Roger Federer: "I don't feel too much I deserved to win" - UBITENNIS
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Roger Federer: “I don’t feel too much I deserved to win”

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Roger Federer battled past Tomas Berdych 6-2 3-6 7-6 (8-6) to reach the semifinals in Miami after saving two match points in the decisive third set.

“I think then I maybe let Tomas back into the match as well just a bit. He started to play bigger and better. I thought I played a pretty good third set to get the lead, and then I just played a shocker of a game to get broken. I didn’t see, somehow I lost a ball on the first point, then made a double fault, and then at Love-30 things are just complicated. Plus it was against the wind, so it was a very disappointing game for me. I tried to stay positive. I got a match point after that on the return where he went big on the second serve. Credit to him for just going for it. It was nice to see that you can do that. Then in the breaker I got incredibly lucky. I showed great heart today. It could have gone either way. I felt like maybe this one I should have lost and maybe I should have won the one against him here in the night session years ago. But that’s how it goes. I am happy I fought hard and somehow got it done today. The crowd were absolutely great.”

Federer served for the match at 5-3 in the third set, but Berdych broke serve to love. The Czech player fended off a match point at 4-5 in the third set to force the match to the tie-break.

Berdych took a 6-4 lead in the tie-break to earn two match points. Federer saved both opportunities. Federer hit an ace to earn his second match point and sealed the win, as Berdych made a double fault at 6-7. The Swiss Maestro had not saved two match points en route to clinching a match win since fending off three opportunities in his win over Marin Cilic in the 2016 Wimbledon quarter final where he fought back from two sets down.

“I don’t feel like I deserved it too much, a double fault at that moment. I guess he was playing on the edge. I guess I like to see that he went out and went for it and kept believing until the very end. Maybe overcooked the last one unfortunately for him. I was totally surprised. I was ready for either a big serve to the forehand again or just something to the backhand. When it went out I was like. Are you serious ? It’s over. Okay. Of my God. That was really lucky. That was a strange moment. Totally unexpected. I guess you get better over time handling pressure. You have to be careful as you grow older not to play too conservative when it matters. You start playing percentages way too much when you get older because you have seen too many times what can happen. Sometimes when you have that young mind you just go for it and that’s when actually great things do happen. You just got to play committed tennis. It’s always a balance between playing the percentages yet play free and sort of young in the mind”.

Federer will take on Nick Kyrgios in the semifinal. The young Australian player beat Alexander Zverev in three sets in a clash between two Next Gen players. Kyrgios beat Federer in a third-set tie-break in their only head-to-head match in Madrid in 2015.

“Both Kyrgios and Zverev are great players. Both like the big stage. Both have a big serve. Both have real nice backhand and the belief, so that makes them just very tough to play, you know in any given match. I like their game and I think they are going to be very good players moving forward. They already are, but I am talking big picture.”.

 

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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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