ATP Finals Day 5 Preview: Roger Federer Fights For Survival - UBITENNIS
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ATP Finals Day 5 Preview: Roger Federer Fights For Survival

It’s the final day of round robin play for the Lleyton Hewitt Group, and all four players still have a chance to advance.

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Roger Federer will be in serious danger of not advancing to the semifinals for only the second time in 16 ATP Finals appearances if he loses to Kevin Anderson on Thursday. And even a win doesn’t fully secure Federer’s spot in the semifinals. Roger’s only way of qualifying in defeat on Thursday is if Dominic Thiem wins in straight sets. Except for a few extreme cases, Anderson will qualify even if he loses to Federer, except for a few extreme cases.

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With a 0-2 record and having not yet won a set this week, Thiem’s only chance of advancing is if he defeats Kei Nishikori in straight sets and Anderson defeats Federer in straight sets. And even then, Thiem’s advancement would be determined by highest percentage of games won between himself, Federer, and Nishikori. Nishikori will likely advance if he wins on Thursday, unless Federer wins in straight sets. Nishikori can also possibly advance with a loss on Thursday, but only if Anderson defeats Federer. Got all that? If not, the below grid from the ATP may be helpful.

Lleyton Hewitt Group Standings

Advancement Scenarios for Thursday:

Dominic Thiem vs. Kei Nishikori

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Kei holds a 3-1 record against Dominic, with Thiem’s only win coming at Roland Garros earlier this year. Nishikori owns victories over Thiem on all three surfaces, including a few weeks ago on an indoor hard court in Vienna. Kei dropped just four games in that quarterfinal. Nishikori played one of the worst matches of his career on Tuesday, taking only one game in a sound defeat at the hands of Anderson. But I would expect Kei to bounce back and play much better tennis today, and he’s a much stronger hard court player than Thiem. Dominic is only 2-6 lifetime at the O2, and is yet to advance to the semifinals, while Nishikori has done so in two of his previous three appearances. I expect Nishikori to prevail here today, though his advancement will still depend upon the result later this evening.

Head-to-head (source: atpworldtour.com)

 

Roger Federer vs. Kevin Anderson

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These two met four months ago in this same city. That was of course in the Wimbledon quarterfinals, a match in which Federer held a match point in the third set. Roger though couldn’t close the match out, and ended up losing to Anderson 13-11 in the fifth. While that epic encounter will be fresh in both players’ minds, it remains Anderson’s only win over Federer. Roger won all four of their other meetings in straight sets: three of which were on hard courts, though all took place between 2013 and 2015. Kevin is a much different player today, and currently leads the Lleyton Hewitt Group after some stellar play this week. Federer rebounded nicely on Tuesday after dropping his opening match, and I’m sure he’ll be eager to avenge the painful Wimbledon loss from earlier this year. However, there’s a lot more pressure on Federer than Anderson based on the current standings and advancement scenarios. And if Nishikori indeed wins earlier in the day, Federer will know he needs to win in straight sets to have a chance of advancing. While I like Roger’s chances to overcome Anderson on an indoor hard court, taking him out in straight sets will be challenging considering Kevin’s current level. Thursday should prove to be a compelling day in London.

Head-to-head (source atpworldtour.com)

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Acapulco Faces Safety Issues Ahead Of ATP 500 Tournament

Acapulco faces safety and infrastructure issues before the ATP 500 tournament next week.

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Acapulco has faced safety concerns ahead of the tournament as players have been advised to stay in the tournament hotels or tennis venues.

As exclusively revealed by James Gray of the i newspaper, Acapulco is facing security and infrastructure concerns ahead of the tournament.

ATP players have reportedly been told in an email to stay confined to the tournament hotels and the tennis venue as crime rates have increased in the city.

Organisers in Mexico have reassured people that players will be able to train safely with the following statement, “The Arena GNP, venue for the Mexican Open of Tennis, and the host hotel are currently operational to carry out the tournament,” the tournament organisers told the i newspaper.

“Since Tuesday, we have been receiving players in Acapulco, and they have already had the opportunity to train at the venue.”

However there are still infrastructural problems including lack of flights to Acapulco as well as other safety concerns which have been affected by Hurricane Otis.

Despite the problems the ATP seem confident that the event will be safe and secure ahead of the ATP 500 event, “It is not uncommon for players to receive security advisories from ATP as a precautionary measure across more than 250 Tour and Challenger Tour events each season,” A spokesperson told the i newspaper.

“The advisory sent for Acapulco factors in the additional complexity of Hurricane Otis’ disruption. There have been major efforts and investment to restore the Acapulco venue in recent months.”

The ATP 500 event in Acapulco will take place next week with Alex De Minaur being the defending champion.

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Ons Jabeur’s Latest Withdrawal Raises Doubts Over Season Ambitions

Ons Jabeur will be hoping to re-energize herself ahead of a big few months in her career.

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Ons Jabeur’s latest withdrawal in Dubai has raised doubts over how successful the Tunisian can be this season.

Despite having high hopes for revitalizing her season in Dubai, Ons Jabeur has had another setback in 2024.

The Tunisian was forced to withdraw from one of her favourite tournaments of the year in Dubai due to a knee injury.

This withdrawal came days after Jabeur said she was ready for the challenge in Dubai and was excited to compete in front of a passionate crowd in Dubai.

In a statement Jabeur explained her injury and why she was unable to compete in Dubai this week, “After consultation of my doctors and team we have decided that I will have to withdraw from Dubai this week and go for more medical treatments,” Jabeur was quoted by tennishead as saying.

“Looking forward to reconnect with all on the courts for the US swing. Thank you for your continuous support.”

This latest setback isn’t a coincidence though as Jabeur has struggled with injuries ever since her Wimbledon final.

The mental and physical toll that the last eight months have taken of Jabeur are starting to show.

There doesn’t seem to be a plan in place as Jabeur has been open about her mental health struggles since that comprehensive defeat to Marketa Vondrousova at Wimbledon.

That’s a potential problem for Jabeur going forwards as it continues to get tougher for the world number six to find motivation going forwards.

A long break away from tennis may be beneficial for Jabeur as it feels like this summer may be the Tunisian’s last opportunity at Grand Slam glory.

An innovative and new approach may be required for Jabeur as her physical and mental stamina continues to fade with every week.

However will Jabeur manage reinvent herself before it’s too late? Only time will tell and SW19 may be the final destination in that bid.

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Iga Swiatek ‘Proud’ After Claiming Doha Title

World number one Iga Swiatek won her 18th career title in Doha.

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Iga Swiatek defeated Elena Rybakina 7-6(8) 6-2 to claim the title in Doha.

The world number one sealed an 18th career title with a straight sets win over Rybakina.

Swiatek had previously struggled to beat the Kazakh and that continued at the start of the opening set with the Pole conceding a double break deficit at 4-1.

However Swiatek was resilient as she won four games in a row to get back on track in the opening set.

Rybakina broke in the eleventh game and had the opportunity to serve for the opening set but couldn’t take the opportunity.

In the tiebreak, Swiatek converted her fourth set point as she claimed a mammoth tiebreak 10-8.

After that Swiatek seized control as she broke twice after saving two break points in the second game.

The Pole held comfortably to claim her maiden title of the 2024 season in what was her first tournament since a third round exit at the Australian Open.

In her-post match speech Swiatek admitted that she is proud of her performance in Doha this week, “You don’t even know hard it was not to think about it,” Swiatek was quoted by France 24 as saying after winning her 13th match in Doha.

“I came here and was pretty stressed because I felt the expectations. I wanted to do everything step by step like I always do. I’m really happy. I’m really proud of myself.”

Swiatek will now look to continue that form in Dubai next week where she takes on either Sloane Stephens or Clara Burel in her opening round match.

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