2014/07/26

Top Seed Ferrer Ends German Teen Zverev’s Run in Hamburg

David Ferrer

David Ferrer

 

By Florian Heer

(July 19, 2014) HAMBURG – The 48-man draw in Hamburg has been whittled down to just four players, who stepped into action on Saturday for the semi-finals.

In the highly expected match of the day top-seed David Ferrer took on talented youngster Alexander Zverev, who is enjoying a breakthrough week in his home city. The 17-year-old German has already become the youngest player ever to reach the semi-final at an ATP 500 event but the world No. 7 was too strong in this match. Most of the longer rallies went in favour for Ferrer and Zverev was only able to win 50% of his first service points. The 32-year-old Spaniard served the match out in only 55 minutes winning 6-0, 6-1 and booked his place for his second final of season after he had taken the title in Buenos Aires.

“Today I played point by point and remained focused on my serve. When I won the third game of the second set, Alex lost a bit of his focus. He played a lot of matches this week. Maybe he was also a bit tired. Nonetheless, he will have a very good future. He has a very good service and plays in a pretty intelligent way,” Ferrer said.

“With every day more here in Hamburg, I gained more confidence with my game. In the first two matches this week, I only played well in some moments but yesterday and today I was more consistent,” said the Spaniard about his game.

“Taking on Leonardo will be tough for sure. He is playing a good week with a lot of confidence, even maybe his best tennis ever. I try to do my best in tomorrow’s final.”

Alexander Zverev

Alexander Zverev

“It was a great experience taking on a top ten player but David was simply too good for me today” Zverev said. “Nonetheless, I’m still proud that I reached the semis in Hamburg. I’m only 17, so I don’t think it is a shame to be within the last four at an ATP 500 event.”

The teen, who already knew that he will crack the top 200 with a place around 160 on Monday in the ATP World Tour rankings, said: “I hope that I can hold this level for Umag next week. So there won’t be a lot of time to celebrate, as I will fly to Croatia tomorrow for practice sessions in the evening,” the German teenager revealed.

 

Seventh-seeded Philipp Kohlschreiber went up against an in-form Leonardo Mayer in the first match of the day. Before Saturday’s match, the German had not been able to gain a single set against the man from Buenos Aires in two previous meetings and the match in Hamburg should not become an exception. Kohlschreiber lost his serve four times and two of the breaks he suffered took place at unpleasant moments for the German. The first occurred on set point in the twelfth game of the opening frame and the other one on match point in the tenth of the second set. After one hour and 28 minutes, Mayer sealed victory winning 7-5, 6-4 to advance into his second final of the year after Viňa del Mar in February but his first on ATP 500 level.

Consequently, the winner was in a good mood afterwards. “I’m satisfied with my performance today. My service worked very well and I played the points very fast. I’m very happy to reach the final here tomorrow, which will be a nice thing but also a difficult match,” Mayer said. “I beat Philipp two times before, so I knew how to play against him. It was also the revenge for the World Cup final Argentina versus Germany,” the Hamburg finalist laughed.

“Of course I’m disappointed that I couldn’t make it into the final today,” Kohlschreiber said. I tried everything but sometimes I just made the wrong decision. Leonardo made it very difficult for me to get into the match. He was very dominant on court today and it was very hard for me to read his service and his game in general. He put a lot of variety in his second service, which was well placed and with good speed. I think that this gave him the necessary confidence for his return games.”

“Nonetheless, I played a good tournament with some great matches and now I take a rest and in two weeks’ time I will play my last clay court tournament in Kitzbühel,” the 30-year-old German said about his future schedule.

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

Results for July 19, 2014

Singles – Semi-finals
[1] [WC] D Ferrer (ESP) d [WC] A Zverev (GER) 60 61
L Mayer (ARG) d [7] P Kohlschreiber (GER) 75 64

Doubles – Semi-finals

M Draganja (CRO) / F Mergea (ROU) d [4] J Murray (GBR) / J Peers (AUS) 61 63

SCHEDULE – SUNDAY, 20 JULY 2014

CENTER COURT start 12:30 pm
[1] A Peya (AUT) / B Soares (BRA) vs M Draganja (CRO) / F Mergea (ROU)

Not Before 15:00
[1] [WC] D Ferrer (ESP) vs L Mayer (ARG)

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Philipp Kohlschreiber Wins Düsseldorf Open

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(May 24, 2014) DUSSELDORF – In Saturday’s final at the Düsseldorf Open, top-seed Philipp Kohlschreiber and the tournament’s number seven Ivo Karlovic clashed for the fourth time on the ATP World Tour. The German advanced to his first final of the season after gaining back-to-back wins on Friday against Mate Delic and Denis Istomin. Düsseldorf debutante Karlovic reached his first clay court final in seven years through a straight set victory over Jiri Vesely yesterday.

The Croat led the head-to-head series between the two 2-1. All of the previous meetings took place on hard courts, with six of the eight sets the pair has played against each other have been decided in a tie-break. Kohlschreiber looked confident to avoid such type of a scenario today. The 30-year-old broke Karlovic’s service in the third as well as the fifth game through good returns and a couple of great passing shots. After only 27minutes, Kohlschreiber served the first set out in the eighth game.

In the seventh game of the second set, the German converted his third break point out of three but this time the 6’ 11” giant from Croatia broke immediately back and took the set into an expected tie-break. However, Kohlschreiber remained the dominant player on court and finally took the tie-break 7-4 winning 6-2, 7-6 in 72 minutes to gain his fifth ATP World Tour title.

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“In the first set I returned pretty well and so I was able to neutralize his service. Ivo had to work hard for his points, which he is maybe not used to,” Kohlschreiber analyzed afterwards.

“Ivo seemed to have some physical problems with his back but I think that this fact did not influence the quality of his services. I was just able to read his service pretty well today. Of course I also had some luck when I speculated for the right side during my return games,” the winner admitted and added that he will go to Paris by car today and drive on his own.

“I haven’t had a close look at the Roland Garros draw yet but I think that I’ll be seeded within the top 30, which means that you’ll get a top 8 player in the third round. To reach the second week at a Grand Slam is a great success and this will be my goal for this year in Paris as well,”

Kohlschreiber talked about his ambitions for his first major of the season, as he was forced to withdraw from the Australian Open at the beginning of the year.

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In the doubles final Martin Emmrich, who won last year’s title in Düsseldorf together with Andre Begemann, and Christopher Kas faced the tournament’s third-seeded pair of Santiago Gonzalez and Scott Lipsky. After their victory in Oeiras earlier this year, the US-American-Mexican combination took their second title of the season in Düsseldorf winning 7-5, 4-6, 10-3 after one hour and 34 minutes. It was their seventh victory as a team and so far the tandem has never lost a final.

Dietloff von Arnim

Dietloff von Arnim

“We had eight great days here with interesting matches in pleasant temperatures. In general we had better weather compared to last year. Players from 32 nations competed in the tournament and we had no injuries as well as no withdrawals, which is a positive aspect. Between 25,000 and 29,000 spectators attended the event, which means that we met our target. Our TV-partner Eurosport as well as the ATP are satisfied with our organization and gave us a very positive feedback,” tournament director Dietloff von Arnim said earlier in the day.

“Nevertheless, we have to say that we are still looking for a title sponsor to rely on our plans for 2015. We had first discussions with two interested parties and we are confident to present a partner for the next three years, so that we can also see tennis in Düsseldorf during this period,” von Arnim concluded.

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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Kohlschreiber to Meet Karlovic in Düsseldorf Open Final

Ivo Karlovic

Ivo Karlovic

By Florian Heer

(May 23, 2014) DUSSELDORF – On semifinals Friday, at the second edition of the Düsseldorf Open, ATP young shooting star Jiri Vesely met seventh-seed Ivo Karlovic for the first time. The 20-year-old Czech, who rose to a personal best No. 67 in the world rankings at the end of March, contested his first ever ATP World Tour semifinal. Karlovic has made it into the final four stage at a clay court event for the first time since Houston three years ago.

On Thursday, the Croat took out Düsseldorf’s defending champion Juan Mónaco in a tight match winning 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 and Vesely ruined Jürgen Melzer’s 33rd birthday party through a comfortable straight set victory in only 62 minutes.

Friday’s encounter should be a match dominated by the strong serves of both players. Nevertheless, Vesely had six break point opportunities in the opening frame, even one at set point, but wasn’t able to capitalize. In the unavoidable tie-break, Karlovic saved another set point and then eventually converted his only chance to take the first set after 61 minutes. Similar to what happened in the tie-break in the second set. Karlovic came back after being 0-4 down, saved two set points to eventually take advantage on his first match point and seal the victory with an ace winning 7-6, 7-6 in one hour and 55 minutes.

“It was a really close match today and I was down in both tie-breaks but I was able to get back to the right level and I’m happy to reach the final here,” Karlovic said afterwards. “Jiri is still very young and I believe that he will be an even greater player with more experience. I was totally focused in today’s tie-breaks, remained calm and that’s what paid off in the end,” Added the 35-year-old Croatian. Karlovic said he is looking forward to playing his second final of the season.

 

In the second semifinal, top-seed Philipp Kohlschreiber stepped into action facing Denis Istomin. Earlier the day, the German completed his quarterfinal match against Mate Delic, which was suspended due to darkness the night before, winning 7-5, 4-6, 6-1.

 

Kohlschreiber met Istomin for the fourth time and until today, he had never been able to gain a victory. The last defeat against the Uzbek took place in Munich only three weeks ago. On a sunny afternoon at Rochusclub, the 30-year-old German seemed to be highly motivated right from the beginning. Istomin lost his opening service game, which lasted ten minutes. The top-seed was in total control, dictated the rallies and consequently gained another break in the fifth game to serve the set out in the eighth. The world No. 57 from Uzbekistan, however, showed his efficiency in the second frame when he make the most of his only third break point to win the set in the tenth game.

Nevertheless, Kohlschreiber didn’t lose his focus, gained an early break in the fifth game of the final set to eventually serve it out after one hour and 54 minutes winning 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 to reach his first ATP final of the season.

“Of course I’m very happy and satisfied that I could break my negative series against Denis today,” said a relieved Kohlschreiber said afterwards.

“My focus is on tomorrow’s final now. It’s always something special and there is nothing greater than ending a week full of tennis by lifting a trophy. In particular as it’s a final in Germany and I’m really looking forward to it. Nonetheless playing against Ivo is always special due to his height. His services are his biggest weapon, it’s difficult to find a rhythm and you need to be aware of everything. It will be a totally different match compared to today’s encounter.”

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

RESULTS – FRIDAY, 23 MAY 2014

Singles – Semi-finals
D[1] P Kohlschreiber (GER) d D Istomin (UZB) 62 46 64
[7] I Karlovic (CRO) d J Vesely (CZE) 76(6) 76(7)

Singles – Quarter-finals
[1] P Kohlschreiber (GER) d [Q] M Delic (CRO) 75 46 61

Doubles – Semi-finals
[3] S Gonzalez (MEX) / S Lipsky (USA) d [2] J Murray (GBR) / J Peers (AUS) 64 75
M Emmrich (GER) / C Kas (GER) d J Brunstrom (SWE) / F Nielsen (DEN) 60 75
SCHEDULE – SATURDAY, 25 MAY 2014

CENTER COURT 1 start 12:00
[1] P Kohlschreiber (GER) vs [7] I Karlovic (CRO)
M Emmrich (GER) / C Kas (GER) vs [3] S Gonzalez (MEX) / S Lipsky (USA)

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Day Five Dubai Round-up – Federer Bests Djokovic in Three Sets

Roger Federer

Roger Federer

By Florian Heer

(February 28, 2014) DUBAI – Semi-final day at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships saw the tournament’s two most successful players, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer, go up against each other for a place in Saturday’s final.

The event’s theme “Stars will collide” became reality when both met for the 32nd time on the ATP World Tour with the Swiss leading their competitive head to head series by 16-15 before the match. The stands were fully packed when the players entered the stadium under floodlight, which created a special atmosphere. The match also started with some entertaining rallies, so that the crowd was in high spirits right from the beginning. Djokovic started with good length in his shots holding Federer back at the baseline. The defending champion capitalized on his first and only break point in the second game of the opening set to eventually take the frame in the ninth after 35 minutes.

In the second set, the Swiss again had to save break points in the fifth game before he was 30-0 up in the following when play was suspended for about five minutes due to drizzle in the desert at still about 20 degrees Celsius in the evening hours. So the match resumed quickly and Federer was wide awake and gained his first break of the match. Federer served out in the in the ninth game taking the match the distance. Djokovic struggled in his opening service game in the final set and double faulted at break point. The 17-time-Grand Slam champion was now able to play more aggressively, coming to the net as often as possible and so put a lot of pressure on the Serb. Federer broke a second time in the fifth game through great cross court forehand passing shot. The Swiss, obviously backed by the crowd, outplayed Djokovic at the end winning 6-3, 3-6 6-2 for the first time from a set down.

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic

“Novak got the crucial first break, which is always big when top guys play each other and he is better than anybody with the lead,” Federer said afterwards. “So I knew I was a bit in trouble and it wasn’t looking good at all because he has the tendency to really then run with it and then play more freely on his serve. For me it was just a matter of trying to play consistently but also remain aggressive. Sometimes I also tried to be a bit overaggressive and to see if it works out. If it doesn’t’, you can always pull back a little bit. Overall I’m just happy I was able to deliver a good performance,” the Swiss added and was also impressed playing in such a great atmosphere. “I think the fans just wanted to see a great match. I do not know what they were chanting if it was, Nole, Nole or Roger, Roger,” he laughed. “Maybe there were more fans of myself in the stadium or more for Novak but I think it was a very enthusiastic and polite crowd and it was a dream playing out there today,” Federer said.

Djokovic had to admit the today’s defeat. “Roger deserved to win. He played in the second part of the match better and was more aggressive and played all around the court really well,” the Serb stated. “I dropped my opening service game in the third set, which was quite a bad game for me. I started making a lot of unforced errors as well and just wasn’t able to move well. He felt that this is the opportunity and he used it. The momentum changed and he stated to make less mistakes but look, I lost to Roger and that’s not a bad loss,” Djokovic said and has left for Indian Wells without winning a title in the season for the first time since 2006.

 

Tomas Berdych

Tomas Berdych

Earlier in the afternoon number third seed and last year’s finalist Tomas Berdych opened proceedings on Centre Court against Philipp Kohlschreiber. The Czech had emerged victorious in seven of their eight previous meetings, including the last three in a row.

Yesterday the German became the 23rd active player to reach the landmark of 300 match wins on the ATP World Tour by beating Tunisian Wild Card Malek Jaziri. Kohlschreiber made an impressive start into the encounter, returning well and capitalized on his first break point in the opening game. It was only the second time during this week Berdych lost his serve. The German seemed to remain solid with his baseline shots until the last four games, in which the 30 year-old still only made three points. Consequently, the third-seeded Czech broke serve in the twelfth game taking the opening set in 38 minutes. The second frame should become an even one as well as until the twelfth game again, in which Kohlschreiber couldn’t hold serve and after 88 minutes Berdych converted his second match point to advance into the final for the second successive year in Dubai.

In the beginning of the match I probably forgot myself at the room and just came out right after. This was definitely not me,” the Czech stated about his bad start into the match. “Then I was ready and I took the first set. Basically the similar stuff happened in the second set. Philipp was very solid, didn’t give me much chances at all on his serve. Then I got one in the last game and I took it,” Berdych was happy with his performance.

Philipp Kohlschreiber

Philipp Kohlschreiber

Kohlschreiber, who actually played a fine match apart from the end of each set was still satisfied with his week in Dubai. “Overall it was a very great tournament. Today was also great to play in front of such a nice crowd. Nonetheless it takes for sure a couple of maybe minutes, hours to get over the loss,” Kohlschreiber said right after the match. “Today, the only chance I had for a break was at the beginning of the match but then over the time he put more pressure on me and I didn’t serve so well. I had to go over many second services and this makes it always tight against these top guys,” the German explained.

In Saturday’s final Federer is facing Berdych for the 18th time leading 11-6 in head to head record but the Swiss had to admit that the Czech beat him last year here in Dubai in a very convincing way.

In the doubles final the two top-seeded-pairs will meet for the title. Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic defeated Danield Brands and Florian Mayer in two tie-breaks and Rohan Bopanna and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi advanced by winning 6-2, 6-0 against Tomasz Bednarek and Lukas Dlouhy.

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

 

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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.

Kohlschreiber & Haas-001

“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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Top Seeds Advance in Melbourne Despite Extreme Heat Conditions

Nadal

(January 14, 2014) On a day which saw soaring temperatures, the Australian Open saw top seeds advance on day two of the tennis’ first major of the year. Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, Roger Federer,  Juan Martin Del Potro, Maria Sharapova and defending champion Victoria Azarenka  moved into the second round despite temperatures which went over 42 Celsius (108 Fahrenheit).

In addition to the heat, the tournament was beset by retirements, not linked to the heat – six in all which included top American John Isner (ankle) the 13th seed, 12 seed Tommy Haas (shoulder) and 21st seed Philipp Kohlschreiber who withdrew before play, Radek Stepanek (neck).

Nadal was only on the court for a set up 6-4 when his opponent Australian Bernard Tomic retired with a groin injury.

“I know how tough is this situation, I had the same a few years ago at this tournament,” Nadal said. “Since the beginning, I saw a little bit he had some problems on the leg.”

“It was sad,” Tomic said.  It’s unfortunate.  You know, this opportunity I had to play against Rafa was huge for me.  Could have used a lot of it.

“Unfortunately, I couldn’t compete.  It was very difficult for me to say sorry to the crowd.  I don’t think they quite knew what was wrong with me.”

Federer began his record 57th consecutive major tournament with a 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 win over Australian wild-card James Duckworth.

Just over a week after beating Federer in Brisbane, Former Lleyton Hewitt fell in his home slam in five grueling sets to No. 24-seeded Andreas Seppi of Italy

Men’s seeds advancing included No. 10 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, No. 11 Milos Raonic, No. 16 Kei Nishikori, No. 22 Grigor Dimitrov and No. 31 Fernando Verdasco.

On the women’s side No. 5 Agnieszka Radwanzka, No. 8 Jelena Jankovic, No. 10 Caroline Wozniacki, No. 11 Simona Halep,  No. 13 Sloane Stephens, No. 16 Carla Suarez Navarro, and No. 20 Dominika Cibulkova.

In the women’s upset of the day, No. 19 seed Svetlana Kuznetsova fell  6-3, 6-3 to Elina Svitolina.

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Dimitrov Recovers form to best Klahn at Australian Open

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Rafael Nadal Rallies Past Philipp Kohlschreiber to Gain US Open Quarterfinals

Nadal 89m1

(September 2, 2013) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Rafael Nadal  has improved his record on hard court his year to a perfect 19-0 with a 6-7 (4), 6-4, 6-3, 6-1 win on Monday night  over Philipp Kohlschreiber  in the fourth round of the US Open.

The world No. 2 from Spain, who won the US Open in 2010, was expected to play Roger Federer in a blockbuster quarterfinal, but will instead play fellow Spaniard Tommy Robredo who upset the Swiss in straight sets.

“You always pay attention a little bit to the scores in the other courts,” Nadal said.  “David was playing.  Tommy and Roger were playing.  So when you are in the changeovers, you see what’s going on.

“But I don’t put attention.  I just saw and that’s it.”

Nadal was asked if he was surprised that he and Federer had never played each other at the US Open: “For two times we were one point away.  For this time we were one match away.  But is always the same, no?  You make the confrontations before the draw.  When the draw is coming and in the first round you always talk about quarterfinals.  To be in quarterfinals you need to win four matches.  That not easy for nobody.  That’s a point that I say.

“When I see the draw, I think about my first round.  If I win, I think about my second.  That’s it.

“No, no, I don’t see the quarterfinals or the fourth round before the first round.  You know how tough is every tournament, every match.  In conditions like today is even tougher.”

Nadal spoke about Robredo’s comeback from a serious injury and all of the hard work his compatriot put in.

“We practiced in Barcelona before I fly to Viña del Mar, the first tournament in Chile.  I never had any doubt about Tommy.

“You see when a player is serious, when a player is ready to work, a player who feels the game and the passion, have the passion for the tennis.  The beginning, when he was coming back, he didn’t win lot of matches in Chile, in Sao Paulo, in Acapulco, I was talking with my coach.  I said, He will be there for sure at the end of the season because he’s ready to work and he’s a serious player.  The players who are ready for the work and are ready for fight the tough obstacles that the competition brings you are the players at the end of the season are in the best position in the rankings.

“What he is doing is great.”

Nadal has not had his serve broken the entire tournament and said that he was fortunate to keep the streak going against his German opponent.

“Four matches without losing the serve is great,” Nadal said.  “I don’t want to lie you.  Happy for that.  But I felt at the beginning today I didn’t serve my best.  But then in the next sets, I am very happy the way that I served.  I was able to win a lot of points and I start a lot of points in a good position.”

 

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Deja Vu All Over Again – Philipp Kohlschreiber Knocks Out John Isner Again in Third Round of the US Open

 

 

Philipp Kohlschreiber

Philipp Kohlschreiber

(August 31, 2013) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Not even support from the fans at Flushing  Meadows could help John Isner to a victory over Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber. The German beat the American again at the US Open in the third round on Saturday 6-4, 3-6. 7-5, 7-6(5). Last year the Germany also beat the American in the third round at the US Open.

Whereas Isner’s last match he complained about fans showing support for his French opponent Gael Monfils, this match there were chants of “U-S-A! U-S-A!” in the second set, and “Here we go, John! Here we go!” in the fourth set.

“I had a feeling that the crowd would be on my side today,” Isner said.” The crowd was fantastic, you know, cheering me on. I wished I could have done them a little better. What happened in my previous match had no bearing on today. How I acted out there wasn’t, you know, from my previous match against Monfils. That wasn’t why I was getting amped up too much.”

So how did the No. 22 seed beat Isner again at the US Open.

“I think it was also this year pretty close one,” Kohlschreiber said.  “Maybe I’m guessing a little bit, you know, taking the right corners.

“I think the only good thing is that I try to make him move a lot.  I don’t go for winners, or like with the first serve I try to have high percentage.  I think that’s one of the key moments that, yeah, I’m able to move him around.

“Maybe he doesn’t, yeah, like being pushed from corner to corner.  I don’t know.  I played very well today, and also last year.  It’s always tough, but it was like I said very good match for me today.”

John Isner

John Isner

As to how the German beat him again, Isner said:”Just a tough player. He’s very solid, and I thought he played a solid match today. You know, I let him off the hook there at the end of that fourth set. I felt like, you know, a lot of times I’d serve out a set and do so, but I didn’t. He played a good game, but I didn’t make any first serves in that 6-5 game. Tactically, I didn’t mixup my second serve enough against him, so he was able to camp out and know that it was pretty much going to his backhand. Looking back on it, I should have changed that.”

The German will have the daunting task of playing Nadal in the round of 16. “I think it’s going to be a total different setup for the match, more rallies, maybe less service winners,” he said.

“But I’m really looking forward.  You know, had some good matches against him, especially on hard court.  Basically I know a little bit how I have to play.  We don’t have to say he’s in pretty good shape winning almost, yeah, every match on hard court.

“So it’s going to be really tough, but I’m really looking forward to play on Ashe.  And I’m happy with my performance today.  I think I also will play a really good match against him.”

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