Master 1000 Paris: Djokovic to face Murray in the quarter finals - UBITENNIS
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Master 1000 Paris: Djokovic to face Murray in the quarter finals

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TENNIS MASTER 1000 PARIS – Djokovic beat Monfils setting up a blockbuster quarter final match against Murray who secured his spot for London with a 6-3 6-3 win over Dimitrov. Federer sealed a comfortable 6-4 6-4 win over French 20-year-old Pouille setting up a quarter final against Raonic. Berdych has made another step forward to qualifying for London by reaching the quarter final with a 7-5 6-3 win over Lopez. Ferrer and Raonic will fight for the final spot at the ATP Finals. Ferrer beat his fellow Spaniard Verdasco 6-1 6-2. Raonic edged Bautista Agut 7-5 7-6(7). Diego Sampaolo

 

Eight of the top-10 players in the ATP Ranking were in action on a spectacular day at the BNP Paribas Masters at the Palais Omnisport in Paris Bercy.

Novak Djokovic beat local favourite Gael Monfils 6-3 7-6 in the final match of a busy day in the French capital to set up a blockbuster quarter final against Andy Murray.

Djokovic got off to good start with a break in the second game and pulled away to 3-0. Monfils failed to convert two break back points as the Serbian player was leading 5-3. Djokovic sealed the first set with 6-3 in 36 minutes.

Monfils broke straight back to draw level to 2-2. In the fourth game Monfils saved two break points with two aces and held his serve. It came down to the tie-break where Djokovic took a 3-1 lead as Monfils made a double fault. Nole pulled away to 5-2 after Monfils made a volley error and sealed the win in the 56-minute second set on his first match point

Monfils lost his 11th match in 11 head-to-head clashes against Djokovic, but they played many tight matches, notably the 2009 final at Paris Bercy which was decided by a tie-break in the third set.

Murray secured his spot for the ATP Finals for the seventh consecutive year with a 6-3 6-3 win over Grigor Dimitrov. Murray, who needed to reach the quarter final to book his berth for London, played a solid match in which he needed just 69 minutes to clinch the 20th win in the last 22 matches since the US Open.

Murray did not face any break point in the whole match and converted three of his four break point chances. He serve in the third and in the ninth games to clinch the first set in 33 minutes. He took a 3-1 lead in the second set before winning a spectacular 37-shot rally with a backhand slice and producing a forehand volley winner.

Murray sealed the win as Dimitrov hit a forehand into the net. Murray now leads 4-2 in his head-to-head matches against Dimitrov.

Murray took a re-match over the young Bulgarian who won their previous head-to-head matches played this year in the Acapulco final and in the Wimbledon quarter final.

The spot for the ATP Finals is a well-deserved prize for Murray who played for six consecutive weeks after falling out of the top-10 for the first time since June 2008. After the US Open Murray has won three titles beating Tommy Robredo in Shenzhen and Valencia (after two marathon matches in which he saved five match points) and David Ferrer in Vienna.

“There were no downs in the match. In some of the matches that I have played against the top players, I had some periods where my level had dropped off a little bit and the best players capitalized on those moments. The first months of the year were very difficult, and I had to dig deep at the end to salvage this year”, said Murray

Murray will renew his rivalry against Djokovic who has won 14 of their head-to-head matches and all three matches they have played so far this year.

“Novak has played some great tennis over the last few months winning Wimbledon and is World Number 1 for a reason. He is going to be very motivated to finish the season as the Number 1. It’s going to be a tough match”, said Murray

Roger Federer beat 20-year-old Lucas Pouille 6-4 6-4 to extend his winning streak to 14 matches Pouille advanced to the third round of a Master 1000 Tournament for the first time in his career after beating Ivo Karlovic and Fabio Fognini. The young Frenchman played against his idol Federer for the first time in his career.

Pouille kept pace with Federer until 3-3 in the first set when Federer got his first break for 4-3. The Swiss 17-time Grand Slam champion and 2011 Paris Bercy winner held serve backing up the break in the next game. Pouille won the next game for 4-5 but Federer held serve to love to clinch the first set with 6-4.

Pouille saved two break points at 2-2 with an ace to take the edge in the fifth game of the second set. Pouille delighted the French crowd with a series of backhand winners. The young Frenchman committed some unforced errors allowing Federer to take the break for 4-3 in the nine-minute seventh game of the second set.

In the quarter finals Federer will take on Milos Raonic. Federer has won all their six head-to-head matches and the last 10 sets they have played.

Raonic has kept his hopes alive to qualify for London after his 7-5 7-6(7) win over Roberto Bautista Agut in one hour and 44 minutes. Raonic and Ferrer will fight for the the final berth for the ATP Finals in London.

“It’s good that I didn’t spend too much energy. Milos has a lot in the racquet. It’s a good match and I am looking forward to it. There is a possible semifinal for both of us and also the London issue, so it’s more fun”, said Federer

Bautista Agut dropped serve at the end of the first set but he took two break leads in the second set. Raonic managed to recover both breaks. Bautista Agut went up 5-2 but Raonic saved a set point in the tie-break before the Spanish player made a forehand error at 7-7. Raonic, who is currently ranked 10th in the ATP Race, can secure his spot for London by winning the Paris Bercy title.

Tomas Berdych beat Feliciano Lopez 7-5 6-3 for his 53rd seasonal match win to get through to his 13th quarter final this season and to his fifth quarter final in this tournament. The World Number 8 player will secure his fifth consecutive ATP Finals if he reaches at least the semifinal in Paris Bercy, a tournament he won in 2005.

In the first set Berdych took a break lead but he had to face a tough challenge as many games were decided at deuce. He was broken when he was serving for the set at 5-4. Berdych broke serve at 6-5 to secure the win with 7-5 in the first set. Lopez converted only one of his seven break point chances in the first set. Berdych reeled off four consecutive games in the second set for 4-0 with two breaks before Lopez managed to recover one of the two breaks. Berdych hit an ace and a forehand before serving out for the match to win the second set wit 6-3.

“My coaches and friends know that I am not the kind of guy who plays well in the morning. After I won I turned to my camp and said: Okay. I made it. It was tough against Lopez because he slices and comes to the net”, said Berdych.

Kevin Anderson battled past Stan Wawrinka in a marathon match with 7-6(2) 5-7 7-6(3) after 2 hours and 50 minutes.

The opening set came down to the tie-break where Wawrinka cruised to a 3-0 lead before clinching the win with 7-2 after 53 minutes. In the second set Wawrinka wasted a break point chance in the first game. Anderson earned two break points in the 12th game. Stan saved the first but Anderson converted the second break point chance. In the third set Wawrinka broke serve at 4-4. The match was decided after a long and tight battle in the third set when Wawrinka was two points from winning the match when he was leading 5-4 30-0 on his serve but he was broken back for 5-5. The match was decided by the tie-break where Anderson prevailed 7-3.

Anderson won 75 percent of first serve points and hit 18 aces. Anderson and Wawrinka are now tied 3-3 in their head-to-head matches. Anderson has qualified to the quarter finals for the first time in Paris Bercy after reaching the third round three times. Wawrinka has won just two matches after the US Open and suffered three first-round defeats in three consecutive tournaments in Tokyo, Shanghai and Basel

“I should have won. In the end I made some stupid mistakes but I am not panicking. I am still Top 4 in the world and I have the ATP Finals to play and the Davis Cup Final on clay, which will totally different from usual tournaments”, said Wawrinka.

Berdych and Anderson will meet tomorrow in the quarter finals. The Czech player boasts a 11-0 winning record in their head-to-head matches.

Kei Nishikori defeated twice Paris Bercy finalist Jo Wilfred Tsonga 6-1 4-6 6-4 in two hours and nine minutes to set up a very interesting quarter final match against David Ferrer. If Nishikori beats Ferrer, he secures his berth for the ATP Finals. Nishikori leads 4-3 in their head-to-head matches.

The Japanese player dominated the match until 6-1 3-2. In a one-sided first set Tsonga won just 36 percent of his first serve points and Nishikori cruised to 6-1 in 30 minutes. In the second set Tsonga turned around the match.

The Frenchman saved four break points before breaking serve at 4-4. He confirmed the break in the next game and sealed the win in the second set to force the match to the third set.

At 1-1 in the third set Tsonga had the chance to take the lead for the first time in the match when he earned two break points but Nishikori saved them with two goo serves. At 4-3 for Nishikori in the decider Tsonga saved three break points. The Frenchman dropped serve when Nishikori was leading 5-4.

It was the last match this year on the ATP Tour for Tsonga who will now prepare for the eagerly-awaited Davis Cup between France and Switzerland in Lille.

David Ferrer, Paris Bercy champion in 2012 and runner-up last year when he lost the final against Novak Djokovic, cruised past his compatriot Fernando Verdasco with 6-1 6-2. Ferrer now leads 11-7 in the head-to-head matches against his fellow Spaniard in this battle between 30-year-old veterans. Ferrer, who played at the ATP Finals five times, will secure his spot for London if he reaches the final in Paris Bercy.

The winner of the match between Nishikori and Ferrer will face either Djokovic or Murray in the semifinal. On the other side of the draw the winner of the quarter final match between Berdych and Anderson will play against either Federer or Raonic.

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Canada Daily Preview: The Williams Sisters Return to Action, Plus Andy Murray Faces Taylor Fritz

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Serena Williams this past week in Toronto (twitter.com/NBOtoronto)

The Canadian Open is a unique ATP Masters/WTA 1000 combined event on the tennis calendar, as the men and women alternate between two different cities each year.  In 2022, the WTA tournament is in Toronto, while the ATP tournament is in Montreal.

 

The WTA singles draw is loaded, featuring 26 of the top 27 players in the world.  It includes world No.1 Iga Swiatek, Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina, defending champion Camila Giorgi, Naomi Osaka, Venus and Serena Williams, and Canada’s own Leylah Fernandez and Bianca Andreescu

“The Big Three” are absent in Montreal, but plenty of top names are present.  They include world No.1 and defending champion Daniil Medvedev, Carlos Alcaraz, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Andy Murray, Stan Wawrinka, and Canadians Felix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov

Monday’s WTA schedule in Toronto is tremendous, boasting 39 Major singles titles (Serena, Venus, Halep, Kvitova, Ostapenko, Stephens, Kenin, Krejcikova, Rybakina), plus Leylah Fernandez.  Montreal’s Order of Play includes Stan Wawrinka and Denis Shapovalov, plus a blockbuster first round encounter between Andy Murray and Taylor Fritz.

Each day, this preview will analyze the two most intriguing matchups, while highlighting other notable matches on the schedule.  Monday’s play gets underway at 11:00am local time in Toronto, and 12:00pm in Montreal.  But with thunderstorms forecast throughout the day in both cities, it could be a challenging day for fans and players alike.


Nuria Parrizas Diaz (Q) vs. Serena Williams (SR) – Second on Centre Court

It is quite odd to see both Venus and Serena Williams unranked, yet neither currently possesses a ranking over a year since their last singles victories.  Serena’s three-set, over three-hour loss in the first round of Wimbledon was her first match in a full year.  Obviously eager for match play three weeks ahead of the US Open, she’s looking for her first win since last year’s Roland Garros.  Her opponent is a 31-year-old from Spain who reached a career-high ranking of No.45 this season.  Diaz won 51 matches at all levels in 2021, and reached the third round of this year’s Australian Open.  While she’s certainly not a pushover, this a rather kind first round draw for Serena in a WTA 1000 tournament.  It should serve as a good indication of Serena’s current level a month after her Wimbledon loss to Harmony Tan.


Andy Murray (WC) vs. Taylor Fritz (10) – Not Before 2:00pm on Court Central

This is a first-time meeting between the three-time Slam champion and this year’s victor in Indian Wells.  It’s been a dramatic year for Fritz, as that Masters 1000 title was the biggest of his career.  But after defeating an injured Rafael Nadal in that final, Nadal would avenge that loss in the quarterfinals of Wimbledon, where Taylor lost a heartbreaker in a fifth-set tiebreak.  And this past week in Washington, Fritz retired down 4-1 in the third set to Dan Evans, as he was suffering in the extreme heat.  Murray also experienced disappointing losses at those same two events.  At Wimbledon, he was defeated in four sets by John Isner, a player he was previously 8-0 against.  And in Washington, Andy lost a three-hour battle to Mikael Ymer.  Currently ranked 50th in the world, Murray would love to improve his ranking and earn a victory over a top 15 player.  But Fritz is the much more in-form player, with 31 wins in 2022, and is the favorite to prevail.


Other Notable Matches on Monday:

Elena Rybakina vs. Marie Bouzkova (Q) – The freshly-crowned Wimbledon champion is 0-1 since that life-changing feat, losing to Daria Kasatkina last week in San Jose.  Bouzkova also had her best Slam run at last month’s Wimbledon, when she reached the quarterfinals.  Rybakina leads their head-to-head 2-0.

Stan Wawrinka (PR) vs. Emil Ruusuvuori – Wawrinka is just 3-6 since returning from two left foot surgeries.  Ruusuvuori earned impressive victories this past week in Washington over Mackie McDonald and Hubi Hurkacz.

Barbora Krejcikova vs. Karolina Pliskova (14) – Krejcikova has been struggling in singles since returning from an arm injury at Roland Garros, but earned her fifth Major title in doubles at Wimbledon.  Similarly, Pliskova is only 10-12 this season after suffering a hand injury in December.  Yet Pliskova is 3-0 against Krejcikova.

Sloane Stephens vs. Sofia Kenin – This is a battle of Major champions, though neither of them arrive in strong form.  Despite a quarterfinal run in Paris, Stephens has a losing record on the year.  And Kenin is on a seven-match losing streak, as an injury forced her to miss much of this season. 

Denis Shapovalov vs. Alex de Minaur – Shapovalov is on a terrible streak of his own, having lost eight of his last nine matches.  De Minaur is coming off a title run in Atlanta last month.  And the Australian has claimed both of their previous meetings at tour level.

Storm Sanders (Q) vs. Leylah Fernandez (13) – This will be Leylah’s first match since a stress fracture left her foot immobilized in a boot for weeks following the French Open.  Sanders is an accomplished doubles player who is ranked 279th in the world in singles. 

Jil Teichmann vs. Venus Williams (WC) – After returning to competition in mixed doubles at Wimbledon, this is Venus’ first time playing singles since last August.  That’s the same month Teichmann was a surprise finalist in Cincinnati.


Monday’s full Order of Play is here.

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Cameron Norrie to face world number one Danil Medvedev in Los Cabos final

Daniil Medvedev will face defending champion Cameron Norrie in the final of Los Cabos.

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Daniil Medvedev (@AbiertoLosCabos - Twitter)

The Brit will look to defend his title against the world number and Russian who also won his semi-final match.

 

This is Elias Laradi reporting live from the Abierto de Tenis Mifel in Los Cabos, Mexico.

It was semifinals day with the world number one facing the number four seed and Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic.

A slow but great recovery from the Russian

Danil Medvedev found himself down an early break in the first set against the Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic but managed to get the break back and force a first-set tiebreaker.

He ended up winning seven points right off the trot, took the first set, and cruised for a 7-6, 6-1 win in one hour and 26 minutes, serving 12 aces and winning 83% of his points off his first serve.

After his match, he spoke about why he felt comfortable in his first time to Los Cabos.

“I like to play on hard court but I honestly think the court is a bit too slow for my liking but it can’t be perfect conditions every week and the match was a very high level and I served better in the first set and tomorrow the key will be to keep this high level”.

Norrie reaches another final in Los Cabos

It took Cameron Norrie five attempts against the Canadian Felix Auger Aliassime before he could get his first win against the world number nine.

It took three sets and two hours and 19 minutes for the number three seed to post a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 win. The first set stayed on serve until the Brit got the early break at 4-2 and from there served out the first set.

The second set is where the Montreal native started to fight back getting an early break this time to take a 2-0 lead but the number three seed broke right back and leveled the set at 2-2.

At 4-3, the Canadian had another opportunity to get the crucial break and serve out the second set to force a third and he did just that. With the Mexican crowd backing the defending champion he got the crucial break in the third set.

He went on to serve out the match and send the Canadian packing and in his post-match press conference gave credit to his opponent.

“Felix got the better of me the last four meetings so today I wanted the win more than usual and I started great and I was able to finish well and got to sneak in a break early in the third and It felt really good to get through that one.”

Medvedev currently leads their head-to-head 1-0 with their only meeting being played back in 2019 in Shanghai with the current world number one winning easily 6-3, 6-1.

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Auger Aliassime gets by Johnson to reach semis in Los Cabos

The Canadian is through to the final four of the tournament after beating the American in straight sets.

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Felix Auger Aliassime is into the semifinals of the 2022 Abierto De Tenis Mifel after beating the California native Steve Johnson in straight sets 6-4, 7-6 in one hour and 49 minutes.

 

The Canadian serve was on full display as he served 17 aces and only lost one point on his first serve.

“It’s a pretty good stat,” he said when asked about it in his post-match on-court interview. “ I didn’t realize it was that good but I knew it was good and way better than yesterday and I know my serve is a good weapon for me”.

The Montreal native was on the hunt early for the first break of serve in the match and it came in the opening game set up by a mouthwatering passing shot winner.

That one break of serve was enough for the number two seed to take the opening set and is likely on a collision course to face the world number one, Danil Medvedev, in the final on Saturday night.

In the second set once again in back-to-back matches for the world number nine where things got tough and with chances galore for both players who didn’t flinch and the set was decided by a tiebreaker.

Johnson who is an alma mater from USC and played NCAA tennis before turning pro seemed frustrated and out of sorts and the Canadian capitalized on it jumping out to a 6-3 lead and finishing the match in style.

After the match, he was asked about the conditions since his match started a bit later than he did on Wednesday.

It’s nice last night there was a bit of shade to start the match which is never easy but I guess it’s the same for both but it’s still quite humid so I’ll have to recover.”

Auger Aliassime will now face the Brit Cameron Norrie in the semi-finals after he was able to beat the Moldovan Radu Albot in straight sets 6-3, 7-6 in one hour and 52 minutes.

The Canadian will go into that match with a perfect 4-0 record with their most recent meeting earlier in the year in Rotterdam, a tournament the Montreal native won for his first ever ATP title.

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