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Tsitsipas Stands Between Federer & History

  • Posted: Mar 01, 2019

Tsitsipas Stands Between Federer & History

Federer and Tsitsipas meet in Dubai final in Australian Open rematch

Roger Federer is ready to take a crack at history. On Saturday at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, Federer will make his first attempt in a final to lift his 100th tour-level trophy, trying to join Jimmy Connors (109 titles) as the only two men to accomplish the feat. This is Federer’s fourth tournament and his first championship match since earning his 99th crown last October in Basel.

But standing in the 37-year-old Swiss’ way is reigning Next Gen ATP Finals champion Stefanos Tsitsipas. The 20-year-old Greek, who is set to make his Top 10 debut in the ATP Rankings on Monday, will take confidence from his win against Federer in the fourth round of the Australian Open in the pair’s only previous FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting.

“Maybe [there is] a little bit [of a revenge element to the final]… Obviously, I was horribly disappointed and upset that I missed as many break points as I did [at the Australian Open, with] all the opportunities I had,” said Federer, who didn’t convert any of his 12 break chances against Tsitsipas in Melbourne. “That match hurt in some ways. But it’s part of the game. He did very well to get out of those tricky situations.”

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Tsitsipas brings an eight-match winning streak into the final after triumphing at the Open 13 Provence in Marseille last week. The Greek is prepared for Federer at full flight, knowing there is history at stake.

“I’m sure he will be pumped up. It’s not easy. It’s not easy for both of us. He obviously wants to beat me. For him, that loss was a big thing,” Tsitsipas said. “I’m pretty sure he will come… [to] the court fired up, wanting to take revenge from me. I’m definitely expecting that.”

Both players have overcome adversity to make the final at this ATP 500 tennis tournament, with Federer losing a set in his first two matches and Tsitsipas being forced to a deciding set in three of his four clashes. 

When they played in Melbourne, the 20-year-old Tsitsipas saved four set points to avoid a two-set deficit against Federer. The Greek showed similar fight on Friday in his final-set tie-break win over Gael Monfils in the Dubai semi-finals. Monfils led Tsitsipas 6-4, 3-1, and also had four break chances to take a 5-3 lead in the final set, before the Greek emerged victorious.

Federer vs. Tsitsipas Stats: 2019 Australian Open (Tsitsipas d. Federer 6-7(11), 7-6(3), 7-5, 7-6(5)

 Stat  Roger Federer  Stefanos Tsitsipas
 Aces  12  20
 First-Serve Points Won  79%  78%
 Second-Serve Points Won  61%  64%
 Break Points Converted  0/12 (0%)  1/3 (33%)
 Net Points Won  50/66 (76%)  48/68 (71%)

“He gets it done that way. It’s not the classic one-dimensional way. He has many ways to do it. That makes him tough to play, tough to beat,” Federer said. “He showed me at the Australian Open how hard he is [to play]. I hope I’m going to play well… We’re still far from [reaching 100 titles], it seems. I’m just going to try to focus and play good tennis.”

While this will only be the pair’s second tour-level match against one another, Federer admires Tsitsipas’ game. The 99-time tour-level champion likes the Greek’s knack for winning points in a variety of ways.  

“What I like about [Stefanos] is how he’s able to take the ball early, time and time again. [With his] serve, he takes it early and comes to the net. He does that all the time. Then on the backhand side, he has more air, which gives him a bit more margin,” Federer said. “For a big guy, he moves well… Nowadays, all the big guys move well. I don’t know how they do it… It’s nice to see all the qualities that he has. He has different ways to win points, which makes it hard to play against.”

While this is Federer’s first chance to join the ‘100 Club’, Tsitsipas is not shying away from the moment. “The biggest joy is to beat the Top 10 guys,” Tsitsipas said. 

Beating Federer to prevent history and win his first ATP 500 title would be his biggest victory yet.

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Roger Federer to face Stefanos Tsitsipas in Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships final

  • Posted: Mar 01, 2019

Roger Federer is one win away from a 100th ATP singles title after a semi-final victory over Borna Coric at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

Federer, 37, showed his best form of the tournament in easing to a 6-2 6-2 win over the 22-year-old Croat.

He now faces Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas, who beat Federer in the Australian Open last 16 in January.

A win will make Federer the second male player to win 100 singles titles after American Jimmy Connors, who won 109.

“Tsitsipas is tough to play, tough to beat,” said Federer. “He showed me that at the Australian Open, how hard he is. Maybe the final is a little bit of a revenge match.

“Reaching 100 titles – we’re still far from it. I’m just going to try to focus and play good tennis,”

Tsitsipas recovered from a set and 3-1 down to get past Frenchman Gael Monfils 4-6 7-6(4) 7-6(4), a win which will propel the 20-year-old into the world’s top 10 for the first time in his career.

“The whole match changed out of nowhere,” Tsitsipas said.

“I’ve improved since last year. Beating the big guys, big players, players that have been in the top 10, it means a lot.”

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Federer Moves To Within One Win Of 100 Titles

  • Posted: Mar 01, 2019

Federer Moves To Within One Win Of 100 Titles

Swiss star needs to beat Tsitsipas in Dubai final for historic achievement

Roger Federer moved to within one victory of capturing his eighth Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships title, which could represent the 100th tour-level crown of his career, on Friday night. The Swiss superstar cruised past Borna Coric at the Aviation Club in a comprehensive 6-2, 6-2 victory over 67 minutes for a shot at history.

If the Swiss superstar is to join Jimmy Connors (109 titles) as the second man in the Open Era to reach a century of singles trophies, he will have to snap the eight-match winning streak of Stefanos Tsitsipas, the reigning Next Gen ATP Finals champions. Last month, Tsitsipas beat Federer 6-7(11), 7-6(3), 7-5, 7-6(5) in the Australian Open fourth round.

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Federer won five of the first six games against Coric and converted his fourth set-point chance at 5-2 with an unreturned serve to complete the 32-minute opener. The second-seeded Swiss, who continued his policy of attacking the net and playing a number of drop shots, was gifted the opening game of the second set when Coric struck a forehand wide.

Coric’s error count increased and at 2-4, 30/40, a wild forehand spelled the end for the sixth-seeded Croatian. Federer wrapped up his seventh victory in eight matches this year with an ace for a place in his 152nd tour-level final (99-52 record).

Coric, now 6-3 on the season, had recorded three consecutive third-set tie-break victories in Dubai over lucky loser Jiri Vesely, Tomas Berdych and Nikoloz Basilashvili.

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Drenched & Exhausted, Isner's Multiple Wardrobe Changes

  • Posted: Mar 01, 2019

Drenched & Exhausted, Isner’s Multiple Wardrobe Changes

Big-serving American reveals what it took to reach Acapulco semi-finals

You may often wonder what players have in their bags as they walk out onto court. In the early hours of Friday morning, moments after beating John Millman 7-6(2), 6-7(4), 7-6(4), John Isner shed some light on the subject after he booked his place in the Abierto Mexicano Telcel presentado por HSBC semi-finals.

Shortly after 2:30 a.m. local time, the American explained, “I feel very tired, 2:30 in the morning. I think I went through 10 shirts, 14 hats, two shoes, three pairs of shorts and three pairs of socks.”

Isner grit it teeth and fired down 38 aces in the final match of the day, saving two set points at 3-5, 15/40 in the first set of his victory over eighth seed Millman over three hours and six minutes on Cancha Central.

The third-seeded Isner will now play Nick Kyrgios on Friday. The pair is even at 2-2 in his FedEx ATP Head2Head. “We’ve played a handful of times, I’ve seen his matches this week,” said Isner. “I’ve won a couple, he’s won a couple. He’s an incredible talent, everyone knows that. So it will be a fun match.”

You May Also Like: Blood, Sweat And Cramps: Kyrgios Defeats Wawrinka In Acapulco Thriller

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Mexican Open: Cameron Norrie reaches semi-finals, Johanna Konta out

  • Posted: Mar 01, 2019

Cameron Norrie reached the semi-finals of the Mexican Open but fellow Briton Johanna Konta was knocked out.

Norrie, the world number 64, beat American Mackenzie McDonald 6-3 6-2 to set up a meeting with German world number three Alexander Zverev.

British number one Konta lost 6-3 7-5 to Croatian Donna Vekic in Acapulco.

Australia’s Nick Kyrgios reached the semi-finals with a 7-5 6-7 (3-7) 6-4 win over Swiss Stan Wawrinka in a match lasting two and a half hours.

British number two Norrie, 23, said: “I was nervous. It was a big opportunity for both of us, but I played really solid today.

“I’ve got nothing to lose tomorrow and all the pressure is on [Zverev].”

Zverev, a 10-time ATP title winner, beat Australia’s Alex de Minaur 6-4 6-4 in the quarter-finals.

Australian Kyrgios followed up his last-16 win against world number two Rafael Nadal with victory over three-time Grand Slam champion Wawrinka.

Kyrgios, who overcame food poisoning to beat Nadal, was later accused by the Spaniard of lacking respect “for the public, the rival and himself”.

The majority of the crowd supported Wawrinka, while Kyrgios slipped and cut a hand early on and ended the match with cramp.

“I actually play better when the crowd is against me and giving me a bit of stink,” said the 23-year-old, who will play John Isner or John Millman in the next round.

“I’m extremely tired. I showed great resilience to come out and beat a player like Stan in some tough conditions.

“I knew I was going to be the underdog and the crowd was going to be in [his] favour, but I served great today.”

In the women’s draw, American Sofia Kenin beat former world number one Victoria Azarenka of Belarus 6-4 4-6 7-5.

Meanwhile, British number one Kyle Edmund reached the quarter-finals of the Oracle Challenger Series at Indian Wells by beating Czech Lukas Rosol 6-3 6-4.

Dan Evans also progressed with a 6-1 6-2 win over Colombia’s Santiago Giraldo.

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Blood, Sweat And Cramps: Kyrgios Defeats Wawrinka In Acapulco Thriller

  • Posted: Mar 01, 2019

Blood, Sweat And Cramps: Kyrgios Defeats Wawrinka In Acapulco Thriller

Isner to play Millman on Thursday

In a match that started with blood, ended with cramps and was filled with gripping drama for more than two-and-a-half hours, Nick Kyrgios outlasted Stan Wawrinka 7-5, 6-7(3), 6-4 on Thursday to reach the semi-finals at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel presentado por HSBC. Kyrgios will play fellow Aussie John Millman or third seed John Isner of the United States in the next round.

More to come…

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