Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Roger Federer to return to Hopman Cup

Roger Federer will return to the Hopman Cup in Perth this summer as he prepares to defend his Australian Open title.

The tennis great played the country-based, mixed-teams event in the lead up to the first grand slam of the year in January when he claimed his fifth title at Melbourne Park.

He finished second in his group at this year's Hopman Cup with Swiss teammate Belinda Bencic, who he will again partner in Perth.

The 35-year-old Federer lauded the tournament as preparation for the Australian Open.

The 18-time grand slam winner claimed the Australian Open after missing the back-end of 2016 with a long-term knee injury.

"It was a great, relaxing start to the year, plus I played some really good tennis and I can't wait to play again in Perth," Federer said.

"It was the perfect preparation because I was in a good mindset.

"I thought the mixed (doubles) was going to be a bit too much on my old body, but it wasn't.

"Unfortunately, we couldn't win the entire tournament so we'll come back this year and try to win it for the first time."

Last year, the Swiss team lost to eventual winners France in the group stage.

The appearance was Federer's first since teaming up with then-girlfriend and now wife Miroslava Vavrinec in 2002.

He won the Hopman Cup as a 19-year-old alongside Martina Hingis the previous year.

The Hopman Cup runs from December 30 to January 6.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Martina Hingis and Chan Yung-Jan win Mallorca Open title




Taiwan’s Chan Yung-jan on Sunday claimed her fifth doubles title of the season without playing a shot at the Mallorca Open.

Top seeds Chan and Martina Hingis of Switzerland were handed a walkover after singles champion Anastasija Sevastova had to pull out of the final with a thigh injury, disappointing her partner, former world No. Jelena Jankovic of Serbia.

“It’s not a usual way to win a title, but it’s nice to have our 4th title here in Mallorca,” Chan wrote on Facebook, following the pair’s victories in Indian Wells, Madrid and Rome.

Chan also claimed the Taiwan Open in February alongside younger sister Chan Hao-ching.

Chan and Hingis headed to Eastbourne, England, following the trophy presentation where they are the second seeds at the Wimbledon warm-up tournament.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Roger Federer 9-time Halle Champion!








Roger Federer Tumblr

Roger Federer started perfectly and never looked back in the Gerry Weber Open final in Halle on Sunday, sprinting to a 6-1, 6-3 victory against #NextGenATP German Alexander Zverev under the roof in Gerry Weber Stadion.

The dominating title victory gives Federer his ninth Halle crown, joining him with Rafael Nadal as the only two men in the Open Era who have won a tournament more than eight times. Nadal has won 10 Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters, Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell and Roland Garros titles.

Federer improves to 4-0 in title matches this season, having won the Australian Open, the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells and the Miami Open presented by Itau. He and Nadal are now tied for the lead this season.

“It's great to get off to a good start in the finals and then remind yourself that you've been playing good tennis all week. You start swinging freely, things start clicking, you realise your opponent is under pressure and you keep pressuring him,” Federer said. “I'm like on 'Cloud Nine' right now after the ninth win here in Halle. It's a wonderful feeling to win here again because I'm not sure if I'll ever get a chance to win this again so it's important to enjoy this one.”

The 35-year-old Swiss also shoves aside any worries fans or pundits might have had about his long layoff affecting his grass-court season. The veteran right-hander took off 10 weeks after winning the Miami title on 2 April, opting to skip the clay-court season to rest his body and hopefully stave off any future possible injuries on clay.

After losing in his return on 14 June to friend Tommy Haas in Stuttgart, Federer checked off five consecutive victories, including wins against Zverev and rising #NextGenATP star Karen Khachanov, and heads to Wimbledon full of winning feelings. The Stuttgart defeat was the first time Federer had lost his opening match at a grass-court tournament since 2002 Wimbledon (l. to Ancic).

“I was doubting myself a little bit, I must admit, because losing [in the opening] round for the first time in 15 years on grass was always going to shake me a little bit and it did. So I'm happy to react right away and let that be forgotten and actually move on and remind myself I actually can play well on grass,” Federer said. “It's a boost for me personally, with my confidence, knowing that my body is in good shape. Mentally, I'm fresh again and I've gotten used to match play.”

atpworldtour.com

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Roger Federer into his 11th Gerry Webber Open final in Halle






Roger Federer Tumblr

There's no place quite like Halle for Roger Federer. The Swiss star will play in an 11th Gerry Weber Open final on Sunday after having to battle past #NextGenATP Karen Khachanov 6-4, 7-6(5) in the semi-finals on Saturday.

“I thought it was extremely close, especially that second set... I'm still just very happy how I was able to close it out in the 'breaker,” Federer said.

Federer will go for his ninth title in the German city, which would mark the first time he has won a tournament as many times. The 35-year-old Swiss first reached the Halle final in 2003, beating German Nicolas Kiefer for the crown.

But Federer hasn't played for the trophy at the ATP World Tour 500 tournament since 2015. On Sunday, he will meet #NextGenATP German Alexander Zverev, who beat Frenchman Richard Gasquet 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.

Federer lost to Zverev in last year's Halle semi-finals but beat the German last year in Rome. “He's got home-court advantage. He's got a wonderful serve and one of the best backhands in the game... He takes big cuts at the ball, returns very well. He's a tough player to play against,” Federer said.

The World No. 5 has yet to drop a set in Halle this week. He improved his all-time record at the tournament to 58-6 and is 23-2 on the season. Federer has reached the final in four of his six tournaments this year.

Roger Federer Wins By Tournament


87

Australian Open


84

Wimbledon


78

US Open


65

Roland Garros


61

Basel


58

Halle


57

Indian Wells


52

Nitto ATP Finals


50

Miami


42

Cincinnati




Federer had never faced the 21-year-old Khachanov before Saturday, but the big-hitting right-hander, who was trying to reach his second ATP World Tour final (2016 Chengdu), was unintimidated against the all-time great.

The two exchanged breaks to start the match but Federer broke once more and rode the early advantage to a one-set lead. Neither player could break in the early goings of the second set as Khachanov was freely blasting forehands and Federer was stepping into his backhand and flattening out the one-hander.

At 4-4, Federer broke Khachanov for a chance to serve for the match, but Khachanov broke right back when a Federer forehand pass sailed wide. The 6'6” Khachanov even had two set points on Federer's serve at 5-6 but was unable to convert either.

In the tie-break, Federer clinched his 11th final appearance when Khachanov lifted a backhand long on match point.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Roger Federer through to his 13th consecutive semi at Gerry Weber Open in Halle



Roger Federer Tumblr

Roger Federer had already scored three wins in Halle over Florian Mayer (2005, 2012, 2015) prior to their quarter-final on Friday. And in another Gerry Weber Open battle between the eight-time champion Federer and defending champion Mayer, it was the top seed who came out on top once again with a 6-3, 6-4 win.

“It was important to be aggressive off the baseline and make him feel my variation and the power I can bring to the court,” Federer said. “And then having good footwork, to see the short ball, the floater, where I can come in and knock it off with a volley. I think I did it very well. I had lots of chances to even go up a double break in the second set.

“I thought I was very calm out there, even in difficult moments. I was calm serving out the first and second sets. Those are always signs for me that things are slowly starting to fall into place nicely.”

Federer has yet to drop a set after three matches this week. He boosts his FedEx ATP Head2Head record against Mayer to 8-0, with five of those wins coming on grass. The top seed is through to the semi-finals in Halle for the 13th consecutive time, with his two quarter-final losses at this event coming in 2000-2001. The Swiss star also improves his Halle record to 57-6.

Next up for Federer is Karen Khachanov, who won an all-#NextGenATP battle earlier in the day over Andrey Rublev. Should he advance past Khachanov, a potential Halle rematch against fourth seed Alexander Zverev looms. Zverev defeated Federer last year in a three-set semi-final. However, the German will first need to get through seventh seed Roberto Bautista Agut in the quarter-finals and Richard Gasquet in the semi-finals.

“It will be interesting. He plays a bit different on the serve and the forehand, which is different to the regular forehand technique we see. He’s big and strong and seems super excited to be on tour and he’s working hard. I don’t know him that well yet so it’s a match where I’ll most likely focus on my own game. Make sure I serve well, because he can go through spells where he can serve big. It could be somewhat similar to how I played today.”

Federer scored the lone break of the opening set at 2-1. Muller fought off three set points on his serve at 2-5, but the top seed comfortably held to love in the next game with an ace.

The second set was nearly identical to the first, with a backhand wide from the German allowing the top seed to take a 3-2 lead. Mayer bravely fought off two match points on his serve at 3-5, but another forehand winner from Federer on his first match point wrapped up the contest in 66 minutes.

Federer finished the day with 11 aces, hitting 32 winners to 22 unforced errors. Mayer also produced a high level of tennis throughout the match, recording 18 winners to 15 unforced errors.

atpworldtour.com

Martina Hingis & Chan Yung-Jan reach Mallorca Open final

Chan Yung-jan on Friday kept her bid for a fifth title of the season on track at the Mallorca Open as the Taiwanese and Martina Hingis took just 59 minutes to advance to the final of the doubles.

The Taiwanese-Swiss top seeds defeated Nicole Melichar of the US and Anna Smith of Britain 6-3, 6-3 on the grass courts on the Spanish island as they eyed their fourth title of the season and Chan’s fifth, after she claimed the Taiwan Open title with younger sister Chan Hao-ching in Taipei in February.

The tops seeds saved all three break points they faced and converted three of 10 to advance to a final against either Jelena Jankovic and Anastasija Sevastova or Julia Goerges and Xenia Knoll, who were to play after press time last night.

The Taiwanese-Swiss duo will be looking to claim their fourth title of the season today after lifting the trophies in Indian Wells, Madrid and Rome earlier this season.

taipeitimes.com

Friday, June 23, 2017

Martina Hingis & Chan Yung-Jan advance to semis in Mallorca women's doubles



Martina Hingis and Yung-Jan Chan advanced to the Mallorca Open semifinals in doubles after edging Elise Mertens and Demi Schuurs.

After an hour and 26 minutes, the firsts seeds came back and turned the scoreline around: 2-6, 6-3 y 10-7.

Anastasija Sevastova was one of the headlines of the tournament’s first edition and one year later she has come back as one as the most consistent players on tour. The Latvian booked a spot in quarterfinals after a comeback against Varvara Lepchenko (6-7(2), 6-1 and 6-3).

The world No. 19 keeps her momentum going at the island, where she surprised the Majorcan crowd with tricks and a crafty style.

Martina Hingis & Chan Yung-Jan over come tricky first match at Mallorca Open


Chan Yung-Jan Facebook

Taiwanese sisters Chan Yung-jan and Chan Hao-ching both had to rally from a set down on Wednesday to advance to the quarter-finals of their respective doubles tournaments at the Mallorca Open and Aegon Classic.

Top seeds Chan Yung-jan and Martina Hingis overcame a tricky encounter against Veronica Cepede Royg of Paraguay and Sara Sorribes Tormo of Spain 5-7, 6-2, 10-7 on the grass courts in Mallorca.

The Taiwanese-Swiss duo saved three of six break points and converted four of seven in 1 hour, 19 minutes to advance to a quarter-final against Elise Mertens of Belgium and Demi Schuurs of the Netherlands.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Roger Federer into his 15th quarter-final at Gerry Weber Open in Halle




Roger Federer Tumblr

The last time Roger Federer and Mischa Zverev played at the Gerry Weber Open in 2013, the Swiss star scored a double bagel victory in the quarter-finals. Their second-round match in Halle on Thursday was far more competitive, but top seed Federer came out on top once again with a 7-6(4), 6-4 win.

Federer improves his FedEx ATP Head2Head record against Zverev to 4-0, including a win this year in the Australian Open quarter-finals. He has yet to drop a set against the German. The Swiss star improves to 56-6 in Halle and 15-0 in second-round matches at this event.

Awaiting Federer in the quarter-finals is another German in defending champion Florian Mayer, who defeated sixth seed Lucas Pouille earlier in the day. Federer leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head series 7-0, including three straight-sets wins in Halle (2005, 2012, 2015).

Both Federer and Zverev traded service holds throughout the opening set, with the German bravely saving three set points on his serve at 4-5. Little separated them throughout the tie-break, but Federer raised his level when it mattered most at 5/4, flicking two backhand passing shot winners to grab the early advantage.

Their serves continued to be in top form throughout the second set, but it was Zverev who blinked first. Federer laced a forehand passing shot at 4-4 for the lone break of the match and then comfortably held serve to prevail in one hour and 30 minutes.

The eight-time Halle champion didn't face a break point in the contest and finished the day with 28 winners to 18 unforced errors. Zverev hit 18 winners to 23 unforced errors, but the stats aren't a clear indicator of the high level of tennis he produced throughout the match.

Federer was quick to acknowledge that today’s match bore no resemblance to the double bagel he handed out to Zverev when they met in Halle in 2013.

“It was totally different. He started serving great, which put me under pressure as I wasn’t getting many looks,” Federer said. “It was important to stay calm after missing chances to win the set at 5-4. And it’s important to win ‘breakers. They are the sets you need to win to win tournaments. It felt like a close ‘breaker that could have gone either way.

“After I got that in the bag I was really able to start to relax and really play and feel the way I want to feel out there. That’s the first time I’ve felt like that since Miami, so that’s a good sign looking ahead.”

Although Federer leads Mayer 7-0 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series, the unorthodox German did push Federer to two tie-breaks when they met on grass in Stuttgart last year. And after combatting very different playing styles in his first two rounds, Federer expects further contrast Friday.

“I played against a right hander from the baseline in Sugita, a left hander who serves and volleys all the time (Zverev) and Mayer plays very different to everyone else. He uses slice, he comes in, he chips and charges, he loops the ball and serves/volleys a little bit, so he’s really going to throw everything at me. I know he wants it badly, so it will be a tough one. I played my best match today and that will give me some confidence for tomorrow.

“I think he’s most dangerous on the grass. He’s a tough customer, plus he’s the defending champion. He hasn’t had the best season so far, so there is a lot riding on the match for him as well as for me because we both want to go deep into this tournament.”