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Relive Federer's final match ahead of documentary release

  • Posted: Jun 19, 2024

Only one day remains until fans can relive the final 12 days of Roger Federer’s career. On Thursday, FEDERER: Twelve Final Days will be released on Prime Video.

Academy Award-winning director Asif Kapadia and his co-director Joe Sabia provide unprecedented access into the end of Federer’s career, from insight into the former No. 1 player in the PIF ATP Rankings’ decision to retire to his final moments on court.

In anticipation of the documentary’s release, looks back at Federer’s final match at the 2022 Laver Cup.

The Swiss took to the court one final time alongside great rival Rafael Nadal.

The pair met 40 times in their legendary Lexus ATP Head2Head series and three more times in tour-level doubles matches. But this was their first time sharing the same side of the court in an official match.

“Some moments I was horribly nervous like before a big final, then some other moments I totally forgot about it because I was with the guys and we were joking. Classic goofiness comes through, and you forget about everything and have a good conversation. You forget that actually, ‘Oh, yeah, I’m about to play in 15 minutes’. That’s kind of how I always used to be,” Federer said after the match. “Thankfully in moments I totally forgot about it, slept great, everything was wonderful, I could enjoy it, I feel. And because of that I think I will be able to have a better recollection of how it went, because if it’s all just stress throughout and I want it to be only perfect, I know I will remember half of it.”


Team Europe’s Federer and Nadal lost the match — Team World’s Frances Tiafoe and Jack Sock defeated them 4-6, 7-6(2), 11-9. But fans will remember the emotions of the weekend more than the points that were played.

The two all-time greats shared an emotional moment together on their team bench.

“The match, yes, in itself, sure, is special, but it’s really everything that happened after because I wasn’t aware who was going to come to sing, what was going to happen, where I should go, what was expected of me, or how long it was going to go,” Federer said. “Then I guess looking around and seeing how everybody got emotional, obviously it’s even better, or even worse, I’m not sure what to say.

“That’s what I will remember — the faces I saw emotional, yeah. Rafa was one of them (smiling). I’m sorry.”

It was Federer’s retirement, not Nadal’s. But the Spaniard made clear how important the moment was for him, too.

“For me, it has been a huge honour to be a part of this amazing moment of the history of our sport, and at the same time a lot of years sharing a lot of things together,” Nadal said. “When Roger leaves the Tour, yeah, an important part of my life is leaving too because all the moments that he has been next to or in front me in important moments of my life.”


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Murray on Queen's Club retirement: ‘I hadn’t experienced that before’

  • Posted: Jun 19, 2024

Andy Murray retired from his second-round match at the cinch Championships against Jordan Thompson after five games due to struggles with his back. Afterwards, the Scot revealed how concerning the injury is.

“Obviously it wasn’t great. I have been struggling with my back for a while,” Murray said. “I had loss of power in my right leg. So loss of motor control, had no coordination. Yeah, couldn’t move.”

Dealing with the back was not new to Murray. The 37-year-old explained it was sore in the run-up to the Queen’s Club ATP 500.

“It was pretty sore in my match yesterday. Yeah, it was sore through today. But I was able to manage it. I wasn’t comfortable playing, but I was able to manage it,” Murray said. “During my pre-match warmup, I was pretty uncomfortable, and then I walked up the stairs just before going on the court, I didn’t have the usual, just normal strength in my right leg. It was not a usual feeling.

“I don’t know how many of you were watching, but the first two balls I hit in the warmup, my right leg, it was so uncoordinated. I had no coordination. Right leg just was not working properly.”

According to Murray, he has dealt with back problems for about the past 10 years. However, he had never experienced the loss of coordination, control and strength in his leg like he did Wednesday. In hindsight, he wishes he did not go on court for the match.

“I don’t know exactly what the problem is. I just know that this is not something — I hadn’t experienced that before,” Murray said. “[I have been] dealing with the back pain today, yesterday, and for the last 10, 11 years of my career, but I have never experienced that before. So I don’t know what the procedure will be or what to expect, really.”


It has been a tough year on the injury front for Murray, who hurt his ankle in Miami and missed two months because of it.

“Although the last few years might have seemed okay, it’s been hard, it’s been really hard on the body. Physically it’s been tough. A lot of days where it’s not been that much fun to train and practise and everything,” Murray said. “But, yeah, obviously I have tried to work through it and find ways to get on the court and compete at this level. But tennis is a really, really hard sport.”


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Zhang upsets Medvedev in Halle

  • Posted: Jun 19, 2024

Chinese No. 1 Zhang Zhizhen scored his second Top 5 victory Wednesday when he upset third seed Daniil Medvedev 6-3, 2-6, 7-6(5) at the Terra Wortmann Open.

From 3/5 in the third-set tie-break, Zhang won four consecutive points to stun the World No. 5 and become the first Chinese player to reach the Halle quarter-finals.

“A really tough match. Last time I lost a third-set tie-break [in Stuttgart last week]. And today again, a third-set tie-break. I was thinking, ‘Okay, it’s time. The perfect moment to get revenge’,” Zhang said. “I’m super happy that today I handled it to the end.”

The 27-year-old dropped six consecutive games from 2-2 in the second set but recovered a break deficit early in the decider to pull within striking distance. Zhang, whose previous Top 5 victory came against Casper Ruud at last year’s US Open, again fought off a challenge on serve at 4-5 in the third set, when Medvedev was two points away from victory.

The World No. 42 in the PIF ATP Rankings next faces American Christopher Eubanks, who ousted defending champion Alexander Bublik 7-6(5), 4-6, 6-3. It will be Zhang’s first Lexus ATP Head2Head meeting with Eubanks.

Medvedev fell to 28-9 on the season, with his best result being a final appearance at the Australian Open and in Indian Wells. The 28-year-old was aiming for his 10th consecutive ATP 500 quarter-final.

Earlier in Halle, Jan-Lennard Struff earned a dramatic victory against Luciano Darderi, converting his 10th match point to win 6-7(2), 7-5, 7-6(10) after two hours, 31 minutes. The Italian Darderi will rue letting slip a match point at 8/7 in the third-set tie-break.

Matteo Berrettini defeated American Alex Michelsen 7-6(5), 6-2 and Arthur Fils cruised past Dominik Koepfer 6-3, 6-4. Fils, 20, holds the top spot in the PIF ATP Live Race To Jeddah. The Frenchman is aiming for a return trip to the Next Gen ATP Finals presented by PIF, where he was a finalist in 2023.


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Korda overcomes Dimitrov to reach Queen's Club QFs, Murray retires

  • Posted: Jun 19, 2024

Sebastian Korda continued his impressive grass-court season on Wednesday at the cinch Championships, where he won a close second-round clash against Grigor Dimitrov.

The American, who is competing at a career-high No. 23 in the PIF ATP Rankings, battled hard to earn a 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 victory against the 2014 Queen’s Club champion.

“It was a big struggle. We were both serving well and waiting for our chances and there weren’t many. But when they came, I tried to take them,” Korda said. “It is incredible playing at Queen’s, it is one of my favourite tournaments.”

Korda was more consistent from the baseline than Dimitrov, committing nine unforced errors compared to 17 from the Bulgarian, according to ATP Infosys Stats. With his two-hour, one-minute win, the 23-year-old earned his seventh Top 10 victory and third on grass.

Korda, who reached the final on grass in ‘s-Hertogenbosch last week, now leads World No. 10 Dimitrov 2-1 in the pair’s Lexus ATP Head2Head series. He will next play Rinky Hijikata in the quarter-finals.

Five-time tournament champion Andy Murray retired five games into his match against Jordan Thompson. The former World No. 1’s movement was hindered.

Murray received a visit from the physio for treatment on his lower back and was unable to continue after Thompson took a 4-1 lead.

Taylor Fritz downed former No. 3 Milos Raonic 7-6(5), 6-4 after winning 81 per cent of his first-serve points.

The fourth-seeded American tallied four consecutive points from 3/5 in the first-set tie-break to gain an advantage on the Canadian, who was playing just his fifth tournament of the year. In Fritz’s second service game of the second set, he again dug out of a hole, holding despite a 0/40 start. The 26-year-old earned a decisive break at 4-4 and proceeded to hold at love, booking his spot in the last eight.

Australian qualifier Hijikata defeated Italian Matteo Arnaldi 7-6(0), 7-6(7) to reach his third tour-level quarter-final of the season.

The 23-year-old, who is making his debut at the ATP 500 event, showed signs of nerves in the closing stages of the second set, squandering five match points before eventually sealing victory on his sixth opportunity.

Hijikata is up 23 spots to No. 75 in the PIF ATP Live Rankings after reaching his second ATP Tour grass-court quarter-final. He advanced to the semi-finals in ‘s-Hertogenbosch last year.


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Marozsan recalls clash against 16-year-old Sinner before Halle showdown

  • Posted: Jun 19, 2024

In the final full week of January in 2018, Jannik Sinner played qualifying for an ITF World Tennis Tour event in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. Then 16, he had not yet earned a PIF ATP Rankings point.

Standing across the net in the second round was a Hungarian named Fabian Marozsan. The 18-year-old rallied for a 4-6, 6-2, 6-1 victory that day, and he has not faced the Italian since.

That will change Thursday when Marozsan plays new World No. 1 Sinner in the second round of the Terra Wortmann Open in Halle.

“I remember that I was going to play against an Italian player who was very young and I just saw the last game of his match. He played very fast, he was moving into the court and putting a lot of pressure on the opponent and I said, ‘Okay, it’s not going to be easy. But he’s still young, and maybe I have a chance to win against him’,” Marozsan recalled from their meeting in Egypt. “That was maybe my first or second year of the ITFs. I just started the Futures tournaments and I was still still a young player, but he was much younger than me.”


Thinking back more than six years to that encounter, Marozsan believed Sinner could be a “really good player, but not the No. 1”.

“But he was very, very talented,” Marozsan said. “He is moving really fast and well. He is very smart on the court and huge forehand, good backhand also. He has the good feeling with the balls and he’s a good guy so let’s see. I just want to enjoy and maybe use my chances if I have some.”

Now 24 years old, Marozsan has climbed as high as No. 36 in the PIF ATP Rankings. He has already sprung big upsets, including a stunner last year in Rome against Carlos Alcaraz.

Something that has helped the Hungarian is his improved mentality and the use of a “poker face”. Growing up, Marozsan would cry during matches or even throw his racquet. People in Hungary told him if he wanted to become a professional player, he needed to change and focus on the next point.

“It’s not easy because sometimes when things are not going in a good way, I’m that person who is showing the negative things. It’s not a good thing and I have to learn how to [hide] the face and how to keep calm a little bit and and show to everyone and of course to the opponent that I am still positive and believing in myself,” Marozsan said. “But sometimes it’s really hard and sometimes I’m missing this one because I’m showing the negative and the bad things. I’m trying to focus on this one.”

One advantage Sinner will have is his experience on the sport’s biggest stages. Although Marozsan has played seven Top 10 opponents (4-3) according to Infosys ATP Stats, centre court has not been his playground the way it has been for the player he called “the best at the moment”: Sinner.

“He feels like he’s at home because of the centre court, I never played here before. It’s a little bit difficult and different for me, so let’s see,” Marozsan said ahead of the pair’s first Lexus ATP Head2Head (tour-level) meeting. “I’ll try to believe in myself and keep my serve and probably I have a bigger chance here on grass to beat him or maybe just win one set. So we will see, I’m looking forward this one and I want to enjoy [it].”


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