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)

Ivan Pasquariello

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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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Novak Djokovic Storms Into Wimbledon Third Round For 16th Time

The top seed dealt with the breezy conditions and his Australian opponent with ease in what was largely a one-sided performance.

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Novak Djokovic (SRB) - Credit: AELTC/Joe Toth

Novak Djokovic has sent out a warning to this year’s men’s draw at Wimbledon by producing a clinical win over Thanasi Kokkinakis to reach the third round on Wednesday.

 

The world No.3 dictated proceedings throughout his 6-1, 6-4, 6-2, triumph over Kokkinakis. A player who is currently 79th in the world that has been hampered by injury issues throughout a large chunk of his tennis career. Djokovic has now won 307 Grand Slam main draw matches and a staggering 1007 at Tour level. The latest performance saw him produce a total of 29 winners against 14 unforced errors

“I’m very happy with my performance today. I thought I started with well, I was very solid from the back of the court,” said Djokovic.
“I tried to make him work a lot around the court and brought a lot of variety into the game.’
“It was not easy to serve because of the wind but from my side overall it was a really high-quality performance and I’m very pleased.”

In what was their first Tour meeting in seven years the reigning champion got off to a dream start against an erratic Kokkinakis. The Australian struggled to control his unforced error count early on which resulted in him getting broken in his opening service game. Meanwhile, Djokovic settled in instantly as he worked his way to a 3-0 advantage with relative ease. A couple games later the double break was sealed with the use of a delicate drop shot which Kokkinakis failed to return over the net. He went on to close the set out yet another carefully placed drop shot. 

Contending with strong gusts of wind, as well as Kokkinakis’ speedy serve, Djokovic broke once again early in the second frame with a winning volley at the net. Despite glimmers of impressive shot-making from his opponent, it failed to materialize into any momentum as the Serbian eased to a two-set lead. Down 3-5 Kokkinakis valiantly saved four set points to hold serve. However, Djokovic proceeded to seal the two-set lead in the following game.

Djokovic’s relentless hitting overwhelmed his opponent who looked growingly lost on the court. The start of set three saw a 12-minute Kokkinakis service game where the Australian buckled once again whilst under intense pressure. Strolling to a game from victory, Djokovic closed out the match with a serve out wide that Kokkinakis returned out.

It is the 16th time in Djokovic’s career he has reached the last 32 at SW19 and his 13th in a row. Only Jimmy Conors has achieved a longer run of 14 between 1972-1985. In total, he has won 81 matches at Wimbledon which is the third-highest tally for a male player in history. 

“I’m quite pleased with the way I have raised my level within two days,” said Djokovic who defeated Kwon Soon-woo in the first round. 
“Hopefully I can keep that trajectory and keep getting better as the tournament progresses.”

Djokovic will play compatriot Miomir Kecmanović in the third round. He leads their head-to-head 2-0. 

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(EXCLUSIVE) Ricardas Berankis’ Coach On Wimbledon Showdown With Rafael Nadal

Dirk Hordorff speaks to UbiTennis about the world No.106 and his chances against the second seed.

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Ricarcas Berankis at Wimbledon (image via http://www.yonex.co.uk/_assets/)

Ricardas Berankis is no stranger to Wimbledon as he marks the 12th anniversary of his first-ever main draw win at the tournament after coming through three rounds of qualifying.

 

A stand-out player in his younger years, the Lithuanian topped the world junior rankings and won the US Open boys title back in 2007 when he defeated Jerzy Janowicz in the final. Transitioning to the pro level was never straightforward for Berankis who is now 32-year-old. Nevertheless, he has made his impression on the Tour with runs to two ATP Tour finals in 2012 (Los Angeles) and 2017 (Moscow). He also won the 2015 US Men’s Clay Court doubles title in Houston alongside Teymuraz Gabashvili.

Today Berankis is ranked 106th in the world, which is 56 places below his career-high. His best performance on the ATP Tour so far this season was in Abu Dubai when he came through qualifying to reach the quarter-finals before losing to Denis Shapovalov. He also reached the final of a Challenger event in Lille.

At Wimbledon this year he started his campaign with a straight-sets win over former semifinalist Sam Querrey. Making it only the fourth time in his career he has won a main draw match at the tournament. His reward is a showdown on Thursday with the formidable Rafael Nadal who is seeking a historic 23rd major title and his third in a row. Nadal defeated Francisco Cerundolo in his opening match.

So can Berankis trouble Nadal on the grass?

The best person to ask is Germany’s Dirk Hordorff who coaches Berankis. The veteran coach has also previously collaborated with the likes of Rainer Schuettler, Lars Burgsmüller, Yen-Hsun Lu, Kristian Pless, Sergiy Stakhovsky, and Vasek Pospisil.

During an email exchange with UbiTennis, Hordorff shared his thoughts about Berankis’ upcoming clash with Nadal.

UBITENNIS: It wasn’t until Melbourne this year that Ricardas played Nadal on the Tour for the first time. He lost the match 6-2, 7-5. What did his team learn from that experience?

HIRDORFF: I was not in Melbourne, but I coached unsuccessfully in a lot of matches against Rafa. He is next to Novak (Djokovic) over so many years as a true champion and a great person outside the court. You learn every match against him and Ricardas is ready for this match.

UBITENNIS: When it comes to playing a member of the Big Three, how do you as a coach go about dealing with Berankis’ mentality?

HIRDORFF: Ricardas played a good first round against Sam Querrey. Nevertheless, to play Rafa is a different issue. You need to concentrate on your abilities and not worry about history.

UBITENNIS: Nadal was sternly tested during his opening match. Does this in any way give a confidence boost towards Berankis or do you think it is irrelevant?

HIRDORFF: Every match starts at zero. What Rafa played yesterday doesn’t affect Ricardas’ match. Anyway, Rafa won his first round quite solidly against a good upcoming player.

UBITENNIS: Whilst the odds might be against Ricardas, it isn’t impossible that he could defeat Nadal. What will the key areas be for him to focus on during their match? (e.g. return position, use of slice etc).

HIRDORFF: Ricardas needs to focus on his abilities and take his fine form from the first round in this match. Rafa is a complete player, so you need to perform well in all aspects of the game.

UBITENNIS: What is the most difficult thing about playing Nadal on the tour?

HORDORFF: He is a complete player with a lot of special strengths. Strong serve, good backhand, fast, perfect coordinate and no weak parts in his game.

UBITENNIS: Ricardas might be 32 but he has shown some good results on the Tour (runner-up at a Challenger event in Lille and QF in Dubai). Given the trend of players playing later into their careers, is his best yet to come?

HIRDORFF: Ricardas had to deal with a lot of health problems. I am sure that the best part of his career is yet to come for him.

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Rafael Nadal Survives Scare In Wimbledon Opener

Bidding to win his third slam in a row, the Spaniard experienced a tougher test than he expected.

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Rafael Nadal’s bid for a first Wimbledon title in over a decade has got off to a shaky start after he battled his way past Argentina’s Francisco Cerundolo in the first round.

Nadal was unable to tame the world No.41 throughout his rollercoaster 6-4, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4,  victory which is his 306th in the main draw of a Grand Slam. Cerundolo exceeded expectations by playing some inspired tennis for a player who has only ever won one Tour-level match on the grass and had never won a main draw match at a major.

 

All the credit to Fran, I think he started to play great and he was a very tough opponent,” said Nadal.
It has been three years since I last played on this amazing surface and I’m happy to be back. For me, it’s always amazing to play on their court (Center Court) and I can’t thank the crowd enough for their support. 

The showdown was the first real test for the Spaniard since his historic triumph at the French Open which he won for a record 14th time. Since then, he hasn’t played any ATP grass-court events leading up to Wimbledon. Although he did take part in an exhibition event at the Hurlingham Club. Furthermore, he had undergone a new medical procedure in a bid to solve the pain caused by his long-term foot condition.

“It’s not the surface we play very often, especially in my case due to different reasons. For the last three years, I haven’t stepped onto a grass court so it always takes a while,” the 22-time Grand Slam winner commented.
Today has been an important test, especially at the start of the tournament and the difficult circumstances I arrived in.

It was by no means a vintage performance from the former world No.1 who struggled behind his second serve by winning just 43% of those points. Furthermore, he hit a total of 23 winners against 41 unforced errors. At one stage he was facing the prospect of going into a fifth set after falling behind 2-4 in the fourth frame before upping his intensity to claim four games in a row and clinch the match.

“It’s obvious when you play well in Roland Garros there is not much time between (that and Wimbledon). I used to remember the beautiful days when I used to win Roland Garros and then play on grass at Queen’s the next day but my body doesn’t allow me to do this anymore so I have to take some days off,” he admits.
“The most important thing for me is that I am at Wimbledon 2022 and I won my first match.”

Nadal will play Ricardas Berankis in the second round.

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