ATP Masters 1000: Nadal, Berdych, Murray and Nishikori qualified for semifinals - UBITENNIS
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ATP Masters 1000: Nadal, Berdych, Murray and Nishikori qualified for semifinals



TENNIS – Rafa Nadal (3) beat Grigor Dimitrov (10) 6-3 6-4 in one hour and 49 minutes in the first quarterfinal of the Madrid Mutua Open. Nadal will face Tomas Berdych (6) who had to save a match point against John Isner (16) in order to move through to the next round. In the other semifinal Andy Murray (2) beat Milos Raonic (5) to set up a semifinal against Kei Nishikori (4) Diego Sampaolo


Nadal broke serve in the third game of the first set but Dimitrov broke straight back at love in the fourth game. Nadal broke yet again in the next game before holding serve for a 4-2 lead. Nadal maintained the pressure on the Bulgarian who had to serve to stay in the set at 3-5. Dimitrov soon found himself down 15-40. He saved those two set points but could not the third. He hit a forehand into the net and the first set was over after 50 minutes.

Dimitrov was not deterred as he broke serve early in the 2nd set and pulled away at 3-1. Nadal clawed his way back into the set to draw level by breaking serve in the sixth game for 3-3. However, Dimitrov still had a chance to serve for the set when he earned himself a break point in the crucial 9th game. However, Nadal denied him the opportunity by holding serve for 5-4 and put the pressure back on Dimitrov to serve to stay in the match. The unrelenting pressure proved to be too much Dimitrov as he double faulted to give Nadal a match point. Nadal quickly converted as Dimitrov’s forehand went wide.

Nadal will be bidding to reach his seventh final at this tournament which he has won four times.

“I played a complete match, apart from two games in the second set when my intensity dipped a little”, said Nadal

In tomorrow’s semifinal Nadal will face Berdych who fought back from one set down before saving one match point at 5-6 in the tie-break of the second set against John Isner.

Berdych went down a break at 1-3 before wasting a 0-40 lead in the next game. Isner never looked back and clinched the first set with 6-3. In the 2nd set, both men held serve and forced it to a decisive tiebreaker. Berdych went up 3-1 but Isner drew level at 4-4 before earning a match point at 6-5 which Berdych saved with his trademark monster serve. Berdych took a 7-6 lead in the breaker but Isner again drew level with his 21st ace. Berdych hit a forehand volley winner to go up 8-7. He converted on the set point when Isner’s crosscourt forehand sailed wide. He forced the match to a third set when Isner hit his crosscourt forehand wide. Berdych took the 2nd set 7-6(7).

The third set was a near repeat of the 2nd set with Isner going up 6-5 and looking to take the momentum in the 12th game to break for the match. However, Berdych again forced the tiebreaker but this time around, he was utterly dominant. Berdych closed out the match by taking the breaker 7-1 points with a forehand passing shot. Berdych clinched the win 3-6 7-6 (9-7) 7-6 (7-1) after two hours and nine minutes. The Czech hit 11 aces and won 86 percent of his first serve serves.

Nadal and Berdych will renew their rivalry in a re-match of this year’s Australian Open quarterfinals.

Murray, who had lost three of his five previous matches against Raonic, saved all five break points he faced in this encounter and broke once in each set to give him the win 6-4 7-5. Raonic was not at his best as he is clearly dealing with a foot injury.

Murray, who won the Madrid title in 2008 when the tournament was held indoors, has qualified for his 23rd semifinal in a Master 1000 tournament. Raonic never give up despite the foot injury which forced him to retire from Monte-Carlo and will sideline him from next week’s Internazionali d’Italia.

“I did not know he was injured before we came out but I saw early on that he was struggling,” said Murray.

In Saurday’s semifinal Murray will face Nishikori who capitalized on five of his six break points and hit 23 winners for his 6-4 6-2 win after 72 minutes in the last match of the evening. Nishikori has extended his winning streak on clay to 8 consecutive matches. this year. Nishikori led 7-4 in his previous head-to-head matches against Ferrer and won their only match on clay last year in the Madrid semifinal.

Ferrer broke serve in the opening game and held his serve for 2-0 but Nishikori broke back in the third game. Nishikori broke again in the seventh game. When Nishikori served for the set, he faced two break points but Ferrer did not convert any as Nishikori raised the level of his serve and won four consecutive points to close out the set.

Despite a low percentage of first serve points Nishikori dominated the second set. Ferrer managed to hold his serve only in his last service game.

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Christian Garin extends his winning streak to ten consecutive matches in Santiago de Chile



Chile’s Christian Garin beat Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-2 0-6 7-6 (7-4) in the quarter final in Santiago de Chile after two hours to extend his winning streak to 10 consecutive matches including six three-set matches. Garin, who won two titles this year in Cordoba and Rio de Janeiro, will take on Brazil’s Thiago Seyboth Wild in the quarter final.


Garin converted on six of his seven break points. The Chilean started the opening set with three consecutive breaks and closed it out with a hold at love thanks to an ace in the eighth game.

Davidovich Fokina broke three times to take a bagel in the second set. Garin fended off two break points at 2-3 and earned a break at 15 in the seventh game to take a 4-3 lead. Garin wasted two match points at 5-4 as he was serving at 5-4. Alejandro Fokina broke back with a drop shot to draw level to 5-5. Garin got another break in the 11th game after a double fault from Davidoch Fokina. The Spanish Next Gen player broke back in the 12th game to set up a tie-break. Garin clinched the breaker 7-4 with a forehand winner.

“This is a very important tournament for me. I hope I can play here every year. I want to compete well here after winning in the past two tournaments. I have won several matches. I have a lot of confidence. I feel the responsibility of always winning and much more in Chile. The crowd’s support helped me a lot. After the second set I started to feel pain in my back. I wasn’t feeling good, but the people’s support was important. It was nice to see the crowd helping me when I came down”,said Garin.

Thiago Seyboth Wild edged Argentina’s Juan Ignacio Londero 7-6 (9-7) 6-4 in 1 hour and 45 minutes. Seyboth Wild never faced a break point and converted one of his six break points to clinch the win in straight sets. Londero saved all three break points in the opening set, including two set points at 5-6 to set up a tie-break. The Argentine earned a set point with a service winner.

Seyboth Wild fended off the set point with an ace. Londero did not convert a second set point at 7-7 after a forehand error. Thiago Seyboth sealed the tie-break with a backhand down the line winner. The Brazilian player earned a break in the third game of the second set with a forehand down the line winner and lost six points in five service games and closed out the match with a service winner in the 10th game.

Seyboth Wild reached the second round in Rio de Janeiro earlier this month

Brazil’s Thiago Monteiro beat Roberto Carballes Baena 6-1 6-4 after 1 hour and 23 minutes. The Brazilian player saved all three break points chances and broke three times to reach his second quarter final of the season after Buenos Aires.

Monteiro will face Spain’s Albert Ramos Vinolas, who beat lucky loser Juan Pablo Varillas 7-6 (7-3) 6-2 in one hour and 39 minutes. The Spanish player rallied from 3-5 down in the first set and fended off a set point at 4-5 to clinch the tie-break of the opening set 7-3.

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Novak Djokovic saves three match points to reach the final in Dubai



This year’s Australian Open champion and four-time Dubai winner Novak Djokovic came back from losing the first set to beat Gael Monfils 2-6 7-6 (10-8) 6-1 after 2 hours and 35 minutes at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Tournament. He will face Stefanos Tsitsipas in tomorrow’s final.


Monfils wasted a chance of defeating Djokovic for the first time in 16 head-to-head matches, when he did not convert three match points at 6-3 in the tie-break of the second set.

Djokovic dropped his serve three times in the first and second set and went down a set and a break in the second set.

Monfils dropped six points on his serve and broke Djokovic twice to win the first set 6-2. Djokovic saved a break point in the first game of the opening set before dropping his serve in a marathon third game, when he hit his backhand long. Monfils hit a service winner to open up a 3-1 lead. The Frenchman earned another break in the seventh game after a drop shot error from Djokovic. Monfils sealed the opening set 6-2 with a service winner in the eighth game after 45 minutes.

Monfils went up a set and a break in the third game of the second set at love after a loose forehand from Djokovic. Monfils earned a break with a forehand crosscourt winner. Djokovic broke straight back to draw level to 3-3 in the sixth game after Monfils netted a forehand. Djokovic held serve with an ace for 4-3. Monfils won his service game in the eighth game to draw level to 4-4. Djokovic held his third consecutive service game to take a 5-4 lead, but he wasted a set point in the next game with a loose forehand.

Djokovic earned five set points in the second set, but Monfils saved them to set up a tie-break. Monfils forced an error from Djokovic to take a 4-2 lead and hit a backhand down the line winner in the eighth game. Monfils brought up three match points with a forehand winner, but Djokovic saved them to draw level to 6-6.

Monfils fended off a set point at 6-7 with a service winner. Djokovic earned a mini-break, but he made a forehand error in the next point. Djokovic earned his eighth set point at 8-8 and converted it, as Monfils made his sixth double fault.

Djokovic earned two consecutive breaks in the third and fifth games and closed out the match with his third break at 5-1 in the seventh game with a forehand winner to complete the come-back setting up a final against Stefanos Tsitsipas.

“It’s anybody game really. Stefanos has won eight matches in a row now from last week in France winning the Marseille title, now playing more or less every single day, which is quite impressive. It’s not easy. I hope I can recover. I hope I can be atm y best be at my best because I need to start better than I have tonight. Hopefully I can get a title. Today I just wasn’t taking my chances when I was having rallies on those first five set points. That kind of turned around from 3-6 in the tie-break. From that moment onwards I felt I was going through the ball better”, said Djokovic.  


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Stefanos Tsitsipas reaches the final in Dubai for the second consecutive year



Stefanos Tsitsipas beat Daniel Evans 6-2 6-3 in 1 hour and 21 minutes in the semifinal of the Dubai Duty Free Championships to reach the final at this tournament for the second consecutive year. Tsitsipas will play his second consecutive final one week after lifting the Open 13 Trophy in Marseille.


Tsitsipas converted on four of his ten break points and did not face a break point. The Greek player has dropped just one of the 17 sets he has played since arriving in Marseille last week.

Tsitsipas earned his first break with a backhand winner in the fifth game of the opening set to take a 3-2 lead and consolidated it with a hold at love. Tsitsipas converted his second break point in a three-deuce seventh game after a forehand error from Evans before claiming the first set in the eighth game with an ace after 34 minutes.

Evans saved four break points at the start of the second set. Tsitsipas earned an early break in the third game of the second set to take a 2-1 lead and backed it up with a service winner for 3-1.

Tsitsipas held serve for 5-3 before closing out the second set with his fourth break in the ninth game.

Tsitsipas finished runner-up to Roger Federer in the final of last year’s edition of the Dubai tournament. Tomorrow the Athens native player will face either Novak Djokovic or Gael Monfils.

“I just managed to stay solid throughout the whole match. I didn’t have massive breakdowns and just played a quality of tennis which I enjoyed. I am really impressed by the quality of my game today and I really hope to bring the same and probably better in the next round”, said Tsitsipas.

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