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AUTUMN LEAVES TENNIS

After that unexpected one day 'heatwave' in the UK on Wednesday, and before Winter kicks in, there are some thrilling Tennis Tournaments taking place this Autumn. Probably the most high profile is the 'Rolex ATP Shanghai  Masters' Tennis Tournament in China. It's one of the World's biggest tennis competitions, and the only  one of its kind to be held outside Europe and North America.

These facts combined with the prize money of over $7 million are the main reasons this tournament has drawn big names to compete in it like Roger Federer and  Novak Djokovic.  

In the Second Round of this contest, Wimbledon Champion Serbia's Novak Djokovic played French veteran Jeremy Chardy.

Both are now in their early thirties, but Djokovic has had a far more glittering and successful tennis career. The Serb showed that he's 'still got it' with a display of masterful tennis played on his terms. He broke the Frenchman's serve early in the first set, hitting big, swinging shots from the baseline, alternated with smart volley winners from the net. Soon Djokovic led 4-3. Although Chardy served three aces and tried to keep up, at 3-5 down he found himself serving to stay in the  opening set . Djokovic seemingly effortlessly created some outstanding angles making it difficult for Chardy to return many shots. Djokovic had Set Point, and won the first set in just thirty three minutes. He slammed vitriolic , double-handed  backhands past Chardy in the second set, interwoven with stinging forehand volley winners. He quickly broke serve again, as Chardy struggled to keep pace with him. The Frenchman could find no answers, and was living on 'borrowed time' . Djokovic  clearly showed that he's still at the top of his Game with unwavering power and dominance s he closed in on victory, by  blasting winners mercilessly past the Frenchman.

To his credit, Chardy did save one Match Point, but Djokovic quickly set up another one, winning it and the match in style. It looked like little more than a warm-up for him!

 

However, in his Second Round match at Shanghai, World number two Switzerland's Roger Federer had a tougher time. He was up against the'young pretender' Russia's Daniil Medvedev, who  last Sunday won the 'ATP Japan' Tennis Championship, defeating home favourite Japan's very talented Kei Nishikori. FedEx is now 37 years old, whereas Medvedev is only 22! In Sport that's a huge gap in ages. Additionally, the Russian seems to be approaching the peak of his playing form. Despite all this, Medvedev started slowly , and with a Double Fault served, was broken by the Swiss in the very first game. A dangerous move, with someone of FedEx's calibre and experience. The Swiss underlined this break by holding serve tricky serves and elegant backhand winners.

The fourth game went to Deuce, after Federer served his third ace. This encouraged Medvedev to get his teeth  into the match. and he succeeded in breaking Federer's serve. The Russian is dangerously unpredictable, and can catch his rivals out with powerful serves that swerve or curve into the corners of the tennis court. The score was level at 3-3, until FedEx played an outstanding backhand volley winner, which helped him break serve again. He went on to win the first set 6-4. The Swiss tennis legend  fought off the Russian's serve in the second set, as Medvedev launched himself high in the air before firing off massive serves with full force. He played  an amazing point off a sliced forehand played by FedEx, winning it with a fast, reflex-action volley. Medvedev then broke serve again, and won the second set, helped out by a few unforced errors made by the Swiss. So, it would all come down to the third deciding set. This time FedEx had the upper hand, literally, as he excelled with his superior Game, powering winning ground strokes all over the court. The Russian's Game dipped, and he hit some shots into the net. FedEx broke serve once more, and won the match. An impressive victory, but Medvedev also showed himself as a strong  future threat. 

 

Over at the 'Hong Kong Open' Tennis Tournament, former 'French Open' and 'Wimbledon' Champion  Spain's Garbine Muguruza made short work of her opponent Ana Bogdan from Romania, winning the match in two straight sets in the First Round of the contest, as she continues to aspire to her previous lofty heights. The win was a late birthday present for the Spaniard who celebrated her 25th birthday on Monday. She played strong and confident Tennis, with few errors, and athletic footwork.

Afterwards she talked about how hard it was to return to her best after an arm injury earlier in the year, declaring:"It's just a matter of keeping on believing ." Many Happy' Returns'!

 

ELLE.

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