Lukas Rosol knocks out Jo Wilfried Tsonga to reach the quarter finals in Vienna - UBITENNIS
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Lukas Rosol knocks out Jo Wilfried Tsonga to reach the quarter finals in Vienna

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Lukas Rosol knocked out last week’s Shanghai Masters 1000 finalist Jo Wilfried Tsonga by 6-4 3-6 6-1 to reach the quarter finals at the Erste Bank Open in Vienna. Rosol won for the first time after three defeats against Tsonga, who won the Austrian tournament in 2011. After this defeat Tsonga lost ground in the battle for one of the remaining two spots for the ATP Finals.

Tsonga dropped his serve to go down 4-5 in the first set. Rosol held his serve to win the first set on the next game. Tsonga won the second set by 6-3 to force the match to the third set. Rosol cruised to 6-1 with a series of winners.

“The surface was slow, but it’s not an excuse because you have to adapt to different conditions and to different surfaces. I won’t be playing until Paris Bercy. I now have time to rest. I will return home to prepare well for Paris Bercy. I hope to be more consistent in 2016. I didn’t play enough to win. I tried but things did not work for me. I am not sad for not qualifying for London. ”, said Tsonga

It was a day of mixed fortunes for French tennis as Gael Monfils beat Italian Paolo Lorenzi 6-4 6-4 to set up a quarter final against Rosol.

The match started with three consecutive breaks in the first three games. Monfils broke serve in the first game to 15 but Lorenzi broke back in the next game to 30. Lorenzi made a double fault on the break point to drop serve again to 15. Lorenzi missed two break points for 3-3. Monfils held his serve on the third chance and pulled away to 4-2 with an ace. Lorenzi won his service game with a winner and an ace for 4-5. Monfils served out for the set to love for 6-4.

Lorenzi made three double faults to drop his serve in the third game to trail 1-2. In the next game the Italian player broke back to draw level to 2-2 with a down the line backhand.

In the seventh game Monfils broke serve to 30 with a backhand passing shot to take the lead with 4-3. Monfils served out for the match at 5-4 and held his serve to love to clinch the win.

Spanish star David Ferrer, who is currently ranked eighth in the ATP Ranking and is top seed in Vienna, brushed aside his compatriot Guillermo Garcia Lopez with 6-1 6-1 to boost his chance to qualify for the ATP Finals in London. Ferrer broke serve five times and hit five aces. Thanks to his 49th win in 2015 Ferrer has reached his 12th quarter final this season. Ferrer won four titles this season but missed most of the summer season with an elbow injury

Ferrer fended off two break points at the start of the first set before converting five of his break point chances.

“I have pressure but I am in a good position. There is more pressure on the others”, said Ferrer

Ferrrer will face Italian Fabio Fognini who beat Radek Stepanek 6-1 6-4. Fognini held his first service game before breaking serve in the second game for 2-0. Fognini got a double break to cruise to 6-1 after Stepanek made four break points. Fognini broke serve in the ninth game to take the 5-4 edge before serving out for the match in the next game.

Ferrer has a 15-0 winning record against Fognini.

Kevin Anderson fought back from a set down to edge past Jiri Vesely with 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 7-5. Anderson earned two set points on Vesely’s serve but the Czech player forced it to the tie-break. Vesely took the first set with 7-4. Anderson bounced back winning the second set with 6-3 before saving break points at 5-5 in the decider. The South African player held his serve before breaking on the final point of the match to reach his third quarter final this season after a two-hour and 30-minute battle. Anderson hit 15 aces to bring his total to 980 this year.

Anderson will face Steve Johnson who battled past Jerzy Janowicz 6-4 6-7 (7-9) 6-4. Johnson fended off the two break points and fired 20 aces to Janowicz’s 23. Janowicz drew level by winning the tie-break in the second set with 9-7 but Johnson went up a break to win the third set.

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Roger Federer ‘Totally Fine’ With Prospect Of The Big Three’s Dominance Ending

The world No.3 opens up about the threat he faces from his younger rivals on the tour.

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20-time grand slam champion Roger Federer believes the changing of the guard in Tennis is gaining momentum as he seeks to continue his status as one of the sports top players at the age of 38.

 

Federer belongs to the prestigious Big Three contingent that also features Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. Between them, they won 51 out of the last 59 grand slam tournaments and at least one of them have featured in the final in 57 out of the last 59 majors. Since 2004, Andy Murray is the only player outside of the trio to have clinched the year-end No.1 spot back in 2016.

Some are wondering when their stronghold on the sport is going to end, especially when it comes to Federer. The Swiss Maestro is the second oldest player in the top 500 on the ATP Tour after 40-year-old Ivo Karlovic (95). Despite his age, the world No.3 has still managed to claim four ATP titles and more than 50 wins this season.

“I predicted that I wasn’t going to be playing at 38/39 and here I am.” Federer said during a press conference in Argentina on Monday.
“I’m actually really happy that I feel the way I am. I had two great years physically over the last two years.”

At the ATP Finals last week, Federer was the only member of the Big Three to progress to the last four of the ATP Finals. Which was won by 21-year-old Stefanos Tsitsipas. The outcome of the tournament has raised questions about if it will be 2020 when the other players start to breakthrough in the slams. Or if it was just a minor blip in their dominance.

Nevertheless, he isn’t taking any chances.This week Federer is playing in a series of exhibition matches across South America. One of his opponents will be Alexander Zverev. Somebody who recently said there will be a new champion in grand slam tennis next year.

“Every generation brings something new to the table. Maybe in movement, maybe in power and maybe in tactical elements.” Federer explained.
“I still feel in tennis that you can always improve and you can always learn. That’s what I’m doing. It’s part of this (South American) tour as well. In these matches against Sasha I’m going to learn something, I know it. I’m not just going out there to play a little bit of tennis. I’m actually going to go in there, enjoy myself and try out a few things.”

Has a change started to come?

Zverev, who turned 22 last April, already has multiple wins over both Federer and Djokovic, as well as defeating Nadal for the first time last week. Although he is yet to make it pass the quarter-final of a grand slam. For him, playing during the era of the Big Three has more pros than cons.

“All of us players, you know, most of the time loses to him, but we still don’t want him to retire.” The German said of Federer. “We still want him around as much as possible. We’ll see how much longer he can last.’
“Only Roger can answer that (retirement) question. He was my idol growing up and I still enjoy very much playing against him and having him around.”

Whilst fortunate to have the admiration of his younger peers, Federer knows that he will not be able to go on forever. Paving way for the likes of Zverev and Tsitsipas to try and fill the void left. Although there has been similar said in past years with few significant breakthroughs occurring. Especially when it comes to the ATP Finals. 2017 champion Grigor Dimitrov hasn’t won a title since. Meanwhile, 2018 winner Zverev has endured a turbulent season due to issues taking place off the court.

So will 2020 be the year where the landscape of men’s tennis starts to change?

“We know it’s going to be more difficult every year to keep the slams within the best group of guys.” Admits Federer.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if we see new champions and some of the older champions, of course I hope to be part of them.’
“I came so, so close this year at Wimbledon. I hope I can recreate those opportunities and take them next time, but I think the time will come, and that might be next year, when they will take over and that will be totally fine because at this moment in time now, they are plenty good enough.”

Federer will travel to five different countries this week for his exhibition tour. He is reportedly set to make in the region of $10 million in earnings, according to one source.

Quotes obtained via EFE/ Sport360

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Vasek Pospisil upsets Fabio Fognini in Davis Cup opening match in Madrid

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Canada’s Vasek Pospisil upset this year’s Monte-Carlo champion Fabio Fognini 7-6 7-5 after 1 hour and 48 minutes in the opening match of the Group F at the 2019 Davis Cup Final at the Caja Magica in Madrid.

 

Pospisil, who replaced Felix Auger Aliassime, earned the first break of the match in the fourth game after two double faults and a backhand error from Fognini. Pospisil saved the first of the two break points he faced, but Fognini broke back on his second chance after a backhand error from the Canadian player. Fognini did not convert two break points at 5-5.

Pospisil earned his only mini-break at 5-4 before closing out the first set on his second set point with a backhand passing shot, when Fognini hit a backhand into the net.

Fognini saved a break point at 1-1 in a hard-fought third game, when Pospisil made a forehand error. Pospisil brought up three break points at 5-5. Fognini saved the first two chances with his serve, but he dropped his serve on the third chance, when he hit his backhand into the net. Pospisil served out the match at 15 in the 12th game.

Pospisil is now ranked world number 150 in the world after missing half the season, while he was recovering from back surgery.

“I worked hard to get back here from surgery. Since then I have come back with a fresh perspective on the sport. Eight months ago I was thinking if I would ever be playing at this level again, but I am playing at a higher level much faster than I expected”, said Pospisil.

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Gerard Pique Believes Long-Term Davis Cup Project Will Work Despite Critics

Gerard Pique claims that the new Davis Cup is a long-term project as the competition kicks off today in Madrid.

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Gerard Pique (@bbctennis - Twitter)

Footballer Gerard Pique believes the Davis Cup is a long-term project that can work despite criticism over the re-formatted competition. 

 

Last August, the Barcelona defender had his re-formatted idea of the Davis Cup approve as part of big funding put in by his company Kosmos.

The competition, which starts today in Madrid, sees 18 teams compete in a one-week competition where they will fight for the Davis Cup title.

Despite Pique’s enthusiasm for the event, many fans and players have criticised the move explaining how the 118 year history of the competition has ended.

However for the Spaniard, he believes that he has convinced many doubters on this journey, “In terms of the event we needed to convince different people who were maybe sceptical and were against the idea of changing the format,” Pique admitted to Davis Cup.com.

“We’ve had to face it since the beginning. This is something I believe we did an amazing job at because we feel people in the game are now more convinced.

“The Davis Cup has a big meaning in the world of sport and tennis, there were some people against it, but right now I feel that Davis Cup is going to be stronger than it has been in the last 10 years.”

Despite the likes of Roger Federer and Daniil Medvedev missing from this week’s competition, there are eleven top 20 players competing including Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.

Many critics are seeing this innovation as a short-term project but Pique hasn’t seen it that way and believes that in five years time people will be convinced about the event, “I like to think big and our idea since the beginning is to put this competition where it deserves to be, and maybe to create an event longer than one week,” the Spaniard said.

We understand we have to start little by little. I don’t want to compare ourselves to any other tournament because I think we are unique. In five years’ time I want everyone, players and fans, to think ‘Davis Cup is in November and I want to be there.'”

Even though there are doubters players such as Andy Murray have told people to give the event a chance despite the amount of tickets that are still available for the event.

The action begins today at 3pm GMT time with three ties:

Croatia v Russia

Italy v Canada

Belgium v Colombia

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