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Roger Federer Shows Better Sportsmanship Than His Fans

Federer and Zverev played the best match of the ATP Finals. The Swiss fell short at the end, while the German didn’t deserve the booing from the crowd. Djokovic will be the favorite “with caution” in today’s championship match.

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LONDON – After 12 fairly ugly and boring matches in the group stages at this year’s ATP Finals, the first semifinal deservedly won by Sasha Zverev against Roger Federer offered plenty of entertainment, unlike the second semifinal dominated by Novak Djokovic over Kevin Anderson. Since losing the Queen’s final to Marin Cilic in June, Djokovic raised his level and jumped to world No. 1 once again, capturing 35 of the last 37 matches he played.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that Novak is now unbeatable since a bad day at the office can happen to anybody. It is also complicated to beat the same player twice in the same week. In 18 occasions, the championship match was contested by two players that had previously faced each other in the group stages, and 50% of the times the player that lost in the round-robin ended up winning the final.

Nevertheless, Djokovic is the overwhelming favorite in Sunday’s final. He defeated Zverev 64 61 three days ago in their round-robin match and dominated his younger rival 62 61 in Shanghai about a month ago. On Wednesday the big serving German was able to stay with Novak until the score was 4-4 in the first set. He also had two break-points to go up 5-4 and serve for the set but he fell apart after squandering those two opportunities – one by missing an easy lob with Djokovic in the wrong position at the net.  

Ivan Lendl, who started working with Zverev earlier this year, was furious about Sasha’s lackluster performance in the second set, so I do believe that the German will at least try to compete at his best throughout the entire championship match instead of throwing in the towel mid-match. If Zverev has a good serving day, we are certainly in for a competitive match, despite Djokovic’s outstanding return game.

Djokovic was all over Anderson’s serve in yesterday’s semifinal, breaking the South African early in each set and taking absolute control of the match. The Serb has also been serving impeccably this week, hitting all the spots and never dropping serve in four matches.

Zverev showed an incredibly high level of tennis against Roger Federer and prevailed over the Swiss maestro in the first semifinal of the day. Sasha was surprisingly more aggressive than Roger, who at 37 years of age seems to be a step slower than in the past. Therefore, it was crucial for Roger to put pressure on his opponent, but the German didn’t allow him to control the patterns of play.

Roger played a horrendous service game at the end of the first set and went on to squander a break advantage at the start of the second. Federer was able to break back and force a tie-breaker, during which we witnessed the most controversial moment of the match. With Federer leading 4-3, Zverev stopped mid-rally after a ball slipped from a ballboy’s hand and into his line of vision. When the point was replayed — as the rules allow for when a ballkid drops a ball — Zverev served his seventh ace of the match. The crowd thought that Zverev was given an unfair advantage by the chair umpire and they started booing against the German.

Roger talked about the incident in his post-match press conference: “As soon as the ballboy and line judge confirmed what happened, the obvious choice was to replay the point. I am not questioning Sasha’s sportsmanship. He actually showed some courage to stop the rally, because the umpire could have said something like: ‘Sorry, you are in the middle of a rally, I didn’t see anything, you lose the point.’ That’s why I wanted to clarify the situation with the chair umpire, who made his decision after talking to the ballkid and line judge. I am not quite sure what the rule is in this case.”

The boos and heckling from the crowd were absolutely unfair and disrespectful. Zverev outplayed Federer during the entire match and deserved to win. I believe that most of the spectators didn’t quite understand what happened and why Zverev stopped that rally.

Zverev – who is not of the nicest guys on tour and often seems quite arrogant – this time showed his softer side and apologized to the crowd in his post-match interview, understanding that most of them were there to support Federer.

At 21 years of age, Zverev is the youngest finalist at the year-end championships since Juan Martin del Potro in 2009. Novak Djokovic is looking to win title number six that would equal Roger Federer’s record.

(Article translation provided by T&L Global – Translation & Language Solutions – www.t-lglobal.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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