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

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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.

 

 

 

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Auger Aliassime overcomes slow start to beat Seppi in Washington

The Canadian looked down and out early in the match but bounced back to avenge a loss he suffered at the French Open in June.

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Second seed Felix Auger Aliassime survived a huge scare in his opening match at the Citi Open in Washington.

The Canadian was on the verge of being upset by the Italian Andreas Seppi but battled back to beat him 2-6, 6-2, 6-2 in one hour and 59 minutes. Blasting a total of 25 winners and nine aces in the win.

 

“In my mind, I wanted to find a way to come back. To get that early break in the second really helped me a lot and I think I served a little bit better and I put more volume and height on my shot,” said Auger-Aliassime. “I was more patient and in the first set I was missing too quickly in the rallies so digging deep physically and mentally allowed me to come back nicely in the match and to finish strong in the third set. I am happy with the way things turned around for me today”.

It was the world number 88 with the better start to the match and after both players held their opening service games he had two chances to get the early break and took a 2-1 lead. After consolidating the break, the Italian set up another breakpoint with a stunning forehand winner, broke again for a 4-1 lead, and served out the first set.

Auger-Aliassime was keen on getting back into the match and wanted to avoid a second straight upset loss to the Italian. After holding serve in the first game of the second set he had two chances to take an early lead and broke for the 2-0 lead with a forehand up the line of his very own on breakpoint. That was enough for him to serve out the second set and send the match into a decisive third set to decide the winner.

It was the Canadian who repeated what he did in the second set holding the opening service game and breaking Seppi’s serve with a sublime passing shot. The Italian responded the next game by breaking right back but failed to consolidate the break as the world number 15 broke again with his powerful backhand winner.

At 5-2, the Auger-Aliassime found himself at match point and it took him five attempts before being able to convert and seal the match. Avenging a loss he suffered at Roland Garros.

After the match in his post-match press conference, the Canadian was asked if he had the loss to Seppi at the French Open in the back of his mind during the match.

” In a way yes of course because we played once and he beat me and as a player, you never want to go down twice in a row against a player but it happens but in my case, I really wanted to find a way to win that match and get revenge just for myself to try and get the win”. he said.

Auger Aliassime will now face the winner of the second-round match between Jenson Brooksby or Frances Tiafoe in the third round.

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Vasek Pospisil survives scare at Citi Open

The Canadian battled back from a set down in what was a tricky opening encounter.

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Vasek Pospisil was pushed to limits by qualifier Emilio Gomez in his opening match at the Citi Open.

The Canadian required three sets to beat the Ecuadorian qualifier 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 after two hours and 11 minutes of play. He hit a total of 10 aces en route to the second round.

 

” It’s always good to get through a tough one and I felt dialed in during the second set,” said Pospisil. “I was a little bit distracted during the first set but I am glad to get match play and getting the win is important so I am happy I got it done”.

The first three games of the opener went on serve and at 2-1 the Canadian had three chances to take an early break but the world number 165 saved all three and held serve. At 3-3, Pospisil played a poor service game and Gomez took full advantage by breaking him at love. That one break of serve was enough for him to serve out the first set.

The Canadian was determined to stay alive in the second and broke the Ecuadorian early to take a 2-0 lead and managed to turn it into a double break for a commanding 4-0 lead. Gomez got one of the breaks back but it wasn’t enough as the world number 61 would serve out the second set to force a decider.

The third set started with three breaks of serve but it was the Canadian that was finally able to hold serve and consolidate a break. That break was enough for him to serve out the match and complete the comeback.

Pospisil will next face the young American Sebastien Korda in the third round who is the 12th seed this week in the American capital.

” It’s going to be a tough one because he is playing some great tennis this year and he is an up and comer and a great player,” he said of Korda. “I will have to play really well to win that one because he is a dangerous player so I will have to serve well and return well”.

Other results

It was a busy day one at the Citi Open being held at Rock Creek Park in Washington, DC with some thrilling matches. Kei Nishikori beat Sam Querrey in straight sets 6-4, 6-3 and Marcus Giron pulled a three-set comeback against Ilya Marchenko 4-6, 6-4, 7-6.

In the battle of the Belorussians, Ilya Ivashka beat Egor Gerasimov in straight sets 7-5, 6-4. Meanwhile, Jenson Brooksby avenged a loss to the South African Kevin Anderson by beating him in straight sets 7-5, 6-3.

Andreas Seppi needed three sets to dispatch Yasutka Uchiyama of Japan 3-6, 7-5, 6-3, Ricardas Berankis beat the American qualifier Mitchell Kreuger in straight sets 7-6, 6-2, and Daniel Elahi Galan beat another American Tommy Paul in straight sets 6-4, 6-3.

Finally, in the last match of the day an American favourite, Jack Sock advanced to round two after his Japanese opponent Yoshito Nishioka was forced to retire due to injury during their match.

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John Isner Wins 16th ATP Title In Atlanta

The 6ft 10 American got revenge on his American opponent for the loss he suffered last week in Los Cabos.

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John Isner has continued his love affair with the Atlanta Open by ousting Brandon Nakashima to win the tournament for a record sixth time.

 

The sixth seed beat the American teenager 7-6, 7-5 in one hour and 57 minutes. Firing a total of 21 aces and winning 81% of his first-serve points en route to the victory.

“I think if you count the last two weeks playing singles and doubles I played 12 matches in about 10 or 11 days so I have played a lot which is exactly what I need,” Isner said following his win. “Hopefully I can take this and go forward and build some momentum for tournaments ahead.’
This tournament has meant everything to my career it’s amazing”. He added.

The first set was extremely tight and neither player gave an inch in their respective service games. The opener was decided by a tiebreaker which Isner is accustomed to. Whilst the first set was tight, the tiebreaker was an even tighter affair Isner squeezing out a 10-8 win to take the first set 7-6.

Again the second set was competitive and again neither player got an edge on their return game. It was only at 5-4 that the Dallas, Texas native found himself at triple match point but the world number 115 saved all three.

Nakashima would save a fourth before holding serve and at 6-5, the world number 35 earned a fifth match point. That’s where he closed out the match and sealed the win and the title.

After the match, Isner was asked about his history of playing numerous tiebreakers throughout his career.

” I play a lot of those and it’s a situation I am comfortable in since I have been on tour forever,” he explained. “Honestly I think today (Sunday) I was just a little bit luckier and that’s what It really came down to. It’s amazing to be out here again playing on a Sunday and it was awesome”.

Isner confirmed that he will not be making the trip to Washington, DC for the Citi Open and instead he will take a week off after playing back-to-back tournaments in Los Cabos and Atlanta. He is next scheduled to be in Toronto for the National Bank Open.

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