Bits and bobs from day 6 at the Australian Open - UBITENNIS
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Bits and bobs from day 6 at the Australian Open

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TENNIS AUSTRALIAN OPEN – Selfie mania at the Australian Open, where Radwanska is on a bagel diet, Vika is still dancing on court, and both Williams reach R4. In the mens’ singles all big names advance to Round four  From Melbourne Robbie Cappuccio

 

AO2015: Interviews, Results, Order of Play, Draws

The perfect Aussie Summer day, as you find it in the postcards: blue sky, 30ºC to and the usual happy crowd around Melbourne Park: the fact that there are around 300 different ancestries in Australia, added to the tennis fans coming from overseas, raise the chances that players, regardless of their nationalities, find a group of vocal supporters cheering and chanting for them.

spanish supporters

A lot is happening at Tennis Australia. After Rafter becoming director of performance, Lleyton Hewitt is going to be Australia’s Davis Cup Captain.

Twenty-four hours after Roger exits the tournament everybody still talks about it. It’s Federer’s loss according to the Aussie press, which does not even mention Seppi calling him “an unseeded Italian” (Herald Sun) and forecasting a place in the quarter for Nick Kyrgios, next opponent of Seppi. The Age does a little bit better with a quarter page photo of Andreas, whose name though is barely mentioned in the article.

It’s Seppi’s win, though, according to Serena Williams, who, during her press conference after defeating Svitolina says “Seppi played incredible. He served well, he played well, he moved well. He did everything great. If you want to beat the top players, that’s what you’re going to have to do. I think he proved he could do that consistently for four sets. I don’t think Roger played bad. I think Seppi played really, really well.

It’s selfie-mania at the Australian Open: people are taking selfies in the main arenas and designated spots around Melbourne Park to get to be seen on the main screen.

selfie Australian Open

But what happened on court?

Serena took a nap during first set against Svitolina who’s got “this fire in her eyes, this desire” – as Serena said –  to then powered off and closed the third set with a bagel  4-6 6-2 6-0

Azarenka looked sharp on court defeating Zahlavova Strycova with a double 6-4, reaching the fourth round without dropping a set, and then addressing the crowd “My name is not Vicky”. The shot of the day was definitely the one taking Vika to the match point: drop shot by Zahlavova Strycova, Azarenka gets it with the backhand, lob by Zahlavova Strycova, Vika jumps and misses the overhead, runs back, hits, Zahlavova Strycova approaches the net and … manages to place the forehand volley out. Priceless. “When I missed the overhead, I really had some bad words in my head that I thought about. It was really passionate, with a lot of probably anger in it. I’m not going to say them because you’re going to have to bleep all of them out“. During the press conference then kept on entertaining the journos with her outfit: “How am I an original? Well, first of all, look at my leggings (a sort of tutti frutti icecream). There’s not many players who can pull that off (smiling). What do you think about them?”

Madison Brengle won the all-American match with Vandeweghe and now waits either Kvitova or Keys. In case the American wins, we will have two Madisons, both Americans, playing in round four of a Grand Slam: something you do not see every day. Brengle had a skin tumour cut out of her knee in late October. “It obviously was not a fun time hearing that, but you deal with it. A lot of people have to go through so much worse. They found it really, really early. We took care of it and I have a nice scar on my leg to show for it”. Yes please, use your sunscreen everybody, and especially here down under!

Also, it’s been four years since both Williams reached round four of a Grand Slam tournament. Venus was faster than Serena to reach round four: despite being down to Giorgi 2-6 2-4 0-40, got her mojo back and ended winning 6-1 in the third. Could we see an all-Williams quarterfinal? Well ask Aga Radwanska, who seems to be on a bagel diet: one bagel to each opponent so far in the tournament. Today 6-0 7-5 to Varvara Lepchenko.

Another American caused the upset of the day, Madison Keys ousted fourth seed Petra Kvitova 6-4, 7-5 in the last match of the day on the Rod Laver Arena

In the men’s tournament no big surprises, with Djoker in straight set over Verdasco 7-6 6-3 6-4. The highlight of the match was a marriage proposal of a spectator captured by camera during the match and underlined by a round of applause by the crowd, including Novak Djokovic.

Raonic demolished Becker with 22 aces and is now the only big server remaining, after John Isner (who served 30 aces today) was upset 6-7 6-7 4-6 by Gilles Muller. There you go, the Luxembourger is another big server, cruising at over 25 aces per match so far. Boom Boom next round.

Stan the Man shows how he loves Melbourne cruising in 3 sets with Nieminen 6-4 6-2 6-4. Stan the Man, Stanimal, Stantastic. But to earn names like that “you have to play good and I’m here to win matches. I’m focused on that, not on my surname“.

Nishikori, after an initial stumble, remembers that the opponent has also a forehand (I was hitting to only his backhand, especially first set. He was playing really solid actually) changes pace and continues his Australian campaign by defeating Steve Johnson 6-7 6-1 6-2 6-3.

David Ferrer was made to fight for his win against Gilles Simon in the last match of the day on the Margaret Court Arena. After winning the first two sets, the Spaniard lost the third. In the fourth Ferrer won the match at the tie-break 6-2, 7-5, 5-7, 7-6(4)

Today the Legends’ Doubles tournament kicked off with the new Fast4 tennis; that’s tennis with the following different rules:

  1. play lets. If the serve clips the tape and lands in the service box, there’s no let, it’s game on. What’s more, if you’re playing doubles either the receiver or their partner can take the return.
  2. No ad scoring. As soon as a game gets to deuce it’s a Power Point aka Sudden Death. The receiver chooses which side will take the serve. This applies to doubles too with the receiving pair deciding who returns the point.
  3. Tie break at 3 games all. At 3 games all a short tie-break is played, first to 5 points. A Power Point determines the winner at 4 points all.4) First to win 4 games wins. Hence the name FAST4. It doesn’t matter how you get there, just make sure you get to four before the competition does. No advantage games.

Henry Leconte performed also wearing a Ball Kid outfit, and ended up defeating the Woodies, in team with Philippoussis, whereas Croatian team Ivanisevic/ Ljubicic loses to M.Bahrami / F.Santoro.

ATP

Rudolf Molleker knocks out two-time champion Leonardo Mayer in Hamburg

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German 18-year-old Next Gen player Rudolf Molleker knocked out 2014 and 2017 Hamburg champion Leonardo Mayer 7-6 (8-6) 6-4 after 1 hour and 39 minutes at the Hamburg European Open.

 

Molleker beat Mayer in 2017 in the Hamburg qualifying round, but Mayer got a spot in the main draw as a lucky loser and went on to win the title.

Molleker fended off all three break points in two consecutive games of the first set, before saving two set points in the tie-break. He sealed the second set with a single break.

The German teenager saved two break points in the seventh game with two service games with two service winners and one more chance in the ninth game to set up a tie-break. Mayer took the lead twice at 6-5 and 8-7, but Molleker saved both chances with two winners and sealed the tie-break on the 18th point after a double fault from Mayer.

Molleker earned an early break at the start of the second set and held his service games in the next games before sealing the win with a service winner at 5-4 to secure his spot in the round of 16.

Marton Fucsovics cruised past Phillip Kohlschreiber 6-3 6-0 dropping just 16 points on serve. Fucsovics got an early break in the fourth game to clinch the opening set 6-3. The Hungarian player broke three times in a one-sided second set and sealed the win with a service winner.

Andrey Rublev, who lost in the second round at Wimbledon and Umag, edged this year’s Munich and Houston champion Christian Garin 6-4 7-6 (7-5) after 1 hour and 39 minutes to score his second win over the Chilean player this year. Rublev broke three times to seal the opening set 6-4. The Russian player got the break back at 4-5 in the second set to set up a tie-break, which he sealed 7-5.

Jeremy Chardy came back from losing the first set to beat Jeremy Chardy 6-7 (4-7) 7-5 6-3 after 2 hours and 34 minutes. Paire fended off a set point at 4-5 in the opening set to clinch the tie-break 7-4. Paire got a late break in the second set, but Chardy won two games at 5-5 to force the match to the third set. Chardy went up a double break to seal the third set 6-3.

Martin Klizan converted all five break points to cruise past Daniel Altmaier 6-2 6-2.

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Alex De Minaur Learning Patience After Two Month Injury Lay-Off

Alex De Minaur is ready to be patient as he looks to build some momentum in Atlanta this week.

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Alex De Minaur (@TennisAustralia - Twitter)

Alex De Minaur is learning the art of patience after missing less than two months of action earlier this year. 

 

The Australian had a rough start to the 2019 as he was forced to fight off a groin injury despite winning the Sydney title in January.

Then he had a couple of months off before once again struggling on his return at Indian Wells where he lost in his opening round.

But these setbacks haven’t stopped the 20 year-old from being patient as he looks to make his mark in the US hard court swing,“I feel like I’m doing all the right things, putting myself out there,” De Minaur told atptour.com.

“If it doesn’t happen this week, next week or the week after, I’m going to keep doing the same things. I’m going to do all the right things, be mentally strong, physically strong and I’m playing good tennis, so I think it’s just a matter of time.”

After Indian Wells, De Minaur spent a few weeks in his home in Alicante, Spain as he looked to regain match sharpness.

It was a period that proved challenging for the talented Aussie as he loves to compete, “I’m not used to being at home for that long and, I mean, us tennis players, we need to go out there and compete, at least me,” De Minaur explained.

I’m a very competitive person, and it was tough for me. I had my outlets. I was playing golf a lot. But still, I needed to get back on court. 

“Obviously seeing people go ahead of you and guys are playing these tournaments and seeing the results they were doing and me not being able to actually even be able to be out there and competing, that was very tough.”

Despite losing five of his seven ATP tour matches since returning properly in Estoril, De Minaur is determined to get back to the level that saw him rise to world number 24.

The Next Gen Star thinks it’s a confidence thing and is not easy to regain after an injury, “[It’s] just confidence. Playing matches, playing the big points right,” he explained.

“It’s something that you take for granted when things are going well. But when you have to stop and try to get back into it, it’s tough. Now I’m just keen to go out there and compete and play some good tennis.”

De Minaur continues his comeback surge this week when he competes in Atlanta, where he will face Bradley Klahn or Marius Copil in his first match.

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Nicolas Jarry Aims To Follow In Family Footsteps After Reaching Bastad Final

Nicolas Jarry looks to join his grandfather in winning an ATP title as he reaches the Bastad final.

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Nicolas Jarry (@FOXSport_Chile - Twitter)

Nicolas Jarry will look to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps tomorrow when he takes on Juan Ignacio Londero in the Bastad final. 

 

The Chilean was in fine form today as he beat another Chilean in Federico Delbonis in the semi-finals today, 6-3 6-2 in 64 minutes.

It is Jarry’s third ATP final and his second of the season following his final in Geneva, where he wasted two championship points to lose to Alexander Zverev.

Should the 23 year-old be triumphant on Sunday, he will join his grandfather as an ATP titlist after Jaime Fillol Sr. won six tour titles and finished a high of number 14 in the rankings in 1974.

Next up for Jarry is Cordoba champion Juan Ignacio Londero, who cruised past 2016 Swedish Open champion Albert Ramos-Vinolas in straight sets.

The 6-3 6-4 victory included the Argentinian winning 73% of his first service points as he dominated the Spaniard in the 1 hour and 21 minute win.

It will be the second final of the season for Londero, who has enjoyed thriving on the clay in 2019 which has helped him reach a career high ranking of 58 in the world in June.

A good sign for Londero, was that en route to winning his lone title in 2019 in Cordoba, he beat Jarry in their only previous ATP World Tour meeting.

Both men will look to cap off an excellent week tomorrow as the final is scheduled for 2pm local time.

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