Three Things We Learned Following Roger Federer’s Return To Clay - UBITENNIS
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Three Things We Learned Following Roger Federer’s Return To Clay

It was a good day at the office for the 20-time grand slam champion, but how much should be read into his latest win?

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Roger Federer (photo by Roberto Dell Olivo)

MADRID: As far as comebacks go, it was pretty much a fairytale for Roger Federer at the Caja Magica on Tuesday evening.

 

Playing his first competitive match on the clay since May 12th, 2016, the 36-year-old disposed of Richard Gasquet in just 52 minutes. Sending out warnings to the rest of the field there. The movement was good, drop-shots was timed well and he won almost three quarters (73%) of his service points. Inevitably there was also signs of rust and mistakes, but there was a lot for Federer fans to celebrate.

After his glory, Federer covered a wide range of topics during his press conference in Madrid. Including his return to clay, renewing his rivalry with Nadal and his prospects at the upcoming French Open.

With a lot of information to process, here are three things Ubitennis has learned from the 36-year-old.

1. He didn’t exactly miss the clay

When you return to playing on a surface for the first time in almost three years, one would assume that it is because you missed it. However, for Federer, it is a somewhat different scenario.

“Not too much, to be quite honest with you. I’d love to tell you, I miss it so much.” He commented about his absence from clay.

So why did he chose to return? For the 20-time grand slam champion, it was more about having no regrets than anything else. Sensing that if he chose to skip it for a later year, it may come back and haunt him in the future.

“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.” He explained. “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.”

Federer’s hiatus began in 2016 when injury forced him out of the French Open that year. 12 months later he opted to rest in order to aid his longevity on the tour. The world No.3 is currently the second oldest player in the top 100 after Ivo Karlovic. He also took a break in 2018 for the same reason.

“I didn’t really miss it because I was enjoying myself at home and having a good time and again, looking at the longevity.”

2. He wants to take on Nadal

Perhaps the best indication of how his current game is on the dirt is by taking on Rafael Nadal. The most successful clay-court player of all-time who has the nickname ‘king of clay.’ So far they have both locked horns 15 times of the surface with Federer only winning twice – Hamburg 2007 and Madrid 2009.

“I remember back to the (2009) final here in Madrid as one of my good matches on clay, no doubt about it. I think he (Nadal) was pretty tired as well. I played solid.” He reflected.
“Of course, I would love to play on clay against him again, even though I know it’s a tough challenge and all that.”

The first meeting between the two occurred when Nadal was 18 back in 2004. A year later was the first of their clashes on the clay, which the Spaniard won in four sets at Roland Garros.

“It would be nice to have played him at the beginning of his the career on clay and also at the very end and see how it all plays out.” He said.
“If I said I don’t want to play him on clay, I think then I would have made a mistake to be on the clay in the first place because he is the measuring stick for all us players.”

In Madrid this year, the two can only clash if they both progress to the final.

3. The French Open will be a whole new ball game

In the wake of his clinical performance against Gasquet, the chatter has begun over Federer’s French Open chances. The only grand slam he has failed to win multiple titles at. His sole triumph occurred a decade ago in 2009. He is also a four-time finalist at Roland Garros.

“I think Paris is going to be very different.” The former world No.1 previewed. “You’ll have to play differently, have a different approach, different mindset. But I think here in Madrid you can definitely come in with a hard court mindset, to some extent.”

Unlike other events during this time of the year, Madrid is unique due to its altitude. Meaning the ball travels faster than it would at other events on the clay. It is for this reason why Federer is under no illusion that he remains an outsider at the upcoming grand slam. Besides Nadal, rival Novak Djokovic is also bidding to win his fourth consecutive major trophy in a row.

“I haven’t been there in so long, but everything at sea-level plays differently. So that’s why I know Madrid is not Paris and then, of course, I don’t know how the conditions are going to be exactly, I haven’t played with the balls over there. There’s going to be a switch in ball manufacturers as well, so we have to see.”

Federer resumes his Madrid Open run on Thursday against either Gael Monfils or Marton Fucsovics.

ATP

Nicolas Jarry Breaks New Ground To Win The Swedish Open

The 23-year-old has become the latest player to win their first ATP title in 2019.

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Nicolas Jarry (@FOXSport_Chile - Twitter)

Chilean fifth seed Nicolas Jarry has won his first ATP title at the Swedish Open after prevailing in straight sets on Sunday.

 

The world No.64 held his nerve to edge his way past Argentina’s Juan Inacio Londero 7-6(3), 6-4. Playing in only his third ATP final, Jarry dropped serve once as he blasted 10 aces and won 76% of the points behind his first serve. Becoming the first person his country to win the tournament since Luis Ayala back in 1960.

“I’m very happy to be able to have this (the title). I know it is not very easy to get the first one in anything that you do. I’m really happy.” Jarry said during the trophy presentation.
“I want to say thank you to my team. I have a big team back home and we are very united. This is for all of them and all of my family who has been there since I was born.”

Jarry achieved his career milestone without dropping a set during the entire tournament. Earlier in the week he also scored wins over Jeremy Chardy and Frederico Delbonis. Londero was the only seeded player he faced in Sweden this year. Overall, he was broken eight times in six matches played.

The 23-year-old isn’t the first member of his family to win a title on the men’s tour. His grandfather is Jaime Fillol, who is a former top 20 player that reached the quarter-finals of the 1975 US Open. During his career, Fillol claimed eight trophies and was the former president of the ATP.

“He is one of the best Chilean tennis players. He taught me the sport since I was little,” Jarry told atptour.com earlier this week. “He took me to great tournaments. I remember Wimbledon when I was 12 and I remember going to the US Open a couple of times. There used to be an ATP [tournament] in Santiago, so I was always involved in the tennis.”

The new Swedish Open champion is the second player from Chile to win a title in 2019. Christian Garin claimed his maiden title back in April at the US Men’s Clay Court Championships in Houston. He then went on to win the Munich Open, which is also a clay-court event.

Jarry exits Sweden with 250 ranking points and €90,390 in prize money earnings. He will next travel to Germany to play in the Hamburg Open.

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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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