Berdych to get a revenge match against Cilic in Open quarters - UBITENNIS
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Berdych to get a revenge match against Cilic in Open quarters

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TENNIS US OPEN –Tomas Berdych (6) beat youngster Dominic Thiem in straight sets to set up a rematch with Marin Cilic (14) who got his first win even over Gilles Simon (26). Cilic beat Berdych at last Wimbledon in straight sets.

 

For the last two majors, Tomas Berdych (6) had been playing well in the tournament but then got dismissed just as the tournaments were getting near the business end. At Wimbledon, he lost in straight sets to Marin Cilic (14). Even Berdych admits as much that Cilic has been steadily improving over the past year. Now they will both meet in the quarterfinals at the Open for a chance of a semifinal spot as they both got past their Round of 16 opponents. Berdych handled the up and coming youngster Dominic Thiem in straight sets 6-1 6-2 6-4. Cilic’s victory was far from routine as he had to get past his own mental blocks as he dismissed Giles Simon (26) for his first time in five meetings in 5 sets  5-7 7-6 6-4 3-6 6-3.

Berdych seemed to have started his match battling with nerves for he was down 0-40 in his opening service game. Those nerves soon disappeared as he laid down the law with his serve to keep him out of trouble. He would face 7 break points altogether in the set and on each one, he served his way out of trouble. Thiem had no answer to the Berdych problem on court for despite his early break opportunities, he found himself struggling to hold serve. In about an hour’s time, Berdych had a 2-0 lead 6-1 6-2, breaking Thiem 4 times in the process. After the 1st set, Thiem never saw another break opportunity in the match. In the 3rd set, Thiem was able to hold serve with less of a struggle but nonetheless broken again in the 5th game. Berdych served out the match 6-1 6-2 6-4.

“I felt pretty good. There was one point which was very important, and I think it was definitely the key. It was really the first game where I was 40-Love down on my serve … [I]t could have been completely opposite way . You know, probably still might be on court. Really that’s the moment which probably for him in these kind of matches is something when you don’t make it, it can really make a big difference,” Berdych said after the match. Berdych had a great serving day winning 85% of his 1st serves and 57% on his 2nd serve. He had 24 winners to 23 errors. “I’m hitting the ball nice and clean. That’s what I need. That’s what’s good for my game,” said Berdych after the match. He next faces Cilic in a rematch of their Wimbledon 4th round match where Cilic won instraight sets.

Cilic had another marathon match against Simon as in their four previous encounters. This was their third time meeting at a major; second for the year. However, this time, Cilic was the victor. He dropped the opening set 5-7 but came back to take the 2nd set in the breaker. Cilic used this momentum to finally secure a break of Simon’s serve and take the set 6-3 and a 2-1 set lead in the match. Simon not one to be easily dismissed at this stage in a tournament, broke early in the 4th set for a 3-1 lead and maintained this lead to serve out the set 6-3.

“I knew that Gilles, he likes tough conditions. He’s grinder, counterpuncher, runs a lot and doesn’t mind,” said Cilic. Things remained even in the 5th set until Cilic broke in the 8th game for a 5-3 lead and then served it out with a forehand volley at net for the win 5-7 7-6 6-4 3-6 6-3. “I know what to expect against him, and today was no surprise for me. Even if I always beated him before, it was always very long and always very, very hard. I think he just deserve … to win this time,” Simon said.

After the match, Cilic stated, “I’m playing more consistent in this last four, five months. I think overall I improved my game and I learned actually to play with my sort of new style. I’m serving a bit better than what I used to a couple of years ago.” Cilic had 23 aces for the match and 4 double faults, which added to his total of 70 winners and 76 errors. He won 81% of his 1st serve points and 57% on his 2nd serve. Regarding his upcoming matchup against Berdych in the quarterfinal, “Tomas is very dangerous player. He’s very consistent throughout the year. He’s always pushing you to play your best to actually beat him. I hope I’m going to be on a good level of tennis if we gonna match up. Definitely very interesting too. I mean, for me as well he’s not unbeatable, but definitely very tough task.” Berdych leads the head to head 5-3.

 

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Karen Khachanov edges Mikael Ymer in marathon match in Melbourne

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Karen Khachanov battled past Mikael Ymer 6-2 2-6 6-4 3-6 7-6 (10-8) in a marathon match after 4 hours and 14 minutes.

 

Ymer broke serve twice in the second and fourth games of the fourth set to open up a 4-1 lead. Khachanov broke back in the seventh game, but Ymer broke for the third time to take the fourth set 6-3.

Khachanov broke serve in the sixth game to take a 4-2, but he was broken back in the next game.

Khachanov was not able to serve out the match at 5-3 in the fifth set before trailing 6-8 in the decisive match tie-break. Khachanov came back by winning four consecutive points to clinch a thrilling win.

Australia’s Alexei Popyrin beat Spain’s Jaume Munar 6-2 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 after 2 hours and 4 minutes setting up a third round match against Danil Medvedev. Popyrin broke twice in each of the first and third sets and saved all four break point chances.

Taylor Fritz came back from two sets down to beat Kevin Anderson 4-6 6-7 (5-7) 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 6-2. Anderson was leading by two sets and 4-2 in the third set, but Fritz broke back before winning the third set at the tie-break. Fritz cruised through the fourth and fifth sets. Fritz will face Dominic Thiem in the third round.

“That was huge for me. He played a really tough five setter just the other day and then obviously coming back. Going back to back five setters is going to be tougher for him than usual. I felt fresh, so I just told myself that I have to keep running”,said Fritz.

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Stan Wawrinka battles past Andreas Seppi in five sets to reach the third round in Melbourne

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Former Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka rallied from losing the first set to beat Andreas Seppi 4-6 7-5 6-3 3-6 6-4 after 3 hours and 36 minutes reaching the third round for the first time in three years.

 

Wawrinka went up an early break in the second game to take a 3-0 lead. Seppi broke back in the fifth game and held his serve to draw level to 3-3. Seppi broke for the second time with his forehand after two deuces in the 9th game and served out the first set at 15 in the 10th game.

Wawrinka earned three break points at 2-3 in the second set, but Seppi saved them. The Italian player saved another break point chance with his backhand at 3-4, before breaking serve in the ninth game.

Wawrinka broke back in the 10th game, when Seppi was serving for a two-set lead at 5-4 in the second set, and earned his second consecutive break in the 12th game to win the second set 7-5.

In the third set Wawrinka earned two break points with a forehand return. The Swiss player converted his second chance with a crosscourt forehand return winner and held his next service games to win the third set 6-3.

Seppi saved four break points in the seventh game of the fourth set before breaking serve in the eighth game. After going down a break at 3-4 in the fifth set, Wawrinka claimed two consecutive breaks in the 8th and 10th games to seal the win. Wawrinka secured his spot in the third round, where he will face Chile’s Alejandro Tablio 6-4 6-3 6-3.

“It was a tough five-setter that could have gone either way. I kept fighting and I am super happy to get through. The match against Isner will be tough. He is a very dangerous player. You don’t get a lot of opportunities. You need to stay strong, be aggressive, try to make him play as much as possible. That’s it. Stay positive all the match”,said Wawrinka.

 

 

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Andrey Rublev overcomes Yuichi Sugita to reach the third round at the Australian Open

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Number 17 seed and this year’s Doha and Adelaide champion Andrey Rublev extended his winning streak to ten consecutive matches with a 6-2 6-3 7-6 (7-5) win over Japan’s Yuichi Sugita after 1 hour and 53 minutes.

 

Rublev won 38 of his 42 first-service points and 8 of his 10 net points. Rublev earned two consecutive breaks in the seventh and ninth games to win the second set. Both players held serve in the third set. Sugita saved the only break point in the 12th game to hold his serve. Rublev sealed the tie-break 7-5 on his second match point.

The 22-year-old Russian player has dropped just three sets in ten matches and won back-to-back titles in Doha and Adelaide in the first two weeks of the 2020 season.

Rublev hit 20 aces and dropped only four first serve points and never faced a break point.

“The back injury was really tough. Even when I already started to play, I was feeling that I was still not there. Even when I came back after the back injury, it took me four, five months to start again to feel I am here, I am playing tennis again. I started telling to myself: “Try to enjoy, you are on court. Then, when the wrist injury happened, at the beginning it was even worse. Finally, when I play my first tournament, and actually I lost my first match, it was in Halle, I was 7-6 in the third against Mats Moraing. Inside I was feeling that even though I lost, I was a little bit happy that I am here. I am playing. I am enjoying it. From that time, I started to play better and better every week”.  

Rublev set up a third-round match against David Goffin, who beat Pierre Hughes Herbert 6-1 6-4 4-6 1-6 6-3. Rublev earned two breaks of serve in the second and sixth games to win the first set 6-1. The Belgian player went up a double break in the fifth and seventh games to take a 5-2 lead. Herbert pulled one break back in the eighth game at love for 3-5. Goffin served out the second set in the 10th game. Goffin got an early break in the third game to take a 2-1 lead. Herbert broke back in the sixth game to draw level to 3-3. Herbert sealed the third set 6-4 with a break in the 10th game. Herbert earned two breaks to race out to a 4-0 lead. Goffin got one break back in the fifth game at deuce, but he dropped his serve for the third time to lose the fourth set 1-6.

In the fifth set Herbert broke serve in the third game to take a 2-1 lead, but Goffin broke straight back in the fourth game to draw level to 2-2. Both players traded breaks in the sixth and seventh games. Goffin sealed the win with a break in the eighth game to seal a thrilling win after 3 hours and six minutes.

Ernests Gulbis beat Aljaz Bedene 7-5 6-3 6-2 in 2 hours and 20 minutes. Gulbis saved all eight break points and broke four times. Gulbis sealed the first set with a late break at 6-5. The Latvian player got another break in the fifth game to clinch the second set 6-3 and raced out to a 6-2 win in the third set with two breaks of serve.

Gael Monfils came back from losing the first set to beat Croatian veteran Ivo Karlovic 4-6 7-6 (10-8) 6-4 7-5. Monfils dropped his serve in the first game of the opening set. Karlovic missed a set point in the tie-break of the second set. Monfils earned two breaks in the third and fourth games to close out the match.

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