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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Basel 2019 Preview: Roger Federer Targets Record As Rivals Looks To Qualify For ATP Finals

Federer is on a quest for a 10th title in Basel and could play an all-Swiss quarter-final against countryman Stan Wawrinka later this week.

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This year in Basel the competition is at its top, with two spots yet to be reserved in the race to the ATP Nitto Finals.

 

Roger Federer, who could make a 13th final in Basel this year, will commence his campaign against qualifier Peter Gojowczyk in the first quarter. In the second round the 20-time grand slam champion could play either Radu Albot or Dusan Lajovic, whom he has a clean head-to-head profile against.

Meanwhile European Open finalist, who just lost to comeback kid Andy Murray in Antwerp, Stan Wawrinka is facing the Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas in the first round. Should he take off with a win, he would face either Frances Tiafoe or Daniel Evans before he could set a clash with last year’s Basel champion in quarter-finals.

Generally it could be theoretically an easy contest for Federer, who has a H2H profile of 23 wins to three loses against Wawrinka with 17 of them on hard-courts. However Wawrinka is in good form after making his second final of the year last week after Rotterdam in February.

The second quarter sees one player who has guaranteed his debut at the ATP Nitto Finals. Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas regained some of his good tennis during the Asian Swing where he ousted the World No.1 Novak Djokovic in Shanghai to reserve a place at the ATP Nitto Finals. Tsitsipas is taking on Spain’s Albert Ramos-Vinolas in the first round. Only one meeting has taken place between the two on the ATP Tour in Barcelona last year with the Greek winning it. Then he could play either qualifier Lithuanian Ricardas Berankis or Pablo Andujar in the second round.

However, there is another player in this quarter, who is still trying to make it to the ATP Nitto Finals. Fabio Fognini had a disappointment last week when he lost in his first match in Stockholm after making the quarter-finals in Shanghai before losing to Daniil Medvedev. The Italian is starting against  Alexei Popyrin then he could face either Laslo Djere or Filip Krajinovic, who made it the final in Stockholm before losing to Shapovalov. Fognini is in the 11th position in the race to London, going after countryman Matteo Berrettini, 8th position, with a gap of 290 points.

Should a quarter-final between Tsitsipas and Fognini occur, the Greek leads in their previous confrontations 2-0.

Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut is in the third quarter. He has been in bad form these past couple months, but is only 40 points behind Berrettini in the race to London. Should the Spaniard want to make his debut at the O2 Arena this year, he has to be pretty much on form as he opens against Marius Copil. Who showed a very good form in Antwerp last week and possess a big serve that could be an obstacle to a lot of players. The winner of that match will face either the Frenchman Richard Gasquet or Argentine Juan Ignacio Londero in the second round.

Still in the third quarter, another player is in the run for a spot at the ATP Nitto Finals with 90 points behind the Italian Matteo Berrettini. It’s David Goffin, who is taking off in Basel against former US Open champion Marin Cilic in what could be a thrilling match, but the Croatian isn’t in good form recently. Goffin would face either the big serving Reilly Opelka or Chile’s Cristian Garin in the second round, should he get past Cilic.

Second seed Alexander Zverev takes on Taylor Fritz in the opening round in what could be a tricky match in the fourth quarter. Zverev, who has had a very tough season this year and recorded his first top-10 win just days ago in Shanghai against Federer, has gained in momentum  significantly after his participation in Laver Cup a few weeks ago. He is now in the 7th position in the race to the O2 Arena after reaching the final in Shanghai, which he lost to Medvedev in straight sets. He has either Alex De Minaur or Hugo Dellien in the second round with possibly Benoit Paire or Germany’s Struff in the quarter-final.

The Frenchman Benoit Paire is opening against the wild card holder Henri Laaksonen, should he cruise to the second round, he would face either Jan-Lennard Struff or Miomir Kecmanovic.

Full draw

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Stefanos Tsitsipas On Why His US Open Early Exit Was ‘The Best Thing To Ever Happen’

The Greek No.1 sees a silver lining to one of his latest losses on the tour.

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Losing in the first round of a grand slam isn’t something players are normally happy to talk about. However, for Stefanos Tsitsipas he doesn’t think he would be where he is now if he didn’t suffer an early loss at this year’s US Open.

 

The Greek player was seeded ninth in the draw at Flushing Meadows. He fell at the first hurdle to Russia’s Anrey Rublev in four sets, who went on to reach the fourth round of the major. Tsitsipas has endured a mixture of results in the grand slams this season. In January he scored his first major breakthrough by defeating Roger Federer on route to the semi-finals of the Australian Open. However, his runs in the majors has got worse as the season progressed. Losing in the fourth round of the French Open, followed by the first round at Wimbledon. Ironically Tsitsipas believes believes it is his US Open misfortunes that has had the biggest impact on him.

”It was probably the best thing that ever happened to me,” Tsitsipas told atptour.com. “I stayed in New York for six or seven days after and it gave me time to discover new things. It was important for me to enjoy and realise what I needed in my life.
”It was my decision to live life how I wanted to, not how others wanted me to. There was a time last summer when I doubted myself, [thought] that I wasn’t interesting as a person. I wanted to be someone else, but now I understand that it’s awesome to be myself.”

During the Asian swing the 21-year-old won seven out of nine matches played (excluding retirements). Reaching the final of the China Open and the semi-finals of the Shanghai Masters. It was the first time he has reached the last four at two consecutive tournaments since May (Madrid and Rome).

Tsitsipas is hoping to continue his surge in form this week at the Swiss Indoors in Basel. He will be seeded third in the draw behind nine-time champion Roger Federer and Alexander Zverev. The world No.7 is yet to win an ATP 500 tournament. Something he hopes to change over the coming days.

“I’m currently in the best state of my life,” he declared. “It doesn’t have to do with results or playing good tennis or bad tennis. I’ve been feeling very happy and very well. I’ve been enjoying life more in general and that reflects in my game. It makes me happy and makes me want to live better.”

Already qualified for the ATP Finals, Tsitsipas is hoping to end what has been a roller coaster season on a high. He has achieved a win-loss record of 49-22 so far this year (including Davis Cup), but has also lost his opening match at eight tournaments.

“I think it’s normal to have ups and downs and I learned a lot this year.” He told reporters on Sunday during a press conference. “I’m looking forward to playing in Basel, Paris and London and hope to go as far as possible.”

In Basel, Tsitsipas will open up his campaign on Tuesday against Spain’s Albert Ramos-Viñolas. A player he beat in straight sets during last year’s Barcelona Open.

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Andreas Seppi upsets Karen Khachanov in another three-set marathon match in Moscow

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Thirty-five year-old Italian veteran Andreas Seppi came back from one set down to beat Karen Khachanov 3-6 6-3 6-3 in the quarter final of the VTB Kremlin Cup in Moscow.

 

Seppi confirmed his reputation as a marathon man by winning all of his matches this week in three sets during this week’s edition of the Kremlin Cup.

Khachanov broke serve twice to win the first set 6-3. The young Russian player did not convert four break points, when Seppi was serving at 4-3. Seppi broke serve in the ninth game to set up a third set when Khachanov hit a forehand into the net.

Khachanov got an early break at 30 in the first game of the decisive set. Seppi broke back in the fourth game to draw level to 2-2. Seppi won 12 of the last 14 points and broke serve in the eighth game with a forehand passing shot. The Italian served out the win on his second match point in the ninth game.

Seppi set up a semifinal against Frenchman Adrian Mannarino, who beat fourth seeded Dusan Lajovic 7-6 (7-3) 6-1.

Marin Cilic reached his first semifinal of the season with a 6-4 4-6 7-6 (7-2) over Jeremy Chardy one day after scoring his milestone 500th win this season. Cilic did not convert a match point at 5-4 but he won the tie-break 7-2 after 2 hours and 12 minutes setting up a semifinal against home favourite Andrey Rublev, who cruised past Nikola Milojevic 6-2 6-3 reaching his second semifinal of the year.

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