‘Fully Charged’ Karen Khachanov Looks To Get Back On Track In Dubai - UBITENNIS
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‘Fully Charged’ Karen Khachanov Looks To Get Back On Track In Dubai

After winning only two matches in four tournaments played, the Russian No.1 is determined to regain his form.

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Karen Khachanov at the 2018 Paris Masters (photo by Gianni Ciaccia)

Karen Khachanov is hoping that this week’s Dubai Tennis Championships will be where he regains his momentum on the tour after a lacklustre start to 2019.

The world No.12 heads into the tournament after losing in the first round of events in Sofia and Rotterdam. On the ATP Tour this season he has achieved a win-loss record of 2-4. Winning back to back matches at one out four tournaments (Australian Open). Reflecting on his mixed start, Khachanov blamed illness and ‘other issues’ for his disappointing results.

“After Melbourne, the two tournaments [Sofia and Rotterdam] were not the best for me. But again, I didn’t feel so well,” Khachanov said on Sunday.
“Now, I’m full charged. I trained a week before and unfortunately, I couldn’t compete in Marseille as I wasn’t hundred per cent. I arrived here on Thursday and we have had a good training week. So let’s see how it goes here,” he added.

Khachanov claimed three ATP titles during his 2018 season. The most significant of those occurred at the Paris Masters where he defeated four top 10 players on route to the biggest title in his career. Scoring wins over both Alexander Zverev and Novak Djokovic. Bidding to add to his trophy collection, the Russian No.1 is targeting more consistency on the tour.

“I’m thinking about trying to get more consistency in my level this year. May be I had this sort of consistency mostly in the second part of last year,” he outlined.
“Sometimes you are practising well, but then the real feel you have when you play tournaments is different. During practice sometimes, I may not have had the best feeling but then you go on court, you compete well, you play differently. It’s tough to say. I think I’m feeling quite well right now.”

Whilst maintaining an upbeat perspective, the 22-year-old admits that his tennis is still a work in progress. Saying that his focus is solely on him and not his position in the rankings.

“But I like to focus more on myself and my game, not focus more on the points and the results. The results are always coming if you are playing well. It’s like that. Or sometimes, even when you are not playing well, you are winning. All this is connected,” he stated.

In his first match in Dubai, Khachanov will face a potentially tough test against world No.19 Nikoloz Basilashvili. The Georgian won two ATP titles last year, but is yet to score a win over a top 50 player in 2019.

Khachanov is seeded fourth in the draw this year.

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Roger Federer: “I am not too disappointed after my defeat against Dominic Thiem in Indian Wells”

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Twenty-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer was not too disappointed after losing the Indian Wells final against Dominic Thiem last Sunday.

Roger Federer lost the Indian Wells final for the fourth time in his career after finishing runner-up in 2014, 2015 and 2018. Last year he did not convert three championship point against Juan Martin Del Potro.

“I am not too disappointed. I feel like he had to come up with the goods, and it felt like to some extent it was on my raquet. I just came up against somebody who was a bit better when it really mattered. That’s how it goes. Sure, it’s frustrating, disappointing and sad to some extent. I have been in these positions so many times that I get over it very quickly. I feel like I am actually playing good tennis. Like in Australia, I was not too down on myself because I feel like my game is there. My body is there. That keeps me upbeat, and I feel it’s a privilege when I feel this way leaving a tournament. I have been playing every single day for the past three weeks. I can be very happy and proud of that fact. I feel really good”, said Federer after the final against Thiem in Indian Wells.

Federer congratulated with Thiem, who won his maiden Maiden 1000 title in the Californian desert after losing his previous two finals in the series in Madrid on his favourite clay surface.

“I am happy with Dominic, winning his first Masters 1000 title, as well. It’s a massive event to win. I just got my 100th title in Dubai and I had a great week. There is no reason to get down. There is more to look forward to Miami”.

This season Federer has a positive record of 12 wins in his 14 matches and lifted the 100th title of his career beating Stefanos Tsitsipas in Dubai.

Federer is looking forward to the Miami Open where he headlines the bottom half of the draw. Federer, who won three titles in Miami in 2005, 2006 and 2017, will take on either Matthew Eden from Australia or a qualifier in the second round and could renew his battle against his compatriot Stan Wawrinka in the third round for the second consecutive tournament after winning their recent all-Swiss clash in Indian Wells in straight sets last week. Federer leads 22-3 in his 25 head-to-head clashes against Wawrinka. Wawrinka beat Federer three times in clay court matches in Monte-Carlo in 2009 and in the 2014 final and Roland Garros in 2015 and is chasing his first win on hard court against his compatriot.

“I think Stan knows that he is very close and it’s just a matter of time until he is going to break through again”,said Federer after their most recent clash at Indian Wells.

Federer could face Danil Medvedev in the Round of 16, Kevin Anderson or Karen Khachanov in the quarter final and a semifinal against either Stefanos Tsitsipas or last year’s Miami finalist Alexander Zverev.

 

 

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Nikola Mektic and Horacio Zeballos lift their maiden Masters 1000 title as a title in Indian Wells

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Unseeded Nikola Mektic from Croatia and Horacio Zeballos won their first doubles title as a team after beating Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo 4-6 6-4 10-3.

Kubot and Melo drew the first blood by getting an early break in the first game, but Mektic and Zeballos broke straight back in the second game. Mektic and Zeballos fended off two break points in the third game to take a 2-1 lead. Kubot and Melo went up a break in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead. The Polish and Brazilian team fended off a break point before serving out for the first set in the 10th game.

Mektic and Zeballos were not able to convert any of their two break points in the fourth game of the second set, but they held their service games easily and broke serve in the 10th game on the deciding point forcing the match to the decisive Match tie-break. Mektic and Zeballos cruised through to winning the tie-break 10-3 clinching their maiden doubles title as a team. Zeballos and Mektic won 40 % of their return points.

Earlier this week Mektic and Zeballos saved two match points in a match tie-break against this year’s Australian Open Pierre Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut before beating Colombian doubles specialists Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah in the quarter finals and Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic in the semifinal.

“It’s unbelievable. Being in the big press conference, it’s great. I have never been in this room. I love it”,said Zeballos in the post match press conference.

“Oh my God, we won Indian Wells. We are a great team. We can beat anyone. Especially on this tournament where the difference is a few balls. A few points will decide who is going to win. Of course you are not expecting to win, but we are going into every match confident that we can win, so we just went step by step and it happened”, said Mektic.

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Marcelo Melo and Lukasz Kubot beat Novak Djokovic and Fabio Fognini to reach the Indian Wells doubles final

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Brazil’s Marcelo Melo and Poland’s Lukasz Kubot secured their spot in the final of the doubles tournament of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells after beating singles world number 1 player Novak Djokovic and Fabio Fognini 7-6 (7-5) 2-6 10-6 in the super tie-break.

Melo and Kubot will face Horacio Zeballos and Nikola Mektic, who beat Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (7-3). Melo and Kubot have played together since 2017, while Zeballos and Mektic are teaming up for their second time in their careers.

In the first set Kubot and Melo earned an immediate break in the first game in the first game. Djokovic and Fognini broke back in the 10th game at 15 to draw level to 5-5. Kubot and Melo came back from 1-4 down to win the tie-break 7-5. Djokovic and Fognini broke twice in the first and fifth games to clinch the second set 6-2. Kubot and Melo took the 10-6 edge in the super tie-break.

Djokovic and Fognini thrilled the crowd with their spectacular tennis, but doubles specialists won the most crucial points.

“I think the fact we played together for a long time, this makes a difference. We were aggressive in important moments. We do what we have to do and most of the time for us, it pays off. I am very happy with this, so let’s go forward for tomorrow to the finals”, said Melo.

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