Federer, Wawrinka storm to Swiss showdown in NYC

admin   •   September 10, 2015   •   2301

Roger Federer of Switzerland returns a shot to Richard Gasquet of France during their quarterfinals match at the U.S. Open Championships tennis tournament in New York, September 9, 2015. REUTERS/CARLO ALLEGRI

Roger Federer of Switzerland returns a shot to Richard Gasquet of France during their quarterfinals match at the U.S. Open Championships tennis tournament in New York, September 9, 2015.
REUTERS/CARLO ALLEGRI

Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka shrugged off the threat of rain to storm into the U.S. Open semi-finals on Wednesday, while Simona Halep stood up for the younger generation to complete a women’s final four that will feature three thirty somethings.

Moved from the Arthur Ashe Stadium court to Louis Armstrong to bring Federer’s match forward, Wawrinka appeared untroubled by the change of venue, needing just an hour and 47 minutes to repel big-hitting South African Kevin Anderson 6-4 6-4 6-0.

Second seed Federer turned in an equally economical effort, brushing aside Frenchman Richard Gasquet 6-3 6-3 6-1 in a tidy 87 minutes to set up an all-Swiss semi-final on Friday.

The other side of the draw features a battle of the big men, with top seed Novak Djokovic taking on defending champion Marin Cilic.

“Emotionally it’s not so hard for me,” said Federer, who holds a commanding 16-3 advantage over his Davis Cup team mate and reigning French Open champion.

“But subconsciously, you know he knows what your preferences are, where you like to go and where you’re probably going to go,” he added

“That’s the weird part. I feel we meet each other somewhere in our minds before the point is being played out.”
Federer and Gasquet are both armed with elegant one-handed backhands but apart from that aesthetically pleasing stroke, there were very few similarities in their lopsided contest.

The 17-time grand slam winner could hardly miss and Gasquet all too often played the role of innocent bystander as the Swiss maestro uncorked 50 winners to a mere eight from the 12th seeded Frenchman.

‘I’M READY’

Anderson, meanwhile, lacked the energy he displayed in a fourth round upset of third seed Andy Murray, allowing Wawrinka to dictate play for large stretches of the match.

The South African, who leans heavily on his serve, could manage just nine aces and one break point the entire match, which he was unable to convert.

“I’ve improved a lot over the past three years and feel much closer to his level now,” Wawrinka said of his compatriot.

“He is playing really well here so I will need to be at my best. He’s had some amazing matches and I know it will be a big challenge but I think I’m ready.”

Halep moved closer to a first grand slam singles title after edging Victoria Azarenka 6-3 4-6 6-4 to set up a meeting with Flavia Pennetta, who toppled Czech fifth seed Petra Kvitova 4-6 6-4 6-2 to join compatriot Roberta Vinci in the last four.

Defying the odds, rankings and age, 33-year-old Pennetta and 32-year-old Vinci etched their names in history by becoming the first two Italian women to reach the semi-finals of the same grand slam in the Open Era.

With 33-year-old Serena Williams also in the last four, 23-year-old Halep will be conceding almost a decade of experience to her remaining challengers.

“Of course we are a little bit old for the age of tennis right now,” Pennetta admitted. “But we are here and still fighting.”

However, the dream of an All-Italian final will require some special magic, particularly from Vinci, who has the daunting task of facing three-times defending U.S. Open champion and world number one Williams.

(Editing by John O’Brien)

Cornet forgiving but double standards remain over shirt changing

admin   •   August 31, 2018

 

Alize Cornet | Reuters

Women and men may receive equal pay for work at Grand Slams but a double standard that surfaced at the U.S. Open when Alize Cornet was slapped with a code violation for changing her shirt on the court continued to spark outrage over equality.

The United States Tennis Association (USTA) was in full damage control mode defusing a controversy that erupted on Tuesday after the Frenchwoman noticed she had put her shirt on backwards off the court during a heat break.

When she realized her mistake, Cornet walked towards the back of the court pulling off her top, briefly exposing her sports bra, before slipping it back on the right way round and drawing a code violation from umpire Christian Rask.

The decision to penalize Cornet triggered a social media storm with many people labeling the umpire’s decision as sexist.

Male players frequently change or remove their shirts between games and sometimes sit shirtless for extended periods of time in their chairs during changeovers.

Cornet said she was surprised to wake up on Wednesday to a full-blown controversy and attempted to downplay the incident.

While Cornet accepted the incident with good humor and grace others were not so quick to forgive.

Realizing it had stepped on a public relations landmine, the USTA was quick to issue a statement saying the code violation was wrong while the WTA leaped to Cornet’s defense, labeling the penalty unfair. — Reuters

Returning Federer coasts into Monte Carlo third round

admin   •   April 13, 2016

Tennis - Monte Carlo Masters - Monaco, 12/04/2016. Roger Federer of Switzerland plays a shot to Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

Tennis – Monte Carlo Masters – Monaco, 12/04/2016. Roger Federer of Switzerland plays a shot to Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

Former world number one Roger Federer returned from a 10-week layoff with a 6-3 6-4 second-round victory against Spain’s Guillermo Garcia Lopez at the Monte Carlo Masters on Tuesday.

The third-seeded Swiss had knee surgery on Feb. 3 and was forced to delay his scheduled comeback in Miami because of gastroenteritis.

Federer, who has failed all 12 attempts to win the first claycourt Masters of the season, was barely bothered by the world number 38. The only glitch he suffered came when he was broken as, leading 5-2 in the second set, he was serving to win.

He will next face either Germany’s Alexander Zverev or Spain’s Marcel Granollers, who was picked in the main draw after fellow Spaniard David Ferrer withdrew with a leg injury.

Back in Monte Carlo for the first time since 2013, world number two Andy Murray labored into the third round with a 6-2 4-6 6-3 defeat of France’s Pierre-Hugues Herbert.

(Writing by Julien Pretot; Editing by Louise Ireland)

Wawrinka exits Indian Wells, Nadal scrapes through

admin   •   March 17, 2016

Stan Wawrinka (SUI) during his 4th round match against David Goffin (BEL) in the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Goffin won 6-6-3, 5-7, 7-6. Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Stan Wawrinka (SUI) during his 4th round match against David Goffin (BEL) in the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Goffin won 6-6-3, 5-7, 7-6. Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Third seed Stan Wawrinka was sent packing in the round of 16 at the BNP Paribas Open in California on Wednesday and was very nearly joined by Rafa Nadal, who pulled off a Houdini-like escape to reach the last eight.

Fourth seed Nadal, three times a champion at Indian Wells, came from 5-2 down in the final set and saved a match point before battling past 18-year-old German prospect Alexandr Zverev 6-7(8) 6-0 7-5.

The power-hitting Zverev had been bidding to become the youngest quarter-finalist at the event since 1989 and led 40-30 when serving for the match but his nerve deserted him at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

The German, rated by Nadal as “a possible future number one”, netted a forehand for deuce, then netted another for break point before dumping a third into the net to be broken.

Spanish left-hander Nadal won the last five games of the deciding set to reach the quarter-finals, where he will face either fifth-seeded Japanese Kei Nishikori or American John Isner, who were playing later on Wednesday.

Wawrinka was ousted by Belgian David Goffin, who sealed a 6-3 5-7 7-6(5) victory when his Swiss opponent netted a forehand in a closely contested tiebreak after a wildly fluctuating match that lasted nearly two-and-a-half hours.

It was only the second time in his career that Goffin had beaten a player ranked in the top 10, and it earned him a spot in the last eight of an ATP Masters 1000 event for the second time.

The 25-year-old Belgian will next meet big-serving Croat Marin Cilic, who beat Frenchman Richard Gasquet 7-5 5-7 6-2.

“It was the best win of my career, for sure,” Goffin told Tennis Channel after an often erratic encounter in searing heat that featured 13 breaks of serve.

“I had some problems with my serve, a little bit with my toss. It was tough with the heat and the sun to control the ball.”

After breaking Wawrinka three times to sweep through the opening set, Goffin raced into 5-3 leads in both the second and third without managing to serve out for victory.

Wawrinka, who smashed his racket in frustration early in the second set, leveled the match as the Belgian’s service game wavered and won three of the last four games in the third.

However, at 5-5 in the tiebreak, the Swiss stunningly hit a forehand smash long with Goffin completely stranded to hand his opponent match point and the Belgian clinched the win when Wawrinka hit a forehand into the net.

Also advancing into the last eight was Canadian Milos Raonic, the 12th seed, who overpowered sixth-seeded Czech Tomas Berdych 6-4 7-6 (7).

In other later matches on Wednesday, defending champion and world number one Novak Djokovic faces Spaniard Feliciano Lopez while seventh-seeded Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga takes on Austria’s Dominic Thiem.

(Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Frank Pingue/Nick Mulvenney)

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