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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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Further 23 Players In Hard Quarantine After More Positive Tests On Charter Flight

More players head into hard quarantine ahead of the first grand slam of the year.

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A further 23 players have been told that they are being placed into hard quarantine after another positive COVID-19 test on a charter flight from Abu Dhabi.

 

Players were notified this evening in Australia that there was a positive test on the Abu Dhabi charter flight. Although it looks it wasn’t a player who tested positive it now means 23 more players will now go into hard quarantine.

This follows the news of 24 players going into hard quarantine after two positive tests from a charter flight from Los Angeles.

It is understood from several journalists that among those who are now being placed into hard quarantine from the Abu Dhabi flight are Belinda Bencic, Maria Sakkari, Bianca Andreescu, Angelique Kerber, Marta Kostyuk, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Ons Jabeur.

Although there are only 47 players in hard quarantine so far, there is a fear that this number could rise with more COVID test results still waiting to come back.

Before the charter flights, Andy Murray, Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, Madison Keys and Amanda Anisimova were denied entry into Australia via the chartered flights due to positive COVID results.

The first set of tournaments in Australia are set to begin on the 31st of January with the Australian Open due to begin on the 8th of February.

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Madison Keys latest player to test positive for Coronavirus

Madison Keys ruled out of the Australian Open after testing positive for COVID-19.

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The American tested positive for the first time and will miss the first grand slam of the year.

Madison Keys has officially tested positive for the coronavirus. She announced the news on social media and says she will, unfortunately, miss the Australian Open.

 

Hi everyone, I just wanted to let you know that I, unfortunately, tested positive for Covid-19 before I was suppose to fly to Australia. I’m very disappointed to not be able to play in the coming weeks after training hard in the off-season and knowing Tennis Australia and the tours did so much to make these events happen.

I am self isolating at home and will continue to follow all the necessary health precautions. I look forward to be back on tour next month.

“Thank you for all your support.

Stay Healthy and safe.

Madison

Keys is the latest player to have tested positive after Andy Murray revealed he had a positive test while Tennys Sandgren had tested positive but was given the green light to travel.

Two players in men’s qualifying in Doha tested positive and were immediatly removed from the draw. Apparently if you test positive for the first time you are not allowed to travel but if you already tested positive and show no symptoms there is a chance you will continue to test positive before the effects go away.

Players are traveling this week to Australia and will be mandated to follow the 14 day quarantine with the exception of training five hours a day. The Australian Open begins on February 8th.

While most players will be quarantining in Melbourne both Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have confirmed they will do their quarantine in Adelaide.

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ANALYSIS: Daniil Medvedev’s Run At The ATP Finals – Win Against Nadal Was The Turning point

Using two types of graphs, UbiTennis takes a closer look at the five matches won by Daniil Medvedev at the 2020 ATP Finals.

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Let’s analyse the five matches won at the ATP Finals by Daniil Medvedev, using the graphical representations provided by Federico Bertelli. We have renamed the graphs as “The ride”, recalling the famous Wagnerian composition. The first series of graphs is made up of decision trees and illustrates the trend of Medvedev’s and his opponents behind their respective serves, from the first round robin match to the final won against Dominic Thiem.

 

These are the details of his debut match against Zverev. The graph is easy to read: on the right (in blue) the times he held his serve are represented, while the time he broke his opponent are on the left (in red). The thicker the segment that connects two scores, the more frequently that ‘path’ of play has been covered.

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/39qVQVmRFll9YWeGxM_Dl-qEBE7Z2iwMHIfrEa6v5WwIKELuSfGEYrmgVQkDzPhlhsEthmsawLr4Cx-hi-NC15wcu85Yjt_unBZPfFJWpWoyoW5JS1Xbzxf63e2tZnzu0Z_RDCg
https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/72lIM46LmWsHKBUr3Rhw7oYq4Lto4obP0mA7E_kQH9bVB58TMEhC1Onixq0M8tZch1ZG4v8Hmf_Ntxss48abHouM1wqaPgRaQSeAcsSbJCZAY1Tea-lYVQzeStc61ayblLIasXM

Medvedev’s solidity holding serve is undeniable, because he performed best in deuce receiver and deuce server situations. It can also be observed how the Russian got broken just once in his first three matches, against Zverev at 30-40, while against Nadal he was particularly in trouble with his own serve, as the Spaniard was the only one who broke him several times, taking advantage of some favourable scoring situations such as 0-40, 15-40 and deuce receiver.

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/e0lb0_yVnzwb24LWS-xN7qdhxz4DqiNqCBEolubVLln3Qv_7Na99-mCi4WU_k9UrBT4T4H2OqcnxnlYEcO8TX4LtwMA3nkLW94JK6hnnEEshOXFd9_HNZ6seBhP56_deatR2Rig
https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/IPBeJdkVLRtQewleS-MxR7QHtzpehhO8wIslpXwlGLisR7KrzSbMng2lAUoAdjIMj2EWBPWhA838l2AJX27anuWFex_oIUSFdMHfoQWDlpW8DoLUx209sVr8cg7qdfvOdfJojX8

However, against Thiem, although Medvedev found himself tangled in a decider, the trend reverts back to that of the round matches: the only chance that Thiem had to snatch the serve was on the deuce receiver. He had no other chance from 40-40. 

https://www.ubitennis.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Medvedev-finals.jpg

The graphical analysis, corroborated by the thickness of the oblique blue lines, also shows the growing solidity of the Russian from match to match, winning the opening two points in his service games. This is a sign of a growing confidence in his game as the Russian advanced towards the final stages of the tournament, e.g. the semi-final and the final.

As for the situations in which Medvedev was particularly proficient on his opponent’s serve, the deuce receiver stands out, a circumstance that was present in all five matches, followed by the 30-40 – he broke on this situation against Zverev and Schwartzman.

AN OVERVIEW

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/vjDrxErqtjvDOnK9dhmExHj5OiMeiNHupX3ffY3sKFBPPQ39Yb7Gipu39P5_XYAlGoBbgeILp7kDrYKrQBoaVRJHSzD731_9doLJ2GVFq4xafnYhzlBeyORsZ4HY5UB88OHV3ao

The second series of graphs on Medvedev’s Valkyrian ride consists of radar graphs illustrating the classic statistics shown at the end of each match, which are equivalent to the following percentages – starting from the top and going clockwise: percentage of first serves in play, percentage of points won with his first and second serve, break points saved and converted, points won on the return against first and second serve, total points won, total points won on the return and on serve. What you see above is the diagram of Medvedev’s debut match: it is easy to see that he did better than Zverev in all statistics except for the percentage of first serves in play.

From the analysis of the first three matches of the group stage, even though the yellow area is predominant in almost all the statistical percentages, it’s clear that Medvedev was more effective in saving break points than his opponents (more than 80 percent against Zverev and 100 percent against Djokovic and Schwartzman), as well as in converting them. Against Schwartzman, he was actually bettered in the percentage of points won with the second service and in points won on the return against the opponent’s second serve.

https://www.ubitennis.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/bbb.jpg

However, in the next two matches the percentage profiles of break balls saved and converted change because Nadal’s and Thiem’s numbers are higher than the Medvedev’s. So, ultimately, it means that Medvedev conceded fewer break points and managed to convert those that his opponents offered him during the match. 

That shows a great solidity.

If the general statistical profile of the Medvedev’s match against Thiem is similar to that of the matches won against Djokovic and Zverev, and in some ways to the one against Schwartzman as well, the statistics outline against Nadal is totally abnormal and should be considered as an outlier. The percentage of points won returning Nadal’s second serve and on his own second serve were the crucial ones. We will analyse this aspect in another article that will deal with Medvedev’s positioning on the return.

In conclusion, from the analysis of the statistical profiles, it appears that the semi-final bout against Nadal was the toughest obstacle that Medvedev had to overcome in his ride to success in a tournament in which he turned out more than anyone to be able (perhaps naturally) to give the match the desired direction, even when the numbers were not completely by his side.

Article by Andrea Canella; translated by Alice Nagni; edited by Tommaso Villa

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