Roger Federer Revives Title Hopes With Win Over Berrettini At ATP Finals - UBITENNIS
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Roger Federer Revives Title Hopes With Win Over Berrettini At ATP Finals

The 20-time grand slam champion has returned back to winning ways in London.

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LONDON: Roger Federer has kept his chances of winning a record seventh title at the ATP Finals alive after downing debutant Matteo Berrettini in straight sets.

Federer, who hasn’t won the season-ending event since 2011, held his nerve to oust the Italian 7-6(2), 6-3. Recording his second win over the world No.8 this season.

 

The victory was by no means a walk in the park for the 38-year-old, who was pushed to his limit during certain stages of the match. Nevertheless, he still managed to prevail with the help of 24 winners to 27 unforced errors. Converting all three of his break point oppotunities.

“I’m very happy with how I played,” Federer said during his on-court interview. “Matteo was always going to be difficult with the big serve. If you don’t get the read and the ball back in the way you want it to you’re going to be in trouble.”

After suffering a loss to Dominic Thiem on the opening day of the tournament, Federer’s clash with Berrettini was critical to his future presence in the event. Out of his 16 appearances in the ATP Finals, only once had he failed to win two matches in the round-robin stage. That was back in 2008 when Berrettini would have been just 12-years-old.

“There is no reason to be too down on yourself. We came here to play three matches and give it all we have.” The Swiss player explained. “It was a big goal of the season to come here and qualify.”
“There are plenty of ways to get rid of that loss. Just hanging out with your kids for me, so that’s what we did.”

Unlike their one-sided encounter at Wimbledon a couple of months ago, Federer faced tougher resistance from his Italian rival at The O2 Arena. Who didn’t make his top-10 debut until last month. The opening set consisted of both players matching each other game-by-game with no break point opportunities occurring until 35 minutes into the match. When the world No.3 has a chance to clinch the set 7-5, but failed to convert.

Eventually, the brick-wall resistance from the Italian subsided in the tiebreaker. A Berrettini forehand error rewarded the Swiss his first mini-break as he rapidly raced to a 4-1 lead. Finally, in control of the proceedings, Federer continued to capitalize on the mistakes from across the court, one of which rewarded him the 7-6 lead.

The breakthrough seemed to have flustered his younger rival, who started the second set with a nightmare service game that featured four consecutive unforced errors. Enabling the six-time champion to tighten his grip on the match to a set and a break lead. Continuing to weather the storm, Federer maneuvered himself to the win. Sealing victory on his second match point after a Berrettini drop shot backfired on him.

“He was doing really good in the first set. I think the beginning of the second was key.”

Federer’s presence in the semi-finals of the event now lies with the result of his upcoming showdown with Novak Djokovic on Thursday. It will be the 49th meeting between the two tennis giants with the Serbian leading their head-to-head 26-22. Their last match was in the Wimbledon final which Federer lost in the decisive tiebreaker after failing to convert two match points.

“He’s one of the greatest players ever to hold the racquet,” Djokovic said of Federer earlier this week.
“His ability to recover after big losses and, you know, cope with the pressure in tough moments on the court has been phenomenal over the years. I have tons of respect for him.”

Federer hasn’t lost to an Italian player on the tour since Andreas Seppi back at the 2015 Australian Open.

 

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REPORT: Japanese Tennis Association To Lose One Billion Yen In 2020

The loss of a key men’s event in the country has resulted in millions of dollars being loss in revenue.

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Venue of the 2019 Mens Japan Open (image via https://twitter.com/rakutenopen)

The cancellation of a premier tennis event in Japan due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is set to have a massive financial impact on the country’s governing body.

 

Last month organisers made the decision to scrap the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships this year amid fears of a second wave of the virus in October when the it is set to take place. The tournament is currently categorised as an ATP 500 event and has been held annually since 1973. In 2019 Novak Djokovic won the tournament for the first time in his career without dropping a single set throughout. Other previous winners also include Roger Federer (2006), Rafael Nadal (2010) and Andy Murray (2011).

“Given concerns about a second wave of the infection both in Japan and overseas, we came to the anguished conclusion that we had to cancel,” organisers said in a statement.

It has been estimated that as a result of the move, the Japanese Tennis Association (JTA) will lose millions of dollars in revenue. National news agency Kyodo has estimated the loss to be at least 1 billion Yen ($9.4 million) based on this event alone and no others.

JTA executive director Naohiro Kawatei told Kyodo that moving athletes in and out of the country is problematic due to the current situation. Tokyo has recently raised it’s Coronavirus alert level to the top of a four-point scale after there have been more than 100 new daily cases of the virus in the city for six days in a row. Furthermore, The Bank of Japan has revised down their growth forecasts.

“In addition to players coming from overseas, it is the responsibility of organizers to facilitate their departure, so there are some differences between our sport and others,” said Kawatei.

At present the women’s top tournament in the country is still on the 2020 schedule. The Pan Pacific Open, which is classed as a Premier event, is currently set to take place during the week commencing November 2nd.

Recently the Asian swing of the tennis season has been thrown into jeopardy after the Chinese General Administration of Sports recommended that no sports events take place in the country unless they are related to Olympic qualification. Although sports federations, including both the ATP and WTA, are seeking clarity from officials before they make their next move. China is usually where the majority of Asian tennis events are played, including the WTA Finals.

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Official: No Swiss Indoors In 2020 Due To COVID-19

Roger Federer’s home event was set to take place between October 26th and November 1st.

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By Emil Evtimov

The ATP 500 Swiss Indoors tournament in Basel won’t happen in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

The organizers of the Swiss Indoors already hinted a couple of weeks ago that the tournament in Roger Federer’s hometown was unlikely to happen due to the Coronavirus and the financial impact from the restrictions on spectator capacity.

This year’s edition would have been the 50th anniversary of the tournament, but is now out of the ATP calendar. Organizers are already making plans for the 2021 edition between 23 and 31 October.

“Dear tennis friends, As a result of the Corona pandemic, the world’s third largest indoor tournament has been definitively cancelled,” a statement issued by the tournament reads.
“The ATP has now formally approved the request to cancel the Swiss Indoors Basel, after the tournament management of the Swiss Indoors had already declared in mid-June that it would be irresponsible and unfeasible to hold the tournament in view of the medical, social and economic uncertainty.”

Founded by Roger Brennwald, the Swiss Indoors had been held every year since 1970. It became an event on the Grand Prix Circuit in 1977 and has been classed as a ATP 500 tournament since 2009. 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer, who is a former ball boy at the event, has won the title a record 10 times.

The latest development leaves another big question mark on the remainder of the 2020 season. ATP president Andrea Gaudenzi spoke frankly during an interview with Sky Sport Italia and admitted that he is still unsure of what the final quarter of the calendar will look like.

“We have no idea how the Asian swing or the European indoor season could go. It might sound obvious, but I can’t predict how the virus will affect us going forward, there are too many variables to consider,”  he said.

As of today, the ATP Tour should restart on 14 August with the Citi Open in Washington, followed by the Cincinnati Masters and US Open. After that the tour goes to Europe for a mini clay season with the two Masters (Madrid and Rome) and Roland Garros.

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France’s Lucas Pouille To Undergo Surgery

The 26-year-old has suffered another setback to his plans for a return to the Tour.

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Lucas Pouille (photo by chryslène caillaud, copyright @Sport Vision)

Two-time Grand Slam quarter-finalist Lucas Pouille says he is hopeful that he will be able to play tennis again this season after announcing plans to undergo surgery.

 

The world No.58 confirmed on Tuesday morning that he will be having an operation on his right elbow later this month in Paris. Pouille has only managed to play one match this year on the ATP Tour due to the injury, which was at the Indian Wells Challenger tournament where he lost in straight sets to Noah Rubin.  The issue has been bothering the Frenchman since last October when he shut down his season early after the Shanghai Masters.

“It’s never an easy decision to take, but I will get surgery on my right elbow this month in Paris. After new medical exams, it appeared it was the best solution in order to finally be able to play pain-free. I still hope to play before the end of the season.” Pouille said in a statement.

Pouille initially looked to be on track to making a return to action after participating in the Ultimate Tennis Showdown in June. An exhibition tournament created by Serena Williams’ coach Patrick Mouratoglou. However, he lost two matches to Feliciano Lopez and Elliot Benchetrit before being forced to withdraw from the competition due to his elbow.

In recent days the coach of the former world No.10,  Loic Courteau, said they will not be travelling to the US Open next month. Although it is unclear if Courteau’s comments were made before or after the decision to undergo surgery was made.

“I will not be in New York, for the good reason that Lucas… is not going to play the tournament,” he told French television.

Pouille has won five ATP titles so far in his career and has earned more than $7 million in prize money. He is currently the eighth highest ranked French player on the ATP Tour.

Pouille’s ATP titles breakdown

2018 1 Montpellier (Indoor/Hard)
2017 3 Vienna (Indoor/Hard)
Stuttgart (Outdoor/Grass)
Budapest (Outdoor/Clay)
2016 1 Metz (Indoor/Hard)

 

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