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

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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 ATPWorldTour.com 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.

https://twitter.com/tennis_photos/status/666005753032024068

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.

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MATCH REPORT

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.

 

THE FIRST SET

 

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.

 

THE SECOND SET

 

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.

 

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Rafael Nadal’s Future In The ATP Finals Hangs In The Balance Despite Monster Win

It was another dramatic victory for the top seed in London, but will it be enough to keep him in the tournament?

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LONDON: Rafael Nadal’s future fate in this year’s ATP Finals is up to one of his rivals in the competition after he closed out his round-robin campaign with an epic win over Stefanos Tsitsipas.

 


Nadal, who secured the year-end No.1 spot yesterday, fought from behind to record a roller-coaster 6-7(4), 6-4, 7-5, win at The O2 Arena. Spending almost three hours on the court to avoid suffering multiple losses in the group stage of the tournament for the first time since 2011. 

MORE TO COME….

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Could The ATP Cup Move Tim Henman Closer To Davis Cup Captaincy?

The former world No.4 sheds light on if he would like to lead his nation in a more permanent role in the future.

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LONDON: A day after three world No.1 players spoke out about the ATP Cup, it was Tim Henman’s turn to face the media at The O2 Arena on Friday.

 

The 45-year-old will lead the British team in the inaugural event at the start of 2020. Placing him in a national team captain role for the first time in his life. He was nominated for the position by three-time grand slam champion Andy Murray, who spoke with him just over a month ago. The two have known each other since Murray was a teenager.

“If I’m honest, it was not something that I had given a great deal of thought at that stage,” said Henman.
“Then when we did discuss it, I think there are lots of reasons why I accepted, and I think one of the reasons is Andy. I have had a great relationship with him for a long, long time.”

As it currently stands the former world No.4 will lead a team of five players. Besides Murray, Dan Evans, Cameron Norrie, Jamie Murray, and Joe Salisbury have all committed to the event. Which has a prize money pool of $15 million and up to 750 ranking points for those who win the title without losing any matches.

Henman’s selection came ahead of Leon Smith, who has been the British Davis Cup captain since April 2010. Smith, who guided his country to the Davis Cup title in 2015, has been in contact with Henman about his new role.

“Leon is someone that I have known for a long, long time. He’s done a fantastic job in Davis Cup.” Henman states.
“From my point of view, I’m very excited about the ATP Cup, but this isn’t in any way a stepping stone for me moving into other things. I don’t want to do that. I’ve got enough, other commitments with my family, with Wimbledon, the partners that I work with.”

The four-time Wimbledon semi-finalist appears adamant when he plays down a future role in the Davis cup, which has a new format from this year. However, he admits that should he shine in Australia next year, it could persuade him to change his mind in the future. Two out of the three captains before Smith (John Lloyd and Roger Taylor) didn’t take on the role until after their 50th birthdays.

“As I sit here now I don’t have an aspiration to be Davis Cup captain. It’s in a new format now, but certainly before when the time commitment was going to be much more significant it was never something that really appealed to me.’ Henman explains.
“But talking specifically about this event, I’m really looking forward to and I think there are so many exciting aspects of it.’
“Once the event has happened, then I will have time to reflect and see what I want to do going forward.” He added.

The ATP Cup will start on January 3rd. Britain has been drawn in the same group as Belgium, Moldova, and Bulgaria. They will kick off their campaign in Sydney on the opening day of the tournament against Bulgaria, who is being captained by Grigor Dimitrov.

Henman’s Davis Cup player record

First year played 1994
Total nominations 21
Ties played 21
Singles W/L 29/8
Doubles W/L 11/6
Total W/L 40/14

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ATP Finals 2019 Day 6 Preview: Rafael Nadal’s Fate Hangs In The Balance

Who will join Dominic Thiem, Roger Federer, and Stefanos Tsitsipas in Saturday’s semifinals?

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The final stage of round-robin matches will get underway at The O2 on Friday. Yesterday saw Rafael Nadal seal the year-end No.1 spot after challenger Novak Djokovic lost in straight sets. However, there is little for to celebrate for the king of clay. Today he faces the prospect of winning his match and still not qualifying for the semi-final stage of the tournament. 

 

Here are the advancement scenarios for the Andre Agassi Group, with Tsitsipas advancing regardless of today’s results:

  • Zverev advances if he wins, or if he loses in three sets and Tsitsipas wins.
  • Nadal advances if both he and Medvedev win.
  • Medvedev advances if he wins in two sets and Tsitsipas wins.

Rafael Nadal (1) vs. Stefanos Tsitsipas (6)

Nadal seemed all but out of this tournament less than 48 hours ago, down 5-1 and a match point in the third set to Medvedev.  But Rafa made a classic comeback, aided by a Medvedev meltdown, and Nadal now has new life. Rafa will need more help from Daniil today, as the only way Nadal can advance to tomorrow’s semifinals is if he wins and if Medvedev defeats Zverev.  The first half of that equation will not be an easy task, against a confident and thus-far undefeated Tsitsipas. Stefanos already beat Medvedev and Zverev this week, and owns victories this year against Federer, Djokovic, and Nadal. The win over Rafa even came on clay in Rafa’s home country, when Tsitsipas prevailed in three sets at the Madrid Masters.  But Nadal has been victorious the other four times these two have played, including the very next week at the Rome Masters. A fast indoor hard court is far from Rafa’s favorite surface, yet he should feel good coming off his great escape on Wednesday. He also does not have the pressure of battling for the year-end No.1 ranking, as the King of Clay has already secured that crown thanks to Federer’s win over Djokovic last night.  And as our own Adam Addicott reported, Tsitsipas had an injection in his foot earlier this week, so he’s obviously not 100%. At the beginning of this week, Nadal’s advancement chances seemed slim, as he arrived with an abdominal injury that hampered his play on Monday. But with his tournament life on the line, I’m not betting against one of tennis’ all-time great competitors to find a way to win.

Daniil Medvedev (4) vs. Sascha Zverev (7)

If Nadal does win in the afternoon session, it would eliminate Medvedev from the tournament before this night match even takes place.  Regardless of the afternoon match outcome, Zverev will be playing for his tournament life in this last match of the round robin stage. Sascha owns a 4-1 record over Daniil, though Medvedev claimed their last meeting.  That was just last month in the final of the Shanghai Masters. But the Russian is not the same player he was a month ago, and he’s 0-3 since that championship match in Shanghai. Of course that includes the loss to Nadal two days ago, where Medvedev completely unraveled in the third set, sarcastically giving a thumbs up to his team after nearly after point he lost.  It will be tough to come back and win after that defeat, especially against a player who has dominated their head-to-head. And as the the defending champion in London, Zverev has good vibes playing at the O2. The German should be favored to win, which would guarantee his place in the semifinals for the second straight year.

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