Richard Kraijcek is confident that Roger Federer will play in Rotterdam - UBITENNIS
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Richard Kraijcek is confident that Roger Federer will play in Rotterdam

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Rotterdam tournament director and 1996 Wimbledon champion Richard Kraijcek is confident that Roger Federer will play at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam from 27 February to 7 March. Federer has recently pulled out of the Australian Open and fans are speculating on where he will make his comeback. 

 

The 20-time Grand Slam champion could make his come-back in the Dutch tournament, where he won three three titles in 2005, 2012 and 2018 and has a win-loss record of 28-6. Three years ago the Swiss legend returned to world number 1 spot in the ATP Ranking with his win over Robin Haase in the quarter finals of the 2018 Rotterdam tournament and went on to win the final beating Grigor Dimitrov becoming the oldest world number 1 in 45-year history of the ATP Ranking at the age of 36. 

Krajicek thinks that Federer prefers to return to the court in a tournament with three-set matches rather than five sets. 

“If he knows that 8 February will be too soon to return, how can he know if he will return on 1 March ? Although playing the best of three sets is different from doing it to the best of five as in the Grand Slam. Roger knows that he is well received in Rotterdam. With the Big Three, you hope that the manager will contact you to tell you that they want to play here, but I can drop an email just in case. I cannot consider Federer’s appearance a guarantee. I am aware that it may be too early for Federer to make a commitment just yet. ”, said Kraijcek. 

Rotterdam is scheduled before the Doha and Dubai tournaments, two of Federer’s favourite tournaments. The Swiss Maestro won nine titles in Dubai in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2019 and scored a 53-6 win-loss record. In Doha he claimed three titles in 2005, 2006 and 2011 and has a lifetime win-loss record of 26-3. “He also likes to play in Dubai. Now, after Rotterdam, come the Doha and Dubai tournaments. Federer can make that choice too”, said Krajicek.

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Singapore Champion Alexi Popyrin Dedicates Maiden ATP Title To Family

The world No.114 battled back from a set down to become the fifth active Australian player to win an ATP singles title.

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Rising star Alexi Popyrin has claimed the biggest title in his career to date after triumphing in the final of the Singapore Open on Sunday.

 

The 21-year-old battled back from a set down to defeat world No.46 Alexander Bublik 4-6, 6-0, 6-2, in what was his first ever final on the ATP Tour. Popryin, who had never got past the quarter-final stage of a Tour event prior to this week, managed to turn his fortunes around with the help of an emphatic service display. During the second set he dropped no points behind serve and only one in the third. Overall, the Australian produced 11 aces and broke Bublik five times en route to victory.

A former junior world No.2 who won the 2017 French Open boys’ title, Popyrin has become the fifth active player from Australia to have won an ATP title. The other four are Nick Kyrgios, Alex de Minaur, Bernard Tomic and John Millman. During the trophy ceremony Popyrin said the breakthrough was a result of hard work as he paid tribute to his family.

“I’ll definitely have very fond memories of Singapore now, I’ll definitely remember this for the rest of my life,” he said.
“We put a lot of hard work in the pre-season and it’s paying off in the start of the year I’ve had. In Australia I felt really good so it’s just good to see all the hard work paying off.
“My family behind the scenes, they’ve sacrificed so much for me and to finally win a tournament just shows how much hard work they put in with me also. This is for them 100 per cent.”

Prior to Bublik, Popyrin also scored a win over former US Open champion Marin Cilic in the semi-finals. The breakthrough continues what has been an encouraging start to the season for the Next Gen star. At the Murray River Open in Melbourne he took Grigor Dimitrov to three sets before losing in the third round. Then at the Australian Open he knocked out top 20 player David Goffin.

Meanwhile, Bublik is left wondering what might have been. It was the second time the Kazakh has reached a Tour final this season after Antalya where he had to retire due to injury.

“His first final, his first title, I have four finals, which hurts now but just congratulate you and next time we’ll see if we can face in the final,” Bublik said.

Popyrin will rise to a ranking high of 82nd when the standings are updated on Monday.

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Aryna Sabalenka could face Garbine Muguruza in the Round of 16 in Doha

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Top seed Elina Svitolina, defending champion Aryna Sabalenka, this year’s Australian Open finalist Jennifer Brady, last year’s finalist Petra Kvitova and Karolina Pliskova will headline the 2021 edition of the Doha Qatar Open. 

 

Svitolina, who has been handed a bye in the opening round, could face Amanda Anisimova in the second round. The Ukrainian player lost to Anisimova at this stage of last year’s edition of this tournament. The young US player was recently tested positive to covid-19 and skipped the 2021 Australian Open. 

Svitolina is projected to play a quarter final match against either Victoria Azarenka or Svetlana Kuznetsova and a semifinal against Aryna Sabalenka. 

Sabalenka could face a blockbuster Round of 16 clash against 2020 Australian Open finalist and two-time champion Garbine Muguruza. Sabalenka won three titles in Doha, Ostrava and Linz and picked up where she left off last year by winning the first tournament of the 2021 season in Abu Dhabi. Muguruza will first face a tough opening match against Veronika Kudemertova. 

Sabalenka has been drawn in the same section as Maria Sakkari, Madison Keys and Belinda Bencic, who finished runner-up to Iga Swiatek in this week’s final in Adelaide. 

Third seed Petrka Kvitova is set to face a second round match against Anastasya Pavlyuchenkova. Who will open her campaign against a qualifier. Kvitova will be looking to bounce back from the disappointment at the Australian Open, where she lost to Sorana Cristea in the second round. 

Jennifer Brady, who finished runner-up to Naomi Osaka in the final of the Australian Open last week, will take on Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit in the first round. The winner of this match will clash against three-time Grand Slam champion Angelique Kerber. 

Karolina Pliskova could face 2020 Australian Open quarter finalist Ons Jabeur in the second round and Kiki Bertens in the quarter final. Jabeur reached the quarter final in Doha last year after scoring wins over Brady and Pliskova. Bertens has not player a match since last October’s Roland Garros, where she lost to Martina Trevisan in the quarter final. The Dutch player underwent surgery on her left Achilles tendon and missed the Australian Open. 

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Cagliari to host the Sardegna Open next April

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The Sardegna Open will start the European clay season in the week of 5 April.

 

Players will have two opportunities to play in ATP 250 tournaments in Europe in the week before the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters, following an announcement of a single-year licence awarded to the Any Tech 365 Andalucia Open in Spain. 

The Cagliari tournament adds to the calendar of tournaments in Italy after the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome, the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan and the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin. 

The tournament will take place at the Cagliari Tennis Club and will be broadcast by the federal tennis TV Channel Supertennis. “The addition of this ATP tournament to the already very rich programme of major international events in Italy reflects the confidence in the contry’s organisational skills we enjoy around the world. When the ATP invited us to present our candidacy to organise an ATP 250 event in that week we did not hesitate to do so. It’s also a great opportunity to promote the appeal of the Sardinia region as a tourist destination during difficult times”, said Italian Tennis Federation President Angelo Binaghi.

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