Experience Prevails In Delray Beach As Steve Johnson And Peter Gojowczyk Set Up Semifinal Clash - UBITENNIS
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Experience Prevails In Delray Beach As Steve Johnson And Peter Gojowczyk Set Up Semifinal Clash

While the bottom half is exclusively under 22, 28-year-olds Steve Johnson and Peter Gojowczyk will face off for a spot in the final in the top half.

Jakub Bobro



Steve Johnson entered the match against Evgeny Donskoy after defeating Milos Raonic 6-2 6-4 in the 2nd Round. Outside of Delray Beach, Johnson has had a poor start to 2018, winning only 1 match. “I had some trouble closing out matches earlier in the year. There was a little bit of a lack of confidence. I’ve had 3 chances to serve out matches this week and I did it every single time.”


Donskoy did well to reach his first quarterfinal since beating Roger Federer in Dubai last year. The Russian advanced through Darian King and Donald Young to set up this clash.

Last time the two have met was the 2016 US Open, where Johnson advanced after a five-set drama. “You don’t want to think about that and you never know what kind of residual feelings he may have… I definitely didn’t expect him to roll over today and it was a tough match,” said Johnson about their previous meeting.

Johnson put out a dominant display over Donskoy and won 6-1 6-4 in an hour and 20 minutes. Johnson and Donskoy play a similar game style, but the American showed today that he is a level higher than his opponent. “I take it day-by-day, every day is different. Hopefully, I’ll have another good day tomorrow and if nothing else, I’ll have some more momentum,” said Johnson

“It’s awesome to have Americans in. We’ll get some positive feedback, which is few and far between these days,” said Johnson, possibly referencing the negative coverage of Tennys Sandgren’s political views and the recent feud between Ryan Harrison and Donald Young.

Johnson also previewed his potential all-American derby against Reilly Opelka: “Reilly is a good friend of mine and it’s always good to see him doing well. We have the same agent and spend a lot of time together. He’s a great kid and loves sports. If we do play each other and he gets the win, he’s never allowed to stay over in my house again.”

However World No. 64 Peter Gojowczyk thwarted those plans with his win over the giant American. The German won in straight sets 7-6(5) 6-3 after 1 hour and 20 minutes. Gojowczyk’s attacking style of returning was what put him above Opelka today.

This was their 3rd meeting, all victorious for Gojowczyk. During the first set tiebreaker, Opelka yelled: “I hate playing him, I never want to play him again!” He later confirmed these comments in the press: “I kind of expected [the loss], he has beaten me two times before. I never want to play him again… Everything’s good. He’s got my number. He’s a great player and I knew I had my hands full. It was pretty similar the previous two matches.”

Opelka also commented on his “bromance” with Steve Johnson: “[playing him next] was in the back of my mind. When I’m in Carson I stay with him in Redondo Beach. He has a pretty nice house, a big house, so there is plenty of space for me. He knows I love Lucky Charms and Red Bull, so the last time I stayed there, I opened the fridge and he had a 12 pack of Red Bull and two boxes of Lucky Charms. I’m like: ‘Wow, what a great guy’. That’s a great friend right there. He’s the man, I’m always rooting for Stevie. I like Peter [Gojowczyk] too, he’s a nice guy, but I’m rooting for Stevie. 

In the past 12 months, Peter Gojowczyk has absolutely skyrocketed, rising from No. 162 to No. 64, winning ATP 250 in Metz, reaching semifinals in Newport and now in Delray Beach. The German previewed this upcoming clash of veterans: “That is a totally different match compared to my last two matches. I played some huge service guys, Reilly and John. Now, it is going to be an open match, I think. He played very well today, not that many unforced errors too. You have to play more from the baseline against him.”

Gojowczyk and Johnson will face off in the semifinals tomorrow at 3 PM local time.



Filip Krajinovic To Skip Australian Open If Required To Quarantine For More Than Five Days

The world No.34 says he ‘sees no reason’ why vaccinated players should have to go through a long quarentine in Australia.




Image via twitter.com/atptour (Alexander Scheuber)

The second highest-ranked Serbian player in men’s tennis says it would be ‘unacceptable’ for organisers of the Australian Open to require players to quarantine for more than a week if they have been fully vaccinated.


Filip Krajinovic has become the first player to publicly state that they will not be prepared to travel to Melbourne at the end of this season if they have to go through strict quarantine measures once again. All the players who participated in this year’s Australian Open were required to be quarantined in a designated hotel for 14 days upon arrival in the country. During their stay they were allowed to use training facilities but that was the only time they could leave the premises unless there was an emergency.

There is no final decision regarding the travel requirements for the 2022 tournament but there are concerns that unvaccinated players may not be allowed to enter the country. The Victorian government recently issued a mandate ordering all essential workers to be vaccinated, including athletes. However, the regional government will not have the final say concerning tennis players arriving in the country with the national government being the ones in charge of that decision.

“They are very rigorous there and honestly, if I have to be in quarantine for 14 days after arriving in Melbourne, I will not go to Australia,” Krajinovic told Serbian newspaper Blic.
“I was vaccinated, I did everything in my power to protect myself and the people around me, so I really see no reason to sit there for 14 days in a room.’
“If they (the organisers) say that after arrival I need, say, five days to be in isolation, that’s OK for me, but anything beyond that is unacceptable to me. With the season ending late, I will have 20 days to get ready and go. Charter flights will be organized again and the last one is planned for December 28 for the players and that is the final date when I can go to Australia. I will see what the final decision from Melbourne will be, so I will cut what is the best thing to do.”

Earlier this week Victoria’s Sports minister Martin Pakula urged players to be vaccinated because it give them ‘the best opportunity to play in the Australian Open.’ It is expected that if unvaccinated players are allowed to attend, they will be subjected to stricter restrictions. This might include a longer quarantine period upon arrival and limitations of where they can go during their stay.

Last year, all of those players had to do their 14 days of quarantine. Right now there looks like there will be different rules for people who enter this country who are vaccinated as against unvaccinated and I don’t think the tennis will be any exception to that.” Pakula told the Sports Entertainment Network (SEN).
“In terms of what rules apply for people to enter Australia, whether unvaccinated people are allowed in at all, I don’t the answer to that yet. That’s going to be the subject of discussion at national cabinet and among the federal cabinet … those rules are not set by state governments.” He added.

Krajinovic is currently ranked 34th in the world and has a win-loss record this season of 18-18. At the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells he reached the second round before falling in straight sets to Daniil Medvedev. His best run so far this year was at the Hamburg Open where he reached the final.

“When we look at the whole of 2021, I played one final, one semifinal, there were good victories, but also worse results,” the 29-year-old commented.

Krajinovic is currently without a coach but is currently in ‘negotiations’ with somebody without elaborating further about who that person is.

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Alexander Zverev Secures Place In ATP Finals With Indian Wells Win

Zverev will be seeking to win the season-ending extravaganza for the second time in his career.




Alexander Zverev (GER) Credit: AELTC/Edward Whitaker

Germany’s Alexander Zverev has become the fourth player to officially qualify for the ATP Finals after reaching the third round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.


The world No.4 defeated America’s Jenson Brooksby 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, in his second round match on Sunday which pushed him over the points threshold to secure his spot in the end-of-season event. It is the fifth year in a row he has qualified for the ATP Finals which he won back in 2018. He is one of only three German players to ever win the title after Boris Becker and Michael Stich.

This year’s tournament will take place in Turin, Italy for the first time in history after being held at The O2 Arena in London for more than a decade. Only the eight highest ranked players are eligible to play in the round-robin tournament which has on offer up to 1500 rankings points for an undefeated champion.

“My first time in Turin. I’ve been to London four times before. London is obviously very special to me because I won there, as well. I think the stadium is incredible, one of the most special events that we had,” Zverev told reporters on Sunday.
“But I also love playing in Italy. I had great success in Italy. I won my first Masters in Rome. I’m looking forward to being there. I’m looking forward to playing in front of the Italian fans. It’s going to be a great week.”

The 24-year-old approaches the final quarter of this season with four titles already won this year. He has won two Masters 1000 trophies, an ATP 500 event in Mexico and a gold medal in singles at the Tokyo Olympic Games. Zverev, who has recorded seven wins over top 10 players, also reached the semi-finals at both the French Open and US Open.

Zverev joins Novak Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas as the players who have qualified for the ATP Finals so far. It is the third straight season the quartet has qualified for the event.

This year’s ATP Finals will get underway on November 14th. Medvedev is the defending champion.

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Denis Shapovalov Advances After Pospisil Retires In Indian Wells

The battle of the two Canadians didn’t go as planned…




Denis Shapovalov (CAN) Credit: AELTC/Edward Whitaker

Vasek Pospisil faced off against his fellow Canadian Denis Shapovalov in the second round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells and it was the world number 13 who got the win after the Vernon native pulled out due to an injury whilst trailing 0-3.


It was a rough start for Pospisil who seemed to struggle with his serve in the opening game of the match and double-faulted twice in a row to give the early break and Shapovalov had no issues consolidating the break.

Shapovalov continued to apply pressure on the Pospisil serve and after saving two breakpoints the world number 68 pulled up after a serve and stopped play, calling for the trainer. He ended up taking a medical timeout off the court and a couple of minutes later returned to court. Pospisil was broken once again and the following game after a couple of returns decided to call it quits.

” It was pretty awful…and if I’m being honest I am shaking a bit…It really sucks I hope it’s nothing serious…He’s a great guy he’s a real warrior he’s fought back from some injuries surgeries to such a great level.” Shapovalov said of his compatriot.

Shapovalov will face 19th seed Aslan Karatsev in the next round after the Russian thrashed Salvatore Caruso 6-2, 6-0.

In the other results of the day sixth seeed Casper Ruud dominated Roberto Carballes Baena 6-1, 6-2, Roberto Bautista Agut beat the Argentine Guido Pella 7-5, 6-3 and Sebastien Korda won an all American battle with Frances Tiafoe 6-0, 6-4.

Finally, Diego Schwartzman needed three sets to beat another American in Maxime Cressy winning 6-2, 3-6, 7-5.

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