Roger Federer Confirms First Tournament Of 2019 - UBITENNIS
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Roger Federer Confirms First Tournament Of 2019

The Swiss player will be starting the new season in Western Australia for the second year in a row.

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Roger Federer (zimbio.com)

World No.2 Roger Federer will start his 2019 season in Perth at the Hopman Cup alongside compatriot Belinda Bencic.

 

The 20-time grand slam champion will be bidding to win the title for the second consecutive year. In January the 36-year-old won all eight of his matches on route to winning his second trophy at the mixed team event and first since since 2001. Back in 2001 Federer triumphed alongside Martina Hingis.

“I’m very excited to be coming to the Hopman Cup again in 2019 and trying to defend my title with Belinda Bencic,” said Federer.
“We had a wonderful week. I took a quokka selfie. Western Australia has treated me super well, you, the fans, have been amazing.
“Perth Arena is a wonderful place to start the new year and it’s obviously the perfect preparation for the Australian Open and it worked so well the last couple of years, I can’t wait to come back.”

The Hopman Cup is an annual mixed team event consisting of teams of two players. It has been held annually since 1989 and is currently hosted at the Perth Arena in Western Australia. This year’s event attracted a record attendance of 106,424 fans. Not counting the 5,688 fans who turned up to watch Federer’s practice session with Thanasi Kokkinakis.

“The crowds were absolutely amazing and to play at Perth Arena is what every player lives for,’ said 21-year-old Bencic.

No information has been given about Federer’s appearance fee in the tournament. Tourism minister Paul Papalia told 9 News Australia that the sum won’t be disclosed because he doesn’t want to ‘compromise’ the state’s ability to attract big names to the area.

“We can’t reveal the amount we paid, obviously, because that would compromise our ability to not only get Roger or any other serious figure in the future in a similar fashion,” Mr Papalia told reporters on Tuesday.

Zverev returns

Another high-profile name returning to the Hopman Cup next year will be Alexander Zverev. The German world No.3 finished runner-up in the 2017 final with Angelique Kerber. Kerber will also be returning to the event. Zverev have won eight ATP titles so far in his career, including three at Masters 1000 level. Meanwhile, Kerber is a two-time grand slam champion and former world No.1.

“I always like coming back to Perth for the Hopman Cup. It’s my fourth year in a row playing and I always enjoy it,” Zverev said.

Tournament director Paul Kilderry has hailed the return of the four players to the Hopman Cup next year.

“We’re very pleased to have our defending champions Roger Federer and Belinda Bencic and our finalists Angelique Kerber and Alexander Zverev returning to Perth to start 2019 with us,” said Kilderry.
“To have three top 15 players confirm their participation so early in the year just shows how much the players really enjoy the tournament and how much they love coming to Perth.
“The 2018 tournament was our best yet and we’re looking forward to seeing another successful year in 2019.”

The 2019 Hopman Cup will get underway on December 31st.

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Petra Kvitova set semifinal against Anett Kontaveit in Ostrava

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Anett Kontaveit upset this year’s Olympic singles gold medallist Belinda Bencic 6-4 6-3 after 74 minutes in the quarter finals of the J&T Banka Ostrava Open. Kontaveit set up a semifinal clash against two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova. 

 

Kontaveit has extended her winning streak against Bencic to 2-0. The Estonian had beaten her Swiss rival in the third round of the 2020 Australian Open. 

Kontaveit scored her fourth win over a top 20 player this year. She won the second WTA title of her career in Cleveland before the US Open. 

Kontaveit hit 29 winners to just 18 unforced errors and converted five of her eight break points. Bencic produced 12 winners to 18 unforced errors. 

In the first set Kontaveit broke serve in the fourth and sixth games to race out to a 5-1 lead and earned a set point in the seventh game. Bencic fired a winner to save the set point. The Swiss player fended off another set point at 5-3. 

Bencic pulled both breaks back to get back on seve at 5-4. However, Kontaveit converted the first of her three set points. Both players traded breaks in the first two games of the third set. Kontaveit hit a backhand winner down the line to break serve for 4-2 in the sixth game. She held serve at love for 5-2 and sealed the win in the ninth game on her second match point with a crosscourt backhand winner. 

Petra Kvitova knocked out Jill Teichmann 6-4 6-4. The Czech player saved seven of the eight break points she faced. 

Kvitova saved five break points in the fourth game of the first set to hold serve for 2-2. The Czech player earned the break in the ninth game to take a 5-4 lead, as Teichmann sent her forehand long. Kvitova hit her forehand to earn three set points and converted her second chance by forcing an error. 

Kvitova earned an early break in the second game to take a 2-0 lead. Teichmann broke straight back to draw to 2-2. Kvitova hit a series of backhands to get her second break in the fifth game for 3-2 and saved three break points to hold serve for 4-2. The home player earned three set points with a backhand winner at 5-4. After missing her first match point with a double fault, she converted her second chance with an unreturnable serve. 

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Iga Swiatek sets up semifinal against Maria Sakkari in Ostrava

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Last year’s Roland Garros Iga Swiatk reached the first semifinal since May in Rome with a 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 win over Elena Rybakova after 1 hour and 41 minutes. 

 

Swiatek earned the first break in the fourth game to take a 3-1 lead. Rybakina broke back with a crosscourt backhand to draw level to 3-3. Swiatek held serve easily for 6-6 to set up a tie-break. 

Swiatek earned the first set point at 6-5 and converted her chance when Rybakina sent a backhand wide. 

Swiatek raced out to a 5-1 lead with a double break. Rybakina pulled one break back for 2-5 with a backhand down the line winner on break point. Swiatek sealed the second set 6-2 on the third match point. 

Swiatek set up a semifinal clash against Maria Sakkari, who secured a place in her sixth semifinal of the season with a 7-5 6-3 win over Tereza Martincova after 1 hour and 36 minutes. Sakkari has extended her head-to-head lead to 3-0. Sakkari has reached a career-high of world number 12 after reaching two Grand Slam semifinals at Roland Garros and at the US Open. 

Sakkari earned an early break in the first game. The Greek faced two break points in the 10th game of the first game, when she was broken at 5-4 in the first set. Sakkari converted her third break point in the 11th game to win the first set 7-5. 

Sakkari broke twice in the third and ninth games to win the second set 6-3. She has lost all her five semifinals in 2021 so far.  

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Pablo Carreno Busta moves into semifinals in Metz with a win over Holger Rune

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Pablo Carreno Busta beat Danish Next Gen rising Holger Vitus Notskov Rune 6-4 3-6 6-4 after 2 hours and 11 minutes to advance to the semifinals in Metz. Carreno Busta won 77% of his first serve points. 

 

Carreno Busta broke serve in the fifth game to win the first set 6-4. Rune bounced back by breaking serve in the second game to claim the second set 6-3. The third set went on serve until the eighth game when Carreno Busta earned a break in the eighth game to take a 5-3 lead. Rune broke straight back in the ninth game but Carreno Busta earned his second break to close out the third set 6-4.

“Rune is playing really well. He is playing really well. He is going to improve a lot in the next months. I am happy as it was a very important victory for me. When you play this kind of player, you have all the pressure to win and at the end it was a really good battle”, said Carreno Busta. 

Carreno Busta won the Olympic bronze medal, won the Marbella Open and his first ATP 500 title on clay in Hamburg. 

Rune beat Lorenzo Sonego en route to the quarter final. The young Dane is aiming to qualify for the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan. 

Carreno Busta will face Gael Monfils, who eased past Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-3 6-3 with four breaks after 68 minutes. The Frenchman has reached his first ATP Tour level semifinal since Dubai in February 2020. 

“At the beginning I was more comfortable but then in the second set he started to be more aggressive with the returns and I was not as comfortable then. It will be a tough match against Monfils. I will be younger in the next match. I will try to do my best. Gael is an incredible player”, said Carreno Busta. 

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