Alexander Zverev beats Roger Federer in Shanghai to reach his eighth Masters 1000 semifinal - UBITENNIS
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Alexander Zverev beats Roger Federer in Shanghai to reach his eighth Masters 1000 semifinal

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Alexander Zverev battled past Roger Federer 6-3 6-7 (7-9) 6-3 in 2 hours and 4 minutes to reach his eighth Masters 1000 semifinal and the first since Shanghai last year.

 

The German star has moved up to seventh in the ATP Race to London after reaching two consecutive semifinals in Beijing and Shanghai and has a good chance to qualify for his third consecutive ATP Finals.

Zverev hit 43 winners (including 17 aces) to 23 unforced errors and faced three just three break points in the entire match. He dropped his serve twice and broke four times.

Zverev did not convert five match points in the final stages of the second set.

Zverev dropped three points in his service games and hit 11 winners to 6 unforced errors. The Hamburg native earned a break at 3-2 and held his next service games to close out the first set with four service winners in the ninth game after 27 minutes.

Both Federer and Zverev traded breaks in the second and third games of the second set and held their serve in the next seven games to draw level to 5-5. Zverev broke serve in the 11th game with a forehand winner, when Federer was serving in the 11th game. Zverev wasted three match points on serve in the 12th game and was broken by Federer, who drew level to 6-6 to set up a tie-break.

Federer saved match points at 5-6 and 6-7 in the tie-break and closed out the second set with an ace.

Zverev held at 15 in the first game with a service winner in the first game and broke serve in the second game after a forehand error from Federer.

Zverev held serve at love in the third game to build up a 3-0 lead. He earned two break points in the fourth game, but Federer saved them. The Swiss player fended off another break point at 1-4 with a forehand winner. Zverev held serve at love to build up a 5-2 lead.

Zverev closed out the match with a hold at 15, as he was serving for the match in the ninth game, to set up a semifinal against either Dominic Thiem or Matteo Berrettini.

Zverev adds to his ATP Race to London ranking with 2615 points to take seventh place ahead of  Roberto Bautista Agut.

“Finally starting to kind of play the way I should play, I was really playing really defensive the whole year, and I was not with a lot of confidence. He will always find a way. He will always make it tricky for you like he did today with me, and always got to play your best tennis to have a chance. I knew if I am going to keep playing the way I played the first two sets, I am going to have a chance in the third set as well”, said Zverev after the match.

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Lukas Kubot and Marcelo Melo come back from one set down to beat Ivan Dodig and Filip Polasek

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Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo came back from one set down to beat Ivan Dodig and Filip Polasek 4-6 6-4 10-5 in one hour and 40 minutes at the Nitto ATP Finals at the O2 Finals in London. Kubot and Melo moved to 1-0 in the Group Jonas Bjorkman.

 

The Polish and Brazilian team join Michael Venus and and Raven Klaasen at the top of the Group Bjorkman with a 1-0 lead.

Dodig and Polasek rallied from 3-4 down by winning three consecutive games to claim the opening set 6-4. Kubot and Melo saved a break point in the fourth game before getting the first break three games later to take a 4-3 lead.

Dodig and Polasek did not convert a break point before dropping serve, but they earned two consecutive breaks to claim the first set 6-4. Dodig and Polasek were broken in the first game of the second set and did not convert any of their two break points in the next game.

Kubot and Melo wasted four consecutive set points in the ninth game, but they served out the second set at love with a backhand passing shot down the line to force the match to the third set.

Kubot and Melo got two mini-breaks in the Match Tie-Break 10-5. Kubot hit an ace to seal the tie-break 10-5.

“It feels great to get the win. I think we played a very good match today. I think the level was high. We are very happy to play such a great set and a Match Tie-Break”,said Melo.

 In the first match of the afternoon match Raven Klaasen and Michael Venus saved four break points in his 6-3 6-4 win over Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury 6-3 6-4 in 64 minutes. Klaasen and Venus saved two break points in the opening game before breaking serve in the fourth game to open up a 3-1 lead. Klaasen claimed the break with a backhand volley after a forehand return from Venus. Klaasen and Venus sealed the opening set after 30 minutes.

Both players held serve in the first six games before Klaasen and Venus claimed the decisive break in the seventh game to take a 4-3 lead after a double fault from Salisbury.

“To be the first match of the Finals is a bit nerve racking and to get off to a good start certainly puts our minds at ease for the rest of the tournament”, said Klaasen.

 

 

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Dominic Thiem Topples Six-Time Champion Federer At ATP Finals

The Austrian has continued his unbeaten record against the world No.3 this year.

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LONDON: Dominic Thiem has got off to a dream start at the ATP Finals after downing a lackluster Roger Federer in straight sets.

 

The two-time French Open finalist held his nerve throughout what was a tense encounter as he prevailed 7-5, 7-5. Hitting 21 winners alongside 22 unforced errors. Moving him into second place in the group behind Novak Djokovic, who dropped just three games against Matteo Berrettini earlier in the day.

“It’s overwhelming every single time to enter this Arena. Especially if it is completely packed like that.” Thiem commented on the 17,800 capacity arena.
“I think we had a good and close match. Of course, it is always special to beat Roger as he is an absolute legend. I love to play against him and learn a lot.”

26-year-old Thiem belongs to a very exclusive club when it comes to taking on the 20-time grand slam champion. He is one of only five players to have a winning record against Federer (5-2) after playing six or more matches. Joining the likes of Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. Both of their previous meetings in 2019 saw Thiem rally back from a set down to win.

This time around it was slightly different at The O2 Arena. A rollercoaster opener saw Federer at his best and worst as he struggled at times with his service consistency. An erratic start from the Swiss player enabled Thiem to open up a 2-0 lead before proceedings were level again. With little disparity between the two on the court, the slightest errors proved problematic to their winning chances. Eventually, it was six-time champion Federer who buckled at the worst moment. Serving at 5-5, a couple of loose shots from him enabled Thiem to break once again and this time have a chance to serve the set out. A mission he achieved with the help of a Federer backhand drifting wide on set point.

Despite securing the breakthrough he seeks, Thiem was denied the luxury of running away with the match. In a case of deja vu the second frame was once again a cat and mouse chase. However, the Austrian continued to maintain the momentum thanks to his emphatic defensive play that drew frustration from the world No.3.

It was a rare case of lightning striking twice on Sunday evening. At the exact same stage as the opening set, a dismal Federer service game featuring a series of errors enabled Thiem to break and move a game away from victory. Closing out the match was by no means an easy task as he saved two break points. Nevertheless, he clinched the scalp with the help of a serve out wide.

“It’s amazing to play against maybe the best player of all time. A real legend.” Thiem said in tribute to Federer. “Luckily I have a pretty good record against him and I try to stay positive every time I play him.”
“The game where I have to serve it (the match) out is always a struggle. You don’t get any presents from him. He will put every return in, play the rallies and of course it was a little due to nerves too.” He added.

Thiem’s win means Federer now faces two crucial matches in order to qualify for the semi-finals. One of those being against Djokovic. Federer last failed to progress out of the round-robin stages more than a decade ago in 2008. Excluding the 2016 edition, he missed due to injury.

“It’s a normal tournament from here on forward.” The visibly disappointed 38-year-old declared during his press conference. “I’m not allowed to lose anymore (in the tournament). That’s how it is every week of the year for the last 20 years, so from that standpoint, there is nothing new there.”

Federer also lost his opening match at the ATP Finals 12 months ago to Kei Nishikori.

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Medvedev Picked Nadal Over Djokovic

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This season has been so even between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. Both players have shared the four grand slams titles, two for each, won two Masters 1000 tournaments and now are taking on the battle for year-end world No.1 at the O2 arena in London.

 

However, the Russian Daniil Medvedev, who makes his debut at the Nitto ATP Finals after such an amazing performance particularly in the last half of the season, thinks that the Spaniard was more consistent.

I think everyone can say Nadal was the best player of the year, since he has always been consistent and he got amazing results, winning many titles including two Grand Slams. I do not know if he is at 100 percent or not, but I know I will have to give my best” Said Medvedev

The Russian player played both of the players this season more than once. Although, he didn’t manage to have a win over Nadal in two occasions, he played such a thriller 5-sets final match in the US Open.

The US Open semi-finalist has played the 16-time grand slam champion Novak Djokovic three times so far in this season, winning two out of the three meetings with 3-2 head to head overall profile for Djokovic.

Medvedev lifts Cincinnati trophy

Daniil Medvedev has played with a very high level in last summer. After reaching Washington and Canadian Opens’ finals, he got the rewards for his hardworking in Cincinnati when he clinched his first Masters 1000 title there before he adds later his second one at Shanghai.

Medvedev will play his first match at the O2 arena on Monday when he takes on the other debutant to the Nitto ATP Finals Stefanos Tsitsipas in the afternoon. The Russian has been drawn in Andre Agassi group which features as well Rafael Nadal and defending Champion Alexander Zverev.

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