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In Roger Federer’s words: ‘Martina Navratilova inspired Mirka into tennis’

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Ranked 6th at the beginning of the season, Roger Federer found the rhythm in February to conquer Marseille and Dubai. The Swiss didn’t play at his best in Indian Wells and Miami, finding his A-game again on clay to capture Munich and reach the final in Rome.

Things weren’t that good on Hamburg and Roland Garros, turning the attention to the grass season and lifting the first ATP title on clay in Halle. Heading to Wimbledon as one of the favorites, Federer lost one set in seven encounters, producing out of this world tennis against Andy Roddick and Mark Philippoussis to lift the first Major crown.

The youngster had the opportunity to become world no. 1 in Montreal and Cincinnati, losing the semi-final in Canada to Andy Roddick and having to wait until next February to grab the ATP throne.

At the US Open, Federer dropped the opening set against Jose Acasuso before bouncing back, dominating against the Argentine who had to retire at the beginning of the fourth set.

In the second round, Roger stormed over Jean-Rene Lisnard 6-1, 6-2, 6-0 in an hour and 17 minutes for one of his most dominant triumphs in New York. The Wimbledon champion gave away 15 points in 11 service games, fending off the only break point he faced and stealing 55% of the return points, enough for seven breaks from 14 opportunities and the place in the third round.

The first break came in the fourth game when Lisnard netted a backhand, suffering another at 1-4 when Roger landed a forehand winner, securing the opener in the next game. “You always have to stay focused in the early stages of every set, which worked fine for me today.

I landed enough of the first serves in and everything worked my way. I didn’t expect to beat him so easily. James Blake is a nice guy; it should be a good and fair match. It will be our first match, in front of a great crowd that should be on his side.

I’m looking forward to that match; it will be a much tougher one than the one I had today. Every next round will be more and more challenging, and I’m focused on Blake now. I met Martina Navratilova at the gala dinner at Wimbledon.

My girlfriend knows her better, as Navratilova inspired her into tennis. It’s always nice to hear positive things from such a champion; it’s a compliment.” Lisnard grabbed two games in set number two but that was all we saw from him, with Roger Federer racing towards the finish line with a bagel in the third set, moving through and setting the clash against James Blake.

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Djokovic Earns Tricky Opening Win In Vienna

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In his first appearance at the Erste Bank Open since his 2007 title run, Novak Djokovic passed an early test to defeat countryman Filip Krajinovic 7-6(6), 6-3 on Tuesday.

Djokovic dropped serve twice in the first set and was forced to save set point at 5/6, before coming back to earn his place in the second round. The World No. 1, who struck 39 winners against Krajinovic, has now won 38 of his 40 matches this year.

“I was lucky in the first set… We are good friends, we train a lot [together] and it is never easy to play someone that you are very close to,” said Djokovic in an on-court interview. “He is a very nice guy and I have known him since he was very young. I followed him, I tried to be there as a friend, as a mentor. We go back a long way.

”We practised a few times [together] before coming to Vienna. The draw was tough for us to face each other, but there is always extra pressure and importance to a match when you play someone that you know very well.”

Djokovic added 45 FedEx ATP Rankings points to his tally with his second ATP Head2Head victory in three matches against Krajinovic. The Serbian is attempting to tie Pete Sampras’ record of six year-end World No. 1 finishes this year.

Djokovic was competing for the first time since his runner-up finish at Roland Garros (l. to Nadal). The 33-year-old will next face Borna Coric for a place in the quarter-finals.

The 17-time Grand Slam champion owns a 3-0 ATP Head2Head record against Coric. The pair most recently met in the 2018 Rolex Shanghai Masters final, which Djokovic won 6-3, 6-4. Coric earned his place in the second round with a 6-4, 6-4 win against Taylor Fritz on Monday.

In a first set that featured four service breaks, Djokovic and Krajinovic entertained the crowd in Vienna with their all-court skills and attacking tennis. Krajinovic took the initiative and hit his targets to earn set point at 6/5 in the tie-break, but Djokovic held firm with consistency from the baseline to extract crucial errors and earn a one-set lead.

Djokovic raised his game in the second set and earned an early break to take control of the match. The 2007 champion returned with depth and attacked with his forehand to close the match in just under two hours.

“[In the] first set, I think he was the better player. He was serving for the first set and I was lucky. He missed a smash at 6/6 in the tie-break,” said Djokovic. “A few points here and there can change the momentum of the match. In the second set, I stepped it up, I played better and I am just pleased with the way I finished the match.”

Grigor Dimitrov advanced to the second round in Vienna for the second straight year with a 7-6(6), 6-3 victory against Karen Khachanov. The Bulgarian converted three of four break points against the two-time Vienna quarter-finalist to improve to 17-10 in 2020.

“Karen is such an excellent player, such a heavy hitter,” said Dimitrov in an on-court interview. “In conditions like that, the court favours him quite a bit but I was able to just play a very solid game and take the right decisions at the right time.”

Hubert Hurkacz broke serve on four occasions to beat Attila Balazs of Hungary 6-3, 7-5. The 23-year-old will face Dusan Lajovic or Lorenzo Sonego for a place in the quarter-finals.

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