2014/08/01

Monday Dispatch from Atlanta – Withdrawals Provide Opportunities

BB&TAtlantaOpen

By Herman Wood

(July 21, 2014) ATLANTA- Qualifying wrapped up on Monday in Atlanta at the BB&T Open, with the weather finally cooperating. Qualifying dodged rain all weekend, with the second round ending up under the lights last night.  Unfortunately, the qualifying matches today were almost an afterthought with the main draw withdrawals.

Radek Stepanek withdrew due to an injury over the weekend.  He posted on his twitter account “Sad to pull out of the @BBTatlantaopen this week but had fun talking to the media here and signing some autographs :)” along with a picture of a young fan.  Gael Monfils and Richard Gasquet also withdrew, leaving the tournament in a bad spot.  Of the 24 players entered in qualifying, seven will make the main draw, apparently with one directly advancing to the second round.

There was some other ball played this afternoon, with Wimbledon doubles champ Jack Sock getting some basketball tips from Atlanta Hawk Demarre Carroll at a hoop set up by the team just off the USTA YouthTennis court.  Turned out Carroll got schooled in a game of HORSE.  Sock returned the favor with a tennis lesson for Carroll on the court afterwards and then had a press conference with his Wimbledon partner, Vasek Pospisil.  The two will be the top seed in the doubles draw.

Young Americans have quite an opportunity with the withdrawals.  Scheduled matches today feature world number 61 Sam Querrey playing number 64 Steve Johnson.  Official opening ceremonies will follow and lead into local Donald Young playing Dudi Sela.  Another local, Robby Ginepri, will team up with Rhyne Harrison to take on the British duo of Ken and Neal Skupski in the opening round of doubles once the singles match concludes.

 

Herman Wood is in Atlanta covering the BB&T Open action from around the grounds for Tennis Panorama News, follow him on twitter at https://twitter.com/hermanewood.

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

David Ferrer

David Ferrer

 

By Florian Heer

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

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

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

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

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

Alexander Zverev

Alexander Zverev

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Results for July 19, 2014

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

Doubles – Semi-finals

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

SCHEDULE – SUNDAY, 20 JULY 2014

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

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

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German Teen Alexander Zverev Reaches Semis in Hamburg

 

Alexander Zverev

Alexander Zverev

By Florian Heer

(July 18, 2014) HAMBURG – It was quarterfinal action on Friday in Hamburg and play started with an all-German clash between Tobias Kamke and Alexander Zverev. The two wild cards, both reside in Hamburg, met only 17 days ago at the ATP Challenger in Braunschweig, where the emerging youngster gained the title. The only 17-year-old Zverev, last year’s junior world No. 1, has been the story of the week so far. The teenager gained his first victories on the ATP World Tour beating Robin Haase, Mikhail Youzhny and Santiago Giraldo to become the first 17-year-old contesting a quarterfinal of an ATP 500 event since Rafael Nadal in Dubai in 2004.

Zverev, however, had a bumpy start into today’s match, lost his first service game and received a warning after only 8 minutes of play due to racket abuse. The youngster acted like an unforced error machine from the baseline and consequently lost the first set in only 21 minutes to love. The world No. 285 made it on the scoreboard in the second game of the second set and from then on he seemed to find his rhythm.

Supported by the majority of the crowd, Zverev became stronger the longer the match lasted. Eventually, the 17-year-old served the match out winning 0-6, 7-5, 6-3 in two hours and four minutes to become the first player of his age to reach a semifinal at an ATP 500 event since Marin Cilic in Gstaad in 2006.

“Tobias played very well in the first set and I really felt that I needed to change some things. So I played more slices to break his rhythm. I would have lost the match for sure, if Tobias continued to play like this in the beginning. It is really nice to reach the semis here and by the start of this week I wasn’t thinking that this could happen,” said a happy Zverev afterwards.

“It is a goal to crack the top 100 but the players inside this ranking are of another level than the players ranked 180 or 190. It will be a huge challenge for me to get inside this group,” the German youngster stated.

“I haven’t had a clue that David Ferrer is in my half of the draw here until a friend told me this morning during practice. I knew that Pablo (Andújar) is still in the draw as well but I really didn’t know my possible opponent in the semi-finals right after the match,” Zverev explained after he wasn’t able to name his two next possible opponents during the on-court interview.

Kamke was disappointed after the match but found some nice words, though, and was full of respect concerning his opponent. “If Alex stays healthy, I’m convinced that he will have a great future without any limits,” Zverev’s former club teammate stated.

Tournament director Michael Stich seemed to be satisfied as well after the youngster’s victory. “Physically he is still very strong and he plays a very solid game throughout the week. He has strong nerves and simply acts really cool on court. Of course I feel a bit sorry for Tobi but I also hope for a full house tomorrow and that a lot of people will come out to watch the new German tennis hope,” the former Wimbledon champion was looking forward to Saturday’s semi-finals.

In a match of two supposed underdogs Leonardo Mayer faced Dusan Lajovic for the first time. The Argentine defeated Austria’s youngster Dominic Thiem the round before and the 24-year-old Serbian reached the quarterfinal after his 3rd round opponent Filip Krajinovic was forced to retire due to illness. Mayer, who is currently ranked at a career high 46, was untroubled and only had to save one break point in the entire match. After 75 minutes the 27-year-old from Buenos Aires served out winning 6-1, 7-5 to reach his second semi-final of the season.

David Ferrer

David Ferrer

It followed an all-Spanish affair with the tournament’s top-seed David Ferrer taking on Pablo Andújar. On Thursday, the world No. 7 extended his head-to-head lead over Andreas Seppi to 8-0 after seeing off the Italian in three sets in almost three hours. Andújar advanced to his third quarterfinal of the season with a comfortable straight set victory over Dustin Brown. Friday’s encounter was one-way traffic in favour for Ferrer. The 32-year-old from Javea controlled the match right from the beginning and Andújar needed 45 minutes to get on the scoreboard in the third game of the second set. Ferrer sealed victory in 66 minutes winning 6-0, 6-2.

“For sure this has been my best match of the week so far. In the first two matches I didn’t really play good tennis in some moments but today it was much better. I made less errors, played more aggressively with my forehand and I’m happy with my game as well as to be in the semi-finals,” the winner said afterwards.

“I’ve never played with Alexander Zverev before but this week was impressive. Of course I respect him like any other player on the tour. He is a really good player with a good serve and a good forehand. He has a bright future, which is a nice thing for the tennis in Germany. He is not having any pressure and my goal will be to stay focused on every point. I hope that the people will enjoy the match tomorrow,” Ferrer said about his next opponent.

In the final match of the day, the second remaining seeded player, Philipp Kohlschreiber, faced Lukas Rosol for the second time within two weeks. The Czech defeated Hamburg’s seventh seed in straight sets at the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart last week. This time, Kohlschreiber was able to take revenge through a comfortable victory in 77 minutes winning 6-4, 6-4 and advanced into his fourth semi-final of the season.

 

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

 

RESULTS – FRIDAY, 18 JULY 2014

Singles – Quarter-finals
[1] [WC] D Ferrer (ESP) d P Andujar (ESP) 60 62
[7] P Kohlschreiber (GER) d L Rosol (CZE) 64 64
[WC] A Zverev (GER) d [WC] T Kamke (GER) 06 75 63
L Mayer (ARG) d D Lajovic (SRB) 61 75

Doubles – Semi-finals
[1] A Peya (AUT) / B Soares (BRA) d [3] M Granollers (ESP) / M Lopez (ESP) 63 64

SCHEDULE – SATURDAY, 19 JULY 2014

CENTER COURT start 13:00
[4] J Murray (GBR) / J Peers (AUS) vs M Draganja (CRO) / F Mergea (ROU)

Not Before 15:30
[7] P Kohlschreiber (GER) vs L Mayer (ARG)

Not Before 18:00
[1] [WC] D Ferrer (ESP) vs [WC] A Zverev (GER)

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The US Open Series Begins this Weekend in Atlanta

 

BB&TAtlantaOpen

By Herman Wood

(July 17, 2014) ATLANTA – Preparation for the US Open is underway.  The BB&T Atlanta Open gets things started on Saturday, July 19th for the men.  Qualifying begins at 10 AM.  The BB&T Atlanta Open is an ATP 250 event, with a 28 player draw, four of which come from the qualifying tournament.  The qualifying field will have 32 players.  The doubles draw is a 16 team field.  Last year’s champ, John Isner, is returning, along with fellow Americans Sam Querrey, Wimbledon doubles champ Jack Sock, and Donald Young.  Gael Monfils, Richard Gasquet, Radek Stepanek, Ivo Karlovic, Ivan Dodig, Lleyton Hewitt, and the other half of the Wimbledon doubles championship team, Vasek Pospisil, are also expected in the tournament.  The tournament aspires to be a mini US Open, with the venue set among the skyscrapers of downtown Atlanta at Atlantic Station.  Atlantic Station is a community within downtown that provides homes for 10,000 people integrated with shopping, restaurants, and retailers that make it a hit with the players.  Besides the attractive venue, players will get a jump on the US Open Series Bonus Challenge, where nearly $40 million in prize money is up for grabs.  This is the third year the tournament has been held at Atlantic Station.

It is a familiar place for Americans, with Isner winning last year, Roddick in 2012, and Fish in 2011.  It has also been comfortable for big man tennis- last year Isner, at 6’10”, overcame Kevin Anderson at 6’8” in three tiebreaks.  Fans in the first couple of rows certainly had to pay attention with the huge serves coming their way.  It is especially familiar for Isner, who competed collegiately just an hour down the road for the University of Georgia Bulldogs, leading the team to a national championship and winning every possible team title in 2007.  He’s usually a fan favorite, with at least a couple of barks from Georgia fans in his favor at each match.  Isner may not be the only recipient of barks; University of Georgia player Austin Smith has accepted a wild card into the main draw. The sophomore from Cumming, Georgia excelled this season as the Bulldogs captured the 2014 SEC Championship. Smith finished with a 35-12 record, and went 9-1 in SEC matches. He has won four USTA Pro Circuit matches. A tournament qualifier in 2011, Smith will be playing his debut ATP main draw match.

Another American, Jack Sock, could very well get on a roll at this tournament.  After winning doubles with Pospisil at Wimbledon, he rolled into Newport and eliminated Isner in the Newport Hall of Fame event on grass just a week ago.  Unfortunately for him, he wasn’t able to keep that momentum and was eliminated by the veteran Lleyton Hewitt, who went on to win the tournament.  Hewitt’s feisty shouts of “C’mon!” have endeared him to the Atlanta fans in past years.  Fresh off his renewed success at Newport, he could very well win Atlanta.  The main draw was just rounded out with the addition of Ryan Harrison and Robby Ginepri.  “We’re ecstatic to welcome back two of our fan favorites in Ryan Harrison and Atlanta metro resident Robby Ginepri,” Tournament Director Eddie Gonzalez said. “One of our goals is to highlight American talent and both of these players are great examples of the fine players this country has produced.”  Harrison won the doubles last year, partnering with Matthew Ebden.  Ginepri appears for the fourth time, with a onetime ranking of fifteen.  He is a graduate of Wheeler High School, just a few miles north of Atlantic Station.  He currently resides in Kennesaw, another couple of miles north.

The draw will be finalized over this weekend with the completion of the qualifying tournament.  Promising American junior Francis Tiafoe has accepted his first tournament qualifying wild card. Tiafoe, 16, is a talented young prodigy who rose to No. 2 in the world junior rankings this spring. Georgia Tech’s Nathan Rakitt and Alabama’s Becker O’Shaughnessey have also accepted qualifying wild cards. Rakitt, a Marietta native and All-ACC selectee, is competing again for the second year. O’Shaughnessey of Macon, Ga., led the Crimson Tide in singles wins (22) this season.

Herman Wood is in Atlanta covering the BB&T Open action from around the grounds for Tennis Panorama News, follow him on twitter at https://twitter.com/hermanewood.

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Federers Welcome Another Set of Twins to the Family

(May 6, 2014) Roger and Mirka Federer welcomed a second set of twins to their family on Tuesday. Mirka gave birth to twin boys named Leo and Lenny on Tuesday evening in Zurich. The new boys join four-year-old twins sisters Myla and Charlene in the Federer family.

Federer withdrew from the Madrid Open earlier in the day to be with his family.

Federer made the announcement on twitter:

 

 

zpbmpxd

According to Swiss media, twins seem to run in the Federer family as Roger’s sister also has a set of twins.
The 32-year-old Federer did not specify if he would return for the Rome Masters next week, but Godsick said the 17-time Grand Slam champion intended to enter the French Open, which begins May 25.

“Roger has plans to play the French Open, and he’ll take it step-by-step as to what he plays before that,” Federer’s agent Tony Godsick said in a telephone interview with the Associated Press.

The French Open begins on May 25.

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Roger Federer Withdraws from Madrid to be with Pregnant Wife

 

Federer in press

(May 6, 2014) Roger Federer announced on his Facebook page that he has withdrawn from the Madrid Open to be with his wife Mirka who is expecting their third child.

The Federers already have four-year-old twin girls, Myla Rose and Charlene Riva, who will turn five on July 23.

The French Open begins on May 25. The world No. 4 has not missed a major tournament since 2000.

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US Men’s Clay Court Championship Announces Entry List

 

ROCC_Header_1
(February 26, 2014) HOUSTON – Four former champions are on the initial entry list of 21 players for the 2014 Fayez Sarofim & Co. US Men’s Clay Court Championship that will be held April 7-13. It will mark the 80th tournament that River Oaks Country Club has hosted.

Defending champion John Isner of the United States will be joined by former champions Juan Monaco (2012), Lleyton Hewitt (2009) and Ivo Karlovic (2007) in the tournament.

Isner, at No. 13, is the top ranked of all entrants, and is one of three Top 20 players in the field, joined by Spaniards Tommy Robredo (No. 16) and Nicolas Almagro (No. 17). Robredo and Almagro, the 2013 runner-up, are two of only four active players on the ATP with more than 200 career match wins on clay.

“We are very pleased to see the caliber of players on our initial entry list,” said Tournament Director Van Barry. “This field really has everything we could ask for – an international flavor, players with high rankings, players who have had success here and players who are well-liked by our fans. We are very excited to have all these guys come to River Oaks and are looking forward to a great week with them as we celebrate the 80th tournament in the Club’s history.”

The initial entry list of 21 includes players from 13 countries. Three more players will be granted wild cards into the field, while four will be added through a qualifying tournament held April 5-7. Below is the initial entry list (Feb. 24 ranking in parentheses):

Nicolas Almagro – Spain (17)
Benjamin Becker – Germany (90)
Alex Bogomolov, Jr. – Russia (93)
Pablo Cuevas – Uruguay (197*)
Somdev Devvarman – India (78)
Matthew Ebden – Australia (62)
Alejandro Falla – Colombia (79)
Daniel Gimeno-Traver – Spain (85)
Santiago Giraldo – Colombia (58)
Alejandro Gonzalez – Colombia (76)
Lleyton Hewitt – Australia (42)
John Isner – United States (13)
Ivo Karlovic – Croatia (55)
Bradley Klahn – United States (65)
Feliciano Lopez – Spain (37)
Juan Monaco – Argentina (43)
Sam Querrey – United States (56)
Tommy Robredo – Spain (16)
Janko Tipsarevic – Serbia (70)
Fernando Verdasco – Spain (32)
Donald Young – United States (91)
*Entry based on injury protected ranking

Two of the top doubles teams on the ATP World Tour have also committed to play the 2014 tournament. Bob and Mike Bryan, the twin-brother tandem that has won four titles at the US Men’s Clay Court Championship, and the Spanish duo of Fernando Verdasco and David Marrero, champions at the 2013 ATP World Tour Finals, have both been entered into the doubles draw.

In 2014, River Oaks Country Club will celebrate hosting a tournament for the 80th time since its inauguration in 1931. The upcoming tournament will also mark the 104th staging of the US Men’s Clay Court Championship.

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Sam Querrey and Kei Nishikori Commit to play US Men’s Clay Court Championship

ROCC_Header_1

HOUSTON – Sam Querrey and Kei Nishikori have committed to play the 2014 Fayez Sarofim & Co. US Men’s Clay Court Championship at River Oaks Country Club.

Querrey, the tournament runner-up in 2010, and Nishikori, the runner-up in 2011, join 2013 champion John Isner, 2013 runner-up Nicolas Almagro and 2012 semifinalist Feliciano Lopez as early commitments to play the tournament that will be held April 7-13.

“It’s great to be able to make this announcement and start thinking about spring and the tennis tournament after the winter blast we had this week,” said Tournament Director Van Barry. “Sam has always been very loyal to the tournament and is a fan favorite. Kei is a rising star in tennis, and certainly adds to the international flavor of our tournament. We look forward to welcoming them back to River Oaks and adding to the already strong field we’re assembling for the 2014 tournament.”

Querrey will be playing at River Oaks for the fifth time in his career. He reached the final in 2010, falling to Juan Ignacio Chela in the title match. He’s twice reached the doubles final at River Oaks, finishing as runner-up with Isner in 2011 before winning the title with James Blake in 2012. Querrey, the No. 2 ranked American, has reached 12 career ATP finals and won seven titles.

Nishikori, 24, reached a career high ranking of No. 11 last summer, which is the highest-ever for a Japanese player on the ATP World Tour. When he was 14-years-old, he moved from his home in Japan to the Bollettieri Academy in Florida to train. As a professional, he has won three titles while appearing in a total of five career finals, including the 2011 River Oaks final in which he fell to American Ryan Sweeting. So far in 2014, Nishikori has reached the semifinals in Brisbane and the fourth round at the Australian Open

Isner will attempt to be the first player to successfully defend his US Men’s Clay Court Championship title since Andy Roddick won the 2001 and 2002 titles. Isner is the No. 1 ranked American, and will be making his sixth appearance at the tournament. Almagro has led the ATP in clay-court match wins three times in the past six seasons. With a career record of 229-108 on clay courts, he joins Rafael Nadal, David Ferrer and Tommy Robredo as the only active players with more than 200 wins on clay. Lopez recorded his 300th career match win during the 2013 season and also reached his eighth career ATP World Tour final.  He has been a member of four Davis Cup championship teams.

In 2014, River Oaks Country Club will celebrate hosting a tournament for the 80th time since its inauguration in 1931. The upcoming tournament will also mark the 104th staging of the US Men’s Clay Court Championship.

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Peter Gojowczyk wins Talheim Challenger

 Gojowczyk photo by Thomas Schulte

Peter Gojowczyk photo by Thomas Schulte

By Florian Heer

(January 26, 2014) TALHEIM, Germany – Traditionally one of the first stops on the ATP Challenger Tour every year are the Intersport Heilbronn Open at the Tennis Centre in Talheim. The tournament has always been able to present a strong field of players. Former champions are Carl-Uwe Steeb (1986), Michael Stich (1989), Michael Llodra (2001) and Robin Söderling (2006). This year’s edition has  prize money of US-$ 125.000 and is one of only ten tournaments in the highest category on ATP Challenger level.

The first semifinal on Saturday was a quick affair. The match between the two Dutchmen, top-seed Igor Sijsling and sixth-seed Jesse Huta Galung only lasted 23 minutes. The latter was forced to retire after the fourth game. “I felt some problems in the left groin,” Huta Galung explained afterwards. “I had a similar injury last year, so I recognised immediately what had happened on court. I couldn’t run and so it didn’t make any sense to play on,” the world number 100 continued. “Last time it took about one week to recover, so it’s not a big injury but if you’re not able to run it is pointless to play tennis,” the Dutch said.

In second semi Jiri Vesely faced the tournament’s last remaining German in person of Peter Gojowczyk. The only 20-year-old Czech represents a new generation of players, who is tall with good movement on the court. Last year the Czech received the ATP “Star of tomorrow award”, reached the quarterfinal in Chennai two weeks ago but wasn’t able to qualify for the main draw of the Australian Open. Same happened to his opponent in Melbourne. Nonetheless, Gojowczyk had a great start into the season by reaching the semis in Doha, where he lost to Rafael Nadal in three sets. Both players had faced each other before on clay in Prostejov last year with the better ending for Vesely. In the encounter in Heilbronn, the German was the better player right from the beginning with solid baseline shots and good return games winning in 72 minutes 6-4, 6-3. “Before the match my coach and I analysed Jiri’s game very well, which helped me a lot today. I tried to go for his forehand as often as possible, what he doesn’t like,” Gojowczyk said afterwards. “The final here will be very special for me as in case of a victory I’ll be within the top 100 for the very first time,” the German was looking forward to his encounter against Igor Sijsling.

Peter Gojowczyk won the last meeting between the two in first round of the US Open last year and in Heilbronn both players have reached the final without dropping a set. On Sunday, it was again the German, who took command of the match. In front of 1400 spectators, Gojowczyk was the more solid player, overpowered his opponent from the baseline and gained the decisive break in the third game of the opening set to eventually take the frame after 28 minutes. The German served big and handled Sijsling’s service pretty well. After 71 minutes Gojowczyk closed the match out by an ace winning 6-4, 7-5. “In the beginning I was quite nervous but I was able to handle it,” the world number 135 said afterwards. “It helped that I could read his service quite well, in particular in the first set. Later the encounter became more even but I think I was mentally very strong today,” Gojowcyzk told us. “Tomorrow I will have a break and relax a bit. It is great to break into the top 100 for the very first time,” the German was happy. “Maybe I am going to play in Montpellier next week, as long as I make into the main draw,” Gojowcyzk stated about his further plans.

 

The doubles competition was won by Tomasz Bednarek and Henri Kontinen, who managed to save match points in the 10th game of the second set to finally gain victory against Ken and Neil Skupski winning 3-6, 7-6, 12-10 after one hour and 28 minutes. It was the first title for the unseeded team. “We were a bit luck today. Our opponents were better at the beginning of the match,” Bednarek analysed afterwards. “We were sleeping during the first set,” Kontinen added. “Maybe it was a bit too early for us, as this was the first match of the week we didn’t play in the evening. Nonetheless they played very well but we managed to pick it up,” the Finn explained.

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

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Catching up with David Ferrer and John Isner

Catching up with David Ferrer and John Isner by James A. Crabtree

John Isner and David Ferrer meet fans at the Prince Hub at the Crown Entertainment Complex in Melbourne

John Isner (L) and David Ferrer (R) meet fans at the Prince Hub at the Crown Entertainment Complex in Melbourne

(January 12, 2014) MELBOURNE – During a hectic schedule prior to their 2014 Australian Open campaigns I had the chance to catch up with world No. 3 David Ferrer and American No. 1 John Isner for an informal Q & A at the Prince Hub Tennis Live Site, with a focus away from the court.

 

Who do you travel with?

David Ferrer: I travel with my team and coach and girlfriend. I spend the time waiting for planes watching movies and reading.

John Isner: I travel with my team, my brother also. He can be tough to travel with, he can cause some trouble. I’d like to travel with my dog Miguel I don’t see him often but I can’t live without him, he’s a cocker spaniel.

 

Name your favorite Actor, Actress and Movie

DF: My best Actress would be Julia Roberts and actor would be Robert De Niro. And I would not see ever myself acting after my career (laughs).

JI: Favorite movie has gotta be Saving Private Ryan. Favourite actress would be Megan Fox although she is a little out of the scene at the moment now, isn’t she?

 

Favorite place to play?

DF: Of course I love being in Spain but I love the grand slams because they are special.

JI:The tournaments which are close to home and close to where I went to school are great for the support but I do love the grand slams also.

 

Which family members have been most important to you during your journey?

DF: My whole family.  Everyone.

JI: Gotta be my mom.

 

You are both pretty good at tennis, but what are you bad at?

DF: Playing at other sports like football. I play but I am not good. The best out of the tennis players is Rafael Nadal. Feliciano Lopez is the most funny guy.

JI: I suck at soccer. I’ve got confidence with basketball.

 

What would you be doing if you were not playing tennis, and where do you see yourself in ten years?

DF: Still something about tennis I believe. Everything is tennis, tennis is everything.

JI: I don’t think I will be involved too much in tennis in ten years. One of my biggest achievements was starting my own charity, raising money for the cancer hospital that treated my mother. I would like to do more with that.

James Crabtree is a journalist living in Melbourne. Follow him on twitter @JamesACrabtree

 

Australian Open Hub David Ferrer 1 Australian Open Hub Final 1 Australian Open Hub Final 2 Australian Open Hub John Isner & David Ferrer 1 Australian Open Hub John Isner & David Ferrer 2 Australian Open Hub John Isner 1

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