2014/12/20

Gemany Completes 4-1 win over Spain in Davis Cup

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By Florian Heer

(February 2, 2014) FRANKFURT, GERMANY – Final day of the first round Davis Cup tie in Frankfurt and Team Germany ran out of players for the last two singles matches. Only Daniel Brands was nominated to take on Roberto Bautista-Agut for the single dead rubber on Sunday. It was officially announced by Team captain Carsten Arriens that Tommy Haas, Florian Mayer and Philipp Kohlschreiber were injured. The spectators in the Fraport Arena answered with catcalls and the following match was played in a weird atmosphere.

Nonetheless the encounter between Brands and Bautista became an interesting affair with tennis on a very high level. In the end it was the German, who had the advantage in the decisive moments. Brands won the first set in the tie-break and gained the only break of the match in the tenth game of the second frame winning 7-6, 6-4 after 80 minutes.

 

“I tried to do my best and put some effort into winning one point for Spain,” Bautista-Agut said afterwards. “Nonetheless it was very difficult for me to go on court today. It was like having zero motivation, as we are still disappointed,” the Spaniard added. “All of our players gave their best but the German team was very strong throughout weekend,” Team Captain Carlos Moya said. “Of course we are disappointed as we wanted to win but there is still an opponent who also has a word to say and Germany played very well,” Moya stated.

Due to the missing third rubber, the German fans were also disappointed and as a consequence the president of the German Tennis Federation, Karl Altenburg, announced that there will be show match in Frankfurt in summer as a compensation for today’s ticket holders.

 

“I really can understand that the fans are angry,” team captain Carsten Arriens told the press after he had been barracked by the fans inside the arena. “I’ll think about the things, which happened in the arena in the next couple of days. We were really surprised by the reactions from the spectators and maybe we also underestimated the situation. Nonetheless I hope that the positive aspects from Friday and Saturday will remain the dominant facts for the fans. I do not want to embellish the situation but Tommy, Flo and Philipp did a great job the last two days and that’s what I want to point out. Unfortunately all three are injured,” Arriens tried to explain. “We had two fantastic days here in Frankfurt and I really want to thank the spectators for creating a great atmosphere and their support, it was something special for me, too, having the tie played in my hometown” the captain said. A very successful weekend for the German team has come to an end but today’s occurrences will probably leave a bland aftertaste.

Germany will play France the first weekend in April for a chance to make the Davis Cup semifinals.

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Doubles Team of Kohlschreiber and Haas send Germany to the Davis Cup Quarterfinals

Germany wins-001

By Florian Heer

(February 1, 2014) FRANFURT, GERMANY – Saturday in Frankfurt and in the morning it must have looked like climbing Mount Everest for the Spanish team to come back into this tie. In this competition the Iberians have never been able to recover from being 0-2 down after the first day and so Carlos Moya’s squad was forced to win the doubles rubber when David Marrero and Fernando Verdasco took on Philipp Kohlschreiber, who replaced Daniel Brands, and Tommy Haas.

It was the first time that the Spanish ATP World Tour Final Champions played as a team at Davis Cup. For the Germans it was also a new doubles team situation as doubles partners. For Kohlschreiber and Haas the longer the match took, the better both players found their rhythm as a team. In the first set, however, the Germans had a quite difficult start. Haas had to save set points in his service game to put the first set into a tie-break. Two magnificent shots from Marrero saved set points for the Spaniards but two double faults handed the Germans the opening set.

There were no break points in the second set and so again the tie breaker had to decide. Spain has already lost four tie-breaks during this weekend but were finally freed from a curse by winning this one 11-9 after one hour and 52 minutes.

Verdasco took more and more command on Spanish side, hitting baseline shots as hard as he could and eventually played another unavoidable tie-break in the third set almost alone. Before, the Spaniards were not able to capitalize on break points in the third game and consequently lost another close breaker 7-9.

So it became more and more difficult for the Spanish team to get back into this tie. The atmosphere at the Fraport Arena, filled with 5.000 spectators, was great for the home team, were the lucky ones to finally gain the first break of the match in the fourth game of the fourth set after three hours and eight minutes of play. It should become the decisive one.

Twenty-six minutes later, Haas served the match out in the ninth game giving Germany the victory by winning 7-6, 6-7, 7-6, 6-3. “The team presented themselves how it should be at a home game,” Carsten Arriens said.

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“It was hard work today but in the end it worked out for Tommy and Philipp today. I also had a lot of fun during the last two days on the bench,” the German team captain added. “It was great to be back playing Davis Cup,” Haas stated.

 “Carsten’s vision of having a doubles team with Kohlschreiber and Haas became reality today. It was a difficult match against two experienced players but I think that we harmonized quite well on the court today,” the German veteran said. “It also have to be mentioned that Tommy and I do not have a problem with each other,”

Kohlschreiber explained his relation to Haas. “I think sometimes it’s just the media, which needs something to write about,” Kohlschreiber said. “My match on Friday wasn’t that long, so I felt good to play the doubles today as well,” he added. The German team already celebrated their victory during the press conference by drinking champagne and announced that this will become a long night for them.

 

On the other hand, the Spanish team was disappointed. “It was very close today. There was only one break of serve in the entire match,” Moya said. “Similar to Feliciano yesterday, we had our chances but in the end we couldn’t capitalize on it. Nonetheless my team can be proud of themselves how they played today and hopefully next time the luck will be on our side,” the Spanish team captain added.

 

Germany will face an away tie against France in the quarterfinals and Spain has to play a second time in a row the Davis Cup World Group play-offs.

Florian Heer travels the tennis tour with a focus on ATP Challenger events and the ITF Future Circuit!  Follow his twitter account @Florian _Heer.

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Germany Takes a 2-0 Lead Over Spain in First Round of Davis Cup Play

Florian Mayer

Florian Mayer

By Florian Heer

(January 31, 2014) FRANKFURT – Germany and Frankfurt’s Fraport Arena with a capacity of 5.000 seats hosted five-time-champion Spain for the first round Davis Cup tie in the World Group. Although Germany holds a 9-6 record over Spain, their last victory is dated back to the year 1994. The Iberians had to accept the fact that their two top-players in Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer do not play, whereas the home team has been able to call up their probably best formation.

In the first rubber Philipp Kohlschreiber took on Roberto Bautista-Agut. The Spaniard is making his Davis Cup debut this weekend and is considered as a player, who feels comfortable on hard courts. The German suffered an injury in his thigh right before the Australian Open but has become fit for the Davis Cup. In Frankfurt both players met for the very first time. The German was dictating the match from the baseline and was the better player throughout the encounter. Kohlschreiber gained the first break in the fifth game of the opening set to take the frame in the eighth in only 26 minutes.

The world No.  27 from Augsburg outplayed his opponent in most of the rallies and was the more solid competitor in every situation. Kohlschreiber served well, hit some great returns and the Spaniard wasn’t able to find his rhythm at all. Consequently the German served the match out without facing a single break point winning 6-2, 6-4, 6-2 in one hour and 43 minutes.

“I played a great match today against an opponent, who came with a lot of confidence from Australia,” Kohlschreiber was happy. “I’m really satisfied with my match. Roberto seemed to have problems to read my service, which made it difficult for him,” the German said. The Spaniard seemed to agree. “Philipp played brilliant,” Bautista had to admit afterwards. “I wasn’t able to play my best tennis today. I was also quite nervous at the beginning. I was waiting for some errors from my opponent but Philipp didn’t really make a lot. So it became difficult for me,” the Spaniard analysed the match. “The surface also seemed to suit Philipp’s fast game,” Bautista added.

 

In the second rubber Florian Mayer took on Spain’s No. 1 Feliciano López. Before the encounter, the Spaniard held a 3-2 head to head record over Mayer.  The German took the first set in the tie-break and the Spanish team had to wait until the 11th game of the second set to gain their first break point of the tie – a wait lasting a total of three hours and 26 minutes. Mayer saved it and took the second frame in the tie-break as well.

The encounter was of highest quality with exciting rallies, great volley games and nice passing shots. López didn’t give up and eventually was the first player to get a break in the fourth game of the third set. The Spanish world No.  26 took the frame after two hours and twenty minutes in the seventh game. At crunch time in the 10th game of the fourth set, López saved two match points and took the momentum into the decider.

The 32-year-old from Toledo, however, couldn’t back his good performance in the beginning of the final set. One poor service game by López became the decisive one. Mayer, who fought for every point, gained the break and finally held his service until the end. The 30-year-old German closed the match out after three hours and fifty minutes winning 7-6, 7-6, 1-6, 5-7, 6-3 to give his country a 2-0 lead.

“I’m very pleased with my performance today,” Mayer was more than happy afterwards. “My match plan totally worked out to make points over his forehand and avoid his backhand slice. He really has a mean game,” the German laughed. “At the end of the fourth set I had to take some painkillers as I fell on my shoulder during one rally,” he said. “The shoulder is not broken but we have to see how it goes on for the rest of the weekend,” Mayer told about his injury.

On the other hand the Spaniards were understandably disappointed. “After the effort I made to come back being two sets down, I really thought that I could win the match but unfortunately I made some stupid mistakes in the fifth set,” López said. “Nonetheless Flo was a champion today and really deserved the victory,” the Spaniard stated.

Florian Heer travels the tennis tour with a focus on ATP Challenger events and the ITF Future Circuit!  Follow his twitter account @Florian _Heer.

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Defending Champion Andy Murray Moves into US Open Fourth Round

Andy Murray

(September 1, 2013) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY- Andy Murray, the defending US Open champion had a tight first set but then rolled over his opponent Florian Mayer 7-6(2), 6-2, 6-2. It was last year where he began the first man from Great Britain to win a major since 1936.

Murray moves into the fourth found with the win.

“I was struggling breathing for most of the match,” Murray said.  “I just went to the toilet.  It was quite a long set.  When it’s that humid, you tend to try and take on as much fluid as you can.

Murray will play Denis Istomin next. “Technically he’s very sound,” said the Scot.  “He’s a good player.  He hits the ball very flat.  He served extremely well today I think in his match.  I saw some of the stats at the end.

“Yeah, he’s played well.  He had a very good match with Novak in Montréal.  He’s had some good wins this week, as well.”

Tomas Berdych cincy

 

No. 5 Tomas Berdych routed No. 31 seed Julien Benneteau 6-0, 6-3, 6-2. The Czech has not lost a set so far this US Open.

“Today it was good,” Berdych said.  “It was a bit hot, a bit humid, but otherwise tennis was good, you know.

“Finally I managed to stay focused from the first point till the last.  You know, didn’t do any ups and downs, just took all my chances that I had, and win in straight sets.”

He’ll play Stanislas Wawrinka in the round of 16. Wawrinka beat Marcos Baghdatis 6-3, 6-2, 6-7 (1), 7-6 (7).

“He’s a great player, really strong player, powerful player,” Wawrinka said to Berdych.

“It’s always tough to play against him.  Usually we had some great battle together.  I need to adapt a little bit my game, because he’s so powerful, so I need to change a little bit.

“Yeah, you know, he’s not really happy to play against me.  He doesn’t like my game.  We practice a few times together.  I know if I’m if fit and if I play well, I have some chance.”

Lleyton Hewitt, US Open Champion 11 years ago is now in the fourth round of Flushing Meadows. He took out Russian Evgeny Donskoy 6‑3, 7‑6, 3‑6, 6‑1. It’s the first time since 2006, the Australian has made the fourth round of the US Open.

 

“I came out aggressive at the start and I played well right at the start to get up that early break,” Hewitt said.  “That was sort of the telling point for that first set really.

“I served a lot better today, as well; hit my spots well.  Even my second serve, whenever I was under pressure I didn’t give him too many chances to run around and take second cuts on my second serve, which was positive.”

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Tsonga Unhappy But Eases Through to Australian Open Third Round

Jo-Wilfred Tsonga at 2011 Sony Ericsson Open Players Party

Jo-Wilfred Tsonga at 2011 Sony Ericsson Open Players Party

By Jaclyn Stacey

(January 17, 2013)  MELBOURNE PARK, Australia – Seventh seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga fought through Melbourne heat to defeat Japan’s Go Soeda in straight sets 6-3 7-6(1) 6-3 in the first match of Australian Open day four on Margaret Court Arena ahead of a packed house.

 

With the mercury tipped to top 39°C (102.2°F) on Thursday at Melbourne Park, Tsonga clearly struggled with with the rising temperatures early on in the match. He became openly frustrated with his inability to get moving on the court and looked like he had just stepped out of the shower throughout the duration of the match.

 

The 2008 Australian Open runner-up needed just one break in the sixth game of the first set to claim the lead in the match.

 

He immediately went down a break at the beginning of the second set. He managed to break back with Soeda serving for the set at 5-3 30-40 by coming into the net and forcing his opponent to make the error. The set went to a tie-break which Tsonga rolled through to take a two sets to love lead in the match.

 

The final set played out identical to the first and Tsonga progresses into a third round meeting with either Australian wildcard James Duckworth or world number 93 Blaz Kavcic.

 

Tsonga said in his post match press conference that he was not happy with his performance.

 

“Well, I was not like in the good attitude for me. That’s it. And on the next match, like I said, I will

try to be a bit more aggressive, try to play more than my game than what I did today.”

 

On the soaring temperatures Tsonga said “Oh, it was hot today, of course. Was not easy because the ball was flying a lot because of the heat. You know, it’s like this. Anyway, you have an opponent, you have everything around, and you have to deal with it. That’s it.”

 

Tsonga reached the final of the Australian Open in 2008 losing to first time champion Novak Djokovic in four sets. When asked whether he feels closer to winning his first Grand Slam Tsonga said, “I did some good results already, but, you know, I want to join the next step.

It’s maybe to win one. Today I’m just working for that. I’m doing everything, you know, to achieve these things. So, yeah, I mean, I don’t have too much goals. The only goal is to play well in that kind of tournament.”

 

In other one day four men’s action Ricardas Berankis required only 77 minutes to defeat twenty-fifth seed Florian Mayer 6-2 6-3 6-1 and will play Andy Murray in the third round on Saturday.

 

Thirteenth seeded Canadian Milos Raonic defeated Czech Lukas Rosol in straight sets and will play 17th seed Philipp Kohlschreiber in the third round.

 

Jaclyn Stacey is a Melbourne based freelance journalist covering the Australian Open tournament as media for Tennis Panorama News.  Follow her Australian Open updates on @TennisNewsTPN. Follow her personal twitter @JackattackAU.

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Americans Blake and Sock Gain Second Round at US Open

 

James Blake

FLUSHING MEADOWS –  American “elder statesman” James Blake and the “new kid on the block” Jack Sock advanced to the second  round of the US Open on Monday.

In a rain interrupted match on Louis Armstrong, 32-year-old Blake defeated Lukas Lacko Slovakia 7-5, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.

“It’s a good feeling,” said Blake of the win.  “You know, every time I come back here it’s still sort of the goosebumps walking out on Louis Armstrong or Arthur Ashe.  I’m excited, and I get a lot of ticket requests.  I get to see my fans and friends having a good time.  That definitely keeps my spirits up, keeps my head up throughout the whole match.

“I can’t believe that it’s been I think 12 years I have been playing here just about every year.  You know, it still doesn’t feel normal.  It’s still an incredible feeling to be here and to be doing what I dreamed of as a kid.”

Blake  who is playing the tournament as a wildcard was asked about what it will take for an American like himself or John Isner to break through and make a run against the top three players.

“ I need to worry about one match at a time,” the 32-year-old Blake said.  “I can’t worry about quarters or semis or finals right now.

“I’m still kind of scratching to get through these matches and get my confidence back and feel like I’m ready to compete.  I don’t think that will change if I’m playing someone that’s 1, 2, or 3 in the world.

“I have been fortunate enough.  I am an elder statesman.  I have been around and have won a lot of matches.  I have beaten guys 1 in the world, I’ve beaten guys that are top 3, top 4, top 5 plenty of times.  There is no reason for me to go out there and play one of players those guys and be scared.

“I think it will take an unbelievable effort.  I will have to play my best tennis.”

Jack Sock led 27th seed Florian Mayer 6-3, 6-2, 3-2 when the German retired with an illness. “I think today is definitely good for the confidence and good for the overall game and everything going into the next round,” said the young American in his second-ever win at the US Open.

“I think my serve was definitely pretty reliable when I was down.  I was down Love‑30 once or twice, down Love‑40 once.  Came up with some good serves, first‑ball combos.  I think that was definitely some turning points, not letting him get a break and not letting him get some momentum back.

The 19-year-old loves playing on the Grandstand court. “ You can’t ask for a better tournament, a better atmosphere, a better environment,” sock said.  “That grandstand court was awesome.  The fans were pretty close and really into it.  It was a great environment.  I’d love to play on there again sometime.”

Jack Sock paired with Melanie Oudin last year to win the US Open Mixed Doubles title.

Karen Pestaina is covering the US Open as media for Tennis Panorama News. Follow her updates on twitter at @TennisNewsTPN.

 

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Murray, Ferrer, Kohlschreiber and Mayer through to Wimbledon Quarterfinals

WIMBLEDON – Andy Murray, David Ferrer, Florian Mayer and Philipp Kohlschreiber made their way into the Wimbledon quarterfinals on Tuesday.

 

In a rain delayed match carried over from Monday, No. 4 Murray defeated 16th-seed Marin Cilic 7-5, 6-2, 6-3 to gain a spot in the Wimbledon quarterfinals for the fifth straight year.

Murray spoke about all the stops and starts of  match due to the rain: “Yeah, it’s tough.  You know, I mean, obviously in matches you kind of can build momentum and build leads, and then when you stop, once you come back out again, you feel like you’re starting off from square one.

“But I did well today.  He started the third set well.  He had a few chances.  I came up with some big serves.  I served very well in the third set especially.

But, yeah, it’s never easy.  There were, what, three, four, three stops or something.  It’s not easy.”

“Today was one of my best matches in this court, sure,” Ferrer said after defeating No. 9 seed Juan Martin Del Potro 6-3, 6-2, 6-3.  “But I’m not sure if is my best or not.

“Of course, in this season, grass court, today it was the best match.”

Ferrer was asked if he felt strange about being the only Spaniard left in the tournament: “No, for me is not different.  I am focus only in the tournament.  Of course I prefer Rafael (Nadal) or another Spanish here with me because I am only with my team.

“But I am doing the same like if they are here, the more Spanish.”

Philipp Kohlschreiber put an end to the run of American Brian Baker who began Wimbledon in the Qualifying. Baker had been off the tour for seven years due to surgeries. The German defeated the American 6-1, 7-6 (4), 6-3 to gain his first major quarterfinal.

“Today I played perfect match,”Florian Mayer said after defeating Richard Gasquet 6-3, 6-1, 3-6, 6-2.  “I really played well.  First time in this tournament I felt no pressure going on the court.  I played a guy top 15 in the world.  He was the favorite.  I played with less pressures than the matches before and my performance was much better than the last two rounds.

“It’s an unbelievable feeling for me right now.  Eight years ago I was here in quarters, and now eight years later it’s again.  So it’s a wonderful dream for me.”

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Nadal Upset in Shanghai Rolex Masters Round of 16 by Mayer

Florian Mayer, GER, during French Open 2011 in Paris; 24/05/2011 – Foto: SCHREYER

 

 

 

By Abigail Hinto

SHANGHAI, China -  Visibly disappointed and calling his return of serve “terrible,” World No. 2 Rafael Nadal of Spain fell to Germany’s Florian Mayer at the Shanghai Rolex Masters on Thursday 7-6(5), 6-3.

Nadal told the media that he felt he was playing well, had a good “line” with his practice and playing since the US Open, and now it was “broken”.  Acknowledging Mayer’s good play,  Nadal was very disappointed with his return of serve especially off the first serve.  Winning only four points off of Mayer’s first serve, was “terrible.”

Mayer on his inspired play and ultimate victory,” it’s a really nice feeling. He’s such a great competitor on court. Yeah, for sure it is the biggest win in my career. Yeah, it feels really nice. I cannot actually believe it right now.
But, yeah, the tournament goes on tomorrow so I have to stay focused for the rest of the week.
“I’m serving very well. Mix it up with serve and volley.
“But the main thing is like five or six years ago I had some other problems after Wimbledon quarterfinals. The life at 21 years, it was so public, was tough for me. But now I’m ready for everything and I’m really enjoying it.”

Mayer gave credit to his improved results to his improved fitness “I just am maybe a little bit fitter mentally and physically. Maybe that’s 2% or 3% more. Yeah, it gives you a lot more on court.

 

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