Roger Federer ‘Totally Fine’ With Prospect Of The Big Three’s Dominance Ending - UBITENNIS
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Roger Federer ‘Totally Fine’ With Prospect Of The Big Three’s Dominance Ending

The world No.3 opens up about the threat he faces from his younger rivals on the tour.

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20-time grand slam champion Roger Federer believes the changing of the guard in Tennis is gaining momentum as he seeks to continue his status as one of the sports top players at the age of 38.

 

Federer belongs to the prestigious Big Three contingent that also features Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. Between them, they won 51 out of the last 59 grand slam tournaments and at least one of them have featured in the final in 57 out of the last 59 majors. Since 2004, Andy Murray is the only player outside of the trio to have clinched the year-end No.1 spot back in 2016.

Some are wondering when their stronghold on the sport is going to end, especially when it comes to Federer. The Swiss Maestro is the second oldest player in the top 500 on the ATP Tour after 40-year-old Ivo Karlovic (95). Despite his age, the world No.3 has still managed to claim four ATP titles and more than 50 wins this season.

“I predicted that I wasn’t going to be playing at 38/39 and here I am.” Federer said during a press conference in Argentina on Monday.
“I’m actually really happy that I feel the way I am. I had two great years physically over the last two years.”

At the ATP Finals last week, Federer was the only member of the Big Three to progress to the last four of the ATP Finals. Which was won by 21-year-old Stefanos Tsitsipas. The outcome of the tournament has raised questions about if it will be 2020 when the other players start to breakthrough in the slams. Or if it was just a minor blip in their dominance.

Nevertheless, he isn’t taking any chances.This week Federer is playing in a series of exhibition matches across South America. One of his opponents will be Alexander Zverev. Somebody who recently said there will be a new champion in grand slam tennis next year.

“Every generation brings something new to the table. Maybe in movement, maybe in power and maybe in tactical elements.” Federer explained.
“I still feel in tennis that you can always improve and you can always learn. That’s what I’m doing. It’s part of this (South American) tour as well. In these matches against Sasha I’m going to learn something, I know it. I’m not just going out there to play a little bit of tennis. I’m actually going to go in there, enjoy myself and try out a few things.”

Has a change started to come?

Zverev, who turned 22 last April, already has multiple wins over both Federer and Djokovic, as well as defeating Nadal for the first time last week. Although he is yet to make it pass the quarter-final of a grand slam. For him, playing during the era of the Big Three has more pros than cons.

“All of us players, you know, most of the time loses to him, but we still don’t want him to retire.” The German said of Federer. “We still want him around as much as possible. We’ll see how much longer he can last.’
“Only Roger can answer that (retirement) question. He was my idol growing up and I still enjoy very much playing against him and having him around.”

Whilst fortunate to have the admiration of his younger peers, Federer knows that he will not be able to go on forever. Paving way for the likes of Zverev and Tsitsipas to try and fill the void left. Although there has been similar said in past years with few significant breakthroughs occurring. Especially when it comes to the ATP Finals. 2017 champion Grigor Dimitrov hasn’t won a title since. Meanwhile, 2018 winner Zverev has endured a turbulent season due to issues taking place off the court.

So will 2020 be the year where the landscape of men’s tennis starts to change?

“We know it’s going to be more difficult every year to keep the slams within the best group of guys.” Admits Federer.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if we see new champions and some of the older champions, of course I hope to be part of them.’
“I came so, so close this year at Wimbledon. I hope I can recreate those opportunities and take them next time, but I think the time will come, and that might be next year, when they will take over and that will be totally fine because at this moment in time now, they are plenty good enough.”

Federer will travel to five different countries this week for his exhibition tour. He is reportedly set to make in the region of $10 million in earnings, according to one source.

https://twitter.com/rogerfederer/status/1191481742886146048

Quotes obtained via EFE/ Sport360

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Dominic Thiem reaches his first quarter final at the Australian Open

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Dominic Thiem eased past Gael Monfils 6-2 6-4 6-4 after 1 hour and 50 minutes on the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne to reach the quarter final at the Australian Open. Thiem has extended his winning streak to 6-0 in his head-to-head matches against Monfils.

 

He fought back from two sets to one down to beat Australia’s Alex Bolt in the second round, but he won eight of his past nine sets to advance to the quarter finals.

Thiem got two breaks in the first set and never faced a single break point in the entire match. The Austrian player converted his fourth break point after three deuces, as Monfils missed a backhand volley wide. Thiem started the third set with an early break in the first game, as Monfils hit an inside-out forehand wide from the middle of the court wide. Thiem won his next service games and held his final game at love.

Thiem will face Rafael Nadal in a re-match of last year’s Roland Garros final.

“I think that I played my best match so far at this year’s Australian Open. It’s a very good feeling. The score looks way easier than the match was. I think I was lucky to make an early break in each set and I was managing to hold my serve well. I am so happy because I am in the quarter final here for the first time”, said Thiem.

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Alexander Zverev tops Andrey Rublev to set Australian Open quarter final against Stan Wawrinka

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Alexander Zverev beat his friend Andrey Rublev 6-4 6-4 6-4 in one hour and 37 minutes to reach the quarter final at the Australian Open for the first time in his career and his third at Grand Slam level.

 

Zverev broke serve once in each set. The German player has not dropped a set at this year’s edition of the Australian Open.

Zverev ended Rublev’s 15-match winning streak. Rublev had not lost a match since October, winning four matches at the Davis Cup last November and back-to-back titles in Doha and Adelaide.

In the opening set Zverev earned his first break at 3-3, as Rublev hit a forehand into the net. He held his serve to consolidate the break and wrapped up the first set after 29 minutes, when Rublev hit a crosscourt backhand wide.

Zverev started the second set with an immediate break in the first game of the second set and closed it out with a hold at love with an ace after 29 minutes.

Zverev broke serve for the third time in the match in the ninth game of the third set to take a 5-4, when Rublev made a groundstroke error, and sealed the win with a forehand volley.

“It feels amazing. I played some great matches against some great opponents. This is Andrey’s first loss of the season, having won two tournaments and getting through to the fourth round with unbelievable tennis. I have known Andrey since we were ten years old. I think he will be top 15, top 10 very soon. I am just happy and I hope I can continue”,said Zverev.

Zverev will face Stan Wawrinka in the quarter final. The German star beat Wawrinka twice in their previous two head-to-head matches in St. Petersburg 2016 and Miami 2017.

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Stan Wawrinka edges Danil Medvedev in a five-set thriller to reach the quarter final at the Australian Open

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Three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka reached the quarter final at the Australian Open for the fifth time in his career with a 6-2 2-6 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-2 win over fourth seed and 2019 US Open finalist Danil Medvedev after 3 hours and 25 minutes. Wawrinka qualified for the last eight for the first time since 2017.

 

Wawrinka earned his first break in the fourth game, when Medvedev sent his backhand long. Wawrinka did not convert two more break points in the sixth game before breaking for the second time at love to close out the opening set 6-2 after 32 minutes. Wawrinka won 85% of his first serve points and hit 16 winners to 8 unforced errors in the opening set.

Medvedev broke in the third game of the second set to open up a 3-1 lead, when Wawrinka netted his forehand. The Russian player clinched the second set with three service winners at 5-2 to level the score.

Medvedev broke serve in the seventh game of the third set after a backhand error from Wawrinka and closed out the set with a service winner in the 10th game.

Wawrinka wasted a break point in the fourth game of the fourth set. Both players traded service holds en route to the tie-break. Wawrinka earned an immediate mini-break to open up a 3-0 lead in the tie-break. The former Australian Open champion hit a half-volley winner to cruise to a 5-2 lead and converted his first set point, when Medvedev netted a backhand in the ninth point.

Wawrinka broke Medvedev at 15 in the first game of the fifth set and saved three break points at 2-1. Wawrinka went up a double break in the seventh game and forced an error from Medvedev to wrap up the match, as he was serving for the win in the eighth game.

Wawrinka set up a quarter final against Alexander Zverev, who beat Andrey Rublev 6-4 6-4 6-4. Zverev beat Wawrinka twice in their two head-to-head matches in St. Petersburg 2016 and Miami 2017.

“That was an amazing match and an amazing atmosphere. It was really tough to play against Danil. It was really tough to play against Danil. I had to raise my level in the fourth and fifth sets. The level was super high and the atmosphere is something special here in Australia. I am finding solutions. I was losing a bit of confidence in the second and third sets, and was fighting against myself to play my game. I had to fight, stay positive and I am happy with the result”,said Wawrinka.

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