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FEDERER TRIUMPHS IN MIAMI

April Fool! (That's the UK Government who are still faffing about over Brexit!)

But never mind since at least the World of Tennis remains stable and reasonably predictable with the iconic Swiss Roger Federer winning the 'ATP Miami' Tennis Tournament over the weekend. After World Number One Novak Djokovic got knocked out earlier in the tournament following a surprise defeat at the hands of veteran Spaniard Roberto Batista-Agut, FedEx was the bookies' runaway 1/5 Favourite to win. However, in the Semi-Final, en route, he still had to face one of the very best of the new generation tennis players- Canada's Denis Shapovalov. At just 19 years old, teenager Shapo is nearly half the age of  37 year old Federer: a huge age gap when it comes to Sport.

That said, it quickly became apparent that in spite of the Canadian's formidable talent his play can be inconsistent. He served first, but couldn't get enough first serves in, and the score went to Deuce several times. Shapo did play a few magnificent forehand drive winners.But he then netted or hit out subsequent returns. Also, he Double-Faulted, giving FedEx an early Break Point opportunity. Shapo showed his pedigree by defending well, eventually winning this very  first game after a lengthy ten minutes. By contrast, the Swiss living legend took only three minutes to win his first service game. After that it was mainly downhill for Shapo who was broken in his next service game after a series of unforced errors. Shapo will almost certainly become more consistent in his Game with experience, but not on this occasion. Federer played smart, sharply angled winners, and increasingly shots in towards Shapo's body. The Canadian continued to hit shots long, Double Faulting twice in quick succession, giving the Swiss another break of serve. Fed Ex now led 4-1. He mixed up his traditional serve and volley Game with some elegant yet ruthless backhand winners.  Soon Shapo served to stay in the opening set, but served his fourth Double Fault, giving FedEx Set Point. To his credit, Shapo saved it with a great serve, but he was living on borrowed time as the Swiss now served for the first set at 5-2 up.  Shapo fought back with tricky backhand winners, but FedEx went on to win the set 6-2 after thirty-five minutes. In the second set Shapo served aces and tried other tactics including  coming into the net more frequently to attack from a different vantage point. As the Canadian again  struggled  with his serve, Federer broke serve again, and had Match Point after painting the inner lines on either side with stylish forehand winners. Shapo again showed his determination by saving the Match Point, only for FedEx to serve for the match, winning it in two straight sets.

 

A rather lacklustre match, as was the Final against USA's huge six foot ten inches tall John Isner. The American is a worthy opponent, but tends to have a one-dimensional type Game where he mainly blasts off numerous, thunderous aces combined  with huge ground strokes. It's not that difficult to predict and dissect his gameplan.  Federer, on the other hand, surprised with a few choice drop shots, from the start. After a Double Fault and shots hit long by Isner, Federer quickly broke serve after just five minutes' Play. He underlined the break by holding serve with an ace thrown in for good measure. The Swiss led 2-0, and upped his assault even further by serving high velocity aces. Isner missed shots, and was broken again. Federer led 4-1 after belting out a stunning forehand drive winner . Isner could find no suitable response, and also had the Physio on twice to attend to his left ankle, which can't have helped matters, as he started limping slightly.

FedEx won the first set 6-1 after just twenty-three minutes. The second  set was more competitive, with Isner utilising aces to hold serve. At one point the score was 4-4, as the American pounded away bold forehands out of FedEx's reach. But with his ankle still troubling him and Federer's outstanding Play Isner succumbed to defeat, as Federer won the Championship in just over one hour, and literally TWENTY YEARS after first competing here!

 

Just ahead of the world-famous 'Grand National' Horse Racing Meeting starting this Thursday, 4th April, I would just like to give a quick shout out to 'Auxerre' who won 'The Lincoln' Horse Race on Saturday  at Doncaster. The 3-1 Favourite dominated the race from start to finish, roared on by the crowd. He has only been beaten once in his career, amazingly. Winning jockey James Doyle commented: " I know

this is a horse who could do the trip standing on his head!" 

 

ELLE. 

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