Roger Federer Seals Historic Eighth Wimbledon Title With Win Over Ailing Cilic - UBITENNIS
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Roger Federer Seals Historic Eighth Wimbledon Title With Win Over Ailing Cilic

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Roger Federer (zimbio.com)

Roger Federer has become the first man in history to win an eighth Wimbledon title after easing his way past an injury-stricken Marin Cilic 6-3, 6-1, 6-4, in the final of the championships.

 

There was hope that the clash between the two would be one to remember. Federer is regarded by many as the greatest player to ever play at The All England Club. His rival Cilic was by no means a walkover. Their meeting 12 months ago saw the 35-year-old save three match points before prevailing in a five-set thriller. This time round, there was no closeness between the two as Cilic’s body betrayed him in one the biggest finals of his life.

“It is cruel sometimes, but he fought well. He’s a hero.” Federer said to his opponent during the trophy ceremony. “Congratulations on a wonderful tournament Marin. You should be really proud, it is a special occasion to play in the final.”

Contesting a record-equalling 102nd Wimbledon match, the start saw both men experience nerves. Cilic repeatedly bounced the ball before serving to calm himself down as Federer took a while to fine tune his game. From only the second game, shouts of ‘Chum Jetzte’ (Swiss-German for ‘come on’) roared from Federer’s mouth to show he means business. The early test for the 35-year-old occurred in the fifth game when Cilic grabbed a break point opportunity. Surviving the scare after the Croat hit a backhand into the net, Federer rose his form. In the following game he raced to three break points in his advantage, converting his second for a 3-2 lead.

Clinching a stronghold in the set, Federer refused to let go with two consecutive love-service games. Then on the 36th minute of the match, the former world No.1 was gifted the 6-3 lead following a double fault from his rival. Prompting a cheer from the full capacity crowd at SW19.

The mood of the match swiftly moved from admiration for Federer to sympathy for Cilic. As the Swiss broke at the start of the second set, Cilic received a medical time out. He was on the verge of tears as a medical team went out to evaluate his foot. He managed to continue the match, but he knew the prospect of a maiden Wimbledon title was rapidly fading.

Strolling through the second set, another error from the Croat secured another break in Federer’s favour for 5-1. It was like a repeat of Saturday’s women’s final, which started competitively before Garbine Muguruza thrashed Venus Williams. With his injury-stricken opponent far off his best ability, a serve down the line moved Federer to six games away from history.

Cilic’s continuous resilience drew praise from the crowd, who were noticeably pro-Federer. His reward was a tightly contested battle at the start of the third set with the third seed being forced to work for the title.

“That’s what I have done throughout all of my career. I never gave up when I start the match. That was my idea today and I also gave my best. That’s all I could have done. “ A devastated Cilic said after the final.

Still, it was only a matter of time before another Federer triumph. At 3-3, back-to-back errors from Cilic’s forehand side gave the Swiss a break for 4-3 as he closed in on the title. History was  made two games later when Federer fired an ace down the line to become the most decorated male player in Wimbledon history.

“I wasn’t sure if I was ever going to be here again in the final after last year.” He said.
“I always believed that I could come back and do it again. If you believe, you can go really, really far in your life. I think I did that and I’m happy.”

The triumph occurred 12 months after questions loomed over Federer’s future in the sport. Crashing out in the semifinals to Milos Raonic, he took a six-month hiatus from the sport to recover. Since coming back, he has now won two grand slam titles and two Masters 1000 titles.

“Better than hold the trophy and winning today is just being healthy.” He explained. “It feels great and it means the world to me.”
“We (his team) worked so hard last year, so to back here and ,you know, just feeling great, holding the trophy now and the tournament I have played – It has just been magical.”

As for the possibility of bidding for No.9 in 2018, the 35-year-old seems determined to make a return in what will be his 20th consecutive appearance at the tournament.

“I hope this wasn’t my last match and I hope I can come back here again and defend the title.” He Concluded.

Federer now has 19 grand slam titles, more than any other player in the history of men’s tennis. Only Steffi Graf (22), Serena Williams (23) and Margaret Court (24) have won more major titles than him.

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Daniil Medvedev Ousts Former Quarter-Finalist Tiafoe, Kyrgios Reigns Supreme At Australian Open

Both players endured a testing start to their campaigns at Melbourne Park.

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Two players tipped to fill in the void when the big three of men’s tennis departs from the sport have got off to a winning start at the Australian Open.

 

US Open runner-up Daniil Medvedev manoeuvred his way past a tricky encounter with Frances Tiafoe. Who reach the last eight of the tournament 12 months ago in what is his best grand slam performance to date. Despite the threat posed, Medvedev held his nerve to prevail 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2, on the premier Rod Laver Arena. The night-time encounter saw the Russian fired 13 aces and 42 winners past Tiafoe en route to the second round.

“It was a really tough match. I think it was a bit up and down from both of us.” Medvedev said during his on-court interview.
“I’m really happy to win because the first round is never easy. Especially against Frances, who was in the quarters last year.”

Medvedev, who turns 24 next month, has been labelled as one of potential players who can end the reign of Roger Federer and Co by winning a grand slam title this season. Last year he claimed 59 wins on the ATP Tour, which was more than any other player. During his breakthrough season he clinched his first two Masters titles as well as a duo of ATP 250 events.

Despite his victory, the world No.4 was far from contempt when it came to his latest performance. Medvedev dropped serve at least once in every set played and also leaked 35 errors. The same amount of mistakes as Tiafoe.

“There were many moments during the match where I felt I was getting momentum and then he came back.” He reflected.
“I think I can do many things better, but for the first round it’s a big win and I’m really happy.’
“I didn’t like my serve today to be honest. But hopefully I can do better in the next round, otherwise I will be in trouble.”

Kyrgios Topples Italian rival

Taking to the court at the same time as Medvedev, Nick Kyrgios also experienced a tricky start to his title bid in Melbourne. Seeded 23rd in the draw this year, the home favourite roared his way to a 6-2, 7-6(3), 7-6(1), win over Italy’s Lorenzo Sonego. Claiming his fourth tour win of the season following his trio of singles victories at the ATP Cup earlier this month.

“I was just excited to get out here. It has been a pretty emotional couple of months for all of us,’ Kyrgios commented in reference to the ongoing bushfire crisis in Australia.
“I just wanted to come out here and put on a good performance.”

Kyrgios has been one of the driving forces behind Tennis Australia’s series of fundraisers to support the bushfire appeal. He has pledged to donate $200 for every ace he produces during the Australian Open. Working out at $2800 from his latest match along after firing 14 past Sonego. Overall, Kyrgios won an impressive 87% of his first service points during the 135-minute clash.

“I feel good. I’m not looking ahead in the draw at all.” Kyrgios stated.
“Everyone can play in the draw, they are all capable. So I’m just going to take it one match at a time.” He added.

During his on-court interview, John McEnroe make an unexpected announcement. The former world No.1 has said he will donate $1000 for every set Kyrgios wins in the remainder of the tournament to the bushfire appeal. Prompting a huge cheer from the crowd.

Both Medvedev and Kyrgios will play their second round matches on Thursday.

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Ernests Gulbis upsets Felix Auger Aliassime to advance to the second round in Melbourne

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World number 256 Ernests Gulbis upset Canadian Next Gen star Felix Auger Aliassime 7-5 4-6 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 to reach the second round at the Australian Open at Melbourne Park.

 

Auger Aliassime was the second Canadian Next Gen player to lose in the first round at this year’s edition of the Australian Open after his compatriot Denis Shapovalov was defeated by Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics on Monday.

Auger Aliassime started the 2020 season with just one win in four matches at the ATP Cup, but he reached the semifinal in Adelaide last week, losing to eventual champion Andrey Rublev in three sets.

Auger Aliassime earned the first game in the ninth game at 30 to take a 5-4 lead, but Gulbis broke twice in the 10th and 12th game to win the first set 7-5. In the second set Auger Aliassime saved three break points in both the eighth and tenth games and broke in the ninth game at deuce to seal the second set 6-4.

In the third set Auger Aliassime saved four break points to hold his serve at deuce in the fourth game to draw level to 2-2. Gulbis fended off a break point in the fifth and eleventh games before winning the tie-break 7-4.

Gulbis earned an early break in the first game of the opening set. Auger Aliassime broke back in the third game and held his serve at deuce to draw level to 2-2 after saving two break points. Gulbis broke for the second time in the fifth game and held his next service games to close out the fourth set 6-4.

“Every time you come to Australia the main goal is the Aussie Open, so it’s not good. That’s what the result show, but at the same time I am staying calm and positive because I feel I am not far from playing well and winning matches”,said Felix Auger Aliassime.

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Dominic Thiem beats Adrian Mannarino to reach the second round in Melbourne for the fifth consecutive year

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Fifth seed and last year’s Roland Garros finalist Dominic Thiem beat Adrian Mannarino 6-3 7-5 6-2 to extend his winning record in his head-to-head against the French player to 8-0. The Austrian player hit 36 winners to 34 unforced errors. Thiem set up a second round match against either Albert Ramos Vinolas or Australian wild card Alex Bolt.

 

Thiem earned the first break in the fourth game to open up a 3-1 lead. Mannarino fended off two break points in the eighth game while he was serving at 2-5, but Thiem sealed the first set 6-3 on his third set point after a 27-shot rally.

Thiem went up a set and a break in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead, but Mannarino pulled the break back to draw level to 4-4, as Thiem sent a forehand long. Thiem got his second break in the 11th game to take a 6-5 lead after a 28-shot rally and reeled off 12 of the last 14 points to clinch the second set 7-5.

Thiem started the third set with an early break and won 16 of the first 20 points to seal the win after 2 hours and 21 minutes. The 2019 ATP Finals runner-up reached the Australian Open second round for the fifth consecutive year.

Thiem leads 2-1 in his three head-to-head matches against Ramos Vinolas, but the Spaniard won their only clash on hard-court in Chengdu four years ago.

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