2014/09/19

Another Super Saturday Shocker as Marin Cilic Beats Roger Federer to Reach US Open Final

 

(September 6, 2014) Super Saturday at the US Open had its second shocker of the day when No. 14th seed Marin Cilic used his big serve and big strokes to dominate No. 2 seed Roger Federer 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 to reach his first major final.

The match followed the first surprise of the day when No. 1 Novak Djokovic was upset 6-4, 1-6, 7-6 (4), 6-3 by Japan’s Kei Nishikori.

Monday’s final will feature two players in their first major final – 24-year-old No. 10 Nishikori versus 25-year-old No. 14 Cilic.

“Just an amazing day for me. I feel amazing,” Cilic said. “To be able to play like this, I never dreamed of.”

“Just for the performance today from, I mean, first point to the last I was absolutely playing the best tennis of my life,” Coloc said in press.. “Considering the huge occasion I was playing in, I mean, for the second time in a semifinals of a Grand Slam, it just can’t be more special. Considering also that, you know, even I was a set up and break up, you know, the crowd was rooting for Roger to come back. You know, it wasn’t easy to deal with that, but I felt that my serve helped me a lot today, you know, to get some free points to breathe a little bit easier. It was, I mean, working perfectly.”

“It’s fairly simple: I think Marin played great,” Federer said. “I maybe didn’t catch my best day, but I think that was pretty much it in a nutshell.”

“I think he served great when he had to,” Federer said. “I think the first break was tough. I think was up 40-Love and then lose five straight points, and then had one chance in the third when I was up a break and he came straight back. Those are my two moments really. But credit to him for just playing incredible tennis.”

The Monday final will mark the first time since the Australian Open final in 2005 that neither Federer, Rafael Nadal or Djokovic is in a grand slam final.

“That’s going to be a sensational day for both of us,” said Cilic about his match against Nishikori.

This marked the first time Cilic has beaten Federer, the Swiss won on the five previous occasions.

Cilic is the first man from Croatia to reach a grand slam final since his coach Goran Ivanisevic won Wimbledon back in 2001.

“Well, it’s gonna be special day for both of us,” said the Croat. “I mean, opportunity for both of us to win a Grand Slam, to be a part of the history. It’s gonna be definitely huge emotions on the court. And we played couple times already here at the US Open. Both of those matches were extremely tough under very difficult conditions. I feel that, I mean, we have both different game styles. I mean, Kei is extremely well — I mean, he hits the ball extremely well from the back of the court. I think I’m going to have to just focus on my game to break that a little bit of rhythm and to try to serve well. I think it’s gonna be a good sort of tactical matchup for the final.”

 

 

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Roger Federer Saves Two Match Points to Reach US Open Semifinal

 

 

 

(September 4, 2014) No. 2 seed Roger Federer saved two match points while coming back from two-sets to love down to defeat 20th seed Gael Monfils 4-6, 3-6, 6-4, 7-5, 6-2 on Thursday night and reach the US Open semifinals for the first time in three years.

For the first two sets, the 33-year-old veteran had no answer to a focused Monfils hard-hitting Frenchman, nor did he have an answer for dealing with the windy conditions in Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Federer began to dig out of a two sets down hols in the third set. The five-time US Open winner survived two match points when he was down 5-4 in the fourth set. He won five games in a row to take the fourth set and gain majors momentum in the fifth set where Monfils’ level of play took a precipitous drop.

“Well, then it was tough, because I think then my serve was not good, so it let me a bit down again at 5-All,” Monfils said. “I think maybe I hit a double fault. I think I had a point for 6-5 and could not really quite use my serve. I think the side I was was tougher because it was against the wind, so it was a bit tougher. Then rush me with his long return, so it was very tough. But then he play good. He played good. He had the set. Then physically I had a drop, five minutes. But maybe come from mentally also, because I thought that I could have play better this fourth set. For five minutes I think I had — I was a little bit, yeah, tired and mentally also tired. So then it came quick. I think then he start to be very offensive. So then it was very tough to handle it.”

Federer was asked about how he survived his match to come back and win.

“Well, it was one of those moments where you got the back against the wall and hope to get a bit lucky and you hope to play exactly the right shots that you need or that he completely just messes it up,” Federer said. Either way works as long as you get out of it. But clearly it’s not a great feeling, because you feel it’s not in your control anymore really. So I’m very, very happy to have found a way tonight.”

“I was like saying to myself, Keep it simple, you know, and try to make him play them,” Monfils discussing having two match points. “Because I knew that he will force it, like he will put the first ball in and then for sure come to the net very quick. So it was more like, you know, I be relax and just lean a bit more on my forehand return and try to make it. And then we just played those two points, and, you know, well done.”

“It’s just unbelievable to win matches like this at slams,” Federer continued. “You know, I have won other big ones in other places. But over best of five, saving match points against Gaël in an atmosphere that it was out here tonight, it’s definitely very special. I’m. Not sure I have ever saved match point before in a slam. If that hasn’t happened, I’m unbelievably happy that it was today, because I knew I could play better after the first couple of sets. I believed I could turn it around from the get-go when the third set started, and I’m so happy the crowd got into it. The rallies were incredible at times, and my game really picked up. I served great in the fifth when it mattered, and just overall an enjoyable match also to play, because it had all the ups and downs similar to the Wimbledon final.”

This was the ninth time Federer has won a match after dropping the opening two sets down, eight of them at majors.

The victory will move Federer ahead of Rafael Nadal for the No. 2 spot in te ATP race.

Federer will take on Marin Cilic in his semifinal on Saturday afternoon.

 

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Roger Federer Moves into US Open Quarterfinals for the Tenth Time

Federer fistpump

(September 2, 2014) FLUSHING MEADOWS – Five-time champion Roger Federer has reached the US Open quarterfinals for the 10th time in 11 years beating Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 in Tuesday’s night session.

The win boosted Federer’s record at the US Open to 71-9 tying him with Pete Sampras and Bill Tilden for fifth place in match wins at the tournament.

Just a year ago, the current No. 2 seed Federer fell to 17th seed Bautista Agut’s countryman Tommy Robredo at this stage.

Federer made a big effort to come to the net against the Spaniard.

“I’m happy I’m able to come forward now because coming to net requires a lot of agility and explosivity and all that stuff – and I have it back,” said Federer. “I’m happy I’m feeling good at net, too, because you’ve got to anticipate some and read some and it’s working really well. So I hope I can keep it up.”

“I was still pushing forward all along and trying to always keep a gap between him and me in terms of the result and the scoreline, the Swiss said. “I was very happy when the match was over, because like this I know. It’s done. Next time I play him I know what to expect. Not like today.”
Federer will play 20th seed Gael Monfils of France for a place in the semifinals. Federer who just defeated Monfils in Mason, Ohio last month, holds a 7-2 record against him.

“He’s a great mover,” said the Swiss. “He’s got a wonderful serve, really, which nobody really talks about because of his athletic movement which stands out so much, you know. His issues have really been just his fitness and his setbacks he’s had because of injury. Then sometimes, you know, maybe not wanting to play sometimes because of reasons only he can explain, you know. I think that’s where he’s been put back in the rankings, and because he’s back in the rankings he’s got tougher draws. From there it’s harder to win tournaments and so forth. It get that much harder. I think I can speak on behalf of so many players: We love watching him play. It’s nice seeing him do well again. He’s going to raise in the rankings now, and maybe that’s exactly the steppingstones he needs to make it back in the top 10.”
“He’s one of the most exciting and entertaining players out there,” Federer said, “so I think we can get ready for some good points…. some good retrieving by him, some attacking by me.”

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Federer and Sharapova Advance in US Open Night Session

Roger Federer

Roger Federer

(August 29, 2014) FLUSHING MEADOWS -No. 2 seed Roger Federer beat 104th-ranked Sam Groth of Australia 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 on Friday night to improve his record in night matches at the US Open to 54-1.

During a moment in last game of the second set against the hard-serving Australian, after a 17 stroke tally, Federer raised his right hand to make a “No. 1,” gesture after a lob winner.

“What I like about these kind of matchups is there’s always going to be something unusual that’s going to happen, unusual shot-making,” said the Swiss. ‘You have to react rather than just always play percentage tennis. You just hope to get the other odd ball back, and then all of a sudden it drops short; you’ve got to run up to it. Whenever somebody is at the net or you’re at the net, there’s always something of the unknown that’s going to happen a little bit more. Whereas at the baseline you’re so far away from your opponent that you see it happening. You have time to react to it. That can become sometimes a bit boring, I must say, as well. Like the big serving can be boring, as well. I like the mix of playing these kind of opponents and then totally different in the next match. But got to appreciate, you know, those kind of matchups, because we don’t have them very often anymore, unfortunately.”

Federer’s opponent in the third round will be Marcel Granollers.

Maria Sharapova defeated Sabine Lisicki to reach the fourth round 6-2, 6-4 and end the night session.

“She’s a very dangerous and tricky opponent, and she’s capable of playing really well at the Slams and always raising her level against the top players,” Sharapova saidin press. “That was something I was very well aware of. I thought I stepped up to the challenge.”

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Serena Williams and Roger Federer Both Begin Quest for 18th Major

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(August 27, 2014) FLUSHING MEADOWS – A pair of 17-time major champions made the first step in their mutual quests for an 18th major on Tuesday night. No. 2 seed Roger Federer and No. 1 Serena Williams both took out opponents in straight sets at the US Open.

The 33-year-old Swiss Federer led off the night session with a 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (4) vwin over No. 76 Marinko Matosevic of Australia. With six-time NBA champion Michael Jordan cheering him on in his courtside guest box, Federer pulled off the shot of the night – between the legs shot, facing backwards to the net, which hit his opponent in his lower back.

Federer admitted that Jordan, now 51, was a childhood idol of his. In an interview with ESPN, Jordan said that he knew nothing about tennis and said that Federer is a good athlete and that he played basketball.

“It’s just amazing having Michael here,” Federer said after the match. “Growing up he was my big sporting idol. … Having him here is unbelievably special and the collaboration is unique, so I love it.”

“He was just my hero of all sports,” Federer said in his news conference. “That’s what he was for me growing up. Besides Edberg and Becker being my tennis idols, I had Jordan as my all sports idol. I don’t remember having a Jordan jersey, as such, really. I just remember when I was younger, in Germany it was really big on the German TV stations. I think every Sunday they had unbelievable big NBA highlights. That’s where I saw him doing all his moves. I wasn’t necessarily a Chicago Bulls fan or anything like that. It’s just I was into him, into like the incredible athlete, you know, just being that guy who was carrying basketball at the time. So I guess that’s what inspired me.”

While Federer was entertaining an idol of his with his play, Serena Williams was defeating a player who idolizes her. Williams played almost flawlessly in dispatching 18-year-old fellow American Wild Card Taylor Townsend 6-3, 6-1.

The two-time defending US Open champion, soon-to-be 33-year-old Williams made only 8 unforced errors in a match which lasted less than an hour.

Townsend discussed her appreciation of Williams in press: “I think I appreciate the fact that, number one, she loves the game so much. I think for anyone who’s watched her career progress, we have seen the ups and downs. She’s come through a lot of adversity. I think the most roaring time for me when I was watching her play was when she won that Australian Open, when everyone was completely doubting her, no one said she would win, she was totally out of shape, she was this, that, everything in the book. She literally fought and she beat Sharapova 1-0, 2-0, something ridiculous. But I’ve never seen someone so intense and so, like, driven to win, you know? I gained so much respect for her. Moving forward, I’ve just seen her love the game even more. The older she gets, the more she enjoys being out there and playing. I think her perspective has changed, having fun with what she’s doing. I think the wins are just making it even better.”

“I think it was an interesting match,” Williams said. “I thought she played really well. She started out super strong. She did a good job.”

“I think Taylor is a really great player. I believe she does everything well. She’s one of the few players that can come to the net and volley, as well as she has unbelievable hand speed with her racquet. She’s really unbelievable.”

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Roger Federer Family Man Has Some Advice for Future Father Novak Djokovic

Federer fistpump

(August 23, 2014) FLUSHING MEADOWS – Father of four and holder of five US Open titles, No. 2 seed Roger Federer was asked by reporters on US Open media day on Saturday if he has any advice for future father and No. 1 player Novak Djokovic.

“Advice is different than just saying something,” Federer said. I mean, I would wish him well. That’s it,” Federer said with laughter filling the room.

“Now you want advice, then it’s totally different. Then we can go into this like endless talk of how I did it, which worked and which didn’t work. I have spoken to him a little bit in the past. It’s normal I think when you’re entering the whole family thing that many people you talk to, all you talk about is babies and how to prepare for it mentally. I think it’s a very exciting time. So I think he must be quite excited about what’s going to happen soon. And with the wedding and everything, I’m sure he’s, you know, going through a great spell at the moment with winning Wimbledon, top of it, so things are great for him. But I think he’s got to figure it out himself really, because I don’t know his wife very well. I don’t know where he lives exactly. So I think that all has an impact. Are they going to travel or not.

“But the good thing, he sees with me with four, so with one it should be a piece of cake.” Federer said as laughter filled the interview room again. “Honestly I wish him the best. I think it’s wonderful he chose to create a family, and, you know, have kids with his wife.”

The five-time champion will face off against Australian Marinko Matosevic  in the first round of the US Open.

The Swiss spoke about his mental approach to his first round match at a major: “It’s not necessarily just the first round, it’s just for the tournament, managing the first sort of the preparation week with press, sponsors, practice, treatment, you know, enough sleep, all that stuff. Just getting through it in a way that you’re really eager to play the tournament and you don’t want to get ahead of yourself. Really give the proper respect to your first-round opponent that he deserves and the danger of not quite knowing the conditions yet, because you can’t simulate a match situation in a practice. You can get used to the speeds of the courts, the way the ball flies, the wind, the humidity, all those things. But the tension you do feel on a match court, it’s just totally different. That can really either block you for playing great or sometimes it frees you up. That’s the unknown, and that’s why that first-round match is always crucial.”

 

Karen Pestaina for Tennis Panorama

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Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer are Top Men’s Seeds at US Open

Djokovic and Federer shake hands

From the USTA -FLUSHING, N.Y., August 19, 2014 – The USTA announced today that world No. 1 and reigning Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic,of Serbia, has been named the top seed in men’s singles at the 2014 US Open, and five-time US Open champion Roger Federer, of Switzerland, has been seeded No. 2. The 2014 US Open will be played at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y., August 25 – September 8. The US Open Men’s Singles Championship is presented by Mercedes-Benz.

 

Djokovic has reached the last four US Open men’s singles finals, winning the title in 2011, and won his seventh Grand Slam singles title at Wimbledon this summer, and Federer, a 17-time major champion who pushed Djokovic to five sets in the Wimbledon final, are joined in the top four seeds by No. 3 Stanislas Wawrinka, of Switzerland, the 2014 Australian Open champion and No. 4 David Ferrer, of Spain. Great Britain’s Andy Murray, the 2012 US Open champion, is seeded eighth.

 

World No. 2 and reigning US Open champion Rafael Nadal, of Spain, withdrew from the US Open men’s singles tournament yesterday with a right wrist injury.  2009 US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro, from Argentina, currently ranked No. 13, withdrew earlier, as did No. 23 Alexandr Dolgopolov, of Ukraine, No. 28 Nicolas Almagro, of Spain, and No. 34 Tommy Haas, of Germany.

 

Federer is seeded at the US Open for the 14th straight year, tying Ivan Lendl for the second longest streak in the Open Era behind only Jimmy Connors’ 18 consecutive years.

 

For 2014, the US Open followed the Emirates ATP Rankings released Monday to determine the men’s singles seeds. This is the 13th consecutive year that the US Open will seed 32 players in singles.

 

Djokovic, 27, is 39-6 this year and reclaimed the No. 1 ranking from Nadal in July following his Wimbledon victory. Federer, meanwhile, is ranked No. 3 and won his 22nd ATP Masters 1000 title last week at the Emirates Airline US Open Series’ Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati.

 

The singles draws for the 2014 US Open will be revealed live during an official draw ceremony on Thursday, August 21, at 12 p.m. ET at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. The draw will be streamed live on USOpen.org.  Defending US Open champion Serena Williams will make an appearance at the event.

 

2014 US Open Men’s Singles Seeds

 

1.    Novak Djokovic, Serbia

2.    Roger Federer, Switzerland

 

3.    Stanislas Wawrinka, Switzerland

4.    David Ferrer, Spain

 

5.    Milos Raonic, Canada

6.    Tomas Berdych, Czech Republic

7.    Grigor Dimitrov, Bulgaria

8.    Andy Murray, Great Britain

9.    Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, France

10.  Kei Nishikori, Japan

11.  Ernests Gulbis, Latvia

12.  Richard Gasquet, France

13.  John Isner, United States

14.  Marin Cilic, Croatia

15.  Fabio Fognini, Italy

16.  Tommy Robredo, Spain

17.  Roberto Bautista Agut, Spain

18.  Kevin Anderson, South Africa

19.  Feliciano Lopez, Spain

20.  Gael Monfils, France

21.  Mikhail Youzhny, Russia

22.  Philipp Kohlschreiber, Germany

23.  Leonardo Mayer, Argentina

24.  Julien Benneteau, France

25.  Ivo Karlovic, Croatia

26.  Gilles Simon, France

27.  Santiago Giraldo, Colombia

28.  Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, Spain

29.  Lukas Rosol, Czech Republic

30.  Jeremy Chardy, France

31.  Fernando Verdasco, Spain

32.  Joao Sousa, Portugal

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Roger Federer Takes Sixth Cincinnati Crown for 80th Career Title

By Dave Gertler

(August 17, 2014) MASON, OHIO – After making the final of four Masters 1000 events this year, Roger Federer has finally broken through to win his first title at that level since 2012. After beating fellow top 10 players Andy Murray and Milos Raonic to reach the final, Federer’s opponent at the Western & Southern Open in Mason, Ohio, was world No. 6 Spaniard David Ferrer, who has troubled the world No .3 lately, but had not beaten Federer in their 15 career matches.

 

Like their quarterfinal played out in Toronto last week, their meeting at the Lindner Family Tennis Center today also went three sets, with 33-year-old Federer giving away the middle set to his 32-year-old opponent.

 

With Federer serving first, both players held easily until Ferrer – serving at 3-4 – double faulted twice to hand Federer the break. Although Federer consolidated for 6-3, it was not before he went down 0-40 and proceeded to save four break points, perhaps a sign of what was coming in the following set.

 

“Let’s not talk about the second set,” Federer joked after the match, perhaps offering some insight into the kind of mentality that brought his title count to 80 today. “I can dwell on it for like 30 minutes if you want and then the press conference is over and we talked about the second set rather than the good stuff.”

 

The second set saw Ferrer tighten up his return game, find his rhythm and apply pressure on Federer’s serve, breaking the Swiss twice for a 6-1 second set. However, said Federer, “I did get some momentum back I think at the end of the second set, even though I did end up losing it 6‑1. I really thought I was feeling better again towards the end of the second set, like he felt better at the end of the first.”

 

Federer, who has reached 8 finals in 2014, compared to a total of 3 in 2013, led with his serve in the third set, when he served 4 of his 6 aces in the match. “The third set he serve unbelievable,” said Ferrer, who was unable to make his opponent save any break points in the final set, while Federer broke him twice for a final score of 6-3, 1-6, 6-2. Federer remains unbeaten in Cincinnati finals, and holds a record 6 titles there.

 

“We’ve never played each other in slams,” said Federer when asked about his one-sided rivalry against Ferrer, “So from that standpoint, like I mentioned the other day, head‑to‑heads don’t mean everything.”

 

Having played ten matches in 13 days, Federer said that on Monday, he considered not playing the Western & Southern Open, in order to conserve energy for next week’s US Open. “I could have just not played here,” said Federer, “And gone into the Open feeling good about my chances, now I feel even better, you know. On the flip coin, what was the other plan? Practice? Take a few days off? But then I have to grind out in the practice. I still believe matches are the best practice right now.”

 

For Federer it was his 80th career singles title.

 

Earlier, Serena Williams beat Ana Ivanovic 6-4, 6-1 to claim her first Cincinnati title, while Bob and Mike Bryan ended Vasek Pospisil and Jack Sock’s 14-match winning streak when they beat them in the doubles final 6-3, 6-2 for their fifth title in Cincinnati. Americans were also winners in the women’s doubles, where Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears played Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic, who retired injured from the match trailing 1-6, 0-2.

 

The Western & Southern Open also set new attendance records, drawing 191, 752 fans over 16 sessions to the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason, Ohio.

Dave Gertler is a tennis journalist, player and musician based in Sydney who was covering the Western & Southern Open for Tennis Panorama News. Follow his personal Twitter @davegertler,  read his blog,  and listen to his podcast, Tennis Days

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Raonic Sets Up Semifinal Date Against Federer in Cincinnati

Milos Raonic

Milos Raonic

By Dave Gertler

 

(August 15, 2014) MASON, OHIO – After the disappointment of failing to reach the semifinal of his home Masters 1000 last week in Toronto, Milos Raonic has breezed into the Western & Southern Open semifinal today in Cincinnati. While Raonic’s 6-1, 6-0 win over Fabio Fognini might seem ominous, his semifinal opponent will be Roger Federer who defeated Andy Murray 6-3, 7-5 in the evening session.

 

Fognini – who had advanced to his first career quarterfinal in Cincinnati – ran out of luck as he stepped up against the big-serving Canadian. In a match lasting 57 minutes, Raonic’s serve statistics were troubling for his opponent. He only lost 4 points the whole match behind his first serve, and of the 10 he lost behind his second serve, 3 were double faults. “You can’t really control him,” said Raonic of his often erratic opponent, “It can be very sporadic at times. You just focus on yourself and make sure you do yourself and see and adjust to how things are coming from him as you go.”

 

Although the 27-year-old Italian forced Raonic to successfully defend 7 break points in the second set, he had fewer points than that won on his own serve, and was unable to get on the scoreboard. Despite having two game points in the last game of the match, Fognini double-faulted twice. The last play of the match was a Fognini foot-fault, reminiscent of his loss last year in Cincinnati to Radek Stepanek, where he deliberately foot-faulted to lose the match, before being booed off the court.

 

In Friday’s first men’s quarterfinal, Julien Benneteau scored an upset win over 3rd seed Stan Wawrinka in three sets on Center Court. Despite the Swiss racing away to a 6-1 lead, Benneteau drew on the confidence of his winning career record against Wawrinka, and was able to turn the match around, losing only three more games, taking the match 1-6, 6-1, 6-2.

 

“At the end of first set,” said the 32-year-old Frenchman, of how he turned the match around, “I talk to myself and I said, OK, if I don’t change anything it’s going to be 1 and 3 in 50 minutes and you’re going to lose it. So I said that I need to play harder from the baseline and to put a little bit more intensity in my strokes. Even if I miss it’s OK, but I have to play like this. I thought that the two, three first games of the second set are going to be tough. It’s going to be a tough fight, and I prepare myself to resist to that. I say, OK, you have to stay in the game. You have to take the score. And I broke in the first game, on his first service game in the second set.”
Making his first career appearance at a Masters 1000 semifinal, world No.41 Benneteau is looking forward to the opportunity, saying, “Of course it means something. But the tournament is not done, and I still have a lot to do. We will see.” His semifinal opponent will be David Ferrer, who ousted fellow Spaniard Tommy Robredo earlier on Friday.

 

Dave Gertler is a tennis journalist, player and musician based in Sydney covering the Western & Southern Open for Tennis Panorama News. Follow his Twitter updates from the tournament on @TennisNewsTPN, follow him on his personal Twitter @davegertler,  read his blog,  and listen to his podcast, Tennis Days .

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Aussies Bounced Out of Cincinnati

Sam Stosur

Sam Stosur

By Dave Gertler

(August 13, 2014) MASON, OHIO – The last three Australians left in the singles draw at the Cincinnati Masters all played their second-round matches on Wednesday, with Sam Stosur and Marinko Matosevic both bowing out to their American opponents in straight sets. Lleyton Hewitt also succumbed to the grinding baseline play of Italian Fabio Fognini.

 

Stosur and Serena Williams added another encounter to their storied rivalry, the Aussie receiving warm support from the crowd as she battled to stay in both sets, at times out-hitting her world No.1 opponent. In a match lasting almost two hours, where neither player dropped their serve, and Williams needed to come from behind in both tie-breaks to eventually win through to the next round. “She was up in both of the breakers,” said Williams, “I think it was just a great match, to be honest. She served unbelievable, and I was like, I can’t lose serve because she’s just serving great.”

 

Both players brought their big serves to the table, particularly Serena, who served 12 aces. “Really good quality match,” said Stosur, “I’m really pleased with the way I played. I’m disappointed when you have those couple of set points and don’t go through and at least win that set to take it into three. But I gave myself every chance to try and get through that one.  She came up with some really great stuff when it really counted.”

 

While Stosur was facing last year’s women’s runner up, Marinko Matosevic had to contend with the men’s runner up from last year, in a slightly less competitive 3-6, 6-7 loss to the American John Isner. That left Lleyton Hewitt in a familiar position as the last Australian in the singles draw.

LleytonHewittHOF

Hewitt would drop the first set against Fognini 6-1, before going up a break in the second set, a lead that he would ultimately relinquish, allowing Fognini back into the second set, which he won 6-4. “The second set I fought hard, I was up a break in the second set but couldn’t consolidate,” said Hewitt. The 33-year-old Australian served 9 double faults, saying, “I just didn’t hit my serve well today, especially early on,” said Hewitt, “He makes you play a lot of balls as well. He’s a confidence player, and when he’s hitting ball well, he’s tough to beat. He moves well, as well.”

 

Serena Williams’ next opponent will be Flavia Pennetta, while Isner faces No.8 seed Andy Murray. Fabio Fognini will face Yen-Hsun Lu, who had an upset victory over 4th seed Tomas Berdych. Also through to the round of 16, Roger Federer, who beat Canadian Vasek Pospisil 7-6, 5-7, 6-2 in 2 hours for his 300th win at a Masters Series 1000 event.

 

Dave Gertler is a tennis journalist, player and musician based in Sydney covering the Western & Southern Open for Tennis Panorama News. Follow his Twitter updates from the tournament on @TennisNewsTPN, follow him on his personal Twitter @davegertler,  read his blog,  and listen to his podcast, Tennis Days .

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