Roger Federer Eases His Way Past Steve Johnson At Wimbledon - UBITENNIS
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Roger Federer Eases His Way Past Steve Johnson At Wimbledon

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Roger Federer reacts during his Men’s Singles fourth round match against Steve Johnson at Wimbledon. (image via zimbio.com)

Roger Federer has raced to the quarter-finals of the Wimbledon Championships after dismissing America’s Steve Johnson 6-2, 6-3, 7-5.

Playing in his 15th Wimbledon fourth round, Federer had a tough matchup against an inform Johnson, who had an eight-match winning streak on the grass after winning his first ATP title in Nottingham. The unseeded American also had the best preparation for the showdown with a win over Grigor Dimitrov, a player who has earned the nickname ‘Baby Fed’ for the similarity in his playing style to the Swiss player.

Regardless of Johnson’s momentum, Federer was a player in a superior class compared to the underdog. Fending off a duo of break points at the start of the match, the third seed launched his first attack in the sixth game when a speedy backhand forced the American to produce an error at the net, gifting him a 4-2 lead in the opening set. Federer’s surge continued when he fiercely returned a Johnson serve to grab his first set point. The 28-minute set ended when a lengthy exchanged between both players finished with a Johnson error.

Signs of knee issues or back problems was nowhere to be seen as the 34-year-old continued to dictate play beyond the first set. Repeating the start of the match, another fast forehand return from the baseline by the Swiss player triggered another Johnson error at the net, extending Federer’s lead to a set and a break. Johnson did occasionally produce glimmers of his best tennis, but it was still not enough to have any impact on the match. Easing to a two-set lead, Federer fired an ace out wide to edge closer towards the finish line.

Federer was the first seed to play Johnson in this year’s tournament. The win was inevitable, but the American remained resilient throughout the third set. A series of blistering forehand winners gave the world No.29 his first break in the match before it was retrieved immediately by Federer. Moving closer towards a tiebreak, Federer struck once against at 5-5 by breaking for a chance to serve the match out. Handing his final blow to the unseeded American, Federer sealed the victory with an ace down the line.

“I was very happy with how I played and I don’t think it was as easy as it looked.” Federer said during an interview with the BBC.
“I thought Steve picked up some confidence over the past few weeks and you could really see that. He’s got a nice game for grass, nice serve, nice slice.”

Federer sealed his straight sets triumph with the help of six aces and 35 winners. He will now enter the quarter-finals without losing a set, a massive confidence boost for the seven-time champion following his injury-stricken start to the year.

 “I would never have thought that I was going to win the first four matches in straight sets, I’m extremely pleased.” Federer said.

In the last eight he will play Marin Cilic. Cilic reached his third consecutive SW19 quarter-final after his opponent Kei Nishikori retired due to injury. It will be the first meeting between the two since the Croat stunned Federer in the semifinals of the US Open.

“Cilic lies ahead, he brushed me off the court like I was nothing at the US Open a couple years ago.” The 34-year-old recalled.
“I hope to get him back this time. He’s a super guy and it will be a tough match.

The world No.3 is now just three wins away from becoming the oldest Wimbledon men’s champion in the Open Era.

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Wrist Injury Threatening To End Holger Rune’s Olympic Dream

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Holger Rune will have a second medical opinion on Monday before deciding if he is fit enough to play at the Olympic Games, according to his team. 

The Danish world No.17 recently retired from his quarter-final match at the Hamburg Open due to a knee injury. The hope at the time was that his withdrawal would be just a precautionary measure ahead of the Olympics. However, he is also dealing with a second issue that appears to be more serious.

According to TV 2 Sport, Rune has been struggling with a wrist issue and underwent a scan on Sunday which his mother Aneke says ‘doesn’t look promising.’ Aneke is also the manager of her son’s career. Rune’s Olympic dreams now rest on the outcome of a second medical expert that he will visit tomorrow who has a better understanding of the sport. 

“Unfortunately, it does not look promising after the first medical opinion after the review of the scan of the wrist,” Aneke Rune told TV 2 Sport.

“We are waiting for two tennis-specific doctors who will give a second opinion tomorrow (Monday). Tennis wrists look different from regular wrists, so we’ll hold out hope for one more day.” 

Rune is one of three Danish players entered into the Olympic tennis event along with Caroline Wozniacki and Clara Tauson. The country has only won one medal in tennis before which was at the 1912 Games when Sofie Castenschiold won silver in the women’s indoor singles event. 

So far this season, the 21-year-old has won 27 matches on the Tour but is yet to claim a title. He reached the final of the Brisbane International and then the semi-finals of three more events. In the Grand Slams, he made it to the fourth round of the French Open and Wimbledon. 

It is not known when a final decision regarding Rune’s participation in Paris will be made.

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Hubert Hurkacz Undergoes ‘Knee Procedure’ Ahead of Olympic Bid

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Poland’s top player on the ATP Tour is not giving up on his dream of winning a medal at the Olympic Games despite recently undergoing a medical procedure.

World No.7 Hubert Hurkacz suffered a knee injury during his second round clash at Wimbledon against France’s Arthur Fils. In the fourth set tiebreak of their clash, Hurkacz dived for a shot but landed badly on his knee and required on-court medical attention. He then played two more points before retiring from the match. 

In a social media post published on Wednesday, the  27-year-old confirmed he underwent a procedure on his knee earlier this week but didn’t provide any further details.  Although Hurkacz has stated his intention to play at the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris, where the tennis event will be held on the clay at Roland Garros. 

“I had a knee procedure this Monday, but I’m feeling better already and my team and are dedicating extensive time each day to the rehab process.” He wrote on Instagram. 

“It’s a dream for every athlete to represent their country at the Olympics, and I want to make sure I am fully fit and ready before making the final decision to step on court. The aim is not only to participate, but to win a medal for my country.”

So far this season Hurkacz has won 34 out of 48 matches played on the Tour. He won the Estoril Open in April and was runner-up to Jannik Sinner in Halle. 

The Olympic tennis event is scheduled to begin a week Saturday on July 27th. Poland is yet to win a medal in the event but expectations are high with women’s No.1 Iga Swiatek also taking part. 

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Motivation, Pressure And Expectations – Novak Djokovic Targets History At Wimbledon

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image via x.com/wimbledon

Novak Djokovic has broken numerous records throughout his career but he still feels the pressure of trying to make history in the sport. 

The world No.2 is through to his 10th Wimbledon final where he will play Carlos Alcaraz, who beat him at this stage of the tournament 12 months ago. There is plenty on the line for the Serbian who could equal Roger Federer’s record for most men’s titles won at SW19 and break the overall record for most major singles won in the sport if he triumphs over the Spaniard. Djokovic currently has 24 Grand Slam trophies to his name which is the same as Margaret Court, who won some of her titles before the Open Era started. 

“Obviously I’m aware that Roger [Federer] holds eight Wimbledons. I hold seven. History is on the line.” Djokovic said on Friday after beating Lorenzo Musetti.

“Also, the 25th potential Grand Slam. Of course, it serves as a great motivation, but at the same time it’s also a lot of pressure and expectations.”

Coming into Wimbledon, there had been doubts over Djokovic’s form after he underwent surgery to treat a knee injury he suffered at the French Open. However, he has defied the odds to reach the final. His run has also seen him beat Alexi Popyrin and Holger Rune before getting a walkover in the quarter-finals from Alex de Minaur, who sustained an injury during the tournament. Then on Friday, he overcame a spirited Musetti in three sets. 

Despite the challenge, Djokovic has insisted that his expectations to do well are always high no matter what the situation is. During what has been a roller-coaster first six months of the season, he is yet to win a title this year or beat a player currently ranked in the top 10. Although he will achieve both of these if her beats Alcaraz on Sunday. 

“Every time I step out on the court now, even though I’m 37 and competing with the 21-year-olds, I still expect myself to win most of the matches, and people expect me to win, whatever, 99% of the matches that I play.” He said.

“I always have to come out on the court and perform my best in order to still be at the level with Carlos [Alcaraz] or Jannik [Sinner] or Sascha [Zverev] or any of those guys, Daniil [Medvedev]. 

“This year hasn’t been that successful for me. It’s probably the weakest results the first six months I’ve had in many years. That’s okay. I had to adapt and accept that and really try to find also way out from the injury that I had and kind of regroup.”

Djokovic hopes that a Wimbledon win will help turn his season around like it has done in the past for him. 

“Wimbledon historically there’s been seasons where I wasn’t maybe playing at a desired level, but then I would win a Wimbledon title and then things would change.” He commented.

“For example, that was the case in 2018 when I had elbow surgery earlier in the year, dropped my rankings out of top 20, losing in fourth round of Australian Open, I think it was quarters of Roland-Garros, and just not playing the tennis that I want to play. Then I won Wimbledon and then won US Open and then later on became No.1 very soon.”

Meanwhile, 21-year-old Alcaraz is hoping to stop Djokovic in his tracks. Should he defend his title at Wimbledon, he would become the first player outside the Big Three to do so since Pete Sampras more than 20 years ago. He has won their only previous meeting on the grass but trails their head-to-head 3-2. 

“I’m sure he knows what he has to do to beat me,” said Alcaraz.

“But I’m ready to take that challenge and I’m ready to do it well.”

When the two players take to the court to play in the Wimbledon final, Djokovic will be 15 years and 348 days older than Alcaraz. Making it the largest age gap in a men’s Grand Slam final since the 1974 US Open. Whoever is victorious will receive £2,700,000 in prize money. 

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