Stefanos Tsitsipas Knocks Out Roger Federer To Make Australian Open History - UBITENNIS
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Stefanos Tsitsipas Knocks Out Roger Federer To Make Australian Open History

The next gen star has battled to the biggest win of his career in Melbourne.

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20-year-old Stefanos Tsitsipas has become the first Greek player in history to reach a grand slam quarter-final after stunning defending champion Roger Federer 6-7(11), 7-6(3), 7-5, 7-6(5), in a enthralling encounter at Melbourne Park.

 

The fourth round clash was a battle between a veteran of the sport and a rising star. Heading into their first tour meeting, Federer has won 99 more titles than his opponent, claim 334 more main draw wins in a grand slam and recorded 711 more victories on a hard court. The statistics pointed to a comprehensive Federer win, but in reality is was a dream performance by the underdog. The tenacity of Tsitsipas’ play proved too strong against Federer as he saved all 12 of the break points he face. Blasting 20 aces and 62 winners past him. Meanwhile, Federer showed glimpses of his brilliance, but came unstuck with his erratic forehand.

“There is nothing I can say to describe it right now. I am the happiest man on earth right now.” Tsitsipas said afterwards.
“From the very beginning, it is important to keep that mindset on the court. Go in, believe in yourself and believe in your capabilities. But you have your abilities as a player.”

From the onset there was drama in the match. 20-year-old Tsitsipas received two time violations during his opening service game for exceeding the 25-second time limit between points. Then later in the game, Federer took a swipe at umpire James Keothavong for rewarding a point to his Greek rival following a successful hawk-eye challenge. Saying he only made that decision because he had a ‘bad conscience’ about penalising Tsitsipas earlier.

“I was too slow I have to agree.” The world No.15 joked afterwards. “I don’t know, it felt weird. I felt like I was on time, but still received the time violations. I just wanted to take my time and sometimes the referee reminds you that you need to be on time.”

The dramatic start to the match paved way to what was a high quality opening set of tennis. Heading into the match Tsitsipas, who is 17 years younger than Federer, said he grew up watching and studying the game of the Swiss Maestro by watching YouTube videos of him. This was evident as Federer was forced to battle hard against his opponent, who showed little fear despite his inexperience of playing on the big courts of grand slams. A roller coaster 24-point tiebreaker saw Federer prevail after saving three set points. Nudging ahead 12-11 with the help of a clean forehand winner, he sealed the lead in somewhat unfortunate circumstances. Midway through a rally, a call of ‘out’ from the crowd in relation to a Tsitsipas shot. Although it is unclear if that interrupted the moment of the Greek player, he shortly after hit an unforced error to gift Federer the one-set lead.

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Frustratingly unable to pull away from his opponent, Federer was engaged in what was a game of cat and mouse. Eight chances to break Tsitsipas in set number two came and went as another tiebreaker loomed. Meanwhile, his inspired opponent continued to defy the odds. Hitting his way through the second set tiebreaker. Tsitsipas’ courageous play was rewarded after a deep forehand winner clinched him the second frame to level the match.

It wasn’t until almost three hours into the match that the first break occurred in what was a significant moment for Tsitsipas. Continuing to remain resilient behind his serve, the world No.15 proved too much for Federer. Trailing 5-6 in the third, the 20-time grand slam champion hit three consecutive forehand errors. Gifting the underdog the lead for the first time.

With the chance of creating Greek tennis history, Tsitsipas didn’t fault at the prospect. Like the entire match, it was just a couple of points that separated the two titans. At 5-5 in the four set tiebreaker, a out call rewarded Tsitsipas his first match point. Prompting an eruption of hysteria among the crowd. Victory was then sealed after a backhand from the 37-year-old crashed into the net. Prompting a look of disbelief on Tsitsipas’ face.

“Roger is a legend of our sport. I have so much respect for him. He has shown so much good tennis over the years. I have been analysing him six I was six. It was a dream come true to be on Rod Laver facing him. Winning too, I cannot describe it.” Said Tsitsipas.
“It’s important to have this aggressive mindset. Play in the moment, have first serves in and press from the very beginning. I didn’t lose my patience. That was the key to save those break points. Overall, I showed a great fighting spirit and determination.” He added.

Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut will be the next opponent for Tsitsipas. The 30-year-old upset 2018 finalist Marin Cilic 6-7(6), 6-3, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4. Achieving the best grand slam run of his career. Agut is yet to lose a match this season after winning the Qatar Open prior to the Melbourne major.

As a result of his loss, Federer will drop outside of the world’s top five on Monday. The first time he has done so since March 2017.

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Singapore Champion Alexi Popyrin Dedicates Maiden ATP Title To Family

The world No.114 battled back from a set down to become the fifth active Australian player to win an ATP singles title.

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Rising star Alexi Popyrin has claimed the biggest title in his career to date after triumphing in the final of the Singapore Open on Sunday.

 

The 21-year-old battled back from a set down to defeat world No.46 Alexander Bublik 4-6, 6-0, 6-2, in what was his first ever final on the ATP Tour. Popryin, who had never got past the quarter-final stage of a Tour event prior to this week, managed to turn his fortunes around with the help of an emphatic service display. During the second set he dropped no points behind serve and only one in the third. Overall, the Australian produced 11 aces and broke Bublik five times en route to victory.

A former junior world No.2 who won the 2017 French Open boys’ title, Popyrin has become the fifth active player from Australia to have won an ATP title. The other four are Nick Kyrgios, Alex de Minaur, Bernard Tomic and John Millman. During the trophy ceremony Popyrin said the breakthrough was a result of hard work as he paid tribute to his family.

“I’ll definitely have very fond memories of Singapore now, I’ll definitely remember this for the rest of my life,” he said.
“We put a lot of hard work in the pre-season and it’s paying off in the start of the year I’ve had. In Australia I felt really good so it’s just good to see all the hard work paying off.
“My family behind the scenes, they’ve sacrificed so much for me and to finally win a tournament just shows how much hard work they put in with me also. This is for them 100 per cent.”

Prior to Bublik, Popyrin also scored a win over former US Open champion Marin Cilic in the semi-finals. The breakthrough continues what has been an encouraging start to the season for the Next Gen star. At the Murray River Open in Melbourne he took Grigor Dimitrov to three sets before losing in the third round. Then at the Australian Open he knocked out top 20 player David Goffin.

Meanwhile, Bublik is left wondering what might have been. It was the second time the Kazakh has reached a Tour final this season after Antalya where he had to retire due to injury.

“His first final, his first title, I have four finals, which hurts now but just congratulate you and next time we’ll see if we can face in the final,” Bublik said.

Popyrin will rise to a ranking high of 82nd when the standings are updated on Monday.

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Alejandro Davidovich Fokina beats Hubert Hurkacz to reach the quarter final in Montpellier

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Alejandro Davidovich Fokina came back from 1-3 in the opening set and converted four of the ten break points to claim a 7-5 6-2 win over Hubert Hurkacz in 1 hour and 34 minutes at the Open Sud de France in Montpellier. 

 

Hurkacz went up a break in the fourth game at deuce to take a 3-1 lead. Davidovich Fokina broke back in the fifth game at 15 and held serve to draw level to 3-3. Hurkacz saved a break point in the seventh game to hold serve after two deuces. Davidovich Fokina converted his second break point in the 11th game to win the first set 7-5. 

Hurkacz saved three break points in the third game of the second set, but Davidovich Fokina broke twice in the fifth and seventh games at deuce to win the final four games from 2-2 securing his spot in the quarter final. 

The 21-year-old Spanish player set up a quarter final against Egor Gerasimov, who knocked out Aljaz Bedene 6-4 7-6 (7-4) after 1 hour and 51 minutes. Bedene converted his second break point at deuce in the first game. Gerasimov broke back in the fourth game to draw level to 2-2. Gerasimov closed out the first set 6-4 with a break on his opportunity in the 10th game.

Bedene went up a break in the third game of the second set to take a 2-1 lead. Gerasimov broke back in the 10th game to draw level to 5-5. Gerasimov earned five match points at 6-1 in the tie-break. Bedene saved the first three chances, but Gerasimov closed out the tie-break 7-4 on his fourth opportunity. 

Roberto Bautista Agut cruised past Gregoire Barrère 6-0 6-3. The Spanish player built up a 6-0 2-0 lead with four consecutive breaks. Barrère came back by winning three consecutive games to take a 3-2 lead with a break in the fourth game. Bautista Agut reeled off four consecutive games with two consecutive breaks to win the second set 6-3 

Dennis Novak came back from 3-5 down by winning the final four games in the second set to beat Dusan Lajovic 7-6 (7-5) 7-5 after 1 hour and 35 minutes. Novak set up a quarter final clash against German Peter Gojowczyk, who came back from one set down to beat Juri Vesely 6-7 (3-7) 7-4 (7-4) 6-3 after 2 hours and 28 minutes. Gojowczyk hit 17 aces and won 86 % of his first service points. Gojowczyk saved four break points in the ninth game. Vesely earned two mini-breaks to win the tie-brek 7-3. The second set went on serve en route to the the tie-break. Gojowczyk earned one mini-break to win the tie-break 7-4. The German player converted his only break point in the second game to seal the third set 6-3.

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John Isner not happy with the cut in prize money for Miami Masters

John Isner took to Twitter to raise some issues about the ATP and latest state of affairs in Tennis.

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John Isner (@usta - Twitter)

The American took to social media to vent his frustration saying it doesn’t make sense.

 

John Isner took to twitter today after hearing the news that the Miami Open will be cutting its prize money down with the singles champion only taking $300,110 with a first round loser only winning $10,000 in prize money.

Isner and many other players on tour believe the tournament should be forced to due an audit to truly reveal what their finances are and to see if they are hiding anything.

“How about a true audit to see how much tourneys are actually hurting and then a money formula after the event to reconcile?”

“Amazing we still don’t have this in a lot of our big events. How does that make any sense?” 

He also tweeted about the promoters saying the system the ATP uses is broken.

The American also spoke of the unfairness in the cuts the players are taking in comparison to the actual events.

“So players should take a 60% cut and 80% champions cut while ATP executives keep full salaries, benefits, and expense accounts? Make that make sense. Seems just a little bit hypocritical, don’t ya think?”.

Isner finally believes the players should benefit from the tournament not just in the short term but over a long tenure.

““Tennis is plagued by conflict and lack of transparency”

The tournament is scheduled for March 23rd at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami and the tournament has confirmed they won’t be doing a quarantine like the Australian Open.

The players will need to provide a negative PCR test to board a flight to the US and once they land they will be tested once again and isolate until a negative result is shown.

The players will only be allowed at the hotel and the venue and any player who doesn’t respect the rules will be subject to penalties and be withdrawn from the tournament.

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