‘Certain Parts Were Not Quite There’ - Dan Evans Reacts To Playing Federer - UBITENNIS
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‘Certain Parts Were Not Quite There’ – Dan Evans Reacts To Playing Federer

The world No.28 gives some insight into the current level of the former world No.1 who played his first match in over a year on Wednesday.

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Dan Evans exits the Doha Open with mixed emotions after praising rival Roger Federer but being left frustrated by his narrow loss.

 

The Brit fell 7-6(8), 3-6, 7-5, to the Swiss maestro in an encounter that lasted almost two-and-a-half hours. Evans was the first player Federer has faced in more than a year after being sidelined from the sport due to a right knee injury which required two surgical procedures. He is making his comeback to the tour five months before his 40th birthday in what his rival labels as a boost to the Tour.

“Whenever he’s at a tournament it goes without saying there is more interest in the tournament. I guess personally for him, he is obviously way happier to be on Tour than at home,” Evans told reporters after his match.

Heading into the second round clash, ironically Evans was one of the most well educated people concerning the current form of the world No.6 after being his hitting partner over the past two weeks. Furthermore, they have played each other three times previously on the Tour with Federer winning all of them in straight sets.

Despite the encouraging display from the 20-time Grand Slam champion, Evans says there are areas which still need some work on. An inevitable scenario for any player who has been away for such a long period. As for the match itself, he believes Federer’s aggressiveness was the thing that got him over the finish line.

“I could feel certain parts were not quite there but it was evident when it got tight that he was way more aggressive in the third set,” he said. “I actually thought he played his best tennis in the last three, four games. Got himself out of trouble and then when I was 5-4 down, he really came at me. I felt a lot of pressure from his game.’
“He showed a lot of glimpses of why he is so good.” Evans added.

It is far too early to look into the significance of Federer’s winning start to his latest comeback and what could happen over the coming months. He has already stated that the goal is to peak in time for Wimbledon where he will be gunning for an historic ninth title. Then there is also the Olympic Games in Tokyo on his mind too.

“He said his story is not finished yet and from a fan’s point of view, it is going to be interesting to see how he goes at his age,” Evans commented.
“He’s 39 and it’s unheard that there is someone competing for Grand Slams at that age (in the men’s game). It’s going to be really good to watch for everybody to see what happens.
“We will all be pretty pumped if he got over the line at another slam.”

Federer will play Nikoloz Basilashvili in the quarter-finals on Thursday.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas ‘Happy’ To Follow In Grandfather’s Footsteps At Olympics

The Greek speaks out about carrying his family’s legacy at the Games.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas never met his grandfather but the two of them do have something in common – they are both Olympians.

 

The world No.4 has already created history in Tokyo by winning his first round match against Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber on Sunday to become the first male player from his country to win a singles match since 1924. Greece has won two medals at the Games but both of them were during its inaugural edition back in 1896.

Tsitsipas’ debut in Tokyo enables him to continue his family legacy of playing in the sporting extravaganza. His grandfather was Sergei Salnikov who played football for the Soviet Union during the 1950s. In 1956 Salnikov was part of the team who won Olympic gold in Melbourne. After retiring from the sport, he went on to manage the FC Spartak Moscow and the Afghanistan national team before passing away in 1984 aged 58.

“I’ve never had the opportunity to meet him. But my mom told me stories of his career and how he got it…. He kind of inspires me in a way,” said Tsitsipas. “I know what kind of athlete he was, with all the achievements and all the trophies. I’m proud of him.
“It’s something good, a legacy that is being carried on in the family. I’m happy to be the next in the family to be competing at the Olympics.”

It isn’t just a medal in the singles Tsitsipas has his eyes on, he will also be bidding for success in the mixed doubles alongside Maria Sakkari. The two previously paired up at the 2019 Hopman Cup where they finished second in their group.

“We have already played once (together), and we had great success,” Sakkari told reporters on Monday. “We know each other really well, and we are much better players two-and-a-half years later, and we are both really pumped to play together. Of course, I cannot predict that we will get a medal. We will try our best and I think we give ourselves the best chance we can.”

Tsitsipas will return to action tomorrow in the men’s singles where he will play Frances Tiafoe in the second round.

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Carlos Alcaraz reaches his first ATP Tour final in Umag

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Spanish Next Gen star Carlos Alcaraz secured a spot in his first ATP tour-level final with a 6-2 7-6 (7-3) at the Plava Laguna Croatia Open in Umag. 

 

Alcaraz has become the youngest ATP Tour finalist since 18-year-old Kei Nishikori won the Delray Beach title in 2008. 

Alcaraz broke twice to open up a 4-0 lead and held his next service games to close out the first set 6-2. 

Ramos Vinolas came back from a break down three times in the second set, when Alcaraz served for the match. Alcaraz battled through the second-set tie-break to clinch the win after two hours. 

Alcaraz set up a final against Richard Gasquet, who battled past German qualifier Daniel Altmeier 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 6-3 after three hours and 11 minutes. 

Gasquet has become the second oldest finalist in tournament history. The 35-year-old saved seven of hi sten break points, but he converted just just 3 of his 17 break points.  

Gasquet rallied from a break down twice to draw level to 4-4 before winning the tie-break 7-2. Altmeier converted his third break point in the eighth game to win the second set 6-3. Altmeier saved three break points in the second game, before Gasquet converted his second break point in the sixth game to win the second set 6-3. 

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Novak Djokovic Cruises Past Dellien In Olympics Opener

Novak Djokovic’s bid for a historic golden slam continued in Tokyo.

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Novak Djokovic (@ITFTennis - Twitter)

Novak Djokovic cruised past Hugo Dellien 6-2 6-2 to open his bid for a gold medal at the Olympics.

 

The world number one’s bid to achieve the golden slam is on after thrashing the Bolivian in humid conditions.

A perfect start for the Serbian who is looking to achieve the one thing he is yet to achieve and that’s win a gold medal.

Next for Djokovic will be Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff.

In 32C temperatures, Djokovic was looking to start his campaign off against Bolivian veteran Hugo Dellien.

The slow paced courts would suit Dellien as he engaged in some long rallies with the world number one early on.

Despite creating three break points in the fourth game, Djokovic would fail to break early on.

However Djokovic increased his level mixing up the pace and depth of his shots to create angles for simple winners.

On his fifth break point Djokovic would break for a 4-2 lead and the top seed would break for a second time as Dellien had no answers for the Serb’s defensive skills. First set to Djokovic in 33 minutes.

A similar pattern evolved in the second set only this time Djokovic did get a break in the fourth game, breaking to love.

Accurate serving and construction of points gave Djokovic an easy first round match as another break secured the match and sealed his spot into the second round.

A fine performance in tough conditions gave Djokovic’s bid for history the best possible start.

Next for Djokovic will be Jan-Lennard Struff who beat Thiago Monteiro 6-3 6-4.

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