Roger Federer Downs Wawrinka In Four Set Epic To Reach Roland Garros Semi-Finals - UBITENNIS
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Roger Federer Downs Wawrinka In Four Set Epic To Reach Roland Garros Semi-Finals

Roger Federer reached his first Roland Garros Semi-Final for seven years with a four set win over Stan Wawrinka.

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Roger Federer (@ATP_Tour - Twitter)

Roger Federer defeated Stan Wawrinka 7-6(4) 4-6 7-6(5) 6-4 to reach the Roland Garros Semi-Finals.

 

In a battle of the former champions, Federer downed Wawrinka in four epic sets to reach the last four in Paris and end his compatriot’s renaissance.

The win means it’s Federer’s first Roland Garros semi-final since 2012, where he will restore his rivalry with Rafael Nadal.

As the 11-time champion downed Kei Nishikori 6-1 6-1 6-3 in convincing fashion to set up another meeting in the Fedal rivalry.

In their 26th meeting of their career, it was Federer who made the brightest start on return as he looked to break his compatriot early on.

However there was a reason why Wawrinka came through a five hour battle to reach the quarter-finals and showed it with some clutch serving to save four break points in the opening set.

In particular the serve down the middle helped the 2015 champion to get out of trouble and stay in the set as Federer continued to ease through his service games.

With the 24th seed not being as effective on serve, a first set tiebreak loomed after Federer proved too passive on break points.

In the end though a poor backhand from the 34 year-old allowed Federer to seize control in a crucial moment as two accurate sealed the tiebreak 7-4.

Despite the set lead, break points continued to haunt the 20 time grand slam champion as he wasted three more at the start of the second set.

That often means that when your opponent gets an opportunity of his own, he often takes it and this was exactly the case.

A first opportunity and the first break of the match went to Wawrinka in the third game with a loopy forehand cross-court winner.

Frustration started to set in for Federer, who couldn’t offer any real offence on return as Wawrinka remained better on the big points.

A tough hold at the end sealed the set for Wawrinka as the 2009 champion lost his first set of Roland Garros with the match level at one set all.

After failing to convert an eighth break point, Federer was starting to lose the baseline duels with more aggression needed from him.

As a result Wawrinka started to feel more comfortable from the back of the court and broke on his second break point after a missed backhand volley from Federer.

One thing we know about the world number three though is he never stops finding solutions and some slow returns caused Wawrinka problems.

Uncharacteristic errors on the forehand saw Wawrinka hand Federer the break as it was ninth time lucky for the 37 year-old.

The next few games proved to be the most important part of the match as Wawrinka was forced to save two set points with some bold serving and a stunning backhand down the line.

https://twitter.com/Eurosport_UK/status/1135918938112397314

Both men played their best tennis of the match as a third set tiebreak approached. Just like the first tiebreak it was Federer, who had the edge with some ridiculous net play.

After a mini-fightback from 5-1 down, Wawrinka couldn’t add the finishing touches as a wide serve to the Stan’s backhand sealed a 2 sets to 1 lead for the former world number one.

Both players looked to dictate the fourth set as Federer continued to waste break points on big moments which saw Wawrinka remain bold on serve.

After Federer held for 3-3 play was suspended for an hour as thunderstorm was brewing in Paris which saw frustration and laughter from both men.

In the restart Federer started with nerves and passive play but eventually converted one of the many break points that eluded him to break for the second time.

A nervy hold of serve at the end saw the former champion into his first Roland Garros semi-final since 2012 as Wawrinka’s renaissance ends.

Next up for Federer is another meeting with 11 time champion Rafael Nadal.

 

 

 

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Mikhail Kukushkin beat Italian Next Gen star Jannick Sinner in St. Petersburg

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Mikhail Kukushkin beat 18-year-old Italian Next Gen rising star Jannick Sinner 6-3 7-6 (7-4) after 1 hour and 40 minutes. Kukushkin fended off nine of the eleven break points he faced.

 

Sinner, who turned 18 last month and received a wild-card to take part at the next November’s ATP Next Gen Finals in Milan, did not convert three break points in the first game, but Kukushkin saved them to hold his first game.

Kukushkin, who won his only title in St.Petersburg in 2010, was the first to break serve in the fourth game to open up a 4-1 lead. Sinner earned three break points but Kukushkin fended them off. Sinner saved a break point in the eighth game but Kukushkin served out the opening set on his first set point.

Kukushkin went up a break in the third game of the second set to take a 2-1 lead, Sinner converted his second break-back point to draw level to 2-2. Kukushkin got a break lead for the second time but Sinner rallied from the break down for the second time to draw level to 4-4. Sinner earned set point at 5-4 to force a decider, but Kukushkin saved it to draw level to 5-5. Kukushkin got a mini-break in the tie-break to win the tie-break 7-4.

Adrian Mannarino, who won his first ATP Tour title in s’Hertogenbosch, beat Stefano Travaglia 7-5 6-2 after 1 hour and 19 minutes. Travaglia held his first two service games at love and broke serve to open up a 4-1 lead. Mannarino converted his first break-back point for 3-4. Both players held their serve to draw level to 5-5. Travaglia saved a break point, but he made two double faults to drop his serve in the 11th game for 5-6. Mannarino served out the first set on his first point.

Travaglia saved a break point at the start of the second set, but Mannarino converted his second chance.

Travaglia earned two break-back points in the second game but did Mannarino saved them to open up a 2-0 lead. Mannarino went up a 3-0 lead. The Frenchman saved a break point in the sixth game to race out to a 5-1 lead and sealed the win on his first match point.

 

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‘Looks Like He Should Be Suspended’ – Pat Rafter Questions ATP’s Management Of Nick Kyrgios

The former world No.1 is the latest person to speak out about the controversial player.

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Nick Kyrgios, Steve Johnson, 2019 US Open
Photo Credit: Andrew Ong/USTA

Two-time US Open champion Pat Rafter has cast shade on the governing body of men’s tennis over their management of Nick Kyrgios’ behaviour on the tour.

 

The Australian world No.27 had been facing a potential suspension by the ATP over a series of controversies. However, he has received no ban as of yet. During the Cincinnati Masters he was fined $113,000 for eight violations committed during his match against Russia’s Karen Khachanov. Ranging from unsportsmanlike conduct to walking off the court without permission.

A couple weeks later during the US Open Kyrgios accused the ATP of being ‘corrupt’ before clarifying his statement 24 hours later. Arguing that there are double standards in the game when it comes to some players.

Now the subject of an investigation, 46-year-old Rafter has questioned why Kyrgios has not been suspended from the tour yet.

“I don’t understand why it hasn’t happened,” Rafter said during the launch of the ATP Cup.
“There is obviously something else going on behind the scenes. I don’t know.
“On paper it looks like he should be suspended, to me.”

On the other hand, some would argue that banning the 24-year-old would be counterproductive. Despite his antics, Kyrgios has managed to become a household name in the sport. He also has the talent to challenge the best players in the world. In the past, he has defeated Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Although Rafter believes there is a fine line.

“That’s the other thing. He draws a crowd,” Rafter said.
“But at what stage do you say the crowd is more important? Or are you trying to uphold a certain standard or protocol for players to adhere to.”

Previously tennis legend Rod Laver was reportedly another person to speak in favour of handing Kyrgios another suspension. His first took place at the end of 2016. During an interview with The Sydney Morning Herald, Laver was quoted as saying ‘whatever they have done hasn’t worked so far, so maybe a suspension is the only answer.’

Whilst it looked as if the tennis legend backed punishing Kyrgios, he has since taken a different tone. In a recent interview with a Swiss newspaper, Laver said he was misquoted when talking about Kyrgios.

“I did not say that, I was misquoted by the Sydney Morning Herald.” He told Aargauer Zeitung.
“This was then misunderstood by others and went around without anyone talking to me to verify that statement. It’s true what I said to FOX Sports: I said Nick should not be banned.”

Kyrgios will return to action on Friday where he is taking part in the Laver Cup.

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ATP Cup Draw Places Andy Murray On Collision Course With Federer

Details of where Murray, Federer, Djokovic and Nadal will play their first matches of 2020 have been announced.

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Three-time grand slam champion Andy Murray has been placed in the same group as Swiss rival Roger Federer for the revamped ATP Cup which will get underway in January.

 

The draw for the team event was formally made on Monday at the Sydney Opera House with former players Lleyton Hewitt, Pat Rafter and John Newcombe among those attending. A total of 24 countries will take part in the competition across three different Australian cities. Unlike the traditional Davis Cup, $15 million in prize money and up to 750 ranking points will be up for grabs.

“It’s great for tennis,” Newcombe said at the draw.
“What a showcase, to be able to showcase the best players in the world representing their country.”

It will be in Sydney where Murray will lock horns with the world No.3. Both have been drawn in Group C along with Belgium, who will be headed by David Goffin. Another team will be added to the group in the future. Murray is on the comeback from a second hip operation and is currently ranked outside the top 400. The upcoming event could be his first chance to play Federer since 2015.

Novak Djokovic will start his campaign in Brisbane. Making it the first time he has played an ATP event in the city since 2009. Paired with Dusan Lajovic, the duo has been placed alongside South Africa and France in Group A. The other group playing in Brisbane will feature both Alexander Zverev and Stefanos Tsitsipas. Two players who at times do not see eye-to-eye on the tour. They have been placed in Group F along with Canada and host nation Australia.

In Perth Rafael Nadal will be headlining the field and hoping to lead Spain to glory. The US Open champion will face early opposition from both Japan and Georgia. Nadal hasn’t won a title of any kind in the country since his triumph 10 years ago at the Australian Open.

The groups

Brisbane Perth Sydney
Group A Group F Group B Group D Group C Group E
Serbia Germany Spain Russia Switzerland Austria
France Greece Japan Italy Belgium Croatia
South Africa Canada Georgia USA Great Britain Argentina
TBD Australia TBD TBD TBD TBD

At present every member of the world’s top 10 has committed to playing in the event. The ATP Cup is the first team event to be placed on the ATP Calendar since the World Team Cup, which ended in 2012. In the new event, the top eight teams from the group stages will qualify for the quarter-final stage in Sydney. Each tie will feature two singles matches and one doubles.

The return of the competition has shaken up the tennis schedule in Australia. Both the Brisbane International and Sydney International have become women-only events. Meanwhile, the once prestigious Hopman Cup has come to an end after more than 20 years.

The ATP Cup will take place between January 3rd-12th.

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