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Federer Has To Fight Through Hometown Opener In Basel

  • Posted: Oct 23, 2018

Federer Has To Fight Through Hometown Opener In Basel

Swiss beats Serbian for the second time this year

Roger Federer had to shake off some rust, but the eight-time champion eventually rediscovered his “Basel” gear and leaned on the home crowd to advance 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 on Tuesday against Serbian Filip Krajinovic.

The 37-year-old Swiss won his 16th consecutive match at the Swiss Indoors Basel, since losing the 2013 final to Juan Martin del Potro. Federer is trying to reach his 14th hometown final and capture career title No. 99.

“It was a bit more of a hard-fought victory, but they feel good too, especially knowing that I have the day off tomorrow, so it’s no problem having played three sets today,” Federer said. 

The World No. 3 wasn’t his usual self throughout the match, and especially at the start. Federer shanked forehands and missed whenever he stepped into the court in the beginning. The top seed faced two break points, at 15/40, 1-2, but saved both and broke immediately after, slapping a second-serve return for the first break of the match.

From 1-2 down, Federer won the next seven games against the 2017 Rolex Paris Masters finalist. But Krajinovic relaxed in the second and broke Federer, who struggled to find his forehand all match (23 unforced errors), in the eighth and 10th games to take the second.

You May Also Like: When Roger Thought He’d Never Win Basel

Behind the red-and-white clad home crowd, however, Federer upped his first-serve percentage and advanced, despite being broken while first serving for the match at 5-3. The Swiss landed only 47 per cent of his first offerings overall.

“I didn’t serve very well today. I think I was misfiring the corners, I was not hitting the lines enough. Clearly you make your life more difficult, but still I was up 6-2, 3-1, break points, so things could have ended very quickly today, even though I didn’t have the best serve percentage stats. But maybe that’s exactly what caught up to me eventually,” Federer said.

“It’s just getting used to it. This is where the first rounds can be tricky.”

He will next meet German Jan-Lennard Struff, who beat Aussie John Millman 7-6(3), 6-2. Federer has won all three of their FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings, including two earlier this year at the Australian Open and Wimbledon.

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Elsewhere, seventh-seeded Russian Daniil Medvedev, who is currently at a career-high No. 20 in the ATP Rankings, knocked out Maximilian Marterer of Germany 6-3, 7-5 in 85 minutes. It was Medvedev’s 40th match win of the year (35-13 on hard courts), which includes three ATP World Tour titles at the Sydney International (d. De Minaur), the Winston-Salem Open (d. Johnson) and the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships 2018 (d. Nishikori).

In other action, qualifier Alexei Popyrin recorded his first ATP World Tour match win over fellow Australian Matthew Ebden 7-6(4), 6-4 in one hour and 33 minutes, while Italian Andreas Seppi knocked out qualifier Taro Daniel of Japan 6-0, 6-4 in 63 minutes.

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Read & Watch: Thiem Off To Winning Start In Vienna

  • Posted: Oct 23, 2018

Read & Watch: Thiem Off To Winning Start In Vienna

Fognini through in straight sets

Dominic Thiem produced a confident performance in front of home fans at the Erste Bank Open 500, beating Ruben Bemelmans 7-5, 7-6(5) on Tuesday.

The top-seeded Austrian, who is yet to advance beyond the quarter-finals (2013) in Vienna, fired seven aces and saved all three break points he faced to advance after one hour and 45 minutes. Bemelmans, who also reached the last eight in 2013, was aiming to record his first Top 10 victory on his eighth attempt.

Thiem improves to 7-7 at the ATP World Tour 500-level event and will meet Sam Querrey of the U.S. for a place in the quarter-finals. Querrey beat 2011 champion Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-3, 3-6, 6-3. Against Querrey, the 25-year-old Thiem will be searching for a 50th tour-level victory this year (49-16).

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Fabio Fognini joined Thiem in the second round after notching his third victory in four FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings against Damir Dzumhur. The seventh seed, who has captured three tour-level trophies this year, prevailed 6-4, 6-3 after 71 minutes to notch his 46th victory in 66 matches this season.

Fognini will meet Marton Fucsovics in the second round. The Hungarian rallied from a set down to defeat #NextGenATP Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime 1-6, 6-0, 7-5 on Monday.

Lucas Pouille is also through to the second round, keeping calm under pressure to defeat Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-4. The Frenchman earned his 25th tour-level victory of the season after two hours and 15 minutes, saving all nine break points he faced en route to victory.

Did You Know?
Thiem is one of seven players, behind Rafael Nadal (5) and Novak Djokovic (4), to win three tour-level trophies this season. The Austrian has already captured crowns this year in Buenos Aires, Lyon and St. Petersburg.

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Frustrated Norrie beaten by Isner in Vienna

  • Posted: Oct 23, 2018

Britain’s Cameron Norrie missed two match points as world number nine John Isner progressed to the second round of the Vienna Open with a 6-7 (1-7) 6-4 7-6 (9-7) victory.

British number two Norrie had qualified for the main draw as a lucky loser but American Isner, 33, came from behind to win in two hours and 19 minutes.

It marked his first win over Norrie, 23, who beat him in Lyon in May.

Isner will play France’s Gael Monfils or Steve Johnson in the next round.

Elsewhere in Vienna, French defending champion Lucas Pouille reached the second round, defeating Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-4 6-7 (5-7) 6-4.

Japanese fifth seed Kei Nishikori is also through following a 7-6 (7-3) 5-7 6-2 win over America’s Frances Tiafoe, as is Spain’s Fernando Verdasco who beat Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-7 (6-8) 6-3 6-4.

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WTA Finals: Defending champion Caroline Wozniacki beats Petra Kvitova in Singapore

  • Posted: Oct 23, 2018

Defending champion Caroline Wozniacki beat Petra Kvitova for the first time in four years with a 7-5 3-6 6-2 victory at the WTA Finals in Singapore.

Denmark’s Australian Open champion Wozniacki, 28, sealed the win in two hours and 19 minutes despite needing medical treatment on her knee during the second set.

Her last win over the Czech fourth seed came at the 2014 WTA Finals.

Elina Svitolina plays Karolina Pliskova later on Tuesday.

Victory for Pliskova would leave Kvitova unable to qualify for the semi-finals.

  • WTA Finals: Everything you need to know

Second seed Wozniacki, who lost to Pliskova in her opening White Group round-robin match on Sunday, took an early lead on her third set point after Kvitova had made 16 unforced errors.

She asked for a physio midway through the set after experiencing pain in her left knee, before Kvitova, 28, levelled the match in a set in which she secured four breaks of serve.

Wozniacki broke immediately at the start of the deciding set and was able to capitalise on her opponent’s fatigue to serve for the match.

“I am pleased how I kept cool,” Wozniacki told BT Sport.

“I didn’t think I played badly in the second set, she just played really well. I had to refocus and keep doing what I was doing.”

The WTA Finals features the leading eight players this year, split into two groups of four.

The top two players from each round-robin group will progress to the semi-finals, with the final on 28 October.

The Finals are being held in Singapore for the fifth and final time before moving to Shenzhen in China.

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