ATP Finals Day 7 Preview: Will It Be A Dream Showdown Between Djokovic And Federer? - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

Focus

ATP Finals Day 7 Preview: Will It Be A Dream Showdown Between Djokovic And Federer?

The top four seeds have advanced out of the round robin stage, and will fight for the trophy this weekend in a single elimination format.

Avatar

Published

on

Saturday’s semifinals feature two of the greatest players of all-time, who have dominated this tournament for a decade and a half. Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic have combined to win this event 11 of the last 15 years. Standing in their way of playing for another championship on Sunday are two men who have advanced to the semifinals of the ATP Finals for the first time. One is a 32-year-old veteran in his first year qualifying for this event. The other is a 21-year-old who is likely playing in his first of many championship weekends at this event.

 

Roger Federer vs. Sascha Zverev

Alexander Zverev (photo by Alberto Pezzali)

Federer and Zverev have an intriguing history. Federer took their first match, on clay at the 2016 Rome Masters. A month later, Zverev pulled off the upset in the Halle semifinals on grass. A year later at the same event, Roger prevailed in a final that lasted less than an hour. Just weeks later, Sascha won in the final of the Rogers Cup on a hard court. And one year ago at this event, Federer was victorious in a three-set round robin match. Since they’ve alternated wins thus far, perhaps it’s Zverev’s turn to win today.

“It’s going to be a very difficult match. I mean, him (Federer) on this surface, an indoor court, he’s an unbelievable player.” Said Zverev. “I’ve Played him a few times in all different conditions, all different surfaces.”

While Federer got off to a very slow start this week, he has upped his level with each match, as he has gotten more comfortable with the playing surface at the O2. Now into his fifteenth semifinal at this tournament, Roger is 10-4 at this stage. But I’m more curious to see how Zverev performs on Saturday. He’s yet to breakthrough to the latter stages at a Major, yet this is a huge opportunity to advance his career at the biggest non-Major tournament of the year.

“I’m happy I gave myself the opportunity. I’m happy that I’m raising my level of play throughout this week. This is what I hope to do.” Federer commented about his run to the last four.

The crowd will likely play a considerable role, as London loves Federer and will be extremely vocal in supporting him as we’ve seen all week. How will Sascha respond to the crowd, the significance of the match, and his opponent? Well he showed a lack of resilience on Wednesday, as he completely went away after dropping the first set to Djokovic. And as Gigi Salmon pointed out on ATP Tennis Radio, Zverev has looked pretty spent this week at the end of a long season. I suspect Zverev will be motivated on Saturday, and he’ll keep the scoreline close, but I still like Federer’s chances to advance to his 11th final.

Novak Djokovic vs. Kevin Anderson

Novak Djokovic (photo by Alberto Pezzali)

As far as official ATP matches are concerned, Djokovic is 7-1 against Anderson, with the South African’s only victory coming the first time they played over 10 years ago in Miami. However, Anderson did get the best of Djokovic at the Laver Cup this past September, in a match decided by a 10-point final set tiebreak. Djokovic has defeated Anderson three times in London, though all three matches took place at the All England Club. Of course Novak easily dispatched of Anderson in this year’s Wimbledon final, following Kevin’s near-seven-hour semifinal with John Isner. Their best previous meeting was at SW19 in 2015, when Djokovic came back from two sets down to defeat Anderson in five. Most recently, Novak won in straight sets last month in Shanghai. If you count the Laver Cup, this is their fourth meeting in 2018.

“He has played some big tennis throughout this year. It’s definitely his best season.” The current US Open champion said of Anderson. “The last couple of years he has been playing his best tennis. He continued doing that throughout the tournament.
He’s serving well, playing well and being aggressive. I know what to expect.”

Djokovic is the only man to go undefeated in this week’s round robin play. He’s yet to drop a set, and has truly been at the top of his game with first-rate returns and unrivaled movement around the court. Novak is averaging just above five unforced errors per set thus far at this tournament, with a total of only four double faults in six sets played. During one stretch of Friday’s match against Marin Cilic, Djokovic won 31 straight points on serve, as highlighted by Steph Trudel on Twitter. Bottom line: Novak is giving his opponents nothing to work with. While Kevin Anderson played well in his first two round robin matches, he was thoroughly outplayed by Federer on Thursday night. The slow-bouncing hard court at the O2 will only allow Djokovic extra time to handle Anderson’s power. And considering Novak is 5-1 in the semifinal round of this event, this should be smooth sailing for Djokovic to reach his seventh championship match at the ATP Finals.

 

Focus

Novak Djokovic Thrashes Davidovich Fokina To Set Nishikori Showdown At Olympics

Novak Djokovic moved into the last eight at the Olympics where he will face Kei Nishikori next.

Avatar

Published

on

Novak Djokovic (@ITFTennis - Twitter)

Novak Djokovic’s bid for a historic gold medal continues after a convincing 6-3 6-1 victory over Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.

 

The world number one’s bid for the golden slam rolls on after a dominating straight sets win over the Spaniard.

Despite the win the top seed had to defend break points early on as Davidovich Fokina showed early signs of consistent aggression.

Davidovich Fokina’s all-round game was working effectively on return and the Spaniard managed to save two break points himself with some neat patterns of play.

However Djokovic eventually grinded out the break for a 3-1 lead as his defensive skills were too strong for the Spaniard.

After that the Spaniard did well to fend off Djokovic’s returning pressure as he maintained a good percentage of 1st serve points won.

However the Serb eventually served out the opening set in 47 minutes in a strong performance.

From there the Serb increased his level and intensity as he made Davidovich Fokina work harder than the first serve.

A flawless second set display was enough as Djokovic broke three times to seal his place in the quarter-finals.

The win means Kei Nishikori stands in Djokovic’s way of competing in a medal match as the Serb looks to win the one thing that has alluded his career and that is a gold medal.

Nishikori beat Ilya Ivashka to make the last eight after winning 7-6(7) 6-0 in just over two hours.

Alexander Zverev also went through to the Olympics quarter-finals with a straight sets win over Nikoloz Basilashvili.

The German will now face Jeremy Chardy in the last eight after the Frenchman ended Liam Broady’s run in Tokyo.

Continue Reading

Focus

Svitolina Beats Giorgi to Reach Semis in Tokyo

Elina Svitolina has guaranteed herself a medal match after beating Camila Giorgi in Tokyo.

Avatar

Published

on

Elina Svitolina (@ITFTennis - Twitter)

The world number six booked her spot in the final four after beating Camila Giorgi of Italy.

 

Elina Svitolina is into the semi-finals of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics almost guaranteeing herself a medal after beating the world number 61 and Italian in straight sets 6-4, 6-4 serving 6 aces and hitting 13 winners in the while Giorgi hit 32 unforced errors in the loss.

The Ukrainian went on the attack from the word play earning two breakpoints in the match’s opening game as the Italian seemed to get off to a slow start and she made her pay by getting the early break.

After consolidating the break the number four seed was hungry for more getting two more chances to break and breaking once more to go up a double break.

At 5-1 the Ukrainian had two set points but failed to convert and the Italian took advantage of it breaking back the very next game with a stunning forehand winner to get one of the breaks back.

The world number six eventually served out the first set and continued to ride the momentum into the second set where just like the beginning of the first set she broke in the first game and cruised from there.

At 3-1, she had three more chances to go up a double break once again and she earned it with a sublime forehand winner up the line before getting broken the very next game.

Despite giving one of the breaks back, Svitolina could serve out the match and will play Marketa Vondrousova in the last four.

Continue Reading

Focus

Ugo Humbert Pulls Off Tsitsipas Upset In Tokyo

Ugo Humbert stunned Stefanos Tsitsipas to reach the Quarter-Finals at the Olympic Games.

Avatar

Published

on

Ugo Humbert (@WeAreTennis - Twitter)

The Frenchman sent the Greek packing in a three-set battle that went over two hours on court.

 

Ugo Humbert booked his spot in the quarterfinals of the Tokyo Olympic tournament after beating the world number four Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece in three sets 2-6, 7-6, 6-2 in two hours and 20 minutes hitting 34 winners in the win while his opponent hit 37 unforced errors in the loss.

After both players held their opening service games it was the Greek with the first chance to break and at the second time of asking he broke to take an early 2-1 lead.

The world number 28 had two chances to break back the very next game but the number three seed saved both and consolidated the break before going up a double break the very next game.

Tsitsipas served out the first set and going into the second set it was a very tight affair with neither player budging on their service games as the set was decided by a tiebreaker.

That’s where the number 14 seed jumped out to an early lead and that lead was enough for him to take the second set and force a deciding third set.

There was a bit of a scary moment for the world number three when on set point he seemed to roll his ankle and took a medical timeout to get it treated.

It was clear the injury was affecting him during the third and final set as after both players again held their opening service games it was the Frenchman with three breakpoints and got the early break.

In the next game, the number three seed had a chance to break back on go back on serve but the world number 28 did a good job saving it and consolidating the break.

After consolidating the break the Frenchman smelled blood and sensed the match was his for the taking and broke the Greek for a second time to love and at 5-2 there was a long back and forth game that lasted over 10 minutes.

Humbert finally converted on his fourth match point to book his spot in the quarterfinals and a date with the Russian Karen Khachanov.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending