Kevin Anderson Prevails In The Longest Wimbledon Semi-Final Of All Time - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

ATP

Kevin Anderson Prevails In The Longest Wimbledon Semi-Final Of All Time

The South African eighth seed overcame John Isner 7-6 (6), 6-7 (5), 6-7 (9), 6-4, 26-24, in a record-breaking clash at The All England Club.

Published

on

Kevin Anderson (zimbio.com)

A match that was supposed to be the “poorer” semifinal, a shooting contest between two 2-meter-plus tall players, turned out to be one of the Wimbledon classics that will be remembered for the years to come. Six hours, 36 minutes of play, 99 games, 569 points, a fifth set that broke more records that can probably remembered, delivered Kevin Anderson to his second Major final in ten months. Backing up the most important win of his career (in the quarterfinals against Federer) in spectacular fashion.

 

Anderson’s’s surprising returns and his superior balance between the strength of his two baseline shots made the difference in the end, together with his fitness that was crucial in that never-ending fifth set.

It was certainly Isner who left starting blocks more swiftly, as he came out all guns blazing, hitting forehand winners at 100 mph and keeping the average speed of his second serve close to 120 mph. The first break points for him arrived quickly in the third game, which lasted 22 points and over 12 minutes, but two forehand unforced errors for the baseline and a not-impossible backhand volley that landed just wide denied him the early advantage in the first set. While six points gone against the serve in the following seven games seemed to be the prologue to an inevitable tie-break, Isner had to face his first break point of the match (and only the eighth in the tournament) after Anderson managed to find two very deep returns on his second serves, but he canceled it with a 129 mph second serve.

The tie-break eventually arrived: Isner took an early 3-1 lead with an inside-out forehand winner, but Anderson promptly equalized the minibreak with a cross court forehand passing shot. On the final straight, Anderson was able to capitalize on Isner’s weakness when he is attacked on his left-hand side, and the set ended with two baseline unforced error by the American.

The 63-minute first set showed that Isner has a better serve and a more powerful forehand that can rival with the best in the game; on the other side Anderson can move better and is more balanced on the two sides during rallies. When Isner is attacked on his backhand and has to play a running passing shot more often than not he resorts to a defensive lob with a one-hand.

In the second set Anderson gave the impression he could edge away: he was the only one to get to “40” on his opponent’s serve (twice) and he also had a break point at 4-4 (erased by Isner with a forehand volley), but more importantly he was returning a lot more serves than his opponent. However, in the second “inevitable” tie-break of the match John Isner produced his best two returns in the set to sprint to a 5-0 lead that allowed him to equalize at one set all.

We had to wait almost two hours and a half to see the first break of the match: it was Anderson who took the first stab to the “service rule” advancing to 5-3 in the third set ending the game with a backhand screamer down the line after an excellent return game. Nonetheless, it was all for nothing, as when he stepped on to serve for the set, the South African got tight, made two unforced errors and eventually got broken back by Isner who quickly rose to the occasion. The following tie-break, the third of the afternoon, was a 15-minute affair jam-packed of great tennis and chances for both players: thundering serves, of course, but also blistering returns, soft volleys and impossible passing shots. Two set-points for each player brought the score to 9-9, after Anderson crucially served his second double fault of the match at 8-7, squandering his real chance to take a 2 sets to 1 lead. Isner closed the set 11-9 when he returned deep on Anderson’s second serve to force a forehand error by Anderson.

A phenomenal sequence of returns by the South African gave him an early break for 3-2 in the fourth set, but like it had happened just a short while earlier, he was not able to consolidate the advantage, this time not through fault of his own, but mainly due to some very good passes by Isner. Nonetheless, Anderson kept increasing the pressure with his returns and realized an 11-2 streak that got him to 5-4 40-0 and eventually closed the set at his fourth set point to bring the match to a decider.

The two almighty serves took control of the fifth set from the get-go: for the first ten games the returner could barely win one point per game, the first break point arrived at 7-7 for Anderson, but Isner wiped it clean with a 127-mph ace. The American appeared by far the more tired of the two contenders, but he was serving first, so his break points would be match-points. Unfortunately for him break points never came, and as the set would transition from tennis into legend, Anderson would look more and more the only one on court with some energies left. Isner never got to “40” on Anderson’s serve in the final set, and only three times (out of 25) he managed to win two points. He was ‘clutch’ enough to pull off three aces on the four break points he had to save along the way, but he could never be a threat during his return games. The absurdity of a 2 hours, 55 minutes fifth set became even more absurd when, at 24-24, Anderson fell to the ground after his return, just to get himself back up, play a lefthanded forehand and then win that point, for the jubilation of the crowd that was witnessing history being made in the falling lights of the evening.

“I don’t know what to say right now – said Kevin Anderson to the BBC just seconds after stepping off the court, while Isner was still signing autographs – I mean, just playing like that in those sort of conditions is really tough on both of us. At the end you feel like this is a draw between the two of us, but somebody has to win. John is such a great guy. I really feel for him because if I’ve been on the opposite side, I don’t know I would take that, laying for so long and coming up short”.

Now he has to think about the final on Sunday, and how to recover after this kind of marathon: “It’s tough. I really don’t know. I will just try to do the same protocols – Anderson said – I hope this is a sign for Grand Slams to change this format for five sets. […] I really hope we can look at this and address this because at the end you don’t even feel that great out there”. In fact, at the moment the US Open is the only Major adopting the tie-break in all sets, while Wimbledon, the Australian Open and Roland Garros do maintain the “two-game advantage” format in the final set.

 

ATP

Kyle Edmund Confirms Split With Coach After Early Exit In Chengdu

It is a turbulent time for the former Australian Open semi-finalist.

Published

on

Kyle Edmund’s recent lull in form is showing no signs of letting up after he crashed out in the first round of the Chengdu Open in China.

 

The seventh seed could only win five games during his 6-2, 6-3, loss to Chile’s Christian Garin. A player ranked just one spot below him in the ATP rankings at 33rd. During the 72-minute encounter, Edmund won 50% of his service points compared to his opponents tally of 75%. He was also broken two consecutive times in both sets.

“I think it’s my best match this year on hard court for sure,” Garin told atptour.com. “Kyle is a tough opponent to face in the first round, so I’m very happy with the way I played.”

Edmund has now lost four consecutive matches on the tour dating back to the Rogers Cup in August. Something that last occurred during the European clay-court swing of the tour earlier this year. However, two of those losses were to rising star Daniil Medvedev, who has won more matches than any other ATP player so far in 2019.

Shortly after his exit from Chengdu, Edmund confirmed that he has parted ways with coach Mark Hilton. A former professional tennis player who reached the second round of the 2004 Wimbledon Championships. The two officially ended their partnership last week.

Until a replacement is found, Edmund will be guided in Asia by Colin Beecher. Beecher had worked with Edmund in the past and is the former captain of the British Fed Cup team. The 48-year-old is also currently working with Dan Evans, who is also without a permanent coach.

Evans faired better on the first day of competition in Chengdu. Taking on Chinese world No.222 Bai Yan, he battled to a 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(4), victory after two-and-a-half hours of play. Evans was down a break twice in the decider before fighting back to clinch victory. He will play Grigor Dimitrov in the fourth round.

Evans has now recorded 36 wins in 2019 compared to 17 for Edmund. Although Edmund has been hampered by a knee issue in recent months.

Continue Reading

ATP

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga becomes the first player to win four titles in Metz

Published

on

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga came back from one set down to beat Slovena’s Aljaz Bedene 6-7 (4-7) 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 after becoming the first player to win four titles at the Moselle Open in Metz.

 

Tsonga becomes the ninth French winner in the past eleven editions of the Metz ATP 250 tournament. Since Gael Monfils’s triumph in 2009 David Goffin and Peter Gojowczyk are the only non French players to win the Moselle Open.

Tsonga, who made his come-back from a seven-month lay-off due to a left knee injury at last year’s edition of the Metz tournament, held each of his 17 service games and dropped just four first serve points.

The first set went on serve without break points en route to the tie-break. Bedene opened up a 4-0 lead en route to winning the tie-break 7-4 after 57 minutes.

Tsonga saved the only break point of the second set which came down to the tie-break. Tsonga won the tie-break 7-4 to force the match to the decider.

Tsonga claimed the first break in the second game of the third set to race out to a 3-0 lead. Bedene saved two break points in the fourth game and one more chance in the sixth game but he he held his serve at deuce. Tsonga never looked back in his service games and closed out the match on his first championships point with a crosscourt forehand winner.

Tsonga has won 10 of his 18 trophies on French soil.

“Mentally I was very strong. I served really well when I needed to. The match was not easy at all. Aljaz was playing really well and it was a long match. I am definitely happy to win here again. It was a very difficult match. I stayed calm, focused on doing the basics well and waited for the right moment to change the rallies. ”,said Tsonga.

 Bedene beat two seeded players Gilles Simon and Benoit Paire to reach his first final since Buenos Aires last February.

“I only dropped serve twice this week, so that is probably the best serving week of my career. I had chances today, I had a set, 4-3 and a break point. He served well and I picked the wrong side, but it was close and it could have gone either way. I am disappointed. I wanted to win, but I am also happy with the week”, said Bedene.

 

 

 

 

Continue Reading

ATP

In-Form Daniil Medvedev Conquers St Petersburg

The world No.4 produced a dominant display to clinch his first ever ATP trophy on home soil.

Published

on

Rapidly rising star Daniil Medvedev produced an emphatic display to become the first Russian man to win the St Petersburg Open since 2004.

 

The world No.4 brushed aside Croatia’s Borna Coric 6-3, 6-1, to clinch his third ATP trophy of 2019. Medvedev was in clinical form against Coric from the onset as he dropped only eight points behind his serve and broke four times in total. The only negative to Medvedev’s performance was his unforced error count of 21, which was more than twice the number of winners he produced (nine).

“I’m really happy, my style is more to hide my emotions, but it was hard not to scream with joy,” Medvedev said during his on-court interview.
“I am really very happy, and thank you very much for your (the crowd) support, today was a full house.’
“I won’t list all the people to whom I would like to devote this victory to because even if my tennis is where I am now (in fourth place in the world), all this would have been impossible without many people.”

Sunday’s victory continues what is a remarkable run for the 23-year-old, who has reached the final of five consecutive tournaments on the ATP Tour. During the Summer Medvedev clinched his maiden Masters title in Cincinnati and then finished runner-up to Rafael Nadal at the US Open. He has now recorded 54 wins this season. More than any other player on the tour so far this year.

Medvedev’s surge in form is one that has impressed Coric, who was playing this week for the first time since withdrawing from the last grand slam of the season due to a back issue. St Petersburg was the first final Coric has contested since October 2018.

“Naturally, he picked up the keys to my game. He was better in absolutely everything and did everything much better than me.” Coric analyzed during his press conference.
“I tried everything I could, all the tactics and everything I could think of. Nothing more to say here. He had the answers to all my questions. He played just incredible.”

Medvedev has now won 24 out of his last 27 matches played and claimed 56 out of 68 sets played. He is the fourth Russian to win the St Petersburg title and first since Mikhail Youzhny back in 2004.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending