Alexander Zverev and Tomas Berdych start their Rotterdam campaign with straight-set wins - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

ATP

Alexander Zverev and Tomas Berdych start their Rotterdam campaign with straight-set wins

Avatar

Published

on

Alexander Zverev and Tomas Berdych won their first-round matches in straight sets to advance to the second round at the ABN AMRO in Rotterdam.

 

Alexander Zverev beat David Ferrer 6-4 6-3 in one hour and 24 minutes. The 20-year-old German fended off nine of the eleven break points and broke five times.

The German Next Gen player had to save nine of the eleven break points and broke serve five times.

Zverev survived a tough second game at 1-1 after saving three break points with three winners. He broke for the first time in the third game at deuce with a drop shot to take a 2-1 lead. He went a double break at love to open up a 4-1 lead. Ferrer earned four break points in the sixth game and pulled one break back on his fourth chance with a volley winner at deuce to close the deficit to 2-4. Zverev held his final two service games and closed out the first set 6-4 with a service winner.

Both players traded breaks in the first two games and held at 30 in the next four games to draw level to 3-3. Zverev got another break at 30 in the seventh game to take a 4-3 lead, as Ferrer made a double fault. Zverev held a tough service game at deuce for 5-3 after saving three break points. Ferrer went up 40-0 on the return in the eighth game after a 23-shot rally but Zverev hit two service winners before forcing the game to deuce when Ferrer netted a forehand.

Zverev hit tw service winners to win the eighth game. The German wrapped up the match with another break in the ninth game with a lob winner.

Former Rotterdam champion Tomas Berdych made his debut in Rotterdam with a 7-5 6-3 win over Alexander’s elder brother Misha Zverev. Berdych converted three of his break points. Misha Zverev created six break points (including four in the opening game of the match).

Berdych won the Dutch tournament in 2014 beating Marin Cilic and lost the final to Stan Wawrinka one year later.

Misha earned six break points in Berdych’s first four service games. He failed to convert four opportunities in the first game but broke serve in the third game with a forehand winner to take a 2-1 lead and held his next three service games to open up a 5-3.

The Czech player broke back and held serve at love in the 11th game before breaking serve with a solid return in the following game to close out the first set 7-5.

The Czech star dropped just four points on serve and broke serve in the fourth game with a volley winner at the net. He held serve at 15 in the ninth game to reach the Round of 16.

Berdych has won 20 matches in this tournament, including nine consecutive wins from 2014 to 2015. He is playing at this tournament for the eleventh time in his career.

Berdych will face either Jan-Lennard Struff or Viktor Troicki in the second round.

“It almost feels like a home match here. I love this tournament and like to come back every year. It is very well organised, because the facilities for the players are great. The centre court being the highlight. Misha Zverev is just a tough opponent who likes to play indoors. I gradually got better and better in my rhythm. I am pleased with this good victory. It’s a good start to the tournament”, said Berdych.

Feliciano Lopez beat 2016 Rotterdam champion Martin Klizan 6-3 7-6 (7-4) to secure his spot in the second round. Klizan held his serve in the fourth game at deuce after saving three break points for 2-2. Lopez reeled off four of the next five games including a break in the sixth game en route to winning the first set 6-3.

Klizan broke serve in the fourth game and held his next two service games to open up a 5-3 lead. Lopez broke back in the ninth game and consolidated it to draw level to 5-5. Both player held their serve in the next two service games to set up a tie-break. Lopez prevailed by 7-4 in the tie-break to seal the win in straight sets.

In the second round Lopez will play against the winner of the Tuesday match between David Goffin and Benoit Paire.

Seppi got his only break in the third game at 30 and held his next four service games to take the first set 6-4. Sousa bounced back by breaking serve in the second game of the second set to take a 3-0 lead.

Sousa held his serve at deuce in the fifth game to open up a 4-1 lead after saving a break point. The Portuguese player got the double break at deuce and served out the second set at 30 with two aces.

Seppi earned an early break in the second game of the decider to open up a 4-2 lead. The Italian player, who reached the fourth round at the Australian Open last month, held his serve at deuce after saving two break points for 5-2. He converted his third break point at deuce in the final game to close out the third set 6-2.

“I am very happy with this win. I played on clay in the Davis Cup in Marbella against a lefty player, because you don’t encounter many lef-handed players on the Tour”, said Lopez.

The 45th anniversary edition of the famous Dutch tournament will be highlighted by Swiss legend Roger Federer, who will play his first tournament since his second consecutive triumph at the Australian Open. Roger will play in Rotterdam for the ninth time in his career. The tournament features four top-ten players

“I am happy to be back at the tournament in Rotterdam where I have good memories. In 1999 I received a wildcard for the qualificatons from the tournament director and made it to the qualifications in the main draw. That ultimately meant a breakthrough in my career. Rotterdam remains one of the largest indoor tournaments in the world and everything is well organized here”.

Federer is just 155 points away from the first position in the ATP Ranking, which is currently held by Rafa Nadal. If he reaches at least the semifinal, the Swiss Maestro could become the oldest number one player in the ATP Ranking in history replacing André Agassi, who last held to number 1 spot on 7 September 2003 at the age of 33. He would return to the top of the ranking for the first time since 4 November 2012.

“I did not expect to be the number one in the world after the ATP World Tour Finals last November in London. I only ever said I would think about the ATP Rankings after the Australian Open was over. I did not expect to win the Australian Open again and by not winning the ATP Finals. I never thought it would happen again and it may be out of sight. I played at the Australian Open not thinking about the rankings, but I knew I had the flexibility in February over my calendar. I could choose between Rotterdam and Dubai. I like to play in both tournaments, but I have chosen Rotterdam because I like to play indoors. I am very motivated to be the number one in the ATP Ranking again”.

He will play his first match against Ruben Bemelmans on Wednesday evening.

“I know him a lot, but not well enough yet. I still have some scouting to do. Perhaps it’s more important to be ready for that game myself.”

Federer could meet his compatriot Stan Wawrinka in the the quarter finals.

“I would love to be in that position to attain number 1 against anybody. If I get back to that spot you don’t want it to happen in an easy way. The achievement would be quite incredible. It’s exciting to have Stan in my section of the draw.”

Continue Reading
Click to comment

ATP

Novak Djokovic Survives Almighty Sinner Scare to Reach Wimbledon Semis

The dramatic encounter featured a fight back, multiple breaks of serve and even an injury scare.

Avatar

Published

on


Reigning champion Novak Djokovic staged an epic comeback to keep his hopes of winning a seventh Wimbledon title alive after ousting Jannik Sinner in a five-set thriller.

 


Djokovic, who only dropped six games against Sinner in their previous Tour meeting, was forced to battle back from two sets down to prevail 5-7, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2, in a roller-coaster encounter on Center Court. The triumph marks Djokovic’s 84th win at the tournament which is the joint-second highest tally in history alongside Jimmy Connors. Only Roger Federer has won more.

“Huge congratulations to Jannik today for a big fight. I’m sure that there are going to be a lot of opportunities for him on the big stage. He’s mature for his age and is already an established top 15 player over the last few years,” said Djokovic.
“He was unfortunate today but he has plenty of time.”

Taking on one of the most promising future prospects of men’s tennis, Djokovic’s latest encounter was a match of two halves. Initially, he appeared as if he would suffer a shock loss to world No.13 before he managed to conjure up an emphatic comeback. Breaking Sinner’s spirit who was bidding to become only the third Italian man to reach a Wimbledon semi-final in history.

“We had two different matches. He was the better player for two sets. (Then) I went out for a toilet break, had a little pep talk (with myself) in the mirror,” the 20-time major winner revealed.
“Sometimes in these circumstances where not much is happening positively for you on the court in terms of tennis. These things are necessary – a little break and pep talk to try to recuperate.’
“I was fortunate to start well in the third set by breaking his serve and that gave me the confidence boost. I saw a bit of doubt in his game and my experience of these kinds of matches helped me.”

The first set was a roller-coaster encounter between the two tennis titans on Center Court. Reigning champion Djokovic started out guns blazing by winning seven points in a row before Sinner got onto the scoreboard after prevailing in a 17-shot rally. The top seed looked to be in full control until a double fault on break point enabled his rival to bounce back. Continuing to play some inspired tennis with blistering shot-making, a cross-court winner enabled the Italian to break once again and this time had the chance to serve the opener out. A task he passed with flying colors.

Continuing to take his game to Djokovic, Sinner appeared unfazed about trying to become the youngest men’s semi-finalist at SW19 since 2007. Producing powerful hitting from the baseline, the 20-year-old extended his lead two games into the second frame. A stunning backhand volley followed by a Djokovic error elevated him to a 2-1 advantage. Spurred on by the crowd, the unprecedented onslaught continued with the help of some costly errors from the Serbian. He sealed the double break with the help of a successful Hawk-Eye challenge before securing a two-set lead in his favor with the help of a 122mph service.

Facing a swift exit, Djokovic once again illustrated the fighting spirit that he is renowned for. Capitalizing on a blip in form from Sinner, he cruised through the third set to resurrect his chances. 

Steaming rolling his way into a decider, Djokovic continued his dominance during the fourth frame by winning four straight games. However, closing that set out was full of drama. First, Sinner suffered an injury scare after going over his ankle before continuing. Then Djokovic fended off a break point and squandered two set points before closing it out. 

A stunning sliding passing shot in the decider set Djokovic up with a chance to break and move to a game away from victory. Something he did with the help of a Sinner error which the Italian instantly regretted by putting both his hands on his head. After that mishit, Djokovic ended the clash with a love service game. 

“I’ve been blessed to play professional tennis for 20 years but nevertheless I go through those doubtful moments like everybody else. The inner fight is always the biggest fight. Once you win the fight the external circumstance is more likely to go in your favor. I knew I could turn this match around. I have done that a few times in grand slams.” Djokovic concluded.


 

Continue Reading

ATP

(VIDEO EXCLUSIVE) Why Rafael Nadal Faces His Biggest Test Yet

Tennis Hall of Famer Steve Flink joins UbiTennis to reflect on the highs and lows of day 8 of Wimbledon.

Avatar

Published

on

Will the upcoming quarter-final be Rafael Nadal’s hardest match yet? How will Nick Kyrgios’ shoulder recover?

 

The second Monday at Wimbledon was one full of intrigue in the men’s draw. Whilst on the women’s side, Simona Halep was in impressive form against Paula Badosa but tennis commentator Flink explains why he thinks her upcoming clash with Amanda Anisimova will be tougher.

Alongside Ubitennis CEO Ubaldo Scanagatta, Flink also looks at Jannik Sinner’s chances of causing a huge upset against reigning champion Novak Djokovic. 

Continue Reading

ATP

WIMBLEDON: Rafael Nadal Coy Over New Injury Speculation

After the foot problems in Paris, there is a strong possibility the Spaniard could be experiencing another injury issue.

Avatar

Published

on

image via twitter.com/atp

There are fresh concerns surrounding Rafael Nadal after he declined to go into the reason why he was wearing abdominal taping during his fourth round match at Wimbledon. 

 

The 22-time Grand Slam winner was seen wearing some kind of protection in the abdominal area after changing his t-shirt during one of the breaks. In recent weeks Nadal has been dealing with physical issues due to a long-term foot condition he has. At the French Open he revealed that he had to undergo injections in order for him to continue playing en route to winning the tournament for a 14th time.

Playing 21st seed Botic van de Zandschulp, Nadal battled his way to a 6-4, 6-2, 7-6(6), win. Speaking to reporters after his latest win at The All England Club, the Spaniard sidestepped a question about a potential abdominal problem he could be experiencing. 

“I am a little bit tired of talking about my body. It’s not that I don’t want to answer your question, but at the same time sometimes I am tired of myself, all the issues that I am having. I prefer to not talk about that now,” he replied.
“I am in the middle of the tournament and I have to keep going. All respect for the rest of the opponents. I am just trying my best every single day. For the moment I am healthy enough to keep going and fight for the things that I want.”

Continuing to stay coy about his form and health, Nadal offered an alternative perspective when asked if he was nearing his best level once again. He has dropped just two sets in four matches played so far at Wimbledon which is his first grass-court event since 2019. 

“It’s always the same here. It’s not about how close I am to the level or not. I don’t know that. I can’t predict what can happen.” He said.
“But the positive thing is the first two matches haven’t been good. Then two days ago I played at a high level for the first time. And today most of the matches, again, at a very positive level.”

The straight sets scoreline failed to tell the true story of Nadal’s roller-coaster win on Center Court. Taking on Zandschulp, a player who burst onto the main scene last year by reaching the US Open quarter-finals as a qualifier, the 22-time major champion engaged in a match of two halves. Nadal looked on the verge of an easy victory after breaking once in the first set, twice in the second and storming to a 5-2 in the third. However, the Dutchman refused to go down without a fight by displaying his best tennis of the match to draw level. 

Now engaged in his first real test, Nadal was under intense pressure to close it out in three. If he didn’t there would have been an inevitable delay for the roof to come on due to poor light. If that occurred, there would be less than two hours of play left before the 11pm curfew began.

Nevertheless, Nadal didn’t need the roof as he squeezed through the tiebreaker. After squandering three consecutive match points, he prevailed on his fourth with the help of a lob that triggered Zandschulp to smash the ball out. 

Nadal is through to his 47th major quarter-final and is only the third man in the Open Era to do so at Wimbledon after celebrating his 36th birthday. In total, he has won 309 main draw matches at Grand Slam tournaments.

In the last eight, the Spaniard has a shot of revenge when he takes on Taylor Fritz who ended his 20-match winning streak earlier this year in Indian Wells. During that match, Nadal had a rib injury and he had beaten the American earlier that month in Mexico. 

“That last match (in Indian Wells) was zero because I had a stress fracture on my rib, and it was difficult to learn many things because the pain was terrible playing that match.” He said. 

As for Fritz, he believes their upcoming clash will be at a higher standard given the form both players are currently in. Fritz is currently on a eight-match winning streak after recently claiming the Eastbourne Open title. 

“It’s going to be a lot different match obviously. Indian Wells was kind of crazy with both of us being extremely beaten up before the final. This time I think we’ll get healthier versions of both of us, we’ll see.” Fritz previewed.

The question for nadal, is how healthy is the current version of him really is? Only time will tell. 

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending