Halle Tournament Director Pays Tribute To 'Irreplaceable’ Roger Federer - UBITENNIS
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Halle Tournament Director Pays Tribute To ‘Irreplaceable’ Roger Federer

Ralf Weber explains how he plans to maintain the tournament’s high attendance after the former world No.1 retires.

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Roger Federer’s presence at next week’s Noventi Open in Halle is one tournament organisers are both celebrating and relishing.

 

The 20-time grand slam champion is set to play in the tournament for the 17th time in his career. Federer, who has won the title a record nine times, last missed the tournament back in 2011 due to a groin injury. In 2010 he signed a contract to play in Halle each year for the rest of his career. Two years after signing the contract, he had a street named in his honour in the region.

There is no doubt the Swiss Maestro is a star attraction for the tournament, which is run by director Ralf Weber. Although at the age of 37, Weber knows that Federer’s presence will only continue for a few years at best.

“There will be no successor who can replace him one on one,” he told newspaper Westfalen Blatt.
“You do not have to fool yourself. What Roger Federer has done and still achieves is above all else.
“Everyone will have a hard time saying ‘I’m stepping into those footsteps now’.

Preparing for life without the world No.3, Weber is hoping to prevent any potential decline in interest with the help of the rising stars of the game and local talent. Germany currently has four players ranked in the top 100 on the ATP Tour, however, Alexander Zverev in the only one under the age of 25. Florian Mayer was the last home player to win the title back in 2016.

“So, looking at the whole tournament, we have to make sure that we – as this year – have a great mix of world stars, German pros and players of the so-called Next Generation, the stars of tomorrow.” Weber explained.
“Our viewers want to see attractive tennis. We want to offer that to them.”

So far in his career, Federer has achieved an overall win-loss record of 63-7 at the event. Reaching the semi-final stage 14 consecutive times. He has never lost before the quarter-final in Halle since his debut back in 2000.

“It seems almost natural to us that a world star like Roger Federer plays here in Halle every year,” Weber reflected.
“But many 500 tournaments will never get the chance that they will ever be seen there at all.
“That we can present Roger Federer in Halle is something very special.”

Last year 115,000 people visited the tournament in what was an attendance record for Halle. This year’s edition has a total financial commitment of 2.1 million euros. Besides Federer, Dominic Thiem, Zverev and Kei Nishikori are all set to take part.

The Noventi Open will get underway on Monday.

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Winning Return For Injury-Stricken Kevin Anderson At Queen’s

The world no.8 is playing in his first tournament since the Miami Masters.

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Kevin Anderson of South Africa is seen in action during first round match against Cameron Norrie of Great Britain, on day one of Fever Tree Championships at Queen’s Club, London on June 17, 2019.

LONDON: Second seed Kevin Anderson has ended his three-month hiatus from the ATP Tour with a marathon win in the opening round at the Fever-Tree Championships.

 

The Wimbledon runner-up overcame a scare to edge past Britain’s Cameron Norrie 4-6, 7-6 (7/5), 6-4. Requiring almost two-and-a-half hours on the court, the South African only managed to break his rival in one out of 10 attempts. Still, Anderson found a way to down his rival with the help of 19 aces and 47 winners.

“Cameron is a very tough opponent and I thought it was a very tough, good match,” Anderson told the BBC after his win.

This week is only the fourth tournament the 33-year-old has contested in 2019 and his first since March. He has been sidelined from the tour due to lateral epicondylitis, which is more commonly known as tennis elbow. A condition where there is pain and swelling around the joint.

“It feels fantastic to be back. It’s always difficult to miss tournaments, it’s been a tough year, but there has been a lot of time and effort put in to get me back out there.” He said.

Fortunately, there were no physical problems for Anderson during his latest clash at The Queen’s Club. Over the coming weeks, he will be defending 1200 points on the grass. Working out as 33% of his total points. The highest percentage among top-10 players this season.

“It’s hitting too many serves, but just an injury when you’re in agony, but I’m really pleased with how I served.” Anderson evaluated about his latest performance.
“It feels good now, and it held up well today with a long three-set match. I found a nice rhythm and on the grass that helps.”

Earlier in the day, defending champion Marin Cilic also booked his place in the second round. Taking on Chile’s Christian Garin, he prevailed 6-1, 7-6(5). It was far from a simple task for Cilic, who failed to serve the match out on his first attempt before coming through in the tiebreaker.

Cilic will play Diego Schwartzman in the second round.

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Adrian Mannarino claims his first title at s’Hertogenbosch

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Thirty-year-old Adrian Mannarino finally claimed his first ATP Tour title after beating Australia’s Jordan Thompson 7-6 (9-7) 6-3 on grass at s’Hertogenbosch. Mannarino had lost the previous six finals he played during his career.

 

Mannarino lost his first five matches this year, but claimed the win in 11 of his 19 matches since Delray Beach.

With this win Mannarino has improved his head-to-head record against Thompson to 3-1 after his previous two matches at s’Hertogenbosh in 2017 and Newport in 2018.

Mannarino converted two of his four break point chances and saved six of the seven break points he faced.

Mannarino drew the first blood at love in the opening game. Thompson broke back in the sixth game and faced two set points on serve at 5-6, but he did not convert the first chance with a forehand error. Thompson earned a 6-4 lead in the tie-break. Mannarino saved both set points before claiming the tie- break 9-7 with a backhand down the line winner after 65 minutes.

Mannarino saved two break points after eight deuces in the third game of the second set, before breaking serve in the fourth game. The Frenchman held his next three service games and hit three winners in the ninth game to claim his first title.

“People are going to stop talking about my finals record. In France we have another player Julien Benneteau, who lost 10 finals and never won a title. Every time I was losing a final, I was on my way to Benneteau. This title is a big achievement for me”, said Mannarino.

 

 

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Matteo Berrettini beats Felix Auger Aliassime in Stuttgart final to claim his third career title

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Italian 23-year-old player Matteo Berrettini beat Felix Auger Aliassime 6-4 7-6 (13-11) in the final of the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart to claim his third title from four finals in the past 18 months and his second title in 2019 after Budapest. He also finished runner-up in Munich last May. In the roll of honour of the Stuttgart tournament Berrettini follows in the footsteps of Roger Federer, who won last year’s edition of the German tournament. 

 

Berrettini joins an elite group of players born in 1995 or after to win three ATP titles that includes Alexander Zverev, Nick Kyrgios, Karen Khachanov, Danil Medvedev and stefanos Tsitsipas.

Berrettini breaks into the top 30 and makes a big step forward in his career by getting closer to the top 20.

Berrettini has become the first player to win a tournament on grass since Andreas Seppi at Eastbourne 2011.

Berrettini served very well winning all 50 of his service games and won 89 % of his first serve points in this tournament. He was again very solid on serve in the final, where he did not face any break points against Auger Aliassime. Berrettini won five matches in straight sets and faced only two break points against Germany’s Jan Lennard Struff.

The Canadian teenager, who was bidding to win his maiden ATP title, hit 16 aces and fended off five of the six break points he faced.

Berrettini earned the first break in the third game, when Auger Aliassime netted a backhand. The Italian player served well in the next games and held his serve with a volley winner to claim the opening set 6-4 after 32 minutes.

Auger Aliassime saved five break points in the first and fifth games of the second set (recovering from 0-40 down at 2-3) and held his next service games to set up a tie-break. The young Canadian wasted two set points at 6-4 in the tie-break. Auger Aliassime was looking to become the youngest ATP singles champion since Kei Nishikori at Delray Beach in 2008.

Berrettini saved all five set points, while he was serving at 6-7, 8-9 and 10-11 and got a mini-break on the 24th point to claim the win on his third match point.

Berrettini has become the first player to reach the semifinal on three different surfaces this season (Sofia indoors, Munich on clay and Stuttgart on grass).

“On grass, the first tournament of the year on this surface beating these unbelievable guys, there were a lot of tough moments. I never lost my serve, but all the matches were so close and I am very happy for what I did on the court because it was mentally really difficult to stay there and I am really proud of myself”, said Berrettini.

Last year just two players won tournaments without being broken during the whole tournament: Novak Djokovic in Shanghai and Alexander Zverev in Madrid.

 

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