Saturday, November 17, 2018

Zverev booed after beating Fed; Bryan in doubles final

Alexander Zverev, shown in 2016, said he was "really upset"
by the London crowd's reaction after he beat Roger Federer
in the semifinals of the ATP Finals. Photo by Paul Bauman
   For the second time in less than three months, a young player was booed after defeating an icon in a big tournament.
   Third-seeded Alexander Zverev toppled second-seeded Roger Federer 7-5, 7-6 (5) today to reach the final of the Nitto ATP Finals in London.
   Zverev, a 21-year-old German, halted play after hitting a second serve at 4-4 in the tiebreaker when a ballboy accidentally dropped a ball during the point. According to the rules, the point must be replayed. With another first serve, the 6-foot-6 (1.98-meter) Zverev fired an ace.
   The pro-Federer crowd at O2 Arena thought Zverev, the son of the former Soviet pro with the same name, was using gamesmanship.
   "I was a little bit sad at the end with the booing and reaction of the crowd," Zverev, the first German since Boris Becker in 1996 to reach the title match of the ATP Finals, told reporters. "I was very emotional afterwards. The booing went into cheering kind of afterwards, which kind of helped me.
   "I was really upset afterwards in the locker room -- I'm not going to lie. I had to take a few minutes for myself."
   Federer, who made his Northern California debut in a March exhibition in San Jose, supported Zverev afterward.
   "It's unfortunate that this happened," said the 37-year-old Federer, who fell to 3-3 against Zverev. "Sascha doesn't deserve it."
   The controversy was reminiscent of the U.S. Open final in September, when the crowd booed 20-year-old winner Naomi Osaka during the award ceremony after Serena Williams had been assessed a game penalty for her third code violation.
   Zverev is scheduled to face top-seeded Novak Djokovic on Sunday not before 10 a.m. PST (ESPN2). Djokovic, seeking his sixth crown in the tournament, dismissed fourth-seeded Kevin Anderson 6-2, 6-2 to improve to 35-2 since the start of Wimbledon.
   This is the first time Djokovic has reached the title match in the ATP Finals without dropping a set.
   Djokovic beat Zverev 6-4, 6-1 on Wednesday in the round-robin phase of the ATP Finals to improve to 2-1 (2-0 on hardcourts) in the head-to-head series.
   In Sunday's doubles final at 7:30 a.m. (Tennis Channel), fifth-seeded Mike Bryan (Stanford, 2017-18) and Jack Sock will meet eighth-seeded Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut of France.
    Bryan and Sock, this year's Wimbledon and U.S. Open champions, topped fourth-seeded Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares 6-3, 4-6 [10-4]. Herbert and Mahut, who won the French Open in June, edged second-seeded Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah of Colombia 6-3, 5-7 [10-5].
   Herbert and Mahut routed Bryan and Sock 6-2, 6-2 in 53 minutes on Friday in round-robin play.
   Bryan, 40, hopes to become the oldest doubles champion in ATP Finals history. He is 4-2 in finals in the tournament, all with twin Bob.
   WTA Tour -- Unseeded Maegan Manasse (Cal, 2014-17) and Jessica Pegula of the United States nipped third-seeded Desirae Krawczyk of the U.S. and Giuliana Olmos, a product of Fremont in the San Francisco Bay Area who plays for Mexico, 1-6, 6-4 [10-8] to win the $150,000 Oracle Challenger Series -- Houston.
   It's by far the biggest title of the 23-year-old Manasse's career and her first with Pegula, the daughter of Buffalo Bills and Sabres owners Terrence and Kim Pegula.

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