Returning Federer coasts into Monte Carlo third round

admin   •   April 13, 2016   •   2427

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)

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

Federer crushes suffering Cilic for eighth Wimbledon title

UNTV News   •   July 17, 2017

Tennis – Wimbledon – London, Britain – July 16, 2017 Switzerland’s Roger Federer celebrates with the trophy after winning the final against Croatia’s Marin Cilic. REUTERS / Andrew Couldridge

LONDON (Reuters) – Behind Roger Federer’s artistry and charm lies a ruthless streak of razor-edged steel which surfaced again on Sunday as he thrashed suffering Marin Cilic 6-3 6-1 6-4 to secure a record eighth men’s Wimbledon singles title.

The incomparable Swiss turned his 11th Wimbledon final into a procession as tearful seventh seed Cilic, battling his nerves and a bloody blister, suffered a torrid afternoon.

Federer described Cilic’s predicament as “cruel” after ending his torment with an ace after one hour 41 minutes — but there was no hint of sympathy as, 23 days before his 36th birthday, he became the oldest Wimbledon men’s singles champion.

That attitude from the third seed, who last triumphed at the All England Club five years ago, was not surprising since Federer’s dream of title number eight had been shattered by Novak Djokovic in the 2014 and 2015 finals.

His take on Cilic’s injury spoke volumes for the killer instinct that has earned him a record-extending 19 majors and taken him past American Pete Sampras’s record of seven men’s singles titles at Wimbledon in the modern era.

“I couldn’t tell what it was,” Federer said. “But if I saw him limping around, or if I saw him pull up hurt, I would start to think, maybe I’ll throw in a dropshot to really check him out, then one more, because that’s what you do.

“You need to hurt him where it hurts already.”

It was not really necessary as Federer enjoyed one of his easiest title victories.

Having reached the final without dropping a set, he was braced for Cilic’s power tools but, apart from the first four games, resistance from the Croat was about as daunting as a man brandishing a stick of celery.

In winning the tournament without the loss of a set, Federer matched the 1976 feat of Swede Bjorn Borg and his own run 10 years ago at the Australian Open.

Latest Milestone

His latest milestone continued a remarkable resurgence for Federer, who took six months off last year before returning to win the Australian Open — ending a five-year wait for an 18th grand slam many thought would remain elusive.

“I’ve got to take more time off, I don’t know!” said Federer, whose family has doubled with the addition of twins Leo and Lennart to go with twin girls Myla Rose and Charlene Riva since his 2012 title — all of whom were watching on Sunday.

“It is very special. Wimbledon was always my favorite tournament, will always be my favorite tournament. My heroes walked the grounds here.”

For Cilic, who beat Federer in the U.S. Open semi-finals before going on to claim his sole major in 2014, his first final at the citadel of tennis, was a living nightmare.

In pain from a blister, his legs appearing tied together and his mind in turmoil, Cilic seemed on the verge of quitting as the tears flowed and the crowd murmured in embarrassment.

“I got a really bad blister,” Cilic said, explaining his mid-match meltdown that had fans nonplussed. “It didn’t hurt so much that it was putting me in tears. It was just that feeling that I wasn’t able to give the best.”

Shaky Start

Nerves were apparent for both men as Cilic opened the 131st men’s final with a shaky service game.

Federer, who lost serve only four times in the fortnight, saved a break point at 1-2 and in the next game.

At 2-2 Cilic took a tumble to the turf trying to reach a Federer dropshot and followed that with two lame backhands to hand master front-runner Federer control.

Scenting blood, Federer polished off the first set before breaking Cilic to lead 3-0 in the second.

Cilic slumped to his chair, sobbing, as the physio and doctor stood by and for a moment it looked as though the final might end in a retirement for the first time since 1911.

Cheered on by the crowd, Cilic returned to the fray but any sense of a real match had vanished as Federer raced through the rest of the second set.

After treatment on his stinging feet, Cilic at least showed some spirit to detain Federer for 40 minutes in the third set.

But the outcome was never in doubt as the Swiss, eyes narrowing for another batch of records, broke in the seventh game before wrapping up the match with his eighth ace.

Editing by Toby Davis/Clare Fallon/Ken Ferris

Emotional Federer savors long-awaited 18th slam win

admin   •   January 29, 2017

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia – 29/1/17 Switzerland’s Roger Federer holds the trophy after winning his Men’s singles final match against Spain’s Rafael Nadal. REUTERS/Jason Reed

An emotional Roger Federer wiped away tears and urged Rafa Nadal to stay with him on the tour for years to come after felling his great rival to win his fifth Australian Open on Sunday.

Completing a brilliant comeback after six months out of the game, the nerve-shredding 6-4 3-6 6-1 3-6 6-3 win gave Federer a long-awaited 18th grand slam title that many thought beyond the 35-year-old Swiss.

Having endured a decade of grand slam heartbreak against Spaniard Nadal, 17th seed Federer roared back from 3-1 down in the tense final set, riding a wave of crowd support at a heaving Rod Laver Arena to mow through five straight games.

Federer sealed the title with a forehand winner on the second championship point but had to endure a nervous wait as Nadal challenged the line call.

The ball was good and Federer jumped in the air, with tears welling up in his eyes, having won his first grand slam title since Wimbledon in 2012.

Federer was presented with the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup by Australian great Rod Laver, sharing an embrace with the 11-times grand slam champion.

“I’d like to congratulate Rafa on an amazing comeback,” Federer said at the trophy ceremony.

“I would have been happy to lose, too, to be honest, (my) comeback was perfect as it was.

“Tennis is a tough sport, there are no draws but if there was going to be one I would have been very happy to accept a draw tonight and share it with Rafa.”

The win snapped Federer’s six-game losing streak to Nadal at the grand slams, with his last major win over the Spaniard coming at the 2007 Wimbledon final.

It made Federer the first player ever to win five titles at three different grand slams and at 35, the oldest grand slam winner since Ken Rosewall won the 1972 Australian Open at 37.

“Everybody says they work very hard, I do the same,” said Federer, who arrived in Australia full of doubts after coming back from a knee injury.

“I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it here but here I am and we made it.

“Stay on the tour, keep playing Rafa, please, tennis needs you, so thanks very much for everything you do.” — By Ian Ransom | MELBOURNE

(Editing by Toby Davis)

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