Roger Federer cruises to 6-1 6-1 against Andreas Seppi in just 47 minutes - UBITENNIS
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Roger Federer cruises to 6-1 6-1 against Andreas Seppi in just 47 minutes

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Roger Federer cruised to 6-1 6-1 against Andreas Seppi in just 47 minutes in his debut in Paris Bercy.

 

Roger Federer and Andreas Seppi opened the evening session at the Accorhotel Arena in Paris Bercy. Federer won 12 of his 13 head-to-head matches but lost for the first time against the Italian player last January at the Australian Open.

Federer went up a double break to race out to 4-0. In the first game Seppi went up 30-0 but Federer won four consecutive points en route to breaking serve with a forehand. Federer converted his second break point chance with a winner in the third game for 3-0. The Swiss Maestro confirmed his break in the fourth game for 4-0. Seppi won the fourth game on serve avoiding the bagel but Federer wrapped up the first set two games later in just 19 games with his third break.

Federer won 92 percent of his first serve points and hit 14 winners to 5 unforced errors. He converted three of his four break point chances.

Federer saved four break point chances in the first game of the second set with an ace, two errors by Seppi and a service winner. Federer broke serve in the second game and backed up his break by holding his serve for 3-0. The 17-time Grand Slam champion converted the fifth of his six break points to get the double break to cruise to 5-0. Seppi won his first game of the second set but Federer closed out on the first match in just 47 minutes point with a drop-shot for the 13th win in his 14 head-to-head matches against Seppi. Federer hit 27 winners to 13 unforced errors and fired 5 aces. Seppi hit five winners to 18 unforced errors.

Federer will take on John Isner in the third round tomorrow.

Viktor Troicki rallied from a set and a break down at 2-5 in the second set to battle past Feliciano Lopez with 6-7 (7-9) 7-5 6-4. 

Kevin Anderson saved a set point in the second set at 7-6 5-3 40-30 as Dominic Thiem was serving to take the win with 6-7 (3-7) 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (7-5) after a very tight match which ended after midnight at 12.24 am. Anderson will take on Rafa Nadal in the third round.

Jo Wilfried Tsonga cruised to a 6-2 6-2 win over Roberto Bautista Agut. The Frenchman hit eight aces and converted four of his eight break points

Tsonga will face Tomas Berdych who came back from losing the second set to overcome Edouard Roger Vasselin with 6-3 4-6 7-5 after two hours and 15 minutes.

Berdych leads 6-3 in his head-to-head matches but Tsonga beat the Czech player this year at the Paris Roland Garros.

 

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Novak Djokovic Fights Back In Four-Hour Roller-Coaster To Win French Open

In the blistering French heat Djokovic battled back from the brink to win Roland Garros for only the second time in his career.

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Novak Djokovic (image via French Open Twitter)

Novak Djokovic has claimed his 19th Grand Slam title at the French Open after battling back from two sets down to defeat Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-7(7), 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4, in what was a dramatic final.

 

The world No.1 looked at times to be far from his best as he remained emotionless throughout the majority of the final. Prompting a theory that he might have been still physically struggling following his clash with Rafael Nadal two days prior. Nevertheless, he weathered the storm with the help of 56 winners as he broke five times to claim only his second title at Roland Garros. Becoming the third oldest man in the Open Era to win the tournament.

“This is, once again, a dream come true,” Djokovic said moments after winning the match.
“I think to my team, my family, my physio, everyone. It’s difficult to win titles against great players. (The past) three days have been so difficult physically and mentally.”

Taking to the court for what was their eighth Tour meeting, the showdown started with a nail-biting 68-minute opening set which saw both players having opportunities. Tsitsipas withstood a seven-minute opening service game to settle his nerves against a fiery Djokovic who impressively dropped just two points during his first four service games. The Greek had his first set point chance to seal a 6-4 lead but failed to convert during an epic 24-shot rally. Two games later Djokovic had a chance of his own to clinch the opener after breaking for 6-5. However, the Serbian looked to be struggling with his eyes and ending up getting broken himself.

The roller-coaster continued into the tiebreak with Tsitsipas once again opening up a lead (4-0) before his rival fought back to draw level. Facing a set point for the first time at 5-6, he saved it with a deep forehand winner. Two points later he eventually prevailed with the help of a Djokovic unforced error.

Heading into the second frame, the world No.5 broke right away as his rival started to look increasingly flat and sluggish on the court. Even when he went down a double break the usual outburst of emotion was nowhere to be seen for Djokovic. Meanwhile, a confident Tsitsipas stuck to his game plan as he rallied to a 5-2 lead before sealing the second set with a 195 MP/H serve down the centre of the court.

The comeback

With his back up against the wall and playing more freely, it wasn’t until the third set where Djokovic regained momentum. During a marathon Tsitsipas service game, he prevailed on his fifth break point opportunity to open up a 3-1 lead. Enough of a margin for him to seal the set and revive his hopes of a second French Open crown.

As the tides began to turn, Tsitsipas took a medical time out to have work conducted on his lower back as he started to show signs of fatigue. Reminiscent of Djokovic’s clash with Lorenzo Musetti earlier in the tournament where he also came back from two sets down before the Italian was forced to retire in the decider.

Upon resumption Djokovic continued to battle emphatically back as he took the final into a decider. Something which hadn’t happened in the men’s tournament since 2004. Three games into the fifth set he struck once again with the help of a deep shot which forced Tsitsipas to return the ball out. Giving him the vital break for 3-1. Edging closer towards the finish line he still had to contend with some audacious play coming from across the court. Djokovic earned his first championship point with the help of a 197 mph serve which was his quickest of the match. Only to be denied by a sublime Tsitsipas backhand winner. However, he prevailed on his second attempt with a forehand volley at the net.

“These are the kind of occasions you can learn from the most,” Djokovic said in tribute to Tsitsipas. “Knowing him and his team, he’s gonna come out much stronger from this match. I definitely believe he is going to win many Grand Slams in the future.”

After coming close to his first Grand Slam title, Tsitsipas can seek some comfort in the fact he will rise to a new ranking high of fourth on Monday.

“It was a good first time playing here in the final. I’ve had a good run and I’m happy with myself but let’s give it to Novak because he has shown us over the last couple of years what a great champion he is,” said the Greek.
“I’m actually inspired by the things I have achieved here (in Paris) and I hope one day I can maybe do half of what he (Djokovic) has done.”

The triumph has made Djokovic the first man in the Open Era to have won every Grand Slam title at least twice. He is just one major title away from drawing level with Nadal and Roger Federer for the most ever won by an ATP player. The 34-year-old is also the first player to have won seven Grand Slam titles after turning 30.

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Who is Barbora Krejcikova? Five Things To Know About The New French Open Champion

Find out more about the multiple doubles champion who was once trained by the late Jana Novotna.

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A month ago Barbora Krejcikova was never considered to be a contender for a major title and her success as a singles player had been rather modest.

 

Then at the French Open the Czech stunned the women’s field by winning the title in what was a fairytale journey for the 25-year-old. En route to the title match she defeated seeded players Ekaterina Alexandrova (R2), Elina Svitolina (R3), Coco Gauff (QF) and Maria Sakkari (SF). Then in a nerve-stricken final she dismissed another seed in the shape of Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-1, 2-6, 6-4.

Krejcikova has made headline news worldwide following her triumph at one of tennis’ biggest tournaments but how surprised should the sport be about her success?

Here are five things to know about Krejcikova.

1.It is not the first time she has triumphed at a Grand Slam

Prior to the start of the French Open Krejcikova was not ranked among the contenders to win. It was only the fifth time she has played in the main draw of a major as a singles player and she had only won one tournament title in her career which was in Strasbourg last month.

However, the Czech knows what it is like to win the big titles as she is an established doubles player who is on the verge of returning back to the No.1 spot. She has won eight WTA doubles trophies and seven of those were with compatriot Katerina Siniakova. Back in 2018 the Czech duo triumphed at both the French Open and Wimbledon. Furthermore, Krejcikova has won the Australian Open mixed doubles title three years in a row (2019-2021).

Krejcikova is also playing in the women’s doubles final at Roland Garros this year. Should she win, she would become the first player to achieve the double since Mary Pierce back in 2000.

2. A slice of Czech history

The Czech Republic is known for producing top players such as Petra Kvitova, Lucie Safarova, Martina Navratilova* and Hana Mandlikova. However, Krejcikova’s success in Paris is the first time a player representing Czechoslovakia/Czech Republic has won the title since 1981. The year when Mandlikova won. It is only the second time in the Open Era (since 1968) a woman representing the Czech flag has won the title.

Krejcikova is also only the third player in history to have won the women’s French Open title whilst unseeded after Iga Swiatek (2020) and Jelena Ostapenko (2017).

*(Navratilova won her titles after switching allegiance to America).

3.The meteoric rise in rankings

Krejcikova made her official appearance in the WTA rankings back in 2011 at the age of 15. However, it wasn’t until last October that she broke into the world’s top 100 for the first time in her career. Since then she has continued to surge up the rankings by breaking into the top 40 in March. Now on a 12-match winning streak she will rise to a career high of 15th when the standings are updated on Monday. An increase of 18 places compared to where she was ranked prior to the start of the French Open.

image via wtatennis.com

4.The first time she has beaten a top 10 player was less than two months ago

Amid her status of an emerging threat on the women’s Tour, the 25-year-old had only ever defeated a top 10 player twice. Her first win was over Sofia Kenin at the 2021 Italian Open where she prevailed 6-1, 6-4. She followed up on that at the French Open when she upset Elina Svitolina 6-3, 6-2.

Krejcikova is 0-7 against players who are former world No.1s – losing to Garbine Muguruza, Naomi Osaka and Victoria Azarenka once. She has also suffered multiple losses to Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova.

5.The Novotna influence

The story of how Krejcikova started to work with former tennis great Jana Novotna sounds like a movie script. She had read that the former Wimbledon champion was based in a town nearby to her. So as a young player with her parents she turned up to Novotna’s house asking for advice out of the blue.

“When I went there for the very first time I was nervous because she was such an amazing person, such a big tennis player, big athlete and everything. She was always just very nice, very warm. She wasn’t acting like she won so many titles, that she’s somebody special. She’s always acting like a normal person,” Krejcikova recounts.

The original goal was to seek guidance on how to switch from junior to professional tennis and if she should explore the world of college tennis. However, Novotna was more than willing to offer advice and ended up becoming Krejcikova’s coach until 2016 when she was forced to stop due to deteriorating health. Sadly a year later Novotna died at the age of 49 following a battle with cancer.

“I spent a lot of time with Jana before she died. Her last words to me were ‘enjoy tennis and try and win a Grand Slam’. I know she’s looking after me. All this is pretty much because she is looking after me.“

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Another Grand Slam title for Krejcikova! This time singles!

The Czech player went from being virtually unknown to conquering one of the world’s most prestigious tournaments in a matter of day. Today she will try to clinch the doubles title as well

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Barbora Krejcikova may have felt the pressure in the last two sets. But that’s okay.

 

It was just the French Open’s women’s singles final.

Yes, the 25-year-old Czech is finally a Grand Slam singles champion. That accomplishment alone  tops her total of eight Grand Slam doubles titles, counting juniors.

And she might add another Grand Slam trophy in Sunday’s French Open women’s doubles final.

She already can put the French Open singles trophy above the two Grand Slam doubles championship awards, three Australian Open mixed doubles crowns and three Junior Grand Slam doubles championship trophies

THINGS CHANGED ALMOST OVERNIGHT

Just a few days ago, Krejcikova was just another name that most tennis fans didn’t recognize, even after she scored some significant upsets in the early rounds at Roland Garros. After all, she was ranked only 33rd in the world, that coming after winning a tournament at Strasbourg a week before the French Open.

 Then she upended American junior sensation Cori Gauff in the quarterfinals.

How things have changed almost overnight!

Krejcikova has the game to take her much farther on the WTA Tour. And her world ranking is going to shoot straight up from her current ranking after winning her second straight singles title.

She is joining the elite group of the best tennis players on the planet. No future opponent will  take her lightly.

SOME OF THE BEST STROKES IN WOMEN’S TENNIS

Krejcikova once again demonstrated some of the best strokes in women’s tennis. It’s almost as if her tennis racket is part of her body. She can change the direction of her strokes in a heartbeat, switching from the direction of the open court to a shot behind her opponent in a whip-like backhand or forehand action. She can hit all angles, too.

It hardly matters how close she is to the net as her tremendous spin seldom fails to take the ball over the net on those spinning shots. Opponents are left flat-footed.

KREJCIKOVA TOOK CHARGE AGAIN IN THIRD SET

Anastasia Pavlyuchenjova did a little better in the second and third sets of Saturday’s women’s singles final at Roland Garros by going for broke with her shots. But that came after Krejcikova broke the Russian’s serve three straight times to offset losing her own serve in the first game of the match.

The string of winning six consecutive games to waltz off with the first set was a shocker as it set the stage for a 6-1, 2-6, 6-4 victory for Krejcikova over 29-year-old veteran  Pavlyuchenova.

Krejcikova broke service for a 4-3 lead in the third set, then  gained a double-match point at 5-3. But before finally closing out the victory in the 10th game, the 5-10 Czech came up with another double-match point situation with a signature short-ball forehand cross-court for a winner. She double-faulted away match point No. 3, but Pavlyuchenova saved her with a backhand error on match point No. 4  to end the match.

A TENNIS CHAMPION OR JUST A CLAY-COURT CHAMPION?

Was this just another title for the Czech, who has had so much trouble with her serve? She gets plenty of practice catching her service tosses.

Of course, it’s a dream come true for the new French Open women’s champion.

Was this another berth of a champion primarily due to the red clay? The tennis world is waiting for that answer. Wimbledon’s grass may be calling with the first test and then hopefully the U.S. Open’s hard courts.


See James Beck’s Charleston (S.C.) Post and Courier columns at postandcourier.com (search on James Beck column). James Beck can be reached at Jamesbecktennis@gmail.com

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