Gutsy Dominic Thiem Downs ‘Legend’ Federer To Win Biggest Title Of Career In Indian Wells - UBITENNIS
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Gutsy Dominic Thiem Downs ‘Legend’ Federer To Win Biggest Title Of Career In Indian Wells

Thiem paid tribute to the 20-time grand slam champion just moments after achieving his Masters 1000 milestone.

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After falling short on two previous occasions, Dominic Thiem has clinched his first Masters 1000 title after defeating Roger Federer 3-6, 6-3, 7-5, in the final of the BNP Paribas Open.

 

The 25-year-old battled back from a set down with the help of an aggressive game plan. Illustrating why he has been mentioned as one of the principle players to rise to the top of the men’s game when the era of the ‘Big Four’ comes to an end. The triumph of the Austrian is a bittersweet pill for Federer to swollow, who also narrowly missed out on the title last year. Federer was bidding to become the first player in history to win in Indian Wells for a sixth time.

Only three places separate the two players in the ATP rankings, but it was the more experienced Federer who was the overwhelming favourite heading into the final. The world No.5 was playing in his 49th Masters final, compared to Thiem’s third. Seeking his 101st title on the tour. Nevertheless, Thiem prevailed with the help of 24 winners to 25 unforced errors. Winning 70% of his first service points and saving nine out of the 11 break points he faced.

“First of all, Roger it’s such a pleasure to still compete with you, to learn so much with you, to play with one of the biggest legends of all time, to play in a big final with you… it’s amazing. It’s not real for me.” Thiem said to his opponent after the match.

In the fifth instalment of their rivalry on the premier Indian Wells stadium, it was the Swiss player who got off to a perfect start by racing to a 3-0 lead. Capitalising on an error-stricken Thiem service game. Despite his solid start, Federer didn’t have it all his own way during during the opening set thanks to a relentless Thiem battling back to close the deficit to 4-3.

Engaged in a fight, Federer managed to prevail against the increasing predictable serving from the French Open finalist. Thiem’s kick-serve was read like a book by the former world No.1, who returned one of those serves with a backhand down the line winner to break for a second time in the match for a 5-3 lead. The opening set was then clinched with the help of a mistake made from across the court.

Known for his packed schedule on the tour, Thiem’s resilience eventually paid off. An increase in the intensity of his shot-making throughout set number two derailed the Federer express. Abruptly changing the momentum of the match. The assertiveness of the 20-time grand slam champion evaporated as Thiem took proceedings into a decider. Doing so with the help of a Federer backhand drifting long.

With all to play for, there was little to distinguish between the two during the closing stages of the match. In the end it was just a couple of points that separated Federer from the title. At 5-5 in the decider, a tentative drop shot was punished by Thiem for a chance to break. An opportunity he seized after hitting a cross-court winner. Closing in on his maiden Masters title, Thiem prevailed after 112-minutes of action. Claiming victory after a Federer forehand ploughed into the net.

“I think I had to get use to Roger’s game because in the first set he was playing amazing and completely different to my other opponents I have played in this tournament.” Thiem reflected during an interview with TennisTV.
“I was struggling a little bit, but then I was fighting my way into the match. Got a bit lucky when I saved break points early in the second set. Then I think it was a very good match until the end.”

Thiem now leads their head-to-head 3-2 and has defeated Federer for the first time on a hard court. He is the first player from his country – man or woman – to win the Indian Wells trophy. Meanwhile a disappointed Federer, will have to wait another year to have a shot of winning the tournament for a record sixth time.

“For me, it has been a great week. Even though it didn’t work out.” Said Federer.
“What a great week Dominic has had, congratulations. Beautiful play at the end (of the match).” He added.

Now with a new coaching set-up, which features former Olympic champion Nicolás Massú, Thiem will rise to world No.4 when the rankings are updated on Monday. He is the 67th person to win a Masters title since the category was introduced back in 1990.

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Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beats Lorenzo Sonego to advance to the second round in Antwerp

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Jo-Wilfried Tsonga broke once in each set in his 6-3 6-4 win in his 6-3 6-4 win over Lorenzo Sonego after 1 hour and 20 minutes improving his win-loss record over the Italian player to 2-0.

 

Tsonga got the first break at 15 in the fourth game and never looked back to win the opening set 6-3 after 31 minutes.

Sonego earned his only break in the fourth game of the second set, but Tsonga saved it before earning the decisive break. The Frenchman held on his service games to take the second set 6-4.

Tsonga will face either Gilles Simon or Steve Darcis in the second round.

Guido Pella fought back from one set down to beat Peter Gojowczyk 5-7 6-4 7-6 (7-2) setting up a second round match against either Richard Gasquet or Soonwoon Kwon from South Korean Soonwoo Kwon.

Tipsarevic beats Moutet in Stockolm

 Serbia’s Janko Tipsarevic broke serve four times in his 6-2 6-4 win over Corentin Moutet in 73 minutes. Tipsarevic, who will retire at the end of the season, will take on top seed Fabio Fognini. Tipsarevic went up a 3-0 lead with a double break. Moutet pulled back a break in the fourth game, but Tipsarevic broke for the third game to clinch the first set 6-2. Tipsarevic converted his third break point chance in the seventh game and held his final two service games to win the second set 6-4.

Great Britain’s Daniel Evans battled past Bernard Tomic 6-4 1-6 6-3 setting up a second round match against either Casper Ruud or Filip Krajinovic.

Italy’s Stefano Travaglia stunned US giant Reilly Opelka 7-5 4-6 6-4 securing his spot in the second round, where he will face either Yuichi Sugita from Japan or Elias Yimer from Sweden. Opelka had to save a break point in the first game with five aces. Both players went on serve until the 11th game when Travaglia got the break before serving out for the set at love. Travaglia saved a break point at 4-5 15-40 but Opelka converted his second chance to seal the second set 6-4. Travaglia got the decisive break in the ninth game and sealed the win on his first match point.

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Andreas Seppi fends off two match points to beat Christian Garin in Moscow

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Italian veteran Andreas Seppi came back from one set down to beat Chile’s Christian Garin 3-6 7-6 (7-2) 7-6 (7-4) in 2 hours and 45 minutes at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow.

 

Garin broke serve twice in the second and ninth games to win the opening set 6-3.  Seppi converted his second break point chance in the first game of the second set, but he wasted two break points at 5-4 and dropped his serve. Seppi saved two match points in the 12th game at 5-6 15-40 in the second set before winning the tie-break 7-2.

Garin broke serve in the fifth game to open up a 4-2 lead. Seppi broke straight back to draw level to 4-4, but he did not convert four match points at 6-5. Seppi won five of the final six points in the tie-break of the third set to close out the match.

Czech qualifier Lukas Rosol fended off two match points to beat Argentina’s Juan Ignacio Londero 6-7 (4-7) 7-6 (9-7) 6-3. Rosol came back from 4-6 in the tie-break of the second set by winning five of the next six points. The Czech player broke serve in the eighth game to win the third set 6-3.

Adrian Mannarino edged past Damir Dzumhur 7-6 (7-2) 6-0 to improve his record in their head-to-head matches to 3-1. Dzumhur got the first break of the match in the opening game. Mannarino broke back in the sixth game to draw level to 3-3. Dzumhur broke serve for the second time to take a 4-3 lead. Mannarino pulled the break back in the 10th game to draw level to 5-5 before winning the tie-break 7-2. The Frenchman cruised through to a 6-0 win in the third set with three consecutive breaks.

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Daniil Medvedev Dismantles Zverev To Win Shanghai Masters

It was another clinical performance from one of the sports rising stars.

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World No.4 Daniil Medvedev has continued his unbeaten streak since the US Open after disposing of Germany’s Alexander Zverev in straight sets to win the Shanghai Masters.

 

The 23-year-old, who hasn’t lost a set in his past nine matches, brushed aside his hot and cold opponent 6-4, 6-1, to add to his rapidly rising trophy tally. Medvedev has now won three out of the last four ATP tournaments he has played in. Including two at Masters level. In his latest conquest, he hit 19 winners to 14 unforced errors and saved four out of the five break points he faced.

“This win is also amazing because I think Shanghai is one of the most prestigious Masters events on the tour.” Medvedev told TennisTV. “Especially over the last 10 years with only three players managing to win this.”
“It’s really special to have my photo out in the corridor for many years.” He added.

The clash in Shanghai was somewhat of an historic occasion. For the first time since 2009 two finalists of a Masters 1000 event are under the age of 24. Medvedev was contesting his sixth consecutive final in what has been a sensational second half of the year for him. Meanwhile, Zverev was bidding to win his biggest title since his triumph at the ATP Finals almost 12 months ago.

Billed as a meeting between two players who could take over the reign when the Big Three retire from the sport, it was Russia’s Medvedev who got off to a better start. Breaking the Zverev serve immediately with the help of a backhand drop shot as he eased to a 3-0 lead. However, Zverev managed to regain his focus with an elevation in his game to fight back and draw level at 3-3. Paving way for what was a tightly contested opener. Only a couple shots separated the two and they were a duo of costly errors from Zverev at the worst possible time. Serving at 4-5 30-30, back-to-back double faults from the fifth seed cost him the opening set. Moving Medvedev closer to his second Masters title.

The US Open finalist continued to weather the storm with the help of more errors from across the court. Two games into the second set, a seemingly straightforward Zverev service game collapsed as he lost five straight points after leading 40-0. Rewarding Medvedev another break in the match. Firmly in control of the final, he breezed towards the finish line with little difficulty as his rival grew more frustrated. Serving for the title, Medvedev clinched victory on his first match point with an ace down the line. Although he was rather blasé when it came to his celebration.

“I said that during the US Open, it was going to be my thing because everybody was talking about that they need new guys and something new. So I gave them something new. I don’t celebrate my wins. I just stay calm, do my job and done.” Explained Medvedev.

The world No.4 has now won 59 matches on the ATP Tour this season. Which is 11 more than his nearest opponent (Novak Djokovic has 48 wins). Eight out of his nine wins over top 10 players have taken place over the last six months. He has now overtaken Roger Federer into third place in the ATP Race to London.

“I said yesterday after my victory you’re probably the best player in the world right now. How you’re playing is unbelievable and I wish you nothing but the best.” Zverev said to Medvedev during the trophy ceremony.

Sunday’s win is Medvedev’s first over Zverev after losing to him on four previous occasions. He exits Shanghai with 1000 ranking points and $1,374,995 in prize money.

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