Roger Federer Outclasses Stan Wawrinka to Set Final Showdown With Novak Djokovic in London (Steven Flink Audio) - UBITENNIS
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Roger Federer Outclasses Stan Wawrinka to Set Final Showdown With Novak Djokovic in London (Steven Flink Audio)

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Roger Federer outclasses Stan Wawrinka in the semifinals of the ATP World Tour Finals winning in straight sets by 7-5 6-3 in 1 hour and 10 minutes. Federer reaches his record 10th final in 14 appearances at the ATP Finals. The 6-time champion will face Novak Djokovic in a rematch of last year’s final. The match wasn’t played a year ago, as Federer pulled out with back injury.

 

Steven Flink from Tennis Channel comments on Federer’s victory here:

 

Roger Federer has found his progression at the net in splendid fashion on Saturday at the O2 Arena. The World No.3 outclassed his friend and compatriot Stan Wawrinka in 70 minutes in the semi-finals of the ATP World Tour Finals in London. A 6-time champion, Roger is the oldest player to qualify for the finals since 35-year-old Andre Agassi qualified in Shanghai in 2005. Together with the American, Federer also holds the record for most appearances in the finals, qualifying for the final event of the ATP season 14 times.

Not just the show ups, but also the consistency of the results achieved are outstanding for Federer at the year-end championships. Beating Wawrinka on Saturday, Roger has reached his 10th final in 14 appearances, not to mention the 13 semi-finals with just one Round Robin set back in 2008. Clearly, the Swiss loves to play the last even of the year, and age doesn’t seem to be a problem at all.

The oldest in the group by far, Roger also seems the player with the most energy left in the tank, thanks to a perfect scheduling of the tournaments perfected in over a decade of experience on the tour.

Federer found his touch, his flawless movements, and most importantly his best serves when he needed them the most. Trailing back from 2-4 in the first set. the 34-year-old caught both break point chances right away to clinch the first set. Free to hit full power and unwilling to let go, Roger held his lethal vice on the match dominating early on in the second set and keeping the momentum going to finish in 70 minutes.

And so the 2014 final in London is to happen again, or we shall better say for the first time. Last year Federer needed 2 hours and 48 minutes to beat Wawrinka in the semis, having to save a total of 4 match points. The following day, Roger stepped on court, but only to apologise to the fans revealing he wasn’t going to face Novak Djokovic in the final due to a back injury. “The worst moment in my career, something I am not used to” defined that moment the Swiss reminiscing the event after beating Djokovic early in the Round Robin action. This time around, unless something extraordinary happens in the next 20 hours, Roger should step on court at 6:00 PM on Sunday, tomorrow, to face Djokovic yet again.

It will be the 16th time in the history of the tournament that the finalists will be playing against one another twice in the event. The last time it happened was 4 years ago, when in 2011 Federer beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the Round Robin phase and then again in the final, both times in straight sets. Out of these 15 times, 8 times the result has been turned around, with the Round Robin loser avenging the loss and winning the tournament.

The last time something like that happened was exactly 10 years ago, when Federer beat Nalbandian in their round robin match in Shanghai, to then lose the final to the Argentine in five sets.

The experience could help the Swiss in facing Djokovic, even though the Swiss hasn’t managed to beat Djokovic twice in a row in the same year since 2012 when he beat the Serb in the semis at Wimbledon and then again in the finals in Cincinnati.

No matter who wins, history will be made on Sunday. Federer could claim a all-time record 7th title, Djokovic could become the first player in history to win the tournament 4 times in a row.

It’s the perfect ending to the tennis season.

 

MATCH REPORT

 

(3) Roger Federer (SUI) b. (4) Stan Wawrinka (SUI) 7-5 6-3

Match time: 1 hour and 10 minutes

 

O2 Arena, London
SF Barclays ATP World Tour Finals

 

Head-2-Record: Federer leads 17-3

Last match: Federer b. Wawrinka 6-4 6-3 6-1 – 2015 US Open SF

 

Roger Federer wins the toss and starts the match on serve

 

British star Hugh Grant in the audience

 

THE FIRST SET

 

Federer makes his intentions clear immediately. Roger goes Serve & Volley on the first two points, winning both, then again at 40-0, holding serve to love to lead 1-0. Wawrinka starts his service game with an ace at 121 mph. The video wall keeps on filming the two players and Wawrinka asks for the still graphic before serving again. The French Open champion fires his 2nd ace in the game and then closes the game at love as Federer hits a return backhand wide. 1-1.

 

Federer’s career indoor record:

 

Federer is challenged for the first time on his serve in the third game, as Wawrinka gets to deuce after Roger misses a forehand long. The World No.3 recovers, closing another attacking point at the net with a backhand volley winner. Federer holds without facing break points and confirming the lead up 2-1.

 

Wawrinka follows the trend in the following game, going down 15-30 on serve missing two backhands. World No.4 recovers attacking with his forehand to get back to 30-30. Stan fires his third ace in the match at 40-30 and closes the game to set the score tied at 2-2. Roger is in trouble again on serve in the 5th game. Federer hits a double fault, the first in the match, at 15-15 falling behind 15-30 on serve. Stan doesn’t build on his chance hitting a forehand in the net. Stan manages to get to break point, helped by the net firing a passing shot with Federer at the net. At 40-A Federer takes control of the rally, facing his first break point, but then misses a forehand that hits the net cord and then bounces wide. Wawrinka breaks first to lead 3-2 after 15 minutes.

As Wawrinka finds continuity, Federer fails to put pressure advancing on the court. Wawrinka stays strong on serve, firing a good first serve in the middle of the service box to hold serve to 15 and confirm the break up 4-2. Federer reacts stepping closer to the baseline, swinging full power with his backhand and holding serve to 15 to trail back 3-4.

 

Wawrinka uses the confidence coming from the break to step further on court. The World No.4 advances to the net and closes with a backhand volley winner to get 15-0 in the 8th game. Two forehand misses and a double fault, the first in the match, and Stan is in danger again. Wawrinka is down 15-40 and Federer has his first break points in the match. Federer teases Wawrinka’s backhand with a top spin deep forehand. Stan misses long and Federer breaks at his first chance to get right back into the set. The score is tied at 4-4.
https://twitter.com/MoTafolla/status/668167749701537792

 

The 17-time Grand Slam champion plays a great point of consistency up 40-15 in the 9th game, moving Wawrinka around the court, then comes at the net to close with a backhand volley winner. Federer back on the lead at 5-4.

 

Serving to stay in the set, Wawrinka is yet to lose a point on his first serve. The French Open champion has won 10 out 10 points on first serve for a perfect 100% record. The trend continues as Stan goes 13/13 on first serves to lead 40-15 in the game. Wawrinka holds and sets the score at 5-5.

 

Federer continues coming at the net and the strategy pays off. Roger holds to 15 and leads 6-5 after 33 minutes. Federer has won 5 points more than Wawrinka (32-27) so far in the match.

 

Stan loses his first points on first serve at 5-6. Wawrinka hits his 2nd double fault in the set and then misses a forehand long falling behind 15-30 on serve. On the following point, Federer fires a stunning cross court angled forehand passing shot to get to 15-40 and have two set points. Roger uses the forehand passing shot again, with Stan at the net. Wawrina can’t put the forehand volley on court and after 37 minutes Federer wins the first set 7-5.

https://twitter.com/SkySportsTennis/status/668171445382479872

Wawrinka loses his first 3 points on first serve in the set all in the game that mattered the most.

 

First serve stats:

Screen Shot 2015-11-21 at 20.53.46

 

THE SECOND SET

 

Federer starts the second set down 0-30 on serve. Roger finds his first serves to get out of trouble and hold to 30 leading 1-0.

Roger wins the best point of the match at the net, closing with a forehand drop volley cross court winner to get to 15-30.

https://twitter.com/Mikno78/status/668171601750401025

Wawrinka reacts but faces another break point at 30-40. Stan kills a forehand in the net and Federer breaks right away to lead 2-0.

 

Federer seems in control of the match now, but he gets distracted while up 40-15 allowing Wawrinka back in the game. Stan has a chance to break at 40-A but misses a forehand passing shot long. Federer responds with an ace, the third in the match, and closing the game at the net with another volley winner. Federer leads 3-0.

 

 

In the fourth game, Federer hits yet another stunning forehand passing shot and has two chances to break Wawrinka’s serve again. The French Open champion reacts in time to save the game and get on the scoreboard in the second set. Federer leads 3-1. Roger holds serve to 30 in the following game, finish off with an ace to build a 4-1 lead after 57 minutes in the match.

 

https://twitter.com/TennisMajesty/status/668173593545609216

 

Down 1-4, Wawrinka lets his racket swing full power. Stan wins the game with a backhand on the line, on which Federer accidentally drops the racket.

 

Federer starts serving at 4-2 with an ace, the 6th in the match. Roger hits to love and solidifies his lead at 5-2 sending Wawrinka to serve to stay in the match.

 

https://twitter.com/Mikno78/status/668175402960072704

Federer insists on Wawrinka’s backhand, forcing Stan to miss the ball first. The French Open champion misses long again, and is down 0-30 with Federer two points away from victory. Stan reacts firing three aces in a row, joining Federer with 6 aces in the match. Roger gets back in the game, opening the court with a cross court angled backhand. Federer wins another great point, with Wawrinka at the net, running on a drop volley and winning the point with a backhand down the line winner.

https://twitter.com/Mikno78/status/668177596870475777

As Wawrinka hits in the net a backhand Federer has his first match point. Stan saves the match point with a forehand winner down the line. Finally Wawrinka holds with another forehand winner, this time cross court.

Federer serves for the match at 5-3. Federer gets to 40-0 with a forehand winner cross court. On his second match point, Federer wins as Wawrinka hits a backhand return long. Federer wins 7-5 6-3 after 1 hour and 10 minutes.

Here are the match stats:

Screen Shot 2015-11-21 at 21.30.15

Screen Shot 2015-11-21 at 21.32.02

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Brazilian Rising Star Joao Fonseca Waives College Eligibility To Turn Pro

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Image via https://twitter.com/RioOpenOficial/

One of Brazil’s most promising young tennis players has made the bold decision to abandon a dream of his to play college tennis in America to turn pro. 

17-year-old Jaoao Fonseca was committed to playing college tennis at the University of Virginia but says professional tennis has called him in a way he couldn’t refuse. The rising star has played just two Tour-level events so far in his career and is currently ranked 343rd in the world. 

At last week’s Rio Open, he became the second-youngest player after Alexander Zverev to reach the quarter-finals of an ATP 500 event since the category was introduced. In his home tournament, the Brazillian beat Arthur Fils and Cristian Garin before losing to Mariano Navone.

“It was an incredibly tough decision for me and my family as I have been dreaming about living a college life in Charlottesville, playing the sport that l love with a wonderful team and coach, but, in the last months, professional tennis called me in a way that I simply couldn’t say no,” Fonseca wrote in a statement published on Instagram
“Although I will not be attending school, I think it is an extremely valuable and viable path for young players in their way to professional careers,” he added.

Fonseca has already enjoyed success on the junior circuit. Last year he was runner-up in the doubles tournament at the Australian Open boy’s event. Then at the US Open, he won his first Grand Slam junior title in singles. He is also a former ITF Junior World No.1 and is currently ranked second in the standings. 

The youngster has already been hailed by compatriot Beatriz Haddad Maia, who is currently ranked 13th on the WTA Tour. Speaking to reporters at the San Diego Open, she has offered her support to Fonseca if he needs it. 

“João is a nice person. He has a great future, if he keeps working hard and keeps doing what he’s doing. I think he has a very aggressive mentality and tennis.” She said.

“We sometimes text each other, but not that much. But I’m always following.. not only him.. but the Brazilians. I’m proud of what he’s doing. He has a long way and he needs to understand that it’s a marathon, it’s not a 100 meter race.’
“Tennis has its ups and downs. I wish him all the best, for sure. I’ll be here whenever he wants. I’m happy with what he’s doing.” 

Fonseca played at the Chile Open this week but lost in the first round to Thiago Agustin Tirante.

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Injured Alcaraz Pulls Out of Rio Open After Two Games

A sprained ankle a couple of minutes into his debut at the Rio Open forced top seed Carlos Alcaraz to abandon his match against Thiago Monteiro

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Carlos Alcaraz after the injury - Rio 2024 (photo Tennis TV)

For world no. 2 Carlos Alcaraz, this year’s Rio Open lasted two games: the Spanish champion had to retire on the score of 1-1 in the first set during his first-round match against Brazilian Thiago Monteiro due to a sprained right ankle suffered in the second point of the match.

In an accident somewhat reminiscent of the terrible one suffered by Zverev in the semi-final of Roland Garros 2022, Alcaraz’s right foot “got stuck”  in the clay as he returned towards the center of the court after returning from the left, and he immediately flew to the ground dropping his racket. The Spaniard immediately asked for a medical time-out, but as soon as he took off his shoe it was immediately clear that his ankle had already swollen.

After having a tight bandage applied, Alcaraz tried to continue the match, but just two games later he understood that it was not possible to continue so he shook hands with his opponent, abandoning the Brazilian tournament.

The match was played on a very heavy court due to the rain that had fallen heavily during the day. The organizers had been forced to cancel the daytime session and play could only begin around 7.30 pm local time, after the courts had remained under pouring water all day.

Alcaraz told the press present in Rio: “I think these things happen, especially on clay. It wasn’t a problem with the court, I hurt myself in a change of direction and this happens on this type of surface. I went back into the match to see if I could continue or not. I spoke to the physiotherapist on the court and we decided, together, that I would continue to see if the ankle would improve. It didn’t happen, so we preferred to be cautious and withdraw as a precaution.”

Considering that Alcaraz left the court on his own two feet and managed to wobble through a couple of games after the injury, it is quite likely that the injury he suffered is much less serious than the one that kept Alexander Zverev away from tournaments for over seven months. However, it will be necessary to verify whether it is just a sprain or whether tendons or ligaments have been involved. If this were to be the case, the prognosis could turn out to be longer, and this is happening less than two weeks before the start of the Sunshine Double in Indian Wells and Miami.

The Spaniard is scheduled to play an exhibition in Las Vegas on 3rd March against Rafael Nadal: it will be decided in the next few days whether to withdraw as a precaution for the first Masters 1000 of the season in Indian Wells.

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Can Jannik Sinner dodge the morning-after syndrome?

Very few players have managed to follow up their first triumph in a Major. Hewitt is the last new Grand Slam champion to immediately win an ATP title. Nadal, Djokovic and Federer all misfired, can Jannik Sinner do better?

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Jannik Sinner - Australian Open 2024 (photo: X @federtennis)

By Roman Bongiorno

“The morning-after syndrome,” as they call it. The list of great champions who have suffered from it – Carlos Alcaraz, Juan Martin del Potro, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Stan Wawrinka, Andy Murray, is impressive.  Some of the most illustrious names in our sport, the most successful ever. Yet, even for those who are legends, the match immediately after their first Grand Slam triumph is often an insurmountable hurdle.

The very young Spanish phenomenon, born in 2003, was the latest striking example. After winning the 2022 US Open and becoming the new world No. 1, Alcaraz managed to win just one set in his next two matches: he lost 6-7 6-4 6-2 in the Davis Cup against Felix Auger Aliassime, who was definitely on fire in that period, and was inflicted a 7-5 6-3 defeat by veteran David Goffin in his first match at the ATP 500 in Astana.

Mentally, it’ not easy. The most important triumph of one’s life, immediately to be put aside.  And go back to work. The media are quick to pounce on any slip, headlines hinting at signs of a career already over: “it’s gone to his head”, “he has made his money” etc.

Less than a year later, Carlos Alcaraz was once more a Grand Slam champion, beating Novak Djokovic in the final at Wimbledon.

Just think of tennis legends such as Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, who fell victims to this serious syndrome. The former, after his triumph at Roland Garros 2005, stepped back on court on the green grass of Halle, losing in 3 sets to the world number 147 German Alexander Waske: 4-6 7-5 6-3. For many, that was a disastrous defeat foreshadowing a future that would not be as bright as it had seemed. Rafa told another story, by winning another 21 Grand Slam titles, on every surface.

The Serbian, on the other hand, thrived on the hard courts of Melbourne, just like Jannik Sinner. In 2008, after winning the title, he was engaged in Davis Cup against Russia. He did not finish his rubber against Nikolay Davydenko and retired at the beginning of the fourth set while trailing 2 sets to 1. In his first ATP tour appearance, in Marseille, after brushing aside Ivan Dodig, he was ousted in three sets by Gilles Simon. Over the following 15 years Novak Djokovic went on to become the has become the most successful player ever.

What about Roger Federer? After lifting the trophy won at Wimbledon in 2003, he moved to the home clay of Gstaad.  He survived the morning-after syndrome  after a fierce but victorious struggle in the first round with the Spaniard Marc Lopez, ranked No.190. Then he cruised till the final, but was defeated in a five set hustle 5-7 6-3 6-3 1-6 6-3 by Jiri Novak.

The morning-after did not spare Juan Martin del Potro. After his stunning victory over Federer at the 2009 US Open, he set foot on an ATP tennis court three weeks later in Tokyo. It was Edouard Roger Vassellin, 189th in the world, who spoiled the party, neatly defeating the Argentinian in two sets, 64 64.

Even “Ice man” Bjorn Borg, the man without (apparent) emotions, focused only on tennis and winning, lost the first match after his success at Roland Garros 1974. He was defeated in the first round in Nottingham by world No. 71 Milan Holecek from Czechoslovakia. Over the next years he definitely made up for that impasse on English lawns.

A rare bird at last, and not by chance does it come from Australia, a land which is ever so rich in unique species. Lleyton Hewitt, who in 2001 after steamrolling Pete Sampras in the US Open final, immediately won his next matches, two singles rubbers in the Davis Cup against Jonas Bjorkman and Thomas Johansson, and then went on to win in Tokyo by beating Michel Kratochvil in the final.

Jannik Sinner has been building up his success on gruelling feats. Sure he’s eager to be back on the Dutch indoor courts of Rotterdam where he enjoyed a brilliant run last year, only surrendering to Danil Medvedev in the final. Just one year ago the Russian seemed an impossible opponent to defeat. Now, in the last 4 challenges, Jannik has beaten him 4 times. The last one, in the final of the Australian Open.

Rotterdam could have been the stage for a rematch, but Medvedev has pulled out of the tournament. Jannik Sinner appears as a favourite, and is vying to close in on that third place of the rankings currently held by Daniil.

Jannik has set out on his mission. But even if he were to be defeated in the first round by an opponent ranked beyond the top 200, no one should dare cry failure. Italy at last has a Grand Slam winner, and he is not to be downplay him in case of first defeats.

Translated by Kingsley Elliot Kaye

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