11th Time lucky As Kevin Anderson Roars Into First Masters Semi-Final In Madrid - UBITENNIS
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11th Time lucky As Kevin Anderson Roars Into First Masters Semi-Final In Madrid

Kevin Anderson has achieved a brand new milestone is his career at the age of 31!

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Kevin Anderson (zimbio.com)

MADRID: Kevin Anderson has broken new ground on the tour following his 7-6(3), 3-6, 6-3, win over Dusan Lajovic at the Madrid Open.

 

Despite being the favourite going into the match, the South African sixth seed has never progressed to the last four of a Masters 1000 event. Falling in the quarter-finals on ten previous occasions. He managed to break his jinx against Lajovic, who knocked out Juan Martin del Potro on Thursday. Hitting a total of 35 winners against 29 unforced errors.

“I think I did a good job because I didn’t really think of it too much. I had lots of reason to think about it. (missing the semifinals in) Indian Wells and Miami, not that long ago.” Anderson said about reaching the last four in Madrid.
“I knew the opportunity existed today. I thought first step was putting myself in that position. I was able to do that. Going out there today, I just really focused on what I needed to do. Thinking too much about previous results is not going to do me too much good, outside of the fact that, sure, there was motivation to get through.

Capitalizing on Madrid’s high altitude, Anderson managed to keep within contention throughout the match with the help of some blistering serving. Aided by a total of 15 aces. During the first set, the South African grabbed his first break after a Lajovic forehand slammed into a net to move him to a 4-2 lead. Despite securing a lead, Anderson lost the advantage immediately after an error-stricken service game cost him. Despite the setback, the sixth seed regained control in the tiebreaker against a frustrated Lajovic. Who disputed some of the calls made by the officials. Anderson then moved to four set points with the help of a forehand cross-court shot, before converting his second thanks to an error from his rival.

Lajovic’s resurgence started midway through the middle set. Once again a lackluster Anderson service game cost him dearly as a double fault gifted his opponent the break. This time round the South African was unable to find a way to fight back against some spirited play from his opponent. Enabling the world No.95 to take the proceedings into a decider with the help of back-to-back mistakes from Anderson.

Dodging the shock upset, the 31-year-old managed to regain his composure to close out the milestone win. Breaking to love in the decider on his way to the finish line. The win was then eventually sealed on the 132nd minute of the match when Lajovic failed to get a return back over the net.

“I’ve really enjoyed playing on the clay. Obviously the movement’s a little bit tougher. But I think a lot of the surface actually suits my game nicely. The ball usually kicks up a little bit more. I think it helps my serve, gives me a little bit more time from the baseline.” The world No.8 explained.

Describing his preparations heading into the clay court swing as ‘good,’ Anderson insisted that he has trained no different to playing on any other surface.  So far, only one of his 16 ATP finals has been contested on the dirt. That was back in 2013 when he lost in the final of Grand Prix Hassan to II to Tommy Robredo.

“For the most part I worked really hard on many aspects of my game: trying to impose myself more, have more trust in my game.” Said Anderson.
“I’ve worked really hard on the mental side of my game. Whether it was on the hard courts so far this year or coming onto the clay, I feel like it’s been a constant theme for me.”

In the semifinals, the US Open runner-up will take on either Rafael Nadal or Dominic Thiem. In the head-to-head, Anderson trails Nadal 0-5, but leads Thiem 6-0.

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Jean Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau beat Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah in the doubles tournament in London

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Former ATP Finals champions Jean Julien Rojer from the Netherlands and Horia Tecau from Romania beat 2019 year-end number 1 team Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah 6-2 5-7 10-8 after 90 minutes in Max Mirnyi Group of the doubles tournament at the ATP Finals in London.

 

Tecau broke serve with a backhand crosscourt winner to take a 3-1 lead in the opening set. The Romanian player went up a double break with a backhand crosscourt winner at 5-2 to seal the opening set after 28 minutes.

Cabal and Farah did not convert any of their break points in the ninth game of the second set before breaking serve for the first time in the match two games later to claim the second set 7-5 forcing the match to the decisive set.

Rojer and Tecau went up a 6-2 lead in the Match Tie-Break. Cabal and Farah won four consecutive points to draw level to 6-6. Rojer and Tecau rallied from 7-8 down by winning three consecutive points to claim the Match Tie-Break 10-8.

Rojer and Tecau have now a 1-1 record in Group Max Mirnyi. The Dutch and Romanian team took the re-match against Cabal and Farah, who won their previous head-to-head clash in five sets at Wimbledon en route to their maiden Grand Slam doubles title.

“I am happy with our form. We lost the first match and knew we would need to bounce back against a very good team. We played a very good first set, prior to them making adjustments in the second set. We played a really good Match tie-break”, said Rojer.

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Wimbledon Finalist Tomas Berdych To Retire

Details have been released about a ‘special announcement’ being made by the former world No.4 later this week.

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LONDON: It has been confirmed that Tomas Berdych will travel to London where he is expected to formally announce his retirement from tennis at the age of 34.

 

The former world No.4 will address his future in the sport during a media engagement at the ATP Finals on Saturday. An event he has played six times during his career with his last appearance being back in 2015. News of Berdych’s upcoming departure was first reported by the Czech newspaper Blesk, who contacted his father.

“I think it will be a great end on Saturday,” Blesk quoted Martin Berdych as saying.

In the aftermath of the media report, Berdych took to social media to confirm that he will be making an announcement. Although he did not specify as to what it will be. The Czech hasn’t played on the tour since his first-round loss at the US Open due to injury. Overall, he has only managed to play 22 matches this season. Winning 13 of them.

“Hey guys, if you want a surprise don’t watch any media or social networks, but I know it is impossible these days,” Berdych said in a video uploaded to his Twitter account. “I know, these little mistakes happen.”
“I had it planned as a little surprise on Saturday where I’m going to be in London. But now it’s not even possible because it is all over (the news). It’s fine, more information is going to come on Saturday.” He added.

Speculation about Berdych’s retirement from the sport began to gain momentum in September following an interview with idnes.cz. Where he opened up about his struggles with both back and hip injuries.

Playing during the same era as the prestigious big Three of the sport (Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Roger Federer), Berdych still managed to establish himself as one of the tour’s top players during his career. Winning 13 ATP titles in 32 finals he played in, including the 2005 Paris Masters. Berdych remains the youngest player in history to win a Masters 1000 title. He also finished seven consecutive seasons inside the world’s top 10 (2010-2016) and managed to remain inside the top 100 for an impressive 794 weeks (2004-2019).

Should Berdych retire on Saturday, he ends his career with 640 wins. Including 53 against top 10 opposition. He has featured in 61 grand slam main draws with his stand out performance being a run to the final of the 2010 Wimbledon Championships.

Berdych has earned $29,491,328 in prize money. The ninth highest amount in the history of men’s tennis (as of 11th November 2019).

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ATP Finals 2019 Day 4 Preview: Medvedev Seeks Revenge Against Nadal

After a day of upsets in the Andre Agassi Group on Monday, will the surprises continue today?

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Stefanos Tsitsipas and Sascha Zverev were both 0-5 respectively against Daniil Medvedev and Rafael Nadal, yet both were victorious in the opening round.  Tsitsipas and Zverev will now compete to take the lead in the group, while Nadal and Medvedev compete the keep their advancement hopes alive. And for Rafa, the year-end No.1 ranking is also up for grabs between himself and Novak Djokovic.

 

Rafael Nadal (1) vs. Daniil Medvedev (4)

This is a rematch from the epic US Open final two months ago.  On that day in New York, Nadal was up two sets and a break, seemingly cruising to his 19th Major singles title.  But Medvedev would fight his way back to even the match, eventually succumbing to Rafa in a five-set, five-hour thriller.  Since that final, Nadal has battled multiple injuries, and has not completed any event he’s entered. Meanwhile the US Open was one of six straight consecutive finals for Medvedev, yet he’s now 0-2 over the past month.  Both Nadal and Medvedev admitted they were not at their best on Monday. Rafa is obviously not back to 100% after the abdominal injury he suffered in Paris less than two weeks ago. Jim Courier on Tennis Channel in the US said he’s never seen Nadal hit his forehand worse than he did on Monday.  And after taking some time off after his six straight finals, Medvedev has been struggling to rediscover his form, and said he’s been playing poorly in practice. Their only other previous match was also this summer, when Rafa dominated Daniil in the Rogers Cup final, dropping only three games. But judging by Rafa’s level against Zverev on Monday, I like Medvedev’s chances on an indoor hard court to secure his first win over Nadal.

Stefanos Tsitsipas (6) vs. Sascha Zverev (7)

This will be their fifth career meeting, with all of them occurring within the past 18 months.  Zverev claimed their first matchup last summer in Washington, but Tsitsipas has taken the last three, including most recently just last month in Beijing.  Their rivalry turned in the quarterfinals of the Rogers Cup last August, when Stefanos saved two match points in the second set tiebreak to come back and upset Sascha in three.  Tsitsipas has now won six of their last seven sets contested. While Zverev has been a better player since the Laver Cup in September, and served very well against Nadal on Monday, Sascha is still not quite at the level he reached a year ago when he won this event.  And Tsitsipas has been the much more confident competitor of the two throughout this year. Based on their head-to-head history and recent form, Tsitsipas should be favored to remain undefeated in the Andre Agassi Group. 

 

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