Roger Federer Saves Two Match Points To Oust Monfils In Madrid Open Roller-Coaster - UBITENNIS
Connect with us


Roger Federer Saves Two Match Points To Oust Monfils In Madrid Open Roller-Coaster

The world No.3 has sent the Frenchman packing after what was one of the strangest, but interesting encounters between the two players.



MADRID: Roger Federer has become the second man in ATP history to score a 1200th tour win after surviving a massive scare to defeat Gael Monfils 6-0, 4-6, 7-6(3).


The roller-coaster encounter saw constant changes of momentum with numerous breaks of serves throughout. Overall, Federer hit 33 winners to 25 unforced errors as he converted just five out of 13 break point opportunities.

“I think he learned from yesterday when he also lost 6-1. I think that helped him to stay calm.” Federer commented on Monfils’ performance. “From my side, I tried to keep it going, but it was difficult. Losing five games at the end of the second (set) and the beginning of the third, it wasn’t looking good for a while. But I hung in there.’ 
“I played a great tiebreaker and mixed it up very well. I’m very, very happy that I was able to win this match somehow.”

Many had tipped the clash to be the match of the day of the men’s tour at the Caja Magica. Besides the credentials of the 20-time grand slam champion, Monfils has developed a reputation of being an artist of the sport. Illustrated by the athletic ability in his shot-making. Furthermore, he is one of only four players to have ever defeated Federer at least twice on both clay and hard court.

It was for this reason why the Madrid crowd was stunned by the start of their 14th meeting on the tour. Monfils looked dismal as he committed 15 unforced errors throughout an 18-minute opening set. Allowing Federer to achieve his first bagel set on the clay since 2012.

Monfils’ unpredictability continued to confused Federer. After looking like he was going to be thrashed, he suddenly woke up in the second set. The Frenchman managed to win over the crowd and change the momentum of the match in the blink of an eye. Hitting an array of winners and elevating his intensity as nerves started to affect Federer’s play.

Facing a Monfils revival in the Spanish capital, Federer eventually fought back to restore order. Falling behind 2-4, back-to-back double faults from his rival allowed him to break back before holding serve to love. However, it still wasn’t enough for the Swiss. Monfils’ ability to hit the ball deep and flat drew errors from Federer, which in return gifted him the second set. Much to the bemusement of Federer, who left the court for a short break prior to the deciding set.

The mood of the world No.3 deteriorated further as he fell a break down at the start of the third frame before falling behind 1-4. It appeared as if he was on his way out of the tournament, but once again there was another twist. A mistake on the backhand side of Monfils gifted the 20-time grand slam winner a break point opportunity to revive his chances. A task he solved with the help of a backhand down the line.

It was only fitting that it should be a tiebreaker that world separate the two. Federer stormed to a 6-1 lead before prevailing on his third match point. Doing so with the help of serve down the line that overwhelmed Monfils.

“I think this match, win or lose, gave a lot of information (about my form).” The former world No.1 concluded.
“I really had to force myself to stay aggressive. Take on the half-volleys, bad bounces and just let them happen if they did. I tried to play aggressive and positive tennis today. It paid off and I’m very pleased.”

Awaiting Federer next will be Barcelona Open champion Dominic Thiem, who defeated Fabio Fognini 6-4, 7-5, earlier in the day. Thiem, who was runner-up in Madrid last year, is currently on a seven-match winning streak.


Alexander Zverev edged past Hugo Dellien to reach the semifinal in Geneva



World number 5 and 2018 Nitto ATP Finals champion Alexander Zverev battled past Bolivian player Hugo Dellien 7-5 3-6 6-3 to reach the semifinal at the Banque Eric Sturdza Geneva Open. Zverev is still seeking his first title of the year.


Dellien earned the first break in the second game to take a 3-0 lead. Zverev converted his fourth break-back chance in the fifth game and held his serve to draw level to 3-3. Zverev saved a set point at 3-5 at 3-5, while Dellien was serving at 40-30.

Dellien needed one break in the fourth game to win the second set 6-3. Zverev held serve in the third game at the seventh deuce after seven deuces to take a 2-1 lead. The German player got the decisive break in the fourth game and held his serve at love to build up a 4-1 lead. Zverev never looked back to win the third set 6-3.

“I played very aggressive in the important moments. I was very aggressive also in break points down, This is finally something I was looking for in the last few weeks. I think today I showed it”, said Zverev.

Radu Albot came back from 2-4 down to beat Damir Dzumhur 6-3 7-5. Albot went up a double break in the third and fifth games to open up a 4-1 lead. Dzumhur pulled one break back in the sixth game for 2-4, but Albot broke for the third time on her third break point chance to win the first set 6-3.

Dzumhur went up an early break in the first game of the second set. Albot broke back in the eight game to draw level to 4-4 and sealed the win with his second break in the 10th game.

Albot will take on Nicolas Jarry, who dropped just four of his first service points to defeat Taro Daniel 6-1 7-5.



Continue Reading


Nikoloz Basilashvili sets up Lyon semifinal against Felix Auger Aliassime



Four-time ATP Tour finalist Nikoloz Basilashvili secured his spot in the semifinal where he will face Felix Auger Aliassime in Lyon


Basilashvili came back from an early break down to beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-4 6-4 in the quarter final of the Parc Auvergne Rhone Alpes Lyon.

Tsonga got an early break in the second game to take a 2-0 lead, but Basilashvili recovered from the early start by breaking serve twice in the third and seventh games to take a 4-3 lead. The Georgian player held his final two service games at 30 to close out the opening set 6-4.

Basilashvili needed only a break in the third game of the second set to clinch the second set 6-4 to reach his first semifinal since winning the China Open in 2018.

Basilashvili set up a semifinal clash against this year’s Rio de Janeiro finalist and Miami Open champion Felix Auger Aliassime, who edged Steve Johnson 6-4 2-6 6-4. Auger Aliassime got a break of serve in the third game to clinch the opening set 6-4. Johnson bounced back by breaking twice in the second and eighth game to claim the second set 6-2. Auger Aliassime went up a double break in the third and fifth games to build up a 5-2 lead, but Johnson pulled one break back in the eighth game, when the 18-year-old player was serving for the match. Auger Aliassime served out for the match 6-4 in the 10th game.

Benoit Paire battled past Denis Shapovalov 6-3 4-6 7-6 (7-4) in 1 hour and 55 minutes. Paire broke serve twice in the fifth and ninth games to seal the opening set 6-3. Shapovalov claimed his only break in the fifth game to win the second set 6-4. Paire saved a total of three break points in the first and third games. Both players held on their service games en route to the tie-break. Paire reeled off the final three points from 4-4 to claim the tie-break 7-4.

Taylor Fritz fought back from one set down to beat Roberto Bautista Agut 6-7 (6-8) 6-3 6-4 after two hours and five minutes. Bautista Agut fended off one set point at 5-6 to take the tie-break of the opening set. Fritz fought back to open up a 3-0 lead with a break in the second game to claim the second set 6-4. The US player earned the decisive break in he ninth game to secure his spot in his first semifinal since the 2018 Chengdu Open.



Continue Reading


Tomas Berdych to Miss French Open For The First Time Since 2003

It will be the third grand slam the former top 10 player has missed within the past 12 months.



Tomas Berdych (photo by chryslène caillaud)

Former Wimbledon runner-up Tomas Berdych will not play any clay court tournaments in 2019 after withdrawing from the upcoming French Open.


The 33-year-old has been absent from the tour since his first round loss to Feliciano Lopez in Indian Wells. Berdych has been hampered by issues within his back in recent weeks. He has been hoping to be fit in time for Roland Garros, but made a decision to withdraw from the event on Wednesday.

“I am not 100% ready to play the way I want and need to be competitive on the courts I love so much,” Berdych wrote on social media.
“I came to Paris and I had to take a tough decision and want another few days to fully recover and be ready for the grass season.”
“I love this tournament so much but I have to make sure not to further injure myself,” he added.

The Czech had played at the tournament every year since making his debut back in 2004. However, the French Open is his worst performing grand slam in terms of wins. So far in his career, Berdych has won 25 out of 40 matches played at the French Open. His stand out performance occurred in 2010 when he reached the semi-finals before losing to Sweden’s Robin Soderling.

It is not the first time back issues have forced Berdych out of action. In 2017 he was advised by doctors to end his season early due to persistent ‘back pain.’ He was also forced to skip both Wimbledon and the US Open due to the same problem.

Berdych, who last won a title at the 2016 Shenzhen Open, has played six tournaments so far this year. His best result occurred in January with a run to the final of the Qatar Open. He also reached the fourth round of the Australian Open and was a semi-finalist in Montpellier.

As a result of his absence, Berdych is currently ranked 100th in the world rankings. He will be replaced in the French Open draw by a lucky loser.

Continue Reading