Tomas Berdych retirement against Philipp Kohlschreiber paves the way for a potential comeback for Germany in Davis Cup - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

Hot Topics

Tomas Berdych retirement against Philipp Kohlschreiber paves the way for a potential comeback for Germany in Davis Cup

Avatar

Published

on

Berdych looked to feeling the effects of his efforts from Friday and Saturday, as a hamstring injury forced him to retire against Philipp Kohlschreiber.

Philipp Kohlschreiber was the beneficiary of an injury retirement from Tomas Berdych to ensure that the Davis Cup World Group First Round encounter between Germany and the Czech Republic would go to a fifth and deciding rubber. Kohlschreiber was leading by two sets, 6-3, 7-5, when Berdych retired with a hamstring injury.

 

Berdych had led the head-to-head with Kohlschreiber 8-1 coming into the tie, but Berdych required significant treatment in the fifth game of the match, and never truly looked comfortable on court, surrendering two break in the first set.

Berdych did at least find some success in the second set, holding serve for most of the set with more comfort than in the first. Yet he could not find any way to get engaged against the Kohlschreiber serve, failing to earn any break points. Berdych was continually serving from behind in the set and he was finally broken at 5-6, handing the German a precious two-set lead.

It looked a long way back for the Czech, who had played an epic five-set match against Alexander Zverev, as well as the doubles with Radek Stepanek on Saturday. He then decided to retire, handing the victory to Kohlschreiber, and ensuring that the tie would be decided by that match between Alexander Zverev and Lukas Rosol at the arena in Hannover. Both men lost five-set matches on Friday Zverev to Berdych, and Rosol to Kohlschreiber.

Rosol leads the head-to-head with Zverev 2-0, having not dropped a set. It is worth noting though that of the four sets that Rosol has won, three have gone to tie-breaks, suggesting that yet another close match could decide this tie.

Hot Topics

Tsitsipas Fights Back And Sails Through French Open Opener

The Greek came back from two sets down against an inspired Musetti and secured his place in the second round playing some grand tennis

Avatar

Published

on

By

Stefanos Tsitsipas- Roland Garros 2022 (foto Roberto dell'Olivo)

by Kingsley Elliot Kaye

The match between Stefanos Tsitsipas and Lorenzo Musetti could be defined as an ultimate challenge between the two players who succeeded in posing the greatest threats to Djokovic in Roland Garros 2021, when they both stunned him by taking a two-set lead before eventually surrendering. 

 

Also a match between two of the finest one-handed backhands on the tour. With Federer still recovering, Wawrinka and Thiem moving their first steps, Tsitsipas and Musetti created the expectations for a stylish performance to purists’ delight. 

With such premises it would come to no surprise if the match should go a fifth set decider. And so it was, with Tsitsipas initially trailing and eventually prevailing 5-7 4-6 6-2 6-3 6-2. 

“Just like having a walk at the beach. Really fresh,” he joked. “Things weren’t easy for me in the first two sets. Lorenzo was playing well, he wasn’t giving me rhythm.  I’m happy I stayed positive. I changed attitude in the third set. My fighting instinct came out. Once I really found my momentum on the serve, my routines and everything, I knew that it could be a different match.”

After a tight start, the match took a first twist in the 4th game, when Musetti lost his serve after being 40-0 up. Tsitsipas seemed in command, but Musetti broke back in the seventh game, saved three break points in the following and equalized at 4-4. The next games followed serve until Musetti earned a break point in the eleventh game with a stunning forehand down the line and then converted it. Serving for the set he did not falter, dazzled his opponent with dropshots and closed the set 7-5.

In the second set the Italian dashed off to a 4-0 lead. Tsitsipas seemed completely at loss, till he saved a break point in the fifth game and plucked up some pressure play once more. He recovered one of the breaks, but it wasn’t enough. Thanks to an improved first serve percentage Musetti held on and won the set 6-4.  

From the very start of the third set, Tsitsipas shots found depth and penetration. A poor service game by Musetti gifted an early break. It was decisive.  Tsitsipas was adamant on serve, conceding only one point, and broke a second time, for an emphatic 6-2 as a comeback omen.

In the fourth set Tsitsipas started scoring points off his backhand and strode off to 3-0, saving two break points on his way. Yet he dropped his following serve after he missed a flying forehand volley and Musetti placed a millimetric forehand on the baseline.

Tsitsipas was not discouraged by such setback and snatched the break back immediately. Musetti’s energy appeared waning whereas the Greek was overpowering. He failed to convert two set points on the Italian’s serve in the eighth game, when Musetti found some erratic magic, but held his following serve to love, sealing the fourth set 6-3 with his tenth ace.

With tennis being such a physical sport, few would have bet on a seemingly drained Musetti winning the decider. Tsitsipas was more and more consistent, running round every shot with metronomic footwork whereas Musetti was hitting through blindly, seeking and only occasionally finding instant winners, his unforced errors mounting up. The match seemed to have taken a one direction.   

In the fifth set Tsitsipas broke immediately in the first game, then again in the fifth. He struck an impressive 89% of first services, hardly stained by a double fault in the sixth game. He often chose to place serve rather than hammer, taking advantage of Musetti moving slower. He hit winners off both sides, retrieved any ball at reach. Musetti staved off two match points on his service in the seventh game, the second one with an ace on second serve, still flashing his genius to hold on. But Tsitsipas was not to be stopped and served it out to love.

Just like last year Musetti was unable to go the full distance. The talent is there, the mettle is there, he knows where work is to be done. 

Continue Reading

Focus

Roland Garros Daily Preview: A Busy Day of Second Round Action on Wednesday

Avatar

Published

on

A look at Court Philippe Chatrier (twitter.com/rolandgarros)

Wednesday’s schedule is overflowing with big names and compelling matchups.  Four of the top six men’s seeds will play their second round matches, and all face intriguing opposition.  Defending champion Novak Djokovic plays Alex Molcan, who is coached by Novak’s longtime coach, Marian Vajda.  13-time champ Rafael Nadal faces France’s Corentin Moutet, who took out 2015 champ Stan Wawrinka in the first round.  Spain’s new rising star, Carlos Alcaraz, takes on fellow Spaniard and accomplished clay courter Albert Ramos-Vinolas.  And third-seeded Sascha Zverev goes against Sebastian Baez, who won a clay court title last month in Estoril.

 

However, the day’s most competitive ATP matches may not involve those top names.  Second round clashes Sebastian Korda and Richard Gasquet, as well as between Grigor Dimitrov and Borna Coric, could prove to be two the day’s best men’s singles contests.

Women’s second round action on Wednesday features a blockbuster matchup, as 2019 US Open champion Bianca Andreescu meets Olympic gold medalist Belinda Bencic.  In a battle of two Major semifinalists from 2021, Maria Sakkari takes on Karolina Muchova.  And five other Major singles champions will take the court (Kerber, Kvitova, Azarenka, Stephens, Raducanu).

Throughout the tournament, this preview will analyze the day’s five most prominent matches, while highlighting the other notable matches on the schedule.  Wednesday’s play begins at 11:00am local time.


Sascha Zverev (3) vs. Sebastian Baez – Second on Court Philippe Chatrier

This is a dangerous draw for Zverev, as Baez is one the 2022’s fastest-rising players.  The 21-year-old from Argentina started the year ranked 99th, but is now 36th, having accumulated 28 match wins at all levels, and claiming a clay court title last month in Estoril.  He was also a finalist earlier this year on clay in Santiago.  These players met just two weeks ago in Rome, with Zverev prevailing in two tight sets.   I expect another tight affair on Wednesday, especially since Sascha has a history of getting involved in five-setters at Roland Garros.  In the last four years here, he’s played eight of them.  However, it’s worth noting his record in those matches is 7-1.  Zverev’s fire power should enable him to get past the up-and-coming Argentine.


Maria Sakkari (4) vs. Karolina Muchova – Second on Court Suzanne Lenglen

Their only previous encounter was a doozy.  Last year on clay in Madrid, Muchova dominated the first set 6-0, Sakkari took the second in an extended tiebreak, but Karolina eventually prevailed 7-5 in the third.  That’s one of many painful losses Maria suffered last season, with the most painful coming in the semifinals of this event a year ago, when she went down in defeat despite holding a match point over eventual champion Barbora Krejcikova.  Sakkari has persevered extremely well, and started off 2022 16-4, though she’s just 4-3 on clay this season.  However, Muchova is only 6-2 the entire year, as an abdominal injury kept her off the court.  The more in-form Sakkari should be favored to avenge her loss to Muchova from a year ago.


Belinda Bencic (14) vs. Bianca Andreescu – Third on Court Philippe Chatrier

This is a rematch from the semifinals of the 2019 US Open semifinals, when Andreescu was victorious after two extremely close sets on her way to her maiden Major title.  That semifinal remains Belinda’s best performance at a Slam.  And the French Open has easily been her worst Major, where she is 6-5 lifetime, and never advanced beyond the third round.  But Bencic is having a strong clay court season, with a 10-2 record, and a title in Charleston.  Andreescu has missed a lot of time over the last few years, including the first three months of 2022.  Yet she’s a decent 7-3 on the year, with her only three losses coming to top 15 players.  And on a big stage such as Court Philippe Chatrier, Andreescu usually brings her best tennis.  I give the Canadian the slight edge to grit out the upset over Bencic after a significant battle.


Sebastian Korda (27) vs. Richard Gasquet – Fourth on Court Suzanne Lenglen

Both players completed their first round matches on Tuesday due to rain, leaving them no day of rest, though they both won in straights sets and should feel rather fresh.  Korda eliminated Australia’s John Millman, while Gasquet dismissed South Africa’s Lloyd Harris.  It was this event two years ago where Sebi made his Major breakthrough, reaching the fourth round in just his second main draw appearance at a Slam.  The 21-year-old American is the only player to earn a victory over Carlos Alcaraz this season on clay, and also achieved a clay court semifinal in Estoril.  Gasquet spent much of this month playing Challenger events, though he did reach a tour-level semi of his own just last week in Geneva.  Clay is not Richard’s strongest surface, but he was a quarterfinalist here in 2016.  He’ll certainly be motivated by the inspiring efforts of his fellow countrymen Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Gilles from Tuesday.  And with this match scheduled late in the day, he’ll benefit from a rowdy French crowd behind him.  However, Korda’s more reliable groundstrokes should allow him to get past the Frenchman, with an Alcaraz rematch perhaps awaiting him in the third round.


Grigor Dimitrov (18) vs. Borna Coric – Fourth on Court 14

Dimitrov is a meek 13-11 lifetime at Roland Garros, but he is a solid 9-4 on clay this season, and was a semifinalist in Monte Carlo.  Coric is trying to rediscover his form after missing a full year of action due to shoulder surgery.  He’s just 2-6 at all levels since returning, and was on a five-match losing streak coming into this event before earning a first-round win over Carlos Taberner.  Borna has a clay court title on his resume, and has previously fought his way to victories at Majors in matches he had no business winning.  The 2020 US Open comes to mind, when Coric came back from seemingly sure defeat against Stefanos Tsitsipas, saving six match points along the way.  I would not be surprised if he pushes Dimitrov on Wednesday.  Yet Grigor seemed perfectly comfortable in his opening round, dropping only three games, and is the favorite in this match as well.


Other Notable Matches on Wednesday:

Angelique Kerber (21) vs. Elisa Jacquemot (WC) – Kerber survived the first round of this event for only the second time in seven years, and did so in thrilling fashion.  Angie defeated Magdalena Frech in an over three-hour affair, and was cheered on vociferously by the Parisian crowd.  On Wednesday, she plays France’s Jacquemot, a 19-year-old who earned her first Major win on Monday.

Amanda Anisimova (27) vs. Donna Vekic (Q) – Anisimova took out Naomi Osaka in the opening round.  Vekic is a former top 20 player who has battled injury in recent years.  Two years ago on clay in Rome, Amanda overcame Donna in two tiebreak sets.

Novak Djokovic (1) vs. Alex Molcan – Djokovic’s last loss in the second round of a Major was at the 2017 Australian Open, at the hands of Denis Istomin.  Molcan is a 24-year-old from Slovakia who reached finals at two 250-level clay events this season.  Last year on clay in Belgrade, Novak defeated Alex in straights.

Carlos Alcaraz (6) vs. Albert Ramos-Vinolas – Alcaraz is now 29-3 on the year, and is currently on an 11-match win streak.  Ramos-Vinolas was a quarterfinalist here in 2016, and has won four clay court titles in his career, including this February in Cordoba.  Alcaraz has claimed both of their previous meetings.

Rafael Nadal (5) vs. Corentin Moutet (WC) – Despite questions regarding the status of his chronically-injured foot, Nadal prevailed easily on Monday, dropping only six games.  Moutet beat Stan Wawrinka in four sets the same day. 


Wednesday’s full Order of Play is here.

Continue Reading

Focus

Planning Key For Daniil Medvedev’s Comeback From Hernia Surgery

Daniil Medvedev cruised past Facundo Bagnis in his opening round at Roland Garros.

Avatar

Published

on

Daniil Medvedev (@atptour - Twitter)

Daniil Medvedev has spoke about preparation and planning after his first win since hernia surgery.

 

The second seed was victorious in his opening round at Roland Garros after beating Argentinian Facundo Bagnis 6-2 6-2 6-2.

Medvedev usually hates the clay court season but the Russian, who reached the quarter-finals last year, cruised to victory with the loss of just six games.

This is only Medvedev’s second tournament since hernia surgery which took place after the Miami Open.

Speaking to the press after his win Medvedev said that planning was the key to his comeback, “The thing is that, yeah, for sure when I made surgery, I didn’t know — I thought I’m not going to come back on clay. I thought I’m going to come back for grass,” the Russian admitted.

“But straightaway we made a good plan with my team, with my doctor team and physio team, to try to get me back on track as fast as possible. Because also what is tough is there is no sign of when you can actually start playing tennis. It’s just kind of you start, and if you feel pain, you should stop straightaway.

“So I started after four weeks, which usually it can take up to six weeks, I heard, average. I never had pain, so we are going step by step slowly, first day 30 minutes and then 45. Same, yeah, I went to Geneva to see how my body is. I felt great physically. I managed to put really strong practice hours here before Roland Garros. I feel 100% ready physically, so thanks to my team.”

Medvedev will look to build momentum as he prepares to miss Wimbledon due to Russian and Belarusian athletes being banned.

Now for the world number two the focus is on Roland Garros and on clay and after his match he broke down why he isn’t as effective on clay than he is on hard courts, “I would love to think that it’s not mental, because every time I start playing on clay every year, because you have to, I’m like, Come on, you know, just be better. This year is going to be different, is going to be, for you, the clay, and then I feel like I need a lot of time to adapt,” Medvedev explained.

“It’s about the movement, and I think my strokes are given like in the air because the balls are much heavier, they have dirt on them, so a lot of my balls, not at Roland Garros but other courts, for example, it was the case in Geneva, I feel like I’m doing a good job but it just goes in the net.

“When you don’t know what you can improve, that’s where it’s tough because you’re, like, What do I do next shot? Yeah, it’s not the case here, so I’m happy about it. So I know I’m capable of doing some good things. But, yeah, I need to be 100% focused and ready for what clay has to give to me. Right now I feel ready.”

Medvedev will look to continue his confidence on Thursday when he takes on Laslo Djere in his second round match.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending