London, Nov 17 (AP/UNB) — After reaching the last four at the ATP Finals for the first time, Alexander Zverev isn't satisfied.
He set up a semifinal with six-time champion Roger Federer by defeating John Isner 7-6 (5), 6-3 on Friday.
Zverev is the youngest player at 21 to reach the semifinals since 2009 and the first from Germany since 2003.
"The tournament isn't over," Zverev said. "I don't want to really be thinking 'I'm in the semifinals now, I'm satisfied.' That's not how I work."
Isner and Marin Cilic, who later lost 7-6 (7), 6-2 in a dead rubber against group winner Novak Djokovic, were eliminated by the result.
Five-time champion Djokovic will face debutant Kevin Anderson in the other semifinal on Saturday.
Isner needed to win in straight sets to have any chance of advancing and almost took the lead when he held a set point in the 12th game of the opener. Zverev saved it with an ace and played a faultless tiebreaker to eliminate the American.
"You make this tournament, you want to do a little bit better," said Isner, who lost all three of his matches. "But at the same time this is no normal event. You're up against the absolute best in the world."
In the second set, Zverev converted his only break point of the match to lead 5-3, before calmly closing out the contest at the O2 Arena.
Reaching the last four in London is the latest achievement in a career-best season for Zverev, whose victory over Isner took him beyond the 55 wins he posted last year.
Both players utilized powerful serves to hold comfortably but Isner came up with a crushing forehand return winner to bring up the first break point at 5-6.
Having forced a tiebreaker, Zverev produced perhaps the most important shot of the match to dig out a deep Isner return and force a volley error to ensure it was he and not the American who earned set point. "A remarkable shot," Isner said.
Isner netted a forehand and, with his chance of qualification gone, wilted in the second set as quality Zverev returns secured the only break of the match.
The 37-year-old Federer holds a 3-2 career record over Zverev, with the most recent meeting between the oldest and youngest player in the tournament having been a three-set victory for the Swiss at last year's ATP Finals.
"It's going to be a very difficult match," Zverev said. "I mean, him on this surface, indoor court, he's an unbelievable player."
The top-ranked Djokovic ensured he will be the only unbeaten semifinalist. Despite having already secured an eighth semifinal appearance with his previous victory, the Serb showed no signs of complacency as he lost just five points on his serve against Cilic.
Djokovic won 31 straight service points from the third game of the first set through to the fourth game of the second, but he did have to save a Cilic set point on his way to winning a closely fought tiebreaker.
"It wasn't easy to approach this match with 100 percent willingness to win it," Djokovic said.
Cilic, who has failed to advance from the round robin stage in four appearances, was unable to maintain his level of performance in the second set and allowed Djokovic to break twice.
Djokovic ended a two-year Grand Slam title drought by defeating Anderson in the Wimbledon final, before going on to claim his 14th major title at the U.S. Open.
"He's playing well, serving well, very aggressive," Djokovic said of Anderson. "So I know what to expect."
London, Nov 16 (AP/UNB) — Roger Federer is peaking at the right time — again.The six-time champion advanced to the last four of the ATP Finals for a record-extending 15th time with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Kevin Anderson on Thursday.
Federer, chasing the 100th title of his career, needed only a set to advance and produced his best performance at the season-ending tournament to end the round-robin stages with a 2-1 win-loss record.
"I've always tried to pace myself in a way ... that I would have something left in the tank," Federer said. "I'm happy that this is another week like this. (It) didn't look like it maybe 72 hours ago."
Dominic Thiem's 6-1, 6-4 victory over Kei Nishikori earlier had left Federer with a modest task and ensured that Anderson became the first South African ever to reach the semifinals.
Federer looked as if he was about to give up a break advantage for the second time in as many service games when he dropped to 0-40 attempting to close out the opening set at 5-4, but the 20-time Grand Slam champion found his first serve when it mattered most to hold.
Anderson hadn't faced a break point in winning his first two matches. Federer, though, broke him twice more in the second set to claim top spot in the group and likely avoid a semifinal meeting with top-ranked Novak Djokovic.
"That was a little bit disappointing because I felt like I played some really good tennis so far," Anderson said. "But the plus side is I'm through to the semis. That feels great."
Having struggled in an opening loss to Nishikori and relied mainly on his serve when defeating Thiem, Federer finally found some timing with his ground-strokes to apply consistent pressure on Anderson's serve.
The previously impenetrable Anderson serve wilted, with two double faults gifting Federer a 4-3 lead. Much to the surprise — and disappointment — of the partisan crowd at the O2 Arena, the Swiss great handed the break straight back with a series of errors.
However, Federer steadied himself and made a delicate drop volley to break once more in the following game, before eventually closing out the set to maintain his record of having only missed the semifinals once in 16 appearances at the tournament.
Federer lost just four points on serve in the second set. He used a backhand slice to break for 4-3 and the same shot brought up two match points at 3-5, 15-40.
"I think I had an aggressive-playing mindset," Federer said. "A good variation as well with my slice."
Having saved a match point on his way to securing a five-set quarterfinal victory over Federer at Wimbledon, Anderson threatened another comeback as he won a 21-shot rally to get back to deuce, but there was to be no repeat this time.
Two more Anderson forehand errors ended the match and Federer won the group by virtue of their head-to-head record.
With Djokovic clear favorite to top his group, which concludes Friday, Federer has boosted his chances of avoiding the in-form Serb until the final.
Dhaka, Nov 14 (UNB) – Twelve matches of the Exim Bank 28th National Men’s Handball Tournament were decided on the 2nd day on Wednesday at the Shaheed Captain (retd) M Mansur Ali National Handball Stadium here.
In the matches, Barguna beat Jashore by 25-24 goals, Panchagarh outplayed Patuakhali by 24-6, Chuadanga drew 18-18 with Rajshahi, Narail beat Madaripur by 27-10, Natore defeated Meherpur 17-7, Chattogram trounced Lalmonirhat 24-8, Cumilla outplayed Thakurgoan 12-8, Kushtia defeated Faridpur 27-10, Bandarban beat Gopalganj 29-12, Bagerhat crushed Gaibandha 21-6, Dhaka beat Sunamganj 26-12 and Narayanganj defeated Barishal 14-7.
London, Nov 14 (AP/UNB) — Sometimes no practice makes perfect — for Roger Federer anyway.
After cancelling his training session a day earlier, Federer produced a much-improved performance to get his campaign for a seventh ATP Finals title back on track with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Dominic Thiem on Tuesday.
Having lost his opening round-robin match to Kei Nishikori, the 20-time Grand Slam champion was still some way from his fluent best but dropped just six points on serve and took advantage of a wayward display from Thiem to break twice in both sets.
"(It) was not about my forehand or my backhand or my serve or anything," Federer said. "I guess it was my head. For that sometimes you need a break."
With a 1-1 record in round-robin play, Federer will likely need to defeat Kevin Anderson on Thursday to improve his 14-1 record of reaching the semifinals at the season-ending tournament.
It will be a repeat of a dramatic Wimbledon quarterfinal earlier this season, in which Anderson came from match point down in the third set to win in five on his route to the final.
"I'm happy I'm getting a chance to play him again and have a rematch," Federer said. "Hopefully I can take my revenge. It was a great match but obviously one that hurt."
Anderson thrashed Nishikori 6-0, 6-1 earlier Tuesday to move to 2-0, with the lopsided scoreline all but assuring the South African debutant's place in the last four.
Thiem is facing an opening-round exit at the O2 Arena for a third straight season and will need to defeat Nishikori in straight sets to have any chance of progressing.
"I really want to play a good match," Thiem said. "Doesn't matter if it's the last one here or not."
As had been the case in both players' opening-match losses on Sunday, unforced errors flowed early on. While Federer was able to compensate with his serve, Thiem was left exposed.
The Austrian's forehand gifted Federer a break for a 2-1 lead and then his volley came up short to help the Swiss star extend that advantage to 5-2.
Federer, who is chasing a 100th ATP Tour title, started to play more relaxed and seemed content with simply keeping the ball in play and waiting for mistakes. It worked, as another forehand mistake from Thiem put Federer in complete control in the second set.
A Federer backhand up the line set up match point and Thiem's 34th unforced error — another volley into the net — ended the day's second one-sided contest.
"I didn't feel good out there," Thiem said. "I was playing very, very bad. Many unusual mistakes."
The 32-year-old Anderson, who lost just eight points on serve, was on the verge of completing just the second whitewash in the competition's history until Nishikori won the penultimate game.
"Among the best I've played," Anderson said. "I think I did a really good job constantly applying the pressure and not letting up."
Anchorage, Nov 14 (AP/UNB) — A former University of Alaska Anchorage runner who lost both of his feet to frostbite in 2011 ran his first marathon and became an American citizen last week.
Marko Cheseto, 35, finished 613th overall out of nearly 53,000 runners at the New York City Marathon, the Anchorage Daily News reported Sunday. Two days later, he became a U.S. citizen.
Cheseto, who is from Kenya, went to Anchorage in 2008 on an athletic scholarship, quickly earning honors in track and cross country.
Grieving the death of another Anchorage runner from Kenya, Cheseto disappeared in the woods near campus in November 2011 — his senior year of school. Temperatures dipped to single digits, and it snowed more than a foot.
On the third day he was missing, Cheseto stumbled back with his shoes frozen to his feet, resulting in amputations.
Fitted with a pair of running blades, Cheseto began running again 18 months later. He graduated from the university, got married and had three children. He remained in Anchorage until his move to Orlando, Florida, earlier this year to work and train at Prosthetic & Orthotic Associates.
Cheseto finished the marathon last week in 2 hours, 52 minutes, 33 seconds — about 10 minutes off the world record for a double-leg amputee.
"I was happy with my time," Cheseto said. "My biggest challenge was going over the bridges, and sharp inclines. (It) is not an easy course running with blades, the last 0.2 was the hardest, after crossing Mile 26 mark, I was so ready to be done, and I couldn't see the finish line."
Cheseto said one of his goals "is to run with elites in one of the major marathons." He's also aiming for marathon time under two hours and 10 minutes.
Stan Patterson, the head prosthetist at Prosthetic & Orthotic Associates, said he believes the goal is achievable.
"The ultimate goal is to break the overall world record and finish a marathon in less than 2 hours. We believe that Marko is the man to do it," Patterson said.