Stefanos Tsitsipas Relishing Showdown With Idol Federer In Perth - UBITENNIS
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Stefanos Tsitsipas Relishing Showdown With Idol Federer In Perth

The world No.15 looks ahead to the Hopman Cup and his clash with the former world No.1.

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Greek No.1 Stefanos Tsitsipas has paid tribute to Roger Federer by saying that the 20-time Grand Slam champion has helped shape his career.

 

Tsitsipas, 20, will take on his Swiss rival next week at the Hopman Cup. In what will be his first taste of playing competitively against Federer. Nevertheless, the world No.15 is aware of what he has to deal with. In the past Tsitsipas has been training in Dubai alongside Federer after being invited to do so.

“His coach got in touch with us and he offered good training facilities and conditions before the Aussie swing and we accepted it,” Tsitsipas told The West Australian. “I’m hitting with the best and learning as much as I can from the experience.”

Heading into the new season, Tsitsipas is hoping to capitalize on what has been a breakthrough year for him. During 2018 he became the first ever Greek player to win a ATP title at the Stockholm Open. He later added to his trophy tally by also winning the ATP Next Gen Finals in Milan. At the Grand Slam tournaments, he became the first from his country to reach the fourth round of Wimbledon.

“I really believe that fitness played a big role this year and also mentally I was a different player, more mature more patient and more professional in what I was doing.”

Reflecting on his development on the tour, Tsitsipas believed Federer has played an indirect role in his performance in recent time. Explaining that he has been inspired to one day mirror the achievements of the world No.3. Federer currently has 99 ATP titles to his name, which is the second biggest tally in men’s tennis after Jimmy Connors.

“I am smiling already, I am picturing things in my brain of how it is going to feel and look like to be sharing the same court as him, it is a privilege to be playing such a respected athlete of our sport,” Tsitsipas said ahead of their upcoming meeting.
“He’s not just an inspiration, I also think that he has played a huge role over my performance and development over the years. I continue to push myself daily to achieve what he has achieved, and I honestly think that being in his position one day would be the best feeling on earth. That is what I am working for every day of my life.”

At the Hopman Cup, the Next Gen star will be teamed up with Maria Sakkari. Sakkari peaked at a ranking high of 29th back in September and reached the final of the San Jose Open back in June. Together the duo will be only the second Greek team to ever participate in the event. The first was Vasilis Mazarakis and Elena Daniilidou back in 2002.

“I have never played doubles with her, but we have practised before,” he said. “You never know what can happen, but we will play with heart and the spirit to win and that could be the hinge point for us.
“Wow, it (winning) would be the best start of the year. I like to enter any tournament with low expectations and take each match at a time. So, let’s see what happens.”

The 2019 Hopman Cup will get underway on December 29th. The tie between Greece and Switzerland will take place on January 3rd.

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Nicolas Mahut and Pierre Hugues Herbert seal a hard-fought win in decisive doubles match

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Ten-time Davis Cup champions France beat Japan 2-1 scoring the fifth win in as many Davis Cup matches against the Asian team.

 

French star Jo Wilfried Tsonga reeled off seven games from 4-2 in the first set to beat Japan’s Yasutaka Uchiyama 6-2 6-1 in 58 minutes in his 12th Davis Cup season.

Tsonga saved two break points and converted four of the five break points. The Frenchman held four service games and broke twice in the fourth and eighth games to take a 6-2 lead.

Tsonga broke twice in the second and fourth games and closed out the match in the seventh game after saving two break points.

“It was very important for our team to start well. I am also happy about my game, what I did today, so I hope it continues like this”, said Tsonga.

 Yoshihito Nishioka claimed 9 of the last 11 games in his 7-5 6-2 win over Gael Monfils in 66 minutes to level the score at 1-1 sending the tie into a decisive doubles match. The Japanese player saved one break point and earned two breaks to seal the win in straight sets.

“I wanted to show to the whole world Japan are still strong. Of course, if Key was here we would be strong, but even when he is not here, we can play. Hopefully next time Kei is here and we can play better”, said Nishioka.

Both players traded breaks at the start of the first set and stayed neck and neck until the 11th game of the first set when Nishioka got the break at 5-5 to seal the first set. Nishioka broke twice to seal the second set 6-2.

Last week’s ATP Finals doubles champions Nicolas Mahut and Pierre Hugues Herbert fought back from losing the first set to beat Ben McLachlan and Yasutaka Uchyama 6-7 6-4 7-5 after 2 hours and 40 minutes.

After losing the first set at the tie-break, Herbert and Mahut broke serve in the fifth game to win the second set 6-4. Herbert and Mahut went up a break in the third set. Uchiyama and Nishioka got the break back in the 10th game, when Herbert and Mahut were serving for the match. Mahut and Herbert got another break at 5-5 and held at 15 to seal the decisive win for France.

“They played at a very high level. We know we have arrived late from London, but the captain had a lot of confidence in our team. We were 1-1, we really had to win to give France the win. There was a lot of intensity in the win but we are really happy today, this was a really difficult tie”, said Mahut.  

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Canada beats Italy 2-1 in the opening day of the Davis Cup in Madrid

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Denis Shapovalov battled past Matteo Berrettini 7-6 (7-5) 6-7 (3-7) 7-6 (7-5) in a hard-fought second match of the round-robin Group F at the Davis Cup in Madrid to give Canada a 2-0 lead over Italy

 

Berrettini faced three break points in the third game of the opening set. Shapovalov earned two break points in the ninth game, but Berrettini held on his serve at deuce. Both players held on their service games. In the 10th game Berrettini earned three set points on return, but Shapovalov fended them off. Barrettini saved another break point to set up a tie-break. Shapovalov took a 6-3 lead earning three set points. Berrettini won two consecutive points to claw his way back to 5-6, but Shapovalov sealed the tie-break with a backhand passing shot.

Both players went on seve setting up a second tie-break. Berrettini got an early mini-break, but Shapovalov broke straight back. Berrettini took another mini-break to take a 3-2 when Shapovalov hit a volley into the net and sealed the second set 7-3 on his first set point.

Shapovalov earned a break point in the fifth game of the third set with a forehand winner. Berrettini held on his serve with his 11th ace. Both players went on serve in the next games setting up a third tie-break. Berrettini got the first mini-break to take a 4-3 lead after a double fault from Shapovalov. The young Canadian player broke straight back, when Berrettini made a forehand volley error. Shapovalov sealed the tie-break 7-5, when Berrettini fired his forehand long on his first match point after 2 hours.

“After making semifinals in the Madrid Mutua Open here, and winning the Junior Davis Cup in 2015, I feel like Madrid is a really good city for me. We will see how this week goes, but it’s a good step today”, said Shapovalov.

Fognini and Berrettini won the doubles match over beating Shapovalov and Pospisil 6-2 3-6 6-3. The Italian team got a double break to win the first set 6-2. Shapovalov and Pospisil drew level by winning the second set with a break in the eighth game. Italy saved two break points in the seventh game of the decisive set before breaking serve in the eighth game. Berrettini sealed the win for Italy with an ace.

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Pierre Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut claim their first ATP Finals title in London

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The French team formed by Pierre Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut claimed their first men’s doubles title with a 6-3 6-4 win over Raven Klaasen and Michael Venus in 70 minutes at the ATP Finals at the O2 Arena in London ending the 2019 ATP season on a high note with back-to-back titles in Paris Bercy and London. They remained unbeaten during the whole week at the ATP Finals in London winning all five matches in straight sets.

 

Herbert and Mahut fended off all four break points they faced scoring their ninth consecutive match win. The French doubles specialists have become the first team to win the doubles ATP Finals title without dropping a set since Jean Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau in 2015.

Herbert and Mahut fended off break points in the third game of the match before earning the only break of the opening set in the next game. The Frenchmen saved a break point in the sixth game before breaking serve in the seventh game.

They have become the French team to win the ATP Finals doubles title since Michael Llodra and Fabrice Santoro, who triumphed in Shanghai in 2005.

Herbert and Mahut have won 15 doubles titles as a team during their career. This year they became the eighth men’s doubles team to complete the career Grand Slam at last January’s Australian Open and also won the Rolex Paris Masters in front of their home fans.

Last year they came within one point of winning the ATP Finals title against Mike Bryan and Jack Sock after holding a match point.

“Thank you Nicolas for sharing the court, for having so much enjoyable moments and giving me so much joy, when I am with you on the court. You played an unbelievable final, so thank you for that”, said Pierre Hugues Herbert.

 

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