Czech Republic go into the reverse singles with the advantage after doubles victory over Germany in the Davis Cup - UBITENNIS
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Czech Republic go into the reverse singles with the advantage after doubles victory over Germany in the Davis Cup

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Berdych/Stepanek ensured that the Czech Republic go into the reverse singles on Sunday in the ascendency (Image via Zimbio.com).

For a while on Friday it looked like the Czech Republic’s hopes of winning the Davis Cup in 2016 might fall by the wayside. Philipp Kohlschreiber had defeated Lukas Rosol, and Alexander Zverev was two-sets-to-one up against Tomas Berdych. A recovery from Berdych in that match ensured that the tie was level going into the doubles. Berdych partnered Radek Stepanek, but Philipp Kohlschreiber stepped in to partner former Wimbledon Men’s Doubles winner Philipp Petzschner. The Czechs won the match in straight sets 7-6, 7-5, 6-4, in two hours and forty-three minutes.

 

It was though that Jiri Vesely and Dustin Brown might play some part in the doubles, after particularly gruelling encounters for Berdych and Kohlschreiber in the singles, but both Kohlschreiber and Berdych stepped up to compete in the doubles.

A close first set that featured no breaks of serve saw the German pair edge the tiebreak before each set got progressively easier for Berdych/Stepanek. The second set also proved close, with no break points through the first ten games. That changed in game eleven, when Petzschner/Kohlschreiber offered one chance, and the break was earned. A quick hold and the Czechs led by two sets.

Berdych/Stepanek continued to raise their game, finding another break early in the third. Petzschner/Stepanek had two chances but failed to capitalise. Both teams managed to hold their serves for the rest of the match, completing the straight sets victory for the Czech Republic.

The win for the Czech Republic ensures that they remain the heavy favourites in the tie going into the final reverse singles on Sunday. The doubles result means that for Germany to progress they must, bar injury or other unforeseen circumstances, find a way past world No.7 Berdych. Berdych owns a commanding 8-1 lead in the head-to-head with his likely opponent Philipp Kohlschreiber, and the Czech has won each of their last three encounters in straight sets.

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Should Roger Federer Become A Super Coach? Djokovic And Murray Give Their View

The Swiss Maestro ended his record-breaking career at the Laver Cup on Friday but what is next for him?

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Roger Federer (SUI) celebrates after defeating Cameron Norrie (GBR) in the third round of the Gentlemen's Singles on Centre Court at The Championships 2021. Held at The All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon. Day 6 Saturday 03/07/2021. Credit: AELTC/Jed Leicester

As Roger Federer enters into the world of retirement after playing on the Tour for 24 years, some are wondering what he might do next. 

 

The opportunities in front of the 21-time Grand Slam champion are pretty extensive. He remains one of the highest-paid athletes in the world with Forbes magazine valuing his endorsement pay between 2021-2022 at $90M. He is an investor in the start-up shoe brand On which is already valued to be worth millions. Some of his sponsorship deals include Barilla, Credit Suisse Group (ADS), Mercedes-Benz, Rolex, Switzerland Tourism and Uniqlo. 

In a way, Federer could easily decide to do nothing in the future considering he has already made his millions in the sport. One report estimates that the 41-year-old has earned an incredible $1.1BN throughout his career before taxes and agent fees. 

Although, Federer has previously said he has no intention of disappearing from tennis in the future and hopes to remain involved in some capacity. How he plans to do this is unclear but one option could be to enter into the world of coaching. Something other greats of the sport such as John McEnroe, Ivan Lendl and Boris Becker have all done.

“I think that Roger can offer a lot. I mean, it’s logical to expect him to be able to share so many useful and valuable things with anybody, really. I mean, if he ever would consider doing that, I’m sure that he’s going to bring a lot of positive things to the improvement of that player, whether male or female, in every aspect on and off the court, I’m sure,Novak Djokovic replied when asked by reporters about the possibility of Federer becoming a mentor.
“He’s undoubtedly one of the greatest players to play the game the way he played it, with his style and effortlessly. You know, people probably think that he was a god-given talent, but he always talks about the amount of time that he would have to spend working on perfecting the game so it looks easy.
“I respect that, and I know what he has to go through in order to execute the shots that seem easy but are actually very difficult to do.”

Throughout the Laver Cup, Federer was seen speaking with his teammates about match tactics. One of the unique qualities of the competition is that players can exchange advice among themselves whilst playing. Similar to that of on-court coaching on the WTA Tour but in a more casual manner. 

Weighing in on the debate, former world No.1 Andy Murray believes a possible challenge Federer faces if he goes into coaching is teaching those who are not as naturally talented as him. 

“I’m sure if he was to coach one day, which he obviously doesn’t need to, he’d pick players that I’d imagine he’d be motivated to be coaching in the big matches and helping there,” Murray said.
“The one thing that is I think difficult when you are as talented and have as many options as him is to remember that not everybody can do the things that he did. Sometimes he might see a shot and be, like, oh, maybe, you know, he should have played that one.
“He had the ability to play everything and he had so many options at his disposal that that’s the challenging thing also as a coach sometimes. But look, he’s great on the side. He watches a lot of tennis. He loves the game.”

It remains to be seen what Federer will do next after taking a well-deserved break from the sport. He will continue his involvement in the Laver Cup which his Team8 management company co-founded. Although there is one area of tennis he has no intention of going into. 

“Not really keen to go into politics, to be honest, in this way,” Federer said. “Did some of it (he was a member of the ATP Player Council), was good in moments, but also sometimes not the best, you know.
“I need to step away from it and then maybe take a different direction. If I can be of any help, not an official role, I’ll always be there. An official role at the moment, I don’t see that.”

Federer ends his career with an extraordinary 30 Guinness World Records to his name.

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Novak Djokovic ‘Worried’ By Wrist Issue After Laver Cup Defeat

The reigning Wimbledon champion has addressed concerns about his current fitness.

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NOVAK DJOKOVIC OF SERBIA PHOTO: MATEO VILLALBA / MMO

Novak Djokovic is hoping that the discomfort he has been experiencing in his wrist is due to a lack of match play after suffering a straight sets loss at the Laver Cup. 

 

Djokovic fell to Felix Auger-Aliassime on the final day of the three-day event which saw Team World stage a valiant comeback to claim the title for the first time. During the match, he appeared lacklustre on court and it was visible that he had some discomfort in his right wrist. Djokovic was also seen flexing his arm during his doubles match on Saturday but on the same day, he crushed Frances Tiafoe 6-1, 6-3.

“I have been struggling with my right wrist for the last four/five days, to be honest. I have been keeping it under control. The two matches yesterday probably had an effect. Today was not easy. I couldn’t serve as fast or as accurately as I would like to,” the 21-time Grand Slam winner told reporters on Sunday. 
“Could be (due to) not playing almost three months of matches, and then conditions here (at The O2) are such that the balls are really big and slow. You always have to generate a lot of wrist action and speed, which could be the case why I have been feeling soreness in my right wrist.”

The setback comes as the former world No.1 is set to play his first singles tournament since Wimbledon at the Tel Aviv Open later this week. Djokovic missed the entire North American swing as he was unable to enter the region due to being unvaccinated against Covid-19. 

As it currently stands, the Serbian still has every intention of travelling to Israel should his body allow him to do so. It will be the first time he has played a competitive match in the country in his career. 

“I am not worried about my level, but I am a bit about the wrist. I am going to try to take care of it with my physio, to be ready for my first match in Tel Aviv,” journalist Sasa Ozmo quoted Djokovic as saying in his native language.

This year’s Laver Cup marked the end of Roger Federer’s career. A long-time rival of Djokovic’s whom he has beaten in 27 out of their 50 Tour meetings. Despite his departure from the sport, Djokovic states that he has no intention of following the same path anytime soon. 

I don’t feel yet so old, to be honest, for my tennis career to finish,” he said.
“I still feel my body is serving me, is listening to me well. That’s the key I think when you get to 35-plus.”
“I’m not playing as much as I played few years ago. I want to peak at the best tournaments, biggest tournaments in the world, which are Grand Slams and some of the biggest ATP events, playing for my country,” Djokovic later added.
“That’s what gives me the most motivation and inspires me to play the best tennis. I really want to keep going. I don’t have the ending of my career on the horizon at the moment.
“I just want to keep going as long as I feel good and I can compete with the youngsters, that I could be one of the candidates to win Grand Slams.” 

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Tiafoe Topples Tsitsipas, Auger-Aliassime sinks Djokovic As Team World Clinches First Laver Cup Title

After suffering four consecutive defeats, John McEnroe’s Team World have won the competition.

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Image via https://twitter.com/atptour

Frances Tiafoe staged a dramatic fightback against Stefanos Tsitsipas to secure Team World their first-ever Laver Cup title. 

 

The world No.19 overcame a first set beat down to oust his Greek opponent 1-6, 7-6(11), 10-8, to give his team an unassailable lead in the three-day competition. Tiafoe looked to be on the verge of defeat after dropping the opener in a mere 19 minutes against a fired-up Tsitsipas. However, he weathered the storm by coming through a roller-coaster second set where he saved four match points in the tiebreaker before going on to level the match. 

Then in the 10-point tiebreaker, Tiafoe continued to wear down a growing frustrated Tsitsipas who hit a forehand wide to hand the American a duo of match points. After failing to convert his first, he secured victory at the expense of another mistake from across the court. Prompting him to fall to the floor in sheer delight. 

“It is an unbelievable feeling,” Tiafoe said in his on-court interview. “Our captain Jonny McEnroe was tired of losing…saying we needed to get it done this year on his fifth try. All week leading up I kept saying this was our year. The guys showed up.”

Entering the final day of the Laver Cup, four-time winners Europe boasted a commanding 8-4 lead in the tie. However, with three points at stake for each match Team World staged a commanding comeback which was started with the help of a double victory from Felix Auger-Aliassime. The Canadian grabbed his first win in the doubles alongside Jack Sock when the duo ousted Andy Murray and Matteo Berrettini 2-6, 6-3, 10-8. 

There was little time for Auger-Aliassime to celebrate as he returned to court roughly 30 minutes later to take on 21-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic, who was playing his first event since Wimbledon. Cheered on by his teammates from the sidelines, he battled to a surprise 7-5, 7-6(1) over his lacklustre opponent. At times Djokovic appeared uncomfortable on the court and appeared to be troubled by his wrist. Raising concerns about his upcoming participation in the Tel Aviv Open in Israel

“Today has been fantastic so far,” Auger-Aliassime said afterwards. 
“It has been one of my best performances of my career so far.
“I’ve been close a few times in recent times against these great champions, so it feels great to get a win like this, especially in front of you at this arena and for Team World as well.”

Djokovic’s loss concludes what has been a disappointing showing from the Big Four at the Laver Cup. Roger Federer and doubles partner Rafael Nadal lost their encounter on Friday which was also the final match of the Swiss maestro’s record-breaking career. The following day Nadal withdrew from the competition due to personal reasons. Furthermore, Andy Murray lost both of the matches he played in. 

Although 22-year-old for Auger-Aliassime, rubbing shoulders with the quartet is still something he relishes regardless of their results. 

“This is the biggest victory of my career. I’m happy. I am glad to be able to observe the “Big Four” here. For young players it is a life experience,” he said. 

It is the first time Team World has won the Laver Cup on their fifth attempt. Overall, they won the tie 13-8 with a match in hand. The victory marks a sharp contrast to last year when they were crushed 14-1 in what was the heaviest defeat in Laver Cup history.

“It’s been a long time,” World captain John McEnroe commented. “We’ve been beaten up a couple of times. It looked like we were in trouble. This is a great group of young guys.”

The Laver Cup will take place in Canada next year for the first time at the Roger Arena.

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