AO2015: Kyrgios comes back from two sets behind to beat Seppi - UBITENNIS
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AO2015: Kyrgios comes back from two sets behind to beat Seppi

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TENNIS AO2015 – Australian teenager Nick Kyrgios came back from two sets down before saving a match point to push a thrilling match to the fifth set against Italian Andreas Seppi to claim a dramatic 5-7 4-6 6-3 7-6 (7-5) 8-6 win in the decider to the delight of the Aussie fanatics who supported the home player in the Hisense Arena in Melbourne. Kyrgios set up an exciting quarter final match against Andy Murray who beat Grigor Dimitrov 6-4 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 7-5 in a epic fourth-round match. Diego Sampaolo

AO2015: Interviews, Results, Order of Play, Draws

The young Aussie star fought back from 0-2 down to become the first home player to reach the quarter finals since 2005 when Lleyton Hewitt lost the final against Marat Safin in the final. Australia could celebrate his new national hero one day before the Australia Day on Monday.

Kyrgios saved two break point chances at 4-3 in the first set. Seppi, who beat Roger Federer in four sets in the third round, did not face any break point chances in the first set and converted on his break point in the 11th game to take the 6-5 lead before holding his serve in the next game to wrap up the first set with 7-5. Kyrgios expressed his frustration by breaking his racquet earning a warning from the umpire.

Seppi fended off three break point chances in the second set as Kyrgios was leading 2-1. Seppi earned a break point in the fourth game but Kyrgios saved it with his serve. Seppi went up 40-0 on Kyrgios’ serve and got the break for 5-4 before converting on his set point.

Seppi saved all the six break point opportunities to pull away to a two-set lead with 7-5 6-4 but Kyrgios bounced back converting his seventh break point chance to claw his way back into the match.

There were no break points in the fourth set until 6-5 for Seppi when the Italian drew level from 15-40 to 40-all. Kyrgios fended off a match point when he was 5-6 down on his serve before taking the win in the fourth-set tie-break to push the match to the fifth set.

The home star pulled away to 4-1 in the fifth set but he squandered this lead when Seppi reeled off three consecutive games to draw level to 4-4. Kyrgios fended off a crucial break point in the ninth game to take the 5-4 lead. Kyrgios got the decisive break in the 14th game to close out the match with 8-6 as Seppi sent his backhand wide. Kyrgios beat Seppi for the second time in his career after claiming a three-set win at the US Open last year.

Kyrgios fought back from two sets down for the second time in his young career six months after recovering from two sets down in the Wimbledon second round against Richard Gasquet in a match where he saved nine match points. At the All-England Club the player of Greek and Malesian origin famously beat Rafa Nadal in the fourth round.

I was not disappointed at all to be two sets to love down. I knew that it was going to be a tough battle. He is playing some of the best tennis he has played ever since coming off that win against Roger. I knew it was going to be tough from the get-go. I just had to draw on my experience of coming back from two sets to love. It paid off in the end”.

It’s crazy. I don’t think it’s sunk in yet. When I saw I had finally won the match it was incredible. It was the best feeling I ever had. To know the body could come back from two sets to love, knowing I haven’t had matches, it’s just massive confidence”

Kyrgios said that he learned from losing a five-set match after being two sets up. “I am just managing my emotions a bit better out there. I thought I was pretty composed for the whole match. When I needed to get into the crowd, I did that. They were unbelievable tonight. I think they were a massive part of that win. I am just learning every time I step out on the court when to show emotion and when not to”

The back is a bit sore. Physically I thought my legs pulled up well throughout the whole match. I got a bit tired halfway through the fifth set. Being in that atmosphere is pretty thing, but I knew he would be feeling the same way. He has never reached a quarter final before. All those thoughts going through his head. I think I had to draw on that. I just stuck in there. I think the turning point was definitely the break in the third set. That just established that I wasn’t going to go away. I was just going to compete till the very end. When I got to the third set, I started playing really well in the third set. I knew if I could just hang on some way and take it to a fifth set, it’s anyone’s match. I think that was the turning point then. I could not imagine that I would be in the quarter finals. It feels a bit better compared to Wimbledon. There was a lot of expectation coming into this tournament. I was obviously out for a couple of weeks before Sydney. I wasn’t expecting anything, especially the quarter finals. It’s just massive to do it in front of your home crowd. Hisense is an unbelievable crowd. I had never played on it before.It’s my favourite court now. The court is actually quite small. I really enjoyed that. It’s actually a small court, and then it just extends wide with the crowd. It was really cool. Even when I got out there with the warm-up, I thought it was a really good court. In the fifth set the loud was getting unbelievably loud.. It was like Margaret Court Arena last year. It was an unbelievable atmosphere in there”.

With this win Kyrgios has become the 14th male teenager to advance to the quarter finals in a Grand Slam and the first male teenager since Roger Federer to reach two Grand Slam quarter finals.

I knew that Seppi had a lot of confidence after beating Roger. Drawing all my experience from Wimbledon, coming back from two sets down, I knew that I had the legs to do that”, said Kyrgios

Missing the match point after the fourth set affected the beginning of the fifth set. “I was little bit down. The energy after the fourth set was a little bit down. I think in the middle of the fifth we played again some good tennis. He served well in important moments. That was the key. That’s why he won, I think. I think I just played a couple of bad games at the beginning of the third set. I missed three easy forehands for the break for him. Maybe he played a little bit more relaxed after that. Maybe I could have stayed even in the third set, it would have changed a little bit.”

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Carlos Alcaraz In Doubt For Madrid Open Title Defence

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Carlos Alcaraz admits that he is not certain if he will be ready in time to play at next week’s Madrid Masters.

The 20-year-old is yet to play a clay tournament in Europe due to a forearm injury which ruled him out of both Monte Carlo and Barcelona. He hurt his right arm whilst training shortly before the Monte Carlo event began. 

It is the latest in a series of injury issues that has affected Alcaraz throughout his young career. Since the start of 2023, he has also been derailed by issues with his abdominal, hamstring, post-traumatic arthritis in his left hand and muscular discomfort in his spine. 

“My feeling isn’t right, but it is what it is. Now I’m fully focused on recovery and I have a little more time,” Alcaraz told reporters in Barcelona on Monday.
“My goal is to try and go to the Madrid Open, but at the moment nothing is certain. I was given specific recovery times and I’ve respected them, but I haven’t felt good. I don’t want to get ahead of myself.
“I can’t say I’ll be 100% in Madrid, but that’s my intention. We’ll train and do everything we can so that the feelings improve so I can play a match … It’s also a very special tournament for me.”

Alcaraz has won the past two editions of the Madrid Open, which is classed as a Masters 1000 event. In 2022 he defeated Alexander Zverev in the final and then 12 months later he beat Jan-Lennard Struff in the title match.

The setback comes after what has been a steady start to the year for Alcaraz who has reached the quarter-finals or better in four out of five tournaments played. He successfully defended his title in Indian Wells and then reached the semi-finals in Miami. 

Should he not play in Madrid, it is likely that the Spaniard will lose his No.2 spot to Jannik Sinner who is just over 100 points behind him in the standings. He will still have the chance to play a clay-court event before the French Open with Rome taking place early next month. 

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Olympic Qualification Is Not the Only Goal For French Veteran Gael Monfils

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Gael Monfils (image via https://twitter.com/atptour)

Gael Monfils admits he doesn’t have too many years left on the Tour but this doesn’t mean his targets are any less ambitious. 

The 37-year-old has enjoyed a rapid rise up the rankings over the past 12 months following battles with injury. At his lowest, he was ranked 394th last May but is now in 40th position. As a result, he is closing on securing a place in the Olympic Games which is being held in his home country of France for the first time since 1924. The tennis event will be staged at Roland Garros. 

“When I was 400, I was thinking the Olympics would be great, but it’s going to be tough,” Monfils told reporters on Tuesday. 
“There are younger players playing well. If I don’t qualify, I don’t mind. It will just mean I’m very close to the ranking I want to be. That ranking will allow me to find another goal.”

Monfils is already a three-time Olympian but has never won a medal at the event. He reached the quarter-finals of the singles tournament twice in 2008 and 2016. 

Another goal of Frenchmen is the Wimbledon championships which concludes just three weeks before the Olympics begin. The proximity of these tournaments will be a challenge to all players who will be going from playing on clay to grass and then back to clay again. 

“I really want to go and play Wimbledon. I don’t have so many Wimbledons to play in the future. The Olympics is one goal, not the only goal.” Monfils states.
“My dream is of course to be part of the Olympics. I played three times at the Olympics. I’d like to be there again. But I also really want to do well in Wimbledon this year. To reach my goal, it has to be including Wimbledon.” He added. 

Monfils is currently playing at the Monte Carlo Masters where he beat Aleksandar Vukic in his opening match. In the next round, he will take on Daniil Medvedev in what will be their first meeting since 2022. He leads their head-to-head 2-1. 

Medvedev has openly spoken about his roller-coaster relationship with playing on the clay. He admits it is not his favourite surface but how much of a factor could this be in his upcoming clash with Monfils?

“Of course, it’s not his favourite one, but he’s still Daniil Medvedev, and whatever the surface, it’s always very complicated to play him,” Monfils concludes. 

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Matteo Berrettini wins in Marrakech displaying quality tennis

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Matteo Berrettini - Marrakech 2024 (photo X @ATPTour_ES)

Matteo Berrettini defeats Roberto Carballes Baena in straight sets, 75 62, and proves that his comeback is well grounded  

If life is often considered a continuous narrative, it may be no coincidence that today Matteo Berrettini’s comeback journey intersescted Carballes Baena, a player he had faced twice in straight tournaments, Florence and Naples in October 2022, shortly before plunging into his annus horribilis, an injury-plagued 2023.

Just like resuming the story from where it was left.

Carballes Baena, the defending champion, got off to a sharper start, holding serve with ease and earning a first break point in the second game. Berrettini averted the threat by hammering down three serves but lost his service two games later.

Doubts on the Italian’s recovery from his energy-draining semifinal may have been starting to come afloat. However Berrettini broke back immediately, unsettling the Spaniard’s consistency with changes of pace and alternating lifted and sliced backhands.

The next six games neatly followed serve. Figures witness how close the match was. After 45 minutes the scoreboard read 5 games all, and stats reported 27 points apiece.

The eleventh game was to be crucial. Carballes Baena netted two forehands, while trying to hit through the Italian’s skidding spins and conceded a break point. Berrettini followed up two massive forehands with a delicate, unreachable drop shot and secured the break.

Carballes Baena was far from discouraged, and fired two forehand winners dashing to 0 40  with the Italian serving for the set.

Berrettini was lucky to save the first break point with a forehand that pinched the top of the net, and trickled over. Then he hit two winning first serves to draw even. Then again two first serves paired with their loyal forehand winner: Berrettini’s copyright gamepattern sealed a 59 minute first set.

The match seemed about to swing round at the very start of the second set when Carballes Baena had three break points and was winning all the longer rallies. Once more Berrettini got out of trouble thanks to his serve. Carballes Baena’s disappointment turned into frustration after he failed to put away two quite comfortable smashes and lost his service immediately after.  

Unforced errors were seeping into the Spaniard’s game and when Berrettini won a 16-shot rally with a stunning crosscourt forehand on the stretch and went on to grab a two-break lead, the match appeared to have taken its final twist.

Berrettini did not falter when serving for the match at 5 2, despite an unforced error on the first point. Three first serves chauffeured him to two match points.

Carballes Baena only succeeded in bravely saving the first, well steering the rally. But the 2021 Wimbledon finalist produced a massive serve out wide and joyfully lifted his arms to the sky, for a most emotional victory. It means so much to a player whose talent and career have been incessantly diminished by injuries.

It’s been a tough last couple of years” Matteo Berrettini said, holding the trophy. “Thanks to my team I was able to overcome all the tough moments my body didn’t allow me to play. I thank you and all the people that made my comeback possible: all my friends and my family, the people that were with me all the time when I was sad, injured and I didn’t think I could make it.”

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