Roger Federer Does Not Shine But Beats Tomas Berdych in Straight Sets in ATP Finals Debut - UBITENNIS
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Roger Federer Does Not Shine But Beats Tomas Berdych in Straight Sets in ATP Finals Debut

Ivan Pasquariello



Roger Federer beats Tomas Berdych for the 15th time, winning by 6-4 6-2 in his debut match at the O2 Arena for the ATP World Tour Finals. Despite a shaky start, the Swiss takes advantage of Berdych’s nerves in the first set and outplays the Czech in the second to collect his victory number 49 at the ATP Finals. The Swiss is also presented with two awards on court at the end of the match.



At his 14th appearance at the ATP World Tour Finals, Roger Federer collects victory number 49 beating Tomas Berdych in straight sets by 6-4 6-2 in 1 hour and 9 minutes. The Swiss doesn’t shine in his debut at the O2 Arena and takes advantage of a bad day from the Czech on his forehand. Federer doesn’t hit a volley until half an hour into the match, failing to show the brilliant progression he has got his fans accustomed with. The Swiss manages to find his best rhythm in time to close the match in straight sets, becoming increasingly more devastating on his forehand in the second set. As soon as the Swiss manages to put Berdych’s backhand under pressure, the Czech starts to fall into the trap, feeling pushed to close the rallies faster and ending up committing a whole lot of unforced errors. It is Federer’s 15th win against Berdych in 21 matches played against the Czech.

A winner in 2003-04, 2006-07 and 2010-11 at the ATP World Tour Finals, Federer has to play like he did in the second set against Berdych to make sure he can survive the Round Robin action with no hassle. At the end of the match, Federer was presented on court with the Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award and the Fan’s Favourite Award. Roger’s coach Stefan Edberg steps on court with ATP’s CEO Chris Kermode to present the Swiss with the awards. It is the 11th time that Federer wins the Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship award, the 13th time in a row he wins the fans’ favourite award.

It’s the perfect ending to Federer’s first night out in London. The tournament has officially started and the Swiss has shaken off his first nerves.



Roger Federer (SUI) b. Tomas Berdych (CZE) 6-4 6-2 in 1 hour and 9 minutes


O2 Arena – London
RR ATP World Tour Finals 2015

Damian Steiner (Argentina)  – Chair Umpire

The crowd is obviously not so shyly rooting for Roger Federer as he gets the warmest welcome on court of the day.


Tomas Berdych starts the match serving, after winning the toss.




Berdych plays two strong first serves to hold serve to 15 as Federer hits a backhand return wide. The Swiss tries immediately to put pressure on Berdych’s forehand, but Tomas stays consistent. Federer starts his match on serve with two consecutive double faults at 0-15, to go 0-40 right away. Berdych attacks on Federer’s backhand on a tender second serve, and breaks at his first chance to go up 2-0.


Federer has a chance to get right back into the set as he leads 0-30 on Berdych’s serve in the third game. The Czech hits a backhand in the net and faces his first 3 consecutive break points in the match. Federer breaks with a backhand drop shot winner to come back at 1-2.


Roger now looks more for Tomas’s backhand, but most importantly has found his first serve. The Swiss holds to love to tie the score at 2-2. Strong at the baseline, Federer has another chance on Berdych’s serve at 0-30, after winning a 20-shot baseline rally forcing the Czech into hitting a forehand in the net. Berdych commits a terrible forehand unforced error on an open court, allowing Federer with 2 break point chances at 15-40. The Czech saves the first with a first serve, on the second Federer plays a short return on which Berdych attacks with a deep forehand. Berdych closes the game with an ace to lead 3-2.


Federer starts the 6th game with his first ace of the match. Up 40-30 the Swiss hits his 3rd double fault in the match. The Swiss insists on Berdych’s backhand using his serve and holds to tie the score at 3-3. The Swiss has only won 2 points on his second serve up to this point, with a winning percentage of 28%. Too low for the Swiss, who struggles to find his rhythm on serve.


It is now Berdych who manages to dictate the rallies with his forehand, attacking on Federer’s backhand, pushing the Swiss to finish the rallies with a series of forced errors. The Czech holds to 15 and leads 4-3. Federer plays his first volley of the match on a second serve, hitting a backhand volley in the net. Despite the lack of progression, Roger fires a forehand winner and closes the game at 15, to keep the equilibrium going at 4-4.


Berdych starts to feel the nerves as he serves at 4-4, so much so that he plays a disastrous 9th game. The Czech kills an airborne forehand in the net to trail back 0-30, then fires another forehand wide to face three break points down 0-40. Another unforced error on his forehand, hitting an easy shot in the net, sets Berdych with a lost serve. Federer breaks to serve for the set up 5-4.


Serving for the set, Federer hits three first serves, including an ace, to lead 40-0. On the first set point, Berdych wins the rally with a forehand winner. On the second set point the Czech hits a forehand long. After 38 minutes Roger Federer wins the first set by 6 games to 4.


Federer had 8 winners and 7 unforced errors in the set, compared to Berdych’s 6 winners and 10 unforced errors.




Federer wins the best point of the match at the net, after lobbing Berdych and closing the rally with a forehand volley winner. The Swiss starts to have fun and mixes up pace and shot-making. Roger gets to break point at 30-40 thanks to a backhand drop shot return winner. Berdych hits another forehand in the net and gets broken in the first game as Federer leads 1-0.


The Swiss holds easily, finally more aggressive with his forehand, to lead 2-0. Federer has another chance on Berdych’s serve, up 15-30. The Czech comes back to have a game point, but hits a backhand long to set the score to deuce. As Federer attacks with his forehand, Berdych is pushed off court and faces another break point at 40-A. Federer insists on Berdych’s backhand, to open up the court and force Berdych to hit out with his forehand. Tomas misses a forehand wide, and calls for the first challenge of the match. Hawk-Eye confirms the call and Federer breaks to lead 3-0.


Federer insists on using the drop shot, winning most of the points. The Swiss holds serve to love and leads 4-0 in the set as the match approaches its finish line.


On a first serve hit by Berdych at 30-30, Federer calls his first challenge, but loses the point. The Czech attacks on Federer’s backhand to close the game and trail back at 1-4. In the 6th game, Federer plays aggressive with his backhand to open up the court. The Swiss closes the game with a backhand cross-court winner at 40-30 to hold serve and lead 5-1.


With Berdych serving to stay in the match, Federer tries his first SABR return of the match, ending up losing the point at the net with a backhand volley finishing long. Berdych manages to stay alive, holds and sends Federer to serve for the match at 5-2.


Federer starts the game with a double fault, then gets to 15-15 closing the point at the net with a forehand volley winner. With two strong serves on which Berdych can’t return, Federer has his first 2 match points at 40-15. Berdych plays a fantastic point, closing with a drop backhand volley. At his second chance, Federer comes at the net and closes the match with a chopped forehand winner after 1 hour and 9 minutes.

Berdych has now a 0-6 record at ATP Finals openers.



Rafael Nadal Eases His Way To 300th Grand Slam Win At French Open




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Rafael Nadal has become only the third male player in history to win a 300th Grand Slam main draw match after beating Corentin Moutet in the second round of the French Open.


The world No.5 largely dominated proceeding through his 6-3, 6-1, 6-4, win over the Frenchman as he continues his bid to claim a record 14th title in Paris this year. Wednesday’s meeting was the first time the two players had locked horns on the Tour which saw Nadal hit a total of 27 winners against 22 unforced errors. It is the tenth time in his career he has beaten a French player at the Grand Slam.

“I’m happy I am through in three sets, that’s an important fact for me and that gives me the chance to keep working tomorrow and try to be ready for the day after tomorrow against a tough opponent,” said Nadal.
“I am happy about a lot of things that I did tonight, so let’s try to keep going and keep improving.”

Taking to the court Nadal settled into the match almost instantly against a player who grew up idolizing him. He first drew blood in the second game when a Moutet double fault gifted him his first break of the match. That was enough of a margin for the Spaniard to clinch the opener in just over 40 minutes. He converted his second set point with a blistering forehand winner down the line.

Gaining momentum the former world No.1 was even more clinical during the second frame which he started by winning four games in a row. Similar to the opener he worked his way to break point at the expense of a Moutet forehand volley before converting with a cross-court forehand winner. The double break was then sealed before Moutet managed to get back on the scoreboard. Giving the home crowd something momentary to cheer about. However, Nadal was always the one in control as he eased to a two-set lead by producing a drop shot which frustrated his rival who smashed the ball high into the air.

Closing in on his 107th win at the French Open, Nadal finally faced a test against a determined Moutet in the third set who refused to go down without a fight. Twice he had to regroup after dropping serve, including when he was a game away from victory. Despite those blips, he managed to tame the world No.139. A delicate drop shot grated Nadal his first match point before he went on to clinch the win following a lob from across the net that landed out.

“It was really intense. I had good moments, I had quite an equal game, but it was really difficult to maintain that in terms of intensity and of aggressiveness,” Moutet said afterwards. “His (Nadal’s) ball is really fast, so it was really, it was a physical match, it was not that long but it was really physical.”

In Grand Slam history only Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer have won more main draw matches than Nadal in mens tennis. He will play Botic van de Zandschulp in the third round who was leading Fabio Fognini 6-4, 7-6(2), 3-2, before the Italian was forced to retire due to injury.

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Carlos Alcaraz Praises Mental and Physical Strength After Epic Win At Roland Garros

Carlos Alcaraz will face Sebastian Korda on Friday after winning a five set thriller at Roland Garros.




Carlos Alcaraz (Roberto Dell'Olivo)

Carlos Alcaraz praised his mental and physical strength after a 6-1 6-7(7) 5-7 7-6(2) 6-4 victory over Albert Ramos-Vinolas.


The Madrid champion was put through his paces in the four hour and 38 minute battle but came through in five gruelling sets.

Alcaraz saved match point and produced some mouth-watering tennis as he displayed his mental strength to remain at Roland Garros.

After the match the 19 year-old praised his mental and physical strength as well as his quick speed, “I’m still young, but I would say pretty experienced player now,” Alcaraz said.

“Well, I feel comfortable playing on big stadium, big matches, playing on Grand Slam. As I said, physically I’m strong. Mentally I’m strong, as well. I think I’m ready to play these kind of matches in these situations, these tournaments.

“Well, the movement is one thing that I work on it a lot. I think is so important to move well on court, on tennis in general it’s really important. I work hard on it, to move well. I don’t know. I don’t know the time, but I would say I’m fast.”

Alcaraz’s speed around the court was certainly impressive as he had to battle to victory to reach the third round.

The Spaniard also commented on the secret to his success and says that self-belief has a lot to do with it, “Believe in myself, and of course work hard every day,” Alcaraz admitted.

“You have to have a good goal, good dreams. Of course trying to follow your dream. Work hard every day. I think that’s the secret. I mean, I was break up at the beginning of the fourth.

“He came back in the next game, but I knew that I was going to have my chances in the fourth set, at the end of the fourth set. I mean, I believe in myself in the whole time, you know. Of course it was tough, saving match ball is always tough, but I believe in myself.”

Alcaraz will look to take that belief in with him for the rest of the tournament as he searches for a historic achievement.

Next for the Spaniard will be Sebastian Korda and this will be another tough match as Korda handed the Spaniard his last defeat in Monte-Carlo at the start of the clay court swing.

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ATP Structure Has Failed Players Multiple Times, Says World No.1 Djokovic

After his straight sets win over Alex Molcan at the French Open, Djokovic claimed the PTPA organisation he co-founded is the only one that ‘100% represents players’ rights.’




Novak Djokovic - Roland Garros 2022 (photo Roberto dell'Olivo)

Novak Djokovic has reiterated his belief that the organizational structure of the ATP has problems amid the ongoing argument over the subject of ranking points at Wimbledon.


Last Friday the ATP, along with the WTA and ITF, confirmed that they will not award points at this year’s grass court major in response to the decision of The All England Club to ban Russian and Belarussian players. Something which has divided opinion on the Tour with some players facing the prospect of suffering a big fall in their position due to being unable to defend the points they won at the Grand Slam 12 months ago. One example being Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics who could drop outside of the top 100.

Supporters such as WTA council member Sloane Stephens, have backed the move. From their perspective, it is unethical to ban players from a tournament purely on the basis of their nationality.

Earlier this week Djokovic described the situation as ‘lose-lose’ but has backed the ATP. He is the founder of the Professional Tennis Players Association (PTPA) which is an independent organization aimed at defending the rights of those on the Tour. Although the association has faced backlash with the ATP Players council previously urging their peers not to join when it was initially launched.

“The PTPA will continue to exist, even though there are a lot of people in governing bodies that don’t want us to be present in the tennis ecosystem,” Djokovic said following his second round win at the French Open.
“I said it before and I’m going to say it again, PTPA is the only association which is representing 100% players’ rights, both male and female.”

However, the 20-time Grand Slam champion admits that his PTPA is relatively powerless when it comes to the Wimbledon situation. They have been given no recognition by the governing bodies or Grand Slams. Meaning they are unable to have any degree of influence on ongoing discussions.

“I know I spoke to some players in the last few days, especially the ones that were doing well last year in Wimbledon and the ones that are affected the most with the points being taken out from Wimbledon,” Djokovic continued.
“We knew that whatever decision ATP makes — and that was actually a consequence or reaction to what Wimbledon decided to do a month ago with banning Russian/Belarusian players — there is going to be a lot of unhappy, unsatisfied players. So this is where we are.”

Djokovic himself will lose 2000 ranking points won at Wimbledon 12 months ago, which will place his No.1 position under strain heading into the American hardcourt swing.

The 35-year-old was a former president of the Player Council before leaving to form the PTPA. In his view, the way the governing body of men’s tennis is structured has a negative impact on players’ interests. Something others, such as council members Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, disagree with.

“The council of ATP that is within the structure, this representing body of players, and that’s how it’s been for decades. I don’t think that’s the best system that we have,” he said.
“I just think the system has failed players so many times, so many times, and that’s the reason why PTPA needs to exist because when it comes down to this kind of big decision (Wimbledon points ban) a lot of the players’ voices are not heard enough.’
“Unfortunately, within the ATP you have 50/50 percent of representation between players and tournaments. So you are never going to have 100% players’ interest in place.”

Djokovic will play Aljaz Bedene in the third round of the French Open on Friday.

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