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.”

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Roger Federer starts off his 9th Gerry Weber Open campaign in Halle with a win






Roger Federer Tumblr

Roger Federer added another milestone to his historic career on Tuesday, celebrating his 1,100th match win to start his Gerry Weber Open campaign in Halle. The eight-time champion breezed past lucky loser Yuichi Sugita of Japan 6-3, 6-1 in 52 minutes to move into the second round at the ATP World Tour 500 event.

The 35-year-old Federer rebounded nicely from his early exit last week at the MercedesCup in Stuttgart. Federer led by a set and a break and had a match point against longtime friend Tommy Haas but fell to the German 2-6, 7-6(8), 6-4.

Against Sugita, Federer started smoothly and stayed aggressive. He hit his fourth ace to claim the opener in only 21 minutes. For the match, Federer won 90 per cent of his first-serve points (26/29).

The top seed improved to 20-2 on the season. He will next face the serve-and-volleying Mischa Zverev, who dismissed Slovakian qualifier Lukas Lacko 6-4, 6-4.

Zverev's younger brother, #NextGenATP German Alexander Zverev, also cruised in his Halle opener. The World No. 12 saved all three break points faced and needed only 59 minutes to beat Italian Paolo Lorenzi6-3, 6-2. Zverev reached the semi-finals at the Ricoh Open last week before losing to eventual titlist Gilles Muller.

Zverev will meet compatriot Philipp Kohlschreiber in the second round. The 33-year-old Kohlschreiber leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head series 2-0.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Martina Hingis to play Mallorca Open

Organizers of the WTA Mallorca Open, held at the Santa Ponsa Tennis Club from 18 to 25 June 2017, announced Thursday that Martina Hingis will come to the Balearic Island.

The 36-year-old from Switzerland has spent a total of 209 weeks as the singles world No. 1 and has won five major singles titles, twelve Grand Slam women’s doubles titles, winning a calendar-year doubles Grand Slam in 1998, and five Grand Slam mixed doubles titles; for a combined total of twenty-two major titles. In addition, Hingis has captured the season-ending WTA Championships two times in singles and three times in doubles and is an Olympic medalist.

Since 2013 Hingis has only played doubles and will compete in Mallorca alongside her 27-year-old partner Chan Yung-Jan of Taiwan.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Roger Federer draws confidence from Halle return

If Roger Federer is looking for a little confidence pick-me-up early in his comeback, there’s no better place to be than the Gerry Weber Open in Halle. Federer has won this grass-court ATP World Tour 500 tennis tournament eight times, more than any other event.

“The history I have here, having come and played well so often, definitely should help me to play good tennis this week,” Federer said Sunday. “I love playing here. Yes, I think I can come in here with good confidence.”

Federer opens against World No. 68 Yen-Hsun Lu, against whom he has a 3-0 FedEx ATP Head2Head record, winning all seven sets they have played. Lu has a 28-34 tour-level record on grass and enjoyed his most memorable moment on the surface in 2010, when he stunned Andy Roddick 9-7 in the fifth set in the Wimbledon fourth round.

Federer will be a heavy favourite against Lu, but after his surprise defeat to former World No. 2 Tommy Haas in Stuttgart, the Swiss won’t take the match lightly. “It’s important for me, especially after the Stuttgart week, to come here and make sure I win my first-round match and get going. I want to take the right decisions on the tennis court. I don’t want to question myself too much. I’ll have the right focus and mindset, that point-by-point mentality. That was a little bit off in Stuttgart, understandably so. I have to learn from that week and move forward in a better way.”

Federer won the tournament five consecutive years between 2003-07 and most recently in 2015. Last year he suffered a surprising semi-final loss to then World No. 38 Alexander Zverev, who one year later finds himself inside the Top 10 of the Emirates ATP Rankings. Federer has a potential second-round meeting with Zverev’s older brother, Mischa Zverev, whom he defeated 6-0, 6-0 five years ago in Halle. But Zverev is a far-improved player whose serve-and-volley game is well suited to grass. And the German on Monday will break into the Top 30 of the Emirates ATP Rankings for the first time in his career.

Despite his opening-round defeat to Haas last week in Stuttgart, where Federer returned after a two-month sabbatical, the Swiss said that he had not second-guessed his decision to skip the entire clay swing after beginning the season 19-1, with titles at the Australian Open and the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 level in Indian Wells and Miami.

“It could have been better in Stuttgart, but then again I had match point,” Federer said. “It wasn’t like I lost 6-2, 6-2 and everything was terrible. A comeback is never simple, especially on grass where margins are so slim. It’s a serve or a passing shot or a return that determines the outcome of the match. That’s what it ended up being against Tommy, even though I felt I should have found a way home, having been a set and a break up.

“Considering how well I felt going into Paris, it was surprisingly easy to take the decision and after making it I never had any regrets watching it or following the results. I never thought ‘If only I was part of the tournament.’ I was looking ahead to the grass season and enjoyed the time with my friends and family at home.

“It was a decision that was taken within a couple of days. It wasn’t something I saw myself doing weeks and months ahead of the tournament. For a long time the schedule was to play Paris but all of a sudden I just felt that I wouldn’t be comfortable doing it. I didn’t want to compromise the goal of the grass-court season, Wimbledon, the US Open and beyond.

"I felt that the French Open may potentially have a negative effect on what’s to come. It may have been helpful, but I felt there was more risk that it would go the other way. Based on health, that’s why I decided to skip.

"But it’s not a trend that I might follow in the future. I don’t know what the future holds. This was just a one-off decision."

When Federer began his break after Miami, he had a significant lead over Rafael Nadal in the Emirates ATP Race To London, which is an indictor of which player will finish the season year-end No. 1. But after his stunning clay-court season, when he won a 10th title in Monte-Carlo, Barcelona and Roland Garros – in addition to winning Madrid – Nadal has opened a massive 2,870 point lead over his rival.

Nadal has withdrawn from The Aegon Championships to rest, giving Federer the opportunity to close the gap by 500 points should he win a ninth Halle title. The seven-time Wimbledon champion could pick up 2,000 points by winning the title at the All England Club.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Roger Federer looks to rebound in Halle

After the disappointment of his opening-round exit last week in Stuttgart, Roger Federer is looking to make amends next week as the top seed at the Gerry Weber Open in Halle.

The Swiss is an eight-time former champion at this ATP World Tour 500 grass-court tournament and goes in one win away from his 1,100th tour-level victory. Federer lifted the trophy in Halle in 2003-06, 2008, 2013-15 and is looking to win his 16th grass-court title.

The 35-year-old Federer opens his campaign against Yen-Hsun Lu and could face Mischa Zverev in the second round; the German left-hander made the semi-finals in Stuttgart (l. to Lopez).

Federer is projected to face sixth seed Lucas Pouille in the quarter-finals, though the sixth-seeded Frenchman faces a tricky opener against 6’5" German Jan-Lennard Struff.

Also in Federer’s half of the draw is third seed Kei Nishikori, who is searching for his first grass-court trophy next week. The Japanese star faces Fernando Verdasco in the first round and is in the same quarter of the draw as Ivo Karlovic, a winner of three grass-court titles.

Dominic Thiem is the second seed. The Austrian is coming off his second straight Roland Garros semi-final (l. to Nadal) and will start his grass-court campaign against either Robin Haase or David Ferrer. The 23-year-old Thiem won his first ATP World Tour grass-court title last year in Stuttgart. He is in the same section of the draw as 39-year-old wild card Tommy Haas and fifth seed Gael Monfils.

#NextGenATP star Alexander Zverev rounds out the top four seeds. The home favourite, who lost today in the ‘s-Hertogebosch semi-finals (l. to Muller), is chasing his fifth ATP World Tour title and first on grass after finishing runner-up to Florian Mayer in the Halle final last year. The 20 year old will meet Paolo Lorenzi in the first round and could face 2011 champion Philipp Kohlschreiber in the second round.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Roger Federer feeling positive despite early round exit in Stuttgart

Roger Federer may have suffered a shocking upset in his opening round defeat on Wednesday to Tommy Haas at the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart, but he isn’t ringing alarm bells just yet.
Although he squandered a match point in the second-set tie-break in losing to the home favourite, the match was filled with plenty of winners and high-quality hitting. However, Federer said that simply hitting well isn’t satisfying enough without it translating into a win.

“Coming here and losing in the semis last year, now the opening round this year, it’s not what I was hoping to do. Especially on grass courts, close to home, in Germany, which has been a good hunting ground for me. It’s not good enough,” said Federer. “If you don’t take your chances like I didn’t, leading a set and a break, you really only have yourself to blame at the end.

“I would have liked to stay here longer and given myself the best possible chance to win the tournament, so that’s a letdown,” he added. “I really enjoy my time here in Stuttgart.”

The result may not have been what Federer envisioned, but several of his shots were in vintage form after a long layoff. He hit 23 aces, fired forehand winners from all parts of the court and snuck into the net for winning volleys on numerous occasions.

But while it’s clear that Federer had been putting in work on the practice court, he admitted his lapses in form came from a lack of match play.

“It wasn’t all bad, not at all. There were definitely some good moments, but I definitely was not as sharp as I was hoping to be in the big moments, or the moment when I had the lead and feel I should have been cruising,” said Federer. “I definitely made some crucial mistakes and judgment errors.”

Despite suffering his first opening-round loss at a grass court event since Wimbledon in 2002 (l. Ancic), the Swiss star is always optimistic and immediately recognised potential benefits to an early exit. Even if Federer lifts the title next week at the ATP World Tour event in Halle, he won’t have overplayed heading into Wimbledon. He’ll have nearly a week of additional time to train on grass and fine-tune his game before his next match.

Competing in his first match since 2 April, when he defeated Rafael Nadal to prevail at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event in Miami, his body also responded well to the physical test of a long three-set match.

“It gives me more time for Halle. As a positive thinker, that’s what I see,” said Federer. “I’ve been on grass for over two weeks… It’s good to play a match again. I really feel the body. It feels different right now than it does after practise. It just makes you tired. There are some positives to take away. It will give me good preparation going into Halle and then Wimbledon is soon.”

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Roger Federer's grass court comeback cut short courtesy of Tommy Haas









STUTTGART, Germany — Roger Federer was beaten on his return from a two-month break, losing 2-6, 7-6 (8), 6-4 to German veteran Tommy Haas in the second round of the Stuttgart Open on Wednesday.

The 39-year-old Haas, who is playing his last season before retirement, saved nine of the 12 break points he faced and converted two of his three chances to deal the Swiss great just his second defeat of the season.

"I’ve even shocked myself a bit," said Haas, who is ranked 302nd and was given a wild card for the grass-court tournament. "I’m a bit speechless. It’s hard to find words."

Haas, a two-time Halle champion who hadn’t beaten his good friend since the 2012 final in Halle, improved to 4-13 against Federer, who hadn’t played since winning the Miami Open in early April.

The 35-year-old Swiss skipped the clay-court season to recuperate from a busy start to the year that saw him capture his 18th Grand Slam at the Australian Open.

Federer claimed his last grass-court title in 2015 in Halle, where he is an eight-time champion.

sportsnet.ca

That's disappointing, here's hoping he sticks around longer in Halle.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Roger Federer says there will be no more breaks for him this year

A rejuvenated Roger Federer is committing to a full schedule in the second half of the season, saying that he’s had enough of practice and is hoping to quickly recapture his stunning early-season form. Fresh off a two-month break to rest his 35-year-old body, Federer returns to the ATP World Tour this week at the grass-court MercedesCup in Stuttgart.

“There are no more breaks now,” Federer told ATPWorldTour.com Monday. “I’ve had enough breaks. I'm a practice world champion now and that's not who I want to be. I want to be a champ on the match courts. So I'm going to be playing a regular schedule for the second part of the season... And this is the beginning here at the MercedesCup in Stuttgart.

After an unpredictable first half of the season that now sees Rafael Nadal and Federer in first and second place in the Emirates ATP Race To London, the Swiss said that he remains surprised at how the season has unfolded. When Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic played a pulsating final in Doha in the first week of the season, most tennis fans thought that last year’s No. 1 and No. 2 finishers would wage a two-man battle for the year-end No. 1 Emirates ATP Ranking again in 2017.

So far this season it has been a two-way battle for year-end No. 1… between Federer and Nadal, The Spaniard has now firmed as a strong favourite following a dominant clay-court swing that included titles No. 10 in Monte-Carlo, Barcelona and Roland Garros, as well as a fifth crown in Madrid. But Federer will hope to close that gap during the next five weeks on his favourite surface, grass. He’s playing the next two weeks in Stuttgart and Halle before taking a week off before chasing an eighth title at Wimbledon.

"I was terribly surprised to win the Australian Open and to back it up and win the sunshine double in Indian Wells and Miami was a complete surprise to me,” Federer said. “I think Rafa winning the French Open is less of a surprise because he'd done it nine times before... I was hoping he was going to dominate the clay-court season like the olden days.

“But I'm still surprised we were able to do it. It maybe had something to do with Murray having a bit of a letdown after his great finish to last year and Novak not playing his absolute best. We were able to take advantage of the fact that we were in great shape and came refreshed into the season after our injuries at the end of last year.”

Federer readily admits that Nadal is a hot favourite to finish No. 1 for the fourth time, but says that the second half of 2017 promises to be much more competitive than the first half.

"Obviously Rafa is in great position to finish World No. 1. For him it's going to be all about staying injury free. For me it's about getting back to winning ways, where I left off in Miami.

“I'm sure a lot of guys are going to start playing their best in the second half of the season, like Murray, Djokovic, Nishikori, Raonic, Zverev, Kyrgios, Stan. We'll all be playing our best tennis. It's going to be an epic finish to the end of the season. Quite exciting actually for the ATP Tour.”

Federer’s opening match in Stuttgart will be against the winner of Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert and German veteran Tommy Haas.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Roger Federer to face familiar foes in Stuttgart








I'm not really digging the new short hair cut. Sorry Rog.


The grass-court season has arrived on the ATP World Tour and a familiar face is atop the draw at the MercedesCup. Top seed Roger Federer leads the field in Stuttgart, his first tournament since going back-to-back at the Masters 1000 events in Indian Wells and Miami two months ago.

Federer, who has a first-round bye, opens against either wild card and close friend Tommy Haas or Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert. A potential quarter-final clash against another German veteran, Mischa Zverev, could also await the Swiss. Third seed Tomas Berdych, who faces either Stephane Robertor Bernard Tomic in the second round, is another seeded threat in Federer's half of the draw.

If 35-year-old Federer faces 39-year-old Haas, it would be their 17th FedEx ATP Head2Head encounter and first since 2014, when the Swiss prevailed in straight sets in Indian Wells. They have met five times on grass, with Haas earning his lone victory in the 2012 Gerry Weber Open final.

Federer reached the semi-finals in Stuttgart last year, where he succumbed to Dominic Thiem in three sets. Owner of the most grass-court titles in the Open Era (15), the eight-time Halle champ will look to add a ninth on German soil. Victory over Haas or Herbert would give him his 20th match win of the season and No. 1100 of his career.

Second seed Grigor Dimitrov leads the charge in the bottom half of the draw, opening aginst either Andrey Kuznetsov or Jerzy Janowicz. Last year's runner-up Philipp Kohlschreiber is unseeded, as is 2009 champion Jeremy Chardy, who triumphed when the tournament was held on clay.

Held at the Tennisclub Weissenhof E.V Parlerstrasse, this is the 40th edition of the MercedesCup and third on grass, having transitioned from clay in 2015.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Relaxed Roger Federer enjoys some practice on grass in Stuttgart




A relaxed and jovial Roger Federer sweated out a 90-minute practice session in 30 degree temperatures Sunday in preparation for his return to the ATP World Tour at the Mercedes Cup. Federer dusted off some cobwebs and shared some laughs with practice partner Tommy Haas and the several hundred fans who turned out on the eve of the grass-court season, which begins Monday in Stuttgart and ‘s-Hertogenbosch.

Sporting a short new haircut, Federer, 35, could play Haas, 39, in the second round in Stuttgart. Typically, players prefer to practice with someone in the other half of the draw. The close friends played quickly during a number of practice games - often to the appreciative applause from fans - but didn’t rush their chats during several sit downs throughout the session.

Federer made the semi-finals in Stuttgart on debut last year, falling in three sets to Dominic Thiem. He also reached grass-court semi-finals in Halle (l. A. Zverev) and Wimbledon (l. Raonic). Federer claimed his last grass-court title in 2015 in Halle (d. Seppi), where he is an eight-time champion.

Federer returns to the ATP World Tour after a two-month rest, which saw him miss the entire clay-court season. He last played at the Miami Open, where he defeated Rafael Nadal in the final to claim his third title of the year, following victories at the Australian Open and the BNP Paribas Open. He boasts a 19-1 record on the season, with his only defeat coming against World No. 116 Evgeny Donskoy in the Dubai second round.

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Martina Hingis & Chan Yung-Jan reach semis at Roland Garros





Taipei, June 8 (CNA) Taiwan's Chan Yung-jan (詹詠然) and Martina Hingis of Switzerland defeated their opponents with relative ease to reach the women's doubles semifinals at the French Open in Paris on Wednesday.

The third seeded Chan and Hingis beat Raluca Olaru of Romania and Olga Savchuk of Ukraine 6-2, 6-1 in the quarterfinals of the competition.

This is the first time Chan has reached the semifinals in women's doubles at the French Open.

Chan, 27, has come close to winning a Grand Slam title before, reaching the women's doubles final at the US Open in 2007 and the Australian Open in 2007 and 2015.

Chan/Hingis will meet with the top-seeded Bethanie Mattek-Sands of the United States and Lucie Safarova from the Czech Republic in the semifinals on Friday. Mattek-Sands and Safarova won their fourth Grand Slam title at the 2017 Australian Open in January.

The Chan-Hingis pairing has won three women's doubles titles this year at Indian Wells, Madrid and Rome.

focustaiwan.tw

Good luck ladies, next one is gonna be tough.  Looking forward to watching it!.

Monday, June 05, 2017

Roger Federer to start grass court season in Stuttgart and Halle

STUTTGART, June 4 — Switzerland’s Roger Federer will return to action at the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart on June 14, ending his 10-week break from the sport, the tournament’s director said.

Federer returned from a six-month injury break to win the Australian Open in January, but skipped the entire claycourt season, including the French Open, to focus on preparing for Wimbledon.

Federer will play in the Stuttgart and Halle grasscourt events before travelling to London to begin pursuit of a record eighth Wimbledon title, Stuttgart tournament director Edwin Weindorfer said. — Reuters.

Sunday, June 04, 2017

Martina Hingis & Chan Yung-Jan roll into the quater-finals at Roland Garros

Taipei, June 4 (CNA) Taiwanese tennis player Chan Yung-jan (詹詠然) and Martina Hingis of Switzerland cruised passed their opponents with relative ease to reach the quarterfinals at the French Open in Paris on Sunday.

The third-seeded Chan and Hingis beat 13-seeded Kiki Bertens from the Netherlands and Johanna Larsson of Sweden 6-2, 6-0 in the third round of the competition.

The duo proved to be tough opponents for Bertens and Johanna, who won just two games in the first set before losing all the way until the match ended.

The Chan-Hingis pair have won three women's doubles titles so far this year, in Indian Wells, Madrid and Rome.

Saturday, June 03, 2017

Martina Hingis and Chan Yung- Jan stay on course at Roland Garros






Chan Yung Jan Twitter

PARIS, France - No.3 seeds Martina Hingis and Chan Yung-jan were in impervious form at Roland Garros on Saturday, as they dropped just two games against Kristyna Pliskova and Viktorija Golubic to move into the third round.

With the 6-1, 6-1 victory, the duo improved their current winning streak to 10 straight matches, and look to raise their third straight trophy in Paris after winning the Mutua Madrid Open and the Internazionali BNL d'Italia on the European red clay.

The No.3 seeds have dropped just five games in two matches, and their victory sets up a meeting with No.13 seeds Kiki Bertens and Johanna Larsson for a spot in the quarterfinals.

Chan Hao-ching, the younger of the two Chan sisters competing in Paris, partnered recent Nürnberg Versicherungscup singles finalist Barbora Krejcikova to a hard-fought victory over Chinese pair Chang Liang and Wang Qiang.

In over two hours, the No.12 seeds advanced, 6-3, 5-7, 6-3 and Roland Garros could potentially see a meeting between the Chan sisters in the final.

Friday, June 02, 2017

Roger Federer reflects on his year thus far

Reflecting on the career resurgence that he has had in 2017, Roger Federer claims he is having a great time as a tennis player right now.

Having returned from a knee injury earlier this year, the former world number one shocked the world when he went all the way in Melbourne and won the 2017 Australian Open.

Having defeated longtime rival Rafael Nadal 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 in the final, the victory was Federer's first Grand Slam win since 2012.

"Ah, s**t, it's all happening again," Federer told ESPN as he recalled being down 3-1 in the final set. "I recall saying, 'You have to try to break now, pal, because later on he is going to stay in the lead and have the break, and then too much luck is involved to turn the whole thing around.'"

"Oh, s**t, he's got me at the finish line. I told myself, 'I've done very little wrong. I've played committed. I've played bigger with my backhand than I ever have against Rafa. I've hit a lot of backhand winners.'"

The Swiss ace then proceeded to have the best 20 minutes of his life as he won the next five games in a row, feeding on the energy of the crowd who did not expect a 35-year-old returning from injury to be in a final in the first place.

"[I had] A different mindset," Federer added. "I had the best 20 minutes of my life, maybe, on the tennis court. I just zoned in and just went [mimics jet taking off]...What I was telling myself is 'Play free, don't feel like you're in a straitjacket. Feel like you have nothing to lose, maybe for one of the first times.'"

Since the win in Melbourne, Federer has gone on to win titles in Indian Wells and in Miami as he carefully plans his schedule this year, recently deciding to skip the entire clay-court season to focus on Wimbledon in July.

"I'm having a great time," he explained. "A fantastic time, really. I can just play the tournaments I want to play and enjoy the process."

"If I do show up and play, I love it. When I'm in training, I enjoy being in training. When I'm not in training, if I'm on vacation, I can enjoy that. I'm not in a rush. So I can take a step back and just actually enjoy."

Turning 36 later this year, the future is not so certain for the 18-time Grand Slam champion. However, Federer believes the next few years could be exciting if managed right.

"I think if I find the right balance, it could be quite exciting," he revealed. "I will play until 40 [laughs], just maybe not on the tour. At this point of my career, I will be more laid-back."


ibtimes.co.uk

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Martina Hingis and Chan Yung-Jan march on at Roland Garros

PARIS, France – The top seeded teams stayed on course at the French Open on the second day of doubles play on Thursday, with No.3 seeds Chan Yung-Jan and Martina Hingis leading the pack into round two.

Hingis and Chan were the heavy favorites leading into Roland Garros – the pair joined forces at the start of the Middle East swing and snapped up two of the season’s three Premier Mandatories (Indian Wells and Madrid), as well as completing the Madrid-Rome double.

They proved their might against the unseeded duo of Naomi Broady and Maria Sanchez, dropping just three games en route to a comprehensive 6-0, 6-3 victory.

The No.1 seeds also had little trouble in their Roland Garros opener; Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Lucie Safarova overpowered crowd favorite Alizé Cornet and partner Elise Mertens, 6-1, 6-2.

Meanwhile, defending champion Kristina Mladenovic got her title defense going with new partner Svetlana Kuznetsova, but faced some tough resistance from British-American duo Heather Watson and Shelby Rogers.

wtatennis.com

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Martina Hingis & Chan Yung-Jan receive tricky doubles draw at Roland Garros

THE TOP 4 SEEDS:

Bethanie Mattek-Sands & Lucie Safarova: Mattek-Sands
and Safarova, ranked World No.1 and No.2 in doubles, respectively, started the season with a Grand Slam title in Melbourne, and are keen to add a second to their ever-growing collection. The pair picked up their only clay title of 2017 in Charleston, taking down Lucie Hradecka and Katerina Siniakova in the final.

The top seeds haven’t been handed an easy draw in Paris – they could get the dangerous No.14 seeds, Svetlana Kuznetsova and crowd favorite Kristina Mladenovic, in the round of 16. Should they progress, No.17 seeds Darija Jurak and Anastasia Rodionova and Prague champions No.11 seeds Anna-Lena Groenfeld and Kveta Peschke are potential quarterfinal opponents.

Ekaterina Makarova & Elena Vesnina:
By their standards, the No.2 seeds Makarova and Vesnina have had a low key clay season, reaching the final in Rome after posting a first-round loss in Madrid. Though they’ve yet to get going on the red stuff, the pair already have a title under their belts at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships and a semifinal appearance in Indian Wells.

In Paris, the Olympic champions could face a number of tricky floaters; the No.6 seeds Lucie Hradecka and Katerina Siniakova loom in their quarter of the draw. They could also face No.12 seeds Chan Hao Ching and Barbora Krejcikova or No.15 seeds Andreja Klepac and Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez.


Chan Yung-Jan & Martina Hingis
: Though seeded No.3, Hingis and Chan are widely considered the favorites to take home the Roland Garros crown after their dominant tear through the clay season.

Hingis and Hingis and Chan paired up at the start of the Middle East Swing and have quickly become the team to beat, winning two of the season's three Premier Mandatory titles at the BNP Paribas Open and Mutua Madrid Open, claiming the Rome title and reaching the semifinals at the Miami Open.

Looming as potential quarterfinals opponents are No.5 seeds Timea Babos and Andrea Hlavackova – in a potential rematch of their Madrid final – and surprise Miami champions No.9 seeds Gabriela Dabrowski and Xu Yifan.

Sania Mirza & Yaroslava Shvedova:
Mirza and Shvedova partnered earlier in the clay season at Madrid, and despite the titles eluding them the pair are building on momentum. Together they reached the quarterfinals in the Spanish capital and backed it up with semifinals in Rome.

The No.4 seeds’ section of the draw is littered with potential landmines; awaiting in the round of 16 could be the unseeded but red-hot Aussie duo of Casey Dellacqua and Ashleigh Barty. It won’t get any easier after that, as they could then get Stuttgart champions Raquel Atawo and Jelena Ostapenko or veterans Abigail Spears and Katarina Srebotnik.

TEAMS TO WATCH:


Gabriela Dabrowski & Xu Yifan:
The No.9 seeded team of Dabrowski and Xu loom in Chan and Hingis’ quarter of the draw, and they’re primed to spring another upset. The pair capped off a fairytale run in Miami to take home the title in their first tournament together, and are fresh from a quarterfinal run in Strasbourg.

Svetlana Kuznetsova & Kristina Mladenovic: The No.14 seeded Kuznetsova and Mladenovic both have special ties to Roland Garros; Kuznetsova reached the final in singles twice – winning the title in 2009, her second Grand Slam crown – while Frenchwoman Mladenovic won her home Grand Slam last year in doubles with then-partner Caroline Garcia.

The pair teamed up to reach back-to-back quarterfinals in Indian Wells and Miami, but haven’t yet found their rhythm on the terre battue. Still, Mladenovic’s penchant for bringing out her best tennis in front of her home crowd and both players’ prowess on clay makes for a dangerous combination.

Raquel Atawo & Jelena Ostapenko:
Ostapenko teamed up with Atawo at the start of the clay season in Charleston, and the results came immediately. The pair reached the semifinals – knocking out heavyweights Sania Mirza and Andrea Hlavackova in the quarterfinals – and Ostapenko even reached the final in singles. In Stuttgart, the pair dropped just one set en route to the title. Seeded No.10 in Paris, the pair could run into Mirza once again, as they’re drawn into the Indian’s quarter.

UNSEEDED & LOOMING:

Ashleigh Barty & Casey Dellacqua
: The Aussie duo has been quietly making their mark on the doubles circuit during the season and they come into the French Open in fine form, and with the momentum of winning at the Internationaux de Strasbourg just a few days ago.

They teamed up earlier in the year for a title at Kuala Lumpur, as well, and back in 2013 the pair reached three Grand Slam doubles finals – they could pose big problems for any seeds they run into in Paris.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Will Martina Hingis and Chan Yung-Jan be the new dynamic doubles duo on the WTA Tour?

Just like a couple's relationship that is near the end of their expiration date, in tennis you have to look and search for another and with luck you'll find it. This happen to Hingis and Chan.


"After three grand slam victories and 11 WTA doubles titles together, we have mutually agreed that we would each be open to playing with other players for the remainder of the season" the Chan sisters had said. The Martina Hingis/Sania Mirza pairing had over a year of good times and trophy-gotten goods, but they were apprehensive when a series of losses became too constant. There was much gossip about why the two would split and to lay it to rest Hingis went to her Instagram to say in a matter of a few explanations that "...we have had very high expectations from our partnership and unfortunately did not get the results we desired recently..." Last year after the split, Hingis tried teaming with Coco Vandeweghe. They made the finals in the Cincinnati event and then the semis at the US Open. The winning fizzled out and they broke their pairing.


The Chan sisters, Hao-Ching Chan and Yung-Jan had won 18 WTA doubles titles. They wanted to take a break from each other because as their winning strokes stopped, both though it best to separate and play with other partners as Yung-Jan had said she was trying "to find a new sparkle". Martina Hingis was the new shiny piece for Yung-Jan to join a unit together and they started hanging out together off-court to become acquainted with each other, with their union starting at the Australian Open of this year in 2017.

They played a few times in Asia but three times was the charm as the Hingis/Chan duo produced a title, their first together at the BNP Paribas at Indian Wells this year. Martina was no stranger at the BNP for she had won doubles titles twice before, winning in 1999 with Anna Kournikova and in 2015 with Sania Mirza. Yung-Jan is no stranger either to the BNP at Indian Wells because she was in the final some 10 years ago at 17. Chan remembers back that "...Everything was so new for me. I didn't really know everybody. Just playing whenever I can..." Regardless of the fact that she and her sister lost to Lisa Raymond and Sam Stosur only proved that she had the endurance and consistency to land up in a final. Three times was the charm as Hingis celebrated her doubles title with her new partner Yung-Jan in March at Indian Wells and their first together.

The Hingis/Chan team continued the magic of their pairing by entering the 2017 Mutua Madrid Open of which they had the consistency to gather the women's doubles title, their second title together. This makes the first title on clay and they defeated Timea Babos and Andrea Hlavackova in straight sets 6-4, 6-3. "I think we have the perfect game for each other. This is our fifth tournament together and we already have two titles...this is our first on clay and we won so we're already looking forward to the upcoming tournaments", Hingis and Chan said in unison. Martina displayed a wide smile also for the title being her 100th career title too. They had pushed their success just a bit further during the clay court season when they won the Italian Open in Rome, a die hard match won in two tiebreakers with the team of Elena Vesnina and Ekaterina Makarova, 7-5, 7-6.

Martina Hingis and Yung-Jan Chan feel that they are on the perfect track to being a consistent threat to the women's doubles teams on the WTA tour. Next up for the new dynamic duo is the French Open which will be the first grand slam they would have won with each other and the fourth title. They seem to be on the right path and as Hingis says smilingly "That's the key to success, the partnership".

Tuesday, May 23, 2017