Roger Federer cruises to second round in Basel - UBITENNIS
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Roger Federer cruises to second round in Basel



Local star Roger Federer made his eagerly-awaited debut against Mikhail Kukushkin in front of his local fans at the Swiss Indoor Open in Basel at the St.Jakobshalle.


Federer won his two previous head-to-head matches against the Kazakh player at Wimbledon in 2011 and in the Davis Cup quarter finals in 2014 in Geneva without dropping sets.

In last year’s edition of the Swiss Indoor Open Kukushkin beat the other Swiss star Stan Wawrinka in the first round with 6-4 6-7 6-3.

Federer won his first service game to love. In the second game he went up 0-40 on Kukushkin’s serve but the Kazakh player forced the game to deuce. Federer converted his break point on his fourth break point opportunity. He saved break point chances to hold his service game for 3-0. After 13 minutes Federer led 4-0. Kukushkin avoided the bagel winning his first game with his forehand winner but Federer closed out the first set in the next game after 21 minutes.

Federer could not convert break points in the first game of the second set. Kukushkin held his serve to take a 1-0 lead. Federer held his service game to draw level to 1-1. Kukushkin saved break points in a 5-minute third game to take a 2-1 lead. Federer hit his 20th winner to draw level to 2-2. Federer earned three break points and converted his second chance for 3-2 after Kukushkin made a double fault. Federer got the double break in the seventh game to pull away to 5-2 before serving out for the match after 54 minutes.

Federer hit 29 winners to 15 unforced errors. He converted only four of his break point chances but saved the two opportunities he faced. He won 91 percent of his first serve pointts 72 percent of his second serve points.

Federer will take on Philipp Kohlschreiber in the second round. The Basel native player leads 10-0 in his previous head-to-head matches against the German player.

Kohlschreiber overcame a second-set loss to beat Jerzy Janowicz with 6-4 3.6 6.3.

The Swiss Maestro has won the home tournament six times. Only once in 1998 Federer lost in the first round against André Agassi. The then 17-year-old player from Basel won just five games against the US legend.

Federer will donate his appearance fee in Basel to his Foundation,which helps disadvantaged children and promotes their access to education and sport.

Grigor Dimitrov beat Sergiy Stakhovsky 6-3 6-4 to set up a second round match against Rafa Nadal. Dimitrov, who is now ranked number 28, got an early break in the first set en route to winning the first set with 6-3. The Bulgarian player broke serve in the ninth game to take the 5-4 lead with two forehand passing shots before closing out in the next game.

John Isner beat Ernests Gulbis 6-3 6-4 taking a re-match for his defeat in their previous head-to-head match last week in Vienna. Isner hit 28 winners to 14 unforced errors and hit 19 aces and won 90 percent of his first serve points. Isner broke in the second game on his second opportunity. The match went on serve without break points until the ninth game when Isner served out for the first set. Gulbis wasted a break point in the sixth game of the second set. Isner converted his break point chance in the ninth game

Number 8 seed David Goffin fought back from a set down to overcome Andreas Seppi with 3-6 6-4 6-4. Seppi got a double break in the first and in the fifth games en route to taking a 4-1 lead. Goffin recovered one of the two breaks but Seppi sealed the first set with a third break. In the second set Goffin got a double break. Seppi recovered one of the two breaks but the Belgian closed out with 6-4 drawing level to 1-1 on sets. Goffin got an early break at the start of the second set. Seppi broke back to draw level to 4-4 but Goffin broke again for 5-4.

Richard Gasquet edged past Jiri Vesely 6-3 6-7 (2-7) 6-4. Gasquet broke serve in the second game of the first set. The Frenchman earned three set points on Vesely’s serve but failed to convert them. He closed out the first set in the next game. The second set went on serve without break points until the break point. Vesely got two-mini-breaks to win the tie-break with 7-2 forcing the match to the third set. Vesely did not convert two break points in the fourth game. Gasquet also had break points in the seventh game but he failed to convert them. In the 10th game Gasquet earned a break point at 30-all. This time he clinched the break to win the decider with 6-4. Gasquet will face Dominic Thiem in the second round.





Tennis Player Disqualified From Shanghai Qualifying Match Two Points Away From Victory



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It will be a match that Australia’s Marc Polmans will never forget but for all the wrong reasons.


The World No.140 looked to be on the verge of victory against Italy’s Stefano Napolitano when leading their match 7-6(3), 6-6(6-5), in the final round of qualifying at the Shanghai Masters. However, disaster struck at the next point when Polmans temper got the better of him and subsequently cost him.

With match point, he approached the net to hit a backhand shot but it ended up in the net. Prompting the frustrated 26-year-old to hit a tennis ball that unfortunately hit the umpire. As a result of that action, he was automatically disqualified from the match which handed Napolitano the victory and a place in the main draw.

It is not the first time a tennis player has been disqualified for such an incident. During a 2017 Davis Cup tie between Canada and Great Britain, Denis Shapovalov was disqualified for firing a tennis ball that hit the umpire’s eye. Novak Djokovic was also disqualified from the 2020 US Open after hitting a ball that accidentally struck a lines judge.

“Players shall not violently, dangerously or with anger hit, kick or throw
a tennis ball while on the grounds of the tournament site except in the reasonable pursuit of a point during a match (including warm-up),
” the 2023 ATP rulebook outlines.
“For purposes of this rule, abuse of balls is defined as intentionally or reckless- ly hitting a ball out of the enclosure of the court, hitting a ball dangerously or recklessly within the court or hitting a ball with disregard of the conse- quences.’
“Violation of this section shall subject a player to a fine of up to $350 for each violation. In addition, if such violation occurs during a match, the player shall be penalized in accordance with the Point Penalty Schedule.”

It is a tough lesson for Polmans to learn. He was on the verge of playing in the main draw of a Masters 1000 event for the first time in his career. He is currently the 10th highest-ranked Australian player on the ATP Tour and reached the final of a Challenger event in Guangzhou, China last month.

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Team World One Win Away From Victory in Laver Cup

Team World take a huge 10-2 lead over Team Europe heading into the final day



Image via Laver Cup twitter

After losing the first four editions of the Laver Cup, Team World look set to win the event for a second time as the event reaches its conclusion tomorrow.


Team World Captain John McEnroe was thrilled with the day’s results but warned against complacency: “We’re just going to keep doing what we’re doing. The job’s not done but we’re pretty close.”

American duo Taylor Fritz and Frances Tiafoe both earned straight sets wins over Andrey Rublev and Hubert Hurkacz, while Felix Auger-Aliassime and Ben Shelton beat Hurkacz and Gael Monfils.

“I want to play well for the guys,” said Tiafoe after his singles victory. “I played really well tonight. Just being in a team environment is so foreign to us as tennis players, it’s such an individual sport.”

After winning his third singles match in three appearances at the Laver Cup, Fritz was also motivated to do well:

“Yesterday, all the guys played really well. I felt that and wanted to come out on court and show what I can do. That definitely motivated me. Any type of team environment, I feel like it always elevates my game. I feel like my record in team events is really strong because I have a team cheering for me. I get pumped up. I’m excited to play for them. It just adds more pressure and fire to it. I think I play better in those situations.”

The doubles was a typically dynamic and feisty affair, and after the match Shelton was full of praise for his partner:

“It’s amazing, when you play with a guy who serves and returns like Felix, is as athletic as him, and goes back for the overhead as strong as him, it’s a fun time,” said Shelton. “We call him ‘Laver Cup Felix’ because he turns into something special this week, just glad I got to share the court with him at least once.”

Auger-Aliassime returned the compliments: “The best comes out of me when I’m playing not only for myself but for team-mates. Ben carried me through the end of that match, it was tough for me to get it done.”

Casper Ruud, meanwhile, beat Tommy Paul for Europe’s only points so far.

Matches on the final day are worth three points each – meaning that Team Europe would have to win all four remaining matches to prevent Team World from winning the trophy.

T. Fritz def A. Rublev 6-2, 7-6
F. Tiafoe def H. Hurkacz 7-5, 6-3
F. Auger-Aliassime & B. Shelton def H.Hurkacz & G. Monfils 7-5, 6-4
C. Ruud def T. Paul 7-6, 6-2

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ATP RANKINGS UPDATE: Novak Djokovic, No.1 once more



After the US Open the Serbian champion reclaims top spot. Alexander Zverev is back in the Top 10


By Roberto Ferri

Don’t ever underestimate the heart of a champion”

Rudy Tomjanovich coined this maxim just after his Houston Rockets won the NBA championship in 1995. He was paying homage to Akeem Holajuwon. It perfectly suits the heart of Daniil Medvedev, who proved 99% of tennis fans in the world to be wrong, convinced as they were that he would lose the semifinal to former No 1 Carlos Alcaraz.

But his dream to win a second US Open, after his triumph in 2021, was shattered by another champion, whose heart and class is even greater: that’s Novak Djokovic, who affixes his seal on his return to No.1, equalling Margaret Court Smith’s record of 24 majors.

Djokovic dethroning Alcaraz is not the only change in the top 20: Sascha Zverev is back in the top 10 after almost one year and Ben Shelton, great protagonist of the Us Open, debuts in the top 20 best players in the world.

TOP 20

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A few comments:

Stefanos Tsitsipas, Andrei Rublev and Alexander Zverev gain 2 positions.

Ben Shelton devours 28 positions.

Sinner, Tiafoe, Norrie and Dimitrov lose one.

Casper Ruud and Karen Khachanov, runner up and semi-finalist respectively  at the 2022 US  Open, drop 4 positions.

One step forward for Fritz, de Minaur, Paul, Auger-Aliassime and Hurkacz.


From 12 to 19 November the 8 best players of the ranking based on the points earned in the ongoing solar season will be playing the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin.

Will Novak Djokovic succeed in winning a second straight title? He appears to be heading in the right direction.


Thanks to his triumph at the US Open the Serbian overtakes Alcaraz also in the Race to Turin.

Jannik Sinner holds fourth spot while Andrei Rublev overtakes Stefanos Tsitsipas and is now fifth.

The eighth position is occupied by Alexander Zverev.

Last year runner up, Casper Ruud is currently 10th. This means he would feature in Turin as a reserve.


The Next Gen Finals, dedicated to the best under 21s, (8 effectives and 2 reserves) of the season will take place this year in Gedda, Saudi Arabia.

The 2022 winner, Brandon Nakashima, will not be defending his title, since he was born in 2001.

PositionPlayerCountryPtsYOB ATP rank
6Van AsscheFrance597200469
12Llamas RuizSpain3702002133

Taking for granted that Alcaraz and, most likely Rune, will be playing the ATP Finals, we have included in the chart the 12 current top under 21s.


Besides Ben Shelton, other 11 players have achieved their career highest this week.

We tribute a double applause to the four players who are making their debut in the top 100.

The 25-year-old Croatian Borna Gojo, 22-year-old Australian Rinky Hijkata and the Swiss next gen Dominic Stricker all reap the reward for their brilliant runs at the US Open. Seyboth Wild, the Brazilian who stunned Medvedev in the first round of Roland Garros leaps to No.76 after winning the Challenger in Como last week.

Seyboth Wild76Brazil30

Translated by Kingsley Elliot Kaye

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