Stan Wawrinka: "It's great to see Roger Federer back to his best level" - UBITENNIS
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Stan Wawrinka: “It’s great to see Roger Federer back to his best level”

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Stan Wawrinka beat Jo Wilfried Tsonga 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 6-3 to reach the semifinal at the Australian Open. He remains on course to win his second title in Melbourne three years after his first ever Grand Slam trophy.

“It’s not easy to play against Tsonga. The beginning of the match was quite tense from both sides. We were a little bit looking too much what the other will do, waiting a little bit the other to do something on the court. I think conditions were not easy. Conditions were quite fast today and it was a bit windy, flying a little bit. It was important to serve well. It was not easy to control. I started to move a bit better, to be a bit more aggressive from the first shot. I think that’s made the difference.”

Wawrinka won the most important points at this year’s Australian Open and this helped him win five consecutive tie-breaks.

“So far it’s been good but you never know what’s going to happen after. I think today was the best match of the tournament. I had great focus all the match. I found a way to break him a few time salso. I am really happy to get in the semifinal again. It’s a great result. I will enjoy tonight and get ready for the next one”

Wawrinka set up a blockbuster all-Swiss semifinal against Roger Federer, who beat Mish Zverev in straight sets.

“It’s going to be a great match. Last time I think I got killed in the US Open. He was playing way better than me, moving really well, really aggressive from the court. It’s going to be an interesting match. He is playing so well since the beginning of the tournament. He had a little bit some hesitation in the first two rounds, but since then he is really flying on the court. It’s great to see him back at this level. Hopefully I can manage to play a great match.”

Wawrinka feels more confident after winning three Grand Slam titles than when Federer was ahead of him in the ranking.

“I am more confident with myself. When I step on the court, it doesn’t matter who I play. I know what I have to do if I want to win. It’s always to play against Roger because he is so good. He is the best player of all time. He has answer for everything but I managed to beat him in a Grand Slam, so we’ll see. The most important thing is that I step on the court and I play my best tennis.”

Wawrinka has benefited from his successful relationship to Coach Magnus Norman, who has contributed to Stan’s Grand Slam titles and his rise in the ranking.

“I am really happy to have him in my team. I think he is not only an amazing coach but an amazing coach. For sure he found a way how to change my career. Since he arrived, I have won three Grand Slam titles, finished in top four for three years in a row. It’s always to have someone who can push your limit. I think I enjoy to have him here as a coach, as a friend. We have a lot of things hopefully for many more years. It’s great to be in the semifinal and see what I have done in the off-season. It was good work that I am feeling well on the court, that I am strong enough to beat some tough players and make another semifinal. I don’t want to stop here. It’s going to be a tough match.”

Federer leads 18-3 in his 21 head-to-head matches against Wawrinka and won their previous two matches in the US Open semifinals and in the semifinals of the ATP World Tour Finals in London in 2015. Wawrinka won for the last time against his compatriot in the quarter finals at 2015 Roland Garros.

“The match against Roger which stands out most is the final we played in Monaco. Winning a Masters 1000 title was something special, especially a few months after winning my first Grand Slam title. It was a tough final. It was three sets. I have great memories of this match. When I step on the court, it’s always something special because he is the best player because of everything he has done in his career, because the way he is playing, because he is Swiss, because he is a really close friend, because of everything we have been doing together, Davis Cup, Olympics. It’s always something special. The most important is that I try as much as I can to focus on myself, that I step on the court to try to win, to try to find a way to win the match”

After Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic were knocked out from the Australian Open, Wawrinka is one of the strongest favourites to win the first Grand Slam title of the season.

“For me being in the semifinal, if you look on the paper, it’s only two matches, but it’s really far from winning. I have been in the semifinal a few times. I lost them. I start to think about winning a Grand Slam title if I get to the final. That’s the only moment I start to think about the trophy”

 

 

 

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Sebastian Korda reaches his second semifinal of the season in s’Hertogenbosh

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Sebastian Korda beat Tommy Paul 6-4 6-2 in 67 minutes to reach his second ATP Tour semifinal of the season at Libema Open in s’Hertogenbosh. 

Korda hit 18 winners and won 84% of his first serve points. Korda earned his first break in the third game of the first set to take a 2-1 lead. Paul broke straight back in the sixth game to draw level to 3-3. Korda broke for the second time in the seventh game to win the first set 6-4. Korda broke twice in the third and seventh game to close out the second set 6-2. 

Korda has improved his head-to-head record against Paul to 4-1. 

Korda reached the semifinal on grass at Queen’s in 2023. The US player is is aiming to win his first ATP Tour title since 2021, when he won in Parma on clay. 

Korda set up a semifinal clash against defending champion Tallon Griekspoor, who ccame back from one set down to beat Alexandar Vukic 4-6 6-3 7-6 (7-3). Griekspoor has won his past eight matches at this tournament. 

Vukic broke in the ninth game to win the first set 6-4. Griekspoor earned his first break in the sixth game of the second set to win the second set 6-3. The third set went on serve with no breaks en route to the tie-break. Griekspoor earned two mini-breaks to open up a 4-1 lead in the tie-break. Vukic pulled one of the two mini-breaks, but Griekspoor held on his serve and sealed the tie-break on his first match point.

“I am very happy to be through. It was a very tough match once again. I think Alexandar played unbelievable grass court tennis, so it was not easy and I am very happy to find my way in the third set. I am enjoying the crowd, the atmosphere and the whole tournament”, said Korda. 

Alex De Minaur beat Milos Raonic7-5 6-2 in 1 hour and 26 minutes. De Minaur has improved to 3-0 in his head-to-head matches against Raonic, who was playing in just his fourth tournament of he year.

De Minaur earned his first break in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead. Raonic broke straight back to draw level to 3-3. De Minaur broke for the second time in the 11th game and served out on his first set point after saving three break points in the 12th game. De Minaur broke twice in the fifth and seventh games to win the second set 6-2. 

De Minaur is aiming to win the second title of his career on career following his win in Eastbourne in 2021.  

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Emma Raducanu Confident Of Full Fitness Ahead Of Grass Swing

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Emma Raducanu - Cincinnati 2022 (foto Twitter @cincytennis)

Emma Raducanu has no regrets about her decision to skip the French Open and now believes she is in a ‘really fit place’ ahead of Wimbledon. 

The former US Open champion opted to end her clay season earlier than other players to focus on fitness and training with her coach. Raducanu stated earlier this year that her primary focus in 2024 is on her health after undergoing a series of wrist and ankle surgeries last year which sidelined her for months. 

Raducanu will return to action this week at the Nottingham Open, which is the event where she made her WTA main draw debut back in 2021. Despite her lack of match play in recent weeks, the Brit is feeling good and relishing her return to the grass.

“Body-wise, physical-wise, I feel really healthy,” she said on Monday.
“I’ve done amazing work with my trainer over the last few months, since surgery. I’m in a really fit place. I’m healthy and just looking forward to starting playing.”

Shedding more light on her health, Raducanu says she has full confidence in her wrists and believes they are in top condition. Making her feel more at ease when playing matches on the Tour. 

“I think my wrists are actually in a better position than they ever were. So there’s zero doubt or apprehension whether I’m hitting the ball or designing my schedule,” she explained.
“It’s more about being proactive and not wanting to put yourself in any unnecessary situations. I don’t need to rush and try to win the French Open, it wasn’t my goal this year.
“I had to prioritise where I wanted to target and it was just a good block for me to get some physical work done.”

Raducanu has played seven WTA events so far this season with her best run being to the quarter-finals of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, where she was beaten by world No.1 Iga Swiatek. The 21-year-old is currently ranked 209th in the world. 

At the Nottingham Open, she will play her first match on Tuesday against Japanese qualifier Ena Shibahara. 

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Jack Draper Wins In Stuttgart, Potentially Faces Andy Murray in Round Two

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Jack Draper – ATP Monaco di Baviera 2024 (foto via Twitter @atptour)

Britain’s Jack Draper tight first round win headlined the opening day’s results at the Boss Open 2024 in Stuttgart – and possibly faces a second-round match with Andy Murray who takes on Marcos Giron tomorrow.

Less than 24 hours from the last ball being hit at Roland Garros, the ATP Tour had already switched surfaces onto the grass, and 22-year-old Draper was well tested but ultimately came through in two tie-breakers over Sebastian Ofner.

The sixth seed’s 7-6, 7-6 win contained just one break of serve each, both coming in the second set, as serve dominated proceedings on the faster grass courts in Germany.

While the Austrian won 75% on his first serve, Draper won a whopping 89% behind his first delivery as well as hitting eight aces. These kind of service stats will surely take him far during the grass court season.

“I thought it was a really good match,” Eurosport quoted Draper saying after his match. 
“Both of us played really clean tennis, executing really well.
“When it came down to it, I’m glad I competed really well and got over the line – it’s good to be back on the grass as well.”

There were also wins for Germany’s Yannick Hanfmann who won 6-3, 6-3 over wildcard Henri Squire, while compatriot Dominik Koepfer won in three sets over China’s Zhizhen Zhang 4-6, 7-6, 7-6. 

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