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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Filip Krajinovic To Skip Australian Open If Required To Quarantine For More Than Five Days

The world No.34 says he ‘sees no reason’ why vaccinated players should have to go through a long quarentine in Australia.

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Image via twitter.com/atptour (Alexander Scheuber)

The second highest-ranked Serbian player in men’s tennis says it would be ‘unacceptable’ for organisers of the Australian Open to require players to quarantine for more than a week if they have been fully vaccinated.

 

Filip Krajinovic has become the first player to publicly state that they will not be prepared to travel to Melbourne at the end of this season if they have to go through strict quarantine measures once again. All the players who participated in this year’s Australian Open were required to be quarantined in a designated hotel for 14 days upon arrival in the country. During their stay they were allowed to use training facilities but that was the only time they could leave the premises unless there was an emergency.

There is no final decision regarding the travel requirements for the 2022 tournament but there are concerns that unvaccinated players may not be allowed to enter the country. The Victorian government recently issued a mandate ordering all essential workers to be vaccinated, including athletes. However, the regional government will not have the final say concerning tennis players arriving in the country with the national government being the ones in charge of that decision.

“They are very rigorous there and honestly, if I have to be in quarantine for 14 days after arriving in Melbourne, I will not go to Australia,” Krajinovic told Serbian newspaper Blic.
“I was vaccinated, I did everything in my power to protect myself and the people around me, so I really see no reason to sit there for 14 days in a room.’
“If they (the organisers) say that after arrival I need, say, five days to be in isolation, that’s OK for me, but anything beyond that is unacceptable to me. With the season ending late, I will have 20 days to get ready and go. Charter flights will be organized again and the last one is planned for December 28 for the players and that is the final date when I can go to Australia. I will see what the final decision from Melbourne will be, so I will cut what is the best thing to do.”

Earlier this week Victoria’s Sports minister Martin Pakula urged players to be vaccinated because it give them ‘the best opportunity to play in the Australian Open.’ It is expected that if unvaccinated players are allowed to attend, they will be subjected to stricter restrictions. This might include a longer quarantine period upon arrival and limitations of where they can go during their stay.

Last year, all of those players had to do their 14 days of quarantine. Right now there looks like there will be different rules for people who enter this country who are vaccinated as against unvaccinated and I don’t think the tennis will be any exception to that.” Pakula told the Sports Entertainment Network (SEN).
“In terms of what rules apply for people to enter Australia, whether unvaccinated people are allowed in at all, I don’t the answer to that yet. That’s going to be the subject of discussion at national cabinet and among the federal cabinet … those rules are not set by state governments.” He added.

Krajinovic is currently ranked 34th in the world and has a win-loss record this season of 18-18. At the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells he reached the second round before falling in straight sets to Daniil Medvedev. His best run so far this year was at the Hamburg Open where he reached the final.

“When we look at the whole of 2021, I played one final, one semifinal, there were good victories, but also worse results,” the 29-year-old commented.

Krajinovic is currently without a coach but is currently in ‘negotiations’ with somebody without elaborating further about who that person is.

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Alexander Zverev Secures Place In ATP Finals With Indian Wells Win

Zverev will be seeking to win the season-ending extravaganza for the second time in his career.

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Alexander Zverev (GER) Credit: AELTC/Edward Whitaker

Germany’s Alexander Zverev has become the fourth player to officially qualify for the ATP Finals after reaching the third round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.

 

The world No.4 defeated America’s Jenson Brooksby 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, in his second round match on Sunday which pushed him over the points threshold to secure his spot in the end-of-season event. It is the fifth year in a row he has qualified for the ATP Finals which he won back in 2018. He is one of only three German players to ever win the title after Boris Becker and Michael Stich.

This year’s tournament will take place in Turin, Italy for the first time in history after being held at The O2 Arena in London for more than a decade. Only the eight highest ranked players are eligible to play in the round-robin tournament which has on offer up to 1500 rankings points for an undefeated champion.

“My first time in Turin. I’ve been to London four times before. London is obviously very special to me because I won there, as well. I think the stadium is incredible, one of the most special events that we had,” Zverev told reporters on Sunday.
“But I also love playing in Italy. I had great success in Italy. I won my first Masters in Rome. I’m looking forward to being there. I’m looking forward to playing in front of the Italian fans. It’s going to be a great week.”

The 24-year-old approaches the final quarter of this season with four titles already won this year. He has won two Masters 1000 trophies, an ATP 500 event in Mexico and a gold medal in singles at the Tokyo Olympic Games. Zverev, who has recorded seven wins over top 10 players, also reached the semi-finals at both the French Open and US Open.

Zverev joins Novak Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas as the players who have qualified for the ATP Finals so far. It is the third straight season the quartet has qualified for the event.

This year’s ATP Finals will get underway on November 14th. Medvedev is the defending champion.

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Denis Shapovalov Advances After Pospisil Retires In Indian Wells

The battle of the two Canadians didn’t go as planned…

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Denis Shapovalov (CAN) Credit: AELTC/Edward Whitaker

Vasek Pospisil faced off against his fellow Canadian Denis Shapovalov in the second round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells and it was the world number 13 who got the win after the Vernon native pulled out due to an injury whilst trailing 0-3.

 

It was a rough start for Pospisil who seemed to struggle with his serve in the opening game of the match and double-faulted twice in a row to give the early break and Shapovalov had no issues consolidating the break.

Shapovalov continued to apply pressure on the Pospisil serve and after saving two breakpoints the world number 68 pulled up after a serve and stopped play, calling for the trainer. He ended up taking a medical timeout off the court and a couple of minutes later returned to court. Pospisil was broken once again and the following game after a couple of returns decided to call it quits.

” It was pretty awful…and if I’m being honest I am shaking a bit…It really sucks I hope it’s nothing serious…He’s a great guy he’s a real warrior he’s fought back from some injuries surgeries to such a great level.” Shapovalov said of his compatriot.

Shapovalov will face 19th seed Aslan Karatsev in the next round after the Russian thrashed Salvatore Caruso 6-2, 6-0.

In the other results of the day sixth seeed Casper Ruud dominated Roberto Carballes Baena 6-1, 6-2, Roberto Bautista Agut beat the Argentine Guido Pella 7-5, 6-3 and Sebastien Korda won an all American battle with Frances Tiafoe 6-0, 6-4.

Finally, Diego Schwartzman needed three sets to beat another American in Maxime Cressy winning 6-2, 3-6, 7-5.

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