Federer punches ticket to Montreal semis

Five-time winner Roger Federer and defending champion Serena Williams breezed into the US Open third round on Thursday while Italian fourth seed Sara Errani became the biggest upset victim yet. NEW YORK: Five-time winner Roger Federer and defending champion Serena Williams breezed into the US Open third round on Thursday while Italian fourth seed Sara Errani became the biggest upset victim yet. Swiss 17-time Grand Slam champion Federer, who swept the New York hardcourt crowns from 2004-2008, dispatched Argentina's 48th-ranked Carlos Berlocq 6-3, 6-2, 6-1 in 95 minutes, firing six aces and 37 winners. "I was pretty comfortable out there," Federer said. "So that was a good sign." Federer, at his lowest US Open seed since 2002 at seventh, advanced to a matchup with either US 26th seed Sam Querrey or Frenchman Adrian Mannarino. Federer lost for the first time in 50 appearances in a Grand Slam second-round match last month at Wimbledon, falling to 116th-rated Sergiy Stakhovsky in his earliest Slam exit since the 2003 French Open. "Just keep on winning. I don't care how," Federer said of his goals. "Right now it's about winning for me, trying to gain confidence and enjoy myself. I hope I can progress. We'll see how it goes." Federer and Spanish second seed Rafael Nadal, a 12-time Grand Slam winner who captured his eighth French Open crown in June, could meet for the first time at the US Open in this year's quarter-finals. "I hope I'm going to be there," Federer said. "The…... [read more]

Wimbledon king Roger Federer and Maria Sharapova endured jolting second-round losses to opponents outside the world top 100 in a freakishly dramatic 'Wednesday Wipeout' that saw seven players withdraw injured and the draw shredded. Second seed Victoria Azarenka, Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and even Steve Darcis, man-of-the-moment after his opening day victory over Spaniard Rafa Nadal, were among the casualties as the medical bulletins piled up. With title contenders dropping like flies, some before even striking a ball in anger, home favorite Andy Murray must be licking his lips after avoiding the scrapheap with an incident-free second round win over Taiwan's Lu Yen-Hsun. Murray's hopes of emerging as "last man standing" to claim his first Wimbledon crown on Sunday week have soared after two rounds which have culled Nadal, Federer and sixth-seeded Tsonga from his half of the draw. After a day of slips and slides, strained shoulders and aching knees, seven-times champion Federer was expected to glide serenely above the mayhem around him when he stepped out on Centre Court to play Ukraine's Sergiy Stakhovsky. Three hours later his dream of an eighth title was over. Playing old-school serve and volley tennis the like of which was supposed to have gone out of fashion, the 27-year-old world No.116 won 6-7(5) 7-6(5) 7-5 7-6(5) to snap third seed Federer's streak of reaching 36 consecutive grand slam quarterfinals. "I'm still in disbelief," Stakhovsky said. "I played the best tennis I have ever played. When you play Roger Federer it's like your're playing…... [read more]

Britain’s Andy Murray reacts after winning his second round tennis match against Spain’s Fernando Verdasco at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 indoor tournament in Paris on Wednesday. AFP/VNA Photo Viet Nam News PARIS — Andy Murray laboured past a determined Fernando Verdasco to reach the last 16 of the Paris Masters on Wednesday and keep the pressure on world number one Novak Djokovic. Murray is seeking to end Djokovic’s l22-week reign at the top, but the Briton was pushed to the limit by Verdasco in the French capital before prevailing 6-3, 6-7 (5/7), 7-5. The second seed raced through the opening set but was forced into a decider after Verdasco, who had lost in the first round in five of his past six tournaments, levelled in a tie-break. The Spaniard then saw two break points pass him by at 5-all in the third set, with Murray breaking the following game to finally end Verdasco’s resistance. Murray, a winner in Beijing, Shanghai and Vienna in his past three events, will continue his assault on Djokovic when he faces Lucas Pouille for a place in the quarter-finals. Djokovic, the record four-time champion, marched into the third round with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Luxembourg’s Gilles Muller. The Serb needed four set points before claiming the opener, with Djokovic then breaking at 4-all in the second to extend his Paris winning streak to 16 matches. "It was great to start off the way I did today," said Djokovic. "Not an easy opponent,…... [read more]

Tomas Berdych kept alive his hopes of reaching the end-of-season Tour finals with a gritty 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 victory over Portugal’s Joao Sousa on Tuesday. Photo thesun.co.uk Viet Nam News Tennis PARIS — Former Paris Masters champion Tomas Berdych kept alive his hopes of reaching the end-of-season Tour finals with a gritty 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 victory over Portugal’s Joao Sousa on Tuesday. Berdych, who must reach the semi-finals to remain in contention to qualify for London for a seventh straight year, will face 10th seed Roberto Bautista Agut or Gilles Simon in the last 16. Andy Murray is a potential quarter-final opponent for the 2005 winner, but the Czech appeared unfazed at the prospect of also needing to beat the world number two. "I have to play good tennis because if you don’t play your best, you don’t really deserve to be there," said Berdych, who missed the US Open with appendicitis. "Luckily, I’m healthy and can play. Who would have said that I’d be answering questions about London when I was in the hospital in Cincinnati? This is a nice bonus." Fourth seed Milos Raonic is one of six players guaranteed their place in the eight-man field in the British capital, and the Canadian brushed aside Pablo Carreno Busta 7-6 (7/5), 6-4. Raonic, a 2014 finalist in Paris, sent down 17 aces to take his place in the third round where the winner of 16th seed Pablo Cuevas and Paolo Lorenzi awaits him. Richard Gasquet saved seven set points…... [read more]

Svetlana Kuznetsova battled into the semi-finals of the Kremlin Cup on Thursday. — Photo livetennis.com Viet Nam News MOSCOW — Top-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova battled into the semi-finals of the Kremlin Cup on Thursday with a hard-fought win over tearful ninth seed Timea Babos of Hungary to boost her hopes of making the WTA Finals. The two-time Grand Slam title winner, ranked ninth in the world, won her first ever meeting with Babos 7-5, 6-7 (2/7), 6-2. Kuznetsova took the opening set in 50 minutes and was serving for the match in the second but Babos survived by winning the tiebreak that followed to level at 1-1 after one hour 47 minutes on court. A left thigh injury forced Babos to take a medical break halfway into the deciding set and in the last game she collapsed in tears. "It was really good for me that we had to play the third set. I finally relaxed and began to play my normal tennis," Kuznetsova said. "But before that I felt stressed and rusty. When I served for the match in the second set I squandered all of my chances. It was a really terrible game. Hopefully I will be relaxed in the semi-final." Russian veteran Kuznetsova needs to retain her Moscow title to edge Britain’s Johanna Konta and claim the last spot in the elite eight-woman field at next week’s season finale in Singapore. Kuznetsova will next face fourth-seeded Elina Svitolina of Ukraine, who dumped Croatia’s Ana Konjuh out of the…... [read more]

BEIJING: Andy Murray stormed into the China Open quarter-finals with a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Andrey Kuznetsov on Wednesday (Oct 5), as on the outer courts the tournament's younger players appeared in control. The 49th-ranked Russian broke Murray's serve in the first game, battling through four deuces to take the first point of the match. The world number two dropped another serve in the first set, and one in the second, but otherwise allowed the 25-year-old little room as he closed out the match in 76 minutes. The women's top seed Angelique Kerber booked her spot in the round of 16, beating Barbora Strycova in two sets, 6-3, 7-6 (7/4). "I was just trying to be more aggressive, so that was my plan, to just to go for it, and (to make) her run," Kerber said after the match. The German two-time Grand Slam champion will meet 22-year-old Ukrainian Elina Svitolina, who downed Savine Lisicki 6-4, 6-4. Other members of the younger generation also took charge on Wednesday. Ninth-ranked 21-year-old Madison Keys dismissed two-time Grand Slam champion Svetlana Kuznetsova, 31, in two sets, 7-6 (7/2), 6-2. The American is targeting a spot in the final to qualify for the eight-player WTA Finals in Singapore for the first time, but will have to get through two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova in the quarter-finals. Briton Johanna Konta is also still in the running to qualify for the season finale for the first time - and possibly break into the top 10 -…... [read more]

BEIJING: Seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams crashed out of the first round of the China Open to Chinese wildcard Peng Shuai on Monday (Oct 3). World number one Angelique Kerber, meanwhile, continued her stellar season beating qualifier Katerina Siniakova in two sets in her opening match in Beijing. After a close first set, the former US Open semi-finalist Peng allowed the American veteran player just one game point in the second to win 7-5, 6-1. "In the first set I was really trying to fight because I think she got three set points," said Peng after the match. "I think in the second set it's really important when I got the first three points. It gave me more motivation." Peng, 30, came of age at the same time as China's first - and only - Grand Slam singles champion Li Na. She reached a career high of 17 in 2011, the same year Li won her first Slam at Roland Garros and rose to world number five, taking with her the popularity of tennis in China. But Peng's career has since been blighted by injury, which forced her to miss much of 2015 and pushed her to the brink of retirement. "After the surgery, no one could guarantee I could come back to the court," Peng said. "I'd like to take time to see if I can go further (in tennis)." 'POSITIVE ON COURT' Czech Siniakova, 20, played an impressive net game against top seed Kerber but was unable…... [read more]

SAINT PETERSBURG: US Open champion Stan Wawrinka and Czech Tomas Berdych both cruised into the Saint Petersburg Open semi-finals on Friday (Sep 23). Top seed Wawrinka beat Serb Viktor Troicki 7-5, 6-2 to set up a meeting with Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut for a place in the final. Third seed Berdych, currently ninth in the race to the London ATP Finals -which features the year's top eight players - also advanced past Italian veteran Paolo Lorenzi 6-4, 6-3. Wawrinka, the world number three, recorded his sixth win over seventh seed Troicki in as many meetings, breaking in the 12th game for a one-set lead. Wawrinka, 31, underlined his supremacy on the hardcourt surface in the second with two more breaks to close out in 64 minutes. Earlier Bautista Agut, 28, rallied from a set down to see off Portuguese eighth-seed Joao Sousa 4-6, 6-1, 6-2. "He's a great player, a great fighter," said Wawrinka of his next opponent who won the last of his four ATP titles on hardcourt in Sofia last February. "He likes this kind of surface and I'm looking forward to an interesting match," the Swiss added. Berdych, who has won 12 ATP titles most recently in Stockholm and Shenzhen last year, took the opening set in 35 minutes with a break in the 10th game, breaking early in the second. "My game is improving day by day," warned Berdych, who next plays German teenager Alexander Zverev, who whipped home favourite Mikhail Youzhny, the 2004 champion, 6-2,…... [read more]

Viet Nam News Tennis SAINT PETERSBURG – Top seeded US Open champion Stan Wawrinka made a successful Saint Petersburg Open debut on Wednesday, cruising comfortably into the last eight by beating Lukas Rosol of the Czech Republic. Wawrinka prevailed 6-3, 6-1 in just 57 minutes to record his sixth win over Rosol in as many meetings. The worldNo 3 raced through the first set, courtesy of service breaks in the fifth and ninth games. The 31-year-old was checked in the first game of the second set when he was trailing 0-40, but the Swiss star rallied to produce two more breaks to seal the set and the match. "I think my level today was good," Wawrinka said. "I was really focused trying to be aggressive, trying to find the right way for the first round. And I’m happy with my performance." Fourth seeded Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut battled back from a set down to advance into the quarter-finals by beating Ricardas Berankis of Lithuania 4-6, 6-1, 7-6 (7/2). "It wasn’t easy for me to play the first match here," said the Spaniard. "It was tough to get used to the conditions, the balls and the surface. Hopefully I will perform better in the quarters." Joao Sousa of Portugal, seeded eighth, also overcame a one-set deficit to beat Moldovan qualifier Radu Albot in a tough three-setter 3-6, 6-4, 7-5 on his way to the second round. Seventh seed Serb Viktor Troicki experienced few troubles in his opening round match seeing off…... [read more]

Defending champion Andy Murray survived a stern test from Kyle Edmund to reach the Queen's Club semi-finals with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 victory over the British wildcard on Friday. LONDON: Defending champion Andy Murray survived a stern test from Kyle Edmund to reach the Queen's Club semi-finals with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 victory over the British wildcard on Friday (Jun 17). Murray will play Croatia's Marin Cilic in the last four on Saturday in a rematch of the 2013 final at the Wimbledon warm-up event in west London. But the world number two had to dig deep to remain on course for a record fifth Queen's crown after a lacklustre first two sets against an inexperienced 21-year-old ranked 83 places below him. Canadian third seed Milos Raonic will face Australia's Bernard Tomic in the other semi-final. Murray defeated 2012 champion Cilic in the final three years ago but if the 29-year-old wants to repeat that he will have to improve significantly on his curiously limp performance against Edmund, who showed why he is regarded as Murray's likely successor as British number one with an inspired effort before being blown away in the deciding set. "I train with Kyle a lot so I know how good he is. He is big, strong and when he is on, he is very tough to play against," Murray said. "Kyle is the future of the game in this country. I have felt that in practice and I felt that in the match. He served…... [read more]

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