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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Tommy Paul Downs Lorenzo Musetti Wins Maiden Grass Court Title At Queen’s Club

Tommy Paul is the new American number one!

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Tommy Paul has won his maiden grass court title at Queen’s Club after defeating Lorenzo Musetti 6-1 7-6(8).

The fifth seed was too good for the Italian who never really got going as Paul claimed his first title at ATP 500 level.

It was Paul’s third ATP title of his career and moves to world number 12 after an impressive week.

Heading into the final, Paul had beaten Jack Draper and Sebastian Korda and the American continued his red-hot form in the opening set.

Incredible movement on the grass as Paul played efficient counter-attacking tennis as he frustrated Musetti early on.

The American secured the early break for a 3-0 lead as the world number 13 dictated with power and touch.

Looking for a response, Musetti aimed to dictate play on the backhand and the Italian’s serve was firing in the next game as he secured his only hold of the match.

However, Paul was too consistent and solid as the American broke again and would soon win the opening set 6-1.

In the second set, Musetti started more positively as he was more proactive and aggressive as he looked to control his power more.

Paul managed to outlast Musetti’s early power to keep moving the Italian about and creating angles to hit winners into.

After a controlled start, Musetti produced a reckless seventh game as erratic unforced errors saw Paul break for a 4-3 lead.

The American was calm and collected for the majority of the match but when serving for the match Paul faltered under pressure.

Too many missed first serves saw Musetti with an opportunity to break back and the Italian didn’t need a second invitation as a crisp backhand return winner sealed the break back to level the set at 5-5.

An inspired Musetti applied pressure on Paul with some phenomenal hitting from the baseline as he secured consistent winners.

The American held his nerve to force a second set tiebreak as the American looked to overcome some jitters.

It looked like Musetti was going to cruise to the tiebreak but the Italian squandered a 4-1 lead in what was a highly entertaining tiebreak.

In the end Paul would win the tiebreak 10-8 and secure his first ATP 500 title as well as becoming the new American number one.

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Jannik Sinner Wins Maiden Grass-Court Title In Halle

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Jannik Sinner - Parigi 2024 (foto X @ATPTour_ES)

Jannik Sinner has reached another milestone in his blossoming career after claiming his first title on grass at the Terra Wortmann Open in Halle. 

The world No.1 ousted fifth seed and doubles partner Hubert Hurkacz 7-6(8), 7-6,(2), in a tightly contested encounter. Sinner was sternly tested by the big-hitting Pole who knocked French Open finalist Alexander Zverev out of the tournament on Saturday. Nevertheless, he managed to come out on top to become only the eighth player in PIF ATP ranking history to claim a trophy in his first tournament as world No.1.

“This means a lot,” Sinner told TennisTV. “It was a tough match against Hubi. I knew that I had to serve really well. You play only a couple of really important points throughout the whole set. I tried to produce in the best possible way in the important moments. 
“I’m very happy about this tournament because it’s my first time winning (a title) on a grass court. It’s a good feeling.”

Proceedings got underway with a 53-minuite opening set which saw no breaks of serves during the first 12 games played. However, each player had one opportunity to do so during the early stages. In the tiebreak, Sinner continued to be troubled by Hurkacz after failing to maintain a 5-2 lead. Then at 6-5, he was unable to convert his first set point due to an ace from his opponent. He missed a second opportunity to do so before prevailing on his third by hitting a shot deep to the baseline that his rival returned into the net. Making Sinner the first player to take a set off Hurkacz this week. 

It was a case of deja vu in the second frame with both players standing strong behind their serve. Hurkacz was unable to find a way to break but he did win over the crowd after hitting a fantastic over-the-shoulder passing shot without looking to win a point. 

Meanwhile, Sinner continued to weather the storm as he closed in on victory. The second tiebreaker saw him capitalised on back-to-back unforced errors from his rival en route to a 5-1 lead. Two points later he earned his first match point with the help of another costly mistake from across the court before closing the match out with ease.

Sinner’s latest victory is only the second time he has beaten a top 10 player on the grass with his first triumph being against Carlos Alcaraz at Wimbledon two years ago. He is also the second player to win Halle whilst ranked No.1 in the world after Roger Federer. 

Heading into Wimbledon, the 22-year-old has won four ATP trophies so far this season on three different surfaces. He has now won 38 out of his last 41 matches played. 

“I’m looking forward to it,” Sinner said of the next Grand Slam. “Last year I made the semis and played some good tennis. So let’s see what’s coming this year. 
“For sure I’m more confident on this surface. Obviously, the grass here (in Halle) might be a bit different to Wimbledon but I have a week to prepare so hopefully it is going to be a good tournament.”

Sinner is the 17th active male player to win a tour-level title on all three surfaces. 

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(VIDEO) Jannik Sinner And Lorenzo Musetti Create Italian Grass Court History

Italian tennis keeps getting stronger as Jannik Sinner and Lorenzo Musetti make more history on grass.

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Jannik Sinner and Lorenzo Musetti created Italian grass court history by becoming the first Italians to reach ATP grass court finals in the same week.

The world number one, Jannik Sinner, overcame Zhizhen Zhang in straight sets to reach the final in Halle.

It’s Sinner’s best ever performance at Halle and will now face doubles partner Hubert Hurkacz for the title on Sunday.

Meanwhile at Queen’s Club Lorenzo Musetti reached his second ATP 500 final with victory over Jordan Thompson in three sets.

It’s Musetti’s third ATP final of his career and his first ATP 500 final since 2022 where he beat Carlos Alcaraz in the Hamburg final.

Ubitennis founder Ublado Scanagatta reflects on the historic achievements by Sinner and Musetti and the impact it could have on the whole pyramid of Italian tennis.

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