Murray and Ferrer boost their chances of qualifying for the ATP Finals - UBITENNIS
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Murray and Ferrer boost their chances of qualifying for the ATP Finals

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TENNIS – Andy Murray and David Ferrer have advanced to the semifinals of the ERSTE Bank ATP Tournament i Vienna boosting their chances to qualify for the ATP Finals in London. Diego Sampaolo

 

Murray broke serve twice en route to clinching the opening set against German Lennard Struff with 6-2. In the second set the Scotsman faced a tougher challenge when he rallied from a 1-3 deficit by breaking back. He got another break to take a 6-5 lead before clinching the second set with 7-5 with an ace on his second serve. Murray set up a semifinal clash against Viktor Troicki who battled past Brazilian Thomas Bellucci in three sets with 7-6(4) 6-7(2) 6-2. Troicki fended off two set points at 6-5 in the first set. Troicki lost the second set after leading by a break but he dropped just three points on serve to clinch the third set.

“I had to play well and fight to get through. My game was more consistent than in the previous round against Vasek Pospisil. I had not so many mistakes from the back of the court”, said Murray.

David Ferrer, who is currently ranked ninth ahead of Murray in the ATP Race to London, beat World Number 29 Ivo Karlovic 7-6(5) 6-4. Ferrer converted his first break point to take a 3-1 lead in the second set before serving out with his fifth ace. The Spaniard will face German Phillip Kohlschreiber who won the all-German Benjamin Becker 6-4 7-6(4). Kohlschreiber led 5-1 in the first set but Becker reeled off three consecutive games to claw his way back. Kohlschreiber converted his first point to take the first set. In the second set Becker rallied from 2-4 but Kohlschreiber clinched the win at the tie-break.

IF Stockholm Open ATP 250

The two other players in contention for a spot in the ATP Finals Grigor Dimitrov and Tomas Berdych advanced to semifinals of the IF Stockholm Open. Stockholm defending champion Dimitrov fought back from a set down to battle past US Jack Sock with 5-7 6-4 6-3 to set up a semifinal against Bernard Tomic. Dimitrov was broken in the eleventh game of the first set but he got one break in both the second and the third set to take a hard-fought win. After two long games in the second set (11 points in the first game and 12 points in the second game) Dimitrov got the decisive break to draw level on sets forcing the match to the third set. Dimitrov highlighted the second set with two consecutive spectacular hot shots between his legs. (watch the video here)

Tomic, who won just two matches in his previous tournaments since his title in Bogotá, rallied from losing the first set with a bagel to battle past Fernando Verdasco 0-6 6-4 7-6(6)

Berdych converted four of his nine break points to cruise past Marius Copil with a double 6-2 and will face Mathias Bachinger from Germany in the seminal. Bachinger recovered from a set down to edge Adrian Mannarino 4-6 6-1 6-4.

Kremlin Cup ATP 250 Moscow

In the Kremlin Cup in Moscow US Open champion Marin Cilic beat Tommy Robredo 6-3 6-3 to advance to the semifinals where he will face Michail Kukushkin who recovered from a set down to edge Michail Kukushkin 1-6 7-6(5) 6-0.

This year’s Roland Garros semifinalist Ernests Gulbis battled past 2012 Kremlin Cup winner Andreas Seppi 7-6 4-6 7-6. In the semifinal he will face Roberto Bautista Agut who who defeated Ricardas Berankis from Lithuania with 7-5 6-3.

ATP

Nicolas Mahut and Pierre Hugues Herbert seal a hard-fought win in decisive doubles match

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Ten-time Davis Cup champions France beat Japan 2-1 scoring the fifth win in as many Davis Cup matches against the Asian team.

 

French star Jo Wilfried Tsonga reeled off seven games from 4-2 in the first set to beat Japan’s Yasutaka Uchiyama 6-2 6-1 in 58 minutes in his 12th Davis Cup season.

Tsonga saved two break points and converted four of the five break points. The Frenchman held four service games and broke twice in the fourth and eighth games to take a 6-2 lead.

Tsonga broke twice in the second and fourth games and closed out the match in the seventh game after saving two break points.

“It was very important for our team to start well. I am also happy about my game, what I did today, so I hope it continues like this”, said Tsonga.

 Yoshihito Nishioka claimed 9 of the last 11 games in his 7-5 6-2 win over Gael Monfils in 66 minutes to level the score at 1-1 sending the tie into a decisive doubles match. The Japanese player saved one break point and earned two breaks to seal the win in straight sets.

“I wanted to show to the whole world Japan are still strong. Of course, if Key was here we would be strong, but even when he is not here, we can play. Hopefully next time Kei is here and we can play better”, said Nishioka.

Both players traded breaks at the start of the first set and stayed neck and neck until the 11th game of the first set when Nishioka got the break at 5-5 to seal the first set. Nishioka broke twice to seal the second set 6-2.

Last week’s ATP Finals doubles champions Nicolas Mahut and Pierre Hugues Herbert fought back from losing the first set to beat Ben McLachlan and Yasutaka Uchyama 6-7 6-4 7-5 after 2 hours and 40 minutes.

After losing the first set at the tie-break, Herbert and Mahut broke serve in the fifth game to win the second set 6-4. Herbert and Mahut went up a break in the third set. Uchiyama and Nishioka got the break back in the 10th game, when Herbert and Mahut were serving for the match. Mahut and Herbert got another break at 5-5 and held at 15 to seal the decisive win for France.

“They played at a very high level. We know we have arrived late from London, but the captain had a lot of confidence in our team. We were 1-1, we really had to win to give France the win. There was a lot of intensity in the win but we are really happy today, this was a really difficult tie”, said Mahut.  

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Russia opens the Davis Cup campaign with a 3-0 win over Croazia

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Russia beat defending champions from Croatia 3-0 thanks to the two singles wins of Andrey Rublev and Karen Khachanov on Centre Court of the Caja Magica in Madrid.

 

Rublev cruised past Borna Gojo 6-3 6-3 in the opening match before Karen Khachanov came back from one set down to beat Borna Coric 6-7 (4-7) 6-4 6-4.

Khachanov and Rublev returned to the court to beat specialists Ivan Dodig and Nikola Mektic 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 to give Russia a 3-0 win.

“It was important to start well. I had some opportunities and took them. I am really happy we won this tie”, said Khachanov.

Belgium (two-time finalists) beat Colombia 2-1 on Court 3. In the opening match Davis Cup specialist Steve Darcis cruised past Santiago Giraldo 6-3 6-2. David Goffin came back from one set down to beat Daniel Elahi Galan 3-6 6-3 6-3. Last week’s ATP Finals semifinalists Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah won the doubles match for the Colombian team beating Sander Gillie and Joran Vliegen 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 7-6 (7-3).

“The challenge was to fight against myself. It was not easy. Sometimes you have to fight. I am happy the way I fought. I did not give up. That’s the most important thing because I am playing for my country”,said Goffin.

 

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Canada beats Italy 2-1 in the opening day of the Davis Cup in Madrid

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Denis Shapovalov battled past Matteo Berrettini 7-6 (7-5) 6-7 (3-7) 7-6 (7-5) in a hard-fought second match of the round-robin Group F at the Davis Cup in Madrid to give Canada a 2-0 lead over Italy

 

Berrettini faced three break points in the third game of the opening set. Shapovalov earned two break points in the ninth game, but Berrettini held on his serve at deuce. Both players held on their service games. In the 10th game Berrettini earned three set points on return, but Shapovalov fended them off. Barrettini saved another break point to set up a tie-break. Shapovalov took a 6-3 lead earning three set points. Berrettini won two consecutive points to claw his way back to 5-6, but Shapovalov sealed the tie-break with a backhand passing shot.

Both players went on seve setting up a second tie-break. Berrettini got an early mini-break, but Shapovalov broke straight back. Berrettini took another mini-break to take a 3-2 when Shapovalov hit a volley into the net and sealed the second set 7-3 on his first set point.

Shapovalov earned a break point in the fifth game of the third set with a forehand winner. Berrettini held on his serve with his 11th ace. Both players went on serve in the next games setting up a third tie-break. Berrettini got the first mini-break to take a 4-3 lead after a double fault from Shapovalov. The young Canadian player broke straight back, when Berrettini made a forehand volley error. Shapovalov sealed the tie-break 7-5, when Berrettini fired his forehand long on his first match point after 2 hours.

“After making semifinals in the Madrid Mutua Open here, and winning the Junior Davis Cup in 2015, I feel like Madrid is a really good city for me. We will see how this week goes, but it’s a good step today”, said Shapovalov.

Fognini and Berrettini won the doubles match over beating Shapovalov and Pospisil 6-2 3-6 6-3. The Italian team got a double break to win the first set 6-2. Shapovalov and Pospisil drew level by winning the second set with a break in the eighth game. Italy saved two break points in the seventh game of the decisive set before breaking serve in the eighth game. Berrettini sealed the win for Italy with an ace.

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