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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Dominic Thiem Edges Cuevas To Remain Unbeaten In Buenos Aires, Schwartzman Awaits

Dominic Thiem has extended his unbeaten streak to 11 matches in Bueno Aires after edging past Pablo Cuevas to reach the semi-finals.

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Dominic Thiem (@SectaDeportivaa - Twittter)

Dominic Thiem won an 11th consecutive match in Buenos Aires as he edged out Pablo Cuevas 4-6 6-4 6-3 to reach the semi-finals. 

After a slow start the Austrian won 73% of first service points to seal a place in the last four as he made it 11-0 in the Argentinian capital.

In the semi-finals he will play good friend and doubles partner this week Diego Schwartzman, who comfortably beat Albert Ramos-Vinolas.

The other semi-final will see Roland Garros semi-finalist Marco Cecchinato take on Guido Pella, who saved match points against Jaume Munar.

There was a threat to Thiem’s unbeaten streak early on as his Uruguayan opponent got off to the perfect start with a break in the third game.

Struggling on serve and failing to create any break point opportunities Thiem surrendered the first set in 34 minutes to the world number 78.

However the world number eight adjusted tactically and remained focused on the task at hand as he took a 3-0 lead. Despite being broke back while serving for the set, the top seed broke straight back to force a deciding set as he looked a relieved figure.

The deciding set went in similar fashion with the only exception being that Thiem wasn’t broken back this time. After holding his lead from 3-0 up, Thiem served out the match to secure his first ATP semi-final of the season.

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After edging past Cuevas, the world number eight will now play Diego Schwartzman in the last four in what is set to be a busy day for the duo.

Not only will they play against each other in singles, they will also team up with each other in doubles as they reached the semi-finals there as well.

The talented Argentinian defeated Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-q 7-5 to reach the last four in his home country and will look to end Thiem’s unbeaten streak on Saturday afternoon.

The other semi-final will see Marco Cecchinato play Guido Pella with the action starting at 2pm local time.

While in New York the action starts at 4pm local time with Brayden Schnur taking on Sam Querrey and John Isner playing Reilly Opelka in the semi-finals.

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Dominic Thiem Extends Unbeaten Run As Ferrer Says Farewell To The Argentina Open

There were mixed emotions for players at the Buenos Aires Lawn Tennis Club on Thursday.

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Dominic Thiem (image via @sportsvision)

Top seed Dominic Thiem has made a winning start to the Argentina Open after triumphing in what was his first competitive match for a month.

The Roland Garros finalist has been absent from the tour in recent weeks after retiring from the Australian Open due to illness. During his absence, Thiem underwent a series of tests to establish the root of his problem and has been cleared to return to the tour.

Taking on Germany’s Maximilian Marterer in his opening match on Thursday, the Austrian powered his way to a 6-4, 6-4, victory. Converting four out of his eight break point opportunities. However, there is still room for improvement for Thiem, who only managed to win 48% of the points behind his second serve. The victory is his 10th consecutive at the tournament in Buenos Aires.

“I like the conditions here. I was able to develop a good performance to win it.” Thiem said afterwards.

This week the world No.8 is being mentored by Nicolas Massu. A former top 10 players who is best known for winning a gold medal at the 2004 Olympic Games. It is understood that the partnership is set to last only a week, however, Austrian newspaper Kleine Zeitung have suggested that it could be extended if proven successful.

In the quarter-finals Thiem will take on Pablo Cuevas. Cuevas, who has won all six of his ATP titles on the clay, knocked out Portuguese fifth seed Joao Sousa 6-4, 7-5.

“He is one of the best players on the clay.” Said Thiem. “We already played at Roland Garros and a Master 1000, so I’m expecting an open match.”

Thiem is currently tied at 2-2 in his head-to-head with the Uruguayan player.

Farewell continues his goodbye tour

Three-time champion David Ferrer has played his last ever match at the Buenos Aires Lawn Tennis Club. The Spaniard, who will officially retire from the tour in May, was edged out in a three set roller coaster against Albert Ramos-Vinolas. Ferrer failed to convert two match points during the second set as he suffered a 3-6, 7-6(9), 6-3 defeat.

“I feel at home because of the love they (the crowd) have for me. Loved.” Ferrer said following his loss.
“Without a doubt. It is very special since I will not step on this court again. What I will miss most is your affection.”

Ferrer is one of only two players in history to have won the tournament three years in a row. The other was Argentine legend Guillermo Vilas during the 1970s. Following his first round win there was a special presentation conducted to honour his career. Attendees to the on-court presentation included Gabriela Sabatini, Martin Jaite, Federico Delbonis, Marc Lopez, Diego Schwartzman, Juan Ignacio Chela, Mariano Zabaleta, Juan Monaco and Gaston Gaudio.

Ferrer’s conqueror Ramos-Vinolas will take on fourth seed Diego Schwartzman next. Schwartzman defeated Aljaz Bedene 6-4, 2-6, 6-2.

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Kei Nishikori cruises past Ernests Gulbis to cruise through to the quarter final in Rotterdam

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This year’s Brisbane champion Kei Nishikori cruised past Ernests Gulbis 6-1 6-4 to advance to the quarter final at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam.

Nishikori reeled off the first 12 points of the match and broke serve twice to race out to a 5-0 lead. The Japanese star went up an early break at 15 in the first game of the second set. Gulbis broke back in the sixth game to draw level to 3-3, but Nishikori broke for the fourth time in the ninth game and served out the match 6-4 with an ace in the 10th game.

Nishikori lost just once in his eleven matches played this year. He beat Danil Medvedev in the final in Brisbane and reached the quarter final at the Australian Open before losing to eventual champion Novak Djokovic.

Nishikori sets up a quarter final against Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics, who beat Nikoloz Basilashvili 7-6 (7-1) 6-1.

Basilashvili got the first break of the match in the fifth game of the opening set to take a 3-2 lead. Fucsovics pulled the break back in the tenth game at 15 to draw level to 5-5 before winning the tie-break 7-1. In the second set Fucsovics broke three times in the first, third and seventh games to win the third set 6-1.

Fucsovics continues his impressive period of form one week after finishing runner-up to Danil Medvedev in the final of the Sofia Open.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga edged Tallon Griekspoor 7-6 (7-5) 6-1 to secure his spot in the quarter final against Danil Medvedev. Tsonga lost to Medvedev 7-6 (7-2) 6-2 in the semifinal of the Brisbane International.

Griekspoor fended off four set points on serve in the first set, before Tsonga closed out the tie-break 7-5 with an unreturned serve after 54 minutes. Tsonga broke serve in the third game of the second set when Griekspoor made two consecutive forehand errors. Tsonga got his third break with a backhand return winner to close out the match improving his winning streak to seven matches.

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