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Nov 23, 2014

Switzerland wins first Davis Cup title


Roger Federer put his bad back and his brief difference of opinion with his Swiss team mate Stanislas Wawrinka and claimed the one prize that has always eluded him and Switzerland - the Davis Cup.

Switzerland won the Davis Cup for the first time in their history after Federer crushed France's Richard Gasquet in Lille. An inspired Federer raised his game to beat Gasquet 6-4 6-2 6-2. He collapsed in tears onto the clay at the Stade Pierre-Mauroyto after giving the Swiss a 3-1 lead.

On Saturday, Federer and Wawrinka had put Switzerland into a 2-1 lead with a straight sets defeat of Gasquet and Julien Benneteau in the doubles.



Federer was thrashed by Gael Monfils in his first singles match after struggling with a back trouble but recovered as the weekend progressed.

"I'm happy I was able to stay calm and play a good match, and I'm really happy for the guys in the team, everybody worked incredibly hard to get me match ready," Federer said. "Stan has put in so much effort over the years and played an unbelievable weekend that gave me the opportunity today. I'm very much aware of that, this one is for the boys."

It took 15 years for Federer to win the Davis Cup after making his debut in the prestigious event back in 1999.

"It's not for me, I've won enough in my career and did not need to tick any empty boxes," Federer said. "I'm just happy for everybody else. I'm happy we could live a great tennis historic moment in our country."

(Images via Facebook)

Nov 17, 2014

Roger Federer pulls out of ATP World Tour Finals and hands Novak Djokovic trophy


World no. 2 Roger Federer disappointed more than 17,000 fans at the O2 Arena after pulling out of the final against Novak Djokovic, citing a back injury sustained in his semifinal match against Stanislas Wawrinka.

The 33-year-old Swiss announced he was "not match-fit" as he apologised to the crowd in person.

The withdrawal resulted in Djokovic's fourth victory at the season-ending event. He also becomes the first man to win three titles in a row since Ivan Lendl back in the 80s.

No one saw that coming from Federer, who had withdrawn during tournaments on only two previous occasions - in 2008 against James Blake (Bercy) and 2012 against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (Doha).

Novak Djokovic won seven ATP events in 2014, including Wimbledon.

Federer declined to speak to the media on Sunday night after his withdrawal.

On Monday Federer and Wawrinka are due to travel to Lille where, starting on Friday, they will joining the Switzerland team that tackles France in the Davis Cup. That is the only major prize in tennis that the Swiss maestro has not won.

Oct 6, 2014

Juan Martin del Potro is ready for a comeback?

File pic

Will the former US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro be able to make a comeback after a long layoff following a wrist surgery since March?

Recently, the Argentinian has been working hard in gym and on court and set to make a comeback in Basel and Paris during the indoor hard court season.

In September, the del Potro announced that he would not be able to compete during the upcoming Asian swing which includes the the September 22-28 Malaysian Open, his title defence at the Japan Open a week later and the October 5-12 Shanghai Rolex Masters.

Last season, del Potro defeated Milos Raonic in September to take the Tokyo crown, and beaten runner-up to Novak Djokovic in Shanghai the following week. It will not be easy to predict how del Potro would perform but most analysts will recommend using a stats related site like MatchStat.com when accessing a player's form.

Working hard at the gym

So far, del Potro has only played in just four tournaments in 2014 and his last appearance was at the Dubai Duty-Free Tennis Championships way back in February. At the tournament, he played only one set before being forced to retire. The 25-year-old tennis player started the year by winning his 18th ATP career title at the Sydney International but was being upset in the second round of the Australian Open.

Recently, it looked quite promising that he would be back in action, returning to the ATP events after started his training regime again.

Getting a new haircut. Looks like del Potro is ready for a comeback!

Del Potro was ranked as high as no. 4 in February this year before the recurring wrist injury. The 1.98m tennis player's ranking has fallen to no. 14 as of this week. His ranking is expected to fall even further and out of the top 25 by missing the upcoming tournaments. If del Potro is not able to defend his points in Basel, Switzerland, he'll drop out of the top 60! However, del Potro has been through far worse than that. When he made his comeback from his first wrist surgery on his right hand, he was ranked so low at no. 485 after the Australian Open in 2011. He managed to pick himself up and within a year, he was back in the top 10 again. 

(Via del Potro's Facebook page)

Sep 11, 2014

Is the Big 4's dominance in ATP finally over?


After nearly one decade of Grand Slam finals involving long time nemeses Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic, Croatian Marin Cilic's victory over Kei Nishikori at the US Open finally gave new hope to the other tennis players that they do not have to wait for too long to be succeed.

Believe it or not, the discussion in the next major tournament, would be on whether someone else besides the Big 4 will win the championship. Whatever happened in the past two weeks could determine the future of the Australian Open and the subsequent majors in 2015. However, to check the current tennis market, you may go to William Hill online betting.

Since the 2005 French Open, all 38 consecutive Grand Slam finals have been dominated by at least one of Federer, Nadal or Djokovic. There were four exceptions in nearly 10 years with Juan Martin del Potro's victory over Federer at the US Open in 2009, Murray's wins against Djokovic at the US Open in 2012 and Wimbledon last year, and Stanislas Wawrinka's defeat of Nadal at the Australian Open early this January.

''That they are great champions, and it's going to take so much to break them and to break (into) the finals of a Grand Slam or to be able to win it,'' Marin Cilic the newly crowned US Open champion told the journalists between TV appearances in Manhattan.

''Last several years, it almost felt like you have to play incredible tennis in order to achieve that,'' Cilic said.

''And I would say I was also a little bit lucky here. There was no Rafa. And I had a good draw. I didn't play Novak or Andy or those guys,'' he added.

The Croatian's unbelievable win in New York included a straight-set domination of Federer in the semifinals, raising questions yet again about whether, at 33, the 17-time major champion will ever add to his trophies again.

Nadal missed the opportunity to defend his title due to his right wrist injury, while Djokovic was humbled by Kei Nishikori who emerged as a finalist but eventually lost his bid to become the first Asian to win a Grand Slam title. Meanwhile, Murray who is one of the 'Big 4' is not quite up to the standards he was setting before a back surgery a year ago.

Perhaps Wawrinka's triumph in Melbourne has given hope to some including Cilic that things were going to be different from then on. Just look at the results of the Grand Slam semifinal debuts by Ernests Gulbis at the French Open in June, and by Grigor Dimitrov and Milos Raonic at Wimbledon the following month.

''They are coming. They are there. This is good for tennis,'' said Cilic's coach, 2001 Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic.

''This is a new, fresh breath of air for tennis, and tennis needed this.''

However Cilic remained humble and not ready to write off the 'Big 4' yet. He shouldn't be.

''I mean, the guys are going to still be there,'' Cilic said looking ahead to next season.

It's just going to get more exciting from here. The upcoming Asian swing and indoor hardcourt season will give us a better clue on what will happen next year.


Aug 17, 2014

Tennis stars take the plunge with #IceBucketChallenge

The #IceBucketChallenge has soaked the US and across the world in the past weeks raising awareness of ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), a neurodegenerative disorder commonly known as the Lou Gehrig's disease.

Celebrities videoed themselves emptying buckets full of icy water and challenged three other people to do the same stunt. As a result, the campaign has gone viral.


In the tennis scene, Andy Murray was first nominated by Jesse Levine in July to take up the challenge. Later, the former Wimbledon champion named his coach Amelie Mauresmo for the challenge.


Murray has also challenged Justin Gimelstob earlier this week live on air after his second round match in Cincinnati.


“Obviously we witnessed someone going through this right in front of our eyes with Brad Drewett, and it was tough to watch,” said Murray.

“It’s a horrible disease. I wasn’t aware of it personally before the situation with Brad, but now there’s been a few cases of it in tennis the past few years. It’s great to raise awareness for it and hopefully we can raise a lot of money to try and help find a cure.”

ATP Executive Chairman and President Brad Drewett passed away last year after a short battle with the disease, which has no cure.


Laura Robson also did the #IceBucketChallenge recently and has nominated Caroline Wozniacki. The latter performed the stunt in Cincinnati few days ago and has put forward the challenge to Serena Williams and John Isner.

With the US Open coming up, we hope to see more big names taking up the challenge to raise more awareness of the disease. However, our priority is still back on the game - who will win the year-end Grand Slam championships. If you're betting for the game, check out the SportsBettingInfo.com site for betting on tennis which also feature other sports like the NFL, NHL, etc.

(Via ATP World Tour Website, Kpopstarz)

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