Playing In The Rogers Cup Could Have Affected Roger Federer’s US Open Bid, Says Coach - UBITENNIS
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Playing In The Rogers Cup Could Have Affected Roger Federer’s US Open Bid, Says Coach

The coach of the 20-time grand slam champion opens up about the reason why he isn’t playing in next week’s Masters 1000 tournament.

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The long-term mentor of Roger Federer, Severin Luthi, has defended his decision to withdraw from next week’s Rogers Cup in Montreal.

 

Federer, 36, has pulled out of the Masters 1000 event to ease his scheduling commitments. The world No.2 has only played seven events this year on the ATP World Tour. Federer has said his reduced schedule has been applied to aid his longevity on the tour. He is the oldest player in the top 50 on the ATP World Tour this week.

The decision taken by the Swiss player has been backed by his coach Luthi. Who has been a member of his team since 2007. During an interview with Tages Anzeiger, Luthi said that if Federer did play in Canada next week, it could have had a negative impact on his US Open campaign. The final grand slam of 2018 will get underway on August 27th.

“Would it be an advantage for him to play two tournaments before the US Open… not in my opinion,” said Luthi. “Of course some people will say what if he falls in the first round of Cincinnati, but the most important thing for him is that he is fresh, motivated, inspired… with all his experience, he does not need 25 tournaments before a Grand Slam.”

Playing only one hard court tournament in North America prior to the New York major is by no means an unfamiliar scenario for Federer. He also did the same in 2015 and 2017. The last time he played both the Canadian and Cincinnati Masters within the same season was back in 2014. An approach Luthi admits that should have been applied during the grass season.

“In some circumstances it might have been smarter, following Stuttgart, to skip Halle before Wimbledon,” he said. “But in retrospect, you know better and better. I really don’t think it would be an advantage to play both Toronto, and Cincinnati. It might even be a disadvantage.”

Wimbledon Woes

Luthi believed the 20-time grand slam champion was too ‘conservative’ during his Wimbledon run. At The All England Club, Federer suffered a shock loss to Kevin Anderson in the quarter-finals on Court One. Losing 13-11 in the final set. It was the first time he failed to reach the last four of the tournament since his second round defeat to Sergiy Stakhovsky back in 2013.

“Roger was too often behind the baseline, which is unusual, and Anderson began to dominate, launched by his serving,” Luthi evaluated.
“Court No. 1 was definitely not an advantage — the sun comes differently into the stadium, as does the wind. “But Roger is not someone who is looking for excuses in retrospect. He did not mention it either. Conversely, his opponents have the disadvantage that he was played a lot of times on Centre Court. It was probably a combination of things.”

Speculation mounted after his loss to Anderson that Federer was suffering from some sort of injury. A theory that he been dismissed by Luthi, who says the world No.2 is in good health.

“No no. There were no problems, there is nothing, all good,” he replied when asked.

Federer is set to return to action at the Cincinnati Masters, which will get underway on August 13th.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas ‘Happy’ To Follow In Grandfather’s Footsteps At Olympics

The Greek speaks out about carrying his family’s legacy at the Games.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas never met his grandfather but the two of them do have something in common – they are both Olympians.

 

The world No.4 has already created history in Tokyo by winning his first round match against Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber on Sunday to become the first male player from his country to win a singles match since 1924. Greece has won two medals at the Games but both of them were during its inaugural edition back in 1896.

Tsitsipas’ debut in Tokyo enables him to continue his family legacy of playing in the sporting extravaganza. His grandfather was Sergei Salnikov who played football for the Soviet Union during the 1950s. In 1956 Salnikov was part of the team who won Olympic gold in Melbourne. After retiring from the sport, he went on to manage the FC Spartak Moscow and the Afghanistan national team before passing away in 1984 aged 58.

“I’ve never had the opportunity to meet him. But my mom told me stories of his career and how he got it…. He kind of inspires me in a way,” said Tsitsipas. “I know what kind of athlete he was, with all the achievements and all the trophies. I’m proud of him.
“It’s something good, a legacy that is being carried on in the family. I’m happy to be the next in the family to be competing at the Olympics.”

It isn’t just a medal in the singles Tsitsipas has his eyes on, he will also be bidding for success in the mixed doubles alongside Maria Sakkari. The two previously paired up at the 2019 Hopman Cup where they finished second in their group.

“We have already played once (together), and we had great success,” Sakkari told reporters on Monday. “We know each other really well, and we are much better players two-and-a-half years later, and we are both really pumped to play together. Of course, I cannot predict that we will get a medal. We will try our best and I think we give ourselves the best chance we can.”

Tsitsipas will return to action tomorrow in the men’s singles where he will play Frances Tiafoe in the second round.

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Carlos Alcaraz reaches his first ATP Tour final in Umag

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Spanish Next Gen star Carlos Alcaraz secured a spot in his first ATP tour-level final with a 6-2 7-6 (7-3) at the Plava Laguna Croatia Open in Umag. 

 

Alcaraz has become the youngest ATP Tour finalist since 18-year-old Kei Nishikori won the Delray Beach title in 2008. 

Alcaraz broke twice to open up a 4-0 lead and held his next service games to close out the first set 6-2. 

Ramos Vinolas came back from a break down three times in the second set, when Alcaraz served for the match. Alcaraz battled through the second-set tie-break to clinch the win after two hours. 

Alcaraz set up a final against Richard Gasquet, who battled past German qualifier Daniel Altmeier 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 6-3 after three hours and 11 minutes. 

Gasquet has become the second oldest finalist in tournament history. The 35-year-old saved seven of hi sten break points, but he converted just just 3 of his 17 break points.  

Gasquet rallied from a break down twice to draw level to 4-4 before winning the tie-break 7-2. Altmeier converted his third break point in the eighth game to win the second set 6-3. Altmeier saved three break points in the second game, before Gasquet converted his second break point in the sixth game to win the second set 6-3. 

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Novak Djokovic Cruises Past Dellien In Olympics Opener

Novak Djokovic’s bid for a historic golden slam continued in Tokyo.

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Novak Djokovic (@ITFTennis - Twitter)

Novak Djokovic cruised past Hugo Dellien 6-2 6-2 to open his bid for a gold medal at the Olympics.

 

The world number one’s bid to achieve the golden slam is on after thrashing the Bolivian in humid conditions.

A perfect start for the Serbian who is looking to achieve the one thing he is yet to achieve and that’s win a gold medal.

Next for Djokovic will be Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff.

In 32C temperatures, Djokovic was looking to start his campaign off against Bolivian veteran Hugo Dellien.

The slow paced courts would suit Dellien as he engaged in some long rallies with the world number one early on.

Despite creating three break points in the fourth game, Djokovic would fail to break early on.

However Djokovic increased his level mixing up the pace and depth of his shots to create angles for simple winners.

On his fifth break point Djokovic would break for a 4-2 lead and the top seed would break for a second time as Dellien had no answers for the Serb’s defensive skills. First set to Djokovic in 33 minutes.

A similar pattern evolved in the second set only this time Djokovic did get a break in the fourth game, breaking to love.

Accurate serving and construction of points gave Djokovic an easy first round match as another break secured the match and sealed his spot into the second round.

A fine performance in tough conditions gave Djokovic’s bid for history the best possible start.

Next for Djokovic will be Jan-Lennard Struff who beat Thiago Monteiro 6-3 6-4.

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