Tennis round-up: Federer retires, Siniakova stuns Rybakina while Fruhvirtova clinches Chennai title

Roger Federer of Team Europe arrives ahead of the Laver Cup to be held at The O2, on September 18, 2022 in London, England.

20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer announced Thursday this week will be his final one as a professional – poised to feature at the Laver Cup in London – thus ending an illustrious sporting career after 24 years. Meanwhile this weekend, there were WTA 250 tournament victories for doubles specialist Katerina Siniakova and Czech teenage talent Linda Fruhvirtova.

it had been coming: Federer announces his retirement

Swiss tennis player Roger Federer waves during the Centre Court Centenary Ceremony, on the seventh day of the 2022 Wimbledon Championships at The All...

Federer waves during Wimbledon’s Centre Court Centenary Ceremony back in early July

Roger Federer announced in a lengthy social media post Thursday that he will retire from professional tennis this week, after the conclusion of the Laver Cup – a tournament he inspired.

Naturally, news caused panic among fans eager to catch a final glimpse of the Swiss legend – ala Serena Williams at the US Open – departing the game he graced for more than two decades.

“The Laver Cup next week in London will be my final ATP event. I will play more tennis in the future, of course, but just not in Grand Slams or on the tour.

The past three years have presented me with challenges in the form of injuries and surgeries, worked hard to return to full competitive form but I also know my body’s capacities and limits, and its message to me lately has been clear.

I am 41 years old, played more than 1500 matches over 24 years. Tennis has treated me more generously than I ever would have dreamt, and now I must recognize when it is time to end my competitive career.”

Federer hasn’t featured since losing 6-3, 7-6, 6-0 in last summer’s quarter-final against Hubert Hurkacz – with reports emerging he’d reinjured the knee which sidelined him for over a year.

He has played just five events dating back to January 2020, while undergoing three separate knee surgeries during that time. Having to constantly rehab, recover and rebuilding from multiple setbacks has proven far too troublesome to keep going – especially at his age.

In November last year his coach Ivan Ljubicic touched on the possibility of retirement and how the Swiss wouldn’t make any hasty decisions regarding a potential return in 2022, but while it’s disappointing injuries have played a significant part in this decision, the writing was on the wall.

It speaks volumes that the reaction has been what it has, from his contemporaries and tennis rivals, so while he won’t feature in Basel next month as hoped, it’s inevitable he receives a grand send-off in London this week – a place that will feel like home with all of his Wimbledon success.

Fruhvirtova overwhelms Linette to secure first wta-level title

Czech teen Linda Fruhvirtova claims first WTA title in Chennai

Fruhvirtova poses for pictures with her Chennai title, having edged beyond Linette in three sets

Fruhvirtova bt. Linette [3] 4-6, 6-3, 6-4

Czech talented teenager Linda Fruhvirtova recovered from a set down for the third time in five matches to eventually overwhelm Poland’s Magda Linette, sealing her first WTA Tour-level final on Sunday in the sticky heat of Chennai, India.

The 17-year-old has been highly-rated for a few years but having rallied to beat Taiwan qualifer Liang En-shuo and 2020 French Open semi-finalist Nadia Podoroska in three-sets earlier in the week, was understandably tearful during her winners’ speech after another hard-fought battle.

“I have nothing but love for Chennai. I left my heart out during these matches, it is something I will remember forever.”

Fruhvirtova came into the tournament ranked 130, became the youngest player to enter the top WTA 400 rankings last year at 16, and reached the last-16 of the Miami Open in March.

Keen to remain level-headed, the youngster began this week ranked world no. 74 and competes in the Seoul 250 event this week – playing Belgium’s Yanina Wickmayer on Wednesday morning.

“Since I was really young, we always had a lot of attention – even if it was the national U10 tournament.

I’m kind of used to people watching how I am going to do. You can’t really focus on what other people are saying, that’s not where my focus is going.

I don’t think I’m in the position yet that I have to be top 50-60 by the end of the season, I would really like to play the main draws of the big tournaments and Grand Slams.”

Siniakova wins first singles title since 2017, the hard way

Siniakova outlasts Rybakina in Portoroz for third career singles title

Siniakova never stopped fighting, and got her reward in Portoroz this past weekend

Siniakova bt. Rybakina [3] 6-7, 7-6, 6-4

Doubles specialist and current world no. 1 Katerina Siniakova certainly had a busy week.

She ousted fourth seed Martina Trevisan, overwhelmed Jodie Burrage and defending titlist Jasmine Paolini, ousting Emma Raducanu’s conqueror in German qualifier Anna-Lena Friedsam before rallying from a set down to outwork Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina on Sunday.

When you consider the fact she needed a medical timeout for some lower leg discomfort midway through the finale, was at one stage just three points away from a painful defeat and still found herself engrossed in some remarkable rally exchanges, this match had plenty to savour.

Three hours on court, a worthy winner crowned and the achievement is made even more impressive by the fact she had two matches in one evening: Paolini, then Friedsam on Saturday.

As such, the 26-year-old (#49) is back into the world’s top 50, while Rybakina has a stern test on her return to action midweek in R1 of the WTA 500 event in Tokyo against an in-form Luidmila Samsonova – who reached the US Open fourth round for the first time earlier this month.

She didn’t play badly but will be kicking herself for failing to close out the second set as Siniakova’s level intensified and the 23-year-old’s serving inconsistencies never managed to settle during the biggest moments down the stretch – something ultimately proving decisive.

Picture source: Getty Images


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