Roger Federer Prevails In A Battle Of Old Vs Young To Reach ATP Finals Semis - UBITENNIS
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Roger Federer Prevails In A Battle Of Old Vs Young To Reach ATP Finals Semis

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LONDON: Roger Federer might be 16 years older than Alexander Zverev, but the world No.2 was forced to rely upon his wealth of experience to triumph 7-6 (6), 5-7, 6-1, in their latest meeting at The O2 Arena.

The clash between the former world No.1 and one tipped to rise to the top in the future met and exceeded expectations. Federer was aware of the threat he faced going into the match. No only is Zverev one of four players to defeat him this year. He is the only one to do it twice (counting the Hopman Cup).

“I’m excited for Alex’s future. He’s a wonderful guy and a great, great player.” Federer said about the Next Gen star during his on-court interview.

Despite being a 19-time grand slam champion, Federer was matched game-by-game throughout the majority of the encounter by somebody yet to progress beyond the fourth round of a major. He managed to come out on top in the 135-minute marathon with the help of a winning 83% first service rate as well as saving nine of the 11 break points he faced.

Fine margins decided the outcomes of the first two sets. The first 10 games went by with both players winning 29 points, resulting in a tiebreaker.

The roller coaster continued with Zverev capitalizing of a series of Federer unforced errors to open up a 4-0 lead. It could be argued that it could have been extended to 5-0 if he didn’t conduct an unsuccessful hawk-eye challenge during a rally. Still, it was not enough to shut out the crowd favourite, who was cheered on by his loyal fans. Fighting back to level, the 36-year-old then save a set point on route to securing the 7-6 lead following a Zverev forehand into the net.

Breaking once more to lead be a set and 2-0, it appeared as if Federer was cruising towards the finish line. However, that motion was eroded by a determined Zverev, who continued to play aggressively from the baseline and claw his way back into the match. The German was rewarded for his admirable play when Federer buckled at the worst possible time. Serving behind 5-6, a backhand shank elevated the German to 40-0. Three points later, a Federer forehand drifted out. Taking the match into a deciding showdown.

Apprehension filled the O2 Arena as fans watch intently to see what the outcome would be. Federer had the experience on his side, but Zverev had youth. On this occasion it was experienced that won as the Swiss 36-year-old gradually wore down his rival. Enabling him to claim six consecutive games and book his place in the last four of the ATP Finals for the 14th time in his career.

“It was a good battle and I always enjoy myself at this beautiful arena.” Said Federer.
“I have so much fun playing in London and I have been so successful here. Thank you for making it such a special night.”

Claiming his 54th in in the tournament’s history, Federer will next take on Marin Cilic. Knowing that he has already qualified regardless of the outcome.

“I’m happy and relieved that I can play freely against Cilic, instead of it being a nail-biter. It’s been a tough group so to be through in two matches is great.” He reflected.

Zverev will next take on Jack Sock with the chance of still progressing beyond the group stages.

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Thomas Musters Hints At Conflict With Thiem After Sudden Axe From Team

The unexpected move by Thiem has left more questions than answers.

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Australian tennis legend Thomas Muster has seemingly suggested that a difference in opinion was behind his sudden departure from Dominic Thiem’s team after just two weeks.

 

On Saturday the world No.5 unexpectedly confirmed that the former French Open champion has left his team. Exactly 18 days after Thiem said during a press conference at the ATP Cup that the two have arranged a ‘working relationship.’ The announcement followed Thiem’s four-set win over Taylor Fritz in the third round of the Australian Open.

“We ended our working relationship,” He told Austrian reporters in Melbourne. “It did not fit. It’s easy like that. It is just about work. We get along well personally, and we said in the beginning, if anything is not all right we will tell each other.”

Questions are left remaining about what the exact reason for the two to go their separate ways. Especially given their short period spent working together. Both have been coy on the subject, but Muster has shed some light during an interview with Eurosport.

Speaking with fellow former world No.1 Becker, Muster said he was initially expecting to be working with Thiem for a two-year period. Adding to the mystery, the 52-year-old fuelled further speculation when he gave a cryptic insight about the two-time French Open finalist. Who had previously said that his career was to emulate and surpass Muster’s career achievements.

“To be honest, I have seen myself in this role for the next two years.” He told Becker.
“Why he chose differently…l I know why, but I don’t want to say the details.’
“It’s like this. There are houses which look nice from the outside, wonderfully from the outside, but you rarely know who lives inside.”

Speaking about Thiem’s performance on the court, Muster believes there are still areas of his game that requires further improvement. Last year the 26-year-old won five titles on the ATP Tour, including his first at Masters level. Something that was only matched by Novak Djokovic.

“He’s a fine guy and likes to learn a lot,” he told Eurosport.
“But he has also got some shortcomings, he has to work on if he wants to be at the top. He has improved a lot, but he to catch up in the technical, physical and foremost in the mental area.”

Muster isn’t the only former professional with a view that Thiem needs to improve. Mats Wilander recently called on the tennis star to improve his attitude on the court.

Thiem will play fifth seed Gael Monfils in the fourth round of the French Open on Monday.

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Injury-Stricken Juan Martin Del Potro Suffers New Blow And An Uncertain Future

There is more bad news for fans of the former world No.3 and his hopes of a return to tennis.

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Hopes of Juan Martin del Potro returning to the tour in the coming weeks have ended after it was announced that he will undergo further surgery on Monday.

 

The former US Open champion hasn’t played a competitive match since June after fracturing his right kneecap at the Fever-Tree Championships in London. The same one he also hurt towards the end of the 2018 season. Shortly after his mishap the Argentine underwent surgery in Barcelona in an attempt to fix the issue and have been undergoing rehabilitation ever since.

Unfortunately for the former top-five player, the surgery hasn’t been a success with him continuing to have pain in the region. In an official press release published on Sunday, it was confirmed that the issue is affecting the Argentine in everyday tasks such as walking up a flight of stairs. As a consequence, Del Potro will have yet another operation on his knee in Miami.

“We want to update you that after long weeks of inter consultations in Argentina, Europe and the United States, most doctors have come to the conclusion that a new intervention in the right knee of Juan Martin del Potro is necessary.” A statement reads.
“After analyzing the options, Delpo trusted Dr. Lee Kaplan to perform the surgery scheduled for Monday, January 27th in Miami.”
“We hope that this is the definitive solution to eliminate the pain that not only has prevented Delpo from playing tennis, but also making it difficult for him to perform daily activities.”

Speculation over the future intentions of the 31-year-old started earlier this week when he withdrew from the Delray Beach Open. The tournament were where he was set to make his comeback next month.

During his rehabilitation, Del Potro has sought various treatments. Including types of diets, training and trips to specialists. All of which failed to deliver the desired outcome and forced him to undergo surgery.

“Thank you for your patience and for understanding that these past weeks we have taken our time before communicating his next steps. The situation is never easy when it comes to the physique of an athlete and, more importantly, the health of a person.” Team del Potro said.

The latest revelation has cast concerns over Del Potro’s future career. Who at one stage said he was unsure if he would be able to continue playing due to his knee injury (prior to his first surgery). It is the latest setback for the injury-stricken player who have also been forced to undergo four wrist surgeries.

So far in his career, Del Potro has won 22 ATP titles and has been ranked as high as third in the world last year.

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Milos Raonic reaches the Australian Open quarter finals for the fifth time in his career

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Milos Raonic beat Marin Cilic 6-4 6-3 7-5 to advance to the quarter final at the Australian Open for the fifth time in his career and for the second consecutive year. The Canadian player has advanced to the quarter final for the tenth time in his career at Grand Slam level.

 

Raonic saved an early break point with a big serve and hit a backhand down the line to force an error to break in the 10th game closing out the first set 6-4.

The former Wimbldon finalist and eight-time ATP Tour champion hit a backhand return winner in the second game to open up a 2-0 lead in the second set.

Cilic brought up two set points on Raonic’s serve in the 10th game of the third set, but Raonic fended them off with three serves. Raonic got a break in the 11th game at 15 and sealed the win on his first match point with an ace.

“It feels pretty good. I have got to say. I can’t complain about it and I am just happy with how things are going. I am happy I have another chance to play in two days here and it’s been an exciting tournament for me so far, but hopefully there are more exciting things ahead. I did a lot of things really well, and I had the idea of how I wanted to play. I was happy I could execute and live up to that”, said Milos Raonic in the post-match interview.

 

 

 

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