March 29, 2017

Nadal and Federer Reach Quarterfinals, Wawrinka Loses at Miami Open

 

Rafael Nadal

 

(March 28, 2017) On the thirteenth anniversary of the first match they ever played against each other, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer won playing back-to-back matches on stadium court at the Miami Open. Top seed Stan Wawrinka lost on his 32nd birthday on Grandstand to 19-year-old Alexander Zverev.

Fifth seeded Nadal beat Nicolas Mahut, 6-4, 7-6(4) to reach the elite eight of Miami.

“It’s a good start of the year, I think, for both of us,” Nadal said about himself and Federer’s 2017. “Obviously, it’s a little bit better for him, but at the same time I’m happy with the way that I am playing, happy with the way that I started the year after a tough second part of the year last year with injuries.

“So I think it’s a positive for both of us that we can still (be) around here and be very competitive almost every week that we are playing.”
The Spaniard, seeking his first Miami title will play American Jack Sock for a place in the semifinals.

“He’s a very aggressive player, very powerful player, big serve, big forehand, and a good backhand, too, no? He plays quick with his backhand.

“So I need to play aggressive. That’s the only way. If I let him play in a comfortable position going to be impossible for me. So I need to be focus with my serve, but at the same time I need to be aggressive.”

Jack Sock

Sock who dismantled countryman Jared Donaldson 6-1, 6-2 talked about playing Nadal:
“I will definitely be looking forward to it, be excited for the battle.

“We played in Beijing couple years ago as well. Lost in three sets. Actually had a decent amount of chances there in the third. Might have even been up a break early or had a lot of break points early in the third.

“Yeah, I played in his backyard a few years ago, the French. He felt very comfortable will. I think we’re both comfortable on clay or hard. Yeah, either way should be a good battle; should be fun.

“I’ll definitely give myself a lot more chance to win this time around than maybe I did a few years ago. I’m 24 years old now and been on tour for a while. I’m playing these matches and hoping I can win and going in believing I can win for sure.”

 

No. 6 seed Roger Federer was pushed hard by Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut, the 14th seed 7-6(5), 7-6(4). The Spaniard served for the first set at 5-4, but was broken back immediately.
“Look, I felt good overall,” said Federer. “It was a different kind of match. It wasn’t the big-serving match where you’re only going to see so many looks, you know, so when you miss chances you always feel a bit frustrated sometimes. That’s where you got to keep a positive mindset and make the right plays.

“I thought Roberto did a good job of making shots, staying offensive when he could, fending off a lot of good shots that I hit. Then it was tough. The sun was coming from the side in the beginning so it’s hard to chase the lines.

“At the end I’m very happy and pleased that I got it done in straight sets.”

He’ll play Tomas Berdych in the quarterfinals.

Asked about his next match, Federer said: “I wish it’s going to be like the Australian Open, but I know it won’t be like that. Just not reality that you can come in and just beat top 10 guys basically at will.

“I think it’s going to be a tough match. He’s beaten me at the, I don’t know, Olympics, US Open, Wimbledon, in big moments, so I know he can do it.

“Also beat me in Cincinnati once upon a time on the American hard courts. And here, too, saving match points. Looking forward to it.

“He’s also pushing again to get his ranking back up again after dropping a bit, so it’s a big match for him. For me obviously right after Indian Wells I’m trying to keep rolling here.

“Yeah, looking forward to it.”

Federer’s countryman and No. 1 seed, had his birthday spoiled by Germany’s Alexander Zverev 4-6, 6-2, 6-1.

 

Stan Wawrinka

“For sure it’s disappointing match,” said Wawrinka. “That’s for sure.

“I think the level was quite up and down. We were both fighting a little bit in the first set to find good level. Was really humid, not easy to play some great tennis, but we had some long rally.

“Yeah, one bad game to start the second set and then it was tough for me. I don’t know. I completely went down physically and mentally, and also my tennis was completely out.

“I had no more gas.”
The three-time major winner won only ten points in the final set.

Alexander Zverev

“In the first set I felt like I played a little bit still like I should have played against John(Isner),” noted Zverev. “You know, trying to keep the rallies long, the points long.

“But, yeah, I mean, I played well in the second and third. I turned it around a little bit. I had to be aggressive. I felt like he was the one controlling all the points all the time, so I had to change that.

“It worked out well for me. Happy to be in the quarterfinals now. Hopefully I can play as great as I did today after tomorrow as well.”

 

Zverev will play another up-and-comer on the ATP World Tour in 12th seed Nick Kyrgios who beat 8th seed David Goffin 7-6(5), 6-3

 

Kei Nishikori

Last year’s finalist and this year’s No. 2 seed Kei Nishikori, came back from a break down in the final set to beat Federico Delbonis 6-4, 6-4, 6-3.
“Every match is going to be tough from now on,” said Nishikori.

“Well, I tried to stay calm and focus again. I knew I have a lot of chance after losing the set.

“And also, even though was down a break, 2-1, but I was focusing well. I knew if I fight through I will have some chance, so I just tried to concentrate one game at a time.”

Nishikori will play unseeded Fabio Fognini, who beat Donald Young 6-0, 6-4.

More to follow…..

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Roger Federer Beats Juan Martin del Potro at Miami Open

(March 27, 2017) No. 4 seed Roger Federer moved into the fourth round of the Miami Open on Monday afternoon with a 6-3, 6-4 win over No. 29 seed Juan martin del Potro.

A break in each set secured the victory for the Swiss, the first time he’s played the Argentine since 2013.

“I felt like I was in control and I was able to generate more chances than he did,” noted the world No. 6.

“I mean, a little bit out of nowhere I felt like he got his chances, but maybe because I dropped my level ever so slightly and gave him few easy points, and that’s how he sort of got more chances on my serve.

“So I feel like I earned it more. I was more the aggressor. It was more on my racquet, and I like it that way.

“But, again, if he would’ve broken back in the first and would he have broken back in the second, we might still be playing and things would be very, very different right now.

“I thought it was a good match.”

Juan Martin Del Potro

“Well, it’s not easy play against Roger because he has good forehand, good backhand, slice, dropshot, everything,” said the 2008 U. S. Open champion.

“But think I did my best, and I had chance in both sets and I couldn’t take it. He played well in the break point moments, and I think that was the only difference of the match.”

Federer will match up against 14th seed Roberto Bautista Agut, who beat Sam Querrey.

“I respect Bautista Agut a lot,” Federer said. “He competes so well point for point, day in day out, and he plays ton of tournaments, and he’s really just match tough.”

“I have a really good record against Roberto. I hope I can use my variation to really make him feel uncomfortable.

“Looking forward to backing it up tomorrow now. It’s not something I’m actually used to, playing back-to-back days. So I hope my body is going to be fine tomorrow.

“That’s why definitely it was key also today not to waste too much energy.”

Alexander Zverev saved three match points to defeat John Isner 6-7(5), 7-6(7), 7-6(5).

In a battle between two former Miami Open champions, No. 11 seed Venus Williams defeated seventh seed Svetlanta Kuznetsova 6-3, 7-6(4). Williams saved two set points in the second set.

Angelique Kerber

No. 1 Angelique Kerber has reached the elite 8 in Miami. The two-time major champion beat Risa Ozaki 6-2, 6-2.

Caroline Wozniacki is also in the the quarters. Garbine Muguruza retired after the first set after feeling dizzy and having stomach pain.

Wozniacki, the 12th seed, will play former French Open finalist Lucie Safarova, who stunned fourth seed Dominika Cibulkova 7-6, 6-1.

Third seed Simona Halep avoided the upset, coming back from a set, 2-5 and a match point to beat Samantha Stosur. Also moving into the quarterfainls were 10th seed Johanna Konta and 26th seed Mirjana Lucic-Baroni.

Karolina Pliskova

In an all-Czech battle, Karolina Pliskova beat occasional doubles Barbora Strycova 6-1, 6-4.

 

More to follow

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Elena Vesnina and Roger Federer Win BNP Paribas Open Singles Titles

(March 19, 2017) Roger Federer and Elena Vesnina took home the BNP Paribas Open singles trophies on Sunday in Indian Wells California. In an all-Swiss affair, Federer defeated Wawrinka 6-4, 7-5 to win his fifth Indian Wells crown, 90th career tournament and 25th Masters Series 1000 title. He is now tied with Novak Djokovic for most Indian Wells titles.

At 35-years and seven months old, the 18-time major champion became the oldest BNP Paribas Open champion. Federer is third in Open Era in number of titles behind Jimmy Connors and Ivan Lendl.

The women’s final was an all-Russian contest which saw Elena Vesnina rally from a set and 1-4 down in the second s set and 2-4 down in the third set to beat Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-7 (6), 7-5, 6-4 in just over three hours in the first match of the day.

“For me, the dream run continues,” Federer said during the trophy ceremony.

“This was not part of the plan, to win Australia and Indian Wells. The goal was to be top 8 by after Wimbledon, so I’m there much, much faster.”

“I will make the plan for the remainder of the season, especially for the clay, after Miami, and then see also what the goals are because the goals are clearly changing after this dream start.”

“The way he’s playing is just so beautiful,” said finalist Wawrinka. “Everything looks perfect. He’s moving amazingly well. He has amazing touch. He’s doing everything you can do on the tennis court.”

“I think Stan can be very proud of his efforts here and the start to the year,” Federer said to media. “And the tournament he played here was great for him. He’s always struggled in the past in the desert. And then, for me, the dream run continues. The fairytale of the comeback that I have already shown in Australia.

“Again, I’m not as surprised as I was in Australia, but still this comes as a big, big surprise to me, nevertheless, to win here again and beating the players that I did and the way I did. I mean, couldn’t be more happy.

“It’s an absolute, huge start to the year for me. Yeah, last year didn’t win any titles. I don’t think I was in any finals except maybe Brisbane last year.

“The change is dramatic, and it feels great.”

Federer’s ranking will move up to No. 6 as of Monday.

Last February, 14th seed Vesnina was ranked No. 122 in the world and lost in qualifying at Indian Wells. Talk about a turnaround. She’ll be No. 13 in the world when the rankings come out on Monday.

Like her last year on tour, she had to battle back and Sunday was no different. The 30-year-old, who defeated No. 2 seed Angela Kerber and No. 12 seed Venus Williams on the road to making the final, talked about how she was mentally able to rebound from a set and 1-4 down:

“I was down the whole match except the first set. I was up with a break twice and I had set point. I didn’t use my chances there, and then she won the set and was 4-1-up.

“I was kind of fighting to just stay longer on the court, you know, just don’t give it so easy. I was telling to myself, You’re 4-1 down. Nothing to lose. Just fight for each game, you know, try to win every point, you know, try to deserve every point, because she will not give you anything.

“When I was down 4-2 in the third set, I know these kind of feelings when you’re having so much chances and you’re not using them, then your opponent will have one chance and she will use it.

“So I think that’s the situation what happened with Svetlana and me today, because she was up the whole match. She was up set 4-1, then 4-2 in the third. She had so many break points on my serve. She was 30-Love up couple of times on her serves.

“And I always keep coming back. I stick there, you know. I was just not giving anything, you know, that moment. I was just — I didn’t thought about, like, the end of the match. I was just thinking about how to kind of get back into the game. You know, I was just thinking about that.

“And when I broke her at 4-All and went to serve for the match, I had this in my mind. You know, I was, like, I’m not gonna give it. I went to serve, and I was, like, I never gonna lose this game.

“I don’t know how I have it in my mind, you know, serving for the championship point, championship game, you know, and don’t be so nervous, you know. I was really — that game, I was really calm. I was not thinking that if I’m going to lose this game it’s going to be 5-All. I was not afraid to lose, you know, maybe for the whole match. I was just trying to play.

“And I think Svetlana, end of the match, she was afraid to lose the match, and this is the difference maybe.”

The 31-year-old, two-time major champion and eighth seed Kuznetsova said: “I didn’t feel good today, because she was very aggressive, and I was a little bit out of my game. I was too far from the court, and I was running all the way, way behind, so the only thing I could defend. And I didn’t serve well.

“So I think that was overall the key points. Even I made it 7-6, 4-1 and was one break, and she kept being aggressive, and, yeah, I was too passive. I think that’s why I lost.”

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Federer Beats Nadal, Djokovic Loses to Kyrgios at BNP Paribas Open

Roger Federer

(March 15, 2017) Ninth seed Roger Federer took out fifth seed Rafael Nadal 6-2, 6-3 in a fourth-round match at the BNP Paribas Open on Wednesday. This was the first time since the 2004 third round in Miami that they met so early in a tournament. For the Swiss, it was his thirteenth win over the Spaniard in thirty-six attempts. For the first time in their rivalry, it’s the third straight victory over Nadal for Federer. Federer beat Nadal in the final of the Australian Open at the end of January.

“It’s a nice feeling to win the last three. I can tell you that,” said Federer.

“But most importantly, I won Australia. That was big for me. On the comeback, I look back at that and think that was one of the coolest things I ever experienced in my career.

“Basel was special, too, for many reasons, because I used to be ballboy there. I never played Rafa prior to that finals.

“Then now, here, after the Australian hype, you know, to play here in America right away, all of them are very special.

“I mean, all the matches that we have played are unique in many ways for both of us, winning or losing. So I take it. Obviously can’t celebrate too long this time around. I have to get back to work in a couple of days.”

Federer broke Nadal’s serve a total of four times, twice in each set for the win in 68 minutes.

“The main thing he take the break in the first game, and I had break point in the next game and come back and he had a good serve,” said Nadal.

“When Roger have advantage, his serve is so good, he has a lot of confidence with his serve, he’s able to play much more relaxed, no?

“Worst thing in that match for me was from the beginning I was in disadvantage breaking the first game of the match, and then breaking the second game of the second set. So that’s so difficult to play against Roger this way.”

“It was all about coming out and trying to play the way I did in Australia,” said Federer to media. “I didn’t think it was going to be that possible, to be quite honest, because the court is more jumpy here or more rough, let’s say, so it’s hard to put the ball away.

“I have seen, as well, like against Johnson yesterday, when you serve well and stay on the offensive and you press, you can actually play some really good, aggressive tennis here.

“It’s hard to dig your way out of defense, because the ball doesn’t skid on you as an attacker, and I think I did well again today. You know, I said yesterday it was more a sprint than a marathon. So getting in the lead was crucial, and then staying on the offense and pressing was the goal for me.

“Once I got the break in the second set, obviously you had to be very careful you didn’t get down double break. And I was able to hold my serve, and he couldn’t find a way how to get into my service games more frequently. Next thing you know, it’s all over. It was a really good performance by me, I thought.”

 

Nick Kyrgios

Three-time defending Indian Wells champ Novak Djokovic had his 19-match winning streak at the tournament snapped by 15th seed Nick Kyrgios 6-4, 7-6(3).
“Well, the run was amazing,” said Djokovic. “I am very proud of it, obviously. It had to end at some stage. Unfortunately, it was today.

“Well, Nick, again, as he did in Acapulco earlier, few weeks ago, he served so well. Just wasn’t managing to get a lot of balls back on his serve, first and second, as well.

“So I guess that’s what made a difference.”

The number two seed fell victim to the Australian for the second time in two weeks. Kyrgios beat Djokovic in Acapulco.
“I guess conditions like today where the ball travels through the air very fast and it bounces very high, you know, it’s a gamble,” said the Serb.

“And on his first serves, to try to anticipate and read his serve, where he’s going to go 140 miles per hour down the T and also pretty good angle wide, so it’s hard to position yourself well. Let’s call it that way. It is a gamble.

“His second serve, if you think you’re going to have a look at it, you don’t, because he goes for it, as well. He didn’t make too many double faults.

“As I said, you know, in this kind of conditions, it’s quite suitable for the server. Puts a lot of pressure on your service games. You know, you need to deliver and you can’t fold, which I did in the opening game of the match. Obviously, the dynamic of the match already went his way in the first/second game.

“Yeah, it was hard to come back from that one, although I did have my chances, did have some 30-Alls and deuces. I don’t think I reached a break point, but I did have some close games on his serves, but I just wasn’t able to deliver what was important at that stage.”
Kyrgios hit 14 aces against Djokovic.

“I knew it was going to be a tough battle today,” said Kyrgios. “I knew he wanted to come out there and obviously after Acapulco to come out there and win.

“The conditions are completely different here than they are in Acapulco. I don’t think I served anywhere near as I did in Acapulco. I fought for every point, and obviously we were a bit — I think both of us were a bit nervous at times.

“I thought it was a pretty good match. I played the crucial points pretty well. Obviously I just served well again. Yeah, it was good to get through.”

Kyrgios will take on Federer for a place in the semifinals. Kyrgios is 1-0 against the 18-time major champion.

Stan Wawrinka

No. 3 seed Stan Wawrinka had to battle back from two breaks in the third set to defeat lucky loser Yoshihito Nishioka 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(4) to advance.

“Well, was really tough match, of course, ” said Wawrinka. “He served twice for the match. He had breaker in the third.

“I wasn’t playing great. I was not moving well at the beginning. I was a little bit hesitating with my game. I think in general in the third set I played better than the two first sets. I got, I would say, maybe to break a little bit quick especially at 5-5.

“But in general I was finding a little bit better my game. I was playing a little bit more aggressive. I was more calm, making more long rally.

“Again, I’m really happy to get through for sure. You have to be a little bit lucky when he served twice for the match, but I’m happy to fight well enough to give me a chance to play tomorrow night.”

Other men reaching the elite 8 of Indian Wells includes: No. 4 seed Kei Nishikori, who defeated Donald Young 6-2, 6-4,  No. 8 seed Dominic Thiem dominated No.  10 seed Gael Monfils 6-3, 6-2, No. 17 seed Jack Sock who won 4-6, 7-6(1), 7-5 over Malek Jaziri, No. 21 Pablo Carreno Busta, beating qualifier Dusan Lajovic, and No. 27 Pablo Cuevas knocking out No, 11 seed David Goffin 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.

Karolina Pliskova

In women’s play, Karolina Pliskova and Svetlana Kuznetsova advanced to the semifinals. In a very tight match, the No. 3 seed Pliskova defeated No. 7 Garbine Muguruza 7-6, 7-6.

“Definitely the best match for me in this tournament,” said the Czech. “Also, like, it was good player, so the level ultimately goes a little bit more up, little better player.

“So definitely from the baseline I think was fine. But, yeah, the way how I was finishing those sets, I’m not happy with that, because I was serving into both. In the second one I was serving twice.

“Even 40-15 up, I don’t think it can happen with my serve. Like, anything is possible in tennis, but I just have to serve few times. I had a good rally once on my forehand.

“So, yeah, a little bit unlucky, but, yeah, just not happy with the way how it finished, but happy how I, in the end, still stayed there.

“And the tiebreaks, especially in the second one was not easy, because I had in my head, I had some match points and I had 5-2. So, yeah, so happy that I stayed there and closed it in the second tiebreak, as well.

“And obviously my serve not really good today, as the whole tournament.”

Kuznetsova defeated Russian countrywoman Anastasia Pavyluchenkova 6-3, 6-2.

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Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal Set Up Fourth Round Clash at the BNP Paribas Open; Novak Djokovic Advances

Roger Federer

(March 14, 2017)Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal will meet for the thirty-sixth time in their careers on Wednesday in the fourth round of the BNP Open. Both men won third round matches on Tuesday.

Nadal, a three-time winner, who last won the tournament in 2013, defeated fellow Spaniard Fernando Verdasco 6-3, 7-5 for his 50th career match-win at Indian Wells.

Roger Federer survived American Steve Johnson 7-6(3), 7-6(4). The Swiss is a four-time winner of this event, last winning in 2012.

Nadal is 23-12 against Federer, 12-4 at ATP Masters 1000 events, 9-8 on hard courts and 1-1 at the BNP Paribas Open. Federer has never beaten Nadal three-times in a row.

Their last meeting came in late January when Federer won the Australian Open in five sets over Nadal. In their last meeting before this, Federer beat Nadal at the Swiss Indoors event in 2015.

Asked about how he feels about his next match, Federer said: “Very excited. I said it at the press conference in the beginning. That’s why I came here, play against guys like Rafa. Now we have it.

“I’m going to be excited now. Better be excited now. Otherwise I came for the wrong reasons.”

“Everyone felt different against Rafa,” he continued, “because sometimes you come in and you’re extremely tired. Sometimes it was, like you said, maybe you just lost three in a row, and you play often in quick succession at one point, as well.

“I mean, Australia helps me a little bit, but, you know, at the end of the day, I’m still in the comeback. And I try to see it really as another opportunity to build upon something for the rest of the season. So regardless of Australia, winning or losing, I’m going to try to go out there and try to play free again. I think it’s really important.

“I’m really happy that I got my energy back, because in Dubai I was actually still quite tired. I feel like tomorrow if I move well, you know, I will definitely have a chance against Rafa.”

Rafael Nadal

“Since the season started, I was playing well,” Nadal said. So I tried to play my game, tried to play aggressive.

“My goal was don’t let him play with his forehand from easy positions. And that’s what I tried. I started well the match. Then taked a while to have the break, but finally I had in the right game, in the 4-3, and I closed well.

“So in the second I started with the break, and then happened what happened with those two games. Then I was there again.

“So very pleased with my performance. And I won already two matches here.”
“Tomorrow another chance to go on court, and I’m going to try to play better than I did today.”

Asked about what makes Federer’s game so special, Nadal said: “Everything. Yeah, he has the talent to do very difficult things that looks easy, you know. He’s able to take the ball very early, serve and first shot. He create a lot of winners with that, two first shots, no?

“And then he’s able to take the ball always from inside, and he’s very quick going to the net. If you play short ball, then you know that he gonna go inside and gonna hit a winner, gonna play a shot that hit forehand or backhand, go to the net, and you are going to be in big trouble.”

 

Novak Djokovic

In the night session, Novak Djokovic defeated Juan Martin Del Potro 7-5, 4-6, 6-1 to reach the round of 16 where he’ll play Nick Kyrgios.

“It was difficult to overcome this challenge tonight,” Djokovic said during his on court interview. “The third was some of the best tennis I’ve played this year”

For the five-time desert champion, was his his 300th ATP Masters 1000 match victory. He is now tied with Pete Sampras for 10th in Open Era with 762 wins overall.
In other men’s action, No. 4 seed Kei Nishikori easily beat Gilles Muller 6-2, 6-2, American Donald Young upset 14th seed Lucas Pouille 6-4, 1-6, 6-3 and Malek Jaziri of Tunisia survived big-serving American Taylor Fritz 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.

Nick Kyrgios

In a battle of generation next on the ATP World Tour, Nick Kyrgios beat Alexander Zverev 6-3, 6-4.

“It was the worst match I played all year. It’s quite simple, ” said Zverev of the loss. “My serving was absolute horrible, my returning was absolutely horrible. From the baseline was horrible. There is not one thing I did well.”

“I wasn’t serving my best, so I thought I just competed well, said Kyrgios. “It was always going to be a tough match. He’s been playing great tennis and on the rise ever since juniors. I knew it was going to be tough.

“It was hot, but it wasn’t scorching. I think that suits my game style. I can get more bounce off my forehand.

“But, yeah, it was a tough battle. I’m just really glad to get through.”

 

American Jack Sock saved four match points to stop Grigor Dimitrov 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(7).

 

More to follow…

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Former Indian Wells Champions Djokovic, Nadal and Federer Move into Third Round with Straight Set Victories

Novak Djokovic

(March 12, 2017) Five-time BNP Paribas Open champion and No. 2 seed Novak Djokovic, rebounded from a 2-5 deficit in the second set to hold off Britain’s Kyle Edmund 6-4, 7-6(5) in the second round on Sunday. The 29-year-old Serb who holds 12 majors, broke Edmund as he was serving for the second set at 5-3. The 22-year-old Edmund had points for a two-break lead at 3-0 in the second but could not break.

“First match played, already a big test,” said Djokovic.

The win for Djokovic sets up a clash with 31st seed Juan Martin del Potro, a rematch of the first round the Rio Olympic Games, in which Del Potro upset Djokovic. The Argentine beat his countryman Federico Delbonis 7-6(5), 6-3 earlier in the day. The highlight of the match was a “tweener” lob winner hit by the 2013 Indian Wells finalist Del Potro.

“Last season I had played even better than what I expected, [after] my injuries,” said del Potro. I’m looking forward to keep going up in the rankings this year, trying to get closer to the top guys. If I stay healthy and I can play the same level as last year, I think I will be close to that goal.”

 

Djokovic is seeking his sixth title in the desert and his 31st overall master Series title to extend his leading record.

 

No. 5 seed and three-time winner Rafael Nadal had an easy 6-3, 6-2 win over Guido Pella of Argentina. The Spaniard will take on countryman Fernando Verdasco in the third round.

Rafael Nadal

Nadal said that he tried to play solid.  “I tried to find the rhythm, and I think I did. For moments I played well; for moments I played a little bit less well. The important thing is I won, and I won in straight sets. I had some good feelings for a lot of moments.”

“I haven’t played one very bad match during the whole season,” continued Nadal. “I played some great matches. In Melbourne, I played some great matches. In Acapulco, I played well. In Brisbane, I played well. Let’s see here. I’m very happy with the way I started the season. Now here is another opportunity. I know I have a very tough draw, and let’s see.”

Roger Federer

Ninth seed Roger Federer had no problems with Stephane Robert dominating the Frenchman 6-2, 6-1 in 51 minutes.  Federer was five for five on break point chances. The 35-year-old Swiss, who is a four-time champion, will face American Steve Johnson the round of 32.

 

Also advancing on the men’s side were No. 4 Kei Nishikori, No. 12 Grigor Dimitrov No. 14 Lucas Pouille, No. 15 Nick Kyrgios, No. 17 Jack Sock, No. 18 Alexander Zverev No. 24 Steve Johnson, No. 25 Gilles Muller, No. 26 Fernando Verdasco.

Taylor Fritz (c)USTA/Pete Staples

The biggest upset on the day on the men’s side was 19-year-old American wildcard Taylor Fritz stunned No. 6 seed Marin Cilic 4-6, 7-5, 6-4.

Other seeded men who lost on Sunday were No. 23 Sam Querrey and Marcel Granollers (32).

 

In women’s action the biggest upset came when 21st seed Caroline Garcia of France defeated No. 11 seed Johanna Konta of Great Britain 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (1).

No. 7 seed and current French Open champion Garbine Muguruza held off American teenage wildcard Kayla Day 3-6, 7-5, 6-2. Day, last year’s U.S. Open Girls’ champion is currently ranked 175 in the world.

Muguruza said during her on-court interview after the match: “She’s very young and has a great future. She reminds me a little of me, when I was super motivated and playing very good.”

“Obviously I was pretty upset after my match, because it didn’t go the way I wanted it in the end,” Day said to media. “But if you look at the big picture, I was able to push a Top 10 player really far.”

 

Other winners on the day included No. 3 seed Karolina Pliskova, No. 8 Svetlana Kuznetsova, Elina Svitolina, and No. 15 Timea Bacsinszky.

 

 

More to follow….

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Roger Federer Loses to Qualifier Evgeny Donskoy in Dubai

Evgeny Donskoy

(March 1, 2017) DUBAI, UAE:  Seven-time champion Roger Federer lost to 116th– ranked  qualifier Evgeny Donskoy 3-6, 7-6(7), 7-6 (5) on Wednesday. It is his earliest defeat in the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships since he was beaten by Andy Murray in the first round in 2008. It is also only the third time since 2007 that he has lost to a qualifier. Federer led 5-2 in the final set and lost four straight games. Federer led 5-1 in the third set tiebreak and lost the next six straight points.

 

“Maybe it wasn’t really committed enough, I think,” said Federer. “Commitment in tennis is a big thing. In the first round I was. Today I wasn’t, really. That sort of is a feeling you get and it trickles in an entire game. I thought I returned way better in the first round. Today I really struggled on the return. I didn’t quite really time it well. Yeah, timing I thought was off for me today. Legs also felt slower out here tonight. I felt tired all day. I tried to get myself in shape, and, you know, like warm up properly, do all the things I always do, regardless if it’s a first round or a final.

 

“There’s no excuses there. I just think it’s still the beginning of the comeback and gotta take the positives out of, you know, playing again a tournament where I feel I’m quite healthy and I’m happy I got over the (groin) injury I sustained at the Australian Open. Maybe didn’t allow me to practice as much as I was hoping to in Switzerland, but at the same time also needed the rest. (But) there was also no problem there, really. I came early. I was perfectly prepared. It’s just a tough loss tonight. So many chances. It was crazy.”

 

Donskoy revealed that with his coach absent this week he is being helped by former two-time Dubai finalist Mikhail Youzhny, and said, “It was really tough in the beginning, because it was too much pressure. I mean, I felt it on myself, because it’s Roger, and I never even practice with him. So it was tough. And that many people. I’m used to playing on centre court and many people, but Roger is different moment. And then, like, when you winning some games then you start to think, like, okay. I was saying to myself, like, do your legs lower, because if I stand up I getting so much mistake. That’s what I said to myself.”

 

World No. 1 Andy Murray reached the quarterfinals with an easy win over Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-2 ,6-0. But fifth seed and two-time finalist Tomas Berdych and sixth seed Roberto Bautista Agut lost. Berdych lost3-6, 6-3,6-4 against Robin Haase, and Bautista Agut lost a two hour 25-minute battle with Fernando Verdasco 6-4, 3-6, 7-5.

 

“When I got the early break, pretty much was almost 30 minutes in and we’d only played four games. Mentally, that was important for me, you know, to be up at that stage,” said Murray. “It could have gone either way, obviously, first few games. But being up at that stage helped, and then I loosened up a bit after that and played really well.

 

“It was way better than how I played at the beginning of the year, that’s for sure. You know, playing aggressive, feeling more solid, and when I’m in position to dictate the points I’m doing it, moving forward. I hit my forehand very well last couple of matches. I served better today. It’s been a good start. Obviously matches will get tougher, but I’m much happier with how I’m playing.”

 

Fourth seed Gael Monfils was also stretched by Daniel Evans but won 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, and recent Marseille finalist and number seven seed Lucas Pouille eased past qualifier Marius Copil 6-1, 6-4. Damir Dzumhur followed up his defeat of defending champion Stan Wawrinka by beating Marcel Granollers, recovering from 1-4 in the second set to take the next five games and claim a 6-3, 6-4 victory, and Philipp Kohlschreiber earned a single break in each set to defeat Daniil Medvedev 6-4, 6-4.

Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships
Dubai, U.A.E.

RESULTS – WEDNESDAY, 1 MARCH 2016

Singles – Second Round
[1] A. Murray (GBR) d G. Garcia-Lopez (ESP) 62 60
[Q] E. Donskoy (RUS) d [3] R. Federer (SUI) 36 76(7) 76(5) – saved 3 m.p.
[4] G. Monfils (FRA) d D. Evans (GBR) 64 36 61
R. Haase (NED) d [5] T. Berdych (CZE) 36 63 64
F. Verdasco (ESP) d [6] [WC] R. Bautista Agut (ESP) 64 36 75
[7] L. Pouille (FRA) d [Q] M. Copil (ROU) 61 64
P. Kohlschreiber (GER) d D. Medvedev (RUS) 64 64
D. Dzumhur (BIH) d M. Granollers (ESP) 63 64

Doubles – Quarter-finals
[1] H. Kontinen (FIN) / J. Peers (AUS) d D. Evans (GBR) / G. Muller (LUX) 76(1) 64
R. Bopanna (IND) / M. Matkowski (POL) d F. Mergea (ROU) / V. Troicki (SRB) 63 64

Doubles – First Round
P. Kohlschreiber (GER) / F. Mayer (GER) d L. Pouille (FRA) / F. Verdasco (ESP) w/o (Pouille: bicep strain)
G. Garcia-Lopez (ESP) / L. Paes (IND) d [Q] J. Cerretani (USA) / P. Oswald (AUT) 62 64

SCHEDULE – THURSDAY, 2 MARCH 2016

CENTRE COURT start 3:00 pm
R. Haase (NED) vs D. Dzumhur (BIH)
F. Verdasco (ESP) vs [4] G. Monfils (FRA)
Not Before 7:00 pm
[1] A. Murray (GBR) vs P. Kohlschreiber (GER)
[Q] E. Donskoy (RUS) vs [7] L. Pouille (FRA)

COURT 1 start 5:00 pm
G. Garcia-Lopez (ESP) / L. Paes (IND) vs [3] D. Nestor (CAN) / E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA)
After Suitable Rest – [4] J. Rojer (NED) / H. Tecau (ROU) vs P. Kohlschreiber (GER) / F. Mayer (GER)

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Roger Federer Defeats Rafael Nadal To Win Australian Open for 18th Major Championship

 

 

(January 29, 2017) No. 17 seed Roger Federer defeated No. 9 seed Rafael Nadal 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 to win his fifth Australian Open title, his 18th major championship.

 

The 35-year-old Swiss rallied from 1-3 down in the final set, winning the last five straight games to close out the match. This was the first time that Federer had ever beaten the Spaniard at the Australian Open, losing three times before.

 

Winning a major as the 17th seed, equals 14-time major winner Pete Sampras, who won his last major as the 17th seed at the 2002 U. S. Open.

Federer also is the first to win a major, beating four Top Ten players along the way since 1982. He beat (10) Tomas Berdych in the third round, (5) Kei Nishikori in the fourth round, (4) Stan Wawrinka in the semifinals and (9) Rafael Nadal in the final.

 

Each of the first four sets swayed with whoever broke serve. Federer took a medical time out, off court after the fourth set. However in the fifth set Nadal took a 3-1 lead and never won another game in the match.

With the victory, Federer will move up to No. 10 in the world and the 30-year-old Nadal will climb to No. 6.

“For me it’s all about the comeback, about an epic match with Rafa again,” Federer said in his news conference. Doing it here in Australia, that I’m so thankful to Peter Carter and Tony Roche, and just people… I guess my popularity here, their support, that I can still do it at my age after not having won a slam for almost five years.

“That’s what I see. The last problem is the slam count. Honestly, it doesn’t matter.”

“I told myself to play free. That’s what we discussed with Ivan and Severin before the matches. You play the ball, you don’t play the opponent. Be free in your head, be free in your shots, go for it. The brave will be rewarded here. I didn’t want to go down just making shots, seeing forehands rain down on me from Rafa. I think it was the right decision at the right time.

“I had opportunities early on in the fifth, as well, to get back on even terms. I could have been left disappointed there and accepted that fact. I kept on fighting. I kept on believing, like I did all match long today, that there was a possibility I could win this match.

“I think that’s what made me play my best tennis at the very end the match, which was actually surprising to me. I went through a little bit of a lull in the fourth and the beginning of the fifth set.
 

“It was a long shot for both men reaching the final as both men were coming back to the tour from injuries. Federer was off the tour for six months to rehabilitate his knee, while Nadal took off the last few months due to a wrist injury.”

“I think have been a great match,” said Nadal. “I enjoy to be part of it. I fight to try to have the trophy with me. I had some chances in the fifth with break up.

“But is true that after I had the break, he played very aggressive, hitting a lot of great shots. So was tough to hold the serve every time, no?

“I had the chance to keep holding the serve. If I hold that one, you never know. You are two games, just two games away. But I didn’t, so…

“Well, that’s it, no? I believe that he played super aggressive during the whole match. Tough chances to play the way I wanted to play. But still like this, I played, I think, with the right attitude, trying to do my things, fighting for every ball.

“Is true that probably remain a little bit of speed today compared to the last day in my legs probably, little bit. But that’s normal after what happened one day and a half ago.

“Like this I think I tried. I didn’t play bad. But is true was difficult to play a lot because he really went for the shots, almost for every shots.”

Federer was asked about his great rivalry with Nadal: “We go furthest back, you know. Novak also has been one of my biggest rivals. So have Roddick and Hewitt. I don’t like to leave anybody out, to be honest. But I’m sure I’ve left a couple out. They know who they are.

“But Rafa definitely has been very particular in my career. I think he made me a better player. Him and a couple more players have done the most to do that to me because the way his game stacks up with me, it’s a tricky one. I’ve said that openly. It remains for me the ultimate challenge to play against him. So it’s definitely very special.

“I said that also before the finals: if I were to win against Rafa, it would be super special and very sweet because I haven’t beaten him in a Grand Slam final for a long, long time now. Last time I guess was 2007 at Wimbledon in a five-setter. Now I was able to do it again.

“We’re both on a comeback. Like I said on the court, it would have been nice for both of us to win, but there’s no draws in tennis. It’s brutal sometimes.

“He should be happy. I would have been happy again to be in the finals, like I said on the court. I think this one will take more time to sink in. When I go back to Switzerland, I’ll think, Wow.

“The magnitude of this match is going to feel different. I can’t compare this one to any other one except for maybe the French Open in ’09. I waited for the French Open, I tried, I fought. I tried again and failed. Eventually I made it. This feels similar”

 

“At the end of the day is another title, ” said Nadal. “There is a winner, there is a loser. In these kind of matches, anyone can”win. Being honest, in these kind of matches, I won a lot of times against him. Today he beat me. Just congratulate him. Is not more than another important title for him, another important two weeks for me. Even if didn’t finish the way that I wanted, have been an important two weeks for me.

“The only thing that I can do is congratulate him and go back home with very positive feelings for me.
Federer last won in Melbourne in 2010. The win sets for biggest gap between claiming Australian Open titles.”

 

 

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Fedal XXXV – Tale of the Tape – Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal

2017 AUSTRALIAN OPEN

DAY 14 MEN’S NOTES

Sunday 29 January

 

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal at 2010 Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day

Singles Final

9 RAFAEL NADAL (ESP) v NO. 17 ROGER FEDERER (SUI)

This is the 105th edition of the Australian Championships, which began in 1905, as well as being the 49th Australian Open and the 196th Grand Slam tournament of the Open Era. Melbourne Park has hosted the tournament for the 30th year. It was first played here in 1988, when the venue was known as Flinders Park.

(Seed) Player Country Age Ranking Best Australian Open performance Best Grand Slam performance
(9) Rafael Nadal ESP 30 9 W 2009 14 Grand Slam titles
(17) Roger Federer SUI 35 17 W 2004, 2006-07, 10 17 Grand Slam titles

 

 

At stake for the finalists, in addition to the prestige of the Australian Open title, is the following:

 

 
AUD$
ATP Ranking Points
Champion 3,700,000 2000
Finalist 1,850,000 1200

ATP Rankings update…

If he wins the title, Federer will re-enter the Top 10, at No. 10, when the new ATP Rankings are released on Monday 30 January. If Nadal wins, he will rise to No. 4. By reaching the final here, Federer has ensured he will climb to No. 14, while Nadal has ensured he will move up to No. 6.

 

 

Who has the advantage?
For 5 out of the past 9 years, the man who played his semifinal second has been the one who won the final, so recent history would suggest that Nadal has the slight advantage in winning the 2017 Australian Open title.

Record-breakers
Federer is looking to become the first man in history to win 5 or more titles at 3 different Grand Slam events. He has won a total of 4 Australian Opens, 7 Wimbledons, 5 US Opens and one Roland Garros. Victory today would also see him take sole ownership of 3rd place on the list for most Australian Open titles and close the gap on Novak Djokovic and Roy Emerson, who have each won 6 Australian titles.

 

Nadal is bidding to become the first man in the Open Era – and only the 3rd man in history – to win each of the 4 Grand Slam titles twice. Emerson and Rod Laver are the only players to have won each Grand Slam on 2 or more occasions. [NB while Laver completed the feat in 1969, some of the titles were won before the start of the Open Era].

 

The winner of today’s match will set the record for the longest wait between Australian Open titles in the Open Era. Nadal is bidding to end an 8-year wait for the Australian Open crown and win here for the for the first time since 2009, while Federer is looking to end a 7-year wait and win here for the first time since 2010. The longest gap between winning Australian Open titles in the Open Era is 5 years – Boris Becker (1991 and 1996) and Andre Agassi (1995 and 2000). The longest gap between winning a Grand Slam title in the Open Era at the same event is 8 years – Jimmy Connors won Wimbledon in 1974 and again in 1982.

 

Head-to-head: Nadal leads 23-11

2004     AMS Miami                   Hard (O)           R32      Nadal                63 63

2005     AMS Miami                   Hard (O)           FR        Federer             26 67(4) 76(5) 63 61

2005     Roland Garros             Clay (O)            SF        Nadal               63 46 64 63

2006     Dubai                           Hard (O)           FR        Nadal                26 64 64

2006     AMS Monte Carlo          Clay(O)             FR        Nadal                62 67(2) 63 76(5)

2006     AMS Rome                   Clay (O)            FR        Nadal                67(0) 76(5) 64 26 76(5)

2006     Roland Garros             Clay (O)            FR        Nadal               16 61 64 76(4)

2006     Wimbledon                  Grass (O)         FR        Federer            60 76(5) 67(2) 63

2006     Tennis Masters Cup      Hard (I)             SF        Federer             64 75

2007     AMS Monte Carlo          Clay (O)            FR        Nadal                64 64

2007     AMS Hamburg              Clay (O)            FR        Federer             26 62 60

2007     Roland Garros             Clay (O)            FR        Nadal               63 46 63 64

2007     Wimbledon                  Grass (O)         FR        Federer            76(7) 46 76(3) 26 62

2007     Tennis Masters Cup      Hard (I)             SF        Federer             64 61

2008     AMS Monte Carlo          Clay (O)            FR        Nadal                75 75

2008     AMS Hamburg              Clay(O)             FR        Nadal                75 67(3) 63

2008     Roland Garros             Clay (O)            FR        Nadal               61 63 60

2008     Wimbledon                  Grass (O)         FR        Nadal               64 64 67(5) 67(8) 97

2009     Australian Open           Hard (O)           FR        Nadal               75 36 76(3) 36 62

2009     Madrid-1000                  Clay (O)            FR        Federer             64 64

2010     Madrid-1000                  Clay (O)            FR        Nadal                64 76(5)

2010     ATP World Tour Finals   Hard (I)             FR        Federer             63 36 61

2011     Miami-1000                   Hard (O)           SF        Nadal                63 62

2011     Madrid-1000                  Clay (O)            SF        Nadal                57 61 63

2011     Roland Garros             Clay (O)            FR        Nadal               75 76(3) 57 61

2011     ATP World Tour Finals   Hard (I)             RR        Federer             63 60

2012     Australian Open          Hard (O)           SF        Nadal               67(5) 62 76(5) 64

2012     Indian Wells-1000          Hard (O)           SF        Federer             63 64

2013     Indian Wells-1000          Hard (O)           QF        Nadal                64 62

2013     Rome-1000                   Clay (O)            FR        Nadal                61 63

2013     Cincinnati-1000              Hard (O)           QF        Nadal                57 64 63

2013     ATP World Tour Finals   Hard (I)             SF        Nadal                75 63

2014     Australian Open           Hard (O)           SF        Nadal               76(4) 63 63

2015     Basel                            Hard (I)             FR        Federer             63 57 63

 

This is Nadal and Federer’s 12th Grand Slam encounter, putting them in 3rd place for the most matches played at the majors in the Open Era.

           Most Grand Slam match-ups (Open Era)

Players No. of match-ups Win-loss
Roger Federer v Novak Djokovic

 

15 Djokovic leads 9-6
Novak Djokovic v Rafael Nadal

 

13 Nadal leads 9-4
Roger Federer v Rafael Nadal 12 Nadal leads 9-2
Novak Djokovic v Andy Murray 10 Djokovic leads 8-2
Ivan Lendl v John McEnroe 10 Lendl leads 7-3

 

This is the 9th meeting between these 2 players in a Grand Slam final which extends their lead for the most match-ups in a Grand Slam final in the Open Era.

 

Most head-to-heads in Grand Slam finals (Open Era)

Head-to-head Grand Slam final meetings
Roger Federer v Rafael Nadal 9
Novak Djokovic v Rafael Nadal

Novak Djokovic v Andy Murray

7

7

Andre Agassi v Pete Sampras

Ivan Lendl v Mats Wilander

5

5

Nadal has won 6 of their previous 8 Grand Slam final meetings – including here in 2009, when he won in 5 sets to win his only title at the Australian Open.

 

This is the 35th meeting between Federer and Nadal. This is the joint 6th-most matches played in a head-to-head at Tour-level in the Open Era:

 

Novak Djokovic v Rafael Nadal 49
Roger Federer v Novak Djokovic 45
Ivan Lendl v John McEnroe 36
Jimmy Connors v Ivan Lendl 36
Novak Djokovic v Andy Murray 36
Jimmy Connors v John McEnroe 35
Boris Becker v Stefan Edberg 35
Roger Federer v Rafael Nadal 35

 

Federer ended a 5-match losing streak against Nadal in their most recent meeting, the final at 2015 Basel. Last year was the first year since the pair’s first meeting in 2004 that they have not contested at least one match.

 

Nadal is on a 6-match winning streak against Federer at the Grand Slams, having not lost to the Swiss at a major since falling in 5 sets in the final at 2007 Wimbledon. Federer has won just two of their 11 previous meetings at the Grand Slams.

 

Of the pair’s 34 previous meetings, 21 have been finals. Nadal leads the head-to-head in finals 14-7.

 

Nadal leads the hard court head-to-head 9-7, and has won all 3 of their meetings at the Australian Open. As well defeating Federer in the final here in 2009, he also won their semifinal encounters in 2012 and 2014.

 

Nadal is one of just 3 active players who have had more than one career meeting with Federer to hold a winning head-to-head – the others are Djokovic (23-22) and Dominic Thiem (2-1).
Federer has a losing head-to-head against just 4 players at the Grand Slams where multiple matches have been played – Nadal, Alex Corretja (0-2), Arnaud Clement (1-2) and Djokovic (6-9).

 

Federer is aiming to win his 18th Grand Slam singles title and extend his all-time record for the most Grand Slams won. Nadal is bidding to win his 15th major title and claim sole ownership of 2nd place on the all-time list.

 

Grand Slam titles won

Roger Federer 17
Rafael Nadal

Pete Sampras

14

14

Novak Djokovic

Roy Emerson

12

12

Bjorn Borg

Rod Laver

11

11

Bill Tilden 10

 

By reaching his 6th Australian Open final, Federer has become the 2nd man in the Open Era to reach 6 Australian Open finals after Novak Djokovic. Nadal has moved into joint-5th position on the list after reaching his 4th final here.

 

                       No. of Australian Open final appearances (Open Era)

Novak Djokovic

Roger Federer

6

6

Stefan Edberg

Andy Murray

5

5

Andre Agassi

Rafael Nadal

Ivan Lendl

Mats Wilander

4

4

4

4

 

Federer is through to his 28th Grand Slam final, extending the all-time record that he took sole ownership of at 2009 Wimbledon. By reaching the final here, Nadal has tied Djokovic in 2nd place on the all-time list for most Grand Slam finals reached with 21.

 

Grand Slam finals reached (all-time)

Player No. of GS finals
Roger Federer 28
Novak Djokovic

Rafael Nadal

21

21

Ivan Lendl 19

 

Federer is looking to claim his first hard court title since defeating Nadal to win 2015 Basel and his 61st hard court title overall. He is aiming to extend his record for most hard court titles won in the Open Era. Nadal – who last won a hard court title at 2014 Doha – has won a total of 16 hard court titles, the 4th highest among active players (behind Federer, Djokovic and Murray).

Hard court title leaders (Open Era)

Player No. of hard court titles
Roger Federer

Novak Djokovic

Andre Agassi

Pete Sampras

Andy Murray

60

51

46

36

32

Active players in bold

 

This is just the 5th occasion in the Open Era that a Grand Slam final has been contested by a pair of 30-somethings. The last time 2 players aged 30 or over contested a final at a major was at the 2002 US Open when 31-year-old Pete Sampras defeated 32-year-old Andre Agassi to win the title. The last time it happened here was in 1972, when 37-year-old Ken Rosewall defeated 36-year-old Mal Anderson.

 

With 36-year-old Venus Williams and 35-year old Serena Williams contesting the women’s singles final, this is the first Grand Slam in the Open Era where all 4 singles finalists have been aged 30 or over.

 

With No. 9 Nadal and No. 17 Federer through to the final here, the winner of today’s match will be the lowest-ranked man to win the Australian Open since No. 18 Thomas Johansson won the title here in 2002.

 

Road to the Final

NADAL Time   Time FEDERER
d. Florian Mayer 63 64 64 2:04 1st round 2:06 d. (Q) Jurgen Melzer 75 36 62 62
d. Marcos Baghdatis 63 61 63 2:13 2nd round 2:03 d. (Q) Noah Rubin 75 63 76(3)
d. No. 24 Alexander Zverev 46 63 67(5) 63 62 4:06 3rd round 1:30 d. No. 10 Tomas Berdych 62 64 64
d. No. 6 Gael Monfils 63 63 46 64

d. No. 3 Milos Raonic 64 76(7) 64
d. No. 15 Grigor Dimitrov 63 57 76(5) 67(4) 64

2:56

2:44

4:56

Round of 16
Quarterfinals

Semifinals

3:24

1:32

3:05

d. No. 5 Kei Nishikori 67(4) 64 61 46 63

d. Mischa Zverev 61 75 62

d. No. 4 Stan Wawrinka 75 63 16 46 63

         
total time on court 18:59  (IBM time) 13:40 total time on court

 

NADAL                                         v                                       FEDERER

 

30                                          Age                                          35

6’1”/1.85m                                  Height                                   6’1”/1.85m

9                                    ATP Ranking                                   17

78,737,293                     Career Earnings (US$)                      98,830,819

69                                         Titles                                         88

209-31                     Career Grand Slam Record                     313-51

14 titles                       Best Grand Slam Result                      17 titles

51-10                        Australian Open Record                        86-13

814-175                              Career Record                             1086-245

389-118                        Career Record – Hard                         670-135

8-1                                   2017 Record                                   6-0

8-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              6-0

19-8                          Career Five-Set Record                         26-20

3                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                        10

202-133                      Career Tiebreak Record                       396-216

2-2                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            1-1

 

 

  • 2009 Australian Open champion NADAL is bidding to win his 2nd Australian Open title and become the first man in the Open Era – and only the 3rd man in history – to win each of the 4 Grand Slam titles twice. Roy Emerson and Rod Laver are the only players to have won each Grand Slam on 2 or more occasions. [NB: While Laver completed the feat in 1969, some of the titles were won before the start of the Open Era.]

 

  • Nadal is bidding to win his 15th Grand Slam title and close the gap on Federer in the list of all-time Grand Slam title holders. He is currently joint-2nd with Pete Sampras on the list behind Federer (17).

 

  • Nadal is bidding to win his first Grand Slam title since 2014 Roland Garros – when he defeated Novak Djokovic in the final. This is his first appearance in a major final since then.

 

  • The Australian Open is Nadal’s 2nd most successful Grand Slam in terms of match-wins, but his least successful in terms of titles won.
     Titles won   Win-loss record     Finals reached
Australian Open   2??   51-10 4
Roland Garros   9   72-2 9
Wimbledon   2   40-9 5
US Open   2   46-10 3

 

  • This is Nadal’s 21st Grand Slam final. He has a 14-6 win-loss record in Grand Slam finals, going into today’s match:

     Nadal in Grand Slam finals

Event Result
2005 Roland Garros d. Mariano Puerta 67(6) 63 61 75
2006 Roland Garros d. Roger Federer 16 61 64 76(4)
2006 Wimbledon l. Roger Federer 60 76(5) 67(2) 63
2007 Roland Garros d. Roger Federer 63 46 63 64
2007 Wimbledon l. Roger Federer 76(7) 46 76(3) 26 62
2008 Roland Garros d. Roger Federer 61 63 60
2008 Wimbledon d. Roger Federer 64 64 67(5) 67(8) 97
2009 Australian Open d. Roger Federer 75 36 76(3) 36 62
2010 Roland Garros d. Robin Soderling 64 62 64
2010 Wimbledon d. Tomas Berdych 63 75 64
2010 US Open d. Novak Djokovic 64 57 64 62
2011 Roland Garros d. Roger Federer 75 76(3) 57 61
2011 Wimbledon l. Novak Djokovic 64 61 16 63
2011 US Open l. Novak Djokovic 62 64 67(3) 61
2012 Australian Open l. Novak Djokovic 57 64 62 67(5) 75
2012 Roland Garros d. Novak Djokovic 64 63 26 75
2013 Roland Garros d. David Ferrer 63 62 63
2013 US Open d. Novak Djokovic 62 36 64 61
2014 Australian Open l. Stan Wawrinka 63 62 36 63
2014 Roland Garros d. Novak Djokovic 36 75 62 64
2017 Australian Open v Roger Federer

 

  • Nadal is bidding to become the first No. 9 seed in the Open Era to win the Australian Open. The No. 9 seed has finished runner-up at Melbourne Park on 7 occasions – with Marat Safin the last No. 9 seed to reach the final here in 2002.

 

  • Nadal is bidding to become the first No. 9 seed to win a Grand Slam title since Jim Courier at 1991 Roland Garros. By reaching the final here, he has become the first No. 9 seed to contest a Grand Slam final since Andy Roddick fell to Federer at the 2006 US Open.

 

  • Ranked at No. 9, Nadal is bidding to become the lowest-ranked man to win the Australian Open since No. 18 Thomas Johansson won the title here in 2002. He would be the lowest-ranked man to win a Grand Slam since No. 9 Stan Wawrinka won 2015 Roland Garros.

 

  • Nadal’s best performance at the Australian Open is winning the title in 2009 (d. Federer). He also reached the final in 2012, losing to Djokovic in the longest men’s Grand Slam final on record at 5 hours, 53 minutes, and in 2014
    (l. Stan Wawrinka).

 

  • By defeating Dimitrov in Friday’s semifinals, Nadal improved his win-loss record in Grand Slam semifinals to 21-3. He has a 4-1 win-loss record in semifinals here.

 

  • By defeating Milos Raonic in the quarterfinals here, Nadal recorded his 50th Australian Open match-win and became the 4th man in the Open Era to record 50 Australian Open match-wins after Federer, Djokovic and Edberg.

 

Most Australian Open match-wins (Open Era)

Player Win-loss
Roger Federer 86-13
Novak Djokovic 58-7
Stefan Edberg 56-10
Rafael Nadal 51-10
Andre Agassi

Ivan Lendl

Andy Murray

48-5

48-10

48-12

Active players in bold.

 

  • By defeating No. 6 Gael Monfils in the round of 16 and No. 3 Raonic in the quarterfinals here, Nadal recorded back-to-back match-wins over Top 10 opposition at a Grand Slam for the first time since 2014 Roland Garros, when he defeated No. 5 David Ferrer in the quarterfinals, No. 8 Andy Murray in the last 4 and No. 2 Djokovic in the final. His win over Monfils here ended a 4-match losing streak against Top 10 players and was his first Top 10 win since he defeated No. 6 Kei Nishikori to win the title at 2016 Barcelona.

 

  • By winning 5-set matches against Zverev in the 3rd round and Dimitrov in the semifinals here, Nadal ended a 3-match losing streak in 5-set matches and improved his 5-set record to 19-8. He has a 7-3 win-loss record in 5-set matches at Melbourne Park.

 

  • Last year here Nadal lost in the 1st round for the first time in his career, falling to Fernando Verdasco in 5 sets. It was just the 2nd time that he had lost in the 1st round at a Grand Slam, having also lost his opening match at 2013 Wimbledon (l. Steve Darcis).

 

  • Elsewhere at the Grand Slams in 2016, Nadal reached the round of 16 at the US Open (l. Lucas Pouille), but gave a walkover in the 3rd round at Roland Garros and missed Wimbledon due to a left wrist injury. This is his 12th appearance at Melbourne Park and his 47th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Away from the majors, Nadal’s best results in 2016 came during the clay court season when he won back-to-back titles at Monte Carlo-1000 (d. Monfils) and Barcelona (d. Nishikori). It was his 9th title at both events, and took his career total to 69 titles. Nadal also reached the final at Doha (l. Djokovic) and the semifinals at 5 other tournaments.

 

  • Also in 2016, Nadal won his 2nd gold medal at the Olympic Tennis Event after clinching the men’s doubles title alongside Marc Lopez at Rio 2016. He narrowly missed out on a medal in singles, falling to Nishikori 62 67(1) 63 in the bronze medal play-off.

 

  • Nadal is the only lefthander to have contested an Australian Open final since 1998 when Petr Korda defeated fellow lefthander Marcelo Rios.

 

  • Nadal is aiming to win his first hard court tournament in over 3 years. He has not won a hard court tournament since defeating Monfils to win the title at 2014 Doha. His total of 16 hard court titles is the 4th highest among active players (behind Federer, Djokovic and Murray).

 

  • Nadal warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the quarterfinals at Brisbane (l. Raonic). It was his first tournament since October, when he lost to Viktor Troicki at Shanghai-1000, after he pulled out of Basel, Paris-1000 and the ATP World Tour Finals with a wrist injury.

 

  • At the 2010 US Open, Nadal became the 7th man in history to win all 4 Grand Slam titles. He was the 3rd-youngest in history and the youngest man in the Open Era, to do so.

 

  • Nadal has been coached by his uncle, Toni Nadal, for his entire career. He added former Australian Open finalist Carlos Moya to his team ahead of the 2017 season. His fitness trainer is Rafael Maymo.

 

  • At 35 years 174 days, FEDERER is looking to become the 2nd oldest man in the Open Era to win a Grand Slam title after Ken Rosewall, who won 3 Grand Slam titles after turning 35. Rosewall won the 1970 US Open (aged 35 years 315 days) and the Australian Open in 1971 (aged 36 years 73 days) and 1972 (aged 37 years 62 days).

 

  • Federer, who won 2012 Wimbledon aged 30 years 335 days, is looking to become the sixth man in the Open Era to win 2 or more Grand Slams titles after turning 30. Stan Wawrinka was the last man to achieve the feat, winning 2015 Roland Garros aged 30 years, 71 days and the 2016 US Open aged 31 years, 167 days.

 

Players aged over 30 to win 2 or more Grand Slams (Open Era)

Player Titles won aged over 30 Years
Rod Laver 4 1969
Ken Rosewall 4 1968, 1970, 1971, 1972
Andre Agassi 2 2001, 2003
Jimmy Connors 2 1982, 1983
Stan Wawrinka 2 2015, 2016

 

  • Federer is looking to win his 5th Australian Open title – in his first final here since 2010 – and become the 3rd man in history to win 5 Australian titles:

 

Australian Open title leaders (all-time)

Player     Titles won Years
Novak Djokovic 6 2008, 2011-13, 2015-16
Roy Emerson 6 1961, 1963-67
Andre Agassi 4 1995, 2000-01, 2003
Jack Crawford 4 1931-33, 1935
Roger Federer 4 2004, 2006-07, 2010

 

  • Federer is bidding to win his 18th Grand Slam title and tie Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova in equal 5th place on the all-time list for most Grand Slam singles titles by a man or woman.

All-time Grand Slam singles title leaders (men and women)

Rank Player No. of titles
1. Margaret Court 24
2. Serena Williams 23??*
3. Steffi Graf 22
4. Helen Wills Moody 19
5= Chris Evert

Roger Federer??

Martina Navratilova

18

18??
18

*Serena Williams could win her 23rd Grand Slam title if she wins the title here. Written prior to Saturday’s women’s final.

 

  • Federer has a 17-10 record in Grand Slam finals, going into today’s match:

 

Federer in Grand Slam finals

Event Result
2003 Wimbledon d. Mark Philippoussis 76(5) 62 76(3)
2004 Australian Open d. Marat Safin 76(3) 64 62
2004 Wimbledon d. Andy Roddick 46 75 76(3) 64
2004 US Open d. Lleyton Hewitt 60 76(3) 60
2005 Wimbledon d. Andy Roddick 62 76(2) 64
2005 US Open d. Andre Agassi 63 26 76(1) 61
2006 Australian Open d. Marcos Baghdatis 57 75 60 62
2006 Roland Garros l. Rafael Nadal 16 61 64 76(4)
2006 Wimbledon d. Rafael Nadal 60 76(5) 67(2) 63
2006 US Open d. Andy Roddick 62 46 75 61
2007 Australian Open d. Fernando Gonzalez 76(2) 64 64
2007 Roland Garros l. Rafael Nadal 63 46 63 64
2007 Wimbledon d. Rafael Nadal 76(7) 46 76(3) 26 62
2007 US Open d. Novak Djokovic 76(4) 76(2) 64
2008 Roland Garros l. Rafael Nadal 61 63 60
2008 Wimbledon l. Rafael Nadal 64 64 67(5) 67(8) 97
2008 US Open d. Andy Murray 62 75 62
2009 Australian Open l. Rafael Nadal 75 36 76(3) 36 62
2009 Roland Garros d. Robin Soderling 61 76(1) 64
2009 Wimbledon d. Andy Roddick 57 76(6) 76(5) 36 1614
2009 US Open l. Juan Martin del Potro 36 76(5) 46 76(4) 62
2010 Australian Open d. Andy Murray 63 64 76(11)
2011 Roland Garros l. Rafael Nadal 75 76(3) 57 61
2012 Wimbledon d. Andy Murray 46 75 63 64
2014 Wimbledon l. Novak Djokovic 67(7) 64 76(4) 57 64
2015 Wimbledon l. Novak Djokovic 76(1) 67(10) 64 63
2015 US Open l. Novak Djokovic 64 57 64 64
2017 Australian Open v. Rafael Nadal

 

  • Federer is contesting his 100th match at the Australian Open today. Jimmy Connors is the only other man to have played 100 matches at one Grand Slam event in the Open Era – at both Wimbledon (102) and the US Open (115). Federer has played 95 matches at Wimbledon, 89 at the US Open and 81 at Roland Garros.

 

  • Ranked No. 17, Federer is bidding to become the lowest-ranked man to win the Australian Open since No. 18 Thomas Johansson won the title here in 2002. He would be the lowest-ranked man to win any Grand Slam since No. 44 Gaston Gaudio won 2004 Roland Garros. By reaching the final here, he has become the lowest-ranked man to reach the Australian Open final since No. 38 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in 2008. He is the lowest-ranked man to reach any Grand Slam final since No. 25 Robin Soderling at 2009 Roland Garros.

 

  • Federer is bidding to become the first No. 17 seed to win a Grand Slam title since Pete Sampras won the title as No. 17 seed at the 2002 US Open. Sampras was also the last No. 17 seed to reach a Grand Slam final.

 

  • By reaching the final here aged 35 years 174 days, Federer has become the oldest man to reach a Grand Slam final since Ken Rosewall (39 years 310 days) at the 1974 US Open.

 

  • By reaching the final here aged 35 years 174 days, Federer has become the 3rd different man in the Open Era to reach the Australian Open final aged 35 or over. He is the 4th oldest Australian Open finalist overall:

 

                                              Oldest men to reach Australian Open final (Open Era)

Age Player Year
37 years 62 days Ken Rosewall 1972
36 years 306 days Mal Anderson 1972
36 years 73 days Ken Rosewall 1971
35 years 174 days Roger Federer 2017

NB Player ages are calculated at the end of the tournament

 

  • The Australian Open is Federer’s most successful Grand Slam event in terms of matches won. He has an 86-13 win-loss record here:

 

  Titles won Win-loss record Finals reached
Australian Open 5?? 86-13 6
Roland Garros 1 65-16 5
Wimbledon 7 84-11 10
US Open 5 78-11 7

 

  • By winning 5-set matches against both Kei Nishikori and Stan Wawrinka here, Federer improved his career 5-set win-loss record to 26-20. He has a 7-5 win-loss record in 5-set matches at the Australian Open.

 

  • By defeating No. 10 Tomas Berdych, No. 5 Nishikori and No. 4 Wawrinka here, Federer has recorded consecutive match-wins against Top 10 opposition for the first time since he recorded 4 straight wins against Top 10 opponents at the 2015 ATP World Tour Finals.
  • Federer played just 7 Tour-level events in 2016 after injuring his knee the day after his Australian Open semifinal. He underwent arthroscopic knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus on 2 February and withdrew from tournaments at Rotterdam and Dubai. He returned with a quarterfinal finish at Monte Carlo-1000 (l. Tsonga) but, despite playing 4 further tournaments, announced on 26 July that he would miss the rest of the season, including the Olympic Games in Rio, due to the knee injury.

 

  • Federer dropped out of the world’s Top 10 for the first time in 734 weeks (over 14 years) in November 2016 and did not qualify for the ATP World Tour Finals for the first time since 2001. He plays here ranked No. 17 – his lowest position since May 2001.

 

  • Federer made his comeback from injury at the 2017 Hopman Cup, defeating Daniel Evans 63 64 and Richard Gasquet 61 64, but losing to Alexander Zverev 76(1) 67(4) 76(4).

 

  • In Grand Slam play in 2016, Federer reached the semifinals at both the Australian Open (l. Djokovic) and Wimbledon (l. Milos Raonic), where he saved 3 match points to recover from 0-2 down and defeat Marin Cilic in the quarterfinals. It was his 10th career-comeback from 0-2 down, equalling Aaron Krickstein and Boris Becker’s record for the most career comebacks from 0-2 down. He withdrew from Roland Garros, ending his record streak of 65 Grand Slam appearances, with a back injury.

 

  • Elsewhere in 2016, Federer finished runner-up at Brisbane (l. Raonic). He also reached back-to-back semifinals at Stuttgart (l. Dominic Thiem) and Halle (l. Alexander Zverev) and the 3rd round at Rome-1000 (l. Thiem). He failed to win a title during a season for the first time since winning his first at 2001 Milan.

 

  • This is Federer’s 69th major appearance. He is in 2nd place on the list for the most Grand Slams played in the Open Era behind Fabrice Santoro (70) [see Preview page 5].

 

  • Federer is a 17-time Grand Slam singles champion. His last title at a major came at 2012 Wimbledon
    (d. Murray).

 

  • Federer is coached by 2006 Australian Open quarterfinalist Ivan Ljubicic, and Severin Luthi.

 

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Rafael Nadal Defeats Grigor Dimitrov in Five Sets to Face Roger Federer in Australian Open Final

(January 27, 2017) Rafael Nadal defeated 15th seed Grigor Dimitrov 6-3, 5-7, 7-6(5), 6-7(4), 6-4 in four hours and 56 minutes to reach his fourth Australian Open final and 21st major final of his career. The ninth-seeded Spaniard will face Roger Federer for the title on Sunday. Nadal will be seeking his second title in Melbourne. He owns a 23-11 career record against Federer and is 6-2 against Federer in major finals. Should Nadal win the final he will join an exclusive club of players winning all four majors at least twice. Only Rod Laver and Roy Emerson have done this.

“Is special play with Roger again in a final of a Grand Slam,” said the 30-year-old Nadal of his 35-year-old rival. “I cannot lie. Is great. Is exciting for me and for both of us that we still there and we still fighting for important events. So that’s important for us, I think. That’s very special.

“After that, you know, is a final. Is a very important match for both of us. I hope to be ready to compete well again. I need to go back to the hotel, to rest well, and to recover from now.”

In the first set the 14-time major winner broke the Bulgarian’s serve in the fourth game to get control of the set. Nadal hit eight winners to only two unforced errors, winning 91 percent of his points on his first serves in the set.

The second set saw Dimitrov break Nadal in the fourth game, with a chance to serve out the set at 5-3. Nadal broke back and staved off four set points against him in the 10th game. The No. 15th seed held and broke Nadal in the 12th game to capture the set 7-5.

Dimitrov broke Nadal’s serve three times in the set, hitting 14 winners to 14 unforced errors.

Nadal went ahead by capturing the third set as both men exchanged breaks in the fifth and sixth games. There was a delay before the eleventh game of the match due to a medical emergency with a spectator. Nadal won the tiebreak 7-5. The Spaniard was a perfect 6 for 6 on points won at the net

Both men stayed even in the fourth set, with no breaks of serve. In the tiebreak, Dimitrov took a 5-2 lead and never looked back, capturing the tiebreak 7-4.

In the opening game of the fifth set Dimitrov fought off three break points to hold serve. Nadal saved a break point in the second game, but held for 1-1. Dimitrov saved a break point in the fifth game to hold for 3-2.

In the eighth game, with Nadal serving at 3-4, the 2009 champion battled back from 15-40 to hold for 4-4.

At 4-4 double fault put Dimitrov in the hole at 0-30. He won the next two points for 30-30, but Nadal broke him at 30 to serve for a place in the final.

Nadal won the match on his third match point.

“I think Grigor played great,” Nadal said in his news conference. “I played great. So was a great quality of tennis tonight. So just for me, is amazing to be through to a final of Grand Slam again here in Australia at the first of the year. Means a lot to me. I feel the love of the people here. They give me a lot of positive energy.

“Just I think I feel very happy to be part of this match, no? Arrive moment in the fifth set that for sure I wanted to win. I say to myself, I am giving my best, I am playing very well. If I lose, that’s it. Grigor deserves, too.

“I think both of us deserve to be in that final. Was a great fight. Finally was me. I feel lucky. I am very happy for that.”

 

More to follow……

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