Experience Prevails As Rafael Nadal Crushes Teenager Rublev To Reach US Open Semis - UBITENNIS
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Experience Prevails As Rafael Nadal Crushes Teenager Rublev To Reach US Open Semis

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Rafael Nadal (zimbio.com)

Rafael Nadal remains on course for a clash with Roger Federer after handing rising star Andrey Rublev a tough lesson in life with a comprehensive 6-1, 6-2, 6-2, thrashing in the quarter-finals of the US Open.

 

Fears of a blip similar to his earlier matches in New York were nowhere to be seen for Nadal. Instead, he dictated play from start to finish against somebody who once went to train with him in Mallorca. Hitting four aces, 21 winners and winning 75% of service points.

“It was a good match,” said Nadal. “For Andrey it was his first (grand slam) quarter-final and of course he played with more mistakes than usual.”
“It’s an important victory. Winning the last two matches in straight sets is great news for me. I’m just happy to be the semi finals again here in New York.”

Thursday’s match-up was a tale of two different worlds. Top seed Nadal is participating in his 51st grand slam main draw with the aim of clinching his 16th major title. In contrast Rublev, who was just six-years-old when Nadal won his first ATP title, was playing in only his fifth grand slam main draw.

The disparity between the two was noticeable from the start of the match. Nadal’s supremacy with his shot-making frustrated his Russian rival. Rublev delighted the audience with glimpses of his lightening forehand, but nerves cost him dearly. As a result, the top seed sealed the opening set in just 24 minutes. Producing seven winners and heavily benefitting from Rublev’s error count of 11.

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Playing against somebody who said earlier in the week that he was their idol, Nadal was in full control of the match. Prompting an downbeat Rublev to make numerous glares towards his camp in the crowd. Midway through the second set a double fault from the 19-year-old moved the Spaniard to a 3-2 lead before he faced his first real test of the match. In the following game, Nadal was forced to fight back from 15-40. Passing that test with flying colours, the match was becoming a walk in the park. On the stroke of the 59-minute mark, a forehand down the line secured the 6-1, 6-2, lead.

Rublev’s New York fairy tale turned into one of nightmares as the errors continued. After exceeding expectations to reach his first major quarter-final, he was made to look somewhat ordinary by a resilient Nadal. The outcome was what many on the Arthur Ashe stadium expected, but not the manner in how it was achieved.

Strolling into his sixth US Open semifinal, Nadal achieved his most clinical victory of the tournament in a way that summarised the entire match. A lengthy exchange resulting in a Rublev error, his 43rd of the match. Handing the world No.1 his 53rd win of 2017.

“This year has been an emotional year. I have been playing very well, almost every tournament.”

Only one win separates the top seed from a showdown that the entire draw has been talking about since day 1. Roger Federer or Juan Martin del Potro awaits Nadal in the semifinals. Should Federer triumph over the Argentine, it will be the first time the two have ever clashed in New York in what will be their 38th tour meeting.

“It’s a match I want to see. It’s a match that I want to pay attention to. Two great players, a great show, and I will be waiting in the semifinals (for the winner).” The 31-year-old said.
“I hope to be ready for it. I know it will be very difficult, but at the same time the energy of this court is so special for me. I always have a great connection here (in New York) with the crowd.”

Federer and Del Potro will clash during the evening session at the Arthur Ashe stadium on Thursday.

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Jean Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau beat Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah in the doubles tournament in London

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Former ATP Finals champions Jean Julien Rojer from the Netherlands and Horia Tecau from Romania beat 2019 year-end number 1 team Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah 6-2 5-7 10-8 after 90 minutes in Max Mirnyi Group of the doubles tournament at the ATP Finals in London.

 

Tecau broke serve with a backhand crosscourt winner to take a 3-1 lead in the opening set. The Romanian player went up a double break with a backhand crosscourt winner at 5-2 to seal the opening set after 28 minutes.

Cabal and Farah did not convert any of their break points in the ninth game of the second set before breaking serve for the first time in the match two games later to claim the second set 7-5 forcing the match to the decisive set.

Rojer and Tecau went up a 6-2 lead in the Match Tie-Break. Cabal and Farah won four consecutive points to draw level to 6-6. Rojer and Tecau rallied from 7-8 down by winning three consecutive points to claim the Match Tie-Break 10-8.

Rojer and Tecau have now a 1-1 record in Group Max Mirnyi. The Dutch and Romanian team took the re-match against Cabal and Farah, who won their previous head-to-head clash in five sets at Wimbledon en route to their maiden Grand Slam doubles title.

“I am happy with our form. We lost the first match and knew we would need to bounce back against a very good team. We played a very good first set, prior to them making adjustments in the second set. We played a really good Match tie-break”, said Rojer.

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Wimbledon Finalist Tomas Berdych To Retire

Details have been released about a ‘special announcement’ being made by the former world No.4 later this week.

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LONDON: It has been confirmed that Tomas Berdych will travel to London where he is expected to formally announce his retirement from tennis at the age of 34.

 

The former world No.4 will address his future in the sport during a media engagement at the ATP Finals on Saturday. An event he has played six times during his career with his last appearance being back in 2015. News of Berdych’s upcoming departure was first reported by the Czech newspaper Blesk, who contacted his father.

“I think it will be a great end on Saturday,” Blesk quoted Martin Berdych as saying.

In the aftermath of the media report, Berdych took to social media to confirm that he will be making an announcement. Although he did not specify as to what it will be. The Czech hasn’t played on the tour since his first-round loss at the US Open due to injury. Overall, he has only managed to play 22 matches this season. Winning 13 of them.

“Hey guys, if you want a surprise don’t watch any media or social networks, but I know it is impossible these days,” Berdych said in a video uploaded to his Twitter account. “I know, these little mistakes happen.”
“I had it planned as a little surprise on Saturday where I’m going to be in London. But now it’s not even possible because it is all over (the news). It’s fine, more information is going to come on Saturday.” He added.

Speculation about Berdych’s retirement from the sport began to gain momentum in September following an interview with idnes.cz. Where he opened up about his struggles with both back and hip injuries.

Playing during the same era as the prestigious big Three of the sport (Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Roger Federer), Berdych still managed to establish himself as one of the tour’s top players during his career. Winning 13 ATP titles in 32 finals he played in, including the 2005 Paris Masters. Berdych remains the youngest player in history to win a Masters 1000 title. He also finished seven consecutive seasons inside the world’s top 10 (2010-2016) and managed to remain inside the top 100 for an impressive 794 weeks (2004-2019).

Should Berdych retire on Saturday, he ends his career with 640 wins. Including 53 against top 10 opposition. He has featured in 61 grand slam main draws with his stand out performance being a run to the final of the 2010 Wimbledon Championships.

Berdych has earned $29,491,328 in prize money. The ninth highest amount in the history of men’s tennis (as of 11th November 2019).

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ATP Finals 2019 Day 4 Preview: Medvedev Seeks Revenge Against Nadal

After a day of upsets in the Andre Agassi Group on Monday, will the surprises continue today?

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Stefanos Tsitsipas and Sascha Zverev were both 0-5 respectively against Daniil Medvedev and Rafael Nadal, yet both were victorious in the opening round.  Tsitsipas and Zverev will now compete to take the lead in the group, while Nadal and Medvedev compete the keep their advancement hopes alive. And for Rafa, the year-end No.1 ranking is also up for grabs between himself and Novak Djokovic.

 

Rafael Nadal (1) vs. Daniil Medvedev (4)

This is a rematch from the epic US Open final two months ago.  On that day in New York, Nadal was up two sets and a break, seemingly cruising to his 19th Major singles title.  But Medvedev would fight his way back to even the match, eventually succumbing to Rafa in a five-set, five-hour thriller.  Since that final, Nadal has battled multiple injuries, and has not completed any event he’s entered. Meanwhile the US Open was one of six straight consecutive finals for Medvedev, yet he’s now 0-2 over the past month.  Both Nadal and Medvedev admitted they were not at their best on Monday. Rafa is obviously not back to 100% after the abdominal injury he suffered in Paris less than two weeks ago. Jim Courier on Tennis Channel in the US said he’s never seen Nadal hit his forehand worse than he did on Monday.  And after taking some time off after his six straight finals, Medvedev has been struggling to rediscover his form, and said he’s been playing poorly in practice. Their only other previous match was also this summer, when Rafa dominated Daniil in the Rogers Cup final, dropping only three games. But judging by Rafa’s level against Zverev on Monday, I like Medvedev’s chances on an indoor hard court to secure his first win over Nadal.

Stefanos Tsitsipas (6) vs. Sascha Zverev (7)

This will be their fifth career meeting, with all of them occurring within the past 18 months.  Zverev claimed their first matchup last summer in Washington, but Tsitsipas has taken the last three, including most recently just last month in Beijing.  Their rivalry turned in the quarterfinals of the Rogers Cup last August, when Stefanos saved two match points in the second set tiebreak to come back and upset Sascha in three.  Tsitsipas has now won six of their last seven sets contested. While Zverev has been a better player since the Laver Cup in September, and served very well against Nadal on Monday, Sascha is still not quite at the level he reached a year ago when he won this event.  And Tsitsipas has been the much more confident competitor of the two throughout this year. Based on their head-to-head history and recent form, Tsitsipas should be favored to remain undefeated in the Andre Agassi Group. 

 

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