Roger Federer Stumbles Into US Open Third Round With Erratic Five-Set Win Over Youzhny - UBITENNIS
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Roger Federer Stumbles Into US Open Third Round With Erratic Five-Set Win Over Youzhny



Roger Federer (

Sometimes it doesn’t matter how you win as long as you win. This was the case for Roger Federer as he struggled past Mikhail Youzhny 6-1, 6-7(3), 4-6, 6-4, 6-2, in the second round of the US Open.


The 19-time grand slam champion headed into the match with high expectations after a lacklustre start to his New York campaign. Two days earlier, he was pushed to five sets by rising star Frances Tiafoe, exposing vulnerabilities in his current form. Leading into the final major of the year, he pulled out of Cincinnati due to a back issue.

It was expected that Federer would hit back at critics with a solid display over Youzhny. A player who he had previously defeated 16 times and had only ever dropped four sets against. Instead, he left himself facing more scrutiny after a roller coaster performance featuring 59 unforced errors as well as 59 winners.

“I’m better than the first round, so I’m happy.” An upbeat Federer said during his press conference. “This match wasn’t about the back, which is good. This is more just a grind. I felt different, completely different, the way it played and everything. But I’m really, really happy I got through”
“These five-set battles are actually quite a lot of fun. I feel quite warm up by now.”
He also added.

In the first 20 minutes he raced to a 5-0 lead without breaking a sweat against a former top 10 player. Youzhny struggled to settle down, producing 13 unforced errors throughout the opening set. The Russian did manage to get onto the scoreboard, but it did little to deter Federer from sealing the 6-1 lead.

Everything appeared to be going well for Federer heading into the second set, but his inconsistency from earlier in the week returned to haunt him. A sluggish start allowed Youzhny to break for a 2-0 lead before the second seed restored order by pushing ahead to 5-3. Ability was not the problem for Federer, it was the error count. A backhand into the net combined with a forehand shank allowed his Russian rival to break back and later take proceedings into a tiebreaker.

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It was only appropriate that Federer should be punished for his patchy display. Youzhny illustrated shots reminiscent of the time he was world No.8. Hitting the ball deep and firing some some stunning forehand winners. The surge enabled him to grab the tiebreaker and only his fifth set against Federer in his entire career.

The turn of the tides cast a cloud of silence over the Arthur Ashe stadium with fans trying to comprehend what was going on. Federer’s stellar start to the match turned into disarray with Youzhny carefully edging his way through. The third set saw the world No.101 win 33 points, but 17 of those were due to a Federer error. The army of loyal fans kept cheering their Swiss leader on, but it wasn’t for him to win. It was for him to draw level. Something that he failed to do in the third set.

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Six games away from suffering his worst-ever performance at Flushing Meadows, Federer spurred himself on with outbursts of ‘Chum Jetzt.’ The swiss-german version of the phrase ‘come on.’ He then managed to bring himself back into contention when a Youzhny backhand slammed into the net, prompting a euphoric roar in the audience and gifting Federer the break. Still he failed to maintain the lead, dropping serve again before forcing a decider with the help of a backhand error from his Russian rival on set point.

Youzhny’s investment in the match took its toll on his body as he cramped towards the final stages of the match. Dramatically falling on the court after one point. It was a gigantic effort that concluded in an anticlimactic way. A double fault on break point that elevated Federer to a 4-2 lead, two games from victory. His 80th US Open win was then secured with a smash at the net. Prompting Federer to raise his arms in celebration.

“It’s hard to watch, but unfortunately that’s how it is.” Federer commented on Youzhny’s cramps. “I was feeling it for Mikhail. We go back to the 98 juniors here, where we played the doubles against each other. It’s nice to see we’re still playing. We played a bunch of times and this was probably our best match.”

Two tough matches, one happy Federer

Despite the roller coaster journey into the third round at Flushing Meadows, Federer is unfazed by it all. Reflecting on his lead up to the tournament, the 36-year-old stated that he will improve as the tournament progresses.

“I see things very positive right now because the preparation hasn’t been its best.” He explained.  “A big compromise, I might struggle early on.  Still hope to get through the early rounds somehow, preferably in three sets, maybe four, maybe five.”
” I’m pretty confident that I’m only going to get better from here. That’s a good thing.

Starting a grand slam with back-to-back five-set matches for the first time in his career, Federer will next play 31st seed Feliciano Lopez. A player he has a 12-0 head-to-head record against. Lopez defeated compatriot Fernando Verdasco in four sets.


Team World One Win Away From Victory in Laver Cup

Team World take a huge 10-2 lead over Team Europe heading into the final day



Image via Laver Cup twitter

After losing the first four editions of the Laver Cup, Team World look set to win the event for a second time as the event reaches its conclusion tomorrow.


Team World Captain John McEnroe was thrilled with the day’s results but warned against complacency: “We’re just going to keep doing what we’re doing. The job’s not done but we’re pretty close.”

American duo Taylor Fritz and Frances Tiafoe both earned straight sets wins over Andrey Rublev and Hubert Hurkacz, while Felix Auger-Aliassime and Ben Shelton beat Hurkacz and Gael Monfils.

“I want to play well for the guys,” said Tiafoe after his singles victory. “I played really well tonight. Just being in a team environment is so foreign to us as tennis players, it’s such an individual sport.”

After winning his third singles match in three appearances at the Laver Cup, Fritz was also motivated to do well:

“Yesterday, all the guys played really well. I felt that and wanted to come out on court and show what I can do. That definitely motivated me. Any type of team environment, I feel like it always elevates my game. I feel like my record in team events is really strong because I have a team cheering for me. I get pumped up. I’m excited to play for them. It just adds more pressure and fire to it. I think I play better in those situations.”

The doubles was a typically dynamic and feisty affair, and after the match Shelton was full of praise for his partner:

“It’s amazing, when you play with a guy who serves and returns like Felix, is as athletic as him, and goes back for the overhead as strong as him, it’s a fun time,” said Shelton. “We call him ‘Laver Cup Felix’ because he turns into something special this week, just glad I got to share the court with him at least once.”

Auger-Aliassime returned the compliments: “The best comes out of me when I’m playing not only for myself but for team-mates. Ben carried me through the end of that match, it was tough for me to get it done.”

Casper Ruud, meanwhile, beat Tommy Paul for Europe’s only points so far.

Matches on the final day are worth three points each – meaning that Team Europe would have to win all four remaining matches to prevent Team World from winning the trophy.

T. Fritz def A. Rublev 6-2, 7-6
F. Tiafoe def H. Hurkacz 7-5, 6-3
F. Auger-Aliassime & B. Shelton def H.Hurkacz & G. Monfils 7-5, 6-4
C. Ruud def T. Paul 7-6, 6-2

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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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