Paris Masters Director Hits Out At Roger Federer Over Withdrawal - UBITENNIS
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Paris Masters Director Hits Out At Roger Federer Over Withdrawal

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Roger Federer (zimbio.com)

The tournament director of the Paris Masters has accused Roger Federer of ‘weakening the credibility of the circuit’ after pulling out of this week’s Masters 1000 event.

Guy Forget was notified on Sunday that the 19-time grand slam champion wouldn’t be playing just hours after winning the Basel Open. Federer clinched his 95th ATP title with a three-set win over Juan Martin del Potro. As a result of his withdrawal, Rafael Nadal is required to win one match this week to secure the year-end No.1 ranking.

Federer’s decision has prompted an angry response from Forget, who claimed he spent ‘many months’ getting both Federer and Nadal to compete in the event. Is is the second time this season that the Swiss player has missed a major event in Paris after the French Open.

“You imagine my disappointment, my frustration (at Federer’s withdrawal). I had his agent (Tony Godsick) on the phone who told me of his wish to recover because he is at the end of the roll. We take note of it.” Forget told L’equipe.
“We have no other recourse against that. We are sad about all the efforts that have been made for many weeks and many months to welcome Roger and Rafa into this room.
“Unfortunately, Rafa will be alone. There are other great champions, but I am convinced that Roger’s Parisian fans will be very disappointed.”

Forget, who was a former top-five player himself during the early 1990s, went on to accuse Federer of being selfish. Questioning his scheduling and his priorities. Last week Federer became the first player to win the Basel Open for a eighth time. He has an extensive history at the event, which is held in his birthplace.

“At 36, we pay more attention than when we have 25. Nevertheless, I still think that the Masters 1000 are the nine biggest tournaments of the calendar.” Forget argued.
“When a player, whoever he is, misses this appointment, it weakens the credibility of the circuit. I greet all those who make the effort. So some are a little diminished.
“Rafael Nadal is here. Others made the effort. Some have had surgery, you can not get them out of their hospital bed.
“When a player wins a tournament 500 kilometers away and is not there the next week, we are bound to be sad.”

My body needs a rest

Throughout 2017, Federer has only played back-to-back tournaments twice. During the American Masters swing (Indian Wells and Miami) and on the grass (Stuttgart followed by Halle). He has opted to sidestep Paris to focus on the season-ending Nitto ATP Finals in London at the O2 Arena.

During a press conference in Basel, the 36-year-old said he doesn’t want to push himself too hard on the tour and risk injury. Last year Federer missed six months of action due to a knee injury.

“I was always going to wait and see how I felt throughout the week.” Federer explained about skipping Paris.
“My body is again asking for a break. I can feel it. It doesn’t look like it on a tennis court, I know. People always think it is easy and simple to run through tournaments, but it really isn’t.”

Federer currently has a win-loss record of 49-4 this season with seven titles under his belt. The most he has won within the same year since 2007.

 

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Sebastian Korda reaches his second semifinal of the season in s’Hertogenbosh

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Sebastian Korda beat Tommy Paul 6-4 6-2 in 67 minutes to reach his second ATP Tour semifinal of the season at Libema Open in s’Hertogenbosh. 

Korda hit 18 winners and won 84% of his first serve points. Korda earned his first break in the third game of the first set to take a 2-1 lead. Paul broke straight back in the sixth game to draw level to 3-3. Korda broke for the second time in the seventh game to win the first set 6-4. Korda broke twice in the third and seventh game to close out the second set 6-2. 

Korda has improved his head-to-head record against Paul to 4-1. 

Korda reached the semifinal on grass at Queen’s in 2023. The US player is is aiming to win his first ATP Tour title since 2021, when he won in Parma on clay. 

Korda set up a semifinal clash against defending champion Tallon Griekspoor, who ccame back from one set down to beat Alexandar Vukic 4-6 6-3 7-6 (7-3). Griekspoor has won his past eight matches at this tournament. 

Vukic broke in the ninth game to win the first set 6-4. Griekspoor earned his first break in the sixth game of the second set to win the second set 6-3. The third set went on serve with no breaks en route to the tie-break. Griekspoor earned two mini-breaks to open up a 4-1 lead in the tie-break. Vukic pulled one of the two mini-breaks, but Griekspoor held on his serve and sealed the tie-break on his first match point.

“I am very happy to be through. It was a very tough match once again. I think Alexandar played unbelievable grass court tennis, so it was not easy and I am very happy to find my way in the third set. I am enjoying the crowd, the atmosphere and the whole tournament”, said Korda. 

Alex De Minaur beat Milos Raonic7-5 6-2 in 1 hour and 26 minutes. De Minaur has improved to 3-0 in his head-to-head matches against Raonic, who was playing in just his fourth tournament of he year.

De Minaur earned his first break in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead. Raonic broke straight back to draw level to 3-3. De Minaur broke for the second time in the 11th game and served out on his first set point after saving three break points in the 12th game. De Minaur broke twice in the fifth and seventh games to win the second set 6-2. 

De Minaur is aiming to win the second title of his career on career following his win in Eastbourne in 2021.  

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Emma Raducanu Confident Of Full Fitness Ahead Of Grass Swing

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Emma Raducanu - Cincinnati 2022 (foto Twitter @cincytennis)

Emma Raducanu has no regrets about her decision to skip the French Open and now believes she is in a ‘really fit place’ ahead of Wimbledon. 

The former US Open champion opted to end her clay season earlier than other players to focus on fitness and training with her coach. Raducanu stated earlier this year that her primary focus in 2024 is on her health after undergoing a series of wrist and ankle surgeries last year which sidelined her for months. 

Raducanu will return to action this week at the Nottingham Open, which is the event where she made her WTA main draw debut back in 2021. Despite her lack of match play in recent weeks, the Brit is feeling good and relishing her return to the grass.

“Body-wise, physical-wise, I feel really healthy,” she said on Monday.
“I’ve done amazing work with my trainer over the last few months, since surgery. I’m in a really fit place. I’m healthy and just looking forward to starting playing.”

Shedding more light on her health, Raducanu says she has full confidence in her wrists and believes they are in top condition. Making her feel more at ease when playing matches on the Tour. 

“I think my wrists are actually in a better position than they ever were. So there’s zero doubt or apprehension whether I’m hitting the ball or designing my schedule,” she explained.
“It’s more about being proactive and not wanting to put yourself in any unnecessary situations. I don’t need to rush and try to win the French Open, it wasn’t my goal this year.
“I had to prioritise where I wanted to target and it was just a good block for me to get some physical work done.”

Raducanu has played seven WTA events so far this season with her best run being to the quarter-finals of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, where she was beaten by world No.1 Iga Swiatek. The 21-year-old is currently ranked 209th in the world. 

At the Nottingham Open, she will play her first match on Tuesday against Japanese qualifier Ena Shibahara. 

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Jack Draper Wins In Stuttgart, Potentially Faces Andy Murray in Round Two

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Jack Draper – ATP Monaco di Baviera 2024 (foto via Twitter @atptour)

Britain’s Jack Draper tight first round win headlined the opening day’s results at the Boss Open 2024 in Stuttgart – and possibly faces a second-round match with Andy Murray who takes on Marcos Giron tomorrow.

Less than 24 hours from the last ball being hit at Roland Garros, the ATP Tour had already switched surfaces onto the grass, and 22-year-old Draper was well tested but ultimately came through in two tie-breakers over Sebastian Ofner.

The sixth seed’s 7-6, 7-6 win contained just one break of serve each, both coming in the second set, as serve dominated proceedings on the faster grass courts in Germany.

While the Austrian won 75% on his first serve, Draper won a whopping 89% behind his first delivery as well as hitting eight aces. These kind of service stats will surely take him far during the grass court season.

“I thought it was a really good match,” Eurosport quoted Draper saying after his match. 
“Both of us played really clean tennis, executing really well.
“When it came down to it, I’m glad I competed really well and got over the line – it’s good to be back on the grass as well.”

There were also wins for Germany’s Yannick Hanfmann who won 6-3, 6-3 over wildcard Henri Squire, while compatriot Dominik Koepfer won in three sets over China’s Zhizhen Zhang 4-6, 7-6, 7-6. 

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