ATP Beijing: Nadal wins on his comeback after a 13 week lay-off - UBITENNIS
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ATP Beijing: Nadal wins on his comeback after a 13 week lay-off

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TENNIS ATP BEIJING – Rafa Nadal dropped just four games to ease past Richard Gasquet 6-4 6-0 in his come-back match after a 13-week lay-off due a wrist injury. The Spanish star played an exhibition match last week in Astana against Jo Wilfred Tsonga but has not played an official ATP Tour match since his shock defeat against Nick Kyrgios in the Wimbledon fourth round. Nadal played a solid match and saved all the three break points he faced during the match. Diego Sampaolo

 

“It was an important day for me, the day that I am back. I am happy with the way that I played. After three months without a match, winning a match against a player like Richard is a very positive comeback for me. More important than winning or losing is spending time on court. That’s the key for me playing matches. Every single round is tough. Every victory is so important for me. I don’t aim at winning tournaments here in Asia”, said Nadal.

Andy Murray recovered from a set down to battle past last year’s Wimbledon semifinalist Jerzy Janowicz in three hard-fought sets with 6-7 (9-11) 6-4 6-2 and got through to the second round of the China Open in Beijing just two days after saving five match points against Tommy Robredo in Shenzhen where he won his first ATP title after a 15-month drought.

Andy Murray faced a tough first set against Jerzy Janowicz when he went down 1-5 with two breaks down but he reeled off five of the next six games in a row to force the first set to the tie-break. Janowicz won a hard-fought tie-break with 11-9 to clinch the first set.

Murray broke serve in the ninth game of the second set for 5.4 to take the second set. The Scotsman got the break early in the third set as Janowicz made a double fault and broke serve again en route to clinching the win in the decider in two hours and 28 minutes.

Weather conditions were completely different from those he faced in Shenzhen and this was the reason for his difficult start.

“The conditions are different to what I played in Shenzhen. When we finished the match today it was 11°C. When we played in Shenzhen, it was 33-34*C and incredibly humid. It was a quick turnaround to get used to it. I would have rather lost the first set 6-1 than putting all that work in and not getting a reward from it. I am really happy with the way I managed to fight through in the end”, said Murray

China Open defending champion Novak Djokovic also faced little opposition dropping just three games against over Guillermo Garcia Lopez for a 6-2 6-1 win in his favourite tournament where he clinched four of the last five titles Djokovic, who won his 20th consecutive win in the Chinese capital, will face Vasek Pospisil in the next round.

Tomas Berdych also cruised past Feliciano Lopez with a 6-2 6-1 win to set up a tougher second round match against Viktor Troicki. Berdych could face a potential quarter final against John Isner who beat Santiago Giraldo with 6-1 6-3 to set up a second round match against Tommy Robredo, who lost the Shenzhen final against Andy Murray. Robredo fought back from a set down to battle past Andreas Seppi with 3-6 7-6 (7-4) 6-2. Seppi rallied from 1-4 in the second set by winning four consecutive games but Robredo clinched a very long 11th game where the Italian player did not convert on nine break point chances before winning the tie-break with 7-4. Ernests Gulbis eased past Italian top player Fabio Fognini with with 6-3 6-4 to set up a second round match against Martin Klizan. Gulbis, semifinalist at the Roland Garros, hit 31 winners to 9 unforced errors.

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Rafael Nadal Hoping Coronavirus Will Not Spoil His Olympic Dreams

The 19-time grand slam champion speaks out about the worldwide outbreak.

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World No.2 Rafael Nadal has said he is hopeful that a remedy can be found to contain the worldwide Coronavirus outbreak in order to stop what he describes as ‘fear’ erupting.

 

Several countries have declared major medical emergencies in order to tackle the illness, which also goes by the name of Covid 19. It is believed to have originated in China, where the most infections and deaths from the illness have been recorded. However, Iran is also struggling with an outbreak, Italy has quantified 11 towns, Saudi Arabia is preventing foreign pilgrims from entering their country and Japan has closed schools.

Coronavirus has also had an impact on various tennis events with a string of Chinese ITF and Challenger events cancelled. Meanwhile on Sunday, the final of the ATP Bergamo Open in Italy was cancelled due to concerns. Making it the first time an European event has been impacted by the threat posed by Coronavirus.

“I hope it is controlled, that a remedy is found and this uncertainty is stopped, this psychosis, this fear. It is the most important thing, not only for the Olympic Games, but for humanity, “ Nadal commented on the issue following his second round win at the Mexican Open.

One of the biggest sporting events is also under threat – the Olympic Games. This year’s edition will be held in Tokyo, Japan. IOC council member Dick Pound has recently said the sporting event will be cancelled if there is ‘world health at stake.’ The World Health Organisation is currently working with Olympic organizers, who are keen to empathise that they have no intention of cancelling the event.

“Our basic thoughts are that we will go ahead with the Olympic and Paralympic Games as scheduled,” Committee chief executive Toshiro Muto recently told Japanese reporters.
“For the time being, the situation of the coronavirus infection is, admittedly, difficult to predict, but we will take measures such that we’ll have a safe Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

Nadal is one of many tennis players hoping to win a gold medal later this year. The Spaniard is already a three-time Olympic after competing in 2004, 2008 and 2016. He has previously won two gold medals. Claiming the singles title in 2008 and the doubles trophy alongside Marc Lopez in 2016.

“Regarding the Olympic Games, to say that it is one of the most special events in the world. It is a unique experience to be there and I consider it the most difficult tournament to win because you only have two or three chances in your career, “ Nadal commented.

The Olympic tennis tournament will get underway on July 25th. It will be held at the Ariake Coliseum.

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Novak Djokovic reaches the semifinal in Dubai for the ninth time in his career

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Novak Djokovic cruised past Karen Khachanov 6-2 6-2 in one hour and six minutes to reach the semifinal at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Tournament for the ninth time in his career.

 

Djokovic dropped 13 points in eight service game and converted on five of his nine break points. He dropped his serve only once in the first set.

Djokovic held serve with a drop shot winner in the third game and broke serve at love with a forehand return down the line winner in the fourth game to take a 3-1 lead. The 2020 Australian Open champion held his serve with a drop shot winner in the third game and broke serve at love with a return down the line winner.

Djokovic held serve at love with a volley winner to consolidate the break. The Serbian player went up a double break earning his chance to serve for the set, as Khachanov netted a backhand in the sixth game. Khachanov pulled one break back after a forehand error from Djokovic, as the Serb failed to convert a set point in the next game. Djokovic got another break in the eighth game to clinch the opening set 6-2 on his third set point in 32 minutes, as Khachanov hit a backhand into the net.

Khachanov fended off a break point in the second game of the second set before Djokovic earned a break at love in the fourth game with a lob. Djokovic sealed the second set with another break at 5-2.

“I don’t know if I am playing the best tennis of my career. That’s a big statement, but I am feeling and playing well.  I like the conditions, but in windy conditions it’s not easy to serve and find rhythm. I know it wasn’t Karen’s day, but I think I played a very solid match. I am trying to be in the present and execute my game plan”, said Djokovic.

Djokovic set up a semifinal against Gael Monfils, who won the all-French clash against Richard Gasquet 6-3 6-3 after 73 minutes. Monfils broke serve twice in the fifth and ninth games to win the first set 6-3 and went up a 5-1 lead with two breaks. Gasquet pulled back one of the two breaks, as Monfils was serving for the match at 5-1. Monfils served out the win on his first match point.

Monfils is seeking his third title of the year after winning two consecutive tournaments in Montpellier and Rotterdam.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas reaches his second consecutive semifinal in Dubai

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Last year’s finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas came back from one set down to beat Jan-Lennard Struff 4-6 6-4 6-4 reaching the semifinals at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships for the second consecutive year.

 

Struff earned three set points at 5-4 in the opening set. Tsitsipas recovered to 30-40, as Struff hit two forehands into the net. The German player converted his third break point chance to win the first set 6-4 after 45 minutes.

Tsitsipas earned an early break in the first game of the second set, as Struff hit a forehand long at 15-40. Tsitsipas rallied from 15-40 down, when he was serving for the second set at 5-4, and converted his second set point with a forehand down the line winner.

Struff fended off four break points in the first game of the decisive set. Tsitsipas earned the decisive break in the ninth game to take a 5-4 and sealed the win on his first match point. Tsitsipas will face Daniel Evans, who beat Andrey Rublev 6-2 7-6 (11-9).

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