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‘Fresh and Healthy’ Roger Federer Aims To Reclaim No.1 Ranking In Stuttgart

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Roger Federer (zimbio.com)

A fresh and healthy Roger Federer is aiming to reclaim his world number one spot in Stuttgart this week as he has denied rumours linking him with a new sponsorship deal.

The 20 time grand slam champion was speaking in his press conference today in Stuttgart and admitted that Nadal’s achievement of winning an 11th Roland Garros title was impressive, “It’s unbelievable, you can only talk about it in superlatives,” Federer explained. “To win a tournament eleven times is almost unthinkable and he almost makes it look easy. I kind of expected Rafa to win the French Open. That’s not taking anything away from him, but again he was that good on the clay leading into the French Open.  I thought he was going to win.”

The current world number two has his eyes set on reclaiming the world number one spot this week as he looks to win the Stuttgart title for the first time, “So by him (Nadal) winning, it creates a situation that I was expecting. That I have to play the final here (in Stuttgart) to get back to world No.1. I think that’s a little bit of extra motivation, but then again I lost in the first round here last year.”

The 36 year old is looking to find his rythym as he looks to win a ninth Wimbledon title in a few weeks time, “On grass the margins are very slim and it’s not so simple. Especially when you haven’t played for three months. I just hope I can find my rhythm a bit earlier. I don’t want to be on a three match losing streak,” Claimed Federer. “I feel like I have plenty of time. I’m fresh and I’m healthy. That’s why I’m happy and confident to be there. Things could turn out very well this week.”

As well as talking about his hopes in the grass court season, Federer also denied rumours speculating that he had joined Uniqlo and ditched Nike, which he has been with for many years, “It’s rumours. I haven’t had a contract with Nike since March that run out after all these years. We’re talking and we will see what happens. It’s part of the game, an unfortunate part, but at the same time it’s an opportunity to see what’s going on.”

The top seed will begin his Stuttgart campaign on Wednesday against either Mischa Zverev or Mikhail Youzhny, a match in which Federer will be heavy favourite for as he has a combined 22-0 head to head record against Zverev and Youzhny.

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Lucie Hradecka and Ekaterina Makarova lift their maiden WTA doubles title as a team in Cincinnati

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Lucie Hradecka and Ekaterina Makarova lifted their maiden WTA doubles title as a team with a 6-2 7-5 win over Elise Mertens and Demi Schuurs in the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati.

Two of the most successful doubles specialists on the circuit Hradecka and Makarova lifted 34 doubles titles between them, but they clinched their first title as a team. They played together once before in 2011, when they reached the final in Luxembourg before finishing runners-up to Iveta Benesova and Barbora Strycova. Makarova has won their first title of the year, but the first with a player other than Elena Vesnina, who is currently injured. Hradecka has won her first double title since Moscow 2016.

Hradecka and Makarova broke Mertens and Schuurs three times to win the opening set in 25 minutes. Mertens and Schuurs broke serve in the second set to take a 4-2 lead in the second set, but Hradecka and Makarova reeled off five of the last six games to seal the second set.

“It was a very tough match today and our opponents played a great game. I want to thank my team, my coach, my physio. We have had a great week and look forward to the future”, said Makarova.

“It’s an unbelievable feeling to be back on court, I want to thank Ekaterina for partnering me this week”, said Hradecka.

 

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Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares reach the doubles final in Cincinnati

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Fourth seeds Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares will face Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah in the men’s double final of the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati.

Murray and Soares won eight of the final nine points of the Match Tie-break to beat sixth seeds Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau 6-7 (7-9) 6-2 10-6.

Both teams went on serve until 5-5 in the opening set. Murray and Soares earned a break point chance at deuce at 5-5 30-40, when Rojer missed a half-volley return. Rojer hit an ace at 5-6 to send the first set to to the tie-break. Rojer and Tejau, who had not dropped a set in their previous two matches this week, clinched the first set on their third set point.

The second set started with three holds of serve. Murray and Soares earned three break points, as Rojer made a double fault at 15-30. Soares broke serve to take a 3-1 lead with his overhead. Rojer earned two break-back points with his return. Murray and Soares fended off both break points to open up a 4-1 lead. Rojer and Tecau served to stay in the second set at 5-2. Soares hit a forehand volley to close out the second set with a break after 1 hour and 17 minutes.

Rojer and Tecau earned the first mini-break in the first point of the match tie-break. Murray and Soares pulled the break back a point later to take a 1-3 lead. Both teams went on serve as Rojer and Tecau led 4-5. Soares broke back with a backhand winner to draw level to 5-5. Tecau dropped serve on the 11th point to go down 5-6. Soares won two points to take a 8-5 lead for his team. Murray hit a forehand winner to earn three match points at 9-6. The Brazilian and British players closed out the match 10-6 on their first opportunity to secure their spot in the Cincinnati final.

The British and Brazilian team set up a final against Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah, who beat Phillip Kohlschreiber and Fernando Verdasco 7-6 (7-5) 6-4.

Murray clinched eight ATP doubles titles in their career including two tournaments in Acapulco and Washington. Cabal and Farah won their maiden Masters 1000 title in Rome after beating Murray and Soares in the semifinal.

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David Goffin Upbeat Over US Open Presence Despite Injury Setback

The Belgian speaks out about his latest problem after retiring during his clash with Roger Federer.

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David Goffin has said that he ‘doesn’t think’ his retirement from the Western and Southern Open will have any impact on his campaign at the US Open.

Goffin was taking on world No.2 Roger Federer is the semi-finals on Saturday before retiring early on in the second set due to a shoulder injury. An anti-climatic end to what has been a stellar week for the 27-year-old. In Cincinnati, he has scored wins over Rogers Cup finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas, Benoit Paire, Kevin Anderson and Juan Martin del Potro. A run that has moved him back into the world’s top 10 when the rankings are updated on Monday.

“I’ve felt it for many days, but yesterday (Friday) at the end of the second match, against Delpo, I started to feel really my arm, and then it went from the shoulder to the elbow.” Goffin commented about his injury on Saturday.
“During the warmup I felt like I couldn’t serve 100%, so I started the match and I just wanted to see how it goes. I didn’t lose my serve, but I guess it was a little bit too dangerous because I start to feel it (the pain) a little bit more, so I decided to stop.”

It is far from ideal timing for Goffin to be hit be this problem. In eight days time the US Open will get underway at Flushing Meadows. Last year he achieved his best performance at the tournament by reaching the fourth round before crashing out to Andrey Rublev. In the grand slams, Goffin has reached the quarter-final stage twice in 24 attempts.

“I don’t think so. But we will see with my staff, with my doctor, my physio.” He replied when asked if the injury could impact on his US Open campaign.
“I think it was a tough week, and I need to rest my arm and rest my shoulder a little bit.” Goffin added.

Goffin will be the top seed at next week’s Winston-Salem Open. There has been no formal word on if he will play in the tournament. As it currently stands, he is set to face either Paolo Lorenzi or Marton Fucsovics in his first match.

On Monday, Goffin will rise to 10th in the ATP World Tour rankings.

UPDATE: Since this article was published, Goffin has withdrawn from Winston-Salem

https://twitter.com/WSOpen/status/1031188161152667648

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