Monte Carlo Draw: Djokovic with Federer and Nadal with Wawrinka - UBITENNIS
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Monte Carlo Draw: Djokovic with Federer and Nadal with Wawrinka

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TENNIS – The Draw of the 2014 Monte-Carlo Rolex Master, the first Master 1000 Tournament on clay of the season, was held today. The possible semifinals could be Nadal-Wawrinka and Djokovic- Federer. The prestigious Monte-Carlo Rolex Master in the Country Club will get underway on Sunday. Diego Sampaolo

Mont Carlo Draw

The King of Monte-Carlo Rafa Nadal, eight-time champion at the Country Club, could meet David Ferrer in the quarter final and Stanislas Wawrinka in the semifinal. Defending champion Novak Djokovic could face Tomas Berdych in the quarter finals and Roger Federer in the semifinals. The other possible quarter finals could be Wawrinka-Milos Raonic and Federer against either Jo Wilfred Tsonga or last year’s semifinalist Fabio Fognini.

Nadal, who lost just two matches against Guillermo Coria in the third round in 2003 and against Novak Djokovic in the final last year, could face 2014 Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka, if the Swiss World Number 3 will be able to return to the same form which led him to his triumph Down Under. It could be a re-match of this year’s Australian Open final won by the Lausanne player.

In the bottom half of the draw Djokovic, winner last year against Nadal and twice more finalist in 2009 and 2012, could face Roger Federer, who played in three consecutive finals in 2006, 2007 and 2008 in the other semifinal. They have a 1-1 head-t-head draw this year: Federer won the Dubai semifinal, but Djokovic beat the Swiss 17-Grand Slam champion in the Indian Wells final.

First quarter:

In the first quarter of the draw Nadal will start his campaign against Giles Simon or a qualifier. Nadal will be looking to become the first player in the Open Era to win nine titles in the same tournament. In the third round the Mallorcan legend may play against Michail Youzhny who will make his debut against Italian Andreas Seppi. In the quarter final Nadal could face either Grigor Dimitrov or David Ferrer. Nadal dropped a set against Dimitrov last year in the Mediterranean Principality. Dimitrov, who will make his debut against Spaniard Marcel Granollers in the first round, beat Djokovic on clay last year in Madrid. In the head-to-head clashes on clay Nadal leads 17-1 against Ferrer

Monte-Carlo is like a home-tournament for Nadal who won eight years in a row between 2005 and 2012 and boasts a record of 48-2 winning matches. “Monte-Carlo is the tournament I dreamt to win when I was a child. I watched this court with the sea in the backdrop on television and I thought it would have been fantastic to lift this trophy in this venue. I managed to win eight times and the crowd has adopted me. Mont-Carlo is my favourite tournament”, said Nadal

Second quarter:

Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka has been drawn in a second quarter which features some clay specialists like Nicholas Almagro, Tommy Robredo and Federico Delbonis. Wawrinka will start his campaign against either Marin Cilic or Fernando Verdasco before a possible third round clash against Almagro and Robredo, Delbonis or Milos Raonic.

Third round:

Roger Federer returns to Monte-Carlo after two years of absence. He reached the quarter final in 2011. “The goal is to win another Grand Slam. I have more chances at Wimbledon and at the US Open. I beat Djokovic at Dubai but It is more difficult to beat Rafa”, said Federer on the eve of Monte-Carlo.

Federer will be bidding to win the 22nd Master 1000 tournament of his career.

Federer, who won in Dubai and reached the final in Indian Wells losing against Djokovic, will start against either Ivo Karlovic or Radek Stepanek in the second round before possibly meeting 2013 Wimbledon semifinalist Jerzy Janowicz. Federer may face either Jo Wilfred Tsonga or last year’s Monte-Carlo semifinalist Fabio Fognini. The Italian is a clay specialist and beat Andy Murray last week in the Davis Cup quarter final between Italy and Great Britain in Naples. Federer and Fognini led their national teams to the Davis Cup semifinal and will meet next September for the match between Switzerland and Italy.

Number 10 seed and World Number 13 Fognini will start against Portugal’s Joao Sousa in the first round and Roberto Bautista Agut or Vasek Pospisil in the second round.

Fourth quarter:

Last year’s Monte-Carlo champion Novak Djokovic is in very good form and is ready to defend his title after scoring the Indian Wells-Miami double for the second time in his career. “I live and train in Monte-Carlo. Winning here in the Club where I train gives me an amazing feeling.”

Djokovic will face either Gael Monfils or Kevin Anderson in the third round before facing a possible quarter final clash against Tomas Berdych. Ernests Gulbis against Aleksander Dolgopolov (semifinalist at Indian Wells) will be the most interesting first round match in this quarter of the draw.

Djokovic will be looking to clinch his fifth consecutive Master 1000 title after winning in Shanghai and Paris Bercy at the end of 2013 and winning Indian Wells and Miami last month.

The Big Four Nadal, Djokovic, Federer and Andy Murray (absent this year in Monte-Carlo) have won 34 of the last 36 Master 1000 tournaments. The only players able to break this dominance of the Big Four were Robin Soderling in 2010 and David Ferrer in 2012.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas, Gilles Simon and Felix Auger Aliassime reach the the semifinal in Marseille

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Defending champion Stefanos Tsitsipas edged past Vasek Pospisil 7-5 6-3 after 1 hour and 17 minutes to reach the semifinal at the Open 13 Provence in Marseille.

 

Both players stayed neck and neck until 5-5, before Tsitsipas earned his first break, when Pospisil hit a backhand long. The Greek star wrapped up the first set with an ace after 45 minutes.

Tsitsipas claimed his second break at 3-3 with a backhand return and reeled off 10 consecutive points to seal the second set 6-3.

Tsitsipas fired 8 aces and won 26 of his 30 first service points.

“It was not easy. I knew I would have to fight and be dynamic. He plays a very aggressive brand of tennis, so every point has to be treated respectfully. I played with passion and patience, and my fighting spirit, when I am in the right zone. It means good things can happen”, said Tsitsipas.

Gilles Simon cruised through to an upset 6-4 6-0 win over Danil Medvedev to advance to the semifinal. Simon converted five of his six break point chances and lost his serve only once.

The French veteran will take on Felix Auger Aliassime, who beat Egor Gerasimov 7-5 6-2. The young Canadian star broke serve four times and and won 83 % of his first serve points.

Gerasimov earned an early break in the first game to open up a 2-0 lead, but Auger Aliassime came back by winning two consecutive games to win the opening set 7-5. Auger Aliassime converted his fourth break point in the second game to open up a 3-0 lead and sealed the second set with another break in the eighth game.

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Alexander Bublik reaches his third career semifinal with win over Denis Shapovalov in Marseille

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Alexander Bublik reached the third ATP Tour semifinal of his career after beating Canadian Canadian Next Gen player Denis Shapovalov 7-5 4-6 6-3 after 2 hours and 18 minutes at the Open 13 Provence in Marseille.

 

Bublik fended off a total of four break points in the first set, including three chances from 0-40, got the break in the 12th game to close out the first set 7-5, when Shapovalov hit a forehand volley wide at 30-40 after 45 minutes.

Both players traded breaks at the start of the second set. Bublik did not convert three break points at 3-2, when he hit a forehand into the net on his first break point chance. Shapovalov broke serve in the seventh game to take a 4-3 lead with a drop shot and wrapped up the second set with his third ace.

Bublik opened up a 2-0 lead with a break in the second game of the third set. Shapovalov broke straight back in the third game. Bublik got another break lead in the eighth lead at 15, when Shapovalov hit a forehand wide. Bublik sealed the win with a hold at love.

“He is a great player and serve. It was our first match, but I have known him for a very long time. I was happy to break in the first set, then in the second set he was better, and I had my chances in the third and I held on. So I am very happy”,said Bublik.

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Milos Raonic, Steve Johnson, Frances Tiafoe and Ugo Humbert reach the quarter final in Delray Beach

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Milos Raonic hit 11 aces and saved the three break points he faced to beat German Cedrik Marcel Stebe 7-5 6-3 after 1 hour and 36 minutes reaching the quarter final at the Delray Beach, an ATP Tour 250 tournament.

 

Raonic earned a break in each set. Stebe earned a break point in the ninth game with a forehand down the line, but Raonic saved it with a forehand. Raonic faced two more break points in the 11th game, but Raonic saved them with service winners. Raonic earned a break with a forehand down the line winner in the 12th game to close out the first set 7-5. Raonicwon four consecutive points on return to earn a break and closed out the match 6-3 with a hold of serve.

“I got lucky through that first set and then I tried to be a bit more aggressive, create more things and that put a bit more pressure on him. It opened up the match for me a bit more”, said Raonic.

Raonic set up a quarter final against Steve Johnson, who edged past his compatriot Jack Sock 6-4 5-7 6-1 after 2 hours and 5 minutes to reach his first quarter final at ATP Tour level in six months. Johnson came back from losing the second set by racing out to a 5-0 lead.

“This is just one of those tournaments where you feel comfortable coming back every year. It’s great to see Sock back. I thought he played a really good second set and I just got bit of a momentum in the third set”, said Johnson.

French Next Gen player Ugo Humbert edged Miomir Kecmanovic 6-4 7-6 (8-6) after 1 hour and 42 minutes to reach his third quarter final in 2020. Humbert fended off eight of the ten break points he faced and earned three breaks to win the last four games of the first set from 2-4 down. Humbert broke Kecmanovic, as the Serbian player was serving for the second set at 6-5. The Frenchman saved a set point and came back from 5-6 down by winning the final three points of the tie-break to clinch the win after 1 hour and 43 minutes. Humbert has improved his win-loss record this year to 8-3.

“It’s always tough to play against Miomir, because he is a great player. He always plays at a high level. I lost to him last week and I was a little bit stressed before the match, so I am very happy to get the win today. You have to enjoy the victory because it’s not easy every week. Winning in Auckland gave me a lot of confidence. I beat some great players, but I have to continue my improvement every day”,said Humbert.

Humbert will face US player Frances Tiafoe, who battled past Tommy Paul 7-5 7-6 (7-4). Both players stayed neck and neck in the first set until the 11th game when Tiafoe earned a break with a return winner. He served out the set 7-5 with a service winner in the 12th game.

Paul earned a break in the sixth game, but he dropped his serve, while he serving for the set at 5-3. Tiafoe closed out the match with a backhand crosscourt winner at 6-4 in the tie-break.

“It’s never easy playing a good friend. It’s awkward, but I thought it was a pretty good match overall. My forehand was definitely on, so that helped. I am starting to play good tennis again and just competing hard in every match”,said Tiafoe.  

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