannik Sinner, who won the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan in 2019 and claimed his maiden ATP Tour title in Sofia this year. 

Musetti, who won the Australian Open title in 2019, made his ATP Tour debut last February in Dubai, where he lost to Andrey Rublev in Dubai. 

Musetti entered the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome as the World Number 249 and dropped a set in two of his three qualifying matches. The Italian 18-year-old player went on to upset former top 10 players Stan Wawrinka and Kei Nishikori in back-to-back matches to reach the third round for the first round in his career. Musetti became the first player to reach the third round in Rome since Frenchman Fabrice Santoro in 1991. 

Musetti lost in the third round against Germany’s Dominik Koepfer. The Italian teenager carried the momentum winning his first ATP Challenger Tour title in Forlì and became the youngest semifinalist of the season at the Sardinia Open in Santa Margherita di Pula as a wild-card. 

Lorenzo’s father is a marble producer. His mother is a secretary. The only coach in his career is Simone Tartarini. Lorenzo considers him as his second father. 

Carlos Alcaraz (world number 140) born in 2003

Spanish rising star Carlos Alcaraz grabbed the headlines last February before his 17-year-old birthday, when he beat Albert Ramos Vinolas 7-6 (7-2) 4-6 7-6 (7-2) after 3 hours and 37 minutes in the ATP 500 tournament in Rio de Janeiro in his debut on the ATP Tour at 3.00 local time. 

Alcaraz went on to become the youngest player to win ATP Challenger Tour trophies in consecutive weeks and the second youngest player to claim three titles in Challenger history. Only Richard Gasquet was younger, when he won his third title in Naples in 2003. 

Alcaraz beat Musetti in the semifinal of the ATP Challenger in Trieste en route to winning his first Challenger title. The Spanish player coached by former world number 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero won two back-to back titles in Barcelona (beating Damir Dzumhur in the final) and Alicante. 

Alcaraz has ended the season with a record of 39 wins to just 7 defeats. 

Hugo Gaston (world number 161) born in 2000

Hugo Gaston entered the French Open without a tour-level win and a semifinal at ATP Tour Challenger in Bergamo as his best result. The 20-year-old Frenchman beat Yoshihito Nishioka to reach the third round in the Paris Grand Slam tournament. Gaston entertained the few French fans with his drop-shot in his five-set win over 2015 Roland Garros champion Stan Wawrinka to reach the fourth round for the first first time in his career. The player from Toulouse became the lowest-ranked player to reach the fourth round at the French Open since world number 283 Arnaud Di Pasquale in 2002 and the first Frenchman to reach the fourth round in Roland Garros debut since Patrice Dominguez in 1971. 

Gaston lost against US Open champion and two-time Roland Garros finalist Dominic Thiem in five sets. 

Gaston made his Grand Slam main draw at the Australian Open as a wild card losing to Jaume Munar in the first round. 

Brandon Nakashima (world number 166) born in 2001

Nakashima received a wild-card to his first ATP main draw tournament in Delray Beach. The young US player beat Jiri Vesely and Cameron Norrie to become the youngest quarter finalist since Kei Nishikori won this tournament at the age of 18 in 2008. 

Nakashima won his first Grand Slam match against Italy’s Paolo Lorenzi at the US Open and claimed his maiden ATP Challenger title in Orlando. He advanced to the ATP Challenger semifinal at Indian Wells.  

Nakashima is coached by 1987 Wimbledon champion Pat Cash. Brandon’s mother grew up in Vietnam. His father is of Japanese ancestry and was born in California. 

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