Federer battles past Cilic to reach 3rd round at Roland Garros - UBITENNIS
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Federer battles past Cilic to reach 3rd round at Roland Garros

Roger Federer edged out Marin Cilic in four sets to reach the third round in Paris.

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Roger Federer (@atptour - Twitter)

The Swiss world number eight needed four sets to beat the Croat Marin Cilic.

 

Roger Federer is through to the third round of the French Open after beating the world number 47 Marin Cilic in four sets 6-2, 2-6, 7-6, 6-2 hitting 47 winners and serving 16 aces in the victory.

“I think I played a good match, I think I surprised myself, I didn’t think I could play at this level for two and a half hours against Marin (Cilic), I know he hasn’t had the best year but me neither but I think the level was high and I tried everything and like you said I had very good moments, I still have energy in the tank and it’s super important for my confidence and I think it was a good match”.

It was the Croat who managed to earn the first chance of the match to break after holding in the opening service game but the world number eight did a good job saving it and holding his serve.

The next game the Croat seemed to struggle a bit with his serve and gave the Swiss a breakpoint and he squandered the early break serving a double fault as the Basel native took the momentum of getting the break. Federer then turned it into a double break for a commanding 4-1 lead in 20 minutes.

The world number 47 had a chance to earn one of the breaks back but the 39 year old did a better job saving it and served out the first set in 30 minutes.

The world number eight earned another breakpoint in the opening game of the second set but Cilic would save it. The Croatian then hold serve before starting to put the pressure on the Federer serve and earning two breakpoints of his very own, breaking to take an early 2-0 lead.

He would consolidate the break and earn two more breakpoints but this time the Swiss would hang on and save both before finally holding serve for the first time in the set.

That hold of serve seemed to give Federer life and he pushed the next game trying to get the break back but the Croat saved both breakpoints and held serve at a crucial juncture of the match.

The world number 47 would serve out the second set to level the match at one set apiece. However the world number 8 would bounce back in the third set earning three breakpoints at 1-1 and breaking with a sublime backhand winner.

After once again consolidating the break the 39 year old had three more chances to go up a double break but the Croatian saved all three and held serve before going on the attack and earning a breakpoint the following game and breaking to go back on serve at 3-3 with a return winner.

The third set would be decided by a tiebreaker and it was the Croat who would crack first serving a double fault at 2-1 to give the world number eight an early 3-1 lead and that was the only break of serve the Swiss needed to win the breaker and take the third set.

The first three games of the fourth set went on serve and at 2-1 Federer had a chance to break, again facing the pressure Cilic would serve a double fault to give another break of serve.

At 5-2 the world number eight sensed victory was in his sight and continued to apply pressure on the Croat’s serve and managed to earn two match points on his opponent serve and would take the match the following point.

After the match in his post match interview Federer was asked about his improvement from the previous match and the fact of not playing a lot due to the pandemic.

“I feel I’m more clear with my strokes, I know where to run going forwards not always backward even if Marin (Cilic) pushes you to defend even with a bit of difficulty being defensive which is completely normal and it’s on a clay court plus I didn’t play a lot so it feels good to play again in perfect conditions against a very good player and I was able to do it today”.

Federer will now face the German Dominik Koepfer in the third round who managed to upset the tournament 30th seed the American Taylor Fritz also in four sets 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-4.

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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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