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)



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.




(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




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.


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.

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




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.

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.


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.

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.

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


Miami Open Daily Preview: Indian Wells Champs Carlos Alcaraz and Taylor Fritz Collide



Carlos Alcaraz two Sundays ago at Indian Wells (

On Wednesday in Miami, 2023 Indian Wells champion Carlos Alcaraz faces 2022 champ Taylor Fritz for the first time.


Alcaraz is just three wins away from defending his Miami title, which he needs to do in order to remain World No.1.  Wednesday’s other ATP quarterfinal sees Indian Wells semifinalist Jannik Sinner take on Emil Ruusuvuori, who is the first Finnish quarterfinalist at a Masters 1000 tournament in a decade.

In the WTA singles draw, Aryna Sabalenka and Petra Kvitova are one round away from a big-hitting semifinal.  But first, they must get past Sorana Cirstea and Ekaterina Alexandrova, respectively.

Each day, this preview will analyze the two most intriguing matchups, while highlighting other notable matches on the schedule.  Wednesday’s play gets underway at 1:00pm local time.

Ekaterina Alexandrova (18) vs. Petra Kvitova (15) – Not Before 7:00pm on Stadium

Kvitova is 14-5 this season, and has now reached the quarterfinals of both Indian Wells and Miami this month.  Petra has also now advanced to the fourth round or better of this event for the fifth straight time, and has not dropped a set this fortnight.

Alexandrova had a losing record this year before arriving in Miami.  She defeated Belinda Bencic two rounds ago, and advanced in the last round after Bianca Andreescu’s upsetting ankle injury.  This is Ekaterina’s second WTA 1000 quarterfinal, after first achieving that feat last year in Madrid, when she advanced to the semifinals.

Their only previous encounter occurred three years ago at the Australian Open, when Kvitova comfortably prevailed 6-1, 6-2.  Ekaterina does not possess the same offensive weaponry of Petra, so on a hard court, the two-time Wimbledon champion is a considerable favorite to win again on Wednesday.

Carlos Alcaraz (1) vs. Taylor Fritz (9) – Not Before 8:30pm on Stadium

Alcaraz is 17-1 on the season, despite missing all of January due to injury.  His only loss came to Cam Norrie in the final of Rio, a match in which Carlitos reaggravated his leg injury.  He’s yet to drop a set during this tournament.

Fritz is 20-5 in 2023, and has now reached the quarterfinals or better at his last five events.  This is Taylor’s first quarterfinal in Miami, and his third consecutive quarterfinal as Masters 1000 events in North America.  Like Alcaraz, he’s also yet to lose a set in Miami, but he’s 1-4 in his last five Masters quarterfinals.

This is the first career meeting between the World No.1 and the American No.1.  Fritz certainly has the firepower to threaten Alcaraz on this day.  But based on Carlitos’ recent sharp form, the 19-year-old is the favorite to advance to the semifinals.

Other Notable Matches on Wednesday:

Sorana Cirstea vs. Aryna Sabalenka (2) – Sabalenka is now a stellar 20-2 on the year, and has allowed her opponents this past week an average of just 2.5 games per set.  Cirstea is having an excellent March, having advanced to her second consecutive WTA 1000 quarterfinal, a stage she hadn’t reached since 2017.  This is another first-time career meeting.

Emil Ruusuvuori vs. Jannik Sinner (10) – Sinner is vying for his second consecutive Masters semifinal, and has not dropped a set thus far in Miami.  This is Ruuuvuori’s maiden Masters 1000 quarterfinal, at the only Masters event where he had ever previously advanced beyond the third round.  Jannik is 4-0 against Emil, with all of those wins in straight sets, except a match in Miami a year ago that went to a third-set tiebreak, and saw Sinner save three match points.

Wednesday’s full Order of Play is here.

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Miami Open Daily Preview: Two Matches Between Top 10 Seeds Headline Fourth Round ATP Action



Taylor Fritz earlier this month at Indian Wells (

All ATP fourth round singles matches will take place on Tuesday in Miami.


And in a rarity, two of those fourth round matches include meetings between top 10 seeds.  2022 Indian Wells champ Taylor Fritz takes on 2022 Bercy champ Holger Rune.  And in a battle of the gingers, Andrey Rublev faces Jannik Sinner.  Other ATP matches on Tuesday include three of the four top seeds: Carlos Alcaraz, Daniil Medvedev, and Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Also on Tuesday, the WTA quarterfinals begin.  American No.1 Jessica Pegula will look to avenge a loss her doubles partner Coco Gauff experienced earlier in the tournament to Anastasia Potapova.  And Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina plays Italy’s Martina Trevisan, who took out another Major champ, Jelena Ostapenko, on Monday.

Each day, this preview will analyze the two most intriguing matchups, while highlighting other notable matches on the schedule.  Tuesday’s play gets underway at 11:00am local time.

Jannik Sinner (10) vs. Andrey Rublev (6) – 11:00am on Grandstand

Rublev is a modest 13-7 this season, but was a semifinalist in Miami two years ago.  He comfortably defeated Miomir Kecmanovic in the last round by a score of 6-1, 6-2.

Sinner is a strong 18-4 this season, and is coming off a semifinal run at Indian Wells.  He was the runner-up at this tournament two years ago.

These two have split four prior meetings, the last three of which occurred on clay.  Their only hard court matchup took place three years ago in Vienna, with Sinner retiring after just three games.  But considering Jannik’s impressive form this season, he should be favored to advance on Tuesday.

Taylor Fritz (9) vs. Holger Rune (7) – 12:00pm on Stadium

Dating back to the end of September, Rune is now 33-8.  The 19-year-old achieved four consecutive finals to end last season, winning two of them (Stockholm, Bercy).  This is his Miami Open debut.

Fritz is 19-5 in 2023, and is vying for his fifth consecutive quarterfinal of the year.  This would mark his seventh Masters 1000 quarterfinal, all achieved since the start of 2021.  But Taylor is 0-2 in the fourth round of this tournament, losing in the past two years to Bublik and Kecmanovic.

In their first career meeting, it’s hard to pick a winner.  Fritz has become a pretty reliable performer, while Rune remains quite a streaky player, with impressive highs and some immature lows.  Both possess similar weapons on court, and neither have dropped a set through two matches.  I’ll give the slight edge to Holger based on his recent hard court success.

Other Notable Matches on Tuesday:

Martina Trevisan (25) vs. Elena Rybakina (10) – Rybakina has now won nine matches in a row.  Trevisan was only 3-8 on the year ahead of this quarterfinal run.  This is another first career meeting.

Karen Khachanov (14) vs. Stefanos Tsitsipas (2) – Tsitsipas survived a tight three-setter against an in-form Cristian Garin on Monday, while Khachanov easily dispatched of up-and-coming 21-year-old Jiri Lehecka.  Stefanos is 6-0 against Karen, which includes a four-set victory at this year’s Australian Open.

Carlos Alcaraz (1) vs. Tommy Paul (16) – Alcaraz is now 16-1 this season, and has claimed his last 17 completed sets.  Paul is 16-5, and was a semifinalist in Melbourne, as well as a finalist in Acapulco.  Tommy took their only previous encounter, last summer in Montreal, in a three-set match that lasted three hours and 20 minutes.

Jessica Pegula (3) vs. Anastasia Potapova (27) – Pegula has now reached the quarterfinals or better at seven of the last nine WTA 1000 events.  This is Potapova’s first quarterfinal at this level in over two years.  At the last WTA 1000 event, in Indian Wells, Pegula came from behind to beat Potapova 7-5 in the third.

Quentin Halys vs. Daniil Medvedev (4) – Medvedev is 25-3 on the year, and received a walkover on Monday from Alex Molcan.  Halys upset Alex de Minaur on Saturday, and had never won a main draw match at Masters 1000 level prior to this fortnight. 

Tuesday’s full Order of Play is here.

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Miami Open Daily Preview: Major Champions Sabalenka and Krejcikova Meet Again on Monday



Barbora Krejcikova on Sunday in Miami (

All WTA fourth round singles matches will take place on a busy Monday in Miami.


2023 Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka and 2021 Roland Garros champion Barbora Krejcikova will meet for the third time in as many events.  Krejcikova prevailed in three sets in Dubai, while Sabalenka prevailed in three sets at Indian Wells.  Who will win the rubber match on Monday?

Meanwhile, ATP third round action concludes on Monday.  Stefanos Tsitsipas and Daniil Medvedev are the top seeds on the bottom half of the draw, and are just a few rounds away from a semifinal which would renew a bitter rivalry that started five years ago in this very city.  But many formidable foes, like Felix Auger-Aliassime, Hubert Hurkacz, and Frances Tiafoe, stand in their way.  However, Medvedev’s path has become a bit easier, as he has received a walkover on Monday from an injured Alex Molcan.

Each day, this preview will analyze the two most intriguing matchups, while highlighting other notable matches on the schedule.  Monday’s play gets underway at 11:00am local time.

Jessica Pegula (3) vs. Magda Linette (20) – Not Before 1:00pm on Stadium Court

Pegula is 17-5 in 2023, and was a semifinalist here a year ago.  Linette is 12-6, and reached her maiden Major quarterfinal in Melbourne, a feat Jessica is still trying to achieve.  Magda currently sits at a career-high ranking of 19th in the world, and would improve on that with a deep run at this tournament.

In their first career meeting, the American should be favored.  Her consistency, paired with her penetrating groundies, have made her one of the WTA’s toughest outs across the last few seasons.  But Linette has plenty of finesse and defensive skills that could drag more errors out of Pegula, so this could be an interesting contest.

Barbora Krejcikova (16) vs. Aryna Sabalenka (2) – Not Before 8:30pm on Stadium Court

Overall Sabalenka leads their head-to-head 3-1, with all matches taking place on hard courts.  Three years ago in Linz, Aryna was victorious in three sets.  Two years ago at the US Open, she was again victorious, this time in straights.  They’ve also both met many times in doubles, as both are Slam champs in women’s doubles as well.

Sabalenka is now 19-2 on the year, and has dropped only 10 games in her four sets played so far in Miami.  Krejcikova is 15-5, and has also advanced to this stage without dropping a set.

I expect another tight battle on Monday between two of the WTA’s top five performers of the year.  But with her huge serve and groundstrokes clicking, and with all the confidence she’s currently playing with, Sabalenka must be considered the favorite.

Other Notable Matches on Monday:

Cristian Garin (Q) vs. Stefanos Tsitsipas (2) – Tsitsipas is 11-3 this season, and is yet to play a match this fortnight, as he received a walkover in his opening round from Richard Gasquet.  Having now qualified for both Indian Wells and Miami, Garin has won nine matches between the two events.  But he is 0-2 against Stefanos at tour level, though both matches were on clay.

Felix Auger-Aliassime (5) vs. Francisco Cerundolo (25) – Auger-Aliassime survived a prolonged two-set battle against Thiago Monteiro on Saturday, which lasted nearly three hours.  Cerundolo was a shocking semifinalist here a year ago.  Felix has already defeated Francisco twice this year, at both the Australian Open and Indian Wells.

Elena Rybakina (10) vs. Elise Mertens – Rybakina is 18-4 on the year, and the Indian Wells champ is currently on an eight-match win streak.  She’s already won two three-setters this past week in Miami, and Elena is 2-1 against Elise, having taken both of their hard court encounters.

Hubert Hurkacz (8) vs. Adrian Mannarino – Hurkacz saved five match points against Thanasi Kokkinakis on Saturday night, winning the longest three-set match of the year at tour-level.  Mannarino took out breakout American Ben Shelton in three sets on the same evening.  Hubi is 2-1 against Adrian.

Lorenzo Sonego vs. Frances Tiafoe (12) – Tiafoe loves playing in Miami, as he’s vying for his fifth consecutive fourth round appearance at this event.  Frances overcame a stern test from Yosuke Watanuki on Saturday, but has split two previous matches against Sonego, both of which took place this past fall.

Monday’s full Order of Play is here.

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