Steve Johnson Triumphs in Halle - UBITENNIS
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Steve Johnson Triumphs in Halle

Steve Johnson defeats former champion, Philipp Kohlschreiber in Halle’s kickoff match with a new event sponsor – Noventi.

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Steve Johnson (@USTA - Twitter)

By Cheryl Jones

 

A small town in Germany Westfalen has been the home of a grass court tournament for well over twenty-five years – to be exact, 26 years. The twenty-seventh anniversary of the event sports a new name. Formerly known as the Gerry Weber Open, the Noventi Open has now taken up residence in Halle.

The lawns look pretty much the same, and the venue hasn’t changed that much either. The new name came about when a successful conglomerate that touts itself as a trend setting healthcare corporation bought the tournament just weeks ago. Its company goals seem to be a nice fit for the tournament that has flourished in the verdant countryside in Halle. The townspeople for miles (or perhaps I should say kilometers) have supported the extravagant show that has become a well-known lead-up to Wimbledon. (After all, Roger Federer has signed a lifetime contract with the event, and if his name isn’t familiar, tennis may not be the game to be catching up on.)

Noventi purports to embrace the same concepts that the Halle townspeople have proudly exhibited for the past twenty-six years. Noventi’s mission statement begins, “Our employees are our highest asset.” Of course, the townspeople aren’t employees, but their community spirit has been steadfast. Their loyalty has carried the tournament on equal footing with the stellar singles and doubles line-ups over the years.

The opening match on Center Court welcomed what might be a new regime. It was German favourite, Philipp Kohlschreiber facing an American, Steve Johnson. The crowd was vocal in their support of Kohlschreiber, but a disappointing performance saw him lose to the plucky American who was a star on the college circuit before he switched to the pros in 2012. It was a quick match, with barely over an hour ticking by on the courtside clock and 6-3, 6-3 soon becoming the closing score.

Kohlschreiber said that Johnson had been playing very well and that there would have to be improvement in his own game if he was going to flourish and not flounder at Wimbledon. The German is thirty-five and even though he has been a well-known figure at Halle, his professional career has been rather ho-hum. (He did win here in 2011, defeating a fellow German, Philipp Petzschner.) After today’s match, he was asked if he had thought about retirement and he shrugged and said, he would know when it was time, but the time wasn’t now. As I am writing this, he is likely heading home to rest and rejuvenate and practice, practice, practice.

Johnson, however, will stay on to play another day. For those who aren’t familiar with the rangy American, there is quite a lot to be aware of. In no particular order, he won a bronze medal in the Rio Olympics in 2016, he was a college champ who helped bring University of Southern California four NCAA championships and he’s an all-around good guy. He was the NCAA winning singles performer his junior and senior years at USC. His father, also named Steve Johnson, had coached him from quite a young age. The elder Johnson died in his sleep at 58 in 2017. It was a blow to Johnson’s career and his performance has seemed to yo-yo since then.

Today he looked strong and even though he wasn’t available for after-match questions due to constraints by the ATP minders here, his smile was broad, and he will survive to play another day. (One would think that winners would be available to interview, but for reasons that escape me, that wasn’t the case today.)

An American has never triumphed in the singles here, but Mardy Fish managed to play himself into the final in 2004, but lost to Roger Federer, who has come out on top nine times at this tournament. Federer is here, of course, looking for win number ten. Tomorrow will be his first match when he faces John Millman, an Australian who is currently on everyone’s radar because of his outstanding play at the United States Open against Novak Djokovic. It will definitely be a match to watch.

Federer began his extraordinary set of wins here in 2003, defeating Nicolas Kiefer quite soundly 6-1, 6-3. He followed up that win when he triumphed at Wimbledon a few weeks later, and the dance of the man known as tennis’ maestro began in earnest. Even though he will be 38 in August, he says that as long as he is able, he will continue to compete.

Tomorrow isn’t just another day – it is the day that Federer will begin his journey toward another win in the tiny town of Halle that nearly always leads him to a victory in London.

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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