Roger Federer To Try For A Ninth Championship At Halle - UBITENNIS
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Roger Federer To Try For A Ninth Championship At Halle



Roger Federer (

By Cheryl Jones

Going home is often anticipated by sorting through a good many emotions. Many of the memories are comforting, others not so much. Saturday afternoon was an affirmation of the shear comfort that Roger Federer must have brought with him when he took the court in Gerry Weber Stadion facing a young Russian by the name of Karen Khachenov in yet another semi-final match where he has so often been propelled into the final. It’s kind of like his home away from home.


The GWO is celebrating its twenty-fifth anniversary this year, and more than half of those years have seen Federer in play on the final day of the tournament. Thirteen times Federer has been able to move forward to vie for yet another championship. It seems as if he could call this place home. Halle has been a haven of positivity for the Swiss maestro. He has been the champ here eight times. The tournament has always won, too. A few years ago, the Weber’s signed the superlative player to a “lifetime” contract that guarantees he will play here until he retires from the game.

His match with the youthful Russian opened play on Saturday. It began a bit after one in the afternoon and it wasn’t exactly a decisive win, but a win nonetheless. It must have been gratifying, for the former champ. It was a 6-4, 7-6 contest that was settled with a tiebreak in the second set, leading to a nearly audible collective sigh of relief by fans and the GWO sponsors alike.

After the match, he spoke with the media, and said, “I mean anything is good as long as I win today and get a chance to be in the final because you don’t want to lose in the semis and have ‘sort’ of a great run and then not get a chance at the title.” He earned that opportunity with some great tennis and really some of the mediocre type, when he did his dance before a before a packed house that absolutely adores him, and he’s not even German. (The GWO is in Westfalia, Germany where Volkswagon Buses often began their long lives cruising the highways everywhere in the world.)

Because Khachanov just turned twenty-one in May, he has spent most of his tennis life looking up to Federer who will be thirty-six in a bit over a month. (That looking up metaphor is somewhat of a misnomer because the Russian player is stocky and 6’6” tall and Federer is a svelte 6’1”, but when the GWO first welcomed the Swiss man, Khachenov wasn’t yet attending elementary school.) Fortunately, tennis isn’t basketball or even American football and in reality, size doesn’t matter much.

There was a real give and take on the court today. Federer took hold of the first set after a service break in the fourth game, where he went on to play steady tennis to make it 6-4 in his favor for that first set. Having watched “Federer tennis” for most of his long and illustrious career, there may be a glitch in his game these days, but then again, maybe not. Many of his shots seemed to be more of – just get the ball back over the net selections, which is rather like I play – instead of the carefully planned returns that could be recalled from his more youthful career, when nearly all of his shots were like magic. It almost always looked as if he was hitting the proper mark in order to encourage the ball to give him a sure winner in the long run.

Khachanov is now ranked thirty-eighth in the world. It’s the highest he’s ever been and reaching the semifinals in Halle should elevate the ranking a bit higher still. He was knocked out of Roland Garros by a determined number one in the ATP rankings, Andy Murray, in the Round of 16. (It seemed then that a bit of honing could produce a seriously competitive game when I watched two of Khachanov’s early round matches in Paris.)

Many people have compared his game to Marat Safin’s because of his size and playing style. If that were the case, it would seem that he is a bigger and more refined version of the wisecracking Russian star who once purposely pulled his tennis shorts down – on court – to reveal his tighty-whiteys. There was none of that today. The match was one hundred percent tennis; no theatrics; no broken racquets; no need to be a lip-reader of naughty words – just world-class tennis.

Most everyone agrees that the classiest of tennis players in today’s game is Roger Federer. He has always earned the respect of his peers, fans and journalists alike. It isn’t all about tennis for him. He has a family and because he seems to have performed everything in a big way, he even fathered children two-by-two. He is Dad to two boys and two girls. The elder twins are daughters who will be eight years old in July. His sons turned three in May. Lest one believe that he is merely busy with his family and tennis, there is more. He is one of the most admired men in the world. The Roger Federer Foundation was formed in 2003. It focuses on supporting community driven initiatives to increase the quality of education in South Africa and Switzerland and the foundation has invested more than twenty-eight million dollars since its inception.

Today wasn’t just about Roger Federer or Karen Khachanov. There was another semifinal match. That one saw a young German, Alexander Zverev defeat Frenchman, Richard Gasquet, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3. The twenty-year-old Zverev has a very good chance to thwart Federer’s quest for another championship in Halle.

Reflecting on his own career, Federer recalled it as a ride “big new wave coming in” with the likes of Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray. Tomorrow could be an example of yet another set of waves that may continue on for Federer, or be strong enough to carry the lanky young German, Zverev closer to the perfect wave and a victory at the Gerry Weber Open.


Alexander Zverev Deserves More Respect According To Boris Becker

According to Boris Becker, Alexander Zverev deserves more respect from tennis journalists.



Alexander Zverev (@WeAreTennis - Twitter)

Boris Becker has claimed that Alexander Zverev deserves more respect despite Zverev failing to live up to his potential at Grand Slams.


Zverev has only reached one Grand Slam final in his career despite being a regular inside the world’s top ten as well as performing at regular ATP events.

This season Zverev played a limited schedule after recovering from an ankle injury but still managed to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals.

However most critics have been loud when judging Zverev’s career as it was looking likely that he would be a regular Grand Slam champion.

The German has failed to live up to expectations but former Grand Slam champion Boris Becker believes Zverev deserves more respect.

Speaking to Eurosport Becker also said that Zverev’s father being the coach is a more than successful approach when it comes to the former US Open finalist’s career, “In my opinion, he doesn’t get enough respect from the tennis experts internationally,” Becker explained.

“They’re all talking about the young three or four, but don’t give Zverev, Medvedev or Rublev enough respect. He’s playing with his fist in his pocket a little bit, wants everyone show that he is not a thing of the past, but that his best time is yet to come.

“Surely his father knows best what is good for his son, but if you look into the box at the competition, you can also see changes.”

Becker has followed Zverev for most of his career so knows that the best is yet to come from the German.

Alexander Zverev will look to prove himself next season when he starts his 2024 season when he represents Germany at the United Cup.

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Juan Carlos Ferrero Analyses Key Areas For Carlos Alcaraz’s Development

Juan Carlos Ferrero has outlined the next steps in Carlos Alcaraz’s development.



(@tennisnewsbrazil - Twitter)

Carlos Alcaraz’s coach, Juan Carlos Ferrero has analysed the key areas for the Spaniard’s development heading into the 2024 season.


The former world number one’s season has come to an end after a successful year which saw him win the Wimbledon title as well as winning two Masters 1000 titles.

Alcaraz capped off an incredible season by reaching the semi-finals at the Nitto ATP Finals, where he lost to Novak Djokovic.

However there is a long way for the Spaniard to go if he wants to consistently go toe-to-toe with Novak Djokovic.

Speaking to Marca Alcaraz’s coach Juan Carlos Ferrero spoke about the Spaniard’s development and said that Alcaraz is too emotional, “Be more regular in games, not open doors. Sometimes there are mistakes and it is something that we have to improve a lot,” Ferrero commented.

“Although it is true that he opens doors, he always competes well and at the highest level. He knows it, the other day he already said that Novak doesn’t give you one. He has to improve his decision making and he will achieve that with experience. Carlos is very emotional and that sometimes helps him and other times not so much.”

It’s clear Alcaraz’s high-quality is there but to consistently do it against Djokovic is another task altogether as the Spaniard looks to go from strength-to strength next season.

One area that is clearly a priority for Alcaraz is physical conditioning especially considering what happened against Djokovic at Roland Garros earlier in the season.

Ferrero said that will be a clear focus heading into 2024 but couldn’t guarantee that Alcaraz will play a tournament before the Australian Open, “Because of the year and the fatigue he has been in, what he needs is rest and disconnecting for 8-10 days with his friends,” Ferrero stated.

“From there, the thinking must go back to working really hard, strong and well to start very strongly in Australia. One can never be sure of that. Sometimes you play a tournament and it doesn’t go well, you left home too early. There are many ways of thinking.

“This year we haven’t played Australia and he finishes number two. That means there is no urgency to play a tournament early. Carlos is a player who enters competition quickly, you don’t usually see him without rhythm.

“Although it is true that he becomes more dangerous from the round of 16, from the quarter-finals. I am confident that the two exhibition matches and the training sessions will help us play a good tournament.”

Alcaraz will be looking to play the Australian Open which starts on the 15th of January after the Spaniard missed last year’s tournament due to a leg injury.

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Australian Open Chief Confident Nadal Will Play But Kyrgios’ Participation Uncertain



Nadal RG 2022 by Night (foto @RolandGarros)

The tournament director of the Australian Open says he is ‘certain’ that Rafael Nadal will play at the Grand Slam even though the Spaniard has yet to outline his comeback plans. 


Craig Tiley told reporters in Melbourne on Thursday he hopes to receive some clarity over Nadal’s intentions in the next couple of weeks but is confident he will play. However, the tennis official had previously claimed in October that the former world No.1 had already committed to play in the event before his team denied that statement.  

Nadal, who has won 22 Grand Slam titles, hasn’t played a Tour match since his second round defeat at the Australian Open in January due to a hip injury. He was originally expecting to take an eight-week break but the recovery didn’t go to plan and he ended up having surgery. In May he confirmed that he will take an extended break from the sport to heal his body and admitted that retirement next year is a possibility.

“Rafa has been training, I follow him closely, probably every day because he’s a massive drawcard for us,” the Reuters News Agency quoted Tiley as saying. 
“He wants to play, he’s obviously planning on playing. It all depends on how he pulls up.
“Hopefully in the next week or the next two weeks, we get some specific confirmation of that. I’m certain Rafa will be here because he’s not going to want to miss the opportunity to repeat what he did a couple of years ago.”

Earlier this month Nadal confirmed that he intends to return to the Tour but admits that he will continue to experience a degree of pain. Although he has yet to give any information about which tournament he will begin his comeback at. The 2024 season begins during the first week of January.

“I’m well, training, and happy. I’m at a good stage of my life,” quoted Nadal as telling reporters in Barcelona.
“Until now I didn’t know if I would play tennis again someday, and now I genuinely believe I will. I’m still not ready to say when, but I’m able to train increasingly longer, and the progress is good.’

Will Kyrgios play?

Another player Tiley is eager to welcome back is home player and former Wimbledon Finalist Nick Kyrgios who has only played one Tour-level match this season due to injury. He underwent knee surgery in January and then tore a ligament in his wrist during the summer. As a result, the Australian currently doesn’t have an ATP ranking due to his inactivity. 

“We have spoken to Nick, and he obviously wants to do the best he possibly can to give him the best chance to play in January,” Tiley said of Kyrgios.
“Whether he’s playing, whether he’s doing something else, Nick will be here in January and to get him to play will be great. But we’ve got to take it as it comes and he’s got to make sure he takes care of his health …” 

Kyrgios recently worked as an analyst for the Tennis Channel during this year’s ATP Finals in Turin and gave a brief update on his ongoing recovery during a segment. 

“After last year, I had such a great year, and I’m so hungry to get back out there,” the 2022 Wimbledon finalist commented.
“So I’m doing everything I can to get back out there. Obviously, you know how injuries are every day, just doing the rehab, doing the gym work.”

The Australian Open will begin on Sunday 14th January. Novak Djokovic and Aryna Sabalenka are the defending champions. 

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