Roger Federer Outlasts Nick Kyrgios In The Semifinals of Stuttgart And Returns to No.1 Next Monday - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

ATP

Roger Federer Outlasts Nick Kyrgios In The Semifinals of Stuttgart And Returns to No.1 Next Monday

Roger Federer returned to world number one after a three set win over Nick Kyrgios in Stuttgart.

Published

on

By Zoran Horvat

In the semifinal blockbuster of Stuttgart Roger Feder beats Nick Kyrgios in three tight sets going again through two tie-breakers.

The fans in Stuttgart could be very happy, having three of top four seeded players in the semifinals at the 40th anniversary of the Mercedes Cup. The fourth player was Milos Raonic, an specialist for grass courts.

Roger Federer was aiming for a victory against Nick Kyrgios wich would guaranty hin the return to the No.1 of the ATP ranking next Monday. In their Head2Head statistic each player could take one win. The last match between this two guys was in the semifinals at the Master 1000 in Miami last year. Federer took the win in three really tight tie-breaks.

It was the expected change of big shots from both sides. There were no long rallies as both players came up with their big serves in the first set. Federer got one break chance in the second and eighth game of the first set, but Kyrgios saved both with an great service winner. So the match went were the last one ended, in the tie-break. After a long rally with great shots from both side Kyrgios took the first mini break for an 3:1 lead. Two more should follow and Kyrgios grabbed the first set.

Would Federer again go out here from the tournament before the final? He wasn’t to much irritated after loosing the set and kept playing his game. At 1:1 in the second send Kyrgios already had a 40:15 lead on his own service, the he produced two errors and with two double faults gave the first break of the match to Federer. It was clearly visible that the concentration of Kyrgios felt a little bit down after loosing the own serve. The result was a second break for Roger and again with a double fault from Kyrgios.

The match went to a decider. There were no break opportunities for both players in the third set. But Kyrgios started to joke around with the fans. In one moment he said:
Jesus, it’s 35!” and two minutes later he gave a comment after Federer played a great serve and volley combination: “Yeah, that’s world class!” The logical consequence was another tie break. Again it was Kyrgios who came with a great passing shot to an early 2:0 lead. But already afterwards he also lost his serve and Federer took the first lead with 4:3. After Kyrgios lost another service, Federer had to serves for the match but the his forehand gone wide. Nevertheless it was Federer who grabbed the first match point and with a great volley from the half field passing Kyrgios booked his ticket for the final and secured his spot at the top of the ranking next week.

Roger commented about the match and returning to No.1 from next Monday:

“I’m very happy, very relieved. It was the tough match I expected. Nick and I played so many breakers already. It was very close and it could go either way. I’m happy I got it and got back to world No.1 next Monday, so very excited. It would mean a lot to me to win Stuttgart, it’s never easy. Even before the match point, I lost already matches here having match points. I’m so happy and really excited to play Milos ( Raonic ) tomorrow and play another great match.”

Your reaction returning to No.1?

“Feels great, I’m very happy. Off course it feels different if you play for it in a Grand Slam final or at a 250 or 500 tournament. I’m extremely happy and thankful to my team. Specially when you got there after an 7:5 tie-break brings an extra drama to it.
I was very happy to stay calm and to play some good tennis at the end of the match. I protected my serve very well today and didn’t allowed him any break points. I knew it will be a tough one and will always come down to a pick up, a serve, a pass here or there so I was happy to be able to come through.”

Roger Federer – Nick Kyrgios 6:7(2), 6:2, 7:6(5)

In the second semifinal Milos Raonic faced Lucas Pouille who won the tournament here last year. Both players didn’t loose yet their service here during the tournament this week. In the first set at 2:2 Pouille lost a bit his concentration while Raonic came out with two big returns and secured the first break of the match that also meant the first set. At 3:3 in the second set Pouille again had some troubles on his own serve. In a long service game he could save two break points and finally won the game. The second set went to the tie break where Raonic secured the first mini break with an challenge after the line referee called the ball out. A second mini break was the way to the first final for Raonic this season. At the end he again had 19 aces and only once get in troubles when he saved the only break point for Pouille in the match.

After the match Raonic gave a short comment about the match:

“I try to make it difficult for my opponents about everything. I’m happy with the way I played. It was a difficult match and I’m happy that I have another chance to come back tomorrow. Hopefully I can play tomorrow some good tennis.” About Roger Federer he said: “I’m watching on my on game. I gotta go come out here who ever I play and to play my best.”

Milos Raonic – Lucas Pouille 6:4, 7:6(3)

ATP

Hubert Hurkacz Undergoes ‘Knee Procedure’ Ahead of Olympic Bid

Published

on

Poland’s top player on the ATP Tour is not giving up on his dream of winning a medal at the Olympic Games despite recently undergoing a medical procedure.

World No.7 Hubert Hurkacz suffered a knee injury during his second round clash at Wimbledon against France’s Arthur Fils. In the fourth set tiebreak of their clash, Hurkacz dived for a shot but landed badly on his knee and required on-court medical attention. He then played two more points before retiring from the match. 

In a social media post published on Wednesday, the  27-year-old confirmed he underwent a procedure on his knee earlier this week but didn’t provide any further details.  Although Hurkacz has stated his intention to play at the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris, where the tennis event will be held on the clay at Roland Garros. 

“I had a knee procedure this Monday, but I’m feeling better already and my team and are dedicating extensive time each day to the rehab process.” He wrote on Instagram. 

“It’s a dream for every athlete to represent their country at the Olympics, and I want to make sure I am fully fit and ready before making the final decision to step on court. The aim is not only to participate, but to win a medal for my country.”

So far this season Hurkacz has won 34 out of 48 matches played on the Tour. He won the Estoril Open in April and was runner-up to Jannik Sinner in Halle. 

The Olympic tennis event is scheduled to begin a week Saturday on July 27th. Poland is yet to win a medal in the event but expectations are high with women’s No.1 Iga Swiatek also taking part. 

Continue Reading

ATP

Motivation, Pressure And Expectations – Novak Djokovic Targets History At Wimbledon

Published

on

image via x.com/wimbledon

Novak Djokovic has broken numerous records throughout his career but he still feels the pressure of trying to make history in the sport. 

The world No.2 is through to his 10th Wimbledon final where he will play Carlos Alcaraz, who beat him at this stage of the tournament 12 months ago. There is plenty on the line for the Serbian who could equal Roger Federer’s record for most men’s titles won at SW19 and break the overall record for most major singles won in the sport if he triumphs over the Spaniard. Djokovic currently has 24 Grand Slam trophies to his name which is the same as Margaret Court, who won some of her titles before the Open Era started. 

“Obviously I’m aware that Roger [Federer] holds eight Wimbledons. I hold seven. History is on the line.” Djokovic said on Friday after beating Lorenzo Musetti.

“Also, the 25th potential Grand Slam. Of course, it serves as a great motivation, but at the same time it’s also a lot of pressure and expectations.”

Coming into Wimbledon, there had been doubts over Djokovic’s form after he underwent surgery to treat a knee injury he suffered at the French Open. However, he has defied the odds to reach the final. His run has also seen him beat Alexi Popyrin and Holger Rune before getting a walkover in the quarter-finals from Alex de Minaur, who sustained an injury during the tournament. Then on Friday, he overcame a spirited Musetti in three sets. 

Despite the challenge, Djokovic has insisted that his expectations to do well are always high no matter what the situation is. During what has been a roller-coaster first six months of the season, he is yet to win a title this year or beat a player currently ranked in the top 10. Although he will achieve both of these if her beats Alcaraz on Sunday. 

“Every time I step out on the court now, even though I’m 37 and competing with the 21-year-olds, I still expect myself to win most of the matches, and people expect me to win, whatever, 99% of the matches that I play.” He said.

“I always have to come out on the court and perform my best in order to still be at the level with Carlos [Alcaraz] or Jannik [Sinner] or Sascha [Zverev] or any of those guys, Daniil [Medvedev]. 

“This year hasn’t been that successful for me. It’s probably the weakest results the first six months I’ve had in many years. That’s okay. I had to adapt and accept that and really try to find also way out from the injury that I had and kind of regroup.”

Djokovic hopes that a Wimbledon win will help turn his season around like it has done in the past for him. 

“Wimbledon historically there’s been seasons where I wasn’t maybe playing at a desired level, but then I would win a Wimbledon title and then things would change.” He commented.

“For example, that was the case in 2018 when I had elbow surgery earlier in the year, dropped my rankings out of top 20, losing in fourth round of Australian Open, I think it was quarters of Roland-Garros, and just not playing the tennis that I want to play. Then I won Wimbledon and then won US Open and then later on became No.1 very soon.”

Meanwhile, 21-year-old Alcaraz is hoping to stop Djokovic in his tracks. Should he defend his title at Wimbledon, he would become the first player outside the Big Three to do so since Pete Sampras more than 20 years ago. He has won their only previous meeting on the grass but trails their head-to-head 3-2. 

“I’m sure he knows what he has to do to beat me,” said Alcaraz.

“But I’m ready to take that challenge and I’m ready to do it well.”

When the two players take to the court to play in the Wimbledon final, Djokovic will be 15 years and 348 days older than Alcaraz. Making it the largest age gap in a men’s Grand Slam final since the 1974 US Open. Whoever is victorious will receive £2,700,000 in prize money. 

Continue Reading

ATP

Carlos Alcaraz And Novak Djokovic Wouldn’t Yield To Medvedev And Musetti At Wimbledon

Published

on

image via x.com/wimbledon

Carlos Alcaraz seemed to be on his own against a vastly improved Daniil Medvedev. The defending Wimbledon champion appeared to be out of tricks.

And Medvedev sensed it.

Alcaraz still scored a 6-7 (1), 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 victory over Medvedev. It may look rather easy on paper, but there was nothing easy about Alcaraz’s victory. The young Spaniard just came through when he needed it to advance to what he hopes will lead to his fourth Grand Slam title.

MEDVEDEV APPLIED ENDLESS PRESSURE

Medvedev was always there, ready to pounce on any mistake by Alcaraz. But mistakes didn’t happen that often after Medvedev took the first set in a tie-breaker.

Alcaraz hadn’t served that well in the first set that Medvedev had taken in a tiebreaker. But it was a different story once Alcaraz found the mark on his serves. He just kept holding service until the match was his.

Remember, he’s only 21 years old. But now he faces someone in this Wimbledon final almost twice as old in 37-year-old Novak Djokovic.

NOVAK DIDN’T LET INJURED KNEE STOP HIM

Early in the match, Djokovic looked like he might have problems against Lorenzo Musetti. He appeared to have a slight limp in the right knee that was covered by a band. Of course, it’s been less than six months since Novak underwent surgery to repair a torn meniscus in that knee.

Djokovic didn’t always chase after balls in situations where his service game wasn’t in jeopardy. He just hit winners when the opportunities came along, and his serve was always ready to win a point, a game or the match.

MUSETTI WASN’T THE SAME

Young 25th seed Musetti had been so strong and talented in his quarterfinal upset of Taylor Fritz. The 22-year-old Italian had looked like he might be a threat to the likes of Djokovic and Alcaraz in the last two rounds in London.

Musetti appeared to be able to run down everything against the speedy Fritz, until Fritz seemed to grow tired in a fifth set that Musetti won easily.

The Italian wasn’t the same against Djokovic.

Djokovic was just too good and too consistent to allow Musetti to stop his bid for another title.

NOVAK THE VIOLINIST

The setting was completely different this time with Djokovic looking questionable at the start. But Musetti could hardly push Djokovic, and ended up losing by a 6-4, 7-6 (2), 6-4. Once Novak charged through the second set tiebreaker, dropping only two points, Musetti couldn’t get back into the match.

And then Novak came out pretending to play a violin on his racket for his precious 6-year-old daughter Tara, whom Novak said has been learning to play the violin for about six months.

Some fans apparently didn’t like this, but then there probably were others who became Novak Djokovic fans. Novak obviously is a great guy and dad these days.

After all, Novak has just played his 97th Wimbledon match, and he’s hoping in his 37th Grand Slam final to tie Roger Federer’s record of eight Wimbledon titles.

James Beck was the 2003 winner of the USTA National Media Award  for print media. A 1995 MBA graduate of The Citadel, he can be reached at Jamesbecktennis@gmail.com. 

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending