Davis Cup: Gasquet and Tsonga give France a 2-0 lead - UBITENNIS
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Davis Cup: Gasquet and Tsonga give France a 2-0 lead

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TENNIS DAVIS CUP – Richard Gasquet and Jo- Wilfred Tsonga secured the first two points to give France a 2-0 lead in the famous Philippe Chatrier Court at the Roland Garros in Paris. Diego Sampaolo

The French team needs just one point to secure its spot in the first final since 2010. First Gasquet cruised to a three-set win over Tomas Berdych with 6-3 6-2 6-3. This year’s Toronto Master 1000 champion Jo Wilfred Tsonga eased past Lukas Rosol in three sets with 6-2 6-2 6-3

Gasquet showed that the choice made by French captain Arnaud Clement to prefer him over this year’s US Open quarter finalist Gael Monfils was the right one.

Gasquet dropped just five points on his serve in the first set and broke serve in the fourth game after Berdych missed four consecutive shots.

Gasquet clinched the first set with a backhand down the line before cruising to 3-0 in the second set. Berdych got a break in the fourth game. Gasquet broke early in the third set and held serve to take a 5-3 lead and clinched the match after Berdych committed a double fault

The Czech doubles team formed by rising star Jiri Vesely and Davis Cup hero Radek Stepanek will need a miracle to keep the hopes of the defending champions to defend their double titles won i 2012 and 2013.

“This is one of my best wins ever. The atmosphere was great. This is the Davis Cup at the Roland Garros and I beat a top player”, said Gasquet.

On the contrary Berdych, who lost against Marin Cilic last week at the US Open, committed 38 unforced errors. “I need more time to be better prepared but the tie is not over and I will keep fighting to be helpful for the team”, said Berdych

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Milos Raonic Beats Norrie; Holger Rune Falls to Thompson on Day 1 at Queens

MIlos Raonic hit 47 a record 47 aces on his way to victory as Frances Tiafoe retires against Hijikata, but Dimitrov goes through.

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Canada’s Milos Raonic blasted a record-breaking 47 aces on his way to a nail-biting 6-7(6), 6-3, 7-6(9) over home hope Cameron Norrie at the cinch Championships in London.

Former Wimbledon runner-up Raonic won 86% behind first serve, and saved both breakpoints he faced, but the 47 service winners was the most on the ATP tour for over 30 years and he squeezed through the two-hour fifteen-minute contest saving two match points in the final set tie-breaker.

“[Serving] is a big part of my game,” he said after the match “If I didn’t have my serve my career would be very different. My serve has always been the most important shot to me. This small record, it’s something special, something meaningful. So overall, a very positive thing and a fun stat to be proud of.”

Meanwhile Norrie remained upbeat despite the loss and firmly believes his form will turnaround soon: “I’m feeling great about my game but not getting results. It’ll come good, I have a lot to be positive about and won’t dwell on it.”

In the upset of the day, Australia’s Jordan Thompson sent seventh seed Holger Rune packing with a 4-6, 7-6, 6-3 win putting him into the second round and a possible meeting with Andy Murray. In the first meeting between the two players, it was the 30-year-old who is ranked 43 in the world who played the important points better and got more balls back in court compared to Rune, who slipped on court and complained to the umpire about the surface being too wet.

In other results, qualifier Rinky Hijikata went through when Frances Tiafoe retired at the start of the third set with an injury to his right hip after a fall. The American took the first set 7-5 but the Australian hit back taking the second 6-4.

First on court today was former champion Grigor Dimitrov who cruised through against Adrian Mannarino 6-1, 6-2 in just over an hour, breaking the Frenchman’s serve five times, while the final match of the day was suspended and will be completed tomorrow. Chile’s Alejandro Tabilo was leading Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 2-0 in the decider having split the first two sets.

“I was very happy with the way I started the match. I think I set the bar high and wanted to be steady the whole time,” Dimitrov said after his match. “Serve and return I just tried to focus on, they are the fundamentals of this surface. As the match went on, I felt more solid and more secure, so I am very happy.”

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Carlos Alcaraz Feeling Fresh Ahead Of Queen’s Club

Carlos Alcaraz will look to defend his Queen’s Club title.

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Carlos Alcaraz is raring to go ahead of the grass court season as he prepares for his Wimbledon title defence at Queen’s Club.

The Spaniard is living in a dream right now having won his third Grand Slam title at Roland Garros followed by the news he will team up with Rafael Nadal at the Olympics.

It’s been an incredible last month and Alcaraz reflected on his title run in Paris and spoke about his vacation in Ibiza as he refreshed himself ahead of the grass court season, “I had a few days off. I went to Ibiza with a group of friends. I had fun. It was a great time celebrating Roland Garros,” Alcaraz told the ATP website.

“For me as a player, I need this kind of thing. Every player is different but for me to reach my best tennis I have to separate the professional part from the personal part. I have some days off to forget a little bit that I am a professional player. Being with my friends and family means I can rest a little bit.

“Roland Garros was a fantastic two weeks for me, a dream come true lifting the trophy.”

However tennis is a brutal sport and now Alcaraz’s attention turns to the grass court season where he had amazing memories last year.

The Spaniard won a five set thriller with Novak Djokovic to win his maiden Wimbledon title as he enters this year as defending champion.

Now Alcaraz is ready to attack the grass court season and is only focused on the next month ahead, “I have more matches in my bank on grass and now with the great run I had last year at Queen’s and Wimbledon I know a little bit on how to play and understand the game a little bit on grass,” the Spaniard explained ahead of Queen’s Club.

“I am more mature playing on this surface. The first practice I have done here, my movement wasn’t as good as last year but it is a slow process, so I have to be really focused in every practice and every match. We have to be focused on the tournament that we are playing right now.

“But right now my mind has to be here on the grass to be ready. As soon as I can to play good tennis and to get ready for Wimbledon. Right now my focus is on the grass and then after that, my mind will be on clay again to be at my best for the Olympics.”

Alcaraz will aim for a big run at Queen’s Club and will begin his campaign against Francisco Cerundolo on Tuesday afternoon.

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Aryna Sabalenka Announces Olympics Withdrawal

Aryna Sabalenka will miss the Olympic Games in Paris.

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Aryna Sabalenka has announced that she will miss the Olympic Games this year as she prioritises her health.

The world number two would still be allowed to play the Olympic Games despite Belarus being represented under a neutral name and flag.

However Sabalenka has decided to withdraw from the Olympics as she said it’s not healthy to keep changing surfaces.

Speaking ahead of her first grass court tournament in Berlin, Sabalenka explained her decision and spoke about the need to look after her health, “Especially with all the struggles I’ve been struggling with the last months, I feel I have to take care of my health,” Sabalenka told the WTA website.

“It’s too much for the scheduling and I made the decision to take care of my health. I prefer to have a little rest to make sure physically and health-wise I’m ready for the hard courts. I prefer to have a little rest to make sure physically and health-wise I’m ready for the hard courts.”

Sabalenka was a finalist at last year’s US Open before losing to Coco Gauff and now feels it’s right to prepare in the best way possible in order to go one step further this year.

Health has been a problem for Sabalenka this season as was shown in her quarter-final clash with Mirra Andreeva at Roland Garros with the Australian Open champion struggling with stomach problems.

Now playing her first tournament since Roland Garros Sabalenka detailed the exact problems in Paris and how she plans on winning her first title on grass, “It was the worst experience I had in my life on court,” Sabalenka shockingly said.

“I’ve played while being ill, I’ve played with injuries, but when you have a stomach bug and you don’t have any energy to play and you’re in the quarterfinal of a Grand Slam, that was really terrible experience. But it is how it is.

“I think my body was just asking for some rest. I managed to find a couple of days to chill and recover after the tough months. We just don’t play enough time on grass so I don’t have enough time to win a title.

“It’s not like I feel bad, I’ve made some good results on the grass and I feel really good. I think grass actually suits my game really well. So it’s not about the surface, it’s about the month of tournaments, the amount of opportunities that I have on a grass court.”

Sabalenka will begin her campaign in Berlin against Daria Kasatkina.

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