Gerry Weber Open – Revised Expectations - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

Focus

Gerry Weber Open – Revised Expectations

Avatar

Published

on

By Cheryl Jones

 

As Robert Burns warned centuries ago in a poem, “The best laid plans of mice and men – often go askew”. That happened in Halle today when Philipp Kohlschreiber had to pull out of the Gerry Weber Open.

Yesterday, against Ivo Karlovic, he looked strong. Today, a hasty press conference was called and alas, no more for him here. He will travel to his home and have an MRI on his left hip to make certain that the treatment he is seeking will be all that is necessary to give that hip a rest before heading to Wimbledon.

He said that he had suffered a strain in the Stuttgart tournament where he eventually finished as runner-up. He had faced Dominic Thiem, (who oddly enough was supposed to be his opponent this Friday afternoon), in a two-day final that wrapped up on Monday of this week. It surely left him tired and likely numb as he waded into the fray here in Halle. He said that in the match against Karlovic he felt the strain, but with his win, hoped that it was merely something that would disappear after a good night’s sleep. That didn’t happen. Today, his personal physio, and the Physio (a physical therapist employed by the GWO) for the tournament agreed that the injury was serious enough to require some down time in order to give the hip a time to mend itself.

When he was asked about his plans for Wimbledon, he said, “It is my goal to play, but moving on the lawn is full of intense rallies and right now, I just had to make the decision to withdraw.”

Thiem moved into the semis with a Walkover. He is ranked seventh in the world and seems to be the hottest young professional in today’s game.

Today was Fitness Day at the tournament. While Kohlschreiber’s fitness isn’t an issue, after having performed on a tennis court for the past ten days, others’ fitness has to be questioned. Cramping and complaints have often been the bugaboo that has ended many a career prematurely. Today’s game requires more than a modicum of preparation to compete day after day.

A prime example of that necessity is thirty-four year-old Roger Federer. He has spent many years going far into tournament after tournament. He will be moving to the semi-final round after a match that ended with a 6-1, 7-6 score today. The match had its ups and downs after the first set seemed to point to an easy skate into the next round for the Swiss maestro. He faced David Goffin in the Match of the Day on center court. It was interesting to watch the player from Belgium skillfully dance away from any ball coming at what would have been his backhand. Goffin uses two hands in a motion that seems awkward and definitely not a natural response to balls that fly away from his forehand. However, in the Tie-Break in the second set, he utilized both his hands as he managed many a winner with those hands gripping the racquet handle. But the skill of Federer, who has a more fluid backhand, forehand and virtually every other feint, bob or weave that has led him to a career that has many pundits saying he is one of the best ever to play the game.

Tomorrow will be a showdown that begins at noon. Federer will face Alexander Zverev of Germany who has a game that has made it to the “You’ve got to see this young man play” stage and Dominic Thiem, the Austrian whiz kid, will face Florian Mayer, another German who defeated Andreas Seppi late today 7-6, 6-3.

Even though Kohlschreiber had to withdraw to nurse his aching hip, Germany will be well represented in tomorrow’s contests. Perhaps there will even be one in the final on Sunday.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Focus

Casper Ruud rallies from one set down to beat local star Matteo Berrettini in Rome quarter finals

Avatar

Published

on

Norway’s Casper Ruud came back from one set down to beat local favourite Matteo Berrettini 4-6 6-3 7-6 (7-5) after nearly 3 hours on the famous Nicola Pietrangeli Court reaching the first Masters 1000 of his career at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. 

 

Ruud has improved his win-loss record to 12-2 on clay this season after winning the Buenos Aires title and reaching the final in Santiago de Chile in last February’s Golden Swing last February. 

Ruud now leads 2-1 in his three head-to-head matches against Berrettini. The Scandinavian player player Berrettini at Roland Garros last year. Berrettini scored his only win over Ruud at the US Open this year. 

Ruud has improved on his father Christian’s record at Masters 1000 level. Christian reached his only quarter final at this level in Monte-Carlo in 1997. 

Berrettini broke serve after a double fault from Ruud on the break point in the first game. The 2019 US Open semifinal saved a total of three break points in the second, sixth and tenth games. Berrettini closed out the first set with a drop-shot on the set point and closed out the first set 6-4 with a forehand volley.

Ruud earned his first break in the second game of the second set to build up a 3-0 lead taking advantage of forehand errors from Berrettini. 

Berrettini saved a double break point with an ace at 2-5. Ruud held serve at love with a backhand error from Berrettini to close out the second set 6-3 forcing the match to the decider. Ruud converted his fourth break point in the first game to take a 1-0 lead with a forehand winner up the line. Berrettini broke back on his second chance in the sixth game to draw level to 3-3. Ruud came back from 2-4 down to win the tie-break 7-5 claiming his 17th win of the season. 

Continue Reading

Focus

Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal Hail Return Of Fans To Italian Open

The top two players on the ATP Tour give their reactions to the return of a crowd in Rome.

Avatar

Published

on

Tennis stars Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal have welcomed a government decision allowing fans to attend the Italian Open during its final two days.

 

On Friday Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora confirmed that 1000 people will be allowed to attend the event on both the semi-final and final days. A move the government minister describes as a ‘first but significant, step toward the return of normalcy in sports.’ Until now the tournament had been held behind closed doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic amid fears that allowing a crowd to attend the event may trigger an outbreak of the virus. As part of the conditions there will be rules in force concerning mask wearing, social distancing and reserve seating.

“If we are going to have 1,000 people, it’s better than no people for sure because we all miss the fans, and part of our professional careers in sport is playing in front of them,” Djokovic said following his third round win over Filip Krajinović.
“I’m really glad that that’s going to happen.” He added.

The Italian Open will be the first major tennis tournament on the men’s Tour to welcome fans since resuming after its five-month break due to the pandemic. Both the Western and Southern Open, as well as the US Open, were held behind closed doors. Meanwhile, at the upcoming French Open plans for 11,500 fans to attend the event daily has been more than halved to 5000 following a ruling from French officials.

“The situation is how it is. Very difficult and very unpredictable, so it is normal that things are changing quickly,” Nadal commented on the changes surrounding crowd capacities.
“It is normal that the people who have to make decisions, they do with the best precaution possible. I don’t expect easy decisions and I don’t expect things are prepared in advance because it’s difficult to know how the pandemic evolves during day situations.’
“Changes can change a lot. So if the situation is good enough, fantastic.”

When it comes to where the semi-finals and finals of the tournament could be played due to the admission of fans, world No.1 Djokovic is hoping officials will stick to the premier court. Arguing that it is ‘much better quality’ than the other courts at the Foro Italico.

“I heard also they are considering to use Pietrangeli or NextGen court for semi-finals and finals,” he said.
“I hope it’s not the case, because the quality of the clay and quality of the centre court is, in my opinion, much better than the other courts.”

In order for both Djokovic and Nadal to play in front of Italian fans they must both come through their quarter-final matches. Djokovic will play German qualifier Dominik Koepfer and Nadal locks horns with eighth seed Diego Schwartzman.

Continue Reading

ATP

Novak Djokovic Survives Krajinovic Battle To Seal Last Eight Berth In Rome

Novak Djokovic reached an 85th Masters 1000 Quarter-Final in Rome.

Avatar

Published

on

Novak Djokovic (@ATPTour - Twitter)

Novak Djokovic survived a tough battle in Rome to beat Filip Krajinovic 7-6(7) 6-3 to reach the last eight.

 

Although the World Number one got the victory, it was a tough battle as he fought his compatriot for a place in the Quarter-Finals.

Breaks were shared to start the match as Krajinovic brought his fearless game to the top seed.

Djokovic created a total of ten break points, with only one executed as Krajinovic saved two set points in the tenth game to hold for 5-5.

After two comfortable holds, a tiebreak settled the winner of the first set as Djokovic was having a hard time to contain Krajinovic’s power.

The world number one battled from 3-0 down to edge the tiebreak 9-7 and win the opening set in 88 minutes.

Once Djokovic had survived the Krajinovic stormed, he took control and went into another gear as a break of serve in the third game was all that was needed to seal his place in the quarter-finals.

Winning 47% of his 2nd return points was key as Djokovic reaches his 85th Masters 1000 Quarter-Final of his career.

Next for Djokovic will be either talented teen sensation Lorenzo Musetti or Dominik Koepfer.

In other results today, Denis Shapovalov and Grigor Dimitrov set a last eight showdown after tight three set wins.

Shapovalov edged out Ugo Humbert 6-7(5) 6-1 6-4 while Dimitrov defeated Jannik Sinner 4-6 6-4 6-4 in a tough match.

There were also third round wins for Casper Ruud and Matteo Berrettini.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending