TENNIS ATP SHANGHAI – Novak Djokovic beat David Ferrer for the seventh consecutive time with 6-4 6-2 to extend his winning streak on Chinese soil to 29 consecutive matches in China. In his career he collected five titles in the China Open in Beijing and two at the Shanghai Rolex Master. Djokovic set up a blockbuster semifinal against Roger Federer who beat Julien Benneteau 7-6 6-0. Feliciano Lopez will face Giles Simon in the other semifinal. Lopez battled past Mikhail Youzhny 5-7 6-4 6-4. Simon defeated Tomas Berdych 7-6 4-6 6-0. Diego Sampaolo
Djokovic broke serve in the second game of the opening set. He had to save two break points at 5-4 before closing it out after 57 minutes. Djokovic hit 16 winners to 18 unforced errors and won 25 of his 33 service points in the first set.
Djokovic broke serve twice in the first game and at 4-2 of the second set and closed out after one hour and 35 minutes. The final score does not reflect the good quality of the match as it featured a spectacular long rally which concluded the first set. Djokovic hit 26 winners against Ferrer’s 11.
Djokovic will face Roger Federer in a blockbuster semifinal on Saturday. Federer beat Julien Benneteau in the fourth quarter final with 7-6 6-0.
The first set came down to the tie-break with no breaks. Benneteau got a mini-break at 2-2 but Federer broke back and won five of the last five points to pull away to a 6.3 lead in the breaker. Federer got the first break of the match in the opening game of the second set and broke twice more. He converted the match point with an ace. In the second set Federer won 25 points to seven for Benneteau. he hit 11 aces and 34 winners
Federer and Djokovic will meet for the 36th time. The Swiss Maestro leads 18-17 in their previous head-to-head matches. They have not squared off against since their epic five-set Wimbledon won by Djokovic. The Serb also won their last clash on hard court in the Indian Wells final. Djokovic has not lost in China since losing to Roger Federer in the Shanghai semifinal in 2010.
“Every time we play against each other, it’s a thriller. It’s really a big challenge for both of us”, said Djokovic
Giles Simon beat Tomas Berdych 7-6 (7-4) 4-6 6-0 in just under two and a half hours to advance to his first Master 1000 semifinal since Paris Bercy in 2012. The Frenchman will take on Feliciano Lopez who fought back from a set down to edge Mikhail Youzhny with 5-7 6-4 6-4.
In the first quarter final between Giles Simon and Tomas Berdych the Frenchman earned two break points at 3-3 and 4.4 but Berdych saved them. The first set came down to the tie-break where Simon had to save two set points before taking the win with 7-4. In the first set Berdych hit 28 winners to 38 unforced errors. Simon produced 8 winners to 11 unforced errors.
The second set went on serve until 4-3 for Simon. The Frenchman wasted a break point before dropping his serve in the next game at 4-4. Berdych won the next two games to clinch the second set with 6-4 to force the match to the decider.
Simon cruised to a 3-0 lead with a break in the second set. Simon reeled off 13 points to 2 to win the second set with a bagel. The Frenchman, who beat another top-10 player Stan Wawrinka earlier this week, played in a Master 1000 final once in 2008 at the Mutua Open in Madrid.
“I feel my tennis is coming back. I am finding a better rhythm. I feel physically strong. Tomas is a great player. He is always hard to beat. I almost played the perfect match”, said Simon.
Simon set up a semifinal match against Feliciano Lopez who fought back from a 5-7 2-4 to overcome Mikhail Youzhny with 5-7 6-4 6-4. In the first set the Russian player broke serve before saving two tie-break points.
Youzhny got a break lead but he was broken back when he was leading 4-3. He faced a set point as he was serving at 4-5. Lopez clinched the decisive point with a backhand passing shot to take the second set and and forced the match to the third set.
Lopez led 4-1 in the third set and served for the match at 5-3. Lopez went down 0-40 as he was serving for the match. He saved two break points with his serve but he made a double fault on the third. Youzhny faced a match point as he was serving at 4-5. Lopez hit a passing shot to convert his first match point on Youzhny’s serve at 4-5 30-40 after two hours and three minutes.
Lopez hit 35 winners to 40 unforced errors. Youzhny produced 27 winners to 43 unforced errors.
Lopez will play his third semifinal in Shanghai after losing to Rafael Nadal in 2009 and David Ferrer in 2011. I twill be his second Master 1000 semifinal of the year after Toronto last August
“It’s a great feeling to be in the semis of a Master 1000. I always play my best tennis here”, said Lopez
Anett Kontaveit beats Petra Martic to reach the final in Palermo
World number 22 Anett Kontaveit from Estonia upset number 1 seed Petra Martic 6-2 6-4 to reach the final at the Ladies Open in Palermo.
Martic has scored her third win in her seven matches against top 20 players after beating Belinda Bencic and Elina Svitolina.
Kontaveit avenged her defeat against Martic in their only previous match played in Dubai last February before the lockdown.
Kontaveit had to fight to hold her serve in the first game of the opening set at deuce and took control of the match by breaking in the fourth game to open up a 4-1 lead.
Martic won only 56% on her first serve in the opening set. Kontaveit came back from 0-30 down to hold serve in the seventh game before breaking for the second time in the eighth game to win the first set 6-2.
Martic earned an early break in the first game of the second set at deuce, but Kontaveit broke straight back to draw level to 1-1. The Estonian player saved a break point before holding serve to take a 2-1 lead. Kontaveit saved five of the six break points she faced. Kontaveit broke for the second time in the fourth game to open up a 4-1 lead. Martic held serve at 2-5 down before breaking serve at 15 in the ninth game to claw her way back to 4-5. The Croatian player received a medical time-out before Kontaveit for the third time in the tenth game at love to close out the second set 6-4.
Kontaveit will chase her second title in tomorrow’s final three years after winning in S’Hertogenbosch in 2017.
“I felt like I played a very good match today. I was quite aggressive, consistent, and I served especially well in the first set. It got a bit close in the end, but I played a good game at 5-4 and I am happy to be in the final”, said Kontaveit.
Petra Martic comes back from one set down to beat Ludmila Samsonova in Palermo
Top seed Petra Martic from Croatia came back from one set down to beat qualifier and world number 117 Ludmila Samsonova 5-7 6-4 6-2.
Martic saved six break points in the 10th game of the opening set, but Samsonova converted her third break point in the 12th game to win the first set 7-5.
Martic earned an early break in the first game to open up a 2-0 lead. Samsonova broke back at love in the eighth game to draw level to 4-4. Martic broke for the second time in the ninth game to win the second set 6-4. The Croatian player broke twice in the third and seventh games to close out the third set 6-2.
Martic will face world number 50 Aliaksandra Sasnovich from Belarus in the quarter finals. Sasnovich came through the qualifying round before beating Jasmine Paolini in straight sets.
Former top 30 Camila Giorgi rallied from losing the first set to beat Slovenian teenager Kaja Juvan 3-6 6-2 6-4 after 2 hours reaching her second WTA quarter final of the season. Before the outbreak of the Covid-19 outbreak Giorgi reached the top 8 in Lyon. Juvan qualified for the Main Draw at the Australian Open and beat five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams in three sets at the Abierto Mexicano in Acapulco.
Giorgi started with an early break at deuce at the start of the first set and opened a 2-0 lead. Juvan broke twice to take a 4-3 lead. Giorgi dropped serve for the third time after a double fault on the set point.
Giorgi came back from 1-2 down by winning five consecutive games with two consecutive breaks in the fifth and seventh games.
Giorgi broke twice to race out to a 3-0 lead at the start of the third set. Juvan pulled one break back at love in the fourth game but Giorgi got another break to race out to a 5-1 lead. Juvan broke at 30, when Giorgi was serving for the match at 5-2. The Italian player earned two match points and sealed the win on her second chance.
“I think I was more solid in playing my game. I was moving more forward, so it was much for me. At the start of the match, I was making too many tactical mistakes because I was trying to finish points for no reason. I started to adopt better tactics in the second set and that’s when things started working for me”, said Giorgi.
Number 4 seed Anett Kontaveit from Estonia came back from one set down to beat Laura Siegemund 3-6 6-2 6-2 after 2 hours and 20 minutes booking her spot in the quarter finals at the Palermo Ladies Open.
The Estonian player has reached her third quarter final this year after the Australian Open and Dubai.
Kontaveit set up a quarter final against Elisabetta Cocciaretto, who became the youngest Italian player to reach the quarter final of a tournament since Sara Errani in 2006.
“I am quite happy about the way I was handling close situations, playing the close games and turning the close games around. I thought I actually handled that sort of pressure, that I didn’t think I would be used to, quite well”, said Kontaveit.
Andrea Gaudenzi recognizes the contribution of the Italian Tennis Federation in staging the Internazionali d’Italia
ATP President and former Italian tennis player Andrea Gaudenzi spoke in an interview to Italian TV channel Supertennis about staging the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome before the French Open and recognised the contribution of the Italian tennis Federation (FIT) in staging the tournament in the Italian capital.
The Rome ATP Masters 1000 and WTA Premier 5 tournaments will be held from 20th to 27th September one week before the French Open (27th September to 11th October).
“We are grateful to everyone, holding an event this year is difficult from an organizational and financial point of view. We thank the Italian Federation and those who organize the Challengers. Italy is making a great contribution. I think the players are waiting for the BNL Internazionali d’Italia. The Foro Italico is among the most beautiful venues in the world. Rome is splendid in September”, said Gaudenzi.
During his tennis career Gaudenzi scored wins over Roger Federer in Rome 2002, Pete Sampras in the first round of the 2002 French Open, Jim Courier in the 1994 US Open, Goran Ivanisevic, Thomas Muster, Michael Stich and Yevgeny Kafelnikov. Gaudenzi claimed three ATP titles in Casablanca in 1998, St. Poelten and Bastad in 2002. He graduated in law at the Bologna University and obtained a MBA with Honours at IUM.
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