David Ferrer beat Fabio Fognini setting up a semifinal against Gael Monfils in Vienna - UBITENNIS
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David Ferrer beat Fabio Fognini setting up a semifinal against Gael Monfils in Vienna

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David Ferrer beat Fabio Fognini 6-4 6-2 after 74 minutes in the quarter final of the Erste Bank Open in the sold-out Wiener Stadthalle in Vienna boosting his chance to qualify for the ATP Finals. Ferrer and Fognini met for the ninth time in their careers. Ferrer won all their previous eight head-to-head matches. In their only prevevious match Ferrer beat Fognini 6-2 6-3 in the final in Rio de Janeiro.

 

Fognini got the first break of the match in the third game to take a 2-1 lead. Fognini held his serve at deuce in the fourth game for 3-1. In the sixth game Fognini took a 30-15 lead but Ferrer earned a break point at 30-30 with a forehand passing shot and with three consecutive points he broke back to draw level to 3-3 after a series of unforced errors from Fognini. At 4-5 30-30 Fognini sent his forehand into the net. Ferrer hit a forehand winner to close out the first set with 6.4.

Ferrer, who won four titles this year in Doha, Rio de Janeiro, Acapulco and Kuala Lumpur, was in control of the match in the second set and raced out to 3-0 with a break to 30 in the second game. Fognini received a medical time-out to have his right foot examined. After losing five consecutive games Fognini held his serve in the fourth game by saving a break point. Ferrer held his service games until the end of the match. At 2-5 40-15 Fognini lost four consecutive points on his serve to drop his serve for the fourth time in the match in the final game. 6ognini hit 22 winners to 36 unforced errors.

In the semifinal Ferrer will take on Gael Monfils who fought back from a set down to overcome Lucas Rosol with 6-7 (3-7) 6-3 6-3. After losing the first set at the tie-break Monfils never faced a break point in the whole match. He fired 18 aces and won 82 percent of his first serve points. The Frenchman hit 40 winners to Rosol’s 32. Monfils, who lost his only final of the year against his compatriot Giles Simon in Marseille, is playing his first tournament since the US Open.

Ernests Gulbis edged past Ivo Karlovic in two tie-breaks 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (7-5) to reach the semifinals at the Erste Bank Open in Vienna. Gulbis hit 12 aces to Karlovic’s 19 but won 72 percent of his first serve points and fended off the five break points he faced.

In the semifinal Gulbis will face US player Steve Johnson who fought back from a set down to edge South African Kevin Anderson with 5-7 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 reaching the fourth semifinal of his career. Thanks to this Johnson has moved to number 39 in the ATP Ranking, coming very close to his best ranking of number 37.

Despite the defeat Anderson hit 23 aces to become the third player to fire more than 1000 aces in the same season after Ivo Karlovic and John Isner.

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Thomas Musters Hints At Conflict With Thiem After Sudden Axe From Team

The unexpected move by Thiem has left more questions than answers.

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Australian tennis legend Thomas Muster has seemingly suggested that a difference in opinion was behind his sudden departure from Dominic Thiem’s team after just two weeks.

 

On Saturday the world No.5 unexpectedly confirmed that the former French Open champion has left his team. Exactly 18 days after Thiem said during a press conference at the ATP Cup that the two have arranged a ‘working relationship.’ The announcement followed Thiem’s four-set win over Taylor Fritz in the third round of the Australian Open.

“We ended our working relationship,” He told Austrian reporters in Melbourne. “It did not fit. It’s easy like that. It is just about work. We get along well personally, and we said in the beginning, if anything is not all right we will tell each other.”

Questions are left remaining about what the exact reason for the two to go their separate ways. Especially given their short period spent working together. Both have been coy on the subject, but Muster has shed some light during an interview with Eurosport.

Speaking with fellow former world No.1 Becker, Muster said he was initially expecting to be working with Thiem for a two-year period. Adding to the mystery, the 52-year-old fuelled further speculation when he gave a cryptic insight about the two-time French Open finalist. Who had previously said that his career was to emulate and surpass Muster’s career achievements.

“To be honest, I have seen myself in this role for the next two years.” He told Becker.
“Why he chose differently…l I know why, but I don’t want to say the details.’
“It’s like this. There are houses which look nice from the outside, wonderfully from the outside, but you rarely know who lives inside.”

Speaking about Thiem’s performance on the court, Muster believes there are still areas of his game that requires further improvement. Last year the 26-year-old won five titles on the ATP Tour, including his first at Masters level. Something that was only matched by Novak Djokovic.

“He’s a fine guy and likes to learn a lot,” he told Eurosport.
“But he has also got some shortcomings, he has to work on if he wants to be at the top. He has improved a lot, but he to catch up in the technical, physical and foremost in the mental area.”

Muster isn’t the only former professional with a view that Thiem needs to improve. Mats Wilander recently called on the tennis star to improve his attitude on the court.

Thiem will play fifth seed Gael Monfils in the fourth round of the French Open on Monday.

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Injury-Stricken Juan Martin Del Potro Suffers New Blow And An Uncertain Future

There is more bad news for fans of the former world No.3 and his hopes of a return to tennis.

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Hopes of Juan Martin del Potro returning to the tour in the coming weeks have ended after it was announced that he will undergo further surgery on Monday.

 

The former US Open champion hasn’t played a competitive match since June after fracturing his right kneecap at the Fever-Tree Championships in London. The same one he also hurt towards the end of the 2018 season. Shortly after his mishap the Argentine underwent surgery in Barcelona in an attempt to fix the issue and have been undergoing rehabilitation ever since.

Unfortunately for the former top-five player, the surgery hasn’t been a success with him continuing to have pain in the region. In an official press release published on Sunday, it was confirmed that the issue is affecting the Argentine in everyday tasks such as walking up a flight of stairs. As a consequence, Del Potro will have yet another operation on his knee in Miami.

“We want to update you that after long weeks of inter consultations in Argentina, Europe and the United States, most doctors have come to the conclusion that a new intervention in the right knee of Juan Martin del Potro is necessary.” A statement reads.
“After analyzing the options, Delpo trusted Dr. Lee Kaplan to perform the surgery scheduled for Monday, January 27th in Miami.”
“We hope that this is the definitive solution to eliminate the pain that not only has prevented Delpo from playing tennis, but also making it difficult for him to perform daily activities.”

Speculation over the future intentions of the 31-year-old started earlier this week when he withdrew from the Delray Beach Open. The tournament were where he was set to make his comeback next month.

During his rehabilitation, Del Potro has sought various treatments. Including types of diets, training and trips to specialists. All of which failed to deliver the desired outcome and forced him to undergo surgery.

“Thank you for your patience and for understanding that these past weeks we have taken our time before communicating his next steps. The situation is never easy when it comes to the physique of an athlete and, more importantly, the health of a person.” Team del Potro said.

The latest revelation has cast concerns over Del Potro’s future career. Who at one stage said he was unsure if he would be able to continue playing due to his knee injury (prior to his first surgery). It is the latest setback for the injury-stricken player who have also been forced to undergo four wrist surgeries.

So far in his career, Del Potro has won 22 ATP titles and has been ranked as high as third in the world last year.

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Milos Raonic reaches the Australian Open quarter finals for the fifth time in his career

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Milos Raonic beat Marin Cilic 6-4 6-3 7-5 to advance to the quarter final at the Australian Open for the fifth time in his career and for the second consecutive year. The Canadian player has advanced to the quarter final for the tenth time in his career at Grand Slam level.

 

Raonic saved an early break point with a big serve and hit a backhand down the line to force an error to break in the 10th game closing out the first set 6-4.

The former Wimbldon finalist and eight-time ATP Tour champion hit a backhand return winner in the second game to open up a 2-0 lead in the second set.

Cilic brought up two set points on Raonic’s serve in the 10th game of the third set, but Raonic fended them off with three serves. Raonic got a break in the 11th game at 15 and sealed the win on his first match point with an ace.

“It feels pretty good. I have got to say. I can’t complain about it and I am just happy with how things are going. I am happy I have another chance to play in two days here and it’s been an exciting tournament for me so far, but hopefully there are more exciting things ahead. I did a lot of things really well, and I had the idea of how I wanted to play. I was happy I could execute and live up to that”, said Milos Raonic in the post-match interview.

 

 

 

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