Lukas Rosol comes back from a set down to edge Robin Haase in Sofia - UBITENNIS
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Lukas Rosol comes back from a set down to edge Robin Haase in Sofia

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After two exciting weeks of great tennis from Melbourne, the attention of fans turns to European indoor tennis at the ATP 250 in Sofia, one of the three tournaments scheduled in the first week of February. The other tournaments are Quito and Montpellier.

 

Three matches were played on Monday at the Garanti Koza Sofia Open. In the most interesting match of the day Lukas Rosol came back from a set down to edge Robin Haase 3-6 6-3 6-4 in one hour and 48 minutes. Haase, who was beaten by Bosnian Mirza Basic at the Australian Open, saved three break points in the fifth game of the first set breaking serve to win the first set 6-3. The Dutch player went up a set and a break in the second set but Rosol broke straight back. Rosol got another break to draw level on sets forcing the match to the decider. Rosol broke serve in the ninth game of the third set to take a 5-4 lead before serving out for the match in the next game.

“It’s always a battle. I got lucky at the end, as Rosol is playing good tennis. It’s always about one or two points. After the Australian Open, which is outdoors, to then move indoors is tricky. It’s a different game and I am happy with the results. The stadium and the court are nice to play on. I came here to get used to the conditions. They do a good job and make you feel comfortable”, said Rosol.

Mirza Basic, who lost to Tomas Berdych in the third round at the Australian Open, edged Yuki Bhambri 6-3 7-6 (7-4) in 1 hour and 25 minutes. Basic broke serve once to seal the first set. The second set featured six breaks of serve and came down to the tie-break where Basic prevailed 7-4.

Martin Klizan eased past Bulgarian wild-card Alexander Lazov 6-3 6-0 in just 59 minutes after dropping just two of his first two service points.

Roberto Bautista Agut is the top seed of this ATP 250 tournament which also features Viktor Troicki (winner in Sydney), Guillermo Garcia Lopez and Andreas Seppi.

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Tomas Berdych: It Is Up To Others To Decide My Legacy

The former top-10 player spoke with reporters for the first time since officially retiring from the sport

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Tomer Berdych (far left) among group of recently retired player's attending special presentation at The 2019 ATP Finals

LONDON: Tomas Berdych has said his future plans is ‘to not have a plan’ after officially retiring from tennis on Saturday at the age of 34.

 

The former Wimbledon runner-up joined a series of other former players to celebrate their careers in a special on-court presentation at the ATP Finals. Also present was Radek Stepanek and David Ferrer. News of Berdych’s decision to walk away from the sport surfaced earlier this week after a Czech newspaper spoke with his father Martin.

Speculation has mounted in recent months about Berdych’s future in the sport after struggles with injury issues concerning his back and hip. He hasn’t played on the tour since the US Open. Overall, he has only managed to play 22 matches this season. Winning 13 of them.

“I was able to train, practice, prepare, and then you get to the tournament, and then I play three games, the problem came back.” Berdych explained during a press conference about his decision.
“You put all the negative stuff on the one side, and then the positive is to go on court, fight, win the match, and there was no chance to achieve that. There is really no point to continue.”

Playing in the shadows on the Big Four contingent, the Czech still managed to establish himself as a household name. Albeit on a smaller scale. As of this week, he is ranked as the 11th highest-earning player on the ATP Tour in history with more than $29 million in prize money. His achievements include winning 13 ATP titles and spending 794 consecutive weeks in the top 100. At his peak, he was fourth in the world rankings and finished seven seasons inside the top 10.

Like any other player, it hasn’t always been a smooth journey for Berdych. One example was during the 2012 Australian Open where he was booed off the court after defeating Nicolas Almagro during what was a bad-tempered encounter. However, fortunately, most of his career has been free from controversy.

“Do I have any regrets? No, I think even the bad things or the negative experience that I went through or I experienced or I have done, I think they were there for the reason. I think without them, I wouldn’t be as good as I was.” Berdych stated.
“I think even the bad ones were there for a reason.”

Now he has stepped away from the sport for good, what does the future have in store? According to the Czech, he is in no intention of rushing into anything else soon. Although he admits that it may not be tennis-related.

“The plan is actually not to have any plans. The last 15, 20 years was so hectic and so demanding that I just need to just to breathe out easily after all those years.”

As the chapter closes on the career of one of the Czech Republic’s most successful male players in the Open Era, he leaves the sport with high respect from both his fans and fellow rivals. As for his legacy, he says that it is not for him to decide.

“I think I’m not the correct one to judge that. I was trying to do the best I possibly can, and I think this is something that you created with your achievement and with your behavior.” He concludes.

Berdych’s career in numbers

2 – number of Davis Cup titles won
4 – highest ATP ranking achieved
13– number of ATP titles
53 – number of wins over top 10 players
342 – number of losses on the ATP Tour
640 – number of wins on the ATP Tour
2002 – the year he turned pro
2019 – the year he retired
29,491,328 – career prize money (in US dollars)

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Alexander Zverev Topples Medvedev To End Hopes Of Fedal Clash At ATP Finals

The defending champion survives, but knocks Rafael Nadal out of the competition.

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LONDON: Alexander Zverev has kept his chances of claiming a second consecutive ATP Finals title alive after downing Daniil Medvedev in a crucial match.

The world No.7 rallied to a 6-4, 7-6(4), victory in what was a must-win match for the German player. Who was on the brink of exiting the event as a result of Rafael Nadal’s win earlier in the day. The key to Zverev’s win was his trusted serve as he didn’t face a single break point in the 77-minute match. On top of that, he hit 21 winners and eight aces.

 

“This arena at The O2 is probably where I play my best tennis.” Said Zverev.
“The atmosphere here is something we (the players) don’t play in at all anywhere else in the world. This is so special to us.”

Resting on this match was the prospect of Roger Federer locking horns with nemesis Rafael Nadal for the 41st time. In order for that to occur, it was up to Medvedev to clinch a win. However, Zverev had his own plans as he extended his winning head-to-head record against the Russian to 5-1.

“He had nothing to lose. It was his last (ATP) match of the season and he could just enjoy the tennis, the atmosphere, and the stadium. And for me, it was a must-win situation to go through.”

It was a substandard Medvedev service game at the start of the match which would elevate Zverev to an early advantage as he broke instantly. Fortunately for the rowdy crowd at the 18,500 capacity arena, the Russian did manage to elevate the level of his game. Although it was still not good enough to derail Zverev from clinching the opener after just 33 minutes of play. A 141 mph serve down the center of the court from the 22-year-old forced another error from his rival to generate a set point chance. Zverev then converted after an attempted down the line shot from Medvedev backfired.

Despite clinching the lead, it was by no means a foregone conclusion for Zverev. Who had to contend with some stern play across the court. There was little difference between the two players throughout the second set. In the end, it would be a tiebreak that separated them. At the worst possible time, a Medvedev double fault enabled Zverev to break for 5-3. Once again in control of proceedings, he held his nerve to close the match out with an ace down the center of the court. Prompting a huge roar from Zverev as he paid tribute to his rival moments after.

“He was probably the best player in the world over the summer. Making it to six straight finals is unbelievable. You haven’t seen that (on the tour) for a long time.” He commented on Medvedev’s season.
“I think next year he is going to be very dangerous.”

Zverev finishes second in the Andre Agassi Group. He will play rival and friend Dominic Thiem in the semi-finals on Saturday. A player who he trails 2-5 in their head-to-head.

“Playing against your friend means you have both done incredibly well throughout the whole year and this week. It’s a great honor to play against him.” He reflected.

Should he defend his title this week, Zverev would become the first player outside of the Big Three to do so since Lleyton Hewitt (2001-2002).

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Cabal And Farah Gain Semi-Final Berth In London As Herbert And Mahut Keep Winning

Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah gained their first win at this year’s Nitto ATP Finals and advanced to Saturday’s semi-finals.

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Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah (@atptour - Twitter)

Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah are into the semi-finals in London after beating Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies 7-6(7) 6-2. 

 

The year-end world number one’s won a tight contest to get their first win of the tournament at the ATP Finals as they advanced to the last four.

https://twitter.com/TennisTV/status/1194979819886387203

Although it hasn’t been a convincing tournament for the Colombians, they finally clicked into gear today beating the Roland Garros champions.

In a tight first set, the German duo failed to take the only break point of the set as both team served with great power as well as precision.

The tiebreak was no different in terms of the margins that were in it as Krawietz and Mies failed to take the set point at 6-5.

But the top seeds were more clinical with their chances as they took their second set point to claim the tight tiebreak 9-7.

From that point onwards it was all about the Colombians as they broke twice in the second set to gain their first win of the Nitto ATP Finals.

As a result of their win, they knocked out the Germans from the tournament but had to wait to see if Herbert and Mahut could claim a straight sets win over Rojer and Tecau to secure their semi-final spot.

The Wimbledon and US Open champions didn’t have to worry too much though because Herbert and Mahut produced another dominating display to secure the straight sets win.

A 6-3 7-6(4) win for the French team meant they went 3-0 for the Round Robin stage and seal Cabal and Farah’s place in the last four.

Despite winning only one match in the Round Robin stage, the Colombians are looking to seal an history-making season with the ATP Finals title this weekend.

As the round-robin stage reaches its climax, here is the confirmed semi-final line-up for Saturday’s blockbuster showdown:

12pm 

Klaasen/Venus (5) v Cabal/Farah (1)

6pm 

Herbert/Mahut (7) v Kubot/Melo (2)

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