Friday, July 29, 2016

Martina Hingis and Sania Mirza fall short at Rogers Cup once more

World No.1 duo of Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis exited the Rogers Cup on Saturday after losing to the unseeded American duo of Christina McHale and Asia Muhammad in the quarter-final in Montreal. The Indo-Swiss pair lost the match 4-6, 3-6 in 70 minutes to exit the tournament.

After crashing out in the quarter-final of the Wimbledon earlier this month, Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis’ poor run continued as they once again failed to make it into the last four. The top-seeded pair had started the Rogers Cup on a positive note by defeating trans-Atlantic opponents Naomi Broady and Shelby Rogers in the second round yesterday. However, the clash against the unseeded American duo of Christina McHale and Asia Muhammad proved to be a different challenge.

The World No.1 pair, who made it to the semi-final in the last edition, struggled with their serves and committed six double faults in the match. Although they managed to win 67% of the first serve points, they struggled with their second serves and won only 21%.

Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis started the match on the worst possible note and surrendered their serve to McHale and Muhammad. The top seeds, then failed to break the serve of their opponents and lost the first set 4-6. The second set was almost a similar story as the first. Instead of the first game, Sania and Hingis lost the third game this time. They had the chance to break McHale and Muhammad six times in the set, but failed to convert any of those break points, before surrendering the last game to lose the set 3-6.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Martina Hingis & Sania Mirza start off hard court season with a win in Montreal at Rogers Cup

Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis made short work of their trans-atlantic opponents Naomi Broady and Shelby Rogers in the second round of the Rogers Cup. The top seeds hardly broke a sweat as they swept aside the challenge with an identical 6-1, 6-1 margin to enter the quarters.

Sania and Hingis have not had a great month which assumes importance with the Olympics looming a week ahead. The defending champions crashed out in the quarter-finals of the Wimbledon losing to Timea Babos-Yaroslava Shvedova and would be looking to go into the quadrennial event on a high with a win at the Rogers Cup.

The pair made a good start to their hopes with an emphatic win over Brit Naomi Brady and USA's Shelby Rogers in just under 44 minutes in the second round. Although they were not at their best committing 4 double faults, SanTina proved to be the better on the day.

The pair will face the American duo of Christina Mchale and Asia Muhammad in the quarterfinal today.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Roger Federer to miss Rio Olympics, U.S. Open & rest of 2016 tennis season

Dear Fans,

I’m extremely disappointed to announce that I will not be able to represent Switzerland at the Olympic Games in Rio and that I will also miss the remainder of the season. Considering all options after consulting with my doctors and my team, I have made the very difficult decision to call an end to my 2016 season as I need more extensive rehabilitation following my knee surgery earlier this year. The doctors advised that if I want to play on the ATP World Tour injury free for another few years, as I intend to do, I must give both my knee and body the proper time to fully recover. It is tough to miss the rest of the year. However, the silver lining is that this experience has made me realize how lucky I have been throughout my career with very few injuries. The love I have for tennis, the competition, tournaments and of course you, the fans remains intact. I am as motivated as ever and plan to put all my energy towards coming back strong, healthy and in shape to play attacking tennis in 2017.

Thanks for your continued support.


Roger via Facebook

It is unfortunate that Roger will not be playing any tournaments for the remainder of the 2016 season, which includes the Rio Olympics. Naturally, I would have loved to partner with him there, but I know that it was a very tough decision for him and he is equally disappointed. Obviously, I wish him a full and speedy recovery and hope to see him playing again soon!

Martina Hingis via Facebook

I am significantly less enthusiastic about Rio and the U.S. Open now :(. 

Get well soon Mr. Federer!. 

You will be sorely missed for the rest of 2016. 

I guess that also means Martina will be playing mixed doubles with Stan Wawrinka in Rio instead.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal & Andy Murray withdraw from Roger's Cup in Toronto

TORONTO — Tennis stars Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have pulled out of the Rogers Cup, leaving the Toronto tournament without three of the world’s top four men’s tennis players.

Tennis Canada announced the withdrawals on Tuesday, a day after Wimbledon champion and world No. 2 Andy Murray said he would not defend his Rogers Cup title this year.

World No. 3 Federer is coming off a run to the semifinals at Wimbledon, where he lost in five sets to Canada’s Milos Raonic.

"I have made the tough decision to withdraw from Rogers Cup," Federer said in a statement. "Toronto is one of my favourite events on the calendar and I am disappointed that I won’t be able to compete in front of the great tennis fans in Canada.

"Looking ahead, it is best for me that I take more time after Wimbledon. I look forward to coming back to Canada next year and I wish Karl Hale and everyone at Tennis Canada a very successful tournament."

Fourth-ranked Nadal has not played since withdrawing from the French Open after sustaining a wrist injury.

"I am disappointed to announce I won’t be able to come to Toronto to play this year," Nadal said in a release. "I only started practising a week ago after my wrist injury and I am not ready to play such an important event.

"I am very much looking forward to playing in Toronto in a couple of years since I have always been treated great in that tournament and have a lot of great Canadian fans."

Top seed Novak Djokovic is still slated to compete, along with No. 7 Raonic, who is coming off his first Grand Slam final appearance at Wimbledon.

Vancouver’s Vasek Pospisil will now gain direct entry into the main draw instead of using the wild card position he was initially granted.

Can't say I'm shocked, they all want to save their energy for Rio and the U.S. Open

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Tony Godsick: Roger's knee is fine, ready for Roger's Cup in Toronto

Roger Federer's knee is fine and ready to take on the physicality that awaits it when the Swiss Maestro competes at the Rogers Cup on July 25.

Federer suffered a scare during the final set of his five-setter semifinal loss against Canada's Milos Raonic at Wimbledon. The 17-time Grand Slam winner took a slip and hurt his surgically-repaired knee during the match, immediately raising concerns over another setback that could hinder Federer to regain his winning momentum.

But according to Federer's agent Tony Godsick, there are not much to worry about Federer's physical condition after "preliminary examinations" have not indicated any damage to the Swiss' Knee.

@rogerfederer agent Tony Godsick about his knee: "Roger will have tests this week but a preliminary examination indicates that he did (...)

not do any additional damage to his left knee during yesterday's match."

Federer suffered a knee injury a day after losing to career rival Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open earlier this year, which forced the 34-year-old to be sidelined from the tennis scene for more than two months. While Federer successfully recovered from a surgery that repaired a torn left meniscus, he has hardly played his pre-injury form, resulting to zero titles mid-way through the season, a first in Federer's illustrious career.

At the Rogers Cup in Toronto, Canada, former two-time champion Federer gets another chance to test his game before setting his sights on winning the 2016 Rio Olympics and the US Open, which are both scheduled to take place next month.

It remains to be seen if the injury scare at Wimbledon would have an effect in Federer's remaining competition this season, but many, including Federer himself, hope it won't be another setback that could halt the Basel native's growing confidence of playing at a high level.

"With the body that's been, you know, playing up this year, I just hope I'm going to be fine," Federer said regarding his latest injury scare.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Roger Federer black and white

Not much is going on tennis wise at the moment with Roger's Cup still a few weeks away. 

In the mean time please enjoy these black and white photos of Roger (at what I assume is Wimbledon given the white outfit).

You're welcome ;).

Roger Federer Tumblr

Saturday, July 09, 2016

Martina Hingis & Leander Paes crash out of Wimbledon mixed doubles in 3rd round

India’s miserable campaign at the Wimbledon ended as defending mixed doubles champions Leander Paes and Martina Hingis were knocked out in the third round by scratch pair of Britain’s Heather Watson and Finland’s Henri Kontinen, who played their first match together.

The Brit-Finn pair beat the 16th seeded Indo-Swiss pair 3-6 6-3 6-2 in a well-contested three-setter.

What would be embarrassing for the Paes-Hingis pairing would be the fact that their opponents were playing the first match of the tournament having got walkover in the first two rounds.

Paes and Hingis had completed a mixed doubles Grand Slam after their French Open victory having captured the Australian Open, Wimbledon and US Open titles in 2015.

Watson and Kontinen reached the third round without getting walk-overs from Louisa Chirico and Denis Kudla in the first round followed by Bruno Soares and Elena Vesnina who also didn’t play in the second round encounter.

“We were warming up and getting ready each day and we were always put on at the end of the day, so we’ve literally just been ready to play for each match and they’ve told us last minute,” said Watson.

“I think today in the first set we were finding our ground, getting comfortable with each other, and then we kind of took off, especially in that third set.”

A bit harsh, but I suppose there's some truth there. I do agree with the miserable part. That's what this year's Wimbledon turned out to be for me as fan of the Swiss.  

Goodbye grass, bring on the summer hard courts.

Friday, July 08, 2016

Roger Federer's Wimbledon run ends with an upset in the semis

This (fall) about sums it up :( 

Every year this gets harder, the only thing that makes it hurt marginally less is that at least it wasn't another final. 

I won't go on as I have every year about lost opportunities.  

I'll just let Roger explain it himself :

There was a bitter taste in Roger Federer's match after his defeat to Milos Raonic in the Wimbledon semi-finals, with the seven-time former champion left ruing his missed opportunities.

"This one clearly hurts because I felt I could have had it," said Federer, who lost a Wimbledon semi-final for the first time (10-1 record). "It was really so, so close. It clearly hurts."

Trailing two sets to one, Raonic fended off break points in the fifth and ninth games of the fourth set before Federer appeared poised to take the set to a tie-break when he served at 5-6, 40/0. But two double faults from Federer allowed Raonic back into the 12th game. Thus followed a horror half an hour for Federer, who went on to drop the set and lose serve in the fourth game of the fifth set after an untimely slip.

"I can't believe I served a double fault twice," lamented Federer. "Inexplicable for me really. Very sad about that and angry at myself because never should I allow him to get out of that set that easily. I mean, he deserved it. He earned it at the end. But I helped him so much to get back into that game. I would have liked to see a breaker because I was the better player for the set. I know he's great in tie-breaks and all that, it was always going to be tough. But I would have liked to see him scramble more than that.

"Opportunities were all around the fourth set. I think I pushed him on a few service games to get the break. But somehow I couldn't get it done. Either he served well or he hit the line on the serve, or with the forehand, he did a great job there. It was always going to come down to a few shots here and there. Unfortunately they went his way today. It's disappointing for me, clearly.”

While disappointment was the overriding emotion for Federer, the 34-year-old Swiss was able to quickly put his run to the semi-finals into perspective, considering his lack of match play this season due to injuries. In just his seventh tournament of the season, Federer had saved match points to edge Marin Cilic in the quarter-finals to put himself one win away from a 28th Grand Slam final.

Coming into Wimbledon, Federer had been forced to miss Roland Garros before suffering semi-final defeats in Stuttgart and Halle to Dominic Thiem and Alexander Zverev respectively.

"The 10 sets I played in the last two matches really gives me the belief that I'm tougher physically than I thought I was," affirmed Federer. "I never thought I could do this before the tournament started. Actually, it's very encouraging for the season, hopefully for the rest of my career. Not that I was worried it was going to end somehow, but I was insecure coming into Wimbledon.

“It's been a great run for me here, I must say. I just hope with the slip I had in the fifth, I'm going to be fine tomorrow and beyond. I totally overachieved here. The match against Cilic was epic. It was fun to be part of that match."

Ever classy, Federer waited for Raonic to pack his bags at the end of the match before walking off Centre Court alongside the Canadian, stopping to wave to the crowd that had given the Swiss their full support. And Federer was quick to clarify that it was a wave of thanks and not goodbye to the court on which he has won seven of his Grand Slam titles.

"I was looking at Centre Court as in thank you for the crowd, thank you for the great feeling that you gave me throughout The Championships. I was fortunate enough to play all my matches on Centre Court. I don't take that for granted. For me, it's respect towards Milos to wait for him. You walk off together, thank the crowd at the same time, then leave the stage for Milos really at the end.

"That's what I was going through, not thinking that this might be my last Wimbledon. I hope to be back on Centre Court, to be very clear for you."

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Defending Champions Martina Hingis & Sania Mirza upset in Wimbledon quarters

LONDON, England - Fifth seeds Timea Babos and Yaroslava Shvedova hurtled into the Wimbledon semifinals with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over defending champions Martina Hingis and Sania Mirza.

The confident duo were on the offensive right from the start with serving formations, aggressive net poaches, and pressure on returns. The tone was set from the off, a flurry of unreturned serves and sharp returns helping the underdogs build a 3-1 lead.

Shvedova, coming off a successful singles campaign, showed remarkable movement and intuition at the net. And this confidence proved infectious, her partner playing with a similarly assertive attitude. Their court presence rattled Hingis who was broken in her first two service games; the top seeds made mere 35% of first serves in court in the first set.

Momentum quickly ran away from the World No.1s as they were broken again early in the second set. Shvedova complemented her partner's service game at the net, a few quick put away volleys helping them consolidate the early breakthrough.

Key moments loomed for Hingis and Mirza; the first was an opportunity to break back and tie things up at 2-2, however, Babos and Shvedova refused to take their foot off the accelerator, instead stretching the lead to 5-2

The second opportunity for the top seeds to steal back momentum came with a break at 5-3. Hingis roused herself into life with a few aggressive volleys of her own. In the end, it was not to be, as Babos and Shvedova held a very dominant service game to quash any hopes of a comeback.

In the final, they will face No.10 seeds Raquel Atawo and Abigail Spears, who beat Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Kveta Peschke on Wednesday.

It was just not their day. Sania was having a particularly poor time getting returns in play. 

I knew this was going to be a tough match for them to win going in. Had they grabbed the few break chances they had it might have been a different story.  

It's too bad because there could have been a meeting between them and the Williams sisters. 

Hopefully they'll get another chance, and return to winning form on hard courts. Next up we have the Olympics to look forward to in August. 

With the possible Swiss dream team of Federer & Hingis :).

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Roger Federer outlasts Cilic in 5 set thriller to reach semis at Wimbledon!

Roger Federer Tumblr

Third seed and seven-time former champion Roger Federer performed one of his greatest escape acts on Wednesday, saving three match points to come back from two-sets-to-love down and beat ninth seed Marin Cilic 6-7(4), 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(9), 6-3.

Federer moves into the Wimbledon semi-finals for the 11th time and will face Milos Raonic, who beat American Sam Querrey 6-4, 7-5, 5-7, 6-4. The Swiss star leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head series 9-2, including a 2014 Wimbledon win. But Raonic took their most recent match-up 6-4, 6-4 at Brisbane International in January.

“The dream continues. I couldn't be happier,” Federer told BBC Television after the match. “I fought well and played super great at the end.”

The comeback win marks the 10th time Federer has overcome a 0-2 sets deficit in his career. His quarter-final contest looked severely in doubt.

Cilic was dictating nearly everything during the first two sets. The 6'6” right-hander was landing booming first serves and seizing play with powerful groundstrokes. Cilic won 87 per cent of his first-serve points. The 34-year-old Swiss largely had to play defensive tennis and struggled to get into the biggest points. Federer was 0-3 on break points during the first two sets.

But serving at 0/40, 3-all in the third, Federer somehow reeled off five straight points to hear the roar of the Centre Court crowd, which had been waiting for moments to scream. During the next game, Cilic double faulted on break point and Federer had his first break. A game later, he had clinched the third set and the match's momentum.

In the fourth set, Federer seemed to be moving better, serving and volleying and forcing the issue against Cilic. But the Croat regrouped and hung with the Swiss star. Cilic even earned three match points but failed to convert any of them. On two of the match points, he saw a Federer second serve but couldn't put either ball in play.

The two played an enthralling tie-break that saw Federer erase one of those match points and witnessed Cilic save four set points. But the seven-time champion evened the contest on his serve after 20 points.

In the fifth set, Federer broke Cilic at 4-3 and served out the set and the match, ending the memorable contest with two of his seven aces.

At 34 years and 336 days, Federer becomes the oldest man in the Open Era to reach the Wimbledon semi-finals since Ken Rosewall (39 years, 246 days) finished as runner-up to Jimmy Connors.

I will admit that once Roger lost the second set I was having flashbacks to U.S. Open 2014 and considered going back to sleep (having gotten up at 8 am to watch this one).  

Boy, am I glad I didn't!.

Revenge how sweet it is. 

I still don't know how he did it.  The man saved 3 match points, and had to play a hell of a tie-break to win the 4th set on his 5th set point. 

He brought some magic to centere court hitting over 20 aces. Garnering with it a slew of records one being his 40th Grand Slam semi-final & 307th Grand Slam match win (beating Martina Navratilova's 306).  

Definitely one for the tennis history books. 

Raonic will be another test, but if Roger plays the way he did today he might even be able to do it in straight sets.  

How's that for a bold prediction.

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Defending champions Martina Hingis & Sania Mirza stay on track, storm into quarter finals at Wimbledon

LONDON, England - Martina Hingis and Sania Mirza became the first team into the doubles quarterfinals after another convincing victory on the second Monday of Wimbledon.

The pair's energy, variety and precise returning was all on display once again as they clinched a 6-1, 6-0 victory against Christina McHale and Jelena Ostapenko in just 46 minutes.

McHale and Ostapenko's solid groundstrokes and aggressive net presence posed the top seeds some awkward questions. However, on each occasion Hingis and Mirza found an answer through their exceptional court coverage and teamwork.

After a quick first set, Hingis and Mirza kept energy levels high to retain the momentum and take the second set in even more dominant fashion.

Potential quarterfinal opponents Johanna Konta and Maria Sanchez, who are still playing catch-up after the opening week rain delays, progressed into the third round, winning 6-4, 6-1 against Anastasia Rodionova and Darija Jurak. They will continue their run on Tuesday against No.5 seeds Timea Babos and Yaroslava Shvedova.

Monday, July 04, 2016

Roger Federer through to his 14th quarter-final at Wimbledon

Roger Federer marched into his 48th Grand Slam quarter-final, and his 14th at Wimbledon, with a ruthless Centre Court demolition of the No.29 seed Steve Johnson.

The American was on an eight-match winning streak coming into this match, having clinched the Nottingham title in the build-up to Wimbledon, but at 26 he has never been beyond the fourth round of a Slam. Encountering the 17-time Grand Slam champion brought his hopes of a debut last eight appearance to a grinding halt, as his efforts to take control with his serve and forehand made little headway.

Even when he broke Federer’s serve in the third set, his own first serve immediately let him down and the Swiss bounced right back. There would be no Fourth of July celebration for the American – Federer won 6-2, 6-3, 7-5 and has yet to lose a set this Fortnight.

“It wasn’t as easy as maybe it looked,” said Federer afterwards. “He really picked up confidence in the last few weeks. I would never have thought I would go through the first four rounds in straight sets.”

But he has, and in the third set of this match against Johnson, his desire to keep hold of that confidence-boosting knowledge was plain. He surrendered his own serve for 1-3, and it was largely Johnson’s failings which put them immediately back on terms. But all the while Johnson was like a dog with a competitive bone, and had the set reached a tie-break he might well have pushed the match into a fourth.

Instead, at 5-5 Johnson had a bafflingly horrible game. With an open court offering him easy options, Johnson opted to let a pass go by instead of patting it back over the net – bad decision, as it landed on the line. Worse was to come. For reasons which weren’t clear, he attempted a tweener and failed, creating two break points, after which he sent the ball long. Federer needed no second invitation and duly served it out on his first match point, courtesy of an ace. Johnson’s bid to be the first American man in the last eight at Wimbledon fell short.

Next up for Federer is Marin Cilic, and his appetite for that match could hardly be plainer. Those aware only that the Swiss leads their career jousts 5-1 might be puzzled, but Cilic’s one victory came two years ago in the semi-finals at Flushing Meadows, in the Croat’s annus mirabilis there. That straight sets obliteration remains the last time they played, and the memory rankles.

“He brushed me off the court like I was nothing that day, so I’m really hoping to get him back,” promised Federer, adding with a non-sequitur of genuine sincerity: “He’s a super guy. I practised with him when I arrived here at Wimbledon. He was playing great – one-two, one-two, serving, boom, forehand, serving, boom, backhand… Very aggressive. I know what I’m getting into.

“But I’m happy about my game as well. I’ve been able to rise to the occasion to play a really good match against Johnson. I think it was by far my best match. So I’m confident.”

Cilic next. The first real test for Federer

Sunday, July 03, 2016

Martina Hingis & Sania Mirza easily into round 3 at Wimbledon

Top seeds Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis breezed into the women’s third round with a 6-3, 6-1 win over the Japanese pairing of Eri Hozumi and Miyu Kato at the Wimbledon championships on Sunday.

The Indo-Swiss were clinical in their approach and wrapped up the second round clash in 52 minutes on Court No.

The fancied duo served well besides converting five of the eight break points they earned in the match.

Sania and Martina’s third round opponents will be Christina McHale and Jelena Ostapenko.

The American-Latvian combine defeated 13th seeds Alla Kudryavtseva and Vania King 6-1, 6-4 in their second round

Saturday, July 02, 2016

Defending champions Martina Hingis & Sania Mirza start off with a win at Wimbledon

New Delhi: Indian ace Sania Mirza and her Swiss partner Martina Hingis started their doubles title defence at 2016 Wimbledon with a resounding win on Saturday.

The top-seeded pair took one hour and 24 minutes to beat German team of Anna-Lena Friedsam and Laura Siegmund 6-2, 7-5 at the All England Club.

They will now play Japanese pair Eri Hozumi and Miyu Kato, who defeated Mona Barthel of Germany and Chia-Jung Chuang of Chinese Taipei in their first round match.

Friday, July 01, 2016

Roger Federer eases into 2nd week at Wimbledon

Roger Federer once again dashed British hopes of a local favourite advancing at Wimbledon. Two days after beating qualifier Marcus Willis, the third seed dispatched Daniel Evans in the third round on Friday, 6-4, 6-2, 6-2.

"I'm clearly very happy because the goal was to get to the second week somehow," said Federer. "Now I've won nine straight sets, which is great. I'm happy with where I am now. I'll rest a couple of days [and] hopefully step it up a little bit more again on Monday."

The seven-time Wimbledon champion raced out to a 4-0 lead in both the first and second sets of the match. Federer gave Evans little to work with, hitting just 11 unforced errors and no double faults in the first two sets to take a commanding two-sets lead.

Federer went on a five-game run in the third set from 0-1 to 5-1 before closing out the match on his serve two games later. He was particularly impressive on serve, hitting 11 aces and losing just five points all match when he got his first serve in play.

Federer has now reached the second week at Wimbledon for the 14th time. Next up for him is the winner of the match between Steve Johnson and Grigor Dimitrov. Federer has never played Johnson, but leads his FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry with Dimitrov 5-0, including two victories this year in the quarter-finals at Brisbane and the third round at the Australian Open.