Rotterdam: Murray fights past Pospisil to reach the quarter finals - UBITENNIS
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Rotterdam: Murray fights past Pospisil to reach the quarter finals

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TENNIS ROTTERDAM – Top-seed Andy Murray overcame Vasek Pospisil 6-3 7-5 after 1 hour and 43 minutes in the third round to reach the quarter final at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament. Diego Sampaolo

The first set went on serve until the eighth game when Murray got the break for 5-3 before holding serve to clinch the first set after 36 minutes.

Murray faced a stiff challenge from Pospisil in the second set when Pospisil created four break point chances to go up 2-0 but he failed to convert them. The second set went on serve until the fifth game when Murray fell on his ankle in the first game of the second set but he recovered breaking serve for 3-2 with a return down the line. Pospisil broke straight back to 3-3 with a return and took the 4-3 edge by holding his serve. Pospisil got a double break in the eighth game to open up a 5-3 lead as Murray received a code violation after smashing his racquet. Pospisil earned a set point at 5-3 but Murray saved it en route to reeling off four consecutive games.

The Scotsman broke serve for 6-5 after a very long 11th game at deuce before closing out on the third match point in the next game with 7-5. Murray produced 14 winners to Pospisil’s 25 and made 17 unforced errors compared to his rival’s 26. Pospisil earned break point chances early in the match but he managed to convert on two of his seven opportunities.

Murray will take on Gilles Simon who won the all-French derby against Jeremy Chardy with 6-4 6-3 with two breaks in the second set. Simon never faced a break point during the match and made just seven errors. Simon reaches the Rotterdam quarter final for the third time after 2008 and 2013.

It was a tough match physically and mentally. Vasek is a good athlete and gets to a lot of balls. Thanks to this slow court I was able to move him around at the end and control the points. We had some long games and tough points. I moved well and I felt like when I really needed to, I was able to improve my level and step my game up a bit. I found a little bit of extra intensity in the important moments. He was in a great position but we had a 30-shot rally on the set point at 5-4. It was a very physical rally. I was making him do more of the running. It took quite a lot out of him”, said Murray

Thomas Berdych beat Andreas Seppi 6-0 3-6 6-3 in one hour and 28 minutes to get through to the quarter finals. Berdych, who defends his Rotterdam title won last year, converted on four of his break point chances and hit 10 aces. Berdych, Australian Open semifinalist and Doha runner-up earlier this year, improved his win-loss record in his head-to-head matches over Seppi to 8-2. Berdych set up a quarter final against Gael Monfils on Friday.

Seppi dropped the first set with a bagel after winning just three points on Berdych’s serve. The Italian bounced back in the second set by winning five consecutive points on Berdych’s serve and got the break in the fourth game of the second set. He held his serve to win the second set with 6-3. Berdych got the break in the fourth game of the third set. Seppi had to save some break points for the double break before Berdych wrapped up the match with 6-3.

Seppi was not easy at all. I had my game plan. He just started to play much better and took his chance, the only one he had in the second set. But in the third set I was to get my chances and execute”, said Berdych

Stan Wawrinka, who last played in Rotterdam ten years ago, battled past World Number 27 Guillermo Garcia Lopez 6-7 (2-7) 6-4 6-2. Both players traded breaks in the first two games. Then the first set went on serve. The first set came down to the tie-break where the Spanish player won 7-2. It was the second time that they played a tie-break this year after last month at the Australian Open where Garcia Lopez opened up a 6-2 lead before Wawrinka saved four set points. .

Wawrinka broke serve in the ninth game of the second set to take the edge with 5-4 before forcing the match to the third set. Wawrinka dominated a one-sided third set cruising to 4-0 with two more breaks of serve. Garcia Lopez, who won the Zagreb title last week beating Seppi, got his second break of the match in the fifth game of the decider. Wawrinka closed out on the second match point after 135 minutes. Wawrinka will take on Gilles Muller from Luxembourg. Wawrinka won their only previous head-to-head match.

It was a good match with a lot of intensity. It was a tough battle”, said Wawrinka

Milos Raonic hit 17 aces to beat Australian Open doubles champion Simone Bolelli 6-3 7-6 (7-2) in the last match of the evening session. The Canadian had already beaten the Italian with the same score in their only previous head-to-head match in Rome last year. Bolelli will take on Sergiy Stakhovsky in the quarter finals.

Bolelli saved a break point in the fourth game before Raonic broke serve to love in the sixth game of the first set. Raonic held serve to take the first set with 6-3. Bolelli saved three break points in the first game of the second set and held serve with an ace. Bolelli came two points from winning the set at 5-4 but Raonic held serve at deuce with two winners. In the tie-break Bolelli went down a mini-break. He broke back but he made three unforced errors while he was serving. Raonic won the tie-break with 7-2.

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Roland Garros 2024: Rafael Nadal Faces Alexander Zverev In Blockbuster Opening Round

Rafael Nadal and Alexander Zverev will meet at Roland Garros in the first round with Andy Murray taking on Stan Wawrinka in the opening round.

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Rafael Nadal has been drawn against Rome champion Alexander Zverev in the opening round of Roland Garros.

The 14-time Roland Garros champion will most likely be making his last appearance at the event where he has such a great history at.

It’s been a mixed clay court season for Nadal who built gradual momentum in Madrid but suffered an early exit in Rome to Hubert Hurkacz.

Now the Spaniard has been drawn to take on the champion of Rome, Alexander Zverev, in the opening round.

The match is a repeat of the 2022 semi-final where Zverev broke his ankle losing almost a year of his career.

This contest headlines the second quarter of the draw which also features Karen Khachanov, Holger Rune and Daniil Medvedev.

In the other quarter of the top half of the draw, defending champion Novak Djokovic will begin his Roland Garros campaign against Pierre-Hughes Herbert.

There is also a potential third round clash with either Gael Monfils or Lorenzo Musetti for Djokovic, who is currently in Geneva gaining extra match practice ahead of the second Grand Slam of the season.

The Serb could have a repeat of last year’s final in the quarter-finals with Casper Ruud as the Norwegian begins his campaign against Jakub Mensik.

In the bottom half of the draw Jannik Sinner plays his first tournament since suffering a hip injury in Rome as he takes on Christopher Eubanks in the opening round.

Sinner could face Cameron Norrie in the third round with the Brit taking on Pavel Kotov in his opening round before playing the winner of the battle of the Grand Slam champions between Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka.

Murray and Wawrinka will clash for the fourth time at Roland Garros with Wawrinka leading their head-to-head 2-1 in Paris.

This section also includes in-form players such as Hubert Hurkacz, Alejandro Tabilo and Rome finalist Nicolas Jarry.

Finally Carlos Alcaraz will begin his Roland Garros campaign against a qualifier before potentially playing Jack Draper in the second round.

Another exciting clash awaits Alcaraz in the third round in the form of Sebastian Korda with Andrey Rublev or Stefanos Tsitsipas being potential quarter-final opponents.

This is the full draw with Roland Garros beginning on Sunday.

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Alexander Zverev Secures Return To Top Four After Winning Italian Open

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Alexander Zverev has clinched his first Masters title since 2021 after downing Nicolas Jarry in straight sets at the Italian Open.

The world No.5 surged to a 6-4,7-5, victory at the Faro Italico to become the 10th player in the Open Era to win the Rome trophy on multiple occasions. He also won the tournament in 2017. Zverev’s latest win was aided by an impressive service display from the 27-year-old who also hit 15 winners against eight unforced errors. He is now 22-1 against players ranked outside the top five at the tournament with his only loss being to Matteo Berrettini five years ago.

“It means a lot. Winning my first (Masters) title and winning my first after my injury in Rome. Rome is a very special place for me,” the new champion said afterwards. 
“I said at the beginning of the week if Rome is the place of firsts for me I’m extremely happy about it. It’s a very special week.” 

Playing in his first Masters 1000 final since 2022, Zverev produced a serving masterclass throughout the opening set with the German winning 20 out of 21 points. In contrast, Jarry experienced more difficult but valiantly fought back with the Chilean saving two straight break points at 4-4. Eventually, the third seed sealed the opener two games later with the help of some costly shots coming from across the court. A deep shot towards the baseline was unsuccessfully returned by Jarry, handing Zverev a set point which he converted.

Continuing to pile the pressure on in the second set, Zverev had a double chance to break for a 3-1 lead but failed to capitalise on that opportunity. The opportunities continued to come and go. Back-to-back double faults from Jarry at 4-5 handed Zverev two championship points but once again he failed to take advantage. Eventually, he sealed victory two games later with the help of a forehand shot that Jarry returned out. Prompting Zverev to raise his hands in delight before later paying tribute to his rival. 

“He’s playing huge. You can see that by the opponents he beat and how he beat them,” he said of Jarry. 
“I told him if he continues playing like that he is going to have many more chances. I’m happy to be the winner.”

As a result of his Rome triumph, Zverev has secured a top-four seeding for the French Open. On Monday he will rise in the PIF ATP rankings to No.4 which will be his highest position since August 2022. During that same year, he sustained a serious ankle injury which sidelined him for months. 

“The focus is on Paris, that’s for sure. but let me enjoy this one for a day or so and then I will have my full focus on Paris,” said Zverev.

Zverev has now won six Masters 1000 titles which places him in joint-ninth on the all-time list along with Daniil Medvedev. 

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Novak Djokovic Accepts Geneva Wildcard Ahead Of Roland Garros

Novak Djokovic has accepted a wildcard into next week’s ATP 250 event in Geneva as he looks to improve his form ahead of Roland Garros.

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Novak Djokovic has shockingly accepted a wildcard into next week’s ATP 250 event in Geneva.

The world number one hasn’t had the best season so far having yet to reach a final at any of his events this season.

There was hope for Djokovic that his fortunes would change on clay and the Serb started his clay court season by reaching the semi-finals in Monte-Carlo before losing to Casper Ruud.

However Djokovic’s clay court hopes were dashed in Rome as he lost in the third round to in-form Chilean Alejandro Tabilo.

This has meant that Djokovic risks being undercooked for the second Grand Slam of the season at Roland Garros.

Therefore the Serb has had no option but to take a wildcard into next week’s ATP 250 in Geneva.

Djokovic will join Casper Ruud, Andy Murray, Denis Shapovalov and Taylor Fritz in next week’s event.

Next week’s appearance will be the first appearance in Geneva in Djokovic who will be the top seed in Switzerland.

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