Maria Sakkari fights from a set and a break down to reach her second semifinal of the season in Ostrava - UBITENNIS
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Maria Sakkari fights from a set and a break down to reach her second semifinal of the season in Ostrava

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Maria Sakkari fought back from a set and a break down in her 3-6 6-3 6-1 win over Ons Jabeur to get through to her second semifinal of the season after 1 hour and 38 minutes. 

 

Sakkari went down a set and 0-2 in the second set, but she bounced back by winning 12 of the last 14 games. 

Jabeur earned three break points with a forehand winner down the line in the sixth game and got the break, when Sakkari made a backhand error. The Tunisian player reached the set point with a single-handed inside-out backhand slice winner and converted it to win the first set 6-3. 

Jabeur went up an immediate break in the first game of the second set. Sakkari raised her level and broke back in the sixth game, when Jabeur hit a short forehand into the net. Sakkari won 10 of the next 11 games. The Greek player held serve with a drop-volley in the seventh game before breaking serve with a return winner to take a 5-3 lead at deuce. Sakkari sealed the second set on her first set point. 

Sakkari went up a double break to take a 3-0 lead, as Jabeur made a double fault. The daughter of Angeliki Kanellopoulou saved a break point with a service winner to race out to a 4-0 lead and sealed the win by breaking serve with a forehand pass on the first match point. 

“I think that Ons, she came up with some tricky shots in the first set. I could not really find a way to make her like tougher. The fact that I know I can stay on court for a long time gives me a lot of help and hope, so I just stay with her, and finally I got that break I was looking for, and things got better for me after that”, said Sakkari. 

Sakkari set up a semifinal against Victoria Azarenka, who beat Elise Mertens 6-4 6-1. Mertens earned an immediate break in the first game of the opening set. Azarenka came back from 2-4 down by winning four games with two breaks to clinch the first set 6-4. Azarenka went up a double break to race out to a 5-1 lead. The former Grand Slam champion saved a break point chance before serving out the win at deuce in the seventh game. 

World number 26 Jennifer Brady fought back from a set down to beat Russian qualifier Veronika Kudemertova 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 6-1. The US player has reached her fourth semifinal on the WTA Tour. Brady hit 27 winners to 14 unforced errors, compared to Kudemertova’s ratio of 31 winners to 38 unforced errors. 

Brady will face either number 3 seed Aryna Sabalenka or Spanish qualifier Sara Sorribes Tormo. 

Kudemertova got an early break to take a 2-1 lead. Brady broke back to draw level to 3-3. The US player dropped just a single point in her next three service games. Kudemertova was pushed to deuce at 6-5 and held serve with a forehand winner to set up a tie-break. Kudemertova raced out to a 4-0 lead with two mini-breaks, but Brady reeled off four consecutive points to draw level to 4-4. Kudemertova earned a set point as her strong was returned long and sealed the first set with a passing shot winner after 56 minutes. 

Kudemertova earned four break points in the second game of the second set. Brady saved them to hold for 1-1. Brady earned two break points at 2-2 and converted her second chance to take a 3-2 lead, as Kudemertova netted a forehand. 

Brady earned a set point, as Kudemertova sent a forehand wide. The US Open semifinalist sealed the set 6-3 with a break, as Kudemertova shot a backhand wide. 

Brady won the final five games of the decider with a double break in the fourth and sixth games to win the decisive set 6-1. As Brady was serving for the match in the sixth game, Kudemertova saved the first two match point she faced, but Brady converted her third chance with her 14th ace. 

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Paolo Bertolucci believes that Novak Djokovic will finish his career with more Grand Slam titles than Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic

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Former Italian player and Davis Cup winner Paolo Bertolucci thinks that Novak Djokovic has a very good chance to end his career with more Grand Slam titles than Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. 

 

Nadal won his 13th Grand Slam title at Roland Garros beating Djokovic in the final joining Federer at the top of the list of most Major titles with 20 trophies. Djokovic claimed his 17th Grand Slam title at the Australian Open in Melbourne and is third on the list of the most successful players in Grand Slam history. 

At the Australian Open Djokovic has become the third player in history to win eight titles at a Grand Slam tournament after Nadal (13 titles at Roland Garros) and Roger Federer (8 titles at Wimbledon). 

The Serbian legend won two more titles in Dubai and at the Western and Southern Open and was undefeated this season before the US Open, but he defaulted at the US Open when he hit a lineswoman with the ball. 

Djokovic bounced back to win the Rome Masters 1000 titles beating Diego Schwartzman in the final. The Serbian player lost the Roland Garros final against Rafael Nadal in straight sets. 

Novak Djokovic has secured six year-end number number 1 honours passing Pete Sampras for most weeks as World Number 1 in September 2020. He trails only Federer’s record of 310 weeks at the top of the ranking. 

Nole claimed six out of his eight Grand Slam titles between Wimbledon 2014 and Roland Garros 2016 and became the first player with four consecutive Grand Slam titles since Rod Laver in 1969  (Australian Open, Wimbledon and US Open in 2015 and Australian Open 2016). 

The World Number 1 player was not able to win any of the next eight Grand Slam titles because he was suffering from an elbow injury, but he bounced back by winning the 2018 Wimbledon title. He has won five of the past Grand Slam titles (Wimbledon 2018, US Open 2018, Australian Open 2019, Wimbledon 2019 and Australian Open 2020). 

Bertolucci believes that Djokovic will be able to close the gap on Nadal and Federer by winning more Grand Slam titles. Djokovic is physically equipped to overtake Nadal and Federer in the Slam race. The former Italian player is not ruling a three-men battle for supremacy before their careers are over. 

“Novak will win more Grand Slam titles than Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, even after that US Open. He is the youngest and freshest among those three stars, with a nice chance of moving in front in a couple of years. On the other hand, I would not be surprised if they all finish on the same number of Grand Slam titles”, said Bertolucci. 

Bertolucci believes that Federer has still a chance to win another Grand Slam title. The Swiss Maestro came very close to winning his 21st Major trophy at Wimbledon in 2019, when he lost an epic five-set final against Djokovic. The Swiss Maestro reached the semifinal at this year’s Australian Open before undergoing knee surgery, but he is training for the 2021 Australian Open. 

“It’s very difficult, because it’s been four years, but it’s also true for others it would be twice as much difficult. He will have a chance too, but we have to see at what level he will be able to express himself, how he will return after the operations”, said Bertolucci. 

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Roger Federer announces the return of “RF” branded caps

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Swiss legend Roger Federer announced the return of the “RF” branded caps. Tennis fans will be able to purchase the Uniqlo product.

 

The RF logo has been missing since Federer switched from Nike to Uniqlo at Wimbledon 2018. It has now returned as new Uniqlo caps feature the iconic “RF” logo.

Roger Federer: “After a long and extensive fine-tuning, UNIQLO and I are extremely extremely to announce the return of the RF hat in eight fresh colours starrting from 8th December 2020. This hat has meant so much to me and to my fans over the years. It has given us a way to visibly connect, and I have appreciated the opportunity to thrive off this supportive energy”. 

Federer posted a video on his Instagram account announcing the relaunch of the “RF” logo.  

There are eight different colours of the “RF” caps. The gap has the iconic “RF” has the iconic “RF” logo in front and the “Go Roger” logo at the back. 

Federer will make his eagerly awaited come-back at the 2021 Australian Open. The 20-time Grand Slam champion has won six titles at Melbourne Park in 2004, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2017 and 2018. Three years ago Fedeerer won an epic five-set final against Rafael Nadal after being sidelined by a knee injury. The Basel native repeated the feat winning the 2018 final against Marin Cilic in another five-set battle. 

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French Legend Leconte Speaks Out On Upcoming Return Of Roger Federer

The Grand Slam finalist gives his view on Federer’s chances for 2021.

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A former star of French tennis says he is hopeful but wary that Roger Federer will be able to return to the pinnacle of sport next year.

 

Henri Leconte, who is a former French Open finalist that achieved a ranking high of No.5, admits that the Swiss Maestro may find it tough on the Tour given the rise of what he describes as the ‘younger generation.’ This season Dominic Thiem won his maiden Grand Slam title at the US Open at the age of 27. More recently Daniil Medvedev defeated both Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal en route to the ATP Finals title.

We want to believe it. We all want to believe it! It’s been a long and difficult year. Will the motivation still be there? Will this break, the fact of having been able to enjoy his family, have changed something or will he still have that renewed motivation that has always fascinated us?” Leconte told TennisActu.

Federer hasn’t played a competitive match since his semi-final loss at the Australian Open in January. Since then, he has been sidelined from action due to a right knee injury which required two surgical procedures. The second took place after the first failed to produce the desired results.

Despite the setbacks, 20-time Grand Slam champion Federer is eyeing a return to the Tour in 2021. He is currently the oldest player in the world’s top 100 and one of two to be aged 39. The other is Spain’s Feliciano Lopez.

No one can say it. We all wish him, we would like him to stop on a Grand Slam title but the train (momentum) is gone with this younger generation which has put in an extra speed,” said Leconte.
“I would like to believe it. Roger has done so many things, that’s why he makes us dream, we would like to see him at the top. It will be very, very hard. ..”

It is not the first time Federer has taken a lengthy break due to injury. He missed six months of the 2017 season due to another knee issue before returning to action the following year when he won the Australian Open.

Earlier this week it was confirmed that Federer will head into the new season being able to use his iconic ‘RF’ logo. He hasn’t been able to use the logo for the past two years after switching from Nike, which held the rights, to UNIQLO. However, he has managed to regain control of ownership which means he will be allowed to use it on his apparel once again.

“The RF cap is back,” Federer said in a video message to fans on Twitter.
“After a long wait and extensive fine-tuning, UNIQLO and I are extremely excited to announce the return of the RF hat in 8 fresh colours starting December 8th, 2020,” he also wrote.
“This hat has meant so much to me and to my fans over the years.
“It has given us a way to visibly connect, and I have appreciated the opportunity to thrive off this supportive energy.”

As it currently stands Federer’s first tournament is set to be the Australian Open. The tournament had been scheduled to start on January 18th but it is believed that the date has been delayed until February 8th due to travel and quarantine arrangements.

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