David Ferrer Retires Against Nadal In Final Grand Slam Match - UBITENNIS
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David Ferrer Retires Against Nadal In Final Grand Slam Match

The 36-year-old Ferrer could not overcome a calf problem.

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David Ferrer (left) and Rafael Nadal (zimbio.com)

Top seed Rafael Nadal reached the second round of the US Open in disappointing fashion on Monday night when his fellow Spaniard and good friend David Ferrer was forced to retire midway through the second set with a calf injury.

 

Nadal led 6-3, 3-4 when Ferrer decided he could not play on, rising from his chair at the changeover and embracing the world No. 1 before closing his grand slam career. The retirement was Ferrer’s only in 208 grand slam matches.

As Nadal, the three-time US Open champion seeking to win for a second straight year, marched on, Ferrer moved one step closer to closing his storied career. The two-time semifinalist in New York has struggled since winning a crucial Davis Cup rubber in April, winning just two matches since. The 36-year-old will likely officially retire after a Spanish tournament next year.

He had his first noticeable issues with his calf after the first set on a sweltering night in New York, when he saw the trainer. Ferrer was then clearly hampered in the opening games of the set and the trainer returned, but Ferrer later broke Nadal with a well-placed forehand pass on the run.

He maintained that advantage — unlike after the opening game of the set, where he handed back a break — until he could play no longer, closing his streak of 16 consecutive grand slams in New York.

“I feel bad. I tried to play,” Ferrer said on-court. “I have really good memories here at the US Open. This is the last grand slam of my career. I’m sorry because I can’t finish the match.”

Nadal had played a strong if not overwhelming first set, securing an early break and holding it throughout the set as he faced no break points. He then won the set with a second break, closing a frame in which both players were drenched from the high temperature and overpowering humidity.

Each player hit 16 winners in the truncated match; Nadal earned six break points to just three for Ferrer en route to a second round match with Vasek Pospisil. But disappointment and sadness overshadowed the play on court, as Nadal watched his friend leave in distress.

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Svetlana Kuznetsova upsets Ashleigh Barty in Cincinnati to reach the 42nd final of her career

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Russian wild card Svetlana Kuznetsova edged top seed this year’s Roland Garros champion Ashleigh Barty 6-2 6-4 in the semifinal of the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati to reach the 42nd final of her career.

 

Two-time Grand Slam champion Kuznetsova, who is now ranked world number 153, scored her third win against top 10 players this week  after beating former US Open champion Sloane Stephens and Karolina Pliskova.

Barty missed her chance to regain world number 1 spot from Naomi Osaka, who was forced to retire from her quarter final.

Barty earned the first break of the match in the second game of the opening set, when Kuznetsova netted a backhand. Kuznetsova broke back in the third game with a smash winner and earned another break at 2-2 when Barty netted a backhand. Kuznetsova hit a return winner to build up a 5-2 lead. Barty asked a medical time-out to treat he right leg. Kuznetsova held serve at 15 to close out the opening set after 30 minutes.

Kuznetsova went up a break in the first game of the second set. Barty won just three points on return in the second set. Kuznetsova closed out the second set with three winners in the 10th game.

“I am really happy. I am not really an analyzing person, but on my intuition, I am doing so much better, not repeating so many of my mistakes, just playing smarter and wiser now. It’s been so many different things when I was off, so I just enjoyed time off. Honestly, I was not missing at all the travelling and all the stress when you play tournaments, but now I have missed it and I feel good. I feel joy staying here and being here. It definitely helped me to have some time off to see other things outside tennis”, said Kuznetsova.

 

Kuznetsova set up a final against Madison Keys, who beat Sofia Kenin in straight sets. The Russian 34-year-old veteran player has qualified for her first final since last year, when she beat Donna Vekic in Washington.

 

“Madison is extremely tough. When she is on fire, it is really hard to play against her. It’s going to be a difficult match-up”, said Kuznetsova.  

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David Goffin reaches his first Masters 1000 in Cincinnati

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David Goffin beat Richard Gasquet 6-3 6-4 on an overcast afternoon to reach the first Masters 1000 final of his career and his 13th title match at ATP Tour level at the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati. Goffin has dropped just one set en route to the final.

 

Goffin is returning to his best form this summer under the guidance of former Swedish player Thomas Johansson. He reached the final in Halle and his first quarter final at Wimbledon. He received a walkover after Yoshihito Nishioka was forced to withdraw from the match due to food poisoning.

The Belgian player started the match with two consecutive holds before breaking at love to open up a 4-1 lead with a backhand winner down the line.

Goffin held his next service games to seal the opening set 6-3. Gasquet earned an early break to open  2-0 lead, but Goffin won five of the next six games with two breaks. The 2017 Nitto ATP Finals runner-up served out the win at love in the 10th game after 1 hour and 16 minutes, as Gasquet sent his backhand long.

Goffin reached the semifinal in Cincinnati last year, but he was forced to retire due to an arm injury.

“I am very happy. It’s a tournament I like and I have played the best tennis in the past few years. I am really happy to reach my first Masters 1000 final here. It’s a great moment for me.”

 

 

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Richard Gasquet reaches his first Masters 1000 semifinal since Miami 2013

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Frenchman Richard Gasquet edged past this year’s Wimbledon semifinalist Roberto Bautista Agut 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 6-2 after 2 hours and 12 minutes to reach his first Masters 1000 semifinal since the 2013 Miami Open.

 

 Gasquet missed six months of action after undergoing groin surgery last January.

The French player set up a semfinal against David Goffin, who reached the semifinal after his Japanese opponent Yoshihito Nishioka withdrew from the match due to illness.

The first set went on serve with no break points en route to the tie-break. Bautista Agut hit a backhand wide at 1-2. Gasquet sealed the tie-break when Bautista Agut hit a forehand long.

Bautista Agut earned two breaks of serve in the second set and sealed it, when Gasquet made his third double fault on set point.

Gasquet broke serve with a volley in the third game of the decisive set. The French player went up a double break to race out to 4-1 lead. He saved two break points to hold his serve at deuce before serving out the third set on his first match point.

“I know how tough it was to come back. I know the moments I had at the start of the year, so I just wanted to enjoy, to fight. It is not easy to come back after six months out, but I am here. I am in semis tomorrow”,said Gasquet.

 

 

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