Roger Federer Staying Grounded As He Addresses Scheduling Concerns At ATP Finals - UBITENNIS
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Roger Federer Staying Grounded As He Addresses Scheduling Concerns At ATP Finals

The world No.3 provides an update about his latest form following his win over Kevin Anderson in London.

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20-time grand slam champion Roger Federer has vowed not to go ‘crazy’ as he closes in on winning his 100th tour title at this weeks ATP Finals.

The 37-year-old qualified for the semi-finals of the tournament on Thursday. Defeating Kevin Anderson in two sets to top his group despite losing his opening match on Sunday. Federer is now only two victories away from achieving the milestone in his trophy collection. An accomplishment that has only ever been previously achieved by Jimmy Connors. Connors won 109 titles between 1972-1996.

“Personally I’m still not thinking of the number 100.” Said Federer. “I won’t let that get in my head, make me go crazy because it should be something I’m excited about and not something I should feel extra pressure.”

After what has been a far from perfect week at The O2 Arena, the Swiss No.1 is keeping grounded about his chances of lifting the trophy this Sunday. His nemesis, Novak Djokovic, remains the favorite to triumph at the tournament. Djokovic has won four tournaments, including two grand slams, during the second half of 2018. His only losses were to Stefanos Tsitsipas and Karen Khachanov.

“As long as I think Novak is in the draw, he’s playing so good again, it’s never going to be easy.” Admitted Federer.
“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. It’s exciting to be in this situation now, no doubt.”

From now until his next match, some would expect Federer to be taking to the court to tune up his game. Although, practice sessions have been put to bed for the foreseeable future.

“I’m happy for a day off.” He said.
“The day after Nishikori, as we realized it made me happy, relaxed, motivated for when I do come on court, that it’s working. We kept that. I didn’t practice yesterday. I doubt that I will practice tomorrow.”

‘We are not employed by a club’

Federer’s triumph over Anderson was the ninth straight sets match that has occurred at the ATP Finals this year. Prompting Dominic Thiem to hit back at critics over the level of play among the field. The only encounter to go the full distance was between Marin Cilic and John Isner.

Alexander Zverev hinted that one of the reasons for the performances is due to the length of the ATP calendar, which lasts 11 months. Something he has branded as ‘ridiculous.’ In 2019 there will be a total of 63 tournaments taking place on the ATP Tour.

“The good thing is we as players are not employed by a club. I can walk right now out of the door and go on vacation if I want to. Nobody is going to stop me. They won’t like it, but I can. That’s a massive privilege, I believe, that a tennis player has.” Federer commented when questioned about the length of the season.
“But the way the tour is structured right now, I just think you have to be very disciplined within the team to decide what’s best for that player, and the player needs to also give his opinion.”

Whilst there are no plans in force to change the length of the calendar, the ATP is in full swing when it comes to their new innovation. On Thursday they announced that launch of the ATP Cup. A 10-day event that will feature 24 teams in Australia at the start of the year. The first tournament will get underway in 2020.

At the ATP Finals, Federer will play the runner-up of the Guga Kuerten Group on Saturday afternoon.

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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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