Internazionali d'Italia: Dimitrov beats Berdych. Nadal v Murray in the quarter finals - UBITENNIS
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Internazionali d'Italia: Dimitrov beats Berdych. Nadal v Murray in the quarter finals

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TENNIS Internazionali d’Italia – Grigor Dimitrov rallied from a set down to edge Tomas Berdych 5-7 6-2 6-3 on a cool and windy afternoon on the famous Pietrangeli Court to set up a quarter final against Tommy Haas. Andy Murray beat Jurgen Murray 7-6 (7-1) 6-4 on his 27th birthday and will face Rafael Nadal who fought back from a set down against Mikhail Youzhny to clinch a hard-fought win in three sets. Diego Sampaolo

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

Grigor Dimitrov rallied from a set down to edge Tomas Berdych 5-7 6-2 6-3 on a cool and windy afternoon on the famous Pietrangeli Court to set up a quarter final against Tommy Haas.

Dimitrov took his re-match against Berdych who beat last week in the Madrid third round. The young Bulgarian was broken only once and converted on 5 of his 13 break point chances.

Dimitrov took a 3-1 lead and held serve until 5-4 when Berdych broke back. The first set came down to the tie-break. Dimitrov went up 3-1 but Berdych reeled off six consecutive points to clinch the first set.

Dimitrov got a early break in the second set to take a 3-1 lead and pulled away to 5-1 closing out the second set with 6-2. Dimitrov got an early break in the third set and saved a break point at 3-2 in the longest game of the match. He got the match point at 5-2 with a spectacular volley cross dip which delighted the crowd who attended the match on the Nicola Pietrangeli Court and closed out the match with an ace.

Tommy Haas fought back from a set and a break down to upset Stanislas Wawrinka in three sets with 5-7 6-2 6-3. Haas reached the quarter final at the Internazionali d’Italia for the first time since 2002. Haas scored his first win against a top-10 player since his win against Novak Djokovic in Miami in March 2013.

Wawrinka converted on his break point chance to take a 3-2 lead. Haas broke straight back but Wawrinka got another break to clinch the first set with 7-5. Wawrinka broke serve in the third game of the second set for 2-1 but Haas turned around the match by winning five consecutive games to win the second set with 6-2 Haas got a decisive break in the eighth game of the third set and wrapped up the match in two hours. Wawrinka lost in the third round for the second consecutive week after his upset defeat against Dominic Thiem in Madrid.

I had some back problems because of the cold temperature but I have time to be ready for the Roland Garros. I could not move too well. It’s really nothing serious. It’s just painful and I need some rest”, said Wawrinka

Andy Murray vs Jurgen Melzer 7-6 (7-1) 6-4

Andy Murray beat Jurgen Murray 7-6 (7-1) 6-4 on his 27th birthday to reach his best result at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome since his semifinal defeat against Novak Djokovic in 2011.

Murray converted on three of his five break chances to seal a convincing win over the World Number 67 player from Austria.

Murray dropped serve in the first game of the opening set but he fought back from a break down to draw level to 3-3. He saved four break points to hold serve for 5-4. The first set was decided by the tie-break. He clinched the tie-break with a comfortable 7.1. He won 15 points from 16 en route to building up a 2.0 lead in the second set.

Murray broke early in the second set but Melzer broke back for 3-3. Murray got his second break to love in the seventh game to take a 4-3 lead and held serve for the match closing out the match after 1 hour and 42 minutes.

Last week I was not good at all in Madrid. I was very inconsistent. This week I wanted to play solid tennis as much as possible. Without the wind it was easier to build the points and have a specific game plan”, said Murray.

During the press conference after the match Murray was presented by the organizers with a cake to celebrate his 27th birthday.

Rafa Nadal vs Michail Youzhny 6-7 (4-7) 6-2 6-1

Murray will meet again seven-time Rome champion Rafa Nadal for the first time since the 2011 final in Tokyo. Nadal fought back from a set down against Mikhail Youzhny to clinch a hard-fought win in three sets with 6-7 (4-7) 6-2 6-1.

Youzhny dropped serve at 3-all when he sent a backhand wide. The Russian player rallied from a 3-5 deficit in the opening set. Nadal earned a set point but Youzhny saved it. Rafa committed two double faults and Youzhny broke serve with his backhand winner

In the tie-break Nadal went down 0-3 but he won two consecutive points clawing his way back to 2-3. Youzhny pulled away to clinch the opening set with 7-4 at the tie-break. Nadal went down a set and a break but he bounced back to draw level from 0-2 to 2-2. He saved a break point in the following game before winning 10 of the next 11 games to wrap up the match in two hours and 44 minutes.

I get used to my recent struggles. With the years, that’s the normal thing. That’s part of the sport. It’s not possible to win for 10 years with easy scores and easy matches. At the same time I can do much better than I ma doing.

Nadal leads 13-5 in his previous head-to-head matches against Murray and won their last match on clay in the 2011 Roland Garros semifinal.

In the other matches of the third round Milos Raonic fended off all the five break points he faced and hit seven aces when he beat Jo Wilfried Tsonga 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 in one hour and 48 minutes. Raonic will play against Frenchman Jeremy Chardy who beat Ivan Dodig 6-3 6-2.

David Ferrer took his second consecutive win over Ernests Gulbis with 6-2 6-3 one week after beating the Latvian player in the Madrid quarter finals.

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Next Gen Star Alexei Popyrin Fears He May Be Forced To Play US Open Despite Health Concerns

Like many other lower ranked players on the Tour, the 20-year-old finds himself in a tough situation.

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One of Australia’s rising stars has said he is worried that he may have to play at the US Open against his will or risk losing a chunk of ranking points.

 

Alexei Popryin has raised his concerns about travelling to the New York major in August amid a surge of COVID-19 cases in some areas of the country. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention there were 52,228 New Cases of the virus on July 5th compared to 24 hours before. Furthermore, the governor of New York recently announced that people travelling from 16 different states in America are now required to self-quarantine for 14 days if they visit the city. According to USA Today this ruling applies to roughly 48% of the entire American population.

Despite the concerns, the organisers of the US Open have insisted they will be able to hold the tournament in a safe manner and will be implementing various restrictions. Including holding the event without fans for the first time and conducting frequent testing of players. However world No.103 Popryin admits that he still has his concerns about attending.

“There are talks regarding the US Open but I really don’t want to go with the situation in America right now,” Popyrin said at the Ultimate Tennis Showdown over the weekend.
“But we have to see if we would be forced to go because of ranking points.
“If the ranking points won’t be frozen, then most of us would be forced to go play cause our ranking will drop and we wouldn’t have any say in it.
“But if the rankings are frozen, then I am staying here.
“I will stay in Europe where it’s safe with my family.”

Popryin has a considerable amount of points to defend in New York after reaching the third round there last year. Therefore, if he skips the event he faces dropping further down the rankings. Something which will then impact on his chances of entering the bigger tournaments later in the year. Usually the cut off for Grand Slam tournaments is around 105.

It is still to be announced as to what will happen with the ranking points system at the US Open and if there will be any adjustments made due to the pandemic. Although organisers will likely be against any idea to remove them from the event as it is a key factor to attract players to take part.

Another player to voice their concerns about the US Open is France’s Benoit Paire, who has said he would not attend the event if it was taking place today. Speaking to RMC Sport the world No.22 said he would rather not go to the event if he meant that he would be ‘taking a risk’ with his health.

“Going to the United States would be at risk of catching it. I am a great professional and I am one of those who would always like to play tennis, but your health is the most important thing,” he said.
“If going there is taking the risk of catching the disease and staying quarantined when I return, I prefer not to go, really.’
“It looks like if we play the US Open, we will have to sacrifice not to play the Mutua Madrid Open or the Masters 1000 in Rome.”

Meanwhile, world No.3 Dominic Thiem recently told Austrian media that he believes a final decision regarding the Grand Slam will be made within a week. Something that is yet to be confirmed by officials.

Should it go ahead, the US Open will start on August 31st.

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REPORT: Former Spanish Tennis Star In Talks To Coach Alexander Zverev

A former world No.3 could be returning to the Tour later this year in a new position.

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Tennis sensation Alexander Zverev could soon be mentored by somebody whose career he ended last year at the Madrid Open.

 

Spanish newspaper Marca have reported that the world No.7 is set to enter in a 15-day trial with former French Open finalist David Ferrer where the two will get to know each other better. Ferrer has reportedly travelled to Monte Carlo to start working alongside Germany’s top player. Should everything go well, the two could start a formal partnership in September ahead of the European clay-court swing of the Tour, which has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Both men are already fairly familiar with each other after facing off nine times on the ATP Tour, including three times last year. Zverev was the last player Ferrer played against at the Madrid Open before officially retiring from the sport at the age of 37.

“He’s the most respectful guy for me on Tour, and one of the most loved people on the Tour as well,” Zverev told reporters in the Spanish capital following their match.

Whilst never winning a Grand Slam, Ferrer achieved numerous accolades throughout his career. Including spending 4914 consecutive days in the world’s top 50, winning 27 ATP titles and achieving a ranking high of No.3 back in 2013. Overall, he has played 1011 matches on the ATP Tour (including Grand Slams) which is more than John McEnroe.

Should Ferrer receive the green light, Zverev will be the first high-profile player he will be responsible for. The Spaniard had previously hinted at his desire to enter coaching with his long time objective being to captain the Spanish Davis Cup team. He is also currently serving as the tournament director of the Barcelona Open.

“I would be very proud to be able to be (Davis Cup captain),” Ferrer told Marca in April 2019. “I also understand that this is very far away and there are players who are ahead. First, I have to train as a professional in teaching (coaching).”

Neither Ferrer or Zverev has publicly commented on the report. At present Zverev is coached on the Tour by his father who guided him to the semi-finals of the Australian Open in January.

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Father Of Dominic Thiem Condemns Criticism Of Novak Djokovic’s Role In Adria Tour Fiasco

Wolfgang Thiem has come to the defence of the world No.1 before suggesting that COVID-19 cases among players at charity events are worth it.

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The father of world No.3 Dominic Thiem has said it is ‘too cheap’ to blame Novak Djokovic over the outbreak of COVID-19 at the controversial Adria Tour.

 

Wolfgang Thiem lent his support behind the 17-time Grand Slam champion during an interview with Austrian newspaper Die Presses on Friday. The Adria Tour, which was founded by Djokovic, was cancelled following an outbreak of the virus during the Zadar leg of the event in Croatia with Grigor Dimitrov being the first player to confirm a positive test. Shortly after, Djokovic and Borna Coric also tested positive as well as some coaching staff. Viktor Troicki also contracted COVID-19, but only played the first leg of the Tour in Belgrade.

Throughout the Belgrade and Zadar events organisers were criticised for a lack of social distancing being applied. Players were seen playing basketball matches, attending nightclubs and interacting with the public. Although all of those actions were in line with local government rules.

“I do not approve of what happened on the Adria Tour, but condemning Djokovic and saying he screwed it up is too cheap for me,” Wolfgang commented.
“Of course the dance at the disco was not optimal, but Djokovic basically did nothing wrong. They just got a little sloppy, they were euphoric,” he continued.

Djokovic, who has been at the centre of the criticism, is yet to publicly speak about the incident. On Friday it was confirmed that both him and his wife Jelena have now tested negative for the virus. 10 days after they were first diagnosed.

As for Thiem, his father said the Austrian tennis star will be donating his money from the event to charity. Although he did not say how much that would be or which cause it would go towards. It comes just days after Djokovic donated 40,000 euros to the Serbian town of Novi Pazar, who has been hit hard by the pandemic.

Speaking about the outbreak of COVID-19 among players, Wolfgang has suggested that it is worth it if it meant raising money for charity.

“I prefer that there be a few more cases of coronavirus and be able to raise a few thousand euros for a childhood cancer clinic,” he explained.

Since the Adria Tour, Thiem has played at the Ultimate Tennis Showdown (UTS) in France. He has undergone five COVID-19 tests in recent days with all of them testing negative for the virus. The 26-year-old withdrew from the UTS on Wednesday to focus on the upcoming Thiem 7 event in Kitzbuhel which will start on July 7th.

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