ATP Halle: Roger Federer Through, Russian #NextGen Quarterfinal Awaited - UBITENNIS
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ATP Halle: Roger Federer Through, Russian #NextGen Quarterfinal Awaited

Day 4 at the Gerry Weber Open in Halle set the top half quarterfinals, including the No. 1 seed Roger Federer!

Jakub Bobro

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The headlining match of the day was last on Stadion, between 1st seed Roger Federer and the No. 29 ranked German Mischa Zverev. The match was very high quality, both players net rushing and providing entertaining grass court tennis. There was a funny moment in the first set when Federer thought he hit a winner so he let out a shout resembling a “come on”, but Zverev lobbed the ball back. It was a set point for Federer, and the point was replayed. Federer had several break/set points at 5-4, but Zverev prevailed, and it almost seemed like he would reciprocate as Federer went down 15-30 on his serve. The first set went into a tiebreak and after trading a mini-break each, Zverev was serving at 4-5. Federer powered through the two points and took the first set in a tiebreak, 7-4. Both players focused on their service games in the second sets, with no games going to deuce. In typical Federer fashion, the Swiss was conserving energy and waiting for Mischa Zverev to make the mistake. Federer got his chance at 4-4, broke serve, and won the match 7-6(4) 6-4. The legendary Swiss beat Mischa Zverev 6-0 6-0 in 2013 in quarterfinals of Halle, which proves Zverev’s improvement since then. Federer next faces defending champion Florian Mayer in the quarterfinals. The Swiss leads the head-to-head 7-0, including 3 previous wins over Mayer in Halle in 2005, 2012 and 2015.

 

Day 4 in Halle Westfalen was kicked off by a match between the 3rd seed Kei Nishikori and the 21-year-old Karen Khachanov, No. 3 in the #NextGen Race to Milan. Khachanov stands at 198 cm, and is generally a power player, giving him a solid chance at the upset over Nishikori, who prefers slower surfaces. Khachanov was the one to advance to the quarterfinals, but not based on his skill. Nishikori started to have problems with his left hip at 2-2, took a medical timeout. He seemed to be in a lot of pain while receiving the treatment, and after a couple of points, Nishikori retired from the match. Khachanov’s quarterfinal opponent is a fellow Russian #NextGen player, the 19-year-old Andrey Rublev. It was Nishikori’s first retirement, but the Japanese player is known for being rather frail and injury-prone. It is very unlucky for Nishikori to get injured so close to Wimbledon, and he has to hope that he will be fit by then.

Andrey Rublev faced a fellow Russian from a different generation in the second round, Mikhail Youzhny. Rublev upset 8th seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas in his opener, while Mikhail Youzhny beat s-Hertogenbosch finalist Ivo Karlovic in straight sets. Rublev started the set in a very dominant fashion, taking the opening set 6-0. Youzhny wasn’t giving up and broke for 4-2 in the second set. When serving out the set at 5-3, Youzhny turned away 3 break points and finally used the set point No. 4. The final set was more straightforward with only one game going to deuce. Rublev broke for 2-0, and both players held on to their serves, so Andrey Rublev won 6-0 3-6 6-3. Rublev has now broken the Top 100, the live ranking puts him at No. 91. With a win over Khachanov, the 19-year-old could move to Top 75. Rublev and Khachanov have never faced each other before, not even the junior circuit because of their 2-year difference, and this Russian derby will be one to follow for years to come.

Home crowd favorite and defending champion Florian Mayer also marches on to the quarterfinals. The German has had a lackluster year thus far, entering Halle with a win/loss record of 2-11. Things looked even worse after the 33-year-old lost to Jeremy Chardy in the opening round of Stuttgart. The 500 points Mayer won in Halle last year provided the majority of his points, and after they all dropped on Monday, Mayer’s ranking was in free fall. From No. 51, Mayer dropped by 83 places to No. 134. Wins over Paire and Pouille are his first main tour back-to-back wins since the Halle title last year. Reaching the quarterfinals now puts him at No. 109, still a long way from his initial ranking. In this match against Pouille, Mayer won 6-7(6) 6-4 6-3. The ending of the opening set was quite dramatic, with Pouille pulling off a 194 km/h second serve at 6-6, at Mayer foot faulting at set point for Pouille. Mayer was very dominant on serve in the other two sets and picked spots to break when Pouille was vulnerable. The German won 82% of points after the 1st serve and finally came back to win a match from set down for the first time this year. Pouille stayed true to his great tiebreak record and improved it to 81%, while Mayer won only 9% of tiebreaks this year. The biggest key to Pouille’s demise were the 52 unforced errors.

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Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beats Lorenzo Sonego to advance to the second round in Antwerp

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Jo-Wilfried Tsonga broke once in each set in his 6-3 6-4 win in his 6-3 6-4 win over Lorenzo Sonego after 1 hour and 20 minutes improving his win-loss record over the Italian player to 2-0.

 

Tsonga got the first break at 15 in the fourth game and never looked back to win the opening set 6-3 after 31 minutes.

Sonego earned his only break in the fourth game of the second set, but Tsonga saved it before earning the decisive break. The Frenchman held on his service games to take the second set 6-4.

Tsonga will face either Gilles Simon or Steve Darcis in the second round.

Guido Pella fought back from one set down to beat Peter Gojowczyk 5-7 6-4 7-6 (7-2) setting up a second round match against either Richard Gasquet or Soonwoon Kwon from South Korean Soonwoo Kwon.

Tipsarevic beats Moutet in Stockolm

 Serbia’s Janko Tipsarevic broke serve four times in his 6-2 6-4 win over Corentin Moutet in 73 minutes. Tipsarevic, who will retire at the end of the season, will take on top seed Fabio Fognini. Tipsarevic went up a 3-0 lead with a double break. Moutet pulled back a break in the fourth game, but Tipsarevic broke for the third game to clinch the first set 6-2. Tipsarevic converted his third break point chance in the seventh game and held his final two service games to win the second set 6-4.

Great Britain’s Daniel Evans battled past Bernard Tomic 6-4 1-6 6-3 setting up a second round match against either Casper Ruud or Filip Krajinovic.

Italy’s Stefano Travaglia stunned US giant Reilly Opelka 7-5 4-6 6-4 securing his spot in the second round, where he will face either Yuichi Sugita from Japan or Elias Yimer from Sweden. Opelka had to save a break point in the first game with five aces. Both players went on serve until the 11th game when Travaglia got the break before serving out for the set at love. Travaglia saved a break point at 4-5 15-40 but Opelka converted his second chance to seal the second set 6-4. Travaglia got the decisive break in the ninth game and sealed the win on his first match point.

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Andreas Seppi fends off two match points to beat Christian Garin in Moscow

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Italian veteran Andreas Seppi came back from one set down to beat Chile’s Christian Garin 3-6 7-6 (7-2) 7-6 (7-4) in 2 hours and 45 minutes at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow.

 

Garin broke serve twice in the second and ninth games to win the opening set 6-3.  Seppi converted his second break point chance in the first game of the second set, but he wasted two break points at 5-4 and dropped his serve. Seppi saved two match points in the 12th game at 5-6 15-40 in the second set before winning the tie-break 7-2.

Garin broke serve in the fifth game to open up a 4-2 lead. Seppi broke straight back to draw level to 4-4, but he did not convert four match points at 6-5. Seppi won five of the final six points in the tie-break of the third set to close out the match.

Czech qualifier Lukas Rosol fended off two match points to beat Argentina’s Juan Ignacio Londero 6-7 (4-7) 7-6 (9-7) 6-3. Rosol came back from 4-6 in the tie-break of the second set by winning five of the next six points. The Czech player broke serve in the eighth game to win the third set 6-3.

Adrian Mannarino edged past Damir Dzumhur 7-6 (7-2) 6-0 to improve his record in their head-to-head matches to 3-1. Dzumhur got the first break of the match in the opening game. Mannarino broke back in the sixth game to draw level to 3-3. Dzumhur broke serve for the second time to take a 4-3 lead. Mannarino pulled the break back in the 10th game to draw level to 5-5 before winning the tie-break 7-2. The Frenchman cruised through to a 6-0 win in the third set with three consecutive breaks.

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Daniil Medvedev Dismantles Zverev To Win Shanghai Masters

It was another clinical performance from one of the sports rising stars.

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World No.4 Daniil Medvedev has continued his unbeaten streak since the US Open after disposing of Germany’s Alexander Zverev in straight sets to win the Shanghai Masters.

 

The 23-year-old, who hasn’t lost a set in his past nine matches, brushed aside his hot and cold opponent 6-4, 6-1, to add to his rapidly rising trophy tally. Medvedev has now won three out of the last four ATP tournaments he has played in. Including two at Masters level. In his latest conquest, he hit 19 winners to 14 unforced errors and saved four out of the five break points he faced.

“This win is also amazing because I think Shanghai is one of the most prestigious Masters events on the tour.” Medvedev told TennisTV. “Especially over the last 10 years with only three players managing to win this.”
“It’s really special to have my photo out in the corridor for many years.” He added.

The clash in Shanghai was somewhat of an historic occasion. For the first time since 2009 two finalists of a Masters 1000 event are under the age of 24. Medvedev was contesting his sixth consecutive final in what has been a sensational second half of the year for him. Meanwhile, Zverev was bidding to win his biggest title since his triumph at the ATP Finals almost 12 months ago.

Billed as a meeting between two players who could take over the reign when the Big Three retire from the sport, it was Russia’s Medvedev who got off to a better start. Breaking the Zverev serve immediately with the help of a backhand drop shot as he eased to a 3-0 lead. However, Zverev managed to regain his focus with an elevation in his game to fight back and draw level at 3-3. Paving way for what was a tightly contested opener. Only a couple shots separated the two and they were a duo of costly errors from Zverev at the worst possible time. Serving at 4-5 30-30, back-to-back double faults from the fifth seed cost him the opening set. Moving Medvedev closer to his second Masters title.

The US Open finalist continued to weather the storm with the help of more errors from across the court. Two games into the second set, a seemingly straightforward Zverev service game collapsed as he lost five straight points after leading 40-0. Rewarding Medvedev another break in the match. Firmly in control of the final, he breezed towards the finish line with little difficulty as his rival grew more frustrated. Serving for the title, Medvedev clinched victory on his first match point with an ace down the line. Although he was rather blasé when it came to his celebration.

“I said that during the US Open, it was going to be my thing because everybody was talking about that they need new guys and something new. So I gave them something new. I don’t celebrate my wins. I just stay calm, do my job and done.” Explained Medvedev.

The world No.4 has now won 59 matches on the ATP Tour this season. Which is 11 more than his nearest opponent (Novak Djokovic has 48 wins). Eight out of his nine wins over top 10 players have taken place over the last six months. He has now overtaken Roger Federer into third place in the ATP Race to London.

“I said yesterday after my victory you’re probably the best player in the world right now. How you’re playing is unbelievable and I wish you nothing but the best.” Zverev said to Medvedev during the trophy ceremony.

Sunday’s win is Medvedev’s first over Zverev after losing to him on four previous occasions. He exits Shanghai with 1000 ranking points and $1,374,995 in prize money.

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