Internazionali BNL d'Italia: Nadal reaches his ninth final in Rome - UBITENNIS
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Internazionali BNL d'Italia: Nadal reaches his ninth final in Rome

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TENNIS – Rafael Nadal swept aside Grigor Dimitrov with a double 6-2 to qualify for his ninth final at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome and his 40th Master 1000 final. Nadal set up a eagerly-awaited final against Novak Djokovic. The final that everyone wanted. Diego Sampaolo

 

Interviews, results, order of play, draws of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome

Nadal broke serve to love for 1-0 when Dimitrov hit his backhand into the net and backed up his break holding serve in the second game to 15. In the first two games Nadal won 8 points to 1. Dimitrov held serve in the third game for 1-2.

Nadal won four consecutive points on serve for 4-2 before breaking serve for the second time in the match in the seventh game to pull away to 5-2 after 28 minutes. Nadal rallied from 0-15 to win four consecutive points closing out the first set in 33 minutes with 6-2. Nadal played a perfect first set in which he won 80 percent of his first serve points. Dimitrov made too many unforced errors

The start of the second set was very similar to the first set as Nadal broke serve to go up 1-0 in the opening game of the second set. Nadal faced a tougher challenge in the second game when he saved two break-back points.

Dimitrov held serve to win the third game for 1-2. Nadal backed up his opening break in the fourth game which came down to deuce before getting another break to pull away to 4-1 in the fifth game where Dimitrov committed an unforced error on his forehand. At 1-5 Dimitrov served to stay in the match and was able to fend off the first match point for 2-5.

In the eighth game Nadal made three unforced errors and faced the third break point of the match but he failed to convert it as he made an error with his backhand.

Nadal sealed the win with a forehand winner to set up a blockbuster final against Novak Djokovic who edged Milos Raonic in the afternoon.

Nadal won 73 percent of second serve points to win the fifth head-to-head match against Dimitrov but it was the first time that the Mallorcan star won in straight sets. On the contrary Dimitrov committed 32 unforced errors

There are good days and bad days. Sometimes you have the right feeling and sometimes you don’t. I started the match in a perfect way. In the second set he made more mistakes than usual. I played a solid match with my backhand. Yesterday I played a good match and today was a good confirmation that I play better, that the forehand starts to fly again, as well as the top spins. It was a warmer day and that made the ball a little bit quicker. The first two matches I played here there was a lot of wind. It is true that I prefer daytime but the feeling tonight was good. Against Simon it was very cold and tonight the feeling was different.”

After three tough three-set battles against Giles Simon, Mikhail Youzhny and Andy Murray, Nadal won a one-sided match a comfortable night in which he was never under threat. He was too strong for Dimitrov who reached his first Master 1000 semifinal yesterday on his 23rd birthday. The young Bulgarian, who reached his first Grand Slam quarter final at the Australian Open, will have other chances in the future starting from the Roland Garros.

It will be the 41th head-to.head match between Nadal and Djokovic. The Spaniard leads 22-18 in their previous 40 matches. Djokovic beat Nadal in the 2011 final in Rome but the Mallorcan beat the Serb three times in their four Rome matches.

Djokovic always plays unbelievable. He is a complete player and has all the shots. If I want to have chances to win, I have to play my best tennis and be aggressive. I twill be a very tough match.

Asked what he thinks about the new generation of players,” Nadal said:

It’s normal that the younger players play better. It isn’t normal what has happened during the last 5 or 6 years with the same players winning all the most tournaments If you look at the history of our sport, the younger generation is always pushing. Dimitrov Raonic and Nishikori are very good players and they are young, not 18 or 19 like me and Djokovic when we started to be there but things are changing a bit. There are no more players of 18 or 19 starting to be at the top. It seems that players achieve their best a little bit later. They are the new generation who will win the most important tournaments in the next 5-6 years. It’s a normal thing, we don’t want to be here forever”, said Nadal

ATP

Dominic Thiem Downplays US Open Chances

The world No.4 has given a frank assessment about his hopes at the New York major shortly after the draw was made on Thursday.

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Dominic Thiem may be a top four seed in next week’s US Open, but the Austrian has played down the prospect of him winning his first grand slam title at the event.

 

The 25-year-old has experienced a setback in his build up to the tournament. Since winning the Kitzbuhel Open on clay, Thiem has only managed to play three matches on a hard court. Reaching the quarter-finals of the Rogers Cup in what what was his best-ever run at the tournament. However, more recently Thiem has been sidelined from action due to a virus and pulled out of the Cincinnati Masters.

Thiem’s first round opponent at the US Open will be Italy’s Thomas Fabbiano, who has suffered two consecutive first round losses on the tour. Fabbiano reached the third round in New York back in 2017, but has missed the two most recent editions.

“Without a doubt, there are much tougher rivals than Thomas Fabbiano in a first round, although I must say that, after overcoming this viral disease, I do not expect miracles.” Thiem told Sky Sport Austria on Thursday.

Heading into the event, Thiem has said he has set out no goal. He will be defending 360 ranking points after reaching the quarter-finals 12 months ago before losing in a five-set thriller to Rafael Nadal. Overall, Thiem’s win-loss at the US Open is 15-5 heading into this year.

“Right now I do not consider reaching a quarterfinals or a semifinal. I want to go round to round, looking beyond would be presumptuous.” He said.
“In the next few days I will keep my training to a minimum, the goal is to be in perfect shape on Monday.”

https://twitter.com/ZahrerLukas/status/1164574948528132097

Despite his recent setbacks, 2019 has been a season of success for the world No.4. In March he won the biggest title of his career at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. He would then go on to win trophies in Barcelona and Kitzhbuel. However, in the grand slams he has been less consistent. At the French Open Thiem reached the final, but has failed to win back-to-back matches at both the Australian Open (second round) and Wimbledon (first round). Although at the Australian Open he was forced to withdraw from the tournament due to illness.

The US Open will get underway on Monday.

Dominic Thiem at the US Open

2018
Round Rank Opponent W-L Score
Quarter-Finals 1
Rafael Nadal ESP
L 60 46 57 764 675
Round of 16 5
Kevin Anderson RSA
W 75 62 762
Round of 32 74
Taylor Fritz USA
W 36 63 765 64
Round of 64 31
Steve Johnson USA
W 675 63 57 64 61
Round of 128 81
Mirza Basic BIH
W 63 61 64
2017
Round Rank Opponent W-L Score
Round of 16 28
Juan Martin del Potro ARG
L 61 62 16 671 46
Round of 32 34
Adrian Mannarino FRA
W 75 63 64
Round of 64 108
Taylor Fritz USA
W 64 64 46 75
Round of 128 186
Alex de Minaur AUS
W 64 61 61
2016
Round Rank Opponent W-L Score
Round of 16 142
Juan Martin del Potro ARG
L 36 23 (RET)
Round of 32 39
Pablo Carreno Busta ESP
W 16 64 64 75
Round of 64 89
Ricardas Berankis LTU
W 64 63 62
Round of 128 66
John Millman AUS
W 63 26 57 64 63
2015
Round Rank Opponent W-L Score
Round of 32 14
Kevin Anderson RSA
L 36 673 673
Round of 64 70
Denis Istomin UZB
W 64 64 10 (RET)
Round of 128 76
Daniel Gimeno-Traver ESP
W 75 63 75
2014
Round Rank Opponent W-L Score
Round of 16 7
Tomas Berdych CZE
L 16 26 46
Round of 32 21
Feliciano Lopez ESP
W 64 62 63
Round of 64 12
Ernests Gulbis LTA
W 46 36 64 63 63
Round of 128 84
Lukas Lacko SLO
W 63 63 62

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Denis Shapovalov wins Next Gen clash against Miomir Kecmanovic to reach the quarter final in Winston Salem

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Denis Shapovalov beat Serbian Next Gen Miomir Kecmanovic 6-2 6-3 after 1 hour and 16 minutes in Winston Salem winning two consecutive matches for the first time since he reached the Miami Open semifinal last March.

 

Shapovalov won 80 % of his service points and fended off four of the six break points he faced.

The Canadian Next Gen player earned six break points in the second game of the first set, but Kecmanovic saved them. Shapovalov earned the break in the fourth game at 15 to build up a 3-1 lead.

Shapovalov went up a double break in the next game after a forehand error from Kecmanovic. The Canadian player wrapped up wrapped up the first set 6-2 with two winners and two double faults from Kecmanovic after 37 minutes.

Shapovalov went up a 3-0 lead with a break, but he wasted three break points in the fourth game. Kecmanovic broke back to draw level to 3-3 and earned two break points in the seventh game, but Shapovalov saved them with two winners. The North American star broke serve in the next game to open up a 5-3 lead. Shapovalov hit four winners in the ninth game to close out the match.

Shapovalov is currently working with Mikhail Youzhny, who returned in St. Petersburg last September and is sitting in his coaching box in Winston Salem.

“Miomir is a very tough opponent. I have played him a lot in the past. We have had some crazy battles. I am really happy with the way I am playing”,said Shapovalov.

Shapovalov set up a match against Andrey Rublev, who battled past Sam Querrey 7-4 (7-4) 7-6 (12-10). In the tie-break of the second set Rublev saved three set points and Querrey fended off two match points. Rublev hit a forehand winner at 10-11 on Querrey’s serve to seal the win after 1 hour and 54 minutes. Rublev took a re-match against Querrey, who beat the young Russian player at Wimbledon in straight sets.

“It’s a special win for me. He just destroyed me, and now we had a great fight, and we were so close and I was a little more lucky”, said Rublev.

 Frances Tiafoe advanced to his fourth quarter final and his first since May when Filip Krajinovic had to withdraw from the match after losing the first set 6-2. Tiafoe went up a double break to race out to a 5-0 lead.

Hubert Hurkacz got three breaks to build up a 6-3 3-1 lead, when Feliciano Lopez was forced to retire from the match after 55 minutes.

Pablo Carreno Busta cruised past Lorenzo Sonego 7-6 6-0 after 1 hour and 40 minutes to reach his fourth quarter final of the season. Sonego got an early break to open up a 4-1 lead in the first set. Carreno Busta broke back in the sixth game before converting his sixth set point in the tie-break. The Spaniard broke three times to cruise to a bagel win in the second set after 25 minutes.

Benoit Paire came back from losing the first set to beat French Next Gen player Ugo Humbert 3-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-3. Paire broke serve, when Humbert was serving for the match at 6-5 in the second set. Paire went up a double break to a 4-1 lead. Humbert converted his third break-back point in the eighth point, but Paire broke for the third time to seal the win.

John Millman cruised past Robin Haase 6-3 6-4 setting up a quarter final match against Steve Johnson, who beat Casper Ruud 6-2 7-6 (7-5).

 

 

 

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Andy Murray To Play Rafa Nadal Open

The former world No.1 has announced where he will play next as his comeback from injury continues.

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Three-time grand slam champion Andy Murray is returning back to the Challenger tour for the first time since the year he turned professional back in 2005.

 

The Brit is set to take to the court in Manacor next week to play in a hard court tournament named after his rival Rafael Nadal. Murray is currently in the process of stepping up his comeback from a second hip operation earlier this year. The Rafa Nadal Open will be only his third singles tournament since January. Murray has previously lost in the first rounds at Cincinnati and Winston-Salem to Richard Gasquet and Tennys Sandgren.

Murray, who is currently ranked 329th in the world, had previously hinted that he may return back to the lower levels of competition in order to help regain his form. It will be the first time he has played a Challenger tournament since the 2005 Mons Open.

“I’m quite aware of sort of where I’m at just now and what my level is. It’s competitive at this level but it needs to be better,” Murray told atptour.com last week.
“Maybe I need to play a level down to get some matches and build my game up a little bit before I start playing on the Tour again.”

The 32-year-old had declined a wild card invitation to play at next week’s US Open due to concerns that he wouldn’t be fit enough to contest best-of-five set matches. He reached the second round of the tournament last year before losing to Fernando Vertdasco.

Murray’s return to the Challenger Tour is expected to be short lived. He has already confirmed his intention to play a duo of ATP Tournaments in Zhuhai and Shanghai. On Wednesday he added the European Open in Antwerp to his schedule, where a maximum of 250 ranking points will be on offer.

“With Andy Murray on our tournament poster, we are now reaching absolute world class and taking the European Open to an unprecedented level in Belgium.” Said tournament director Dick Norman.

Since his comeback in June, Murray has won one title on the ATP Tour. Doing so alongside Feliciano Lopez in the men’s doubles at The Fever-tree Championships.

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