Djokovic beats defending champion Murray in straight sets - UBITENNIS
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Djokovic beats defending champion Murray in straight sets

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TENNIS – Three-time Miami champion Novak Djokovic beat Andy Murray 7-5 6-3 in just over 90 minutes in the blockbuster quarter final at the Sony Open in Miami to extend his lead to 11-8 in their head-to-head matches. They played their first head-to-head match since last July’s Wimbledon final won by Murray. Diego Sampaolo

Djokovic created two break points in the fourth game but Murray saved them. Djokovic handed Murray his first break point chance but he saved it with his strong serves. In the 12th game Djokovic hit a volley to win the first point of the game but replays showed that he had played a volley with his racquet over the net at 6-5

Controversially the umpire did not make any call as he said that Djokovic’s racquet had not crossed the net when it made contact with the ball. The Serb won the last seven points breaking serve to love to close out the first set to love after 53 minutes.

I think I crossed the net with the racquet i did not touch the net. The rule says that you cannot hit on his side with the racquet”, said Djokovic.

Murray drew level to 2-2 with a backhand winner before breaking serve in the following game to take a 3-2 lead with a backhand volley winner. However the Scotsman made two crucial double faults and was broken back immediately. Djokovic held serve in the following game for 4-3 and broke serve to take a 5-3 lead. Djokovic did not face a break point in the rest of the match and won four consecutive games to clinch the second set with 6-3.

Djokovic is looking to clinch his second Indian Wells-Miami double three years after achieving this feat in both US hard-court Master 1000 Tournaments. Earlier this month he beat Roger Federer at Indian Wells.

Murray, who was playing his first tournament since splitting from Ivan Lendl, played his best tennis since last year’s Wimbledon but Djoker played well winning more than 80% of his first serve points and scored his ninth consecutive match. Djokovic won 75 percent of his points at the net compared to the 61 percents of net points on by Murray.

Murray has not won a match against a top-10 player since his triumph in the Wimbledon final against Djokovic.

After this defeat Murray will drop to World Number 8 in the ATP Ranking.

I am not angry. My game is just about there. I had opportunities on Novak’s serve. I am hitting the ball better. My game is not far from where I would like it to be. This is some of the best I have played since I have been back”, said Murray.

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Svetlana Kuznetsova upsets Ashleigh Barty in Cincinnati to reach the 42nd final of her career

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Russian wild card Svetlana Kuznetsova edged top seed this year’s Roland Garros champion Ashleigh Barty 6-2 6-4 in the semifinal of the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati to reach the 42nd final of her career.

 

Two-time Grand Slam champion Kuznetsova, who is now ranked world number 153, scored her third win against top 10 players this week  after beating former US Open champion Sloane Stephens and Karolina Pliskova.

Barty missed her chance to regain world number 1 spot from Naomi Osaka, who was forced to retire from her quarter final.

Barty earned the first break of the match in the second game of the opening set, when Kuznetsova netted a backhand. Kuznetsova broke back in the third game with a smash winner and earned another break at 2-2 when Barty netted a backhand. Kuznetsova hit a return winner to build up a 5-2 lead. Barty asked a medical time-out to treat he right leg. Kuznetsova held serve at 15 to close out the opening set after 30 minutes.

Kuznetsova went up a break in the first game of the second set. Barty won just three points on return in the second set. Kuznetsova closed out the second set with three winners in the 10th game.

“I am really happy. I am not really an analyzing person, but on my intuition, I am doing so much better, not repeating so many of my mistakes, just playing smarter and wiser now. It’s been so many different things when I was off, so I just enjoyed time off. Honestly, I was not missing at all the travelling and all the stress when you play tournaments, but now I have missed it and I feel good. I feel joy staying here and being here. It definitely helped me to have some time off to see other things outside tennis”, said Kuznetsova.

 

Kuznetsova set up a final against Madison Keys, who beat Sofia Kenin in straight sets. The Russian 34-year-old veteran player has qualified for her first final since last year, when she beat Donna Vekic in Washington.

 

“Madison is extremely tough. When she is on fire, it is really hard to play against her. It’s going to be a difficult match-up”, said Kuznetsova.  

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David Goffin reaches his first Masters 1000 in Cincinnati

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David Goffin beat Richard Gasquet 6-3 6-4 on an overcast afternoon to reach the first Masters 1000 final of his career and his 13th title match at ATP Tour level at the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati. Goffin has dropped just one set en route to the final.

 

Goffin is returning to his best form this summer under the guidance of former Swedish player Thomas Johansson. He reached the final in Halle and his first quarter final at Wimbledon. He received a walkover after Yoshihito Nishioka was forced to withdraw from the match due to food poisoning.

The Belgian player started the match with two consecutive holds before breaking at love to open up a 4-1 lead with a backhand winner down the line.

Goffin held his next service games to seal the opening set 6-3. Gasquet earned an early break to open  2-0 lead, but Goffin won five of the next six games with two breaks. The 2017 Nitto ATP Finals runner-up served out the win at love in the 10th game after 1 hour and 16 minutes, as Gasquet sent his backhand long.

Goffin reached the semifinal in Cincinnati last year, but he was forced to retire due to an arm injury.

“I am very happy. It’s a tournament I like and I have played the best tennis in the past few years. I am really happy to reach my first Masters 1000 final here. It’s a great moment for me.”

 

 

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Richard Gasquet reaches his first Masters 1000 semifinal since Miami 2013

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Frenchman Richard Gasquet edged past this year’s Wimbledon semifinalist Roberto Bautista Agut 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 6-2 after 2 hours and 12 minutes to reach his first Masters 1000 semifinal since the 2013 Miami Open.

 

 Gasquet missed six months of action after undergoing groin surgery last January.

The French player set up a semfinal against David Goffin, who reached the semifinal after his Japanese opponent Yoshihito Nishioka withdrew from the match due to illness.

The first set went on serve with no break points en route to the tie-break. Bautista Agut hit a backhand wide at 1-2. Gasquet sealed the tie-break when Bautista Agut hit a forehand long.

Bautista Agut earned two breaks of serve in the second set and sealed it, when Gasquet made his third double fault on set point.

Gasquet broke serve with a volley in the third game of the decisive set. The French player went up a double break to race out to 4-1 lead. He saved two break points to hold his serve at deuce before serving out the third set on his first match point.

“I know how tough it was to come back. I know the moments I had at the start of the year, so I just wanted to enjoy, to fight. It is not easy to come back after six months out, but I am here. I am in semis tomorrow”,said Gasquet.

 

 

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