Timea Babos Bests Stephanie Voegele at Taipei; Misaki Doi, Kirsten Flipkens, and Evgeniya Rodina also Advance to the Semifinals - UBITENNIS
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Timea Babos Bests Stephanie Voegele at Taipei; Misaki Doi, Kirsten Flipkens, and Evgeniya Rodina also Advance to the Semifinals

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Timea Babpos of Hungary in action at the 2015 WTA OEC Taipei Open (image via oectennis.com)

Timea Babos of Hungary bested Stefanie Voegele of Switzerland in a tight quarterfinal match at the WTA 125K Taipei tournament: 6-3, 7-5. The fourth seed from Hungary has not dropped a set in the tournament. Babos, ranked 84, has one WTA title to her credit – Monterrey in 2012. Her best results this year were reaching the final at Marrakesh and the quarterfinals at Tianjin. Voegele, seeded seventh, is currently ranked 122 – although she has been ranked as high as 42 (November 2013). In 2015, she has not made it past the early rounds except for this tournament and reaching the semifinals at Luxembourg.

The match was evenly played. In the first nine games of the match, each player held serve comfortably. Voegele dropped only two points in her first four service games. Both Babos and Voegele won 74% of their service points in the set. The two players looked for opportunities to come to net to close out points. There were no break point opportunities until the tenth game with Voegele serving. Babos was able to take advantage of the fourth set point with a beautiful backhand passing shot.

The second set also started with each player easily holding serve for the first five games. Voegele came back from a 0-30 deficit on the strength of big serves to hold in the sixth game. In the next game, Babos survived a couple of breakpoints to stay on serve. Babos was able to take the twelfth game (and the match) aided by another excellent passing shot and three unforced errors by Voegele.

Misaki Doi of Japan, the number one seed, defeated Luksika Kumkhum from Thailand in straight sets: 6-3, 6-4. Doi was able to covert both of her breakpoint chances, while Kumkhum was unable to capitalize on any of her four opportunities. The twenty-four–old Doi has recently won the Luxembourg title and is at her highest career ranking of 60. Kumkhum is currently ranked 195 although she has been ranked as high as 85. Her most notable win was shocking Petra Kvitova in the first round of the 2014 Australian Open.

Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium, the fifth seed, also moved on to the semifinals with a win over Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan, the second seed. Shvedova, coming off a title at Hua Hin last week, was forced to retire at the end of the third game in the second set after winning the first set 6-4.

In the last quarterfinal of the day, Evgeniya Rodina of Russia defeated Chang Liu of China in three sets. Liu, ranked 231 and new to the WTA tour, won a close first set 6-4. However, the third seed Russian went on to win the second set easily 6-2. Lui challenged Rodina in the third set, but the Russian prevailed 6-4.

 

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(VIDEO) Day 8 At The ATP Finals: Alexander Zverev Downs Weary Djokovic

Ubitennis looks back on the year-end finale that took place.

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Alexander Zverev has ended Novak Djokovic’s run at the O2 to win the biggest title of his career. The 21-year-old was the fresher and stronger out of the two contesting the final at the O2 Arena in London. Following their match, Djokovic openly backed the German to one day break his record in terms of titles won. Something Zverev was quick to downplay.


 

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‘If You Win a Grand Slam, It’s A Good Season’ – Roger Federer On 2018 And His Off-Season Goals

The Swiss player has named two improvements he would like to make to his game ahead of the next season.

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20-time grand slam champion Roger Federer has said that he is contempt with his performance this year despite experiencing a slight dip in form during the second half.

The 37-year-old officially ended his season on Saturday after bowing out in straight sets to Alexander Zverev at the ATP Finals in London. This year the Swiss player has won four titles on the tour, including the Australian Open in January. Overall, he has achieved a win-loss record of 48-10.

“(Pete) Sampras once upon a time said, ‘If you win a slam, it’s a good season.’” Reflected Federer, who held the world No.1 ranking for a total of eight weeks during 2018.
“So started great. I played super well in Australia again. So obviously I can’t wait to go back there in a couple of months.”

Despite the success, he has also suffered his share of disappointment. Prior to his last tournament of the year, Federer had only won two out of six matches against top 10 players. He also suffered a surprise loss to Kevin Anderson at Wimbledon before falling in the fourth round at the US Open. Making it the first time he has only reached one grand slam semi-final out of four since 2013.

“The second half of the season could have been better maybe.” Admitted Federer. “I also have high hopes to always do well. So I’m happy I gave myself opportunities again in that second half of the season.”
“I maybe lost a couple too close matches that could have changed things around for me a little bit.” He added.

Work to be done in the off-season

Fortunately, the positives overweight the negatives for the Swiss veteran, who is the oldest player currently in the world’s top 100. In September he celebrated the 20th anniversary of his debut on the ATP Tour at the Grand Prix de Tennis de Toulouse in France.

“I’m very proud that at 37 I’m still so competitive and so happy playing tennis. From that standpoint, as disappointed as I might be about this match if I take a step back, I’m actually very happy about the season.” He told reporters after his loss to Zverev on Saturday.

Federer will now embark upon the off-season where he is expected to conduct his usual preparation in Dubai. During a recent interview with newspaper Tages-Anzeiger, he has outlined two areas of his game that he wants to improve on. His forehand and his play at the net.

“As far as tennis is concerned, I would like to find my way back to the net more often,” he said.
“And of course I want to whip the forehand right again.
“Then there is the condition training with Pierre (Paganini).
“Of course, deciding whether to play on clay or not has an impact on the training program.”

Federer will return to action at the Hopman Cup, which will get underway on December 29th.

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(VIDEO) Day 7 At The ATP Finals: Novak Djokovic Shines, But Roger Federer Stumbles

Ubitennis reflects on a somewhat mixed semi-final day at the season-ending championships.

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There will not be a dream Djokovic-Federer showdown at the ATP Finals on Sunday after two very contrasting semi-finals.

Roger Federer was sent crashing out of the tournament following a sensational performance by Alexander Zverev. Zverev’s triumph had a bitter taste after his match concluded in controversy when he stopped during a rally after noticing a ball boy dropping a ball. Prompting backlash from the crowd and a big debate in the London capital.

In the other semifinal, Novak Djokovic produced a near-perfect performance against a sluggish Kevin Anderson, who leaked 33 unforced errors. Djokovic heads in the final without dropping his serve in the entire tournament.

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