Portugal Open: Svetlana Kuznetsova eliminates Eugenie Bouchard - UBITENNIS
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Portugal Open: Svetlana Kuznetsova eliminates Eugenie Bouchard

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TENNIS Portugal Open – The tournament in Portugal is entering its final stages and some mild shocks have already taken place. In the women’s tournament the draw for the semi-finals is already set: Kuznetsova will play Vesnina while Begu will face Suarez Navarro. In the men’s tournament Montanes saw his hopes of becoming the first player to win this tournament three times shattered by Granollers. Joshua Bosco

The tournament in Portugal is entering its final stages and some mild shocks have already taken place.

In the women’s tournament the draw for the semi-finals is already set: No.7 seed Svetlana Kuznetsova will play World No.33 Elena Vesnina while Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu will face top seed Carla Suarez Navarro.

Suarez Navarro reached the last four sweeping past Polona Hercog 6-1 6-3 in just 1h11m: so far she has lost just seven games in three matches and recorded a 6-0 6-0 win over Zahlavova Strycova in the second round.

Her semi-final opponent, World No.117 Begu, reached the penultimate round battling past Swiss player Timea Bacsinszky 6-3 7-6(6) in a match that featured 8 breaks. The Romanian had beaten No.5 seed Kaia Kanepi to reach the quarterfinals.

In the bottom half of the draw, Kuznetsova defeated World No.18 Eugenie Bouchard 6-4 6-1 with a great display of tennis: she was trailing 4-1 in the first set before winning 11 of the next 12 games to book a spot in the semi-finals in just over 1 hour and fifteen minutes.

In the only three-set match of the day, Elena Vesnina came back from 5-2 down in the third to beat Roberta Vinci 7-6(5) 4-6 7-5 in a thrilling match. After losing the first set in a tiebreak where 9 points out of twelve were won against serve, Vinci got the only break of the second set to take the match to a decider. The Italian seemed to have the match won when she was serving on 5-2 but Vesnina took the next 5 games to win the match and reach the semi-finals.

In the men’s tournament there were a couple of upsets in the earlier rounds: Rui Machado, spurred on by his home crowd, serve a double bagel to No.5 seed Dmitry Tursunov in the first round, while Albert Montanes saw his hopes of becoming the first player to win this tournament three times shattered by Marcel Granollers in the second round.

Tomorrow’s quarterfinals will see top seed Tomas Berdych, who beat Devvarman in straight sets, face qualifier Leonardo Mayer and Victor Hanescu take on Portuguese wildcard Gastao Elias, who beat Garcia Lopez in three sets.

In the bottom half, a Spanish derby will see Marcel Granollers play Daniel Gimeno-Traver while 2nd seed Milos Raonic will meet Argentine Carlos Berlocq.

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Roland Garros 2024: Rafael Nadal Faces Alexander Zverev In Blockbuster Opening Round

Rafael Nadal and Alexander Zverev will meet at Roland Garros in the first round with Andy Murray taking on Stan Wawrinka in the opening round.

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Rafael Nadal has been drawn against Rome champion Alexander Zverev in the opening round of Roland Garros.

The 14-time Roland Garros champion will most likely be making his last appearance at the event where he has such a great history at.

It’s been a mixed clay court season for Nadal who built gradual momentum in Madrid but suffered an early exit in Rome to Hubert Hurkacz.

Now the Spaniard has been drawn to take on the champion of Rome, Alexander Zverev, in the opening round.

The match is a repeat of the 2022 semi-final where Zverev broke his ankle losing almost a year of his career.

This contest headlines the second quarter of the draw which also features Karen Khachanov, Holger Rune and Daniil Medvedev.

In the other quarter of the top half of the draw, defending champion Novak Djokovic will begin his Roland Garros campaign against Pierre-Hughes Herbert.

There is also a potential third round clash with either Gael Monfils or Lorenzo Musetti for Djokovic, who is currently in Geneva gaining extra match practice ahead of the second Grand Slam of the season.

The Serb could have a repeat of last year’s final in the quarter-finals with Casper Ruud as the Norwegian begins his campaign against Jakub Mensik.

In the bottom half of the draw Jannik Sinner plays his first tournament since suffering a hip injury in Rome as he takes on Christopher Eubanks in the opening round.

Sinner could face Cameron Norrie in the third round with the Brit taking on Pavel Kotov in his opening round before playing the winner of the battle of the Grand Slam champions between Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka.

Murray and Wawrinka will clash for the fourth time at Roland Garros with Wawrinka leading their head-to-head 2-1 in Paris.

This section also includes in-form players such as Hubert Hurkacz, Alejandro Tabilo and Rome finalist Nicolas Jarry.

Finally Carlos Alcaraz will begin his Roland Garros campaign against a qualifier before potentially playing Jack Draper in the second round.

Another exciting clash awaits Alcaraz in the third round in the form of Sebastian Korda with Andrey Rublev or Stefanos Tsitsipas being potential quarter-final opponents.

This is the full draw with Roland Garros beginning on Sunday.

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Alexander Zverev Secures Return To Top Four After Winning Italian Open

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Alexander Zverev has clinched his first Masters title since 2021 after downing Nicolas Jarry in straight sets at the Italian Open.

The world No.5 surged to a 6-4,7-5, victory at the Faro Italico to become the 10th player in the Open Era to win the Rome trophy on multiple occasions. He also won the tournament in 2017. Zverev’s latest win was aided by an impressive service display from the 27-year-old who also hit 15 winners against eight unforced errors. He is now 22-1 against players ranked outside the top five at the tournament with his only loss being to Matteo Berrettini five years ago.

“It means a lot. Winning my first (Masters) title and winning my first after my injury in Rome. Rome is a very special place for me,” the new champion said afterwards. 
“I said at the beginning of the week if Rome is the place of firsts for me I’m extremely happy about it. It’s a very special week.” 

Playing in his first Masters 1000 final since 2022, Zverev produced a serving masterclass throughout the opening set with the German winning 20 out of 21 points. In contrast, Jarry experienced more difficult but valiantly fought back with the Chilean saving two straight break points at 4-4. Eventually, the third seed sealed the opener two games later with the help of some costly shots coming from across the court. A deep shot towards the baseline was unsuccessfully returned by Jarry, handing Zverev a set point which he converted.

Continuing to pile the pressure on in the second set, Zverev had a double chance to break for a 3-1 lead but failed to capitalise on that opportunity. The opportunities continued to come and go. Back-to-back double faults from Jarry at 4-5 handed Zverev two championship points but once again he failed to take advantage. Eventually, he sealed victory two games later with the help of a forehand shot that Jarry returned out. Prompting Zverev to raise his hands in delight before later paying tribute to his rival. 

“He’s playing huge. You can see that by the opponents he beat and how he beat them,” he said of Jarry. 
“I told him if he continues playing like that he is going to have many more chances. I’m happy to be the winner.”

As a result of his Rome triumph, Zverev has secured a top-four seeding for the French Open. On Monday he will rise in the PIF ATP rankings to No.4 which will be his highest position since August 2022. During that same year, he sustained a serious ankle injury which sidelined him for months. 

“The focus is on Paris, that’s for sure. but let me enjoy this one for a day or so and then I will have my full focus on Paris,” said Zverev.

Zverev has now won six Masters 1000 titles which places him in joint-ninth on the all-time list along with Daniil Medvedev. 

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Novak Djokovic Accepts Geneva Wildcard Ahead Of Roland Garros

Novak Djokovic has accepted a wildcard into next week’s ATP 250 event in Geneva as he looks to improve his form ahead of Roland Garros.

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Novak Djokovic has shockingly accepted a wildcard into next week’s ATP 250 event in Geneva.

The world number one hasn’t had the best season so far having yet to reach a final at any of his events this season.

There was hope for Djokovic that his fortunes would change on clay and the Serb started his clay court season by reaching the semi-finals in Monte-Carlo before losing to Casper Ruud.

However Djokovic’s clay court hopes were dashed in Rome as he lost in the third round to in-form Chilean Alejandro Tabilo.

This has meant that Djokovic risks being undercooked for the second Grand Slam of the season at Roland Garros.

Therefore the Serb has had no option but to take a wildcard into next week’s ATP 250 in Geneva.

Djokovic will join Casper Ruud, Andy Murray, Denis Shapovalov and Taylor Fritz in next week’s event.

Next week’s appearance will be the first appearance in Geneva in Djokovic who will be the top seed in Switzerland.

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