2014/09/16

Rafael Nadal Wins Madrid Open After Kei Nishikori Retires

 

(May 11, 2014) Rafael Nadal is back on track for the clay season. World No. 1 Nadal won his fourth Madrid Open on after Kei Nishikori was forced to pull out of the match with a back injury with Nadal leading 2-6, 6-4, 3-0 in the final on Sunday.

“I’m very sorry for Nishikori,” Nadal said. The No. 1 Japanese player was leading the Spaniard 6-2, 4-2 when he first felt pain.

“He’s an unbelievable player that will fight to be in London (ATP World Tour Finals),” Nadal added. “I am sure of that. I really hope that the injury is not too bad and he will be able to compete in Roland Garros.”

“I suffered a similar situation in Australia this year,” said Nadal who lost this year’s Australian Open final to Stanislas Wawrinka. “So I know what I’m talking about and how bitter it is, especially when you’re playing an important match.”

Nishikori, 24, who was participating in his first Masters Series final, said that despite the injury he has a positive look at the future.

“There is a lot of confidence I get from this tournament by beating (Ferrer) in three sets and playing well in the final today. It’s going to be very exciting at (Roland Garros) because I never feel like this on clay. I’m very confident of whatever I hit going for winners. I can hit from either side – forehand or backhand – so it’s a very good feeling that I have on clay right now.”

The loss ended Nishikori’s consecutive win streak at 14. He has already withdrawn

The victory gives Nadal his 27th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title and his 63 ATP career title. Nadal now is alone in sixth place in tournament wins in the Open Era.

“Winning at home is always more special than winning anywhere,” said the 27-year-old. “Having the chance to play in front of your home crowd… is unforgettable for me. This city gives me a lot. This is a very important victory for me.”

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Maria Sharapova Rallies to Win Her First Madrid Open Title

 

(May 11, 2014) Last year’s Madrid Open bridesmaid is this year’s bride as last year’s losing finalist Maria Sharapova rebounded from being dominated in the first set 6-1 to claim her first Madrid Open title over Simona Halep, 1-6, 6-2, 6-3.

 

“What a week,” Sharapova said emphatically. “Last year I lost in the finals and I really wanted to go one extra step this year, and it’s just been such a fantastic week. Simona and I had played a couple of times before, but she’s really on a different level now. I don’t know how I pulled it off. In the first set I wasn’t doing much to hurt her, and that’s the tennis she’s capable of playing – I knew I had to do some different things after the first set to win this match.”
“I don’t have regrets because it was an amazing week for me and it was my biggest final,” said the Romanian Halep. “But I’m really happy that I could play the final here in Madrid. I played really well all week and I beat top players and I played a very high level of tennis. Maria is a great player and a great champion. She played really well, and I think she deserved to win this title. ”

 

“I don’t take any finals for granted, and every tournament means a lot to me,” Sharapova continued. “I came close last year, and I didn’t have a great first set today, but I knew it wasn’t over until the last point was played.”

 

For No. 9 Sharapova the victory marks her 31st WTA title of her career. It extends her current won streak on a lay court to 11. She also captured a tournament in Stuttgart this year.

 

She has now won 46 of her last 49 matches on clay, with all three of the losses coming to No. 1 Serena Williams.

 

The 27-year-old Russian will see her ranking rise to No. 7 and Halep will remain at No. 5. Next stop for both women on the tour will be Rome which began on Sunday.

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Nadal to Face Nishikori in Madrid Open Final

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MUTUA MADRID OPEN
Madrid, Spain
May 3-11, 2014
Clay/Outdoors

 

Results – Saturday, May 10, 2014
WTA Singles – Semifinals
(8) Maria Sharapova (RUS) d. (3) Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) 61 64
(4) Simona Halep (ROU) d. (5) Petra Kvitova (CZE) 67(4) 63 62

WTA Doubles – Final
(2) Errani/Vinci (ITA/ITA) d. (WC) Muguruza/Suárez Navarro (ESP/ESP) 64 63

Singles – Semi-finals
[1] R Nadal (ESP) d R Bautista Agut (ESP) 64 63
[10] K Nishikori (JPN) d [5] D Ferrer (ESP) 76(5) 57 63

Doubles – Semi-finals

[1] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) d [4] D Marrero (ESP) / F Verdasco (ESP) 76(3) 75
[6] D Nestor (CAN) / N Zimonjic (SRB) d J Cabal (COL) / R Farah (COL) 75 64

SCHEDULE – SUNDAY, 11 MAY 2014

NOTE: Doubles Final will stream live at 2:00 pm CET/8:00 am ET

MANOLO SANTANA start 2:00 pm
ATP – [1] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) vs [6] D Nestor (CAN) / N Zimonjic (SRB)

4:30 pm
WTA – [4] S Halep (ROU) vs [8] M Sharapova (RUS)

7:15 pm
ATP – [1] R Nadal (ESP) vs [10] K Nishikori (JPN)

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Tennis – Madrid Open Results and Schedule

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MUTUA MADRID OPEN
Madrid, Spain
May 3-11, 2014
Clay/Outdoors

 

Results – Friday, May 9, 2014
WTA Singles – Quarterfinals
(5) Petra Kvitova (CZE) d. (1) Serena Williams (USA) w/o (left thigh injury)
(8) Maria Sharapova (RUS) d. (2) Li Na (CHN) 26 76(5) 63
(3) Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) d. (Q) Caroline Garcia (FRA) 64 46 64
(4) Simona Halep (ROU) d. (11) Ana Ivanovic (SRB) 62 62

WTA Doubles – Semifinals
(WC) Muguruza/Suárez Navarro (ESP/ESP) d. (1) Hsieh/Peng (TPE/CHN) 57 63 108 (Match TB)
(2) Errani/Vinci (ITA/ITA) d. Medina Garrigues/Shvedova (ESP/KAZ) 76(7) 26 108 (Match TB)

ATP Singles – Quarter-finals
[1] R Nadal (ESP) d [6] T Berdych (CZE) 64 62
[5] D Ferrer (ESP) d E Gulbis (LAT) 76(3) 63
[10] K Nishikori (JPN) d F Lopez (ESP) 64 64
R Bautista Agut (ESP) d [Q] S Giraldo (COL) 63 64

ATP Doubles – Quarter-finals

[1] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) d M Fyrstenberg (POL) / M Matkowski (POL) 76(4) 63
[4] D Marrero (ESP) / F Verdasco (ESP) d [8] R Bopanna (IND) / A Qureshi (PAK) 76(5) 76(6)

SCHEDULE – SATURDAY, 10 MAY 2014

MANOLO SANTANA start 11:30 am
WTA – [5] P Kvitova (CZE) vs [4] S Halep (ROU)
Not Before 1:00 pm
WTA – [3] A Radwanska (POL) vs [8] M Sharapova (RUS)
Not Before 3:30 pm
ATP – [1] R Nadal (ESP) vs R Bautista Agut (ESP)
Not Before 7:00 pm
ATP – [10] K Nishikori (JPN) vs [5] D Ferrer (ESP)
WTA – Doubles Final – [WC] G Muguruza (ESP) / C Suarez Navarro (ESP) vs [2] S Errani (ITA) / R Vinci (ITA)

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Serena Williams Pulls Out of Madrid Open

 

Serena in press 3

(May 9, 2014) Two-time defending Madrid Open champion Serena Williams has withdrawn from the tourney with a left thigh injury. All week the world No. 1 has had her thigh heavily taped. With her withdrawal, Petra Kvitova advances to the semifinals.

“I have a left thigh injury and, unfortunately, have to withdraw from this year’s Mutua Madrid Open,” Williams said in a statement. “It happened during my first round match. It started to get better, but most importantly right now, I just need some time to rest and recover. It’s beyond words. It’s so frustrating. We couldn’t ask for a better tournament and I love it here in Madrid. I love being a champion here. Manolo Santana and his team put on a great tournament. This is not the way I wanted this week to end.”

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Quotable Quotes: Rafael Nadal defeats Stanislas Wawrinka in Madrid

 

Rafael Nadal

 

By Tumaini Carayol

(May 12, 2013)In one of the most unsurprising finals of 2013, Rafael Nadal triumphed 6-2, 6-4 over Stanislas Wawrinka in Madrid to lift the second masters title of his stunning return to tennis, winning his fifth tournament in the seven outings since his return.

Nadal on his victory:

 

“I don’t expect anything.  If I expect is the most difficult thing when I go out there and play a match. In this case what I expected was to go out there and try and do it and do what I like to do, what I want to do before I go out there in the match. I’m very happy.  I think I did a really good match.  I think I played the best match of the whole week today in the final.”

 

Nadal on his tactics:

“I managed to do what I was thinking to do before starting the match.  It’s always difficult.  I (planned) to go out there and (hit my forehand well), you know, to smack it hard, and try to win many points with my forehand.

Afterwards with my backhand I was trying to, you know, not to play down-the-line. I was trying to play balls up there in the middle, deep balls, because I knew that those balls were the right ones.  If I played that way then he didn’t have the right angle.  He has some pretty good angles with his drive and his backhand.”

 

Nadal on the importance of Madrid:

“For me it’s a moment not to talk about Roland Garros.  It’s a moment just to be happy with what I have achieved right now in Madrid, in Barcelona, and Monte‑Carlo.

In this moment nowadays I am just happy to have what I did today and win an important tournament such as Madrid.  To think this is a warmup to Roland Garros, that’s wrong.  It’s not a warmup.  I give my maximum level.

For me this tournament means a lot, the same as Monte‑Carlo and Barcelona.  I just give it the maximum importance.  At home, even more important.”

 

Wawrinka on his condition:

 

“For sure I was not feeling that well and maybe not 100% physically and mentally, so then it’s really tough to play.  And even if I’m playing my best tennis and completely fresh, it’s really, really tough to beat him.

If you’re not completely there then he’s killing you, like he did at the beginning of the match.  It was tough for me.  The ball was flying.  It was different conditions”

 

Wawrinka on starting work with Magnus Norman:

“He was No. 2 in the world and make so many big results.  He was amazing player and did a great job with Robin Soderling to get him to the No. 5 in the world.

We just start.  It’s the first week in tournament with him.  I think we did a good job this week.  I’m really happy with how we work together.  I’m really looking forward for the rest of the year with him.”

 

Both will immediately head to Rome as the clay season grind continues.

 

Tumaini Carayol was Madrid covering the Madrid Open for Tennis Panorama News. He is a contributing writer at On The Baseline, and writes about professional tennis at his site Foot Fault.

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Djokovic Falls to Dimitrov in Second Round of Madrid

Grigor Dimitrov

Grigor Dimitrov

By Tumaini Carayol

(May 7, 2013) MADRID – Under the burning lights and brash crowd of the Manolo Santana court, Grigor Dimitrov finally justified his “showtime” moniker, stealing the show by capturing the greatest victory of his career in a mammoth 7-6(6), 6-7(8), 6-3 victory over the world No. 1, Novak Djokovic at the Madrid Open on Tuesday evening.

From the beginning, the Bulgarian made his presence known as he complemented strong, assured serving with a steady flow of typically silky forehand winners. The first set would showcase a struggle for the upper-hand as the contest remained on serve though the underdog held the upper hand.

A set point presented itself for Djokovic at 4-5, but the opportunity quickly escaped. Once again, Djokovic found himself up 6-4 in the tiebreak, before some majestic play flipped the script and left the world No. 1 reeling as a young pretender stole the set.

The second act was defined by two incidents. At 7-6, *4-2, 30-40, Djokovic slipped and hurt his injured right ankle.  A medical timeout followed as the crowd booed mercilessly. As he returned and ran freely, the boos and whistles rose as the crowd began to chant Dimitrov’s name.

The second incident occurred at 5-5 deuce Dimitrov predictably began to cramp. The Bulgarian hobbled into the tiebreak, and as his mobility returned, he pressed furiously for a straight sets victory, but failed.

In stark contrast to the prior two sets, the third set fell flat as Dimitrov broke in the opening game before marching on to victory.

Though undeniably angry, Djokovic was quick to praise his opponent afterwards.

“Well, he was the better player. The better player won the match, no question about it. You know, I could have played better. You know, I had my chances. I was fighting until the end, so that’s a positive thing. I always try to give my best in these moments, and he was the better player. I congratulate him. He played great tennis and he deserved to win.

The world No. 1 was, however, quick to mention the ankle injury he sustained during Davis Cup and left him without proper preparation.

“Well, for 12 days after Monte‑Carlo I haven’t touched the racquet. I didn’t know up to Saturday if I’m going to come here or not because of the ankle.

“But in the end, you know, I made the decision to come because I like to play in this tournament. You know, maybe could have been different; maybe not. Now it’s too late to think about what I decided.

Meanwhile, Dimitrov was ecstatic in victory.

“Of course it’s always great to win a match like that. Of course he’s the No. 1. Of course it’s a great feeling.”

“But it’s just the beginning of the tournament. It was just second round if you think about it, so just got to get ready for the next matches and make sure that you can do that again.”

Tumaini Carayol is in Madrid covering the Madrid Open for Tennis Panorama News. He is a contributing writer at On The Baseline, and writes about professional tennis at his site Foot Fault. Follow his tournament updates on @TennisNewsTPN and his personal twitter @TumCarayol.

 

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Lucky Loser Keys Stuns Li Na in Madrid

Madison Keys

Madison Keys

(May 5, 2013) MADRID – American teen Madison Keys, who lost in the qualifying of the Madrid Open, benefited from the withdrawal of Tamira Paszek to get back into the tournament as a lucky loser. The “lucky loser” became a winner on Sunday when she upset No. 5 Li Na 6-3, 6-2 in the first round, getting a call 10 minutes before match time that she would play.

“I had practiced really early this morning and then kind of sat around waiting all day,” Keys said to media.

“And then like 10 minutes before the match I got a text message saying ‘yeah you’re going on so go get ready’.”

“Just having no idea and then all of a sudden I was excited and the adrenalin was going and all that,” she said.

“I just kind of started playing and felt really good and I was able to win.

“Not overthinking it all day and sitting around and kind of worrying about it I think really helped.”

For Keys, it was her first win over a top 5 player.

Defending Madrid Open champion Serena Williams came back from a 1-3 deficit in the first set to defeat Kazakh qualifier Yulia Putintseva 7-6(5), 6-1.

“Yulia and I train sometimes at the same facility, the Mouratoglou Academy in France – I see her around a lot and see her working really hard,” Williams said. “Honestly, I obviously have to – and want to – play better as each match goes on here. I felt a little sluggish out there today, but I’m happy I won.”

After last year’s controversy over the blue clay, this year it’s back to red in “I think these clay courts are really good,” Williams said. “I think they’re a little bit faster than the ones I was practicing on in Paris. For me, that’s always a good sign.”

“I’ve been in Europe for a little over a week; maybe a week and a half. Not super long, but not long enough. I was training in Paris for a few days and I just came to Madrid a couple days early.”

 

MUTUA MADRID OPEN
Madrid, Spain
May 4-12, 2013
Red Clay/Outdoors

Results – Sunday, May 5, 2013
Women’s Singles – First Round
(1) Serena Williams (USA) d. (Q) Yulia Putintseva (KAZ) 76(5) 61
(4) Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) d. Tsvetana Pironkova (BUL) 62 64
(LL) Madison Keys (USA) d. (5) Li Na (CHN) 63 62
(6) Angelique Kerber (GER) d. Hsieh Su-Wei (TPE) 36 63 62
(8) Petra Kvitova (CZE) d. Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) 46 75 64
Yaroslava Shvedova (KAZ) d. (10) Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) 62 64
(11) Nadia Petrova (RUS) d. (Q) Camila Giorgi (ITA) 63 46 64
Varvara Lepchenko (USA) d. (12) Roberta Vinci (ITA) 61 16 62
(13) Maria Kirilenko (RUS) d. Klara Zakopalova (CZE) 63 21 ret. (asthma)
(14) Marion Bartoli (FRA) d. Elena Vesnina (RUS) 63 30 ret. (lumbar spine injury)
(15) Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) d. (Q) Lesia Tsurenko (UKR) 63 62
(16) Ana Ivanovic (SRB) d. (Q) Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA) 67(10) 63 62
Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) d. Lucie Safarova (CZE) 62 75
Sorana Cirstea (ROU) d. Ayumi Morita (JPN) 30 ret. (left abductor strain)
Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) d. Zheng Jie (CHN) 62 63
Kaia Kanepi (EST) d. Flavia Pennetta (ITA) 63 67(6) 62
(Q) Chanelle Scheepers (RSA) d Jelena Jankovic (SRB) 67(1) 63 63
(Q) María-Teresa Torró-Flor (ESP) d. Francesca Schiavone (ITA) 62 75
(WC) Anabel Medina Garrigues (ESP) d. (LL) Stefanie Voegele (SUI) 63 63

Women’s Doubles – First Round

Dekmeijere/Kalashnikova (LAT/GEO) d. Goerges/Shvedova (GER/KAZ) 75 63
Husarova/Lisicki (SVK/GER) d. Raymond/Robson (USA/GBR) 75 61

 

Men’s Singles – First Round
[WC] P Andujar (ESP) d [10] M Cilic (CRO) 67(6) 64 61
[16] G Simon (FRA) d J Benneteau (FRA) 26 75 63
F Verdasco (ESP) d D Goffin (BEL) 76(2) 62
J Chardy (FRA) d H Zeballos (ARG) 64 76(3)
R Stepanek (CZE) d B Tomic (AUS) 63 62

Order Of Play – Monday, May 6, 2013

MANOLO SANTANA start 10:50 am
C Suarez Navarro (ESP) vs [9] S Stosur (AUS) – WTA
[Q] A Dulgheru (ROU) vs [2] M Sharapova (RUS) – WTA
Not Before 3:15 PM
F Lopez (ESP) vs D Gimeno-Traver (ESP) – ATP
[Q] T Kamke (GER) vs [11] N Almagro (ESP) – ATP
Not Before 8:00 PM
[3] V Azarenka (BLR) vs A Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) – WTA
Not Before 9:30 PM
G Dimitrov (BUL) vs [WC] J Marti (ESP) – ATP

ARANTXA SANCHEZ VICARIO start 11:00 am
K Mladenovic (FRA) vs [WC] S Soler-Espinosa (ESP) – WTA
Not Before 1:00 PM
[14] K Nishikori (JPN) vs J Melzer (AUT) – ATP
[12] M Raonic (CAN) vs N Davydenko (RUS) – ATP
J Isner (USA) vs [Q] G Garcia-Lopez (ESP) – ATP
J Janowicz (POL) vs S Querrey (USA) – ATP

STADIUM 3 start 11:00 am

[6] A Kerber (GER) vs A Cornet (FRA) – WTA
Not Before 1:00 PM
K Anderson (RSA) vs [Q] J Levine (CAN) – ATP
S Cirstea (ROU) vs [7] S Errani (ITA) – WTA
L Robson (GBR) vs [4] A Radwanska (POL) – WTA
[Q] R Haase (NED) vs A Dolgopolov (UKR) – ATP

PISTA 4 start 11:00 am

[Q] C Mchale (USA) vs S Peng (CHN) – WTA
[LL] M Matosevic (AUS) vs F Mayer (GER) – ATP
D Bracciali (ITA) / F Fognini (ITA) vs J Knowle (AUT) / F Polasek (SVK) – ATP
F Mayer (GER) / A Seppi (ITA) vs D Marrero (ESP) / F Verdasco (ESP) – ATP

PISTA 5 start 12:00 pm
[Q] X Malisse (BEL) vs D Istomin (UZB) – ATP
Not Before 2:00 PM
M Melo (BRA) / M Youzhny (RUS) vs J Chardy (FRA) / L Kubot (POL) – ATP
D Cibulkova (SVK) / L Huber (USA) vs S Kuznetsova (RUS) / F Pennetta (ITA) – WTA

PISTA 6 start 12:00 pm
H Chan (TPE) / O Govortsova (BLR) vs [Alt] S Arvidsson (SWE) / J Larsson (SWE) – WTA
Not Before 2:00 PM
[7] S Zhang (CHN) / J Zheng (CHN) vs K Mladenovic (FRA) / G Voskoboeva (KAZ) – WTA-After Suitable Rest
D Jurak (CRO) / K Marosi (HUN) vs V Lepchenko (USA) / A Rodionova (AUS) – WTA

PISTA 7 start 2:00 pm
[WC] A Cornet (FRA) / F Schiavone (ITA) vs C Black (ZIM) / M Erakovic (NZL) – WTA-After Suitable Rest
[5] B Mattek-Sands (USA) / S Mirza (IND) vs D Hantuchova (SVK) / A Medina Garrigues (ESP) – WTA

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Federer Pushes Past Ferrer to Gain Madrid Semis

Roger Federer moved past David Ferrer 6-4, 6-4 to reach the Madrid Open semifinals. Federer will be playing Janko Tipsarevic in the semifinals on Saturday. Tipsarevic stunned countryman Novak Djokovic 7-6(2), 6-3.

In his post-match news conference, Federer was asked if he would not play the tournament if the blue clay returns to Madrid next year as Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal have threatened to do: If you want to be a good clay court player, you must be able to play everywhere,” said Federer.

“Madrid has taken a gamble with blue clay. It’s always a little different here because of the altitude and we must sit down with the other players to discuss it.

“It is slippy, there’s no doubt about that but that has been the case here for a few years. They haven’t yet found the perfect balance. Our job each day is to adapt to the conditions that we face.”

Federer has improved his 2012 record to 24-3.

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Blue Clay Blues – Part Four

Wednesday’s player quotes about the blue clay courts being used at this year’s Madrid Open:

Rafael Nadal

I played much better than I expect…the (blue) court … doesn’t make you feel comfortable. It’s difficult, hard to attack and come back to defend. You just have to try and adapt.

 

I can’t play with grass shoes, we play with what we have to. We have to adapt.
The court is a difficult court, it’s very slippery and it makes supporting movements and getting back to defend very tough.

 

But the only thing we can do now is turn the page and we are not going to get the red courts back tomorrow so we have to adapt to the blue courts and the conditions as well as possible and hope for a change next year.

 

David Ferrer

Well it was a little bit difficult to adapt at the beginning but it’s normal, it’s the first match. It’s always difficult. Then I won the first set by a small margin. In the second one I was able to play more calmly and better and I’ve left with good feelings in the end.

 

The court is a little bit slippery but they are doing everything they can to stop it being that slippery. This is something we all know and there’s nothing to say about it.

 

I don’t think it is a matter of criticizing, we are just saying what there is. I don’t know exactly what Novak said, I’m just saying that it is a little bit slippery and they are trying to do everything they can to fix it. I have talked to Manolo and Carlos Moyá and I know that they are trying to solve it and that they are looking for solutions. So, what you can do? It’s not a matter of criticizing, it’s a matter of going into the court and trying to play as well as possible.

 

John Isner

Most of the time the ball bounces higher on clay which is good if you’re tall. I guess the one difficult thing for taller players is getting out of the corners and when you get put out wide, getting back over to the middle….. especially on these courts it’s pretty tough to play defense. I think clay is a good surface for me. I just didn’t play particularly well today. That has nothing to do with the courts, I just didn’t play well.

 

Milos Raonic

Milos Raonic

I call it surf clay, some call it Avatar. It’s ok, it’s different. Quite a bit different from red clay.

 

 

Roger Federer photo by Matthew Stockman of Getty Images

Roger Federer

 

It was slippery at the back. I didn’t have much confidence.

These are some of the fastest courts on tour, I expected that a few shots would decide the match, that’s what it was like back in the days of (Pete) Sampras, (Boris) Becker and (Stefan) Edberg.

 

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