Stan Wawrinka dismisses David Ferrer in the battle of redemption at the O2 Arena - UBITENNIS
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Stan Wawrinka dismisses David Ferrer in the battle of redemption at the O2 Arena



Stan Wawrinka clenches his first during his match against David Ferrer at the ATP World Tour Finals in London (image via Sky Sports)

Stan Wawrinka has won his first match at the ATP Finals by recovering from an early downfall to defeat David Ferrer 7-5, 6-2, in what was a must win match for both players.


The encounter was an opportunity for redemption for both players following the outcome of their previous match. Wawrinka produced a poor performance in his opening match against Rafael Nadal, hitting 35 unforced errors. In comparison 33-year-old Ferrer enjoyed a more convincing performance than the Swiss but still loss 6-4, 6-4, to second seed Andy Murray.

It was a slow start to the match by the Swiss player who produced four unforced errors in the first five points to enable Ferrer to hold his service with ease. Despite the poor start, the Swiss No.2 looked impressive during his opening service game. Ferrer was the first player to pounce as he grabbed his first break point in the fourth game. After enduring a long rally, the Swiss started to lose momentum as he hit the ball wide to enable the Spanish player to charge ahead to 3-1. The early initiative taken by the 33-year-old was nearly squandered in the following game as he was pushed to deuce by his rival. Despite the threat, he managed to hold his nerve and expand the lead to 4-1, triggering Wawrinka to throw his racket on the floor.

Wawrinka continued to threaten to break his rival, but could not convert as the Spaniard produced some masterful shot management at the net as well as aggressive play. With the chance to close out the set, the 33-year-old received his first set point due another Wawrinka error but wasted it with a double fault. The double fault was fatal to Ferrer’s first set hopes as the world No 7 was starting to feel the pressure. The Swiss broke for the first time in the match to put the set back on serve at 4-5 before finally leveling.

The boost given to Wawrinka elevated his game to a higher standard as his Spanish rival began to crumble. Another costly double fault aided Wawrinka to break for the second successive time and lead for the first time in the match. Unlike his older and more experienced opponent, the French Open champion experienced little difficulty closing out the opening set. After racing to 40-0, a 110 mph serve and volley was all that was required for him to take the first set after 56 minutes.

The world No.4 continued motoring in the second set as he dealt another blow to the Spanish fans, by breaking at the start of the second set. Ferrer has little chance to come back against a rapidly improving Wawrinka. A stunning backhand down the line, painting the line, allowed the fourth seed to increase his commanding hold on the match to a set and 4-1. Pulling away with the match, Wawrinka took the victory with a controversial deep forehand towards the baseline. The shot wasn’t challenged by Ferrer, however, it shown by Hawk-eye as being out.

Throughout the 93-minuite match, Wawrinka produced 34 winners, 35 unforced errors, 3 aces and converted 4/8 break points. The triumph has put Wawrinka back on level grounds with Ferrer at 7-7 in their head-to-head. It is now the fourth consecutive time that he has defeated the 33-year-old, who best performance at the ATP Finals was runner-up in 2007.

There is some consolation for Spanish tennis fans following Wawrinka’s victory. His dismissal of Ferrer means that Rafael Nadal has qualified for the semifinal stage of the tournament for the fifth time in his career. On Friday Wawrinka will play Andy Murray for a place in the last four.

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Vasek Pospisil upsets Fabio Fognini in Davis Cup opening match in Madrid



Canada’s Vasek Pospisil upset this year’s Monte-Carlo champion Fabio Fognini 7-6 7-5 after 1 hour and 48 minutes in the opening match of the Group F at the 2019 Davis Cup Final at the Caja Magica in Madrid.


Pospisil, who replaced Felix Auger Aliassime, earned the first break of the match in the fourth game after two double faults and a backhand error from Fognini. Pospisil saved the first of the two break points he faced, but Fognini broke back on his second chance after a backhand error from the Canadian player. Fognini did not convert two break points at 5-5.

Pospisil earned his only mini-break at 5-4 before closing out the first set on his second set point with a backhand passing shot, when Fognini hit a backhand into the net.

Fognini saved a break point at 1-1 in a hard-fought third game, when Pospisil made a forehand error. Pospisil brought up three break points at 5-5. Fognini saved the first two chances with his serve, but he dropped his serve on the third chance, when he hit his backhand into the net. Pospisil served out the match at 15 in the 12th game.

Pospisil is now ranked world number 150 in the world after missing half the season, while he was recovering from back surgery.

“I worked hard to get back here from surgery. Since then I have come back with a fresh perspective on the sport. Eight months ago I was thinking if I would ever be playing at this level again, but I am playing at a higher level much faster than I expected”, said Pospisil.

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Gerard Pique Believes Long-Term Davis Cup Project Will Work Despite Critics

Gerard Pique claims that the new Davis Cup is a long-term project as the competition kicks off today in Madrid.



Gerard Pique (@bbctennis - Twitter)

Footballer Gerard Pique believes the Davis Cup is a long-term project that can work despite criticism over the re-formatted competition. 


Last August, the Barcelona defender had his re-formatted idea of the Davis Cup approve as part of big funding put in by his company Kosmos.

The competition, which starts today in Madrid, sees 18 teams compete in a one-week competition where they will fight for the Davis Cup title.

Despite Pique’s enthusiasm for the event, many fans and players have criticised the move explaining how the 118 year history of the competition has ended.

However for the Spaniard, he believes that he has convinced many doubters on this journey, “In terms of the event we needed to convince different people who were maybe sceptical and were against the idea of changing the format,” Pique admitted to Davis

“We’ve had to face it since the beginning. This is something I believe we did an amazing job at because we feel people in the game are now more convinced.

“The Davis Cup has a big meaning in the world of sport and tennis, there were some people against it, but right now I feel that Davis Cup is going to be stronger than it has been in the last 10 years.”

Despite the likes of Roger Federer and Daniil Medvedev missing from this week’s competition, there are eleven top 20 players competing including Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.

Many critics are seeing this innovation as a short-term project but Pique hasn’t seen it that way and believes that in five years time people will be convinced about the event, “I like to think big and our idea since the beginning is to put this competition where it deserves to be, and maybe to create an event longer than one week,” the Spaniard said.

We understand we have to start little by little. I don’t want to compare ourselves to any other tournament because I think we are unique. In five years’ time I want everyone, players and fans, to think ‘Davis Cup is in November and I want to be there.'”

Even though there are doubters players such as Andy Murray have told people to give the event a chance despite the amount of tickets that are still available for the event.

The action begins today at 3pm GMT time with three ties:

Croatia v Russia

Italy v Canada

Belgium v Colombia

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Stefanos Tsitsipas Triumphs In Thriller To Become Youngest ATP Finals Champion In 18 Years

The Greek is the first ever player from his country to win the season-ending tournament.



LONDON: Stefanos Tsitsipas has won the biggest title of his career after staging a dramatic comeback against Dominic Thiem to win the ATP Finals title on Sunday. 


The 21-year-old, who was making his debut in the event this year, weathered the storm against his at times tentative rival to prevail 6-7(6), 6-2, 7-6(4), in what was a marathon encounter. Becoming the eighth youngest champion of all time and the youngest since Lleyton Hewitt back in 2001. In total, he hit 34 winners to 16 unforced errors as he paid tribute to the crowd after.

“It’s unbelievable having such an army behind me. They give me so much energy and belief that I can achieve the things I want to achieve.” Tsitsipas said during his on-court interview.
“They motivate me and give me so much energy in general. I just love that.”

For only the eighth time since the birth of the tournament in 1970, both players were making their debut in the title match of the end-of-season extravaganza. Tsitsipas, who is the first Greek to ever play the event, scored triumphs over Alexander Zverev and Roger Federer, as well as Daniil Medvedev earlier in the week. Meanwhile, Thiem secured his place with the help of two wins over members of the big three (Novak Djokovic and Federer), as well as knocking Zverev out of the tournament.

Heading into the London showdown, both players have been solid behind their serve. In their four previous matches, Thiem has only been broken six times and Tsitsipas three. Continuing that trend, the duo matched each other game-by-game throughout the opener. Thiem had three chances to break Tsitsipas in two different service games, but he wasn’t able to due to some impressive play from the Greek. Including a risky decision to hit a second serve and volley to save one of those breaks. Tsitsipas also had two separate chances to break during the opening set.

With little to distinguish between them, it would be one shot that proved critical to the outcome of the tiebreak. Tied at 6-6, a Tsitsipas backhand shank handed his rival the chance to serve for the lead. Something he achieved with the help of a 129 mph serve down the line which drew an error from across the court.

After narrowingly losing out on the chance to lead, Tsitsipas hit back emphatically against the increasingly wilting Austrian. Thiem has been struggling with flu symptoms throughout the week. An elevation in his intensity saw him destroy the momentum generated by the world No.5. Within just 14 minutes, he went from losing the first set to opening up a 4-0 stronghold in the second. It wasn’t long before the lightning-fast comeback was sealed by Tsitsipas, who committed only one unforced error in eight games played.

“I have no clue how I managed to play so well in the second set. I think my mind was at ease and I wasn’t thinking about much.” Tsitsipas commented on his comeback. “This lead to a great performance in the second set, breaking him twice. I didn’t give him many options and I think it was an excellent set.”

A brief half to proceedings occurred when Thiem exit the court for a comfort break. However, when he returned Tsitsipas continued to attack his opponent on the court. Three games into the decider a Thiem backhand crashing into the net rewarded him another break and the lead for the first time. Even a stumble where it looked like he hurt his knee failed to derail the Next Gen star.

However, there would be another twist to the match. A Thiem revival saw him hit back to draw level at 3-3. Prompting loud cheers from the crowd in the 18,500 capacity arena. For only the fourth time in history, the winner of the ATP Finals would be decided by a final tiebreaker. Both players had their chances, but it would be Tsitsipas who would edge his way to victory. Causing heartbreak for Thiem after their gut-busting encounter that lasted just over two-and-a-half hours.

“It was a bit frustrating for me to be playing with nerves in such a big event. I was a break-up, couldn’t manage to hold it. Things were decided in the tiebreak and I’m so relieved by this outstanding performance and fight that I gave out on the court.” The new champion concluded.

There is some consolation for Thiem. Following his run this week, he will rise to fourth in the ATP rankings. The highest year-end position of his career to date.

“It was an unbelievable match. Bravo Stefanos. I think we are playing the most mentally brutal sport existing.” Said Thiem
“It was so close and we were fighting 100% in the end. But that how it is in tennis.’
“You really deserve it (the title). You’re an amazing player and I really hope we are going to have some great finals in the future as well.”

It would be another Stefan in the shape of Stefan Edberg who would present the rising star his trophy. Capping off what has been a breakthrough 12 months since he won the Next Gen Finals in Milan.

Tsitsipas exits the tournament with total prize money earnings of $2,256,000 for his week in London, as well as 1300 ranking points.

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