Jaume Munar and Andrey Rublev take crucial straight-set wins at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan - UBITENNIS
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Jaume Munar and Andrey Rublev take crucial straight-set wins at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan



Jaume Munar beat Frances Tiafoe 4-1 4-3 (7-3) 4-1 in just 56 minutes to keep his chance of qualifying for the semifinals at the Next Gen ATP Finals alive. Munar will reach the knock-out stage if Stefanos Tsitsipas beats Hubert Hurkacz.

Munar lost against Hurkacz in the decisive fifth set after coming back from two sets down and needed a win against Tiafoe to have the chance to qualify. He broke once in the first set and in the third sets.

Tiafoe lost 40 % of the points in his service games and dropped his serve twice from the four break point chances he faced.

Tiafoe saved a break point with a forehand winner in the second game.

Munar, who trains at the Rafa Nadal Academy, got the first break of the match in the fourth game at 30 with a volley winner to clinch the opening set 4-1.

Tiafoe saved a break point at the start of the second set with a service winner.  The second set went on serve until the tie-break. Munar earned an early mini-break and sealed the tie-break on his first set point 7-3 with a running forehand winner.

Munar went up a break in the second game of the third set to open up a 2-0 lead. Tiafoe earned a break point, but Munar hit two first serve winners to win the deciding point. Munar served out the third set at love to wrap up the third set 4-1.

“I did what I had to do. It’s not in my hands anymore. The most important thing was to play better and better every day. I will follow this evening’s matches in my hotel to see if I qualify or not. Maybe we can buy a Greek flag. At least i felt like I was a good tennis player, so it is important for me. It was another match for me. I knew I had to play a little bit better tennis. We did the same. Morning gym and then we took breakfast just warm-up. A long warm-up with a little bit of practice. They were the things we didn’t do well yesterday. I just tried to be motivated and fight. This is what I did today”, said Munar.

Rublev takes crucial straight-set win over Caruana:

Andrey Rublev clinched a much needed win in straight sets beating Italian wild card Liam Caruana 4-3 (9-7) 4-1 4-2. Taylor Fritz will need to beat Alex De Minaur in three or four sets this evening to survive the round-robin stage in the Group B. If Fritz beats De Minaur in five sets, he will qualify for the semifinal joining the Australian player, who has already secured his spot for the knock-out stage.

Rublev hit 28 winners to 19 unforced errors.

Rublev earned an early break point with a forehand winner in the opening game. Caruana saved the first chance with his first serve winner, but Rublev converted his second opportunity with another passing shot. Rublev backed up his break with a hold at love. Caruana got his first game on the scoreboard at love. Caruana broke back in the sixth game at 30 to draw level to 3-3 to set up a tie-break, when Rublev was serving for the set.

In the tie-break Caruana got an early mini-break to open up a 2-0 lead in the tie-break. Rublev got back on serve with a return winner and took a 3-2 lead, when Caruana made a forehand error. Rublev earned two set points at 6-4. Caruana saved both chances with a forehand return and an ace to draw level to 6-6. Caruana saved another set point on Rublev’s serve to draw level to 7-7, but Rublev sealed the set by 9-7 on his fourth chance with his backhand.

Rublev faced a break point on the deciding point in the first game of the second set and he saved it with a forehand winner. Rublev rallied from 0-30 down to get the break in the second game with another forehand winner to open up a 2-0 lead. Rublev served well in the rest of the second set to close it out 4-1.

Rublev earned an immediate break in the opening game of the third set on the deciding point and never looked back by holding his three service games to seal the third set 4-2.

“It was a tough match, as I had a lot of pressure. Today I played a completely different performance than yesterday. My attitude was the best out of these three matches. I was focused. I was not complaining. I was trying to fight for every point, because every point cost a lot. I was trying to win every point. I won in three sets. Let’s see how it’s going to happen later. In the match against De Minaur I was completely emotional. I have to be stronger than this, and I left it in the past and just move on. It’s not going to change anything if I am going to watch this evening’s match or not. I am going to do my routine and in the end, we will see what’s going to happen. I am not going to stay for the match. If you want to win matches, you need to be focused and not talk about thing around. Just focus thinking about how to win. In the end you just learn to do it.


Rublev found his rhythm after winnng the crucial tie-break in the first set.


“To be honest, the way I was playing today was the worst level I showed today, but my attitude was double or triple better than in the past matches, so I compensated a little bit. It was tough because I was serving for the set and I made the double fault, and then there was the tie-break. I was just talking to myself. It doesn’t matter. Just fight for myself. You will still have a chance”, said Rublev in the post match interview.







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Alexander Zverev: “My coach won’t stop crying until next year”



Zverev has been very consistent during the Masters 1000 season winning the third title of his career in the series at the Madrid Mutua Open in the Caja Magica one year after his wins in Rome and Toronto. He also lost two Masters 1000 finals in Miami to John Isner and in Rome to Rafa Nadal. During the 2018 season Zverev also won two more tournaments at ATP 250 level in Munich and Washington.

During an interview with the BBC Zverev thanked all the people who are working with him and helped him win at the ATP Finals at the O2 Arena in London.

“My dad has been coaching me for most of my life. I think he is the best tennis coach. He won’t stop crying until next year probably but that’s fine. He also probably doesn’t understand what I am saying but it’s fine. Thanks to Ivan Lendl for joining the team. I think it’s working out all right for now. Hopefully it stays like that. Nobody can probably see it but I have actually put on muscle. I was skinnier before than I am now”, said Zverev.

Zverev congratulated with Novak Djokovic and talked about his relationship to the Serbian world number 1 player, who qualified for the final without dropping a set during the whole week.

I really can’t believe it. It’s the biggest title I have ever won. Firstly I want to congratulate Novak and we may never have seen the tennis he has played in the last few months before. He barely lost a match but thankfully he did me to. We had many talks on life, not only about tennis, but al different types of subjects. Huge congratulations to Djokovic’s team. Finishing as world number one after having surgery, I don’t know if it has been done before. You are one of the best teams on tour, so good luck for next year”, said Zverev.



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Mike Bryan and Jack Sock lift their third doubles title as a team in 2018 at the Nitto ATP Finals in London



Mike Bryan and Jack Sock came back from one set down to edge Frenchmen Pierre Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut 5-7 6-1 13-11 in just over 90 minutes after a dramatic tie-break in the doubles final at the Nitto ATP Finals in a packed O2 Arena in London. They have clinched their third doubles title in their eighth together as a team.

The US team crowned an impressive season adding the ATP Finals title to the wins achieved at Wimbledon and at the US Open. They became the first doubles team to win these two Grand Slam titles since Jonas Bjorkman and Todd Woodbridge.

Bryan and Sock converted three of their ten break points and saved six of the eight chances they faced.

The opening set featured six deuce deciding points in twelve points went on serve until the seventh game when Mahut earned the first break to take a 4-3 lead with a lob. Bryan and Sock broke straight back in the eighth game on their fifth break point after a double fault from Mahut.

Herbert and Mahut broke serve again in the 11th game to take the 6-5 edge before fending off four break points in row to seal the first set on the deciding point.

Bryan and Sock went up a double break in the second and sixth games to cruise through to winning the second set 6-1 forcing the match to the Tie-Break.

After a series of mini-breaks Herbert and Mahut fended off three match points in the tie-break at 9-6 to draw level to 9-9 keeping their chance alive. The 2018 Rotterdam and French Open champions earned their own match point at 11-10. Sock and Bryan reeled off three points to save the match point and clinch the tie-break 13-11 on their sixth match point after 1 hour and 31 minutes, when Herbert made a double fault.

Forty-year-old Bryan won his fifth doubles title at the ATP Finals in his career after the four previous wins in 2003, 2004, 2009 and 2014 achieved together with his twin brother Bob Bryan. He has become the sixth player in history to win multiple year end titles with at least 2 different partners. Only John McEnroe and Peter Fleming won more doubles titles in the history of this event with their seven consecutive triumphs from 1978 to 1984 at the Madison Square in New York.

Sock is the first player to reach the year-end final in doubles and semifinals in singles (2017) since McEnroe back in 1984. He has also become the oldest champion in the ATP Finals history. Bryan and Sock began their partnership in another London venue last June. Bryan has lifted his 121st title in his legendary career. His impressive collection includes 18 Grand Slam doubles titles and the Olympic doubles gold medal in London 2012.

They were presented with the title by ATP Executive Chairman Chris Kermode and Nitto President Hideo Takasaki.

Mahut and Herbert were bidding to be the first French champions since 2005. The French team ended the season with a win-loss record of 23-11.

“This is how you want to start a partnership and end one. To win here is just an epic experience. To finish a great year off  the right way, winning here against some of the best teams in the world. The way we did, it came down to the wire. It was pretty exciting. I have real memories with Jack. We are closing the book on our partnership because Bob is coming back.We are always going to be great friends and hang out in the off season. We are going to spend our off-season training together”, said Mike Bryan. 


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‘If You Win a Grand Slam, It’s A Good Season’ – Roger Federer On 2018 And His Off-Season Goals

The Swiss player has named two improvements he would like to make to his game ahead of the next season.



20-time grand slam champion Roger Federer has said that he is contempt with his performance this year despite experiencing a slight dip in form during the second half.

The 37-year-old officially ended his season on Saturday after bowing out in straight sets to Alexander Zverev at the ATP Finals in London. This year the Swiss player has won four titles on the tour, including the Australian Open in January. Overall, he has achieved a win-loss record of 48-10.

“(Pete) Sampras once upon a time said, ‘If you win a slam, it’s a good season.’” Reflected Federer, who held the world No.1 ranking for a total of eight weeks during 2018.
“So started great. I played super well in Australia again. So obviously I can’t wait to go back there in a couple of months.”

Despite the success, he has also suffered his share of disappointment. Prior to his last tournament of the year, Federer had only won two out of six matches against top 10 players. He also suffered a surprise loss to Kevin Anderson at Wimbledon before falling in the fourth round at the US Open. Making it the first time he has only reached one grand slam semi-final out of four since 2013.

“The second half of the season could have been better maybe.” Admitted Federer. “I also have high hopes to always do well. So I’m happy I gave myself opportunities again in that second half of the season.”
“I maybe lost a couple too close matches that could have changed things around for me a little bit.” He added.

Work to be done in the off-season

Fortunately, the positives overweight the negatives for the Swiss veteran, who is the oldest player currently in the world’s top 100. In September he celebrated the 20th anniversary of his debut on the ATP Tour at the Grand Prix de Tennis de Toulouse in France.

“I’m very proud that at 37 I’m still so competitive and so happy playing tennis. From that standpoint, as disappointed as I might be about this match if I take a step back, I’m actually very happy about the season.” He told reporters after his loss to Zverev on Saturday.

Federer will now embark upon the off-season where he is expected to conduct his usual preparation in Dubai. During a recent interview with newspaper Tages-Anzeiger, he has outlined two areas of his game that he wants to improve on. His forehand and his play at the net.

“As far as tennis is concerned, I would like to find my way back to the net more often,” he said.
“And of course I want to whip the forehand right again.
“Then there is the condition training with Pierre (Paganini).
“Of course, deciding whether to play on clay or not has an impact on the training program.”

Federer will return to action at the Hopman Cup, which will get underway on December 29th.

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