Roger Federer Set For One Of The Biggest Challenges Of His Career At French Open - UBITENNIS
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Roger Federer Set For One Of The Biggest Challenges Of His Career At French Open

Will the former world No.1 defy the odds and win the Roland Garros title?

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Roger Federer (photo by Gianni Ciaccia)

Even for somebody who has won a record 20 grand slam titles, the prospect of Roger Federer triumphing at the French Open this year would stun many.

 

It was less than a month ago that the Swiss player return to competitive tennis on the clay after a 1090-day absence. In recent years he has chosen to skip this period of the tour due to either injury problems or wanting to rest his body ahead of his beloved Wimbledon. A tournament he has won more times than any other man in history.

Federer’s reasoning for returning back to the French Open for the first time since 2015 was that he didn’t want to miss the opportunity. To look back on his career and regret that he didn’t return to Roland Garros. The tournament where he made his debut in the main draw of a grand slam back in 1999.

“Once the decision was upon me again for this year, if I would have skipped the clay again, I think I would have felt like that’s not the right decision.” Federer explained during the Madrid Open. “I would have always felt regrets not being on the clay in 2019 because my knee problem is far enough away now.’
“It feels good to be back on the clay now and I enjoy it to be honest.”

So far in his clay-court return, the 37-year-old has won three out of five matches played on the dirt in 2019. In Madrid, Federer looked in good shape against both Richard Gasquet and Gael Monfils, before losing in the quarter-finals in Dominic Thiem. The following week was more of a disappointment for the Swiss. In Rome, he reached the last eight of the tournament before being forced to withdraw due to a leg injury. A far from ideal situation for somebody preparing for a major.

“I’m fully recovered,” Federer commented about his leg issue earlier this week.
“I’m incredibly happy to be returning to Roland-Garros; I haven’t played the French Open in three years.”
“The audience’s expectations are high, but I’m trying to calm things down because I feel it’s going to be hard. But things went well for me in Rome and Madrid so I am really very satisfied.”

It could be argued that should Federer win in Paris, it would be one of the greatest achievements of his career. During an era where the French Open has been largely dominated by rival Rafael Nadal, Federer’s only triumph was a decade ago in 2008. He hasn’t featured in a final there since 2011.

Earlier this month, world No.4 Dominic Thiem warned against ‘underestimating’ Federer on the clay. Even if he has had a lengthy absence from the surface. During a brief discussion Ubitennis had with Thiem in Madrid, he said that he ‘guessed’ only Nadal was better than him. Something world No.1 Novak Djokovic would rightfully dispute.

Federer himself has dismissed the motion that his rivals are undervaluing him on the tour. This season he has already won titles in both Dubai and Miami. Belonging to a group of only five men to have won multiple titles so far in 2019.

“I guess players maybe know I don’t have that much clay-court tennis in me in the last few years, but that doesn’t make me less dangerous to be quite honest.”

As the second oldest player in the top 100, there was speculation that Federer’s return to the clay could be the start of his farewell tour. During his career, he has spent 310 weeks as world No.1 and claimed 101 titles on the ATP Tour. The second highest of all-time after Jimmy Connors record of 109.

“I do not think about a specific time. There is a lot of speculation on this subject, but that’s not true.” He commented about potential retirement during an interview with the Gerry Weber Open.

The French Open will get underway on Sunday. Federer will be seeded third in the draw and it will be his 18th main draw appearance in the tournament.

ATP

Entry Lists For Hamburg, Atlanta, Gstaad LIVE

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The ATP summer tour continues with the tournaments of Hamburg and Gstaad in Europe and Atlanta in USA. 

 

The Hamburg European Open is an ATP 500 event (former Masters) played on the red clay courts of the Rothenbaum Tennis Center. In this year’s field, Dominic Thiem will be the first seed, followed by Alexander Zverev, who received a Wild-Card, Fabio Fognini and the defending champion Nikoloz Basilashvili. Richard Gasquet, Benoit Paire and Philipp Kohlschreiber will compete as well.

Two ATP 250 events will take place in Atlanta and Gstaad. The BB&T Atlanta Open in Georgia (USA) has been played on hard courts since 2010, when Mardy Fish captured the first edition’s title. Australia’s Nick Kyrgios has been the only non-American winner, in 2016. Five-time former champion John Isner leads the entry list; Alex De Minaur, Taylor Fritz and Pierre-Hugues Herbert have committed to play as well.

The Swiss Open Gstaad, held in the red clay courts of the Roy Emerson Arena, has one of the most beautiful views in the tour, inside the Swiss Alps. Roberto Bautista-Agut, Fernando Verdasco and Dusan Lajovic will be among the favourites, while the defending champion Matteo Berrettini will not play due to injury.

NEWS: Grigor Dimitrov has accepted a Wild-Card into Atlanta.

 

ATP 500 Hamburg (GER, Red Clay), entry list:
Thiem, Dominic (AUT)
Fognini, Fabio (ITA)
Basilashvili, Nikoloz (GEO)
Djere, Laslo (SRB)
Paire, Benoit (FRA)
Garin, Cristian (CHI)
Struff, Jan-Lennard (GER)
Cecchinato, Marco (ITA)
Gasquet, Richard (FRA)
Cuevas, Pablo (URU)
Mayer, Leonardo (ARG)
Chardy, Jeremy (FRA)
Kohlschreiber, Philipp (GER)
Fucsovics, Marton (HUN)
Krajinovic, Filip (SRB)
Klizan, Martin (SVK)
Carreno Busta, Pablo (ESP)
Londero, Juan Ignacio (ARG)
Ruud, Casper (NOR)
Jarry, Nicolas (CHI)
Haase, Robin (NED)
Delbonis, Federico (ARG)
Rublev, Andrey (RUS)
SE Caruso, Salvatore (ITA)
WC Zverev, Alexander (GER)
WC Zverev, Mischa (GER)
(WC)
(WC)
Alternates:
1. Kovalik, Jozef (SVK)
2. Bedene, Aljaz (SLO)
3. Dellien, Hugo (BOL)

 

ATP 500 Hamburg, qualifying:
Dellien, Hugo (BOL)
Bedene, Aljaz (SLO)
OUT Maden, Yannick (GER)
Travaglia, Stefano (ITA)
Monteiro, Thiago (BRA)
Martinez, Pedro (ESP)
Davidovich Fokina, Alejandro (ESP)
Ofner, Sebastian (AUT)
Mager, Gianluca (ITA)
OUT Coppejans, Kimmer (GER)
OUT Molleker, Rudolf (GER)
OUT Brown, Dustin (GER)
OUT Otte, Oscar (GER)
(WC)
(WC)
(WC)
Alternates:
IN Kovalik, Jozef (SVK)
IN Domingues, Joao (POR)
OUT Marterer, Maximilian (GER)
IN Berlocq, Carlos (ARG)
IN Vatutin, Alexey (RUS)
IN Nagal, Sumit (IND)
OUT Marcora, Roberto (ITA)
OUT Benchetrit, Elliot (FRA)
1. Arnaboldi, Andrea (ITA)
2. Miedler, Lucas (AUT)

 

 

ATP 250 Atlanta (USA, Hard), entry list:
Isner, John (USA)
OUT Auger-Aliassime, Felix (CAN)
OUT Schwartzman, Diego (ARG)
De Minaur, Alex (AUS)
Tiafoe, Frances (USA)
Albot, Radu (MDA)
Fritz, Taylor (USA)
Herbert, Pierre-Hugues (FRA)
Norrie, Cameron (GBR)
OUT Hurkacz, Hubert (POL)
OUT Millman, John (AUS)
Opelka, Reilly (USA)
Thompson, Jordan (AUS)
Humbert, Ugo (FRA)
Ebden, Matthew (AUS)
Evans, Daniel (GBR)
Copil, Marius (ROU)
Kecmanovic, Miomir (SRB)
Kudla, Denis (USA)
(SE)
(SE)
WC Dimitrov, Grigor (BUL)
(WC)
(WC)
Alternates:
IN Bublik, Alexander (KAZ)
OUT Karlovic, Ivo (CRO)
OUT Harris, Lloyd (RSA)
IN Tomic, Bernard (AUS)
IN Klahn, Bradley (USA)
IN Gunneswaran, Prajnesh (IND)
IN Sandgren, Tennys (USA)
IN Popyrin, Alexei (AUS)
OUT Schnur, Brayden (CAN)

 

ATP 250 Atlanta, qualifying:
OUT Bublik, Alexander (KAZ)
OUT Klahn, Bradley (USA)
OUT Gunneswaran, Prajnesh (IND)
OUT Sandgren, Tennys (USA)
OUT Tomic, Bernard (AUS)
OUT Popyrin, Alexei (AUS)
Majchrzak, Kamil (POL)
Andreozzi, Guido (ARG)
Jung, Jason (TPE)
Gojowczyk, Peter (GER)
Kwon, Sun-Woo (KOR)
Harrison, Ryan (USA)
Koepfer, Dominik (GER)
OUT Fratangelo, Bjorn (USA)
(WC)
(WC)
Alternates:
IN Paul, Tommy (USA)
OUT Stakhovsky, Sergiy (UKR)
IN Ivashka, Ilya (BLR)
IN Bolt, Alex (AUS)
IN Mmoh, Michael (USA)
IN (Alternate)
IN (Alternate)
IN (Alternate)

OUT Giron, Marcos (USA)
OUT Halys, Quentin (FRA)
1. Troicki, Viktor (SRB)
2. Torpegaard, Mikael (DEN)
3. Eubanks, Christopher (USA)
4. Young, Donald (USA)
5. Smith, John-Patrick (AUS)

 

 

ATP 250 Gstaad (SUI, Red Clay), entry list:
Bautista-Agut, Roberto (ESP)
OUT Pella, Guido (ARG)
OUT Berrettini, Matteo (ITA)
Lajovic, Dusan (ITA)
Verdasco, Fernando (ESP)
Sousa, Joao (POR)
Carballes Baena, Roberto (ESP)
Munar, Jaume (ESP)
Sonego, Lorenzo (ITA)
Andujar, Pablo (ESP)
Gulbis, Ernests (LAT)
Darcis, Steve (BEL) PR
Laaksonen, Henri (SUI)
Stebe, Cedrik-Marcel (GER)
Istomin, Denis (UZB)
Lorenzi, Paolo (ITA)
Jaziri, Malek (TUN)
Ramos-Vinolas, Albert (ESP)
Moutet, Corentin (FRA)
(SE)
(SE)
WC Robredo, Tommy (ESP)
(WC)
(WC)
Alternates:
IN Fabbiano, Thomas (ITA)
IN Vesely, Jiri (CZE)
IN Daniel, Taro (JPN)
IN Travaglia, Stefano (ITA)

 

ATP 250 Gstaad, qualifying:
Novak, Dennis (AUT)
OUT Daniel, Taro (JPN)
OUT Bachinger, Matthias (GER)
OUT Vesely, Jiri (CZE)
Hanfmann, Yannick (GER) PR
Baldi, Filippo (ITA)
OUT Bagnis, Facundo (ARG)
Trungelliti, Marco (ARG)
Garcia-Lopez, Guillermo (ESP)
OUT Robredo, Tommy (ESP)
Napolitano, Stefano (ITA)
Arguello, Facundo (ARG)
Galan, Daniel-Elahi (COL)
Galovic, Viktor (CRO)
(WC)
(WC)
Alternates:
OUT Vatutin, Alexey (RUS)
OUT Nagal, Sumit (IND)
OUT Marcora, Roberto (ITA)
IN Benchetrit, Elliot (FRA)
IN Arnaboldi, Andrea (ITA)
OUT Masur, Daniel (GER)
OUT Weintraub, Amir (ISR)
OUT Kamke, Tobias (GER)
OUT Rodionov, Jurij (AUT)
IN Moroni, Gian Marco (ITA)
IN Robert, Stephane (FRA)
IN (Alternate)

1. Escobar, Gonzalo (ECU)
2. Pavlasek, Adam (CZE)

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The 22 Matches That Roger Federer Lost After Having Match Point

Ubitennis looks back at the times where the Swiss maestro was on the verge of victory before going out.

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On Sunday Roger Federer was twice a point away from winning his 21st grand slam title at Wimbledon. Taking on world No.1 Novak Djokovic, the Swiss player failed to convert two match points. Resulting in him eventually losing in the final set tiebreaker after five hours of play on Center Court.

 

It was the 22nd time Federer has lost after having match point opportunities and the sixth time he has done so in a grand slam tournament. 13 out of those 22 matches saw him have more than one chance to seal victory. The most notable of those took place back in 2010 at the Paris Masters. Playing France’s Gael Monfils, Federer failed to convert five match point opportunities as he lost 7-6(7), 6-7(1), 7-6(4).

The unfortunate outcome has happened to the 37-year-old at least once every year since 2013. Furthermore, since 2017 he has failed to win after having match points twice each season.

Djokovic is the only person to fight back against Federer on multiple occasions at grand slam level. Besides his recent triumph at Wimbledon, the Serbian also saved two match points to beat Federer in their US Open clashes in 2010 and 2011. Djokovic is the only player to have ever done this against Federer on three separate occasions.

Looking at the overall picture, those 22 matches represents only 0.83% of his total losses on the ATP Tour since turning pro (22 out of 265). Federer’s current win-loss record stands at 1222-265. Claiming a total of 102 titles, which is the second highest in the Open Era. Jimmy Connors is currently first with 1274 wins and 109 titles.

Since 2000, there has been five seasons where the former world No.1 hasn’t lost a match after being in prime position. They were in 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2012.

Here is a breakdown of those 22 matches:-

YEAR TOURNAMENT ROUND OPONENT
MATCH POINTS  WASTED
2019 Wimbledon Final Novak Djokovic 2
2019 Madrid Quarter-final Dominic Thiem 2
2018 Wimbledon Quarter-final Kevin Anderson 1
2018 Indian Wells Final Juan Del Potro 3
2017 Stuttgart Two Tommy Haas 1
2017 Dubai Two Evgeny Donskoi 3
2016 Stuttgart Semi-final Dominic Thiem 2
2015 Madrid Two Nick Kyrgios 2
2014 Rome Two Jeremy Chardy 1
2013 Dubai Semi-final Tomas Berdych 3
2011 US Open Semi-final Novak Djokovic 2
2010 Paris-Bercy Semi-final Gael Monfils 5
2010 US Open Semi-final Novak Djokovic 2
2010 Miami Two Tomas Berdych 1
2010 Indian Wells Third Marcos Baghdatis 3
2006 Rome Final Rafael Nadal 2
2005 Monte Carlo Quarter-final Richard Gasquet 3
2005 Aust. Open Semi-final Marat Safin 1
2003 Miami Quarter-final Albert Costa 3
2002 Rotterdam Quarter-final Nicolas Escudé 1
2002 Aust. Open Two Tommy Haas 1
2001 Paris-Bercy Two Jiri Novak 1
2001 Halle Quarter-final Pat Rafter 1
2000 Wien Semi-final Tim Henman  2

source of data – Simon Graf/derbund.ch

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Albert Ramos Vinolas beats Fernando Verdasco in all-Spanish clash in Bastad

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Albert Ramos Vinolas beat his compatriot Fernando Verdasco 6-2 6-4 in one hour and 46 minutes to secure his spot in the quarter final at the Swedish Open in Bastad.

 

Ramos Vinolas fended off eight of the nine break points he faced. Verdasco broke for the first time in the match at 2-5 in the second set. Ramos Vinolas broke serve four times to build up a 6-2 5-2 lead and converted his seventh match point in the 10th game to secure his spot in his fourth quarter final in 2019.

Ramos Vinolas will take on his compatriot Roberto Carballes Baena, who knocked out Damir Dzumhur 6-1 7-6 (7-4). Carballes Baena saved eight of the ten break points and broke three times a row.

Dzumhur came back from 3-5 down in the second set to set up a tie-break, which Carballes Baena sealed 7-4.

Frenchman Jeremy Chardy beat top seed Christian Garin 6-4 6-4 after 1 hour and 44 minutes. Chardy broke in the fifth game of the first set after a double fault from Garin. Chardy served well in the next three service games to seal the first set 6-4 with a service winner in the 10th game. Garin broke serve at the beginning of the second set with a forehand down the line winner, but he was broken back at 3-1 when he hit his forehand into the net.

Chardy got another break in the seventh game with a forehand. The Frenchman sealed the win with a forehand winner at 5-4 to secure his spot in the quarter final.

Nicolas Jarry beat Mikael Ymer 7-5 6-3 after 1 hour and 41 minutes. Jarry wasted three set points at 5-4 before sealing the first set with a break in the 12th game. Both players traded breaks at the beginning of the second set. Jary dropped three points in the last four service games and broke serve at love in the eighth game. The Chilean player reeled off 12 of the final 15 points to reach his fourth quarter final of the season.

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