Roger Federer Champion At Gerry Weber Open - UBITENNIS
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Roger Federer Champion At Gerry Weber Open



Federer won a record ninth title in Halle (

By Cheryl Jones


Roger Federer still has it. Sunday, in the singles final at the Gerry Weber Open, he faced a young German who has really shown promise – Alexander Zverev. In a mere 53 minutes, it was apparent that Federer had studied the shot making capabilities of Zverev and he then capitalized on the chinks in the young man’s game. There was consistency in Federer’s shots from the moment the first ball passed over the net. The Swiss maestro was on fire!

On paper, it seemed as if the twenty-year-old lanky young German could be a match for the seasoned Federer who is thirty-five. For example, before the final, the tournament tallies revealed that Zverev served 47 aces to Federer’s 27. Zverev had 69% of his first serves land where they were supposed to land and he then won 86% of the points associated with them. Federer had 63% of his first serves fall on target and he won 81% of those points. Actually, all the way around, it was an almost even comparison of statistics. But that didn’t matter in the long run. As with any sport, the only thing that does matter is the final numbers on the scoreboard. When the clock made its final tick of the match, the score was 6-1, 6-3 and it gave the Swiss maestro his ninth win at the Gerry Weber Open.

A few years ago, it seemed as if Federer’s game was faltering when he had to deal with a spate of maladies that included back and knee problems.  He began 2017 with an unheard of win at the Australian Open where he won his 18th Grand Slam title. (It also gave him the distinction of being the second oldest Slam champ of the Open Era. Ken Rosewall is still the reigning oldster with wins at the 1970 US Open and the 1971-72 Australian Open.) Soon after Australia, Federer won a couple of ATP 1000 events to backup his phenomenal return to competitive tennis – BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells and the Miami Open Presented by ITAÙ. (He chose to skip Roland Garros to work on his grass court expertise.)

It was the fifth game of the first set before Zverev managed to chalk up his first winning game. Federer was masterful in his inclusion of numerous drop shots that forced Zverev to abandon his baseline stance where in the past he has contended with issues concerning the success of his returns. It was definitely an issue in his earlier matches in Halle. It’s as if he cannot make his lengthy frame follow his legs toward the ball, let alone have the ability to then make contact with it. (One of my sons is the same height as Zverev and even though he is much older, there was a lanky stage in his development until his body filled in the lines that his skeleton had provided.) Today, he was no match for the man whom many claim to be the greatest tennis player, ever.

The Gerry Weber Open was celebrating its twenty-fifth anniversary. (That’s the Silver one according to those who keep track of that sort of thing.) It might just be that the silver this time out could be the equal to gold for the tournament and for Federer who has often gone on from Halle to take the Wimbledon title, too. That could make eight titles there, just one behind his now nine here at the Gerry Weber Open. But, that is only speculation.

The audience who had filled every useable seat in the arena watched a masterful tennis exhibition the likes of which won’t be duplicated any time soon. Federer is always gracious beyond compare. He blazed through a young man’s game that has the promise of much more than a ho-hum career. Zverev slipped on the grass near the net in the third game of the second set. Federer made sure his opponent was not injured and as soon as the German had regained his bearings the match moved on without a complaint or a glitch of any ilk from either player.

After the match, Zverev said, “I think Roger is playing really, really well. I think going into Wimbledon he’s going to be probably the favorite to win the whole thing. So, credits to him. He played an unbelievable match. Of course, I could have played better but he didn’t really let me play my best tennis. He mixed with the ball a lot. He played very aggressive. I think he deserved to win.” There are those who can predict greatness in the making and if they had spoken to Zverev today after the match, they may have offered a prediction that put ditto marks under a long ago guesstimate for Roger Federer’s career. Wimbledon is waiting to welcome Federer and Zverev and, as always they are hoping the best man will win.

For those lucky enough to have followed the career of a young fellow from Switzerland there was satisfaction today that was almost personal. Greatness isn’t an anomaly that ebbs and flows with the tide. With Federer, it is a part of who he is. It is almost as if his heart is buoyed by the hearts of those who admire his tennis prowess as well as his magnanimous persona. It’s a package that many strive for, but few in life are ever granted the possession of.

The Gerry Weber Open had a winner today. But with Roger Federer’s victory, the entire community that surrounds Halle won. Federer’s ninth victory on the final Sunday of the Gerry Weber Open not only awarded him another trophy, but it underscored the hope of those that follow tennis intently that the best is yet to come.


ATP RANKINGS UPDATE: Novak Djokovic, No.1 once more



After the US Open the Serbian champion reclaims top spot. Alexander Zverev is back in the Top 10


By Roberto Ferri

Don’t ever underestimate the heart of a champion”

Rudy Tomjanovich coined this maxim just after his Houston Rockets won the NBA championship in 1995. He was paying homage to Akeem Holajuwon. It perfectly suits the heart of Daniil Medvedev, who proved 99% of tennis fans in the world to be wrong, convinced as they were that he would lose the semifinal to former No 1 Carlos Alcaraz.

But his dream to win a second US Open, after his triumph in 2021, was shattered by another champion, whose heart and class is even greater: that’s Novak Djokovic, who affixes his seal on his return to No.1, equalling Margaret Court Smith’s record of 24 majors.

Djokovic dethroning Alcaraz is not the only change in the top 20: Sascha Zverev is back in the top 10 after almost one year and Ben Shelton, great protagonist of the Us Open, debuts in the top 20 best players in the world.

TOP 20

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A few comments:

Stefanos Tsitsipas, Andrei Rublev and Alexander Zverev gain 2 positions.

Ben Shelton devours 28 positions.

Sinner, Tiafoe, Norrie and Dimitrov lose one.

Casper Ruud and Karen Khachanov, runner up and semi-finalist respectively  at the 2022 US  Open, drop 4 positions.

One step forward for Fritz, de Minaur, Paul, Auger-Aliassime and Hurkacz.


From 12 to 19 November the 8 best players of the ranking based on the points earned in the ongoing solar season will be playing the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin.

Will Novak Djokovic succeed in winning a second straight title? He appears to be heading in the right direction.


Thanks to his triumph at the US Open the Serbian overtakes Alcaraz also in the Race to Turin.

Jannik Sinner holds fourth spot while Andrei Rublev overtakes Stefanos Tsitsipas and is now fifth.

The eighth position is occupied by Alexander Zverev.

Last year runner up, Casper Ruud is currently 10th. This means he would feature in Turin as a reserve.


The Next Gen Finals, dedicated to the best under 21s, (8 effectives and 2 reserves) of the season will take place this year in Gedda, Saudi Arabia.

The 2022 winner, Brandon Nakashima, will not be defending his title, since he was born in 2001.

PositionPlayerCountryPtsYOB ATP rank
6Van AsscheFrance597200469
12Llamas RuizSpain3702002133

Taking for granted that Alcaraz and, most likely Rune, will be playing the ATP Finals, we have included in the chart the 12 current top under 21s.


Besides Ben Shelton, other 11 players have achieved their career highest this week.

We tribute a double applause to the four players who are making their debut in the top 100.

The 25-year-old Croatian Borna Gojo, 22-year-old Australian Rinky Hijkata and the Swiss next gen Dominic Stricker all reap the reward for their brilliant runs at the US Open. Seyboth Wild, the Brazilian who stunned Medvedev in the first round of Roland Garros leaps to No.76 after winning the Challenger in Como last week.

Seyboth Wild76Brazil30

Translated by Kingsley Elliot Kaye

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COMMENT: Novak Djokovic Proves His Greatness At US Open



Love him, or hate him. But respect him.


No tennis player has ever been better than Novak Djokovic.

Even Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer have to take their hats off to Novak, and admire him.

Now that Rafa and Roger have left Djokovic on his own stage at least for now, tennis fans love Novak.


Djokovic’s performance on Sunday evening in the U.S. Open final was simply amazing. Daniil Medvedev also played his heart out, but Djokovic went one step further. He was sensational.

It was a thrill-a-minute three-set match. It lasted well into the night after starting at mid-afternoon. The second set alone lasted 104 minutes.

Djokovic was the winner, 6-3, 7-6 (5), 6-3, but New York still loves 2021 champion Medvedev.


At 36, the oldest U.S. Open men’s champion ever, Djokovic obviously has a special place in his heart for the number four. It’s the number of times he has won this tournament and the 24th time he has won a Grand Slam title.

The number 24 also was displayed prominently on the white jacket. Novak, his team members and family wore for the victory celebration as a tribute to the No. 24 jersey of deceased friend Kobe Bryant.

Djokovic lost his footing at least three times in the tight second set, stumbling to the surface once, apparently due to the length of the rallies.

Djokovic could look like he was almost completely wiped out of it physically one minute, and then play like Superman the next minute.


Both men played great tennis, especially in the thrill-a-second second set in which Medvedev gained one set point in the 12th game before Djokovic recovered to force a tiebreaker.

Medvedev appeared to be in charge after out-playing Novak to win one of his drop shots to take a 5-4 lead in the tiebreaker. The match may have been decided on the next three points, all won by Djokovic on errors by the 6-6 Russian.

The big question now is what happens next January in the Australian Open. Right now, Djokovic probably wants to play . . . and win what has been his favorite tournament as far as success. But things can change quickly for players in their mid-30s. Just ask Roger or Rafa.

James Beck was the 2003 winner of the USTA National Media Award. A 1995 MBA graduate of The Citadel, he can be reached at

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Alcaraz Fell Victim To Unbeatable Medvedev

Carlos Alcaraz was no match for Daniil Medvedev in the US Open semi-finals.



(@RelevantTennis - Twitter)

A star had to fall. There was no other way.


This time, Carlos Alcaraz was the victim. Daniil Medvedev was unbeatable.

The 6-6 Russian was everywhere, playing almost perfect tennis in a 7-6 (3), 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 win over Alcaraz.

So, one former champion went down while one advanced to Sunday’s final at the U.S. Open.

And then there was Novak Djokovic, another former champion headed for the title match.


The U.S. Open couldn’t lose once Djokovic dominated young American Ben Shelton, 6-3, 6-2, 7-6 (4).

Djokovic appeared to be content with just winning while getting the preliminaries over with. He seemed to be a little miffed by Shelton’s cockiness. There were no hugs or embraces when the match ended. Just a handshake.

Shelton has huge potential, but it’s going to take some time before he’s ready to join the likes of Djokovic, Medvedev and Alcaraz. He’s a better athlete than he is tennis player.

Novak is ready to go for a record 24th Grand Slam title.

Believe it or not, Medvedev will be playing in his fifth Grand Slam final.

Sunday should be a great day in Arthur Ashe Stadium, with two former champs, Djokovic and Medvedev, going against each other.


The women’s final will be interesting. Can Coco Gauff compete with Aryna Sabalenka?

Sabalenka looked helpless against Madison Keys’ big strokes and serves in the first set of their semifinal on Thursday.

Sabalenka couldn’t win even one game in that set. She looked helpless.

But she obviously felt all along that she could beat Keys anytime she wanted. Or why else would the powerful Sabalenka go for broke on almost every shot? And it almost cost her.

Amazingly, Sabalenka waited almost to the final moments to decide to play within her game and stop the wildness.

Once Sabalenka decided to settle down and play to win, Keys went just the opposite way, similarly to her one-sided loss to Sloane Stephens in the 2017 U.S. Open final.

Keys appeared ready to win this time as she held a 6-0, 5-4 advantage over new world’s No. 1 Sabalenka, who seemed to be stumbling all over the court as she repeatedly hit wild shots in every direction.

Just like that, everything changed. Sabalenka started hitting winners everywhere as Keys reversed roles with Sabalenka. Not only did Sabalenka win the second set while dropping just one point in a tiebreaker, she stormed through a decisive 10-point third-set tiebreaker to win the match.

James Beck was the 2003 winner of the USTA National Media Award. 1995 MBA graduate of The Citadel, he can be reached at

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