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Berdych too solid for Dolgopolov

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TENNIS – Tomas Berdych advanced to the semi-finals of the Sony Open, Miami, by defeating in two close sets Aleksandr Dolgopolov 6-4 7-6 (3). This win meant more than a Master 1000 semi for the Czech, it was his 450th success as a professional player and it sanctioned his comeback inside the world’s top five. Giulio Gasparin

Tomas Berdych advanced to the semi-finals of the Sony Open, Miami, by defeating in two close sets Aleksandr Dolgopolov 6-4 7-6 (3).

This win meant more than a Master 1000 semi for the Czech, it was his 450th success as a professional player and it sanctioned his comeback inside the world’s top five.

It was not an easy task for Berdych though, as he started the match by losing the serve with a double fault. However, he managed to equalize the score breaking back in the following game.

Most of the first set was, anyway, decided by the Ukrainian, who realised the most stunning winners, but the worst mistakes too.

The Czech faced his biggest challenge in trying to defend the second serve, which was often attacked by Dolgopolov, but thanks to smart tactical decisions, he managed to keep the serve percentage high.

The Ukrainian was not as sharp as a strategist and once his rhythm was broken by a rain delay in the ninth game, he started being nervous and ended up being broken in the decisive 10th game.

After winning the first set 6-4, Berdych suddenly found himself trailing, as Dolgopolov managed to lower the number of errors and his game gave no chance to reply.

In a few games times though, it was clear that it was just a flash in the pan and the Ukrainian started another battle against himself and the umpire after a bad call. He started talking and complaining all by himself, losing the focus on his tennis right when it most was needed, serving for the second set.

The Czech did not let the chance run away and broke back, forcing then the set to a tiebreak.

Berdych, who had never lost to Dolgopolov in the three precedents, started the tiebreak showing some of his best tennis and did not let the level drop, while the Ukrainian looked tentative at time and the match ended with one more of his errors.

Berdych will meet the winner of the match between Rafael Nadal and Milos Raonic for a place in the final act of the tournament.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas starts his Australian Open campaign with a straight-set win over Salvatore Caruso

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Last year’s Australian Open semifinalist and ATP Finals champion Stefanos Tsitsipas dropped just five games in his 6-0 6-2 6-3 win over Italy’s Salvatore Caruso after 1 hour and 43 minutes.

 

Tsitsipas earned three consecutive breaks to cruise to a bagel win in the opening set. Caruso saved the first break point and held his first service game to draw level to 1-1, but she Tsitsipas converted his third break point chance at deuce to open up a 3-1 lead. The Greek player earned his second break at love in the eighth game.

Tsitsipas went up a break at love in the fourth game to take a 3-1 lead. Caruso saved three match points in the eighth game at 2-5 to prolong the match, but Tsitsipas served out the win at 30 with an ace down middle the court in the ninth game after 1 hour and 45 minutes setting up a second round match against either Phillip Kohlschreiber or Marcos Giron.

“Today I tried to stay calm. That was something that I had really in the back of my head, trying to stay calm, be aggressive on and off the court. I would describe the match the match as very stable. Throughout the match I was very focused. I was in the zone, and I am very happy with my first set. It was almost perfect. I don’t remember the last time that I won a set 6-0. It was a good quality tennis. Let’s not forget the people here. The people that bring the energy. I will give it to them”, said Tsitsipas in the post-match interview.

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Matteo Berrettini cruises past wild card Andrew Harris to advance to the Australian Open second round

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Number 8 seed and 2019 US Open semifinalist Matteo Berrettini cruised past Australian wild card Andrew Harris 6-3 6-1 6-3 in the first round of the Australian Open at Melbourne Park.

 

Berrettini converted five of his nine break points and hit 38 winners. The Italian player won the opening set 6-3 with a break in the second game at deuce and the second set with three consecutive breaks.

Berrettini came back from 0-40 down by winning five consecutive points in the sixth game of the third set to earn the break at deuce for 4-2 when Harris hit a forehand into the net. Berrettini sealed the win with a big forehand on the match point after 1 hour and 55 minutes.

Berrettini will take on either US Tennys Sandgren or Argentine qualifier Marco Trungelliti.

“It’s always tough because I played my last official match in November. I figured out how to play my best tennis, so I am really happy with my performance. Like always, I am going round by round. I am happy that I am healthy and playing well”, said Berrettini.

Last year’s Next Gen ATP Finals champion Jannick Sinner was leading 7-6 (7-2) 6-2 4-4, before the match was suspended due to rain. The Italian rising star converted four of his eight break points. Sinner went down a break in the seventh game to trail 3-5 in the opening set, but he broke back in the 10th game before winning the tie-break 7-2. Sinner broke twice to win the second set 6-2. Sinner went up a break in the sixth game to take a 4-2 lead, but Purcell broke back in the eighth game to draw level to 4-4.   Sinner, who is making his first appearance at Melbourne Park, holds a 15-30 lead at 4-4 in the third set.

Sam Querrey stunned Borna Coric 6-3 6-4 6-4 setting up a second round match against Lithuania’s Ricardas Berankis, who eased past Roberto Carballes Baena 6-4 6-2 6-2.

Guido Pella edged Australian wild card John Patrick Smith 6-3 7-5 6-4 to secure his spot in the second round, where he will face France’s Gregoire Barrere, who came back from one set down to beat Egyptian qualifier Mohamed Safwat 6-7 (8-10) 7-6 (7-1) 6-4 7-6 (7-5).

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Grigor Dimitrov Causes A Stir At Australian Open With Crazy Outfit

The world No.20 has split opinion about what he is wearing at Melbourne Park.

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Grigor Dimitrov’s first round match at the Australian Open didn’t centre round how or who he was playing. It was about what he was wearing on the court.

 

The former Wimbledon semi-finalist triggered a mass reaction on social media when walking into the Melbourne Arena wearing a navy blue Nike spotted tracksuit. A decision by the Bulgarian that has split opinion among tennis fans. Although Dimitrov has no regrets about the outfit, which he helped design along with Nike.

“It is! I just don’t wanna be a vanilla. I love being different,” the 28-year-old told reporters when asked if it was a fashion statement.

https://twitter.com/FOXSportsAUS/status/1219140520036851712

Besides the tracksuit, the 18th seed also caught the attention of fans with what he was wearing underneath. His abstract T-shirt featured a combination of white, black, pink and red. Drawing more questions about the decision behind what he is wearing on the courts in Melbourne. His shorts are more orthodox with just a plain navy blue colour.

In his first round match, Dimitrov battled back from a set down to edge out Argentina’s Juan Ignacio Londero 4-6, 6-2, 6-0, 6-4. During the at times roller coaster encounter, the world No.20 hit 17 aces and blasted 47 winners past his opponent. Recording his third win of the season following his two singles victories during the ATP Cup.

“I was just trying to get my rhythm. It was a very tough first set. I was unable to find my striking zone and did a lot of unforced errors.” A critically speaking Dimitrov commented during his on-court interview.

Dimitrov will play either Tommy Paul or Leonardo Mayer in the second round.

 

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