ATP Shanghai: Cilic out in the first round - UBITENNIS
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ATP Shanghai: Cilic out in the first round

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TENNIS – Ivo Karlovic upset this year’s US Open champion Marin Cilic with 7-5 2-6 7-6(2) in the first round of the Shanghai Rolex Master, the penultimate Master 1000 Tournament of the year. John Isner, Kevin Anderson and Richard Gasquet also advanced to the second round. Diego Sampaolo

 

Marin Cilic faced a very tough first round match against Ivo Karlovic in the all-Croatian “derby”. Cilic dropped the first set with 5-7 but he bounced back by breaking twice to take the win in the second set with 6-2. The third set went on serve and came down to the tie-break where Karlovic prevailed with 7-2. Big server Karlovic hit 20 aces and won 85 percent of his first serve points.

Karlovic will meet Yen Hsun Lu who battled past Spaniard Marcel Granollers in three sets with 6-3 6-7(5) 6-2

“I felt drained last week in Beijing in my first tournament after the win at the US Open. This week I am feeling better. Now I am feeling it’s on the spot. At the beginning of the tournaments I am going to have to have to be more focused to go through the first matches. The same happened in New York. I played a bit more rusty in the first few matches. Then afterwards everything was flowing”, said Cilic.

“It’s a gamble with Karlovic. He goes all in or nothing. It’s alway difficult. He was serving really well towards the end of the match. I could not get into his serve. It can happen with Ivo. It’s always tricky.” said Cilic.

Grigor Dimitrov, who is currently ranked 11th in the ATP Race to London and is a contender for a spot for the en-of-season tennis show, got off to a comfortable start with a 6-3 6-3 win over Denis Istomin. The Bulgarian player broke twice and fended off four break points he faced.

Another match decided by the third set saw John Isner winning over Pablo Andujar with 7-6 1-6 6-3. Isner capitalized on the only break point in the fourth game of the third set to clinch the win. The US giant hit 22 aces, won 71 percent of his service points and fended off six of the eight break point chances he faced.

“I am still alive. I am glad I am not on a flight home tomorrow. Playing better away from home is something I am trying to do and I feel like I have done so far”, said Isner

Kevin Anderson fought back from losing the first set 3-6 to win the match against Great Britain James Ward in the third set with 3-6 6-3 6-2. Anderson got a double break to cruise to a 4-0 lead en route to clinching the third set and capitalized on four of his seven break point chances.

The other “derby” of the day was the all-French match between Jeremy Chardy and Richard Gasquet. Chardy was in control of the match in the first set where he took a 3-1 lead. The first set came down to the tie-break. Chardy earned two set points in the breaker but Gasquet edged him with 9-7. Gasquet got a double break at the start of the second set before pulling away to a easy 6-2. Gasquet converted three of his six break points to clinch his 30th match win of the season. Gasquet will face Beijing finalist Tomas Berdych.

US Jack Sock fought back from 0-3 down in the third set to battle past Australian Bernard Tomic with 7-6(4) 6-7(4) 6-4.

Juan Monaco overcame Joao Sousa 6-2 7-6(4). Qualifier Malek Jaziri defeated US Donald Young in straight sets with 7-5 6-4.

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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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