Roger Federer’s comeback surprised me: David Ferrer - UBITENNIS
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Roger Federer’s comeback surprised me: David Ferrer

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(David Ferrer – photo via zimbio.com)

Former World No. 3 David Ferrer has said that 19-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer’s stunning return from a six-month injury layoff has surprised him as he didn’t expect the great Swiss to accomplish such success at the age of 36.

 

Ferrer, a former French Open runner-up to his compatriot Rafael Nadal in 2013, also revealed that he was a little upset with himself because he could have played that Roland Garros final a bit differently. If he would have employed a different strategy in that contest, then he could have probably made things somewhat harder for Nadal.

No. I don’t think in terms of revenge, but that it was my first Major final. I had played some Major semi-finals with Rafa, but a final changes everything, it’s different. And maybe I could have faced it a little bit more prepared or with more ambition. I can’t say you exactly, but I thought about many things and I didn’t play as I did for the whole tournament.”

Ferrer was asked which season he thought was his best and he has this to say: “Maybe 2012, where I won seven events, but I believe also 2013 where I could have ended as no. 3 and have much success as well, but in 2012 I was at my best physically and in terms of tennis.

The Spaniard commented on Roger Federer’s phenomenal comeback from injury: “I think that at 31 you are young. My best moment was when I was 32, 33, 31 and 30. Federer playing at 36 at this level surprises me, but if someone could do it, it is him.”

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Karolina Pliskova wins all-Czech semifinal against

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Defending champion Karolina Pliskova cruised past 2019 French Open finalist Marketa Vondrousova 6-2 6-4 on the Central Court after 82 minutes to set up a final against Simona Halep at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia at the Foro Italico in Rome.

 

Pliskova has reached her second consecutive final in the Eternal City. 

Pliskova had already beat Vondrusova last year in Miami en route to reaching the final, where she lost to Australia’s Ashleigh Barty. 

Pliskova got her first break in the fourth game to open a 4-1 lead. Vondrousova earned a break point in the seventh game, but Pliskova saved it with an overhead. Vondrousova saved two set points in the eighth game, but she faced a third chance after a forehand error. Pliskova broke serve with a backhand return on her third set point. 

Vondrousova broke serve in the first game of the second set with backhand. Pliskova broke straight back in the second game at deuce and saved two break point in the third game to hold serve for 2-1. Pliskova converted her third break point chance in the sixth game to take a 4-2 lead. Vondrousova broke straight back at 15 and held her service game to draw level to 4-4. Pliskova saved a break point to hold serve for 5-4 and sealed the win with a break at 30 in the 10th game. 

Pliskova set up a final against Simona Halep, who beat Garbine Muguruza in the first semifinal. Pliskova won her last two head-to-head against Halep in 2019 in Miami and at the WTA Finals in Shenzhen, but Halep leads 7-5.  

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Novak Djokovic reaches his 10th final in Rome

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Four-time Rome champion and 17-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic edged Norway’s Casper Ruud 7-5 6-3 after 2 hours and 11 minutes to advance to his 10th final at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia at the Foro Italico in Rome. Djokovic is one win away from his 36th ATP Masters 1000 title. 

 

Djokovic fended off two set points in the opening set and broke serve three times. The World Number 1 hit 26 winners to 29 unforced errors. 

In the first set Djokovic held serve in the first game after deuce. Ruud won his service game at love with a forehand winner. Ruud earned a break in the third game, when Djokovic made a backhand error. The young Norwegian player held serve at 30 after a forehand error from Djokovic to consolidate the break and build up a 3-1 lead. 

Djokovic held serve at love with a service winner and earned two break points in the fifth game, but Ruud saved them. Both players held serve at love in seventh and eighth games. The key moment of the match came when Ruud wasted two set points, as he was serving at 5-4 40-15. Djokovic hit a crosscourt backhand to save the first set point and reached deuce after hitting a backhand dropshot. 

Ruud lost four consecutive points to drop serve in the 10th game for 5-5. Djokovic saved three break points in the a 12-minute 11th game to hold serve for 6-5. Djokovic broke serve at 30 after Ruud made a forehand error to seal the first set 7-5. 

Djokovic held serve at love in the first game of the second set. Ten deuces and ten break points on both sides followed in the next two marathon games. Ruud held serve at love to draw level to 2-2. Djokovic broke serve at love in the sixth game with powerful groundsstrokes to open up a 4-2 lead. The 2020 Australian Open champion consolidated the break with a service winner to build up a 5-2 lead. Djokovic did not convert his first match point after a forehand error. Ruud saved the second chance with a forehand winner at deuce.

Ruud held serve with a service winner after five deuces to claw his way back to 3-5. Djokovic held serve at love with a service winner to close out the match. 

Djokovic tied Nadal’s Masters 1000 title record by claiming his second Career Golden Masters at the Western and Southern Open in New York. The Serbian legend fining runner-up in three of the past four editions of the Rome Masters 1000 tournament. Djokovic has improved his win-loss record in 2020 to 30-1. 

Ruud was attempting to reach his third final in four clay tournaments this year. The Argentine won the Buenos Aires tournamnet and reached the final in Santiago de Chlle. 

“It is super important to win the title. Otherwise, I would not be here. I don’t take anything for granted, even after 15 years on the Tour. I still enjoy it. I still have hunger for the titles and putting myself in a position to fight for the title is exactly where I want to be”, said Djokovic. 

Djokovic will face either Diego Schwartzman or Denis Shapovalov in the final. 

“Both players are in tremendous form. Diego played the match of his life last night and he is comfortable on clay. Denis has improved a lot on clay over the past few years and has got a powerful game. Whatever comes my way, i will be ready and hopefully I can get my hands on the trophy”. 

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Karolina Pliskova sets up all-Czech semifinal against Marketa Vondrousova in Rome

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Number 2 seed and defending Rome champion Karolina Pliskova edged Belgium’s Elise Mertens 6-3 3-6 6-0 to set up an all-Czech semifinal against her younger compatriot Marketa Vondrousova. 

 

Pliskova got an early break to open up a 3-0 lead at the start of the match. Mertens earned two break points in Pliskova’s first service game, but Pliskova saved them. 

Pliskova got an early break at the start of the second set to build up a 6-3 1-0 lead. Mertens earned break point opportunities in each of Pliskova’s first three service games before breaking serve in the seventh game to take a 4-3 lead. Mertens won five consecutive games to win the second set 6-3 sending the match to the third set.

Pliskova bounced back by breaking serve early in the third set to open up a 3-0 lead. The 2019 Rome champion sealed the third set 6-0 with her third break. 

“I think I played a great match. Even the second set I think there were some good moments. It was one of the best matches of this season, but it’s not so difficult because there were not so many matches. I felt great. Especially the first set was one of my best sets that I have played on clay ever. I thought I played a great set and a half, but of course she is a great player too, so she played some good shots and she made it difficult for me at the end of the second set, but I just changed my clothes, and I came back to the game which I was playing in the first set, which worked”, said Pliskova. 

Pliskova will take on 2019 Roland Garros finalist Marketa Vondrousova, who cruised past two-time Rome champion Elina Svitolina 6-3 6-0 to reach her first semifinal since 2019 Roland Garros. 

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